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SolariumSnoozer

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  1. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from tiny260 in Changing Roomies on Board / Charges to the room   
    About 5 years ago I had a similar situation.  My son was sharing a cabin with my brother and nephew.  When I checked in on-line the process asked me if there are other guests I need to check in.  I answered yes and was able to check just my son in and have his sea pass card tied to my credit card.  My sister did the same for my nephew and my brother checked in just for himself.  As I recall it was quite easy which is unusual for RC on-line products.  This was important not only for the sea pass card but it also allowed me to sign all the required paperwork including waivers for my son and let RC know I was responsible for him.
  2. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from BTE in MEI TA Recommendation   
    +2 On Michelle, just booked an Alaskan cruise with her a couple of months ago, excellent service 
  3. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from Skid in Key West   
    I just spent a day in Key West and did the following:
    Toured the Truman Little White House - This was interesting particularly if you have an interest in Presidential history. Tour was about $20 a person for 45-60 minute tour.
    Toured the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum - I did not find this tour as interesting as the Little White House and it's a little chaotic because they allow people not on the tour to enter and exit areas where the tour is currently operating.  If you go here bring cash (about $15 per person) as they do not  accept credit cards
    On the budget friendly side:
    Definitely watch the sunset at Mallory Square, get there at least 30 minutes early to get a space near the water.  There are also a bunch of "street' performers there if that interests you. 
    We went to the southernmost point.  Really just a picture spot, nothing else to do there but you have to say you were there if you go to Key West
    Walk Duval Street from Mallory Square (bay side) to the Ocean.  Lots of window shopping and people watching to do and gives you a great feel of Key West. I would guess its about 15 blocks long.
    Sorry, can't recommend any of the beaches or water sports as we didn't have time.
    Lastly, I wanted to visit Dry Tortugas Park, located West of Key West but it was all booked up that day.  It's an all day excursion to the park/fort but it is a little expensive, you can get more information here:
    https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm
    Hope this helps, congratulations and have a great time.
  4. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from Matt in Key West   
    I just spent a day in Key West and did the following:
    Toured the Truman Little White House - This was interesting particularly if you have an interest in Presidential history. Tour was about $20 a person for 45-60 minute tour.
    Toured the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum - I did not find this tour as interesting as the Little White House and it's a little chaotic because they allow people not on the tour to enter and exit areas where the tour is currently operating.  If you go here bring cash (about $15 per person) as they do not  accept credit cards
    On the budget friendly side:
    Definitely watch the sunset at Mallory Square, get there at least 30 minutes early to get a space near the water.  There are also a bunch of "street' performers there if that interests you. 
    We went to the southernmost point.  Really just a picture spot, nothing else to do there but you have to say you were there if you go to Key West
    Walk Duval Street from Mallory Square (bay side) to the Ocean.  Lots of window shopping and people watching to do and gives you a great feel of Key West. I would guess its about 15 blocks long.
    Sorry, can't recommend any of the beaches or water sports as we didn't have time.
    Lastly, I wanted to visit Dry Tortugas Park, located West of Key West but it was all booked up that day.  It's an all day excursion to the park/fort but it is a little expensive, you can get more information here:
    https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm
    Hope this helps, congratulations and have a great time.
  5. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in MEI TA Recommendation   
    +2 On Michelle, just booked an Alaskan cruise with her a couple of months ago, excellent service 
  6. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from rjac in MEI TA Recommendation   
    +2 On Michelle, just booked an Alaskan cruise with her a couple of months ago, excellent service 
  7. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from chrissylee19 in Entertainment Showtimes reservations   
    @chrissylee19 , you can only reserve entertainment on Oasis and Quantum class
  8. Confused
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from SpeedNoodles in Mariner of the Seas Room Suggestion   
    I would think twice before booking one of these rooms on Explorer.  I had one on Explorer and the room itself was very nice, especially the view, but there is a small deck over these rooms that can be reached via some stair on the sundeck.  The sundeck, deck 12, has the track and certain runners would increase the length of their laps by leaving the track, climb the steps and run around this small deck before returning to deck 12.  Each morning we were awakened at 5:30 with people running on our heads.  
  9. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from betatke1480 in "Side to Side" Live - Oasis & Enchantment 11/10-11/23   
    Great blog, thanks for taking the time to share your vacation.
  10. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from coneyraven in Waiting for Black Friday sales   
    If you are concerned about the website, you can always call Royal directly and have one their representatives do it for you.  I have done this numerous times.
  11. Haha
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to betatke1480 in Symphony OTS Live! - Transatlantic Oct. 28, 2018 "Coming to America"   
    The selfie @twangster took of himself as he soared through the air dangling from one of the drones was amazing.  It's a shame you and @Matt missed it since you skipped the photos. I can't believe they took a volunteer from the audience for that role. Shows a lot of natural athletic ability, obviously.  
  12. Like
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to twangster in Symphony OTS Live! - Transatlantic Oct. 28, 2018 "Coming to America"   
    I haven't really addressed our cruise director on this sailing - Bobby Brown.
    I have to say a CD doesn't make or break a cruise for me.  I like some more than others but it's not a deal breaker for me.  I had Bobby as a CD on Harmony (I think).  To be honest he didn't leave a great impression on that cruise.  
    However in the "always keep your mind open" department he has been better than I anticipated on this cruise.  I've actually watched the Morning Show more than I usually do. 
    One thing he added to this sailing was a unique special - "How Do You Maintain An Ice Skating Rink On A Cruise Ship?".  
    As a cruise geek this was really cool.  Ice cool.  Just kidding, but really informative.  
    We enter Studio B to see someone.. watering the ice.

    Joining Bobby in this presentation is Rubin, the stage manager who looks after Studio B.

    They discuss thing like where the dance floor used during "RED" or Laser tag is stored (hint, it's under the center section and it slides out from under the seats). That's different from other ship in different classes.
    As it turns out sailings like a 12 night transatlantic are an opportunity for some maintenance activities.  The ship has been in service for several months and while things like the ice surface could go on, once the ship enter routine seven night sailings it would be much more disruptive to perform certain essential maintenance including replacing the ice in Studio B later on, so they took advantage of this 12 night sailing to melt Studio B.  To. The. Floor.  They melted it down to the bare floor.  Like defrosting a freezer at home, once in a while it just has to be done.  
    They began melting it down right after (ok, during) the last ice skating show.  That took overnight, then they had to clean it all up and get ready to make new ice.
    They have since been building the ice up, millimeter by millimeter, by hand, watering each layer every 15 minutes or so, around the clock, since.  In fact as we listened to the presentation, the crew came out to repeat the watering process we saw when we first arrived.

    Then again.

    The water is special filtered water.  This will continue for the three days, around the clock, until the ice approximately 3.5 cm thick (1 1/2").  But that's not all.  
    If anyone follows Nick Weir, VP of Entertainment for Royal he has been touting how they have AMPED up the projection technology on Symphony over Harmony.  That in part starts in the ice.
    Within the ice is embedded a membrane that enhances the resolution of the surface as a projection technology.  That membrane was just replaced here on Symphony and you can see it now only because this new ice is crystal clear.
    At a distance you don't even see it.

    Zoom in closer and you do. 

    Symphony is the first to employ this projection surface embedded within the ice, not even Harmony has it.  Not yet.  
    Studio B has it's own mini-Zamboni used to dress the ice surface each day.

    The projection technology consists of six side mounted projectors that project onto this surface.

    Each projector costs around $100k.  Combining the six projectors, three port, three starboard into what appears to be a complete image requires precision.  The manufacturer is based in Japan and when they need to re-align them (it's a moving ship in seas, stuff moves) they need to fly the engineer in from Japan to align them occasionally.  
    Next they talk about drones.  Very interesting.  Forty eight drones with twelve spares on hand.   Very special technology because within Studio B there is no regular GPS signal like a consumer drone might use.  They have to create a reference 'cube' within Studio B for the drones to fly within.  That's where these black boxes hanging from the ceiling come in.

    There are several of them mounted around the perimeter of the ice.  Combined with some floor mounted reference points and two portable white cubes placed on the ice surface they create a 3D GPS-like environment for the drones to operate in.  Now that they told us this, I recall seeing two white cubes sitting in the middle of the ice floor at the start of the show '1977'.
    Before the show starts, while we are all waiting outside in line, the drones have to be checked to ensure they are happy with this reference cube.  If they aren't it has to be recalculated.  This is very new technology in use and with 48 drones operating in synchronicity, it's very precise.
    The drone batteries are very special and they can't be flown due to HazMat laws.  That means when they need new batteries, they'll need to be shipped to America now that Symphony is on her way to Miami.  
    As we listen on, two more crew come out to "grow" the ice.  Another few millimeters accomplished.

    It turns out these are two of the Ice Skating cast.  Even they get into the act.  It's a team effort, four times an hour, around the clock, for three days.
    You know how they don't seem to open the doors soon enough?  I certainly felt this on Adventure of the Seas recently when the Ice Skating show had long lines.  It turns they can't.  The room is temperature controlled and letting all that air conditioning out affects the ice surface.  They have to keep the doors closed as long as they can.  Lesson learned, be patient.  
    It was a very interesting presentation unlike others I've seen on a ship and I thank Bobby for putting it on.  It gives me a greater appreciation for the level of effort that Royal puts into their entertainment.
    One last note.  On the way out I saw these coins embedded in the ice.

    Seems to be a tradition for the current cast who just changed over.  The previous ice skating cast, their first contract complete, has just headed home for a short vacation.
  13. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from accio7 in YOLO SOLO - Anthem, October 13, 2018 Bermuda   
    Following, love Bermuda you will have a great time.
  14. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from ellcee in YOLO SOLO - Anthem, October 13, 2018 Bermuda   
    Following, love Bermuda you will have a great time.
  15. Haha
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to Orange Crush in Prime Member Free Cruise   
    What's a prime member?
    I'm assuming this is totally unrelated to free shipping from Amazon. 😀
  16. Like
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from kjw83 in bed selection   
    Yes, you can call and have it noted.  I have had two times where I requested the configuration be two twins only to find a king when I got in the cabin.  The steward will always introduce him or herself before the muster drill.  If the configuration of the beds, or anything else in the cabin, hasn't met my needs, I just ask them then and the issue has always been taken care of by the time we were done with dinner.
  17. Love
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from Oliver in bed selection   
    Yes, you can call and have it noted.  I have had two times where I requested the configuration be two twins only to find a king when I got in the cabin.  The steward will always introduce him or herself before the muster drill.  If the configuration of the beds, or anything else in the cabin, hasn't met my needs, I just ask them then and the issue has always been taken care of by the time we were done with dinner.
  18. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from twangster in Recap - Mariner 4 Night Bahamas - Sept. 21, 2018   
    Great pictures as always!
  19. Like
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to twangster in Recap - Mariner 4 Night Bahamas - Sept. 21, 2018   
    I took a number of night shots from different angles.  Some are long exposure to blur the reflections in the water.  The first one is a normal exposure.  I tried experimenting with zooming during the long exposure on some.
    I can't decide which I like the most so here are some of the best ones.





  20. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer got a reaction from Traveler in Symphony Of The Seas 23-30 Sep ,maybe a semi live blog   
    Following!!
  21. Thanks
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to twangster in Radiance of the Seas, Alaska Southbound 8/31/18   
    I totally get your question.  When I booked my 1st Alaska cruise I approached it on that basis - if I'm going to do Alaska once, all my research said to do it right and put a little more effort into booking it one way.  
    I prefer the Southbound one-way in a large part due to the train.  What an amazing way to set the tone for the cruise.  Then there are the extra ports plus longer times in some of them.   To be fair I have not done a Northbound one way.  Ending in Vancouver is easy.  Cheap transfer to airport or a great city to explore post cruise if you wish.  
    When I booked the RCLBlog group cruise out of Seattle I thought I was settling for a lesser Alaskan experience (based on my research).  I was wrong.  It was a great Alaska cruise and not just because of the group.  
    Let me put it this way - if I could, I'd go one-way more than Seattle.  As a repeat Alaska cruiser or for anyone who is intimidated by the logistics of a one way, a Seattle round trip provides a great Alaskan experience.  My next and 4th Alaska cruise is Seattle based (for now).  
    If you can, either way, add a few days to explore Seattle, Anchorage and/or Vancouver.  You won't be disappointed.  
    There is no wrong way to cruise Alaska.   YOLO, book it.  
     
     
     
  22. Like
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to twangster in Radiance of the Seas, Alaska Southbound 8/31/18   
    With 35 minutes left there was time to enjoy the outdoor patio at the restaurant.  I mean the ship is right there...




    Beer time.

    I loved ISP last year and I really enjoyed it again this year.  This port never seems to make it on the Seattle round trip itineraries despite being very close to Juneau and South of Skagway.  I like this port enough I may cancel my 2019 Ovation booking and look at doing another one-way.  The friends I will cruise with next year will definitely enjoy this port.  It's uniquely Alaskan without the commercialization yet with modern luxuries, great food and very friendly locals.
  23. Like
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to FlowBro Ty in San Juan Walking Tour Photo   
  24. Wow
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to twangster in Power strips   
    Then there is the PARTIAL CLOSURE OF BERLIN'S SCHÖNEFELD AIRPORT for a toy.  A certain kind of toy.  In someone's luggage.  Google it.
  25. Haha
    SolariumSnoozer reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Running track on Harmony   
    There's a running track on a cruise ship ?  Who knew....
    😬
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