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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/21/2020 in all areas

  1. 33 points
    twangster

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    I wonder if grandpa has ever come back to his car in a snow storm and found his car full of snow because he didn't know his window was open? Probably has a wicked air conditioning bill in the summer when the windows in the house are open. Drive through restaurants must be a PITA for him. Is the window open or not? So confusing. Is he a Mac IT professional because Windows seems to give him a lot of trouble.
  2. 31 points
    SpeedNoodles

    Feeling Discouraged....

    Ok, first, if you're reading a forum where people are shaming other people, leave that forum. That's unnecessary. We don't do that here. There's no reason for you to feel badly about a cruise like that. $50 is plenty because it truly is on top of what is expected. If you WANT to leave more, that's fine - if you want to leave less, there's nothing wrong with that either. I've left less, I've left more, depending on my particular room steward.
  3. 24 points
    Ovation of the Seas, 11 Nights departing from Sydney Australia to New Zealand For many years I avoided Alaska cruises on the premise that bikinis are better than parkas. Then I finally did an Alaskan cruise. Just wow! Why did I wait so long? That experience got me looking even farther from home and I realized the same could be said for Australia and New Zealand. Learning from Alaska I decided to just do it. YOLO! I've always wanted to visit both Australia and New Zealand so hopefully this will be a rehearsal for more cruising down under. Practice makes perfect. This is me doing my single digit dance. It's a long flight to Australia, I take off early one day and land two days later. Somehow it ended up being 2 days and a few hours to get there with a connection. Fortunately it takes less than 6 hours to fly home. Strong tailwinds I guess. With the time change it's already well into tomorrow there. I can never keep that straight. All I know is that this cruise is costing me two days of my life just to get there so I have high expectations. This is an 11 night cruise but weather permitting we'll have one day sailing through Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. With the three sounds all on day 9 the itinerary looks longer than it is. Here's hoping for good weather. Just one tender port so that's a plus. I tendered on Ovation in Hawaii so that doesn't concern me. With the time change it seems that Sydney always celebrates New Years Eve before North America so on that basis I'll get to watch the Super Bowl a day before you folks in North America. I'll post the outcome here, get ready to place your bets. Super Bowl Monday here we come. The game starts mid-morning so there may be some day drinking involved. At least it's on a sea day. Flying into Sydney two days prior and staying downtown my plan is to take the train into the city and sleep for the rest of the day. Other plans include the Sydney Bridge Climb and a tour of the Sydney Opera House after which I'll either crash hard or have some gas left in the tank to explore a little bit more. If I have time I may try to find Alice. Maybe I'll get up early (or be up already) to watch Ovation come into port. My bags are packed, I'm ready to go... 'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane...
  4. 24 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    Feeling Discouraged....

    $50 is very generous. Whoever said that the daily grats don’t get the room attendants doesn’t know what he** they’re talking about. They most certainly do. Ignore that forum. Someone is just trying to make themselves look like big spenders. That kind are usually making up for some personal shortcoming.
  5. 22 points
    DDemuth

    Well, that was a surprise...

    Our younger daughter will be graduating from college in May and our older daughter has been teaching middle school in London for the last 2 years. With the prospect of having both girls working to establish their respective careers in both the US and UK, this summer seemed like the last time that we could vacation as a family in the foreseeable future. So last summer we booked Allure out of Barcelona for a Mediterranean cruise as kind of a last hurrah. At the time of booking, it was evident that this would be a relatively expensive endeavor since Allure would be recently AMPed, we would need to arrange for three trans-Atlantic flights, hotels reservations in Barcelona for both pre- and post-cruise site seeing and we would be traveling at peak season in July 2020. But bite the bullet and pay the fare. We did. Yesterday, I did a mock booking for our cruise and was surprised to see that current pricing was significantly below what we had paid. In part, this was because a senior discount (yes, I'm old) and a Resident discount was available that had not been applied to our initial booking. Bottom line, a call to RCI to inquire resulted in a re-calculation of our reservation. Not only were the discounts applied but the current BOGO60 and several other current sale discounts were added that reduced our costs by almost $1500.00. Excursions and drink packages, here we come.....! 😀 My lucky day! Barca, here we come!!
  6. 21 points
    Cruise Summary This cruise was a pretty fantastic experience overall. New Zealand is pretty amazing and every port was very welcoming. Sydney was a great city to start from. A couple of days pre-cruise to adjust to local time was perfect. In general terms I haven't found the time changes to be that hard on the system on either end. The long flight helps the transition. I was able to use credit cards in most cases so there wasn't a need for a lot of cash. Third time on Ovation. I'm very comfortable with Quantum class and it was a good fit for this cruise and the environmentals around New Zealand. Tendering wasn't an issue, they seem to have this down to a science on Ovation. In fact they did a better job tendering on Ovation than Vision did on a recent cruise with a tender port. I booked this cruise for the ports of New Zealand yet the time in Fiordland was the highlight of the cruise. This was a photo intensive cruise. Picture stats: 4,828 pictures taken, 870 posted. I hope you enjoyed following along and I thank you for viewing. PS - some menu pictures coming soon.
  7. 20 points
    S: Good, actually, great news about your Anthem of the Seas sailing Good morning! Late last night, we sent you an email sharing the news that the New Jersey Health Authority advised us that they received the results from CDC, and the individuals tested negative for novel coronavirus. (We decided it was a little too late to text you.) The good news, our departure from Cape Liberty, New Jersey will remain the same, at 3:00 PM EST on Monday, February 10th. The even better news, our team has been tirelessly working and has advised you can board the ship today! So, come start your vacation early with us. The terminal doors will open at 3:00 PM today and boarding will take place today from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST, or Monday from 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST. Please know, since stevedore availability is limited today, you may need to bring your bags onboard with you, so it may be a good idea to pack lightly. We really appreciate your understanding during this unexpected and very fluid situation. Our top priority is your health, safety, and wellbeing. We would never put you at risk, especially when it comes to health. So, thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you later today, or tomorrow! Yippee ! Boarding today at 3:00. Ready to get this party started !
  8. 20 points
    emsff02

    I hate kids....

    Ugh, sailing on Liberty on the 16th, and just got a call from the school about my kid who has a fever.....this will be me for the next week.
  9. 20 points
    While in the solarium I was surprised to see it empty at 8:15am on a sea day. I think the time change last night escaped some people. Regardless, I took advantage of the opportunity to grab some pictures. The Quantum class solarium is the nicest in the fleet and with the indoor family pool area it truly can be adult only. Very similar to Anthem but different in subtle ways.
  10. 20 points
    Multi part post because I can't sleep. Rain, lots of it, is called for our coco cay day as of right now. Pray to the sun gods for me!!! What an amazing day. The other 9 did a catamaran excursion. Me and the wife got the day to ourselves. We did the St Maarten bus tour. Very interesting but odd at the same time. St Maarten is hard to explain, beautiful and sad at the same time. The last hurricane did a number and parts of it seem too poor to rebound. There were also 6 ships docked so or was jamming everywhere. We were the biggest but a couple of these werent small. Iguanas of the seas. Yeah... mountain goats visible from the port exit! After that we rushed back to do our vow renewal. I had to sit in the suite deck while they all got ready. I reread my vows, and madE a few last minute adjustments at the bar with vodka on the rocks. The loft attendants and concierge helped out with some decor and a cheese plate. It was amazing! My sister in law did an amazing job officiating the vow renewal in the suite. Most of those pics will have to wait as we used a better camera than my phone. Our daughter was the flower girl and my wife came down the loft stairs in a beautiful dress and we had a beautiful ceremony. We were about 15 minutes to late for a sunset back ground. we made up for it with pics around the ship! We even got a pic with the cruise director Mark right when they finished taping a show.
  11. 19 points
    We clean up pretty nicely when we want to there’s always one in every crowd.
  12. 19 points
    Some more pictures as I walked around with my backpack loaded with camera stuff and my valuables while I waited for my hotel room to be ready. Did I mention it's hot here and with the sun rising higher in the sky it was getting hotter before noon when many of these pictures were taken. I had a 4:35am bridge climb booked so I wanted to find the meeting place in the daylight today. I had also learned you can walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge so I then set off to find that path. Looking back and down to the Campbells Cove area I walked around before. Great views of the Sydney Opera House from here. If you look through the mesh of the fence you will some bridge climbers getting ready for their ascent. I'm not sure I'd want to do the bridge climb in the heat of the day so make sure you plan your booking times carefully if you are thinking about doing this in the summer. Constant ferry traffic into and out of Circular Quay.
  13. 19 points
    I decided to celebrate my 40th birthday with my first ever cruise! My birthday is in August, but I decided to go in June. Oasis of the Seas, leaving June 7th from New Jersey. Anyone else going? I appreciate Brock with M.E.I. Travel for helping me. He'll probably be sick of all my questions by cruise time! 😂
  14. 18 points
    Brobbins246

    Good news & bad news

    The bad news is, my dad told me last night that he's moving from where we leave near each other in Michigan to the Seattle, WA area. I'll be sad to see him go, moving so far away. The good news is....what a great excuse to plan an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle!!!!!! I may or may not invite him along. LOL
  15. 18 points
    Preamble Some of you know that we have tried to sail with Royal twice before. First, we were booked on the Adventure of the Seas out of San Juan when our sailing was cancelled due to an unscheduled dry dock. We tried to rebook with RC, but we weren't able to work something out with them when we wanted to go. We sailed on NCL and while we had a decent time, NCL didn't win us over. So, when we found a good deal on a sailing on the Navigator of the Seas for February '19, we figured we'd give RC a shot. That was supposed to be her first sailing after her amplification and, if you remember, it was cancelled a week out because she wasn't ready. Scrambling at the last minute because we needed to get away last winter, we found a sailing on Carnival out of New Orleans at the last minute. I went in not expecting much, but surprisingly, we had a great time on Carnival. So much so that my wife and I agreed if we only sailed on Carnival again, we'd be happy. In fact, we had already booked this trip prior to the last cancellation and afterwards, I was tempted to cancel on Royal - you know, because I'm mean spirited like that. We kept the sailing and on February 2nd we finally boarded a Royal ship - the Liberty of the Seas to be exact. Full Spoiler Alert - we had a great time! I share that because I want you to know where I am coming from if I mention something I didn't care for or would change (it isn't much). In fact, I won't go as far as to say we are Royal exclusive, but we are Royal preferred. I'd sail on other lines again (and we've now sailed on the four major ones in the US Market [Disney, NCL, Carival and Royal]) but we'll look to Royal first. So much so that we've already booked our next cruise on the Symphony of the Seas for next January (shhh, that's a secret from our boys). I know at times I've been critical of RC on these boards, but I have to say that once we finally got onboard, the crew and the ship absolutely blew me away! Pertinent Information Crew: Myself, my better half (Julie) and my boys (George and Lucas [and yes, that is because I love Star Wars!]). Also joining us were my father-in-law and his wife (we all get along great - dad remarried after mom passed a few years ago and I have no idea what the correct term for your father-in-law's second wife that doesn't sound stupid. Loved having them along!) Ship: Liberty of the Seas Dates: February 2nd to 9th Itinerary: Galveston - Sea Day - Sea Day - Roatan - Costa Maya - Cozumel - Sea Day - Sad Day (aka get off the boat day). Other Notes: We're eating in the MDR (more on that) and Julie and I scored the $18 UBP mistake. Day One - Driving to Galveston - Friday, January 31st As a family of four, flights can be pricey. Thus, whenever possible, we'll drive to vacation. If we can get there in two days drive, then it's load up the family truckster and head out. We got the boys off to school and began the ritual pre-vacation cleaning. I love coming home to a clean house after vacation so we make sure and allocate time to do it just before we leave. Julie had been sick for a few days and I didn't want to get denied boarding, so I sent her to the doctor (yay antibiotics) and I had one last work obligation to go to (as a pastor, I had to make a quick hospital visit to pray with someone). Got back and loaded up the car, ate the last of the leftovers for lunch and went to get the boys from school. The plan was to leave home from just south of Des Moines, IA, and drive to Muskogee, OK. Google says it is about 7 hours so we hoped to be there by 8-ish after picking the boys up from school at 1 pm. We actually arrived a little after 9 pm with a stop for dinner in a little town in Missouri where I had the most amazing burger I've had in some time. Made it the Comfort Inn or Suites or something ... we usually stay at a Choice Hotel because it includes a decent breakfast and they aren't horribly expensive. After a fitful night of sleep, we were up and at it early ... but that will have to wait for my next post.
  16. 18 points
    JG1209

    Just a little thanks :)

    I have to say--- I am really starting to feel like one of you guys..... 😃😁🥰 I have 2 cruises under my belt-- well technically 5- --- 3 of them from when I was a kid and Premier Cruise Lines was around... Recently, I have gone on Majesty and Enchantment. I am now going on Harmony in March.... Mariner in April.... and Oasis in March 2021. I always check this blog for anything cruise related.. whether it is ship questions, excursion questions, dining, etc. I always use Royal Caribbean Blog as my top resource! You guys are amazing! Thanks for always being so helpful and full of information. This forum and people are always so great! You are truly appreciated! Especially @Matt! Just wanted to say my appreciation 🙂
  17. 18 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    Anthem & Potential Coronavirus

    Shoved off right on time at 3:00 on the dot. The Captain took us for a harbor tour around the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. The weather completely sucked but it was still a really nice trip. I had heard that they did this from time-to-time, but had never been lucky enough to have it happen for us. Sorry....bad picture. I’m no a Twangster.
  18. 18 points
    It's hard to capture in pictures or words but perhaps this time lapse better represents the experience.
  19. 18 points
    Day -4 (or is it -2?) I booked my flights on Delta using Skymiles. Then as we got closer and with the thought of 14 hours in one airplane seat on my mind I upgraded to Premium Select. This gets you more legroom, more space between seats, a larger TV and an upgraded meal service. The menu: Somewhere around the equator the pilot couldn't line up with the equatorial gate so we had to run along near the equator until he found it. We crossed a few time zones along the way. With 90 minutes left it was time for our breakfast so last map photo, I promise. While boarding I spotted some Royal luggage tags on some carry on bags. The couple across the isle where boarding HAL on Saturday and the lady next to me was taking a sampler cruise on Voyager next. Coming off the plane... smack. There's that summer heat and humidity that Australia if famous for. Walking through the duty shops towards immigration I spotted a passport kiosk just after the shops on the right that was empty so I did the passport scan thing and got my ticket. That got me through to luggage where 10 minutes later our luggage started flowing. I queued up to leave and handed my ticket and passenger record I filled out in flight and that was it. My passport already had the eTA so it was all very easy. This morning I would take the train to downtown. The train was packed with morning commuters but I managed with my suitcase and backpack. No opportunity to take pictures when you are a sardine in a sardine can. Coming off the train at the Circular Quay station and low and behold... Voyager of the Seas! I walked towards my hotel in the direction of the ship spotting a very good doggie.
  20. 17 points
    As the sun was setting we sailed past the White Island Volcano. The tragedy that occurred on December 9, 2019 resonates with me because I was originally booked on that excursion for this day. Out of respect for those impacted by this tragedy I wasn't sure if I was going to mention it. I wasn't even sure we would be close enough to see it. With a solemn heart and with the victims in my thoughts this will be the only post that I'll share.
  21. 17 points
    Getting use out of that slide. Dont care how windy or cold the water is! 20200201_094021.mp4
  22. 17 points
    Welcome to Dallas! One step closer. By my standards in was an excellent flight - we had an equal number of take offs and landings. I watched a “free” movie that AA had, Angel has Fallen. Action flick with probably 3000 rounds fired, bodies everywhere and lots of blood. Having served nearly 8 years in the White House I can confirm it portrays a typical day in the life of a Secret Service agent. 😂😂 Had a gentleman fall ill about 30 minutes out of Dallas so we were met by paramedics at the gate. He appeared to be not too serious and left under his own power. As luck would have it he was seated next to Katie so he had his own private nurse until we landed. Had lunch at Friday’s and are now waiting to board the flight to Miami. More from Miami in a couple of hours!
  23. 16 points
    “Follow that STAR…Our Journey back to Oasis.” - March 15-22, 2020 Oasis… ” A fertile or green spot in the desert, a shelter from the storm, a moment of respite from the conditions of the desert…” We’re back with another blog and that line above pretty much sums up what this cruise means to us this time around. Our lives, since entering dry dock back in August 2019, has been work, work, and more work. To say that the last seven months have been busy is an understatement. However, all is going to be well soon as we are about to embark on not just another cruise, but another Star Class adventure! And full disclaimer! In fear of being blog shamed (I won't mention any names here lol), I debated waiting on this one until about a week out but then I would have to back track to outline the Star Class process. This is just easier. Oh, and I am excited too! Please note that this is only 5 weeks early. 😉 Let's begin...
  24. 16 points
    NOT QUITE YET... ....is this going to be a Live Blog. I am NOT looking to set the new World Land Speed Record for starting the earliest Live Blog. It will turn into a live blog MUCH later when we get closer to sail date. I just wanted to announce to the world that the long anticipated 8 night Symphony itinerary for 21 - 29 August 2021 has finally shown up on the website !!!! I've been stalking this cruise for months. They announced the itinerary - Labadee, Aruba and Curacao - months ago, but never opened it for booking until today. I quickly snagged one of the Deck 8 Aqua Theater Suites because I could not afford (or didn't want) any of the other Star Class rooms that were left. Believe it or not, some of the SC rooms were already gone by the time I got there !! The aft-facing Star Loft was there but I don't really want that one. I have NO interest in that awful Ultimate Family thing and the Royal Loft is WAAAY out of my price range on this cruise (and so was the Ultimate Family thing, to be fair). So let the fun begin. I BELIEVE that this will be the first Oasis class ship to go to Aruba and Curacao. I could be wrong about that. For sure it will be the first time Symphony has been there. This will also be my first cruise on Symphony and I'm very excited. 3 ports in 8 days is my idea of heaven. Interest, anyone ?
  25. 16 points
  26. 16 points
    I'm sorry that you are frustrated over this, but this is all part of cruising and you need to be prepared for that. There are all sorts of things that delay sailings, weather, mechanical failures, illnesses. You need to be prepared for delays and port changes. Calling someone at a call center will not have all of the information as this is a fluid situation. As far as the call center knows, the departure date has been pushed back a day, so of course they are not going to issue a full refund for the cruise. Its in your cruise contract that RC can alter the sailing as they see fit at any time and we as passengers have no recourse. 6. CANCELLATION, DEVIATION OR SUBSTITUTION BY CARRIER: a. Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the Vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity. Except as provided in Section 6(e) below, Carrier shall not be liable for any claim whatsoever by Passenger, including but not limited to loss, compensation or refund, by reason of such cancellation, advancement, postponement, substitution or deviation Others that are on your sailing have reported that RC is refunding the passengers the rate for the day, and any on board things like beverage packages etc. I feel that is more than fair. I also feel that it is wise of the cruise line to push back the sailing to thoroughly sanitize the ship out of an abundance of caution. The cruise will still be enjoyable even though it was shortened by a day. The kids will forget about the delay 10 seconds after boarding the ship. Roll with the punches and have a great cruise.
  27. 16 points
    emsff02

    I hate kids....

    Update: Typhoid Mary has been banished to another state with her mother for the cheerleading competition. She has been fever free and acting her usual self since about 3pm yesterday so hopefully the Tamiflu keeps working it’s wonders. We are optimistic that we will all be healthy and ready for a well earned and desired vacation. It’s currently snowing hard enough here in NY that I just lost power.....yay
  28. 16 points
    Today is the day!!! Here are a couple teasers... more pics of area and menu once I'm back on the ship. Holy crap tho lol
  29. 16 points
    No more pics today but saw 1887 it was great! The shows have all been amazing. Since we stuffed ourselves at Jamie's at lunch we skipped the mdr. Went to Windjammer to go with a small meal... yeah i had 2 plates of Mongolian. Good thing I haven't been queasy half the day! Tomorrow is the 10 year Anniversary! First we have St. Maarten, we have a tour booked just me and the wife. Daughter is going with nana (aunt) and grandma and the other 2 families. This will be the first time we can actually spend just the 2 of us. Then the vow renewal in our suite! Followed by 11 of us at the habichi table. Going to be a great day!
  30. 16 points
    We are having a blast and the weather is amazing! Daughter was too short for flow rider. After some convincing I got her to go down the water slides. She loved them, i got 4 rotations in the bowl too. Tips from the lifeguard helped! Daughter won the jackpot in the ticket machine too.
  31. 16 points
  32. 16 points
  33. 15 points
    Hi all, this is my first time live blogging (gonna be honest not sure if it will be 100% live) but I enjoy everyone’s blogs so much that I thought I would contribute. Who is going: this cruise involves myself (f 22), my mother Bobbi (I know better than to share her age), her partner Suzanne, my younger sister Breanna (19) and a family friend Chantale. The five of us have 3 rooms booked all across the ship in 3 different room categories as we like our space. My sister and I in a boardwalk balcony 10329, my mom and her partner in a ocean view balcony and Chantale in a Central Park view interior. Where to: port Canaveral (Feb. 16), Perfect Day at Coco Cay (February 17), sea day, Costa Maya (February 19), Roatan (February 20), Cozumel (February 21), sea day. precruise: we are all flying out on different flights due to schedules but I leave tomorrow evening and have a red eye from Canada to Orlando arriving very early Wednesday morning. We have a large villa rented as we enjoy our space (as said before) and cooking our own breakfast versus a hotel breakfast. We have 2 days at Disney booked magic kingdom on Thursday and animal kingdom on Friday and have plans for enjoying TGI Friday’s (a favourite to us with the nearest one being over an 8 hour drive from us) and some shopping. that’s it for now I will add excursion plans and some pictures tomorrow!
  34. 15 points
    The kids with their Aunt Julie Someone is living her best life
  35. 15 points
    We have made it on the ship! currently in the windjammer....stuffing food in our mouths since we are hungry! More updates in a bit about the transfer, embarkation process etc. later. Muster is soon, then we have to get the kids registered for adventure ocean. Time for some more food. But first, find some booze!
  36. 15 points
    Day 11 - Sea Day This morning I took in the sunrise from deck 15. Our progress...
  37. 15 points
    Unprecedented situation that Royal had no hand in making. Given the situation their reaction seems reasonable and understandable.
  38. 15 points
    Back down to the ship I could see boarding was beginning. The cruise terminal has no waiting area inside so appointment times are strictly enforced. Once the ship is ready to board they’ll open the doors and start looking for early appointment times. With the new expedited arrival feature boarding is pretty quick and pretty much a non-stop flow through check in, Australian immigration and finally security. To give you an idea how my timing went this morning, this next picture was at 10:15am as I walked towards the Pylon to start my climb. This next picture was at 11:41am after I had cleared security and was on the gangway about to walk on the ship. And with that the cruise can finally begin!
  39. 15 points
    Looking back towards my breakfast venue and hotel in the distance. Looking down the street towards the cruise terminal in the far distance. A short walk in the other direction leads to this staircase. It's early but other than some security here and there it's just me other than that shady character in the bottom left of this picture. Up the stairs and over to the next staircase where the bridge stairs are found across the road. Did I mention I exceeded my stair count on this cruise and it's only day 1 of the cruise? Pro tip: Bring comfortable walking shoes. Looking back towards my hotel and the city behind it. That teenie weenie character through the pylon is security so it seems to be safe even at this early hour. Well lit walkway across the bridge even at night. A hint of sunrise starting to appear in the sky. Looking promising but not quite the same as the morning before. That's when I realized that faint scent was becoming stronger. I couldn't place it before, now it's unmistakably the smell of bushfire in the air. Soon enough I spotted a ship coming into view. I was hoping for a repeat of yesterday's sunrise but given the circumstances this will do just fine.
  40. 15 points
    Before bed I wanted to see what the rooftop pool area of my hotel would look like at night. Not bad.
  41. 15 points
    Friendly reminder, please don't quote photos and repeat them. Thank you! With just my camera around my neck it felt great walking around. With a fresh batch of sunscreen on I wandered back down to the cruise terminal to see how it was going. 2:18pm: A few guests still arriving but it appears the majority are already on board. Photographers note - the sun has come around from this morning. Earlier the sun was on the Opera House side of Circular Quay but in the afternoon it is on the bridge side of the Quay. I had visions of watching Voyager sail away from the bridge but I could feel the time zones starting to weigh on me so I decided this park would suffice. I spotted some bridge climbers beginning their ascent. Good lord people, could you pick a hotter time of the day to climb the bridge? My stomach knew what time it was so I went back to James Squires right beside the ship. Fish and Chips: From my air conditioned and beer laden bar seat I noted the group had made it to the summit. Voyager was supposed to sail at 4:30pm so I went back to the park near the base of the bridge and waited. And waited. Maybe if I just rest my eyes for a minute. Maybe falling asleep in a public park with my camera wasn't a great idea. Half hour overdue I gave up and wandered back to my hotel. The Rocks area was decorated for the Lunar Festival. Street vendors along the back side of my hotel. From my hotel Campbells Cove is just down that road to the right about 100m. The hotel has a rooftop pool so I thought I'd check it out while I was sticky and hot from walking around. With that a long cold shower was in order and time for a nap. I later learned that Voyager didn't leave until after 7pm. She's on a cruise to nowhere I think. Absent of the PVSA they can do those cruises down under. I suspect that's why she took her time departing. I'm glad I didn't hang around the park for her departure.
  42. 15 points
    This is really hard for me to say but it’s day..S....I...X. Always goes by way too fast! This morning Taylor and we’re up and out at around 650 for our excursion. We ate a bite at the Jammer. The others were having breakfast delivered to the suite at 8. We went down to Studio B. At this point both of us were going through Star Class withdrawals. We had to sit with people we didn’t even know!,😂😂. After about 30 minutes we walked down the pier to the nice guides holding the various excursion signs. We only chose our tour yesterday and really picked it at random. Sounded like fun. Dune Buggy and snorkeling. Not at the same time though😁. I had visions of being loaded onto a bus or van and being taken to a place where we would chug along in cool dune buggies down sandy roads lined with palm trees. Nope. We walked about three blocks from the pier to find our buggy parking lot. Each is a four seater. Taylor and I got two passengers, a Bf and Gf in their 20’s. They rode with us because they couldn’t drive a stick shift. Youth. They were reassured after I told them I haven’t been involved in an auto accident since we left Miami. And off we went. About 15-18 little buggies filled with tourists. Driving through town. Around horses, trucks, busses, motorcycles. Through traffic circles. I’m amazed this tour even exists. During our lunch stop folks were eating chicken tacos and slamming tequila. Before driving back! It was awesome😄. Our snorkel stop was at beautiful little beach area. Taylor had never snorkeled before. I had done it years ago before God made fish. But we pressed on. Donned the vests, masks and fins that I’m sure were sanitized in a bucket of tequila or something. We saw some beautiful fish and amazing coral. We spent about an hour there before we took the buggy brigade back on the road to our lunch stop. You basically drive around the entire island before you get back to the port. We made a memory and that’s what this is all about. Tonight dinner is in CK. Then we have the comedy show. I’m hearing rumors of laser tag, we shall see. I hear that our friend Djuro just might have been reading this blog. If that’s true Taylor and I missed you today! I’ll see you tonight my friend.
  43. 15 points
    So I am totally gonna stray from doing a daily report as honestly I am bored and lazy at this point. LOL Food was really good overall but El Loco Fresh is by far our cup of tea and give it 5 stars. We did not buy any meal package or buy any food. Playmakers looked really good as did Port Side BBQ. The other specialty dining locations we have zero interest in but if there was a quick service with a soda package ($20 meal daily at each and the soda package for say $15 pp) we would have done that well before the sit down specialty plans. Service at dinner overall was good, not Disney standards but we only had the same servers every other night, so nights 1-3-5-7 were with the same team. They mentioned they had empty 2 top tables every night so not sure why we didn't get them but its all good. Entertainment Aqua80's is the best show I have ever seen on ANY ship including Disney. The energy and talent of that show is amazing. LOVE IT. Can't wait to see Aqua 80two on the Allure after dry dock. I can go on and on but just go see it if you have to opportunity. We booked the Allure before this cruise as a family vacation in December, this cruise was to explore and see if we should abort! LOL Cats- not for us. Sky- not for us, great talent but yea its a no. LOL Flow rider, zip line, bars, promenade parties are all great. So much to do and how could you ever be bored. Debarkation We choose to do express walk off as we had a 10:25a flight from Miami. We walked off the ship at 7a and was in a Lyft at 7:10a and at the airport at 7:26a! Hands down the best, easiest and fastest debarkation off ANY ship in ANY port we have used. Hands down the boarding and debarkation of Royal is hands down amazing! So the question is other than the Allure cruise with family what will we do, will we keep trying Royal or did we miss Disney so bad it hurt???? We upon reflection Scott and I both believe that this was our best cruise vacation EVER. The Oasis is amazing and as a 10 year ship she looks amazing, sure she just came out of a huge dry dock but we did the Disney Magic and Wonder after a big dry dock and Royal did an amazing job. On Disney on the last day once you leave Castaway Cay (around 6p) they start closing areas of the ship to get ready for the net cruise. We did not experience or see that on Royal. So Scott and I did go to the NextCruise next and booked another cruise on Oasis in October from NY. We love the ship and honestly love that class. Thanks everyone for reading and I do apologize for abruptly ending. LOL If you have any questions please ask but I have to get busy planning another vacation as today a friend called me to join him on the Symphony on Feb 15....so in about 2 weeks I am sailing again! 🙂
  44. 15 points
    Noticed today that you only need to enter in the information for one guest now to price a cruise...lets you get to the refundable deposit option much quicker now!
  45. 15 points
    You must be confused with your cruise lines, Royal has never had self service laundromats (at least not in the 20 years I have been using their ships)
  46. 15 points
    @Lovetocruise2002 I hear your pro tip about blogging solely from my phone. Here is an elderly tip: I can barely see the damned thing!😂😂
  47. 15 points
    Sail away party on the Helipad. I've always called it a Winch Pad because that's what the big letters on it say but when the Captain invites you to the Helipad, I'm going with his wording. His ship, his rules. Like Oasis class, the Quantum class Helipad is not open to the public. Oasis class has often held special sail away events for Suites and Pinnacles but they are much less common on Quantum class ships. The Hotel Director mentioned this was only the second time he has put on this event using the Helipad so it was truly special enjoying the sail away and a fabulous sunset from here. Loyalty pays. #Loyal2Royal
  48. 14 points
    After leaving the farm we drove for an hour or so to the Rotorua area. The entire Rotorua area is within the collapsed dome of a volcano. This includes a recreational freshwater lake and the town. It also includes a Māori living community where we went next. This is home to many people who open it up to run tours during the day. Known in short as Whaka the proper and full name is presented below on a sign. An old tradition will see children swimming and diving for money thrown by visitors from the bridge. Our guides tells us he used to do that as a child but now he has other duties to fulfil around the community including being a guide for tours. Everywhere around us steam is coming out of the ground. In some spots they've built a box on top of these natural steam vents that are used for cooking. This one natural thermal pool is around 80° or 90°C so it's way too warm to swim in but works great for cooking corn very quickly. The water is constantly bubbling being fed from underground sources that heat the water. Since this is a living community we see a number of homes like this one which are naturally heated in the winter months. We were offered some freshly cooked corn on the cob to sample.
  49. 14 points
    Back on the boat we continued down into the bay. Remember that rock formation from my earlier pictures? Darryl explained there are 140 islands in the region. To qualify as an island there must be something like 130 sq. meters of vegetation. It was getting to be that time... Lunch preparations continued as we boated around sailboats and around some of the bays in the area. The panoramic nature of this boat lended itself to the scenery. Lunch on the barbie. Or is that only an Aussie thing? New Zealand Venison, medium rare. Cooked to order so if you prefer charcoal they were willing to cook it that way. Salad and other fixings. Beer and wine was around $7.50 NZD per glass or ~$5 USD at the moment. They ran a tab and collected payment at the end. I didn't have any NZD cash so just used my credit card that doesn't incur any foreign transaction fees. A beer and a glass of wine came to just under $10 USD.
  50. 14 points
    The Lunar Lanterns marking the animal signs of the lunar zodiac located around Circular Quay. The tongue is animated, moving up and down. There were also some dragons running around.
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