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Everything posted by JLMoran

  1. Hi, @Jodey. Welcome to the RCBlog forums! Unfortunately, since the credit won't show until after you've boarded (and then may not show until day 2), you will need to wait until you're on board and pay the appreciably higher on-board rate if you really want to buy it with your OBC. How many nights is your sailing? Typical on-board pricing for the Deluxe Beverage Package is around $70+ per person, per night, plus an automatic 20% gratuity on the final price (so another $14 per person, per night on top of the base rate); IIRC, passengers with at least Diamond status in Crown & Anchor society get a 20% discount on board, but that's the only discount typically offered. Unless you're on a very short cruise and you've been given a significant amount of OBC, you're still going to be paying at least some of that package with your credit card. If you're seeing the package offered for anything decently below $55 per person, per night (which would be $66 after automatic gratuity), I would strongly advise buying the package now and putting it on your credit card. Even with a 4-night cruise at the typical "base" online price of $55, that's $18 * 4 * 2 = $144 saved for two people vs buying on board at the typical price. The other facet to consider is that you can and most likely will absolutely find plenty of other things to spend the OBC on. You can try out a specialty restaurant with the credit, or use it for a massage or facial/mani/pedi at the spa, or join one of the "wines around the word tasting" events they often have on sea days, use it in the onboard logo shop, book a last-second excursion, pay your automatic gratuities with it, etc. My wife and I have been on two cruises so far -- one 8 nights, one 5 -- that each included around $150-$175 OBC for our cabin; I bought the beverage package and specialty dining online beforehand, and never had a problem using all the OBC and even owing a little on my credit card at the end.
  2. I'm doubtful they'd do that after making all the improvements and refurbishments to Navigator and Mariner so that those ships can make those shorter sailings. Goal is clearly to get new cruisers (overall, or just with Royal) to try out the brand and see how amazing their ships are, with a message that all of their ships are (or soon will be) similarly amazing and these new cruisers should try out longer sailings on their other ships. Putting a much older and non-upgraded ship like Majesty or Empress back into service for those itineraries alongside those ships would I think risk confusing the message. Since the Radiance and especially Vision class ships are still big in Europe for sailing more exotic itineraries to hard-to-reach ports, I could see Majesty or Empress moving there to help service some of those itineraries.
  3. For land vacations, my family and I have had to settle for locations in less-than-a-day driving distance, especially when the kids were really young. Most-frequently visited places include Long Beach Island, NJ; Ocean City, MD; Lake George / Lake Placid, NY; and a one-time drive down to VA to see my brother-in-law and his family back when he lived down that way. We've been to Disney World twice, but only when we got a financial windfall combined with some lucky timing around jobs that allowed for the trips. SOOOOOOO darned expensive!!!
  4. Based on past history of postings here, I would say that is indeed really lucky. Maybe someone decided to cancel their reservation last-minute?
  5. Wow, lot of new "faces" here. 😄 Welcome JoAnne, David, and Will!
  6. Call back and speak with another rep, and if they give you the same line ask (politely) to speak with a supervisor. If the supervisor gives you the same line, hang up and call back to speak with another rep and another super if needed, until you get a rep who properly knows the policy. You are absolutely allowed to reprice a cruise with NRD as long as you are on the same ship and sailing on the same date, with no cabin changes that would involve -- for example -- consolidating from two rooms down to one.
  7. Quantum class' VIA / Royal Esplanade area looks even more like an indoor mall than the Royal Promenade on Voyager / Freedom class, with very little in the way of views outside until you get aft / over by Two70 Lounge. Unfortunately it's something of a required aspect of being a cold-weather ship -- not nearly as much glass in the public spaces, with the very notable exception of the Solarium. That space is fantastic for the outside view of the water as you're lounging in a hot tub or one of the many waterfall-style shallow pools, or enjoying a lounger at the very front of the space, or sitting at the bar enjoying a beverage. Two70 Lounge and CK also have lots of big windows for great views and water connection, and the MDR might have that as well (haven't been so can't say). But the other big public areas like Music Hall, Seaplex, Schooner Bar, Boleros, etc. have no windows or only a few smaller-size ones.
  8. 🎶 She likes... big... SHIPS!!! And she cannot lie!! O-asis really catches her eye! 🎶
  9. Give a listen to episode 285 of @Matt's Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast -- it covers a Cuba Immersion cruise that visits both of your destinations. I seem to recall hearing a clear warning to only go with cruise-sponsored excursions at Cienfuegos, as there are not really any third-party options and the area is much more rural and potentially risky to explore on your own. Havana is much more open to self-exploration from all that I've heard and read.
  10. Welcome, Sue! You've definitely come to the right place for answers to your questions. 😊
  11. So can Royal go back to STX Europe Turku Shipyard and make a Lemon Law claim? 😁
  12. I haven't done the "Three Islands by Powerboat with Lunch" tour on St. Maarten, but just from the name that sounds like it will be very similar to what we did on our day there. We had booked a third-party excursion through Soualiga Destinations, doing their "Most Popular Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors". Great time, and got us back with a good 30 minutes before all-aboard; more than enough time for the 10-minute walk back to the port from the marina where it starts and ends, plus time to stop in the cheese shop along the way for some stroopwafels. (complimentary with a ticket we got from the captain!) It was a fantastic day, and our captain and first mate were really great. The link I put here shows you a map with all the places it goes to, you can see it covers a lot of the island and surrounding mini-islands. You really get to see and experience a lot in that 6 hours!
  13. Didn't Allure have a problem with one of her azipods just last year? I remember @KLA seeing the same problem with visibly different wake where the affected azipod was, and she went in for that dry dock that @twangster posted from YouTube as an example of how the Bahamian dry dock gets adapted to hold Oasis class size ships, along with the use of coffer dams to simply the work on the azipods. If that ship is having trouble yet again and only a year later, I'd can only assume one of the other two azipods is now having trouble. Not a good sign.
  14. Oh well. I'll still hope for better entertainers than last time (not including Spectra and We Will Rock You, which were both beyond awesome). But I also won't be surprised if I find the Las Vegas Tenors on board again, crooning away to songs of the two decades before I was even a gleam in my mother's eye. Hopefully the Music Hall will have that Journey cover band, or a Led Zeppelin one!
  15. Wow. This is basically a complete 180 from my sailing to Bermuda last year on Anthem. It's literally the exact same 5-night itinerary, down to being the last such sailing offered before Anthem switches over to the fall CA/NE sailings. Only difference is that last year's was Oct 13, while this year's is Oct 19. Last year, JS cabins were still available well after final payment date, and they were even offering JS Guarantee at one point in an effort to get them all booked. Pricing on the J4 cabins was the same as I've been seeing the whole time for my upcoming sailing, around $1,250-$1,300 per person. But with this upcoming sailing, there were only two Junior Suites left on the ship yesterday; and as of today, almost exactly four months before final payment date, they are completely sold out! Now the lowest suite class cabin available is a Grand Suite - 1 BR Guarantee at about $1,650 per person. Would love to know what caused such a difference in JS bookings for the same exact sailing, just one year apart. I can't imagine The Key plays a part, since it duplicates some of the benefits you get even with a JS cabin. Maybe word about CK has really spread. 😏 @Lovetocruise2002, when is Canadian Thanksgiving this year? Should I be looking for a bunch of families on school break? Given last year's senior- and families-with-newborns-heavy passenger load, I wouldn't mind seeing more "middle of the road" families; it might cause Royal to have more evening entertainment geared toward my age bracket! 😁
  16. Sorry. While I'll be on Anthem on a trip to Bermuda (for the second time!) it's not until October. Have a great time! Bermuda is definitely something special.
  17. Be aware that some (myself included) find the fluorelastomer rubber used in the WOW bands to be unpleasant, as it causes the skin to sweat a LOT where the band contacts the skin. They seem to be using a different formulation than what's in the bands of other electronic gadgets like Fitbits or the Apple Watch, as I tolerated the band on my Fitbit with no problem for months before getting a metal band. Even though I got a WOW band included due to booking a Jr Suite on Anthem, I ended up never wearing it after the second day due to the sweating issue and somewhat low usage opportunities.
  18. Forgot to answer your question about the cabanas: The beachfront ones, per this other article (thanks for all these links, @Matt!) “are recessed at the rear of the beach, in a secluded area. Beach cabanas cost $395 (for up to six guests). Unlike the beach cabanas at the suite-only Barefoot Beach, the beach cabanas at Nellie's Beach are located in a private area, separated by a short wall.”
  19. If it’s just two of you, a cabana is definitely overkill and very expensive on a per person basis. There is also the option of a beach bed that you may find equally nice and it’s much more economical for two. You find more information in this article. The other option is the beach lounger “clamshell”, which you can read about here. My only “reservation” would be that it’s on Adrenaline Beach, which is the rockier one.
  20. They're just not available yet. Keep checking every week or so until you see them show up. Then be ready to grab one fast if you want one; they tend to sell out quickly, and the prices rise quickly as well. Once you've purchased it, or if the price is just too high at the time, keep checking the Cruise Planner for price drops as new sales are announced. Also keep in mind that only one person in your party needs to purchase the reservation; that person will then give the attendant a list of everyone who will be using the cabana when you get to Labadee, and those people will be given wristbands to show they're allowed in to the area.
  21. You're very welcome! And I hear about popularity of the itinerary. These rare / once a year sailings sell out scary fast; you should see the Iceland and Greenland sailing I'm booked on for August of next year. Announced in November last year, discovered it and booked in January; still not sailing for almost 16 months, and already the ship is almost sold out. Cabin prices for what little is left are through the roof!
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