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Everything posted by mike

  1. Thanks for the input doc :) . I knew carnival could be a bit cheaper, but this helps explain why my brothers family of 4 couldnt come close on price to sail with me on Royal sometime.
  2. Odd indeed that they have no minute packages at all left. It makes me wonder if they intend to get prices to rediculously low levels as the fleet slowly upgrades to the new satelite tech. 7 days without internet. The thought brings me to tears :P .
  3. Keep in mind on the 60/day package that you have pretty much any and all drinks covered. As such make sure to factor in soda and other covered non alcoholic drinks when deciding if it is right or not for you. Personally I drink 1-2 a night on vacation. It fits me more to buy a la carte. If I can find that awesome flavored water anytime that they have in the Windjammer at lunch I may have to reconsider any package though. Seriously that stuff was pretty tasty :P . In any event the soda package at a minimum really isnt a bad idea just for the water part. Stock up over the day and take
  4. I think there are definitely 2 types of service professionals, those who let tips come as they will and those who get a little pushy. Mix in there the customers comfort level with societal norm amounts for the gratuities and you have a great recipe for 'mileage may vary'. I've tipped the 15% mark on land and felt comfortable, sometimes bumping to 20%, especially if im not paying cash. The 18% gratuity onboard the ships is already pushing past my land standard and is why I personally dont feel the compulsion to tip more unless they just plain knocked it out of the park for me. Another w
  5. The fact that they changed Jamies back to flat rate leads me to think that at worst Royal might try this with each specialty and keep or change back as they find what restaurants people are willing to pay a la carte for. So far only Izumi has managed this. Honestly because of Jamies I'm not terribly worried the fad will catch on with Royal, but I guess only time will tell.
  6. You are correct, and yes unless the service went way above what you would expect a bartender to do I would sign and forget. I paid a la carte last time and didnt leave extra tip and still received good service.
  7. Honestly I thought the compromise they came to with DD classic would have been a perfect balance. Perhaps they continued to get feedback indicating otherwise?
  8. Considering all of the above, I think it all comes down to pay. I know of few people personally who would take a partial year contract besides k-12 teachers. Add to that making sub 10/hr when accounting for all 12 months again I know of no one that would do it for that. By U.S. standards, its not much above a hotel or fast food equivilent pay.I think in this case it just boils down to pay, time worked per week and seperation from pretty much everything you know.
  9. I agree with you, it's indeed hard to tell though I lean to imagined just as sugar causing hyperactivity has been proven to be a placebo effect (a proper meal will do the same for energy levels). I don't doubt that for some employees the auto gratuities lead to diminished output. However, far more often than not I think bad or poor service can be linked to any number of other causes such as bad training, bad day/personal drama going on, work problems etc. I think the best way to try and determine the impact of auto gratuities is to amass some simple data be it here or in a dedicated thre
  10. I couldn't agree more with Matt. At the end of the day with Navigator being at a virtual tie with the Independence I would go for the economy option personally. More money to spend onboard or a several day longer cruise on a ship truly worthy of the 'wow' factor like Navigator sounds like a win win to me.
  11. This... this made me laugh so hard it hurts :P . But yeah, they're hitting hard today. I just seen volley 2 arrive. These bots mean buisness. Well, shady buisness lol. Yes I know bad pun is bad. Seriously though, as if it really needs said... fake passports are a surefire way to spend years in jail for trying to cheap out $100 or so. Any trip out of country, cruise or not, is magnitudes more in cost. Just spend the 100ish and get it the legal way(through your countries government) and save the risk of being someone's cell neighbor for years. Does this need said one may ask? Of course its
  12. Royal really should, if they haven't already, put out a recipee book with just their alcoholic drink recipes. I'd love to know exactly which specifics they use in drinks that can vary some such as the mai tai.
  13. I looooved Chops. For that matter even the Windjammer steak at lunch one day was great. Royal does steaks wonderfully.
  14. I tend to agred with you, people often seem to think a safety device(or person) is a substitution for active involvement. Unless there was only a handful of people in the pool I cant see how anyone would trust a preteen in the pool without their own parent supervising. A perfect example comes from I believe here in the states a few years ago when an adult woman drowned in a public pool and no one noticed her body for DAYS. Yes the lifeguard was notified and ignored the boy who reported it, but the fact a busy pool had no one notice for days speaks volumes. This is precisely why I say no
  15. http://www.royalcaribbean.com/customersupport/contactUs.do A list of numbers depending on location. Being American I don't know if youre intended to call an Italian number since only a fax number is listed for the UK. One thing to note though is to my knowledge it has always been after final payment no modifications (other than the mentioned exception above) can be done as I believe mentioned in the contract acknowledged on payment. The last minute deals have been cheap fares for those who have yet to book or make final payment. Royal has however said they are ending last minute deals
  16. After looking at that gotenna thing, it definitely looks cool. I notice however that the radio range it uses is way lower(mid 100 hz) than the standard 4-500hz most walkies use. Its more akin to what CB's use at an even lower sub 50hz. Typically lower means easier time getting through objects. With all that said if I had to take an educated guess I would say if walkies work on a ship this should almost certainly.
  17. I'm not sure choice air or not can help if there are no flights to rebook to in event of major winter weather. I would make sure to book the flight for at least 1 day BEFORE the cruise date, even then as early in the day too so as to give plenty of time to make another flight. I can't attest to how easy and fast rebooking with choice air is though I suspect depending on airline that the airline people would give the same runaround on rebooking that they do for Expedia, Priceline, etc. From what I've seen they're alot more apt to work with passengers who booked with the airline directly. Havi
  18. I suppose the million dollar question will be which market will be more willing to open up their wallet. Of course only time will tell on that. I can also see what are saying Matt, it makes sense. Price stabilization has its up sides, though I forsee gradually higher demand leading to at least somewhat higher fares until the fleet size can catch up to demand. Me and you have a love hate relationship Mr. Supply & Demand :P . In any case, here's to hoping everything stays within reason. Royal has such a perfect blend of color palettes I enjoy and things to do on board that I don't want t
  19. I don't know if i agree prices will come back down. With Royal wooing a MASSIVE new market that is hungry for things like the cruise ship market i.e. the new found Chinese middle class, I forsee it getting possibly worse. They have a population the size of most of 'the west' and a middle class increasing to the size of whole western countries entire population size. They are a gigantic market I think Royal wants desperately to tap. My borderline conspiracy theory comes from a few places. Lets start with Royal shipping brand new ships there to be stationed. Don't be surprised if more and more
  20. I believe the only way to get the promotion is to re-book as it is very likely for new bookings only. This is normally the case anyway. It's worth calling and checking on, but don't expect that you WILL save money as the current booking price for your room may or may not be higher.
  21. 99 sounds pretty reasonable for a whole cruise, especially so if you fly in with someone who charges per bag. Being able to forgo a garment bag is $50 of that and your back saved from yet another bag!
  22. I agree with Matt that they want happy customers, and I bet sales didn't know about the work to be done. This sounds like a bad case(and not just in this instance) of the left hand not speaking to the right hand. With that said I also believe MANAGEMENT absolutely had to know 45+ days out that there was to be construction of this scale. What Royal needs to get back to is proper communication and an ease of access on info for the sales side. While things like this are rare, they still need to leave the customer in a position that you knew about the problem before making the decision to go all i
  23. I would look at it this way, if you do DD classic and rotate with your staff you essentially do have a different menu each day with each new restaurant. Well I suppose on a 7 night there would be almost twice at each complementary one. I think if they could manage to increase the menu size some they could be like land based chains who almost all have static but large menus.
  24. I'm jealous. I'm hoping my wife wasn't kidding about maybe paying for me to go alone to get me out of her hair for a week haha. For now I'll just have to envy y'all, a group cruise with friends to meet up with sounds fun indeed.
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