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On 1/12/2019 at 6:45 PM, Tom47 said:

Check age limits on drink package.  RCI  sets alcohol age at 21 for North America ports.

Do not attempt to cheat the alcohol serving policy for buying booze for underage drinkers like your fiancee, especially by the bartenders. The underage drinking policy is strict. I would try to avoid violating their rules if I were you. Instead, buy a nonalcoholic drink for your fiancee if they're included in your drink package. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:21 AM, townclerk said:

it is my understanding it is your choice to participate with formal night. We used to, but really don't anymore.

I don't mind dressing up for formal night (called "Elegant Chic" aboard Celebrity ships), but I now avoid going to the Captain's Welcome Aboard shindig because of the crowds. I also neither liked getting my hand crushed by the firm grips of the Captain and his officers in the reception line nor the sitting around in crowded theaters just to get free drinks and barely warm hors d'oeuvres snacks. Nowadays, those "parties" are held in the atriums of various ships, especially the Princess vessels when they do the Champagne pours. That said, I wonder how the cruise lines are going to do the Captain's Welcome Aboard and Farewell parties for post-pandemic cruises to avoid super-spreader events.  

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On 6/8/2019 at 11:53 AM, wgeo said:

For dinner in the Windjammer with theme nights - are there also non themed food available?   For example on Indian night, will there also be more "kid friendly" things like burgers or even a normal salad bar available?  

 

Thanks

Good question, but I can't answer it because I either have dinner in the MDR or in the specialty restaurants. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to find burgers or a salad bar at the WIndjammer during Indian theme nights. Be aware, though, that because of Covid, most buffets are no longer self-serve but will have servers behind the counter to serve you, especially the burgers and fries. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 11:23 AM, upwarduk said:

Diamond Lounge

Can anyone inform me if the Diamond Lounge is open during the day on Explorer of the Seas and also which deck it is on?

We are 1st time Diamond for our cruise on 31 August. I know that we will have 3 drinks loaded on to our card for use in any bar between 4.30-8 pm including the dining room, but I am hazy on the function of the Diamond Lounge. Can I go there for drinks during the day?

Re: function of Diamond lounge, I think it's for Diamond level and higher Crown and Anchor members to socially interact with each other in a uncrowded place. The newer ships have snacks available to members seeking solace in the lounges. How do I know that? Because I watched a video of a Harmony of the Seas tour by a cruise specialist on YouTube the other night where he showed the Diamond Lounge on Deck 4 in Entertainment Place. Note: in the video, nobody was drinking or eating because the lounge served as muster drill assembly point. 

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On 9/2/2019 at 5:23 PM, Penny21 said:

We were able to bring 12 cans of soda on the ship & 2 bottles of wine and get wine glasses from room service by calling dining. I believe this is per cabin.

Question: If you were able to bring those wine bottles aboard ship, how did you know whether they weren't available in the wine cellar? That's one reason the ship will confiscate the wine at security: the wine was already in the wine cellar. To avoid confiscation, did you look in the wine list for buying a wine package and noted that your wines weren't available so you decided to bring your own bottles instead? Good thinking! How did you open the bottles: was there a corkscrew in the cabin, or did you have your cabin attendant open the vino for you? 

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On 5/14/2010 at 9:08 PM, cruisenfever said:

The Table Service Specialty Restaurants are available on the following ships:

 

Chops Grille - Royal Caribbean International

 

Freedom of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas

Independence of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

 

Portofino - Royal Caribbean International

 

Freedom of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Independence of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Note: Portofino is no longer available onboard Oasis class ships because it was replaced by Jamie Oliver's Italian place on Harmony and later Oasis class ships. For both of these specialty restaurants, bring a big appetite when you come because you're going to eat a lot of food! 

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On 8/8/2010 at 10:46 AM, EVALUATOR said:

A Commemorative Milestone Gift also known as Crystal Block, is supposed to be given to Crown and Anchor members. According to the June 1, 2010 enhanced benefits announcement, the gift is given ON the cruise that earns you your 20th CRUISE CREDIT. Another one is given on the cruise that earns you your CRUISE CREDIT number 30, 40, 50, etc.

 

The block is approximately 4" wide by 3" tall by 2" thick and weighs around 2#.

 

Here are a few photos of the blocks for reference purposes. It should have the ship name and likeness laser etched into the block.

 

 

 

Regarding these blocks, I have not received them despite having been a Diamond level member for the past 10 years. Instead, I get things like chocolate-covered strawberries, a cake, or a Diamond tier lapel pin and those benefits like the casino play vouchers, free drinks, internet time, laundry, etc., downloaded to the SeaPass card. But the blocks? No way, especially when the C&A program went to the points system now used. 

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On 11/4/2010 at 6:20 PM, Jimnbigd said:

Voyager class and higher have Cafe Promenade. There is no extra charge. It is often open 24 hours, and it is a good place for desserts or a light sandwich. Great Seattle's Best coffee too -- again no extra charge except for specialty coffees. If the Windjammer buffet is crowded when you first board, check out Cafe Promenade instead.

To avoid crowds at lunchtime when I've boarded an Oasis class ship, I would have lunch instead at Johnny Rockets. Maybe not free, but also no crowds. For the uncrowded, no lunch line experience, I choose that establishment or Park Place in Central Park for RCCL's Kemmelwech (roast beef) sandwich--complimentary and delish! Another choice is Sorrento's on the Royal Promenade on Voyager, Oasis, and Quantum class ships, and on the same deck as the Casino and Schooner Bar aboard Freedom class ships. 

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On 11/25/2010 at 6:53 PM, The C said:

If you want a souvenir from RCI, when you purchase one of those 'Drinks of the Day' you keep the cup.

 

I found this out a few cruises before and as a result have a cool Royal Caribbean glass sitting in my cupboard...COOL!

 

Also for embarkation:

 

Have all of your citizenship doc's set out in advance. If you're missing a document RCI will shed no tears for you at the port regardless of what your T/A or anyone over the phone told you.

 

T/A's and booking agent's are there to ensure you buy the ticket. The port agents and port supervisors are there to make sure the company and you are within US customs law.

 

I previously worked for RCI part time as a port agent. There were times people were denied boarding (usually 9/10 times for this) and the supervisors were very unforgiving about this. Down to a point that as a 'hospitality professional' for the last 10 years I would be uncomfortable. Port agents and supervisors are more CBP than RCI even though they work for RCI.

 

This is mainly because RCI is charged a fine (I believe around $2500 USD) per passenger who is mistakenly allowed to embark on the ship. Nearly all port agents are part time therefore if RCI embarks even 1 pax mistakenly most likely unless the agent has tenure they are getting canned. In this economy if its their job (and company $2500 fine) or your enjoyment after you made the error or didnt double check, well they are keeping their job and you'll watch the ship sail out of port!

 

Secondly, if you are unsure about your docs bring everything. Its better to have unneeded docs than too many. Unlike CBP officers at the border port agents arent taught to be suspicious from getting tons of stuff. They are trained to weed your trash from useable citizenship docs they wont care. In addition, if what you brought by itself is not enough to embark, its likely that what you brought while it cant be used for embarkation purposes can be used to get an emergency passport issued and fly to the next port. Its an expensive lesson, one I've watched people learn many times over, but one that can be avoided!

Concur about bringing ALL docs w/you. To organize them, I recommend buying a document holder sold in the travel catalogs such as Magellan's or TravelSmith. It not only contains pockets for the cruise, currency, and flight docs, it also has a special pocket for your passport and smaller items. I've had mine for over 15 years and it's great for separating out the various docs so that the flight boarding passes aren't mixed in w/embarkation or other docs. Another thing I do is bring everything in a manila folder organized by flight, embarkation, hotel/transfers, etc. Then, when I'm aboard the bus and approaching the pier, I will put all the required docs from the organizer into my shirt pocket to have them ready for the check-in staff at the terminal. 

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On 8/6/2017 at 11:13 AM, AABA said:

My partner and I are sailing on the Mariner of the Seas - Shanghai to Singapore at the end of the month. We are struggling to find what to do in Vietnam as I have read we dock 2hr from Ho Chi Minh city? Could anyone advise us of any suitable trips with an English speaking guide. Also, if visiting Okinawa I have read using the Monorail is a good way to get an over view of Okinawa has anyone done that and could share and tips. Thank you

Consider buying a tour guide book published by Fodor's, Frommer's, Rick Steves', Lonely Planet, etc., for ideas about what to do in Ho Chi Minh City. Then read it during your flight to Singapore. Two other ideas are: 1. Watch a YouTube video of walking tours in this capital formerly known as Saigon; or 2. Watch a video made by now-deceased celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain when he visited the city a few years ago. Note: He also made a video of his experience in eating at the Hawker places in Singapore. 

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On 2/6/2012 at 2:49 PM, jerryb48 said:

Dinning: If you are linked to sit with others at the same table you can talk to the maitre'd on boarding day and see the table plan. If your guest are not listed together he will make the change. I believe he will need their names and cabin numbers. They normally have a special time to do this on boarding day afternoon. If the time is not posted in the cruise compass, check with the guest relations desk . They should know where and when the maitre"d will be available for this. It is better to make the changes at that time then to wait until you arrive at your table at dinner time.

Even if I'm not linked together to sit at the same table, I dislike getting a two-top table when I'm aboard as a solo traveler. Do MDRs Maitre D's not know that not all guests part of groups, families or couples? They could ask solo cruisers whether they want to share tables with other solo cruisers. I usually try to ask these Maitre D's or headwaiters if they can sit me at shared tables when I'm at the door. The shared table worked out well for me aboard Coral Princess last February and eventually after many attempts aboard Celebrity Silhouette in '17 to Israel and Greece. 

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On 11/14/2017 at 5:18 AM, KmomChicago said:

 

This is our first Royal cruise so I can't answer whether this is offered on all ships, but on our upcoming Oasis cruise we had an offer for the first night to pay $20 cover (50%) for "a specialty restaurant." As far as I could tell, you don't get to choose which restaurant if you take this offer, which I did not. Also we are over 4 months out from our sail date. . . even on our behemoth ship with lots of options I assume this offer has a max capacity and might not always appear for every cruise if it's sold out.

That's a great discount offer for any specialty restaurant. I would have accepted it for either Chops Grille, Portofino or 150 Central Park on the first night dinner. Then for the next dinner, you would meet your table mates at your table at any of the MDRs you're assigned to. 

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On 2/10/2018 at 3:30 PM, pixiegirl-loves-travel said:

My DH and I are taking our first cruise ever on Freedom of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale end of April. This is also our first time to the state of Florida. I have a few questions I haven't found answers to yet.

 

1. We recently were upgraded from E3- Deck 6 Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony to D1-Deck 10 Superior Ocean View with Balcony. Does this upgrade really mean anything other than a deck change? Are there any benefits to category D1 vs. E3?

2. We prepaid our gratuities. Are there still some people we should be tipping that aren't included in the prepaid grats?

3. What is the benefit of a pre-paid photo package vs. buying pictures individually on the ship?

4. Our departure time is 5:30 and it says check in is between 12:30-4:30. What would be the best time to arrive to minimize congestion? Should I arrive before 12:30? Or is there no such time to ease check in wait times?

5. Our cruise arrives back in Fort Lauderdale around 5:30AM. Does that mean we have to be ready to leave the ship at 5:30AM?

6. Does anytime dining mean we just show up at the dining-room whenever we want?

7. We're staying at a local hotel pre-cruise. What would be the best way to get to the cruise port?

8. Post cruise we plan to rent a car (probably from the airport?) and visit the keys for a few days. Are there taxis near by? Or should we pre-arrange one?

 

I feel really dumb asking these questions, but greatly appreciate any answers!

Lisa

Lisa, there's no such thing as a dumb question. The only thing dumber is no a question not asked. As for your questions, here are my answers as best as I can answer them:

1. The only benefit for getting the upgrade is that you now have a balcony vs. a window. You're also closer to the Windajmmer buffet and the pool deck than you were on Deck 6. OTOH, if you're a gambler and fine diner like me, staying on Deck 6 also means that you're closer to these establishments than you are now on Deck 10.

2. The only tips that you're not paying for include bartenders, the massage therapist, the beauty salon, etc.

3. The primary benefit of a pre-paid photo package is that the album will be included in the package and that the package may also have a set number of photos. If you buy the photos separately, you may have to buy the album separately, too.

4. To me, any time during that 4-hour window is congestion because many people are also coming from the airport, driving in, coming from the bus or train stations, or the pre-cruise hotels. If you want to have lunch aboard ship and don't want to wait to eat but also want to drop off your carry-ons before going to eat, I suggest arriving at 1-ish to get in line for security, check-in, photos, and embarkation. 

5. No, 5:30 AM is when your ship arrives in Ft. Lauderdale, docks and takes off the luggage. I suggest that you get a few more Zs of sleep, wake refreshed, and ready to do breakfast at either the MDRs or the Windjammer--but please leave your carry-ons in your cabin so that you're not one of the folks who drag those things around in the Windjammer or at the MDRs during a leisurely breakfast. Then return to your cabin, get your carry-ons and go to departure lounge for your luggage tag color, time and #. 

6. No, Anytime Dining means that you have to make a reservation for a particular time you want eat outside the two primary options of either early or late sitting. You either make the reservation when you board the ship at the MDR where the Anytime Dining is held or you can make the reservation online. 

7. If you're staying at a hotel for the pre-cruise, good for you. That way, you can board the ship in a relaxed state of mind. As for getting to the pier, if you booked your pre-cruise hotel stay w/the line, the package will include complimentary transfer to the pier. If not, then you can arrange for either taxi, Uber or Lyft to take you to the pier. All of the hotels in Ft. Lauderdale are closer to the pier than the ones in Miami. 

8. I'm not a driver, so I can't give you too much advice about this other than ask your travel agent to rent you a car, which could be delivered to you at the pier. Regarding visiting the Keys, you might need hotel reservations at many of them, especially Key West. 

 

I hope my answers are helpful to you. Safe travels.  

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On 5/9/2010 at 10:23 PM, DataStar said:

When you check in shoreside for your Royal Caribbean cruise, you will receive what the company calls a "SeaPass Card", which is a combination room key, onboard credit card and which is needed to board and depart the ship. Once you have the card, during the boarding process, it will be put into a machine, at which time your photograph is taken and associated with the card. Every time you leave and return to the ship, the card is scanned, and the security officer can see the original photo, thus assuring that the person presenting the card is the person to whom it was issued.

 

If you want to wear the card on a lanyard, just stop at the Guest Services desk and they can punch a hole in it in a location that will not interfere with either the bar codes (used by the security system when you enter and leave the ship) or the magnetic strip, used to unlock your cabin door, and when using it as an onboard charge card. It's also used as a loyalty card in the onblard casino slot machines (with prizes provided based on your level of play.)

 

The card does not have your complete room number on it for security reasons. It does indicate your dining assignment (dining room, time and table.) It also contains your Folio Number, which you need in some circumstances (arranging onboard to prepay gratuities, for example) and appears to have space for a number that will be associated with a future system that will let you see the photos taken of you by the ship's photographers on display screens and to order those you want. This system is not currently in general use, and this FAQ item should be edited when such a system is operational.

 

Try to avoid keeping the card in any magnetic field. If you discover that it stops working, it's not a problem. Head to the Guest Services desk 24 hours a day, and they can create a new one for you.

 

There are four kinds of SeaPass cards. There is a special design for children. Most passengers receive a standard card, which is currently blue in color. Guests in Junior Suites receive a silver colored card, while guests in suite accomodations (Grand Suites and above) receive gold colored cards.

 

Finally, remember that when you are leaving the ship at the end of your cruise vacation, you will need it to leave the vessel. So don't pack it away. You can keep it as a souvenir.

Agree w/most of the above, but would suggest that you increase the # of SeaPass cards to an extra one for use in the casino. I say that because if you're like me, you might forget to remove your card from the card slot on a slot machine. Moreover, if that card is your only card and it's on a lanyard that's not around your neck when you're finished w/the machine, then you're in a spot of trouble if you go off to dinner or someplace else you suddenly remember that you left the card in that machine! Fortunately, the casino staff will notice the card and take it to the cashier for you to claim it: bring your picture ID w/you to claim the card. You can buy the lanyard either at a kiosk near the embarkation desks or onboard after the ship sails and the stores open. 

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On 1/14/2013 at 12:56 PM, DuncanT said:

Hi all,

 

I've looked everywhere for an answer for this and can't seem to find one. i hope someone here can help.

 

We are from the UK going on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. I'm 24, will be 25 at time of sailing, and my girlfriend who is sailing with me is 18. Will this be a problem due to RCIs Age Policy, as we're not married and obviously i'm not her legal guardian. We've looked over the policy and their FAQs more times than I care to count and we still can't figure it out, and we can't get hold of anyone at RCI to ask either 😕

 

Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

Duncan

Duncan, the only thing that would concern me about your GF's age is when you're buying beer, wine or cocktails, and the drinking age for UK citizens may be lower than or higher than it is in the States (it's 21 for all States). I also suggest that you bring along some documentation saying that you're not the GF's legal guardian just in case either RCCL or Norwegian authority asks about your lady friend. 

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1 hour ago, ShmuelCharlie said:

Duncan, the only thing that would concern me about your GF's age is when you're buying beer, wine or cocktails, and the drinking age for UK citizens may be lower than or higher than it is in the States (it's 21 for all States). I also suggest that you bring along some documentation saying that you're not the GF's legal guardian just in case either RCCL or Norwegian authority asks about your lady friend. 

RCI requires someone to be responsible for those between 18 and 21.  I suggest you read terms and conditions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/6/2020 at 1:09 PM, ShmuelCharlie said:

I don't mind dressing up for formal night (called "Elegant Chic" aboard Celebrity ships), but I now avoid going to the Captain's Welcome Aboard shindig because of the crowds. I also neither liked getting my hand crushed by the firm grips of the Captain and his officers in the reception line nor the sitting around in crowded theaters just to get free drinks and barely warm hors d'oeuvres snacks. Nowadays, those "parties" are held in the atriums of various ships, especially the Princess vessels when they do the Champagne pours. That said, I wonder how the cruise lines are going to do the Captain's Welcome Aboard and Farewell parties for post-pandemic cruises to avoid super-spreader events.  

Do not think you will get any more "handshakes" from the captain or staff going forward.  We always take the unlimited drink packages and have no desire for the "free drinks"  or cheesy  hors d'oeuvres at parties.

 

 I would assume that this parties will as you say be different post pandemic.  We enjoy getting dressed up for chic nights- cocktail attire- especially after Covid.  We now live in sweats and old clothes- would be refreshing to dress up again!  

Edited by Cruise a holic
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  • 2 months later...

Cruise Cancellations - 

If @RoyalCaribbean cancels a cruise and you need a refund, expect to wait a long time.  In December my travel agent was told that the refund would occur in 60 days.  65 days later there was no refund and @RoyalCaribbean told my agent that they didn't know why the Royal system didn't process my refund but Royal would need to do it manually and I would receive my refund more than 110 days from when it was requested.  Still waiting.  Future Cruise Credits are fine but you can only use so many dollars in FCC's.  So the takeaway is you should pay as little as you can as a deposit, don't make any payments until the last payment date, and then try to handicap whether @RoyalCaribbean is going to cancel your cruise before you make final payment.  Once you make final payment if @RoyalCaribbean cancels the cruise, heaven help you if you want a refund to your credit card!

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7 hours ago, tjaydallcc said:

Once you make final payment if @RoyalCaribbean cancels the cruise, heaven help you if you want a refund to your credit card!

Welcome to CC and coming out of lurk mode.

 

You are likely one of the unfortunate few who had to have manual intervention to process a refund. For most, that is not needed and refund comes fairly quickly.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For my first cruise for Christmas /Eve Day  can you say me what is organized on Radiance :

Brunch ?  ,  White night  ? a catholic mass ? 

Is there large sharing table for solo cruiser ? 

Sorry for my bad english 

Thanks

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