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CNickMN

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About CNickMN

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    RCCL

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  1. When you reach Prime, you get free drinks in the casino. To reach Prime, you need 2500 points. It doesn't have to be all on one cruise. The program's year runs from April 1 to March 31 the following year, so you need to get 2500 points within that time period. On slots, you get 1 point per $5 put through the machine. I'm not exactly sure how they give you points on the table games, but you get points for table games too. I will say that it seems to me (and other gamblers have noticed this as well) that you rack up points faster playing slots rather than table games. Anyway, once you are Prime, you can get free drinks in the casino, which includes the casino bar. If you weren't Prime at the start of the cruise, then once you achieve Prime during your cruise, you will need to see the casino host, who can put a sticker on your Sea Pass card. Then you can go to the casino bar whenever, show them the Prime sticker, and order the drink. You don't have to be actively gambling to get a drink.
  2. There's another facet to having the drink package that a lot of people don't take into consideration. Are you the type of drinker who basically sticks with one or two types of drinks, or given the opportunity, would you choose to try a wider variety of drinks? There's no right or wrong here; it's just what you prefer along with how many drinks you think you'll have a day. Some people stick to beer OR wine OR (for example) a vodka soda. Maybe you never, ever order something like a French 75 or a Citrus Cosmo. But part of the advantage of the drink package is you get to try a lot of different fancy schmancy drinks. And they aren't just sugary, cloyingly sweet junk that tastes like they came from a slushie machine. You can find some really fun, sophisticated, and unique cocktails on board.
  3. Yes, that's right. And as far as I understand it, whatever status you made up until March 31, 2019, will be your status on April 1, 2019. So then you would have from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, to build up your points from zero to 2500 or above. So it's not as though you are completely starting from scratch, ya know? It's sort of like your status "grandfathers" you in for the next year even though your points get reset.
  4. It's $5 a point no matter how many pulls it takes you to get to that $5. Also, to get to Prime (where you get free drinks at the casino bar), you need 2500 points. But keep in mind that doesn't have to all be on one sailing. The program year to accumulate points runs from April 1 to March 31.
  5. As long as the bar has a bottle of Campari. The poolside bars might not be able to make you one, as it's much more of an evening cocktail than a poolside drink. But I've never had an issue with getting a drink with Campari in any of the inside bars.
  6. That was my first thought too! For those who are unfamiliar, essentially, it's one part Campari, one part sweet vermouth, one part gin, served with an orange slice. Campari is a bright-red liquor that is bitter/herbal/vaguely sweet. A negroni is a strong drink, so I often opt for a Campari and club soda, sometimes with a splash of sweet vermouth. As for other drinks to try: I will say that their Ultimate Mai Tai is the best mai tai I've ever tasted.
  7. We were on the Majesty with an overnight in Havana June 2018. We had also been told that you had to book an excursion through the ship to get off in Havana. We went ahead and booked a third-party tour for the second day. We went out on our own the first day and got tickets to a show for that evening (not the Tropicana, but some great Buena Vista-type Cuban music). The next day we had the tour (which was excellent, BTW). That is all to say that in practice, you just need to fill out the paperwork, and you actually have quite a bit of leeway in how you spend your time. The only thing I'll say is that the first day, it took a really long time to get off the ship and go through customs--more than an hour. Those who had ship excursions that day got off much faster, I believe.
  8. In the OP's case (Diamond and $500 OBC), I wouldn't think it would be worth it, even considering the nonalcoholic beverages. Just consider the OBC as your "drink money," and don't hesitate to draw on it. As for us, we've gotten the drink package in the past, but not anymore. We're Diamond, but more importantly, I'm Prime and my husband is Signature in Club Royale, so we get free drinks anytime at the casino bar (not that I'm recommending gambling that much just to get the drinks...doesn't actually make sense economically lol). The only time I still miss having the drink package is when we are doing our post-day-in-port-afternoon-cool-down pool time. We have been known to swing through the casino before going to the pool to pick up a couple of mai tais, but I always feel a bit guilty for asking the casino bartenders to make me a complicated drink, as they are usually pretty busy.
  9. We were just there a few weeks ago, and there is swimming at the far end of Adrenaline Beach. I think the other options might be better for just plain swimming, but I did want to mention that if you want to do a little snorkeling, Adrenaline Beach is quite lovely. Not spectacular, but fun, and in the end I was glad we had taken our snorkeling gear with us.
  10. I've always wondered about UrComped. My husband gambles a fair bit. I mean, wherever we travel, if there's a casino nearby, chances are we'll hit it. Is UrComped really worth it? Anyway, as to the topic, here's what we've noticed about the RCCL casino and points: We seem to build up points much more quickly on the slots than on the table games. We have no hard stats on that, but it's just something we've both noticed. In fact, we were asking the RCCL casino host about points once (we were close to a balcony certificate rather than an interior and it was nearing the end of the cruise), and she told us we were better off trying to get the last few points on the slots rather than the table games. Her exact words: "Blackjack's not going to help you."
  11. We were on the Oasis in November. We had the late seating at a large table. For the first four nights, we were the only two at the table. Finally, the kind folks at the table next to us asked if we wanted to join them, as they had an extra pair of seats. Nobody else ever showed up at our original table. On the cruise before that, several of the other couples at our table missed periodically because of dining at the specialty restaurants. So, yes, it seems to be quite a trend. As for us, we still like the MDR and don't really see a reason to pay extra for the specialty restaurants.
  12. My husband and I did a 23-day transpacific from Seattle to Sydney. There were lots of sea days on an even smaller ship (Explorer) than you will be on. And I loved all the sea days, to be honest! It was nice to be able to keep a somewhat more relaxed routine rather than feeling I had to smush all the entertainment and hoopla on board into a couple days. Most mornings, I'd go to the gym or walk the track. Then I'd have an iced coffee, maybe a quick swim...maybe trivia later in the day or find a quiet place to read. Some evenings we'd catch a show after dinner or just sit at the piano bar or the pub or gamble a little in the casino. Some nights we'd be out until pretty late. Some evenings we'd turn in a bit early. In a way, it began to feel more like a community instead of just a bunch of people on vacation, you know? Anyway, I'm sure you will have a great time. The Allure is a gorgeous ship!
  13. My husband and I each got a snorkel set from US Divers a couple years ago from Amazon. Both sets have been used a number of times and have held up well. We love snorkeling, so having our own equipment has been a cost saver compared with renting each time. Sometimes we do an excursion (in which case having your own equipment doesn't save you money generally), but sometimes we'll just find a good snorkeling beach on our own if we are familiar with the port. They do take up some room in the suitcase, but, eh, it helps us from overpacking otherwise.
  14. I take my coffee black, but I've found on Royal I have to put a little milk in the coffee to make it taste OK. Let's just say it's not great coffee. At best, it's a caffeine-delivering system. But I've never tried the room service coffee. I'll have to try that next time. Or maybe I'll switch to tea for the cruise. You can't screw up hot water, right?
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