Hey Sailors!

The cruise is almost upon us. To prepare, make sure you have your Passport (or other documents) handy and, if you've already done the online check-in, setsail pass printed out to expedite getting onto the ship. You should also have your luggage tags printed out and attached to your bags to give to the porters. Be sure to keep all of your valuables in a carry-on bag that you'll be bringing on board yourself!

Below is some additional information you may be curious about (if you haven't already devoured the Royal Caribbean Cruise and Cruise Critic websites). We've put together a very light agenda for the trip because we'd love to hear from everyone during the happy hour on our first evening to see what you're most interested in doing on the ship. Not sure what activities are available? Go here and scroll down. Meanwhile, this link will show you the deck layout of the ship and where everything is located. Below is a list of the different food spots and what you can expect to find there.

For our land adventures, Elbow Beach and Warwick Long Bay are on the top of the Monday and Tuesday to-visit list. Each beach is a bit further away from the dock but are beautiful and will have fewer people occupying the sand. Each are accessible by the #7 bus and take between 45 and 50 minutes to get to. (You just need exact change.) You can also take a ferry to Hamilton and hop on the #7 bus from there! Cabs are also available if you'd rather go that route. Just be sure to look for the ones with the little blue flags as they are government certified! If you're interested in checking out some of the other beaches in Bermuda, here's a great list!

Your cruise director, Ashley Lucas, will be staying in Stateroom 8639 on the 8th deck and her cell phone number is 617.504.1576. She'll do her best to keep everyone informed on what people are participating in throughout the trip!

The below schedule is 100% optional. You can show up for all of it. Show up for some of it. Get up later. Leave earlier. Whatever you're most excited about doing! It's mostly here to give people the opportunity to meet up with other TWC goers at various points throughout the trip. Because much of the entertainment isn't announced until we're on the ship, we can all figure what we're most interested in attending and when each day shows are announced. 


Saturday: Depart / At sea

  • 11:30am and 2:30pm: Check In!
    • There are specific check-in appointment times for each deck in your embarkation letter if you weren't able to check-in online in advance
  • 2:30 - 4:00pm (sometime in between): Muster Drill!

    • There’s a mandatory “Muster Drill” before we depart to get you acquainted with what to do in case of an emergency. You can find important information and the location of your Muster Station on the back of your stateroom door

  • 4:45-5:45pm TWC Happy Hour @ the Chamber Disco

  • 7:00pm: Dinner in the main dining room

Sunday:

  • 9:30am: Breakfast at the Windjammer Cafe!
  • 7pm: For anyone interested in eating with other TWC members, we'll be meeting at the Main Dining Room at 7pm! Just look for Ashley. Remember, this is the "formal" night in the dining room if you feel like dressing up!

Monday: BERMUDA!

  • Get up, grab breakfast!
  • 9:00am: Arrive in Bermuda
  • 9:30am: Head to Elbow Beach! (Assuming the ship arrives on time.)
  • 12:00pm: Grab lunch at Elbow Beach
  • 4:00pm: Head back to the ship to get changed for dinner
  • 7:00pm: Head out for dinner at the Salt Rock Grill (2 minute cab from King's Wharf) or The Frog & Onion Pub and Restaurant (equal distance in the opposite direction)

Tuesday: BERMUDA!

  • Get up, grab breakfast
  • 9:30am: Head to Elbow or Warwick Beach! The one thing to note is that while ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Warwick Beach doesn't have concessions so bring some snacks or plan on heading out for a late lunch
  • 4:00pm: Be back on the ship. We depart at 5pm and all guests are required to be on board at least 30 minutes ahead of our departure
  • 7:00pm: Dinner in the main dining room!

Wednesday: At Sea

  • 9:30am: Breakfast at the Windjammer Cafe!
  • 7pm: Dinner in the dining room!

Thursday: At Sea / Back home

  • 8:00am: Arrive back in New Jersey
  • 8:15am: All of the hugs! Say goodbye to all of the other TWC members!


Dining Options:

Main Dining Room (Included)
Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:30am 
Snacks: 9:30am - 2pm
Lunch: 2pm - 6pm
Dinner: 6pm - 8:30pm

Because we have Anytime Dining, TWC members can show up at the dining room whenever they would like to get a table. In between breakfast and lunch you can also head in and get snacks and quick foods like french fries, hamburgers, and pizza. The Main Dining Room has a sweeping, multi-level ambience, world-class cuisine and extraordinary personal service from a dedicated wait staff. The main dining room serves exceptional, multi-course meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a new dinner menu each evening in an elegant setting.


Windjammer (Included)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
A culinary destination loaded with an array of delicious food for every meal and snack time – all with spectacular views and a comfortable, casual atmosphere. Browse multiple serving stations featuring pastas, omelettes made-to-order, global cuisine, salads, soups, sandwiches, meat-carving, and tons of tantalizing desserts.
 

Café Promenade (Included)
24 Hours
The multi-level Royal Promenade is the heart of our ships – and the best spot for people watching. Pick a table with a view at Café Promenade, serving Starbucks or illy coffee, snacks, pastries and sandwiches throughout the day and into the night – so you can enjoy the action when you please.
 

Jade Sushi (Included)
Dinner
Chopsticks, ready! A seemingly endless buffet of delicious sushi creations, Jade features innovative Asian-fusion dishes along with classic favorites like sushi, fried rice and more.
 

Johnny Rockets (Not Included $)
Lunch & Dinner $4.95
 

Portofino (Not Included $)
From the first bite of antipasto to the last spoonful of tiramisu, the elegant dining atmosphere at Portofino makes for an evening to remember. Sample the chef's latest Italian creation, or have one of your favorites prepared the classic way.

 

 

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Looking for the information that was sent out last week? Here's a link to it. Or simply find it below...

To make sure you’re ready for the trip we wanted to get you a list of things that are important to keep in mind during preparation. The majority of the information you need can be found in the information packet you received from Touraid with your electronic cruise documents but below is a highlight of the big, and sometimes hidden, tidbits we wanted to point out.


The Big Stuff:
1) You should have received an email from the Touraid travel agency with the subject line "Your Royal Caribbean Cruises electronic cruise documents are now ready.” This has all of the information you’ll need to get ready for departure including your reservation, stateroom and deck numbers, as well as your luggage tags

2) We highly recommend checking-in online before you board! Go here to do that. You’ll need to do it by the 17th. Otherwise you can fill in your information once you arrive at the pier on the 20th


Checking-In:
1) Checking in online is the fastest way to make sure you can board the ship and avoid having to fill in forms when you arrive at the pier. If you haven’t checked-in yet, just go here to get started. This needs to be done 3 days prior to departure if you want to do it online. You’ll need your reservation and passport numbers and if you have any technical difficulties, Royal Caribbean has assistance at this number: 800.398.9819

2) If you check-in online in advance you can board the ship anytime between 11:30am and 2:30pm. If you don’t check-in in advance, Royal Caribbean has designated 30 minute time slots for you to arrive depending on which deck your stateroom is located on. That information can also be found in the cruise packet you received from Touraid

3) During the online check-in process you will be prompted to print out your luggage tags. You should do this in advance and bring them with you. Each tag will have your deck and stateroom number already on them so it’s important that each individual print and bring their own


Documentation:
1) When you arrive at the pier to board the ship you will need to have your passport and your SetSail Pass. Your SetSail Pass can be printed once you’ve completed the online check-in process

2) For more information around what you need for travel documentation from Royal Caribbean, go here


Packing:
1) On the off chance that your luggage is delayed in arriving to your stateroom when you board the ship (you’ll hand your bags to porters with your luggage tags attached as you arrive) it’s a nice back up plan to have a change of clothes and/or a bathing suit in a small bag that you bring on the ship with you

2) You’ll want to bring an overnight bag for your last night at sea. Staff will collect your luggage the night before disembarkation and you will need an overnight bag to carry your night clothes and toiletries in

3) There is one formal attire meal on the second night of the cruise. They recommend bringing a suit or dress. We recommend doing whatever is best for you. If you don’t want to go to the dining room when many of the cruise members are dressed up, the Windjammer Cafe and Johnny Rockets always have a casual dress code

4) As you pack, keep in mind that the cruise doesn’t allow alcoholic beverages to be brought on board the ship, other than two 750 ml bottles of wine per stateroom

5) Here are some other tips that Royal Caribbean has for packing


Cell Phones & the Internet:
1) Charges on the ship and while we’re in Bermuda are going to depend on your mobile carrier, the type of device you have (iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4 for example), and whether or not you have a global data plan. To figure out possible charges we recommend calling your cell phone carrier. They should be able to look up our specific ship (Explorer of the Seas on Royal Caribbean) and let you know what kind of charges you may face

2) There are wifi packages that you can purchase once you’re on the ship. Here are the options: 

        $29.95 for 60 minutes (can be used throughout the trip until it runs out)
        $59.90 for 24 hours of continued access (7am to 7am for example)
        $189.95 for unlimited internet access for one device (lap top, phone, etc)
        $229.95 for unlimited internet access for two devices


Packages, Outings & Happy Hour:
1) You can sign up for unlimited beverage packages, spa treatments, excursions, etc. during the online check-in process. The cruise recommends doing this five days before the departure date but you can always sign up once you arrive on the 20th

2) TWC will have an optional and light agenda (coming shortly) for the cruise so that members on board can join in different activities each day as well as coordinate dinner times! We won’t be scheduling any cruise-led excursions specifically since many people have different interests but encourage you to sign up if you’re interested in snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.

3) While we’re on land we’ll pick a beach and restaurant to head to as a group for anyone who’s interested in joining in. For anyone who’s interested in doing something outside of a beach day, like visiting museums, going shopping, or taking a taxi to look at some of the other sites on the island, the open bar happy hour on the first night is a great time to make friends and see who else might be interested in venturing out with you

4) The one hour open bar cocktail hour just for TWC members will take place soon after we depart on the 20th, from 4:45 - 5:45pm. That magic will be happening in the Chamber Disco room.


Contact Information:
Ashley Lucas is going to be your TWC staff cruise director as you set sail. You can get in touch with her by email (ashley@thewelcomingcommittee.com) or by phone (617.504.1576).