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About Balsam12

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Perth, Western Australia

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  1. Yep.... sometime around Christmas 2022. You can't even book a cruise for Christmas 2021 yet. In all honesty, the whole "private island" bit doesn't interest me. I'm obviously not reflective of the overall customer base, but why would I want to go to an island? I could go to a theme park at home for a lot less. If I did happen to be on a cruise that went there, I'd probably stay on the ship and have a relaxing time while everyone else is on the island. I also read on these forums about the cost of renting cabanas etc, and just don't get it.
  2. Yes. I thought the same. It's a bit like a shoplifter complaining that the things they wanted to steal were out of stock...
  3. If losing your deposit would ruin you financially, you should really be questioning spending money on a cruise on the first place...
  4. Sympathy for your wife's situation, however two words come to mind... Travel Insurance.
  5. Interesting topic about Seapass cards. Personally, I don't see the issue with them on the door, either in a sealed envelope or an unsealed one. As noted, there is nothing in the room to steal anyway. I would be more understanding of people being concerned about their luggage being left in a corridor than the issue with the Seapass cards. As much as I do understand a solo female traveller being wary about entering an unsecured room, I really think that isn't a problem here. Firstly, the person hiding in your room would need to know they had picked the room with the solo female, and not the one with two Marines. Secondly, if their intention was to rob you, embarkation day would be the worst time to do that.. there are plenty too many people wandering around the corridors for that. Finally, if their intention was to attack you, again, the first day of the cruise would be a silly time for that as well. If you're that concerned, you could always wait for the cabin stewars to be around and ask them to show you into the room, I'm sure they would be only too happy to assist If you're concerned about someone using your card to buy drinks etc, then the first thing you should do is turn on the TV and check your account. Also, this may be a thing for US sailings only. On our last cruise out of Singapore, we were handed our Seapass cards at check in.
  6. Interesting that someone can get to Diamond + and still has to ask about things like dining packages... or is it just another D+ person wanting to let everyone know their status?
  7. Last cruise we flew from the UK to Singapore to board Voyager as the final part of a month long trip (we are from.Australia). Picked up two bottles of Scotch in the UK to take home. Simply carried them in a separate bag at check in and were taken to a different desk, where they were tagged and taken away. Last night of the cruise they were delivered to our room. As long as you declare the booze at check in so it's obvious you're not trying to smuggle it on board, you won't have any problems.
  8. Have not sailed on Radiance as yet (booked for March 2020), but this was a prominent thing in our thinking.... Less for the kids, and also an 11 night cruise would also be less attractive to those with kids. Also made sure not to pick date that line up with school holidays.
  9. So you've obviously done the maths, and decided the package doesn't work for you... just like everyone else should do. I base the "four drinks" on the fact that most people are going to have drinks other than alcohol. On an sea day, I will have: Coffee and fresh juice with breakfast A soft drink during the morning A soft drink with lunch A soft drink during the afternoon At least three bottles of water That on it's own would make the Refreshment package worthwhile for me, so I'm only looking at the difference between Refreshment and Deluxe, which is normally around $30. Four beers at $9 each covers that easily. Yes, I may well appreciate the free Diamond drinks should I ever reach such lofty heights, however I still don't like to be restricted to only drinking during certain times. I get the feeling from these boards that some people are simply going on a cruise to drink, and/or they are planning their vacation around drinking. For us, we are going to drink, no question about it, but we just have a drink when we feel like having one. The idea of "we must be able to get to happy hour for our free drinks" would really annoy me. Taking a bottle of wine on board is a good idea... if it's practical to do that. Our last cruise was at the end of a three week trip involving three countries, so we weren't going to lug wine from home, and as the cruise departed from Singapore, it would have been cheaper to pay Royal Caribbean prices for wine than buying it before boarding 😛 Our next cruise departs from Australia, so we will definitely take two bottles on board. Those will be used for a drink while we are in the cabin getting ready for dinner, however it's an 11 night cruise, so we certainly won't be stretching two bottles out for 11 nights. Again, the best idea is for people to do the maths.... think back to your last vacation where you paid for your drinks as you went. Not just the alcohol, but the other drinks that Royal will charge you for as well. How many did you average per day? Now work out if you will spend more per day than the cost of the package. Don't forget to add 18% to the pay as you go prices as well. The other one that is hardly mentioned in this thread is the ability to try different drinks... order a glass of wine with dinner and you don't like it? Just order a different wine. Grab a really cool looking cocktail by the pool, but then it's way too sweet for your taste? Order something else.
  10. The second paragraph here is the important one, and is the same message I have been spruiking. The first paragraph is the confusing one. DO NOT base your calculations on a day to day basis. If the "break even point" is four drinks per day, then average this over the entire cruise. Example: You have an 8 day cruise with four port days and four sea days. On port days, you normally only have two drinks, and on sea days you normally have have six drinks. That comes to 32 drinks over the eight days, and you have hit the break even mark... exactly the same as if you have four drinks every day. You don't need to get back to the ship on a port day and make sure you have your four drinks that day.
  11. Four drinks per day while on a cruise? In a heartbeat. Not a chance of drink fatigue. Even with the first drink at lunch, and going to bed by about 11pm, that's about one drink every three hours. If that would induce "drink fatigue" in you, then the beverage package decision is easy... you don't need it. The other point to note is the Diamond level perks. 6 bottles of water on day one. Assuming these are normal 500ml bottles, 6 bottles would be gone by day two at the latest, so that's not really relevant. Others talk about the "Free Diamond drinks". I'm not sure if they are simply taking another chance to tell everyone about their status level, or if they are being serious. I'm nowhere near Diamond, but from what I read, the Diamond drinks are in a small two or three hour window in the early evening. If that's the only time of the day you want to have a drink, and the drinks available are to your taste, then you would need to factor this in to your calculations. For me, that doesn't help with coffee and juice at breakfast, nor sitting by the pool in the afternoon, or at the 2pm trivia in Schooner bar, or at dinner, or in the casino after dinner. It's the same as saying "I'll do my drinking in port". We rarely drink when in port. To be clear, we're not doing Caribbean cruises where we've been to all the ports before and there's not really much else to do, but when in port, our idea is to go out and see the place we're visiting, not sit in a bar and drink. Doing your drinking in port is great if you only drink at that time of the day, but if you like to have a drink with dinner or in the evening, it's not relevant... it comes back to the same as Diamond drinks... it doesn't help if we want to have a cocktail or two while watching the show, or a few drinks in the casino later in the evening. In addition, anyone who has done enough cruises to reach Diamond already knows if the package is right for them or not. Giving advice to people who ask about the package by saying "I get free Diamond drinks" is not helpful to a first or second time cruiser in any way at all... again, it just smacks of one upmanship and telling everyone you are Diamond. Guess who the people asking about the package normally are? First or second time cruisers. Finally, I don't need to keep a spreadsheet of how many drinks I have just to see if the package is better value... I know it is better value for myself and for my other half. The whole idea of people swilling down the drinks just to make sure they get their money's worth is sheer stupidity. One simply needs to base their decision on what they would normally drink while on vacation. If four drinks per day makes it better value than paying as you go, and you normally have four drinks per day, then it's a no-brainer... get the package. Going all out and having 12 drinks per day to "get your money's worth" makes no sense at all as you've already got your money's worth by having your normal four drinks. Anyone that gets the package and then thinks they need to drink more than they normally would just to break even shouldn't have purchased the package.
  12. And you remove the gratuities? There's no drinks of the day here and there on that statement.
  13. So basically, you used Royal Caribbean fuzzy maths and came up with $400. Even with discount, two bottles of wine will be $100 or more. 5 daiquiris would be $70 with gratuity, and 4 beers at least $42. That leaves $11 to cover the "drink of the day here and there". I'm not disagreeing about the package not being good value for some people... I'm saying I don't believe your story about $400.
  14. So you've spent $177 + 2 bottles of wine, which would be a minimum of $50 each + 18%, so $118. That's $295 so far. That leaves $105 out of the $400 you spent over 14 days. You had a day where you "drank whatever by the pool"... let's say you cut loose and had 2 cocktails each. Not knowing which ship you were on, I'll go with $12 per cocktail + 18%, so about $55. Now you have $50 left for 13 days between 2 people. If that's what you call normal, then the beverage package is definitely not for you, and I don't know why you're even looking at this thread. Each to their own, which is why people need to make their own decision on the value of the package. I've posted many times, but to recap, with 3 or 4 alcoholic beverages per day, I come out in front... you don't have to be rolling drunk for the whole cruise to get you money's worth.
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