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IRMO12HD

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  1. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to barbeyg in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    Some anecdotes from the day: boarding was late, and general boarding a zoo. A couple reasons were bandied about:
    1. The medical evac in Key West yesterday evening caused a bit of delay in the ship arriving back to Miami.
    2.  A B2B CC member posted that there were a couple of passengers who couldn’t be found (to leave) and security had to hunt them down.  I envision two people hiding out from security, moving from location to location like a bad Three Stooges skit.  
    We also had the normal refusal of some to go to e-muster. 🙄 E-muster was the first thing we did to get it done. As the afternoon passed, the CD’s tone got more and more irritated. Ken said he was waiting for him to start cussing like a potty-mouthed parrot. 😂 Not sure what would be a good solution to this situation, but maybe they should start calling out names and cabins. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 
    When the ship arrived later than usual this morning the captain didn’t turn the ship around to save time, so we got the pleasure of spinning around in the basin as we sailed away.  We also saw the fireworks from the last night of the arts festival in Miami. So imagine sailing away seeing the beautiful sunset, the skyline of Miami, and the fireworks in the background, all while seated in Coastal Kitchen having an amazing meal. If that isn’t a great beginning to a cruise, I don’t know what is.
     
  2. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from Yesiamthere in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    I found it easiest to connect the device I wanted to switch to to the ship’s WiFi and go to login.com. If I entered my user name and PIN, it would then say “Too many devices” and ask me if I wanted to switch devices. I’d answer “Yes” and it would switch the connection from the old device to the new, logging me off the previous one.
  3. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to deep1 in Oasis Muster station E2???   
    Yes I like to do my homework. I didn't know it was on the app so thats why I asked? Now I know...  I am detail oriented. Don't like it when I don't have all my ducks in a row. I'm responsible for two teens who have never been on a cruise, one that has only been on one... "Why? Really is nobodies business but I'm happy to offer an explanation.  Among my jobs is giving big bgame fishing seminars. The first thing I point out is that there is no such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer. I never whiz on someone for not knowing and appreciate when they do choose to better themselves by asking.  What I notice is they ften ask a question others wanted to know the answer to but were too afraid to ask. 
  4. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to deep1 in Oasis Muster station E2???   
    Fluidity... . One person in a group designated before hand to deal with all the "details" . Someone who can tell teens who havn't cruised before that a few things need doing. Muster being one of them. More sense to say 'station E2 Deck5 cafe promenade". Instead of "I dunno, its some where on this 1/4 mile by 18 story 200 foot wide  chunk of steel we are floating on... " 😄
     
  5. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to twangster in Oasis Muster station E2???   
    These are standard on all OA class otherwise the entire SOLAS and similar documentation for other purposes has to be re-written for each ship.  Much easier to use the same documentation and process on all ships in the class.
  6. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 3 — Nassau (Continued)
    Once we got back to the ship, my new friend invited me back to her and her son’s stateroom — she bid the minimum on a Royal Up to a 2-bedroom aft suite — from a balcony!  It was gorgeous!  BTW, I received my “sorry, your bid wasn’t successful” email at 7:14 pm on the day we sailed.  I think I had figured that out already, but it was nice (?!) to get the official word . . .
     
    I did visit the Casino to make the most of my remaining $20 in Free Play — well, the Casino made more than I did, but I at least netted $5.00!  Then, I tried using some of my OBC ($20.00) and got back $19.00 — so I was $4.00 to the good!  I am not a gambler, that’s for sure.  I did enjoy my two free drinks though!  I think the Casino lessons (they cost $25) are a good deal if: 1) you don’t have the drink package AND 2) you’d like to learn how some of the games in the casino are played without risking any money AND/OR 3) if you’ll use (and enjoy using!) the $25 in Free Play you receive.
     
    Went up and relaxed in the hot tub for a while after dinner (tomato soup, tenderloin, asparagus and mashed potatoes, with creme brûlée AND soufflé cake with vanilla sauce for dessert — yup, two desserts; after all, I put 15,000 steps + on my Fitbit today!  
     
  7. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Dlove707 in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    The e-med tests are a godsend, I Am actually on another cruise right now and was able to take my covid test for this cruise from the ship, see you Sunday
  8. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to barbeyg in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    You guys are the best! Thanks for making me feel welcome in Blogland! 😁 ❤️
  9. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from barbeyg in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    I found it easiest to connect the device I wanted to switch to to the ship’s WiFi and go to login.com. If I entered my user name and PIN, it would then say “Too many devices” and ask me if I wanted to switch devices. I’d answer “Yes” and it would switch the connection from the old device to the new, logging me off the previous one.
  10. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 4 (Perfect Day at Coco Cay)
    Fast forward back to today (that’s an oxymoron, I know):  once I had staked my claim on my daybed at the Beach Club, I made a dash back to the ship to 1) charge my keyboard, 2) charge my phone, and 3) while #1 and #2 were happening, go ride the Perfect Storm slide.  Yup, no line at all — everyone’s at Coco Cay.  I just did it one time; frankly, I didn’t go very fast — but it was still fun.  I had to push my way through a couple of the spots that were less steep, so the run was more sedate than scintillating.  However, I made it back to the Beach Club just in time for my 11:00 lunch reservation — took @Matt’s advice and had the appetizers (I found the ceviche pretty fishy-tasting; the tzatziki sauce and the hummus were really good, as were the shrimp) and the “surf and turf.”  I found that the Platinum C&A 50% discount on wine and beer doesn’t work on Coco Cay.  The sorbet for dessert was excellent; I found the rum cake to be kind of dry and not really “rummy” enough for my taste.  Overall, though, the meal was really good.
    After giving myself about an hour to digest the lunch, I went for a snorkel — out by the lifeguard stand I found a fairly large school of fish near an old pylon, got stung (I think) by a jellyfish, and found that it gets very shallow very quickly over by the cabanas! Came out by South Beach and walked back to the Beach Club.
    Today’s ending step count:  17,455!
    I came back to my cabin to see the saddest sight imaginable — the dreaded luggage tags.
    More tomorrow on disembarkation with The Key.
  11. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from DDaley in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    @DDaley I’m sorry to hear that you missed the excursion.  I believe on this one, they actually had both catamarans, as the one overtook us on the way to the snorkel site.  They were still a bit disorganized when it came to tracking down the missing signatures, but overall I’d say they dealt with the confusion of another ship docking at the same time as our scheduled Excursion meeting time pretty well.
    Our “walking tour” was pretty impromptu; we asked the security guard as we walked out which way we should head to get to the Queen’s Staircase; either we weren’t listening well (highly possible) or he figured we were more familiar with the streets than we actually were, but we did take the “scenic tour” on our way to the site.  Add to that the paucity of sidewalks, and it was quite an adventurous foray to start!
    Hint:  the streets with sidewalks start to the RIGHT of the security exit!
  12. Haha
    IRMO12HD reacted to barbeyg in Oasis, Dec 5, 2021, a live blog failure? Time will tell.   
    Two negative Covid tests.  Thank you e-Med! Getting Ken dressed to go out and test would have been more than he could endure after I finally woke him at 6 am.
    I may have pillaged his wallet for his ID, and had his phone, the test kit, and ID all set up for him, as he staggered out to the table.  What a great wife! I talked him into not worrying about his hair all askew, because this person at eMed will never see him again, right? Unless they are on the cruise, or that person has a website like the “People of Walmart”.  Ssshhh. Don’t put thoughts in his head.
    If you are sailing with us, come up and introduce yourself if you see me, please.  How will you know who I am?  I’m not a bot like Twangster, but I don’t take pics because…well, I take awful photos.  Seriously bad ones.  My best photos have a ‘deer in the headlights of a semi’ look. I avoid the front of a lens when at all possible. I prefer to be behind the camera. But, I will be wearing these at some point, because I like my t-shirts with a bit of snark.

  13. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    UGH.  Always such a bummer
  14. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from DDaley in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 4 (Perfect Day at Coco Cay)
    Fast forward back to today (that’s an oxymoron, I know):  once I had staked my claim on my daybed at the Beach Club, I made a dash back to the ship to 1) charge my keyboard, 2) charge my phone, and 3) while #1 and #2 were happening, go ride the Perfect Storm slide.  Yup, no line at all — everyone’s at Coco Cay.  I just did it one time; frankly, I didn’t go very fast — but it was still fun.  I had to push my way through a couple of the spots that were less steep, so the run was more sedate than scintillating.  However, I made it back to the Beach Club just in time for my 11:00 lunch reservation — took @Matt’s advice and had the appetizers (I found the ceviche pretty fishy-tasting; the tzatziki sauce and the hummus were really good, as were the shrimp) and the “surf and turf.”  I found that the Platinum C&A 50% discount on wine and beer doesn’t work on Coco Cay.  The sorbet for dessert was excellent; I found the rum cake to be kind of dry and not really “rummy” enough for my taste.  Overall, though, the meal was really good.
    After giving myself about an hour to digest the lunch, I went for a snorkel — out by the lifeguard stand I found a fairly large school of fish near an old pylon, got stung (I think) by a jellyfish, and found that it gets very shallow very quickly over by the cabanas! Came out by South Beach and walked back to the Beach Club.
    Today’s ending step count:  17,455!
    I came back to my cabin to see the saddest sight imaginable — the dreaded luggage tags.
    More tomorrow on disembarkation with The Key.
  15. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from Yesiamthere in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 3 — Nassau (Continued)
    Once we got back to the ship, my new friend invited me back to her and her son’s stateroom — she bid the minimum on a Royal Up to a 2-bedroom aft suite — from a balcony!  It was gorgeous!  BTW, I received my “sorry, your bid wasn’t successful” email at 7:14 pm on the day we sailed.  I think I had figured that out already, but it was nice (?!) to get the official word . . .
     
    I did visit the Casino to make the most of my remaining $20 in Free Play — well, the Casino made more than I did, but I at least netted $5.00!  Then, I tried using some of my OBC ($20.00) and got back $19.00 — so I was $4.00 to the good!  I am not a gambler, that’s for sure.  I did enjoy my two free drinks though!  I think the Casino lessons (they cost $25) are a good deal if: 1) you don’t have the drink package AND 2) you’d like to learn how some of the games in the casino are played without risking any money AND/OR 3) if you’ll use (and enjoy using!) the $25 in Free Play you receive.
     
    Went up and relaxed in the hot tub for a while after dinner (tomato soup, tenderloin, asparagus and mashed potatoes, with creme brûlée AND soufflé cake with vanilla sauce for dessert — yup, two desserts; after all, I put 15,000 steps + on my Fitbit today!  
     
  16. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from MaryS in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 4 (Perfect Day at Coco Cay)
    Fast forward back to today (that’s an oxymoron, I know):  once I had staked my claim on my daybed at the Beach Club, I made a dash back to the ship to 1) charge my keyboard, 2) charge my phone, and 3) while #1 and #2 were happening, go ride the Perfect Storm slide.  Yup, no line at all — everyone’s at Coco Cay.  I just did it one time; frankly, I didn’t go very fast — but it was still fun.  I had to push my way through a couple of the spots that were less steep, so the run was more sedate than scintillating.  However, I made it back to the Beach Club just in time for my 11:00 lunch reservation — took @Matt’s advice and had the appetizers (I found the ceviche pretty fishy-tasting; the tzatziki sauce and the hummus were really good, as were the shrimp) and the “surf and turf.”  I found that the Platinum C&A 50% discount on wine and beer doesn’t work on Coco Cay.  The sorbet for dessert was excellent; I found the rum cake to be kind of dry and not really “rummy” enough for my taste.  Overall, though, the meal was really good.
    After giving myself about an hour to digest the lunch, I went for a snorkel — out by the lifeguard stand I found a fairly large school of fish near an old pylon, got stung (I think) by a jellyfish, and found that it gets very shallow very quickly over by the cabanas! Came out by South Beach and walked back to the Beach Club.
    Today’s ending step count:  17,455!
    I came back to my cabin to see the saddest sight imaginable — the dreaded luggage tags.
    More tomorrow on disembarkation with The Key.
  17. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from MaryS in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 3 — Nassau (Continued)
    Once we got back to the ship, my new friend invited me back to her and her son’s stateroom — she bid the minimum on a Royal Up to a 2-bedroom aft suite — from a balcony!  It was gorgeous!  BTW, I received my “sorry, your bid wasn’t successful” email at 7:14 pm on the day we sailed.  I think I had figured that out already, but it was nice (?!) to get the official word . . .
     
    I did visit the Casino to make the most of my remaining $20 in Free Play — well, the Casino made more than I did, but I at least netted $5.00!  Then, I tried using some of my OBC ($20.00) and got back $19.00 — so I was $4.00 to the good!  I am not a gambler, that’s for sure.  I did enjoy my two free drinks though!  I think the Casino lessons (they cost $25) are a good deal if: 1) you don’t have the drink package AND 2) you’d like to learn how some of the games in the casino are played without risking any money AND/OR 3) if you’ll use (and enjoy using!) the $25 in Free Play you receive.
     
    Went up and relaxed in the hot tub for a while after dinner (tomato soup, tenderloin, asparagus and mashed potatoes, with creme brûlée AND soufflé cake with vanilla sauce for dessert — yup, two desserts; after all, I put 15,000 steps + on my Fitbit today!  
     
  18. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    How did I get so far behind??  Having too much fun, I guess.  Let me get caught up by working backwards.
    Right now I’m sitting in my Day Bed overlooking the Infinity Pool at the Coco Beach Club.  First lesson learned — be the first off the ship , go straight to the Beach Club, head straight towards the bar — not for a drink (yet) but to stake your claim to a Day Bed.  There are six to the right of the bar, and (I think) three to the left of the bar — and they get claimed pretty quickly.
    BTW, I think if I take the pictures landscape instead of portrait, they display correctly.  I tried rotating a couple in Gallery, and they just rotated to the other landscape perspective.  But, I digress.
    Got off the ship this morning right at 8 a.m.  I learned that they don’t even want you down on Deck 1 until 8 am, when they play the Coco Cay song.  There was a trolley that I and another passenger kind of Shanghai’ed (there’s a specific trolley for the Beach Club but it hadn’t shown up yet) so we were the first ones here.  Thanks to the advice of a seasoned Beach Clubber on the trolley, I staked my claim right away.
    Working backwards now, on to yesterday (Day 3: Nassau) — if this is confusing, I apologize.
    Had to get up earlyish to get breakfast in the Windjammer so I could digest it before my Sail & Snorkeling Excursion at 8:30.  As it happened, I found a nice solitary table, getting into the WJ just when it opened (funny thing; the app let me make a reservation for 6:45 am, but it didn’t matter because (a) they don’t open until 7 and (b) there were very few people there — maybe 10?  I had assembled my gear the night before, so went back to my cabin, changed into my swimsuit, shorts and tee shirt, and headed out the door.   Mariner came in to dock just as the Shore Excursion groups were getting lined up, so we had to move over on the pier so that we didn’t interfere with that.  Mild confusion.  Then had to get organized into who had signed the sign-in form and who hadn’t — medium confusion.  Proceeded down the pier (masked) to a spot between Carnival ?  And Disney Magic, where our guide determined there were 58 people and 56 signatures. More medium confusion until the culprits were identified (two kids not signed in by their parents).  Finally boarded the catamaran at about 9 and headed out.  
    The snorkeling was pleasant; lots of fish and one baby ray.  Some really pretty coral formations although pretty small; I tended to stay away from the larger groups of people and just float, relax, and (mouth) breathe.  Tried to dive a couple of times but definitely need to work on that skill since I dint have any weights.  After we got back (about 1200) I showered and headed back out with my newfound friend and sister-in-arms (Go Army -Beat Navy!) to explore Nassau - we definitely found the alternate route to the Queen’s Staircase — Fort Fincastle, and a great liquor store/cafe called Giotto Cafe.
     
     


  19. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Owww — now I have a crick in my neck from trying to look at them and figure out how to fix their orientation — sorry!
    Anyway —
    I was putting things away, looked outside my door, and there’s my suitcase!!  Yay!  Started putting those things away and realized that I was supposed to be meeting some folks from our 29 Nov Freedom OTS FB group at the Lime and Coconut 5 minutes ago!  Rushed (well, cheated and took the elevator) up to the 12th Deck, and found the one other member who decided to show up.  Ryan and I had a really nice chat for about 30 minutes, and then I realized I’d best get finished with my unpacking — as I had a heavy evening schedule.
    I LOVE RCL’s Maryland Style Crab Cakes — and they’re on the menu the first night!  And I have a casino lesson at 6.  And dinner starts at 5:30 in the MDR (I have early dining).  Hmmm.  I let my server know as soon as I get to my table that I just want three crab cakes — that’s it!  No dessert?  Not Entree?  Nope, just three crab cakes and water would be great.  They’re so accommodating!  I savor the crab cakes (because they’re just on the first night menu), sip my water — and depart the MDR at 5:55 (I could have left a little earlier, but had to persuade Maricar (my server) that I would be fine, I wouldn’t starve, and no I didn’t need dessert :-).
    Casino Lesson:  $25 gets me two drink coupons, as many lessons from whatever game dealers I want, and $25 in Free Play. Good deal, I say.  I rapidly learn a few things:
    1) I will never understand “Ultimate Texas Hold’Em” — I’m completely scared away for LIFE!
    2). I have a slightly better understanding of roulette now, but really need a cheat sheet to figure out the odds on each kind of bet
    3) Craps is kind of cool
    4) There are lots of guys who when they see someone at a table, assume that there’s actual gambling going on — even though the announcement has been made several times that the Casino won’t be open for play until we’re 12 miles out — like 45 minutes from now — and that those of us trying to learn about a specific game are not interested in their tips on how we should play.  Oops, rant over — but they were really annoying
    5). I think I’ll stick to slot machines for the time being.  But I still have my drink coupons and my $25 Free Play!
     
    After the Casino lesson, I decided I was hungry (go figure!), so I went up to the Windjammer and had a nice big salad, with some protein.  No dessert, not me!  Then I was looking at my RCL app while I was eating my salad, and guess WHAT they were serving in the Windjammer???  CRAB CAKES!
    At that point, my self restraint was broken.  I grabbed a dessert plate, got a coconut cookie and a piece of Key Lime pie; then went over to the Hot Line, and requested (and got!) a little plate with two crab cakes!  I scurried like a squirrel back to my humble cabin, put the crab cakes in a sandwich ziploc that I had just happened to pack, and rejoiced in my cookie and Key Lime pie dessert.
     
    Went to see the Headliner Comedy Show — Rick Corso — somewhat entertaining but not over the top funny.  Had a couple of good conversations with the Cruise Director (Chris) and another veteran (TJ) about the possibility of having a veterans meet up (not really likely on such a short cruise), and then headed back to the cabin — a good, long day, and I’m ecstatic to be on board.
    Then I went to bed.  The End.
     
    Ooops. Nope.  A FaceTime call with my loved ones, and then to bed.  The End.
     
    Nope.
     
    I wondered if I had to make a decision on how I wanted my $25 Free Play — chips or slot machine credit — that day.  It was 11 p.m.  I got dressed back in my “go outside of my cabin” clothes, and walked down to the Casino.  went with my instincts, and turned it into slot machine credit.  Decided, well, might as well try it out.  $10 later, no winnings — I’ll save it for another day.
     
    Went to bed.  The End.  For real this time.
  20. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 1 Activities:
    After — well, no, during!— my lunch, I focused on getting logged in on my Voom account and setting up reservations for shows.  I had an idea of what was available from other people’s Freedom descriptions, but had to get the hang of finding the one I wanted (I.e., Vaccinated vs. Everyone).  I booked a couple of duplicates, so went back and cancelled the ones I didn’t want.  That was pretty easy.  I had also figured out what meals I wanted to eat in the MDR, and then made sure I wasn’t going to overtax my stomach (or scale!) by choosing more than one big meal a day.
    Days I had to watch out for:
    Day 1 — Maryland Crab Cakes in the MDR
    Day 2 — Sushi & Sake pairing in Izumi (I had no idea how much food it would be, but wanted to make sure I could savor it and still enjoy an evening meal — which happened to be tenderloin in the MDR!)
    Day 3 — Nassau, so I’ll be snorkeling — that should burn up a few extra calories
    Day 4 — Coco Beach Club.  Filet and lobster.  Need I say more?
     
    Once I had all of my reservations figured out and made (by which time I had wandered out of the MDR from my lunch, and was just kind of hanging out in the Promenade), I KNEW I had to ask Guest Services about SOMETHING — but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. Hint: it was about the COVID test I wanted to get before I disembarked.   By then, it was about 1:57.  Why so precise a time, you may ask?  Well, the Captain had just come on over the PA moments before and said the rooms would be ready at 2:00 — and it was almost 2!  So I calmly walked up the two flights of stairs, down the hallway to my Interior Promenade room — and THERE WAS MY KEYCARD!  Yes, I was that excited, I was thinking in all caps.
    Here are some pictures (I think, if I can master this silly “Drag Files Here to Attach” procedure . . . Forgive me, please, if some of them turn up sideways; they look fine in my gallery 😞 )
     
     
     






  21. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    The Key . . . So far, so good!
    Things I’ve enjoyed:
    Priority embarkation:   Although my initial time was 11:30, being in The Key line meant that we went in just as the middle of the Suite Line had entered the Terminal and right before the 11:30 crowd - it looked like about 50-60 people in that line.  We were directed to a separate The Key seating area — right next to the General Boarding waiting area, but separate.  I have no idea where the Suite area was, or if there was a separate Pinnacle/Diamond Plus section as well.   There was a restroom right next to us, but, as I typed before, no place to refill water bottles or get a drink of water.  I think RCL needs to rethink that approach.  The Key area was summoned before the other groups to proceed aboard.
    Carry On Bag Handling:  Since I was carrying my two bottles of wine in my carry-on (an E-bags backpack — very comfortable, but kind of heavy when serving as a wine tote), I was very happy to hand it over to The Key staff at the entrance to the MDR prior to going in for my Chops Lunch.  TBH, I was a bit concerned because it had my iPad in it too — but when I got into my room at almost exactly 2:00, there it was perched on my sofa!  I felt badly that I had those concerns, as I really have a lot of faith in the RCL crew members — and they delivered their usual high degree of excellent service.
    Chops Lunch: My filet was really good — perfectly cooked (medium rare) and so flavorful and tender.  I restrained myself and only had grilled asparagus as a side — and no dessert, much to the dismay of my server, Anna.  
    25% Discount on Specialty Dining — yup, it was included, and worked on my Sushi and Sake pairing on Day 2!
    Voom 1-Device: the daily cost for Voom onboard is $22.99 (I think), so The Key gives me the above benefits PLUS Voom for $6.00 / day less than Voom onboard.
     
    One small downside:  the priority access for the shows in the Theater appear to be limited to the 4th Deck, which is the Everybody deck.  I don’t want to deprive families with kids of the opportunity to see shows, so plan on sitting in the Vaccinated sections on the 3rd Deck.  I guess it gives families with The Key a better chance of getting prime seats for their families which is fine.
  22. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    C-0!
    It’s Cruise Day!  I made it to Miami yesterday right on time — about 10:45 a.m.  While my suitcase was not the LAST one off the plane, it was also not in the first 40!  
    Some MIA (Miami International Airport) tips:
    1.  If you’re catching a Hotel Shuttle, look for and trust the “hotel shuttle” signs in the baggage area.  They know where you’re supposed to go even if you don’t!  The hotel shuttle stop is across the first lane of traffic, and kind of hidden.
    2.  It’s a bit of a longish walk from the far gate — if you’re following a 7’0” tall person, do not necessarily try to keep pace with them!  On the other hand, I did get to the Baggage Claim area really quickly 🙂
    I stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Mokena Drive; it’s not the most exclusive area, but the shuttle worked out well, and I felt perfectly safe as a solo traveler.  The desk staff was very helpful; I was all set to leave my suitcase with them and go exploring until my 3:00 check in time.  Fortunately, when they asked me if I cared if I had one bed or two in the room, I replied that one was fine — and they gave me my room right away!   I had a great room on the 8th floor (801) looking west so I could watch planes taking off, but the soundproofing works really well and there was little noise.  I did use public transportation (bus) to go into town to a Target to get a replacement “bite valve” for my water bottle; it managed to fall off somewhere between my arrival and departure gates in Atlanta.
    Made my 9,000 steps goal for the day!
    Red-Eye Flight tip:  find your afternoon/evening meal early (I recommend the Airport Liquor Store and Cafe on 36th Street — had an awesome pork sandwich with adobo chiles and French fries) and be prepared to go to bed early — I made it until 8:30 pm and that was it — lights out until 5:30 this morning!
    I decided to catch the early (9:00 a.m.) shuttle to the Cruise Port (another nice thing about Comfort Inn & Suites — they offer a free shuttle TO the Cruise Port).  I know, I know, “don’t get there too early, you’ll just have to wait.”  I don’t mind waiting, though — I’ll find a porter and get rid of my suitcase pronto, and then go find a spot to sit and read.  I guess my only concern is whether there are any restroom facilities available to people waiting outside, but can always ration my water intake if there aren’t.  I do have The Key, so my latest instructions from RCL were to make sure I am at the Terminal around 11:00; my arrival time on my Set Sail Pass is already 11:30, so either way I’ll have about a 2 hour wait.  
    I don’t have the DBP on this first half of my S2S, so I’ll probably have one Sailaway drink — hmm, decisions, decisions!
    All for now; I’ll post more once I get on Freedom — solo!
  23. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from BrianB in For those who have been in Nassau port recently….   
    When I went on our Sailing and Snorkel shore excursion in Nassau on Wednesday December 1, we were told we should wear our masks on the pier, and pretty much everyone was, including many of the construction workers.  Once on board the catamaran, we took them off.  When we got back, again, pretty much everyone on the pier was wearing them.  When we went “outside” the pier area, I’d say 80% of people (locals and tourists) were wearing them on the street.  The local people we encountered were friendly, and although a few shopkeepers tried to push their samples, a polite “No Thank You” worked well for us.  We went into two shops (cafe/liquor store and another liquor/souvenir shop) and while both had signs requiring masks, neither asked for proof of vaccination.
  24. Love
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 4 (Perfect Day at Coco Cay)
    Fast forward back to today (that’s an oxymoron, I know):  once I had staked my claim on my daybed at the Beach Club, I made a dash back to the ship to 1) charge my keyboard, 2) charge my phone, and 3) while #1 and #2 were happening, go ride the Perfect Storm slide.  Yup, no line at all — everyone’s at Coco Cay.  I just did it one time; frankly, I didn’t go very fast — but it was still fun.  I had to push my way through a couple of the spots that were less steep, so the run was more sedate than scintillating.  However, I made it back to the Beach Club just in time for my 11:00 lunch reservation — took @Matt’s advice and had the appetizers (I found the ceviche pretty fishy-tasting; the tzatziki sauce and the hummus were really good, as were the shrimp) and the “surf and turf.”  I found that the Platinum C&A 50% discount on wine and beer doesn’t work on Coco Cay.  The sorbet for dessert was excellent; I found the rum cake to be kind of dry and not really “rummy” enough for my taste.  Overall, though, the meal was really good.
    After giving myself about an hour to digest the lunch, I went for a snorkel — out by the lifeguard stand I found a fairly large school of fish near an old pylon, got stung (I think) by a jellyfish, and found that it gets very shallow very quickly over by the cabanas! Came out by South Beach and walked back to the Beach Club.
    Today’s ending step count:  17,455!
    I came back to my cabin to see the saddest sight imaginable — the dreaded luggage tags.
    More tomorrow on disembarkation with The Key.
  25. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from KristiZ in Simply Solo Freedom (11/29/2021 - 12/3/2021)   
    Day 2: At Sea
    I wanted to try eating breakfast in the MDR, so I got up in time to make the 8:00 opening of the MDR, and sat at the exact same table (by the window) that I had had the day before for the Chops luncheon.  I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, and then headed up to the 13th deck to participate in my First Annual RCL Mini Golf Tournament (note:  I did say “my” 🙂 ).  I did not win any prizes as I chose to take some of the more adventurous routes to the hole, resulting in a few extra strokes (well, more than a few).  The winning score for 9 holes was 19.  I had 26.  ‘Nuff said.  It was fun, though, and we taught our Sports person (from Macedonia) a few select golfing terms, like “neck and neck” and “scramble” and OMIGOSH.  
    And then I . . .  Don’t remember what I did.  Ummm — Oh, yes!  I went to Izumi for the Sake and Sushi pairing!  It was really good!  I did receive my “The Key” 25% discount, which was nice.  If you have The Key and it includes the discount on specialty dining, make sure you remind the restaurant when you make your reservation, or at least when you go in.  We had five different courses, and four different sake’s — including a sparkling sake, one that was milky white, a “house” sake, and a more refined sake.  Did you know that the grains (kernels) of rice are polished before being made into sake?  It takes off the outer husk so that only the inner part is left; the one with all of the sugar.  Many people in the north enjoy their sake warm.  Oh, and sake production in Japan (and maybe elsewhere) is heavily regulated by the . . . Yakuza!
    After that, I went to the Ice Show (“Freedomice”) — it was a retro (70’s)- oriented show but really well done, I thought.  I figured I’d be cold (it is an ice rink, after all!) but I was not!  The first row of seats is reserved for social distancing, so the closest you can get is the second row.  The “short” end of the rink seemed to be the most popular for seating, but I sat in the middle of the “long” side, and could see perfectly.One of the male skaters made a round of the rink with one of the female skaters balanced on the top of his head.  Talk about core strength!
    Also went to the Headliner show — “Once Upon a Time”. — a retelling of several fairy tales in contemporary style; a lot of fun.
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