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Everything posted by LB_NJ

  1. Thank you for your insight. I am debating between the 3 tours offered: “Legends of Cape Canaveral”, "Kennedy Space Center Shuttle", and "Kennedy Space Center Guided Tour." For the two of us it is easier and probably about the same cost to just use the ship tours. I was at Kennedy decades ago and would probably do the Legends tour (requires ID). However, my wife has never been there and I am wondering if the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle (I assume this includes the standard admission ticket, listed at 6 hours) or Guided tour (listed at 8 hours) might be the better option. Any thoughts?
  2. We have a cruise booked for June from Whittier to Vancouver. Based on the itinerary it looks like we should opt for late dining however would like to get other opinions of those who have done the cruise.
  3. Is there a ferry from the cruise port to Atlantis? Also, is the beach pass worth it? I would do this through the cruise line however they don't offer a beach pass at Atlantis for some reason.
  4. Glad to hear it is an easy walk to the city. Our cruise stops here on a Sunday in March, will most places be open or does the city shut down on a Sunday?
  5. We are thinking of a winter trip on Grandeur of the Seas. We like smaller ships and would just drive to Baltimore on the day of departure so no having to deal with airlines so Grandeur of the Seas in February seems like a reasonable getaway. However, I do have some questions for those who have sailed on her at this time of year out of Baltimore. 1. I have read that there is an indoor pool available. At this time of the year is the water in the pool over 75 degrees and is it open. 2. How bad does the ocean get, I am thinking about saving a few dollars and getting a guaranteed stateroom which might put me in front of the boat where it might rock a bit more than my usual choice of mid ships to slightly aft. 3. Anything I should know about a winter sail on Grandeur. Have only sailed in warm weather and the only other RCL ships I and/or my wife have been on were Empress (a little old but we liked it) and Anthem (too large).
  6. It is currently $48 + grat. on a trip I am booked on
  7. Again, no flames please, more annoyance than anything else. 1. I like slightly smaller ships. 2. If I remember correctly some decks are not through so you have to up across and then down again. 3. Some of the cabins at the back are subject to mechanical vibration at times.
  8. I sailed on her a couple of years ago and she was a fine ship. As was said before you get negative reviews about everything. It is a lot about personal perception and specific problems. I tend to look at the shear number of negative reviews compared to the whole and will sometimes look at how many reviews that person has written. There are a couple of things that annoy me about the Crown (nothing that would stop me from sailing on her again) that might not bother anyone else or might have someone really upset. As was said before you can go on a cruise and love it and read a review by another person who trashes it and wonder if you were both really on the same cruise.
  9. At the moment the price on Grand Princess is about 20% less than Coral for the same itinerary (Whittier to Vancouver) and same room class that I would book. I am thinking that Coral is probably a little nicer however is it worth 20%???
  10. We wanted to dine with another couple we tried to do it on cruise planner (we had their res #) and it would not let us. We have my time and can put in individual dinner reservations. Called Royal Caribbean and they said we need to link reservations. Any idea what this all means? This is our first time cruising with another couple.
  11. Also, the soda can option. Is this like the water bottle option where they deliver the cans to the stateroom or is this like a coffee card where you can get the cans at any bar/restaurant up to the six cans?
  12. On the soda package what is the breakeven point between the package and buying individual sodas? We only drink one or 2 sodas a day, trying to cut down. We usually pre-buy water bottles.
  13. It was an August cruise to Bermuda and the suit did look a lot like a pair of shorts.
  14. I did try saying no extra salt a few times however it did not seem to make a difference.
  15. Not every dish was over salted. However it happened enough times that I noticed. The only time it really annoyed me was when they served DOVER SOLE A LA MEUNIERE. I happen to love that dish, and they did a nice presentation of deboning it at the table, however it was overwhelmed by salt. Other times I would just try something else. I am wondering if anybody noticed the GDR on Insignia being extra noisy. It might have just been an off night where the large table next to us was extra loud or I was wondering if they put too many hard surfaces in the room so that it reflects too much sound.
  16. For a Miami departure we would stay on Miami Beach. Best off looking at the Florida board. This question has been asked many many times before.
  17. I have cruised Cunard (QM2) and Oceania (Insignia). Very different cruise styles of course. However, I enjoyed both. On the QM2 I enjoyed wearing a Tuxedo on formal night and enjoyed not having to have even a jacket on Oceania Insignia. Actually got away with a bathing suite at the Insignia buffet for dinner one night. Don't yell, even asked the Maître D' before I chose a table It is really a personal preference thing. You should see the tirades on the Cunard board when long time cruisers think they are trying to dumb down the dress code.
  18. Went this past August to Bermuda on Insignia. Look for the flying fish while you are close to Bermuda. While I liked the GDR we personally did more meals in the buffet. Nice selection (one of the best buffets afloat) and the GDR was really, really slow. While in Bermuda we never did lunch on the ship except for the day we arrived in St. George's. We arrived around lunch time. FYI, while we really enjoyed the trip a couple of things you should be aware of: - Really hot and humid in Bermuda in July/August. - While I though the food was very good on Insignia, like most cruise lines, over salts the food.
  19. I am getting very confused by the RCCL web site. Yesterday they had a number of cruises in June 2020 going to Glacier Bay. Today no cruises in June 2020 to Glacier Bay. I was willing to consider RCCL for Alaska however I am now not sure. Anyone know what is going on?
  20. I would assume the rules make sense to RCCL's legal department. Whether they are enforced uniformly is another matter.
  21. Make sure you have whatever IDs RCL requires (look at their website) for your cruise for each individual (including children) for your particular cruise (eg, Passport, Driver license, birth certificate) Step 0: Decide if you want to buy Travel Insurance, there is a limited amount of time to buy the insurance after making a first deposit if you want the pre-existing condition waiver. Step 1: Get a current book out of the library by Moon and/or Lonely Planet that covers the cities you will be docking at. You might also want to look at " https://www.travelalaska.com/" Step 1A: If you are doing My Time Dining (probably makes sense in Alaska since it is port heavy with varying return times) book those times NOW if possible. The buffets are OK however I personally like the sit down dinners, but I don't travel with children. The sit down dinners take some time and are multicourse events. I would try it at least once early in the cruise. At the sit down dinners you CAN (unless something drastic has occurred) order an extra entrée for your family to share and multiple appetizers and/or deserts. Just try to order what you will eat and not waste. Step 1B: Depending on the ship there may be free and/or reasonably priced entertainment options that you can book for at sea days available in cruise planner. If there is something interesting book it NOW, you can always cancel within the time period provided in cruise planner. If there is a price, check every few days to see if the price drops. Step 2: Ship based excursions can be but are not always more expensive. Decide if the ship based excursion is what you want vs doing it on your own. FYI, you don't have to do an excursion if you don't want to. You can just walk off the ship and explore on your own, Alaska is part of the US. The benefit of the ship based excursion is that things are planned out for you and they usually guarantee that you won't miss the ship or if you do they will get you to the next port. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE THE PEOPLE RUNNING TO MEET THE SHIP, THE CRUISE SHIP WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU IF YOU ARE LATE AND DID NOT BOOK THROUGH THEM. The downside of a ship based excursion is that there a lot of people on them and they are not flexible. If you find a ship provided excursion book it now and check the price every few days to see if it drops. You can usually cancel up to a few days before the sail date without a problem. Check the fine print. FYI, usually but not always there is a line to leave the ship and those on excursions will sometimes get off the ship before those who have not booked a cruise line excursion. If a third party provides an excursion read the fine print. The ships generally try to meet the posted itinerary HOWEVER, the cruise line does NOT guarantee the itinerary and a cruise ship will sometimes miss a port or adjust the time it enters or leaves a port. Step 3: Decide if you will be bringing any beverages on-board the ship. The last time I looked you are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine (750ml) and a dozen 17 ounce softdrink/water bottles onboard at embarkation in your carry-on luggage. Look at RCL's website to see if this is still true. If it is decide if you want to bother. As was said above if you dink a lot you might want to think about a beverage package that includes alcohol (there are rules about both adults buying an alcohol package). There are also soda only packages that can be bought for the soda-holic There is also a refreshment package that can make sense. Also last time I looked a coffee card. Lots of Cruisecritic info on these. As was said above you don't have to buy any of these and just drink the free stuff and buy an occasional soda or cocktail. Personally when the refreshment package is $20 or less per day (not including tip) it makes sense for me and my wife however that is a personal choice, not everyone in the group needs to buy it. Prices do go up and down. Step 4: You don't have to purchase any extra costing specialty meals. I have found the free food on RCCL adequate, do not expect 4 or 5 star dinning regardless of what the brochures say however I have always found something to eat that I was happy with. That said, if there is a specialty dining option you want see if the price is right and book it in the planner. Step 5: Seattle is an interesting city and worth a day or 2 of sightseeing if you can swing it. Try not to fly in on the day of the cruise if you are flying. Best to be there a day or 2 before even if not sightseeing Seattle. Step 6: WIFI is not free on the ship. Not sure purchasing it makes sense on an Alaska cruise however that is a personal decision. Step 7: In your leisure look at the various articles about dos and don'ts and what to pack, etc.
  22. Any business that knows what it is doing will segment the market and try to address those segments where it thinks it can successfully compete and where the market segment is large enough. Trying to be all things to all people will usually fail. I haven't seen it in writing however I believe that RCCL ships are targeting families and young adults (except for their smaller ships), Celebrity is targeting 30-40 something adults and slightly upscale, Azamara - upscale.
  23. Generally you are not allowed to bring anything open, once tried to bring a lemon onboard and it was confiscated.
  24. My wife did the free afternoon tea on Crown and enjoyed it more than on the QM2. The QM2 was just too crowded. At the free tea they had tea of course and small deserts. There was also live music. Very nice.
  25. I assume your question relates to the pre-existing condition waiver that you can get if you buy the insurance within a certain period of time when you make your first deposit for the cruise. The different insurance companies may have a different take on the answer to your question. I don't think anybody on this forum is actually qualified to answer the question. As a general rule, insurance companies don't like to pay off claims, especially large ones.
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