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About YamahaRyoko

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  1. Usually sail with RC but we have sailed with Carnival. Chose Carnival for Christmas / NYE because it was half the price with two more days. Royal Caribbean Pros Service is better. Room kept 2-3 times a day at least. Dinner service is better. Food service is also faster. Ship is much cleaner. Paint almost always looks new. Pools, hot tubs are of much higher quality, and seemingly more of them. Pool is also five times bigger between the biggest comparable ships. Windjammer crushes Carnival's Lido Market. Like night and day. Performance shows on Oasis class are unrivaled. Shops, grand promenade are generally much better. Better "niche" bar areas for people to establish a favorite place Solarium beauty and tranquility is unrivaled. I could live there. Everyone working on those ships seem to be happy to serve you. Serves redbull. Carnival Pros Is often half the price for same / similar itinerary during the same weeks Many more young adults and middle age people like my wife and I. Way more bikinis ^^ More included food choices. Some cool and unique like the mock chipotle or the Wok Staff don't ask you to give them 10 ratings The adult area means adults. Not 16-19 year old 'kids' we brought. But its much smaller. There isn't 8-10 little kids in each hot tub. There's still some, but no where near as many Other cruisers have much better manners. There isn't an entitled aura or "my kids" priority. That tiny pool? It allows for huge deck parties. Interactive games and contests more fun. People actually attend the night clubs / dance nights, and stay up late. Bars don't start closing everywhere at 10pm. However I found the bar service with Carnival was terrible. Any time we asked any bartender for something that requires a blender, we got eye rolls and sighs. Many of them seem just miserable. Getting a drink is tough too; there are many customers and usually only 2 bartenders at each bar so its a long wait, every time. Ill give them the exception on NYE; thousands of people top deck were trying to get beverages. Getting a nasty look because you ordered a blender drink - these are moments that make me miss RC. I'm also allergic to rum (ha ha ha....) This hasn't been an issue on RC. They happily make the frozen drink with vodka. But for Carnival, they can't ring it into the computer that way so its a huge pain and people wouldn't do it. So I drank tequila drinks the whole time. Carnival passengers take formal night very seriously. Each and every male in that dining room had a suit. Not a country club style sport coat, not car salesman attire, not a plaid button down but a SUIT. Even the little ones.
  2. I'm confused about this very topic and hoping for help. It seems there is a Monkey Land and Monkey Jungle. Our ship docks at Amber Cove, and the excursion reviews say it was a new, nice facility about 30 mins from amber cove. Other tours claim its 90 minutes both ways. Which place does this go to? Monkey Jungle is 90 minutes from Amber Cove on google maps https://monkeyjungledr.com/ I don't see anything "within 30 minutes" as the reviews suggest What I don't like is the two part tour, and the $84 price tag. Online it said admission for the monkeys was only $28 USD and if I could just taxi there it would be significantly cheaper for a group of 3. I have experienced this before; we paid $80 for the park at Cozumel. The admission fee was only $14 a person when we got there, and had to take a taxi back regardless. I don't see any offers for this on shore excursions group either
  3. This line if thinking does help. If I can look at things differently I could be less angry about it 3 ships now and I've never seen them enforce that rule, even if its posted every 30 feet. A thousand chairs will be a thousand towels on a sea day. I kinda get it; you gotta have somewhere to set your stuff. For that reason we try to use one chair for all our towels, shoes and clothes
  4. They all seemed to stop a lot, and there was no one getting on or off. So much so it was like the running joke. At one moment we had three in a row. I said "That's a turkey right? Three strikes?" ahhhh ... sry... heh
  5. ^_^ Busy and crowded but we didn't have any BAD experiences with it. In fact, I'm quite chatty in the elevator. I go against the social norm of expected awkward elevator silence. I did find out that if your door is closing and its about to go up or down, someone hitting the button will stop the doors and re-open them. You COULD sit there and troll people by pressing the button every time their doors close. That's kinda funny but then they might have an experience like mine, so we'll reserve it for those who really deserves it. Oh and... every single public stall I used was clean. Pretty nice
  6. Time stamp says 10:15am on my cell pictures. There indeed was a ship photographer, wearing white shirt and camera in hand without tripod at the front of the picture line. There was also another staff member. We suggested blocking that right side off and she noted that they are not allowed to block them. I have no reason to make this up as BNBR implied. I gain nothing by lying to people on a cruise forum. I don't get a free cruise or any money back.
  7. Paper straw OK. Straw twice as tall as the drink... slightly annoying
  8. Its so much money. We checked into Itzumi because we are habachi crazy. Weve been to almost every habachi restaurant in NEO and Columbus. $54 per person plus drinks yikes! Our highest quality local habachi restaurant averages $20-$32 a plate plus drinks. Given that we go almost once a month, why would I pay that to try the ships hibachi!
  9. Thanks for the reply. Does the third sentence imply I'm the issue or that this isn't a typical experience? Maybe it is me, not being able to brush off the ruder side of humanity so quickly. The seats...in detail then. I saw man, woman, purse, jacket and took the remaining 3 seats after that. That lady started hollering the other three are saved for her children and we need to move. In addition to the one saved by a purse and the other saved by a jacket. Now you have two choices - get ousted and try somewhere else (again) or get in an argument (perhaps fight with husband) over the 3 additional seats saved for their kids. Possibly have an attendant notice (unlikely) and have to explain that your side of an altercation because you want the 3 open seats, but they want them for their kids, and likely be kindly shown new seats regardless as a resolve to the argument. The attendant doesnt want any unhappy guests, including the ones with the 3 kids. If you win, you now have to sit next to angry people, unless they get up and move. Is it worth it? ...... I might think it is... but does my WIFE think that's worth it? (Edit to add the dipping sauce. Once they arrived her kids opted to sit on the wood row of the aqua theater in front of them, so no one sat in those seats anyway. ) Regarding solarium, I suppose I didn't view this as a "quiet zone" but an escape where "adults can enjoy time without kids around". 16 to me is a kid. I have one >.<
  10. We raise our nephew as legal guardians. His mother is disabled and has full legal custody. We do not need dad's permission. We take his birth cert (in lieu of a passport since he's 15 and dad won't sign) The custody papers A notarized permission form from his mother (generic templates available online) My wife's power of attorney On Freedom they checked the notarized form, the power of attorney and the custody papers. On Allure they only checked the permission form. Both checked his birth cert of course in lieu of a passport. He turns 16 this year and a passport will replace his birth cert. It seems fair to say that each sailing you're going to get a different clerk who will look for different things. There's no one real answer except to cover yourself. The website says one thing, phone support says another, and then requirements in person vary. We never received a bullet proof answer. >>Both answers said she would not need a consent form from the ex. Here's the thing. If they have shared or joint custody then the permission form for a minor is dictated by US and state laws, barring any agreements in the custody order. Its not an Royal Caribbean rule; its a legal / custody / border rule. For this reason, Royal Caribbean doesn't always give consistent answers and shouldn't be the advisory on such matters. You're traveling out of the country with children from another parent so its the laws that matter. If you have full custody then you generally do not need permission from the other parent.
  11. Note that "Premium Coffee" on the beverage package doesn't mean Starbucks. It means coffee at the cafe promenade etc.
  12. I'll read into it. Thank you for the suggestion. It may be good to try another cruise line eventually; I just thought that when it comes to quality and service RC was the known winner. Whenever I see the Carnival ships they look dirty, rusty with letters burnt out... doh
  13. That's a really good point. I had not added all of that up in my head. Previous cruises our son was in grade school and we'd just pull him for a week. Now that he's in high school we feel really bad doing that so we scheduled it on spring break (which was also Easter weekend.) Not to mention that airfare coming home on a Sunday was $400 a person. Saturday disembarkations seem significantly cheaper. We could do summer (I was thinking that would be unbearably hot with thousands of little kids?) or Christmas (unbearably expensive?) We sailed on Freedom and I think that's mid size (its a step down from Oasis class) and we loved it. I also found it hard to make friends on Allure; you almost never see the same people twice outside of dinner. I think Freedom left the Caribbean but we could try its sister Independence or possibly Mariner?
  14. Thanks. I'm sure I'll start to get that itch again at some point and try again. We got an oceanview balcony on 6 using "Pick my room" which was the cheapest option. Perhaps that's lucky? Strikes me the majority of those ships are balconies. Its pretty massive when your looking at it from shore.
  15. We booked the Allure Apr 21-28 because of our schedule, its itinerary and reputation. I was so excited about this trip I was scared something would happen and we wouldn't be able to go. Last year we cruised on the freedom. We loved that ship. I missed that ship. Everyone was sad when it was time to go home. The truth is, I couldn't wait to get off the Allure. Shows and Events I'd like to say the shows were incredible, but they were overshadowed by people reserving seats and competition. Despite the constant reminder that reserving seats is prohibited, people do it anyway and the staff did little to help. When we went to see Blue Planet, there were people reserving ENTIRE ROWS for their family. We were ousted three times. They'd have a person standing on each end of the row, or run up and down the row shoo-ing people away. When the show started, we were left standing around and an usher escorted us to the back of the theater to stand. We had reserved all of our shows online the week before the sailing, so I felt pretty jaded I couldn't get a seat because of the aggressive competition and inconsiderate sail mates. The same happened for the first showing of Ocean Aria. We arrived ~40 minutes early. The first two times we sat down in very open areas, people rushed over and claimed those seats are for their kids or for their family. It was constant conflict. Note this was canceled the first two sea days due to excessive rocking, and this contributed to the seating chaos. The 70's party was awesome, except the droves of people trying to cross the ship through a crowd of a thousand people. I was shoved and pushed around for an entire hour. Do realize there's like maybe a dozen ways to cross the ship without shoving your way through a crowd of people enjoying a scheduled event. I'm a little disappointed with the turn-outs for DJ or dance events, but I think that's RC's target audience. People with toddlers and older people don't care for night club scenes. (On-Air also steals a lot of people) Bad Behavior We tried to play family putt-putt, as this is one of our favorite moments on the ship. There were 2-3 other families playing on the course, and two teenagers who were running all over the course smacking balls across it. They were bouncing them off the glass wall on the ship, and hit a few overboard. Every time a ball would land in my course I would pick it up and retain it. I had 5 extra balls by the time we finished the course. There were TWO flow-rider attendants also watching the chaos from the stairs. They did nothing. No staff intervened. The solarium is also 16+, which to me means "older kids still allowed". There were groups of teenagers in the hot tubs rough housing, splashing, shouting. It was very disruptive and defeats the purpose of the solarium. The pool attendant nearby said that they "Try to make all guests feel welcome, even teenagers" and that no actual rules were being broken when they checked. Note - none of the hot tubs were actually hot. At the ice skating rink there were two "speedsters" father and daughter who are apparently very good at skating, traveling 3 times faster than anyone else, cutting us off at the corners and whipping by BETWEEN my family members with a few inches to spare. It was rude, dangerous and annoying. Despite the rules posted about slower skaters having the right of way, the attendants said nothing. Dining This got royally screwed up. When we booked in January, "My Time" wasn't available on the website. It only allowed us a 5:30 dinner time. We signed up with that, then called RC. They said they'd switch us to My Time free of charge. A few weeks before the cruise we wanted to reserve our times in advance, as we had all our excursions planned. The website wouldn't let us. We called RC again - when they switched us to "My Time" dining, they switched two of three people. Our son was still on 5:30 dinner. It was allegedly too late to switch him now, so we ALL had to dine at 5:30. Here's the kicker - they still put "My Time" on two of our sea passes! So when we went to dinner on day 1 at 5:30, they said we couldn't! We had to explain the entire scenario to them, and they gave us a table for 5:30 dining every day. When came to dinner on day 2 the exact same thing happened, and we had to explain it all again! We liked our server. He was friendly, funny and did a great job. A senior citizen lady sits behind us every day, making nasty remarks to our server every time he checks on their table. "Try not to take 4 hours today" and "You screw something up every day" and "Maybe you should find a new line of work" It was so terribly awkward that on day 4 I was going to request another table. But she wasn't there that day so I dropped it. Day 5 we went with specialty dining. Then day 6 she was there, and we had to put up with it again. Shore Days St. Maarten: Will not go back. Not much to see here; a bunch of shops downtown peddling made-in-china wares. The French side (which many consider the good side) was largely destroyed by Irma (sad). The competition for beach chairs is so heated, we had not one but three groups of locals trying to compete for our money. They argued with us and argued with each other. It was so bad we turned around and walked back up the street. (Personal note, I think three chairs and 2 frozen drinks for $20 was the best deal.) San Juan: Fantastic visit. Cut short by Allures recent itinerary changes. 4.5 hours really isn't enough to fully enjoy this. We took the RC old / new tour and it was fantastic. This left about 40 minutes to explore Castillo de San Cristóbal. It was also fantastic. I felt very rushed though and there was no time to explore or hit the beach after. I would certainly visit again, and hopefully swim at the window to the sea. Labadee: Professional photographers were trying to take pictures of groups at the Labadee letters with the ship behind it, but inconsiderate people kept running up and posing for their own photos. One lady stood but 10 feet in front of the photographer to get her own photo. When she was done, she lingered around "taking in the moment". When asked to move, she got nasty about it and said "You can wait two damn seconds". Drink packages work on Labadee. However, the pineapple drink (which is a 99c upcharge on the ship) is a full $12 on Labadee ($9 N/A). It is what they called "island price" and not included with your beverage package. The advertisement didn't explain this and the bartender didn't speak enough English to explain it either. So get your pineapple on the ship. Then know that each and every standard drink we had on labadee we were charged for, and had to visit the customer service desk to have it removed. The island was beautiful. BBQ lunch was very good. Last note although there were hammocks scattered everywhere, a group of 7 people actually picked up and relocated the hammocks over to their area so that all 7 could have a hammock. This sort of highlights my entire experience on the Allure, competing with other people at every corner. The Deathblow No poolside movies. This is an activity my family has come to love; the 10pm poolside movie while enjoying the hot tub or laying on a beach chair. Due to this, my family spent no time in the public pool areas. The Allure only has movies in the Aquatheater (no lounge chairs, no hot tubs) and both of the screens are broken. Both screens literally have large disruptive squares of errors scattered about them. Its not even worth mentioning in the survey; its so obvious you can only assume that everyone on the ship is aware that the screens are broken. I know this is somewhat petty, but even the Majesty has pool side movies, and its something we've come to love. Overall, I'm not sure if my issue is with RC or the Allure, but other cruisers. This boat is so massive that maybe there's just too many people for me. I found many people selfish and inconsiderate. I spent upwards of $7000 for a week of vacation and spent much of the time irritated, in conflict or competing with other people for my positive experience. I was thinking the three of us could check out Mariner next. But Right now I'm feeling done with cruises. Big fat hassle with too many logistics and too many costs if you're not going to enjoy yourself. My mind is tainted; now when I read about groups of 8 to 11 people I assume their going to do the seating thing, stand in front of professional photographers, and pull all the hammocks to themselves... doh! Having said that, positive views or opinions on all this could help me right now. I have enough negative ones of my own... lol
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