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About dbarton02

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Wine Tasting, Beer Brewing, Sports
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. The span of comments is really amazing on this thread (and I'm not saying it as a knock on one end, or to back up someone else on another). Similar reaction on a greater scale to the pricing of rooms on the cruise I have upcoming in July. We booked on board last year while on the Anthem, and currently, rooms for a Junior suite are over double what we would have paid for our family of 4 in one room. Exact thought? "Damn! Glad I booked when I did. We wouldn't be taking that trip if we waited 'till now to book!" Simple approach to something like this (be it The Key - a Drink Package, or a Cruise or anything, really): 1.) Is the item you're looking to purchase at a price range you feel comfortable purchasing? if yes, then ask: 2.) Do you feel purchasing this item will give you a benefit or return equal to or greater than the cost you paid? if yes, then BUY IT If you answered no to #1, then end the thought right there. If you answered no to #2, the same applies 😀 I'm not going to buy a Crown Loft Suite for my family of four to take a vacation (Horrible father, I know) simply because I know what I can comfortably afford to enjoy time away. For those that can? I salute you!
  2. Good Morning and a "Happy" Rainy Monday Morning from Chicago! I was winding my weekend down yesterday evening when I saw an email come through from Royal Caribbean, which happened to be - THAT email... Went over the different options with DW, as we have a cruise booked this summer on the Adventure of the Seas in a Junior Suite, and figured based on what we paid for the room when we booked it last year, there really isn't a bad option for a bid. We have 4 of us in a Junior Suite, and if I read it correctly, our upgrade bid would only be based on the first 2 guests - so if I wanted to put the minimal bid in on a 1 BR Grand Suite, at a min. of $500 per person, it would cost me $1,000 additional should the accept my bid submittal, correct? As a follow up to this question, since we already get the double points for booking a 'suite' (even though a Junior), what other benefits would we realize on the Adventure for upgrading to a bigger suite? I know this one doesn't have the Sea, Sky and Star classifications - but I'm trying to compile what I can to review and see if the dollars and cents really work out. Any advice/input or even shaming for creating another Royal Up thread would be welcome (haha) Thanks everyone!
  3. Agreed. Best thing about an RCCL cruise, especially on a formal night, is to take a romantic stroll through the halls of all the staterooms. So much to see. :'):')
  4. Some people... Can't even preface the post with a "I know that some will say go for it and some won't" That's a given. Guess there'll always be those people out there set on a remark to derail someone else (not referring to you, directly). BUT - that's the conundrum, and it's always worth it to pick others' brains - REGARDLESS of which way they lean on it. I really do appreciate the feedback!
  5. Now I'm curious where "South Chicago" is. I'm in the south burbs, but people would look at me like I had a second head if I tell them (especially out of towners) since they have no clue about the surrounding suburbs! I'm Mokena/Frankfort. Doesn't have the same ring as Chicago!
  6. On our Honeymoon Cruise (Mariner) I fell asleep by the pool and forgot to put on sunscreen. Didn't hit me right away, so I thought I would partake in the Belly Flop Competition (to, you know, add insult to injury!). At any rate, that night was a formal night, and I'm in agony putting my suit on in the room. DW is changing out cold towels I have laid across my chest to cool me down. I suck it up, and we sit down to dinner and our table mates know something is wrong, so I told them I burned myself up. One couple at our table were seasoned cruisers from Cali, and brought a bunch of Aloe gel and cream in case of sun burn, so after dinner, they get me a tube. I slide off into one of the bathrooms just off the MDR, lock the door of the handicap stall so I have room to coat my chest and shoulders and start applying. About 3 minutes go by, and theres a *knock knock* on the stall door followed by a "what are you doing in there?" Being in a great deal of discomfort, and a bit overheated from the sun, I reply "whatcha think I'm doing?? Give me a minute". 60 more seconds, and I exit the stall - shirt unbuttoned, pants unbuttoned ready to head the sink to wash up and just as I walk out, the stall knocker was still waiting. He looks at me, looks at the tube in my hands, the clear aloe all over my hands, then my unzipped pants, and back up to my face. He appears a bit uncomfortable. First words out of my mouth? "uhhh... this isn't what it looks like". He shrugs, turns around and walks out the door. I find DW and tell her the whole story and she can't catch her breath fast enough from laughing, then points out from everyone seeing the belly flop contest that I'll probably be known as "that perv from Chicago" for the rest of the trip. We still laugh about it.
  7. There's a lot more to see and do each time you go back. The construction is ridiculous (in a good way). You can gain the same 5-10 pounds you would on a cruise here too! Next time you're back, check out Au Cheval or the Publican!
  8. I'll check into it. The only ones I'd seen so far were at least for 7 days, which is more than we can swing at the moment.
  9. We both really enjoy the cruising experience - and miss the pre-kids freedom to book a nice dinner, hang out at the wine bar, see the late night shows - and really do all the things that hooked us to cruising in the first place. Don't get me wrong - our first sailing with the kids was a blast too. Yes, the Mariner has some sentimental value as well, and we'd love to see it after drydock. I've priced out the all-inclusives and different weekend getaways, and oddly enough, the cruise comes in at about the same cost, or less (definitely less when you factor in the food). 2-3 days in Las Vegas would run about $800-900 for a nice hotel and airfare, plus your dinners, shows, etc. so I have it in around a total spend of $1,400 - give or take a bit (I always plan high). 2-3 days in San Francisco / Napa (something else we've wanted to do) would cost about $700 for airfare, $300 or so for a car, another $300 or so for a hotel, then the meals, etc, so we're probably around $1,400-$1,500 there at a minimum. 3 night cruise would cost us about $650.00 plus $500 in airfare, one night in a hotel for $100, and another couple hundred bucks on board for specialty dining, drinks, and tips. $1,400 right there. Add in the free shows and entertainment on board, and it's a deal no matter how you slice it. Those are quick numbers I've been tossing in my head - but yeah. Cruising wins out most of the time - and yes, on the longer sailings, there is no way you can visit as many locations as the ships can take you for the cost of trying to do it all yourself in the same 7 days. Perspective though... First world problems... :) love and appreciate all the input!
  10. I wish we could - but wouldn't do it that long without the kids. Plus, we just took a week plus for the last trip in June - and her sister is getting married this coming April, so there'll be time taken for that - AND THEN our 8 nighter in July next summer. We've got some fun loaded in the chamber - just trying to sneak in another bullet!
  11. You have no idea how hard I sat and laughed in front of my computer reading this - while trying not to let on why. Our Stateroom attendant on the Anthem last month was from the Phillipines, and had an odd way of explaining things, and I just read that last portion of your reply in my mind in his voice. "hiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I have a your sexy room service"
  12. Had a blast on the sailing to Bermuda with DW and the kids, though her and I reminisced a bit on our past trips with formal night dinners, specialty restaurants, and being able to float as we pleased without the kids (trying not to make it sound horrible!). Anniversary is coming up in September and I wanted to surprise her with a quick trip - just the two of us. In Laws have no problem watching our boys for an extended weekend (Friday - Monday). I'm sure we can find some cheap airfare, and I'm having our TA look into it. The question I have is - has anyone that lived in the Midwest (or far enough away from a port) found it worth a quick 3 night cruise just to get away? (I know that a lot of it is subjective, and it's all on what you want to spend... but I'm still curious about others' input!)
  13. *When approximately do the luggage tags appear for printing? Usually when you check in online, you get your cruise documents (or will get an email shortly after) saying they are ready. You can print them out at that time. Good plan is to invest in some plastic sleeve tags (Amazon.com) instead of taping / stapling like they suggest. *My nephews are in my mom's room and my sister/dh/another child in my sister's room. I was unable to add my sister's credit card to my nephew's account in my mom's cabin so as of now, it says "Onboard Expense Account-None". I'm guessing this can be changed at the pier when we all check in, is that correct? My sister can just say her card will be used for the following people on the following reservation number, correct? Yes. See someone at the desk at the pier when you check in. You can add it then, or at Guest Services when on the ship. *The card my sister gave me for her cabin may change the day we board (she may use another card). Will this matter? Can they just change the credit card at the pier? Same as above. See guest services. Try to avoid it on the first day - its nuts. *My mom/nephew have the Voom for two devices in their cabin. My sister has the Voom for one device in her cabin. Where will they find the information or where do they need to go after we board to find out exactly how they set this up on their phone. They are not tech savvy. I had to find a person that was set - up on embarkation day. They gave me a card with a number on it after they verified I bought the package. It was a little cumbersome - but I also saw after the fact that I could have gotten the number by checking my sea pass information through my TV. Forgot exactly how - but you may want to check it out (since you can see what devices you have registered to use). *Is it now correct the online check in paper that I printed will be what we use when we board for purchases until we get to our cabin? We all have the Unlimited Drink package so want to make sure this is correct. Yes *I did not upload the pictures for my sister's family. I would have to go to Shutterfly and do for each person and didn't do this since I have read it is a quick fix at the pier for them to just take a picture. Do you agree? Yes. They had to re-take pictures of both my sons. Lady had a tablet, and snapped their pictures. Took about 2 minutes total. *My ds's friend is listed as John, not Jonathan, his real name on his passport on online check in. Does this make a difference and do I need to call and get his name changed? Will this make a problem for the already printed Set Sail pass? I would call and check. I've always made sure our names matched exactly on all documents. *The first choice I have for arrive to port is 11:30 am. I believe I have read I can arrive earlier. Is that correct? We have a shuttle picking up 20 family members at the Riverside Hotel at 10:00 am. You can get there earlier. We did in NJ - just make sure the guys working on the ground are loading the bags to go onto the ship for the next sailing. You don't want them confused with whats coming off. FWIW - skip the costs for messaging thru the Royal IQ App. You can message on Facebook for free - and make calls on FB as well with VOOM. If you're REALLY savvy, you can set - up WiFi calling on your phone if it supports it and make regular calls that way. My employer bought me a package so I can be connected in case I have an emergency with a customer to handle, and the few times I had a phone call, it was crystal clear - and didn't have to buy anything additional through RCI (other than the Voom Package itself). Happy Cruising!
  14. ...Platinum... lol Seemed like we were Gold forever. (and there was much rejoicing)
  15. I'd take it. Coastal Kitchen Dinner Bigger Room Bigger Bathroom Coffee Maker in Room ...and if you're close to another tier... You get double cruise points for the sailing.
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