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About LaraTiara

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    Cool Cruiser

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  1. Asking for a friend.. [emoji6] Better to wait around for the Sip n Sale or take the current Come Back New on offer for Spring 2019? TA offering a bit of OBC on top of CBN, but it’s nothing to leap at. Thoughts? Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. OHtoNC Just to clarify further our experience from 2016: We used SPB, we did not obtain visas during that cruise travel. Our previous visas were for different trips for different purposes. As I mentioned, there was no problem with the SPB tours or border control. The tour guide shrugged it off when I mentioned it in country, and said there would be no problem. She was correct. But if you are concerned, then by all means, use PCL tours. That’s reasonable and I as an adoptive mom of a Russian child completely understand your concern. But others have gone ahead of you without an issue, not long ago. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  3. And also, I should mention that our son at age of cruise travel was the age of compulsory Russian Army service. That fact crossed our minds. But that won’t be a concern for a daughter. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  4. Your situation was precisely ours, same age of our child at time of adoption and sailing. Same ship even. Summer 2016. No problem or even a single question at the border at all. Additionally we didn’t utilize the cruise line excursions on the 2 days in port. We had, in years past, been to Russia with our son on a number of charity trips. He travelled then with his US passport and one time it was even misspelled for 5 years (typo, still never questioned). The visa requirements were different in that case, even more strict, so the tourist visa you will have at time of your travel is perfectly fine. Enjoy the cruise! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Thanks squadron and silentbob007. I appreciate the insight! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  6. Sorry it’s our third Royal Caribbean cruise, but thank you for the correction. The sale makes perfect sense as a reason not a policy, thanks. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  7. Just a head’s up to you all, in case you are new to cruising RCL like we are. In addition, we are finding in certain ports we prefer to book through the cruise line. The cruise line can, of course, choose to increase their pricing but as cruisers I wanted to let you all know what I learned this morning. A week ago, over 30 days precuise, I used Cruise Planner to book and prepay our shore excursions. Glad I did. Checked on the bookings this morning just to verify one port in particular, and noticed it had increased by $15pp. Upon review, all the excursion prices had increased. For 3 excursions for 2 people, I’d saved $88 by booking over 30 days out. What! Clearly a policy for RCL, so I am putting it out to you all in the forum. In case you all were unaware. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  8. LaraTiara

    What is wrong with me? How do others do it?

    Exactly - to each their own. Enjoy your cruise!! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  9. LaraTiara

    Purchasing watches on Princess ships

    TwoCruisers Fossil and Michael Kors watches are essentially the same functioning, only the branding differs. My girls bought rose gold watches and still wear them. Check the patter for pricing, but it’s reliable to buy on board. And crew can replace with a new battery at point of purchase for you. [emoji568]⚓️ Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. LaraTiara

    Getting a Massage

    Alaskanb and everyone else covered it all very well. My mom and I love the massages and do get one every cruise. They have all been licensed and professional, there’s no worry about that. Do arrive a little early to relax in the waiting area with a cup of tea or flavored water. The spa experience is never meant to be rushed. The ladies will never shoo you off, so just sit and enjoy before and/or after, whatever your timeframe allows for. Bring a change of clothing if you want to use the showers and sauna also (if you’re in the smaller ships - no sauna on Royal/Regal unless you pay the thermal spa fee). The hot stone choice is nice IMO, as it heats up the muscles and loosens them, but my mom goes for deep tissue. And we do always request for quiet during the massage. Pricing is always better on the sailaway day and port days, if you want to save a bit off that. Gratuity is included. You may want to wait til you have a kink in your neck from a pillow, or travel, and let the masseuse work it out. That’s been helpful in the past. I’ve never purchased anything, though my cousin did buy teeth whitening and was very pleased with the results. And hydrate, as mentioned. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  11. Hi - welcome to CC First off, I haven’t thumbed through your entire thread but there is an excel spreadsheet here on CC you will locate by a quick word search of AIBP. This topic has been covered a number of times. AIBP is a personal and financial decision. It also depends where you’re from (certain cultures drink more, in our experience) and who you’re with (on a girls’ only cruise I switched TO AIBP on the first day, noticing how the cruise was going to become costly otherwise!). If you have the means, and believe you will benefit from the convenience, go for it. No sharing. We have used it for shorter 5- and 7-day cruises. But I found I consumed more calories and alcohol than I wanted to justify the expense, and I have found that a per-glass works better for me. We usually get the soda package now, and room service spirits offered for cocktails, and use the happy hours for frozen drinks or other beverage choices. 5-7 drinks a day for the duration was over consumption for me, in addition to the large lovely meals. Like I said it’s a personal financial decision. Enjoy your holiday! ⚓️ Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  12. LaraTiara

    What to pack

    Packing is very personal, yet that time of year in SA is still not the “summer” temperature range one hopes. I’m doing that SA cruise also, and in addition to the outerwear already mentioned (shell, fleece, winter jacket, layers, hat, gloves), I’m bringing a hefty scarf and wearing my big UGGs. If I can bundle my neck against the wind, I’m usually fine. But I run cold. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’d rather wear UGGs on an excursion and be toasty than regretting I’d left them back home! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  13. LaraTiara

    Is Lotus spa open for treatments on day 1?

    Yes, take the encouraging advice posted above. And prices are usually lowest on the sailaway so it is the best day to do the Spa then, in my opinion. Have fun with your mom, what a special treat to enjoy a cruise together!! Such a gift.
  14. LaraTiara

    Going to have to add a Virgin Voyages Forum

    Is this the countdown we’ve been anticipating all month? [emoji7] Sent from my iPhone using Forums