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A place to play games? And a food question.


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Hello, everyone! My extended family loves to cruise together (about 10 of us) but we have only cruised Carnival. Due to the loud music on deck and bad customer service, we are ready to switch to Royal Caribbean. Instead of going to the shows after dinner, we like to meet up in the buffet area and play board games and cards. However, I have heard that the buffet area closes after dinner on RC ships. I have also heard that there is no place with tables where we could play. Is this true? What is your experience? I got this information from a friend who has only sailed RC one time. Any input would be helpful - thank you so much!

 

Also - on Carnival, you can order more than one entree at dinner. For example, if two appetizers look good, you can order both. Can you do this on RC?

Edited by musigal
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Our last cruise my husband and I would order two appetizers each and 1-2 entrees each for every meal in the main dining room.  We love trying different foods and cruises are perfect for doing so even if my waistline doesn't agree!

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Don’t give up entirely on the shows. Depending on your ship, there may be a broadway quality show and the  water/ high diving shows on the mega ships are amazing. The ice skating shows are excellent.  RCL has some great shows 

 

Mary Ann

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26 minutes ago, musigal said:

 However, I have heard that the buffet area closes after dinner on RC ships. I have also heard that there is no place with tables where we could play. Is this true?

Yes an no. The closing time of the buffet depends on the ship, but it could be as early as 9PM. There are other places on the ship where you could play, tough finding a table for 10 might a bit tougher.

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4 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Yes an no. The closing time of the buffet depends on the ship, but it could be as early as 9PM. There are other places on the ship where you could play, tough finding a table for 10 might a bit tougher.

Even early as 8:30pm on some sailings... Card Rooms at times Day/Nite have Private Functions

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53 minutes ago, musigal said:

Hello, everyone! My extended family loves to cruise together (about 10 of us) but we have only cruised Carnival. Due to the loud music on deck and bad customer service, we are ready to switch to Royal Caribbean. Instead of going to the shows after dinner, we like to meet up in the buffet area and play board games and cards. However, I have heard that the buffet area closes after dinner on RC ships. I have also heard that there is no place with tables where we could play. Is this true? What is your experience? I got this information from a friend who has only sailed RC one time. Any input would be helpful - thank you so much!

 

Also - on Carnival, you can order more than one entree at dinner. For example, if two appetizers look good, you can order both. Can you do this on RC?

 

I’m a carnival cruiser who has been on Royal also - 

 

The greatest part about Royal ships is there common area to passenger ratio. Nobody has more common areas on their ships. You will find many areas to sit and relax after dinner around the ship. There is no shortage of space! 

 

You will I’ll be fine on Royal and will enjoy! 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Stick93 said:

 

I’m a carnival cruiser who has been on Royal also - 

 

The greatest part about Royal ships is there common area to passenger ratio. Nobody has more common areas on their ships. You will find many areas to sit and relax after dinner around the ship. There is no shortage of space! 

 

You will I’ll be fine on Royal and will enjoy! 

 

 

I was going to say the same.  Royal has lots of common areas.  Just go find a space where your group can gather and enjoy your games. 

 

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What's been echoed here already....my friends and I like to play games, too.  We've used the Card Room before, and we've also found an empty/near empty bar to play in.  There's plenty of common space.  I recommend exploring the ship on Day 1 in order to get a feel for it.  There will be someplace to play.

 

Additionally, take a look at the shows.  I've been to some really good ones on RC ships.

 

As for food, yes, you can order as much as you like.  There's no rule about quantity.  🙂  I frequently order multiple lobster tails to go with my steak on lobster night.  🙂 

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Question:  Which ship? This can make a difference. Some of the common areas are disappearing. Voyager and Freedom class used to have a great game/card room on deck 14, but these are being taken now by either specialty restaurants or other purposes (like a suite lounge). During the day, the viking crown area (the semi-circle glass area behind and above the pool) is great, if your ship has one. The solarium might be little windy for playing cards (as would any outside area). I think on some ships the library and game/card room are combined.

 

The main problem is that most of the public areas are being used at night for music and other entertainment purposes, including the viking crown. As others have said, you might try the nightly entertainment -- I like it much better than Carnival.

 

I know the buffet closes, but I'm not sure you still can't get in and use a table. Maybe you can't -- I've never tried. There are other places to eat on ships such as Cafe Promenade -- this varies depending on the ship. I'm not sure if they would ask you to leave if you were taking the table just to play games, plus at night these places can get crowded (Cafe Promenade has good desserts.)

 

As others have said, order as much as you want from the dining room -- Breakfast (all days) and lunch (sea days) also.

 

Edited by Jimnbigd
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A lot (maybe all?) of RCI's ships have a conference room somewhere. Look at the deck plans to find it. I have never seen the door locked so I Imagine you could go in there the play games. Unless there is a meeting going on (doubtful at night) you probably won't be bothered by anyone.

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Card room is a good spot. Usually quiet, although when I was on Harmony, there were a few mah jong games going on. I've never seen or played an MJ game that wasn't loud, and no different here. 

 

With 10 people you might want to bring your own games. Coup and Exploding Kittens are fun and very compact. Sushi Go is good for kids. We've brought Settlers with us before, but that's a bit bulky. 

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The buffet after hours/when it's closed seems an ideal time to play board games there, to me. You'd have the large windows, it would be nice and quiet without lots of people around to be a distraction. You would not be taking up a table when people are trying to eat. There would be loads of room for you to all spread out and drag chairs around some nearby tables. (If there wasn't one large enough for all of you.) I can't imagine any of the cruise or buffet staff would care if you used some tables after hours for board games.

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49 minutes ago, Cyn874 said:

The buffet after hours/when it's closed seems an ideal time to play board games there, to me. You'd have the large windows, it would be nice and quiet without lots of people around to be a distraction. You would not be taking up a table when people are trying to eat. There would be loads of room for you to all spread out and drag chairs around some nearby tables. (If there wasn't one large enough for all of you.) I can't imagine any of the cruise or buffet staff would care if you used some tables after hours for board games.

Don't they close the doors when the buffet ends?

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I don't know- my first RCI cruise will be in a few weeks, so I haven't seen the ships in person yet. But when I sailed on Princess in April, the buffet seating was open, there were no doors to close. The buffet lines were gated off when the buffet was closed, but nothing was stopping anyone from using the seating. I figured most cruise ships would be the same.

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We've played evening games as a group (15+) in both the Windjammer and the Conference room. 

 

Windjammer was on Mariner and the trick was to get there prior to buffet closing. They would remove the food and mostly close the doors (to keep out people looking for food), but said we could stay and play. 

 

On one of our other cruises, we just asked at Guest Services for availability of the conference rooms and we got lucky that they were able to give us some times.  It's hit or miss, though, another cruise the rooms were completely booked by a tour group. Also, they say no food or drink in the conference room (no one checked up on us though).

 

 

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What ship?   I can give you our Navigator experience from early this summer.  We were part of a very large group, and would often play cards into the wee hours of the morning (4:00am-ish) at the “spillover” tables on the Promenade.  (In front of the Copper & Kettle, Playmakers, and Cafe Promenade.   Also, on the pool deck, there are large tables with chairs around them under the deck above.   I don’t know what kind of games you are planning to play, but there are small tables and lots of seating above the Lime and Coconut, too.   There is a conference room, and the doors are not locked.  Also, I had asked (for a different use) about being allowed in the MDR when it wasn’t a meal time, and was told I was more than welcome to be in there.   There is a lot of space around and I don’t think you’ll have any trouble.  There may be parties and entertainment in the Promenade, but the pool deck shouldn’t be loud unless there is a party on a particular night.   

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17 hours ago, starvenger said:

Card room is a good spot. Usually quiet, although when I was on Harmony, there were a few mah jong games going on. I've never seen or played an MJ game that wasn't loud, and no different here. 

 

With 10 people you might want to bring your own games. Coup and Exploding Kittens are fun and very compact. Sushi Go is good for kids. We've brought Settlers with us before, but that's a bit bulky. 

Thank you, starvenger! We do always bring our own games. 🙂 My husband and I live in Florida and always drive to the port, so it's easier for us to have an extra bag because we don't have to fly.

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16 hours ago, time4u2go said:

Don't they close the doors when the buffet ends?

This is exactly the question. On Carnival, the tables are always available, whether or not the buffet is open. I've heard on RC they actually close the doors and you can't sit at the tables.

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I want to thank you all for your responses! I feel much more hopeful now. As much as we have loved Carnival and enjoyed being able to use the buffet tables after hours, the loud music on deck and their lack of customer care has prompted us to check out RC. I appreciate you all - thank you!

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