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What is/was your line in the sand?


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1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

I wouldn't worry.  AMPING the Freedom will make it like a brand new ship.  I was on the newly AMPED Navigator in March and it felt like a new ship (Except the cabins.  They just had new carpet and soft goods).  We were on the Navigator a few years prior and it felt like a different ship in March  greatly improved (and we already loved it before being AMPED).


Dan

 

Thanks. We were on Navigator during the last few weeks pre-Amped. We were asking our waiter what they'd do while it was drydocked and he indicated he'd probably be pulling up carpets or otherwise participating in the reno! LOL

 

There wasn't anything significantly off putting about it, I'm hoping the comment wasn't re: Service standards or something like that.....

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I guess for us I am finding all the ships are really all beginning to charge for the same things.  Many of them are now billing for room service, while we never use it, it is one of those things that doesn't really bother us.  We have used it but I don't need to.

 

For us it really comes down to whether or not we find the level of service to remain up there.  I am not a super needy person, I like good service at dinner, and at the bars.  We like good food, but we aren't foodies and aren't super hard to please.  We book inside cabins if that is what we can afford to be able to cruise.  I like a cabin steward that still makes towel animals, but I don't freak if we don't get them.  

 

Honestly what keeps us from Royal in most cases is their total costs overall, and their inability to remain constant with their practices.  Booking a cruise in October 2018 we had the drink package for $32 on the Allure, we then booked the Harmony, cheapest packages were $60.  I like a cruise line that is consistent across all ships with their pricing - drink package, dining packages, wifi.  Not Royal's ridiculousness of booking a cruise without any idea how much those extras will cost until after the fact.  In the end it makes other lines pricing much more appealing.  

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On 9/30/2019 at 6:12 AM, rimmit said:

 

I have not tried Guys as we haven’t done carnival in 25 years, but O’ Sheehans on NCL is pretty good too, and it’s free as well.  Is Guys 24/7 like O’Sheehans?

No, but it's most of the morning/afternoon early evening. 

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On 9/29/2019 at 11:30 PM, John&LaLa said:

 

I'm  not following your price comparison to Disney. Disney is literally twice as expensive in most categories.

And FWIW, this week on Harmony is a KSF promotion.

 

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You're comparing the terrible western Caribbean itinerary, imagine how pissed we were that our more expensive st thomas etc..  ports were switched to western.  As for the disney prices. I paid i believe 3500 in may for 7 days on those stops,   i paid 2600 for a boardwalk balcony last week.  I guess there is a 1k difference, but not that huge. Perhaps it's where the balcony comes in that it gets more expensive, but i don't recall there being a huge difference on harmony, it wasn't enough for me to switch to inside and just buy the drink packages as an offset to the free boardwalk packages.  And my 2600 was for four people, vs 3 people on disney, so perhaps that's where the difference is coming from and i can see what you're saying. I will pay more for better service however, and disneys food and service is days ahead of rcc's on harmony. 

Edited by bizzy2010
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I am not loyal to one line over another.

I have sailed MSC, Carnival and Royal, and they all have pluses and minuses but will sail anyone except Norwegian, heard too many bad things from people that have sailed them.

For me its always about itinerary first, and price second. Cruiseline never really enters into the mix when we decide.

Cant think of anything that they would do that would make me say never again.

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17 minutes ago, bizzy2010 said:

You're comparing the terrible western Caribbean itinerary, imagine how pissed we were that our more expensive st thomas etc..  ports were switched to western.  As for the disney prices. I paid i believe 3500 in may for 7 days on those stops,   i paid 2600 for a boardwalk balcony last week.  I guess there is a 1k difference, but not that huge. Perhaps it's where the balcony comes in that it gets more expensive, but i don't recall there being a huge difference on harmony, it wasn't enough for me to switch to inside and just buy the drink packages as an offset to the free boardwalk packages.  And my 2600 was for four people, vs 3 people on disney, so perhaps that's where the difference is coming from and i can see what you're saying. I will pay more for better service however, and disneys food and service is days ahead of rcc's on harmony. 

 

Here's my thought on on it.  Put 4 on your Disney cruise and I bet you'd be fairly close to double the cost of the Harmony, one of RCCL's flagships.  Consider that you can get the Ultimate Dining Package for ~$160 per person on Harmony, eating at specialty dining each night and you'll have much better food than the included Disney offering.  Now it comes down to how much you value the improved service of Disney, or their ships, or itinerary.

 

Dan

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On 9/29/2019 at 9:27 AM, rimmit said:

......Another thing that would make me reconsider a line would be a fee for the MDR.  It's not the greatest food these days, but it is nice to be served in a nice setting.  This is something I could see happening over the next ten years though... So we will see what happens. 

Don't give them any ideas. We sometimes eat in the Windjammer so if they were to charge for the MDR we would just probably eat there all the time. 

Edited by ReneeFLL
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23 hours ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

Here's my thought on on it.  Put 4 on your Disney cruise and I bet you'd be fairly close to double the cost of the Harmony, one of RCCL's flagships.  Consider that you can get the Ultimate Dining Package for ~$160 per person on Harmony, eating at specialty dining each night and you'll have much better food than the included Disney offering.  Now it comes down to how much you value the improved service of Disney, or their ships, or itinerary.

 

Dan

I didn't realize it, until i checked again just how expensive the disney was. it was actually $4500 Now about the service, i am not sure it was drastic differences. The food on disney MDR wasn't anything spectacular, now the special things at each dinner for the kids was nice.

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On 9/27/2019 at 2:00 PM, molsonschooner said:

I have never had pizza on a cruise but my family tells me that Sorrentos is greatly improved

we were on the Allure this April and my 8 yo said Sorento's pizza was the best he's ever had. Of course, he was comparing it to Domino's, CiCi's, school cafeteria pizza and cruise buffet pizza. But I didn't think it was bad either.

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Since we're still relatively new to cruising (my first was on Navigator of the Seas back in 2013), I don't have a "line in the sand" and can't imagine I ever would have.  I don't have cruises from 20 years ago to compare to, just the last few years.  And I feel like we get a great vacation at a great price (but I do shop around and have managed to get such good prices that I have yet to be able to re-price for something lower).

 

Attitude makes a huge difference.  We've traveled a lot, all of it land-based self-directed tours before my first fateful cruise.  Things happen, sometimes really bad things, like food poisoning that required an overnight stay in a hospital, but even that experience didn't alter our perception of Costa Rica or of our vacation.  In fact, it demonstrated what generous, caring, wonderful people they are and provided a story for the ages.

 

Things are going to go wrong and you have to be able to roll with the punches.  Adding a charge for room service wasn't a deal breaker, but it did make me reluctant to order just because the food isn't that great.  We usually ordered it so that we could enjoy the morning on our balcony.  So now we take them up on the free Continental breakfast to have our coffee and watch the sunrise, then we get up and go have a real breakfast or get off the ship.  We make do.

 

I have friends who will get bad service or a bad entree in a restaurant and then "never go back".  But they also never tell the waiter and/or manager about the problem so that it can be fixed.  Just like with the in-room movies and the footstools, make your case.  For those cruiseline wide things, if enough speak up, things change.

 

After 7 Royal cruises, hubby and I took one X cruise last November and fell in love with the food , the service and especially the bars.  Seriously, such good bartenders!  Plus, it was novel for me to be by the main pool all day long because I usually get noise overload and need to retreat to the Solarium.  So we're taking another X cruise this November.  But we're returning to Royal for our family cruises.  With at least twelve of us going, Royal's just better for the younger set, more to do.  And the reciprocal benefits are nice, too.

 

And just to comment on Celebrity's service... which I know a lot of folks feel like has really declined, I just haven't experienced that.  Again I don't have the history to compare, but they've been a great value for us, especially with included perks.  It's the total cost that matters, not just the base rate.  And Celebrity even made it right when they cancelled our April 2021 Hawaii cruise.  They rescheduled the refurbishment of the Eclipse (our ship) and then planned to move it to Asia.  Now I booked that 10-night cruise instead of the 11-night because it was significantly cheaper and the Eclipse would have been "revolutionized".  We've never been to Hawaii and having five days at sea to end in Vancouver sounded utterly amazing so we were very disappointed.  When I looked at booking that cruise it was going to be over $8200 for what I had booked at $5900!  But our TA contacted Celebrity and they protected our rate, our 4 perks, and got us near our previous room.  I know it was their choice to cancel our cruise and they should make it right, but that doesn't always happen.  It did this time, very much so.  I get an extra night on the ship for free.

 

That's all my very long-winded way of saying that attitude matters and variety is the spice of life!  I haven't yet cruised NCL, HAL, Princess, or CCL, but I'm not averse to try.  We especially want to branch out into different itineraries and ports, but we have to fly to all ports except for Galveston and New Orleans so that is a factor for us too.  Maybe once we're retired we'll be able to cruise more often and try all the lines!

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On 10/1/2019 at 11:31 AM, The Fun Researcher said:

Consider that you can get the Ultimate Dining Package for ~$160 per person on Harmony, eating at specialty dining each night

Dan

 

FYI...The UDP is currently $215 pp for our Feb 2020 HOTS sailing...

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3 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

 

FYI...The UDP is currently $215 pp for our Feb 2020 HOTS sailing...

 

27 minutes ago, vacationlover_mn said:

Wow!  I bet it will go down...  my Oasis 2020 one has ranged from 150 to 200.  Last year, I got a good deal for harmony on Black Friday- $129

 

 Yeah, after I typed it I realized that at 160 was a little low. UDP  on my liberty cruise in March is 170. However I see it for 155 on sale pretty regularly .   Keep looking.  The UDP  is one of the packages that they run a sale on very often 

 

Dan

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2 hours ago, vacationlover_mn said:

Wow!  I bet it will go down...  my Oasis 2020 one has ranged from 150 to 200.  Last year, I got a good deal for harmony on Black Friday- $129

 

1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Yeah, after I typed it I realized that at 160 was a little low. UDP  on my liberty cruise in March is 170. However I see it for 155 on sale pretty regularly .   Keep looking.  The UDP  is one of the packages that they run a sale on very often 

Dan

 

It had been fluctuating between a sale price of $175 and $199...then suddenly the price increase. I had debated it heavily during one of the $175 sales and ultimately decided to get it. Part of my justification was difficult because we are in a CP balcony and would get the free sea day lunch...so harder to break even. So I was very glad to have purchased it with the demise of the neighborhood perks...I'm really happy to have the UDP at $175 and the OBC $50.

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13 hours ago, 2Long2NxtCrz said:

...Attitude makes a huge difference. ...

...That's all my very long-winded way of saying that attitude matters and variety is the spice of life!  ...

We think you've hit the nail on the head.

 

We've certainly seen "needy" people on cruises (aka the world revolves around them or else), as well as rude, crude, or lacking any form of etiquette in public venues. Those folks tend to be the chronic complainers.

 

Then there are the others - the majority of cruisers - who are there to enjoy their experiences, and pivot with any bumps in the road. Attitude is indeed key to travel success and enjoyment...period.

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On 9/26/2019 at 3:53 PM, rimmit said:

 

I find NCL has more inspired itineraries.  Where could RCI be going that NCL doesn’t cover?  NCL hits south America and is starting to go to South Africa, and in general does a better job of covering the globe.  Just curious.  I don’t watch NCL deployments as closely as RCI but definitely keep up to date with their more exotic ones as we are running out of fresh itineraries on RCI.

 

I've been a loyal NCL guest until recently. I've booked an MSC and a Royal cruise for 2020.  NCL does have some good itineraries all over the globe. I look forward to doing a TA and Med back to back in a few years when we have more time off. 

 

But for the Caribbean, I'm finding that Royal has a bit more variety in the ports they visit. I'm early in my research of Royal, but I'm seeing ports show up on itins that I have never seen on NCL. 

 

 

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I thought I would stop cruising Royal after my July cruise, yet here I am with a Thanksgiving and spring break cruise booked with every intention to book a European trip this coming summer. I guess I'm more loyal than I thought, but ultimately it's because I have always had amazing customer service up until that point.

 

I was sexually assaulted late one night in a bar on the second to last night by a guy that had been following me around all cruise long. Literally, this guy drunkenly ran full speed to catch an elevator I was in alone and held the door open as it closed. Security had several conversations with him about his behavior throughout the trip. I had actually intended to brush the assault off but security pulled me into a private room before I could even blink and forced me to (yes, would not allow me to go back to my room without) filing a report. This whole process took me about 1.5 hours to complete so it was about 3 am by the time I was done. You think I could sleep well that night? Then on top of it, security called me at 8 in the morning to ask if it was a "good time" to come to my stateroom and ask follow-up questions. I said no and they essentially told me tough luck they're on their way already. Mom and I were both still in bed in our pajamas when TWO RCL security guards and TWO local police officers knocked and entered the TINY INTERIOR room I was sharing with my mom. They asked super invasive and detailed questions in front of my mom. Local police offered me to press charges against the guy and the RCL guards interrupted them and told me that if I choose to do that I need to pack, disembark now, and get home on my own dime. 

 

On the paperwork I was forced to fill out I checked a box that asked if I would like follow-up from RCL after the trip. I waited a few days and heard nothing, so I followed up with the security department after the trip and met a dead end. I was sent to guest experience. Guest experience told me that I will need to contact my local police and to "please not contact them anymore as they can no longer speak on the matter." I tried DM'ing them on Twitter and they stopped replying to me. Nobody would even listen to my complaint. They just keep apologizing for the assault and claiming he was "too drunk", not understanding how poorly they handled the situation from start to finish. Since they saw him and knew he was drunkenly acting obnoxious the whole trip, in my opinion he should have been cut off before it came to that point. Add in everything that happened after and I swore to myself and my mom I'd never cruise with them again. 

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13 minutes ago, jilluh said:

Add in everything that happened after and I swore to myself and my mom I'd never cruise with them again. 

Not sure that any other line would have handled much differently.

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On 9/27/2019 at 10:01 PM, pcur said:

We have been to Loreto, also, on Princess.  We loved that port!  That's one of the reasons we booked the HAL cruise next year.

DW is reading book 10 in the Hetta Coffey series by Jinx Schwartz.  All mysteries take place in the sea of Cortez.  Frequently on sale on Amazon, .99 cents or free.

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6 hours ago, jilluh said:

I think you're probably right.

I certainly hope you are not right. You are a victim of a crime and were treated with disrespect. I am sad to hear this happened to you and I hope you are taking care of yourself. This is not about loyalty this is about doing the right thing. RC dropped the ball and needs to do better. 

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3 hours ago, Tom47 said:

DW is reading book 10 in the Hetta Coffey series by Jinx Schwartz.  All mysteries take place in the sea of Cortez.  Frequently on sale on Amazon, .99 cents or free.

They are also free with Kindle Unlimited.  I think I'll try the first one, but they have the whole series on KU.

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On 10/3/2019 at 11:33 AM, jilluh said:

I thought I would stop cruising Royal after my July cruise, yet here I am with a Thanksgiving and spring break cruise booked with every intention to book a European trip this coming summer. I guess I'm more loyal than I thought, but ultimately it's because I have always had amazing customer service up until that point.

 

I was sexually assaulted late one night in a bar on the second to last night by a guy that had been following me around all cruise long. Literally, this guy drunkenly ran full speed to catch an elevator I was in alone and held the door open as it closed. Security had several conversations with him about his behavior throughout the trip. I had actually intended to brush the assault off but security pulled me into a private room before I could even blink and forced me to (yes, would not allow me to go back to my room without) filing a report. This whole process took me about 1.5 hours to complete so it was about 3 am by the time I was done. You think I could sleep well that night? Then on top of it, security called me at 8 in the morning to ask if it was a "good time" to come to my stateroom and ask follow-up questions. I said no and they essentially told me tough luck they're on their way already. Mom and I were both still in bed in our pajamas when TWO RCL security guards and TWO local police officers knocked and entered the TINY INTERIOR room I was sharing with my mom. They asked super invasive and detailed questions in front of my mom. Local police offered me to press charges against the guy and the RCL guards interrupted them and told me that if I choose to do that I need to pack, disembark now, and get home on my own dime. 

 

On the paperwork I was forced to fill out I checked a box that asked if I would like follow-up from RCL after the trip. I waited a few days and heard nothing, so I followed up with the security department after the trip and met a dead end. I was sent to guest experience. Guest experience told me that I will need to contact my local police and to "please not contact them anymore as they can no longer speak on the matter." I tried DM'ing them on Twitter and they stopped replying to me. Nobody would even listen to my complaint. They just keep apologizing for the assault and claiming he was "too drunk", not understanding how poorly they handled the situation from start to finish. Since they saw him and knew he was drunkenly acting obnoxious the whole trip, in my opinion he should have been cut off before it came to that point. Add in everything that happened after and I swore to myself and my mom I'd never cruise with them again. 

I'm so sorry for what happened to you!  And there's no doubt that you were treated horribly and the whole situation was poorly handled.  I'm just not sure what you can do to get satisfaction. 

 

Maybe write to the CEO and detail all that you can remember, especially the very awful way you were treated?  I don't know if you'd just rather forget the whole incident or not, but maybe there's a local organization for victims that might at least be able to act as your advocate?  You can't turn back the clock to before the incident, but maybe their intervention could begin a process to affect change?

 

While I agree that none of the cruise lines are exemplary in how they handle crime on their ships, that's no excuse for continuing to do an abysmal job.  Sweeping it under the rug might have worked a decade ago, but things should be different now.  They have a duty to protect their passengers and sometimes that means protecting them from other passengers.

 

I really do hope you are recovering and doing well and, again, I am so sorry for what happened to you.

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