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About TotallySophia

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Tampa Bay Area
  • Interests
    Cruising and Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. When we were on Independence at the end of February they were open, however the steam rooms weren't functioning.
  2. We also really enjoy 150 Central Park and we loved Wonderland on Symphony.
  3. My husband brings his skates when we cruise (he's played hockey his entire life and hates rentals). He just puts them in a backpack as his carry on. Since you're flying it would be at your discretion if it's worth the luggage space. As others have mentioned, the rink is small and limited times are available for open skate. Hockey skates are available upon request, and I've never not received them. On our Symphony cruise in December there was only window of open skate and we were too busy sleeping off our drinks from Trellis Bar the night before so we didn't make it, haha.
  4. Love this!! Congrats on your weight loss and sexy red dress 😉 We hit the first of our financial goals for the year earlier this month, a whole two months earlier than we projected, so that was nice . We "only" have one cruise booked so far this year, but we are cruising in 33 days 🙂 After my brother's wedding in April we'll see about throwing in a 3-4 day cruise in September/October.
  5. @Pellaz When we sailed on Indy last year we did lunch in Izumi without a reservation, but if it's something you want to make sure you experience then I would go there when you board like Host Clarea suggested.
  6. We were on the Symphony on the 11/30 sailing and found that Playmakers opened around noon or 1 on port days, and had lunch there while we were docked in San Juan. I don't recall Hooked opening early enough for lunch on any port days, but we did enjoy a delicious lunch there on our last sea day. I would highly recommend making reservations for lunch too. We went to Hooked our first day onboard and were only able to get a reservation the last of 3 sea days.
  7. Sorry for the delayed response, I had to do this stupid thing called work, haha. Like @BNBR said, it's well designed. We had porters empty our trunk on level 3, then we parked on level 4. We had a spot directly in front of the elevators which was convenient, and there were plenty of spots that we could see open on that level.
  8. I forgot to order the cookie at Playmakers and was sad about it because I had seen a tasty looking photo in another review, haha.
  9. We had dinner twice at Jamie's, and both times it was so good! The carbonara pasta was my favorite the first time we went, so our second night I had a big bowl of that with chicken. Yum! Also, their epic brownie was definitely my favorite dessert of the week. The service was great, and the second night we ate outside which was nice.
  10. We have been bringing a 6" Vornado Flippi plug-in fan with us for the past few years. We keep it in its box and pack it in our suitcase. We've never had issues getting it onboard.
  11. My husband and I were on the Symphony last week, so I thought I'd share some thoughts. Embarkation/Disembarkation: both of these were efficient and quick. We arrived around 10:15, parked in the garage across from Terminal A, and were onboard in about 15 minutes. Once inside the building we were directed to a Diamond checkin line, and were quickly on our way through security and onto the Promenade. There were plenty of employees with tablets checking in guests and I didn't feel as though it was busy. We did self-assist disembarkation, we left our cabin at 6:50 and were in our car on the road by 7:15. The facial recognition couldn't be more efficient. Cabin: we had an oceanview balcony, 8558, which we picked for it's proximity to Central Park. Other than the corner aft balcony we had a few years back on the Independence, this was my favorite cabin. It was only 2 doors down the hallway and was easy for us to get to everything we wanted. We always book a balcony and have sailed other Oasis class ships, so we knew what to expect and I have no complaints about storage or layout or anything. On our last sea day they cleaned our balcony. Food/Drink: we had both the unlimited dining package and the deluxe drink package. While we did most of our drinking at Trellis Bar, we didn't feel like there were long waits at the bars as we were walking around, and there were plenty of servers walking the pool decks and we received bar service in the cantilevered hot tubs on several days. I noticed the coffee card being advertised at Cafe Promenade on Day 3. We ate at Wonderland for the first time on this trip, and really enjoyed the entire experience. The Mad Hatter was fun and I really enjoyed interacting with him. I don't eat seafood, and our server made some adjustments to our appetizers so I could enjoy the meal. I definitely didn't leave hungry. The first of our two nights at Chops was hectic with our server literally sweating from running around the restaurant. While he was friendly, I felt bad for him. On our second visit the restaurant was much calmer and we were actually able to have conversation with out server. Our service at all our other dinners was great. We tried Playmakers twice for some afternoon snacks, and other than the pulled pork sandwiches, everything else was good. The pork was kind of mushy and gross. We tried El Loco Fresh a few days and enjoyed that, and didn't even step foot in the Windjammer once. Most days for breakfast we enjoyed the sandwiches at Park Cafe, once we ate in the dining room and we enjoyed that. St. Maarten: We walked over (about 10ish minutes) to the beach at Front Street and grabbed some chairs and an umbrella for $15 for the day, plus a bucket of beer for $10. The weather was a little gloomy, but cleared up and we didn't have any rain. We ate lunch at Pirates in Paradise on the boardwalk, and it was just ok compared to previous trips there. San Juan: We strolled down to Paseo de la Princesa, and the streets were decorated for Christmas. We headed up the hill towards our favorite local bar, La Taberna Lupulo. Had a few drinks and strolled back. Nothing too exciting, a nice relaxing day. Cococay: We have both been there several times in the past and were curious to see the changes. We found some nice loungers along the water on the far beach over where they're still doing the construction, and where the floating tiki bar is. There was some construction noise for about an hour, but then it was quiet and relaxing all day and we found it much less crowded than Chill Island. We sunbathed for a bit, then walked the island to see all the changes and grab some lunch. The water park didn't seem too crowded (we didn't pay for it, but just from looking in and being able to see the lines for the slides), and the Oasis Lagoon was really nice. We liked the options for lunch, even Chill Grill is larger/cleaner and offers more variety than we expected. We grabbed a few things there and later got some mozzarella sticks from Snack Shack. After we headed back to our chairs we saw a baby lemon shark swimming around off the beach. It was a little guy, but still keep your eyes open. We are big fans of Funky Buddha Brewery and were excited to try their Chilla Thrilla Cococay exclusive beer. It was light and refreshing and a good beach drinking beer. Misc: Sunday the ship was really rocking. During the top tier event water was gushing out of the aquatheater pool, and barf bags showed up on all staircases. There was a medical emergency onboard and someone was removed from the ship via helicopter. I don't know what was going on, but I hope that they are ok. On Wednesday the Promenade was decorated for Christmas, and that night Santa visited. He took pictures with kids in front of the tree while the singers and some crew performed Christmas carols. It was a fun and different experience as we haven't been able to cruise during December since I used to work in retail management. I had a hot stone massage which was just ok. At the end my therapist suggested a few products to purchase, but didn't push it when I politely declined. Hiro was fantastic! 1977 had great skating, the drones were impressive, and I thought the effects they projected on the ice were well done.
  12. Funky Buddha is one of our favorite breweries. We were on their first group cruise on Independence earlier this year and they were talking about how they were going to try and create a better working relationship with RCI. We're booked in February on the next group cruise (again on Independence), and seeing this makes me super excited!!!
  13. My husband and I did unlimited dining on Independence in February 2018, and didn't feel like it was worth it. With the limited options available we felt like what we were eating was redundant. I know you get the credit now at Izumi and Playmakers, so having lunch at those venues could have broken up the monotony for us. We decided though to only purchase unlimited dining on Oasis class ships. I know that our experience isn't too recent, but figured I'd share anyway 🙂 Enjoy your time on Independence, we've been on her several times and have always had a great time!
  14. Maggie is beautiful!! We have two goldens, Gaston and Sven, they're the best!
  15. That's how they did it when we rented one about 2 years ago. Obviously the earlier you get to the beach, the more options you have. They stagger them so you're not just staring directly at the back of another one. We really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again.
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