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  1. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Orlando or Port Canaveral pre-departure overnight stay   
    We always stay the the Hyatt Regency inside of MCO.  They have a great restaurant on site, you still have access to the food area and stores inside the terminal, makes for a great overnight stay.  In the morning, we either catch a transfer to the port from the ground transportation area in the terminal or grab an Uber/Lyft.  I have looked at the hotels in Port Canaveral many times but they always seem a bit more run down to me...
  2. Like
    Srp431 reacted to kimberussell in Live Blog: Enchantment of the Seas 10/16-10/20   
    Final Takeaways: 
    Dress Code: I sweat this WAY too much. People were wearing swimsuits in Windjammer (I think as long as men wear shirts and women cover their bottoms it was allowed), shorts and polo shirts in MDR, and on formal night it looked like at least 1/3 of the MDR skipped it altogether. For formal night I was going to bring a fancy dress that I wore to a few weddings this year, but it wrinkles easily and I didn't want to fret about getting it pressed. Instead, I brought my trusty little black dress which is actually from Eastern Mountain Sports and is made of yoga pant material. Accessorized with a large scarf and bangin' shoes, it fit right in. The maxidresses I left home because I thought they would be seen as sloppy were just right for all of the other events.  As far as swimsuits go, I wore a 2-piece tankini and a strappy-cute one-piece and STILL felt like Hester Prynne at times. 
    Room: A large Ocean View cabin is completely fine for 2 people. I didn't even open up the package of magnetic hooks - everything we brought fit in the closet and drawers without a problem. My only quibble was with the shower, because no matter how I tried I ended up wetting the floor. I didn't use the drybags for our phones because at Coco Cay our chairs were right near the waterline. We also had the concierge nearby so I never felt unsafe leaving my stuff there. 
    Food and Drink: The drink package would have been a waste of money for me. Even with a mimosa, glass of wine, and drink of the day specials, I was under the daily amount, and with the new rules in place that make both roommates buy the drink package it would have been a HUGE waste. My favorite specialty drink: Coco Loco. Least favorite: Royal Lemonade. The food in Windjammer and MDR was fantastic and I don't feel like I missed out on anything by skipping Chops.
    The cane: Everyone was very accommodating to Mom, pulling us to the front of lines, letting us take elevators for muster and immigration lines, etc. When elevators were crowded, our fellow passengers were kind enough to wait and let her on first. (I kept taking the stairs to work off the drinks and breads.) The kindness wasn't exclusive to RCI -- TSA agents, airport employees, immigration & customs agents all went out of their way to make her trip easier and I am ever thankful. 
    Enchantment of the Seas: What a great ship! I think it was just the right size for us, and frankly the pictures I've seen of the larger ships are intimidating! Yes, she's showing a little wear, but no worse than any hotel would after a few years. Our dresser drawers were stiff, and the public restrooms have seen better days. We are definitely going to take another RCI cruise, but I don't know when it'll fit into my schedule. I already have a non-cruise vacation with my husband planned for next October, and I really need to visit my father (in FL, not a hardship) after the new year.
    Familial status: Thanks to this cruise, I think I'm solidly the favorite child until my sister-in-law brings Mom's second grandchild into the world next year. It's good to be Queen!

    (Mom and me. I'm on the left.)
    And one more time: Thank you for the encouragement and kind words. They will buoy me through this bout of post-cruise, mimosa-free depression. 
  3. Thanks
    Srp431 reacted to FManke in Live Blog: Enchantment of the Seas 10/16-10/20   
    This was truly one of the funniest pieces of writing I have read in a long time. Kudos to you! I look forward to hearing about future adventures.
  4. Like
    Srp431 reacted to rjac in Live Blog: Enchantment of the Seas 10/16-10/20   
    I think Matt and his gang should hire kimberrussell as a full time writer!
  5. Like
    Srp431 got a reaction from kimberussell in Navigator of the Seas 10/21-10/25 Basic Tourist Style!   
    Following have a great trip
  6. Like
    Srp431 reacted to kimberussell in Navigator of the Seas 10/21-10/25 Basic Tourist Style!   
    Hi! I'm Kim! You may know me from my Enchantment of the Seas trip report 2 years ago. We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
    Me: 47, cruised with Royal Caribbean 2 years ago for the first time and Disney 15 years ago. I love warm weather and palm trees. 
    Mom: old enough to be my mother, cruised with Royal Caribbean 2 years ago for the first time. She also loves warm weather and palm trees.
    We both love to eat. She's gluten-free, I'm gluten-full. We get along very well. 
    We are Basic. We have no Star, Pinnacle, or Diamond statuses going for us. We are our own Genies. We have matching t-shirts that say "Resting Beach Face." We accept every photo op. We lose money on bingo and gambling. All of those things that experienced cruisers laugh at and wonder who they're aimed for? Us! They're aimed for us!
    Our story: we took our first cruise 2 years ago because Mom had a medically crummy summer and I wanted her to look forward to something once she put in the necessary PT work. We had THE BEST TIME and at least once a week every week since she mentioned taking another cruise.
    Mom: Let's take another cruise!
    Me: We could do that. Or we could go back to Virginia Beach! Or find a nice place in Florida...
    Mom: But then we'll have to go out and FIND food instead of just walking to a restaurant and having all the food we want. Don't you remember just grabbing the bag of chips from that stand? And there's no Solarium. And just the hotel is more money than the entire cruise and that's WITHOUT food and...
    I created a monster who wants to be able to grab a bag of Sun Chips and walk away.
    She wanted to take the same exact cruise again, because this time since she's back to 100% and won't have to use a cane. She's even going to the gym now. I know, right? I also know who'll be lugging our suitcases.
    But our beloved Enchantment of the Seas moved to Galveston and the Navigator's 5-day doesn't include Key West. 
    Mom: I don't want a smaller boat than Enchantment, though!
    Me, looking at Navigator photos: I...don't think that will be a problem.
    And here we are, booked on Navigator and headed to Nassau (day 2), CocoCay (day 3) and a day at sea (day 4).
    What we are keeping the same:
    Same ocean-view room. We were barely in it last time and I think that we'd really waste money on a larger room. Same VOOM 2-device surf and stream package.  Still not booking an excursion in Nassau; we're using a map I found online to create our own walking tour with a goal to be back on the ship for lunchtime. I might purchase a bottle of rum to bring home.  Still not booking fancy dining - we were completely happy with MDR and Windjammer last time and I'm excited to add free tacos to our lineup. Can't forget the free chips. Still not buying beverage packages - even when it goes to buy one, get one 50% off, neither of us can sustain the pace to make it break even. And we don't mind regular coffee. What we are doing differently:
    I kind of fibbed about the lack of STATUS. Because we are Crown & Anchor GOLD LEVEL, baybeeeeeee! ha-HA!  We'll be strolling down deck 3 with our four points like this:

    (Which is why we'll never be let into fancy lounges.)
    I bought lanyards from an Etsy shop to replace the "Bristol Meyers Squib" medical conference ones we had before. They befit our GOLD status. My husband is my favorite person but NOT a tropical-loving guy so he is staying behind with my beloved dogs and retinol. He will be driving us to the airport. We are flying directly into Miami the night before to spare me the agita I had last time when we almost missed the plane in Philadelphia. I'll disclose the hotel once we've checked out because I'm paranoid. We are not buying Evian water to be delivered to the cabin - 12 1-liter bottles = WAY too much water. Instead, I'm going to pick up a 6-pack of bottles in Miami to carry on and satisfy Mom's bottled water demands. I'm sure the complimentary C&A Gold status sherpa will help us. (disclaimer: there is no sherpa) I was raised on NJ tap water, so my body has evolved its own high-end filtering system. I pre-rented a floating mat at CocoCay. But with the construction on CocoCay's South Beach we don't have the opportunity to rent a lounger for the day. For just 2 of us, dropping hundreds of dollars on a daybed or cabana isn't cost-effective.  I'm very concerned about snagging seats with an umbrella. Even though the map shows little umbrellas all over, I don't want us to scorch.  I have feelings about CocoCay. It's just ... we had the perfect day there 2 years ago before it became capital-letter Perfect Day. We're not doing the waterpark and my brother would kill me in my sleep if I hooked Mom up to a zipline. I just hope Royal Caribbean remembered that some people's perfect day entails just lying on the beach under an umbrella, drinking and eating. Other than weather, norovirus, airplane crashes, the softening of my jawline, and the ship catching on fire at sea, this is what I'm worried about. I am often wrong, so I'm hoping my wrongness streak continues.
    Flush myself down the Riptide slide. It looks to be 25 seconds long. I can do that. As long as I keep my mouth shut (tall order) I won't drown. Try a Lava Flow.  Have a FANTASTIC time. All that's left is the packing, folks.
  7. Like
    Srp431 reacted to 741953 in Navigator of the Seas 10/21-10/25 Basic Tourist Style!   
    Oh my...I thought I time traveled and read my own live blog!! ?
    On Nov 4, I'll be on Navigator, with my mom, for a 4 nights cruise. It'll be our very first cruise. 
    For package, we purchase nothing but internet for 2 devices. 
    We both don't drink at all, but we LOVE to eat. It REALLY doesn't matter what to eat. We have pretty cheap taste anyway.
    Gourmet dining environment sometimes actually makes us uncomfortable. Our preferred style is "just give me the god damn food and leave us alone".
    My mom is suffered from chronic knee and back pain, so for Nassau we're just gonna walk around the port, take some photos and maybe buy some rum cakes for our friends back home.
    For CocoCay, I thought about getting myself a Waterpark Pass for the slides. But since it's our first cruise and my mom is not fluent in English, I wanna stay with her as much as possible. Again, we just wanna chill and EAT. That's all. I can already see my mom "stationed" at Skipper's Grill, snacking non-stop while watching her favorite videos and chatting with friends online.
    I have a question. How do you pre-rented a floating mat at CocoCay? I'm too thinking about renting one, but don't see it anywhere in cruise planner.

    It'll be great if you can also upload the Cruise Compass with your live blog. Only if you have the time.
    I seriously can't wait for your live blog! 
  8. Like
    Srp431 reacted to AshleyDillo in Food Questions   
    It can be, but I've also experienced it be just warm.  It's the nature of banquet-style dining which is basically what the main dining room is at dinner time.
    You are likely to have more luck at the specialty restaurants as the food is more likely made to order.   I've also found that the lunch in the main dining room has a buffet-style options that usually has a made to order station -- pasta, stir fry, etc. which gives you the opportunity to get a hot meal.
    RCCL is also very good with allergies if you note it on your reservation.  They should have someone speak with you in the dining room to go over the menu with you to ensure that nothing has your allergen.  You can also ask for this in the Windjammer (buffet) and they will bring someone out to answer your questions and find something that works for you.
  9. Like
    Srp431 reacted to raahc in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    OMG!!!! That is ??? perfect!  I must tell hubby this! 
    But, we're usually running to line up for a show right after dinner (to get good seats, even with a reservation).  Might have to wait until after the show ... then my stomach will have settled in for the second round (I do have a separate stomach for desserts though) ?
  10. Like
    Srp431 reacted to raahc in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    That's exactly what I was thinking!  Great minds think a like!  So nice to find someone who shares my passion for food and photography!  And there are so many here on the forums - YEA!
     I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE taking food pictures and we always show up early (whenever we eat out) to take pictures before the food is touched, and also to avoid taking pictures of people.  I'm a huge advocate of protecting people's privacy, and I always blur them out if I can't avoid them in shots.
    We may have to go to WJ first before our planned trip to to Park Cafe this time around ?
    Thanks for the tip and reminder!!! ?
  11. Like
    Srp431 reacted to AshleyDillo in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    You have to hit up the WJ first for the best photos before the food has been disturbed by the masses!
  12. Haha
    Srp431 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    @CGTLH started the phrase "WJ recon".  Hubby's strategy is...WJ recon before dinner, eat main dinner accordingly, go back to WJ afterwards. ?
  13. Haha
    Srp431 reacted to raahc in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    My hubby says all days ?
    I don't know how he expects me to eat in the MDR, then visit the Windjammer ?
    I don't have the same appetite as our last cruise, when we were a lot younger ?
  14. Like
    Srp431 reacted to monctonguy in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    Days 3. 5,  and 7 for me then!..
  15. Like
    Srp431 reacted to RickinSTL in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    I've wondered about this myself.. So, I've come up with a plan.. With the exception of formal nights.. Ill run up and check what theme it is while my wife is getting ready for dinner.. If its a theme we like.. then its back to shorts and t-shirts lol.. if not.. Time to throw on Khakis and a polo and head to the MDR
  16. Love
    Srp431 reacted to raahc in Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony   
    Not sure if anyone is still interested (I just joined these forums today), here is what I found from a very recent cruise of Harmony.  Please note they can change at any time:
    Day 1:  Grill 
    Day 2:  Crepes
    Day 3:  Indian
    Day 4:  Caribbean
    Day 5:  Mexican
    Day 6:  Mixed Grill/Crepes
    Day 7:  Mongolian
    Hope this helps.  Cheers!
  17. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Pookie in What do YOU wish you knew before you cruised?   
    That I did not need to pack so many clothes.  
  18. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Matt in What do YOU wish you knew before you cruised?   
    Here you go! Check out this video featuring many of the responses from this thread!
  19. Thanks
    Srp431 reacted to Pinnacle Dreams in What do YOU wish you knew before you cruised?   
    I wish I had known that you can load money to your slot machine from your seapass card at no fee - then cash in the voucher for whatever you loaded to your card instead of using an ATM and paying a fee. We wanted just another $50 to spend ashore and didn't know that trick so ended up paying an ATM fee. My family member that was cruising with me showed me that trick after we left port and the casino reopened. Was kicking myself for that one even though it wasn't a huge deal. 
  20. Like
    Srp431 reacted to tldslick in Freedom of the Seas July 14th ABC islands (not so live)   
    This is my first ever attempt at a trip report and i wanted to share some of the highlights of our trip.  I have learned so much from Matt and others here that i attribute such a great cruise to you all and wish to say thank you.  This was our 4th cruise with Royal and a special one as it was our 20th Anniversary.   
    It was Friday night and we are all packed and ready to leave for the airport first thing in the morning when the email comes in that our flights to San Juan are cancelled.  After hours on the phone with the airline we have another flight and we are on our way.  Another vote for always flying in the day before.

    After getting our luggage we got a taxi and headed off to Sheraton Old San Juan.  This hotel was beautiful and check in was fast and simple.

    View from the balcony room.

    After getting settled we decided to explore a little and hopefully find the forts and get dinner after a long travel day.

    After the forts we found Punto de Vista Rooftop Restaurant at the Hotel Milano and decided to give it a try.  We tried Mofongo for the first time.  I liked it very much but since it was my first time i can not compare it to anywhere else.  After dinner it was back to the hotel.  The plan was to cool off in the rooftop pool but we were both too tired and decided to turn in for the night.
    Next up.....Embarkation Day!!
  21. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Lovestotravel in Freedom of the Seas July 14th ABC islands (not so live)   
    Anxious to hear about the rest of the trip!  Taking this itinerary next year and trying to plan excursions!
  22. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Tiffeven in Allure Star Class Take Two   
    Well my husband has been after me about blogging our trip, so here goes.  He claims that he will be helping me blog, but I'll believe it when I see it.  Atleast at this moment he is sitting next to me looking at the screen and not reddit for once.
    A little background on us:
    I'm Tiffany, and he's Steven.  Our circus consists of four kids who are nine, seven, one, and eight months.  Steven retired from the Army last year, and I'm a stay at home mom.  We knew we wanted more time to be able to cruise, so we decided to take a stab at homeschooling this year.  So far so good, and to make it even better, it is significantly cheaper cruising when it's not over school break.
    Our cruise plans:
    We were originally on the Allure of the Seas September 1st cruise that got shortened by three days due to Dorian.  We stuck with the cruise, and had an amazing time and got a nice future cruise credit since we were in a 2 bedroom aquatheater suite.  It was so great, in fact, that we had to do a "grounding cruise" in a non-Star class cabin to bring us back down to Earth.  Guess it didn't work, because here we are doing another Star class cruise on November 17th.
    The ship and cabin:
    Allure of the Seas 
    10730 (2 bedroom aquatheater suite)
    We would have loved to be back in the deck 8 aquatheater suite, but since it's a last minute booking for a family of six, we were lucky to find this one open.
    We will try to keep this as live as possible but with four kids and star class food coma, no promises. 
  23. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Ray in Currency   
    Greece also uses the Euro
  24. Like
    Srp431 reacted to Ray in Currency   
    Most European Countries have the Euro as their currency. 
    Here is a list of currencies used in European countries 
  25. Like
    Srp431 reacted to JLMoran in Shopping in San Juan and St Maarten   
    St. Maarten has the "port village" just off of the dock, but that is your typical collection of overpriced and kind of schlocky merchandise (e.g., Diamonds International). If you want some decent shopping you'll be better off going into Philipsburg proper on the Dutch side of the island, or Marigot on the French side. Going to Marigot in the morning also means you can get some great authentic French breakfast pastries. ?
    In San Juan there is an area close to the port that has a nice collection of shops, dining places / coffee shops, and buskers; along with the pigeon park that is a big attraction. IF I'm remembering right, you'll walk to the end of the dock where it meets the main road, cross the street, then turn left and walk a short distance to your first right, which will go uphill to the pigeon park and shopping area.
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