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shrifk

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About shrifk

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Louisville, KY
  • Interests
    Travel, Music, Photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Carribean (all)
  1. We had this problem one time. Busses were available to take us up river before we could board again. There was no interruption of the cruise or tours.
  2. Check this board for Sept. 22 sailings on Freedom of the Seas. Some interesting observations.
  3. We were also on this cruise (Sept. 22.) Perhaps we are more tolerant but I didn't mind the some of the announcements in Spanish. We've travelled internationally when multiple languages are spoken and or repeated so I guess we were used to that. I didn't realize there would be so many children on board but I didn't find them or their parents objectionable. We finally learned to navigate the elevators; go up to do down and vice versa if they were full. It might have taken a few minutes longer but didn't have to wait for a long time to get on an elevator. We didn't eat in the Windjammer instead had breakfast in the dining room. Had a hot dog in the Windjammer for lunch after the crowd thinned out. The main dining room food was o.k. Not great but we were with a table of very nice people that made dinner enjoyable. However, our server was poor. One of the people complained to the Maitre De. Things were better after that discussion We opted to relax on deck 12 rather than the pool deck. We were always able to find lounge chairs. So going to the pool deck when we wanted to cool off was not a problem. The Solarium pool was nice since it was adults only and they had steps into the pool rather than ladders. My wife has trouble climbing the ladder so she appreciated that. Although there were a lot of kids we didn't find them unruly. The entertainment was good, not exceptional. We did attend the Adult show which was not funny. The Promenade was very crowded at times. We did enjoy the Schooner bar with the "Piano Man." Great music and he had a wonderful personality. We didn't try the other lounges so I can't comment about that. The ship is old and could use some updating. We didn't do any ship excursions. However, we did some touring with private companies that we found when leaving the ship. Most of the time we explored on our own. Unfortunately because of a forecasted storm the ship could not stop at St. Kitts so we had an extra sea day. We were disappointed because we had reservations at the Marriott for a day pass at that resort. That was going to be our beach day. All in all we had a wonderful cruise. Since our flight home was at 4:00 we took a tour around of San Juan and then was dropped off at the airport. The tour was o.k. $30.00 /person. The tour guide sounded bored and didn't describe too much. They are outside the terminal; I think it was SJ Tours. Disembarkation was easy. The porter took us through a short line and customs was quick. We usually cruise with Celebrity. Comparing the two, Celebrity is more upscale. I did notice a lot of small gestures and things that are more appreciated on Celebrity i.e., Officers circulating on the deck and talking with passengers, cold towels upon returning from an excursion prior to entering the ship, much better food -- an upscale ambience on the whole Celebrity ship. Celebrity does cater to an older 50+ demographic (my opinion) so there is no belly flop contests, muscular men and women competition, and sports activities. The entertainment seems better on Celebrity on the cruises we have been on.
  4. We just returned from a Southern cruise on Freedom of the Seas. I only saw one or two men wear tuxedos. "Chic" casual is the usual. I wore a long sleeve collard shirt with a vest for the formal nights. Many of the ladies were more stylist.
  5. I became ill on board the ship but prior to leaving from the USA. The ship medical charges were about $2,000. I was evacuated to a local hospital in Ft. Lauderdale. Medicare and my Anthem supplemental insurance paid those charges at 100% combined. However the ship medical charges were charged to my credit card. I had to submit the bill (I received a detailed bill from the ship) to Medicare that originally denied the charges because they considered the ship was international even though the occurrence occurred in the U.S. (while berthed in Ft. Lauderdale) Finally medicare accepted the claim but denied payment and since they denied it my secondary insurance paid the amount. The cruise insurance would have paid any amount over my supplemental. However they did pay first class airfare home and a few other incidental expenses. The problem was getting Medicare to accept the claim and deny the claim so that any supplemental insurance would cover the remainder.
  6. We flew from the U.S. and arrived two nights prior to cruise. Our was Hotel Gaudi, not a 5 star but nice and clean. The hotel was off of Las Ramblas. There are lots to do in Barcelona. We booked all the tours independently. Barcelona is very walkable. We did a hop on hop off bus to get a birds eye view of Barcelona and then went independently from there. Great restaurants. Very safe but lots of pick pockets so be forewarned and be careful. Most return flights to the U.S. leave in the AM and we were able to obtain a late morning flight.
  7. We have traveled both Celebrity, Royal, NCL, and Viking. We have traveled most of the shorter (7 day) itineraries. I found Viking very consistent with food, amenities, staff, excursions, organization etc. We are planning a Southern France Viking itinerary next year after our Carribean cruise. The buffets were excellent and the dinner choices were good. Of course the entertainment is marginal but meeting so many engaging people and chatting in the lounge is special. No big crowds. We extend or cruise with pre and post stays with our own agenda and at our own pace.
  8. We have stayed mid-ship Level 6 and 7. The obstructions are minor; just looking down but looking out no problem good viewing. Obstruction is not a problem on those decks.
  9. We have booked Deck 6, Mid ship and it was fine. Boats underneath but not really obstructed viewing. Like mid section due to procimity of stairs and elevators.
  10. After becoming ill prior to ship leaving port (Ft. Lauderdale) I was evacuated to the local hospital. I was contacted by an insurance representative the following day and a couple of times during the week I was in the hospital. They also arranged my flight home. I had RCCL insurance, AON.
  11. Booked a Southern Carribean, balcony, from San Juan for September 2018. The cost came down to $1,000 for the two of us. Price went up the next day. I was glad we caught the price reduction in time.
  12. I have used Amalfi Coast Tours. Wonderful tour person. Great for private or small group. He drives a Mercedes. Highly recommended.
  13. I had CruiseCare and became ill on the ship and prior to departure. I was evacuated to a nearby hospital. Since we were in the U.S medicare and supplemental insurance paid all of the hospital and ambulance charges. The insurance also paid for first class airline returning to home. (I had booked airline with Delta and they kindly refunded my return portion.) However the charges to the Medical dept. on the ship amounted to about $1500,00 After a few emails I received a detailed copy of the charges and other information required by the insurance co. AON (CruiseCare) could not process this charge until my primary (medicare + subliment insurance) processed the claim. AON then would pay the remainder. Medicare initially rejected the claim because they did not cover international. They only sent me a letter not an EOB. or referral to sublemental carrier. It was very frustrating with several phone calls, emails etc.to finally get Medicare to submit an EOB to me and referral to my supplemental carrier. AON eventually paid after receiving all the documentation. The problem was with Medicare or the first person reviewing my claim. I'm not sure if I had other insurance rather than AON the problem would have been resolved. Sorry for the long post but I hope this helps.
  14. We are departing in September on FOS. This our first cruise on Royal. What is the dress code on formal nights? We usually cruise on Celebrity that has a Chic Casual on formal nights which means for men a causal upscale look; i.e. collard shirt, matching slacks etc. or more formal if one chooses. If I wore a button down shirt, matching slacks, no jacket would I be o.k. in the main dining room on formal nights. Of course my wife would prefer to dress up that night and all other nights.
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