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  1. This probably provides some context for the recent policy changes. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cruise-ship-covid-cases-royal-caribbean/index.html
  2. For those of you who have visited Bahamas already do you know the cost of this Visa? Is this something Royal was toying with giving us some on board credit for? Not a deal breaker but I registered and now have to wait to take my 15 year old for her PCR test to upload, actually located a rapid PCR test, timing won't allow for vaccine and honestly not feeling the vaccine for her. Just want to do a bit more due diligence for her, we got it to sail we are old anyway!! Lol!! Insights thoughts please share with me, thanks so much everyone ?
  3. As I previously stated our Air2Sea flight is late on the 12th, I think we are the last Bahamasair flight of the day. With this pressing time frame for a timely embarkation I also purchased the shuttle to the Hilton for check in from Air2Sea. I know I need to check in for my flight but is there a ticket or voucher I should have received for this shuttle? Has anyone experienced or used this shuttle service before? I wanted the protection of Air2Sea in case things run late. Thanks everyone!
  4. Royal Caribbean will have at least 6 cruise ships definitely sailing this summer. I am very interested to see how many people have booked the different cruise options available for this summer.
  5. I booked a cruise on Adventure of the Seas and picked room 1101 thinking it would be awesome and relaxing to be right next to the Solarium. Then my more observant wife noticed that the room was also right next to the fitness center. Wondering if anyone had a room in this section of the ship and if we would be hearing the exercise classes and equipment.
  6. Hello, I hope it's okay to do a live-blog style recap (instead of it being live). I also took pictures of all the cruise compass pages and MDR menu. Please let me know how to best upload these, or whom I should contact to get them added to the cruise compass section. ----------------- This is my first cruise, with DW and in laws, for 8 nights from FLL to Eastern Caribbean, on Adventure of the Seas, 12/21/2019 sailing. The ports visited: St Thomas, St Marteen, San Juan, and Labadee. We originally considered booking on Allure, but finally we decided on Adventure. This fact will become important later. We did a GTY balcony room, and scored a spacious balcony on deck 6 fore. We bought the refreshment drink package (non-alcoholic) and the surf voom package. No specialty dining option because we figured we’d have enough to eat. Our dining time was traditional seating at 8:30. We booked our travel through MEI travel, and had Michelle as our contact person. She is extremely helpful and friendly, and really responsive with our questions. Due to inclement weather, the day before our departure the captain sent a note that they’re rearranging our ports of visit, but generally still keeping the same ports and same time-ish for each port. I did book excursions with a 3rd party, so I called them and let them know of the change. He was very accommodating (partly due to the fact that the whole ship is on the same boat as us, literally), so he has to work around the change. I wanted to do a live blog but I figured I’d rather write a review afterwards so that I can enjoy my vacation. That’s why I didn’t create a thread beforehand. I just jot down the basics of what we did each day. Day 1 We drove for 1 hr from Palm Beach to FLL, and parked our car at Discount Parking. Definitely would not recommend this vendor. It seemed like they only had 1 shuttle dedicated to cruise passengers, so we had to wait a long time to get taken to the pier (and also at the end, we had to wait almost 1 hour at the pier to be picked up). I did see a lot of Park N Go shuttles, so next time we will try that one. Due to inclement weather (again), the terminal was moved from pier 29 to pier 18. There was no communication about this from Royal Caribbean. I only found out from the facebook group. I don’t know how people would have found out otherwise. The check-in was quick. There is a short line for the security, then the ipad person took our pictures, and quick picture in front of a backdrop, but other than that off we go to the second floor, which connects to a gangway going to deck 4. We arrived at the terminal around 12:30, and stepped to the ship around 12:45. Although it’s almost one (and therefore our room should be ready soon), since we didn’t really have carry on, we went straight to WJ for lunch. There was a special gingerbread town decoration at the entrance of WJ Of course we started utilizing our drink package. We ordered pina colada and mango daiquiri. On the first day, they let you use your set sail pass instead of your seapass card to order drinks. After lunch, we went to our rooms to find out it’s all ready. The seapass cards were waiting in front of the room. Inside the room, all the excursions that we have bough with Royal Caribbean (including explanations about drink package and internet package) are waiting on our bed. I thought the whole thing was extremely well-organized. The room is very spacious for just the 2 of us. There is plenty of storage. The only negative thing is that the balcony still feels a bit closed in, and basically feels like a glorified port hole. I guess this is what you get for doing a GTY. But a balcony is still a balcony, so no complaint here. The closets and drawers offer plenty of storage space. Within 10 minutes, the stateroom attendant knocked on our door, introduced himself, and informed us about the muster drill. Collin, he is very nice and attentive, and we were very pleased with his service throughout the cruise. There were several times when I came back to the room carrying plates of food from WJ, and he saw me, and he opened the door for me. This happened as early as day 1 btw, so he was definitely quick in memorizing our faces lol. After the drill, we went exploring around the ship, with drinks in hand of course. The ship is fairly nice-sized, but not too big that I feel like it’s a floating city. I know this used to be considered “top of the line” when it was first launched, but now that there are much larger ships around, Adventure of the Seas is considered medium-large. There were Christmas decorations around the ship, so it felt really festive. However, they’re also “blocking” some access areas especially on deck 4 and 5, at both ends of the ship (so near Centrum staircases). Not a big deal because most of the time it was never that crowded, except during special occasions where you feel like the added stairway would have alleviated the crowd jam a little bit. Also, there were ship photographers in front of the Christmas tree, preventing you to take your own pictures. You can have your pictures taken, but then you’d have to pay to get them. During the sail away, we went to deck 12 aft to watch. It was windy and slightly raining. After the sail away, I tried a the flow rider for a little bit. Bad idea. It was hard, and I think my neck got whiplashed when I fell? I only noticed the soreness the day after. I saw some other people having fun on it, so good for them. Also the flow rider area is VERY windy throughout the cruise, because it’s at the top deck, aft. When the ship was docked it was okay, but whenever ship was on sea, it gets very windy. I also tried the slides. There are two slides: yellow and blue. The yellow one is supposed to be faster, but it also has a slight “bump” in it, meaning you cannot rest your head completely but you had to hold it up a little bit. This became a problem due to my sore neck, but was a lot of fun otherwise. I have been to a lot of water parks in Orlando, and I can say that these two slides were definitely top notch in terms of speed, thrill, and drops. Also because the ship was rocking, no two “sessions” were the same. It keeps you guessing and anticipating with every turn. I must have done each slide at least 10 times throughout the cruise. I also talked to one of the lifeguards (Matthew) which was very friendly. He said that one passenger hurt his head on the yellow slide because he laid down his head completely during the bump, so he cautioned me not to do that. He also mentioned that he used to work on Allure, and this was his second week on Adventure. He also didn’t know how to do flowrider in the beginning, but they have crew-only hours to train them, and after several times, now he can at least stand comfortably on it. I guess it made me feel better for not getting the hang of flow rider right away? Then we wasted some time at the solarium reading / enjoying the hot tub. There was a 5pm raffle for $500 voucher at the spa, although we didn’t win ☹ By this time, it’s already 6 pm ish, so we checked out WJ, which was American-themed. They had a welcome onboard cake, and beautiful dessert spread. I took 2 platefuls of food (one for savory things, one for sweet things) to our room, where the cruise compasses for day 1 and 2 were already waiting. I took pictures of them all so that we can plan out the night and the next day over dinner. Before dinner, they had a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It was just a countdown to light the Christmas tree. I expected some singing at the bridge but there was none. This was where the promenade was full of people, standing by and getting around, and the added access (blocked by decorations) would have been helpful. At dinner, our table was right by the entrance. Because we emailed Royal Caribbean ahead of time, 4 of us were seated together. Our waiters were Franco and Antonio, and they were both very attentive. They even remembered our preferences (my steak rare). On the first two nights, we ordered hot tea, so by the third night, when we sat down, there were already tea bags prepared, and he brought out mugs of hot water without being asked. It’s the little touches like these that make long lasting impression. I went for double entrees right away: NY Strip and Salmon, while DW went for prime rib. The NY Strip was great, but I feel like the cook is one “over.” I usually order medium-rare at most restaurants on land, but this time I had to order rare in order to get the same cook. Just FYI. For appetizers we did calamari and shrimp cocktail, and for dessert we did chocolate cake, creme brulee, and blueberry cobbler. The appetizers tasted good but the portion was kinda small. Well I guess you could always order double appetizers, and that's what we ended up doing for the rest of the cruise. The desserts were good but not amazing. After dinner, we went to a comedy show. But shortly into it, we realized that it’s not our style (it was an adult show) so we just left and went back to our room and slept early. The nice thing about Lyric Theater is that, you can sit in the balcony on 4th floor (and it has a separate entrance that goes to deck 4 instead of deck 3). So that if you decide that the show is not your thing, you can leave without disturbing too many people. We ended up watching shows this way for most of the cruise. There is also a bar by the entrance on deck 4 (INSIDE the theater) so you can keep going back to order drinks, again without disturbing people.
  7. We booked a cruise in February 2020. We port at Fort Lauderdale at 5:30 a.m. and plan to take the first direct flight back home leaving Fort Lauderdale airport at 9 a.m. If we do express departure or self assist check out, would we make our flight at 9 a.m.? Does anyone have real experience to share with me regarding Royal Caribbean express departure at Fort Lauderdale with the Adventure of the Seas?
  8. Hi, we are going on Adventures of the Seas in November. We want to do a sting ray city excursion in Grand Cayman, since we have never done it and looking to book through Royal. We narrowed down to the following options: -Catamaran Sail and Sting Ray City: GCC7 -Sting Ray City and Starfish Point: GCS1 -Deluxe Sting Ray City: GCI3 It will be me, my 8 year old daughter and my 70 year old father. Sting Ray City is a must for me and my daughter. Starfish point was just something cool for the kid. Is there a clear winner of the 3 options above? I have also heard of high winds and rough seas canceling excursions, how will this be in November?
  9. Looking at the website, it looks like if you are staying in a Grand Suite on the Adventure, you get Private Lunch Seating in a Specialty Restaurant, since there is no Coastal Kitchen. Does anyone know which restaurant that is? "Private Lunch Seating in Specialty Restaurants (On Ships Without Coastal Kitchen) " "Private Breakfast Seating (On Ships Without Coastal Kitchen)" Thanks, jon
  10. As always trying to figure out how to start off another LIVEish. Laying in the room at the Embassy Suites on 17th in Ft. Lauderdale overlooking the port Adventure will soon be docked at. Yesterday (the 4th) was a travel day, sitting on a bus (RedCoach) from 7:30 in the morning until just a bit after 5:00 (versus the scheduled 4:10) in the afternoon. Didn't really have much of an opportunity to move around at the Orlando stopping point. Due to traffic delays outside of Gainesville we were running around 30 or 40 minutes late. As a result when we hit Orlando we were transferred to different bus that immediately left. Good thing for me, not getting to sleep until 4 am allowed me to sleep just about the entire journey. After getting dropped off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport used Lyft XL for the somewhat quick trip from airport to hotel, most of that time I'm sure was spent just getting out of the arrivals area of the airport. For those that are curious about cost: Lyft XL fare (3.64mi, 13m 21s) $19.36. Booked once again the "Premium Suite", sad to report that our friend the vending machine is gone. Been replaced by a snack basket that was left in the room. One of the great things staying in this area is the easy access to a shopping center. With that in mind and a cue from so many in the past wound out having dinner at La Bamba. Wound up ordering the Fiesta Combination that consisted of Chicken Burrito and Chunk Beef Enchilada plus served with yellow rice and refried beans. By the time we left it was getting on the busy side. With some time to kill and wanting to do some walking to help things settle wound up walking down to explore Total Wine. No purchases for onboard consumption, not much of a wine drinker. After a bit headed back to the hotel to enter a blissful food coma for a bit (yes more sleeping) and then finally getting around to posting this. What is to come on Adventure is going to be a new port stop for me, St. Kitts. Prior to St. Kitts a somewhat typical eastern run: Labadee, San Juan, and St. Maarten. This post is in honor to my dear friends the "Premium Suite" vending machines. Your selections will be missed.
  11. I'm taking my friend for his first cruise this coming May on Adventure. Unfortunately he has HSP (hereditary spastic paraplegia) and requires at times his scooter to get around. Even though we booked the cruise well in advance, there were no accessory rooms available ?. I don't think it will be a big deal as he doesn't need it in the room to get around, only when we go out perusing about the ship or at the ports. Plus, our TA informed us that the crew can take the scooter and park / charge it overnight in a specified area and have it back at our cabin the next morning. I know that this topic has been broached before, but if someone had booked an accessible cabin and they aren't handicapped, doesn't RC have an obligation to transfer them to another cabin and the accessible cabin given to the people who really need it? Granted as I previously remarked, he doesn't need it in the cabin so I don't think it will make or break his experience. Also, any tips you can offer would be great as this will be the first time I'm cruising with someone who has mobility issues
  12. I had intended to do a semi-live review of the cruise but decided against due to ropey voom and time constraints of travelling with a 10 year old. I’m also aware that there was another live blog of the same cruise but it’s always nice to see things from two perspectives. This is my first review on here but I took so much good info prior to this cruise that I want to give a little back. I had had a 2.5 year break from cruising due to moving house and other reasons so felt a bit out of touch. So... the contents of this review may not be relevant to everyone as I travel alone with my 10 year old son. No drinks package (but we did the three night dining package), no late nights and not too much partying but lots of family fun. On this cruise we were meeting my parents on board as they had just taken the snowbird migration prior. This is our itinerary - Thursday 18th October - Fly London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale with British Airways. Stay three nights in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea at Plunge Beach Hotel Sunday 21st October - Embark Adventure of the Seas Monday 22nd October - At Sea Tuesday 23rd October - Grand Cayman (tender) Wednesday 24th October - Costa Maya Thursday 25th October - Cozumel Friday 26th October - At Sea Saturday 27th October - Disembark and return flight to London Gatwick. A brief bit about our pre-cruise ... I rented a car from Thrifty (compact - Toyota Yaris) which did the two of us just fine to get to our hotel and an afternoon trip to sawgrass mills. I drive an automatic at home but stick shift (manual) is still very much the norm in the UK and there was a very confused family in the next row to us so UK travellers beware that almost all rentals in the US are automatic transmission. We collected and returned at the airport for ease and I used the Google Maps app on my phone rather than renting a GPS. It worked well and my roaming package was capped at 140 mins, 100 texts but unlimited data for £4.99 per day with my provider, O2. Next time, I’ll make sure and pack a screen mount bracket for my phone. Our hotel, Plunge Beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, was just perfect. A beach from property with a well kept pool area and a lovely beach bar. It is directly across from a Publix (fantastic supermarket - need this in the UK!) so we were able to buy several meals including breakfast every day here and keep costs down. It become our morning routine to hit Publix at 7am then eat breakfast on the beach watching the sunrise There is a resort charge of $30 a day at Plunge but I felt this was great value As it included valet, bike hire, use of beach loungers, umbrellas and games/toys.
  13. HI there! I'm sailing on Adventure out of San Juan on Saturday, stopping in St Thomas, St Kitts, Curacao & Aruba. I'm kind of silent member, I listen to all of Matt's podcasts, and peruse the blog and forums quite a bit, but dont speak out too much. :) I've learned so much here and would love to help pay it back and help contribute. I'll possibly blog here each day, if there is anything you want to know, feel free to post here and I'll see how I can help. **5 days and 23 hours, but who is counting?!**
  14. Looking at excursions for our upcoming cruise in December on Adventure of the Seas. I am thinking that Nachi Cocum (sp?) in Cozumel would work that day. Any other recommendations for any of the ports. I know that some of the extended family wants to see some Mayan ruins. December 2 - Leave Fort Lauderdale December 3 - Sea Day December 4 - Grand Cayman December 5 - Costa Maya December 6 - Cozumel December 7 - Sea Day December 8 - Disembark Fort Lauderdale
  15. Adventure's dry dock date starts as of tomorrow and will go until mid-Feb. I realize that they are just finishing up the last refurb (adding panoramic state rooms, Izumi, ect). What else does everyone hope to see out of a 30 day dry dock? I myself would like to see her get a fresh coat of paint. Simple yet does so much.
  16. Hello, My boyfriend and I are going on a RC cruise in May 2018 to the Bahamas on Adventure of the Seas. One of the ports is Orlando Florida. My question is: would we be close enough to visit The Hard Rock Cafe while in port from 12 am to 9 pm.? We are casino fanatics and would like to go there on our own accord, not with a private journey. Any thoughts and/or info would be greatly appreciated.
  17. So according to the image in Matt's blog post about the 2018/19 Caribbean, Alaska, and Northeast itineraries (http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/03/15/royal-caribbean-announces-2018-2019-caribbean-alaska-and-northeast-itineraries ), Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ is going to get Adventure of the Seas doing the New England and Canada run (among other trips), and Voyager is heading off to Galveston. Can anyone who's been on both give an idea of whether this is an improvement, a downgrade, or just a "lateral move" for those of us in the Bayonne area who would prefer to sail out of Cape Liberty and use the money not spent on a flight towards getting a better cabin or other upgrades? It certainly looks like it's quite an upgrade over Vision. Adventure is a much bigger ship, and I see in the brochure pages on the RCI web site that they put that larger size to use with things like a water park and racing slides, golf area, more specialty dining options, etc. Plus, it was recently refurbished, so it's got all the new shiny. But how is it in person, not on paper? Is the overall experience on there better than on Vision for a family of four, where the kids are becoming older teens, or for a middle-aged couple traveling on our own? It's scheduled for the same itineraries Vision ran out of Bayonne, but will it be able to manage the same ports? Or will it have to change to some maybe less desirable ports because it can't navigate the same places that Vision could? Looking forward to people's thoughts on this. Those New England and Canada itineraries on Vision looked really nice, especially for an alternative to a typical fall foliage tour. I'm hoping that Adventure ca hold up to that.
  18. Matt, I just thought I'd give an update about what I saw on the Adventure of the Seas webpage this morning- I was looking this morning at pricing on our cruise in February on Adventure of the Seas and noticed some changes to RCI's site. First off, if you go to the AOS page, it now lists things as "coming soon", like the FlowRider, the water slides, Boleros Latin Lounge, etc. When I started digging deeper, in going to the deck plans, I noticed that they have started to spell out specifically where the changes will be taking place. Here they are: -Flow Rider- Aft deck 13 (all the way back) -Water Slides- Aft deck 13 (one side of the Flow Rider) -Splashaway Bay- Aft deck 13 (other side of the Flow Rider) -10 new inside cabins- deck 3 next to the Photo Gallery (that's how I read it anyway) -19 new cabins- deck 3 where Jesters used to be -Chops Grill- deck 4 where Jesters used to be -Boleros Latin Lounge- deck 4 where the Aquarium Bar used to be -Aquarium bar- deck 4 across the Centrum from where it used to be -Card Room/Library- deck 5 where the Connoisseur Lounge used to be -Izumi- deck 5 middle of the Royal Promenade -38 more cabins- deck 12 in front and around the sides of the Vitality Spa -Suite Lounge- deck 14 where Seven Heart Card room and Cloud Nine used to be The pool deck looks like it remains untouched (thank goodness!). I hope that helps. Please add to this if you notice anything missing. Thanks and I look forward to seeing her all revamped!
  19. Hello Friends, I have 2 cruises booked on the Adventure of the Seas this year!! One pre and one post refurb! Southern Caribbean x 2!! We will manage to only hit St. Kitts twice, otherwise we will hit all new islands! I have read Matt's blogs in regards to traveling from San Juan, but I was wondering if anyone else had some hot tips or must do's in the Southern Caribbean. We will be at St. Thomas and St. Maarten (have been to both of them several times), then St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, and Curacao. Anyone have a must do excursion or tour? We usually book our own non-RCL tours, but are certainly open to suggestions! Thanks! Mel!
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