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About theotherchad

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Tomball, TX
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    Photography, singin', dancin', fun in the sun
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  1. Why not, all ships tender in Grand Cayman. Not sure about Belize.
  2. Thanks, the info was between a year and two years old.
  3. In doing a little Youtube research, we found that Sabor, at least on Harmony, is priced ala carte rather than as a per person charge, like it was on a Voyager class a few years back. But on the RCCL website, Sabor still shows up as a Prix Fixe charge. Is it different on different classes? I wonder because we want to try it again on our Liberty sailing next year, but I'm really not as interested in the ala carte version. Also, the reviews of the ala carte version were uniformly negative. We had an okay experience (not great, but not terrible) a few years back, but I just wonder.
  4. I did. Voyager Class is 121' wide and Freedom Class is 184' wide. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_of_the_Seas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_of_the_Seas Also, I've sailed both classes and the difference (in more than just length) is quite obvious. I'm not trying to be contentious or make Merion Mom feel bad, just correcting a factual error. Lots of new cruisers come to this site looking for information from more experienced cruisers, and it doesn't feel right to let them be misinformed.
  5. Actually, that's not correct. The Freedom class ships are about 60' wider and significantly taller than the Voyager class ships. It is the Radiance Class ships that are stretched Voyager class ships.
  6. Several have suggested that upgrading to an Oasis class might be pushing the limits of demand, but honestly, every single cruise out of Galveston has been filled to capacity and I see no reason to think that won't continue. Suites and balconies mostly sell out well in advance. Someone else also mentioned limited destinations, but that is a red herring. Galveston ported 7 day cruises have gone and can go to: 1) Cozumel (obviously) 2) Costa Maya, MX 3) Progresso, MX 4) Roatan, Honduras 5) Belize 6) Falmouth, Jamaica 7) Ocho Rios, Jamaica 8. Montego Bay, Jamaica 9) Grand Cayman 10) Key West 11) CoCo Cay That's just the destinations I know of for sure and I have personally been to all those destinations except Belize and CoCo Cay. I have no doubt that an Oasis class ship sailing out of Galveston will fill up just fine, along with at least two other ships doing shorter itineraries.
  7. The "do we or don't we" question on the drink package (at whatever price you may find on a given day) is really one that depends entirely on your drinking habits, and not just as it relates to alcohol. For my wife and I, we are Diamond, so that covers drinks in the early evening, but we also like a beer or two by the pool, wine at dinner, a post dinner cocktail or wine, and, if we go dancing, which we often do, a couple of more beers. If that was all of it, the package wouldn't even come close to being a good deal. However, we both drink lots of bottled water and we both prefer the darker roast coffees from the Seattles Best counter. Figuring about 8 bottles of water a day for the two of us and 3 to 6 coffees a day, the price becomes a little bit better than what we would pay ala carte, but the convenience and the fact that we have it paid in advance (and don't have to think about the drinks budget onboard) is what pulls the trigger for us.
  8. I don't think anyone is talking about taking away the Champagne Bar. On some ships, it has been renamed the R Bar, but it was basically the same. Also, during the day, the Schooner bar is also a very relaxing place to be on most ships.
  9. There are in fact a lot of Texans onboard every sailing of the Liberty OTS, but this does not mean that you will see lots of boots and hats, etc. Most of them will be wearing flip flops and baseball caps during the day and normal shoes for dinner at night. What it does mean, is that you will see a higher percentage of friendly people than usual. Obviously, Texas has it's allotment of jerks too, but you will see a higher concentration of actively friendly outgoing people. I've lived other places and I think that the number of truly good and kind people is about the same wherever you go, but some cultures are not as actively friendly to strangers as Texans tend to be.
  10. I'm so happy to see that (so far) this thread hasn't devolved into the "they chisel and nickel and dime you to death" rants that we've seen on CC so many times. I do think that, all things considered, we find cruising the cheapest way to vacation, given our tastes. What I mean is, we enjoy good food, beautiful views, nice accommodations, good wine, etc. To get the same level of service and the same level of food, drink, accommodations, views, etc on a land vacation costs us probably twice as much per day as cruising. That may not be the same for everyone, because we cruise out of a port that's within driving distance, so we don't have to pay for flights. In any event, RCCL probably makes more than average off of us. The only thing we don't do much of is shopping on board.
  11. What I have noticed in reading some of the more recent cruise compasses is that they are often having dance parties in the Solarium. I've been to a couple of these before, and they are a lot of fun. It may be that some have reported no deck parties because they didn't have anything out on the main pool deck. I hope that is the case. The main thing that makes it so fun is being out in the open air!
  12. That would be my hope. I love the idea of a tiki bar, but in reality, there are two kinds of tiki bars. There are beach bars with thatched roofs and bamboo stools, etc that people often refer to as Tiki Bars. I love those places! Then, there are the classic tiki bars that started opening back in the late 40's and 50's, like Trader Vics. That type of tiki bar is a more stylized thing, with decor and drinks specifically designed to evoke the ambiance and mood of the South Sea Isles. This second kind is often dark. Part of the ambiance is exotica music lending an undertone of savage mystery and primitive danger. They want you to feel that you're deep in the jungle or lying under the stars by a dark island lagoon. Back in the days of the original tiki bars, this was a way for Ward and June Cleaver to trade suit, tie and pearls for something more flowery and comfortable, so that they could indulge in the fantasy of going someplace more primitive and mysterious than their cookie cutter suburban house, complete with white picket fence and judgey, nosy neighbors. I love this type of place too! Honestly, it looks like RCCL is kind of watering down the concept, but it does seem that they are trying to do the drinks in the more traditional tiki manner. Part of the authentic tiki bar experience was really complex mixed drinks, usually rum based. The bartender video upthread looks like that type of thing. The thing is, the whole authentic tiki bar concept is something that I love, but I know that it has limited appeal as we approach the middle of the 21st century. Fortunately, I love the beach bar too and as long as these are ships at sea, why not make use of the sea breeze with an indoor/outdoor space. I hope RCCL is listening.
  13. You know, I think that if you cruise enough, and get out and about and mingle, you will run into some obnoxious, status obsessed, entitled types of D & D+ folks, but that is just one type of annoying cruiser. There are the chair hogs, the people with out of control kids, the one floor up or down elevator riders, the line cutters, the loud drunks, the people who save whole rows of seats in the theater, etc. I've certainly run into a few of all of those. It does seem like it rankles a bit more when it is someone who has cruised enough to reach the more elite C&A ranks, since we instinctively feel that they should know better. Still, that kind of behavior (selfish, entitled, rude, obnoxious) happens on land too. It's just part of the world we live in. Thankfully, those types are the exception to the rule. Most of the people we have met on cruises are friendly, polite and kind. And cruising is still our favorite kind of vacation. Don't let the few bad apples spoil it. And don't let some minor reductions in perks ruin your vacation.
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