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Everything posted by Irieman

  1. https://presscenter.rclcorporate.com/press-release/85/royal-caribbean-anuncia-suspensioacuten-global-de-cruceros/ Everyone be safe, smart and calm. We will be sailing again soon.
  2. Although many will be disappointed I am sure that what is happening Is close to worst case scenario for the cruise industry. On the bright side, from past comments, the boardwalk rooms will have a better view of the ocean, maybe the full Sabor stays and is unique. Less rooms means slightly less people. An Oasis class ship as originally intended. Just trying to stay positive as my 2 day romantic getaway on Celebrity has been cancelled.
  3. Thanks @monorailmedic for all the info. I booked the April two day cruise as a weekend get away. We are looking forward to trying Royal's sister cruise line. Thought we would wait until Diamond status to branch out but the deal and timing was perfect! Not putting the March to Diamond on hold. This is just a bonus weekend that we would not have done. 47 days and counting!!
  4. Thanks all for the comments. We have recently move to Florida so I'm thinking of booking a 2 nighter as a Valentine's day surprise gift 💞 Now just have to decide on the different cabin classes 🙂
  5. I have been on seven RC cruises and swore that I will forge ahead on RC until Diamond status. At that point with status being recognized O thought I would branch out to Celebrity. Well, the cruise bug has caught me and I am looking at 2 day get aways to carry me over until my next week long cruise. Have others been on such short cruises? Was it worth it to you? Any suggestions pro or con would.be appreciated? Thanks.
  6. Note: I love live blogging but did not during my EOS Western Caribbean 7 day cruise so I thought I could create a few review type posts... Here it goes! We always like to do something new so scootering seem like a good fit. Plus we never been completely around the island so this adventure seem to be perfect to check off both. A quick Google review let us to a local scooter rental place just off of the Town Center. Pepian rental is run by a single gentleman named Jesus. Just as the reviews said, he was helpful, friendly, and rented equipment that was top notch. We didn't haggle as we thought $30 for the entire day was more than fair. Off we went on a single scooter with general directions to get us to the other side of the island. Driving with straightforward with simple controls and you need to shift gears. I had never driven a scooter and was able to get the hang of it and just a couple minutes. After about 10 minute drive we hit the Caribbean side of the island. What a beautiful landscape with breaking waves along the coast and unique scrub vegetation 4 miles in front of us. Every few miles there was either beach club or bar if you wanted to stop. We took a few breaks and a lot of photos. Ticket when we rounded back to the busier Westside we stopped at Alberto's for a nice relaxing lunch right on the beach. After exploring some of the neighborhoods we also stopped at Carlos Beach club. The building was wonderful but the beach chairs were a little tight and beat up. Still, in both places the food was delicious and the service was top-notch. Back on the scooter we shot by the cruise piers and headed back into town. Glad I had the few hours on the scooter as we were definitely part of the typical traffic it's the city. Honestly, I always felt safe and in control during our 25 or 30 mile round trip. I know that this excursion it's not for everyone but it ranks with some of the best that we have done. The ability to be in control of your time and your destinations while enjoying the wind in your face was an A+ experience. Let me know if you have any questions! Over the next couple days I'll review what we did on our stops in Belize, Roatan, and Key West. I do hope that these reports are helpful.
  7. Hello all - I first discussed plant based options on this blog last September when RC released the new vegan menu in the MDR. The experience then on Majesty was top notch. They treated us like everyone else ordering at the same time and getting our food timed with the regular menu. The food was spectacular and resulted in the tables next to us wanting to know what we were eating. Those high expectations were not met on Empress terms of the vegan menu. The first two nights the food was a half hour behind and they asked us to order the night before. It may seem reasonable but does change the whole dynamic. Hard to explain plus it didn't speed up service with us still be served way late. In addition, the same menu items from the earlier cruise were not created in the same way and were not nearly as good. Long story short, the incredible wait staff noticed and got Richard, the MDR manager involved. The next five nights were a treat. Richard made suggestions of plant based possibilities from both the regular, vegan menu, and other off menu items. He insisted on serving us each night. Even the head chef, Karl came out one night to find out how the vegan menu could be improved. (honestly, that was a bit intimidating) My final plant based advice on Empress is just ask. Empress, being small with limited space do have milk substitutes, veggie burgers, etc out on the buffet so you just need to request them. Everyone was happy to get the options for you. To be clear, the Empress of the Seas didn't disappoint anywhere else and was simply magical. Certainly, the smallest ship with the biggest heart!
  8. So excited to almost be back in cruise mode. We will be in an aft cabin and looking forward for a totally different ship experience than the Oasis and Freedom classes. Never embarked out of Miami so looking for any tips on: - parking. I see that it's $22 a day but there seems to be off site parking for under 10 with shuttle. Anyone have experience with either? - does Empress use the new terminal? I know we are set up for face recognition so it made me wonder. - this isn't a port question but as you know we are plant based eaters and have loved the special vegan menu cards. Being the smallest ship, can anyone confirm that EOS is also doing those menus? That's it for now! I was thinking of live blogging as I have done the last couple of years but Empress has been covered so well as of late. Not sure I can add more to the conversation. Guess it will depend on if I can contain my excitement. 😀
  9. As of 12/18/19 this was the list in the Google Play store. Just checked in using it for my January Empress cruise. Passport and photo uploaded so I can't wait to walk right on to the ship!
  10. Exciting times to be on an Oasis class ship. Life boats are on deck 5 so count up three balcony levels from them and you will find deck eight. Hope that helps.
  11. Just posted about a favorite quiet spot on Freedom being turned into rooms. Now the Oasis Sundeck will be gone. Well, I love panorama OV rooms so I may have to try one out. Still, I will miss the hide away sun deck and telescopes. Photos from Oasis last September. 😀
  12. I do understand the need to add rooms and in theory it keeps the price down. Most times they are added to space that I don't use but I will miss the quiet space forward of the Solarium. (On either side) If my memory is correct, RC is taking away the 20 or so chairs accessed through glass doors. It was fully windowed so out of the weather and wind but full ocean view. I remember being treated to a mini Barbershop quartet concert as we sailed with a large group of them a few years back. Still, Freedom will remain one of my favorite ships!
  13. I can help with Maine as I have lived here for 25 years. Portland - very walkable small city. You are right in the old port area that is a mixture of shops, restaurants, and yes, brew pubs. You may want to take a morning tour that will take you aroind town and to some light houses and walk the cobblestone streets of the old port. Tip -If you have a chance to climb the last remaining N.E. ship signal observatory on a tour, go for it. It's unique with an incredible history. Bar Harbor - Home base to the northeast's only National Park. It's an amazing place were the ocean meets not only the rocky coast but the mountains rising up to 1500 feet from sea level. If at all possible go explore the park. You may be limited to the park loop road but there are enough stops to get a flavor of the park. The downtown is charming and very well kept. Tip - I have hiked up most of the peaks on the island but with time constraints, find a tour that drives you up Cadillac mountain. 360 degree views and your ship will look like a bath toy from up there. Enjoy!!
  14. I do not have first hand info as I have rented a car and another time, just took the water taxi. I can confirm the port has clearly posted prices at the taxi area with each destination having a seperate banner. By the clarity of price, it seems like haggling is at a minimum. I searched taxis on the island and came across this link http://taxistmaarten.com/ Love the island so enjoy!
  15. It's Love Beach. Found it researching the top beaches in Nassau on the internet. As far as I know there are two different types of places that give you access. There appear to be day passes at a full resort at the start of the beach. Not sure of the name but you could look it up. We went to Nirvana where a couple dogs roam , the chairs are cheap and on the old side, and the bar area is either relaxed or run down depending on your perspective. Same as getting there. Wait a bit and take the bus for $2.50 each way or grab a taxi for $25. As mentioned, we went for the "authentic" 😆 version but that's just us.
  16. So there it was... our 4 day Cuba cruise now changed to Key West and Nassau morphed again into a cruise to Nassau and we stay docked until 6pm the next day. As we stared at the paper announcement on our stateroom bed, it was just 100% disbelief. Granted we were only at Nassau once before and went straight to Segway around Blue Lagoon but Nassau is the place that people stay on board, complain about, and generally avoid. What transpired was a terrific two days there. First off we had already decided to take a tour bus exploration excursion to get an overview and some history. It was fast paced and covered a lot ground but most of all we noted places we wanted to visit in the afternoon. After lunch back at the windjammer, we walked to the Balcony House. It's the oldest wooden structure on the island. The tour was informative and free. From there we walked around that neighborhood reading history markers and slowly walking back down to the ship. A stop for ice cream on a second floor deck overlooking the harbor completed day one. Well, actually we ventured back out around 8 at night but most everything was surprisingly closed down. At no time did we feel unsafe or hassled beyond the typical vendors trying to get us into their stores on the main drag. Day two brought great weather so off to the local bus stop to grab the 10 or 12b bus that runs along the North shore of Nassau. The goal was to find a beach far enough away from the tourists and the beach peddlers. Mission accomplished with a half hour ride shared with locals going to work. Found a beach that started with just us there and topped off at about 12 other RC toting towel folks. It was 100% what we had wanted. The small bar had 5 dollar beach chairs, food and refreshments. It was more island charm than resort which fit us fine! Nassau wound up being a very pleasant surprise. Friendly locals, easy walking to historical sites, and an accesable public bus system to get you to the beach with some local flair! If we stop in Nassau again, which is a cruise ship given, we will no longer moan but look forward to creating an adventure.
  17. I started a thread a few months ago about thoughts of cruising with a plant based diet. At that time RC had just posted that they were making vegan menu options available in the main dining room. Now I can report back from my Majesty of the Seas experience. Good news for those thinking vegan choices would crowd out other choices on the menu. A separate vegan menu, really a four course meal with some choice is given upon request. It does not impact the main dining room menu at all. The food was delicious and different every night. It included a choice of appetizer and main course with a soup and dessert for you. Of course you can also order off of the regular menu if you find something there. On Majesty, there is a chef that is responsible for most of the choices and service was just about at the same speed with the rest of the patrons. Pictures are worth a thousand words so below are the menus and some food shots...
  18. Yes, it was because of rough seas. Boarded Majesty Saturday and upon getting to our state room, we received notification of a sea day followed by an overnight at Nassau. The captain sailed straight to the shelter of Grand Bahama but it was a fairly rough ride for a few hours. After that we went back and forth just south of the Island with the ship looking for the sunniest weather. Made for a great sea day. It did take a couple hours to get over the change, cause hey, this was supposed to be our Cuba cruise. Honestly, having a ball on the ship and love staying over. Not live blogging but will be posting my thoughts on Majesty and Nassau later on.
  19. Calling all experts! I am aware of purchasing gifts for others on their cruises but what is the best way to gift experiences such as the escape room or a ship tour. Specifically, my sister and husband are sailing their first cruise on Mariner in a few weeks. . Their children want to buy and surprise them with an escape room experience. What can I offer them as advice? Thanks in advance!
  20. Hi @FloridaCruiseGirl1210. I always do early bird check-in since SW reserves your spot within who purchased early bird first. So if you were the 30th person to buy early bird check-in you would be 45th to board. (The first 15 are reserved for business and those who want to pay even more) For me it's worth it not to watch the clock and try to get a low number based on the time I check in. Do note that there are still preboarders such as folks with wheel chairs so my scenario might not be absolutely true. Still, I have always felt that I had more than 2/3s of the plane available to to me at the worst using the early bird option.
  21. Matt recently posted a third party news article about vegan main dining room choices starting August 1st. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/08/02/new-vegan-menu-be-added-royal-caribbeans-main-dining-room#disqus_thread Can fellow bloggers confirm this is now across the fleet. My partner and I are 6 months in on being plant based and are thrilled with the health benefits. Having these choices just makes us more loyal to Royal!
  22. I know "stuff" happens but it was being rerouted twice in 4 months to Nassua that made us bail to the smallest ship with a big heart. If RC could have found a different subsitute port it would have kept us on AOS. It's all good and with Twangster's 14 day live blog on Empress, we are more than excited to be one with the sea!
  23. Just catching up on the replies right now as I'm in the middle of a 27 hour road trip from Maine to Florida. As I said we were very disappointed in losing Roatan as a port. We went through the multiple emotional stages of itinerary change and came up with a substitute sailing. For the same price we booked the junior suite on empress for the same week. The ports are Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, and Key West. I know we've gone from the largest class to the smallest ship but for us it's still YOLO. It's a chance to experience a small ship and a different type of cabin. At some point I'll start an empress tips and tricks thread to get some great advice it for now we'll just get excited!
  24. Sailing on AOS the end of Janaury and just got the dreaded broken propulsion email. I am a super optimistic guy who loves sailing once or twice a year but this is the second port switch to Nassau in a month. First rerouted from Havana on Majesty and now we won't make Roatan so back to Nassau. I am sure we will have a great time but Roatan was going to be a highlight. Seems like Nassau is the Bermunda Triangle of cruise changes.
  25. Hi LarryR - post on all the boards that you want but Royal is your best shot. They know who the customer was that was in the room the cruise before yours. Assuming it's of value, like jewelery, I would reach out to customer service and see if someone has been looking for it. If it's a $20 item the owner probably has written it off and you will.... throw it out.
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