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harryfat1

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

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Thank you for the very detail trip review. We were on the Allure this past November and the food presentation in the MDR on your cruise look a lot better than on the Allure. How do you see the major differences between this one and your Allure cruise?

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Hi Harry, glad someone else was able to respond to you wrt their opinion on whether the Anthem would have rough seas or not. From my perspective the rockier the ship, the better I sleep, so I am not a good judge in that department.

 

I want to put in another request for more info on your next trip to see rocks . Seriously, maybe you can just keep this trip report going and include your planning and day to day info on your summer trip to Utah. I am seriously considering a family trip there in Feb 2019 ( university break week for my kids) instead of a cruise since my daughter is already out west. Or alternatively, if you visit Disneyland on your way to/from your visit to the rocks and write a Cheapo Dad trip report on it, post a link here so we can all follow you to the appropriate board...

 

Can you tell I would really appreciate learning more from you on planning a ‘rock viewing’ trip . And thanks for taking the time and effort to write this report, and yes, I have read all three of your reports now and I look forward to the sequel .

 

Y

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Another truly excellent cruise report Harry! 5 Stars! :D:D

 

~Patti :)

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Thanks for the entertainment Harry. I loved all the photos and reading about your vacations.

 

Thanks for the compliment. Glad the info was entertaining.

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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!

 

Hi, Brandon,

 

Thanks for reading this trip report to the end. I hadn't realize you & your family were in so many of our pictures and videos until we came home and looked at them. Give your family my regards.

 

Yeah, I need to hire a marketing consultant to get my brand out there. Maybe I can sell some cheapo dad t-shirts and key chains and magnets at the cruise terminals.

 

Safe travels on your next cruise as I believe you are looking into the Oasis class ships. That will be a totally different experience.

 

enhance

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pretty amazing when your name is top of the google search results and you are not in hand cuffs or part of congressional investigation...

 

:d:d:d

 

where did the smiley go???

Edited by dani negreanu
where did the smiley go???

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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.

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment. Appreciate you reading along to the end.

 

I had forgotten about the time difference in folks reading my posts over in Europe. Yes, I typically do my posts later at night after work/dinner/real life commitments. So by time I am done and go to sleep late at night, UK is 8 hours ahead of California time and you folks can read the info early in the morning.

 

There is always that nagging thought in the back of every trip review in if they write something about vacation and nobody reads it, does it become a diary entry instead?

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Thank you very much for all the time and effort you have put into your review.

 

Thank you for reading and posting the feedback. I have always appreciate people commenting as this is the only way I know there are people out there reading these posts.

 

Unlike comedians where they hear laughter after they tell a joke, the only thing I hear back are postings like yours so it makes me feel good that there are people out there reading what I am sharing.

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Thanks again, Harry, for another very detailed and enjoyable trip report. I appreciate all the time and effort you put in (and all the rock photos, too). :cool: Have a good summer vacation and I'll look forward to the next installment in the "Cheapo Dad" cruise report series. :)

Heather

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Harry,

 

Thanks so much for letting us follow along.

 

You are such a fine example of a husband, father and man. I am sure your family is more enriched by all of your efforts, as we readers are as well.

 

I love your style, perspective and practicality - so refreshing and grounding.

 

I will look forward to your next adventure!! I wish life allowed you to entertain and inform us quarterly - you are very unique and honest!

 

Thanks again and best wishes,

P

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Thanks for the good read. Best wishes and until we "meet" again. Cheers

 

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

 

 

I think if they have the thumbs up, people will clamor for the thumbs down as well similar to what you see on YouTube.

 

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, barring anything bad happening, we will take future cruises and I will take pictures of "dirt" and whatever else and include them in future trip reports as well as talk about visiting uncle in prison. Only question is we don't know when and which ship.

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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

 

Hi, Joan,

 

Thank you for reading along. I typically don't do trip reports for WDW as I am no longer active on the Disney boards. I'm debating if I will do my own travel blog site. If so, I will post it there but I haven't decided one way or another.

 

After doing one of these long trip reports on CC, I need to rest and recharge. The thought of writing something new in short term is not appealing now. But that's just like having a big meal and someone asks you when you want to eat again. Just a matter of time before I want to go on another trip and come back and share the story.

 

Thanks for the info on the motion on the Anthem. I am looking at the summer 2019 sailings where they go to Bermuda and eastern Caribbean. Similar to your signature, I haven't been to Bermuda either and having a new class of ship will check off 2 boxes and a 9 day cruise certainly fits the bill of longer vacation time but not crazy expensive as in the Christmas week. But we will see how everything shakes out.

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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.

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment. Welcome to CC and I'm honored you chose to post your second comment on these boards on my trip report.

 

Wow, how nice. You completed my dream vacation of a cruise and WDW. You have a lot of time to be able to complete this trip. I can't be gone for that long from work so the only time I can do this wil be after I retire, but at which point I will be too old to want to tackle both monsters the same trip.

 

Being a planner, I would spend a gazillion hours on both ends and being anal/OCD and whatever psychological issues I am diagnosed with, trying to plan both sets of vacations will likely fry whatever brain cells I have left. I might be a basket case even before we get on the plane.

 

Disney is crazy large and crowded. EPCOT stands for Every Person Comes Out Tired. On one hand I would love just do both on one flight to Orlando and be done. On other hand, the work to pre plan and the physical endurance to spend 2 weeks there might be a bit too much for me. I like the idea of doing it and I want to do it, but it's like trying to eat a 4 pound steak. It looks tempting but not sure I am tough enough for it.

 

Glad you are able to do it. I tip my hat to you and your family in getting it done.

 

As for the Utah trip, not sure what big loop or little loop you are referring to. I just made my own schedule based on how far we think we can drive and see in looking at Google map to plan out the distance between spots. I posted my itinerary online awhile back, not sure if you read it. Here it is again.

 

Yeah, sure thing. Email me whatever you want me to read and I will give you my thoughts. Everyone has different tolerance of how much driving they want in a day and what they want to see while on vacation so there's no real one solution to see things. It's similar to asking someone if the food on your plate from the buffet and if that is going to be enough food for you.

 

 

enhance

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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! ;)

 

Hi, John,

 

Thanks for the info. Yeah, I love the Unofficial Guide by Bob Sehlinger. I have been using his guide books since the 1990's. The dude is super anal in his sample day in what he wants people to do. I could never come close to what he suggests but I love his attention to detail.

 

I'm too cheap to buy the book. I just check out the book from the public library for free instead.

 

The same people that gathers data for the book also has the web site/app - Touring plans that predicts the crowd level at WDW for 365 days a year. I used this app back in 2011 in my last visit to WDW but their web site has great info:

 

https://touringplans.com/

 

Finally another book I read is the Passporter book:

 

https://www.amazon.com/PassPorters-Walt-Disney-World-2017/dp/158771163X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

 

If you go to the Passporter web site and sign up for the free email info, they will have sale for the current year book fro $1 when the next edition comes out. For example, new book for 2019 typically comes out in November so by October I expect to get an email offer to buy the book for $1 plus shipping for the 2018 edition. So check that out.

 

Love seeing all the Disney fans around here...

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Harry, last summer we did similar trip - drove from Houston to Orlando, cruise on Oasis, then 1 week doing non-Disney parks then drove home. It was a lot. We originally planned it so that the cruise was the second week but work circumstances meant we had to switch it up at the last minute. We were glad to finally be home at the end.

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Thanks Harry, for taking us along on your trip report and letting us feel like part of the family! Appreciate all of your travel hints and tips. Will miss reading your report. Can't wait for your next installment! Hope you find a great fare sale for your next family cruise SOON! :)

 

We had a great cruise on Freedom (again!) last month. Can't wait for the next one!

 

Happy Travels, Laurie

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Thank you for the very detail trip review. We were on the Allure this past November and the food presentation in the MDR on your cruise look a lot better than on the Allure. How do you see the major differences between this one and your Allure cruise?

 

Hi,

 

You are welcome.

 

I believe our menu has been phased out with RCI rolling out the new menu so I don't know what the new food looks like for me to comment on the difference.

 

The biggest difference between Oasis class ship versus other is obviously the size of the ship. Bigger ship offers more choices like different neighborhoods to explore/wider RP to walk around. More entertainment options like the water show and dedicated adult comedy shows. The drawback for some is the crowd and the planning you have to do.

 

Just because the ship offers people the water show, it doesn't mean they plan to seat everybody. They will assume some people won't go. For example, the water theater seats around 600 or so per my old man fuzzy memory (someone will correct me in no time if I am wrong) and I believe they used to have only 6 shows (2 per night the first 3 nights). Simple math tells you that they only can take reservations for 3,600. If the ship has around 6,000 people, you can easily see not everybody can get a seat so pre planning for the Oasis class ship will be the key.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi Harry, glad someone else was able to respond to you wrt their opinion on whether the Anthem would have rough seas or not. From my perspective the rockier the ship, the better I sleep, so I am not a good judge in that department.

 

I want to put in another request for more info on your next trip to see rocks ��. Seriously, maybe you can just keep this trip report going and include your planning and day to day info on your summer trip to Utah. I am seriously considering a family trip there in Feb 2019 ( university break week for my kids) instead of a cruise since my daughter is already out west. Or alternatively, if you visit Disneyland on your way to/from your visit to the rocks and write a Cheapo Dad trip report on it, post a link here so we can all follow you to the appropriate board...

 

Can you tell I would really appreciate learning more from you on planning a ‘rock viewing’ trip ��. And thanks for taking the time and effort to write this report, and yes, I have read all three of your reports now and I look forward to the sequel ��.

 

Y

 

Hi, Yvonne,

 

Thanks again for the high praises in asking me to share my summer vacation plans but I don't think people care about where I go during the summer in the kind of detail I show for cruises. People just want to look at the rock pictures after the fact and not really interested in how I get there and what version of Excel spreadsheet I am on to create my route.

 

Which by the way is what I am doing now in trying to map out how far I want to drive daily and also looking at Air BnB and VRBO for condo places to rent during the trip. Road trips require a lot more work in that you not only have to figure out where you will be nightly as well as getting hotel rooms and on top of that, need to find food places to eat on Yelp.

 

Since you asked, here are the 3 big named places we plan to see:

 

Zion National Park (Here are some of the professional pictures. Mine won't come close to these by time I come back but I also don't do photoshop to enhance my pictures and the really good pictures are taken at dawn or dusk, neither time will I be there...)

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=zion+national+park+pictures&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj84dOt_NbZAhVs5oMKHe8EDncQsAQIKA&biw=1920&bih=949

 

Bryce Canyon (this is probably going to be my favorite):

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=bryce+canyon+national+park+pictures&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfrvSr_dbZAhWCw4MKHdapAxUQsAQIKA&biw=1920&bih=949

 

North Rim Grand Canyon. We have been to the more popular south rim many years ago but not the north rim as it's more remote and harder to get to. Supposedly only 10% of the Grand Canyon visitors see the north rim versus the other parts so it will be worth a visit:

 

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1920&bih=949&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=VCmeWpXxMpnljwSsgrHwCQ&q=north+rim+grand+canyon+national+park+pictures&oq=north+rim+grand+canyon+national+park+pictures&gs_l=psy-ab.12...3008.5505.0.7353.10.10.0.0.0.0.130.1055.5j5.10.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.2.234...0i13k1.0.WJjOUUOnWoo

 

Utah will be cold/snow in February. Do a weather check for the places you want to see now in early March as it will be similar to next year so you get an idea on what to expect. Hiking/driving in the snow will have its own set of challenges so just plan accordingly.

 

Thanks for reading all 3 of my trip reports. You sure need a vacation after that. As you recall in my trip reports in that they kind of "blend in" with each other. By that I mean at the end of Allure trip report, someone revived it around 2 years after the report and I was just getting ready to sail on the Freedom so I posted "live" pre cruise review on there before I actually started a brand new thread just for the Freedom.

 

Then for the Freedom report at the end, I started talking to people prior to the Indy cruise and I posted some pre cruise Indy pictures on the back of the Freedom trip report. So in that sense, if someone actually reads all 3 of my trip reports in a row, they will think I never left Florida.

 

It's as if I sailed on 3 ships B2B2B as they are all somehow connected! Think I am the only weirdo that does it this way.

 

In theory I might do a pre cruise shameless self promotion for my next cruise trip report at the back of this one if I maintain my pattern...

 

Let me know if you need any info for your trip planning to Utah either in here or you can email me at the cheapo dad email.

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Another truly excellent cruise report Harry! 5 Stars! :D:D

 

~Patti :)

 

Hi, Patti,

 

Thanks for the compliment and thanks for reading along for the third installment. Did you guys enjoyed your show in SF last month? Any problem with the crowd from the parade?

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:d:d:d

 

where did the smiley go???

 

Hi, Dani,

 

Welcome back from your cruise. Hope you had a fun time.

 

Depending on which web browser you use, I think the smilies don't always work when you click on it but it shows up for me on Google chrome if I do a preview after I click on it but it doesn't show up right away but if I use firefox, I have no problem but Firefox adds extra lines when I start new paragraphs. ;p

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Thanks again, Harry, for another very detailed and enjoyable trip report. I appreciate all the time and effort you put in (and all the rock photos, too). :cool: Have a good summer vacation and I'll look forward to the next installment in the "Cheapo Dad" cruise report series. :)

Heather

 

Hi, Heather,

 

Thanks for reading along and I know you are the rock picture person.

 

I just provided the photo links in couple posts above for the 3 major parks we plan to see this summer. So hopefully I will have enough for some digression talk in the next trip report.

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Harry, those all look like beautiful places to visit. I know you will take lots of wonderful pictures there. Enjoy! :)

Heather

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Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment. Welcome to CC and I'm honored you chose to post your second comment on these boards on my trip report.

 

Yeah, sure thing. Email me whatever you want me to read and I will give you my thoughts. Everyone has different tolerance of how much driving they want in a day and what they want to see while on vacation so there's no real one solution to see things. It's similar to asking someone if the food on your plate from the buffet and if that is going to be enough food for you.

 

 

enhance

 

Hi. Harry.

Here is the big loop thing that I came across when I am doing research:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28965-i411-k4326394-UT_Trip_Maps_Big_Loop_from_Las_Vegas-Utah.html

 

So it is basically Las Vegas - Grand Canyon South Rim - Horse Bend - Monument Valley - Moab - Green River - Capitol Reef -- Bryce - Zion or in reverse order. And there is another map possible from Salt Lake City.

It is a lot of places and rather tight schedule for 10-12 days. My family is also not hikers so I asked around for advice on where to stay, how many days I should allocate for each location and such. Your excel sheet give me some information. Thank you very much. I will collect my thoughts and email you a few questions specifically.

 

I like the trip planning process but I spent too much time on it. I even watch drive through videos.

 

Harry, looking forward to read your next adventure!

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Which by the way is what I am doing now in trying to map out how far I want to drive daily and also looking at Air BnB and VRBO for condo places to rent during the trip.

 

Careful of AirBnB Harry; I came across this article last week and it made me shiver a bit:

 

https://www.asherfergusson.com/airbnb/

 

Not to say AirBnB is not a great option, just makes you a little more anal with planning and researching reviews :)

 

Anyway, thanks again for your stellar trip report and taking the time to see it through to the end. I enjoyed it so much and am sad it is now over :(

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Harry,

 

Thanks so much for letting us follow along.

 

You are such a fine example of a husband, father and man. I am sure your family is more enriched by all of your efforts, as we readers are as well.

 

I love your style, perspective and practicality - so refreshing and grounding.

 

I will look forward to your next adventure!! I wish life allowed you to entertain and inform us quarterly - you are very unique and honest!

 

Thanks again and best wishes,

P

 

Hi,

 

Wow. Thank you very much for the high praises. I know I certainly don’t deserve them. I appreciate them and they inflate my bloated ego but I didn’t do anything super wow on my vacation that is very different than what many of the families did on their vacation.

 

If you really boil down to what we did on the past 3 cruises, we just did a very plain vanilla cruise and maybe just added couple sprinkles/chocolate chips on it by doing shore excursions at most of the ports. The only thing that made our cruises different is we took lots of pictures and I spent the time and effort to spice up the “days of our lives” stories.

 

Trip reports by definition is a boring process since it’s not every exciting to hear about another person’s past vacation. It’s like having your neighbor or co-worker telling you where they went on their trips and you might be interested for 10 seconds and then is ready to move on. The only difference in my vacation info is that I spice things up with pictures and butt jokes.

 

But I do appreciate your kind words. Makes me feel good & gives me the warm fuzzies. When a standup comedian delivers a good show, he gets laughter & applause so there’s the instant feedback. Unlike other social media outlets where you have “thumbs up” or “follow” or “subscribe” buttons to click to provide positive feedback, if people don’t post anything here, I wouldn’t know how my trip reports are perceived.

 

So I really do appreciate your and everyone’s comments as these are the only comments I get when people reading these reports. More fun to write when you know people are reading. Similar to cooking for people - you are happier to cook when you know people are eating your food.

 

As for the next adventure, yeah, I started the planning process now for the next 2 vacations. I checked out few library books to read about things as I am still old school in liking to read hard copy guide books as well as online info.

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