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About kathy884

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St. Louis, MO
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I've only tried Carnival and NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    I've only cruised to Caribbean and Canadian ports

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  1. Thanks so much for the all posts and the education. I didn't go far enough on the website to even realize that there was a non-refundable and refundable pricing category.
  2. We just narrowed down what cruise we would like to do next year -- April of 2020 (April 19, so way after Easter -- not what I would think would be a super popular week, etc.) (note: This is our first time cruising Royal Caribbean International) and I just looked as costs and penalties on their site (haven't booked the cruise yet). It appears that when I book (cabin for three) that I put a $750 deposit down and that if I change plans that I am out this money? Is that true even if on the same cruise I rebook for a better promotion or something like that too? Wasn't sure if I am understanding this correctly. I know on NCL the deposit was only $2 on the last cruise we did, so no risks with early booking until three months in advance (final payment date). I don't know much about the RCI cruise line and if they run promotions all the time like the other lines seem to do, but am thinking perhaps my best bet may to book later rather than earlier. I'm pretty sure that we will do this cruise, but $750 is a big penalty when you are more than a year out. Usually when it's really far in advance with things like hotels, etc. the most you are out is a more nominal administrative fee that just encourages you not to book what you aren't seriously considering. Let me know if I am understanding the $750 penalty correctly.
  3. What is the definition of kid. What about a 23 year old sailing in parent's cabin?
  4. interesting point. Thanks for posting. We'll all be getting ocean view balcony cabins and tend to spend quite a bit of time in private space on these. I think too we will probably pay the extra and get the large balcony cabins too. That will be different, though, with public areas without the ocean view. I would be concerned for my dad, except for the fact that he just last year sailed the Oasis and loved the cruise.
  5. My brother who recently cruised on a Voyager class ship said the same thing about mediocre entertainment. Except for comedians we have found the entertainment on Carnival to be skippable too. I think all in our party would enjoy the larger ship for this. I know my mom and dad loved the Oasis entertainment. My dad has some mobility issues, but really enjoyed mid ship on the Oasis. He would know what he is getting into, and I'm hoping he'd be up for the Harmony again. He recently did the NCL Getaway -- loved the cruise, was pretty far aft, and did have to stop and sit quite a bit on that ship when going various places. Haven't been able to talk him into a wheel chair or scooter on the ships, but he will use these at Disney and SeaWorld theme parks and likes using them there.
  6. Wonderful! -- No new clothes to have to buy! DH will be happy to hear that too. Strange it's just me and DH who for decades wore suits to work every day who don't like to dress up. DS 23 enjoys the opportunity to dress up and is glad we'll finally be doing a cruise that has some formal nights. lol
  7. We are looking at booking a cruise on the Harmony of the Seas. I work in IT and am someone who doesn't own a dress and the most formal clothing that I own are two pairs of nice slacks, and nice sweaters and polo shirts. I do own two pairs of nice shoes to wear with slacks and jeans. At home and work, I mostly wear jeans with a nice sweaters or polo shirts. I wear nice shoes to work, but usually just wear hiking shoes or tennis shoes at home and for casual. Are jeans allowed in the main dining room on smart casual nights? Or will I need to wear nice slacks each evening that I eat in the main dining room? I do plan to wear nice shoes for dinner each night. I'm assuming on the two more formal nights that I can wear nice slacks and a nice sweater and will be underdressed, but allowed to dine in the main dining room?? Thanks so much. I have only cruised NCL and Carnival and this works on their ships, but this will be my first time to cruise RCCL. I really and truly do not want to buy clothing that I don't want and wouldn't wear at home. I don't have clothing purchases included in my vacation budget either. I figure I could probably if need be wear the same two pairs of slacks over the seven night period if right after dinner I change to jeans each night. I might, though, buy another pair or two of slacks or dockers depending on what I hear back from you, as I would have some occasion to wear those at home.
  8. It looks like the Harmony is winning. I will ask my parents, but I know with that close to Orlando that is what my parents will pick, as my nephew lives there and that would be easy for them to combine visiting him with that. I just looked at prices, though, and see that April 5th, 2020 is Easter week. If we switch to April 19th on the Harmony we can save $855 on the cruise combined for three of us and get a larger balcony too, which we would enjoy if in budget. I'm guessing it would be easier to get reasonable airfares too, so I'm seriously looking at the same Harmony cruise on the April 19th date. Appreciate you opinions.
  9. We are booking our first RCCL cruise and are letting DS 23 pick the ship/itinerary/dates subject to our approval and budget. DH and I are in our late 50s/early 60s, and DS is 23. We may have my lovely active 82 year old parents join us too, and I wouldn't be surprised if my brother and his girlfriend who love to dive end up joining us also. Anyway DS has narrowed it down to two choices. Any thoughts on either of these that might help us pick one over the other? Choice 1) Harmony of the Seas, seven night leaving Sunday April 5 of 2020 -- This one leaves from Port Canaveral, so has the advantage of a SeaWorld or Disney day prior to the cruise, has two days at sea to start, does St. Maarten (been there, but love it and would do Maho Beach again), San Juan (been there for full week visits and as a cruise stop quite a few time, but decent port we like), another day at sea, and a Coco Cay stop. My dad likes days at sea, and this has three, so I think he would like it. Mom and dad have already done the Oasis, so nice that this would not be the same ship they have done before. We'd go for a mid ship regular ocean view balcony room here. Choice 2) Adventure of the Seas, eight nights leaving Saturday April 11 of 2020 -- This one leaves from Ft. Lauderdale. Itinerary: Day at sea, Labadee, Hati (new port for us), San Juan (same port as choice 1), St. Thomas (been there once for a full week visit and twice for a cruise stop), St. Maarten (same port as choice 1), and then two more days at sea. DS like the thought of four port days. Overall he likes the look to the Voyager class ships on RCCL based on what he has looked at online, but thinks maybe some things are a little more dated. Thinks this may be a nicer size vs. the huge Harmony. This would still have the three at sea days for my dad. Here we could get an aft corner balcony too. Price wise the cruise is about $500 less for the three of us than the other, but flying into Ft. Lauderdale is a little more expensive for us than Orlando and accommodations pre cruise are a little pricier too in Ft. Lauderdale vs. Orlando, making it a wash for the most part budget wise. Anyway, DS thinks he's got two great choices, but is torn. DH and I are just coming along for the ride. Which would you pick of these two and why? Thanks so much. DS asked if I'd post this on this forum as I've gotten such great advice on cruise critic in the past and many new insights about cruising when we asked about other cruises. I really appreciate any and all thoughts/opinions.
  10. Hello fellow cruise critic savvy cruisers, To date we have just cruised Carnival and NCL, but are looking to book our first RCCL cruise (next year April of 2020). Any thoughts on getting a good deal? Should we just book on line or call RCCL? Or do you recommend going thru a travel agent? I once booked a cruise thru Vacations to Go which worked fine, but FYI I don't know any travel agents or agencies (am someone who has always done my own planning). I appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance.
  11. The taxes when I did the math were $18 a day per person for the drink package. We passed on the drink package and will mostly drink the free filtered water and lemonade. Good point, though, about sail away vs. room with perks. We started with a freebie inside offer for two people and that just came with one perk. We for the one perk, have our son in the room (third person free -- well not really taxes, etc.). And then we went for a specific location to be by others we are sailing with and went for a mini suite / large balcony. No, there is no such thing as a free cruise or a free perk when you do the math. Looking forward to a fun vacation, but it's certainly not a free vacation.
  12. You can ask for your cruise or search the forum about where to get Vibe passes. I heard on the Getaway (we are expecting to cruise on that this coming Sunday), that you go to the headliners comedy club to try for those passes. I understand that there is no guarantee, especially if you don't have priority boarding of getting those, and that they often sell out quickly. Just level set expectations so you aren't too disappointed if you don't get these.
  13. We fly out this Saturday for a Sunday cruise. We have travel insurance too. For us, we are just a 1/2 hour from the airport, but snow is expected and we live in an area that doesn't get a lot of snow. That means we'll give it extra time for our drive. I think for us the biggest risk of missing the cruise would be flight cancellations and not being able to get to the cruise port on time, even though our plans are to fly out the night before. It does sound like there might be some messy weather throughout a large part of the United States that could affect travel for lots of people. That's always a risk with winter travel. Anyway wish you well. Hope we all get to the port safely and on time and can enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean (assuming you're doing a cruise to that area). Travel insurance would refund some monies, but it wouldn't get back being able to join extended family etc. on this cruise which would be extremely disappointing. Safety though always need to be number 1 for airlines, etc. and that's what we would want too. Anyway, you are not alone in dealing with these risks.
  14. Montego Bay, Jamaica mon -- Although I am fine vacationing in Jamaica I absolutely hate it as a cruise port! I feel like prey being attacked every time I am there. I'm just the normal tourist; I dress conservatively; There is nothing about me would particularly stand out. Last time in I was there in the middle of the day visiting the very busy shopping district in the middle of the day (bad judgement on my part to go by myself). First about five different taxi drivers honked at me and made comments. hey also said hey you want a ride. me -- No thanks. I'm walking. I want the exercise. Next, I was shopping for a watch as mine had broken on the ship and looked in about three stores before making a purchase. Before I even went into the first store four tall men late 20s/early 30s started following me around. They went into every store I went into, followed me in and out of each store, down each aisle I went down, etc. and eventually started taking to me -- hey you like ganga. You like to party. Me -- no not my thing. Eventually they had one guy talk to me and suggest that I pay him protection money and he would protect me from all the guys following me. Me -- no thanks. It's no big deal. People follow me all the time. (I tried to be kind and confident and come across as if I wasn't bothered by all this. I thought it was in my own best interest to be courteous and polite. It was disconcerting to me though.). OMG they followed me all the way back to the ship too after I purchased my watch. I was overjoyed to be back on the ship. I've actually avoided cruise itineraries that stop in Jamaica. I've been to the country a few times for week long visits which were ok actually, but as a cruise port I can't stand Jamaica. I don't even like organized tours there (folks are too pushy and loud) with cruise passengers. I unfortunately too, seem to let that put me in a foul mood. My best bet is to totally avoid the place.
  15. I'm the culprit that described the look of the lounge area as an upscale youth hostile, but I didn't mean demographics at all. I'm 58 and only saw that area due to some new friends in their 50s showing it to us. I have a 23 year old who did a study abroad in Italy a few years back when he was in college, and I helped him plan his post trip exploring, looking for really nice youth hostile places and the nicer ones reminded me of the NCL studio area -- cute, modern, upscale, inviting lounge area. That's all I meant by that comment. From what I saw I'd pick this area on NCL for sure if I were doing a solo cruise and/or if I was cruising with others, but didn't want to share a cabin with them (and like I said earlier in this post, I'm 58).
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