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katiel53

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About katiel53

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    Upstate New York
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    Cruising, Traveling

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  1. And I would love it if suite guests even though D and up were not allowed in the Diamond Lounge. We have been on cruises with the lounge being so crowded, we weren't able to sit and enjoy our benefits because some suite people were in there with their friends. I guess it works both ways.
  2. Unless you planned to get internet service, the key may not be a huge benefit for you. For me, as a Diamond Plus who doesn't use the internet on a cruise, it's not worth it. I normally cruise on Oasis class ships. The boarding area allows me to board after the suites/Pinnacles, so early boarding is already included. I am able to get reserved seating on some shows, but I don't want to sit in the first few rows that are reserved for the key. We purchase the UDP so having lunch on boarding day doesn't mean anything to me/us. I leave the ship as early as possible and I am in line by 6:15 to make an early flight so I don't even give breakfast a consideration. The only benefit I can see that would be a benefit to me is being able to drop off my carryon. So far, this hasn't been a problem as I don't have anything heavy in it, and if I did, I'd use a rolling small bag. I do realize some love the key, but to me, it is overpriced in most cases and having to have everyone in the cabin get it, even if it's a 7 year old, makes no sense to me.
  3. For us, we wouldn't spend the extra money for a larger balcony. We choose deck 10 or 11 on all Oasis class ships as it is high enough to be away from noises and between cabin decks so no noise from above either. We prefer to be near the aft elevators as the ship is huge and there is a lot of walking onboard. It seems the majority of things we do are located near the aft end of the ship. The dining rooms are back there, the casino is there, as well as the shows in the Aqua Theatre. The specialty restaurants, Chops, Giovanni's and 150 are not far from the aft elevator. We once stayed all the way aft and it was a pain for us to have to walk down the halls all the time as opposed to having a cabin right off the elevator. We have 3 more cruises on Oasis class ships and they are all in the same area and even being the first cabin off the elevator, we've not had any noise problems. I did learn though that choosing Starboard is better for us as we like to look at the goings on in port and most times the Starboard side is facing the port while the port side faces out. I know this isn't always the case as sometimes the ship backs into a port, but that's what we've noticed.
  4. When the 7 day Harmony cruise changed to a 10 day cruise, the cruise following it, which was a 4 day cruise, had a wear your best night instead of a formal night. Word got out that there were no more formal nights on Harmony and just like most rumors, it spread quickly. There was a correction made on the unofficial blog that explained the policy of Royal Caribbean with the formal/wear your best nights. If a cruise is 5 days or less, there are no longer any formal nights. There is now a wear your best night in its place. On cruises more than 5 nights, formal nights are still in existence. So, really there is no change and I'm sure most will still wear whatever they want as they have all along whether it is considered formal or wear your best.
  5. When booking online, the fine print does state gratuity is included, but no where does it state an amount. I don't know if it's 18%, $5 or what it is and none of the posted info on the website state the amount. Someone did post on another site this past week a copy of a receipt, even though it was zero due as she had purchased the meal online, which stated 18% gratuity was included. My thought on that is that it is a generic receipt and used for all meals in the specialty restaurants when a receipt is given. I don't think there is one receipt for those with prepaid gratuities and one for those who are paying in the restaurant. We don't usually get a receipt and have had to ask our waiter for one so we could tip the extra. Based on my feelings, we tip $10 per person for dinner and $5 per person for lunch when we have the UDP. We have always had excellent service and felt the extra tip was worth it.
  6. Today I had to talk to my agent because I needed to pay our final payment. I also asked her about the "perks" of the Boardwalk balcony. I explained I never received a confirmation on the 3 cruises we have booked and I did reply to all of them and I wanted to be sure my wishes were being met. For my next cruise, I decided that we were ok with the OBC as we have the deluxe beverage package and also the UDP. For our cruise in 2021, we wanted the soda package as my granddaughter is in the cabin with me and my son and daughter-in-law are in the next cabin and neither of them are drinkers. The agent put me on hold and after about 20 minutes came back and told me that RCCL S advised that my 2021 was going to get the credit and not the package and that it was too late to make any changes. I had sent the request on 9/26 which was when I received the official notice. I was more than a bit upset, so I decided to call resolutions. I asked for a supervisor and explained why etc. To make a long story short, Mario came back and told me that none of the requests either way have been processed and even the supervisors can't tell me anything. I explained that things were supposed to be posted by 10/11 and he advised nothing has even started. He suggested I wait another week to see what is done on my account. So, now I am waiting to see if next week things show up as agreed. If I don't get a credit for my 2021, to me, that means we are getting the soda package. If there is a credit, I guess I will have to move up the ladder. I just feel if Royal Caribbean makes an offer as an incentive to book a particular cabin, it should be grandfathered. I know that's what's supposed to happen and if they decided I would get the soda package on both cruises, I am fine. That's what I booked, and that's what I agreed to. Making us wait longer is not only annoying, but I'm sure difficult for the reps at Royal Caribbean.
  7. We tip $10 per person for dinner and $5 a person for lunch. On our last cruise, which was Allure in June, we had the best server in Chops. We ended up having dinner there 4 nights because of him. We also had non-refundable OBC, so I wanted to use mine for tips in the specialty restaurants as we had the UDP. I got no receipt and had to ask for one. The waiter said you don't owe anything, so that's why you didn't get a receipt. I told him I wanted to tip him and I didn't feel comfortable just leaving it on the table. He brought a receipt for me and another for my son and his family so they could also tip extra. I don't know how much is included in the price of the package and someone tried to tell me that the receipt they got, and they put it on another site, said 18% was included. I do believe that is the case when someone books onboard, but I am not sure that 18% is what's included in the UDP. Even if that is the amount, and we had a total of 10 meals with that, making our price of $126 for the last cruise only $12 per meal including tip. Is that fair to the waitstaff? I don't think so.
  8. I have some medical problems and I book my insurance within 14 days of paying my deposit. I certainly can afford to lose the deposit, but I want the pre-existing coverage. I usually book a year or so out, so it's worth it to me to pay early and not worry about things later. I know there are some who won't agree, but it makes me comfortable doing what I do.
  9. Unless things have changed since Jan when we cruised on Harmony, no reservation was made for us for night 1. I asked about it and was told many people did not want the restaurant that was chosen for them and changed when onboard. This resulted in distorted inventory for those trying to make changes/reservations. When you make your reservations, you just need to advise the person taking the reservations you will have a child along with you and you will be charged accordingly as long as the child orders from the kids menu. If for some reason, a reservation is made for you for night 1 and it's a restaurant you'd enjoy, just notify the restaurant before the reserved time there are 3, including a child, and your table will be set properly for the 3 of you.
  10. I guess what I see on the webpage is different from what you see. Under the Ultimate Dining Plan ---Additional terms and conditions apply. Next is taken from that info on the site: For Dining Packages, It is not required that children 12 and under purchase this product. Children ages 0-5 dine for free and children ages 6-12 will be charged a $10 cover at the restaurant.
  11. Once again, you obviously have not done the UDP as you would know that no 18% is added when booking online. Why do you always post false info and act like it's a fact??????
  12. I have to preface my comment by stating, I do not wear formal wear on formal nights. No one I travel with does either. We do dress nicely every night and don't wear basketball shorts, tee shirts, ball hats, flip flops, bathing suit cover ups etc any night, much less formal nights. Ok, I am also a kind of laid back person and it took a while to get there. I have no respect for those who come into the dining room dressed like they got out of bed, came from the pool etc. None of this has anything to do with how I enjoy my dinner though. I believe the reason the "suggestions" are not enforced, is that no one in headquarters backs up the Maitre d' or anyone else trying to enforce the no shorts at dinner "rule." I also believe, and perhaps this is more important, the person who has been "told go to the buffet if you want to wear your shorts and tee shirt" on a formal night, most likely will become incensed and remove all tips. In that case, RC might have to make up some tips as well as have to handle a complaint to Mr. Baylee's office. It is far easier to let things slide as the cruisers of today have far different ideas as to protocol and how things should be done. I also believe, not that this topic is really for here, but now that almost anyone/everyone can cruise, there are many changes including the quality of food. I believe the cruise lines feel that many passengers don't know high quality, so why provide that in the included dinners? I base this on how many reviews I have read where the food was fantastic and there are far more of these than the food was meh or bad. Is the food downgraded based on how customers act on cruises? (My guess is that is not the case, but still a thought.) I love cruising, don't complain on cruises unless something is going to be done about it, and feel most enjoy their cruises. I am looking forward to the next 3 cruises I have booked, and hope to book several more.
  13. The package does have a gratuity included, although, the website does not state the amount. We do tip extra when we use the package. We tip $10 per person for dinner and $5 per person for lunch. We have always had excellent service and feel the wait staff does a wonderful job for us and we feel we should reciprocate. My understanding of the regular dining portion of the tips does NOT go to the wait staff in the specialty restaurants with the package. If one is assigned standard dining, the tip for the dinner portion still goes to the waiter who would have served you. If one has MTD, the dining portion of the tip goes to the tip pool for the MTD wait staff. This is what I was told by RC when I asked this question on FB a while ago.
  14. When I go to the webpage, on my computer it shows the "price shown reflects your discount" inside an arrow next to the price and next to add to my cart. I wonder why it shows differently on different computers?
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