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karl_nj

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About karl_nj

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  1. I found the traffic to Terminal A in Miami was pretty bad, it actually made the traffic down to the Bayonne port look light! I was shocked. The condition of some of the roads near the port in Miami also reminded me of the Bayonne terminal...
  2. How does laser tag booking work on Symphony? Once you are onboard, how/where does one book it?
  3. Somebody's boss is going to spend all morning tomorrow drafting a "Root Cause Analysis" memo, and attending meetings about it all afternoon...
  4. One thing to keep in mind is that it was the Boston Port employees were enforcing this rule, on behalf of Royal Caribbean.
  5. Wow, I figured that number had to be wrong, but it's even less then $15/day. From their last annual report: $12.45 per passenger-cruise-day. It's actually even less then that, since I assume the food costs count crew members. On the other hand their labor costs are low, so they make a lot of the food from scratch. For example, all that wonderful bread we get at dinner each night probably is mostly labor costs.
  6. I also just disembarked Anthem this morning. Was back home before 8:30am, was amazed how smoothly disembarkation went for us. We also prefer traditional dining. We booked this cruise Thanksgiving weekend, so by then the only thing left was MTD. But everything worked out fine for us. I had made reservations for the same time every night, so they were able to pre-allocate us to the same table every night. The only drawback was we still had to wait in the reservations line to be seated, in true traditional dining you can just go directly to your table. Which also meant that we needed to wait outside the restaurant for the family we were traveling with, instead of meeting them at the table. But I was very happy that we got to keep the same waitstaff for the whole cruise, despite getting stuck with MTD.
  7. If there was no financial loss, some 3rd party policies allow you to change your policy trip dates to a different/new cruise.
  8. I wore shorts more often then I had expected on my cruise to Norway in August. You probably just need to pack like a Caribbean cruise, throw in a few more long pants, a fleece jacket and a rain jacket. If it's cold and rainy wear both the fleece and the rain jacket. If it's warm and rainy just wear the rain jacket, and if it's chilly and dry wear the fleece. Worst case if the weather is unusual you need extra shorts or extra long pants, you can always pay to get them laundered on board. It's not a bad idea to bring a fleece jacket and a rain jacket to the Caribbean too, depending on the time of year and where you are sailing out of. It's just unlikely you will need to wear both at the same time.
  9. It's pretty clear that cello56 is aware of this, as his last sentence was: But that doesn't make it any less disappointing. According to the cruise contract, they can change the ship too: a. Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the Vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity. Except as provided in Section 6(e) below, Carrier shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever by Passenger, including but not limited to loss, compensation or refund, by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation. Imagine you paid a premium to sail on Symphony and then Royal decided to instead lease Grand Celebration from Bahamas Paradise Cruise line and park it off the coast of Florida for a week. You agreed to that possibility when you bought the cruise too.
  10. Kids and the elderly. There is a reason why HAL has staff serving everyone in the buffet on the few days...
  11. Royal Caribbean has higher prices for drinks. Many cocktails are $12 or $13 now, depending on the ship. They bump up the prices to make their drink packages seem like a good deal.
  12. Cunard did this on my last crossing. One of the guest lecturers was an astronomer and he hosted the evening stargazing events. But, as several people have mentioned, you just need to get to the front of the ship, near the bridge. They keep that area very dark, so the crew can watch out for other ships. It's not quite as dark as camping in the middle of nowhere, but if you give your eyes some time to adjust it's certainly better then trying to see stars in my backyard.
  13. I wasn't a big fan of the 'Fish of the Day with Chef's Vegetable Choice'. On Anthem a few months ago they rotated between 2 or 3 fish, with the exact same sauce and vegetable sides ever day. On several nights they had another fish option, but not always. Most nights the only salad option was the Caesar Salad. On a few nights they had more interesting salads. My wife and I missed having the option of a rotating salad, as they had in the old menus. They still have the cold strawberry soup one night, but they used to have a different one every night. I miss that option. They used to rotate the ice cream flavors, now they only "advertise" the basic flavors. I've been told that you can special request your old favorites, however. I plan to try that on my next cruise in Aug (thanks for the tip Merion_Mom!) I often found the bread basket on the table had fewer choices, and the bread was often stale. I really enjoyed it when there were more choices and the bread was fresh. It was nice to have creme brulee ever night, but half the time it came out very cold. I would have preferred it if they offered it once during the cruise, but served it at the correct temperature.
  14. karl_nj

    Children

    On Cunard I've only sailed on QM2, so I can't speak about the other ships. I think it depends on the kids. My kids have enjoyed sailing on QM2. There are so many pools available on QM2, they are never crowded. The pools on all Disney ships are small and have way too many kids in them. It's nice to actually be able to swim. For younger kids, like my 8 year old daughter, the kids club is as much fun on QM2 as on any other ship. They have all the usual activities. My 12 year old son wasn't thrilled with the kids club, be he enjoyed attending the beginners bridge classes with my wife, as he was a member of the bridge club in his school for a few years. He also enjoyed attending the lectures by the astronomer. We also played alot of shuffleboard as a family, which was nice. Anthem of the Seas has one tiny shuffleboard court that is angled into the jogging track. I think every ship and line has it's advantages and disadvantages. QM2 might not be the most exciting ship for all kids, but there are certainly things for them to do, and I don't think it would be classified as the least exciting ship for kids.
  15. It's a long day, so when we did this cruise last November, we decided to have lunch at a sit down restaurant, Skipper Canteen, at 2pm. Worked out very well, it was a nice break in the middle of our day. You should make reservations 180 days in advance, if possible.
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