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hukoli

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  • Content Count

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About hukoli

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Finland
  • Interests
    cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. I have no idea. Didn't go near. Kids say one was warm and other one was cold. And kids area was cold. Hot tubs were hot. I feel I mostly run after one kid or another, my gf and I had two escape style games with us, only managed to find time for one of those. But I met with few fellow cruisers, and I think this was the most polite crowd I have sailed with. Would have been nice to meet you too. I had no idea you could just call to make that tax disappear. I visited their towel station on deck 5. It would be nice to live so close to port... And expensive.
  2. Day 11, end of our cruise After waking up, I checked our invoice for that common towel tax. Only one this time, bit weird since we checked yesterday when we returned towels for the last time that we were ok. After taking care of that on deck 5, we went to our assigned departure lounge. I think we left the lounge around 8.30 am, and we were at our hotel at 9.15 am. Much smoother process than the boarding. Pros from this cruise: -Gold card, I might get used to this type of cruising. -MDR and Chops waiters, they used so much time to keep our kids happy. -Taking a brother along to take the kids in pools and slides. (I hate water, unless I'm diving) -Cabin size was great, and having two bathrooms was even better. -Food was great, no matter where we ate. -Pizza. -Lot of activities on board. Cons: -Rattling tv furniture. -Cabin location in the bow, we felt the ship's movement quite well. Doesn't bother me at all, but gf was on dramamine the whole cruise. -Missed port, but what can you do? -Next cruise desk, nothing to add here. -Bingo, reasons should be clear by now. -Towel tax, wonder why checking out a towel always logs fine, but returning them doesn't? -All those announcements started to get to our nerves. -Smoking in the Casino. -Pools closed quite early. -Timing conflicts with what we wanted to do. -Sauna was hot only once out of my 3 tries to use it Wow. The cons list got quite long. But we still had a great time. As for our next cruise, I think we will be leaving kids home and try some other line, most likely Celebrity. With the kids next trip could be Orlando and Universal's theme parks.
  3. No, I don't think anyone was brave enough to try that thing. Sorry, I must have missed your post while on the ship.
  4. Day 10, last day of our cruise Well, this cruise has been series of bad timings. Today was the same. That sushi making class started at 10, so no time for bridge tour. After that went to watch the parade with our boy, girl was swimming. And after that parade they had some fair on the promenade. Different activities to try, and each successful attempt got you one raffle ticket. It was fun, but we didn't win any of the glorious prizes they had. We tried the win a cruise bingo, as we had so much credit left in our account. Still bad experience compared to our previous ones. Only one game per sheet, total of 3 games. I don't know if this new system is fleet wide, but I think we won't be paying for any more bingo coupons on Royal's ships. We like bingo more when the time spent playing is longer than the part where we listen for the rules and the host telling stories. I tried to visit the sauna again, but same result as yesterday, only cold stones waiting there. We visited the suite lounge before dinner, only time I had seen that place busy. Ate few sushi pieces and then it was time for our last dinner in Chops. Kids were all eating somewhere else, so tonight it was just me and my gf. I may have eaten one too many appetizer or desert, possibly even both, but after dinner I had to rest in our cabin for a while. Then we somehow managed to fit most of our stuff into our bags, and left them outside to be collected. After all that hard work, it was time for some fun. Took our kids to the arcade, and one hour later we have a plastic bag full of cheap prizes. Tomorrow we will eat breakfast at Chops, and our scheduled meeting time is 8.10 am. We have no plans about how we are getting from port to our hotel, or how we will merge with rest of our group after we get out of the port. We should be leaving an hour before those 3 non-suite cabins. And our hotel's check in time is 3 pm. I think I'll do a small summary of our experiences onboard tomorrow, and if getting of the ship was better than trying to get on the ship. And after we get home, I'll try to upload few photos from our trip.
  5. Day 9, Cozumel Both the Atlantis submarine and my diving excursions were cancelled. So we decided to head to town for some shopping. Didn't buy much, girl bought a bracelet with her name for 5 dollars, and I bought couple of sodas while we were walking. Few souvenirs from port and we were done. Tonight was the second formal night, and we had booked MDR for 11 of us at 7.30 pm. After we left the port, I had planned to take a nice long moment in sauna and then get dressed for dinner. No luck there either. Sauna was cold. Spend few minutes in that steam room instead, not good replacement for real sauna. We had asked for the same table what we had on day 7, and got it. Our servers were once again great, they opened up the lobsters for those who needed help, and we got few extra ones on the table as well. We got few extra desserts too to try out. After dinner kids went to bed and I finally had time to spend at Casino. I played through almost 300 in different games, finally won enough to get even. And then I burned through 50 dollars in Arcade with my brother. Had fun, but burning through all that cash in there after midnight, maybe wasn't the brightest idea. But we got over 2000 points on his card, so tomorrow our kids get to open lot of junk plastic prizes. Tomorrow (or today) we have bridge tour at 9.50 am, followed by sushi making class at 10.30. And a lot of packing up to do. Maybe even another go at bingo, since our account is very negative thanks to all those missed activities. Dinner is booked at 5.30 pm in Chops.
  6. He won't be onboard on that sailing. He comes back for the next one.
  7. Day 8, no Costa Maya for us We all were eating our breakfast in Chops, when our captain told us that we can't get to port. Waves were too high. In his first announcement he said that we wouldn't be getting to Cozumel until tomorrow, but after a while he had better news, we would get a berth after Edge left port. This is our first time spending a night in port. Unfortunately I couldn't get any night dives for me, as the port was closed for all minor vessels. Hope I can dive tomorrow, but the messages I got said the port would be closed until Saturday. Lazy day onboard until we got to Cozumel. Kids went to waterslides and pools, some rock climbing wall and then back to pools. I spend couple hours in suite lounge playing, rest of the time didn't do much. Saw our captain standing at guest services in the morning. I think he was there making sure that guest don't yell at the innocent people behind the desk. When we finally got to port in Cozumel, we left the ship to check out the port area. Collected those free charms and some studs. Gf bought few shirts from Del Sol. We ate dinner in the MDR, and then it was time to get some sleep. After missing that last stop, my on board account looks quite nice.
  8. Mangesh (MJ) I will ask about those frozen drinks next time I see him, if I remember. Wind noise is better, and our tv got yet again another wedge to keep it silent. Ship is rocking a lot, and it is way worse up here than on deck 8 hump. We missed Costa Maya due to high waves. We are making our way now to Cozumel, plan is to stay in port overnight.
  9. Day 7, continued After a quick trip to rock climbing wall, we went to see the ice show. Girls liked it, boys thought it was stupid waste of time. I think that same conclusion can be applied to adults as well. 11 of us continued to MDR for dinner. They didn't take reservations after 3 pm, so we didn't have one. I got a pager from the desk, and about 5 minutes later we were seated. Our waiters took great care of us, and entertained our kids by making stuff from napkins. Food was good, as always, and service was fast. Time to get to bed, tomorrow GF and kids have the port pass, and I have 2 more dives.
  10. Day 7, Roatan After a quick breakfast in Windjammer, it was my tours meeting time. It was only about 15 minutes by bus to Anthony's Key Resort. Dives weren't great, but didn't expect much when going with a large group. But they have a great operation going. Good facilities, nitrox available, and they had their own medical clinic in case of any emergencies. Even saw a sign pointing hyperbaric chamber. There were 20 divers on the boat, and we dove in 2 groups of 10. Each group had one guide. Divetime was limited to 45 minutes. Lots of turtles, and bunch of larger fish. They had a camera down with us on the first dive, and were selling photos and videos after our first dive. After our second dive bus brought us back to port. After quick shower I wen't back to look around the port area. Not much there to see, but they are expanding the shopping area. Picked up that free charm and free studs from DI, and bought me a cap. Now I'm back at the cabin. Little French Key had been great for our kids, and if we ever visit Roatan again, they want to go back. I wasn't there, so don't know what to tell. If you have questions about that place, ask away and I'll ask from those who were there. We are planning to see the ice show at 6.30 pm and go to MDR after that. If we ever figure out how many of are coming, I'll try to book in advance, if that is even possible. To be continued…
  11. Day 6, 3rd day of our cruise MDR breakfast had long line, so I went to chops. Kids did the buffet. We visited the next cruise -office, but were told that since we live in Europe, and use Euros to pay, we can't take advantage of any offers on board. And they quoted a price that was 500 higher than what our finnish TA could give. So no new cruise for us. At 10.30 am it was time for slot pull. Great fun as always, this time it cost only 5 dollars. 15 to buy in, and 10 back in winnings. This was orgasized by Darryl(?) on the one blue social media site. I don't too well with names. Tried slot tournament after that, didn't get even close to the score required. Played soccer in sport court with my brother. Not too heavy participation, only 6 players counting us two and one activity staff member. But great fun. Weather was a bit too warm for us, I was ready to die after 10 minutes. After a quick shower I went to bingo with my GF. Worst bingo ever. Only 1 game, full square. We were shocked. On previous cruises bingo has been a long event, with many games and winners. This one seemed more like a money grab. Price was 25 dollars, and prize was 500. We ate dinner at Giovanni's as a family, I think we tasted all the appetizers, our waiter brought few extra ones to our table for tasting. As for main course, I couldn't decide between steak and veal, so I got both. Steak was better, but I'm not saying that the veal was bad. I ate both. Kids chose pasta, and GF ate the steak. After dinner everyone went to bed. Only 9 pm now, and even I'm writing this in bed. Maybe I should try to take a nap somewhere. That heat really draws all my energy out. Tomorrow we will be in Roatan, GF is taking kids to LFK with her mother and sister, I have two dives booked through Royal's Cruise planner. Couple are taking Atlantis submarine, and rest have nothing planned.
  12. We have both in our group. We are staying in 1854. Only differences seem to be that 1804 has bigger tv, and that tv stand doesn't rattle as bad. But we had 2 maintenance workers trying to fix ours today, we'll see if it has made any difference.
  13. I'm a proud owner of a stylish yellow highlighter pen.
  14. Day 5, or day 2 of our cruise First full day onboard, and everyone survived it. Younger kids were sleeping by 7 pm, ours survived through dinner to almost 8.30 pm. Wonder if I can even remember everything I did today… I slept fine until 8 am, kids and gf had already eaten their breakfast at MDR. So I decided to try Chops for breakfast. I can't say how it compares to MDR, but I'm hoping that after tomorrow I can. Food was good and service was fast. Meet & Mingle was scheduled at 9.45 am, almost didn't make it, but managed to ditch kids to their aunt. As a typical Finn, I didn't mingle. Next in program was some Suites & Pinnacles event, and I could get used to those. Small bites of nearly everything was brought to my table, ranging from fruits to wellington. Drinks were offered too. After the feast, cruise director introduced some senior crew, and that was it. When I was heading back to my cabin, our consierge gave me a tray of different treats for our kids. I don't know if this is common or not, but I was impressed. And kids ate everything. Kids had lunch at the buffet, I didn't really need anything to eat after that suite feast. Tried the rock climbing wall with my girl, one climb was enough for my hands. She wants to try again tomorrow. Then she wanted to swim, so we left her to my brother's gf at the pool. Round of minigolf with our son, and soon it was time to get ready for the dinner. I decided to use the showers downstairs, and happily noticed that this ship's sauna has water to throw on the stones. And of course that ridiculous sign telling me not to spend more than 10 minutes in there. After 40 mins in there it was time to get dressed up for the dreaded formal night. We didn't have reservations for my time dining, and the line at the door seemed quite long. But after 5 minutes we had pager in hand and were waiting in the On air club. Under 20 minutes after we had arrived on deck 3, we were sitting at our table. Food was good, but the portions are quite small. Luckily you can order more than one. I settled for just one, because I wanted to taste that supposedly improved pizza. And it really was better than I have had on our previous cruises. I wore a suit without a tie, and didn't feel under dressed. Definately the least formal night I have ever seen. More observations from our cabin: That rattling tv fixture has been secured with about 10 rubber doorstoppers, it is better now, but still not silent. And wind is howling in the windows, didn't notice that yesterday. Hope that tomorrow winds will be calmer. Wi-Fi signal is much better than before, don't know why. And our cabin attendant is great, but he seems to have way more cabins to take care of than on our previous cruises.
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