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About twangster

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Photography, Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    San Juan

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  1. Personally I’m not in my cabin often enough for it to make a difference. After four Alaska cruises I get the cheapest cabin (interior or OV) and put the savings to excursions and the train ride to Seward. Balconies are so expensive by booking interior it’s like getting free excursions and I book expensive excursions like helicopters to glaciers. An Alaska cruise is about the destination. Roam the ship looking for wildlife and scenery on both sides.
  2. Yesterday while embarking on another cruise line I spotted Encore entering the turning basin at the Port of Miami as our bus transfer approached. She was going very slow and a had a helicopter buzzing around her. Apologize for the quality, that's shooting out a moving bus window. Later as my ship sailed past on the way out of Miami... Welcome home.
  3. Follow up on the transfer to the Port of Miami. Royal offered this for free. I left my cabin around 7:30am to let my cabin attendant prep it for the next guest and hung out in the Schooner Bar. Voom worked until 9am when they cycled it for the next cruise. Around 9:45am I got off and made my way through CBP. No facial recognition in terminal 18 yet. Outside I went to the right where buses for airport transfers purchased from Royal meet. They put me on the Miami airport bus and around 10.40am we left terminal 18 in Port Everglades. We stopped twice at Miami airport at two different terminals where the bulk of folks got off. We then proceeded to the port. First stop terminal A and Navigator where two guests got off. Next stop terminal G for Empress where 6 guests got off. It was pretty close to noon when we reached Empress. Painless check in and onto the ship. Beverage in hand at 12:23pm. Lyft was $36 and Uber was $39 so with tip that was roughly a $40 savings. I really appreciated this extra effort from Royal. Loyalty pays.
  4. Regular Surf has limited throughput. It won’t block video files as attachments but your application can timeout or give up. Surf and Stream has greater throughput and will work better.
  5. Cruise Summary This was another bucket list cruise that lives up to that reputation. It introduced me to several new destinations that each warrant a return visit. Puntarenas and Cartagena stand out as top ports while the transit of the Panama Canal completely lived up to all my expectations. Simply wow. This is my second time on Vision of the Seas and she fulfilled everything I needed for this cruise. An issue with my cabin temperature was fixed within two hours on day one and I had no issues for the remainder of the cruise. The crew were fantastic in all respects. The only thing I can think to complain about was the lack of enough tenders in Cabo San Lucas. Using the four dual purpose lifeboat/tenders from the ship simply wasn't enough and it impacted out useable time in port. The ship offered a lot of excuses for this but at the end of the day if they can't figure out how to execute tendering in Cabo they should drop the port. Fortunately I've been there before and it wasn't the reason I booked this cruise. Seeing the operation of the Panama Canal locks firsthand and up close was amazing and I'm glad I experienced the original Panama Canal. It's not an experience I'll soon forget. When I return I'll spend more time down low watching all the action from lock level. My decision to save money by booking an ocean view cabin worked out fine. Looking back I don't think I missed out by not having a balcony or suite. Even if I had a balcony I wouldn't stay out there for the canal transit as there is too much to see on both sides of the ship. Balconies were more than twice the price of my cabin so not only did my savings cover my stay on the Queen Mary, excursions and airfare but also left enough to pay for my next two cruises. I have a few other bucket list type cruises in the future but I'll be looking out for another Panama Canal cruise after those. I hope you enjoyed following along and I thank you for viewing.
  6. A word about Voom. Vision uses the older satellite technology but having said I was able to make long phone calls and stream content using Surf and Stream. While it isn't as snappy as the new technology used on newer ship, it worked fine for me with the understanding this is satellite based internet and not the internet I have at home. Voom results for the cruise: Date Download Upload Latency 10/30/19 21:45 2.074 2.779 557 10/31/19 8:58 3.726 4.233 584 11/1/19 10:11 3.474 3.447 587 11/3/19 10:33 2.752 2.566 552 11/4/19 9:04 3.576 2.243 578 11/5/19 8:42 2.645 2.998 671 11/6/19 8:05 2.631 2.573 675 11/7/19 15:25 3.316 2.303 709 11/8/19 14:58 2.192 2.496 674 11/9/19 11:37 2.22 2.095 676 11/10/19 7:08 2.523 3.065 664 11/12/19 9:00 1.641 2.676 663 11/13/19 7:44 1.13 2.016 669 11/13/19 9:07 2.504 2.676 670 11/14/19 8:40 2.557 2.799 666
  7. Day 17 - Ft. Lauderdale After 4,890 nautical miles we have arrived into Port Everglades terminal 18. That's a new personal best for a single sailing and longer than my transatlantic last year. Nice sunrise for our arrival. Our cruise... Windjammer open from 5:30am to 8:30am, Dining Room 6:30am to 8am. I was told to go with the last luggage tag number 31 leaving at 9:45am to meet my shuttle to Port Miami.
  8. Cruise Compass: Vision Panama Canal Eastbound Oct 30, 2019.pdf Shore Excursions: Vision Panama Excursions.pdf
  9. Day 16 - Sea Day Back in familiar waters. Captain reports we are on schedule for a 7am arrival. Solarium roof was open again. Enough pictures of that. Typical sea day except it involved packing. Ugh. The cruise is nearly over. TNF by the pool. The football feed we are receiving has no vocals, just game noise. Even the commercials have no vocals. Oh well, it works.
  10. Day 15 - Grand Cayman Work day for me so I never left the ship. Grand Cayman is a tender port. The Solarium roof was open once again.
  11. You can walk to the eco park from the ship. If you don't feel like walking the rest of the way back to the ship there is a free shuttle bus. Thinking of my next visit here I think I'll spend the day in the old city. Towards that end I noticed they have Uber here. With that our day in Cartagena was done and we sailed away in the dark. I was very impressed with Cartagena and will definitely look for itineraries that stop here.
  12. Our bus dropped us off at the other end of the cruise terminal. The cruise terminal in Cartagena is kind of unique. It includes an eco park. This is free and you have to walk through it to reach the ship. Giant anteater. There are two aviaries within the park. It's a very nice way to return to a ship.
  13. With our time up we met as a group and headed back to the bus. One last look at some street art. Naval hero. Admiral Jose Padilla.
  14. At this point we were given some free time to explore on our own. The Hard Rock Cafe. This seemed like a good spot to sample a local beer.
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