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SuperNinja

First Time Star Class!!!

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1 hour ago, SuperNinja said:

ITS STARTING TO GET REAL NOW!!!     So today I received the email from the Genie.   We will have Sunil as our genie for the trip.  Any thoughts, concerns etc that I should be aware of, or expectations that I should have??

Sunil is awesome!  We have didn’t have him as our genie but I have heard nothing but the best about him. In July, on Symphony, we met him, we were just Sky that sailing and he always made time to say hi and check in on us. Totally uncalled for but it spoke volumes of his character when he did that. I think you are in great hands. He is such a personable guy. 

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On 10/4/2019 at 7:20 PM, SuperNinja said:

ITS STARTING TO GET REAL NOW!!!     So today I received the email from the Genie.   We will have Sunil as our genie for the trip.  Any thoughts, concerns etc that I should be aware of, or expectations that I should have??

I have Sunil as my royal genie next week October 12 sailing. His pre-cruise communications are almost non-existent so don’t expect to get much planned with him before boarding. I’ll let you know how he is when we board. 

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Now that I know who the Genie is going to be, when do we start making plans for the various restaurants that we want to go to (whether for lunch or dinner), the items we would like to have in the room, etc?

20 hours ago, Royalnewbie96 said:

I have Sunil as my royal genie next week October 12 sailing. His pre-cruise communications are almost non-existent so don’t expect to get much planned with him before boarding. I’ll let you know how he is when we board. 

Perfect thank you.  Enjoy your cruise!!!  Hopefully his on-board communication and service makes up for any lack prior.

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1 minute ago, SuperNinja said:

Now that I know who the Genie is going to be, when do we start making plans for the various restaurants that we want to go to (whether for lunch or dinner), the items we would like to have in the room, etc?

 

We are 6 days out and he has planned nothing. Or at lease hasn’t communicated those plans or asked us any questions or confirmed any requests except for one for me. 

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1 hour ago, Royalnewbie96 said:

We are 6 days out and he has planned nothing. Or at lease hasn’t communicated those plans or asked us any questions or confirmed any requests except for one for me. 

Check you spam filters

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The only thing you need to worry about at this point is what you want to happen on embarkation day.  You need to tell him when you plan on being at the port and how you want embarkation to go.  We always insist that our luggage remain with us throughout the boarding process and you need to let him know what you want to for lunch on boarding day.  Other than that, you can wait to meet with him to plan the rest of your meals, entertainment, etc.

Do NOT let anyone take your luggage.  Keep it with you.

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9 minutes ago, Royalnewbie96 said:

I have. Every day. The emails I have received from him have never been to spam. 

Might want to reach out and ask for a follow up. I know on Symphony even after a lot pushing I didn't get a tentative plan until the night before boarding.

If you have constraints make them known now.

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I know on my sailings with Genies.....I got an email from them that basically said "hi, here to help with anything" which was basically the first email I got from a Genie about a month out

And I responded directly with places we wanted to eat, stuff we wanted in Labadee etc but I didn't hear from them again until day before when I get an email asking what time I thought I would be at the port...then once on board they handed me a typed up scheduled and said any changes let them know.

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2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The only thing you need to worry about at this point is what you want to happen on embarkation day.  You need to tell him when you plan on being at the port and how you want embarkation to go.  We always insist that our luggage remain with us throughout the boarding process and you need to let him know what you want to for lunch on boarding day.  Other than that, you can wait to meet with him to plan the rest of your meals, entertainment, etc.

Do NOT let anyone take your luggage.  Keep it with you.

Should I just respond back to the introductory email or wait for the next email to come with additional questions?  My plan day 1 is to have light things like fruit  (I’ve seen people with chocolate covered strawberries, that would be nice) and maybe snack type items for the room along with drinks, then we would go to playmakers for lunch.  Any suggestions? ( I’m new at this lol)

 

2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

^^^All I could hear in my head was this as we approached the terminal! 😄

I’ve been thinking this, but still not totally sure on how to do it.  Do I just roll my things into the terminal, or is there someone to grab them for me?

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35 minutes ago, SuperNinja said:

Should I just respond back to the introductory email or wait for the next email to come with additional questions?  My plan day 1 is to have light things like fruit  (I’ve seen people with chocolate covered strawberries, that would be nice) and maybe snack type items for the room along with drinks, then we would go to playmakers for lunch.  Any suggestions? ( I’m new at this lol)

 

I’ve been thinking this, but still not totally sure on how to do it.  Do I just roll my things into the terminal, or is there someone to grab them for me?

I'd probably go ahead and put in your initial requests in response to the introduction email. So far both Genie's I've had really like the "chatty" ones. They might be great at what they do, but they aren't mind readers. More information and requests you can give up front the better.

For luggage, at the terminal you'll see a Star class purple banner/flag. Best thing to do is find terminal personnel near that banner/flag and have them summon a porter. Under no circumstance should you give your bags to a random porter.

For Symphony you'll want to be dropped off by the front doors of Terminal A. Otherwise haul your bags to that point. Personnel will try and divert you to the drop off zone prior to the entrance. Best bet is to have the driver tell them you're Star class and was told to be dropped off at the front entrance.

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7 hours ago, SuperNinja said:

Should I just respond back to the introductory email or wait for the next email to come with additional questions?  My plan day 1 is to have light things like fruit  (I’ve seen people with chocolate covered strawberries, that would be nice) and maybe snack type items for the room along with drinks, then we would go to playmakers for lunch.  Any suggestions? ( I’m new at this lol)

 

I’ve been thinking this, but still not totally sure on how to do it.  Do I just roll my things into the terminal, or is there someone to grab them for me?

+1 for being upfront with all of your requests. Many of the complaints that I have heard come from people having certain expectations in their minds and not being clear about what they want.

As far as the luggage, at most terminals, the second you get out of the vehicle, a porter will try to take your luggage. For Star, we just let them know that we were star, and the curb side porter grabbed another porter who was a star class porter. We waited with our bags until then. We the star class porter came along, we confirmed with him that he was indeed a star class porter and we knew that he was legit when he loaded all our luggage onto a cart and told us to come along with him and the luggage. From there he took us to the star class rep at the terminal.

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I recommend you do not give your luggage to ANY porter even if they claim to be a Star Class porter. We once had to retrieve our bags from the so-called Star Class porter and it was a Charlie Foxtrot.  Keep your bags with you. Don’t give them to anyone except the Genie. Tell the Genie you want your bags to stay with you.  Period.  It’s important that you let the Genie know before embark day that you will be keeping your bags with you.  Don’t ask....TELL them. Trust me....they CAN put even the big suitcases through the scanner.  They will get a Terminal porter to take your luggage up to the gangway and then a ship’s porter will take the bags with you to your suite.  If you are in a Loft, have them take the bags upstairs.

Your request for fruit and drinks on embarkation is perfect. But you need to let them know that’s what you want, so you’re going to need to communicate with them !  It’s completely unsatisfactory for your Genie not to be communicating with you.  If you aren’t getting emails from him, I would escalate this issue immediately to the ship’s Hotel Director. No emails from the Genie is not acceptable. 

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We tried SC for the first time on a 7-Night Oasis sailing on May 27th, 2018. In case it helps, I dug up our pre-cruise communications timeline with our Genie:

Apr 11th: We received a generic email asking us to complete the SC questionnaire

Apr 25th: We received a personalized email from Smitha, our Genie (who turned out to be wonderful),

Her email provided info on her Genie hours (and when she's "in her lamp" and unavailable), a reminder of all the amenities that come with SC, a request for information on our arrival plans (so she could schedule/meet us) as well as minibar and arrival drinks preferences, and some info/prices on cabanas at Labadee (if we wanted to book one).

May 3rd: She confirmed our preferences that I sent in an Apr 28th email (with apologies for a slightly delayed response, as she'd been tending to current guests).

May 5th: She sent detailed information on the arrival process, her mobile number, and more detailed info on specialty restaurants (including all menus), Voom info, etc, as well as a list of restaurants we could choose from for lunch on Day 1. Based on our previous responses, she also sent a personalized dinner itinerary, including times she had booked for us at each restaurant as well as the headliner show times. THIS WAS GREAT. 

May 16th: She confirmed a few tweaks to dining times that I sent on May 14th and answered my other questions (when is formal night, what's the deal with the handcrafted cocktail cart, etc). She also confirmed our arrival time of 11a and reminded us of what to do when we got to the port.

And that was it -- everything that we cared to plan pre-cruise was done about a week and a half before boarding.

Once we got to the port, we just followed the directions to Star Class and Smitha was there to escort us to our suite. So easy. She did a great job on the cruise, with just the right amount of contact for our preferences, as we'd let her know that we don't like much fuss. And she was fantastic with our boys who were 12 and 13 -- we hadn't told them about SC or a Genie or anything, and they were utterly confused during the entire boarding process and delighted for the rest of the trip, lol!

We didn't arrange a reception, so I can't provide feedback there. Other advice? Just be very clear what you want -- the Genies are trained to help and it's their job, but they're not mind readers (although it may seem like it at times). If you're not sure if something's possible or if there would be a charge for something, just ask. Your Genie will want to help, and will if possible. 

Lastly, we thought we'd been spoiled with SC, but amazingly enough we've managed to enjoy our non-SC cruises since then... 😉   But truth be told, we're counting the days until our 13-night Ovation SC cruise in April 2021! And I know we'll want to throw some parties on that cruise, so I'm looking forward to reading your post-cruise report!! 😀

Have a fantastic trip!

 

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10 hours ago, SuperNinja said:

Should I just respond back to the introductory email or wait for the next email to come with additional questions?  My plan day 1 is to have light things like fruit  (I’ve seen people with chocolate covered strawberries, that would be nice) and maybe snack type items for the room along with drinks, then we would go to playmakers for lunch.  Any suggestions? ( I’m new at this lol)

 

We did Playmakers for lunch on the first day on Symphony.  It was a perfect start to the cruise.  No need to worry about reservations or anything. 

We boarded early (as soon as the ship was cleared) and we were taken to our room.  The Genie had the room stocked with the pre-requested beverages when we arrived and I think there was a dish with some random hors d'oeuvres that were probably a suite thing.  I think if you get onboard early and go straight to your room it may be a little premature to expect food requests upon arrival.  I know when we returned from lunch on embarkation day there was food in the room and pretty much from there on for the entire rest of the cruise there was food waiting for us in the room when we returned in the afternoon.  Any time we came across something that we wanted, we just let the Genie know and she took care of it. 

I know sometimes you will read about the Genies proactively pre-empting a request but you can't expect that.  You can't be disappointed that an unspoken request was not fulfilled.  Don't worry about feeling too demanding; if you want something just ask.  It can be very specific -- we requested the grilled shrimp from Hooked one day as we hadn't tried it when we ate there and then when we returned from our show we had 4 plates full of them waiting in our room.  I found a salami on a charcuterie board that I liked during a cabin crawl and we took a photo and sent it to the Genie and ended up with that in our room as a snack. 

They do have access to SeaPass accounts and review any charges, so they sometimes can garner a preference based on that..even from your no charge drinks that you get out and about the ship.  But sometimes if you don't say anything you aren't giving them much to work with.  

If they don't offer it, you can ask them to place a room service order for hot breakfast in the morning to be delivered to the room.  Ours set it up as a standing order and then every evening we could let her know if we wanted something different.  You could even order bloody marys or mimosas to be delivered with breakfast..or Starbucks!

If you have any interest in the special classes onboard (cupcake decorating, sushi making, escape room) then let them know in your response to their introduction email so they can incorporate that into your schedule.  You may not hear anything from them but that first day they will have an itinerary with your scheduled show times, meal times, classes, excursions, etc. and will go over it with you and allow you to make changes.  You can ask them to send you the Coastal Kitchen menus if you want to use those to make a decision on which night you choose to eat there.  If you have private tours or are traveling with a group you can share your pre-scheduled events and they will work around all of those as well.

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16 hours ago, SuperNinja said:

Should I just respond back to the introductory email or wait for the next email to come with additional questions?  My plan day 1 is to have light things like fruit  (I’ve seen people with chocolate covered strawberries, that would be nice) and maybe snack type items for the room along with drinks, then we would go to playmakers for lunch.  Any suggestions? ( I’m new at this lol)

 

Here's an example of the default spread we were given without making any special requests. Some of the hors d'oeuvres were interesting, but pretty standard stuff. Couldn't decide between Jamie's or Playmakers for lunch so we just ordered from both and had it sent to the room.

2019-09-04-31.jpg

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5 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Welcome to the blog, DrNDo.  I would love to hear about the Ultimate Family Suite. We’ve never had any first hand experiences with that suite.

Thank you!!! The suite is just as advertised. For a family with kids, this room leaves little to be desired. From the multiple video game consoles, to the ridiculously fast slide (it's faster than the Ultimate Abyss), to the dining room table that converts into an air hockey table, to the balcony that manages to fit a mini ping pong table, hot tub and lucky climber the list of things to do in the suite go on and on. The only negative I can think of is trying to get all the kids to leave the room to explore other parts of the ship. Aside from all the things they manage to pack into the room I'd say the most impressionable feature is the size of the suite. To be able to enjoy such a voluminous living space while on a cruise ship is mind boggling. I know the royal loft suite and the 2-4 bedroom suites have even more square footage, but I don't think they have 2 sets of staircases and 3 ways to go from the first and second floors. This room really lends itself nicely to epoch games of hide-and-seek & tag. This was our first time with RCL, and I was just like SuperNinja endlessly researching every facet of the star class experience to try to know what to expect. I had to know if the Starbucks would be free or not!!! Reading this discussion board and all the helpful advise from all the nice people on it is an invaluable resource.

IMG_4203.jpg

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On ‎10‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 10:41 PM, CGTLH said:

For Symphony you'll want to be dropped off by the front doors of Terminal A. Otherwise haul your bags to that point. Personnel will try and divert you to the drop off zone prior to the entrance. Best bet is to have the driver tell them you're Star class and was told to be dropped off at the front entrance.

I will make sure we do that...… ignore everyone that tells us to stop until we get to the flag.....got it...lol

On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 6:36 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

They will get a Terminal porter to take your luggage up to the gangway and then a ship’s porter will take the bags with you to your suite.  If you are in a Loft, have them take the bags upstairs.

Your request for fruit and drinks on embarkation is perfect. But you need to let them know that’s what you want, so you’re going to need to communicate with them !

I live in Miami, and plan on probably having two larger suitcases with me, so that will be an ease of mind to have them take it upstairs for me.  I am in the RLS.  My last cruise when I was in the Crown Loft, was a little annoying having to drag the bags all the way up then come back down and do it all over again for the next one. 

I responded to the initial genie email, he responded pretty quickly actually and sent me the outline email about embarkation day, and what I want in the room etc.  I covered the time for dining, the drink requests for the room, the time we will arrive at the port, etc but I didn't get into the snacks we wanted in the room etc yet.  I guess  I will do that in the next correspondence.  I also requested any info on any special theme nights or particular color parties so hopefully he can give me insight to that.   Or @Lovetocruise2002 if you remember any theme nights from your symphony cruise??

On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 6:52 AM, Kiwi said:

 😉   But truth be told, we're counting the days until our 13-night Ovation SC cruise in April 2021! And I know we'll want to throw some parties on that cruise, so I'm looking forward to reading your post-cruise report!! 😀

Have a fantastic trip!

 

That should be really nice.  I haven't started planning 2021 yet.  My goal is to book Oasis 5, the transatlantic when it becomes available to book for 2021.  I have Ovation booked for June 2020 and Odyssey for December 2020.  Ive never actually done the blogging thing, but I am going to see how it works.  I will post pictures etc as the trip goes on.

On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 8:36 AM, AshleyDillo said:

We did Playmakers for lunch on the first day on Symphony.  It was a perfect start to the cruise.  No need to worry about reservations or anything. 

It can be very specific -- we requested the grilled shrimp from Hooked one day as we hadn't tried it when we ate there and then when we returned from our show we had 4 plates full of them waiting in our room. 

Excellent, I wanted something really simple and social with everything else going on for the first day, so I'm glad to hear it worked well for you. 

I can see me doing something like this...… I love seafood, and almost can eat it at any time!!

On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 2:42 PM, DrNDo said:

Here's an example of the default spread we were given without making any special requests. Some of the hors d'oeuvres were interesting, but pretty standard stuff. Couldn't decide between Jamie's or Playmakers for lunch so we just ordered from both and had it sent to the room.

This is exactly what I am thinking of having for the room on the first day.  Something quick, but just in the time of getting on the ship and getting things set up inside the room etc, things we can grab that's not really that heavy before we head to lunch.

I am in the RLS, I will share photos as soon as I have them.  Im Excited about the room, even from videos that I have watched about the room, I think seeing it in person will be absolutely crazy.

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28 minutes ago, SuperNinja said:

I will make sure we do that...… ignore everyone that tells us to stop until we get to the flag.....got it...lol

I recommend that you do not give your bags to anyone - not even the blue banner porters. Keep them with you during the entire boarding process, especially if you want them taken upstairs for you. If you leave them with ANY porter there’s no telling when they will arrive and chances are (5 out of 6 times for us !) there won’t be anyone to take them upstairs for you.

If you tell the Genie that you want your bags to go through security and onto the ship with you then there will be no problem. Don’t let the Genie tell you that the bags can’t stay with you.  They can.  It’s a little extra work for the genie b/c they to arrange for 2 separate porters (1 for in the terminal and 1 for on the ship) and it’s 2 tips for you vs 1 but it’s worth the extra time and tip. There won’t be any waiting around for your bags to arrive and you can unpack immediately (or have the attendant unpack for you while you go get a massage !  Just kidding).

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with the wow bands, have they started keeping star class one color?  I know my last cruise (sky class) I had a black band, wanted to see if I could request the same color vs the blue or yellow that I have seen lately

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