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P. 131: "Margaritaville at Sea" cruise line announced

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Yeah, still no official updates on my sailing but sounds like they'll make an announcement about it tonight by 8pm. I'm optimistic because it says Mariner is now scheduled to leave Friday (We're sailing  Independence, also scheduled to leave Friday), but Disney has already cancelled their 3 day cruise this weekend out of Canaveral that was scheduled to leave Friday. So who knows at this point.

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So this seems a good place to ask since a lot of people do cruises here.

My wife and I really want to try a cruise. We keep getting ads offering $300 cruises from Singapore and it always says the boat Spectrum of the Sea. We aren't really too knowledgeable on the difference between boats but for our 7 year old, the pool would be the main draw and the slides look a bit lacking compared to some others. We have some friends have told us that if we are going to do a once in a lifetime cruise, it shouldn't be from Singapore. That we'll have a good time and be treated nice but despite the cheap ticket price that we are definitely not the target audience, cruises from that area are after  Chinese and business families with deep pockets. E.g. some examples we've heard are cruises designing those boats with less activity areas or restaurants, only one small pool for the children to use etc to have bigger casinos or other places for the high-end clients. Thoughts? Our other plan is to do one perhaps on the end of the once in a life time Florida trip we keep saying we will do or when we visit family in England.

Also just because my wife is curious, and we're from Korea where tipping doesn't exist, is 18% gratuity on everything normal for all cruises or is that again because of the clients they are after?

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^Spectrum is a nice ship but cruising in Asia is VERY different from the rest of the world. If you're looking for that stereotypical cruise experience for your first time then I would absolutely jump on one after a Florida trip!  Then if you like it, grab a cheap asian cruise once back home as an easier getaway. And yes, gratuities are added to all purchases onboard as well as a standard tip amount to select positions on the ship like your cabin steward, waiter, etc. 

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9 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

Yeah, still no official updates on my sailing but sounds like they'll make an announcement about it tonight by 8pm. I'm optimistic because it says Mariner is now scheduled to leave Friday (We're sailing  Independence, also scheduled to leave Friday), but Disney has already cancelled their 3 day cruise this weekend out of Canaveral that was scheduled to leave Friday. So who knows at this point.

I think you're going to cancel. =(

Looks like Port Canaveral is going to close until at least Friday afternoon which won't really give them time to turn the ship around. 

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1 hour ago, SharkTums said:

Hey a two day cruise with a bunch of onboard credit is better than no cruise!!!

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/notices/travel-updates

Yes! It’s not the best case scenario but if they’re gonna give us a bunch of credits to come on board for 2 days we’ll just hang out and drink and eat and watch football, which is what we would normally do anyways, so why not? Maybe we’ll get a room upgrade. 

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19 hours ago, Hilltopper39 said:

Yes! It’s not the best case scenario but if they’re gonna give us a bunch of credits to come on board for 2 days we’ll just hang out and drink and eat and watch football, which is what we would normally do anyways, so why not? Maybe we’ll get a room upgrade. 

Report back with how it goes!

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So we just got back from a 2 day cruise on Royal Caribbean Independence of the seas and had a pretty awesome time. It was originally a 3 day cruise, scheduled to leave Friday and come back on Monday morning, but Hurricane Ian delayed departure by a day so we sailed out Saturday Morning and back on Monday. They credited us back 2/3 days of the cruise fare, and I think maybe 1.5 days worth of our drink package? I don't remember all of the details but the whole trip ended up being very cheap when it was all said and done, so it was worth it.

We originally had just booked an interior room since it was kind of a last minute trip, but after the delay we figured there would be a lot of cancelations so we asked about a room upgrade. I believe we were told that there were only maybe 2200 people on the boat vs the 4000+ person capacity, so they upgraded us to a balcony for $50.00.

 

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Got a nice look at the Carnival ship with the Bolt coaster on the side during sail away which was cool. Not sure if I'll ever make it on that ship but it's cool that Carnival offers that now. The sailaway was really fun because there were like 5 ships all leaving at once, probably because of the delayed departure.

 

The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole trip, sunny, no rain, incredibly calm seas, and the boat being half empty was really nice. It still felt like there was a good crowd, especially in the bars and casinos, but dinner and the pool deck were empty which was nice. We didn't do any of the specialty dining options other than some wings in the sports bar since it was such a short cruise, but all of the food in the buffet and main dining room was good. Nothing was bad but nothing was "great" either if that makes any sense? For a 2 day cruise it was fine, but on a longer sailing I probably would have tried the steak house or something. Here's a picture from our 8pm dinner seating where the dining room was basically empty lol. There was a family next to use but yeah, the place was dead.

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We didn't get to go Cocoa Cay which was a bummer, I was really looking forward to seeing that place, but I'm sure there will be another cruise in the future for that. We sailed to Nassau and back, but never got off the boat in Nassau because we stayed on the boat to watch the Jags vs Eagles game. This trip was originally supposed to have been a trip to Philly for that game, but we cancelled that trip for various reasons and booked the cruise instead. Glad we did because the weather in Philly was awful and the Jags blew the game (typical), so I'd rather watch that from a boat in Nassau than from the stadium in Philly.

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We did the drink package, so a pre-dinner martini on the balcony was pretty awesome. The drink package as a whole was really nice, and we drank way too much. I think the fist day we had like 28 charges on our account, so yeah the all inclusive package was worth it lol.

The ship was great, I've been on 1 Disney cruise, 1 Carnival, and this was my second on RCCL, but this felt like the nicest most modern ship I'd ever been on. I loved how the whole interior was open end to end with bars and shops and restaurants everywhere. It really didn't feel like a cruise ship on the interior. The ship was also really easy to navigate considering how big it was. I remember our Disney ship being much more confusing.

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The activity schedule was a little limited since the cruise was cut short by a day. Grease was the musical on our sailing but we didn't have a chance to see it (I love musicals but Grease isn't my favorite so it's fine). We did check out the juggling comedians show, an adult game show thing, and played Bingo. Other wise we pretty much just gambled and ate and drank, drank a lot, for 2 days. I did take advantage of short lines for the Flowrider Saturday morning when we were in port, that's always fun even if I fall on my head.

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So all in all a very short trip, but still a lot of fun. I've only ever been on 3 day cruises because it seems to fit our scheduled better but I really want to try a longer sailing in the future sometime. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone here ever sailed on MSC before? This weekend we were talking to some friends who told us about a sailing they had booked for Spring Break and we looked into it. Turns out that for a 4 or 5 day cruise in a Balcony room for the whole family was ridiculously cheap, maybe like $1100 for all of us? So we booked it, but now I'm trying to figure out why it's so cheap lol. I mean the ship looks pretty nice, so how bad can it be? 

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Our friends just got off an MSC out of Port Canaveral. Also dirt cheap, like $600 for two of them for a week!  They said the pizza and pasta onboard was very good and it was a nice ship. They didn't like it as much as Royal Caribbean but way better than Carnival. Put it similar to Princess, not as nice as Celebrity. 

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On 10/17/2022 at 2:07 PM, SharkTums said:

They didn't like it as much as Royal Caribbean but way better than Carnival.

We're really setting that bar six feet under to begin with, eh?

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I agree about Carnival.... it was exciting because it was a two for trip... my first cruise and my first time going to foreign countries but here's some of my thoughts about Carnival itself (newbie experience so keep that in mind)

* we bought the soda package - was a good deal except after 11 or so, all the bars and food places were pretty much closed and if you were up late you could only go to the casino bar which was open till 2:30, room service was a no go on the package

* the shows.... for some reason no show lasted beyond 30 mins - the one I did go to was an 80s review and it was 6 singers sitting on stools getting up to sing their parts, huge let down, did go to the comedy club which was fun but again 30 mins and done

* people openly smoking marijuana in the smoking areas - even had people arrested and put in the brig for doing it in their staterooms the first or second night out

* buffet was mehhhhhh.... my friend got scrambled eggs the day after we sailed from the port and when she used her fork was sprayed with water - the dining room was much better food we ate our meals the rest of the time there

* the deck party the final night out lasted around 30 mins at like 8pm on the last day of the cruise - was totally surprised it wasn't much bigger and longer

* decent sized ship and yet there was only one little smoking area on the upper pool deck 

* again not as much entertainment as expected except for bingo and the casino so I spent a lot of time just sitting out on deck in the smoking area when I could grab a seat talking to people and watching the ocean going by

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