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The Fun Researcher

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  1. 43 minutes ago, ssb said:

    Vehicle is not need once you are on Island . 

    And  full service hotels have local transfer services . 
    Galveston also has   Island Trolley that run visitors on convenient  routes from/to most all tourists needs . And Toll is cheap . 


    Again, it depends.  If you want to stay right near the port, and if you want to be confined to the area that the Trolley can take you, then you are correct.  I agree.   It depends on how long you are on the island, where you stay, the size of your party, etc...


    We stayed at the wonderful Pointe West Resort and Beach Club for 3 days before the cruise.   It's at the southwest part of the island.  The trolley doesn't travel the 20 miles (one way) to get us there.  That, and the hassle of scheduling transport everywhere (to from Houston, to the cruise terminal, around town) made the minivan a no brainer for us considering the similar cost (under $100 difference)


  2. On 2/16/2020 at 8:15 AM, luckyfincruiser said:

    Dan - How did you arrange the private tour with Ricardo?  Through the contact link on page?  And can you give a review here of it when you return in March?


    I do believe it was through the website, yes.


    We were all set to do a day tour with them but I had to cancel today.  My mom, who's going with us, just fell and broke her femur.  Fortunately, surgery and recovery is going excellent and it looks like she'll be able to still cruise with us, however I'm sure she won't be up for this day tour.  Since we wanted to tour as a family, we're going to look into other options now.


  3. 15 minutes ago, mr walker said:


    Not sure if it in vogue elsewhere, but here In Sydney some high-end restaurants require a credit card number when booking, and there is a charge for no-shows stated to cover their lost income/profit.


    This is common at Disney World here in the US for high demand restaurant locations as well.  I've made many a reservation that required my credit card to reserve.  Fortunately we always showed up.  🙂


  4. 3 hours ago, brillohead said:

    Royal doesn't provide them, but you can rent them.  Check out Special Needs at Sea or Scootaround websites.  

    Also research the difference between wheelchairs, transport chairs, and mobility scooters and talk with your mom to see which she would prefer.  They each have their pluses and minuses.

    A transport chair is the lightest weight and easiest to fold-and-go (can pop it in a cab in port), but requires someone to push it (it has four smaller wheels).  You can purchase one for yourself for under $100 if you think she'd get use out of one before/after the cruise, too.


    A wheelchair is something that she can move around herself because it has the two bigger wheels with a hand-rail she can push to self-propel if needed, but without getting a specialty chair it's not something she's going to want to use to take herself too far without someone to push her.  It can also fold to go into a taxi in port, but it weighs more and takes up more room because of the much larger wheels.

    A regular mobility scooter WILL fit in a non-accessible stateroom (even easier if you remove the armrests, which tend to catch on things, and take a wedge doorstop to hold the door open without having a person in the way to hold the door) and will offer the most independence for your mom to move freely about the ship.  It also costs the most, and is not easily portable enough to take in a cab in port -- however, it CAN go into port to ride around for in-town shopping and sight-seeing. 


    You can also take a lightweight walker and bungee-cord it to the back of the scooter, so she can leave the scooter at the door of a shop or restaurant (take the key with you!) and then use the walker to maneuver inside the tighter space.  She can trial-run one of those shopping scooters at Walmart to get an idea if it's something she'd like to use, keeping in mind that the rental scooters are smaller and more maneuverable.  

    I hope that helps -- if I can answer any questions, please let me know, I'd love to help her enjoy her cruise to the fullest!


    Super nice of you to type all that up, and for your kind words!  You're awesome!


    It's amazing, but it's only two days after surgery (rod and screws in the femur)  and she's home with a walker.  She has to take it easy and rest/ice her leg, but she's able to get around on her own with the walker already when needed.  Things are looking good.  However she will definitely need something for the cruise, and your suggestions of the rollator or the transport chair both look like perfect options for her.  My dad is easily able to wheel her around if needed with that transport chair, and that rollator looks super cool as a walker with that handy seat.  For the price, we may just purchase one of each of those option.  I think we'll wait until closer to the cruise to decide what to purchase.


    Thank again for your thoughtfulness and kindness.  Happy cruising.


  5. 13 hours ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

    Of course you don’t..... 


    I only think it's an issue when someone books for 3 expecting to get the third to be refunded when they don't show.  ...or booking a third as a child 12 years old or younger with the "kids sail free" promotion knowing they will have them as a no show.


    Otherwise, if you pay for a third party that doesn't show up (and don't get a refund) then I don't think it's unscrupulous.


  6. 2 minutes ago, livylotte said:

    I don't understand how you can book a 3rd person without giving name, date of birth, passport number etc?


    We completed our first two cruises with no passport. (ours had both expired and we hadn't renewed them yet)  Closed loop cruises from North America do not require a passport.  There is no proof of identification required when you book a cruise.


  7. 35 minutes ago, brillohead said:

    Great news about your mom!!!!  May I recommend getting her a "rollator" type walker for your trip? 

    Happy cruising and family memory-making!


    That's a great tip regarding the rollator walker.  I just "youtube'd" them and you're right they would work great on a ship.  I'm guessing she may not be able to spend all day walking around with one of them by the time of the cruise, so a wheelchair may be useful as well.  Does Royal provide them (by request or for a fee), or do we need to bring one with?


  8. 28 minutes ago, Ghazi said:

    Hi next time try GM Limousine Services you'll save money hassle free personalize pick up in luxury sedan's and SUV's. www.gmlimousine.com

    If it were only a couple of us and we were simply flying in the night before, and leaving the day we disembark, you're probably right.


    It's not always that simple though.  In our case, the seven of us were spending 3 days on the island before the cruise, so we needed a vehicle to get around during that time.  I didn't want to call a cab anytime we wanted to go somewhere.  At the time late December 2017, I ran all the numbers, including many of the shuttle services like the one you mention.  Taking in all factors we made the right choice.



  9. On 2/13/2020 at 8:21 PM, pat1975 said:

    This may seem crazy but we rented a car and paid for parking.  There are 6 of us including two kids in car seats.  We are flying in two days early.  It turned out to be a little more but we will have our car seats and don't have to worry about lyft to run around.  We did a great deal on a minivan.  


    On 2/13/2020 at 8:40 PM, ATC cruiser said:

    This is what we’re doing in March and there’s only 3 of us. It gives you a lot more freedom to get around.


    We did this a couple of years back.  We had 7 of us in our party, and the cost to transfer all of us back and forth from IAH to Galveston was so dang much that it was just a little more to get a minivan and park it at the terminal.  Plus, we were on the island for 3 nights before the cruise and having the freedom of that minivan was great, not having to Uber everywhere on island (I'm not sure Uber was even there yet).


    On 2/13/2020 at 10:04 PM, John&LaLa said:


    That dors sound crazy. You definitely don't need to do that in Florida.  Two one way rentals is more economical. I think you can check your car seats onto the ship


    It's my biggest gripe about cruising from Galveston; the car rental/transfer situation for those that fly in.  It adds a lot to the cost, for a party our size, compared to what we're used to cruising out of FLL, MIA, or MCO.  However, I really enjoyed staying in Galveston the nights before our cruise.  It's really a cool downtown area with a lot of eclectic shops and history.  Plus, we had an awesome condo those 3 nights.


    For instance, in Florida I typically rent a minivan from the airport the day we fly in and drop it off by the cruise terminal the next day for $70.   We typically do the same in reverse heading back to the airport.  So $140 all in for transportation.


    In Galveston, our minivan rental (10 days), was $500, and parking at the cruise port was another $90.



  10. This is really good to know, and I'm surprised I hadn't thought of this option sooner. 


    We're a family of 5 and typically book connecting inside cabins (when sailing as a family).  It's really hard to find connecting cabins that hold just 2 in one cabin and 3-4 in the other.  However, there are typically a lot more that hold 3-4 in one cabin and 3-4 in the connecting cabin.  I'm fine paying for a 3rd ghost in one of the rooms so that we can book the connecting room combination that we want.


  11. 14 hours ago, brillohead said:

    Hopefully in a couple days you'll get the word that it's okay for Mom to go with a wheelchair or scooter, and none of this will matter.  

    However, if you do get confirmation that she will not be allowed to go, you can do the following on paper:


    • Connecting Inside Cabin 1:  TFR and son 12  
    • Connecting Inside Cabin 2:  Daughter 18, Daughter 15, Niece 18
    • Balcony Cabin 3:  Mom (who will no-show) and Wife

    And then you can do the following in reality:

    • Connecting Inside Cabin 1:  Son 12, Daughter 15
    • Connecting Inside Cabin 2:  Daughter 18, Niece 18 
    • Balcony Cabin 3:  TFR and Wife

    This would allow you to cancel the "fourth person" in Connecting Inside Cabin 2 (the rules are different for cancellation of the third and fourth person in a room) and get that money back.  

    This would also give your wife double points for that cruise.  (If you have more points than your wife, switch it around so that whoever has the most points now gets the double points, since you share your point status anyway.)




    Thats really interesting about the rules for a third and fourth person.  Thanks for that info.  In your scenario, I’m “TFR” correct?


    My wife and I are equal points (53 before this cruise) so the double points would be awfully nice in our pursuit to diamond.   This is a 7 night cruise, and we have a 9 nighter in July.  Doubling up points on this cruise would get use really close to diamond by the end of this year.


    We would gladly give that up for my parents to cruise with us, and so far things are going well.  Keeping my fingers crossed.



  12. 18 hours ago, Biker19 said:

    Name changes can be made up 24 hours out, though I wouldn't wait till then.




    13 hours ago, BSocial said:

    sending prayers to your Mom for good healing.   Sounds like she has a great attitude.  

    I laughed when you mentioned that while in the ER, her thoughts and questions  were about the cruise.   She surely deserves to go, LOL. 


    Prayers are always welcomed and appreciated.  Thank you.  She had a rod and screws placed in the femur yesterday and is doing great.  I can't believe it but they had her up and walking (with a walker) within a few hours of surgery, and there will only be more of that to come by the sounds of it.  No cast it seems.  She's a little 5 foot, 112 lb dynamo and I think it really helps that she keeps herself healthy and active.


    At this point she's determined to make the cruise.  She has the days counting down as her goal to be ready.  🙂  Of course that will ultimately be determined by the doctors, but at this point I'm amazed how far medicine has come.  I would never have imagined she would be walking and putting full weight on it already.



  13. 17 hours ago, Biker19 said:

    You can wait for the name change shuffle till a couple of days out.


    47 minutes ago, ILOVEHI50 said:

    Correct, but they could add another person in place of the mother ahead of the cruise.  Before the deadline.



    Hopefully it doesn't come to that but do you know the cutoff for that?  (how many days before the cruise)  Is it two days? 


    I expect we'll have it well sorted before then, but curious.


  14. 1 hour ago, reallyitsmema said:

    First off, best wishes to your Mom.  I hope she heals quickly.  We have cancelled a cruise due to my husband breaking his ankle but have sailed with him in a full leg brace due to surgery for a ruptured quadricept.  He was only six weeks post surgery but was cleared to cruise but wasn't cleared to fly.  Luckily, we were driving to port.  Getting in and out of the bathroom is the biggest issue.  That small step up and crutches in a tight space was tricky.  We requested a shower stool for bathing and that helped a lot.  He did not want a raised toilet seat but I know those are available.  We also had the cabin steward bring a large bucket of ice twice a day so he could ice his leg as he swelled more in the warm weather and more activity.  We brought an old fashioned ice bag with the screw top that worked great.  Those don't sweat like ziploc bags do.  We never got off the ship but was a nice and relaxing cruise.


    Just wanted to share a few things you might want to consider if she is still able to sail.  I know you are supposed to give 30 days notice to the special needs department but I am sure they will be able to deal with a late request once she sees how she is able to get around and makes her decision.  Best wishes. 🙂 


    Thanks, they already were planning to drive to the port, so that helps.  Fingers crossed.



  15. Too early to tell if they can go, but I think this will work regardless?...


    I'll switch my wife to be in the cabin with my Dad (who's on the original booking), and replace my  wife with my mom into one of our connecting cabins.  That way...


    • If they can make the cruise, then my wife will just come back to our cabin and my mom will go back in with my Dad.
    • If they cannot make the cruise then at least my wife is in that cabin and we'll make use of it.  (it's right across the hall from the connecting cabins)

    Currently the situation is like this:

    • Connecting Inside Cabin 1:  Myself and son 12  (we split my wife and I between the two rooms on the booking to allow for 4 bottles of wine brought onboard, however in reality my wife and I would share the two person cabin and the kids would all be in the other)
    • Connecting Inside Cabin 2:  Wife, Daughter 18, Daughter 15, Niece 18
    • Balcony Cabin 3:  Mom and Dad


    My mom is more than happy to go on the cruise in a wheelchair, if the doctors permit.



  16. So my Mom just broke her femur today, 34 days out.  There's a good chance that her, and my dad, may not be able to cruise.  They did not purchase trip insurance, and are ok with that choice.  Such is life.  We're just looking at our options.


    We're in the 25% refund stage for a few more days, so not much refund regardless.  We'll call RCCL to verify what they can, or can't do, but just looking for a quick answer about a few things...


    • Rather than losing it all, can we change the names of the passengers in the cabin, say for two other friends, or family?
    • Is the 25% refund in cash, or is it future cruise credits?
    • They prepaid gratuities, how is that handled?




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