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I'm following because I want to know if it's worth the cost. Cruising in March and I have always wanted to add on the tour.

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I took it once.. I actually won it in a raffle on board..

 

Took us to:

Engine CONTROL Room (NOT the engine room)

Bridge

Galley

Back Stage in theater

Food Preparation areas/cooler Down on Deck 1

Crew Bar (Have heard it may have stopped going there)

Crew areas (Not bar, but another recreation area)

Laundry

 

This was back a handful of years ago when they first started doing them.

Edited by Firefighterhoop

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I did it on my Allure cruise. I'd say it was worth it. Lasted close to 3 hours and took us all throughout the ship. Started in the galley with a talk from the head chef, and went down into the food storage areas, including the freezer with talks from the food and beverage manager and the ship's environmental officer showing us what the recycling program does onboard (cubes of crushed aluminum, mountains of crushed glass), we toured the crew only bar and buffet areas. Also visited the engine room, the laundry facilities, and the area where the anchor is stowed for an informative talk on how they dock the ship, backstage for a look into the stage productions and ended with a trip to the bridge.

 

Yes, cameras are allowed and everyone was snapping away. Just be sure to keep up with the group though... we had some stragglers get lost.

 

Also on the Allure we were taken out onto the helipad, which on many trips is open to the public but not on Oasis class except for special occasions.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that it might be tough for those with mobility issues. It's a lot of walking, standing around, and stair climbing utilizing crew passageways - meaning stairs that are steep and narrow.

Edited by CruisinAg

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Wife and I did one on the Mariner of the Seas back in 2014. Cost was US$150 pp. We went to the following places:

 

1/ Laundry

2/ Rubbish/Recycling plant

3/ Control Room (Engine room as a bonus)

4/ Crew Area

5/ Main Galley

6/ Back Stage Ice Rink

7/ Bridge

 

We were pretty lucky on our tour I am led to believe. In the control room the Chief Engineer just happened to be there and after asking us very quietly if we would like to see the engines (obviously we all said yes) we headed down for a walk around the actual engine bay. Very noisy but no problems with photos anywhere on the tour. On the bridge the Captain came and spent about 30 mins with us answering questions, posing for photos, generally chit chatting. Was fun standing out on the wings of the bridge looking down the side of the ship. In the Kitchen we met the head chef who explained the goings on behind the scenes. We tasted some food he was working on. The Laundry was very interesting. Huge machines that we all got a chance to try for folding sheets. Crew area is like another little world below decks, eatery, bar, lounge and their rooms! The ice rink and show area we were shown where it is all staged, where the props are kept, the control booth for lighting. There were some of the performers practicing on the ice so we got to meet them and chat a bit. There was about 10 of us on our tour. Have to wear long pants and closed shoes! Took nearly 3 hrs all up.

 

I think it was well worth the money. Don't know if I would do it on another ship or not but was definitely worth doing once!

 

Hope this helps!

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I thought this tour was fantastic on the Navigator in the Mediterranean a couple of years ago. It was great to see what's behind all of those doors but more impressive was the access to the staff - all the way up to the Captain. They seemed to really enjoy the Q&A. It took all morning but I would do it again on a different ship. My experience was very similar to tincoll.

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I think it was well worth the money. Don't know if I would do it on another ship or not but was definitely worth doing once!

 

Hope this helps!

 

Hi tincoll... do not hesitate to do the All Access Tour on your upcoming Quantum sailings if you have the chance :D

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=45076447&highlight=access#post45076447

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We did it on the Allure and really enjoyed it. Be sure to wear closed toed shoes and pants. They were pretty strict about this. It lasted about 3 hours and was $150 p/p.

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We did it on Explorer in 2014. It really was "All Access" for us. It is pricey, but the crew was amazing. For instance, we had 15-20 minutes in a crew lounge with the chief of HR for a no holds barred discussion of people on the Explorer. And we were on the bridge when Captain Rick did his noon announcement.

 

I don't know that I'd do it again, but it's definitely something I'd recommend doing once.

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We did it on Explorer in 2014. It really was "All Access" for us. It is pricey, but the crew was amazing. For instance, we had 15-20 minutes in a crew lounge with the chief of HR for a no holds barred discussion of people on the Explorer. And we were on the bridge when Captain Rick did his noon announcement.

 

I don't know that I'd do it again, but it's definitely something I'd recommend doing once.

 

I'm doing the All Access tour on the Explorer next month. Very much looking forward to it.

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Hi tincoll... do not hesitate to do the All Access Tour on your upcoming Quantum sailings if you have the chance :D

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=45076447&highlight=access#post45076447

 

I may do it on Quantum, Hoopster95. I did see your tour pics a while back. Seems very similar to what we did on mariner except we got to go to the engine room. One other place we visited that I forgot was the Medical facilities. 9 out of 10 of us couldn't help ourselves and had to look inside the morgue! It was empty thanks goodness! Only room for 3 in case your interested! Ill work on some of my photos to upload!

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We did the All Access Tour on the Anthem TA a few months ago. It was $150 US pp, took about 3 hours, and was pretty much as others have described above. I've done various forms of behind the scenes tours before, but none as extensive as this, and it was particularly interesting to get to walk along I-95 and also visit the engine control room, a first for me. And while I've been on other bridges, the Anthem bridge is pretty amazing, the most high tech of any I've seen.

 

Was it worth the cost and the time? To me it was, as I really enjoy seeing things like this. I now feel, though, that I don't need to pay to do something like this again.

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I did the tour on Allure back in 2013, it was quite expensive. And as good as the tour was but for $150pp, once was enough. Cameras were allowed and they allow you to snap away quite happily.

 

Bear in mind that no one tour is the same even on the same ship. Some tour might miss bits out but another might include it. So it all depends on the day and your tour guide. The whole tour lasted 3-4hrs with some steep crew stairs to walk. Don't forget you need to wear long pants and closed toes footwear.

 

At the end of the tour, each person got some RCI souvenirs too.

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I don't know that I'd do it again, but it's definitely something I'd recommend doing once.

 

That is kind of my thinking as well. However, after only reading 10 replies so far, Nobody has mentioned, but I THINK I have read where they allow photography, but no video. I could be wrong about that.

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That is kind of my thinking as well. However, after only reading 10 replies so far, Nobody has mentioned, but I THINK I have read where they allow photography, but no video. I could be wrong about that.

My recollection is that there is no video on the bridge, and possibly other selected areas. However, we were allowed to video in the galley and theater.

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Just got off Brilliance, and there was no video permitted on the bridge tour (snapshots only), but no restrictions on either the galley or backstage tours.

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One additional thing I wanted to mention. Much of the tour takes place down in the bowels of the ship, below the water line. On the day of our tour, we had extremely rough seas and high winds, and the motion below decks, without access to outside air or even a view of the horizon, made my spouse feel fairly ill. I just point this out for folks who are susceptible to this sort of thing.

 

Also, before entering the engine control room, we had to remove any metal from out pockets and were patted down in a security search. From there, we went directly to the bridge, under the watchful eye of an accompanying security officer. (I have no objection to the security, just mentioning it.)

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Don't think I'd want to spend 3 hours of a sea day touring the ship unless the cruise had an inordinate number of sea days. We've been cruising long enough to remember when the ships were much smaller and the tour only took an hour and it was free. Times have changed. ;)

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Although I have not done the all-access tour, I did a Galley Tour on Freedom. It was a fraction of the cost of the all-access tour and came with a cookbook (around $30 US).

 

I have just finished posting about it (this morning ironically enough) on my trip review. The link to the trip review is in my signature area, but here is a link directly to the page the galley tour starts on (near bottom of page 10). There are about 20-30 photos I posted from the galley specifically:

 

Freedom of the Seas Galley Tour

 

 

.

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My recollection is that there is no video on the bridge, and possibly other selected areas. However, we were allowed to video in the galley and theater.

 

That sounds reasonably likely. I hope to find out. I want to take the tour, I'm thinking (hoping) my wife won't want to give up 3 hours of sun time on a sea day.

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Don't think I'd want to spend 3 hours of a sea day touring the ship unless the cruise had an inordinate number of sea days. We've been cruising long enough to remember when the ships were much smaller and the tour only took an hour and it was free. Times have changed. ;)

 

Totally understand your thinking. We were on the Anthem TA, which was 8 straight sea days [love that!], no ports, and a northern crossing, so not exactly sit out at the pool weather. So we viewed the All Access Tour as a 1/2 day "shore excursion" in terms of time and cost. :) It would definitely be hard to justify the time (and expense) on a port intensive cruise.

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That sounds reasonably likely. I hope to find out. I want to take the tour, I'm thinking (hoping) my wife won't want to give up 3 hours of sun time on a sea day.

 

We tremendously enjoyed our All Access Tour on Navigator recently. I did not mind missing 3 hours of sun time, since it was the last sea day of the cruise and I had already had plenty of sun time.

 

We were able to take lots of still photos, everywhere we went. Video was not allowed in the theater and on the bridge. One of the interesting things we saw on the bridge was the posting of how many passengers were on board -- we had 3840 total passengers (her absolute maximum) and over 1100 of them were children. As the staff member who was leading the tour said.....she had never been on the ship when it was that full.

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I took it once.. I actually won it in a raffle on board..

 

Took us to:

Engine CONTROL Room (NOT the engine room)

Bridge

Galley

Back Stage in theater

Food Preparation areas/cooler Down on Deck 1

Crew Bar (Have heard it may have stopped going there)

Crew areas (Not bar, but another recreation area)

Laundry

 

This was back a handful of years ago when they first started doing them.

 

We did this on FOS a few years ago. Really enjoyed it. It's the kind of thing you really only need to do once. Also, it takes a good amount of time on a sea day, about 4 hours, including lunch with the group in the MDR.

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We did this on FOS a few years ago. Really enjoyed it. It's the kind of thing you really only need to do once. Also, it takes a good amount of time on a sea day, about 4 hours, including lunch with the group in the MDR.

 

When we did it on Navigator a few weeks ago, they did not include lunch for the group. Would have been nice to discuss what we had seen and our cruise overall. We had a great time. Found out we may be sailing next Thanksgiving with one of the families that was on the tour with us.....that was funny.

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Who conducts the tour? Is it the cruise director?

Our experience is that it's another crew member besides the cruise director.

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Our experience is that it's another crew member besides the cruise director.

 

Same with us....it was another member of the cruise directors staff, that we had seen at other events around the ship during the earlier days of the cruise.

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I will only consider it if i get it complimentary for being in a suite.

Speak to the Concierge about tours if you are in a Grand Suite or better. They probably won't give you a complimentary All-Access tour, but they should give you some choices of complimentary tours, such as the bridge, galley, or theater.

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I will only consider it if i get it complimentary for being in a suite.

 

You are offered bridge and galley tours while sailing in a suite. They're nice, but nothing like the All Access Tour.

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You are offered bridge and galley tours while sailing in a suite. They're nice, but nothing like the All Access Tour.

 

We were given a brief galley tour as part of lunch at Giovanni on the Explorer cruise in late November last year. The executive chef also provided a demonstration on pasta making.

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We were given a brief galley tour as part of lunch at Giovanni on the Explorer cruise in late November last year. The executive chef also provided a demonstration on pasta making.

 

We had a wonderful demonstration on pasta making as part of The Taste of Tuscany specialty dinner that they used to offer on Her Majesty of the Seas....it was fun....and lots of food and wine included, but offered no more.

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I'm kind of a ship nut so I try to pick up the All Access Tour whenever I can. I think I've been on either 4 or 5 and I'm booking one on Anthem in June of '16. We are D+ so we get offered the 'free' tours, but they are only a small slice of what you see on the All Access Tour.

 

The tours are 'conducted' by a member of the Cruise Director's staff, but that person just escorts the tour folks around. The actual 'presenter' is someone (usually a junior officer but sometimes someone more senior) who is directly responsible for or involved in the particular area you might be viewing.

 

Two precautions: 1)Typically the All Access Tour won't run unless a minimum number of people sign up. That number has been between 10 and 15 - I've had one case where I signed up but the minimum wasn't reached and my money was refunded. 2)As mentioned by others, the usual duration is on the order of 3-4 hours. You are walking, going up and down stairs, and standing for almost the entire time. Make sure you are up to it.

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1)Typically the All Access Tour won't run unless a minimum number of people sign up. That number has been between 10 and 15 - I've had one case where I signed up but the minimum wasn't reached and my money was refunded.

 

We really lucked out on our all access tour on the Brilliance, it was just my wife and I and a third person that signed up. I was sure it would be cancelled, but was not! we had an almost private tour, and as others have said, definitely worth doing at least once. My favorite part was the crew areas, such as the crew bar and food spots. Wife's favorite was he laundry.

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Has anyone been on a behind the scenes / all access ship tour before? Where do they take you and are you allowed to take photos during the tour.

 

I was just on the Navigator and talked with someone who took the tour who said it was expensive, but well worth the money. Went to the bridge, kitchen, behind multiple theater stages, etc...

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We paid $150 PP on the Radiance last year and we felt it was worth it. You are allowed your cameras but nothing else, also you will go through a security check and we wore badges.

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We were on the all access tour on the Oasis last March. The only place we could not take photos was of I-95, the corridor that runs the entire length of the ship. This was for security reasons. We could however take photos in any of the storage rooms that were connected to the corridor.

 

One interesting note on our tour, there was a malfunction in the aqua theatre and the pool was drained so they were able to show us the lifts and the underwater caves.

 

We felt the tour was well worth the $150.

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I did the tour on Allure back in 2013, it was quite expensive. And as good as the tour was but for $150pp, once was enough. Cameras were allowed and they allow you to snap away quite happily.

 

Bear in mind that no one tour is the same even on the same ship. Some tour might miss bits out but another might include it. So it all depends on the day and your tour guide. The whole tour lasted 3-4hrs with some steep crew stairs to walk. Don't forget you need to wear long pants and closed toes footwear.

 

At the end of the tour, each person got some RCI souvenirs too.

 

On our All Access Tour they were not strict about wearing pants and closed toed footwear, and they should be. Several areas of the ship were fairly chilly and the steps are steep, much steeper than the public areas for cruisers. My suggestion wear pants or at least capris for women and sneakers.

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