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Everything posted by RG306

  1. Unfortunately, it comes down to CBP regulations and not the cruise line. I am a dual citizen US & CDN technically it is just as easy for me to travel with my CDN passport however as a US citizen I have to enter the US as US citizen so with my us passport so that is what the airlines and cruise line receive and coming back to Canada I enter on my CDN. My nexus has both linked and I always have both passports for international travel. The onus is always on us as passengers to have original documentation and ensure we are meeting travel requirements.
  2. Late traditional in Europe is perfect actually, we found ourselves on a completely different schedule in the med.
  3. On our last sailing out of San Juan the same thing happened and we were told no tables for two for traditional only MTD so we did not go back. We were seated at with a group of 4 (couple of best friends) friendly but we were the odd men out for sure.
  4. I find that the Oasis class does a good job at crowd and line mitigation. the neighbourhood concept and different activities happening at the same time helps. You only really notice it when shows are getting out that sort of thing. I don't find kids to be too bad either but we tend to sail February-April and not usually over a holiday week. We actually found our worst sailing for kids and crowds to be onboard Celebrity during March Break. I loved the itinerary for that sailing and the group was less impressed and missed the bells and whistles offered by Royal. I truly don't mind an older ship (my husband and I will be on the Jewel right after Odyssey) but I think it's about setting expectations and ensuring the group has all the information they need to take advantage of what's available to them. i.e. reservations to shows (Oasis & Anthem class) and MDR, showing up early, don't over schedule but decide on must dos. A little wear/tear and out of date furniture won't make or break your trip. Freedom class has enough amenities to keep most people perfectly happy 🙂
  5. We often sail with a group of friends and family. We have done so on Oasis class, Voyager class, Freedom class and in February will be doing the Odyssey (Quantum ultra class). Oasis class tends to keep everyone happiest because of the variety in activities, dining, and most importantly calibre of entertainment. There's a WOW factor every time you board. Having sailed the Wonder, we enjoyed it. We were in a junior suite and took advantage of coastal kitchen so for the first time we did not utilize any speciality dining. I also like the first itinerary just fine; both St Maarten & St Thomas (St John) are nice ports to walk around, shop, eat, drink. They offer excursions beyond the beach. CocoCay - you can always opt to take advantage of the beaches or activities or enjoy a less crowded ship but it definitely offers more than Labadie. We're also in our mid-late 30s and Virgin is on our list to try. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices. There's nothing like your first cruise. Enjoy!
  6. The rates are significantly higher for Winter 2024. Our refundable rate at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach is actually lower so even taking the resort fee into account the difference between the two reservations is $26. Not sure if it's worth making the switch.
  7. That's 23.99 plus grats that's about as low as the refreshment package gets these days. Even on sailings where the deluxe beverage package is cheaper the refreshment is staying at that price. The days of it being priced at 18.99 are over 🙁
  8. That's the price of the beach bed rentals for my February sailing 🙄
  9. It's a $33 difference on our Jewel sailing (6 night with 2 sea days) and $49 on our Odyssey (6 night with 2 sea days + 2 private islands). Refreshment is the same price on both. That factors in the decision too (along with preferred alcohol of choice). So some in our party are opting for it, some are not.
  10. deck 8 is our pick for oasis class. hallways are long, we enjoy being able to walk through central park instead.
  11. I have two upcoming sailings that are impacted by this change. I have always prepaid gratuities (even when never setting foot in the MDR and Windjammer) and generally pay additional gratuities onboard to staff who provide exceptional service and frankly those who provide acceptable service. We purchase drink, dining, and internet packages and spend the casino. We do so gladly in order to have an elevated experience because the standard experience is continually being degraded. Increasing gratuities while simultaneously decreasing services is insulting and disappointing. Notably, the changes to cabin service to once daily and the deterioration in both quality and service in the main dining room have a great impact on the cruise experience and are also a significant component of the gratuity. Consumers have many options for where they spend their vacation dollars, Royal Caribbean is beginning to lose its appeal after many years of providing our family with such special experiences and memories. I will definitely be looking at competitors for our future sailings due to the deterioration in service, quality, and lack of interesting itineraries. There are also land vacation alternatives. It is what it is, we know what we are getting, what we are paying for and we will let our wallets do the speaking.
  12. We used Ride Classy, very reasonable prices. Excellent prompt service. https://rideclassy.com
  13. multiple apps, sides and desserts if desired but only one entree
  14. We found the kimpton to be a great spot in the Gothic quarter and since you're traveling solo you might appreciate their nightly social hour to meet other guests. I highly recommend Rao and Vianna for dinner out even as a solo diner (tables are close enough together that most people are friendly and engage with one another, it's quite enjoyable). The Gaudi sites were all worth visiting (there are a number of passes of available depending on how long you will be in Barcelona), the market is a must, public transportation is easy and I always felt safe even with many stories of pick pockets (use a small crossbody with strong strap and be aware of your surroundings).
  15. I found Coastal Kitchen to be our saving grace on the Wonder. Service on the Wonder was great. It was nice to have a venue that was not very crowded, that you were not seated in someones lap, food was good. We looked forward to dinners since we were in a junior suite lol.
  16. It is. I realize now I wrote epic in my post as I was booking another trip out of Miami and that was on my mind LOL. the vividora is the the barcelona Kimpton and very good 🙂
  17. Viana (on Carrer del Vidre) and Rao were both excellent and cannot be missed. Rao is a creative take on tapas. There was not a single thing we had that was not delicious. There's also a really great drink emporium next door that was lovely if interested in pre or post cocktails 🙂. Viana has a phenomenal tasting menu or you can chose items off the menu. The service, the food, the drinks, all it impeccable. Reservations are a must since both are small restaurants. http://raobcn.com/ https://www.vianabcn.com/es/
  18. We were on the Wonder in September and spent two days pre-cruise at the Kimpton Epic and two days post there as well. The location is excellent, very walkable and close to many sites. We were able to walk or use the hop on hop off bus to get to everything we needed. It was nice to not be directly on Las Ramblas but be very close. There is a nightly happy hour, bikes available for use. And we had an excellent massage and facial. We had a wonderful time in Barcelona as Canadians, everyone we met was warm and friendly. We met locals, expats, and international visitors during our stay. We avoided restaurants and bars on the main streets/tourist traps and found some highly rated and hidden gems that I'm happy to recommend.
  19. We sailed Wonder in September. The ice show was really well done, the highlight entertainment wise. We enjoyed the late night comedy and the aqua show was ok. I found effectors two to be just fine, the hubby hated it. I think part of the dissatisfaction with wonder is that it's supposed to be the biggest, newest i.e. best but it wasn't sheltered from the realities of this past year (staffing shortages, extended contracts, supply chain issues and it is noticeable). I will say we were very grateful to have had access to Coastal Kitchen, the service there was consistent and very good. The food for the most was excellent in CK and we cancelled speciality dining. The way I see it any day on vacation is better than a day at work so I will gladly go with the flow and make the best of it. No sense in complaining, we just adjusted and found what we liked. 🙂
  20. We found it comfortable for the most part but it can get very hot and has no airflow when at sea and the window panels are closed. When docked and the windows are open it's perfect.
  21. We used the AirTags for the first time in Europe. It gave a lot of peace of mind considering all the issues with lost luggage at the time. The flaw would be that someone with an iPhone has to be nearby for the AirTags to ping and update the location - so our luggage stayed at the pier for quite some time after being onboard.
  22. That's exactly it, we don't need the extra space either but I'm wondering if it's worth it just be able to avoid windjammer and crowds lol
  23. That wasn't the question I was asking but thank you. We priced out both and the difference was not substantial which is why we opted to go for the key.
  24. We are on Voyager in February and are in a junior suite on the hump - deck 9. We opted to get the key during the Black Friday sale because we needed internet and it was a couple dollars more. Royal up is available for both grand and owner suits for reasonable amounts. Question is the suite life on Voyager worth it? From what I can see most are located on Deck 10 below public spaces and don't include much in terms of amenities. Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
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