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  1. Hello, I know large group planning can be difficult on cruises, but it's my husband's 40th birthday and he has one request: group dinner on his birthday at Jamie's Italian. There are 13 of us on this cruise who would like to dine for his birthday. I suppose my first step is to call RC and see what they can do, but I thought I'd try here first to see what others have learned and what my expectations should be. Some additional points/questions: Some people will have the unlimited dining package, and some will have the three night, and some will have no dining package. Is this a nightmare for the staff? If people think it makes it easier on the staff, we could cover any cover charges or drinks not covered by packages, however keeping each cabin on their own would be ideal. We wouldn't mind splitting tables, but of course we'd rather all be together. We are very flexible on time and would do a really early dinner if it helped the staff keep their wits about them. Is it realistic that they could accommodate us before the sailing or do you think we'll have to wait to reserve when we get on ship? If RC won't let us reserve ahead of time and waiting until we get onboard is too dicey, I suppose the only other way to make it happen is to prebook and pay the covers on the app by adding all the different parties to the reservations, yeah? Then we'd be on the hook for 13 cover charges even though many have the unlimited thought, right? I've seen some info about large group dining in the MDR, but not in specialty places. I seem to recall a long time ago an email to RC for large group dinging, but I can't find that anymore. Very much appreciate the advice anyone can provide! HugoBoss
  2. Just a head's up to those of us on the Brilliance October 11 Group Cruise. The DBP is selling for $48 PP/PD. I haven't seen a DBP in the forty-anything since the beginning of the new year. YIPPEE !!! I cancelled our Refreshment Pkg (which had been a very good buy at $19 PP/PD) and purchased the UDP. I believe the Speednoodles family will be happy to hear this great news !!!
  3. So I'm thinking about trying the group cruise next year. Does the group get any extra discounts for excursions, drink packages etc? Also can someone give me examples of what the group does activities wise? Thanks!
  4. Looking for moderately price hotels in London England. Also any suggestions for getting from London to Southampton cruise port?
  5. Cruising with Greatness – Anthem Group Cruise – July 4-13, 2019 Anthem of the Seas the Reboot (aka Anthem, The Lite Edition). For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that we cruised Anthem back in 2018. For a more in-depth blog of Anthem, check out my blog from March 2018. This is going to be the “Lite Edition” for several reasons. I wasn’t even going to blog this cruise as I am not sure how much more I can add to it that would be different from my previous one or the ones that @twangster, @JLMoran, @SweetPea, or @TheHobbys have done. And…it’s my first Group Cruise! I might be just a tad busier than usual. However, the conclusion that I came to is that it would be irresponsible and inconsiderate of me to not blog it because it was the blogs and scopes from last year’s Royal Caribbean Blog Alaska GC that finally pushed me into booking this one. Again, the best part of live blogs is learning from each other and to pay it forward. Let’s back up the story a bit on how this cruise came about for us. I saw this GC as soon as @Matt announced it back in the Fall of 2017. The itinerary stood out right away for me as it was 9-night sailing that goes to Bermuda (we have never been). To make it even better, the dates for this GC landed on dates that were actually doable for me. However, during that time, I was more focused on securing my Symphony July 2019 booking and with both cruises in July, only weeks apart, I decided it wasn’t going to be possible for Anthem. In March 2018, we sailed Anthem, and I had very mixed feelings on that sailing with the ship itself. I usually enjoy most cruises we go on, but Anthem did not sit well with me. You can see my initial thoughts of Anthem in my previous Anthem blog. Fast forward to June 2018, the RC Blog gang went to Alaska, and it looked like so much fun that I truly wanted to try out a GC myself. Many of you know that I am teacher and my vacation dates are not flexible. To have the Anthem GC fall over our summer break was an opportunity that I felt I could not let pass. Booking this cruise was essentially embracing the true YOLO spirit. As far as our (I mean Hubby’s) bank account goes, booking this one and Symphony to sail in the same month was not wise and made for a very expensive April! On the bright side, this is going to be our shortest dry dock ever between cruises! This is the cruise that we probably should not have booked but could not turn it down for the reasons already listed and the best reason of all…Who can possibly turn down an opportunity to meet “Mr. YOLO Book It!” himself? True Greatness? Our Fearless Leader? Obviously not us! So here it goes…
  6. T minus 2 days. Bags packed. Boarding pass printed. SetSail pass printed. Luggage tags ready. Check, check, check and check. I think I'm ready. Amazingly I don't feel like I forgotten anything, which means in about 10 hours at 35,000' I will remember exactly what I forgot. Such is cruising. For the flight to Seattle tomorrow I have a 6am departure. I had plenty of choices of flight times all day but I chose 6am so I could visit something in Seattle I've always wanted but haven't been able to yet. The Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the base of the Space Needle. I'm a sucker for blown glass so I'm looking forward to this as a pre-cruise excursion. I'm flying with Delta, my favorite airline since I am heavily vested in it's frequent flier program. At 13,500 Skymiles this may be the cheapest round trip flight I've booked using frequent flier miles. A direct flight was available departing later and arriving at nearly the same time but at several thousand more miles so I chose a connection in Salt Lake City given the early time of day plus day before cruise booking. Connections don't bother me since I've flown a bunch. Loyalty pays - I've been upgraded to first class on both segments. Not bad for an 'award' ticket. My son is joining me on this cruise flying in from the East coast. With a Friday to Friday cruise itinerary it meant an extra day of vacation for him so another day on top of that to fly in the day before was a problem. He doesn't get that much time off at this point in his career. He elected to fly in the day off the cruise, something I tend to avoid. Flying from the East coast the time change is working in his favor. Fingers crossed. I booked my cruise through MEI Travel and added the official hotel for the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise when it was offered oh so long ago. Time flies, it's almost cruise day! Shout out to Jacki York at MEI Travel for proactively checking each and every sale over several months to verify I had the best price. Our cabin on this cruise is an interior with virtual balcony. A full balcony cabin was nearly twice the price, per person of course. I did an Alaskan cruise last year on Celebrity with a balcony. One Alaska lesson I learned last year was that good excursions can be pricey. Alaska excursions are well worth the price in my opinion to experience Alaska however adding up the total cost of a vacation experience on my second Alaska cruise I chose to spend money favoring excursions that were my second choice from last year over the cabin so interior virtual balcony it is. Basically by booking an interior cabin we got our excursions 'included' compared to the cost of booking a balcony. Excursions this time around: Juneau Skagway (The description read much better when I booked it!) Victoria Booked during various sales it definitely pays to book excursions early and watch sales. Most of them have increased in price over the months since booking. I booked our excursions with enough time for us to self explore before or after as weather permits. Alaska here we come! With that it's time to close my laptop and pack it, else I might forget it in the morning at oh-dark-early when my ride arrives to carry me to the airport.
  7. Hey, all you blog group cruisers on the 16 Sept. Harmony western Caribbean cruise !!! I am organizing the Cruise Critic cabin crawl for our sailing. Even if you do not use Cruise Critic, I am hoping to get as many of "us" as possible to participate. Most likely the crawl will be held in the early afternoon of Day 2 - probably 1 or 2:00. Day 2 is a sea day and cabin crawls are best done on sea days early in the cruise. I am not smart enough to do an online spreadsheet, but I am keeping a spreadsheet on my computer to track the participants. Please let me know if you want to participate. There are 2 ways to be involved: 1. Be a crawler only. These folks want to see other peoples' cabins but don't want to show their cabins. 2. Be a crawler and a shower. These folks want to view other peoples' cabins and are also willing to have others come to see their cabin. The best cabin crawls are the ones with a variety of cabin types so that everyone can see the different room categories. I will need to know your online handle (name) and what deck you are on, at a minimum, if you want to show your cabin. If you want to give real names and your cabin number, that's ok, but not required. Some people don't like giving out their cabin number. Please let me know if you want to be a crawler and a shower or just a crawler. I suppose you could be just a shower too....but what fun would that be ? My Cruise Critic handle is RFerrington Thanks !! Raye
  8. dear fellow RCI fans/ cruisers: attached my review of our group cruise would love to hear from others re what liked best / worse on the cruise? best to all, ron morton louisville KY Review of Navigator of Seas cruise 17-26 Feb 2017 1. Service: Outstanding dining room and room stewards 2. Main dining room: pro lobster night con: new York strip steak unenven cooked/ extra fatty 3. Specialty dining: pro chef’s table last night, excellent chef/host , ziumi/Giovanni/sabor excellent 4. Shore excursions: pro “double dip†snorkel adventure Bonaire, con: beach at Labadee crowded 5. Onboard activities: pro new friends, water color class, ballroom dance class ; con: too late for 70s party 6. Bars/shops: pro new RCL gear (backpack/cooler), first for coffee package , con: none 7. Onboard RCL singer/dancers shows: pro Ballroom dancing show, ice skating show 8. Diamond club: pro backstage theater tour, con: cutoff at 805pm for free drinks in one venue and l;ittle bit more flexibility in another venue 9. Embarkation/disembarkation: pro: getting on ship, con: disembarkation chaotic, need priority diamond lounge
  9. Hey Everyone, I was curious if anyone was staying in Broward or Palm Beach (Ft Lauderdale, West Palm, etc) the night before the February group cruise. I will be as I live here (unless someone has a room at the Fontainebleau they'd like to offer us). BH
  10. Hello everyone! I didn't see a thread started on this yet so thought I'd get one started...just wanted to see who else is booked on the Harmony of the Seas group cruise sailing next September 16, 2017! I've already put down my $500 deposit and will be coming along with my sister (she too is a cruise addict). 490 days to go! Really looking forward to getting to know you all more over the coming months and hanging out on the world's largest cruise ship together :) Cheers, John @johnt_83 on Periscope :D PS -- I am going to try and do my first ever live periscope on Norwegian Pearl this summer to Alaska, still need to look into all the details about their Internet etc but the sailing is on 7/24/2016 and I'll be going with my wife and 4 other friends. Glacier Bay sailing out of Seattle (this is where I live too!)
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