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  1. Hello, I got this tip from a Facebook Group for my sailing and got permission to share the tip. I don’t know if this has been shared before here. It’s a way to see the daily activities for the ship at the current time. I know I'm the most excited for the cruise, but I have a tip if any of you less enthusiastic people are interested. It gives you the current information on the current sailing on the ship so you can get an idea of the activities and menus. You will need the Royal Caribbean app: You will need the Royal Caribbean app: Open app and click on the person icon at the top. Click on select a different sailing Go to bottom and click on get more details on ships we support Click the ship you are going on Click on the sailing with the current date (ie May 22- May 29 2002) If you click on the daily planner you will see all the activities that are planned for this day to get an idea of what is offered. It also says where the ship is right now.
    16 points
  2. I thought this was going to be about botox or some lipo. Not *that* kind of work. I need a cruise.
    13 points
  3. I really hate to be a Donny Downer here. But, on my last cruise, Ovation of the Seas, departed Seattle on May 13, 2022, there were about 233 people that, by sail away time, had not gone to their Muster Station to be checked in, a very easy process. This cause the ship to depart pier 91 about an hour and a half late. These people appropriate, vote, drive, breath my air. I have a suggestion for Royal Caribbean and made it to them, at about 30 minutes prior to departure time, cut off their key cards to all of those that haven't checked in at their Muster Station. Make sure that if they are in a bar partying rather than being adults, they can't party anymore, locked out of their cabin, etc. At about 30 minutes past departure, my wife and I got into an elevator and there was another couple already in the elevator. As we entered, the Captain or some other official, made the announcement that XXX passengers have yet to check-in at their Muster Station. My wife and I made comments to each other that it is ridiculous that people can't follow simple and basic instructions and they are inconveniencing thousands of others. The other couple, who were obviously well on their way to intoxication, laughed and said that it seems that they may have not done that yet and need to figure out where to go. We presented them with a great big, "WOW", the elevator doors opened and we left with a final comment, "you're a little late and inconveniencing thousands of other passengers, crew, pier staff/dock workers, and it isn't funny". They looked stunned that someone would talk to them that way, after all, they are entitled, aren't they! Thanks for allowing my vent!
    13 points
  4. Forgive me father for i have sinned! It's been 4 yrs since my last cruise! It's hard to believe not only how quickly the past 4 yrs have past but also that its 4 yrs since i first stepped onto a cruiseship (Freedom of the Seas) Back then while driving to the cruiseport in San Juan i was logged on to a hotel booking site as i had no idea if my wife would actually board given her fear of water, so i may have needed a room on dry land for 7 nights. Fast forward 2 yrs and a week sailing the Caribbean with stops in the ABC islands ( Bucket List) was all booked and we were counting down the days! Then the world went into lockdown so no 50th birthday cruise for my better half. Rebooked for March this year and included NYC for St Patricks day ( Bucket list) due to excessive testing requirements that got cancelled also! So another bucket list item was booked..Baltic Cruise that visits St Petersburg.....( yes my middle name is lucky pmsl ) We could have cancelled this cruise but as the title of this thread states there is no putin us off! So we travel from Aberdeen to Copenhagen tomorrow, overnight stay in Copenhagen then board ship on Sunday. Have added 3 nights in Copenhagen at the end of cruise for some well earned retail therapy. Flights Booked flights with British Airways and included hotels for before and after cruise. Far better deal doing this than doing it separately. Testing No tests required for flying to Denmark only needed to board ship. We used boots for our tests today. 1 point to be aware of if using them you need to register with a 2nd party then go back onto boots website to put card details in, its only after you do this that you get to see available times. When i done it only 2 time slots were available 2 hrs apart. Test results back in less than an hour. Cabin After last cruise she who must be obeyed mentioned that she would like a balcony on our next cruise so thats what i booked. However....................Royal Up email 4 days ago offering upgrades for x amount! Now im Scottish and parting with money can be difficult if its not seen as being worthwhile! So i weighed up the Pro's and Cons then decided to put in a cheeky bid for Jr and Grand suites. Cabin now a Jr suite and my wife has no idea! The tight Scotsman in me vanished when i thought about the smile on my wife's face after what has been a very difficult 2 yrs for her. Ports of Call Stockholm with overnight stay, Tallinn and Helsinki. Would have liked another port instead of an overnight in Stockholm to replace St Petersburg but its a cruise and thats whats important. Excursions Just going to use shanks pony and see what happens. Only thing my wife has said is that WE WILL be visiting the Abba Museum in Stockholm. I did say to her " if you change your mind " im ok with that! But no shes determined to go and has informed me that i have to dress up in Abba Gear if its available! Not sure that short blue dress Agnetha wore will look as good on me but hey will give anything a try once. Wasn't going to do a blog but thought it may be helpfull for those cruising from Copenhagen in the coming months if they want to know anything Anyway best go get some shut eye taxi booked arriving in 6hrs
    11 points
  5. @deep1With all due respect, and sending the best of vibes, I've never seen a person who could use a TA more than you
    10 points
  6. They should just make it that you cannot sit by the pool, eat lunch or buy any drinks until you do the muster drill.
    10 points
  7. Last day of the cruise today! After all the planning, it’s over! Today was all about taking it easy. I woke up sore from swimming so much yesterday and pretty tired. I developed an earache later in the day, probably from getting water in my ear from swimming, (I have a messed-up ear), and I didn’t feel great because of it all afternoon, so I stayed in my room quite a bit. It’s OK though. I needed that, and besides, I wasn’t missing anything important. I’ve made it to all the shows and did all the events I wanted to this week. I slept late and then went to the solarium bistro for breakfast. It was completely packed and there was not a table to be had. I was picking up on an edgy, irritable vibe from the crowd and people were super vigilant and snippy about other people stepping in a food line in front of them, even by accident, just to grab a piece of bread or something. I wasn’t going to fight for some eggs, so I went over to the vitality spa café where there was no one in line. I got a protein shake and it was delicious. It was also $10. Then, I actually made it to the Schooner bar for trivia early enough to get a seat. I had a little table with two seats all to myself. A lady with a walker came in and asked me if the second chair was being used and I told her no and she sat down with me. We chatted and got to know each other. She asked if I was traveling alone… Funny how often that comes up… And I said yes. She shared that she is traveling with friends, and I gather they all have their separate cabins, and she couldn’t find them this morning. As hard as it was for her to get around with her walker, she listed the places she had gone looking for them, and she had been all over and up and down that huge ship. apparently none of them had bought Internet so they couldn’t text each other. She said something like, “I might as well be cruising on my own.“ It sounded like her friends weren’t as attentive as she was hoping. She asked me about cruising alone and if I liked it, and said she would like to try it herself but she didn’t know if she could manage, with her walker and all. I was reflecting on how easy that is to happen, to come on a cruise with other people and all have such high hopes for all this fun, and then the realities of communicating and miscommunication set in and it can lead to disappointment. It just seems so important to be able to talk to each other ahead of time about what to expect. The last time my husband and I cruised together, before I even booked the cruise he made it very clear that he would spend the cruise napping and laying around and if I wasn’t OK with that, there was no point in booking the cruise because he wanted us to be on the same page. We were, I totally got it and knew how he would like to spend his time, so we came onto the cruise understanding how our days would unfold and understanding we would do several things without each other. And we had a nice week. And afterwards we talked about how maybe he just doesn’t like cruising all that much and maybe I do, and he was the one to encourage me to do some solo cruising. in any case, Pat and I got to know each other and play trivia, then we took a short break, where Pat went and made a lap around the promenade to search for her friends, and then we played brain teaser trivia with everybody else in the Schooner bar. I came back to the room and sat out on the balcony a long time watching people zip line. It’s the last day of the cruise and whereas the zip line has been somewhat sporadically used all week, that changed today. Everyone who wanted to try it lined up and people went one after the other for hours. Same with the rock climbing wall… It has barely been used this whole cruise but everybody was on it today. And as is typical for the final day of a cruise, there was a very huge line at guest services all day long and an equally long line at Next Cruise all day long. And Next Cruise has only had two employees in it this whole time, and they have been overwhelmed. I believe I mentioned a few days ago that Sorrento‘s only had two people behind the counter all week and they were 100% overwhelmed. There was always a very long line, every table taken, and they were frequently out of pizza for a few minutes at a time while waiting for new pies to come out of the oven. Well the day we went to Curaçao, I was walking by Sorrento‘s and there were six staff members lined up in a sort of military formation, with their hands behind their back, facing another staff member who seem to be delivering instructions on how the day would go. And then all six of those people got behind the counter and Sorrento‘s was really under control for that one day. That was good to see, because those poor guys back there worked absolutely nonstop and I’m sure they dealt with angry glares all day long as well. They need to find a way to staff more people at Café Promenade because the same situation is happening over there and not everybody is polite about having to wait a few minutes for their turn. Some of the shops have never open this week, which I have to assume is a staffing issue, and two of the biggest shops on the promenade have had one employee in them the entire time. There is one person running the entire gift shop, the one with all the T-shirts and hats and such. That seems crazy. Another thing I saw happen as the week went on is this: staff members dressed in sort of officers clothes, with bars on the shoulders and all, filling in as needed on the promenade in shops, pop-up watch sales on the promenade in the middle, even in Starbucks. I get the feeling that an all hands on deck policy was reached at some point this week to deal with everybody. Here’s something else I realized today: the very first night of the cruise, I had reservations to see the aqua theater show, from the actual theater instead of my balcony. And one of the acts was a very strong man descending over the audience on a swing, dangling from a wire, and there was a woman in his lap, and while they were dangling over the audience, they did all these elaborate maneuvers that were feats of strength and agility and of course very dangerous, because neither of them were safety clipped to anything. And I remember this couple being in the act from the last two times I was on the ship, as well. Those two were in the show the first night and then disappeared for the remainder of the week. The aqua show was performed multiple, multiple times, I think maybe six or eight times. I can understand if one night the wind was blowing too hard or something, but for them to be gone for the whole rest of the week? Naturally I am wondering if one or both of them tested positive for Covid and had to be removed. The Covid thing also got real this afternoon when I was walking down the hallway and two employees came out of an elevator right in front of me. They were medical staff, dressed in scrubs, wearing masks and gloves, and they were carrying bags and paraphernalia that were very clearly Covid tests. They went down the hallway of deck eight where there are only cabins and nothing else. So obviously, they were going to someone’s room to test them. I thought, those poor passengers, they made it all the way to the final evening and now here they are having to deal with this. For dinner, I went down to Scoops and got a gigantic waffle cone sundae, which I highly recommend. One last lap around the ship and I came across another cruise duck, which I decided to keep and take home. I spent the rest of the evening packing my bags and preparing to leave early in the morning. On TV, on the entertainment channel, they broadcast a video of the 70s dance party the other night, so I watched that. I was surprised to see myself in the conga line going around the promenade. I looked so happy! so my second solo cruises in the books. I am definitely ready to go home… I miss my husband and I need to get back home and take my phone off airplane mode and get very busy catching up on lots of work and things like that. But I’m really glad I came and had a great time. And I learned more about myself and solo cruising and what to expect moving forward. I will most certainly be solo cruising again… I have a long one booked for the fall but I’m not sure if I will keep that reservation or not. I might be best sticking to week-long cruises by myself. I’m going to give it some thought. In any case, I have happy memories of Labadee, Aruba, Curaçao, the whole 9 yards. The Allure is not the most up-to-date of the oasis ships, that’s for sure, and I do feel the ship is understaffed and has a few areas that need some work, such as temperature control, staffing, and most definitely Internet. And I feel like they need to find some way to make the food better. But overall, this is such a luxury ship and it is just an incredible experience to be walking around and looking at all the various venues here and all the things to do and reminding yourself that you’re floating in the middle of the ocean. back to reality tomorrow and that’s always jarring, but it’s time. I plan to Covid test Monday morning, wait about five days and then test again, before I go visit my elderly parents. I work from home, so I don’t see myself being around very many people next week so that should work out well. thanks so much for those who read along and commented. I’m going to miss blogging with you guys! I look forward to reading all of your blogs and all about your adventures to come.
    10 points
  8. KevinJ

    Donny Downer Here!

    @Reigert2008 To locate your muster station. Use the APP, click the Safety icon in the lower left. It'll show your muster station, note just below that you should see I ship icon with Find on Deck beside it.
    9 points
  9. Matt

    Donny Downer Here!

    You can hide anyone's signature (or all signatures) by clicking top right corner of their signature
    9 points
  10. Our trip begins in FIVE DAYS! We are mostly packed, which is a huge deal for me, because I almost never pack until the day before I leave for a trip. We packed much lighter for this trip than other recent trips because it's so much easier to just not have to deal with large luggage while traveling across Europe. A carry-on and a backpack each is all we have for 2 weeks. I spent a good chunk of this weekend finalizing ticket purchases to most of the places we're visiting in Europe (some we purchased months back), so I thought this would be a good time for a preview of the activities! Pre-Cruise Amsterdam The first leg of our journey begins in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Home of Anne Frank, Vincent Van Gogh, and Rembrandt. The Amsterdam Dungeon - 1 hour interactive performance showcasing the 'dark history' of Amsterdam. Apparently there are several of these sprinkled across a few different cities in Europe. It's supposed to be a little bit scary and a little bit creepy, but with great acting and fun. Van Gogh Museum - It wouldn't be much of a trip to Amsterdam, if we didn't visit the gallery of one of the greatest European artists even to live. Canal Cruise - I probably knew at some point that Amsterdam was a canal city, but I had completely forgotten. We're doing this in the evening to try to catch the sunset while we're on the boat. Senses Restaurant - I love food, so we're going to try a lot of restaurants on this trip! This restaurant is in our hotel, but also highly rated and recommended. We only have about 24 hours in Amsterdam, so we're going to be walking around and seeing only the outside of: The Royal Palace The Oude Church The Rembrandt House The Skinny Bridge (there's no inside here, I guess) Brussels We are taking a train from Amsterdam to Paris, with a brief stop for a few hours in Brussels along the way. There are a couple of things we wanted to catch here, but there was just no way for us to fit a full day or two into our travel plans, because we wanted more time in Paris and Barcelona. The Grand-Place - gorgeous town square, pavilion and surrounding architecture with a somewhat grisly history dating back to the Inquisition. The square itself dates back more than half a millennium and the surrounding buildings date from the 17th century showcasing the transition from Gothic to Baroque architecture. Mannekin Pis - self explanatory, I think. Iconic sculpture and just something you have to see once. Paris Obviously, we are very excited about Wonder of the Seas, but Paris is the highlight of this trip for me. We are spending 3 days and 4 nights here, and it won't be enough, but I'm so, so pumped about this. My wife has been to Paris a couple of times, but this will be my first time, so there's a lot to look forward to! The Panthéon - Our hotel room also has a view of this 18th century mausoleum. Perhaps the iconic neoclassical building in Western Europe. Notre Dame - I've been fascinated by this church since I was a child - thanks to Victor Hugo. Monumental, iconic and majestic. If you're interested in some compelling philosophy about the reconstruction and refurbishment of old buildings, Notre Dame is great place to start. It has been damaged by fire, time and weather, and undergone a number of renovations since its completion in 1260. Arc de Triomphe - Inspired by the 1st century Arch of Titus in Rome, it's the crown of Champs-Élysées. Eiffel Tower - I think you all know what this is. Versailles - You can probably spend a few days exploring Versailles, but we will only get one. This massive residence served as the living quarters and seat of government of the French monarchy for hundreds of years. The Louvre - the most popular museum in the world (sorry British Museum fans), and home to the Mona Lisa, among other incredible works of art and history. This facility is enormous and would take about a week to really see everything, but again, we get only a day. We will make the best of it! Paris Catacombs - the remains of more than 6 million people are buried beneath the city in Paris. Almost certainly not suitable for small children, but a fascinating bit of history. Le Jules Verne - the restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower. I have never spent this much on a meal, so I have high expectations, but French cooking in a restaurant operated by a chef with 3 Michelin stars, 400 feet above the ground? What's not to love? Barcelona The final leg of our continental journey and our embarkation point for Wonder of the Seas, Barcelona has a rich history and again, incredible architecture and artistic influence. Famous for the architect, Antoni Gaudi, whose work features prominently throughout the city. We are taking the train from Paris to Barcelona. It's about a 6 hour ride through the best of the French and Spanish countryside. Hopefully, it will be relatively easy to get some pictures as we ride. Casa Battlo - Commissioned redesign of an older home, this house and its façade is some of Gaudi's most iconic work. Casa Milo - Gaudi's final commission of a private residence, this home resembles a stone quarry. Fabulously unique and just really, really interesting. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia - the largest unfinished cathedral in the world, Sagrada Familia was developed by multiple architects, including Gaudi at one point. Estimated to be finally completed over the next decade. Picasso Museum - at this point, I think you would be completely forgiven for believing this trip is just an excuse to see old artwork. You might be right. This is the largest collection of work by Pablo Picasso, who began his art career in the city before he eventually relocated to France. Many of his earliest artwork is contained in the collection, which boasts nearly 5000 pieces. Park Guell - Once again a curiosity of Gaudi's invention. Park Guell just looks so darn cool. We are also taking in a Flamenco show. The location isn't special in any way, but it should still be a lot of fun. Wonder of the Seas We booked all of our excursions with Royal Caribbean this time around, for two primary reasons. First, I've never been to any of these ports, and I don't have the confidence that we would be able to make it back to the ship without issue if something occurred during an excursion. Second, we spent a lot of time planning our continental stops - the back half of this trip is meant to be as effortless as possible. Marla will handle everything for us on the ship, and the excursions are booked without needing to spend too much time thinking about them, coordinating with private guides or trying to drum up business to make sure a tour happens. Palma de Mallorca Mysterious Drach Caves of Palma - Underground lakes, caves and fun. We considered a beach day, but we did our beach/cruise vacation this year already. Caves it is. Marseilles Culinary Flavors of Provence - Because a Star Class food coma just isn't enough. There is a big difference between Parisian cuisine and the fare of southern France. This is basically 4 hours of walking around and eating food, with another few hours of on-your-own exploration. If there is any shopping to be had during our trip, this is probably when it will take place,. La Spezia (Florence/Pisa) Tuscan Farmhouse Experience - The thing about Pisa is that it's really something you only want to do once. It's an interesting novelty, but it's also kind of out of the way and there's not much else around it. So we're going to wait until we have a trip where we bring our kids. We both love wine and the idea of rustic living (we would never do it - we're city mice to the core), so this should be a pleasant afternoon. Rome Best of Rome - Good luck trying to figure out which excursion in Rome goes where. It took me days of trying to work out the details, and I finally found a blog online that covered the details of each one, and now I can no longer find it. That said, this excursion focuses on the Vatican sites, St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, etc. But it also stops around the Colosseum/Forum and Trevi Fountain. I'm not super into crowds, so I'm happy to pass on the interior of the Colosseum this time. Naples The Ruins of Pompeii - Our final excursion is a visit to the incredibly well preserved ruins of the city of Pompeii, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius almost 2000 years ago. We looked at some of the other options in Naples as well, as a visit to the Amalfi coast, Sorrento, and the like would be a lot of fun. In the end, though, we decided choose one, focus on having a great experience and then prepare to relax for the last day and half of the cruise. I think we'll be glad, in the end, to have given ourselves a bit of respite before heading back home. ---------------------- And that's... everything. We have a lot planned over the next few weeks, and I'll be honest, I'm having a hard time thinking about anything else right now!
    9 points
  11. Day 8 Chania (Souda), Crete We had another early start today, much to DH's disgruntlement. We were in Crete and I had booked us on an excursion to Kournas, Arkadi Monastery and Rethymno. Meeting time in the theatre was at 7 am and I mistakenly assumed that with there being early excursions the WJ would be open at 6 am, like it was in Santorini. Wrong! Saved by the Café Promenade. Moral of the story: always check opening times. For those not taking an excursion, there was a shuttle provided to and from the port to the city of Chania at a cost of $6 per person for the round trip. Tickets could be purchased in the app or at the shore excursions desk. One of my reasons for purchasing an excursion here (apart from the obvious one of wanting to see a bit of the island) was that this was a short port day, with all-aboard at 2.30 pm and just as well, since our bus was the last one back, with the guide getting a phone call when we were a few minutes out to see where we were. And, in fact, we ended up being about 45 minutes late leaving as we waited for one couple who presumably missed the last shuttle and came screeching right up to the gangway in a taxi with a police escort! They were really lucky, as this was the last stop of the cruise. The next day was at sea and then back to Civi. Anyway, excursion today to Arkadi Monastery, Rethymno and Lake Kournas was very nice, although I really don't know why they had us meet in the theatre at 7 when the ship wasn't even due to be cleared till 7.30. This was another one in Spanish, for the same reason as the one in Santorini. Our first stop was at the monastery. After the guide showed us around we had some free time, which we put to good use by sampling some local yogurt with thyme honey at the café. It cost €4 for a huge plateful. I wish I had remembered to take a pic. The monastery: An olive tree in the grounds. The arrow points to a hole made by a Turkish shell at some time in the past (can't remember what date). The next stop was in the town of Rethymno. Again, the guide showed us around a bit and then we had some more free time to wander. In the pic below, just faintly visible to the right of the lighthouse is a mountain with some snow on top. It's over 2000 metres high and the last of the snow doesn't melt until late June. Somehow, you just don't associate snow-capped mountains with the Greek Isles. Our final stop was at Lake Kournas where we got to sample a local speciality, a type of flatbread/pancake-type thing, made with cheese and spread with honey. It wasn't my favourite because I am not keen on sweet and savoury together, but I think I would have liked it more just with some butter. I enjoyed this excursion. I liked that we got to learn about each of the places we visited and then had a little bit of free time to explore them at will. Tonight's MDR menu: We didn't fancy any of the starters on the main menu so we ordered the butternut squash soup from the vegan menu, which was very good. Unfortunately, by the time I remembered to take a pic all that was left of it was a drip on the tablecloth, but hey, it was essentially a bowl of orange-coloured soup so it's not too hard to imagine. My bad. The lobster tails were very nice but also very small so our waiter brought us another one each. AND he took them out of the shells for us, which appears to be something of a dying tradition: The molten chocolate. I swear, I don't know why I keep ordering this cruise after cruise after cruise. It's never, ever molten. (Well with the exception of the one I had in Chops once). At least this one was mildly warm, a step up on the last time when it felt like it had come straight out of the fridge onto my plate. Tonight's show was Showgirl, a typical singing and dancing production show, enhanced with the use of technology and lighting effects. I liked it even though the story line was again tenuous. We went to guest services after the show to exchange our departure tags as the ones they'd given us were too late. I asked what happened to the forms they usually give out so people can say what time they need to be off the ship. Oh, we just assign times randomly now except for the people who've booked our transfers. Seriously?!? I also asked where we could print our boarding passes for our flight home. Oh, we don't have computers and printers for guests' use any more because of COVID. What?!? They had them on Harmony back in September. Oh, well it's a corporate decision. And I also needed to deal with the fact that my credit card company's security system is on steroids and declined the usual hold for my onboard account. It's an issue they have with electronic payments so I gave him the card and it turns out that they don't even have the physical payment terminals onboard any more. So of course when he tried to put it through without me inputting a pin of course it was declined again. Grrrr. Sometimes technology is just too sophisticated. Which means another wait in line tomorrow to try a different card or pay cash. Luckily we're not big spenders! So I would have to say I was somewhat underwhelmed with this interaction and of course made a point of mentioning it on the post-cruise questionnaire. And after all of that, we headed to the casino so that DH could lose last night's winnings. There was particular machine (tex mex oil magnate or some such thing) that seemed to be alternatively fairly generous and very tight-fisted. Tonight it took back all of the last night's winnings in about 20 seconds!
    8 points
  12. What can a senior citizen do? Well, let's see: 1. Take up all the seating for dinner between 4pm and 5:30 for the early bird special. 2. Complain it's too cold, hot, and then cold again all over the ship. 3. Complain the shows are too loud 4. Complain cruising isn't the same as it was in the 1970s 5. Complain there are no mints on the pillows anymore 6. Get inebriated and annoy people around them 7. Wear far too much perfume. 8. Sneak in cigarette smoking where it's not allowed (balcony, outside decks in non-designated areas)
    8 points
  13. Day 6 - Mykonos We did not book an excursion for Mykonos as we had been told that the best way to enjoy this port would be simply to wander the maze of little streets, so with this in mind we also stipulated this as our "shopping" stop. In the past, this used to be a tender port that would often be missed due to the wind. However, there is a new port on the island now that means ships can dock and Odyssey was berthed at the new port. From there you get a water taxi across to the town. It costs €2 per person each way and takes about 10 minutes, although you may have to sit and wait for a while until it fills up. They go every 15 minutes. Everything you've heard about how nice Mykonos is is true. We had a great time meandering through the little streets and getting lost - which ultimately had the benefit of us accidentally finding the apparently famous windmills that we did not know existed! We managed to get all our souvenirs and a few treats for ourselves as well so we had a great time. We both really liked this port (DH especially liked the fact that there were no ruins involved!) Back on board, after lunch, we headed for what became our go-to spot for catching some rays (of the sunshine variety, rather than the fishy ones). Right across from the suite sundeck, on deck 15, there are two spots, one on either side of the ship, that are sheltered on three sides by the structure, meaning you are largely protected from the wind. Depending on the position of the sun, there may be sunshine on both sides or just one and with the exception of the last sea day we were pretty much able to get a spot in the sun here every afternoon. Obviously you're not right in the middle of the action at the main pool but it was more important to us to be sheltered from the wind. Tonight's MDR menu: Artichoke and pea salad, which I really liked. It was very refreshing. Chicken chettinad. This was quite a hot curry, so would not be to everyone's liking. And the chocolate souffle, one of my all-time favourites but which sadly tends only to put in an appearance on longer itineraries. Yum. Incidentally, the pecan pie that is also featured on tonight's menu was available at lunchtime in the Windjammer, which saved me from having to have two desserts at dinner. The show tonight was the Wild Boys, an 80s tribute band. This was a very energetic show and by the end they had the audience standing up dancing and singing and clapping. However, anyone cruising on Odyssey in the next few months won't have the chance to see them as they were leaving the ship the next day, in Rhodes, and won't be back till sometime in August. I just wish they could have turned the sound down a bit as it was uncomfortably loud. We saw quite a lot of people getting up and leaving during the show and I'm pretty sure that the over-loud volume was probably the reason. Other people we spoke to agreed. I did mention this on the post-cruise questionnaire but whether it will have any effect remains to be seen.
    8 points
  14. Y'all got it all wrong. It's the next logical step up from Indoor skydiving and bumper cars...
    8 points
  15. Check in was a breeze Had to show vaccine status and covid test. Not sure how many guests are onboard but its not busy which is actually good as its more relaxing. Didn't have to wait long for first drink or the 2nd
    8 points
  16. I've ordered canned water twice post covid and both times it ended up being plastic bottles
    8 points
  17. Forget your Full English or continental breakfasts! This is the Staple diet of any scotsman on holiday this was the 1st now on my 3rd and its only 9.30am
    8 points
  18. I think this is a fantastic idea!
    7 points
  19. Day 5 - Kusadasi, Turkey Today, we went on a full day excursion to Ephesus, Didyma and Miletus with lunch. In other words, lots and lots of ruins. We were supposed to do the tour precisely in that order, but it got changed around and this turned out for the better. Instead of being at Ephesus at its busiest time and not having lunch until around 3 pm, as scheduled, we actually did Didyma and Miletus first, followed by lunch, and then Ephesus, which made for a much more balanced and enjoyable day. We spoke to some peeps who had done it the "right" way round and they said they found it very long and tiring. Really, the pictures say it all. It was all very impressive (if you're into that sort of thing. DH isn't really and he was all ruined out by the end of the day). I, on the other hand, despite not really being a history buff, quite enjoyed it. To me, it was a way better way to spend the day than wandering around shops. We went first to Miletus, which included some time at the ancient theatre and at the museum. There were bathrooms available at both of these sites. We then continued to Didyma where we spent some time at the temple: There were no bathrooms here but the restaurants across the street will let you use theirs even without a purchase. From here we went for lunch at a 5-star hotel called Pine Bay. It was a very impressive place and the lunch was fine. It was served buffet style with salads, main courses - chicken and donner kebab with rice, vegetables and pastries - and a dessert buffet with various traditional Turkish sweets, including baklava, which is one of my favourites: I did feel lunch was a bit rushed; we only had 45 minutes, but it was still better than going to Ephesus on empty tummies and not getting fed until afterwards. So, Ephesus, the main attraction of the day. There are simply no words... The goddess Nike: View from the top of the hill down towards the library. (Note that the entrance to the site is at the top of the hill and you walk downhill to the exit. You don't have to traipse back up the hill again.) A closer view: And a bit of detail: The amphitheatre: And the (former) public bathrooms! Apparently there would be musicians playing here to disguise the sound of the you-know-what plopping into the toilets. This was the last stop of the tour except for the carpet place just outside the port. These are pretty much included in every tour at this port, from what I have read, but never having been to one before we found it quite interesting and thought the carpets were beautiful even though we had no intention of buying anything. Now that we have seen it, on any future visit, we would just slip away back to the ship. Walking back to the ship, we were surprised at how many shops there were, all selling what looked like pretty decent stuff. The guide told us that this area had suffered terribly with the loss of cruise passengers due to the Syrian war and then Covid, so they are hoping and praying for a good summer season this year. All in all I really liked this tour and thought it was reasonable value for money as cruise ship excursions go, but I purchased it during a sale (a real sale, for once) and it was selling at about 30 dollars more by the time the cruise planner closed. Tonight's MDR menu: Roasted pumpkin soup: Achari gosht. I really liked this. Taking advantage of the new curry additions to the menu for the first time. I'm afraid there is no pic of tonight's dessert. It was the warm cookie and by the time I remembered I was supposed to be taking a pic there were only a few crumbs left. I did briefly consider ordering a second one purely for the sake of the blog but I really was too stuffed. Tonight's entertainment in the theatre was the Love & Marriage show which we always enjoy. It did not fail us and was as hilarious as ever. I was just a bit surprised at how many couples rushed to put their hands up to say how long they'd been married and then backed down from actually going on stage. In the end there were two Irish couples and one from Scotland, so it was the battle of the Celts.
    7 points
  20. AlmondFarmer

    Rising tide bar

    Yes, at high or low tide.
    7 points
  21. I'm obviously bias in my opinion on this, but I've really become dissatisfied with Facebook groups for sailings. They either end up in one of two situations: completely dead or toxic sources of misinformation. It's a shame because Facebook groups used to be a great source of pre-cruise excitement, tips, and a way to meet others. But they all seem to end up creating more problems than they solve.
    7 points
  22. Firefly

    😞 positive test

    Interesting reading other experiences after testing positive on a ship. Our experience on Indy was handled very well. After notifying medical that all 3 of us were experiencing symptoms they did a PCR test on all of us. When we all tested positive they escorted us to medical for a check up and then placed us in our new rooms. They had originally said we could stay in our original stateroom but I requested to be moved because we were in an interior room. They moved us to 2 connecting ocean view rooms for the final two days of the cruise. I would have lost my mind stuck in that tiny room with 2 teenage boys!! We had great communication with medical, guest services and room service. A doctor even stopped by yesterday afternoon to check in on us. We disembarked this morning and within an hour our contact on the ship even called me to confirm I received the email she sent containing copies of our positive test results that I requested. It was a disappointing way to end vacation, but for us, it was handled very well. We were on the 8 night Mariner ABC cruise last week so that is definitely we’re we picked up the crud. It was pretty mild for all of us - like a bad cold with a light fever for less than 24 hours. I am almost feeling back to normal this evening.
    7 points
  23. I found these live blogs so helpful and I have decided to join the party and share a live blog with others! We will be sailing June 10th, 2022 on the Ovation of the Seas, 7 nights starting and ending in Seattle. Port stops (hopefully) will be Juneau, Skagway and Victoria. Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier are on the itinerary as well. This is a cruise I was initially hesitant to go on. I don't see myself as a cruise person. My parents however are cruise people and are Diamond Plus. I finally said yes to a 2021 cruise and that cruise was canceled and so here we are! I booked a grand suite large balcony room originally, then a grand loft came up and we can't be more excited to try this Star thing! On the sailing, there will be a total of 12 of us spread across 5 rooms. My parents celebrating 75th birthdays, my son and his girlfriend, my two older daughters, my husband, myself and our 14-year-old, and my sister, her daughter, and granddaughter! I have done a lot of reading on these blogs and joined a couple sailings facebook groups as well. I have learned that our sailing is either going to be very mellow compared to all the other groups or possibly full of younger kids who are way too cool for Facebook and blogs as all I can find on our cruise specifically is basically near to crickets. Luckily though somewhere I came across someone mentioning receiving a price adjustment so we asked our travel agents to look into that and we got some onboard credit! One room got over $2000 so that was a fantastic surprise! We received an email from the Genie Department 30 days out asking some standardized questions. Not sure our assigned genie Agostina saw them since when we got her email she asked some of the questions over again. She did say we needed to book Chefs Table and then she would credit it off minus $25. She didn't say why but it may be for the wine pairing. Only two in my cabin will want a wine pairing so I will get that sorted once on board. She did explain that ifly and Northstar do require reservations and asked us if we wanted to do them on port days or sea days. If we want to go with family there are costs for the others and those vary based on the day. She also requested to know our onboard drinks of choice from a list she provided and what did we want for a celebratory bottle upon boarding. I semi stuck to the list but I did ask for Veuve Clicquot and we also asked for ice tea and pineapple juice. She said she will try to facilitate. I have learned that our Genie has had ALL rooms on two sailings so far. This is due to two other genies both having to be "in their rooms" for an "injury". Read into that what you may, I certainly did! Apparently, she is still amazing even in those less than ideal circumstances. I am however hoping that when it's our turn she is tasked with only the three rooms she is assigned. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I am not emailing her as I don't want to add to her duties and as I understand it when I get onboard I can ask for anything needed. In two weeks we fly to Seattle. I am already panicking about flight cancellations since I am reading there are a ton, especially from the east coast where some of the party will be coming in from. I found out about hiding ducks. Who even knew this? I was talking to my son's girlfriend and my daughter about them and it seems we need some, so those have been ordered! Trying to decide when to worry about what to pack. I "think" I will have everything we need and I also tend to be more proactive than reactive so not sure if this will be a good thing or a bad thing! Perhaps when we are a week out I will start to pull some things together.
    6 points
  24. Day 9 - At sea This was our last day and, as usual, it seemed to come round so quickly. We started by heading to the Voom desk to get my free D day of internet activated. For those who might not be aware, if you buy an internet package, as I did, it effectively "hides" your free day and you have to go and see the Voom person for them to release it back to your account. While we were waiting in line, I spoke to an English crew member called Barrie who was working the line to see if he could help anyone out. I quizzed him about the lack of an internet café on board such a technologically advanced ship as Odyssey and he agreed and said he would pass it on to whoever. I don't know if he actually did/will but at least it felt like he was making an effort to accommodate me unlike the GS clerk who simply shrugged and brushed it off as a corporate decision. Not even the D concierge has access to a printer, so the only way to get anything printed is to email it to either the Voom person or a GS person (tip: the Voom line is invariably shorter and they are far more computer savvy). Once that was done, we headed for breakfast ahead of Captain's Corner, which is something we always like to attend. Ship information sheet: Captain's Corner this morning was a bit different from the ones we've attended in the past. Whereas usually you would you have the Captain, the CD or Activities Manager, the Hotel Director, the Head Chef and the Chief Engineer, today's presentation was just by the Captain and the CD: It included a behind the scenes video: And a couple of interesting size comparisons: Oasis vs the Titanic vs the USS Enterprise! And the different ships in the fleet: I didn't ask a question this time round. I had one for the Head Chef, who usually attends these things, but since he didn't... We also didn't get the usual sheet with the photos and biographies of the important crew members. After lunch there was the C&A behind the scenes talk, which was quite well attended. The three speakers explained a bit about what they do, answered questions and showed a couple of videos. It was slated to last 30 minutes but actually took an hour. I thought it was quite interesting but DH was bored and fell asleep. And then we went off to revisit some of the places on the ship before they made us get off the next day, so indulge me if I post a couple of random shots: Flowrider with the sky diving simulator in the backdrop. If you zoom in you can see one of the instructors flying high. Bumper cars. This was the first time we'd actually found time to see them in operation. Which reminds me I had intended to try a campfire cookie and never got round to it. Next time! The sea was like glass today: A Grimaldi Lines ferry, taken from our balcony: And a volcano with a little puff of smoke coming out the top. Could have been either Etna or Stromboli, but I don't know for sure. I took the pic from the solarium where we retreated for a couple of hours before seeing to the dreaded packing, as it was too windy outdoors for our liking and our favourite sheltered spot on deck 15 was completely full. Unusually, we actually managed to get all our packing done and suitcases outside the door before we went for dinner. Final MDR menu: Coconut shrimp. Very good; another of my favourites. Lamb shank, one of my all-time favourites, never disappoints. And the dark chocolate brownie. A wonderful dessert to end a wonderful cruise. Because of being so efficient with our packing we were able to see the final show of the cruise too, which usually we miss. This was a magician/comedian and he was funny and entertaining. I thought the turnout was surprisingly good for the last night of the cruise. And then it was off to bed in preparation for the next day's shock to the system.
    6 points
  25. We did the old system, we learned the new system. It's not hard or very time consuming. Royal team has done a great job of directing us to muster stations as soon as we get on board. Would hate to return to the old system.
    6 points
  26. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason not to complete the Muster Drill and report to the Muster Station. There are reminders EVERYWHERE. Holding up thousands of other peoples' vacation because you chose to ignore mandatory muster protocol is disrespectful.
    6 points
  27. Va4fam

    Will this Be Allowed?

    Thanks everyone.....now I have to break the news to the power strip that it won't get to come on the cruise.
    6 points
  28. People always ask what to bring on a cruise. Obviously, this will depend on the cruise (where) and your personal needs, but the attached has served me well for many years as a reminder of things to bring. I typically do tropical, so some will not apply to colder regions. I know this does not include everything and maybe you have ideas to add based on your experience. Happy cruising! Cruise_Check List-dlt.docx
    6 points
  29. Never been tested and never will (voluntarily). Not something to discuss here. Just a general distrust…
    6 points
  30. A YT vid that I saw today said that Princess has announced that they will begin taking unvaccinated pax without any exemption required....but I have heard that exactly one place (that vid) and nowhere else. According to this Vlogger, Princess will allow unvaxxed up to 10% (the new CDC threshold) and it will be on first come, first served as to who can sail. I will not believe this until I see something in writing from Princess BUT if they do it and they also eliminate testing, I will be making a jump to Princess ASAP.
    6 points
  31. Oasis has sustainable plastic straws! No more paper!
    6 points
  32. Day 4 - Santorini For our day in Santorini, we did a ship sponsored tour called Santorini and Village Oia but in Spanish as that happened to be the one showing in the cruise planner at the time I booked. The same tour in English did not show up until several months later and at almost twice the price, so if you have sufficient Spanish to do a tour in that language, it can definitely be worthwhile considering this an option. It was a really early start as we were on the first excursion tender but things ran smoothly to begin with. Then the hiccups began... First we had to wait for half a dozen people who somehow didn't make it on to the tender. Then there were two ladies who had tickets for the excursion in English but wanted it in Spanish because they didn't speak any English, so that had to be sorted with the provider. And then we were very very late leaving Oia because a man couldn't find his wife; we found out later that she had somehow mixed up the car parks and was waiting in completely the wrong place! Anyway, apart from that it was actually a very nice little excursion that included an hour of free time in Oia: Followed by a stop at a winery for Greek nibbles (cheese, olives, tomatoes and bread sticks) with wine (we had orange juice!) and an absolutely magnificent panoramic view from the terrace. We were about an hour late getting back to the ship because of all the delays but still in plenty of time for lunch and a snooze in the sun to recover from the early start. Out of all our fantastic port stops, this was the one DH liked the best. One thing that was a bit annoying, however, was that the excursion description did not make it clear that we would have to return via the cable car, the cost of which was not included in the ticket price. The description made it sound like it was an option and that anyone who didn't want to use to the cable car would return to the tender drop-off on the bus. That is NOT the case and nobody on our bus was aware, precisely because of the poorly-worded description, so there were some rather upset people at the end. It was not until afterwards that we learned that none of the excursions return to the same place they drop off in the morning, where the buses are waiting, and that some, but not all, include the cable car tickets. Incidentally, the current cost of these is €6 pp each way. Here are a couple more pics taken from our supposedly obstructed balcony: This is the Regent Seven Seas Explorer arriving into Santorini first thing in the morning. And then this one was taken in the afternoon after we got back from the excursion. This was the one time I actually sat on the balcony and the sole purpose of sitting was to take a pic of the view from a sitting position! Tonight's dinner menu in the MDR: I'm afraid it's in Spanish; I didn't realise that the server had given us a bilingual menu (the other side is in English) until it was way too late to do anything about it. My bad. It's the one with the garlic shrimp; you can see it in the app. Anyway, we didn't really fancy any of the day's appetizers either on the main menu or the vegan menu so we just went with the artisan cheese plate: Followed by the garlic shrimp. Love them: And the Royal cheesecake. Just occurred to me that means we had cheese to start and cheese to finish. Normally when it's this menu, we would actually forego the appetizers and have the garlic shrimp as an appetizer, which I would follow with the lamb and DH with Steak Diane, but on this particular evening we were in a hurry because we were going to see The Effectors (postponed from the evening before) and the performance was at 9.30 pm, so we didn't want to be mucking about. We had our usual standing reservation in the My Time dining room of 8 pm but we went a bit early because of the earlier show time and were able to be seated immediately. From this point on, we would always be seated at the same table we were allocated this evening, and we enjoyed having our servers Gede and Jener looking after us, as they were very helpful and attentive. So, with dinner done and dusted, we rushed off to see The Effectors. It was a very impressive show because of all the special effects, even though the story line was virtually non-existent. Just a couple of pics. If you want to get a better idea of the show, do a search for @twangster's fantastic photo report on it. And apart from DH's ritual loss of $20 in the casino, that rounded off day four.
    6 points
  33. Yes. 100% so far. It’s not easy though. Having a super star TA to handle this has been an immeasurable blessing. All love and thanks to @michelle for everything she has done for us. The process is pretty burdensome. Basically, you have to pay your cruise in full (unless protocols have already been announced for the dates of your cruise…which has never happened for us ), then once protocols are announced, you can request a cash refund. We were extremely fortunate to have gotten cash for all of the FCCs we had. I bundled all of them into one cruise fare (Symphony August 2021) and then when we cancelled that one, Michelle worked her magic and they all got refunded. It was almost $25K if I recall correctly. It took a long time to get everything back but eventually it all came back. The next one I have is for Voyager in Sept. I intend to downgrade my room to the lowest category I can (currently have a GS booked), then pay the [significantly reduced] balance when it’s time, and once protocols are announced, request a full refund. This will be the first one I have had to do on my own (this is a casino upgrade and I didn’t involve Michelle b/c the casino has basically cut the TAs out for commissions on casino cruises. They still get a small commission but it’s not worth the headaches they have to go through, IMO). Fingers crossed that it will be successful. I would maybe try and use the religious exemption on this one but with my luck they would approve it and then we’d still be stuck b/c there’s no way we will take a COVID test ! Best to stick with the process that has worked for us in the past !
    6 points
  34. Today was a great day that seems long and varied when I look back on it. I planned to sleep late but woke up super early and was just done sleeping. I went up to the pool deck at 8 AM and every single nice chair on the immediate pool deck was covered in towels and there was barely a person in sight. Don’t you love that? Normally when I cruise I spend a lot of time by the pool but that hasn’t happened since that long swim on day one on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One is that the pools are jammed since we’re at full capacity. The second is that I saw some shockingly vulgar behavior on pool deck on day two (ladies in thongs grinding on each other, grinding on statues, giving their boyfriends full on lap dances and no reaction from the crew or lifeguard in any way.) No thanks! So I’ve re-discovered the promenade this week and really spent quite a bit of time there and really enjoyed every minute of it. It is just a great place to catch various live music all day long and into the evening, sit in a comfy chair, find snacks, or just read a book. But anyway—I figured the pool would be empty that early in the morning so I went up and swam for an hour, and then I joined in a 9 AM water aerobics class. I didn’t have high hopes… I associate water aerobics with standing around, flapping your arms and gabbing. But this was so much FUN! The crew member that led the class was hysterical and he had us all smiling and laughing and whooping and raising our arms over our head on cue, and things like that. It was not your typical water aerobics class. We even formed a giant circle, put our arms around each other’s shoulders and did a sort of Ethel Merman Olympic Synchronized Swimming floating thing, with half of us spinning the circle clockwise and the other half kicking their legs in the middle of the circle, making foam. It would’ve looked amazing from a drone shot. I felt in high spirits after that, and went and got breakfast at the solarium bistro for the first time. There was a line of people waiting for their turn at the buffet and there were no plates available. After a few minutes, someone brought in fresh plates and I eventually worked my way through the line. It was quite a challenge to find a table even though one employee was clearing them as fast as he could. Several people were standing around bewildered with plates of food in their hands, searching for a table. Anybody with more than four people in their party was out of luck and had to sit at separate tables if they were lucky enough to find them. Somehow I found one and ate (food so-so), then I went back to the pool and found a good chair (up on the sundeck since all the pool chairs were taken), ordered a Redbull, and just lay there an hour, reading my book. Eventually I swam a little bit more and then it worked out that it was nearly time for the Men’s international bellyflop contest. The last time I was on the ship, which was many many years ago, they did this event in the aqua theater. Now they just do it in the pool so there was quite a crowd but as I was in the pool already, I was able to just sit on the ledge of the pool and have a front row seat. They had eight contestants. So. First contestant is an elderly man who is clearly drunk. First thing he does is get up, turn his back to the audience, pull his swim shorts down and bend over. One of those things you can’t unsee. We were all blindsided and shrieked. Then he pulled his pants up and looked at the cruise director (who looked stunned), and then he did it again! Corey put his microphone down and just stared into space for a minute, as though now he had seen it all. He told the guy to get in the water “before anything else came off.” So the guys all did their belly flops and they were all really good. The grand prize went to a teenage boy. at this point it was 1 o’clock and I had been by the pool for five hours. That was enough sun for me. I showered and went down to the promenade for a snack and a napkin folding class. The class was one of those oddball things you try because you’re on a cruise ship, not something you would ever care about doing in real life. Well at least not me, anyway. But the cruise staff guy, Felix, made it very fun and funny. I had a virgin Miami Vice while learning how to make a flower napkin and it was all a good slice of ship life. There was a gap there with nothing I really wanted to do so I hung out in my room for a while. I went back downstairs at 4:30 for a Latin dance class. Huge mass of people participated. Promenade was packed. It started out great— it was a 30 minute class and we spent the first five minutes or so learning how to do a dance move. Then it turned out the whole rest of the class was directed at couples. The guy leading the class was Felix, the same guy that did the napkin folding. He told everybody to get their partner for the next steps. I started sidling sideways to ease myself out of the group and into the lane of traffic where people were flowing back-and-forth. I was just going to leave quietly. Then Felix said he didn’t have a partner and he needed someone so he could demonstrate the dance moves. He asked if there was anyone in the crowd that didn’t have a partner. I raised my hand and he said “come on up here, señorita!“ So I ended up being Felix’s dance partner for the rest of the class and it was actually fun. in normal life, I am not a dancer and I don’t call attention to myself and I just don’t do things like this. But this is one of those disconnected cruise ship type things you do in the moment and you just enjoy it and it seems completely natural. You know what I mean? so we all had a really great time and we were cha-cha-ing all over the place by the time the class was over and Felix was twirling me all around the promenade. Something happened during the dance lesson. A lengthy announcement was made over the loudspeaker, and we could not hear or understand a word of it, even though Felix paused the music and paused the class. No clue what was said, but as the class was ending, large groups of security offers in uniform came hurrying through the promenade. I ended up in the elevator with them when the class was over, and figured out enough to know that they were looking for someone who had been reported missing. they had a printed out picture of the woman and someone told me that her friends had reported her missing. I felt kind of sick to my stomach at the thought that maybe somebody had fallen off the cruise ship, which is straight where my mind went. I told myself that it was far more likely this person was drunk and passed out in a restroom somewhere or was taking a nap in some obscure corner of the ship and was unaware people were searching for her. I held my breath for a while, waiting to see if the ship turned around or begin searching the sea, and that never happened and there were no other announcements made and the security officers disappeared. So I’m hoping that everything worked out just fine and the lady was found safe and sound. At 530, I watched a teen competition at the Flowrider. The competition was to see how many spins each kid could make in 90 seconds. I really enjoyed that and the kids were so earnest and so into it. The same teenage boy that won the bellyflop contest also won this one! Then: Stood in line at the Windjammer waiting for it to open for dinner, and the line got longer and longer behind me as we waited. had to be at least 50 people behind me. Just moments before it opened, a couple wandered in, stared at the line in disgust, and then as it finally started moving, they just slid in behind me, blatantly cutting the line. The husband said to his wife, “just get in here.” The people behind me were very busy having an animated conversation, and either they didn’t notice, or they decided to let it go, which was very nice of them if that’s the case. I was super annoyed on their behalf. The attitude of a husband was, “this line is ridiculous and it’s ridiculous to expect me to stand in it, so I’m just going to cut the line and make things convenient for ME.” I can’t imagine doing something like that, and I really wonder what the response would’ve been if they had been called out on their actions. The guy seemed to be spoiling for a fight. I mean it’s day seven of an eight day cruise, has he not noticed that there are long lines at the Windjammer at this point? Did he not expect to have to wait in one? Clearly not. As annoyed as I was about the situation, I wasn’t going to turn around and try to enforce any rules or start a fight, I was a little afraid of what might happen. You just don’t know with people these days. It’s like those people hogging the pool chairs… Like, who gets up at 7:30 in the morning and claims a prime chair with a towel, and then goes back to bed? People do it all the time and I guess in their minds, it makes perfect sense. These are issues that are so childish, but I guess after a week at see you really get invested in these kind of ethical dilemmas. After dinner it was my turn to go see Mamma Mia. I have to admit this is not my favorite show. I’ve seen it twice before, both times on this ship, and it’s just not my thing. I’m not a big fan of ABBA and to me the musical is like watching three hours of karaoke. It’s three hours long and started at 8:15, and by 10 I was starting to nod off in my chair like an old person. But since I got up so early, at that point I was looking at having been up for 16 hours. I got up and left and came to bed and I’m really glad I did. I really need to spend some time just resting in my room tomorrow or I’m going to go home exhausted! tomorrow makes day eight of the cruise and I’ve never been on a cruise this long before. Most I have done as a week. I’m booked to do a transAtlantic in the fall which would end up being 16 nights away from home. So I told myself imagine if this cruise was doubled, how would you feel? Would you be really ready to get off the ship and go home or would you be up for another eight days? I’m not entirely sure. Of course the transatlantic would be an entirely different experience on a different ship (the Wonder,) but that’s a very long time to solo. I’m going to give that some time and thought. it’s funny how my solo status has come up so often in this week. It’s like someone said at the beginning of the blog, opportunities just present themselves to tell people I’m traveling alone. The reactions have ranged from shocked to intrigued to impressed to envious. When I took that tour in Aruba, a man in the tour asked me if I was traveling alone and when I said yes, it clearly wasn’t the answer he was expecting, and his eyes got wide and I think I saw a lightbulb go on his head, as though he just suddenly realized that solo cruising is a life option, and this information had rocked his world. He started talking about how he might do solo cruises in the future, as his wife works and he’s retired and has more time to travel than she does. you wouldn’t think you’d find yourself talking to people about such things, especially being an introvert like I am under normal circumstances. But it’s come up pretty much every day. And that’s been fine, it’s been fun to talk to people about it. But one thing everybody says immediately is, “how’s that, cruising by yourself?“ I don’t have a clever or commercial-like answer for this question other than the truth which is, “great.“ Or, “good.“ I know that’s not the enthusiastic or long or thoughtful answer people are searching for, but what is there to say? Everybody has different experiences with everything they do, especially travel. I think solo cruising is fun, and I don’t have tons more to say about it than that right there on the spot. It works for me depending on the cruise and I choose my cruises carefully. This is only my second solo cruise and I feel like they both have been a success, and by that I mean a really nice vacation. In any case, that wrap things up for today and tomorrow is our last day! Relaxation is going to be the name of the game tomorrow for sure!
    6 points
  35. 1. This piece of art will be worth double what your paying before the years out. 2. This Invicta watch is a quality timepiece and you can’t find it cheaper anywhere but here. 3. You can only order two lobsters on lobster night.
    5 points
  36. That the calories on cruises don't count.
    5 points
  37. That the ship will wait for passengers to finish their beers at the pier side bar.
    5 points
  38. FrHoffard giveth, FrHoffard taketh away too?
    5 points
  39. Great options for dining are located right at Port Canaveral. Had lunch at Fish Lips the day before our cruise, great Caesar Salad, Shrimp Tacos. Hubby had Grouper sandwich, with salad. Sat outside on the desk, watched the dolphin play, the entire time. Went back in the evening for appetizers and drinks at Gators Dockside. Wasn’t bad, shared Nachos & Egg Rolls. Sat outside again and watched MSC depart from the port. Ship certainly did not look full at all, so wondered if they were picking up more passengers, or what. Would highly recommend these dining options at the port. Most dining options near hotel seemed to be fast food or locally owned smaller restaurants. Didn’t have time to day any of the locally owned. Hope this his helpful to cruisers.
    5 points
  40. This a giant pet peeve of mine. It happens all the time and it's incredibly dumb.
    5 points
  41. HM worked! Already heard back and got all our dinner reservations booked. Thank you everyone!
    5 points
  42. Day 7 - Rhodes View of Rhodes town from our famously obstructed balcony: Strictly speaking, there is absolutely no need to do an excursion in Rhodes. As you can see from the pics, the ship parks right next door to the old town and you can walk there in a couple of minutes. However, having been to Rhodes once before and loved it, I was terrified that there might still be restrictions in place requiring us to be on a ship-sponsored excursion in order to get off. I would have been devastated to be ported in Rhodes and not be able to get off the ship. So, precisely with this in mind, my strategy was to book a cheap excursion to guarantee that our visit to Rhodes would not be limited to looking at it from our balcony. We did a pleasant little half day excursion called Filerimos and Mediaeval Town that I booked during another more or less genuine sale when it was selling for $45 instead of the usual $49. It took us up to the monastery at Filerimos, high on a hill above the town. This is a popular place with locals as somewhere to spend the day away from the blistering heat in the town during the summer months. The views are amazing and you can see either side of the island depending on where you are. It's just a pity it was a bit hazy today as that meant we did not have such a clear view as we might otherwise have had. There is a large colony of very tame peacocks at the site who are very loud and love posing for pictures! After this we went back down into Rhodes town for a short guided walking tour. On our previous visit to Rhodes we had been with family members who are only ever interested in poking around the shops, so I enjoyed learning a little about the town and the buildings this time round. The moat around the old town is another popular place with locals who come here to have picnics and enjoy family days out. Rhodes was actually the deal breaker for choosing this cruise over the one after ours, where the itinerary was essentially the same but had Athens instead of Rhodes. So, after a quick lunch back on the ship, we went back out again for another wander around the town. DH bought himself a Greek shirt. I wonder if he will ever wear it? Tonight's MDR menu: Seafood cake. I liked this; it was nice and crispy and had lots of flavour but DH, on the other hand, thought it was too spicy. Chicken korma. This is not a very spicy curry and it was nice enough but nothing very special. And, the star of the show... Mississippi mud pie! I had never had this before and it was so, so good! I wished I had room for a second helping. The show tonight was The Book in Two70. I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. I thought it was very slow to start (and DH agreed which he demonstrated by falling asleep) and while I liked the aerial acrobatics, I thought the bazaar scene was way too busy. I can't say I was a huge fan of the seats either, which I found to be not very comfortable and, again, the sound was too loud. Having seen the show once, I don't think I'd be in a hurry to go back. This was the night that DH actually managed to get some winnings out of the tight-fisted casino and came out with $40. Don't all cheer though, because the next night he would lose the lot in about 20 seconds flat!
    5 points
  43. Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, but hopefully it is. After seeing the update on the blog last night about protocols being extended through the end of September I decided to go ahead and cancel our two cruises. We've been pushing them back for more than two years, and RC has had our money for almost three years, so I'd really rather just have it back instead of having it in limbo. While I was on the phone doing the cancellation the representative told me that they are leaving room on their ships now for people who have either medical or religious exemptions from the COVID vaccine. He was very clear to say that this was not a guarantee, the space is limited, it might involve changing rooms to a specific section of the ship (it basically sounded like you'd be placed with the rest of the great unwashed, lol). I don't see us doing this for a couple of reasons, but if RC can make the accommodation without a few things happening: (1) No masks, (2) No enforcement of constantly displaying anything that would indicate my or my kid's vaccination status (Arm bands, stickers on clothes, etc.), and (3) if they want me to change rooms, it's got to be a comparable room. We'd certainly love to cruise again, so I took the information from him and sent the email. The email had to go to [email protected] and had to include the following information: INCLUDE IN YOUR REQUEST:- The full name of the person who needs the accommodation, as the name appears on their reservation- Ship Name- Date of Sailing- Reservation Number- Best phone number to reach the requesting guest (or their legal guardian if they are a minor)- Best email to reach the requesting guest or their guardian, should it be different than the one you are emailing fromReligious Requests:For religious accommodation, please provide details regarding the specific nature of the religious objection to the vaccination. Your request will be evaluated by a panel to ensure that we are in compliance with all requirements related to such requests.Medical RequestsFor your request to be considered by our medical team, a letter from a physician is required. Please see the specific requirements for the letter below:- The letter must come from a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).- The letter must include the full name and date of birth for the guest requesting the accommodation.- The letter must clearly indicate the pre-existing, non-COVID medical condition or disability that is contraindicated for vaccination.- The letter should include a note that the guest is medically fit to travel.- The letter must be signed by the MD or DO. **** I did get a response saying that they had received the request, they made sure to note a few things at the bottom: AFTER YOUR REQUEST IS APPROVED or DENIED:Approvals:- Approvals apply only to the sailing for which they were granted and need to be renewed for each new sailing as protocols and operational needs change frequently.- Approvals do not imply or guarantee an approval for any future sailings.- Please note that vaccination accommodated guests must adhere to all health protocols and travel requirements for unvaccinated guests as required by the cruise line and at the local, state and national level. Denials:If we are unable to approve your request, you can:- Change the ship/sail date and submit a new request, if your denial was based on operational capacity.- Cancel only the unvaccinated guest(s) from the booking, if the remainder of the traveling party still wishes to sail. The unvaccinated guest will receive a full refund after cancellation.- Cancel the booking that includes the unvaccinated guest and receive a full refund for the booking. Only those guests in the impacted booking are eligible to receive a full refund. Related bookings (family, friends, etc. traveling on another booking) remain subject to the standard cancellation penalty schedule. **** I'll try to remember to post and say what happens from here. I was wondering when I saw that they lowered their vaccinated threshold if that would mean they would start accepting religious/medical exemption requests.
    5 points
  44. I'm more dressed up the second night. First one I wear a dress shirt and tie, second I add a vest to the ensemble to cover up any food stains from the first night.
    5 points
  45. LovetoCruise87

    Rising tide bar

    Everyone now!!! Sweet Caroline...bom bom bom! Good times never felt so good..so good, so good, so good!
    5 points
  46. They should have left a few out of service for awhile longer and increased staffing on the rest to match with passenger loads
    5 points
  47. I’m sorry some have had less than stellar experiences in the Facebook groups. I haven’t had that experience with our June 5th sailing on the Mariner. We’ve all been friendly, planning a get together after sail away, sharing yay’s over royal ups and introducing our kids to each other. No one bothered to set up a group for our sailing here, so I did it myself and it’s hardly visited. I do feel that I am running a gauntlet with covid and general illness right now. In the last month my daughter has had covid and then the flu, people coming off Mariner cruises right now have either tested positive during the sailing or just after and posting about it - not great, but not horrifying either. I was really hoping that by choosing this time is year, I could fully relax in a large group unmasked and be my usual social butterfly. So we’re just crossing fingers and hoping for the best.
    5 points
  48. I've been on a few FB groups where the complainers feel free to carry on.....thankfully the upbeat, look for the silver lining crowd tends to come out in droves for every negative Nellie (no offense to anyone named Nellie!) there are positive Patty's (lol)
    5 points
  49. Remember to take negative comments with a grain of salt. People are way more vocal about negative experiences than positive experiences. And that's before you consider that social media amplifies things even more.
    5 points
  50. I'm an obsessive planner so I agree that it can almost be a letdown when all the planning is done. I think it's also hard to fully commit to getting excited when you can still have covid issues.
    5 points
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