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Kinda live … Anthem 3/27/22


cruisinnewbie
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We board today for my first RC cruise - Anthem, Grand Loft Suite, 7-night out of Bayonne. I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning in excitement. I don’t know if I’ll have the stamina for a live blog, and I saw the feedback on here that we have a LOT of star class blogs, but I figured I’d start this and maybe add any interesting observations as a newbie.

I’m traveling with my family - husband, two kids (12 and 7).  We’ve been trying to sail RC since we booked an awesome Black Friday sale in November 2019 to sail in March 2020. You all know what happened then. As we kept rescheduling and getting canceled, we kept upgrading. This story started in a junior suite and ended up in star class, lol. We had two years to pay it off and, as a teacher with a doc husband, we both really, really needed an amazing break from the last two years of reality. Our genie is Leroy and he’s been lovely so far in our emails. I’m ready to grab the wheel from my husband if he tries to pull over before the star class zone at the port, lol. 

I am usually a great packer, but with the limits of air travel taken away, I’ve gone insane. Apparently I think I’m Beyoncé and need several outfit changes per day. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’m legit concerned about fitting it all in the car. Then there’s my 7-year-old, who announced to me that she’s all packed and when I checked she is bringing a slinky, an army of stuffed animals, and one shirt. I remedied that but let her keep the slinky, because I’m not gonna die on that hill. 


This site has made me feel like an expert  before I’ve ever even stepped foot on a ship. You all are so kind and patient! Thank you for answering my questions and for your blogs that gave me an exciting preview of star class. I was especially inspired by @Lovetocruise2002 and @WAAAYTOOO from reading their blogs and asking them questions - thank you! 

We live about 90 minutes from Cape Liberty so it’s way too early to leave but I am so antsy. I might burst into tears when we finally get on the ship after so many tries. Sorry for rambling, but I’m sleep deprived! Hope to update from on board later today.

 

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4 hours ago, cruisinnewbie said:

she is bringing a slinky, an army of stuffed animals, and one shirt

I just love the way kids think about packing!!  😂😂

Following because we started our Star Class journey on Anthem in a GLS last year after being justifiably influenced by @WAAAYTOOO and @Lovetocruise2002.  It was everything we had hoped for and now my husband fears that he will never get another "land" vacation again.

Hope you fully enjoy your vacation!  In your careers, you both could use some major pampering!

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Ok. In a word: wow. We haven’t even left the port and I already feel like it’s the best vacation ever. Leroy met us at the star class drop off and apologized for us having to wait like 30 seconds. He whisked us through the boarding process and then took us to our suite. I can’t believe how huge and lovely it is! 
I had mentioned at some point that my kids love to play roblox, and there was a roblox-themed welcome cake and sign. My kids were absolutely floored. 
We had explained to Leroy beforehand that we keep kosher, which means we only eat kosher meat when we eat meat. So on vacation, we eat veggie or fish (no shellfish). When I came in I saw a lovely tray of beef and Turkey appetizers in our suite and I thought, “wow that’s a miss.” I very politely said to Leroy that we don’t eat non kosher meat and he told me they got kosher meat to make the dish! I was honestly floored. That’s a kind of above and beyond that I wasn’t expecting. 
Leroy is absolutely lovely - funny, warm, great with the kids. 
we did our muster and then went to lunch at coastal kitchen. It was lovely. My kids started squabbling so we decided to give them some space from each other, which is how I ended up back here in the suite relaxing with my daughter while my husband and son explore the ship. I think I got the better end of the deal and I’m slowly sinking into the couch as my 3:30 am wake up starts to get to me. Heading out in a bit to register kids at adventure ocean. Will check in later! 

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Day one continued to be great. Took kids to AO to register and found out my 12 year old counts as a teen. Had a full existential crisis  over having a kid old enough for the teen  club and then we went to check it out. We followed our son’s instructions to pretend we didn’t know him. 😂 He made a friend.and the two of them have been inseparable ever since. For my daughter, the AO people seemed nice but they aren’t really doing a lot of organized activities for the kids. My daughter saw science stuff in one room and got excited and they said they weren’t really doing stuff like that these days. 

 

we explored the ship a bit and went up top to see us go under the verrezano bridge. Wow that was close! 
 

dinner was at Jamie’s and was quite good. The ship’s executive chef stopped by to give us his card and talk over our dietary needs. Star class is something else!

 

we also met Raj, our suite attendant, and he seems terrific. We hid our first two ducks as well. 

After dinner my daughter and I crashed snd my husband and son went swimming with the new friend. Now I’m up early for no reason but that’s what my body is used to. One small thing about the GLS: Because of its location, I presume, there is a LOT of rattling and vibrating. My daughter got a bit scared. I am thankful for my nausea patch 

No crazy plans for the day - looking forward to relaxing!

 

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2 hours ago, cruisinnewbie said:

found out my 12 year old counts as a teen. Had a full existential crisis  over having a kid old enough for the teen  club and then we went to check it out. We followed our son’s instructions to pretend we didn’t know him. 😂

I don't know why this struck me as soooo funny.  I am really happy to hear that he found a friend right off the bat.  That will make things so much easier for everyone.  I got such a hoot out of this...

Please tell us about Leroy.  I have never heard of this Genie.  He must be new ?

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13 hours ago, cruisinnewbie said:

there is a LOT of rattling and vibrating

Right?  Our first night I couldn't fall asleep because I kept thinking the glass would rattle off the counter - I went down to investigate and was glad I did because they were dangerously close to the edge.  I put napkins between all of the glassware and it helped.  Ask Raj for help with that.  He'll fix it.  🙂  

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2 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

Right?  Our first night I couldn't fall asleep because I kept thinking the glass would rattle off the counter - I went down to investigate and was glad I did because they were dangerously close to the edge.  I put napkins between all of the glassware and it helped.  Ask Raj for help with that.  He'll fix it.  🙂  

Raj told us we had a particularly rough night but that he has experienced all of the glassware going flying. We tried to move them apart to minimize the clanking because that’s what was making my daughter particularly nervous. I’ll ask Raj!

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13 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Please tell us about Leroy.  I have never heard of this Genie.  He must be new ?

Leroy is incredible. I think he replaced Yen? He is so kind and funny and warm. My kids adore him and we do too. I never should have told him that my son has a sweet tooth because there’s an entire bakery worth of pastries being delivered daily. He is so good he even convinced me to go on ifly - that one is definitely one and done for me! 

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8 minutes ago, cruisinnewbie said:

Leroy is incredible. I think he replaced Yen? He is so kind and funny and warm. My kids adore him and we do too. I never should have told him that my son has a sweet tooth because there’s an entire bakery worth of pastries being delivered daily. He is so good he even convinced me to go on ifly - that one is definitely one and done for me! 

Yen is an awesome Genie. We had her on our B2B SC cruises in Feb 2018.  I’m happy to hear that you are enjoying Leroy.  More Genies is better !

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Our first full day and night on the ship continued to be great. My daughter and I woke up early and went to get Starbucks and pastries. The person tried to charge me for the pastries but I knew from this group that they should be included, so I whispered in my most un-Karen—like voice, “um, star class?” And he started apologizing. As someone who hates attention, I feel weird about all of the fawning that happens in Star class, but maybe I’ll get used to it! By then end of the week I’ll just bust into places yelling, “do you know who I am???”

Once everyone was up we went to coastal kitchen for breakfast. It was lovely if nothing to write home about. While we ate I texted with Leroy to figure out bumper cars. He told us to meet him at the seaplex when we finished and he was right there waiting for us. How does this man cover multiple suites? I feel like he’s always immediately available. It’s like an old episode of Three’s Company when Jack tries to go on multiple dates at the same time. We saw Leroy escorting a group into wonderland while we were walking to chops for dinner and he looked like we had caught him cheating 😂 But I digress- bumper cars. Leroy sent us in through the exit twice and I tried not to think about how I would hate me if I were watching that happen from the long line waiting to play. But, that’s the star class perk so I went with it. It seems my children have some issues they need to work out because they bumped me mercilessly. 

Our plan was to then hit the indoor pool, but, alas, someone puked in there and it was closed. So we decided to do the ship scavenger hunt. Leroy said he’s never seen one of his groups do it before, which is interesting. I couldn’t figure out how my son and his new friend were finding everything so easily and then I remembered I gave him Leroy’s WhatsApp in case of emergency. I guess winning the scavenger hunt by asking your genie to cheat is considered an emergency in my child’s world. Sorry, my TEEN’s world. I did finally get to meet the new friend’s mom and I asked Leroy to add them to our overwater cabana list for CocoCay so that the boys can play and I can relax. That might sound generous, but it’s actually extremely selfish, lol. 


We had lunch at Jamie’s and it was very good, though next time I probably wouldn’t do it two days in a row. after lunch we went to do ifly. I wasn’t intending to participate, but Leroy cajoled me into trying it. Let’s just say I was not good at it. I don’t think I’ll try it again. My kids loved it. 

I went after that and had my hair blown out. I pre purchased a package of 3 blowouts for less than the price of two single ones. I hate doing my hair and I decided to make it my self care gift.

We got all dressed up and took some photos before dinner at chops. They really push the private photo session but since those are not included in the photo package I purchased, i passed. Chops was quite good and they asked really thoughtful questions like whether we could eat the food on their regular plates or if we needed new ones (the answer is for us, we don’t care) .

After dinner we saw Frankie and the Dreamers, starring the guy who played Frankie Valli in the first run of the show Jersey Boys. We went in a little bummed because both spectra and we will rock you are not showing this week due to quarantined cast members, but it turns out this show is great. Even my kids liked it despite asking me repeatedly why I knew all of the words to the songs.

So now I’m up stupidly early because someone forget to tell my sleep cycles that I’m on vacation. We will see what today brings! 

TL:DR: star class is awesome and I never want to go home. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Really enjoying your review.  Great sense of humour.  I can picture exactly what you meant by the Three's Company comment (made me laugh). 

We just got off Anthem 2 weeks ago (but in regular balcony rooms) and loved the ship.  Bumper cars is fun and so nice your genie did the booking for you.  

Brave of you to try iFly.  Not me, but our kids loved it.

That's really too bad that the production shows aren't running this week.  I agree...Frankie and the Dreamers show is really great (and that's coming from someone who isn't a fan of that music).  They have such energy and it is neat that the main guy starred in the original production.  

Do you also have the 3pm Port Canaveral arrival time?  i.e. another sea day?

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2 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

Really enjoying your review.  Great sense of humour.  I can picture exactly what you meant by the Three's Company comment (made me laugh). 

I’m so glad someone appreciated my terribly dated joke 😂
 

We just got off Anthem 2 weeks ago (but in regular balcony rooms) and loved the ship.  Bumper cars is fun and so nice your genie did the booking for you.  

Leroy just told us he’ll take the kids to bumper cars again tonight while hubby and I are at chef’s table - best news ever  

Brave of you to try iFly.  Not me, but our kids loved it.

I haven’t seen the photos yet, but I am 100 percent sure that “brave” won’t be the word to describe my facial expression 

 

2 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

 

Do you also have the 3pm Port Canaveral arrival time?  i.e. another sea day?

yup  I can’t believe many people will get off the boat for so short a time  

 

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51 minutes ago, wannabecruiseexpert said:

I thought that Starbucks pastries weren't included, even for star class.  Is this the case on every ship?  If so, I hope they stock up on banana nut bread because that's my favorite! 

Starbucks pastries are not included, even for SC but the pastries at the bakery on Anthem (I never know how to spell it !) are.  Unless you are SC there is an upcharge.  Even though they sell Starbucks coffee, it is not a stand-alone SB concession. Maybe that will change in the future ?  I know there was an announcement recently that SB was increasing their presence with Royal.  Maybe that bakery will become a SB concession eventually.

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12 hours ago, cruisinnewbie said:

After dinner we saw Frankie and the Dreamers, starring the guy who played Frankie Valli in the first run of the show Jersey Boys.

Is this the current headliner, or one of the new staple shows? We did Anthem a few years back and I definitely don't remember that one. Sad to hear you'll miss "We Will Rock You" - definitely one of my favorite shows I've seen onboard.

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4 hours ago, GKMCruising said:

Is this the current headliner, or one of the new staple shows? We did Anthem a few years back and I definitely don't remember that one. Sad to hear you'll miss "We Will Rock You" - definitely one of my favorite shows I've seen onboard.

I’m not sure, sorry. I’m bummed about the show too but stuff like that is to be expected these days. 

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We had another fabulous day in Star Class heaven. I got up early so I went to the gym and pretended to work out while I watched Bridgerton. Had a quiet coffee at la patisserie without any kids. Delightful. 
 

Leroy had breakfast delivered to our suite right at 8:30 as requested. He then met us at the rock wall and let us through the line. I let the rest of my family enjoy that - I learned from ifly that sportiness is not my strong suit.  We then went to our appointment for Northstar, which was cool. Leroy brought the kids a pair of binoculars, which would have been awesome if they didn’t spend the whole ride fighting over whose turn it was to look. Now it was my turn to pretend I’d never met any of them. 
 

We went straight from North Star to lunch at Izumi, which was great. It was during this meal that the most incredible moment of my life happened - my son consumed a vegetable. Ok, it was fried tempura style, but it was an actual vegetable. After lunch was pool time. The suite Sun deck is lovely but not very convenient to the pool. 

I was nervous going into tonight because my husband and I reserved chef’s table and my daughter was adamant that she didn’t want to go to adventure ocean and my son was totally fine with meeting up with his friend and wandering around the ship - terrifying. Leroy to the rescue again - he calmed my daughter down and escorted her to AO, where she ended up making lots of new friends. She informed me that she has to meet a friend at “the pirate ship” at 9 tomorrow. Um, ok. 
so the main event… chef’s table. My lord I am full. Full and tipsy. Leroy made more magic happen - he told us the chef would accommodate our dietary needs, which we assumed meant vegetarian and fish dishes. We never would have thought it meant a full kosher steak! And dairy free but amazing desserts! We loved getting to know the people at our table - such a fun night! So excited for CocoCay tomorrow. Pics of our  food below:

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14 hours ago, GKMCruising said:

Is this the current headliner, or one of the new staple shows? We did Anthem a few years back and I definitely don't remember that one. Sad to hear you'll miss "We Will Rock You" - definitely one of my favorite shows I've seen onboard.

Don't think Frankie and the Dreamers is a permanent show such as We Will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret; however, I've noticed they have been on Anthem for quite a few months (was watching the app for many cruises prior to our cruise)

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Yesterday was CocoCay day! Got up early and hit the gym again, and Bridgerton got a little emotional so if you see a social media post about a crazy lady crying on the elliptical, that would be me. Breakfast at coastal kitchen and then we got ready and met Leroy at Bolero’s to get ready to go. We went downstairs to an area that was only genies and their cabins. We were ready to walk on and … we weren’t cleared for a while. Apparently things got a little gnarly up in the line on deck 3 to get off the boat. We just counted our blessings and waited it out. When they cleared us, they said no crew could leave - no idea why. So Leroy had to direct us to our cabana instead of escorting us and all of the genies were upset. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad, and they gave us an extra hour on the island. 
 

so… cococay. We made very ambitious plans even though you all warned us it was a lot. It was, but my kids abhor being still for more than ten seconds so I wanted to plan a full day. When we booked this two years ago I snagged a good deal on an overwater cabana, and then on Black Friday I got water park tickets for 40 each. Following Leroy’s advice, we went to beach club first and got settled in our cabana. Holy cow. That was amazing. We had cabana 11, which others had told me was the best. It was incredible. My son loves marine life, so swimming around with giant rays made him happy as a clam.

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We arranged with our cabin attendant to do lunch around 1:30 and we headed off to the water park. I have to say, for all of the hype this is what I was least impressed by. Not a lot of options, especially for a kid who wants an exciting but not terrifying ride (like my increasingly cranky daughter). The lines were also crazy. Maybe that’s star class spoiled status talking. I pacified the younger kid with a walk through the island market and the purchase of a 20 dollar stuffed animal that she claims is her new best friend and that she will clearly have forgotten about by next week. Then back to the cabana for the afternoon. We also checked out the beach club pool, which was lovely and not crowded. 
we headed back to the ship and cleaned up, then headed to coastal kitchen for dinner. I forgot how much being out in the sun wipes you out. My kids both crashed hardcore, as pictured here.

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Leroy stopped by to bring us some aloe because I mentioned we were sunburned. I never want to not have a genie, lol. After dinner it was straight to bed. 
 

this morning has been quiet, more Bridgerton at the gym and subsequently more crying on the elliptical. Breakfast at coastal kitchen - tried the Baja eggs. We’re not getting off the boat in Nassau, so hoping for a quiet day. 
 

fun pic: if you zoom in you can see me on our balcony!

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I absolutely LOVE the pic of your son in a face plant at the dinner table.  That completely describes me most evenings on a cruise, after an excursion.  It is just adorable.

Not gonna lie- while I managed to keep my head off the table, my eyes were closing at dinner as well. 

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I agree, we enjoyed the water park but I wouldn't pay more than $40 for tickets. We all decided we were glad to do it once but not going to hurry to do it again. We much more enjoyed time on our beach bed, the pool bar, and playing games on the island. 

I haven't caught any of season 2 yet but hope to this weekend. I'll have my tissues handy! Were you streaming directly from Netflix or had you downloaded episodes to watch offline? Our internet package wouldn't support any streaming. It wasn't a huge deal but I'm curious to know what you did.

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Our kids loved the waterpark and are begging to go next cruise (originally we said we may not get tickets each time).  Different experience for everyone.  

OP, from your picture, it looks like you weren't the only ship in port?  That may make a difference with the lines.  The cabana looks pretty nice!  Also love the photo of your son at dinner.  Too funny!

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Yesterday we were in Nassau and we stayed on the ship. It was quite the lazy day and I realized I really needed that. We canceled our lunch reservation because we just couldn’t eat another meal, lol. We’re like geese being prepped to become foie gras. 
 

My kids have definitely hit a bit of a wall with the constant togetherness. Their sibling squabbling has reached epic proportions. I bring this up because my first reaction was to get really upset about that and feel like they were ungrateful for this amazing opportunity. Once I calmed down, though, I remembered that they are kids and they will fall apart when they’re overstimulated and tired, and at the end of the day that’s not what they will remember from this trip. I just thought I’d share that for any fellow frustrated traveling parents out there! 
 

My son loved ifly so much and Leroy was able to get him in again. He got to do a flip this time! (With a lot of assistance, of course).
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The kids also got to work out their aggression at bumper cars again, though of course that led to a squabble about who was hitting whom too many times. 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

Dinner was Wonderland. I was so nervous about this one with the kids, since my son in particular limits his culinary palette to pizza, chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese. We told them to be open minded and worst case we’d get them sorrentos after. Well, surprise! They loved it. My son ordered an extra order of the branzino because he liked it so much. My daughter loves the cooking competition show “Zumbo’s Just Desserts” and she was SO excited to see desserts like that in real life, especially “the world.” Once again, the restaurant was amazing about accommodating our dietary needs.  My only complaint is they need two of those big throne chairs at each table so my kids didn’t have to fight over who got to sit in it - are you sensing a theme yet? 
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After dinner we headed to see a juggler named Scottie as the headliner show. He was quite entertaining and the kids loved it. The ship was really swaying, to the point where I needed my relief band (what a great invention, by the way). I couldn’t believe this guy was on a unicycle juggling knives when I was having trouble walking in a straight line. After the show was bedtime. 
 

Today I continued my routine of working out/ crying over Bridgerton and then getting my latte and croissant at la patisserie. Jonathan and Arun, the cashier and barista at la patisserie, have become my new besties and I love them. We’ll see what today brings … I guess it’s time to head back to the suite and see if my kids have called a truce (unlikely). 

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Yesterday was a very lazy day full of naps and downtime. Just what we needed. My daughter insisted on trying the windjammer for breakfast, which was fine but crowded. I’m a coastal kitchen snob, apparently. We had lunch at chops, though my kids asked for and received sorrentos. 
the only activity we did of note in the afternoon was flow rider, which only my husband did because my son and I declined and my daughter was too short (a fact that caused tears and could only be remedied by a trip to the arcade). Dinner was Izumi, which is always awesome. The spicy Okinawa drink was amazing and I love the crunchy Philly rolls. 
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My daughter and I crashed while my husband and son went to the comedy show headliner. They said it was funny. 
 

today I woke up, watched bridgerton on an elliptical, cried of course, and then grabbed my morning coffee to go and had the last of my package of three blowouts at the salon. It felt a bit excessive, but I paid for three so I was getting three. Had a cruel reminder that the cruise is almost over when I felt the blast of cool air hit through the pool deck doors. Another cruel reminder when we got our luggage tags and info about disembarkation. What will I do without Leroy?!

we’re headed to Jamie’s for lunch… will report on the end (sob) Of the cruise later. 

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@cruisinnewbie thanks for all this detail! We are June 10 Alaska GLS. Can you tell me which Relief Band you used? We did a micro disney cruise the other weekend and I was surprised and not being able to walk in a straight line and I wasn't interested in my champagne. Clearly I need a relief band! 

 

Also what is "hiding ducks" about?!

 

 

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22 hours ago, movistar said:

@cruisinnewbie thanks for all this detail! We are June 10 Alaska GLS. Can you tell me which Relief Band you used? We did a micro disney cruise the other weekend and I was surprised and not being able to walk in a straight line and I wasn't interested in my champagne. Clearly I need a relief band! 

 

Also what is "hiding ducks" about?!

 

 

I ordered a classic relief band https://www.reliefband.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzf2Z4sz49gIVDgiICR1NJgVFEAAYASAAEgIj6vD_BwE

I got it on sale but still pricey. I get really sea sick though so I wanted to try something. I was shocked at how well it worked. I did start the week wearing a scopolamine patch but it made my vision completely blur so I didn’t put on a new one. 
 

hiding ducks is a cute thing where people put tags on rubber ducks and hide them around the ships. It’s not just a RC thing. This was our first exposure to it and it was fun -the crew is very aware and seem into it. These were the ducks we brought:

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