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About cot427

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    Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian
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  1. Isn't Dazzles essentially the same thing as Music Hall? Bands, DJ, dancing? Maybe just more focused on those cover bands and not a genre of music.
  2. My Time Dining likely begins around 5:15 or 5:30 and yes, you can absolutely select the same time for everyday, as long as that time is available, which, if you do it early enough, it will be. And if you do that, you are pretty much guaranteed the same table and wait staff every night. Each time I've time MTD for a larger group, we've kept it at the same time and always had the same table and wait staff. When I've done it for 2, however, I've picked different times and so the table was not the same.
  3. Not always. I have been to quite a few more well-known tiki bars and they actually have Bamboo Room's vibe and decor inside, with it being darker and dimmed lights. With that being said, if Royal had an area like the Waterfront on NCL -away class ships, it would be perfect for that type of area. I appreciate their attempt so much and I think they needed a bar like this, but maybe make a few tweaks.
  4. Seems like a lot of these upgrades are what we expected. However, besides the major additions like Playmakers, the slides, Abyss, El Loco and BBQ, the rest seem like just simple replacements: On Air into Spotlight Karaoke - seems like the same concept just adding a couple private booths. Dazzles into Music Hall...isn't Dazzles essentially a Music Hall in its current iteration? Pool/Sand Bar into Lime and Coconut...besides a different menu, I don't think there was anything special about this on Navigator. It was just a pool bar. The DJ was out there some afternoons, but aren't they always out by the pool on ships in the afternoon? And they only had 1 outdoor party...the nightlife was not happening there on Navigator like advertised. I am also not surprised they aren't adding the Bamboo Room. I am a tiki fanatic and essentially lived in this bar on Navigator. Was it busy...no, never. I disagree with the poster that said it was closed or had bad hours...they seemed appropriate for the demand...and they would close at 12 if they weren't busy which is understandable. It seems like passengers just don't understand or appreciate the tiki culture, but the biggest thing is it takes time to make these drinks. It also takes more dedication as a bartender. I know on the Navigator, our bartender said they have problems getting people to work in the bar because the drinks are so complicated and nobody wants to learn. And also, they get incentives based on how many times they swipe a card and since the bar isn't busy, it adds to that difficulty in staffing.
  5. You should see Freedom sailing out of there year-round, with the exception of January/February 2020 due to her drydock, where she will undergo the Royal Amplification.
  6. Confirmed. The gym is much smaller, port side aft. No saunas or steam, just a steam for spa use (with treatment).
  7. Great pictures and comments so far! Quick question regarding embarkation: I'm on the Vancouver to Hawaii sailing in September - when I sailing out of Vancouver one way to Anchorage, we did customs & immigration right in Canada Place as a part of checkin. Did you also do that? Wasn't sure if that is standard if the ship is remaining in U.S. ports for the duration of the sailing or not?
  8. That menu looks like a nice combo of both concepts. But I get how they want to stay on brand.
  9. I wish they would've added El Loco Fresh instead. That place is actually legit...and it's free!
  10. I would expect an official announcement in July/August. They definitely announced Navigator's amped upgrades in November, 2 months in advance. I'm not sure they did the same for Mariner, I can't find any articles until she was closer to being done. Of course since this would be the first Oasis amp, they may keep tighter lips until during/after. But I agree, it does really make a difference if you're looking at sailings afterwards.
  11. Has anyone found that the 30% off is actually worth waiting for? Because I thought they increased the price onboard, even from the highest price advertised on Cruise Planner.
  12. Sorry to hear you had so many negatives/issues. I will say after reading the list, a lot of your "issues" are just the norm fleetwide. Complimentary food venues do close early with the exception of Cafe Promenade/Sorrentos. You cannot view pictures unless they are available for sale. Spa is always overpriced and a hard sell. Internet is slow on every ship. Beds are not comfortable. These things are on every ship and you just accept them and move on. I feel like the only legit issues were with the service level of your stateroom attendant and moving of show times, which is annoying since every show and dining time HAS to be scheduled precisely on these big ships.
  13. So Navigator entered dry dock beginning of January 2019 and the announcement about specific changes came early November 2018, so about 2 months in advance. Given that Freedom's dry dock is the same time next year, I wouldn't expect any articles or announcements until towards the end of this year.
  14. I must've found a steal on Ovation...I booked the 3-night a few months ago at $69 for the Vancouver to Honolulu cruise in September. Now the 3-night is at $99 and Chops+1 is at $75...absolute insanity!
  15. Good tip, thanks for sharing! I'm using the one in my group who stands in line to confirm/make reservations for the specialty dining while everyone else is at the bar drinking.
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