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  1. Our last star class sailing was on Oasis in October 2023. We found Oasis to be a little crowded, and decided to go back to what we know. We did a similar itinerary on Anthem in 1/2020, and loved it. Our suite will include myself, the husband, and our 12 yr old son (13th birthday on this sailing). Today marks 28 days to go. We received our genie survey on 12/22 and genie assignment on 12/30. We have Elizabeth Perez. There doesn’t seem to be much info out there about her. A somewhat new-ish genie. What info that I have found is favorable, so yay! Cruise Itinerary: 11 night Southern Caribbean (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Kitts) from Cape Liberty, NJ on 1/29/2024 Stateroom: Grand Loft #8724 Shore Excursions: We have booked an excursion for each port day. Day 5 - St. Thomas: Xmas Cove - Snorkel, Turtles & Rays Day 6 - St. Maarten: America’s Cup Sailing Regatta Day 7 - St. Lucia: West Coast Catamaran Cruise Day 8 - St. Kitts: Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour We live about 2 1/2 hours from port, and will be planning to stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites Edison-South Plainfield the night before embarkation. We stayed there before our last cruise and found it to be acceptable for the price. There is a free breakfast included, but it wasn’t great. The selling point is that it’s very close to a Target and an easy drive to port.
  2. ️A “Starry” Christmas - Harmony Dec 24-31, 2023️ @Jax is back with a “Starry” Christmas ️ For those that have followed my blogs you know we have a habit of spending Christmas on the Seas. This year we will be back on Harmony doing our first ever Western Caribbean cruise. We spent last Christmas on HM and although my preference would have been to try another ship, the fact it was sailing out of Galveston was too good to pass up. Direct flights from Calgary are plentiful and considerably shorter than going to Florida so this was an added perk. Our son graduates from high school this year so future vacations/cruising are up in the air until we sort out his apprenticeship schedule at trade school and work schedule. So there is a very real possibility we will be on a land vacation next Christmas because I have no cruises booked beyond summer 2024. We have a lot planned so let’s get started…..
  3. So we have arrived in Galveston safely after 13 hours on the road today.Received emails that boarding will be delayed because of Coast guard inspection. Boarding will begin at 12:00 This sailing I will have my sister Renee with me. This is her first time on Harmony . Also her first time in Galveston. We will have an Aqua theatre suite. Wendy is our genie. Ready to relax and get ready to board tomorrow.
  4. Is our White Whale of Moby Dick proportions? IDK .. are you counting our financial well-being? Who cares! YOLO!! Who: SweetPea and Batman, two crazy mutual enablers who found about 23 (24, 25?) years ago. Married for most of those. Don't ask me our anniversary. I once proudly told Batman my new ATM PIN, proclaiming, "Get it?! It's our anniversary backwards!" Spoiler: it wasn't. I've not heard the end of it since. What: Our White Whale. Why, you ask? We had 3,462.7 cruises in the Owner's Panoramic canceled during the Covid. Seriously. By March 578th, 2020, I'd had enough, just like the rest of the world. This was bound to happen sooner or later. I made sure of it. When: September 24-October 1, 2023. Too short and will be over too quick, but the ship is our destination so who cares?! (Our itinerary is mundane and boring. We'll only be getting off the ship for PDCC.) Where: Oasis of the Seas (C'mon now. There are only 2 OPs in the entire fleet, so there's a very good chance you'd win that coin toss.) Why: Why not?!! Besides, flying sucks and we can drive to the port! And by drive, i mean be driven. Because who drives on vacation? Is that even a thing?! How: Selling one pickled middle-aged kidney on the dark web. Let's face it, there's a difference between a kidney from a 20-year old athlete and one from a 50-something whose kidney is going to be (a-hem) grape-flavored. Clearly what I'm trying to say is that you could probably book two Star Class rooms with the 20-year-old kidney. Our cost wasn't *that* bad, but should still leave you questioning whether you'd consider us sound financial advisors. Crown&Anchor Level: Brown. I briefly considered making a parody pin that said "Not Pinnacle" with the "not" in very, very small font. I think it'd have been an excellent conversation starter. Pre-cruise Diet: Poor. I planned to lose 30 pounds. I only have 33 to go. Forget that noise. So here we go on our 3.5-year-in-the-making adventure. If you know us, I'm taking a very liberal definition of the term "adventure" here. As in, you shouldn't expect FlowRider reviews from us. That would only happen if they privacy-tented the entire wave pool and literally no one else could see us. I've seen this new TikTok thing all the cool kids are talking about, and going viral for all the wrong reasons would send me into a Brendan Fraser Whale-spin without the need of a fat suit. (Perhaps i should tell you about the time i managed to ATV my way into the middle of a sugar cane field in St. Kitts where the excursion leader pulled me aside and quietly asked if I'd consider a private lesson before allowing the group to continue. That was 20 years and 30 pounds ago and my grace and agility has not aged like the fine wine I enjoy so much. --- That was for the kids in the back who didn't get my grape- flavored kidney joke earlier.) This is our first cruise post-shutdown. We wanted to feel like we were going on vacation, not checking in for a clinical procedure. So we sat out all mandates. We both found them too stressful and opted to wait until the craziness was well on its way to over before we even remotely considered cruising again. This is one of the reasons we're going to the poorhouse post-cruise. I booked this pretty late and didn't partake in opening day prices. However, i got worried this was Oasis's last season in NJ so i bit the bullet and made several payments Batman wouldn't notice so our final bill was more in line with what I thought he could stomach. I can't be the only benevolently devious spouse to do so. If you've done something like this yourself, blink twice. (And, Mindy, if you're reading: You're a SAINT!) For the record, i caught Batman in a good mood one night and asked him the max he'd pay for a week-long cruise in Star Class. Unsurprisingly, it was a *bit* less than the cost of this one. So this is just between us RC Blog family, right? Good thing he thinks this website is Royal.blog.Carribean.me.live.com/reports which he always forgets to find later .... And to any dudes reading, please remember: there is no such idiom as "Bros before blogs." That does not and will never exist.... if i can help it. So, as long as Batman never does find this blog ... Continue to follow along to learn the riveting answers to such burning questions as: how will Anthem Star Class compare to Oasis Star Class? Will we prefer O Class to Q Class in general? Is this Deck 17 we keep reading about an actual Nirvana? What else has the pandemic stolen from us in pre v post shutdown changes? Will we ever want to return to Norwegian Haven? And ultimately, will selling a functioning kidney be worth the experience? Come with us! We'll find out together!
  5. Alright everyone, I am going to try this blogging thing but I make no promises that it will be any good. I am currently sitting here at work and I can not stop anticipating how great it will be to get back onto a Star Class sailing!! I feel the food coma already!! The next 47 days can not go fast enough. Why is it that it is always so slow getting here but zooms by so fast once you get on the ship? Who's Going? Me- John (Everyone calls me JT), Boyfriend - Rick, Mom- Donna, and Dad - John Make sure to stay tuned for Pictures. We tend to be a camera shy bunch but we usually make an exception on vacations. Pre-Cruise Travel / Stay We live on Florida's west coast and usually drive to the port the morning of as it is an easy 2 hour drive to Miami. This time however we will be getting to the port a day early and staying at the Hilton Miami/Downtown. I found and booked two King Bed Bayview rooms with a Park and Sail rate for one so we can leave our truck at the hotel. while we are on the cruise. We have never stayed at the hotel but I liked the pictures I saw online and I like the idea of being able to wake up and see the ships out our window. Anyone who has stayed her before have any thoughts? It will also be nice to be able to not have to get up so early and rush through breakfast to drive across the state. We plan to take a Lyft or Uber the morning of the cruise depending on prevailing rates. We will need a large truck or suv as the four of us (read my Mom and I) do not pack light and we will need room for the luggage. They both can be booked 30 days in advance so once I am able to price I can finalize those plans. Itinerary This will be a 7 night sailing roundtrip from Port Miami visiting Philipsburg St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, and Perfect Day at Coco Cay Bahamas. I liked this itinerary because it starts out with two sea days that will allow us to soak up the star class amenities on the ship at the beginning of our vacation. Day 1 Departs Miami Day 2 Sea Day Day 3 Sea Day Day 4 Philipsburg, St. Maarten 8am - 5pm Day 5 Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas 7am - 3pm Day 6 Sea Day Day 7 Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Bahamas 9am - 5 pm Day 8 - Back to Miami (Cue the Crying) Cabin A1 - Spacious 2 Bedroom Aqua Theater Suite Cabin #8330 We liked this room on our first Star Class sailing so we decided to try it again on a different ship (we were on Oasis of the Seas the first time). The only thing that would have made us switch was the Royal Loft Suite, due to the upgraded bathrooms and hot tub on the balcony, however I could not justify the jump of $7000 for the week for just those differences. Thoughts so Far While myself, Mom and Dad have all sailed on an Oasis class ship before this will be Rick's first time and I can not wait to see the look on his face when we walk on the ship the first time escorted by our Genie no less. Then again to see the excitement in his eyes when he walks into our cabin and gets a glimpse of the view off the back of the ship that we will have the whole week. I am usually the trip planner of the family, as I own and operate my own travel agency (Barefoot Vacation Travel). It is nice sometimes, although painful , to let go of the reigns a little and let the genie plan out shows and meals. Just for my own curiosity I did play around on the cruise planner and priced out what the Deluxe Beverage Package, Ultimate Dining Package, The Key and the internet Package for the four of us and just those amenities would have been an additional $5300 for the week so while not inexpensive I feel Star Class definitely is worth it for us. We plan on eating at all the specialty restaurants as well as doing the chefs table. We are excited to try out Wonderland, even if it turns out to be a one and done as we all like to try new things. Chefs table will be at Rick's request as he has never done it. We got the generic pre cruise survey just a few days ago and filled that out and sent it back. While like most we felt that this was not used on our first cruise it is fun to get together as a family and fill it out. For those wondering the three people I would invite to a dinner party is Lucille Ball, Betty White, and Stephen King ( make of that what you will). Please feel free to follow along and ask any questions. If there is anything that you would like me to check or take pictures of please let me know and I will be happy to oblige. Here is to hoping that the next month goes by fast and that our cruise does not.
  6. Today marks 47 days to go. We received our genie survey 2 days ago. Plan to work on it this weekend. This is our 2nd star class sailing. First was on Anthem in 1/2020, right before cruising and life as we know it hit the fan. This is our first cruise back, and we’re excited! Our suite will include myself, the husband, and our 12 yr old son. Cruise Itinerary: 7 night Perfect Day Bahamas (Port Canaveral, CocoCay, Nassau) from Cape Liberty, NJ on 10/15/2023 Stateroom: Grand Panoramic Suite #1758 Shore Excursions: We have no real excursions planned. Will probably stay on ship in Port Canaveral and Nassau. However, we do have a Thrill Waterpark Cabana planned for Coco Cay. Transportation: We are fortunate to live approximately 2 1/2 hours from the port, therefore will be arranging transportation through Delaware Express. We have used them many times for airport transportation, and have found them to be reliable. Looking forward to finding out who our genie will be!
  7. It’s cruise day again. This will be our first cruise from Galveston. We didn’t want to fly this time so we arrived yesterday in Galveston after driving for two days. We are getting ready to leave the hotel soon. I’ll be back on the blog after boarding and get this blog rolling. I’m happy happy happy .Oh yes forgot to say it’s just hubby and I this cruise.
  8. The Starmony “Christmas Vacation” blog is officially underway! We are counting down the days until this Christmas vacation gets underway. We are T - 11 days and the excitement is real! If you followed along last year, you know we like to have fun with a Christmas theme. This year it’s National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, a family favourite Christmas movie. We have a few fun things planned so follow along. Who’s going? Myself (Jacquie), 17 year old son (Reyd) and hubby (Lindsay) For those that followed along last year, our good friends Robert and Tammy are back again this year. Robert is a hoot so we are in for a fun week. Our group has expanded to include another set of good friends along with their 12 year old daughter and 16 year old son. These friends are travelling with a respite worker for their daughter and will be accessing many of the Autism Friendly Ship programming and supports.
  9. As I type this we are 9 days 15 hours 49 minutes away from boarding, so I suppose I should get this blog started! As you can see in the tags, we are returning to Oasis of the Seas, this time an Eastern Caribbean route. We are star class again in an Aquatheater Suite. We were on Oasis last February doing the western route in the ATS2BR. We are excited to go the Eastern route, as this is the one we lost when COVID shut everything down. We will be in the same suite category, but now on Deck 8. So, Waitress of the Seas? Here is the story. Two weeks ago, The Boss and I spent the weekend in NYC for some time away from the kids, and finally got the chance to see Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway before it closes its doors for good. As would be expected, the show was amazing, and our little trip was a nice little get away. While we were gone, the kids were staying with my parents. While there, they were asking Johnny all about the cruise etc. He told them the name of the ship, and my father, who is a little hard of hearing at this point in his life thought he heard "Waitress of the Seas" and instead of trying to get clarification, just went with it, and thought, "huh, what an odd name for a cruise ship." It wasn't until we picked the kids up did the mistake get cleared up. For me, the name stuck, and she shall forever now be known as Waitress of the Seas to me. Now that that is cleared up, back to the usuals. Whos Going: Its our typical crew, myself, The Boss (Heather) D13 Lydia, D9 Johnny, and my sister Julie. We all have a great time together and my sister likes to call herself our third adopted child since we include her in many of our adventures. Route: Eastern Caribbean. We are visiting Labadee, Puerto Rico, St Thomas and PDCC. All of these are new ports for us except for PDCC so we are excited about that. Stateroom: We are in an ATS2BR as before, but this time we are on deck 8. We were on deck 9 last year, and we would have been perfectly happy there again, but the price difference to move to the bigger suite was so small that it was a no brainer to go bigger. I can thank @Lovetocruise2002 for letting me know that the itineraries were going live and introducing me to her amazing TA, IYKYK!! Pre-Cruise Purchases: As we are all painfully aware of, cruise planner prices are going way up especially for vacation week cruises, so I have been watching prices like a hawk. We were able to get a good price on the things we wanted to do. Other prices were so crazy we quickly passed on. IE Coco Beach club passes were over $200pp and the OTW cabanas were nearly 3k. As much as we loved that last experience last year, that is way more than what we paid then, and I don't see the value for that price. With the kids being older and less inclined to just play in the sand, we did book a Thrill Water Park Cabana though. The kids are old enough now that its easier to say go have fun while I lounge in the cabana, but not old enough where I don't have to be in the water park with them. Labadee we were able to get dragon tail coaster rides and the inflatable park passes for quite cheap. In a big stroke of luck, the beach cabanas at barefoot beach actually dropped in price significantly so I was able to snag one of those. We had originally planned on just getting beach chairs because they were in the "ousands" of dollars at first. Maybe there was another new intern because the price dropped to $400 for a brief time and I snagged one. Puerto Rico we are just going to get off the ship and wander around old town and find something to eat and explore a bit. St Thomas we booked the Champagne Catamaran Sail and Snorkel excursion through RC. Julie, Lydia and I will snorkel. The Boss will enjoy the Champagne and Snacks, and I'm sure Johnny will be in charge of the boat by the end of the day. More to Come!
  10. My husband and I have booked a Sky class suite on Quantum of the seas. Does anyone know it the RoyalUp program is offered to Sky Class Suites? I'm still holding out hope that I'll be able to bid for an upgrade from our Sky Class to a Star Class suite. The Call centre at Royal Caribbean didn't know when I asked them.
  11. Going to be experiencing star class with the family in 2023 onboard Symphony of the Seas. In terms of our Main Room Dining time. We were given the 530pm (early eating). Would you recommend that we stick to this time or request to change it to My Time Dining? Can we change our dining time?
  12. Hello everyone! I have been reading all the blogs on here for a while so I figured it was my turn to give one back for everyone to read! We were originally booked on Harmony in the Villa Suite, but the ship was changed to Wonder (which IS exciting). Only problem was that there is no Villa Suite on Wonder so we were moved into the Ultimate Family Suite. I am SUPER excited as this will be our first time in Star Class, but there is a lot of uncertainty for me around this suite. The layout of it onboard wonder is unknown (to me at least) and since we were expecting to have 4 bedrooms and bathrooms, we will need to do a little bit of rearranging where people will sleep. I am looking forward to everyone following along and excited of course for another cruise!
  13. Here we go again... Our last blog left off with a promise that our first star class cruise would not be our last. We’re making good on that promise! This will be number two, and we have two more already on the books. I promise that this won’t be ending any time soon. When I start talking about cruises now, my hubby’s first question is if it’s Star Class (he’s just as hooked as I am). Partners in crime on this cruise: Hubby & I (Tim & Kathy) Our youngest daughter (who was on our first star class cruise with us) and her best friend/our honorary daughter (Kenzie & Kayla) Mother-in-law and her youngest sister (Mom & Aunt Cindy) Ship: Allure of the Seas Cabin: 2 Bedroom Aquatheater Suite – deck 9 – Star Class! Dates: September 25 – October 1 Ports: Sailing RT from Ft Lauderdale (FLL) to Roatan, Costa Maya, & Cozumel Booked Excursions: Roatan, Honduras: Splitting up the group - Some on the All-in-One Tour & some on the Turquoise Bay All Inclusive Horseback & Beach Break Costa Maya, Mexico: Chacchoben Ruins Exclusive Drive (all of us) Cozumel, Mexico: Splitting up again - Some doing the All Inclusive VIP Dolphin Encounter & others enjoying the Chankanaab Day Pass with Lunch & Drinks Pre-cruise Hotels: We’re sporting Holiday Inn this trip both in town the night before our flights out, and again in FLL the night before the cruise. Flying: Five of us are flying in the day before from Oregon and one is coming from New Jersey (fingers crossed that we all make it on time with our luggage – which is now a thing we think about after @Lovetocruise2002's experience last Spring) Travel Insurance: Absolutely!! We got policy quotes and picked the best one for us through Insuremytrip.com (in case you were curious) This is a special trip for our family and all about memories and celebrations: Our 30th Wedding Anniversary (the original reason for this booking); Mom’s birthday; Kenzie's birthday; Kayla's birthday; and most importantly We want to give mom the vacation of a lifetime! I know…nothing special for Cindy listed above. Don’t worry - I’m sure we’ll come up with something before we cruise. Kenzie cruised with us last November on Anthem in a star class suite (her third cruise ever and now wants nothing to do with normal cabins). Mom and Aunt Cindy have both cruised a few times before, but it’s been at least 15 years, and they were nothing like this. Kayla has never cruised, but she heard all about our last one and was experiencing some serious FOMO. We're so excited to share this cruise with our family! A little history about our family... Tim and I: We're pretty chill individuals, but we know how to throw a bash, and we're all about making special moments happen around us. Kenzie, Kayla, and Cindy: All three could stay up for a month straight talking non-stop, and still have more to say. Cindy has a thousand family stories to tell and keeps us in stitches all the time Mom is the ultimate caregiver! She's been caring for everyone in her life (sisters, kids, husbands) for as long as she can remember, and it's hard for her to be pampered. We're going to make sure she is taken care of!! A little history about this cruise booking… This cruise was originally booked on Symphony in the same cabin type. We booked it in the middle of the shutdown and we thought we had gotten a really good deal. Royal said, “hold my beer”, and last Fall, they redeployed Wonder’s inaugural year sailings during the Summer of 2022, kicked Allure out of Europe, and opened up Allure sailings from FLL. Someone in our Star Class Facebook thread shared that she got a great deal and I had to look. The difference was almost $5K and it was a no brainer. Even though the itinerary was different, and it was one night less on an older ship, we had to follow the savings and we jumped ship (pun intended). Allure was supposed to be amplified in 2020, but due to the shutdown, it was only in drydock for regularly scheduled maintenance at that time. Because of the delay, this ship still has the Champagne Bar (instead of the Bionic Bar), Sabor Mexican Restaurant (instead of BBQ, I think ??), no Perfect Storm water slides, and no Ultimate Abyss (dry slides). I don’t know if they intend to change Giovani’s during the amplification, but we’re pretty happy it’s still on the ship because none of us really liked Jamie’s on Anthem. Oh! And Mom’s all-time favorite musical is Mamma Mia!, which is the show on Allure, so that couldn’t have worked out better! We’re two months out and planning has fully commenced! The things we’re looking forward to most are the food (of course), the aqua-theater balcony, the Dux mattress!!!!! (Kenzie is very jealous because she heard ALL about it last time), walks with Mom, drinking without being the designated driver, some great excursions, and making AMAZING memories together! I hope this blog is entertaining for you because I know we're going to have some very entertaining experiences! “Memories are the STARS that Brighten Our Dreams” ~Sharon Repp
  14. We will be a party of 4 this time. It will be hubby and I my sister Renee and her better half Vithana. Celebrations: Vithana: retirement Cruisin and Boozin: birthday Cabin: Aqua theater suite deck 8 Itinerary: Oct 1: Ft. Lauderdale Oct 2: Sea day Oct 3: Labadee Oct 4: Sea day Oct 5: Oranjestad Aruba Oct 6: Willemstad Curaçao Oct 7: Sea day Oct 8: Sea day Oct 9: Ft Lauderdale and travel day(sad day) Travel We will be driving. It will take us 2 days. Stopping first night in Lake City, Florida. Second night we will be in Ft Lauderdale. We will be using Best Western hotel chain this trip. On the way home we again will drive to Lake City,Florida. Last day of driving on to drop Renee and Vithana off at their house. About us This will be Vithana’s first cruise ever. Having said that we just want him to be wowed. This will be Renee’s 4th star class cruise and our (hubby and I ) 8th star class sailing. Star class info The star class questionnaire never came. 22 Days till we sail no email from a genie as of yet. I have been in contact with both my travel agent and Royal Caribbean and still nothing has been done. Even though we haven’t heard from a genie we are super excited. None us have been to Aruba or Curaçao so this should be fun.
  15. If we keep our noses clean until Wednesday our little band of misfits will be headed to Suite 1740, The Royal Loft on Allure this Saturday - the very place this Star Class nonsense began! Four years ago we sailed in this suite and experienced Star Class for the first time. I truly believe they put something in the endless parade of snacks and drinks that attacks whatever lobe of the brain might contain common sense. Because from that time forward our cruise planning goes something like this: “ Look, we can snag a great balcony room on an Oasis Class for a week for under $2500! Nah, let’s go ahead and fork out the $1.2 mil for the Royal Loft so we get free laundry!!” It’s a disease. And I’m not sure there’s a cure. This trip will be our core group of regulars: my bride Stacy who will be celebrating the end of 30 years of service as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, daughter Taylor who will be celebrating birthday #23 and the end of her preschool teaching career, and daughter Kaitlyn who will be celebrating introducing her boyfriend to cruising Star Class. I think in last years blog from this same room I referred to her “new boyfriend” who didn’t make that trip. Now he’s THE boyfriend who will be joining us. Welcome aboard Victor! Rounding out the group is yours truly, Jim, who will be celebrating still waking up each morning! It’s important to note, as I’m sure I’ll refer to it later, that it was very doubtful that this cruise would actually take place. We booked it over a year and a half ago. Then in April of this year the one formerly known as Nurse Ratchet hatched the brilliant idea to buy a local market and convert it into a restaurant. So, with a partner, we purchased the property and the dream to build Just a Small Town Grill (thanks Journey) began. It was at that point we accepted the probability that opening a new restaurant and taking a cruise around the same time probably wouldn’t happen. We have spent nearly 5 months planning to cancel this one. But thanks to County Building officials it now appears that we can squeeze this one in while we wait for them to waddle through the governmental red tape and approve a Land Use Permit. I gripe daily about the hoops they are making us jump through but inside I’m a little grateful for their incompetence and other nonsense! I’ll write more tomorrow about our plans, travel, Genie Jay and other details. Hope you all come along for the ride!
  16. Excited to be sailing this Saturday. Just sharing a little explanation about the late start for this thread. There is a fairly significant back story to this sailing and some reasons why it is starting at this time. I’ll share a portion of the story in posts below. First just the basics. We will be doing the 8 night southern Caribbean on the Allure of the Seas. It will be myself, wife and son. We have added my parents to sail with us this cruise. For anyone who chooses to follow along, I’ll try to do some brief but regular updates but as this trip is going to focus on the family time, so I’m apologizing ahead of time for any brevity or lack of updates.
  17. Sailing Star class in A1 two bedroom Aquatheater suite on Wonder of the seas, June 5, 2022. Sailing with my wife and another couple from San Diego. Both couples are celebrating 10 years of marriage. Sometimes it only feels like 10 minutes…..underwater. Additionally departure day is both ladies birthday. The lovely brides are celebrating an undeclared age. We have Israel as our Genie. Have sent him dining requests. Waiting for entertainment schedule for show planning. Booked an excursion through Royal for all ports. Flying nonstop San Francisco to Barcelona two days before sailing. Waiting for June protocols for Booster since over 270 days since second vaccine dose. Will all get booster if necessary to avoid hassle of extra testing. Looking forward to this trip. I made booking on release day in December 2020 when ship was Allure. Kept same room with ship transition in September 2021. I will effort to answer any questions and post photos and updates along the way. Cheers!
  18. The Festivus Star Class Miracle Blog is officially underway!! We are counting down the days until our 2nd star class cruise; this one on Oasis. I have been reluctant to start this blog for fear of something messing it up but I am trying to push that fear aside and enjoy this experience. Plus if I am going to post in real time about the star class process I really need to get started! So when in doubt I turn to my Magic 8 Ball. I got an “outlook good” “without a doubt” and “yes” so here we are!! Like so many others, getting to this point has been a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs and it will truly be a Festivus Miracle once we board Oasis! This cruise was originally planned for Easter 2021, then Easter 2022 and due to hubby’s work schedule, we had to do a last minute change to Christmas 2021. Inventory was limited, so it initially meant no star class for us, so we settled on the last available crown loft suite. I had my TA waitlist us for any star class suite that came available on Deck 17. At the 56 day mark our Festivus star class miracle was granted when the Grand Panoramic Suite became available. I grabbed it! I am still doing a happy dance! Our first and only cruise with Royal was over Christmas 2019 on Anthem. It was star class and soon after that cruise we knew that we wanted to try an Oasis class ship; specifically for Deck 17 and the proximity to the Suite lounge and CK. We had a few hiccups on that cruise so we are looking forward to having a much better onboard experience this time! I now have the benefit of a TA, all of your expertise and the wisdom gained from this amazing community over the past 2 years so I think we should be in good hands! I owe a huge thank you to @Lovetocruise2002 @Mindybrite @WAAAYTOOO along with others who have generously shared their knowledge, expertise and advice. I share @Lovetocruise2002love of suites and star class and consider myself a “west coast Canadian suite snob”. LOL Thank you doesn’t seem like enough but I hope to pay it forward through this blog. Now let’s get started!
  19. Greetings fellow travelers! First time at blogging, first time on Ovation, first time in a Grand Loft, first time in a "star class", and I've never had a genie before, so this cruise brings lots of new and exciting adventures for me and my family! Our cruise is 9 nights, March 21-31, 2019, starting and ending in Sydney; 5 days at sea, 3 ports of call (Mystery Island, Vila, and Noumea). We are a family of four.....two exhausted middle age parents (pumpkin is 55, I'm 50) who apparently, at the age of 39, thought it would be a brilliant idea to start a family....so our twins are now 10. As a family we've done 3 previous cruises, all on RCI; we've enjoyed staying in the family suite, the owner's suite, and the grand suite. This spring break, we decided to drop the bomb on this cruise and stay in a Grand Loft Suite. We booked the cruise a few days ago. I am starting this blog early enough that I can share the details of when this "genie" reaches out to us, and how having this perk touches the pre-cruise stage. And then, of course, there will be the blow-by-blow stuff once we actually get to Sydney. I tried to do my due diligence before booking this suite, by reading all I could about Star Class, but I found there was a paucity of actual reviews and so by writing this blog, I hope to give fellow cruisers another source of information on the benefits of both the Suite, and the whole Star Class, genie thing. So I'll update this blog as things start to happen. Cheers!! Kim
  20. Hi everyone. Sometimes it feels like things will never get here. I booked this sailing an entire different world ago. It’s crazy to think that back in November 2019 (18th to be exact) we were fun and fancy free. Running around without masks, no vaccines and a stable supply of light sweet crude oil. It was 867 days ago and when I put down the deposit for this sailing after having had FOMO from one too many of Sabrina’s live blogs. We’re now three weeks away which means from booking to sailing it’ll be 888 days (which definitely means I should head to the craps table or roulette wheel.) I’ll be sharing a bit about the voyage every day or so leading up to departure and will keep up onboard as much as my blood alcohol level let’s me.
  21. So, can anyone explain the drop off of luggage at the Star Class banner at Port Canaveral and parking your own car? It’s our first Star Class experience, so we have researched everywhere to find out how the process of dropping of luggage and parking you own car works at PC Should some of the party stay with the luggage while the driver leaves to park? I’m probably way overthinking how this process works (can’t help it - I’m a planner), but it was a bone of contention last night (OK - stupidly arguing) over what happens - drop off luggage, park car, go through security, etc. Any enlightenment will be greatly appreciated and maybe get me out of the doghouse TIA
  22. April 10 -17 2022 Who is on this trip: 7 of us ! It will be my hubby and I and the crew of 5. It was suppose to be 8 but my sister went with us in February because she couldn’t make this one. Itinerary:stops will be St Maarten , St Thomas and perfect day. When we booked it was suppose to be Antigua but it was later changed to St Maarten. We had our covid test today (Friday). Now we are waiting for all results so far 5/7 are back and negative. Travel We are driving to Port Canaveral. Plans for tomorrow night staying 6 miles from port. We will leave early Saturday morning from Birmingham Al. We have plans to stop in Port Orange to eat at Aunt Catfish’s. Our genie for this trip is Alexa. We have received our schedule of shows and restaurants. I’m sooo excited for Grease. It just has to be so much better than Cats.
  23. Does anyone know if there is a limit to how many devices you can set up with Voom in a Star Class Suite? I know each person gets it, but is is one device per person? TIA
  24. 728 days, and three cancelled cruises and we are finally getting back to sea! I feel like I have been waiting so long to start this blog I now feel like this lady...... We are headed back to sea sailing on Oasis of the Seas in a 2BRATS. This will be our first star class experience, so to say that we are excited is a massive understatement. Behind all that excitement is that looming fear that one of us tests positive just before we leave. Thankfully though with numbers in our area plummeting, that fear is getting less and less. Originally I would have started this blog a long time ago, and probably have gladly taken the "earliest blog crown" but like @Lovetocruise2002 said in her last blog, I'd hate to start this and then, poof never mind! All of us in our travel group are still wearing masks even though the mandate has been dropped. We want to do everything as possible to make sure that we don't test positive prior to this cruise. Being that my wife Heather and I work in health care, we REALLY need this vacation! Okay, enough doom and gloom, let's get into the fun stuff. Who's sailing: Me, obviously...The wife, Heather, Daughter Lydia 12, Son Johnathan 8 and my sister Julie. Stateroom: We have the deck 9 2BRATS. We booked this cruise the day the itineraries were released. With two kids in school this one coincided with their winter break, and we are basically stuck with this week. Had COVID not struck, this actually would have been our second time in this room. We had this same cruise, eastern itinerary, booked for 2021, and we all know what happened there. Itinerary: This is a Western Caribbean and perfect day that leaves out of Miami. Day 1: Miami Day 2: Perfect Day at Coco Cay Day 3: At Sea Day 4: Cozumel Day 5: Roatan Day 6: Costa Maya Day 7: At Sea Day 8: Worst day ever We are excited about this itinerary. This will be our first time back to Perfect Day with the beach club open, and the kids are old/tall enough to fully use the thrill water park. We had such a blast at Roatan the last cruise we are on, so we are excited to go there again....okay...okay...its really because of the sloths....but I digress. We have not been to Costa Maya yet, so this will be a new one for us. More to come. I'll try to break up these first bunch of posts to make this easy to read.
  25. Getting this party started early because I am just way too excited! Can you tell? ? Here goes....
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