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  1. Haha
    CruisinUngs got a reaction from JLMoran in Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3   
    Is that lifeboat falling off of that Disney ship? Lol
  2. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to betatke1480 in To all those doing live (or faux live) blogs this week...   
    I'll be coming off of 366 days of dry dock, so these last few are murderous...
  3. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Caterin Fox in Just back from Adventure 6 night (21/10/18)   
    We took a taxi from the airport to Port Everglades after returning the rental car, $23 and it took about 15 mins. We arrived at the port at about 9.30am and queues outside until 10am or thereabouts when checkin was opened. 
    We are Diamond Plus so used the priority lane and holding areas. All in all, we were on board just before 11am where were we greeted by my parents on deck 4. As with most cruises we had travelled light (1 x 11kg case, 1 x 13kg case) so chose to take our luggage on ourselves knowing we could store it in my parents stateroom. 
    We had been able to switch to 7390, a beautiful aft balcony, during the booking process. Having had lots of aft cabins before, this would be my son’s preferred choice every time even though it is described as ‘obstructed view’, the two loungers make it worth it for me whereas he loves the view of the wake. We have had everything from an inside to an owners suite over the years, very much depends on what’s about in the price bracket at the time thought recently I’ve been taking a snow sports winter holiday so that has curtailed our cruise budget. We haven’t cruised in a suite since Jacob started school and we have been bound by school holidays - if we cruise from the US, kids there may be in school making cruise fares lower however we get hammered on the air fare from the UK so it’s a case of balancing the whole thing. 
    We spent the first day by the pool, quick lunch in the Windjammer and an afternoon ice cream. That evening we had chops booked for 8pm. In advance, Royal had linked mine and my parents reservations for dining so when we all booked the 3 night dining package online in advance we were seated together. In reality, the 8pm slot was too late for Jacob but it was all we could get. After a conversation with Royal and an exchange of email, I knew that I had to visit Chops on embarkation day to get one of our two dining packages credited as there would be no charge for Jacob. I’d had to pay for two booking on line before the cruise though as it didn’t recognise him as a child for that purpose. This was easily done and the refund went towards our gratuities which i’d Elected to pay onboard. Quick trip to adventure ocean had Jacob registered for the cruise just in case and he got a lanyard for his Sea pass.
    Our cabin steward was friendly, greeting us just after 4pm when we transferred our luggage. Everything we needed was done quickly and to a good standard.
    The evening routine was the same every night for us, we met my parents in the Diamond lounge or Viking Crown At 6.30 ish and then took dinner at 7.30/8. I’d checked in advance that Jacob would be allowed in the lounge as on some ships, the policy is 18 and over during cocktail hours but on adventure with this concierge, it was fine. 
    In Chops, Jacob had mushroom soup and then just some of the shared side dishes. I had tuna to start then the goats cheese started as my main along with mash, asparagus few other bits. We retired before desert as we were both still a little jet lagged and ready for a good sleep.  

  4. Like
    CruisinUngs got a reaction from ellcee in To all those doing live (or faux live) blogs this week...   
    I feel extra spoiled as there are a few Anthem reviews and I leave for her in a month. It’s almost like you all planned this just for me! So kind 😉
  5. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to firebuck in Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3   
    Day 2 Continued
    We all decided to visit the Windjammer for breakfast this morning - the food was good, but boy was it crowded!  The only available tables were in the breezy, cold, aft outdoor seating area.
    After breakfast, we decided to explore the ship a bit more and see what all she had to offer.

    The Anthem really is a beautiful ship, but I've got to say - it seems to be the most crowded ship we've been on thus far. Since the weather is much nicer today, we figured the Pool area /Solarium would be crowded, but golly was that the understatement of the year!  My wife and I went back down to the music hall and found the self-leveling pool tables and played a round. We are both horrible at pool 😄
    We had reserved the Northstar for 11:00 AM today, but it had to be rescheduled due to winds - the only time they had left for us all to get on at the same time was day 7.
    After exploring the Seaplex for a bit, My wife and I went down and sat in 270 for awhile.  The views there are absolutely breathtaking. 

    Lunch in Cafe 270 opened around 11:30, so we grabbed a Kummelweck and some soup.  How do they make the bread taste so good??  We decided to check out cafe 270 for breakfast the next day.

    After was more exploring, and then more relaxing.
    The bartender at the Schooner bar insisted on taking my picture along with the oddly shaped bottle of rum that I wanted to try.

    Dinner tonight was in Chops.  The waiter suggested that he likes to bring out a small bowl of each side (a total of 8 ) for us to share family style.  My sister-in-law and I had the filet, my wife had the chicken, and my brother-in-law had the prime rib.  We all really enjoyed our meal tonight.

    After dinner we got changed and headed up to the Royal Theatre for "The Gift" at 8:45 pm.  The cast did a great job, but I was glad the show lasted only about an hour... I just didn't really get it.
    The cruise director, Drew announced that the Led Zeppelin tribute band was performing at 10 PM in the music hall, so we made our way over there to catch it.  The band was pretty good!  But after a bit we decided that it was getting late and we decided to turn in for the night, but not before a stop at Sorrentos - yes they've definitely improved over what I remember on Oasis.  Especially if you get a nice, hot slice right out of the oven.  Is it the best pizza I've ever tasted? Hardly... but it's some darn fine cruise ship pizza.

    Today is day 3, and we're due to arrive in Port Canaveral around noon.  We're heading to the Kennedy Space Center, and I've never been so I'm pretty excited.
  6. Love
    CruisinUngs reacted to Neaxan in LIVE - October 28 - November 9 - Barcelona to Miami - Bringing Symphony home   
    Here we go – embarkation day has finally arrived!
    The theme of the morning was speed – our taxi arrived 20 minutes early, but luckily we were mostly ready 😎 Cue us arriving at the terminal about 10 am, but no need to worry, we by far weren’t the first ones. Symphony used terminals B and C for boarding, docked between Norwegian Epic and Sapphire Princess. Funny thing: if you arrive in the port you only see the front of the ships at first – and from that perspective, Epic looked even bigger than Symphony due to the front upper deck design (and the strange dark painting on Epic). Only when you start to see Symphony’s length you realize how big she really is. Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures in the abysmal weather – we’re counting on Port Canaveral for that as the forecast for Malaga isn’t good either. At the terminal we got rid of all our luggage except my carry on with medication & medical aids. We stood in line for a minute for security and then got to check in immediately. Wow, placing the sea pass cards at the cabin doors works like a charm – we’ve never been checked in that fast! About 5 minutes from curb to the waiting area – and we didn’t even have expedited arrival.
    We entered Royal Promenade at exactly 11 am. What can I say? I guess you’ve already seen the big wow on first timer’s faces when they embark an Oasis class ship. Royal Promenade felt wider than some of the ships we’ve been on! Now was the time to put everything I learned from you great people into practice. 1st step: Dining reservations! As we’re on the 5 night package, we couldn’t do reserverations online. We got to the nearest desk and apart from a 10 minute pause due to IT problems (imagine my shock!), we were good to go in a breeze. Step 2: making sure we got all the entertainment reservations – done.
    After that, we decided to go the „Matt way“ – lunch in Windjammer. Wow, it was packed. We found 2 seats with a very nice couple from Texas and already experienced a massive pro of cruising with an international cruise line: you get to chat with people! We’re both introverts at heart so we’re not likely to start a conversation but we love to chat – that doesn’t work well on German cruise lines 😄 For lunch I only went with a salad but hubby had a got through the whole restaurant with his plate. His verdict: buffet food quality and selection is better than on TUI Cruises. No red velvet cake for dessert, but red velvet cheesecake – had to go with that for Sweety. We finished lunch a few minutes to 1pm, so off to the cabin next.
    Our cabin is an inside stateroom on deck 8 – all the way to  the front. We usually spend the money we save on the cabin for excursions – this being a transatlantic with only 2 ports, we’ve invested it in speciality dining and drink packages. We were quite surprised with the size of the cabin – it’s more than adequate and even the bathroom is quite good for us chunky types. Even better yet – when we got to the cabin we could already see our poison green suitcases down the hall. We took them and unpacked immediately – finished at 2.15 pm and we even got everything in closets and drawers, the suitcases all fit under the bed – not bad considering we’re travelling with 2 suitcases, 2 travel bags and 2 carry ons! We later found out we were the lucky ones – there have been a few luggage mix-ups with suitcases placed in front of the wrong staterroms.
    Some of you might remember from my older posts in other threads, that I had a „project zipline“ going on. I can report that I accomplished getting under the weight limit and managed to get on the zipline right before it closed for muster drill – proof in the pictures. Might do it again in better weather for better pictures. Next stop: Studio B for the German guests reception. There are actually German D+ on board who don’t even speak English – no idea how they manage as even we can’t understand all of the German menus and cuise compasses – right now we’re doing better with the English version.
    Muster drill was quite uneventful other than that I could use the time waiting for a workout (we’re in A2, the gym). Afterwards, we explored the ship a bit and did people watching at the flowrider. Hope I learned something from it, I’m going to try it once the weather gets warmer. We watched sailaway from the wing next to the solarium. As we had to wait for Sapphire Princess to back up, we were late for the after-sailaway FB meeting in Boleros – no problem, we just got a drink anyway. Had to do another nod to Matt and got a Kraken Lavaflow. What can I say? We really loved it and are now officially hooked! Which brings us to our first speciality dinner – but that will be in its own post.
    Dinner was just a bit too much for us, so we explored the ship a bit more and even threw in two rounds on the lovely running track for good measure. Being close to the water on the track is really nice and seeing the waves explained the rollingwe felt since leaving Barcelona – quite unusual for the Med. The rolling combined with too much food and the fact that we’re not used to that kind of food and drinks anymore brought us to bed early (11.45 pm).
    Side notes:
    15.1k steps
    American food portions aren’t for us
    No laps in the pool today – the water is ok but we were just overwhelmed with this beautiful ship and everything that’s going on – another reason why this blog entry is a bit late.
    Aquanation (no reservations required) tomorrow – keep your fingers crossed that it’ll even happen with the cold temperatures and waves. Otherwise we’ll have to redo all our entertainment and part of our dinner reservations.
    We LOVE international cruise lines – a bit of small talk everywhere! Restaurants, bars, elevators (no no-elevator-rule if carrying around luggage 😇) – it’s unusual for us but fun.
    First and only time hubby ignored the no-elevator-rule, he met the stowaway piano player. I feel cheated 😥

  7. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to JLMoran in Anthem of the Seas to Bermuda, Oct 13-18, 2018; Not Even REMOTELY Live, Because 20th Anniversary   
    Sorry for no updates this weekend, been taking my daughter to college open houses ahead of applying for a transfer, and I'm behind on culling and editing the photos. Probably be posting some more in the next few days.
  8. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Caterin Fox in Just back from Adventure 6 night (21/10/18)   
    I had intended to do a semi-live review of the cruise but decided against due to ropey voom and time constraints of travelling with a 10 year old. I’m also aware that there was another live blog of the same cruise but it’s always nice to see things from two perspectives. 
    This is my first review on here but I took so much good info prior to this cruise that I want to give a little back. I had had a 2.5 year break from cruising due to moving house and other reasons so felt a bit out of touch. 
    So... the contents of this review may not be relevant to everyone as I travel alone with my 10 year old son. No drinks package (but we did the three night dining package), no late nights and not too much partying but lots of family fun. On this cruise we were meeting my parents on board as they had just taken the snowbird migration prior. 
    This is our itinerary -
    Thursday 18th October - Fly London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale with British Airways. Stay three nights in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea at Plunge Beach Hotel  
    Sunday 21st October - Embark Adventure of the Seas
    Monday 22nd October - At Sea 
    Tuesday 23rd October - Grand Cayman (tender)
    Wednesday 24th October - Costa Maya
    Thursday 25th October - Cozumel 
    Friday 26th October - At Sea
    Saturday 27th October - Disembark and return flight to London Gatwick. 
    A brief bit about our pre-cruise ... I rented a car from Thrifty (compact - Toyota Yaris) which did the two of us just fine to get to our hotel and an afternoon trip to sawgrass mills. I drive an automatic at home but stick shift (manual) is still very much the norm in the UK and there was a very confused family in the next row to us so UK travellers beware that almost all rentals in the US are automatic transmission. We collected and returned at the airport for ease and I used the Google Maps app on my phone rather than renting a GPS. It worked well and my roaming package was capped at 140 mins, 100 texts but unlimited data for £4.99 per day with my provider, O2. Next time, I’ll make sure and pack a screen mount bracket for my phone.  
    Our hotel, Plunge Beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, was just perfect. A beach from property with a well kept pool area and a lovely beach bar. It is directly across from a Publix (fantastic supermarket - need this in the UK!) so we were able to buy several meals including breakfast every day here and keep costs down. It become our morning routine to hit Publix at 7am then eat breakfast on the beach watching the sunrise  
    There is a resort charge of $30 a day at Plunge but I felt this was great value As it included valet, bike hire, use of beach loungers, umbrellas and games/toys. 

  9. Sad
    CruisinUngs reacted to lovecruising!!! in rescue at jettys   
    Someone fell in the water at the jetties.. Rescue is underway. Hopefully they are okay.. They are holding off on Allure until this is done

  10. Like
    CruisinUngs got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in To all those doing live (or faux live) blogs this week...   
    I feel extra spoiled as there are a few Anthem reviews and I leave for her in a month. It’s almost like you all planned this just for me! So kind 😉
  11. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Neaxan in LIVE - October 28 - November 9 - Barcelona to Miami - Bringing Symphony home   
    After a very short night’s rest we got up at 4.15 am. Thankfully the hotel provided some tea, coffee and croissants. Well, tea for Michael – I usually don’t drink coffee or tea, but if hubby doesn’t get his regular fix he really is unbearable. Airport security was a breeze and we boarded the plane on time. Can’t tell you how the flight was, I slept away most of it 🤣
    The good news: all our suitcases made it to Barcelona (I had a bit of a panic over this) and we promptly got them. The bad news: apparently we are NOT the only ones with poison green suitcases, some others indeed had the same model. Well, we got that sorted and everybody left with the right suitcases even though the luggage handlers managed to lose one of our luggage tag covers (the ones that were recommended on this board) 😥 Luckily, we got one spare.
    Taxi to the hotel was 45 € (tip included) and I even got the chance to practice my long forgotten Spanish skills. Our hotel is Barcelona Catedral right in the middle of Barri Gótic. We arrived at 11 am, room would be ready at 2 pm so we went to explore the Disney store we saw coming in. Looks like it will be quite difficult to buy something for a baby boy if you don’t want it to be Marvel themed – maybe Miami has a better selection. On the way back we got soaked by torrential rain and decided to wait in our hotel’s lobby for the remaining hours. Thanks Eurowings for the priviledge – our original flight would have gotten us to Barcelona at the right time, but a few months back they decided to cancel it and book us on this 6.45 am flight – of course forgetting to mention this detail to us… it sometimes pays that I have travel OCD and religiously check everything countless times.
    2 pm sharp we could finally check in and got a room on the 5th floor – great, I’m already being punished for my self-imposed no elevator rule. After dropping off the luggage we went to Santa Caterina market to get some softdrinks for the day. The market hall is smaller than la Boqueria but also less crowded and touristy. Unfortunately no pictures as they didn’t come out right with our old camera – didn’t want to risk the DLSR in the rain. As the weather was only getting worse we decided to cancel the walking tour and switch to appropiate acitivites – watching sports! German football (Borussia Dortmund) for Michael and eventing cross country in Pau for me. Who am I kidding? We both fell asleep while watching 😂
    When we awoke, the weather seemed ok so out we went. Strolling through Barri Gótic and up and down Las Ramblas. On our way back to the cathedral we found a restaurant to our liking and got some tapas. I even remembered to take a picture! Not bad for someone who’s so forgetful that she forgets to breathe when sleeping 🤪 The restaurant’s name is Colom and we can definetely recommend it – great food, nice atmosphere and reasonably priced.
    Now it’s off to bed, thankfully we get an additional hour of sleep as Europe is setting back the clocks tonight. Taxi is already booked for 10 am.
    Side notes:
    14,5k steps today
    Need to get my sister to explain Whatsapp calling to my parents (again) – apparently our crash course on Friday didn’t stick
    No laps in the (rooftop) pool today – it was way too cold – and yes, I know I’m a wimp

  12. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Neaxan in LIVE - October 28 - November 9 - Barcelona to Miami - Bringing Symphony home   
    Thanks for all the kind words, love to do this kind of interactive. Actually, the blogging is fun and not a burden. Will be nice ro relive this once post-cruise depression kicks in. Currently waiting for hubby to upload the pictures on the laptop. I'm way too clumsy to type the whole thing on the phone 😂
  13. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Neaxan in LIVE - October 28 - November 9 - Barcelona to Miami - Bringing Symphony home   
    Thank god it’s Friday! Only two nights and we’ll board Symphony – it’s finally getting real!
    The day started early for us as we had to drop off the boys at the cat hotel. Luckily, everything went way better than expected. Four of them have never been there but instead of hiding under an armchair, they just went and explored the rooms and sometimes passed by to get some cuddles in between. We shouldn’t have worried, they’ll also have a great vacation.
    After rushing home and loading the suitcases in the car, we were back on the road and vacation mode really started to kick in – true German style – getting all annoyed with other drivers because the motorway was packed. Turns out Southern Germany had their last school day before the autumn holidays – and a few other federal states had their last day of autumn holidays today. Not the best conditions for 400 km (249 miles) to get to my parents, but what can you do? Slowly crawl, I guess – at least in comparison as Germany doesn’t have a general speed limit for motorways.
    4 hours later we did the required pre-cruise family visits and then went to the airport with my parents. Cue another hour of – you guessed it – packed roads and traffic jams. Finally, my parents dropped us off at the airport and took the car home with them – instead of us paying the astronomical parking fees, we prefer to spend the money on some speciality dining 😎
    Evening check-in was painless – we got rid of the suitcases in 5 minutes and walked to the Maritim airport hotel. After dropping our carry-ons off in our room, we went back to the airport for dinner. Mussels for me and pizza for Michael at L‘Osteria. Sorry, forgot to take pictures (I’m new to this blogging thingy) – but the food wasn’t something to write home about anyway. We also had our first beer as a warm up for the ultimate beverage package – an original Bavarian Franziskaner. The other option would have been Duesseldorf’s alt bier and as a born Cologne girl I’d rather die from thirst than drink that. I’m sure there are similar animosities between neighbouring cities in the US? 🤣
    After dinner we went to the spa – Michael for the sauna and me for an hour in the pool to burn off the alcoholic calories. Now it’s off to bed as boarding starts 6.15 am tomorrow.

  14. Haha
    CruisinUngs reacted to firebuck in Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3   
    Day 2
    Seas are much calmer - the skies are much clearer.  
    Here's my @twangster style balcony pic of the day

    I'm going to get dressed and grab some coffee - we've got NorthStar booked today at 11:30... looking forward to it!  
    Dinner tonight will be in Chops, and we also reserved "The Gift" a bit later tonight.
  15. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in To all those doing live (or faux live) blogs this week...   
    There are so many blogs to read this week it is wonderful!!!  Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all who are taking the time out of their vacations to help those of us stuck in dry dock!  ☺️
  16. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to firebuck in Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3   
    We got right on the ship as they opened the doors at around 11:15ish.  Since we have the 3 night dinging package, we went directly to wonderland and changed our dining reservation tomorrow to Chops from the default assigned restaurant.  Then we hit up the shockingly empty Windjammer for a bite to eat.
    I was immediately offered a rum punch when we walked in, so who am I to say no?  They bartenders kept cruising by and offered me another.  Why not? I’m on vacation now.  
    We then explored the pool deck and solarium for a bit and right at 1:00 they announced that the rooms were ready.
    I’ll  update more and add more pictures later when I’m not in my phone.
  17. Love
    CruisinUngs reacted to firebuck in Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3   
    It’s nasty out, but we made it!  

    Our contact really hooked us up and Moved us straight through security and sat us in the suite area. We’ll also get a personal escort onboard when it’s time. It pays to know people! 

  18. Haha
    CruisinUngs reacted to BermudaDice in Allure 16-23 Sept - Eastern Caribbean - Not-at-all-live blog   
    ...I may have found that out the hard way...
  19. Love
    CruisinUngs reacted to Bigred in Honeymoon Cruise   
    For those of you who were curious.
    We booked a Norwegian Fjords in September, I know it wasn't originally on our radar but it fit all "criteria". Thank you again for all the help!
  20. Thanks
    CruisinUngs reacted to jticarruthers in Refundable vs Non-refundable   
    I have done it on a couple of reservations where I was pretty sure when I booked it but wanted the refundability just in case and then once I felt really confident switched to non-refundable since it was cheaper ... coming back to bite me though as my wife is now less certain than I am on one of them :(
  21. Thanks
    CruisinUngs reacted to JLMoran in Refundable vs Non-refundable   
    Prince, you're going in the wrong direction. The OP and I are both talking about going from refundable to non-refundable. That direction has no penalty, regardless of how far out from original booking you are
  22. Thanks
    CruisinUngs reacted to Matt in Refundable vs Non-refundable   
    I've done a change from refundable to non-refundable right before final payment date once or twice.  Oddly it saved me some money, which is the only reason I did it.
  23. Haha
    CruisinUngs reacted to princevaliantus in Refundable vs Non-refundable   
    Whoops!!!! Sorry about that. See why I need another cruise!!! 21 days and counting!

  24. Like
    CruisinUngs reacted to JLMoran in Anthem of the Seas to Bermuda, Oct 13-18, 2018; Not Even REMOTELY Live, Because 20th Anniversary   
    Day 1 - Embarkation Day (continued)
    With sunset done and gone, it was time for our first dinner in Coastal Kitchen. After all the worry about getting reservations on board, when we finally walked in I wondered what I was even worried about. There were only a handful of other couples and families there, and we were seated at a table that gave us a nice bit of privacy. Granted, our reservation was for 7:00 and not a traditional dining hour like 5:30 or 8:30, but still...
    We met our waiter, Aram, and ordered our meals. Each of us got the smoked tomato soup that @Lovetocruise2002 had said was standard on the first night, along with the filet mignon. I also ordered escargots, as I'd been looking forward to the chance to have them again after discovering them on Freedom earlier in the year.
    The meal was outstanding; the soup wasn't exactly the same as what I'd had at Chefs Table on Freedom, but it was really close. A bit thinner and not quite as much like barbecue sauce in flavor or smokiness, but still really really good. And the filet... sorry, @ellcee, but this filet beats everything else hands-down, including the filet from Chops! And yes, I speak from experience on this.**  It was almost literally melting in my mouth, and the seasoning on it was perfect; not too salty, not too spicy. I paired it with a South African red blend that was very nice; maybe not on the same level as my favorites from the last cruise, but still pretty darned good.
    After this, it was time for dessert. I ordered the Chocolate Praline Tart and an iced coffee with Bailey's, while Cathy got the Royal Chocolate Cake a la mode with the sugar-free ice cream. Perfect caps to an awesome first meal!
    Now, I need to take a moment and talk about Aram. In addition to being very helpful and friendly, he's an avid lover of puzzles and riddles. So this dinner started off a nightly challenge to answer his riddle or solve his puzzle, with the reward being a piece of Dove chocolate. I've decided I'll put each of the challenges we were given here in the blog, so you can have a chance to play along. I won't post the answers here, you can put in your guesses in the comments and I'll you know if you got it right.
    So tonight's challenge was a puzzle involving four coffee straws (can just as easily be done with toothpicks) and the aforementioned piece of Dove chocolate. The straws and candy are arranged like so:

    Notice the sticks are arranged like a football goal post. The goal is to move only two sticks, such that the shape is not changed (still resembles a goal post), but the piece of candy is no longer inside the goal. Cathy was stumped; it took me almost the entire meal, but I did finally figure it out.
    When we were done with dinner, we headed down to deck 5 for the Tonight at Two70 show. This is the showcase that demonstrates all of the technology in the space, and also lets you see some of the performers who are in Spectra's Cabaret. It's pretty impressive, and it definitely left Cathy and I really looking forward to Spectra later in the trip. I took a few short videos of the singers and aerialists, since I knew I'd never be able to when we saw the actual show. We were seated kind of far back, but I still got some halfway-decent clips.

    In addition to the live presentations, we saw two robo shows (dance in a  box, plus a new one that I think was called Leonardo's Dream and was based on the art and inventions of Da Vinci), and a sampling from two of the virtual concerts they show (jazz and classical). That last had a really great cover of Toto's "Rosanna" that left Cathy and I stoked to catch the full version of at least one of those shows, but I guess because ours was such a short sailing, neither one was ever offered.
    So now it was time for us to go to the first of our show reservations, The Gift. I'd read and heard Matt's "warning" that it was weird and if you missed the first five minutes you'd have no clue what it was about, and I was fine on that front. I was ready for something off-beat and weird, but still enjoyable, and I'd given Cathy fair warning as best I could. But...
    The sets were really impressive, and the performers were all solid. No sour notes, no bad harmonies, nothing of that sort. But the music selections...! What the holy hell, Royal?!?!? We have never heard such a disjointed, chaotic, all-over-the-musical-map collection of songs. We know all those songs, we like if not love just about all of them, and we have the majority if not all of them in our music libraries. But the particular combination and order used was just too much for us. Just too many wild jumps in styles, genres, and decades.
    I'm sorry to say, but Cathy and I left halfway through the show. If it had been something more like a modern musical revue, with pauses in between songs and some costume or set changes, we'd probably have been totally fine with it. But we couldn't reconcile what to our minds was a musical revue set trying really hard to come off as the soundtrack to a musical theater performance. We've seen Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia!, and really enjoyed both, so it's not the general idea of musical theater based off of some popular band's music that was the problem. The best I can describe it is that the cohesion that those performances have from using a single band's songs in carefully chosen selection, style, and order was completely missing for us with this show.
    We passed the Music Hall on our way out and heard a live band playing, and they sounded pretty good, so we decided to sit and listen to them for a bit. It was The Royal Swedes, and I found out later that night that they were going to be our live band just about every night of the trip. So there was a bit of a saving grace for our first night. Cathy was tired and decided to call it a night, but my after-dinner iced coffee (even with the Bailey's in it) had me wired and I needed to burn off some energy. I wandered the ship until about midnight, and checked out the performers in the Pub and at the Schooner Bar. I finally wound down and made my way back to the cabin, and got a few hours of sleep before starting our sea day.
    Drink Package tally:
    My Royal Dream coffee, margarita, glass of wine, and spiked coffee made up the alcohol portion of the day Also had a regular cappuccino and one bottled water Basically broke even today, based on the $42/day rate I'd paid
    Step tally (since this apparently is a thing now 😉; sorry @ellcee and @twangster, but I won't be holding a candle to your achievements given my bad feet):
    11,654 steps 26 floors climbed (yes, we took the stairs for everything except going to decks 14 and 15) 4.96 miles walked  
    To be continued!
    **this is called foreshadowing...
  25. Thanks
    CruisinUngs reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Refundable vs Non-refundable   
    Yes, you change from refundable to non refundable up until final payment BUT they will reprice your cruisefare to the rate at the time that you make the change and as a rule, the cruisefare will be higher than it was when you originally booked.  So most of the time, it will not make financial sense to make such a change. If however, your cruisefare has uncharacteristically gone down in price, it will pay to change from refundable to non refundable.
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