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irishgirl0525

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About irishgirl0525

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  • Birthday 05/25/1972

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    Female
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    New Jersey

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  1. Ok! this is very late and not live at all, but here is my blog! I'm sorry it wasn't live, I was just so ready to sleep by the end of the day! Departure day-Saturday 3/2- We woke up in NJ to 4 inches of snow on Saturday morning, but thankfully, we did not have a huge delay. Our flight took off about 2 hours late which was annoying, but I was so glad that we were not on the Southwest flight that clipped another plane’s wing and caused a huge delay for those passengers. After landing we went to visit our friends in Coral Springs and since we were late getting in, we were much later arriving in Miami than we had anticipated. My husband dropped me and my sound asleep daughter off at the Hyatt Regency at 9:30, and then had to drive the car to Miami airport to drop it off, then uber back. Not the most convenient of plans, but it worked. While he did that, I repacked our suitcases for the 3rd time and prepared our embarkation day bag. Next time, I leave 25% of what I took at home! Embarkation Day-Sunday 3/3 Our plan was to hit the terminal between 10 and 10:30 AM. We caught an Uber and arrived at about 10:25, dropped out bags with a very helpful porter whom we tipped well, and then headed in. There were others their ahead of us, but not a huge crowd. It was 10:31 when we went up the escalator, and we walked onto the ship at 10:45. I couldn’t believe it. We had just gotten our picture taken in front of the fake background of the ship when they announced they were boarding Key passengers and we were literally standing right there. We were almost the first passengers on the ship! I felt that the Key paid for itself in that moment! We got on board, took it all in for a few minutes, and headed to the Amber theater to check our carry on bags which was another Key perk and a very welcome one. We headed to Sorrento’s for a slice of pizza (and Mai Tai’s, our first official drink) because we needed something to tide ourselves over until our 12:30 Chops lunch reservation. After that we headed to the pool deck, changed into swimsuits and enjoyed about an hour at the beach pool (and some more mai tais!) Lunch at Chops followed. We had a lovely waitress named Yuting from China, who took a liking to our daughter. We ordered the Chops burger, which I was looking forward to. It was not bad, but just ok. I was sorry I hadn’t ordered the tenderloin. I also wanted to try the goat cheese salad and the gruyere tots but I knew they were not offered for embarkation day lunch. I did ask though, just in case but they were not able to do it, too much going on the first day and those items are time consuming from what I was told. Not a big deal at all, we still got mashed potatoes and mac and cheese! Our room was an extra large balcony on deck 10, starboard side. It was perfect for the 3 of us. We unpacked and organized the room until it was time for muster, which wasn’t too terribly painful, and then we were in our room for sail away. We were in Silk on deck 5 for dinner and we shared a table with another family of 3 with a 7 year old boy and we got along great with them. They also had the deluxe drink package so when the servers with shots came around each night, we never turned them down. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very nice, but the first few nights, drink service was extremely slow. It did get better by the end of the week. I know they are really busy and we weren’t in a hurry, it really was not a big deal. They took great care of us throughout the week. I ordered an appetizer plus escargot every night that we dined there, and one night I asked the headwaiter about having savory bites that I had heard about, and he made sure they were there on Wednesday night. (BTW, I am at a loss for why these are missed. They were kind of dry and odd but we ate them because it was a special request and I didn’t want to be a jerk. We got Shannon signed up for Adventure Ocean after dinner that night as we had missed sign up that afternoon. She was thrilled to go and play, and that gave us a chance to walk to the Boardwalk for some margaritas. We realized that Ocean Aria was about to start, and lo and behold, there were special seats for The Key, so we got a great spot to watch the show, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I kept wondering how they allow for the forward movement of the ship when they start a dive to where they finish but they had it figured out so I tried to stop worrying about it 😊 We headed back to Sabor for margaritas from inside the restaurant, where they were decidedly better than the ones we got at the bar out front. I tried the Avocado margarita which was very good, and I can’t remember which one Ken had. We got the guacamole to go and headed to pick up the little one. Ken went back out to get some drinks for the room so we could enjoy on our balcony. It was a long first day but very enjoyable! Up next-Nassau, where we stayed on the ship.
  2. My SIL and BIL have bough SO MUCH art on the many cruises they have gone on, and then my BIL brags about how many thousands of dollars they have spent on the stuff. And they have totally bought into how much they will be worth, etc. And my husband and I are like, WTF? who spends that much money on cruise ship art? They are not buying art from dealers at home, so it's not like they are collectors. I just don't get it. To each his own, really, it's not like it's unattractive art, but it's a lot of money. Like $25k on a sculpture. He just wants us to know that they have that kind of money to spend, but I'm not impressed.
  3. Oh that's good to know, I was thinking I would play bingo but I didn't know they don't all have winners. It shows you how much I play bingo.
  4. Hello all! I will be attempting to live blog as much as I can from Allure of the Seas, March 3rd Sailing to the Western Caribbean. I am going with my husband Ken and our 5 year old daughter to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We picked Allure because it was recommended as a great kids program and I liked the itinerary, I wanted to go back to Cozumel. It's a first cruise for my family and my 3rd, though it has been 11 years since my last cruise on Navigator OTS in March 2008. She looked very different than she does today! Before that I was on 2 different Carnival cruises for which I did very little planning but times have changed. For 11 months I have pored over posts, obsessively listened to Matt's podcast, and have packed with Sheri on CTTV multiple times. My nails are done, our bags are packed (though I will be repacking them tonight because I have way too much stuff) and our plane boarding passes and set sail passes are printed. Getting there: We are flying out of NJ tomorrow morning to FLL and then going to take a detour to visit a friend in Coral Springs. Then we will head to Miami tomorrow night and try to get some sleep! I fully intend for us to be at the port by 10:30 AM on Sunday and one of the first on the ship to explore and attempt my first public periscope (please bear with me if you are following me!) The itinerary: Western Caribbean: Nassau-We will stay on the ship, which probably won't be as empty as we would like Cozumel-Beach day at El Cozumelino Roatan- Private tour with Victor Bodden tours because I want us to be on our own schedule and stay as long or as short as we want to. We are planning on seeing monkeys and sloths, then some lunch at a local place and snorkeling off of West Bay Beach. Costa Maya-We will spend the day at Maya Chan beach where we will renew our vows and enjoy some relaxation time. Still back and forth on whether or not we'll leave our LO on the ship for this one (she told us she wants to stay on the ship) but that will likely be a game day decision. The room and board: We are in stateroom 10602 large balcony room. We did bid on a Jr Suite and Crown suite through RoyalUp but I do not have my hopes up that it will come through, the ship has been sold out for several weeks and we didn't bid much. It would be a nice treat though. We got the deluxe drink package for $44 per day and the Key which we scored at $19.99 and I felt that was well worth it. We are looking forward to Chops for lunch on embarkation day. We do plan to eat in the MDR, but have a reservation at 150 Central Park and I plan to reserve Chef's table on board when we figure out what day is best. We may add something else but I enjoy the traditional dining and my husband thinks that sounds good too, getting to know the waiter, table mates, etc. We love craft IPAs but not expecting to find much of that on board, so it will be morning bloody marys and poolside margaritas. Any other favorite drink suggestions welcome. I heard @Twangster order a frozen lemonade with grey goose on periscope today so I'll have to try that, sounded delicious! Oh and I almost forgot, we are celebrating my husband's birthday while we're there as well which falls on Mardi Gras this year. Our daughter is very excited about Adventure Ocean and keeps telling us how she can eat dinner with us and then they'll take her to go the "kid's club". I can only hope she likes it as much as she thinks she will. So much to look forward to and I look forward to sharing it with you all!
  5. We'll be getting off Allure as you are getting on! I'm sorry we'll miss you, it sounds like our 5 year old daughters would get along very well, we have a social butterfly too! She is very excited about Adventure ocean!
  6. I am super late responding to this, I guess my notifications were off...I checked and there are 4 ships in port that day. That's a lot! Last night my husband said he would like to get off the ship because otherwise it's 3 straight days on the ship, which is fine with me, but it's his first time and he's not sure he'll like that. I told him then he can do the research and pick an excursion because I am out of ideas for Nassau!
  7. After much deliberation, I finally made a decision this morning and cancelled our dolphin encounter and booked El Cozumelino. Between not feeling great about supporting dolphins in captivity and really wanting a relaxing beach/pool day with a swim up bar, we figured that was the best way to go. I'm excited about a relaxing day!
  8. I was quoted $265 plus 12% gratuity for the vow renewal. which I thought was very reasonable.
  9. Thanks so much for all of the feedback, I'm sorry I disappeared, I was at work and then got busy and couldn't get back to the board! We are going on Allure and it's my first time on the ship and my husband and daughter's first time so that's why I thought it would be fun to stay on. This is what I was thinking, we have other beach days planned. Nassau is actually the first port we are going to. I originally planned to stay on in Roatan because I have been there before but then I heard Nassau was the one to skip. I think this is what is making me consider it the most. I think the shallow water will be great for our daughter and the beach seems like it will be the prettiest. I will check out your Anthem Blog. We actually have a Dolphin encounter booked in Cozumel but I plan to cancel it since my husband is feeling guilty about the dolphins being in captivity and then we would do El Cozumelino. If we did this beach break in Nassau i think we could at least see the dolphins and sea lions (according to my friend) if my daughter wanted to. But you are right, it's a pricey excursion.
  10. So I'm torn between these two options. I was pretty set on staying on the ship for our Nassau stop and enjoying as much as we can when people are off the ship. However, I was out with a friend last night who has been to Nassau a few times and said it's a dump, don't do anything near the port, but she really, really loved her Blue Lagoon beach day, and that it was so beautiful. I have read mixed reviews on the experience there, and I really don't want to spend 5 hours off the ship for that port, but maybe I should reconsider. I know it's all based on what kind of experience I want, very subjective, but I would love to hear opinions and your experience/advice. We are doing a western caribbean itinerary with stops in Nassau, Cozumel, Roatan and Costa Maya. Is the beach at Blue Lagoon going to be better than the others? We'll probably do El Cozumelino in Cozumel, we are doing a private tour and West bay beach in Roatan and Maya Chan in Costa Maya so we have no shortage of beach days.
  11. The only thing I'm going to do is POSSIBLY jog around the track if I'm up early enough in the mornings. Other than that, I'm going to eat what I want and enjoy. Presumably not to the point of exploding 🙂
  12. Thanks for the blog, I have enjoyed reading it. We are going on this itinerary in March on Allure. What time did you meet the ride for Maya Chan?
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