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SemperMom

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SemperMom last won the day on August 9 2023

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  1. January 29-Independence OTS May 16-Symphony OTS October 5-Liberty OTS CANT WAIT!
  2. Can't wait! See you all onboard! This will be my first solo cruise and I am so so so looking forward to it. My husband and I basically gave each other solo cruises for Christmas. Ive been to PDCC a few times now but not Labadee so that will be a treat.
  3. I second CrimsonCruiser. We just booked and the promotional OBC was boldly displayed in our cruise planner. woohoo! I think we'll put it towards the unlimited dining but using it for grats is a great idea!
  4. The receipt email is always a little delayed. I was worried a little too the first time I ordered that way but it’s always in the cabin waiting for us.
  5. We are all checked in and ready to go too! The earliest arrival time time that I saw was 10:30 and I checked in at 12:05 am on the day check in opened. You should have pretty good luck if you stay up to check in within minutes of check in opening up.
  6. Debarkation day: I always get so nervous about how things will go when getting off the ship. I have never had a bad departure so I am not sure why. lol This one was remarkably easy! But it was also a little different since I had bought all of that alcohol. I had forgotten all about the customs part of things and had never had anything to potentially declare before. The paper they gave us said that I would need to declare any alcohol over 1 liter. I had 3.5 liters. Thankfully, I had gone to GS the night before and asked about it. Now this may only apply in Baltimore, YMMV, so be sure to ask if you aren't sure, but he asked if I packed the bottles in my suitcases and I said yes (I don't trust the cardboard boxes they give you), and he said there used to be a form but not any longer so if they ask, be honest but if they don't, keep walking. Back to the process, ...The app really helps by notifying you of the stages. We decided to save breakfast so we could stop on the way home with Dad and Lefty. We got the carryons together and left our cabin around 8am. We stopped to say good bye and thanks again to Dadi, our steward then headed to the pool deck to wait for our group to be called. We were supposed to go to the theater but I knew it would be hectic and didn't want to subject the artist to that on their last day. It worked out great! When our group was called at 8:15 am, we followed the helpful crew and were off and walking down down the gangway in no time at all. We got to the VERY large CPB Officer, he looked at our passports and waved us on. Tada! We found our bags and a port agent helped us flag down a porter, he loaded us up and had us out to the pick up area by 8:29am! (Yes, I timed it!) I didn't think it could possibly go that fast so I told my husband 9:30 am! Luckily he was a little early and got to us at 9am on the dot. First things first of course, hugs all around and then, we we were on our way home. Since our vacation wasn't over until we were on our door step, we stopped at IHOP In Frederick, Md. for our last vacation breakfast. So, in the spirit of continuity...:) Thanks to you all for following along. If you made it this far, I hope you had fun along with us! It was a very successful experience with my artist that we will both cherish and your birthday wishes were icing on the cake. Until we meet again on Wonder in October, safe travels my friends!
  7. Day 9: Our final full sea day Another fairly uneventful day, just the way we planned. I wish I had found it sooner but we grabbed a breakfast sandwich at the Park Cafe and oh my, it was so good. It was the asparagus, egg and cheese on brioche. I could have just eaten those all week and would have been happy. We got one more dip in the solarium pool in and a few more fancy drinks and coffee's. I am pretty sure we got our money's worth out of the refreshment package! We had another tasty lunch at WJ then went and chilled out on the balcony for a while. The artist fell asleep so I caught up on some email to try and head off the bombardment I am expecting at work come Monday. It was Giovanni's Table for dinner and I think we really did save the best for last. SO Delicious and excellent service too. For starters, the Calamari was perfect and the Minestrone was perfectly peppery. I had the seared filet with mashed potatoes and broccoli and the artist had the seafood linguine, both amazing. For dessert I had the Chocolate hazelnut cake and the artist had the chocolate gelato. We may never have to eat again! We were very ready to get home so we started to get packed up earlier in the morning and finished up after dinner. We opted for assisted departure since our bags were cumbersome and I bought so much stuff to bring home! I got a nice bottle of the Wild Turkey Longbranch for the husband and some Jameson's for me, some cigars for the Marine (my 26 yr old) and a bucket hat and T-shirt for Lefty (my 13 yr old), oh and some more t-shirts for Aunts and cousins. We bought trinkets in Bermuda for my mom and sisters along with the glasses from the Frog and Onion that we got to take home, plus some local art in Nassau. Our hands were full! We hit the hay really looking forward to seeing Dad and Lefty in the morning!
  8. Day 8: Sea Day We slept in! Well, for us anyway. We didn't get to the WJ until around 10 am. We had a great breakfast and headed to the pool deck to play some Yahtzee and UNO. Since this isn't a live blog, I will get the stats out of the way. I love Yahtzee but have crappy luck which is the main reason I don't gamble. We would be flat broke If I ever developed a gambling habit, for sure. Dice and I don't get along. Over all, the artist won all three Yahtzee games we played while onboard. However, I do have some skill and kicked the artists butt at UNO. I was up 5 to 2 by the end of the cruise and pretty proud of myself since the artist is known in our house as the resident UNO champ. It's amazing how much heat can take out of you. Not to mention the humidity. After Coco Cay, we didn't have a lot of energy and I am sure the carb filled breakfast didn't help! hahaha So we took it easy, we're on vacation after all. We had a snack at the Park Cafe and the artist took a dip in the Solarium pool then we went back to the room for a refreshing nap before dinner. We ate at the WJ again and again, it was yummy. It was the Karaoke superstars finals and I wanted to cheer on my high school buddy so we headed down to the Centrum to watch around 8 pm. There were 7 finalists and they were great. Even if they weren't it takes a lot of guts to get up there in front of all of those people and there were a LOT of people. The Centrum was packed full and it was so much fun. My buddy didn't win but he was actually really good. I had no idea he could sing! We called it a night after and watched a few episodes of our favorite tv show before falling asleep. This would be a good segeway to bring up the surf and stream service. We did one person with 2 devices. It was glitchy here and there but for the most part, we had no issues with the service at all. We're an iPhone family so it was super easy to stay in touch with everyone at home. We had started a "sweet 16 adventure" group text and were able to send everyone pictures as we went. Even FaceTime worked great. No pictures to share today.
  9. My apologies for the delay in getting in the last couple days! We were having such a good time. Where was I? Oh, yes, Day 7: Coco Cay day. We got up pretty early so we could head ashore to try and beat the worst of the heat and it worked out pretty well, sort of, lol. We had eventually caught up with Freedom at Coco Cay. Even with another ship in port it didn't seem too crowded, at least until we got to Oasis Lagoon but that was later. We hopped on the tram and did a circle around the island to get our bearings but chose to get off at Chill Island. We found a spot right at the water and planted ourselves. We ordered a fancy frozen drink to kick off the fun then The artist stripped so fast to get into the water I was quite impressed. The water was almost, but not quite, too warm. Basically it was perfect. We had our new snorkel masks to try out and they were great. Coordinating using the masks with our little floats to kick around was so much fun. We didn't see many fish but the ones we did see were really neat. One was a skinny transparent pike like fish and then there were slightly larger white ones. I didn't see any jellies until we were a little further out from shore but they were small and few in number. We had brought our Stream2sea sun and sting gel just in case but ended up not needing it. We stayed there for quite a while. I was able to get the artist out of the water before gills formed, so that was good. We started to get hungry so we headed over to the chill grill and it did not disappoint! I started with pulled pork tacos and then tried the potato salad and BBQ chicken. All of which were amazing. Of course the artist went straight for the cheeseburgers and fries, it was gone in a flash. We then walked toward Oasis Lagoon to check out the pool and that's when the sun decided to jack the heat up to a million. The pool area was so crowded that it took about 15 minutes to find an empty pair of chairs. 15 minutes in that kind of heat is an eternity and we both started to sour a bit. The full stomach, coupled with the heat, on top of how crowded and noisy it was really got the artists anxiety rocking so it was imperative that we tried to get out of there quickly. That turned out to be easier said than done. It may have been me being worried about my beet red (from heat not sun, we were triple coated with SPF 50) and close to tears kid but man, finding the tram station was hard to do. I was surprised at how unhelpful staff were with directions. I mean they were nice but no one went out of their way to help us until we got to one lady who really tried to flag down help. Then the tram driver, Tyrone, stopped to point us in the right direction letting us know that he would be right back around to get us. We found the tram station and he did exactly what he said. He made sure we got a seat and we were on our way back to the ship. Tyrone was awesome. By the time he dropped us off, the artist was smiling again so I was so relieved! I think he thought he was a NASCAR driver on a road course and I am pretty sure we won. It was the best tram ride ever! I should mention that the artist, at 16, is 6'1" and 300lbs and well, an artist. Not the most athletic kid, a book worm and math whiz. Shy and quiet but funny AF and not at all a risk taker. Super strong and flexible but not much of a mover. I have always been athletic, a runner and a swimmer but after I was laid off just as the pandemic hit and was at home job hunting, stressed out and diagnosed with ADHD, while trying to make life as normal for my kids as possible, all during the lock down, my physical and mental health took a good hit. Luckily I was only out of work for a year. I was fortunate to get the job I have worked for years to get, that got me through the rest of the pandemic and is still going strong, the only caveat is that its a desk intensive job and remote so I end up sitting way longer than I would if I worked in an office. For the last 8 months or so I have picked up the pace and started working on more self care and lost 15 of the 75 lbs I gained. My bones are used to carrying a strong 150 lbs at 5'6. My body is really mad at me! We have both decided that after this trip, we will buckle down and focus on beefing up our endurance. This trip was a wake up call to us both to get our butts moving again! But I digress...Once back on the ship, it took a while to cool down but once we did, we headed to the WJ for another great dinner. Maybe we just aren't the gourmet type or have lower standards than some, or maybe it's the ship you're on, but having read some of the complaints about food quality, I am not sure what they are talking about. lol Every bite we've had while on board so far has been delightful and I may be up to 85 lbs to lose by the time we get back home! Again, our steward, Dadi, left us a the cutest towel rat! I think he wins as our favorite. Needless to say, we crashed hard and fast on night 7. It really was a perfect day.
  10. It was a great post too. I’ll never be able to duplicate it. Haha
  11. Ugh. Just deleted my whole post by accident ! I’ll come back and repost in a bit.
  12. Sorry! I’m a little behind. Lol Day 6 turned out fairly uneventful. We met up with Freedom OTS and it looks like we will follow her to Coco Cay tonight. The artist wasn’t up for the heat so I ventured out to Nassau to see the new port and it’s lovely! I bought a few trinkets and hopped back on to join the artists on the pool deck for some fancy drinks. We went to the Schooner bar to relax a little and tried a new drink there. I think it was a tropical sunshine and it was super yummy. Dinner in the WJ was a Chinese theme and very tasty. There was chow mein and fried rice and even a ramen station. We had the cutest little stow away in our cabin when we came back. Isn’t he adorable?! We ran a little late leaving Nassau due to a medical emergency. I really hope they are ok! We had to wait for the ambulance to arrive to pick them up so they could get proper attention. Capt. Diego let us know it would not affect our itinerary. I sincerely hope all is well with the passenger! We turned in early so we will be well rested for Coco Cay! IMG_9515.mov
  13. What a nice day 5! We had a great breakfast at the WJ then grabbed a fancy coffee and hung out by the pool for a bit. The artist brought a few crafts along so we made a beaded bracelet and sketched a little before ordering a couple of very tasty and colorful frozen mocktails! I bumped into my old high school buddy and his wife again and turns out he’s a finalist in the superstar karaoke contest! We’ll go cheer him on during the finals on day 8. How fun! We took a nice nap then had a late lunch at WJ. We saved room for chops though! Chops was great. We both had the shrimp cocktail to start. The artists had the wedge salad and I the Cesar. Then I had the bone-in ribeye and the artist had the NY strip. The steaks were perfect but mine was huge even after leaving room at lunch! It was so good I completely forgot to take a picture! The cheesecake was as good as the steak! A very good end to a fantastic day at sea, I’d say. Tomorrow we’ll be in Nassau around 10 am.
  14. Good morning! Day 5 already and it Looks like we’re going to have a beautiful sea day! We ended up eating in the cabin last night. The MDR was just a bit too overwhelming for the artist and the windjammer had already closed by the time we got back to the cabin. Anxiety sucks, but room service was yummy and we had a lovely time together! We have no plans today which is my preferred kind of schedule. Lol My work is nothing but deadlines so being able to NOT look at a clock is my favorite way to unwind and relax and one of the many reasons we like to book cruises with lots of sea days! . There were a couple of activities that looked interesting so maybe we’ll check them out or we might just plant ourselves by a pool. We’ll keep you posted.
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