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4 hours ago, Galveston Steve said:

Wait, what!!! Got this from my travel agent. Is this another intern error is is this real? If it's real, we're booked on the first sailing of the Newly Amped Liberty of the Seas!

Liberty.thumb.jpg.e8e84b395d44a53670432d75a09f2333.jpg

I'm probably in the minority,  but I think it is possible that the amp is going forward.  Consider:

Liberty has been in drydock for quite a while. In fact it's a week late getting to Galveston 

All of the stuff has been purchased and sitting in storage. Therefore,  it can't be that much more money to go forward with the amp

According to the earnings call, bookings are stronger than expected,  so royal may feel they can afford it 

Royal might feel it's cheaper just to knock it out now rather than continuing to pay storage on the amp equipment and taking Liberty out of service in a year or two. 

 

None of this says it is happening,  just that it could. I'm really looking forward to seeing her when she arrives! 

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On 6/27/2021 at 11:34 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

This is no surprise to me at all.  I wondered from the beginning how they (CCL) ever expected to qualify for the "no test cruise" scenario when they had no idea who was sailing (vaxxed or unvaxxed).  I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.  They made this bed and now they're scurrying around trying to find a way to lie in it. Recall that THEY were the ones who originally said they were going to permit unvaxxed to sail....and then let Royal make their announcement that Royal wasn't going to insist on vaccination....and then Carnival turned around and suddenly announced  that they were going FULL VAX.  Serves them right, IMO.  I have my popcorn ready.  This should get very interesting.

They have a history of doing their own thing and have the fines to prove it.

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

Do the Galveston hotels typically book fast or just take a while to go on sale?

 

The first three I looked at showed no rooms available for a March cruise, but I know one (Holiday Inn) I booked on relatively short notice for a 2019 cruise.

Close in hotels (on the island) fill very quickly and are quite pricey.   Far more plentiful if you push outside the immediate area and accept a longer drive in the morning.

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2 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

Do the Galveston hotels typically book fast or just take a while to go on sale?

 

The first three I looked at showed no rooms available for a March cruise, but I know one (Holiday Inn) I booked on relatively short notice for a 2019 cruise.

@smokeybandit, which week in March?  Lots of Texas school districts have March spring breaks (in this area, the 2nd or 3rd week) and Galveston beaches are a  Spring Break destination.   But - there should be hotels available for you.  Good luck!

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38 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

March 19-20

@smokeybandit, I found two that will book the one night you need - Harbor House close to the pier, and Courtyard.   Harbor house is also within walking distance of a good seafood restaurant. 
          sometimes hotels will only show for a minimum of 2 nights during peak times like Spring Break.  But if so, and you call directly, you can often book for 1 night,   Good luck!   
 

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2 hours ago, CrznTxn said:

Cadiz is for propulsion and navigation equipment updates and maybe even a new paint job. If they were doing the next amplification, which they were supposed to do last year, then they would have done that at the facility in Freeport, The Bahamas.

 

1 hour ago, steverk said:

I'm probably in the minority,  but I think it is possible that the amp is going forward.  Consider:

Liberty has been in drydock for quite a while. In fact it's a week late getting to Galveston 

All of the stuff has been purchased and sitting in storage. Therefore,  it can't be that much more money to go forward with the amp

According to the earnings call, bookings are stronger than expected,  so royal may feel they can afford it 

Royal might feel it's cheaper just to knock it out now rather than continuing to pay storage on the amp equipment and taking Liberty out of service in a year or two. 

 

None of this says it is happening,  just that it could. I'm really looking forward to seeing her when she arrives! 

I wouldn't bet against Royal pulling off a surprise Amplification. We'll see. First tip-off will be if she stays in Cadiz much longer. She arrived on July 18.  If she leaves Cadiz and heads toward Freeport then it will fuel the speculation!

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6 hours ago, Galveston Steve said:

I feel confident in the terminal completing on time. This is my opinion as a former project manager, from following the progress reports monthly with the Port of Galveston, and seeing the commitment to this project as one of Royal's priorities during the pandemic.  That said, we are also booked on the Nov 13 and Dec 4 sailings and we will keep them both. Being on the first Oasis Class ship to sail from the new Galveston Terminal? Priceless!

@Galveston Steve, thanks for the valuable input on the terminal prognosis.  I like your option … keeping both sailings !  Agree about the Priceless comment ?

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27 minutes ago, Zurc said:

@smokeybandit, I found two that will book the one night you need - Harbor House close to the pier, and Courtyard.   Harbor house is also within walking distance of a good seafood restaurant. 
          sometimes hotels will only show for a minimum of 2 nights during peak times like Spring Break.  But if so, and you call directly, you can often book for 1 night,   Good luck!   
 

I found plenty, just pretty poor reviews.  I'm not overly concerned.

 

My internal debate is transportation.  Last time we rented a car, dropped it off in Texas city and i ubered back to the hotel.  Not sure i want that hassle this time

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Liberty was 90% pre-amped already.  She received the cabin additions a few years ago along with water slides and suite lounge.

Missing is Playmakers and maybe another new specialty restaurant to replace Sabor.  It wouldn't take much to finish a mini-amp and call her AMPED.    

Not all ships have received a complete pool deck makeover in their official AMP.  Not all ships had cabins refreshed in their official AMP.

Ovation received Fish & Ships as a makeover restaurant upgrade during a cruise to Alaska with guests on board.  It wouldn't take a lot to replace Sabor on Liberty.  Playmakers is a bigger project than that so maybe she doesn't get a PM - wouldn't be the first AMPED ship that didn't get a PM.    

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16 minutes ago, twangster said:

Liberty was 90% pre-amped already.  She received the cabin additions a few years ago along with water slides and suite lounge.

That was 5 years ago in 2016.  We sailed her pre- and post-refurb back then.  I don't think they have done much since then. You're right, she needs Playmakers and some other restaurants, and the cabins need refurbished. Here's April 3, 2016:

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E6FFDE76-C173-46BC-B499-5968259E8112.thumb.JPG.147de6939b6bdb82a4a9420ff06b4d44.JPG

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9 minutes ago, Galveston Steve said:

That was 5 years ago in 2016.  We sailed her pre- and post-refurb back then.  I don't think they have done much since then. You're right, she needs Playmakers and some other restaurants, and the cabins need refurbished. Here's April 3, 2016:

 

 

Mariner cabins weren't touched in her AMP.  So that's something they could cut from Liberty's AMP and still call it an AMP.  I don't think Indy's cabins got much love either in her AMP.  Haven't been on Freedom post-amp yet.

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50 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

I found plenty, just pretty poor reviews.  I'm not overly concerned.

 

My internal debate is transportation.  Last time we rented a car, dropped it off in Texas city and i ubered back to the hotel.  Not sure i want that hassle this time

Another option is to stay on the mainland instead of the island. You can take an uber to the pier. There are several decent, mid priced hotels on i45 in Webster or league city. (I would avoid anything close to either airport though)

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11 hours ago, steverk said:

Another option is to stay on the mainland instead of the island. You can take an uber to the pier. There are several decent, mid priced hotels on i45 in Webster or league city. (I would avoid anything close to either airport though)

I agree. We are doing this on a couple upcoming cruises because of the high prices on the island. And I second your advice to avoid hotels close to the airport due to those being less desirable (less safe) areas. 

One point: Uber is not allowed on Port property because they have refused to cooperate with the Port on an operating agreement.  Lyft is the only ride share company allowed to drop off at the port, and your bill will include a $2.00 port surcharge. Uber will be able to drop you off in Galveston, just not at the Port. However, the Port is asking the City to clamp down on Uber drop-offs that block traffic near the port.

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After discussing this topic at length during the past several monthly meetings, a decision has been made. The Port of Galveston Trustees voted last week to approve the following change in the cruise terminal numbering system:

  • Cruise Terminal 10 - New Royal Caribbean Terminal
  • Cruise Terminal 25 - Existing Terminal 1 (used mainly by Carnival)
  • Cruise Terminal 28 - Existing Terminal 2 (used by Royal, Carnival, and Disney)

These numbers line up with the city's street numbers and also coincide with the port's pier numbering system.

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

maybe another new specialty restaurant to replace Sabor

I agree with the need to replace Sabor. While a Tex-Mex specialty restaurant ($$) may be appealing when sailing out of Seattle, Bayonne, or even Miami, but it really doesn't rank very highly when sailing out of Tex itself. It was empty every time I went by when I sailed pre-Covid. I hope it is happening.

The rest of the ship is great. I would cruise with her again in a heartbeat.

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12 hours ago, Zurc said:

@smokeybandit, I found two that will book the one night you need - Harbor House close to the pier, and Courtyard.   Harbor house is also within walking distance of a good seafood restaurant. 
          sometimes hotels will only show for a minimum of 2 nights during peak times like Spring Break.  But if so, and you call directly, you can often book for 1 night,   Good luck!   
 

I stayed at Harbor House years ago (I wasn't there for a cruise or vacation, sadly, but for some training at UTMB).  Back then it was very nice, can recommend. 

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20 minutes ago, skittermagoo said:

I stayed at Harbor House years ago (I wasn't there for a cruise or vacation, sadly, but for some training at UTMB).  Back then it was very nice, can recommend. 

Please see the comments about Harbor House in my original post on this thread. I try to keep that information up to date. We stayed at Harbor House a couple months ago and loved the location, close to the cruise terminals, right on the water, nearby restaurants, friendly staff.  But our room had a mildew smell.  I don't know if the rest of the hotel had the same issue.

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12 hours ago, Galveston Steve said:

After discussing this topic at length during the past several monthly meetings, a decision has been made. The Port of Galveston Trustees voted last week to approve the following change in the cruise terminal numbering system:

  • Cruise Terminal 10 - New Royal Caribbean Terminal
  • Cruise Terminal 25 - Existing Terminal 1 (used mainly by Carnival)
  • Cruise Terminal 28 - Existing Terminal 2 (used by Royal, Carnival, and Disney)

These numbers line up with the city's street numbers and also coincide with the port's pier numbering system.

@Galveston Steve , thanks,  this naming scheme corresponding to pier number and streets makes more sense for new to Galveston people driving to the Ports.    
     Can you confirm something?  I thought I read the 
Port was signing an agreement with Lyft during last meeting agenda, and Uber would not be allowed in the terminal areas .   Is this official? 
 

Edited by Zurc
Correction
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6 hours ago, Zurc said:

@Galveston Steve , thanks,  this naming scheme corresponding to pier number and streets makes more sense for new to Galveston people driving to the Ports.    
     Can you confirm something?  I thought I read the 
Port was signing an agreement with Lyft during last meeting agenda, and Uber would not be allowed in the terminal areas .   Is this official? 
 

The agreement with Lyft was signed and is official. Lyft is the only rideshare service allowed to drop off at the Galveston cruise terminals and the Lyft charge will include a $2.00 port fee.  Uber apparently refused to work with the port. Uber can drop you off in Galveston, just not at the Port.

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Hey guys, our son and daughter-in-law (also our travel agents) have some great group rates for the Allure of the Seas inaugural sailing from Galveston on November 13, 2022. I don't like to promote on here, but this will be a special sailing.

Reach out to [email protected]
www.ForayTravel.com

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On 8/13/2021 at 2:02 PM, Maddog said:

Liberty completed the test drive - then appear to load up on a lot of diesel for ride home  Now she is sitting - moored for the past couple of days - maybe to load crew or address other non dry dock upgrades.  

We'll see.

 

I agree, I think she is finishing up some Amplification work. Educated guess or wishful thinking? We shall see!

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Although construction began about two months ago, a small official groundbreaking for the new Cruise Terminal 10 did take place today.  Independence of the Seas sails her inaugural cruise from Galveston tomorrow so it was a big celebration.

image.thumb.png.a76d0535857ef07f7beb18d0e18a6b94.png

image.thumb.png.2eb2091706f93924ffe64e2742499d45.png

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5 hours ago, Maddog said:

Liberty is on her way back from dry dock in Spain

First stop Fort Lauderdale on 8/23.

Yippie

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:370053/zoom:10

Ok, very interesting!  Liberty arrived in dry dock in Cadiz on July 18. She was in dry dock for 23 days followed by 5 days along side in the port of Cadiz.  That's exactly 4 weeks in Cadiz. Plenty of time for some Amplification upgrades, hopefully!

image.thumb.png.c59ac2633e0f21891329ed4f574c16eb.png

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18 hours ago, Galveston Steve said:

Ok, very interesting!  Liberty arrived in dry dock in Cadiz on July 18. She was in dry dock for 23 days followed by 5 days along side in the port of Cadiz.  That's exactly 4 weeks in Cadiz. Plenty of time for some Amplification upgrades, hopefully!

 

Royal Caribbean still shows the Diamond lounge in the original place as well as the Connoisseur Club on deck 5.  I hope that if they did amp anything it was NOT these.  The rest I do not care about.

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