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  1. I am happy to announce that I will be joining the brand new Odyssey Of The Seas this week. I look forward for the opportunity to go back to work, and once again help create vacation memories for Royal Caribbean passengers (you guys)! Watch out for my upcoming videos on YouTube. Chris Wong
    48 points
  2. Hi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!
    47 points
  3. I've had an opportunity to cruise a few cruise lines during this 2021 cruise restart. All of them have been with reduced capacity. Having recently encountered two terrible boarding day procedures I've got give credit to Royal Caribbean for implementing the best boarding day process I've experienced. On those other lines it took hours for me to board the ship. Neither of them improved the muster drill routine to a notable extent. For both the other cruise lines their boarding day process cast a dark cloud on the start of my cruise vacation and in both cases it took a few hours after finally getting on board before it felt like I was on vacation. Even then I felt exhausted and didn't feel like doing very much on the first night. Contrast that with Royal where I was car to cabin in 20 minutes. Upon boarding I was free to grab a bite to eat and a beverage then I could visit my muster station at my convenience for a one-on-one safety briefing that took less than 60 seconds. Upon boarding Royal I immediately felt like I was on a cruise vacation. It was like I got an extra cruise day to enjoy. I was quickly into vacation mode and it was all stress free. I will say people arriving before their appointed time is a problem on all cruise lines. Don't be that person. If you arrive before your time you are part of the problem and you deserve the long wait times you will encounter. However once you are allowed inside the terminal there is no excuse for the other cruise lines to make boarding such a stressful and lengthy process. Hat's off to Royal for creating the best boarding day process.
    44 points
  4. Alternate title: Thousands do exactly as millions do every day on airplanes and travel, albeit with better protocols
    41 points
  5. I am both excited and terrified to begin my first live Blog here of my first ever Star Class sailing and also….our wedding! I can only hope it is HALF as good as the amazing bloggers I read religiously here! 48 DAYS! Here we go! The Story- My husband and I (I will explain!) booked this cruise for our wedding 2 YEARS ago during a Black Friday sale at an amazing price! We both LOVE cruising…so much so that we have a YouTube channel called BoosCruize so it seemed natural that we would choose to tie the knot in a small ceremony on the high seas! So after much research we decided on the Star Loft Suite 1720 on Oasis Of The Seas! This suite had a HUGE rectangular balcony that could fit guests and also give us the ocean view we wanted….and a Genie to help us pull it all off! What could go wrong?!? Enter…COVID As you can imagine we basically needed a new pair of britches every other day for the last two years as things changed. It’s a good thing I buzz cut my head or I’d probably be bald and NOT by choice LOL A year later we weren’t even sure if this cruise would happen but we also KNEW we wanted to be married. So when a company came to us and asked to throw us a huge West Coast “David Tutera” style wedding in Hollywood that will be published for magazines we obviously said YES! We now have two bi-coastal weddings Lol It was amazingly gorgeous but nothing was our choice. It was all chosen for us….right down to our tuxes. We feel BEYOND blessed but it also wasn’t what we had in our head two years ago. So now here we are….our guest list of 50 has gone down to 12 due to covid complications. Are we upset? HECK NO! We completely understand and are going to have the time of our LIVES on a gorgeous ship surrounded by people who love us! We can’t wait! Who: We are an LA couple. Jarell is an international Flight attendant (yaasss benefits!) and I am an actor who just moved from NYC in time for a pandemic to close Hollywood Where: We are sailing on the Oasis Of The Seas out of Miami in the Star Loft Suite 1720 with stops at Coco Cay, St.Thomas, and St. Maarten When: We sail November 7th-14th, 2021 I think that covers most of the back story and introductions! So happy to meet you all and take you along with us on this very special journey that is over 2 years in the making! Can’t wait to see who our Genie will be! For good measure I have included a photo of the happy grooms from our West Coast Wedding!
    31 points
  6. CHRIS WONG

    We Finally Met!

    Matt and I finally met! Chris Wong VLOGS meets Royal Caribbean Blog!
    31 points
  7. twangster

    Test Cruise Invite

    Invitation Received Choice of Allure or Ovation.
    30 points
  8. I got an email invite for a test cruise on the Nigerian Prince. All I have to do is give them my bank account number and ssn
    29 points
  9. Just remember: This isn't about you or your vacation. This industry cannot stomach a huge outbreak right now. It could kill them if they can't continue to prove that cruising is safe. We should understand that they know more about this than we do (these cruise execs have spent their lives focused on this for the past 22 months), and if they think it'll help they're probably right. At least more so than we can claim to know. They are FULLY aware that people don't like wearing masks and that it drives down demand to make people wear masks any more than they have to. They know this will cause people to cancel. So obviously they feel this is necessary or they wouldn't do it.
    28 points
  10. She tested positive. End of story. The mix up that resulted in her getting a bracelet did not cause her to become infected. She knows her vaccination status. She chose to play like she was vaccinated using the bracelet to go into areas she knows she didn't belong. The signs don't say "purple bracelets only", the signs read "Vaccinated Guest Area". She knew she was breaking the rules. Got a free ride home in a private jet. Hard to complain about that. Mixups are going to happen. No system will ever be perfect. She needs to take accountability for her actions rather than trying to cast shade on the cruise industry.
    28 points
  11. I hope not to stir up any trouble here but… I will NEVER take the daily gratuity charge off. The employees (both in front of and behind the scenes) deserve every penny of that and more!
    28 points
  12. (No offense JeffB but I'm writing a JeffB-length post here) It all started Thursday night after the debarkation round of testing. All three in my group were negative, but about 10:30pm got a call from the ship's doctor saying our son was identified as a close contact for a boy in Adventure Ocean who tested positive. We never really asked for details on when or what they defined as a close contact since I figured we'd never get that detail as I'm sure they'd cite privacy. (Adventure Ocean follows strict masking and 6-foot social distancing rules as well as avoiding shared toys/supplies so I really doubt it was a 15 minute close contact, but we know the pressure cruise lines are under.) The medical staff will only call you with results that late if they're positive (not that that stopped me from waiting up until after midnight for the first one). The next morning we got a letter saying "dear guest" saying "guest" was quarantined. This step in the process is the one RC needs to work on. The letter didn't specify who (aka, just our son or all 3 of us?) had to quarantine (ended up just being our son) and had no "for more information contact XYZ" info on the letter. While the letter did list all the free services we'd have during quarantine (room service, internet, movies, phone calls) it didn't do a good job of outlining really what to expect. In my comments to RC I'm going to urge they have guest services call those people directly and lay things out for them instead of just a form letter, especially since the letter said staff would check up on us throughout the day and no one really did. So we called the nurses station for some info, and the doctor called us back saying our son was indeed negative but they (I'm not sure who "they" is but I got the inkling it wasn't solely ship management) wanted another PCR test 24 hours later. Which meant 10:30pm again. By afternoon (Friday) we get a call that guest services wanted our passports, vax cards and health insurance info. We never really got details on who wanted this, but we think it was the Bahamas government. Because a bit later, the guest services manager called and finally we got a good line of communication going. Despite the negative tests, the Bahamas didn't want to let our son take a commercial flight home since he didn't fulfill the country's unvaccinated quarantine window (14 days, tell me that wouldn't suck). Apparently RC tried to get a waiver for us, but as of later Friday, the guest services guy was prepping us for a private flight home. The 2nd test Friday night came and went negative (and I'm going to assume all 4 other contacts were negative too, based on a talk with our pilots) and we got one more call from guest services that they'd have updated flight info by 8am this morning. We got that call and they were still working out the details of the flight, but were prepping for it to be a late afternoon/evening flight and we'd move to the Hilton for a few hours. Somehow that got moved up and by 9am we got our 1pm fllight time and were just instructed to hang out in the room until noon. At noon guest services walked us down and we were off the ship. They had a limo van (aka, party van) for us right off the ship, drove us right to the plane, got on the plane, flew right to our home airport and had the town car waiting for us at the GA terminal to take us home. Apparently whatever deal they had set up required actual door to door delivery, so I got dropped off at the parking lot to get our car, and our wife and son got the town car ride home. So count me as the "I'm not an actor but a true story" for anyone that has concerns about booking a cruise due to fear of being covid-stranded (even if you aren't the one testing positive), RC has you covered. I can't compliment RC enough for how efficient they were with getting us (and apparently 4 other groups for a total of 20 people in the "contact tracing kid" bucket) out of there and thus avoiding having to stay another 10-11 days for the Bahamas unvaccinated quarantine period.
    27 points
  13. Hi everyone, I know we get heated debating which dessert is the best one to order, or if a balcony room is worth it, but let's keep these basic rules in mind when chatting here. No profanity No personal insults No political discussion This includes tropes about politicians and generalizations about political parties No debating religion Keep your posts relevant and accurate to each specific thread. We can all have our little fun within each thread but please make sure the information you're putting out there is correct and current. Topics not related to Royal Caribbean may be removed. Posts or comments encouraging cruisers to break any Royal Caribbean policy is not allowed and will be removed.
    27 points
  14. We just landed in Miami 2 hours ago after 12 hours of travel through snowstorms from Vancouver to find our Symphony sailing tomorrow is cancelled. Literally got the notification at the second wheels touched down. Obviously disappointed but we knew things are crazy and anything was possible. First reaction was let’s see if we can get on another Royal cruise sailing in the next day or two. Unfortunately Royal has all sailings through January frozen for new booking and no one at customer service was any help. Ever the optimist, my wife got on the phone with Norwegian and long story short, we are boarding on Norwegian Joy in 17 hours. What a wild ride!!
    26 points
  15. From Allure of the Seas, October 2021. The offers are typically consistent across the fleet. Current offers implement temporary changes for pandemic protocols. Offers are subject to change as protocols evolve. Gold Platinum Emerald Diamond Diamond Plus Pinnacle Youth
    25 points
  16. Like just about anything in life WE set the price that companies charge for packages like this. If people are willing to pay they'll keep charging that rate. If collectively WE don't buy something at their price point they will eventually lower the price. As long as people are paying they will continue to accept people's money. The deluxe drink package isn't required to have a great cruise. If the math doesn't work for you, don't buy it.
    25 points
  17. I just got a call from Royal. I am cruising on the Oasis this Sunday 9/12. They told me they had to move my cabin from an ocean view balcony to a Crown Loft Suite!!! At no charge! Please let me know what perks beyond the amazing suite we can expect. I haven’t had time to do any research. We will be on deck 17. Wooohoooo!!!
    25 points
  18. Last week I received an email from revenue management letting me know that my March bookings involved a pricing error but they would honor the bookings. I had two suite cabins booked, one for me and another for a family member. To give you an idea of the error involved my suite would normally go for 234% more while the other suite would normally be 255% more each on a solo basis given our unique qualifiers (CAS status, age, state, etc). Both suites have the capacity for 6 guests. I had booked both suites with a single guest in each cabin. I offered to let the bookings go. An email exchange followed that turned into a game of phone tag as we both worked around busy schedules but we eventually talked on the phone. Revenue management was very clear I could keep the bookings and they would honor the pricing. They requested the phone call to make sure I understood they would honor them. I told her to cancel them. I didn't feel right taking advantage of what was clearly a pricing error. I knew it was a error when I booked it and give Royal a lot of credit for offering to honor the bookings despite the thousands of dollars they would lose by doing so. A family of four booked in one of these suites would have gone for 500% more than I was booked for. Between the two suites it amounted to an error that would cost Royal over $10k in revenue if both suites were booked at capacity not to mention losses in gratuity and onboard spending. Simply stated it didn't sit right with me to take advantage of the company especially during these dark times with so much lost due to the pandemic. Call me a fool but I slept better knowing I did the right thing. BTW - nice people in revenue management.
    25 points
  19. I hope they make the casino non-smoking permanently.
    24 points
  20. I am not sure where to begin with this one. It has been 867 long days since I stepped off Symphony’s gangway. I don’t even know if I remember how to blog anymore lol. The lead up to this sailing was precarious at best. Being a Type A planner like myself, the last few weeks have been quite stressful in terms of having whiplash from the ever-changing travel restrictions (we are Canadians, but we fly out of the US), testing requirements, right down to the, “Will we unknowingly test positive two days prior to cruise day and need to cancel the cruise?” I’ve had a hard time allowing myself to get excited for this sailing, in fear of devastation should anything go wrong. Words cannot describe how much I have missed sailing, what this sailing means to me, and the utter gratitude I will feel stepping onto that gangway in two days time, God willing. This pandemic has taken so much, caused so much upheaval and uncertainty, but there are several things that remain certain, my love for cruising has not faded, and I will never take another cruise for granted again. Allure … captivating, charming, grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go … I could go on and on. You think I’m talking about sailing right? I am, but more importantly, I am thinking of Hubby. This sailing is not only a joyful return to the seas, but a very special celebration for us. As silly as it may sound, on a cold December day, 25 years ago, a story of love began over a $50 bill, a 1st year university Calculus textbook, Jerry Maguire, and two cups of Tim Horton’s coffee at midnight (Note: Hubby doesn’t even drink coffee, but he had one that night, already a winner then lol). Tomorrow, we celebrate our 25th “Dating Anniversary" and what better way to celebrate than with our beloved La Bamba, margaritas, queso, fajitas, fried ice cream, and of course…CRUISING! Who’s Going? It’s just Hubby and I on this sailing. Flight It feels so good to say that we will by flying out of DTW. Praise God for the land border opening and staying open! We double-booked flights for this one out of Detroit and Toronto, but we’ve cancelled the Air Canada flights for obvious reasons. Pre-Cruise Stay Allure sails out of Port Everglades so we will be staying in Fort Lauderdale on 17th Street. When we have the girls with us, we usually choose a more family friendly property like Holiday Inn Express or Hyatt Place. Since it’s just Hubby and I, we picked Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel. We’ve stayed here before when we sailed Allure in 2016 and it’s modern, clean, very close to Port Everglades, and most importantly, a short walk to La Bamba! Itinerary This 4-night sailing was supposed to take us to Cozumel, but Royal changed the ports a few months ago. We are now headed to Nassau and Perfect Day Coco Cay. Personally, I could care less where it goes, I might not even leave the ship! lol Cabin #teamDeck17 of course! This is the way. Pre-Cruise thoughts - There might be major tears when I step back onboard on Sunday. I already warned Hubby. He has promised to record it to show the girls so they can see how ridiculous their mother is. People who are not cruise junkies just won’t understand lol - Once again, in the spirit of a live blog, please do not hesitate to ask any questions. I will do my best to find out whatever I can for you. - When responding to a post with a series of pictures, please do not include the pictures in your reply. It just makes for easier scrolling. - Lastly, I will try to post videos and stories on Instagram. You can follow me @lovetocruise2002
    24 points
  21. Most of us understand the advantages of booking excursions through Royal. They include convenience and piece of mind that the ship won't leave you behind. But I just learned the hard way about another advantage. My son was on a waterfall excursion, slipped and injured his foot. We went back to the ship and had it checked in medical. They x-rayed it and found it was broken. They put on a cast and I braced for a substantial bill. The doctor then said "no charge for this. If you injure yourself on board or on a cruise line excursion, Royal will pick up the medical bill."
    24 points
  22. Ok ok ok OK….an apology! To say that I failed at the LIVE portion of this blog is a gross understatement. However I had NO idea just how busy and demanding it would be to film a vlog, host an entire group and oh yeah….get married while on a ship LOL After staying up till 2am writing and falling asleep with my phone IN my hand I knew it wasn’t going to happen! However, fear not I have taken notes and will recount the experience now day by day…so just PRETEND I am on board LOL Day 2 (WEDDING DAY!) We pulled in for our Perfect Day at Coco Cay at around 7am. We had a quick break fast on the balcony before Shane came to get us at 7:30am to get off the ship. Shane walked us off the ship and we were the FIRST ones to enter Thrill Waterpark! Of course after roughly 2 minutes of getting in it started a torrential downpour that got us all soaked (including Shane) we just could not stop laughing. We we to do all of the slides while Shane returned to the ship to set up the wedding magic. We managed to do ALL of the slides within an hour. We literally ran up all of the stairs which if you have ever been on Devils Peak you are aware is NO easy task…especially when you had been eating Star Class meals every 20 minutes since being on board LOL We managed it without needing any medical intervention….but barely. The tallest slide is an amazing experience but after breathlessly making it to the top and questioning my life choices we decided ONCE was enough. We loved the park and would absolutely recommend if for those of us who like thrills! After all of that climbing we decided to make our way to Oasis Lagoon! We are a sucker for a swim up bar! The pool was legitimately FREEZING! Lol All you could see was people stick their toes in scream before exiting or bravely accepting their icy fate. We did the latter and justified that the cold water just meant we needed to drink more as a source of mere necessity. Cruise logic ya see? And drink we did…and danced and laughed. The sun even that came out and it was a fantastic time! We eventually got hungry and I knew we had to go and try the iconic chicken sandwich! We first grabbed tacos because we needed some “walking food” to get us to South Beach LOL the steak tacos were AMAZING!! We Then made our way to South Beach where we got the secret chicken sandwich with mozzarella sticks and let’s just say that I am forever changed! DELICIOUS! I unfortunately don’t have photos as I was trying to keep my phone dry and sand free because I didn’t want to take any chances of not having it for the wedding LOL We then swam to the floating bar and had a few long islands! This was such a fun little addition. The drinks were strong and you could watch the fish swim by. By this time it was almost four and we knew it was time to head back and see what magic Shane had created and then get dressed for the sunset wedding! The moment we returned to the Suite we were completely blown away. We brought some decor with us but only the aisle/runner and some greenery for the railing. The way that Shane set it up with the chairs and bringing in the flower stands took our breathe away! The entire Suite was FILLED with perfect little romantic touches! After seeing all of this it was time t shower and get in our tuxedos and meet with our amazing friend Matt who was going to marry us to go over things. Shane was in constant communication with us regarding food deliveries and when the cake would arrive which was shortly before the guests. We had custom Funko Pop cake topper made of us for the cake but when they brought it in I audibly gasped! It was STUNNING! Beyond perfect!! I mean…can you even stand it?! And the platters of food were PERFECT for our party! Then the time had finally arrived! Sunset was upon us and it was time for the guests to arrive and for us to have our DREAM ocean view wedding. It was truly perfect….intimate, beautiful, personal, heart felt and beyond anything I imagined could be done. We are not “groom-zillas” and put our trust in Shane. However, The magic he created will live in our hearts forever. The sun set exactly as the kiss happened as if it were a movie. Here are just a few snaps from the ceremony After the ceremony we cut the cake and had a champagne toast! We had the best time! We decided to eat in the MDR for the dinner because originally it was formal night. However, they changed it due to it being a port day. But it was no big deal. It was nice for us all to be able to eat together and the captains tables were very special. They made us feel like a million bucks and it was nice to be dressed up. We ordered off of the premium menu and it was delicious! After dinner we headed to see the headliner show which was a juggler/unicycle performer. VERY talented but yikes…the comedy portion was a HOT dated mess. However, it was very VERY rough seas so the fact that he was able to accomplish things like standing on a vertical ladder in the midst of it was very impressive! The day was MAGIC and we were EXHAUSTED! Speaking of that you must be exhausted reading this as it is SO long! Next up our first sea day!
    24 points
  23. I had a “charge without card present” notification pop up on my phone from AMEX for $470 from Royal and at first I thought “what the hell is this”? LOL ….. Then I noticed I had an email and saw we won our upgrade bid to go from a Grand Suite to a Crown Loft Suite. I was a little worried it may be a crappy location, but no …… it’s # 1720 …… so happy!!!! I really didn’t think we’d get it for only $470 total. Can’t wait for Saturday even more now!!
    24 points
  24. Later I saw the clouds break and found the Milky Way in the sky. Hours after sunset it's amazing how much the sun is revealed in a long exposure picture.
    24 points
  25. I just wanted to make a quick post regarding comments/messages. As a Royal Caribbean crew member, I have strict rules to follow when it comes to social media. There are certain things I can and cannot talk about. This is why I don't respond to 95% of my comments, just in case I say something I'm not supposed to. I could potentially jeopardise my employment with the company by slipping up. I hope this makes sense. Please know that I read all of your comments and messages. Thank you for continuing to support me, and engaging with my content.
    24 points
  26. I'd never enter the belly flop contest.
    24 points
  27. Not sure why people are so mad with this. Very little is being changed in comparison with what they already had. The only difference is that you can't take your mask off once seated for an indoor entertainment. Not a big deal. Everything regarding outdoors is still the same. I'd prefer cruise companies to keep sailing rather than have an enormous amounts of omicron outbreaks and CDC shut them down again.
    23 points
  28. Matt

    Be like Chris Wong!

    Congrats to our friend @CHRIS WONG on being featured!
    23 points
  29. 23 points
  30. twangster

    Rough Seas

    1 - Sleep well 2- Sleep better 3 - Sleep really well 4 - Where is everyone? Why is the bar half empty? 5 - Yeehaw! This is fun!
    23 points
  31. I'm willing to bet that there are still at least 200 who will push in front of you at the Windjammer buffet and/or rush onto the elevator without letting others off first.
    23 points
  32. FWIW I am boarding a cruise tomorrow and had a PCR test done on Tuesday of this week at a Walgreens near me. Cost was $0. Test sample was taken ~4pm Tuesday and my results were received by email at 1am this morning, on a Thursday. Results: Negative. I scheduled the Walgreens test on Monday and chose the next day to fall within the "3 day" window for my cruise. My only checkbox when signing up for the test was "International Travel". This particular location does not offer rapid testing. A PCR test was my only choice. The test was done in my car at a drive thru window. They explained the steps to me, passed the kit through the drive thru slot to me, I did the tickle swab up my nose (15 seconds each side) and followed the instructions to seal it and pass it back while being supervised by them the whole time. I have found that CVS allows you to schedule tests 13 days in advance. I have another cruise in just over two weeks and I have already scheduled a CVS test to fall within the 3 day window pre-cruise. I love the cruise industry and while I wasn't required to test for this weekends cruise I feel a lot better knowing I am not an asymptomatic carrier potentially bringing something to the terminal where I know I will be tested again based on that cruise line's policies. I have no plans between testing and cruising so my opportunity to become infected between test and cruise is reduced. I don't even need to go grocery shopping in between. This was a practice run for my Odyssey cruise in September and I am much more comfortable with the whole testing process and timeframe in preparation for my Odyssey cruise. So now not only am I vaccinated but I have also tested negative and I am ready to cruise safely!
    23 points
  33. I'd like to hear this band and hear why they are smoking in the casinos
    22 points
  34. Given all the alerts that have been popping up on my phone over the the last few weeks and days it's pretty clear this one is different. From sporting events cancelled, games being played with no live audience, state after province after country reporting dramatic increases it seems very reasonable for a minor policy update for an already very safe mode of vacationing - cruising. Holiday sailings are projected to be very busy, much more busy than we've seen since the restart. The timing of this variant is pretty lousy with the peak of restart cruising upon us next week. It stands to reason, all things considered, that something had to change. Do they start calling people and canceling their cruises to get numbers down? That wouldn't go over very well. They can't catch a break. Something has to change given what we do know and don't know about Omicron. A minor mask policy change seems like a pretty reasonable response. I've sailed other lines during the peak of Delta and some of those lines didn't have the concept of vaccinated venues. It never occurred to me at the time that those cruises were intolerable because of the mask policy indoors and lack of vaccinated venues. Like it or not the pandemic isn't over, we are not done with unpopular protocols and the potential for changes down the road. It could be a lot worse. The industry could be shut down again if there are major cases on board. A minor mask policy change is the least we can all do to keep the industry going.
    22 points
  35. I don’t know guys but half the time I forget to take my mask OFF! So used to wearing it now, I barely notice it.
    22 points
  36. I'm just going to lock this thread because there's no connection to cruising other than pure speculation. If/when a line change policies due to Omicron, feel free to start a thread. But we're not here to discuss Covid outside of the cruise industry.
    22 points
  37. FINALLY!! The PROOF that this is RCI.
    22 points
  38. We just got off 4 weeks on Symphony, weeks 2~5 of Symphony's restart (More on that later). First, I wanted to talk about passenger count and the odds of a Royal Up bid. Our cruise passenger count would drop daily as better counts were out. Aug 21st the first count was around 1,500 and eventually whittled down to 1,127. Rumor was 125 were turned away for insufficient or improper documentation as adjustments were made. Aug 29th we heard about 1,700 and eventually Coco Cay was told to prepare for only 1,414. Sept 4th, the holiday week, they still had 2,100 reservations on the books. Ended up with a number around 1,725 +/-50 Sept 11th we had the largest number of B2B at 93. It was moved from Boleros to the Schooner Bar. Last number I heard, but seemed high compared to Sept 4th, was 1,750 +/- 100. Things are very fluid right now. It is hard to plan for an exact number, as some people are waiting till the last minute to cancel, likely in hopes of better protocols. But to cruise with those numbers is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Royal Up was crazy. People would Royal Up from Interior to Balcony, Balcony to Grand Suite, Grand Suite to Royal Loft (Aug 29th). People we interacted with won Royal Up to the Ultimate Family Suite (About 8 passengers with only paying the Bid for the first 2 passengers), Deck 8 Aqua 2-Bd with the largest balcony (1 occupant), Crown Lofts were going like penny candy in a candy store, Owner's Suite were available, and naturally those Royal Ups created a backfill for Grand Suite, Junior Suite, Balcony and Ocean View. Right now, if you are cruising on the Symphony, have an interior stateroom, and give a reasonable Royal Up bid there is a lot of backfill above you sitting empty. We received Royal Up all 3 weeks we bid up from Grand Suite (Aug 29th we did not bid, rather stayed with Star Class Aqua 2-Bd). Below is meant as nothing more than reading the past x numbers on the roulette wheel sign to increase your odds of winning. Therefore, I am not giving the exact $$ number, which likely would not work right now anyway, but my Aug 21st and Sept 4th bids were notably less than $500. (Remember, the bid $$ is per person for up to the first 2 passengers). Aug 21 Grand Suite to Crown Loft. Aug 29th - We did not bid up from Star Class Aqua 2-Bd, but I know the winning Grand Suite to Royal Loft Royal Up bid was notably less than $3,000 per/person. Sep 4th Grand Suite to Owner's Suite Deck 12 240 (Which has a mildly annoying post in the several yards into the middle of the entrance to the room). Sep 11th Grand Suite to Star Class Aqua 2-Bd Deck 10 734 for notably less than $1,700 per/person. Again, the passenger counts were very low, and those numbers may not be more than a guideline right now, especially since they are now more public. You may get it for a lesser bid, or you may bid a little more and still not get it. The objective is to encourage you to sign up for Royal Up if you have not done so, and to BID FOLKS! Closing thoughts: Professional Photographer, Ajuraj (pronounced Achoo, like a sneeze is acceptable) and Aakash are fantastic! Though his studio shots are excellent, Ajuraj is willing to break away from the normal studio style photos. I saw him shoot one couple at CBC getting low for a continuation of the pool into the ocean at the infinity pool. It is worth a sitting. Some examples below. Sunil is a great Royal Genie. At various times we had interaction with the entire Royal Genie staff. Even the newest Genie was great and willing to serve from my interaction with him and one passenger where that is who was his Royal Genie. Hairspray, Mark Preston, and Jeff Tracta were great entertainment. When comedian Landry said he would bring on the headliner for the Family Comedy Show, the lady behind us appropriately said, "Headliner, I thought he was the headliner," because he was that good. The entire staff is so eager to serve. We made many friends over 4 weeks. Priya in Guest Services, Flavia in Next Cruise, if we could have packed waitress May at Hooked Restaurant in our luggage we would have, Victor, Praveen and many of the photo staff for special night and port pictures produced great shots in our photo package, Made and Alina on the Rising Tide Bar, Sachin and Mark in Chops, Radu and Boodhoo in Jamie's, Justin and Decan have the Coastal Kitchen and seating running like a well oiled machine, same with the Johnny Rockets crew who occasionally come out and put on a performance on Boardwalk, Rebeka at Sugar Beach is sweeter than the sugar behind the door, even Maria in housekeeping whose task was to keep the fwd Promenade stairs by the big lollipop cleaned down to the entertainment on Deck 4 was super friendly and excited to see passengers she recognized. If possible, I would list so many great crew members, but let me list those who were not great--ready--NOBODY! On a sad note, the Mad Hatter of so many years retired (24 years) at the end of the Aug 21st cruise. There is a replacement, but it will take some time to get the character down, according to those that went starting Aug 29th. Safety precautions were great. In San Juan, Channel 13 interviewed myself and several passengers about safety concerns. Safety Concerns? I told them I was more concerned during my air transportation than on the ship, and my daughter is a flight attendant. Here are some examples: The day before the cruise, even though I answered several emails, I received a call from Royal to verify I was vax'ed and would be providing proof. Don't have the negative test paperwork, you don't get on. Ever see that at a hotel? At the airport? Vax'ed have a colored wristband, Unvax'ed do not, so anyone can instantly tell if the person next to you has been vax'ed or not. Ever see that at the grocery store? Shopping Mall? (Let's hope that never comes to land. No Scarlet Letters or wristbands, but because of the media, I can understand it on the ship). Even though Vax'ed and UnVax'ed are separated by Decks in the MDR, there is still table spacing distancing. Maybe some land restaurants have that, but do they include the proper docs to verify? At the Casino, when anyone gets up, they wipe the area down fast. The crew is tested once or twice a week, perhaps depending on the amount of interaction with passengers. We had Zero Positives during our cruises. 6 or your group in an elevator. Okay, a comment here about elevator limits, folks. Use common sense. If 6 unvax'ed strangers can get in the larger capacity elevators, is it really unsafe if a group of 6 and 2 vax'ed get in the elevator? Many times, as long as no one objected, 6 or more of us invited vax'ed (we would see their wristbands) in the elevator if they wished. In 4 weeks, I only had one group of six friends, panicky adamant about the sign saying only 6. I mean over the top panicky. If a 7th got on, especially not one of their 6 group, they would all surely die before the end of the cruise. That was okay. I understand how the media has overplayed the safety concerns aboard ships. In that scenario I wasn't concerned about CoVid-19 variants. I was concerned about forgetting all my years successfully writing procedures and protocols to meet general Federal Aviation Build Guidelines. Anyway, on and on the precautions are in play. In 4 weeks B2B you see so much that many shorter time passenger miss. In this case, I was impressed.
    22 points
  39. KLA

    Royal Up offers

    It was JUST accepted. We sail in two days. Junior Suite from OV balcony GTY!!!!
    22 points
  40. And my drydock is officially over!
    22 points
  41. Status Update: Thank you for registering for the Allure of the Seas® simulation voyage. We've reserved your stateroom and reservation numbers will be provided to you once manifested. A system generated invoice will automatically be sent to the email address on record. Please proceed with making your travel arrangements*. For more information, please reference your event info document. We also ask that you acknowledge the informed consent form that will be sent to each guest, as it is required prior to confirming your reservation. We can't wait to welcome you onboard Allure of the Seas!
    22 points
  42. For those of you who are on the fence about using a Travel Agency, PLEASE READ. This past weekend we decided to book a 7 day cruise on the Anthem out of Cape Liberty, NJ and bring our daughter and her family along with us over Easter week departing on April 22, 2022. I spent a couple of days searching the Anthem for a JS for my wife and I and two balcony adjoining rooms for our daughter and her family. I did find some of what I was looking for on different decks, near the elevators or on deck 13 (below the WJ) and they all were not acceptable. So, I contacted Michelle, MEI Travel (they also sponsor this blog) told her what I wanted and VIOLA! Today I booked a JS on deck 10 and two adjoining cabins also on deck 10. None of those cabins were available when I searched. Moral of the story here is don't waste your time, get ahold of Michelle at MEI and let her know what you want. She can make miracles happen! ?
    22 points
  43. SPS

    CDC 12/30/21 announcement

    Ok, cool. So what’s the warning level for the following? Airports Airplanes Sporting events Concert venues Movie theaters Shopping malls Grocery stores Large chain retail stores Amusement parks Public transportation Restaurants Bars Resorts
    21 points
  44. I think this is all a bit overblown. All they are doing is adding a few extra rooms where you have to wear your mask INDOORS. One is in a dark theatre, the other is in a smoky casino. So avoid the casino and sneak a few deep breaths with your mask down while people are watching the show. When your job changes the rules, do you also throw a fit? Probably not if you want to keep your job. This is no different. I think Royal has been the most understanding and accommodating organization in regards to their customers needs and wants...giving back money, giving you incentives to stay. I mean come on. Change is going to happen!! (it's always Last Minute to someone) And if there is a medical reason you or your loved one can't wear a mask all the time, then get a medical exception. Much ado about nothing.
    21 points
  45. There is still a lot of spread out there in the wild. With cruise lines ramping up capacity a large outbreak would be a death blow. It's taken so much effort to get to the point where turning a profit is getting closer and closer. They simply can't afford to screw this up. My parents retirement home went into lockdown today with 5 new cases. Despite how badly we want to be done with the virus it isn't done with us regardless how much we want to pretend that isn't the case.
    21 points
  46. Gotta say, Royal is doing it right -- ship was about 30% capacity -- (I heard everything from 1200 to 1400 passengers). The crew was incredibly attentive and happy to be sailing. Chops Grille (my first time there) was delicious. Check in was simple and staterooms were ready when we got on board. We had a bit of a scare. on night 3 (Nassau) We were scheduled to leave the port at 9pm and didn't leave until around midnight due to a passenger that needed medical attention. I heard that the passenger had a fever and needed to find a hospital bed, but I also heard that the passenger was injured and needed medical attention. Gotta admit it was a little worrisome, but AGAIN, Royal handled it as best they could. Now counting down to my next one in 7 weeks!!!
    21 points
  47. Just got home from the Allure of the seas Aug 22, 2021 cruise. So first I have to say, that I felt safer on the ship then I do at my work(I work in a hospital). Everywhere you look and turn are hand sanitizing stations and hand washing stations. They clean your stateroom twice a day, all theaters are fogged after each show, masks are required for everyone indoors and pools and hot tubs have a capacity limit as well as elevators which are also cleaned ALL DAY LONG! The care that is put into making sure we are safe is above no other. The buffet was weird to not serve yourself but was still kind of normal feeling (as much as it could be), you cant even get your own drinks for the refillable cups, they have someone there at all times to serve you. we were at about 30% capacity (1684 passengers and 1800 staff). We have already booked for our next cruise to cozumel in March 2022. We did have to present our negative covid test and vaccine record 3 times prior to boarding the ship but we gladly did so. We have no doubt Royal is going way above what the CDC says they need to do.
    21 points
  48. We got back from our weekend sailing on Freedom and it was quite the experience. We had great weather (it’s been raining like crazy in SoFL) at Coco Cay and Nassau. Being on the Freedom with only 1000 passengers is odd and I think we prefer the action of a packed ship but this was certainly interesting and had many positives. We opted for the Coco Beach Club and it was overall a good experience. The elevated dining experience had some nice choices like grilled Caribbean lobster which was prepared and presented very nicely. There was literally nobody at the beach club (see pics). My only complaint is that there’s not enough shade by the pool and it’s odd that upon arrival the host doesn’t bring over a bucket or pitcher of cold water to wherever you are seated. Minimal gripe but still it’s hot as h*ll (keep in mind I’m born and raised in SoFL and I still think it’s hot!). Onboard Freedom there was little to no action which is to be expected. It was nice to go to the suite lounge and have the entire place to yourself for a change. I know this type of reduced capacity cruising won’t last forever so we just rolled with it. IMHO my family and I felt very safe with young children in regards to RC’s COVID safety protocol. They did a great job and the ship and stateroom were extremely clean. The kids literally wanted to eat at Giovannis Kitchen every single night so we did (the pizza!) and it did not disappoint. We are looking forward to things hopefully getting back to normal and more cruises in our future!
    21 points
  49. Matt

    Test Cruise Invite

    Looks like I'll be onboard as well for this test sailing.
    21 points
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