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harryfat1

(Slightly less so) Cheapo dad's trip report on Independence of the Seas

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Following but I can't see the pictures for some reason. 😢

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Forums mobile app

 

Sorry, I'm not much of techie to help you on that. I use Tapatalk on my Samsung and I can see the pictures from my phone using that app. Maybe you can download that app to see if that works or if anyone reading this has experienced similar problems, they can chime in.

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Following! We are sailing on the Indy with our kids this week (first time on this ship and on RCL) I'd love any ship specific tips you may have.

 

Hi,

 

If you are sailing this week, then this trip report won't help as you will be back from your cruise and I might still be on day 1 given my snail pace of writing.

 

Take a look at my Freedom trip report - sister ship to Indy - and you can gather more meaningful info there.

 

Have a wonderful cruise. Royal can be a good or bad experience (just like all cruise lines), depending on what you are looking for and your expectations.

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I know NOBODY cares to read about why I chose this cruise and the pricing of the cruise. I know I don’t care when other people cruise at the time they selected to cruise. Everyone has their own reasons on when they go on vacation. Nevertheless, since I had to pay extra for a holiday cruise, I need a place to share my sorrows. Besides, it’s free to do it here versus going to therapy…Feel free to skip to next section if this bores you.

 

We originally booked the Adventure of the Seas for December 17 sailing from San Juan as I wanted to try southern Caribbean route. Then by July we found out that the dang school district for my kids changed the winter vacation one week later to start on December 22 instead. But my sister, who lives less than 30 minutes away, her kids’ school winter break started on December 16. No rhyme or reasons why school districts are different when they are so close.

That few days makes a whole world of difference as anyone who has priced a holiday cruise will know if you sail the week before Christmas (like we typically do), it’s a whole lot cheaper than the week later.

 

So we had to cancel the Adventure cruise in July and booked this cruise. Why this one? Because it was the best value at the time we booked it (did I mention I was cheap?). For a 9 day holiday cruise, it was decently priced without a big premium (still has some but not a whole lot).

 

The final deal maker was that I was able to snag the ocean view cabin at a lower price than the inside cabins. I always want connecting cabins for my boys so my travel requirements are rather limiting. So I jumped on the lower price but as a result, I had to pay a huge premium to fly across the country during the holiday week.

 

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The interesting twist came in September when all the hurricanes hit the Eastern Caribbean. Many people canceled their cruise due to damages to the island. People from our roll call bailed as well as other cruisers have commented during some hotly debated threads on whether the cruise lines should be going to Eastern Caribbean at all in 2017. That lead to a big price drop for some categories.

If I wasn’t so set on where my cabins are, I would have jumped on the guarantee balconies when all the people bailed and left a whole slew of empty cabins that Royal was trying to fill and the price of guaranteed balconies plunged to be below inside cabins.

 

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For those with a sharp eye, you will also note that even guaranteed junior suites were priced lower than some of the ocean views at that time. I know people from our roll call jumped on this deal.

 

Anyway, to make a long story longer, we pay extra to cruise this week as it as a battle between good dad and cheapo dad. We had to take them out for 2 days of school instead of 4 so the compromise was made right down the middle. I’m sure we weren’t the only family making this money versus school decisions during the holiday season cruises so I know there are cheapo moms and dads that can relate to what I am saying.

 

Also getting $225 OBC per cabin from the travel agent and $100 per cabin OBC since both my wife and I are shareholders helps to ease the pain somewhat. So these events combined kept cheapo dad from falling into catatonic state but not into happy dancing state either.

++++++++++

 

DUDE,

I don’t give a rat’s poop on why you are cruising at the time you selected. I am reading this trip report from work with the few seconds of break I can steal away.

You are killing me with all this cabin category talk that I don't care about. I want to see more of the attractive blonde from the Royal web site…

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I have been using the Tapatalk app for years on my phone to read these boards. During the Freedom trip report, various cruisers sent me private questions about my cruise that they didn’t feel comfortable asking about in the public forum. But I am a terrible phone typist so it wasn’t easy to reply in detail on the phone.

 

That led me to think there might be a group of people reading this that might want to ask more questions but are intimated by the trolls of these boards that will flame them for “asking a dumb question”. So I decided to create a new email address for people to send me any question about the cruise.

 

People can email me at: Cheapodad@Outlook.com if you have cruise related questions.

 

Now don’t be an idiot and spam me with male enhancement ads as I will just ignore the email account and you would have ruined the opportunity for people to ask questions. But do allow some time for reply as I am not used to checking this email regularly as it’s brand new but I will try to remember to look there regularly.

 

Awhile back, I saw this ad about “Googling yourself” and I went ahead and typed in “cheapo dad” in the Google bar and guess what showed up at the top of the search result? My trip reports here at cruise critics. I guess cruise critics must have some clout to get the results high in the Google search.

 

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Sorry, I'm not much of techie to help you on that. I use Tapatalk on my Samsung and I can see the pictures from my phone using that app. Maybe you can download that app to see if that works or if anyone reading this has experienced similar problems, they can chime in.
Yay! I downloaded Tapatalk and can see the pictures now. Thank you!

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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Harry - I love your reviews, they always make me smile :) But most importantly as a fellow beanie I appreciated your Allure daily spreadsheet. I'd be disappointed if you didn't bring it out again for this occasion!?!..

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Yay! I downloaded Tapatalk and can see the pictures now. Thank you!

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

 

Oh, wonderful. Glad it works. Sorry you had to go through the trouble of downloading the app just to read my trip report. I feel bad and honored the same time.

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Harry - I love your reviews, they always make me smile :) But most importantly as a fellow beanie I appreciated your Allure daily spreadsheet. I'd be disappointed if you didn't bring it out again for this occasion!?!..

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment.

 

You know, I was THIS close to putting in my old Allure spreadsheet in this report but since I already had it in both the Allure and Freedom report, I didn't think people wanted to look at it again. So I just decided to go without it as there isn't anything new I added since last 2 reports. Maybe if I go on the Oasis or Quantum class later on, then I will update the spreadsheet and make it more meaningful to that report.

 

If anyone needs a schedule template to help you organize a cruise, please go to my Freedom report (the REAL one, not this fake one. DUH), on post #46, you can download that template for your use.

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Harry, you are doing a great job as usual, looking forward to more of your report and photos. On a side note, the temperature here at Myrtle Beach is 17 degrees and I had to fire up my semi fake fireplace (uses propane instead of wood) after seeing your photos of the nice warm Caribbean.

 

Jim,

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Already on the third page? How did this happen?

 

Following along yet another time. You give me lots of things to talk to my husband while we wait for our April cruise. We were supposed to be on Indy's Transatlantic this spring, but then Royal cancelled it and we were forced to take a small boat (aka Navigator) back to Europe.

 

That would have been third time you doing a perfect report for our forthcoming Transatlantic. Sadly we missed it.

But even so, I am following with great interest. Please, go on!

 

ps. maybe next xmas time you take Oasis, as we just booked transatlantic 2019 with it?

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So glad i found this. Loved your past reports. And your detail oriented pre views have helped imensly

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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Ahh what a great way to ring in the new year with a new Cheapo Dad report. I have thoroughly enjoyed your past reviews and look forward to what this one will entail.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Wow. I skip CC for a day and miss 60+ posts of a new Cheapo Dad trip report, where the trip part of the report hasn't even started yet! Looking forward to another entertaining harryfat thread.

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Somebody cares because I read all that. Is there a website that displays all the prices like this??

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You are welcome. I wasn't sure what to expect for our visit as we booked Bernard's tour (famous on Trip advisor and over at the ports of call boards) and even he wasn't sure where the tour might lead few weeks before we got there on what we might see.

 

Just wanted to get the word out and show some pictures of what the place looks like as there were many rumors on how bad the island was damaged.

 

Have a great cruise on the Oasis. I like them big and round...

Thabks Harry -- this will be our 4th cruise on Oasis. I like the big ships but our favorite class is Freedom Class. However, as Oasis is home-ported in Port Canaveral, which is 4 1/2 hours from our home.

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We leave for our first ever Royal Caribbean cruise in a few days, and it's on the Independence. Excited to read more of your review! :)

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Love your previous reports and pictures. Your wife and you have a wonderful eye for composition, I marvel at your photos.

 

Looking forward to following you on another one of your journeys!

 

Rick

 

 

Hi, Rick,

 

Thanks for the compliment. Appreciate you coming along for the installment #3.

 

I think one thing different about our pictures is that it’s not just one person’s perspective or style; these pictures are a collective of the family effort. I do all the writing but all 4 of us contribute to the picture taking process.

 

When we get to any photo spot, other people would think we work for the Travel channel with my younger son recording on his camcorder and talking into it (the YouTube generation), my wife with her SLR and me with the 60X mega zoom camera and my older son with the water proof Panasonic. That’s not counting the 4 cell phone we also whip out to take backup of other backup pictures.

 

Each of us has our own style/preferences. I’m the big bokeh fan in blurring out the backgrounds or liking rows that leads to “infinity and beyond” or symmetrical geometrical shapes. So whenever you see those pictures, they are from me. Also I take all the food pictures. Nobody in family cares about food pictures unless there is a big wow factor.

 

My wife is more creative artistic type that likes to add background and foreground to her pictures. And of course, all the family pictures are from her camera. The boys being teenagers, they have their own value system on what they consider to be cool enough worthy of them to take the pictures for their snap chat or Instagram accounts.

 

I think we took 5,000 pictures on the cruise as I upload them into the computer for backup and online uploading. Of course, some are duplicates and others are just bad pictures. But nevertheless, that’s a lot of pictures to sort out and find enough decent ones to tell a cohesive story.

 

I had to chuckle when I was reading one reviewer complain about the tour he/she took while on the cruise as they only took 3 pictures the entire tour. Heck, I take 3 pictures just walking from cabin to gangway and I haven’t even gotten off the ship yet! Totally different mindset.

 

But we are just vacation photographers only. During the months between vacations, we literally do not touch our cameras for months at a time so we are not like the photo enthusiasts over at the photo board that walks around the neighborhood with the cameras regularly.

 

 

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Thanks for posting the photos of the damage in St. Maarten. While we can only see a little bit, it gives a sense of the destruction that wind and rain can leash on a tropical island. So glad that they are starting to recover.

 

I do enjoy your reviews, as it shows that one can have a terrific time and not do the "best of the best" excursions, dining and drinking.. Now.. no internet... YIKES.. don't think I could do it...

 

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

Yeah, it’s hard to go cold turkey for an entire cruise without an electronic device as we all touch our cell phones and tablets at least 1,000X a day more than we touch our loved one – what does that say about us and our priorities?

 

But it’s good to cut the cord for at least a little while to have some family time. Especially for people with kids that have electronic devices, it’s very difficult to get them to talk to you or follow directions when they are looking at the devices.

 

When you tell them to do something – “Go to do X and Y”. They don’t look up, just they say “Yeah, OK” but don’t move and you have to keep repeating your instruction and get the same response “Yeah, OK”

 

The interpretation of the response “Yeah, OK” means they heard you but it’s not as important as the game they are currently playing or done texting their friends. If I can get a nickel for every “Yeah, OK” I hear daily, I have enough to pay for the next cruise.

 

So in that sense, taking away electronic devices is not a bad thing. Especially since it costs money, easier to explain to them why they can't have wifi.

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Yay! Harry's back!

 

How sad that I was just thinking this past weekend, "I wonder if Harry's family went on another trip this year?" And then went LOOKING for a report! LOL. Finding nothing, I felt gypped out of my enormous CC fees. But you have redeemed yourself tonight!

 

Sadder still, I recognized your first post and knew you were economizing your intro before you admitted to it! LOL. That's how I knew that FOS was a C/P, because your title clearly said Indy. THAT's how I knew Harry was back with Episode Three!

 

Saddest is that I've sat here and devoured 4 pages of intro and your trip has yet to begin! Now that I'm invested, I guess I'll just have to scuff my feet and follow along, because gosh all, I love your pics and commentary. You hooked me at that chocolate roll-thingy, you tease. How many days before we find out what that is?

 

Anyway, highly impressed that everyone's favorite cheapo went on a 9-day trip. And yes, I actually read your reasons why! So you are not writing to hear yourself type.

 

Just remember, after this third episode, you better not pull a George Lucas on us and make us wait umpteen years for the next sequel!

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Yah. Was looking forward to your review. You write so well with an amazing sense of humor. And I love how you take us through all the details. Plus I'm like you in that we really enjoy our family time and cruises but we don't go for all the extras.

So look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing.

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

 

Hi,

 

Good talking to you once again.

 

I see from your signature, you are booked on the brand new Symphony. How exciting. You must like big ships also.

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Hi Harry,

 

Was eagerly awaiting your report :D and the iguana is just gorgeous :hearteyes:

 

Thank you for taking the time to entertain us, Dani

 

Hi, Dani,

 

How are you? I see you have a cruise coming up later this month. Are you all ready for it? What itinerary is that? I will still be slogging away at this by time you come back...;p

 

Harry

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