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About FionaMG

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Algarve, Portugal
  • Interests
    Athletics, reading, cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Now there's a challenge! With the caveat that it's largely speculation on my part... I think being asked to produce them when checking in for our flights is probably down to ****-covering by the airline (TAP) to try and allay the risk of inadvertently boarding someone who might be refused entry on arrival. (I believe the airlines get fined if this happens?) However, I may be being unfair given that we start our journey at our local airport where 99% of the traffic consists of low-cost flights within Europe. I suppose it is possible that the check-in agents here genuinely have no other way of verifying our ESTAs than asking to see them. I don't know if folks who start their journey in Lisbon are asked to produce them at check-in. Having to show them again at the pre-boarding gate check is possibly due to over-zealous interpretation of the US's enhanced security requirements and/or further ****-covering in case anyone has managed to sneak past the check-in agents. I'm blaming DH for us being asked to produce them on arrival in the US. He is Portuguese. Portugal is known, for want of a better term, as a "people-exporter". The population of Portugal is roughly 10 million but there are another 5 million Portuguese nationals scattered around the world and of these one million are in the US. There could very well be more who are there illegally. However, as I mentioned before, we were not asked to show them on arrival last November but that was our second entry on the same ESTAs, which may be significant. We also did not get stamps in our passports last November and I did not even have to do the fingerprint thing, although DH did. (I travelled on a UK passport.) And I am as flummoxed as Sverige as to why we were asked to show them when checking in for our cruise. I agree that that seems to be completely senseless. As a relevant aside, DS recently flew from London to Los Angeles and was not asked to produce any documentation other than his passport. He too was travelling on a UK passport.
  2. I did not know that these things don't have brakes. Why don't they? Is it some sort of technical reason?
  3. Yes, we were asked for it then too. I'd forgotten about that.
  4. Firstly, you should ask your TA to waitlist you for anytime dining (if they haven't already done so). Secondly, if that doesn't come through, take Merion Mom's advice. Thirdly, in a worst case scenario, consider using some of the other dining options aboard. The Windjammer buffet does dinner at no extra charge and there are various up-charge restaurants where you can pick the time you want, subject to availability.
  5. Interesting. Flying from Portugal, we have always had to produce a printed copy of our ESTAs when checking in for our flights to the US and at the enhanced security check-point at the boarding gate. We have also been asked to show them to the immigration officer on arrival in Miami on all but the most recent occasion (this past November).
  6. Keep checking back. I have seen excursions disappear off the cruise planner one day and then reappear a day or two later. I'm guessing because of cancellations. You might be lucky.
  7. We have done 3-night pre-cruise stays both in Fort Lauderdale and in Miami. I think the idea of splitting the stay between the two is great and well worth considering.
  8. Yes, good point. We have had 2nd seating as late as 9.30 on a sailing that departed from the Spanish port of Malaga.
  9. Not necessarily but you will likely find fewer people staying up late because they will have early starts planned for the next day's sightseeing.
  10. Very nice. The product is essentially the same with a few tweaks here and there such as a few different menu items and more shows based on the visual aspect due to the issue of different languages. Entertainment can be a bit more low key because European cruises are mainly about the ports, so more long port days and few sea days, meaning people are often too tired at the end of the day to want to do much.
  11. You are very welcome. We will be doing the 8N Eastern on Adventure in November and I have already been taking a peek. Have a great cruise!
  12. One thing that might help is if you go into the Royal app and look at the MDR menus on there for your ship. While they are subject to change at this stage, it would at least give you an idea of what to expect and let you plan ahead for your special meal.
  13. We had a few noise issues on Navigator in 7279 but it was because we were opposite the pub and could hear the music from there on a couple of nights well past midnight. However, it was not so bad as to seriously inconvenience us. We have also had one on Adventure, opposite the Café Promenade and had no noise issues at all in that location. And we will be sailing in another one on Adventure next November. We like them partly because they seem more spacious (I don't think they actually are, I think it might just be because of the layout) and also because of the price. They are often cheaper than OV cabins but you still get the benefit of a window, unlike the "real" interiors.
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