Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by CrusingWithMatt

  1. Day 13 Cobh/Cork, Ireland: We booked the Exclusive Kinsale, Cork City and Blarney excursion through shore excursions group for this port. We arrived in Cobh and boarded a bus right near the port. Our bus tour was good, and we stopped at a small castle in Kinsale, toured around Cork City with a lunch break there, and finished at the Blarney castle for exploring and shopping. The poison garden full of labeled poisonous plants was cool but we only had two hours (which was not enough) for the Blarney castle area and shopping. It was a long but fun day.
  2. Days 10-11 (sea days) Skipped, dm for cruise compass Day 12 Dunmore East/Waterford, Ireland: Today went much smoother than the Azores. We decided a while back not to book any excursions for this port and to self-guide for the day. We tendered to Dunmore East and we were able to take a bus from round trip to Waterford and back for 15 Euro each. In Waterford we spent most of our time in the “Viking Triangle”. We saw the Viking sword (a huge wooden sword about the length of 5 cars that was carved out of an entire tree and a Viking boat. We took the medieval tour/museum and the bishops palace tour. Both tours were good but if I were to choose just one to do again it would be the medieval the museum had many cool artifacts. We ate lunch in the Bishops Palace café (a little café in the corner of the palace). We were happily surprised at how delicious the food was. My wife had a 100% Irish beef burger and I had a fried chicken sandwich on a fresh ciabatta roll and fresh Irish cheese. Mmmmm. The only weird thing was I swore the water tasted like moss. My wife noticed it too and she didn’t mind it, but it was a no-go for me. After the tours we spent time looking in the souvenir shops and then took the bus back early to spend some time in Dunmore East. We walked the cliffs where the views were spectacular, this was my favorite part of this port. We finished off our day in the local pub for a pint and some crisps and tendered back for a good night’s rest.
  3. Day 9 Azores, Ponta Delgada: We booked the “Sete Cidades Hike” through Royal Caribbean for todays adventure. Now bear with me as this story may get long winded. We had breakfast and headed to the Pacifica theatre to be assigned to our bus/guide for the day. We showed our tickets to the attendant and we were given a red “9” sticker and were told it was a “6” (if you looked at the sticker like a normal human you would assume it was a 9 because there was “shore excursions” watermarked into it). I verified we were to use it as a 6… Our number was called, and we headed to board our bus. There was someone at the entrance of the bus to take our tickets that said “Sete Cidades Hike” and told us to find a seat. Our bus started the tour and made it maybe 5 minutes from port before our guide announced overhead that there were two passengers on the bus that were supposed to be on a different tour. I’ll give you three guesses who… The bus went back to the port dropped us off and we found the right bus. Now remember we were explicitly told that our 9 was a 6 right? Guess which number bus we were supposed to be on? 10 that’s right, bus 10. So we were given a 9 and told it was a six, handed our tickets to the to be checked and given back and still managed to end up on the wrong bus… WOW. We boarded bus 10 to actual applause that we made it (and made them 15 minutes late). Thankfully it all worked out and our guide was kind enough to inform the group that it was not our fault for the mishap. The RCCL shore excursion staff must have been hit with a confundus charm that morning. The hike was very good. The pictures don’t do it justice. We got back to the port around 1pm and we were both starving. We decided to quick board the ship to eat lunch and then get off again for a couple hours…or so we thought. The line to board the ship was longer than expected so we boarded and ended our day in Azores without any shopping 😕
  4. If anyone wants the rest of the cruise compasses, please direct message me as I will do my best to keep this from being cluttered with them. Belated Updates start here: Days 6-8 (sea Days): I wasn’t 100% the following days. Day 6 was the chefs table and I felt so bad from my neck that I left half way through. (I made my wife stay to get the experience). I spent most of the following day in bed. The rest of these days were spent relaxing around the pool, in the solarium, or playing chess in the colony club. After six days at sea or so I found myself having trouble finding things on the cruise compass that I wanted to participate in (not feeling 100% may have had something to do with it too. My wife didn’t seem to get as bored.
  5. While I DO have muscle relaxers. I don't like to take them as some of the side effects are dizziness/motion sickness. I'm doing much better now. Maybe 80%
  6. Hello everyone, Sorry I have been absent. I wasn't feeling well (not seasick) from a flare up of an old neck injury the past few days. More to come shortly.
  7. A bloody Margret is just a regular bloody Mary with gin instead of vodka.
  8. Day 5 update (sea day) Day 5 I got up with the sunrise and while the wife got more beauty rest I grabbed a grande mocha and a yogurt parfait and sat out on deck 5 port side near the centrum. It was cool and wavy this morning but I found it relaxing and got caught up on my live blogging. After an hour or so Corin and I played some chess in the colony club and decided today would be a good day for mini golf. We played a non competitive round (which was difficult for me) of golf then I drug her down to deck 5. We knew you could go out on the helipad in the front but didn’t realize you could get all the way to the back on deck 5 too. The view is spectacular. We ended up in the king and country pub for a pre lunch bloody Margret for me and a gin fizz for Corin while we played (our own rules) darts. Both were very good. After lunch the village fair was going on. We were provided 10 brilliance bucks to use in games to try to win more bucks. At the end of the event all your bucks (with your name and room number) went into a drawing for some onboard goodies. Two winners got champagne and another won a thermal spa day and ship tour. Our Chops reservation was at 1730 and boy did it fill us up. Peppercorn bacon, raw tuna tartare, 12oz NY Strips and asparagus…..oooof. we were both so stuffed we (tried to) skip desert…but they had made a special gluten free one for Corin so we split what appeared to be a strawberry/vanilla mousse of some sort. Our last stop for the night was the Cinema for “central intelligence” we were wise enough to get there 30 minutes early this time and got center seats. We made it through about a half hour of the movie before Corin started to get a bit sea sick so we dipped out early for bed. The ship was rocking the most it has yet. Our bathroom door open would swing all the way open then completely close itself. It was a bit harder to fall asleep with this but I imagine it will get worse as we get closer to Europe.
  9. Day 4 (sea day) Day 4 we attended the cabin crawl organized on the cruise critic roll call. It was nice to get to see other types of cabins. We saw an interior, family ocean view, Jr suite, and a master suite among others. Later that evening after our main dining room sitting we learned the hard way that you need to arrive extra early to get a seat in the Cinema. We arrived 10 minutes early to “Instant Family” and the Cinema was completely full. We instead decided to check out the casino and met the wonderful casino bartender Timothy. He went out of his way to make a special drink concoction for Corin and she really enjoyed it. We ended our night listening to a few songs in the king and country pub with some friends we met on board.
  10. Day 3 update (sea day): Weather made it to mid/high 80s breezy. It was hot. We designated today as our official do nothing relax at the pool day. Even though we have barely been on the ship it feels like we've been here for a week already. Crazy right? Other than relaxing at the pool/whirlpool drink in hand we did do a couple other activities. We went ahead and checked out the arcade we had purchased $25 credit for each of us ahead of time since it was 20% off on the cruise planner. The arcade however left much to be desired. The air hockey table is worse for wear the puck will not float across the table and the table has chips out of the surface there was also a few games that would not accept credit on one side making a two player game impossible. We still managed to have a little bit of fun in there. Also most games were $2 per play. After the arcade we went up to the Rockwall and I enjoyed climbing each of the three difficulties with ease. I will have to do it again because I forgot to look around while I was up that high. Corin made it about halfway on two of the Rockwall Lanes. She plans to give it another shot here too. *We also forgot to mention we attended the Cruise critic meet and mingle on day 2. We weren't disappointed but it was definitely not what we were thinking it was. Essentially we all met in the colony club and they gave out a handful of prizes through raffle drawing. Afterwards everybody just kind of left.
  11. Day 2 update: I was woke by the sun rising through our balcony window and was lucky enough to be able to grab a decent picture. Quite honestly day 2 was a bit of a blur I swear we did a bunch of things but I can’t really remember them. We did some exploring and saw the show which was the instrumental men’s singing group Revoiced. We attended the Captains welcome aboard reception and it just so happened to be formal night in the minstrel dining room.
  12. Embarkation day success! Tampa Port security was a breeze as was check in. We have never had so many friendly people around us before. We arrived at the port between 1015-1030 and we're through security within 5 minutes. Check in took no more than another 5 minutes. We had the pleasure of enjoying some company and conversation of Candice and Roy that we had met on the message boards. Once onboard we headed straight for the helipad and were the only ones out there exploring. The windjammer buffet was packed full with no available seating in or outside so we decided to go to the park café. We were able to get a salad and sandwich from there which was more than enough for us. We grabbed drinks at the pool bar which was not busy and by that time it was still only 1300. Our rooms were ready by 1330 and all of our prepaid paperwork was waiting for us (Excursions & arcade credit). The only confusion was with our BOGO dining package. We where initially told that a reservation would be made on our behalf for the first night but that was not the case. We called Chops after the must drill and were told that both Chops and Giovanni’s was booked full for the first two nights but we could pick a different day. We ended up stopping by Chops on the way to the windjammer just to double check and the were actually able to get us into Giovanni’s at 1730 that night. The food at Giovanni’s was phenomenal. Corin and I were in agreement that we apparently had never eaten good food before because our taste buds were stimulated in ways we had never had. I would list exactly what we ordered but I couldn’t pronounce it let alone remember what it was called. (I do have pictures of the menu for anyone interested) we split the pork belly appetizer and each ordered the filet mignon main dish. Both were FULL of flavor and melted in your mouth. By far the best restaurant experience we have ever had. We have Chops booked for day 5 and the chef’s table on day 6 so our standards are very very high for the next two. We wrapped up our evening watching the ship pass under the bridge out of Tampa from the helipad and then taking a dip in the pool while (it seemed like) everyone else was eating. So far we really feel like Royalty with Royal Caribbean. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures. *Sorry for the lack of pictures form the first day. Was a little hectic.
  13. The victory ship was a self guided tour. I believe they do guided ones on the weekend. $10 adults $5 veterans. Very cool and it took us a little over an hour to see everything at a very relaxed pace. Tomorrow we board Brilliance!
  14. We spent yesterday at the Tampa Zoo. It was a great day for the wife (the every animal everywhere lover). Then spent the late afternoon relaxing outside our air bnb watching the lightning/thunder Strom; drink in hand. Today we will be touring the SS American Victory down in the Tampa Port. One more day!
  15. Bravery or stupidity... We will find out 😂 Here's the Itinerary.
  16. Hello Royal Caribbean Blog members! My wife Corin and and I will be embarking on our first cruise which happens to be a TA. Go big or go home I guess. I will be doing a daily blog with a few photos and updates starting on the 4th. Stay tuned! *Crossposted on cruisecritic.com under CruisingWithMatt
  17. We look forward to seeing you on the ship. We are praying for smooth sailing. We will be bringing Bonine (meclizine hcl). But hoping not to use it.
  18. We are 57 days out from out TA May 4-19. Deluxe beverage dropped = $44 yesterday Deluxe bev + Voom surf and stream =$53
  19. We are 57 days out from our sailing and our key price just dropped to $19.99 on Brilliance OTS.
  20. Anyone know if Brilliance of the Seas is enforcing? Would really like to not hang around waiting.
  • Create New...