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About MarvinS

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  1. All I can say is "WOW" to that pricing... It's sad that spring break and holidays is the time for the airlines to really take advantage of customers on pricing... I'm flying from Anchorage, Alaska to San Juan, Puerto Rico the first part of June 4th, and our tickets on American Airlines from ALASKA (with stops in Seattle & Charlotte) were only $379 each (one-way)!!!
  2. As long as one of the kids in that separate cabin is one of your minor kids, they can be included in your single room photo package. Just go the "photo gallery" desk once on the ship, and give them the room number of your minor child, and they will happily like their room to yours for the photo package. I've done this three times without issue on my prior cruises, as I always put my kids in a separate nearby/adjacent room. Do this as soon as you can once onboard, so pictures begin to be linked to your package from the beginning. Also instruct your kids to give the photographer YOUR room number, not the kids' room to help make sure pictures are linked to you properly. One other bit of advice is to check your photos for your portfolio once a day or so (and definitely the last night) to make sure 1) that you aren't missing photos you were expecting (our embarkation photos were missing from ours until they I told them and they were able to add them in), and 2) that the pictures in your portfolio are all of your group. We frequently would get another family's pictures mixed into ours. It was a very simple task to delete specific photos from your portfolio. We always purchased the photo package (all-digital) BEFORE the cruise using the cruise planner. I always checked package pricing they advertised on board, and have never seen it cheaper that pre-cruise pricing. After the cruise (it was only 2-3 days), I got a link via email to login and download all of my photos in one big ZIP file. I downloaded over 150 pictures from our last cruise, all in one big file (it was 200MB+ if I recall)!
  3. As this trip in May 2019 was only my 4th cruise, I haven't yet stayed in an ocean view balcony. My first two cruises were interior rooms, and my last two were the boardwalk balconies (Oasis & Harmony in 12329). Honestly, what helped make that decision was the extra perks that the boardwalk rooms USED to provide, but are now no longer offered on new reservations. We certainly took advantage of the soda packages and Johnny Rockets meals (especially with 5 teenagers with our group). Purchasing the soda packages for several of us (none of us drink alcohol) would have certainly cost us several hundred dollars more, and would have caused me to at least consider looking a little more at other options. I don't know if it would have been enough to change room types, but I would have at least given it a little more thought regarding pricing overall. We also very much enjoyed being able to watch the various shows in the Aquatheatre multiple times right from our balcony over the week long cruise. That would not have been possible from an ocean view room. It was also fun to see the other various activities (music/band playing, carousel, watching the kids zipline past, etc.) happening in the boardwalk area, along with just people-watching occasionally. We certainly enjoyed it, and would absolutely consider a boardwalk room again (yes, even without the perks). Granted, the ocean view balcony would certainly provide much more privacy... I'll be in an ocean view balcony in June 2020 on a B2B on Freedom (same room both cruises!), so I will have a little more experience to compare the two types.
  4. No complaints at all... It just gets to be a bit of a longer walk down the hallway as it is clear to the end! Of course, I can always use the exercise!!! The room is actually very quiet, especially being at the end of the hallway. We never heard activity in the hallway. I was traveling with extended family, and we occupied the last 5 rooms on that boardwalk side. We were able to have the room steward open up all of the doors between our balconies, so we could all move freely between our rooms via the balconies. This worked well for checking on the kids without having to use room keys from the hallway. The floor level location worked well, too. We had great visibility out the back with the least obstruction from the Abyss slide. it was also easy to just take the stairs up a couple of floors to the activities deck. We loved being on this floor. We never heard any noise from the activities deck, either. I also had this same room (12329 for me; actually the same 5 rooms on that boardwalk side for our entire group) on the Oasis of the Seas when we sailed on her in May 2017. Oasis didn't have any Abyss slide, so the views were even less obstructed. I liked it well enough in 2017, that I booked those exact same matching rooms on Harmony the day bookings became available in November 2017 for my Harmony sailing in May 2019!
  5. I was in 12329 on Harmony this last May. In addition to the pictures that @RatedPG posted, here are a few more pictures from our room...
  6. We used the WOW bands extensively in May of this year for our Harmony - western loop cruise. We really liked the WOW bands, as they were very convenient. They easily open your room door, and can be used anywhere on the ship you would need a seapass card for. This includes checking out (and returning) towels on the pool deck, entrance into shows, and purchases from the stores on board. We never had to remove them from the wrist for any of these. We don't drink alcohol, so have no experience with how well they worked/didn't work with the bars. They were completely waterproof, and could be left on the wrist while in the pools, hot tubs, etc. with no issues. They were VERY convenient. To get them, go to the Boleros lounge at the end of the promenade as soon as you board. They had a desk there, and we waited in line all of 2-3 minutes. They were $4.99 each. They do NOT have any muster location on them, so were used universally by anyone. On our sailing, we only had a choice of black or yellow. These can only be used while on the ship. You still have to use your seapass card to get on and off the ship.
  7. We did Tabyana as an RC excursion (got it for $49 per person on sale) in May of this year while on Harmony (its first visit to this island!), and had a great time! The snorkeling is absolutely unbelievable, and is VERY easy right off the beach. Lunch was included, besides. I wouldn't hesitate to go back again!
  8. I did the Escape Room on Harmony in May with my group. There were 9 of us, and one of the kids in my group was 11. I was successful in purchasing the Escape Room in the cruiser planner with no problems. When we actually arrived and signed in for the activity, the kids' ages were NOT verified or even questioned (granted, the kids all looked like teenagers, anyway). My best guess (as others have alluded to) is that you definitely don't want younger kids that don't contribute to solving the problems. It certainly took everyone looking for clues to solve the various puzzles. They are just trying to keep the age up so you don't have toddlers in way, and not able to contribute and help. Regarding the minimum of 6 people, for this Harmony Escape room, there is one "operation" that needs to be completed simultaneously by 6 different people in 6 different locations in order to open up the next puzzle (trying to not give away too much here!). In reality, there were several slots open every day for the Escape Room to book (once it opened up about 30 days ahead of sailing), and they ALL filled up before we even boarded. I asked someone at guest services about this, and they said it was already booked up, and even the following sailing (the next week) was also already fully booked...
  9. While at CocoCay at the end of May (while on Harmony), our entire family (adults & kids) all had swim shirts on, and had no issues whatsoever with ANY of the slides in the water park! I have no idea why they were banning swim shirts. I haven't heard of any official policy or seen any signs to this effect... I'm very much glad I DID have a protective swim shirt on, and certainly wouldn't have wanted to be in the water park without it!
  10. We had a great experience with the WOW bands on Harmony last May. They worked great getting in to the rooms, and were very convenient. We used them in place of the sea pass cards everywhere on the ship. We still needed the sea pass cards for getting on and off the ship. We also had no problem purchasing with them, and were not required to remove them from the wrist. All of our bands were generic in that they did NOT have any muster locations printed on them at all. The only time we had to remove the bands (along with watches, water shoes, etc) was to go down the water slides on Harmony. Going into the pools on board the ship was no problem at all. We were also able to use the WOW bands to get into the waterpark on CocoCay with no problem. We had our sea pass cards with us too, but the WOW bands worked just fine for this.
  11. I've been in room 12329 on both Harmony AND Oasis, as it's the very end room (farthest back towards the Aquatheatre) on the 12th floor. We absolutely loved the room! You had basically unobstructed views of the shows in Aquatheatre), along with great ocean views out the back of the ship. On deck 12, you are under the flowrider area, so you actually can see out the back towards the ocean. On deck 14, you can NOT see straight out the back. Additionally, depending on which ship you are on, there are the Ultimate Abyss slides that can obstruct some of your view. This far up (deck 12), the obstruction is very little, whereas on lower decks at the back (decks 8-9), the slides swing around closer to the rooms and block much more of your view. Harmony and Symphony have the Abyss slide; Oasis and Allure do not (but will be getting them as they get Amped over the next year or so). We also don't drink alcohol, so the some of the perks of a Central Park rooms are of no benefit, but I do enjoy my sodas so the Boardwalk perk was more appealing, there.
  12. When I sailed Harmony end of May 2019, the entertainment (and most everything else) opened up at 109 days out...
  13. I wonder if things have changed?! We were on Harmony at CocoCay end of May, and had no problem entering the waterpark area multiple times with simply the Wow Band. We did have the seapass cards in our bags just in case, but it was no problem for us with using only the Wow bands...
  14. I'm IT Manager for an electric utility, and have been with this company for over 17 years. I am blessed to get 240 hours (30 days or 6 weeks) of annual leave (includes both vacation and/or sick days) per year. I can carry forward up to 720 hours (90 days) to the next year. I also get 12 paid holidays (11 federal + "Alaska Day"). I can generally schedule my time off and take it whenever I need (2-3 weeks isn't a big problem), as long as I coordinate with others in my department, so that we are not all gone at the same time! This last May/June, I took about 3.5 weeks of vacation/annual leave, and tagged on a week-long conference for work, so was out of the office just over one month. ...and yes, being in IT, I travel with my laptop and occasionally have to VPN back into the office to approve timesheets or deal with various questions or requests as they arise. While on a cruise, I do completely "unplug", put the cellphone in the safe, leave the computer turned off, and enjoy the cruise. My co-workers know I will NOT be available while I'm on the ship!!! I have great staff working for me that can handle any issues while I'm away! Next summer (June 2020), I will be taking 2.5 weeks of vacation as we will be doing a B2B cruise on Freedom out of San Juan, Puerto Rico to celebrate our 25th anniversary. I will then combine that travel and attend another week-long conference for work, so will be be out of the office for just over 3.5 weeks. When traveling from Alaska, I really to combine personal vacations with trips for work (attending conferences), as the company gets to pay for the majority of my airline travel as airfare to/from Alaska can get very expensive! I, then, just have to pay for the rest of the family to join me.
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