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Posts posted by ksawyercruiser

  1. Line to get into the port is several hundred people long. First tip ... Get here early or late. This is Space Mountain on a July weekend insane.


    I'm wondering if there was a delay in boarding ... A few folks look like they're disembarking.


    Holy guacamole. I misspoke. It's thousands of people long. I've never seen anything like this.


    Okay ... They are not processing passengers according to a security guard. He didn't know why. The line is at least 3,000 long. I'm not exaggerating. No one is getting on.


    We just hopped a cab and are going to lunch. We will try again in a couple hours. If anyone hears anything about what's going on, let me know.

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  2. Hi Kim,


    I am really looking forward to the rest of your review. We also took advantage of the kids sail free offer and have booked our first cruise as parents on Liberty. Our son will be a few months shy of being old enough to attend the AO program. Any pictures or information you can share about the Royal Tots nursery and toy sharing program would be appreciated!


    Thanks! Have a great vacation!



    Thank you!! I will get all the royal tots info for you. :)





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  3. No...upgrading to a full suite was not just for cocktails... Obviously we could have added drink packages for $900 OR less... My husband retired recently from the police department after nearly 30 years of service and I wanted to surprise him with a suite that comes with all the perks (not just the alcohol and food).


    But thank you for your concern:rolleyes:



    How awesome you wanted to surprise your husband. I'm grateful for all police officers. Protecting and serving for 30 years is amazing.


    I hope you have a great cruise.



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  4. So ... what do we have planned on the ship?


    I’ve already reserved the ice show, the character breakfast, dinner at Portofino’s and the cupcake decorating class for Marissa. The character breakfast is free, the cupcake class is $15 and dinner at Portofino’s is $25 each. It’s $25 for our daughter as well.


    For some reason, I can’t reserve Saturday Night Fever or Up in the Air online. It’s first on our list of things to do as soon as we board.


    We have late seating in the MDR. Our plan is to dine there every night with the exception of formal night when we’re eating at Portofino’s.


    We didn’t request any size table so we’ll see what we get. This is kind of a “make-it-or-break-it” cruise in regards to tablemates. We’ve had a couple great cruises where we met wonderful people. And we really loved seeing them each night and sharing our daily activities. (We still exchange Christmas cards with the family we met on our very first cruise!!)


    But the past couple trips, we’ve had very large tables. And no one else showed up. Or they showed up on night one and never returned. I haven’t taken it personally but maybe I should. Heehee. :p


    I really don’t enjoy sitting at a huge table all by ourselves. It feels odd. Like we’re waiting on additional dinner guests. So we’ll see what happens on the Liberty. I’m really close to requesting a four-top for our family on the Vision. But this is completely against my nature. I love meeting people on cruises. But we haven’t had great luck lately.


    It’s probably all the dining options that contribute to this. This makes me a little sad because Tom and I are pretty traditional cruisers. We like an assigned dining time, the same servers each night and the largest table possible to meet other fabulous cruisers like us. ;) So we shall see what happens.


    We’ve already checked in online and signed all the waivers for the rock climbing wall, ice skating rink and flowrider. So we are all set there.


    Our cabin number is 6678 near the aft. We have pre-purchased the premium drink package so I’ll let you know my thoughts on that. This is the first time we’ve done this package on RCI. We did a drink package on the Celebrity Millennium, and it was very convenient.


    I’ve also joined our Roll Call. And we have an informal meet and greet in Schooners on embarkation day and a cabin crawl scheduled for the first day at sea. FUN!!!


    After this cruise, the Liberty heads across the Atlantic. Seems like there are a lot of cruisers on our sailing who are doing a b2b on the transatlantic. Lucky ducks! Not that I’m complaining … it’s just that a transatlantic is on our wish list.


    So what am I missing? Please feel free to give me any must-do’s!


    Now I’ve shared all my pre-cruise info. We leave in the morning! I will try to post as much as I can while onboard. Send me your questions, and I’ll do my best to find the answers for you.

  5. This is a five-night sailing. We leave from Port Everglades on Saturday, have a sea day on Sunday, spend Monday in Belize, Tuesday in Cozumel, Sea Day on Wednesday and home on Thursday.


    In Belize, we have reserved a private island tour. We have never been to Belize, and I was totally confused about what to do there. I considered everything from cave tubing to an ATV in the rainforest.


    Finally I decided I really wanted to avoid the crowds and maximize our time on the island. I found this tour company on Trip Advisor with high visitor ratings. The company is Fantasea Belize.


    They had a private boat tour to some of the lesser-traveled islands and snorkeling spots that seemed to fit the bill.


    The “island-hopping” excursion is $500 for the three of us. (It’s actually $500 for up to four people.) It includes a private boat and captain for four hours, snorkeling equipment, lunch and all drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Basically beer, rum punch, water and fruit punch. We’re really looking forward to it!


    In Cozumel, we are going back to an old favorite: Mr. Sanchos! This is an all-inclusive beach day. It includes unlimited food, unlimited drinks, kayaks, pool, lounge chairs, tables, etc. We love Mr. Sanchos. We were there on our Allure sailing and had a wonderful day. The cost for this is $57 per adult, and $37 for Marissa. It also includes an all-day pass to the inflatable water park. It’s a real bargain.


    And, since we’re not going to Labadee or Coco Cay on this sailing, this will be our beach day.


    Mr. Sanchos also has a cool bar in the pool. Marissa thought this was the neatest thing in the world. She could sit in the pool and order virgin frozen drinks. She was in absolute heaven, and we had trouble getting her out of the pool for lunch or to explore the water park. Sounds weird to say my 10yo spent the day at the bar, but that’s what she did. When in Rome … ;)


    The other cool thing about the bar is that on the “land side” of the bar, the stools are actually swings. So if you’re swaying in your seat, it’s not just because of the alcohol.


    We actually tried Nachi Cocum on our January Enchantment sailing and also had a very good time. This is another all-inclusive beach. It was just as pretty as Mr. Sanchos but much quieter. I thought it was almost too quiet. Some live music would have added to the ambience.


    We found we liked the upbeat, lively feeling of Mr. Sanchos a little better. But I would happily go to either again.


    Okay … tomorrow I will post about our plans for the ship.


    Thanks for checking out my random ramblings!

  6. Looking forward to following this!! I have enjoyed your other reviews, though I never commented....sorry about that......


    Since I sail out of Galveston, and we just found out Liberty will be here in about 18 months, I am especially anxious to see pics!!!!




    Thank you so much!!! I will try to share as many pics as I can. Unfortunately right now, I can't post pics from Facebook or Photobucket. So frustrating. But I will figure it out. I'm going to try from another computer.


    Thank you for checking out the review!!! :D

  7. Before we get to our excursion plans, I wanted to share a couple pics so you can see our cast of characters.




    This is my husband Tom. We've been married for nearly 22 years. And our gorgeous Guatemalan princess Marissa.




    And this is me and Marissa at the Port of Miami before our Disney cruise last November.




    And although he won't be joining us on this cruise, here is our wild child, Tommy. 16 and bulletproof.




    Sorry ... looks like I'm having trouble with my pics. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. It's worked in the past. And I can't figure out how to delete this post. arggggggggghhhhh

  8. Hello! I’m going to try something a little different here. I’ve written a couple reviews for CC before. But it’s always been a post-cruise review.


    But I need a head start this time. I’m leaving for Chicago on business on Tuesday, get back Friday and then leave on the Liberty on Saturday. So pre-cruise time is very limited. Then, after this cruise, we are going on the Vision 20 days later for Memorial Day weekend.


    Being a Pinnacle member is so rough. ;)


    KIDDING! We are gold members who live in Fort Lauderdale. This is our fourth RCI cruise, and our eighth cruise overall. We have previously sailed on the fantabulous Allure and the charming Enchantment twice. We have also sailed Disney (3x) and Celebrity once. And we have loved them all.


    We booked this particular cruise in February. We were looking for a relatively good deal to celebrate my birthday and to mark the end of tax season for my hubby. We booked an OV room on Deck 2 for myself, my DH Tom and our beautiful 10-year-old princess Marissa. Our 16yo son Tommy has high school responsibilities so he can’t come with us. We have a friend staying with him instead.


    (I’d love to say he was heartbroken. But not so much. He loves cruising but five nights without his nagging Mom and annoying little sister was pretty darn appealing. And Tommy adores our friend Andrea who will be staying with him)


    We got a great deal on the OV cabin. Around $1500 for the three of us. But Marissa wasn’t keen on not having a balcony. I thought it was because she’s becoming a little cruise-spoiled after being in a GS and OS on the Enchantment. Those were “special-occasion” cruises and we could afford a suite on the Enchantment.


    One of the benefits of sailing a smaller, older ship is that suites tend to be less expensive. But this particular trip was meant to be a low-cost getaway.


    But being the planner I am, I constantly checked pricing. And I finally decided to upgrade for $300 to a superior oceanview balcony on Deck 6. Marissa was delighted. Turns out, she didn’t like the idea of being so close to the water. It had nothing to do with wanting a suite.


    So our five-night cruise on the Liberty ended up costing a little under $1900 including taxes and port fees. I feel like we got a decent deal.


    We booked this cruise through a TA. And so far, I’m not impressed. Taking advantage of the price reduction/upgrade wasn’t at all easy. Much different than the few times I’ve called RCI regarding price reductions. I’m sure it’s just this TA. But I’ve found calling RCI directly and cutting out the middleman has been much easier in the past.


    (That’s not to say I haven’t been on hold with RCI for loooooong periods of time. But once I finally get a hold of someone, they are typically very helpful and making changes is easy.)


    We leave in one week , and I’m so excited to experience a new ship. I have heard wonderful things about the Liberty, and I’m looking forward to being on a ship with numerous dining and entertainment options. Like a smaller Allure. 

    So my plan for this review is to lay out our cruise plans before we board. Then, I will do as many live updates as I can (Wi-Fi willing) while on the ship. Then, once we’re back, I’ll fill in the blanks with a post-trip report. Sound good?


    So what’s up with us going on the Vision just 20 days after getting off the Liberty? Well, I blame Royal Caribbean’s Kids Sail Free deal. We were fortunate to hop on that deal early and couldn’t resist booking a 4-nighter over Memorial Day. We also snagged a great deal on the Thanksgiving Allure cruise. Getting those deals during holidays when the kids are out of school was extremely unexpected -- but very nice!!


    The fact that we live in Fort Lauderdale doesn't hurt. We can take a cruise for what it would cost the four of us just to fly somewhere. Yes, we are spoiled!


    Even though we live in Florida, it’s completely unusual for us to cruise so much in one year. We're thrilled if we get to cruise twice a year. But when opportunity knocks …


    If anyone has any Liberty tips for us, please feel free to share. I’ve done a lot of research but I learn something new every time I visit Cruise Critic. That’s what makes these boards so great. (BTW … anyone know if the AO kids’ club is open on night 1?)


    I love cruise reviews. I love reading them. Even if it's a ship I haven't been on or an itinerary I've never considered. They are like a mini-vacation for me and help me get through the times we don't have cruises planned.


    That's basically why I'm writing this review. So that you can come along on the voyage with us. I'll try to share some good tips and pics. I also love writing reviews because it's a sort of diary of our adventures. I'm always a little sad when I don't have the time to do reviews. I feel like I forget so much without the written reminders.


    My next post before we leave will be our excursion plans.

  9. On our allure cruise, our table of four was surrounded by large parties. They were always missing a few stragglers. Our waitstaff took the opportunity to get us settled and taken care of first so they could focus on the latecomers.


    Our servers were professionals. They knew how to handle the situation and we actually benefited. We were out by 9:45 every night which was perfect for us.


    Of course, this was late seating. Early seating could be a different story.


    I think 30 minutes is too late. But that's just my feeling. But our servers took it in stride. Didn't ruffle them at all.




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  10. First off ... you are going to have an amazing time. The Allure is absolutely breathtaking and truly one of a kind.


    Your 15 year old will be in the teen club. Many parents report that their kids LOVED the teen club and met many new friends there. That wasn't the case with us. Our 15 yo son didn't set foot in there. He is a bit of a loner. But that didn't mean he didn't have a blast. He loved the rock wall, exploring the ship, sneaking a forbidden coffee and trying the different eateries. He also went to quite a few movies.


    So it really depends on the teen. If they are the social sort, they will most likely love the club. :)


    Our 9 yo daughter thought AO was average. She prefers kids' clubs with lots of options ... like Disney. In our experience, AO tended to have structured activities (like relay races) but not many other options. I will say, though, that the facilities are impressive and we felt very safe leaving our daughter there. She just tends to like quieter activities ... so we limited her time in the club to a couple hours after dinner.


    I did see several little boys begging their parents to let them stay longer. So again, depends on the child.


    Have a WONDERFUL cruise. :D

  11. ksawyercruiser,


    Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but I saw your link on another posting and had to check it out.


    My fiance and I will be on EN for our Honeymoon in October. We are sooooooo excited and your review made us even more crazy. We are treating ourselves to a GS (8034) because I know it's the only time we'll every be able to justify it lol. Needless to say, your review confirmed that we made the right decision!!


    Thanks for the great review!




    Thank you so much!!! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. You're going to have a great cruise. I'm jealous of your GS and getting to spend the evenings with Reyno. Hopefully he will still be there.


    We leave in a couple weeks on the Liberty. Balcony room this time. I'm sure I'll miss the suite perks. But I'm thrilled to check out a different ship. I'm hoping to do another review for that sailing.


    And a BIG congratulations on your upcoming wedding! :D

  12. We've sailed both on the Allure and Enchantment. As someone said, it's like comparing apples to oranges. Completely different experiences


    We found the Enchantment to be perfect for shorter cruises. There is plenty to do ... even for our kids. They were totally entertained with the pool, movies, shows, kids' club, etc. Plus they LOVED our GS which we could probably never afford on Allure. We had a balcony on our Allure cruise.


    The lounge was wonderful. We took full advantage of that perk -- as well as booking a cabana on Coco Cay. Which we did in advance through the concierge.


    Our GS was a little noisy but because it was near a service elevator. We frequently heard carts rolling by. It wasn't horrible but we did notice it.


    There are pics of our GS in my review in the signature.


    If you can't take a seven-day, then a GS on the Enchantment is a lovely way to cruise. :D

  13. My 10-year-old daughter loved the roasted chicken breast on the main menu. It's one of the staples offered every night. It was her go to meal ... Along with whatever chilled fruit soup was offered.

    It's a good choice if your kids want to try something off the adult menu.

    Enjoy your cruise!

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  14. What cabin# do you have? I have never sailed in anything above JS so I have no clue if the $600 is of value for the perks of a GS on only 4 nights. How important is your view and use of the balcony? Here was my view on Vision cabin 8588 five months ago after the refurb:




    We are in 8090. I think your pics sealed the deal! It ended up being more like $800 with taxes and fees. We're going to use that for the ultimate beverage package.


    Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. The insights were great and gave us a lot to think about.

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