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Posts posted by MrsPete

  1. 4 hours ago, DCT61 said:

    I don’t care how much it costs, if there is an emergency at home....call me. 

    Eh, maybe, maybe not.  Can my knowing about the emergency make things better?  Is it even possible for me to get home sooner?  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  Two true stories:


    We were in Florida celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  We were scheduled to drive home on Friday, and my grandfather died (he was old and fragile, but hadn't been particularly sick) on Thursday.  My mother opted NOT to call us.  As a result, we enjoyed our last evening in Florida, and we drove home without stress on Friday.  Upon our return home Friday night, we found out he had died, and we scrambled to be ready for the funeral on Monday.  If we had known about his death, we could not have done a single thing to improve the situation, and we would've been miserable on our drive home. 


    We went on a cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary -- hmmm, I see a pattern here -- we're close to 30 now, and we're staying home! -- and another grandparent died in the middle of the week.  It would've been difficult to contact us on the cruise, but no one even tried.  Sure, we could have left the cruise early, paid last-minute plane fares for six people ... but what would that have done?  Again, our presence would not have made one bit of difference.  We would've been stressed traveling home, and we would've hated wasting half our cruise ticket cost ... but our presence would not have improved a single thing about his death.  This situation was actually a little bit worse in that we arrived home on Sunday and the funeral was planned for Monday evening ... because of us. 


    My mom was actually the one who made the decision both times NOT to contact us, and she did exactly the right thing.  With the advent of cell phones, we seem to have the idea that we MUST have bad information RIGHT THIS MINUTE!  If it's available, we MUST HAVE IT!  Why?  Does it really benefit us? 

  2. First, have you been to the orthopedist? If not, you should! If your plantar is currently inflamed, let him give you a cortizone shot. It will hurt, but you will be better the next day.


    My orthopedist made me a set of orthopedic inserts, which slide into most shoes -- Keds-type sneakers, boat shoes, loafers. They're no good for sandals or strappy evening shoes, but they make MOST shoes work great. I stand up on a tile floor for work, and with these inserts, my pain is a 0 level at the end of the day. These inserts are supposed to last about five years (I'm on year three, and mine are still in perfect condition), and they cost one doctor's office co-pay.


    Second, I can wear a number of shoe name-brands (without my inserts -- 'cause as much as I like my inserts, I live in the South and want sandals). I've figured these out through trial and error, and they work for me. All the rules are 100% mandatory -- absolutely no compromise:


    - Arch support is the most important item, and it must be in just the right place.

    - Sandals or flip-flops must have a "high strap" ... that is, a strap that hits near the ankle, not down by the toes.

    - Shoe soles must have a "heel bed"; that is, the heel bed must be cupped to cradle the heel.

    - Shoes must have a small heel; 1/2" - 1" is enough, but a flat shoe is a no-no.


    I wear Keds, Vionics, Sketchers, Tevas, Jambus, and Chacos. Not EVERY style works, but those brands are all in my everyday rotation. These are 90% as good as my inserts, so I don't wear them on heavy-walking days at work, and I wouldn't wear them on a lengthy walking excursion. For a walking excursion, I would wear my inserts in slip-on Keds or Sketchers boat shoes.

  3. Most airlines now have a box in which your carry on must fit. The website dimensions are, in essence, a guideline. If it doesn't fit in the box, you have a non-conforming bag. One of the biggest problems is that the empty bag may conform but, when you use the expansion zipper or just overstuff it, it no longer fits.
    Yeah, I don't think those boxes are new.

    It's easy: Don't use the expansion zipper or overstuff the bag.



    Celebrity lost our bag in port of Miami on the 4th of August, to this day they have not found our bag or given us compensation for the bag...
    One more reason to pack carry-on only. If you carry your own bag, it's unlikely to be lost.

  4. Play up the romance part of it and get him to look purty for you! You are worth it! We can belch beer breath, and yell at sporting events all year long. How many chances does he get to take you to a nice dining room, all fancied up, and live out the White Knight night with his future wife? :hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes:
    I was going to say something very similar. You want some nice photographs. This isn't a trip to Myrtle Beach (also called the Redneck Riviera).

  5. But more specifically, it is LITERALLY the equivalent of a buffet
    I constantly tell my students: The best, strongest sentences are not lengthy and full of fluff; rather, the best sentences are concise and to the point. In this case, delete most of the words:


    It is a buffet.



    Sometimes I get tired of the "dining" experience
    Totally agree. While I enjoy the MDR, a lengthy dinner seven nights in a row can be "a bit much"; however, I can't say I love the WJ for dinner. We eat at the buffet because we're tired after an island stop or we just aren't up for -- as you say -- the "dining experience", but the WJ isn't as nice a dinner.

  6. Given you've spent bucks to pay for a cruise, I would hit a medical professional now for diagnosis and treatment. Respiratory, strep, sinus, viral, bacterial... get the pro's opinion.
    Yep, that's exactly what I was going to say. Upper-resp stuff can just be a simple cold ... or it can turn nasty and stay with you for weeks and become something worse.


    At any normal time, I'd tend to wait a couple days and see which direction it's going ... but if I had a cruise scheduled only days away, I'd get to the doctor ASAP. Even though I am usually in the camp of "don't over-use antibiotics", I'd ask the doctor for an antibiotic ... just in case it's something like Strep or Bronchitus in the making.


    And don't neglect the obvious stuff:

    This week, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, drink plenty of healthy liquids.

    Pack plenty of OTC meds.

  7. Multiple thoughts:


    - Eating in the room seems to me to be more work. You have to transport the food, then you have no access to salt and pepper, no way to refill a drink. When you're done, you have the messy trays leftover.

    - If you're going to do it, I'd bring along a pack of paper plates from home ... then go get one BIG plate of food from the buffet, then divide it between the kids' paper plates in the room. If I were going to do it, I'd bring something like styrafoam take-out plates (and plastic forks) and a wide-mouth water bottle from home.

    - Consider planning ahead: Go to breakfast in the buffet, and bring back fruit or cookies so you'll have a snack later in the day.

    - Ordering room service would be easier than all this preparation and transporting.

    - If the buffet seems too big for the kids, consider some of the smaller eateries: pizza place, little sandwich spot, Johnny Rockets.

    - I "get" that the MDR is problematic because you have to wait for your food. Consider bringing some little puzzles or a Viewmaster viewer ... and withhold those toys except for waiting-for-meal-times so the kids'll be really into them for that short time. OR have one parent go to the MDR first, order, then the other parent can follow 10 minutes later with the kids.

  8. Many airlines have started cracking down on non-conforming "carry-ons" (finally).
    I suggested a rolling carry-on bag. Nothing about these is "non-conforming".


    A quick Google search tells me that carry-on luggage may not exceed 45" in combined length, width, height. An average bag seems to be 22x14x9. That's pretty big, but some of my clothing is child-sized.


    When I was a child, my parents both worked for the airlines, and we flew free (space available), but we had rules. One rule was that each person was only allowed an official airline carry-on ... it was about the size of two shoeboxes. I've always been a good packer, and I think that early experience is part of why.


    We find that somewhat difficult when packing for a 2 month trip to multiple climates :). But we do know some travelers that manage with a single carry-on....by washing out some of their stuff on a near daily basis. DW and I generally prefer to have a nice selection of clothes for various climates and formalities, rather then washing things out. In fact, we never wash anything out while on trips but simply rely on laundry service :). It is a vacation and we do not feel that washing our clothes is the kind of thing we want to do when traveling.
    For a two-month trip, I think anyone would need to do laundry in some way -- whether you wash things yourself or whether you send it out. I don't own enough clothes to skip washing for two months.

  9. First an embarrassing story: Before one cruise, I tried on a "swim dress" at the mall, and it really suited me. I looked at it in the mirror a long time, wondering if it was "too old" for me, but finally I decided that it really did bring out my best features ... so I bought it.


    One day on the ship I was wearing that swim dress at the adult pool and was quietly reading. Another woman -- much older, much heavier, and most definitely drunk -- was annoying everyone at the pool. She was loud and somewhat crude, and I don't think I was the only person failing to enjoy her company. I got up with the intention of moving to the other side of the pool ... and I realized SHE AND I WERE WEARING THE SAME SWIM DRESS. As much as I loved that swim dress (and still wear it today), I didn't wear it again on the cruise.


    The real moral: Always take a couple swimsuits on a cruise!



    Multiple random thoughts:


    - I agree that two-pieces are easier in the bathroom. You can get two-piece swim dresses ... I don't have such a thing, but I'm sure I'd like it.

    - I think swim dresses /swim skirts are in style now. Even my college daughter has one. We had a family swim party last summer, and I realized that almost every woman in my family -- regardless of age /size -- was wearing a skirted suit of some sort.

    - Don't we all like the fact that these suits provide some cover for the often-difficult bikini line?

    - That black suit with white polka-dots is adorable.

  10. So my attitude is bad, because I sent back disgusting inedible food? Well I am glad you know what is like, but you mentioned in a group much scenario different then going it as a solo! I have no one to scout or hold a table! I expect no less then the snarkiness of the people from this board!
    I'd say your attitude is bad because of comments like these: When you are living with mobility challenges you'll understand! … Try it sometime and maybe you'll will be a little more helpful … No wonder why I can't stand people! … I expect no less then the snarkiness of the people from this board!


    I agree that the food you've pictured is lackluster, and I agree that you have every right to (politely) complain ... but these nasty comments to online posters do nothing towards finding the path to resolving the problem.


    I understand your problems. While I am able-bodied, I was a primary caretaker for my grandmother, who lived a century. I'm well aware of the small details that gave her trouble /the small things that made her life easier.


    Given that you've had problems with tables and trays, here are my best suggestions:


    - Skip the problematic buffet and stick to the MDR (or other venues that offer wait staff). That will remove the problem of finding a table, juggling a food tray and a cane, and refilling your tea. In the MDR you'll be seated with other cruisers, which will also make your meal a more social event (which you seem to want ... and not want).

    - Contact RC's special needs department before you cruise, and let them know that you need a table kind of "out in the open" /easy to reach -- not a table in the corner or a table that requires walking through a maze of other tables/chairs. When you board, go to the dining room right away and talk to the Head Waiter -- he will be available during boarding to help with problems. Check out your table, and -- if it's not easy to reach -- request a change with him. If you do this right away (not while he's seating people for dinner), he will probably be able to help you.

    - You say you were cruising alone. Perhaps next time invite a friend -- sounds like another set of hands could've been helpful.

    - Canes are trouble -- you have to hold onto them. I've seen two types that might be easier for you: I've seen models that have a "wrist strap", which would allow you let go of the cane for a moment ... without losing it. I've also seen models with a three-pronged base, which allows you to let go of them for a moment without the can falling over.


    Everyone seemed to agree about getting the fee reversed for poor quality. Just not for the reason of mobility issues.
    I certainly agree with this comment. If the food tasted like it looks, it's sub-par ... but the reasoning makes no sense: No one should be served poor quality food. Disability has nothing to do with it.


    Adventurous night for MDR! I hope all that Pasta & Rice is actually Cooked! I know the mashed potatoes have been fine! The fish at Bistro way over vcooked the steak looked as well the other day! Off to get wicked runny eggs, but the pancakes okay! Fruit pretty good!
    You know, when someone dislikes a couple things, I tend to listen and sympathize ... when someone finds a negative to essentially every meal or every dish, I start to think that person's hobby is searching for problems.


    I believe some of the cruises do single meet ups.

    If I was single I would pop along and make some friends then at least you would have someone to keep your table when you went for tea and vice versa.

    Nice idea! Expanding upon it:


    - Once you've booked a cruise, search out (or start) a thread to get to know people.

    - Sign up for your Meet-and-Mingle.

    - Maybe consider signing up for a suite so you'll have access to the lounge. That'd give you another social venue ... with the same people every evening, so you'd get to know them.

  11. Start to finish for childrens passports, 13 days... took 1 hour to complete the process( because we didn't remember that the library cannot take cash had to have money order which added that half hour) other wise less than 1/2 hour, from date to date 13 days, adult Pass port renewal 11 days start to finish, it is no trouble to obtain... we just did them all
    As I said, passports are some trouble to obtain. The other option -- a birth certificate -- is something you already have (or you need to obtain for the passport anyway). This means the birth certificate option is less effort and free. You have to decide whether it's worthwhile or not, but the passport is more effort.


    It's a matter of priority. I think it's safe to say that anyone who can drop thousands of dollars on a vacation can afford a passport that is good for 10 years. Some people just prefer to put that money towards a $1000 drink package.
    I suspect that's true for the majority of cruisers; however, if you're only going to take a cruise or two in those 10 years, it's still an expensive choice.


    If that were true, no one would ever be evacuated from a ship, but we know that's not the case. While a ship infirmary can handle many things, it's not a hospital and it doesn't have teams of doctors certified in all areas of medicine.
    Take a look at my whole statement, note the topic sentence, and you'll see that you're not really responding to what I said.


    The most likely outcome of either choice:

    - You will board the cruise, stay the whole week on the ship, and disembark exactly where you intended.

    - If you need medical attention, the ship's medical center will be able to take care of it.

  12. What'll happen if you purchase the passport:

    - The passport'll cost more than $100/person, it's some trouble to obtain, and it will expire. Children's passports are more trouble.

    - In the unlikely situation that you need to fly home, your ability to board will be unimpaired ... however, you'll have to wait until the ship reaches an island ... and on small islands, a flight may or may not be available the day your ship reaches that island, so you might end up staying in a hotel a night or even two ... and you'll pay last-minute high-prices for the ticket. Regardless of whether you have a passport, flying home won't be easy or cheap. You won't fly home mid-cruise unless your reason is extremely compelling.

    If you fly with a birth certificate and state ID:

    - Since most of us need the state ID for everyday life, it will cost you nothing.

    - The birth certificate will not expire.

    - In the unlikely situation that you have to fly home from a foreign port (remember, not all Caribbean islands are foreign ports), it will be a hassle and you will pay more than you would've paid for the passports. This is definitely a more difficult situation, and it still includes all the difficulties mentioned above: wait 'til you arrive at an island, hope a flight is available, be able/willing to pay a last-minute ticket.


    The most likely outcome of either choice:

    - You will board the cruise, stay the whole week on the ship, and disembark exactly where you intended.

    - If you need medical attention, the ship's medical center will be able to take care of it.


    This all assumes -- things become tricky for other situations:

    - You're American and sailing to/from American ports.

    - Any children with whom you're traveling are your biological children with your name.

  13. Look into the new Pill Pack thing -- CVS offers it, but not at all its drugstores. Some small private drugstores offer it too.


    What it is: The pharmacist places ALL your pills for this-or-that time of day into a small plastic bag ... it includes vitamins ... it includes/excludes things you may take seasonally. You get one month's worth of medicines /vitamins on a "roll" of plastic bags. Each bag is labeled by the day and time -- "Monday, September 1 A.M.", etc. So if you miss a dosage, you know it. If you're traveling, your prescription /pharmacy is printed on each and every bag.


    Cost: Nothing, though my mom did say it was some trouble to do the first month. That is, they had to get all her prescriptions to start at the same time of the month. And you can't stock up when vitamins are BOGOF and use this program.

  14. Things Jeff should do:


    1. Go ahead and purchase the package while it's on sale. These sales can disappear at any time. If Jeff purchases the package and then decides it's a bad deal, he can always call and cancel it ... but by reserving it, Jeff is "locking in the price".


    2. Jeff should learn the cost of various Royal Caribbean drinks so he can do the arithmetic and determine whether the package is a good deal for his personal drinking habits. Here is a smattering of Royal's non-alcoholic prices taken from Google:


    $4-6 Assorted lattes and Infused iced teas

    $5-6.50 Frappachinos

    $5.15 Smoothies

    $4-6 Fresh squeezed juice

    $6.50-13 Fru-fru drinks, which I assume would be the same without alcohol

    $3.50 Canned soda

    $2.25 Bottled water

    $4 Red Bull


    3. Jeff should factor in the question of whether he would bring his own sodas /bottled water onboard if he chooses not to purchase a package.

  15. Personally I'm not interested in re-inventing the wheel ... I figure once I leave a tip in a restaurant what happens to it is out of my control ...
    ... if the employees thought that they were getting screwed Royally by the current system then they wouldn’t return to work contract after contract ...

    These two quotes sum up my thoughts. A system exists. Given a free market economy, it's safe to assume that the employer and the employees have accepted this system as fair, so why should we -- the customers -- try to recreate something we think is better? Why should we create chaos by inviting every cruiser to act upon his or her individual ideas? Just do what's easy and expected: prepay the standard gratuities, then give a little extra to anyone whom you deem to have gone "above and beyond".

  16. If you can't afford the time /money for a night-before hotel, you can't afford the cruise!

    We don't always go all the way to the port, but we insist upon being within an hour of the port. If you're driving and want a cheap place to stay, try Days Inn in Titusville; it's just off the interstate and about $80/night.

  17. Yes! These make a lot of sense for the beach: For about the cost of one day's rental, you can have a tent that'll last you for years. They're about the size of a camp chair /fit into an over-the-shoulder tube. They can be popped up in less than five minutes and require no staking. Because they give you shade on three sides, you're less likely to burn from reflected sun.


    You're not talking about using them on the ship though, are you? There's really no space by the pool.


    As for being "allowed" to bring such a thing, why would anyone even notice? Nothing about these beach shades would catch the eye of security.

  18. Multiple thoughts:


    - I'm perfectly happy to drink iced tea or Diet Coke without a straw, but I do want a straw for a fru-fru drink, and I don't want a paper straw. I'll bring my own straws and will be sure they end up in the trash.

    - As for drinking containers, I'm sure paper cups are better for the environment than plastic or styrofoam cups ... but I'm not sure whether paper cups are better or worse than the water and detergent required to sanitize glassware.

    - Glassware doesn't make sense by the pool, where it could be dropped and someone's bare foot could be cut ... so some type of disposable does have its place on a cruise.

    - Bringing your own Tervis Tumbler or Yeti-type cup does make sense in terms of environmentalism ... as long as you also bring detergent so you can wash it. There's nothing good about making yourself sick with dirty glassware.

    - I've always been against bottled water; I genuinely think it should be banned. I carry a washable bottle of tap water to work every day -- how hard is that?

  19. The cabins you're describing are few in number, and -- as a result -- they go for a premium price.


    I'd much rather have a couple connecting cabins. Several rooms will give you more privacy and multiple bathrooms. We've done this with three balcony cabins in a row. We had the cabin steward open the balcony dividers, which gave us one long balcony. We left our balcony doors open so we could go from room to room without "going out into public".

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