Second Mate

Hometown: Driffield
Joined: 08/10/2011
Helpful Votes

About RCIfans

An unofficial fan group for Royal Caribbean. For news and advice on RCI visit www.rcifans.com



RCIfans's Past Cruises

Norwegian Spirit

February 2013 - Norwegian Spirit to Europe - Western Europe

Brilliance of the Seas

June 2012 - Brilliance of the Seas to Europe - Northern Europe

Brilliance of the Seas

We arrived at the PTA cruise terminal to be greeted by crowds of confused passengers all wondering where to go. Thatalong withthe confusion that we didn't actually know where we were cruising to, added up to a negative first impression of our cruise holiday.Julie Sherington, Guest Relations Manager, who you may have seen on Discovery Channel's Mighty Ships informed us that at 10am, the Norway port pilot strike was over and that we would continue on our scheduled itinerary to the Norwegian Fjords.We boarded the ship and went straight to the Windjammer. We toured the ship looking at the pool deck and centrum before being given a guided tour of the Vitality Spa and Gym. Sailing away from Amsterdam, we said goodbye to Holland America's Eurodam and departed for Norway.Evening came and we headed down to the Pacifica Theatre on Deck 5. We were introduced to the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers and our cruise director, Paul Lancaster. After the show, it was time for dinner in the Minstrel dining room. We were greeted by our waiter, Cesar, from Chile. He said he recommended theCaesar Salad (no pun there then!) Day 2 was spent at sea. We did most of the exploring of the ship throughout the day. Evening came and we dined in Portofino's, the Italian specialty restaurant. Our waitress was called Nisha and she served us very lovingly and attentively. After the delicious meal, we had a drink in the Schooner Bar, where the Jubilee Party was being held. Camp Chris and Jubilee Julie were joined by Majestic Manda on the piano. Manda also performed whilst we were on board Grandeur of the Seas They performed classic British songs and a lot of audience participation with prizes of British flags and tiaras up for grabs. We spent day 3 in Geiranger. It is a small town situated at the end of the impressive Geirangerfjord. Being Crown and Anchor members, we were invited to an exclusive event on the helipad. We watched the ship anchor in the fjord near to ex-Royal Caribbean ship, Empress, who is now owned by Pullmantur. Tenders were lowered into the water from the ship, which would transport guests from the ship to the quayside. It was the first time we have been on a cruise where tendering took place, so it was interesting to experience it. Although the port is very small, many ships were docked whilst we were there. Brilliance of the Seas and Empress was joined by Costa Explorer and Hurtigruten's Nordnorge. As evening came, it was time for the show. When the act came on weimmediatelynoticed it was the same act we saw on Grandeur. He wasembarrassing to watch the first time, so to see him perform again was shocking! The performance was followed by Reuben and Tracy, two of the Royal Caribbean singers. They performed a selection of classical songs from the 60s. On Day 4, we were in the port of Alesund. The town is very Art Nouveau, but still in keeping with the traditional Nordic style. Whilst in Alesund, we climbed Mount Aksla. Located in the heart of the town, 418 steps lead up to the lookout point, which offers splendid views of the town, fjords and mountains. Day 5, we arrived in Molde. As we opened our balcony door, we were greeted by picturesque views of untouched anduncivilized land. Clouds rolling off the hillside and small tiny islands on the water made our first glimpse of Molde very impressing. Unfortunately, the impressiveness didn't last. The view on the other side of the ship was of a busy industrial port. It was a simple walk into the town center, but a free shuttle bus was provided if you didn't want to walk. The main square was busy with life and local cafes. Bergen was our final port of call. Once we arrived, we walked by the famous row of shops called the Bryggen, past the fish market and headed towards the Floibanen funicular railway to admire the magnificent views of Bergen city down below from the top of Mt. Floyen. We were greeted by long queues that went half way down the adjacent street. The view was worth the wait. All 4 ships that were docked, which were Brilliance of the Seas, Holland America's ms Rotterdam and ms Ryndam along with POs Azura could all be seen from the top. One more day at sea followed before arriving back into Amsterdam, late. Captain Henrik sailed past the terminal and did a tricky 180 degree turn using the ships azipods and bow thrusters to smoothly dock at the PTA terminal alongside Costa Romantica. We had booked an excursion to pass the time until our return flight home at quarter to five. We boarded the coach, which took us past some of the best sights in Amsterdam such as the Heineken brewery, the Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank#39;s home. It was then time to board the canal boat, which would take us on an hours canal cruise seeing more sights along the way. After the tour, the coach dropped us at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where we had 3 hours in the executive lounge before our flight home. All in all our cruise was wonderful and the staff, service and entertainment were second to none.

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Grandeur of the Seas

October 2011 - Grandeur of the Seas to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Grandeur of the Seas

I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise onboard the wonderful Grandeur of the Seas. First impressions of the ship were very surprising. The ship looked much bigger than I was expecting. After being on Independence and Oasis of the Seas, I thought Grandeur would be dwarfed by the bigger ships. It was noticeably smaller, but standing next to her at Palma Port made the ship look huge! As we boarded the ship, it was clear straight away that Grandeur was in need of a major refurbishment. Luckily though, Grandeur of the Seas is expected to have a full refit in the New Year. There were no speciality restaurants onboard such as Chops Grille and Portofinorsquo;s. The only restaurants onboard were the two deck Great Gatsby Dining Room and the Windjammer Marketplace. We explored the ship while waiting for our suitcases to arrive. The Centrum is a wonderful area. It is a place where all the decks are connected together and alcoves of little seating areas and bars, such as the Champagne Bar, are located. I would say I prefer the Centrum than the Royal Promenade on other Royal Caribbean ships because of the spirit the place holds. It makes it a lovely spot for catching up with friends and family. The pool deck is also a lovely place on the ship. You can relax in Solarium or sunbathe near the main pool. The Palladium Theatre is one of the grandest theatres in the fleet. I love the sofa seating arrangement where you can have a private sofa for 1, 2 or 3 people. In my opinion it is better than the seating on the Freedom and Oasis class ships. On the more newer ships they seem to cram as many people in as possible, whereas this theatre was muchnicer to sit in. We spent the next day in Barcelona. We visited the Segrada Familia, walked along Las Ramblas and had a trip on the Metro. We boarded the ship just in time as when we got through security, the heavens opened and there was a thunder storm which lasted the remainder of the day! he next day we docked in Ibiza, where we would be docked until 11.00pm so some guests could have a taste of the Ibiza nightlife. There isn't much to say about it really. We had a relaxing day on the beach in the nearby town of Playa de Bossa. The next stop for the cruise was Malaga. Jason and Joan boarded their cruise here on Adventure of the Seas in November last year, so they knew what to do. The next day we arrived in the British town of Gibraltar! This port of call was by far the best place out of the cruise itinerary. Royal Caribbean do not run a transfer into the town, as it is within walking distance of the town centre. I was also shocked when I heard there were no taxis in Gibraltar apart from the Rock Tourrs minibuses which do drop you off in the town for 2 euros each. As I am from England, I loved walking down the Main Street and seeing English shops such as BHS and Marks and Spencers. Alcohol and Tobacco are also very cheap here, but you are only allowed to bring 1 bottleacket back onboard. We walked to the Cable Car station to go up the Rock of Gibraltar. We waited for around 10 minutes. You will see companies outside the Cable Car entrance trying to get you to go on a tour with them. I would advise you not to go with these people. Although they are legitimate tours, it is easier and cheaper to do it yourself on the cable car. Plus it is a great experience! The monkeys were adorable, yet dangerous. If you follow the rules posted around the site, they shouldnrsquo;t bother you. When you go up you should try and keep all bags closed and do not carry and plastic bags as the monkeys love them! (Watch our video on YouTube!) We spent about an hour up there laughing at the monkeys play around and taking in the views of the coastline of Africa, before heading back down the rock. We decided to have a meal in a restaurant called Mamma Mia it is situated next to the cable car station and they serve delicious Italian pizzarsquo;s cooked over a stone baked oven. I would highly recommend you visiting. Day 6 was spent at sea. The most interesting thing happened that day, as a medical emergency happened. The captain informed us that we would have to make an abrupt detour to the nearest port, so that a passenger could get air lifted to hospital. The ship went full throttle to get just off the coast of Cartagena, where we saw a glimpse of Mariner of the Seas! We were eating at the dining room when all this happened, so we took no photos, which was a disappointment.) The ship stopped and dropped its anchor all outside decks were closed off and sunbeds were stacked away. We then waited for the helicopter to arrive. A man was airlifted onto the ship to attach the ill passenger. We were never told what was wrong with the passenger, but it must have been serious for this to happen. The food onboard was fabulous each night. There was a good selection of food on the menu. We had a fantastic waiter called Idege who served us every day. I would definatly like to go back on this vessel sometime in the future. It would be intersting to see what it would be like after the lsquo;revitalizationrsquo; has been done. I highly recommend you cruise on this ship!

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Ocean Countess (RETIRED)

June 2011 - Ocean Countess (RETIRED) to Europe - Western Europe

"1 night Swinging Sixties Party Cruise!"

Queen Mary 2

May 2011 - Queen Mary 2 to Europe - Northern Europe

Independence of the Seas

March 2011 - Independence of the Seas to Transatlantic

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

Adventure of the Seas

November 2010 - Adventure of the Seas to Europe - Mediterranean

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

Independence of the Seas

August 2010 - Independence of the Seas to Europe - Western Europe

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

Independence of the Seas

May 2010 - Independence of the Seas to Europe - Western Europe

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

Oasis of the Seas

January 2010 - Oasis of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

p Our cruise was a 5...

p Our cruise was a 5 night Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale to St Thomas, St Maarten and Nassau and back to Fort Lauderdale. We boarded the shipon the 9th January 2010, I was with my Dad, his Partner and my Granny. We had spent the night before the cruise at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel, just opposite the cruise terminal. When we woke up in the morning we drew the curtains and was greeted by the fabulous vessel. I was sharing the room with my Granny and when we saw the marvel, we both went wow! We ate breakfast at the hotel and then checked out and went to the lobby to wait for our transfer to the ship. Unfortunately there was a problem with the coach and we ended up waiting outside the Hotel Front for the best of 1 hour andit had to becold and raining! Eventually the coach came and it transported us to the cruise terminal at Port Everglades. The terminal was specifically built by Royal Caribbean and designed for Oasis of the Seas in mind. We boarded the ship with no hassle at all, no waiting in lines or anything. We were all rather surprised by how a vessel this size, that can carry over 6,000 passengers could embark and disembark guests so smoothly. We boarded Oasis and once again we went wow! We quickly found our cabin and thanks to the electronic maps fitted around Oasis, we could easily see our way back to the cabin from any point of the ship and how full the dining areas were. We then went to the Winjammer Cafe located on deck 16 and had a meal. After that, we strolled around Central Park, walked along the boardwalk and shopped down the Royal Promenade. Later on, we watched a Broadway quality show of Tony Award Winning Musical, Hairspray. The cast were amazing! We then arrived the next day in St Thomas. We had an excursion around the island, stopping near Magens Bay. It was an interesting ride on an open air taxi. The next day was a day at sea and it gave us a chance to explore the ship in more detail. I had a go on the Zip Line and a ride on the Carousel. Later that night we went on the Rising Tide Bar and had a few Long Island Iced Teas. The next day we arrived in St Maarten. First impressions were a bit Industrial, but that soon changed whe we went on our Island Tour excursion. This tour was more interesting than in St Thomas and lasted longer plus it was on an air conditioned coach! The tour guide explained how the island is split into two. One side being owned by the Netherland, speaking Dutch and the other side owned by France, speaking French. The next day I think was another day at sea, so we once again explored more of the ship. The last full day came and we arrived in Nassau. We had already arranged an excursion to a private beach at the Hilton (for $100, you can make use of the hotel and you can have free food and drink up to a value of either $20 or $60 I think, I can#39;t remember) We had a final relaxing day watching the cruise ships docking. It was then time to get back on the ship, back to Fort Lauderdale. We then spent 2 nights at the Embassey Suites. The hotel was a little out dated, especially the lift. The food was good. The room was spacious, but smelt bad. A positive side of the hotel was that they had WIFI, but you hade to pay a charge for the usage. Also, in my Dad#39;s room the toilet was blocked and ended up flooding the room! We got the WIFI taken of the bill as compensation. After two days at the hotel we finally got the plane back to London Heathrow. There was some parts of the holiday that were not up to satisfaction, but overall we had an fun and enjoyable holiday. A cruise I will never forget!

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Independence of the Seas

May 2009 - Independence of the Seas to Europe - Western Europe

"View photos from this cruise on rcifans.webs.com"

RCIfans's Tips

Brilliance of the Seas Brilliance of the Seas - If you're celebrating an occasion on board make sure to dine in one of the specialty restaurants on board for a meal to remember!
Grandeur of the Seas Grandeur of the Seas - Don’t buy Royal Caribbean’s coach transfers for a Malaga port of call, as a local service bus picks up in the coach bays next to the terminal and drops you off at the same point as the coach transfer does. Royal Caribbean charge $10 per person for the transfer, but it is around €1.45 per person return, so you do save quite a lot. You should only buy the RCI transfer if you plan to make several trips to and from the ship.
Oasis of the Seas Oasis of the Seas - Book shows and speciality resturants either online or the first day of your cruise to avoid dissapointment!
Oasis of the Seas Oasis of the Seas - Choose a stateroom near to the elevators or stairwells as this will limit walking long distances on this mammoth ship!
Independence of the Seas Independence of the Seas - By purchasing Soda Packages before your cruise, you save time and money. It may seem expensive at the time, but it is well worth it. A typical 5-7 night cruise costs around $42 for adults and $28 for children.
Oasis of the Seas Oasis of the Seas - Make sure to book shows in advance. This will be easier when on your cruise and will avoid disappointment on popular shows eg. Hairspray, Ice/Water shows

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