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What is/was your line in the sand?


rimmit
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Having sailed less than 10 cruises in my life, I don't think I have a line in the sand yet.  That being said, my first cruise was 30 years ago on the Big Red Boat, so I am old enough to remember how things used to be.  To me, while the chocolates on the pillows and free room service have gone away, the ships and more importantly, the amenities and entertainment, have improved considerably.  I remember REALLY tacky shows, and I seem to remember lip synching, now they are just top notch entertainment, and not just in the theatre, but in the bars and lounges as well.  So yes, no more chocolates on the pillows, but both the quality and quantity of things to do have more than made up for it. 

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7 hours ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

A nice looking venue, I agree, especially if I wasn't used to the three story dining rooms on other Royal ships...  but still nowhere near what we've come to love about the MDR.  

 

That lofty 3 story dining room is only on Voyager, Freedom,  and Oasis. Plus you really don't experience it from the periphery.  

 

On the other hand, the aft tables on Empress are crazy impressive.

20190714_164802.thumb.jpg.643298d7d4aa6da2b448838ff705eee6.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, taglovestocruise said:

Right with you. Next cruise puts us at D+ and we are thinking of a Celebrity transatlantic for the following year.  

 

Yes,  the irony.  The first cruise we did after hitting D+ was on X.  Something about hitting a goal that makes you look around, take a breather and look at other options.

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5 minutes ago, amzgirl said:

Having sailed less than 10 cruises in my life, I don't think I have a line in the sand yet.  That being said, my first cruise was 30 years ago on the Big Red Boat, so I am old enough to remember how things used to be.  To me, while the chocolates on the pillows and free room service have gone away, the ships and more importantly, the amenities and entertainment, have improved considerably.  I remember REALLY tacky shows, and I seem to remember lip synching, now they are just top notch entertainment, and not just in the theatre, but in the bars and lounges as well.  So yes, no more chocolates on the pillows, but both the quality and quantity of things to do have more than made up for it. 

 

I was on the oceanic in 1990.  How I remember that ship.  It seemed so big.   The entertainment was questionable, but that was when Disney didn’t have a cruise line and their characters were contracted with premier so it was fun to have them in the MDR.  While the ship wasn’t much, the service was incredible.   Had your name memorized before you boarded the boat.   Would never let you open your own door EVER.  Would run down the hallway to keep you from opening it.   If you mentioned in passing ANYTHING, like magic it would happen.  A different era.... and a different price tag.

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1 minute ago, rimmit said:

 

I was on the oceanic in 1990.  How I remember that ship.  It seemed so big.   The entertainment was questionable, but that was when Disney didn’t have a cruise line and their characters were contracted with premier so it was fun to have them in the MDR.  While the ship wasn’t much, the service was incredible.   Had your name memorized before you boarded the boat.   Would never let you open your own door EVER.  Would run down the hallway to keep you from opening it.   If you mentioned in passing ANYTHING, like magic it would happen.  A different era.... and a different price tag.

Funny, we were on it for our honeymoon in 1995 and I do not remember the Disney characters on it at all.  I just came across a T-shirt from that cruise, if you did a pub crawl and had a drink in every bar in one day, they gave you a shirt.  There were only 6 bars!!!  LOL and here my hubby and I thought it was quite an accomplishment.

 

Last cruise for us was Indy in 2015 and the wait staff for MTD quickly learned my hubby likes a particular whisky, poof,  it was brought down to the DR from another ship bar and there was a cocktail waiting for hubby every time we showed up.  I think the dining room service is still excellent, especially if you take the time to get to know your server, and even with MTD you can get the same server every night, which is nice.  We don't see the need to pay extra for ship dining at this point.

 

I also think cruises in general have gotten more affordable, so you are getting a lot of bang for your buck.  And it's still remarkably easy to pay for nothing extra, except for your booze, of course.  There are a lot of options to spend extra money on, but none of them seem at all necessary to me.

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19 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

That lofty 3 story dining room is only on Voyager, Freedom,  and Oasis. Plus you really don't experience it from the periphery.  

 

On the other hand, the aft tables on Empress are crazy impressive.

20190714_164802.thumb.jpg.643298d7d4aa6da2b448838ff705eee6.jpg

 

 

Nordic Empress aka Empress of the Seas was the first cruise ship with a 2 deck Dining Room. You probably recall that John.

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13 minutes ago, amzgirl said:

Last cruise for us was Indy in 2015 and the wait staff for MTD quickly learned my hubby likes a particular whisky, poof,  it was brought down to the DR from another ship bar and there was a cocktail waiting for hubby every time we showed up.  I think the dining room service is still excellent, especially if you take the time to get to know your server, and even with MTD you can get the same server every night, which is nice.  We don't see the need to pay extra for ship dining at this point.

 

I also think cruises in general have gotten more affordable, so you are getting a lot of bang for your buck.  And it's still remarkably easy to pay for nothing extra, except for your booze, of course.  There are a lot of options to spend extra money on, but none of them seem at all necessary to me.

 

The service isn’t bad.  It is definitely slower and not nearly as personal as it used to be though.  Because I am Filipino they will make me some of the “crew food” sometimes which is a nice touch.  The have run to the promenade just to get a cookie for me and my son that they didn’t have available.   So there is still that extra effort on occasion.   It’s just not the same level.  They used to spend a TON of time getting to know you and vice versa.  I used to get so sad that i wouldn’t see our waiter on the last night.  These days it doesn’t have the same emotional attachment. In 1998, on the Splendour at the time, we were getting Off in St. Petersburg and it was raining.  Our waiter was going into town and getting off the ship the same time as us.  He saw we didn’t have an umbrella.  He shoved his on us so fast that before we could hand it back he had ran off so we couldn’t give it to him.

 

 the price has definitely come down which also reflects in the service level.   It’s crazy cheap to cruise now which is nice.  We would love to try some luxury lines but with two young kids that is just not gonna happen for a while.

 

we spend no cash on board.  Never spent a dime on food on a cruise ship out of principal.  We typically just buy about 4L of gray goose and that’s typically about it.

Edited by rimmit
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22 minutes ago, Scotty G said:

 

Nordic Empress aka Empress of the Seas was the first cruise ship with a 2 deck Dining Room. You probably recall that John.

 

Oh wow that mention brought back a memory of the Nordic Empress dining room :classic_wacko: It was the only time I've ever seen a person - a tablemate - who was seasick and whose face was literally "green".  I felt very sorry for him, but it also ruined my meal because I spent the whole meal waiting for him to "erupt". Yikes! 

(He never did, but years later we were seated with a pleasant Japanese lady at the Teppanyaki venue on the NCL Epic who was making small talk and all of the sudden she bent over and got a sun hat out of her bag and barfed into it LOL)

 

BTW no line in the sand for us either, we'll keep cruising with RCI (and X, HAL, Princess and a few others I'd like to try) as long as we're able! Early on we sailed on some old rust buckets (Carla Costa I'm talking about you) and if those didn't put us off cruising altogether nothing will LOL.

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6 hours ago, Tom47 said:

We took an Azamara Sea of Cortez cruise r/t San Diego last year.  Azamara is the only cruise line that stops at one of the ports, Loreto.  We are taking a 50th anniversary cruise on Adventure next year.

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.

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On 9/26/2019 at 2:47 PM, rimmit said:

 

We still cruise RCI,  and enjoy it.  We just not cruise them as exclusively as we used to.

 

I guess that’s my point.  What would cause you to not enjoy it at all?  

 

For us we loved not having to be nickel and dimed on food.  For us it did impact our experience some when that was instigated.

 

I am actually grateful we tried out other lines.  Allowed us to appreciate what RCI does well and what they can improve on.  Life is short.  Play hard.

 

It is called jaded, first cruise none of this would be noticed.  After many cruises we notice all of the meh moments.  

 

Do something else, take a river cruise in Europe take trip to Asia, you might find a crappy RCI cruise might seem special again.

 

jc

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30 minutes ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

It is called jaded, first cruise none of this would be noticed.  After many cruises we notice all of the meh moments.  

 

Do something else, take a river cruise in Europe take trip to Asia, you might find a crappy RCI cruise might seem special again.

 

jc

 

So far our efforts at branching out have only shown us how far RCI has fallen compared to other options.   RCI is still a great value, but it is fast becoming not a good value at its rate of decline.  RCI is just in a different place than it used to be.

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53 minutes ago, 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.

We are considering HAL and Princess for a Baltic itinerary that is not offered by Az, RCI or X.

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2 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

That lofty 3 story dining room is only on Voyager, Freedom,  and Oasis. Plus you really don't experience it from the periphery.  

 

On the other hand, the aft tables on Empress are crazy impressive.

20190714_164802.thumb.jpg.643298d7d4aa6da2b448838ff705eee6.jpg

 

Wow that is fabulous! With all I've seen about Empress lately I'm just about convinced to book something on her.

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11 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

We should talk

I would definitely benefit from your experience. ! I know you were just on Empress this past summer and commented quite a bit about the experience. Adding to that the  @twangster live reviews and  I think that I have probably been short changing myself with only looking at the bigger ships.  2021 is pretty wide open still. I need to have a plan when the new schedules drop in Nov.

 

Sorry to all for sidetracking this thread.  Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

 

Edited by Tree_skier
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15 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

That lofty 3 story dining room is only on Voyager, Freedom,  and Oasis. Plus you really don't experience it from the periphery.  

 

On the other hand, the aft tables on Empress are crazy impressive.

20190714_164802.thumb.jpg.643298d7d4aa6da2b448838ff705eee6.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the photo!  That is absolutely gorgeous!  Love the view out the aft as well.  I need to try one of the smaller classes soon!  


Dan

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We are scheduled on Allure of the Seas for the holidays and I am really disappointed that they changed our day at St. Thomas to a few hours in San Juan.  I booked this itinerary because of St Thomas. Several of their ships seem to be have propulsion problem so its not like this is their first issue.   If we weren't taking the family I would have cancelled the cruise.  Them changing the itineraries after booking seems to becoming the norm for them and this may be out last cruise with them.  There are other choices and they need to start remembering that the competition is shining where they are losing.

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1 hour ago, Vlgg731 said:

We are scheduled on Allure of the Seas for the holidays and I am really disappointed that they changed our day at St. Thomas to a few hours in San Juan.  I booked this itinerary because of St Thomas. Several of their ships seem to be have propulsion problem so its not like this is their first issue.   If we weren't taking the family I would have cancelled the cruise.  Them changing the itineraries after booking seems to becoming the norm for them and this may be out last cruise with them.  There are other choices and they need to start remembering that the competition is shining where they are losing.

 

I feel RCI’s maintenance to be lacking lately, and it’s only a matter of time till they have a Carnival level disaster.  The fleet is aging, and given the increasing number of mechanical issues being reported they seem to in a constant flux of schedule changes.  Right now it’s only minor issues such as propulsion, but they are playing with fire and it could be an all out electrical or engine failure sometime.  

 

That being said, the odds are very low given the number of days sailed without incidents but it is rising and you only have to hit it once to make an enjoyable vacation turn into a nightmare.

 

I think true line for me is if I lucked out and was adrift at sea for a day or two without AC and running water   That would make me never go on RCI again.

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On 9/26/2019 at 3:47 PM, cruisegirl1976 said:

If they stopped serving booze .. 😂

 

This is the correct response. Dry ships would be a definite line in the sand.

 

Also, if they got rid of all of the active things on the ship (flowrider, rock wall, etc.) or did away with specialty dining it would make us less likely to choose Royal.

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Considering realistic changes, not really anything. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past 30 years and none have been deal breakers.   We continue to sail RCCL (and a few other lines and are pleased with our choice.

 

I will add  that we were on the Grandeur August 31 cruise that was cancelled  for propulsion problems just four hours after sail time. Passengers were left off that night ( or had a few hour window the next night) to fend for ourselves. The issue  was handled  terribly and if that was our first RCCL cruise it would be our last!  

 

M

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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 feel that Royals focus is on Mega Ships that have limited itineraries even in the Caribbean where they also seem more focused on their man made islands. I book for itinerary and price. New ships with all the bells and whistles isn’t a priority for me which is why I’m not loyal to any brand and don’t have to draw a line.

Edited by Iamcruzin
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