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What is/was your line in the sand?


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4 minutes ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

Not really.....very disappointing service and food!🙄

 

The business language of the Philippines is English,  it so taught in school. While Tagalog is the official language the vast majority speak at least some English.  Why do you think there are so many Filipinos ok ships.  Because they speak English natively.

 

The food is not exactly spectacular unless you are Filipino.  That’s why there are very few Filipino restaurants and if they are they are only frequented by Filipinos.  If you are going to the Philippines for food,  you went for the wrong reasons.  The mangos are the best in the world though.  I am Filipino and only like a handful of Filipino dishes.

 

Thankfully, as I stated before, at least they stopped beheading the tourists.

 

But it’s beautiful and if the food wasn’t cheap I don’t know where you are, but clearly they are ripping you off.  

 

You dont go to the Philippines for food.  If someone sold you on Filipino food, That is a scam.  You go for the beaches, scenery, and nature.

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1 minute ago, rimmit said:

You go for the beaches, scenery, and nature.

Well we went to Boracay and totally hated it for many reasons - on is the terrible service and the lack of any amenities.....let alone 2 weeks without any decent food just topped it off...🤬

What good is a nice beach without shade or loungers?🤔🙄👎😱

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1 minute ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

Well we went to Boracay and totally hated it for many reasons - on is the terrible service and the lack of any amenities.....let alone 2 weeks without any decent food just topped it off...🤬

What good is a nice beach without shade or loungers?🤔🙄👎😱

 

I have never been a fan of Boracay or the main tourist areas.

 

you really need to go to El Nido, or some of the more remote areas.  It is pretty cheap (by US Standards).  

 

As I said it is ripe for tourism.  I shoulda said it has the potential to be ripe.   The English aspect and favorable exchange rates and natural beauty make it have high potential.  The lack of amenities and infrastructure hurts.   The traffic is painful, in Manila, but once you get to the provinces it’s not bad and cooler.  The heat pollution in Manila is miserable.  It’s great if you are big into ecotourism or adventure.  Not so much if you want a luxurious experience.

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12 minutes ago, rimmit said:

The lack of amenities and infrastructure hurts.   The traffic is painful

 

12 minutes ago, rimmit said:

Not so much if you want a luxurious experience.

No thank you!

We are done with the Philippines.....when we got back to Thailand with all its service (for little money) it was like heaven!😍

 

No need for us to waste more money and time on a vacation in the Philippines!🙄😱

Everything was just so low class it was unbearable....from towels over service and cleanliness  to food - they are SOOOO far behind on the service and amenity - level - we will not get old enough to try again...

We did like the people a lot 😎 - but that could not make up for all the pitfalls at all!

We will stick with other Asian countries that offer much better service, amenities and value!👍

Save travels!👍

Edited by Thorben-Hendrik
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Not sure there would ever be a "line in the sand".  We cruise because we love it.  We cruise mostly Royal because we love the product.  Been on over 100 Royal Cruises with a few Celebrity and Princess thrown in.  Right now, we are doing Royal only because we are trying to get to Pinnacle.  Once we make Pinnacle, we will switch between Royal, Celebrity and Princess depending on itinerary and price.

 

Other than the bev pkg, we basically don't spend any money on the ship - no specialty restaurants, no casino, next to no shopping, etc.  We just love the entire cruise life, which is why we cruise almost every month.  Royal has always been great to us, the changes made over the years are nothing to sweat over, so we will continue to enjoy Royal for many years to come.  

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On 9/26/2019 at 2:07 PM, rimmit said:

 

I must have missed this.  What is happening with MTD?

 

 

Oasis class ships no longer open the MTD dining room at 5:15.  Instead they use that room for early fixed seating and then open up for MTD at 6:30.  Since we like to eat early and don't want to wait for a whole dining room to eat in sync we don't do fixed seating dining.  Other Royal ships do open MTD early.  Folks on this board have also reported that MTD is a zoo now on Oasis-class.  Will see in a couple of weeks on Allure and next spring on Harmony if we will continue to sail on Oasis-class.

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12 minutes ago, LeeW said:

 

 

Oasis class ships no longer open the MTD dining room at 5:15.  Instead they use that room for early fixed seating and then open up for MTD at 6:30.  Since we like to eat early and don't want to wait for a whole dining room to eat in sync we don't do fixed seating dining.  Other Royal ships do open MTD early.  Folks on this board have also reported that MTD is a zoo now on Oasis-class.  Will see in a couple of weeks on Allure and next spring on Harmony if we will continue to sail on Oasis-class.

 

What?  They aren't offering MTD until after 6:30?  That would 100% keep us from sailing on Oasis class.

 

Dan

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On 9/26/2019 at 4:55 PM, debitoo said:

Saw that too. Wondered the same thing. 😱

Looks like they ditched "Modern Luxury" slogan, which has gradually faded since LLP took over for "Wonder Awaits". I just wonder what the next cut will be. KSF any time? I think that's the line in the sand for me on Celebrity. 

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On 9/27/2019 at 11:18 AM, Tulsacoker said:

I'm done with Royal as soon as they make Sorrentos pizza good 😉 

IMO Princess has the best Pizza at sea. However, I was pleasantly surprised with Sorrento's on Anthem. It had a good amount of cheese and the sauce wasn't battery acid like the Pizza I had on Celebrity. The burgers on the other hand were an abomination.  When I read comments on this board on how bad they were I just thought people over exaggerated.  They were so bad. It was as if they were boiled or steamed. They didn't even have the consistency of being meat. I don't cruise for burgers or pizza so it's not a deal breaker if they are bad.

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1 hour ago, Iamcruzin said:

IMO Princess has the best Pizza at sea. However, I was pleasantly surprised with Sorrento's on Anthem. It had a good amount of cheese and the sauce wasn't battery acid like the Pizza I had on Celebrity. The burgers on the other hand were an abomination.  When I read comments on this board on how bad they were I just thought people over exaggerated.  They were so bad. It was as if they were boiled or steamed. They didn't even have the consistency of being meat. I don't cruise for burgers or pizza so it's not a deal breaker if they are bad.

 

Agree about the burgers.    Honestly, I’m shocked they haven’t  realized it and have done something to make them better 

 

Dan

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14 hours ago, rimmit said:

 

.

 

The food is not exactly spectacular unless you are Filipino.  That’s why there are very few Filipino restaurants and if they are they are only frequented by Filipinos.  If you are going to the Philippines for food,  you went for the wrong reasons.  The mangos are the best in the world though.  I am Filipino and only like a handful of Filipino dishes.

 

You dont go to the Philippines for food.  If someone sold you on Filipino food, That is a scam.  You go for the beaches, scenery, and nature.

Gotta agree the mangos are great, better than the very good ones from Thailand.  I am guessing few tourists get the full Filipino Food effect by participating in a Boodle Fight.  Makes you appreciate the washy washy girls on the ship.

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11 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

KSF any time? I think that's the line in the sand for me on Celebrity. 

 

KSF is definitely popping up more and more on Celebrity.  I doubt they would run it full time though.  

 

After not being around for years, it has popped up in April and is available now, until what looks like the end of Oct.  It's what got us back into X.  It is cheaper, especially during the peak seasons than RCI, as RCI blocks out any time kids would be in school.  Plus the perks.  It is a significant cost savings to sail X compared to RCI once you account for the perks, and it was already a little cheaper before the perks.  We just booked a 7 night Alaska for 4 out of Vancouver for 2498, with 2 perks for 4 people.  That same cruise on RCI same date including a beverage package and $300 OBC would be at least $4200 to get the $300 OBC and beverage package.

 

I agree RCI's burgers are miserable.  They've at least improved the fries over the years... but the burgers.... they are a shame. After they improved the pizza, maybe it will be their next target. People like good comfort food. 

Edited by rimmit
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15 hours ago, LeeW said:

 

 

Oasis class ships no longer open the MTD dining room at 5:15.  Instead they use that room for early fixed seating and then open up for MTD at 6:30.  Since we like to eat early and don't want to wait for a whole dining room to eat in sync we don't do fixed seating dining.  Other Royal ships do open MTD early.  Folks on this board have also reported that MTD is a zoo now on Oasis-class.  Will see in a couple of weeks on Allure and next spring on Harmony if we will continue to sail on Oasis-class.

Do you know when that started?  We were on Allure in April and it was not like that to my knowledge.  We never eat until at least 7:30 or later anyway and never had to wait more than 5 minutes

Edited by karena1
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5 minutes ago, karena1 said:

Do you know when that started?  We were on Allure in April and it was not like that to my knowledge.  We never eat until at least 7:30 or later anyway and never had to wait more than 5 minutes

 

Harmony was doing it in August. I believe it changed when she arrived in PC

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10 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Harmony was doing it in August. I believe it changed when she arrived in PC

Wow, surprised they are doing this.  Maybe they want the early diners to go back to Traditional.  Glad we as a rule don't eat early.  But on Symphony, because of the show times, we are having to eat much earlier than normal since there are 6 of us.  Hope MTD is not terrible.  We have always loved MTD but never have to wait very long for a table.  

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15 hours ago, LeeW said:

 

 

Oasis class ships no longer open the MTD dining room at 5:15.  Instead they use that room for early fixed seating and then open up for MTD at 6:30.  Since we like to eat early and don't want to wait for a whole dining room to eat in sync we don't do fixed seating dining.  Other Royal ships do open MTD early.  Folks on this board have also reported that MTD is a zoo now on Oasis-class.  Will see in a couple of weeks on Allure and next spring on Harmony if we will continue to sail on Oasis-class.

 

Oh that would be a killer for me for the Oasis class.  It's not my favorite ship to begin with, and since it's a real hassle for us to get to a port where it goes out of, we have only sailed Oasis once, but not being able to eat till 6:30PM with MTD would be a real killer for us.  I wonder how it's worked out. With an expanded number of tables for early seating, do all the people who want to eat early get to eat early now?  Or at least more.  The one time we did Oasis, MTD was a rather stressful endeavor.  Getting there at 5:50 we already were handed slips of papers with a return time at 7:00 that guaranteed us the ability to cut the line when we returned.  After that we tried to get there between 5:15-5:30 and walked right in.  We avoided anything close to 6 after the initial day. 

 

Much prefer the Grandeur.  I've walked in or had a max 10 min. wait anytime we've gone MTD, when we are a party of 4.  Party of 2, we've never had a wait longer than 5 min. in all our times on the grandeur. We typically arrive 5:50-6:15.  Never had a wait after 7, or before 5:45. 

 

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. 

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1 hour ago, 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. 

 

In order for that to work, they'd have to double the size of the Windjammer and/or reconfigure the MDR to sit down (extra fee) and buffet (free).

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17 minutes ago, Another_Critic said:

 

In order for that to work, they'd have to double the size of the Windjammer and/or reconfigure the MDR to sit down (extra fee) and buffet (free).

 

My thought process for when this occurs, is they would probably half the MDR and turn it into a specialty restaurant on one side, or continue serving MDR food and a buffet area on the other side.  Buffet being free and sit down incurring an extra charge.  

 

The other option is that an extremely limited menu would be available for free and you would need to pay for the expanded menu.  Already creeping in on the menus now with the chops items. Or they could only serve an entree and if you wanted an app, soup, dessert, etc it would be an upcharge.

 

The most likely way they will

implement this is design new ships without an MDR like when they did DD.  They then ONLY have specialty restaurants and have a ton of small buffet venues, with one large windjammer.  Your option is either to either pay more for various tiers of specialty restaurants, or only do the buffets.  Once they establish the eating patterns they can “flex” the small buffets into more specialty restauarants or turn specialties into smaller buffets.  

 

NCL is moving toward this model.  They have lots of small restaurants.  They do not have a large MdR but just smaller MDRs on their ships.  I would not be surprised if NCL takes the lead and eliminates the free MdR, converting those venues into specialties or paid MDR.  It would become a perk for them along with the beverage package.  They already have a specialty dining perk.  They would just expand it to cover the MdR.

 

Ships could eventually follow a Disney Dining plan model.

Edited by rimmit
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 I don’t think the menu is creeping up with extra charge items as those Chops items ( or at least the Chops fillet ) has been on the menu since about the tine Chops was first introduced many many years ago. It is not anything new. 

 

 

 And I am changing one of my original  comments as  the idea of a buffet  in the dining room for dinner( As suggested above )  would probably  send me to a different cruise line. 

M

Edited by cruisegirl1
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Drawing a line in the sand for a small change or two is asinine. It's about the experience that is important to you vs the price/value. An $8 room service charge isn't enough to get me to draw that line. It would be more like charging for all food. What's even better is people who say "it's not just the room service charge, it's other things." Then they go onto another cruise that is $1000+ more to save on the $50 room service charge. To each their own. I do understand the need for "evolving" your cruise experience after doing the same thing for years.

 

On 9/27/2019 at 10:02 AM, Eslader said:

 My chief complaint is that I have yet to find a Royal bartender who can make a decent Old Fashioned. 😉

 

 

I take it all back. Here is my line in the sand 😉 Nothing is bigger buzzkill more than getting a terrible, shaken, old-fashioned. It reminds me of my time Riu in Montego Bay last year. (Funny that many people will tell you it is a better deal because drinks are "free." Nevermind the price you pay and it is really more). I couldn't find any bartenders there to make one either. Finally, one bartender asked me what it was, to which I was relieved. I walked her though it, and had the best one of the day. I find this quite often at these "drinks included" places that they suck at these kinds of things. It's all about the beers, frozen drinks, and 1 mixers. Thankfully, there's Carnival. If you have never tried the Alchemy Bar, I invite you over. Those guys really nail the old fashioneds.

 

We keep telling ourselves that we are going to book an Oasis cruise. We look at the price, and the islands they go to, then usually decide on something else. I was trying to do one next Fall, but Carnival had an 8 day ABC island cruise out of Miami for $609 a person. Regardless of its imperfections, that is too convenient and a great value, not the mention the fun I will have. Plus, access to a great old fashioned

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1 hour ago, vacationlover_mn said:

Let’s talk about toast and bacon.  If a cruiseline could actually make decent toast and crispy bacon, it might make me loyal forever 😉 

DW asks for carbonized bacon. 

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