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All treats and no tricks! A Symphony Star Class Halloween Live-ish Blog!


pkcruiser
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601 days!  That's how long it will have been since we last set foot on a cruise ship.  It has been WAY TOO LONG!  I can finally say it's cruise month!  The cast for this adventure includes myself (Amy), husband (Dan), son (Robert), daughter (Laura), son-in-law (Austin), grandbabies (Kylie-2 and Brantley-1).  We will be in 2 BR ATS #9334.  We love to have fun in the sun and can't wait to take the babies on their first cruise 🙂  I've never done a blog so I'm calling this a live-ish blog as I'm not sure how much time I will have on the cruise to post.  I typically come home from vacations needing a vacation to rest from all the running!

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We found out who our genie is yesterday.  Luciano will be doing our preplanning and we will have Reyno on board!  I'm super excited!  I've met Reyno, but have never had him as a genie.  Has anyone had a situation like this?  It will be interesting to see how the preplanning and hand off are done.

It will be an interesting adventure to get through all of the testing before the cruise.  Kylie is too young to be tested at any place other than her primary clinic.  Luckily we are at the Mayo Clinic and results are back in less than a day typically.  Interestingly, Brantley had Covid when he was 4 months old.  He had a fever and slight lung congestion.  It didn't seem to slow him down for very long.  I was part of a study that tested for antibodies, I tested negative in October, but positive in November.  I evidently was one of the asymptomatic cases.  We went to Hawaii a month after he tested positive.  That was incredibly stressful testing and waiting for our negative results!  I'm hoping since we are all vaccinated that it will be less mentally stressful this time!

I have not seen any reviews of people sailing with an under two year old.  I'm hoping to give insight as to what it's like with two young unvaccinated children, one requiring a mask and one not.  We are planning on playing with the kids in the mornings and then using Royal Babies/Tots in the afternoon and for some evening shows if we are able to book the hours.  Our stops are at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and CocoCay.  Since we have unvaccinated children we have to be on a ship excursion to take them ashore.  At St. Maarten we are doing the Great Bay Beach Experience and hope to eat at our favorite restaurant, Blue Bitch Bar.  If it's possible we'll send mom and dad and the babies back on the boat shuttle and Dan & I will walk back so we can stop and buy cheese at the cheese shop.  St. Thomas we'll leave the babies on board and go do a little shopping before Laura and I have a massage 🙂  At Cococay we have a Floating Cabana at the Coco Beach Club (our splurge for the trip).

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer them.  Looking forward to sailing away soon!!!

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So glad to hear that Reyno is coming back.  This is the first time I have read his name since the re-start.  We've had him as our Genie twice - both on Harmony.  His strength is definitely in party-planning so hopefully you will get an opportunity to plan a nice party during your cruise.  Congratulations !  You will have a ball, I'm sure.

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On 10/2/2021 at 11:46 AM, pkcruiser said:

 

I have not seen any reviews of people sailing with an under two year old.  I'm hoping to give insight as to what it's like with two young unvaccinated children, one requiring a mask and one not.

Thankfully, not as bad as you might fear. Our daughter turned two literally the day we set sail. We had masks with us for her, but she was never asked to put one on. Granted, we didn't put her in the nursery program at all, so it might have been different in that situation.

Most of the shows had "family" showings, so she really didn't miss out on much of the experience. Yes, being unable to get off and walk the shops on port was unfortunate, but overall it was a very minor price to pay for being able to sail again.

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Hello!  We are on this sailing, too!  We are in 2 BR ATS # 8734.  We have Sunil as our genie, so there must be 3 assigned to the Symphony.  We are sailing with myself (Chrystal), husband (Dan), son (Harper, age 9), daughter (Dani, age 3), and Dan's parents.  It would be great to bump into you! 🙂  I am also trying not to stress about the pre-boarding testing situation. 

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On 10/11/2021 at 3:33 PM, dan.chrystal said:

Hello!  We are on this sailing, too!  We are in 2 BR ATS # 8734.  We have Sunil as our genie, so there must be 3 assigned to the Symphony.  We are sailing with myself (Chrystal), husband (Dan), son (Harper, age 9), daughter (Dani, age 3), and Dan's parents.  It would be great to bump into you! 🙂  I am also trying not to stress about the pre-boarding testing situation. 

We are in 9334 so we’ll have to wave across to you!  The one year old is feeling better and doesn’t have COVID…yay!!  But now the 2 year old is sick. I guess better now than in two weeks!  Hope to see you soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tic toc, tic toc!  Can the days go by any slower?!  T minus 9 days until embarkation, T minus 8 days until our late night flight from MSP to MIA and stay at Hampton Inn, Airport South.  T minus 7 days until we all take a PCR Covid test at our primary clinic.  We chose to all do PCR tests because our primary clinic is Mayo Clinic and they do all of the lab testing on site.  We typically have results in 12 hours.  Since we have a 2 year old that is unvaccinated, we are all testing 2 days before the cruise.  She will then have to test at the port.

Since we are finally a week-ish before our cruise I worked on some last minute details.  I had the pleasure of spending over 2 hours on the phone with crown & anchor because my son went from Diamond to Gold, he cruised with us before he turned 18 so was grandfathered in.  It was no issue on our last cruise, not sure what happened this cruise?  Royal IT??  We also have a problem with my son-in-law's number, when we booked the cruise there was no problem, now when checking him in it says his number is invalid.  It turns our he has two accounts.  They will need to be merged, but they won't let me do it, they have to talk to him🙄  The first rep I talked to was quite odd, would put me on hold (with dead air) and not check back for over 15 minutes.  I was working so it didn't bother me too much.  In hind site I should have hung up earlier than I did and called back.  After several calls answered to dead air, I finally got a gem of a gal who was super helpful.  I just hate how any tiny issue takes over an hour to fix!

On to the good stuff!  I ended up booking transportation through mia.limo.  We land at 11pm and the hotel shuttle is done at 11pm, so we will miss it.  I was able to book transfers from the airport to our hotel, hotel to port and finally port to airport.  I'm happy we did this as we have a one year old and a two year old who they will provide car seats for.  Much easier to travel without car seats and don't want to have to worry about finding an Uber/Lyft with car seats that late at night!

I have been in contact with our planning genie, Luciano.  He will be on vacation starting on our trip, Reyno will be taking his place.  I've met Reyno before, but not had him as a genie, so looking forward to his genie magic!  So far I have arranged to have Jamie's waiting in our cabin on embarkation.  It is my son-in-laws 30th birthday the day before we board.  We are leaving all planning of times to the genies.  We said we would like to eat at all the specialty restaurants and coastal kitchen for filet night, attend all shows and lastly have Royal Babies and Tots set up for the kids.  I'm usually a super planner, so it is interesting to let someone else take control.  I am just too busy with work to spend adequate time researching like I have done in the past.  Luciano said he has blocked time at Royal Babies and Tots, we will just need to go there after boarding to confirm everything.

Let me know if you have any questions about the ship, our trip, or my family.  I will be so relieved after we all test negative next Thursday!

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We had Reyno twice as a Genie - both times on Harmony.  He’s super high energy. Since he is a former “milit’ry” man, he walks at a forced march pace everywhere he goes.  I’m not that fast !  I could never keep up and he never seemed inclined to slow down for me so I was constantly bring up the rear…. Lol
 

Reyno’s strengths are in party planning and party planning. He’s REALLY good at it.  I think you’ll really enjoy having Reyno as your Genie.

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How early were you able to book the shows on board? We set sail on March 5  and have yet to be able book anything.  Now  booking shows are new to me so maybe it's closer to sail time I'm not sure.  I've cruise before but never bothered to book shows. Going with my sil & bil which have never cruised and want them to get the most out of the cruise. 

 

 Thank you

woodman

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2 hours ago, woodman1 said:

How early were you able to book the shows on board? We set sail on March 5  and have yet to be able book anything.  Now  booking shows are new to me so maybe it's closer to sail time I'm not sure.  I've cruise before but never bothered to book shows. Going with my sil & bil which have never cruised and want them to get the most out of the cruise. 

 

 Thank you

woodman

With the Genie, you really don't need to book any entertainment ahead of time.  The Genie will make sure you get into any show you want and will make sure that you sit wherever you want to sit.  It's a very special part of their Genie powers !

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8 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

With the Genie, you really don't need to book any entertainment ahead of time.  The Genie will make sure you get into any show you want and will make sure that you sit wherever you want to sit.  It's a very special part of their Genie powers !

Thank you for your response. But I want have a genie so i was asking about in general.   

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12 hours ago, woodman1 said:

How early were you able to book the shows on board? We set sail on March 5  and have yet to be able book anything.  Now  booking shows are new to me so maybe it's closer to sail time I'm not sure.  I've cruise before but never bothered to book shows. Going with my sil & bil which have never cruised and want them to get the most out of the cruise. 

 

 Thank you

woodman

If you’re looking to book on-board shows I think they  open up much closer to your sail date.    We’re about 50 days out and shows haven’t opened up yet in our planner.   Hang tough - they’ll show up though.   I remember previous cruises I think it was about a month’ish before they showed up in the planner

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The weather has turned to a strong Fall feeling in Minnesota!  Today we are in the low 50s, but the wind and cloudy skies make it seem much colder!  I did my civic duty today by absentee voting, our school district is in great need for the referendum that we are trying to pass!  But enough with the day to day, this crew is ready for a vacation!

Remember the one year old that had pneumonia 2 weeks ago?  Well he was in for a well baby check today and he has a double ear infection.  The poor little guy can't catch a break!  He such a good natured baby, it's hard to tell when he's sick!  Antibiotics have started and should be working by our flight Friday night.  We are all doing PCR tests tomorrow morning.  I am expecting the results about 12 hours after we take them.  We are fortunate that the sample collection and lab testing are all done in the same building.  Here's hoping all of our testing goes fine.  I've been getting weird emails from Royal telling us to schedule Covid testing at the port for all of our vaccinated adults.  The emails refer to us as being unvaccinated and between the ages of 2 and 11.  A couple calls to Royal have given us different answers.  I'm going with the fact that we all have our vaccination cards and will have our negative Covid tests so everything with be fine!

Received an email from our Genie, Reyno, today. He is back on the Symphony beginning with our cruise!  We plan to arrive at the port at 10:30am and hopefully have our granddaughter's Covid test done and be on board by noon!  Enough of the logistics!  Can it be Saturday already so we can cruise?!?!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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