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ejeffo

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About ejeffo

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sea of Tranquility, Moon
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL
  1. I will be sailing to the Caribbean on the RC Indy next year and I am trying to book flights... From experience, what time is pushing it for a flight out of FLL after a cruise? I need to be back to San Diego mid afternoon and the only flights that will do that leave at the latest at 9:10 AM... Thanks!
  2. Just a few observations I noticed while on the June 28th - July 5th sailing. We were in aft extended balcony cabin 4232 and friends were in 4230. GETTING THERE – We took a cab from the Travelodge Space Needle. The fare was $10.00… We got to the pier about 11:00, got our luggage checked, checked in, and boarded by noon. I clocked my first DOD at 12:15. Cabin was ready before 1:30. EMBARKATION - Very smooth and quick. I made a mistake entering one of the passport numbers and we got a trainee checking us in which held us up for about 20 minutes but other than that it was very easy. THE SHIP – The Spirit is beautiful. She is very clean and I did not see a lot of wear and tear. I think she is very tastefully decorated. I did have a difficult time navigating around though. It is a little bit confusing. I guess I got spoiled with the layout of the RCCL Radiance OTS. (Flame suit on). CONTRABAND – No booze this time but my power strip made it to my cabin with no problem. I put it in the front pocket of one of my checked bags. I ordered a bottle of Bombay Sapphire through Bon Voyage and it was waiting patiently for me when I arrived in the cabin. CABIN – We were in Aft extended balcony 4232. It was fine. Plenty of room for the three of us to move around (2 adults and 1 child). The balcony was great, but even having the extended overhand on deck 4 the rain still infringed on half of it. It was nice to be able to sit there and relax when it rained though. I asked Conrado (our steward) for an extra chair… no go. You get what you got… 2 chairs and a small table, but no problem bringing the desk “chair” out. They were not able to open the partition between 4230 and 4232… This is not because they don’t allow it any more (like so many people keep saying). It is because it opens into a window and they don’t want it banging around and breaking the window. Conrado opened it for us whenever we were in port though, and while we were cruising Tracy Fjord. The bed was VERY comfortable. DINING – The food was fantastic. We ate in the MDR, the buffet, room service, and the steakhouse and everything was great. I really liked the MDR BBQ ribs which we had on the first and last nights. The steakhouse Porterhouse was phenomenal and cooked to perfection. Room service was always fast (the BLT was delicious). Breakfast was delivered every morning right on time (cold cereal, coffee, OJ, danishes, etc.) Oh, and dress is very casual… sorry to those who are offended but that is the way things are going. I wore jeans and button up shirts on cruise casual nights, slacks a button up and tie on elegant nights… fit in just fine. Did not see many suits, tuxes, or dresses at all. ENTERTAINMENT – We saw one of the comedians for the late adult show (cant remember his name)… he was very funny though. The hypnotism show was just like every other hypnotism show (if you have ever seen one you know, lame). The New Orleans show that Stu touted as the best show on any cruise ship… was…. Fantastic! I really enjoyed it and would love to see it again. The music was great; it was about an hour long and was a great way to spend an evening. WOW! CAMP CARNIVAL – Sorry guys, RCCL was better by far in this category. Even the kids agree. Ask me for details if you want my insight. TRACY FJORD – AMAZING! Well worth the trip. We saw whales, waterfalls, icebergs, glaciers, and some of the most awesome scenery I have ever seen in my life. We did not do the excursion but hear from others that it is nowhere near worth the price. I cannot speak for that though as we just sat on our aft balcony and enjoyed the sights with a bucket of Coronas. SKAGWAY – A lot of fun. We rented a car with our friends we cruised with and drove to Emerald Lake. We stopped when we wanted to and took a lot of pictures. Went to Carcross (blech), played with the husky puppies, saw a lot of awesome sights, and had a great time over all. Spent the afternoon exploring Skagway… went to the Red Onion but could not get a place to sit down , so we went down the street to Bonanza Bar and Grill for a beer. Skagway is a fun little town with a lot to do. JUNEAU – Very similar to Skagway in my opinion. We just shopping and sight-seeing, had drinks in the Red Dog Saloon (?), and clam/halibut chowder at the end of the pier (the blue building where the float planes are). I cannot remember the name. The chowder was some of the best I have ever had. It really was delicious. KETCHIKAN – We had a lot of rain in Ketchikan and from what I hear it really does rain there all the time. We just shopped, took pictures, ate, enjoyed some mimosas and went back to the ship. Didn’t spend much time there… it was cold, windy, and wet. VICTORIA B.C. – Lame. The cheapest mode of travel to town was $35 per person. There were 8 of us… uhhhh… NO! We got there late anyway because of a medical emergency in Ketchikan, so… we did a little shopping at the pier and then… back on the ship to pack for debarkation. :( DEBARKATION – The smoothest I have ever seen. We did self debark, were off the ship by 8:30, took a bus to the airport (8 of us for $108). I was a little worried before we left because of my 11:30 flight but we were at the airport, waiting with plenty of time to spare. A FEW POINTS OF INTEREST – We heard balcony doors slamming, smelled smoke from the balconies, heard deck chairs scraping above us, witnessed people wearing shorts and jeans in the dining room, met people who had smuggled hooch onto the ship, and (insert cruising pet peeve here). Amazingly… NONE of it affected our vacation or bothered us in the least bit. :eek: We were there to relax, and relax we did. Also, - The water slide was closed for the entire trip, even in port in Seattle - The spa “Jacuzzi” was great very hot and never anyone in it. - The other “Jacuzzi’s” were luke warm and sometimes crowded. - Conrado is a great room Steward - Drinks on the ship were cheaper than in any of the ports. - The steward’s “wedge” is all you need to prop the balcony door open. Leave the bungees at home. - The drink servers were sometimes a bit pushy, especially in the casino. I would have 2 sips out of a beer and they would already come by and say “another one?” Come on guys, slow down. - The security guys care more about people taking pictures of them than someone setting off the metal detector.... Really. Any questions? Ask away!
  3. I was wondering if they ever open the water slide on the Spirit going to Alaska... I am hoping it will be open at least on the first day in Seattle and/or the sea day... anyone know for sure? The weather forecast says it will be 75 and sunny... My son and I really want to give it a go.
  4. What do you people think the odds are of being off of the Spirit and to SeaTac for a 11:35 flight? She is "supposed" to be in port at 7:00 AM. Is she usually on time? Would we need to do self-disembark? Should I have my TA update my paperwork to show the flight so they are aware of it? Thanks in advance!
  5. The action is starting to ramp up at the SD pier... Check out the web cam if you are interested. http://live6.truelook.com/face/newface.jsp?func=live&name=/ecodb/sandiego/oneamerica&pan=70.71936&tilt=-14.419353&panfov=16.872486&tiltfov=13.151145&overlay=default&skin=default&useapplet=true&time=1290100660111&width=640&height=480&quality=65&catalogname=catalog&zoom=2.76782&vfmap.x=944&vfmap.y=47&vfmap.w=73&vfmap.h=66
  6. So do the sports bars play the "home port" team's games? I just noticed that my home team (the Padres) will be playing in Seattle during my Alaska cruise next summer. Is it pretty likely that the game will be played in the bar? Or is it just a certain channel and we can only watch what is on that channel? DISCLAIMER... Yes, I know the Padres are a bunch of chokers but they are still my team... and always will be! :eek::rolleyes::eek:
  7. We are sailing out of Seattle next summer, and I have read so many different options regarding transportation, etc. We are flying in the day before the cruise. I am looking for some opinions on where to stay (under $150 a night), best options for transfers to the terminal, etc. Should we stay closer to the pier, or in downtown? I also need ideas of transfers to the hotel, to the pier, and back to the airport to fly out on debark day. What have you done in the past? Thanks in advance!
  8. So the cheapest fare is the ES... correct? If I am not badly mistaken you do not pick your stateroom but you get the cheaper rate. What are all of the differences between ES and regular rates? I am so confused. If the price drops, which ones can and cannot reap the benefits?
  9. So we (Myself, GF, and 11 YO son) are cruising on the Spirit to Alaska next summer. I had already booked cabin 4231, but then I saw the the aft cabin 4232 became available, which is also right next door to friends of ours who are on the same sailing. My TA tells me that this cabin is double occupancy only? Is this really true? The web site says... "2 Twin Beds (convert to King) and Single Convertible Sofa" Weird... is there a reason these cabins are double occupancy when they are set up just like the rest of the balcony cabins? I thought the only difference was that the balcony was bigger.
  10. Here are links to my cruise compasses from my Sept. 25-30 Radiance cruise to Ensenada and Cabo. I tore off a couple of the daily planners, but everything else is there. Enjoy... [URL="http://www.doubletalking.com/Radiance%20Compass/Radiance%20to%20Cabo%20092509%20Compass%20Day%201.pdf"]Radiance to Cabo 09-25-09 Compass Day 1[/URL] [URL="http://www.doubletalking.com/Radiance%20Compass/Radiance%20to%20Cabo%20092509%20Compass%20Day%202.pdf"]Radiance to Cabo 09-25-09 Compass Day 2[/URL] [URL="http://www.doubletalking.com/Radiance%20Compass/Radiance%20to%20Cabo%20092509%20Compass%20Day%203.pdf"]Radiance to Cabo 09-25-09 Compass Day 3[/URL] [URL="http://www.doubletalking.com/Radiance%20Compass/Radiance%20to%20Cabo%20092509%20Compass%20Day%204.pdf"]Radiance to Cabo 09-25-09 Compass Day 4[/URL] [URL="http://www.doubletalking.com/Radiance%20Compass/Radiance%20to%20Cabo%20092509%20Compass%20Day%205.pdf"]Radiance to Cabo 09-25-09 Compass Day 5[/URL]
  11. So my GF, 9 YO son, and I sailed on the Radiance to Cabo Sept. 25-30. Here is my quick review... EMBARKATION - Smooth as glass. We were at the pier at about 10:30 and were on the ship sipping a drink of the day at about 11:30 or so. Quick and painless I must say. The ship did sail a bit late, but can be expected, being the first sailing out of San Diego. We were watching them load more and more luggage from our balcony. FOOD - I had to hit this topic up next because I have heard so many conflicting things about the food... In one word, it was phenomenal. I had salmon, escargot, lobster, shoulder beef, etc. etc. and honestly, everything I had was absolutely fantastic. Everything that is... EXCEPT for the Chops steak. I can honestly tell you that I grill up a better filet in my backyard on my Char Broil. (Go ahead and flame away, it is the truth.) My opinion... stay in the MDR. I did not try Portofinos because we had great table mates and decided to stick with them. Oh, and Ismael is the best head waiter in the world. Just from the luck of the draw, we got a fantastic table set apart from the rest and up 2 or 3 steps. It was amazing! Also, everything in the Windjammer was very good as well. No complaints. Food gets a 10/10. ENSENADA - We took the bus tour to the blowhole (La Bufadora). It was a lot of fun and our guide (Hanz) was also really entertaining and fun. We did some shopping, had our free margaritas at Habana Banana, ate at a fantastic little restaurant (I cannot remember the name but it was our meeting place for the tour). Great tacos with hand made tortillas. SEA DAYS - Interestingly enough, it is strange to me that everyone bashes Carnival saying that they are the "party" ships. There was no lack of a good time around the pool (I am in no way complaining, it was fun). It was actually more of a party atmosphere on this ship than my Elation cruise. The Elation was pretty mellow (But also a great time). As you can probably tell, I am not difficult to please. We have a great time just knowing we are on a cruise. The second sea day was cold and windy, so not a lot of people by the pool. ADVENTURE OCEAN - The AO program was great. The people working there were very nice. My son is 9 years old, so he was in the 9-11 group (Explorers I think). The hours are kind of screwy, but it makes sense, I guess more so people don't just drop their kids off and forget about them. You have to pick them up for lunch and dinner (which was what we would do any ways). My son made a lot of freinds on the ship and would constantly be saying Hi to other kids walking by. Overall, he had a lot of fun there. CABO - In a word... "CROWDED!" And another couple of words... "HOT AND HUMID!" There were 5 ships in port that day... The Radiance, 3 NCL ships, and the Carnival Elation (Which holds a special place in my heart, being my first cruise and all). The Radiance was by far the prettiest of all from the outside, and I heard a lot of complaining coming from NCL pax in common areas (Once again, flame away NCL peeps, it is the truth). We did the Beach, buggy, and swim tour. This is where my only real complaints comes in... First off, there were 3 of us, so we had a single person come with us in our buggy and I had to share driving time with a young kid who had never driven a stick before. I was okay with it but my GF wasn't too thrilled. I had to keep telling him how to drive and that I had precious cargo on board so to take it easy. It was amazing how warm the water was. If anyone wants more info on this excursion, let me know and I can tell you more. It is a fun excursion. Oh and we ate at a great little Irish Pub near the Marina. Very good food and atmosphere. SHOWS – They were all great. The City of Dreams show was awesome and also my favorite. Great music, excellent choreography, and a lot of fun. The music impersonator was very good as well. Honestly, the impersonations were not so great (some were) but the entertainment factor was very high. The Piano Man show was probably my second favorite. If you like Elton John, Billy Joel, etc. you will definitely like this show. Every show was about 1 hour. Shows get a 8/10. CASINO – We are video poker players, so I can only comment on that. The pay tables are horrible (6/5 for quarters), but as much can be expected for a captive audience. We will be heading to Vegas in January anyways where we can get 9/6 and free drinks . We still managed to dump in plenty of cash and had a lot of fun doing it. I hit four 4’s for $100 but that was about it. The drink service in the casino was sparse as well. You had to go to the bar, and when we did ask someone if there was a waitress, the bartender came over asking if we wanted drinks. No biggie, but drink service would have been a plus. STATEROOM – We were in JS 1548. What a great room in a great location. We were close to the elevators, had plenty of room for the three of us to move around, and the pullout bed was great for my son. He loved it. The balcony was nice, especially being our first one. It would be hard to go back to an oceanview room. The only down point was the bathtub. Although it was nice to have one, it was set higher than the bathroom floor. I am 6’ tall and literally my head touched the ceiling. You have to be careful stepping out as well. Since the tub floor is higher than the bathroom floor it is a big step and I almost fell my first time. This room is not for everyone for those reasons. The walk-in closet was nice too! DEBARKATION - Attn. non-US citizens... "GET DOWN TO THE COLONY CLUB WHEN YOU ARE CALLED!" Our debarkation was delayed because there were a few people who didn't show up for the immigration inspection. As a matter of fact, they finally did release us for debarkation and when we were leaving, the guy in front of us handed over his sea pass card and they said "Oh, there you are. We have been paging you all morning." and pulled him aside, back onto the ship. I heard him talking, he spoke perfect English. Then we saw him again waiting for our shuttle and he was telling his friend "I guess next time I will see what they want when they page me." I felt like saying something, but I kept my mouth shut. COMPLAINT – Yes, I do have one complaint… So we were scheduled to meet at 8:30 AM for our Cabo excursion in the Aurora Theater. We even checked the time with the Explorations desk before we went to sleep at about 10:00. We place our breakfast room service order on the door for 7:00-7:30. So, we wake up at about 6:45 and start getting ready leisurely. I jump in the shower a few minutes after 7. Suddenly, my GF barges into the bathroom saying we have to meet at 7:30 for the excursion… they changed the time. They left a message on the phone (never called, just left a message at 11:47 PM when we were fast asleep). We had to race to get ready and had to rush to the theater with no breakfast, no coffee, no nothing. Oh, and on the way out of the room, we found a letter stating the same thing on the outside of the door. It is a good thing my GF picked up the phone to see where our breakfast was or we may have missed the excursion. Defend RCCL all you want, but they should have done more to let us know. Even a phone call at 11:47 waking me up would have been better. IN A NUTSHELL – I absolutely loved this cruise, the ship, the CD, the shows, the food, everything. It was a fantastic vacation in which we met some great people who will surely become long time friends. Sorry for missing all of the CC events, but we were just having too much fun and busy chasing the kids around. All of the reviews saying The Radiance is beautiful, well decorated, clean, etc. etc. are all wrong. They are UNDERstatements! This ship is too awesome for words. If you are planning to sail on the Radiance, you will not be disappointed. If I think of anything else, I will post it in this thread. If anyone has questions, let me know.
  12. So, I know about the wind tunnel deal if you leave the balcony door open, and that the A/C turns off. I also know that some people have been visited by unwanted flying guests... However... Are you allowed to prop the balcony door open? If so, what is the best way to do so? What do I need to bring?
  13. Does anyone have a copy of a Cruise Compass from a Radiance 5-Dayer? Also I would like to see an adventure ocean compass as well if anyone has one. My son will be in the 9-11 group. Thanks in advance!
  14. Does anyone know if the pool will be open before sail away on the Radiance?
  15. So we really want to book one night in Chops but cannot decide which night would be best (adults only). Are there any specific nights that they do anything special with the kids at night time? We will be on the Sept. 25 sailing of the Radiance to Cabo (5 nights). My son is 9 and I am sure he would not want to sit through a meal at Chops. I dont care if other kids are there, just not my own :D:D Any other kid tips regarding the Adventure Ocean program? Thanks!
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