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Everything posted by NerdDad

  1. I’m so sorry for going AWOL! We had a little bit of internet slowness on the ship, then we were having a ton of fun, and then I had to fly immediately from vacation to a work trip... so just getting home now. Will go through photos and update!
  2. Heading out of Miami now! After some clouds this morning, it’s turned into a very pretty evening! We had a reservation at Chops for lunch today that was delicious. Probably our best Chops visit yet. (No food photos, sorry.) We checked out Riptide which was very fun and going to try the aqua coaster probably tomorrow. It was closed for some sort of maintenance but is now up and running. After a boring muster drill, we are now hanging out in the Suite lounge before dinner. Dad continues to be amazed at the suite life. I’m officially a snob but I think I’m turning him too. ? Overall, our fellow passengers seem to skew 40+ generally. Some kids but relatively few. I was curious myself because it abuts MLK day. ? Off to Jamie’s for dinner tonight for Steve’s birthday! ?
  3. We arrived at Terminal A at 9:45 AM and went straight to the Suite Lounge. We waiting most for the elevator and now have been sitting in the suite lounge waiting. Bags dropped to relaxing was about 7 minutes. They have coffee, tea, lemonade, and sodas available to drink. Moved into a little alcove around the corner from the last time we were here. Looks like some folks just started boarding (maybe back to back folks?) so we should be on shortly. Everyone is very excited over here on a breezy, cloudy morning in Miami. ?
  4. I assume it’s a mix of it being relatively quite this Sunday, having some status with Hyatt, and a bunch of luck. Either way, we’re all extremely thankful. ?
  5. Well, I certainly can’t complain about the hotel situation. We go on the plane and Dad was very excited still. Kept tapping my brother on the shoulder and looking and smiling at us. The cake wasn’t quite on the plane... but it was at the Hyatt Regency. I shot an email to Hyatt telling them about Steve’s birthday and they went above and beyond. We showed up and instead of getting our two small rooms, we got this... And not only this but a cake and some craft beers too! Steve was over the moon and we had SO much fun watching the football game and enjoying our beers. It was so great! Thanks again to the team at Hyatt Regency for going above and beyond. It was such a great start to our vacation! This morning we’re getting ready and heading to the ship a little early this morning so we can get onto the suites. ? Today is Steve’s actual birthday too! So far so good!
  6. And we’re off! Successfully made it up to Boston Logan without any trouble. Dad was very surprised about the limo and remarked, “wow, so this is how you do it.” My brother and I laughed. After a relatively simple 1.5 hour drive and a few glasses of champagne, we were checked in with Delta and hanging out in the Delta lounge up here. Our flight leaves in about an hour so we got here a little early but nothing to complain too much about. Dad is enjoying getting his phone charged and having a cup of coffee... or two. “It’s all free?!” We’ll, if you fly way too many miles with them it is. ? Dad has figured out that we’re in First Class and asked what they’re serving for dinner. Club Sandwich or a Salad. He is unimpressed. This is going to be a trip to remember to say the least! Will report in once we get to Miami and the Hyatt. ?
  7. Thanks @Matt! I guess I’ll just cross my fingers that it aggressively gets less windy by January 15th. Rather be safe though, obviously, than sorry!
  8. Two days to go! Sitting in a coffee shop while one of my little dudes attends a birthday party. Catching up on last minute concerns/flights as weather looks to be sweeping across the United States but so far things look OK for us. We got a little bit of luck from Universal Orlando! Rooms seem to be opening up so we’re going to be staying at Royal Pacific the entire stay instead of doing the final night at Aventura. While we were a little bit excited to try the new hotel, we loathed the idea of packing our bags on the 12th night of our trip if we could avoid it. We’ll give Aventura a try another time and keep our bags in our rooms. ? For my job, I travel a ton and have earned miles and points for days in the last year (flew 125,000 miles last year). I don’t regularly travel for work so when I do I tend to send kind, get-what-you-get emails to the brands I’m loyal to and see if they can do anything special for my family as we travel. I’ve had a TON of success with this and I probably do it once every two years. (I stayed about 65 nights in Hyatt last year after switching loyalties from Marriott brands at the suggestion of my boss.) I’m not going to share too much in case it falls through but it looks like the Hyatt Regency Miami is going to be coming through a big surprise for my family. ? Will be very excited to share with you all assuming all works out! My father, who isn’t the most computer literate gentleman, texted me last night because “something is wrong with my room number”. Turns out, he’s figured out (albeit indirectly) that we upgraded him to a suite. To avoid him giving our travel agent or Royal a hard time, we let him in on the surprise a little early. ? He is very excited albeit it I think slightly in shock and unsure how to respond. Just a lot of “oh wow, thank you’s”. Going to be a big week for him! Tomorrow, we’ll be driving up to Boston to fly direct to Miami arriving later tomorrow evening. Very excited we’re so close and only a tiny bit of packing to go...
  9. Watching this closely as we’re boarding Navigator on Monday. Less worried about rough seas, more worried about missing CocoCay (but fingers crossed and good vibes for all). ?
  10. We still haven’t heard from the concierge so I shot an email to the Navigator’s email address and hope I don’t come off annoying. Just want to figure out specialty dining reservations so we can plan around them. Anyone else experience no email before the cruise? I haven’t had trouble before. ?
  11. Ha! I went to Boston University! My first time at Hooked but excited for some seafood.
  12. Have a great cruise! Glad it all worked out after all the charterizing. ? Excited to read along!
  13. Standard two queens. Didn’t have a ton of options for the full stay seemingly.
  14. @SweetPea would love your suggestions! I didn’t know you could make requests (we do most family trips to Disney).
  15. I decided to get some t-shirts made a few weeks ago and they just arrived today! I'm not sure we'll end up doing the group t-shirt thing but they'll be funny to wear on certain days. (And, in order to understand the joke on one of them, it's important to know our last name is Daigle.) ? Please excuse all the drink package humor... it's more that we can no longer party like we used to but like to pretend we can when we cruise. ?
  16. One step ahead of you! ? We got it during the last sale for a pretty good deal too. I'm not sure we'll ever be in the main dining room this trip. My brother is in on most things as he super enjoys planning things too so I don't want to rob him of that. If anyone has any tips on fun surprises, let me know. I'm going to let the concierge in on it when they email in hopes they have some fun ideas too. ?
  17. I read your live blog @emsff02 and loved it! I've been waffling on the VIP tour because I sort of feel like you don't get to experience the park as much if you do it. (We did the shared VIP tour once before but sort of nervous bringing my very gregarious Dad into a shared tour setting. ?)
  18. @druidspirit I needed to make some “family cruise deposits” first to make this work. ? I’m sorry to hear about your Dad. We lost our Mom pretty young a few years ago too. Small blessing in that it made us much closer and drove us to do trips like this.
  19. Yup, staying on-site! It’s MLK weekend and apparently the Pro Bowl is in town later that week so it’s actually slightly sold out. ? We are starting with 3 days at Royal Pacific and then 1 day at Aventura (which none of us have stayed at yet). We wanted to add an extra day because I unfortunately need to fly from vacation to a work trip directly and instead of coming home for a day I’m going to stay an extra day. But it turns out Universal was almost all sold out... so doing a little split stay out of necessity (but still using our extra day or Express Pass). ?
  20. Hey everyone! I've loved reading the blog over the last year since I took my first cruise with my younger brother at his request. Now, I'm hooked and excited to share with you our next (now annual) cruise coming up on January 13th on the Navigator of the Seas. Our last trip was on the Mariner of the Seas and we're both very excited about going on its sister ship. Who The party will be the two of us (older brother and younger brother). My brother is turning 30 on this cruise and on embarkation day! When our Dad heard about our cruise plans, he decided he had to attend as well. We haven't done a vacation together as a group since we were 12 years old. ? Where We're headed to Miami to board Navigator of the Seas! After Navigator, we're taking a quite jaunt up to Orlando to spend a few days at Universal Studios (another of my brother's favorite places). My wife and boys are more of the Disney type so it's a fun change of pace to head over to Universal for a few days. How Well, I love to vacation. After reading all the live blogs, I'm realizing I need to book Star Class at some point to REALLY get the "extra" experience. Instead, I decided to bring a little bit of star power to the rest of our vacation by (secretly) getting us a limo to bring us to the airport, upgrading our tickets to first class, and then upgrading what my Dad thinks is an inside stateroom to a suite (we have two rooms, two grand suites). Yes, I'm being "extra" as the kids say (do they still say that?) but I don't care! I'm on vacation! I'm excited to capture their reactions. We're staying at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, flying down with Delta, and using my bevy of points, miles, and rewards to get us there. One small benefit of traveling a ton for work is making a major part of your vacation cash free. (Don't worry, this boys trip was already offset by a couples trip to keep the Mrs. happy. ?) Then, We are starting with 3 days at Royal Pacific and then 1 day at Aventura (which none of us have stayed at yet). We wanted to add an extra day because I unfortunately need to fly from vacation to a work trip directly and instead of coming home for a day I’m going to stay an extra day. But it turns out Universal was almost all sold out... so doing a little split stay out of necessity (but still using our extra day or Express Pass). ? --- We're a mere 6 days away from starting the journey down! I'm hoping Voom holds up and I can share photos and such from the travels as we go! If it ends up being of interest, I'm also happy to share about our time at Universal Studios though I know that's a bit of an extra excursion. ? This is only my third cruise though by brother and Dad have done a bunch more than I have. Either way, I'm excited to dive in, get to Coco Cay, and get into the "warm" water since we'll be flying down from New England. Almost there!
  21. Ahh, thanks @Matt. I have a cabana at Thrill Water Park. Presumably, if I wanted to get in that first hour, I'd still need to buy the extra pass once I get onboard?
  22. I agree. I ended up waiting until my last sea day last time and even forwent the deals on the first day and seemingly got the best price. Your mileage may vary but given the Cruise Planner prices have _no_ discount generally speaking you'll likely have better luck on-board.
  23. I’m also interested while on the Navigator for the Jan 13th cruising but it doesn’t look like it’s being offered yet from the trial run.
  24. I’ve found at ports that sometimes switching airplane mode on and off or going so far as to restart my phone has helped the “no connection issue”. I don’t know the actual reason behind the problem but have had similar experiences with international travel where a phon restart was usually 80% effective at fixing the problem. ?
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