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About FionaMG

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Algarve, Portugal
  • Interests
    Athletics, reading, cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I expect you've already seen their bag policy page but just in case you haven't, here's the link: https://www.vueling.com/en/vueling-services/prepare-your-trip/luggage/checked-baggage Their "optima" fare includes one checked bag, currently 23 kg but apparently going up to 25 kg in March according to that web page. The reason you can't get a straight answer on the cost of extra bags is that they operate a dynamic pricing policy, so on one day you might pay X for your extra bag and on the next the price could be Y. The only way to know the exact price for your chosen flight is to do a mock booking and keep going all the way through until it gives you the chance to add on the extra bag. At that point it will tell you how much they're charging you for it. Note that with the dynamic pricing, even if you do a mock booking the price may have changed by the time you come to do your actual booking!
  2. ^This. And welcome and goodbye events are based on whichever port is considered the primary port, so they are out of synch for everybody else. On one such cruise (MSC) we had the goodbye event before the welcome event.
  3. Good to know, thanks. The price point makes it a good option if you don't drink enough to break even with the package.
  4. It used to be that you could order 6, 12 or 24 cans for the minibar in your room. The price per can got cheaper the bigger the pack you ordered and was cheaper than the price at the bars. This option was still available when I sailed on Serenade in December 2017 but I don't know if it still is.
  5. I recently flew with TAP from Lisbon to Miami and back on the new aircraft, which I can tell you is a million miles better than the old ones they used for this route until some time last year. Neither I nor DH found the seats to be uncomfortable and I especially liked the articulated head rests that move up and down and fold in from each side to support your head. Be aware that when they say "economy extra", they are actually only referring to that bit of extra leg room. Everything else is just plain economy, no special meals, no special service, no special anything. However, I think you did the right think to pay the small upcharge because the normal (non-extra) economy seats are very tightly packed. We are lucky enough to meet the conditions for flying in the exit row, which we paid 70 euros per person each way for and it made a huge difference. The in-flight entertainment is very good. There are loads of films and TV series to choose from. Our screens folded out from the armrests but yours will be in the seat back like the ones you can just see a bit of in the photo above. There is also free text messaging (i.e. messenger, whatsapp) starting from about 15 minutes after take-off. You have to keep signing in every hour for that. Full instructions are provided on a card in your seat pocket. I found it worked very well with whatsapp but my fb account threw a hissy fit because it didn't recognise the server and it blocked my access. There are also internet packages available. (Sorry the pic is sideways.) In terms of food, you should get a snack on the Orly-Lisbon flight. I haven't flown that route so I don't know exactly what they're offering but it's likely to be minimal, a sandwich, maybe. However, on the Miami flight you will get two meals appropriate to the time of day. The vast majority of TAP's flights servicing this route leave Lisbon at about 10.30 am and that was our case so we had lunch and a pre-landing snack. I see you're going on one of their few afternoon flights and since I haven't flown on those I'm not sure what the food "configuration" will be but they'll definitely have two meal services. The food is usually fairly acceptable but on our flight this time it was not of the quality I have come to expect. The main course was some sort of bland chicken and pasta dish. The pre-landing snack was quite good, though. Lunch: And snack: As far as your connection in Lisbon is concerned, Lisbon is a very easy airport to connect in because all the non-low-cost flights come into and go out of the same terminal and it's quite a small airport for a capital city. The ground handling staff at Lisbon are absolutely the best at getting people from one flight to another, especially for those with tight connections. There is almost always someone waiting in the exit area of each flight to steer connecting passengers in the right direction. Assuming your first flight is on time (the bad news is that TAP have a less than stellar punctuality record, hence the skill of their ground staff at ensuring people catch their connecting flights!), your 3-hour layover will give you time for a bathroom break and a bite to eat. A very traditional sweet snack here in Portugal is a pastel de nata, which is a custard tart with flaky pastry. Some people like to sprinkle cinnamon on top and you will always find a cinnamon shaker on the counter of anywhere that sells them. If you prefer something more familiar, there is also a Starbucks. You might also have time to browse in some of the many shops but keep an eye on the clock because while you will not have to clear customs or immigration on arrival in Lisbon or collect your bags (make sure in Orly that they check them right through to Miami), you do have to go through passport control on your way to the boarding gate for your onward flight to Miami. The lines here, especially for non-EU citizens, can sometimes be very long, so don't wait until the last minute before heading to the gate. Also, as required by US regulations, there is an additional security check at the gate too. The gate areas themselves are very small and never have enough seating for such big aircraft. In addition, there is always a mad scramble to line up when boarding is called and this is exacerbated by the lack of physical space. I mention this because you said you couldn't have an exit row seat because of your age and handicap, so you might want to approach the gate personnel before they start boarding and see if anything can be done to help you avoid getting caught up in the stampede. I hope this helps. I can't think of anything else to add for now but if you do have any more questions, feel free to ask. I'll be glad to answer if I can.
  6. They were still there when I was on over Thanksgiving but I heard or read somewhere that they could be up for the chop when Adventure goes for her next dry dock. The big hot tub that used to be at the entrance to the gym is no longer there.
  7. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I would definitely suggest you take a look at TAP out of EWR. You can connect in Lisbon, which is a really easy connection or, if time allows, take advantage of their free stopover programme to spend some time in the Portuguese capital, which is well worth a visit. I am seeing some very decent prices for October at the moment. TAP are members of Star Alliance, just in case you have any miles (e.g. United) that you could put towards the cost. https://www.flytap.com/en-us/
  8. If you are still physically able you could perhaps consider paying extra for exit row seats in economy. We did this recently when we flew LIS-MIA-LIS with TAP and it made a huge difference in terms of comfort. Even though I wasn't able to sleep (I never am when flying) it was so much better not to be crammed in with somebody else's seat back in my face. The upcharge on this particularly route/airline was only 70 euros per person each way, so it was definitely worth it to us. You do have to bear in mind though that a last-minute equipment change could result in the seats not being available for you, so that's the downside.
  9. Yes, there is. You can actually see it in use here in my pic, which was taken from a different angle. Hope it helps.
  10. Yes, this one: It wraps all the way round the front of the ship. I am amazed that Royal have not found some way of making revenue from this space! We had an amazing view of our arrival into SJ from up here.
  11. On my cruise there was a confirmed malfunction with one of the servers out of action. Combine that with a fully-booked ship (3900 passengers, including lots of families with teens) and you could barely even check your e-mail. I realised very quickly from past experience that its performance was much worse than it should have been, so I went to the Voom desk the day after boarding, where the man confirmed the problem. On that occasion, people were being given the option of cancelling their package and getting a full refund or hanging on and getting a pro-rata refund if and when they actually fixed it. Onboard sales were suspended until they could fix the problem. Once they did, they were offering deeply-discounted prices for the last two days of the cruise, presumably in the hope of recouping some of the lost revenue. I think the most important thing is the speed with which you complain. I am inclined to think Bob is correct in thinking that a speedy complaint will probably get you a refund but I can't confirm that is definitely the case if there is no acknowledged malfunction. I received a refund to the value of 40% of the package cost, which I didn't quibble about but I did feel it should have been more because the issue was not fixed until day 6 of an 8-night cruise. After they fixed it there was a noticeable improvement and it was still slow but workable.
  12. No actual bar, correct. What they did (on our cruise at least) was to bring drinks (bottles, cans, mixers, etc.) into the lounge and set them up on a table which they put at the end of the counter you can see on the right-hand side of the photo. There's a little alcove there that they used to make a make-shift bar. So you would get the drinks from inside the lounge and then sit anywhere either in the lounge itself or in the Blue Moon. The door to the DL was secured open during happy hour and the concierge and her staff were checking seapasses as soon as you got out of the lift during those times, since it is not possible to physically block off the access from the lifts into the Blue Moon.
  13. The DL on Adventure is very nice, with great views during the day. The picture below was taken at night so you can't see the view but it is very similar to that from the adjacent Blue Moon (formerly Viking Crown) Lounge, which was used as the happy hour overflow area on our Thanksgiving cruise. I can't comment on the suite lounge as we didn't qualify for entry to that one.
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