Eat at one of two main dining rooms as much as possible for exceptional steak, seafood, etc. If you do that most of the time (rather than the buffet), no need to pay for premium dining. Also, a great 24 hour diner on board has amazing chicken wings and fish n' chips... beats the buffet!
Cabins are very small so upgrade whenever you see a price drop on Orbitz. Get midship to save yourself from extra walking. You will be walking miles every days on excursions so it will really be a life saver.
Try to get a window in Windows dining room. Cabins are small, a balcony is a must. I always tip cabin steward on the very first day; results are amazing. Ask to share table with others; you are bound to meet at least 2 interesting passengers. Don't purchase pictures from Photo Gallery until last day
Not much difference between the Garden Room and Windows, but no dressing up for the Garden Room, so if you want to be casual, stick with Raffles and the Garden Room. The sushi restaurant was great, also.
At the Windows most nights we got right in but on the nights we didn't we got a buzzer to let us know when our table was ready. The buzzer works everywhere on the ship so we went up to the Atrium and had a drink while we were waiting.
We booked our entire trip on Priceline and so glad we did because we got a window room plus the ultimate food and beverage package and onboard credit. We recommend getting the ultimate food and beverage package if you drink at all and love food! We got it at a discount through priceline, so worth it
We booked excursions through Shore Excursions as well as the ship. The former were much cheaper and smaller groups, just as well run - easier in one sense in that you just walked off the ship whereas the ones through the ship required meeting in the large hall then waiting to be called like cattle.
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