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"Routine" ​ 😁 ​day in lockdown... how was yours?


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1 hour ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Last week Corrie was wondering if Gpa would take her on the cruise.  Today see thought, maybe if I give him a cookie and a smile……. But the cookie was so good she started eating it.

 

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You have such beautiful grand babies.   They are all so cute and have the sweetest smiles.     Love the babies football outfit.    🤩

Your cruise is fast approaching.    She best share the next cookie!

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2 minutes ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Thanks.  My TA 😊  just got off the phone with C&A.  We were seeing if they could get us on the same flour with friends .  While on the phone they credited back our 4 device package.  Just what we needed, more OBC 😂.  We are on the 8th deck and they are on the 11th.  They are just one room over and 3 floors up.

WooHoo!    Soon they are going to be paying you get onboard

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3 minutes ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Thanks.  My TA 😊  just got off the phone with C&A.  We were seeing if they could get us on the same flour with friends .  While on the phone they credited back our 4 device package.  Just what we needed, more OBC 😂.  We are on the 8th deck and they are on the 11th.  They are just one room over and 3 floors up.

 

They won't refund Voom to your credit card anymore?  We were able to get a refund when we cancelled our Voom package after we got our assigned cabin for a suite GTY.  We got a 2 BR GS on Anthem which also included Voom.

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The difference in the RoyalUp cost and OBC is $21.  Crazy.  Not only did we get the great news on our cruise, the guy that is replacing our deck text to let us now that he is on his way over to finalize the plans. I appreciate the GS deck size but we are wanting one a bit bigger for the house.  😂 

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5 minutes ago, reallyitsmema said:

 

They won't refund Voom to your credit card anymore?  We were able to get a refund when we cancelled our Voom package after we got our assigned cabin for a suite GTY.  We got a 2 BR GS on Anthem which also included Voom.

When we first got the plan we used OBC to pay so that is why it goes back to OBC.

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2 hours ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Nice pics.  I really like the stone in the village.

Cotswolds stone is a kind of honey coloured limestone found in that part of the country.  Most of the cottages and houses in the villages and towns in that area are built using this type of stone so it has a very distinctive look in the Cotswolds 

 

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Got interrupted.  A few thoughts on Allure entertainment.  In short, it was great. 

 

Mama Mia was very good.  The lead who played Donna has an outstanding voice.  We met the actor who plays Sam on the walking track and talked with him for a few minutes.  He genuinely seemed interested in talking.  Six ship entertainers, including all 3 of the Mama Mia "Dad" actors, then sat next to us at Giovanni's.  A woman asked if she could have her picture taken with the 3 dads and they happily went out to Central Park with her for some pictures.  I asked the Schooner piano player (James Wallace) if that happens to them often.  His reply, "For those 3 yes, for the rest of us, no".  

 

We watched a little of James in the Schooner Bar.  He is incredibly gifted as a pianist.  I'm guessing that he is classically trained, which is great for easy listening, but not so good if you like things a little more upbeat.  The Schooner Bar was always crowded when he played.

 

I'm a big Aquatheater fan and the show was again great.  There were a few minor misses but there was a fair amount of wind (I was worried the show might be cancelled at the last minute due to wind) and the boat was rocking a bit, so I give them a pass.  It still amazes me that Royal can put on these shows on a moving ship.

 

I talked earlier about the first headliner Tony Tillman.  He was very good but just not our cup of tea.  I'm sure that he is liked by a lot of passengers.  The second headliner was a ventriloquist named Kevin Johnson.  We didn't have high hopes but were very much surprised.  He was very funny and a very talented ventriloquist.  One of his characters kept hitting on a guy in the audience named Joe.  His finally included doing a scene from an old Godzilla movie where English was dubbed over the original Japanese audio and the moving lips didn't match the words.  It was incredible to watch.

 

Both comedians were funny, especially the first one named Phil Palisoul.  High energy, quick jokes.  The second comedian, JR McCollom was also good but he spent the first 10 or so minutes making fun of a family sitting in the front row.  It was about 5 minutes longer than it should have been and just got a little awkward before he moved on to his regular material.

 

Misc. music around the ship was also very good.  We especially enjoyed listening to the High C's horn and brass quintet in Central Park.  I can now say that I've heard a brass quintet play play Stairway to Heaven, and I really enjoyed it.  There was also good guitar music in Central Park...perfect while enjoying a glass of wine outside of Vintages.

 

We watched a Karaoke session in Dazzles.  It was typical in that there were some complete flops and some unbelievable surprises.  Karaoke is a great way to remind yourself that you can't judge a book by its cover.  One woman got on stage and without going into details that will expose my ignorance, did not at all look the part of a singer.  She was also obviously nervous.  Then she belted out the first notes of At Last by Etta James.  Wow.  She absolutely killed it.  Standing ovation.

 

No Quest and no big events in the Royal Promenade.  There may have been a 70s event in Studio B, since we saw video of it on TV.  If it was video from last week, there were only about 50 people there and they were spread out on the ice floor area. 

 

It was nice having less than 50% capacity on the ship but it did mean that the audiences were largely "dead".  I felt bad for the entertainers who tried hard to get the audience going but mostly were just met with blank faces.  Micheline requested Rocketman from Elton John when were watching James Wallace in the Schooner Bar.  He said something like, "Who has heard of Elton John?".  There were about 4 of us that clapped.  He then said, "I hear he's a pretty good piano player from England.  If he comes to the States, he might be a success". Nothing.  No laughter.  Not even a snicker.  Just dead faces staring back it him.  Tough audience.

 

There were fewer shows available to watch, but that wasn't really a problem because there were fewer people to fill the shows.  It did mean a little less flexibility in when you could schedule a particular show, especially since some were designated as for "everyone" which I think meant wearing a mask.  We didn't attend any of those everyone shows so I can't confirm.  Main theater shows were fully vaccinated and mask free on the deck 4 lower level, and open to unvaxxed families with masks on the deck 5 upper level.  The first 2 rows of the theater were blocked, I believe to give enough separation between the audience and the performers.  No masks needed in the Aquatheater (outdoors), Comedy Club (if it was a vaxxed only show) or Central Park (outdoors).  Masks were needed for live music in the Royal Promenade.  Even with Covid restrictions, Royal delivered on entertainment, as they almost always do.

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42 minutes ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Just what we needed, more OBC 😂

 

I can confirm that you can move OBC from your room account to a slot machine for a 5% fee, and then immediately cash out of the slot machine and get your money from the cashier.  No need for even one slot pull.  I did this for our remaining OBC on the last night.

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Final thoughts.  First a "first world problem" disclaimer.  Cruising has always been a great way for us to escape from reality and either do a lot or do nothing.  Either way was different from day to day life and very enjoyable.  As you know, I retired last year and we moved to our slice of paradise in NE Florida.  We have a great beach and belong to a club with a beautiful ocean front clubhouse, lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach, a nice pool, 3 restaurants ranging from pool casual to formal, and outstanding wait service.  We are privileged to enjoy that lifestyle almost any day that we want.  Cruising therefore is no longer an alternative to the drudgery of work, it's now an alternative to what already feels like daily paradise.

 

With that as background, we found ourselves bored on sea days.  There wasn't a lot to do that interested us.  We spent some time in the Solarium and some time reading, both on our balcony and in the SL.  But we can do that any day at home, complete with ocean view and frozen drinks.

 

Ports were just OK because we've largely been there, done that.  It was good to see Magens Bay, good to get some bourbon in Philipsburg, and fun to spend some time on CocoCay.  I think we will need some new and different ports to keep us interested in the future.  I don't think we'll be like many of you who don't need to go into a port town because you enjoy the ship while everyone else is ashore.  

 

Our Harmony cruise next April will be our first time in an Oasis class GS, and will (hopefully) stop at Antigua (only been there once).  That combined with a hopefully more complete suite experience and more onboard activities should hold our interest.  We also have Alaska and a TP to Hawaii scheduled which should be great.  I wouldn't mind another southern cruise since we've only done that once, but the eastern and western cruises are getting a little repetitive.

 

We were always once, maybe twice a year cruisers before retirement.  I thought we might do several cruises a year now that we live in Florida, or maybe do a few B2B2Bs.  I think we'll stay with only cruising once or twice a year with a good itinerary and do a lot more land travel to countries that we've not yet thoroughly visited.  Time will tell.

 

I hope I didn't sound too negative or nit picky.  It really was a good cruise overall.  Most of you are very familiar with and like the Royal product so I didn't play up the good stuff much.  Those of you cruising soon should see a lot of what you have always like about Royal.  I tried to focus on what seemed different to me post Covid which in a few big ways, but mostly a lot of little ways, felt negative.  I think Royal needs a little more time to get newer crew members fully trained and to get everyone back into a routine.  I don't know when we will get back to this "normal" that everyone is talking about, but it will be nice when it happens.  Happy cruising!

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26 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

Final thoughts.  First a "first world problem" disclaimer.  Cruising has always been a great way for us to escape from reality and either do a lot or do nothing.  ..... Happy cruising!

Thanks for your report.

I  was wondering if Gavin or Claudia was any of the concierges DL or SL? We loved them both.

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I forgot to talk about the Royal App.  I found it both helpful and frustrating.  Almost everything that you need to know was in the app somewhere.  I'm very computer literate and it still took me a while to figure out how to navigate through the app to find what I wanted.  I figure it out after a few days.  It WAS helpful though to see what activities were planned a few days in advance (vs waiting for the cruise compass to be delivered the night before) and to see restaurant menus in advance.  All restaurants that we visited had QR codes on the table but gave us regular menus without asking.  We also received regular cruise compasses every night and had the normal amount of additional paper on the first day.

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54 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

Final thoughts.  First a "first world problem" disclaimer.  Cruising has always been a great way for us to escape from reality and either do a lot or do nothing.  Either way was different from day to day life and very enjoyable.  As you know, I retired last year and we moved to our slice of paradise in NE Florida.  We have a great beach and belong to a club with a beautiful ocean front clubhouse, lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach, a nice pool, 3 restaurants ranging from pool casual to formal, and outstanding wait service.  We are privileged to enjoy that lifestyle almost any day that we want.  Cruising therefore is no longer an alternative to the drudgery of work, it's now an alternative to what already feels like daily paradise.

 

With that as background, we found ourselves bored on sea days.  There wasn't a lot to do that interested us.  We spent some time in the Solarium and some time reading, both on our balcony and in the SL.  But we can do that any day at home, complete with ocean view and frozen drinks.

 

Ports were just OK because we've largely been there, done that.  It was good to see Magens Bay, good to get some bourbon in Philipsburg, and fun to spend some time on CocoCay.  I think we will need some new and different ports to keep us interested in the future.  I don't think we'll be like many of you who don't need to go into a port town because you enjoy the ship while everyone else is ashore.  

 

Our Harmony cruise next April will be our first time in an Oasis class GS, and will (hopefully) stop at Antigua (only been there once).  That combined with a hopefully more complete suite experience and more onboard activities should hold our interest.  We also have Alaska and a TP to Hawaii scheduled which should be great.  I wouldn't mind another southern cruise since we've only done that once, but the eastern and western cruises are getting a little repetitive.

 

We were always once, maybe twice a year cruisers before retirement.  I thought we might do several cruises a year now that we live in Florida, or maybe do a few B2B2Bs.  I think we'll stay with only cruising once or twice a year with a good itinerary and do a lot more land travel to countries that we've not yet thoroughly visited.  Time will tell.

 

I hope I didn't sound too negative or nit picky.  It really was a good cruise overall.  Most of you are very familiar with and like the Royal product so I didn't play up the good stuff much.  Those of you cruising soon should see a lot of what you have always like about Royal.  I tried to focus on what seemed different to me post Covid which in a few big ways, but mostly a lot of little ways, felt negative.  I think Royal needs a little more time to get newer crew members fully trained and to get everyone back into a routine.  I don't know when we will get back to this "normal" that everyone is talking about, but it will be nice when it happens.  Happy cruising!

I really appreciated your review and honesty of what you liked and disliked.     

I read on one of the Oasis live review threads some similar comments about the crew and having difficulty understanding with masks on and sometimes there was just too many crew asking if you needed anything instead of letting you just relax and enjoy.

It is a shame you didn't have the full suite experience this trip and hopefully your next sailing will be a better one. 

I absolutely love the southern sailings to ABC or take a look at the grandeur or voyager sailings that go to Tortola, DR, etc.  

We really enjoyed our sailing last year to Colombia, Honduras, Costa Maya, Panama, and a couple others.    Maybe these islands will give you the change you need for the caribbean. 

But there is always Europe.   That is where we really look forward to exploring once we don't have to masks to fly there.

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1 hour ago, bobmacliberty said:

 

I can confirm that you can move OBC from your room account to a slot machine for a 5% fee, and then immediately cash out of the slot machine and get your money from the cashier.  No need for even one slot pull.  I did this for our remaining OBC on the last night.

Thanks for the heads up.  I have heard others talking about this.  Nice to hear a recent cruiser who was able to take advantage of it. 

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Our cat Elmer is very laid back and has never gotten upset with the dogs or other cats - he just shrugs it off.  Samantha is no exception.  He was eating and she thought his tail was the most fun ever.  He just kept eating and raising his tail out of her reach.  LOL

 

1313254819_Samantha5.thumb.jpg.d4a4a3be4e9b485e370fcbc5f9db5e41.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Coralc said:

Check out this thread from today. It has Step by Step instructions: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2803696-obc-and-casino/

:classic_biggrin:

Thanks.  With a $300 limit, I may have to play a few times!  We still have $975. OBC.  Maybe I will need to eat more Maine lobster. 

Edited by Ozark_Kid
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25 minutes ago, Keksie said:

Our cat Elmer is very laid back and has never gotten upset with the dogs or other cats - he just shrugs it off.  Samantha is no exception.  He was eating and she thought his tail was the most fun ever.  He just kept eating and raising his tail out of her reach.  LOL

 

1313254819_Samantha5.thumb.jpg.d4a4a3be4e9b485e370fcbc5f9db5e41.jpg

Love it, great picture 

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2 minutes ago, Ozark_Kid said:

Thanks.  With a $300 limit, I may have to play a few times!  We still have $975. OBC.  Maybe I will need to eat more Maine lobster. 

I was surprised to see the poster mention a $300 limit, that must be a new rule.    Also surprised to hear that some people are being charged 5% fee and other people are not being charged, guess it depends on the ship.

That will be lots of starbucks and lots of lobster 😂

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1 hour ago, bobmacliberty said:

Final thoughts.  First a "first world problem" disclaimer. 

 

Agree, while we love cruising, doing the same trip over and over is not an interest for us.  Yes we do repeat some things but try to fit in new ports and/or ships wherever we can as well as land trips.  Living at the beach definitely changes your perspective.

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