Monday, October 17, 2016

Lock it in Eddie!

We've pressed the button and paid our deposit! Woot! Ovation of the Seas here we come. VERY excited to say the least. It's about 3 months away so hopefully plenty of time to save a bit of money for on board spending and touring.

January 28 is D day or E day (embarkation day!). 12 nights in a superior balcony room on deck 13. Thankfully I'm not superstitious as all the other ships we've been on never had a deck 13 - I hope there is a deck 13!

We've got 2 stops in the South Pacific, Noumea and Mystery Island and then 3 stops in NZ on the north island. Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Auckland. The ships sounds amazing and I'm really looking forward to going to NZ.

Haven't decided if we'll stay overnight in Sydney before the cruise or just head down the day of. All depends on hotel and airfare prices. Possibly even drive down to Port Mac for the dreaded XPT with mum or she could come up and we could both fly down. Decisions decisions. I know what I prefer!

This ship is massive. I'm a little bit concerned about the amount of people, 4-5,000 especially with tender ports. It's got to take ages to get everyone off and on, no matter how efficient they are. Auckland is a tender port which I am assuming it's because of the size of the ship as most ships generally dock there. Will be very interesting to say the least.

There are approx 16 restaurants, not all included in the fare, so we've certainly got our work cut out for us on deciding where to eat! Poor us ;-) The 'buffet' looks enormous, I'm never going to be able to decide what to have! Plus there's a pizza restaurant and a hot dog stand.

I think I'm going to have to take a map with me whenever I leave the cabin or I'm liable to never find my way back. 16 decks! Our legs are going to get a good workout on the stairs although we are only one deck below the lido and buffet :-)

Apparently there are kettles in the cabins, great for a cuppa on our balcony in the morning :-)

To say we are excited is an understatement! Roll on 2017!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Another Cruise???

We're at it again, not that we ever stop, looking for bargain cruises and we think we've found one! We are hoping to do a New Zealand cruise next so have been keeping an eye on these through OzCruising. I came across a Royal Caribbean cruise in January that goes to the South Pacific and New Zealand on the NEW Ovation of the Seas and it sounds pretty darn good!

I've put in a booking reservation so we can discuss without the worry that the price will increase or sell out! It's a 12 night cruise, 2 ports in the south pacific and 3 ports in NZ - looks and sounds amazing. This ship is huge, don't know if that's a good or bad thing. I guess we'll only know by cruising on her :-)

$1500pp twin for a Superior Balcony Cabin - they're actually cheaper than an Outside Cabin or an Inside with Virtual Balcony. Not sure why but I'm definitely not complaining. We do have to also take into account that there is compulsory tipping** of approx $17 per day per person and all prices on board are USD. Still it seems pretty good value!

I'll keep you posted on what we decide to do :-)

** I have since found out that the tipping isn't compulsory we just need to go to guest services once we board and have them remove it from our account. I have printed out the email I received from Oz Cruising to ensure they indeed do remove the tipping. Also, they have changed how they do the pricing for all RCI ships that have the tipping and now have it included into the fare. I'm glad we booked before this change came into affect! I've never like the whole 'compulsory' tipping, I believe it should be up to the individual whether they wish to tip or not - what if the service isn't up to par? Anyway, it does save us around $400. We will probably tip our cabin steward and depending how the dinner reservations are done we may tip the wait staff, this all depends on if we have the same staff each evening. This is what we have done on previous cruises.