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cityguy300

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  1. As far as I know, you can. I never fiddled with the back of the TV to try and connect my phone or laptop, but I seem to remember messages in years past where people did just that... and I don't think any of the cruise lines go out of their way to block or disable their TVs' ports anyway.
  2. Just about every other mainstream line (the one I can't remember offhand: HAL). Royal Caribbean for sure, as I just got off Spectrum last month and -- after getting lots of free, new movies on the flight and the Silversea cruise I did first -- it was so disappointing to suddenly see prices on the on-demand system. And ludicrous prices too, like $11.99 USD for new (but not that new) titles I'd already seen on DVD from my local library. 😝
  3. It was an interesting contrast to the Silver Spirit I was on immediately prior. I wish I could have two done the two ships & itineraries in reverse, because the Silversea experience was better overall, and I didn't care for the crowds & throngs of children on Spectrum (inevitable with it being Christmas week). Yet the Spectrum did do some things better -- the advantages of a big, new ship -- and I liked the Asian-focused (but far from Asian exclusive) buffet. I didn't feel they needed the "cultural enrichment cruise" disclaimer, either; announcements were in English first, Cantonese second (when repeated at all), and the crew favoured English. It might have been because it was a Hong Kong roundtrip sailing and the vast majority of the passengers were HK residents.
  4. Yes, you're losing maybe two feet of total bed width versus a pair of side-by-side twins (but at least it's a single mattress), but otherwise I think the room is identical to a standard balcony. The beds were identical in all three solo balconies my group had. My aft balcony was probably a foot or two shorter than a standard -- as I don't think they could have fit two twins in there, definitely not separated -- but the room width was the same, and I think the rest of the furniture was identical, down to the full-size sofa. The only other thing that might have been smaller was the washroom, but if so, the shower was plenty big.
  5. The aft-facing solo balcony I had on deck 11 -- which, going from memory, is the same type/size as yours will be, per the deck plan -- looked and felt like a regular balcony to me. I only know it was slightly shorter from having seen regular balcony staterooms being cleaned as I walked past. Those rooms had two twins side-by-side (the equivalent of a king bed, I guess) wedged within the bed wall unit, whereas the three solos I experienced only had a double bed (not even a queen). My cabin interior was slightly longer than the mid-ship ones, because with the same layout and furniture, mine had 1-2 extra feet of space between the full-size sofa (three seats with an extension on the end) and the balcony door. I believe my balcony was deeper, too (as aft ones tend to be). One thing is wrong on the deck plan for 7242, though: it has an additional connecting door to 7240. That's why it only has a chair (between the balcony and unmarked connecting door) instead of a sofa. I don't know if this carries through to 7642 on the other side, or the equivalent cabins above and below. No problem with neighbour noise, though, that I noticed or heard about. Anyway, enjoy your trip -- you should find this much roomier than the traditional solo cabin you experienced before.
  6. I don't start it until this Sunday -- I'm actually writing this from the Silver Spirit, which I disembark on Saturday. The timing of your post is uncanny, as I was only scanning the RCCL board to see if anyone had posted anything relevant to my upcoming cruise (and I have the unlimited internet here to leisurely check and post back). However my "solo" cabin turns out, I know it won't be as big as my suite here! But I have no reason to think (yet) that it won't be the full-sized aft balcony it appears to be on the deck plan. Not sure about the two, connecting side cabins that my parents are in -- on paper, they do look to be between a solo and regular balcony in size. Unfortunately, I won't have any free internet to update you again until I'm home. πŸ™‚
  7. I'll answer my own questions three months on, now that Bangkok and HCMC are behind us (we're sailing out of Saigon as I type this). Hopefully useful updates / data points for future searchers. We did indeed dock in Laem Chabang. Our excursion guide to Bangkok suggested the last docking in Klong Toey was an Azamara ship in October, and that it's being redeveloped now and will be unavailable to all ships for a long time to come. Not sure if anyone here can confirm. In Laem Chabang, the free shuttle went to the Central Festival mall in Pattaya, about 30 minutes away. Silversea charged $30 per person for the Vietnam landing card, on the first day of arrival, and required for all visitors even if you never go ashore. They still have our passports but pre-print photocopies when needed ashore (as in Ko Samui). We were docked in Hiep Phuoc, about 45 minutes from the free shuttle's drop-off point at the base of the Bitexco Financial Tower downtown. Shuttles each way ran hourly.
  8. I'll answer my own questions three months on, now that Bangkok and HCMC are behind us (we're sailing out of Saigon as I type this). Hopefully useful updates / data points for future searchers. We did indeed dock in Laem Chabang. Our excursion guide to Bangkok suggested the last docking in Klong Toey was an Azamara ship in October, and that it's being redeveloped now and will be unavailable to all ships for a long time to come. Not sure if anyone here can confirm. In Laem Chabang, the free shuttle went to the Central Festival mall in Pattaya, about 30 minutes away. Silversea charged $30 per person for the Vietnam landing card, on the first day of arrival, and required for all visitors even if you never go ashore. They still have our passports but pre-print photocopies when needed ashore (as in Ko Samui). We were docked in Hiep Phuoc, about 45 minutes from the free shuttle's drop-off point at the base of the Bitexco Financial Tower downtown. Shuttles each way ran hourly.
  9. Well, at the very least they have the option of a "leisurely" cruise the day/night before (assuming that's an option -- I don't know if the choices are strictly a short day cruise or a really extended overnight trip). In my case, I think the Spirit is only scheduled for six hours (something like 8 AM to 2 PM), so by comparison, it's a quick spin around the bay and then back on board! I'm doing the ship's offering -- lots of OBC I have nothing else to spend on, and with the time frame it does feel safer than DIY. But it is interesting to hear the logistics -- I wondered where the ship docked in relation to the bay/junks, and what type of commute time & arrangements would have been required.
  10. Actually the Millennium looks like it has way more time in Halong Bay than most. On the itinerary that leaves the same day as my Spirit voyage -- only going from the opposite end, in the opposite direction -- it's there from 7 AM till 1 PM the next day. We get something like 6-8 hours, lol, enough for a quick junk ride in the afternoon.
  11. Glad to hear it! I just hope the switch to Spectrum afterwards won't feel like a huge downgrade, new ship or not. ☺️ After almost 20 cruises, it felt like time to try something higher-end, on top of the fact that the ship wouldn't have to dock so far away in the big cities (although, I can't recall if it's Saigon or Bangkok, where the Spirit is too big to sail all the way in-town but won't be stuck at the big container port either). I had eyed the Celebrity Millennium SE Asia itinerary (very similar to my upcoming Spirit one) for years, wowed by the cheap price and overnight stays, but didn't want to sail on a minimally refurbished 20-year-old ship. After the big overhaul they got, it probably would have been my pick (despite the 2-3 hour bus trips in Thailand and Vietnam) if we had stayed with the mainstream lines this trip.
  12. Looks like I'm from the same area as you. I'll be sailing back-to-back on two very different ships next month: Silver Spirit followed by Spectrum of the Seas. One was just "stretched" last year (not sure how much they refurbished the rest of the ship, but I assume at least some), while the other is brand new this year. The Spirit was the main/original destination and the Spectrum was an add-on. I was concerned (and still am) that going from a small luxury ship to a mainstream mega-ship would be jarring, but the timing worked out well, the itineraries were different, and I'm still used to being on big new ships with the familiar bells & whistles. Although Spectrum's home port is Shanghai and it may have been primarily marketed to the Chinese market, sailings from Hong Kong (like mine) and Singapore may have a bit more international passenger list. If you want longer and more port-intensive itineraries in Asia, you will probably have to settle for an older, smaller ship. While the new mega-ships can hit many of the major cities in Asia (if that's what you primarily want to see), I'm not sure any of them visit more than a couple on any one cruise, and there are trade-offs for the size (like how you always hear about them being docked at container ports hours away from Ho Chi Minh or Bangkok).
  13. Uh huh. Well, thanks for reminding me to re-read this thread and recall that Stumblefoot originally answered my question -- briefly and to the point -- all the way back in post #12! Without the lecture, no less. I'll trust his or her reply that it was taken care of on-board for this itinerary earlier this year.
  14. Agreed that it's a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the cruise, and with the amount of OBC I have it won't cost me anything regardless. I'm more put off by the fact that with a month to go until I leave, I never got a straight answer on this from my TA or the cruise line, and even get mixed responses here on CruiseCritic. I definitely don't want to show up on boarding day and be told I should have filled out some form or brought along some extra photos that were never mentioned in any prior correspondence. I'm hopeful if there is anything like that needed, it can be resolved quickly at the terminal -- this must be a very common thing among their passengers.
  15. But as a UK citizen, aren't you exempt from needing a visa for Vietnam anyway? I'm not even sure you'd require one for the overnight off-ship excursions, since you're supposedly exempt for visits up to 15 days. I wouldn't be surprised if any minor visa costs are absorbed or partially offset when taking the ship's excursions. But I also wouldn't be surprised if Silversea gouges us for the full price plus a service charge, "six star" line or no. :) For the excursions themselves, I'm unsure about my choice of day trip in Chan May. I'm currently signed up for one to Hue, but I'm also considering one to Hoi An (which, I can't help notice, is listed/coded first -- as in, it's the most popular pick?). Any thoughts? For anyone who has done the foodie sampler half-day trips in Saigon, is food actually included or do they just take you around to the hot spots and you pay out of pocket if you want to try anything? Do they drive you around town, or are they more like walking tours?
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