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Posts posted by akcruz

  1. I know the original question has been answered, but will add here any way a very recent example of why you may want to have a passport.  Of course each and every person needs to make their own decision on their need.


    There were cruisers who were on the ships with delayed returns due to Dorian who decided they needed to fly home and not extend their cruise that were unable to because they did not have passports.  Does this happen regularly, no, but it just happened with multiple ships and saw the complaints about how horrible the cruise lines were to not let them leave because they didn't have a passport.

  2. 37 minutes ago, SeaHunt said:


    We really lucked out in FL. Be careful!  Every weather board I follow has bad predictions with this one for NS. Most have comments like these:


    If Dorian does hit Nova Scotia with the forecast intensity, it could be the worst hurricane on record for Atlantic Canada


    Forecast to hit category two again upon approach to Nova Scotia, yikes. That's going to be a much worse hit than it seemed like it was gonna be.


    The last Category 2 hurricane landfall in Nova Scotia was Juan in 2003. FTR, the locals around Halifax still talk about how bad the damage was from Juan and Dorian is forecast to make landfall at a similar intensity.


    Juan had an unusual track, hitting the south coast of NS on almost a due northerly track from Bermuda, so surge was only an issue on its eastern half. Dorian will be coming from the SW and if it hits the western side of NS it will bring surge to the entire southern coast so it could very well be worse.


    They are also talking about watching waves coming off Africa that could become Humberto and Imelda - hopefully they will go to sea and not hit FL- OR NS! :classic_laugh:


    We are in SC north of Myrtle Beach and just south of the NC border.  Dorian was heading straight for us but took a right so it wasn't too bad.  A few tornados touched down early Thursday morning with some damage but nowhere near what it could be.  Things seem to be just about back to normal today here.  Hoping the trend continues as Dorian moves north, thinking about you all, stay safe and hope this is the worst of the hurricane season this year.

  3. 10 minutes ago, jagsfan said:

    Matthew is the one that flooded a lot of Jacksonville for the first time ever. 

     Our DD and SIL’s beach house had four feet of water standing in it. 

    It did an enormous amount of water damage that was totally unexpected. 

    There’s no possible good scenario. 


    Agree, while I don't wish any hurricane on anyone I don't want a replay of Matthew, we got hit pretty hard here in SC with the rain and wind.  Best case scenario is Dorian curves east before getting close to land which is a possibility although very low at this point.

  4. 19 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

    To me, that sounds much better than a complimentary footstool. It also appeals to the fact that a cruise is not a normal vacation but one at sea, making it extra special. I'm convinced some people would be willing to pay $0.50, $5 or even more to be guilt-free when they open the door. For me at least, after spending thousands for a 14 day cruise, of which I'd spend 10 hours a day in my cabin, $5/night is really peanuts.


    42 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:


    It's not $5 a night, it's $0.50. That's less than a single beer for the whole cruise.


    Obviously I do follow the rules, I wouldn't be asking otherwise.


    What if I proposed stabilizers? Stabilizers aren't free. They probably add to fuel costs, are expensive to install in the first place and need repairs, too. I have no idea how much that would be per passenger/night, but divided by the number of passengers who actually care for them it could skyrocket. Personally I have no desire for that service, either. Yet, the ships have stabilizers.


    Please see the snip from your original post above, you are the one that said $5/night which I still dispute.  If you only had those paying to keep the door open you have a much smaller base which will raise the cost substantially.


    Keeping a balcony door open is against cruise line policies her different than stabilizers which are there for everyone's comfort when needed.  While I enjoy the "motion if the ocean", in rough seas appreciate those stabilizers as I am pretty sure all do.


    I am done trying to reason with the unreasonable.  As I and others have said if you don't like how main stream cruise ships are engineered and run you are free to vacation elsewhere.

  5. 1 hour ago, Baron Barracuda said:

    We were on the initial X Mardi Gras sailing in '17.  Almost 1000 cc members aboard and we had a blast.  At that time X offered a $150 excursion which included bleacher seating near Lafayette square and transportation to and from parade.  Lots of complaints that to avoid traffic buses returned way too early, missing much of parades.  X ended up giving partial refunds.  First night for Bacchus we walked the 1/2 mile from ship up Julia St to St Charles.  Lots of local families there, very friendly.  Had unimpeded view and caught lots of throws.  Only problem was returning to ship with very tired feet.  We were smarter next night having pre-purchased  $30 grandstand seats for Proteus and Orpheus at Mardigrasparadetickets.com.  Seats were at Lafayette Square, right across from reviewing stand and very close to $150 X seats.   Our VIP tickets gave us access to private port a potties.  Grandstands were less than 1/2 full so could stand or sit with wide open view.  Recommend heartily.  On Tuesday we stood again for Zulu and the amazing Rex.


    Will second these recommendations.  We did the cruise in 18 and did similar.  We walked to Bacchus the night we arrived in port, lots of local families around.  We dud stand but had so much loot to being back with us.  The next night was damp and chilly so missed most of those parades, but on Tuesday got grandstand seats from the website above which worked great for us, a place to sit, bathrooms, with VIP tickets purchase early as they do sell out, and an upfront spot to watch the parades.  Food and drink was on your own but vendors were close by.  Enjoy whatever you end up doing, it was definitely worth it.

  6. 17 minutes ago, SRV FAN said:


    Nachi & Mr Sanchos I don’t believe are walking distance apart. We’ve been to both.... Mr Sanchos more times... we do the AI... and it’s mostly all adults the kids most likely are in the pay as you go side. Never has it been crowded for us... we really enjoyed it much better than Nachi. The Coconut Shrimp is to die for at Mr Sanchos! We go just for that.... all you can eat & drink! 


    We were at Nachi last year, there was a family with two about 10 year olds that could see the water toys at Mr Sanchos and were not happy they were not where the toys were.  The parents did walk them over to Mr Sanchos to use some of the toys so yes it is walkable for some.


    I do think it depends what you are looking for which is a better option, no one is better than the other just different.  When it just the 2 of us Nachi fits, if we have the family along Nachi is not the right place.  Not sure why some get so defensive about their choices, I am just happy we all have options to decide what makes the best sense for our needs at that point in time.

  7. 43 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:


    Yes you did explain before, but I wanted to know the actual cost and how that relates to my fare.  


    So the costs are 400K in capital, 50K/yr for an extra engineer, let's say 20K/yr for parts, and of course the engineer would like a berth and food as well, 80K extra. That's 400K at an almost zero interest at the bank, but let's say shareholders want 10%. Then it's 190K/year extra, $520 per night for 2500 passengers, $0.20 a night. I have no idea about what the extra maintenance costs for the inside of a cabin would be. There's also a shower in the cabin..  Another $0.05? 25 cents per night, 50 for a couple, $7 for a two week cruise.


    What needs to be subtracted: complaints and the cost that goes with those. I can totally see a Benny Hill situation happening at 3 AM. Cabin 6010 calls that their a/c isn't working. It will turn out 6044 is listening to the waves. While someone is walking to 6010, 6050 has been pressing the buttons long enough to decide the a/c simply doesn't work. They're nice enough not to wake up an engineer to come fix it now, for now using the footstool to keep the door open will get them through the night. 6042 decides to call.


    There are certainly savings in the form of not having crew handling a/c complaints and arguing with passengers who "paid for their cruise, and it's their door now, and none of your business", not having complaints about the a/c failure and no reviews saying "we paid for a balcony but don't expect to be able to listen to the sea".


    The reviews are hard to measure, you won't know who's not coming back expecting a more relaxed ship at another line, maybe Guest Relations won't be able to cut 1 crew member when there are no a/c problems because they always need 2 persons anyway, but these are costs. 


    Now, the rewards. If there are only a few ships, or even selected cabins that would allow an open door, it's something TAs will mention. They literally list a footstool on your balcony and a free scoop of ice cream as notable perks sailing Concierge Class on X. 


    "One special feature of this ship is a specially designed a/c system that allows every passenger on Deck 7 to enjoy the Full  Ocean Experience (TM) from the comfort of their very own cabin. Listen to the waves crashing, hear the seagulls, feel the wind. Smell the healthy air from the oceans! *" 


    To me, that sounds much better than a complimentary footstool. It also appeals to the fact that a cruise is not a normal vacation but one at sea, making it extra special. I'm convinced some people would be willing to pay $0.50, $5 or even more to be guilt-free when they open the door. For me at least, after spending thousands for a 14 day cruise, of which I'd spend 10 hours a day in my cabin, $5/night is really peanuts.


    (* there are scientific reports about how healthy "sea air" is, this wouldn't be false advertising)



    But per your calculations it's $5 a night if all contribute, I personally have no desire to pay for thus "service".  If you are one of a few supporting it the cost skyrockets.  While I very much enjoy sitting on my balcony I do so with the door closed.  When I am inside the cabin the door is also closed with, depending on where and when we are cruising, the a/c on.  While I am sleeping I can't hear the ocean, wind or whatever it is that's making the noise so no need to have the door open, especially in the more humid environments.


    If you want to sleep outside or with the doors open maybe it's time for a smaller ship, or personal vessel where you can do so without inconveniencing your fellow passengers??  If you are sailing on a mass market ship time to conform and follow the rules. Can't believe with the explanations from a ship engineer you are still pressing the issue. SMH.

  8. 4 hours ago, bEwAbG said:

    I would never feel guilty about not showing up.  The cruise line should be able to figure out who is going to be where in general and react appropriately.  Like for the person who booked the specialty dining: they could set aside a small table for them knowing that for so many nights, they were not going to be in the MDR.  Or better yet, assign people with dining packages to Select dining instead of Fixed.  Or insist that if you want Fixed dining, you have to be willing to sit with someone else.  There are many ways they could change how this is managed and be much more efficient.  Instead, X brings a lot of this on themselves because they follow the path of least resistance, assign everyone a spot, and then deal with the necessary changes as they arise, not caring that a lot of people would prefer to not sit at a giant table by themselves. 


    They really should make people confirm their dining plans in advance and then manage the room that way rather than relying on a system they used a decade ago when more people ate in the MDR every night.  Or, just get rid of Fixed dining altogether and move to anytime dining for the whole restaurant.  That would solve a lot of these problems, too.


    This is why it has been suggested in the past to have a no dining assignment or something similar so that a seat is not held for those who will not use it.  Much debate over which should be chosen if this is the case.  If they choose traditional you have the situation in the original post, if they choose select, which appears to be the more popular, it takes slots away from those that want them.  A no win however you look at it.  Times are changing and the cruise lines need to recognize that and adjust accordingly. 

  9. 9 minutes ago, dswallow said:

    "Hey everybody, we're giving this person a free soda and we have to open it for them before they leave the bar, because they're a petulant little child who just expects to be treated like that  and since it's our money we're giving out this stuff with, we're going to control every aspect of how you're allowed to use it. And just to be sure that we can't squeeze another soda purchase out of this person tomorrow in the daytime, we're gonna make sure they can't benefit by putting this aside and enjoying it later since, in case you missed it, we're paying for this drink for this freeloade, er, high level loyalty member, and not them."


    Yeah, cheap.



    As per usual thanks those that abused the graciousness of the cruise line by hoarding multiple free sodas and waters so they didn't have to open their wallets and buy a drink while on the ship, then bragging about it, or telling others to do it both here and other social media sites.  So many look for the loopholes so they can cruise on the cheap.  No, it's not all but enough for Royal to notice and take action.  So as others have said not Royal being cheap, it's your fellow loyalty cruisers which now impact everyone else.

  10. 3 minutes ago, island lady said:




    Read further ^.  


    Not going to snip back and forth with you with, stand by my comment it was not the OPs original question.  Yes after the thread went in a different direction they said they MAY pay as they go, maybe you need to reread the original question? No need to respond, I am done with the discussion.

  11. 8 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:


    Almost Every Pinnacle was Diamond at one point. It's a journey, enjoy the ride.


    I am enjoying don't worry but will never get to Pinnacle as are starting to tire of Royal a bit so switching it up. 


    Not directed at you specifically, but tiring of reading threads where they go off kilter so badly or go into personal conversations.  Hard to do any researching or follow along with so much extraneous stuff in some posts.  

  12. 3 minutes ago, island lady said:


    And thanks...you just made my point.  The DP does not work for everyone...but in various cases..it would work for others.  No everyone's situation is the same.  As the OP was looking for the choice of "do or don't"...I think the OP discovered that in their situation as a Diamond...it wouldn't.  


    Sorry that was not the original question asked by the OP, see below. 


    Of course it turned into a mix between you only need a package if you drink too much and look at what benefits I get by being pinnacle or staying in a suite.  No wonder people are leary of asking questions on this site.



    On 8/22/2019 at 10:36 AM, sxphil said:

    On my next cruise I become Diamond !!!!!!!!!!!


    Every cruise I have done I have purchased the drinks package and had my moneys worth be it $38 Dollars or the Current $57


    But now I am Diamond I get 3 free drinks which I feel I lose as I am purchasing the package


    Shouldn't there be a discount on the package then?


  13. 2 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:

    All of those Pinnacle benefits on an Oasis class ship are nice, but many who post to these boards, may not fit into other of those two  categories.




    Thank you, was just going to post the same thing, especially when this thread started with a question about diamond benefits 😉.

  14. Just an observation, I see two camps here on this thread calling out others for the same thing but different reasons and taking offense with tge other side.  Quite humorous actually and for most cases both incorrect.  You have one group saying those who get a package have an issue with drinking too much, and then the other saying those who don't the package but use the DO overindulging during happy hour.  Must it always come down to what is basically name calling?  Why do all threads on this subject end up the same way?


    To answer the OPs question I wholeheartedly agree with you diamonds should get a discount on the drink package.  We are diamond, have tried the lounge a few times and it's just not for us.  The way we cruise the hours don't work and we prefer other drinks to those that are on the happy hour menu and at other times. If it's a sea day we will have a drink or 2 by the pool, taking one back to the cabin while getting ready for dinner.  If it's a port day we pick up something on the way back to the cabin.  We will usually have 2 glasses of wine with dinner, and then another drink or 2 later at the show or elsewhere. During the day we drink a lot if bottled water and will have more water in the evening between drinks.  Add on coffee, oj, and occasional soda and with the prices we have paid we are well ahead.  Since we have not used any of our drink perks why should we be paying what others who don't get the perks do?


    To the OP, take a look at when and what you normally drink.  If you can use the happy hour time to your advantage great I am happy for you.  However if not a beverage package may still be the best for you.  




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