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About lynnber

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sunrise, FL
  • Interests
    Cruising, casinos, reading, television binges, cruising... oh and of course my family
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL... but there's no such thing as a bad cruise!
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    No such thing as a bad port of call... but I'm more about the cruise experience on board.

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  1. We were on Thanksgiving cruise on Oasis and it was disappointing that none of the decorations were up. 2 years ago on Allure we were able to take lots of great photos on the same Thanksgiving cruise!
  2. Just off this cruise this morning, with a family group of 16. We were somewhat shocked to NEVER have a wait for anything - getting on, getting off, islands, dining room, bars... there were never more than a few people in the Sorrento's line! There was also always PLENTY of lounge chairs near the pool, the lines for the slides were minimal, and even laser tag only had a couple people in line. We heard that the ship wasn't even close to full - and it seemed more contractors got off at each port, so that may have made the difference, but for Thanksgiving week we certainly expected to spend lots of time waiting for elevators, and tripping over children, but even that was never the case.
  3. We've done Thanksgiving cruises for the last five years, and will be on Oasis this year with 16 of our family members. I go on cruises at least four or five times a year and the Thanksgiving cruise is ALWAYS the best. Yes, of course there are a lot of kids, but if you go in expecting it it's not a problem. It wouldn't be the cruise to select for a romantic honeymoon. The ship always feels extra festive, and I LOVE not having to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I also LOVE that I'm not home so I don't feel pressured to be up at three AM for black Friday sales. With that many family members, the only thing we are sure about is that we will all meet for dinner, and if we run into each other at other times, great. We always do, and it's wonderful, unrushed family time with few outside pressures. And yes, you may need to wait a few extra minutes to squeeze into an elevator, but again, if you are expecting it, it's not a problem. Thanksgiving cruises are the best!
  4. Update: We contacted our travel agent who contacted RCCL and got an immediate response and approval. We had to call a phone number and give a credit card for the $65 charge for leaving early, and as soon as I did so they emailed me the letter that he has to bring off the ship with him. A little annoyed at the charge since he's military, but the whole thing was pretty painless 🙂 and as long as there are no weather disasters he should be good to go.
  5. So my large family is scheduled for a Thanksgiving cruise, and my son who is in the military just found out that he absolutely has to be somewhere the day before the cruise returns. We've looked into his still going on the cruise and flying back home when we get to St. Thomas and its do-able schedule wise. What would be our next steps? Do we have to inform the cruise line ahead of time? Would his card still be active once he's gone? What about his drink package? My other son will still be in the room. Thanks for any insight!
  6. I'm also on this cruise (with 15 family members!) I actually heard on one of my last cruises that because this is leaving out of Miami, and Miami is headquarters for RCCL, there will probably be lots of bigwigs on board before departure, and the Windjammer lunch should be extra special. Seriously, that's what a maitre'd on another cruise said. Take it with a grain of salt, or saltwater, though.
  7. Has anyone done a first cruise after drydock? Do things go wrong? We have 15 people going for this cruise -- week of Thanksgiving, and I'm wondering if anyone has experienced any problems after drydock, like trips being cancelled, or venues being closed, or staff being untrained... I had heard that because its the first cruise, and it's out of Miami where RCCL headquarters are, that there are likely to be lots of bigwigs and media. And do you think there's any chance in the world that they would change their Labadee port to Coco Cay? (Very wishful thinking there)
  8. Absolutely. Just used one on Navigator that I got in February on Independence. Not a problem at all!
  9. Actually enjoyed Majesty a lot. We've been on flashier ships to be sure, but the Majesty had a great crew and the shows were pretty good. It was kind of refreshing not to traverse miles to get back to our cabin 🙂 Yes, we did Cuba. One day wasn't enough, and I'm hoping we'll go back soon for a longer stay. It truly was like stepping into another world - one without Diamonds International.
  10. I accidentally forgot to cash out a voucher before the end of a cruise on Majesty. Does anyone know if I would have been able to cash it out on another RCCL ship? This one is dated January 12th, and is valid for 30 days - I'm going on a different ship on Feb. 14th, so I know it wouldn't work, but if it was within the 30 days would it? Also, first person going on a Majesty cruise before Feb. 12 can have it if you send address - it's a whopping $17.20 🙂
  11. Feeling kind of foolish for not looking closer... taking RCCL Majesty on Thursday to Cuba & Nassau. The itinerary says Day 2 Havana, Day 3 Havana, Day 4 Nassau... but it leaves Havana on day 3 at 5:30 AM so its not like we get to do anything in Havana on that day. Why don't they call day 3 a sea day? Sheepishly cancelling my day 3 tour...
  12. It was not a problem at all. We all went to the same terminal (whichever one was on the left) and they took us all and asked no questions at all. It only took two or three minutes for them to get our cards. It was truly one of the smoothest check-ins ever.
  13. One thing I forgot to add... and I know it's not a biggie, but I thought the Thanksgiving decorations were beyond tacky. They were the paper cutout pumpkins you can find in any kindergarten classroom this time of year. It just seems that if you're going to spend hundreds of millions on a new boat, you might want to purchase decorations that can't be bought at Party City. This was the sixth Thanksgiving cruise we've taken, and every other ship had magnificent decorations to truly make the holiday special. And I'm pretty sure that this is the only one that didn't have any Christmas decorations happening yet also. Again, not a big deal, but it's the little attention to detail that makes a cruise truly outstanding.
  14. Just off the Norwegian Bliss and was somewhat underwhelmed. A little background – we are experienced cruisers, and this is our sixth Thanksgiving week cruise. We were a group of 18, 12 of us who were on the RCCL Allure last year. We had a fantastic time last year, so this cruise had a lot to live up to. We had a fantastic time this year as well – but would probably not do this particular cruise again. Still, any day cruising is a great day cruising and the company and experience of being together was awesome! The Good Parts: Very smooth and easy embarkation – no waiting whatsoever. Even though some of us were to embark at different terminals, we were all still able to board together. The Garden Café (buffet) had very decent food, and was laid out well enough that there were never long lines at a particular station, and we were always able to find a table – even in the busiest time. Miraculous, really. Greeting when we got back on board after being on the island(s), staff was there to greet us with cold towels and cold drinks. The crew talent show was well done, and the staff thing afterwards was very nice. Beatlemania in the Bliss Theater was awesome! However, when the ‘Beatles’ performed in the Cavern it was way too crowded, and very uncomfortable with the folding chairs. Actually, when ever anything was in the Cavern – Karaoke, other music, it was very uncomfortable. The very entertaining bartender (and the drinks) in the Mojito Bar. Actually all the cocktail wait staff were pretty good and efficient, and we never had to wait long for a drink anywhere – even the pool deck and Bliss theater. Great screen in the atrium – crystal clear to see anything it was showing… BUT the chairs in there were limited, and there was a lot of folding chairs going on. It was nice not having someone in your face the whole first day trying to sell drink packages or spa services. Digital screens worked well throughout the ship, the television in the stateroom had a decent lineup of movies and shows to watch, the NCL app (extra charge $9.95 for the week) was WELL WORTH IT, and worked very well to text and phone each other onboard. The ship musicians were great, especially Familiar Strangers and 4 Blue. The Washy Washy man in the Garden Café! The Random Observations: Awkward layout of ship. Parts of it felt very closed in with low ceilings. Almost never had a reason to pass shops on deck 8. Kind of boring décor – very subdued with lots of brown (almost looked like that old brown wood paneling from my basement when I was a kid) and a lot of the artwork looked like they simply framed a swatch of wallpaper. I can’t think of any artwork that made me go “wow” except maybe the bullet sculptures outside the District Brewhouse. Casino layout was very choppy and hard to find anyone. It was nice that the smoking section was separate, but hard to see inside the whole room to see if someone was there. Also, you have to be playing in order to smoke in the casino smoking section, so lots of machines were filled with people betting 8 cents. Speaking of casino… the machines were also pretty tight, but that’s to be expected. There wasn’t any music in the casino, so sometimes it was crazy quiet, and sometimes all you heard were loud obnoxious drunk people. The running track on the pool deck. It got a little obnoxious to have all these runners passing by and making you get out of the way in the middle of the day when it was crowded on deck. Lackluster comedians, who were all booked up an hour into the cruise. Also, the Social, where they played, was small and seating was folding chairs. I never actually saw my room steward. My husband saw him a couple times, and he was efficient, but there was none of the happy greetings that I’ve come to expect in hallways on cruises. The public bathrooms were a nightmare. Everything was automatic – the toilet flusher which was on a weird delay, the soap dispensers and the paper towels. It would almost be comical to be in the restroom, waiting for it to flush so you could leave, then fight with the soap dispenser to pretty please give you a dollop of soap, then wave wildly under the paper towel dispenser for your tiny sheet of one ply sandpaper. The bathroom situation outside the Bliss Theater – one side has a men’s room, and the other side has two ‘family’ restrooms, that can be used by men or women. So there are only two toilets for a theater full of women, if a man isn’t in there splashing stuff all over. Havana – a borefest; Jersey Boys was very good, but a little long. There was no actual entertainment for a family to enjoy together – we all watched both shows but the kids/teens didn’t get it or relate. They were looking for WOW, like what we saw on Allure last year with the Aqua Show and Mama Mia. I would have liked a Piano Bar, instead of a piano bar player that moved around the venues. Balcony chairs – they are not adjustable and just sit straight up. Why show movies at night in the atrium when you could show them on deck? You couldn’t hear them in the Atrium and had to read subtitles. Laser tag and race cars – it was all booked up by the time we got to it the first day. Why not open it for more hours so everyone who wants to participate can? (And don’t get me started on the extra charge, which I think is ridiculous but is also a non-issue since we couldn’t get a reservation.) No espresso/cappuccino included with the beverage package. There didn’t seem to be anyone doing regular random cleaning. We would see piles of food/drinks stacked in the corner of the elevators and hours later it would still be there. Or there would be stacks outside cabin doors for hours. The Deal-Breakers: Ridiculously inefficient and indifferent staff in the Manhattan Room. Dinner would take way longer than it had to because staff would deliver two dinners at a time and then go back for two more. And if you wanted something like an iced tea it would hold up the proceedings for a good half hour. Even sit-down breakfast at Savor took way longer than it should have. The food in the Main Dining Room(s) It was all pretty basic, plain, and not very good. No shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster… They never came around with sauces/dressings/cheese unless you asked them for it (sour cream for your baked potato; fresh pepper and parmesan for your pasta). YES, I know I could have eaten in the specialty restaurants, but I’m not paying for a cruise to then pay extra for decent food. (We did actually have a 3 restaurant package, part of a booking perk- but since we were a large group intent on eating dinner together every night, and the specialty restaurants weren’t open for lunch, we didn’t use them except one day at Margaritaville.) I will say, though, that the Thanksgiving dinner was nicely done. No 24 hour place to just grab a quick slice of pizza or sandwich to go. Yes, the Local is open 24 hours, but it is a sit down restaurant that takes time, and does not allow to-go orders. Sometimes you just want to take a plate of cookies to your room late at night… Again, opinions are like you-know-what, and everyone has one, so take mine with a grain of salt... All in all, we had a GREAT TIME despite the things we didn’t like. We did get off the ship, however, and immediately start researching next Thanksgiving back on Royal.
  15. Beatlemania in the Bliss Theater was absolutely the best entertainment of the week. In the Cavern it was very crowded and you had to sit on uncomfortable folding chairs, IF you could get a seat. They don't take reservations for it. They are amazingly talented though!
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