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Random thoughts/rants of a first-time cruiser (long)


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Labadee. Labadee was beautiful. We spent the extra money that we didn't spend in Nassau to get an over-the-water cabana in Nellie's Beach and to do the Dragon's Breath zip-lining. 

  • Cabana - not cheap at all, but I am glad we did it. My wife wasn't too happy with the location of ours as it was close to the beach, but we didn't get off the ship early enough to get our pick. I actually preferred the location, as the stairs didn't let out into deep water as some of the others. Having an attendant to get us drinks was nice. She was nice, but made sure to make it clear right away that she didn't work for Royal Caribbean, and worked for tips. Having shade when we wanted it was nice, as many of us were burnt from the day at Nassau/in the pool. We also had a golf cart driver who would take us where we needed to go (zip-lining, lunch, etc).

I have a question on this section, the attendant does not work for Royal Caribbean and works for tips? After spending the $500+ on the cabana tips are still required is this true?

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23 hours ago, SAgirl76 said:

Indy does have its own Sorrentos and my son thought their pizza was great.

We were on the Indy in December and I hadn't tried the pizza ever before on a cruise (because part of cruising for me is trying new foods OR at least not having something I could have at home all the time)...but I had a bite of my hubby's and I was actually impressed that it wasn't as horrible as I had read here that it was.  For me...to some degree...pizza is pizza.  I've never really had bad pizza...or maybe it is all bad...pizza is pizza to me. 

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19 minutes ago, l9dance said:

Labadee. Labadee was beautiful. We spent the extra money that we didn't spend in Nassau to get an over-the-water cabana in Nellie's Beach and to do the Dragon's Breath zip-lining. 

  • Cabana - not cheap at all, but I am glad we did it. My wife wasn't too happy with the location of ours as it was close to the beach, but we didn't get off the ship early enough to get our pick. I actually preferred the location, as the stairs didn't let out into deep water as some of the others. Having an attendant to get us drinks was nice. She was nice, but made sure to make it clear right away that she didn't work for Royal Caribbean, and worked for tips. Having shade when we wanted it was nice, as many of us were burnt from the day at Nassau/in the pool. We also had a golf cart driver who would take us where we needed to go (zip-lining, lunch, etc).

I have a question on this section, the attendant does not work for Royal Caribbean and works for tips? After spending the $500+ on the cabana tips are still required is this true?

Yes, the people that work "At" Labadee are locals and they may get a small minimum wage but they are still like most even on the ship, they make their real money off tips.

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43 minutes ago, l9dance said:

I have a question on this section, the attendant does not work for Royal Caribbean and works for tips? After spending the $500+ on the cabana tips are still required is this true?

Think of it like this - if you go to a show at say PNC Arts Center - just because you paid $$$ for the tickets doesn't mean you shouldn't tip your bartender.  The server definitely doesn't see any of the money you've already paid, sadly.

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20 minutes ago, NJCruisers said:

Think of it like this - if you go to a show at say PNC Arts Center - just because you paid $$$ for the tickets doesn't mean you shouldn't tip your bartender.  The server definitely doesn't see any of the money you've already paid, sadly.

Got it. So what sort of tip would be acceptable? 

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7 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I don't think the Anthem sailings to Bermuda start quite as early as you sailed. I'm assuming that your sailing started somewhere around April 22, but the first Bermuda sailing I see for this year is a May 4, 2019 on Anthem. Next year is more limited since Anthem is overseas; first sailing is on Adventure in late May.

Bermuda's cruise season is generally early May through mid-October. I definitely recommend that 5-night sailing, it's a great way to sample Anthem and is also good if your vacation time is more limited. Those sailings always depart on a Saturday, so you only lose 3 work days (4 if you can't work from home or get to the office quickly enough when the ship returns on Thursday). My wife and I did the next-to-last sailing in early October last year, and are doing the last sailing of the year this year.

No wonder we didn't see it as an option this year. We were looking specifically for during the kids spring break. 

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You should be fully refunded for your flights if they were cancelled by the airline regardless of the reason.   If you are not, contact your credit card company and inquire about filing a chargeback or challenge since they did not provide the product or service you purchased.  A phone call to American should clear this up.

Navigator is the first ship to move to served soft ice cream.  It's being done for the right reasons.  

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20 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Those sailings always depart on a Saturday, so you only lose 3 work days (4 if you can't work from home or get to the office quickly enough when the ship returns on Thursday)

This is one reason my family decided to do this as a group sailing.  It is also why we are doing Adventure in July (8 night).  We sail out on Friday and get back Sunday a.m.  Nobody in our group has to fly in.  They will take off 6 days total from work. 

 I would say @JLMoran  that another beauty of Anthem is that they flip the ship, It will now go to NE/Canada for 8 nights. 

The thing is if you look at it.  Anthem and Adventure work in tandem.  When one is in NE/Canada, the other is in the Caribbean. 

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19 hours ago, l9dance said:

Got it. So what sort of tip would be acceptable? 

Most people either round up their beers or tip $1 per mixed drink. Some give a larger amount at the beginning of the night.  I get it, the concert tickets can be expensive and then the price of the drinks are ridiculous but honestly we are all there mainly for tips.  

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39 minutes ago, NJCruisers said:

Most people either round up their beers or tip $1 per mixed drink. Some give a larger amount at the beginning of the night.  I get it, the concert tickets can be expensive and then the price of the drinks are ridiculous but honestly we are all there mainly for tips.  

Thank you, very helpful. I have not been to labadee or had a cabana so I was not aware. 

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Glad that your family had an overall great time.  That drink package must have came in handy after that long drive from Philly. 

The lines were long for the Riptide water coaster as people kept getting stuck at one of the many dips.  I found the lines for the Blaster water slide to flow pretty well even though the lines were long.  Each rider was about 25 secs between riders. 

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13 hours ago, twangster said:

You should be fully refunded for your flights if they were cancelled by the airline regardless of the reason.   If you are not, contact your credit card company and inquire about filing a chargeback or challenge since they did not provide the product or service you purchased.  A phone call to American should clear this up.

Navigator is the first ship to move to served soft ice cream.  It's being done for the right reasons.  

Well, since we booked our flights using a combination of timeshare points and cash, I wasn't sure if the airline would reimburse the full cash value. We are going through the insurance we bought, and they are reimbursing the full cash value of the tickets.

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22 hours ago, l9dance said:

I have a question on this section, the attendant does not work for Royal Caribbean and works for tips? After spending the $500+ on the cabana tips are still required is this true?

We gave her $20 right at the beginning, and another $20 at the end. She was on top of getting our drinks, and got us extra floating water mats (even though we were only supposed to get 2, and they were $20 a piece to rent). She also was there to call for the golf cart whenever we needed it. We tipped the golf cart driver also. I think the $500 is just a supply and demand issue. There are only 8 of the cabanas, and if they priced them too low, they would be snatched up the first day.

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Just a FYI, We were on a 7 night Bermuda sailing on 4/13. Sigh, it went so fast.  I believe that was either the 1st or second Bermuda sailing of the season. I did a 33 day out booking and ended up with a wonderful price on a mid ship deck 9 balcony.  But the water is rough!  Going to the Bahamas was a dream compared to Bermuda.  I'm going to try for Anthem to the Bahamas again in August if I can swing it.  We are already reserved for Oasis in Aug. 2020. I can't wait for that one!

Jersey Joe, definitely try and cruise out of Bayonne if you can. It's so simple and quick. I'm on the Bronx border and we Uber it there and back. No flights to worry about.

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On 4/30/2019 at 11:46 AM, JerseyJoe said:

We gave her $20 right at the beginning, and another $20 at the end. She was on top of getting our drinks, and got us extra floating water mats (even though we were only supposed to get 2, and they were $20 a piece to rent). She also was there to call for the golf cart whenever we needed it. We tipped the golf cart driver also. I think the $500 is just a supply and demand issue. There are only 8 of the cabanas, and if they priced them too low, they would be snatched up the first day.

Thanks this is helpful. 

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