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Cruising to Retirement!

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  1. We were so impressed with all the very wonderful shows everywhere. If you did not get to the 8 pm show by 7:40 no seats at all. The Pheonix in the in the Music Hall for many great shows we loved. The comedians were really great. The staff was great too. We really loved the Giovannis Wine Bar menu for a lunch and early dinner with our Bogos on 2 nights and our 3 night dining package with another night. So did not go to main dining room at all. The book was really something. We loved the casino especially me because i actually made prime this cruise. Hard to do on the penny slots ha! This has opened a new cruise experience I feel. My husband did the scotch tasting which was great. And we did the awesome Women in Wine tasting that we had done on our Navigator in September. We had a balcony cabin that was on Deck 7 so I was always dependent on the Elevators too. The ship was full but we met lots of people and truly had one of the best times period. Thanks for posting the menus for us. We just fell in love with Giovannis Wine Bar so didn't go to Main dining. We loved the hibachi. It was such a bigger room like 3 times the size. We went twice. I could go on and on. We just got back on Sunday. Happy Cruising everyone! Michelle
  2. We received a paper offer on second day of our second Celebrity cruise saying we have been awarded a free balcony and pay for taxes/port fees only cruise on the Celebrity Solstice in an aft balcony. Many people have received this offer on the Solstice too only for cruises in Jan through Mar 2023. We are both so excited as it is a Pacific Coastal cruise that we booked immediately on board. Being native San Fran Bay Area people we are very excited to cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge. Always been on our Bucket list. Cruise goes out March 25th to April 1st.
  3. What a great idea to remember Royal's private journeys. Alaska is on our short bucket list for sure. Excited to go on the new Odyssey on January 28th and after March Solstice to go on the new Wonder on May 21st. So nice to be cruising again. We absolutely love it! Happy Cruising! Thanks for sharing again your blog and awesome pictures. Michelle
  4. I'm so glad you had a great time! We had a great time in late September. We also stayed at Hotel Maya and we had pictures at the same spot as your picture was Our room was right there also on the first floor walked right out onto the grass. The view of the Queen Mary is breathtaking. Also the restaurant at Hotel Maya was sensational! We walked straight across the lit up bridge in your picture. We caught the fabulous ferry to Catalina island for Thursday before our cruise left on Friday! That was a must! So much history and great views, and just an overall great time. We loved going down to Mexico again on one of our favorites the Navigator. We are going going 2 days ahead of time to LA in March again but cruising out on the Celebrity Solstice with a free cruise voucher out of LA from our 2nd Celebrity cruise on the Equinox in August on our 8 day Equinox they gave many on our ship in August but only on the Solstice in January through March 2023. We are doing a Pacific Coastal this time which we are very excited about! We have a great nonstop from Atlanta on Delta each way again! Delta credit cards really pay off is all we can say! Celebrity Solstice leaves out of San Pedro pier which will be a new adventure also. Your pics you shared were beautiful! Thanks for the memories! Michelle
  5. Enjoy these ports! We love Curacao so much and Aruba especially during the colder months! These islands are so nice and warm during the winter months being so far south. Also we love the wings and nachos a lot too. We are in Aruba until 10. With our sunset cruise being later we will definitely go to Playmakers afterwards for dinner. Maybe just one night's menu to get an idea would be fine too. Thanks! Enjoy so much! Michelle
  6. The new Main dining menus would be a huge help please. We have a 3 night dining package and our BOGO but would love to see if one night be more of our favorite. We wouldn't want to miss our favorite! Ha! I'm so excited for you! We can't wait to do our sunset cruise in Aruba! Also love Curacao and Labadee also! So glad they have a playmakers too since we won't get back til later with the sunset cruise in Aruba. We are doing playmakers as a just because day! I'm sure I will be back for the big sundae, etc. etc. etc.
  7. Enjoy! We are going to be on the 8 night also on January 28th! We are excited about going on this new ship! We have been on the Anthem twice and really liked it too! Michelle
  8. Enjoy! We are on an 8 day Odyssey on Royal on January 28th before we cruise out of LA harbor again on Celebrity Solstice on March 25th to do a Pacific Coastal. We have always wanted to do one. San Fran/Monterey/Santa Barbara/Ensenada/San Diego! On our second Celebrity cruise they were giving away lots of free cruises in Jan/Feb/March of 2023 out of LA only! We received the invite on our second day of our cruise in August 2022. Lots of people received them I've heard. We have never received anything like this in our whole lives truly! Being San Francisco Bay Areans born and raised this was a treat since we live in Atlanta now! I've always wanted to cruise under the Golden Gate! Happy cruising everyone in 2023! Cheers! Michelle
  9. Hope everything went well w your planning. Getting close now! Love doing an 8 night cruise! A B C's here we come! Safe travels! Michelle
  10. We will be on this sailing also. You will love this ABC itinerary so much! We did a 4 day Thanksgiving cruise 6 years ago and loved it. Now with the daughters both married and we are now switching every other Thanksgiving this is going to be our go to. We are a very, very small family so a no brainer really. We stayed home once and I said we must go on cruises over Thanksgiving from now on! It was just too sad for us. I love to see the holiday decorations too! It really jump starts the holiday season! I love that we are going to be in Bonaire until 9 p.m. I'm so happy too about the 8 long, relaxing days and that we can drive to this cruise! Lots of pluses. We changed from the 6 day Harmony in Ft. Lauderdale. This will be more relaxing for us to drive with the flights over Thanksgiving and the airlines situation I think might happen again next year with the pilot shortage still. Sorry I'm from an airline family so I know how things happen a bit. I just said hey lets do an 8 day instead of a 6 day and go to hopefully warmer islands also. We shall see! Fingers crossed! I truly everyone should try and do a Thanksgiving day cruise at least once. It truly is a different experience I think. Good luck with your cruise planning MelandyGA. I see that you might live in GA. We live in the Atlanta area since 2016 job transfer and love the easier access to cruising! Hopefully more people might pop on later when it gets a little closer hopefully. Michelle
  11. My Husband and I just got off the Navigator on Friday September 30th from a 7 day cruise! Our second cruise on Navigator since the remodel. We love this ship so very much! We did not go to Ensenada this last time so interesting to hear more about Ensenada. We did book a Grand Suite this time with some remaining future credits along with cash and since our 38 Anniversary and since we had our honeymoon on a cruise ship doing this exact itinerary meant in June of 1984 this meant the world to us and my 60th birthday celebration too! I'll keep my fingers crossed for your possible upgrade! Our first cruise on Navigator in a suite we had a casino discount in March 2019 that enabled us to upgrade to an Owners suite. It was awesome too! We have been in the Balcony before on Navigator and of course loved it also. Actually 95% of the time we are either in a balcony or Jr. Suite so this was extra special for the occasion which is not our norm but was very special. Absolutely hands down our favorite of all Suite lounge up next to the viking Crown Lounge! I assume everyone has their favoites also. This ship with all the wonderful specialty restaurants is extra special to us. We had the ultimate dining package and were in a food coma for half the cruise. We book a dining package whether we cruise balcony or suite. We knew we were in trouble after having lunch at Giovannis and then we had over a 2 pound Lobster for each of us on the first night at Hooked while looking out to the water which is a little different than Symphony. They have all my favorite restaurants except 150 and the Hibachi selection at Izumi. The package last September when we booked at a much lower than it is presently so very fortunate with this one. No worries we did not go hungry for sure. Now 1 new favorite and 1 old favorite to us I must tell all of you. First my husband and I are San Francisco Bay Californians at heart and live in Atlanta Ga now. My favorite is wine. My husband likes it all... Well they have a new Women of Wine meaning 7 wineries that are run by Women from all over the world. The Sommelier gave us a brief overview and then a projector was set up with the women owners and wine masters showing and explaining their journey with each of their wineries along with a plate of various cheeses and fruit of sort. It was brief but very informative and very interesting It was by far the best plated presentation of a wine tasting with around 30 to 40 people in the side of the dining room since there is not a vintages on this ship. I sincerely recommend to a wine lover this tasting should not be missed. I did not see this on the Symphony in May or we would have done this for sure, but they did again say this was new. Also our old, favorite Chef's Table is on the Navigator. We did this once before. First, the location is on a perch above the second floor dining room with a huge round table for the 12 of us. Lots more conversation can be had around a round table and we feel the best wine ever at a chef's table that we have been too. Of course if you have the ultimate dining package and only incur the additional $50 cost instead of the normal $100 or more sometime so there was no doubt. We did this back in March of 2019 also. The other unique thing about our chef's table was this was our second time having the chef's table on the last night of the ship. Our first time we found out that we had not used our onboard credit yet on the last day and I called and set us up! We said if we come back we are going to do this on the last day. Well when we came back this time and first got on the ship we made all our dining reservations with the package and the last day was the only day open for the chef's table. I think the chef's table on this ship is definitely not a secret. The one downside to these two wonderful events is they both fell for on the last day since the wine event was only on the last day. So we were feeling no pain after dinner. Thank gosh we had packed before the wine tasting event.... So be aware. I will say being at the chef's table makes you so happy on the last night you don't have a chance to get too sad at least that's how I always feel even with specialty dining also. Just my happy place. The one thing that was mentioned about a month ago about the disembarking is no joke. It makes no rhyme or reason. This did not help for suites but everyone should carry their luggage off if you can. We did and saw some suite friends still waiting on their luggage when we finally got down there. We sure couldn't figure out what they did or didn't do because this was very smooth for everyone getting on. The very last thing if you are like us and have a plane to catch especially getting back to the midwest or east coast look into their excursions for after the cruise with the airport drop off to LAX. We did the LA highlights and Rodeo drive including Beverley hills for 5 hours in the most comfortable coach bus that had a great bathroom too! We went inside the area of the Dolby theatre and I walked the stairs that the actors and actresses do that get pictured coming into the Academy Awards, Hollywood walk of fame, walked rodeo and Melrose, and way way too many landmarks to miss. Also the excursion was only $98 so cheaper than even lyft if we had been in the car ourselves. When we knew our flight was later getting out we were happy, but after the taxis and ubers wanted anywhere from $100 to $180 we settled with a large Lyft with another girl who was dropped off close to our hotel for $50 for her and $70 for us. We stayed at the awesome Hotel Maya right on Long Beach Harbor next to the Queen Mary. It was awesome. The bridge lit up at night with so many beautiful colors. So wish we were as lucky as Twangster to stay in the Queen Mary overnight. Bill and I still talk about it. We truly thank you again Twangster for those awesome pictures we will never forget. I know you are probably tired of this long winded spill but I must say one more. We got there on Wednesday afternoon and our ship left on Friday because I wanted to go to Catalina Island. We could just walk over the bridge get on the ferry Thursday and spend the day. That very was a yacht ferry if there ever was one. It was smooth gorgeous seats and the hour flew by. There is so much awesome sights and history at Catalina between the movies made there, the hollywood A list coming over, Marilyn Monroe marrying there at 15 to Wrigley mogul who owned the island and had the Chicago cubs spring training there for 25 years. Also lots of World War II secret training of underwater new scuba equipment, diving, and more. Needless to say we had a ton of fun. The ports have a different wonderful vibe than the carribean ports to us too. If you ever get to that side of the world to cruise you won't be disappointed! Happy Cruising Daley and Happy Cruising Everyone! Michelle
  12. Being on Edge during December will be great with all the holiday decorations! We will be on Wonder in May 2022 and looking forward to it. We also will be on Beyond in April 2023 and looking forward to checking out edge class too. We are going on an 8 night Equinox starting this Saturday with 5 port stops! Pretty port intensive. We are especially looking forward to the Virgin Gorda Baths excursion in the BVI's! We have been trying to get back here to do this excursion then covid hit and fccs so finally we will do it! We did lots of great snorkeling excursions here before so we want to see the Baths this time. So excited to get back on the Equinox that we were just on on July 10th! Ha! This time in Aqua eating in Blu and having access to persian garden which my back will really love! Please send a few pics of the decorations if possible in December! Happy Cruising Everyone! Michelle
  13. That's exactly how we felt about the Retreat with your price point comparisons and we had fccs to use on this sailing and the one for August in the Aqua class. We booked the Beyond in Edge class April 16, 2023 in a Sunset Veranda which has the sliding glass door along with a large balcony in the back. We have a 4 night dining package to try the specialty restaurants and then the 3 dining rooms. (P.S. Twangster had great pictures a few months ago.) When all was said and done it was actually cheaper than Aqua with all the onboard credit. We had a blast. The service was over the top everywhere from Luminae to the Retreat Lounge with full bar, snacks, and spreads in throughout the day plus a spread in our room. They also had a designated silent disco in the retreat one evening, they had my favorite singer come in one night before dinner while we were enjoying cocktails. Complimentary slot pull for retreat guests one afternoon and my husband got the second place money! They had so many people that just couldn't do enough for you. I'm sure this is a lot like Star Class which I've heard so much about. The lawn club was very beautiful and watching everyone making their glass blowing vases to shelves, bottles, pumpkins, ornaments you name it they were all beautiful because these 2 guys in charge were hands on and they all turned out very nice. I'm very much doing this (with their help) on our 8 day in August even with 5 stops which will be the only tricky thing. I'm sure you will enjoy yourself very much. Michelle
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