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  1. We are Stuart & Lisa from Rockport, TX. This is going to be an amazing cruise! Looking forward the new ports of Seville and Cartagena for us. We love Malaga and look forward to sipping wine at a sidewalk cafe again. We snagged a Grand Suite as the icing on the cake for this transatlantic crossing…our 3rd and longest.
  2. Just booked this incredible cruise. It will be our first transatlantic. Looking forward to 6 days of relaxation before arriving at the first port.
  3. Some of you might remember my last live blog from the Symphony TA. We were so happy with this cruise that we decided there and then to do the Oasis 5 TA. Unfortunately Royal announced Wonder would be going to Asia, so no TA. Instead, we booked an Eastern Med cruise on Odyssey for 2021. And then Covid happened. Odyssey was first relocated to Israel and afterwards to the US, our cruise was cancelled. We used Lift & Shift to protect our price for an Eastern Med cruise on Odyssey in 2022 – thinking Covid would be over by then. Well, how wrong you can be… In April we finally gave up on that cruise as neither Italy, nor Greece or Israel were showing any signs of stopping the craziness. As Germans can only book with non refundable deposits, we were looking for alternatives – and stumbled upon the Wonder TA. So four years after our first Royal cruise, it’s finally happening again – and it’s the cruise we wanted all along! Here are the basics of this trip: Travelling will be me (Kerstin, 39f) and hubby Michael (38m). We’re in 7310, an Ocean View Balcony. Funny enough, this will be first time ever we’ll be in a Balcony, we’re usually Interior people but got the opportunity to jump from Interior Virtual Balcony to GTY Ocean View Balcony for a steal price of 27 €. We have purchased UDP, DBP and Voom Surf & Stream. This cruise brings us from Barcelona via Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga and Nassau to Port Canaveral. We have planned nothing for the port days. If we’re in the mood we’ll just get off the ship and walk around town, if not, we’ll just stay on board and enjoy the empty ship. Saturday will be a loooong day. Drop the 5 cats at the cat hotel at 8 am, drop the dog at the kennel at 11 am, take Covid tests and drive to Munich airport for our 8.55 pm flight to Barcelona. We’ll be arriving at 11.05 pm and have chosen the Alexandre Hotel Frontair Congress because they offer a shuttle and it isn’t far from the airport. Our boarding time is 10 am on Sunday which leaves us no time to do anything in Barcelona, but been there, done that… For disembarkation in Port Canaveral we’ve rented a car and will be spending a week in Florida essentially doing a road trip. Last but not least, time to introduce the only good thing that came out of Covid (apart from this cruise of course ) – our newest addition to the family. This is Ronnie on our summer trip to Sweden with the RV. He’s a Romanian rescue dog of unknown breeding, history and age (approximates say 2 to 4 years). Thanks to Covid we can now mostly work from home and have enough time to do him justice. Even without Covid restrictions we’re only required to meet in the office once a month so it’s easy to make sure he’s not home alone. Only hard thing will be not seeing him for three weeks The cats are used to spending their vacation at the cat hotel, but we take Ronnie with us on our RV trips. He has been practicing by staying at the kennel for a few days twice so I’m sure he’ll be fine. So in the spirit of live blogging, feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them, take pictures and keep this as ‘live’ as the DBP allows
  4. Excited for this bucket list itinerary. I've heard great stories from previous sailings. Any repeaters joining for advice?
  5. So I am considering taking a transatlantic Cruise next year. I have narrowed it down to two ships (i have not decided which direction i will be going yet, but that does not matter for this question as both ships i have picked are going and coming). The two ships are Harmony and the Odyssey. So my question is, given that cost is almost identical, and that i like both destination options, which should i choose? Which would you go on? I want to consider the fact that over half of the trip will be sea days, so which ship has more activities and entertainment, or are both equal? Thank you for any advise.
  6. Hello! Karen and I are RCI Emerald. We retired last year and are pondering cruising The Brilliance of the Sea from Tampa to Amsterdam May 2020. We have a gahzillion questions. We've been on plenty of 3, 4, 5 and 7 day cruises and have mixed experience getting an upgrade. We are two cruises away from Diamond and so my question is - would that make a difference? When I was gainfully employed we'd spring for a balcony, but now we have to cut back where we can and are thinking about taking our chances on the cheapest room RCI offers and hope for an upgrade. Aside from that - with SO many sea days how do you avoid "groundhog day" ? Thanks in advance - Richard & Karen
  7. After more than a year of lurking in the forum, vacation time has finally arrived! With all the help I got from this board and all the live blogs I read to live vicariously through, I decided to return the favor. This will not rival Twangster’s quality live blog, but we’ll try our best and offer a new-to-Royal perspective. I’ll do the typing and hubby will provide the pictures. If you’ve got any questions, I’ll do my best to find the answer. So without further ado... Who are we and why this cruise? Kerstin and Michael, in our mid-thirties, from Germany (Bavaria to be exact) and on our first TA, first Royal cruise – and first time out of Europe. We’ve cruised before – 3 times with TUI Cruises (German cruise line, joint venture with RCI), once with AIDA. We usually cruise for the itinerary, but made an exception for this cruise. After a brilliant video of Harmony from our favourite German Youtuber – the Schiffstester – we knew we wanted to try Oasis class – and that really experiencing it would take more than 7 days. We’d originally planned to book a Med B2B and not leave the ship, but the price on the TA was just too good – YOLO! I hate flying so to make it worthwhile, we added a 14 night Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess (RCI itineraries just weren’t to our liking). Cruise preview – Barcelona to Miami Ports of call: Malaga (Day 2) – not sure if we’ll get off the ship, maybe just for a stroll; Port Canaveral (Day 12) – Kennedy Space Center Guided Tour with Royal to avoid the long lines for immigration Food & Beverage: we both got the deluxe drinking package and 5 night dining package. Additionally reserved Izumi Hibachi and Jamie’s as we plan to check out all the options. Entertainment: all shows reserved, we’ll participate in a few CC events (Meet & Mingle, mini golf tournament, pub crawl, scavenger hunt). We’re also planning to book the all access tour. Cabin: 8411 - inside stateroom at the fore Pre-cruise & post-cruise We’ve already prepared everything we want to pack and will pack tomorrow. Friday morning, we’ll drop off the boys (our five coonies) at the cat hotel, rush home, throw the luggage in the car and drive to my parents. They’ll drop us off at the airport Duesseldorf for our evening check-in, we’ll stay at the airport hotel as our flight is at 6.45am on Saturday. We’ll stay at Hotel Catedral in Barcelona and have booked a walking tour of Barri Gótic for the afternoon. Post-cruise we’ll stay at Sense Beach House in South Beach until we board Caribbean Princess on 11th. It’s our first time in Miami, so we rented a car to get a good overview and do the essential shopping – I might pillage the Disney store as my sister is expecting her first child on November 23rd.
  8. Hi Everyone! This October my best friend and I will be taking the Anthem on her first TA! A few questions: - This is our first TA, we usually love sea days, but it is a little daunting to be on the boat for 8 straight days, any suggestions? Things to pack or do? Are there usually different activities on A TA than a traditional cruise? - I'm very excited to try out ifly and see the anthem's shows. At this point we are less than six months away of departure (not that I'm counting or anything). When can you usually make reservations for these actives? I was hoping to plan these for tackling dynamic dining. Thanks for the advice! Will anyone be joining us?
  9. I see on Royal Caribbeans UK website that Quantum is going westbound from Southampton to New Jersey in 2014. It looks like a one time cruise so I'm hoping that me and the misses can get on her. Anyone booked for that crossing yet. I am also hoping that she may do an eastbound crossing as well because ideally we would love to fly to New York spend some time there and then cruise home to Southampton.
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