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harryfat1

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

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WOW! Loving these current pictures. Looks like you're having a fabulous time in Utah. Safe travels home.

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Can you tell me about the step-by-step walking map of OSJ that you downloaded? We are going to be in SJ for 2 days pre-cruise and 1-day post cruise and want to do a lot of exploring.

 

I also used the walking tour guide when I was in San Juan because Trolly was not available last November. Also there are guided ranger tours at the forts on Saturday and Sunday. Just search for information.

Also if you look under San Juan destination forum, someone posted that you could email tourist center and they will mail a big package including maps to your home. (Confirmed as I already received my package and it is free.)

 

 

Those pictures were from Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We are now on the tail end of the 2,000 mile road trip to see Bryce and Zion parks as well as a drop at Vegas. Heading westward today for the long drive home.

 

It's brutally hot out here in the southwest desert and we had to hike in the 95 plus weather at Zion. Bryce was much more pleasant at 70. Per the cell phone app, we are averaging 5 to 7 plus miles per day hiking.

 

Anyway, here are some sample pictures from the road trip taken from my cell phone. Hopefully there will be better ones from the camera and other family members' cell phones to show next year.

 

Cheers,

 

Harry

 

Sent from my Samsung Note 8 using Tapatalk

 

Harry hi again. I am getting excited looking at your photos as I sorta following your footstep a little bit -- I already booked Utah trip in September. Hopefully the weather would not be so hot.

Where were the first 2 photos shot? Shakespeare festival? Vegas? Cirque du Soleil?

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I also used the walking tour guide when I was in San Juan because Trolly was not available last November. Also there are guided ranger tours at the forts on Saturday and Sunday. Just search for information.

Also if you look under San Juan destination forum, someone posted that you could email tourist center and they will mail a big package including maps to your home. (Confirmed as I already received my package and it is free.)

 

 

Harry hi again. I am getting excited looking at your photos as I sorta following your footstep a little bit -- I already booked Utah trip in September. Hopefully the weather would not be so hot.

Where were the first 2 photos shot? Shakespeare festival? Vegas? Cirque du Soleil?

 

Hi,

Sorry for the delayed response. After coming home, the process of unpacking and going back to work is brutal. I always hate going back to work to read over 100 email on people wanting you to do things from a week ago.

Thanks for the info on emailing the San Juan tourist center for free info. Didn’t know about that. Will keep in mind if we ended up there again next year on our cruise. Although I might be lazy and just do the $25/pp quickie island tour from the pier as we had already seen the forts and parts of old San Juan. Just want to see other parts of the island on the next visit.

Which part of Utah will you be visiting? If it’s the southern part where we were, September will still be pretty warm in the low 90’s but not as hot as 104 when we were there. Outside of Las Vegas when we were driving home, it was over 113 degrees per the sign at one of the town. Yikes.

I assume you are asking about the pictures from the Vegas show? That is Cirque du Soleil's show "Ka" at the MGM. They now allow people to take pictures during the show as long as there's no flash so I was just clicking away. Really good show especially the theater and the technology of the rotating wall throughout.

Have fun on your trip in few months.

Harry

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So this is it. Front page picture. I'm sure by the end of this trip report, others will disagree that this should be front page picture. It's pretty subjective selection but I just like the one picture that has shows the whole ship and you are not at sea level (meaning it's not just a tender shot)

 

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Hi Harry,

 

I am a long-time lurker on your reviews and was particularly interested in this one because we will be visiting Labadee for the first time ever in November.

 

I would love to get a pic like this one. Where did you take it from? I'm looking at the map now and I'm thinking it might be a place called "Dragon's Lookout". Would that be right?

 

Thanks again for your great reviews. :)

Fiona.

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Late to the party as usual.

 

Great rock pictures Harry.

 

And boy you picked some time to be hiking in the Southwest!

 

Or should I say the Southwet.

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Hi Harry,

 

I'm usually more of a lurker on the boards. I signed up recently to try to find some information on the Symphony (we're going next week!) and somehow stumbled upon your trip report. I just couldn't stop reading it, I loved your writing style and all your photos and all the information you provided. Thanks for taking your time to share.

 

I would love some more information on the trip you just did this year. That is the same exact itinerary we're planning for our summer next year.

 

Thanks for the great entertainment.

Juliana

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Hi Harry,

 

I am a long-time lurker on your reviews and was particularly interested in this one because we will be visiting Labadee for the first time ever in November.

 

I would love to get a pic like this one. Where did you take it from? I'm looking at the map now and I'm thinking it might be a place called "Dragon's Lookout". Would that be right?

 

Thanks again for your great reviews. :)

Fiona.

 

Hi, Fiona,

 

Thanks for being a long time “lurker” and finally dropping by with a message. I always appreciate folks that comes out from the secured background to post a comment in my trip reports.

 

I don’t have the map in front of me so I can’t confirm what you are looking at but I believe that is what the place is called as the end rock is the dragon’s head from my other pictures.

The path to walk up is a tad hidden as you just walk up the hill on the left side as you walk away from the ship to the end of the pier. Somewhat complicating the process is they typically have the barrier gate by the “Welcome gate” with “No Entry” sign – love the oxymoron messages.

 

So if you want the pictures at the beginning of the day, you have to walk around the front gate before you can walk up the path on the left hand side.

 

If somehow you can’t locate the path from one end, just approach it from the other end. That one is much easier to find as it’s at the end of the zip line. So if you are standing by the top steps of the zip lines such that the people are coming directly at you, turn 180 degrees and you should see way to just walk up the path from that end.

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I like the picture of the ship from above as you are higher up than being at the ground level and far enough back to capture the entire ship.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Have a great cruise in November.

 

Harry

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I like the picture of the ship from above as you are higher up than being at the ground level and far enough back to capture the entire ship.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Have a great cruise in November.

 

Harry

 

That's great, thanks a lot Harry, much appreciate it. :)

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Late to the party as usual.

 

Great rock pictures Harry.

 

And boy you picked some time to be hiking in the Southwest!

 

Or should I say the Southwet.

 

Hi, Amy,

 

Nah, it’s never late with my virtual cruise parties. In essence you are at least 12 months early for the next trip report as the earliest I will set foot on a cruise ship is summer 2019 or even later.

 

I’ve been crazy busy since coming back from Utah as I had reserve my Disneyworld dining reservations within 48 hours after coming home.

 

I know my anal score has gone up by at least 10% as I have Excel schedule that plans out where I will eat 180+ days out as Disney forces you to reserve them that far out or else you will miss out on the super popular restaurants. I check my Disney phone app daily to see if additional dining reservations open up when other people cancel. Cruise planning is super simple compared to Disney planning.

 

Maybe next weekend or two, I will have time to download/upload all my Utah pictures from the cameras so share few good ones. All the ones I have posted are from my cell phones only. I have been too absorbed with Disney to even look at what pictures we had taken from our trip…

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Hi Harry,

 

I'm usually more of a lurker on the boards. I signed up recently to try to find some information on the Symphony (we're going next week!) and somehow stumbled upon your trip report. I just couldn't stop reading it, I loved your writing style and all your photos and all the information you provided. Thanks for taking your time to share.

 

I would love some more information on the trip you just did this year. That is the same exact itinerary we're planning for our summer next year.

 

Thanks for the great entertainment.

Juliana

 

Hi, Juliana,

 

Thanks for the kind words. You are not the first person that have mentioned you “stumbled” upon my trip report. I hope you are not injured from tripping over the trip report and falling down. It’s so irresponsible of CC to just leave the trip reports out in the open for people to “stumble” and potentially injuring themselves. If you are somehow injured, go ahead and sue CC and I will be part of the class action lawsuit against them so we can hopefully collect some cash as Cheapo dad needs $$ to pay the greedy mouse in the next vacation…;p

 

Anyway, back to your question of my Utah trip. As I just told Amy in previous post, I haven’t had time to download/upload my pictures yet so it’ll be couple more weeks before I have any new pics to share but not that you are dying to see them since you will be on the Harmony next week so you won't even be thinking of Utah until you get back.

 

We went to Vegas/Bryce Canyon/Zion national park. Byrce is more visually stunning but a lot less people than Zion as it’s more secluded but Zion is more popular as it has more options for hiking.

 

Have a great cruise. Very nice to be on the new mega ship. Cheapo dad can't afford the price premium...

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Ahhh coming to the dark side. WDW not Disneyland! Disneyland is our next one in 2019 Spring. meanwhile I am counting down the days until the next cruise. 79 days...

 

I think you would be proud as the price has increased 125.17% on our cabin!

 

And the spread sheet that you had provided is all filled out...haha.....

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Hi Harry.

Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip report. I really appreciated the detail, as well as the Compass (I actually read them!), the menus, the food pics, and the rocks! You have such a lovely family.

 

I've been wanting to go on a cruise for years, but I, too, am one prone to seasickness. Do you have any tips to share? Some people recommend getting a cabin on a lower deck, getting a balcony, being midship. I'd appreciate any insights you might have.

 

Thank you!

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Jumping in, since I get very sea and airsick. My MD suggested Bonine, as it wouldn’t interact with my other meds. Then I read on CC the suggestion of taking the Bonine at bedtime. Non-drowsy Dramamine knocks me out, so being able to “sleep it off” sounded good. I start taking it the night before we fly and every night of the cruise. I’ll often take one the night we get home, too, to get my land legs back. We generally get a mid-ship to aft cabin. The highest deck we’ve been on has been 9. I just try to avoid the front of the ship.

 

I can’t handle flying into Washington Reagan National airport, as it makes a wide, dipping turn. We flew in from a land vacation a couple of weeks ago. Took a Bonine (OTC, btw) before bed. To be on the safe side (I hate flying into that airport), I took another once I got on the plane. Didn’t sleep, was sleepy, but never felt sick, either! Success!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Joan, thank you very much for your reply!

 

I am actually beginning to have hope that I can cruise! Dramamine also knocks me out, so that isn't really an option. I will pick up some Bonine and give it a test run to see how I tolerate it.

 

Do you avoid itineraries with more open ocean time, like Bermuda?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am appreciative of all input!

 

 

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We haven’t done Bermuda yet—April 2019! Hope there aren’t any storms. But we’ve sailed up the Atlantic to NJ, and that can get rough, too. That’s when I just avoid the front of the ship—I’m okay outside, just not in any closed hallways.

 

I’ll never forget our first cruise on HAL, sailing back from Nassau to Ft. Lauderdale. So rough, we had to hold on to the handrails inside the ship. But I wasn’t sick at all.

 

Maybe that’s why we sail only on big ships now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Hi Harry.

Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip report. I really appreciated the detail, as well as the Compass (I actually read them!), the menus, the food pics, and the rocks! You have such a lovely family.

 

I've been wanting to go on a cruise for years, but I, too, am one prone to seasickness. Do you have any tips to share? Some people recommend getting a cabin on a lower deck, getting a balcony, being midship. I'd appreciate any insights you might have.

 

Thank you!

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliments. Glad the info is useful/entertaining.

 

Yeah, I am one of those people that can get queasy easily. I think I mentioned that I used to take the subway (BART here in bay area) to work for 5 years and if I don’t sit in certain section of the train facing a particular direction, I will have a buzzing headache after the 35 minute ride train ride. Not a good thing when you get off the train with a motion sickness and then have to go to work.

 

Of course the most obvious way to avoid motion sickness is to have as many port days as possible. If you want to get into cruising slowly, try itineraries that don’t go out as far and as long – meaning try 3 or 4 day cruise with 2 ports and only 1 sea day to increase your time on land. Or try 4 or 5 port itineraries instead of 3 ports on the 7 day trips. I know the majority of CC people want sea days but not me. Sea days increase the odds of possible motion sickness and fewer things for me to do as I am not the solarium type.

 

Nowadays I use couple things to try and help with the motion sickness, I use the sea band as I try to stay away from meds since they have side effects. This is supposed to be effective for some pregnant women during their morning sickness as they can’t take meds. Walmart sell them for like $9 or you can get them at Amazon. No harm to get them as the worst thing it will happen is you walk around the ship it 2 wrist bands to wipe your sweat. I have been known to walk around the ports with them on as I forget to take them off when we walk off the ship and my wife looks at me funny as why I need that to walk around the stores.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Band-Wristband-Anti-Nausea-Acupressure-Sickness/dp/B001F731N0/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1531961614&sr=8-3&keywords=sea+bands+for+motion+sickness

 

The other thing we have been taking is ginger pills. You can buy them online from Amazon or even Costco online. Ginger helps your queasy stomach when you feel like tossing cookies from the motion. They help in making the stomach less queasy. .

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Band-Wristband-Anti-Nausea-Acupressure-Sickness/dp/B001F731N0/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1531961614&sr=8-3&keywords=sea+bands+for+motion+sickness

 

Of course, if I really feel the waves, as Joan said, Bonine is better than the original Dramamine as the old formula makes many people too drowsy. I pack these as “just in case”. You can get the generic version from Amazon dirt cheap at 7 cents per pill.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rugby-Travel-Sickness-Tablets-100/dp/B004FJFF2A/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1531961805&sr=1-8&keywords=motion+sickness+pills

 

As for being on the ship, yes, try mid ship, ocean view low on deck 2 is a good thing as you are closer to the water line. I need to look out at the minimum of the Royal Promenade shops and people below so I will never book a completely inside cabin. Had those before and I tossed cookies in them as I couldn’t see outside when the shop was moving and made me really sick during the wavy parts.

 

Hope this helps. I am by no means any motion sickness expert – these are just some of the stuff I know about that helps me. You can do some reading on your own on what might cause motion sickness and see how you can combat it.

 

Harry

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We haven’t done Bermuda yet—April 2019! Hope there aren’t any storms. But we’ve sailed up the Atlantic to NJ, and that can get rough, too. That’s when I just avoid the front of the ship—I’m okay outside, just not in any closed hallways.

 

I’ll never forget our first cruise on HAL, sailing back from Nassau to Ft. Lauderdale. So rough, we had to hold on to the handrails inside the ship. But I wasn’t sick at all.

 

Maybe that’s why we sail only on big ships now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

Joan, I hope you have a wonderful trip to Bermuda! I can't imagine a trip where you have to hang on to handrails! Amazing you didn't get sick.

 

Thank you so much for your input!

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Harry, thank you very much for taking the time to make suggestions and even include links. That was very kind of you.

 

The Seabands certainly sound like they're worth a try. Can't hurt, and I like the John McEnroe look. :D I will check out the ginger and generic Bonine as well.

I appreciate the other information about deck levels and port days. I guess you haven't found balconies necessary?

 

If you don't mind sharing the information, I also dropped you an email about your travel agency.

 

Thank you for your kind reply and helpful tips!

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 3:47 PM, griffy116 said:

 

For what it's worth, you have another WJ fan here. It's a tradition with us. The cruise doesn't begin until we have fought for a table in the WJ. I like being able to eat a variety. Once when my Grandson was a teen and had a friend sailing with us, I suggested they might prefer to go get pizza at Sorrentos for lunch and my daughter looked at me like I had just killed a kitten. I like to make my own salad and get a sample of several of the dishes so for me, I prefer the Windjammer.

We are WJ fans too.  We cruised on Allure in April 2016 and all dined in WJ for the last night as we were packing and trying to have as much fun as possible for our last night.  Hubby and I had kidwatch duty while my brother and SIL packed. They wanted no part in sitting still so we headed up to WJ for "last night" dining. It was wonderful.  I think we will make that a tradition from now on when cruising with family.  

Plus, it's really the same food that is being served in the dining rooms but not served "sit down" and doesn't have the "presentation" factor, but the food is the same. 

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Harry,

 

I loved your trip report like your two others.  Spent all day reading it!

 

I am sailing on the Allure in May 2019.

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:10 PM, kjonescat said:

Harry,

 

I loved your trip report like your two others.  Spent all day reading it!

 

I am sailing on the Allure in May 2019.

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the compliment and actually reading all three installments of my previous cruise experience.  You definitely need to go on a cruise if you spent a whole day reading about a ship that you will not be sailing on.

 

Actually, you might be one of the last people to read my first trip report on the Allure from way back.  Flickr notified all the users couple months ago (including myself) that if we didn’t give them the ransom amount of annual paid subscription, they will delete our old archived pictures and only keeping 1,000 pictures.  In my old trip reports, I had used Flickr exclusively to store my pictures.  In the more recent reports, I switched over to Shutterfly after CC changed its format where I can just cut and paste my pictures.

 

Anyway, to make long story longer, I fear my pictures in the old trip reports will be wiped out by Flickr as I am not paying their ransom demands just for them to store my old pictures (which used to be free up to 1TB when they were owned by Yahoo).  If that’s the case, then the old reports will be useless.  Not that the outdated info is relevant anyway but at least the old pictures provide a historical perspective before they modified the ship.

 

At any rate, we didn’t go on any cruise in 2018 so there will be no new reports to share.  We just came back from Disneyworld in Florida few weeks ago.

 

MK_MSBRCART_20181227_415059551430.thumb.jpg.aef2481821a1804fa126e42c8ffabfa9.jpg

 

Things may change but unlikely we will cruise in 2019 as we are looking to go to Asia on land based trip this year.  Earliest we might see the inside of a ship would be 2020. 

 

Have a wonderful cruise on the Allure.  I always like them big and round….

 

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Hi, jjjhill,

 

I received an email from cruise critic that says you were trying to PM me for info to the travel web site I used for this cruise? I don't know how PM works here on CC.  Just go ahead and email me at the email alias I created (Cheapodad@outlook.com) and I will forward the info to you.

 

Cheers,

 

H

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Hi Harry,

How have you and your family been?  Booked on the Harmony for a B-2-B this April to celebrate my birthday.

Jim, 

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