Last week at this time we were somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Now I'm back at my desk and keyboard counting the days until the next trip (47 days on MSC's Meraviglia).
Thought I would share a couple of thoughts from the trip.
From the time we got to the luggage attendants at the port, we didn't stop walking until we were on Desk 8 for a stop at the Trellis Bar. Very smooth boarding process. Be prepared to show your vaccine card, ID and boarding pass (I used the phone app) several times. I can understand why there's really no need for priority boarding any more even if you are in the suite level.
Rooms were available early - around 1:15. Luggage showed up some time in the afternoon but well before dinner.
We Royaled up to a Crown Loft Suite on the 17th floor overlooking the Boardwalk. I would do the suite again but would prefer a port or starboard view. The crew on 17 was incredible and made Cheryl feel very special for her birthday cruise. However the RoyalUp process is buggy - Our records were still attached to the old room. The letters we had in the new room were for someone else. For the first half of the cruise every time we gave our room number to someone, they greeted us with someone else's name.
Expectations for Sky level were much higher than what reality ended up being. Videos here and on other sites talked about some upgraded shampoos and other bathroom amenities. That didn't happen. We were expecting priority reservations for some of the shows. That didn't happen - though with 2400 passengers on board, it wasn't an issue. We were expecting concierge to help with reservations at some of the speciality restaurants. That happened but was a much more complicated process than it should have been. The Concierge was very helpful and making the best out of a Covid cruise, but things were off.
For Dinner, we ate at Coastal Kitchen, Chops, Giovanni's Table, 150 Central Park and the Main Dining Room. Each was a great meal. Of all I think Giovanni's was the best. On our next cruise, I think we'll go a bit lighter on dinner choices. Great food but 7 nights of 3 courses (plus extras) was more food than we needed. So maybe two specialty, MDR and pizza or hot dogs a couple of nights.
Mama Mia was the show in the main theater and was broadway quality. The seats were very comfortable and maybe reclined a little to much and I had to fight from wanting to take a nap.
The Ice show was fun. Very talented skaters but the show it self was disjointed. The "roll the dice" Segways between scenes lasted too long (over a minute once).
The way they divided up the seating because of Covid for the Aqua show was a bit confusing but the show was incredible with several OMG how does she not fall? moments.
We had fun hiding ducks around the ship. At first we thought "why are we doing this silly thing" but one time, quite by accident we sat by the trellis bar after hiding a few and were able to watch the reactions of the kids (and kids at heart) find them and watched their reactions. We'll do that again.
We knew it before going on board, but the Suite deck was just a deck. No pool. Walked up there once. Didn't use it. The main pools were much more enticing.
We got the drink package because it was $58/person/day and that worked out to our benefit. Wouldn't do it again if it was over $90.
We got the 100 picture package and only had 60 pictures taken so that was over kill.
We got the Coco Beach Club package for about $80/person. It was a great place. We were one of the first ones there and almost last to leave. Didn't see anything else of the island on this trip so next time we may skip that just so we can see the other parts of the island. But well worth it and would do it again (not for $160/person though).
There are so many things we didn't get to do on the ship that it warrants another Oasis class trip for sure (which will be Harmony next October).
The staff was one of the best parts of the cruise. Looking forward to seeing them again.
Steve & Cheryl