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Hi Everyone!

We are brand spankin' new to Royal Caribbean and sailing December 19th on the Harmony of the Seas. We were originally booked with Carnival (which is who we have previously always cruised with). Our original sailing with them was December 18th but they pulled a dirty and cancelled one of our seven room reservations because one person in our party is on oxygen. It wasn't the cancellation that got my goat but the way it was handled. They offered to rebook us for January 1st (apparently something magical would have happened with COVID between the 18th and the 1st I guess?) but I politely declined (Ok...truth be told maybe it wasn't so polite), accepted a full refund, and contacted RC who gave me a fantastic deal but I digress....

If anyone has any tips or advice for a bunch of first-timers I would greatly appreciate it!

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Welcome!

So sorry about your experience with Carnival! I would recommend you go to Matt's YouTube channel and watch his videos! He has tips and tricks, what to do and not to do and so much more (videos about the ships, islands, excursions and ports of call)! Also, skim around the blog! You'd be surprised how much this wonderful community can help (whether it's asking for help, opinions or just to vent)

You'll have a great and memorable experience with RC!!

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I would recommend you Goggle Harmony's deck plans and study those before you board the ship. That way you will have a good idea of where the features that interest you are as well as your cabins. That way, you will not waste time once you are on board trying to find places. Also, have fun and welcome to the blog!?

 

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I second that this Blog and Google is your friend. I found this blog after my first RCG cruise and kicked myself for not researching RCG sooner;' I figured most cruise lines are the same......nope. I listened to my insane travel companion and winged my Mariner experience. I missed out on so much and spent a bit more than I would have had I known better. Matt's YouTube channel has a wealth of information and are usually enjoyable to watch.

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1 hour ago, Falling_Down said:

Hi Everyone!

We are brand spankin' new to Royal Caribbean and sailing December 19th on the Harmony of the Seas. We were originally booked with Carnival (which is who we have previously always cruised with). Our original sailing with them was December 18th but they pulled a dirty and cancelled one of our seven room reservations because one person in our party is on oxygen. It wasn't the cancellation that got my goat but the way it was handled. They offered to rebook us for January 1st (apparently something magical would have happened with COVID between the 18th and the 1st I guess?) but I politely declined (Ok...truth be told maybe it wasn't so polite), accepted a full refund, and contacted RC who gave me a fantastic deal but I digress....

If anyone has any tips or advice for a bunch of first-timers I would greatly appreciate it!

What kind of cabin will you be in?  That alone would help on tips and advice.  Welcome to the blog.

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Hopefully by the time you sail, the current cruise compass for your ship will be available. If you scroll up to the menu, you’ll see it just below “message boards.” The compass will give you a great idea what all is available during your cruise. Even if post-Covid ones are not available, look at old ones for Harmony. 
 

You’re going to love Harmony. Oasis class is just an engineering feat. Central Park is my favorite. I bet you’ll never go back to Carnival ?

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I'd recommend booking through a great travel agent (or transferring your booking to one soon after booking).  Their service is just priceless when challenges arise (and even when things go smoothly.  If you don't feel like your travel agent is one of your best friends, I think you need a different travel agent!).

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Just a little over 2 years ago, we sailed on our first Royal cruise, the Liberty of the Seas. We had previously been on 7 Carnival and 3 NCL cruises. Honestly, I booked the Liberty because it was cheaper than the Carnival ship going out of Galveston that June (probably the Vista; we cruise on her next weekend, lol.) Be prepared to be "wowed" by the technology on the newer Royal ships. The Liberty offers ice skating shows, FlowRiders, The Perfect Storm (water slides, etc.) and (in my opinion) overall, better entertainment than on most of the Carnival ships that I have been on. The major change for us, though, was learning about Club Royale, Royal's casino program. Although husband has gambled on every Carnival ship, we have never understood how the program works (still don't, for the most part.) Club Royale has a website and a brochure that tells you exactly what tier you are as a gambler, and what benefits you might obtain. What a game changer for us - by the end of that 7-night cruise, hubby had earned Prime status as well as 2 comped cruises (a certificate cruise and an annual "tier" cruise.) This won't occur during every cruise of course, but it did happen during our first Royal cruise. 

Of course, no cruise line is perfect. We missed the friendlier atmosphere (the entertainment crew) that we have seen on most Carnival ships during that first cruise. However, we were impressed with the friendly staff on the Enchantment of the Seas (our second Royal cruise ship.) 

We are also looking forward to our upcoming cruise on the Harmony, which will actually be a B2B in late January/early February. We'll be staying on the 8th deck because I am curious about the Central Park area. 

BTW, we haven't totally left Carnival - we have some cruises booked with the line. After several years of receiving no offers from Carnival, husband was mysteriously sent several casino offers this past spring.  We are not picky; we're grateful. Can't wait until we are all cruising again!

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7 hours ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

Welcome to the blog!!

I would second watching Matt's YouTube channels, a lot of good information there. You are going to love RC!! Our cruise next month will be our 11th with them. We will be on Allure, sister ship to Symphony. 

my very first cruise with RC will be on the Allure in December. Any tips?? 

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13 hours ago, Falling_Down said:

Hi Everyone!

We are brand spankin' new to Royal Caribbean and sailing December 19th on the Harmony of the Seas. We were originally booked with Carnival (which is who we have previously always cruised with). Our original sailing with them was December 18th but they pulled a dirty and cancelled one of our seven room reservations because one person in our party is on oxygen. It wasn't the cancellation that got my goat but the way it was handled. They offered to rebook us for January 1st (apparently something magical would have happened with COVID between the 18th and the 1st I guess?) but I politely declined (Ok...truth be told maybe it wasn't so polite), accepted a full refund, and contacted RC who gave me a fantastic deal but I digress....

If anyone has any tips or advice for a bunch of first-timers I would greatly appreciate it!

 

4 hours ago, Jennifer Burke said:

my very first cruise with RC will be on the Allure in December. Any tips?? 

 

Welcome to both of you! I agree, you both will have a blast on Oasis class ships!

 

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13 hours ago, Jennifer Burke said:

my very first cruise with RC will be on the Allure in December. Any tips?? 

Number one is that you are going to have a GREAT time! We have been on Oasis (sister ship to Allure) in the past, twice, and there is so much to do. First, book any excursions you want from the cruise planner. You are going to get much better rates than if you wait until you get on board. The cruise planner has discounts every few weeks, so keep an eye and book when the discounts hit. If you know that you will be having a lot of drinks during the cruise, then I would recommend getting the drink package. Make reservations for at least one specialty restaurant, you won't be disappointed. 

The Cruise Compass you will have in your cabin or on your phone is full of great information. It gives you the low down for the day and all the things that are happening, ie shows, activities, dance lessons, all kinds of fun stuff. Each day we get the compass we look through and circle the things that we would like to do aboard ship so that we don't miss them. Rising tide bar is a great place. It goes up from deck 5, the royal promenade to deck 8, Central Park. Central Park is a nice quiet place to just sit and relax away from any crowds. 

Most of all, just have fun. You will find the ship is absolutely amazing! First time we got on Oasis we were blown away! And I'm sure you will be as well. 

Any other questions, just ask away and have a great cruise!!

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20 hours ago, Falling_Down said:

Hi Mike,

We booked Boardwalk Balconies. I did read they can be a little noisy but they looked so cool!

You will need to get reservations for the different shows.  Theater shows usually coincide with the eating times in the MDR so make sure when you are getting reservations it doesn't conflict with your eating times.  Same goes for the Aqua Theater times.  If I remember correctly the reservations that you make will automatically be put on your card and I believe there will be paperwork in your room showing your times.  The  different theaters will have lines before show time that are for people with reservations and a stand by line.  Give yourself time to make it through the lines because just before the shows they open up the theater to the standby lines for the people that didn't show up for their reservations.  The comedy show also requires reservations.  It is R-rated so if you get your feelings hurt easily be ready because they pick on everyone.  Enough for now I will get back later on some other things.  Happy Sailings.  Like others have said you will be hooked on Oasis ships.

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Okay couple of things for first timers

1 Down load the RC app, very important

2 Schedule your shows in advance on your app as soon as you get on board

3 schedule the aqua show first night if possible or second night if you have too. This is for weather purposes.

4 On embarkation go straight to Central Park Café there and get the Kimmelwick sandwich. Then have someone in your group go any of the specialty restaurants in Central Park and make your reservations for the those if you plan to use them.

5 Then do the muster drill in the app 

6 Then perhaps your room will be open and you can get squared away. A note your luggage may not be directly by your room but will not be to far away.

7 Go to muster station (printed on your seapass card and on the back of the door to cabin) and check in.

8 Go explore and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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42 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

Okay couple of things for first timers

1 Down load the RC app, very important

2 Schedule your shows in advance on your app as soon as you get on board

3 schedule the aqua show first night if possible or second night if you have too. This is for weather purposes.

4 On embarkation go straight to Central Park Café there and get the Kimmelwick sandwich. Then have someone in your group go any of the specialty restaurants in Central Park and make your reservations for the those if you plan to use them.

5 Then do the muster drill in the app 

6 Then perhaps your room will be open and you can get squared away. A note your luggage may not be directly by your room but will not be to far away.

7 Go to muster station (printed on your seapass card and on the back of the door to cabin) and check in.

8 Go explore and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I am so looking forward to the Kimmelwick sandwich. is this at extra cost?

 

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Oh and I see you are on deck 8 which on this class of ship is perfect!!!! You can always start your day and end your day with a beautiful stroll through the park, sit out side in one of the specialty restaurants or sit under the stars at the Trellis Bar for cocktails while listening to strings being played. It is a truly wonderful and unique place.

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Look on your sea pass card and see what deck and table number your assigned.  Sometime before sailway when your exploring the ship when you first get on go by the dining room your assigned and find your table (yes you allowed to go in the MDR).  This will save you time on the first night so you don't have to wait in line for a server to show you to your table.  Just walk past the lines and go right in to your table.

 

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