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“Into the Unknown” … Independence OTS (Holiday sailing) – 12/29/2018-1/3/2019


Lovetocruise2002
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Once Upon A Time was a medley of various fairy tales: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Pinocchio, etc.  It was your classic RC original production. Great mix of live music, decent vocals, and dancing.

After the show, we dropped the kids off in the room and headed off to see the Love and Marriage show. I always try to go to this one if we have a good CD. I’ve skipped it before when we had BB but this is one where the CD makes or breaks it, IMO. Jamie was hilarious. He is a great entertainer. The couples picked were a lot of fun as well. Glad we went to watch. 

The ship is still rocking like crazy. Many people commenting on the motion tonight so I take comfort in knowing that it’s not just me and D12. I just took another Gravol and it should be kicking in shortly. ?

Tomorrow is our last day on board. Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to know. 

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12 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I took some Gravol before dinner, so did D12, but unfortunately while that took away the nausea, the combination of Cosmos and Gravol made for a very sleepy meal at Giovanni’s.

Gravol + espresso!

12 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Second thing is that for @Matt and all others who have not tried Coastal Kitchen given the opportunity, you need to try it! The filet that I had tonight was ok, but the filet at CK on night one still trumps it by a long shot! No comparison, in flavour and in quality. We have yet to try Chops. Will be doing that on Harmony but so far it is still #teamCK for us.

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8 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Once Upon A Time was a medley of various fairy tales: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Pinocchio, etc.  It was your classic RC original production. Great mix of live music, decent vocals, and dancing.

After the show, we dropped the kids off in the room and headed off to see the Love and Marriage show. I always try to go to this one if we have a good CD. I’ve skipped it before when we had BB but this is one where the CD makes or breaks it, IMO. Jamie was hilarious. He is a great entertainer. The couples picked were a lot of fun as well. Glad we went to watch. 

The ship is still rocking like crazy. Many people commenting on the motion tonight so I take comfort in knowing that it’s not just me and D12. I just took another Gravol and it should be kicking in shortly. ?

Tomorrow is our last day on board. Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to know. 

I really loved Once Upon a Time...thought it was really creative with the fairy tales to known music, and some of the sets/musical direction was done really well.

Agree...Jamie was very funny in Love and Marriage.  Are you going to go to go (or did you) to Quest ?

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8 hours ago, Traveler said:

Too embarrassed  to admit you are watching also curling ? ? 

What’s that? ?

For the record, I hate curling. I have only watched it once when Canada won gold in the Olympics in 2006 (I think that was the year lol)

24 minutes ago, Matt said:

Gravol + espresso!

Good tip!

21 minutes ago, WannaCruise said:

Agree...Jamie was very funny in Love and Marriage.  Are you going to go to go (or did you) to Quest ?

I don’t like how the Quest is always on the last night of these shorter sailings. We will decide later if we are going as we have to be up pretty early tomorrow...

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Day 5: Sea Day

This morning our plans are to head to the theater to do the Behind the Scenes backstage tour. Then we will probably check out the belly flop competition.

Just finished breakfast in the Diamond lounge. The concierge here, Hailey Park, is fantastic! I have no other diamond concierge to compare her to but she is personable and efficient at diffusing problems. Each morning she has gone from table to get to know each guest and make conversation. I learned some interesting things from her about Ovation sailings our of China, as that is the ship she was on prior to coming on Indy.

Off to the theater tour now, will check back again in a bit.

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Today’s backstage tour started with a Q&A period. Then they split the group into 4 groups that rotated through stations: stage, backstage, lighting booth, and sound booth. I did not take many pics, as @twangster featured this tour before on one of his previous blogs. It was similar and D12 enjoying seeing all the parts that need to work together for a production to happen. 

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It was brought up in @Matt‘s scope about a week ago if there was any difference between Grease on Harmony vs. Indy. A few nights ago, I thought some minor scenes were missing and today they confirmed that there are slight differences. This is mainly due to the fact that OA class ships are larger and therefore have more storage space for props and additional sets. 

D10 and Hubby went to the Skypad while we were at the backstage tour. They both had reservations for 11am. This is where I am going to vent a bit. They waited in line for one hour! That was with reservations! That is ridiculous. Royal needs to do something about that or come up with a better system. Same with the MDR line. I can understand if someone did not have reservations and had to wait that long but it is aggravating to have to spend that long in line if you planned ahead. 

At noon we went to watch the Belly Flop by the pool and I was once again reminded of how much better it is to watch at the Aqua Theatre on OA class ships. Some might disagree but the crowds at one small pool, no instant replay, not broadcasted on the big screen, make it for a less enjoyable experience. I actually hate watching belly flop on non-OA class ships but Hubby and the girls wanted to go. The girls and I left halfway through as it was too frustrating for both kids to see beyond the crowds. Jamie (CD) was excellent again at this event. 

Spending the afternoon wandering. Going to redeem our free Diamond photo and hang out on Promenade for a bit. The dreaded packing awaits. 

Oh and this showed up ?

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29 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

At noon we went to watch the Belly Flop by the pool and I was once again reminded of how much better it is to watch at the Aqua Theatre on OA class ships. Some might disagree but the crowds at one small pool, no instant replay, not broadcasted on the big screen, make it for a less enjoyable experience.

Huh, we have watched the competition on both the Harmony and Symphony and both were at the Sports Pool.  I didn't know they ever had it at the Aqua Theater.

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6 minutes ago, cbnsoul said:

Huh, we have watched the competition on both the Harmony and Symphony and both were at the Sports Pool.  I didn't know they ever had it at the Aqua Theater.

Hmm...now I am confused. On all 3 OA class ship that we have sailed it was at the aqua theatre. Well, I will soon be able to report from Harmony in about 2 months.

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

A few nights ago, I thought some minor scenes were missing and today they confirmed that there are slight differences. This is mainly due to the fact that OA class ships are larger and therefore have more storage space for props and additional sets. 

Thanks for checking!

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7 minutes ago, Susie said:

How is it? Do you like it? My favorite Martini.?

It was good. I normally prefer the French martini but this was very refreshing. 

4 minutes ago, KaB said:

Thanks for this blog! I'm normally a lurker and recall when you had your YOLO moment for this cruise. I've enjoyed following along. Especially peaking in on life in diamond lounge. I know what I want to be when I grow up ?

Lol. I just told two pinnacles in the elevator last night that I want to be like them! ?

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48 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I just told two pinnacles in the elevator last night that I want to be like them

Uhh, the pinnacles I've encountered on past cruises are old, grey haired, very wrinkly skinned with walkers and scooters. You sure you want to be part of that crowd? (just kidding of course). :3_grin: 

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28 minutes ago, rjac said:

Uhh, the pinnacles I've encountered on past cruises are old, grey haired, very wrinkly skinned with walkers and scooters. You sure you want to be part of that crowd? (just kidding of course). :3_grin: 

? If I can be grey haired and still cruising, I’ll take it! And these ones did not have walkers or scooters ?

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Dinner Night 5: 

Surprisingly the MDR line was not long at all and dinner only took an hour and fifteen minutes. The waiter we had tonight was probably the best we had the entire cruise. Too bad we only found him tonight.

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I am pretty done with MDR. The food was barely warm tonight. I was excited for the coconut shrimp and it was disappointing. Most of it wasn’t even breaded and you could barely taste the coconut.  Everything else was just average.

Coconut Shrimp:

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Caesar salad:

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Fish & Chips:

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Spaghetti Bolognese:

I thought of @Matt as I ate this.

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Chocolate brownie:

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Cheesecake:

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Chocolate cake:

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After dessert, our waiter mentioned the post cruise survey. I actually asked this time how we are suppose to answer that question, the one asking if you were approached or not by a crew member to give a good rating.  There have been some threads here around that topic.  He said he was not aware that there was a question like that, but he did say that they are encouraged by their supervisors and management to mention the survey and state that a good rating is important to them. 

After dinner, we went back to the Diamond lounge to say our goodbyes to Hailey. Of all the crew members that we encountered, she is the one that stands out the most, and the one that we will miss the most. Those who have Diamond lounge access and will be sailing Indy soon, please tell Hailey that Sabrina and family miss her.  She is headed back to Ovation after her contract ends on Indy.

 

 

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Final Thoughts:

As I mentioned in a post by @twangster a few days ago, 2018 has been a great cruising year for us. After sailing mainly OA class for the last few years, we had a chance to revisit Voyager class and try out Quantum and Freedom Class.  I am, without a doubt, still an OA class girl.  There is simply no comparison.  Nothing comes close. My heart belongs to that class of ship. 

Indy is a great ship. Would I sail her again? Yes!  Will I? Maybe not. But that is because Hubby doesn’t like to sail the same ship in a short period of time. He already thought with this cruise that it was too similar to Mariner. So, we may not end up keeping our booking for next New Years. Time will tell.

Other than the MDR, I have no real complaints. The crew for the most part was friendly. The stateroom attendants seemed a bit overworked but they still took the time to acknowledge you while passing. The lines at the pool bars were long most days. The WJ crew was one of the friendliest I have encountered in a while on any cruise. Special shout out to the WJ “washy washy guys”. They turned that wash your hands song into a show every day. I will post a video when I get home. D12 has one on her device. 

The revitalization, IMO, was most definitely a step in the right direction. My kids loved the pools, sides, etc. and feedback from the Playmakers scope was that it is in a great location and is huge as a venue. The ship is showing her age in small areas like the chipped tiles and worn out chairs. I really wished they updated their furniture (couches and chairs) and curtains in the cabins. That really dates the ship. Like Mariner, only the newly added staterooms received new items.  But she was clean and functional for the most part. 

While I do not regret the stateroom that we booked, I did not care for it either. The additional space was nice but I completely hated the bathroom. For me that is a deal breaker. And I really missed not having a balcony. So for @WAAAYTOOO@bellemiche,  @Boston Babe, and anyone else wondering, I have not left the suite snob club. Hubby is out of luck. His plan did not work. 

Once again, thank you all so much for following along. Blogging is so much more fun when you all are with me. And for people wondering if that consumes too much of my vacation time, it does not. I just don’t read anymore on a cruise. I blog instead. I have plenty of time to read back at home. I consider this relaxing and enjoyable. 

That’s all for now. I will report back on the disembarkation process tomorrow. We have never had issues at Terminal 18 so hopefully that is the case again tomorrow.

The countdown is finally on for our next adventure, and possibly the best cruise of my entire life...

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67 days to go!! It’s Genie time! Excited is an understatement. 

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Disembarkation notes:

Sitting at FLL as I write this.

Lyft Plus to FLL $18.62

Ship to curb - 30min exactly.

Walking off the ship was a breeze. Same as every time we have disembarked from Port Everglades. Zero wait. The wait time came at customs. In the past, with suites, there is a separate area for suites customs. This morning I looked and there was not. Not that we would have qualified anyway this cruise, but basically that meant that everyone was passing through one area. Still not a bad wait but not as fast as previous cruises. We have done curb to ship in about 10-15min before at PE. 

Waiting for our flight back to DTW now. So far it’s on time. Our igloo awaits. 

Thanks again for following. You guys are awesome! 

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