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About Jimnbigd

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    Dallas, Texas
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
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  1. It is all a matter of what you are used to. I'm from Texas, and get a laugh when people from northern states complaining at how hot 90 degrees is. We love it when we only hit 90 (rarely) in the summer. But then here we get a dusting of snow in the winter and all of the schools close and traffic comes to a halt. Back to the topic -- crazy but also sad: In January 2004 on the Rhapsody of the Seas, our scheduled ports were Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. A couple on the ship planned to get married in Grand Cayman, with most of the wedding guests flying there to meet them. Big mistake. Weather caused rough seas, and we could not tender in Cayman. The couple was in tears. I heard they scrambled to find a place in Cozumel for the wedding, and at least some of the guests flew there to meet them. As for our ship, we got to Cozumel early and actually stayed overnight, which was fun -- we rarely get to see nightlife at any ports-of-call.
  2. And to remember "bow" (rhymes with cow) -- We bow to the captain, who most often is at the front of the ship. (Of course we don't actually bow to him/her, but this is how I remember it.) And if we are naughty, we might be taken to the back of the ship for a "stern" lecture. (Stern is more often called "aft" now, but aft is fairly intuitive -- "after").
  3. And make sure your fingers are NOT anywhere in the door jam -- especially in the hinge area.
  4. I assume so, since the RCI special needs form has a check box for "Raised Toilet Seat".
  5. Question: Which ship? This can make a difference. Some of the common areas are disappearing. Voyager and Freedom class used to have a great game/card room on deck 14, but these are being taken now by either specialty restaurants or other purposes (like a suite lounge). During the day, the viking crown area (the semi-circle glass area behind and above the pool) is great, if your ship has one. The solarium might be little windy for playing cards (as would any outside area). I think on some ships the library and game/card room are combined. The main problem is that most of the public areas are being used at night for music and other entertainment purposes, including the viking crown. As others have said, you might try the nightly entertainment -- I like it much better than Carnival. I know the buffet closes, but I'm not sure you still can't get in and use a table. Maybe you can't -- I've never tried. There are other places to eat on ships such as Cafe Promenade -- this varies depending on the ship. I'm not sure if they would ask you to leave if you were taking the table just to play games, plus at night these places can get crowded (Cafe Promenade has good desserts.) As others have said, order as much as you want from the dining room -- Breakfast (all days) and lunch (sea days) also.
  6. I use a CPAP and it has been hit-or-miss on water and cord being in the cabin when I board. In fairness to the cabin attendants, they really do have to clean a lot of cabins in a short time, so I understand the supplies might not be there when I first board. The good news is I have always had the water and cord by bedtime. I never thought about printing my special request form -- good idea, though so far there has never been a problem getting the water or cord without it.
  7. We've taken our three granddaughters on several RCI cruises (not oasis, but voyager and freedom class) and they always found things to do. First cruise they were 11, 8, and 6. There is free ice skating, rock climbing, sports court (basketball and volleyball), flowrider, mini-golf (can be windy when ship is moving) -- tons of stuff. You can find lots of youtube videos. We felt it was very save to let the oldest on her own. I think RCI still has a 1am curfew. I suspect the hardest part will be getting her to leave the ship the final day.
  8. When is the birthday? What date(s) in February? If you are talking about 2020, you might find cabins choices are limited. You actually might have to start looking at 2021 now to get cabins together and (I think important) connecting. When is the birthday? Best option is probably a Sunday to Sunday cruise (7 days), and fly in on Saturday, preferably Saturday morning or early afternoon. February weather can be tricky, so please do not fly in the day of the cruise. Cruises from Miami or Ft Lauderdale would be good options. Try the Allure of the Seas (a Royal Caribbean oasis class). One thing: Oasis class ships require pre-booking of shows. Some people don't like this. Technically you don't have to pre-book, but if you don't you might not get into the show. Actually, with a family this might not be bad since everyone knows when and where the shows are. Same for dinner -- a fixed time dining might be good, again because everyone knows when and where to be for evening dinner.
  9. Check your daily newsletter for events. RCI has more live music that other ships, IMO -- usually over 20 musicians, including the 9-piece ship's band, a 4-piece pool band (which also plays in other indoor lounges sometimes), a 3 -piece latin band (usually in Boleros deck 4 which has a small dance floor) , a 4-piece dance band (probably country, usually the deck 5 forward lounge, but sometimes in Boleros), the schooner bar pianist (deck 4), the pub guitarist (deck 5 -- gosh, I really miss Derek Lewis who used to regularly play on the Galveston sailings), and maybe another classical-style guitarist or pianist. They used to have a 3-piece classical group, but sadly no more. The 9-piece band will likely play a dance set in the deck 5 forward lounge -- oddly on my last cruise this was at 5:30pm the last night (Saturday), when the most likely crowed (older people) eat dinner. New Years Eve will be all over the ship, but the main event is in the Royal Promenade (deck 5). The dining room will have hats and party favors that you can take with you, and possibly lobster that night (we did, but really they switched formal nights 1 and 2 menus for our cruise because New Years Eve was Monday). My "don't miss list": Ice Show (Studio B, deck 3) -- should be 4 identical shows; shows 3 and 4 are Wednesday night and are not as crowded "In the Air" theater show (probably Thursday night) . Love and Marriage game show (probably late Wednesday night in the theater unless this is New Years Eve). Quest game show (probably late Friday night in Studio B, again unless this is New Years Eve). Schooner Bar (I like Phil Anderson but he is not always there, and he is country which some do not like). Other tips: Best free coffee: Cafe Promenade (deck 5) -- try adding a pack of hot chocolate for a free mocha; Cafe Promenade is open just about 24 hours, closed maybe around 4am for cleaning. Free orange juice is much better in the dining room (mornings) -- buffet is watered down from ice. Free champagne at Captain's party (Monday evening, Royal Promenade deck 5). Might be free champagne also for New Years Eve in the Royal Promenade. Youtube has videos of activities including New Years Eve.
  10. Usually Monday (also the Captain's party in the Royal Promenade) and Friday (lobster night), but I think once the 2nd night was Thursday (not sure why).
  11. Interesting RCI has this twice: Complimentary Pressing on First Formal Night Also, note that recommended gratuities are higher for suites.
  12. Sadly, no Park Cafe on the Liberty of the Seas. The Solarium only has a bar (open sometimes). We often go down to deck 5 for a sandwich or slice of pizza and bring it back to the Solarium. However...The Solarium is very crowded on sea days. Best time to use the Solarium is on a port day when the ship is just about empty. You can get food and then take it just about anywhere on the ship. There are a couple of soft serve ice cream (more like frozen yogurt) machines on the starboard side outside on deck 11. These might be open on boarding day -- not sure. Back to Cafe Promenade (deck 5) -- I think it has the best free coffee (well, other than the cappuccino machine in the Diamond lounge) . Try mixing a packet of hot chocolate with the coffee there for a free mocha. Also the cookies there are quite good. Don't miss the ice show. There should be 4 identical shows, on 2 differerent days. Shows 3 and 4 are usually less crowded. The ice rink is "Studio B", deck 3 (use the back elevators or stairs, which are more like in the middle of the ship rather than the back). I also like the 70's disco party (probably Tuesday or Thursday night in the Royal Promenade on deck 5 around 10pm or so). Wednesday night (at least on my cruises) there are no theater shows, but instead is ice shows 3 and 4. And around 10:30pm on Wednesday in the theater is the Love and Marriage game show, like the Newlywed Game. Just check your daily schedule and you'll find what's going on -- just like Carnival. You will find the dining room much more elegant than Carnival. I say that Carnival has neon lights; Royal Caribbean has chandeliers. Carnival has free burgers at Guys. Sorry -- only free burgers on Royal are in the buffet -- not bad but not as good and Carnival's cooked-to-order. Johnny Rockets (deck 12) is great but has charge -- I think it is now $10 (give or take) per person for all you can eat (and drinks are extra). No Mongolian grill or made-to-order deli sandwiches either. But then the lines and wait for these on Carnival can be rather long.
  13. Probably better to ask here (the Royal Caribbean forum) --> https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/51-royal-caribbean-international/ But the answer is: Buffet (deck 11 aft -- go to the back part of the buffet; the first part is Asian and good but not a lot of selection), Cafe Promenade (deck 5 -- pre-made sandwiches and desserts), and I think Sorrentos (pizza, also deck 5) should also be open, but sometimes it is not. Cafe Promenade is a good choice if you have early dinner and don't want to eat a lot for lunch. On boarding day, the buffet can be crowded --this is true for just about any ship or cruise line. If more than one of you, go find a table first, then one stays and hold the table while the others go to the buffet. When the others return, the person holding the table can go get food. Otherwise you might find yourselves walking around with a plate of food looking for a place to sit. When is your cruise? Also, IMO you should drive instead of fly -- drive down on Saturday (the day before). You can stay anywhere near Houston or Galveston. We usually stay near the north airport because oddly we find the best rates there (La Quinta).
  14. I recommend 2 connecting cabins for the kids and 2 parents. Connecting cabins have an inside door so you can go from one cabin to the other without going into the hall. You could put the kids and parents together in one cabin, but this would be crowded. With 2 cabins you'll have double the space (and bathrooms), and usually for not that much more price than 4 in one cabin. If only 1 parent is going, then I'd go with 3 in one cabin, because cabins are priced as "2 per cabin", so a single in a cabin basically pays double. I also vote for Royal Caribbean -- one with an ice rink like voyager or freedom or oasis class. Don't wait too long too book, or you will find your cabin selections lacking.
  15. I searched but did not find any topic on this. A 1-year-old died from a fall on the Freedom of the Seas. We are praying for this family. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/royal-caribbean-cruise-death-american-girl-falls-from-freedom-of-the-seas-window-san-juan-puerto-rico-2019-07-08/
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