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br111

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  1. Can anyone give some guidance on how far the swim is from the beach to the snorkeling spot? And how the quality of the snorkeling has been since Hurricane Dorian rolled through? I'm trying to figure out if it's worth bringing a snorkel/mask and if the distance from the beach is far enough where I would want to bring flippers too. (A bit big to pack - and I'd prefer to not have to rent.) Thanks!
  2. Curious about this too. This will be my first cruise as a Diamond - but my travelling companions are not there yet so I don't anticipate spending a lot of time in the lounge. But I would like to just pop in the lounge for a glass of wine to take to dinner. I know this is the situation that the "three drinks on the card" is designed for - but would it be fair for me to grab a single glass of wine from the lounge instead of sitting in there drinking for an hour or more? (Of course I realize letting drinks out of the lounge could be a slipper slope...)
  3. We were on Anthem out of Cape Liberty last year for Thanksgiving week and didn't see any decorations up before we got off unfortunately. But you still couldn't beat riding a jet ski before having a turkey dinner!
  4. It's super-convenient. It's $22/day and as I recall from last year, I'm pretty sure you pay at a pay station before returning to your car after the cruise. Logistically, you'll drive to the port and first be directed to the terminal where you'll pull up curbside and stop briefly to just hand your checked luggage to the waiting porters and then you hop back in your car and drive around the corner to park in the garage. It's then a 5 minute walk from the garage to the check-in. Total time is maybe 10 minutes - although we got there early and I think traffic could be a factor later in the day.
  5. Here's one bit of intel, although hard to know how much to read into it: Right after the incident happened yesterday, you could actually go on the website and book the April 7 Oasis departure (it was sold out except for inside cabins). But now the site shows no Oasis cruises available for all of April. The first Oasis sailing showing available is the May 12 departure from Barcelona. Now, the obvious question is were the other sailings sold out or did RCI pull them yesterday? I THINK I saw the April 14 departure was listed yesterday morning but don't remember for sure. And, of course, if I was RCI I would play it better safe than sorry and pull those sailings protectively rather than have someone book a cruise for a couple of weeks from now only to have it cancelled 24 hours later if the damage turns out to be bad.
  6. An online newspaper in the Bahamas has tweeted video of what seems to be a crane that has partially collapsed into the stern of Oasis in Freeport. (It seems that maybe it was there for a week-long wet dock?) It also seems she is listing slightly to starboard. Can't find any other details at the moment. https://twitter.com/Bahamaspress/status/1112772498427441152
  7. A little late on a reply - but we did the Universal Studios transfer around Thanksgiving and I'm pretty sure Disney runs the same way: Obviously everyone departs the ship at the same time. Then for the return, as I recall there were two or three return time options towards the end of the day (like 4pm, 4:30pm give or take). They don't offer shuttles all day. If my notes are correct: We left the ship at 7:30a or so (which got us to Universal right at the 9a opening time) and then took a 4:30pm bus back which I think was the second-to-last of the day. All-on-board was 6:30pm I think. As you can see that despite what the tour duration might say, they do give you as much time as the park as possible given the ship's departure time (which I guess, is either good or bad if you have a two-year-old!)
  8. When I drove to the port a couple of months ago it was super-convenient. As you approach the terminal, people will direct you to a curbside where you can pull over and unload your bags. Hand them off to one of the waiting porters curbside (with your tags attached, obviously) and then just get back in your car and proceed to the garage around the corner. After you park your car, you walk to the terminal where you complete check-in (and that's where the special Star class/elite etc. check-in areas are). We weren't star class on this trip, but I THINK all the luggage is handled the same way, it's just the check-in areas that are different. I assume your bag tags note star class to receive priority handling. In any event, I wouldn't think they would ask suite passengers to drag their bags from the garage which, while close, would still be much more inconvenient than just dropping curtbside. We got there at 10:30a as others have suggested and had no pretty much no lines anywhere and got right on the ship.
  9. We had no problem at all booking North Star as soon as we got on board using the app. Tons of times available for multiple days. Also, while we didn't go this route, I think it's also pretty easy to do standby. (North Star is conveniently located next to the North Star Bar so you'll have something to do if you need to wait for a space to open up!)
  10. Unless the weather is really bad, I'd suggest popping outside on an upper deck for just a few minutes to watch the ship go under the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge. The top of the ship just barely clears it and on our sailing, smoke from the stack pretty much enveloped the bridge - which must have been quite a surprise to the drivers passing by at that moment! We also had great luck booking Ifly and NorthStar by using the app as soon as we were able to get on the ship's wifi. Very simple, lots of times available and no waiting in line. I'd also suggest booking times near the beginning of the trip in case weather causes cancellation later on as it did on our trip when we hit some wind on the way back to Bayonne which caused them to cancel all the ifly and NorthStar reservations for a day.
  11. We didn't do any of the specialty dining (although Wonderland looked very cool) so not sure what availability looked like. All the other activities didn't require advance sign-up. There were a bunch of trivia options and the usual comedy shows (a couple as the headliner "showtime" and then a couple late-night adults-only versions too).
  12. I've absorbed so much information while lurking on these boards for so many years, I finally thought it was time to give back. Was on the Anthem Thanksgiving Bahamas sailing and offer these (admittedly very random) tips and tricks in the hope they're of help for future cruisers. A lot of these were questions I had before sailing but couldn't find searching previous posts. Happy to answer any questions. BAYONNE ARRIVAL TIME - As has been posted previously, 10:30a was perfect. 20 minutes curb to ship. SCHEDULING "SOLD OUT" ACTIVITIES USING THE ROYAL IQ APP - I was a bit concerned because even though we booked several months out, there were no online reservations available for IFly or North Star. But not to worry! As soon as we got on (around 11a - see above) I immediately hopped on the WiFi, fired up the app and found tons of times available. MTD DINING RESERVATIONS - Likewise, a lot of the dining times available online were only 8:30p or 9p. The app on board showed the same availability, but we went right to the dining room (which shockingly had basically no line) and were able to get slightly better times. They also just suggested showing up when we wanted even if we had super-late reservations. Having heard past MTD horror stories, I was doubtful - but amazingly it all worked out. We went as near as our reservation as possible but even when we were hours early we were accommodated. (Being a smaller party of 3 was apparently a big help according to the hosts). SCHEDULE ACTIVITIES AS EARLY IN THE ITINERARY AS POSSIBLE - I was glad we decided to do iFly and North Star during our first two sea days. Weather on one the last two days (sailing from the Bahamas back to Bayonne) closed the upper deck and cancelled iFly and North Star all day. Not sure how they would have been able to reschedule everyone who had reserved for that day since it was the second-to-last day TENDERING AT COCO CAY - Despite previous reports, there were no tender tickets used (because we arrive so early on this particular itinerary, according to ShoreEx). We just showed up around 9a (tenders had been running for at least 90 minutes at that point) and shockingly only waited 10 minutes to board a tender. The actual transit time was 10 minutes - super easy. As others have noted, the pier there is FAR from complete. At least several months I would guess. WAVERUNNERS AND TIDES AT COCO CAY - We were a bit surprised to arrive at the waverunner shack on Coco Cay and be told that our pre-booked 10:30a waverunner tour had been rescheduled all the way to 3:30pm because low tides meant they couldn't get over a sand bar. Might be worth checking on board in the future. (The tour was great, though). Also, all the tours had sold out previous to our arrival on Coco Cay. DISNEY / UNIVERSAL SHORE EXCURSION TIMING - Even though it's listed as an 8 hour tour, the tour operator used every hour available in port, leaving the ship around 7:45a, arriving at the park by 9a, departing the park at 4:30pm and arriving at the ship by 5:30p/5:45p. CELL SERVICE - Since I didn't pay for WiFi and my company plan includes international roaming, I was glad to see great cell and data service available on CoCo Cay. There was also about a 30-minute window when we passed just close enough to North Carolina that I was able to download a day's worth of email on just my regular Verizon plan. "INTRO TO 270" SHOW - This show, early-on during the cruise, wasn't really promoted but was spectacular - really showed you all that the 270 lounge can do. Highly recommended! STARBOARD SIDE IS PIER SIDE - For anyone who cares when booking their cabin, we always docked starboard side, and tenders departed from that side as well. WEATHER - We hit a bit of weather on our trip back home. We were in 50 kt (Gale Force) winds and "medium to rough" seas according to the Captain - but while individual impressions may vary, I didn't find much motion compared to what I've experienced on dozens of other cruises.(Although a couple of shows were rescheduled). WEATHER FORECAST - If you're a weather nerd, or just want to see how rough it will be, check out this great National Weather Service site that provides coastal forecasts that cover the entire trip to and from the Bahamas: ocean.weather.gov That's it. See - told you they were random!!
  13. I have the Deluxe package as well but don't see any notations below the bar code on the set sail pass except for a series of numbers so now wondering if something is messed up. I do see it noted in my order history in the cruise planner.
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