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harryfat1

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

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So this part will sound like the Oscar awards show when I thank everybody that has ever heard of my name…

 

I want to thank everyone for following along the past 2 months. Appreciate all the feedback and bantering discussions. It made the process more fun and less laboring.

 

Also thanks to Bob for providing the graphs. That was a big hit.

 

Every trip report is different similar to every party is different. With different participants reading every time and the side topics are different. This time the main topics were to be number of posts and size of the orange juice drinks. I want to thank everyone for commenting and contributing to help steer this trip report in certain direction.

 

Special thanks for some of the people that have read all three of my trip reports. You folks definitely need to go on a cruise (or B2B) after suffering through such torture…

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So what will we do next?

 

As I have mentioned throughout the report, we are thinking of going back to Utah for another round of looking at rocks this summer. This time Bryce and Zion National Parks.

 

Then for the winter, we are looking to go to WDW. With the high cost of Christmas holiday cruise prices, I think we will need to swap out December sailings until my kids are done with high school.

 

That means we won’t have another cruise planned until summer of 2019. Since we have never been on the Quantum class ship, we are looking to either do the Anthem in east coast or Ovation in Alaska. So expect a longer gap until the next trip report as it won’t come until summer of 2019. Unless I see some big sale on a cruise or something…

 

As with all my trip reports, I get instantaneous email notifications whenever someone posts a comment so I will always monitor these posts in case anyone has any comments or questions afterward as I know not everyone reads these trip report in real time. I think some people read some of the older ones couple years after the fact, but I will always be around to respond. Except if I am on another vacation slogging through the heat looking at rocks, and then my response time will be delayed.

 

This time I created a new email address of cheapodad@outlook.com so if anyone wants to ask a question or post a comment in private, go ahead and reach me that way. I have received over 30 emails in that account already.

 

Think that’s all I have to say. Thanks again for reading up to this point. May all your travels be safe and full of fond memories and hopefully you can start new trip reports to share with the rest of world…

 

Best Wishes,

 

H

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*dabbing tears* Thanks, Harry, for hosting such a great party and writing such an enjoyable report. Your efforts are appreciated and your family are wonderful sports to be featured. It's been fun chatting back and forth the last couple of months. That sounds funny to say, but hey, it is March! You remind me of the kind of guy who probably doesn't take his Christmas tree down until Easter. LOL!!

 

Seriously though, it's appreciated that you stick it out on your report and finish what you started. Too often, detailed reports are started and by the time you get engrossed, they never come back for another installment. I understand that life gets in the way, and detailed reports can be a big time commitment. But you are so entertaining and your pictures so gorgeous that it's worth following along, diversions and all. You really did make it feel like being there, and I'm glad that there's closure in the finale. You're like a TV series. It's disappointing when you get invested in a show and boom! The network cancels it! It's much better to have a series finale episode that wraps up the story and satisfies your curiosity about the future of the characters. You take us right back to the home airport so that we can imagine you returning to normal, everyday life: your wife and kids doing what they do, and you slogging away in front of the computer for the next couple of months!

 

Thanks again for having us over to your party. You've been a gracious host. It was worth going to look you up after wondering, "Hmmm, has Harry's family cruised this year?" Now I can close the tab that has been a fixture in the browser lately. Enjoy your next trip to the rocks and WDW. Until next time....

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Thanks for your reports and photos, your writing style reminds me of an old business adage, business goes when it is invited and returns where it feels welcome.

 

Jim,

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Harry I always appreciate that you write about doing the cruise without spending an arm and a leg on stuff. It made me feel a lot better about the fact that we don't either. And it’s nice to see the perspective of a family with somewhat older kids, as my oldest is 14 now.

 

Also don’t worry about missing out on White Castle, trust me.

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Also don’t worry about missing out on White Castle, trust me.

Second that! Although someone must keep going there.

 

This is my third installment of the Cheapo dad series,,,

Harry:

 

I've enjoyed so many work breaks with your family.

 

Don't let this be like the Back to the Future trilogy, 3 and you're done.

 

Make it more like the Star Wars trilogy -- you were just starting at episode 4. Episodes 1-3 -- could be reviews from you previous cruises (I know, I remember that you provided a link to your cruise in the review section of CC). But how did Cheapo Dad come to be? Will he come to the dark side and start spending more?

 

You could then start marketing Cheapo Dad toys like action figures, miniature mooring ropes, and cruise ships with big sterns. Cheapo Dad could then afford those holiday cruises :D

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This is my third installment of the Cheapo dad series. Even though the number of posts was below projection, it has taken me the longest time complete as I was pretty much done with the first two by middle of February. Of course, this being a 9 day cruise necessitates a longer trip report than the previous two cruises.

 

Harry - Your trip reports are about both quantity and quality. I really enjoy your "side trips"...pictures of rocks, some slightly off topic philosophical discussions, etc. Your party analogy is a great one because once a party starts, you never quite know where it will go or when it will stop. Your parties are the kind that go on into the wee hours of the morning and everyone goes home happy. Thanks for the significant effort that you put in keeping us entertained. I've had some bad things happen in my life recently and your report has been a big help!

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Thanks for the fabulous and fun trip review, Harry. I hope you continue to have great vacations with your family. I love family vacations (although we're only 9 years in on the family part). I'll try and do a trip review after our Harmony cruise in May but I don't think it'll match up!

 

Happy planning!

Jenn

 

Sent from my Pixel using Forums mobile app

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Harry, thanks for sticking it out until the very end. I know it has to be time consuming and tough to stay determined and finish out the report when you have everyday life and other priorities getting in the way. I think your trip reports are unique not only on CC, but on any travel site out there! You take people through the entire vacation process, not only the cruise. So that by the time somebody goes on a cruise on the same ship you went on, they will know almost every single thing they need to, and how to save money. If you could get some more publicity, you could probably start to market the Cheapo series...

 

It was pretty cool being on the same cruise as you guys not only because we got to meet but leaving the cruise I knew that I would be reading another Cheapo Dad report with so much detail, but would be able to relate to everything you talk about. Thanks, and good luck on your next trip in the future!

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Thank you very much for the wonderfully detailed review you have again produced, directed and acted.

I’m in England and the time difference has meant that most mornings I have been able to read a new instalment first thing before getting up. I was hooked! Thanks again and best wishes to you and your lovely family.

Edited by Jules.
Cant spell time!

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*dabbing tears* Thanks, Harry, for hosting such a great party and writing such an enjoyable report. Your efforts are appreciated and your family are wonderful sports to be featured. It's been fun chatting back and forth the last couple of months. That sounds funny to say, but hey, it is March! You remind me of the kind of guy who probably doesn't take his Christmas tree down until Easter. LOL!!

 

Seriously though, it's appreciated that you stick it out on your report and finish what you started. Too often, detailed reports are started and by the time you get engrossed, they never come back for another installment. I understand that life gets in the way, and detailed reports can be a big time commitment. But you are so entertaining and your pictures so gorgeous that it's worth following along, diversions and all. You really did make it feel like being there, and I'm glad that there's closure in the finale. You're like a TV series. It's disappointing when you get invested in a show and boom! The network cancels it! It's much better to have a series finale episode that wraps up the story and satisfies your curiosity about the future of the characters. You take us right back to the home airport so that we can imagine you returning to normal, everyday life: your wife and kids doing what they do, and you slogging away in front of the computer for the next couple of months!

 

Thanks again for having us over to your party. You've been a gracious host. It was worth going to look you up after wondering, "Hmmm, has Harry's family cruised this year?" Now I can close the tab that has been a fixture in the browser lately. Enjoy your next trip to the rocks and WDW. Until next time....

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment. As for Christmas lights, I have seen some people that leave their outside Christmas light out year long so they don't have to put them up annually. My favorite phrase has always been "A lazy man is an efficient man" as we know lazy people will always find some sort of short cut to everything in life.

 

Oh, yeah, barring any physical injury or catastrophic event happening, I was going to finish the report. Having done two already, I know the amount of time and work involved. Other reviewers start with great intentions but probably didn't realize the amount of work it takes to do one of these from beginning to end. Not always easy to go back and sort the pictures and re-tell the story correctly as you know there are people trolling these boards and any mistake you make in your trip report, people will be more than happy to highlight your errors.

 

At least this time by switching to Shutterfly, copying pictures made things go faster and as a result, I posted more pictures this time more than the previous two. Now watch someone go back and count pictures from the previous trip reports and proof me wrong...;p

 

Like the famous movie line from our great ex-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "I'll be baaaaack..." in writing future trip report after our next cruise. Similar to whale migration patterns, I drift away from these boards after the trip reports are done and go and plan for my other trips elsewhere and come back when I plan for my next cruise.

 

But I will still be around periodically to drop in few pictures to help answer other cruisers questions. One advantage of having done all these trip reports is that I now have thousands of pictures already uploaded and it's easy to just drop them in any cruiser's posts to help them.

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Thanks for your reports and photos, your writing style reminds me of an old business adage, business goes when it is invited and returns where it feels welcome.

 

Jim,

 

Hi, Jim,

 

Thanks again for reading along again. As with previous trip reports, when I get an email around midnight that someone had posted a comment on my trip report, it was a good bet it would be from you as most of the country is asleep but you are one of the few night owls still up in the wee hours. Especially since you are in the east coast.

 

Until the next party...

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Thanks Harry! Your trip reports are the absolute best here at CC!

 

Thank you, thank you. Appreciate the kind words. Don't know about the best but I know I can contend for the longest as I am good at filling the page with gibberish and side trips. I know my critics will say my reports are way too long and off topic - or were those the comments from my English teachers?;p

 

Have a great cruise on the Anthem. We might sail on her next year.

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Harry I always appreciate that you write about doing the cruise without spending an arm and a leg on stuff. It made me feel a lot better about the fact that we don't either. And it’s nice to see the perspective of a family with somewhat older kids, as my oldest is 14 now.

 

Also don’t worry about missing out on White Castle, trust me.

 

You should write a trip report also as we are in the same demographics with teenage kids and not wanting to spend money for the extras on the cruise. As in politics, you want someone that represent your demographics/value system so if more people like us write trip reports to get the message out, that would be a great service to all newbie cruisers.

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Second that! Although someone must keep going there.

 

 

Harry:

 

I've enjoyed so many work breaks with your family.

 

Don't let this be like the Back to the Future trilogy, 3 and you're done.

 

Make it more like the Star Wars trilogy -- you were just starting at episode 4. Episodes 1-3 -- could be reviews from you previous cruises (I know, I remember that you provided a link to your cruise in the review section of CC). But how did Cheapo Dad come to be? Will he come to the dark side and start spending more?

 

You could then start marketing Cheapo Dad toys like action figures, miniature mooring ropes, and cruise ships with big sterns. Cheapo Dad could then afford those holiday cruises :D

 

Hi, Joe,

 

Yeah, I need to hire a marketing consultant to get "my brand" out there to shamelessly self promote my name. I need to monetize the cheapo dad name to cash in.

 

Go to Google bar now and type in cheapo dad and the top results are from cruise critics. Pretty amazing when your name is top of the Google search results and you are not in hand cuffs or part of congressional investigation...

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Second that! Although someone must keep going there.

 

 

Harry:

 

I've enjoyed so many work breaks with your family.

 

Don't let this be like the Back to the Future trilogy, 3 and you're done.

 

Make it more like the Star Wars trilogy -- you were just starting at episode 4. Episodes 1-3 -- could be reviews from you previous cruises (I know, I remember that you provided a link to your cruise in the review section of CC). But how did Cheapo Dad come to be? Will he come to the dark side and start spending more?

 

You could then start marketing Cheapo Dad toys like action figures, miniature mooring ropes, and cruise ships with big sterns. Cheapo Dad could then afford those holiday cruises :D

I always wished cc had the thumbs up or thumbs down voting option for comments.... for reasons like the comment.

 

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Thank you, Harry, for the fun trip report! Would love to read any trip report you’d do on your WDW trip. Let us know where post it.

 

We’ve sailed from N.J. three times now—two in November and December and one late March. I get very seasick, but I take a Bonine (or generic) every night before bed. That said, I haven’t noticed any discernible differences in the sail down the coast or back up. We actually had really rough seas sailing back to FLL from Nassau on our first cruise, but that was on a small HAL ship. I don’t think you’d have issues on Anthem. That ship floats on top of the water. I remember sitting in Sorrentos watching choppy seas, and the ship barely moving. I have a video somewhere. Tried to post a still photo, but had trouble there, too.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Harry - Your trip reports are about both quantity and quality. I really enjoy your "side trips"...pictures of rocks, some slightly off topic philosophical discussions, etc. Your party analogy is a great one because once a party starts, you never quite know where it will go or when it will stop. Your parties are the kind that go on into the wee hours of the morning and everyone goes home happy. Thanks for the significant effort that you put in keeping us entertained. I've had some bad things happen in my life recently and your report has been a big help!

 

Hi, Bob,

 

Thanks again for the compliment. Happy to hear that this virtual party was successful. Good thing about virtual party versus actual party is that there's no clean up.

 

Sorry to hear about the bad events in your life. Hope the negative vibes will pass like a tropical storm and be replaced with sunshine.

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Hi. Harry.

 

I have a similar background as you and your family. I first came across your Allure report as I was doing research to book my first cruise. I then go ahead and read both of your reports before my last trip -- I traveled to Orlando on Thanksgiving day, spent about 9 days there before cruising on Oasis from December 3 to December 10th.

In those 9 days in Orlando, I spent 4 days at Disney, 2 days at Universal, 1 day at SeaWorld, 1 day at Discover Cove, and 1 day at Disney Resorts. Last day when I disembarked, my family had a rental car and visited Kennedy Space Center since our flights were at 7 PM. Funny you talked about your dream vacation.

 

I planned down to the minutes in Disney. I did accompanied alot however I failed quite bad at Magic Kingdom. As a firs timer for Disney, I was able to grab a 11 AM lunch at be our guest! Due to technical mishap, I cancelled all my fastpass+ for Magic Kingdom while I book my 4th one in Epcot. Then the hour long wait leaving Magic Kingdom. Arr. The frustration. I felt I achievement something and I had a lot to say about parks, apps, and whatnot. I probably won't make the same mistakes again, but I won't be back. I travels with my parents and we have a lot of other places to visit. However, thinking about typing all those out already tired me out. I would became a lawyer if I like to write! So I admire your persistence in uploading all those photos and writing all those reports.

 

My vacation was pretty good except to my surprise, I became the only one in the family to get seasick. Maybe the first 9 days 9-9 schedule tired me out and the weather was colder than what I wore, I had to take pills which unfortunately made me sleepy. As the planner, due to my condition, my family missed out in a lot of activities on Oasis. We did went to most of the shows on Oasis -- except Comedy show. My parents were jogging and spending time in Jacuzzi.

 

I already booked another cruise a brand new ship out of NY in 6 months.

 

Your Utah trip also interests me. Maybe I will go there this September also. For the Utah trip, did you follow any of the big loop / small loop trip itineraries I came across online? Could I email you about that?

Thank you very much for giving me inspirations.

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Thanks for the fabulous and fun trip review, Harry. I hope you continue to have great vacations with your family. I love family vacations (although we're only 9 years in on the family part). I'll try and do a trip review after our Harmony cruise in May but I don't think it'll match up!

 

Happy planning!

Jenn

 

Sent from my Pixel using Forums mobile app

 

Hi, Jenn,

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

I'm sure you will be fine on your trip report. Everyone has their own style in story telling. When I was reading other people's trip reports, I find myself being more engaged when I in tune with the writer.

 

Try to involve the reader in your trip report and not just a laundry listing of what you did daily. For example, instead of saying what you did, try to explain why you did it and the reasoning behind it. By doing so, the audience will also pause and think to themselves - what will I do in that situation? That makes the story more compelling.

 

Wow, vacation with the family on the Harmony. Very envious. Not likely we can go on the mega ship until 2020. Have a great cruise.

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Harry - I survived WDW with three kids, including at Christmas. Invest in the Unofficial Guide to WDW book (under $20 from your favorite book store) -- it will be the best $20 you ever spent! ;)

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