I don't have any 'specific' questions to ask at this time. However we just recently booked the Nordic Empress to Bermuda for end of September. Any RCI experts here have any 'tips' to share about this cruise line and/or ship in general? I'm a 3X Carnival cruiser here. Oh yeah I do have one question looking at the FAQ's on RCI website I see they offer a 'Royal Cocktail Card' for 12 house call drinks, beer or wine by the glass for $39 + grat. is that worth it vs. per cocktail? I generally drink a few margaritas by the pool, a pre dinner martini, and then a night cap or 2 I usually order wine by the bottle at dinners. Thx!
On every cruise I usually take along. They are a bit non-obvious is why I mention them:
1) various size ziplocs to keep things dry
2) leaf & lawn bags to separate dirty close from clean for the return trip
3) Saran Wrap. Seems odd, but I tell you I've used it on every cruise
4) Boxing tape or duct tape in case something breaks. I've had 2 suitcases damaged, so this helps out quite a bit.
5) Photcopies of important docs, e.g. passport, cruise voucher, airline tickets, etc.
6) Film & batteries. Film & batteries seem to be much more expensive everywhere else than what I can get at home at WalMart of Sam's.
7) Plastic zip connectors. Great for locking your bags and luggage.
I've used it for a number of things.
1) as a wrapping to hold items together when I bring them back home
2) I've wrapped dirty/sandy shoes in it to keep the sand out of my suitcase as well as other items.
3) wrapping some food in the morning to take on a long all day excursions where food isn't readily available.
4) I wrap it around my books to keep the books bound tight so the pages don't get bent in the suitcase (this works great).
...I don't know, seems like I find a lot of uses for it on trips.
As far as the cocktails go, I think 12 drinks in a week is a no-brainer, and you'll save a buck and change or so per if you order the card. We didn't buy that many drinks on the ship since we always prepack our liquor and make our own drinks.
As far as the wine goes, unless you enjoy, say, $50 bottles every night, the wine deal they've got going is pretty nice. The 'package' you get is one bottle every night of the cruise from a decent list of ~$20 wines. Sometimes they run out of the good ones and you have to check the bottle carefully towards the end of the week when the wine steward presents it to you. I noticed a couple nights near the end, he brought me a cheaper bottle that was off the list and claimed they had run out, but he rectified it by brining a different bottle that I preferred. For $107 + 15% grat, that works out to around $15 and change per bottle for each night for a decent bottle of wine. I think the list consisted of about 10-15 different bottles of wine, red and white and a Korbel Brut to boot on the list. The Mondavi Coastal Merlot and Cab are very nice and were on the list.
I thought I knew or have printed every page on the RCL website. I haven't heard of the dinner wine package! Will they have more information on the ship or did I miss a webpage? It sounds like a great package. Thanks for the info.