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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/18/2018 in Posts

  1. 20 points


    6 days into our first ever cruise and we have booked our next with plans for 2 more before we go on that one. Addicted!! Thanks to everybody for helping us make this leap! Nikkoo
  2. 20 points
    Wrong cruise line?
  3. 20 points

    2018 - A Cruise Year in Review

    Fourteen cruises marks the most I've cruised in any single year so I thought I take a second to put it down in a post. I started 2018 as a relatively new Diamond member in the Crown and Anchor Society and finished just over the halfway mark to Pinnacle. Anthem -> Liberty -> Serenade -> Adventure -> Explorer -> Empress -> Radiance -> Mariner -> Enchantment -> Adventure -> Symphony -> Serenade -> Oasis -> Navigator The scary part is I missed a cruise when my daughter graduated from the Air Force or it would have been fifteen. Oh well, well worth it. Of all these cruises I think Navigator to the ABC islands was my best cruise, in no small part due to the ABC islands and my cruise mate (step daughter and scuba diving buddy). Other notable 2018 cruise events for me First Transatlantic (Symphony) First Canada/New England (Adventure) First ABC island cruise First visit/cruise to Cuba First Diamond Plus cruise (Adventure repositioning San Juan to Bayonne) First Radiance class experience First Voyager class experience Completed the Oasis class challenge (sailing all Oasis Class) Completed the Freedom class challenge (sailing all Freedom class) Completed the Empress class challenge (easy one here) My longest single cruise (Adventure 13 night Snowbird Migration) Paid for a cruise in full and didn't show up (cruise #15 above) Sailed six different classes of ship in a single year (would have been seven classes if not for the missed cruise) First time on a FlowRider Five Crystal Blocks First year not sailing in a full suite Sailed on a ship every month of the year First RoyalCaribbeanBlog Group Cruise!!!! What was your most notable cruise moment of 2018?
  4. 19 points
    So, a while ago, while roaming the internet, I stumbled across this awesome list of which activities were on which ships throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet. It was perfect! Maybe I lost it, maybe it was taken down, but I couldn't find it any longer. So I set out to make my own. After going through every deck of every Royal Caribbean ship's deck plans, I noted everything I could find onboard. Bars, dining, entertainment, I listed it all. Here is the result: View in full screen I find it incredibly useful and I thought that I'd put it here because you all might like to use it too. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think. Disclaimers: This is my own creation and all information used is from https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/deck-plans (unless otherwise referenced) Therefore, there may be certain inaccuracies because of either certain things missing on the deck plans, or me missing something out If this is the case, please feel free to let me know and I will update it to reflect these. As said, I have not been on all these ships so do not have first hand experience for all these venues and activities, so please do let me know of any errors I may have made. It is quite large so it may take a moment to load, and you will need to zoom out. I intend to update it as new ships debut, or as ships get refurbished/amplified so it is hopefully always an up to date reference point. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy!
  5. 19 points
    I’ve seen posts about buying small models of cruise ships and what not, so for the purpose of entertainment, how much for this model I made of Oasis? Let’s start at $50 :)
  6. 19 points
    “I Dream of Genie” – Star Class - Harmony of the Seas – 03/10/19-03/17/19 Dreams…that is how many things begin; that is how this adventure began. But with every dream that comes true, there is always a journey. Here is our journey, almost 3 years in the making. Note: Pulling a @JLMoran here, it’s long winded lol. Back in May 2016, I read with keen interest, a blog post by @Matt that Royal was rolling out a new suite class program. The concept of Star Class intrigued me, but at the time, I knew that it was beyond our reach. However, dreams have no limits, and one can look but not touch. You all know that I am a shopaholic right? 😂 As the program rolled out, I read reviews, followed blogs, looked on in wonder and envy as I watched the Genies do their thing on Allure in 2016 and later on Harmony in 2017. This was pretty much me on those sailings... In February 2017, I came across a blog by @WAAAYTOOO. I believe it was her first time in Star Class and she had Reyno as her Genie. After that, I knew, without a doubt that this was something that I needed to try. The big question was how? The answer is that I really don’t know how I would have this opportunity without the help of some dear friends along the way, right here in the message boards. Somewhere between February 2017 and January 2018, I read a post by @tiny260 that really was the first glimmer of hope that Star Class could be a reality for us. @tiny260 basically posted that he had recently booked a good deal in Star Class by scouring the calendar week by week. There were only two problems with that idea: I did not have much time to go through each sailing, week by week and ship by ship, and there are only several times in the year that I can sail due to work. So, I set aside Tiny’s idea but made a point to remember his tip. In January 2018, call it God’s will, or good things come to those who wait, or fate, @WAAAYTOOO started a thread in the “Rumours and News” section here about a special STAR savings discount of $1000. I was also off work last year which meant I had all day to look. So, taking @tiny260's tip I went about an all-day effort to find something that would fit our schedule. Trouble was that my schedule was only flexible until September 2018 and I already had bookings for 2018 that I did not want to cancel. This is the point in the journey where sometimes intercession occurs, and you cannot logically explain what follows. During my search that day, I stumbled upon a sailing on Harmony (which I expected to be the highest price second to Symphony) for March 10, 2019. This worked out perfectly since this would be our March break, I would be off work, and Harmony is my favourite ship. For reasons that I cannot explain, this was also one of the lower priced sailings for a Star class cabin (compared to OA/AL/SY). How did I know that? Because up until this point, I had been tracking the prices on Star Class cabins and reading posts on the price that others were paying. Another example of how it pays to do your research. This low price, combined with the additional $1000 STAR discount, made it a no-brainer. I put a hold on it even before I had a chance to run it by Hubby. There are many that I have heard say, “Why would someone want to spend so much on a cabin?” or, “I would take more cruises over such an expensive one any day.” Here are my thoughts on that. We have taken enough cruises to know what we like. We are cabin and balcony people. We do spend time in our cabin, so to us, a nice cabin is important and worth it. My work schedule limits us to certain times of the year that we can cruise. Instead of taking our money and spreading it over a bunch of cruises (which we can’t do any way), we are putting it all into one. It all works out the same. Our original booking was for a Guarantee Star Class cabin. The code on the booking was A2-GTY. This was new to me and I did not even know such a category existed. I ran it by @WAAAYTOOO and a few others and figured that we had nothing to lose as the bare minimum would be an A2 on Deck 10. Hubby got home that evening and, after some persuasion and promises to curb the Lulu shopping, he suggested that if we were going to splurge on Star Class then we might as well go big and go to Deck 17, the “gated community” as some call it, and really live out that “WOW factor”. Ever since our inaugural sailing on Oasis, Deck 17 was always a wish of ours. I warned him that Star Class on Deck 17 could be quite a jump in price. Still curious, we called late that evening and inquired about what it would cost to upgrade. It was $100 extra (total). Done. No brainer. Again, an anomaly that I cannot explain. Since our original booking in January, I have re-priced our sold-out cabin 3 times for a total savings of almost $3000 less than what we originally booked for. The cost was many hours of tracking, but it paid off. We already had a great deal to begin with and it just got sweeter along the way. As we get ready for this grand adventure into Star Class, I must take the time to thank @WAAAYTOOO, @Mindybrite, @tiny260, @CGTLH, and @constable145. Your insight, advice, and blogs have been more valuable than you know. Words cannot express my appreciation. Finally, @Matt, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank you for creating this amazing community of people (enablers) who helped in making this a true possibility. I often say to my own girls, and my students, that we should never be afraid or give up in the pursuit of our dreams. Dreams can come true, this being the perfect example. So, without further delay, come take this journey with us, I would want it no other way.
  7. 18 points
    Ok you guys, I'm SO excited. Mr. SpeedNoodles and I have not been on a vacation for 10 years (yes, you read that correctly). We've had time off from work, hauling the hounds to dog shows, but those are work. Lots of fun, but lots of work. This year is our 25th wedding wedding anniversary, his 50th birthday, we found a hound(s)/house sitter, and we are READY TO GO!!! I'll focus this blog mostly on the ship, since there's no way my photos of the scenery will do any justice of it, and Twangster did a superb job on his. Hats off to him - they were absolutely incredible! I don't know that I'll be able to post daily, but I intend to do the best that I can. We will have 36 hours in Seattle before we get on the ship, so we're super excited about that! Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick .....
  8. 16 points

    How to sound like an alcoholic....

    We end up doing a Pub Crawl, Poker Run ...... All participants put in $5. At every bar, not only do you have a drink, you draw a card ...... at the last bar, you find out who has the best poker hand - that person wins the cash ..... I was fortunate enough to win two years ago w/ 3 Kings ... Nice .
  9. 16 points

    Super Mario is Super!

    Apparently it’s an 8,000 cruise point milestone for Mario onboard the Navigator!
  10. 16 points
    With that our tribe begins to appear unified and equal. Each is wearing a common tribal outfit. I've seen all of the aqua theater shows and this is my favorite. It's high energy with lots of action, plenty of diving and incredible aerial work. It's more artistic in places and uses technology to highlight the incredible performance of the cast which itself is outstanding. The aerial components are incredible and add a lot to the show. Be aware though, when they get wet by dipping into the water they do drip onto the audience below, all over the theater.
  11. 15 points
    tiny blonde

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    I totally agree that Grandpa used poor judgement resulting in a tragic mistake. But I don't think the family is necessarily trying to "strike it rich" - because I remember how I felt when tragedy struck my family, albeit under different circumstances. One of the early symptoms of grief is anger, and certainly this family has a lot to be angry about (Mom is angry at Dad for letting Grandpa take the baby over to the window, Dad is angry at Grandpa for lifting the baby up to the window, Grandpa is angry at himself for being responsible for the tragedy, Grandma is angry at Grandpa for causing the death of the baby, etc.) and when people are angry, they flail around looking for someone to blame. When my daughter was killed, I was angry at EVERYONE with whom I could find anything to be angry about, and her father was so angry he drove people away (a phenomenon you may have observed in other bereaved parents), but that was just a normal grief reaction that gave way, eventually, to the deep grief that comes when the energy provided by anger is spent. The only person I blame is the lawyer, who I think is the one trying to get rich by inventing this cockamamie story of it being a "kids area" and parading this family in front of the media. I don't hate lawyers, by any means. My dad was a lawyer, but he never chased an ambulance or a cruise ship or dragged his clients into the limelight. He honored the confidentiality of the lawyer/client relationship, that this lawyer apparently never heard of.
  12. 15 points
    Just got off Harmony on a brand new itinerary: Port Canaveral, CocoCay (2nd time this ship visits here), Cozumel, Roatan (first time for Harmony), & Costa Maya Here are a few stray observations I had: 1) I did NOT purchase Voom, but discovered that if I simply connected to the Harmony-Guest wifi (for the app updates and schedules), I was easily able to send/receive iMessages to anyone, including those back at home! 2) The Stowaway Piano Man was on this sailing. I had the privilege of riding the elevator with him! 3) First time Harmony visited Roatan. The captain changed our arrival / departure times. Roatan local time was 2 hours earlier that ship time (that remained on Eastern time). Original ship scheduled time was 8AM - 5PM (ship time). New schedule was 9:30AM - 6:30PM (ship time). Evidently, the local vendors didn't want to be there at 6AM (their local time / 8AM ship time) to open up shops, so the captain delayed the arrival / departure time. 4) Got WOW bands for everyone in our group. They worked extremely well, and could be used anywhere on the ship in lieu of a seapass card. They also worked for entry into Thrill Waterpark on CocoCay. Every station on the ship had portable readers that read either your WOW band or your seapass card. This worked for everything from towel checkout to shops to entry into reserved shows & events. You still needed your seapass card for getting off the ship, and for entry in the ports back onto the ship. 5) The Soda cups for the freestyle machines were the same old-style ones I've seen before. I did see a few of the new ones (with straw and looped carry handle), but didn't know where they came from. I had a boardwalk balcony cabin, so got complementary soda cups. Even those that were for sale on board (with various drink packages) were only the original style ones... 6) There seemed to be professional photographers on the ship most every night, and not just formal dining nights. I didn't recall seeing this many days with photographers and various backgrounds on prior cruises. 7) Did the escape room (and made it out with 5 1/2 minutes to spare!). This event was extremely popular. Spoke with someone in guest services, and they said the escape room was completely booked within two days (all days and all sessions) of it becoming available to book on the cruise planner. Glad I booked it as soon as I saw it available! 8 ) CocoCay - Two things: A) Plan on doing the "highest" waterslide and the slingshot ride as soon as you can. With the volume of people on Harmony, the lines were extremely long (2+ hour wait for these two rides) past about 10AM. The lines finally shortened closer to about 3:30PM to 4PM. B) The lockers in Thrill Waterpark were complementary to use. Cost was included in the Thrill Waterpark ticket purchase. You just found a open / available locker, put our stuff in, and locked it. We could then open it and access our stuff, and simply re-lock it as needed. I have no idea if lockers outside of Thrill Waterpark were complementary or not... 9) Cruise Director, Marc, was excellent!!! Overall, we had an awesome cruise!!!
  13. 15 points
    The selfie @twangster took of himself as he soared through the air dangling from one of the drones was amazing. It's a shame you and @Matt missed it since you skipped the photos. I can't believe they took a volunteer from the audience for that role. Shows a lot of natural athletic ability, obviously.
  14. 14 points

    2 Perfect Day Stops

    The majority of guests boarding Mariner have never been on a cruise before. Perfect Day is proving to be immensely popular for good reason. Combine the two and I can understand why they are trying this. If the feedback is positive they'll likely continue, if not they likely won't. The idea of two stops is appealing. That's taking me two cruises, one last week and another next week. Let's examine this concept that the new Perfect Day is a money grab compared to the old CocoCay. Thrill water park is a small section of the island. Beyond the water park the same excursions are available that always have been at CocoCay, except... Remember the old Aqua Park? $37 for one hour. That's it in the distance. Yep, that's what you got for one hour and $37 back in 2017. Remember the old slides from 2017? $26 for a day pass. Not included in the Aqua Park. Now for roughly the same price of the old aqua park and old slide you get an entire water park with wave pool and multiple slides that are incredible. Thrill water park is $62 in most of my upcoming stops at CocoCay. To me that represents pretty great value compared to the CocoCay of yesterday. BTW - see all those loungers in the top picture? Notice anything missing? The $20 umbrellas! Here is a Perfect Day picture from last week. Now, umbrellas all over the place and they are free! If you just want a relaxing beach day without spending a dime that describes 90% of Perfect Day including a free fresh water pool and now Perfect Day is so much nicer than the old CocoCay. If you want a water park, the price today has so much more value compared to the old Aqua park and inflatable slide of yesterday's CocoCay at the same price. Plus no more tendering! Come and go from the ship as much as you want. What's not to love about Perfect Day?
  15. 14 points
    One reason that I love the Intercontinental Miami is their Club level rooms which give you access to their Club Lounge. Happy Hour and Breakfast are complimentary here in the club lounge. The hours are 5-7pm and 7-11am. Here are the selections for Happy Hour tonight: Mini sliders Chicken Croquette Chicken Wings Specialty coffee Make your own cocktails My pre-dinner snack: The wings were so good I went back for seconds on those. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the time we actually headed out for dinner.
  16. 14 points
  17. 14 points

    I had to share this

    Back when I blogged my first cruise on Freedom last year, I had posted a couple of pictures I'd taken of some art my younger daughter had drawn / painted while we were staying in the hotel pre-cruise. Here's the photo again, for those who hadn't seen... What a difference a year of high school can make! This was Kara's final project for the year in year in her Freshman Drawing and Painting class: Hand drawn, hand colored, all her own work and effort. I cannot begin to say how proud I am of her, and I can't begin to imagine the career and life she'll have ahead of her as an artist. Yes, she already has determined that being an artist is her career choice; she wants to major in illustration in college, but may double major in photography after taking photography 1 this year as well, and discovering that even with her benign tremor she is able to compensate well enough to take photos that have gotten her repeated praise from her teacher in that class as well, along with winning many "picture of the week" contests in her class and having some of her photos showcased at gallery events the school has held. #seriouslyproudpapa
  18. 13 points

    Cruise Planner Sale July 15, 2019

    No love for me. Deluxe bev pkg is still only $52 with BOGO50 / 25% off. C’mon Royal!! Where’s that intern with another $18 sale for all 2019 sailings?!?
  19. 13 points
    I think you still have your polite teacher hat on. Let me translate to vacation-speak...
  20. 13 points
    I am here now on Adventure of the Seas. Left out of Port Bayonne/Cape Liberty yesterday. When they scanned our carry ons at security, they saw our three cases of soda and told us that only one was permitted per stateroom, and they took two away. Bummer! Yes, we knew the policy, but a lot of others on the boards said to give it a try, so we did. (Please do not judge😀). The ship is ROCKING like crazy! We are heading now to Bermuda and it has been nonstop back and forth. Never needed Dramamine in our lives, and everyone that we know is taking it! CONSTANT MOTION! Thank God we packed it! Food is great, easy to find lots of great food! Great mix of people here, all ages. We were told there are currently 200 children on board. My son is 15 and went to the teen meet and greet last night and already has a pack of friends now to run around with. We have a dry erase board on our stateroom door and someone keeps drawing naked genitalia on it?????? My hubby is mad about that, but it is kind of funny to me😂😂😂😂😂 I am open to any questions anyone has about the Adventure of the Seas. May take me a day or two to reply, since I am having so much fun!
  21. 13 points
    All I can afford is my C&A cookies heated up using the hair dryer that comes with my interior cabin. Does that count?
  22. 13 points

    Oasis Class #6 !!!!

  23. 13 points
    Toss in a few night time shots of Adventure.
  24. 13 points
    Captain's Corner Given the large numbers of C&A Top Tier they figured this would be well attended and moved it into the main theater. Captain Rob has a unique and dry sense of humor. It was used extensively during this session much to the crowd's delight. Just as he was about to begin, some guests in the crowd broke out in "Happy Birthday to you...". Apparently today is his birthday. Symphony has a number of innovations including a slightly different hull shape that along with the air lubrication system (and other changes) make her 25% more efficient than Oasis. According to Captain Rob if you could see both ships in dry dock side by side the differences in the hull would be pretty apparent. Captain's Rob first ship (at Royal) was Grandeur. He was a Bering Sea fishing captain before joining Royal. Moving to Royal he accepted a pay cut and joined as a junior bridge officer. He worked up through the ranks to eventualy become a Captain again here at Royal. There are currently two Masters for Symphony, Captain Rob and Captain Rick. They work a 10 week on/off cycle. They keep in touch with each other at all times and let each other know what's going on around the ship. According to U.S. Health Department code that the ship follows even in international waters, any food that is once placed out for consumption but not used is destroyed and run through the waste management process. It is not, despite rumors, fed to the crew or used the next day. The little deviation we did last night was due to cleaning out the ship's economizers in the stacks. They need to be cleaned periodically and the zig zag course was executed as part of the cleaning process according to Captain Rob. Captain Rob is not aware of any four sisters meet up. He thinks it may happen, but at some future point. He was on Oasis during the planning of the three sisters and that planning started months before it occurred. As he offered "Photoshop works really well and is a whole lot cheaper". An enjoyable session with the Master of the vessel.
  25. 12 points

    Perfect Day Love

    I have yet to be to Perfect Day at CocoCay but this pic is my desktop background. I have high hopes of the time we get to spend on the island. I invite others who have been there to share their favorite memories there here. I hope this doesn't sound too corny.
  26. 12 points
    Our tour was very nice. Plenty of time to see things and get out of the very nice van. Here are some highlights:. Park guell:  I apologize in advance...I'm taking most pics on my camera but trying to do some for here on my phone. I had beautiful pics of the buildings with the columns in the back. I also have some amazing pics of the tile work close up. The pics here don't do it justice! Give yourself at least an hour here... We only had an hour and we'd have liked at least another half hour or so. Jane
  27. 12 points
    Backtracking a bit a today was a busy day! I need a cruise from all this land vacation nonsense! 😂 I think I left off this morning with the Naked Cowboy. He was the first thing we saw after the tour started. But just in case you missed the earlier post, here are some that D12 caught on her camera 🤣 The Viator tour was hectic but very comprehensive. Money well spent as we saw tons of sights. However, if you ever plan to do this tour, be ready to move and walk. Here are pics from around the city. 📸: Mostly all Hubby and one D10. Times Square (last night) The Lulubot always can find a home base. Hornblower Cruises Junior Photographer in training: Her work. 📸: D10 9/11 Memorial Rushing to get back for the pizza meet up:
  28. 12 points

    Drink Packages with Kids

    Ok. Since it is confession time, I will join you. We always get the DBP too and I am a Coke snob so wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a fountain Coke. Dan doesn’t drink any soda at all. Not very time but SOME times, if I meet a worthy candidate, we will give our cups away to someone who will use it. I also recognize that this is not legal. Confession complete. Oooh. I feel so much better ! 😊😇
  29. 12 points
    Day 2 Seas are much calmer - the skies are much clearer. Here's my @twangster style balcony pic of the day I'm going to get dressed and grab some coffee - we've got NorthStar booked today at 11:30... looking forward to it! Dinner tonight will be in Chops, and we also reserved "The Gift" a bit later tonight.
  30. 11 points
    I wonder if it is the same Youtuber who got most of the facts and projections wrong when Oasis was damaged in the crane incident. Some bloggers and vloggers will do anything to get clicks and followers, even make stuff up. Fortunately here on royalcaribbeanblog.com @Matt sticks with known and confirmed information, not speculation. If you want reliable information you'll find it right here https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/
  31. 11 points
    Night 3 Pool Party I wanted to check out the pool party they referenced in the letter. It was well attended with many people still in their formal wear since this was a formal night. Entertainment staff led the dance moves. I had noted the Windjammer offered "Late Night Snacks" 10:30pm to 12:30am and then a "Burger & Sandwich Bar" 12:30am to 1:30am. There were a number of guests here at 11:45pm. Unlike the late night offerings on Mariner and Navigator recently this was more complete with much more than just burgers and hot dogs. It was pretty much a midnight buffet. It wasn't packed by any stretch but I was certainly not alone. There were even some dessert items. Wandering around the pool deck it was a beautiful night with a sky full of stars. It's hard to see them in these photos but it was a great night for star gazing. I wanted to include a picture of the kids splash zone and here at midnight it was void of kids so I took the opportunity to take a quick picture. I try not to photograph other people's children so this will have to suffice with the water features turned off.
  32. 11 points
    It’s’ cruise day! Currently on the train from Anchorage to Seward. I had a detailed post from yesterday however, it wouldn’t let me post and I didn’t save my post. I realized because I wasn’t entering my email address. I think we were awake for almost 24 hours yesterday. Spent half the day traveling and half the day exploring the Anchorage area. The Crow Pass Trail to Crystal Lake was absolutely stunning. Took about 4 hours round trip. Took great photos and even saw a Dal Sheep. So excited for our day. The train ride is stunning so far. Doing a 6 hour wildlife cruise when we arrive in Seward and then starting our cruise. I will attempt to post photos on my phone. May need to wait till laptop access
  33. 11 points
    2 weeks ago on Mariner playing the wheel of fortune machine with the gold spin. I hit a gold spin and it landed on 15 x multiplier and then the wheel of fortune hit $250 so it was a $250 x 15. $3,750.00. Fun night in the casino.
  34. 11 points
    BREAKING NEWS! We interrupt your obsessive reading about cruises to bring you this important report. We are no longer in “Guarantee” limbo. We have been assigned a spacious ocean view balcony on desk 8 starboard rear. More news as it becomes available. We now take you back to your regular cruise programming.
  35. 11 points
    Day 6 - Hubbard Glacier Our progress at 4:22am: I was hoping for a sunrise and managed to get a glimpse of a sunrise through the breaking cloud cover. Our destination began to appear in the distance. It was pretty windy at this point but seas were pretty calm. Here at 7:30am the Solarium was still pretty empty. Some guests secured a front row seat. You can't see it here but it was pretty windy. The glass panels did a great job deflecting the wind but allowed me to stick my camera through the space between. Weather like this isn't unusual here. I've seen it be like this and clear up later so I wasn't too concerned about the high winds and drizzle. The shops had set up on the pool deck selling hats, gloves, jackets and stuffed animals. As we got closer the winds died down so they were able to run the North Star through a test cycle. This allows them to validate winds at elevation and ensure the ride is ready for guests. Something you don't see very often is the North Star going over the sides of the ship, at least not here in North America. This is part of the new North Star Alaska Experience that is a paid option. At this point it's 8:50am and we've entered Disenchantment Bay. Click here for more details on the North Star Alaskan Experience.
  36. 11 points

    Autographs by Matt

    In case you missed Matt's day at Coco Cay someone while he was doing his video asked for his autograph His reaction was funny. Another person approached him on Chill Island. Again, he was in shock Matt is becoming the RCL Rock Star! OBTW Matt I am sailing in July and already have 1 magnet for my cabin door, (Adventure) along with others in our group. I would def. buy a Matt signature magnet if the price was right. Think about it for the group cruise. MATT APPROVED with your signature might be fun!
  37. 11 points

    Favorite Cruise Hack/ Tip

    Sorry, but the reason I never talk about it is because I feel, in my not-so-humble opinion, to be at best an unsolicited sales offer and at worst a border-line racket. The shopping seminar is more about which stores have paid RC to advertise as stores to go to, rather than an educational overview of which areas of the city/island truly represent a good place for value or deals. Any store that is mentioned in these seminars have paid to be mentioned. Moreover, there is often a kick back for sales referred. Not to mention that "little hook up" is a ploy to get you into the store. If you want to learn about the port you are visiting and/or the best areas to shop, I recommend utilizing the internet and getting recommendations from other cruisers who have gone to these places.
  38. 11 points

    Happy Sailings

    Congrats to all those who are cruising this month! Have fun on the Group Cruise! November 2018 3 - Auto (Rhapsody of the Seas) 4 - Floski (Oasis of the Seas) 4- BobNoxious (Freedom of the Seas) 5 - Renee Siao (Navigator of the Seas) Update: We won’t be visiting Boston, New York, and Port Canaveral. Instead, we’ll be visiting Bruges/Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium, Le Havre, France, and Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. 9 - Matt (Symphony of the Seas) 9 - RBRSKI (Mariner of the Seas) 11 - betatke1480 (Oasis of the Seas) 11 - Dcruiser (Oasis of the Seas) 12 - davelliott (Mariner of the Seas) 16 - davelliott (Mariner of the Seas) 17 - Matt (Symphony of the Seas Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise) 17 - CGTLH (Symphony of the Seas Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise) 17 - hallyluhopper (Symphony of the Seas Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise) 17 - melski94 (Independence of the Seas) 17 - RBRSKI (Symphony of the Seas) 17 - Susie (Anthem of the Seas) 17- princevaliantus (Jewel of the Seas) 18 - SouthernYankee (Adventure of the Seas) 18 - WAAAYTOOO (Navigator of the Seas) 18 - mikebarr (Liberty of the Seas) 19 - bcarney (Serenade of the Seas) 19 - RatedPG (Serenade of the Seas) 19- betatke1480 (Enchantment of the Seas) 22- eaglesfaninfl (Brilliance of the Seas) 23 - mworkman (Navigator of the Seas) 23 - spiralqueen (Enchantment of the Seas) 24 - J_Keeble (Symphony of the Seas) 24 - henrysea13 (Adventure of the Seas) 24 - SouthernYankee (Adventure of the Seas) 25 - CruisinUngs (Anthem of the Seas) 25- Ray (Freedom of the Seas) 25 - Steph215 (Anthem of the Seas) 26 - NS8VN (Independence of the Seas) 26- Chitown Traveler (Mariner of the Seas)
  39. 11 points
    Day 2 After the overwhelming start yesterday, we used this day for settling in a bit. We got to meet our stateroom attendant Robert (from Costa Rica) who made sure we had everything we needed. Easy task, take the trash and empty glasses out once a day and leave some toilet paper and towels every few days and we‘re good. He was astonished he didn’t manage to catch us yesterday – no surprise there, we only use the cabin for sleeping and showering, well, on this cruise also for blogging. Though I had to promise hubby that I’d take the laptop to a bar for typing the blog and uploading the pictures next time. He needs to stay ahead on the drink package 😁 Not really a worry, I guess we’re ahead a few days already. We usually don’t drink any alcohol, but cruising and festivals are a completely different story. As we were still quite full from Hooked yesterday, we chose a light breakfast in Park Café – very convenient from our Deck 8 stateroom. Afterwards, it was onward to the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle in Studio B. With more than 700 people registered, there wasn’t that much mingling going on – at least not if you didn’t know anyone. But we got to meet Captain Rob and the hotel director as well as the CD (Bobby Brown) and the AD (Katy …). I might be going out on a limb here, but I really like him. He’s funny (well, in a Scottish way so maybe that‘s more of an European thing) and for those that don’t like him: rest assured that he was put through his paces in the M&M raffle – Studio B is quite big and has countless steps if you’re greeting the winners at their seat 😈 Next stop was the cabin for the day 1 post, then we were on our way to Aquanation with a slight detour – Park Café to try a Royal Kummelweck. Yes, they’re delicious. We managed to get some drinks for the show from Trellis Bar when the announcement came that both Aquanation shows were postponed due to the weather. Instead, we went to Mo5aic who will leave the ship in Malaga. Not really our kind of music (we’re fans of melodic death metal all the way!), but wow they were talented! We had tons of fun and didn’t regret watching them. All throughout the day we had some encounters with strange tastes. The waiter in the pub really asked if we would like to have ice in our beer – who would do such a dastardly thing? On an afterthought, serving Guinness from a can – in the PUB! - is blasphemy anyway. We’re also putting our drink package to use on the Freestyle machines to experience everything we’ve never tried before. Our least favourite so far is Root Beer – can someone please explain to me why you’d voluntarily drink copious amounts of something that tastes like a cough medicine? Maybe it’s just our European taste buds or the fact that I only try the diet versions? We also went to Playmakers today, though only for drinks. It’s a nice venue and I see us returning quite often just to drink beer (craft beer is on the menu!), watch some sports and play some Jenga or Connect 4 (had to look that one up as the direct translation from German would be „4 wins“ ☺️). Guess we’ll also try some of the food in the future. Today we had to cut our visit short to prepare for formal night. On TUI Cruises there are NO formal nights so with no experience we decided to better go all out. This process took ages – mostly due to lack of practice. When I was finally finished (sorry hubby – didn’t want to keep you from drinking) we took some pictures on the promenade – hopefully there’ll be a few good ones in it. I’ll need them as proof for the family at home – this is the first time since my wedding that I wore a dress, heels and make up. We’ve been married for 9 years in case anyone wonders…. Dinner in the MDR was just WOW. After seeing so many pictures in live blogs I was expecting quite plain food presentation-wise and knew to be cautious with my orders – I’m a picky eater when it comes to meat. But boy did they deliver – all courses apart from the mushrooms were delicious, wine was refilled immediately, our assistant waiter Juan and especially our waiter Baptiste were fantastic. We’ll be requesting them for the few times we’ll be in the MDR – now I finally get it why you like to keep your waitstaff 👍 Our neighbours made the evening even more perfect – a nice couple from Atlanta with whom we had very enjoyable conversations. Our food choices: Wild Mushroom Vol-au-Vent, Duck Terrine, Baked French Onion Soup (yes, it is THAT good!), Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Teriyaki Salmon, Carrot Cake, Crème Brûlée, Apple PIe à la Mode, Royal Cheesecake. Good thing we didn’t went for lunch. All in all we’re truly impressed even though the overall quality is a bit less than TUI Cruises‘ MDR – we don’t mind at all. Were it not for the itineraries, I could see us switching to Royal completely. As it stands now, we’ll just have to book both. The evening ended with a few more drinks and Adult Comedy in the Attic. Comedians on this cruise are Jim David and Robbie Prinz. Contrary to the warnings we had about this from fellow Germans, we were both able to follow the show quite easily and enjoyed it immensely. Guess if you can watch NCIS New Orleans without going nuts as a non-native speaker, Adult Comedy is a piece of cake. Hubby did also check out HUSH! Silent Party but as expected, the music just isn’t for us. Tomorrow is our last port stop before the crossing. The weather forecast is dismal so we’ll likely stay on board. If it rains as much as predicted, they might rename Symphony into Noah’s ark. Side notes: 11k steps Again no swimming – I signed up for a Transatlantic, not for an Alaska cruise! Still no sighting of the Twangster bot – or were you periscoping sailaway on the bridge wing in Barcelona? The app is quite shaky – sometimes you see your reservations, sometimes you don’t. A few reservations just won’t show up anyway – Izumi and Solarium Bistro namely. Guess that‘s what my trusty spreadsheet is for? Another YOLO moment: we booked the All Access tour for Tuesday 6th by sheer luck. Didn’t see it advertised anywhere, we were at Guest Services because we had no idea on which sea pass card we got the arcade credit – and the guests next to us were just booking the tour. We just had to jump at this opportunity, I mean what ship could be better to do this tour on?
  40. 11 points
    I think I've got my outfit picked out for my next formal night
  41. 10 points
    Cabin Another story here…. After our Anthem of the Seas cruise in 2018, my wife, now unashamedly, is a suite snob. Frankly, I whole heartedly support this as well. So, when we booked this cruise, we booked a grand suite. The price was decent, done. The Owners suites were more than what we wanted to spend, and the 1 Royal Suite was WAY more. After the cruise was booked, I kept an eye on prices, made some adjustments here or there and the waiting game began. We thought, who knows, maybe we can try to see what could happen with a Royal Up bid A few months ago, while doing a routine price check, I see a 2br grand suite is now available. A quick phone call to Royal, and we are now sailing in a 2br grand suite for about the same price as what we booked the cruise for originally. A few weeks ago, we did get the Royal Up email. We had the option for an Owners Suite or the Royal Suite. We bid on the Royal Suite, but I’m not going to hold my breath since looking now, all the suites are sold out. Pre-Cruise Like I said, we are flying in a few days early. Friday 9/20 we are flying into FLL. Southwest flights were much cheaper and had more convenient times than flying to MIA. So, the plan is we will rent a car to use for the couple days prior to be able to explore around etc without a ton of Uber/Lyft charges. Embarkation day I will drop the family off at the port around 10, bring the car back to MIA and take the enterprise shuttle back to the port. I looked at dropping off at other locations near the port, but this was the most cost effective. We are staying at the Gates Hotel South Beach. We picked this hotel due to its proximity to south beach and Heather wanted direct beach access without having to pay a super-premium price. She is a Hilton member through her job, so that also narrows the choices. This hotel also includes its own area for chairs and other activities too on the beach. Post Cruise This is where it also gets fun. After disembarkation, we will be taking the shuttle to MIA for another rental car which we will drive to Orlando with. Friday evening, we have tickets to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s No So Spooky Halloween Party. Heather is a huge Disney fan and is really looking forward to this. Much to my dismay, she has us all wearing Hocus Pocus themed shirts for that night….yay… Saturday, we have tickets to Universal Studios. Gotta check out the new Hagrid Ride…. And again, we have matching themed shirts. At least this time, they are Hogwarts/Harry Potter ones. Sunday, we head home. The Surprise Like I said earlier, this whole trip will be a surprise for the kids. The plan to make this work is that we will be packing in secret. We will drop the kids off at school on Friday, then load up the car. We will pick the kids up at dismissal at school and go straight to the airport. At this point, We will let them in on a little bit of the surprise, which will be we are just going to Florida and will be on the beach. On cruise day, we will pack up the car and say we are headed to another hotel, but not tell them that the hotel is the cruise ship. This is going to be so much fun. I plan on writing about our experiences at Disney and Universal as well so grab the popcorn and wine, its going to be a wild ride and thanks for following along!
  42. 10 points

    Swim Dress Code

    I've not seen it with my own eyes but I often talk to the crew and hear interesting stories. Bartenders who work the pool bar see a lot. When Freedom came back from Europe in 2017 she had an area marked for topless sunbathing. Sadly did not see any participants. Maybe all my camera gear scared them away.
  43. 10 points

    Matt in top 10 - We call him #1

    Thanks all for the very kind words and compliments. Thanks to you for all of your helpful and insightful advice, commentary and humor on these boards. I'm really glad we have this wonderful place to talk about the most important thing in the whole wide world.
  44. 10 points
    Bots don’t have fingers OR toes. You can’t fool us !
  45. 10 points
    Hello Royal Caribbean Blog members! My wife Corin and and I will be embarking on our first cruise which happens to be a TA. Go big or go home I guess. I will be doing a daily blog with a few photos and updates starting on the 4th. Stay tuned! *Crossposted on cruisecritic.com under CruisingWithMatt
  46. 10 points
    Solarium at night Nice being trusted with towels and not worrying about being possibility of being charge $25 for one...
  47. 10 points
    The Fine Line from last night was rescheduled for tonight. After we returned from Labadee, Araceli informed us that it has been cancelled again to Night 6 and 7. Also the headliner was also cancelled. She mention that there is usually not this many last minute show changes. We pushed dinner back and decided that we would just catch the Love and Marriage show at 10:30pm. Well, turns out that was cancelled as well. Not a problem when you have a Genie or Sky class but the people who are not this sailing must be scrambling to rearrange their schedules. Even The Key would not help you with this scenario. There was a lot of chatter in Chops about this. So when there are no shows, guess where we find ourselves now at 11:30pm at night??? Back in our suite with.... 😜😋 for @Sweety The perfect end to a fabulous day! Goodnight all 😴
  48. 10 points

    Super Mario

    Rumor has it there's a new guy on the block....everybody calls him Super Twangster! 😁
  49. 10 points
    Dinner Night 1: Dinner was slow tonight. Even though we ate at 5:30pm and asked to hurry so we could make the 7:15pm Welcome Aboard show, it still moved at snail’s pace. We were a few minutes late for the show. Nothing special to report. It was the standard MDR fare. Caesar Salad: They had savoury bites! @Matt‘s favourite...Spaghetti Bolognese: Fish, Seafood, and Mash: Just need to vent on this one. We had this dish on Mariner and it was ok. Tonight on Indy, the breaded shrimp was barely edible. It was so dry and almost chewy. Hazelnut Chocolate Cake: After dinner we went to see the Welcome Aboard show, mainly because I have heard many good things about the CD, Jamie Fentiman, and I wanted to see if what I had heard was true. He’s good. Lots of energy. Quite comedic. After the show, D10 wanted to check out Sugar Beach. The prices there are ridiculous. However, as luck would have it, we got stuck in there while they were filming the morning show. Both girls ended up on it! And they got some free candy too! Win-win! 😃 📸D10 with Jamie (CD; right) and Daniel (AM; left). Going to call it a night now as we are all quite tired. Goodnight all 😴
  50. 10 points

    Live From Lady G

    Day 5 and wrap-up Last night dinner was at Chops. We both ordered the lobster tail from the MDR along with our choices from Chops. I had the petite filet, which I split with Dan and he ordered the shrimp which he shared with me. The reason that we decided to purchase the Ultimate Dining Plan on this trip was b/c on our last 5 night Bermuda cruise (July 4th), they did not serve the 2 dishes that we most enjoy in the MDR - lobster and lamb shank. We assumed (we all know what happens when you ASSume) that they would not serve these 2 dishes on this trip either, only to find that they were serving BOTH. But we weren’t going to let them deprive us of our fave meals...we just had them bring them to us in the restaurant(s). Nothing much to report about the evening. Casino actions as always. I am happy to report that on this cruise I got both a straight flush and 4 of a kind (Ultimate Texas Hold’em) so I had a profitable trip for the first time in MANY cruises. Dan also came out ahead. Woohoo ! Nothing particularly interesting to report for today. B’fast in the D section of the MDT, lunch at Izumi and dinner at Giovannis (Dan had the lamb shank brought from the MDR and it was disappointing for the first time ever. Just wasn’t as good as it usually is). Casino closed around 9 PM as we entered the Chesapeake Bay. Random musings This is the first time we have been to Bermuda that the NCL Dawn was not also there. As a matter of fact, we were the only ship at King’s Wharf both days. Due to the anticipated affects of Hurricane Michael, Grandeur will be leaving port tomorrow early (New England 9 day) - around 2 PM. Normal departure is 4PM. We are now in the Bay and are having the smoothest seas we have experienced since we left Baltimore on Saturday. Not likely to stay this way. Never saw a drink card but it could have been offered. Was not able to get any information about the unplanned dry dock being discussed for March 2019. We will walk off tomorrow morning and will catch the hotel shuttle back to the hotel where our car is parked. I will drop Dan at work (Washington Navy Yard) and I will go home and work the rest of the day. Next stop - Navigator for Thanksgiving. Then we will be back on Grandeur for Christmas and NY.
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