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Keepin' It (Star) Classy: Anthem Edition


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On 4/18/2019 at 8:04 AM, SweetPea said:

 



Plus, the secret to a happy, successful marriage? Separate bathrooms. We don't share a bathroom at home. If we can help it, we don't like to share while on vacation either; hence our suite life propensity.

 

 

Following and same. Thanks to you I just changed cabins from 10320 to 10324. Now hubby has a bigger shower in his bathroom. 

Glad to know I’m not the only one that needs my separate bathroom at home and on vacation. 

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20 hours ago, Dolls123 said:

Following and same. Thanks to you I just changed cabins from 10320 to 10324. Now hubby has a bigger shower in his bathroom. 

Glad to know I’m not the only one that needs my separate bathroom at home and on vacation. 

A girl after my own ❤️. Batman will also be using the downstairs shower, lol. 

That split bath downstairs was just odd in the corner rooms. 

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Part III, Onboard Planning

 

Wait, what? Being a Havenite on Norwegian and being Star Class on Royal are 2 completely different things when it comes to booking reservations for onboard activities and dining.

On Norwegian, at about 45 or so days out, you get a generic welcome letter and your luggage tags from shoreside concierge with their contact info. NCL shoreside concierge tends to be hit or miss. Sometimes they respond straight away. Sometimes it takes a few days. You hardly need them at all though. Most things you can book online yourself or handle directly with the ship concierge or your butler as soon as you board.

On Norwegian, for ships that have the Haven restaurant, you get to show up to eat whenever you feel like it, no reservations required (plus for NCL. Minus for NCL: the Haven menu never changes, though with some advance warning, the kitchen will accommodate your special requests).

When making specialty dining reservations, the NCL system recognizes you have a dining package and you can make these online (as well as show reservations) at 130 days out from sailing (10 days ahead of everyone else) and you are not charged in advance.

The #TeamSuperFOMO dining reservation schedule (regardless of cruise line) is an intricate operation: I give Batman a cruise itinerary with port times and our scheduled activities. I also provide him a list of dining options with the number of meals allotted for specialty dining. Batman then fills in the table of where we are eating when and gets to designate which nights he wants to be “Game Day Decisions” with no strict plans on when we are dining or where. This way, if Batman has made a reservation at a restaurant, and we come back from an excursion that involves day drinking and he hasn’t yet rallied … GUESS WHOSE FAULT THAT IS?! (Genius, you say? Yes, I know! Thanks for noticing!)

Royal’s system doesn’t seem to grasp that you have a dining package and wants to charge you when making the reservation. I understand these charges are refunded onboard.

Sailing Royal Star Class, it took me a bit to figure out that I don’t need to reserve anything other than shorex (and spa appointments, but I avoid spa appointments on the ship like the plague.)  I’m just supposed to wait for the Genie to contact us directly, and we can tell this magical person what we want, and it will all magically be handled.

I was not used to this. I felt like I had nothing to do. Batman actually said to me, “Are you OK? This is a bit left field for you.”

Um, I will figure this out. It will just take me a half second to wrap my head around it.

Batman was a little wary of leaving everything up to the Genie also. (“Does the Genie understand we need downtimes from sit-down dinners?!”). Oh, he will, Batman, he will.

We got our Royal Genie Welcome email on March 28, just about one month shy of sailing. Here our Genie introduced himself and gave us some tidbits.

Our Genie for this sailing is to be Derick. Of course, I did some recon, and it looks like we scored in the Genie department! Guests and crew alike seem to like him and respect him; not a single negative word was uttered. Positives all around. I was happy that were teamed up. Now, let’s see if the poor chap will feel the same way about us, after Batman’s survey responses …

If you want to see the shows, Derick recommended dining between 5:30p-6p or after 7:45p.  He also sent along weight, height, and age restrictions for the various ship activities, found here:

Screenshot_20190329-183050_Email.thumb.jpg.76ac8ac99a0a98ad632e480e78ebe102.jpg

He recommended arriving at the port between 9:30a and 10:30a. That is just not happening for us. We like to eeeeease into vacation and awaking at 7a for an 8a car service pickup doesn’t rank high on our list of fun.

I was eager to respond to Derick (esp after Batman’s survey), and thanks to Sabrina (@Lovetocruise2002), I knew I could ask for PDFs of menus, so we would know which nights we’d like to eat where.

In my response, I told Derick very briefly that although we are new to Royal after 11 years, we are very experienced cruisers. I think cruises for first-time/inexperienced cruisers and seasoned ones are quite different.  I hoped this would help him understand that we can skip all the things like the port and shopping talks, the gym tours, etc. All those newby things you do on cruises 1-3, but maybe not on cruise 31.

I also told Derick that there were 3 easy ways to keep us happy:

  1. No unsolicited disturbances before 11:30a if he could help facilitate that. (After all, “awake” and “up” are 2 very different states of the morning for us.) Thank you @WAAAYTOOO
  2. Keep Batman watered with Coors Light. (See what I did there: water/Coors Light? Yeah, we have his and her separate beer drawers in the fridge at home. We do not open each other’s drawers, even when desperate. I’m of the opinion that you could put some caramel food coloring in carbonated water, and Batman could not tell the difference.)
  3. We are happiest sitting at a lively bar with good bartenders and then coming back to the room for late night comfort foods, primarily foods that anyone the age of 50 or pushing it should not be eating. If he could make bar recommendations based on that and tell us how to best handle our late-night feedings, that would rate on the scale of Super Awesome.

 

It did not take Derick long to respond, but I will break up this post for now. 😊

 

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Ladies & Gentlemen:

 

It's habbening! 

 

We had a bet. Batman lost. 

 

His pound of flesh? 

 

Donating a kidney to a stranger. 

 

I'm kidding. That's just what he's acting like. 

 

This cruise marks the start of flip flop season. 

 

I'm making Batman get a pedicure. 

 

To all my fellow shipmates: You're welcome. 

 

At times, my nickname isn't entirely ironic. I've arranged for my nail tech to open shop an hour early so Batman will be the only one there. Excuse me a moment while I accept my Wife of the Year award. 

 

This is exactly his first pedicure. If he started going when I asked, maybe we wouldn't be at Chernobyl levels. But I'm hoping this gets us to a mere "Clean up in Aisle 6."

He thinks he's calling my bluff by threatening to get lime green nail polish. 

 

Little does he know that I'm up early to go with him and make sure he doesn't plant himself in his car in some abandoned parking lot for an hour while he pretends to humor me...

(Sweet Lord Jesus in Heaven, I ask for many things, but this is most important: Please never let Batman find this blog.) 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

He will probably love the pedicure.  Dan will get one every so often but he draws the line at even clear polish. 

He secretly did love it. He won't admit it, but he did. My nail tech did the full spa Volcano pedi. I'm jealous. Even I have not done that! 

 

No polish, of course, but I'm happy to report we're down to Defcon 2. 

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Tales from newfound Pen Pals: SweetPea and Derick

For being #TeamSuperFOMO, we are fussy eaters. Don’t get me wrong. We love to eat. But the list of things we will not eat is quite long. Batman’s tastes haven’t really evolved from his 10-year-old self. Among his favorite foods: peanut butter, Mac n cheese, French fries, rice, chicken tenders. And while I have a much more diverse palate, I hate foods by texture. I’m going to make a horrible old person. To any of my family reading this when I’m 97, please forego putting my food in a blender and go straight to a feeding tube. Or throw me off the proverbial cliff. Either way.

What I'm trying to tell you is that this will not be the blog for you if you're a foodie. 

Requesting the Coastal Kitchen (CK) menus really went a long way into helping which nights we wanted to schedule there. I know everyone raves about the filet on night one. I do like a tender filet, but that bed of potato puree it sits on freaks me right the hell out, & I don’t like to make a pest of myself right off the bat. One must eeeease her way into high maintenance territory.

Anyway, here is some friendly advice from Derick:

As for your dining time, I recommend after 7:45pm and there is a two-fold reason for that. Firstly, the early shows finish by 7:30pm and you will get to the dining venue only after that and Secondly, guests who go in for dinner at 530pm are just finishing dinner by 730pm and it takes at least 15 minutes to reset the table, so you will not have to wait too long for a table to be ready.

Fortunately, we also have the option of eating in-suite. This requires some notice, but Derick will set this up for us if we wish. I don’t really see us having dinners in the room though on this short cruise. Maybe some lunch. Who knows what we’ll be in the mood for. We’re both just grateful unlimited Johnny Rockets is included. And Brass & Brock (formerly Michael's Pub). Pub Food is awesome. Except for pot pies. And bangers and mash. Because … yuck.

After some back and forth, Derick has set our dining. I think we will probably skip lunch on the first day and do Chops for dinner. This may turn out to be a bad idea with the dining package they offer where you can do Chops or Jamie’s on the first night. But we’ll see. I’ll certainly let you all know. We have precisely zero interest in Wonderland (entirely too adventurous and seemingly gimmicky... I know I'm a bit off, but I've watched videos of Wonderland and my teeth grit every time I watch someone paint the menu). And we are not sushi or hibachi peeps either. 

We have also opted to do North Star while in Bermuda. And for all of you on the itinerary that includes Boston, please note that the North Star is not available during our stay there due the port’s proximity to Logan Airport. Too bad the FAA frowns on this. We could’ve had a North Star/Maho Beach smackdown to see which is more thrilling. :13_upside_down:

BTW, I also pushed my luck to see if they had bleu cheese stuffed olives on board. I like my dirty martinis bordering on filthy, and these are always the perfect complement. Derick said he could get me bleu cheese and he could get me olives. But the “stuffing” might be more than they can manage. (For any of my Havenites following along, you know that you can order bleu cheese from your butler. Your butler will either deliver it to you or directly to the bar, and the Haven bartenders will stuff you some olives. I eased my way into high maintenance territory on NCL long ago...) This isn’t an issue, of course. I already have 2 jars of bleu cheese stuffed olives packed. :17_heart_eyes:

And, as far as our bar habits and late-night feedings, Derick offered this sage advice:

You can let me know your comfort late night snacks and I will have room service deliver it at a particular time each night. You can mix and match on a daily basis, just do let me know by evening of that day, either through call or email. Also will highly recommend schooner bar, if you like live soft music or Two70 bar for something quieter.

To be honest, I think we will really be missing O’Sheehan’s and Howl at the Moon from our usual Norwegian haunting grounds. But we shall see!

And Derick’s further info for entertainment:

I will arrange for the production shows and headliner shows too, which are guest entertainers. There are no reservations required for the first day and also for the late night adult comedies. Also you can let me know when you will like to get a go at the Bumper Cars, during scheduled hours.

Of course, I snuck in a question of my own, hoping to get an idea for a small gift as seems to be the custom:

Finally, a Genie “survey” question for you, if you will: Where are you from, and what do you miss most about home? :)

 I am from Mumbai, India. I miss my wife and our 1 year old puppy....and of course my parents, nephews and nieces.

So sweet. That didn’t exactly give me ideas, but someone on the Star Class cruisers page on FB did, and it’s all wrapped and ready to go. 😊

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48 minutes ago, SweetPea said:

To be honest, I think we will really be missing O’Sheehan’s and Howl at the Moon from our usual Norwegian haunting grounds. But we shall see!

Now you’ve got the thought of an open faced turkey and wings from Osheehan’s (or whatever the new name is now after Sheehan was showed the door) 

If there’s a Stowaway Piano player on Anthem that’s a good substitute for dueling pianos. And great fun when someone opens the elevator and it’s full of people singing. 

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1 hour ago, SweetPea said:

You can let me know your comfort late night snacks and I will have room service deliver it at a particular time each night. You can mix and match on a daily basis, just do let me know by evening of that day, either through call or email.

WARNING!  This was the killer!  More than one month later, I still have pounds that I have not lost yet thanks to those late night snacks! 🤣

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48 minutes ago, SweetPea said:

And we got what I believe is our last pre-cruise email from my new BFF, advising us of our drop off location when we arrive at the port, which is Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal, Zone 6. :17_heart_eyes:

We shall be onboard 48 hours from now. 🍾🥂🍺

Don’t let those mother-scratchers take your luggage !  You may have to fight them but keep your luggage with you until AFTER you check in with the SC greeter.  They will try and fool you by making you think they are SC porters but don’t fall for it !

😖😖

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Also, Derick has a standing order for a spicy Bloody Mary with bacon for my 11:30 "breakfast." 

 

@Dolls123, were you asking if you could put suitcases under the bed? The answer is yes if small, but they keep being under there.

 

@WAAAYTOOO, we have Jesus as our room steward. He sounds familiar from your blog. 

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