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TheHobbys

Anthem of the Seas, June 6, 9-night Bermuda (OL-8720 SC)

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Countdown days - 7  (or maybe I can say 6, since 'technically' we leave next Wednesday)  With all the excitement building about the cruise, it's hard to try and not get started packing.  Yeah, that mean we wouldn't have much to wear until next week.  #DirtyClothes   

Well, the house has been cleaned - a few times - since we can't do our packing, might as well clean, huh.   I think I've picked up / moved / rearranged the empty suitcases a few times now.

We decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson thanks to some of that cash back stuff on one of our credit cards.  It is a little further from the port than I like, but we plan to do some walking around NY.  When we cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, the only walking we do is to the Starbucks and back  😎  Only downside to this place is that there isn't a SB within walking distance.

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Would love to hear what you’ve asked the Genie to do/not do and any special requests. Still ~500 days out from our first star class room but am living vicariously till then through other people. 

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Hey @Andrew72681 - here's some of our requests to our genie  🙂  Our requests to the genie are probably minimal compared to others.  We tend to be easy going but enjoy having our genie make sure that we can experience all the activities that could be challenging to get to.  I'm sure there will be other requests once we get on board that we might have, but for now this is all we have communicated with Yen - our genie.  We did mention what drinks / snacks each of us prefer and to have those stocked in our room.

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Activities

If possible, we would like to schedule a behind-the-scenes of some of the shows for our daughter.  Since she’s been in theater all during middle school and will be working on theater in high school, it would be really cool for her to see some of what the professionals go through before performing.  We tried a tour of one on the Allure a few years ago, but didn’t get to talk to any of the entertainers – so it was just a plain tour.

Our son may be interested in something that would show how the mechanical stuff works for some of the venues.  Such as, how the Two-70’s work or how the robot drink maker works.

Other activities we want to make sure to do:  Flying trapeze, bumper cars, iFly during the first at sea day, escape room, Northstar on embarkation day, we'll defer to your recommendation for the shows, roller skating, Carrie/John for adult comedy, sushi class (all of us)

Dining

John and Carrie want to do the Chef’s table and Wonderland.  Early dining time for these two would be ok.

·       Monday – plan for a reservation at Jamie’s (we have an excursion but then want to hit a few shops in St. Maarten before getting back on board)

·       Tuesday - It appears that lobster night is in the Coastal Kitchen

Our daughter is a vegetarian, so need to make sure there’s always a non-meat option for her.

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We did ask if there was a way to be able to do the escape room with another star class family, but this may be something we'll have to arrange once we get on board.  I'm hoping the kids will meet some cool other kids that maybe we could hook up with their family to do the escape room.  I read in a post somewhere (might have been on FB) that another SC cruiser would 'pay-it-forward' to another family they met on their cruise.  Basically, they would meet another nice family and then treat them to something special that only the genie would be able to pull off.  Something like dinner from a specialty restaurant in our suite so they wouldn't have to pay for it.

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1 hour ago, TheHobbys said:

We did ask if there was a way to be able to do the escape room with another star class family, but this may be something we'll have to arrange once we get on board.  I'm hoping the kids will meet some cool other kids that maybe we could hook up with their family to do the escape room.

This is one of the things we’ll be hoping for as well. Our 8 year old has wanted to do the one on Harmony and on Navigator but can’t because of the age limit. An age limit doesn’t seem to make much sense as I’m sure she could outperform some of the adults we saw go in who already looked half in the bag from a day of drinking.

By our time on Oasis we’ll have a 8,10, and 12 year old in the room. 

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Have you considered where you want to eat lunch on embarkation day ?  I only mention this b/c now with the Key, lunch reservations are much more "complicated" than they used to be.  I recommend that you let Yen know what you want to do for embarkation lunch so that she can make sure you get your preference.

I will offer one more observation.  You mentioned something about perhaps having a dinner party in your suite.  We had a party in our suite on our Anthem B2B and I will offer a rare criticism of Yen.  It is really the only area where I found she fell short, compared to other Genies we have had.  Her party-organizing skills are rudimentary.  For example.  We have held the same exact party on 3 different ships with 3 different Genies - a Cruise Critic Cabin Crawl.  For the one that Reyno organized for us (Harmony), the party was a smashing success.  He ordered the meat planks from Jamie's and they came beautifully assembled on the planks with bread, condiments, peppers, olives, a beautiful selection of sweets, treats and desserts...the whole 9 yards.  The same for the party that Sebastian did for us on Harmony.  When the meat planks came for our Anthem party, it was pitiful.  The meat was on plates, not planks, no condiments, no BREAD for God's sake, no peppers or olives, no desserts or anything else.  Now perhaps my criticism is improperly placed...it may not have been Yen's fault HOWEVER, she did not even bother to come by and see if everything was ok.  IMO, it was NOT ok.  As I said in an earlier post, Yen is very, very literal.  She will do exactly what you ask, nothing more, nothing less.  Just be SURE that you think ahead and make sure that you ask for exactly what you want and make sure she understands.  I loved her as a Genie.  She was energetic, personal and professional...but a party planner, she is not.

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@WAAAYTOOO, we really enjoy the CK for breakfast and lunches, so that'll be our first stop for lunch on embarkation day.  I remember you mentioning that she is very literal, so may have to spell out exactly what we want.  The party in our suite is a possibility only if we find another family that we hit it off with and decide to host them.  But will keep your thoughts in mind  🙂 

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On 5/29/2019 at 2:42 PM, Andrew72681 said:

This is one of the things we’ll be hoping for as well. Our 8 year old has wanted to do the one on Harmony and on Navigator but can’t because of the age limit. An age limit doesn’t seem to make much sense as I’m sure she could outperform some of the adults we saw go in who already looked half in the bag from a day of drinking.

By our time on Oasis we’ll have a 8,10, and 12 year old in the room. 

Hey Andrew.  Our oldest two will be 10 and 8 for the November 8, 2020 sailing.  Message me about it on our roll call group and maybe we can get our genies to coordinate something for all of us.

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3 hours ago, Tiffeven said:

Hey Andrew.  Our oldest two will be 10 and 8 for the November 8, 2020 sailing.  Message me about it on our roll call group and maybe we can get our genies to coordinate something for all of us.

Definitely.  

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You ever wake up way to early in the morning?  Brain kicking in before coffee?  I mean, geez.  oh well, so fine - I had to turn the coffee on at 5am on a flipping Saturday.  After grabbing my coffee, I sit down at the computer and work on bills.  Since it's the first of the month, everyone needed to get paid.  Basically, I was just making sure all payments went out on time and the monthly bills were covered.  Oh, and since we won't be back till the middle of the month, I had to go ahead schedule the middle of the month bills also.  Yeah, don't forget to do that.  

Anyways, let's catch you up.  We are just around 3 days to go before heading out to the cruise.  A month or so ago we ordered new luggage (Sears had a sale).  It's been sitting in the living room ever since taunting us to pack.  I'm not like #CoughCough @Lovetocruise2002 or @Matt who probably leave their suitcases packed year-round  😎   but hey, at least we actually have been putting stuff next to the suitcases over the past month.  Ok, ok - back to my story ...

After multiple times of counting clothes and items  (um, how many underwear do we need) I was finally able to actually pack the 'guys' suitcase.  Yeah, girls pack their own - ha.  This cruise is a little different for us, as we are coming in the day before into a new city, staying at a hotel that is a little further away from the port than normal, navigating a new terminal and on top of all that - we are cruising for 9 nights instead of our normal 7.  All of this means a few more clothes, well maybe.  Actually not really, since, as us guys can wear the same thing multiple times.  Wait, don't think that - shame on ya'll.  We have access to the laundry on board  😄  woot  #StarClass    Yeah, not sure the girls will do the same.

See - our luggage isn't that bad.  And yes, all those clothes I fit into that suitcase  #GoArmyRolls  oh - suitcase and all those clothes weigh only 38 lbs.  I had to borrow the neighbors scale to weigh it.  Traveling Southwest, each bag can't weigh more that 50 lbs.  On a prior cruise, we had to 'rearrange' some clothes from our big suitcase because it was like 60 lbs and transfer some to another suitcase.  Was a little awkward sitting on the curb opening and moving stuff around in front of everyone.  #ShameOnUs  But we needed to do that to avoid getting hit with an extra charge.  Yup, won't let that happen again.

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It's just the clothes that went into that big case, I'll pack the medium case with all the other 'stuff'.  Toiletries, shoes, snorkel gear, etc.  Here's just a quick shot of the 'guys' version of toiletries #Simple #Minimal.  Those are portable battery charges in the top left next to the underwater camera.  Most of our stuff is meant to just be for travel, meaning, I don't really want to bring it home - if there's just a little left, it gets tossed.  Under the camera are some magnet clips for the walls.  Oh, and can't forget extra zip top bags.  All the toiletry stuff goes into zip top bags, just in case one decides to leak.  Found the cool snorkel gear at Costco, so we picked up one for each of us.

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Oh, and the girls stuff you ask?  I'm guessing this is all they are packing??  How is it that the guys stuff looks like a lot more crap?  Meh

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For now, we are sorta 'pre-packed'.  Hoping I don't have to dig anything out because now I have nothing left to wear.  It's amazing when you actually pack for a long trip you realize just how many underwear you truly have.

 

Anyways, tomorrow will be another day of fiddling around with checking stuff for the um-tenth time to make sure I don't forget anything.  Which, in all honesty, I'll end up with stuff that we won't even touch - but hey, at least we have it just in case.

 

As I've mentioned before, we are rolling in Star Class.  After pouring over multiple threads about other cruisers adventures with their genies, we wanted to pickup something neat for our genie.  My better half found this cute diddy bag (ok, so it's a makeup bag, but it's still technically a diddy bag).  She also found some little pampering type things we hope she'll like.  If not, she can regift it to her next cruisers - lol.  Hey - it's the thought, right?  So - those of you looking to see what others do for their genie, here's our version.

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Ok, it's late and my blogging brain is running dry.  I forgot to take a picture of my planning folder, so I'll try and remember to do that tomorrow and toss it out here.  When traveling, I have to have my folder with all the registration printouts.  Helps me make sure I'm not missing anything.  But - more on that soon.

 

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Yawn - blink, blink.  Another early morning.  You would think my body would be used to this by now.  The early waking up.  I would blame it on my 'age' ... ha

With coffee slowly kicking in this morning and bills handled yesterday, I got a little time to toss out some more random thoughts.  With 'technically' 4 days to go before getting on the cruise, seems like RCL is struggling to get some of their top rooms filled.  I mean, sure, I wouldn't mind the RLS - but when you only give me $1200 as a starting bid pp, yeah, I'll pass.  I think this is the third email about this I've gotten over the past month.  If we bid, it would only be at the $1200 - which IF we got it would cost us an extra $2400 for the cruise.  Probably not that bad since this is a 9-night cruise.  I just don't think we would do the RLS justice  🙂  We'll let another family enjoy it.  

 

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Oh yeah, I said I was going to take some pictures of my travel folder.  Now granted, it may not be as fancy as some of ya'lls but it keeps me a little more organized.  After 12 yrs in the Army NG, I've had a hard time NOT wanting to be somewhere early - especially, when traveling.  I've even got my better half now used to showing up to movies early - lol.  Though my 14 yr daughter is now starting to #DragA**  o_0   Sorry, side-tracked.  Hang on - let me go take a picture and get more coffee ......

Miss me?  probably not, but oh well.

 Without getting too close to my secret paperwork 😎  I have two folders.  The one on the left has:

* Parking confirmation (place for the car while we are gone)

* Southwest confirmation (yup, this would be the flight)

* Hotel confirmation (imagine that)

* Cruise - set sail passes (see a pattern here?)

The one on the right has all the 'other' stuff.  This includes a map of San Juan, dinner menus, TA information for next cruise booking and more notes about islands.  I usually don't keep all the stuff in the second folder, but I do keep everything from the first folder.  

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Well, second round of coffee is almost gone, and it's late ( 7am ) guess I need to get motivated to do something around the house.  Maybe I'll unpack the guys suitcase and repack it - ha.

 

 

 

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Just now, WannaCruise said:

Wow...and I thought I was organized.  Love your packing prep!

Only a few days and you'll be on Anthem!

I consider it something to do to take the anticipation off just waiting around for the cruise - lol.  But, for me, it's also a really good way to reference what we did in the past.

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On 5/29/2019 at 7:20 AM, TheHobbys said:

We decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson thanks to some of that cash back stuff on one of our credit cards.  It is a little further from the port than I like, but we plan to do some walking around NY.  When we cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, the only walking we do is to the Starbucks and back  😎  Only downside to this place is that there isn't a SB within walking distance.

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I work in one of the buildings to the left in this photo -- there is certainly a Starbucks within walking distance of the hotel.  It's across the street from the Gregory's Coffee, just walk a little south past the PATH station to Exchange Place.

Let me know if you need any other Jersey City advice!  Enjoy your cruise, looking forward to reading about it!

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@karl_nj, working out routes right now on things to visit.  planning to go see the 911 memorial, maybe try and get to China town and jump the ferry to loop around liberty island.  won't have much time to do a lot.  thanks for the advise offer 🙂  

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@TheHobbys...two suggestions...Packing cubes (more room for the girls) and OneNote.  Imagine all those files of yours in the palm of your hand. 😉

 

ha - we have packing cubes, i mean zip top bags 😎   I've thought about OneNote.  already use that for a lot of work related stuff.  might have to reconsider that.  I'll probably have to go back through this blog and pull stuff out to put into Word/ON for reference on our cruise next year.

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1 minute ago, TheHobbys said:

ha - we have packing cubes, i mean zip top bags 😎   I've thought about OneNote.  already use that for a lot of work related stuff.  might have to reconsider that.  I'll probably have to go back through this blog and pull stuff out to put into Word/ON for reference on our cruise next year.

I love OneNote for travel/cruise stuff.  Totally eliminated the need for paper and printing and I have access to it all the time.

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1 hour ago, TheHobbys said:

@karl_nj, working out routes right now on things to visit.  planning to go see the 911 memorial, maybe try and get to China town and jump the ferry to loop around liberty island.  won't have much time to do a lot.  thanks for the advise offer 🙂  

Sounds good, how do you plan to get from Jersey City to Manhattan?  PATH train or NY Waterway Ferry?  The train is cheaper, and gets you a bit further into Manhattan, but isn't as scenic.

 

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1 minute ago, karl_nj said:

Sounds good, how do you plan to get from Jersey City to Manhattan?  PATH train or NY Waterway Ferry?  The train is cheaper, and gets you a bit further into Manhattan, but isn't as scenic.

@karl_nj, how is the timing of the PATH from where he'll be in Jersey City to Wall St. station, vs. the time needed for the Waterway? I used to ride the PATH all the time, but only from Hoboken to Grove St. station in Jersey City; very seldom needed to ride from Grove to Wall St. station. Will @TheHobbys need to switch trains at Exchange Place like I seem to remember doing from Grove, or will they have more of an "express" ride?

Just thinking about the comment he made that they don't have a lot of time, so if the PATH can save them a decent chunk of time on the round trip vs. the Waterway, that's probably their best bet. Just have to deal with the stink that sometimes shows up down in those stations. 😜

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Just now, TheHobbys said:

Planning on PATH train from exchange place which is next to the hotel over to the world trade center - then meander around from there.

Oh, never mind my previous post then! Exchange to World Trade (what I was calling Wall St., since that's where I'd have to walk) is a straight run with no other stops.

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2 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Oh, never mind my previous post then! Exchange to World Trade (what I was calling Wall St., since that's where I'd have to walk) is a straight run with no other stops.

Yup, one stop.  Runs pretty often, takes about 4 minutes.  During the morning rush it's hard to actually fit on the train at that station, but calms down after that.

5 minutes ago, TheHobbys said:

Planning on PATH train from exchange place which is next to the hotel over to the world trade center - then meander around from there.

Sounds like a good plan.  There is some sort of construction going on at that station right now, but it should be OK during the week.  I think most of it is occurring on weekends.

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