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About Amberle3

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Winnipeg, MB
  • Interests
    gardening, crafting, baking, cooking, archery
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney, Royal Caribbean

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  1. Sorry for the multiple posts, something was weird on my end and the draft message & "submit reply" button didn't go away
  2. We had MTD as we didn't want to be locked in to a set dining time. Our servers on the first night we were fantastic, and they mentioned that if we really liked them we could mention on our way out that we'd like to be seated in their section the remainder of the nights and that's exactly what we did. It wasn't always at the same table but we were in their section and they continued to be awesome every single night.
  3. Awesome photos! Do you mind if I borrow a few of them to put into the pics I show people (with the note that they're your photos)? I didn't take my camera up with me and would love to be able to show the view to people.
  4. Although I've had an account here for several years I'm not a frequent poster or even a lurker, I'm only here sporadically. I mean this in all sincerity - if you know of a more recent, more credible source of actual base salary then please tell me, I honestly would appreciate knowing. The $50 base salary figure is in line with what I've heard from several other sources, so I saw no reason to doubt it.
  5. I'm on the Oasis right now as well. Being from Canada I totally overlooked the fact that there was any kind of holiday in the US this week. We booked for this week because I wanted to do something special for my boyfriend's birthday. We actually spent a few days at WDW before the cruise and I can confirm that crowds there were massive crowds there!
  6. I'm not a huge drinker so I got the refreshment package this time around and I'm loving it. I've gone to Vitality Cafe every day and gotten 2 specialty juice mixes, sometimes a smoothie as well - those are $8.95 each right there. I haven't actually ordered any liquor at all yet this trip, will be having a farewell drink tonight though.
  7. My first cruise was before auto-gratuities were commonplace and tips were handled through envelopes handed out. I'd already been told by others that since tip envelopes were given to the wait staff at the last dinner that it would be the emptiest night of the cruise. Sure enough that last night I'd say 20-25% of the guests didn't eat in the MDR, and presumably didn't hand in their tip envelopes either.
  8. I agree. Cruise lines long ago figured out that there are several advantages (to them) to paying their service staff a very, very small base salary. - They get to advertise lower fares because they don't have to factor salary in to the equation - They have a tighter hold on their employees because they can move them to other positions where they may not earn the same type of tips at any time. I've been trying to find recent articles on what cruise line wait staff/room steward BASE salary is. The most current one I found was from 2014 and states that wait staff and room stewards get a base salary of $50 a month, with the cruise line expecting that tips from the guests will bring that up to a decent wage. https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2014/02/articles/crew-member-rights/royal-caribbean-the-rich-get-richer-the-poor-get-poorer/ I have seen that $50 wage mentioned other places as well. I've also seen articles that mention that many cruise lines go to agents to find new hires for positions - these agents often charge applicants anywhere from $500-$2000 to find cruise line jobs for them. Cruise lines will sometimes pay for airfare for new hires, which is then deducted from their salaries so that they actually start their jobs in debt to the cruise line. Staff also have to pay for internet, uniforms etc. We're on Oasis right now. I asked our head waiter what he does during the day, he said that he's lucky because he gets to work Coastal Kitchen for breakfast & lunch then has a 2 hour nap, and then MDR for dinner. That was a port day, so his work hours were from 6:30/7:00am (have to be there to help get the dining room set for service) until around 9:30/10:00pm (MDR closes at 9, have to stay until guests are finished and then get it cleared), with a 2ish hour break during the day. We're talking 12-13 hours of work every day, 7 days a week, for 6-10 months (however long his contract is for), with the odd day off awarded here and there. For a base salary of $50 a month. That's why tipping is so important. I know some people choose to remove auto-gratuities and then not tip because they think it's somehow going to send a message to the cruise line, but it's not. The cruise line doesn't care if you don't tip, it doesn't hurt them. In fact it helps them because they use that as leverage to keep control over their workers. If they know you've cancelled tips, but they don't know that you're tipping in any other way, then they assume the worker is doing a substandard job and they can punish or intimidate them to get them to work even harder.
  9. I'd like to thank everyone for their input, it's been very helpful! My boyfriend is a wonderful man, and a very generous and giving man. He's also a "live in the moment" type and tends to forget things like oh yeah we have to pay the bill at the end of all of this.
  10. We did the Fire zipline a few days ago. We did not have to do the practice zipline first. I don't think it would be possible to do it at the same time others in your party are doing the regular one as a) the groups are separated and taken separately up to the zipline and b) they lines are physically separated. The Fire line starts about 200ft back from the Breath lines. I found the Fire one very comfortable. I had NEVER done a zipline before, and I'm afraid of heights. I chose to do the fire because I thought I'd feel more supported and therefore more secure, and for the most part I was right. The harness they have you in covers your torso from about underarm to mid thigh. There was one point where I had a slight moment of panic and felt like I was slipping forward in the harness during the flight and had to remind myself that it had straps over my shoulders and I was fine.
  11. We're on the Oasis right now, stopped at Labadee on the 19th. No signs there of any unrest. Overall felt very safe - except for wandering into the marketplace area. Sellers there were very aggressive and pushy, more than I've seen at other ports.
  12. I'm sure this has been asked before, and a search revealed all kinds of debate on the merits of tipping etc, but I'm needing opinions on how much extra to tip. I'm on Oasis right now with my BF - it's his first cruise. He's fallen in love with cruising and is having a great time. He's SUPER impressed with our wait staff, who have been giving the standard great service I've always experienced from wait staff in the MDR. BF really wants to tip the wait staff extra, which I agree with. We're having a disagreement about how much. He's going about it by trying to figure out the value of the meals (if they were at a land-based restaurant) and how much we'd be tipping for each meal, adding that up, then subtracting the $3ish per person they get from the auto gratuity. So he's figuring about $50 per person extra tip, which is considerably more than I was thinking. We're looking to see what the "standard" additional tip is. Opinions?
  13. Awesome, thank you so much - this is exactly what I was looking for. We went back and forth between booking the Breath and the Fire zipline and decided on the Fire because it was different (well anything will be different for me, I've never done one but the BF has). But looking in the app tonight it had the Furious Flyer name and a totally different picture that looks like a regular zipline. Good to know it should still be what we actually booked!
  14. Sorry if this has been asked before, I did a quick search but didn't find anything. My Royal Caribbean app finally decided to update with my cruise calendar info. We've booked the Dragon's Fire zipline in Labadee, but in the app it says "Furious Flyer Zipline". When I login to my cruise info on the website it still says "Dragon's Fire Zipline". Description for both is the same although the photo with "Furious Flyer" doesn't match the description at all. Boyfriend is now worried because he's been really looking forward to the Dragon's Fire. Have the name of the excursion changed? Is there anything we should be worried about?
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