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LauraS

50 Years of Cruising on Royal -- Share Your Memories!

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It was 1997, and as my sister and I descended the stairs of the magnificent Grandeur dining room, we felt like movie stars in our long glamorous gowns.  And so it began...………. 108565902_PKGrandeur(2).thumb.jpg.36aeb563c7934b26d9f189d87a145f16.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Around the same time

10 hours ago, SHIP TRAVELER said:

Our first cruise on RCCL was on the Rhapsody out of Galveston in November of 2002.

One of our most memorable cruises on RCCL was a Trans Atlantic cruise on the Adventure from San Juan to Malaga Spain in May of 2011.   WOW what a cruise for cruise critic members.  The M and M had champagne and the best prizes I have seen at any EVER and I have attended a bunch of them.  You actually wanted to win.

The Cruise director and Manager of food service had a fancy luncheon for cruise critic members.  They arranged it and sent printed invitations to cabins.  There was a great preset menu with three course and all the wine you wanted.  Think quality, think Chops.  The welcome back party was in the ice rink with a line up of food stretching for at least 12 feet.  Not cardboard apps.  Think suite lounge, hot and cold.  Think Country Club gala heavy Appetizers.  You could have anything to drink. not just champagne and rum punch. This may have been top tier, but we were not Diamond yet.  We went to two parties like this one while on board.  There was an officers night in Casino and the food services manager dealt black jack to us.  The next day he sent chocolate covered strawberries to the cabin, "thanks for playing with me last night".  Just WOW.  surprises at every turn.

Even writing this, I can't believe it happened but it was true, I was there.

I wish I could remember the name of the cruise director, a blond that had a different dress every time you saw her, which was everywhere.  She was the hardiest working CD ever.  I think she may have been stopping by from HQ,  she certainly had an unlimited budget.  Some of you may know her name.  I will never forget that cruise. Thank you for letting me remember it.

 

Around the same time, I took Grandeur back from Palma to Colon.  The ship's officers and Hotel Director, did absolutely nothing for the passengers, had no events for two weeks, nothing in the daily itinerary.  They always claimed they had no budget for this, as it was "just a repo cruise".  This really hurt their brand with me, something that has never, been fully recovered.

Edited by gkbiiii

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I have many great Royal Caribbean memories.  My first RCCL cruise was on Sovereign of the Seas in 1991.  I was 11, but I was hooked.  We had previously done Premier and Carnival.  Nothing prepared us for how elegant Sovereign was.  I remember all the polished brass, the outstanding food and wonderful service.  I can still hear Captain Eriksen's voice over the PA for his announcements in his very distinct Norwegian accent.

 

Our second RCCL cruise was the inaugural Alaska season on Legend of the Seas.  It is still one of my favorite ships in the fleet.  I was 15 at the time and there were maybe 15 other kids my age.  We had such an awesome time.  It was sad to see her leave the fleet.  She was such a beautiful ship!

 

One of the best memories was getting to dine with Captain Espen on Freedom of the Seas in 2016.  It was my first opportunity to dine at the Captain's Table and one I will never forget.  I'm a pilot and he's also a pilot.  We had an excellent dinner conversation sharing our love of flying.  The next day, I was invited for a personal tour of the bridge by Captain Espen himself.  It was a wonderful cruise and I'd love to sail with him again.

 

We've done Carnival, Celebrity and NCL, but Royal will always be my favorite.

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We started with RCCL in 1973 when they had been in business for 4 years.  We heard about cruising from a family friend, and thought it a little odd sounding.  Then, at the drive-in movie one night (remember those, anyone?), we saw a commercial with pictures of the midnight buffet, and decided to give it a try.

 

Song of Norway first, fell in love with cruising, then a 2 week cruise 6 months later.  We were hooked for life!

 

This week we start our 50th Anniversary cruise odyssey, and now I know it's RCCL's 50th Anniversary, too!

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My wife on stage with Mary Wilson, singing "Stop in the Name of Love".   

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On 2/21/2019 at 9:42 AM, LauraS said:

This is a personal memory, too, but more so this is a cruisecritic memory.

 

It was 2006.  October.  Freedom of the Seas. 

 

One of the largest Cruise Critic Meet & Mingles ever was held on board -- over 350 of you joined us on that sailing!  Not only did it take our breath away -- but the folks at Royal Caribbean were floored! 

 

Were you there?  If any of you have any pictures to share, that would be awesome....

 

Laura

 

 

 

 

Absolutely I was there. Hello Laura just seeing this thread now.  Indeed a very memorable Meet & Mingle and cruise on the very new Freedom of the Seas .  Thanks to Cruise Critic over the years for being the means to meeting so many wonderful cruising friends that helped to make my RCI cruises memorable in 2006 on this sailing and it continues today. 

 

First photo  the then Cruise Director Ken Rush on Freedom of the Seas 

2nd photo our Meet & Mingle with Pink Boa Cruiser friends

3rd photo Laura and some of the host for Cruise Critic at the time who were all on this Crown & Anchor sailing in 2006 

100_1626.jpg

100_1631.jpg

Jans-Hosts.jpg

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Also on song of America we had husband and wife as CD. 

They were great singers and he was hilarious. 

Wish I remembered their names

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On 3/11/2019 at 8:28 AM, emmy said:

 

 

Absolutely I was there. Hello Laura just seeing this thread now.  Indeed a very memorable Meet & Mingle and cruise on the very new Freedom of the Seas .  Thanks to Cruise Critic over the years for being the means to meeting so many wonderful cruising friends that helped to make my RCI cruises memorable in 2006 on this sailing and it continues today. 

 

First photo  the then Cruise Director Ken Rush on Freedom of the Seas 

2nd photo our Meet & Mingle with Pink Boa Cruiser friends

3rd photo Laura and some of the host for Cruise Critic at the time who were all on this Crown & Anchor sailing in 2006 

100_1626.jpg

100_1631.jpg

Jans-Hosts.jpg

 

I remember you being there, Emmy....it was a great time.  Thanks for sharing the pictures...they bring back great memories!

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June 2004. Explorer of the Seas. First cruise. The start of years of cruising adventures. Never sailed on a cruise ship until a friend said try it, you will have a great time. Booked the last balcony stateroom on a Wednesday and sailed on Sunday to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. We had no clue what we were doing! Explorer was the only ship I could find that had any staterooms available so no decisions to make there.

Drove to Miami from the SW Florida coast and drove over the access bridge to the port.

There she was and I said OMG. I have never seen anything like this; it is incredible. Never have forgotten that first view of such a magnificent ship. It was love at first site!

Great memories of that first cruise remain! Ports in the western Caribbean were all new adventures. Some good; some not so good. Typical stops in Belize, Costa Maya (pre Dean), Cozumel etc.

Chops had 2 waiters per table with backup servers. Food and service incredible.

Nighttime buffet with whole lobsters as decorations and to eat.  I remember one pax leaving with a pile of whole lobsters on each of two plates. No wonder they had to cut that great event.

Portofino's had the most delicious and well presented long skewer of seafood-service again exceptional. I do mention food a lot, being a certified foodie : )

That Explorer sailing was hard to leave. I had the cruise bug for sure and sailed twice that same year.

Forty five cruises later I think back to Explorer and think what a wonderful world opened for DH and I.

Great memories for sure.

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19 hours ago, Germancruiser said:

Ken Rush as CD was great- is he still with RCI?

 

 

Ken Rush is now Director of Entertainment and Guest Activities.  The CD's report to him. He works out of head office in Miami.   He is often seen on the new ships as they begin their sailings. I have seen him on both Harmony and Symphony transatlantics as well as the President Cruise this past September. Most recently friends had a photo taken with him on the March 1 sailing of Navigator post drydock. 

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On 2/25/2019 at 5:54 PM, Paulette3028 said:

We started cruising in 2004 and now have completed 27 cruises all on Royal.  We never set out to just cruise Royal it just happened that way, because we had a good time on each cruise we took.  

 

Over the years we have had some interesting experiences that made those particular cruises special or just added to the fun/enjoyment..

 

When we sailed on Jewel, Elvis Pinto was the Activity Manager.  Now he is a CD for Royal.  One night he said when he was hosting an event "If anything is wrong on the ship, let me know and I will get it fixed".  The next day as we were leaving for a shore excursion we noticed the sign the said "Have a Heathly Day" right next to washy washy gizmo.  Well, they meant to spell out "Have a Healthy Day".  So on our return to the ship later that after noon we took a picture of the sign and set about finding Elvis.  Then I said....I want to play a game with you...it is called what is wrong with the sign.  Elvis studied the picture and burst out laughing....'Gee, I wonder how long that sign has been like that'.  He promised to fix it and by the next day....it was correct.  It became our 'secret word for the cruise'. 

 

What has ALWAYS made sailing with Royal special is the PEOPLE who work onboard the ships.

Elvis! The man with the most difficult trivia! I still have a keychain with his autograph...a trivia prize.

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1 hour ago, emmy said:

 

 

Ken Rush is now Director of Entertainment and Guest Activities.  The CD's report to him. He works out of head office in Miami.   He is often seen on the new ships as they begin their sailings. I have seen him on both Harmony and Symphony transatlantics as well as the President Cruise this past September. Most recently friends had a photo taken with him on the March 1 sailing of Navigator post drydock. 

 

Don't recall sailing with Ken as a CD, but I've run into him a few times.  Here he is with Laura and Helen on Harmony. 

 

 

20181002_200247.jpg

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Thanks for the information! So he moved up- well done Mr. Rush! I just checked- he was CD when I cruised one of the Visison Class ships back in 1998!

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It was certainly not my first cruise , Id been on about 10 on various lines, including a few RCCL but I will never forget walking on Allure in 2010. The sight of the sheer size and the beauty of the champagne bar simply took my breath away. We walked no further until we had ordered a nice bottle and marveled at how blessed we were. And every cruise we  continue to take, we realize just how lucky we are!

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And on a side note, I am pretty excited to be sailing on the 50th birthday cruise and experiencing Symphony with the same amazement>😍

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14 hours ago, tinkr2 said:

And on a side note, I am pretty excited to be sailing on the 50th birthday cruise and experiencing Symphony with the same amazement>😍

 

I think your signature has the wrong date.  Isn't it on the 2nd of November

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Lol you are correct, I would have  literally "let that ship sail". 

7 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

I think your signature has the wrong date.  Isn't it on the 2nd of November

 

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And I was very proud of myself for updating it after 4 years of old sail dates....😊

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@lovelife- the more i look at the wonderful picture from you and your sister the more I am sure we cruised together on one of the Vison Class ships- Grandeur was my first ship also! The woman on the right in the picture looks like a nice lady i met and talked to often- we were tablemates actually- if memory serves me corect!

Greetings

Michael - Germany!

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@lovelife- I thing it was on board the Enchantment- your sister was traveling with their daughter- yes I thing that was it!

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19 hours ago, Germancruiser said:

@lovelife- I thing it was on board the Enchantment- your sister was traveling with their daughter- yes I thing that was it!

The one on the right is my sister. She was on the Enchantment once in 2010 with me and other family but her daughter has never cruised. Her late husband was from the Netherlands. Must be a look-alike!

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