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  1. We went on our first cruise in 20 years last year and I just thought I would share what we learned. You don’t need a huge fancy ship on a long cruise to see if it’s a good fit. A smaller older ship has plenty of sun, sea, music and new things to experience. Do grab any available discounts (in advance on the royal website) for things like drink or water packages if you can get them. The offers do go away. Rookie mistake in waiting. if you are doing a shorter budget cruise you will be just fine without premium dining. This may vary from port, but we toured Cozumel on our own and were really glad we did that. There are lots of beach clubs you can do on your own or go into town. I am glad we rented a car. I’m not glad we got a parking ticket. In Galveston we did a hotel with a shuttle but it was a SLOW process, might not have made that a priority. An air b and b and an Uber booked ahead would have probably done the trick, though do plan for parking. We made the trip to the port and the port stay an important part of our vacation, we stayed 2 nights before and that helped us feel less stressed embarkation day and we loved Texas. if you don’t have a passport BRING YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Our travel agent never mentioned this and thank heavens we had backup documents. There are beer buckets on board but we didn’t really budget enough for drinks. We did bring soda and water on and grabbed more in port. The ship has plenty of food but grabbing a quick snack isn’t always easy, not the worst idea to bring a few nibbles. It can be cold and hot and everything in between. Layers are great. Talk to people, make friends, we got to interact with all sorts of folks from all over. Try things you would not normally do, trivia, shuffle board, hide ducks, dance class, ICE SHOW. We ate a lot of Indian food on board. We avoided crowds by doing everything on the late side, later meals all day. Grab a paper cruise compass. Don’t worry about keeping up with everyone else. We didn’t have all the magnets or sparkle water bottles or fancy outfits but we had a great experience.
  2. Last minute sailing surprise! First time on this class of ship. First time out of Tampa. First time sailing as D+. First Royal Up success selection. When: November 19, 2022 Who: Three Best Friends; Hubby, Myself, 16 year old daughter. Ship: Serenade of the Seas Cabin: Owners Suite Itinerary: Tour of the Bahamas, seriously a snooze fest but I'm sailing AND I Love Sailing! One RUB placed, not holding my breath. Hoping we will enjoy sailing from Tampa.
  3. Hi! First-time family cruisers here! My husband and our girls (11 and 13) and I are leaving on Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore (we live near there) on June 16. We have two days in Bermuda. We just want to spend a relaxing time at the beach and browse a few shops. Would someone please tell me what we need to do to get to the beach? I've searched the forums and people have said their favorite beaches, etc., but I just need to know what we are supposed to do once we get into port. Sounds pretty basic but I'm freaking out a little bit. Can we walk? Is there a trolley or taxi? Are there bathrooms? Food? Do we need to bring a towel? What else should we bring? How do we pay for services? Is everything credit card? I just don't want to be overwhelmed then make a poor choice when we get there and then find out we should've done something differently. We aren't big vacationers so I really have no idea what to expect. Yes, we did already do our Bermuda Travel Authorization. As much detail as possible is greatly appreciated. I'm getting really stressed about this part of the trip. Thank you so much!!!!! Michele
  4. I went to make a payment on my trip online, and I noticed the birthday on one of the passengers was wrong so I fixed it and the pricing for my trip went up $600+. It seems like they removed the discounts that I originally had when I booked my trip and I have tried calling the customer service number but the offices are closed. This is the first time I’ve booked a trip on my own. Is this something that commonly happens? Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m kinda freaking out right now!
  5. Hi! Using the "Apple-pay" hack, we just found out our GTY room is in the aft of deck 2 of the Independence of the Seas. My wife is a little anxious about this. Can anyone give us some pros/cons of being on deck 2 or just let us know what to expect that might be different there as compared to the room tours available on YouTube? Thanks in advance.
  6. Hello~ I would like to confirm for my upcoming sailing a question about CK. We will be dining there every evening and forgo the MDR on this our 1st RCCL sailing. ( I like acclimating in a much smaller venue) I checked the app and the menu's are pretty much listed albeit I know some may not be that accurate. If we go to CK and notice an offering on the MDR menu (mushroom soup vs tomato for an example) may we order it? Secondly, is it a huge pain in the a$$ to do this to the wait staff? I know they work hard enough and don't want to be "that person" who messes with the servers timing etc. If he has to run all over the ship I don't believe I would do this (except for lobster night but we will give them the heads up before that evening) Basically just because I may doesn't mean I should? Thank you for your thoughts, I also don't want to take the server from the other tables they have if this is a long process, then I totally would not enjoy what I thought I would! Thanks everyone.
  7. Hi all! This is my first post, and I am planning my first cruise. To say I'm overwhelmed is an understatement, but I love planning vacations so I know everything will be fine. I have a couple questions, mainly related to the cruise I plan to take. I'm planning on going on the Adventure of the Seas on a 6 night Western Caribbean cruise April 5-11, leaving from Fort Lauderdale. First off, I've never travelled to a "vacation spot" during spring break, so when should I book flights? Currently I'm looking at $914 for 2 people to fly roundtrip from my location (JetBlue is the only direct flight for me), and I feel like I should wait, but I know y'all are probably the experts on when to book flights. My other question would be what are the best things to do on Adventure of the Seas? I do plan to head to the spa, but are there any hidden gems that people don't often talk about? And lastly, do you have any advice for a first time cruiser? Thanks!
  8. I was wondering, would anyone mind sharing their embarkation day rituals? Is there something you like to do immediately as soon as you step on-board? Favorite place to be on the ship for sailing away? Should we do the 1430hrs introduction to the ship tour? We are a family of 3 to include a 13 year old daughter. Youth club registration? Oh, the safety drill I see we are at E4 location, does that take long? Life jackets required? Would love to hear some fun suggestions, thanks to everyone in advance! (We are in an OS so I believe that lounge may be an option.)
  9. We just bought cruise tickets via http://www.royalcaribbean.com/ for 4-nights to Bahamas on Majesty of Seas and we are super excited and looking forward to the trip! We didn't know that, there weren't any balconies on Majesty of Seas and the website continues to show Balcony as "Sold Out" - I thought we missed the boat on getting a deal on a balcony but if we knew that the ship didn't have any, it would have been better upfront. We booked two interior staterooms as we are 5 adults and 2 kids and it's great that RC is running a kids sail free promotion. Stateroom #1: Guest 1 $169 Guest 2 $169 Guest 3 $131 Prepaid Gratuities $162 Taxes, fees and port expenses $239 Grand Total $870 Stateroom #2: Guest 1 $169 Guest 2 $169 Prepaid Gratuities $108 Taxes, fees and port expenses $159 Grand Total $605 For 5 of us(3 adult/2kids) - a total of $1500 is a great deal! Questions Gratuities: We pre-paid $54 per person including for an Infant and I read online that most cruise lines don't charge tips for Infants but called RC customer service @ (866) 562-7625 and they said any paying guest will have to pay tips. We noticed even though the promo said Kids Sail Free eventually, the price was allocated among the guests so that's one way RC says all guests have to pay. We were hoping to see say Guest 3 price paid =$0 but instead it shows up as $131 so the promo is misleading. Water: why does RC prohibit customers from bring them on-board and I see folks trying to sneak them-in. what's the logic ? Excursions: With an infant in the party, am not sure what excursions do you guys recommend ? is there child-care on-board while the ship is docked at the port? My Time Dining: Isn't lunch or say, dinner served during set time like between 5.30 pm to 10pm or should we make reservations for lunch/dinner? Dress: Do we really need formal attire or can we wear casual clothing(shorts OK for men) ? Boarding: The ship sails from Port Canaveral at 4pm - What time do you recommend we be on-board? Stroller: Are they allowed on-board? or are we expected to carry an infant in our arms on the ship? Rooms: we have two rooms on upper decks but they are apart and would like them to be closer or next to each other. I couldn't see any option online to request or change. The "modify" link in our online account disappeared after we made the reservation. Should we call RC customer service and if we change it now, will we be charged additional price? Suggestions/Recommendations: Any other tips for first time cruisers with an Infant to ensure that we have a wonderful time?
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