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Everything posted by nzdisneymom

  1. We plan to go to the Bon Bini Festival when we are there in two weeks. We have My Time Dining which doesn't start until 6:45 on our cruise, so we'll miss dinner onboard and thought we would just get something from one of the other venues around 5. Our friend sailing with us doesn't get back from his excursion until 6 PM and I wanted to leave the ship no later than 6:15 (doors open at 6 PM and I don't want to have to "run" to get there). In fact, I told him it's probably best if he doesn't come back on the ship and we just meet him off ship to go. If you have already sailed, what did you find out about the food situation? If you haven't sailed, I'll report back on what we discover. Also, if you've already been, can you tell me which route you took walking and how it was street-light-wise? Google maps gives me a few options but it's a little hard to tell what's the best way to get there.
  2. We haven't been yet but will have a similar situation with time to fill in the afternoon. I have to eat gluten-free so was asking on other sites about suggestions and got several recommendations for the Dutch Pancake House that is just by the cruise terminal at the Renaissance Mall. They said it was really good for anyone, so we expect to try it.
  3. That is such great news! We have a cruise booked for the Jewel next month, and then the Adventure next April. Our first cruise with a CPAP was this past September and I used duct tape to secure the cord to the floor overnight and pulled it up in the day... but it was a nightmare to get the "sticky" off the extension cord on the last night - thankfully we were able to get it off, but it took some work. So I was excited when I read someone said they thread it across the ceiling.
  4. We usually do, but how much varies based on how long the tour was and what it involved. And that's whether we book through the cruiseline or book a tour independently.
  5. I use a CPAP and after my first cruise with the extension cord strung across the cabin floor, I was looking for a better solution - someone suggested using the magnetic hooks to thread the extension cord across the ceiling and over to the plug. We're gonna try on our next cruise in April. I bought an extra set of magnetic hooks just for that purpose. Like others, we use the hooks to hold bags, caps, lanyards, belts, etc. so they are easily located and helps avoid excess clutter on the little surface space we have. I didn't realize they could be used in the bathroom, too - that will be nice to have a place to hang a few things there.
  6. nzdisneymom


    Is there anywhere near the cruise port to get a Passport stamped?
  7. Unfortunately the Baby Beach route for the bus doesn't seem to be running these days: https://arubus.com/popular-destinations/
  8. If you've made reservations for MTD prior to sailing but want to see about changing them, can you do that once onboard? We're sailing on the Jewel in April and booked late so early dining was full (and no waitlist) and the available MTD reservation times were all later than we would like. I wasn't sure how the MTD works if you don't make a reservation, and also, if you have made a reservation, can you just go whenever and wait in line, or do they make you wait until your reservation time? Also, we had someone else decide to sail with us who booked today, and their MTD times are obviously not able to coincide with ours so we're just trying to figure out what our options might be if we want to still dine in the MDR.
  9. We can never get past the hold time. We've emailed a few times - DH's C&A disappeared and we don't know what his number was. And the system assigned him a new one. We didn't have but 8 points from a Sept 2022 sailing but we'd like to get it sorted out before we sail in April. Is there a C&A person onboard the ships usually that might be able to assist?
  10. Is the reason you can only get guaranteed because you're only booking for two guests, but if you add a third to your stateroom, it allows you to select a cabin? I'm always confused about how it works as to what can be booked by who and when and how many.... As for your question, the answer is usually If you have to ask.... then you already know the answer.
  11. We sailed on the Mariner of the Seas from Sep 3 - 11, so I thought I'd share my experience with navigating a gluten-free (Celiac) diet as I know others may be interested. Prior to sailing, I confirmed that our reservation had my food allergy listed so it would be available to the main dining room wait staff. This was the first cruise I have taken since being diagnosed with celiac in 2014 where the assistant server, server, and head waiter for our section were aware and on top of my dietary needs from the very first day. The other cruises on other lines have been hit or miss and rarely did I have anyone remember to get my order for the following day. The first day is a little tricky if you want something from the main menu that needs modification, so expect it to take a bit longer for your dinner to be ready. But after that, I pre-ordered for the next day before leaving the dining room each evening. Also, bring your phone with you so you can see the menu for the next day(s), especially if you will be skipping an evening as they don't have menus for future days, just the next day, available as a hard-copy. We were in Main Dining Room 3, table 130. Ida was our assistant server and he made sure to not only bring out GF bread for me, but to put the regular bread basket on the far corner away from me so DH could have it but it didn't have to pass over the table. Nishank was our main server, and Peter was our head waiter. Peter handled taking my order for the next day. (Also, if he saw me in the Windjammer, he would make sure I had any questions answered). In the Windjammer, I found that Henry, one of the sous chefs, was nearly always available on the floor and able to walk me through the dishes as to what was GF and what was not. Several items are GF and were served daily, so once I knew what was what, it was easier to pick out safe foods for me. A few WJ tips -- at breakfast, the toaster for the GF bread was on the starboard side. Cezar became my best friend at breakfast as as soon as I appeared around the corner, he knew to get the GF bread for me. They keep it in a cupboard covered and away from the other breads and pastries in the area, and the toaster is a dedicated one. They change gloves and use a clean fork to handle the bread going in and out of the toaster. At lunch, they had some delicious looking egg salad sandwiches. I asked them to see if the egg salad was GF (it was) and they brought me some in a bowl from the kitchen/galley. To get a GF bun for the burgers always took some time and the buns fell apart pretty easily, so after the 2nd one, I just skipped the buns. The GF pizza at Cafe Promenade was delicious. And because they don't cook it until you order it, it is always piping hot! When you ask for a slice, they cook a half a pizza. I couldn't get them to tell me what brand it was, but I think it was Udi's. It was good every time except once when they overcooked it (it was a busier time of day). The longest I had to wait for it was 10 minutes, and I usually just found a seat in the Cafe and they brought it out to me. At Coco Cay, they had a lot of GF options; I found someone to talk with about GF options while they were setting up (I really wanted some of the BBQ chicken - and it was GF!). The chef mentioned that they had GF cookies, so after we had our lunch later, I found him and asked about them. They were Udi's brand and that triggered in my brain that I probably could have been getting GF cookies from Cafe Promenade all week. Once we were back on board, I tested my theory and was correct! At Coco Cay they had both chocolate chip and snickerdoodle; on board I only got chocolate chip. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants or buy any food from Playmakers or other locations onboard, so I don't know how those were. We also did not get room service. I hope this is informative for others who have to maintain a GF diet while cruising on the Mariner of the Seas.
  12. I know this question was asked 3 months ago, but someone else may have this question (I know I did). We were at Nassau last week. When you come back into the secure area, there is a hut off to the side where you can get your passport stamped. We just asked a security person about it and he showed us where to go. We didn't have our passports with us at the time, but when we went back out later in the day, we didn't have to leave the port area to access it - we were able to just cut through from the departure side to the arrival side by the hair-braiding stands that are inside the secure area. I don't know about other ports in the Bahamas.
  13. We were there on Friday (9/9) and this was what we also observed.
  14. We had just this situation on the 9/3-9/11/2022 sailing on the Mariner of the Seas to Bermuda. We arrived around 3 PM on Monday, Sep 5th, with a scheduled departure of 3 PM Wednesday, Sep 7th. But with Hurricane Earl on a path that way, it was decided that we would leave at 7 AM ( pretty much day-break) on Wednesday morning so we could skedaddle out of the way of the storm. Capt. Tobias explained about the daylight restrictions and because it takes about 2 hours to fully clear the channels, if we left on Tuesday, it would have been at 5 PM. He said that was still his preference but he knew we could still beat the storm by going fast and more directly west than the southwestern route he usually takes from Bermuda to Nassau, so he made the decision to leave at 7 AM on Wednesday. It was a good call as we were able to get out safely and not experience much effect from swells.
  15. Unfortunately, Hurricane Earl cut our time in Bermuda short so we did not get to tour with Heidi.
  16. We had to ask to get some Bermuda dollars/change back from our souvenir purchases. We like to collect a little bit of local currency when we visit somewhere new.
  17. We used our Travel Pass with our cell service provider as well. We hadn't done it before but once we found a spot to get the initial good reception for the 4G, we had pretty reliable service.
  18. We saw the wifi as a possibility when we were checking for wifi last week but didn't realize it was legit for the Dockyard. So this is good information for future visitors.
  19. We were able to get a stamp in our passports on the day we arrived at the Dockyard. We did not see anyone available the next day, so I was glad we got it done as we disembarked shortly after our arrival on Monday afternoon. There wasn't a sign like there is in Nassau, but a quick question to one of the terminal security people directed us to a woman who was able to stamp the passports.
  20. Just a heads up that these are being suspended starting Friday, Sep 2, due to funding issues, so order before then.
  21. As for the timeline, it seems the TA approvals are coming 7-8 days ahead of embarkation dates. We submitted ours in early August for a Sept 3 departure; we got one approval yesterday and had to resubmit the second one as the vax records didn't make it. We resubmitted those yesterday and got the approval today. The approvals say this about COVID testing, but the cruise line may have different requirements. (For example, our RCCL sailing says tests 2 days in advance including the PCRs.) IMPORTANT NOTES: A Negative COVID Test is REQUIRED to board the ship. Please have your test in hand along with your Vaccine Certificate. What is an accepted Test? Supervised ANTIGEN up to 2 days before embarkation OR COVID-19 NAAT test (PCR, LAMP or TMA) up to 4 days before embarkation. It looks like they prioritize requests based on airline arrivals, ship departures, etc. When you apply, you select your ship and sailing date, so I suspect the application goes into a queue that they work on when it's about a week out to give time to fix anything (like what we had to do). Hope this helps.
  22. Is there anywhere in the cruise port area to get our passports stamped? Or elsewhere on the Island (besides the airport)?
  23. We are also going to be there arriving on Labor Day. I emailed the Bermuda Craft Market and the Bermuda Fun Golf. Both are open Monday. So for us, that's what we will check out on arrival day.
  24. Welcome back. Does the Mariner adjust to the local time zones or stay on *shop time*? We sail Sep 3 and wondered for when we go to Bermuda. Was there fresh orange juice available in Windjammers for people with the various drink packages? How was the safety drill check-in? Any suggestions for what not to miss for 1st-time-Mariners?? Thanks again for your review.
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