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Posts posted by TwoMisfits

  1. 1 hour ago, not-enough-cruising said:

    If Golden Corral changed you $200 per person per day to visit the buffet; would you still consider it a tipping situation?

    Comparing a land based buffet to the Windjammer just doesn't work, on so many levels.


    RCCL doesn't charge you $200/person/day to visit the buffet, nor do you tip on a $200/person per day concept.


    You tip, what $6/day, to waitstaff in the mandatory tips (with the other $10-$12 to stateroom and then general staff)?  So, per meal, if you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you're leaving an equivalent $2/tip per person on the table for all the service you received at your meals.


    That's about the tip you'd leave at a land-based Golden Corral for a meal, not a served sit down meal, so they've pretty much put tips at the lowest tipping rate restaurant type for US restaurants.

  2. 2 minutes ago, DennysDad said:

    I get my own beverages in the Windjammer. I get my own food in the Windjammer. Who am I supposed to tip?


    The generic pool of all the folks continuously filling the buffet line, cleaning the buffet line, clearing the tables, cleaning the tables, cleaning and refilling the soda machine, cleaning up spills, etc, etc.  This is why you leave tips on your account.  Every one of their restaurant server staff takes shifts making sure the buffet is a pleasant, clean, and healthy experience for you.

    • Like 4
    • Haha 1
  3. 3 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

    see post #27


    No way is a buffet a tipping situation


    You see the same evening servers rotate in and out of the buffet for lunch and breakfast.  


    You can deny what it is, but by reducing tips b/c you don't think the buffet is tipped (don't go to Disney World with a group of 6 and go to a buffet - you'll be wildly shocked and dismayed), you are breaking US norms on a US-based cruise.


    This may explain why many non-US folks have had tips mandatory over the years, since workers take contracts based on the country's expected customs.

    • Haha 1
  4. 8 minutes ago, Vampiress88 said:

    so did you still get the my time dining even though the tips were added to the onboard account? 

    Unfortunately the chargable restaurants don’t really appeal as much. 

    Will have another chat with them


    Tips are for all meals, whether you eat them in the buffet, sit down, or pay restaurants.


    So, even if you were to have dinner in the buffet all 7 nights, someone will be serving you on the buffet line and cleaning up after you from your table for dinner (as well as for lunch and breakfast).  So, I'm not sure why you'd worry about reducing tipping.  Just consider it a "done" part of cruise fare, and then ask for the service you need on board vs sitting back and then worrying you won't get it.

    • Like 4
  5. 32 minutes ago, prmssk said:

    We walked back out to the port area to watch the Celebrity Reflection leave.  The sun was low in the sky creating a golden hue over both ships which was just beautiful and it is amazing to watch any ship captain maneuver such a large ship out of port areas.






    Dinner tonight was A Taste of the Caribbean and the theme carried out in the attire worn by wait staff and other crew around the ship as well as passengers.  I understand there was a Caribbean pool party up by the pool tonight.


    Our Head Waiter is Jean Paul and he has been really great at suggesting foods that meet my dietary restriction and assuring me they can modify just about anything I may be interested in which has been great.  But he also doesn’t take no for an answer and seems to think I will starve if he doesn’t order me multiple dishes.  Today it was three appetizers, two main dishes, and a dessert (I don’t know how I kept him to one dessert).  It took some convincing at the end of the meal tonight for me to get him to only order me one of each course, although who knows what order he will actually submit - we shall see tomorrow.


    Tonight’s show was the ice skating show, Ice Spectacular:  Cool Art…Hot Ice.  It’s a late show for us (10:15 p.m.) and tonight is the only night the ice skaters will perform but one of our favorite forms of entertainment on Royal Caribbean ships are their ice skating shows so we weren’t willing to skip it.   The show was really enjoyable and the skaters had so much talent.  Here is just one small video clip.



    IMG_3263.MOV 38.18 MB · 0 downloads  


    Having eaten a lot of restaurant and friend made allergy-safe food, I'm sure it's to make sure you actually like 1 of each course (b/c some can be bad - let's be honest) and have an option if you're not in the mood for what you ordered.  I'd be thrilled if waitstaff had 2 apps and entrees planned for me next month (I'm not sure they'll manage 1 dessert if sorbet isn't on board)...


  6. 11 hours ago, Steelers0854 said:

    Day 3 Day at Sea 1 cont


    We went to the Make a Wish auction, it was nice to see them support such a great charity. The Champaign toast with the captain and you get to sound the horn went for $1.200.


    After that was the Love & Marriage show and that was fun. We lounged around and read until it was time for dinner.


    We had dinner tonight at Hooked. It was disappointing. It came down to a lack of care and attention.




    We had preordered for DW the night before. A salad, filet with corn and fries and they said they would do a dessert for her. The salad came out and it was chunks of lettuce and whole slices of tomato And a side of olive oil and vinegar. I would have expected this had we not preordered but we did. For a specialty restaurant In particular it was disappointing. She got her filet, several minutes later the corn came out and then towards the end of the meal her gross came out. It was poor timing on their part. Now DW said it was one of the better filets she has had on board. So that’s a win. It was time for dessert and they brought a bowl of fruit. Sad. Especially after we had such a wonderful lunch at Mason Jar with an incredible dessert. It was disappointing.












    I had the bread starter and their Red Lobster biscuits, iykyk, were on point. I got the crab cake and coconut shrimp. The crab cake as one of the best I’ve had. Full of crab meat and even more on top. 10/10. The coconut shrimp were exactly what you would expect. On point but nothing earth shattering. I got the Captains Platter with Bronzino. The Bronzino had perfectly crispy skin, a few bones but otherwise was good. The lobster tail was so small. Smaller than what you get at the Beach Club at CocoCay and had I actually paid for the meal I probably would have asked for another. I expect this size lobster to be served in the MDR, not a specialty restaurant you paid extra for.the Cole slaw also had good flavor, invoking KFC vibes in a good way, but was waaaay over dressed. 











    Service tonight overall was hit and miss. In general, I advise to skip Hooked altogether.


    We have 8:45 reservations for Intense the aqua show. I highly doubt they do it. The boat is a rockin and has been most of the afternoon and it’s pretty windy. But here we sit on our balcony enjoying a beautiful sunset while we wait.



    Question since I have a Hooked lunch - could your wife have preordered a fish appetizer vs a salad?  Or was salad the only option they offered?


    I expect no dessert (so 2nd paid place with no sorbet or even option for a complex allergy that includes dairy), but I'll be bummed if all the apps are also no bueno except a salad...

  7. 10 minutes ago, Steelers0854 said:

    Day 1 Embarkation cont


    We left at 4:30 and I checked the WiFi as we were leaving, not terrible speeds but not great. We will see how it holds up as we progress.





    Dinner came quickly, at 5:30 for us. There are only 3 tables of 8 here. So I can see why reservations fill fast. Here is the menu. There is a $15pp upcharge If you have the dining package.






    We informed our server of DWs allergies and it wasn’t an issue. Her salad was a little sad, it came with just oil and vinegar. It would be nice if they had a vinaigrette option. Hers was made in the back and came out just before we got our rice. So it was good timing. She said it was one of the better cruise ship dinners she has had. Very flavorful and well seasoned and nothing was dry.








    You are allowed to mix and match items, you don’t have to stick to the combos they have for you. So I got the filet and lobster. This is an incredible deal, even with the upcharge. You get an entire lobster tail and probably a 6 ounce filet. It was excellent.








    For dessert I got the sesame balls. DW got fruit and it was her favorites so she was thrilled. We didn’t expect anything given the no notice and what they have on the menu.






    I really do feel this is worth it. It’s dinner and a show and even if it’s $69 I think for what you get it’s a winner. Definitely beats the Pants off Gunbae on Virgin.


    After dinner we walked around and enjoyed some guitar music in Central Park.




    Thank you for posting your wife's dairy allergies meals.  This will help me a lot next month!


    Bummer that Izumi didn't have sorbet to go with the berries.

    • Like 1
  8. Thanks for the barcode tip - if it's right, I'm very happy with the 2 interiors I was assigned.  While not next door to each other, they are close and they are in a great spot in the middle of the ship (not under the pool, not over the dining room) where we can do stairs up and down to get places - and only 2 decks from central park, but not on the central park deck, so no traipsing folks coming down our hallway.


    Plus, they gave me 2 3 person rooms, even though I had canceled our 3rd person in one room months ago...so extra bed space is a plus...

    • Like 1
  9. Hi everybody,


         I have a confirmed 11:30am check in, but I have the Key, so I'm just wondering what the earliest check in time in Cape Liberty for Symphony of the Seas in May 2024 is (b/c I need to get on board to reconfirm allergy accommodations with a few places - including the Key lunch, and I'd like to do it before the madness of a sold out ship all being on board).  Thanks for any info you can provide!



  10. 7 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

    It's best to ask. Relying on a post from one ship in 2018 doesn't help anyone.

    Nonfat milk solids are typically lower in lactose than regular milk, so if that's the concern and you can eat other foods with Lactaid, you may be OK.

    Other recipes for soft serve do not contain any dairy.


    It's actually VERY rare for soft serve to not have dairy.  The only one that is widespread on the market is the one that makes dole whips.  If you go to McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Wendy's, Mr. Softee's, etc - all those places have dairy-full soft serve.  


    So, if you see a soft serve machine and the word "vegan" is not listed anywhere near it, you can be pretty guaranteed it's a dairy-based product.


    PS - And even dole whips - only the fruit flavors are vegan - if you are ever getting a vanilla dole whip, it has dairy.  It is very hard to make a vanilla or chocolate soft serve that passes muster as vanilla/chocolate ice cream without using dairy.

    • Like 1
  11. 11 minutes ago, bajathree said:

    Probably because the suites on that sailing have been showing sold-out for weeks....someone would have to cancel for a suite to open and then depends how many other bids are in for suites....chances are slim.


    Funny enough, the only thing not sold out on my sailing ARE the suites.  Inside, outside, and balcony are all gone.


    I was deciding if I should Royal Up, but for me, it seems like it will be pointless (since it's too many levels higher), so I'll stick with the insides I have...

  12. 2 minutes ago, LB_NJ said:

    That is not true.  I live much closer to Bayonne than Baltimore however, I just booked a cruise out of Baltimore because I wanted a smaller ship and the Vision had a great 12 day itinerary.  


    For me Baltimore is also leave my house in the morning and arrive in time for a late lunch on the ship.   Norfolk does not work for me.


    But you're rare...I'm betting Carnival looked at their passenger location stats, and that's why they made such a quick call, while Royal is still deciding...

  13. 17 minutes ago, DragonOfTheSeas said:

    oh, most of the flights are not dressed, but there are some that are from certain places.


    but I will tell you that a lot of the people that I know that cruise out of Baltimore are not going to drive to the New Jersey New York area.


    we have tried to get them to go on a cruise that we thought was good out of Bayonne and they wouldn’t do it. 

    I will drive there either.DH and I take the train. And they could do that, but for some reason they don’t do that either.


    not saying that this is Royal Caribbean’s fault. This is a disaster not of their making. But there will be a number of people who would not drive to New Jersey.


    I think anyone driving south and west of Baltimore won't go north now b/c traffic through Baltimore is now gonna be horrific for awhile.  So I understand why Carnival went south and took getting through Baltimore out of the way for a lot of their cruisers (who, when driving, I expect come more from the south and west of Baltimore vs the north, b/c if you were north, you'd probably go to Bayonne/NY for the larger ships and more varied itineraries to start with)...

  14. 8 hours ago, read2learn said:

    Carnival is moving its cruises from Baltimore to Norfolk,VA. Has anyone heard if there will be any changes to RC cruises from Baltimore due the bridge accident? 


    Guess Norfolk's reno was easy to finish quick...


    We'll see how long Carnival keeps Norfolk as a year round port.

  15. Since it never hit my spouse's mental budget, we'll be cruising without a drink package.


    I don't drink (we have separate cabins), and he doesn't drink anything but coffee, water, beer, and alcohol, so it was all or nothing.  Since the price was more alcohol than he would drink, we'll bring on 2 bottles of wine (for him) and 12 bottles of water each, and he'll get an evening drink every night (on top of the glass of wine, b/c it's all for him).


    I'll save about $60/day from the lowest the drink package ever got...

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