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About mjldvlks

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About Me

  • Location
    Wichita, Kansas
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    So far -- The Med

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  1. I will second avoiding balconies on 6, at least the ones on the indents where the life boats are. We booked a 5 day Bermuda pretty much at the last minute. We took a balcony guarantee because the rate was good and the cruise is mostly open ocean. Fully understood the rules and have no complaints. But I would pick a different cabin if it were my choice. We got 6186, mid-ship, port side. For this cabin, obstructed means obstructed. Our view was a relatively narrow aperture between two lifeboat davits. On these ships, davits are fairly substantial cranes. Straight down was to promenade deck on 5. Biggest strike against this cabin is noise. Near enough to Music Hall and other venues on lower decks we could hear the music [mostly the bass] until about 2 am. Didn't bother me all that much but DW had a hard time getting to sleep. Anyway, it was OK for a quick get away, but would avoid it for a longer cruise or one with a lot of scenery. Also first time we've been chased off our balcony by a smoking neighbor [and yes we did rat them out]. Jut cant really blame that on the cabin.
  2. Kind of enjoy JRs . . . except on Quantum class. On Anthem [assume typical of all Q class ships] it's an outdoor walk up with no table service and no dancing. Plus they managed to screw up both of our orders. Got a refund and went on to the Windjammer which is adjacent. Often heard folks say why pay extra for what you can get free elsewhere. On Anthem that's exactly true with possible exception of shakes which I don't order anyway.
  3. One of my favorites. Love to grab a couple for late night snack in the cabin. Available on every ship I can remember, but maybe not at all times. On Anthem last month they put cookies [including ranger cookies] out fresh still on the baking sheets and parchment paper in the Windjammer. Also on Cafe Promenade [but availability there spottier]
  4. We were on Anthem a couple of weeks ago. Went to Sorrento's one night and it was really good thin crust pizza. A night or two later it was something that was a half inch or so thick, neither thick nor thin and awful. Soggy, limp and flavorless. Red Barron would have been a massive improvement. Attendant said they weren't making thin any more. So if it's thin, it's worth a try. Otherwise hunger it s a much better option.
  5. For a Mediterranean cruise I would much prefer a smaller ship. I'd rather share the port with 2000 than 6000 shipmates. With a port almost every day, the amenities of the Oasis class are not as useful IMO. As to Eastern or Western, you just have to decide what you want to see most. We've done both. We did Eastern in 2007 on Splendour [also a Vision class and similar in size to Rhapsody although not true sister ships]. It was great. We just did western last fall on Norwegian Epic [RCI didn't have a ship with the itinerary we wanted that meshed with our schedule]. The itinerary was great, but would have preferred a smaller ship.
  6. We've played the guarantee game a few times and have never been disappointed. As a committed "price snob" it's kind of in my wheel house. In the old days, we used to get assigned almost immediately and then played the switch within category game. We have one booked for Oct 19, about 27 days out and still unassigned. I figure the upgrades get assigned last. A theory I made up to make waiting more palatable.
  7. And that was after wasting a day forcing us to go through customs at Port Canaveral.
  8. The only 2 Royal ships on which I have felt uncomfortably crowded are Explorer and Symphony [TA]. Before those two cruises I had always been impressed with Royal's ships design and ability to handle crowds. I will add that a lot of the crowd issues on Symphony might have been staff screw ups.
  9. Of course everyone's experience is slightly different based on the activities participated in. And bottom half doesn't mean bad, just not the best. I thought the ship was physically impressive. Not as impressed [as in not at all] with the organization of activities. For example, we are trivia players and they set the progressive trivia in the on air club right after Bingo. Two of the most popular activities set back to back in a relatively small venue. To get a seat for trivia, you had to camp out before Bingo. The cruise director's comment was there is nowhere else and the ship isn't designed to handle the all of the passengers aboard at once. Silly me, I thought part of the design concept of the Oasis class was that the ship is the destination. I also saw problems with handling crowds at the entertainment events [which were amazing once we got in]. For example at the aqua theater, there was a line extending from the entrance to the theater back almost to the boardwalk entrance. Staff members checked to make sure everyone in line had reservations but made no other announcements. When we got to the theater entrance, we discovered that the line was for D+, Pinnacle and Suite guests only. OK for me but the poor schmos who weren't had to go to another entrance after a 30 minute wait. We also had problems with the MDR staff, can't remember exactly, but had something to do with My Time reservations. Also, the food was poor compared to other Royal cruises we've been on recently. In general, didn't seem like the staff was that familiar with the process. The individuals we dealt with, servers, bartenders, cabin attendants, etc were great. It seemed to be senior level disorganization to me. Overall, it was one of the few times Ive really felt crowded on a Royal ship. I didn't really mind the itinerary seemed somewhat poetic to visit the Alhambra and then get on a transatlantic cruise.
  10. We were also On the Symphony TA. While there were a lot of things about the cruise that put it in the bottom half of my favorite cruise list, cabin location was not one of those things. We were in a port-side ocean view balcony and found it a pleasant place to be. The sunsets were spectacular. The room was comfortable the whole cruise.
  11. I second the take your own. They MAY have what you want, but my experience has been that what's available is inconsistent, and they frequently run out of my preference before the end of the cruise.
  12. I agree you can use the paper alone but I prefer the plastic ones. Getting them out and ready to go means sail away is getting close.
  13. And make sure you get the "skip the line" or "fast pass" tickets to maximize your time.
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