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About Joseph2017China

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    World Traveler

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  1. I never understood self-assist, where you are crammed with all your closest friends carrying oversized luggage, trying to squeeze through several choke points, just to get off the ship. I know there are reasons, such as flights etc, but if you are driving, what is the rush? Poster is with friends that will not self assist. Simple answer is that whenever you have a person that will be in the back of the line, everyone goes to the back of the line. There is no cutting. Go have breakfast, and just get off when you can.
  2. I never tried.....15 minutes seem reasonable to have drink. My chugging days are over. Now I enjoy.
  3. I love posts that start off with "I'm special because I am a 'xxxxxx' ". A sale price is always off the posted price. Sometimes you have various sales, based on your 'status' that might give you a bigger discount then the other sale. You choose what sale you want. But you never get both. Did you ever get a coupon for a free flashlight because you have a loyalty card in a store. The flashlight is $3.99. Another customer has a coupon for the flashlight for $0.25. A savings of $3.74. Do you think the store should give you money back because you only saved $0.25 being loyal? No, you just pick the better deal and get your flashlight. The same is for the cruise. You buy it on sale, and take the best option. You status only gives you a coupon off the posted price. If another sale is going on, than you compare which sale you want and take the best one. Your status gives you "free" items not tied to the price of the cruise. Those are the real perks. Free water in the room (Yay) but most important to many is the free happy hour drinks at Diamond. That a real savings. 24 hours of WiFi. That's nice. A free picture. Those are the perks. The discount is just a coupon that is not always worth the face value if another sale is going on.
  4. Although I never bring a suit on a long trip anymore and just opt for a tie, nice pants and maybe a sweater. You really don't need a suit. But why don't you have room in the suitcase for him. Is because you pack too much for yourself? This is an international trip. So our rules are that you get 23kg (50lb) and I get the same. I can easily pack for two weeks, include one pair of shoes, and a jacket for dinner.
  5. When you have a flight like this, you only have one shot at getting it right. There are no alternative options, like taking the next flight. So, yes, you can make the ship, no problem. Plenty of time. But would I do it? No way. I'm spending a few thousand, and am planning on spending a few days in Singapore, I would go at least a day early, enjoy Singapore for one day (tired) and do another tourist thing in the morning before grabbing your bags from the hotel (who will hold it for you) and enjoy the cruise.
  6. The port is China, so therefore you would be in China illegally. China is a complicated place and a place you don't want to argue your logic. They are in charge. The last thing Celebrity wants is to have their passengers arrested or detained.
  7. A Visa is a process similar to a passport, where Chinese officials do background checks, and various other checks to insure you are welcomed in their country and it last for 10 years. Without the visa, being allowed into the country without a background check is risky and Chinese immigration official at the border will have the final say. You are basically at their front door, with an immigration officer that has the full authority to deny you entry because they don't like the way you look, or having a bad day, or because one of your documents have a small rip in the corner. You have a choice....and the better choice is the Visa.
  8. When tips are "included", it means you are neither expected or required to tip more. You already paid it. This is really simple. Now, if you normally tip more than 18%, than you would do the same on the ship. So, dinner is $40.00. The tip is $7.20 at 18%. You leave another $10.00. That makes it $17.20. The tip is 43%. Some will argue they work hard. I argue so do I. I would love a 43% tip. What about all these packages with reduced amounts. Well, before the package, the restaurants were empty so they made less. Now they are packed, so they make more even though it is less per person. So tip more if you want, but for every person that says they tip more, there are 10 that tip the 18%.
  9. Yes, I know what it is. You get wifi, which you can buy w/o the Key. You get lunch in the MDR with the Chops menu on boarding day, but you can buy that also in Chops. You get a reserved seat in a show, but for many ships, it is not needed, because there are plenty of "free" seats. First off the ship in ports, but seriously, I don't ever remember waiting long enough to be worth paying for this. The rock climbing and flow rider, are something that might be of interest to others, but I would rather do it during a "free" time. However, that is an opinion, and I would rather not pay for free items.
  10. People who get sick most in my office are those that use hand santizer all day long. Those that don't seldom get sick. Germs are everywhere and on everything.
  11. People go on cruises all the time, immediately after marriage, and laws require DL to be changed almost immediately to new name along with a bunch of other stuff. The passport is still fine. The marriage license will have both names on it, and is considered a bridging document. However, usually the best course of action is to book in the name of the Passport. Bring the marriage license. The DL is not needed and the Birth Certificate is not needed (Of course you can bring it).
  12. So, the unwritten rule is that you always carry your medicine and products that you don't want to be handled by baggage handlers. Although I think the Key is a waste of money, it is designed for those that like to cram all their clothes into a carry on bag (to save money at the airlines) and than pay money at RCCL to handle their bags direct instead of giving it to the porters outside. You still must as a recommendation, carry your "valuables" yourself. They are not responsible for it, only responsible for delivering it the cabin.
  13. So, I take taxi's all over the world, and Dubai, like all over the world, a taxi is safe until something happens. For example, most people say, I always take a taxi, and was always safe. So generally, it would be safe, but you always should know where you are going, and know if you are going the right way. Example is that I often use my phone to know if I'm heading toward where I want to go. Especially when dealing with other languages. Taxi drivers are just people making a living. Another person wanted to know if they take credit cards. So generally you should always assume that they don't. I never leave home without cash in local currencies. Worst thing to happen is being stranded without cash.
  14. I stayed in a really old hotel once. It was 176 years old. It received a ton of reviews that the hotel smelled, and that the floors creeked and that the rooms were "dated" and the bathrooms were "dated". So I booked it and we loved it. The Empress is an old ship and many think it is a ship of the bygone error. But I had no issues on it. Every cruise, and class of ship, and destination is different. Each trip is vacation. Don't get on a small ship, and complain that it is a small ship. Just like I have read complaints that they serve Asian food on Asian cruises. Why would you expect different? Just like food, why would you expect the ship to grow in size? So go with the open mind that you selected a relaxing vacation on a classic ship, and you will love it.
  15. Personally, I don't care how my tips are handled. I prepay and forget it. My first cruise, (pre computer age) I tipped in cash the same way. They said I should tip $x.00 and I did. Same as today. I prepay and forget. It is part of the cruise. If I tip more in cash, I don't care what they do with the money. It's is no longer mine, so I gave it away. I don't ask people how much they make. I don't discuss tips with employees who only purpose is to serve me on my vacation and do it well. They are not my friends. It is strictly a service industry, where I am the customer. Sure I talk to them, but not about their finances. I also talk to the coffee lady at Starbucks, and the cashier at the place I been going to lunch for a decade. It is friendly chat, not how much do you make. My point is that tipping topics are just plain humorous with the amount of random, and mostly false info and the stories shared by staff are mostly designed to encourage you to give them more. They are experts at collecting tips, and I'll have another beer please.....and I already tipped 18% so no need for that receipt
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