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  1. I was going to suggest to look into the port valet, then saw Matt's already got it covered above. For the difference in cost on our 5 day trip in February, the added convenience was well worth it. Our prior trips we parked in the garage across the street, and that walk over with the bags post cruise is such a bummer.
  2. We have done Chef's table 3 times, and it was worth it each time in varying circumstances. #1 - Booked online way in advance for an Anniversary dinner. $85 and wonderful. #2 - Our MDR server called over the Chef's table waiter on night 2 of a 3 night sailing. He needed to fill his table and offered the 7 of us dinner at 50% off. Absolutely worth it for $40. #3 - Recently on Anthem with the UDP they gave us a 35% credit, more or less applying the nightly amount we had paid for the package to the price of Chef's Table.
  3. We stayed at the Newark airport Doubletree for one night pre-departure. Our plane got in later (7:30) so we just needed the lodging and access to lobby dinner that night. It was a good rate and a good place, but it was not close to anything. If you want to explore a little then the other options probably make more sense. They have an airport shuttle, so the only Uber expense was to the port and it was about $22 with tip at 10:40 AM.
  4. Thanks for the photos sir, they along with the price point are just about sending me to the travel agent to book a sailing next Jan/Feb. As you noted in the intro, we can definitely get a lot more room on the Empress than some of the big boys for the price... My question to you is, as you walk around her is do you think it is "worth it" to go past the Junior Suite level for 2 adults? I know that is a personal decision, but without a suite lounge it may be silly to go for a slightly bigger room unless the on board service finds ways to make up the gap.
  5. I found the El Loco Fresh offerings on Navigator to be pretty similar to the new offerings in the restaurants on CocoCay. It was definitely worth skipping the WJ hassle.
  6. Just back from this one, Hugo was the cruise director and here were the themes: - 70's for night one, 11PM on the promenade - Formal-ish night on day 2 - 80's for night three, also on the promenade at about 11
  7. Agree with others, it is a typical RC show with some "smaller" costumes, but my 6 and 11 year old both enjoyed it. They use a lot of more recent music in the show, so they were more interested in it than something like Don't Stop the Rock... which they also sing every now and then. Good fun, worth seeing.
  8. There were about 5-6 water park cabanas available around the less intense water slide tower on Saturday. They face the "landing" pools for the mat and tube rides, and are behind 2-3 rows of lounge chairs.
  9. If you take 417 East from just south of Disney around to 528 East it will cost you about $5 in tolls, but should bypass almost all of the morning rush. It took us 55 minutes from mid-Orlando to the port on a Monday in March, and I think you'd find it about 1:15 - 1:20 going around the bypass.
  10. Sorry to have derailed the thread, and thank you all for the input . I'll have to roll the dice with the next loyalty ambassador we meet, since this last one seems to have been a champ.
  11. You all probably know this already, but the Loyalty officer who just signed my kids up said that they will have their cruise points reset to zero at age 18. They will keep their earned/grandfathered tier status, but will have to start over with points once they hit that limit. My 10 year old is often reminding me we should get to Diamond Plus in the next 8 years. Point of that was if they want to hit 140 is will have to be sooner than later.
  12. We are about 95 days out and entertainment just showed up, so might be available soon @KJ1231
  13. Solely by having a mobile set sail pass, my family was sent to the "expedited" line in Canaveral last Monday. We showed passports and they took a picture with an iPad and onboard we went. Based on that, not sure spending the time to upload is worth it...
  14. Most of our Caribbean trips have been around our anniversary in February. Sail away can be a bit chilly depending on the departure port, but the destinations are perfect.
  15. In January we cruised in a Grand Suite that I found on sale as an upgrade to the Junior Suite we had originally booked. After getting home, I put in a Royal Up bid on a GS for the cruise we are taking this week with my children on Enchantment to move from the JS (one of the rear facing potentially toxic ones, per the live blog!) we had booked originally. I checked a few times and suites were sold out for at least the past 8 weeks, so no harm done, figured we'd settle in and I'd hope to not have any issues to deal with this cruise. Two nights ago I logged into the app and our room number had changed and our bid was accepted... All that is to say, I have no idea how this works. Unless someone cancelled above us, I can't see how we got moved up a class, but I am glad for the extra space. My children, along with my spouse, will now be completely spoiled for normal rooms.
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