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Everything posted by emeraldcity

  1. Thank you for posting this detail. I always thought those fees were "per person" and didn't realize estimated guests are paying a percentage of the ship fees. Back in 2012, I did a 7-night cruise of Cartagena and the ABC islands from Colon, Panama ... followed by a 3-night non-stop repo to Miami. The port fees for the three-night cruise were significantly higher than the 7-night cruise with 4 port calls. While I guessed at the time that it was due to higher fees in Miami, I now suspect it was just as likely due to the very low passenger count (under 700) on the Grandeur.
  2. I suspect there will be a large number of newly minted Pinnacles disembarking at the end of this thing. But the big take-away I hope to see is that Royal will take an interest in South America cruising that extends beyond a stop in Cartagena. I'd love to do that first leg ... but I suspect the cost is not going to fit my budget. Doesn't stop me from repeatedly studying that itinerary. It is so incredibly appealing.
  3. My cruise stops in Roatan in early December. I'm tempted to do snorkeling on at least one of the port calls and am leaning toward Roatan. For those that are describing great snorkeling, can you compare it to either Bonaire or Champagne Bay in Dominica. I loved Dominica and was sadly underwhelmed by Bonaire, so I'm hesitant to book anything that will be a disappointment. The depth of the water at the Bonaire Marine Park was my biggest complaint. I want to be close to what I'm seeing ... not 30 feet above it.
  4. There were 12 of us once at a large round table. You could only have conversations with the folks on either side of you ... and the people on the other side of the table seemed to think you'd heard what they were saying when you ran into them later. I later traveled with my family (group of 12) and we requested two 6-tops. It was great. We mixed and matched every evening. It's not only workable ... it's more enjoyable.
  5. One more question ... how early before a cruise do you suggest submitting the form? I have cruises coming up in December, January and February.
  6. With all the uncertainties involved in travel I chose to book all my flight arrangements for cruises through May with Air2Sea. I used to book all my domestic air travel independently, but in the current environment, I just don't think it's worth it. I want an organization that's got a vested interest in me making the ship (where they have a chance I'll spend more on board).
  7. I agree with the advice to buy your own snorkel gear. It's very reasonable. Yes, it's one more thing to pack, but you then can have equipment you're comfortable with instead of having to get used to something different all the time. Besides, Coco Cay really doesn't have memorable snorkeling. It's not going to hold your interest very long.
  8. I just checked my online brokerage statement. It's 14 pages. Can I just submit the page with the RCL shares (and black out anything other than that)?
  9. Oh John, If you're using that much brown sugar, you're defeating the purpose. I would be an expert because I use probably about 50% MORE brown sugar when I have oatmeal.
  10. Ah yes ... Oasis. The least enjoyable theatrical production and the best Ice Show. You can't win them all. Thank you for taking the time to document your cruise. You do such a good job of it.
  11. We allowed a full day in Rome for the Vatican and another for the Coliseum and Forum. Then you need a day just to wander the streets aimlessly, because there is something to discover in every twisting alley. (Hint: You'll need food in the middle of each day and there's a rooftop eatery below the dome of the basilica, but food options at the Coliseum were non-existent, so take some snacks with you.) Be sure to be waiting in the plaza in front of the Parthenon when the doors open so you can experience that incredible building before it fills up, because 15 minutes later there will be crowds in your viewfinder. We found that a meal in an open air restaurant is supposed to be a leisurely affair and the staff doesn't track on the concept that once Americans are done eating, they'd like the check so they can move on and go explore some more. Plan on gelato twice a day ... you'll never have to look very far to find another vendor that is tempting you with more flavors. As for the cruise itself, you don't mention ports and that's a big omission if you're expecting suggestions.
  12. I totally agree with the above. Also, the shore excursions on NCL carry a much higher mark-up than similar excursions on Royal. This makes the $50 dollar discount perk rather useless.
  13. Thank you for sharing the "There she is" moment. It's a thing in our family to text this picture of our first view of our ship. I was texted a picture of the Odyssey this morning from my daughter on her way to the pier.
  14. So, for my 11-day cruise, that would be $330, plus the outrageous tolls on the PA Turnpike, plus the gas to drive. Yeah, that decision to book air and hotel last month looks like it was a good one.
  15. My main interest is using the double points to get to the 340 (or is it 350?) in order to score the lower supplement rate for sailing solo. And once I have that (should be on my February sailing), Pinnacle is too far away to be much of an incentive, so I'm trying to ignore the pressure to book something else.
  16. I was in one of the last few boardwalk balconies on deck 11 on Allure for the TA. You can watch the evening movies from your balcony as well. 🙂
  17. Your pictures from Cordoba were fantastic. I've made a mental note to book that excursion next time I head to Spain. My daughter is heading to Spain for a week on the Harmony in late October. She did a Lift & Shift from the Odyssey sailing that was the last one before the scheduled TA. She'll be doing 5 days in Rome before the cruise.
  18. I also did Spain Day Tours on the March 2020 Allure cruise. At the time I booked, RCI did not offer a tour that went inside ... and I wasn't interested in a drive-by. I'm not a fan of the lunch on the bus approach, but to each his own.
  19. WOW! I was on the last sailing of the Allure before the global shutdown. It was the TA, so there was plenty of traffic in the library, and it was very well stocked! Makes no sense that they would have burned the books ... we'd been at sea for 12 days and didn't have an outbreak.
  20. I appreciate the information on this thread. I am following the issue on multiple fronts and am currently of the idea that I should continue to wait it out. I had Moderna ... the second shot was early April. Since I sail in early December, I may contact my doctor's office for a recommendation in mid November if there isn't definitive direction from either the cruise line or the CDC by that time.
  21. Thank you for taking the time to post these. I'm looking forward to seeing schedules for sea days, as I'm wondering how much to the former activities will be offered.
  22. Thank you for starting this post. I'm just starting to get serious about looking into shore excursions for a December cruise. I'm not a fan of ship excursions, but I don't rule them out. Frankly paying a few bucks extra for a ship excursion isn't a big concern ... I just want to be sure the experience will be a good one. I'm intrigued by the one to Maya Key, which comes with the nice options of multiple chances to head back to the ship. I can't stay out in the sun for long periods, so I hesitate to take any excursion that locks you into a specific return time, because I'm usually ready to head back before the masses.
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