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Old January 9th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oakland Oregon
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Default new to RCL, need advise from seasoned cruisers

Hello,
We are thinking of doing a 4 day out of port canaveral this spring. We have cruised before, but never with RCI.
We have done some research of course, but I am interested in your opinions of the food quality? did you notice any sugar free desserts?
How long dose it usually take to get through a dinner in the regular restaurants ( not buffet)? We have had it take 1 1/2 to 2 hours on other lines. Is that about right for RCL? Do they have small tables for 2 or do you sit with other people at your table?We dont have a problem with this, just curious.
What are the show like? I know some are vegas style, some are broadway but I was wondering are they musical, comedy, variety or what? How suitable are they for kids?
are the tips paid with your tickets or do you pay the last night of the cruise?
Any tips or insights you may have would be greatly appreciated.
Thankyou,
Kathleen
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Old January 9th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Hi Kathleen:

I've cruised both RCl and Carnival. I think the food is a little better on Carnival and the rooms are bigger. RCL has a little better service and the ships have a more "upscale" feel to them. To answer your questions:

I am interested in your opinions of the food quality? While I always was able to find something to eat, I think the food is better on Carnival.

Did you notice any sugar free desserts? No, sorry when I have dessert it has sugar!!
How long dose it usually take to get through a dinner in the regular restaurants ( not buffet)? We have had it take 1 1/2 to 2 hours on other lines. Is that about right for RCL? Its about the same for RCL

Do they have small tables for 2 or do you sit with other people at your table?We dont have a problem with this, just curious. They have both smaller tables and largers ones. If you prefer a table for two you should make sure you request one when you book.

What are the show like? I know some are vegas style, some are broadway but I was wondering are they musical, comedy, variety or what? They had a musical variety show, comedians, magicians - something different each night. I thought the shows were very good.

How suitable are they for kids? I thought they were fine. If not approrpiate they tell you ahead of time. In some of the Las Vegas style routines the girls wear thongs.

Are the tips paid with your tickets or do you pay the last night of the cruise? The last RCl cruise we went on you paid in cash the last night. I beleive you now have the option of adding the tips to your seapass account.

Hope this helps.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Darcy,
thankyou very much, it does help a lot. I know RCL is a great cruise line , and we are looking forward to trying it this spring.
I appriciate the help.
Kathleen
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Old January 9th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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[/b]Kathleen,
We were on Sovereign last month and may be able to answer or help with your questions.
1) The dining room food was O.K. (good), but nothing to rave about.
2) See the maitre'd when you board and let him know you would like sugar-free desserts. He/She can also help you with a specific table request.
3) Dinner on average was appx. 90 minutes(no coffee)
4)The shows were better than I had expected. There are special guests (name performers) who spruce up RCI's entertainment offerings.
5) Tips can be automatically put on your account(subject to your approval based on the service you received), or paid by you the last night of your cruise.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Thankyou Gman for your information.
kathleen
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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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Kathleen, We've sailed RCI 3 times in the winter and have always had good food, although we think Celebrity has a bit of an edge there. There are sugar-free desserts on the menu. Although I'm a Chocoholic, I do recommend the sugar-free Key Lime pie. It takes 75-90 min to get through dinner. On the Voyager -class ships there is an ice show (free) and we usually have to eat a bit faster to get to the 7:30 one after the early seating. We schedule our ice show attendance on the one night when there is no stage show. (7-night cruises)
The shows are wonderful. Usually there are 2-3 Production shows with the singers and dancers, one or more comedians, sometimes acrobats, magicians, trapeze artists and at least on night with a celebrity or famous group. One of our cruises featured the Platters! Of course only the leader was an original, but they sounded EXACTLY like the group I was crazy about as a teeny bopper in the 50s and 60s. Many of us in the audience were bouncing and singing along in our seats and gave the group a tremendous Standing O afterward. They also scheduled autograph sessions in the Royal Promenade the next day. What a treat!
The shows at the normal times are fine for kids. The comedians often have an "adult" show at midnight, and this is shown in the daily schedule. One some of the show days the activity staff put on a funny skit involving the audience. There is usually a Newlywed/Not-so-Newlywed game that is hilarious, and only a little risque`. Volunteers from the audience answer questions about their spouses. The older ones' answers are usually funnier, but they win more often, too. RCI might not have this on a shorter cruise.
Tips: We have always been able to charge our tips on our SeaPass and they give you vouchers to put in the envelopes so you have something to give the staff on the last night.
You will like RCI, I'm sure. We are on pins and needles waiting for our next cruise.
PS, my given name is Kathleen, too.

1/12/02 Explorer E. Carib.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Thanks Kathleen for all the information, it is very helpful to me. we will probably give RCL a try around easter this year.
By the way, i like your name!!!
Kathleen
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:44 AM
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If you are not already booked, you better hurry. Easter/Spring Break is very popular and the smaller ships may be booked up by now. We used to book a lot closer to the sailing date, but prices have gone up and ships are filling up much faster than when we first started, only 4 years ago.
We booked our June '06 European cruise last May. It's a looonngg time to wait, especially since we are forgoing our usual winter cruise, but just knowing it's there is exciting. Now we can sort of see light at the end of the tunnel and I'm back in the cruising mode and back to the message boards.
BTW--my middle name is Mary and my nickname is Kathie. I have a step-sister who is Kathleen/Kathy, sometimes confusing. lol We both have brothers named Joe.

Less than 23 weeks to Jewel!
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Old January 12th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the heads up. My husband will check it out this weekend to see if there are any openings still. It doesnt have to be that weekend, but he gets friday, sat and sun off and he can easily make it to work after we get back on monday morning so we thought it might be a good time since he wouldnt have to use any vacation time to do it.
We usually book a 18 months out or more when we can. We do have 2, 7 day cruises booked with DCL next november and december. It will be 14 days on a row, that will be awesome!!! But we want to try RCCL and if we like it well enough we may change one of thoses 7 day cruises to RCCL towards the end of the year. We just got back from a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise last month, with DCL. It was a great trip. We took 2 of our grandkids with us and their parents. DCL is getting so expensive now that we were hoping to find another cruise line that would be great for kids too and we have heard RCL is a good one for that. That is why we wanted to try it on a short cruise to get the feel for it before bringing family along. Since we always pay for everything the price difference is considerable for us, since we have 4 adult kids, spouses and 4 grandkids to bring along too. We live near Port canaveral in Florida but we have to fly most of them in from Oregon which of course isnt cheap.
I do appreciate everyones help and information they have given me. I appreciate any tips I can get from all of you.
Thanks,
mom x4,grandma x4
Kathleen
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