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Found 6 results

  1. I am both excited and terrified to begin my first live Blog here of my first ever Star Class sailing and also….our wedding! I can only hope it is HALF as good as the amazing bloggers I read religiously here! 48 DAYS! Here we go! The Story- My husband and I (I will explain!) booked this cruise for our wedding 2 YEARS ago during a Black Friday sale at an amazing price! We both LOVE cruising…so much so that we have a YouTube channel called BoosCruize so it seemed natural that we would choose to tie the knot in a small ceremony on the high seas! So after much research we decided on the Star Loft Suite 1720 on Oasis Of The Seas! This suite had a HUGE rectangular balcony that could fit guests and also give us the ocean view we wanted….and a Genie to help us pull it all off! What could go wrong?!? Enter…COVID As you can imagine we basically needed a new pair of britches every other day for the last two years as things changed. It’s a good thing I buzz cut my head or I’d probably be bald and NOT by choice LOL A year later we weren’t even sure if this cruise would happen but we also KNEW we wanted to be married. So when a company came to us and asked to throw us a huge West Coast “David Tutera” style wedding in Hollywood that will be published for magazines we obviously said YES! We now have two bi-coastal weddings Lol It was amazingly gorgeous but nothing was our choice. It was all chosen for us….right down to our tuxes. We feel BEYOND blessed but it also wasn’t what we had in our head two years ago. So now here we are….our guest list of 50 has gone down to 12 due to covid complications. Are we upset? HECK NO! We completely understand and are going to have the time of our LIVES on a gorgeous ship surrounded by people who love us! We can’t wait! Who: We are an LA couple. Jarell is an international Flight attendant (yaasss benefits!) and I am an actor who just moved from NYC in time for a pandemic to close Hollywood Where: We are sailing on the Oasis Of The Seas out of Miami in the Star Loft Suite 1720 with stops at Coco Cay, St.Thomas, and St. Maarten When: We sail November 7th-14th, 2021 I think that covers most of the back story and introductions! So happy to meet you all and take you along with us on this very special journey that is over 2 years in the making! Can’t wait to see who our Genie will be! For good measure I have included a photo of the happy grooms from our West Coast Wedding!
  2. Hi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!
  3. Hi everyone! I've been lurking a little the past few days and have been reading quite a few of the older 2019 SC live blogs...and I just couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon.. We have been on several RC cruises since our kids were babies but always in a balcony room. These babies are now S10 and D8. Our last cruise trip (Feb 2020) was fortunately or unfortunately just before Covid hit us big time and also our last vacation overseas. We got ourselves a Junior Suite on that trip, had a taste of Coastal Kitchen and enjoyed the add-on of the Speciality Dining package. But didn't quite realise there was a whole other magical genie in the lamp world out there!! ? So not vacationing for almost 18 mths now has been very very tough on our sanity...we were scheduled for a trip on Quantum next week (Grand Suite) but convinced ourselves to cancel because it looked like we were headed for another slew of covid restrictions. I was very hesitant and wanted to just stick with our booking..yes logical thoughts out the window when u are just desperate! But after checking our alternative Sep slot and finding out that there was 1 last Suite available (GLS). I took it as a sign! Haha so here I am, excitedly waiting for my first comms from my Genie and stalking this forum for all the info I can get to tide me over... I have to say the part that tickled me the most from reading most of the SC live blogs was realising that many of you, are just like me! Type A planners!!! I'm a total control freak so this is going to be an interesting experience. But I'm sure I'll find something to 'plan for' even with a genie..after all, I'm here on the boards aren't I? Can't wait!!!!
  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. Well, actually we’ll fly on down, but you get the idea. Warnings/Disclaimers: This blog is the sole opinions and thoughts of just the old guy who is writing it. It doesn't reflect the thoughts, opinions, clarity, good sense or tact possessed by those sailing with me. And to be clear, I don’t have the sense of humor, literary skills, or good judgement of most of you who post these live blogs. But I'm going to do it anyway. I guess I can be labeled as a “lurker” on this site. I read it daily but have made only a few comments. So today I take the plunge and become one of you by just jumping in the deep end with a live blog! Two weeks from today I will be in the air traveling from Palm Springs, California to Miami to begin our next Star Class adventure. In 2017 we sailed on the Oasis in a crown loft suite and thought we had found the ultimate way to cruise. But no, there was more to discover! In 2018 we booked another crown loft, this time on the Allure. A month or so later while checking for a price reduction I stumbled across something called the.Royal loft Suite! After watching a quick YouTube video of that suite I quickly booked it. YOLO as someone on this blog always says. We sailed in July with Dave Mac as our Genie and there was no turning back. In May of 2019 we cruised in the RLS on the Harmony with the amazing, wonderful Ariceli who I think has spoiled us for life! As I said, there’s no turning back now so two weeks from tomorrow we will be in the RLS on the “new” Oasis and will have Allan as our Genie. If this blog goes as planned you will see and hear much about each of us and what we will be doing during the week. So let me introduce our merry band of sailors: Stacy, my bride and partner. I many times refer to her as Pollyanna, which is defined as “an excessively cheerful or optimistic person.” Defines her to a T. She sees the good in everything and everyone. Poor thing. My Pollyanna uses those traits everyday as she toils as an RN, or BSN to be accurate, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. She is our cruise planner, specializing in the culinary aspects of the Star Class experience. As she takes her break from those 12 hour shifts at the hospital she will be seen around the ship with a permanent smile on her face and a blended Love Connection drink in her hand. I expect she will pop in on this blog and provide you with some of her excessive cheerfulness! Shari who I refer to as Polyanna2. Yeah, no kidding. Another one. Stacy’s identical twin sister. The Oasis is a big ship but I’m not sure there’s room enough for this goodness! She and her family have cruised with us the last three trips but this time she will leave them behind at jobs and school while she gets a well deserved week of relaxation. Shari is the 24/7 caregiver for her mother-in-law who suffers from dementia. That’s a task where that Pollyanna thing coms in pretty handy. I expect the twins to be side by side everyday and although they act and talk alike you can tell them apart by their hands. Shari’s will be holding a Bud Light! Daughter Taylor, almost 21. Young T, as I call her, is a preschool teacher with with a gaggle of I think 3 year olds. Can you imagine? A classroom full of germ carrying, tantrum throwing, runny nosed 3 year olds and Taylor is too young to drink! T is the calm, chill one in the group. She gets that from me. You will find her sleeping late, spending lazy days in the sun and with one of two things in her hand. Her Starbucks or a virgin Pina Colada. I told our Genie that I think T holds the Harmony record for most virgin Pina Coladas consumed in one week! We might also find her in the casino which she discovered last year. Daughter Kaitlyn, 30 something. The party girl of the bunch. She is also a nurse like her mom. But she is in the other Intensive Care Unit – the one for adults. Same hospital as her mom. On December 19th Katie received her Doctorate of Nurse Practioner degree which we will be celebrating on the cruise. So now she has more letters behind her name: Dr. Taylor, RN, BSN, DNP, EIEIO. I asked the Genie for time in the engine room for this one because she can talk and drink like a seasoned sailor! You’ll recognize her by her flaming red hair the the gin and tonic in her hand. Or a Margarita. Or a vodka and soda. Or…well you get the idea. Rounding our our group is yours truly, Jim. The quiet one of the group. I will usually be found on that massive balcony at our suite, on the quiet suite sun deck or in the suite lounge. With a Jack Daniels and sprite in one hand and a camera in the other. My plan is to try and share as much here in words and photos as I can. I have enjoyed and learned so much from reading others blogs here so I hope to return that favor. I’m sure much of the blog will deal with Star Class aspects as I try to justify why we spend a bazillion dollars every year to do this! I will be doing Genie recon for those sailing after us and will certainly try to answer questions anyone has once we board. We plan on eating everywhere except the Chef’s Table this year. We’ll even work in the MDR for a breakfast or lunch and a couple of trips to the Jammer. I think we will do all of the shows. Even Cats. Yep, I’m gonna do it. I’ll spend the afternoon in the suite lounge slamming the Jack and sprites and then go experience the feline extravaganza! We have no plans for Cozumel or Falmouth. Just maybe a little shopping and back on the ship. We are looking forward to Labadee which we all love. A relaxing day on the suite beach. In the lead up to our sail day I plan to share more about our travel plans, our night in Miami, our previous experiences with RC and how we survive the Miami airport as we disembark on Super Bowl Sunday. I might have to involve Jack in breakfast plans that morning! I know its somewhat early to post but I’m hoping we can all share and get to know each other by our sail date. It’s not too early by Matt or Sabrina’s standards but it is early! So come along for the ride with this crazy bunch as we embark on our 3rd Star Class adventure. It’s a long way from my first sailing on the Song of Norway.
  6. Because we have already had 33.5 inches of snow here in the Mitten State and I am not a big fan of that nonsense, I spend a lot of time thinking about upcoming cruises. I love reading about people's experiences and living vicariously through them to pass the time. I'm sure a lot of us have countdown to cruise apps on our phones and I've read in numerous posts "Only 623 or 17 more sleeps until we board!" I am currently sitting in my 6 x 8 jail cell (oops, I mean cubicle) at work looking out the window at a dull monochromatic landscape and since I am a numbers person, I have been thinking of other milestones to use for our countdown to cruise. Only 3 more hair appointments! Does anyone else have a fun way for countdown or do you stick to days and/or sleeps?
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