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livylotte

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  1. I've only ever booked early twice. And one of them changed itinerary and the other changed ship. I don't book early anymore but I do keep an eye on specific itineraries I am interested in and book if the price is right. I mostly book about 12 months out these days. RC are usually later to release sailings than the other cruise lines but that gap is not as big as it used to be.
  2. You won't regret it. The longer the better, I'm not a fan of short cruises - It takes me a week to get myself settled in 😉
  3. Yes, totally agree with you. We were on Explorer last month too and formal night, especially in MDR 2nd seating was more formal than I have ever seen it. There were even a few Tux's in the Windjammer. Of all cruises - Southampton based ones are the most formal.
  4. Pool areas on sunny days are always crowded -doesn't matter which ship you are. But yes, generally I think the Oasis class ships feel less crowded than the smaller ships. The only exception is the Windjammer - which I feel is far too small for the size of ship. I can see why RC have done this - not wanting to miss an opportunity to make money they are hoping that people don't like being squished and will head off to the speciality restaurants instead. This strategy definitely didn't work on Oasis in the Med this summer. I don't know if this is the case in the Caribbean but certainly on our Med sailing the mainly European and lots of Chinese cruisers are not too keen on spending money when they don't have to. Me included 😁
  5. Ha! I'm never that lucky! DH says I've jinxed it now by asking on here.
  6. Yes, they left an invoice on our cabin door. I'll go back through past statements and see if I can see what happened on our May Cruise but I'm pretty sure our account was settled soon after our cruise. Is folio the same as reservation number? Putting off calling them because I hate ringing their call centre - although I do quite like the tune they play when they put you on hold 😀
  7. My credit card was registered to my onboard account and we've been back home from our cruise for nearly 3 weeks and they haven't taken payment yet. I would like to tie all the loose ends up on my credit card and I've been checking my bank daily and nothing so far. Is there a time frame? Thank you 🙂
  8. As you booked a package with RC your first point of call should be RC. Write to them. Under EU Law, as you booked a package holiday RC are responsible. Your contract is with RC not the airline. Then call your travel insurance company. You can make a claim for compensation for the delays, loss of cruise days, expenses etc on your policy. You wouldn't normally be able to claim from both parties - but any shortfall from RC should be covered by insurance. ABTA will help you if you aren't getting anywhere with RC.
  9. I suspect any list of tips pinned up for crew to view would be of the previous cruise/s. It would be impossible to have an accurate list of who tipped and who didn't before the cruise was over.
  10. But this would not apply to everyone as not everyone pays gratuities upfront. Those that prefer to have gratuities added daily to their sea pass account and settle at the end of the cruise (me) are not included here. I don't see why I should be giving RC my well earned money months in advance of my cruise. I would rather it be earning me interest than them [smile] Whilst I'm sure it's nice know that your steward knows you are lovely - I would like to think that she/he thinks I am lovely without knowing if I did or didn't pay my tips up front. It makes no difference to me - regardless of the method of payment, the important thing is that RC passes gratuities on (all of them) which I think was the OP's question. I'm still non the wiser but I am erring on the side that they do. choose files...---------Click to choose files.url
  11. It all depends on what your priorities are. We sailed the same 7 day itinerary on Oasis from Barcelona in May this year and we also sailed Explorer from Southampton to the Med in August. My advice - choose itinerary over ship for the Med. You aren't going to spending much time onboard so I would disregard ship. Don't be swayed into thinking you have to go on the biggest ship. Both ships are nice and both have plenty of things going on for the kids. And besides - if you haven't been on Allure you won't know what you are missing and will be totally wowed by Explorer. She isn't exactly a small ship! If both itineraries are the same I would narrow it down to which Embarkation port do I want to see more of. If seeing the sights in Rome is important to you I would sail from Rome. If you sail from Rome you can spend some time there before and after your cruise. The same goes for Barcelona - if you want to discover all that Barcelona has to offer then I would sail from there. If it were me - sailing from Barcelona would get my vote. It is my all time favourite port to start a cruise on. The airport is just a few minutes drive to the port and the cruise ship terminal is central to the city. Civitavecchia is a drag to get to and from - and Rome is quite some distance away.
  12. There was no kettle in our Oasis balcony stateroom earlier this year but our room attendant brought one when I requested it. Maybe the OP is in our old cabin 😁
  13. Yes White night on Oasis and Explorer this year.
  14. Our excursion for today was cancelled. This has never happened to us before. We are currently in Marseille. With just over 24 hours notice our tour to Provence today was cancelled. I found a note on our cabin door telling us it was cancelled due to lack of participation. Now, I'm mostly a positive person and so I shrugged my shoulders and had a look for an alternative. The one suggested to me by RC was very similar except it wasn't so similar in price. Back when I booked this tour I paid £53.95 per person (8 hour Luberon Villages, Secrets of Provence). The alternative they suggested was (7.5 hour Villages of Provence) this was USD 129.75 per person. I am finding it hard to believe that they sold 2 coaches (yes I saw them) of the latter yet were short of bookings for the former. What I do think is that they sold the one I booked too cheap so they pulled it and then tried to upsell people to the more expensive alternative. We were offered 20% discount but even so it was way too much to pay. In the end we booked a short 4 hour scenic trip into Marseille and wandered round the port for l hour. We were back onboard for lunch. A disappointing day - but we made the most of it. It has been scorching hot today so maybe not a bad thing to be back on board out of the searing heat. Captain has just sounded the horn and we are pulling out of port early so I'd better post quick before my connection goes.
  15. On Explorer at the moment - sailing from Southampton. We just had our first formal night and I would say a least 80 percent of men in the dining room were wearing tux and the ladies were equally dressed to the nines. I would have to say if anything it is more formal now than it was a few years ago. Windjammer was less formal but I do think even in there people tend to dress up a bit more on formal nights. Maybe not tux and long gown but there were plenty of nice sparkly tops and cocktail dresses. There were of course people wearing t-shirts and shorts too. It really is up to you - wear what you feel comfortable in.
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