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Everything posted by pcur

  1. The specialty restaurants compete for the Unlimited Dining Package buyers, as they are guaranteed income. People that want a single reservation still have many, many options for dining at their restaurant of choice. My sister and I like (because she's fussy) to get the UDP. I book us for lunch the first day, pay for it, and we have the charge reversed when we show up on Day 1. I also hand over our list of reservations we would like to make for the rest of the cruise, with a tip, and our specialty lunches and dinners are booked by the time lunch is over. I would like the convenience of doing it in advance, but having them made around noon on embarkation day is plenty early enough for now. Even if you don't eat lunch in a specialty restaurant the first day, it's open for you to ask they make your reservation(s) for the cruise; you don't have to wait until dinner time.
  2. Actually, this is a perfect forum to post this information. Cruise passengers stopping in Cozumel last week and this week, can be aware of the situation, and be on the alert for the man. It takes a village, people...................................
  3. Unfortunately, I cannot stand the smell of the "new" products they provide. Strong coconut fragrance. So, I take my White Citrus products with me in travel cosmetic pouches. Nutaki Travel essentials is the name on Amazon. I found the large pouch was more than enough for 2 weeks.
  4. Is this the number you called? 866-592-7225 Also, you can email all your questions and concerns to special_needs@rccl.com
  5. Agree. It's been discussed extensively here on CC that many of us buy annual travel insurance for the price one would pay to insure one trip. Go more than 100 miles away from home, you're covered. For $188 a year, that's $15 a month. I live in the SF Bay Area. If I decide to drive to Monterey to the aquarium for the day, my travel insurance covers me.
  6. Yes, many passengers dress very casually every night at dinner, not just formal nights. It's a personal choice. On a 7 night cruise there are 2 "dressy" nights, so one pair of long pants and one collared shirt is good for that, if you want.
  7. I have a "wardrobe" of lanyards with slim wallet purse/card holder that I bring to match my clothing. I also wear masks in crowded situations on board (came home with COVID last September post-cruise). The masks are blingy to match the lanyards. (If you are ever on a ship and see a woman that looks like my avatar wearing a blingy mask....it's me) I have a door magnet a friend gave me that says: "Some people wander looking for the meaning of life. Some of us are just looking for our cabin. This is your cabin, Peggy." All of the above is available on Amazon.
  8. First of all, do NOT take into account anyone else's boarding experience. It varies widely. For instance: I am Pinnacle. I show up at a dock this past January, and there's no Suite/Pinnacle entrance like all the other cruise terminals I've been through. I stand outside in close to freezing temperatures until someone finally gets the HUGE line (about a block long) moving. Next morning I wake up with a frostbitten ear! So, easy-breezy is not always the case. I would consider upgrading to a suite. Compare the add-on cost of the whole family paying for the Key, vs Suite amenities: priority check-in and boarding, lounge access with happy hour food and free beverages every day, priority tender boat access in tendered port, free wifi, priority debarkation.
  9. Yes, there is usually a specialty restaurant (or more) open on embarkation day. Yes, your UDP works on day 1. The best way to know in advance is to go to the Cruise Planner for your cruise online (not the app). Go to dining and look for "specialty restaurant lunch", then click on the restaurant(s) listed. Go through the reservation process to the point you see the days the restaurant is open for lunch. Day 1 will show in the list if it's open that day. Your choice as to whether you make the reservation, then show up with your UDP and have the cost credited back to your card/obc, or however you paid. I've done this several times successfully, ESPECIALLY if I hand over my list of preferred reservations with a tip, and ask them to make my other reservations for the whole cruise. Don't forget day 1 dinner, as they automatically select a restaurant for you, and you may want another one.
  10. I agree: entertainment about someone else's misery is "bottom of the barrel" IMO. I've experienced being panicked and stranded overnight at the end of a cruise, with a very sick husband. Wouldn't wish that on anyone else, ever.
  11. I'm joining your "a bit strange like that" club, BecciBoo! I HATE lugging my luggage around with me on embarkation day. I keep a change of clothes in my tote bag, and keep IT as lightweight as possible, too! I'm unpacked my 2-3pm, as I don't consider myself starting my cruise unless all my stuff if put away, and also keep the cabin (as a cruise friend once told me) "pristine". It's my Grandma talking in my head: "Peggy, what if you die and they have to come into your cabin to pack, and it's a MESS????" (Yes, it's the old-fashioned "always wear clean underwear" statement.)
  12. Yes, they are. Contact Special Needs at RCCL: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/resources/guest-special-needs
  13. I was on the Vision for 21 days in January 2024, and I won't be sailing on her again. BUT, she has fabulous itineraries. I found areas where no maintenance has been done in quite a while. The elevators especially have faulty response to the buttons. In particular the 2 going up to the Viking Crown. My cabin looked EXACTLY like the one I had in 1998, so that is telling, also. This may not affect you, but the crowd management in the Crowne and Suite Lounges was crazy. One was waaaaay overcrowded, while the other was empty most of the time. Food in the dining room has improved since the menu changes in 1/2023, but still not up to the standards on other ships. They are still cutting food costs more so than other ships sailing from East Coast ports. I get the impression (and, have been told) the Vision is a "training" ship. The crew are wonderful, but lots of newbies.
  14. No option: you just keep the points if you want to use the card to accumulate more points for more obc. When, you are ready you convert the points to obc. I did this to "buy" an Unlimited Dining package that cost me $309. The price went down a few weeks ago, so I canceled the original. The obc was instantly available again, and I bought the dining package at the lower price, and still have the remainder of the obc to use. I got the $9 refund on my card within a few days. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/pdf/visa-signature/2267-royal-caribbean-web-rewards.pdf
  15. Yes, this: Not sure this is entirely accurate or if you are specifying cashing out without cycling through the machine? If you cash out without gambling, then transfers are locked. New cash or ticket in the machine only. That's why I take all my obc as a one time transfer. Then, I'm in control of what I do with the $$
  16. I'm on the Anthem right now and loving it! I was sailing her two months ago in January, too. Lovely ship, modern with wonderful cabins. The only negative to me is there are no separated doors at the dock to check in. It's a cattle call if you arrive at a crowded time. This trip I got to the dock at 10:45, and was on the ship by 11am. Dress for the weather, as you may end up waiting outside. I really like the new shopping promenade at the Nassau dock. It's a nice walk, usually breezy, and the kiosks and shops are interesting. However, keep an eye on the number of ships in port, as it can be a walking mob of people to the shopping area.
  17. You do not have to wait until the end of the cruise to cash out refundable OBC, but except for tipping, there's not too many opportunities to pay cash on the ship. But, if the cash is needed on shore, then cash it out any time at Guest Services. I found last month that now if any amount, for any reason (obc or just a room charge), is transferred to a slot machine and cashed out, you cannot transfer money to a machine for the rest of the cruise.
  18. Yes, there are lower prices, but you have to check frequently, especially around holiday weekends when they have "sales". Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, etc. I calculate price per meal, because the number of lunches included in the cruise can vary. Go to the Cruise Planner for your cruise, click in and out of "reserving" specialty restaurant lunches, and you will see the days each restaurant is serving lunch. Add total number to the dinners to get the total number of meals. Divide that into the current price, including gratuity, and that's your price per meal. Right now my sister and I have our 7 night September Freedom cruise for an average of $19 for 11 meals. Considering that I ate 2 nights ago here on the Anthem in Jaime's and the regular price is $59 per person, including gratuity, I consider $19 excellent.
  19. In 5 decades of sailing with RCCL, I have found they are VERY attentive to world events anywhere along their ships' routes. I've personally had an experience where RCCL had to charter planes to help stranded passengers in Barcelona during a fishermen strike, blockading the port until 9pm. An entire ship of passengers missed their flights that day. Hotel overnight and flight home covered. LOTS of chaos, but it all worked out. We docked in Grenada shortly after the military action there, and other than having armed military guards everywhere, it was fine. So, don't leave RCCL out of the safety equation. Having said all this, your routes are through an area with a HUGE US presence and influence.
  20. If you like your coffee a little later, Cafe 270 has the same coffee and a LOT less people!
  21. Thanks for this information. I heard on the Anthem in February that for ships with a Coastal Kitchen, Pinn access to the Suite Lounge and CK was open, and ship's management was dealing with any potential overcrowding. Now, your post clarifies this even more. It's too fluid a situation, as the amount of people using these venues ebbs and flows daily. I know when leaving the CK after dinner there could be no people waiting to get in, a few people, and every so often a crowd of people. I was on the Anthem for 19 days and there was NEVER overcrowding in the Concierge (Suites and Pinnacles) Lounge.
  22. If it's bad weather outside, either hot or cold, all I care about is getting INSIDE. I don't really care what time I board. Seriously, that's what a Kindle library on my iphone is for!
  23. The only other thing to keep in mind is to dress for the weather just in case they are running late for some reason. People late to get off the previous cruise, and the ship not being cleared, held me up in Cape Liberty, NJ, the beginning of January this year. Their check-in computer system was also down. By 10:45am there were hundreds of us (like the line was over a block long) standing out in the very windy 37-degree weather with a 10 degree wind chill factor. My "windward" ear got frostbitten, because I dumbly thought I would go in through the Suite/Pinnacle entrance (that wasn't there). My ear lobe looked like it was going to fall off for several days until make up could hide the mess. Headband and gloves permanently in my travel accessories now. Customs and Immigration can also hold up clearing the ship for the previous cruise. Also, most of us know what it's like standing outside in Miami and Fort Lauderdale when it's hot.
  24. That's cool!! Many newer cruisers don't realize staying with one cruise line (especially Royal who has the best loyalty perks in the industry, IMO) saves them much more in the long run. Building CAS points works (financially) better if one can be flexible with the cabin choice. You get the same number of points for an inside/ov/balcony.
  25. I buy GeoBlue Trekker Essential ANNUAL insurance. $188 for 12 months. Good coverage, but since I have good primary coverage already, and my credit card includes trip interruption and cancellation, lost luggage coverage, I use GeoBlue for an extra layer for medical evacuation and the high maximum payable. It covers me for any travel 100 miles away from home or more. So, even when I visit friends and family in the US, it will pay if needed. I consider it a good addition for $16/mo.
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