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poutanen

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About poutanen

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Calgary, AB
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    https://www.facebook.com/mattimatrix
  1. Telus has the same thing... $7/day in the US, $10 anywhere else. I've used it many times. It just uses your normal data plan. I used over 1gb one day on our recent cruise, no issues.
  2. We just finished our Jewel B2B a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it. There are some things missing from the experience, but other things filled their place. Hope you enjoy your next cruise!
  3. HA!!! This thread brings up a great debate about tipping in general. It seems to be very regionally dependant. Common practices in the states (where it seems like you tip everyone?), aren't mirrored in Canada, and may be very different in Europe and Asia. Some people may take offence to you offering them additional money for doing their job! My personal view is that a tip should never be EXPECTED. I would much prefer the standard wage to be built into the cost of the items. I'd rather meals at restaurants be 10-15% more than they currently are, and then if you get better than expected service, you could tip an additional 5-10% on top of the price. I tend to tip my massage therapist, because she does a GREAT job every time, and gives me additional stretches to do at home to help. That said, why don't I tip my dentist for doing a great filling? Why don't we tip our auto mechanics when they solve a problem in record time? Why doesn't the wife give me a tip for taking the garbage out and cleaning the cat litter? The custom is inconsistent. And it's inconsistency is a problem that can leave people expecting a tip to feel snubbed, and people that are unsure of what's the local custom to feel anxious. I tend to look up the local customs of wherever we're travelling, but I'd much rather the world worked on a more consistent philosophy that tipping should only be for service "above and beyond what is expected".
  4. Thanks! It was a great year to be a Pats fan, that's for sure! Our medical stuff is fertility related, so extra emotional, but we're learning a lot about ourselves, our friends, and life! The biggest thing I've learned is that I need to spend MORE time on cruise ships. In fact I think one of the doctors we saw prescribed it. So it had to be done! We're stoked to be heading back to the southern Caribbean again, and doing a whole bunch of things we've already done before but loved. Enjoy your 2018 cruise, and maybe we'll see you on another ship one day! We love cruising out of San Juan, and going to the south caribbean. This time we're flying in one day ahead of time, and spending a night near the university. It was a super cheap hotel but with good reviews, only one way to find out if we like it! Happy sailing! :D p.s. This thread is helping me get stoked for April! I don't think it's sunk in yet for the wife... but I'm in cruise mode already.
  5. Hey Laura, great review! We were with you on the Jan 2016 B2B :) Didn't think we'd make it for a cruise this year, as we've been going through some medical crap that we had to pay out of pocket (don't believe in the hype of "free" Canadian health care, but that's another story)... Nevertheless, we're doing a B2B on the Jewel coming up in early April!!! Decided it was a worthwhile investment in our mental health. :D Glad you had a good cruise, and maybe we'll see you guys again on another one day!
  6. Thanks you too! :D So after responding to this thread today, and finally posting our cruise pics to facebook, I'm getting a second wave of post-cruise blues. I put together an excel spreadsheet of all the Adventure cruises from Jan-March 2017 and now I'm trying to figure out which week(s) to do. I suppose we can always book and if the finances don't look right in the fall we could cancel, right? Sure, I'm going to go with that logic. What week did you guys pick?
  7. Hi Cindy, we were on the same B2B as Laura. Agreed it was a really easy process! Much faster than our Allure B2B (where we had to disembark, sit in a waiting area, then get back on)... They had a small but tasteful lunch for us in the MDR. To tell you how fast the process went, we all met at 11:00 to be processed by a customs agent, and by 11:30 or so a bunch of us were at the MDR waiting for our lunch. :D I really hope my wife's business does well this year because we'd both love to do a Jan 2017 Adventure B2B, the itineraries look amazing!
  8. The only thong I've seen in Port Dover was being worn by Thong Man... I'll stick to the Caribbean I think! :D
  9. I've taken my Canon 7D DSLR to the beach before, did that on our honeymoon cruise. Got some amazing pictures, but felt like I always had to watch it. Wife and I wouldn't go into the water at the same time to play. Since then I've bought a Fujifilm XP80 for $140, and just carry it with me at all times (especially when I'm snorkelling!), and it's a lot more fun. I brought the Canon on our B2B a few weeks ago, and didn't take one picture with it. There is a big difference in image quality, but looking through the XP80 pics brings me just as much joy remembering the cruise as looking through the Canon pics. I won't bring the DSLR next time...
  10. Yup, she posted on Jan 11th that it was a big waste of cyberspace and should be removed. I guess all the other uses for cyberspace are good? :D
  11. House liquors, wines, etc., not premium like Grey Goose, fancy wines, as far as I know.
  12. I can't compare them to other lines, as I've never cruised on anything else. That said, we leave for a B2B today... There's got to be a reason I keep spending my hard earned money with them! Entertainment we've seen has been fantastic. The aqua show on Allure, comedians, piano players/singers, and the solo or duet acts played in "central park". Staff has been great, we sailed on the Allure in March 2014, then again in Jan 2015 for a B2B. We recognized many crew members, who also recognized us and in many cases knew us by name. Maybe they're primed on this stuff before each week, but we actually felt like family with the crew. Some fantastic people (and others mediocre). The ship has been great, much more comfortable bedding than I expected, much more to do than I expected, much shorter lines than I expected (based on the Oasis class cruise critic naysayers). They seem very organized for herding 6500 cattle onto and off the ship, feeding them, entertaining them, cleaning up after them, etc. So I guess that's my overall impression of Royal... Impressed. Relaxed. Welcomed. Fun.
  13. Wouldn't surprise me with pages and pages of people explaining how to take it out as cash to use on shore, take home with them, buy their little girl a pony, etc. :mad:
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