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Everything posted by MTNeedsAVacay

  1. I am really enjoying reading about your experience so far! We will be on Oasis next month and we can't wait!!!
  2. Enjoy!!! You will have a blast! Sending good vibes for a fun, relaxing trip with good weather!
  3. Same as Matt said, in October last year, we took our 2 year old to an urgent care to get tested. Very easy!
  4. I have been cruising since I was a little kid (I'm in my 30s now), and this duck thing is all new to me! I found my first (and only) duck on my Mariner sailing last month and thought it was absolutely adorable! It was just me and my husband on that sailing (left the kids at home), so we re-hid the duck, but I'm definitely going to be more vigilant with my duck hunting on our family cruise on Oasis next month!
  5. We were on this sailing too, and this experience was definitely a first for us! We supposedly went to Freeport for "scheduled maintenance" but it seemed like such a last minute change, there's no way it was "scheduled." Then we ended up with more damage than what we came with! Also agreed that the port area left much to be desired and was quite a let down. As for the noted comments about the ship being short staffed, we also noticed it, and were a bit disappointed. Most notably, Johnny Rockets was closed for the entire sailing, but I never once saw a note about it or heard any announcements about its closure. The lack of some staff was also very evident at Playmakers and The Bamboo Room, with food orders taking around 45 minutes. Otherwise, despite the ship being pretty full, it never felt miserably crowded, and we still had a lovely time! Boarding and leaving the ship were a breeze. Thanks for sharing your review!
  6. Same experience as above! We would all just take turns using our Diamond drinks to buy a round- no secret about sharing them at all!
  7. I agree with ChessE4. There are so many complimentary options available, even that can be overwhelming to new cruisers. I'd stick with the food that's already included, or maybe just purchase one or two specialty dinings to switch it up. They usually offer a Chops+1 package, which would be a good balance with a shorter 4-night cruise- you can do 2 nights in the Main Dining Room, and 2 nights of specialty dining. Either way, you can't go wrong and your bellies will be full!
  8. The kids wristbands will be waiting for you in your stateroom on boarding day. Make sure to tuck in the end of the strap, or cut off with nail clippers so it's not in the way. We've also been able to find scissors at Adventure Ocean or Guest Services to cut off the excess if needed.
  9. Mariner also had these straws when we sailed last week. Thank god the era of crappy paper straws was fairly short-lived.
  10. We just received our first block on the Mariner last week! Same as OP, our 140 was the last day, but we received our block and certificate on the morning of Day 2.
  11. Another vote against COSTCO here. We used COSTCO for years pre-pandemic, and it was absolutely MISERABLE trying to get someone on the phone without waiting an hour or two, and then waiting on the phone for another few hours. We have 2 more cruises this year that were handled by COSTCO pre-/during pandemic, but all future cruises are going to be with MEI. All the time always spent on the phone with COSTCO was never worth the shop cards or other perks. Hope you are able to get hold of them eventually and get your NextCruise sorted out!
  12. The photographers aren't around for most of the day to necessarily take pictures of you like you would with a personal phone. Instead, you'll see them taking photos at all of ports on the pier area and then in the evenings for portrait-style photos. If you go to Cococay or Labadee, they'll walk around the island and take pictures there too. They also often roam around the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants to take photos at dinner. IMO, 100 photos is A LOT. We did a 6-night cruise last October and did a 50 photo package and even then, we struggled to find 50 photos we wanted. Caveat that to say we went with our 2 kids, so most of the pictures were of them posing in the portrait areas with different backgrounds and poses, and we only need but a few pictures of the two of them, no matter how cute I think they are. As for the digital delivery of the photos, we had to wait way longer than promised to receive them after the cruise, even after several emails to RC customer service. We did eventually get them, but the process wasn't that great. Hopefully it's something they've fixed since October.
  13. Very excited to follow along on your trip! We will be on Oasis in June from Cape Liberty
  14. I’m not much help with the teens, but here’s a recent post relevant to the baby!
  15. Before COVID, we were at 112 points. October 2021 had a 6-night sailing in Jr Suite (24 pts); April 2022 upcoming 4-night sailing (just 4 points, booked after the double points deadline); June 2022 7-night in balcony (14 points; lifted and shifted from 2020, so should still get double points); November 2022 8-night in Grand Suite (32 points; booked during double points promo window) Based on my math, we'll hit D+ in November!
  16. Magnetic hooks! Lots of metal wall space in the cabin, so these hooks are lifesavers for keeping everyone organized and even for hanging wet bathing suits. Link below for ones we've bought before, but there are tons of options on Amazon https://smile.amazon.com/Magnetic-Maximum-Neodymium-Corrosion-Protection/dp/B0787Q54M1/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AZ044N7BHDVL&keywords=magnet+hooks+for+cruise+cabin&qid=1649861645&sprefix=magnet+hooks%2Caps%2C142&sr=8-3
  17. Hi there! Our first kid was 11 months old for her first cruise and our second was 8 months for her first. To answer some of your questions based on our experiences: 1) yes, pack n play is what we had. We also asked for an extra blanket to put under the fitted sheet as the mattress was super hard. We had no problem closing the curtains and keeping the small bedside lights on. They weren’t bright enough to bother the baby. 2) both of our kids were on formula when we cruised and we brought a tub of the powdered formula to mix onboard with each bottle. At the time, you could pre-order a case of bottled water to your room, so we used those to make formula and much easier to carry around a regular bottle of water than a gallon jug. As for washing, we brought a small bottle of bottle soap and a travel bottle washer/drying rack that was so clutch (OXO Tot travel drying rack with brush) Food was awesome and great opportunity to get the littles exposed to new foods! Windjammer always had plenty of options available and in the dining room, they were always willing to whip up whatever you ask for! As for extra tips, definitely bring more diapers and formula than you think you’ll need! I wouldn’t recommend a stroller any bigger than an umbrella stroller as the hallways can be pretty narrow. They have a special pool area just for littles who are in swim diapers, which is great. Otherwise, have a great time! Cruising with babies is quite different than cruising pre-kids, but you’ll figure out what new routines work best for your family!
  18. Any chance @Matt/RCBlog can fund a test run of a proctored I-Health test to compare the test report with what comes from the Emed test? All in the name of cruise research!
  19. For those of you who book via NextCruise and then transfer to your TA- do you have your TA plan stuff out ahead of time (or you plan out yourself) with research, pricing, options, etc, then take that info on the cruise to book with NextCruise, then transfer it to your TA? That way you can still get the extra OBC from NextCruise and your TA still gets the booking? Does that have any negative affect on your TA's commission (like, would they get more commission if booked directly through them instead of having it transferred to them from NextCruise)? Hope this makes sense!
  20. Thank you for your thoughts! We will be on Mariner in a few weeks and are very excited!
  21. Thank you for sharing your journey so far! We are booked on this same ship and itinerary in November in a Grand Suite, so I'm loving being able to follow along!
  22. Yup! Odyssey OTS in October and our kids got the diamond drinks. Used them for mocktails and sodas. I've heard you can also use them for smoothies at the Vitality spa bar!
  23. We were able to have a photo moved on our cruise last October. Not exactly the same scenario where a photo package was in play, but my kids (who were in my room) took a bunch of adorable pics together and my grandfather wanted to use his free Diamond+ photo on a pic of the great-grandkids. The associate in the photo shop was able to move one of the kid pictures to my grandfather's account so he could redeem his free photo, even though he wasn't in it. Not sure if that's normally allowed, but they made it happen for us!
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