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Andrew72681

Navigating to CocoCay May 17th-20th 2019

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The months I’ve spent stressing out over CocoCay being open in time are now officially over. We’re now 10 days from our cruise on Navigator of the Seas. As our first RCCL Cruise was on Harmony we’ll see how a smaller “Amped” ship handles my expectations. 

 

We’ll cover one particular aspect of the trip each day till departing (Ship, Room, plans etc..) 

Since @Matt added this cruise does this count as my first group cruise 😜

 

Now to get through the next 10 days. 

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Once we started to hear of the upgrades being placed on Navigator during its Dry-Dock we decided we had to give it a try. With a week long cruise this past December, another one this December, and a land based week this July we knew we wouldn’t be able to squeeze in another long cruise. We’ve also used up my daughter’s week of “vacation” from school. This left us with the three day itineraries that just started on Navigator. As we’ve done the three night on Norwegian Sky before this cruise should be leaps and bounds above that ship. Once we settled on a date I called the Club Royale/Mlife Rewards partner number to book the sailing. As many have learned, dealing with the casino program is a struggle on a good day, trying to explain partner benefits is an even bigger challenge. After way too much time explaining, my Mlife number had been added and my $125 OBC credit had been added to my account.

 

9 More Days

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8 days to go

The Ship- When Navigator’s upgrades were first announced it became clear I needed to try this one out. As all my recent cruises have been on big and new ships this would be a chance to see if smaller ships work for our family. The last time I was on a short cruise on an older ship it was pretty much an unmitigated disaster. Too many college kids, ship with no amenities, and I managed to dislocate my kneecap while on the “lazy” river at Atlantis (I’m sure that place is cursed.)

Having a young daughter waterslides are pretty much a must, which up until recently were tough to find on Royal Caribbean Ships, and even more so on smaller ships. Well, that changes with Navigator. I won’t rehash all the details @matt has thoughtfully laid out over the last few months, but the Blaster and the Riptide are right up our alley. 

The Bamboo room and To Dry For are also sure to be hits with my wife and daughter as even the Punny names of the styles and drinks had them laughing the other day. 

Our one concern is whether Navigator can handle the crowds on a completely full sailing. One thing we noticed on Harmony was that the wider ship made a bug difference around the pool deck. Currently no rooms are available today and that probably won’t change as they’ve added select media members and luminaries 😜to the sailing.

 

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28 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Oh, I'm with you on that!  #NotALeafsFan

I do love that pic with you and family and the Cup.

Split household? Just don’t say you’re a Canadian Penguins fan. 

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7-Ports

Not much to say for a three night cruise. But there’s one important thing..... Perfect Day at CocoCay. Really the only reason for booking this sailing was that we were pretty sure we’d be there not long after the second phase of CocoCay was opened. When Matt posted the updated timeline and that he’d be part of a media sailing, we knew we’d be safe. 

We’ll be spending Saturday at CocoCay, including a few bonus hours that they tacked on last weekend. A new 8pm departure means plenty of time for fun in the Sun and dusk on the island. 

After CocoCay we’re heading off to the cruise port that everyone has been to a million times, Nassau. There’s nothing that hasn’t  already been said about Nassau, whether good or bad. 

 

There’s no Number 7 Jersey so will go with the double 7.

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7 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

How does THAT happen???

Very carefully 😝

During the rapids portion a kid in front of me fell off his tube. I was about to bowl them over to hopped off and and the wave took me right into one of the boulders that channels the waves. 

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-6 Excursions

With only two stops and one being Nassau we only purchased one excursion through Royal Caribbean. 

On CocoCay we went back and forth between a Cabana and the thrill waterpark full day pass. As everything is new to us at CocoCay we decided the full day Thrill Waterpark pass was our best bet as Addie (8) is a huge fan of waterslides. Also, since we got a tall kid she’s more than tall enough for all of the slides. She’s most excited about the DareDevil’s Peak slide, my wife on the other hand is not quite as excited about it. 

For our day in Nassau we’re using an old points trick I normally reserve for Atlantis. As a frequent traveler we’re lucky to have large stashes of points. Normally I use Marriott points for a day stay at Atlantis. We go “check-in” when the ship docks, they say the room isn’t ready then we get our wristbands and go on our way. 40k Marriott points is a much better deal than 150-200 per person as an excursion. 

This time though we’re trying a place that at this time doesn’t offer day passes which hopefully means a bit quieter and more subdued. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar looks like a beautiful property and has only been open for about a year. It’s only 20,000 World of Hyatt points which seemed like a steal for the four of us. Hopefully before we have to head back to the ship our room will be ready and I can check it out. 

6 Days to Go

 

 

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5- Room

Since we were such fans of the Junior suite from Harmony we decided we’d head in that direction this time as well. This time we’ll have one more person on Harmony though so the room might be tight. Luckily, it’s a short cruise, so hopefully won’t be too bad. 

We vacillated back and forth between Deck 10 and Deck 7, each had their disadvantages (Deck 10 is below the windjammer and Deck 7 is a partially obstructed view) but we settled on Deck 10. As there’s two early port days, the windjammer noise shouldn’t impact sleep very much. 

In the end we chose room 1394 for this trip, this will be first aft balcony, which hopefully will provide great views as we back into CocoCay on day 2. It’ll also be a tough choice between sail-away on the balcony or on the Helipad.

As the Capitals have retired number 5, we have to take it old school, the “Secretary of Defense” Rod Langway 

 

 

 

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We have room 1388 (corner aft) for our Dec cruise.  It isn't a Jr suite (booo - couldn't talk the shipmates into that price), but we decided we'd love the extra balcony space. I'm looking forward to what your impressions of the impact of the Windjammer are for your location.

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23 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

We have room 1388 (corner aft) for our Dec cruise.  It isn't a Jr suite (booo - couldn't talk the shipmates into that price), but we decided we'd love the extra balcony space. I'm looking forward to what your impressions of the impact of the Windjammer are for your location.

Will be sure to comment on the noise. As our past points from NCL don’t do us any good on RC, the double points that come with the junior suite we’re a factor. 

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As we left Harmony less than thrilled with the Main Dining room options, and weren’t even fully on #TeamCK (I know blasphemy) we decided on a short cruise it was definitely time for the Ultimate Dining Package. Since we’ve booked the package has been updated to the Unlimited Dining Package. Overall, that won’t change much for us besides maybe getting some wings from PlayMakers when we come back onboard. Currently our plan is as follows

Day 1- Embarkation lunch at Chop’s and dinner at Jamie’s Italian. Jamie’s was such a big with my eight year old daughter that she tried to plan a trip to London to visit one of the land based locations. 

Day 2- After a very long day at CocoCay, Hooked will be our preferred option. This one gets mixed reviews, so am definitely not ruling out s last minute audible to Izumi (no hibachi on Navigator, just sushi and hot rocks)

Day 3- even though we will have been there on Embarkation Day, we’re planning to head back to Chops for our final dinner onboard.

Now back to packing as I need to have everything ready and in a suite case in case I don’t make it back from Oklahoma City. I’m not sure what I was thinking with planning a trip to tornado alley with a flight that gets me in less than 24 hours from when my flight to Florida leaves. Push come to shove, can always meet the family in Florida and just have my work suitcase as an extra.

As there’s no number 4, we’ll improvise with number 43 both  my wife’s and @Lovetocruise2002 😎 favorite Capital, Tom Wilson

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19 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Actually, Tom Wilson is probably one of the more tolerable ones...😜

Jamie Oleksiak probably thinks otherwise. You must be coming around on Wilson. I think I can on Crosby a bit, but Malkin’s another story. He’s like a Carnival Cruise, everyone says its ok but from the outside it just sucks 

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1 minute ago, Andrew72681 said:

Jamie Oleksiak probably thinks otherwise. You must be coming around on Wilson. I think I can on Crosby a bit, but Malkin’s another story. He’s like a Carnival Cruise, everyone says its ok but from the outside it just sucks 

“Tolerable looking” 😜 That’s all. 

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