Favorite thing: When on this ship you must purchase your soda or buy a soda card for unlimited refils. The only free beverages are: water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, tea and juices with breakfast. I wanted to have the option of being able to have soda so I purchased the card. They give you a refillable thermal cup and place a soda sticker on your seapass to identify that you have purchased the soda package. Either present your cup or show them your seapass to obtain a soda.
Royal Caribbean hands out an information sheet regarding customary gratuity amounts. Envelopes are provided in your stateroom the day before arrival back in the home port. You can put money in the envelopes for the appropriate staff or go to the customer service desk and have the gratuity added to your seapass account.
The Gratuity Guidelines are:
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 per day per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 per day per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 per day per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 per day per guest
We generally overtip because we receive such excellent service.
Internet access is important to us. Liz is in school and needs to submit assignments and do homework when we are on vacation. There is an internet area on the ship but we choose to bring our own laptop. They have various packages that range from 60 minutes of time to 180 minutes. The cruise ship provides a map of area on the ship that have wireless internet access. We found a few places that were quiet enough for Liz to do her schoolwork and have a dacquiri at the same time.
Fondest memory: On Board the cruise ship they have an internet cafe to keep you connected to school, work or loved ones. The cafe has a number of workstations available for use. You can also bring your own laptop and use their WI-FI service. Liz always needs to have internet access since she is in school and brings her homework with her wherever we go.
The internet pricing is $.55 a minute or you can buy a package. We always buy a package. The package rates are: $28 for 60 minutes, $38 for 90 minutes or $55 for 150 minutes.
WI-FI areas of the ship aren't always very good. We seems to have the best connectionin the Schooner Bar. Be aware the connection is very slow and can be frustrating to use.
Favorite thing: Okay at some stage if you hire a car the car will need to be re-filled. Every country has different methods how to fill your tank, and so has the US. I remember stopping at a petrol station, getting out, walking to the pump, insert the fuel nossle and ... nothing... I tried again... and again... and again... At the end I asked another driver how to get fuel. And she looked at me with big eyes, but realized I was foreign. She said go inside and pay first. Okay so I did. Next problem! I had no clue how much a gallon was and how much fuel in general would cost in the US. I gave the pretrol attendend US$ 50 and got another set full of big eyes. I filled up my car and at just over US$ 20 the car was full. So I went back inside for change... I am sure you get the point :-))
I liked seeing Kennedy Space Center from the Deck of the Disney Wonder. Of course, I have a powerful zoom, on my digital camera, so I got right up on this photo. But in short, it made me think it would be cool to be on a cruise during a take-off day!
Fondest memory: Leaving on my cruise. It was my first. Hopefully not my last!
There is so much to see. Just about all the things you see at Cape Canaverial and KSC had to be invented for the space program. The tour guide for the "Then" part of the "Then & Now" tour gave us a lot of information about the beginnings of the space program. If you see something you are interested in, just ask about it. It's easier with the smaller tour group on the "Then" tour to ask questions.
Fondest memory: The picture here is of a beach house that was used by astronauts and their families when they needed a break from the pressure of training and the crowds of reporters at the Cape.
That October day I had a chance to meet the astronaut who's been up there THREE (!!!) times. After the session, as he was walking through the isle, people shook hands with him. I thought it would be nice to have a picture together. When I popped up the question, he immediately agreed to it as he was thrilled to hear I was from Croatia. Actually, these were his exact words: 'Croatia? Really? After space, that's second most exotic destination I would love to see.' You can see how thrilled he was from that broad smile & I was eaqully thrilled to hear such compliment! Pitty that my dear friend's face behind the camera can not be seen - he was not thrilled at all! It was not much fun for him as I was getting all the attention, ha ha...
It all started already with the ticket lady at the front gate. She inquired about our country of origin (for the records) and was evidently happy to hear that I was from Croatia ("Oh, you're my very first person from Croatia! That's so cool!"). My dear friend, being from Pakistan & based in Orlando, did not get such a warm welcome as the lady had certainly sold tickets to many Pakistani people before. I was all one big smile - finally some use of coming from a small country!!! Then the astronaut encounter happened and I was having even a bigger smile after that! But there was more to come. Last thing we did was shopping for presents. I paid with my Diners/Croatia Airlines co-branding card, the clerk noticed it and asked if I really was from Croatia. He kinda shouted to other cashiers 'This lady is from Croatia!' and they all seemed happy to have a person from Croatia and started asking questions. Again, no such attention was given to my friend so he was really jealous of me, ha ha...
Even today, when I think about that day, there's a big smile on my face :-)))
Favorite thing: There are a lot of strange thing's to see. Look at this close-up of an old block house. The block house was the control room for launches. You can tell this picture had to be taken from the bus. The driver would slow down long enough for us to shoot up some film. I think this was at Pad 14. Did I say "Take notes"?
You have to start at the beginning to appreciate where we are now in our journey into space. If you are planning a trip to Kennedy Space Center, allow extra time to tour the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will be well worth the time.
Fondest memory: The one thing about our visit to Launch Complex 5/6 that struck me is the amount of history that has been removed. The red colored flame deflector that you see in the picture is all that remains of the original pad equipment. While you can see some similar equipment on pad 6, that just isn't the same.
Favorite thing: check out KENNEDY SPACE CENTER's ROCKET GARDEN. Yeah, come and be awestruck by the many different rockets and space shuttles being exhibited here! The pic below shows a fine example of the Columbia Space Shuttle. So coooooool.
Fondest memory: That's me at the Space Shuttle Launch Platform - Viewing Gallery. This was where the ill-fated space shuttle Challenger burst into flames shortly after take-off more than a decade ago killing everyone on board.
visit KENNEDY SPACE CENTER.
Fondest memory: That's an impressive miniaturized version of the SATURN V ROCKET... with me in the foreground trying desperately to absorb everything in this place.... and within a day. Er... do I look as if I'm starting to have a migraine? Sigh...
Fondest memory: Look closely... Can you see the CRAMPED working quarters of a space shuttle?? This is where the astronauts spend the bulk...no, ALL their time in here. This will really make us feel so blessed that we even have a cubicle to work from at the office (for the lesser mortals like... ahem... me) instead of working inside a space shuttle.
The space centre is an absolute must. Under no circumstances should you miss it. IF a Shuttle mission is active, you can follow their activities fromthe ground.
Fondest memory: The Saturn V rocket which is housed in one of the halls.
The visitorpark does not contain the whole Kennedy Space Center, but is enclosed in a colection of buildings in a park that is filled with rockets and scale-models of spacecrafts. Here is also an IMAX-theatre that gives you a great ride through space.
Fondest memory: Sunrise in space ... in the IMAX-theatre. How it must feel in reality, floating in space? Deep sigh ...