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ATCMickey

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About ATCMickey

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Denver, CO
  1. I'm sure hoping for more than early booking. Personally, not chomping at the bit for an inaugural cruise and can't imagine anything available on Feb 4 will not still be available on Feb 14 (also not trying to get the presidential suite). Hoping letting them hold my $500 for the past year wasn't short-sighted on my part 😞
  2. Does anyone have any insight into what being a "Pre-Sale Deposit Holder" might get someone? We put a deposit down quite some time ago. Wondering whether the February 5th booking window mentioned by VV will bring us any perks such as free/discounted room upgrades, or whether it's solely just a chance, to have a first chance, at booking itineraries/categories at the same price everyone else will get on February 14th? From VV email: "Pre-Sale Deposit Holders will be able to book passage aboard our Scarlet Lady starting February 5th, 2019. We will be open for business for all sailors beginning February 14th, 2019."
  3. Thanks all for the replies. That's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for and it's very much appreciated. To address a couple questions: -the Flowrider was down the entire time (both times)...basically down the entire 7 days and no repair was ever done that caused it to resume function -I didn't go to Guest Services to complain because that's generally not my nature. It's got to be really bad for me to consider that and this is something that while might have really irritated me, it didn't make me really mad...that's why I was asking for perspective. My decision is NOT about whether to ask for Royal to compensate me, it's about whether Royal is serious enough about their maintenance that I can trust these things will be available when I cruise, or whether they're unreliable enough that we should quit considering the Flowrider as a factor in deciding who to cruise with -we've also gone to landed Flowrider locations. We've also done the private session thing on the ship too. We like cruising. Having a Flowrider available as part of the cruise is a very good deal compared to the price of the landed locations. There have been other cruise lines that we have been interested in but the thing that has swayed us back to Royal has been the Flowrider availability as part of the cruise. It's kind of a 2 birds-1 stone thing...get to cruise and get to Flowride for one price -I haven't, by any means, paid $10,000 just to use a Flowrider...that's preposterous on its face. But I did choose to give Royal $10,000 for 2 of their cruises rather than give it to Princess or Viking or NCL; and the reason that tipped the scales was the Flowrider. Even though landed locations can be really expensive, they're not $10,000 worth of expensive; but they also don't give me a room, food, entertainment, and transportation like a cruise does -several people have brought up weather as a comparative example. Respectfully, that's why I cited I don't believe the Royal can control the weather and would never fault them for a missed port or itinerary change due to weather...what I do believe Royal can control is their maintenance practices and service-ability of the equipment on their ships. Several years ago we sailed on Allure. One of their azipods had failed and we missed a port because the ship could not maintain sufficient speed to make the port. I put this in the same category as the Flowrider. I wouldn't fault Royal because weather caused a missed port, but if you're failing to maintain your vessel and I miss a port, another story -to my pilot fried...I've been an Air Traffic Controller for over 30 years and I'm sure we've talked more than once. We too have equipment that breaks. I also know the lack of sympathy and that we get from flight crews even though we do the best we can to keep them informed. At some point it's not about explanations, it's about results. I'll refrain from any analogies since this is about my vacation and I already spend enough of my life at work Thanks again to all for your perspective. I think what I take from this is that what I really need to do is to not consider the Flowrider as a factor in deciding Royal vs another line. Assume that the thing will be broken and decide. That might mean we still sail with Royal, but it might also mean that we try new things. Thanks again everyone, ATCMickey
  4. Trying to decide how much to let something bother me and would really appreciate some perspective... To lay the background, let me say that my kids and I are AVID Flowrider fans. It really is the reason that's kept us coming back to Royal for multiple cruises. We've talked about switching to other lines to try something new, but every time we discuss it with the kids the question always comes up...does the ship have a Flowrider? Sometimes it's hard to find something that EVERYONE really likes to do together on a cruise; but this is it. In 2015 we sailed on Oasis as a family. We boarded the ship only to find the starboard Flowrider was broken and not running. We were told all week that "they're working on it", but the pump failure was never repaired and we went the whole week without it ever coming back online. Now Oasis has 2 Flowriders so it wasn't like we were without the ability to do it, but Oasis' 6000 passengers put a real demand on a single Flowrider and the lines for that one Flowrider were so unbearably long that we just quit doing it. At the time we told ourselves that Oasis was getting to be an older ship and that these kinds of things were probably getting more likely to happen. Last week we sailed on Harmony. We picked that ship primarily for 2 reasons; it has a Flowrider, and that fact that it's new meant that there should be no problem with both Flowriders being usable. We were wrong. While the starboard side Flowrider was working at sail-away, by the next morning it was broken. Claim was a pump failure. We heard all week that "they're working on it", but it never came back. Once again the lines for the other Flowrider were so long that we just gave up on using it. Now here's where I'd appreciate your perspectives. I get that Royal can't control things like the weather and that sometimes there are things like that that are beyond their control that cause things like inability to tender or altered itineraries...I can accept that. But the attitude last week was much like that offered for things like weather..."sorry, there's nothing we can do about it". Now I get that there probably is nothing that the guy working the Flowrider can probably do about it, but things like maintenance and repair ARE something that Royal can control. After all, this ship is only a year old and Royal is unable to get it back online for the entire cruise. I've now spent a great deal of money, on 2 cruises for the express intent of spending time with my kids doing something we really love; the Flowrider. And both times Royal's response has been "oh well, there's nothing we can do about it". Should there be something they can do about it? Please give me your perspective. This is really bothering me that I've now spent over $10,000, on 2 different cruises, where the one things we really went to do was never available because of something that I think Royal CAN control. Am I making too much of it? ATCMickey
  5. Good to know, thanks. Any insight into the logic of not allowing them to be done online anymore?
  6. On HOTS in May 2018. Just did online check-in and could not find option for signing activity waivers in advance. Have done 8 prior Oasis class sailings and the option to sign has always been there. Called RCI and was told that due to website upgrades that the option to sign waivers in advance is no longer available. Was told that they all had to be singed now on-board at each activity's location. Anyone, since the website upgrade, had any success with signing these waivers in advance? Thanks, ATCMickey
  7. Oasis just passed outbound through the inlet to a massive fireworks display. Guessing they were waiting for dark but don't know the reason for the fireworks. ATCMickey
  8. To anyone with experience... If we take a Mediterranean cruise sailing out of either Spain or Italy, what language do you find most often spoken by the crew (cabin attendant, dining room staff, guest services) when interacting with passengers? English is my primary language and I'm trying to gauge whether that might be any kind of a barrier on a Med cruise. Also, on excursions, are the languages spoken by the guides English or are they the local language? I know Royal Caribbean is an American company, but I wouldn't want to presume that that means English will be the primary language spoken by the crew, or local guides, on a European itinerary. Any insight would be most appreciated, ATCMickey
  9. PS...I'd be remiss not to mention one more thing... As the father of a daughter who was about the same age when she first started FlowRiding, do not underestimate the power of the water and it's ability to peal a 2 piece swimsuit right off. I would highly recommend a 1 piece swimsuit or, at an absolute minimum wearing a rash-guard shirt over any 2 piece (and that only saves the top). No reason to tarnish a really fun experience with the embarrassment of finding out the hard way what 20,000 gallons per minute flow can do. ATCMickey
  10. I'm sorry I can't say for certain, but I don't see why. We've changed other excursions before and never paid a re-booking or change fee. But, it wouldn't hurt to call to confirm before committing yourself. All of the sports deck staff do a really great job coaching FlowRider newbies. Also, you'll hear everyone in line trading tips back and forth. Everyone helps each other. The lines will never be shorter than the first couple days. After that, everyone else decides to give it a try. If your kids are really ambitious, have them bring their swimsuits on board in your carry-on. The FlowRiders start up about 12:30-1pm. Most everyone else's swimsuits will be in their checked bags which may not be delivered for some time. If they get there right as it opens, they very well may have almost the whole FlowRider to themselves without a divider. It's a great opportunity to get a ton of practice really quick. As the week goes on, they'll really appreciate how nice it was to have used the FlowRider without a divider (the divider makes the usable surface much smaller to accommodate more riders...also harder to surf with divider). Hope you have a great time!
  11. Wouldn't sacrifice the main dining room, but might delay slightly on CoCo...but not too long :-) You might check at the Sports Desk up by the FlowRiders as soon as you get on (or as soon as they open). We've done, and repeatedly seen, lots of later night lessons (i.e. 8-9pm). They may have some cancellations or be able to do something to accommodate your kids if they can fit you in. Can't hurt to ask and they've been incredibly helpful when we've worked with them to fit something in. ATCMickey
  12. Definitely do the lessons. It helped both my kids immensely. I would also highly recommend reserving a lesson slot as soon as possible after the cruise begins (i.e. day 1 or no later than day 2). The regular (non-lesson) lines, during the week, can get long and usually your turn is done after you "wipe out". If they can get ahead of the learning curve early in the cruise by completing a lesson, their turns during the non-lesson open sessions will last longer and they will progress much faster. Definitely start with the body-boards first and when they get comfortable they can try the stand up. They'll get comfortable on the body boards much quicker than the stand up. It's all about building on success early on and not getting frustrated...the body boards will do that for them. Encourage them to be patient. It takes lots of tries and lots wipe-outs to get comfortable, but it's worth every wipe-out when things finally start to click. We won't go on a cruise now without a FlowRider and one of my kids is beginning to board competitively...but it all started for them with an early lesson and lots of cruises. ATCMickey
  13. Yes...late 40's But with the caveat of no swimwear. Like to pack light and when on vacation, be on vacation...to me that means a week of nice shorts and a nice t-shirt.
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