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lelms last won the day on September 11 2017

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  1. They offered to let passengers stay an extra day if they couldn't make travel arrangements, but I think they're goal was to empty it out and take Florida residents out to evacuate. I'm not sure they would have let people on the previous cruise stay because of flight cancellations etc. That being said, it's unclear if they donated the ship for the cause or if evacuees had to pay. Either way, I don't see them letting those from our cruise stay on the ship without paying for it. (Although if I had unlimited money and didn't have responsibilities back home, I gladly would have payed for a double dip)
  2. If you have any thrill seekers in your family, I recommend doing the Atlantis Adventure in Nassau! It includes shuttle service, lunch, and access to pretty much all of the resort. You'll have access to the beach, water slides, pools, and aquarium. Theres also a casino and shopping area if that's your thing. We were there from 9am-7pm. Just a word of warning, there will be a LOT of walking involved, and they do not accept cash at the resort. Also you should plan to arrive at least a day before you embark if you're able. That way if something happens with your flight, you won't miss your cruise! Flying and getting on the ship all in the same day is a bit intense, IMO.
  3. We sailed out of Miami on Monday Sep 4th for a 4 day cruise to what was supposed to be Nassau, Coco Cay, and The Keys. At that time the hurricane was in the Atlantic and we were not too concerned due to the uncertainty of how it was going to behave in the coming days. Besides, we were confident the captain and RC's meteorologists were watching the storm closely, and we would just change itinerary if needed. On Tuesday Sep 5th we docked in Nassau and spent the day at Atlantis. We got the package on RC's website and it was a better experience than we were expecting! The slides, pools, and facilities were extensive, and we had access to their private beaches, casino and aquarium on site. We got to spend the entire day there from 9am to 7pm with shuttles leaving every 30 minutes to take us back to the ship. It was well worth it in our opinion! Unfortunately later that evening, the captain came on the intercom to tell us Coco Cay and The Keys were being evacuated, and we would be staying in Nassau overnight. Everyone on board was obviously disappointed, but the tension and nervousness could be felt for the entirety of the cruise. There was a huge line at guest services after the initial announcement, partially for refunds and partially questioning our safety. For us, we decided it was out of our control, to trust the captains judgement, and enjoy ourselves as much as we could. The next day (Wednesday) we got another announcement on the intercom from the captain. We would be staying another day in Nassau but would cut our cruise short. We would begin our return to Miami that evening as the city was beginning evacuations. Commence another ship-long line to guest services with people in varying degrees of distress. Everyone had their own situations, but for us, we were planning to stay in Miami through Friday and fly home Saturday afternoon. Hearing forecasts that the storm would hit Friday or Saturday, we were almost positive our flight would be cancelled, not to mention our hotel closed. RC opened all the phone lines for us to make international calls without being charged. They also offered anyone who could not make travel arrangements to stay an additional night docked in Miami through Friday morning, the original time we were supposed to leave. That night we got a notification that our flight was cancelled and there were no room on earlier flights. Our hotel called us to say they would be evacuating and could not honor our reservations. I'll admit I felt the panic welling up at that point. We were being dumped in an evacuating city with no where to stay and no way to leave. After calling home to my dad, he went online and arranged a car rental from MIA to drive home to Cleveland, Ohio. In the moment, I was angry we were going back to Miami. We overheard angry cruisers saying we should have left Nassau for Miami earlier, or they should have sailed away from the storm, not in the path of it. How would it make sense to drop a bunch of tourists in an evacuating city with no where to go with a hurricane coming? Later I realized there were Florida residents on the ship that had to prepare their houses and meet with their families. Others that drove from other places that had their car parked by the dock. I came to the resolution that we took a risk taking a cruise this time of year and once we disembarked, I alone could be responsible for my own safety. Thursday morning we chose to disembark, everything riding on the car rental. Sailing up to Miami was eerie. Few cars were on the roads, resorts and beaches were deserted. We joined the line to get through customs, people in line still calling their airlines and trying to make arrangements. Once we left the terminal, there was a roped off area of taxi companies yelling at us like paparazzi that they would take us to the airport. They were playing off our fears, but it was working. It was chaos and the air started to feel panicked. We jumped into a nearby taxi and decided anywhere would be better than staying there. We drove through nearly empty roads to get to the airport car rental area, which was very busy, but to our relief, had a car reserved for us. We set off and ran into some serious traffic by Daytona Beach. Hundreds of thousands of people trying to go North. The first time we stopped for gas, they were empty. Nervousness set in as we drove off the beaten path a bit to find a gas station that had just been filled up, the worker starting to open pumps again. We got lucky. There was a line of cars waiting and people filling red gas containers. To avoid traffic, we drove through the night until we couldn't stay awake anymore, pulling into a rest area literally packed with cars. I don't think I'll ever forget what we saw there. We saw people with elderly and disabled parents, children, babies, dogs and cats. People with U-hauls and trailers. All these people prepared to lose everything. I could no longer complain. We drove up onto the grass and slept for about 2 hours. The drive home ended up being 26 hrs with traffic. I was grateful for my time spent at the beach and in the sun. I enjoyed the drinks and food on the ship and appreciated everything the staff did to make our trip fun despite the circumstances. We got refunded for the day we missed and the excursions we didn't go on. The staff remained professional and calm in the midst of stressed and angry customers. I will definitely be going on another cruise to get the complete experience, just not during hurricane season.
  4. Also, I've been inspired by the live bloggers to either do a day by day recap or do an overall review at the end to help others first timers.
  5. We'll be sure to explore the ship thoroughly! I looked at a cruise compass someone uploaded from Enchantment, but there didn't look like there was anything worth going out of our way for. I will, however, be on a mission to discover each and every bar on the ship...
  6. This will be my first cruise as an adult (second overall) and my SOs first ever. I'll admit I'm a super-planner and like to be over prepared. The SO... not so much lol. Chilling out and going with the flow will be my ultimate challenge this trip!
  7. Thanks! I got my passport and did the Set Sail online. I'll definitely pack my swimsuit in my carry-on now. Great advice! With all the fun things planned I wasn't really thinking about details like this.
  8. Hi all! My SO and I will be leaving for our first cruise through the Eastern Caribbean in t-minus 30 days, and we're getting pretty excited/nervous! I've been doing tons of research lurking on the message boards and have everything planned out as follows: -One night stay in Miami before embarkment -Deluxe Oceanview room with balcony -Deluxe drink package for two, plus dinner package to specialty restaurants -Checking out Atlantis in Nassau (SO loves water parks) -Beach Bungalow in CocoCay -Free day in Key West -Hang out one more night in Miami before our flight home. Just wanted to open up to last minute advice or general good-to-know tips! Should we buy scuba masks for Coco cay? Anything particular things we should do in Miami? Anything we *must* see/experience?
  9. Thanks for all the responses. I was looking at pictures and we have a lot of tourist-trap-like bars where we live, so it doesn't seem like we'd be missing much. But I guess theres no harm in just checking it out. Can't know unless we try, right?
  10. Hi all, we're a first-time cruising couple in our 20's planning to go on Enchantment of the Seas this September. We were looking over different shore excursions for Key West, but none of them seem to be a good fit for us. Some museum/aquarium tours might be okay but I'm not sure if it'd be worth the trouble of disembarking. Would it be better to book some spa treatments and enjoy the ship all to ourselves that day? Or would we be making a mistake missing Key West? Thanks in advance!
  11. Another first-time cruising couple here, planning a 4 day cruise on Enchantment of the Seas. We plan on doing some serious relaxing at CocoCay, but there are three different cabana options we're wrestling with. 1. Ocean View Cabana: Enclosed wooden-hut with couch, lounge chairs, floating beach mats, snorkel equipment, and lunch. $216 2. Beach Bungalows: Roofed area with couch, lounge chairs, floating bath mats, and lunch. $149 3. Beach Bed: Roofed area with bed. Includes floating bath mats and lunch. $125 We're both in our 20's. The quieter the better. Easy access to a bar would be nice. I'd like to know what kind of experience other cruisers have had and what might be the best fit for us. Thanks in advance!
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