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Found 14 results

  1. Hello everyone! OK, this is a first for me! Starting the “live” blog one week before we set sail! Odyssey will be our first experience on a Quantum/Quantum Ultra class ship. We had booked Anthem several years ago, since she’s in our backyard, but unfortunately had to cancel due to unexpected circumstances. We booked this cruise very early on back in May of 2020 for both the ship and the southern Caribbean itinerary. This will be our first visit to Aruba and Curacao, and we can’t wait! We’re a little bummed that Grand Cayman was swapped out for Nassau, but we’ll survive and will certainly make the best of it… any day on a cruise is a great day! We’re once again sailing with our good friends from Florida. They sailed with us on Allure back in May of 2019 and we had an amazing time. Unfortunately, it’s looking more and more likely that our friend’s husband will not be able to make this cruise and she will likely be flying solo in her cabin. Nice side note… our friend won her RoyalUp bid and was moved from an interior cabin to an Ocean View balcony cabin this past week! Winning bid for her was $230 ($115/person). Thankfully, she was relocated just one deck below us and just two cabins further aft on the same side of the ship! Plus since our cruise qualifies for the double C&A point promo, and she will likely be solo, she should be receiving 4x the usual points for this sailing (32 points)! My wife and I both contracted Covid during the first week of January right after the holidays. We’re both vaccinated and boosted. Thankfully, neither of us had serious symptoms. We both just had lingering/annoying symptoms that lasted about two weeks (sinus headache, minor fatigue, etc.). We’re both feeling great now and have both tested negative since. We're hoping we got Covid out of the way! Just praying the test that really counts comes back negative! We decided to skip the PCR test at CVS or at the local urgent care this time based on all the advice both from here on the forum and from family/friends in the medical field (due to testing positive last month). Also, we’re not in the mood (or have the luxury since we're flying down) to have to wait very long for the results of a PCR test under the circumstances! We decided to order the online proctored rapid antigen Covid tests from Optum and will give that a shot this time. A huge thank you to @Matt and @SpeedNoodles for posting the two excellent videos outlining the entire testing procedure including what not to do! Fingers crossed tightly! * Time for some trip details… Cruise Details: Odyssey of the Seas, 8-night, Southern Caribbean itinerary (Nassau, Curacao & Aruba) Out of Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale 2/12/22-2/20/22 Cabin Details & Cruise Planner Stuff: Ocean View balcony (Deck 10 Aft, Starboard side; Basically, below the climbing wall toward the cat sculpture) Purchased the Key ($19.99)… Yes we did again, LOL! I'll provide our feelings on value on this sailing. Selected My Time Dining Reservations made for Chef’s Table for Valentine’s Day Reservations made for Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar Purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package Purchased “Snorkel with Stingrays and Shark Feeding” excursion in Curacao Purchased “Half Day Off Road Adventure” excursion in Aruba Miscellaneous Stuff: Flight on Southwest Airlines out of Islip/MacArthur Airport (ISP) on Long Island (NY) early on FRI (2/11/22) morning to Orlando (MCO). Our friends live outside Orlando and have rented a car. We’re driving directly from the airport to Ft. Lauderdale that same day together. (UPDATED) Staying FRI evening at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport-Cruise Port (our first time here): LINK Our current plan is to use the shuttle service from the hotel to the port on SAT morning. We booked the 11:00-11:30 boarding period so we could board with our friends (originally grabbed the 10:30 slot, but they did not complete check-in until the following morning and missed out). I think that’s it for the synopsis... now we just need to pack and pray! We will be taking our Covid tests on Thursday... *** 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!
  2. After reading many wonderful cruise blogs on this site, I decided to be a follower and write my own. With me being too excited about this vacation, I need more people to talk about it. So, let’s go! Parties Involved: My best friend, Kiesha & I (Ashley Joy) Ship: Odyssey of the Seas Cabin: Virtual Balcony Dates: Monday, November 15 - Saturday, November 20 Ports: CocoCay & Labadee (at least, it is still on the itinerary) Reason: Celebrating 25 years of friendship, but do you really need a reason to cruise?! Cruise History: Kiesha did a Royal Caribbean cruise about a decade ago in a Balcony I went on a Symphony in April 2019 in a Virtual Balcony, which works with my irrational fear of heights and losing objects overboard. It was my only cruise to date, but I left addicted!!!!! Backstory: This trip has been a long time coming. I would always say, “Kiesha, we hardly ever vacation together.” When we met our freshman year of college, we used to take trips all the time. As real adults, we have gone on a couple of long weekend adventures. This past June, I had just returned from vacation and was needing another vacation (why is it always like that?!) so, I was researching the Royal Caribbean website. Luck would have it, I found a: great cruise itinerary set of dates that would work decent price new ship my favorite type of cabin I asked Kiesha to join me. She only had one question, “is it Royal Caribbean?” I said, “is there any other cruise line?” The next day I reached out to Caroline at MEI. Now, we only have 50 days to go! I told you I am too excited to not have anyone to regularly talk about this trip. To keep things interesting, my doctor and I decided this a great time to have surgery. In about ten days, it will be operation day. The cruise will be six weeks into a seven week recovery plan. I am thankful that my doctor believes my only underlying issue will be tiredness.
  3. I saw on another thread that people were discussing the drops in Fare Prices, but I didn't want to usurp that thread. I'm curious if anyone who got switched over to the Odyssey OTS (say from the Indy OTS) has seen any price drops significant enough to get OBC. In my case, since they kept us in the 1BR GS at the same price as the Indy, the price differential when we swapped was so significant that I don't think there will be any way to get a better price - and that's definitely not my goal with this post. While I have seen some price drops on the GS, it still isn't even close to the final price we paid. I'm just curious if it was my unique circumstances or if everyone who moved over was in the same boat (hmm... pun in there somewhere). In some ways, the swap from the Indy to the Odyssey feels a lot like the $18/day drink package. I think Royal really took care of us, even though they could have easily swapped us dollar for dollar to a lower tier cabin (like a JS instead of the GS). They also offered a fantastic RoyalUp to one of the lofts, so if that comes through, we'll really feel like we won the lottery on this cruise.
  4. The latest offering for what could possibly end up being the first revenue cruise for Odyssey appears to be July 3rd, 2021. At time of creation the itinerary is: Sat 03Jul2021 Fort Lauderdale, Florida - 05:00 PM BoardingSun 04Jul2021 Cruising - - CruisingMon 05Jul2021 Cruising - - CruisingTue 06Jul2021 Oranjestad, Aruba 09:00 AM 11:00 PM DockedWed 07Jul2021 Willemstad, Curacao 07:00 AM 05:00 PM DockedThu 08Jul2021 Cruising - - CruisingFri 09Jul2021 Cruising - - CruisingSat 10Jul2021 Perfect Day At Cococay, Bahamas 09:00 AM 06:00 PM DockedSun 11Jul2021 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 06:15 AM - Departure This will be the fifth iteration of an Odyssey inaugural for me. Like they say in the pandemic business, fifth time's a charm.
  5. Tide tables and notices of dam closures along the Ems River point to Odyssey of the Seas making the trip down the river towards the sea on the 27th of February. Shipbuilder Meyers Werft has been busy making preparations including testing all lifeboats. Odyssey has been outside at the shipyard secured to a pier next to the construction hall where she was assembled. Odyssey was floated out of the construction hall in November. In the video below Odyssey has been moved away the pier so that all lifeboats can be lowered and tested. Meyers Werft has been keeping the conveyance quiet to avoid large crowds gathering along the route given the pandemic. The shipyard is well inland away from the sea requiring the river conveyance once ships are nearing completion in preparation for the handover to the company that ordered the ship. Meyers Werft builds ships of varying sizes at the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Quantum class and similar ships from other cruise lines push the limits for the size of the ship that can be floated or conveyed down the Ems River. Work remains to be completed before the handover to Royal Caribbean. The conveyance down the Ems River towards the sea is safest during the highest monthly tide cycle. Closing dams in certain places along the river in coordination with tidal swings can further increase safety buffers and the depth of water below the hull. These factors limit the date of the conveyance relative to the handover to the cruise line but the conveyance has historically been a good indication that the handover will occur soon after. Final work, finishing touches and mandatory sea trials in the North Sea need to be completed before the handover to Royal Caribbean. For a preview of what to expect check out these blog posts from the conveyance of Ovation of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas down the Ems River: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/03/11/royal-caribbeans-ovation-of-the-seas-begins-conveyance https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/03/12/all-about-ovation-of-the-seas-conveyance-one-infographic https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/03/14/beautiful-views-ovation-of-the-seas-conveyance https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/03/26/video-spectrum-of-the-seas-conveyance
  6. I tried to utilize my current FCC certificates in their entirety for my future sailings. I have a "chunky one" left over (about $2,500.00) and then I believe an additional one that will have about maybe $160.00 or so when I step off the sailing I assigned the majority of that FCC to. My time is pretty much maxed out as far as sailing goes with sailings in 2021. In order not to lose any of the credits do I have to go ahead and book two additional sailings by 12/21 for sailing by 04/22? Do you think maybe that date would be pushed out a bit? I offered my family to take the hit and do a sailing alone so as not to disturb what they have going on LOL but I received a resounding very loud NO! darn darn darn.... Thanks everyone, any thoughts would be appreciated maybe I missed something!
  7. I had initially booked a BTB on Odyssey of the Seas for this November, 2020 (which was cancelled) and now I have a BTB booked for November / December 2021. The cruises are 6 and 8 nights each. I usually do the prepaid gratuities when I book online or with an agent (all of these booking were done online myself). Given that RCL charges $14.50 USD per person, per day, the grats should be $174 USD for the 6 night sailings and $232 USD for the 8 night sailings. The reason I ask is that when I added the prepaid gratuities for all four cruises, I was charged $520.16 CDN (which is approximately $397 USD) per cruise. It was the exact same amount for all 4 cruises, no matter the length of the sailing. This works out to approximately $33 USD per person, per night on the 6 night sailings, and $24.80 USD per person, per night on the 8 night sailings. We're traveling with another couple on one of the sailings, and they had the exact same issue. When I phoned, RCL wasn't able to handle the math (or my explanation), so I just had them remove the prepaid gratuities entirely. Anyone else have any issues with prepaid gratuities on Odyssey of the Seas bookings? You might want to check...
  8. So with the newest ship Odyssey of the Seas appearing soon, what do you think her entertainment will be? Specifically the headline show? Any guesses? Any wishes? Really making an effort to be in a positive mindset today, my teenager wants to go back to school! So sad, I think mama teacher ROCKS!! So can you help me? I would love to see a throwback like " Chorus Line" In addition I would love some great music (bands) maybe a Beatles or Eagles or Styx cover band, sort of like they do at Epcot Eat to the Beat. I'm up for ELO too! Maybe Dennis DeYoung appears, oh boy now I'm showing my age. Let's have fun, standing by.......
  9. We are booked in a Jr. Suite on the Odyssey of the seas for Thanksgiving 2020. I went ahead and purchased many things but then the 40% sale occurred. After reviewing the numbers and consultations with @Lovetocruise2002, I felt comfortable enough to bundle some things and purchase the Key which I felt was a better price then I have previously seen. So I cancelled and re-priced a great deal, huge dollar amount. Am I also looking at the 30 to 45 day turn around for my refunds? Thanks also to @Jaymac Radio, I purchased the water park passes for the three of us, quite comfortable I can tuck away somewhere thus staying with my family and not purchasing a cabana, as that price for this week is still super high. Be safe and stay healthy everyone!
  10. Hello friends! Anyone try the above destination for the day on this port stop? We will be in Curacao fingers crossed 11/24/20 if the ship is delivered on time and we sail. We have never visited this Island and will be there from 0800-2000. There are no day passes but we are considering just booking a room for the day, thoughts? Appreciate your input, be safe and stay healthy!
  11. I'm sure any week now we will get some information on odyssey of the Seas. I wonder how it will differ to Spectrum and the other 3 Quantum class ships? my big question as it seems to be going to Miami area, will they still have the seaplex? for me I think they should change it up and make it like a Navigator sports deck with slides and such like. Along with the new BBQ Concept and increase the main pool so its again like Navigator. No skypad aswell for me. Just my thoughts, I would be interested to see what others think, I know plans have already been finalised but I am growing very curious!
  12. So I am considering taking a transatlantic Cruise next year. I have narrowed it down to two ships (i have not decided which direction i will be going yet, but that does not matter for this question as both ships i have picked are going and coming). The two ships are Harmony and the Odyssey. So my question is, given that cost is almost identical, and that i like both destination options, which should i choose? Which would you go on? I want to consider the fact that over half of the trip will be sea days, so which ship has more activities and entertainment, or are both equal? Thank you for any advise.
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