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  1. 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.
  2. Im a cruise newbee and trying to book two adults and an infant. I noticed that booking double occupancy suite is more expensive than booking a solo suite and solo inside room. Even if we dont end up utilizing the inside room it seems to be a better option. Can this be done? Any downside to booking two seperate rooms vs one on a double occupancy?
  3. Leaving tomorrow to go to Miami. 2/25 is first day on Freedom and having my upgraded Grand Suite. Stay tuned here for all the deets!! Follow me on Tiktok and youtube for videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3qy7q6F7n08P8BWpUCT6ew tiktok.com/@Dara_Alt.666
  4. Hello Everyone, just received this email. :) I thought that I would share this email as it outlines suite benefits for the Explorer of the Seas with the hopes that it may benefit someone else that has questions related to this ship. I am counting the minutes, Kiki :). Dear Suite Guest, It is my pleasure to welcome you onboard the beautiful Explorer of the Seas. We are honored that you have selected Royal Caribbean International for your cruise vacation! My name is Jorge Delgado, your Concierge onboard. I am available to assist you with any special requests you may have throughout your cruise holiday. My hours in the Concierge Lounge, Deck 9 mid-ship are daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and for your complimentary cocktail hours from 5:00pm to 8:30pm. As a special VIP guest you are offered exclusive amenities and services not available to other guests onboard Explorer of the Seas. For your convenience, here is a brief summary of those services: Use of the Concierge Lounge, located on Deck 9, mid-ship. Complimentary fruit plate and Evian Water (glass bottle) on Boarding Day. Luxury Spa Bathrobes for onboard use. Upgraded bathroom amenities. In-room tea kettle & coffee maker with complimentary tea & coffee. Complimentary pressing on formal night (available for the attire you will wear on that evening). Continental breakfast served daily in the Concierge Lounge, Deck 9, mid-ship from 7:00am to 10:00 am. Horsed’ oeuvres, petit fours and complimentary bar setup served in the Concierge Lounge on deck 9 mid ship every evening, before and after dinner from 5:00pm to 8:30 pm. Daily menus displayed and assistance for pre-ordering your dinner wine.(Concierge Lounge, Deck 9, mid-ship). Full Dining Room room-service privilege (available when Dining Room is open , dial 8762 for priority). Priority reservations for our specialty restaurant, sports activities, shore excursions, Salon and Spa appointments (depending on time, availability), etc... Limited VIP lounge chair set-up near the pool bar area between Decks 11 & 12.(On a First Come - First Serve basis, seats cannot be reserved). Priority Port &Shopping advice. Business services such as faxes, copies, printing of boarding passes etc.. Priority departure, including exclusive departure lounge featuring continental breakfast Limited VIP seats for productions hows and ice spectacular shows. (Please show Cruise Director’s staffs your Gold colored SeaPass card at the entrance 20 minutes prior to the show) or see your Concierge for more information. Please note that 10 minutes prior to the start of the shows, reserved seating will be opened up for walk-in guests. Suite guest’s exclusive breakfast will be served at Giovanni's Restaurant on Deck 4 Forward, from 7:30 am to 9:30am during port days and 8:00 am to 10:00 am during days at sea. The Concierge Lounge is a private area accessible on a 24-hour basis, with your GOLD Colored Sea Pass card. The Concierge Lounge has been designated a smoke-free area. We respectfully request that guests observe a Smart Casual attire when visiting the lounge (no swim/gym wear or pool attire is permitted, footwear is required at all times). To ensure all our guests are able to enjoy this exclusive lounge we require that all guests 17 years and younger must be well behaved and accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. For table assignments in the main dining room(Sapphire Dining Room) Kindly advise your seating preference for either Main or Second seating and your table preference. (Please disregard if you have selected My Time Dining as your choice of dining) If your are travelling with other guests and would like to sit together for dinner, please advise their names and stateroom numbers. FOR SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS RESERVATIONS AND OTHER DINING ACTIVITIES; (Please select below link to make reservations as they do tend to get booked out) https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruiseplanner?icid=hpnvbr_pagehe_crs_hm_awaren_953 SHORE EXCURSIONS are limited and are booked very fast as they are open online- (please click the link below to book your Shore Excursions) Pre booked Shore Excursions can only be cancelled onboard prior to 48 hours of the tour departure time. https://secure.royalcaribbean.com/asr/login.do?componentTypeCategoryId=1002 LABADEE HAS ADVANTAGES TOO!As a special VIP guest, we are pleased to offer you access to the Barefoot Beach Club & cabanas, a private beach located on Labadee. Located on Barefoot Bay, this exclusive experience is only available to our suite guests with Gold colored SeaPasscards – Simply show your SeaPass card to the Island Concierge at the entrance. The Barefoot Beach Club & Cabanas offers complimentary non-motorized water sports equipment (floating mats &snorkeling equipment) in addition to an upgraded lunch menu and service from Suite Beach Attendants. For the ultimate way to relax in luxury, why not reserve one of the cabanas for the day? Featuring beautiful view sand dedicated Cabana Attendant service, the cabanas at Barefoot Beach Club are a not to be missed experience. Please check the attached file for more details. Please ensure to email back your cabana preference 1st option and 2nd option and it will be confirmed once you arrive onboard. The Barefoot Beach Club & Cabanas are located on the private island destination of Labadee. This exclusive beach, available only to the top suite guests and those guests renting cabanas, offers VIP service and amenities to enhance the vacation experience of these valued guests. A maximum of 8 guests may have access to your Cabana.Please provide the names of any guests that will be joining you to the concierge.These names will be added to the Barefoot Beach guest list.For this Caribbean Cruise we offer to you a Cabana in Labadee. We have cabanas available in Labadee below you will see the categories:1) Standard Cabana $350.75 (Only 9 available)2) HillTop Cabana $495.75- (Only 7 available).3. Overwater Cabanas $595.75 (6 available)These types of cabana are in a premium location above the ocean with direct access to the water and beach. TheseCabanas are not wheelchair accessible, and guests will need to walk in the water and up the stairs to get to the cabana. 4.Waterfront Cabanas$495.75 (2 available) These cabanas are next to the beach at the water’s edge with full views of the bay. They are not wheelchair accessible;however guests with limited mobility may access them. Cabana charges are per cabana and not per person. Cabanas hold up to 8 guests only. When reserving a cabana it is reserved for you the entire day in Labadee. Cabanas reserved are only for you and your family or friends use only, remember they only hold up to 8 guests. If you are interested in reserving a Cabana please let us know as soon as possible as there are limited cabanas and we have 40 suites. Please also note that when reserving a cabana, no shows, will still be charged.Please come and see me in the Concierge Lounge, Deck 9, mid - ship or contact me by dialing 8903 from any ship phone. If there is any way I can be of assistance to make your cruise vacation more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to ask. We hope you will have the vacation of a lifetime onboard the Explorer of the Seas.Warmest Regards,Jorge DelgadoConcierge | ms Explorer of the Seas Dect 8903 Office 3239 | [email protected]
  5. My awesome wife and I just booked a 4 day on the Enchantment of the Sea in February 2020, out of Galveston, TX, for our 20th Anniversary! Being a special occasion, I pushed my, normally frugal penny pinching wife, to splurge for a suite and upgraded amenities to spoil us for the four days. So we booked a Grand Suite for the cruise. We are so excited!!! This will be our second cruise. First time with Royal Caribbean. First time was with Carnival and it was fun, but a bit wild with drunken brawls on the lido deck. The motivation for booking the Grand Suite was not just the nicer room and balcony, but for the added amenities. The Key program, concierge, preferred seating at shows, etc. I'm trying to research how to best take advantage of these upgrades to assure we have the time of our lives for these four days. Any input anyone can give to these RC newbies would be greatly appreciated! What can we expect and what can we take advantage of while on board? I know there are some seasoned pros out there that have the true inside tips? (we also plan on booking another cruise while on board, maybe summer 2020, for us and the two teenagers - we hear that is the best time to get deals) Thank you in advance for any responses!
  6. I just realized this, but did anyone else notice that there is only one FlowRider on the upcoming Wonder of the Seas? If so, what are your guys' thoughts about this? What do you think the area seems to be in the previews? A seating area for the Wipeout Bar, a new restaurant perhaps? Also, all of the aft-facing loft suites are gone... including the massive 1,500 square-foot Royal Loft Suite. I Wonder where that is now, maybe they took out some crown lofts? Maybe they aren't even in the crown anymore? I also noticed that the crown has 2 levels now... Finally, where did mini golf and the sports court go?! There are many changes to the newest member of the Oasis class, what are your opinions and observations? wonderoftheseasforward.webp
  7. Good evening kind experienced cruisers! We're looking at Owners suite versus Grand suite on Independence oTS, not much of a price difference so I'm wondering: aside from cabin space what are the differences, if any? I appreciate any feedback and opinions. Its just 2 of us sailing, we have the GS booked but noticed not much additional cost for OS so it piqued my interest. First time in suite above JS, or 'real' suite. TIA
  8. We just got back from our cruise on Anthem this past Saturday and I wanted to give those interested e a little information on the Chill Island Cabanas because I couldn't find out much online before we left. - The cabanas are amazing but there are definitely some that are better than others. We specifically chose #14 which is at the end so we had less people around us....unfortunately, it had more birds! The rock wall on the right of the picture is where the seagulls hang out. - Next time, we would book book Cabana #9, #10 or #11. - Cabanas 8 through 14 are in the front row and 1 through 7 are in the back. - There are chairs on the left of the cabanas that are for suite guests and it is first come, first serve. - If you have access to the Chill Island Cabana area (rented a cabana or are in a suite), there is an upgraded lunch buffet. Our buffet had lamb chops, ribs, chicken, salmon, shrimp and scallop skewers, Maine lobster tails, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, fruit, cookies, etc. A lot of food!! - There is no bathroom area in the cabana area but it isn't that far of a walk - The beach is roped off for the cabana area - The snorkeling right beyond the roped off area was really good. We saw hundreds of fish of all different types. If anyone has any questions, let me know!!
  9. Does the hot tub on the deck of Independence 2 bedroom suit cabin 6716 work?
  10. Believe it or not, next week on Anthem will be the first time we have ever sailed in Sky Class. Since they started the program, we have only traveled Star Class on an Oasis or Quantum ship. There are some interesting - and confusing - things in this letter. 1. We got our welcome letter from the Concierge this morning, so that makes it 8 days prior to sailing. I was very surprised. This is the earliest I have gotten a Concierge letter in a very long time. 2. The letter is signed from Alex Kupryk (never heard of him) so I'm guessing he is the Suites Concierge on Anthem 3. The letter stated that Suites ARE REQUIRED to have reservations for some shows. This came as a complete surprise to me. I always thought that Suite guests did NOT need show reservations on Oasis or Quantum class ships. So now I am scurrying around to try and get show reservations. I'm going to ask the Concierge for help here. I'll let you know how that goes. 4. The letter also promises Luxury Pillowtop Mattresses. Ah....yeah. We'll see about this one. 5. This is also a new one (to me anyway): Does this mean that the cabana area is off limits unless you have pre-reserved (and paid for !!) one ? We would not want one anyway, but just confused by this. 6. I KNOW this one is wrong...but just throwing it out there. The letter states that the Coastal Kitchen is for Suite and Pinnacle guests only. It does not mention that JS have access for dinner. I do not have ANY problem with JS eating in the CK ANYtime, but it is a bit misleading the way it is presented. This must be the language that all the "haters" over on that other site are always complaining about when they claim that the CK/CL is supposed to be for Suites (and grudgingly, sometimes, Pinns). Since we also received the "You D+'s are OUT" letter regarding the CL, I guess the haters are finally getting their way. I would have posted the entire letter but I cannot "capture" the whole thing in one screen shot ! If anyone wants the entire thing let me know and I will try a work-around.
  11. We are a family of 5 (me, my wife, 2 sons (9,6) and daughter (3). We have been on multiple cruises to include Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival at different points in our life. For our makeup as we are now this was an amazing cruise. While the food and decor was not quite up to the Disney standard (it was not far off, and definitely much more return on investment for the price). Embarkation:We arrived the night before and stayed near Houston Hobby airport at the Springhill Suites (we had Marriott points so it was free). The hotel itself was fine, but the area around left to be desired. Our flight home the following week was late at night so we rented a car for the week so that we would be able to explore after debarkation. We drove to Galveston (approximately 45 minutes). This is where I made a mistake: I decided to try to drop the rest of my family off and the baggage then park the car. The line to drive up took a long time with the kiddos being able to see the ship. In hindsight I would have parked and walked with them because we parked at Galveston Park and Cruise which was directly across the street from the terminal (closer to the Carnival ship, but still very close). This would have saved me a lot of "are we there yets". We had prebooked parking and it was extremely easy.We stayed in a Grand Suite so we had expedited boarding and check-in. This was a nice feature. We checked in and punched holes in our Gold Cards (different color due to being in a suite) and attached them to our lanyards that we brought from home. Lanyards were key for our family and we liked that we brought different ones for each of us, but don't fret if you don't bring them they are for sale in the terminal and on the ship. I would recommend them and punching a whole in it to attach it. Note: There was a cold front when we were in Galveston so there was light rain and a high of 59, so we did not do outdoor activities on the first day. I imagine this would have been a good plan as discussed in many other reviews, but not an option for us.Once on we explored the ship a little, and then went with the rest of the masses to the Windjammer Buffet. The food here was definitely tasty. I have read lots of complaints about bland food, but we did not find this to be the case at all. We thoroughly enjoyed the food here and ate multiple lunches, most breakfasts (got room service on two days we had excursions, but more on that later) and one dinner (they had sushi that night). Finding tables in Windjammer especially on the first day was difficult. Luckily since we had our Gold Cards we could eat in either Giovanni's or Chops (depended on the meal and the day) with our plates from the buffet or order of a menu. This was a great and underrated perk of being in a suite. We could always find a table that was quieter, but still enjoy the choices from the buffet. Next we went to sign the kids up at Adventure Ocean (kids club). There are three different levels: Aquanauts (3-5), Explorers (6-8) and Voyagers (9-11). Due to age ranges all my kids were in different groups. This was not an issue for our kids, and they each made friends that they would chat with and hang out in the pool or outside of the kids club as well. **HINT: There were two different areas to check in (Aquanaut and Explorer Rooms). The Explorer room had a ridiculously long line, but the Aquanaut room had no line. There is no real introduction or anything at either room just a form that must be filled out. For Voyagers you can sign for them to sign themselves in and out. We told my oldest that he could not sign himself out, but we signed that authorization so that he could sign himself in. This was a time saver and a few times the other kids didn't want to go to the kids club and he did so he could go by himself to sign himself in. After that we explored the Royal Promenade and made our way to our room. The room was great for us. The balcony had two lounge chairs with a little table, and then two chairs and a large patio table where we ate a few times and enjoyed coffee daily before the kids woke up. Inside the room was a pullout couch where the boys slept and our room steward (Edwin) brought in a rollaway bed that we put beside it for our daughter. Then we had a bed to ourselves on the other side of the room that could be separated by a curtain. We had LOTS of drawers (so many we even had empty drawers even with 5 of us)! We had two sinks in the bathroom and a bathtub which was great for the little ones.We changed for dinner. I put on jeans (like every night except formal night) because it said no short pants and I am a rule follower, but as stated in other reviews outfits ran the gambit and anything goes. We went to our table which was by the window as I had requested and met our waiter Michael and his assistant waiter Joenel. They were both awesome! Great service. Joenel had our drinks waiting for us the next night so we could have our martinis while we read the menu. The food at the dining room was good. Was it the most highend dinner...no, but it was good and if you take into account the number of people that are being cooked for during each sitting it was pretty darn good. Some of the presentation left some to be desired (shrimp cocktail is a bed of lettuce with 3 shrimp laid on it), but the flavors were good. We enjoyed all the meals we had there. My Family Time Dining: We selected the 5:30 seating so that we could utilize the My Family Time dining. I have not seen a good description of this in any of the other reviews so I wanted to explain this process. Starting the second night, you could tell your waiter that your kids were going to the kids club and they would ensure that they got their entire meal including dessert before they had to leave. Pickup was at 6:40 on the 4th deck (middle deck of the 3 levels of the dining room) outside the dining room. At 6:40 you take your kid(s) down to the counselor that was there and they check you in using a tablet then the parent can go back to their meal. We figured out that if we got to dinner around 5:40 this was about the perfect timing to ensure they got all their food, but not too much downtime after their meal before pickup. We also asked Michael to wait on our (DW and my) entrees until we dropped the kids off. This worked really well for us and gave us time to actually enjoy our meal too. If you don't use this pickup option, Adventure opens at 7PM.Adventure Ocean: All three of our kids loved their different areas. For the oldest group they seemed to play a lot of Gaga Ball (dodgeball, but you hit the ball instead of throwing it) and some other games. They were some more structured activities as well including facepainting and other activities. Having all kids enjoy themselves was a key part of us enjoying our vacation as parents. The boys did not enjoy their time at Disney in the kids club as much as they did here. Truth in advertising they were younger, but they all loved this so that is good enough for me.Pools: The pools were well maintained. My kids loved Splashaway Bay the best. It is a jungle gym with lots of spray and buckets and slides. This is right near the ice cream machine as well (my kids frequented this machine A LOT). There was a kid pool that was 2 feet deep, and it was great for my daughter to splash around and play in without a lifevest. There was a bar by all the pools so we frequented the Squeeze (the bar by Splashaway Bay) a lot. We had the drink package and for us we found it extremely beneficial. We definitely got our money worth. The two pools in the main pool area were too deep for my kids to touch, but we had them wear lifejackets that were readily available from Royal Caribbean by the towel stand. The screen here played the Final Four and a few movies, but most of the time it has videos from Chive TV (like youtube). The adult only area was good with two jacuzzis and a pool. This was a little crowded, but it was good overall. As previously stated by people: There is no food available on the pool deck besides ice cream so this was annoying, but not a major issue for us as we understood this limitation. Royal Promenade: There were lots of food choices at the Promenade Cafe (sandwiches, salads and baked goods) and Sorrentos (pizza, antipasto, desserts). The lines were long at Sorrentos, but they went much faster than they looked. There were different drinks at the different bars on the Royal Promenade. Note: Vintages has little to no choices that are covered by the drink package [you only have to pay the difference, but there are lots of other choices elsewhere that are covered]. My wife's favorite drink was at the Hoof and Claw Pub which was a mixed drink including strawberry, liquor and beer. It sounds odd, but it was delicious. Entertainment: We went to In the Air and it was amazing. It was really well done and had you on the edge of your seat at points. This was family friendly and my kids loved it as well. We also went to Encore (the ice show). It was also very good. It was fun and enjoyable and the kids also liked it. We chose to skip Saturday Night Fever as it is not for our kids and there were other activities we wanted to do.Other Activities: We did sports trivia at the Schooner Bar (where I got a great old fashioned and a brandy alexander), and Family Karaoke at On Air bar [where we had amazing service from Roger]. Roger always found us seats and ensured that my daughter had a martini glass full of maraschino cherries. We played mini-golf one day and it was fun. Cupcake Decorating Class: My wife and daughter did this class on one of the sea days. It was $30 per person, but since my wife was helping my daughter and not participating alone they only charge for one person. They had over an hour with the head pastry chef on how to decorate cupcakes and they made 6 cupcakes and were given two extras of different animals and colors. This was "the best $30 we have spent in a long time" according to my wife. Suite Lounge: This was a nice area to get away from the loud crowds. We went in there a few times during the day to play board games and relax with the view. Nightly there was a cocktail period with appetizers from 4:30-8. This was a great nightly routine to go get a drink and snacks (my kids loved the samosas so much they barely ate dinner on of the nights) and shirley temples for the kids. Excursions: We did excursions at Roatan and Cozumel. We chose to stay on the boat in Belize. We wanted to spend on day on the boat when it was in port to enjoy an empty boat. It was great. My kids were able to ride the slides continuously for roughly an hour without any lines. Roatan: We did Big French Key. This was a good excursion. It is a 20 minute bus ride to the boat that takes you to the island. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and we learned a lot about Roatan during the ride. Then it was a 4 minute ride out to the island. there are two different excursions out this way. Big French Key and Little French Key. Big French Key had signifcantly less activities than Little French Key, but seemed more mellow. They share a lagoon so you see the other group. I would recommend water shoes as there were a lot of rocks. Not required because we did not have them, but it would have been nice. The food was included, but drinks were extra. We wanted a relaxing beach day for the kids, and that is what we got with Big French Key but if you want more action Little French Key looked like a better option. Our kids just wanted to chase fish and ride the little zipline so this was great for our family.Cozumel: We went to Nachi Cocom. I had read all the reviews about how great this place was, but it seemed like it was too good to be true. I was wrong. It lived up to all the hype and then some. We got a taxi ($23 each way since we had 5 people) and it took about 15 minutes to get to Nachi Cocom. Upon arrival we had our picture taken, checked in and then were escorted to our Palapa (palm tree that grows big enough to be like an umbrella) and our 3 beach chairs and met our waiter Carlos. We rented a float that could hold all 3 kids for $20. Then we started playing in the ocean. Then the kids wanted to shift to the pool which was fine with us as there was a swim up bar with all drinks included so the kids got to have virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris, and we had margaritas. Around 1030 the kitchen opens and you can order off the menu. The food was very tasty and delivered to us at the table we found at the pool by Carlos. It was great. Perfect and relaxing day. They only let in 130 people a day so it is a big spread out area and it felt like even less people than advertised because of this. We paid about $130 for all 5 of us since our daughter was free. This was extremely well worth it, and we will book there again on our next cruise. In conclusion: This was an amazing cruise for us. Where we are in life we could not have asked for a better time or ship. It was large, but small enough to navigate with many options of activities and our room was great for when we wanted to come and relax. We booked again for next spring break this time in an Owner’s Suite and we have another family joining us too! I can’t wait. I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you are on the fence YOLO BOOK IT!
  12. ?: Royal Caribbean International “Whenever you are with me, life plays a beautiful symphony!” --- Avijeet Das For Hubby and I, there is no better way to spend quality couple time together than to go on a cruise. We started off that way on our honeymoon back in 2002 and we have tried to get away around this time every year to celebrate our anniversary. Symphony was on our radar almost two years ago. Being huge OA class fans and having sailed every Oasis class ship so far, sailing this one was a given. I booked this cruise knowing that this summer would be our first chance to sail it since she spent last summer in Europe. Even upon booking back in the Fall of 2017, prices were crazy for this ship. However, because of fixed vacation times, that is just something that we are used to. How did the title for this blog come about? Other than being fond of cruising and shopping, I also love music. Trained in classical music since I was a little girl, and with a ship named Symphony, I could not resist to draw parallels between this blog title and music. So why Symphony No. 17? Symphonies written by the same composer are often given a generic name that involves a number so that one can identify which piece it is by that composer. Playing on that thought, this is cruise #17 for us, and, as coincidence would have it, it is also our 17th anniversary on this sailing. Notice the theme? In addition, a Symphony is typically written in four movements. So there lies the logic behind the rest of this title. I expect that those will be our four experiences on Symphony this sailing. <Music geek off> Let’s begin…
  13. As previously stated 1st RCC sailing ever, coming over from DCL & have had previous experience in concierge as well as non concierge on the Fantasy, Dream, & Magic.(10 cruises) May I ask fellow cruisers your preference, an Owners suite or a Crown Loft? There are three of us 2 adults & our 13 year old daughter. Additionally, what are your thoughts on the RC credit card, are the perks worth opening a new line of credit? Our Disney Chase allows us to pay for our DCL cruise fare over the 1st 6 months with zero interest, does RC Visa offer something such as this? My research does not seem to show anything like this and I am not a fan of to many CC, but if we are going to regularly sail here the perks are my question, otherwise just pay it in full on my cash back and be done. I appreciate your thoughts, thanks so much!
  14. I have been planning a cruise with my friend and her sister since January. We are sailing on symphony of the seas October 12 2019. We were originally booked in the star loft suite 1722. An Aqua Theatre 2 bedroom opened up and we discussed how it might be beneficial for us to have the separate bedrooms for privacy and the sister would be more comfortable in a bed. I personally also love the wake view and we were interested in seeing the shows from our balcony. Now I’m reading some reviews about noise, the 17th floor having more of a “wow” feeling and that the aqua theatres are sub par to the Star loft with the view of the shows being “outside of all the action and too high up”. Can anyone give some insight on if we made the right decision?
  15. Howdy Y’all. I joined this board less than a month ago and in 10 days I will be on Liberty of The Seas. I’ve been reading all the live-blogs and I decided today that I am going to live blog my cruise---or at least try. So a little background on this cruise, it started out in late as a Father Son (me) cruise. At the time we were trying to decide between another western Caribbean (this would be my 4th of those) or to Cuba. After much deliberation we decided that we cared more about the ship than the destinations, so we booked the Western Caribbean (and boy did we get lucky with that decision…no more Cuba now) in an interior stateroom. Early July rolls around and we start watching some videos of our room, my Dad who has only cruised junior suites or higher was a little alarmed with the size and upgraded us to a Junior Suite. Then we get to mid July- my Mom asks to join the cruise. So we start to price it out and decide that we need to get an additional cabin. Well when looking at the cost for who to solo cruise vs. adding a 4th person was so small that we decided to add my girlfriend. So we add her and my Mom to a Balcony. Great everything is set in stone 1 month prior to the cruise. WRONG. We had one more big change. July 10th my father decides he wants a Grand Suite with my Mom. He calls to upgrade and they don’t have availability, so we get on the wait list. On the 15th we get a grand suite 1 bedroom. That brings us to today. Where we stand now. When: August 11, 2019 + 1 day before Where: Cozumel, Falmouth, George Town, a day at the Houston Space Center the day before Rooms: Junior Suite-with me (Kyle) and my girlfriend (Natalie)-we are still keeping our fingers crossed for a cancellation to upgrade to a grand suite or for the same to happen with our RoyalUp bid Grand Suite (1 bedroom)-with my Mom (Brenda) and Dad (Ross) Extras: The Key Deluxe Drink Package Unlimited Dining Package All Access Tour Galley Brunch Excursions: Atlantis Submarine Tour-Cozumel Trolley Roger-Grand Cayman About Us Me (Kyle) - I’m 21, and a Diamond status for the first time this cruise The Girlfriend (Natalie)- 22, first time cruiser, never been out of the country, got lucky with C&A and they matched her to Diamond Mom (Brenda) – Suite Lover, Diamond Dad (Ross)- Suite Lover, Diamond I am really excited for this vacation and can’t wait to share it with y’all. I’m very interested to see for myself how the Key works out for us and compare it to the suite perks and Diamond perks. Most of y’all have much more experience with cruising and live blogging but, if y’all have anything you would like me to look at/investigate/ ask I would be happy to! Thanks for reading.
  16. What perks come with booking a Junior Suite? I know some suite perks aren't included with the Junior Suites. Do I have to pay the suite gratuity rate even though I don't get all the suite perks? This is my first post on RCB, though my wife and I have been watching on youtube for about a year.
  17. Hi all! We have booked a GS on Liberty of the Seas in August. I started researching and it’s all starting to get jumbled. 1. As suite members, do we have a speciality dining option for embarkation lunch or should we look at the Key? 2. I swear I have found that we can eat breakfast and lunch at speciality dining but now I’m having trouble finding it again. If we do, what restaurant and is it the same menu as the main dining (just a different location?). We are ultimately deciding if we should pay for the speciality dining package or if the suite perks get us enough.
  18. Another question for this amazing helpful group! Does anyone know how Royal prices the free Casino Royale prime interior cabins to suites? We are doing one in March and we paid $1800 for Grand Suite upgrade that would have cost $5000. The difference in price seemed to be around 60% off and did not equal the interior price discounted off Grand Suite price. Therefore, I am hoping that a Star class Suite at $9550 would offer the same percentage discount. Has anyone had experience upgrading an interior free prime cruise to a Star class suite? If so, what was the percentage discount or upgrade cost? Thank you!!!
  19. I understand that a few days prior to embarkation, a suite concierge will email to introduce themself and ask if there are any requests that they can take care of. So, can they make all the dining rezis on the ultimate dining package PRIOR to our embarkation?
  20. I am hoping someone can help me. I tried to Google the answer but came up with no specific answer to my question. For our 20th wedding anniversary we want to book a Royal Suite on one of the ships (I know not all ships have one). Specifically, we want one with the outdoor hot tub. Are there only certain class ships that have the hot tub? I didn't think Oasis class ships had a Royal Suite and I didn't see one with a hot tub outside on Grandeur or Mariner...does anyone know which ships do? I would like to limit my search to those specific ships. We are also looking at other suites (I understand there are much better ones out there) but we want to price compare to those suites versus the Royal Suite and decide.
  21. After listening to this week's podcast, I have this question: We will be staying in an Owner's Suite for our July 2019 Radiance Southbound. I thought that VOOM was a perk for suite guests on Radiance, but now I am not sure. There will be three of us with four total devices. I'll have my chromebook along, but I plan to swap out that out with my phone VOOM connection. I can't seem to find where specifically this is mentioned. I know I've seen it. . .
  22. We are currently booked on Allure of the Seas in an Aquatheater Suite in 11730. How is the room - is it as amazing as it looks? We have never been on Oasis class and so excited! Would also love recommendations on breakfast and lunch options besides Windjammer.
  23. Head's up for anyone who may be looking to book a 2 BR ATS but cannot meet the normal 5 person minimum required to book that category. With today's new pricing (which is nothing new, of course) I believe that Royal has failed to implement its minimum occupancy protection on one of the 2 BT ATS on Harmony. They have become very strict on requiring a minimum number of guests in the 2 BR ATS (I believe 5 persons is the minimum for those rooms) but I stumbled upon one this morning that is in "general inventory" meaning that it can be booked without the minimum number of people. The sail date is 17 Feb 2019 and it is a 2 BR ATS on Deck 10 (I think it's 10730 but I cannot remember whether it's the port or starboard side). It's pricey but at least as of a few minutes ago, it is in general inventory. So, if you've ever wanted to book one of these suites but never could, b/c you didn't have enough people, go check it out. It probably won't last though....they will probably catch it and move it back under the occupancy protection quickly. We have now booked 3 of these suites with just the 2 of us...so it is possible but very hard to find these days. We are on this cruise in 8330. Good luck !!
  24. Just got off the phone with Royal. Some things to take note of: I booked a JS ($100) deposit using NextCruise. Chose IOBC. -- Deposit is non-refundable (I knew this) I called last week and upgraded to a GS or higher 2 weeks later -- Additional Deposit not required, deposit still non-refundable (I knew this) I called today to add a 5th person to my suite. Due to their system, they have to create another reservation and link them together even though it's the same room. Additional $100 non-refundable deposit is now required: I did not know this, however I understand a deposit being required on a new reservation number. However, I did not understand why that additional deposit is now non-refundable.
  25. Hi fellow cruisers! Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice on waiting lists for Suites.....do you find that there are many/any cancellations in the lead up to a cruise, say within the last 3 or 4 months?? I would love an Owners Suite and am on a waiting list but I'm wondering whether I will actually get one.....any tips you can share would be greatly appreciated!
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