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RCI secrets they don't tell you

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The "Real Secret" is to explore the entire ship, deck by deck, to see what is there.

 

Print deck plans from the RCI Web Site before you board and then just wander and explore.

 

You will be glad you did!

 

 

Here is proof that this system works.

 

On our first cruise on the Jewel of the Seas, every time we went to the Windjammer we got our food and then found a nearby place to sit down and eat. At lunch on the 4th day, the Windjammer was pretty full so we kept heading aft to find an open table. And we found the open air seating area across the stern of the ship. For the rest of the cruise, that is where we ate.

 

Had we not walked back there we would never have found it!

 

DSCN8222.jpg

I love the open air eating area's, arn't they a fantastic place to start your day, breakfast, hot coffee and the freshest air you can get, doesn't get any better. I wonder if we asked if they would put small lights out on the tables for evening dining, wouldn't that be great!!

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We have only been on three cruises, but we LOVE RCL! A few tips, some of which have already been mentioned in some form, but deserve reiteration:

 

- Bring a highlighter, look over the Compass each night, and highlight a few things you would like to do the next day

 

- Don't feel you have to do everything! On our first cruise, we were almost frantic, afraid we would miss something and filling every minute with activities. "Down time" is important on vacation, and there are wonderful spots on the ship to just sit and relax. Take advantage of that!

 

- Order room service, even if it's just a snack - spinach dip in the afternoon (ask for extra chips!), or chocolate chip cookies and milk at night. It feels so indulgent (at least to us!).

 

- Bring binoculars, whether you have a balcony or not. In port and even at sea they're great to have to check out what's out there.

 

- Talk to the ship's employees - we have found them to be fascinating people! I love how their home countries are printed on their nametags, that is always a great conversation starter.

 

- Visit the Windjammer for an afternoon snack about 3:00 - nachos with wonderful guacamole, and AMAZING bread pudding, among many other choices. MMMM....

 

- Look for private excursions - Do your research on the Ports of Call boards here on CC and on TripAdvisor. Their livelihoods are dependent on getting you back to the ship on time. One bad review on one of the message boards, and they lose a TON of business, so they know how important it is. Even more important to us than the cost savings (most of the time) with private tours is the fact that the tours are almost always with MUCH smaller groups.

 

Most of all, relax and enjoy!

 

Sue

Edited by subtchr

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I read through the Princess Tips thread last night. And all I wanted was to book Princess for my next cruise. BUT for the cruise I want RCCL looks the best like the best price and itinery (7 days and includes Ephesus).

 

How do I find out what "class" a specific ship is? (Navigator of the Seas)

 

Is Your time (Any Time or what ever they call it on RCCL) as good as assigned seating?

 

Does RCCL have speciality dinning?

 

Are there any awesome cabins with bigger balconies at the regular balcony prices?

 

I'm looking for the Royal Caribbean insider tips!!

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How do I find out what "class" a specific ship is? (Navigator of the Seas)

 

You can go to the RCCL site ship description page HERE

 

That will show you that Navigator of the Seas is one of the Voyager Class of ships. They are beautiful, with many great features.

 

Is Your time (Any Time or what ever they call it on RCCL) as good as assigned seating?

 

This is absolutely personal preference. We have only done traditional dining, but from my reading each has its pros and cons.

 

We love the traditional seating because we enjoy getting to know our servers and table mates. Also, the show schedules are set so that folks who dine at the traditional times can catch an evening show either before or after dinner.

 

From what I have read, those who prefer not being tied down to a specific dining time often choose My Time Dining. Also, it seems that those who want a table for two are more likely to get that with MTD.

 

Does RCCL have speciality dinning?

 

Yes, depending on the ship. Navigator has both Chops and Portofino. We tried Portofino on our last cruise, and while it was a wonderful meal with great service, we did not think it was head and shoulders above the regular dining room. Many cruisers do think it is worth the upcharge to dine in the specialty restaurants, though.

 

Are there any awesome cabins with bigger balconies at the regular balcony prices?

 

This depends on the ship, and your personal preferences. Many people LOVE the stern balconies, because they tend to be MUCH bigger than standard balconies. Others prefer to be on the "hump", or the area where the ship structure bows out, to be nearer to the elevators and stairways. Aft balconies can be a LONG walk down the hallway. Also, a few people have had problems with soot on the stern balconies.

 

There is a website, Voyager Class, that has info and photo galleries, including specific cabin category photos. He even has a specific gallery for stern balconies HERE.

 

I'm looking for the Royal Caribbean insider tips!!

 

Give it a try - you will love RCCL!

 

Sue

Edited by subtchr

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How do I find out what "class" a specific ship is? (Navigator of the Seas)

 

Is Your time (Any Time or what ever they call it on RCCL) as good as assigned seating?

 

Does RCCL have speciality dinning?

 

Are there any awesome cabins with bigger balconies at the regular balcony prices?

 

I'm looking for the Royal Caribbean insider tips!!

 

 

Navigator of the Seas is a Voyager class ship. Here's a link to all the RCCL ships from RCCL's website with the ships listed by class.

 

RCCL calls their any time dining, My Time Dining. And I feel they do a great job on handling it as compared to traditional dining (i.e. both work well for RCCL because they try to make sure people are happy with whatever option they choose). The standard on RCCL is still traditional dining so they try to get as many people into traditional as want to have it, so on the Voyager class that has 3 levels to the dining room, only one level of the dining room is devoted to My Time Dining. You have the option of making reservations in advance or just walking up and getting seated at the next available table. We never had more than a 5 minute wait for a table without a reservation, but others have had longer solely due to showing up at a popular time. What we found (and the maitre'd advised of us it so we wouldn't have to wait in the future), is that if you show up on the 15 or 45 minute marks, you had a better chance of being seated immediately as most people tend to show up on the hour or half hour. If you have a particular waiter you like, they will try and set you in their section again if you request it.

 

Navigator has two speciality restaurants. Chops, a steakhouse, with a $25 per person surcharge, and Portofino, italian cuisine, with a $20 per person surcharge. You can make reservations in advance online or book once you are onboard the ship.

 

Popular balcony cabins on RCCL are those on the hump (the area in the center of the ship, where it bumps out around the centrum area). The balconies in this area aren't any larger than normal (at least not on the Voyager class) but you tend to have a slightly better view than a normal side cabin.

 

I personally like the cabins on the back of the ship because they have larger balconies. BUT there is superstructure on the back of the ship, so this can somewhat impair the view, especially on decks 6 & 7. I didn't mind this but others do. Here is a good link for photos of Voyager class aft cabins. You can look through there and get a good impression of whether or not the superstructure would be an issue for you with a particular cabin.

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This isn't RCCL specific, but a general tip for cruising newbies.

 

I am not a good "relaxer"

I am not good with "downtime"

I am a notorious "planner" when it comes to travel

 

On my first cruise, I was bored and came away enjoying the ports but not enjoying the ship.

But as time went by after my cruise, I realized I approached it all wrong. I was looking to be constantly stimulated and entertained, but nothing really interested me. I don't want to learn basket weaving or penuckle (you get my point).

So we went on another cruise, and this time I took no expectations.

I just walked about, spent time in cabin taking a nap or watching TV, with curtains open to see the ocean and I actually had to work to relax...and I did.

So my RCCL (or cruising) secret?

Don't plan anything, or plan as little as possible. Try the mytime dining so you're on your schedule, not someone else's. Don't plan. Don't highlight anything in the Compass, except maybe one or two things max. Just learn to "roll with it"

Take walks around the ship and look, watch, observe.

Amazing how life around you itself makes its own TV show.

Just wander around, having a snack here and there, go back to cabin, watch a little TV and go for a walk again.

 

Point is, the less you expect or plan, the easier it will be to just go along with it and feel better at the end.

 

I hope that makes some sense.

It probably will to some diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD adults out there who have a hard time slowing down and actually relaxing.

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I noticed this tip hasn't been talk about yet. The videos of the cruise is cheaper if you buy it through the phone or online.

 

We decided on the ship that the video of the highlights of our cruise was too expensive @ $100. But after viewing it at the screening on the last night saw that we were in alot of the highlights. My girl fretted about not buying it on the flight home so she called rccl and they still had it available for $29. Score!! I believe you can still get some of the photos you passed on also. I don't know what the time limit is though. I would guess a week or two.

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RUDIMAY1,

I have always seen the Cruise in Review video on board for only $30 or $40

Is there actually a different video available that costs $100?

Which ship was that on? Unless you are referring to the 3pack video of how the Voyager of the Seas was built that was out about 10 years ago?

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RCI secrets they don't tell you.....Um, well, men should wear clean underwear to The Quest. ;)

 

 

 

this one cracked me up. Jim - sounds like you lived and learned. lol

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Here's another seldom used spot: on the Navigator, there's an outdoor seating area that overlooks the sports court on the opposite side ofthe ship from the rock wall. There's only about loose chairs and 2 or 3 round tables, so it's small. The bar inside is usually very quiet and seldom used if you'd rather be indoors.

 

as for the windjammer, why would you get food not knowing where you will be eating it??? There must be lots of extra tables in those UK buffets, otherwise there would be lots of people stnading there waiting for space to sit and eat. Onboard, that's not always the case.

Edited by RUBBER DUCK

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My get-away from the cruise: Every night, after dinner, I take a long slow walk around the ship on the lowest open deck. Usually deck 4 I think. Same location as most muster stations. To me it's the only place where you feel like you're out at sea. Dimmer lighting, no kids, no loud music... it's how I imagine the old ocean liners were. You can hear the waves hitting the hull and smell the spray. Maybe even feel the spray if it's rough. Some nights you can even see stars. Light pollution prevents you from seeing many stars on the upper decks.

 

 

This is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and favorite places to do it, when the ship is at sea. Incidentally, on the Vision and Radiance classes, it's on Deck 5. Don't know about the other ones.

 

From what I gather, this option isn't available on the Oasis class ships, as it appears that the lifeboats hang out over the side of the deck and block the view, as opposed to hanging directly above the deck. (Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.) If this is the case, it's unfortunate, and a drawback to these ships.

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If there is a long line for drinks at the pool bar just walk to the railing and gaze out to sea and yell "WOW Look at the Whale". When everyone runs to the rail to see you get you drink without standing in line.:o

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If there is a long line for drinks at the pool bar just walk to the railing and gaze out to sea and yell "WOW Look at the Whale". When everyone runs to the rail to see you get you drink without standing in line.:o

 

Hehe - love it :-)

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if there is a long line for drinks at the pool bar just walk to the railing and gaze out to sea and yell "wow look at the whale". When everyone runs to the rail to see you get you drink without standing in line.:o

 

 

rotfl! :d:d

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So, on a crowded ship, the elevators get a little crazy....

 

Tip 1:

When you want to travel several floors without picking up extra folk along the way, hold your floor selection button and the "door close" button at the same time until the doors close. Then you'll travel in "priority" mode.

 

Tip 2:

Elevators don't go all the way down while you're in port. Or do they ;)... The ones closest to the disembark gangway don't. On the Freedom boats, the ones on the aft end of the boat, opposite side from the gangway will go all the way down to even the 1st floor while docked. The others stop on the 2nd floor and make you walk down.

 

Tip 3:

SOME elevators go ALL the way up, and SOME don't!

 

Bonus Tip:

The closest gangway to the port fence entrance is almost always the only one people see, but not the only one available. Your mileage may vary with this one depending on your port/boat. But, look and you will see if it's true for you.

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So, on a crowded ship, the elevators get a little crazy....

 

Tip 1:

When you want to travel several floors without picking up extra folk along the way, hold your floor selection button and the "door close" button at the same time until the doors close. Then you'll travel in "priority" mode.

 

 

Unless you're on your way to a meeting with the captain, it seems more than a little selfish to use this one.

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The people I've seen dashing through the door and straight for the food are people who are just impatient, and frankly often rude. There were folks on a past cruise who literally were reaching directly in front of me to grab a roll they wanted before I could get it, or running to avoid having to stand in a line.

 

Only in America.

 

People are the same everywhere I think!

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That is the funniest tip ever! Dolphins work too! You'll see people pointing out into the sea for the phantom mammals!

 

I second ordering real eggs from the omelet station! They are so much better than "liquid eggs!"

 

I also grab mayonnaise packets at lunch because sometimes I want a BLT for breakfast!

 

My all time favorite sightseeing is watching the drunks trying to make it back on the ship from their catamaran party excursions. On my last cruise a gentleman about 70 yrs old was griping the handrail for dear life while his DW dragged him by the other hand up the stairs on deck 2. He looked at us & said "Her name is Margarita & they were soooo good!" one step at a time, he made it!

Edited by Cruise718

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Ria,

We are on the opposite wave length! I sometimes grab bacon at breakfast because I want a BLT for lunch when there's lots of mayo, lettuce, tomato, and bread, but no bacon.

 

On the voyager class aft there is are stairways to go from one deck to another. Don't know if you are supposed to used them, but.... they are there and they are convenient if you want to get to aft cabins on higher or lower decks. Not much traffic on them - never saw anyone at all.

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So, on a crowded ship, the elevators get a little crazy....

 

Tip 1:

When you want to travel several floors without picking up extra folk along the way, hold your floor selection button and the "door close" button at the same time until the doors close. Then you'll travel in "priority" mode.

 

We just booked our first cruise on RCCL and I have loved reading MOST of the tips that others have provided but this tip seems really rude to me. It's one that I will definitely not be using and I hope others feel the same way.

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When strolling to breakfast peek in other types of cabins if housekeeping has propped their doors open to see what they look like.

 

I ALWAYS do that, my DH says its because I'm just plain nosey but I say its because I'm interested. Either way, it often amazes me how untidy some people leave their cabins :eek:.

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So, on a crowded ship, the elevators get a little crazy....

 

Tip 1:

When you want to travel several floors without picking up extra folk along the way, hold your floor selection button and the "door close" button at the same time until the doors close. Then you'll travel in "priority" mode.

 

...and then you have more time on whatever floor you ended up on to wallow in your narcissism, since you are obviously so much more important than those lowly "extra folk".

 

I just don't get some people...

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