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Everything posted by samiam0403

  1. Definitely real for Mariner. Just got off her this morning. Hated that bracelet, but left it on when I was outside the room. Luckily, I had a super helpful gal helping me put it on initially, and she strongly suggested leaving it very, very loose. Left it just loose enough to slip off when I was in my cabin.
  2. Absolutely! I've done it twice solo (with the last time being 2 nights ago) and have had a wonderful time. I'm a bit of an introvert, but once the wine starts flowing, I'm fine. 🤣
  3. Nice to see Mariner! I'm boarding her tomorrow.
  4. I'm supposed to be packing for my cruise tonight, but instead I'm here hitting refresh. Thanks for taking us along, Sid!
  5. I finally called yesterday and got the same response as you, and if I don't hear anything by Monday to call back. Apparently, 8 September was the day Royal Caribbean went live with their link to order tests from Optum and it completely overwhelmed their system. Lucky us!
  6. Ordered 3 tests on 8 September, shipped 8 September, and an expected delivery date of 9 or 10 September. I still don't have them. Shipping tracking link with FedEx states it is an invalid tracking number. Sent an email 3 days ago to customer service (as well as a daily follow up email), and have received no response other than an automated one. I am less than impressed.
  7. Thanks all for the tip to check back for boarding times! Sailing Mariner in a few weeks, and got a 1300 boarding time after I had already made a 1230 lunch reservation. Just checked on current boarding time availability, and found 1200 open! Made the change, and should now be able to make my lunch reservation. Thanks again!
  8. Carnival Breeze, March 2020. The world stopped about 4 or 5 days into our 7 day cruise. It was positively surreal getting off the ship at an empty port when we returned to the US.
  9. Thanks! That would be great. I'm of the same mind - try to board in time to make the lunch reservation, and if not I've got no problem sitting in my car listening to music until my real boarding time.
  10. Thanks all, for the replies. I'm thinking I'll just keep the reservation, be ready to board at 1300 on the dot, and see what happens. Worst case, I don't make it to Chops before they close, and spend a few minutes of my cruise at Guest Services getting my ~$20 refunded. (And considering it's a free casino cruise anyway, if I lose the $20, I've got no complaints!) No matter what happens, I'm just looking forward to being on a cruise again!
  11. Hi all - hoping one of you more seasoned Royal cruisers can answer a quick question. I'm currently booked on Mariner in October, and weeks ago made a lunch reservation at Chops for 1230 on boarding day. Online check in was recently opened, and the earliest I can check in/board is 1300. There are now no open reservations for lunch on boarding day at all - at any restaurant. So my question is - will they hold my reservation? Let me board earlier? Let me call and change the reservation? Or maybe they hold back some reservations for walk ups? Or should I just suck it up and cancel? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  12. Snorkeling in Roatan, every time. In the past, I've done Turquoise Bay (waaaaay before it became a cruise ship excursion) and Gumbalimba Park, but the snorkeling there is (in my opinion) the best in the Caribbean, and I go every time a cruise stops there. As for Belize, river tubing is always good, as are the Mayan ruins. Just depends on what you enjoy.
  13. The food honestly varies from ship to ship, and restaurant to restaurant. I've had terrible steak in the steakhouse (Legend), a flat iron steak in the MDR that was tender and perfectly cooked (also Legend), and eggs benedict in the MDR that were the best I've ever had (Horizon). There have definitely been a fair amount of 'meh' meals, but I've never starved. Best advice I can give for dinners - ask your waiter what they recommend. They taste each of the meals before dinner service starts so they know what they're serving. They've never steered me wrong!
  14. I sailed exclusively with Carnival for my first 10-15 cruises, and loved it. On my Platinum cruise (on Holiday), when I ordered my first cocktail on boarding day the waiter gave me a big grin and said, 'Welcome home!' when he saw my shiny new platinum card. And Carnival did feel like home back then. Then, for my 40th birthday, we decided to shake things up and book a 10 day cruise in a suite on NCL. The newbie feeling of my first cruise came rushing back when I boarded that ship. Between the feeling of newness, and all the perks that came with the suite, I fell in love with cruising all over again. Since then, I'm not loyal to any one line - I still like 'coming home' to Carnival every now and again, but I'm sure enjoying exploring and discovering new ships on new lines.
  15. Thanks for the reminder, Laszlo. Called first thing this morning to book my Sirena cancellation replacement cruise on Riviera for next year. My cruise specialist said her phone was ringing off the hook before she even got in this morning - and the last remaining PH2 I wanted to book was snagged by someone else while we were talking. As always, I'll keep an eye out for price drops, but I think it's highly unlikely.
  16. I'd choose the first one. LOVED Horizon, and those would be 3 new ports for me. (Was supposed to cruise there in 2018, but had to cancel due to Hurricane Michael. Someday we'll get there!)
  17. Echoing everyone's sentiment here - thank you to the OP for taking the time to share!
  18. There goes my Sirena sailing for January - I really had high confidence that it would sail. Happy for everyone who will still be sailing though!
  19. Just a reminder to check all of your offers and do a comparison! I had the 'up to a suite free, free drinks everywhere, $500 free play' offer, which ended up being about $475 total after taxes and fees were added for a spa balcony on Magic for 8 days. Throw in the $200 OBC and $500 free play, and it looks great! But then I looked at the 'plan now, play later' offer that wasn't free for the same cabin (but still super cheap), but offered $1000 free play instead of $500, and the same $200 OBC and free drinks everywhere. For a total of $750, I get an extra $500 in free play above the initial offer. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I'd rather have the extra free play instead of a lower up front cost.
  20. Got a similar one - up to a suite and $500. I ended up taking the 'plan now, play later' deal as it offered $1000 free play for the same spa balcony for 8 days on Magic. Looked everywhere for the offered free suites, but they were the junior suites on the older ships with shorter cruises. I'm pretty happy with my booking.
  21. I've got an Oceania cruise early next year, so that's an easy answer. And since things aren't looking good for my 3 weeks in Australia on Carnival, I've been looking at Oceania, Crystal, NCL, and Royal for a closer to home (and much shorter) replacement cruise later next year. Really boils down to which departure date will let me maximize my vacation time since I'm coming out of retirement and headed back to work this year.
  22. As long as one is not booked on a basic economy fare, yes. So if Oceania does end up moving ports, it should be fairly simple to change flights. (Unless it's Mobile, as previously mentioned, since that's only a 3.5 hour drive for us.) Nothing to do but wait and see what Oceania decides to do about Florida, I suppose.
  23. I just did the same for my January Sirena cruise. After seeing this thread, I checked mileage rates for flights to Miami with Delta and was pleasantly surprised at how few miles I needed to use - even for upgraded seats.
  24. Have had a passport for decades - most of the time I had two. (Although I think I only had to use my government passport once.) We have too many friends we visit around the world to not have one!
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