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Old February 6th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Tenacious-D
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Default New to Cruising - need advice on transfers, dining, etc. ple

I'm taking my lovely wife on a RCI cruise for our 10th anniversary, a 4-nighter on the EOS sailing May 20th from Ft. Lauderdale. The cruise was booked in a hurry this week through the RCI 800 number after trying to book it online and watching the balcony rooms all get booked up on the same day. We got one of the last ones I think.

Because we'll have family/friends watching our kids while we're away we're going to try to get back home as early as possible. To do that, we're going to fly into Ft. Lauderdale on the 20th (10:31 am) and then fly out from Miami on the 24th (3:40 pm) instead of Ft. Lauderdale at 8:30 or so that night.

Questions:

Transfers - Is is possible to get transfers from RCI from one airport to the boat and then from the boat to a different airport? Would we be better off just taking a taxi instead on both legs or maybe just one?

Getting on the boat - how early can you get aboard? The website lists embarking at 5:00 pm, so that's when it sails, right? I've seen mention of getting there at least 2 hours ahead of time, so a little advice would be appreciated.

Dining - since our anniversary is on Friday the 21st, I sort of want to have dinner at a table for 2 (it that's possible in the main dining room). I don't want to seem antisocial to a group table, but for the one night it would be more special if it were just the two of us. What would be involved in getting this set up? Also, is there any way yet of knowing which night will be the formal dinner?

Thanks in advance
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Old February 6th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: New to Cruising - need advice on transfers, dining, etc.

Can't help you with the transfers but maybe I can help with the other questions.

You sail at 5:00 p.m. which means you should be able to board about 12:00. I would advise doing this since you can avoid the crowds and get lunch early. You may not be able to go directly to your room yet, since they may not have had time to clean it following the last passengers.

You are not normally able to switch tables in the middle of the cruise. First, there would have to be a two-top available for that night which is doubtful. Second, there are not many two-tops in the main dining room. You have basically two options, request a two-top table before boarding and have it for the entire cruise, or have your anniversary dinner in your cabin.

The formal night will be the second night of sailing.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old February 6th, 2004, 02:43 PM
Tenacious-D
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Default Thanks Thomas . . .

now if I can only figure out my transfer options. I cannot find anything on the RCI website after looking again.

I'll try calling them perhaps.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 03:56 PM
jlynd53
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Default Re: New to Cruising - need advice on transfers, dining, etc.

As far as transfers go it depends on what your priorities are. The fastest but most expensive way is a cab. Transfers are probably the cheapest but you do need to wait for the bus to fill up before they leave. We have used Tri-county share a ride service to get from FLL to the pier in Miami. You can have a townecar to yourself for $55 or you can share the ride with others for $15/person. They are located right outside of baggage claim. You do not need to make reservations but if you want more info their website is www.floridalimo.com. I hope this helps!
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Old February 7th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: New to Cruising - need advice on transfers, dining, etc.

We have never had problems with the transfers with RCCL, and you can purchase it onboard for your return trip to the airport, since you will have plenty of time, or call back to RCCL and request the transfers, I believe they are still $15 pp.

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Old February 9th, 2004, 08:51 AM
kahliasmom
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Default Re: New to Cruising - need advice on transfers, dining, etc.

Tenacious D,

I just got back from being on the Serenade. I was originally just booked for the Jan 17 cruise, but had such a great time that I stayed on for two more weeks. Anyway, I mention that because when I stayed on for two more weeks, I wanted to keep the same waiter and RCI was able to accomodate my request.

I suggest you try to get on your ship the day of embarkation as soon as possible. Everyone from the previous cruise was off the Serenade by about 10:30 and then they start letting new passengers on by about 11:15. They tell you that you room may not be ready until 1:00 pm but that you can get on the ship. The compass lists this as day one so if you don't get on board until late you miss most of day one. I would never want to arrive in port in the evening on the day of embarkation, because you will miss a whole day of being on the ship. So if you are able to get on the ship early, on the Serenade they had a time set aside that you could speak with the maitre d' or a head waiter about you seating arrangements.

For the two cruies that I booked at the last minute, they were happy to accomodate my request to remain with the same waiter. The second week his tables were filled so they set up a little table for us in his section. I saw many tables for two throughout the dining room. They will do everything they can do to accomodate you. For instance, when I was speaking with the head waiter, I overheard a woman complaining that although she was in the center of the dining room as per her request, there was a ceiling over her head, and it was unacceptable to this woman that there was a ceiling over her head. (GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!), but the head waiter just smiled at her politely and was going to move her table of 12 so that she could be in the center of the dining room without a ceiling over her head. PLEASE!!!! If you are not able to get on the ship early the maitre d' or a head waiter will be available to help you at the start of the seating, which was 6:00pm and 8:30 on the Serenade. Have a great cruise!!!!!
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