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About actuarian

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    Delray Beach, FL, USA
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  1. True but, if you do not have a Passport, you need to have a Passport Card, a Birth Certificate, or an Enhanced Drivers License. Other than the Enhanced Drivers License (which is not available to everyone), those are all documents that people often leave in the safes in their cabins.
  2. Understood, but what is the point of knowing your assigned station and how to put on a life vest if you cannot walk stairs and the elevators are all tied up or not running? There should be a special procedure for people who cannot walk stairs to contact an assigned crew member for help. That procedure should be explained to the people to whom it applies.
  3. My guess is that if Royal Caribbean ever does have reserved elevators, they will be reserved for people occupying suites, not for handicapped people. Nevertheless, it is easy to reserve elevators. MSC already has elevators reserved for Yacht Club members. MSC does not keep non-Yacht Club cruisers out of those elevators but those elevators will bypass any floors not selected by someone by swiping a Yacht Club card. Royal Caribbean could easily reserve elevators the same way; anyone can board the elevator but it will not stop at their floor.
  4. I also think that the Oasis Class ships are just too big. My wife and I cruise only on Voyager and Radiance Class ships. We particularly love the amplified Voyager class ships, the Mariner and the Navigator. Of course, those ships do mostly short cruises but, when we want a longer cruise, there is always Celebrity. However, I do think that the rules prohibiting the saving of seats (except in the case of an single person who has to use the restroom) should be enforced. I think that they should announce before each show that saving of more than one seat is not permitted and that any person or group who persist in trying to save more than one seat will be told to leave the theater.
  5. I need a scooter to get around the ship and, on most of the cruises I have been on, the elevators are only a problem during the half hour following the end of the muster drill. That problem could easily be rectified without any special elevators. Instead, there should be a special muster drill for handicapped people that ends 15 minutes before the regular muster drill ends. The regular muster drill is meaningless anyway for us who are handicapped because, in the event of a real emergency, we would not get to our muster stations or to the lifeboats without assistance from the crew. The procedures for getting handicapped people to the lifeboats should be covered in that special muster drill.
  6. The Key is currently being offered on my July 8 Navigator Cruise at $24.99/person/day, a price which is labeled as a "20% discount". However, it seems to change daily and, within the last week, it has varied from a low of $19.99 to a high of $31.99. On another cruise that I have booked for November 24 on the Explorer, the price shows as $19.99 right now. However, my wife and I have a GS booked for that November cruise. I wonder whether the site is programmed to automatically reduce the price of The Key when one has a suite booked. After all, The Key is much less valuable when you have a GS since most of the benefits are duplicated,
  7. My wife and I have been on 84 cruises and one thing we have learned from that experience is to never book a cruise based on a particular port on the itinerary. The cruise contract line always gives the cruise line the right to cancel a port for any reason. Moreover, once the ship has set sail, the captain has that right. If there is a particular place that you really want to visit, a cruise is not the way to do it. Usually, this is not an issue for Caribbean cruises since Caribbean ports have relatively few unique attractions. However, it can be a great disappointment when a port gets cancelled on a European or Mediterranean cruise.
  8. The shortage of Handicapped Parking Spaces is everywhere in South Florida, not specific to cruise terminals. Have you ever tried to find a handicapped parking space at a Publix supermarket here? I think that the number of handicapped parking spaces at any facility is mandated by law and the high median age in South Florida makes that mandated number completely inadequate here. Nevertheless, I have no idea why they have so many (or any) "green vehicle only" slots at the new terminal. Does it make sense to give a closer parking slot to a 25-year old athlete than to a 75-year old retiree just because the 75-year old cannot afford to purchase a "green vehicle"?
  9. Royal Caribbean has said that the Ultimate Dining Plan includes Playmakers and The Bamboo Room (for ships that have those restaurants). Neither requires reservations so, if the credit is reusable, you could have an early a la carte sushi dinner at Izumi and that have late night snacks at Playmakers.
  10. The cruise line tells us that a tip is included in the package but they never tell us how much. I always assume that the included tip is pretty pathetic. Therefore, I always add an additional tip by trying to estimate what I would tip for a similar meal on land. I then assume that the cruise line has provided about one third of that amount so I add the other two thirds of that amount.
  11. The description of the Unlimited Dining Package says that you can go to the same restaurant twice in one night and it also says that the Package allows a $35 food credit per person for each visit. The phrase "for each visit" would seem to imply that you can use the $35 credit twice in one night, although that would seem to make the $35 limit meaningless. Does anyone know whether you can actually go to two a la carte restaurants in one night and reuse the credit?
  12. The above in another way of saying that you have a better chance of winning an upgrade if someone else is bidding for the room category that you are already confirmed in and your chance of winning may depend on how much that other person bid. Otherwise, the winner seems to be the person who is currently confirmed in the higher category room. For example, if two people bid the same amount for a GS and one is already confirmed in a J3 while the other is already confirmed in a J4, the person who is already confirmed in a J3 will usually win. However, if both bidders who bid the same amount are also already confirmed in the exact same room category, then the selection is most likely either random, based on C&A status, or based on the amount that the bidders have already paid. Royal Caribbean seems to consider that selection to be a trade secret.
  13. With a few uncommon exceptions, a minimum bid is less that the current cost to upgrade. Moreover, by the time you are invited to bid on a Move Up, other upgrades are often no longer available. However, if you are comparing the amount you originally paid plus the minimum bid with the amount you would have paid for the "better" cabin when you first made the reservation, that is a different case. If you made the original reservation far in advance (i.e. more than a year in advance) then you might very well have gotten the better cabin at a lower price than it would have cost through Royal Up. I have seen this case several times. However, that is water under the bridge; you cannot change what happened a year ago.
  14. I agree although I would point out that being in Concierge Class also gets you extra points (in the Captain's Club). However, the Ovation JS is much more spacious and includes dinner access to Coastal Kitchen. Concierge Class does not include any benefit that is comparable to Coastal Kitchen (but Aqua Class does). In fact, the only significant benefits of Concierge Class that I have seen are early boarding on embarkation day and the special embarkation day lunch. On the other hand, if Aqua Class is available for the same price or only a few dollars more than Concierge Class (as is often the case), that might change everything. My wife and I love dining at Blu, the Aqua Class restaurant. Access to Blu is guaranteed for Aqua Class guests whereas several posters in these boards have suggested that dinner at Coastal Kitchen for JS guests requires reservations, which are not guaranteed to be available.
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