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ceilidh1

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  1. Every person we ordered with asked for room number on Royal. Some also followed up with requesting name. The only time we actually tapped the medallion for payment was at the coffee bar in International Cafe and in the shop. Otherwise, we were asked room number and SOMETIMES name! DS was booked in a room with grandma but his onboard account was linked to my credit card. Whenever he went to the gelato place they asked his room number and then charged the gelato to my mom! Not a big deal for us, but might be something to consider when two couples share a room, for example! Despite the glitches, the medallion is a great idea. I do think they have a way to go but it is heading in the right direction. The finding shipmates feature was great for the kids - they always knew where I was if they wanted to leave kids club. I also really liked the idea of being able to order drinks through the medallion - the only issue was that the selection to order was really limited so most times I went to the bar anyway!
  2. Deck 7 mid/forward areas can be seen on the deck pans (the brown outside area is viewing area) - the squiggles at either end are the doors but they are not easily seen unless you are in the shop or the bar so I don't think a lot of people knew about them! Deck 7 aft more easily identified as the doors are right before the entrance to Vista Lounge: I didn't go up to the area at the front but I believe you access it from either deck 16 or 17 forward - it was closed at all times other than glacier viewing days!
  3. The deck 7 areas were fantastic - I was on from Aug 3-17 and agree that there was rarely anyone out there. I have photos on Glacier Bay day where we were ALONE in this area. I think many people don't know about the area as the promenade isn't a wrap around so it is assumed there is no access. The aft section (smoking area but I never saw anyone smoking out there) access is next to Vista and the forward access doors are hidden around the the corner from Effy (or one of those expensive stores) and Crooners! You are also correct about the forward area near the bridge - they opened this up on glacier days for viewing. I was one of the folks that thought Royal wasn't great for Alaska - while still not my favorite ship, I thought it worked just fine and I didn't have a problem with crowds or lack of viewing areas!
  4. There is a fair bit of opera type singing in Encore, but it's not as operatic as Bravo and does include some other musical type numbers. It's an ok show - not my favorite, but entertaining.
  5. I agree - I didn't see either production show as I'm not a fan of either of them and have seen them both previously. AJ Jamal was very funny and I did find the other shows enjoyable, though certainly not up there with many others we have seen! My traveling companion felt the same as you about Barbi - I think I tuned most of that out! We REALLY enjoyed the other entertainment around the ship - trivia, game shows, High Seas Heist, Voice of the Ocean, etc - that's what made the cruise for us!
  6. We just got off. No Secret Silk. They had Sweet Soul Music and Encore. I've seen both several times before so didn't go see them this time. Additionally, we had AJ Jamal, Michael Misko, Dan Bennett, Solomon Jaye, Barbi McCullough and Jennifer Singer as guest entertainers over the two weeks. All enjoyable! What made the cruise in terms of entertainment was cruise director Matt O and his team - they are the best!
  7. We just returned from our cruise on Royal and I was surprised that, other than International Cafe and gift shop, the medallions were not scanned or looked at for charges at all! Every bar tender and every waiter/waitress simply asked our cabin number. The bar tenders did have the screens with pictures/cabins but none of the servers were using them so I can see how mistakes could be made. It kind of defeats the purpose of the medallion! We did have one incorrect charge in the two weeks. A room service charge that definitely wasn't ours as we hadn't ordered room service. It was apparently for 2 glasses of Prosecco - I confirmed that it wasn't me and laughed when the front desk agent asked if it was the other person in the room. Considering the 2nd passenger was my 12 year old DD I think they would have a bigger issue on their hands if she had charged it! It was removed without any further questions....
  8. This isn’t unique to royal or to medallion! I check my bill daily and have had incorrect charges on almost every sailing. It’s far faster and easier to get them removed as you notice them than waiting until the last day!
  9. Deck 7 aft did have a smoking area on starboard side (not sure about port) but we were out there several times and never saw anyone smoking or otherwise! Deck 7 forward is not a smoking area and it's really hard to find the doors to get out there - they are tucked in around the corner from Effy and from Crooners.....shhhh, don't tell anyone!
  10. This was Glacier Bay day - deck 7 aft. We were the only ones out there for a big part of the day!
  11. I was concerned that the outside decks would be crowded since there is no promenade. I can't say that this was the case. On the top deck at the front it was crowded, but there are areas front and aft on deck 7 that were totally empty and perfect for viewing. There were times when we had the area to ourselves! The very forward was also opened up at Glacier Bay so a lot of people went there. I stayed away from where the majority of people congregated - I don't think many people knew about the deck 7 open space! We didn't sail the Inside Passage either north or south. Both ways we sailed outside Vancouver Island! We were sad about tha as its such a beautiful route. Also of note was having to leave Ketchikan early on the southbound voyage so that we could get under Lions Gate at the lowest tide - the captain mentioned that it would be hard to make time back as there was "a bit of a blow" off Vancouver Island. Not sure what that means, but maybe if we were sailing Inside then it would have been quicker? DD swam in the pools a few times - the weather for us was actually hot! In all my trips to Alaska, we have never had weather like this. The pools were actually quite warm (not warm enough for me) but the hot tubs not so much! DS didn't swim this time as he was too busy doing other stuff. There were people (kids and adults) in the pool every day for the 2 weeks! The pools on this ship are not great - the kiddies pool is tiny and the adult pool not much bigger. I'm surprised that the pools were so small for this sized ship. I didn't check out the Retreat Pool at the front - maybe that one is bigger.
  12. JUNEAU: Northbound, we walked from the ship to the Downtown transit centre, which was about 15 minutes from where Royal docked. We took the #1 Douglas bus - $2 adults/$1 kids each way and crossed to Douglas Island. We rode to the last stop, Savikko Beach. From here, it is a 5 minute walk to the trail for Treadwell Mine. This was probably the best port day of our two weeks. It was a glorious day and the trail was empty. The remains from the mine were fascinating and it was an easy, marked trail. We took our time exploring it all and did it in just over an hour. The trail ends at Sandy Beach, which was an amazing beach looking onto the Gastineau Channel. It was so surreal to be on a beach in Alaska with the sun beating down! We spent the rest of the day at the beach - the kids had a blast. At one point, we spotted a cruise ship in the distance and decided to hang around to watch it come in. It was NCL Bliss and it felt as if you could just reach out and touch it! Such a great day - highly recommend this if you are at a loose end in Juneau! To get back, we just walked back to the same stop and took the same bus! Southbound: We walked around town and picked up some souvenirs. Nothing too exciting. WHITTIER: We walked along the waterfront and picked up some fudge and some souvenirs from the few stores. Then we went to board the boat for the 26 Glaciers Cruise. We had pre-booked this excursion together and our bookings were linked but, for some reason, when we received our assigned seating we were not together. None of the Philips Cruise staff would help us, just shrugged and said "Sorry it's sold out". I explained that I was travelling with kids and it would be really nice to have them close. Nope. Can't help. Oh well. Mom wouldn't have done well sitting with one of the kids, so the kids sat together and mom and I sat together. It turned out fine as a lot of the time we went out on the open deck but it would have been nice to have gotten some assistance in the circumstances. The tour itself was wonderful - up close and personal to the glaciers, saw many otters, porpoise, whales, kittwakes, eagles. The lunch was really great - salmon chowder. We really enjoyed the tour!
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