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Orange Crush

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Everything posted by Orange Crush

  1. 1. I'll be on the Enchantment first weekend in October & will test it then. 2. No Internet package necessary We used it on the Allure in March and it was . . . eh. I could get the restaurant & MDR menus out of it, but our Itinerary got shuffled due to some weather issues and the app never got updated, so after the second day or so, everything was wrong--even the shipboard activities. I went back to my old school method of taking a picture of each page of the daily cruise compass in the morning to keep a "digital" copy with me on my phone.
  2. Here's the direct quote from the ADA website: The ADA recognizes psychiatric service animals, but that does not include nebulous "emotional support" animals.
  3. There will be a set policy on what they ask and how they ask it at the terminal, and they need to stick to that for all guests, or they open themselves up to charges of discriminating against the disabled & ADA violations. If a Pinnacle guest wants to lie, that's on them. All they can really do is ask the question.
  4. Service animals that have been trained to perform a task are still allowed. Providing comfort/emotional support isn't a task an animal has been trained for, that's the main distinction. Hopefully this is enough to curtail the abusers who are just ordering a vest and certificate online so they can bring Fluffy. The current laws are meant to make it easier for people with legitimate disabilities and needs to get by without being harassed and challenged constantly. Businesses aren't allowed to ask what a person's disability is or why they need a service animal, it'd be like asking somebody if they really need that wheelchair or are they just lazy. People with disabilities put up with enough crap that they shouldn't have to deal with a problem caused by selfish and overly entitled jerks.
  5. Marketing is what it is, but I don't care at all about their sales, included this or that promotions, onboard credits, BOGOs or the bizarre math they use to figure their "percent off" tags on the cruise planner. I always figure out my total cruise cost, estimate what my add-on packages will cost, and add in the gratuities, taxes, fees, and whatever else they tack on or I expect to spend and subtract perks & OBC before I book and make my decision based on that. You can't make an apples-to-apples comparison any other way. Whether they take out the OBC and remove it from the fare price or just take it away and leave the fare the same doesn't really matter to me in the end. I'm looking at the bottom line price and compare it to other cruises I've taken or other lines to decide if I'm getting a good deal or not. This might be a sneaky way to raise prices without changing the sticker price, it doesn't really bother me, because I never believed the sticker price in the first place.
  6. Refreshment package is $18 on my October sailing. Voom's down to $13.99 which is the lowest I've seen it on this trip.
  7. It doesn't always "bump" the other device off, sometimes you just can't get in until the other device is manually logged off. Best way to be sure and avoid headaches is to log out of whatever device you don't want online when you're trying to switch. Just go to "logoff.com" and it'll disconnect. I do the same. I am pathologically incapable of keeping pieces of paper. If you hand me an important paper, receipt, etc., I will usually absentmindedly throw it away. When I get the piece of paper with the Internet code, I take a picture of it with my phone and then immediately lock the slip of paper up in the safe. I can't be trusted.
  8. Orlando schools go back pretty early too. August 13th for Orange County this year, and they get out end of May.
  9. You might be right, there's no mention of a fuel surcharge in the contract posted on HAL's website aside from reserving the right to pass an airline fuel charge on to you if you booked airfare through them. But like I mentioned, the cruise lines trade fuel contracts on the commodities markets so they can basically buy up a lot of fuel when prices are cheap and not be affected by a short-lived price jump at all. If fuel prices stay high, they'll have to re-evaluate whether they can slip it into the base fare or go with the line-item surcharge, but none of them want to be the first one to re-institute fuel surcharges. They are very unpopular, and there's a reason it hasn't been done in 10 years or so, despite several significant jumps in oil prices.
  10. Check the cruise contracts, I'd be surprised if the 'reserve the right' clause for the fuel surcharge was 100% gone. Each line's policy varies, but RCI & X say they reserve the right to re institute the charge if west texas intermediate crude stays above $65 (it's around $66.25 right now). It's peaked over $100 in recent years and they haven't charged the fee, so I wouldn't worry about it coming back just yet. They can shuffle some paper around their balance sheet and play with futures contracts to keep a short-term fuel price spike from affecting them too much. It has to be a sustained long term price increase to really hit them.
  11. Allure usually had salads at Sorrento's, but if not, they always had a salad bar up at the Windjammer and on a couple of the sea days in the MDR.
  12. We did My Time on the Allure in March and didn't like it at all. I figured we'd try it since it was just the 2 of us and we were had a 4-night specialty dining package so didn't make sense to have a table reserved for us in the Main Dining Room we'd barely use. We ending up eating only one night in the MDR and were disappointed with the service. Tried them again during lunch another day and our opinions didn't change. We're probably going to stick with traditional set-time dining, the wait staff just seems better and it feels more magical. MTD & lunch times felt rushed and they were more interested in turning & burning the tables.
  13. If you're new to cruising, I'd do a set-time ("Traditional," not "My Time") in the main dining room. You get the same wait staff every night and I think it really adds to the experience. My advice is to save the specialty restaurants for another cruise with a smaller group.
  14. VOOM on the Enchantment for October is the cheapest I've seen it--$13.99. Everything else is higher than i already had booked.
  15. Canaveral didn't have customs forms either. We just walked right off the ship.
  16. I really need to take a field trip down to the Space Center and see it, I haven't been since well before Atlantis was on display and I have no excuse at all living where I do.
  17. Oh, totally. I originally booked it at the NextCruise desk back in March. Since then, I got a good $250 knocked off from a different sale. I am very happy with my total price right now, so I'm pretty sure I've got as good as I'm gonna get . . . but it doesn't hurt to look!
  18. At those prices, I don't blame you. I don't think we'll be bothering with shipboard Internet unless we do something with a lot of sea days again. We get free data & texting at most of the destinations, so that'll be good enough for us.
  19. No dice for my October 2018 cruise. Total price is several hundred dollars higher. I think I'm about as low as I'm going to get, but of course I will still check obsessively until October. 😎
  20. On my upcoming October trip on the Enchantment, I'm seeing: $14.39 per day Voom 1 device -- This hasn't dropped a penny since I booked back in March. $23.28 per day Voom 2 devices ($11.64 per device) $53 Deluxe Beverage - I got this on a sale for $47 $63 Deluxe Beverage + Voom 1 device combo (effectively $10 per device) It's a 3-night trip, so they might be stingier on package discounts, but I keep checking pretty frequently regardless. I probably won't bother with an Internet package this time because it's such a short trip and we get free data and texting at both destinations so we're really only going to be offline at night. Last two trips, I only bought it for one device and we just took turns, which worked fine for us.
  21. The "whole season" forecasts I've seen are predicting an above-average season, but less active than last year. Hopefully we'll be spared anything major. The Caribbean needs a break after Irma & Maria.
  22. I just got a quote, $90 to cover the cruise fare. I think I'll skip it and take my chances since it's just the two of us for a 3-nighter with no air travel involved. I'm about 60 miles from the port, so if we get hit by a hurricane, so does Port Canaveral. Royal will either cancel and refund if they can't sail or decide to sail anyway and I don't think we'll have a problem getting to the port if that happens. Frankly, I'd rather be on a cruise than hanging out in a house with no power in the aftermath of a storm. We're assuming our own risk for not being able to make it due to unforeseen illness, injury or family emergency; but I can accept that gamble. The only other thing I see in the policy I'm looking at that might make it worthwhile to me is the medical evacuation benefit since we'll be SCUBA diving, but we're going to get a policy specifically for divers which would cover anything dive-related, and I'm not sure we need the extra coverage that would only apply to non-diving-related emergencies.
  23. May and June hurricanes making landfall are super rare, but the early weather systems can still scramble a ship's itinerary. I'm living dangerously and haven't bought insurance for my October cruise this year, but I'm thinking about it more and more if I can still get it.
  24. It's one package per person, so for two people you have to buy two packages. One of your two dinners has to be on the first two nights, when you go to buy it in the cruise planner, you pick which day you'll be having the first dinner reservation. In theory, RC will pick your restaurants and second dinner date and time, but you can change this on the ship. I bought the 4-night packages and Royal didn't pre-book any of mine. As soon as you get aboard the ship, look for someone standing at a podium or desk with a specialty dining sign and check/adjust your reservations then and there so you can get what you actually want. I boarded a little after 11am and didn't have any trouble getting all 4 booked the way I wanted.
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