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Picture Imperfect: Live on Harmony


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I have changed my advice on flying

 

Typically, when people ask, “When do we need to fly to the port?” my response has always been, fly in at least one day before sailing. Well, I am changing that advice for my groups from now on. It is no longer safe to say, “The day before we sail.”

 

We had a family of 5 on our trip. Mom and dad have cruised before with our group. Dad flies for a living. He escorts prisoners who are being taken back for warrants. He flies all the time and he flies with a gun. He has been trying to rack up enough air miles to cover the airfare for all his family to go on the cruise. Which means he waited until late in the game to book his travel. 

I don’t know for sure if he did this because no other flights were available or because he had to work on Friday, but he booked late flights out of Kansas City to Orlando. Their original arrival time in Orlando was midnight. 

 

 We started getting texts from his wife while we were all eating pizza in the hotel lobby. “Flight delayed, flight delayed again, and again.” Finally, way late in the evening they got out of KC and made it to Dallas (no they weren’t on Southwest). In Dallas they were told that they were going nowhere. Lots of storms and the airport crews had apparently gone home or at least were not doing baggage. They retreated to a hotel. 

 

Dad was working to get an alternate flight, but nothing was available. There were storms all over the Midwest and everything was booked. They got on standby for a 5 am flight that would get them to Orlando with out much time to spare. It then became apparent to me that there was no way they were getting 5 people off standby and onto a plane. 

 

They missed sail away. Now they were stuck. The first possible day to meet Harmony was on day 4, St. Thomas. Unless they could parachute into Coco Cay. They spent 3 lovely days in Dallas and then flew to St. Thomas on Wednesday. The met the ship late in the afternoon. I saw mom later that evening at dinner. I said how are you doing? She replied. “I’m 5 drinks in.” And the airline lost one of their bags back in Dallas and they never got it before leaving for St. Thomas!

 

From now on a am amending my advice to all my groups. My new mantra: Never fly day of cruise. Get a flight before 10 am if possible. Don’t fly out late in the day and never take the last available flight. Take a non-stop if possible. If you cannot get out early afternoon, then go an extra day before. 

 

With all the weather and other flying issues now, you just have to go earlier than before. Missing over half the cruise to save a few bucks on flights is no savings at all.  

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I felt so bad for them. Barely met them since the cruise was 1/2 over before they arrived 😞 

lesson learned: I just booked flights for an UnCruise in Baja in Jan. Knowing weather delays could be a real thing, we booked a Tuesday flight to the west coast, a Wed flight to MX (insured) for a Sat departure! 

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I love Capt Bob’s new boat! Much better looking set up than the one we were on when we sailed with him. I’m wondering how the ladder is to get out of the water and back on board. Anyone have a ladder picture?

 

Randy, that’s quite the story about your friends missing the first half of their cruise! Hope they were able to get to St Thomas and at least enjoy a couple of days there before joining the cruise. We live in Florida, so we usually cruise out of Florida ports. Lately if we’re sailing out of Ft Lauderdale or Miami we are driving down early the day before the cruise because of all the traffic, construction 🚧, accidents, and weather related slowdown we seem to encounter. Oh, don’t forget the lovebugs covering our windshield on our drive home from Miami last month, necessitating a windshield cleaning stop at every rest area we passed so we could see out of the windshield! What should be a simple 3 hour drive keeps turning into 6+ hours of delays. At least we’re not dealing with airline delays!

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32 minutes ago, ShannonSC2 said:

No World Cup games are being shown.  But if you love cricket they are showing it.  The TV selections are very limited!  

 

Thanks Shannon!  I appreciate the info.  I actually started two separate threads asking about it but got no answers.  Guess I'll be watching on my phone.  That's truly a shame.  They have a dedicated channel for the men's WC that showed the live matches and then replayed them on a loop 24/7 until there were new live games.  They even added a 2nd channel for the 3rd group stage matches that are played simultaneously.

 

Leaving for PC in a couple hours (we like to get there early).  Hope you had a great trip, soccer inequality notwithstanding, and are able to watch today's match.  I'll likely be watching in some combination of the WJ, Park Cafe, and my stateroom, lol.

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1 minute ago, Familygoboston said:

Have a great trip Mike!! Wish it we were going with you! 

 

Thanks!  Sorry I won't be sharing such a great live report as you guys did.  I usually write one when I get back at least.

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Randy and I were just saying that it didn’t take as much time as we thought, so we did more than we thought we would get to. With the voom surf and stream it was quick to move a couple of photos and even short video to Cruise Critic. I used the time waiting for shows to start and sitting on the balcony to post a few notes. It didn’t interfere with our trip or interacting with our loved ones. I’d always consider that before doing a “live” review! 

 

This trip it had to be live or it wouldn’t have happened. We are selling our home of 20 years and downsizing to travel more. I would have no time to do a post cruise review. 

 

We will look for you post cruise review! Bon voyage!  

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On 6/5/2019 at 10:10 AM, Familygoboston said:

Guess where we are? Again! A: Solarium

 

great place to watch the sail in from the fly bridge. Plus you can do a “”toes over the edge” photo opp on the gkads floor if the flybridge to the left side 

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Is this spot in the adults only area? 

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We were on the June 2 sailing on Harmony, and out of 3 rooms in our party, none of us got surveys. Did everyone else get theirs? We were wondering why we never got the email, especially considering we had some important feedback to share.

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On 6/16/2019 at 10:53 AM, Familygoboston said:

We will look for you post cruise review! Bon voyage!  

 

Quick live update coming from coco cay poolside...   We’re 24 hours into the cruise & I’ve already eaten too much.  🙈

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We set sail on Harmony the LAST day of the women's World Cup - the final which is to start at 11am.  Hoping that the USA women make it I will be so disappointed if they are not playing it somewhere.   Guess if not I will be glued to my phone.  Thank you for an awesome review and all your blogs.  I can't wait to print them out and start planning for our trip.,

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On 6/3/2019 at 1:31 PM, OCSC Mike said:

 

I don't do the sun period, my skin has two color options, pale or red, I choose pale.  When we lay out for brief periods outside the Solarium, we find a spot where I can sit in the shade somewhere near my wife but out of the sun, lol.  Quality time together!

 

I guess we'll have to find the other food items on our own.

 

Just saw the post that mentioned snorkeling, good to hear.  My wife is more into snorkeling than I am so we don't do pure snorkeling excursions but I don't want to deprive her so we find ways to fit it in we activities we both enjoy (like Captain Bob on St. Maarten, you stop twice to snorkel, I sat out one of them and hung out with the boat captain's assistant and had a beer).  We're going to a beach club in Costa Maya on this trip that has all you can eat/drink (can you tell how much I like to eat or cruise vacations?) but also includes free use of snorkeling and kayaks.

 

Good info about the slides as well.

 

BTW, if I'm posting too much in this thread, please tell me.  I won't be offended.  I can only repay you with compliments and if you ever head to Alaska, one of the longest trip report I've ever seen on CC, written by yours truly last summer.

 

 

When I saw your post about protecting your fair skin, I just wanted to let you know what I do (and have even talked my "tannable" DH into doing:): We purchased rashguard shirts at Lands End. They have 50 proof protection...AND best of all they are really cute. I buy ones to match our bathing suits. And the best thing about them is that we can stay in the water 90% of the time we are at the beaches and we get no sunburn...or tan! Of course we protect our faces and necks with sunscreen and wear hats, but this way we can still enjoy the water and the sunshine:):)

 

Hope this info helps a lot of people! Happy cruising!

Edited by ptf2009
typo
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Thanks.  We started using rash guards 2 summers ago (got them specifically with Captain Bob’s excursion in mind).  They definitely work, found a good deal on amazon right before we left & bought a couple more.  Laying out baking in the sun still isn’t my thing but they come in handy for any actual outside activities.  Was just wearing one on the Harmony water slides about an hour ago.  🙂  Off to lunch...

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Good to hear about the rashguards, Mike.  After my childhood best friend received a stage 4 melanoma diagnosis (she's a survivor thanks to MD Anderson), it shook me to the core, so I am encouraging everyone to wear rashguards . I'm  pleased that there are so many cute and stylish ones out there!  

So happy to hear you are having such a fun time on Harmony! We are on her in 12+ weeks for the second time:)

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