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Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 7 - Sea Day

28 May 2017
Michael Poole

Today was our final day on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.

This week has just flown by so fast, but it seems like they always do.

This morning we decided to skip breakfast; we just needed a break from all the food.

We decided to go relax in the hot tub that hangs over the side of the ship. These are right beside the solarium pool and have the best views of the ocean. While we were in the hot tub we were reflecting on the week.

For lunch today we had reservations at Izumi Sushi for noon. On our walk down to lunch we made a quick stop in the casino. We had received a card in the cabin that said we had a free $5.00 in the slot machines. Sadly, we didn’t win any money, but at least we didn’t lose any either!

Lunch in Izumi was different than usual stop in Sabor, but I’ve never seen them so busy before. I asked our waiter why they were so packed and he said they always are on the last sea day. Our service was a little slower than I would have liked, that’s okay we weren’t in a rush for anything. I ordered the DX Sushi combo, spicy tuna, and Ryu Futomaki. They were all good, and I also enjoyed some of those special Japan beers. At the end of the meal our waiter charged me $53 for the rolls. I talked to the manager on the way out and he voided the charge off, once I explained I had the dining package.

After lunch we went to Sabor to meet her parents, and I just saw people in line everywhere on the boardwalk trying to eat. Then I noticed it was raining outside so everyone came in for lunch. At one point the doghouse ran completely out of hot dogs, not to worry because you know they always have more!

We had planned to go see Cats today at 2:30pm. Unfortunately, the cruise director Tim made an announcement that both of the Cats shows are cancelled due to a few lead roles being sick. This was sad to hear, because I was actually getting excited for the show. They did put together a replacement show where they did some singing in the main theater.

We walked around the ship for a while to take in those last moments or something we hadn’t seen yet. We found ourselves on the back jogging track relaxing. On Oasis and Allure they have these wooden chairs that you can just sit and listen to the wake from the ship.

For happy hour this evening we went to the Champagne bar. I noticed this bar was usually very busy, unlike my other sailings where it was usually empty. I think people know they can make specialty cocktails in there now, and it’s become very popular. We both ordered the chocolate espresso martini, and wow is all I can say! If you ever need a wake-me-up kind of drink order this.

Dinner tonight was in Sabor, it’s become a tradition of mine to end any cruise with Sabor, unless of course I’m on a ship without it. We have good friends sailing with us Rich and Tammy, so I had arranged for the four of us to eat together on the last night. We had the best service tonight, I almost felt like family in there! I had the shrimp tacos for dinner and they were outstanding. But if you are a tuna taco lover, I’m sad to report it’s been removed from the menu.

After dinner we thought it would be fun for everyone to ride the carousal. Who said adults can’t have fun too! Everyone was laughing and just having the best time. I also recorded our ride on my periscope account if you want to enjoy that.

Wrap up

This was my third time on Oasis of the Seas, and by far my favorite cruise on her. I connected with so many of the staff members on board. The entertainment on board is the one thing that just stands out, as I reflect on the cruise. All the shows were so entertaining and we kept talking about them throughout the week. I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing.

  • Voom Internet worked so well on this ship. I always stayed connected and the speeds were very fast.
  • The crew was so friendly; some have been there since the first voyage in 2009.
  • Diamond drinks (3 coupons loaded on sea pass cards) could be ordered in any restaurant. I also saw many people getting their diamond drinks all at one time (unopened beers) to store in their cabin.
  • I never stepped foot in the Windjammer or Main dining room this whole cruise with since I had the ultimate dining package.
  • Customs no longer requires a declaration form if you aren’t claiming anything. Lines were moving very fast, didn’t take us more than 15 minutes from ship to car.

I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing. Until next time!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: May 28, 2017

28 May 2017
Matt Hochberg

Welcome to our summary of all of this week's Royal Caribbean news.  As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as the unofficial start to summer has arrived.

Here is a look at all the Royal Caribbean news from this week!

Royal Caribbean made news this week when it announced it has hired the first Chief Meterologist.

James Van Fleet joined Royal Caribbean to develop forecasts for the cruise line's fleet of 24 ships. With his guidance, captains have the added support to continue making informed decisions and delivering the best possible vacation experience for the cruise line’s guests.

Translating technical data into digestable information is second nature for Van Fleet, who’s a veteran TV meteorologist with more than two decades of experience.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 199th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, with a special interview with the Godmother of Harmony of the Seas.

In this episode, Matt is joined by Brittany Affolter to talk about "her" ship, Harmony of the Seas.  Brittany shares the story of how she came to be the ship's Godmother, and talks about her recent sailing on Harmony.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Explore with Ed shared highlights from his Independence of the Seas Mediterranean cruise.

Travel Pulse wonders if the Escape Room trend will continue on cruise ships.

Cruise Habit shares why a a checklist for packing for a cruise is really good idea.

Daily Echo featured a ten-year-old that build a Royal Caribbean cruise ship out of 2,000 pieces of Lego.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 6 - Labadee

27 May 2017
Michael Poole

Today was our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee, Haiti.

I woke up early today and decided to go out to the lookout viewing area on deck 14. This is actually a couple feet away from my cabin, so it’s a nice perk if you pick a forward cabin on deck 14. The sun was just starting to rise, so I decided to do a quick morning Periscope (live streaming app). Well during my periscope it was featured, by periscope to draw more viewers in. At the time of writing this it’s over 143,000 views, well I finally got my 5 seconds of fame!

We didn’t arrive into Labadee until 9:30am, so I grabbed breakfast to go from Park Café to enjoy on our balcony. Their breakfast sandwiches are so good, and included in the cruise fare. It was also fun to see us pull into port from the balcony, while enjoying breakfast.

This morning we had reserved the Jet Ski tours from the online cruise planner. During a recent sale they had the tour 20%, so we paid around $75 each to have our own. We checked in and signed our waivers and were asked to meet our group leader by the lockers. I left all our personal items on board, because I figured they wouldn’t have lockers big enough for all my camera equipment and snorkel gear. They do have small lockers to rent for $8 for the day if you would rather no go back on board for items after a tour.

The Jet Ski tour was likely the highlight of my trip; it was such a unique way to spend in Labadee for me. We stop at different down the cost and our leaded would tell us something about what we were seeing.

At one stop during the tour locals kayaked up to our jet skis trying to sell us things they had made. The only downside to the tour is it only lasted for 50 minutes. I talked to a lot of people who also did the tour throughout the day, and everyone said I wish it were longer.

After our tour we quickly went on board to grab our items for the beach day.

It was actually very easy because there were zero lines at noon. Once back in Labadee we headed straight to the floating bar on Adrenaline Beach. I was surprised to find a lot of options for chairs at 12:30pm. Now that we settled in I went to explore the new bar.

First impressions were it’s much larger than the one in Coco Cay, and can hold a lot more people. Only downside was there is so much rock to walk through to get out there. Honestly, I wish I had brought water shoes out there to swim. I think I much prefer Columbus Cove in Labadee for swimming. We also did a little snorkeling but really didn’t see too much in the area we were in.

Around 3:00pm we headed back on board, and I need some food!

I realized I skipped lunch, so off to Sabor I went. I just sat at the bar for a drink and guacamole to avoid the $19 cover charge. I’ve made some friends with the staff in here, they all know me from coming daily!

For dinner tonight we went to Giovanni’s Table. For those keeping count, this is our third dinner here. I ordered the filet and lasagna in the middle for everyone to share. I’ve noticed they always have lasagna to serve if you just ask for at dinner. Our waiter was absolutely outstanding tonight; he really made this our best meal of the week. I find that the food is great everywhere on the ship, but it’s the staff in Giovanni’s that keeps is coming back, really great crew in here.

We had come fly with me reserved for 8:00pm but were having so much fun at dinner we actually missed the show. They always asked if you have a show in the evening so they can serve you quicker if needed. I also had the comedy show reserved for 10:00pm. We get in line around 9:30pm because I just have to sit front row in comedy shows hoping they pick on me. Tonight’s comedy show was really entertaining, but it’s not a show for the kids.

After the comedy show we headed to the pub to listen to their singer before bed. There wasn’t much of a crowd tonight in the pub. I think everyone was tired from the long beach day. I didn’t stay here long and called it a day around midnight.

Tomorrow is our final day on board, it’s a sea day as we head back to Port Canaveral, Florida.

Friday Photos

26 May 2017
Matt Hochberg

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  We're starting this weekend with our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos.  Each week we invite our readers to share their photos with us!

Our first photo this week is from John Bamber of Freedom of the Seas off the coast of CocoCay.  

Carl Green sent this photo of the sunset, as seen from Radiance of the Seas while heading back to Sydney from a 14 night cruise around New Zealand.

Here is a photo of Independence of the Seas on embarkation day, taken by Jeff L.

Caroline just returned from her honeymoon on Harmony of the Seas, and took this photo at the honeymooner's gathering event onboard.

Next is a photo of dinner from Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas, taken by George Alcazar.

Here is a shot of the sunset at Bermuda dockyard, taken by Jenn U.

We round things out with this photo by Paul Collins of Oasis of the Seas docked next to a few other, relatively smaller, cruise ships in Nassau.

We want your Royal Caribbean photos too! Use this form to send us your favorite photos and we will include it in an upcoming blog post.

Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off Cruise Planner purchases with Memorial Day Pre-Sail Savings

26 May 2017
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering up to 30% off certain Cruise Planner purchases during its Memorial Day Pre-Sail Savings sale.

Guest that log into the Cruise Planner will find certain items discounted.  The exact discount available will vary from sailing to sailing, but we spotted the Royal Refreshment package discounted 30% off, along with similar discounts for many spa treatments.

Based on the countdown timer, the sale expires at midnight on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 5 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

26 May 2017
Michael Poole

Today was our second port stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 7am-3pm.

I was here last year on Allure of the Seas, but I stayed on board.

Today I wanted to explore San Juan to the fullest.

I woke up early and decided I should go get a run in down on their jogging track. Since it was a port day the track was almost empty. I did get my favorite post run drink, yellow Powerade with my drink package at the coffee shop.

After I cleaned up from my never-ending 2.5 mile run, we had breakfast in Park Café. It was 9:00am by this point so most of the guests were already off the ship. I noticed when we walked in they had a bagel station where you could put all kinds of toppings on them. I decided to skip that section and try the breakfast burrito and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. While Hillary and I were eating we talked about how this was the best breakfast we have had all week.

At 9:30am we walked off the ship into San Juan to explore the island.

My first impressions of walking around downtown were how beautiful the old building looked. I could have spent the morning just exploring the streets and getting lost around town. However, I wanted to finally see the forts on the island, everyone always talks about.

We walked just a few forward from the exit of the pier, back to the Castillo San Cristobal fort. To enter the fort it’s $5 per person, but it also includes entry into their other fort Del Morro. Once we arrived to the fort my first thought was wow, this thing is huge.

After exploring for an hour I really had no idea how massive this fort really is. I think it would take 3-4 hours to really take a deep dive into this fort, but we manage to cover most of it in 2 hours. Just remember when visiting here wear tennis shoes and bring extra water.

We ran out of our water and they have bottles in the gift shop for $1.55.

Our original plan was to walk the 1-mile over to the next fort, but we decided we needed a break from this heat. I remembered the Bacardi rum factory was in San Juan, so that was our new plan for the afternoon. We started walking looking for a taxi, and I thought how about an Uber instead? Our Uber driver was there very fast, and the cost for four people was $11. The factory was about 10-12 miles away, so I was pretty happy with the rate. I will note the Uber drivers don’t speak English, so that’s some added entertainment for the ride.

Once we arrived to the factory, we were a little confused where to go.

The property looks like a headquarters to a company, guard at the entrance and buildings everywhere. We ended up grabbing some lunch, which was decent.

They also had a very large gift shop we picked up things to take home. However, we didn’t have time to complete a tour due to our ship leaving at 3:00pm.

Evening on board

Tonight was our second formal night and we had a pretty busy evening ahead of us. We had reservations for Giovanni’s table at 6:00pm; I know you must be thinking… Didn’t you already eat their Michael? We love the new menu in here so much we just wanted to come back. Again, I ordered the filet and it was just as flavorful as night one. The service in this restaurant is by far the best we have experienced, and he’s a spoiler alert: we are going back tomorrow!

After dinner we had the ice show schedule for 8:15pm. We arrived early to get a front row seat, (it’s a must for the blog right?). I haven’t seen an ice show on their ships in likely five years; just seem to never make them. Tonight I’m so glad I did, this show was so entertaining they even had kids from the crowd in the show at one point. They have a sand artist draw things with his fingers during one of the costume changes, which really got the crowd going. That evening my girlfriend asked me if we could go back to the ice show again, it was that good!

Our show started a little late, so we were rushing to leave to get to the 70’s street party on the Royal Promenade. This is the one party I’m looking forward to all week. If you have been to one of these parties before you know they play the same songs, but I still find them pretty fun.

We danced tried to enjoy ourselves, but I noticed many passengers didn’t really dance or anything. The party lasted around 35 minutes and this is when we decided to call it an evening.

Tomorrow is our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee. This is Matt’s second home, and he’s covered this port many times. So I’ll try to throw a different spin on it. Stay tuned!

Spotted: Royal Caribbean adds soda package and internet combo

25 May 2017
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has added a new combo offer for guests to purchase, that combines the ulimited soft drink package with the unlimited internet package.

Dubbed, "Classic Soda And Voom One Device," this new offering costs $19.00 per guest, per day and can be purchased via online prior to a cruise, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

If a guest were to purchase the Classic Soda Package and Voom one device internet package separately, it would cost them $8.50 + 14.39 ($22.89) per person, per day.

The Classic Soda And Voom One Device plan is similar to the Deluxe Beverage Package and Voom One Device plan, which has been a popular choice for guests that want to get the unlimited alcohol package and Voom internet plan together.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog message board reader FManke for spotting this new option.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 4 - St. Maarten

25 May 2017
Michael Poole

Today we arrived to our first port stop of beautiful St. Maarten.

Over the years of all the islands I’ve visited, this one has become my favorite. My plans today were to find a new beach on the French side of the island. My girlfriend’s mom also wanted to spend the day on the beach with me. My girlfriend and her father wanted to rent scooters to explore the island. I decided to walk them to the scooter shop to make sure things were good before we went to the beach. They had scooters for $79 and ATV 4 wheelers for $99. The ATV 4 wheelers are pretty easy to drive because there are no gears, just gas and breaks. After they paid the man, he requested to hold their sea pass cards for “insurance” that they would return.

Once they were off on their way, we jumped into a taxi to Orient Beach on the French Side.

The name of the beach area was called Kakao Beach Bar & Restaurant. They have free entry, however two chairs and an umbrella is $25. The facility was very clean, with showers, changing rooms, lockers, and many restrooms. It was a very different than my previews trips to St. Maarten because it was on the French side of the island. I ordered a bucket of beers (6) for $20 and relaxed in my relaxing beach chair most of the afternoon.

We had our taxi driver scheduled to come pick us up at 2:30 for our return trip, which was about 20-25 minutes with traffic. The cost was $20 each way to the beach, so in all around $100, but worth every penny. Our driver shared information about the island on the drive and was very friendly. He suggested next time, we get into a taxi and ask them to stick with us all day to explore.

Afternoon on board

Around 3:30pm I was back on board and thankfully Hillary had returned safely from driving around on a scooter all day. I was actually worried about them for most of the day, since we couldn’t communicate on the island. We had reservations for Izumi at 5:30pm, but we decided we needed pre-dinner so off to Sabor we went.

We sat at the bar and they will serve you just chips, guacamole, and salsa for $7.

So that’s what we ordered and it was the perfect little snack to hold us over.

While we were at the bar, I asked them about the 10-drink card I’ve seen signs about all over the ship. The price seems to vary from what others have reported but it was $79 + 18%, so I believe $92 total. This card can be shared with anyone and works at any bar or restaurant plus Labadee day 6. We purchased the card for Hillary since she only had her Diamond drinks. The cards work just like a drink package, meaning the drink limit is anything up to $13.

Dinner Izumi

We had scheduled Izumi sushi tonight for dinner, but I guess I failed to mention this. With the Ultimate Dining package you have someone assigned to you that is designated person for any and all reservations. Now, I didn’t know this going on board so I just scheduled the week day one. Our person called our cabin day 1 to introduce herself and asked if we wanted to switch to Izumi Hibachi for tonight.

With the dining package you can order their classic 1-meat meals for $44 or their combo 2-meat for $49. I went for the lobster and scallops for the main course. I’ll be honest, going into this meal I didn’t know what to expect, since I’ve done Hibachi many times on land. The experience was so entertaining, our chef was singing, had all of us clapping. This was the most fun I’ve ever had at dinner and they had many unique beers from Japan here too!

After dinner we went to the casino to redeem our Crown & Anchor spin to win. Of course I didn’t win anything, but my girlfriend won a t-shirt. I was surprised to see the t-shirt was a really nice cotton V-neck gray t-shirt. I didn’t play any, so no donations to Royal Caribbean to report thus far.

We spent most of our evening in Central Park listening to the live music. I just can’t get over how nice and cool the park has been in the evening. If you are coming on Oasis soon, there is a couple that does the best job in the park.

We were in bed by 10pm tonight, we were pretty worn out from the island.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post we are in San Juan!

Empress of the Seas 2017 Live Blog Day 5 - Sea Day

25 May 2017
Billy Hirsch

Today is a sea day, and the last day of our Empress of the Seas cruise to Cuba, and we've got the "ast day blues" in a big way. Being at sea was a welcome change, as somehow the days felt short this week and I didn't get to enjoy the ship as much as I'd have liked. This summary will be a short one though, as we worked hard to do very little but relax, a vacation within a vacation, but we did get to explore the ship some.

An Early Start, Relatively Speaking

Today we woke up around 9:00am after setting the clocks forward overnight, which means it was 8:00am in our brains and a very early hour compared to what we're used to. We usually find it easy to oversleep in an inside stateroom, but the excitement of a cruise full of friends heading to a new destination got us moving a bit earlier each day. Today however what got us up was the desire to live every minute of the last day.

For breakfast, we opted for the Windjammer, which was not anything special but it seemed a good way to get in and out quickly compared to the main dining room, which we'd already enjoyed for brunch a few times. I did notice that a couple of staple items in this Windjammer are different than they are on other Royal Caribbean ships. For example, the breakfast potatoes and the donuts are both completely different recipes – not bad, just different.

After breakfast, we took a walk across the pool deck and found that there were some people out early, but plenty of space left. From there we went to Boleros for espresso. I've been surprised that there haven't been longer lines at Cafe Royal, which is nice. That in mind the quality of the espresso seems hit or miss. It may be they're better equipped to make Cuban coffee, which has a ton of sugar. Either way I got my fix and we took a stroll.

All Walks Lead to Bars

Schooner bar has been the main meeting place and watering hole this entire cruise. I really like the venue, and the location is fantastic (midship, next to guest services and such), though I'd have thought we'd spend more time in Boleros. It was a bit early for a drink, but I'm on vacation, so we again found ourselves at the Schooner bar where Ashford, the barkeep, insisted we start and finish the second bottle of Ardbeg they brought on for us. This was the beginning of some serious peer-pressure from Ashford (who is awesome by the way).

As I sipped scotch I had a brief Twitter exchange with James Van Fleet, Royal Caribbean's meteorologist who pointed out some storms Empress was going to be cruising near. This is a nice reminder how many people work hard to make these trips safe and enjoyable.

Several drinks in and while waiting to meet up with friends I decided we are on a cruise and should probably see the outdoors and get some fresh air. Heading to deck 10 the "Sexist Man" contest was going on. Personally, I don't care about the belly flop contests and these other pool events, but they are crowd pleasers and I'm glad others enjoy them. This is when the weather started looking a little less than desirable as some the storms became visible, but folks were still enjoying time by the pool.

Heading back to the Schooner for some more time chatting with friends new and old we quickly realized it was time to eat, and the Windjammer called our names. By the time we sat down to eat there was a decent amount of rain that had moved in, and it was neat looking as the water ran off the windows of the Windjammer.

Notice by the way that the Windjammer on Empress is situated forward, where as the other ships in Royal's fleet feature the Windjammer to the aft. That rain on the glass, a nice lunch, and perhaps the four glasses of whisky I'd had left me fading fast, so we headed to the stateroom for a bit to begin packing and take a short nap.

Yes, we did more than just drink today.

Funny as it seems on such as small ship, we realized there were some spots we hadn't really explored and other spots we wanted to enjoy more time in. We walked around, listened to some live music in Boleros, and saw our new Aussie friend Luke (actually I think he lives in BC) who we threw an olive cover on and had him do his best Fidel impression. We then started walking all the way forward on the promenade and found that on several decks there are neat view of the bow. Nothing special, as it's just hardware, but it's a perspective I'd not noticed on other ships. These areas sit in front of stateroom windows, and there is a shortcut to get there if you're in one of these rooms, so while the area isn't private, you essentially have a secret/rarely trafficked area overlooking the bow. One of these decks through had some A/C parts stored there, but I realize they're actively doing A/C work in the Casino, so hopefully this is short-lived - I'd be annoyed if that was my room window in the picture, but perhaps it belongs to a contractor or officer.

It occurred to Larissa and I that we'd not seen any of the shows onboard, and we'd heard good things about tonight's show, "Three". I'm a sucker for mashups and such, which were the default shows on ships for years. I expected something similar to this, and the show was billed as having music from multiple decades, but it was bit different in that it was largely covers or mashups of pop-music, and I was having trouble figuring out if there was any attempt at weaving a theme in. The performers themselves were all talented, and from a choreography standpoint they were all in sync, which doesn't always happen. I did feel a few songs had performers singing outside their range, which seemed odd with so many singers to choose from. The back of the stage was also used for a number of scenes and effects, seemingly using rear-projection. It looked good, but in a few cases, may have been a bit distracting.

What I really enjoyed about this show however (not taking away from the talent at all), was the theater itself. There was a time that ship theaters had clusters of tables and chairs, neat layouts that made them feel like a lounge, and were conducive to drink service. Newer ships have turned to stadium/theater seating, which I understand from a logistics standpoints, but Empress has the layout of ships of the past, and I really liked that. Overall it was a pretty room, too, with nice accents and furnishings. I'd like to see this style come back, but I won't hold my breath, despite some recent changes I've noticed in ship design.

The Last Supper

In the last year or two Larissa and I started going to the buffet area of ships for dinner more and more often. Not that we don't like the main dining room experience, and we still go frequently, but the flexibility and variety of a good buffet is nice. Any trouble we may have had deciding which venue to enjoy tonight dissolved the moment we realized that it was Indian night in the Windjammer. Decision made, we love Indian food, and this helped me work through how upset I am about the cruise being nearly over.

The food was good, and they had more than just curries, which was nice. I was surprised though they didn't have rice, which seemed strange. I asked about getting some and they said they'd be glad to get me rice but it would be ten minutes. That's reasonable, but I told them not to worry about it as there was so much food to choose from already. After some Indian I sampled what, based on how I feel right now, must have been about 43 desserts. The Windjammer doesn't tend to have very rich desserts aside from their daily "feature", like the crepe station yesterday, but I found a few of the cakes to be good. Frankly, if the cakes were richer I'd not have been able to sample so many, so we'll call it a win.

Bags Out, Alarms Set

Once finishing dinner, we headed back to the stateroom to finish packing, frantically shoving everything we could inside the bags we're checking to make things as easy as possible tomorrow. We both have to work in the morning, so while we're not looking to be the first off the ship, we can't do what we sometimes enjoy, which is taking it easy on the last day and being the last ones off, walking off along with the consecutive cruisers. I'm hoping for a simple process tomorrow considering the low passenger load, though I've quickly become spoiled having Global Entry lines in PortMiami and Port Canaveral, a luxury we won't have tomorrow in Tampa. I'm also hoping I get to bed before we enter Tampa bay, as I do like these storms rocking me to sleep.

Stray Observations

  • Earlier in the live blog I mentioned that while you can tell the ship is older by its design, it seems in great shape. This is true, though over the days I've noticed some minor things that show age. Doorjams, a keyholder in the stateroom meant to hold an actual key, missing screw covers, etc. All minor things that don't in any way negatively impact the experience.

  • The muster info cards in the room are red, and while they look brand new, I wonder if they're from the ship's Pullmantur days.

  • Because this was our only sea-day they packed all the activities into one day. Multiple types of trivia, bingo, pool games, etc. It seemed a jam-packed day, but maybe it's just been a while since we took a cruise shorter than 7 nights.
  • There are sea-sickness bags taped to railings, though we really did seem to dodge the rough weather. It's quite pleasant right now.

I'm still working on fulfilling some requests for specifics on Empress, but if you have questions or comments don't hesitate to comment below or reach out on Facebook or Twitter!

Interview with Harmony of the Seas' Godmother on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

24 May 2017
Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 199 is available for downloading, and this week we have an exclusive interview with the Godmother of Harmony of the Seas, Brittany Affolter.

Brittany shares with us the story of how she came to be the Godmother to Harmony of the Seas, and shared a review of her recent sailing aboard Harmony.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 199. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!