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janetmojo

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  1. Oh my gosh we just passed this lighthouse a few days ago and I have been looking everywhere to find info on it! Anyone know where I can get more info?
  2. So excited to read this blog as we are booked on I think the only other Panama Canal this season (Celebrity Millennium Oct 27th) for our first canal trip so I will be looking for some tips. Luckily (as of now at least) we have I think 6 or 7 ports in the 15 day cruise…hoping that doesn’t change.
  3. After our visitors left we headed down the casino for a few hours and hubby played well and hung onto his money for quite a long time. We will not go into how it went for me but we are still taking most of our first day winnings home and we earned some points so a successful casino trip overall. Time got away from us in the casino so we quickly got dressed for formal night dinner at Coastal Kitchen. I say formal night but I will say the clothing onboard has really run the gamut. Last night we saw everything from tuxedos and formal gowns to a guy in Coastal Kitchen in pajama pants and a t-shirt. Dress your best I guess? Once again we had wonderful service and mostly great food in Coastal Kitchen. Hubby tried the salmon sashimi and had his regular shrimp cocktail (he’s going to miss those next week.). I tried the seafood stew which was tomato soup with two bay scallops and a shrimp cut in half and a couple potatoes in it. It was meh. I also had a small portion of the truffle and mushroom risotto which was cooked perfectly and very good but I couldn’t finish it as I was saving room. We did some sharing for the main dish. I ordered the lamb (excellent) although it was served with a large portion of eggplant Parm?? That just seems odd. Hubby order two lobster tails which somehow missed the photo session? And we shared the scallops. A couple nit picky things since I promised a foodie review. The scallops were supposed to be seared. They had no color and had a bit of a mushy texture. The purée they were served with was tasty but the other promised sides with that dish just weren’t there. Actually I see two quarters of one Brussels sprout. Same with the lobster, I forget what it was supposed to come with but the plate had a lot of butternut squash. I am sure they are having the same supply chain issues that everyone else is. I was stuffed but of course hubby had chocolate cake ha ha! I tucked him into bed and went to the 9:45 TAP Factory show. It was just ok for me. Tapping, drumming, a male gymnast and some kind of odd comedy bits. Maybe I was just tired And now I am caught up! Our biggest decisions today are where to eat
  4. We relaxed in the room (because it is amazing) and showered up and cooled off. I learned that there is such a thing as too much Starbucks in one morning Back to foodie things…I was really looking forward to our lunch back at Giovannis. Dinner there was good but we weren’t very hungry and we were tired and had had a decent amount of cocktails so I really wanted to give it another try and it did NOT disappoint. We started with the standard rolls and olives they bring each meal although these rolls were warm and tasty while the last ones were cold. Hubby ordered another salad (this salad is really big, I think it would be a better balance of ingredients with 1/2 the greens.). The thing I was very most looking forward to was the meat and cheese platter. I had been kind of dreaming about this since we did such a disservice to it the other night. It was SO good. I should have taken an “after” photo because we demolished it this time. Favorites for me were the mortadella and Gorgonzola. The focaccia was really good too. I’m literally drooling about this again while I am typing the next day at 8:30am. Hubby ordered the Beef Muffuletta which was kind of a flat steak rolled up with some meat and cheese in it and then fried. I don’t know if it was exactly his cup of tea but he had a good amount of it considering we had just eaten all that meat and cheese. My inner (and outer) fat kid had been dying for some fettuccine Alfredo and this version was served with chicken. The chicken was a real miss. It was kind of pale and almost tasted boiled so I just shoved it aside and devoured the pasta. It was SO good. I could eat it again right now (I must be hungry this morning.). We were both totally stuffed (we thought) but hubby really wanted something chocolate (ha ha) and so he tried the chocolate ravioli again and I had heard great things about the tiramisu and wanted to try it and I am super glad I did. It was some of the best I’ve ever had. A really great lunch. In the afternoon we had two groups of folks we had met onboard up to look at the room at 2pm and 4pm. No big fancy reception or anything but we passed out a couple Coronas and let people video and take photos. Everyone seemed really genuinely happy for the invite and we enjoyed sharing our blessing of the room with some others.
  5. Friday morning dawned (literally we got up at dawn) and there were some spotty showers around. After walking down to get our Starbucks I was awarded when I got back with a beautiful rainbow that ended right into the ocean. I guess that is where the gold is…way down in the water. Hubby went to the gym (boooring) and I updated this for you lovely people. Israel had arranged some morning activities for us and the room next door. We learned that he and Marla (the other genie) alternate between having 2 rooms and 3 rooms each week and sometimes the rooms are occupied and sometimes not. I think Israel got lucky this week because we and the couple next door seemed pretty low key while Marla was getting worn out by her guests So we started at 9am with the Flow Rider. Hubby was excited for some good one on one training to learn a little better. We had seen in the past (pre-covid) the instructors really help you, walking you into the water etc, but they didn’t do that yesterday. Not sure if it was Covid protocols or what. He worked from his stomach to his knees pretty quickly but after multiple sessions on his knees when he went to do the stand up he was really tired. With no breaks or waiting in line you tire pretty quickly. Me on the other hand…I am really NOT good at this. I have done it before and was equally bad although this time I actually fell down getting into the Flow rider area before we even started (I was fine but how embarrassing.). I managed to do a couple rides on my belly before wiping out and almost ripping off my thumbnail (ow) so I was ok being done with that. I’m not very athletic although I do walk 4-5 miles a day but I was proud of myself for trying “all the things” this trip. The genie had us bring dry clothes along to change into so we could do the Skypad. I sort of wish I had insisted to going back to the room to change as changing in the bathroom when you are all wet just isn’t my favorite but I did think about the fact that Stefan was cleaning the room. So it was fine. Unfortunately we were pretty tired already so we didn’t last very long on the skypad either. By then hubby had done the gym, the FlowRider and the Skypad and it was hot. We were both dead (him of heat and me from humiliation on the FlowRider)
  6. We walked back to the ship, I’m not going to lie it was once again HOT. I live in Florida, I’m used to hot. But they told us Hurricane Sam was kind of sucking the moisture and wind away from the southern Caribbean and it was much hotter than usual with zero breeze. It wasn’t a super long walk back to the ship but by the time we got back we were pretty beat. It was almost 4pm and sailaway was around 4:30 so we just got cleaned up and hung out in the room and ordered some drinks to be delivered. We haven’t ordered any food to the room (I know, we are weird) but it was nice to just hang in our spacious abode and sip drinks while waiting to sail and checking out the sunset. After a quick stop at the bar for a cocktail and to deliver the socks we rode up to dinner at Teppanyaki and enjoyed a lovely time with a grandmother and her two grandsons. We each ordered two items as requested and they ended up bringing ALL the items from the menu. I’m not sure if it was bc of Star Class (they didn’t do that when we had lunch up there) or if they do that for everyone at dinner but we hit maximum food level really quickly despite skipping lunch. It was once again a very good dining experience and “Elvis” our chef was very entertaining and he kept breaking out in songs the kids didn’t know We came back to yet another addition to our zoo and it made hubby miss our cats…
  7. Thursday brought us to Curaçao. Since we had an excursion that lasted most of the day we decided to actually eat breakfast this morning AND I took photos Hubby had a perfect omelet with an English muffin toasted to perfection and I had eggs Benedict with excellent poached eggs. You know how sometimes they can be watery or the white part not cooked all the way or the yellow part is over cooked? Not this time my friends. It was breakfast perfection. We had booked a private tour today with Joey and Jessica of Gone Caribe. I had read excellent reviews of their trips on Cruise Critic and since we hadn’t been to this island I wanted to get a feel for it. They did a wonderful job. Joey speaks five languages and was born and raised on the island. Jessica is French Canadian and they can offer tours to many locations depending on what you want to do and see and in an array of languages. It was only us on the tour which made it even more special. We first visited a beautiful lookout and learned history of the island. We followed that up with snorkeling with the sea turtles at the fishing pier (photos to follow when I get home.). We finished up there right as the big tour group from both the ship and local hotel arrived so it was timed perfectly. Next up a beach stop. We swam, snorkeled, checked out the local wild pigs, hubby got a massage and I had a drink and snack while looking out at the pretty water. Finally we checked out the Flamingo area. They were such a pretty color. Brighter than the ones I am used to at the Animal Kingdom Joey was gracious enough to stop off at a store so I could purchase some socks for one of our bartenders who needed some thicker socks instead of the polyester thin ones the ship provided. No problem and luckily we were able to get 9 pair for $9 so he can share with his roommate. Joey and Jessica dropped us off near downtown so we could snap a few photos of the Fort (which has been turned into a shopping mall of sorts.) We have a thing for cannon photos in my family so I couldn’t resist posing with this one.
  8. Dinner was back in Coastal Kitchen since I wanted the duck and don’t get much of a chance to have it at home. Once again everything was great. Delicious breads and spreads (hubby eats the olive tapenade with a spoon.). Hubby’s obligatory shrimp cocktail of the night and he also had the tuna tartare. I had the octopus, chorizo and potato dish which somehow didn’t make it to the photo gallery here. Entrees were the everyday strip steak for hubby with fries (they have fries on the CK kids menu so I figured it wasn’t a big deal for him to ask.). I had the duck, it was very good. An extremely large portion and the spatzle and blueberry sauce really set it off. We must have skipped dessert because I don’t have a photo (That sounds good right? If there isn’t a photo it didn’t happen.) We skipped the singer and went back to the room to crash. Noting our menagerie was increasing by the night.
  9. We booked a very reasonable ($45 ea) shore excursion with snorkeling at two stops and drinks. Boca Catalina and shipwreck snorkel. We met off ship at 9:45 on not exactly the pier as it said on the ticket but past the pier and the indoor shopping area and out in the parking lot where it was pretty darn hot. No worries though we filled out some waivers and all 21 of us walked down to get on the fairly large sailboat out to the sites. The ride was about 30-40 mins and was breezy and we actually had the sails up even though we were motor assisted. The first site was a fairly shallow, had excellent visibility and was a calm area that would be good for beginners. (Although I could not touch or anything just FYI.). Then we hopped back onboard for a VERY short ride straight away from shore maybe less than 5 minutes away. This was the shipwreck which was a WWII German boat sunk on purpose so that the enemy couldn’t capture and use the ship. Pretty smart IMHO. It was a deep area but we could see the wreck very well even though we were just snorkeling. I didn’t do any free diving as I have been having ear issues but some did. I am anxious to upload photos I took when I get home but they seem very good on the small display of the camera. This area was deep with a stronger current even though seas were extra calm that day they told us. I’d be a little concerned if I wasn’t a strong swimmer (which thankfully I am.). They served some drinks on the way back. It was a nice trip for the cost. 10-2pm. We arrived back onboard and got freshened up a little and grabbed lunch at Giovanni’s wine bar area (the only specialty type restaurant open at 2:30pm). The server was super confused by the Star Class thing but I told him we would straighten it out later as we were kind of starving. I did a terrible job with photos but I had a nice red sangria and we shared the truffle arancini. (We had eaten two when I took the photo.). These were hot and crispy and stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. We also shared a pizza. These pizzas are too big for one person (in my opinion) but since we wanted different things on it they were nice enough to make a 1/2 and 1/2 for us. I really enjoyed the Giovanni’s special which was spicy salami, mozzarella, ricotta, honey and black pepper. Crust was light and crispy. We headed back out after this as a couple drew members we asked had some requests from shore since they cannot get off. We found something akin to a grocery store although it was pretty sketchy. Prices were CRAZY! But we found the items requested and made our was on a very hot walk back to the ship. As we were getting back and the sun was starting to set we noticed how much the tide had come up (if you see the top/bottom photo and look for the tree the water comes way up around it.) Finally as I hopped in the shower during sunset and before we left port I waved to these people on the sunset sail from the shower…the one without the curtain (roll eyes). Hoping I was high enough no one could see me but this could definitely be an issue if we were parked next to another ship.
  10. Alrighty still playing catch up… Wednesday dawned with another beautiful sunrise off our side balcony next to the bathroom. We get up around 6am at home even though we are “retired” so old habits die hard. I will say that Wednesday am after staying up past midnight when hubby was poking my arm at 6am I wasn’t exactly the happiest camper. We pulled into Aruba around 8:30 with the ship tied off and cleared to exit by 9:30. I did fail you guys this morning when I forgot to take my phone to breakfast. I asked when we got our menus if the poached eggs with the farro and peppers still came with pesto and they said no but then said, but we can make it for you. I mean pesto, while basic isn’t exactly something you just have handy in the kitchen to whip up at 7:30am. But they did. I got my single poached egg as requested with the farro and peppers and a nice fairly large dish of pesto. Yum. Hubby had scrambled eggs and bacon and an English muffin and once again everything was hot, and perfect. I took a little walk around while waiting to get off the ship and wanted to include the “infinity” hot tub. There is one above each main pool area. Pretty neat. When the jets are on you cannot see into them. But you would want to be careful you didn’t have any kind of swimsuit malfunction or anything while in them. Also a couple elevator photos. The buttons to call and inside the elevator are the kind where you don’t have to actually touch them with your finger. You can just hover your finger or knuckle over them to get them to light up. Problem with this is, if you accidentally lean near them or if it was a full elevator (they are not full at all right now) I can imagine the buttons would get activated very easily. Also each elevator has a air purifier type thing inside it, as well as of course a camera. Next up we were headed on a ship excursion. Finally getting off the ship
  11. We were supposed to go to Wonderland on Tuesday night but honestly I was still full from sushi and I knew hubby wasn’t looking forward to Wonderland, we have done it before and let’s just say it “isn’t his favorite”. So I asked if he would rather just go back to Chops knowing I wouldn’t eat much and that way he could order “his kind” of food. So a quick text to Israel and we were lined up to head back to Chops. We listened to some music in Boleros and had a few cocktails before our 7pm dinner. I’d post more food pictures but we ordered almost the same thing as the night before so here is a photo my hubby with his giant shrimp cocktail in his Tiger King shirt (which ironically came from WalMart.). After dinner we both went to see Hector the magician. Again magicians are usually not my thing but he was really enjoyable. You can tell he’s got a really good personality to go with the magic tricks. He had some cute videos that were kind of Instagram-y if that makes sense and I thought overall it was an excellent show for all ages. Hubby gave up at that point but since I had had the giant power nap (otherwise known as sushi and wine induced sleep of the dead) I went ahead to the 10:45 showing of The Book in Two70. I had asked a technician a couple days previously about the “broken” robots but apparently it isn’t the robots that are broken but the platform they are attached to. So the platform can’t raise or lower. The robots still work but you can’t see the screen behind them very well. It’s a warranty issue with this new ship and getting someone to fix it apparently isn’t so easy. I thought The Book was very good, talented performers. It was a little “out there” and I knew my husband probably wouldn’t like it so it was good that he didn’t try to stay up. I was in a great seat near the front but if I saw it again I might go one floor up to get a better all around view of everything. One note, this venue is right under our room. We can hear music and such from this venue very late at night. Probably not enough to keep people awake if sleeping in the upstairs room but maybe in the downstairs room. I took a few pictures on the way to the Two70 at 10:30 to show you how dead the ship is…
  12. Well I’m back, sorry for the delay but I have lost the ability to airdrop pics from phone to my ipad which makes this more complicated that it already was So now I’ll do the typing on my ipad keyboard then upload from my phone (roll eyes). I’m just not a tech savvy person. So last we left our heroine she was leaving the cancelled Showgirls show. Luckily fairly early the next morning they announced that the performer was ok, stitches in the head and resting. They are going to reschedule the show for a matinee the last day of the cruise. Tuesday morning was another beautiful morning and after my daily 6:30am walk to Starbucks I settled in to work on the blog and once again avoid the gym but the internet was down briefly so around 8am I forced myself to go have my first breakfast of the trip. I will say that Coastal Kitchen has been excellent. The food has been piping hot and the service fantastic. Pancakes on a cruise ship are usually extremely disappointing but these were hot and freshly made just for me. I enjoyed my solo breakfast while hubby was getting his “gym” on. At this point I may have completely abandoned the idea of going to the gym. Way more important to update the blog right? We hung out in the amazing room until it was time to meet Israel at the Zone Zero Virtual Reality game, which he had really been hyping up. (I think he really enjoys doing it) Well it was broken. In fact it has remained broken the entire trip Oh well something to do next time right? We played a little archery instead. I will let you know if you don’t do it right you can get a pretty good bruise on the inside of your forearm. Three other ladies and I were comparing bruises later in the week. Chalk that up to just something I don’t excel at…maybe if I spent more time in the gym? Next up was sushi lunch at Izumi. Hubby had especially been looking forward to this. We ordered what I thought was maybe not enough food. One miso soup to share, the included edemame, a little snack from the chef, the firecracker roll app, a plate of nigiri, and two roll. This would have been similar if not a little less food than is included in the $35 pre fix menu which looking back is a pretty good deal and a LOT of food. All of it was excellent, we were stuffed and starting to hit the dreaded Star Class food wall. There was a also wine. A decent amount of lunch wine which is normally not a thing I do but it was so tasty So next up…a nap. I napped hard. I told hubby to wake me in 30 mins…2 hours later I stumbled around trying to figure out if it was night or day. It was around 4pm and I had time to shower and pull myself together to go to the bumper cars… Thankfully Israel told us a couple tricks and to avoid getting our knees knocked by the steering wheel (so I only managed to do that once.). I probably would have ridden more than once, it was pretty fun and the line was short but some folks were driving kind of violent and I knew it was only a matter of time before I injured myself so it was a one and done.
  13. Chops is probably our favorite place to eat onboard. I know it is for my husband and it is quickly becoming my favorite as well. We started with some wine and the best bread on the ship (French onion rolls and pretzel rolls.). Then hubby ordered beef carpaccio (I convinced him to only order one as we have plans to return here a couple times) and we both had the giant shrimp cocktail. They were so big I passed my last one off to hubby. We also split the goat cheese salad which has a HUGE piece of fried goat cheese on it. It’s tasty but can be a little strong so you have to grab a little bite of goat cheese with each big bite of salad. At this point I was starting to feel like I was in a Star Class food coma but we pushed on We each ordered the lobster and hubby ordered the ribeye (his favorite cut of steak). The lobster was ok. I do like that it is served fairly plain with butter and lemon and no weird heavy sauces. Mine was a little mushy, that can just happen sometimes but I also noshed on the ribeye so I was great. The steak was cooked perfectly and had a nice char on the outside but was perfectly medium rare inside. We managed to choke down a little dessert. Key lime pie for me and chocolate cake for Leslie. (Remember his thing about chocolate dessert?). At that point hubby was done, done. The cocktails started back during poker at 2pm so I walked him back to bed and headed to the show where Israel had a seat waiting for me. Honestly on this ship things are so empty it really isn’t necessary but it does make you feel special. The show started off brilliantly. Very upbeat songs and dance, fantastic costumes and very talented singers. But ten minutes into the show the music and microphones cut out sharply and I heard the dreaded “Alpha Alpha Alpha”. Oh no. Even worse it was backstage on deck three right in the middle of the show. At first the singer kept singing (even with no music) but they then stopped the show saying it would be just a couple minutes but eventually the lights came up and the cruise director ran out and told us one of the main performers had fallen down some stairs and hit his head The show could not go on. Thankfully we JUST got an update that after a few stitches he is ok and they will reschedule the show for later in the week. I’m so glad but that really was a scary moment. There was a large number of crew and I think performers from The Book in the audience last night and they were all deeply concerned. So all in all another great day and I look forward to catching the show again next time!
  14. After lunch we had another session with the North Star. Something about being 300 feet above the sea instead of the land is actually a little scarier. I had no issues when we did it over land but I held onto the railing this time. After that I wanted to drop by the casino just for a little while. Normally we spend a good bit of time down there but since we paid for the upgrade to the room and we have a good many more cruises coming up in the next year we decided we weren’t going to play this trip. Buuuuut we decided maybe just a few hands of Ultimate Texas Hold Em would be fun. Since we were being super conservative we only had the minimum bid down and I didn’t even bring my phone down since we were not staying long…well what do you know. I hit the Royal Flush on the second hand of play. Doh! Never complain about a win like that but i sure wish I had been betting my more normal amount. Play stopped for the table while they figured all that out and we played a little more, ok we played for a couple hours. Luckily we left with my winnings intact! I headed to a pirate themed meet up at the Ale and Compass bar that was organized on Facebook and met a few new folks. After that it was back to the room for some wine and to get ready for formal night. Well at least shower up and put on clean clothes. We hit Boleros for our pre-dinner cocktail and to listen once again to the acoustic guitar player who must be getting tired of playing for just us and the bar staff? Next up Chops dinner.
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