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  1. My SemiLive Blog Wowzah! Only 3 more days until we are on a plane to Barcelona! Hard to believe, this past year has flown by so fast. So, let's get down to the nitty gritty and get this show on the road! (props to people who get that reference) Our Cruising History I am sailing with my mother and father who have both cruised 2 and 3 times, respectively. This will be our third family cruise together (which have all been on Royal), and our second time on an Oasis Class ship. We are all from Texas and excited to get away from the 100+°F summer heat as well! The last time we were on a cruise was in summer of 2016, so we are all excited to get back on the magnificent Royal ships. My mother enjoys the sun and pool, so we may be spending our down-time at the beaches in Barcelona, or the sports deck pool. This is also a partial celebration for my mother's birthday as well! Why Symphony? While being on Symphony for the inaugural season made this cruise very appealing, the itinerary in the Mediterranean (more on that later) for this cruise sealed the deal for all of us. None of us have ever been in the med for pleasure or sight seeing, and we have previously always cruised in the Caribbean, which after awhile gets to look like the same places and beaches. Hence, the idea to sail in Europe was born. All of us are excited to see the tourist traps sights, including the Vatican and Colosseum, which we will see on the excursions while in port. The Itinerary We are lucky enough to be doing a B2B Cruise and spend 4 days before the cruise in Barcelona! I plan to do a lighter blog on the first few days while in Barcelona, and do a mini-review on the flight and hotel. For this trip, we didn't book any non-Royal Caribbean shore excursions, due to the convenience and close time windows with the all-aboard call. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section (The Cabin), this is a lengthy one. This is the full itinerary of the trip, including the days before and hours after. July 24th Flight to Miami on American - Includes a wonderful 1h and 20min layover in MIA Flight to Barcelona - Arrive in Barcelona the next day July 25th Hotel check-in at the Hotel Arts Barcelona July 29th - Cruise Day! 6:00pm Departure from port! 6:30pm Chops Grille 8:30pm Hairspray - Broadway Show. Will be my first time seeing it live, and not on NBC's live show! July 30th - Palma de Mallorca, Spain 8:00am Arrival 9:20am Palma City Sights - RCL Shore Excursion 4:00pm Departure 8:00pm 1977 - Ice Show We also plan to eat at the Coastal Kitchen (more about that later) July 31st - Marseilles (Provence), France 9:00am Arrival 9:15am Panoramic Marseilles & Aix - RCL 6:00pm Departure 8:00pm Jamie's Italian - We have only tried Giovani's Italian on Allure, so it will be interesting to see the differences between the two Italian restaurants. August 1st - La Spezia (Florence/Piza), Italy 8:30am Arrival 8:35am Florence & Pisa - Cities Tour RCL 8:30pm Departure 9:00pm HiRO - AquaTheater Show We didn't plan any dinner reservations, as we may decide to eat in the MDR, Costal Kitchen or eat out in the city! August 2nd - Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 7:00am Arrival 8:00am Exclusive: Best of Rome - City Tour RCL 8:00pm Departure We didn't plan any dinner reservations, as we may decide to eat in the MDR, Costal Kitchen or eat out in the city! August 3rd - Naples (Capi), Italy 7:00am Arrival 8:00am Amalfi Coast & Pompeii by Land and Sea - RCL 8:00pm Departure August 4th - Cruising 5:00pm Flight - RCL Theater Show 6:30pm Wonderland - The rabbit hole calls us from home.... August 5th - Deja Vu! 6:15pm Izumi: Hibachi - On our last cruise while on Allure, we really enjoyed the food and show that the hibachi offers, and hope that we see some new tricks from the chefs. August 6th 8:40pm Drach Caves - RCL Excursion August 7th 9:30am Biking in Provence - RCL. Have to burn the calories somewhere! August 8th We have no excursion booked and plan to explore on our own and enjoy the ship! August 9th We have no excursion booked and plan to explore on our own and enjoy the ship! August 10th 8:30am Capri on your Own - RCL. This should hopefully give us some freedom while touring Capri! August 12th - Where the PCD sets in... 5:00am Departure Flight to Charlotte for a layover to catch the plane home The Cabin Since there are three of us and we need all the space we can get, we decided to splurge and get a Grand Suite cabin on the seventh floor. This also gives us access to the Costal Kitchen, reserved show seats, and other Sky Class amenities. We even get our own bathtub, which is going to come in handy to soak the muscles after that bike ride! We also get some free Voom Internet @ Sea codes, which is how I will be updating you on all of the social medias! We also won't have to move cabins in-between the cruises; we got lucky on that. Expect cabin tour Periscopes and pictures. Social Media I plan on doing some Periscopes and posting things to my newly founded Flickr page. Periscope - CraftyCat05 - Plan on seeing the Cabin Tour, Embarkation, Docking and Undocking, and other things here. Flickr - CraftyCat05 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/155580610@N05/albums/72157693503806790/with/41744815340/ - Plan on seeing a full album of some of the photos I take here. (I don't change usernames 😆) Miscellaneous We haven't gotten any drink, spa, or specialty dining packages, as we find that we never will get our money's worth out of these. I'm still debating on bringing my Nikon D7000 with me; seems like it won't be a great idea to bring it in port, and my iPhone camera is great for cruising candids. This will be my first time: Live blogging, scoping, and posting images to my gallery. Expect errors, hiccups, and newbie mistakes. (read: be patient, please:)) We loved the Costal Kitchen and it's staff on Allure, and hope the same experience is translated to Symphony. I am a tech nerd, and will also give updates on the new Royal app and the WOW bands (which we will get with our suite). I will be leaving my 26 pound Schnoodle at the Pet Resort in town. He will also be staying in 5 paw accommodations, which include a webcam for us to view him while traveling. Expect me to post pictures of Cruise Compasses and other documents. My laptop "N" key is starting to get sticky, lets hope it doesn't fail while on the cruise. Biggie One: I really hope that I can get some interaction from YOU! Ask any questions you have may have, give me some tips, or just comment on what you see here. wooh! Time to get my fingers soaked... Too much typing!
  2. Just to be up front, don't expect anything fancy. Check out my previous LIVEish
  3. Greetings all! Currently sitting on the Tri-Rail at the Miami airport station waiting for it to depart northbound heading towards Ft. Lauderdale. (Check out writeup @twangster did going from Ft. Lauderdale airport.) Day started off catching a 6:30 am flight to Miami with a landing just after 7:30 am. Have to admit a hour flight sure beats sitting 7+ hours in either a car or bus. Just a shame the flight costs 3-4 times what RedCoach would have been. But the convenience so far is worth it. So those wondering what exactly 3343 means, I'll reveal that tomorrow. Sure some smart folks might figure it out. Also if you want to get an idea of what to expect. Please check out my previous LIVEish:
  4. By FlowBro Ty Hi Every One. Welcome To Oasis Of The Seas Western Caribbean Blog. So Let Get Started. If You Are New Here. Here Is My Last Blog Of The Mariner OTS. Check It Out. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9405-mariner-of-the-seas-blog-72718-to-73018/ On This Voyage On The Oasis The Port Of Calls We Will Be Stopping At Are Labbadee Haiti, Falmouth Jamaica, Cozmel Mexico So We Have Three Port Days And Three Sea Day The Room We Booked Was A Jr Suite On Deck Eight. Our Friend's Also Have A Jr Suite Right Next To Ours. Also On This Sailing We Were Joined By @Twangster Fan This Blog Will Take A Few Weeks. ATo Post. So Let The Blog Begin
  5. Sorry to report folks but your eyes aren't playing tricks. Starting tomorrow I'll be coming to you somewhat live from on board the Symphony of the Seas. This has been a cruise with right around 620 days of waiting. Booked the night reports had started to leak out that Symphony booking had opened up. Little did I know at the time of booking it would be a very short wait to learn this sailing would be part of something much bigger, an official Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise. Itinerary is somewhat port heavy, but still has time to relax. Day 1 - Miami Day 2 - Sea Day Day 3 - Roatan Day 4 - Costa Maya Day 5 - Cozumel Day 6 - Sea Day Day 7 - Nassau Day 8 - Eviction in Miami For those that are new to reading my LIVEish. Check out my previous one to get an idea of what fine quality work I produce: Finally, I'll leave this image for fun...
  6. As always trying to figure out how to start off another LIVEish. Laying in the room at the Embassy Suites on 17th in Ft. Lauderdale overlooking the port Adventure will soon be docked at. Yesterday (the 4th) was a travel day, sitting on a bus (RedCoach) from 7:30 in the morning until just a bit after 5:00 (versus the scheduled 4:10) in the afternoon. Didn't really have much of an opportunity to move around at the Orlando stopping point. Due to traffic delays outside of Gainesville we were running around 30 or 40 minutes late. As a result when we hit Orlando we were transferred to different bus that immediately left. Good thing for me, not getting to sleep until 4 am allowed me to sleep just about the entire journey. After getting dropped off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport used Lyft XL for the somewhat quick trip from airport to hotel, most of that time I'm sure was spent just getting out of the arrivals area of the airport. For those that are curious about cost: Lyft XL fare (3.64mi, 13m 21s) $19.36. Booked once again the "Premium Suite", sad to report that our friend the vending machine is gone. Been replaced by a snack basket that was left in the room. One of the great things staying in this area is the easy access to a shopping center. With that in mind and a cue from so many in the past wound out having dinner at La Bamba. Wound up ordering the Fiesta Combination that consisted of Chicken Burrito and Chunk Beef Enchilada plus served with yellow rice and refried beans. By the time we left it was getting on the busy side. With some time to kill and wanting to do some walking to help things settle wound up walking down to explore Total Wine. No purchases for onboard consumption, not much of a wine drinker. After a bit headed back to the hotel to enter a blissful food coma for a bit (yes more sleeping) and then finally getting around to posting this. What is to come on Adventure is going to be a new port stop for me, St. Kitts. Prior to St. Kitts a somewhat typical eastern run: Labadee, San Juan, and St. Maarten. This post is in honor to my dear friends the "Premium Suite" vending machines. Your selections will be missed.
  7. Hey Everyone! We're on Celebrity Edge for a three night preview cruise ahead of our seven night sailing in January. Follow the live blog at the below link, and of course look for loads of pics on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I'll answer questions as quickly as I can. Spoiler: This ship really lives up to the hype. Not perfect, but truly impressive. https://www.cruisehabit.com/tags/celebrity-edge-live-blog
  8. Figured a day late (and a month late in some cases) is better than nothing... Booked itinerary is as follows: Tampa, Sea day, Cozumel, Sea day, finally back in Tampa. This is the same run that @Mattdid last month and I decided to crash his anniversary sailing. So a forewarning, due to not doing a LIVEish on that sailing I'll be throwing in some of the pictures I took on that sailing. For these that are new to reading my LIVEish. Check out my previous one to get an idea of what fine quality work I produce:
  9. Not live any more, but this was our live blog of our Canada and New England Cruise. https://thesmallworldfamily.com/2018/08/31/canada-and-new-england-cruise-live-blog-day-1/
  10. I am still new to this board but have read and learned so much over the past few months. Thank you all. Right now I am laying in bed on the 2nd day of an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. I have sailed Voyager and Freedom class before and was excited but worried about the size of this class. My verdict is in, Oasis class gets two thumbs up. Here are my observations from the first two days: - it's all about the width. The extra space creates venues that are not just larger but not pass throughs to other parts of the ship. Boleros and the Schooner bar are two examples much more self contained and pleasing. - Where are those crowds? The ship seems less crowded than the other two classes I have sailed. Using advice from you all, embarkation lunch at the solarium, Park Cafe for snacks, first night at a specialty restaurant and even using the Coke machine in the arcade all were great suggestions! - Entertainment... I liked Cats. The talent was top notch. Oasis of Dreams was terrific unique. Spent an enjoyable hour in the Schooner bar listening to the piano player. - Having the solarium in front of the forward elevators makes the whole area more peaceful. Again less through traffic compared to other classes. - Had a couples massage right at sail away from Port Canaveral. Got to say it was a great way to leave the stress at the Port. The one thing I can confirm crowding were the pools for a few hours. They seemed more like hot tubs with so many people in them. Tomorrow is the first sea day so I am looking forward to exploring more and trying out some other RCBlog tips. Feel free to share more! 😀
  11. I normally start this sooner and on a different tone. But staying a few nights prior in Tampa got in my way (in a good way). Booked itinerary is as follows: Tampa, Sea day, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Sea day, finally back in Tampa. However I'm not sure if my new friend Gordon will change those plans. For these that are new to reading my LIVEish. Check out my previous one to get an idea of what fine quality work I produce: LIVEish, 7 Days on Harmony (05/12/2018 or 12/05/2018 add to the mix May 12, 2018) For the record yes, I'm slacking. Still at the hotel debating when to leave for the port.
  12. Sorry to say... I'm back again ready to provide another quality LIVEish! This time around I'll be on the Oasis of the Seas for Halloween. For those that want to get an idea of what I'll be posting look back at my last journey on board Also, keep an eye on Twitter/Periscope for any material not posted here. Twitter/Periscope: @CGTLH
  13. Have no fear @Lovetocruise2002 I will indeed being doing my live blog in hopefully all its usual glory. Finally, my turn again to set sail! As you might have guessed based on the topic I'll be setting sail onboard Harmony of the Seas. This will be my second time onboard Harmony and sailing ninth sailing on an Oasis class ship. Itinerary brief, Eastern: Ft. Lauderdale, Sea Day, Sea Day, St. Maarten, San Juan, Labadee, Sea Day, Eviction in Ft. Lauderdale An idea of what is to come can be seen on my last LIVEish from January on Oasis Only one new toy this time around, a new laptop. While my Surface Pro 3 has been a great travel companion, it has started to show its age. Last month I was able to get a deal on a discontinued display model Lenovo Flex5 at Costco. Only difference the new model has is a better GPU. Only other thing tech-wise this cruise will be an experiment that involves nonstandard use of tcp/5223. It’s Friday and the day just started, plus I still have a long day of travel ahead of me. I’m sure I’ll still be up for some time with final packing and other tasks. Keep an eye open on the Twitter and Periscope feeds listed in my signature. Can’t guarantee I’ll be active on those platforms, but I might do a few quick scopes. Ohh yeah, forgot. The 360 camera was replaced and I'll make plans to use it early on this cruise, maybe.
  14. Greetings all. I'm writing to you from my pre-cruise hotel listening to the dulcet tones of airbuses and boeings flying overhead as I await the arrival of the Anthem tomorrow morning. Travelling with me is my wife, 3 year old daughter and a friend of ours who has NEVER CRUISED BEFORE. We are staying in a grand loft suite (I feel she may be screwed for any subsequent cruise if she likes...) I'll do my best to post here daily but copious amounts of watered down American beer (if you can call it that) may get in the way. Feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer them. Oh. Before I forget.. The Lids store located within the Jersey Garden mall had paw patrol hats on for 50% off. I know you'll sleep better knowing that. Cheers.
  15. Going to keep this post sweet and simple. As you might be able to guess from the topic title I'm once again heading off on another voyage onboard Oasis. To get an idea of what to expect from me take a look back at my previous Oasis LIVEish over Halloween. Also, keep an eye on Twitter/Periscope for any material not posted here. Twitter/Periscope: @CGTLH
  16. I'm very much looking forward to my cruise on Anthem of the Seas coming up in 7 DAYS! I'm going to be posting live blogs from my website, but I'll also link to the posts here as well. I just did a periscope about the tech I'll be bringing with me. Very excited, and looking forward to doing periscopes and live blogs from the beautiful island of Bermuda, and wonderful Anthem of the Seas!
  17. OK, so it is Thursday and like me I have to even start packing. Well, my clothes at least. Camera gear and most of my electronics are packed on the other hand. Travel to the port plans are as followed. Taking RedCoach (upscale bus) from Tallahassee to Ft. Lauderdale Friday morning. This will be the third time using the service, second to Ft. Lauderdale. Cost was $168 round trip with a refundable fare, cheaper than flying (from Tallahassee) and would have been a bit less if choosing one of the other fare options. Friday night, I'll be staying at the Embassy Suites on 17th street. In the morning, thinking Uber or Lyft to the port to be there by 10:00-10:30am. That is it for now, if you want to get an idea of what to expect see my previous LIVEish posting from January 2017 on Oasis of the Seas: As a bonus, I can stay I've stepped foot on every Oasis class ship in service with in the last twelve months. Was on Allure when Harmony came into service. It isn't every day you can claim being on the Worlds largest and second largest cruise ship... Once I hit the road Friday, or maybe sometime Thursday, I'll replace the contents of this post.
  18. Greetings all! I know I'm a new comer to the Royal Caribbean Blog's Message Board. But trust me this isn't my first message board rodeo. Some of the content here is cross posted on another message board (If they won't let someone mention this site, I'm not going to mention their site!), but if asked I'll be more than happy to provide exclusive content. Trust me, I've provided this site a bit of content already! First off, I want to give Matt a shout out for the hard work he does. Trust me, I know how much of a pain in the rear it can be running a site devoted to a Cruise Line. Many many moons ago I operated one my self with a different format. Because I'm a new comer here I just wanted to give a little info about my self. My name is Michael, live in Tallahassee Florida, and under the age of 35. At the time of this posting I have 30 cruise under my belt and Diamond Plus with Royal. I'm also a "legacy" Platinum with Carnival, 10 cruises. I've also sailed once with Holland America, NCL, and Princess. With all that out of the way let me get started with you guys came reading for. But really that stuff won't start until Sunday, so I'll give some expectations and background information on the next post.
  19. Monday 14th October Would you believe woke up at 4am as we couldn't sleep, think this was down to excitement and looked out of the window and the Independence had already docked. We decided to start to slowly get ready and head down to breakfast at 06.30. At 09.30 am our taxi arrived and we took the 2 minute drive to the cruise terminal with the hope of checking in early. Luggage drop off was a breeze and to our amazement we were allowed to check in straight away at 09.40 and then allowed to board the ship at 10.45 (WELL DONE RC). As soon as we got on board we were wowed by the ship and after a quick visit to guest services, yes you guessed it straight up to the Windjammer for lunch and yes Matt you were so right the honey stung chicken was awesome. As our room wasn't going to be ready until 13.00 we decided to check out the ship and went to the Spa to register for the raffle with the hope of maybe winning a free treatment. The announcement arrived that the cabins were ready and up we went to see our room and to our amazement our luggage was there and we were able to unpack before the 15.45 lifeboat drill. After a short visit back to the room we then went up to the spa for the draw of the raffle unfortunately it was not our lucky day. Evening meal was a breeze as we decided on the Windjamer again as MDR menu was not to our liking and was really impressed with the selection offered. After dinner we made our way up to the Viking Crown lounge for drinks and met a really nice couple after which we hit the casino and then to bed. Our first day and impression of Royal Caribbean has been fantastic and we are so glad we chose this ship. Day one has been awesome can't wait to update you on our next day.
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