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About kathy884

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St. Louis, MO
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I've only tried Carnival and NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    I've only cruised to Caribbean and Canadian ports

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  1. The above is so true. I know we are traveling with my dad in his 80s, and he needs a cane and cannot manage his own luggage (will get wheel chair assistance in to the ship). Also, I am fine with daily living things, exercise - play tennis, etc. but with my back curvature, I have a porter take my bag too (just lifting a heavier bag up a few steps, things like that messes up my back, so I need to be so careful). Maybe if I instead of a regular bag bring a really small one I could manage it, but I would be much happier with a regular sized bag with a week long cruise including two nights pre-cruise and will risk it. My husband and son could manage their own bags, but not ours too. For us it's using the porter service or don't cruise and just do another type of vacation. This might be the last cruise I do, but unfortunately managing our own bags is not going to be a good option for us on our cruise in February that we have committed too. I feel your pain OP. Many of us don't have that many options except for insurance for mitigating baggage loss risk. I won't have anything I cannot replace in my bag, but still replacing clothes I like, cosmetics, my sun hat, etc. would be a real pain. DS will be the only one with an expensive camera and electronics and will be carrying those himself in his backpack.
  2. I just signed up me, my husband, and our 23 year old son up for the all access two hour tour on the Harmony (our cruise isn't till next February). Has anyone done the tour and what did you think? We did a behind the scenes tour on a Carnival ship a good six year or so ago, really enjoyed it, and thought this might be similar. On the Carnival ship too, because of a Noro Virus outbreak, we didn't get to see the galley (and that's something my husband has always thought would be really cool to see). Also, enough time has passed that we would be interested in doing a similar behind the scenes tour again. Anyway, I'd love to hear from you if you've done this on the Harmony or one of the similar sister ships.
  3. We are a party of four doing an offsite Disney stay pre-cruise and after looking at various options/costs decided to do uber for the convenience (direct pickup right at our condo and drop off right at the cruise and right in the ballpark with other options form a cost standpoint). From our condo an Uber X runs about $62 plus tip and an Uber XL which we will probably need due to having four people runs $94 plus tip (not bad at all in my book). Here is the uber site where you can look at estimates from where you are staying: https://www.uber.com/us/en/price-estimate/
  4. I have two ocean view balcony cabins (one large and one regular) next to each other for the Harmony Feb. 2020. I'm paying for all. If one of the people in our party decides not to go, can we substitute another person (just have them take over the spot) or would the one person have to be in the cabin alone (I'd still be paying for two people, but wouldn't have to do the taxes or service charges for a no show if RCCL works the same way other lines work for a no show)? I am wondering for example if my dad doesn't feel up to cruising (in his 80s), if my nephew could take his place? We would know a reasonable time in advance too if this were the case. We do have insurance for covered cancellation reasons and medical/ medical evacuation purchased third party (but my dad may just not feel up to going and doesn't have cancel for any reason policy). I would figure too, that I would need to buy medical / medical evac for the substitution person.
  5. We picked the Harmony as we prefer to go out of Port Canaveral vs. having to go to Miami or Fort Lauderdale (ages 24-83). It's much less expensive for us to fly into Orlando and we prefer Orlando for an extra vs. the other places (a day at Disney and an evening to visit my nephew who lives in Orlando).
  6. How was the wave pool? We were thinking of doing the waterpark (just to see it), but mostly hang out around there for part of the day unless lines are unexpectedly short.
  7. Thanks all. I appreciate all the posts and thoughts. I already signed up for our roll call. I'll check weekly to see if things open up when we are 120 days out.
  8. We have a Harmony of the Seas cruise booked for Feb. 8, 2020. This will be our first time RCCL. I'm also someone who is not willing to check to check the NCL website more than once a week. Should I try booking shows by looking at the website right after final payment, which I believe is about 90 days before the cruise? For NCL they give you an exact number of days when you can book reservations; Disney gives you an exact number of days before you can book fastpasses; etc. but I heard that RCCL has an arbitrary system (from other posters and no exact date offered from RCCL reps either). Appreciate your input about how far away from sailing you would suggest I start checking.
  9. Loved hearing from everyone. Ordered four 3 in twin toppers from Walmart for our cruise. Appreciated the tip on the double wide Klymit (solo). That looks amazing, but it was pricey if only used for a one time cruise (I don't camp anymore) and I was able to buy the four twins toppers for less than one of those. I'm flying Southwest, so good bring an extra suitcase. I am going to look into those space bags, though, as I so prefer being able to manage my own luggage. I think if I pack light, bring a big suitcase, and get the space saver bags, I might be able to still just bring one bag. We'll see. Worst case scenario is that I will have an extra suitcase, which I'm hoping won't be the case.
  10. So glad to see this thread and appreciate all who posted. I'd hate to be spending all this money (large ocean view balcony and ocean balcony cabin on Harmony seven night cruise) and not sleep well. I like cushy beds, and I hate to say it, but the older I get the pickier I am about beds. I like a soft bed, etc. For hotels, I seem to like the Hilton brand beds the best (I know everyone is different, but those seem to work well for me.) Also, good to hear that the beds are not the same as Carnival. That is the cruise line I have done the most often (just a couple of cruises) and I was ok with the beds there (except for the couch - we had three to a room on the last Carnival Cruise that we did and DS didn't like the couch at all, didn't sleep well). I switched back and forth with him every other night and have to say that I totally agreed with him -- really hard, while the regular bed was much better). I also did the NCL Escape (only cruise other than Carnival I have done). I found the bed harder than I liked, but didn't have any major problems. So if I am getting this right, it sounds like RCCL (first RCCL cruise ever for me), in general has harder beds than perhaps both Carnival and NCL?? To be safe rather than sorry, I think for our party of four I will bring something. I'm tempted by the recommendation of the Klymit Static V pad (looks amazing and would be so nice to have it take less space). The narrowness of the pad, though, (have had issues rolling off sleeping pads when I used to camp on the ground), is making me think I will probably go with the Walmart foam pad recommendations (will bring a big suitcase and fewer clothes I think and leave my laptop, etc. at home). Almost thinking I should get four of the foam pads full twin for all four in our party.
  11. I read that too and mentioned it to DS, who still wanted to do the waterpark anyway just to see it. We'll probably do some of the lessor slides with shorter waits and do some hanging out it the wave pool. We want to check out other areas of Cococay outside of the waterpark too, just to see then. With all these larger and larger ships which are very popular for RCCL and the popularity of cruises that go to a private island, it doesn't sound like demand will necessarily go down.
  12. Those cabana prices look insane to me too, too rich for my blood. But if someone wants to do it and they are already spending so much money on the cruise to even get to the port I guess the price will be what the market will bear for people to go for the experience they want (captive audience and limited capacity with all these gigantic ships). I thought the waterpark prices looked a little steep too ($69 pp) and no 1/2 day option, which is what we would have preferred -- mostly just want to check the place out. I went ahead and got admission for me and DS 23 (DH and my dad 82 will skip, probably just stay on the ship actually). I was concerned that maybe they will limit admission to the waterpark at same point (capacity restrictions maybe), so thought book early and be better safe than sorry, since DS 23 really wants to see the waterpark. I think the heavy advertising / marketing has him intrigued. When I look at prices of waterparks in Orlando or other places in the continental US this just seems way too high. But if I look at what a day pass costs for Atlantis (we did that on another cruise, this is only about 1/2 of the cost of that).
  13. Thanks so much! This sounds like this won't be too bad. We'll keep expectations low too. I'll make the reservations for the same time each night in advance and link the rooms (didn't use a TA). So far, it is a small group, just four of us. There are four others, though, who might end up booking the same cruise which would give us the more difficult to seat group of eight. How far before sail date on RCCL can one book "my time main dining room" reservations? Is that the same date that one can start doing the bookings for shows too? (Realize that I could call RCCL for this info too). I'll put the date on my calendar and do reservations when that opens up sooner rather than later. (I'm assuming that I'd be OK booking in the evening that day after work, etc. and that it's not a get up early or you won't be able to get a reservation).
  14. Hello, I just booked our first RCCL cruise for our family, and we have some extended family coming along too. We were most interested in doing main dining room dining (early time) at a set time each night -- like that cruising tradition, makes it easier for us to have a set time for dinner each night, don't want to pay for specialty restaurant upgrades, and on other cruise lines have enjoyed meeting other passengers when our party was small enough not to require a really big table. This cruise is on one of the bigger ships, the Harmony of the Seas, and still quite a ways off, February 8th, 2020, so I was actually surprised (to me it seemed like I was booking pretty far in advance) not to get the dining time we preferred (maybe not that surprised though with the other time so late). Unfortunately for us when we booked, the 5:30 p.m. main dining room dining was already full. 8:30 p.m. is too late for at least two in our party who due to jobs are early risers, so we opted for anytime dining (yuck -- an added hassle to figure out the time to dine each night and make reservations -- easier with an extended family group to have a set time ahead of time, but maybe I can get anytime dining to work for us). So some questions: What is the chance do you think that we will be able to get early dining? I put us on a wait list. I'm sure we will be fine if we don't get it. But unfortunately, a set dining time with the same servers we get to know, etc. happens to be something that my family / extended family really like about cruising, so will be disappointing. How early in advance does one typically have to book to get this at booking time on the big RCCL ships? Any tips for making the anytime dining experience as similar as possible to the regular main dining room experience? What is my best bet for dealing with anytime dining? Do I make reservations for the main dining room in advance of the cruise like we make reservations for shows even though this is no charge dining? Can I make these for a set time for all of the nights? I'm assuming 5:30 p.m. is not an option or is it actually? If not, what is the earliest time I can get this? My dad who is 82 also due to leg issues is not good with having to stand and wait, so this is another concern - not being able to just go to our table and sit down. Maybe I bring a camping chair on the cruise, so when we go for dinner each night and have to wait that he can sit down? Or is there seating readily available at the main dining room while you are waiting for a table. We are fine and enjoy being seated with other guests. Thanks in advance. I appreciate any and all tips.
  15. We have four adults and moderate luggage and were just planning to do an Uber XL from our condo in Orlando to the Port Canaveral?? We use uber a lot. Would you see any issue in using uber for this? My estimate for one way is $86 - $116 plus tip.
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