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Just returned from the 2nd Odyssey sailing - Random thoughts and comments about the voyage


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Posted (edited)

(EDIT: I should note that we are new cruisers, having only been on 3 so far.  That's our perspective.  We may not notice things that veterans would look for.)

 

We embarked on "Odyssey of the Seas" for the 8/8 sailing, and just returned this morning.  We visited Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Coco Cay.  (The three "C"s.  Odyssey of the "C"s.  Hah.)

 

  • The Captain was "Per", and the Cruise Director was "Mike".  Both were absolutely excellent.
  • We had 1700 people onboard, with a ship capacity around 4500.
  • Masks were required INDOORS except during events marked as (*V) vaccinated only (or seated in a vax only section)
  • A brand new ship is a lovely thing!  Everything is just all brand new and sparkling.  The exterior of the ship is a light sky blue with embossed (!) lettering.  Just all around beautiful.
  • An "empty" ship is a mostly wonderful thing.... but not always.  There were a number of events that essentially flopped due to very low participation.  The headline shows were slightly less exciting due to half-empty theaters.  (A good audience is catalyst for an amazing show).  One night we decided to watch the live band, and we ended up being the only party in the entire lower level of the Music Hall.  It was awkward... but the band still bravely put in everything they had.
  • On the other hand, the common decks were AMAZING with lower capacity.
    • Getting drinks - easy, carefree, and virtually instant
    • Empty pools except for a few hours here and there during peak demand, which I only noticed on 1 day.
    • The Solarium was truly a sanctuary.  Typically empty, cool, comfortable and mostly quiet.
    • The Esplanade was never crowded, and often virtually clear of traffic.
    • FlowRider line was 12 people long at the very most.
    • RipCord was easily scheduled... and NorthStar even more so.
    • Bumper Cars were not a problem either.  They ran them a number of times and each "run" was 10 cars in action.  The lines I saw would be depleted in about 5 runs, so roughly 50 people in line or so.
  • There are some bugs here and there onboard.  Here are some random ones I came across.
    • All elevators have 2 interior screens that show the deck number.  Some elevators have 1 screen that is "off" by 1 deck number.  So the screen on the left might say "12", but the right screen says "11".  We thought it was funny.  The elevator voices the deck numbers, so it is a non issue.
    • The overhead vent in our cabin shower would almost broadcast the speech of the behind-the-scenes crew in other areas of the boat!  I'm not kidding.  If I could understand rapid Spanish, I could have heard a lot of crew conversations simply by standing in my shower.  NOTE that this only seemed to happen at specific times of the day for about an hour.  I only really noticed it in the early morning.  It was a curiosity more than an issue.
    • The "RED: Dance Club Experience" on the final evening was a mess... but once again, merely a curiosity and not anything to complain about.  Nobody really cared too much, but there were no Cruise Director Staff or any crew at all at the door to let people in.  We all stood in the hallway while the music and lights blared within the "270" venue until Security arrived to investigate what was going on.
    • A couple of times, the elevators seemingly went into "priority" mode and kicked us out!  It was kind of hilarious.  The elevator stopped at a deck and, I seriously believe, said "GET OUT!"  (It previously made an announcement that it switched into this mode and would kick us out at the next available deck)
  • Zone Zero was the most difficult reservation to get.  I was blown away by the tech, and it ABSOLUTELY requires 2 runs to understand what you are doing.  Even though you are overwhelmed with getting suited up, they don't actually explain what you will be doing once you go through the portal.  To get the most out of the experience, you might want to read up on it or something.  Because even with 2 VERY experienced video and VR gaming people in our party, we felt mostly lost during our run.  We were half way through before I noticed that the narrator who was talking to us was the parrot.  BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THE NAME OF THE AVATAR YOU CHOOSE!  The parrot refers to players by the name of their avatar.  If you miss who you are, you will be lost immediately.
    • It is still immensely cool though.  Not to be missed!
  • The crew was insanely awesome.... always eager to impress with any service or desired request.
  • Coco Cay was fantastic with a max of 1700 guests on the island.  So much space and room to spread out and relax.  "Getting a chair" was no issue.  I heard multiple people say that they wished the cruise had just skipped Cozumel and Costa Maya and spent more time at Coco Cay.
    • I didn't get off the ship in Cozumel (family did), but I did enjoy Costa Maya.  Basically we just went to the pool in "town" (which was GREAT) and the Aviary (which was very good).  TIP: even if the Aviary is "sold out" through RCCL, you can still just show up and pay $12.
  • We made a point to find and visit with Chris Wong in the Casino.  He is a very nice guy!
  • We saw the Oasis of the Seas as we were docking in Coco Cay.  They appeared to be leaving.
  • The Celebrity Edge (with Captain Kate, I guess) appeared to be out and about as well.
  • The Carnival Breeze showed up at Costa Maya on the same day.

 

Ask me anything about our experience on Odyssey, and I will try to answer if I can!

 

Edited by QuantumLeapUltra
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Posted (edited)

Thanks much for sharing!  We're on Odyssey in mid-Nov for what was originally scheduled as the inaugural U.S. sailing after its TA.  Needless to say all those fantastic plans went out the window, but happy to cruise on a new ship.

Edited by long4acruise
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23 minutes ago, QuantumLeapUltra said:

(EDIT: I should note that we are new cruisers, having only been on 3 so far.  That's our perspective.  We may not notice things that veterans would look for.)

 

We embarked on "Odyssey of the Seas" for the 8/8 sailing, and just returned this morning.  We visited Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Coco Cay.  (The three "C"s.  Odyssey of the "C"s.  Hah.)

 

  • The Captain was "Per", and the Cruise Director was "Mike".  Both were absolutely excellent.

 

 

Was it Mike Szwajkowski?  This guy:  (If so, he is THE BEST)May be an image of 1 person

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33 minutes ago, QuantumLeapUltra said:

Ask me anything about our experience on Odyssey, and I will try to answer if I can!

 

Thank you for your thoughts.  What were the dining venues like?

 

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40 minutes ago, Merion_Mom said:

 

Was it Mike Szwajkowski?

 

YES, I believe that was him!  I thought it was strange that they exclusively referred to him, and announced him as...... "Mike".  (Even in the Cruise Compass)  I only heard his last name 1 time, and I do believe that it sounded just like that.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, bmblob said:

Thank you for your thoughts.  What were the dining venues like?

 

 

We are new cruisers, so possibly easily impressed.  We didn't do anything fancy, mostly eating in the main dining room for dinner.  We were all extremely impressed with the food and staff in the main dining room!  We openly discussed and wondered why people choose Specialty Dining when the main dining room was so amazing.  There were stand-out selections every single night!

 

We ate at Izumi for a sushi lunch one time, ordering a la carte rolls.  I thought it was excellent, but we were pressed for time and had to rush.

 

It's going to sound crazy, but I only ate in the Windjammer 1 time for breakfast.  While I was impressed with the facility and variety of food, I wasn't thrilled with my particular breakfast, and I wasn't hungry enough to go up and pick something else.  My kids (17, 20) raved about the Windjammer though.  They reported eating a wide variety of food and really enjoying it.

 

My favorite breakfast venue by far was the 270 Cafe because of the simplicity and seeming quality of the food.  The thin breakfast burritos were my addiction.  Also, sitting in the wonderful 270 venue and watching the ocean through the incredible, enormous wall of windows was amazing.

 

It was only on Day 4 that we realized the Solarium Bistro, almost literally above our stateroom at the front of the ship, served the exact same breakfast as the Windjammer (at the other end of the ship).  The calm, relaxing atmosphere of the Bistro is a wonderful place to eat the same breakfast instead of at the busy, hectic Windjammer.

 

My favorite lunch spot was El Loco Fresh on the pool deck.  It was so convenient and delicious.  Nachos, tacos, and burritos at your fingertips.  It didn't feel "cheap" to me at all.  The food seemed equal to our favorite, local Mexican restaurants at home.

 

Late night pizza at Sorrento's was quick, friendly, tasty, and comforting.

 

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14 minutes ago, ticketsunlimited said:

Great insight, thanks so much!!  Did they have a cover band for the trip?  

 

Yep, the "Sea Surfers".  They said they are from Argentina, and they sounded great.  The keyboard player is amazing.  Another guest asked for Amy Winehouse, and they immediately played 3 of her songs without even giving it a thought.  So clearly they have a huge catalog at their fingertips.

 

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6 hours ago, QuantumLeapUltra said:

(EDIT: I should note that we are new cruisers, having only been on 3 so far.  That's our perspective.  We may not notice things that veterans would look for.)

 

We embarked on "Odyssey of the Seas" for the 8/8 sailing, and just returned this morning.  We visited Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Coco Cay.  (The three "C"s.  Odyssey of the "C"s.  Hah.)

 

  • The Captain was "Per", and the Cruise Director was "Mike".  Both were absolutely excellent.
  • We had 1700 people onboard, with a ship capacity around 4500.
  • Masks were required INDOORS except during events marked as (*V) vaccinated only (or seated in a vax only section)
  • A brand new ship is a lovely thing!  Everything is just all brand new and sparkling.  The exterior of the ship is a light sky blue with embossed (!) lettering.  Just all around beautiful.
  • An "empty" ship is a mostly wonderful thing.... but not always.  There were a number of events that essentially flopped due to very low participation.  The headline shows were slightly less exciting due to half-empty theaters.  (A good audience is catalyst for an amazing show).  One night we decided to watch the live band, and we ended up being the only party in the entire lower level of the Music Hall.  It was awkward... but the band still bravely put in everything they had.
  • On the other hand, the common decks were AMAZING with lower capacity.
    • Getting drinks - easy, carefree, and virtually instant
    • Empty pools except for a few hours here and there during peak demand, which I only noticed on 1 day.
    • The Solarium was truly a sanctuary.  Typically empty, cool, comfortable and mostly quiet.
    • The Esplanade was never crowded, and often virtually clear of traffic.
    • FlowRider line was 12 people long at the very most.
    • RipCord was easily scheduled... and NorthStar even more so.
    • Bumper Cars were not a problem either.  They ran them a number of times and each "run" was 10 cars in action.  The lines I saw would be depleted in about 5 runs, so roughly 50 people in line or so.
  • There are some bugs here and there onboard.  Here are some random ones I came across.
    • All elevators have 2 interior screens that show the deck number.  Some elevators have 1 screen that is "off" by 1 deck number.  So the screen on the left might say "12", but the right screen says "11".  We thought it was funny.  The elevator voices the deck numbers, so it is a non issue.
    • The overhead vent in our cabin shower would almost broadcast the speech of the behind-the-scenes crew in other areas of the boat!  I'm not kidding.  If I could understand rapid Spanish, I could have heard a lot of crew conversations simply by standing in my shower.  NOTE that this only seemed to happen at specific times of the day for about an hour.  I only really noticed it in the early morning.  It was a curiosity more than an issue.
    • The "RED: Dance Club Experience" on the final evening was a mess... but once again, merely a curiosity and not anything to complain about.  Nobody really cared too much, but there were no Cruise Director Staff or any crew at all at the door to let people in.  We all stood in the hallway while the music and lights blared within the "270" venue until Security arrived to investigate what was going on.
    • A couple of times, the elevators seemingly went into "priority" mode and kicked us out!  It was kind of hilarious.  The elevator stopped at a deck and, I seriously believe, said "GET OUT!"  (It previously made an announcement that it switched into this mode and would kick us out at the next available deck)
  • Zone Zero was the most difficult reservation to get.  I was blown away by the tech, and it ABSOLUTELY requires 2 runs to understand what you are doing.  Even though you are overwhelmed with getting suited up, they don't actually explain what you will be doing once you go through the portal.  To get the most out of the experience, you might want to read up on it or something.  Because even with 2 VERY experienced video and VR gaming people in our party, we felt mostly lost during our run.  We were half way through before I noticed that the narrator who was talking to us was the parrot.  BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THE NAME OF THE AVATAR YOU CHOOSE!  The parrot refers to players by the name of their avatar.  If you miss who you are, you will be lost immediately.
    • It is still immensely cool though.  Not to be missed!
  • The crew was insanely awesome.... always eager to impress with any service or desired request.
  • Coco Cay was fantastic with a max of 1700 guests on the island.  So much space and room to spread out and relax.  "Getting a chair" was no issue.  I heard multiple people say that they wished the cruise had just skipped Cozumel and Costa Maya and spent more time at Coco Cay.
    • I didn't get off the ship in Cozumel (family did), but I did enjoy Costa Maya.  Basically we just went to the pool in "town" (which was GREAT) and the Aviary (which was very good).  TIP: even if the Aviary is "sold out" through RCCL, you can still just show up and pay $12.
  • We made a point to find and visit with Chris Wong in the Casino.  He is a very nice guy!
  • We saw the Oasis of the Seas as we were docking in Coco Cay.  They appeared to be leaving.
  • The Celebrity Edge (with Captain Kate, I guess) appeared to be out and about as well.
  • The Carnival Breeze showed up at Costa Maya on the same day.

 

Ask me anything about our experience on Odyssey, and I will try to answer if I can!

 


Awesome review, thank you.

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8 hours ago, Bleueyes44 said:

Do you recall the name of the shows onboard ?

 

Yep!  In order, they were:

  • "The Book: Seven Chapters, One Adventure" in Two70 venue - Very entertaining, cool tech.
  • "Cary Long" - Comedian focusing on unrealistic hyperbole between the sexes. I did not relate.
  • "Hector is Magic" - My favorite show with amazing magic and close-up card tricks.
  • "Showgirl: Past, Present, Future" - An oddball spectacle with a mixed message.
  • "Peter Grant" vocalist (crooner) - Slightly cheesy, but the guy is truly talented.  Equal to Michael Bublé.
  • "TAP FACTORY" - High energy percussion and dancing with humor for kids.
  • "Francoise: Comedy Juggler" - Traditional juggling and comedy.
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