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  1. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Mariner of the sea August 29th 2022   
    Just booked this cruise yesterday! I needed another cruise to get me to my next cruise at the end of September.
    $600 for 2 people including gratuities + $75 OBC from MEI Travel!
  2. Haha
    IRMO12HD reacted to Ampurp85 in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    I think I want to know why you need extra undies after Taco bell?????
    When I was married, I am widowed, my husband was a known idiot. Grown man......mind you.... was so proud when he packed his first bag. It contained a pair of our sheets and a jean jacket. We were going to Ireland in April. For almost a month. No clothes, no toiletries. A jacket that didn't even belong to us and sheets. We were sharing this luggage and that's what he thought we needed. 
  3. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to teddy in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    I get the whole packing thing.
    My wife:  Is that what you're wearing?
    Me: I guess not.  😐
  4. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to TheRick in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    Eight Days and Counting
     We have eight days to go and we are already packing. In our defense we leave town in either five or six days. I want to leave on the 18th and my wife wants to leave on the 19th (we will stay with my parents so we won’t have to pay for a hotel). Like any good couple, we will calmly discuss why we want to leave when we do. Have a civil debate before coming up with a compromise, which means we will do whatever she wants.
    We have two large suitcases, a carry on, and my C-Pap machine. We decided because we have two suitcases, we will put half my clothes in one suitcase and the other half in the second suitcase. We will do the same with my wife’s clothes, that way if one of our bags gets lost on the flight from California to Florida, we’ll each have some clothes to get by. My wife and I have been married for 30 years and together for 33, we have weathered many storms including the awful plunger incident of ’91 (which she brings up at least once every few months), and most recently when she reset my Wordle stats back to zero. But I will tell you right now, if we don’t separate our clothes and one of our suitcases gets lost in transit forcing my wife to wear my skivvies for seven days, we’ll probably never recover from that.
    Since I’m retired and my wife still works, I offered to take a load of her shoulders and pack for both. She responded with an enthusiastic, “Not a chance in Hell, buddy.”  She would rather spend all day in work meetings that easily could’ve been an email than have me pack for her or myself or anyone for that matter. I am so bad at packing that she wouldn’t allow me to even pack for her worst enemy.  I don’t blame her one bit, I mean last time I packed for myself I ended up with two pairs of jammies, one shirt with a mustard stain, and eight pairs of undies for a 3-day weekend getaway, because when I pack underwear, I am like a fricken Boy Scout, “Be Prepared.” Here is how I pack my chonies: one pair for day one and one pair in case I poop myself. One pair for day two and one pair in case I eat Taco Bell for lunch (If you know, you know). One pair for day three and one pair for…surely it can’t happen three days in a row, but just in case, one more pair. And finally, two extra pairs just because. I always forget socks. It’s like my hidden talent to forget to pack socks. My wife is afraid if I pack for myself I might end up bringing three pairs of snow pants to the Caribbean, but hey, you never know when you need a good pair of snow pants.
    We have stacks and stacks of new clothing my wife has been buying since we booked the cruise almost six months ago, yet I am not allowed to wear any of them. I swear, you get one little mustard stain on your shirt every time you wear one, and suddenly your wife doesn’t trust you around clothes…and food. Remember when you were a kid and you went to your friend’s house where the couch was covered in plastic and you weren’t allowed to sit on it? It’s the same thing with my stack of cruise clothing.
    My wife is packing and I’m in the room to lend moral support, but I’m not paying very much attention. When I arrive on the ship and open my suitcase it will be a surprise, like when my kids were younger and they opened their Christmas presents in front of me and I see for the first time, what we got them.
    I’ll be back in a few days to report on my pre embarkation testing and our traveling from rural county in California to the Sacramento area.  
  5. Haha
    IRMO12HD reacted to TheRick in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    Three days and counting
    I’m a negative person, my wife could attest to that, but just to be certain, I got a medical professional to confirm it. I performed the proctored e-med test this morning and it was negative and I’m positive about that. Even better news, my wife is negative too. It would’ve been horrible if she tested positive because I would miss her while I sunned on the pool deck with a lava flow in my hand while she would be home coughing up a lung. I probably would feel a little guilty leaving her behind, but another cocktail would help me forget (and yes I know if she tested positive, I wouldn’t be able to go, it was just a joke).
    The test was pretty easy, although since I’m hard of hearing and still don’t hear well even with my hearing aids, I had to ask her to repeat herself a few time. Like my wife always says, not every sentence begins with, huh.
    I think secretly my dog was rooting for a positive test. He’s not very happy about us leaving, I can tell because he chewed holes into all our masks. Never ever has my dog wished for us to get the ‘Rona. The cats on the other hand, don’t give a crap about us, as long as someone feeds them and leaves them alone, they will ignore anyone just as easily as they ignore us. They are equal opportunity jerks. They probably figure they can poop in the houseplants and puke on the couch whether we are there or not.
    As I mentioned before, I want to leave today and my wife wants to leave tomorrow. After my passionate plea, she listened to me and agreed that I didn’t really want to leave today, so alas we are leaving tomorrow morning and by morning, I mean I’ll be ready by eight and we’ll leave by noon, hopefully.
    I’ll report back tomorrow for the first of our two travel days. 
  6. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Ampurp85 in Navigating Back-to-Back: Sept 7th-12th &Sept 12th-15th, 2022   
    I am officially at the 30-day mark as I received my eDocs for the cruise. 
    I will be committing a cardinal sin as I am flying in the morning of. I have flown in the morning of for all of my solo cruises; pre- and post-pandemic. I always choose the first flight out. I had every intention this time of flying out the day before. This cruise leaves the week of Labor Day, we normally have our monthly meetings the first Mon of the month, well because of the holiday it got changed to the first Tues. Leaving enough time for the long-winded meetings, I scheduled a late evening flight. But AA cancelled the evening flight I had when they did their restructure to alleviate some of the flight loads. So, I had an option of taking an afternoon flight I wouldn't make or an early morning flight the day of. Lucky for me ORD goes to LAX multiple times a day and I have flown there a couple of weeks ago, I should be fine........knock on wood!
    I have flown quite a bit after the pandemic and the lines to check bags have gotten worse. Add in the horror stories of lost and delayed luggage, I downsized. I have a 19/20in carry-on that is a bit smaller than standard. I feel like I accomplished a feat as I did 11 days with it for a conference in July..........and I am a plus size woman.  The 8 days for this cruise should be easy: it holds two packing cubes, some shoes, extra bag, and my travel fan. I put my toiletries, electronics and 1 other packing cube in my backpack and I am good to go. I decided to do a 11:30 check-in just in case as my plane lands a little after 9, but if it is late or I have to take second flight; I am not holding a prime check-in spot. 
    Weirdly enough I just found out that technically I don't have to be solo on this cruise. This cruise is on my work calendar and one of my coworkers noticed it. He is a pretty avid cruiser himself. The prices for both sailings were very attractive and the 3N sailing was part of a GGG sale that had balconies for $199 (full price for solo so basically $99pp), plus port taxes and fees. So, he also booked a B2B, as a happy divorce celebration to himself. This is his very first solo cruise, ever. He was looking at evening flights as he always flies in the day before, but they were all connecting and so he's now on the same early morning flight........and sitting right next to me. I don't plan to spend most of my cruise with him, but it is nice to be able to have dinner with another person, if I want. 
    A fun fact for him is that this B2B solo will get him to 341 points. Which is when I believe the solo supplement kicks in. 
    It feels like I haven't cruise for forever, so it is not coming fast enough. 😰 😬🤣
  7. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to EmersonNZ in Gratuities finally increasing?   
    Given gratuities make up a good proportion of some of the crews wages and know how cost of living has increased I'm not too upset to see gratuities rise and thus see their wages rise accordingly.

    Prepaying gratuities is kinda strange in some ways. It's like going to a restaurant and paying for the meal at the cost it was when you made the reservation 12 months ago and the chef and everyone being happy with the wages from 12 months ago. Of course the benefit is people actually pay them if they are paid before hand. (Coming form a country that doesn't do tipping I find the whole idea strange. My experience of service in countries where it does happen (incl US) is it certainly doesn't improve the service compared to those that don't).
  8. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to PPPJJ-GCVAB in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    I am totally following your blog!  I absolutely love your sense of humor/ writing style!  You had me giggling from the start and out-right laughing as I read along so I know I will appreciate this read.  
  9. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to WAAAYTOOO in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    I think you’re fibbing a bit on the “cheapskate” moniker.  True cheapskates don’t cruise in balconies or purchase the DBP…but I won’t mess with your self-image too badly…😇😂
    Have a great time and looking forward to the live blog.
  10. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to TheRick in A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog   
    T-Minus 12 Days 
    I must admit, I’m quite envious when I hear about people booking over the water cabanas at Perfect Day at Coco Cay, or eating at Coastal Kitchen, or emailing back and forth with their Genie because unless I find a magic lamp on St. Kitts, I’m not getting a Genie. How I wish I could book a suite, I mean who doesn’t want to stay in the owner’s suite with all the space, all the amenities, and a bidet, I will miss having a bidet, but since I’m on a tight budget, my rump and I will rough it in a balcony room. Like many Americans, I live from paycheck to four days before the next paycheck. Being a cheapskate comes naturally to me. Some might even say it’s a gift. Okay, okay, no one calls it a gift, especially my wife.
    Here I will chronicle our seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Harmony of the Seas while attempting to save as much money as possible without compromising on having fun.
    I pre-booked our cruise, the deluxe drink package, internet package, and two excursions. I rushed to book the cruise instead of taking the time to try to get the best deal possible; although, I’m pleased with our deal. The reason for rushing the booking was the sale was set to expire in 1 hours and 52 minutes and I didn’t want to miss out. Little did I know that this is the sale that never ends, it goes on and on my friends. I suspect that this current sale and all the extensions date back to the day when Noah chartered the Ark of the Seas from Royal Caribbean during the Great Flood. I think I might have been bamboozled by the threat of the sale ending.
    I booked all the add-ons we wanted; repricing, cancelling, and rebooking when the prices dropped. We saved on the internet package by booking one internet package with two devices instead of two individual packages. Originally, I booked the deluxe drink package for $77.99 per person/per day. My wallet wept that day. I cancelled and rebooked when the price dropped to $72.99 pp/pd. And did it once again when the price dropped to $65.99 pp/pd. My wallet no longer weeps uncontrollably, but it does whimper from time to time, not to mention, my liver is not so pleased either.
    I’m not going to go all Ebenezer Scrooge to the point we don’t enjoy ourselves, but we are not going to spend freely like the Real Housewives of the Seas. This is our first cruise in what seems like forever and that’s a might long time, but I’m here to tell you, there’s something else, the barometer. A world of measuring how we can save on future cruses, such as the four-day Catalina and Ensenada cruise we have booked in November. The November cruise we will be thriftier. 
    There are a few things I won’t skimp on and they are as follows:
    1.      Gratuities. We prepaid our gratuities, but I plan on tipping above and beyond, because I may be a cheapskate, but I’m not an A-hole. Well, I may be an A-hole, but I’m not the kind of A-hole that would screw over someone else on tips just to save a few bucks.
    2.      My wife made it clear that she wants something special from the ship. I plugged the words “something special” into my husband/wife translator and it comes back as jewelry.
    3.      Souvenirs for the grandkids. I am thinking of something loud and obnoxious; payback is a…, well you know.   
    4.      And finally, I will not lie, cheat, or scheme to get something for free. For example, if we eat at a specialty restaurant, I won’t lie to the waitstaff telling them there’s a toe in my risotto (or would it be risot-toe) just to get a free meal. Even if my risotto has a toe in it, I hate confrontation, so I’ll probably keep quite while eating around it. I’m almost certain that quality control on the Harmony of the Seas is good enough to catch a stray toe in the food being served, at least I hope so.
    I will be updating a few times leading up to our cruise with my observations on the preparations and then once we board I will live blog our experience.  
  11. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to nhilding10 in MCO Transportation Help???   
    I'm not sure where your hotel is so this may be completely irrelevant information and if so I apologize. But for a few comparable items, I just went through the same thing. We're staying at a hotel in Cocoa Beach and needed transportation from MCO to the hotel, then after the cruise from Port Canaveral back to MCO. From hotel to Port on the morning of the cruise we're good.
    GoPort.com offered us (2 adults / 2 children) from MCO to Port Canaveral at $120. That was MCO to Port only, however, they wouldn't do anything MCO to a hotel. 
    Cortans was $30 per person each way, so $120, same as GoPort.
    Cocoa Beach Shuttle offered us MCO to our hotel for $85 flat fee, and then from Port to MCO at the end of the cruise for $89. 
    We found Cocoa Beach Shuttle to be the cheapest and easiest. They will send a van right to MCO and we may share a ride we may not, but we know we're going to get there and they offered services well past 5:30 (really late did have an upcharge to be transparent). 
    We tried to find estimates with Uber/Lyft but that can be unreliable given surge/time/etc. but found that they wouldn't necessarily beat $85 in most cases, or so we thought. 
    Hope that helps!
  12. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Pooch in MCO Transportation Help???   
    Stay near the airport, use the hotel shuttle from the airport then either Cortrans or Cruise Control Transportation to the port in the morning.
  13. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Sweating it out now before testing for our cruise   
    I know there is nothing anyone can say to make you worry less.  What I can tell you is in June my son tested positive for covid 7 days before our cruise.  We canceled and rebooked, and we are still both alive and well.  In July we had a very nice cruise to Alaska.  In 3 weeks, I fly to Europe, and I run around Europe for 7 days before my Artic cruise.  I just hope I don't get covid on the flight or running around Europe.  If I do, it will be a different experience than I expect but I will be OK.
    You will be OK 
  14. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to USCG Teacher in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    I'm not sure if it's still a "thing," but I remember on a number of past cruises there were lessons given in the casino a various times throughout the week.  It cost a few bucks (maybe $20?), but they would walk players through how to play blackjack, roulette and craps, and even do a few simulated games everyone got play in.  At the end, you ended up getting what you paid for the class in free play to come back and try for real.  My wife enjoyed it immensely, and she ended up trying craps for the first time by the end of the cruise.  She promptly lost her $20, but she had a good time!
  15. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to AspiringCruisePlanner in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    It's not everyone's cup of tea, and honestly, it shouldn't be. Gambling and the gaming industry relies on convincing players they may beat the house (while the odds are pre-defined against the player) and/or that the entertainment offered while playing was worth the money the player lost. A lot of people don't receive that entertainment value and others do, aka gamblers.
    Players can reduce their risk of losing big by sticking to table games like blackjack and craps where the house edge is very slim (when played properly) and betting conservatively. IMO, this is the most fun, but others like my wife enjoy slot machines because of all the bells and whistles and the chance at a jackpot.
    Casinos are truly a menace to society, but they sure are fun to a large chunk of the population that fund their existence.
  16. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to sleepy425 in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    Last cruise we signed up for a Learn to Play option via the Cruise Planner.  I think it was $20, gave us $20 worth of chips (whatever the cost was that was the value of chips we received), and 2 free drinks.  It disappeared from the cruise planner not long after we booked it, and I haven't seen it offered on any of the Cruise Planners since.  I keep hoping it shows up again for our future cruises, because it was a great deal!  Even if it doesn't come up again, I will definitely go to the Learn to Play sessions anyhow.  It was nice to learn in a relaxed environment - I'm too chicken to play when people are around.
  17. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to USCG Teacher in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    100% this! I worked in casinos and have played in casinos, when some self-proclaimed expert would get mouthy/uppity, I would generally in a less than friendly manner direct them to find a higher-limit table if they were uncomfortable playing with less experienced players.  Everyone deserves a chance to sit at a real table and play for fun and to be comfortable doing so.
  18. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to OCSC Mike in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    Yeah, if it wasn't clear, I was just making a general point. I may or may not have played A LOT of BJ in a former life and what you described always annoyed me to no end b/c it's not only rude but mathematically incorrect.
    I was always hesitant to give someone advice, even if they weren't experienced, so I would phrase my answers (when asked) with something like "the book says to do this but it's your money."
  19. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Pattycruise in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    The Casino runs "learn to play"  for the tables.  It is typically on day 1 and day 2 of the cruise.  It is helpful.  
    I've sat at three card poker, unsure of things and others will help, and the dealer will offer their thought if you ask.  *you are not competing with anyone so it's a "no stress" in that regard.
    I understand serious Blackjack players do not appreciate the newbie because you can "screw them up" (I've no idea if it's "real" or if  it's just perceived to be real).  I won't play blackjack for that reason.
    Slots, I finally took it upon myself to play something other than video poker, sat at some giant machine in a series of 3, and asked the lady next to me if she could explain the game.  She was AMAZING, and took the time to tell me what I was looking at, hoping for etc....and how she does her bets-and how I could do mine, etc.  If a question came up she would answer it for me.  We sat for quite some time together and she trusted me enough to watch her machine while she hit the ladies room.  I think most players will share how to play a machine.
    As a person who dabbles in gambling I tell those newbies who sit next to me. and see a huge win, "you've not seen how much they have lost before you got here", "bets are subjective to be large-their income can be hundreds of thousands a year or more", "someone can be looking at your bet and be thinking -how can he bet that much", "don't forget to tip the dealer on a good win", "have a set amount to gamble for the cruise and don't exceed it, no matter what".  
    I also inform them of how to get their freeplay ( you can see the casino host for info on that) and that they should check for earned freeplay on the last night of the cruise, as well as the tier level system and how to check for that with the casino host or online and the final, to look for the "free cruise/$ off" a cruise offer that is currently onboard.  It would suck to find out you were only 30 points away from a free cruise (that might be the only time I would consider playing additional funds if I spent my allowance)
  20. Thanks
    IRMO12HD reacted to CHRIS WONG in Casino Royale for dummies!   
    A basic and informative video on how Casino Royale works onboard our ships!
    I hope you guys find this information useful.
  21. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Ampurp85 in Navigating Back-to-Back: Sept 7th-12th &Sept 12th-15th, 2022   
    Ship: Navigator of the Seas
    Dates: 9.7.22-9.12.22 and 9.12.22-9.15.22
    Who: Solo female and newly Prime
    Itinerary: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico & Ensenda, Mexico x2
    I was going to wait and start this blog in the middle of Aug. But since there is no longer testing required for sailing shorter than six nights, I decided to start this one. I don't ever "worry" about testing positive, but it is always in the back of my mind. This is an added bonus cruise for me, I normally only get to sail twice a year. Oct/Nov and Jan/Feb only because that is what my vacation time allows. Well with me being WFH until......who knows at this point, I was able to squeeze in an extra cruise. As luck would have it, I made Prime on my last cruise. I did well enough to earn a bunch of offers. One was a free interior on limited 5n or less sailings in Aug and Sept. I originally thought none of the sailings worked in conjunction with a good flying schedule. Then I got an offer with $100 off and $25 in free play. Since I don't live close to a port, it doesn't make sense to fly out for a cruise that isn't at least 6-7 days.
    The free interior was a 5N Navigator sailing out of LA in September. This sailing started on a Wed, so there was a 3n sailing right behind it. I booked both, I was originally going to upgrade to a suite, but they didn't have the same room available for each sailing, no aft balconies either.  I don't know if I have mentioned it before in any of my live blogs, but my goal is to sail as many RCG ships in as many types of rooms as possible. I do suites, balconies and interiors; Oceanview is not my cup of tea. I did sail in a spacious panoramic Oceanview on Mariner, and it just confirmed why I don't care for Oceanview. It was also in the front of the ship, and I hate front of the ship cabins. I booked aft cabin 9383 for both sailings to make it a true B2B by not having to pack and move. A couple of days before final payment was due for the 3night sailing, all the interiors dropped dramatically in price. With taxes, port fees and gratuity I paid less than $500 for 8N of cruising. 
    The day after I checked in for the first cruise a bunch of rooms opened up. Still no matching aft suites/balconies but interiors with virtual balconies opened up. On the Sept 12th sailing, all the interiors were going for the same price, on the Sept 7th sailing it was $34 to upgrade.  I switched my rooms to deck 10 #1643 and I am excited to try this type of room. Ultimately this cruise is just a relaxing cruise to help me make my Prime status last longer. I had tours planed for Cabo and Ensenada on the second leg but changed my mind as I have done resorts in Mexico and its all the same. At Day 40/45 I received RoyalUp offers for both cruises. Since it is a third-party who won't know I am B2B I didn't bother bidding.
    The CP has been weird for both sailings: I was hoping for the 3N dining package, but it has yet to show up. Also, there was no UDP, so I got the Chops+1 and then around the 4th of July the UDP became available. It is roughly $200 for this 5N sailing and I didn't think it was worth it as I was only wanting to do maybe 3 sit down dinners. No dining package of any kind has shown up for the 3N sailing, in fact I can't even book MTD for that one in the CP. I am Diamond and Prime, so I have no drink package, I only brought VOOM in CP for the first sailing. I will use my free day or get the D discount if I really need the internet on the second sailing. 
    Thanks for reading and if you want to know anything feel free to ask. 
  22. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to MattG in 5-person family trip on Anthem of the Seas - 9 October 2022   
    Hi everyone! We're off on another family adventure, this time on Oasis. It's me (mid-30s M), Dear Wife (mid-30s F), and our three kids (6F, 4F, and 2M). This is a sequel to our December 2021 trip on Anthem, and something i've been looking forward to since that trip (being honest - i've been looking forward to this trip before we even embarked on Anthem!)
    There are some things that will be the same from that trip:
    same family same departure port (Bayonne, NJ) same itinerary (Sea Day, Port Canaveral, Nassau, Coco Cay, 2 Sea Days). But there's a lot more that will be different:
    Better wrangle of COVID: COVID was a burden for us last December - getting tests, testing in the terminal, everyone wearing masks, etc. They were all necessary steps, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. However, with vaccines now being available for kids under 5, everyone will be fully vaccinated by the time we cruise. We can't be more excited to have them "in the bubble" with us and be considered part of the fully vaccinated members on the ship. Also, we're definitely taking @Matt's advice and bringing a handful of COVID tests with us!
    Oasis-class (from Quantum-class): On Anthem, I felt like we disembarked having done everything we could have done on that ship. COVID knocked out a lot of family activities, which came back throughout this spring based on the Cruise Compasses that have come out from Anthem. Every time I think about kids activies on Oasis, I lose track! I'm really excited for there to always be something to do (Ultimate Abyss, Splashaway Bay, Adventure Ocean, Merry-Go-Round, more pools)
    Dining: On Anthem, our goal was to fully embrace the Windjammer and MDR for meals. We also really liked the consistency and structure of both venues when it came to routine with the kids. Our serving staff in MDR on Anthem were, without a doubt, the best part of the entire cruise. As parents, they made our lives as painless as possible. From a food perspective, Windjammer and MDR were good, but not great or mind-blowing. At the time, UDP on Anthem was $220/person, and specialty dining wasn't in the cards. Once we booked Oasis and I got into the Cruise Planner, I saw UDP for $167/day. With 150CP and Chops going for $60+, convincing DW that $24/day for specialty dining was easy, especially with the increased variety on Oasis.
    Stateroom: On Anthem, we also had our nanny (20F), so we did two connecting interior staterooms. They were gorgeous and gave us room to spread out. By the time we cruise on Oasis, our nanny will have moved on, so it's just the 5 of us. When I browsed the Oasis deckplans, I saw some 5+ rooms, including Central Park Balcony rooms. It was break-even in cost to switch from 2x interior to 1x CP balcony, so we made the switch. We're very curious to see 1) how the 5 of us cope being in one room, and 2) how the balcony changes the dynamic of the room.
    Price: Our price for 2 interior staterooms on Anthem (after taxes, before grats) for 3 adults and 3 kids was $3,228. On Oasis, our 5-person CP Balcony started at $4,471, but with several price drops, promos, and Kids Sail Free, our total on Final Payment Date was $2,332. Unbelievable. Endless thanks and praise to @Sharlaat MEI Travel for making this happen, and for putting up with my incessant requests to re-check pricing 🙂 Thank you, Sharla!
    Our Goals on Oasis:
    Truly embrace specialty dining: having our fill of WJ and MDR, we're going the polar opposite direction and going HAM on specialty dining thanks to UDP. Probably not the smartest idea, but we're doing it for SCIENCE!
    Escape room: I'm a huge space nerd, and can't wait to check out the Apollo 18 escape room
    Stress less about activities, especially for the kids: on Anthem, I felt like I had to always be planning the "next thing" for the kids. I don't feel I need to do that on Oasis, there's always some place to go or something new to check out.
    See Aqua80s: I'm an 80s/90s kid, i've heard this show is fantastic.
    Avoid Cats (maybe): Not sure if this will be possible, our kids loved all the mainstage shows on Anthem. Who knows, maybe i'll like it...
    Embrace the uniqueness of Oasis: Splashaway Bay, water slides, Ultimate Abyss, super-tall rock wall (20% taller than Anthem), Central Park & the Boardwalk, etc
  23. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to joberry57 in Another last minute solo cruise. This time on Grandeur for 5 days   
    I took a last minute solo cruise on the Odyssey last year and I guess I gambled enough to get a comp inside cabin on the Grandeur. I discovered the option while researching for a friend of mine.  Luckily they had a date that worked for me.  I was in the middle of a project but it was expected to end in June.  I booked it and started making plans.   The next week the project end date moved to July 17 with the cruise leaving on the 27th.  Still within time frame but not much room for error.  Then the end date was pushed out to the 24th.  Now I am sweating a little bit but I went ahead with planning but not buying anything not refundable.   Well the important parts of the project is now done and what is scheduled for the 24th will not affect my vacation.  
    I have now bought parking and have started scheduling my excursions.  Which is easy as I plan on diving at both stops.  Cozumel will be with my normal dive company that I use for my diving trips.  Costa Maya on the other hand will be brand new to me.  Found one with decent reviews and was able to answer all my questions so I should be set.
    I never thought I would want to go on a smaller ship again but a comp cruise is a comp cruise.  I have a interior cabin but the location is perfect for me so I passed on trying to upgrade this time and location is much more important to me than a balcony.  I ended up buying the Key when it went on sale and was only $5 more than the internet package by itself.  I'm a bit fan of shows so I'm hoping the seating benefit will be worth at least that.  I did choose to pass on the drink package this time as I know I will not use much on the port days and I can bring 2 bottles of wine for myself.  Along with a small OBC I figure I will be set and not worry about a big bar bill.  I hope I'm not wrong.
    With the Grandeur not having all the extra dining venues I decided I will give the MDR another shot.  My first 2 RCL cruises were a bit of a disappointment in the food department outside the pay venues.  I did however book one night at Chops which I really enjoyed in October.
    After 4 overnight weekends in the last 5 I am really looking forward to getting away.  I got a new laptop so I'm hoping the internet is decent on the ship and I can keep this updated.
    Thanks for reading.
  24. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to GregD in “The Starry Neighbor (Neighbour?) Chronicles: Pining for the Fjords” – Anthem of the Seas, July 8th-15th, 2022   
    All our bags are packed. Checked in for our flights and hotel. Practice COVID tests all negative. Surprise is still intact. 17th hrs until we board the plane!
  25. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “The Starry Neighbor (Neighbour?) Chronicles: Pining for the Fjords” – Anthem of the Seas, July 8th-15th, 2022   
    The last part is where things got weird. After the cruise down the Thames, our guide said he would not be going with us. He asked for a volunteer to take a paper that had a bar code on it containing the 37 tickets for all who would he riding the London Eye. Hubby and I looked at each other and the Type A personalities took over, we did not hesitate to volunteer because at least we knew that we would make it on the flight lol. This was a 30 min flight and worth it for a one time experience. Hubby said it was a North Star on steroids lol. 

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