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RamblingRandie

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  1. Love
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Hockeyman55 in Harmony of the Seas, Somewhat Live 5/19 -5/26   
    Have a great trip.
  2. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from ellcee in LIVEish, 7 Days on Harmony (05/12/2018 or 12/05/2018 add to the mix May 12, 2018)   
    I've been thinking the same thing.
  3. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from twangster in Adventure 5 Nights 5/5/18 Repositioning San Juan to Bayonne   
    Thank you for the awesome review and photos. Looks like you had a great trip.
  4. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Adventure 5 Nights 5/5/18 Repositioning San Juan to Bayonne   
    Waldo? @twangster?? ūü§Ēūü§Ēūü§Ē

  5. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Matt in Credit Card? Debit Card   
    I agree with above postings.  You can use a debit card, but it does create problems with the holds.  I recently tried to explain this to someone I was cruising with who didn't heed my warning and their account ended up overdrawn.  It all worked out in the end but it took awhile for the holds to be removed.  I always recommend a credit card or cash.
  6. Thanks
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Vee2525 in On board expense account   
    Oh yes. I meant if you didn't have any OBC.
  7. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from JLMoran in Motorized scooter info   
    I just got back from my cruise and wanted to give you an update on how my mother in law fared with the scooter.  I see a few others have answered since I left and all their information is correct from what I observed.  As described above, her scooter was waiting in her stateroom. She did not have a handicap accessible stateroom but it did fit in the room. If possible I would recommend getting that room.  She could not get the scooter in or out without someone being there.  Our stateroom attendant did let her leave it parked out of the room for this reason.  I would assume, but am not certain, that with the handicap accessible room there would be a way after sliding in your room key to have an automatic door opener. But I have no way to know this for sure.  I just think it would make sense. 
    You can get just about anywhere in the scooter, but as stated, you cannot bring it inside the shops or restaurants. It must be parked outside and you have to walk in.  The biggest issue we had was when trying to get off the ship.  You can't take these scooters off the ship.  So my mother in law would drive it down, then she would have to park it in a hallway and get off the ship herself.  There were no wheelchairs waiting except in Labadee.  In St. Kitts she went with her other son. I know they had some issues getting her to the excursion meeting point.  There may have been someone with a golf cart driving back and forth if I remember right.  In St. Maartin they had a tram that went from the boat to the meeting point for the tour buses. But you had to wait for it to come.  So make sure you get off in plenty of time. She didn't get off in San Juan at all as we were just walking around.  Labadee was the easiest port as they had people with wheelchairs waiting right at the ramp. They took you down and through the arch.  You did then had to walk over to where the tram would come, but my husband was able to pay the golf cart driver who was there for Pinnacle and Suite guests to drive us to Columbus Beach. It was my first time there and had heard it was not rocky and it was beautiful and she had no problems getting in and out of the water.  Then we grabbed the other tram car back and when we were dropped off at the beginning of the route there were tons of guys with wheelchairs waiting there also.
    The other issue was getting the scooter back after getting off the ship.  When you leave it in the hallway they take your name and room number, then they drive it off site.  Every port we ran into confusion with this. She would get back on board and no one would know what she was talking about.  My advise to anyone with mobility issues is make sure you have plenty of time when getting on or off the ship or even if you need to take an elevator somewhere.  Because during peak times like dinner, it is hard to find one empty enough to pull a scooter into.
    Hope this helps.
  8. Thanks
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Vee2525 in On board expense account   
    If you don't use all the cash in your onboard account by the end of the cruise, go to guest services to settle your account and they will refund you the money not spent.
  9. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from accio7 in Symphony Of The Seas 14-21 April semi live blog   
    Have a great trip. I will be on Freedom the same days you are on Symphony so I will have something to read when I get back.
  10. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from iluvwineandtravel in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    HaHaHa.  I've see the Ventriliquist twice now.  Once on I think Explorer out of NY in 2014 and last year on Allure.
  11. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Traveler in Symphony Of The Seas 14-21 April semi live blog   
    Have a great trip. I will be on Freedom the same days you are on Symphony so I will have something to read when I get back.
  12. Thanks
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from JLMoran in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    I agree with Sorrento's being a Jersey pizza snob myself.  Awesome review. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
  13. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from DocLC in Motorized scooter info   
    My mother-in-law rented a scooter for our upcoming cruise leaving this Saturday. She has been having some mobility issues also. I will see what I find out and let you know after the cruise. I know she didn't get a handicap accessible room so she told me she had to get one that had max width at 18 so it would fit in the stateroom. So that may come into play for you depending on the room you have.
  14. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to twangster in Serenade 3/30/18 10 night Eastern Caribbean   
    Playing around with a timelapse video from my balcony.  The wind blowing the tripod around makes it look like I'm on a train more than a ship but I'm traveling light and left my heavy duty 8 lb. tripod at home so my cheap but light tripod can't hold still in this wind.  The ship isn't moving very much, just an occasional gentle and slow pitch.  I don't feel it but looking aft I can see a slight up-down slow pitch.  Great day so far.
    Lunch is calling, gotta run. 
  15. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to twangster in Serenade 3/30/18 10 night Eastern Caribbean   
    I won!  Woohoo!  At the CC Meet & Mingle they had a raffle for "stuff you'd never buy" and I won an RC backpack.  Our ship representative warned us several times they tend to fall apart but knew exactly how they could be fixed by sewing them up with dental floss.  Things you make you go "hmmm".  I should have brought my dental floss needle, but heck it's free and I won it (I never win anything).

    Enjoying my balcony today... how else?

    I thought I'd test out wifi calling given that this is a non-O3b ship.  I called my agent to save $400 on a December cruise.  Not bad, the call broke up a few times but in the end I saved $400 so I'll take it!
    As I sat there I spotted a celebrity approaching.


    Using my bot-like vision I discovered it's the Celebrity Silhouette.

    Soon after some birds came along.  At first I wasn't sure what they were doing out here but then it became obvious. 



    Success!  Flying fish being taught a lesson by a flying bird - better to stay in the water.

  16. Love
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Deedeelynn in 30 MAR - 09 APR Southern Caribbean cruise on Serenade   
    That is an amazing itinerary. Have a blast.
  17. Love
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from SaltyNavyCruiser15 in 30 MAR - 09 APR Southern Caribbean cruise on Serenade   
    That is an amazing itinerary. Have a blast.
  18. Love
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from SaltyNavyCruiser15 in 30 MAR - 09 APR Southern Caribbean cruise on Serenade   
    Have a great trip. What's your itinerary?
  19. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from JLMoran in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    Have a great time. Freedom was my first cruise in 2009 and I fell in love. I am sailing on the 8 day on the April 14th sailing also. @jurrjurr
  20. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to Rose City Cruiser in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    Following.  Will be cruising on Freedom April 14th.
     
    Enjoy your cruise!
  21. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to Dawn T. in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    So excited to follow along on your trip!  Freedom was also our first Royal cruise.  Our boys were 12 and 16 at the time.  We were in a balcony, and the boys had an inside room across the hall.  It was awesome having 2 closets and 2 bathrooms!  Congrats on all your upcoming milestones!  Have a great trip!
  22. Like
    RamblingRandie reacted to Floski in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    Joe, add me to the "so excited for you" camp!
    Freedom was my first cruise, and I was simply in complete awe the entire time.  I was such a noob that I 
    thought we had to line up along the pier next to the ship for the embarkation process!   You, my friend, are
    so much more prepared than I was - you're gonna have a blast.  Your blog may just break records here, and
    that's saying something considering the fabulous ones we've enjoyed lately.
  23. Wow
    RamblingRandie reacted to JLMoran in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    Forgot to note in my opening -- We are on the late Traditional Dining slot, at 8:30 PM. This was a more lengthy decision that I first thought it would be. Originally scheduled for the 5:30 PM slot, but we decided to change to 8:30 based on a few factors:
    We never eat dinner that early at home On 3 out of 4 port days, especially in St. Maarten, we'd be very hard pressed to get back on the ship, showered, and ready for dinner in time after our excursions or wandering around We felt that, with it being a Spring Break cruise, the 5:30 slot would most likely have the families with younger children, along with a majority of the senior citizens on board, which we would rather avoid It will be interesting to see how we do with having dinner that late. I know we won't suffer any lack of things to snack on before then, but depending on how we find the show times and other evening activities line up, it's possible we might try to switch over to MTD so we can eat more around 7 PM, which is our normal dinner time.
    We all like Mexican, so this is a great tip! Also going to see if there are any sushi places nearby, since we won't have an Izumi on board and would like one shot at sushi on this trip.
     
    On the Bad News front -- I was really stupid yesterday. I went to clean my eyeglasses and decided that I was tired of always having residue even after washing them, so I used our dish sponge on them. I foolishly thought "scratch-resistant coating = dish sponge safe";¬†now my left lens is completely covered in fine scratches and looking through it is like looking through a thin film of vaseline. I tried a DIY remedy I'd seen in a few places to apply car wax to fill in the scratches. That did nothing, but at least it doesn't seem to have made things any worse. Unless my local optician can get replacement lenses for me overnight, I'm SOL and will be dealing with that vaseline-like haze in my left eye for the entire trip. ūüėě
  24. Love
    RamblingRandie reacted to JLMoran in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    452 days have passed since I booked.
    Now it's just 6 days away!
    I'm single digit dancin'! I'm super excited, and I just can't hide it! No more waiting, no more holding back, it's time to get this ball rolling!
    This will be my live(ish) blog for our long-awaited first-ever cruise. My family and I will be on Freedom of the Seas, sailing out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. It's an Eastern Caribbean itinerary with four sea days and four port days, and we have a fair bit planned on those port days. BUT, that's not all we're doing! We're flying down to Fort Lauderdale 3 days early, as it saved us a ton on the airfare, so we'll be taking in the sights and activities around Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days before we board. AND we're staying one extra day in Fort Lauderdale after disembarkation, to get in one more beach day (and maybe an air boat ride) before flying back home.
    Here's the full cruise itinerary, plus what we have planned each day:
    March 31 - Embarkation from Port Everglades at 5:30 PM April 1 - Sea Day April 2 - Sea Day I'm doing Chef's Table this day April 3 - St. Kitts, 9 AM to 6 PM Dolphin push/pull/swim excursion in the AM Wandering around town in the PM, after we shower and have lunch on the ship April 4 - St. Maarten, 7 AM to 5 PM This is the big big day; we're doing an all-day beach and snorkeling tour around the island with Soualiga Destinations I'll be curious to see how the snorkeling is after the hurricane roared through there last year; haven't really heard much about that on the other recent live blogs to St. Maarten, so I will be sure to report back April 5 - Old San Juan, PR, 7 AM to 2 PM We're meeting up with a friend my older daughter met last summer, who lives in Old San Juan We plan to visit El Morro, and around that my daughter's friend said she'll show us some other interesting places, as well as the best places to eat; this might mean we'll miss a stop at Barrachinos as originally planned, but who am I to ignore the advice of someone who's lived there her whole life? April 6 - Labadee, 9 AM to 5 PM Wife and kids are doing the zip line in the morning All of us are doing the alpine coaster, as I got all-day passes for a really good sale price The rest of our time we'll be chilling in an over-the-water cabana! I heard @Matt's recommendation and rave reviews on his podcast, and I said, "This is my splurge item this trip!" April 7 - Sea Day April 8 - Return to FLL Why this itinerary?
    We needed a cruise that timed well with the girls' Spring Break week, but wanted one that filled up as much of that time as possible and also gave a good mix of port days and sea days. Our only other options were 7-day trips on Harmony or Allure that only gave us 3 ports, or a 10-day on Navigator to the Southern Caribbean that we'd have loved to take, but ran over the time we had (and before we knew we'd want to fly down early anyway). So this wound up being our "Goldilocks" cruise, especially with Freedom being liked by so many as a first-time cruisers' ship.
    We also wanted something kind of big for a first-time cruise, because we're celebrating 3 simultaneous milestones that will all happen in May / June of this year:
    Our 20th wedding anniversary Our older daughter graduating high school Our younger daughter wrapping up middle school Our TA actually has "20th anniversary" down on the reservation for the room my wife and I are in, and "High School Graduation" for the girls' room; I'll be curious to see if there are any decorations in either room when we arrive, or if the staff does anything out of the ordinary. Not expecting it, but ever-hopeful.
    Our Cabins
    We booked two D3 Superior Balcony rooms on deck 8, forward. The rooms are connecting, so my wife and I were able to book in one room together and the girls are in the other room. This was after looking at the prices of suites and realizing that we got more space and saved a ton of money going the two-balcony route. We plan to get the divider opened up as soon as possible, so even though we won't have a suite, we'll at least have a suite-size balcony! 
    The rooms included $100 OBC each, we have no idea what we'll spend that on at this point. The girls are thinking of putting theirs into a purchase at the salon or maybe to get some on-ship merchandise.
    Drink / Dining / Other Packages
    I've purchased the Deluxe package for myself, and I'm planning to at least try and keep a running tally of everything I get to see if it works out. I think it will, but time will tell. The rest of the family has the Refreshment Package.
    Since it's our first cruise, we chose not to plan on any specialty dining and just use the MDR for all dinners. Not sure yet if we'll use the MDR for breakfast, at least on sea days, or go to the Wind jah-mehr for all the morning food. WJ will likely be our go-to for lunch, at least when we're not in port. Depending on whether any lunch specials are offered, we might try Giovanni's for lunch one day. For sure I'll be visiting Sabor, even if only for guac and margaritas.
    I did get the 4-device VOOM Surf and Stream package on a fairly good sale in the Cruise Planner. We mostly plan to use it for communicating with each other through iMessage and Google Hangouts (my wife is the lone Android user), and of course I'll be taking advantage of it to post updates here as I'm able.
    Updating this blog
    I'm only bringing my phone with me, no laptop since the one I have is employer-issued and I'm not working on this trip. I'll post updates as I'm able to each day, but they may be on the shorter side since typing on the phone is a lot slower than I can manage on a proper keyboard.
     
    So looking forward to this!
  25. Like
    RamblingRandie got a reaction from Rose City Cruiser in Freedom of the Seas - Mar 31 to Apr 8 - Eastern Caribbean LIVE(ISH)   
    Have a great time. Freedom was my first cruise in 2009 and I fell in love. I am sailing on the 8 day on the April 14th sailing also. @jurrjurr
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