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Thanking my lucky STARS that cruising is back (a Symphony Star Class family blog)


Tiffeven
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11 cruises canceled, 4 devastated kids, 2 very sad adults, way too much future cruise credit.... 

8 cruises scheduled, 4 excited kids, 2 very happy, yet leery adults, only 34 days to go until Star Class on Symphony!!!!

Wow!  Cruising is back!!!  I am so excited that we can finally say that.  I was one of those people saying "surely, cruising will have started back by ...," but as one cruise after the next was canceled, I started to wonder if we would ever return to sea.  I went from reading daily live blogs and watching youtube cruise vlogs all the time to rarely doing it.  My closet of vacation attire went from a "cruise closet" to a "Club Med closet."  Then, I saw that a ship was set to sail and then another, and the next thing you know I began to think, "Wow, this might actually happen!"  Initially, I was worried about what it would be like sailing since my kids are too young to be vaccinated (even though my husband and I are fully vaccinated).  I worried about us being treated like second class citizens, and most of all I worried about how this would make the kids feel.  Some of you, can even attest to my facebook post where I voiced my concerns about this.  After, contemplating this for awhile, my husband and I decided to talk to our two older kids about this, and they still wanted to go.  At that point, we said "This is OUR cruise, and we are going to go and enjoy ourselves and not let anyone ruin that for us!  As this initial fear subsided, the excitement finally began to fully kick in.  Cruise Vlogs and Blogs are back on the menu, and we even bought a new cruise wardrobe for the kids, but before I get too much further into this blog, I should probably stop and introduce my family and tell you a little about us and our booking.

Family: Tiffany, Steven (he will be co-blogging with me), Christian/CJ (11 year old boy), Sophia (9 year old girl), Nyssa/Prissy (3 year old girl), and Katarina/Kat/Kitty (2 year old girl)

Ship: Symphony of the Seas

Sail Date: September 11, 2021-September 18, 2021

Cabin Type: 2 Bedroom Aquatheater Suite 

Itinerary: Miami, Florida; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, ST. Thomas; Perfect Day at CocoCay; Miami, Florida

I look forward to catching up with those who have followed my other blogs and also getting to know some new faces.  We have cruised star class before, so I will try to cover any changes since cruising has returned.  I will also let you know what it is like sailing with kids too young to be vaccinated.

 

 

 

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This cruise is a lift and shift from an Oasis of the Seas August 2020 cruise.  We got a fantastic price since it was booked within a few months of the sail date.  I'm pretty sure, Royal knew it wouldn't happen, but we were hoping for the best and figured worse case scenario, it would make a great lift and shift if the cruise didn't happen.  Obviously, Oasis didn't happen but our price was protected and we were excited to switch from the New Jersey Oasis itinerary to the Symphony Eastern Caribbean itinerary from Florida especially since we are due to be on Oasis again in November.  We were also able to snag a price I couldn't believe on a Thrill Waterpark Cabana and Full Day Pass during the shutdown.  I had never seen it listed for $399 nor have I since.

At 90 days pre-cruise, we logged in to do our online check-in.   Unfortunately,  it was not available until about 60 days out.  We also never received our Star Class survey, but after calling Royal, they advised me they never were given my email by our TA.  They quickly resolved this and we received our survey within a few hours.  It is pretty much the same as before, but one of the questions was worded differently to keep up with the times (it used Elon Musk as part of the question).  After seeing who the genies were on Symphony, we requested Sunil.  I'm sure we would be happy with any of the genies, but we have heard so much good about Sunil we couldn't resist (especially since Alan is not there and is on the Allure instead).  I am interested to see if we end up with Sunil, and I will update you all as soon as I receive my genie email.

 

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Looking forward to following this, even if Star Class is something I'll likely never be able to afford to book. It's still fun seeing just how much it comes with and how much the genies work to make the trip a cut above.

Question -- You're Tiffany and he's Steven, and your handle here is Tiffeven. So should I be looking out for co-blogger posts from Stevany? ? ?

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58 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Looking forward to following this, even if Star Class is something I'll likely never be able to afford to book. It's still fun seeing just how much it comes with and how much the genies work to make the trip a cut above.

Question -- You're Tiffany and he's Steven, and your handle here is Tiffeven. So should I be looking out for co-blogger posts from Stevany? ? ?

Hey, you never know what could happen in the future.  Not to mention, Star or not, a cruise is a cruise, and we have all went way too long without. 

We went with Tiffeven because we used the name Tiffeven and Stiffany in a video game we play together, and after Steven started getting called Stiffy, we decided Tiffeven was a little more PG haha.

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1 hour ago, wannabecruiseexpert said:

So excited to be following along! We will be on our first SC sailing in October, with 1 unvaccinated child that is too young so I am anxious to see how everything goes. 

Glad to have you following along.  I'm sure you will have a blast.  As we all say, it's hard to go back once you've went Star Class.  Hopefully, our trip will ease any worries you have and answer any questions you have about sailing with a little one too young to be vaccinated.

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

YIPPEE !!!  So happy to have a SC sailing through which to live vicariously !!!

Glad to have you following along.  When is your next trip?  I always love reading your blogs.

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4 hours ago, sammy79 said:

Looking forward to reading your posts!!

 

3 hours ago, DominicGCAU said:

Sounds like a great trip for you all and long over due. Can’t wait to follow along ??

Thank you!  Glad to have y'all following along!

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33 minutes ago, Tiffeven said:

Glad to have you following along.  When is your next trip?  I always love reading your blogs.

Thank you.  I enjoy the blogs. 

Well....our next bookings are B3B on Mariner (9-13, 17, 20) but I am certain that we will have to cancel all 3 of those as I fear the vax protocols will preclude us from going to the casino, which is a show-stopper for us.  Next up would be 10-3 on Allure, but that one goes to St. Thomas so we won't be able to go on that one.  Then 10-10 on Allure...which we will take providing they allow us into the casino.  Our next Star Class will be on 11-21 on Allure.  This is a B2B but since the preceding cruise goes to St. Thomas, unless they change the rules to allow us to sail, we will not be able to take that one.

So, lots of new cruises being lost but lots of money going back into my pocket, so it's a win-win, lose-lose, I guess !

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Thank you.  I enjoy the blogs. 

Well....our next bookings are B3B on Mariner (9-13, 17, 20) but I am certain that we will have to cancel all 3 of those as I fear the vax protocols will preclude us from going to the casino, which is a show-stopper for us.  Next up would be 10-3 on Allure, but that one goes to St. Thomas so we won't be able to go on that one.  Then 10-10 on Allure...which we will take providing they allow us into the casino.  Our next Star Class will be on 11-21 on Allure.  This is a B2B but since the preceding cruise goes to St. Thomas, unless they change the rules to allow us to sail, we will not be able to take that one.

So, lots of new cruises being lost but lots of money going back into my pocket, so it's a win-win, lose-lose, I guess !

Oh man.  That's disappointing, but I don't blame you one bit.  Being told you can't go into areas of the ship (particularly ones you love) is a deal breaker.  I really hope they loosen up the rules.  I am so worried our B2B Star Class on Oasis in November will be affected by our kids not being able to be vaccinated.  They told me right now the no B2B for unvaccinated only applies to August sailings, but I really hope that doesn't extend further.  It would be nice to get some normalcy back. 

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30 minutes ago, Tiffeven said:

Oh man.  That's disappointing, but I don't blame you one bit.  Being told you can't go into areas of the ship (particularly ones you love) is a deal breaker.  I really hope they loosen up the rules.  I am so worried our B2B Star Class on Oasis in November will be affected by our kids not being able to be vaccinated.  They told me right now the no B2B for unvaccinated only applies to August sailings, but I really hope that doesn't extend further.  It would be nice to get some normalcy back. 

Frankly, I don't think you really have anything to worry about with the unvaxxed children.  The only possible issue would be getting "up front" seats in the theater, as I think you will be required to remain in the balcony...but the Genie will still be able to reserve you seats so aside from not being able to sit up close, it will still be nice.  Dan is the one who likes to sit up front.  I don't think the seats in the front of the theater are the greatest so I wouldn't be disappointed with that rule at all !!

I had read somewhere (can't remember where) that unvaccinated (including children) weren't allowed in the Aqua Theater, which makes NO sense to me AT ALL.  But that wouldn't affect you anyway b/c you can just watch the show from your balcony !!  I think that must have been a misprint though...why in the world would they keep anyone out of the ATS...it's outside for goodness sake !!

I don't think the kids will be able to ice skate, if that's a problem.  I don't think unvaxxed are permitted in the Solarium but kids aren't supposed to be in there, anyway.  I really don't think there will be many activities where you wouldn't be allowed.  B2B Star Class on Oasis.  Wow....very nice.

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Frankly, I don't think you really have anything to worry about with the unvaxxed children.  The only possible issue would be getting "up front" seats in the theater, as I think you will be required to remain in the balcony...but the Genie will still be able to reserve you seats so aside from not being able to sit up close, it will still be nice.  Dan is the one who likes to sit up front.  I don't think the seats in the front of the theater are the greatest so I wouldn't be disappointed with that rule at all !!

I had read somewhere (can't remember where) that unvaccinated (including children) weren't allowed in the Aqua Theater, which makes NO sense to me AT ALL.  But that wouldn't affect you anyway b/c you can just watch the show from your balcony !!  I think that must have been a misprint though...why in the world would they keep anyone out of the ATS...it's outside for goodness sake !!

I don't think the kids will be able to ice skate, if that's a problem.  I don't think unvaxxed are permitted in the Solarium but kids aren't supposed to be in there, anyway.  I really don't think there will be many activities where you wouldn't be allowed.  B2B Star Class on Oasis.  Wow....very nice.

You are right about the shows.  I loved being up front during Mamma Mia, but during one of the aerial shows, our genie sat us about mid-way up in the theater, and the view was so much better.  We would have missed so much in the front row.  It just depends on the show.  During this trip, we are planning on attending the shows without the kids.  The only exception is the more kid friendly shows that actual hold their attention like the ice skating show.  Obviously, this could change since Adventure Ocean hours are more limited than usual.  We've always had to reserve nursery hours but this will be the first time reserving time in Adventure Ocean.  With it occurring while school is in session, I'm sure it will be much easier getting hours than a school break cruise.  I'm going to tell the genie that we want to reserve our hours first thing, so we can make sure we get the same times for all of the kids.  I'm surprised we have not received the September guidelines yet.  They said we would have them atleast 30 days out, but we are currently at 33 days and haven't heard a thing.  

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10 minutes ago, Traveler said:

This is a cruise RCL is prohibited from cancelling ? it's our second part of the B2B

I second that!  If you are not already planning on it, you should blog your trip.  It would be nice having a blog to read on the drive to help get us excited (not that we need much help getting excited haha).  Look forward to seeing you onboard.

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31 minutes ago, Tiffeven said:

I second that!  If you are not already planning on it, you should blog your trip.  It would be nice having a blog to read on the drive to help get us excited (not that we need much help getting excited haha).  Look forward to seeing you onboard.

I am planning to blog it , so many things need to happen for us to be able to take the cruise as we are flying  over to the US , hopefully no new rules and things will improve soon everywhere. It's going to be our first B2B and we can't wait for it to start

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32 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I am planning to blog it , so many things need to happen for us to be able to take the cruise as we are flying  over to the US , hopefully no new rules and things will improve soon everywhere. It's going to be our first B2B and we can't wait for it to start

I absolutely wish you the best and hope it works out even better than you planned.  Have you received the September protocols for the first part of your B2B?

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3 hours ago, griffinjam22 said:

I’ll be on Symphony a couple weeks after you (Oct 9th) with the same itinerary. Looking forward to your posts.  Will be my first time on the ship and am super excited! 

We have been on Oasis and Allure and have two cruises scheduled on Harmony, but this will be our first time on Symphony as well.  I am so excited.  The Oasis class ships are amazing!

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