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About Qstrom

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    Cool Cruiser

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    long beach
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  1. We got to El Corralitos restaurant every time we're there......excellent food and service......last time there we got a two pound lobster lunch for $39 bucks......ask for Larry.
  2. La Buffadora is a nasty tourist trap.....I've heard the winery tour is good, but young folks not so much. I can recommend El Corralitos restaurant in town easy walking from ship for great food and service, we stop there every time we're there....ask for Larry.
  3. I felt that because of how much WIDER the Oasis class ships are, we felt movement side to side much more while inside the promenade area.
  4. You'll need to use another cruise line though.......Princess does more to Hawaii......
  5. My wife and I have been to Maui once.....we've decided next time a two week cruise out of LA (our home port) makes more sense since airfare is so expensive. My sister paid to fly the Hawaii then took that Norwegian cruise around the islands.....they paid like 12K total......sounds stupid to me. We need to wait a couple of years before we can take two weeks off to do it but sounds like a better plan to us. We can get a cruise for the two of us for $3500 and not involve an airport.
  6. I'll chime in on the "Princess food is far above RCI" statements......we have more Princess cruises than any others, that said we just got off of the Explorer of the Seas last week and were disappointed in the food overall. Breakfast in the dining room was horrible and we never did that again......when you can say the buffet food is better that's pretty bad. We love Princess breakfasts in the dining room......much better. We ate in Chops, their steakhouse, one evening and compared to four years ago they've really gone down in quality.
  7. So I'm hearing folks asking about the "enclave" on the Royal which we're sailing next April, first time we've sailed the newer class ship so we don't know and I have not been able to find any pictures or reference to an enclave when I look at all the pics here for the Royal. I know about the sanctuary but that's on other class ships we sailed, so just what and where is this "enclave" please.......thanks.
  8. We just ate at Chops aboard the Explorer last week for the "first night done right" deal......we were with our son's girlfriends parents and I kind of purchased it for everyone as I know what a cluster the first night can be for anytime dining which we had. It was thought that we would be assigned to either Chops or Giovani's Table and I requested 7pm reservations, when we got on board I asked about it and was told that we had to make reservations then that we were not assigned anywhere. I chose Chops and took a 7:15pm time. The father of our son's girlfriend was so impressed with everything that he was happy to repay me later in cash which I did not expect or ask for. He was particularly impressed with the bacon steak appetizer and his steak (16oz ribeye) was perfect. While the service was very good there were some missteps along the way.....we gave him plenty of warning that we all wanted decaf with dessert and it never came. They brought us special anniversary and birthday desserts for our occasions we had noted which was nice.
  9. I was on board this sailing and did not find a smoke smell in the promenade ......even the casino was not that bad......
  10. Just a quick note about our four night Explorer cruise. We joined our son, his girlfriend and her parents on this cruise for family connecting time. All had interior cabins and everyone was happy with them. Arriving at the ship around 10;30am we were aboard by eleven....they get you off early when leaving but that also allows early embarkation too. This was our fifth cruise with RCI having sailed on Oasis, Radiance and Vision class ships. I will say RCI does some things right like having brewed coffee in the cafe free all day long, something Princess charges for and you need to wait in line for it. What I think RCI needs to improve in is their beds. They were changing out the bed foundations during our cruise and you'd see them stacking up in the hallways. They use metal frames and put the mattress into it. This results in a very FIRM bed you hear everyone complain about. Our backs weren't too sure if they liked it. Princess "dream beds" are so much better that is one thing they do right. The food in the dining room was just OK with nothing standing out. We tried to get the same table as we liked the staff and got it for two nights the third and final night we were assigned another area and that did not turn out so well. We ordered wine by the glass and were charged bottles so had to fix that the next morning. We had the beverage package and highly recommend it. Getting a drink was super easy anywhere unless I was trying to BUY a drink for my son.....they had no idea how to do that. We enjoyed the solarium pools as it was cool and water was heated even in the flowrider steam was coming up in the mornings. Overall it was a great cruise but we're going to stick with Princess if only for the beds.
  11. That class of ship is one of our favorites as it's got a real connection with the sea. So much glass all around.....it feels very nice and open.
  12. My wife and I did the crab shack in November 2016 and while the food was very good, the portions are too large for us to do anymore. We were both so miserable after dinner all we could do was walk the decks for hours ......can't eat like that now. Anymore we share most meals (if not cruising) or we pay a high price.
  13. I seem to remember Washington state having an expensive 25% tax on wines and liquors when I was up there in 2016. We're considering purchasing a couple of bottles of wine to take on board, are we going to pay that much more as to not be a reasonable option and just pay for a bottle on board....? We have a beverage package however I'd like to have a full bottle of wine for our group of six for dinner. Thanks
  14. The Chart House is a close walk from your ship.......end of pier.....many others there as well.
  15. It's true you're limited to Spring/Fall when they're moving ships to/from Alaska season......either way it's a crapshoot as to how cold it would be and obviously Vancouver should be coldest Los Angeles warmest. It will get warmer as you go South and cooler at sea, but San Francisco can be warm and beautiful one just never knows. We did one in October and absolutely LOVED IT......however San Francisco is as far North as we went from LA.......would do it again. Next year we're booked on one out of Seattle to Astoria down to SF and Monteray then Victoria........in September. We'll be up on the Explorer in two weeks for a four nighter to Victoria/Nanaimo......hoping for good weather.
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