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leaveitallbehind

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About leaveitallbehind

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    Philly burbs, PA.
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    RCI

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  1. We rarely eat in the MDR but generally add a separate gratuity for the waitstaff in the specialty restaurants. The service from the stateroom attendants is always good but there have been times when we rarely see them, so it varies with additional gratuities with them. But what frequently happens is we get a bottle of wine in our stateroom when we board as a result of our loyalty tier, but we are not big wine drinkers so that will often be left with a note to the stateroom attendant letting them know it is for them as a thank you. We always tip the bartenders in the loyalty lounges per drink and the Concierge as they often arrange dinner plans and print out our boarding passes, etc., for us.
  2. RCI Quantum class also offers some. In most cases where they are offered by a cruise line the rooms naturally are smaller and there still is a premium on the stateroom rates as a solo, but one that is significantly lower than that which is charged as a double occupancy rate for a solo passenger in a standard stateroom.
  3. I don't know which tower is assigned but if you have a choice my recommendation is the Ali'i Tower over the Rainbow Tower. And likely it would be a standard balcony room, which is very nice.
  4. While you should continue to check this thread as you will get good responses here, as this is a ship specific question, you may also want to post this on the Carnival board where you may get a greater amount of responses with more information. Here is the link: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/133-carnival-cruise-lines/ You may also want to join (or start one if one does not yet exist) the Roll Call for your sailing date to talk with fellow passengers on that itinerary with you. It's a great way to get to know others on your ship in advance of your cruise. Here is the link to the Carnival Roll Call board: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/91-carnival-roll-calls/
  5. Duct tape, maybe. The cellophane type tape that likely is being considered for this master spy trick, not as likely. 😉
  6. First of all, the issue with the tape was more tongue in cheek. If the chaperones feel that would be an effective monitoring tool, then so be it. However regarding security, don't underestimate the sophistication of the system. They very definitely can identify who the passengers are and are operating 24/7 everywhere on board and are real time. Maybe monitoring each area is difficult on a real time basis, and recorded activity would support that as well as provide a necessary record. But security on board, including the surveillance cameras, is a very serious and technically astute matter. Security staff is also out and present 24/7 and watching for ship curfew violations, passenger safety, and ship policy enforcement and especially with a group of that nature, these would be priorities. But believe what you want - we are all entitled to that. But don't take my word for it - google cruise ship security or surveillance systems on cruise ships, etc., and then decide. Maybe also look at retinal or iris recognition...
  7. If you read my post more carefully, I wasn't indicating enforcing the band rules, as I stated: "Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy...." And by curfew I am referring to the curfew imposed by the cruise line for minors, as mentioned in my first post. That is the only one that would matter. Given this, while the ship's general crew may not be interested in enforcement, I'm certain that as mentioned, if anything against ship policy is revealed by the security cameras, the ship's security staff would certainly be interested in enforcing - and would most definitely bring this to the chaperones attention!
  8. The state of residency matters if that would generate a state-based discount, which you would only be eligible for as a resident of that state. It also matters for matching your booking info with your residence and ID, which have to align. For those reasons you cannot simply enter any state on a booking - your actual residency must be provided. As others have said, you need to use a website coordinated with your country of residence, or contact RCI directly, or use a travel agent.
  9. ...and I'm sure if there were kids going in and out of different rooms and doing things they shouldn't be - in particular after curfew - the ship's security cameras would have that all recorded. Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy would be brought to the chaperone's attention long before they would find it out on their own - and with much more serious consequences. Far better system than tape on the doors....
  10. I agree that with any travel outside of the US it is wise to carry a Passport even if one is not needed. I also would suggest that one should check with the cruise line planned for travel as different lines require a Passport even when it is not mandated, whereas others don't. However the requirement you reference is for air travel into Costa Rica. Please note the following, in particular that in bold: CRUISE TRAVEL The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Passport Requirements became effective June 1, 2009, for land and sea borders. While the WHTI requires a valid passport for land and sea travel, a final ruling was issued allowing leniency for "closed-loop" cruises, i.e., sailings that both originate and terminate in the same U.S. port. Recent guidance received from the Department of Homeland Security indicates the documentary requirements under WHTI for "closed loop" cruises are not limited to cruises that travel only to contiguous territories or adjacent islands. This means U.S. citizens calling on ports in Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Belize will also be exempt from the passport requirement. U.S. citizens taking "closed-loop" cruises are not required to have a passport, but will need proof of citizenship such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, a passport card, an enhanced driver's license (EDL) as well as a government-issued photo ID. Children are also required to bring proof of citizenship, and if 16 and over, a photo ID is also required. Canadian and Bermudian citizens are required to have a passport for air, land and sea travel, including all cruises. Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking "closed loop" cruises, we strongly recommend all guests travel with a passport (valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel). Having a passport will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event they miss their scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if they need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.
  11. There are also other considerations such as policies regarding non-family minors being booked in a stateroom without an adult. While that may be waived for groups such as you describe, it would be something I would confirm with the cruise line in question. And they will not have 24-hour access to their staterooms as most cruise lines impose a curfew for minors, but they also likely won't endorse taping the rooms. As you indicate, there are a lot of variables that need to be considered and my suggestion would be to contact the cruise line(s) directly and ask to speak with a group booking coordinator and start there to see what your options may be. You can also do so through a travel agent. But you would need to think of transportation to and from the cruise ship, confirming all have proper ID, length of cruise and the $ associated, etc. Good luck!
  12. Not being snarky but wondering why with your stated cruise experience and not having one in the past, and your knowledge of the rules regarding a US based closed loop cruises with US citizens, why would you question the need for one now? Is the cruise in question not a US based closed loop cruise? Costa Rica is no different in that regard than any other foreign port of call on that type of itinerary. BTW, as another source, the Carnival website could probably also provide that answer if the phone wait time is too long.
  13. No, I don't work for any cruise line. Aside from being told this by senior ship staff members, lets just say I have ties to an industry that has direct knowledge of this. It also is the case with RCI and most other mass market cruise lines that have this system of gratuity payment in place.
  14. As mentioned with my first response, the answer to your comments above with Celebrity (which is the OP's cruise line in question) is yes, not maybe. A listing of all passengers who have prepaid their gratuities as well as those with daily autopay on board is published internally. If the autopay is increased that is known as well.
  15. As SantaFeFan indicates, I would not agree either to including a drink package in the fare. That would be unfair to those who do not drink - or don't drink a lot - as most drink packages are based on about a 6 - 7 drink per day, every day, consumption at about a $10 per drink rate. With port days included, that is a lot of coffee, tea, juice, soda, or water for non-alcohol drinking passengers to consume to get their money's worth out of that fare base charge.
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