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Found 1,241 results

  1. Follow along with me, on this, our first trip across the pond. For the next two weeks, plus, we are getting our first exposure to England, Spain, France, and Italy. It it is a good sign when you look out your window, and see your ship waiting for you.
  2. Just a quick note to those travelling using a UK issued Barclaycard credit card. I just completed a cruise on board Independence of the Seas ex Southampton. I created my on-board account with a Barclaycard for everyone in my cabin against my card. However about 3 or 4 days into the cruise, my seapass was declined when 'purchasing' a drink despite having the Deluxe beverage package. I went to Guest Services to understand what the issue was as it seems that the problem relates solely to Barclaycard users. It is my understanding that RCI pre-authorise a payment against the registered card everyday (I guess they want to make sure they get paid) but there is a problem with Barclaycard which rejects them. Puzzled I checked my Barclaycard balance and had a zero balance, however Guest Services would not allow us to use our seapass even for items already pre-purchased unless we either placed cash on account, used another credit card or manually signed everyday for our charges. To resolve the issue, I used an American Express for the remainder of the cruise and swopped back to the Barclaycard for the final bill. The explanation I was given by Guest Services is that it is known to be a problem with Barclaycards. However, if this is the case, why are they accepted when setting up the on-board account and RCI report the issue back to Barclaycard? I quick conversation with Barclaycard on my return and it seems there is no issue with my account but may have be caused by the repeated daily pre-authorisations by the same vendor (RCI) which appears to triggers fraud flags at Barclaycard which then decline the transactions. I do not know if this happens with all Barclaycards and/or Barclays debit card but it is embarrassing to find yourself locked out. If possible, I would advise travelling with an additional credit card other than Barclaycard if possible or cash. Regards
  3. Hi were trying Independence of the seas only a 3 nighter end August so won't get to really experience it, we have only sailed with P O before . My daughter and grandchildren our coming it's there first cruise daughter always said she wouldn't like cruising concerning she realizes how great it is . I'm I right to think it will be a lot more hetic, than PO? I'm really looking forward to trying RC such i assume indd y won't be sailing from Southampton any more we don't do fly cruises. Anyone sailed P O and R C what's your opinions please
  4. Thanks for all your replies we have been on Arcadia Azure and Aurora do find them a bit lacking in sea days unless your into dancing, quizzes Saying that we have only done short cruises 1 x 3( soon be 2x 3) and 2 x 7 night ones . Do like the chilled out feeling and the britishness, . I know my grandchildren will love Independence of the seas, was planning on deciding after this cruise which to book for next year but Independence is not an option now ( one of our group will not fly) I am I bit surprised p o don't have more for kids to do out of the kids clubs I would want to spend time with my kids
  5. Adventure OTS - Clo O'Connor July 6 for 2 months. Then who? Allure OTS - Jimmy Rhodes March 11 for 4 months, then Mitch Merucciis scheduled to return August 12 for 2 months. Anthem OTS - Dennis Charles May 12 until September 6, then Chris Brown starts September 6 for 4 months. Brilliance OTS - Mike Szwajkowski July 3 (for 2 or 4 months?) Empress OTS - WHO is the current CD? Enchantment OTS - Bobby Broughton April 6 until early-September. Then who? Explorer OTS - Topi Ylönen returns June 8 until July 27. Then who? (Graham Seymour may return as regular CD again for the rest of 2018, or Dennis Charles is also rumored to be joining Explorer). Freedom OTS - Drew Devine March 17 until July 28, then Topi Ylönen returns July 28 until September 29, followed by Drew September 29 for 4 months. Grandeur OTS - Bob Leininger June 2 until October 6. Bobreturns December 1 for another 4 month contract. (Mitch Merucci is unsure if he is joining GR in October as planned. It may be Mike Szwajkowski instead.) Harmony OTS - Dru Pavlov April 21 until early-September (need handover date) then Abe Hughes returns early-September for 4 months. Independence OTS - Joff EatonMay 28 until September 22, then Tim Connor returns September 22. Jewel OTS - Simona Ferraiuolo June 16 until August 19, then Andrea Olivieri returns (for 4 months?) Liberty OTS - Jeff Arpin May 27 until July 22, then Marc Walker starts July 22 for 4 months. Majesty OTS - Patricio Honores late-June (for 2 months). Mariner OTS - Ricky Matthewsuntil July 9, then Carlos Torres joins July 9 for 2 months, then Ricky returns in September for 4 months. Navigator OTS - Rob McNally May 6 until late-August, then Cuddy Cudworth returns in late-August. (need handover date) Oasis OTS - Dan Whitney early May for 4 months. Then who? Ovation OTS - Mike Hunnerup March 23 (until late-July? then who?) Joff Eaton returns November 28 for the Australian season. Quantum OTS - Is Fang Lixin is the current CD? Paul Rutter returns in the Fall (Sept/Oct) for a few months. Radiance OTS - Cuddy CudworthJune 15 for 2 months followed by John Blairin August until January. (need handover date) Rhapsody OTS - Tim Connor June 23 for 2 months, then Elvis Pinto returns mid-August for 4 months. (need handover date) Serenade OTS - Jamie Fentiman May 13 for 4 months. Then Who? Symphony OTS - Michele Scarpato March 11 until late-July (need handover date) then Bobby Brown returns through the TA November 9 Vision OTS - Steve Davis April 6 until August 6, followed by Ken Jones for 2 months. Voyager OTS - Michelle Oliveira began late-May (for 4 months?). Jerome Sueur is reportedly joining Carnival and getting married soon. Keith Williams has been cleared to return from medical leave, but does not currently have a ship assignment. Casey Pelterworks shoreside for Celebrity as Manager of Entertainment. Graham Seymour is semi-retired but fills-in from time to time as needed Rich Edwards sadly passed away in June 2017. RIP Rich. John Perry is Operations Manager at Hyatt Hotels (per LinkedIn) Ken Rush works at corporate in Miami as RCI's Director of Entertainment, and occasionally fills-in as CD Amy Fickert-Southgate works shoreside Luke Aerowsmith is working at the corporate office in London Gordon Whatman is retired, but fills-in from time-to-time if needed. Allan Brooks works for Celebrity in their corporate office. Richard Spacey is a CD with Celebrity Becky Thompson works for Celebrity Cruises in their corporate offices in Miami. Dave Chapman is a CD with HAL James Andrews is a real estate agent in Sydney Leo Papa is a Product Manager at Tauck Corp in Connecticut Anna Bass is a make-up artist João Pereira is the Cruise Sales Manager on the Liberty of the Seas. Kirk Detweiler is now CD with Silversea cruises. Simeon Baker- is a sales exec at a Porsche dealer in Saskatchewan Matt Baker - Sim's brother - is a radio presenter. Kieron Buffrey - CD with Viking River Cruises Tom Canosa - teaching 6th grade science in North Carolina Peter Benfield and Johnny Osborne have emigrated to Thailand Anthony Richards is working for Royal Media Partners as Manager Port Revenue Operations Rico du Breil is a CD with SilverSeas out of Italy Paul Lancaster is no longer with RCI, and resides in England Abel Jeney is with The World - Luxury Residence at Sea Parker Cristan is living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - staging/choreographing for local theater Ashley Kerr - married and living in Vancouver BC, working as a marketing rep for a PR firm Karen Maybury - has a consultant/pr/entertainment agency Jannie Cloete - leading expeditions on small ships Warren Allen (aka Warren Melhuish) lives in Ontario, Canada. He has retired from ship-life but still works on the stage Thomas DeCell is no longer with RCI Leigh Xuereb and his AM Frankie Portera are CD's for Carnival
  6. we are going on Indy at the end of August. I have some questions if anyone knows the answers.  Do they take take away your belongings from the suite deck loungers if you’re in the pool more than 30 mins or away for more than 30 mins ? I know they do with the normal chairs round the pool. is ice cream self serve or is someone there making them ? royal suite - does anyone know how many the hot tub on the balcony will hold ? and also is the sofa bed comfy ? My kids will be sleeping in there. It looks grubby in some pictures and not in others. Any ideas ?  Does anyone have the past 2019 cruise compass for Southampton to Spain and France ? Many thanks
  7. I didn't see this topic posted, so apologize if this is a duplicate. I received an email this morning letting me know that the cruise I'm booked on has now been chartered. We were on the January 16th sailing to Grand Cayman and Coco Cay out of Fort Lauderdale. They did give me options, but nothing with Coco Cay, which is why we booked that one in the first place. Still, we chose one of the options that was price protected and will stop in Grand Cayman and Cozumel instead. Bummer, but we had such a deal and not a lot of flexibility on dates, and Cozumel is fun. I did a quick search and here's what the charter is. http://www.capitaljazz.com/supercruise/2021/
  8. Independence (Freedom class) has done Med itineraries before out of Southampton. Not sure of schedule in future years.
  9. https://help.royalcaribbean.co.uk/hc/en-gb/sections/360004499552-Independence-of-the-Seas-2020-changes-to-sailings I've just spotted this on one of the UK TA sites and have found this on the RCL UK site. Looks like only Anthem will be sailing from Southampton next year. Sorry if it's already been posted but couldn't see anything on here.
  10. onboard IOS now and before sailing I struggled to find pictures of the new suite lounge so here are some!
  11. Hi I was wonder if ID still has a free sauna/ steamer and gym thank you
  12. So since we are sailing on the Independence, how about a little Independence Day fireworks. This video is one I took on June 30th, in a little town in Western Pennsylvania. The grand finale was sponsored by a company with a Royal Caribbean connection. Can anyone guess what it is?
  13. Good to hear. Has there been much chatter from the Brits about independence not returning next year?
  14. This is our first cruise on one of the biggie ships and the first with our grandchildren There are so many activities and I know that not everything is included ( I wonder if I can keep the arcade a sectet ? ) Is the lazer tag a charge ? How about the trampoline? This is the first time we have had to worry about kids, it is usually all about which drink card to get lol Thanks for your help Kris
  15. Hi all We’ve been on the Independence of the Seas now for 6 days of a 14 night Western Mediterranean cruise. I thought that I would offer my impression of the cruise so far. We have cruised RCCL and Celebrity many time before but unfortunately, due to illness, we have not been able to cruise for the last three years. Ok, so embarkation was a breeze. I was concerned about this because we had about 70kg of medical supplies as well as luggage to get onto the ship. After much liaising with RCCL Special Services we were met outside the terminal in Southampton by a porter who unloaded the luggage from the car and took it straight to our stateroom. The time was 10.10am. I then parked the car and went to check in. I had completed our set sail passes online and had expedited check in which was a breeze. A quick scan of the Royal app on our phones, a few questions and straight through security and into the lounge to wait for boarding to commence. By 10.35am we were in the Schooner Bar. Well done to all involved for such a smooth boarding process. After a quick drink in Schooner we went to Guest Relations to ask if we could make sure our medical supplies had arrived in the room. Usually you can’t go to the stateroom until 1pm but they allowed us to go early to check everything. All had been delivered so now time to relax and enjoy the next 14 nights and days. Neither Tracy or myself are big drinkers but the drink package was included in our cruise fare, I won’t say it was free because we all know that you get nothing for free. The first evening of the cruise was crowded. Two things stood out, after the late seating dinner had finished you could not get a seat in any of the bars, and there was a distinct lack of bar servers. This may be because there is the impression that the Brits will go to the bar if they want a drink, which I suppose is not wrong, but if you are trying to encourage people to go to the bar for there drinks it might be a good idea to remove the seating from around the bar so people can get to it. Personally, I prefer to be served my drink when I am on a cruise so maybe I’m not a ‘typical Brit’. The other thing that we discovered was that our stateroom was directly over the Pub!!!! This is by no means a criticism of Royal Caribbean, I should have done my research first. Let’s just say that if you don’t anticipate being out until around 12.30am then try to avoid the rooms over the Pub. The second day was the first sea day and as the ship was crossing the Bay of Biscay it wasn’t really outside pool/Sunbathing weather. Everyone was inside. Once again the bars were full and finding a seat was difficult. Not only that but there was a distinct lack of drink menus in any of the bars. There are now drinks men’s on most tables but the bar servers are still missing. Perhaps they abandoned ship before the started its season in Southampton knowing what some Brits are like with tipping!!! We’re going to dinner now, I’ll update tomorrow. Any questions? Ask away.
  16. Love Independence. It's a great "middle ship....not too large, not too small. And what an amazing itinerary. Looking forward to following along.
  17. Its my first time on Royal. We are sailing on the Independence of the Seas. I'm thinking of purchasing the unlimited dining package but not sure if its necessary. Is it worth it? Do I have to make reservations to each place? Just confused as to what I should do. Thanks in advance for any information.
  18. Time will tell how it turns out. I wouldn't be happy if they cancel but at the same time, so far this year we have done 7nts on Harmony, 14nts on Independence and have 10nts on Radiance in September. If we would miss a cruise, this year is the year to do it.
  19. I understand these 2 BR grand suites located in the aft of the ship were previously one larger suite (Presidential maybe)? My question is because these suites are essentially one very large suite split into two large suites, is there an advantage of one side vs the other? From what I can tell on Youtube, aside from the differences in the layout (for example, where the master is located), the two cabins on each aft seem similar. The only exception is looking at the balconies for 6416 and 6716 where the port side cabin has a bar, and the starboard side cabin has a hottub left over from the one huge balcony for when the two were one large cabin.
  20. REVIEW: Vision of the Seas. 3/11 Introductions & a big scare: I like to call us newish Texans. We've been in the state about two years now after a job transfer. One of the "pros" on our "pro/con list" about the move was that we would be driving distance to a RCI ship now. We typically fly to South Florida, so this would be an all new adventure for us. Us consists of my wife, who proudly proclaims she married me for my diamond status. She and I went on Oasis together for her first cruise and she's been hooked ever since. We even invited 50 friend and relatives onboard Independence with us and got married that week. She's a stay at home Mom, and while being super super frugal, loves to splurge and pamper herself on RCI ships. We have two daughters The oldest is 10 years old. In kindergarten, she was doing rhyming words with her class and she had to draw a picture and write a word of something that rhymes with "car" She chose "bar" and drew herself sitting at the pool bar of a ship, complete with her seapass card and one of those Island Oasis machines. Our youngest is 5. She actually took her first steps on board Serenade. Got on the ship crawling, by day 7 she was a walking machine. She also went to Disney and as we headed out of the park announced, "next time lets just go on a cruise" We typically sail every spring break. My oldest's birthday, my birthday, and our anniversary all fall the same week of March, we tend to celebrate them all onboard. I have been sailing with RCI since I was a kid, and clearly have passed my love on to my family. We typically sail Oasis class ships. They have so much to offer families, it's always been our choice. Pre-kids I've sailed just about everything else. The only two classes of ships in the fleet I have not sailed are Quantum and Vision. When Vision offered a 7-day on it's first sailing out of Galveston is caught my eye. When that sailing happened to be during my kids Spring Break AND RCI was offering Kids Sail Free. I got out my credit card immediately. The cruise would visit Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. We had never been to Roatan. We stopped in Costa Maya, 10 years ago during the Inaugural season of Oasis. Falmouth pier wasn't ready for Oasis yet, so we went to Costa Maya instead. Only problem, the little man made port area was still under construction. There was literally nothing there but the pool and a few shops. So this would be a nice return visit. We were nervous about this cruise. We had some CC friends who sailed vision and absolutely hated it. We looked at the deck plans and yes compared to Oasis class, we were like wow.... there's a single pool up top (that kids can use), and a few bars down below and a rock wall. We could do Liberty, but the route was the same we've done on our past 3 cruises, we needed something new.... and Freedom class is my lease favorite class, (if i had to pick one) We have sailed Radiance class --- and were nervous about it, but it was such an awesome cruise. One of our favorites ever. But we cited the crew, they were fantastic and made the cruise so worth it. What's the chance of getting that again? Was this a bad idea? Sure it was a good price, but would the kids be miserable. We usually sail big and new. This is small and older. We prepped the kids. "This is a different kind of cruise... we will spend lots of relaxing time by the pool." Then we thought about that.... one pool... spring break in Texas... Kids sail free... We were going to be lucky to every get in the pool, we thought, there is only one for kids and there will likely be a million kids on board. "Kids, pack books, and kindles, and coloring books!" We're normally not so alarmist, but this one had me concerned. But we were ready. I'm not a big drinker at all. I love frozen mojitos, and that's about it. I usually skip wine at dinner, am not a beer person, enjoy a cocktail here and there but not often. Every year we buy the drink package, and every year yours truly goes 3-4 days on the ship without ordering a single drink. But with the down time I told my wife, we're getting it again. We'll be sitting by the pool, drinking lots of mojitos. So a few days prior to sailing I went online to buy the drink package. Thank Goodness I did. I log into our account only to get an error message that.... we have no cruise. Now I'm a huge RCI fan, but lets be honest, their IT dept has been known for a hiccup or two. So, I don't worry. I had just talked to RCI a day earlier. I called in to officially create a C&A number for my youngest. Even though she's been on several cruises. I just never bothered to create her own account. Agent added her to our reservation, so I know it's there. I paid in full 4 months ago. Well.... Called my TA the next day and asked her to check. Now this woman is older, she was my Mom's travel agent. I've known her FOREVER, and she's booked all 20+ cruises we've taken. Never have I heard her panic and swear and say, "I'll call you back" so fast. Yep I had no cruise. It was cancelled. Long story short. When I called in to add my daughter's C& A number... the agent accessed my reservation. So did my travel agent, as I called her later to give her my youngest new C&A number. Apparently, even though I had bought and paid in full for the trip months earlier one of them somehow, "repriced my reservation" Basically they changed the rate to current prices. The cruise cost more at then point then when I paid. So that night, the computer saw a balance due and saw we were now past our final payment date and it cancelled our reservation entirely. By the time my TA called in, RCI told her, "Sorry that room has been offered to someone else, the ship is sold out, there's no more cabins for them" WHAT???? RCI wanted to put us on another ship, but it wasn't driving distance, and we would have to fly ourselves there. Nope not happening. After a ton of back and forth and the TA blaming RCI, and RCI blaming the TA and I refusing to spend 3K on last minute airfare to South Florida Spring Break week, I finally got a call that somehow they got our room back and we were good to go on Vision. This non drinking man, had a drink during this process for sure. So..... Yeah this cruise has been one that we were super nervous about, and didn't have high expectations. But finally it's here and so we're ready to hop in the car, not a plane, and head to the ship. Our little, older, driving distance, Texas ship.... Up Next..... Day 0 Galveston!
  21. I’m doing a cruise on Freedom in June 2020. When looking at the deck plans for the time period of the cruise it still lists Sabor & on air club and doesn’t have any of the “amplified” features. I was under the impression Freedom was being amplified early 2020 and would basically be a copy of Independence (which I just sailed on last month). The cruise planner even lets me reserve Sabor. Google searching hasn’t brought much fruit beyond a table from last year that outlined the amplified outline. Does anyone have any info on this? Thank you!
  22. ADVENTURE: Drew Devine #1027 ALLURE: Jimmy Rhodes, Mike Hunnerup returns in August # 1108 ANTHEM: Mitch Merucci until July 13. Then Dan Whitney #1223. Mitch returns Augugst 29 #1051 to January 5, 2020 BRILLIANCE: Rob McNally #1169 EMPRESS: Elvis Pinto #803 through early July #907 UPDATE? ENCHANTMENT: Bobby Broughton until September #1158 EXPLORER: Mark Rous, as of June 23 #1226 FREEDOM: Patricio Honores as of February 24 #848 UPDATE? GRANDEUR: Cory Rogers until August 8 then John Blair until November 30 #1194 HARMONY: Dennis Charles as of 7-7 #1248, for 2 months, Marc Walker (back on 9-29 #1097) INDEPENDENCE: Cuddy Cudsworth as of June 11 for 4 months #1151 JEWEL: Andrea Oliviri returns March 13 #878 LIBERTY: Brian Leavitt new CD through August 11 #893 MARINER: Marcelo Alvarado #1192 MAJESTY: Tornado Tanya Yates Tongue as of 6-24 #1234 NAVIGATOR: Hugo Arenas #849 OASIS: Mike Whitte as of May 12. #1201 OVATION: Joff Eaton as of 6-21 #1217 QUANTUM: Paul Rutter RADIANCE: Susan Adams #1053, Cuddy to return approx 6-28 #1114 RHAPSODY: Michele Scarpato #1109 SERENADE: David Bradshawe #1086 SPECTRUM: Fang Lixin as of June 13 #1213 SYMPHONY: Mike Szwajkowski until August 17, then Ricky Matthews to cover vacation #1123 VISION: Steve Davis as of May 6 #1147 VOYAGER: Michelle Oliveria #1141 Please clarify Cuddy Cudsworth…Indy or Radiance?
  23. The Independence of the Seas has been chartered for the past few years for 70,000 tons of Metal right around that time (Might be 2nd week of Jan). I have a co-worker that is going on their 4th next year. https://70000tons.com/home/ dp
  24. Looks like the balcony might have an view issue one way because it seems to be the first cabin next to the hump area. Have never been on this ship and haven't cruised RC in a very long time. Any cabin advice appreciated, for this cabin, or in general. Particularly interested in a quiet sleep situation as we are light sleepers. Thank you so very much!
  25. We will be taking a private shuttle service from London to Southampton and would love to avoid the crowds. What time can you board in Southampton? The ship sails at 4:30 p.m.
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