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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    ๐ŸŽถ 99 days til we go on the cruise! 99 days til we go! Sun goes down and comes back around, 98 days til we go on the cruise! 98 days til we go on the cruise! 98 days til we go! Sun goes down and comes back around, 97 days til we go on the cruise! 97 days til we go on the cruise! 97 days til we go! ... ๐ŸŽถ ๐Ÿ˜
  2. 16 points
    Final Thoughts: Where do I begin...? Letโ€™s start with the ship itself. While the weather was a huge improvement from March, I still do not care for Quantum class. Itโ€™s not for me. @Matt mentioned yesterday while recording the podcast that it is a big ship with a small ship feel, but yet smaller ships (Voyager and Freedom Class) never feel as crowded as Anthem. My dislikes from my previous Anthem blog still remain. The WJ is a madhouse. The Esplanade does not move crowds. And crowds do not disperse well throughout this ship. While YMMV for motion, both times that I have sailed this ship, I have had to take meds for every sea day. I take zero meds on all OA class sailings. We Will Rock You remains my favourite broadway show that Royal does. Very talented cast both times. I like Spectra but this time it was not Terry LaVell, it was someone else who played Spectra so I felt that something was lacking there. The Gift still remains a mystery. Bermuda is beautiful. We really hope to go back one day. This sailing we dined exclusively in CK for dinner. The menu is your regular 7 night menu across the fleet. They repeated the Night 1 & 2 menu to make up for the 9 night sailing. I have the menus on PDF on the โ€œDiningโ€ section of the message boards. It is the same as Harmony and the rest of the fleet. I will provide the link when I get home. I did learn that CK on Ovation runs a slightly different CK menu for now. The service in CK on Anthem far exceeds OA class. Food the is the same excellent quality. Each night we received multiple check ins from the Maรฎtre Dโ€™ and the Chef. Stand out service. What really made this sailing was the people. Last night, I was saying to @Matt that what heโ€™s been saying for years is true. On a GC, you can do as much or as little as you want together. It is so much fun to walk around the ship and constantly run into people that you know. Sailing with the group also provided us with the opportunity to do things that we normally would not do on a cruise, like sit in the Pub or play Jenga...well I did not play, but Hubby did. The people on this sailing were fantastic. I cannot even put into words how much I enjoyed meeting everyone in person (finally) and sharing laughs, drinks, and time with them. Even more proud to support and be a part of the Royal Caribbean Blog community now. To the regulars here on the message boards, @Matt, @tiny260, @betatke1480, @CGTLH, @Michael Vitale, @l9dance, @josepena12, meeting you all in person was nothing short of awesome! You are all amazing people! And if you ever sail with @crzycatldy5 you want her on your team for the Crazy Quest! She rocks! If there are any other questions, feel free to ask. If not, thank you for following along. Sorry for not blogging as much this time. And I barely scoped, I left that up to @josepena12 so make sure to check out his scopes for coverage of the GC. Obviously @Matt provided lots of coverage as well @theRCLblog on periscope. Until next time...oh wait! That is in 14 days! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ This must be how @twangster feels ๐Ÿ˜†
  3. 14 points
    Last night of the cruise... ๐Ÿ˜ข 4 rounds of farewell shots! What a great cruise! @Matt thank you again for this fantastic community that you have created! Cheers! Recap tomorrow. Thatโ€™s all ๐Ÿ˜‰
  4. 13 points
    When I took my first cruise on Vision in March 2015, I could not have predicted that I would be sailing her again so quickly as my 7th cruise and my 3rd one this year!!! While I think this is the last hurrah for a while (we have rhapsody scheduled for next spring break, but the family wants some land trips to disney and london and my credit cards are screaming in agony lol), it is going to be an amazing trip. The set-up: 2 years ago ish, we started looking at Europe Itineraries. We were getting ready to turn 50 and had wanted to do Europe forever, but Disney kept getting in the way ๐Ÿ™‚ As soon as the itineraries came out, we saw the 12 day on Vision. I truly wish that we were on a different ship in that I really wanted to try radiance class, but I enjoyed Vision as my first ship. We wanted to do something different though, and we looked at the ultra spacious family room. We only had 3 people traveling...more on that in a sec...and Sharla at MEI was able to grab 4032 for us. It has a separate little bunk room for our 16 year old and a large couch/seating area. There will be tons of storage and room to move around. I don't usually care about our space much, but this will be nice since the whole trip will be 16 days with our pre-cruise stay in barcelona. Those of you with teenagers know that some space will definitely be needed! We thought about a balcony, but because Vision is so small and older, the balcony rooms are a lot pricier than on some of the newer ships. In some ways I wish we'd tried jr suite...we'd have gotten 24 points!...but this trip is already a huge reach for us, so we will enjoy our different room with a big window and enjoy the ocean breezes on the outside decks! The travelers: Jane (mom2mybugs), Jeff (the husband who doesn't love cruising as much as I do but is really looking forward to the ports) and Madison (16, who is very much excited for Europe). In retrospect, we should have also booked our 22 year old and 20 year old on the cruise as well. 2 years ago, we figured they'd both be working, but Morgan is still finding her perfect post-college job and John just got back from a study abroad in Germany and can't find a 6 week job. I'm not sure we could have afforded to bring them with air-fare, excursions, etc, but booking them at the beginning would have given us the flexibility if it wanted them to come. I looked at adding them a few months ago, and the muster stations were full and the cost to put them in another room (even interior) was insane. So they will be staying with the 2 members of the family that I will be missing dreadfully (the 2 schnauzer puppies!) and basically keeping the house hopefully standing! Madison is usually a huge teen center kid...we hardly see her at all on the cruises because she meets people and ditches us immediately. We aren't expecting nearly as many teens on this trip as we see in the Caribbean on spring break cruises. However, she is not as stressed because the port days are so long and she is planning on lots of family time. I am hopeful that she will find a couple girls to hang with in the evenings and on the sea days, because Jeff and I are pretty boring and we'd also like a little us time! The itinerary: Amazing! July 24--Fly out of Chicago O'Hare at 630pm, arrive Barcelona at 9:50 July 25-28 Barcelona. We have a barcelona city card, a barcelona day tours 1/2 day tour (they will pick us up from the airport) and a segrada familia ticket. We will just roam around and eat/drink! We are staying at an airbnb very close to the segrada familia. It has a tiny balcony, 2 bathrooms and bedrooms and is out of the tourist area. We thought about staying near the ramblas, but really wanted to not exhaust ourselves before the trip. We can easily metro it looks like and we should be able to see a fair amount. We are still trying to decide if we will go to Tarragona (Roman Ruins), Sitges (beach town) or both on a day trip (train out by ourselves, or do a 100 euro tour)...I still can't decide. I don't want to race around, but i will regret not seeing the aquaduct and other ruins. I'm very worried about the heat in europe though...my daughter tends to drag/mope/get herself sick in heat and my husband isn't in great shape. We may just do the tour because it is easy and the van will be air conditioned. Oh yeah, and Jeff and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on the 28th! July 29 Board Vision of the Seas early....yep...I'm one of the those people who are there before security opens! I am so excited! July 30 Cannes No tour scheduled. Either we will do the public crowded beach or take a taxi out to a more quiet location. Didn't want to spend a ton here since the other excursions are crazy expensive. July 31 Florence (well La Spezia). I know someday I will get back to Italy. After Paris it is a true bucket list trip. However, i am trying to tell myself that I will go back over and over. It is going to be hot, crowded and we are cruising into a port a fair distance from Florence, Rome and Athens. So we did all tours with Royal. We are skipping Pisa since time is limited, and just doing Florence. I really really wanted to buy an Uffizi ticket on my own but I can't quite figure out how much free time we have and I know that I wouldn't have more than a couple hours. I think we are better off just finding one of @Traveler's gelato places and relaxing. It will kill me...I'm a go/go/go hit every museum person but I'm trying to make my mantra "Pace/pace/pace!" Aug 1 Rome (again...not actually rome but far out). We did a tour that will get us into the vatican museum and st. peters and I will see the Sistine chapel along with a gazillion of my close personal friends. It will be packed. I will be heartbroken if things are too crowded or the pope closes something, but again, I'm telling myself nothing is a have to...I will be back!!! We will drive past the coliseum, but i traded that entry for the religious art! Aug 2 & 3 Sea days! Much needed relaxation in my happy place on my sky deck chair near the bar! I have my paperback books, my sunscreen and my chair clips! I am tempted to do the thriller dance class which i think would be fun, but might involve me getting off my deck chair or not getting one in time, so maybe not! Aug 4 Athens! I heard they closed the acropolis for 6 hours because of the extreme heat. I am hoping this doesn't happen while we are there, but they will find something for us to do. This is the port I'm the most worried about heat and water consumption. Hoping nobody gets heatstroke. Aug 5 Mykenos Jeff will celebrate his 51st birthday in Greece! Because he is a high school social studies teacher, one of my majors was history and Madison is looking at anthropology/archaeology as a potential college major, we are going to the ancient ruins in Delos. This will also be hot. Really Really hot. Hoping the fact that we are done by noon will help. This will be a very cool port stop though! Aug 6 Santorini This is the stop that originally i was really pumped about, and now I'm hoping we survive. There are 4 or 5 ships in port that day, so it will be crazy crazy crowded and hot. We are simply going to do a tour of Oia, walk around a bit, and then hit a cafe for some wine. I think this stop will be a take pictures and soak up atmosphere because I feel like it will be over-tourists. I don't think we will get back to Greece, and so I hope we can see what we want and enjoy whatever we are able to do. Aug 7 Sea day! I loved this itinerary because it gave me sea days to relax on a port intensive cruise. Again, Vision is a bitty ship, so I think we will enjoy some trivia, my deck chair will call my name and I will spend my $20 on the quarter game in the casino. Aug 8 Valetta, Malta We are doing the blue grotto and fishing village tour. It will be relaxing, we will see the beautiful caves and water, and I'm actually looking very forward to not having a lot of ships here. Apparently they filmed some of Game of Thrones here? Means nothing to me but since Jeff and my son have been binge watching the first few seasons this summer, he might recognize something! Aug 9 Last Sea Day. And that dreaded day of having to get packing! Ugh. I have never done a cruise over 7 days and I think it will be amazing. However, I will not be looking forward to going back to work (in education, August is gear up for the year time lol!). Aug 10 Back in Barcelona. We have a 355 flight so we had some options. We didn't want to hang at the airport all day so we considered the option to stay on the boat. I thought that would be pretty depressing...all these excited people just starting their trip and we would have to be going home. So we decided to do the montserrat trip and airport transfer. We had been trying to figure out montserrat earlier and decided it would be a fun last day activity and we wouldn't have to worry about the airport transfer or catching a cab. It says it is good for any flight after 3 and will get us to the airport by 1215. I will be stressed about getting through security but i know really we have plenty of time. Dining and Extras: We bought a 4 day dining pkg. I would have considered the udp, but there are only 3 specialty restaurants on vision, and we don't want to do them that much. We will go to giovannis on Jeff's bday, chops, izumi and I think chops a 2nd time. I've never gotten fish at chops, so i'm tempted to try it one time. Chops is a trickier restaurant for my vegetarian girl, but she can live on the sides!!! And the dessert!!! Jeff and I also are doing Chef's table again. We have done it twice before, and I know this is a repeat menu but I enjoy it a lot, and I'm hoping I get the world again for dessert! We are going my time dining this time, and expect that we will hit the windjammer a couple nights (esp. Rome and Athens) because we will be tired. We booked middlish times...630ish...because if madison does want to meet people, she can, but we didn't want to do too early. We are kinda getting tired of the scheduling specialty at 530 or 6 for her, so we might schedule stuff a bit later and tell them she is leaving. Then we can have dessert and coffee together. I haven't really checked out show times, etc., since the compasses out there have been pretty old. However, again, we can either try to get an earlier table at my time, or skip the dining room if there is something we really want to see. We are going team drink pkg as usual...it is close for jeff in terms of price, and i totally benefit. I also think we will be drinking a ton of water, so that will totally make up the difference, plus sending jeff for my morning latte! We snagged it on a sale for $48 and then upgraded to $57 for the voom. Voom will be spotty...vision is not known for its good internet...but i want to be able to check email and facebook message the kids back home. Plus, if we get signal, I will try and periscope for sure (I think I'm mom2mybugs there). I will also try to blog. I have to try and find the email that had the info on the picture compresser thing. So that is it....I'm doing a week long babysitting live-in job that pays for a lot of our plane tickets so i'm crazy busy until Sunday. Then its drs appointments, last minute pedicures and on our way wednesday!!!!! So can't wait to share my first experiences in these amazing ports. Jane
  5. 12 points
    MrMarc

    Matt in top 10 - We call him #1

    https://www.porthole.com/top-cruise-influencers-for-2019/
  6. 11 points
    twangster

    Cruise Planner Sale July 15, 2019

    I suspect the intern is triple checking everything, potentially at their new job somewhere else.
  7. 11 points
    No love for me. Deluxe bev pkg is still only $52 with BOGO50 / 25% off. Cโ€™mon Royal!! Whereโ€™s that intern with another $18 sale for all 2019 sailings?!?
  8. 10 points
    twangster

    Drama at Solarium

    Hey you kids, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
  9. 10 points
    Skid

    Royal Caribbean first ever aircraft?

    Got me!!!!. As my kids would say, don't I feel sheepish?!!!!
  10. 10 points
    twangster

    B2B Cruises?

    The #1 problem solved is the fact that most cruises are too short. For someone who has to fly to a cruise a B2B saves airfare compared to taking two distinct cruises. B2B allows you to unpack and unwind. You don't need to take in every show because you can catch one on the next cruise. Cruises are great but if you try to do everything offered in one cruise you may end up exhausted and need a vacation from your vacation. Take Oasis class. It's hard to participate in everything offered during a 7 night cruise. More often than not you have to pick something but miss out on something else. When you go a B2B you can do some things on one cruise and different things on the next. Really enjoyed one show? See it again! B2B also lets you try different things in repeated ports while exposing you to new ports that are not common to both itineraries. One visit you can go to a beach and relax, the repeat visit you can go on an ATV or tubing in a cave or you can stay on the ship and enjoy the ship empty of most guests. B2B solves the FOMO issue while leaving even more time to relax. B2B also means one more week of not doing the dishes, cooking or cleaning. I have a B3B booked. Three cruises in a row on the same ship. B2B is cool, B3B is the next level.
  11. 9 points
    CruisinUpinLife

    Your Future Vision for RCCL

    Better functioning website.
  12. 9 points
    FManke

    Jr Suite Tub ?

    Next cruise will be the first in a Jr suite and I was just curious if the tubs are standard size? It will be nice to move around and not have to take a shower in a phone booth! Although I would gladly shower ever day in one if it meant I was cruising! For all you youngsters out there that are asking, what is a phone booth? It's where we used to go to make a private phone call in public before they invented cell phones. Go ask your parents or grandparents. ๐Ÿ˜
  13. 9 points
    coneyraven

    Royal Caribbean first ever aircraft?

    At $18 each
  14. 9 points
    kpal711

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    This is a no win situation for Royal. The lawyer may have made what appears to be bizarre statements to those of us who know better, but in the court of public opinion, most people have no idea that those windows are blatantly obvious when open and that it's not in a children's play area. It's not going to look good if Royal fights this family and I believe the lawyer knows exactly what he's doing to extract the biggest payout. I can't help but compare this incident to the family who lost their toddler son to an alligator attack at Disney's Grand Floridian and I have the upmost respect for them and how they handled it. They did not immediately hire a publicity seeking lawyer threatening to sue and demanding answers from Disney through the media. They quietly worked with Disney to reach a settlement and created a foundation to help children and honor their son's memory. A stark difference with how this current tragedy is being handled so far, but we all deal with things differently.
  15. 8 points
    twangster

    Your Future Vision for RCCL

    Overall I'm pretty pleased with Royal which is why I am here. This is how to make it better: Keep cruising affordable. Improve the website. Add free texting across the fleet using wifi based chat applications such as iMessage, WhatsApp or FB Messenger. More airlines offer this now for free. Time to allow it on ships. Stop trying to build chat into the Royal app and let people use what they use already. Royal talks about making vacation stress free, communicating with loved ones on board and at home makes vacations stress free. Migrate all ships to O3b Voom and leave the 1980 satellite technology where it belongs, in the past. Add technology to allow mirroring phones and tablets to cabin TVs Eliminate the Diamond happy hour binge drinking nightly event by removing it from the Diamond Lounge. This would solve the "How many Diamonds can you cram into a phone booth" effect in the lounge every night. Keep 3 drink coupons but expand the hours of use and quality of choices. Give Diamond members 30% off drink packages, move Diamond Plus to 40% off and Pinnacle to 50% off drink packages. Even at those rates there is still profit to be had. Currently many guests at these C&A levels don't buy drink packages or drinks at all, relying on the nightly happy hour for drinks. These changes would increase DX revenue and reduce happy hour costs, a combined win-win. Deal with chair hogs by actually enforcing the rules and do so consistently across the fleet Add USB outlets to all ships, add power outlets by the beds Clarify dining package rules. State exactly what is included, apply this consistently across the fleet Make all rules consistent and apply them consistently across the fleet. Be consistent with every thing across the fleet. Make Sea and Sky suite class available on all ships with consistent benefits across the fleet. Star class can remain exclusive to OA/QU. Smoke free casinos across the fleet. If Celebrity can do it, so can Royal.
  16. 8 points
    AnnetteJackson

    Blog Group Cruises

    Great memory! This is all the group cruises - so far. How does the GC get decided - Matt and myself work together to find a cruise that works with his schedule, my schedule, but more importantly has interesting ports of call - something different. Sometimes there are several cruises that are held while we decide or wait to see what else is released by Royal. If can look at times that the boards, insiders, and comments to him will help make his decision, but in all the years we have worked on these group cruises - that really hasn't swayed him. Ultimately, he will do two GC a year, and he decides when he has all the factors that he is waiting on from Royal on ships and where they will be sailing.
  17. 8 points
    Wait, you married him without a trial run to make sure he loves cruising?? You're a brave woman! ๐Ÿ™‚
  18. 8 points
    AshleyDillo

    Unlimited Dining

    They have a really pricey option out there already that includes everything..it's called Star Class ๐Ÿ˜†
  19. 8 points
    And last cruise I was on, I saw a woman in the Windjammer in her bikini carrying her coverup. I didnโ€™t notice her shoes ๐Ÿ˜ณ
  20. 8 points
    Goes to show how different people can like different things. I like Quantum class. I rarely have issues with the WJ compared to Oasis class which is my least favorite WJ. I actually like Quantum class WJ and consider it the best all of the fleet. The outside aft seating area is icing on that cake. The Esplanade is my only disappointment with Quantum class. The poor traffic flow is by design to get you to slow down and browse the sea of kiosks and tables of cruise items for sale. I tend to avoid it and traverse fore or aft VIA the Bionic bar area one deck up. The constant Esplanade sale events also impact specialty dining in Wonderland and Izumi since the sounds of the Esplanade invade these venues. That's really my only complaint with Quantum class. Voyager and Freedom class Promenade also become very busy during events there like 70's or 80's nights - it's hard to walk from one end to the other. During sale events it too is a choke point. I wish Quantum class had a suite lounge. The Concierge lounge is very nice but lacks 11am to 11pm drinks that the suite lounge on Oasis class provides. in fact Oasis is the only class of ship that provides complimentary suite drinks in the suite lounge (beyond Diamond Happy Hour drinks early evening). Two70ยฐ and the VIA create almost a neighborhood in concept from Oasis secreting away scores of guests from other areas. So does the SeaPlex and Solarium which is also one the best in the fleet. I also like the pubs on Quantum class then there is the music hall which is another favorite yet well isolated if your are not into that sort of thing. The North Star bar is a great hangout with views of the sea. I wouldn't want every ship to be Quantum class but I wouldn't want every ship to be Oasis class either. Quantum class differences are what draw me back. If every ship was more or less the same that would be very boring. I've got six more Quantum class bookings and I'm eagerly waiting Odyssey bookings to open up to add a seventh.
  21. 8 points
    Royal Birthday cake in the MDR tonight. They were able to bring it into CK. D10 made her own version as well.
  22. 7 points
    Matt

    Drama at Solarium

    This. It never ends well, never mind the fact no guest is in a position to tell other guests what to do.
  23. 7 points
    tiny260

    Drama at Solarium

    I agree with @twangster I have seen the adults miss behave (Later in the day after many, many drinks) more than I have the older teens. Just got off the Anthem GC, and they had to close and pump out the main pool twice during the nine days because an adult had thrown up in the pool.
  24. 7 points
    Skid

    Fully covered shoes in the windjammer

    Proper punctuation can be life saving
  25. 7 points
    Going through some pics this morning and realized that some never made it in.
  26. 7 points
    Great live blog @Lovetocruise2002. It was fun to read all 18 pages of this live blog post being on this cruise. Not meaning to hijack, but a few of my random thoughts. It was fantastic meeting everyone on the Group Cruise. One of my favorite cruises so far...by far having 80+ other groupies to hang with was fun. As has been mentioned about eating in the Two70 Cafe is a hidden gem...the Solarium Bistro is another great place to avoid big crowds. One funny moment was on day 2 or 3 I was eating dinner up there, and I get a notification on my phone of @Matt doing a live periscope, and I look around the small room, and two other tables were listening in. Where ever I would go, I would usually see a friendly face, or a red MEI lanyard (thanks @AnnetteJackson .) As mentioned, the flow of people is not very good, especially around the Royal Theater. What made it worse, there were major shows/events scheduled when a major show ended, and another event started in 10 or 15 minutes afterwards. People trying to get in (and blocking the hallways) while the theater was letting out. Also noticed a few shows/events that started 10-15 (one was 20 or 25) late. I don't remember this happening so often on my previous cruises. Being on three Voyager class ships in the past, Anthem my new largest ship...I did miss the openness of a promenade. Looking forward to joining more group cruises in the future.
  27. 7 points
  28. 7 points
    FManke

    New way to count down to cruise day

    True. But don't they have digits?
  29. 7 points
    Bots donโ€™t have fingers OR toes. You canโ€™t fool us !
  30. 7 points
    Big Dawg Ron

    B2B Cruises?

    Show off! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€
  31. 7 points
  32. 7 points
    JennyJenny

    Stupid Question?

    Here is what I am seeing: Selecting 1 stateroom (inside), 2 passengers: Interior Stateroom Guarantee $2,132.00 2 Guests Flash Sale -$50.00 BOGO50 NRD -$521.00 Subtotal: $1,561.00 Taxes & Fees $262.06 Total For Room (after discounts) $1,823.06 Selecting 1 stateroom (inside), 1 passenger: Interior $2,638.00 1 Guests Flash Sale -$50.00 BOGO50 NRD -$860.00 Subtotal: $1,728.00 Taxes & Fees $131.03 Total For Room (after discounts) $1,859.03 Without the tax it's $95.06 more After the tax, it's $35.97 more (I know this isn't a break the bank issue but I am irritated that I am penalized for being independent). Perhaps I need to find a Sugar Daddy or a Boy Toy..... *insert eye roll here*
  33. 6 points
    I've not seen this elsewhere and was a little surprised to see whales from Anthem of the Seas on Saturday 7/13. We had an obstructed balcony on Deck 6 on the port side of Anthem of the Seas. About 60-90 minutes out of port we saw multiple "blows" and then a large tail. I carry binoculars and this time had a spotting scope I use for bridwatching. I was blown away. When I got home I googled "New York City whale watching" and it appears that my sighting was not unusual. So if you are sailing out of Bayonne you may want to keep an eye out!
  34. 6 points
    We had a chance to visit CocoCay on TH 6/27 off of the Mariner of the Seas. Summary - Amazing, outstanding, a true game-changer. - Flexible enough to meet the needs of everybody. - You can have a great time with excursions or without. - Thrill Park is great. If that is your thing. - Overall, highly recommended. Our group - 2 families with children (11, 8, 7 years old) - We booked the full day Thrill Park via Cruise Planner at $47/adult as well as the kid rate (I forgot the total). - 2nd RCCL trip (1st was Harmony) Our Day (Part 1: Thrill Park) - RC provided a map and a 1-page fact sheet the evening before. We felt very prepared. - Checked out towels and then met the gang for breakfast at 7:30am. - Left the boat at 8:30am. It was very fast. No towel check-out was provided at level 1. You will need to get towels in advance at the pool deck. - Trams were waiting on the pier to talk folks if desired. - Less than 5 min walk from the boat to the entrance to the island and the Thrill Park. Live music, dancers, etc. lots of energy. - Easy entry to the Thrill Park, use your sea pass. RCCL staff is onsite. - Locker to your right after entering the park (free). - We divided into two groups. One group went straight to the Devil's Tower. They rode it once and had a very small line. Within an hour of opening the wait time was 45-60- minutes. Key point: Plan ahead and arrive early. The other group secured lounger chairs under umbrellas (between the Devils Tower and the other Slide section) and headed over to the Sling Shot (the half pipe ride), Twister, and Racers. - Easy to find chairs. Lots available with lots of shade. - Easy to find beverage (adult) and water. - All the water slides are strong. Fun, thrilling, scaring, high energy, etc. - After the slides, we hit the wave pool. Recommended as well. Make sure you watch the young kids. The pool is crowded and life guards can see only so much. - We also spent time on the adventure pool. Both adults and kids were using the attraction. Lots of fun. - After about 2.5 hours on the Thrill Park we decided to go to Chill Island. One of the reasons was the wait on the Tower Slides was getting long and we saw storms in the distance and wanted to hedge our time. Out Day (Part 2: Chill Island). - Relaxing. Laid back. Really a different vibe and energy. - Rented snorkel equipment. My kids saw stingrays and fish. - After about 2 hours, headed to Chill Grill for lunch. Taco bar and grilled chicken wings were strong. We also liked the fact you can pour your own beer (w Seapass Card). Kids loved the ice cream. - BIG ISSUE: TONS of birds are seagulls are onsite at Chill Grill and are very aggressive. They are swarming on guests and attacking their plates while guests sat at picnic tables. I saw a bird swoop down and steal a chicken wing from a guest who was about to it eat. This needs to be fixed. Think the movie "The Birds". - Went to Oasis Lagoon for the rest of the day and drank our share of Miami Vice, Kracken and Diet Coke, and beer. The Pool bar is strong and the staff are fast. - The pool itself is very large and can accommodate a lot of folks. Loud music. Party atmosphere. - Some lighting delays throughout our day, but no biggie. - Took the tram home. General thoughts - Great time. Really strong move by RCCL. Disney will have to up its game. Huge contrast to other cruise private islands. - Easy to navigate and everything is pretty much 10 minutes away. Walk or Tram. - Totally different vibes between the water park and Chill Island. - Even though we only were at the water park for 2 hours, it was so fun we still feel as though we got our $$$ worth. - Staff was great. - The island and layout are such that the crowded feeling is likely to be minimized. - Easy to get food, adult beverages, water etc. Lockers are free. - We did not rent a cabana. They looked very nice. Our hesitation is that if you rent a cabana you may feel limited to stay in the cabana and consequently miss other areas of the island. We liked our approach of spending time at the water park, the beach, and the big pool. - Talked to a few officer types at the island and they shared that RCCL plans on building a hotel for guests on the island and back-to-back CocoCay stays will be offered in Jan 2020. - The day before we stopped at Nassau and stayed until 8:30pm. I really wish we could have stayed that long at CocoCay and shortened our time in Nassau. - The birds at Chill Grill are an issue. - Other guests we were talking too on the ship felt the same about the island - it is fantastic. - Have a high-level plan so you can make the most of the day. You don't have to plan every minute, but at least consider where you want "Home base" and what you want to do on the island in some order. Hit the waterpark early to avoid lines. Hope his helps. Have.a blast. Andy
  35. 6 points
    AshleyDillo

    Blog Group Cruises

    Sooo..come on 2021-2022 deployment schedules and OA5 announcements!
  36. 6 points
    betatke1480

    El Loco Fresh for lunch

    @Lovetocruise2002 thinking of eating somewhere other than CK? I'm shocked. Not very on brand for the President of #TeamCK! ๐Ÿ˜‚
  37. 6 points
    twangster

    Drama at Solarium

    Solarium is 16+ so if they were 16+ then technically they are allowed to be there. It's rarely good when guests try to interpret and/or enforce rules. Better to engage pool staff or security. If they decide the 16 yo's behavior is in violation of rules they can deal with it. I've seen older adults who have been enjoying adult beverage become loud in the solarium. It's not advertised as a quiet zone so the issue of acceptable versus desired is very subjective. Ultimately that's up to the ship to decide and enforce.
  38. 6 points
    RWDW1204

    Royal Caribbean first ever aircraft?

    I think we're dating ourselves by knowing Eastern, Pan Am and TWA. And not asking who's that?
  39. 6 points
    FManke

    Jr Suite Tub ?

    I heard that cabin was a....wait for it....wait for it a dump! Thank you! Goodnight! Try the veal and don't forget to tip your servers.
  40. 6 points
    twangster

    Travel Router

    Dad? Is that you?
  41. 6 points
    FManke

    Travel Router

    Man am I old and not tech savvy! When I first read this thread title, I thought it was a new term for a travel agent! I'm serious! ๐Ÿ˜‚
  42. 6 points
    Brobbins246

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    I assume while the ship was docked in San Juan today, the investigators and lawyers did more investigating. This is probably when Winkelman or his team got their first look at the actual area in question. I'm looking forward to hearing an update from him saying, "Sorry, my bad. I realize now how preposterous my theory was." One can dream.
  43. 6 points
    FManke

    Jr Suite Tub ?

    I'm not a tub guy, although I am a tubby guy and will appreciate the extra room. Thanks!
  44. 6 points
    tiny blonde

    Freedom of the Seas Fatality?

    Someone mentioned that this attorney has specialized in litigating against cruise lines. My guess is that he jumped on the case and approached the family, convinced them that they were entitled to damages, and offered to represent them. They are so stunned and in such grief that they acquiesced, not knowing what the lawyer would say to the press. Of course his story is nonsense, the cruise line is not responsible for what was poor judgement and an unfortunate accident. All of us who have children can recall a time or two when the child ALMOST had an accident, or had an accident that could have turned out worse than it did . . . . and sometimes the worst happens. We've seen relatives toss the baby into the air and heard their heads bump the ceiling. Parents have accidentally backed the car over their own children, but haven't gone looking for someone to sue, and no one thought for a minute that it was anything other than a tragic accident. In this case, the grandfather's vision may be failing and he thought there was a closed window. Or maybe he thought there was enough distance between the rail and the open window. Should they be suing his ophthalmologist, then? I don't think so. We just need to support them in their time of grief.
  45. 5 points
    twangster

    Drama at Solarium

    They already have that. It's called the Diamond Lounge.
  46. 5 points
    Let's talk about crew. Harmony is no longer the newest or largest ship in the fleet, however, I would say that she has now evolved from that role into a ship with a big heart. General vibe is great and that is mainly down to a great crew. Marc Walker was CD for Week 1 and Dennis Charles was CD for Week 2. Marc is probably my new favourite CD now that Abe Hughes has left. Absolutely hilarious at L&M and great joie de vivre that really helped the atmosphere on the ship. I actually liked Dennis more than I thought I would - he still has plenty of energy and did a decent job hosting, although I missed a few events due to being sick or due to poor scheduling (not his fault, I'll mention later). He was also friendly and patient when my mother asked him a question about customs (unrelated to Cruise Directing). My criticisms would be that he talked for too long at L&M and it kinda dragged with some of the audience walking out. He also needs to stop shouting into his microphone at events, we can hear him easily. If he can cut those two things out, he would definitely be one of the best. Either way, both of these guys were SO MUCH BETTER than Bobby Brown. Moe was Activities Manager both weeks - he was good fun. Did have slight problems sometimes understanding his Fiji accent. He is moving to be entertainment manager on CocoCay after the current sailing, glad that I got to sail with him before he left ships. I have sailed with Captain Gus several times and both him and Captain Johnny are my favourites, so it's great that they are both assigned to the same ship. Both have a very upbeat presence and are probably the only two Captains active on social media. Both seem to be friendly and enjoy being around guests. Our stateroom attendant Vibert Joseph was fantastic. Such a sweet guy and did a great job. I did mention earlier that I would like a decrease in how frequent they clean the rooms, and I still feel the same way. Staff around the ship ranged. Some were excellent (shout out to team at Starbucks). Plenty of awesome crew on Harmony, although I can't remember much names. A few duds - server on Week 2 at CocoCay seemed intimidating and was quite difficult to communicate with, and I felt as if he kind of ignored me. Sorrento's staff were mixed, a few friendly ones but there was one real dud that really seemed to be going through the motions and got the wrong order one night (instead of 2 cheese slices, it was 1 cheese and 1 half pepperoni - half of the base was missing). Cafe Promenade and Park Cafe were OK, but I felt that with these 3 eateries, they needed to bring Latisha Jones from HM 2017 back to train them and improve the mood in these venues which was sometimes a bit dour. Everyone else that we met was friendly. Great crew on this ship.
  47. 5 points
    Hello all. In Newark airport, waiting for flight to Edinburgh. Hate 757's, hate United and REALLY hate overnight flights, so wish me luck! Went against advice and took trip to NYC. Time was tight and we got 2 hours for lunch (John's Pizzeria in Times Square - highly recommended) and a bit of shopping. Managed 3 states in one day! ๐Ÿ™‚
  48. 5 points
    twangster

    B2B Cruises?

    With a booked B2B on Empress my ports don't repeat. With a booked B2B on Navigator my ports repeat, a double dip to CocoCay and Nassau. With a booked Oasis class B3B I'll do Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and then Eastern Caribbean again. This includes three visits to their private destination. I've been to all the ports before so it doesn't matter. Pricing was good, reduced solo supplement so 21 days on a ship. Why not? I also have a side-to-side or S2S booked. Take a cruise, debark and move to another ship the same day. If I'm spending money on an airplane ticket I might as well do two cruises. The best part of a B2B is seeing this... ...and knowing you don't have to pack.
  49. 5 points
    twangster

    Drink Gratuities

    I usually establish a relationship with key bartenders early in the cruise by offering a single with my SeaPass card when ordering drinks with DX. Pool bars for example. They get to know you and remember your drink orders. At busy times this can work in your advantage. I was on Navigator in December. Shortly after the ship went into dry dock and months later I was back on in March. Bartenders not only remembered my name but also my drink preferences. The very moment I walked up on boarding they they welcomed me by name with a smile on their face months later. A extra tip, a smile and patience when they are slammed goes a long way. You don't have to tip above the 18% you have already paid. PS - I still remember his name too - Edgardo, a great bartender. Then there was Zoltan in the Bamboo Room, then...
  50. 5 points
    IMHO- you are on a floating mega resort in Star Class. As far as the cruising experience goes (minus the boutique lines like Regent), it doesnโ€™t get better! Stay on the ship and enjoy the Harmony. Thereโ€™s no need to get off in Cozumel and certainly you are missing nothing of note in Roatan. Enjoy!
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