Royal Caribbean Taking Action Against Coronavirus

Royal Caribbean announced that it has chosen to take additional steps to mitigate the chances of a Coronavirus outbreak on any of the ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. RCCL released a statement detailing the new measures being taken.

“We continue to closely monitor global developments regarding the coronavirus, and we are fully focused on protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew.

After consultation with medical experts and public health authorities, and in alignment with new, stricter CDC protocols, plus changes in various countries’ requirements and regulations, along with our desire to ensure that we are able to provide a great vacation experience, while we protect our guests and crew – we are implementing the following changes.

  • Through the month of February 2020, any guest that holds a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, will be unable to board any of our ships, regardless of residency.

Additionally, we’ve tightened our health screening requirements and the following guests will need to undergo extra screenings to ensure safety at the cruise terminal:

  • Anyone that has been in contact with individuals that have traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the last 15 days.

  • Anyone that feels unwell or demonstrates flu-like symptoms.

  • Any guest presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screening will be denied boarding.

We know that these steps are very conservative, and we apologize that they will inconvenience some of our guests. We regret to have to do this, but it is our responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment onboard our ships, as well as in the ports we visit.”

Since the Coronavirus outbreak began at the end of 2019, it has sickened more than 20,000, left more than 425 dead and sparked and global health emergency. With scientist racing to find a cure, the major cruise lines aren’t taking any chances. Both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have announced that they will be taking similar measures.

Courtesy Royal Caribbean

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What To Pack and What To Leave For a 7-Day Caribbean Cruise

On the last day of our 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise on the Oasis of the Seas, we laid out everything on the bed and couch to get an idea of how much we overpacked and to come up with a way to fit everything with all the souvenirs we got. There was plenty we didn’t use and definitely didn’t need to pack.

In this video we go over all the items we packed, all the items we shouldn’t have packed and the reasons why.

Hopefully we can go into our next cruise a little wiser and a lot more prepared.

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Getting Around Ft. Lauderdale – Port Everglades

Here are some transportation tips for your next cruise out of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Like most metropolitan cities, Ft. Lauderdale offers a multitude of public transportation as well as Taxis and ride sharing such as Uber and Lyft. However Ft. Lauderdale also has many ways to get around that you probably didn’t know about. Some cost as low as $1 and some are even free.

Electric Scooters

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These scooters were launched in the Ft. Lauderdale area during the weekend of Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, October 2018. Electric scooters immediately became all the rage, so much that there are 4 or more companies that have their scooters around town. They cost $1 to unlock and about .24 cents for every minute after that.
Download the Bird, Lime or Bolt app and stay off the beaches. The scooter will automatically stop if you enter zones that are restricted.

Sun Trolley

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A charming way to get around the downtown and beach area is by trolley. It costs $1 per ride or $3 for an all-day pass. Cash only.
From Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to the Las Olas Boulevard operates six routes that each have their own respective schedule.

Visit www.suntrolley.com for more information.

Free Electric Ride-Share

There happen to be 2 in the South Florida area:

Circuit

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Circuit is similar to Uber or Lyft but completely free.  Electric ride-share cars that service Fort Lauderdale Beach and Select locations in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
For more information and to download the app visit www.ridecircuit.com

Freebee

Freebee-on-the-Key

For more information and to download the app visit ridefreebee.com

Water Taxi

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The Water Taxi is technically transportation as there are may stops you can get on and off from but it is so much more. Each vessel has a bar on board as well as a highly knowledgeable and entertaining crew. Prices starting at $14.00. For more information visit WaterTaxi.com and watch this video.

 

 

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23 Items That You Might Forget To Pack On Your Next Cruise

Whether you are packing for a short 3 day cruise or a nice 9 day, we hope you remember to bring your socks, swimsuit and the sunscreen on your next Royal Caribbean Cruise. But there may be a few items that you didn’t think of packing that just might make your cruise a little bit more comfortable no matter the length.

We’ve poked through all the forums and groups to see what everyone was saying that they just have to pack on their vacation. Here are the top 23 items that you might not think of packing on your next cruise (in no particular order).

Air Freshener

On a cruise where most staterooms average at 140 sq. ft., sometimes there is no running from the stick. For the times that you can’t, consider spraying a little poo-pourri before you go. That why you and your cabin-mates won’t be fighting by the end of your vacation.

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Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray

SeaPass Lanyard

Your SeaPass is one of the most important things on your cruise, so why not keep it close and protected with a lanyard.

lanyard
Cruise Lanyard Sea pass Holders

Laundry Detergent

Most Royal Caribbean ships offer laundry services but sometimes you just want to wash that swimsuit or those comfy shorts you have been wearing all week long. Let’s face it, we all over pack and think we are going to have at least 3 costume changes a day but the reality is we just want to wear that same pair of shorts and run over to the pool most days. This travel sink packets are the perfect alternative to pouring detergent in a small water bottle and risking it opening up and spilling all over your things.

tide
Tide Travel Sink Packets

Shower Organizer

From the cruises we’ve been on and the many photos and videos we’ve seen, there is no hooks for your loofah and a dispenser of just a shampoo or a 2 in one stuck to the wall. Also, the bathroom storage isn’t enough most of the time. A shower organizer is the perfect place to hang over the shower head and keep the things you need most in your shower.

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Shower Caddy Tote
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8 Pockets Mesh Shower Organizer Hanging Caddy

Magnetic Hooks

Magnets are your friend on a cruise, from decorating your stateroom door to hanging things on the wall, also because you can’t use tape. These heavy duty magnetic hooks are lifesaver for hanging wet swim suits, towels, room key lanyards etc.

Hooks
80 lbs Heavy Duty Magnet Hooks

Highlighter

Great for highlighting what you want to do in the cruise compass.

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Accent Pocket Style Highlighter, Assorted Colors

Folding Cubes

With the limited storage space in your average stateroom, and our tendencies to over back, bringing along a couple folding cubes really come in handy to keep your belongings organized and not all over the couch. They definitely come in handy when you’re traveling with kids.

storage
Foldable Cloth Storage Cube

Pop up hamper

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Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper

Over the door Organizer

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Over-the-Door Hanging Shoe Organizer

First-aid kit

Going to medical on the ships are expensive so unless you need care for something serious, then its probably better to bring a little first aid kit. You will be eating food you don’t regularly as well as being more active so don’t forget the over the counter meds like tums or IBProfin!

first aid
Travel First Aid Kit

Daily pill container

This handy and cheap item has many functions when traveling. Aside from the obvious, to separate your daily medication, it also comes in handy for things like bringing your over the counter medicine and jewelry, especially so your necklaces don’t get tangled.

pill box
7 Day Pill Box Case

Pain relief cream

If you strain something during an excursion, rock wall climbing or just being more active than normal, you might want to have a small bottle or pain relief cream such as Biofreeze.

biofreeze
Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On

Towel Clips

To keep your towels from blowing away while your taking a dip in the pool.

towel clips
Beach Towel Clips

Luggage Tag Sleeves

Keep your luggage tag protected from the elements so the crew knows where your luggage are going on embarkation day and when you disembark the ship!

luggage tag
Cruise Luggage Tag Holder

Travel Bottles

No need to use up all your luggage space for big bottles of conditioner, body wash and lotions. Save that room for souvenirs and those cute strappy sandals. Note: Most ships only provide shampoo or a shampoo and conditioner in one as well as small bars of soap.

travel bottles
16 Pack Travel Bottles Set

Nausea Relief

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Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband

Chaffing Cream

I’m not sure if there is anything worse to ruin a vacation like chaffing. On top of packing the right shorts, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially on excursions when you are walking with wet shorts. Anything to help reduce that friction and water proof is probably a plus.

chaffing cream
Chafe Cream

Reusable Straws

Royal Caribbean, as well as many others in the hospitality business have switched to paper straws which…to put it frank, stink. It is great they are doing their part to save the environment but after 2 sips, the straw general turns to mush. Because of that, reusable straws have become popular for obvious reasons.

silicone straw
Reusable Silicone Collapsible Straws – 4 Pack
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12-Pack Reusable Stainless Steel Straws with Case

Thermal Cups

This is one you may not want to forget, especially if you don’t buy a beverage package. There are 2 important reasons for bringing a thermal cup such as a yeti or tervis. The first is so you can bring up water to your cabin when you’re ready to go to bed. The second: since the Royal Caribbean allows you to pack 2 bottles of wine, a cup is convenient to bring up to your room and come back down with a full cup to resume your vacation festivities.

tervis
Vintage Mermaid Collage Tumbler

Chapstick

If you remembered your sunscreen then you are ahead of the game (because buying any of the basics on board is very expensive) however don’t forget the small things like lipbalm, especially one with spf protection. Yes, your lips can get burned by the sun too and that’s not fun for photos on formal night.

chapstick
ChapStick

Selfie stick

So you can get those amazing scenic selfies without asking people to take your picture.

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Selfie Stick

Dry erase boards

When traveling with a large group and you are split up in multiple staterooms, dry erase boards really come in handy to keep outside your stateroom door and let the other know where you are, what’s going on and to leave messages for each other.

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Magnetic Dry Erase Board

Hangers

Only once out of the few cruises we’ve been on have their been extra hangers left in the closet of our stateroom. I always bring a few extras with me because the closets generally only have a few.

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Hangers

 

Don’t forget to not over stuff your luggage so you can have some room for souvenirs!

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VIDEO: January 25, 2020 Miami Sail Aways

We took a ride down to Port Miami for the sail away of the Symphony of the Seas and caught 6 additional cruise ships making their way down Government Cut heading for the open ocean for the start of an amazing vacation. The weather was perfect and the seas were calm. So calm that a group of teenagers decided to have a little fun jumping off the pier in South Point Park. Watch it all here in 4k.

 

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Should You Buy The Key on Royal Caribbean?

What is The Key?

The Key is a program that provides Royal Caribbean International guests with premier access to exclusive experiences during their cruise vacation. Now whether you should purchase this entitlement is an important decision you will need to make before you embark as it’s not sold once on-board the ship. So let’s break down the key benefits of why you might (or might not) want to splurge on this package.

HTTFI_RCI_TheKey

What Do I get?

For starters let’s talk about the price, the package starts at $24.99 per person, per day, however the pricing will vary depending on your ship and itinerary. The Key must also be purchased by each person over age 6 in the same stateroom. Your SeaPass will also have an icon indicating you have purchased the package.

As far as amenities go, The Key Guests will enjoy the following exclusive and special amenities during their cruise vacation:

  • Priority check-in and boarding on Day 1.
  • Carry-on bag drop off in the Main Dining Room with stateroom delivery
  • Exclusive welcome lunch in the Main Dining Room with a delicious menu featuring Chops Grille on embarkation day (You won’t be fighting the crowds for a seat in the Windjammer)
  • Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more
  • Priority departure at ports of call from ship-to-shore
  • Seats in the exclusive VIP seating section at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70
  • VOOM® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet – 1 package per paying guest
  • On debarkation day, an exclusive a la carte breakfast and choice departure

Should I buy It?

If you were already thinking about purchasing the VOOM high speed internet package it might be a good idea to take a look at The Key. A large amount of the cost of this entitlement is built around internet access that is included.

Let’s assume you were already purchasing the VOOM unlimited Surf & Stream package for one device, that normally cost around $14.99 per day. So at $24.99 per person, per day that difference is around $10 day. However if you buy a multi-device internet plan all that math just went right out the window.

Priority embarkation & disembarkation is a great benefit and we love being able to get on or off our ship faster than other guests. There’s nothing worse than waiting around especially if you are at a port where tendering is required and the lines are notoriously long for a tender boat to get you ashore.

On embarkation day, guests with The Key entitlement generally board with other Diamond Plus guests. This comes in real handy if you are new to cruising with Royal Caribbean and don’t have the priority status afforded by a higher tier in the Crown and Anchor loyalty program.

Priority access to premium activities is also included with The Key. During your cruise there will be blocks of time for the FlowRider and rock climbing wall reserved exclusively for those with The Key entitlement. There will also be reserved seating at the different show venues held for those with The Key.

So, Is it worth buying?

Just like purchasing a beverage package, it all comes down to whether you will take advantage of the amenities offered. The meat and potatoes of the package is the priority access afforded which can help lessen your wait times onboard.

If you’re Diamond status or higher in the Crown and Anchor program or you’ve chosen a suite it’s probably not worth it to purchase The Key as some of the benefits offered are similar to what’s offered by CAS or suite benefits.

Like we said in the beginning, if you were going purchase a VOOM internet package it makes sense to splurge on The Key if you would take advantage of the priority access entitlements.

In the end, The Key is a way to enjoy some VIP service that normally wouldn’t be available without a higher Crown and Anchor Society loyalty level or purchasing a suite. Do you think The Key is worth it? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

 

BOOK TODAY

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Labadoozie Recipe

If your sailing on a Royal Caribbean ship, there’s a high chance you will be making a stop to their private resort in Haiti called Labadee. We made a stop there during our last cruise and we discovered a special cocktail that left an impression on us at this floating bar that we didn’t notice in our previous 2 visits.

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All the way to the back of the resort, just under the Zipline is a beach called Adrenaline Beach. If you look to the left of the day beds you’ll find a bar floating in the middle of the water with chickee huts to the right.

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The only way to get to the bar is by swimming but once you climb up on the deck you must order an alcoholic beverage called the Labadoozie. It’s a punch that’s packed with tropical flavors that remind you why you love cruising so much.

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If it will be a while before you can call one of those majestic Royal ships your temporary home, then here is a recipe that will make you close your eyes and wish you were on an island somewhere with the sand between your toes.

🍹Labadoozie recipe

Makes one cocktail

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Papaya Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3/4 oz Dark Rum
  • 3/4 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
  • Crushed ice

Mix

Enjoy

 

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Royal Caribbean Offers BOGO 60% Off, Kids Sail Free AND $350 Instant Savings! But You Have to Book This Weekend

New Year New Thrills + BOGO60 + Kids Sail Free 

If you book your cruise before Sunday, January 12, 11:20 pm, not only will the second guest receive 60% off and the kids under 12 sail for free, Royal Caribbean is also offering a bonus of up to $350 instant savings!

Here are the details on the three promotions that can be combined and how all three can save you up to $350 instantly

New Year New Thrills

  • The new booking has to be made before January 12 at 11:20pm;
  • You have to depart after February 9, 2020;
On sailings 5 nights or less
  • $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View,
  • $75 for Balconies and $75 for Suites;
on sailings 6 nights or longer
  • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View,
  • $100 for Balconies and
  • $200 for Suites.

Instant savings applied as instant rebate to the price of cruise fare at checkout. Instant savings do not apply to China departures.

PLUS 

Buy one get one 60% off (BOGO60)

  • Offer must be booked between December 27, 2019 – January 31, 2020
  • BOGO60 offer applies to sailings departing on or after January 27, 2020.
  • BOGO60 provides 60% savings off the price of cruise fare of the second guest booked in the same stateroom as first, full-fare paying guest.
  • BOGO60 also provides 30% cruise fare savings for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests.
  • BOGO60 savings applied to cruise fare at checkout.
  • In addition, BOGO60 offers up to $150 instant savings per stateroom on select sailings.

Instant savings amount determined by category booked and sailing length

On sailings 5 nights or less
  • $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View,
  • $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites;
on sailing 6 nights or longer
  • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View,
  • $75 for Balconies and
  • $150 for Suites.

Instant savings do not apply to China departures.

PLUS

Kids Sail Free

  • Applies to new bookings made between December 27, 2019 – January 31, 2020.
  • Kids Sail Free provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger as of cruise departure date, booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests in a triple of quad-occupancy stateroom.
  • Kids Sail Free applies to 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Europe, Hawaii, Repositioning and all 2020 Serenade of the Seas sailings departing between January 27, 2020 – December 17, 2020 and January 8, 2021 – May 17, 2021.
  • Offer excludes 2020 President’s Day sailings (Sailings between February 14 – 17, 2020), 2020 Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 14 – 23, 2020), 2020 Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 3 – 17, 2020), Peak Summer (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2020), 2020 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 21 – 28, 2020), 2021 President’s Day Sailings (Sailings between February 12 – 15, 2021), and 2021 Spring Break and Easter sailings (Sailings between March 13 – April 4, 2021).
  • Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional and apply to all guests.

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Visit www.royalcaribbean.com to book now

 

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What To Do at Port in Cozumel, Mexico

My first time in Cozumel was on my very first cruise several years back and I loved it. At then end of that trip I told my now husband that he should have never taken me on a cruise, on the Allure of the seas with a balcony none the less, because I was hooked and I was going to cost him a lot of money wanting to cruise all the time. Luckily we were on the same page. We rented a Jeep, drove around, ate some tacos, drank some cerveza and explored some neat ruins. On our second time back in 2018 we went racing on 1980’s Americas cup sailing yachts, which unfortunately are now in St. Maarten since theirs needed replacing from Hurricane Irma.

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We always have a great time when we go to Cozumel and the one thing we don’t want to do is get stuck with a big group on an excursion, be confined to one place and not have the freedom to explore. If you are like us then here are some ways to experience the island on your own.

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Rent a car or scooter

Don’t go with the first company you see, search around a bit and compare pricing. There are several rental companies which gives you a good bargaining position. It comes down to your bargaining skills how much you will pay for the rental. Try to have some pesos with you instead of paying in USD. And if you could, negotiate in Spanish. If you locate a rental company that is not the few set up right when you get off the ship, then it may serve you better to exclude that you are from a cruise ship and you are staying at a local hotel to get a better price.

If the 49cc scooters are to slow for you, there is an Eagle Rider a short walk up the street from the port.

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Eat at Coconuts and you might see some coconuts

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It may not be the most kid friendly place on the island so beware but it was a fun little spot with a nice view. Coconuts is nicely decorated with funny t-shirts and there is a special chair where women show their coconuts. We’ve seen it…

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Every time I visit a new place I am always in search of the best authentic food. It is a little difficult to do this when the whole island is touristy, however we really did enjoy the tacos, friendly staff and the views…

Have some fajitas and cerveza with a view

On our second trip to Cozumel, a local recommended a nice place to grab a bite after we went sailing. To our surprise, halfway through our meal we spotted them at the bar ordering. They weren’t wrong for recommending it. The view was beautiful and the food was very tasty. It was a little bit of a walk back to our ship but it was a nice and peaceful meal with a gorgeous view of the sailboats we just raced as well as our ship.

Sunset Restaurant

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After every sip of his cervesa, Rob sang he was just gonna sit right here and have another beer in Mexico.

Soak up the sights and take a dip in the beaches

When we rented the Jeep on our first visit to Cozumel, the gentleman gave us a map an marked places to go, beaches to avoid and where to eat.

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So we hopped in the Jeep and just drove all the way around making as many stops as possible. The beaches are not white and sandy so keep that in mind for when you’re packing. Think about getting a good pair of water shoes for all the rocks. 

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After stopping at all the beaches, other smaller archaeological sites and checking out a few shops, we spent the remainder of the day walking around San Gervasio.

Explore the ruins all over the island

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The ruins around the island may not be the famous Chichen Itza but Tulum is a 2 1/2 hour drive and ferry ride if you’re feeling risky. San Gervasio is an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, the largest of all the sites in Cozumel and can be found in the northern third of the island. The ruins were once a hub of worship of the goddess Ix Chel, an aged deity of childbirth, fertility, medicine, and weaving.

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The best part of exploring the ruins were all the stories we made up about what could have happened on the very paths we walked. The admission is $9.50 which wasn’t bad for walking around and experiencing a bit of history. 

Go Sailing

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I really really want to share the amazing experience we had sailing the Americas Cup sailing yachts. However True North and Stars and Stripes are no longer in Cozumel since they replaced the sailing yachts from St. Maartin after hurricane Irma. But the company should get the credit they deserve. There are many other experiences you can do similar to this one. This excursion can be booked through the cruise lines but we actually found them online and booked directly. If your itinerary takes you to St. Maartin and it is something you like to do, here is their website https://www.12metre.com/.

The experience is two sailing yachts from past America’s Cups race each other and we are the crew. The existing crew places you in a task, depending on your preference and physical ability (or you could just sit and watch), and the captain pumps you up and after your bit of training and practice, the first mate goes over the strategy with us.

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Rob and I are sailors and have a small sailboat so to sail on something that goes a lot faster than the 5 knots our baby does, was very exciting!

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We sailed on True north and lost to Stars and Stripes by 1 foot!! It was still a wonderful experience and they had cocktails waiting for us when we returned to shore as well as pictures for sale that they took from the tender.

I don’t have to tell you Google is your friend, but it is, especially when your exploring on your own. Most cellphone carriers let you use data for free in Mexico so make sure to give them a call before your cruise and double check all the places you will be visiting.

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Why We’re Loyal To Royal

Hello there! Glad you joined us in an exciting adventure all about Royal Caribbean Cruises and the ports we visit.

Why Royal Caribbean you ask? It’s our favorite cruise line of course. You get the best bang for your buck and well… RCCL was our first cruise together, the cruise we took when we got engaged and the line we used when we got married.

We’ve seen some nice places and met a lot of great people and we want to share our experiences with you!

Hold on tight, we may be the royals, but we still know how to have fun!

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