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  1. Are we really going on a cruise??? It won't settle in for us until we actually step onto the ship tomorrow morning! It's been almost 2.5 years since our last cruise (Allure, 5/19/19)! Wow, that almost sounded like a confession, LOL! Like so many of you, we dealt with cancellation after cancellation due to this horrible pandemic... Harmony... Symphony... Oasis (x3)... I guess the 3rd time is the charm for Oasis! Unlike my first/last blog, I wanted to start before we boarded! My wife and I could not pass up the chance to sail on the amped Oasis out of Cape Liberty. We absolutely LOVED Allure and are sold on the Oasis class! This will be our 3rd sailing out of Bayonne - Explorer (2013) and Liberty (2015). This cruise will also be different, and special, as it will be the first time my wife and I have sailed alone since our 3-night teaser cruise on the Disney Wonder during our honeymoon 17 years ago! We're also planning on relaxing a bit more as the itinerary is not as port-intensive and we are planning on staying onboard in Port Canaveral. Covid testing: We had originally booked a PCR test with CVS for yesterday morning (24-48 hour turnaround), but we decided the stress of waiting for the results today would be too much to handle! Instead, we went to a local urgent care facility (City MD) and had the rapid antigen test. Results were e-mailed to us within 2 hours and thankfully we were both negative! OK... enough yapping... here is the brief synopsis... Cruise Details: Oasis of the Seas, 7-night, Perfect Day & Bahamas (Port Canaveral, CocoCay & Nassau) Out of Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ) 10/3/21-10/10/21 Cabin Details & Cruise Planner Stuff: Ocean View with Large Balcony (Deck 8, Mid-Ship, Starboard side... across from Giovanni's Table) Selected Traditional Dining (5:30PM) Purchased the Deluxe Beverage w/ VOOM Package Purchased the 3 Night Dining Package Purchased the Full Day Pass to Coco Beach Club (CocoCay) Purchased the Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter and Beach Day (Nassau) Miscellaneous Stuff: We're located in Suffolk County, NY (middle of Long Island), so we're just 70 miles or so from the port. We're driving to the port, and for the convenience as in the past, will be parking in the port garage for the week. The cost is currently $25/day (incl tax), but effective 10/15/21, they are raising it to $30/day. Still trying to decide when to leave... should take about 1.5 - 2 hours to get there... probably leaving earlier and will wait in the garage if need be just in case there is traffic or an accident on the way! Our first time on Oasis and our first time to CocoCay post renovations! We chose the cabin location in part based on a comment @WAAAYTOOO made some time ago on the forum (Thank You!). Since we are on the same deck as Central Park and mid-ship, there are no cabins on the other side of our corridor, just the back of the restaurants (Giovanni's for us). Should be very quiet! We love Central Park and the convenience of being close to the Trellis Bar and all of the specialty dining options! We originally purchased the Key, but Royal cancelled it for our sailing. We're OK with the cancellation... sailing at reduced capacity will lessen the overall value of the Key IMO. *** Please let me know if you have any questions or would like me to post pictures of something you are interested in... I'll do my best to keep up! OK, time to finish packing! We also have to drop our Goldens (Bella & Jake) off later at my sister's house for the week! Don't tell them we're going away without them!
  2. Hello everyone, this is my first time doing this so bare with me. Lets just start from the beginning. In June of 2017 my family was about to embark on their first Oasis class cruise. They took the gamble and booked a Junior Suite Guarantee for the three of them, about a month prior to the sailing we logged on and saw they had been assigned a Grand Suite. Myself who was then in the process of leaving my first job so I could move on to my current career decided to leave a week earlier then planned to go experience the suite life I had read much about on here. Well lets just say this was the beginning to our obsession with wanting to take a Star Class cruise. About a year later my mom and dad took a cruise on Allure for their anniversary in a Crown Loft and this just furthered our want to experience Star Class. So one night while facetiming with my parents while they were at sea I was able to convince them to visit the next cruise desk and book one. Well three days later it was official, we were booked in a 2 Bedroom AquaTheater Suite on Allure in 2019. Fast-forward a few months and we were calling to add on 4 other family members to this cruise and we were being told it would be almost $12,000 to add these 4 people. We decided not to add them and to wait and figure something out. About a week later the sailings for the Summer of 2020 were released, we immediately called and snagged us a 4 Bedroom Villa on Harmony in June of 2020 for an amazing price. So that was it, now we just wait, so we thought. Insert COVID-19 We sat and watched the dates of the cruise suspension keep getting pushed, we finally broke down and called Royal just to see what our options were for changing this sailing. We were not planning to actually do anything on the phone that day and had no dates in mind, we just wanted to know what could be done. Well lets just say we got lucky, while on the phone the agent was able to find another Villa suite for $5,000 cheaper than we were already paying. We rebooked for January 2021, yeah Covid won't be a problem still. Well as we all know what happened, we called again about a week prior to Royal announcing more cancelations and this time found a Villa on Symphony in September 2022. So we though for sure this was the one and it would have been until August 2021 came around. My mom who was a 4th grade teacher had just started her school year when about 2 weeks in she had to leave school early and go to the hospital. Unfortunately about 2 weeks later she very unexpectedly passed away (non-covid related). So here we are now, trying to decide what to do with her ashes. We decided we would take her on a final cruise and spread her ashes in the Caribbean. This in itself is a massive feat, my father is an airline pilot, my sister a middle school teacher, brother an EMT taking Paramedic classes, and myself also in the aviation industry. The time we had to do this was very simple as my brother and sister are on similar schedules: Thanksgiving or Christmas. My dad was able to get Christmas off as he just so happened to not be on call that week. Myself being the lowest in seniority where I work, there was absolutely zero chance but somehow I sweet talked my way into getting the time off. So we got booked for Oasis over Christmas week in 2 Grand Suites, back where it all started. (I will also blog this one) So after getting the Christmas cruise booked and cancelling the three other cruises I already had booked for me and my mom, I came back across this sailing. I had originally booked this cruise in the Ultimate Panoramic Suite for my 25th birthday and my mom would have been coming with me. I decided I needed to go on a cruise to just get some time away from everything and get back into what I always enjoyed. The only problem now was I had nobody to go with me, my mom was always my cruising partner. So we now owed my grandparents a cruise since they had helped pay for the Villa Suite one which was now not going to happen. So I called to talk to them and started talking about this cruise and how I needed someone to go with me, before I could ask she said they would. We started talking about rooms and all they wanted was an aft facing balcony, I said sure. Well two hours later and we are booked in a 2 Bedroom AquaTheater Suite, 8330. In 33 days I will finally be able to experience Star Class, I just wish the person who wanted this all along was able to go. So here's where I need help, I only have 4 days on Oasis and want to get as much from the experience as possible. Any suggestions on requests from my Genie? Currently the only thing I know for sure I will request is sail away snacks and drinks from the balcony and I have my dinner schedule already figured out. I look forward to bringing everyone along on this journey and any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  3. So here goes. I am honestly not a creative writer (although I wish I was) but I posted an after the fact blog for our last cruise in Star class (Grand Loft Suite) on Anthem in March 2020 before the shut down so figured I would try it again. This cruise is a long time in the making. Since we had just discovered Star class, we immediately came home and booked a May 2020 cruise on Oasis in the 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite. Since Covid was here to stay, that cruise was cancelled. Then we figured, of course by September this will all be over so we Lifted and Shifted to Oasis in the same 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite...cancelled again. So our amazing travel agent (#TeamMindy) got us Lifted and Shifted to Anthem in the Royal Loft Suite in February 2021...we will surely be cruising by then, right? Nope. So, here we are now. We are sailing in 2 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite in a little over 2 weeks! About us. I am sailing with hubby and we are now bringing my father in-law. It started out with us bringing a friend but my father in-law really needs to get out and enjoy the Star Class life so we are bringing him. We are on Deck 9 (Deck 8 was sold out). We have previously stayed in the 1 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite and cannot wait to be in the 2 bedroom suite with the Star Class perks! On our first Star Class cruise we weren't sure what to expect so our expectations weren't high but after having Yen as our Genie on Anthem in March 2020, she is going to be tough to beat! On that cruise she took care of our 3 Star class suites so we had her all to ourselves. I am sure it is going to be different since our Genie told us he has 5 suites to take care of. About a month out, we received an email from Derick (who told us he is taking care of 5 suites) and then we got the normal genie email. We decided we didn't want to answer all of the crazy questions because we knew the most important ones were #1 what we want stocked in our room for drinks and #2 what we wanted to experience on the ship. I am a SUPER planner and need to know what the plans are before we leave so I have a schedule laid out as to where we want to eat and at what time which I sent to him. He said he wished all of his cruisers were as organized but he probably thinks I am crazy! Since cruising from NJ is just starting up and my father in-law is older, we plan to get room service for lunch and dinner on the first day to feel out the crowds so there is no anxiety for him. This will be his first cruise in 5 years and first Star class experience. I have sent a few emails to Derick and he usually responds within an hour or two which is amazing. We were told that in NJ, he can still meet us in the terminal and bring us on the ship, the rooms will be ready at noon and we can check in 1 hour before or 1 hour after our check-in time online. We chose a 12:30 - 1:00 check in (which was the earliest) so we are going to get there around 11:30. One difference I noticed from our last Star class cruise is we can't get beverages in the suite that are not normally stocked on the ship (we asked for diet iced tea and diet ginger ale and we were told we couldn't get those so we will bring some). In addition, the Genie and the room stewards are not allowed in our room while we are in there. They can clean our room if we are in our deck and we can call the genie or meet them on the ship with masks but not in our room. For us, we aren't high maintenance so that isn't a big deal for us. On embarkation day, Derick is going to have some fresh fruit waiting for us and we are ordering lunch for our room which we can do from one restaurant that is open. We are thinking Chops. He did let us know that bridge tours, Central Park tours, etc., are all cancelled until further notice. I am fine with that but was looking forward to having my father in-law do the bridge tour he used to own a big boat and would have really appreciated it. In the grand scheme of things, just get me on a SHIP, RIGHT NOW! I will try to update everyone as we plan more and talk to Derick. We cannot wait. We would love it if people who have been on Oasis since the revamp have some information on best bars or things to check out! One specific question I have is, does anyone know how to book the special area in Playmakers during football? I thought it may be fun to try and if so, how much is it? LET'S GET CRUISING!
  4. Hi everyone! My family and I are currently booked on a sailing on Oasis in April 2022 in a 2br grand suite. I need to move it to the fall and need help deciding. I want to go star class this time around because, well, why not. It's my wife and I and our 4 kids (9,7,4,4) sailing. Our options are: Oasis - 2BR Aquatheater suite (deck 9) Harmony - 2BR Aquatheater suite (deck 10) Both sailings hit Cococay and Labadee. Harmony is about $700 cheaper (but I'd get an extra $100 OBC for Oasis sailing and less transportation fees to and from Port for Oasis) Give me your opinions. I know there are a few different restaurants on ship and the decor in the room is a bit dated in Oasis. Any other major differences I should know? Kids club,splash pad, etc? This will be our first star class and first Oasis class. Blow this novice away with your expertise!
  5. Rather doing yet another trip blog since there have been a couple of really good ones already, I'm just going to do a photo dump in this thread to showcase the newly amplified Oasis of the Seas. I've got a couple of weeks of photo ops to gather my collection of pictures so over the next little while I'll update this post with different areas around the ship. I may bounce around a little but that's just the drink package effect. Without further delay, here is the new Oasis of the Seas fresh off a $165M makeover.
  6. Hi! We are looking at videos of Playmakers on Oasis and it looks like there is a VIP Owner's Box at Playmakers. Has anyone rented this before? We have a large party and are (hopefully) sailing in Fall 2021 and thought it would be fun to watch Monday night football and have a home base for everyone. Does anyone know the cost or how many people it fits?
  7. “Follow that STAR…Our Journey back to Oasis.” - March 15-22, 2020 Oasis… ” A fertile or green spot in the desert, a shelter from the storm, a moment of respite from the conditions of the desert…” We’re back with another blog and that line above pretty much sums up what this cruise means to us this time around. Our lives, since entering dry dock back in August 2019, has been work, work, and more work. To say that the last seven months have been busy is an understatement. However, all is going to be well soon as we are about to embark on not just another cruise, but another Star Class adventure! And full disclaimer! In fear of being blog shamed (I won't mention any names here lol), I debated waiting on this one until about a week out but then I would have to back track to outline the Star Class process. This is just easier. Oh, and I am excited too! Please note that this is only 5 weeks early. ? Let's begin...
  8. I was looking at March 2022 cruises on Oasis and the March 22, 2022 cruise is missing....does that mean it is already sold out or is it chartered? That was the date we wanted so curious if anyone knows.
  9. My wife and I sailing, doing 7 nights with 3 full sea days. 1. What all is included with the pass? 2. Is there anything included in the spa that is not an extra cost (excluding consultations and classes)? 3. Can you (or do you have to) make reservations to use it, or just show up? 4. Has any of the features/offerings changed since the ship went through Amp (I can only find one video post Amp). 5. If you don't/can't make reservations, how busy does it get? 6. CP price now is $119/person or $199/couple. Is this normal/high/low? 7. Is it ever cheaper to book once on board? 8. Do the passes ever sell out? 9. Is there anything else I should know about it?
  10. 1. Per @WAAAYTOOO's guide from a few years back, room should have bed by balcony. Can anyone confirm? (Hey @RBRSKI, did your Pictures of Staterooms thread ever take off? I searched for it and came up empty but I might be doing something wrong) 2. Any way to tell if the bed will be facing forward or aft?
  11. Hi everyone! First time cruiser here (unless you count a cruise when I was 14 yrs old having everything booked by family). Bf and I are going on Oasis in May 2020 to port Canaveral, coco cay and Nassau. I have a few questions that I’m hoping can be answered. Thanks in advance! a. How are the clubs on royal Caribbean ships? (Or oasis specifically) Do they get pretty packed? How late are they open and is the music good? I have nyc clubs to compare it to in my mind b. At the clubs if we wanted tequila shots with the unlimited drinking package, how often could we get them or is there a specific time period we’d have to wait between each shot? c. Why is it impossible to find a drink menu for oasis anywhere? I want to make sure drinks I would want are included in the unlimited package. For example how much is a frozen pina colada? (A drink I see myself having a lot of) margarita? mojito? d. How does it work if we do not want to pay gratuity in advance? Our travel agent says on the last night of the trip they will put tip envelopes for cash in our room, is that how it actually works or is there another way to self pay gratuity? e. How does making my time dining reservations go? As well as theater and aquatheater reservations? f. For people who have been to the water park at coco cay and Atlantis, which is better? g. Any first time cruiser advice that you think is absolutely necessary? h. How are speciality restaurants on oasis? Interested in the bbq place and playmakers bar thank you all!!
  12. Didn't want to put this in the ? What Will The Oasis Get During Dry Dock ? thread. Was thinking this might be better suited for a thread of its own. Left side is the new deck plan, right side old. White areas show a change. Click on the image to enlarge, much have to click again when the image pops up. If count was correct 60 new rooms added (D7-3, D9-1, D11-13, D12-13, D14-30). Updated 11/21/2019: Things have changed slightly since orginal post. Good example would be rooms no longer going where part of Diamond Club was. That space now I think a card room. BlogPost: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/07/01/deck-deck-drydock-changes-oasis-of-the-seas
  13. We are sailing in a Sky Class Suite on Oasis. I found the following menu and am hoping this is still true that I can get free beer/soda/wine/water from 11AM - 11PM. Does anyone who have sailed Oasis recently know if this is accurate?
  14. Hello all! My husband and I are trying to decide between the oasis and navigator, both being 4 nights in may. It will be our first time leaving our boys so its just us and it’s also my husbands first time cruising (& I haven’t gone in a decade and not with Royal) So I’ve done lots of research and the main things I can’t decide between is the navigator isn’t as big but is going to Cocoa Cay and Nassau and 1 sea day, while the Oasis is the oasis, but is only going to Cozumel with 2 sea days. Would love experienced royal fans to help and give any and all advice! ? thank you in advance! Alyssa
  15. Good Morning! Does anyone know if infants still in swim diapers are allowed in the oasis pool on CocoCay? Or do the same rules apply as on the ship? No pools until out of diapers? just a curious mom trying to plan with two infants ? thank you!
  16. Hi Everyone, Looking to make a reservation on Harmony. As much as I would love an ocean view balcony, its not in the budget. :angry: :( Has anyone stayed in boardwalk or central park balconies? Advantages? Dislikes? Recommendations? Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks! Mel :)
  17. I promised Sabrina that I would do this, so here goes. First: I am the worst live blogger EVER since I hate to take pix. I DO realize that long, text review/live blogs are less effective b/c nobody wants to sit and read line after line of text. I hate it myself ! So I am going to TRY and be brief-er than usual and TRY and incorporate photos, which are 2 things I am not very good at (brevity and photography). Who: Dan and I (Raye) What: S2S cruises on Brilliance and Oasis. Where: Tampa then Miami When: 24 - 30 Nov (Brilliance out of Tampa) then 1 - 8 December (Oasis out of Miami) Why: Because we can...and this will be our first S2S At home, writing this but leaving for the airport (DCA) at 2PM. Uber, cost $81.56. We have to have an XL due to luggage. Honestly, it's not that far to the airport. We live about 20 miles south of DC so it's not more than 15-17 miles to the airport. Kinda high, IMO but still cheaper than parking the car in Long Term Parking for 15 days. We will pass some time at the American Airlines Admiral's Club prior to boarding and then fly First Class to Tampa. Flight is at 5:00, arriving TPA at ~7:30PM. Will Uber from airport to the hotel (Tampa Marriott Water Street); used rewards points for the hotel. We could have used airline miles for the air but we're saving those reward points for a yet-to-be scheduled Alaska trip !! One piece of luggage still missing as it is awaiting inevitable forgotten, last-minute items. So looking forward to Brilliance. #1, we have never sailed on Brilliance before and #2, it has been many years since we sailed on a Radiance class ship. PS. I am already having fits with just 1 pic. I don't know how the rest of you do it !! More, later from the Admiral's Club !!
  18. So I debated starting this, but I'm sitting in my hotel room in Miami, it's 10:45pm and I can't sleep. Why?? BECAUSE TOMORROW IS CRUISE DAY!!!! And here we go...I will try to keep this going as I'm spending the next 7 nights on Oasis of the Seas for my 2nd Thanksgiving in a row at sea. I managed to snag surf & stream VOOM for $11.99/day which I thought was reasonable enough, so I will be connected on the ship. Sprint also has cell service at the ports (Labadee, San Juan, St. Thomas) which is included in my cell phone plan, so I won't be forced to disconnect at all. That means I can talk about, read about, and write about cruise stuff while I'm doing cruise stuff!!! Last year I spent Thanksgiving on Symphony of the Seas (which also left from Miami) as part of the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise. It was my first group cruise and I got to meet so many awesome folks from the different social media channels involved with the group. I also spent that cruise in a category A1 room (Spacious 2-BR AquaTheater Suite with Large Balcony) which was absolutely my favorite cabin I've ever been in. Symphony was also my first Oasis class ship. It was Star Class and then combined with it also being the group cruise I felt like every single moment of that cruise was scheduled for me. This time around I feel like I'm slumming it in an oceanview balcony room. But I paid a pretty awesome price for it as a solo cruiser as they weren't charging the solo supplement. I originally had a CP double balcony room (cabin numbers ending in 229 and 629) but the price dropped so much after final payment (we're talking as low as $650 all-in solo with Diamond discount and FL resident discount) that the oceanview balconies ended up being cheaper than I had paid. My terrific MEI travel agent said they wouldn't give me any money back but she got me moved into an oceanview balcony at no extra cost, cabin 8594. So that means I'm by myself in the room, I get double points, and I get to make my own schedule, right? WRONG...my mother decided to invite herself along. Of course she's also after the extra points, so she went and booked her own cabin so I will have a little bit of space and solo-ness still.
  19. By FlowBro Ty Hi All Want To Get Every One's Idea What The Oasis Class Will Get During Dry Dock. Here's What I Think. Laser Tag At Studio B Playmaker's A Upgraded Mini Golf Jamie Italian Here I Want To Join The Ship. The Ultimate Abess Slide The Prefect Storm Slides Let Me Know What You Guess What The Oasis Will Get. Thanks
  20. Hello, I am searching for the Oasis of the seas and Voyager of the seas ship models. If anyone has any of these or are planning to go on board these ships please get in contact with me as I am willing to pay for the model, and cover shipping while paying you a little extra. I've been searching for these since I didn't pick them up upon my previous voyages, thank you.
  21. Thanks to @Wilson for tipping me off to this! Today's Galveston Daily News is reporting that the Port is near a deal with Royal Caribbean to bring an Oasis Class ship to Galveston in late 2020. The Port says Royal Caribbean would build the terminal on land leased from the Port of Galveston. The full article from the Galveston Daily News requires a subscription, but here is the full text: GALVESTON - July 15, 2018 Port of Galveston officials are nearing an agreement with Royal Caribbean to build a third cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston that could cost $85 million and bring the world’s largest passenger ship to the island in 2020. “We’re working toward a really good agreement,” said Ted O’Rourke, chairman of the port’s governing board. “It’s a great opportunity if we are able to put it together.” Port Director Rodger Rees in March announced that Royal Caribbean wanted to bring an Oasis-class ship to the island, but that doing so would require a new cruise terminal. The port already is home to two cruise terminals at piers 25 and 27, but the size of the Oasis-class ships requires additional support, officials said. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships, of which there are four with more planned, are more than 1,180 feet long and capable of carrying more than 6,200 passengers. Officials are discussing putting the third cruise terminal at Pier 10, next to the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and BMW vehicle processing plant, Rees said. “Right now, the talk is about having Royal Caribbean come in and build the terminal themselves, then we’d have them lease the land from the port, sharing in revenues with them. We’d control the parking aspect of it,” Rees said. Royal Caribbean officials did not respond to a request for comment by deadline Friday. The proposed facility would have to be about 155,000 square feet, port officials said. The BMW facility would not have to move under current plans, Rees said. The benefit of having Royal Caribbean build the cruise terminal would be that the port wouldn’t have to take on substantial debt and would, instead, be able to focus on its substantial infrastructure needs, Rees said. Ever since the Carnival Celebration made its first voyage from the island in September 2000, the port has come to depend more and more on the cruise business for revenues. The port depends heavily on revenues from cruise ships. Port officials anticipate about 55 percent of revenue budgeted for 2018 will be cruise related. Port officials are projecting operating revenues of about $37.4 million in 2018 against operating expenditures of $37.2 million, according to documents. “This doesn’t use up our borrowing power to build a new terminal,” Rees said. Addressing dilapidated facilities at the island’s public docks could cost as much as $250 million, a problem exacerbated by the fact the port is projected to bring in only about $250,000 in net income in 2018, port officials said. For a third cruise terminal to be ready to host an Oasis-class ship in the fall of 2020, officials will need a project planned and designed by about November, Rees said in a previous interview with The Daily News. There is not yet a final agreement with Royal Caribbean, and all details of the proposed third cruise terminal could still change, Rees said. The Wharves Board of Trustees must approve whatever agreement is eventually reached with the cruise line, Trustee Elizabeth Beeton said. The Port of Galveston is a landlord port, which generates much of its income from lease agreements with maritime tenants and fees related to ship calls. The port is home to three year-round Carnival Cruise Line ships, one year-round Royal Caribbean ship, one seasonal Royal Caribbean ship and a seasonal Disney Cruise Lines ship. The Carnival Vista, the cruise line’s newest and biggest ship, will arrive at Galveston’s docks Sept. 23.
  22. Time arrived , another half YOLO cruise will start soon , YOLO since we booked it only at April. This is the 5th time we are doing the same cruise (Two times on Symphony, one time on Harmony and one time on Liberty) but there are always something new to do in each one of the Med ports Here is our plans : Day -1 – Barcelona/ Brussels - our flight is planned via brussels as it was the cheapest option , the only issue is that it comes with a very long stopover, the plan is to try and take an earlier fight from brussels , if not we will take the train to the city and eat fresh fries and maybe some famous Belgium chocolates. Day 1 – Barcelona. Day 2 – Palma de Mallorca, we have some excursion planned to the north part of the island. Day 3 - Marseilles , take the buss to the city and walkaround until I will need to catch a conference call , work related (the things I am doing to be able and cruise more). Day 4 - Florence/Pisa (La Spezia) – I might have something special for this port , a trip to Milan airport to retrieve what I left there yesterday , more about it later. Day 5 –Rome (Civitavecchia) – I booked a train trip to Rome , directly with the railway company , ¼ of the price the ship offers , to be on the safe side we are planning to catch the 4 PM train back which should bring us 3 hours before all aboard. Day 6- Naples (Capri) – No plans yet , we might take the bicycle tour if the weather will be nice or rent a car or just go off the ship and tour the city. Day 7 – be sad the cruise is over maybe overcome it with the Chef table. Day 8 – catch a 9:30 am flight back home (yes , we are walking over the edge this) time , still trying to see if I can find a direct flight in a decent price , if not it will be a very early day for us. As you can see we are traveling a day before the cruise and leaving on the same day coming back , I wanted to add at least one more day in Barcelona but I just could not make it happened, this time its really hard to navigate between work and vacation. So, why I consider to drive to Milan during the cruise ? , very simple , I was on a business trip few days ago, making sure I will be back on time for the cruise (meaning running away one day earlier than usual). I went to the airport , passed check in , security and border control enough time ahead to seat and relax in the airline lounge. I was drifted away working , trying to complete some tasks so I will have less things on my mind during the vacation when I heard the call for boarding. I packed very quickly, boarded the aircraft, went to my seat then reaching for my cellphone just to realize its gone, TA, TA , TA (dramatic music please) , my worst nightmare (naa , not really , my rea nightmare is to be late boarding RCL cruise ship ?). Quickly I went to the front of the aircraft (was not upgraded this time , poor me) to notify the flight attended about the crises , she escorted me back to the gate , passing some un happy security people , were one of the ground team went to try and find my cellphone in the lounge. After five minutes I asked if I can go by myself , apparently it was Ok , went to the lounge just to hear that they did found it , but they were supper efficient and sent it to the lost and found …. , yes this is the first time they were really efficient. Now I had two options, one go out and fetch the cellphone from the lost and found , but it means I will need to do security and boarder control again, in other words I will loose my flight, which can risk the cruise … I had chosen the other option , leave my communication center , my camera , my VPN authentication device , my two phone numbers (the local one and the roaming T Mobile which is very useful for cruises) , my restaurant guide , my taxi and many other things , amazing how much of our lives is relying on one device. I did run back to the aircraft as they were waiting just for me. So here I was seating at my chair doing plans how to recover from the situation in the day or two I still had before the cruise. We landed at early morning and after a short taxi ride I was back home , finding that beside the cellphone I left behind also my keys … ops, lucky for me I have spare keys, what a ride . To be continued , need to pack ? For now , here is some last minute Caprese salad I prepared today to get ready for the trip
  23. We are going on Oasis in 18 days and we are in the aqua suite? Do you have any advice for us when we are on the boat? Thanks for allowing me to join. We have 2 cruise book for this year.
  24. Day -2 - Pre-cruise As I looked out this morning, the weather in beautiful St. Louis, MO confirmed that it is indeed time for a cruise. Nothing like a dreary day with the first flurry of snow for the year covering the roof tops to remind you that it's been 364 days of dry dock, time to start the live-blog, and offer a miserable picture to test out how to insert them into the blog and have them sized correctly. Sailings We will being a pseudo-side to side on Oasis and Enchantment out of Port Canaveral. Oasis will be a 7-night Western Caribbean starting November 11 through November 18. One night spent in Port Canaveral, then a 4-night Bahamas sailing on Enchantment from November 19 through November 23. Itinerary Day 1 - Port Canaveral, FL Day 2 - Sea Day Day 3 - Labadee Day 4 - Falmouth Day 5 - Sea Day Day 6 - Cozumel Day 7 - Sea Day Day 8 & 9 - Port Canaveral Day 10 - CocoCay Day 11 - Nassau Day 12 - Sea Day Day 13 - Port Canaveral We have a beach bungalow booked for Labadee. Falmouth we will probably stay in the cruise terminal. Cozumel we will be going to Nachi Cocom, then heading downtown to Coz Coffee and Chocolateria Isla Bella. CocoCay we have a Cabana booked, and then probably the cruise terminal again in Nassau. Who is Sailing: It will be my wife, Abby, our 4 year old daughter, and I on this sailing. I cruised once when I was a kid on the Big Red Boat. My next cruise was last year with Abby on Majesty of the Seas, and went to Grand Bahama and CocoCay (which we missed due to weather.) I get cruise incentives from my land-based casino, so we booked that cruise after final payment date on a whim. It was right before we left on the sailing that I found RCBlog, and now I am fully indoctrinated. This will be our daughter's first cruise, and she's been counting down the number of "sleeps" left since we were at 20. She can't wait to meet new friends in Adventure Ocean, and has been trying to convince us that all of her friends from school can come with us. So while this is our second RC cruise, it will be our first 7-nighter, first Oasis Class, and first just about everything else including first time in each of these ports. Other logistics Packing has been ongoing for about a week. Hoping to get it all finalized tonight. We fly out tomorrow from STL to MCO via Southwest. Tomorrow night will be in the Country Inn & Suites near the port. We will have a rental car from MCO to the hotel, returning it at the port. For the night in between cruises, we had the same hotel booked, choosing it originally due to the on-site laundry facilities. After @Matt posted the blog about the Holiday Inn Beach Club, we changed our stay there, due to in-room laundry, as well as everything else on property. Possibly even taking the rental car to Publix to cook dinner for ourselves. After we debark Enchantment, we are taking a shuttle from PC to MCO for our flight back. Cabins On Oasis we have a JS on deck 6 booked. The location should be great for it's location, and we envision Johnny Rockets for breakfast most mornings. On Enchantment, I've done the best I can do to ensure that my daughter will become a full on suite snob by booking a GS. The pricing was great for the upgrade, plus we got a great deal on the Oasis sailing by booking during a WOW sale last year with KSF and free gratuities. (Although I feel like I'm probably heading to #suitesnob status as well. Looking at booking Oasis again in Feb of 2020, and my eye is on a Crown Loft Suite...) Other thoughts -We will be #TeamNoDX. I had weight loss surgery in February and can't really drink much (down 200 lbs in about a year). My last drink was 2 weeks before surgery, but I imagine I may have to have at least a sip or two while on the ship or at Nachi. -We have the 3 night dining package booked on Oasis. We plan on being #TeamCK (more influence from our favorite Stubborn Canadian (wouldn't let me tag @lovetocruise2002 for some reason). If we can't do CK, we may opt for Solarium Bistro. On Enchantment we don't have any specialty dining booked. We'll either see if there are deals available, or take advantage of the MDR service in our room, especially on Thanksgiving Day. -Pictures will be with my iPhone 8 and the moment lenses. I'm opting not to bring my DSLR this trip, just so I can enjoy the journey, and work on shot selection vs. shot quality. Once I get a better idea of what shots to take on a cruise, and how to frame them, I move to bringing my DSLR. -We are excited for our daughter's first cruise. This will be her second time flying, but the first was with Grandma and Grandpa, so we're looking forward to that also. We are doing the Dreamworks Breakfast on Oasis, and the girls will be doing the Cupcake class on Enchantment. Finally, I'm hoping to do the live blog justice. Lots of great influences on the site, and I hope I hold a candle to some of them. We do have VOOM, so I'll try to be as interactive as possible. If there are questions, I'll try to get them answered. Now it's off to iron my best shorts and t-shirt for formal night and finish packing. -Lance
  25. We got off Lady O last Sunday (it was a fabulous cruise) and I took two of the 3 available martini classes that were held by Patrick in the Champagne Bar. The first class was on departure day and I didn't know about it but the two I did take were a lot of fun and quite the learning experience. I love mixed drinks but basically suck at creating them; this was my first time with actual teaching. Patrick was smart and engaging, and got nearly everyone to participate with making drinks. I highly recommend it. There is a $15 cost per class if you don't have a drink package and $10 if you do. I've been making them all weekend! Here is one of my best so far - the Toblerone Martini:
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