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About KG1924

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Chicago, IL
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    my dogs
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
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  1. I also get where the OP is coming from. For us, a drink package is usually a savings (sadly lol!) and I really do enjoy having everything paid for ahead of time-it allows me to really feel at ease on vacation. Our last cruise that we took before drink packages left us with an $1800 bill at the end and I believe the only on thing on there besides drinks and extra tips was a single ornament 🙂 In fairness, that was our first vacation that we went into without holding back-we got whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We've grown up a bit since then but we always get a drink package now just to take one more thought out of vacation. We are looking at VV for our 10 year anniversary this fall and while we would love a drink package, we are ok with going "all out" for a 4 day cruise....I'm hoping a shorter trip will help with the sticker shock of the bill at the end. We are considering a suite and I really wish that they would elaborate on the "open bar" in the suites. Some of the verbiage makes it seem like it's only the first round, but then I read "on us" in a lot of places. I think if it truly was open bar for while we're getting ready or relaxing on the balcony at night it would really help us justify the price difference. We have only ever sailed in regular balconies and we would be perfectly fine in one for this trip too but since it's a bigger anniversary we'd like to pamper ourselves a bit. My frugal side keeps saying the price difference would probably cover our drinks for the trip though lol!
  2. I don't mind the change, we really enjoyed our visit to Coco Cay this past May-to us it's just an extension of the ship since anything we do is free lol! My question is about how they handle staffing. When we were there it was one of the first weeks with everything open (I know they aren't officially done yet, but it was kind of a 'grand opening') and some of the bartenders that we visited frequently talked about how a large percentage of the staff was working on the island and then doing their regular jobs that evening. Now I'm thinking they went above and beyond for the first few visits as far as staffing goes to make a good impression, but if a ship (or two) is going there multiple times then I don't see how they can continue not only putting a high percentage of staff on the island while it's docked as well as how they can have them work so many hours like that. One would assume (or hope) that they would have a staff dedicated just to the island, right?
  3. I'm no expert in fraud/finance but I had my wallet stolen while I was at work earlier this year. I wasn't even aware until my Chase Visa called and texted asking if I approved the $700 charge at Target across the street. Within 30 seconds our account was deactivated and every recent charge/attempt was gone through line by line. My bank was not so great...sure enough the debit went right through with no problem and it took about 8 days to get my money back. Also, Visa sent new cards overnight, I had to wait until I could sit down with a banker to get new debit cards. To add insult to injury, because our account was "closed" (as it should have been, they also got my check book that I NEVER carry on me except for that week lol) I couldn't even access my account to get cash out through a regular teller. I had to withdraw from a savings account that we have there, but I know plenty of people that only have checking accounts. Moral of the story (for me, given my limited experience) I would MUCH rather have my credit cards compromised then my debit card. We are not wealthy people by any means, but thankfully were able to get by with out the funds that were missing. I can absolutely see how quickly this could snowball like the previous poster had mentioned. I don't love using CC's all the time because it's very easy to get caught up in it if you aren't diligent, but for me it's a much safer way to go-we charge almost everything and pay it off each month. After going through each charge lol
  4. We were just on the Adventure last month and thought the food was just fine. We usually grab an egg and some toast for breakfast so it's hard to mess that up. It was crowded at certain times but there was always a seat at the bar in there and a mimosa makes breakfast taste even better. MDR was fine for us as well, there was always something that we liked and if we didn't then they always offered to bring something else. But we go into a cruise knowing that it isn't going to be gourmet by any means and we are hardly foodies either so our opinion will differ from yours if you were expecting higher quality. I do think that the larger ships (Oasis class in particular) has better daytime options for food. I don't generally enjoy a buffet anywhere so we enjoyed being able to grab a quick lunch in the multiple other venues.
  5. We were on her for the 5/17/19 sailing and I agree with everyone else....compared to brand new ships she's a bit "dated" but overall in good shape. The only thing I noticed in our cabin was the varnish on the balcony railing could use a redo (I'm assuming that's just a constant battle anyway) but the interior was pretty good with newer carpet and what seemed like a newer couch-we were on her 15 years ago and I remember a lot more teal back then lol! The rest of the ship seemed great to me. Have a great trip!!
  6. Wow, you are really up in arms about this....did you address it while on board? You do realize that posting on here doesn't do much other then make others panic that they're booked on a decrepit, dinky ship? I was not on the ship but you showed a couple areas only of a 130k ton ship that is almost 20 years old. If you're looking for perfection then I would think you're sailing the wrong cruise line. And I'm confused...isn't the more recent picture of one of the main hot tubs?
  7. Or one could say that you took a picture of the worst kept one and left out all the perfectly fine hot tubs on the rest of the deck.....
  8. Just wanted to give a quick review of our recent Adventure of the Seas cruise to Bermuda and the Bahamas, including a Perfect Day at Coco Cay. We sailed 5/17/19-5/25/19. "We" are my husband and I along with 10 other family members ranging from ages 3-70. Bayonne: This was our first time to New Jersey/New York and the port itself was fine. We had an early flight into Newark and saw the 9/11 memorial and Museum with my parents. We stayed in Jersey City the night before at the Hyatt House (good hotel, great location with a beautiful view of the skyline at night) and took a 9:30 Uber to the port. We were there pretty early but there was plenty of seating and almost no line to check in. I'd say we were on board by 11? Ship: Our very first cruise was on the Adventure 14 years ago, so it was a bit nostalgic to sail her again. She's in great shape, although not as modern as the newer, larger ships. We really like the Freedom class of ships so while the Adventure is a bit smaller, the layout is identical so it felt very comfortable. Plus very easy and fast to get anywhere on the ship. The best part was the lack of lines/crowds. We feel like we never waited for anything this trip, including drinks 🙂 Service: Hands down, this was the best service we've had on any cruise in YEARS! We felt like we went back 14 years to when the service felt special. Our steward was funny and very personable, our servers in the dining room were still rushed like they have to be these days but still so kind and thoughtful. Bar service was the best we've ever had. Now, I will say that we are decent drinkers, especially on vacation. Everyone in our group gets the drink package and uses it well 😉 The servers in the pub were fantastic, especially Raul! The pub was often our meeting spot before dinner so if my sister had her kiddos with her he would bring them fancy frozen drinks (virgin of course) every time as well as remembering all the adults regular drinks (the kids did not have any refreshment package either....he just did it). The part I was most surprised with was the bar service around the pool. I feel like the last few years they've really minimized the servers that walk around deck taking drink orders but we had fantastic service this time. They were plentiful but not in your face. Even the bartenders at the pool bar itself were great-my brother in law would be 20 feet away and by the time he got to the bar, they would have his drink waiting for him. This was all before giving any extra tips by the way. Ports: Bermuda - absolutely beautiful! We just went to Horseshoe Bay, taking the $7/person mini bus there and back. Then we just walked around the port area a bit which was very nice. We contemplated taking the ferry over to Hamilton, but being that it was a Sunday we weren't to keen on spending the time or money to get there knowing that not all business are open on Sundays. This was probably the only "negative" of the trip, but obviously we knew that when we booked. We will definitely go back to Bermuda, but if we cruise we'll choose an itinerary that spends a couple days there. Nassau - our entire group has been here a few times so we didn't really plan much. We were in port from 12pm-12am as well so it was kind of odd times for regular excursions. Half of our group stayed on the ship, myself and the rest walked to the John Watlings Distillery which is beautiful and a fun way to spend some time. We then went to the Pirate Republic Brewery near the pier as well as the Never Say Never Again Bar & Grill which is a newer bar next to Senior Frogs. It was probably one of the funnest trips to Nassau even though we didn't do much. Coco Cay - So.Much.Fun. My husband and I have never been here so we don't have a comparison to the old vs. new but everyone in our group loved it. The same beautiful, relaxing beach areas are there along with all the other new activities. We spent most of the day by the pool bar (I told you...we're drinkers) My sister and her family went to the water park and loved it. Lines weren't bad at all and they had reduced the passes to $25 before we left so they were very happy. Some of us went out to the floating tiki bar which is fun, but a small rain storm rolled through so we headed back to land. We had lunch at Snack Shack which was surprisingly good. We had the crispy chicken sandwich and mozzarella sticks....hardly fancy but tasty! We all really had a great time. So much so that by the time we got back on the ship my other sister was already looking up itineraries that go there for next year 🙂 Debark: Easy easy easy! We had group 8 but we were a little slow getting off so I believe they were already on the teens by the time we got off. Either way there were almost no lines, and customs consisted of us standing in front of a camera and being let through. I have no idea what it was as I've never seen it before, but either way it took all of 10 seconds and we were out the door. Our flight home wasn't until 3:15 so we dropped our luggage off at the hotel that my sister and her family were staying at for another night (they drove in so they wanted to spend more time in the city) and 3 of us did a whirlwind tour of New York, hitting all the major things I wanted to see (I had to say I walked in Central Park) before heading back to Newark Airport. Which FYI is under construction and the week before we left it was voted the worst airport in the US...I can't say it was my favorite airport but it got the job done! Overall, it was just a great trip. My parents stayed on for the 6 day Canada sailing and are still receiving great service. I really don't have any negatives, other then the internet is not great on the Adventure-it was much better on the Allure and the Liberty which were our most recent Royal sailings. I didn't even get it because I had read it was bad and other then my dogs at home, there is thankfully not much I need to stay connected with as my family was with me. The rest of the group did have it and while it worked, it was intermittent. So if you really need to be connected, be aware that it's not the best! Any questions, please feel free to ask away. We don't keep the daily compasses (sorry) and we didn't even do any specialty dining our week, although I bought my parents a dining package for this week and they loved both times at Chops and one night in Giavannis. Also, I don't have kids but my sister did use the kids club-her middle daughter (7) LOVED it, but she usually does on most cruises. Her 3 year old went 2x's...but he's going through a bit of a mommy stage right now so once they convinced him to stay, he was good to go. Their 9 year old daughter has never been a fan of kids clubs so she never went. I believe my sister was happy with their services and my niece got a cute little boyfriend that she met there lol!
  9. I'm so sorry!! I totally missed that in your original post!! And I feel like this was a great post for both smokers and non-smokers alike. I unfortunately (for me) was the only one left in my group that still does (I know, it's gross and believe me, I know it needs to end!!) so it's nice to be somewhat prepared on where to step away to as needed. The positive of being the sole smoker in a group is that you definitely smoke WAY less when you don't have a buddy or two to go with you 🙂
  10. We prefer Fort Lauderdale both because the beach front area is fun and we like ease/closeness of the airport....since you're driving I would say go with the closer drive! Both are very nice, easy ports with plenty to do in the area if you're coming in the night before.
  11. We were just there a week ago today and I can also add that there was a smoking section about 20-30 feet away from the pool bar section of the Oasis Lagoon. For anyone heading there, we had the best time, and our group was age 3 up to age 70! Fun had by all :)
  12. First of all, I'm not a stupid person. But I'm so glad that you feel that you need to imply that I am. Take it down a few notches buddy....this is literally a discussion on a cruise board. Secondly, I literally quoted you and addressed exactly what you said. Just like you stayed in Nassau for a week, I also stayed in Aruba for a week where there were armed guards. They have them in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico as well as Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Just as you say you saw outside of Pizza Hut in Nassau. I fail to see where I didn't address exactly what you said. My whole point is that you have you're opinion of Nassau and that's great. But do you honestly think that major cruise lines would keep going to back to the same place every.single.day. if there was that big of a threat to the thousands and thousands of customer's safety?
  13. So I'm going to New York next week prior to my cruise out of New Jersey....should I not go because I don't know the safe and not safe areas??? EVERYWHERE has crime, I live just outside of Chicago. I would feel much safer in Nassau then certain parts of my home city! Even when vacationing in Aruba there were armed guards and it's considered a low crime area....different places do things differently. You can't live your life in fear of what may or may not happen-that's a guaranteed way to miss out on some great things. Just be aware of your surroundings as much as possible. Nassau is hardly my favorite port but you better believe I'm getting off the ship that day-plan on checking out the craft brew place near the pier.
  14. I'm sorry that you didn't have a great sailing. There's literally nothing worse then looking forward to something for so long only to be disappointed. The only thing I would say is a lot of it probably has to be with the time of year. I know schedules aren't always flexible, but sailing Easter week may be one of the worst times (IMO of course lol!) We've done spring break times (one being Easter week) on 3 cruises (we don't have kids but my sisters do so we tend to go with what works for them) We've never had as negative experiences as you had but I also would pretty much refuse a spring break cruise unless it was REALLY cheap...and that's never the case. Everything is more, including airfare/hotels/etc. And it may be in my head but even the ports always seem more congested. And as a person that frequently cruises with a group of 10+ people (12 in 2 weeks 😀) I promise that not every group holds seats. I've been on 11?? cruises and not once have we ever saved seats. Whoever is with us when we go in is who gets a seat. If we find an open section then we'll sit there and if the rest come before they're taken then so be it. I don't understand huge groups needing to sit right next to each other for shows anyway-it's not like you're going to sit and discuss it while the shows going on.
  15. We've never done a boardwalk balcony but I've also read that if you do, going further aft may give you a view of the aqua theater. Personally, I prefer ocean view balconies (in fairness I've never stayed in anything else so I may not be giving the best opinion 😛) But with the Oasis class I strongly encourage getting a cabin near the elevators. We are two able bodied ad somewhat active people so walking is not an issue, but if you are truly midship or very aft on the Oasis then you are walking down a very long hallway to get to your cabin. We also avoid being right under the pool deck just to try and avoid early morning noise. We did get a cabin right under the lido on the Allure but we lucked out that it was under the scuba place so noise was a non issue. On any ship we like to be in somewhat of a middle deck near the elevators/stairs. That way we're only a few flights up or down to where we want to go and takes away excuses of using the stairs more.
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