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  1. I am getting very confused by the RCCL web site. Yesterday they had a number of cruises in June 2020 going to Glacier Bay. Today no cruises in June 2020 to Glacier Bay. I was willing to consider RCCL for Alaska however I am now not sure. Anyone know what is going on?
  2. I would assume the rules make sense to RCCL's legal department. Whether they are enforced uniformly is another matter.
  3. Make sure you have whatever IDs RCL requires (look at their website) for your cruise for each individual (including children) for your particular cruise (eg, Passport, Driver license, birth certificate) Step 0: Decide if you want to buy Travel Insurance, there is a limited amount of time to buy the insurance after making a first deposit if you want the pre-existing condition waiver. Step 1: Get a current book out of the library by Moon and/or Lonely Planet that covers the cities you will be docking at. You might also want to look at " https://www.travelalaska.com/" Step 1A: If you are doing My Time Dining (probably makes sense in Alaska since it is port heavy with varying return times) book those times NOW if possible. The buffets are OK however I personally like the sit down dinners, but I don't travel with children. The sit down dinners take some time and are multicourse events. I would try it at least once early in the cruise. At the sit down dinners you CAN (unless something drastic has occurred) order an extra entrée for your family to share and multiple appetizers and/or deserts. Just try to order what you will eat and not waste. Step 1B: Depending on the ship there may be free and/or reasonably priced entertainment options that you can book for at sea days available in cruise planner. If there is something interesting book it NOW, you can always cancel within the time period provided in cruise planner. If there is a price, check every few days to see if the price drops. Step 2: Ship based excursions can be but are not always more expensive. Decide if the ship based excursion is what you want vs doing it on your own. FYI, you don't have to do an excursion if you don't want to. You can just walk off the ship and explore on your own, Alaska is part of the US. The benefit of the ship based excursion is that things are planned out for you and they usually guarantee that you won't miss the ship or if you do they will get you to the next port. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE THE PEOPLE RUNNING TO MEET THE SHIP, THE CRUISE SHIP WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU IF YOU ARE LATE AND DID NOT BOOK THROUGH THEM. The downside of a ship based excursion is that there a lot of people on them and they are not flexible. If you find a ship provided excursion book it now and check the price every few days to see if it drops. You can usually cancel up to a few days before the sail date without a problem. Check the fine print. FYI, usually but not always there is a line to leave the ship and those on excursions will sometimes get off the ship before those who have not booked a cruise line excursion. If a third party provides an excursion read the fine print. The ships generally try to meet the posted itinerary HOWEVER, the cruise line does NOT guarantee the itinerary and a cruise ship will sometimes miss a port or adjust the time it enters or leaves a port. Step 3: Decide if you will be bringing any beverages on-board the ship. The last time I looked you are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine (750ml) and a dozen 17 ounce softdrink/water bottles onboard at embarkation in your carry-on luggage. Look at RCL's website to see if this is still true. If it is decide if you want to bother. As was said above if you dink a lot you might want to think about a beverage package that includes alcohol (there are rules about both adults buying an alcohol package). There are also soda only packages that can be bought for the soda-holic There is also a refreshment package that can make sense. Also last time I looked a coffee card. Lots of Cruisecritic info on these. As was said above you don't have to buy any of these and just drink the free stuff and buy an occasional soda or cocktail. Personally when the refreshment package is $20 or less per day (not including tip) it makes sense for me and my wife however that is a personal choice, not everyone in the group needs to buy it. Prices do go up and down. Step 4: You don't have to purchase any extra costing specialty meals. I have found the free food on RCCL adequate, do not expect 4 or 5 star dinning regardless of what the brochures say however I have always found something to eat that I was happy with. That said, if there is a specialty dining option you want see if the price is right and book it in the planner. Step 5: Seattle is an interesting city and worth a day or 2 of sightseeing if you can swing it. Try not to fly in on the day of the cruise if you are flying. Best to be there a day or 2 before even if not sightseeing Seattle. Step 6: WIFI is not free on the ship. Not sure purchasing it makes sense on an Alaska cruise however that is a personal decision. Step 7: In your leisure look at the various articles about dos and don'ts and what to pack, etc.
  4. Any business that knows what it is doing will segment the market and try to address those segments where it thinks it can successfully compete and where the market segment is large enough. Trying to be all things to all people will usually fail. I haven't seen it in writing however I believe that RCCL ships are targeting families and young adults (except for their smaller ships), Celebrity is targeting 30-40 something adults and slightly upscale, Azamara - upscale.
  5. Generally you are not allowed to bring anything open, once tried to bring a lemon onboard and it was confiscated.
  6. My wife did the free afternoon tea on Crown and enjoyed it more than on the QM2. The QM2 was just too crowded. At the free tea they had tea of course and small deserts. There was also live music. Very nice.
  7. I assume your question relates to the pre-existing condition waiver that you can get if you buy the insurance within a certain period of time when you make your first deposit for the cruise. The different insurance companies may have a different take on the answer to your question. I don't think anybody on this forum is actually qualified to answer the question. As a general rule, insurance companies don't like to pay off claims, especially large ones.
  8. I agree with skynight that the timeframe will lend itself to more kids. However, Celebrity and Princess will probably have fewer than lets say RCCL that likes to add things that tend to attract children. Haven't sailed Celebrity however of the lines I've sailed the Princess cruise I was on had the WORST cocktails I have had at sea. Not sure how it will turn out however FYI, there is a court hearing regarding Carnival.
  9. On Anthem of the Seas are the specialty coffees at La Patisserie included in the refreshment package?
  10. Thank you. Just trying to understand if it is worth buying a package or pay as you go.
  11. Looking at June 2020. Was thinking of Princess however they might be banned from Glacier Bay.
  12. I would also like to know the answer to the question plus what happens if the OBC is not fully used.
  13. Not exactly on topic, how do the packages work in the a la carte restaurants?
  14. Never cruised on NCL. Thinking of booking an inside cabin on Jewel for an Alaska cruise and was looking for any comments on that ship. Don't really want to spend on a balcony. I have questions like is there enough outside space to look at the glaciers (eg, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay)? How is the ship? Is the food good or will I need to spend for the for fee dining? Does the ship feel crowded? We like smaller ships so the Jewel is probably the largest ship we would want for this type of cruise.
  15. You will be in the heart of hurricane season so might see if it is expected to be a bad season or not.
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