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About smc99

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  1. We’ve done two cruises in a Boardwalk view balcony cabin, though without any kids. We loved it the first time for all the activity to see and for all the people-watching. By the second cruise we found all that constant activity and commotion to be somewhat annoying. Next time we’ll do an Ocean view balcony. it all depends on whether you prefer non-stop activity or peace and quiet.
  2. It can be either way, depending on the cruise, I guess. We brought some bottles of wine aboard from one of our stops in Spain. They said they'd be delivered to our cabin on the last night of the second leg of the B2B. We asked the Bar Manager if we could get them delivered earlier than that to share with family members joining us for the second leg, and it was no problem. When in doubt, just ask!
  3. Don't know about Camp Nous, but we did Sagrada Familia on our own during our layover day on a B2B. We pre-booked the tickets online, then took a cab (4 of us) to the tour office right across the street from Sagrada Familia. We originally booked tickets for the 11am tour but we were able to get off the ship early enough to get there in time for the 9am tour. Good thing we did - the tour operator told us how crowded it gets later in the day, and he was right. By the time we finished the tour the streets were absolutely mobbed with people. But - getting there and back to and from the ship by cab was quick and easy.
  4. We were on the 8-night Cuba itinerary on Empress in March. She is showing her age, and there was a lot of maintenance and painting going on just about every day. But "stinky and dirty"? Absolutely not. Yes, the cabins are tiny. (We've been spoiled by the balcony cabins on other ships) But there was certainly NOTHING that would warrant not cruising on her! The staff and crew were great, the food was good. Even the entertainment was pretty good.
  5. We're aboard Empress now. I don't know what, specifically, was updated, but it's still a work in progress! The interior of the ship seems to be in good shape, but the exterior is really showing her age. The entire upper deck forward was closed for a couple of days for cleaning and repainting, so everyone had to crowd around the pool deck. They did add some hammocks up on the top deck, which are nice. Most of Deck 7 was without working toilets for over 12 hours one night. I can live without having to flush for a few hours, but the noise of them trying to fix it (snaking out the lines, etc) made sleep impossible. They gave up at 2AM and started again at 7AM. They finally got them working again by around 10AM. There seems to be a lot of new furniture throughout the ship, but I had trouble finding any that was very comfortable. They seem to have focused on the low, sleek modern look instead of comfort. Most of the carpeting seems new. We saw rolls and rolls of the old carpeting stacked up on deck waiting to be disposed of. The absolute worst part? THE ICE CREAM MACHINE WASN'T WORKING FOR THE FIRST 3 DAYS! She is still a nice ship, the food is pretty good, and the staff and crew couldn't be more friendly. But - she is getting old..... We talked to more than one couple who said this was their first RCCL cruise and it would be their last. They have a point given the limited options available onboard Empress compared to the newer, bigger ships and it's sad that it's reflecting badly against the entire fleet. All in all... Empress is all about the itinerary, not the amenities. She's a good ship. She's just small, and old, and due for retirement!
  6. We had four people spread out over different cabins all share a “one device” plan. No problem as long as just one was signed in at any time.
  7. Because once you leave the bar, no one knows what you do with the drink(s).
  8. We've done TA's on both Navigator out of New Orleans and Vision out of Barcelona. Loved them both! One thing to consider if your timing is flexible - Due to the time zone changes, any TA from the US to Europe will have at least 6 days where you lose an hour. A TA from Europe to the US has 6 days with an extra hour. Sounds minor, but very nice having that extra hour to sleep for those 6 days! We also liked getting the long boring flight out of the way before the cruise rather than having to do it after.
  9. Sharkees; 10 minute walk from the ship on the main drag. Excellent cracked conch!
  10. We've done a few b2b's, and each one is a little different process. On the last one we had the option of getting our new seapass card and "in transit" paper before 9AM at Guest Services on transition day. That way we had all day to go ashore and explore, and didn't have to wait in the lines to check back in.
  11. The drink cards were available the last 4 days of our transatlantic in October.
  12. You’ll get $100 on board credit just by getting the card and using it once, even if just for a couple of dollars. If you also use it to pay for a $2,500 cruise you get another $50 OBC. That’s $150 OBC just for using the RCCL card to pay for what you were going to buy anyway. One warning: the card has high interest rates and very high late payment fees, so only use it for something you’re paying off right away and on-time.
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