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harryfat1

(Slightly less so) Cheapo dad's trip report on Independence of the Seas

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On 1/15/2018 at 1:32 AM, harryfat1 said:

So you ask why go through this process and not just stay at the beach? For me, this is THE PICTURE of the cruise. I like the picture of the ship from a higher perspective in the hills.

 

enhance

 

On 7/11/2018 at 7:45 PM, FionaMG said:

 

Hi Harry,

 

I am a long-time lurker on your reviews and was particularly interested in this one because we will be visiting Labadee for the first time ever in November.

 

I would love to get a pic like this one. Where did you take it from? I'm looking at the map now and I'm thinking it might be a place called "Dragon's Lookout". Would that be right?

 

Thanks again for your great reviews. :)

Fiona.

Hi Harry!

Hope you and your family are doing well.

I got my great pic of Navigator. Thanks so much for the tip. :classic_biggrin: 

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11 hours ago, harryfat1 said:

WOOT!  Cheepo family WDW pictures!  Was hoping to see some. Looking good.

 

11 hours ago, harryfat1 said:

 

 

Quote

 

 

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Edited by AmyJA

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Another silent Cheapo dad’s report fan. Thanks for the many hours of interesting, enjoyable, informative reading. 

 

I was was excited to see that you and your family visited the Mouse for your last vacation because we’ll be visiting Orlando next summer.  Please tell me that there’s a place where I can read an account of your visit. 

 

Fungers crossed!

 

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21 hours ago, JamesEM said:

Hi Harry,

How have you and your family been?  Booked on the Harmony for a B-2-B this April to celebrate my birthday.

Jim, 

 

Hi, Jim,

 

Happy early birthday to you.  Wow, how exciting to be on B to B with the family on the big ship.

 

I thought about you last year when they had that big storm making a direct hit to South Carolina area and I was hoping everything was fine with you.

 

No cruise on the books for us again in 2019 (after being land locked in 2018) as we are hoping to fly overseas in the summer but that is not totally confirmed yet - being cheap on hoping the airfare will come down.  Earliest cruise would be either summer 2020 to Alaska or our usual late December cruise Caribbean. Hard to plan that far out…

 

Cheers,

 

Harry

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20 hours ago, FionaMG said:

 

Hi Harry!

Hope you and your family are doing well.

I got my great pic of Navigator. Thanks so much for the tip. :classic_biggrin: 

20181125_194209.jpg

 

Hi, Fiona,

 

You are welcome although I will be the first to admit I got the idea from reading other cruisers’ trip reports.  That spot wasn’t exactly something I “discovered”, but RCI certainly does not go out of its way to tell you such place exists. 

 

You have to be on the lookout/curious of “wonder where this path leads to” in order to find it.  Certainly not as easy to find it as the huge LABADEE sign by the end of the pier.

 

Anyway, glad you found the spot and is able to take some pictures for your memory sake. It’s always difficult to take a “clean shot” of the entire ship as you can’t take it while you are on it and many piers are hard to angle it just right without other ships being in the way.  Sometimes you can do it when you tender from the back/side of the tender but you are at water level.  The area at Labadee is higher up in the hills so you have a different perspective.

 

Harry

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6 minutes ago, harryfat1 said:

 

 

No cruise on the books for us again in 2019 (after being land locked in 2018) as we are hoping to fly overseas in the summer but that is not totally confirmed yet - being cheap on hoping the airfare will come down.  Earliest cruise would be either summer 2020 to Alaska or our usual late December cruise Caribbean. Hard to plan that far out…

 

Cheers,

 

Harry

 

Harry, great to see you still posting.

 

Who knows maybe our paths will cross.  We are booked for Alaska in July 2020 and our usual Christmas cruises.

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11 hours ago, AmyJA said:

 

 

 

Hi, Amy,

 

Haha, didn’t think anyone else cares to check out our Disney pictures.  I just posted that one as a post-holiday greetings picture to folks here at CC.

 

Anyway, here are few more pics. 

 

Side note – it’s been many months since I have been back at CC and I noticed the format has changed to make it easier to attach pictures within a post. A great time saver for volume picture uploaders like yours truly.

 

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5 hours ago, NewSalt said:

I was was excited to see that you and your family visited the Mouse for your last vacation because we’ll be visiting Orlando next summer.  Please tell me that there’s a place where I can read an account of your visit. 

 

I'd read that! 🙂

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6 hours ago, NewSalt said:

Another silent Cheapo dad’s report fan. Thanks for the many hours of interesting, enjoyable, informative reading. 

 

I was was excited to see that you and your family visited the Mouse for your last vacation because we’ll be visiting Orlando next summer.  Please tell me that there’s a place where I can read an account of your visit. 

 

Fungers crossed!

 

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for reading my info and it’s always good to meet a fellow cruiser/Disney fan.

 

As for WDW, it depends on your personality and what time of vacation you want.  For the 9.8 (out of 10) scale of anal level people like yours truly, it’s fun/a lot of work to preplan your meals 180+ days out and your fast passes 60+ days out (if you stay on site).  I booked our  dinner reservations 180+ days out. 

 

Yes, of course I had a schedule (see PDF) to track where I want to eat when 6 plus months out. Not necessary if you don’t plan on having sit down restaurants.

 

I highly recommend subscribing to touring plans.  It’s like $15+ for a whole year’s subscription and you get the app to use while at the park to check time for rides. 

 

Book your 3 daily fast passes allotment as the system allows you to do so (60 days or 30 days – depending if you are staying on Disney hotel or not). Some rides like Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog will be hard to get the FP even 60+ days out as the Disney fanatics will be up at 7 AM EST to reserve theirs on first opportunity.  But do try to get the fast passes if you can or else you are looking at 200+ minutes of stand by wait  no that’s not a typo, it was 3+ hours wait in line at these crazy popular rides during the busy season.

 

As for pictures, yes, I always upload each vacation’s pictures onto its own web site.  I typically don’t make those sites public as it’s just for friends and family but if you want to see them, go ahead and email me at cheapodad@outlook.com and I will provide the link by this weekend. 

 

Just know as always we took more pictures than most average humans care to look at or that I write more detail info than people care to read.  At least with these trip reports, they span over many pages and it takes days/weeks to complete.  The Shutterfly site will have couple thousand pictures and all the daily descriptions in one place so it’ll be a bit overwhelming at first glance.

 

Anyway, we were on the Disney Dining plan so we got more food than we can eat.  Tons of food pictures – all the food and drinks (yes, that includes free booze and Starbucks as well) shown below are covered by the dining package so it’s as if we were on a cruise eating buffets, if not better.  Disney food is not just burgers and fries anymore…

 

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WDW 2018.5.1.pdf

Edited by harryfat1

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Oh wow you went to WDW between christmas and new years!  What a brave person haha.

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38 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

 

Harry, great to see you still posting.

 

Who knows maybe our paths will cross.  We are booked for Alaska in July 2020 and our usual Christmas cruises.

Hi, Ken,

 

How are things?

 

I have been away from CC as I was busy planning my Utah and WDW trip in 2018 as well as the overseas trip for 2019 so those projects have kept me busy.

 

Maybe by the Fall period I will be hanging out here more to check out Alaska or Caribbean ideas.

 

Cheers,

 

Harry

 

WDW 2018.5.1.pdf

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19 minutes ago, harryfat1 said:

Hi, Ken,

 

How are things?

 

I have been away from CC as I was busy planning my Utah and WDW trip in 2018 as well as the overseas trip for 2019 so those projects have kept me busy.

 

Maybe by the Fall period I will be hanging out here more to check out Alaska or Caribbean ideas.

 

Cheers,

 

Harry

 

WDW 2018.5.1.pdf

Things are good, back from a great trip on Allure at Christmas and now about 6 weeks away from Symphony.  Looking forward to Alaska next year, starting to read the Alaska forums to get some ideas.  There will be more planning for that than the Caribbean cruises we are used to.

 

Europe is a trip on our radar in the next couple of years.  Just deciding on whether to do land only or combine it with a cruise.

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1 hour ago, Dixie1337 said:

Oh wow you went to WDW between christmas and new years!  What a brave person haha.

No choice.  Kids are only out of school on 12/22. So it was either WDW during Christmas or pay even more to RCI for their holiday sailing prices.  I got more food/drinks for what I paid at WDW than I would have received from the cruise.

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On 1/23/2019 at 1:06 AM, harryfat1 said:

Hi, jjjhill,

 

I received an email from cruise critic that says you were trying to PM me for info to the travel web site I used for this cruise? I don't know how PM works here on CC.  Just go ahead and email me at the email alias I created (Cheapodad@outlook.com) and I will forward the info to you.

 

Cheers,

 

H

Will do!.

 

Thanks

 

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Hi Harry,

 

Good to see you back!  Last I remember, you were going to cruise on Anthem.  Guess that was cancelled to go to WDW instead?

 

Anthem in our next cruise; tried out Celebrity in December.  It was good, and we're looking into trying Celebrity Edge, but not for a while yet.  Want those "new" ship prices to come down a little.  We may be within driving distance of FLL by then, too.  We're heading to a long overdue WDW vacation in the fall (last was December 2013, when DH had just chipped his shoulder, and was in a sling.  So this next trip is a do-over!

 

So, of course, I'm interested in your Disney photos!  You can e-mail me at going cruisin at yahoo (remove all the spaces)

Edited by joand452

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OOOOO more Disney piX!

I know everyone loves how much easier it is to post pix.  I don’t do that.  Maybe I should start.

Love the ride picture on 7 Dwarfs. Such great smiles from your family.

What is the restaurant with the tree in the middle after ‘Ohana?  That’s one I don’t know. Boma or Maria & Enzo’s?

How did you do on the flights?  Haha….

Count me in for looking at your Disney photos.  Just sent you an email.

We are off to Disneyland this spring for the first time in 12 years.  And Disneyworld next year. With a cruise in-between.   

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22 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Things are good, back from a great trip on Allure at Christmas and now about 6 weeks away from Symphony.  Looking forward to Alaska next year, starting to read the Alaska forums to get some ideas.  There will be more planning for that than the Caribbean cruises we are used to.

 

Europe is a trip on our radar in the next couple of years.  Just deciding on whether to do land only or combine it with a cruise.

We have been to Alaska twice in the past.  Once with Princess on the one way north bound journey from Vancouver and once with Celebrity on the round trip from Seattle.  The one way trip is preferable to me since you see more things but since we are only going on this cruise to experience Ovation since she is typically only in Asia, we will settle for the Seattle round trip.

 

I might see you in the Alaska forum later on as it's been a few years since we went there.  Need a refresher course if we do go...

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26 minutes ago, harryfat1 said:

We have been to Alaska twice in the past.  Once with Princess on the one way north bound journey from Vancouver and once with Celebrity on the round trip from Seattle.  The one way trip is preferable to me since you see more things but since we are only going on this cruise to experience Ovation since she is typically only in Asia, we will settle for the Seattle round trip.

 

I might see you in the Alaska forum later on as it's been a few years since we went there.  Need a refresher course if we do go...

 

Funny that you mentioned Ovation.  That’s what we booked.  I agree the one way would have been better for the added ports and scenery however it was also about the ship as well for us as well as helping to control the costs.

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6 hours ago, joand452 said:

Hi Harry,

 

Good to see you back!  Last I remember, you were going to cruise on Anthem.  Guess that was cancelled to go to WDW instead?

 

Anthem in our next cruise; tried out Celebrity in December.  It was good, and we're looking into trying Celebrity Edge, but not for a while yet.  Want those "new" ship prices to come down a little.  We may be within driving distance of FLL by then, too.  We're heading to a long overdue WDW vacation in the fall (last was December 2013, when DH had just chipped his shoulder, and was in a sling.  So this next trip is a do-over!

 

So, of course, I'm interested in your Disney photos!  You can e-mail me at going cruisin at yahoo (remove all the spaces)

Hi, Joan,

 

Actually we were thinking of doing the Anthem this summer as WDW was always on the books for December 2018.  But now we are looking to go overseas this summer instead of the cruise so that pushes the cruise into 2020 as we don’t have the budget for 2 big vacations per year.

 

That’s why we are looking to go to Alaska next summer even though we have already been there twice.  Would only be going to try out Ovation as that ship is typically in Asia other than the summer period and we have yet to experience the Quantum class.

 

I’m almost done with the Shutterfly web page.  Takes a lot of time to sort the pictures and add in useless comments from the trip that nobody cares to know. I will forward this weekend.

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7 hours ago, AmyJA said:

OOOOO more Disney piX!

I know everyone loves how much easier it is to post pix.  I don’t do that.  Maybe I should start.

Love the ride picture on 7 Dwarfs. Such great smiles from your family.

What is the restaurant with the tree in the middle after ‘Ohana?  That’s one I don’t know. Boma or Maria & Enzo’s?

How did you do on the flights?  Haha….

Count me in for looking at your Disney photos.  Just sent you an email.

We are off to Disneyland this spring for the first time in 12 years.  And Disneyworld next year. With a cruise in-between.   

 

Haha, guess all my trip reports since the 2014 cruise has become one massive blob of continuous vacation journal with me dropping in my latest travel pictures. But I guess nobody is ready this trip report to find out about the old 2017 cruise itinerary anyway.  I will add few more pics tomorrow.

 

WDW is different type of vacation.  I used the phone app to track how many miles we walked for the 8 nights there – over 60 miles.  That averages to be 7.5 miles/day.  Actually the walking part was hard but not painful.  The painful part is standing in line after some walking.  Maybe it’s the distribution of the body weight on your feet as you walk so not one spot is always being pressured but somehow standing in line for a long time is a killer on my feet.  I’m always so happy to be back at the hotel nightly to take off my shoes and rest my feet.

 

In the old days, the only ways you can attach pictures was to upload them at some third party site (like Flickr or Shutterfly) and then link/copy them over.  Painful process.  This new process (well, new to me as I haven’t been around here for months), you just attach it as if you are sending an email and the system lines up the pictures for you.  The only drawback is I typically like to comment on each page but now I can’t go in between pictures to write something.  Small trade off, I guess…

 

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Hi Harry.  Good to hear from your again, and good to see this review getting some new postings.  This should create a few new Cheapo Dad fans who have not read your reviews before.  I'm disappointed though to hear that you won't be cruising in 2019.  I've been looking forward to updating my Cheapo Dad review posts spreadsheet. :classic_biggrin:  Enjoy your 2019 travels, wherever they may take you.

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:35 AM, bobmacliberty said:

Hi Harry.  Good to hear from your again, and good to see this review getting some new postings.  This should create a few new Cheapo Dad fans who have not read your reviews before.  I'm disappointed though to hear that you won't be cruising in 2019.  I've been looking forward to updating my Cheapo Dad review posts spreadsheet. :classic_biggrin:  Enjoy your 2019 travels, wherever they may take you.

Hi, Bob,

 

How are things?  I see from your signature you have been active on your cruise activities.

 

We have a new bucket list in trying to visit all the Disney parks in the world – Tokyo/Paris/Hong Kong/Shanghai – so that will be our top priority while we sprinkle in few cruises here and there. Need to visit the Disney parks before I am too old to walk/be on these roller coasters as the old ticker isn't what it used to be.  Don't want to make CNN headline as "Old man died on DIsney roller coaster from too much excitement..."

 

I will likely have to vacate my self-proclaimed title as cheapo dad as after all these expensive international trips, I will likely have spent all of the kids’ inheritance...

 

Keep that spreadsheet calculator handy as by time I write my next trip report, I will have many digress topics such as Utah rad trips/DisneyWorld/Overseas visits to ramble on from the past two years.  I may be at post #300 talking about those trips instead and not even gotten to day 1 of boarding the ship…:classic_tongue:

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:10 PM, AmyJA said:

OOOOO more Disney piX!

I know everyone loves how much easier it is to post pix.  I don’t do that.  Maybe I should start.

Love the ride picture on 7 Dwarfs. Such great smiles from your family.

What is the restaurant with the tree in the middle after ‘Ohana?  That’s one I don’t know. Boma or Maria & Enzo’s?

How did you do on the flights?  Haha….

Count me in for looking at your Disney photos.  Just sent you an email.

We are off to Disneyland this spring for the first time in 12 years.  And Disneyworld next year. With a cruise in-between.   

The restaurant is Maria & Enzo's - brand new in 2018 over at Disney Spring (fka Downtown Disney). Nice place to eat but expensive if you are not on the Disney dining plan.  I got the 16 ounce steak that was $44 and I think my margarita was around $13 and dessert was $12?  All that were covered by the Disney Dining plan - only we had to pay was the mandatory 18% tip (watch people chime in about tipping policy and a big debate ensue).  No way cheapo dad would spend this kind of money out of pocket.

 

First 4 pics from dinner at Maria & Enzo's.

 

Pic #5 is the various desserts from Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom

 

#6 is MK night time light projection show

 

#7 is being with my new 70,000+ BFFs as all of us are in line during the holiday rush.  Cruise lines mean nothing after this.

 

#8 is the new Slinky Dog ride

 

#9 is Avatar land

 

#10 is Navi River ride

 

#11 is Nemo show

 

#12 is holiday parade

 

#13 is River of Light night time show seating area

 

Last one is MK holiday lights ceremony right before they have the fireworks

 

Have fun on your Disney trips.  When the boys were young, we bought annual passes to Disneyland 2 years in a row.  We went there every chance we could to maximize value.  I could navigate Disneyland with my eyes closed.

 

Our new bucket list is to visit the remaining Disney parks in rest of the world - Tokyo/Paris/Hong Kong/Shanghai - so that's where we will be when we go overseas in the upcoming years. 

 

 

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Man o man that looks crowded!

 

We always go in the Fall time.  No kids.

 

Over seas Disney parks?  Now that is a way cool plan. 

Edited by AmyJA

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