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Everything posted by Andrew72681

  1. I’ll be onboard this one as well. Should be a fun on to liveblog along with as it’s our first time in star class.
  2. Yeah, it was really good being able to illustrate how slow our baggage was yesterday at BWI, could see the tags still sitting near where we deplaned.
  3. I’ve noticed on multiple cruises this year that so many of the headliners spend half the show trying to convince you why they are deserving. They treat it like it’s an episode of American Idol or the Voice, I don’t care about the backstory, I came for the music.
  4. I’m thinking this is going to be one of my favorite parts of having the Villa Suite on Harmony in April. It’s midship on deck 12 so it should be pretty quiet out on the balcony and in the hot tub.
  5. Gotta follow the advice of Jamie from Harr Travel on YouTube, always bring an European plug adapter.
  6. We made the mistake of traveling back home to DC for Christmas after moving to Florida. I’m getting really used to 80 degree days in Orlando. Was in the 30s F today in DC and I was freezing.
  7. I love mine, keep them in all the suitcases and backpacks, and one in my headphone case because I’m prone to leaving those on a plane.
  8. Yeah, I just went back to my menu pictures from Odyssey in November and it was still on there. Maybe they just didn’t want Sabrina to have all of her fun on one short cruise.
  9. Looks like an old microfiche system at a library. I’m not even sure why they need any Photo space at all. The app knows my room info, just add the photos there and let me pay for them and get them delivered electronically.
  10. You can actually get a pool and use it more than four weeks out of the year. It’s funny watching people around here, it got down to 50 (10C) last night and this morning people were out in puffy jackets and one lady had on earmuffs.
  11. There’s a way to fix that problem. Do like I did, we built a house just south of @Matt and can be at Canaveral in 80 minutes, Everglades in 3 hours, and Port Miami in 3 and a half.
  12. Day 2 CocoCay We arrive at CocoCay quite early in the morning, and were cleared to depart right around 8am once all the supply runs were completed. The weather was beautiful all day with just a few clouds and a slight breeze. I took the morning to do the first of my two NorthStar rides. Today was the complimentary ride which is done while in port, tomorrow is the longer at sea ride, which cost $29 but goes out over the side some. Right at my 10:30 appointed time my group was called to head up into the capsule. At this time they are only taking up four people (or one larger group if they are all in the same traveling party) at a time for the 10 minute ride in the capsule. You really get a great view of the island and the ship from the capsule as well as getting to see the other ships docked around CocoCay and NCL’s great stirrup cay. One day they’ll let me try and see if I could actually swim between the two, but unfortunately not today.     After checking out the water and sea grass situation on the various beaches I decided Chill beach was going to be my designated spot for the day. After getting all the snorkel gear out that dream only lasted about ten minutes as both near and away from the shore there were a ton of small jellyfish and I didn’t want to ruin a cruise by getting stung and needing assistance.   Being such a nice weather day I decided to hang out by the beach for a while and then by Oasis Lagoon. One thing I really missed while on MSC’s private island last month was having that pool as a backup plan. Lunch today was at Snack shack, which as everyone will remind you be sure to ask for the secret chicken Parmesan sandwich (basically their regular chicken sandwich plus Marina and Cheese sticks).  I also stopped in the other included venue which is Chill Grill as the Skipper’s grill location was closed because of reduced capacity. Lunch there was the standard fair which is an upgrade from most lines as on CocoCay food is actually cooked there rather than brought from onboard and stuck in catering pans for hours.  Once back onboard I figured I’d take an opportunity while all the other adults were on the island to enjoy the solarium. The solarium on Odyssey is a stunning space with multi level pools and gigantic hot tubs.  I also took that opportunity to use the Royal App to cool the room down for when I arrived back to it. You can control the temperature, curtains, lights, and even the TV from the app while on Odyssey. And a little trick for those with kids who have favorite Netflix shows, you can download before coming onboard and stream them to the TV utilizing its chrome SSE functionality.   Tonight’s dinner took us to Giovanni’s table which is the updated concept/pivot away from Jamie’s Italian for Italian food onboard. The space is much more inviting than the “classic” Giovanni’s of other ships and the service was a warm as the restaurant. My waitress Mary “who they gave the Italian name Francesca” was great all throughout the meal. One thing that always strikes me as inauthentic is when giant corporations do things like Royal has with “Nonna’s favorites” like we can’t put together that there’s no grandma involved but rather the Dining team on Dodge Island Rehoboth did a ton of market research on the update look, feel, and menu.  Dinner started with a bread course and was followed by the Meatball appetizer which I’m certain could feed a small army.   As I’m coming back later in the wake I decided against the pizza side of the menu and opted for a classic dish, Chicken Parmesan. While the chicken was delicious I thought the sauce on the pasta was a little bland.  For a post dinner digestif complimentary Limoncello was served, I know many people love it, but to me it is reminiscent of cleaning supplies.  For dessert I went with the Go Bananas which is a Nutella and banana stuffed Stromboli. The filling was good, but I’m still a much bigger fan when bananas and Nutella are put into a thin crepe rather than a thicker dough.  Tonight’s show in 270 is The Book:Seven Chapters, One Adventure. There was mass confusion from lots of guest in the line thinking that they didn’t need to have reservations. The staff handled it way better than I would have. One gentleman was yelling that the app said no reservations required. But it’s clearly spelled out as the way they have seating blocked off the 270 theatre is only seating 140 right now.  The space itself is visually appealing and a great use of what would otherwise just be windows of darkness while out at sea.  The show was very entertaining, but I’m still not sure what the plot was. There’s no dialogue between characters at all. There’s some memorable songs and way too many occasions of using the Chicka Chicka ow from Ferris Buller. Yeah, I’m not sure how that fits but it’s used over and over again. The soace is a technical marvel with the moving screens and the vista screens taking up the back. I would definitely arrive early as the seats in the middle are taken early.   The second show in my schedule for the evening was the comedy show. This weeks comedian was Stephen Thomas. If you’ve ever been to a comedy show onboard any cruise ship anywhere in the world, you’ve seen this show. The first fifteen minutes of the show was just about cruises and old people and old people on cruises.  As I didn’t see it getting any funnier I decided to head out to the Pub and watch the pub singer for the evening. While there I was able to meet Billy from CrusieHabit @monorailmedic and his wife as we enjoyed the pub singer, Steven Burke. He was very entertaining and outside of a few weird bad request, luckily no “Rocky Top.” After closing down the pub it was time to head up and get ready for tomorrow’s sea day.
  13. Day 1 Sunday Embarkation I parked at 11:15 and was through security and checked in within 5 minutes. After heading upstairs to the suite checkin area, we were directed to specific seats for social distancing. Once upstairs we were told boarding should begin around noon. The waiting area in Terminal 18 at port Everglades is nice, but still pales in comparison to the Waiting area at Terminal A in Port Miami. I’ll get to see how the newer terminal in Port Everglades that now handles Celebrity Apex is when I cruise on her in three weeks. The key objective to getting on early was to ensure I could get time on Ripcord and the North Star booked. Once onboard I was quickly able to get on the ships wifi and arrange for the Northstar for CocoCay day and Ifly for Cozumel day. After that it was time to grab some lunch. Luckily Playmakers is still included with the Ultimate dining package so I was on my way to the SeaPlex for what I’m a firm believer is the perfect place for a Playmakers While waiting for food, I took the time to book my shows in the main theatre and 270. This will only be the second showing of Effectors so. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on the great work Nick Weir and the Royal Entertainment team have done during the shutdown. Having never done it before, I wanted to be sure to get in line a few minutes early for bumper cars. I have to say I was quite surprised as besides for a few kids I was one of the younger guest in line. Lots of “older” guest who it would turn out sometimes didn’t really like the idea of the cars bumping, but were just looking for a Sunday drive. IMG_6357.MOV While awaiting sailaway I decided to tour the public areas of the ship. The ship is absolutely stunning from deck to deck. Mostly everything seems so well thought out. I’m still undecided about how I feel about a royal Esplanade versus a royal promenade, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out over the next six days. I also checked out the pumpkin carving displays throughout the ship for Halloween. Dinner (or should I say first dinner) tonight was In Teppanyaki. Unlike in other ships that have both, on Odyssey they have split up the two sides of Izumi with Sushi being down on deck 5 and teppanyaki being up on deck 14. I wasn’t sure I would like the location as the deck plan makes it look like Izumi is off of the windjammer, but the location was great. It’s quiet up there in the evenings (this may change when the windjammer reopens for dinner service) and the location has great views for sail-away. Service was good, not great but the food was well cooked and tasty. I went straight to the main course and skipped appetizers and desserts at teppanyaki as “dessert” would be the filet in coastal kitchen. Luckily I had more than an hour to let food settle between eating which gave me some time to stop down in the casino to deliver some gifts to Chris Wong, who you may have seen in his YouTube videos over the years. Chris mentioned socks being something they can always use as laundry facilities are sometimes hard to come by. Chris was dressed up as an astronaut for Halloween which made him easy to spot. The filet in Coastal kitchen was delicious, I just still always miss that bit of flavor a steak gets when cooked with fire. As fire is a no-go on a ship, the CK filet is a nice stand-in and I’d say I prefer it to the one in Chop’s. After dinners, I decided to head to my room, watch some football and rest off an eventful day and take in the calm of the sea going by. IMG_6357.MOV
  14. Was disappointed in the hotel I stayed in last night so skipped breakfast there. Found a highly reviewed brunch spot not far up the road. Would highly recommend Foxy Browns on Us 1 and fifth Ave. Great bananas foster pancakes, but be sure to book a reservation (they’re on open table) beforehand as there was a line of people before they even opened at 9
  15. In totally unnecessary but nice to have's, my upgrade cleared from my balcony room on 11 into a Junior Suite on Deck 9. Of course the one time I don't need the additional space I'll have it. It also opened up an earlier check in time, so I'll be able to board a little earlier now right at noon, which hopefully means more options open for Ifly and the North Star. In just a few hours I'll get on the road and head down Florida's Turnpike for my stay in Fort Lauderdale. Right now Waze has it at just over three hours. Hopefully there's no problems between Winter Garden and Fort Lauderdale.
  16. My issue isn’t that she wouldn’t be allowed onboard, rather than we’ll be stuck with the very limited ship sponsored excursions for that thanksgiving cruise.
  17. Wish they had done it a couple of weeks ago. Our next family cruise is thanksgiving week which even if we could get it for my daughter tomorrow would be nearly impossible to be “fully vaccinated” by 11/20.
  18. 6 days out and was able to login today and get a Walgreens appointment down the street for an appointment on Friday. Lots of options available with Walgreens, not so much at cvs, even last week I’d have to go an hour away to get an appointment within the window. Will also be taking in some extra resistance with me. Orange County Florida opened up boosters for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine over the weekend, so went out and got one this morning. Was in and out in less than half an hour.
  19. Last month after four years building a brand from scratch, the parent company who owned the brand decided to stop investing and exit the brand. While it sucks because I had poured so much creative energy getting the brand off the ground, it was stale without more investment. The good thing is they paid me to go away and left me with some much needed free time. Unfortunately there’s only so many outlets in the house to turn into smart outlets so I need something else to do. Luckily, my TA had set me up in her agency as I was going through the RC education program and I was able to take advantage of a great offer that RC was partnering with ASTA for. As I wasn’t sure when I’d have to go back to full time working again, I wanted to get the ASTA cruise out of the way. I figured it was a great opportunity to not only try out a brand new ship, but also try out some of the new equipment I got for ship tour videos than to book Odyssey. As there’s what seems like a massive amount of Odyssey live blogs I’ll keep this one brief with mostly pictures and videos. The basics Odyssey of the Seas 10/31/21-11/6/21 Port Everglades 6 Nights Cococay, Cozumel, and Costa Maya Balcony, Deck 11 Starboard side Just me on this sailing. Only my second solo cruise and the first was a four nighter earlier this month. The wife and daughter have school and work so unfortunately couldn’t join me.
  20. Now that we’re less than a month away, I can start laying out plans for my first Celebrity LiveBlog. Some Basics - This will be my first Celebrity sailing, should have had two before but those got cancelled last year. - We depart the Saturday before thanksgiving, 11/20/21 out of Port Everglades -Sailing with me will be my Wife and Daughter (11) - We’re booked into an Infinite Verandah room on Deck 9 - This will be the family’s first sailing since moving to Florida, so first time we didn’t have to hassle with flights.
  21. Just getting back into the message board swing of things. Great blog. So glad great liveblogs are back.
  22. Booked Celebrity Apex for 11/20/21. Should be a fun thanksgiving.
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