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NewRCCruiser22's Achievements


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  1. Sabor hit the spot. It’s too bad there plans to get rid of it as the Oasis ships do upgrades, it actually pairs very nicely on a hot day in the Boardwalk. Our server who promised the spicy margarita took care of it and it was spicy and tasted good - exactly what I was in the mood for. We had chips with guacamole, pico, and habanero spicy green thing he brought which was really good and spiced up the guac and salsa nicely. For starters, the snapper ceviche was cold and citrusy with lots of lime, and the queso Fundido had a bacon flavor. We had two tacos and one tampiqueno steak and all were good. The tortillas were soft and warm, but the sauce type sides for the tacos weren’t as appealing as the good fresh pico on the table, so I used that instead. It was all build your own tacos . One more order of churros and we took some time to walk around. My kids wanted to take a weird video of me alone riding on the carousel bench , but it was kind of busy so we have to shelf that until later - maybe when more little kids have turned in for the night. Bionic bar had no line for the first time, so we checked it out. I wasn’t in the mood for a cocktail after the margarita, so we had it make a coke over ice and added “shaking” at the request of the kids who were hoping for a big fizzy disaster . I don’t know if the bionic bar trend is sticking around, but it was a fun novelty / I wouldn’t go back for something simple, but if you have a certain way you like a mixed cocktail - it’s probably easier to program the robot to make it exactly that way, rather than trying to explain to a live bartender at a busy loud bar. More later - we are going to get some pool deck time, it’s actually not as busy as I would have thought, although it is 2 pm.
  2. Day 4 - at sea i forgot how clackety the room hangars get when the ship is really moving while you try to sleep, and then x 2 because there are closets upstairs and downstairs. We can feel the motion today up here on 17 light sway and lots of vibration. I used the in-room coffee maker this morning and it was pretty good, although I wasn’t sure if one of the pods was decaf? There’s instructions for the unit, but no info on the pods. We are going to explore a bit more of the ship today, do some shopping and get Sabor for lunch - chips and guacamole sound good, and I’m told by our sever from the churros the other night they can do a pretty spicy margarita. My current favorite margarita is at a taco place called Machete in Denver, which has not just a great base flavor, but both jalapeños and cilantro muddled into it with a Tahine rim. Another favorite spicy is at Iron Cactus on the San Antonio Riverwalk, so we will see how it stacks up today! Let me know in replies if there’s anything you want a picture of or info on, we are going to be exploring
  3. We finished up the afternoon in Nassau on the suite sun deck. The chair cushions are thick and towels were nice, but who chose BLACK CUSHIONS hot as can be for the cushion cover color? There was no server making the rounds to refresh cocktails ( and plenty on decks 15 and 16 because we could see them circling with trays) if you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar and wait. Not necessarily a suite deal breaker, but for sure an inconvenience considering that there were enough suite guests to warrant a server. I am guessing the staffing is more for a sea day, than a port day. Dinner night 2- 150 CENTRAL PARK Definitely a specialty restaurant worth paying for on Harmony. We had a Really wonderful dining experience. The “not advertised as garlic bread” generic dinner bread service was more garlicky and more flavorful than the Jamie’s garbage bread . The scallop appetizer was good, and had kind of a southwestern flavor, the bisque left something to be desired - it was kind of thin and flavorless. We had the beef for two and a halibut, it was on the menu as tenderloin for 2, but the server told us it was chateaubriand and could be prepared for 1 or 2. It comes with bearnaise and bordelaise sauce. The bearnaise was awful, tasted like it didn’t have any tarragon or flavor and was thin like flour mixed with water - milky pasty and tasteless , ( see bisque notes above), but the bordelaise was ok. The meat was so tender it didn’t need any sauce anyway! The halibut was also delicious. We had an extra serving of their lobster to share in the middle and it was really good and well seasoned, although I couldn’t help thinking about those YouTube videos of Leon the Lobster when my fork reached into the first bite . Desserts were fried cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter cake, both super yummy. I’ll keep 150 as a definite additional dessert place for sure if needed. After dinner we explored some more of the ship and rode the Ultimate Abyss slide which had no line. There was also no line for the flow riders, but the kids decided to wait until another time and not hassle with the process of changing into swimsuits again and then showering again. Neither has checked out the teen club yet, and seem more content to hang out as a family spreading out in our quiet spacious room vs. interacting with 17 yr olds. I’m curious how the ship will absorb and handle 6000+ ppl on the sea day, we will find out !
  4. All it took was Sorrento’s opening for the day to get the kids out of bed. The suite deck definitely is teen friendly, I saw toddlers in the hot tub so that’s good. I was going to sit in one of those cabana seating things on the suite deck over the Solarium, but man is it hot and no breeze! I am positioned nicely in a breezy spot with views of Atlantis, the pools and some really beautiful looking houses with private docks. I bet the occupants celebrate the departure of the massive ships at the end of the day giving back their view Here are couple pics - definitely chair real estate is cheap on a port day, plenty of open seats and loungers everywhere, and I have questions about this “ emergency exit” ? Not really understanding how I exit - let’s just hope there is not an emergency other than an empty cocktail !
  5. Day 3 - Nassau We are having a lazy morning and I’m out on the deck watching the booze catamarans take off from the dock beneath us, and the lines of people heading into Nassau along the concrete. Our balcony is in the shade now and I don’t know which way the sun will be later, so I am enjoying it and have a great view of the happenings at the Nassau pier. When I went for coffee in the lounge yesterday morning there was no one there, so I didn’t know you could “stop” the coffee machine by pressing the button again - but with todays later start I was able to get unsolicited assistance in that regard as my mug was about to overfill with Cafe latte . Yes we have a coffee maker in the room, but it’s about two inches from my sons dozing head on the sleeper sofa and I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate me fumbling around trying to figure it out and brew when I can literally walk 40 steps to the lounge. I’m not a fan of Nassau in general, although I toyed with the idea of doing the Margaritaville day pass for that new waterpark, but we are staying onboard. I feel like there’s still 50 percent of the ship we haven’t even checked out, including the suite sun deck which we may hit later. I think teens are allowed up there? I actually don’t know so we’ll find out. As far as I can tell it’s not an adult only area, just a suite only area. I do know it’s going to be another hot day
  6. Dinner Night 2 - JAMIE’S ITALIAN My thoughts on Central Park being the best part about an Oasis class ship were reconfirmed once we stepped inside Jamie’s. It is just as lovely to look out at it through the windows of a restaurant, as it is to stroll through! We were seated at a table inside quickly, and I was glad to have a comfortable chair to rest my “I’m not twenty anymore and can ride waterslides continuously” backside — because the chairs out front in the outside patio looked like industrial hard metal. Our waitress explained the menu options including appetizer, 1/2 pasta, main and side - OR appetizer, full pasta and side. We opted for the latter, and there wasn’t anything in the main area that was calling our names, but a big bowl of pasta sounded great. For appetizers we had the Meat Plank, Garlicky Prawns, and Ultimate Garlic Bread. Standout of those was the Garlicky prawns which came with nice crispy bread slices. The Mest plank was OK, but it seemed like some of the meats such as salami and mortadella were probably the same ones upstairs on a buffet somewhere - just simple deli slices. Highlight was the pepperoncini which was hotter than expected, followed by the no I don’t have Covid sudden sneeze fest it prompted. On to the Ultimate Garlic Bread - I’ll just say if this is the Ultimate version, I don’t want to think about what previous iterations must have been. I could recreate this in 30 seconds with a room temperature package of King’s Hawaiian rolls, a brush of olive oil with garlic powder in it, and some Kraft Parmesan cheese from the fridge in a plastic container. I wouldn’t call it Garlic Bread by any stretch of the imagination, it’s dinner rolls. We had more garlic in Izumi last night The Penne Pomodoro was the better of the two pastas we tried, the other being carbonara, and I appreciated the easy size of the penne vs. a messy spaghetti sure to land on a shirt we need to reuse later in the week! The sides were freaky fries, and they were normal hand cut fries. The kids had ice cream for dessert we were all ready to head upstairs and cancelled our 10 pm Grease reservations. There was no way after all day in the sun and heat and the big pasta dinner we were going to make it until 11:30. overall on Jamie’s - meh. I am glad we don’t have it booked twice, I wouldn’t go again - I seriously think the Olive Garden is better and more flavorful, and I don’t necessarily hold that place in high regard or anything ** oh and funny side note - the size of the water glasses were so small that the staff had to constantly be refilling. Maybe a larger glass would save some of the extra effort !
  7. Day 2 - Perfect Day at CocoCay I was up before the kids so I went the short distance to the Suite Lounge and used the coffee machine there to bring back a mug and watch our morning arrival to CocoCay from our balcony. I was kind of surprised there seemed to be no one awake at 6 am, which isn’t super early for docking at 8. We were pacing the Norwegian Breakaway the whole time and I didn’t realize how super close the NCL private island is to CocoCay. Once the kids were up we decided to head to coastal kitchen for a quick bite before starting our beach and Waterpark day. CK is the way to go for a quick, pleasant breakfast - just walking on 17 you could see the herd of people lined up for the Windjammer on 16 at the base of the stairs. Service was quick, and during our meal they started blaring “Perfect day at CocoCay” song that is basically Bill Withers lovely day retooled. Not sure that was necessary that early over pancakes, but it was funny to watch the crowd pick up significantly after it was done - in case anyone was still dozing or relaxing that song was the adrenaline shot needed to get the wheels in motion. We started prepping for the day. It was hot and sunny and well into the 80’s by 9 am so we made sure to bring extra sunscreen, hats and everything we might need for the day which was to include beach and Waterpark. I originally had a beach bed at Chill island reserved along with our Waterpark passes thinking we would have shade in the afternoon after wearing ourselves out on water slides, but I upgraded to a Chill island cabana that cost less than the original pricing in the cruise planner this week before our sailing. We checked into the Cabana and we were only minutes into unpacking our items and re-applying sunscreen after possibly sweating it off during the walk between the boat and the Chill Island cabanas ( did I mention it was hot today ? ) when the “disruption” began. I’ll spare someone’s identity with specifics and all of you the gritty details but long story short - when it’s already child meltdown city at 10 am and adult histrionics - loud and obnoxious adjacent to our Chill cabana, it’s worth asking about the possibility of a another location that might be open to enjoy the perfect day without disruptive neighbors, and I’m glad we did! We wound up moving to the end in number 11 and it was an awesome location away from other cabanas right along the breakwater. It was in the second row and didn’t have a direct view of the chill beach, but we could see directly out over the turquoise waters toward the NCL island and no people in sight. To the left was the Up and away balloon, behind us you could see the overwater cabanas and jet skis, and off to the right side just clear blue seas. It was definitely a windier location, so not ideal for a cooler day, but on this scorcher of a sunny day the breeze was welcome. Our cabana attendant Thaddeus was great, very helpful and quick to come check and bring anything we needed. From the time ordered food to having it served was always less than ten minutes and he surprised us with funnel cakes from somewhere that were not on the cabana lunch menu. We had initially planned to hit the Waterpark around 1 but were so enjoying the calm of the cabana, and the wonderful raft floats, we didn’t venture out until about 2:15. The Waterpark had plenty of open chairs with shade and short lines at 2:30 and we all headed to the wave pool to cool off. The line for the tallest tower slide attraction was less than 15 minutes and the rest of slides maybe 5 or less? We stayed until 3:45 and headed back to ship. I’m glad we didn’t spend the whole day at the Waterpark, everything we wanted to ride and use we were able to do in 90 minutes and it was so much hotter than the beach side - plus it’s close to the ship to end the day. Overall CocoCay was outstanding, we only explored a fraction of it and I don’t think it would get old visiting over and over again because there are so many neat areas and activities. I can’t say the same for Castaway Cay, nice but not 10 + visits exciting. Here are some pics
  8. Mariana ( correction from Maria) brought our bags and rang the doorbell we didn’t realize we had at about 4:30 before sail away. Honestly, from the line and chaos and endless baggage carts of luggage I figured we’d be closer to 6 or 7 for bags to show up to the room, so that was a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed sail away around 5 from our private loft deck and could hear the sail away festivities from deck 15. After we cleared the Atlantic coastline, we started unpacking and getting ready for dinner. Night 1 dinner : IZUMI HIBACHI TABLE We arrived and were seated immediately at 1 of 3 hibachi tables inside Izumi. The “show” and dinner were both fantastic, our chef and the other two were having a great time, and the mood in there was super fun. There were only three hibachi tables that seat 8, so I can understand how it gets booked up. Dinner and fried rice were delicious, lots of garlic, flavor and the beef and shrimp were really good. The dessert was weird / it was advertised as “crispy sesame balls” but what arrived was like sugar cookie dough rolled with sesame seeds. We were so stuffed, I didn’t bother to ask for a different item — and since we have the UDP, it really didn’t matter, but It was gross enough that I would have said something if I had arranged and purchased Izumi as a stand alone. **FIRST STRANGE/REALLY BAD EXPERIENCE OCCURRED IN IZUMI**about photography… After we were seated, an RC photographer started making the rounds among the various groups seated, and I didn’t think much of it other than these photos would be showing up with our embarkation ones in the gallery linked to our room at some point when we are browsing on a sea day. WRONG! The photographer returns when we are winding down from dinner with printed copies of the photos she took and tries to sell the prints for $35 per single photo, and around $59 for the one photo in the leather bound booklet that has the Izumi photo on one side and the Harmony picture on the other. I asked about purchasing them later ( based on a pre-booking cruise planner photo option we didn’t do that said you can get 10, 20, 100 digital prints etc. ) and she coldly informed me that specialty dining is EXEMPT from any sort of photo package, and does not offer any bundle discount and the photos are only available right now tonight and cannot be accessed later in the cruise. I asked her what that means if we are eating in specialty dining every night of the cruise ( which we are — UDP) and was told in specialty restaurants, every night is it’s own unique offer to buy prints. Wow. So.. basically we paid for unlimited dining and won’t get any pictures from any non-main dining room restaurant , except on a nightly basis at an egregious cost of $35 PER PRINT? Totally unacceptable. Thank goodness I didn’t book a package in advance for a certain number of prints that I would have presumed would include our dining nights in specialty restaurants, but would have only included an embarkation photo. What a bummer, I would happily pay an acceptable price for a set of photos that were good, but I won’t pay a ridiculous amount for a first night photo when I haven’t seen the other 7 days. = TOTAL FAIL After dinner we walked around some more to check out the spaces at night. When we were meandering on deck 8 revisiting Central Park, the Rising Tide Bar was ready to launch and my kids convinced me to “ride” it and they would meet me at the bottom. It sort of reminded me of the Haunted mansion stretching paintings elevators at Disneyland, but maybe slower ? We finished our evening with a proper churros dessert at Sabor to make up for the tasteless sesame dough balls, so maybe I won’t have pictures from our unlimited dining but I will definitely take advantage of going somewhere just for dessert! We are ready for CocoCay in the morning, and excited for some Waterpark and chill time. Until tomorrow!
  9. Situated in the room for sail away after exploring the ship. We did have our sea pass cards waiting for us after we left Coastal Kitchen for lunch, and it’s a ridiculously easy walk from our loft suite to the coastal kitchen and suite lounge. Thanks to the good info on these blog forums, I am definitely glad we went with the deck 17 room, and did not entertain a Royal up that was offered on an Aquatheater suite. For this sailing the choices upgrading from a crown loft were the 2bd Aquatheater, the 4 bd villa suite, or the Royal loft with a grand piano — the latter two just way way too lavish for me and the teens! Oasis class general impressions : I can tell as echoed in previous reviews of Oasis class ships THE ELEVATORS ARE A PROBLEM. I can’t even imagine not being an able bodied person to take the stairs if needed - absolutely packed up and down all ways so far, it seems they are short by about half the elevators in both banks. Central Park is ah-mazing. What an awesome concept and kudos to the design team for the idea of live plants and the gardeners who tend the area. The whole ship is enormous and beautiful but the whole Central Park area is a wonderful standout, the kids and I agree hands down if you went with one of the interior balconies - definitely the Central Park vs. Boardwalk. The Casino reeks of stale smoke, we had to pass through there empty to find fhe hibachi place we are eating at tonight and our muster station, and it’s nauseatingly smoky…completely empty with machines off. I don’t want to think how gross it is when it’s open. I’ll be avoiding this area in passing if I can. Suite Class impressions : Wonderful. Mario helped me with the UDP thing for a minute on a busy day around 1:30 when the desk was stacked with confused arriving passengers, and when I popped in again to ask about Waterpark passes since I didn’t see anything in the shore excursions stuff in the room as we returned this afternoon for sail away, he greeted me with a hello by name. Maria in the suite lounge bar, who brought me a glass of chilled wine with lunch approached me immediately upon my return with a sweating glass of beer from exploring the ship waiting to ask Mario about the Waterpark and said “let me get you a fresh glass” Maria ( housekeeper) was in the hall when I was returning to the suite and went over everything about the room and our dining times and the sofa bed before I could even get the sea pass card from my pocket. Wonderful service so far. the Suite : there’s plenty of videos and pictures online of the crown lofts and it’s more spacious in person. Side note we are port side and do face Cape Canaveral for sail away. I was also pleased the depth of the upstairs bed to the railing is more than it seems online, I think I was picturing dropping something off the the side of the bed and bumping my head on the rail, but it is spacious. Here are some pics from wandering around today more later! We had masks waiting for us, different for adult, teen and 12 Also make Note of the super weird artwork piece of the half man half sea creature with a mustache being coddled by a man - my kids noted on the way to the casino, I’m not an HGTV designer but what exactly would be the appropriate room to display this ?? Feel free to tell me in replies
  10. Wow! I can’t say enough about suite class so far - I would pull the $$ trigger on that again in a heartbeat JUST for embarkation on an Oasis size ship. We finally left MCO at 12:15 and the bus ride was uneventful in a good way. There were several people dozing off in the cool A/C after whatever “hurry up and wait” travel situations have finally culminated in getting to the ship. The last few times we have used transportation from the Airport to the ship have been on Disney years ago and the mood on Disney is considerably more amped up with people wearing Mickey ears while being inundated with DCL cartoons and Mickey shorts. I would compare it to a weekend trip to Vegas - the Friday night outbound flight is hooting and hollering ( DCL) and the Sunday flight back is hungover and asleep ( RCL). Speaking of which …. The RCL port rep came on board to let us know there are 6000 ppl checking in, a long line ahead and to have Covid test, and Covid cards at the ready for phase one of spot check. We bypassed the entire cluster of what looked to be nothing short of a 500-800 person line, were shuttled past everyone and waiting behind one family to get into the terminal. 20 minutes from off the bus to door on the ship, but I can feel the elevator pain already as it took almost as long to get to 17. Made it Suite lounge and Coastal kitchen by 1:35, and Mario already handled the aforementioned adult 12 year old dining situation with the UDP. Interestingly enough, not one person in the whole chain has told us how to get to our room? I guess we just see if there’s keys there. More later - I keep getting alerts that I have a few hours left to complete the safety drill. Here is the line at the port at 1 pm
  11. We’ll it’s past 11:30 and they only just called a number 100 people before us when means we probably aren’t getting a bust out of here until 12 or 12:15. I would be stressing if we didn’t already have all our dinner times booked through the Suite concierge, or needed to take care of something that was a first come first serve thing onboard. I just hope Coastal Kitchen is still open for lunch when we get there, I wanted to try that today since we are already in dry clothes . It’s a struggle to get out of swimsuits once we are covered in sunscreen and enjoying the poolside. I doubt RC has much control over how quickly the buses arrive that they load and send back to the port, there could be incoming traffic, slow customs, etc. Mariner is also boarding today so that’s two ships needing transportation l. It does seem like Mariner may sail first / they were calling a lot of Mariner ticket numbers earlier for the available buses to get those people out to PC. Next update will hopefully include a pic of the Harmony of the seas as we approach the terminal! At least a later time gives us a chance that the room will be ready when we get on board so that’s good.
  12. Currently waiting in the bus area for transportation the the ship. We got downstairs about 10:20 and waited about 15 minutes to get our tickets for the bus. There was a voucher page attached in our cruise EDocs that I just handed the agent, very simple. We should be leaving around 11:30. I asked what happens if you have an earlier check in/ port arrival and you are on a later bus, they said it doesn’t matter they will let you arrive whenever you say you just got off the transportation — ( so maybe if you are generally running late for your arrival you say you were on the bus ) There’s plenty of seating here and a full Starbucks so we will grab some coffee and wait to be called!
  13. We are winding down at the Hyatt inside the Orlando Airport for the night. The super early wake up and travel day, followed by a few hours at the pool have all of us ready to get a good night’s sleep before embarkation tomorrow. This Hyatt is an absolute sea of pleasant calm in the chaos of the airport, and so convenient for a pre-cruise stay. We went with a patio room this time because the rooms that look over the airport atrium don’t have doors that open even though they have balconies, some sort of “safety risk” and I love the fresh humid air and rain that we don’t get at home. We are using the ship’s bus transportation in the morning to the port so it’s just a matter of getting up when we are ready and going down to level 1. No proper breakfast needed for sure, as we will be starting our 7 days of food. Here are some pictures of the room ( 2 QNS with patio), the very quiet hallway atrium outside the room that you would never guess is right above the hustle and bustle of the security lanes, and the rooftop pool area with views of planes taking off — definitely not a resort mega pool area with bells and whistles, but more than enough to swim in and cool off, and way bigger than anything we will be dipping our feet in on the ship! We can’t wait for tomorrow, my son asked whether we will be on the loud terminal forklift loading side at PC, or the harbor side looking out towards Cape Canaveral. I’m not sure how the ship is normally oriented while in Port so we will find out soon.
  14. Made it MCO and waiting a long time for bags. The airport is very busy and the baggage claim ( at least Southwest) seems very backlogged. Just wanted to share something cool my son discovered on the Southwest in flight entertainment page - they must have upgraded the flight path Map - there’s now a 360 plane view with earth maps, right and left window views with maps and a cockpit view too. I admittedly geeked out for a few minutes but I haven’t really bothered to look at the map recently as I scroll through the TV and Movies. This button accesses all the new maps
  15. Sitting at the gate after a too early wake up, so early in fact we saw one set of the neighborhood bears crossing the road. The Denver airport is ridiculously far from everywhere so it’s always a lengthy process. Southwest just added more gates too, I wouldn’t want to be in gate 99 - already clocked over a mile according to my smart watch from the curb to gate 62 . I’m going to practice uploading pics so apologies if they are in the middle of text or out of sequence - want to get it right before I we get on the ship ! Nothing like an understaffed airport Starbucks with a barista who seems to be in slow motion - and a group of teen girls from some sort of sports team ordering an endless amount of Venti frappuccinos. My mile long walk to the gate.
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