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henrysea13

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  1. Haha
    henrysea13 reacted to alamode123 in Port or starboard   
    I like my Belize tenders with plum sauce, but my son prefers BBQ.
  2. Confused
    henrysea13 reacted to WHStoneman in It's Gonna be a BUSY Christmas Holiday!   
    We are cruising Rhapsody of the Seas, December 22, 2018.   I thought that I should probably make my reservations for Chops and Giovanni's.  Went to the Cruise Planner and proceeded to find that All of the Speciality Dining Dec, 24-25 are booked solid and there are NO spots open.  I did get to book Giovanni for Wednesday, 26th and Chops for Friday, 28th.  Maybe we might have a cancellation but it doesn't look too promising at this point.  If you haven't made your reservations yet...better hit it soon and hope you can find open spots for reservations.  
  3. Haha
    henrysea13 reacted to jticarruthers in Johnny Rockets milkshakes now included in Deluxe beverage package!   
    So it would be more accurate to say its "Free with purchase of unwanted burger and fries" rather than "Free"
  4. Thanks
    henrysea13 reacted to Adriana in Solo dining   
    Oh my goodness, @henrysea13, that is hilarious!!! Great one!! ... @ellcee, good point with Wunderland. It seems so cool, though!
  5. Haha
    henrysea13 got a reaction from Baked Alaska in Solo dining   
    ha ha ha I have sailed solo often since my first cruise and yes the questions are plentiful I love giovanis but only eat there when sailing with family when alone for me it usually starts with the head man at the door don't you want to make friends? I reply I spent my whole life with the govt fugitive task force and am working please just give me a table by myself if you watch over the following nites of the cruise you will see the eyes on you grow to alarming levels I guess the staff talks a lot oh and one side bene my service has always been impecable🤣
  6. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to tiny260 in (REAL) Cuban Cigars   
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150809-d2172821-Reviews-La_Casa_Del_Habano-Cozumel_Yucatan_Peninsula.html
    Out of your 3 stops this is the only "Official" Cuban cigar distributor on Cozumel, you will have to leave the port and go downtown to get here, but don't buy any "Cubans" from anyone or any place else, I'm not even sure that the humidor on the bottom floor is legit, but I know the one on the top floor is.
    When the waiters and people on the bottom floor ask you in for lunch, just tell them you want to visit the humidor on the second floor (Which is also part of the restaurant, BTW), don't expect them to give you recommendations, you will have to know what you want, they can point out a specific brand, but that is about it.
    If you or your husband researches, La Casa Del Habano is one, if not the only authorized Cuban cigar distributor for the whole Caribbean. It is the only store I will visit to buy my Cubans if at all possible. I did find a really good store on this last cruise in Grand Cayman, awesome selection and service, very knowledgeable staff.
    There is also a La Casa Del Habano in the Falmouth Jamaica port shops now if anyone is interested.
    BTW, everything @Todd W says above I'll add a "Ditto"...
  7. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to Todd W in (REAL) Cuban Cigars   
    carpe diem -    in the majority of ports, these "authentic" cubans will be very over priced and questionable at best unless he is aware of the subtle nuances to tell a fake from a legit.   i'd be more than happy to share (offline) my overseas sources that are without question, legit Cuban cigar distributors.   That being said,  up until the past 10-15 years,  quality of true cubans has rapidly declined as they became more readily available through mass production.   I used to be a huge fan but now i've found so many more non-cuban cigars that are leaps and bounds much better than the current  stock thats out in the market place unless you can find an aged box going back before the cigar "boom" period.    I digress, as this is one of my passions (current stash is well over 2000+ cigars)  and i could ramble on for hours.   In short, when i buy them,  I never buy them at port for reasons mentioned above.   Majority of mine come in from Switzerland via Cuba at a near domestic cigar prices ($6 - $9 a stick)   legit, better quality,  properly maintained and best of all, much more reasonable priced.   more than happy to share my connections and he can see for himself.
  8. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to twangster in Empress 7/30/18 5 Nights inc. Cuba   
    With a 6pm dinner I still had time to venture outside before we departed Havana. 
    By this time the surface of the sun was no longer 250' from us and it had 'cooled' down.  I use that terminology loosely.  The humidity had dropped from 3,000% to 2,999%.  The Captain no longer used Kelvin to measure the outside temperature.  With my core temperature down and with an acceptable margin from boiling point I went up top to catch sail away.

    Four names were announced over the PA system.  Yep... pier runners!  This is not the port I'd pick to be late back to the ship.  Looking down from deck 11 I watched as they walked back onto the ship at least 15 minutes late.  Ok, they haven't benefited from a shower and time in A/C to cool down so I'll cut them some slack for walking.
    Soon enough the sun was beginning to set.


    In better light compared to this morning here once again is the Christ of Havana.

    Fully backed out we started making our way forward out of the harbor. Some locals fishing on the pier to right waved and wished us bon voyage.

    One last look at Del Morro basking in golden hour this time.



    The upper decks were quite busy.  Everyone wanted to capture one last look at Cuba as we sailed away from her.




    It was a beautiful evening and everyone was enjoying it.





    With the sun getting lower the Pool Bar caught my eye.

    It's time.  I had the perfect drink in mind.
    A Kraken Lava Flow.  No drink package but it was worth every penny. 

    What a day.
    After this it was time to head down to my balcony to do some blogging...

  9. Like
    henrysea13 got a reaction from coneyraven in Cancelled Cruise Update   
    Michelle at Mei is also my TA after years of me doing my own thing I decided to give MEI a try She took an impossible situation to royal and after a weeks time solved a seemingly impossible exception to royals sacred rule book BRAVO Michelle you have my business from now on thank you for your hard work and being part of Matts fine blog 
  10. Thanks
    henrysea13 got a reaction from Lindsay in (REAL) Cuban Cigars   
    the little indoor shops area of the port had at least 6 places to buy cigars and tequila but a word of caution the prices will vary wildly many shops are duplications of other shops in the tiny mall owned and operated by the same people and way different prices never pay there asking price bargain the worse they can do is say no when you turn to leave many times you will pay what you want this also depends on how many ships are in port many ships equals many people and much harder to bargain
  11. Like
    henrysea13 got a reaction from Orange Crush in Johnny Rockets milkshakes now included in Deluxe beverage package!   
    I too am surprised it is so rare that royal gives and not take away this is great and yes it is the refreshment package also according to royal corporate
  12. Haha
    henrysea13 got a reaction from Adriana in Solo dining   
    ha ha ha I have sailed solo often since my first cruise and yes the questions are plentiful I love giovanis but only eat there when sailing with family when alone for me it usually starts with the head man at the door don't you want to make friends? I reply I spent my whole life with the govt fugitive task force and am working please just give me a table by myself if you watch over the following nites of the cruise you will see the eyes on you grow to alarming levels I guess the staff talks a lot oh and one side bene my service has always been impecable🤣
  13. Like
    henrysea13 got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Tipping on the Dinning plan.   
    lets also remember that on almost every cruise I have been on the MDR waitstaff is also the staff in the windjammer 
  14. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to twangster in Empress 7/30/18 5 Nights inc. Cuba   
    With Cuba on my mind and with a goal of sailing some of the older and smaller ships in the fleet I booked Empress.  With the current fleet it's hard to get any smaller.  I'm supposed to get a glass block based on my current Crown and Anchor points accumulation so as I thought which ship to 'block' on, getting a glass block from Empress seemed like a really cool idea so I booked this cruise with that other goal in mind.
    It's a 5 night cruise:
    Day 1 - Embark Miami
    Day 2 - Key West
    Day 3 - Havana
    Day 4 - Sea Day
    Day 5 - CocoCay
    Day 6 - Debark Miami
    It's been a few years since I've visited Key West but I need to get some work done so I'm not sure how far I'll venture off the ship. 
    For Havana I've a booked a full day excursion through Royal.  I have an overnight cruise to Havana booked in September so I'm using this trip and excursion to discover and plan my next visit there for maximum cultural enrichment.
    I have many Canadian friends who have visited Cuba.  They've been able to fly direct since, well forever.   They've given me some ideas so this full day excursion should check all the boxes for an initial Cuba experience and allow me to better plan my next visit.
    I've missed a few calls on CocoCay this year so fingers crossed.
    Flights were booked through Air2Sea and I'm taking a dreaded red eye flight with airport transfers to the ship by Royal.  I usually just take a ride-share but as a solo traveler the transfer isn't that bad from a cost perspective and it's for research so I know how well it works getting from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) airport to the Port of Miami and back.  I had to work this weekend so the all night flight is an "efficient" use of my time, or so I keep telling myself to justify it. 
    Not sure when I might sail Empress again especially since she does mostly Cuba runs at the moment so I've splurged and booked a junior suite.  My first solo JS experience.  At the time I booked it was a reasonable price difference.
    My red-eye departs at 1am local time and I haven't started packing yet.  It's only 5 nights so not a hard cruise to pack for. However I better step away from the keyboard and get started.
  15. Haha
    henrysea13 got a reaction from JLMoran in Solo dining   
    ha ha ha I have sailed solo often since my first cruise and yes the questions are plentiful I love giovanis but only eat there when sailing with family when alone for me it usually starts with the head man at the door don't you want to make friends? I reply I spent my whole life with the govt fugitive task force and am working please just give me a table by myself if you watch over the following nites of the cruise you will see the eyes on you grow to alarming levels I guess the staff talks a lot oh and one side bene my service has always been impecable🤣
  16. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Johnny Rockets milkshakes now included in Deluxe beverage package!   
    Excellent point !  We often wail against Royal for removing amenities but almost never give them credit when they add one.  Very nice addition.
  17. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to twangster in Solo dining   
    Oh come on now, we all now @Matt has ALL the answers!
    I cruise solo often.  I am also a frequent solo business traveler.  When you travel for business sooner or later you have to eat.  I'm not going to eat fast food so you reach a point as a business traveler that you get over any hang ups or issues about eating alone in something other fast food restaurants.  Sometimes this means eating at the bar within a restaurant but sometimes I just want a table.  In fact, if someone else is paying the bill, why not try a reasonable sit down restaurant?  
    Cruising solo and eating dinner alone come naturally because I have traveled solo for business.  We all have to eat sometime and in the case of a cruise, we all paid for our included meals.  Since I paid for it, why not try a reasonable sit down experience?
    For solo dining I choose My Time Dining.  I am always seated at a table for two by myself.  Service is typically fast and the wait staff always treat me well.  I have never noticed if any one is looking at me because quite honesty I don't care if they are, much like when I travel for business.  I wear a sports coat on formal night.   It's easy to do and it respects the dining room process.  i don't pay a lot of attention to what other people are wearing and it doesn't bother me if others don't dress up.  I wouldn't even notice if someone wore white after Labor day, I've probably done it myself.
    I tend not to do specialty dining very often.  I do sometimes, but rarely.  The MDR for me is generally ideal .  I take pictures of menus for the blog (flash off) and if I remember pictures of my meals.  I often think what I might blog about or reflect on the day and before I know it my meal has arrived.  
    I paid for the MDR, so I have no qualms about using something I paid for.  
  18. Haha
    henrysea13 reacted to twangster in Independence - 14th-28th July Med - Live(ish) Blog   
    I bought a Rolex a couple of years ago.  They are quite affordable but I hardly wear it and it's a bit bulky. 
    It was $36 on the streets of San Juan.  
    Still not sure what all the fuss is about.
  19. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to twangster in Can we invite extra friend to MDR table?   
    Always at a table for two, by myself.  Tables are so close though that if you have friendly neighbors you can have a conversation.  
    I actually prefer this and usually get great service.  In and out in under 45 minutes, sometimes faster.
  20. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to Matt in Can we invite extra friend to MDR table?   
    Bingo.
  21. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Can we invite extra friend to MDR table?   
    I know what you mean about the "other" forums.  I couldn't agree more.
    The GREAT part about the MDR is that they are so amenable to most anything you want. There will be NO problem whatsoever with inviting another person to join you for dinner.  Since they will most likely seat you at a 4 top (if you ask for that), the addition of 1 more person won't even cause a blink.
    Whether or not they seat "strangers" with you is entirely up to you !  That's what I love about the MDR.  If you WANT to be seated with others, you can ask for that and they will kindly oblige but if you are socially awkward, like me (HA !!) and do not especially want to have to make small talk with someone you don't know, they will make sure that you have a "private" table.  While they are great about making sure you are happy, it is BEST if you pick one or the other (private or not) at the beginning of the cruise, let the head waiter know your preference and stick to it for the remainder of the cruise.  But even if you change your mind and decide to make some new friends, they will accommodate that as well.  It's just easier for them if you make a preference and then stick to it.  I hope your son makes LOTS of new friends !
  22. Wow
    henrysea13 got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Cancelled Cruise Update   
    Michelle at Mei is also my TA after years of me doing my own thing I decided to give MEI a try She took an impossible situation to royal and after a weeks time solved a seemingly impossible exception to royals sacred rule book BRAVO Michelle you have my business from now on thank you for your hard work and being part of Matts fine blog 
  23. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to antarec in REVIEW - Mariner of the Seas 4-Nights 7/9/18 – 7/13/18   
    Hello all, long-time lurker - first time making a big post - just got back from a 4-night cruise on the “new” Mariner of the Seas – I’ve seen some posts on here regarding new features, rooms, dining attire, etc. Hopefully this post can answer some of your questions, or if you have any, feel free to ask and I can possibly answer. Having been on the Allure and most recently the Harmony, Mariner was my first “smaller” class-ship. I was excited to try something new and tried so hard to keep an open mind.
    Embarkation Day - It was pretty stress free embarkation at Port Miami. You cannot miss the ship, as it’s visible from the main highway leading into the port.  We (my fiancé and I) love to take advantage of early boarding, we used Lyft from a Marriot Courtyard near MIA (Lyft trip was under $25) and the driver took us right up front to the Cruise Terminal G – where the ship was located. The porters we right at the curb ready to take our check-in bags (don’t forget to tip).
    We arrived at 10am, proceeded to walk to the far left of the terminal into the double doors, where you will present your Passports and Set-Sail pass. Keep these out & ready to present, as you will need them a few more times. You will head up to the security checkpoint to scan your carry-on bags and ultimately the cruise check-in desk where you will receive your physical Sea-Pass cards. Since we were early, we were lead into a room full of chairs, waiting for the ship to be cleared to board. First boarding happened at 11am.
    Once on the ship you are on Deck 4 – Windjammer is on Deck 11. First thing we noticed, the elevators are extremely SLOW. The stairs will be your friend on this ship. We made the trek up from Deck 4 to Deck 11 – only to find out that the Windjammer opens at 11:30a. We didn’t wait too long, there was a drink stand right there to take advantage of our first drinks on board (DX Drink Package purchased x2). 
    The WJ food was typical of any RC WJ offering---American, Asian, Indian food selections.  There was a lot of Indian curry dishes offered which were excellent. Coca Cola Freestyle machines were located on either side of the WJ next to a window and a drink station. The WJ seating and tables look to be updated, as well.  We loved the WJ offering so much, we only ate at the MDR on Day 1 and elected to eat at the WJ for breakfast, lunches (sans snack at Playmakers), dinners and late-night snacks. Late Night Snacks from 10:30p-12:30p consist mostly of burgers, fries, fried chicken (with bone) and some desserts---American fare.
    Mariner Re-Vitalize Quick Takes:
    Skypad – If you tend to get dizzy real fast – elect NOT to wear the VR mask. I wish I knew before hand – I got dizzy in less than 1 min, had to stop and take it off or else it would not have been pretty. You get a decent amount of time on the bungee cords. Kids would probably enjoy this more than adults
    Playmakers – Pretty cool concept, full bar selection along with sit down tables with separate menu, which costs extra—like a cheaper specialty dining. We ate here once and got the Buffalo wings and loaded nachos. Wings were very tasty and you can’t beat the price for 12 wings for $8. Nachos at $7 were decent, but I liked the wings more. There was also a small pool table and some connect 4 boards.
    The Bamboo Room – Yet another cool concept, with a full bar and sit down tables + menus. The atmosphere is as expected, Hawaiian themed but dark and much quieter than Playmakers. This is a great place to just relax and chat. Bamboo Room specialty drinks are NOT included in the DX Drink Package (If you have the DX you do get a $12 credit and you can pay the difference)
    Movies/Sports at the Pool Deck – World Cup soccer was shown, also recent movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jumanji.
    Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z – This is FREE on the Mariner, compared to Harmony—where they charged a fee. We did it once, fun for kids for sure. Not sure if I would ever pay to do this. Line up about 20 min before opening to get-in on the first play of the day. The line does get long.
    We did not see the ice skating show/do ice skating, Flowride, or watersides. The Flowrider, SkyPad, and Waterslides are all on the Activities Deck – Deck 13. (Main Pool, Solarium, are on Deck 11). We also did not do any specialty dining this time around. Having just got off the Harmony in February - we already had Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grill.
    The Bridge - Deck 11 Forward, left side – Nice views of the control center. No action happening while docked – come back again when the ship is moving to see “action”.
    Solarium – Deck 11 Forward –I believe they added new chairs and day beds---first come, first serve. Very quiet and soothing music compared to the main pool deck.
    New Rooms – Deck 11 Forward – There are new rooms, I believe suites are located here. The rooms are right next to the Vitality Gym. There are actually 2 entrances to these rooms --- you may miss it if you weren’t paying attention 1. Main entrance on Deck 11 Forward-right side, before exiting to Solarium 2. There is an entrance/exit directly inside the gym. After taking a quick peak into 1 of these rooms from the hallway with a window - it looked like an updated room, as you would see in the Harmony. I was able to take some pics, see below.
    Rooms (not the new rooms on Deck 11) – These were NOT re-vitalized. The rooms still had the outdated green interior with standard bathrooms we are all familiar with. We had an interior stateroom, served its purpose as we just slept in there.
    Starbucks – Deck 4 – typical Sbux located right next to Casino Royale and across from Boleros.
    VOOM – I purchased 2-devices VOOM Surf and Stream during the last sale. Speeds were definitely not as fast as Harmony. Per Speedtest – DL: 3.89 mbps/ UP: 1.93. This was not bad for texting, surfing basic websites, and emails. Pulling up a video or sending a picture via text message ---  was very slow. For whatever reason, If you had your heart set on watching Netflix or streaming YouTube videos during your cruise-- I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
    DX Drink Pkg – I purchased this also during one of the sales. $47/day. Worth it if you like to drink (not just alcohol). Stock up on those water bottles to cover your daily costs! Be sure to ask for a shot of Baileys in your coffee at Café Promenade.
    Suite Lounge and Diamond Lounge - were up in Deck 14 by Ellingtons – wasn’t able to partake in these. Working my way up.
    Coca-Cola Freestyle – 2 in the WJ and 2 by Café Promenade.
    “Honey Stung Chicken” / “Chicken Fingers”– Back on the Allure in 2012 I was able to taste these original beauties. In the WJ for dinner they did have “Chicken Fingers” on multiple nights Days 2 and 4 I believe.  While it wasn’t exact, this had the same amount of crisp and taste—regardless I filled my plate and went back for seconds.
    Dog House – Located Deck 11 right corner – AFT.  If you weren’t looking for it, you would miss it.  I had the bratwurst and the cheese bread dog bun. Not bad at all if looking for an extremely quick snack.
    Windjammer – “Wash your hands…” station.  There is an attendant whose sole job is to get you to wash your hands before entering the WJ.  You will catch yourself saying “washy-washy” to yourself or to others before your cruise is over.
    Journey Cover Band – Day 3 – If you like Journey, this was an excellent cover band. The guy actually sings like Steve Perry and tries to look like him too. If you just want to hear Don’t Stop Believing and Anyway You Want It – come into the show 40 min-in. (1hr show)
    Random Piano Guy with Piano - in the Elevators – you’ll spot him. Plays pretty good in tight quarters. Takes trips to random areas on the ship throughout the cruise.
    Shopping – Typical watch sales and $10 item sales are in full effect. Just on a smaller scale compared to Oasis-class ships. The 2 for $20 shirt sale is savage as-ever. They roll the carts out exactly when the sale begins.  There is a ship gift shop, fancy watch/jewelry store, make-up shop, liquor shop. All the basics.
    Port Quick Takes:
    Nassau, Bahamas – We got tickets to the Aquaventure at Atlantis. We had pre-purchased these during sale, tickets were waiting in the stateroom upon arrival. Waiting around till 9am – walking out of port with a hoard of people to be put on buses to Atlantis – then walking into Atlantis and ultimately to the waterpark and then waiting to get a $17.00 locker ----you weren’t really settled into the park till 11:00am. It was crowded; there were 2 other ships at port (Adventure of the Seas and Disney Dream). It was super hot. We rode The Serpent and the Rapids. I think that’s all we did, it was so crowded and hot, we elected to explore the grounds and hotel and head back to the port by 1:30p. Atlantis campus was beautiful, but if I ever go back, it won’t be on a cruise trip.
    Cococay – Talk about construction overhaul. The dock looks nowhere completed, it looks like they haven’t put a dent into the construction or they just hide it real well with the tarps and fences. I personally wouldn’t book a “Perfect Day” trip until 2020—just to be on the safe side. I read on here that they are already canceling trips to “Perfect Day” and replacing it with Miami---WHAT?? Overall we went to the beach for a small amount of time – it was low tide – walked around the shops. Having been to Labadee twice, I think I enjoyed the beach and atmosphere there much better.
    Debarkation Day – We elected to self-service. Had breakfast at the WJ at 7 and was out of our rooms by 9am. There was barely any line at Customs, there was no Global Entry or Mobile Passport apps.  We took a Lyft to FLL about $37 before tip. If using ride share – chose to be picked up at Terminal F – you will be away from the chaos at Terminal G.
    Overall – Not a bad ship at all to get a short cruise fix-in. There are no formal nights, you can wear shorts and t-shirts to the MDR if you want too. The Late Night Snacking was a great option. While I wish the rooms were updated, it served its purpose. The elevators were quite slow, and the A/C in elevators and other some other common areas could’ve worked a lot better. We loved the WJ, it was clean and offerings were excellent for a 4-day cruise---all meals.  Bars were plentiful and it was easy to get drinks and never a bottleneck.






     







  24. Haha
    henrysea13 reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in No Pre-Order of Drink Package   
    I still love you guys...but someone was asking and I happen to come across it earlier.  We Canadians are helpful people 😉
  25. Like
    henrysea13 reacted to HeWhoWaits in Royal Cancels Cruises   
    Another example of why you should purchase trip insurance.
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