Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About WackyWayne

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    Caribbean cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

Recent Profile Visitors

89 profile views
  1. You might not want noon position reports for your friend's boat, but I bet it is an option in MarineTraffic. The notifications are quite versatile. Compare your notification setting for the two vessels. I believe that MarineTraffic may have changed the default notifications that are enabled when a ship is added to your fleet since you added your friends boat. But the noon and/or midnight position reports will eat up your monthly free notifications. Your friends boat is likely always within land (ie free) receiving distance. I believe the "real" (including cruise) ships also send their AIS data to satellite, but that is a paid upgrade to get access to that data. I have no idea if the paid satellite services can pick up and track small-ish sailboats, or if the sailboats need a better transmitter.
  2. I believe all basic MarineTraffic memberships are free. Those basic memberships have the limit of 30 notifications per month and no satellite info. Basically, I believe the land based AIS info is crowd sourced with volunteers running receivers, so it doesn't cost MarineTraffic much to spread this info to consumers. When you add a ship to your fleet and it enables notifications by default, the mid-day position report is on by default. I think this mid-day report MAY be an exception to the "no free satellite info" policy. The cruise-line "private islands" in the Bahamas are often a black hole with no data coming out when the ships make beach port calls. By the way, so NOT use the MarineTraffic option to notify you when a ship changes their AIS destination on a free plan as it can burn thru it very quickly. Maybe somebody can enlighten me on how the AIS destination is set on the transmitter, but I have seen some instances when I got 10 notifications in almost no time as apparently an officer was slowly scrolling thru a list of (bogus) destinations and I got a notification for each one until they found the right one. On a semi-related note, folks can use MarineTraffic to follow "Mr Steven", the SpaceX ship that has the big net to try and catch the rocket fairings. It does some crazy zig zag patterns as it practices. I haven't figured out how to track the SpaceX landing drone ships (OCISLY), but since they are basically barges, they don't have AIS and the tugs used change?
  3. I have had good luck with the one with the fishy name. At only a buck a cruise, it is a cheap investment that could pay off big.
  4. @flagmom Thank you to Rod & Leslie sooo much for this great guide. I hate thread forkers, but this may be the best place to get an answer that a number of us on the Mardi Gras cruise are wondering... as we sail up river, at what point do we pick up cell service?
  5. You may want to examine the luggage tags that you can print yourself (your cruise docs on te Celeb web site) to see if they look the same. Maybe your pre-printed & mailed tags are "defective"? I would rather use a tag I printed or a hand-written tag from a porter with just a number, than risk using a "defective" tag that may really aggravate you with missing luggage on embarkation day. True, the room number on the tag "should" get it to the right place, but sometimes I don't like being a guinea pig. :)
  6. The mainstream cruise lines are more similar then they are different, so don't worry too much. Everyone is given headphones which have your choice of 3 music sources. Then everybody dances. But people around you may be listening to a different song, so the timing is all funny. The room itself is pretty quiet, except for laughing. The headphones have colored LEDs that match your music selection, so you can tell who is listening to the same music as yourself. Good fun.
  7. thanks, that is one possible solution
  8. https://hotelftlauderdale.net/dayroom.html Rodeway Inn & Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Port Hotel Day Rooms go for $69.99 per day for four people. They’re available from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can add additional guests to your Day Room for just $10 per day. Hang out by our pool, dine in our restaurant, relax at our bar, or just chill in your room. We offer free shuttle service, free high-speed WiFi and free digital cable television.
  9. Verizon recently switched (or my company phone recently switched) to what I think is a similar plan/philosophy. One thing I learned: put your phone in airplane mode over night if you will be cruising past any other islands. That is easy to do in the Carib. I got billed the $10/day for an island we never visited, but we sailed past. Not a huge deal, but something to be aware of. edit: I do not know, but assume, that the ship shut off their Cellular at Sea cell tower during the sail-by since we were that close.
  10. TripIt is certainly good for some aspects. The fill-in-the-blank formats helps organize and prevents forgetting some things. I would also suggest OneNote or EverNote or something similar. Easy to make a page/section/tab for each day/topic. I do most of my planning on a PC, but then sync to phone/tablet to take the info on-ship. EverNote doesn't keep everything in cache when working offline, so I prefer OneNote, especially for working offline (no internet on ship). I create a page/section/tab for: cruise booking info pre-cruise flight or hotel info port-of-call notes and suggestions usually one for each port-of-call for excursion planning my master packing & to-do checklist pre-cruise financial planning onboard & port expenses port load and neighboring ship info (cruisett or www.cruisecal or cruisetimetables) general notes made onboard (a trip diary) they are all free form and take pasted items well.
  11. In our experience, and from what we hear, being waitlisted is often a temporary state, so do not despair. Often it gets moved to fixed seating well in advance, sometimes at the last minute. And if not, you can always go to the dining room host on embarkation day and request a different arrangement. No guarantees, but I rarely hear of people not getting what they want. re: different cruise lines: In my experience, the mainstream lines sailing out of American ports are much more similar to each other than they are different. So, you might find a cruise line, or a specific sailing, that you like a little more or less than you have done before, but it is unlikely to be horrible. I have never done a cruise that I regretted :)
  12. Getting your room key (aka ship card) fixed. It seems that ships cards are much more delicate than regular credit cards and hate to be near cell phones. Hence the mag stripe gets broken.
  13. If you travel as a couple, then you want to buy two, as the FCD is per person. If you want to use them as a cruise deposit after you get home, you will likely need to speak with your TA via phone. I haven't seen a TA website that accepts them for a deposit, as they all want a credit card deposit. Sometimes I just pay the credit card deposit and then redeem my FCD to get a small additional payment/deposit and the OBC via email later. Thus loosing out on the lower deposit benefit, but that is my choice. As indicated, these are issued per person, so don't make the mistake I did and try to give two of the wife's FCDs to the TA and none of mine. That just makes extra work for the TA :(
  14. I have organized a few group excursions. Generally, I am an advance planner, so I start the ball rolling with a guide/trip that I want to do, then I open it up in the roll call to help the tour operator get to the desired/minimum number of bodies. I advertise my email address and then I do most of the nitty-gritty planning via email. This is one area where the lack of private messaging on CruiseCritic is a real PITA. Luckily, I have never had to handle group money. If the tour operator wants money, I let each party make their own formal reservation & payment. Basically I just become a shepherd then. I would probably not object to putting a deposit down on behalf of the group, but I don't really want to get in the business of collecting payments from each party. If I was joining somebody else's roll-call tour, I would rather make a required advance payment directly to the tour operator than to another passenger, but I wouldn't rule it out. I do try and get my groups together at a designated meeting point on the ship, then we all disembark together and go find our tour operator. Luckily, the tours I have done have been known & reliable operators and I think they appreciated me being a single point of contact and email funnel. Those operators also collected payment and tips from each group at the end of the tour. By not handling money, I also avoid being the complaint dept if someone isn't happy :) YMMV
  • Create New...