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About NewSalt

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    NE NJ
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    Reading, cooking,

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  1. When we travel with our DD and her family including her DS who has several food allergies, she notifies the Special Needs Department AND obtains the name and email of the person in charge of dining on the ship and contacts him directly. IIRC, she also emails the head of guest relations on the ship. We’ve had very positive experiences on all our cruises. In fact, it’s probably the main reason we choose cruising for most of our vacations. For CPACs and sharps containers, I’d contact the head of housekeeping as well as Special Needs.
  2. I do a Costco run before our cruise and take pictures of the prices of liquor we might be interested in buying and also put the latest circular from our local liquor store with my cruise documents so I can compare once I’m on board. In general, I found that the only worthwhile deals are on two-or three-bottle packages, especially for liqueurs, which we use for specialty coffees.
  3. There’s a washing station with multiple sinks on Anthem just inside the entrance to the WJ. A crew member directs everyone to the sinks. Almost every time we’ve been in there I’ve seen people walk through without washing their hands. It takes a great deal of self-control to prevent the mommy in me from scolding them.
  4. And this is probably the only reason I would order a second entree—because I found the first unpalatable and wanted something different.
  5. When we cruise with DD and her family, we routinely check out 6-8 towels when we go to the beach. When we return, we toss the mass of wet towels into the bin. No one has ever counted them, so I can’t imagine the system works very well.
  6. Allergies are the main reasons we take family cruises. We took our first family cruise a few months after we found out our DGS at ten months had multiple food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish). I think it was the first time our DD had taken an easy breath in all those months. We’ve taken five more cruises since then, two on Anthem. The waiters and maitre d’s are exceedingly knowledgeable and, in our experience, very, very kind. One waiter felt it was cruel that DGS couldn’t eat the bread in the table that the rest of us were enjoying and so HE had the chef make some safe rolls. I heard a woman in the WJ ask one of the wait staff if a dish contained an allergen and he said that it didn’t but because it was a buffet, there was always the possibility of cross-contamination so he would get her a serving from the kitchen. We’ve taken kitchen tours on Royal ships, and there is a special section where they prepare food for those with allergies. Eating in in the MDR is a wise decision. We stopped taking DGS to the WJ when he was around you little one’s age. It just seemed so mean to show him all this delicious-looking food he couldn’t eat. Yeah, that’s his life, but we don’t have to remind him of it every day on his vacation. If we stayed on the ship on port days, we asked the WJ captain for a simple meal for DGS that he ate at the pool or on our balcony. DD brings a full bag of safe snacks for the times we’re off the ship; it’s easier and safer than trying to find things to eat in a strange place. I hope you have a great cruise.
  7. Many years ago my aunt and uncle were traveling in the South, and at breakfast one morning my aunt told the waitress she couldn’t decide what to have for breakfast because she liked A, but B came with grits, which she also liked. The waitress replied that she’d be glad to bring her a side of grits with A. She did, and my aunt sprinkled sugar on them. The waitress harrumphed and said, “If I knew you were going to do THAT, I never would have given them to you!” I had had shrimp and grits at a restaurant here in NJ on Saturday. Now as good as the one at Hominy Grill in Charleston, but still delicious.
  8. Another silent Cheapo dad’s report fan. Thanks for the many hours of interesting, enjoyable, informative reading. I was was excited to see that you and your family visited the Mouse for your last vacation because we’ll be visiting Orlando next summer. Please tell me that there’s a place where I can read an account of your visit. Fungers crossed!
  9. At your suggestion, I checked the Baltimore cruises. All of the balcony cabins January-March cruises (I didn’t check 1/3 because that date wouldn’t work for us) are sold out. Im going to take a look at NCL to see what they have available. This cruise would put us within a couple of days of Diamond on RCI, but for less money on Norwegian we’d get the deluxe beverage package, some specialty dinners, free wifi, and credits for excursions. With the price increase for the beverage package on Royal, this may be the tipping point for trying Norwegian. Thanks, everyone, for the input. I thought this might have been one of those times that the difference was apparent but I just wasn’t getting it.
  10. My DH may be facing surgery in the not-too-distant future. Because of that, I haven’t booked a cruise for winter of 2019. At this point, it looks like that may not be necessary, so I’ve been looking at cruises from Port Liberty. At this point, there are very few options for longer cruises. There’s a 12-day Anthem Cruise in early February, but there are only two options for balcony cabins. The first option, “We pick your room,” results in an “ Oceanview Cabin with Balcony Guarantee.” The second option. “ You pick your room,” results in “Oceanview Balcony Guarantee,” at a higher price point. Neither option allows you to choose your cabin. What is the difference between the two that I’m not seeing?
  11. On Anthem, I wouldn’t book anything lower than Deck 8, and would prefer 9. On our cruise this summer, our “unobstructed” cabin had a huge white stanchion-type thing that supported the life boat below in front of our balcony. While it didn’t actually obstruct the view, the white paint reflected light so we had to close the drapes to darken the room, and it really detracted from that “sea-at-night” feeling. Gave it an industrial zone feeling.
  12. Since it is logical to assume that if drink coupons were not to be shared, they would state that, not assume that it would be inferred. AAMF, since they do not expressly forbid sharing, it might be that you MUST share going under the assumption that “ whatever is not forbidden is compulsory.” 😜
  13. This is what we do too. No discipline required. IIRC, I can specify when I want to access it (like November/December for a holiday club), and I can’t do an on-line transfer to checking before then just in case I’d be tempted to use it for other things. What is is the benefit of making payments to RCI over time before final payment?
  14. We’ve done three Anthem cruises, and those have been the formal nights on all three. However, as they say in a prospectus, “past performance is no indicator. . .”
  15. I used to read discussion on CDs and wonder what the fuss was about. Then we had “Hello Clo”on Anthem last year and I understood. She was great. A and we didn’t care for either Spectra’s Cabaret or The Gift. We love the Anthem, but other than a couple of comedians, have been underwhelmed by the shows.
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