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ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE

Come Say Hello! I Work On Independence Of The Seas!

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Hi cruisers!

 

For those of you who don't know me - I'm Chris from Liverpool, and I work in the duty free shops onboard Independence Of The Seas!

 

I'll be joining the ship on December 1st to start my new contract, and I'll be on the ship for at least 6 months! That means 5 months in the Caribbean, and 1 month in Europe!

 

Let me know if any of you guys will be cruising on the ship, and do say hello if you see me in the shops. We should get a photo together!

 

I plan to post content everyday on my social medias throughout this contract - so make sure to follow my ship life and see everything I get up to, both on and off the ship! I want to give you guys a true insight into what living/working on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship is really like.

 

My Instagram is 'ChrisWongVlogs' and my Facebook page is also 'ChrisWongVlogs'

 

Also, ask me any cruise related questions, and I will do my best to find the answers for you when I am onboard.

 

I can't wait to meet some of you guys!

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@SailingShelley Hi Shelley! Wow, 42 nights onboard the ship is very impressive. You probably know the ship as well as I do! It sure sounds like you had a fantastic holiday, and I'm glad that you were able to get the pink hoodie - amazing it came in on your last cruise.

 

I don't know anyone on the team right now, but I look forward to meeting them all in December.

 

Was this your first time on Independence? I have yet to see the ship since the refurbishment earlier this year. 

Edited by ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE

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On 11/4/2018 at 11:45 AM, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

@SailingShelley Hi Shelley! Wow, 42 nights onboard the ship is very impressive. You probably know the ship as well as I do! It sure sounds like you had a fantastic holiday, and I'm glad that you were able to get the pink hoodie - amazing it came in on your last cruise.

 

I don't know anyone on the team right now, but I look forward to meeting them all in December.

 

Was this your first time on Independence? I have yet to see the ship since the refurbishment earlier this year. 

These five B2B cruises were the First time on The Indy! But we have been on both the Freedom and the Liberty previously,  before their updates.  It seems most of the changes are to attract more money! The sports bar is added and the Studio B area sound studio to play is gone. The escape room is like all the other ones on Royal and they have upped the price from $10 to $20 a person. The new mini golf course is nice. The 100 more cabins not so much! Makes it harder to find seats in the more popular evening venues. 

The entire ship was not redone. just to mention a few----the wood rails on the decks in the cabin areas need new staining varnish and repairs where they have been run into with chunks and chips.  The mirrors in the cabin baths need new backing where they are pealing and show rust instead of mirror. Finishing rings at the tops of the poles in the halls are hanging and need repairs-certainly not taken into account during the refurb. The carpet circle outside the Deck 3 dining room was not properly installed and is frayed and worn around the edges already. I would hope someone is watching this kind of thing?

There are a couple new restaurants for a fee,  like "Fish and Ships" and "Izumi". They took away the Solarium cafe which was disappointing. 

Overall, not impressed with the changes but we certainly enjoyed our stay.  It's more about the ports and the staff  for us! we love the concept of being about to stay int he cabin for 42 nights without having to pack and unpack. We never have to concern ourselves where to eat when on the ship. Cruising is one Big adventure! So many new (and old)  places to go and people to see!

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14 hours ago, SailingShelley said:

These five B2B cruises were the First time on The Indy! But we have been on both the Freedom and the Liberty previously,  before their updates.  It seems most of the changes are to attract more money! The sports bar is added and the Studio B area sound studio to play is gone. The escape room is like all the other ones on Royal and they have upped the price from $10 to $20 a person. The new mini golf course is nice. The 100 more cabins not so much! Makes it harder to find seats in the more popular evening venues. 

The entire ship was not redone. just to mention a few----the wood rails on the decks in the cabin areas need new staining varnish and repairs where they have been run into with chunks and chips.  The mirrors in the cabin baths need new backing where they are pealing and show rust instead of mirror. Finishing rings at the tops of the poles in the halls are hanging and need repairs-certainly not taken into account during the refurb. The carpet circle outside the Deck 3 dining room was not properly installed and is frayed and worn around the edges already. I would hope someone is watching this kind of thing?

There are a couple new restaurants for a fee,  like "Fish and Ships" and "Izumi". They took away the Solarium cafe which was disappointing. 

Overall, not impressed with the changes but we certainly enjoyed our stay.  It's more about the ports and the staff  for us! we love the concept of being about to stay int he cabin for 42 nights without having to pack and unpack. We never have to concern ourselves where to eat when on the ship. Cruising is one Big adventure! So many new (and old)  places to go and people to see!

 

I love reading your thoughts about the ship. I think there was always going to be good and bad things about the refurb. The 'dry dock' period is not actually that long, so it really is hard to fix everything. I actually wasn't aware of 100 new cabins. I'm actually struggling to see how they fit that in.

 

I like the Izumi restaurant, not so bothered about Fish and Ships. I like the fish and chips from Windjammer!

 

I'm glad that you had a good time overall, and well done for completing 5 cruises in a row. Are you a Crown & Anchor member?

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26 minutes ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

I love reading your thoughts about the ship. I think there was always going to be good and bad things about the refurb. The 'dry dock' period is not actually that long, so it really is hard to fix everything. I actually wasn't aware of 100 new cabins. I'm actually struggling to see how they fit that in.

 

I like the Izumi restaurant, not so bothered about Fish and Ships. I like the fish and chips from Windjammer!

 

I'm glad that you had a good time overall, and well done for completing 5 cruises in a row. Are you a Crown & Anchor member?

The  breathtaking view of the ocean in the exercise area is no longer! Instead of the view and the walk around access for cruisers on that deck there are 44 more cabins! there are Ocean view cabins added there! So more more gazing at the sea for those who want the beauty when using the machines! The Internet cafe on Deck 8 was moved to Deck 5 to share with the relocated Library to add another four extra staterooms. Good news is that the Connoisseurs Cigar Club is Gone from Deck 5! No more  of that inside the ship, inside is totally non smoking , even the Casino! Six extra staterooms in spaces on the other side of 8th Deck.  Deck 7 Library gone and 4 more staterooms there!  The Loyalty Desk on Deck 6 is now 4 more state rooms and the Loyalty Desk is now all alone on Deck 2- certainly not convenient! Since there is little to no traffic on Deck 2, no one socializes with the Loyalty Ambassador -not such a fun position now! Also more cabins have replaced large open areas and previous available rooms and bars as well on various decks too numerous to mention. Deck 4 photo gallery is now the Sports bar! No more printed photos and Photos shop is computer monitors on Deck 3 instead. Deck 3 On Air Club gone for 10 more staterooms! Also Raven Night Club eliminated for 10 more state rooms.

 

Yes, Chuck and I are Crown and Anchor members. We are Diamond Plus so we are able to visit the Diamond Lounge and of course lots of other Loyalty Perks. One Perk we lost was the use of the Concierge Lounge-it was eliminated to add Four extra staterooms! Also eliminated some of the other rooms for small social groups. Royal added a Suite Lounge for use by only the guests in the larger suites and the Pinnacle Members! As you can imagine this was not a welcomed change for the Diamond Plus cruisers who have shown a lot of Loyalty having sailed with Royal a plethora of  cruises! They also eliminated the Cup Cake shop and replaced it with a  Bulk food candy store!

 

 

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7 hours ago, SailingShelley said:

The  breathtaking view of the ocean in the exercise area is no longer! Instead of the view and the walk around access for cruisers on that deck there are 44 more cabins! there are Ocean view cabins added there! So more more gazing at the sea for those who want the beauty when using the machines! The Internet cafe on Deck 8 was moved to Deck 5 to share with the relocated Library to add another four extra staterooms. Good news is that the Connoisseurs Cigar Club is Gone from Deck 5! No more  of that inside the ship, inside is totally non smoking , even the Casino! Six extra staterooms in spaces on the other side of 8th Deck.  Deck 7 Library gone and 4 more staterooms there!  The Loyalty Desk on Deck 6 is now 4 more state rooms and the Loyalty Desk is now all alone on Deck 2- certainly not convenient! Since there is little to no traffic on Deck 2, no one socializes with the Loyalty Ambassador -not such a fun position now! Also more cabins have replaced large open areas and previous available rooms and bars as well on various decks too numerous to mention. Deck 4 photo gallery is now the Sports bar! No more printed photos and Photos shop is computer monitors on Deck 3 instead. Deck 3 On Air Club gone for 10 more staterooms! Also Raven Night Club eliminated for 10 more state rooms.

 

Yes, Chuck and I are Crown and Anchor members. We are Diamond Plus so we are able to visit the Diamond Lounge and of course lots of other Loyalty Perks. One Perk we lost was the use of the Concierge Lounge-it was eliminated to add Four extra staterooms! Also eliminated some of the other rooms for small social groups. Royal added a Suite Lounge for use by only the guests in the larger suites and the Pinnacle Members! As you can imagine this was not a welcomed change for the Diamond Plus cruisers who have shown a lot of Loyalty having sailed with Royal a plethora of  cruises! They also eliminated the Cup Cake shop and replaced it with a  Bulk food candy store!

 

 

 

So it seems like they have tried to install new staterooms into areas of the ship that probably weren't generating a lot of revenue. It's quite sad to hear they have taken things away or made them smaller.

 

If you don't mind, can you explain to me how the Crown & Anchor scheme works? We don't learn about it at all, but I feel ilike it's quite important to know.

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Is it possible for you to post the daily compass once the ship returns to Ft. Lauderdale?  We are sailing the Independence on Dec. 15th for 5 nights.  I am a planner.  ;o(  I would love to be able to think about meal times and entertainment.  Thank you!!

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4 minutes ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

So it seems like they have tried to install new staterooms into areas of the ship that probably weren't generating a lot of revenue. It's quite sad to hear they have taken things away or made them smaller.

 

If you don't mind, can you explain to me how the Crown & Anchor scheme works? We don't learn about it at all, but I feel ilike it's quite important to know.

 

You cruise, you earn a point per night.  As you get more points they give you more benefits.  

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25 minutes ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

So it seems like they have tried to install new staterooms into areas of the ship that probably weren't generating a lot of revenue. It's quite sad to hear they have taken things away or made them smaller.

 

If you don't mind, can you explain to me how the Crown & Anchor scheme works? We don't learn about it at all, but I feel ilike it's quite important to know.

You are so right about the so called "upgrades"! It is all about revenue! Royal is becoming more concerned about how much a guest spends for the present experience rather than who will be revisiting their ships!

The Loyalty Program used to be the best at Sea but as time goes by, the beauty of it all is dulling. Some of the benefits are great when you get to Diamond status which means you have accumulated 80 points and Diamond Plus is 175 points. We joined in the 90's when the Society was established and the perks really were great! Back them your rose up the ladder by number of cruises rather than today's point system based on number of nights. When Royal realized cruisers doing three day cruises were reaching high status and vacationers like myself and Hubby had more days but fewer cruises because we sailed for longer cruises, they finally changed the program! But those who had reached high loyalty status were grandfathered in even though they had a little as 30% of the amount of time on the ships as Loyal members taking long cruises! They used to give awesome welcome back gifts to those with higher status but now, we all get cookies! The ones available daily in the Windjammer! 

The best Perk is when you become a Diamond Member and your Sea Pass Card opens the door to the Diamond Lounge. They recently changed the  benefit for the Diamond Plus. It used to be when you become a Diamond Plus- your key opened the Concierge Lounge but they have done away with that on most of the ships including The Indy. Make way for the Suites Lounge which is opened to anyone who has the high end Suite or is a Pinnacle with 700 or more points. Unless there is a special, points are earned 1 per night unless you have any suite, you can get 2 for each night. There are a lot of members who earned extra points early when Royal was fearing the US economy was taking a dive. Fearing empty cabins, RCCL had specials with triple points as an incentive! In hind sight Royal now realizes that was a mistake so they have cut back on benefits.

When we were just Diamond members, we had a Perk-free bag of laundry on 7 nights or longer cruises-then Roayl cut that out and we had to wait until we reached Diamond Plus status to get it back!

I could share more but I'll wait for more questions instead as I wouldn't want to get boring!

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5 hours ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

 

If you don't mind, can you explain to me how the Crown & Anchor scheme works? We don't learn about it at all, but I feel ilike it's quite important to know.

I meant to post the Crown and Anchor Tiers by points

  1. Gold (3)
  2. Platinum (30)
  3. Emerald (55)
  4. Diamond (80)
  5. Diamond Plus (175) 
  6. Pinnacle Club (700)

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Hello!  Can you please tell me if Independence has a thermal relaxation room in the spa?  Trying to figure out if I need to plan time to spend here.  Thanks in advance!

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15 hours ago, love2gocruzin said:

Is it possible for you to post the daily compass once the ship returns to Ft. Lauderdale?  We are sailing the Independence on Dec. 15th for 5 nights.  I am a planner.  ;o(  I would love to be able to think about meal times and entertainment.  Thank you!!

 

This is a great idea, I hadn't actually thought about doing this!

 

I'll post the compass every cruise on my Facebook page! Make sure to 'like' me. Search for: ChrisWongVlogs

Edited by ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE

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On 11/5/2018 at 4:55 PM, SailingShelley said:

 

There are a couple new restaurants for a fee,  like "Fish and Ships" and "Izumi". They took away the Solarium cafe which was disappointing. 

 

I don't remember Indy ever having a Solarium Cafe.

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12 hours ago, redgrapes2 said:

Hello!  Can you please tell me if Independence has a thermal relaxation room in the spa?  Trying to figure out if I need to plan time to spend here.  Thanks in advance!

 

I will find out for you when I go back onboard in a few weeks.

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2 hours ago, Ocean Boy said:

I don't remember Indy ever having a Solarium Cafe.

 

Honestly I can't remember. When you move around from ship to ship, I sometimes forget what was on what. I guess it doesn't really matter either way.

 

I'm quite intrigued to see what the new sports bar is like.

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17 hours ago, SailingShelley said:

I meant to post the Crown and Anchor Tiers by points

  1. Gold (3)
  2. Platinum (30)
  3. Emerald (55)
  4. Diamond (80)
  5. Diamond Plus (175) 
  6. Pinnacle Club (700)

 

So how may points do you get for 1 cruise? and can you accumulate more points once you're onboard?

 

I know some loyalty programs allow you to buy points.

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2 hours ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

So how may points do you get for 1 cruise? and can you accumulate more points once you're onboard?

 

I know some loyalty programs allow you to buy points.

One point per night on the cruise.

One extra point per night if staying in a Jr. suite or higher

One extra point per night if sailing solo in a double person cabin.

 

You cannot buy points.

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16 hours ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

 

So how may points do you get for 1 cruise? and can you accumulate more points once you're onboard?

 

I know some loyalty programs allow you to buy points.

To add to Solo Boy's explanation-- it follows that if you are sailing solo in a Junior Suite Cabin or above you will accumulate 4 points per night. But Junior Suite cabins do not have access to the Suite Lounge.

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16 hours ago, ROYAL CARIBBEAN DUDE said:

I know some loyalty programs allow you to buy points.

Although you cannot buy Loyalty Points, Suite Guests receive Perks better than the best Loyalty Crown and Anchor Club member  on board  by automatically receiving "Ship within a Ship" benefits. Suite guest do pay a hefty price. Special reserved seating at shows, events and exclusive tours are for the Suites (Diamond Plus and Pinnacles are offered this as well).  Suite guests have exclusive dining for all meals as well as having a Butler and Concierge.  There are reserved poolside chair areas.

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1 hour ago, SailingShelley said:

To add to Solo Boy's explanation-- it follows that if you are sailing solo in a Junior Suite Cabin or above you will accumulate 4 points per night. But Junior Suite cabins do not have access to the Suite Lounge.

Though I understand the logic by how you came up with 4, I am pretty sure from what I have read in the past it is actually 3. One for the night plus one for the suite plus one for being single. You do not add the one for the night and the one for the suite and then double that to 4 by being single.

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