My Trip Report: Quantum of the Seas 11/23 8-night Bahamas Cruise

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#1
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hi everyone. I thought I’d provide some of my pictures and my trip report from the 11/23 8-night Bahamas sailing of Quantum of the Seas. I thought I would include it here in the main RCI forum considering it is a standard trip report that might interest the group as a whole, though I guess it could be moved to the Quantum sub-topic if deemed appropriate.

For those of you who have read my trip reports before, you know what to expect (hopefully good things). For everyone else: this will be presented in a narrative form and include pre/post trip experiences as well as some costs and how I went about planning. I will present the good as well as the not-so-good. I will be biased but hopefully explain my biases. It will come in pieces because even as a fast writer, it does take me some time to collect my thoughts. I welcome questions and others from the same trip supplementing or contradicting me, but I don't want this thread to spin-off into complaints, rants, raves, etc that continue on and on.


Background

My parents and I are both frequent cruisers and are D+ with Royal Caribbean. We have cruises mostly RCI in the recent past, though we have traveled several times on Celebrity. My parents are retired and live in Indiana while I am in my first year as an assistant professor at a southern university. Our favorite RCCL ships are RCI’s Oasis-class and Celebrity’s Solstice-class. We are not big drinkers or sun-worshipers, but we enjoy our loyalty perks (such as a few free drinks) and relaxing on the ship by reading, playing trivia, and enjoying nice meals.


My parents and I like cruising over the holidays. At one point, Christmas cruises were fairly inexpensive as they did not seem popular. Those times have passed and Christmas and NYE cruises tend to have standard pricing at about double the normal going rate. At one point in September, we were looking as holiday cruise prices (as well as airfare) with a bit of despair. As an alternative, I also started looking at Thanksgiving cruises. I had noticed that the “inaugural” cruise on the Quantum over Thanksgiving had post-final payment pricing with a military rate (my dad is eligible) that brought the price down enough that it was competitive with other sailings at that time period. Throw in the excitement of a new ship and some bargains with frequent-flier miles to NYC in the proper time period and we decided to try Quantum out though not without a bit of trepidation. Would the ship be ready? Would we be happy with an absolutely terrible Bahamas itinerary (with scheduled stops in Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Coco Cay)? Would we enjoy pre and post-cruise in New York (which was not a good experience for us on our previous cruise from Bayonne)?

Booking

I had an old-style NextCruise booking that was going on about three years old that I decided to use for this trip. We decided to use an online travel agency we had had previous positive dealings with (though our agent recently left). I transferred the open booking to the agency, which was then used to book Quantum. Our agent told of some back-end arguing about the rate (taking into account the military discount, the $100 I had already paid, etc), but in the end we received what we thought was the proper pricing as well as my OBC from RCI, OBC from the agent, and a two free gratuities. This process took a few days as RCI did not seem to be in a hurry to transfer the original open booking (just letting anyone else who might want to try this know that it was not immediate).


One World Trade
by cmong, on Flickr

Reservations

Since we booked fairly late, we missed all of the initial waves of issues with dining and show reservations. However, as late-bookers, we had our own issues. Shows were available without problems. Dining, however, had limited reservations available at desired times. The booking site was just not very user-friendly and, unless I missed something, there was not an easy way to compare show times and available dining times … this all had to be done by the user manually. I eventually booked show times and just tried to find early dining times that would work (my dad does not like eating late so late dining was never going to be an option). This led to many compromises when trying to no-fee choose restaurants that had open times. In the end, I had no reservations for dining for the first night though we did have Mama Mia that evening, 2 reservations for American Icon, 2 reservations for The Grande, 2 reservations for Silk, and one reservation for Chic at times ranging from 5:45-7:15. A few of those reservations overlapped nightly entertainment by 15-30 minutes. There were also some times that appeared available but when selected would cause the website to throw an error. My dad tried calling C&A after lingering issues but they could not improve any of the times we did not like. We never lost all of our reservations as some people have reported, but it was something that did take some hours of planning and re-arranging.

Side rant: I have felt for a long time that RCI’s shoreside IT department has consistently remained one of the weaker parts of the company. The website generally remains a mess on both the booking side as well as the cruise planning side. The idea that this much more of a load would be rested on their shoulders was, in my opinion, doomed to work poorly from the start … ignoring the whole different complaint about how much the passenger now has plan the entire vacation from the ground up in terms of juggling restaurants (with no idea how much they will be liked), times (with no idea how long meals will last or knowing what else will be on the daily planner for that day), and show times. RCI labels this as “dynamic” for the spontaneous, but it does not feel dynamic as you are mapping out vacation days months in advance. It honestly reminded me of going to Disney World on the dining plan. You can optionally make reservations to ensure you get to eat at the venues you want at a time you choose. If you don’t, you may be seated right away, or you also run the risk of long waits or missing out on an experience. There is something I don’t quite like about this type of structure, which is odd considering before there was always an imposed structure of dining times unless you chose MyTime Dining (which even then seemed to really require reservations). I don’t have a solution necessarily, but this was something that was off-putting before even stepping foot on the ship.

The New York Experience

Due to pricing of flights (and wanting to experience a bit of the city), my plan was to spend 2 nights pre-cruise in NYC and one night post-cruise in NYC. This seemed fun to me and my mom. My dad, on the other hand, views NYC about the same way that Homer Simpson did in the classic episode “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson.” On our past cruise out of Bayonne, we stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Elizabeth, NJ. There were several negative experiences from that encounter (single king room for three people, cab-ride to the port that mysteriously cost $80, etc). This time, I decided we would stay in the city and at least have a few experiences we would not get biding time in NJ.


Pre-cruise

As the family travel agent, it was my job to find a place to stay that would comfortably sleep 3, was clean and safe, would have access to things to do in the area, and would not cost more than the cruise itself. This was an interesting challenge (much like trying to find a hotel with similar properties in London as I’ve done twice in the last couple of years). In the end, I decided to use Hotwire in order to spend our pre-cruise at the Conrad Hotel in downtown Manhattan. It was not cheap by any means, but Hotwire pricing definitely helped.

After booking the hotel, I then needed to figure out how we would be getting there from our respective airports. I booked my parents on a direct flight from Indianapolis to Newark for an 8 AM arrival. With just two of them and plenty of time, I also booked them on a shared-ride van with SuperShuttle (found a coupon online for $3 off, bringing the total to about $20 each). I was flying into Laguardia with a 10 AM arrival, so I also booked a trip on SuperShuttle for about $16. Our hope is that we’d be able to meet up at the Conrad by noon or so … well, that turned out to be wishful thinking. Both of our experiences were fairly similar. After arriving, we had to check-in at ground transportation and wait for our assigned shuttle. This took about 30-45 minutes. After that, we were loaded into a van heading to Manhattan. Most tourists in the van were staying in the Times Square area, meaning that for both of our vans, we were the very last people off and the only people heading downtown. This meant we got the nickel tour of the jammed streets and about a 2-hour tour of the city. Did we save money over a car service? Yes. Was it worth it? Depends. We did not have any obligations that day with such an early arrival.

My parents beat me to the Conrad by a few hours and had at least been able to check-in and get on the list to be notified when a room became available. Once I arrived around 1 PM we still did not have a room so I checked my bag with the bellman and we went off to find some lunch at the food court across the street. Around 1:30 we were notified our room was ready, so we headed straight back after lunch.

The room at the Conrad was huge, clean, and well-appointed. There was a bedroom and living room area separated by two sliding doors. In between these doors were the separate shower and bathroom areas as well as a sink and coffeemaker. With all of the sliding doors and opaque glass privacy was a little less than optimal, but in the end, it was a very nice room. My sofabed in the living area was decently comfortable (though it was still a sofa bed). Turn-down service was offered and every staff member we interacted was smiling, helpful, and generally seemed to be trying their best to make it a pleasant stay.

The Conrad is near the water and is across the street from the World Trade Center site. There are also several metro stops nearby as well as ferries and the train to/from NJ. There are several restaurants and a movie theater in the Conrad building including a less-busy-than-other-locations Shake Shack where I had a pretty good burger for dinner that first night. I walked about a mile across the tip of the island to the Sea Port to visit that location of TKTS for show tickets on our arrival night and, on that walk, there were quite a few interesting restaurants and a smattering of drug stores. In the end, I thought this was a pretty good location as it was away from the bustle of Times Square (which was about a 20-minute metro ride away) yet still had plenty of things to do and places to eat.


Next up: Getting to Bayonne, Boarding, first impressions of Quantum
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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#2
Naples, florida
1,379 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I am so glad to see your trip report of the Quantum. Great start!
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#3
SC
1,157 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Thanks for your trip report so far. Looking forward to hearing about your experience on Quantum.
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#4
Dallas, Tx
285 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Great start! I really like your style of writing and the linear way you give the information. Will help me greatly in my upcoming Quantam planning!
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Bella O

Past Cruises:
DCL Wonder 2001 Bahamas
Carnival Freedom 2007 NE/Canada
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 2011 Mexico
RCCL Allure of the Seas 2013 Western Carribean
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer 2013 Alaska
RCCL Vision of the Seas 2017 Arabian Gulf
NCL Getaway 2017 Baltic Seas
#5
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Here are some pictures of room at the Conrad and the area:

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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#6
near Philly
2,678 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Hi Bob
We were sUpposed to be on the cruise with you but had to cancel, so I'm so looking forward to hearing all about it
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8/04 Disney Land & Sea (Wonder 3 day)
8/05 Grandeur of the Seas
8/08 Freedom of the Seas - Nick Family Cruise
10/08 Explorer of the Seas - anniversary cruise
4/09 Disney Magic - dh birthday cruise
7/10 Disney Magic - Northern European Capitals w/Helsinki
6/11 Caribean Princess - Canada/NE
7/13 Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean
4/14 Grandeur of the Seas - Aft Balcony score w00t
3/16 NCL Breakaway - Bahamas girls cruise
10/16 Anthem of the Seas
5/17 Breakaway - Bermuda

Upcoming:
Hopefully something
#7
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Getting to Bayonne

I decided early on that it would be better to use a car service to get around the area as opposed to depending on a cab and accepting a metered fare. Based on recommendations from this site, I made reservations with Carmel for the entire trip. I was a little bit leery based on online reviews, but then I noticed that every car company had nasty reviews in NYC … basically, due to traffic, sometimes drivers are late or get stuck with long waits.


I had made an appointment for a 10:00 AM pick-up at the Conrad and specified 3 passengers with three bags on the company’s website. I received a call at 9:40 that our driver was outside and waiting for us (we were in the process of getting checked out). When we went outside, our driver confirmed our identity and then went about trying to fit our luggage (3 large pieces into the trunk). Of course, they did not fit … which is a general irritation I have with taxis and limos in general … we always saw 3 big bags and are always told that they will fit but rarely do. The driver let my dad do most of the arranging and it became apparent it was not going to work. In the end, the three of us were crammed into the backseat while one bag was put in the front seat. Our driver said very little and just took off. There was very little traffic and we arrived at the ship by 10:20. The driver’s credit swiper was not working properly so he ended up making a carbon of my card (not making me happy at all). The cost ended up being: $47 + $16 tolls= $63 (which was cheaper than our taxi from Elizabeth to Bayonne years ago).

Side rant: Because our driver did not speak to us, would not let my mom sit up front instead of the bag, and let my dad (and then the porter) do all of the work with the bags (not to mention the credit card thing), he was not tipped well ($5). This led to whining and a sudden grasp of the English language that was not offered previously. I ended up adding another $5 based on the fact that we would be using this company two more times, but it was an irritation.

Security and Boarding

By the time I got out of the cab, a porter had already taken our bags and my parents were waiting for me to go to the terminal. We showed our SetSail Passes and passports to get into the building. At that point, there were several individuals checking in passengers with their tablets. Since these individuals had groups around them, a rep directed us to go through security and complete our check-in there. After proceeding through security, all of the agents with tablets on that side of security were busy. We were directed by another rep to head over to the check-in desks to complete our check-in as they were empty. We went over there and were checked in.

Note: During check-in, the agent accepted my dad’s picture we had previously uploaded, but insisted that my mom and I have new pictures taken. He said we were not allowed to have our glasses on (something I did not remember being a stipulation when pictures were solicited by RCI). This was not a huge hassle, but it did take time and was a minor irritation that the procedure was (maybe) not explained correctly online.


After checking-in, our SetSail passes were stamped and we were told to head over to the general waiting area as boarding had not yet started. The boarding area was overflowing with people and there were absolutely no chairs anywhere to be had and many were sitting on the floor. This was the most irritating part of the boarding process for me … my mom with her cane had to ask to use a chair being saved by someone because there was absolutely no place to go and she could neither stand for the proposed 30 minute wait nor would she be able to sit on the floor. While RCI may not see much use for seating since they are advertising quick boarding, they did not seem prepared for delayed boarding (started at 11:20 or so but reservations started at 10:45 and some people were there even earlier). There was also no organization based on boarding number, C&A status, or any other possible way to keep people grouped. Only suites and Pinnacles had a separate waiting and boarding area (in the back so they were not visible when they were allowed to board).

Once the magic garage door lifted in the terminal, the person on the PA tried to keep things organized by verbal directions alone. This did not work. As soon as the gate lifted, the herd let out a collective moooooo and surged towards the boarding gates, disabilities or priority numbers be darned. Even those not trying to board were afflicted with “airport gate” syndrome and crowded around the boarding area in what I can only describe as a concerted effort to make sure that absolutely no one could move within or escape the mob.


Am I exaggerating this a bit? Perhaps. How long did this take? Perhaps 15-20 minutes until we navigated through the gates. However, with my mom having trouble walking and everyone surging forward, this was not a fun experience. I’m sure 20 minutes later you’d walk right on the ship … and perhaps this was partly due to so many D+ and D members onboard this particular sailing … but it was not fun at all and was the first instance where it felt like RCI had not really thought about how some of these new procedures would work in practice. No one tried to actually manage the line. No one checked boarding numbers.


Quantum Awaits
by cmong, on Flickr

Up Next: First things First, Cabins, Impressions


270 Roast Beef
by cmong, on Flickr
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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#8
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'm not sure why some of the pics stopped working in the first post ... if you click on the link you can see them. Sorry about that but it's too late for me to edit and try to fix.
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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#9
New York
1,476 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Great review so far...looking forward to reading more!
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RONNIE



Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas 2016
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas 2015
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas 2015
Celebrity Summit 2014
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2013
Celebrity Summit 2012
Celebrity Summit 2011
Celebrity Summit 2010
Caribbean Princess 2009
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas 2008
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2007
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas 2006
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas 2005
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas 2004
Norwegian Dawn 2003
Celebrity Horizon 2002
Celebrity Century 2000
Celebrity Horizon 1994
#11
Atlanta
928 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
[quote=silentbob007;44916987]


[center]
Quantum Awaits
by cmong, on Flickr[/CENTER

Does anyone know where those bowed cabins it looks like in the picture are located. Seems they have a little larger balcony. Almost resembles the Sweet 16 cabins on celebrity's M Class ships.
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Celebrity Eclipse - Exotic Caribbean Holiday - December 21 2017 (awaiting)
Celebrity Eclipse - Exotic Southern - Dec 11 2016
Oasis of the Seas - Eastern - May 28 2016
Celebrity Summit - Southern - December 20 2014
Celebrity Summit - Southern - April 5 2014
Carnival Dream - Exotic Eastern - Sep 21 2013
Freedom of the Seas - Western - Mar 31 2013
Carnival Legend - Western - May 13 2012
Celebrity Summit - Southern - Dec 31 2011
Celebrity Summit - Southern - April 23 2011
#14
Sevierville, TN
894 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Loving the report so far and looking forward to more.
Nice to know too that I'm not the only who takes takes an older parent cruising.


Sent from iPhone using Cruise Critic App
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Enchantment of the Seas - 4-11-2011 - My first cruise ever!!
Monarch of the Seas - 4-16-2012 - Not a good match for us
Freedom of the Seas - 4-14-2013 - Loved this ship
Serenade of the Seas - 4-12-2014 - Hated this ship
Quantum of the Seas - 4-10-2015 - Loved the ship despite a few problems
Liberty of the Seas - 4-10-2015 - Liked it but preferred Freedom (ship was new to Galveston and seemed to have a lot of crew that were new and not knowledgeable



#15
4,949 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Enjoying it so far. Hopefully they will see that the Embarkation area and process need a little tweaking.
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Ms. Lillie
Travel With Lady Lillie

The Diva of Travel

Click "Expand Signature" to see links to reviews and Cruise History



Review:Oasis July 18, 2015. Western
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2235815


Quantum live review Cruise Critic link:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...8#post44727758

Oasis 6/21/14 REVIEW: (start with post #414 for the New Reimagined Ms. Oasis Info)
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...7#post44832277


My Allure Review

Harmony Review coming up...

NextCruise:




Harmony 08/12/17, Carnival Vista 12/03/16, Anthem 12/12/15, Oasis 07/18/15, QUANTUM Naming Ceremony 11/14/14, Oasis 06/21/14, NCL Breakaway 9/2013, Oasis 7/27/13, Navigator12/8/12, DisneyDream 10/08/12, Allure 8/7/11, Inspiration one more time 1/10/11, Brilliance-Dubai Wonders 4/5/10, Oasis 11/30/09 Naming Ceremony, 12/1/09 Oasis PreInaugural, Imagination 6/12/09, Splendor 8/8/08 Greek Isles with Venice, Italy Precruise, Mariner5/17/09 (TJFV), Inspiration 5/29/08, , Navigator 11/29/07, Majesty 5/25/07, Freedom8/8/06, others: Disney Magic, Voyager of the Seas, RCCL Nordic Empress, Premier BigRedBoat, AmericanFamily, CCLFantasy, CCL Inspiration, CCL Voyager,CelebrityGalaxy, Costa
#18
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by maddycat
I'm enjoying reading your review. Did you end up seeing a show in NYC?
Yes ... ended up seeing Avenue Q slightly off Broadway.
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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Cruise Albums on Flickr
#19
Lafayette, IN
10,319 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
First things first

As I mentioned earlier, we did not have dinner reservations for the first night. Not only was the first night mostly booked solid online, but I also wanted to use my D+ BOGO coupon. My first goal once onboard was to head to a restaurant and try to get an early reservation. I had gone back and forth between Wonderland and Jamie’s … in the end, I put the priority on Jamie’s because the day before we had eaten at Bouley in Tribecca and that very nice, very strange menu was fresh in our minds. When we boarded on deck 5, I immediately headed aft and got into the 3-person line at Jamie’s. The long-and-short of it was that they were taking reservations for 5:30 that first night. I went ahead and made the reservation (they were not using computers … just writing down times and room numbers).


After completing the reservation, it was time to head to our cabin. Announcements in the waiting area had mentioned that some decks would be complete at 11:30 while others would be staggered after that. Our cabin on deck 6 was ready at 11:30, but many of the top suite decks would not be ready until 1 (which did not make a lot of sense to me).

Upon arrival at our cabin, we found an envelope with a key placed in the door number slot. I believe (not 100% sure) that the door was still propped open anyway. Upon entering, we found all of our welcome aboard materials as well as WOW bands wrapped around the rest of the cabin’s SeaPasses with one extra band also in the holder. This was how you could tell which band was designated for which passenger.


WOW bands
by cmong, on Flickr

Note: Many people have voiced concern about having their SeaPass left out in the open. While I guess I understand this concern, in reality, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. First of all, there are all kind of cameras everywhere … from the hallway to the bars and shops. Secondly, any time you use your card or band, a picture pops up. If someone were to “steal” another person’s card, not only would the act be recorded, but if they tried to use it, that would be recorded to. It’s a very confined situation where the perpetrator has no where to go.

After dropping stuff off in the room, we headed to Café 270 for lunch for the famous beef sandwiches. The lines for beef and other hot sandwiches were a bit muddled, but we got it figured out, grabbed our food, and found tables out in the main room. The café featured flavored water/lemonade dispensers I had not seen before. If you pulled forward on the handle, you received the flavor you expected. If you pushed back, you got plain water (with a small bit of flavoring of whatever was in the line). There was no indication of how to work these machines, so it took me a few tries to figure out why I was getting very weak flavored drinks. These same machines were in the WindJammer as well.


270 Panoramic
by cmong, on Flickr

After our lunch, it was time to explore the ship. We headed up to the top. There was already a large line to sign up for iFly (my dad made a reservation for a later date he eventually cancelled). While he waited in line, my mom and I rode the bumper cars. We did not head over to NorthStar because we had heard it was having difficulties in cold weather and thought we would try it once the ship got a bit further south … which ended up not working for us, but oh well.

First impressions of the ship were that it was large, clean, and had lots of big spaces … about everything you’d expect from a new RCI ship. There are many impressive indoor spaces on the top of the ship (SeaPlex, Pool, Solarium). We found ourselves using the WOW bands over our SeaPass simply because it was easy to strap them on and forget about them until needing to open the door.

Oh … and the RoyalIQ app was completely non-functioning for this first day. I would try to login once on Royal Wifi and was constantly given “unknown error” issues. This made tracking the bags, of course, impossible. It became obvious that the entire system was probably down as we could not access the main menu on the TV either. We received one bag fairly quickly, though the other two took until closer to the muster drill.
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Oasis of the Seas - 11/2015, Brilliance of the Seas - 5/2015, Quantum of the Seas - 11/2014, Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

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#20
Chester
98 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thanks for the review it's great. I'm excited to hear the rest as have the same room as you in June.


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