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Found 6,109 results

  1. Good evening, fellow cruise critics! We leave tonight for San Juan! This is us: Left to right is my 24-year-old daughter (Emma), myself (Dina), my hubby Peter (not making this trip sadly, kinda long story short, he can't miss work) and my 22-year-old son (Joey). This photo was taken last week at the Gateway National Park at the top of the famous arch. Joey and I are doing a pretty good job masking our horror and terror caused by the incredibly rickety tram ride to the top. We were in St. Louis because Joey just finished up earning his undergraduate degree out there, so we went to the commencement festivities. Of course every great graduate deserves a phenomenal present, and Joey earned this cruise! (See how I rationalized that😜?!)
  2. Magic, kismet, even “Harmony” That’s the way to describe my relationship with my travel husband, Randy. We cruised together by chance in April 2013 and we will cruise again by design on Harmony June 2nd, when we celebrate Randy’s 30th wedding anniversary with his real wife (and love of his life, Amy) But this story is about a travel marriage, a melding of two souls who love cruising and (this is important) the planning of cruises. A bond that could not be broken by thousands of miles and was solidified by hundreds of Friday night texts. (Travel planning night in both our households) My own dear husband of more than 30 years would hear a “ping” on a Friday night and say “oh, there’s your travel husband!” Neither Amy or Jeff has much patience for travel logistics, (although, and this is important, they both love the actual cruising🤣) but Randy and I are obsessed with it! And well, you have to get your needs met where you can, and that’s how Randy and I became “travel spouses”, sharing messages such as “should I pull the trigger on this Freedom cruise?” and “the drink package is 30% off, is it time to buy? “ and “what’s the name of that guide in Roatan?” We could spend hours online dissecting the minutia of the MDR menu, sharing frustrations over the Royal Caribbean website 🙄 or editing each others content for news letters or web reviews. How did it come to this!? Well, if you’d like to hear, I’ll tell the tale, and then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect when we share this review of our Harmony of the Seas 30 for 30 Anniversary cruise LIVE! (During making of this review, no actual marriages were harmed! Couples Randy and Amy <whom I also adore 😍> and Jeff and I are all still very happily married to our original spouses and plan to be, God willing, for many years to come!)
  3. That was Ken's find. Freedom Christmas week 2014 we paid $890 ( total for 2 ) for a D2 balcony and got some OBC while on board for shortened port stops. I think Ken paid less than that.
  4. It’s finally here! We are getting ready to set sail on the Vision of the Seas 12-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles Cruise round-trip from Barcelona June 11 - June 23, 2019. We are flying out of Tampa today for an overnight flight to Barcelona where we will spend three days before we board Vision of the Seas for twelve more days! Background: My husband and I have sailed with Royal Caribbean 15 times for a total of 91 nights at sea with Royal. This will be our 16th cruise with RCCL and the cruise where we make Diamond Plus. Yes, I know. We’re excited too! All together, we’ve taken 35 cruises for a total of 249 sailing days and we have enjoyed cruising with Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian, Disney, and Holland America. I always say that we’ve never had a bad cruise. Not one. There are things we enjoy about each cruise and each cruise line, and for the most part we are pretty easy to please. There have been minor bumps and snags along the way, but I figure those make for the interesting travel stories. I’m Angela and I’m in my mid-40s. My husband, Mark is in his early 60s and we enjoy cruising as our vacation of choice. We looked at booking this cruise when it was released a little over a year and half ago. We celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary June 12, 2019, and wanted a special cruise this year. The first Royal Caribbean ship we ever sailed was the Sovereign of the Seas in June 2000. It was our one year anniversary and our very first cruise. We were hooked. I remember that ship seemed huge. We drove up to the cruise terminal in Port Canaveral and I recall saying something like, “Oh my God look at it! We are going to be so lost!” It’s hard to believe the size of the ships have increased SO MUCH since then. We’ve sailed on the Sovereign, the Legend, the Vision, the Grandeur, the Rhapsody, and even the Enchantment (both before and after the stretch) before we “graduated” to the bigger Freedom, Oasis, and Quantum Class ships. But here we are…back to the smaller and more comfortable size ship where we first started cruising. We are both kind of looking forward to seeing what it feels like to come back to this size.
  5. I was on the July 13, and the July 20th sailing as my first B2B and "turning platinum" cruise. I am super bummed, but when considering 1: The alternative of getting stuck out in open ocean with no propulsion if the other one went, and two: the compensation package offered, which I think is more than fair... it is what it is. As someone above said, a ship is a big machine, and sometimes things go wrong unexpectedly. Every time I book a cruise, its a gamble. Of course usually not a problem, but still, a gamble. I'm a teacher, so I'm lucky not to have to switch around vacation time, but with everyone on these sailing scrambling for other options, there isn't much in terms of ships/staterooms. I had my heart set on my beloved cove balcony! Hopefully, I can find at least one 7 day on the freedom that would be nice, and the 4/5 day that the Dream is running isn't at the top of my list. As I type this out, I realize it makes me sound super picky, but I just want something comparable in length out of Galveston, as flying is not an option for my travel partner, and neither is keen on a longer drive to the port (we're coming from San Antonio). I feel AWFUL for those who were planning to be married on the ship, or at a port, I can't even imagine... I know I should know better, but my only question is, the FCC is for the total amount paid for the booking, correct? For example, if my total was 2800, my FCC would be 2800, less port fees, taxes, and gratuities (which were prepaid of course.)
  6. We are going to be in the Carnival Freedom in October. Does Carnival do anything special during October for Halloween. For example, like any Halloween themed events for the kids during the month. We want to be ready.
  7. The info I received this week included this: " The Steakhouse: The dress requirements for the Steakhouse follows the dress code specified for the main dining room(s); if the evening is specified as “Cruise Casual,” shorts are not permitted. " This is for an upcoming Freedom cruise but appears to be the same fleet wide.
  8. I don't know if you will see and reply to this. I'm traveling this summer on the Freedom and I am considering this tour. I was curious what excursion you ended up taking.
  9. Hi everyone...booked on 3.29.2020 freedom and starting to price airfare for flying in sat 3.28 then departing day of disembark sun 4.5 Right now nonstop ewr to sju showing over 1k per person. Seems expensive...assume pricing will drop...was not really planning to buy air til dec right b4 I pay cruise in full etc....can anyone advise target or avg airfare. Not sure how to look up march 2019 prices for rough indicators in case a really good deal shows up. Thanks Linda
  10. Hi all! We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas, May 26-June 2, 2019 sailing. I'm slowly updating my complete report, but in the meantime, enjoy the Compasses! CC Day 1 0526001 (1).pdf CC Day 2 0527.pdf CC Day 3 0528.pdf CC Day 4 0529.pdf CC Day 5 0530.pdf CC Day 6 0531.pdf CC Day 7 0601.pdf
  11. After a three and a half hour wait on the phone, a very nice lady by the name of Allison got us rescheduled to the July 28th sailing on the Freedom. We were looking forward to trying out the Vista, but it will have to wait until later. Thankfully I have a fairly flexible work schedule and I was able to adjust my cruise by a couple of weeks. I feel bad for those that can't!
  12. Agree with some other posts. We would opt for one of the larger RCI ships (Freedom or Oasis Class) or Disney. Hank
  13. Good Morning! The hubs and I returned on Sunday from our very first Oasis class cruise as well as our first experience with STAR class. A brief background: we are in our mid 50's and this is our 23rd cruise. Between us we have bee on several Greek lines with names that escape me, Costa, Carnival, Disney ,NCL and Royal. Prior to children we did not cruise in suites but have done so exclusively since the "babies". We had alternated between NCL and RCCL in the past 11years but mostly stayed with NCL due to their (former) reasonable Haven rates , itinerary and suite service. We did a lot of comparing to NCL on this cruise and I shall inject some of these comments into the review. At present I cannot seem to insert pictures- but, seriously- we all know what Allure looks like by now! We drove from the Gettysburg area to Atlanta on Saturday; as we were delivering a car to one of our college students. Had dinner at the airport with our twins and a friend, noted that TSA prescreen was closed as dinner did not end until 9pm ( despite sitting down at 705pm) . Security was quite busy at this hour but we expect that from Atlanta. Our 10pm flight to FLL was delayed by over 2 hours and we arrived at the Embassy Suites FLL at 2:24am. Very comfortable beds and nice little suite. We had originally booked a GS, were offered a ROYAL UP bid 3 weeks before sailing. We placed minimum weak bids on 2 Star class suites- a 2 BR AS and a Star loft . 5 days prior to sail we got the CONGRATS email saying we were upgraded to a Star Loft which actually turned out to be the Owners Panoramic Suite. This was good for us as hubby had an injury right before sailing making stairs not-so-fun for him. EMBARKATION: Took Uber to port. As we were instructed , kept bags with us after the confiscation of my scissors. I take the same pair on every cruise and keep them with the travel "stuff"; Royal decided they were too long. Oh well. I'll just use one of the giant steak knives aboard if I need to cut anything! And I ended up doing so. A Genie porter took our bags and the Cliquot we brought along. I had ordered it prior to the upgrade and am glad that I did as it is my fave and a tradition with us. A Genie walked us to the check in gal who looked at our cell phones, gave us pretty black cards and wised us a safe and happy cruise. We boarded the ship , met our Genie, Daniel and headed to our home for the next 7 days. We were on the balcony by 1045am. Our bags followed shortly thereafter. QUICK COMPARE: RCL Star class hands down winner over NCL Suite class for embarkation with the caveat that we did not experience the regular suite class check in on this cruise. The suite used to be a piano bar according to legend. It is about 1,100 sq feet with a large but not ginormous balcony. It has a hot tub which we used daily, 2 chairs, 2 loungers, several little tables . The floor to ceiling ( maybe 18-20 feet) windows added a great touch to this marvelous suite. I WILL have my kid attach the suite pics here later. We had seen this particular accommodation on a Youtube video that did not do it justice in any way. Our steward , Carmen and her assistant DoDo stopped by for a visit after we were done reviewing the week's plans with Daniel. We decided to explore the ship a bit before lunch and ended our short tour in the Coastal Kitchen. This was a full sailing with 6,400 quests and 44 Pinnacles /55 Pinnacles depending on whom was asked. I only insert this comment as it seems to be an interesting topic here on CC. The CK was bustling on embarkation lunch. We were seated and then ignored.The couple to our right was arguing and insisting on hot tea in a pot with sugar and a tall glass of ice. This seemed to be a theme as the couple to our left were arguing first with each other and then with the waiter who did not realize that sweet tea can only be made with a tall glass of ice and a pot of hot tea and sugar, dammit!! The woman of the couple did a very nice storm -off. I cannot imagine being so upset by tea. We did observe her several other times during the week and pretty much everything upset her. A free dinner at 150 Central Park? " I wont eat that crap!". A patron wearing flip flops in the Suite lounge? "APPALLING!!! "She was quite entertaining . Later we would meet the international Champion of Cruising Blow Hards, Boasters and Sociopaths- but that will have to wait. Lunch was meh. Very few choices, slooooooooooooooooooooow service ( which we attributed to embarkation chaos) I was introduced to the Lemondrop by a fellow diner -great choice!! . QUICK COMPARE :NCL wins for Haven Restaurant over Coastal Kitchen for embarkation lunch. The views from CK on Allure and the suite lounge beat the Getaway/Escape class but not the Epic. After lunch my husband had a massage for the giant knots in his back whilst I drank lemondrops and unpacked. The skies opened up right as muster was to start so our muster location of Aquatheater was changed to Schooner Bar. Typical muster. Could have been any ship we have sailed Sailaway from our balcony was BRILLIANT! We were able to pick out some of our old Ft Lauderdale hotels; the Coast Guard put on quite a show and off we went! We were able to look down onto the pool deck which was - well- almost empty due to the weather. We were warned that the show in Aqua theater might be cancelled that evening but the weather cleared! We had dinner at Izumi Sushi and it was divine. We ate around 6:30 and the restaurant was empty except for the teppanyaki tables. We had a variety of sushi rolls which were all excellent' took the leftovers back for late night snack. I had a delicious saki and strawberry drink ..actually 2.5 of these! Daniel stopped by to make sure that all was well and it were! Quick Compare: There are more Teppanyaki tables on the larger NCL ships . The sushi offerings on Allure beat those on NCL and tasted better; Allure could use a noodle bar . At dinner Daniel told us to meet him at the Aquatheater 15 minutes prior to show. The Genies wait for their guests in the venue- in this case it was several rows behind the splash zones. We had drinks brought to us and enjoyed a wonderful show that is very different than any we have seen at sea. Don't miss this show!! After the show we moseyed into the Casino . CASINO COMMENTS: The smoking area smoke does not permeate the non smoking side as profoundly as on some ships. The smoking side is very smokey if you are sensitive. QUICK COMPARE: Allure's smoking side was just as smokey as the NCL ships- all of them. The non-smoking side was much fresher than the areas on the NCL big ships and Jewel class ships. ALLURE also allows smoking in the casino when it is closed. Bottom line- for either line if you are very smoke sensitive avoid the casinos. The Casino was not too busy this first night, I found some cute slots, hubby played some black jack and then joined me at the slots. We both were up at the end of the session. NOTE: we are not big gamblers. This particular casino was quite fun, good atmosphere and we had only one session where we did not come out at least $100 ahead. Whoopie!! We left, wandered about and off to bed. It had been a long 2 days with little sleep. Day 2 we chose to try breakfast at CK as it was a few steps away. It was slow despite only 5-6 tables being occupied; the menu was meh and the serving sizes small. We ate breakfast twice at CK during the cruise; the second time we used the buffet bar located in the lounge. Coffee was sub par on board all around unless we ordered a specialty coffee. No French press to be found! Quick Compare: Breakfast in the Haven blows away the CK.I remember some excellent breakfasts in Chops on Freedom and in the MDRs ; the Coastal Kitchen just does not have anything special. I had high hopes for the Mediterranean plate and was disappointed . Breakfast for Suites goes to NCL- later I will visit Windjammer which is a STRONG win for Royal. A little note about Star Class: How I wished they had this when we traveled with 3 little ones. All your laundry is done for you- every single day! It comes back pressed, clean and lovely. No squishing everything I can into a paper bag! The amenities in the bathrooms are L'Occitane ( I dont know what Sky has or suites on non-Genie ships. It has been a while since our last RCL cruise) They are big 10 ounce bottles. Our suite had 2 full bathrooms which was a nice perk. In the afternoon a bartender comes and takes your afternoon /per-dinner drink order. Our fridge was stocked with the beers and Diet Coke I requested, plenty of Evian, Chandon champagne. Another side note: The staff on the ship were universally cheerful, pleasant, helpful and smiling. In the shops there was one snooty wench in the cosmetic store but she was an outlier. Drink service was lightening fast at any bar we visited. Service on NCL is comparable, the cruise lines tie here Off to the grocery!!!! In real life, not in the review...
  14. Looks like the typical VIking Crown layout common to Voyager/Freedom class ships.
  15. Yes I will continue to do what I did before auto tips. I tip in an envelope to my cabin steward. We are freedom dining this time to give it a try, so probably won't tip waiters as I imagine they will different every night. BUT that is my choice. There is no necessity now to tip.
  16. I just read about cruises in July that have been cancelled so they can finally fix the problem. I’m sure it’s a great disappointment to those affected, but their compensation looks pretty great. If yours is affected, I hope you have the freedom to change your dates and ship for a different cruise.
  17. I already checked the Dream/Freedom and the July 6ish cruising are all 100% sold out. Its touching a big holiday so no real surprise there but it sucks. All 3 RCL cruises that fit in my window only have Interior only, which I'm not willing to do. Miami for the Horizon is a good idea though, so I'll check that out, thanks!
  18. I am so sorry to hear your sailings have been booked. Feel free to express your concerns to a supervisor at Carnival. I know it doesn't compare, however the Freedom and Dream are in Galveston. If not, you could fly to Miami in order to cruise on the Horizon, however those rates would be through the roof! If you must, Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas is in Galveston and that offers the most comparable non-Carnival option. Hope that helps a little!
  19. I agree - musical ships isn't a bad thing at all. I suppose the question would be where would LB go? I would suggest that they send her to Australia (they've never had a Freedom Class) and bring either Voyager or Radiance back to Europe and the Caribbean.
  20. So we are going on the Freedom of the Seas this coming week and we are wondering if this cruise has an official cruise critic meet and mingle event sponsored by Royal Caribbean Freedom of the seas staff? If so when was it scheduled for as the ship is in port for 5 consecutive days beginning the morning of Day 2 (So no Sea day at the beginning of the cruise)? Thanks for the help and info.
  21. uktog

    Brunch

    A very good point - she also gives the musicians freedom to suggest new music to add to their sets which has created such a good team spirit, watching them on the Grand Prix cruise doing jazz where the trumpeter who was about to go on leave (aged 26) was taking the lead on pieces he knew was so much fun. On both cruises, the orchestra were showing genuine enjoyment in what they did and that is down to Tina and also to Eric who I do not think micro manages his entertainers.
  22. I am sure these questions have been asked but I cannot figure out how to search the boards. I bought photo package all prints. We leave in 14 days and I am thinking about switching to digital. The last time I cruised they didn't have unlimited photo package. We had to look for printed photos every day in a hallway on the ship and then we would purchase what we wanted and they had set prices. Cruise line decided the size of the photos (4x6, 8x10, etc). Now, do you view the photos electronically on the ship and decide what size you want? Or are they preprinted? Do they print as many pictures in whatever size you want? If digital, do they download the photos to your account every day - similar to Disney? If someone can walk me through the details of these photo packages I would appreciate it. I can't remember if RCI stores your empty luggage bags for you outside your cabin and then return the last night of cruise. Or do you store the empty luggage under the bed? Thanks in advance! I know these questions are answered somewhere on these boards - just no idea where!
  23. Sailing Freedom in August out of San Juan. It doesn’t depart until 8:30pm. I’ve only done cruises that sail around 4 or 5pm. Does the later departure time mean a later check-in and embarkation time as well? Anyone have any feedback on this experience in San Juan? Just trying to plan our day.
  24. Just came back from B2B on the Freedom of the Seas, in Junior Suite We stayed many times in JS on Oasis class and always received upgraded Bathroom Amenities But on Freedom after asking for it from Guest Services and Room attendant Supervisor we were told because the price for the Cruise on Freedom is cheaper than on Oasis Class We don't get the Upgraded Bathroom Amenities. is any body had the same experience? that is not consistent with the published policy
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