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About Auntiemomo

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  1. Most ships want you back on board 1/2 hour before departure time. When you depart for your excursion, there will be a sign for Crew & Passengers when they want you back on board.
  2. Not sure how it works Down Under. We cruised on Solstice which left out of Auckland in 2018, and I upgraded with my Sommelier once I got on board, and I don't believe I paid any tax, just the standard gratuity. I did ask if they had any specials for upgrading, and I got a 30% discount (or around that). You should ask once you get on board as they should know about the tax situation (may ring it up after they leave port), and ask for any special upgrade discounts that are not advertised.
  3. Florida has no state income tax, but I believe they do have a sales tax because I was charged purchasing my drinks while in port. Several years ago a friend from Florida who we were sailing with created a tab at the Sunset Bar prior to sailaway and cashed out after we left port to avoid paying the sales tax. I always remembered that, especially when sailing without the beverage package.
  4. I have no issues with "Science" per se, but with regard to COVID, science seems to be the best Guesstimate at the time. It fluctuates from week to week. I'm tired of hearing "we need to follow the science." Pretty soon I'm hoping they will figure it out.
  5. The cutoff to comment is tomorrow, 21 September.
  6. Interesting read. Royal Caribbean CEO warns of anti-cruise group using CDC website to try to extend no sail order. https://www.foxnews.com/travel/royal-caribbean-anticruise-cdc-comments-coronavirus
  7. In my experience, if you sign up while in port, you would have to pay the VAT. If you pay for a drink at the bar prior to getting underway, you pay for the gratuity + the VAT. When upgrading, they usually sign you up, but don't ring in the purchase until you leave port. Ask to double check how they do it. Same for leaving from a U.S. port. They ring it up after you leave so you don't have to pay the State tax. If you get a drink and pay for it prior to pulling out from a U.S. port, i.e. Florida, you pay the gratuity + the State tax. We usually wait to sign up with our Somm
  8. Since you are visiting a non-EU port (Northern Ireland) you don't have to pay any VAT. You only pay VAT if you sail out of Barcelona (Spanish) and in Barcelona waters or if you have a European cruise that visits all EU countries.
  9. No. The sunset bar on the M-Class ships is back aft of the Oceanview Cafe. They have eliminated smoking back there several years ago.
  10. It took several look backs, and thanks for your hint, now I get it. LOL
  11. A little, but not nearly as large as the ones on the hump. My opinion, the little extra in the balcony size not worth the walk back there, especially since you don't have an aft wake view.
  12. They are fine if you like the hike back aft. I would prefer the ones on the hump, especially the ones with larger balconies on the angle. Much better location on the ship, especially if you have to go back & forth to your stateroom if you forgot something.
  13. The aft cabins have limited protection in case of inclement weather except the ones on Deck 12 that have a large overhang from the outside dining from the Ocean View Cafe. If you are sensitive to noise, you can hear random scraping of tables & chairs.
  14. You're fine in 1669. There will be little to no traffic back aft as 1/2 of the folks will be using the starboard side to get back aft, so I wouldn't be concerned in the least. The only issue I've seen is the two S1's, one on the starboard side and the other on the port side. The window washing machine blocks view from the side of the balcony. On the other S-Class ships, the window washing machines are up on Deck 11 on the forward hump. The set up they describe is similar to the Cat 6 on the Millennium Class where 3142 and 3144 (OV cabins) have their own entry door into that are
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