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  1. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Madelyn D in Giving a Cruise as a Gift   
    My husband and I didn't find out where we were going on our honeymoon until we got to the airport.  It might be fun to tell him you're taking him on vacation, but making him wait until you're at the airport before telling him where he's going. It's like 2 surprises in 1. 
    We were told: we needed passports, it was going to be warm, we needed to pack watershoes, that we were flying delta, and what time to be at the airport (not even what time our flight was so I couldn't check flights and cheat) 
  2. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Personal Wine   
    When I bring wines I tend to bring screw top wines.  There are some really good ones now especially from AU and/or NZ.
    I was at a nice restaurant at a marina in Chesapeake Bay one time.  Our young waitress was struggling to open the bottle we ordered fumbling with the cork screw for several minutes as she answered menu questions.  Finally I asked if she needed help with the wine.  Her relief at my offer quickly turned to embarrassment when I simply twisted the screw top off.    Poor girl...
  3. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to murph in AOTS Cabins 1100-6   
    Hello.  My family and I (husband 2 kids) are on the Adventure of the Seas this summer.  We booked a Jr. Suite and were assigned room 1100.   After we booked  I realized the rooms were not even built yet. With only a few rooms up there, I figured it wouldn't be too loud during the hours that we are actually in the room.  We have bigger kids so they don't need to nap or anything. My husband and I have cruised a long time ago, but the kids have never been.  We are really looking forward to it!  Cant wait to see the pics of the ship after the dry dock. 
    On a side note, I have been reading the blog and the messages on this board.  What a great source for info!  I think all of the questions I would have asked, have already been answered!  If  I think of anything else, I know where to go.
  4. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from Lovetocruise2002 in Flights to Europe   
    Guess they can't be Royal of all things. I mean there's a lot the British Royals can't do either  
  5. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Personal Wine   
    I don't always take selfies, but when I do, that is a selfie I could see myself taking.
    Neither.  Mine is always full. 
  6. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to accio7 in Soda package discounted   
    Thanks for confirming, probably 25% is max discount for this package then. Better than nothing! 
  7. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in The "90-day flight pricing rule" is validated again   
    Maybe with that GoFundMe page I could live up to that expectation!
  8. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in The "90-day flight pricing rule" is validated again   
    Nope, @twangster would have all that and about a dozen more in between lol.
  9. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Refreshment Package question   
    I agree but have always found it ironic that the drink cups they provide suggest otherwise:

    If they don't want people to share, the cups shouldn't instruct you to do just that. 
  10. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Flights to Europe   
    Depending on your itinerary choice, it is understandable that you may need to look elsewhere.  If I ever take that south america cruise, I might have to look at another line as well.
  11. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to JLMoran in Flights to Europe   
    And here I've been looking at the offerings from HAL for a Norwegian fjords or Iceland cruise in 2020 (using the current 2019 offerings as a reference point). Funny how a company named Holland America Line would have all the really good northern European routes locked up! 
    It is kind of nuts -- HAL's offerings for Norway and Iceland are typically 14 nights minimum (with 21 night sailings offered that are really just a B2B on a 14 and 7 night itinerary), have at least three or four sailings for any given itinerary over the late spring to early fall months, and visit a ton of ports and scenic locations, usually with at least one overnight. Meanwhile, RCI has virtually bupkis to either Norway or Iceland, and most of those are short 7-night sailings that don't in my mind justify the expense of either the cruise or the flight across the ocean. Even weirder is that X has even less on offer than Royal, and X is supposed to be the premium line with more exotic offerings!
  12. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Grand Cayman   
    We usually walk to Paradise to go snorkeling.  You're basically getting the same snorkeling spots as many of the paid snorkeling excursions and the charge is very reasonable.  You get a place to sit all day and you can order food if you get hungry !
  13. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Flights to Europe   
    @marymcpherson and @LetsTryThisTech you aren't the only ones.  I'll be cheating too this summer on the MSC Seaside.  For pretty much the same reasons.  Don't get me wrong, I love RC but I am also biased to newer, mainly Oasis class ships.  So with Symphony not in NA yet, I priced out the cost of sailing Harmony again (which hubby wasn't too keen on) and also the yacht club on Seaside and the cost of the YC was considerably lower that even the cost of a JS on Harmony.  That, combined with a 10% teacher's discount, made in sort of a no-brainer.  I still have my Harmony reservation as a Plan B.  Final deposit is due in April.  Reading reviews on the Seaside like crazy right now and waiting to hoping to hear back from some others on this board (like @L454S, @jticarruthers, @ryan.aubin or anyone else that I am forgetting or not aware of) to see if it is worth it to give it a try.
  14. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to marymcpherson in Flights to Europe   
    @LetsTryThisTech Thats exactly what i found! Not sure if it was because we'd left it until now to look but Royal was like $600 pp more for basically the same itinerary as MSC or Princess. We're surprising my dad for his 60th, and my and my brothers couldn't justify the extra money for basically the same thing. Figured we'd go with the cheaper option and spend an extra day in Athens and Barcelona before and after the cruise!
  15. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Barbara in Flights to Europe   
    I just booked a round trip flight to Rome  from Philadelphia in October, British Airlines, through Air2sea for $739. Direct flight to Rome one stop on the way back. Looking online the flights were over $1000. Maybe it will be less months from now, but I liked the times and thought the price was reasonable.
  16. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to KathyC in Refreshment Package question   
    No packages are shareable.  They are meant to be used by the person buying the package and them only.  It's the people who violated the policy that ruined it for the rest of us and now force us to "all or none" buy the drink package.  
  17. Love
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to joost in When is your next cruise?   
    its from march 3 to march 11 im on the list for 11 march now
    just 34 days left 
  18. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to mworkman in Personal Wine   
    I've heard all about your infamous wine glass. ???

    But is your glass half full or half empty ?
  19. Haha
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Lauren in Personal Wine   
    I don't know whether to laugh or just shout NO!!   I just read a post on Facebook that said if you leave an open bottle of wine in your stateroom and the cabin steward sees it, they will charge you a corkage fee. They are also recommending you never throw the empty bottles away in your cabin or the steward will charge you the corkage fee. The OP was telling people to carry the empty bottle to the nearest trash can outside their cabin and to be sure they hide the open bottle or finish it in one sitting. Now...  I, personally, am not a wine drinker, but I have to think that most people reading those posts will believe them and I will see empty wine bottles everywhere I look! 
  20. Thanks
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from twangster in Anthem 1/19/18 9 Night Bahamas   
    Thanks, @twangster for a great live blog. Gets me so excited about our cruise coming soon. I got some practising to do but looking forward to sharing my cruise. 
  21. Thanks
    LetsTryThisPlace got a reaction from Lovetocruise2002 in Refreshment Package question   
    1) Only whoever wants it needs it.
    2) There was a discount on the last sale but back to regular price (still cheaper than onboard)
    3) I am pretty sure it does (will confirm on my March 3rd cruising.
    4) Will confirm on my March 3rd cruising.
  22. Love
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Anthem 1/19/18 9 Night Bahamas   
    7:37am bag checked and through security, seated in the Delta lounge at Terminal B EWR.
    I had a bit of wait for a Lyft ride as the closest driver was finishing up a ride before coming to get me, other wise I would have been about 15 minutes faster.  Sunday morning, no traffic.
    Cruise Summary
    It was interesting to sail into Miami and be on the inaugural visit.  Getting a glass block on this cruise will remind me of this visit to Miami every time I look at it.
    Missing CocoCay was of course a bummer but I knew that was a distinct possibility when I booked.  Bring on the pier!
    I actually never left the ship the whole cruise. The ship was the destination.  
    Seeing both Nick Weir's presentation and later in the cruise the backstage tour of the Royal Theater has given me new insight and respect for the entertainment that Royal produces for its ships.  I'm going to make a bigger effort to take in some of the broadway musicals I might otherwise have skipped.  Maybe even Cats (or at least half of it).  I know some people especially in North East wish that Anthem would get different shows but I have a much understanding now why logistically its not possible to move shows between ships more frequently.  Anthem is well suited to winters in NYC and no other class of ship would work as well there in the colder months.
    I was very pleased to be able to use my balcony on the last day even as far North as we were in January.  Pleasant surprise.  I used to question why on earth would I fly to NYC to cruise when Florida is so much closer to the Caribbean but since I love sea days I've gotten over that.
    Nine nights was too short and I regret not doing a B2B this time however that would mess up my Symphony glass block strategy so...
    The changes to the diamond lounge and Music Hall were at first a disappointment but as it turns out those bartenders knew me and served many of us that remained loyal to this bar as if it was still the diamond lounge extension it used to be.  Tipping them for each drink certainly helped.  I figure if I'm getting free drinks and avoiding the cost of a drink package what's a handful of dollars each night?  They were great bartenders who kept our glasses full.  Loyalty does pay (as does tipping).
    Cruising solo comes with a tendency to interact with the crew more.  I continued to meet new crew and this morning as I stood in the self-carry line to disembark my cabin attendant from my last cruise more than 30 days ago remembered me and came over to say hello.  I still haven't met a grumpy crew member.  Even our diamond concierge who lost his uncle back home while we were in Nassau put on a brave face and executed his duties without missing a beat. 
    Given the gratuity increase this year I decided not to leave a cash tip for my cabin attendant in addition to the auto gratuities.  Half the time I told him not to service my cabin and when he did it was pretty quick as I'm not a messy person.   
    I'll be back on Anthem one day and I'm looking forward to meeting her sister next January.  Until then, bring on Liberty!
  23. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to Rose City Cruiser in Soda package discounted   
    The only times I see it discounted is if you purchase the Soda and Voom wifi combo package.  
  24. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Anthem 1/19/18 9 Night Bahamas   
    Wines Around the World Tasting
    I booked this before sailing for $17.70.  It was originally scheduled for day 8 but moved to day 9 for an undisclosed reason.

    Wines included:
    Chandon, Brut "Classic", California, USA Empress Sissi, Gruner Veltliner, Austria Château D'Aussièrers, Chardonnay, France Adega Dom Antonio, Reserva Blend, Portugal Oberon, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, USA Several types of cheese were offered. They were used to sample each wine both before cheese and with cheese to illustrate how food dramatically impacts flavors perceived.
    It was an interesting presentation.  I'm glad I did it as I learn a little more about my palette. I didn't see this event offered on board, only a Caymus tasting for $50.
  25. Like
    LetsTryThisPlace reacted to twangster in Anthem 1/19/18 9 Night Bahamas   
    Entertainment Backstage Tour
    At noon there was a backstage tour of the main theater.  This is presented by two members of the technical crew as well as the dance captain for the theater.  There is a separate dance captain and cast for Two70°.
    It was interesting to hear from the technical folks who are behind the scenes as well from one of the cast.
    For Broadway shows like We Will Rock Rock the cast has an eleven month contract.  The first two months are spent in Miami at the Entertainment studios for Royal Caribbean.  Following two months of preparation they move to a ship and begin a nine month run for the shows.  The main theater on Anthem has a cast of 24 and they remain together for those eleven months coming to and leaving the ship as a group.
    After a short Q&A session we were escorted backstage.  It was interesting to see bits and pieces of The Gift and We Will Rock You put away in storage until they are needed again.


    With the stage ready for tonight's Going Away show most of the sets for the other shows are secured and will be behind curtains during the show tonight waiting to be set-up once again next cruise.

    Here they show one of the wigs used during We Will Rock You.

    Luis the stage manager will be moving to Symphony soon.  He's been with the company for 15 years and has moved between a number of ships and has been involved with a number of shows.  His least favorite is Cat's because there is very little to do during the show with just four cues he needs to hit over two and half hours.  On a show like We Will Rock You he is constantly busy with cues and there is little time between them so he is constantly busy which he prefers.

    Luis explained it takes around 4 weeks to move a new set onto a ship and at least two weeks to dismantle one to move it off ship.  Everything comes to the ship in small pieces and they have to re-assemble it on board.  When Mama Mia was moved between ships he was sent to dismantle the set which took four weeks in that case.  It's very complex to coordinate because each venue offers multiple shows and there is limited storage between performances so it's not so easy just to move a show from one ship to another as it takes great planning to figure out where everything will be stored between performances.  
    As such the average Broadway show runs a minimum of 5 years to recover the costs involved in both cast and sets.  
    In May the next cast of We Will Rock You arrives to replace the current on board cast.  They'll begin dress rehearsals in Miami next week as they begin to get ready to take the show over. During the transition both casts will be on board.  The new cast will execute dress rehearsals  until Luis is satisfied they are ready to assume the show safely.  The cast does both The Gift and We Will Rock You so they focus on one show first, then when they have proven themselves ready to assume that show, they begin to practice the other show during the day until they take over that show as well.  Only at that point does the previous cast leave the ship.    
    The studios and stages in Miami are common to all shows across the fleet so at any given moment there are many different casts all preparing to move to a ship to relieve the current cast on board every ship.  It's quite an operation when you think about not only the Broadway shows, but Aqua Theater show, Ice Skating shows, Aerial shows and shows like Columbus the Musical, 1887 or The Gift.  All of these shows have multiple casts rotating onto ships, taking breaks between contracts them returning to Miami to start the cycle all over again.
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