Happy 2019! So we survived New Years Eve on a ship. It was an interesting atmosphere, but I don’t think I would ever pay extra for the experience. It was basically like formal night on steroids. People were dressed to kill here. Most people that is. A handful of us bucked the system and still enjoyed ourselves, but when it came down to the last 10-15 minutes of 2018, Colton and I wore the only shorts and t-shirts to be seen among the mass of high class humanity crammed into the center of it all on Deck 4. And to take it a step further, as Colton is apt to do, he wore his Screeching Weasel shirt and Kiss boxers. The reactions he got were fantastic and probably even photo worthy at times.
And while this post won’t sound like it, I really am softening on my anti-Royal Caribbean attitude. The line does a lot really well. At the same time though they could really benefit from some lessons from other lines. I guess what I dislike about Royal is the arrogance and condescention of their fans. Spend any time on the Cruise Critic boards and I guarantee you will roll your eyes at the opinions of those who think its the only thing out there worth doing.
Anyway, that said, for what the passengers brought to the New Years party, Royal Caribbean disappointed. They had separate “parties” going on at South Pacific, Royal Viking, Pool Deck and Atrium. Over the course of the three hours after Steph went to bed and midnight, Colton and I bounced between all of them. South Pacific was karaoke early and then a band by midnight and Royal Viking was, as Dangerfield would say, “the dance of the living dead.” The pool deck was an embarrassment. A band played and the pool was open, so those are steps in the right direction. But the big screen had a countdown clock. Literally every network in the world has Times Square coverage on New Years Eve and they have a countdown clock. No more than a couple dozen people were on the pool deck any time we passed through.
The biggest, by far, passenger party was in the atrium where folks were to have “dressed to impress.” The rails of every deck were packed and much of deck four was filled with reserved VIP tables outfitted with champagne and party favors. Note that these tables were “from $900.” Insane. It was packed tight by midnight though and thats where Colton and I placed ourselves as 2019 arrived.
The best party was obviously the crew party happening on Deck 3. In the midst of killing those three hours we did laps on 5 where the sounds of the crew party dominated the atmosphere. Celebrating crew members poured in and out of the crew only doors along the promenade and I’d bet they were the ones having the most fun. And why not, it’s their home and we’re merely visitors.
My only real complaint from the evening though was the food. There was none. This is a New Years party with the guests bringing their best and the food available? Burgers, hotdogs and pizza at Park Cafe. That is ridiculous. I know midnight buffets are a thing of long ago cruising, but if ever there was an occasion to revive the tradition, would it not be New Years? Norwegian has vastly better deck parties for no real reason every single cruise. And Royal can’t throw out some treats when probably 75% of the ship is still out and about at 11pm? Oh well. I doubt we make a habit of spending this holiday at sea. It was definitely fun and we had a great time, but to pay higher rates just to do so isn’t something I see us doing.
Thats all for today. It’s beautiful here still and probably 70’s so I’m squeezing in one more day on deck before no doubt spending the day in the Solarium tomorrow.
Have a great new year.