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About Lou33

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  1. Yes there are some people who prefer extra firm mattresses. My point was that if a person prefers the rock hard mattress that I had on Vision of the Seas, then they must really suffer when they go to any decent hotel. I have never had a mattress that hard and uncomfortable at any hotel, even a Motel 6.
  2. Yes, they may hold up better in the long run. And that may be a big reason why they bought them. I disagree with your second statement. I had the hardest most uncomfortable mattress ever in my life. No decent hotel would ever use mattresses like that. They would lose all of their business.
  3. Does anybody have anything to add? Are hard mattresses becoming the new standard on all Royal Caribbean ships?
  4. We just returned from a cruise on Vision of the Seas (outside stateroom category) and we were very surprised to find mattresses that are so hard and uncomfortable. Apparently they just refurbished Vision of the Seas about a year ago, and it is in great condition. But the new mattresses are so uncomfortable. I have back issues and I need to sleep on my side. As a result, I suffered in pain for much of what was otherwise a great cruise. The cabin attendant said that no foam mattress toppers were available. He tried adding two layers of comforters for padding, but that didn't help. He admitted that since the new mattresses were installed that a lot of people have been complaining that the beds are too hard. We have done 14 cruises on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Princess and I remember the mattresses being quite comfortable, especially in the last 10 years. I don't remember ever having a mattress that was so hard. Even at a Motel 6. The person at Royal Caribbean who made the decision to select the new hard mattresses should be fired. My question is: Are the hard mattresses the new standard across the Royal Caribbean fleet? If so, that may be a deal breaker for us on future cruises. Which cruise line has the most comfortable beds?
  5. Royal Caribbean does not seem to offer a train excursion from Colon to Panama City for our cruise. Does anybody know if these tours have ended? I see that you can buy tickets directly at the railway station, $25 each way. But that is offered only for travel originating in Panama City. http://www.panarail.com/en/passenger/ Does anybody have information about the status of railway tours in Panama? Has anybody taken the train directly without the ship's tour, from Colon to Panama City and back?
  6. I don't see the rational that this "negates" the voucher, or that this is "insurance fraud". Either they offer you a voucher or they don't. If you bought insurance from a "3rd party", I see that as your business. The reason is that you paid the insurance premium; it is a separate contract which did not involve RCCL in any way. Maybe you paid extra for an excellent travel policy where they quickly reimburse you without waiting to see if the cruiseline first offers a voucher? If so, then you shouldn't be penalized for that. Another way to think about this is if you would ever ask RCCL to refund your insurance premium, they would quickly tell you that this was your business and they are not involved.
  7. I know that there are many similar threads, but here are my specific options: Our Royal Caribbean cruise arrives at Port San Pedro "early" at 6:00 AM on a Wednesday. Our options are to fly out of LAX at 11:40 AM or LGB at 2:10 PM. Both on Southwest, both the same price. I know LGB is the safest and least stressful option, but if we could be 90% sure of making the 11:40 LAX flight we may prefer that option. Also is there a significant savings in Taxi or Uber fares by going to LGB? Any thoughts or advice from those who have "been there, done that"? Thanks.
  8. Perhaps the OP had meant to ask about cell phone service? Wifi has a very limited range, usually 100 ft. So I can't imagine getting WiFi on a river cruise because the ship is moving. But you should be able to get cell phone service from the shore while in the canal. But I wonder if the ship leaves their cell service turned on, that may override any cell signal from the shore.
  9. Swim with the dolphins! There are many other places that you can do the dolphin experience thing, but those poor dolphins are caged in a pen. I feel sorry for them and I wouldn't support that type of activity. But the dolphin swim tours in Akoroa are with wild and free Hector dolphins. They just like to play with the swimmers.
  10. Wellington was our favorite port and it's a perfect place to do on your own. We loved Zealandia and the Botanical Gardens. Zealandia was actually the best part of our cruise and we wished that we spent more time there. From the ship they had a free shuttle that made two stops, one by the parliament building and the 2nd in the central business district. We went to the 2nd stop where the city runs another free shuttle to Zealandia. You can walk through Zealandia on your own or take one of their tours. Then the free shuttle can drop you off back in the CBD where you got on, or it can take you to the top of the cable car, which is also the top of the botanical gardens. From there you can take a leisurely walk "downhill" through the botanical gardens to the parliament building where you take the shuttle back to the ship.
  11. We are on the same Dec 2 cruise on Solstice. We're staying 2 nights at the Hotel Challis in Potts Point. It's currently going for about 140-170 USD/night for those nights depending on which room you choose A small boutique hotel. https://www.sydneylodges.com/ It's in a decent location, walking distance to the opera house. It gets good reviews saying its very clean and has comfortable beds. The only issue is that the rooms are very small. But it fits what we are looking for. Good luck. We hope to see you on Solstice.
  12. Which ports in New Zealand are good to do on your own, without an organized tour? Which have scenic areas nearby where we can rent bicycles or go for a long walk? Which ports have attractions within walking distance or a short taxi ride? We don't mind walking for miles. In fact we would enjoy that opportunity. In the past, we've found that our favorite ports were the ones that we could do for free, or relatively cheap, and on our own time schedule. We are going to Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and Bay of Islands. I'm thinking that Wellington may be good to do on our own, since it's a big city? Any advice is appreciated.
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