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kateg

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  1. I'm trying not to panic and it probably isn't a big deal but. This year I told my teenagers that we would all have dinner together in the MDR EVERY night. I booked this cruise over a year and a half ago and I made all my show and dining reservations as soon as they were offered in the cruise planner. Just by happenstance I was looking through our reservations and noticed that my kids are only showing on our dining reservation for the first night- even though I know I made our reservations with all 4 of us each night. The kids are in an adjoining room and have a different reservation number so they had to be added separately. I thought I would just modify our reservations to include them -I figured it was a computer glitch- But when I tried to go back and add the kids to our reservation all the "good" times are gone. I read on another thread that you can literally just show up to the MTD MDR with no reservation. Is that what we should do? is there a better approach?
  2. We didn't think the buffet was bad at all. (Its been two years since we were on Royal and we were on an Oasis Class ship if that makes a difference). If you pick the wrong foods it will be terrible-you just have to know what to avoid. If it is normally expensive then its not going to be good on the buffet. Steaks and seafood etc. should be avoided (those are definitely Golden Corral quality). I think "American" foods tend to be weird on cruise ships because the chefs aren't from the US and don't get the subtleties of US comfort foods. The Asian/South East Asian foods are good. Made to order Omelets are better than eggs in the chaffing dish. Some foods are great when fresh and awful after they sit a while (fried things). Fresh veggies, salads, fruits are always good. Breads are usually OK. Some desserts are blah and others are really good. I found that the pizza (in the pizza place) was meh-unless you got the chefs special-which was usually pretty good. Our last cruise was on Celebrity. I didn't really think there was a huge difference in the Celebrity Buffet and the Royal Buffet.
  3. We have only been on Celebrity, NCL and Royal. My kids love the Oasis class ships on RCI. The food is average I agree, but when my kids are happy my husband and I are happy. I think the shows and entertainment on the Oasis class are better than any ship we have been on. They have so many activities and we love the different neighborhoods. Its an adventure just to walk around at night. I also think the itinerary and class of ship and the level of room (suite vs non-suite) can make a big difference in your experience. Celebrity was pretty boring but we were in Alaska so we soaked in the scenery. The food was great but we were in a suite-so we got to eat in the suite only restaurant. For NCL we were in a suite -I don't think I would enjoy NCL if I was in a standard room. We enjoy Royal without upgrading rooms or dining-so that makes a difference for us too.
  4. I'll play devils advocate. My husband got the beverage package and it didn't work for him. He is an occasional drinker. Maybe one day he could make it pay for itself, but he couldn't drink that much everyday for 7 straight days. He didn't like the "fancy coffee" that was included (he even paid out of pocket for Starbucks). Getting a bottle of water was met with sighs and eye rolls and many places flat out said they didn't have any. Getting fresh juice was time consuming and took longer than the meal sometimes. All in all he opted out of getting it for our November cruise. For the record we brought two bottles of wine and one came home with us. So NOT big drinkers. If you can drink at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with cocktails before bed and in the afternoon-and you can do it everyday and you want to drink that much everyday-then it is a deal.
  5. We will be in Coco Cay this November. I imagine my teens might like to sleep in and join us on the beach later in the day. Will they be allowed to leave the ship? Or will we have to trudge back to the ship to meet them so they can leave with us?
  6. Just be aware of packaged meats like sausages. We had so much European meat (think summer sausage-completely sealed and shelf stable) confiscated in US customs on our return home. It was such a waste.
  7. Try the coffee first before committing. My husband didn't care for it and it was one of the reasons he bought the drink package. He would have rather paid for Starbucks...still not his favorite but much better, in his opinion, than the ships specialty coffees.
  8. Like everyone said-it's a buffet. But it has a tiny selection compared to the Windjammer or the Solarium.
  9. Ok my husband just corrected me. Did I say silhouette in my ordinal post (posting from my phone) we are on Solstice. That’s sort of important if I’m going to complain. Sorry.
  10. NHC cruiser, when were you on silhouette? I showed My husband photos of the coolers taken by past cruisers because he didn’t believe me. They are certainly gone now. He has been going down to Michael’s Club for coffee and drinks with co-workers and he has brought me an occasional coke. One bartender gave him water day 1 and day 2 he was refused. Our suite did not “include” a drink package. Even our butler was odd about this saying “you get this bottle of water for free but I can’t bring you anymore because you don’t have the drink package” (and we had not inquired about water-he just felt the need to tell us we couldn’t have more) We aren’t big drinkers. I’ve had one drink in 4 days and that’s plenty for me-thus why we have stopped getting packages. I refuse to go back down to MC. It was unpleasant and I felt spoken down to and treated like a freeloader (before we ever even got the the bar or asked for anything).
  11. My husband said the concierge is Kelly or Kelli. In additions yesterday he asked for a bottle of water and was refused. They only had Evian and since we don’t have the drink package they wouldn’t give us a bottle of water. I have to say after everything I’ve read my experience has been quite shocking.
  12. On solstice now (July 20) and there is no grab and go cooler in Michaels Club unless it is somehow closed and not visible. Additionally the concierge went out of her way to tell us not to take any drink out of the lounge. After all I’ve read about MC I was very disappointed.
  13. I'm no expert- but I will be in Alaska the same time asyou. I live in Atlanta and didn't wear ajacket all winter here. So, I am also strugglingwith how much gear to bring. I did livein Minnesota years ago and I still have gloves and hats etc. that I am bringingjust in case. This is what I am doing. 1. I keep checkingthe weather forecast. So far, theforecast for our trip looks unseasonably dry and warm. And while the forecast most certainly willchange, I am not seeing 6 days in the 30’s. So, I have added more shorts and short sleeves andfewer fleecy layers to our bags. 2. Layers vs. bulky jackets. You probably have sweaters and shirts you can layer without buying a lotof gear you won’t use. You might buy a waterproofshell you can wear over layers you already have. My husband and I are both bringing a lightjacket (mine has a zip-out fleece liner and I did buy it for the trip) and lotsof options to layer under the jacket in casethe weather is colder than we expect. 3. I considered what excursions are doing? Some of the more adventurous excursions actuallysupply the outerwear you need like kayaking. We only have one day where we will really need hiking boots and warmclothes. The other days we can managewith less if needed. So if youare just walking around port or riding on a train/bus you can probably get awaywith less gear. We will have ponchos forheavy rain-vs buying expensive rain gear that we will never use again. I am trying so hard not to overpack!
  14. Your kids are still young enough that they may find tight quarters adventurous. We booked a simlar room, for our family of 4, for our first cruise. We ended up upgrading at the last minute to a 2 bedroom suite. I was worried about space and we got a great deal. That was a BIG mistake. I mean we had a grand vacation. But it is hard to go from a 2 bedroom suite back down to a single cabin. Now we HAVE to book 2 rooms- but now our kids are adult sized teenagers. I think you might give the single room a try and save your money for the next cruise.
  15. I don't recall it being a big deal with my teens lastDecember. We told them what they had tospend and they managed to stay pretty close. I don't recall if we set up a spending limit or not. I sort of remember they had an amount ofshipboard credit attached to their cards but no other credit available just incase. I wouldn't call my kids super conscientiousor responsible and they didn't have any problem not over spending. Plus my son loves Arcades and he didn't even like the one on the ship...which helped.
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