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The Cruise Ship and Cruise Line Discussion Thread!

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

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It's legit, anyone from Total Rewards (Harrah's and other casinos) that gets to Seven Stars level gets 1 free cruise a year. Seven Stars is the highest level you can get to and you have to earn 100,000 tier credits a year, and besides the free cruise there are a lot of other comps/perks.

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Had this email out from my Royal Caribbean Rep at work the other day, I've clipped it to show the relevant info only.

 

Beverage Packages Available for Purchase Onboard OR Online

Guests can make their cruise vacation even better by pre-reserving one of the following beverage packages online: fountain soda, juice and bottled water packages.

 

Fountain Soda Package

Guests who purchase the fountain soda package receive unlimited fountain soda at all bars, lounges, dining venues, and our private destinations (Labadee and Coco Cay) for the duration of their cruise vacation. A complimentary Coca Cola Souvenir Cup is included as part of the program. The soda package includes the following Coke® products: Coke®, Diet Coke®, Sprite®, Diet Sprite®, Fanta® Orange, Ginger Ale and Minute Maid® Lemonade.

 

Prices differ for adults and youth and are per person, per day and are applicable to the total amount of days of the cruise.

Adult Cruiser Fountain Soda Package: 18 years of age and older - $6.50 per person, per day, plus 15% gratuity, (Total $7.48 per person per day) applicable to the total days of the cruise vacation.

Young Cruiser Fountain Soda Package: 3 to 17 years of age - $4.50 per person, per day, plus 15% gratuity, (Total $5.18 per person per day) applicable to the total days of the cruise vacation.

The packages do not include: Stateroom soda/water set ups, room service items, bottled water, juices or sodas sold in bottles or cans.

Prices are subject to change without notice. 15% gratuity is not optional.

The packages are are also available for purchase on the day of embarkation at all bars and lounges.

 

Juice Bottle Package

Guests who purchase this package receive a set number of juice bottles in their stateroom, delivered on any specified day. Each package consists of 6, 8, or 12 fifteen (15) ounce bottles in selected flavors, such as, Apple, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange, or a variety of all three. (Flavors may vary based on itinerary).

The number of bottles selected will determine each package price. A 15% gratuity is added to the package price.

The juice bottle package will not be honored for any juice requested in any of the bars, specialty restaurants or dining rooms.

Juice bottle packages will be delivered to the stateroom within 24 hours.

Any remaining juice bottles may be taken with the guest when they depart the ship.

Prices are subject to change without notice.

Below is a pricing grid to provide guidance on the juice bottle package pricing. However, please advise guests that the price and availability is subject to change without notice and to get specific pricing and availability for their sailing, they should "shop" for the desired juice bottle package using their booking information in the Pre-Cruise Planner section of the website.

 

Juice Bottle Package Pricing - Subject to change without notice

Minute Maid Juice 6 Bottle

$20.15 plus 15% gratuity

Minute Maid Juice 8 Bottle

$25.25 plus 15% gratuity

Minute Maid Juice 12 Bottle

$35.55 plus 15% gratuity

Gratuity is not optional.

 

The juice bottle packages can also be purchased, for the entire cruise vacation onboard at designated locations.

 

Water Bottle Package

Guests who purchase this package receive a set number of water bottles in their stateroom, delivered on any specified day of their cruise vacation. Each package consists of 8, 12, 16, or 24 one liter sports cap Evian plastic bottles.

The number of bottles selected will determine each package price. A 15% gratuity is added to the package price.

The small bottles in your stateroom mini bar are not included in this package.

Water bottle packages will be delivered to the stateroom within 24 hours.

Any remaining water bottles may be taken with the guest when they depart the ship.

Prices are subject to change without notice.

Below is a pricing grid to provide guidance on the water bottle package pricing. However, please advise guests that the price and availability is subject to change without notice and to get specific pricing and availability for their sailing, they should "shop" for the desired water bottle package using their booking information in the Pre-Cruise Planner section of the website.

 

Water Bottle Package Pricing - Subject to change without notice

Evian Water Package 8 Bottle

$28.45 plus 15% gratuity

Evian Water Package 12 Bottle

$40.30 plus 15% gratuity

Evian Water Package 16 Bottle

$50.55 plus 15% gratuity

Evian Water Package 24 Bottle

$71.10 plus 15% gratuity

Gratuity is not optional.

 

The water bottle packages can also be purchased, for the entire cruise vacation onboard at designated locations.

 

Please keep in mind that limitations might apply on some sailings in South America, Asia or Europe. If the specific water bottle being marketed is not available, a substitute of equal or greater value may be provided based on itinerary.

 

 

Beverage Packages Available for Purchase Onboard ONLY

General Information

Royal Caribbean International is furthering its commitment to total guest satisfaction by expanding its existing onboard beverage program to include two new packages. Introducing the Classic and Premium packages, which will allow guests to pay one price at the beginning of their cruise vacation and enjoy a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at greater savings and convenience for the duration of their voyage.

 

Beverage Package Onboard Availability Schedule

Ship

Launch Date

Legend of the Seas Currently Available

Grandeur of the Seas Currently Available

Splendour of the Seas Currently Available

Independence of the Seas Currently Available

Vision of the Seas Currently Available

Oasis of the Seas Currently Available

Allure of the Seas Currently Available

Freedom of the Seas Currently Available

Navigator of the Seas Currently Available

Mariner of the Seas Currently Available

Brilliance of the Seas Currently Available

Adventure of the Seas Currently Available

Explorer of the Seas Currently Available

Enchantment of the Seas 12/15/12

Serenade of the Seas 12/27/12

Radiance of the Seas 01/21/13

Rhapsody of the Seas 01/23/13

Voyager of the Seas 01/27/13

 

They cannot be pre-purchased. Only available on sailings of 7 nights or longer.

 

The Classic Package: Pay just one price to enjoy a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at greater savings and convenience for your whole cruise.

$45 per guest / per day. Includes:

Beer brands (below $6.25)

house wine by the glass

fountain soda

non-alcoholic cocktails

The Premium Package: The ultimate in convenience and value! Pay one set price and enjoy nearly our entire selection of liquors, beers and wines, plus non-alcoholic beverages.

 

$55 per guest / per day. Includes:

All well, call and premium cocktails

Frozen Drinks

All Beers (bottle, can and draft

house wine by the glass

Non-alcoholic cocktails

Fountain soda and juices

NOTE: The package prices are the same on all ships. However, if the sailing requires any VAT charges this will be added to the price of the package. All guests in the stateroom must purchase the same package unless they are medically unable to consume alcohol.

 

Package Restrictions

The following items are not included in the packages:

Full bottles of wine

Full bottles of liquor

MiniBar products

Specialty coffees

Cans of soda

Bottled water

Freshly squeezed juices

Souvenir glassware

Multiple beverages may not be ordered at the same time

The Premium Beverage Package cannot be shared or transferred to another guest.

 

FAQs

How can you purchase the all inclusive package?

The beverage packages can be purchased on boarding day. Guests can ask at any bar for more information; or should look out for a table setup for purchases to be made.

Can we purchase the all inclusive beverage packages for selected days?

No. The all inclusive packages must be purchased by all stateroom guests, over the age of 21, for the entire cruise length.

What if my traveling companion doesn’t drink, do they still have to purchase an all inclusive beverage package?

Yes, if they are in the same stateroom. The all inclusive packages must be purchased by all stateroom guests, over the age of 21, for the entire cruise length. All guests with special circumstances and/or medical conditions should speak with Guest Services onboard.

In which venues will the all inclusive beverage packages be honored?

The all inclusive beverage packages are honored at any of our bars or lounges, Windjammer Café, Main Dining Room, and our private destinations during normal business hours. Room service and minibar are not included.

Are the all inclusive beverage packages available on all sailings?

The all inclusive beverage packages are sold onboard all ships sailings 7 days or longer.

What are some of the premium spirits available with the Premium Beverage Package?

Premium Spirits include 10 Cane Rum, Bacardi 8, Pyrat XO, Belvedere, Chopin, Sauza Conmemmorativo, Carlos 1, Bakers, Crown Royal reserve, Grey goose, Kettle One, Tanqueray 10, Hendrick's, Courvoisier V.S., Knob Creek, Glenfiddich, Macallan Elegancia 12yr and The Glenlivet.

Are gratuities included in the all inclusive beverage packages purchase price?

A service charge of 15% has already been included in the purchase price. You will not have to pay additional gratuities.

Can I order multiple drinks at a time with the all inclusive beverage packages?

No. As this is a personal package, only one beverage per guest will be served.

Can I buy a drink for my friend with the all inclusive beverage packages?

The all inclusive beverage packages are for personal consumption. All additional drinks ordered will be charged at current bar prices.

How will the bar staff know I have purchased the all inclusive beverage packages?

A sticker will be placed on your SeaPass card for identification. The bar staff will request to see your SeaPass for verification prior to service (so keep it handy.)

Can I use the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines with the all inclusive beverage packages?

No. The Coca-Cola Freestyle machines require the Coca-Cola souvenir cup to operate. Souvenir glassware is excluded from the all inclusive beverage packages.

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I just got off the Epic yesterday and we purchased an All-you-can-drink package. We ended up getting close to our monies worth, however the ability to order a drink at any time and not have to worry about wasting something I didn't like was great. Tried many new drinks just so I could, and always had a drink or two with dinner. The price was $49 a day plus gratuity and included beers $5.50 or less and achohol with a $6.25 price or less (Made no sense to us, and had to have it cleared up that it was the price of the "shot" or type being poured, not the drink price). This is my second time getting a beverage package like this, did it with Celebrity back in 2010. Both times, I felt like it was worth the price.

 

Not sure if anyone else has been on the Epic, but that is quite the ship. We had a great time despite reading some bad reviews. My first time on NCL, and probably wont' be my last. I was very impressed with the level of service and quality of food. This coming from someone who last cruised on Celebrity... (Yea it wasn't to that level, but still at a very high one). The ship is spectacular and had lots of great features that I really enjoyed, including some kick ass waterslides.

 

None the less, just wanted to throw my two cents in.

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Robb, the ship was wonderful and a had a lot going on. I really enjoyed Howl at the Moon as well as Blue Man Group, We got a pretty reasonable Balcony, however I understand the Haven Suites are awesome. I did feel that quite often I was getting nickle and dimed, but there was plenty to do on board that was free. They did have a very cool Deal or No Deal gameshow that used pretty cool techology, as well as some fun contests during the week. Looked like there was plenty of good stuff for the kids too with Nickelodeon.

 

The whole freestyle concept took some getting used to, however once we got settled, it was kind of nice chosing when and where we wanted to eat.

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^ Yeah, it's the Freestyle thing that... well... I just flat out don't like. I really like having the same server in the dining room every night, and especially on a longer cruise, and when we have a lot of picky eaters in our family, they get to know you, many times by day two. When we did our NCL ship, our biggest complaint was that lack of service, and we found that every night we were having to re-explain over and over what we wanted to eat and it just got annoying. "Yes, plain pasta... no... no green stuff, just 'plain'... no... that means we don't need sauce...or butter... right... 'plain.'" (repeat seven times to seven different people...not all of them who got the order correctly...)

 

You know, it's just nice that your assigned wait staff catch on to what drinks you order every night, what kind of bread is your favourite, and they cater to that more and more. We didn't get any of that level of service on NCL because each night was a totally different wait staff.

 

It's probably the main reason why we haven't done a repeat cruise on NCL, but we did like it much better than Carnival (I mean, getting kicked in the balls is better than Carnival), but I think we prefer the dining room set up to the RCCL, Princess, and Disney ships.

 

Even on Disney, where you rotate through three different dining rooms, your wait staff goes with you...which was an AMAZING touch! Like I would *LOVE* if NCL's Freestyle was a system where you started off in the main dining room, and you picked which restaurants you wanted to eat at the rest of the cruise, and your dining room staff went with you. That would be Freestyle Cruising I'd sign up for!

 

That being said, though, one of these days when we see those $199 Epic specials come up again, we might give it a try.

 

--Robb "We're very routine people and NCL just doesn't work that well for us." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/msc-preziosa-boasts-new-aqua-park-and-vertigo-the-longest-waterslide-on-the-waves-2012-12-05

 

With less than four months to the official inaugural of its newest vessel, the MSC Preziosa, MSC Cruises is proud to announce the fleet's latest innovative feature: the Doremi Castle Aqua Park and Vertigo.

 

Doremi Castle Aqua Park (located on MSC Preziosa's deck 16) boasts an exhilarating pathway of water features on raised platforms including sprays, fountains, water pistols and valves, each designed to splash, soak and delight in equal measures. A drenching bucket builds suspense by filling up drip by drip over unsuspecting heads, ready to rain down from on high, while the area's water cannons encourage mischievous fun between friends.

 

While children under 47 inches are not permitted to ride the Vertigo waterslide, a slew of fun features, including double and single slides, will ignite imaginations and spark creativity for MSC Preziosa's smallest guests. Children's Club staff supervise the area daily.

 

Next to the park (on deck 18), thrill seekers can embark on the wildest ride on the waves through 394 feet of fabulous twists and turns some even off the side of the ship. Certain sections of the slide have been enhanced with translucent bands of colour which catch light, creating a strobe effect as guests zip through at top speed.

 

As the Vertigo slide shoots out over the edge of the ship, a 30-ft. transparent stretch allows riders to experience "flying over water" with unobstructed views of the ocean below. Spectators who won't dare ride for themselves can enjoy the adventurous views from decks below.

 

Quick Facts:

 

  • MSC Preziosa's waterslide is over 42 ft. high, and 394 ft. long, with a diameter of 3 ft.
  • The maximum weight of each rider is 330 pounds, and the minimum height is 47 inches.
  • Riders will travel at an average speed of 20 feet per second.

As a family-owned company, MSC prides itself in ensuring that there's never a dull moment for families on board, with abundant features that appeal to children, teenagers and the young at heart.

 

Access to the Vertigo waterslide and waterpark are complimentary. Hours of the waterslide are likely to fluctuate depending on itinerary and season, so guests should check times daily.

 

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit http://www.msccruisesusa.com or call 1-877-665-4655.

MOD-109192_Vertigo1.jpg.2a52a5c53a2d0b0a7f9a81dba32965bf.jpg

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^That does seem rather high.

 

Looks like a good addition, but how about one of those dropping slides off the side of the ship (no not into the ocean).

 

That would only be for those who want to bail on a Carnival cruise.

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^That does seem rather high.

 

Looks like a good addition, but how about one of those dropping slides off the side of the ship (no not into the ocean).

 

The way things are evolving so quick with waterslides on cruise ships, I wouldn't be surprised to see a dropping body slide!

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^That does seem rather high.

 

Looks like a good addition, but how about one of those dropping slides off the side of the ship (no not into the ocean).

 

The way things are evolving so quick with waterslides on cruise ships, I wouldn't be surprised to see a dropping body slide!

 

It would be great to see an AquaLoop or something off the side of a ship! Or from one of the higher decks to one of the lower decks that is open air.

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Another great Carnival story! While the norovirus is very common, the way they handled it was classic Carnival!

 

First they said only 160 got it.

 

www.foxnews.com/health/2012/12/13/passengers-call-cruise-plague-ship-after-hundreds-reportedly-fall-ill-from/?intcmp=obnetwork

 

Then they said 300

 

www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelvideo/9745284/PandO-apologise-for-Oriana-norovirus-outbreak.html

 

Then the port authority says it was over 400. On top of that, they didn't really take care of the other passengers waiting to board for the next cruise.

 

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-20723481

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I'm not really a cruise ship person as the visits to each port are mostly way to short for my taste.

 

But I love to cross the Atlantic on board a Cunard Queen. There's great food and great drinks - at quite reasonable toll-/tax-free prices. The most classy way to start a US vacation!

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^That does seem rather high.

 

Looks like a good addition, but how about one of those dropping slides off the side of the ship (no not into the ocean).

 

The way things are evolving so quick with waterslides on cruise ships, I wouldn't be surprised to see a dropping body slide!

 

Like Green Thunder on the Carnical Spirit:

 

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