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tdcackler

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  1. Like
    tdcackler reacted to LandstromCruise in First Live Blog! Symphony of the Seas - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Jan 5th-12th   
    Day 2 - Sea Day
    since it was a late night we slept in a little. Went to the Windjammer for breakfast. Didn’t get any pictures as it was pretty busy. We then just toured the ship a little. Here is my favorite view and why I love to cruise 
    We saw the Aqua show crew getting a workout in. It was amazing to watch how they prepare. They were climbing a rope probably at least 20 feet in a sitting position. 
    The girls in our group then decided to do some rock climbing. My aunt at age 55 showed them how it’s done and made it all the way to the top
    Great view from the boardwalk
    And you can’t tour around the ship without stopping for a little soft serve ice cream!
    Then decided to catch some of the Bears game on the big screen in the aqua theater while the wife got ready for dinner. 
    Night 2 was formal night so we got dressed up for dinner in the MDR. We had my time dining and booked a 7:30 dinner time. My wife really thought she was something sitting in this big chair waiting for our table
    Dinner menu for formal night 1

    I decided on the Calamari and the French Onion soup for my appetizer. The Calamari was cold and I didn’t really care for it. The soup was good, but the cheese was a little darker than I like it. You will see a big difference from this picture and one from a dinner later on in the cheese on the soup
    I had the beef tenderloin for my main course. However, again I totally forgot about the picture and just started digging in. While I wouldn’t say it was great, it was fine and nothing to really complain about. 
    For dessert I went with the Royal Cheesecake again as it is my favorite, and also the peach shortcake. My wife had the carrot cake and the creme brûlée 
    Everyone loved all of their desserts. 
    After dinner we went and watched hairspray. I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this show, but I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. Well I was wrong. I absolutely loved it, and loved it so much other than this 1 photo at the beginning I never thought to take my phone out and get pictures. 
    It was then time for this old guy to get to bed. This was waiting for me in my room



  2. Like
    tdcackler reacted to mom2mybugs in First Live Blog! Symphony of the Seas - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Jan 5th-12th   
    We need to form a winter need a cruise support group.  The snow was pretty today but only because I have a cruise in March to look forward to!  Jane
  3. Like
    tdcackler reacted to LandstromCruise in First Live Blog! Symphony of the Seas - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Jan 5th-12th   
    So, lesson learned. If cruising with first time cruisers and also wanting to get a little relaxation in for yourself, don’t try a live blog. Instead this will end up as a liveish blog. Sorry for not keeping up, but just had so much going on. Have tons of photos and will be going through over the next few days and putting a day by day blog together. 
  4. Like
    tdcackler reacted to SpeedNoodles in Self-disembarkation question   
    We don't mind driving if we had the time but it adds 4-6 days of PTO, which we can't always get approved.  
  5. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Oliver in Best Off Menu Request?   
    On our July 2 cruise on Mariner of the Seas, the executive chef came around and asked everyone how the food was. My son Brandon who is 13 said his steak was great but wanted to know when he could have a quesadilla. The chef told him it wasn’t going to be on the cruise menu and I thought saw son get very sad. Then the chef said just tell your waiter tomorrow “Chef McDonald” said I could have a quesadilla and we will make you one.  It was awesome.
     
  6. Like
    tdcackler reacted to WannaCruise in Cruise - over zealous?   
    We used to go on one 'nice' vacation every year and a half (I e. Cruise or Disney).  Then we snuck in a cruise last Aug on Mariner and got addicted.  We currently have 5 cruises booked between now and March 2021.
  7. Like
    tdcackler reacted to jcackler in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Hubby got me in here 😉  I would say we are both a bit cruise obsessed.   Obviously I haven't posted/commented much yet -- 
  8. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Cruise - over zealous?   
    ^^^ This is hilarious!  Hubby and I were just talking over the weekend and he asked me if there were any husbands/wives on the blog messages that both post and participate.  I could not think of any! 😂  
  9. Like
    tdcackler reacted to JLMoran in Cruise - over zealous?   
    54 weeks. Luxury!
    I've got a bit less than 81 weeks until the cruise I booked this past Monday!

  10. Like
    tdcackler reacted to KJ1231 in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Never cruised until after I turned 57 and only when suggested by my in-laws. We did Alaska in June and subsequently booked Caribbean a couple weeks ago, Bahamas in March and Bermuda in July. A couple moths ago my spouse said "No more!". After a visit with my father in Florida after the Caribbean cruise we showed my father pictures of our Alaska. He was stationed at Ft. Richardson in Anchorage in 1959-60.  After seeing the pictures it was my wife who told me to look into 2020 return to Alaska!
  11. Like
    tdcackler reacted to BTE in Cruise - over zealous?   
    She has no problem with the going part  LOL. She's always up for a trip somewhere. She just doesn't like the part about booking now for a cruise 54 weeks from now as she says something might come up. But it didn't take much convincing 😉
  12. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Matt in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Welcome to a very non-exclusive club of cruise addicts and their indifferent spouses!
  13. Like
    tdcackler reacted to PocketsRN in Cruise - over zealous?   
    No such thing as overzealous when it comes to cruising.  I've got 7 on the calendar now (one of which I need to cancel, but still...).  Got one on sunday, then one in February, april, may, September, and next april.  Keep at it, man.
  14. Like
    tdcackler reacted to spiralqueen in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Yep, this website is DANGEROUS for the wallet. I went 17 years since my last cruise (I was 14) and found these boards and the podcast when I was researching for a May 2019 cruise. Suddenly I also had a November 2018 one booked as well as May 2020, Jan 2021 and Michelle at MEI is going to price out a November 2019 for me tonight or tomorrow.
     
    My M.O. is pausing the podcast in the middle of an episode to call my mom and go “.......so I was having some thinky thoughts. What are your feelings on a cruise for X?” My parents love that I plan everything out and reprice regularly which has saved us hundreds and I love that doing so makes me all the more excited and connected with the trip. Works out well for everyone! Now I just have to convince my brother to join us one of these times.....
  15. Like
    tdcackler reacted to dodgestang in Cruise - over zealous?   
    It can be addicting.  I cruised in late august for the first time in 18 yrs.
    Then cruised again in Dec
    And now am cruising again in April
  16. Like
    tdcackler reacted to BTE in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Well I went from not cruising for 8 years Jan 2011 to booking a cruise in Dec for Jan 2019. Than I put a deposit down on 1/9 for a cruise in Aug 2019 & today I put a deposit down for one in Feb 2020. My wife asked was I getting carried away all of the sudden LOL but she didn't say no.
    Upcoming cruises
    Allure          1/27/2019
    Ovation       8/9/2019
    Adventure   2/1/2020
    Guess I'll just work on planning excursions ect.. for the last 2 & hold off booking anything else for now. Thanks to Michelle - MEI Travel.
     
  17. Like
    tdcackler reacted to JLMoran in Cruise - over zealous?   
    I wouldn't say overzealous. You're just enjoying the steady rainfall resupplying the reservoir after a long drought. 😉 
  18. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Cruise - over zealous?   
    Umm...overzealous? No.  There is a very simple explanation.  You just found the RCBlog message boards, that's all.  
  19. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Matt in LIVE - "Back on Brilliance, baby!" Brilliance of the Seas February 14-18, 2019   
    As an update, here's what I've pre-booked for this sailing. I usually wait to pre-book most purchases until the particular sailing I'm going on is my next sailing.  Call me crazy, but most pre-cruise purchases don't usually sell out and for budgetary reasons, I prefer to give myself more time to split up my purchases.
    Here's what I've got so far:
    Voom internet package
    Do I need to explain this purchase?

    Deluxe Beverage Package
    I'm the world's biggest flip-flopper on deciding if a drink package makes sense for me.  I seem to buy it every other sailing.
    Ultimately I purchased it because no kids with us on this sailing and pre-purchasing means being able to budget my drinks far more effectively.

    Cozumel
    We've looked at a few different options for what to do here but have not settled on anything. Since Brilliance will be one of two ships in port (along with the Carnival Valor), I'm not too worried about anything booking up.
    My wife reminds me that since we have the drink package, we would be better off visiting a spot like Paradise Beach rather than investing in an all-inclusive.
  20. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Matt in LIVE - "Back on Brilliance, baby!" Brilliance of the Seas February 14-18, 2019   
    Practice what you preach is what they say (whoever "they" are), so I'm dipping my toes into the fabulous Live Blogs forum of the Royal Caribbean Blog message boards!
    We're headed on Brilliance of the Seas for a 4-night weekend getaway cruise and I usually post my live blogs on the blog portion of this site, but, I decided to do things a little differently this time because I've blogged this particular ship and sailing a few times already.  Instead, I'm taking my talents to the message boards to show some love for what I believe is a vastly underrated and extremely entertaining feature of this blog!

    Our cruise departs the fabulous port of Tampa on February 14 and on this sailing, it will be just me and my wife.....and @ShakeDownCruise's family.  We originally booked our kids on this sailing with us.  Kids Sail Free was in full effect, so we put a deposit down. As it turns out, I convinced my parents to fly down and watch the kids so it will be just me and my wife enjoying this quick sailing. 
    Fun fact, my kids are still technically booked on this sailing because we got kids sail free, so removing them from the reservation seemed pointless.  Plus, gives me a safety net if my parents reneged on the plan.

    We booked a category 1B Spacious Balcony stateroom on deck 9.  We picked this room primarily under the guise of my kids sailing with us, but now we will enjoy some extra space and the ocean views my wife enjoys. In my experience, I barely spend time on the balcony on most cruises.  If I am going to lay out, I prefer the pool deck for the music and people watching.
    Our 4-night itinerary takes us to one port, Cozumel.  While I went to Cozumel six times in 2018, this will be one and only stop in Cozumel in 2019. 😔 I will be sure to eat as much chips, salsa and guacamole as humanly possible. Nothing booked yet on what we will do, but we have some time to figure it out.

    In the weeks left until this cruise, I will take some cues from some of the awesome live bloggers here, such as @ellcee, @melski94, @JLMoran, @Lovetocruise2002 & @twangster.
  21. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Broons77 in Question about Prepaid Gratuities and tipping.   
    Full disclosure - I used to work in the restaurant biz and as such have a soft spot in my heart for waitstaff, or anyone that has to deal with feeding or cleaning up after the general public.  So I tend to tip well.
    I will prepay, but still toss a dollar or two at the bartenders for my drinks as well as tip the room attendant (and concierge if in a suite) at the end of the cruise.  I'm not convinced they see all that prepaid gratuity money, and the few extra bucks isn't enough to break my vacation and I feel it's noticed and appreciated.  If I had a bartender or attendant that didn't seem to care much, I probably wouldn't tip them any extra, but I haven't run into that situation.
    I spoke to a bartender about it last week on Rhapsody.  He told me that they see money from the prepaid gratuities but didn't go into detail and I didn't press.  He said there are a few that don't tip at all so they notice and appreciate it no matter how the tips are covered.  I did notice that my drinks got progressively more and more pale as the days wore on.  My Cape Codders were barely pink by day 5 🙂
    So to quote others, if you've prepaid, you're good and don't need to tip any extra.  If you tip over and above, you'll probably be drunk by noon.
  22. Like
    tdcackler reacted to SpeedNoodles in Booked directly with RCCL - never got an invoice?   
    Ha! Yeah, I kind of went crazy this year.  My husband had surgery in Sept and was completely dependent on me for a while, so as a thank you he's sending me on this short 4 night cruise in Feb (I'll take it!).  We were planning a huge trip in June (Yellowstone, and then spend a week in WA State looking at real estate) before our Alaskan cruise, but he had to use so much of his PTO that we had to cut everything except the cruise (it'll be interesting, he's terrified of flying).  So I said to him a few weeks ago "Hey, since we had to cut our vacation in half this June, why don't we take a winter cruise to make up for it?", assuming he'd say no.  Turns out, I was wrong! We haven't been able to take a vacation of any sort for the last 10 years (the last time we cruised), so I'm pretty ready for it all!  (Assuming that he is willing to fly next winter after enduring it this June - we'll see how it goes). #refundable
  23. Like
    tdcackler reacted to jcackler in Navigator Dry Dock   
    According to the RCI website - The Blaster -- 
    RESTRICTIONS
    45" minimum, Under 48" must ride with an adult
    400 lbs. max per raft (2 people)
     
    And the Riptide
    RESTRICTIONS
    42" minimum
    300 lbs. max
     
    It was buried - but I went digging 😉 
  24. Like
    tdcackler reacted to twangster in Day 3+ Drink Package Purchase Strategy for Longer Cruises   
    New twist...
    On Vision this past week the on board price for Voom Surf and Stream on day one only was reduced from $19.99 to $17.13 per day (full voyage plan).  The effect was that the price to purchase on day one for the full voyage was the same as it was on day two for the full voyage when the price was back up to $19.99.
  25. Like
    tdcackler got a reaction from Fuzzywuzzy in Priorities...   
    As we plan our 2020 cruise, we asked our 9 year old if he wanted to go to new places on our cruise or have cool things on the ship. We explained that not every ship has water slides or laser tag. He said, totally seriously, "What about buffets? Do they all have buffets?" We assured that any ship we take him on will have a buffet.
    #priorities
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