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Thanksgiving Side to Side: Brilliance to Oasis

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28 minutes ago, heffy2 said:

All of the main sewer lines on the NCL ship I worked on went above our version of I-95, the main crew walkway. When they broke, which happened from time to time, it was like an environmental hazard. My first contract I was in housekeeping, so guess who got to help clean it up...🤮. I hope they get the pluming fixed quickly! Loving your review @WAAAYTOOO

Thank you !

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6 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

It seems we are having maintenance issues AGAIN.  When we returned after b’fast at JR we found our suite attendant (Cami (Camelia)) overseeing a delicate plumbing procedure in the “guest” bathroom.  I haven’t yet expounded on the virtues of our excellent cabin attendant. She is, hands down, the best we’ve ever had. But this topic deserves its own post, so I will get back to the issue-at-hand. 

It seems the toilet(s) is clogged again. <hands up and backpedaling> I DIDN’T DO IT !  I have been red-faced guilty of said crime many, many times (Dan claims I am a world class toilet paper abuser and I admit that I am) but not this time !  Whatever happened, it is serious. They had the whole freakin’ toilet bowl removed and untold lengths of plumbing snakes deployed.  I’m sure they think I’m guilty of some unspeakable toilet violation.  I could tell by the look on their face when we walked in. How do you defend yourself against this kind of bias ?  Perhaps it’s just deflection on my part b/c I know I have been guilty of similar sins in the past.  Oh well....Best to just let them work their magic and carry on as if nothing happened.  If I get a scolding from Cami I will know that we were unmasked by the workers.  Such an injustice !

Dan has gone to investigate.  I’m waiting out on the balcony to minimize the chance of being confronted directly.  He’s braver than I am. 

Cami is amazing!  We were lucky to have her as our suite attendant the first time we were on deck 17 and have requested her every time since.

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People often ask what the Genie can do for you and the answers are usually pretty much the same - reservations and personal seating being the norm.  I thought of something while Dan and  I were having dinner at Giovannis tonite. We out outside. The weather was so amazing. We were marveling at how mature and lush the Central Park garden has become. We then began to recall a special event that we had on our second SC cruise and I thought I would mention it to everyone. 
 

Those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while will probably be hearing this for a second time. If so, I apologize. 
 

A couple of years ago we were in an ATS on Harmony. We somehow managed to sail in between hurricanes. There had been cancellations and rerouting everywhere the weeks prior but we managed to get ours in just before another one popped up. As a result of all of the standing water from the storms there was a horrific mosquito problem on board. We could not even go out on our balcony without being attacked. It was really bad.  Of course, we called our Genie (Reyno) and he had the pest control guy come up to help us out.

We laughed when he showed up at the door with a spray can. There were literally millions of mosquitoes everywhere.  To paraphrase the famous line from Jaws “Dude, you’re going to need a bigger can”.  He immediately saw that his can was not up to the task and later we got a technician with a pump sprayer which took care of the problem easily. 
 

Well, it turned out that the guy who had shown up with the spray can in the beginning was Laszlo ( I used to remember his last name but it has escaped me for the moment), the head Botanist for Royal Caribbean and the creator and godfather of the Central Park gardens. He has personally designed and implemented every Central Park garden since Oasis.  It seems that the “side job” of the ship’s botanist is that of pest control which is how we got him up at our suite in the first place !   
 

Later in the day, Reyno asked us if we would like to have a personal tour of the CP garden with Laszlo.  To be completely honest, at first I thought that might be a little lame but boy was I wrong. It was one of the most enjoyable tours I’ve ever taken. Laszlo LOVES his job and he loves to share his passion. He spent a very long time with us and told us so many little secrets about the plants, the challenges of having a live garden on board a cruise ship, how the plants are watered, why certain plants are chosen, etc. It was fascinating.  
 

So, the point of this whole story is to let you know that with Star Class, such personalized tours are extremely possible. I’m sure Laszlo is probably on Symphony since that’s the latest O class deployment but there is certainly someone of Laszlo’s equivalent on every O class ship.  I know that they offer garden tours from time-to-time on the different O class ships but they generally will not be to the level that you will get with a private tour and your Genie can make that happen 

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Wow....tough question, really.  The room is unbelievable.  We like it better than any room we’ve ever had. I will say that the band noise has been horrible. I think that the band location and configuration is new with the amplification and I believe that there are going to be MANY complaints about the nonstop noise.  It’s bad for us but I can’t imagine how it must be for those in Central  Park rooms. I believe that there will be so many complaints that they will have to change where the band plays.  I can’t believe they will be able to keep it as it is now.  IF they solve the band noise, I would book this room every time. If they don’t, I would probably still book it.  What I don’t know is whether the noise is a problem for those in the Loft Suites too or if it’s just us on the “ends”. 
 

As I said earlier, the only downside to the suite itself is the small balcony. It didn’t negatively impact us at all so it’s not a problem for us. It might be for some 

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9 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Later in the day, Reyno asked us if we would like to have a personal tour of the CP garden with Laszlo.  To be completely honest, at first I thought that might be a little lame but boy was I wrong. It was one of the most enjoyable tours I’ve ever taken. Laszlo LOVES his job and he loves to share his passion. He spent a very long time with us and told us so many little secrets about the plants, the challenges of having a live garden on board a cruise ship, how the plants are watered, why certain plants are chosen, etc. It was fascinating.  

Laszlo was on Symphony for the crossing last year.  In the cruise compass they offered a tour with Laszlo and it was very popular.

It was Laszlo who pointed out to me the little sitting areas on Oasis overlooking Central Park that on Symphony are stuffed with plants and inaccessible.  

They swap out a lot of plants when Symphony was coming to America after spending the summer in the Med.  I've always wanted to ask him what about Oasis and Allure when they do their stint in the Med. for amplification.  If they would have to swap some plants out for that season.   

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The band is located in the same location I think, the little covered area in the middle between port and starboard that is now called Lime and Coconut.  

I think the difference is the sound system.  I suspect they have installed new speakers and have cranked up the volume.  

While at the Trellis Bar in CP I did notice how it seemed the activity manager doing something on the pool deck seemed like she was down in CP somewhere.  I think it was during sail away on day one it was like she was in CP.  I actually looked around to see where the sound was coming from.  

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1 hour ago, Jason12 said:

A long shot @twangster but I’m trying to find out the location of table 617 deck 4, they’ve assigned it to us for next week but want to make sure it’s location and good for a wheelchair...👍😎

It's awkward getting in there mid cruise.   Between meals they like to clean and sanitize.  Boarding day is the best time to explore the MDR but you are boarding next week so that's out.  

I'll try to find a time but no promises.  If I can't,  just visit the MDR upon boarding and MDR should be able to work with you.

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Update on the noise issue.

The noise had become so obnoxious that I finally felt compelled to contact Joyce, our Genie, and complain.  It was non-stop all day, every day.  If it wasn’t the band, it was the DJ or some incessant babbling from a contest or whatever.  I asked that we be allowed to speak with the Hotel Director.
 

So now we have another example of how a Genie really can make things happen. Within minutes, Joyce was here and personally witnessed the unacceptable noise coming from the band and pool deck.  She had the Cruise Director on the phone and they both agreed that the noise level was unacceptable.  Since the Cruise Director (Bobby Brown, in this case) “owns” the entertainment venues, he was the one to affect the problem.  He walked all the way from the Flow Rider area up to the pool children’s splash zone area (while on the phone with Joyce)  to see if they could determine which speakers were the culprits. As we had suspected, it was the ones by the new Lime&Coconut bar.  He adjusted them somehow and BOOM - problem solved !
 

Joyce said that if the problem resumes, just let her know immediately.  We will drop the request to speak to the HD unless the problem resumes.

Yes, you can still faintly hear the music (most notably the bass), but this is a cruise ship !  There’s going to be music.  It’s no worse (now) than it is in the ATS.  I’m satisfied.  

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14 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Yes, you can still faintly hear the music (most notably the bass), but this is a cruise ship !  There’s going to be music.  It’s no worse (now) than it is in the ATS.  I’m satisfied.  

Amazing! Great that you said something and awesome that your expectations were reasonable and met.

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Last night we went to see the adult comedy show.  Steve White and I cant remember the other guy’s name. Of course, there was Simeon...   I thought they were all 3 very funny and we had a great time.  Joyce reserved us seats but not in the front row (per our request).

This brings up an issue that we (who travel in SC from time-to-time) are often faced with.  If the Genie can reserve me a seat in the Comedy Club then why can’t she reserve me a seat in the Jazz Club ?  IMO they are identical venues....open seating with on-demand bar service.  I’m NOT questioning the Genie’s service.  Actually, exactly the opposite.  She told us that they are not allowed to reserve seats in “revenue” venues.  Ok. So why is the Jazz Club a “revenue” venue (which it certainly is NOT.  It is a complimentary venue) and the exact same venue-type, the Comedy Club, is not ?  I guess it’s just one of those annoying inconsistencies that a Royal is so famous for.

Back to the Jazz Club. We went to a concert on Wednesday night.  I saw, in the Cruise Compass, that it would be a “Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power and Stevie Wonder” kind of event.  GREAT. Motown !  Perfect.  Neither Dan nor I are huge jazz fans but we could go for some Motown !  Clue: When you go to a Jazz Club, no matter what they SAY is going to be performed, it’s a Jazz Club. It’s going to be Jazz.  I think the performers (ship’s orchestra) are extremely talented and for what it was, they did an incredible job.  But Jazz is just my thing.  Had it not been extremely rude, I would have left after the first 30 seconds, but we sat through the entire first set.  Many did leave quickly.  Never again...  ...and just to tie this whole post together, the fact that we did not have reserved seats mattered -0- zip, zilch.  We had great seats arriving about 10 minutes prior to the show.

OBTW, Twangster stood us up.  Smart guy...

😉😉🤭

 

”Jazz is not dead.  It just smells bad”.

—Frank Zappa

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When we cruised on Oasis I didn't know reserve seating was only in certain venues so I asked for seats at Quest. Our Genie told us that they don't usually reserve quest seats so I wasn't expecting them. We got there and there were about 10 seats that had our suite number, on plain white paper, saying reserved. He told us later that he didn't have enough of the red reserved signs. 

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3 hours ago, Dogmom said:

10 seats that had our suite number, on plain white paper, saying reserved.

This is very interesting. Joyce told us, for the Music Hall concert, she would place some folded white paper “reserved” sign on the chairs and that they would have our suite # on them.  I think this is their way of skirting “the rules”.  Now, as it turned out, we did get the normal red drapes on our chairs but I think that when they feel they are in “rules violation” territory, they turn to this kind of alternative options for reserving seats.  Let’s face it, sometimes they are caught between having to displease their clients or violate their SOP (she’s used that term SOP with me multiple times).  The last thing I want to do is put my Genie in an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes I don’t like the answers (no reserved seating at the Jazz Club) but the rules are the rules. I need to remember that.

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Update on the noise issue

When Joyce was at our suite this afternoon, she said that the Cruise Director has actually disconnected the offending speaker as opposed to just adjusting the output. Apparently there was no way to just adjust the output.  I hate to think that they spent big money on a new speaker system just to have it removed. Someone should have anticipated that the noise level was going to be excessive.  Maybe they did...maybe they didn’t. 

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2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Update on the noise issue

When Joyce was at our suite this afternoon, she said that the Cruise Director has actually disconnected the offending speaker as opposed to just adjusting the output. Apparently there was no way to just adjust the output.  I hate to think that they spent big money on a new speaker system just to have it removed. Someone should have anticipated that the noise level was going to be excessive.  Maybe they did...maybe they didn’t. 

One thing I've noticed is that the announcements over the PA are gibberish in public areas.  They all seem like "ajshjags klqdjkhwedjk lkjkwehk lkwkjd" (echo, echo echo).

Either they are making all announcements in Norwegian or...  the Captain said the ship has been cleared by local authorities or... he said it might rain after people have their breakfast in China.

However music is booming.  They should really connect the PA system and the music speakers together.  

 

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11 hours ago, twangster said:

One thing I've noticed is that the announcements over the PA are gibberish in public areas.  They all seem like "ajshjags klqdjkhwedjk lkjkwehk lkwkjd" (echo, echo echo).

Either they are making all announcements in Norwegian or...  the Captain said the ship has been cleared by local authorities or... he said it might rain after people have their breakfast in China.

However music is booming.  They should really connect the PA system and the music speakers together.  

 

Lol.  Yeah, I’ve noticed the same thing about the announcements. It’s especially bad in Central Park.  Those poor people must be deaf by now. It’s like an echo chamber on there

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Update :

Due to a medical emergency, the ship did double time getting back to Miami (24 knots !) so that the affected person could get prompt medical attention.  Therefore, it is 7:33 PM on Saturday night and we are already inside the port area (but not tied up quite yet).  The affected person will be able to disembark immediately (with their family, presumably) but the rest of us will be spending the night alongside the dock.  No one, except for patient, will be allowed to disembark. 
 

I don’t see how this will negatively impact anyone’s cruise with the exception of those of us who would otherwise be gambling. The casino closed at 6:45. I imagine that bumping we are feeling is caused by the casino staff doing their happy dance.  They are off for 24 hours !

In other interesting news, our Genie brought us a letter indicating that we would be receiving a 20% FCC based on the price of this cruise.  This is due to the “inconvenience” caused by our “noise” issue.  Obviously, we neither initiated nor expected any kind of compensation.  Good grief. It wasn’t like we stepped out of our shower into a pool of sewage (I’m looking at you, Twangster).  It was a very thoughtful but entirely unnecessary surprise.

So, here we are, pulling into port.  It will be interesting and very different to spend the night on the ship in the Port of Miami.

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