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barb in ga

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    cruising, land travel
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  1. We were Royal upped to a 1br ATS on Symphony in September. The layout was awesome, with much more living area than the one video above. However, it is a VERY long walk to the very aft of the ship. Great living area with a dining table with four chairs, a sofa, 2 arm chairs, a vanity behind the dining table(just like the one in the bedroom) and an alcove with a backless sofa. Loved the closets! Barb
  2. Rome is an amazing place to visit, but different for everyone. How many days will you be in Rome? Everyone has a different agenda, are you interested in art, churches, historical sites? Every time we go back, I have a different must-do list. Barb
  3. Oasis class is our favorite class-Symphony Quantum class-Anthem Freedom class-Freedom Voyager class--Explorer Radiance class--Serenade
  4. You didn't mention which ship you are sailing, but most of the ships are very helpful with GF diets. The menus for MDR and specialty restaurants will code which items are GF, but if you talk to your waiter or Maitre d'Hotel, you'll find they can accommodate your needs, especially if you plan a day ahead with them. Windjammer has a gluten-free section, with a variety of options offered for breakfast and lunch. GF bread and rolls are by request and there are usually 3 or more options for dessert, plus daily ice cream. If you want pasta, inquire at the pasta bar and it will be cooked to order. MDR will offer GF rolls and bread, as well as pancakes and french toast. Nightly snack is available at Sorrento's--they make your pizza to order. DH has celiac, and has never failed to have great choices from Royal ships. Enjoy! Barb
  5. 1.The Key may be temporarily paused. 2.They are stricter with boarding times than pre-covid. If you are in a suite you can board an hour earlier than your appointment time. Sometimes earlier times open up. View your set sail pass in the app and click on edit to see if additional times are offered. 3. There's no way to know for sure, but you might have the chance to buy a package of 3, 5, or 7 days once on board. We bought ours in advance, but saw that they were pushing specialty dining. 4. You can look online to check prices of cabins higher than yours now. There is rarely if ever a chance to upgrade after boarding. Royal Up ended that, assigning many of the upgrades just days before sailing. Ours came through Thursday afternoon for a Saturday sailing. 5. Cococay is amazing!. You didn't mention if your daughter is a child, teen, or adult, but that could influence your choice. Cococay Beach Club is beautiful, but quiet, and it's a lot of money for a special lunch. Hope this helps, we just got off Symphony 2 weeks ago. We did the specialty dining and loved it, but wouldn't do the Beach Club again. There is a lot to do and see on the island, especially if you buy the waterpark pass. Barb
  6. I have asked for and received cold fruit soups and savory bites(little hard dinner rolls covered in poppy seeds) Barb
  7. We went to Jamie's for lunch as soon as we boarded. I had written down the days and times we wanted and after we placed our lunch order, the hostess made all the reservations for me. She was very helpful. Barb
  8. I qualified for another block on my Symphony cruise last week. The Loyalty desk was closed when I went by, so I asked at the guest service desk and it was delivered next day to the cabin. Barb
  9. Cruise a holic--I agree, we prefer the Oasis class ships as well, DH doesn't want to look at the others, at least for now except for a special itinerary. Never say never. We're booked on Harmony in May to take 8 family members, then Voyager in July for a Baltic cruise departing Stockholm, then finishing in Copenhagen. Our May 2020 Baltic cruise was cancelled, so we loved the idea that we can spend a couple of days pre cruise and post cruise to get a taste of those 2 cities. Still a pretty big ship for a port intensive cruise. Without a doubt, the location of the crown loft beats the 1 bed room aqua suite hands down(It's a long walk from aft to the forward part of the ship. DH was a little concerned about stairs in the crown loft so was happy for the change. We loved the extended living/dining area in the ATS. Barb
  10. Just finished our week on Symphony and wanted to make a few observations. We spent an incredible week on one of our favorite ships feeling so grateful to be cruising again. The staff was wonderful everywhere, and seemed genuinely pleased to be sailing again. I'm not going to do a full-fledged trip report, but I'll give my input on things people have asked about. Check-in at the POM was very quick and easy; we've mostly been sailing from PC or Port Everglades. We received notice of our upgrade on Thursday late afternoon before we boarded on Saturday, so I didn't try to get our hotel to print new luggage tags. We had originally checked in on the app for 1PM, but were able a few days earlier to snag a 12PM time slot. We were in a suite, so we got to the port a little after 11AM, where the porter quickly created tags and sent our bags on the way.. There were maybe 20 -25 people ahead of us. Around 11:30 we were allowed to enter the terminal. They took pictures of our proof of vax, checked our Covid test results, and passports then we were seated in the next waiting area, where another port staff person came and rechecked the above documents. At exactly 12, we were allowed to begin the walk to the ship, where I expected to show docs again, but were immediately greeted by ship staff on deck 5. We had purchased the Unlimited dining package, so we went straight to Jamie's, where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch. We hadn't yet gotten our Sea passes , but all they needed was our cabin number. After placing our order, the hostess made all of our dining reservations for the week. We then went up to the suite lounge just to check it out, then headed for our suite. We were booked in a Crown Loft, but our Royal Up put us in a 1 bedroom Aquatheater suite. What a beautiful cabin, with that gorgeous wrap-around balcony! Our stateroom steward Christian, was awesome! I booked our shows on the app then, which caused me to rearrange some of our dinner reservations. I miss being able to book shows in advance, but I get that the logistics have changed with all the last minute cancellations, rebookings, etc. Definitely a small problem in this strange era. I've read inquiries on several subjects, with posters asking if it's "worth it", so I'll express my opinion: Royal Up: We bid a few dollars over the minimum, not expecting to get upgraded at all. We're glad we did, and enjoyed a cabin that we wouldn't often get a chance to sail in. Our upgrade gave us a bigger cabin with a totally separate bedroom instead of the loft, which was nice for naps. We did lose the second bathroom, but for just the 2 of us it was fine. Unlimited Dining Package: We loved it! We are diamond plus, so have cruised multiple times, always enjoying 1 or more nights in specialty dining. Although we were in a suite and had access to Coastal Kitchen, we decided to treat ourselves with the UDP. I'm so glad we did, it was great! Coco Beach Club: It is a beautiful area, with it's private restaurant and pool, and a large number of lounge chairs both by the pool and close to the beach. When you first come in past the check-in desk, there is the restaurant, then the beach beds and the pool. There are only 8 beds, which were all taken when we arrived, so we settled into a couple of loungers under umbrellas. We enjoyed the ocean for a while, then went to lunch. The service was impeccable, the food nicely presented, but I decided that for me, it wasn't special enough to warrant the price, especially since we were using the UDP for 7 dinners and 3 lunches of very awesome food. It was certainly very lightly used on the day we were there. I saw maybe 20 or 25 people the couple of hours we were there. Probably best appreciated when the number of guests is larger or if you plan to spend a longer time at the pool or beach. We did end up eating in the Coastal Kitchen for 1 dinner, which was good. In general, DH loves to eat breakfast/brunch in the Windjammer, giving him a chance to pick from the wide assortment, including the special gluten-free items that he needs. The Windjammer was typically only open on one side, allowing them to socially distance the guests. We were told that there were 1780 guests. Crown and Anchor drink coupons: We aren't big drinkers and chose not to go to the diamond or suite lounges on this trip, so the vouchers were a great option for us. Pre-Covid, we enjoyed meeting and chatting with other cruisers in the lounges, but decided to really maintain distancing on this trip. The ability to use our 5 vouchers any time of day at any place on the ship(certain exclusions) really worked for us. This was a perfect celebration for my retirement this year. We're so glad we were able to sail, thanks RCI for being careful about Covid . DH and I aren't young anymore, so we wanted to limit exposure. Ask any questions, I'll be glad to reply. We love the shows, and only missed 1 night. Barb
  11. I'm on symphony this week . A restaurant manager told us there are 1780 guests. Barb Things are quieter, but in a good way. Lots of physical distancing.
  12. I got a Royal up from crown loft suite to aqua theater 1 bedroom. I got it yesterday at 4:20 pm and we sail Saturday. I had given up. So excited! Barb
  13. My favorite excursion ever was on St Thomas. The underwater bob a self contained way.to see the fabulous fish life . Like snorkeling only better! Barb
  14. I far prefer the Oasis class ships over Quantum, but both are great. We leave Saturday on Symphony, our 2nd on her. We love the bigger variety of entertainment options as well as food options. We have 9 previous oasis class cruises, only one on quantum class. Barb
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