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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/15/2021 in all areas

  1. Pooch

    Thank the good Lord!

    6 tests over 3 states & 4 households all negative!! Harmony here we come
    46 points
  2. 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
  3. Having just gotten up the courage, after much support from my teenaged daughters, to actually be brave enough to show my cancer scars in a bathing suit on my upcoming cruise, I'm just crossing my fingers that I don't show up as a "cringe-worthy" line item on this lovely list.
    41 points
  4. Alternate title: Thousands do exactly as millions do every day on airplanes and travel, albeit with better protocols
    41 points
  5. Embark tip: The best way to go with the test result is printing it, but if you want to have everything digital, before arriving to the port make a screen shot for the results of all the people in your cabin. The reason is sometimes the internet signal in the port is not good and it can take a loooong time to be able to show the results, and there is nothing that can be made before showing the results. When you do the screen shot make sure that is the full page and you can see clearly the name of the person, type of test, date it was taken and, of course the result. Debark tip: Make sure to put something distinctive on every piece of your luggage so you can recognize them right away: A ribbon (NOT red, please), a bright tag, a pompom, duck tape, etc. This is not only for you to spot your luggage but for other people not to take it by mistake. You have no idea how many times it happens that when someone go to get their baggage they cannot find it because somebody took it and is already gone. The other thing you can do that is very helpful to find quick your luggage is to take a picture with all the pieces when they are ready to be left outside your cabin with the number tags and whatever you put on them to be recognized, so next day at debark if you don't find them right away it would be easier for the agents to help you. This is really a good way to do it.
    39 points
  6. Hi all! After having our flight home cancelled twice and spending two additional days in Seattle, we are back home. Here is my report on the Alaskan cruise and the Ovation! Embarkation Our check in time was 11am and we showed up at 9:20 am to find at least 30 people in front of us. After listening in on conversations, it was apparent that most of the people in front and back of us were not entirely prepared to check in. Oh well, their loss. Thanks to this Forum, we were prepared and when the gates opened, we were on the ship by 11:10 am. Easy peezy. MY SUGGESTION for easier boarding....just print everything and have them in order. Set Sail, vaccine records, covid test, just have physical documents ready. Internet was intermittent and people trying to check in with screen shots were having trouble. FOOD! I start with food because that is our thing and the first thing we did other than making reservations was eating at the Windjammer! Food was overall a 9 out of 10. Windjammer - only ate there for one lunch and 5 breakfasts. Breakfast could use some variation but food was hot, looked good, and filled our tummies with overall joy. Izumi's - ate lunch and dinner there. Rolls were overwhelming. Sashimi plate was excellent for cruise sushi! Fried chicken appetizer was yummy. I though 2 times was enough for Izumi though. Wonderland - food was overall imaginative, fun, and tasty. Some stand out dishes included desserts and the liquid lobster. Would not go more than once per cruise, but would definitely go every cruise. Chops - Solid steakhouse. Good wine selection. Bone-in ribeye is outstanding. Lobster bisque and mushroom soup were outstanding! Ate there twice. Jaime's Italian - OUR FAVORITE. I am a classically trained chef turned lawyer. Fresh made pasta was exactly what sold us here! The sauces were tasty and in the correct proportion to pasta unlike Americanized Italian places. Funny, Jaime's is British-Italian, but the food here tasted closer to what we have eaten in Italy than most places. Stand out dishes included Pavlova dessert, ALL pastas, Meat plank, and burrata cheese! MDR - This is the only place where I experienced service issues but I will address those later. Food was overall okay. Above average. Nothing stood out, nothing was bad. Oh...order the Baked Alaska! Last time I had Baked Alaska and Cherries Jubilee was in 1984 LOL. Room Service - prompt, hot, edible. Hot Dog Stand - good enough to satisfy cravings. Sorrentos - Not bad at all. Fish and Ships - fried to order and worth at least one trip. By the way, I am not sure this works for all ships, but UDP worked here for fried lobster tails and premium items. Cafe Two70 - Nice change of breakfast pace and quiet place to enjoy breakfast, enjoy incredible views, and play some card games or board games with the kids after breakfast. La Patisserie - Not quite Starbucks, but got me going in the right direction every morning and every evening. Solarium Bistro - It was okay. I was happy. DRINKS! Since I watched many bartenders open new bottles of liquor and paid attention to them making my drinks, I can say that the drinks were not watered down, but not exactly super strong, except for limoncello!!! Wine selections were nice considering this was a cruise ship. Cocktails were tasty. We loved the Bahama Mama and anything with KRAKEN! Service Guest services lines were a little long at times. I am always up at 4am and go to sleep at 11:00 pm so this was not an issue for me. The ONLY issue we had was that the pre-purchased Arcade credits were not properly applied to our kids' sea passes and there is no way to figure out arcade balances other than stopping by Guest Services or manual computations. Service at all specialty restaurants and bars was excellent. MDR service wasn't bad. It was slower than I would expect, but I am not one to eat in 45 minutes and run off. A 90 minute full service meal is more than acceptable. Ship Condition Did I mention that the Princess Ruby ship in front of us was rust stained and looked dilapidated? Ovation was immaculate! Enough said. Activities and Entertainment Enjoyed all of the shows and trivia. We did Flowrider, Ripcord, Bumper cars, Northstar....pretty much did everything. I highly recommend Northstar at a port and not at sea. We did it twice, once at port in Seattle and once at sea. Nothing much to see at sea. Ripcord by iFly was simply AMAZING. Do it. All ages. Do it. Internet We had one surf and stream and one basic. Get basic. Either way, internet is slightly better than DSL from 2005. Complaints A. Stupid people. B. Dumb people. C. Some public toilets did not flush automatically and were inconvenient when I forced my kids to poop outside the room in the public restrooms. D. Nothing to do from 4am to 6am. E. Too much to do from 8am to 11pm. F. Either Pixels has two different versions, or I fell asleep at the first one. My friends showed me pictures of the second showing and it looked quite different than ours. G. Make Solarium pools aged 25 plus please! Too many teenagers and college kids. It was gross. Spent more time in the indoor pool with little kids and enjoyed it more. HIGHLIGHTS, KEY TAKEWAYS and TIPS 1. Got to meet Chris Wong. Nice guy. 2. Stop gambling while you are ahead. I made out with winnings of about $370 from penny slots. Not bad. 3. Take advantage of the trivia games in between activities and meals. It is a waste of time to go back to your room for 30 minutes and come back out. 4. If you get the Food packages, RESERVE AS SOON AS YOU BOARD! We saw too many people complain about wait lists because no reservations. 5. If you are unsure of the Deluxe Beverage Package....I drink one glass of wine or beer a month. Period. On the cruise, I had at least 4 cocktails, one beer, one glass of wine, and 3 specialty Americano or Lattes each day. On top of that, I had one soda a day and took back 4 bottles of water to the room each day. It is worth the money to get a package. 6. Find the secret spots early. The outside seating at Windjammer ALWAYS had seating, and we spent breakfast there while the ship's back was turned facing Dawes Glacier. Trust me. Also, Deck 5 next the the Art Gallery, but aways from the smoking section...chairs facing the ocean and unusually warmer than most places on the ship considering its outside seating. Grab a glass of wine from the Wine bar and sit here to relax. Quiet and peaceful. 7. READ THIS ONE. Finding whales and other sea life....Watch the TV channel that tells you where you are and shows the ship's front camera. While watching, you will often see streaks of water (wake) left behind by dolphins, orcas, or whale....then grab your binoculars and look outside, you will see them passing! Great way to find sea life. 8. BIGGEST TIP FOR ALASKA RIGHT NOW! DO NOT OVER PACK. We each had one carry one rolling suit case and a back pack. Wore suits and dresses on formal nights. You do not need all of that clothing. You simply do not. Pay $35 to have underwear and T-shirts washed. Its cheaper than checking in suitcases on the plane. Plus, our flights home were cancelled twice and we were lugging around our luggage alot of that time. Thank God we packed light. You do not need all of that clothing. HUGE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU AND MATT for making this trip so amazing despite Covid, anxiety, the long wait, staffing shortages (which we experienced none), and despite raining the entire 13 days we were in Alaska or Seattle. Thank you!
    32 points
  7. Tasteless food... isn't that a symptom of CV?
    32 points
  8. 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!
    32 points
  9. 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.
    31 points
  10. CHRIS WONG

    We Finally Met!

    Matt and I finally met! Chris Wong VLOGS meets Royal Caribbean Blog!
    31 points
  11. I got to meet and talk with Michael Bayley last week. The President of our company is so nice! As you can imagine he is a very busy man, so I couldn't speak to him for too long, but thankful he wanted to be in my vlog.
    30 points
  12. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't understand the intense level of negativity of some reviews. I spent many years unable to enjoy "luxury" vacations and now, as I am finally able to pursue my love of cruising, I try to look for the best in every cruise I take. Not every ship is for every traveler. Some want the bells and whistles, some want more intimacy. Bashing one ship or another because it doesn't meet your expectations seems pointless. I've seen many complain about the smaller, older ships yet my husband and I LOVE the smaller, older ships. We don't care if the wood trim is a bit outdated, if the furniture shows a bit of wear, or if there's no ice-skating rink or extravaganza-type entertainment. We get that these smaller ships are not for everyone, but I don't understand the hostility in some reviews. On the flip side, we hate the mega-ships with their millions of bells and whistles, but just because those ships are not for us doesn't mean they aren't great for those who are seeking that kind of vacation. There are folks who have legitimate complaints - issues arise and when they do they should be addressed and rectified as best as possible - but in reading some of the things people say, I get the impression that they will look for fault everywhere. Those folks will never be satisfied. When I'm on a ship, I'm not sitting in my own living room, I'm not sitting in traffic, I'm not being bombarded by news and media all day long, and I can forget the world for just a little bit. To me, that's everything. It doesn't have to be perfect. The crew works hard under very difficult conditions. I appreciate that and try to be kind in my interactions with them. I give extra tips even though tips are already included in most things. Bottom line is, I get back what I put in to my vacation. Just my two cents.
    30 points
  13. Level 1: It's T-minus 45. Got checked in and got my preferred time slot! I'll unnecessarily fret about how long it's taking to validate my vax card, but oh well Level 2: T-minus 30. Holy cow my luggage tags are ready. My luggage has dust on it in the garage and I'm not touching them for another 4 weeks but gosh darnit I'm printing these luggage tag right now! Level 2 isn't much more exciting than Level 1 but those luggage tags are some physical artifact that the cruise is near. Level 3: T-minus 2. My armpits are soaked from that 15 minutes of anticipatory hell constantly squinting and wondering "is that a second line or just an eyelash?", but the covid tests are negative. Level 3 is a Richter scale tier difference from Level 2. Level 4: Liftoff. On board the ship. My flights made it, I got a great absolutely terrible night's sleep at the hotel like a kid on Christmas Eve, and I got through check-in with no issues. Let the fun begin. Obviously Level 4 might as well be light years from Level 3.
    30 points
  14. Pooch

    Buffet service?

    I hope never! I prefer the staff handle the serving utensils. Sorry but people are pigs!!!
    29 points
  15. 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.
    29 points
  16. 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
    27 points
  17. I love the new member rant posts.
    27 points
  18. UPDATE: They repaid the whole amount 4 days after this post
    26 points
  19. People who gladly share their opinion that only certain size women should wear certain types of clothes and the boneheads that laugh with him (notably usually a man who has zero room to talk about someone else or ones that last succeeded at secondary school sports).
    26 points
  20. 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
  21. Just got back today from our first cruise ever on Oasis of the Seas, and it was hands down THE BEST vacation we've taken. Thanks to Matt, all his videos I watched, and all the advice from everyone here, we were fully prepared for everything.
    25 points
  22. He had a high fever and started coughing. I brought tests from home. Tested him and self reported it to the cruise line. Wanted to do the right thing by reporting it and trying to make sure no one else got it from us.
    25 points
  23. I want to read the post and understand, but it’s a giant wall of text. Paragraphs would help.
    25 points
  24. Fat shaming. FWIW, it only reflects badly on the person doing it.
    25 points
  25. I hope they make the casino non-smoking permanently.
    25 points
  26. 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
    25 points
  27. 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.
    25 points
  28. 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
  29. Have some perspective, covid today isn't covid of 2020. I have 4,500 employees, in 2020, a few died and about every 20th one to get covid was hospitalized, Many were in the ICU, it was no joke. In 2022, I've had over a thousand catch it this year not a single hospitalization. These last few weeks at any one time 100 have it, 10 a day come back, 10 go out, I give them all free 2 weeks of paid leave if they test positive and it does not come out of their regular leave balances so as to not encourage people working sick so it is not under reported and I get daily reports. In January this year me and my three Moderna shots, wore a mask, still caught it. Wife got it in June, same shots. So why would I give a a darn about covid, masks, or tests, we caught it six months apart, had our shots at the same time, still shared a bed while we were sick, still kissed goodnight and didn't even give it to each other either time. Just stop the testing, I'll walk into a covid ward and kiss everyone there, nothing can stop it and I am not afraid of it. Even the head of county USC hospital in Los Angeles (the furthest from right wing conspiracy theorists you can find), in a county reimposing masks said that almost nobody in the hospital with covid is in the hospital because of covid. It's over! P.S., my employees are about 65-70% vaccinated, in 2022 there is no discernible difference in their odds of catching it or how serious it is based vaccine status or mask wearing or prior infection, not in catching it or catching it twice. What was true on 2020 and 2021 is not applicable to 2022 My study, because of workman's comp is in depth and is as big or bigger than other studies you read online and from my data, nothing stops it and its no big deal if you get it. If you are on death's doorstep or scared to death, stay home. It's endemic and it is the common cold now, let's move on, nobody was wrong and nobody was right, stop blaming but do accept that it is over.
    24 points
  30. Matt

    Be like Chris Wong!

    Congrats to our friend @CHRIS WONG on being featured!
    24 points
  31. Maybe on embarkation day they’ll just gather everyone who’s interested in upgrading inside Boleros or similar venue and hold a bidding war like the art auctions. “How much am I bid for this two bedroom Grand Suite? Going once! Going twice!…SOLD!..to the inebriated deluxe-drink-package-holder who doesn’t realize what he’s just done and his wife is going to be a soooo pisssssed!”
    24 points
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. A basic and informative video on how Casino Royale works onboard our ships! I hope you guys find this information useful.
    23 points
  36. 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
  37. 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.
    23 points
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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.
    23 points
  41. This is a fan site, and not affiliated with Royal Caribbean. Nobody there will read your complaint. I doubt when they advertised the amplification of Explorer of the Seas (and Allure), they had no idea that the pandemic would hit and cause them to shut down for over a year and lose billions of dollars, making the amplification fiscally impossible. I would never consider that "false advertising". Personally, I'd go anyway. You haven't "lost the money". You are choosing to do so by not going on the cruise. You could still have a great time if you chose to do so. Good luck. (I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I sleep quite well at night).
    22 points
  42. I got notified of a charge on my Amex card today and I was wondering what the hell was this because I paid off everything Royal Caribbean…. and then find an email that my royal up bid was accepted for my move from a balcony to a grand suite... a grand suite! How awesome is that?!! A grand suite for a solo person. OK so what do I need to know?
    22 points
  43. I took my first solo cruise and my first Royal Caribbean cruise on the Feb 6 sailing out of Miami on Oasis of the Seas. What follows is a stream of consciousness list of thoughts, reflections, and recommendations. Reading other posts like these helped me prepare for my cruise, so I hope I can pay that forward. I apologize in advance for the novel! First some background about me. I am divorced, in my mid-30s, and have two young children at home. I am an outgoing introvert. I enjoy a little gambling, a little drinking, a little physical activity, and trivia and games. I am not a huge fan of shows or live music. I enjoy exploring on my own. Cruising solo was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I would highly recommend it to anybody, but particularly to people who can enjoy their own company. That being said, I was shocked at how easy it was to meet people on the boat. I exchanged numbers with at least 5 different people, and learned more names in a week that I did all year. The easiest way to meet people for me at least was during trivia games (ask to be on someone’s team), or just striking up a conversation at dinner (the tables are close together) or at the bar. I feel like everyone has their guard down and is much more willing to talk on a cruise, and it was easy to connect with people. I was invited to meals and to join people in their activities just about every day. I originally booked an interior cabin, but was lucky enough to get upgraded to a spacious oceanview balcony. I would not pay for the upgrade in the future, but that’s just me. I barely spent any time on the balcony. I would probably turn down an upgrade to a boardwalk or central park balcony, simply because of the lack of privacy. I don’t think the deck you’re on would make too much of a difference, but I loved being smack dab in the middle of the ship. Less foot traffic in front of my door, and I could get to both sets of elevators easily. I had a list of everything I wanted to do during the cruise before I even got on the plane. I didn’t plan out each day in detail, but the night before I would look at the Cruise Compass to see what was open and what was happening the following day. I made it a goal to do at least one of my “must do” things each day, and by day 6 I had done everything I set out to do. 1) Trivia: I missed the first day or two in my rush to see everything, and I wish I had been more willing to slow down on those early days and attend these. They were a ton of fun and a great way to meet people. Good variety of topics, with about half of the sessions being general trivia and the other half specialized, like name that Disney tune, Star Wars trivia, or TV theme songs. 2) Games: there were only a few games onboard, and I hope they increase the number as Covid restrictions roll back. We had Scattegories, Who Wants to Feel Like a Millionaire, and the Blankety Blank game (like Quiplash if you do Jackbox), and all were a lot of fun, even as a spectator. 3) Rock wall: I did this a few times throughout the cruise. The hours were fairly limited, and only one side of the ship was ever open. They will also close it for wind or rain. 4) Casino tournaments: I did both the slots and the blackjack tournament. They are a fun way to stretch $25 into a good amount of time if you spectate all the rounds. I don’t like the fact that Royal won’t increase the payout (or add 2nd and 3rd place wins) for a higher number of players. The re-buy, especially on slots, also adds to the feeling that it’s a money grab. But still fun. 5) Main Dining Room: I didn’t eat here until day 3, but once I did I was hooked. It’s basically like a free meal at Applebees or Outback Steakhouse every night. Service was excellent, food was on par with casual restaurants in the USA, selection was impressive. Don’t be afraid to go solo. I enjoyed eating here more than the Windjammer as a solo cruiser. I brought a book to read and it was very relaxing and enjoyable. I also don’t think I ever spent more than an hour at my table. 6) Escape Room: I lucked into doing this, as I hadn’t originally planned on it. I was invited to fill in a cancellation from one of the new friends I met on board. This was probably the most fun in a single hour I had all cruise. I’ve done a few escape rooms in the USA, and the one on Oasis blew them all away. The production values in the room are incredible, the puzzles were satisfying, and the way it is structured really prevents one or two people from monopolizing the entire room and running the show. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a puzzle or brainteaser from time to time and has a little bit of a competitive edge. The host also did a great job of dropping a few hints when we were getting close on time. Seriously, such a fun time. Book the escape room! 7) Flowrider: this was way harder than I thought it would be, but maybe that’s just because I’m a klutz. One thing to note – you should dedicate a decent chunk of time to this activity. You need to sign up at the kiosk by the Wipeout Bar, sign a waiver, and watch the safety video. Then you get in line. Each person gets a few minutes, so if there are 10 people in front of you (not uncommon) you might have a 30 minute wait. I only went once and then checked it off the list. 8) Water slides: these are actually a lot of fun! I thought they would be “token” slides for kids especially compared to what’s on Coco Cay, but I enjoyed them. Did each of them twice and then checked them off the list. 9) Magic show: this was decent, our magician was very theatrical and used a lot of humor, but he also had some of those “big props” tricks to go along with the standard card and rope tricks. 10) Stand-up comedy: I’m a huge fan any time, so I had to make sure I saw the shows. Both performers were solid, one better than the other, but I definitely enjoyed it! The adult show is *extremely* adult, so if you’re not a fan of raunchy bedroom humor, maybe stick to the family show. 11) Coco Cay waterpark: definitely worth what I paid ($45) especially considering the number of people in the park (virtually none). We were the only ship there, and with only ~3300 pax the island and the park felt downright empty. I was able to ride every slide with minimal waits. Not sure I would pay $90 to do it on a day with two full ships in port. The slides are great, so if you are a huge fan of water parks, factor that in. I missed having a lazy river. Maybe a future upgrade to the island. 12) Coco Cay floating bar: this is just too cool. I spent a few hours drinking here, and it is definitely worth the hike to South Beach and the swim out to the bar. Tuck some cash under your hat for tips and you might get treated to some mystery drinks as the bartenders empty out some bottles towards the end of the day. 13) Volleyball: this is my favorite sport to play, and I was able to do it on Coco Cay and on the boat. Pay attention to the Cruise Compass for the hours, because they don’t come around often. Good blend of casual and serious players, and we had a decent 5v5 and 4v4 going. Maybe don’t give 100% and dive for anything – on Coco Cay the sand is really rough with sharp shells and I am still dealing with a gnarly scab as I type this a week later. 14) Snorkeling: I was ambivalent about this, but when I saw the number of lifeguards stationed at floating platforms way out in the bay, I had the confidence to go ahead and rent some gear. Some interesting things to see, as well as a decent amount of marine life. Coco Cay blew me away, and I can’t wait to come back. Such a well-executed island. I love the resort/amusement park feel. If you are looking for a natural beach experience, you might be disappointed, though there are quiet spots. I rented a car in Roatan and hired a guide to ride shotgun. Really fun way for me personally to spend the day. I didn’t care to do any of the activities on the island, I just wanted to see the entire thing and explore a bit, and that is exactly what we did. I had a Toyota Land Cruiser which cost me $80 for the day. Plus the tip to the guide (plan on at least $100, double if you feel they earned it) and $10 worth of gas. Really cool experience driving around the entire island, which should only take a couple hours to do. I would highly recommend the guide I hired – fluent English speaker and has been at it for 13 years. Marcus Brooks from BIPTGA is his name. We also had plenty of time to fit in the zip lines or the chocolate factory or whatever, had I wanted to stop. I have always wanted to sail an Oasis-class ship since they were first launched, and I was not disappointed. The ship itself was incredible. It did not feel like it was as old as it is. Royal takes great care of their ships, and I struggled to find any flaws or signs of age. The entire ship was spotless and the crew kept is sparkling clean the entire week. I love the variety of free food offered onboard and did not feel like I was missing out on specialty dining. I did book Izumi Hibachi but feel conflicted about recommending it. The food was fantastic, but the show was mostly just a bunch of jokes and puns with a few very tame tricks. No fire, no incredible creations on the grill, and no food thrown into your mouth. I don’t feel it was worth the extra money. I spent most of my drinking time at the Globe and Atlas and at Vintages, depending on my mood. For a louder and more typical bar experience, Globe and Atlas can’t be beat. But I kept finding myself back in Vintages to recharge. There is never any live music in there, and what they do play on the speakers is quiet. The bar is a relaxed place that never got very busy, so I would drift back there often to read or just recharge (closet introvert here, remember). I purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package and while I do feel like I came out ahead, I certainly didn’t blow their margins out of the water. 7 days of heavy drinking was pretty exhausting, and I found myself holding off on that first drink until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I would definitely recommend the Refreshment Package, as I drank a ton of club soda and could grab a can of Coke or water whenever I felt like it. I also got a few non-alcoholic drinks, including juice from Vitality Spa and a smoothie and hot chocolate. Having the drink package also made me less inclined to drink in port, which I suppose is part of the cruise experience. I paid $58/day and would not pay more than this for the package for a 7 night cruise. I was able to try several new drinks on board, but at the end of the day booze is booze and I always fell back to my favorites. If you’re a tequila drinker, ask for Patron. The bottom shelf tequila is horrible. I suppose I would get it again at this price if I cruised solo in the future or with a drinking buddy, but certainly not with family. I made a decent donation to the casino, mostly on slots and blackjack. Stick to the $15 dollar tables as they pay 3 to 2 for blackjack. Splitting aces only allows one card, which is frustrating when you end up with a 13 and a 14. It was difficult to find a slot machine that offered the max payout for less than $2 a pull. They are there though, and I managed to hit a $625 jackpot on a 50 cent pull. Gave it all back, of course! I am a hiker and backpacker and there is a saying in that community of “Hike Your Own Hike.” The idea being that there is no right or wrong way to enjoy yourself in the woods. Skip a difficult part, go slow, take whatever heavy gear makes you happy, etc. I feel like this attitude should apply to cruising as well, so Cruise Your Own Cruise! What I mean by that is don’t be afraid to skip the things that you’re not really excited about. I know it’s probably shocking to some, but I never saw the Aqua 80 show, Cats, the ice show, or the headliner. I never sat and listened to any live music. I never got in a pool or a hot tub, and I never ate at a few of the free venues or ordered room service. These things just didn’t interest me, and there was always something else going on that I preferred doing. I have no regrets for missing these things, so don’t feel like there is anything you *must* do. Just follow your sense of adventure and go towards what interests you most. I can’t wait for my next cruise!
    22 points
  44. I'd like to hear this band and hear why they are smoking in the casinos
    22 points
  45. FINALLY!! The PROOF that this is RCI.
    22 points
  46. 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
  47. KLA

    Royal Up offers

    It was JUST accepted. We sail in two days. Junior Suite from OV balcony GTY!!!!
    22 points
  48. And my drydock is officially over!
    22 points
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