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Everything posted by spiralqueen

  1. Currently on board! Check in was beyond a breeze but I’ll back up and go over yesterday a bit. So our flight yesterday was at 7am which meant between driving and security it was a 4am wake up. This is my face to that. BUT. The flight left mostly on time and it was relatively uneventful. We landed around 9:50-10ish and went to go pick up our car from Avis. There was some weirdness with the app saying they didn’t have a car for me and to wait in line but after about 10 mins in line I checked again and there was a car assigned to us so we were on our way! As I mentioned before, we stayed in the Holiday Inn express on 17th street. We got there around 11 I think and were told that our room would be ready by 1 at the earliest. I know they have a room for storing luggge, but we just kept it in the car. It was only $5 to park there and it was super easy to deal with. It’s self park wherever you want in the lot or parking garage and they give you a slip of paper to put on the windshield to show you are authorized to park there. While we waited for the room, we went to the NY Marina Deli again in the Harbor shops across the street. I went with the bacon and cheese omelette again and it came with home fries and a drink of choice. Look how much filling is in that! Omg When our room was ready, I went back and played on my phone and took a nap because to me, the day before the cruise is recharging and rest day. Also my nap ended up being longer than my “sleep” so there that. Around 5:30 or 6 we started looking for somewhere to grab dinner that wasn’t crazy heavy. We ended up wanting to try Waxy’s Irish pub which was surprisingly great for dinner. I went with wings and fries and the fries had SUCH good crunch. I asked for them well done and they did a great job. Not everyone listens to that request. Then it was back to the room for the last pre-cruise sleep!
  2. Yaaaaay everyone in our traveling party has officially tested negative so the biggest anxiety is gone! We all had the at home test kits as back ups but I was able to get a super convenient time at CVS which is on my way home from work. So….it just seemed easier than worrying if I would have one of those faulty test kits.
  3. Of course! And omg what a small world!! I’m in KOP currently
  4. Absolutely! I have plans to post pictures of not only the entertainment schedule but of the cruise planner daily.
  5. Oh my god, ok so I was hesitant on starting a liveblog for this cruise because I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to commit to it and also part of me was thinking that this cruise isn't real since it's just been SO LONG since I last sailed. Pre-COVID our last sailing was another Thanksgiving cruise in 2019 on Grandeur. But I do enjoy having these live blogs as little snap shots to look back on. Also my girlfriend isn't able to join me on this sailing but I wanted to have a way for her to sort of follow along and I figured I might as well do it in this format so others can see things too! Pre-cruise report: Sailing: November 21-28, 2021, Oasis of the Seas, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise Sailing with: Me (34), and my parents Flying from: Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale. We had some credits for Spirit from our cancelled May 2020 cruise so wanted to get those used up and that's where it took us. Pre-cruise hotel: Even though the sailing is out of Miami, we are flying into FLL and it's honestly cheaper to stay in Fort Lauderdale than downtown Miami so we are staying in the Holiday Inn Express on 17th Street we stayed in before. I love how walkable it is with a Walgreens and Total Wine right nearby. And the $5 parking vs 30+ doesn't hurt either. The itinerary is as follows: Day 1 – Miami Day 2 – Coco Cay Day 3 – At Seas Day 4 – St Thomas Day 5 – St Martin Day 6 and 7 – At Sea Day 8 – Miami But honestly....not too fussed about itinerary. Just excited to be cruising again! Cabin: I think this is what I'm most excited about. When 2021 sailings were first released, I saw a post in the RCB FB group that there were great suite prices on Oasis. When I went to check on them, I was shocked what a steal some of them were. We were able to grab a 2 BR Grand Suite for only a couple hundred dollars more than the JS we had on Allure. So this is our first time sailing in Sky class and having full suite benefits. You can bet that you will be seeing a lot of Coastal Kitchen and the Suite Lounge in this blog. And I'm thinking a higher than average chance of me getting day wine tipsy at least once with the free wine and beer benefit in the lounge. Pre-purchases: Not a ton pre-purchased to be honest. We didn't need to stalk internet prices because of the included suite wifi and I didn't want to bother with any drink package because of the suite lounge. My mom grabbed the refreshment package, but that is about it. Excursion wise, we are doing the Sky ride in St Thomas. Otherwise we plan on just getting off and wandering around. I kept keeping an eye on Beach Club prices for Coco Cay but I can't justify spending $160 pp when we are the only ship there and it's not at full capacity. So we will likely be rotating between the pool and Chill Island there. Random Pre-cruise thoughts: Please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to check out or take pictures of for you. I am open to requests. I will definitely be taking note of any special Thanksgiving menus. There were some mixed responses to whether or not Coastal Kitchen will have any Thanksgiving specials. We heard from the suite Concierge exactly 10 days prior to sailing. We were able to get 5:30 reservations in CK every night which was our first choice due to waking up earlier and also leaving us more time for shows/other activities after dinner. Forewarning that my idea of cruise fun is lounging and reading when on board so you won't catch a review of the rockwall from me! I do fully expect to burn through 5-8 books on my kindle though. So excited to make a dent in my "to read" list. I promise future posts will have more pictures!
  6. Thank you! Suites can show up an hour before their check in time, right? I thought I read that somewhere. Up to an hour before or hour after.
  7. What about Sky class? Is there a separate entrance for them in Miami?
  8. Oooo very exciting! Thanks for asking @twangster I’ll have to check back in here with a picture of the CK Thanksgiving menu on Oasis when we sail.
  9. Not NYE, but I’m curious if CK does anything special for Thanksgiving! Does anyone have any experience with this?
  10. Question about the suite sundeck (specifically on Oasis if it makes a difference). I know there is a bar up there, but do servers come around to the chairs like they do on the pool deck/Solarium? Also I assume the free wine/beer is only in the suite lounge and not in the sundeck bar, correct?
  11. I would absolutely cruise before there is a vaccine, but I could also see this making me more likely to spend more time on my balcony for now vs the pool deck.
  12. I came on the blog to talk about the importance of TAs and saw this thread that ties into my point. So my sailing that we had is a 3 person sailing and we paid around $3,400 total for our JS (excluding taxes and port fees). I got an email from Royal today telling us we got our FCC issued! Very exciting! Except it’s for 2 of 3 passengers and only for $420 each which is NOWHERE near the realm of what we should have gotten, not even taking the 125% aspect into account. All I had to do was forward that to @michelle basically going “what in the world???” And she replies back within hours (emphasis mine) “yes all the ones they just did this week are all wrong We will get it all straightened out – so frustrating. I will take care of it so no worries” The amount of relief I felt when I found out I wouldn’t have to wait on hold to argue with Royal is legit invaluable. I can’t believe this level of service is free to me. @Matt is SO right when he says that you think you don’t need a travel agent until you really, really do.
  13. 8 is my absolute favorite. Can’t beat walking through Central Park to get to your cabin. What a treat! Also super close to Park Cafe and Trellis Bar. And a quick dash down to deck 6 to grab a fresh fruit smoothie from Vitality Cafe.
  14. “Offer” is what shows up when a travel agent puts a hold on the room. From what I understand, it takes the room out of inventory. Previously there were a couple of days padding that they allowed a TA to put a hold on a room before a deposit was needed to hold it, but because of all the craziness happening now and the delay in FCC issuance, they are letting TAs put a very extended hold on the room. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s now a 5/31 deadline for deposits to hold sailings.
  15. Yeah finding out it’s use it or lose it has me being a bit more loosey goosey with what I’m considering getting. Like a beach club cabana doesn’t look AS crazy when Royal is giving me a free extra $500.
  16. I asked my TA @michelle that very question and here is the answer she got from Royal "Yes, they attach the cruise planner to the FCC then when you rebook a cruise or apply the FCC to a cruise, the apply the cruise planner credit also and you can use it for before you get on the ship and while on the ship YOU HAVE to use it all on that sailing – it will be non-refundable and will not carry over"
  17. So I think this is different from the last round of cancellations. If you bought something in the cruise planner you can either have it refunded or apply for 125% OBC for a future sailing. I’m curious if this would be able to be used online ahead of time or if it’s only able to be used on board. Makes a huge difference.
  18. This isn't an absolute, but as a recent example of a cancelled cruise planner purchase. On March 15th I cancelled some dining packages in the cruise planner. The refunds hit my credit card on March 20th.
  19. Exact reason I'm holding out on my May 10th sailing. I got so many good deals stalking the cruise planner so I'll be really disappointed to lose them if it comes down to it. I'll understand, of course, but that doesn't erase the disappointment.
  20. I have no idea when it will resume, but I fall around the Labor Day camp. While we currently have a May 2020 cruise booked, I’m 80% sure that will be cancelled so we booked 2 diff refundable options to lock in prices before FCCs drive up prices more. We have Aug 30th and Nov 29th booked. Nov was my idea and August my parents. Holding both to see who (if anyone) is right.
  21. I’ve technically been on 5 cruises in my life, but 2 of them are from when I was younger than 14 so they are hazes of kids club talent shows and trying escargot and ox tail soup. From my cruises as an adult, I’d have to say my sailing on Allure. I learned how much I LOVE hanging out and reading on the balcony and that the juices/smoothies at the vitality spa cafe are as tasty as a margarita or other frozen drink but don’t make you feel as sluggish thanks to WAY less sugar. I also adored the shows and couldn’t believe how much entertainment was included in our cruise fare. Also it was our first time in Coastal Kitchen and living that suite life. There was a point while sitting in the solarium with my kindle and a frozen drink under a “palm tree” in front of the hot tub/pool that I felt for the first time “pure cruise bliss”. There was a nice slight breeze blowing some of the water spray against my neck while I laid there reading and sipping my drink. Heaven.
  22. Keep an eye out for sales. It definitely goes cheaper than that. I’ve seen the Internet for 4 around 28-30 per day before.
  23. I’m going to make sure to follow the 20 second rule with hand washing because I didn’t realize you had to wash for that long for it to be effective. I’ll also be more religious about taking zinc 2 weeks before and through the trip to help my immune system fight cruise crud.
  24. Annette - can you confirm if you are referring to an accepted Royal Up bid (like when they charge your card) or even just by bidding on it?
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