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Found 14 results

  1. As a rule of thumb regarding NON-REF vs REF bookings, its always best to book a REFUNDABLE deposit as this allows one to change their dates up to final payment date. Even in regular times, a NON-REF deposit would incur a $100 fee to simply shift sail date and ship. Just note that whether its NON-REF or REF - booking is 'locked in' after final payment. This means the LIFT & SHIFT or CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE apply at that point. Also **very important** - a REFUNDABLE booking can always be downgraded to NON-REFUNDABLE before final payment. However one CANNOT upgrade from NON-REF to REFUNDABLE. For flexibility as most tend to book cruises several months out, anything can happen so its good to have the refundable deposit up to final payment to allow for any changes in plans. A REFUNDABLE deposit also allows one to re-price their cruise before final payment in regular times. What I have usually done is kept a REFUNDABLE deposit until an hour before final payment is due then downgraded to NON-REF... though in that case, sometimes NON-REF costs more than REF if its the day of final payment 🙂 Before I forget... if an FCC was used to cover the pre-tax voyage fare less taxes of course, in the event RCL cancels the sailing (its a hassle as RCL as to re-generate an already existent FCC which can take up to 30 days). whereas the weird thing is, if one makes any changes before final payment (assuming RCL doesn't scrap the sailing) - the existing FCC can be 'ported' from one booking to another without a waiting period. 🙂 🙂 🙂
  2. Hi all...any tips you can give would be very grateful for. .I’m worried about our upcoming Cruise to celebrate my 30th Wedding Anniversary . My Husband & I have never been on a big cruise ship. We have finally Booked in advance our cruise on QUANTUM OF THE SEAS, from Singapore to Beijing April 30th we depart. I’m concerned & exited at the same time...I am assuming that there will be a lot of Asian travellers. Im a little worried as I love to interact and meet new people, but Im going to be disadvantaged because of the language barrier. So if you can give me any tips or recommendations, they will be much appreciated. (Unfortunately I can’t do a language course...my brain couldn’t cope with having to speak another language let alone remember it😊). We booked via a travel agent and apparently she got us a a “”GREAT DEAL’”? She had managed to get us a Larger than usual interior Cabin? I was quite thrilled about that as I am a bit claustrophobic. However..... I’ve just seen online that the cabin is classed & allocated for DISABLED passengers. Our Cabin number 11525 with VR Balcony is on DECK 11 . I can understand & see why it’s larger for wheelchair access etc. I’m quite happy to have a larger room BUT.....it’s WHERE it is positioned on deck that has got me very worried now. My concern is NOISE late at night and early morning. I now know that it’s on the deck near the where kids club activities are. I love kids..but I love my sleep too😴. There are cabins BELOW us on deck 10 so hopefully not too noisy.....BUT on the DECK Plan LEVEL 12 ABOVE US has a LARGE WHITE UNMARKED AREA ABOVE OUR CABIN. Is this where the Dodgem Cars , Basketball Laundry or Crew quarters are? Im panicking & wondering if we actually “HAVE” been given such Great Deal?” I’m assuming that we are going to be in the NOISIEST area of the ship 😬. I have been looking forward to this for such a long time, it’s a dream come true for me . I’m just so afraid that it’s going to spoil our holiday and that I can’t do anything about it! All advice gratefully received...I will definItely bring earplugs ,Cheers & thanks in advance 🙏😊
  3. We will be cruising next May with our families on Harmony of the Seas. Our daughter will be the youngest at 2 and probably the only child with the rest as adults in their twenties or fifties. Our ports of call are Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan as well as Perfect Day CocoCay. Excluding CocoCay, which, if any, of those ports would be best to just walk off the ship and eat and shop or go to a beach without an excursion? We do have some in our party with mobility issues, so a short walk would be preferable or we could do a taxi ride. If there's nothing in those ports that fit the bill for that, what excursions would you recommend for us that our 2 year old would enjoy and be able to do? Thanks for your help!
  4. First time poster, so please be kind! Only one cruise under our belt (the allure) and loved it. We prepaid gratuities and plan to do so for our 2020 cruise. I was talking with a friend today who also happens to be a travel agent. She made the comment that she prepays gratuities but depending how many nights they end up in MDR, then she has it adjusted at the end of the cruise. I was shocked. I had never considered that. We only ate in MDR one time because we liked the flexibility of Windjammer. Anyway...has anyone done that before? Is that common?
  5. I was wondering if anyone on here has an anxiety disorder, and how you deal with it on a cruise? I doubt my anxiety will be an issue as it only really gets worse when I'm sitting idle. I have a feeling I'm going to be too busy to realize I'm on a floating piece of metal in the middle of the ocean that I couldn't get off of if I wanted to. Before anyone asks, I do have a prescription but if I take it I can't drink...and I purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package. The only other thing that helps me is CBD(which I can combine with alcohol)(not recommended) and I'm not aware of its legality on the ship. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
  6. We are going on a cruise in June with our little one who will be 7.5 months old. Looking for any tips/advice from those who have done so in the past. From do we bring the car seat for the taxi on the way to the ship? Size of the crib in the room on the ship? Stroller? Water? Etc. TIA!
  7. Yay! So I booked my first EVER cruise! I am booked on a 12 day Ovation of the Seas from Sydney around New Zealand! The itineraries were released this past week. Thanks to the many people who have posted on these forums as I have lurked and learned from you all! I chose Ovation and leaned toward RCL because of these boards and Ovation was the newest ship in the area (though I think Princess Majestic might be newer). As an aviation geek I can definitely tell the difference between plane types but, I didn't know much about cruising and ships but these forums helped heaps and I am still learning! So I wanted to share a perspective from a Noob when booking a new cruise and hope to share my experience cruising in the future! Negative reviews: There are bound to be some rough currents; meaning, there are ALWAYS going to be whiners and grumps that complain about everything so take these with a grain of salt Positive reviews: There are going to be some over the top fabulousness reviews where everything was awesome...can everything REALLy be THAT awesome...also take these with a grain of salt. Research what cabin you want BEFORE bookings come out. I knew what cabin I wanted based on what was above, below, to the sides and even based on foot traffic and those whited out areas (which I avoided). I booked a forward balcony and it was only 200 more on the TOTAL, not per night. UNFORTUNATELY, the cabin I wanted wasn't showing up online. I wanted deck 9 and there was only one for the whole deck 9 and sailings were just released! I wanted starboard side but had to choose the only deck 9 cabin on the port! (more on this below) BOOK EARLY! I am not using an agent as I like to be in control. I booked via rcl.com Gratuities: for our 12 night cruise gratuities were added on by my choice just before payment and were clearly stated if you wanted to pay now or later. I opted to pay now and just pay the minimum deposit. Gratuities were $222 per person. On the same page it asks for traditional dining which gave the choice of 1730 or 2000. We chose 1730 because we also want to have time to go to the buffet later at night, oink! There was an option for my time dining but seems too much hassle for our first cruise. Keep up on Sales! So the day AFTER we booked our cruise RCL started a new promotion and of course got an email. I took the advice from many on here and did a dummy booking to see if it was cheaper and sure enough it was $256 CHEAPER! I did what Matt and you guys said to do and called up on my lunch break and with no waiting the girl on the phone said yes it is cheaper and she changed it for free! YAY! BUT WAIT....I wanted a specific cabin and asked politely if it were available because it wasn't showing on the website. She said is was available and saw it was the same price category and SCORE! We were now on the starboard side! EMAIL DINING: I emailed dining about a 2 topper. (like the lingo?) They replied and said that things were loaded about 50 days before sailing! So I will request again later. Thanks again for all info on these forums. No question (no matter how many times I saw asked) went unanswered. Cheers!
  8. We will cruise at the end of March 2018. We used to use dining room service and paid all tips. However, this time we might not do it because we have really active 5 years old. So we decided to just get the food and go. Anyway, RCI will charge tips for dining services that we will not be using. Is it possible to take all the tips for 3 of us out? Anyone have any experience about this?
  9. Just found this website and joined to get some advice on our upcoming trans-pacific cruise in April 2018, departing from Sydney and ending in Seattle. We are cruising on "Explorer of the Seas" and the cruise duration is 23 days!. We don't intend dining in any of the "user pays" restaurants. Will only be dining in the buffet restaurant. We are teetotalers, so aren't interested in any alcoholic drinks packages. TIPPING From the Royal Caribbean website: Stateroom attendant USD 5.00 a day per guest Dining Room Waiter USD 3.75 a day per guest Assistant Waiter USD 2.15 a day per guest Head Waiter USD 0.75 a day per guest Would our tips be USD 11..65 x 2 = USD 23.30 per day? We should therefore budget around USD 535.90 for tips. Are we expected to leave an additional tip each day for our cabin steward over and above that advised above? BEVERAGE PACKAGE (Classic Soda Package) From the Cruise Planner for our cruise: Classic Soda Package USD 9.95 a day per guest At USD 20.00 per day this would be USD 460.00 for the duration of the cruise. Is tipping then an additional 18% (USD 82.80) on top of that total? Could anyone advise what the individual cost per soda would be? We would consume between 3 and 4 sodas a day. Does Royal Caribbean offer any discount soda packages? Does Royal Caribbean allow passengers to BYO their own soda drinks? If so, what would be allowed to be brought on board which would only be consumed in our cabin. Is there any restriction on whether soda brought on board is in plastic bottles or in aluminium cans? LAUNDRY FACILITIES As we will be on board for 23 days, are there laundry facilities on the ship whereby you can do your own washing and drying? What would be the approximate cost per load be to wash and to dry. We anticipate taking between 4 and 5 days of clothing, each which suggests we would need to wash and dry at least 5 times during the cruise.. ANY THING ELSE TO CONSIDER Is there any other "surprises" to be aware off with regard to possible hidden costs? Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we might be able to minimize our on board expenses?
  10. 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?
  11. We will be on Oasis of the Seas on September 10th with an almost 3 -year old. It's not our first time cruising with her (we did Liberty of the Seas last year) and she did great. This year though she's older, potty trained, and we will be driving from San Antonio to Orlando before the cruise. Any tips, tricks, and advice on how to keep her entertained, comfortable, etc would be greatly appreciated. Wish me luck...any advice on how to handle my husband who hates being stuck in a car is also appreciated! LOL Any Oasis class specific tips are also greatly appreciated!
  12. Hi, I am a new one over here and hello. I would like to ask you if any have an expierence with chartering of a yacht with family or friends in Caribbean area ? I am looking for a 10-14 days exclusive motor yacht trip around caribbean with a captain on board. What costs I should expect to have fair price. I want for sure have food included and other facilities I think 50-60 ft long yacht should be ok for 4 people. What should I take care of about an oparator of a trip? Regards
  13. Gratuity; [gruh-too-i-tee, -tyoo-] Word Origin noun, plural gratuities. 1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip. 2. something given without claim or demand. dictionary.com There are also some labor code issues in California, and I’m sure in other States: Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers and their agents from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a patron. Furthermore it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages. The law further states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. "Gratuity" is defined in the Labor Code as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons. I don’t know how Royal Caribbean Ltd is addressing the accounting of this mandatory fee to each and every person that boards their ships. But then again, they are not an American corporation. The corporation is in Liberia and based in Miami. I do not know the implications of that, nor care to. Another thing. Now they are offering free gratuities on select cruises. isn't that an oxymoron? How can they give you something free, when it is a free choice to begin with? These are not gratuities. This is not a gratuity, it is a fee. And if it is given out as a tiered amount to the service providers (asto position, time on the job, salary,ect.) and not an equal amount to everyone, is it not, a fee for salary? If you multiply the number of rooms and then the number of people in that room and times it by the mandatory “gratuity chargeâ€, we are paying the service staff's salary. This is a significant charge. Are we shown where that money goes? I would venture to guess that the trickle down effect to the actual service providers is miniscule. But, back to the mis-labeling of an added fee as a gratuity. A mandatory fee, or as Royal Caribbean labels it, gratuity, if not given to reward above and beyond regular service, the service provider is not motivated to provide over the top service if they get the same pay regardless. The "not so good" people and paid exactly the same as the "outstanding" people. But, now, Royal Caribbean encourages you to tip more if you see a great person. We pay a “gratuityâ€, then Royal Caribbean encourages us to double tip. Does that make any sense? Also what about the port intensive stops when most of the ships cruisers are gone all day and the charge for the whole day of disembarkation and the whole day of disembarking? So may questions? These charges are each and every day times each and every person, doesn’t matter if you are there or not, or if you are able to use them or not. I regress. The charge for the cruise, unless you are in a high end Suite, can be 50% or less than the total cost of the cruise. Royal Caribbean tries to make more on, not in rank order, the Drinks, Photos, Excursions, and now you can add to that list, Mandatory Gratuities. Some feel this is deceptive pricing and feel blind-sided when they get home to find out they paid double or more, than they actually thought. Doesn’t feel good. I still feel that Royal Caribbean and all their cruise lines offer the best bang-for-our-buck, but these issues are troubling. Why is Royal Caribbean getting involved in these practices that are causing a lot of cruisers (first timers and long devoted ones) grief? Only management can answer these questions. In the mean time, we all are just wanting to have FUN and not have to think about these things. But when issues keep bubbling to the top, they need corporate attention. Or at least a much different approach. Even the best of companies, in the best of times, need to differentate themselves from everyone else and get ahead of the pack. Royal Caribbean does that with cruise destinations and ports offered. Go beyond what is expected. WOW us.
  14. Good Evening All, We booked a last minute cruise on Grandeur of the Seas--Eastern Caribbean, leaving Baltimore in Jan. We've never cruised before. FYI, We're grad students, love culture, not big drinkers--but we're def. taking advantage of bringing 2 bottles of wine onboard. I'm looking for advice... Should we look into the $19 non-beverage package--or just go with what's offered at meals? Is it worth it anyway just to get bottled water to bring on ports of call? It would be $400 for the length of our cruise--that's a lot of coffee and juice! Should we go with the shore excursions offered by RCL, a 3rd party, or strike out on our own? Booking the upgraded restaurants worth it? advice for packing clothes--we would rather not bring tons of stuff or buy new dresses/suits. We signed up for open dining, but I'm wondering if it would good to switch back to regular? Specifically, the early seating so we can get to evening entertainment. Thanks!!
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