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hayley_bopp last won the day on July 29 2018

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  • Location
    Coventry, England
  • Interests
    Reading, eating and wine. If possible, whilst on a cruise!

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  1. Miami Day 2 An action-packed day today. First up, a jet boat ride around Biscayne Bay where we got absolutely drenched! Followed by an quick ride on some electric scooters around Bayfront Park to help us dry off. Then, after lunch, we grabbed some City Bikes and cycled back over to Miami Beach across Venetian Islands and down to South Pointe Park to watch today's cruise ships set sail. It was exciting to get my first IRL look at an Oasis class ship prior to boarding Allure tomorrow. We then strolled the 2 miles or so back to the hotel via a fantastic Italian restaurant on Española Way. We've had a great couple of days in Miami, but now we're VERY excited about boarding Allure tomorrow.
  2. Miami Day 1 The weather forecast for today had looked pretty grim with more rain on the cards so we'd planned to drive up to Cape Canaveral. However, there was really heavy traffic on the motorway/freeway/highway/interstate/turnpike (I don't really get the road system - luckily, I was only a passenger) as the police had closed the road somewhere north of Fort Lauderdale. So we changed our plans and went to the Everglades for an air boat tour. This is something that has been on my bucket list for years so I'm really glad we got the chance to go. Then we headed back to the hotel (via A-1-A whilst listening to Vanilla Ice on repeat ?), dropped off the car and went for a stroll along the boardwalk. We were originally planning on heading all the way down to the end to watch the ships sailing out - we'd seen our first cruise ship, Navigator, in port as we'd driven across the bridge earlier in the day - but unfortunately, we got way laid by some ridiculous cocktails! In the end, we just ended up strolling around and having a few more drinks and some tasty snacks before heading back to the hotel for the night. All in all, a good first day in Miami.
  3. So, we've arrived in Miami to rain of almost biblical volumes. We've been told that it only rains heavily for about 11 days of the year here. Unfortunately, it looks like 3 of those are the 3 days that we're here before our cruise! Oh well, you can't do anything to control the weather so we're going to make the most of it, and the effects of the jet lag, by getting up early tomorrow and heading to Cape Canaveral for the day. Not somewhere that I thought I'd ever get to see and the boys (and when I say 'boys', you must remember that those to whom I refer are aged 40 and 46) are particularly excited about it. Tonight we've just checked into our hotel, where we were pleasantly surprised to receive vouchers for a free drink each in the bar and even more pleasantly surprised to find that cocktails were included. Then we went for dinner at a Cuban place around the corner called Bella Cuba. The drinks service was a little slow but the food came out pretty quickly and was really flavourful and pretty healthy.
  4. Post-Cruise Plans After the cruise, we're back to the same hotel as we're in pre-cruise and will be there for the New Year's celebrations. Again, we have no firm plans. We're far from party animals. I believe there are fireworks on the beach, so we may just have dinner somewhere and then watch those, but if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. We're all checked in at the airport now and waiting for our flight. Then it's just a mere 10 hours until we arrive in Miami, although, to be honest, I'm really quite looking forward to the idea of sitting and doing nothing for 10 hours ?
  5. Cruise Plans We have 2 ocean view balconies on Deck 10. Not next to one another but only a few cabins apart. Unfortunately, we weren't able to link our bookings and get the same dining arrangements - we've got MTD and our friends have got late seating - but we're hoping to adjust when we're onboard so that either we join them or they join us. We've also booked 150 Central park for dinner on night 6. Again we were unable to link our bookings so one of us has 6:30 and the other 7pm but we're hoping to move the reservations together onboard. We've got an ice-show and an aqua theatre show booked. The aqua theatre is probably the thing I'm most excited to see onboard. After some deliberation, we decided to go Team DX. At the price we got and the current exchange rate, we'll need to drink 5 cocktails a day to break even. With a planned early embarkation, 3 sea days, a day at Coco Cay and bottled water, coffees and soft drinks thrown into the mix, I think we should get our money's worth ? Port Plans Again, hectic schedules, inability to link bookings and winter illness mean we haven't actually booked any excursions as of yet. As a type A planner, I find this more than a little unsettling, but I'm sure it will be fine ? We've got some ideas of what we'd like to do and hopefully we'll get something booked once we're all together in Miami. If all else fails, we'll simply wander around the shopping area in St Maarten before parking ourselves on the beach for some much-needed R&R and in San Juan we'll just have a wander around. In Coco Cay, we've booked waterpark passes - the second most exciting thing IMO - and I think the plan is to go there for some thrill time in the morning before heading to the beach for some chill time in the afternoon.
  6. It would be great to say 'hi' if we bump into one another. We should be fairly easy to spot in embarkation day if I can convince tube others to all wear tube t-shirts I bought them
  7. Our travel agent, who I've used for years (Thomas Cook, a major UK travel agent) went into administration in mid-October. People who were already on holiday had to be repatriated and lots of people lost their bookings as well as thousands of staff losing their jobs. We had to wait for 3 weeks to confirm that ours would go ahead and had to submit evidence that we'd made all payments. All while knowing we'd convinced our friends to come with us and that they might have ended up going alone!
  8. After a VERY hectic few months, it's almost time for our very first Caribbean cruise sailing on Allure Of The Seas over Christmas. Itinerary 22/12 - Embark at Fort Lauderdale 23/12 - Sea Day 24/12 - Sea Day 25/12 - St Maarten (hopefully ?) 26/12 - San Juan 27/12 - Sea Day 28/12 - Coco Cay 29/12 - Disembark at Fort Lauderdale The Crew Me, husband (both Brits) & our USA-dwelling British & Canadian friends all in our late 30s to mid 40s. For us, it's our 5th cruise - 3rd on RC having done the Med on Navigator and Independence. For our friends, it's their very first cruise and we've told them they'll love it. I hope we were right! We chose this sailing to fit in with my holidays from school (I'm a primary school teacher) and because I really wanted to try an Oasis Class ship. Pre-Cruise We've driven down to Heathrow airport from our home in the Midlands this afternoon and are spending the night at the Radisson Edwardian Blu. We stayed here earlier this year and were really impressed so we booked again. They do a deal where you get a hotel stay and parking and it's just a short Uber ride to the terminal in the morning. They have a funky bar with great cocktails and a couple of restaurants. Tonight we're trying the Indian restaurant. We're flying into Miami tomorrow (after original direct flights to FLL were cancelled and we had to rebook at extra cost or face going via Chicago or somewhere in Texas!) and staying at Pestana Beach hotel in South Beach. Our friends fly in to FLL from Detroit in the morning, are renting a car and picking us up from MIA when we arrive in the afternoon. We've got no firm plans ( we've all been REALLY busy, plus we thought we weren't going to be able to go at all when our TA went bust!) but we're hoping to see the Everglades and do an Art Deco architecture tour.
  9. I've had it after 2 of my 4 cruises. I found it was worse when I was tired and standing up but standing still. It gradually wore off - first time took about 1 week, second time took a few days
  10. Sorry for the late reply - I've been sooo busy getting on top of everything ready for my upcoming cruise (c -5 days ?) that I've barely had chance to draw breath let alone get on here ? Anyhoo, I've never been to any of the countryside listed and I've only been to Belfast once but that was 28 years ago. However, I can tell you that all of Ireland is stunning and I'm sure whichever option you pick you will love. Make sure you eat soda bread, potato cakes and white pudding (all savoury and most likely to be served at breakfast)
  11. I can't compare to doing a Caribbean cruise as I haven't done one yet, but I've done 2 RC European cruises and there was a real mix of dress on formal nights. I personally like to get glammed up in a full length gown and there were men in tuxedos. But there were also women in shorter dresses or trousers and tops and men just in shirt and trousers. My husband's outfit of choice is trousers, short-sleeved shirt and waistcoat. No tie or jacket.
  12. I hope they don't use the Virgin Pendolino trains that are used here i the UK - there is always a rather pungent smell of chemical toilets as you board ??
  13. Yay! Another Brit on the message boards! ? I'm from Coventry. We're cruising on Allure over Christmas and I'll be Live(ish) blogging so look out for that to help pass the last few pre-cruise days. We've been to Mexico, Costa Maya at Christmas, before and we thought it was hot and went on a snorkelling trip.
  14. We're sailing on Allure over Christmas this year with our friends. We live in the UK and they live in MI so we booked through a TA (who have since gone bust! Luckily our booking is all still going ahead!) and they booked through Costco. We're on MTD but they could only get late - I'm assuming/hoping we'll be able to change so that we can dine together once onboard. Does that sound doable? We also have bookings for 150 Central Park for one of the evenings but it would not let me link the bookings. I've managed to book two of us at 7pm and 2 at 7:30pm. Again, am I likely to be able to get us at the same time and same table once onboard? TIA
  15. Not exactly a shore excursion question but I think some of you knowledgeable folk might be able to advise me. We'll be in Miami this year for NYE following our Christmas cruise on Allure ? I'm just trying to get an idea of what's good to do on NYE. We're staying in south beach and don't want anything mega expensive or mega raucous. TIA
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