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Ken23

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  1. Like
    Ken23 reacted to ZMANATL in Who would ever let go of your child, even if there was no glass there?   
    Here's what was posted on the Freedom FB page: (if not appropriate, I apologize and please delete):
    Cheryl Knipe Brinson
    18 hrs This is a copy of Louise Calder’s post that was sent to the Today show. You can share from here. If you have an opinion to express send it along to the show.
    This is a very long post but wanted feedback suggestions of any changes in this email I plan to send to the TODAY Show. I will wait a couple of hours before I send it in case someone sees a change or addition I should consider. Thanks for your input.: Dear TODAY SHOW- I am very saddened by the news that Monday you will be interviewing the parents of the 18 month old child that tragically fell from the Freedom of the Seas. While my heart goes out to these poor parents for the loss of their child, I'm disappointed that you are doing this interview on the Today Show before we truly know how this accident happened. The police investigation has not been completed and all facts have not yet been released to the public. Trying to present an unbiased report would seem to be an impossible task at this time since others involved in this story are unable or unwilling to talk to you until all the facts are available.
    Since the entire show was taped on board her the day I Christened her in 2006, I know that the TODAY show has spent time on the Freedom of the Seas. You should already be aware that the "children's play area" is NOT "right next" to the wall of windows. And if you check some of that footage you will also notice that the only windows that open are above an adults waist, and tinted making it quite clear that some are closed and some are open in order to keep the pool humidity controlled on that deck. No child could have reached those upper windows, open or closed, without someone holding the child up to them or somehow allowing the child to climb up to them. It is ALWAYS the adult's responsibility to monitor their young child whether it be near an open window , a pool, a fire, or any other potential danger. Whether on vacation or at home the responsibility belongs to the adult that has accepted the duty of watching that child. As a grandparent myself I understand that this must be a heartbreaking experience that will haunt this grandfather for the rest of his life. It is hard to accept that one little mistake can result in such a catastrophic tragedy. However trying to place the blame elsewhere, while a very human self-protection, will never absolve him of the responsibility that was his and his alone. I believe when this investigation is finished we will find that this was a truly awful ACCIDENT but one that resulted from an error on his part. And who of us is not human enough to commit an error.
    If this were truly a fault in the design of cruise ships we would certainly be hearing of children falling from windows all the time. It is unfair to interpret this accident as an example of how "dangerous" cruising is. ANYTHING can be dangerous if normal precautions aren't taken.
    To my knowledge, I know of no other time in the Freedom of the Seas 13 years of sailing that ANYTHING like this has ever occurred aboard her and I'm sure you can imagine that I keep a close eye on what happens on her,
    Katherine Louise Calder
    Godmother for the Freedom of the Seas
  2. Haha
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    Kids? What kids? I think we forgot to pack them. 😆
  3. Like
    Ken23 got a reaction from sk8erguy1978 in Have to drive to Cape Liberty?   
    Another thing not mentioned...
    Being only 30 minutes away from the port, you likely are familiar with NJ and/or the Tri-state area traffic.  
    If you are not aware of the Waze GPS navigation phone app, they have a great feature where you can put in a future time/date and it will give you a listing of how long it estimates your travel time.  Depending on  your cruise departure (weekday or weekend) could change how long it takes you.  Waze can give you a exact time to leave to arrive at 10am (or whatever) on such and such day.
    Have a great cruise
  4. Like
    Ken23 got a reaction from Skid in Have to drive to Cape Liberty?   
    Another thing not mentioned...
    Being only 30 minutes away from the port, you likely are familiar with NJ and/or the Tri-state area traffic.  
    If you are not aware of the Waze GPS navigation phone app, they have a great feature where you can put in a future time/date and it will give you a listing of how long it estimates your travel time.  Depending on  your cruise departure (weekday or weekend) could change how long it takes you.  Waze can give you a exact time to leave to arrive at 10am (or whatever) on such and such day.
    Have a great cruise
  5. Like
    Ken23 reacted to RCIfan1912 in Have to drive to Cape Liberty?   
    Man this is why I post here now and not cruise critic. You guys are nice and helpful. CC are some angry jerks. I mean some are nice and helpful but a lot of not so nice people. I only really sail Royal Caribbean so I might as well just post here going forward. Thank you again!
  6. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    Time to board.
    I’ll check back in later after we are in Miami! ✈️ 😊
  7. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    2 days out...
    Nothing new to report today other than the usual “day before we leave” business. 
    Mani/Pedi ✅

    Check in ✅

    Packed ✅ ... Hubby zero in this area 😳

    Eat “healthy” 😔 dinner while I dream of CK ✅

    Note of apology...all food pics following this one should be way better! 😌
    Headed to bed early tonight as we have a pretty early start tomorrow. Sleep should not be a problem as I barely slept last night.  
  8. Haha
    Ken23 got a reaction from SpeedNoodles in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Don't they all?
  9. Haha
    Ken23 got a reaction from DDaley in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Don't they all?
  10. Haha
    Ken23 got a reaction from JLMoran in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Don't they all?
  11. Haha
    Ken23 got a reaction from Guy Gadwa in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Don't they all?
  12. Haha
    Ken23 got a reaction from StayFrosty in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Don't they all?
  13. Like
    Ken23 reacted to twangster in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    I've always enjoyed the Costa Maya port area and Mahahual is a short shuttle ride away.  This time I'm just sticking to the port area.  Maybe I'll run over to Mahahual next week when I'm back.






    Nice big pool that's free to use.




  14. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    Thanks Joe!  That’s the idea. We have been looking forward to this cruise for so long.
    #toomanydrinksinthediamondlounge 😆
    Does Empress even have one of those??
    Thanks Ken! It will be a way more quiet sailing that’s for sure!
  15. Like
    Ken23 got a reaction from Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    Happy Happy 17th Anniversary...hope you (and the Mongolian King) have a fantastic trip.
  16. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    Cabin
    There is a story here…
    As noted earlier, this sailing was expensive!  Newest ship, summer sailing, just bad news all around for the bank account.  We initially booked a Junior Suite with the plan to upgrade to a GS if the prices dropped below “ridiculous” level.  Upon booking, the cost of the JS was more than we paid for a GS on Harmony in 2017. 
    Before continuing, let me put in the disclaimer here that this cruise was booked in November 2017, before experiencing Star Class.
    After grabbing this booking, I noticed over time that the opportunities for people staying in a JS to get into Coastal Kitchen consistently was not promising, especially on Oasis class ships.  Being #TeamCK, this was not sitting well with me at all.  However, prices over time jumped from ridiculous to beyond ridiculous so there was no way I was going to get into Sky Class.  To complicate things further, we booked the Anthem GC for the same month and that sailing was not much cheaper.
    Fast forward to March 2019, while sailing Harmony (in Star Class), our Genie arranged for a Next Cruise rep to meet with us in our suite.  With the upgrade for Symphony constantly on my mind, I asked her to price out a GS for us…just for fun.  Due to a slight price drop, $300 OBC from Next Cruise, some TA deals, some wheeling and dealing on my part with Hubby during a dinner at Chops, and a Hubby who spoils me constantly, we said YOLO once again and cancelled our original JS booking and re-booked with the GS.  We had to cancel the original to get the $300 OBC but it was fine because the original was a refundable deposit. 
    After returning home and feeling the star class blues, we began reflecting on our sailing in a loft suite.  There were several conclusions that we drew.  One was that it was such a unique experience, two was that we fell in love with being in that location.  Translation…I was hooked!  Where do we go from there? 
    I gently hinted to Hubby that it is cruise #17 for us, we are celebrating our 17th anniversary, why not just top off the celebration and go back to Deck 17?!!!  That was the only logical conclusion for me! 
    The answer from Hubby was, “How much?”  Followed by, “No way, I just let you book us into Sky Class and we just paid final payment for two cruises in July.” 
    True to my Stubborn Canadian Scorpio nature, I monitored the price constantly.  About 60 days prior to sailing, the L1 dropped in price significantly.  The difference to upgrade was about $800.  Forget RoyalUp!  At $400pp, Hubby agreed, and the theme of this cruise is No. 17 all the way!

    Pre-Cruise thoughts
    -          Really looking forward to sailing Symphony, not just because it’s OA class but because all the entertainment will be new for us.
    -          This is our first time in an L1 (Ocean facing Crown Loft Suite).  It will be interesting to compare the width of the cabin to the Star Loft.  The configuration should be essentially the same.
    -          Because of major food fatigue from our Star Class sailing, we decided to cancel our UDP this cruise so it will be Coastal Kitchen for most meals.  Hubby is determined to do WJ recon…
    -          Once again, in the spirit of a live blog, please do not hesitate to ask any questions.  I will do my best to find out whatever I can for you.
    -          When responding to a post with a series of pictures, please do not include the pictures in your reply.  It just makes for easier scrolling.
    -          Lastly, I will do my best to bring the cruise to you LIVE through Periscope – you can follow me @LoveToCruise2002.
  17. Love
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in “Symphony No. 17: Celebration, Relaxation, Exploration, Reflection” – 07/27/19 – 08/03/19   
    📸: Royal Caribbean International
    “Whenever you are with me, life plays a beautiful symphony!” --- Avijeet Das
    For Hubby and I, there is no better way to spend quality couple time together than to go on a cruise.  We started off that way on our honeymoon back in 2002 and we have tried to get away around this time every year to celebrate our anniversary.
    Symphony was on our radar almost two years ago.  Being huge OA class fans and having sailed every Oasis class ship so far, sailing this one was a given.  I booked this cruise knowing that this summer would be our first chance to sail it since she spent last summer in Europe.  Even upon booking back in the Fall of 2017, prices were crazy for this ship.  However, because of fixed vacation times, that is just something that we are used to.
    How did the title for this blog come about? 
    Other than being fond of cruising and shopping, I also love music.  Trained in classical music since I was a little girl, and with a ship named Symphony, I could not resist to draw parallels between this blog title and music. 
    So why Symphony No. 17? 
    Symphonies written by the same composer are often given a generic name that involves a number so that one can identify which piece it is by that composer.  Playing on that thought, this is cruise #17 for us, and, as coincidence would have it, it is also our 17th anniversary on this sailing.  Notice the theme?  In addition, a Symphony is typically written in four movements.  So there lies the logic behind the rest of this title.  I expect that those will be our four experiences on Symphony this sailing.  <Music geek off>
    Let’s begin…
  18. Like
    Ken23 reacted to twangster in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    Dinner in Chops on night one.  
    Chops on Empress is one of the nicer Chops with windows to the sea.



    A deconstructed Wedge salad because I forgot to take a picture when it arrived and jumped right in.  Oops.  


    Nine oz. filet cooked to perfection.  My mouth is watering as I write this recalling the flavor.

    Missed taking pictures of the sides.  Oops.  Must be the drink package effect.  

    Key Lime Meringue Pie


    The pie was a bit of a let down with sugar grains in the meringue creating a weird texture.  Flavors were good but the chewing on sand effect of the sugar was a miss for me.  Given the otherwise great experience I'll give them a pass on the pie.
    Excellent service and great tasting steak, Chops on Empress did not disappoint once again.
  19. Like
    Ken23 reacted to twangster in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    I didn't buy The Key but I noticed the large banner welcoming guests who had.

    Carry on holding area in the theater.

    A half dozen guests were in Chops enjoying a lunch.

    Dedicated theater seating for The Key along with Gold card holders. 

    Empress has a casino that is open to other guest areas so it is non-smoking.  Here is the casino bar.

    They wasted no time opening the casino after sail away as soon as we were in international waters.



  20. Like
    Ken23 reacted to emsff02 in Perfect Day Love   
    While I was there before it was labeled perfect day, we had a cabana on what is now called Chill Island. It was a great way to spend the day, and my daughter was living her best life chasing away the seagulls for all the other guests. Discovering all of the hermit crabs in the rock wall was also a highlight for my two kids.
    On an exciting note, we will be sailing on Navigator on September 23rd with a stop here, and we again have a Chill Island Cabana, and we cant wait to explore and see all of the other improvements!



  21. Like
    Ken23 reacted to twangster in Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019   
    I wasn't sure I would live blog this trip but Empress is secret favorite of mine and she doesn't get much attention here in the live blogs.
    Empress is a small ship yet she doesn't feel small on board, as long as you pick the right cabin.  In the wake of the abrupt Cuba changes fares have been very reasonable including Junior Suite rates.  On a small ship the added space and balcony of a Junior Suite goes a long way to not feeling the size of the ship. 
    The fact that cruising solo in a suite will net me triple Crown and Anchor points wasn't lost on me.  That's a whopping 42 points for the price of a 7 night cruise in a balcony on an Oasis class ship.  
    Since I'm flying to the ship I always prefer a B2B.  If I'm coming all this way I might as well cruise twice.
    I thoroughly enjoyed my last Empress cruise so given the great last minute rates and affordable suites I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sail this little beauty again.
    Itinerary 1 - 6 nights
    Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel
    Itinerary 2 - 8 nights
    Key West, Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, CocoCay
    I like to scuba dive so the opportunity to visit Belize again was appealing.  This will also be my first trip to see the new Perfect Day additions.  Cozumel is a perennial favorite as is Key West.  Costa Maya is also an easy port to spend a day at. 
    Put it all together and the answer computed to... YOLO, why not?
    I am going to take a more relaxed approach to blogging this one.  It is after all a small ship and I've got two weeks to spread my posts over so I may not be as active on this one as I have on other cruises.  
    Flying in the night before my plane takes off in a couple of hours.  Time to finish packing and get moving. 
  22. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Matt in Cruising with Greatness – Anthem Group Cruise – July 4-13, 2019   
    I thought Mitch did a great job.  To his credit, I asked about a particular event and it seemed like he made it happen.  On past cruises, there is sometimes an event where the Broadway show cast sings in the Schooner Bar. It's an event they are not obligated to do, but perform for fun because they can sing their favorite songs.
    I asked Austin, the WWRY lead actor, and he said it was not on the schedule but to ask Mitch.  I tweeted Mitch and he worked on it and added it to the last day. That's some serious work on Mitch and his team's part.
    I also heard, Mitch gave our group numerous shoutouts in the morning show (I never watch it and never got a chance to see it by the time someone told me it was a thing).
    I find this is more and more the norm now across the fleet.
  23. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Cruising with Greatness – Anthem Group Cruise – July 4-13, 2019   
    ^^^ Truer words could not be spoken. We all share this love for cruising that goes beyond “normal” that most people just can’t understand. That’s the common thread right there. I only “virtually” knew everyone prior to this sailing but when meeting some of them, I felt like we were old friends 😊
  24. Love
    Ken23 got a reaction from Matt in Cruising with Greatness – Anthem Group Cruise – July 4-13, 2019   
    Great live blog @Lovetocruise2002.  It was fun to read all 18 pages of this live blog post being on this cruise.
    Not meaning to hijack, but a few of my random thoughts.
    It was fantastic meeting everyone on the Group Cruise.  One of my favorite cruises so far...by far having 80+ other groupies to hang with was fun.
    As has been mentioned about eating in the Two70 Cafe is a hidden gem...the Solarium Bistro is another great place to avoid big crowds.
    One funny moment was on day 2 or 3 I was eating dinner up there, and I get a notification on my phone of @Matt doing a live periscope, and I look around the small room, and two other tables were listening in.
    Where ever I would go, I would usually see a friendly face, or a red MEI lanyard (thanks @AnnetteJackson .)
    As mentioned, the flow of people is not very good, especially around the Royal Theater.  What made it worse, there were major shows/events scheduled when a major show ended, and another event started in 10 or 15 minutes afterwards.  People trying to get in (and blocking the hallways) while the theater was letting out.
    Also noticed a few shows/events that started 10-15 (one was 20 or 25) late.  I don't remember this happening so often on my previous cruises.
    Being on three Voyager class ships in the past, Anthem my new largest ship...I did miss the openness of a promenade.  
    Looking forward to joining more group cruises in the future.
  25. Like
    Ken23 reacted to Brobbins246 in Electrical outlet in cabin bathroom?   
    I really like the battery operated tea lights so you don't take up any electrical outlets and can put them wherever you need some more light.  You can get a package of them pretty cheap at Walmart or on Amazon and put them in various places around your cabin.  Even the paintings on the wall stick out about 1" so they make a good spot to put a couple on the top edge, and it casts a soft glow on the wall and ceiling.  We had about four of them lit up each night, and switched them off in the morning.
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