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About TopDogSparky08

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  1. I gave this some thought last night. While I agree it is a terrible tragedy for the parents, the grandfather should have known better. The charges are deserved. I’m no parent, and have no interest in being one, but no one—adult or child—should be on those ship railings. What could have possibly made the grandfather and parents think it is OK to plop a baby up there just so she could bang on glass? The hockey excuse doesn’t hold water. I go to hockey games myself, and my team’s home arena doesn’t allow fans to bang on the glass. I assume if glass had popped out at a game and hit the child while she was banging on it, her parents would sue the arena it happened in. I was on Anthem and a couple weeks ago and saw an open window while walking through the pool deck, I believe. It was very clear the window was open. A lot of parents these days seem content to let their kids have and do what they want when they want and then cry lawsuit if a tragedy like this happens. Why are they not taking responsibility and having the public believe oh the law should just let this go because they are suffering? No doubt that they are, but you can’t just be a negligent parent or guardian and evade consequences.
  2. I don’t have any dates. That’s just what I read on the Royal Caribbean blog.
  3. With Freedom coming up to NJ, does anyone know what sailings she might do? I want to try a smaller ship after doing Anthem and Oasis, but probably don’t want to do Bahamas and Florida for the third year in a row. All I can find right now is that she will be doing five nights and nine nights.
  4. You scared me for a minute! I wore jeans to the MDR when I went but these were on non-formal nights. Formal nights I ate in the Windjammer...next cruise I might do one formal night and skip the other, but if you don’t want to dress up, it really is nice to not have to worry about crowds at the buffet for a change. 🙂
  5. Hi! There were not shuttles or multiple buses or anything like that. It was one scheduled excursion and the same bus took us to both the outlets and Disney Springs and then back to the ship. There were only about 10 of us on the excursion...maybe 15? If you missed the bus or wanted to be on your own for any other reason, you had to take a cab but that was like $175 from the shopping to the ship.
  6. This is the first time I’d ever heard of the convention, and I think several of the cruisers I talked to were unaware of it too unless they were from NJ. Next cruise I am going to try to sail in September or October to avoid this.
  7. Hi! There were door prizes like free Bingo cards, baseball caps and backpacks but no wine.
  8. Hi Ellen! I actually saw We Will Rock You my first time on Anthem two years ago. However, the seas were pretty rough the day I went and a lot of people were leaving the theater. I just figured since I’d seen it once, I would change it up and see Spectra this time.
  9. Hi! I’m sorry but I don’t recall. I wasn’t paying too much attention to what people were wearing. 🙂
  10. From what I remember, we got about 2-2.5 hours at both Disney Springs and the premium outlets. The bus left Disney at 7:15-7:30 to return to the ship. Like I said, it looked like we were one of the last groups back and I was pretty tired after that. I enjoyed the shopping options, but as a personal preference, I may not be as willing to do an all-day excursion again.
  11. I think what worried me is that I've heard that most times, the ship will wait for one of their sponsored excursions that is late returning; however, I've also heard that sometimes they can't and will make arrangements for those passengers to catch up with the ship. What worried me is that the latter would happen and I'd be alone-ish in an unfamiliar city...that something would hold the excursion to the point where the ship could not wait anymore. But, I don't know how common that is either.
  12. That is a great story! Thanks for sharing it. I hope next time I have grown in confidence enough to feel the same way about solo dining.
  13. Day 8: Disembarkation, Overall Anthem Review I had a hard time sleeping into Saturday morning. I woke up at 3 a.m. for some reason before getting up to my alarm at 6. We all know that it can be kind of depressing to get up back in port, and since we were docking at 6, I could already see the NYC landscape against the not-yet-risen sun. I knew the drill, so I got dressed and ready to be out of my cabin around 6:30-6:40. When I left the room, I noticed all the laundry bags already lined up along the hallway railing. I had a laugh with some self-carry folks who were riding the elevator with me to breakfast. I'm not sure the title of the song playing, but the lyrics were "It's going to be a good day, good day..." We all agreed it was ironic to hear, and we think it was the crew's subtle way of telling us they wanted us to go! I guess I was early for breakfast, because I had no problem getting a table in the Windjammer like I did that embarkation day. My mom was coming to get me from the terminal and was upsetting me because she was telling me oh I didn't have to be out of my cabin so early. While she wasn't wrong, per se, you'd think she being an experienced cruiser herself would understand that you don't get to laze in your cabin on disembark day. Yes I could go back to get my carry-on after breakfast, but it was clear that the attendants were getting ready to start and I knew from researching here that it wasn't right to be in their way. Whatever. I finished eating and then made my way to the 270 to await my tag number. Since I had a higher number, as I mentioned, I knew I'd be in for a wait. Sure enough, I waited an hour until my tag came up and I walked to the gangway and back to the terminal. It was easy to find my bag in my zone, and I sat to wait for my mom, who again harped by saying but I got off too early. Why didn't she just ask me to stay on the ship a little longer after my number? Again, she has cruised several times; she should know how Royal disembarking works and how efficient they are at it. But, I wasn't the only one waiting for a ride, and she did arrive about 30-45 minutes later anyway. After some pit stops on the way, I was home. And now, my overall review of Anthem: I am so glad I gave this ship a second chance. I was first on her in September 2017 and was supposed to have a five-night Bermuda cruise, but due to a hurricane, we went to Canada and New England. I felt the vibe of that cruise was a bit off, but not badly enough to never want to sail Anthem again. This time, I was in love from the start. As I said before, I feel the crew is really committed to your experience and has a lot of enthusiasm, though I have never sailed with other lines to have a comparison. My favorite areas of the ship are the Solarium and the 270. I also do like the Starbucks at La Patisserie, but it does get very crowded at times. Even then, when I opted for Starbucks, I felt the crew there had the line under control and I never waited very long for my drink. I mostly give high marks to the food, but there were some things that were pretty bad. A donut from the Cafe Promenade one morning didn't feel even the slightest bit fresh. I understand that when a crew is making food for 4,500 people that it can be hard to do top-of-the-line cooking, but even so, some of the stuff just isn't good. It's not even average. But I'm not going to go as far as to say the food is inedible, either, because I had more good than bad anyway. I felt there were more than ample activities on board during sea days. I do understand that not as many activities are planned on port days, but it would be nice if they had a few more things to fill the mornings of port days for those staying on the ship or getting off later for their excursion. Maybe an additional excursion talk or sneak peek about where we'd be headed. I also found the app to be imperfect in the activities area. For example, the game show I went to on the first night was listed as being in Boleros, but it was actually in the Music Hall. I don't believe this was in the Cruise Compass either, so it was confusing. The app also told me that there was an opening in the cupcake class on Day 6, and I reserved it, but when I came down, I was told there was no room and I wasn't even on the list. That was upsetting to say the least. I do think a ship that size needs more freestyle Coke machines for those using the drink package. Having two in Sorrento's and two in the Windjammer isn't enough. Some locations where I'd like to see them? The 270, the pool deck, maybe even in Johnny Rockets. My mom did say even the smaller ships they seem to be lacking, so maybe this is something Royal can work on as a whole. In addition, maybe there could be another soft-serve ice cream machine or two. The North Star is well worth the trip. I rode it near the end of the Coco Cay day and it wasn't as scary as I thought to be that high up above the ocean. I would do it again in a different port. Hmmm, that might be something to do next time I'm in Nassau. For all the talk they did about Nassau shopping, I was disappointed to see they weren't offering a shopping excursion of some kind. My mom told me I should go out with the shopping group, but such a thing was never mentioned in any RC materials or by the port shopping guide. I'd like to see something like this in the future, as I probably would have enjoyed my experience if there were a guided shopping excursion of some sort rather than a boring talk on a sea day. I have no complaints about the cleanliness of my room or the public areas. The ship is in immaculate condition. I am not much of a fan of the cramped shower stalls in the staterooms. Even when I made sure to close it tight, water still trickled out of the bottom while I showered. It also took me a few days to figure out the positioning of my shower head and keeping the thing still. Sure it did the job and all, but I would love if they put a bottom seal on the bottom of the door too so the floor didn't get soaked. Some days I felt bad for my room attendant for having to pick up such a wet towel I used for a pseudo bathmat. Overall, I would be happy to return to Anthem again. I still haven't tried the pub, the rock climbing, the roller skating, and the indoor pool area. I also hope some day to be adventurous enough to go to Wonderland, but I'm not quite there yet. I also have never seen The Gift production and would consider seeing We Will Rock You again now that I've seen Spectra's Cabaret. I do try to avoid the retail shopping madness as much as possible, though I found myself looking in the beauty shop Impulse and eyeing up purses pretty hard. For my next cruise, I should have this same itinerary booked on Oasis very soon. And I have learned a lot about what not to do next time! Thanks for tuning in!
  14. Day 7: Last Day at Sea Again, I headed to the 270 for breakfast and had my same meal as Thursday morning. I was going to the galley tour and bottomless brunch that morning, so I didn't want to eat too much. However, I am on a cruise and wanted to enjoy the food, so I ended up grabbing a donut when I was done with breakfast, along with another Seattle's Best. The galley tour was meeting in the Chic restaurant. Since I have My Time Dining, I'd never been in here, and I really liked the white and gold decor. Our tour guide was one of the junior sous chefs, and we got to see where the meals are prepared for each dining room and the Windjammer. He also introduced us to some of the other kitchen staff and explained what the colors of the cooks' scarves indicate. For those of you that don't know this, on Royal, a yellow scarf means the cook is new and the more experienced staff know to take care of them. When they come back for another contract, they get a blue scarf, and I can't recall what red is, but I'm guessing that's a manager or a leader of some sort. We also got to see the large cake that would be delivered to the Windjammer that evening, saw the bakery where all the bread is made and were shown a sample ticket of a guest's dining needs. During the tour, our guide also introduced us to a kitchen employee who would be leaving on Saturday for vacation. Later, I saw the departing cook and one of his teammates buying liquor in the port merchant shop, haha. Brunch was as good as expected. I sat at a table with four other women who were traveling together. Two were widows, and the other two were married and come on the cruise, but their husbands didn't come for the tour. It turns out we are all from the same area. We also had a couple join us who had gotten engaged on the North Star! The guy had told the staff what he was doing, and they had champagne in the North Star just for them as they got in and went up. For brunch, I had a mimosa to start. Since I'm not a big alcohol drinker, I'd never had a mimosa before but I ended up liking it. I also chose to eat the Caesar salad, the New York strip steak and the royal chocolate cake for dessert. That afternoon, I had planned to go to the Solarium pool again. Alas, I got a little visitor...ladies, you know which visitor I mean! No more pool. 😞 During the day, I did try to organize my suitcase as much as I could so I wasn't rushing when it was close to the 10 p.m. deadline to put the bags in the hall. Since the pool was out of the question, I went to a concert that featured the singers of We Will Rock You and the Anthem orchestra. I enjoyed the show and the cast's talent, but I did find myself wishing it could've been longer than 45 minutes. As I'm sure the cast was tired from the shows they'd done to that point, I understood why they may have had to keep it short. And fun fact: the pianist helped me set up my Voom on the first day of the cruise, and the trombone player troubleshooted for me when I was losing the signal and forgot my login. He even said my dog was adorable when he saw her picture on my phone background. After the concert, I wanted to go get one last view of the ocean from the pool deck, but the outdoor decks were pretty much closed due to the winds and rough weather. Even though it was cold and windy, I wanted a milkshake from Johnny Rockets, and two other people were there getting them too. I guess we're all crazy! I pretty much spent the late afternoon in my cabin because I now wasn't feeling up to activities and socialization. The Royal Esplanade was a zoo because of all the last day shopping sales going on, and I sometimes need breaks from a lot of activity. While I was in my room, the alcohol I'd bought for my stepdad came, so I could at least get that packed. I had made my dinner reservation a little earlier this last night so I could attend the farewell activities, and I had the same waiter as I had on Wednesday. He asked where my new friend was, and even showed interest in seeing my pictures from the galley tour. I got to see the waiters' dining room parade, which was a lot of fun. I filmed it with my phone, and some of the staff was happy to see the camera, as they made sure to wave or smile bigger when they saw it. For my last formal dinner, I had the Caesar salad (what can I say; I like routine!), my waiter's suggestion of the roasted turkey, and royal cheesecake for dessert. I ended up getting into the front row for the farewell activities, which included the veteran's salute and the crew farewell. It was of course great getting to see the captain in person, but my favorite moment was when some of the stateroom attendants appeared holding their towel animals. I also was impressed with the guitarist of We Will Rock You who played the national anthem. I'd heard how talented she was, but it was cool to see her play in person. I got to talk to Mitch after the farewell and ask if he was on Empress many years ago for my first cruise. I remembered him because I'd won Bingo on that cruise and he was jokingly giving me a hard time for winning. Yep, turns out he was the activities manager on that ship. After that, it was time to go back upstairs and set out my suitcase to make it to the terminal in the morning. I made sure my room attendant got his tip, which he seemed to very much appreciate. I got to talking to him, and he told me he is waiting to hear if he'll get another contract. He has worked on Brilliance and Jewel in the past. I do hope he gets another contract, as I think he deserves one for sure. I went to the casino one last time after my bags were packed, but I wasn't as lucky with the winnings this time. C'est la vie. My final, final activity was another silent disco, but since I wasn't feeling 100%, I wasn't into this one as much. I also didn't feel like hearing the same songs again as the first one. Still, I thought it was great that this one drew a bigger crowed that seemed to get more into the dancing. As I was in bed that night, a call came over the intercom around 11. I believe it was Mitch again. He apologized for making an announcement so late, but he said they were in need of an O-negative blood donor due to a medical emergency. Anthem really seems cursed with guests with medical issues! My parents were on her in January, and they actually had to stop to evacuate a guest to a land hospital. That also happened on my friend's cruise. Between all that and our earlier Alpha calls, it can feel kind of spooky. I do hope everyone that got sick or hurt during this past week is OK though! I think it's great that the captain handled all the issues without skipping a beat. Alas, it was time for bed because the dread of disembarkation morning was upon me...
  15. I never considered that before! BTW, I take it from your signature that you REALLY like Anthem. 🙂
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