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Eddie Wilson

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Posts posted by Eddie Wilson

  1. On 2/15/2020 at 2:31 PM, jbr5049 said:

    We took a chance last week, booking a 9:55am Flight out of Fort Lauderdale after debarking in Miami. I read the forum and was pretty nervous we might not make this flight, but I wanted to share with the community NOT to be afraid of this type of flight!


    We were on Navigator of the Seas which Debarked in Miami Port A on Monday Morning. 2 Adults, no kids. "Scheduled" Self Assist was 7:30 am


    Timeline of Events:

    7:05 am - Self Assist Debark begins from MDR

    8:35 am - At our Gate



    Some may say you were lucky to be at your gate in 1:30. Some may say it’s a cinch.


    But if the ship is delayed for Debarkation, and/or it is a weekend with many more ships in the Miami port, 90 minutes may not be enough. This morning off Explorer from Debarkation beginning in MDR to gate at FLL took us 150 minutes.  PLUS the Debarkation was delayed, so from the planned time to the gate was more like 170 - 180 minutes, with running into NO highway traffic.


    just as some people can do it in 90 minutes, a standard average means there are others who may get unlucky and take 4 hours.  It’s just a gamble and some win and some lose. 



  2. On 1/25/2020 at 9:59 AM, cured said:

    Those wistfully yearning for the good ol' days of tuxes and gowns on formal night should probably make an adjustment to their expectations.  Both cruising and dress codes have changed in this world.


    Back then, cruising was much more expensive and formal.  These days, many cruise lines are catering to families and a more relaxed, beach atmosphere. Case in point, the addition of Lime and Coconut, a venue that exudes the Caribbean, laid back, party style.  A new generation is cruising, one that doesn't remember the formal, stuffiness of dressing up for a formal night. 


    This new generation is much more casual.  Dress codes in work places have been relaxed, restaurants have relaxed their dress codes, overall just a more casual lifestyle.  


    Dress changes over the years. If it didn't, we would still all be wearing long, bustled, Victorian gowns.


    Things change. Best to accept it and move on. It is never going back. Dress up and enjoy if that is what makes you feel happy and beautiful.  But don't worry about what others are doing. You are never going to change them because they are dressing for their reality.  Their reality is not wrong, it is just different from past reality. Just like acceptable 1950's clothing was a far different reality than 1920's clothing of their parent's reality 30 years earlier.




    Your post is one of the best I have ever read regarding this topic, and I agree.


    Times do change, and it’s not limited to the dress, it mirrors the change in MDR.  In 1990, on our first cruise, the MDR was utilized by most cruisers.  Our Ship (Empress) had 7 course dinners with the highest quality menu and service. Lots of suits and dresses, and on formal night many tuxes and formal dresses.  But think about it, they also served many fewer people per sitting.  


    As as the size of ships tripled, the same food quality is multiple times more difficult to maintain.  I have experience in food service, and gasp when I think about serving 3000 people in about 90 minutes, only to clean, reset and do it again for another 3000. Let’s just say...they can’t cook to order for this size.  Look at all the threads complaining about the decline of food quality in MDR over time. I am not one of those complainers by the way.


    So if the MDR experience has declined over time from say a fine dining experience, why can’t the dress also?


    The speciality restaurants can still strive for higher quality standards as they serve a fraction of the meals as MDR. Since this is a finer dining experience, perhaps a stricter dress code in those venues is warranted.


    As for the level of service in MDR, I have always experienced a higher level of service than dining at a casual restaurant at home.  However I do see many other comments on threads where people have other experiences.



  3. I did not plan to post this question but in the past few days I have read several threads of people having success at rearranging dinner.


    Background in short, DW and I were sailing Serenade last Feb, loved it so much while on board we booked on Explorer for this Feb. Upon returning home for months we were guilty of telling everyone we know how much we LOVED the cruise.  A couple of old childhood friends, after hearing our experiences, called us months later to say “we booked on your same upcoming Explorer sailing!”

    Now the issue...we want to coordinate dinner times with them, they did not know our dinner preference and chose MTD, we are on a main dining time.  We have linked the reservations, but can’t coordinate the time (only choice was 8:45 or so MTD)   


    We have called, and based upon info received on these boards, recently emailed rcldining.  Their response was not curt, but somewhere in the neighborhood of ......can’t help, that’s your tough luck.   


    Now we can’t be the first group to book without knowledge of the others facts, who would like to dine together. Do you think we can go to the dining room upon boarding and coordinate this?  Or is it just tough luck?  


    Obviously this is easy to overcome at original booking, but in this case, the reservations were not coordinated up front, and we can’t fix that.








  4. 6 hours ago, vacationlover_mn said:

    So here is what I did: get my friends reservation #.  Call to link them.  Friend has to call with my reservation and confirm link.  Then I emailed, to request a specific table configuration 🙂


    You had better luck than me. I did each step.

  5. Thanks for that info GM.  We are also boarding soon.

    How was the headline entertainment?  Was there a nice cover band?  Did you find any “can’t miss” excursions?

    Most importantly (tongue in cheek), what are the questions to trivia sessions?

     NO, I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!  Just for me, maybe not you, but B2B cruisers, or the guy last year who was on board the ship for months, getting 20 out of 20 on EVERY game, while the best of the rest may be at 15…That is a SHALLOW VICTORY.  


    Glad and to see a nice report on Explorer.



  6. I agree with you, but it still seems strange to me.  It has the note about all the other changes with dry dock (lots of them); Where did they come up with the May 7 date?  Where did they come up with the redesigned cabin artwork?


    It does not really concern me, but I thought the OP may be interested since the request was for one of 4 specific cabins.  





  7. 19 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

    It is extremely rare for Royal to reconfigure existing cabins that will stay as the same category  during a drydock 


    Ourusualbeach, I agree with you, I thought that strange.   But I came across this last night, I assumed any changes would be done at dry dock because I can't see where they would have time to change while not in dry dock.


    Tell me how you read this.....it is at https://www.cruisedeckplans.com/DP/deckplans/Explorer-of-the-Seas


    Then look in the blue box for the following note:  

    Please note:

    Next drydock in April 2020. Adding The Perfect Storm ...........Rockets Express and Starbucks. Click on tab for deck plans starting May 2021 to see changes.



    So if you click deck 9, and the Starts Mat 7, 2021 tab, gosh darn if its not a completely different room layout.  

    I think its sort of strange?



  8. Way too early to predict, but I seem to recall, as one hurricane was approaching Miami on a Sunday they actually kept the ships due to arrive that morning safe at sea, a couple of hundred miles away. Think about it, not only the safety of the ship itself, but with the airports closed, no sense in debarking thousands of passengers only to have them try to find somewhere to sit out a hurricane.


    On that occasion, I believe they docked the next morning, and sailed exactly one day late. 


    Of course, there is an issue for the next arriving guests, hopefully they can get to the port on time. 


    Another issue is, how much room is there at the port, as other ships may have there scheduled return on Monday. They may need a traffic cop.  


    That is all hearsay evidence, as my wife and I were on a cruise about a month later, and someone on board told us that.  

  9. If I remember correctly, they ask you to circle a time frame, and the times are 30 minute blocks.

    So 6:00 -6:30.        6:30 - 7:00.    And so on.


    We ordered simple coffee, tea, fruit, toast, etc on mornings we had early shore excursions.  We ordered once for the 6 to 6:30 AM, and a couple of times for 7 to 7:30 AM. They were always on time, that is within that 30 minute window.

  10. Our first cruise was when Empress of the Seas was recently christened Nordic Empress. A 1990 faux pas by RCCL as the name was not consistent.  But other things were not consistent with today’s cruising. Such as....I shot skeet off the side of the ship. Could you imagine them handing a patron a gun?

    Another was “flaming babalu” served as a desert, with dozens of waiters parading into the main dinning room.  One could feel the heat. I guess that may be deemed a fire hazard today. 


    In the vein of safety, I don’t miss either of those items.


    I also remember the farewell show“If I were not upon the sea, what me?”  Seen it several times and laughed at it each time.


    For something that has not changed in my 29 year tenure with RCCL, is the friendly, professional, and well trained wait staff and room stewards.  On our last cruise, I mentioned to the main dinning room head,  “How is it that RCCL knows that in each of our cruises, they assign to our table the number 1 wait staff and room stewards on ship?”


    Looking forward to putting that last quote to the test on many more RCCL cruises in the years to come.




  11. We were on Radiance last week and did the tour Wednesday July 30. They ran both morning and afternoon runs, 3 or 4 different trains each, so I guess all is mostly back to normal.


    We were the first train of the morning (8:10) and also did the extra few miles into Canada before the turn around. This added about 45 minutes to the tour. Apparently they did the same in the afternoon, as the ship was delayed leaving Skagway by about an hour waiting for some train passengers.



  12. On northbound cruise debarking in Seward, how early can we safely book flights out of Anchorage?


    Looks like there are flights at 4pm, 8pm and midnight.


    Can we safely take the train to Anchorage and arrive in time for the 4pm flights out?


    If not, and we choose the 8pm flights, what can we do in Anchorage after arriving in the afternoon? Any place to stow luggage?


    Thank-you for your input.


    Eddie Wilson

  13. Dear experienced Alaska cruisers, could you please help me with some travel information, tips, or do's & don'ts (or if this is covered in another section, please direct me).


    On Radiance embarking in Vancouver, if originating from eastern time zone, is this one that is just better served by leaving a day early? If I have to, can we fly into Vancouver the morning of sailing?


    Upon arriving in Seward, which is the best way to get to Anchorage to fly back east, and how much time should one allow?


    Thanks so much, been 5 years since last cruise, never been to Alaska.


    Eddie Wilson

  14. Hi avid cruisers, have always cruised to Carribbean......South, West, East, Bahamas, but never to Alaska.

    Just booked for DW and I, and 6 more family, no little ones, kids and their spouses aged 20-30. What do you suggest for meal times? DW wants to know about dress, any formal? Any must do's?


    Thanks for any help, it is greatly appreciated.


    Eddie Wilson

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