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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 28 points

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    I like to help the greater cruise community. I find a chair for myself that is available. Then as I have observed an area for a while, I move chair hog stuff and return to my chair. Some innocent person comes along and starts using the now empty chair. Chair hog returns and confronts innocent person who can honestly claim they didn't do it, the chair was unused. Walking to breakfast if I notice a series of hogged chairs that are still hogged when I return from breakfast I grab the towel and drop it off somewhere. Chair is freed up. I consider it a community service.
  2. 20 points


    You're lucky i'm not in charge, i would ban smoking indoors (to include the casino) and make the only place for smoking, in the aft (designated section) upper decks. If you get caught smoking in a non-authorized location, you would be dropped off at the next port. I'm surprised that Royal Caribbean hasn't been sued yet, by an employee that has been diagnosed with cancer from second hand smoke due to improper ventilation in the casinos.
  3. 17 points

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    Let’s add against the rules to that list...
  4. 16 points
    Sail away was timed perfectly with the Costa Rica sunset. Lots of small boats out tonight. The flight of the Pelicans.
  5. 15 points
    You're gonna have to bear with me because I am about to go overboard with Queen Mary pictures. I just love this old ship. Arriving later than expected once settled in my cabin I made my way to the Observation Bar for a drink and a bite to eat. Walking around the ship you feel a deep sense of history. Not a bad place to catch the end of game six of the World Series with the city lights of Long Beach across the bay.
  6. 15 points
    Itinerary for this 16 night cruise: Panama Canal, Eastbound. Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale. Day 1 - San Pedro (Los Angeles) Day 2 - At Sea Day 3 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Day 4 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Day 5 - At Sea Day 6 - At Sea Day 7 - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Day 8 - At Sea Day 9 - Puntarenas, Costa Rica Day 10 - At Sea Day 11 - Panama Canal Full Transit Day 12 - Colon, Panama Day 13 - Cartagena, Columbia Day 14 - At Sea Day 15 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman Day 16 - At Sea Day 17 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  7. 11 points
    Lazy beach day, better than any day in an office or at home. Especially when your honey (#best_of_wives_best_of_women) goes to the bar and gets you a Dark and Stormy to enjoy.
  8. 11 points
    Time to leave Key West. As we started to drop lines and get ready to sail away it seemed this one wouldn't be as majestic as the last Key West sail away sunset. The crowds gathered in Mallory Square to see me off. Okay, may the sunset had something to do with it. Yeah not as spectacular as last cruise. But wait, what's that? An opening between cloud layers? Maybe tonight would be a decent sunset after all. Like that it was over.
  9. 10 points
    The drill was incredibly quick, and we are being treated to a statue sail by like last cruise!
  10. 9 points
    I literally can't take it... 45 days out and I can barely wait to have our first Star Class experience. I know, I know, 45 days - why blog now? Why so early? I have to vent some of this energy, and I've seen some other blogs start a smidge early which has assuaged my angst about jumping the gun! I'm inspired by some great writers on this blog (fellow Canadians included!), so thank you for some great reviews providing inspiration. A little about our crew. Hailing from beautiful (albeit very wet lately) Vancouver, BC it'll be me (Alison), my DH and 2 boys (ages 9 and 11). We've been on 7 cruises to date, most recently in a 2BR Grand Suite on a 9 night Anthem Bermuda/Caribbean out of NJ, a 1BR Grand suite on Oasis 7 night Eastern Caribbean, and a Boardwalk Balcony also on Oasis 7 night Eastern Caribbean. We booked this cruise December 2018 wile on Oasis... but it wasn't in a star class - that came about 7 months later. We are sailing with one of my best friends and her two boys (ages 6 and 12). They've never been on a cruise and I cannot wait to "sea" and Oasis-class ship for the first time again through their eyes. Plus they get star class on their first experience - it's doing to be a doozie! We initially booked this cruise in a CLS last December when we were on Oasis for our family. We then convinced our friends to come along and they booked an ocean view balcony about a month later. We had a bit of trepidation about travelling with peeps who weren't in a suite as the suite lounge and CK are both a big part of our cruises when we're in a suite. Afternoon reading and drinks in the suite lounge is a real treat for us and we love it. Fast forward to July of 2019 and DH noticed a 2BR Aquatheatre suite is available on the website. It was right after the itinerary change was announced (lost St. Kitts to San Juan - mega bummer) - so we inquired with our travel agent. There was a definite price increase, but when weighed against all the Star benefits we decided to bite the bullet and we merged everyone into one room. None of the kids know - and it's been the hardest secret to keep. I have said to my boys a few times "wouldn't it be fun if we were all in the same room - maybe we can have the other boys over for a sleepover one night... too bad they're not on the same deck as us... etc." I can't wait to board and all go to the same room - hopefully they're half as excited as I am. We've also had angst about travelling Dec 8 rather than waiting for the Christmas school break. Not because we are worried about them missing a week of school (I know - we're terrible parents!), but because both boys play hockey and my youngest son is the sole goalie on his team. Ugh. We obviously didn't know he'd be the lone "tender" on his team when we booked or we may not have, but c'est la vie. Luckily I'm co-managing the team and will attempt to reschedule any games for before we go or after we get back. My husband also plays on a senior men's team as their lone goaltender - so hopefully we can find backups or reschedule games for him too. Having said that, I will be ready for a break come December, it's been a literal gong show this season managing three players and getting everyone to games, practices, and development sessions, and we're only a month in! Feeling like I've let some energy go ... will update as the nerves and excitement to build.
  11. 9 points
    Pictures don't do it justice. I've taken a series of video clips that I plan to stitch together that will hopefully capture the day. Until I get that video put together here is a clip that should give you a better idea of what it's like to move between the lock chambers, how close the ship is to the walls of the lock and an up close look at the locomotives.
  12. 9 points
    As many people here know, I am a teacher and my cruising schedule is pretty much dictated by the school calendar. My contract with board does not allow time off for vacations other than those designated times over the holidays. Hubby's schedule is 100% flexible but that doesn't help as I am the planner and mine is not. Because of this, we unfortunately fall into the category that @twangster mentioned, we pay a premium to cruise because we can only go during the high season. My strategy is to book early. We take at least two cruises each year. One over the summer, and one over March Break. I book these two as soon as itineraries get released (often that is almost two years out). From that point, I watch prices and often re-price multiple times before we pay final payment at 90 days out. We have saved thousands this way. I usually book direct with Royal (because I know exactly what I am looking for) and then I transfer to an agent for further savings. Because we can only take a limited amount of cruises each year, we do splurge a bit when we cruise. We like our suites and the benefits that come with it. The mentality that, "We can take this money and take more cruises," does not apply too much to us because we cannot take more even if we tried. So that makes us unapologetic suite snobs. Last but not least, this is the home of "YOLO Book It!" so we have totally run with that motto over the last few years! 😉
  13. 9 points

    Matt: Check your latest video

    You might want to edit the calendar out of the video, unless you were trying to talk about planning something very different than the narration suggested.
  14. 9 points
    Flying out of FLL airport I had noted planes were taking off to the East so I grabbed a window seat on the left side of the plane. One final view of Majesty of the Seas and Port Everglades terminal 19.
  15. 9 points
  16. 9 points
    And we’re on board! We both needed coffee pretty desperately, so straight to La Patisserie to take advantage of our Refreshment Package.
  17. 9 points
    Obligatory sunset pictures
  18. 8 points
    This is a recap, and not a highly detailed live blog. If you have questions, please let me know in the replies October 31 & November 1 — Pre-Embarkation We flew from our home near Nashville to Miami on a late flight and were one of the last arrivals of the day. This presented a problem with getting a ride share to take us to the Mercury Hotel in South Beach as it is quite a distance. One Uber and two Lyft drivers bailed on us. While annoying, it is understandable. We ended up taking a taxi and ran into construction traffic on I-95 delaying our arrival. We entered our hotel room at about 12:30 am. We stayed at a quirky Art Deco hotel a block west of Ocean Drive near 1st Street. for brunch, we at at a Popular Cuban restaurant called Puerto Sagua. I highly recommend it. It was an easy walk to Collins and 7th where it is located. After brunch, we walked along the shoreline to the southernmost ended of South Beach and watched Navigator sail away. You can see a time lapse on my Instagram at: I got my dunkel bier fix for dinner at the Bavaria Bier Haus in Bayside Marketplace right on the water by the marina next to Port Miami. See the first attached pic for an incredible sunset effect by the surrounding skyscrapers. November 2 — Embarkation We had breakfast at a local eatery called Big Pink, checked out and took a Lyft to Port Miami. MacArthur Causeway was closed and traffic was being routed to the Venetian Causeway and to I-195 to the north. Our Lyft driver was astute and chose the latter. While I missed driving opposite cruise ship row that morning, our driver did a great job with the circumstance. When we made it to Dodge Island, we dealt with the effects of getting to Terminal A caused by the construction of the Norwegian terminal next door. Soon, were we curbside at the terminal and entering the building. A couple of months ago, I cancelled the Key due to reviews. I didn’t realize that the icon was still on my SeaPass in the app, and when I showed it, we were ushered into the Key line and found ourselves bypassing waiting guests and were on board immediately it took five minutes when I realized what happened, that somehow we still had the Key, I chose not to take advantage of the other perks it offered for the duration of the cruise. We ate lunch at El Loco Fresh, and were set up for the rest of the day our CP balcony room was ready right at 1:00 pm, and we were unpacked by 1:30 pm my wife had a manicure in the spa scheduled for 1:45, so I did the slides on board starting with the Ultimate Abyss. We chose My Time dining, during sail away. We watched Hairspray in the theater that evening. The cast was incredible. November 3rd & 4th — Sea Days 2 & 3 Readers of these boards will have varying styles of cruising on sea days. I love sea days because of the relaxation available. Hi lites: -we purchased a thermal suite package and started using it — very nice, however, the weight room in the fitness center is above the spa, so there are related sounds and bangs -we ate dinner at Chops on Day 2. It was execellent -Day 3 was the same with dinner at Izumi Hibachi — it was fun as always November 5th — Day 4 — Sint Maarten We chose to make this an easy beach day and took the water taxis from the port to the middle of Philipsburg for $7 round trip. We got off the water taxi after a five minute ride into the middle of the town. We turned right, headed toward the Lazy Lizard and rented two beach chairs and an umbrella for $20. It included a bucket of six beers or two cocktails. Lunch was extra for about $13 a plate. I had the curry chicken with voodoo shrimp appetizer. It was...BY FAR...the best meal I have had on a cruise vacation anywhere. We chose the Lazy Lizard because of reviews on Trip Advisor. Photos attached. That evening, we watched 1977 in Studio B. The drones and the skating did not disappoint. November 6th — Day 5 – San Juan, PR I have been dying to get to this port for a while. We did the standard walk up the hill to Castillo del Morro and walked around absorbing some of the history of the magnificent place. We chose not to go to the other fort, and instead walked down the hill on the west side and and toured Casa Blanca where Ponca de Leon lived. The grounds were beautiful and the house was incredible considering how people of that time lived. We ate at the famous Barrachina restaurant near Cristo Street. I tried the mofongo combination with chicken, beef and shrimp along with a piña colada. It’s a little touristy, so it won’t be my choice for my next visit to San Juan. We did some shopping and headed back to the ship for a thermal suite session. We watched Hiro in the Aqua Theater and were mesmerized. Flowing Hiro, dinner was at Wonderland, an experience Royal Caribbean cruisers should experience once in a lifetime. November 7th — Day 6 — Sea Day - we lazed around and ended the evening watching Flight in the Main Theater November 8th — Day 7 — Perfect Day at Coco Cay Seas were as smooth as a glass before sunrise. It was a beautiful and surreal experience walking onto deck 15 to see a Carival ship lit up as she passed by our starboard. A little later, a Norwegian ship sailed across our wake. They looked close enough to touch and were beautifully lit up.Sadly, I was dealing with condensation on my camera lenses, and didn’t have time to get a really cool photo. -we found loungers behind the swim up bar on Coco Cay and lazed around until lunch at the Snack Shack where we had the popular crispy chicken sandwich with fried mozzarella and marinara. It is a big step up from the standard fare from the old Coco Cay. The transformation of the island is mind blowing. November 6th — Disembarkation -I booked a late flight out of FLL, so we took our time getting off the ship -we had breakfast in the main dining room and left the ship by 9:00 am -we took a cab from the terminal to Miami Brightline on NW 1st in downtown Miami for $15. We bought Select tickets which gave us lounge access in the very nice, new train station - the ride from Miami was about 30 minutes and included beverages and snacks served by an attendant in our carriage. The train experience on this line is as a good as any I have had in Europe. It was excellent. I was sad to have to get off in Fort Lauderdale. -tickets may be pre-purchased online or at the station — the process is pretty seamless -FLL is 3.5 miles from the Fort Lauderdale Brightline station, so a quick ride share will get you to/from the station and airport -overall —> this short experience far surpassed dealing with a cab or ride share up I-95 — if you are flying out of FLL on a later flight, or if you are coming from a location near a Brightline station elsewhere in Florida, Orlando (future station planned) for example...THIS is how I would get to Port Miami, or Port Everglades — it is well worth it, especially considering the net cost was about the same as a cab would have been and a little higher than a ride share. I will be figuring other ways to use this service while in Florida in the future — included are pics of the Fort Lauderdale Brightline Terminal and the inside of a carriage
  19. 8 points
    Time for the ride back to the ship. This time I managed to get on the upper deck of the lifeboat/tender. Local water taxis are very popular to reach remote beaches like Lovers Beach and Divorce Beach. The NCL Bliss is the largest cruise ship to ever do the full transit through the Panama Canal. She is just ever so smaller than Quantum class. Here she is washing her anchor chain as she slowly raises it and gets ready to leave. Onward towards Vision of the Seas.
  20. 8 points
    Down in my cabin getting ready I spotted the arch through the porthole. The tender ride was ~15 minutes given that the Bliss had arrived earlier and secured the closer anchorage. The tender dock in the Cabo marina. The Cabo marina is lined with bars and restaurants, pharmacies and tourist shops. Cabo is the self proclaimed sports fishing capital of the world. A happy fisherman back with his conquest. It was hot so a nice cold margarita sounded pretty good.
  21. 8 points
    Good morning from a very comfy, rocking and rolling Anthem of the Seas! If I didn’t live in the west, I’d always sail out of Cape Liberty. I LOVE how this ship handles slight seas like this.
  22. 8 points
    Also on this segment I'll be taking advantage of the Unlimited Dining Package. The only traditional venue open for lunch boarding day is Chops. Unless you count Playmakers and The Bamboo Room for their snack offerings. Meal started off with some bread, pretzel rolls and think an onion roll Next up was the carpaccio Finally the caesar salad with filet. Note for this they had brought out an entire filet, for ease and presentation I did some carving. This time around I passed on dessert. Figured I'll have a few more opportunities. On another note Chops had a good crowd, work estimate 10 to 12 tables were occupied. Only negative I could point out was the use of a single waiter and and assistant.
  23. 8 points
    Bar Harbor has been wonderful! I could really see myself living here, even in the winter. We went on an RCI tour, which was the first time I’ve done a ship tour since Alaska in 1998. We went on the Acadia Nation Park/Lobster lunch tour, and it was great. The guide gave us a lot of cool info, and the people on the tour with us were great. I’m currently hanging out at Atlantic Brewing Co while my mom shops.
  24. 8 points
    Guess I need to do the summary , The ship Spectrum of the seas is a wonderful ship with many of the things people love about the Q class (270 , music hall) + some extras as laser Tag and the new coffee shops. The ship as a feeling of a big ship , not crowded at all (beside the WJ) Entertainment: Royal did a good job here , although due to the language difference the shows are more on the physical side (Dancing , acrobats) and singing still they are very nice , Show girls was very good , the home production was nice , the headliner shows were funny, we liked less the Silk Road. We loved the "let it be AC/DC" Activities You will find all the activities you have on other ships , maybe less trivia (although it exist) but all the rest are more and less there , including the quest , lover and marriage and other game shows , the only thing that I did not so was the Bingo , but I Am not really missing it. Just take into consideration that games can take longer as every thing is being translated to Mandarin, But I Guess its the same when you take a ship from ports like Porto Rico or even Barcelona. Parties : There was the balloons dropping party , the 70 party , the silent party (which was very funny) and wild west party. Bars and bar services There were many bars , but almost no one was seating in the bars , service was OK but you never so roaming bar waiters , apparently most of the people that board in Shanghai do not drink or they drink beer and Sodas. The good think is the cost of the drinking package on board , 49$ for the first person and 50% for the second , also drinking card came on day 4 for 12 drinks at the cost of 68$ !. I did not seen any alcohol missing on board but did not try everything. The issue is that most of the bars a closed early (Schonner bar close at midnight for example) beside the Casino Bar and the Music hall . Port of calls Shanghai - Loved the city , very clean very modern in most of the places, very cheep and also interesting , most of the street names and signs in the main area are also in English , transportation is easy and even if you went into a line without English sign its easy to remember the symbol of your last station/direction. I wish I added few more days there. Port is around 40 minutes from the city center. Osaka - Maybe since we had a problem with our shore excursion or for some other reason we thought its not the best port , you have few places to visit unless you want to drive extra time. The plus is that you got a mall and many restaurants just adjust to the port Kobe - nice port with easy transportation , a good port to go and roam a typical Japanese city , test local foods and markets. Tokyo (Yokohama)- port is 20-30 minutes drive, Tokyo is amazing and we felt we could have spent more time there , i would skip any excursion which brings you to the imperial palace as you can not even get near the palace so its quite a waste of time, Go to the center were the big temple is and just walk around. amazing city. Embarkation / disembarkation This was super easy, you come to the port , drop your luggage and go to the international passenger line (which also shared with Platinum + line) , quick security like any other port , quick check in , immigration which can take 10 -15 minutes and that is it , all the signs are also in English , very easy to find things. Disembarkation was the same , you go out of the ship , pass immigration , collect your suitcases and pass via custom , the only thing you should now is the distance to the taxi lines , its quite far 8-10 minutes walk. Food You will find all of the regular menus in the MDR (maybe they change it after people complain) you get the regular menu and the Chinese menu which you can choose from. in the WJ you can find some Western food , Chinese food and many time lots of Indian food , always there is something. Silver dining room - this is exactly like Solarium bistro at night , we did not eat there too many dinners as the main dish are always the same, Service in the MDR was very very good , the best we ever had so far , the waiters did not let our wine glasses to get empty and food came very fast. Pleas mind , in general in all the restaurants they try to bring you the food very very fast , some will say too fast , I guess this is the request of most of the passenger. No issue to find Western food , but I must agree with most of the comments that I read , the Chinese food is not what we know as Chinese food but more I will say , simple , or in other words , real Chinese food. Internet This was very problematic, it worked only 75% of the time and when it worked it was very slow and blocked access to the site. Atmosphere I did not encounter any strange behavior or cutting in lines , yes , on rush time you might wait for the elevators and they will be crowded , more than other ships , not sure. People in general were nice and try to have fun. take into consideration the ship going to sleep quite early. I must say , it was a good idea to add many vacation days after the cruise , it did not felt as real last day as we knew we had lots of more interesting things to do so we loved Singapore after and also Thailand , although I had to cut few days since been asked to fly to a business meeting in the country that serves french fries with gravy and cheese and proud of it. So will not have time to fix my clock , as just after this business trip will need to go to Italy again , and not for cruise. Next cruise for know is April 11 days Med , Jewel of the seas .
  25. 7 points

    Anthem Bahamas Review

    Just got off the Anthem of the Seas from our 11/2-11/9 trip for my daughter's Sweet 16 and our 20th Anniversary cruise. It was a great cruise, lots of fun, and a lot to discuss. i will start from the beginning. Embarkation Day- EASIEST embarkation we have had in 16 cruises. We got to the port around 10:00 am. By the time we got our bags out of the car, we were in the terminal at 10:15. We got right up to an agent who checked our set sail passes and passports. They had to retake my wife's picture, as well as my daughter's friends picture. The whole process took about 5 minutes. We were ushered to a seating area and told boarding would begin between 11-11:30. At 10:35, they made an announcement that boarding will begin, and we were on the ship by 11am. I went right to customer service to get an extra key made for our room and my daughter's room. That took about 5 minutes. I met the other 3 up in the Windjammer for lunch, and then we went off to explore the ship. It is HUGE! Well laid out and easy to navigate though. Our luggage was at our room at 1pm, so we went an unpacked and got ready for the Muster station meetings at 2:30. Our room, 11586, was a great room and great location mid ship. Our group met at Chops Steakhouse. The muster drill took all of about 20 minutes, very easy. We then went and booked the IFly for Friday afternoon. We took a nap and woke up in time to get ready for our 8pm dinner in Chic. We did classic dining time so that the 4 of us could have a meeting place every night and sit and enjoy dinner together. Sea Day- Our day at sea started out uneventful- the weather was starting to warm up as we got down toward the Carolina's. Then, we had to make a U-Turn for a Coast Guard Helicopter evacuation. We went an hour and half northwest toward shore to meet up with the helicopter. Apparently, someone fell from the 16th floor of the seaplex to the 15th floor and was in critical condition. The captain was pushing 25 knots, and the boat was rocking. The whole process took a couple of hours, but the rescue was successful. We started back south toward Port Canaveral and all was well. We enjoyed the day by the pool, walked through the promenade shops, etc. The kids spent most of the day at the teen club and wandering around the ship. I will continue later or tomorrow when I get more time!
  26. 7 points
    Hello Everyone. It That Time Again. It Cruise Time. Anyway I Am Going To Keep This Story Quick. So Here Is Are Ports Of Call. -Day One- Port Miami -Day Two- Coco Cay -Day Three- Nassau -Day Four- Coco Cay So With That Said Let The Blog Begin!!!
  27. 7 points
    I think we can all understand where you're coming from. It's unacceptable to have a room in sub-standard conditions, whether that is smell, upkeep or anything. What I think everyone is trying to convey is these type of situations are best handled on the ship. Once you're off the ship, it limits the response because they can't see what occurred any more and unfortunately there are a lot of people who try to "game the system" to get something after cruises are over to recoup vacation costs. I hope you won't let this stop you from cruising with Royal Caribbean all together.
  28. 7 points

    LIVEish, Back to Back to Back on Mariner!

    I'll have to mess around some to add music. Video production isn't a skill I've messed with in some time.
  29. 7 points
    There's a "Soak Up Adventure Sale" going on. Whenever a promo or a sales event is announced by Royal, I do mock "incognito" bookings of cruises I have already reserved and those I've been planning to book. I've been doing this for about two years now and I have yet to see a real and substantial reduction in the price. I am the type of consumer who finds this an insult to my (limited) intelligence. It's like stores who jack up prices to create the illusion of a sale. As an aside, I hate that Bed, Bath, & Beyond (my budget) prices their items 20% more than other stores so you can feel you're getting a discount when you use their never expiring coupons. Don't get me wrong, I love Royal and I'm "loyal to Royal", but this approach to marketing is not one of my favorites.
  30. 7 points

    RC Rewards credit card

    My wife and I have separate RC card accounts (based on SSAN not physical address). I use mine for all RC transactions and high dollar purchases for our house. Over the past few years new appliances, hardwood flooring, landscaping, etc. My wife uses hers also for high dollar purchases.... hair maintenance, finger and toe nail stuff and of course shoes!
  31. 7 points
    I have said this several different threads on this board, but I would say give one a try with 1 cruise to see what you think. BUT I always recommend that you treat this like you would finding a contractor to work on your house. Get on the phone and ask the agent what they do for their clients, what else they mat be able to provide, etc. This is hopefully the start of a relationship with a person that can handle all your vacation needs so you can relax and just vacation. Make sure to ask about price reductions are they done automatically or do you have to let them know. Ask if there are fees with the agency as some do charge a fee just to quote and book for you. Make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you are working with.
  32. 6 points
    Day 12 - Colón, Panama Our progress... We sailed right past here yesterday, went to sea for the night then came back in the morning. At sea last night it felt like a storm was moving in. Winds of change were in the air. We've been very fortunate on this cruise during the rainy season since we've encountered very little rain. This morning that changed. We had rain, heavy at times. After it cleared a bit in the distance I could see the Atlantic Bridge. More ships at anchor waiting. The night before I received notice my excursion for Colón had been modified and I was given an option of a 20% discount or a refund. I was pretty tired from an active and long day running around the ship during our day transiting the Panama Canal so I decided to take the day to rest and I took the refund. I did leave to ship to see what the area was like near the terminal. I noted a few scars from the canal. In a couple days time these would be painted over. I took these pictures leaving the ship. Of course it started raining while I was off but the walk back to the ship outside in the rain was brief.
  33. 6 points

    Teacher Strike in Chicago

    I am a teacher in Chicago. We are going into our second week of striking. The only thing that keeps me going is that I have several cruises booked. While picketing I tell myself your cruise on Explorer is approaching fast. Also, the week of November 4, I will be booking spring break 2022. The little things that keep me strong on the picket line.
  34. 6 points

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    I'm merciless with chogs. On my last cruise, there were 4 sorta suite "cabanas" in the suites-only area that folks staked out at 8AM, clipping towels to chairs. They'd literally be empty 90% of the time I walked by... hour-after-hour. After seeing one empty for over an hour I just un-clipped their crap, folded it up on a table and made myself at home. After reading a book for ~2 hours, I had an indignant couple ask me to leave "their" cabana. Nope. Take your stuff and find an empty one (if you can dislodge one of the other chogs). If you really want to, complain to a crew member that I "took" the cabana and see how far that gets you.
  35. 6 points
    Not to get too sidetracked, but since you went there... I seem to recall a certain Brilliance live blog starting a month or so before departure. Let's see... January 3 blog start for a February 14 sailing. 42 days! Now let's compare with the other candidate with early blogging syndrome... February 2nd blog start for a March 10 sailing. 36 days! Not even close @Matt Not only did you start way earlier before the sail date, you also started your blog a full month before @Lovetocruise2002 started hers. Fortunately there is a little blue pill for early blogging syndrome...
  36. 5 points

    Hello! I Am A Crew Member!

    Not even close 😜 But I'm playing the long game, you see I'm luring the Casino in to a false sense of security by deliberately losing and once I have them where I want them..... I'll strike! Thats my story and I'm sticking to it
  37. 5 points

    Hello! I Am A Crew Member!

    A little late, but agree, LIKE A BOSS!!
  38. 5 points
    Our cruise to the ABC island's is in 2 weeks and I've booked the following for my husband & I: Aruba: Trikes Aruba https://trikes-aruba.com/ for the morning, and we plan to just relax and hang on the beach afterwards. https://www.surfsidearuba.com/ Curacao: We booked the Beach Day through RC that brings us to Blue Bay Resort. We'll have lunch back on the ship then just venture out on our own afterwards. Bonaire: We booked with Woodwind https://www.woodwindbonaire.com/ to snorkel in the afternoon. St. Thomas: We booked an All Day Beach/Jeep Excursion through Sunfari http://sunfarivi.com/ I'll be sure to post our thoughts on each once we are back.
  39. 5 points

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    Sorry, but as a grandparent of a 3 and 1 yr old, my heart breaks with this story. If I was being brutally honest, there probably would have been 2 deaths that night bc if my grandbaby fell out of my arms, you can bet I would have thrown my body out the window with the hopes that she would land on my body and survive. I could physically and emotionally not be able to live with myself otherwise, I am not passing judgement on the grandfather, I am just saying that there is no sentence any jury can hand down to him that is worse than the living hell he must endure everyday of his life from the minute he opens his eyes to the minute he closes them.
  40. 5 points
    Oh, I almost forgot! See, I knew there would be more. There isn't a "morning show" with the cruise director and activity manager, but there is something recorded nightly that shows throughout the day on the Celebrity Channel. Look who was playing the slots while they were filming it one evening. 😄
  41. 5 points
    On our final morning, we woke up to find ourselves already docked at Cape Liberty. Thankfully, we woke up early enough that we could still catch the sunrise and see its reflection in the skyscrapers across the river. We finished getting ready, and said farewell to our room before going to the Windjammer for the final time this sailing.
  42. 5 points
    Probably because @Lovetocruise2002 set the precedent first for live blogging early!
  43. 5 points
    Day 15, Debark in Port Everglades Wow where did two weeks go? The scheduled arrival listed on itinerary was 7am. Ship arrived at the pier around 6:30am. I had talked with Vernon our loyalty ambassador last night at the nightly Diamond event to see if there was a way to get priority debarking in the morning since I had an early flight. No problem, meet at 6:45am he said. Loyalty pays. Woke up early to finish packing my bags and grab a Windjammer breakfast then off to meet at the designated point at 6:45am. On these shorter cruises self-assist is a popular option since most people have smaller bags for a four night cruise and I knew the self-assist queue would be busy. There were a group of guests that had to be cleared by customs first. They had boarded in Nassau... yesterday. You know there is a story there. I'm guessing they missed the ship and couldn't board in Key West as that would violate the PVSA so they joined the ship in Nassau. However this raises a flag with CBP so they must be cleared first before anyone else is allowed to clear customs. Around 7am those guests were let off the ship and we were held for another 5 minutes. Five suites guests and myself were then let off next followed by the masses that had queued very early for self assist. Down at CBP the "Nassau people" were still at customs so they held us all waiting for them to clear. Some grumbling as the queue behind me grew and grew. I was literally #1 in line. By 7:20am I was outside hailing a Lyft ride to the airport. Today's fare $8.81. The roads to terminal 19 is a bit of maze and i could see my driver make a wrong turn in the app before looping around. Pick up area is to left once outside. The cab area is straight across a roadway while the rideshare area is on the same side right against the terminal building. my Lyft receipt says I was picked up at 7:29am and dropped off at Ft Lauderdale airport at 7:38am. Checked in luggage and through airport security by 7:45am. Not bad. i don't normally book an early flight but it just worked out this way and I was fortunate everything went ideally.
  44. 5 points
    So we are officially at 42 days to go!!! We had some serious rain from Nestor so my event was cancelled. I sell Dotdotsmile on the side so I was a little bummed because this is one of my favorite events!! In any case it gave me some extra time to go shopping! I grabbed my bff and on our way we went. I was thinking that I needed another dress and the kids needed some formal wear. I couldn’t help myself when I saw this. Introducing Axel...quite dapper I think.
  45. 5 points
    Day 11, Port Everglades Rinse, lather, repeat. Turn around day but moving cabins this time.
  46. 5 points

    Smaller Ships

    I'd share that I have zero desire to cruise on any of the ships that are like amusement parks on water. I don't want or need water slides or zip lines or any of that. I am probably in the minority but there has to be more than one of me that is okay with just sitting quietly and reading a book while I sip a drink. There has to be more than one of me out there but probably not many so they leave the smaller ships to us folks who actually avoid slides and zip lines and all that. I have nothing against them personally but it's just not what I want when I cruise. I'd like to think they realize there are still a few of us left around. Let me have that illusion.
  47. 5 points

    Mike's Pastry - Boston

    @Matt I think the Brilliance Group Cruise might have to have a bakery taste test meet up so that we can determine which of these places are better than the other!
  48. 5 points

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    Look for chairs closer to the kids pools. Evidently their kryptonite is children
  49. 4 points

    Genuine curiosity of your lifestyle

    Interesting topic, I enjoyed reading everyone's background and learning about yall I'm in the 1-2 cruise/year category because I live in Washington state and Airfare is my biggest enemy, but there are still strategies I have used to spend only what I want. When I was younger and didn't make as much I would book cruises out of the less desirable cruise ports and cheaper sailing season. The first couple cruises I went on, I probably spent less than $100 per 7 day cruise for 2 people(not including gratuities). I was just happy to be on vacation and would only drink the free ice tea and lemonade, walk or find cheap transport to a free beach on port days ect... We actually had just as great of a time cruising that way. I have a higher income now, but I also have 3 young children. Airfare is still our biggest enemy, if we lived in Florida we would easily be cruising twice as much. I only like to take off 2 weeks a year for vacation, but I am not going to go when everyone else on earth is going. We pull our kids out of school(even though the school hates it) usually in February when we are sick of the wet winter weather and the rates are cheaper. We spend more onboard these days, but we still avoid paying a lot on booze,food and extras. We also book 1 cruise a year as far out as possible and stalk changes in pricing like a obsessed maniac even though booking so far out is usually the best deal. I'm an Electrical Forman who builds schools and my work is feast or famine so I try and keep money in the budget for a last minute cruise as well for when I finish a project. Schools are build on a fast paced schedule and I am usually super stressed out trying to get the job done. I have to keep a reward trip in my mind to keep my sanity. Also this blog keeps my eye on the prize when work gets stressful. 92 days until Liberty ?? days until Alaska? 469 until Symphony Happy Cruising
  50. 4 points

    Lurkers Unite!

    As a fellow lurker, thanks and hi.
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