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About poncho1973

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Orlando, Florida
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. It does sound weird, especially since the photos (the thing most likely to get stolen from your review) aren't actually watermarked. Were you expecting people to randomly steal your comments or thoughts and pretend they are their own? If you are concerned about theft, please watermark those photos. I see you dropped it from most of your review after these comments. That said, nice photos and it looks like you've had a wonderful time. Thanks for the photos. You really did a great job of capturing a few things that most people don't post photos of. That's really helpful!
  2. You'll have a great time. Are you using some weird program to type? Every Single Word Is Caps Is Why I'm Asking.
  3. I talked about this a bit in my last Mariner review because Navigator was in port with us.
  4. I tip per night. $5 for a normal night, $10 for a better one. Whether we each have 1 drink or a few.
  5. The water was Florida cold. We have British friends that live on the sea. Their water temps at their beach run from about 48-66F with that 66F being at the peak of summer in August. Their air temp is only about 65 in August, with highs in the low 70s. Most years, at least. I think this year they had some 90s, which was insane and most of them just have small, portable a/c units that only cool one room. Cocoa Beach water temps run from about 68-86F, so it is relative. Our absolute coldest water temps are still hotter than their peak temp in August. So as long as the air temps are roughly "summer" temps (to them at least, so that low bar of the mid 60s is a relative term, too) for them, they love to get in the water all year round here.
  6. Coco Cay There are a few negatives about the new Jan Brady of the Royal family. (Whether you are thinking the 70s curly hair or the 90s full-on afro, is up to you) and there are many positives. We did not do any of the pay items, but I have a bit of info. However, we randomly ran into a friend and her two teens. They had paid and liked most of it. They added a few things they didn't like. The son burns easily, so he wears a t-shirt. He wasn't allowed to wear his shirt on the water slides, but said it was odd because females wearing a shirt WERE allowed, but he said he was told if he was wearing a rash guard shirt, it would have been allowed instead of a t-shirt. This is all from a teen boy, so it's not gospel. They also were required to sign up for the top, tallest slide or not ride it. They called this a rip off, but went back very late in the day and rode it with no problem. They loved the wave pool and the obstacle course, calling those the best attractions. They loved all the slides. They did not pay for anything else like zip lines, the balloon, or cabanas. The free areas are both greatly improved AND not as good at the same time. That sounds backwards, but it isn't. Everything they improved is awesome. The chairs are 100x nicer. There are tons of chairs. The beach bungalows are awesome, but we didn't buy one. The cabanas out on the water looked amazing. Not $1k+ amazing, but amazing if your cruise is cheap. There was a lot of seaweed in the water in places. What was not as good is the privacy. You used to could wander down the beach, grab a quiet spot and maybe a hammock and chill out. I found ZERO quiet spots. ZERO. We walked the entire beach and didn't find anywhere that met that quality. The section of South Beach that is open (most is behind a fence) was smelly and full of seaweed. The Chill Island area was our favorite and the Chill Grill is legit night & day better than the old food area. There are still chickens randomly walking around, so that was fun. The food area is really nice. They have a lot more choices, including tacos!!! I was very happy. I was very unhappy with the child who was pulling food off with his fingers and standing there eating it. I said something to his dad, who said he was only 8. I told him that was about 5 years older than he needed to be to know that was gross. His dad told him "stop doing that" but he did it about 30 seconds later again and dad just sheepishly walked away leaving the child there. A couple of other people told the child to stop and called over a worker. The worker replaced the corn on the cob that he was eating from and pulling some in and putting some back. This is entirely on poor parenting and not Royal. With both Navigator & Mariner in port, seating was tough to find. There were seats available, but it wasn't easy around noon. There were a LOT of chair hogs present. You'd see 20 chairs in a row with towels on them. The water was CHILLY so there were barely any people in the water compared to the number of chairs with towels. This might need review by the staff. I'm very anti-smoking, but I'm reasonable enough to know that people smoke and they need a place to do it. HOWEVER, there was a ton of smoking in the non-smoking areas and even worse a ton of vaping (you know it's 100% safe, it's just water vapor... OOOOOOOOPPPPPPPSSSSS! Guess that's not true!) going on. There were so few workers that it almost never got dealt with. This wasn't the case at the Oasis Lagoon Pool. There were workers everywhere and they were vigilant about almost everything. The pool was amazing. It was freezing cold and I'm very cold tolerant. It was much warmer if you go to the side near the DJ and the float-up, swim-up bar. Part of me assumes that was because of all the bodies. Part of me cringes to assume there were a lot of drunks peeing in the pool there. However, the pool is massive and the 80% of it that wasn't up by the DJ & bar was awesome. It was a great pool with great places to hang out. The pool loungers were 100% full, but people were swapping out regularly. Some dude came by and put like 4 flip-flops on some chairs and wandered off, I'm assuming to find the 3 other people he was with. Someone else self-policed and tossed them to the side and her party sat down. I see both sides there, but I tend to think that real people > flip-flops. I saw a couple of mommies with preteen kids on the chairs next to them... I'm biased because I don't like kids hogging people chairs, but most of the kids weren't there long and the moms gave up the chairs. The area near the swim-up bar was a hot mess. The drunkenness was a bit much. There were people who clearly shouldn't have been served, still being served and almost hounded to drink more. A girl fell like 3x, her friends pulled her up and the next round arrived. She was back in! I don't want to give the wrong impression. I love to drink. I've been young and drank too much. I just hate to see people being served when they can barely stand. I also have reached an age where drunks are more annoying than fun. The guy puking in his hat and tossing it into the trash was rough to watch. The fact that he booted and rallied back to drinking more was both impressive to younger me and disgusting to older me. The group that came over and dropped like a 3' high pile of gear (including a baby stoller... which didn't have a baby in it) on the sand in front of me sucked. It was just a random pile of crap. Towels, shirts, cover-ups, snorkels, plates, bottles, packs of cigs, hats, what appeared to be a flashlight????, and other crap. Just piled it up on the sand. There weren't chairs available, so they made a pile at the foot of mine around the trash can in front of me. Kudos to the security who nabbed a guy, who was extremely drunk and walking around air-grabbing women's butts. To his drunken credit he wasn't actually grabbing them and not actually very close, but he was sticking out his tongue and pretending to grab dozens of butts. To his not credit, it is still inappropriate, unacceptable, and rude. He was doing this repeatedly and he was escorted away. I saw him walking around later, so they didn't toss him. He was behaving himself later. Harbor Beach was rocking! I loved that little cove. This is the former lagoon where you'd tender into from the ship. It's cleaned up and we liked it. We spend almost the full day here and enjoyed almost every minute. I'd guess we were in the last 100-200 people back on the ship.
  7. Poor Chris is gone. His successor changed the rules! I noticed the cream cheese thing AND the syrup! Same thing. You could get the syrup in the tubs, now you can ask for the sugar free ones, but they don't set them out. I don't NEED sugar free, but I like the tubs. Like you, I see the point. Less waste. I'll add my CoCo Cay stuff later today hopefully. @Anita Latte
  8. Chris congrats! Like @knuckles I was just on this past weekend. Is something broken with the air purifiers? We smelled ciggie smoke from the casino a lot more than usual.
  9. I call it "The G-T-Y" as they put Gty for the guaranteed room on everything. We did it this weekend and got upgraded to a promenade view room. We didn't care for that style of room, so it wasn't an upgrade for us, but it was an upgrade in the system.
  10. My wife was getting a coffee in the DL this past weekend on Mariner and I asked the guy stocking if he could just snag me a Coke (I don't drink coffee, but was kinda in the mood for caffeine) even thought I *knew* it wasn't the time for it. If you don't ask, you never receive. We were the only ones in there besides him and he still politely turned me down. Which was fine! I knew it wasn't time, but I asked. I was polite. He was polite. No drink. I can't complain about that.
  11. I know smoking is less of a hot button issue than it once was, but the smoke coming out of the casino was way stronger than most of our recent Royal trips. You could smell it up on the higher decks on the Aft End. As usual for the promenade with the hole to the casino, it's very strong coming out there. I'm not sure if the filters were broken or if this is normal for this ship, but it was bad. We also saw several people just walking around the ship vaping, but saw the crew stopping them, too. We saw the same Green Bay Packers man (he only wore Packers gear when I saw him, but I wonder if he wore it off the ship after their beating Sunday night?) puffing on his cigar around the outdoor decks. He didn't care where. If he was outside, he had a cigar lit. I saw him get asked to stop multiple times. I heard him tell them to "F off" a few times and mostly just avoid them. I'm a big dude and he was bigger than me. I think he relied on intimidation and being older/not caring. @Cruisegirl6 Yes on the facial recognition. No on the rock-araoke. I've only seen that on Royal on my Med cruise. It's on other brands of ships. There were tons of regular karaoke opportunities, though. @John&LaLa soon!!! You'll love her. @Host Clarea Bob... I was in heaven. She's still my favorite. @Anita Latte I love inside rooms for that. I'm totally in for saving money on indoor rooms when there is zero reason for a balcony. With the balcony upgrade perk (and no smoking on them for years now) we are more likely to just take it because it doesn't really cost more, but it's purely about if it is good for us or not. The Fjords cruise? MUST DO BALCONY. If I ever do an Alaskan? MUST DO BALCONY. Nassau & Coco Cay? Ha, no. The ship looked great. It was very clean and we didn't see anything that was broken or in need of repair. This was a great trip and we had a good time. They are just too short! But that's why they are shorties! Coco Cay will get a post of its own.
  12. For those of you that live in Nebraska or Alberta or Tennessee, six months isn't such a long time between cruises. For those of us that live maybe 40 minutes from a port or less? That's a lifetime. We last sailed in June and the sea was calling! For years, I've called Mariner my Goldilocks ship. She's not too big. She's not too small. She's just right. However, it had been years since we've been on her. She's been gallivanting all over the world and no where around where we were headed. We've been on Navigator a few times since, but it's been nearly a decade for this girl. ALTHOUGH... on a side point... Navigator got a way nicer upgrade at least externally from looking over at her on both Saturday in Nassau and Sunday in Coco Cay! WOW! This is the nicer ship we've ever been on for a shortie cruise. Frankly, she's way, way, way, way, way, better than Sovereign, Monarch, or Enchantment and much larger. Those are the only ships we've done shorties on and this was night & day different in a much better sense. Her upgrades are very nice. I know the current popular opinion is that squeezing more rooms in is BAD BAD BAD, but I think they've added a lot of good stuff, too. Since we were last on her, she has a FlowRider (didn't do, but watched), water slides (FUN!), Azumi in place of the dungeon-themed night club and a bunch of other places like Playmakers & Bamboo Room. As usual for shorties, the experience is a little different than a longer cruise. The crowd skews younger and newer. There are a lot of first-time cruisers, or some that are at least first-time in forever cruisers. There are younger kids/teens because it's cheaper. There are a of weekend partiers, bachlorette parties, anniversary groups, birthday weekends, etc. The drink package was promoted very heavily and there were tons of people with it. We saw some puking, but not more than 3???? times? I think. We saw the typical 18 year olds coming back hammered from Nassau that happens on every trip to that port. We sort of (we tried our best) kept a girl of *maybe* *possibly* *kinda/sorta if you squinted* maybe 18 years old from walking into traffic in Nassau. Her boyfriend who didn't appear to need to shave yet was trying. We mostly just kept her on the sidewalk. Not sure what ship she was on, but she wasn't going to have a good evening/morning. We had a first on the ship! We had a promenade view room. We had the one absolutely most furthest from the action (6611 directly about the Next Cruise/Excursions desk) and we won't do that again. It was a non-issue when we were out on 2 of the nights. However, last night we came back earlier (still almost 11?) than usual and it was thumping in our cabin. However, that will never happen again. We love to stay out late, but we also vacation for each other's company and spending time in the room is quite fun, too. Resting isn't a bad night either. We've done everything on the ship, so if we miss the comedy show or the Love & Marriage show or the 80s party, we'll survive. We can do that next cruise if we felt we missed out. Still, it's better to try and THEN make up your mind. That type of room is OUT for us. Some of the staff seemed a bit green. Everyone was nice, but if you cruise enough you can easily see the green ones. The CD was supposed to be Dan Whitney, but that wasn't the case. I'll have to look him up. Very tall South American (guessing) guy with super tight highwater pants. I'll add more later, but if anyone has questions... I just got off the ship this morning, so it's fresh.
  13. S2S is the name in the secret handbook. If you don't know, you don't know. There is a handshake and a special whistle, as well. If you don't know, you don't know. I've already said too much.
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