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DaArsonist

First Cruise Multiple Questions Help is Appreciated

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Hello,

Brand new to the forum and cruising in general, should have probably come here before booking a cruise but it was pretty spur of the moment and a trip is booked I look forward to reading about everyones experiences and hope to get some help. Below are some questions I have and I will probably be back with more as we get closer to cruise time.

Back ground:

This is a family vacation; we have never taken one since I was a child so we decided to finally go on one all together. We will be taking a 7 day western Caribbean cruise from Galveston with Royal Caribben on the Liberty of Seas.

 

Cabin 1: myself, the wife, and our will be 10 month baby

Cabin 2: My parents and my 12 year old nice

Cabin 3: My Brother and 15 YO Nephew

 

Question 1: what should I expect with my 10 month old baby; grandparents are eager to babysit but what should expect as a whole. What should we expect to take; stroller, car seat, formula, etc. Also what about port days, can baby get off for beach days, will we need passport for baby.

 

Question 2: After booking realized that in order to get Deluxe drink package everyone over 21 must purchase. My wife does not drink any alcohol or sodas, she only drink water, for real just water; on the other hand my brother and I drink quite a bit of alcohol LOL, since he is staying with my young nephew and he only has to purchase for himself is there anyway that only the two of us can purchase the drink package. Is there a way to change on paper who is staying in which room and move my wife to stay with my nephew that way me and my brother can show the same room and pay for the package. I do not want to pay for 3 when we only Need 2. 

 

Question 3: My parents are quite the gamblers, it is something they both very much enjoy. What type of machines are offered in the casino, do they have updated machines as well as multiple denominations and some high limit slots. Also, my parents do not drink much but do like to have a cocktail while gambling, are there any complimentary drinks while in the casino. 

 

Sorry for such a long first post; I'm sure I will have alot more questions later on; I look forward to reading a bunch on these forums as I move forward.

 

Thank You,

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Hi @DaArsonist, welcome to the forums!

46 minutes ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 2: After booking realized that in order to get Deluxe drink package everyone over 21 must purchase. My wife does not drink any alcohol or sodas, she only drink water, for real just water; on the other hand my brother and I drink quite a bit of alcohol LOL, since he is staying with my young nephew and he only has to purchase for himself is there anyway that only the two of us can purchase the drink package. Is there a way to change on paper who is staying in which room and move my wife to stay with my nephew that way me and my brother can show the same room and pay for the package. I do not want to pay for 3 when we only Need 2. 

You could check with your travel agent to see about moving your wife and brother's cabin assignments, which would get you exactly what you want. But then they'll both need to go to Guest Services upon boarding and ask for an extra room key to get into their "correct" cabins. Your brother may then have to hang on to the original room key and use only that for making beverage purchases, as I believe the drink package is tied to not just his name but the cabin; others here with better knowledge of those minutiae might have some better info on that front.

If you (they) would rather not deal with all of that hassle right after boarding, your other option is to call Royal Caribbean directly, using the phone number at the bottom of the Cruise Planner, and request a Deluxe Package for yourself and a Refreshment package for your wife. Make sure to explain to them that your wife doesn't drink any alcohol, ever, for personal choice, as this is one of the allowed reasons for both passengers not getting the Deluxe package.

That would mean, though, that your wife would be "stuck" with a Refreshment Package that she's probably still not going to use, unless she's OK with getting plenty of bottled water throughout the cruise, or using the Freestyle machines to get the available flavored waters. Royal requires anyone who gets the exception to still purchase a Refreshment package.

56 minutes ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 3: My parents are quite the gamblers, it is something they both very much enjoy. What type of machines are offered in the casino, do they have updated machines as well as multiple denominations and some high limit slots. Also, my parents do not drink much but do like to have a cocktail while gambling, are there any complimentary drinks while in the casino. 

The ship's casino has slots, video poker, and a number of table games -- Blackjack, Craps, Texas Hold'Em Poker, and Roulette are the ones I remember off the top of my head. If they're serious gamblers, and don't object to regularly betting at least $50 per hand / $25 per roll of the dice, they can get 2:1 Blackjack and true odds on Craps. Otherwise they'll just get 6:5 Blackjack and single odds on Craps.

 

Hope this helps, and don't worry about the number of questions! We've all been there, and this is a great place to get all the info you could ever hope for! 😁

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1 hour ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 1: what should I expect with my 10 month old baby; grandparents are eager to babysit but what should expect as a whole. What should we expect to take; stroller, car seat, formula, etc. Also what about port days, can baby get off for beach days, will we need passport for baby.

You can request a pack and play.  You will want to take your stroller and probably your car seat.  Take diapers, wipes, formula and any baby food with you plus 1-2 days extra.  Unless you are in a Jr Suite, you may want to consider a small inflatable pool as there is no bath tub in your cabin unless you baby will be ok with the hand held shower head.

Many of us will always suggest getting a passport for everyone just in case of an emergency.  You can bring a certified copy of the baby's birth certificate but if you need to get home from a port for an emergency, there will be roadblocks without a passport.  You can leave the ship with the baby in any port.  You'll just need the baby's seapass card when you depart and embark.  

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1 hour ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 1: what should I expect with my 10 month old baby; grandparents are eager to babysit but what should expect as a whole. What should we expect to take; stroller, car seat, formula, etc

I admit I don't know how overpriced it is as I don't have kids,  but I know that the Royal Gifts shop has on-board delivery options for some baby items like diapers and wipes if you wanted to save some packing space. See the baby tag here.

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1 hour ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 2: After booking realized that in order to get Deluxe drink package everyone over 21 must purchase. My wife does not drink any alcohol or sodas, she only drink water, for real just water; on the other hand my brother and I drink quite a bit of alcohol LOL, since he is staying with my young nephew and he only has to purchase for himself is there anyway that only the two of us can purchase the drink package. Is there a way to change on paper who is staying in which room and move my wife to stay with my nephew that way me and my brother can show the same room and pay for the package. I do not want to pay for 3 when we only Need 2.  

 

This is really not a sticking point at all for RCI. A quick phone call will get allow you to purchase a drink package without your wife having to purchase one. I don't drink at all but my wife gets the drink package everytime, we just call and say I don't drink and they waive it.

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16 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Hi @DaArsonist, welcome to the forums!

You could check with your travel agent to see about moving your wife and brother's cabin assignments, which would get you exactly what you want. But then they'll both need to go to Guest Services upon boarding and ask for an extra room key to get into their "correct" cabins. Your brother may then have to hang on to the original room key and use only that for making beverage purchases, as I believe the drink package is tied to not just his name but the cabin; others here with better knowledge of those minutiae might have some better info on that front.

If you (they) would rather not deal with all of that hassle right after boarding, your other option is to call Royal Caribbean directly, using the phone number at the bottom of the Cruise Planner, and request a Deluxe Package for yourself and a Refreshment package for your wife. Make sure to explain to them that your wife doesn't drink any alcohol, ever, for personal choice, as this is one of the allowed reasons for both passengers not getting the Deluxe package.

That would mean, though, that your wife would be "stuck" with a Refreshment Package that she's probably still not going to use, unless she's OK with getting plenty of bottled water throughout the cruise, or using the Freestyle machines to get the available flavored waters. Royal requires anyone who gets the exception to still purchase a Refreshment package.

The ship's casino has slots, video poker, and a number of table games -- Blackjack, Craps, Texas Hold'Em Poker, and Roulette are the ones I remember off the top of my head. If they're serious gamblers, and don't object to regularly betting at least $50 per hand / $25 per roll of the dice, they can get 2:1 Blackjack and true odds on Craps. Otherwise they'll just get 6:5 Blackjack and single odds on Craps.

 

Hope this helps, and don't worry about the number of questions! We've all been there, and this is a great place to get all the info you could ever hope for! 😁

Thank you for you reply and assistance; yeah the refreshment package would be useless. I will probably just switch her and my brother on the reservation and get an extra key.

What about excursions, are they better to book ahead of time or on board. Having a baby with us we are really just planning for Beach days while at Port.

 

Thanks 

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4 minutes ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

This is really not a sticking point at all for RCI. A quick phone call will get allow you to purchase a drink package without your wife having to purchase one. I don't drink at all but my wife gets the drink package everytime, we just call and say I don't drink and they waive it.

Thanks for your reply, I just called and they just told me that the options I have are for me to buy her the refreshment package for $163 or that I could also modify the room occupants.

 

Thanks 

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Just now, DaArsonist said:

Thanks for your reply, I just called and they just told me that the options I have are for me to buy her the refreshment package for $163 or that I could also modify the room occupants.

 

Thanks 

I do usually get the refreshment package so maybe that's why they allow it........

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Welcome! One thing for sure.....there is a world of cruise experience and knowledge on this forum and the atmosphere is very helpful and friendly. My wife and I have booked Liberty for the Christmas 2019 cruise which also includes her birthday. So I have been gathering information as fast as I can. Will be glad to share what I learn along the way....just message me if you want. Ray

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38 minutes ago, rtread said:

Welcome! One thing for sure.....there is a world of cruise experience and knowledge on this forum and the atmosphere is very helpful and friendly. My wife and I have booked Liberty for the Christmas 2019 cruise which also includes her birthday. So I have been gathering information as fast as I can. Will be glad to share what I learn along the way....just message me if you want. Ray

Good to hear everyone is so helpful and thanks for your reply. we are crusing in early August, so hope it gets here quickly, wondering about excursions now; really just looking for some beach days have my LO. Wondering if it is better to book on board or ahead of time; or if its even better to try and find something once there; don't know how far the beach is after docking.

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Usually the excursions are tailored to fit the ships schedule. If it is advertised on the RC website you can bet that's the case. Nobody concerned wants "dock runners"....it's just not good advertisement.

 We are going to pre-book the excursions we are going on mainly to avoid disappointments if they fill up. From what I am seeing, there are fluctuations in the prices.... driven but what I don't exactly know. But you can save money by searching the deals.

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2 hours ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 1: what should I expect with my 10 month old baby; grandparents are eager to babysit but what should expect as a whole. What should we expect to take; stroller, car seat, formula, etc. Also what about port days, can baby get off for beach days, will we need passport for baby.

No passport needed for baby if it is a closed loop cruise.  We've cruised with a 9 month old so I have some experience at it.  For a stroller take the umbrella stroller not one of the big type because they are a pain.  Not sure if you are flying or driving to the port but I don't know that you will need the car seat once on board.  Baby will need to get off the ship with you at ports.

Question 2: After booking realized that in order to get Deluxe drink package everyone over 21 must purchase. My wife does not drink any alcohol or sodas, she only drink water, for real just water; on the other hand my brother and I drink quite a bit of alcohol LOL, since he is staying with my young nephew and he only has to purchase for himself is there anyway that only the two of us can purchase the drink package. Is there a way to change on paper who is staying in which room and move my wife to stay with my nephew that way me and my brother can show the same room and pay for the package. I do not want to pay for 3 when we only Need 2. 

Call and have your wife and brother switch rooms then you can buy the drink package and so can your brother.  Don't waste the money to get your wife a refreshment package if she won't use it but it does include specialty coffees.  Getting the extra room keys is no big deal we've done it.  The extra keys will say key only on them and you use your original key to buy drinks.

Question 3: My parents are quite the gamblers, it is something they both very much enjoy. What type of machines are offered in the casino, do they have updated machines as well as multiple denominations and some high limit slots. Also, my parents do not drink much but do like to have a cocktail while gambling, are there any complimentary drinks while in the casino. 

No free drinks while gambling.  They have a decent selection of games and bet levels. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Hoski said:

 

In regards to free drinks in the casino I was reading that if u got 1,000 points on the casino card you would qualify for free drinks. This is really just for my parents as I’m gonna buy the package.

 

thanks

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5 minutes ago, DaArsonist said:

In regards to free drinks in the casino I was reading that if u got 1,000 points on the casino card you would qualify for free drinks. This is really just for my parents as I’m gonna buy the package.

 

thanks

1000 Points would equal $5000 play in a slot machine ($5 played =  1 Point)

That's a VERY EXPENSIVE Drink Package...LOL

The UDP would be much less expensive!!!

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1 hour ago, SYRbob said:

1000 Points would equal $5000 play in a slot machine ($5 played =  1 Point)

That's a VERY EXPENSIVE Drink Package...LOL

The UDP would be much less expensive!!!

My parents gamble a lot but I don’t think that is possible in regards to how points are calculated. If it is I’ll make sure they don’t step foot in the casino, typically casino programs points r calculated by theoretical loss or by ADT. 

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2 minutes ago, DaArsonist said:

...typically casino programs points r calculated by theoretical loss or by ADT. 

True for land casinos, maybe. But since the ships' casinos operate in international waters / aren't held by US land casino laws and regulations, they're kind of free to do what they want. What @SYRbob stated is correct -- 1 point is $5 of play on a slot machine. Table games are rated less clearly, but in both cases it is not based on theoretical loss. It's purely a matter of how much "play" you have generated and (in the case of table games) how big your average bet is; to a degree, as @WAAAYTOOO can attest, it's also a matter of how much attention you garner from the pit boss through your table game play.

And for what it's worth, the slots on Royal's ships are notoriously tight. The only person I've seen report any significant winnings is @Traveler, and he mainly sails overseas; it could be that the slots on those Asian and European sailings he does are just set up a bit looser than the ones here in the US / Caribbean sailings.

Royal's casino loyalty program is based on a "program year", not per sailing. So while you need 1,000 points to reach the level that gets you free drinks, you do not in any way have to accomplish that in one sailing. As long as you've done it within the program year (the next one starts in April and goes through next March), your final rating level for that year applies for the entire following program year, while your points reset and you start over again that April.

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What a great family vacation!  We cruised with our oldest, now 9, when he was 10 months and it was fantastic.  The crew all loved him so much and were so accommodating.  We brought our larger stroller and it worked out great for us as that is what he was most comfortable in.  We used it to take walks around the deck probably more than actually taking it off the ship.  He also slept amazing on the cruise!!! I remember at the time saying we just needed to stay on a cruise ship for the kid to sleep through the night.  We did use the pack and play that the ship provided.  We sent diapers through amazon to our hotel that we were staying at pre cruise.  It saved us a ton of space packing and they were fine keeping the package there till we arrived.  We loved our beach time and I'm sure you will too.  Have a great trip!  

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16 hours ago, DaArsonist said:

Question 1: what should I expect with my 10 month old baby; grandparents are eager to babysit but what should expect as a whole. What should we expect to take; stroller, car seat, formula, etc. Also what about port days, can baby get off for beach days, will we need passport for baby.

Check out this podcast about cruising with young children https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/podcast/episode-180-guide-cruising-young-children-royal-caribbean

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