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About md80fan

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  1. Instead of trying to go through the various threads about the virus and different restrictions and policies I figured I would post here. My parents have booked several cabins for a cruise early next year out of Florida. They booked through a big box retailer. Several of the people are over 70. They have only made the deposit. Since it is in early 2021 they would like to see what options there is to change the date and will the 70 age be a problem. Can they move the cruise to a different cruise without penalty (change in cabin price expected and would pay). They do not want to loose the deposit. They are a little hesitant about doing a cruise in early 2021 and would like to move it until later in the year to see how the virus situation is and how the airline industry is for traveling. I am curious as to what Royal will and will not let passengers do for an early 2021 cruise.
  2. I think the post earlier makes the most sense that the mass market cruise lines are aiming for tourists and not travelers. The mass market cruise lines like Royal know their passengers care more about drink packages and eating options rather than exploring new ports. The passengers will have a good time no matter what port they are in. The smaller cruise lines market more towards exploring off the beaten path and try less explored islands. I really like Royal and especially the Oasis class ships and what they offer. I have also done Freedom out of San Juan to try those other islands like Barbados. I will have to look at vision of the seas and some of their itineraries. I am not sure I would like a smaller ship as I really love Oasis class but I know there is only a handful of ports they can fit in. I know most reviews of Falmouth are not positive but will probably try a Oasis class that stops there just to see something new.
  3. Just curious if anybody has ideas on why Royal uses the same ports in the Caribbean. Does not matter if big ship or small ship. I understand that time and distance plays a part from Florida as well as if the port can handle various size ships. But I very rarely see Royal itineraries with stops in Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Merida / Progresso, and for the San Juan departures Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago. Every once is awhile around a holiday or spring break I will see one of these ports listed. I enjoy St. Thomas and St. Maarten but doesn't it seem like every itinerary stops at those ports. It would be nice to have a little variety instead of San Juan / St. Maarten / St. Thomas when Dominican Republic or Turks and Caicos could be offered.
  4. We usually try to go see the various entertainers and shows. However with this itinerary being so port heavy we were usually tired after a day of walking. We usually came back to the ship and cleaned up and then went to dinner. After we would go relax on the balcony and did not go to any shows. We did go see the band play at the pool a couple of times in the late afternoon early evening but that was about it. If we had more sea days mixed in we would have seen the shows. My parents did go down and watch one of the bands play at night in the promenade not sure if it was a 50/60's music or 70's as I did not pay attention.
  5. In looking at the compass it looks like. Schooner bar was piano bar entertainment with Raul Bull and bear was Guitar music with Brendan Day 3 said Schooner Bar from 9 to 1045 was classic melodies with Voytek
  6. I think I will add a couple more points. Our cruise was port intensive. We did 5 ports back to back with only the last day a sea day. It seemed like we were always on the go, getting off and walking around the island. I kind of missed my sea days to sit back and relax by the pool. They did offer a drink card on the last sea day. I believe it was 88.xx for 10 drinks. My guess is with so many ports earlier in the week not many people bought the drink package. Barbados was interesting as the pier we parked at had this little train that would come and pick people up to save the walk to the port area. It was funny trying to watch him turn around in the little round about at the end of the dock. Not sure how they made such a tight turn. It was a good time and will maybe have to try the ABC run next out of San Juan or see if there is an 8 day out of South Florida to the ABC islands.
  7. Just got back from a nice 7 day on Freedom. This is not so much a review as just some quick points. First getting on the ship had to be the fastest ever. If it took more than 5 minutes then maybe 6 tops. San Juan was nice as they have a bag drop off area for a group of floors. We were on deck 7 so he dropped us off at 7. There was no other passengers there and we put the bag at the desk and walked into terminal. We walked right up to an agent who asked like 2 questions took a picture and gave us the actual sea pass card. She said they already started boarding so we walked right onto the ship. We must have been dropped at the terminal at 1130 and on the ship by 1135. Our family members who did not travel think we lied to them about how fast we got on. Also not sure if this has to do with the way they pre sort bags in San Juan with the drop off by deck numbers but it seems like bags were delivered to staterooms rather quickly. The windjammer (especially for breakfast) is just way too crowded. There were times you could not get a seat. My parents on a couple of days walked out and went back several times until they could find a seat. We never had a problem like this on Harmony or Symphony ( I am not saying they are also not crowded just not like this). One morning my parents heard them making announcements to please finish your meals and leave so other guests can sit down. My point is Windjammer is just not big enough. They also did not have many places to get a glass of water ( I know small point to complain about). On Harmony and Symphony there were water stations almost everywhere but on Freedom trying to track down a glass of water was tough especially if the promenade was crowded with a party or event. Not everyone wants a soda or drink but just a nice glass of water. The balcony on Freedom seemed bigger and the divider seemed to open more (Than on Harmony or Symphony) which gave the feeling of even more room. The balcony just felt bigger as I do not know the actual square footage of any of the 3 ships I have been on. Overall it was a nice cruise and nice to see some of the other ports like St. Lucia and Barbados.
  8. Thanks for the response. I never thought to compare it to all the "Self Employed" and contractors type jobs we have here. I guess what got me thinking was the crew members refer to leaving the ship as to going on vacation. When in reality it is not vacation. It is just the easiest way to explain their time away from the ship. There are obviously many industries and jobs that have similar situations. Thanks
  9. I just got back from my 3rd cruise. Had a good time. What struck me as odd as like on our previous cruises the number of people who asked very detailed questions about the employees their lives, their jobs, their situations. One quiet night in the windjammer we were sitting by this couple at a table next door. This couple was just asking all sorts of questions. How hard the job is, How working conditions on the boat are, the low pay, long hours, being away from family, how much sleep they get, or type of food they get onboard. We heard other families also asking their waiters and even room attendants as we walk down the halls. I am curious why do we feel the right to ask such detailed questions to these people who are just trying to do their jobs. Can you imagine going up to the airline ticket counter agent and just start asking him similar questions. How about the hotel desk clerk or rent a car guy. It almost seems a little rude to ask those questions. It is almost like the passengers want to say is everything we here about the working conditions on the boat true. To these employees benefit they always answer in very professional and a courteous way. I started to wonder if they have learned to answer a certain way to get people to feel sorry for them to increase their tips. Just my observation from my three cruises on how passengers want to pry into their lives. I guess maybe because this is the first time interacting with people from some far away places like the phillipeans. Our family always tip extra and has nothing to do with asking the employee these questions. We just figure we have the means to spend several thousand of dollars for a week at sea what is giving an extra 20 or 30 dollar in the grand scheme of things and it makes a difference in their lives.
  10. This is just a question out of curiosity. When a person in a normal job (non cruise industry) goes on vacation. We still get our pay or salary for the week or weeks we are not at work. I cannot believe this happens in the Cruise industry. This question might need to be separated between high up positions like Ship Captain and Cruise Director vs lower jobs as room attendant and waiter. So when they say a person goes on vacation are they still getting a salary from Royal. If they are not getting paid then in reality are they really on "Vacation". I would think that one of the benefits of working so many days in a row followed by longs days off was the earned vacation time. However if you are not getting paid is it really vacation. If it is not vacation then really it is just the cruise industry working their employees non stop then saying go home. In reality it is none of my business about those employees as they make the decisions on what is best for their lives. I was just curious when the cruise director says I am going on vacation. Is he really or is it just time off with no pay. Do they still have health benefits etc.. like a non cruise industry employee does when they are on vacation
  11. Thanks for the reply. I was not sure if it was like a airport where you can actually check your bags at the ticket counter inside or outside at the curb. We do not want to carry our bags around until rooms open so I guess just drop them off outside.
  12. Simple question. Can you check your bags inside during the check in process or do you have to drop the bags off outside with a porter. When my family sailed on Symphony out of Miami we dropped our bags outside but they were just placed on a giant cart. I really did not feel safe leaving the bags out in the open as inbound passengers were leaving and outbound passengers were showing up. There was confusion with the madhouse of people coming and going. Now we did get our bags and had no issues so I have no complaints. However for the next cruise I was just curious can we actually bring the bags inside the terminal and drop them off when we check in. When we did Harmony out of FLL the process seemed a little better as they took our bags away as soon as we handed them over. In MIA they just sat on the cart where anybody really had access to them. It just left a uneasy feeling.
  13. Here is a question more out of curiosity. When you buy something usually the credit card company gets a cut. So say Visa takes a small percentage of every transaction as their fee and how they make their money. So when we buy a beverage package some percentage say .5% or 1% of the price goes to Visa or Mastercard etc..... So I assume every time we buy a package, then refund it, and then buy it again at a lower price Royal Caribbean gets hit with these fees which I assume add up over time. Just curious why Royal does not do something like a deposit. Where you buy the drink package and then pay a deposit of say 100 dollars with the balance due 90 days before sailing. Then if we cancel and rebook it saves the hassles of having a credit posted to our credit card account and then a recharge for the lower price. Plus it would save Royal on paying all those credit card fees (not that I really care how much Royal pays in fees). There just has to be an easier way then the current way of looking for a lower price, cancel, then rebook it.
  14. I am looking at a cruise out of San Juan on Freedom. It says arrives back at San Juan at 6AM. I would imagine 7AM would be the first that passengers are allowed off. I know that San Juan has a agricultural inspection and the airport is crowded on weekends. Would a 11AM flight be ok or 1130AM. I do not want to spend the entire day at the San Juan airport waiting for a later flight. I also do not want to take a chance and miss a flight around 11AM. This is my first time in and out of San Juan. I would probably be taking a cab from the pier back to the airport if that matters.
  15. Just curious... Whatever happened to Bobby Brown. I was on what ended up being one of his last sailing on Symphony earlier this year. It was then said he was going to help on Spectrum but I have not seen his name pop back up. I have only been on 2 cruises but I am always curious as to where the Captain and Cruise Director from those 2 cruises are doing these days. Sorry If it was posted awhile back as I did not want to page through numerous replies.
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