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BrianB

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  1. My Diamond Plus status secret is cruising solo. Getting two points per night adds up quick. I have eight cruises completed and just reached Diamond after my cruise in May. So the first time I was able to enjoy the benefits on board was this past b2b in Sept-Oct. The Diamond Lounge on the Anthem is very nice...and Federico, the concierge, helped me with some reservations. I will be Diamond Plus in two months after my December cruise. I love cruising (obviously🤣) and agree that the cruise itself is the main reward. The benefits are appreciated and the C&A program is a very nice way to recognize loyalty. I’m already at the top level (over 700 points) at another cruise line and I can honestly tell you that the C&A benefits are far and away much, much better! Loyalty programs will always go through periods of tweaking and adjusting...hopefully for the better. But my goal is to enjoy my cruise...whichever one I happen to be on...and, when I’m back on land, to count the days until my next cruise. I am thankful that I’m fortunate enough to be able to do what I do. Thank you for this blog because you can never know enough, or learn enough, about cruising without friends sharing their insight and experiences. Happy cruising!
  2. I've discovered the policy can change from sailing to sailing. Sometimes it may depend on how many crew members need to see CBP whether they come aboard or not. If they don't, then b2b'ers would need to disembark. Or, as posted, if CBP has enough officers on duty that day. Plus, there's always the unpredictably factor. Luckily for us, it's the onboard check...at least for now. We'll see what happens when we get back to Bayonne Saturday. Fingers crossed!
  3. Hi, and thanks for the replies. I'm aboard now and just learned how b2b's are handled on the Anthem at Cape Liberty in Bayonne NJ... Because I was unable to book the same cabin, I have to pack up all my clothes that I keep in the drawers...plus, of course all my bathroom stuff. My room attendant will take care of the clothes hanging in the closet, moving them on the hangers. He will also move my suitcase when the other room is empty. I, and every other b2b'er must report to the Diamond Lounge on deck 4 on turnaround day where we must show our passports to CBP and then we will be checked in. That's it! We don't have to disembark. We don't have to go to guest services. It's all done in the Diamond lounge. We are then free to wander about the ship until our cabins are ready (except those fortunate enough not to have to change cabins). This procedure is specifically for Port Liberty in Bayonne. I know other ports may have other procedures that may differ somewhat. I think this is another good reason to start a 'Port Specific' information forum...as has been mentioned in a previous posting. I have lots of info on Cape Liberty. Happy cruising!
  4. I leave tomorrow on the Anthem from Cape Liberty for a nine day cruise to New England and Canada. I then stay aboard for a back to back for a five day to Bermuda. This will be my first b2b aboard the Anthem. Does anyone have any information on the process aboard the Anthem at Cape Liberty? I was unfortunately unable to book the same cabin so I have to move to another nearby cabin. Do I pack everything and leave my bag in the cabin taking only my carry-on and valuables? Or do I pack everything but the clothes hanging in the closet? Do I need to leave the ship to pass through customs or is there a place onboard where we b2b’ers meet with CBP officers and show our passports? I’m sure this will all be spelled out completely when I receive my letter in the cabin, and I apologize for posting this so close to sailing...but I know I’ll get the best insight and opinions of the process by the experts here on this blog. I tried searching the forums but apparently wasn’t doing it right as I couldn’t find any past posts. Thank you! Happy cruising!
  5. I, too, noticed the ‘Buy One, Get One’ free items don’t seem beneficial to solo cruisers. Maybe there is a discount applied to the first purchase...like the specialty restaurant...if you tell them you are solo.
  6. I can’t imagine the company making such a huge infrastructure investment without taking into consideration the high probability of a direct hit by a major hurricane. In the event of a direct, or indirect, hit...I’m sure many of the structures will sustain damage...as will many of the areas susceptible to the tidal surges accompanying the storm. There is plenty of historical data to guide their storm damage assessment and recovery planning. The island has been transformed into a very popular and hugely successful money-making project and they will work quickly to bring it back to full operating status as soon as possible. We just need to keep in mind the local Bahamians who do the work on the island and hope that they, and their families, remain safe and secure.
  7. I can’t imagine the company making such a huge infrastructure investment without taking into consideration the high probability of a direct hit by a major hurricane. I’m sure many of the structures will sustain damage...as will many of the areas susceptible to the tidal surges accompanying the storm. There is plenty of historical data to guide their storm damage assessment and recovery planning. The island has been transformed into a hugely successful money-making project and they will work as quickly as possible to bring it back to full operating status as soon as possible. We just need to keep in mind the local Bahamians who do the work on the island and hope that they, and their families, remain safe and secure.
  8. Bayonne is convenient for me and, being retired...I’ve found that the best way to spend winter in New Jersey is not being in New Jersey. I love cruising out of the Hudson in winter. A day and a half or so and I’m switching from a heavy coat to wearing t-shirts and flip flops. And...most important...I don’t get sad coming back knowing I’m leaving in another week! I love cruising!😎
  9. Anthem Sept 26, 2019 Anthem Oct 5, 2019 (b2b) Allure Oct 20, 2019 Anthem Nov 2, 2019 Anthem Dec 8, 2019 Anthem Jan 27, 2020 Anthem Feb 15, 2020 Anthem Feb 23, 2020 (b2b) Anthem Mar 22, 2020 Adventure Apr 5, 2020 Oasis May 17, 2020 Adventure Sept 10, 2020 Adventure Sept 19, 2020 (b2b) Oasis Oct 4, 2020 Thank you!
  10. I have more than one cruise booked. Should I post one at a time or just list them? Thanks! **see below signature. LOL!
  11. I’m booked on the Allure for a 7 day in October and have neither received an email nor seen any change in my cruise planner. I guess the ports are close enough that speed is not an issue. I’m solo, retired and cruise frequently so this will just add a little excitement to my sailing. I feel sorry for those with families on vacation who have booked way in advance and have been eagerly anticipating their cruise...anxiety and nerves must be affected. Reservations, hotels, flights, etc. I hope the only inconvenience is the port schedule changes and that everything else goes perfectly for everyone.
  12. It will most likely be very cold and windy...I have found that dressing in layers on the first day is the best way to go, especially if you want to spend some time outdoors, like at sailaway. A warm coat, hat and gloves are a good idea, just remember you have to store them afterward. And you’ll most likely need them upon your return. Usually the weather tends to moderate once you’re rounding Cape Hatteras and enter into the Gulf Stream. The Anthem has one thing the other class ships don’t...the Solarium is completely enclosed. There are no openings between the roof glass panels that let the wind in (and warmth out!). So sitting in the pools or hot tubs, sipping on a sailaway beverage, in a warm, comfortable area with those huge glass windows looking out onto the windy, icy Hudson River is a treat! Even the enclosed family pool is a nice area...just try to stay away from the doors to the outside pool area, as passengers keep coming in and out.
  13. I haven’t noticed any charging ports...but I never went above the second level.
  14. I’m doing a B2B on the Anthem. Sept 26 to Canada/New England, then Oct 5 to Bermuda...dual season packing😜. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the same cabin. Does anyone have any experience with moving from one cabin to another on a B2B. I’m interested in what’s the best way to make the move. I guess I’ll have to pack everything and then leave the bags in my room for the steward to deliver them to the new room...any tips? Plus, I assume I’ll have to go the guest services on embarkation day to check in and get my new room card...thanks for any info!
  15. I have done this tour on the Anthem. The reserved seating for the excursion is in the second row, center. The third and fourth row center is the reserved seating for the Key. Upon arriving at the theater, you hand your excursion ticket to the cruise staff member standing by row 2. The excursion includes a specialty drink. After the show, you wait until everyone else has left the theater and then you are escorted back stage, behind the curtain. The cast is there and you will have a lot of time to talk with them, ask questions, take photos. Then they will all pose with each passenger for a group photo which they take with your camera/smartphone (in other words...no ship photographer for a fee). As you leave, you get a large photo of the cast signed by all of them. It was a very interesting, pleasant experience but you must decide if it is worth the price to you. Happy cruising!
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