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CruzinTheSeas 12-30-2009 07:36 AM

We are new to this community and we just booked our first RCC yesterday! We have been on two other cruises with Carnival! We are very excited to try RCC!

We are booked to Key West, and Cozumel, Mexico on the Grandeur Of The Seas on February 20,2010 for 5 nights! We are very excited!

We are unfamiliar with the rules and procedures for RCC and I couldn't find a discussion board at the RCC website. I believe the only one is the one you have to have completed a cruise to become a member. I was disappointed with that because I learned everything I needed to know about traveling with Carnival from their message boards and made friends there and actually sailed with a few of them on the same ship on our first cruise to the Bahamas! Hope to find information out here in time before we go in 52 days! We are elated to have found this community!

Happy Cruzing!


tanyababanya 12-30-2009 07:42 AM

Welcome Barb!I'm sure you will get a lot of help from people on this forum.They were great to me when I needed help with my last two cruise!

Dave 12-30-2009 07:50 AM

Welcome to cruise-chat.

I think Carnival is the only cruise line which has it's own on-line community.

The Grandeur is an older ship but it is well maintained. We were aboard her this past summer and had a great cruise to New England and Canada. I don't know which ships you cruised on with Carnival, but the Grandeur is probably closest to the Fantasy-class when it comes to size and things to do aboard.

For the most part you will find RCI and Carnival to have more in common than they do differences. The crew on the Grandeur was outstanding last summer, and I was surprised at the dining room food. Not to say I was expecting it to be average, but it was just at a higher level than one normally expects with a mainstream cruise line. The crew was happy and it showed in the cruise product they offered.

RCI does have a lot of revenue centers, perhaps more than Carnival. However on the Grandeur these are not as prevalent as on the newer, larger ships.

We have lots of members with RCI experience here. If we can't answer your questions then nobody can, on any board.

CruzinTheSeas 12-30-2009 08:34 AM

Thanks for the quick replys! It looks like I am going to enjoy this community!

Do you guys know where is the best (yet affordable) place to stay the night before we cruise? I was hoping for a place that had a free shuttle/parking with their offers for rooms. Any information would be great. Also when we cruised out of Miami they had free parking at the port of Miami for disabled handicap placard. Any info on that would be helpful too!

Thanks a bunch!


Dave 12-30-2009 08:54 AM

Look Here for some hotel ideas. Looking at the Tampa Port Authority website I'd say you get a better deal by booking a hotel where you can park your car for the cruise. The port charges $14 per day for parking.

Jim C. 12-30-2009 08:56 AM

Welcome to Cruise Chat Barb!

Which port are you sailing from? I think the Grandeur is sailing out of Tampa??? With that info we can help on places to park and stay.

CruzinTheSeas 12-30-2009 09:40 AM

We are going out of Tampa Pay Port Authority I guess, that would be it. We are sailing on the Grandeur Of The Seas and it sails out of Tampa! I would love to find a hotel that allows you to park and shuttle out of their hotel to the port! Thanks again for all your info and kindness I have found here!

Also, edited to ask another question or two! Don't ya love me already?

Are we allowed to bring on board a bottle or two of our own wine or champainge? Also does RCCL sell drink tickets for mixed drinks or wine at a reduced price on their website like Carnival does? Oh by the way, we cruised on Carnival's Sensation first in Sept.08 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and then on Carnival Destiny in August 09 with our entire family, children (4) and their husbands, the ones that are married and our 2 grandchildren (ages 6,and 5)!! We loved Carnival Sensation, but didn't care too much for the Destiny because there were too many people and service and attitude wasn't as good as the Sensation, but we didn't let it ruin our time on the Destiny!

Again, Thank you!


Dave 12-30-2009 10:12 AM

RCI doesn't allow any alcohol to be brought aboard by passengers. They also do not sell drink coupons. They do have wine packages you can buy aboard the ship which cut the price a bit.

CruzinTheSeas 12-30-2009 10:38 AM


I enjoyed the drink coupons with Carnival. I liked just handing a coupon to the server and them bringing my drink back without having to add that to my sign and sail account! Being able to bring on a bottle of wine helped too, as that cut down my bar tab! I don't drink a lot but I liked saving money! I have heard that people sneak stuff in their luggage too. I felt like it wasn't worth the trouble of getting caught and possibly not being able to board the ship! How embarrasing would that be! Like I said, the differences are not enough to disapponit us and we are very excited about trying a new cruise line. I found that Carnival was kid friendly, however I could not hardly ever get into the hottub without a thousand (it seemed!) kids in it at the same time! Looking forward to this adventure!

And thanks again for your quick replys, Dave and everyone!


papaflamingo 12-31-2009 09:04 AM

Just a word about boarding a bottle in your luggage. If you were to try it and get caught, all they do is hold your luggage, call you to a specific location to open it and confiscate the bottle. They tag the bottle and return it to you on the last night when they bring any duty free that you may have purchased. Although they can deny you boarding, that would be extremely rare and most likely limited to real troublemakers.
The biggest thing is the embarassment of being "caught."
This happened to a friend of mine (on Grandeur, coincidentally) and really it isn't that big a deal, but you can purchase wine packages so it really isn't worth the risk of something breaking in your luggage.
Grandeur was or first cruise in 1998 and we sailed on her again in 2007. We also sailed on Enchantment (Grandeur's sister ship) in Sep. They are beautiful ships. The biggest difference you will notice over Carnival is the layout and decor. RCCL ships are very well laid out and I feel more "sophisticated" in it's decor. I really like Carnival but RCCL is still my favorite.
Have a great cruise.

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