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Everything posted by md80fan

  1. Just curious. The UK website shows all available cabins while the US one does not. Just wondering why does Royal show all cabins on one but not the other. Is it some sort of Government regulation in the UK. I know I used the UK site to see what was open before calling to make my booking. Just seems strange that Royal would try and hide open cabins on one site when the information is available on another if they were trying to hide it for competition reasons. Anybody have any insight. Thanks
  2. I think a B2B might not be for me. I realize the ports would be different which would be nice and not having to pack and unpack to go on a different ship would also be nice. However, I think by day 3 or 4 of the second leg I would probably be saying ok I need something a little different now.
  3. I was thinking about doing a Freedom cruise out of San Juan. I have never done this class of ship as I have only been on Oasis class of ships (which I really enjoy). However I am interested in going to the other islands that Oasis class does not go like St. Lucia and Barbados. My main question is what type of chairs are on the balcony staterooms. In the pictures posted here some of the pictures show what appears to be an older style chair with straps that does not recline or have an adjustable back on it. Some other pictures show a newer style chair that does have an adjustable back. My parents had gone on Oasis several years ago and said they had that older style chair and found it uncomfortable. However I have had the newer style on both Harmony and Symphony and loved it and found it very relaxing. So did Freedom get new chairs and replace the old ones or is it only certain cabins like suites that have these chairs. If the ship leaves at 8pm what time can you actually board. Can you still board early like around 11am or noon like I did on Oasis class that had a 4 or 5pm sail away. Overall what was everyone's experience with Freedom (mind you I will be coming from an Oasis class which I loved things like Central Park and the Boardwalk which I know Freedom does not have). Thanks
  4. I recently got back from a cruise on Symphony (which I really enjoyed) and was intrigued by doing a B2B. I had a question or two about the experience for people who have done it. I would like the idea of staying in the same cabin and not having to pack and unpack and then continue on another cruise. My concern would be is there enough things to do and eat. For example on Symphony we saw the Ice Skating (1977), Flight, and The Aqua show (HIRO). I did enjoy all 3 but not sure I would want to see them all again so soon as in the next week. If I did another cruise a year from now on Symphony I would see the shows again but 2 times in 2 weeks not sure about that. Plus we ate at all the free places, Park Café, The Doghouse, Sorrento's, Windjammer, and Solarium Bistro. However by day 7 we were a little tired of pizza, sausages, and buffets even though we enjoyed all of it. So I guess my question is for the people who have done B2B how do you handle things like entertainment and food without getting bored and trying to change things up for week 2.
  5. I am a huge fan of chicken wings and have a couple of questions. Has anybody had the Caribbean jerk wings from room service and if so were they any good in terms of flavor and taste. I would like to try something different other than the normal flavors. How are the wings in playmakers in terms of taste and flavor. Is it worth the cost or are they your typical average wings with the standard hot, mild, bbq sauces.
  6. With the various recent posts/questions about formal nights I would just like to see what other cruisers experience is. I have a upcoming cruise on Symphony. Our group is thinking about doing the Solarium Bistro on Formal night as an alternative. I realize that in the main dining room not everyone dresses up and we could still eat there if we wanted. However the question is in the Solarium would that also be formal "suggested" attire. If it will be "formal" in both main dining room and solarium then we might just stick with the buffet. If formal is only in the main dining room and the Solarium is more business casual or nice shirt and pants we would give the solarium a try. Anybody cruise Symphony (or even Harmony) recently and would care to share their observations Thanks
  7. I will be on my 2nd cruise next year and am obviously inexperienced at these options. Thanks in advance for the answers What nights are formal nights I want to say there are 2 of them? If I do a reservation in the Solarium Bistro on formal night will it be formal in there as well or is that just main dining room? I am not a fan of getting all dressed up while on vacation and while I do not plan to wear shorts and T Shirt to Dinner I also do not want a suit. When doing My Time dining it seems like I have to make each reservation separate and then checkout and start over. Is there not a easy way to make say 4 or 5 nights at the same time. I would like to just make them all for the same time each day but cannot figure out how to do that. Looks like 1 day at a time.
  8. I agree with giving them cash. Let them decide what they need or want. The other point I have not seen mentioned is how are they supposed to get all these "gifts" home. After they finish their rotation and need to board a flight to go home, how much spare room in their suitcases do they have for these "gifts" and if they need to check an extra bag or their bag is now overweight how much will the airlines now charge them to take all these "gifts" home. It is like at Christmas time do you want some ugly sweater that your aunt put thought into or would you rather have a generic Visa gift card to go get what you actually want. Of course we tell Aunt so and so what a great sweater but in reality it goes in the back of the closet never to be seen again.
  9. Yes, I forgot to take into consideration about OBC credits and how that would affect the total costs or perceived value. My questions stems from the short time I have been looking at cruise prices and the various "sales" Royal has and trying to determine what is actually a good deal or not. Again I know time of year and how close far away sailing date is would matter. I see they also will throw in a drink / food package or gratuity as a perk. I know it is not a cut and dry question that can be answered but I thank those that have given their response. What I have seen at least the dates I have looked for that I am interested in is between 1800-2100 for Oasis/Allure for outside balcony and have not seen it go any lower and that usually has a 100 OBC with it.
  10. I always see the endless threads about the various drink package prices and what is a good deal or not and it got me thinking. What would be a great price or what is the lowest someone has got a outside balcony (Ocean View) on a Oasis Class ship. For this thread I would like to exclude Symphony since its brand new and am looking for cruises out of Florida not Europe. I figure all my fellow cruise critic members probably scan Royal's website daily looking for deals and was just curious as to if I saw a xxx price for a outside balcony I should jump on it. I know it will vary from time of year (spring break, Christmas, etc..) but just wanted to know how low has anybody seen for these cabins. Also I am not looking for discounts if you get a Diamond discount or some other discount I am just curious to the standard rate anybody has found. Thanks
  11. I guess I just do not follow the transfer concept. It would be like buying a IPAD or iPhone directly from Apple but they allow you to transfer the sale to Best Buy or Amazon and they ship for you. I guess I just do not understand why Royal after making a sale would now say here you can take credit for this sale. I am sure there is more to it than this. I get why it would benefit the passenger to get any added benefits.
  12. I have seen several posts with questions about transfer a new booking from Royal to a TA. My question is why does Royal allow this and more specifically How does this benefit Royal. Most travel companies airlines, hotels, car rentals would prefer people book directly though them to save on commissions. So why would Royal after they make a sale or booking want a passenger to transfer that booking to a TA. I am just not sure how do they benefit in that arrangement. Just curious...….
  13. I recently completed my first ever cruise which was on a Oasis class ship / Eastern Caribbean which I loved. I am now looking at doing another Oasis class cruise and am looking at a Western Caribbean. My two choices are 1. Nassau / Cozumel / Roatan / Costa Maya 2. Labadee / Falmouth / Cozumel. The excursion's really do not matter as I stayed close by the ports / dock on my last (and only ) cruise. I really enjoy the views of the islands / ports as we pull in and out of port as well as sitting in port sitting on the balcony looking out at the scenery. Nassau / Cozumel really does not hold much interest to me this would be a more Roatan vs Falmouth in terms of views / scenery in the ports. I do not mind staying in the cruise port bubbles (like I read about for Falmouth) if I want to get off the ship to wander around a little bit. Just curious on thoughts for people who have done these trips which they have enjoyed. I realize that the Western side is more flat vs the Eastern side in which we visited St. Maarten and enjoyed the views of the mountains etc...…
  14. I know I cannot be the only one who thought this...… "Hey Smails my dinghy is bigger than your whole boat. Save me a parking space I'm coming in." Movie fans will know...…….
  15. I have come across aggressive vendors near the Eiffel Tower in Paris or by the train station in Rome and I have read about the vendors in Falmouth. What makes this different is this is within a boundary that Royal controls. Royal appears to put an emphasis on making sure guests have a good experience and hold bartenders, waitresses and waiters, and room attendants to a high standard. One could make a argument that by default these merchants are some sort of Royal employees (Indirectly of course) as they are working in an area controlled by Royal. Carving names in items and placing bracelets on people and then basically demanding money for them is not a great experience. We all know Haiti is a poor country but should those vendors also not realize they are in a fortunate position that their fellow countryman are not. They have a opportunity and have direct access to people and passengers with money to spend. They should know what the job prospects are in their own country and realize hey we have people willing to give us real money in the form of dollars and Euros maybe we should not kill the golden goose. Would it not be refreshing to walk through the market and have one of these vendors instead say something like hey we appreciate you taking the time to look through our stuff and we appreciate you coming to our country and we would be honored if you bought something from us to help support our family. Hmmm I can only imagine that passengers who have dropped big money on a cruise and have ate more food in one meal than they eat in a week would be more than happy to buy a little trinket to help them out.
  16. Thanks for the replies..... As you have posted about lower prices what would be a price point where you would look at a different time of year. I know everyone has their own personal level when it comes to money. What might be good might not be for someone else. Saying that If you were looking at the exact same cruise, same ports, same ships just different dates for example late September vs early December how much of a savings would be worth it to avoid any potential hassles with potential weather issues. I would be looking at Ocean Balcony rooms and am flexible in dates to travel. I also do not have to figure in things like kids breaks from school etc... If there was say a 300 or 400 dollar difference would that make someone say we will pay the higher fare to go in December vs the lower fare in September. Thanks......
  17. Thanks for the replies, I guess my expectation for Labadee was going to be a relaxing day at the beach with no "Hard Sells" like when walking in the other ports. The one thing that really bothered me was when I was looking in one stall the guy asked for my name and where I was from. I thought he was just making chit chat. He then handed me a little shot glass size cup and had carved my name in it and demanded I make him an offer for it. I told him I never asked you to carve my name in it nor do I want it and his response was that it now had no value and I owed him something / anything for it. I said no thanks and left to walk back to the beach. It just did not leave a good taste after that. I know that area can be easily avoided but was just curious why Royal would not want to make the entire port as nice and relaxing as possible. Thanks again for the replies and opinions
  18. I recently got off my very first cruise and loved it as it exceeded my expectations. My only complaint was the merchants in Labadee. Walking through the area was not very pleasant based on how pushy, aggressive, and should I say obnoxious some of the vendors were. I realize every port will have pushy or aggressive people trying to make their money and the cruise lines have no control over that. However, in Labadee Royal has complete control and I am curious why they would allow that to continue. My question is this what has been your experience or response from Royal if you have complained about the merchant area. I was thinking of sending an email but just curious if other people have made complaints and what the response back from Royal has been. I am interested in any email response or if anybody talked with a guess representative on the ship. I know I cannot be the only person who was disappointed with being hassled to buy something (which I can say I did not buy anything) while walking through the merchant area.
  19. I am thinking of doing a Oasis / Allure / Harmony in late Sept or early October. I know ships will stay away from any active tropical storms / hurricanes but what about other weather in the area. Does anybody have experience with daily thunderstorms / rain showers frequency and how it has effected their trips during this period. I know this time frame can be active with thunderstorm activity and would hate to have every port have daily rain especially in the afternoon.
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