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New to Royal Caribbean--Several Questions


vcmds
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My husband and I have been on several cruises but only Carnival and Holland America.  I have a few Royal Caribbean questions.

 

1.  When the itinerary says we would sail from Los Angeles, does that really mean San Pedro?  Is it better to fly into LAX or Long Beach?  Even though we live in Northern California and could easily fly the morning of the cruise, I'm a nervous traveler and don't want to risk the chance of a flight delay due to fog.  I would prefer flying in the day before.  Are there hotels with transportation to the port the morning of departure?  Where do you usually stay?  On debarkation day, does RCCL offer bus transportation back to the airport, or does everyone grab a taxi or Uber?

 

2.  I love to eat, and part of the fun for me on cruises is trying new foods.  I was so disappointed last time with Carnival's new American Table (or whatever it was called).  I don't need gourmet meals, but are the choices in the main dining room something other than steak or grilled chicken?

 

3.  We are scoping out RCCL in anticipation of a large family/friends trip in 2023.  Has anyone sailed in both the virtual balcony and interior promenade view rooms?  Which did you prefer?   Or if you've sailed in only one of those, what are the pros and cons?   I'm paying for all of my kids and grandkids, so we won't be sailing in balcony rooms!

 

4.  Are muster drills usually handled efficiently?  I've had good and bad experiences, and I'm just curious.  

 

5.  As a stockholder of Carnival, I get cruise credit on board the ship.  Does RCCL offer the same benefit?

 

I appreciate all answers.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, vcmds said:

My husband and I have been on several cruises but only Carnival and Holland America.  I have a few Royal Caribbean questions.

 

1.  When the itinerary says we would sail from Los Angeles, does that really mean San Pedro?  Is it better to fly into LAX or Long Beach?  Even though we live in Northern California and could easily fly the morning of the cruise, I'm a nervous traveler and don't want to risk the chance of a flight delay due to fog.  I would prefer flying in the day before.  Are there hotels with transportation to the port the morning of departure?  Where do you usually stay?  On debarkation day, does RCCL offer bus transportation back to the airport, or does everyone grab a taxi or Uber?

 

RCCL always offer bus transportation back to the airport for a fee.

 

21 minutes ago, vcmds said:

 

2.  I love to eat, and part of the fun for me on cruises is trying new foods.  I was so disappointed last time with Carnival's new American Table (or whatever it was called).  I don't need gourmet meals, but are the choices in the main dining room something other than steak or grilled chicken?

 

I eat mainly in the MDR for dinner. I will get a shrimp cocktail and escargot every evening. My favorite entrees are the two nights they serve Lamb. There are fish and pasta offerings every night I also love the pork offerings.

 

You didn't say when your sailing is. But when you load the Royal App I think you can view the menu for  cruise.  .

 

3.  We are scoping out RCCL in anticipation of a large family/friends trip in 2023.  Has anyone sailed in both the virtual balcony and interior promenade view rooms?  Which did you prefer?   Or if you've sailed in only one of those, what are the pros and cons?   I'm paying for all of my kids and grandkids, so we won't be sailing in balcony rooms!

Personally I prefer the Interior Promenade. We didn't  have noise that bothered us. Liked sitting by the window and people watching. Just remember to close the curtains when you want privacy.

 

As for the virtual balcony it is a pleasant experience. You have a visual and audio experience which you control remotely. I considered the virtual balcony a night light and an alarm clock that let me know it was daylight. It is truly a unique experience.

 

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RCI sails out of San Pedro.....Given the choice LGB is a much easier airport to use if the price & schedule are workable for you...also easy quick transportation there/back using a taxi or Uber/Lyft.

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2 hours ago, vcmds said:

My husband and I have been on several cruises but only Carnival and Holland America.  I have a few Royal Caribbean questions.

 

1.  When the itinerary says we would sail from Los Angeles, does that really mean San Pedro?  Is it better to fly into LAX or Long Beach?  Even though we live in Northern California and could easily fly the morning of the cruise, I'm a nervous traveler and don't want to risk the chance of a flight delay due to fog.  I would prefer flying in the day before.  Are there hotels with transportation to the port the morning of departure?  Where do you usually stay?  On debarkation day, does RCCL offer bus transportation back to the airport, or does everyone grab a taxi or Uber?

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Biker19 said:

Yes. Up to you.

 

44 minutes ago, Ashland said:

RCI sails out of San Pedro.....Given the choice LGB is a much easier airport to use if the price & schedule are workable for you...also easy quick transportation there/back using a taxi or Uber/Lyft.

 

My northern California friend tells me that Uber costs from LGB are very high & she prefers to fly into LAX.

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2 hours ago, vcmds said:

 

3.  We are scoping out RCCL in anticipation of a large family/friends trip in 2023.  Has anyone sailed in both the virtual balcony and interior promenade view rooms?  Which did you prefer?   Or if you've sailed in only one of those, what are the pros and cons?   I'm paying for all of my kids and grandkids, so we won't be sailing in balcony rooms!

 

4.  Are muster drills usually handled efficiently?  I've had good and bad experiences, and I'm just curious.  

 

5.  As a stockholder of Carnival, I get cruise credit on board the ship.  Does RCCL offer the same benefit?

 I would prefer the Promenade View room.  I had the "virtual"  screen twice, and was decidedly underwhelmed each time.

 

Muster drills are now being done on the app, on your phone, with a quick check-in at your muster station.

 

If you own at least 100 shares of Royal Caribbean stock (RCL), you can get OBC.  https://www.rclinvestor.com/contact-us/faqs/shareholder-benefit/

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As for the Muster Drill. RCL has made it very easy and efficient. Remember the Royal App  referred to well that is how you will do your Muster Drill. We just got off of a B2B on the Symphony of the Seas in September. Both weeks on embarkation day we used the App to watch a series of safety protocols videos which takes about 10 minutes and that completed 95% of the drill requirements. As soon as we boarded at the promenade we went to our muster station and a RCL rep took 5 minutes to complete the process.

 

Our Muster Drill requirements were over when the rep updated us.

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I’ve had the interior virtual balcony. I swore I would never get an interior room before this due to previous experience.  When I saw this, I thought it might be a great option to save some money. I’m back to saying I’ll never sail interior.  I hoped to get more of a sense of actually seeing outside.  It wasn’t enough for me.  I need real daylight.  
 

We have always enjoyed the main dining room.  But, then again, we aren’t huge foodies and it doesn’t take a lot to impress us.  In addition, there is the buffet area and usually some other free options.  Pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs, wraps, etc, around the ships.  Or, there are the specialty restaurants if you want to pay.

 

I believe you must have 100 shares of stock to get any benefits from that. 

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Also, if you're used to Carnival, I believe they have their own cruise terminal in Long Beach which is about 7 miles away from the LA Cruise Terminal/San Pedro.  Take the location into consideration when looking for a hotel.   Someone who has sailed both lines can probably confirm that.  

image.thumb.png.7b2ad090a39546e31971cebcbf940a58.png

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I’m main dining room entrees 

 

New York strip steak

herb crusted salmon

spagetti bolognese

southern fried chicken

prime rib

battered fish and seafood

jerk pork chop

baked polenta and feta 

Roast chicken breast

baked cod

duck a l’Orange

beef tenderloin 

beef short ribs

seafood linguini Alfredo 

stuffedportobello mushroom 

wild mushroom risotto 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, neverbeenhere said:

I’m main dining room entrees 

 

New York strip steak

herb crusted salmon

spagetti bolognese

southern fried chicken

prime rib

battered fish and seafood

jerk pork chop

baked polenta and feta 

Roast chicken breast

baked cod

duck a l’Orange

beef tenderloin 

beef short ribs

seafood linguini Alfredo 

stuffedportobello mushroom 

wild mushroom risotto 

 

 

OMG,,, where is the lamb shank , one thing I am looking forward to......

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3 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

if you enjoy noise... 🙂 

That's all I got.

The menu in MDR is nice, it's not Princess or Celebrity level, but we have enjoyed the food. I mostly go for seafood, while DH tries a variety.

 

We love Princess a lot, and loved Princess food... except on our last cruise on Crown. It was ... disappointing. It still featured some very nice items, but it was not better than on RCI Explorer (we had back-to-back). Also my husband likes New York Sirloin steak once in a while. Steak (any) is not a part of the daily menu.   

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1 hour ago, Merion_Mom said:

 

 

 

My northern California friend tells me that Uber costs from LGB are very high & she prefers to fly into LAX.

There's a couple of shuttle companies also like 24-7 Ride...Check some out.

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3 hours ago, vcmds said:

My husband and I have been on several cruises but only Carnival and Holland America.  I have a few Royal Caribbean questions.

 

1.  When the itinerary says we would sail from Los Angeles, does that really mean San Pedro?  Is it better to fly into LAX or Long Beach?  Even though we live in Northern California and could easily fly the morning of the cruise, I'm a nervous traveler and don't want to risk the chance of a flight delay due to fog.  I would prefer flying in the day before.  Are there hotels with transportation to the port the morning of departure?  Where do you usually stay?  On debarkation day, does RCCL offer bus transportation back to the airport, or does everyone grab a taxi or Uber?

 

2.  I love to eat, and part of the fun for me on cruises is trying new foods.  I was so disappointed last time with Carnival's new American Table (or whatever it was called).  I don't need gourmet meals, but are the choices in the main dining room something other than steak or grilled chicken?

 

3.  We are scoping out RCCL in anticipation of a large family/friends trip in 2023.  Has anyone sailed in both the virtual balcony and interior promenade view rooms?  Which did you prefer?   Or if you've sailed in only one of those, what are the pros and cons?   I'm paying for all of my kids and grandkids, so we won't be sailing in balcony rooms!

 

4.  Are muster drills usually handled efficiently?  I've had good and bad experiences, and I'm just curious.  

 

5.  As a stockholder of Carnival, I get cruise credit on board the ship.  Does RCCL offer the same benefit?

 

I appreciate all answers.

 

 

We live in Long Beach and the differnece in airports is now much traffic you want to endure and the scheduled times. LB may be a little more expensive but is not crowed and a short drive to the San Pedro pier. We avoid LAX at all cost so its just how much of a hassle do you want to face. 

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52 minutes ago, rockmom said:

Also, if you're used to Carnival, I believe they have their own cruise terminal in Long Beach which is about 7 miles away from the LA Cruise Terminal/San Pedro.  Take the location into consideration when looking for a hotel.   Someone who has sailed both lines can probably confirm that.  

image.thumb.png.7b2ad090a39546e31971cebcbf940a58.png

 

There are really only two choices:

 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Pedro - Port of Los Angeles

2800 Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, California, 90731

 

Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel

601 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro | California | 90731

 

 

I always stay at the Doubletree, because I use Hilton points.  Crowne Plaza is closer to the cruise terminal, and if you are paying, you may prefer the convenience.

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6 hours ago, vcmds said:

My husband and I have been on several cruises but only Carnival and Holland America.  I have a few Royal Caribbean questions.

 

1.  When the itinerary says we would sail from Los Angeles, does that really mean San Pedro?  Is it better to fly into LAX or Long Beach?  Even though we live in Northern California and could easily fly the morning of the cruise, I'm a nervous traveler and don't want to risk the chance of a flight delay due to fog.  I would prefer flying in the day before.  Are there hotels with transportation to the port the morning of departure?  Where do you usually stay?  On debarkation day, does RCCL offer bus transportation back to the airport, or does everyone grab a taxi or Uber?

 

Check out the West Coast Departures board.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/315-west-coast-departures/  

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4 hours ago, neverbeenhere said:

I’m main dining room entrees 

 

New York strip steak

herb crusted salmon

spagetti bolognese

southern fried chicken

prime rib

battered fish and seafood

jerk pork chop

baked polenta and feta 

Roast chicken breast

baked cod

duck a l’Orange

beef tenderloin 

beef short ribs

seafood linguini Alfredo 

stuffedportobello mushroom 

wild mushroom risotto 

 

 

Add on

lobster Night

Chicken cordon blue

Lots of yummy appetizers,

Shrimp cocktail

escargot

French onion soup

Pumpkin soup

Wild mushroom soup

Lobster bisque

And lots of delicious deserts

Royal cheesecake

Crumbles apple or blueberry

Warm brownie

Key lime pie

Baked Alaskan

Apple blossoms ala mode

Etc etc etc

 

 

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5 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

My northern California friend tells me that Uber costs from LGB are very high & she prefers to fly into LAX.

Really? Because it is a lot closer and an easier airport. We are planning to fly in to LGB this time. SWA didn't used to fly there. Maybe with more business, it will become less expensive? 🤞

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