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  1. Clo, The information you cited was foreign born people as of the early 2000's census dates. So it would not cover 18th or 19th or most of 20th century immigration. Offspring of earlier immigrants, who were born in those countries, would , of course, be counted as native born. My ancestor came to Canada from Ireland in the mid 1800's. He would have been counted as an immigrant back then but his offspring, who were all born in Canada, would be native born. As for ethnic population statistics for people from Africa, about 3% of Canadians identify themselves as Black. Some of those would be decedents of former slaves if they immigrated (escaped or bought their freedom) from the U.S. or Caribbean countries that had slavery. Others who came to Canada directly, from Africa or other places were, or course, not slaves. But all, when they got to Canada, were free men/women because slavery did not exist in Canada. (Other forms of quasi-slavery existed, but that's for another forum entirely)
  2. Sadly, P&O definitely doesn’t do that. You have to cancel and re-book. We’ve never done it for three reasons. Firstly, like TerrierJohn we book and launch and the prices aren’t bettered between then and sail date (I don’t say that to be smug as it irritates me having to book so far in advance). Secondly, we book Select because we want our first choice of cabin and dining, not what is leftover, as we never want to be above or below public areas (noise disturbance) and we would only want freedom dining (which often ‘sells out’). Finally, as HP has said, you can often find that the ‘saving’ of a saver fare is severely eroded when you net out the loss of OBC / free parking / shuttles etc etc and is often negligible. If the net saving (after these factors are all taken into account) is significant and you are prepared to risk a noisy cabin then the option to cancel and rebook is perfectly possible. Worth noting that this may be an increasingly desirable option on new ships as they are introduced as they are likely to be 100% Freedom Dining (as Iona will be), so one of the ‘risks’ of booking a saver is eliminated.
  3. Im not saying you may not be right in the longer term with new ships but how would they practically do it on the current ships where the kitchens and dining rooms were designed for working with 2 sittings? The current freedom dining rooms struggle when there is high demand eg formal nights and that is with half the diners in fixed. There are also implications for entertainment venues which were also designed for people coming in two waves.
  4. That's the Panoramic OV (or on some ships there are Spacious Panoramic OVs that are nearly suites in size). We had a Panoramic OV on Rhapsody OTS for a TA and it was very nice. We also are booked in the Spacious Panoramic on Freedom but do not think we will be able to make the cruise.. 😞
  5. I've seen the same suggestions, and I think it's highly likely. Fixed times for dining are an old-fashioned concept reminiscent of old-style post-war holiday camps, and the younger cruisers P&O are now courting just can't see why when everything else is so free and easy they should be tied down like this. And I'm very much with them on that. We took to Freedom Dining as soon as it came in, and if it weren't available I'd look elsewhere. Formal nights will probably go the same way, for the same reasons - it doesn't fit with the new generation of cruisers.
  6. The short answer is no, I haven’t heard anything while onboard about any proposed changes. P&O are taking forward bookings to 2021which still include the choice of club dining so based on that if there was any plan to do it they are certainly not doing it anytime soon. I think people would be quite rightly annoyed if they payed for select, chose club and then it was taken away completely. I also think that some ships would struggle to implement full freedom as they were never designed for it For these reasons I would think the rumours are just that, rumours.
  7. 1. I very sincerely ask... Do you wish to visit Croatia/Italy or actually see new and exciting places? If so the Radiance and Vision Class ships will do an excellent Med+Adriatic variety of ports, including Venice. These are the best ships (especially Radiance Class by a mile in my humble opinion) for the Adriatic and seeing the Med. Or are you sailing to Europe to build C&A points on a Freedom or Quantum class ship? Perhaps consider staying home and do cheaper/easier sailings in North America to build your points? Like Bob said Freedom Class from Southampton, but you won't get anywhere close to Croatia. In 2020, must see Dubrovnik is only visited by Rhapsody of the Seas. Venice is Rhapsody's home port. Her 7 day itinerary which includes Dubrovnik, Kotor, Santorini and Olympia from Venice all in one cruise is absolutely outstanding! Vision & Jewel (only twice in Sept 2020) also visits Venice and Kotor, two of the very best sail in/sail aways you could possibly experience from an aft balcony. Vision includes Split Croatia, the only Royal sailing with two stops in Croatia... plus the Western side of Italy including Rome and Florence, so this may be your #1 itinerary to see a bit of everything, and deserves to be at the top of your list of itineraries to consider 2. There were delays for me in Kotor & Corfu as many were trying to back on the ship at the same time later in the day, regardless the line went quickly and I was on a tender in about 1/2 hour each time. Maybe purchasing "The Key" would help you with this if you're concerned. Have a great time planning 😊
  8. "Now" must be relative. The gallon of water was sailing on the Grandeur out of Baltimore in March/April, and we picked up two gallons of water at Publix in Cocoa Beach (Canaveral). We didn't get water on our recent Freedom cruise because we forgot. Not at the beginning of the trip, but in the middle. Did get water for a Freedom Cruise over New Years, and Anthem Cruise over Thanksgiving, and Allure in Sept 18. When they start taking water, we will stop buying it at ports.
  9. Good evening, fellow cruise critics! We leave tonight for San Juan! This is us: Left to right is my 24-year-old daughter (Emma), myself (Dina), my hubby Peter (not making this trip sadly, kinda long story short, he can't miss work) and my 22-year-old son (Joey). This photo was taken last week at the Gateway National Park at the top of the famous arch. Joey and I are doing a pretty good job masking our horror and terror caused by the incredibly rickety tram ride to the top. We were in St. Louis because Joey just finished up earning his undergraduate degree out there, so we went to the commencement festivities. Of course every great graduate deserves a phenomenal present, and Joey earned this cruise! (See how I rationalized that😜?!)
  10. In 2013 my wife and I sailed on the Carnival Freedom on the very first sailing after the" Big Naked Boat" cruise. My wife's entire carry on bag was filled with Clorox wipes and Lysol. When we got to our room we found what may or may not have been a skid mark on the couch! My Honey went crazy with the wipes and Lysol!!!
  11. I searched but did not find any topic on this. A 1-year-old died from a fall on the Freedom of the Seas. We are praying for this family. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/royal-caribbean-cruise-death-american-girl-falls-from-freedom-of-the-seas-window-san-juan-puerto-rico-2019-07-08/
  12. i agree. a scooter gives me more freedom. i dont have to have someone pushing me. i dont need my husband breaking his back and getting exhaused because he has to push me around. then i want to see one thing and he's interested in something else.
  13. I have been on many cruiseships including a couple of Royal Carribean ships - and I cannot recall anywhere that there are "opening windows" of any kind. I have heard it claimed that there are such things on the "pool deck" of Freedom of the Seas? Any thoughts please?
  14. It’s finally here! We are getting ready to set sail on the Vision of the Seas 12-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles Cruise round-trip from Barcelona June 11 - June 23, 2019. We are flying out of Tampa today for an overnight flight to Barcelona where we will spend three days before we board Vision of the Seas for twelve more days! Background: My husband and I have sailed with Royal Caribbean 15 times for a total of 91 nights at sea with Royal. This will be our 16th cruise with RCCL and the cruise where we make Diamond Plus. Yes, I know. We’re excited too! All together, we’ve taken 35 cruises for a total of 249 sailing days and we have enjoyed cruising with Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian, Disney, and Holland America. I always say that we’ve never had a bad cruise. Not one. There are things we enjoy about each cruise and each cruise line, and for the most part we are pretty easy to please. There have been minor bumps and snags along the way, but I figure those make for the interesting travel stories. I’m Angela and I’m in my mid-40s. My husband, Mark is in his early 60s and we enjoy cruising as our vacation of choice. We looked at booking this cruise when it was released a little over a year and half ago. We celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary June 12, 2019, and wanted a special cruise this year. The first Royal Caribbean ship we ever sailed was the Sovereign of the Seas in June 2000. It was our one year anniversary and our very first cruise. We were hooked. I remember that ship seemed huge. We drove up to the cruise terminal in Port Canaveral and I recall saying something like, “Oh my God look at it! We are going to be so lost!” It’s hard to believe the size of the ships have increased SO MUCH since then. We’ve sailed on the Sovereign, the Legend, the Vision, the Grandeur, the Rhapsody, and even the Enchantment (both before and after the stretch) before we “graduated” to the bigger Freedom, Oasis, and Quantum Class ships. But here we are…back to the smaller and more comfortable size ship where we first started cruising. We are both kind of looking forward to seeing what it feels like to come back to this size.
  15. We have done three transatlantics on Oasis Class. They sail with all cabins sold but they carry about 1500 fewer kids. At times the ship is extremely uncrowded on the pool decks and flowrider. We have also done transatlantics on Voyager class and Freedom class. Oasis class have alway been at under 5000, on Caribbean cruise they sail with 6400. happy searching. We have the Nov. 1st 2020 Allure sailing out of Barcelona booked and I expect it will sail at 75 - 80% of capacity. 14 nights with 9 sea days and 1500 fewer kids.
  16. Back again, This will be done in parts not by days. I didn't keep track of things that well. Room; We had room 14212. Overall it was a nice room with the bed by the door and the sofa by the balcony. If I did it again I would move down to 12 as 14 is right under the pools and you can hear the lounge chairs and smoking chairs being dragged. We were also right over the smoking area but we only really smelled it one night when the winds were kind of bad. If you are out on the balcony you can hear the music from up stairs but it doesn't last long into the evening as most things seemed to quiet down after six. It was right in the middle of the ship so it was a hike to either set of stairs, however is also had a direct access to the lower level of the solarium down the hallway which was nice and quick to get out in the morning. Being on 14 meant we were only one flight of stairs to the pool and two to the windjammer which helped us avoid the elevators but it was a long way down to the Main dining room, casino, theaters or Sorrentos. Grandson was on a first name basis at Sorrentos as I think he was there many times a day. I thought there was plenty of storage even with four of us. There were four drawers across from the sofa with a make up/desk area. The one cabinet held the refrigerator. Next to the sofa was a full closet with a fold down rack for a second set of hangers. we left the beds together so we had small night stands on either side. Not much room to put anything on them. I will say with four phones to charge and a small gaming system the outlets were always being used and cords everywhere. No outlets in bathroom except for a electric shaver I think, On the other side of bed was a smaller cabinet that had six shelves (one had the safe on it) and hanging compartment and below were two larger drawers. The suitcases all fit under the beds so they slid out of way, The bathroom was tight but the shower on the Harmony seemed bigger than the Oasis. There are several shelves on the mirror and a long shelf under the sink. The sink is very small. But overall big enough to take care of your needs, Since we had four we needed to have the sofa made up and then under the sofa is a trundle bed. It was better than the old pull out sofa on Freedom but when it is pulled out at night there is not room to walk out to the balcony. That was a little disappointing but when pushed in it was fine. The walls are metal so I took some magnetic hooks and use them to hold up schedules (yes I had one so everyone knew what was planned- I even saw one of the kids look at it) and to hold wet suits and our lanyards and hats. If I had it to do again I would move up to a larger balcony or the equivalent to a junior suite. Lots more room in them. Our cabin attendant was awesome. I always make sure to give them some kinds of monetary tip the first day and another on Wednesday. I have never had a bad experience with doing this and they are very grateful. The room was quiet except for people next door who had that room and one across the hall. They were constantly in and out and across several times during the night and that was annoying as the doors do not shut quietly. I will say that most days you don't spend any time in the cabin - I know my daughter didn't except to sleep the morning away after being out most of the night but my son spent a lot of time just relaxing and napping. Grandson and I were in an out exploring most days. I don't do pictures but I will try to upload some I have on another post.
  17. Hi all! I'm in the midst of planning my honeymoon and I originally was looking at Carnival but I found a ship/port on RC I really like. Can anyone give me feedback on the below ship and the ports it stops at? Freedom of the Seas (7 day Cruise- November 2020) Leaves San Juan St. Thomas St. Kitts Antigua St. Lucia (Which is my dream to visit) Barbados Thanks in advance!
  18. Can anyone tell me if the bedside lamps on the Freedom have USB ports?
  19. I am genuinely not a helicopter parent, though we tend to enjoy doing things as a family, my girls have definitely had the freedom to do their own thing as well. My oldest is autistic, high functioning, so will probably live at home for the extended future (now 21), she has a job and her own bank account, goes to theme parks (ie Disney World) with her friends, etc. My youngest is 19 and started at Florida State last year (4 hours drive away). She opted to live in an off campus apartment, where she had full access to kitchen facilities and laundry. She does know how to cook and do laundry, but still brought clothes home at least once a month and washed them at home instead, and never cooked a single food all year long at the apartment, due to not knowing or caring for her room-mate and not wanting to impose on the public spaces of the apartment.
  20. Queueing at the airport for a flight to Orlando, prior to joining Freedom of the Seas for a B2B Caribbean cruise, we saw the archetypal "little old lady" and her husband, standing totally bewildered. They had never flown anywhere previously. We helped them to check in (turned out they were on the same flight as us). Arrival in the US, same total bemusement, and, again we helped them through US immigration. Once at baggage reclaim, we then learnt that they were going on the same B2B as us - mid 80's, never been out of the UK, never flown, and taking their first cruise! During the first week of the cruise, although we were all over the ship, we never once saw them, and DW was fretting that they had, somehow, missed the boat. On turnround day, at the start of the second leg, we took a trip to Kennedy Space Center. On reboarding, all of a sudden, DW squealed as she spotted the elderly couple in the line. We chatted to them, (turned out they had been to Disney !) and were amused that they were 'totally tropical' - colourful shirts, jaunty sunhats and so on. We chuckled to ourselves as the old lady started chivvying her DH along, saying "hurry up, l want to get the drink of the day before that muster drill " - for all the world like highly-experienced cruisers. Once again, we went a week- long cruise without ever seeing them again - except once, when they entered - and won! - the 'Love & Marriage" show. Back to Orlando Airport, we saw them again, but this time, no confusion or "what do we do next?"- they checked in like the seasoned travellers they now were, the old gentleman even gently flirting with the check in lady. Turned out it was their 65th wedding anniversary on the cruise and their two children had bought the trip for them. Not really a 'funny' tale, but we still smile at the memory of the transformation from timid, bewildered pensioners to cruising party people.
  21. Yes please continue. I went on freedom when it was first out. Now we have been taking all the oasis class ships. Love them. Back on Oasis March 2020 and just got off Symphony. We have freedom booked next June after dry dock. A little worried to go back now because it just doesn’t have many food options. We love park cafe for lunch. Not into having to ever go to a buffet or dining room for lunch. I look forward to hearing the rest of your review.
  22. For context, I've been on more than 20 cruises on everything from the President Wilson to Lindblad, but this was just our second Celebrity cruise. The first one was a long, long time ago (25 years) and we had a really bad experience with fellow passengers unhappy about an itinerary chance that kept us away. I'm glad we gave Celebrity a second chance. The Summit, post-refit is lovely. There's a smart design to everything from the staterooms to the outside decks and a more refined decor palette than is typical in mass-market ships. We had an inside cabin on deck 2 and it was great. Awesome location, steward was phenomenal, even with 4 adult-sized humans in it, there was enough storage for all our stuff and we were still friends at the end. The only down bits I'd say are that the Oceanview gets pretty crowded at lunch time (oddly, the MDR is only open for lunch on at-sea days) and it can be hard to find places to be outdoors but not in full sun. The pool deck and surroundings are fine - I miss having more live music out there and the deck itself gets foot-burning hot in the sun, so be sure to have some slip-ons if you plan to use the pool. Food was varied and generally good, although it had a few ups and downs (skip the French Onion soup; most pastas were meh, but better than typical pasta at sea). No one in our family starved, and there were a few "Wow!" items. My kids enjoyed trying new things and wait staff was excellent. The Ocean View has a large variety of offerings, and should satisfy most diners. We usually don't do speciality dining, preferring to find treats in the ports instead. We didn't do the drinks package, but did pre-buy a sommelier package for wines in the dining room. If you do this, I'd spring for the premier one. One thing to know if you are a wine aficionado - with the packages, many, many people are enjoying wine by the glass with dinner thanks to the packages, and the sommeliers are hopping just keeping glasses full. It's in your best interest to have a look at the wine list before you go so you have an idea of what you'd like to order at least the first night. If you ask at the end of a meal, it's easier to get recommendations for subsequent nights. The sommeliers are knowledgeable, they are just extremely busy. One thing that might be of interest - it seemed like they were quite accommodating of special diets, including religious ones. Tables near us were ordering meals the night before and they came separately prepared and even served on disposable tableware for some folks for whom mixing dishes might be a problem. Entertainment was a mixed bag. The crowd on this voyage appeared to trend to senior cruisers and, in a nod to this, entertainment options trended earlier as well. The fly-in entertainers were pretty enjoyable, although the last comedian was so "adult" at a 7 p.m. show that I had to creatively distract my youngest at a few points. Production shows were of the energetic "singing and dancing without a plot" variety. The production cast was skilled. Live musicians were a disappointment. There was a solo guy with a guitar who was pretty good. A duo and a dance band were not my cup of tea, but your mileage may vary. The show band sounded good and I would have liked to see more of them, but with the older crowd, a lot of opportunities to do that and the gameshows and stuff were during our late-seating dinner, which was a bummer. Our youngest was slightly interested in the children's programming, but it was impossible to tell what was happening when by the schedule (which was only for 7 days on a 10-day cruise ?!?!?!), so she never participated. Their facilities looked nice. Do the silent disco. Weird, but fun. Arrive early, or you might not get in. We didn't use the spa or casino so no comments there except that you can't smoke in the Casino, which makes it so much more pleasant to walk through. The itinerary was stupendous. So much so that we were actively discussing if we should repeat this trip and bring my folks some day. The ports Newport. It's Newport. We walked from the pier to the Historical Society, talked to the nice guy there who recommended The Elms, as we've seen Vanderbilt properties before. Solid recommendation - good audio tour, interesting story. We walked on the Cliff Walk a bit as well, and that was Newport. You tender there and there were no local tenders available, so it was a bit of a wait to get one back and it was hot. This led to some of the obnoxious, entitled behavior that caused us to forsake Celebrity for so many years from folks, but the ship did what it could to help with a waiter passing out infused water and another passing out icy towels. Syndey, NS. This is a relatively new cruise port, and we were a little concerned that we would't be able to do much without a tour. It's a lovely little place to walk around and see on your own. There's a large visitor center when you first get off (that has free WiFi) where you can get a map of the sites. We were there on a Sunday, but found the local historical society open and a great little exhibit on the history of the city you can see for a donation. There are some historic houses that were open with costumed docents who were so friendly and informative (all under $5 Canadian). If you walk all the way down the main street, there is a military reserve base that has a museum of the Canadian Military on the second floor. Just walk in and the security guard will tell you how to get up there. They have retired veterans staff it and they are so fun to talk to. Highly recommend if you have any interest in military history. The Visitor Center has quite a few local artisans selling everything from sweaters to seagrass jewelry. Look up Brent Harding's place Metal Glass Media (one of the more permanent storefronts in the building) for some beautiful fused glass pendants at a really reasonable price. I bought 4. Halifax, NS. Awesome, awesome, awesome. We were there on Canada Day and saw the parade, the Canada Day ceremonies with the provincial Lt. Governor and Nova Scotia's own His Worship, Mayor Mike and enjoyed free Canada Day cake at the Citadel, which was free in honor of the holiday. A quick run down the street for a Tim Horton's, and we were off to the Royal Military Tattoo, for which we bought tickets online in advance. Do not miss this. It is spectacular. So entertaining. Bar Harbor, ME. A trip to Acadia was a bucket list item for me. Recommend talking to the NPS rangers at their visitor center next to Village Green (just walk up Main Street from the tender dock) and they can give you a suggested itinerary, a map and schedule for the free bus. Ate a lobster roll, because that's what you do. Great day - wish we were in port longer. Boston. Crowded, but super fun. We downloaded a $2.99 Atlantic Audio Tours for my phone and brought headphones and a splitter to do the Freedom Trail while knowing what we were looking at. Worked well, and took just about all day (we walked 13 miles that day...). Mass transit is running on the 4th and there are Ubers, too. Don't miss the Constitution. If you want to see the reading of the Declaration, you'd have to be off the ship just as soon as they let you. We didn't. Had a slice and a cannoli in Little Italy. Nom. And a michelada and some interesting nachos on the way back to the ship. It was lobster and beef wellington night, so we went back to the ship for dinner and watched the fireworks from the top deck with a whole lot of other people. They show the Pops concert on the big outdoor screen, or there was a somewhat poorly attended line dancing and DJ party by the pool. There was a July 4 thing in the Atrium, but also during late-seating dinner, so too bad for us. Some folks went to the Community Boating fundraiser to see the fireworks and said it was really fab. Portland. We were super tired from the day before, so we had a pretty chill day. Wandered over to an oceanfront park in the morning, had lunch on the ship and a little WiFi time in the terminal. We then went to the Portland Museum of Art for the Free Summer Friday evening hours. It's a really nice museum - 3 buildings, varied collection. They also had a Groupon, so you could have gone during the day for half price. Overall - excellent service from a friendly staff on a beautiful ship. I'd go again : D
  23. Having done both Club and Freedom many times I can see the advantages of both and I’m glad that P&O still offers the choice, but I’m curious to know what you mean by ‘wondering about space’ with Freedom dining as it’s never a thought that crosses our mind? We just turn up when we like. We enjoyed Club back in the day when there was no other option until we had a few cruises in a row where we had less than ideal table companions. Conversation was hard work and I began to find dinner a chore rather than a pleasure. Since switching to Freedom we wouldn’t now switch back. At times we choose to dine with others. Mostly it works out fine. but on the odd occasion that it doesn’t at least you know it was a one off and you are not stuck with them all cruise! Other times we choose to dine alone. Never a problem. Occasionally we are given a pager and have a short wait, but at least we have been able to go at a time of our choosing, which varies day by day. We hate being tied to set times at any time, least of all when on holiday. The one big advantage of Club dining, getting to know your waiters and them getting to know your preferences, is now less of an issue as if you get to know the senior restaurant staff in the Freedom Dining restaurant and tell them a waiter station that you like they will endeavour to sit you there each night. The only situation that I could foresee where I would revert to Club Dining is if I was travelling as a solo passenger , in order to avoid the awkward questions night after night. They also tend to sit solo passengers together which I think is a great idea to make people feel at ease.
  24. Freedom OTS. 6th deck balcony is what I had booked. I put bids in for all of the upgrade options. None were regarded as good. I bid $210pp for JS and that got accepted.
  25. We've sailed 60 times and our Carnival Freedom cruise in 2013 was far and away our worst cruise ever. That was our one and only cruise with Carnival and never again. First of all the Freedom from the outside is a decent looking ship, the interior decor except fo the cabins was atrocious, the decor was plain ugly, it offended the senses. Who ever designed the public rooms and lounges should be exiled to a deserted island. They did have one very nice lounge called the Cuban lounge with a cigar motif but it was hidden on a deck that had no other venues, no one knew about it and it was always empty, a shame. The food was a step below Golden Corral, in some cases especially in the buffet, it was plain slop. My wife who is a great cook and knows her food said the pastries were baked with lard, not real butter. The chocolate desserts were pathetic.The lobster though decent was served with melted margarine, also not butter. Most of the beef items were tough and and contained a lot of gristle. Chicken and fish were barely edible. The service was decent but was surprised when the waiters stated dancing with some of the diners a few nights, have never seen that on Celebrity, Holland America or Princesss. The passengers were well behaved, no crazy stuff but we did have some loud passengers who were drunk and very loud in the hallways when they returned to their cabins around 2am. Bottom line, Carnival is K Mart and Celebrity is Nordstoms.
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