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SpeedNoodles

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  1. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Cruise Summary
    When ever I sail a Quantum class ship I'm reminded about how much I love this class of ship.  I was just on the newly amped Oasis and that is a great class of ship but there is something about Anthem and Ovation that is really appealing.  I prefer both the balcony and junior suites on these ships more than Oasis class.  The balcony cabin layout and bathroom is just about perfect on this class. 
    As it has happened to work out 80% of my 2020 cruises are on Quantum class and I'm okay with that. 
    On this trip I hardly used the pool deck and for the first time I didn't use North Star or iFly.  I don't know where the time went but other than walking through the Solarium a couple times I lived on the lower decks this cruise.   I'm not a sun worshiper so that plays into equation.   I may dig through some of my older Anthem picture galleries to post some pictures because the Solarium is one of the nicest in the fleet and the indoor pool area for families is perfect for this ship.  I wouldn't be doing her justice to not show them off.  
    I did walk through the SeaPlex with the goal of visioning how Playmakers will work on Odyssey when she arrives later this year.  I'm really looking forward to sailing on that ship with the evolution that has come with operating these ships for a number of years now.  I was disappointed when Spectrum went straight to Asia but was thrilled when Odyssey was placed in Florida for the end of this year.
    A lot has been said about Diamond Plus being restricted from the Concierge Lounge.  I seem to pick my sail dates with increased number of top elite so that is something I've experienced a number of times on both Anthem and Ovation.  I've got to say the expanded Diamond Lounge has always worked really well for me on both ships.  I met some new friends and saw a many of them night after night.  As a solo cruiser I love that the Music Hall bar is available for happy hour.  It's much easier to meet and talk with new friends at the bar seating compared to a table somewhere by myself.  For me losing access to the CL is a non-event.  
    The crew were amazing once again on Anthem.  I've sailed with Captain Srecko before and will always look forward to sailing with him again.   
    Coastal Kitchen once again was a star and a highlight of the cruise for me.  The night one filet is one of the best steaks in the fleet.
    I am really glad they occasionally do these longer itineraries on Anthem.  It's such a nice ship a 7 or 8 night is too short and the ports are more interesting on these longer runs.  Having to wear long pants on the first and last day in the middle of winter is trivial.
    Bayonne or Cape Liberty is a great home port.  With sub $20 rideshare transfers it's second only to Fort Lauderdale for fly-in convenience.  Facial recognition is a welcome update since my last Bayonne departure that makes the debarking process so easy.
    I'll post the specialty dining menus I have soon and I may go through some of my older Anthem pictures to find the best one to show off a few areas I missed this time around.
    Until then I hope you enjoyed following along and I thank you for viewing.  
    Cheers!
  2. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Day 11 - Dinner
    You know it... Coastal Kitchen
    The day 1 menu was back and with it the Grilled Filet Mignon.  

    Dinner with a friend so no pictures.  
    Gotta say this filet let me down a bit.  The flavor was good, it was cooked perfectly but the cut of meat wasn't that great and it was hard to cut through the sinew.  However the ambiance, the company and the wine went a long way to overcome it.  
  3. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Where has the time gone?
    As I get ready for my last visit to the Music Hall Diamond overflow happy hour, it's hard to pull myself away from this stunning final sunset.



    Just loving this deck 6 balcony.  Close to the water, stunning sunsets.  Should have booked a B2B.  I'm not ready to go home.



  4. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    The Pub.  

    Live music or the place to see some sports, the Brass & Bock is conveniently found in the center of the Royal Esplanade.



    Dan Davis from the UK was on board for this sailing.




  5. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Day 11 - Sea Day
    Our final day is upon us.
    Curious.  Anthem goes into dry dock in April yet they are replacing the Windjammer carpet on this sailing.  Over several nights they've been tackling various sections of the WJ and now it appears complete.  Their stash of carpet in a corner of the SeaPlex has been dwindling night after night.


    For reference the temperature is down to 61°F.  Out here away from land a big influencer on air temperature is the sea.  Absent of any land mass to heat up and change temperatures, the temperature of the sea is the most significant factor in the air temperature. 
    Many people always ask what will weather be like when sailing from Bayonne?  Absent of a weather system the temperature of the sea will likely determine how it feels on board.  Search for ocean temperatures and you'll get a baseline of what to expect.   

    Beautiful conditions again today.

    Captain's Corner in two70° to a full house.

    Several guests made comments related to Captain Srecko and his presence around the ship.  He frequently walked through Coastal Kitchen during dinner and apparently did the same in the MDR.  Not only is he a great mariner but he is also a great host around the ship.
    The topic of his Flowrider and iFly skills came up and Mitch our CD noted the Captain doesn't simply use the Flowrider or iFly, he must inspect them from time to time.
    One guest made the mistake of calling Anthem "a boat".  The Captain stopped Mitch from answering the question.  "If there was just one person on a ship who would that be?" he asked - The Captain.  "If there was just one person on a boat?" he then asked - A frustrated husband.   It was all in good fun.  
    At any rate Captain Srecko is well liked by the guests.   
  6. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Dinner - Coastal Kitchen

    Iceberg Wedge

    Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.  So good my waiter brought me a second serving.

    Baked Alaska for dessert.

  7. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Day 10 - Evening
    Being on the port side heading North I get the sunsets on the way home.



    Time for a drink in the Music Hall.
  8. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    I saw another display from the food and beverage team on Anthem in the Esplanade.

    When I first saw the Bionic bar being replenished I thought... "they are making the robots so lifelike these days"

    Yes, even Bionic Bar drinks are subject to 18% gratuity.  I guess this is why.  🙂 
    Don't shoot the messenger.
  9. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Anthem has a Bionic bar featuring two robots named Shaken and Stirred.




    Covered by the drink package or pay as go you use your sea pass card to order a drink from a tablet then sit back and watch Shaken or stirred make your drink for you.
  10. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Good time to mention two70°.
    This is a multi use venue that can anything from rock shows to theater entertainment at night, to trivia to quiet reading time with incredible wake views.






    The bar in two70° has great sea views during the day.






    Upstairs.




  11. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    Day 10 - Sea Day
    Morning finds us in much the same conditions as last night albeit down one degree in temperature.  We are roughly parallel with the central Florida area (Orlando).

    Last night my cabin attendant washed down my balcony so it was useable again.

  12. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP   
    As morning turned to afternoon the sea conditions improved and there was less motion in the ocean.  The wind was still up and sea spray was still coating my balcony but it looked like a nice enough day out there.
    By early evening it was even better and we slowed down to a more economical cruising speed.
    For reference the temperature was 23°C or 73°F.  Not hot but also not humid, quit pleasant. 

    After a happy hour drink in the Music Hall overflow for the Diamond Lounge my new friend and I went to Coastal Kitchen for dinner.  Earlier I had asked the CK manager if it would be okay to bring someone who isn't eligible and since I was occupying a table for two by myself he had no problem allowing it.  The CK on Anthem is a much friendlier experience for JS guests compared to Oasis class CK as a JS guest.
     No dinner pictures when dining with friends.
  13. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to marti314 in Expedited Arrival   
    You are absolutely correct about the SCANNING PASSPORT vs typing it in.  I was not labelled as expedited so i just did the passport scan (in the Royal App) and immediately after pressing continue it now shows EXPEDITED arrival.  Not sure its a big deal but its great to know now.
  14. Love
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Matt in This is why no info on Icon class ships   
    Frankly it's nothing Matt hasn't been telling us for the past year.
  15. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from ellcee in CocoCay Oasis Lagoon Cabana Thoughts?   
    The over-the-water cabanas are the ones that can get up to $2.5k - in the Beach Club area.  The Oasis Lagoon Cabanas are around the fresh water pool. We snagged one in December for $317 for 3 of us and we felt it was a good deal (it's rare to find them quite that low though).  While we enjoyed them (and pretty much needed one that day since it was windy and cool), I'm not sure I'd do it again unless I had the right price and number of people.  We definitely won't do it for just two of us.
  16. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from PRebecca in Pricing increase   
    Have you considered using a good travel agent who can fight these battles for you?
  17. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from KWofPerth in CocoCay Oasis Lagoon Cabana Thoughts?   
    I won't argue you that! Most of the cabanas are at least doable if you split the cost between 6-8 people, but not the Beach Club.
  18. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from CruisingKitty in Trip Insurance   
    Welcome to the forums!
    Every insurance policy is different, so you have to decide what you want and find a policy that covers what you expect it to cover.  If I recall, the insurance you purchase through RCCL does not cover your flight, etc, which is one reason I go with someone else.  I have a good working relationship with tripinsurance.com (the poor owner has held my hand through several purchases when I didn't understand something), but there are many places to get trip insurance.  Just be sure you read it and know what it covers and what it doesn't.
    Also check out @Matt's podcast about trip insurance here:
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/podcast/episode-315-travel-insurance-101
  19. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to KWofPerth in CocoCay Oasis Lagoon Cabana Thoughts?   
    I appreciate that there are benefits to a cabana, and $317 is reasonable.
    'ish.
    $2,500 is not, no matter what else is thrown in. As a comparison, my last cruise (7nts) only cost $700US.
  20. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from KWofPerth in CocoCay Oasis Lagoon Cabana Thoughts?   
    The over-the-water cabanas are the ones that can get up to $2.5k - in the Beach Club area.  The Oasis Lagoon Cabanas are around the fresh water pool. We snagged one in December for $317 for 3 of us and we felt it was a good deal (it's rare to find them quite that low though).  While we enjoyed them (and pretty much needed one that day since it was windy and cool), I'm not sure I'd do it again unless I had the right price and number of people.  We definitely won't do it for just two of us.
  21. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from CarlaB in Revamp pizza went downhill   
    Pizza is so subjective. What some love others absolutely hate.  I can't fathom how Papa John's makes a dime because I find it inedible, yet there it is, still in business, and some of my coworkers (note: not friends - I don't need that kind of negativity in my life) love it.
  22. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Ogilthorpe in Show Schedule   
    My Symphony sailing had booking for entertainment show up about 120 days out.  On Ovation it was about 45 days. So basically, just keep checking.
     
  23. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from CruisingKitty in Freedom of the Seas Fatality?   
    The lawyer is grasping at invisible straws.
  24. Haha
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Freedom of the Seas Fatality?   
    I wonder if grandpa has ever come back to his car in a snow storm and found his car full of snow because he didn't know his window was open?
    Probably has a wicked air conditioning bill in the summer when the windows in the house are open.  
    Drive through restaurants must be a PITA for him.  Is the window open or not?  So confusing.
    Is he a Mac IT professional because Windows seems to give him a lot of trouble.
  25. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Last day of cruise and luggage   
    What we're saying here is....get on any elevator you can, regardless of which direction it is going.  Eventually you will get to where you are going even if you have to go up first.  If you wait for a "down" elevator, you will find that they are all going to be full.  Get on when you can.
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