Great review, Dave! Thank you for taking the time to write it.
What an honor it must be to get to dine with the Captain. I am hoping that someday, I will also get to do this. What did you talk about? Mostly small talk about the ship, or cruising, or life in general? Just curious.
I agree with you about the crew...they can really make a cruise special. My wife and I always enjoy chatting with them and usually really get to know one or two of them on every cruise. We now have several facebook friends who were crew members on cruise ships.
Thanks again and don't get too depressed about having to come home.
Although there were just 5 'real' passengers at the table, the Captain was farthest from us and my wife and I spent most of our time talking to the Hotel Director and Food & Beverage Manager who were seated next to us. This didn't bother us as we found the discussion to be lively.
The F&B manager is from New Orleans and from a restaurant family. He is also a 'professional student' in his words, with I think he said over 220 undergraduate hours. He ended up in hotel management for 20 years before he set foot on a cruise ship. Very intelligent man. He told me he finally found himself on cruise ships.
The Hotel Director was similarly engaging and great fun. We talked about my nuclear power career, our shared interests in all things mechanical, and of course food. So to answer your question, it was general talk about whatever. However they did ask questions which were directed at what I thought about RCI. Although I didn't tell them about my role here, they knew it.
Dave, just read your excellent review. I can't agree more with your feelings on RCL ships and crew. We love the whole experience. We are booked on Vision for the Transatlantic in Sept. and Freedom in Dec. for our 2nd annual New Years cruise. Just can't get enough. We will achieve Diamond Plus on Freedom. Our first cruise was Grandeur in 1998. Our youngest son graduated high school and our oldest beginning his junior year in college. That was the start of our love for cruising. After a couple other cruises (and my wife and I talking it up) we convinced two other couples to "give it a try." Their initial cruise and our 3rd with RCL was on Enchantment in 2000 (we did a short NCL in late 1999). We set the bar very high with our friends as the 6 of us were invited to dine with the Captain! Funny part of the invitation was when the Maitre D' approached us at the first dinner to invite us to dine on day 2 for Formal Night, our response was "but we have a wine package." He stated that we would still have our bottles available and we would get free wine at the Captains table. He added "it is a great honor, you must say yes." Obviously we were elated and honored, as you were. After the invitation we looked stunned at each other and one of our party noted "we just negotiated an invitation to the Captain's table!" What a memorable experience! The Captain was remarkable. We did the second seating and there was the 6 of us, another woman, and the mother of the Captain's Hostess. We realized he liked us as I noticed that the entire dining room was empty and the tables were being converted for the midnight Chocolate Buffet. Except around us. The waiters were all standing at parade rest. I looked at my watch and it was 11:30! We had been there for 3 hours! Finally the Captain excused himself and we left, giving the wait staff only 30 minutes to finish setting up the Chocolate Buffet!
Like you, many firsts. We became good friends with the Captains Hostess and joined in many events. Made the video many, many times. Had a wonderful time with the cruise director and his staff.
Needless to say we are now cruising fools! We have been on many wonderful and fun cruises. But our first cruise on Grandeur was the very best (first cruises always are), and our cruise on Enchantment a close second. I love all RCL ships. I really love Allure and Oasis. But we have since done another cruise on Grandeur in 2007 and Enchantment in 2009. Both are still as majestic as they were in 1998 and 2000. I am so looking forward to 14 days in a Grand Suite on Vision.
We started out in inside cabins and now have grown to Grand Suites! Funny, that first inside cabin in 1999 was almost as expensive as suites are today!
When I read your review, it brought back all the memories of our Enchantment cruise so long ago. As one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived used to say:
"thanks for the memories!"
We've cruised on Vision class ships more than any other class. With the Royal Advantage upgrades I think they will be even better.
As you can see from my tickers, I am doing back-to-back on the Liberty this December to make D+. Then I return a month later for the Rock Legends cruise, so when that is done I will have cruised 5 times on Liberty and she will hold the personal record for a single ship.
I really enjoyed reading your review. Brought back so many memories of our trip on the Celebrity Summit with the same itinerary. Glad you got to visit Rhode Island my home, I love the Breakers and the Marble House and have gone there so many times when I lived there. The mansions are truly spectacular. Boston is a great port too. I am wanting to do that one again because my whole family met us at the Pier and we went across the street to the Barking Crab, what fun. I think it would be fun to do it this time on RCCL and Baltimore is only about 3 hours or so from here. Looking forward to reading about your back to back !
3 hour drive? Go for it! The Baltimore cruise port is easy to access and parking is plentiful.
Another nice thing is that given the ports visited Customs is more relaxed. They know Bermuda doesn't put up with drugs and other illegal activity, and so it was pretty much just a look at the passports, 'do you have any alcohol or tobacco to declare', and off we went to the shuttle bus.