It's no shock that the Cruise Critic community is anxiously awaiting its return to the high seas.
With no cruising on the horizon for months to come, Cruise Critic member twangster took matters into his own hands and created his own "virtual" cruise itinerary, with no limits on itinerary, ship or budget. Using photos from past cruises, twangster's "wild and impossible" cruise itinerary transports readers between various cabins, ships -- and even continents -- all in the same virtual week.
We followed along on twangster's journey, and found ourselves enjoying the virtual ride. Here are a few highlights from his "fake, made up and completely impossible" cruise, and stay tuned to see where he takes us next.
"I've decided to start this cruise in Alaska," twangster writes. "I'll be flying to Anchorage and taking the train to Seward." With flights predominantly empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he scores an unexpected upgrade to Presidential Class.
"It was a great day for flying and while my airplane cabin had windows on both sides the best views were on the right side of plane as we approached Anchorage."
Upon landing, twangster catches a ride to the Anchorage train terminal, where he boards a train bound for Seward.
He take advantage of the bar service on the Gold Star train class.
"In my made up trip it's 5 o'clock everywhere all the time!" he writes.
The train finally arrives in Seward...
... and twangster heads straight for the cruise terminal
"IT'S CRUISE DAY!!!" he writes. "My made up cruise will start on Radiance of the Seas."
At the port, passenger glimpse a humpback whale feeding in coastal waters.
"The cruise hasn't started yet and already Alaska is impressing," he says.
Twangster heads to the top deck to catch the ship's sail-away from Seward...
... and captures this breathtaking sunset shortly after.
So how does twangster plan to make this impossible itinerary virtually possible? He elaborates on a "new fake feature" called the Royal Transporter, which can transport passengers from ship to ship -- and even to different cruise lines.
"For $79.95 (plus 18% gratuity) you can be transported to another ship," he details. "For a discounted rate of $39.95 (plus 18% gratuity) they will transport you to a random ship they choose." He notes that Crown and Anchor Society discounts may apply. "Finally a heavily discounted rate is offered at $19.95 (plus 18% gratuity) but it will transport you to a different cruise line. This is a one way trip as the Royal Transporter is only available on Royal Caribbean ships."
After a few hours onboard, twangster packs his bags and opts for the $39.95 transport to a random Royal Caribbean ship (using his OBC, of course)...
… and he finds himself on Adventure of the Seas in Quebec City!
"I think scored big time with the Royal Transporter team," he writes. "I'll have to mention them on the post-cruise survey."
Twangster sets out to explore Quebec City, which is an overnight port for Adventure of the Seas. He walks the streets, visits La Citadelle de Quebec and heads to a few scenic overlooks. He describes Quebec City as a "little taste of Europe right here in North America."
And -- because Adventure stays docked in Quebec City overnight -- twangster gets to explore and experience the Canadian city by moonlight.
The next day, twagster takes the early morning Royal Transporter to his "favorite little ship with the biggest heart": Empress of the Seas. This choice, he says, comes amid rumors of Empress' departure from the Royal Caribbean fleet.
He spends his first few hours refamiliarizing himself with the ship, all the way from Empress' atrium…
… to what twangster claims is the "best Boleros in the fleet."
He heads to the aft of the ship for sail-away.
"I looked at my watch and it was 5 o'clock," he writes. "Cheers!"
From there, he heads forward and snaps some shots of the vast, blue ocean ahead.
"Looking at these pictures I remember the smell of the ocean air," he recalls. "Closing my eyes brings me right back to this moment."
Soon thereafter, sunset falls upon the ship...
...and twangster heads to the Schooner Bar's happy hour, capturing some incredible night photos along the way.
A couple days into his Empress cruise, twangster wakes up to find himself at Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
"Everything about Perfect Day at CocoCay screams fun!" he says.
He spends the whole day exploring the island -- from Captain Jack's restaurant and CocoCay's towering waterslides, to Oasis Lagoon and Chill Island
After a fun day in CocoCay, twangster heads back onboard to catch another spectacular at-sea sunset.
"The forward deck area is a great place to sail into the sunset," he writes, "but after dark it's also a great place to stargaze." His photos swiftly bring us back to our own stargazing nights at sea.
The next morning, Empress arrives in Tortola. "It's not often Royal Caribbean visits Tortola in the BVI so while I'm on Empress let's do just that," he writes.
Twangster uses this opportunity to visit one of his favorite Caribbean destinations: Jost Van Dyke.
"Cruise relaxation mode engaged," he writes, noting his indulgence in few fruity rum beverages beachside.
After a relaxing afternoon in Jost Van Dyke, twangster heads back to the ship for happy hour at the Schooner Bar, where he runs into the ship's captain. "[I] asked if we might pop into San Juan while we are here," he writes. "Since we are in the vicinity, [the captain] said sure!"
With the ship's last-minute -- and late -- arrival, it didn't take long for the sun to set over Old San Juan. Twangster spends some time exploring the streets by night, before returning back to the ship.
The next morning, twangster transports back to Adventure of the Seas, which is sailing the Gulf of St. Lawrence in between port stops. After a bustling few days on Empress, he writes: "I need a sea day to slow down and relax so this is perfect."
Onboard, he catches an ice show…
Stops by the Royal Promenade for 70s night…
And ends his day with "a hot tub before bed."
By the time twangster waked the following morning, finds himself in Halifax, where he spends the day walking the streets and exploring the city's historic Citadel.
After a long day of exploring, he stops for a much-need meals and samples beer at a local brewery.
He catches the ship before it departs -- but to where, we still don't know!
Where will twangter's itinerary take us next? We'll keep checking his "wild and impossible cruise" Cruise Critic thread and anxiously await to see where we anchor next.