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Everything posted by pasodancer

  1. What an amazing vacation - thank you so much for sharing. We are on her next year and hope that our vacation is as fabulous as yours!
  2. RCI, Oasis, (June 2023) had a designated "non-smoking" casino. It is located where "Jazz on 4" use to be (Jazz on 4 is now "Jazz in Central Park").
  3. Yes, you can bid on any cabin shown that will fit 3 people. Only 2 people pay the "X" amount, even if there will be 3 (or 4) in the cabin.
  4. FWIW: The price of a single (digital) print is $24.99........WOW!
  5. I have a feeling I already know the answer (NO) but does anyone know of any decent hotel in Athens that would have a 2- or 3- bedroom suite. Family of 6 traveling next summer (2024). We are 5 adults and 1 child (7-year-old). I have a feeling that I will be getting 3 separate rooms at a hotel but thought I would ask just in case? It would be me and DH in 1 room, adult son in 1 room, and adult son, DIL and GS in other rooms. Budget - would like to keep rooms under $400/night if possible. A Marriott property would be the cherry on top! (Already looked at Moxy as a possibility). Thank you for any assistance as I begin my research to make this family cruise stressless and seamless.
  6. Short clip of the amazing juggler, Adam Kario: Maria and Adam.mp4
  7. For the car service to the port - gave estimated 20-30 minutes time to get there based on distance from the hotel and the time of day (only took about 15 minutes). For return car service to the airport, I estimated what time we would be able to walk-off the ship (figured 7:30 but got off earlier). With most car services you can readjust your pick-up time. AND, Uber now has "Uber Reserve" where you can reserve a designated pick-up time 30 days in advance.
  8. We are doing our very 1st Celebrity next summer - older lady - the Infinity. Have the PH suite as we are traveling with family and needed the extra bedroom and bathroom. Now I have a year to learn all I can possibly about Celebrity & Infinity.
  9. Part 2 The much-anticipated week aboard the Oasis was all that we could have hoped for. Yes, it was crowded as heck, especially the Royal Promenade shows and parades. The first night was the Welcome Aboard Party & Balloon Drop. It was a great way to start our week. The 70’s Night celebration was so much fun! The crew doing all the popular dances from the 70’s was the highlight of the evening, especially “YMCA”. Ports of Call: Port Canaveral: The Kennedy Space Center, KSC, was on our bucket list, one of the reasons why we chose this specific sailing. We arrived in port around 1 pm and the buses were waiting for us. We were told there were 400 people doing this excursion. Buses pulled out individually as soon as they were full. Each bus had a tour guide who gave a very informative briefing about what we could see at KSC as well as tips for touring the massive complex. Let me tell you in advance in case you are on the fence about this excursion that there is a LOT of walking, hardly any seating at any venue, and you only get about 3 ½ to maybe 4 hours at the facility. It was HOT, extremely HOT. Bring bottles of water from the ship or expect to pay $5 for a bottle at the vendors. All facilities were air conditioned, but you must walk outside from building to building. Of course, we got hit with an afternoon thunderstorm. We were able to see what we desired (Atlantis). There are plenty of live demonstrations (perfect for the kids) and interesting talks from KSC staff. For us, KSC is a one and done place to go. If it was fall or winter, we would have spent more time checking out the complex. Return buses depart KSC as they are filled up. Upon return to the ship, it is a lengthy walk through the terminal to hit security and go back onboard. (We saw several people taking Uber to KSC & return – so if price is a consideration that may be an option for you). Nassau, Bahamas: We have been to this Port of Call numerous times and excursions didn’t attract us as we had done most of them previously. We initially were getting a day pass to Margaritaville (google Resort for a Day Pass). The weather going into port was very overcast and extremely hot. Rain was definitely on its way, so we skipped doing Margaritaville and decided to just walk around the port and hit the Straw Market. The port area (inside the gate) has been completely renovated and it is a far cry from the past. If you haven’t been to the new area, I would recommend doing so just to check out the vendors and what they have to offer. We had just got to the Straw Market when it began to drizzle so we turned around and went back to the ship and as the deluge began. A nasty thunderstorm hit the area for a few hours. Passengers on some excursions were stranded on islands until the storm let up. The storms lasted until around 7 pm so there was a great deal of wet, disappointed, passengers. Perfect Day at Coco Cay: Bright sunny day in the morning. We departed the ship around 1000 and heard thunder and could see lightning in the distance. Coco Cay was open, but the pools and all water attractions were closed at that time. We just wandered through the vendor and walked around the island. The clear weather finally made its way to us in the afternoon and all pools and water attractions were open. It turned into a Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Food: We dined at every venue onboard. Our favorite was 150 Central Park (try the Pumpkin Soup) and our least favorite was Sorrento’s (pizza). We had repeat dinners at Giovanni’s and Chops as well as the Coastal Kitchen. No place disappointed us. Service was great at all venues considering the number of passengers. Shows: We saw all the major shows on board and were not disappointed in any of them. The Group “MO5AIC” (originally saw them on “America’s Got Talent”) was headlining for 2 nights and they were amazing. The Headliner, Adam Korin, World Champion Juggler was extremely entertaining. Adult Comedy Show was OK. The “Aqua 80” in the Aqua Theater was postponed 3x due to weather. We were finally able to see them perform – WOW! The Ice-Skating Show “Frozen in Time” is a must see for children (and adults). A few months ago, they added two large swan sleds as part of the show. During the show the performers gather up 4 children (pre-chosen before the show) and take them around the rink a few times during the performance. Really cute and the kids were having so much fun. Departure: We did “self-assist” walk-off w/ the genie leading the way. There was a delay in permitting passengers to exit the ship due to a “wanted” person the authorities were trying to locate. The exit gangway finally opened around 7:15 am. We used Black Lane car service for the trip to Newark Airport. The driver was waiting for us outside the terminal, and we were in the airport with bags checked by 7:45 am. ($124 including tip). If using United, you can (via the United App) check-in to your flight and check in luggage 24 hours prior to flight time. If you pre-check the luggage you can go directly to luggage drop off (Terminal C, Level 3, Door 3) and then through security. We had TSA pre-check, so security took about 15 minutes. It was a fabulous and very memorable vacation. If you have any questions about the ship, the cruise, star class or the hotel, I will be more than happy to answer them.
  10. Our cruise was our 30th Anniversary Celebration. We choose Oasis of the Seas, Grand Panoramic Suite (Star Class), departing from Cape Liberty, June 9-16, 2023. We are seasoned RCI cruisers and have sailed this ship several other times. The day prior to sailing, we flew from Norfolk, VA to Newark. We intentionally chose an early flight so that we could hit the hotel, drop off our bags and head into New York City for some sightseeing and dining. Of course, this was when New York City and region was hit with the horrible yellow/orange smoke from the wildfires in Canada. Our flight (United, Non-Stop) was uneventful and upon landing at Newark we took an Uber into our Hotel – Westin, Jersey City (Uber cost $39 w/ tip). I booked the Westin 330 days out. We used Marriott points (34K) for payment. At the time of booking the Westin (standard room w/ king bed) was $179/night plus taxes. I periodically price check and noticed that the Westin rate was going up as we got closer to our reservation date to a high of $480 for the same room. The Westin is a centrally located property with easy walking distance to restaurants, shopping, and NJ Path (train to NYC). No complaints about the hotel, would stay there again if the price was right. Dining at the hotel was a little expensive. Pub food dinner for 2 (w/ 2 drinks) was over $100 and breakfast for 2 (eggs, bacon, toast, OJ and coffee) was $70. If you do stay at the hotel – there is a little pizza restaurant across the street where you can have a reasonably priced lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, the yellow/orange smoke was still an issue, people were wearing face masks and the local news was recommending that people stay inside if possible. Additionally, some schools were going to remote learning for Friday, social agencies were handing out face masks and the news keep recommending people stay home. We did a quick walk down to the waterfront and the streets were literally empty. Unfortunately, we cancelled our plans to visit New York City and instead hung out in the hotel. Departure day, Friday, we took a pre-arranged car service (BlackLane) to the port ($74 w/ tip). We arrived at the terminal at 1015 am. We literally walked into the terminal, checked in and were on the ship within 10 minutes. It appeared they were allowing anyone who arrived at the terminal to check in and board the ship. No one was checking designated times. Checking was fast and a steady stream of guests were quickly entering the ship straight onto deck 5 (Royal Promenade). Sailing occupancy was approximately 6,200 +/-. Yes, at times, it was a little Our genie met us at the gangway and escorted us to our Muster Check-In, then directly to our suite where iced champagne was waiting for us. We then headed to the Coastal Kitchen for lunch before heading out to tour the ship. Great way to start a cruise. The Grand Panoramic Suite is a one-of-a-kind suite on Oasis. Check You Tube for a video of the suite, just put in “Grand Panoramic Oasis of the Seas”. The suite has pros and cons. The pros include the hot tub on the deck along w/ 2 lounge chairs (only 3 suites have hot tubs on Oasis), floor to ceiling windows (complete with privacy screen and drapes), 2 bathrooms, XL bathtub that fits 2 (bring your own bubble bath), large living room, dining room table that seats 6 and plenty of closet space. As it is a Star Class Suite – it has all the star class perks (check the RCI website for Star Class Suite benefits). The major con w/ the suite is trip hazard. This wouldn’t have been a con if we discovered the night lights (under the nightstands in the master). If you must use the restroom during the night – you need to either walk up 2 steps in the dark (again, we hadn’t discovered the night lights until late in our sailing) or you can head through the living room (and into the standing ice bucket – ouch) into the other bathroom. We left the lights on in the other bathroom at night – sort of a beacon. If you do book this suite, I would recommend bringing 3 things – a “claw hair-clip” (close the drapes completely so sunlight doesn’t peep thru in the morning), a USB hub so you can plug multiple devices for charging) and a small plug in night-light for the living room. Yes, we would book this suite again. (booking tip – book as soon as the cruise/cabin you desire becomes available as prices seem to rise dramatically as you get closer to sail date). Our Royal Genie was the fabulous Shane! I cannot say enough about the level and quality of service from Shane. We were pampered beyond any expectation. He arranged a few surprises for us (more later). We did not request anything special from Shane pre-cruise. On the pre-cruise questionnaire we stated we just wanted to relax. Although the genies have designated hours, Shane was available constantly. Every morning he would send us our itinerary and ask if we had any changes. Daily, we would have platters of snacks and drinks delivered to our room in the afternoon. Our 2 suite attendants, Kamong and Osban (spelling?) were very attentive and helpful. The room was kept spotless (2x day service but they were always hoovering on the floor waiting to assist any of the suite passengers (17th floor)). Every night we came back to the cute towel animals ranging from alligators, a monkey chandelier, birds, etc. Room was constantly restocked/freshened up. One of the best perks of Star Class – free laundry and dry cleaning! Love coming home from vacation with only a few items that needed to be washed. Stay tune for part 2…….
  11. I'm (we, DH & I) are on the cruise with you. Will be interesting to see how our experiences compare. Hope that we get to meet!
  12. Forgot to mention - if you are going to purchase the DBP - purchase NOW thru cruise planner then keep checking the cruise planner to see if there is a better price (sale). Then purchase new DBP and then cancel current one.
  13. If you are going to drink 6 to 7 drinks a day (including specialty coffee, fresh squeezed OJ, specialty waters, etc.), then the package is usually reasonable. Most alcoholic drinks average $13 each, glasses of wine $12 plus gratuity. We begin our day w/ mimosa's & fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, wine at lunch, specialty coffee after lunch, pre-cocktail drinks, dinner drinks & evening drinks. We usually do 8 drinks/day. If your cruise is port heavy and you will be off the ship a lot, then you need to consider that into your calculations.
  14. Now I understand - I purchased Izumi Hibachi individually (not part of a 3-night package or UDP). I was able to get the reservation time/day I desired when I purchased it on the cruise planner. So basically, they are giving priority of reservations to those of us who purchase it individually.
  15. I made our Izumi Hibachi (Oasis 6/9) reservations online when I purchased it through the Cruise Planner. Am I missing something?
  16. You will have an amazing time on this ship - perfect size - not too big and not too small to have a wonderful vacation. It will not overwhelm you with all the bells and whistles that the larger ships offer. The ship is large enough that people will be distributed throughout and you will never really feel crowded. CAVET: it will seem a little crowded on boarding day / sail a way and that is only because everyone will be waiting for cabins to open (perfect time to tour the ship) and during sail away when everyone is on upper decks watching as you sail off on their fabulous vacations.
  17. I recently attended an event at the Sheraton downtown Norfolk waterfront. We parked in the city garage next door to the hotel and there were signs about "no overnight parking". I'm not sure if the hotel has a special parking area inside the garage or if there is some sticker you place inside the front dashboard? You may want to also check with the Main (also downtown Norfolk) - I've heard they have a special "park & cruise" package, but I haven't confirmed it.
  18. Normally the hallway doors to the cabins are closed until around 1 pm (sometimes later). An announcement is usually made over the loudspeaker system to let you know when cabins are open. Selected suites (Star Class) may have access to their suite upon arrival if the cabin has been cleaned. Timing is everything.
  19. What an amazing anniversary vacation/cruise!!! Happy Anniversary! We are considering this itinerary for 2026 so I sincerely appreciate you posting this review.
  20. I would definitely book a car service from EWR to the port so you aren't at the mercy of waiting for Uber / Lyft / Taxi.
  21. yes, Pineapple juice - how could I forget! Thank you.
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