JLMoran

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JLMoran last won the day on December 12 2018

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About JLMoran

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    Oasis Class Denier
  • Birthday 01/23/1970

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    Male
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    Northern NJ

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  1. JLMoran

    Family Friendly Specialty Dining

    @Matt, is that true yet on Harmony for Wonderland? Last I heard, only Symphony's Wonderland had a kids' menu.
  2. JLMoran

    Navigator Dry Dock

    I'm curious if the ship's primary sailing locations also play a part in decisions about what will go into a given refurbishment, at least for major new features like water slides or some of the dining venue concepts. Adventure spends a good part of each year away from the Caribbean and Bahamas, and while it's not all of the year I can see where it could play a part. If the weather won't accommodate use of fancy new water slides for 2 or 3 months of the year, it becomes an expensive add-on that's just sitting unused while getting beaten up by the weather and incurring maintenance costs. And while a Playmakers type venue would work fine in just about any part of the world, a tiki bar might seem oddly out of place outside of the Caribbean or South Pacific.
  3. JLMoran

    Surprise birthday event?

    Cash tipping is totally permissible, and several of us here do it for two main purposes: Extra tip for the cabin steward and wait staff at the end of the cruise for exemplary service A dollar passed with our SeaPass card when ordering a beverage and we have a beverage package of some sort; some just pass a 5 or 10 on the first time and then leave it at that, all depends on whether you're going to stick with one bar or float around If you're asking a favor of the head waiter or matre'd so your wife's birthday is extra-special, it's absolutely fine to tip them whatever you think is appropriate in thanks. Key thing with cash tips is that the person receiving it gets to keep it for themselves, unlike the daily gratuities that are distributed to all of the crew members involved with your cabin location and dining section.
  4. Something that extreme is pretty rare, yes. But I'll give an example that happened to me and was something that could be a lot more frequent. I was on Anthem last October, and found after looking at my SeaPass charges on night three that I was being charged daily gratuities. I had pre-paid my grats about two months before sail date, so this should just not have been happening. Went to Guest Services the next morning, and they couldn't explain why this was happening when I had an email receipt on my phone showing they were paid. So I emailed my TA (from MEI) and let her know the situation. She did the work of digging into that while I went and enjoyed the afternoon showing of We Will Rock You (and my drink package). Got out of the show and had an email from her that Royal said the charge never went through. Well, I replied that indeed it did, because I'd just gotten my latest statement and I could see the charge there, plain as day. She continued to follow up and eventually got it all resolved for me, while I was able to continue enjoying my vacation without spending hours at Guest Services or on the phone with headquarters, and without having to think about following up on that when I got back home. If time is money, and stress is a withdrawal on your "cash on hand", she saved me a pretty good bit there on top of the double-charged tips. Agents also save you time before boarding by doing the work of checking every new promotion to see if it saves you money, so depending on how "type A" you are, that's another thing to keep in mind. You just get to enjoy planning excursions and what drink you'll enjoy at sailaway, while your agent is going the "drudge work" of price checking at least once a week for you and every other client he or she has.
  5. Hey, @BrewerJoe, welcome to the forums! As a rule, prices are at their lowest when the itineraries are first announced and only go up from there. Sometimes a particular sailing, or cabin class within the sailing, will go down briefly if the cabins are filling up fast enough or there are still some unsold close to sail date, but it's the exception rather than the rule. If you're approaching your threshold for the trip getting too expensive, and it's definitely one you want to take, best to pull the trigger soon. One thing to note -- if you're looking at the prices on Royal's web site, you're going to be seeing the non-refundable deposit pricing. Given the sailing is in July, there's probably no reason to not go with a non-refundable deposit at this point since final payment date is so close. But if you want to make a refundable booking just in case, that will cost a bit more. You can see how much more by starting a mock booking and going most of the way through the process -- select cabins and enter traveler info (feel free to make up most of it, just keep your state accurate on the off chance there's an offer available for residents of your state) -- then get to the screen after traveler info. Here you see the extra cost to buy insurance with Royal, pre-pay your gratuities... and book with a refundable deposit. Check that option and you'll see the adjusted price. Usually, there's also a reduction in any OBC or instant savings offered. As @rjac noted, it's really best to go with a regular travel agency, rather than one of the internet resellers. I've also used MEI and will recommend them. Besides keeping an eye out for you with price reductions, you'll have someone who will go to bat for you with Royal should anything really bad happen between now and cruise date. (like, say, Royal deciding abruptly to cancel a cruise because the ship suddenly got chartered at the last minute -- yes, this really happened to someone here, and without their travel agent getting into the ring with Royal, there would have been a much less satisfactory ending)
  6. JLMoran

    Deluxe Beverage package

    Hi @Metphan714, welcome to the forums! You may want to try calling Royal and seeing if they can do it over the phone for you. It's basically the inverse of the more-common "both in one room but one can't drink" scenario.
  7. @alamode123, I am sooo jealous right now. Can't believe you got to meet the cast of Stranger Things! Was Winona Ryder there, too?? Yeah, totally fan-boi-ing right now. 😅
  8. Really nice pics, @Jaymac Radio!
  9. JLMoran

    insurance question

    @Mljstr, very sorry to hear about your current situation. Hoping for the best and that no surgery will be needed! Definitely read the policy terms very carefully for any "pre-existing condition" clauses. I know that when I've bought insurance in the past, whether Royal's or another's, there is a clause that states pre-existing conditions that are present for some time period before purchase (I've typically seen 6 months, but it could vary) will automatically exclude coverage unless the insurance was bought within a short time window from booking (usually 2 two weeks). Some policies allow you to separately purchase a waiver for pre-existing conditions if you buy the policy outside this window. You'll need to find a policy that either has no pre-existing condition clause (which is probably going to be rare as hen's teeth and exorbitantly expensive), or that allows you buy the waiver so you can be guaranteed coverage should surgery prove necessary. This is absolutely going to be considered a pre-existing condition by any policy issuer since you learned about it prior to purchase, and your doctor would almost certainly be obligated to state as much if asked during an insurance claim audit.
  10. JLMoran

    Surprise birthday event?

    If you speak to your head waiter or maitre'd on the first night, you should be able to have the waiters for your table come over and sing "happy birthday" and give a slice of cake or other sweet. Easier if you have traditional dining, but I'm sure it can also be arranged with My Time Dining.
  11. Man, someone doubled up on his snark pills today... 😉
  12. JLMoran

    Oasis Class #6 !!!!

    Nice, but stubborn. 😁
  13. JLMoran

    Book now pay later: Air2Sea

    This was actually discussed over in "the other place" a fair bit for the same service with Celebrity. There's a pretty big "gotcha" with choosing to pay later -- while you have a reservation for the flight are guaranteed a seat, you are not ticketed with the airline and cannot select your seat(s) until you have paid for the flight. So you're taking a gamble by paying later that any group you're flying with could be split up or that you'll be sitting in some undesirable location on the plane. It was further explained on the thread that taking the "pay later" option is basically selecting a refundable with no change fee ticket, whereas paying right away is non-refundable. There was also some speculation (without confirmation) that the fare price could be subject to change based on the prevailing rate if you don't lock in the fare by paying right away. I got confirmation that Flights By Celebrity fares are cheapest when first offered and then only go up from there as the available seats fill up, so it's definitely something to keep in mind. Seems to me that if you're going to use this service, just use it "the old-fashioned way" and pay for your tickets at time of booking. Especially if it's any kind of group flight where you don't want to be split up, or if you have needs like an exit row seat for legroom or absolutely have to be in a window seat and not in the middle of the plane.