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About firerecruit71295

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. Just called to see if our cruise had a price drop (final payoff date is this coming Monday). I looked online prior to calling and saw that the price of the cruise went down approx $300. When my wife called RC to have them check they stated there would be a $100 charge per person to switch from a refundable deposit booking (which was what we currently have booked) to the non-refundable rate. Is this correct? Couldn't find anything online about it. Thanks
  2. I would do one room and throw that savings at a drink package, excursion or right back into the vacation fund for your next cruise. The kids are young enough that it will be tight but not impossible. And i guess it all depends on how much time you spend in the cabin.
  3. I would probably do the OV just for the very minute chance you can get upgraded to a balcony. But you can look at it a different way and say your were planning on an interior cabin anyways so take the $150 savings and put it towards a drink package or excursion...
  4. 100% agree with this! This was my wife and I's favorite beach! It was such an experience to take the bus (25 cents each way I think). We rode the bus with all the school kids and dropped them all off at school along the way. We were the only people on Darkwood beach the entire day! Beautiful sand and crystal clear water. Very very relaxing and romantic. Went and stood by the "bus pick up sign" and 5 minutes later the bus came and took us back.
  5. My wife and I love formal nights. We dont go crazy and wear a tux and ball gown but shirt, tie, and slacks and a nice cocktail dress. I dont understand why its a big deal to anyone.. RC doesnt enforce the dress code like they should. The MDR is a "formal" setting and should be treated as such. If people choose not to dress up those nights then the windjammer is always an option. Why change a "tradition" because people choose not to follow the dress code or push to have the tradition changed? (alright i have my hose ready next to me so FLAME ON!)
  6. Agreed, we cruise almost every year in September or October due to the low price but we are well aware that it is hurricane season and that ports could be closed/changed at short notice and the possibility of rain (so far we have not experienced any of those but I consider ourselves lucky). It did rain on a couple previous cruises but as Bob mentioned it is usually short lived. Enjoy the cruise and remember to be flexible with ports of call during that time frame.
  7. We just booked a hotel online for our cruise out of Tampa this October... Prices were crazy high for some reason... So we booked using the "express deal" on a certain travel website... cant name it here due to rule but im sure you can figure it out. We booked a 3 Star Express Deal in the Downtown/Historic Ybor/Harbour Island area for $96 ($120 after taxes and fees) and ended up with The Barrymore Hotel Riverwalk... Looks nice and has free port shuttle... Cant beat the price for one night stay!
  8. Yeah it sounds like this is what they have been doing. We left from terminal 6 and returned to terminal 3. Sounds like people from our cruise that drove parked at terminal 3 and then walked to terminal 6 to board that way their car was at terminal 3 when they returned. Seemed like a hassle from what i heard. To be honest I didn’t pay any attention to either terminal... we were on and off so fast that I never really looked around. Sorry.
  9. EMBARKATION My wife, 2 1/2 year old son, and I drove up to Tampa the morning of the 3rd after spending 6 nights at grandma and grandpa’s house in Cape Coral. After dropping off the rental car and grabbing a Lyft we were to the port a tad after 10 am and were onboard by the pool by 1030. We left from terminal 6. I don’t think we ever had to wait in a line throughout the entire embarkation process. Extremely painless. PORTS OF CALL Grand Cayman - this was our third time here and did sting ray city/catamaran/snorkeling the first two times so we decided to check out Seven Mile Beach. After extensive research online (TripAdvisor/CC/etc) I happened upon Hemingway’s. This place was awesome! Their website says it doesn’t open until 11 but they allow you in by 8 I believe and start serving drinks by 10 and food by 11. Beach chairs with umbrella are “free” but require a $25 per person minimum spending at the bar/restaurant. The drinks were unique and well poured and the food... the food was AMAZING! My wife and son shared a chicken quesadilla that was well made (not just cheese and chicken but some peppers too) they both said it was good. I got the soft shell crab bao buns with kimchi. OMG were they good. Waitress was very attentive, beach was clean and not busy at all considering there were 4 ships in port, it was a 5 minute taxi ride from port, bathrooms were clean. It has a hot tub, two pools and a swim up bar. The taxi drivers were really pushing Royal Palms and almost had us talked into just going there but we decided to be “adventuress” and boy I’m glad we did. We will definitely be back. Cozumel - been here a bunch and decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the less crowded pool areas. THE SHIP This was our second time on the Brilliance and she’s gorgeous... we are really starting to love the radiance class of ships. So much glass and light in the centrum, not tiny but not huge either. It has a nice kid pool play area with a water slide. I wish they kept the water slide open longer than they did (sea days it was open 11-3 and port days I think it was 3-5). Chair hogs were in full force but we did see the pool attendants marking and 15 minutes later removing people’s towels/belongings so bravo RC for handling this appropriately. OUR ROOM We decided to do an interior cabin this time and honestly it wasn’t terrible. We almost always get a balcony room and this was our first time in and interior cabin with our son. He loved the Pullman bed! Was it tight quarters? Of course it was but as expected. Would a balcony room be better? Of course but we survived and honestly it was because the price for the interiors was unbeatable. I will look at getting a balcony first but then check the price difference to the interior cabin and decide from there. Monalisa our stateroom attendant was great with our son and took great care of our room. PROS The ship is beautiful. They were working on some part of the ship everyday we were on. They really do a great job with the upkeep of the ships considering the amount of time it spends at sea and the number of guests it takes care of. Bernadette in the Schooner Bar was THE BEST. She’s took great care of us. The top tier event was well done. Drinks a plenty but no hors d’oeurves but wasn’t a big deal to me. Windjammer food was good... nothing extraordinary but delicious and plentiful as usual. We were overcharged for some laundry service/pressing we had done but customer service took care of it with questions asked... they actually removed the whole charge from our bill which was not necessary but greatly appreciated. It’s the first time in we cruises that I’ve ever had a billing issue or had to deal with customer service but they handled it great. Last thing I noticed was that they never gave me a receipt to sign for drinks (we had the drink package) which I appreciated. They basically weren’t prodding for additional tips and it speeds up the process. No reason I should have to sign a receipt for $0.00. CONS Ugh i hate talking about cons because Royal overall does do a great job and is a great bargain if you shop around. But alas... there are some things my wife and I both noticed that were disappointing but we really hope it was just a fluke. First off was the lack of aerial show I’m the centrum. We always enjoy seeing it but it never occurred this cruise. Poolside drinks are served in ridiculously small plastic cups if you ask for any name brand liquor. My Bombay sapphire and tonic and my wife’s Grey Goose and cranberry were served in such small cups we both giggled when they handed them to us. We had the drink package so in a way it didn’t matter because we could get as much as we wanted but that meant spending more time at the bar waiting in line and more work for the bartenders and more waiting for everyone else too. Just fix me a good tall cocktail and I’ll be content but give me a Dixie cup and it’s flat out ridiculous. The biggest glaring change we saw was the food quality and menu options in the MDR. We go to the MDR every night for dinner. They said this was the first cruise where they were using a new menu layout where you ordered apps, entree, and dessert at once... no big deal but sometimes I might not want dessert after finishing my entree but i don’t know that until I’m done eating. Just take the dessert order at the end in my opinion. But the thing that bothered us the most was the lack of change Fromm day to day on the menu and the overall quality of food. We are by no means foodies and we have ALWAYS loved the MDR food but this whole cruise it was just off. Poor food options, lack of flavor, our sons grilled cheeese was toasted bread with cold cheese slice on it. We are really hoping and praying this is just a fluke. Come on RC you can do better! Both our waiter and assistant waiter seemed overworked/stretched too thin. They were not attentive at all to our “needs” aka taking our drink order, changing out courses, etc. I am 100% certain this is because they are stretched thin so this is not their fault directly but RC needs to a address this ASAP. Then on the last night before we left the dining room they were practically begging us to give them 10s on the survey... it wasn’t awkward. DISEMBARKATION We booked a 0900 flight so we’d needed to get off ASAP (what were we thinking). Self departure was scheduled for 0730 and we lined up at 0615 and were the second people in line. They began letting us off promptly at 0730 am due we were happily at our gate by 0815. All stars aligned Andy Wes had TSA pre check which pretty much was the sole reason we were able to make the flight since the security line was really long. IN CONCLUSION We had an amazing cruise as usual. It really is what you make of it. We will definitely sail royal again but we will be keeping our eye on some things like the food and entertainment stuff. Any questions feel free to ask. CHEERS
  10. We are on the Cayman/Cozumel itinerary. Thanks for the info both of you!
  11. Does anyone know when the formal night is on the 5 night western carib on the Brilliance. Night 2 or night 3?
  12. While I definitely agree with some of your observations I think some of the experience really depends on the crew you have taking care of you. We have had some AMAZING waiters on some of the cruises and also some mediocre ones. More often then not we have had good waiters who, come the second night, would have our glasses of wine waiting for us (me red/wife white) and knew what our choice of bread was. Some are just more attentive than others. Dress code, or lack there of, is something that has bothered me but it is a losing battle. Look around you... it’s the way of the world... people are either too lazy or flat out don’t care how they present themselves. I wish they would enforce it but we all know how that would turn out. We have always been loyal to royal but my wife and I have discussed trying our different lines and see how they compare... we can always come back and cruise Royal... but like someone else said... in the price point I don’t expect to see huge differences between lines.
  13. My wife, 2 1/2 year old son and I will be stopping in George Town, Grand Caymans in March as a port stop. We just want to spend the day on 7 Mile Beach. We just need a place to hang out, some shade for when little man naps, some drinks and some food... oh and bathrooms. I stumbled across Hemingways on CC and did some research. It seems nice but I was looking for some first hand experience from fellow cruisers. How far is it from port? Does it get crowded quickly? I heard we can rent a cabana for $150 which comes with two bottled waters and a bottle of prosecco... just wondering if this would be worth it... otherwise we are just going to grab some loungers with an umbrella. Was food and drinks good? Anything else youd like to share? Thanks so much in advance.
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