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Posts posted by SargassoPirate

  1. I've only been in the Diamond Lounge once, and that was last year on Grandeur. Before hand I sailed with friends who never cruised before so rather than leave them I didn't go in the lounge. That being said, I did get a few looks myself lol. Didn't really think anything the first night, but another night with more looks, I just asked 'can I help you' One lady said you look rather young to be a diamond (i'm 33) I was in there with my sister who at the time was 19, and mom who is 56. My thing is why does it bother you how young I am to be in here..point is i'm here lol. IDK why some people try to sneak looks at your sea pass to check your status, or are so concerned why you are in the lounge and how many cruises you had to take to get there.



    "Will these lifeboats be seated according to class? I hope they're not too crowded"


    "Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people"



  2. Been in the DL you can have it. Would probably go if I needed a nap and a drink. Paying up for cruises? So if only nights spent are on a ship should count you wouldn't mind giving up the multiple points per night in a suite then?

    Look at it this way, now you will have a whole new group of people to feel superior to while you have free drinks in the DL/CL.


    If one wants to feel superior, it's cheaper to go to WalMart or the county fair. You'll find plenty of material at either venue. :D

  3. Do people really like the idea of buying their status? Just seems strange to me.


    Ah yes, the nouveau riche, they can be a problem, can't they? They just don't seem to hold to the same socials norms as the rest of us. ;)


    I imagine that Royal will do a long and hard examination on this one. It will have to pay off for the cruise line in order to roll it out fleet wide. And if they do, we'll have all those Beverly Hillbillies in the Concierge Lounge.:eek:

  4. You can speak for us too...We're D+ and our usual final bill is under $50.00 if even that... At times I've had to play Bingo to use up OBC. We are not RCI's favorite kinda cruiser's...;)


    Me neither. On our most recent cruise, after a generous OBC from our warehouse club's travel department, we had to order a few drink of the days towards the end of the cruise so as not to forfeit some of the OBC - and that was after we used the bulk of it for the gratuities.


    Somebody out there must be really spending heavily on the specialty dining venues and other ups and extras because we sure aren't.

  5. Thank you for the clarification. It seems that others are experiencing the same on different ships.


    Makes me wonder what kind of passenger Royal Caribbean is attracting, if they have to put such strict regulations on cheap torn pool towels.




    I applaud Royal Caribbean's efforts regarding checking out pool towels. It helps cut down if not prevent chair hogs.


    My most memorable chair hog prevention was one morning when I was enjoying an early coffee on the pool deck. I saw a family of four obviously dressed for a shore excursion stop by and checkout four towels. They then placed them on some loungers near the pool and plopped down a couple of old magazines and paperbacks to "secure" their reserved loungers. As they walked away I could see the husband and wife in a discussion and she was gesturing in an animated fashion. Soon he went back, retrieved their towels, and checked them back in.


    It was pretty obvious to me that she was afraid they would be on the hook for the towels if they disappeared while they were on shore.


    And, by they way, I probably would've helped them disappear.


    Also, by the way, I never checkout a pool towel. I just look around and find one with a complimentary paperback and use that one.:D

  6. After a hiatus from cruising for several months, She Who Must Be Obeyed has me convinced to try a cruise on the Allure - not so much for the ports of call but to just enjoy the ship. We are D+ and planning a B@B out of Fort Lauderdale this winter. We are low maintenance older adults who enjoy an outside balcony, My Time Dining, and do not do specialty dining or any of the other upsells.;)


    For you experienced Allure cruisers, can you offer any insights, tips, or secrets to make our cruise more enjoyable?

  7. In Alaska, there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.


    I've had success with all quick-dry clothing and a poncho there. Be ready to layer your clothing. If you do get wet on shore, a little hot tub and margarita time back on board will make it all better.:D

  8. We have done many Alaska trips as it's the only cruise that we can actually drive to. Done the RT's from Seattle and the B2B's from Vancouver. But, we've never done a cruise tour. We don't want flights involved. So, what's the best way to sail north, do the tour then sail back south?? Short of spending a week on our own.....what have other people done? Thank you.


    This year we are doing a two week self-drive, essentially a big loop, self-drive tour from Anchorage to Anchorage. Then we board the Coral to sail south to Vancouver. We thought about sailing north from Vancouver, then the land-based self-drive, then sail back south to Vancouver, but the timing just didn't work out for us.


    The big difference, and main point, for us is we didn't want the lock-step regimen of the cruise tour, so we decided to do it on our own. We'll be able to wander around as we want and the only thing scheduled is to be in Anchorage in time to catch the Princess transfer to the ship.


    The more I cruise, the less I like organized shore excursions and just didn't feel up to a cruise tour.

  9. Have you actually experienced them reject your luggage because it didn't fit the machine?


    I've had the shoreside personnel try to dissuade me from rolling on my own Pullman-sized bag. They'll even claim that it won't fit through the machines -wrong, it'll fit.


    I've had varying degrees of success in getting my own bag on. Sometimes the harder I push, the more they push back and other times they'll acquiesce.


    I am a fit, AARP member, and able to lift my own bag onto the belt for the machine. I suspect the key phrase here is lift - one can just imagine the issues that could arise if every not-so-able AARP member got to the belt with a couple of large bags and then looked around for help.


    Oh, and I like to roll my own bag on so that I can unpack as soon as possible and be done with it. I developed that scheme after my bags not showing up at the cabin until just shortly before dinner.

  10. It's port security that's usually an issue, so I just pack my swiss army knife in my checked bag and have never had a problem. If one puts it in the carry-on is when port security will freak out - never mind that they give you a steak knife in the MDR. Go figure.

  11. Congrats on the upgrade, but check more than just how close to the center of the ship it is.


    I always take a look at the deck plans and make sure that I have passenger cabins across the hall, on either side, above and below. Once I'm satisfied with the location, I mark my preferences as "no upgrades" since the cruise line's idea of an upgrade may not be my idea of an upgrade.


    Before I figured it all out, I ended up across the hall from a scullery - it was a blank wall on the deck plan - that served as a morning wake up call, under the pool deck where lounge chairs being dragged around served as my morning wake up call, and above a piano bar that went boomety boomety until around 2:00 AM.

  12. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are seasoned cruisers, and, well, seasoned in just about every respect. Anymore we tend to book transAtlantic or transPacific cruises and build in several weeks of land-based touring before or after the crossing. Our ground transportation ranges from rental cars, buses, to trains.


    The last thing we want to do is lug formal attire around with us.


    We've found that skipping the MDR and eating in the buffet on formal nights works out to some very pleasant dining. We don't "ruin" anybody's cruise by violating the dress code and the buffets are much, much quieter than the MDR.

  13. I always book online through the travel section of a well-known warehouse club and CAREFULLY select a cabin with passenger cabins above, below, and across the corridor. I also CAREFULLY select no upgrades on the warehouse club site, then check the booking on Princess' website a few days later, and then CALL Princess to confirm that my reservation is marked no upgrade.


    I've never had a problem with an upgraded cabin because I've never accepted one, BUT in my early days of cruising I have found myself above the late-night bar, below the pool deck, and even across the hall from a scullery that looked like a blank wall on the deck plan.


    In my book, an upgrade to a suite right under the pool deck is a downgrade.



  14. Regarding the Princess wine policy, last year I did a cruise around the horn of South America with Princess. At Fort Lauderdale I embarked with a 5 liter box of wine and then resupplied at every port where I could find a convenient bodega or grocery store. I usually clanked back on board with 2-3 bottles in my backpack. Never a problem at all.


    It was a real pleasure to try some of the local wines from the South American countries that we visited. Argentina and Chile had the best wines - IMHO.


    Sure made for an enjoyable time!

  15. About halfway through the cruise, I went down to the front desk on a slow sea day and asked if I would still be charged the corkage fee if I brought on some wine with screw tops at the next port. The person actually called someone, then went into the little back room, then called someone else.


    I finally got my answer - No, the corkage fee applies to all types of wine.;)

  16. I think it is a trend now that is perceived as "being exciting". At least that is how one of the young people I work with says it. And many of the restaurants here have been set up in such a way as to apparently maximize the noise. The last time we went to Lucille's it was so loud we could not hold a conversation at a small bistro (24") table. (And I do mean LAST time).


    That is just too loud. Normally American English is spoken at approx 50 dB for a normal conversation at 3 feet apart. whisper can be around 30 dB. At around 80/85 dB one is at risk for a noise induced hearing loss. (A type of Sensory Neural hearing loss that is permanent and affects the higher frequency sounds more. Incidentally, the higher frequency sounds are the consonants - which give meaning to speech. Thus, the person may hear the voice create vowel sounds (lower frequency) but the higher frequency consonants are not there and they perceive the speech as unclear mumbles. The word "consonants" would loose the "c", "s" and "t" with a 4000 Hrtz and greater loss)).


    I guess it would not be surprising that many musicians use custom ear mold ear plugs..... And I did notice on the kitchen tour that there headsets for hearing protection in the dish washing station.


    I have a sound level meter app on my smart phone (not ANSI-certified of course, but it does give you an idea of how much noise there is). After sitting with our fingers in our ears for one show, I brought my phone to the next show and was getting readings of 110-115 decibels. We just stopped going to the production shows after that, even though She Who Must Be Obeyed hates to miss anything.


    There was one entertainer on the cruise who was a concert violinist with a violin that dated back to the 1700s. Someone wired up her violin for sound and then they cranked up the volume to where the violin was making a screeching sound instead of the fine quality sound one would associate with a fine instrument and a fine performer.

  17. On a recent cruise, we brought on a bottle of wine each at embarkation. In addition to our embarkation wine, I ordered a quantity of the bon voyage wine to hopefully last the length of our cruise - in this case, eight bottles. When we arrived at our cabin on embarkation day, there were eight bottles of a lovely cabernet from Chili, with eight gift cards. We had more than enough of an OBC from our travel agent to cover the cost of the wine, so I figured I was still ahead of the game.


    As a bonus, we noticed that in some ports the security screening was done on land and before we went through a duty free shop. When we got on board and discovered there was no secondary screening on the ship, we got back off, loaded up in the duty free shop and clanked back on the ship with some extra wine.,


    Where there's a will, there's a way.;)

  18. Just got off the Eurodam. We had to stop attending the production shows rather than sitting with our fingers in our ears to endure them. The production shows were so over-amplified that it was almost painful, but certainly uncomfortable to sit through. The music volume was cranked up so loud that the singers voices had to be amplified above that to the point of distortion. When I complained, I was told that I was the only one who had complained and that the sound levels are set by contract with the production show company.


    One has to ask - are they trying to mask an otherwise mediocre quality show by blasting it so loud, or does HAL own shares in a major hearing aid company?

  19. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are at a point in our lives where we have the time to spend on extended travel. We often use a transatlantic or transpacific cruise as a prelude or a postscript to an extended land-based trip. We see no reason to schlepp formal wear with us for an entire trip just to wear it for a few hours on a few evenings. Not wanting to ruin anyone else's cruise by showing up in the MDR on formal nights not dressed to the nines, we eat in the buffet and have a lovely time of it.


    Side note: The buffet is usually a quieter dining venue when compared to the noisy MDR.

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