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It's dotting T's and crossing I's time for me, and I need to correct a few things.


1) LA BREA TARPITS CANCELED

Early on, I had discussed a trip to La Brea after we docked in LA, but then our flights got changed, and it wasn't feasible. With distance and traffic, such an excursion would have been extremely rushed for a group of our size.


Instead, we'll have a meeting on board to talk about different options, and people can link up to save cab fare. Straight to airport? We'll put you in groups. Queen Mary? Same. USS Iowa, same.

2) CARTAGENA CONFUSION

I'm not sure if this was a change or if I just screwed up (probably), but for Cartagena, I'm taking the 7:30 Old & New Cartegna tour. It was listed as 8:30 on the unofficial tour sheet, and I think I may have said that somewhere else too.

But it doesn't matter much - this is a simple tour that basically gets you to the city and then you'll have a lot of free time. You can change if you want, but you're going to see the same stuff. In my opinion, the best thing to see in Cartagena are the side streets and battlements of the city itself, and you'll certainly see that on both tours.

3) ONBOARD GAMING

On most cruises, we have our own room where we can do whatever we want. But not this time. I have the Vortex reserved for meetings, but for afternoon gaming, we'll have to find a place in the public areas. Which shouldn't be too hard. I'll scope things out when I go on my Pre-Cruise to Canada that leaves on Oct 29.


4) DINING TIME - 5:15

This one is on Royal - they've changed our dining time twice now. The OFFICIAL time for dinner each night is 5:15PM in Reflections, apparently on Deck 4 now. Yes, it seems a bit early to me too, but it's outside our control.

REQUESTS

As I'm going to be sailing on Serenade of the Seas on the cruise just before ours, what specific questions do you have that I can find answers for? I will already be doing the following:

  • Documenting electrical outlets

  • Measure hair dryers (requested!)

  • Searching for kettles (requested!)

  • Evaluating bed hardness and pillow sizes (requested!)

  • Photographing Dining Room and Bar menus

  • Getting a quick inventory of shops

  • Does ZOOM work? (requested!)

I'll be putting together a video and I will try to do a LIVE Q&A from on board the ship. More to come on that. But let me know what questions you have that I might be able to answer onboard. Thanks! Call those pet sitters and program your lights to do weird stuff! Jeff 802-734-0662

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Howdy - it seems there's a bit of confusion of what ports we're starting and ending at. The address of the departure port is listed in the cruise contract, but not our arrival port which is Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. Here are the OFFICIAL addresses where our ship will be:

Departure Nov. 7, 2023:

PortMiami 1015 N America Way, Miami, FL 33132

Terminal G

Note: this is our scheduled terminal. As with airports, things can change. Check the signs as you drive into port and make sure your driver knows the name of the ship.


Arrival Nov. 21, 2023:

Port of Los Angeles

San Pedro World Cruise Terminal 100 Swinford Street San Pedro, CA 90731

Note: we are NOT going to Long Beach. San Pedro is right next door, but it is a different port.

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1) TEA TASTING

Some folks have started a tea-tasting event on our trip, and you're invited. There'll be enough tea for everyone, but if you'd like to bring your own favorite tea to share, that would be welcome! No need to sign up - we'll sort it out on board. 2) DRUNKEN CROCHET Some of the more unruly members of our party have suggested that afternoons NOT be measured out in coffee spoons, but rather in feet of yarn and margarita glasses. Whatever your beverage of choice, if you'd like to bring your crochet or knitting project, or would like to start one, we'll have some experienced folks with us who'd be happy to share their time and talents with you. Again, no sign up - this will be spontaneous on sea days.

3) eDOCs and LUGGAGE TAGS

Your eDocs are ready, so I'm told. This is a long document that has your official contract with the cruise line, as well as emergency info to share with your loved ones, directions to the ports, etc. It's worth giving it a look over and saving on your phone or whatever. At the end of the document, you'll find your luggage tags. You can print out as many as you need, and bringing a few extra isn't bad. In fact, I often leave them on bags that I carry around the ship in case I leave stuff behind. There is a bit of origami about these things, but you're just folding them into a strip with the information visible - that's it. Don't overthink it. You can attach them to your bags with staples or tape, or you can buy a holder if you really want. (https://amzn.to/3ZSU3bU) If you don't want to mess with this, you can just provide your cabin number at the bag drop off, and they'll make you one on the spot. 4) PACKING

One nice thing about cruises is that you can bring one bag or a dozen - they don't care. Folks typically unpack fully and place their empty bags under the beds, using them for laundry or souvenir storage. There are some considerations, however:

  • You still have airports to deal with.

  • You can bring one bottle of wine or champagne on board, per person. That's it. Full policy: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/onboard-alcohol-guest-policy

  • You can carry on or check bags. Carry on will go through a TSA-like security check, though not as severe. Your luggage must fit through the Xray conveyor.

  • Your bags should be delivered to your room by 7PM. That's AFTER dinner, so plan accordingly. They often come sooner, but you never know.

  • If you can manage to carry on, you can leave the ship at any time on the last day. What everyone is waiting for is luggage.

  • There's a lot of misinformation about power strips and surge protectors. Bottom line: they're not allowed. That doesn't mean you can't sneak them on board, sometimes.

  • Things that produce heat like candles, kettles, steamers, irons, etc. are not allowed. There is a powerful hair dryer in the room, and curlers and straighteners ARE allowed.

  • Here is the full list of prohibited items: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/prohibited-items-onboard-policy

  • If you use a CPAP, tell your stateroom attendant when you meet on the first day. They will supply you with water.

  • There is laundry service on board. It is expensive. I like doing sink laundry, myself. There is a drying line in the bathroom. Here's full information on what laundry services there are on board. Keep in mind that it can take a couple of days to get your things back: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/onboard-laundry-guest-services

  • It's a good idea to bring a battery pack to charge your phone. There probably won't be outlets near the bed. Charge your battery pack during the day, and then use it to charge your phone near your bed at night.

  • I love having a fan, and I'm bringing this. Venty! I love it. And it can charge my phone. A video review: https://youtu.be/bqIXwmSzbwc?si=8GxY_m2cVH7lmr-X&t=1563


Though many of you are entering fall temperatures, don't put that warm weather gear away just yet! A month from now, you'll be basking in the sun...

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