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Old 03-27-2014, 09:15 PM   #16
holula
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So far I am loving this! If we ever sail Freedom class I want to stay in that room too.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holula View Post
So far I am loving this! If we ever sail Freedom class I want to stay in that room too.


1400 is a mirror image, so if 1700 isn't available there's that option as well!


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Subscribing! Can't wait to hear more, and thanks for adding the great pics!! We are a family of 5 booked on Freedom this October. We have only sailed DCL and are excited to see what RC is like!!
Thanks for reading!


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Thanks for sharing!

Love the report so far. We are trying to work up our nerve for a cruise!
Welcome!

What's scaring you about cruising?


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Can't wait to read more! We are considering Freedom for 2015 because the Fantasy prices are CRAZY!!
The prices are a bit bananas, aren't they?


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Was that really necessary to post that on someone's trip report. Kind of rude
Aw, it's OK. I think they just didn't realize. Thank you, though!
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:23 PM   #18
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Still Day 1!


Just remembered the Muster Drill (or as RCCL calls it, Emergency Assembly Drill).

I might have mentioned that Freedom leaves the same day as Dream does (and returns when Dream returns from their second cruise of the week). We could easily see (down) onto the ship.

We kept going "aw, there's the Dream, I wonder if our favorite concierge is onboard, hi fave concierge!" etc etc. We didn't want to be there, we just wished that she would hop over and take care of us, LOL. And we have Dream booked for a double dip in October, so it'll just take some patience.

Our muster station for the Emergency Assembly Drill happened to be facing Dream. They were getting ready for their own drill at the same time. The Royal people seemed to be more together and quick than the Dream; we could hear their "alarms" and that there were public announcements over there. We could also watch allll the people on their verandahs just completely ignoring the whole "get down for Muster now" announcements to the very end. We noticed that phenomenon some months back on a trip to Vancouver when we were there as the Magic or Wonder was leaving. People just waited and waited and waited...weird.

So we're all standing there, excited as anything, chatting like crazy with total strangers. Some had been swimming already and were in swimsuits, some had been drinking, others were just taking it all in...EVERYONE was as thrilled as they could be.

On our first Disney cruise, we went with family. Those family members had been on the same 3 day cruise the year before, and they were total absolute Disney cruise people. (they hadn't yet been to Universal and didn't know how much they were going to love that place, either) When they saw the other ships during our cruise, they were totally convinced that they were following the Disney ship and that everyone onboard wanted to be on the Dream.

So I bet there were people on Dream who thought that same sort of thing.

Dream's muster stations were filling out, and just like some of us were looking towards them, they were looking towards us. And I'm probably totally wrong, but it FELT like they all felt bad for us. Oh they were so wrong.


So our muster drill started, or started to start. I'm not totally clear on the order of things, but our ship let off its *normal* horn as part of it.

And almost immediately the Dream let off their "dream is a wish" horn. Freedom did another blast, and Dream did another as well. Horn wars.

And I seriously felt like the Dream passengers thought we wanted to be over there. If you were there, I promise, at least those of us in our muster area were really and truly not wanting to be on Dream. We were totally and completely happy to be on Freedom.


Last edited by bumbershoot; 03-27-2014 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:33 PM   #19
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Horn wars lol they gotta have fun someway!
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:31 PM   #20
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Horn wars lol they gotta have fun someway!
I suppose so!

And omg your username...
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:36 PM   #21
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I suppose so! And omg your username...
Lol it was a phrase my sister used as a kid to say "I love you" without having to be embarrassed by saying the words
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:29 PM   #22
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Lol it was a phrase my sister used as a kid to say "I love you" without having to be embarrassed by saying the words
Awwww.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:31 PM   #23
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scans of the paper stuff!

Got a burst of energy just now, and started scanning all the paper stuff I accumulated during the trip. I'll pretend like some of the stuff was given on the first day...some might have been, some might have been later. I'll talk a little bit about one or two of the things as well.

While it'll be different from ship to ship and particular sailing to sailing, I figure things will be *basically* similar. Heck, I noticed while scanning that a thing about Adventure Ocean says Freedom on the first page and Vision in a paragraph on the 3rd page...but the info was still good.


First up, Spa Services!




Second, schedule of Fitness and Seminars. I did ONE thing on here, a Fab Abs class. I wish I had done more. As you can see, they tell you what costs extra.




Ooh I'm such a VIP. They want me to learn how to buy jewelry!



Gotta tell ya, I went to two of the seminars. Some decent info. Big huge sales session. Kinda silly. Ian, the guy running the show, is a salesman and will exaggerate or tell different stories if he feels like it. Salesman. He also had an annoying typo in his second slide presentation..."emeralds" are not "emerlads", know what I mean? (yes I told him, of course I did! that's just embarrassing.)

I was glad to go to the seminars; gave me something to do and was kind of fun. Gave me something to do in St Maarten when it became obvious that we weren't going to hop a taxi and tootle around the island. Snagged all sorts of "free" (er, well, paid extra to "upgrade") "gemstone" earrings, got to see some shops, felt like a little scavenger hunt, and we got to meet some nice people.

(photos of the things I got will be after I can find one little thing to take a picture of, so check in a further-on post)



Just like DCL, they give you a ton of info on that first day! You do, however, have to read it.










I actually really liked this barebones overview. Got an extra copy, folded it up, and kept it with me!








Last edited by bumbershoot; 03-29-2014 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #24
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the jewelry

Referring back to the jewelry presentation page...


Remember the "Free Diamond Charm Bracelet for all who attend"?

You got a paper telling you to go to Diamonds International. From there you had to go all the way to the back to the lady with all the bracelets. She would give you the bracelet and then want $5 for a charm. Ah, but Ian told us to tell her "Ian said it would be free for me". So I did that and got the charm at no cost. And we also got a charm (before we got the bracelet) at the second seminar on Day 3.

So here's the bracelet in the packaging.



Ah, I still coudn't get the picture perfectly enough to show you that IF there's a diamond in there, it's less than a speck of dust. It's not even paveŽanything. It's sort of a starburst of lines that make you THINK it's sparkly. I think it's more that it's a "charm bracelet that you could put diamonds on if you wanted to do that"...




And here is the bracelet still in the packaging (just took these today) and the charms.




I will be showing these to my MIL, as she is going on a cruise to Alaska in May. I don't want her wasting any bit of time in jewelry stores looking for such things as this. And that's also why I'm showing you. If you like what you're seeing, YAY! Get them! If you want to have some fun and get some blingy stuff, YAY! Get them! If you want to have a scavenger hunt, again, YAY! Do it! But if you think that you'll be getting something with any sort of noticeable diamond in it, or that it won't already be turning just a bit greenish without ever taking it out of the packaging...hopefully you now know the truth.



Also at the seminars, they talked about the free pendants at Effy. There are, I believe, 4 Effy locations in St Maarten. They are bright and nice and pretty. You take your card in there, show it to someone (trying to not look around, of course), and they hand you a baggie with a pendant on a piece of paperboard. They tell you that you can upgrade to pendant and gemstone earrings for $10. OK why not. And then they hand you a different baggie with earrings and a different pendant on paperboard inside. That pendant is bigger.

Of course, these "gemstones" aren't anything truly valuable. And I have no idea what the metal is. (these activities aren't for anyone with metal allergies, that's for sure!)

Since I was there with the family, and since my son is sweet and says hello, at each place I went to but one, they just handed him the "free" pendant. So I got the upgraded baggie and he got the other one. At one place I didn't like the color of the stone (black, not my style) but they gave him the free one anyway. At another place I got the upgrade and they didn't give him the other. No biggie at all, just telling the story.


Baggie, paper, and free pendant.




Paper, free pendant, and upgrades.




And to give us a frame of reference for the size of the stones, something that is credit card sized.





Pretty, but worth $10? Maybe, maybe not. But I had some fun, got to meet nice people, had a bit of structure for our time that was going to be spent wandering anyway...and got some pretty bits of glass. As a bonus, the kidlet got some pirate jewels.



Last...the free tanzanite studs mentioned on that same page...

Again, you take your card to Tanzanite International (in St Maarten this is part of the Diamonds Intl building if I recall correctly). Again, you meet nice people. And you see really pretty things.

On this day they were super-excited because some jewelry designer was there, and "if you missed the chance to see Christos you would regret it forever".... I wasn't really partial to the jewelry, so I didn't think I'd regret it for a minute. What would I say? "Hi, I don't really like your stuff, nice to meet you!"? Nah.

So they showed me the free studs, and they were not my style.

But wait! Ian had mentioned that with ANY purchase you would get a necklace with a triangular tanzanite pendant on it. This necklace was worth 100-something bucks. You could buy tanzanite studs for $99 and get this necklace. Wow, what a bargain! Get the cheapest thing for sale there, and get the same thing anyone buying a gazillion dollars would have gotten with the purchase.

By this time, seeing all this jewelry, DH was jonesing to buy something. I'm serious. He was raised by a jewelry-freak of a mom, and he LOVES buying me jewelery (though I think he just likes buying it...even if it just sat in a drawer). Since I'm not a huge jewelry person, this has caused tensions, LOL. Today I was willing to at least look.

So after a lot of convincing, I ended up with upgraded-one-level earrings and the "free" necklace. Oh and their hook for getting you to upgrade is that the necklace stone is triangular while the cheapest earrings are round. Upgrade one level and the earrings' stone shape matches. (colors don't really match but oh well)

So here's the sucker, er, me wearing the earrings and necklace. Maybe I should have had Robert model them.

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Old 03-29-2014, 08:39 PM   #25
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Love your good nature about it all!!!
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:51 PM   #26
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Ok that's enough about jewelry and seminars and silliness.


Here are scans of the info we received. First up: Adventure Ocean.








Note: on our sailing, the 6-8s were in with the 9-11s. Reverse that. The older kids were in with the younger ones; the door to the Voyager area was never open.




The next page mentions the Youth Evacuation Program. The kids (or at least all kids partaking at all in AO?) have a concert-style wristband that gives the assembly station info so that they will be brought to the correct place in case of emergency.

It's also the page where it mentions Vision of the Seas, LOL.





The first paragraph is SUPER important for those doing My Family Time (they call it My Time Family?) Dining. I didn't see it until just now. E never wanted to leave dinner to go, we were all happy to have him with us, but it would have been nice to know. And it almost seems like they put the important info in reverse order, because the first bit of info needed is to sign the kids up for it each night! Hope that helps someone.

I counsel people to READ the stuff given to you ASAP, but I have a hard time doing it perfectly. And the AO stuff was just as hard for me as Disney's Oceaneer's Club/Lab stuff.





Check out the free family arcade hour! Makes you think it's only for families, but there were many people there. Basically they just turned most of the machines to free play! Not the ones that gave tickets, and not the BIG ones, but there's not much wrong with free Ms Pac Man.





Last edited by bumbershoot; 03-29-2014 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:56 PM   #27
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Love your good nature about it all!!!
Well thank you.

I know I've jumped ahead in the jewelry stuff, so you don't yet know how much I had tired out my guys the day before in San Juan. I'd hoped to do more in St Maarten but it just wasn't going to happen.

And I figured I would get that stuff done with first. Anyone going on RCCL in the Bahamas/Caribbean (and Alaska if I recall) is going to be bombarded with that info. Might as well know what you get, right? I can't remember if Disney cruise had those seminars and shopping guides (only place we've been with them is Nassau and I don't know if they have Whatever-Stone Internationals there).


Now if only I can remember, at a later date, to talk about the WATCH purchases that were made. Talk about embarrassing in retrospect...



If any of my photobucket links up there are broken, let me know. I moved things around and can't totally figure out if I missed anything while fixing them!

Last edited by bumbershoot; 03-29-2014 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:33 AM   #28
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Day 1's Compass

Each day's Compass has a half-sheet (as I think I mentioned), and that seems to give the specials of the day and what feels like last minute info.







Forgive the writing on some of these; I couldn't find the clean copy for every day.




And I have nothing to do with the grammar problems found on this page, especially in the "super suite upgrade" section. Ugh.













And the back side of the above page just shows the officers' pictures and info.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:17 PM   #29
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I am here!

Never having been on a cruise, I find it all very confusing. I thought so much of it was "all inclusive" now I am seeing that is not the case. Lots of little add ons... or big add ons.

For some reason too... I didn't realize that you were not on a Disney cruise. I guess I just assumed. I would have figured it out faster if I had read your title...
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:50 PM   #30
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Really enjoying reading your trip report. We are Sailing Freedom for New Years 2014-2015. We just sailed Disney Wonder and love reading about RCCL from someone who knows DCL. Please keep it coming. I am hooked.
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