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#1
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I posted review of our Disney cruise, you can find it here:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=112390
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#2
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
This review will be sectioned, a day or two each post. Here's Day 1:

DAY ONE: KILLER SAUSAGES & FUH-GEDDA-BOUT-IT

From CNY we started by doing most of the 5 hour drive the day before, stayed about one hour from the port (much cheaper than a night in NYC). Our first day got off to a weird start. Eating breakfast at our hotel, I cut into a large breakfast sausage which decided to fight back. I plunged my knife into it, it sprayed back grease at me like it was a deranged octopus. I seriously had so many grease spots on my shirt and pants I couldn’t cruise looking like a victim of the crazed octopus-sausage thing. Had to make a quick trip to Target (Only store open at 8AM) for new clothes – everything was packed and apportioned per day for the cruise.

Bayonne Port: We’ve cruised out of numerous ports (would love to hear CG’s comments on ports). Norfolk will always be a favorite because of the people. Bayonne, to me, is the ugly stepsister to other ports – it basically resembles an old factory with pipes up above, blacktop floors. The luggage areas are outdoor tents (must be fun in winter). Parking: you drive a distance, finally see a sign that shows short term parking one way, long term for cruises the other direction. Only problem is the long term sign takes you back out to the road you came in on! Drove back in a giant circle, asked the same guy we asked for directions, told him about the sign. His reply (in typical NY fashion): “Fuh-gedda-bout-it, Don’t pay any attention to the sign.” Inside the terminal you’re handed a number for a shuttle bus (even though the ship is within easy walking distance). Strange, couldn’t start boarding until after 11:30AM.

Explorer: great shape and more to come about it. Cabin (6554, balcony), with exception of the old tv’s, was in excellent shape; Allan the Room Steward was the typical overly efficient and friendly steward.

Food notes: Read a lot on CC about dinners being served cold. I had a scallops gratin app that was lukewarm first night, everything else all week was hot. We did My Time Dining – we had the same table all 4 nights in the DR with the same wait staff. Last 2 nights we sat next to a guy who was a fellow alumnus of my college (King’s, Wilkes-Barre, PA). MTD worked great for us. We had dinner in Bermuda one night (more on that later).

Entertainment: I believe I’ve stated before that a Cruise Director doesn’t make much difference. WRONG!! This guy from Australia (Leigh X) and his assistant Frank the Tank were spectacular and really enhanced the cruise experience. RCI singers and dancers seem greatly improved since our last Royal cruise (Enchantment). The headliner show was advertised as an Elvis impersonator. The singer (Greg London) actually impersonated probably 25 or more singers and did such a great job (and was such a nice guy) that we bought his CD’s & DVD’s.

Enough for now. Day 2 coming soon with the headline: WHITE CAPS & SKI CAPS.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#3
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
DAY 2: WHITE CAPS & SKI CAPS

The Ski Caps were actually last night – Towel attendants wearing heavy coats and ski caps by the pool, nobody was swimming or using the hot tubs – TOO DANG COLD!! Today we have thunderstorms and near hurricane force winds. Skating show was postponed until a later date, pools are closed, outside decks are inaccessible. Stood on my balcony and got a face full of salt water from the spray. Invigorating, but my idea of spending time on my balcony reading ain’t gonna happen. I enjoyed seeing the large, white-capped waves, but a large number of cruisers were seasick, and it’s the first cruise I’ve been on where they had to put barf bags throughout the ship for cruisers to use.

One advantage of our Deck 6 cabin was being just above the Promenade. Easy access to coffee, iced tea and lemonade, not to mention the paninis and snacks available. This was the worst weather day – you couldn’t go out on the decks, everything was closed off – 65mph winds. We spent ten minutes in the Solarium hot tub – it was our only pool or hot tub time the entire cruise. All the entertainment had to be shifted around; Ice shows postponed until the last day. However, the CD staff did an absolutely great job of doing whatever they could to keep people busy – can’t say enough about them. One thing I enjoyed was the little morning show the CD did each day. I even wrote them a joke (they’d read comment cards each show), and the CD actually read it on his show (Okay, he said it was a lame joke when he read it, but, hey, at least he read it!!).

One thing that never gets postponed is the Casino. It was very nice to us. We’re big gamblers ($10 each per day). Overall we came out a few bucks ahead, which is much better than usual. Walked into the Casino one day with $2 in my pocket; played a slot and ran it up to $9; switched to poker and ran it up to $25. Of course, gave it all back a couple days later.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#4
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
DAY 3: BERMUDA, GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, UNREQUITED LOVE, AND, WHY WON’T ANYONE TALK TO ME??

Bermuda: Looks like Caribbean ports, big difference! Barb likes to shop for jewelry. We took the Ferry ($15 for all-day use) to Hamilton, went to the one advertised jewelry store. Barb looked at one case for over 5 minutes before someone finally came and asked if she wanted to see something (store was almost empty, 5 or 6 salesgirls hanging around doing nothing). Showed her some rings, told her the price, that was it. No suggestions, no explanations – nothing like Effy or Majesty or the usual Caribbean jewelry stores. Okay, maybe I’m just upset because I usually get offered a free beer or two while Barb shops. Bought a Bermuda newspaper. “Does this paper have US sports? Of course, they said. Yeah, had a Golf article, line of scores, no other US articles. That’s not a big deal, but that’s what everything in Bermuda was like. Side note: bought the newspaper because Royal charges 75 cents per minute for Internet, 66 cents per if you spend $30, 50 cents per if you spend $200 (who the heck spends 4 hrs on the Net while cruising??).

Bermuda Excursion: Very pricey, but we did a 6hr tour that included dinner at a “5 Star” restaurant.

The Van touched down in the lot of this enchanted 5 Star place
With the government guy, and his young wife
The sales-talk man and his wife too
Kicker, and his beautiful wife Barb
The leader Ralph, the others who I can’t recall
All here at Tom Moore’s Restaurant

Not sure why but the Gilligan theme was stuck in my head that whole excursion. Thomas Moore (whom the restaurant was named after) was an Irish poet who spent time in Bermuda before he was famous and fell in love with a married woman. He was forced to leave because of his illicit affair (too bad he didn’t live in today’s world – who would care?). The restaurant is named for him and it supposedly is the oldest continuing operating restaurant in Bermuda (although it was closed for 5 yrs but they don’t bother to count that). I’m no gourmet, the food was good, but the ship’s food was at least as good if not better. Dinners (I had Chicken breast, included in the price of the tour), supposedly start at $65 in that restaurant, and that’s a pretty accurate read on restaurant prices. We met a couple on board who had lunch at the Frog & Onion Pub; 2 sandwiches and a drink cost them $80. I have to say the Tour leader (Ralph) was so in love with his native Bermuda that he made the excursion worthwhile. He even sang and played the trumpet for us at the restaurant. Oh, as far as 5 Stars? The restaurant is owned by Ralph’s b-in-law, so take that for what its worth. I wouldn’t care to visit Bermuda again, unless its for a quick stop, not a two day thing. Beaches: looked nice, but 60 degrees and rained ruined any chance to find out. Souvenirs: they make glass there; Barb looked at a platter – it was $300. No thanks. $30 for a small Rum Cake? No thanks, again. T-shirts were at least reasonable – that’s all we bought.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#5
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
DAY 4: BERMUDA SHORTS & BERMUDA TOO LONG, PLUS CHICKENS

In 10 or so cruises it’s the first time we stayed overnight in a port – too bad it had to be Bermuda. I’m not totally knocking Bermuda – it’s a beautiful place and I’ve been told it’s more beautiful in the summer when all the flowers bloom – it just wasn’t your typical cruise port. The one department store (Davison’s?) carried the same brands we find at home, but at higher prices. Everything was priced high (homes supposedly start at $750,000). Hey, did you know Michael Douglas has a Bermuda home, and his Mom is a native Bermudian?

Bermuda shorts are acceptable as formal wear. Our tour guide Ralph had the shorts, kneesocks, along with his jacket & tie. The island, as a whole, is rather conservative.

We were in port the 2nd day until 4PM, but we’d already seen the whole island. We walked over to a nearby beach (Snorkel Park) – might’ve been nice if it hadn’t been only 60 degrees.

Chickens: when we did the tour it seemed I saw chickens everywhere, so I asked about it. Apparently when they had a hurricane a few years back lots of cages got turned over and chickens have been multiplying and running amok ever since. We saw chickens near the beaches, chickens on golf courses, chicken on my dinner plate (hey – if that was a free chicken why’d it cost $65 for dinner??).

Back on the ship. Entertainment for the week was the singer I mentioned previously, one comedian, and the Royal singers & dancers, who seem to have greatly improved since our last Royal cruise 3 years ago. I can’t even remember what I ate, only remember I enjoyed everything Barb would let me eat due to my recent diagnosis of Diabetes.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#6
Bartlett,TN,USA
12,181 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Kicker, sounds like you went just a little too early. I have a cruise friend who just returned Sunday from Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda. They had a fabulous time and warm sunny weather. She did private excursions, and thoroughly enjoyed everything.
#7
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
DAY 5: 5 IS GREATER THAN 4, BUT 7 IS A MUCH NICER NUMBER

Our Disney cruise last December was 4 days. This was only one day more, but it seemed a better fit – the 4 day seemed like we just got on and were getting off again. Of course, a 7 day or longer is preferred, but we have tight schedules these days, so this cruise fit best.

Day 5 of our cruise featured the Ice Show (great), originally scheduled for the first sea day. The finale show at night was surprisingly short: the Explorer Band, some remarks from the CD, one dance number, one song. As mentioned before, the singer and dancers and even the themes of the shows have improved in the last 3 years from what I saw. Choreography for the dancers was done by some of Dancing With the Stars people.

The Cd Leigh Xuereb and his top assistant Frank the Tank were hilarious and also very accessible. We’ve been on ships where CD’s make themselves visible, but never as much as these guys, I loved the humor (sarcastic). Example: girl walks into the final show late. CD: Thank you for joining us! Could I get you something? Anything? Like maybe a watch so you’ll be on time? They would tape their Daily Morning Show the evening before,, usually from the Promenade or another public spot, and make comments about cruisers passing by. Cruiser in a red/white striped shirt: We found Waldo! Formal night a guy walks by in a t-shirt and jeans: Nice formal outfit there buddy!

Closing thought: Back home people ask how the cruise was. I reply the weather was horrible, we didn’t like Bermuda, and we had a GREAT TIME! That’s what cruising is about for me. I just love being on the ocean and I can’t wait for the next cruise. I figured I might be done for this year but Barb mentioned a San Juan cruise, and once she gets me started……

Day 6 - Departure: With only two suitcases we chose to carry our bags off. We were given a set time 9-9:30; once our number was called we departed with no lines, customs was a breeze, don't think the whole process took ten minutes.

Don't think I mentioned this before: A crew member told me if I've never been seasick at this stage in my life I never will be. Then when departing we sat in the DR with an 80 yr old who spent 3 yrs in the Navy, cruised numerous times, and had never been seasick until this cruise. So Much for that theory!
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#8
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Uneventful flights, had a private SUV from the airport to our hotel. Only problem was Loralie had to pee on the way; it's a 75 minute drive and she was just about crying towards the end - poor driver must've been doing 70 in a 30mph zone!

Walked to Millers for dinner. Pretty good, reasonable. Only thing is I don't like onions and its the first time I ever ordered scallops and had them come in fried onions. On the quarter mile walk to Millers Loralie fell in the grass, which weirdly contained numerous sticky burrs which stuck in her hands, her clothes. She has marks all over her hands, some blood, and woke us up at 4AM saying one was still stuck in her hand. Couldn't see anything, so when we noticed an older guy using a magnifying glass to read his menu, Barb made me ask to borrow it - couldn't see anything in there still.

Mistaken Identity: Okay, what are the chances that, in a Texas hotel, there's going to be 2 identical looking families of Hawaiian descent with a 2 yr old son??? So, I go up to this family that looks EXACTLY like a guy on CC, and say "Hi! I'm Kicker!". To which they look at me like I have 3 heads, and tell me they've never been on CC.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#9
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
HEAR YE! HEAR YE! THE FIRST COURT OF KICKER IS NOW IN SESSION! THE HONORABLE M JOOST KIKKER PRESIDING. ALL RISE!

(I expect anyone reading this to stand)

BE SEATED!

Kicker: This court is called to order to address the following charge: The accused are charged with being Disney fans first, and cruisers second. How do you plead?

90% of the Dis Wonder Cruisers: We'll take the Fifth.

K: I'm just asking for a plea right now....

90%: But we want another fifth of Bourbon....

K: Do you understand?? You are charged with caring more about Mickey Mouse than about cruise ships. What is your plea?

90%: Nolo Contendre

K: Sorry, Spiro Agnew has a copyright on that.

90%: Okay then, DEFINITELY GUILTY!

K: Just as I thought! I hereby sentence you to time served on the Disney Wonder. As conditions of your probation you are not allowed to dress up as pirates for dinner, and you are restricted from inhaling any more pixie dust. We will now proceed with our review. This court is hereby adjourned.

Notes from the Judge: Met someone who's been on 16 or 17 Dis cruises, all on their two smaller ships. All they care about is being in a Disney atmosphere. There is no doubt that Disney, not cruising, was the bigger draw for most people.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#10
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Okay, this review is probably going to jump all over the place. I'm not even gonna try to post this under CC reviews because I'm afraid some Disney fan will try to stab me with Captain Hook's hook for not loving the Mouse enough!

I believe I already mentioned our auspicious start above. Once we got to the ship, we had a bit of a wait before we could board (almost 12PM before they started, rooms ready at 1:30). Met a very interesting English gentleman and his family while in line; seems he's a CFO for a company that produces shows for cruise ships (Carnival, Celebrity, soon Royal, but not Disney). We talked several times during the cruise and he was quite impressed with the Dis productions; I have to hand it to them, they really know how to put on a show, but having all the Disney characters to work with is a great advantage. His family was one of two I spent a good amount of time talking to, but, as QofC and DonJohn can attest, I'm not always good at remembering names, so to me he was English guy and the other guy was California. We did have a Meet & Greet. It was mainly for people who posted on Facebook. One guy (John from Houston - I DO occasionally remember names) tried to get Dis to sponsor a M&G; they wanted $1700 for cheese and crackers. I think about 20 people showed up for the M&G (Out of 90-some individuals/families on FB). I met John's family and one other family. John spoke about Dis not doing anything more than providing space; someone else spoke about the FE exchange (Note of explanation for the uninitiated: Every cabin has a fish or starfish outside the door for notes or whatever; cruisers hang something from it and form groups to exchange small presents, thus the name Fish Extender). All the boards except for FB were very quiet for this cruise. There were only 2 people I wanted to really meet from the boards: one was a woman from Alaska (wanted to share my long ago Alaskan stories with her); the other was a woman I had many strange things in common with (like our first cruise for each being on Carnival Festivale). We actually met her and her family while having our pre-boarding pic taken; they were right next to us. I gave her my last extra copy of my masterpiece, SHIP HAPPENS, and then she IGNORED me the rest of the week! How could anyone resist my good looks, unrivalable sense of humor, or charm? Her husband was a Jet Blue pilot but they flew United; United lost his luggage. Hah! Serves you right for dissing me! Okay, mostly kidding, they were a real nice family traveling with relatives and they actually won the main prize at the costume party. Congrats to them. And, we actually spent the most time with their BIL & SIL (Kevin & Dianne). They had an 8 yr old daughter who ended up being Loralie's BFF (at least for the cruise). And, in case our tablemates read this, they were nice people too. No, actually, they were a great family (Chris, Paulette, ) with a 4 yr old son (Jack) - he and Loralie had a great time at dinner each night.

Coming Soon: Wow! Never saw THOSE colors come out of me before! Yes, I enjoyed what I ate, but I really didn't enjoy seeing it again after I swallowed it.....
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#11
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Well, before I get into our dining experiences, allow me to mention our non-dining experiences. We boarded Saturday, had a nice dinner, spent the next day (Sea Day) in the kids pool area. I have a very sensitive nose, and I swear I detected the smell of vomit in that area. Also, in our Dis cruise experiences, the kids pools get closed at times for "unscheduled" maintenance - even though the signs say no children who aren't potty-trained, many adults seem to be illiterate. Cultural differences: that day we saw 3 families asked to take their toddlers in swim diapers out of the water. One Japanese family obliged and left. The two American families took their kids out, went off to the side and removed their diapers, then put them back in the pool, which helps to explain the oft need for unscheduled maintenance.

Loralie woke up around 4AM Monday morning, vomiting, and, (sorry to get gross here), having liquids pouring out of another crevice. What's the incubation period for Noro? I'm thinking it could've been the ship. or it could've been the flights. Affected her for two days, so we missed our Monday dinner. It hit me Tuesday after breakfast (Hello, pancakes, didn't think I'd see you again!), so I missed dinner on Tuesday. It hit Barb Wednesday, so we all missed dinner that night. I did courteously go to the DR to inform our server we wouldn't be dining both missed nights.

Disney Food: I'm not a Seafood lover, but most menus had two out of five choices being seafood (of course steak or chicken any night you wanted), and I had fish dishes 3 of the 5 nights I ate in the DR. Dis food is a little fancy for my tastes, but I'm a very plain eater, so don't go by my opinion. None of us at our table ever had a bad meal, I just didn't care for some of the choices. Example: the last night was Lobster night. I don't care for Lobster, and 3 of the other 4 entries were mushroom based, and I don't like mushrooms. Again, that's my personal preference. I think I like Royal and Princess menus better than Dis, but many people would probably disagree.

Disappointing: I think there were fewer places on this ship to get snacks than any ship I've been on. The buffet was only open at certain times (and served as a DR at night). Fast Food was plentiful, and soda, tea, coffee always available, but if you had a sweet tooth at night your only choice was room service. By the way, due to our illnesses, most of our breakfasts were room service; Continental only, so we had muffins, pastries, cereals. I did have chicken wings and pizza from room service the one night we all missed dinner. The burgers, hot dogs, Cajun chicken, etc. were all very good. Little sandwiches and fresh fruit also available for most of the day. All of those things were up at the pool decks. The buffet area is very small compared to most ships, so Dis compensates by always having at least one of the DR's open for breakfast and lunch. Speaking of the DR's: there are 3, you rotate among them for your meals, keeping the same servers. I like that idea.

Pirate Night Buffet: Nice show, then a buffet in the buffet place. We left early - it was already 9:30PM and Loralie was falling asleep. Our tablemates said they had a good variety including turkey legs, but the buffet area is so small and the lines so long, by time they got to the buffet is was pretty much picked over. Our first morning we had a Character breakfast which was nice (Mick, Min, Pluto, Goofy). They spread the CB's out throughout the week; you have to check your DR tickets to see when yours is scheduled; our tablemates missed theirs because they missed dinner the first night and never noticed it.

One More Note: Dis holds a "Tea Party", (apple juice and cookies) with usually 2 princesses present (we had Ariel and Tijana); they speak individually with each young lady, and you can do pics and autos afterwards. You have to register at Guest Services when you board; seating is limited. Nice extra touch by Dis.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#12
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Entertainment: You can't beat the quality of Disney shows. I mentioned meeting a CFO of a company that produces and designs shows for cruise ships, and he admitted Dis has advantages over everyone else, in particular their history, their production studios, their "farm system" of the Theme Parks. Add in the pyrotechnics which, for some reason only Dis can do at sea, and you get outstanding shows.

There were three comedians on board (missed 2), at least 2 of which came from the tv show America's Got Talent. The one we saw was a comedian/ventriloquist who did a hilarious act using a kid as a dummy (Barb offered my services, figuring I have a lot of experience being a dummy, but they were looking for someone younger).

Now, add to the above all the various Disney characters appearing and walking around the ship, visiting with kids in the kids clubs (I saw a Snow White, who looked and sounded exactly like the movie version, telling a story to kids), and no other cruise line can compare, at least for kids and, as stated above in my trial, obviously for many adults too.

There was a woman playing guitar and singing at the Adult Pool most days, at least one other singer appearing around the ship, DJ of course. With a 4 yr old in tow we did not visit any of the adult nighttime areas, except for catching some of the Series games for a brief while.

Then, add in the Pirate show, Halloween celebrations, family games, adult games, and you have a lot of activities to choose from. Hey, by the way, anyone want to buy a cursed Halloween costume? Bought my Mother Superior costume for a cruise last year that got cancelled by Hurricane Sandy, adapted it to be the witch from Snow White this year, but was too sick to wear it - it must be cursed!


Not much more, dress codes, disembarkation, coming shortly....
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
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Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#13
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Dress Codes: Dis recently relaxed their dress codes to allow for shorts in the DR; from our previous cruise, that was a common practice anyways. That being said, I don't recall seeing many shorts in the DR, but neither did we see many adults dressing up. Kids, yes, adults, no.

Formal Night: I saw one tuxedo. One fellow Facebooker wrote about ironing her husband's Wranglers for formal night. And, while I only saw one tux, and probably less than 25% dressed somewhat formally (suit or sportscoat), on Pirate Night I'd say about 75% to 85% dressed up as pirates! Be aware: Dis cruisers really get into this stuff - pirates, dressing the little girls in princess gowns. Dis does require a special dress code for their private restaurant, Palo's; maybe that's where all the tuxes were on formal night.

Cabins: We had 6632, a balcony cabin aft of midship. Very pleased with the location and excellent condition of the cabin. Nice Dis touch is the split bathroom with sink & toilet in one, sink & shower in other - especially handy consider our health misadventures. If you cruise, make sure you latch the sliding closet doors, or they'll bang back and forth all night with the wave motion. And bring some type of magnet weights to attach to the shower curtain unless you're the clingy type. Oh, I like Dis toiletries. I always bring a full size bar of soap to use; the bars Dis provided were big enough, bigger than your usual hotel/cruise ship fare.

Um, what else? Service Level? Outstanding, but its been so on every ship we've sailed. Dis waiters aren't quite as formal as other lines (example: reaching in front of a guest to place something on the table, a faux pas you wouldn't see on most ships). And, get this: once, they put my fork on the right side of my plate!! I couldn't believe it!! Hey - this is a true story: I read a review on CC a while back where a guy complained because on formal night they gave him a white napkin instead of a black one to match his tux. Boy! Was he ever on the wrong cruise line!!

Fellow passengers: Texas people are nice, nicest group we've cruised with since our Norfolk cruise (yeah Sunshine, you may be a Redneck, but we love ya!). I did meet one Canadian but he didn't possess Cheap's charm or wit, so I don't remember much about him. Due to the time of year (most kids in school), it was a young crowd with very young, pre-school kids for the most part.

Disembarkation: kind of a mess, but most ships have the same problems. Our last Royal cruise, where we chose our time to get off (an option here we didn't use because of flight times), was much smoother. Galveston customs was a breeze.

Did I possibly forget anything? If I did, it must be something so insignificant that my brain has stored it away in a back space. So, I think that's it. Now, on to planning my next cruise (Shhh, don't tell Barb).......
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#14
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Never mentioned excursions, did I? Grand Cayman was a Turtle Farm tour with the obligatory stop in "Hell". Nice excursion, especially for a 4 yr old, getting to hold turtles and seeing the turtles and also dolphins. Worth the price.

Cozumel: Playa Mia Beach Break. Barb was sick so it was Loralie and me. They had a very nice kids water park, large pool, right on a nice beach, included drinks and food. The food was nothing great, but there was a lot to choose from (Loralie enjoyed it). I had more to drink there than I've had in 18 months! Now, before I sound like a total lush, let me tell you my drinking "binge" consisted of 3 pina coladas and one strawberry daiguiri over the course of 4 hrs. With this Diabetes and other stuff, my wild Catamaran days are mostly over, and being just myself and Loralie, that meant I had to stay basically sober to watch her anyways. Loralie makes friends easily and spent most of her time in the pool with a boy her age we met at the Hotel the day of the cruise.

Aside to the Above: We did Mr Sanchos in Cozumel a few years back. I thought Playa Mia was much nicer for both kids and adults.

Jamaica: I made my own "excursion". travelled beyond the gated stores where only cruise people can shop, into Falmouth to find some Pepto Bismol for Loralie. Lots of cops around outside the gates (thank God!), because it was the least safest looking place I've ever been to on a cruise. You could only find PB in a pharmacy - try finding a pharmacy in a strange town. I went in one small bodega and they had a guard armed with a shotgun standing outside. Finally found a pharmacy, bought 2 things, paid with $10 US, and got a $100 Jamaican bill in exchange (which, I believe, is worth about 10 cents). Looks impressive though; I think I'll throw it in some kids trick-or-treat basket tonight - they'll think they're rich!
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#15
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
VISITING AN OLD FRIEND

We (self 60, DW 57) last sailed on Liberty in 2008. I'm happy to say that she still looks as beautiful and well-kept as she did 5 1/2 years ago.

We had a Promenade Inside Cabin (6283). I always wanted to try a Promenade room. The last time we sailed Liberty we had a standard inside; I believe a standard inside has a bit more storage space than a Promenade cabin. This was a five day cruise for two adults. There was certainly enough storage room for two (especially with suitcases fitting under the beds, but it was less storage than we're used to on Royal ships (we've done insides. OV's, balconies).

Food: Our last cruise 4 months earlier was on Disney Wonder. For all you hear about Disney food, we both found the Windjammer Buffet to be superior in both choices and quality over the Disney buffet area. I personally enjoyed the Royal dinners more than Disney, but that's a very objective matter. I've read complaints about cold food on Royal: we never had a meal anywhere that wasn't served hot. The Dining Room on Royal is a great lunch choice on sea days; they have a superb salad bar as well as several daily choices. We didn't do specialty restaurants or Johnny Rockets ($4.95 cover charge, but we cruised when JR was free and saw lots of wasted food, so I find the price justified). The Promenade area had pizza, sandwiches, desserts all day.

Entertainment. In 12 cruises we felt this 5 day cruise presented the best variety of entertainment we've experienced. The first day show featured the outstanding Ship's Band and a comedian. Day Two was a Motown group (Spectrum) well known in Las Vegas. Day Three: In the Air, a Cirque d Soleil type show. Day Four: Physical Comedy by Heath Hyche - hilarious, i love people who act crazy. Day Five: Saturday Night Fever. Add in the Ice Shows, Trivia, a great and humorous piano player (David Curtis), and the variety offered was truly great.

Our cruise was also enhanced by participating in the Meet & Mingle thread on Cruise Critic for our cruise. While 5 day cruises don't have formal M&M's, we did have an informal one (we missed it), and we also had a Cabin Crawl (great opportunity to see many cabin types) and a Slot Pull. We didn't win, but at least we got half our money back. I would strongly advise future cruisers (especially "newbies" to either cruising or Cruise Critic, to post on the Meet & Mingle thread for your cruises; you'll learn a lot and get to know some fellow cruisers beforehand.

Embarkation started at 12:30PM; cabins ready by 1:30PM. Our luggage actually made it to our cabin by 3PM, earliest ever! Disembarkation was slow but smooth (we carried our own luggage off); our only problem came after clearing customs - there was a long taxi line and we ended up missing an Amtrak connection. My fault, not Royal's; I planned a tight schedule.

What else can I add? We did My Time Dining (2nd time we tried it). It worked well; we had a table in one area the first night, afterwards the same table every night with Silbourn for a waiter, Denise as assistant. They were up to Royal's usual high standards, as was our Room Steward Barrington. We're not soda drinkers (or big alcohol drinkers for that matter). The few mixed drinks we had were reasonably priced; no worse than most bars, cheaper than a ballpark. If I had one complaint (and this is very minor): we drink mostly Iced Tea which was available only in the Windjammer (available also in the DR during Dining times). The Windjammer is open most hours of the day and evening; Coffee, Tea, Ice Water available 24 hours a day in the Promenade.
We generally cruise once or twice a year, and in recent years we've Done Royal, Disney, Princess, and Celebrity. All of our cruises have been enjoyable, but Royal is still our favorite.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#16
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Some things don't belong in an official review, but some other interesting points:

Mentioned the young couple from our M&M who did The Quest. They were experienced Royal cruisers and I figured they knew what was happening. NOPE!: The poor young girl was totally embarrassed when she had to switch clothing with her husband. She put his shirt on over her top before she'd take hers off, then after tried to hide in a corner to get dressed again. Our section, of which they led, was mostly Spanish speaking older people who had no idea what the heck was going on, and were basically no help.

DR: Last time using MTD we had the same table each night. Don't know what happened here, but the first night we were on one side of the DR with a different waiter and asst. The waiter wasn't very talkative, and the asst must have been new - he didn't seem to understand his job, and also didn't understand English very well. I had coffee after dinner, so did the woman at the table next to us. He never brought her cream for the coffee even though she asked three times - I finally let her use mine. The other nights we were in the same area, but at two different tables, which caused the woman near us to have a fit - she actually accused us of stealing her table! Hey - I just sit where they tell me. What's the big difference if, in a row of three tables, you're right, left or center? As I mentioned before, she and her hubby were rather demanding, but thanks to that Barb got Escargot every night since the lady demanded it, and when Barb saw it she asked about it, so she got it too.

Nice overall bunch of cruisers, much nicer than our Explorer cruise out of NYC. It was a pretty good mix of ages; not a lot of kids, but some, a number of older retirees, but a decent number of all ages, unlike the January Celebrity cruise we did a few years back where the average age was about 85:.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#17
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Didn't write reviews for our last 2 cruises, but I really enjoyed this one and felt it deserved some mention, so here's a link to my official review:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=506148

Kicker Pirate will maybe have his own review when he gets around to picking everyone up and reuniting with Liberty....
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#18
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
ANOTHER LITERARY MASTERPIECE OF A REVIEW FROM KICKER COMING SOON.....
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#19
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=515344
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017
#20
Auburn, NY
4,810 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Brilliance of the Seas is a beautiful ship. It’s not the newest ship in the Fleet, but I found everything to be in working order and in great condition. An example: I’ve read reviews of cruisers complaining about the condition of deck chairs. After our cruise we stayed at a very popular and highly rated timeshare; pool chairs were in much worse condition than anything I saw on Brilliance.

Royal does a fantastic job, in my opinion, of keeping the ship in shape. You always see workers painting, varnishing, cleaning.

I don’t think most cruisers know what salt water can do to a ship. Years ago I spent a summer in Alaska working in canneries that were actually abandoned ships from World War II. When we weren’t busy canning seafood we were busy scraping and painting; salt does a lot of damage. Think about that when you see a small spot of rust somewhere on board.

Life on board for this short four day cruise was pleasant, a relaxing time. Entertainment was good. Royal’s singers, dancers and choreography have greatly improved over the years. Headliners included a juggler and a ventriloquist; that might not sound like much, but the ventriloquist in particular had performed for several presidents.

Lunches were a favorite meal on Brilliance, in particular the Roast Beef sandwiches at the Park Café. A tip: if you don’t want the whole sandwich, get the beef without bread, with or without gravy to your liking, add that to the Windjammer selections. The Park Café had paninis, salads, and an overall excellent selection of foods, not to be missed unless it’s a sea day and you’re enjoying the massive salad offerings in the Main Dining Room on Sea days.

Inclement weather made the main pools unusable much of the time, but the Solarium pool was a great hangout – could use larger hot tubs though.

And, I have to say that, having obtained Diamond status on our previous cruise, the benefits that go along with Diamond are quite good; a special lounge with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, free Internet for a day for each Diamond member, free photos. It pays to stick with a particular cruise line for the accumulated perks. In our case, Royal is easily our favorite cruise line anyways.

Now, by the way, the bad weather didn’t mean there was nothing to do – lots of live music, trivia, cake decorating & towel animal contest, Karaoke, and, of course, The Quest, although I thought the Quest was toned down from other cruises I’ve been on, and I also like it when more teams compete, rather than having just four teams.

Can you tell I’m a Royal fan? Never found a reason not to be; nothing but exceptional service, good food, and quality entertainment every time we’ve cruised. So, my overall rating of our cruise?

EXCELLENT. Can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed it. Royal, in my opinion, offers a good value for your cruising dollar. You can forget how good you have it onboard until you visit a restaurant your first day off the ship, and that slice of Key Lime pie you had for free last night (with seconds if requested), is now $9! Looking forward to cruising again. For my money it’s the best type of vacation going.
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Explorer OTS 2/04; Serenade OTS 2/05; Voyager OTS 2/06; Sovereign OTS 7/07; Liberty OTS 5/08; Grandeur OTS 2/09; Enchantment OTS 6/2010; Celebrity Eclipse 1/2011; Crown Princess 1/2012 Disney Dream 12/2012;
Explorer OTS 5/13;
Disney wonder October 2013;Liberty of the Seas 1/2014
Enchantment OTS May, 2014... Where's Barb?
October 2014 Majesty OTS;
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS 1/2015
LIBERTY OF THE SEAS - JUNE 2015
Adventure of the Seas - October 2015
Brilliance of the Seas - January 2016
Carnival Ecstaasy - August 2016
Oasis of the Seas - September 2016
Anthem of the Seas - October 2017