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tdcackler

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  1. Like
    tdcackler reacted to chalkdawg4 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    Day 4 - At Sea
    The WiFi has become absolutely terrible, so I’m unable to upload any pictures. I’ll add them when we get back to the US.
    Because of the time change last night, I slept in once again. I wasn’t up until 10:15 and since my family had already eaten, I went to the Windjammer by myself. Breakfast was good again.
    After breakfast, I headed down to the arcade to meet some friends and we played air hockey for about an hour. Air hockey was fun, but I think it’s safe to say that I’ll never become a professional air hockey player lol.
    After air hockey, since I had been having good experiences at the Windjammer, I headed back down there for lunch. It wasn’t bad, but I definitely still prefer the MDR. It was nice they had veggie burgers, though.
    Then when I finished eating, I headed down to Studio B to meet back up with my family for the ice skating show, Ice Dancin’. It was spectacular as always. Finding a seat was a bit hard though since it was first come first serve, but I was lucky enough to find a great seat on the second row by myself.
    When the show was finished, I met back up with my friends and we hung out around the ship until 5 when I headed back to my room to get ready for dinner. 
    We were running a bit late and didn’t get to dinner until 5:40. Since it was Christmas Eve, they had the special holiday menu.
    I got the same appetizer as last night - just kids vegetables. My mom got the French onion soup again (she really likes it lol), my grandmother’s friend got the ceaser salad again, and my grandmother got the shrimp cocktail again. My dad was the only one to change it up and got the fried brie which he thought was good.
    For our main dish, I got the Tagliatelle which I thought was awesome. It was a huge portion, though so I wasn’t able to finish it. My dad got the turkey and my mom, grandmother, and her friend got the beef Wellington. They all enjoyed their meals.
    For desert I went back to the royal chocolate cake from the first night, and it was just okay. I’m never a huge fan of deserts on cruise ships, though. I love desert normally, but for some reason the ones on cruise ships have never been great to me. My mom got the spice cake which she wasn’t a huge fan of, but she’s picky about deserts. My dad got the cheesecake and thought it was pretty good and my grandmother’s friend got the buche de Noel which she also liked. My grandmother got the apple pie again. We also got to see the dancing waiters tonight. It’s always so much fun and it’s nice to have the opportunity to thank the chefs and wait staff for the great job they do.
    Since we had the dancing waiters, dinner went a little longer than usual and we missed the 7:00 show. We still went to the 9:00 show to see Aaron Bonk who’s a juggler. I thought he was pretty good. His show was definitely made for children, but he had little bits of adult humor thrown in that were pretty funny. It was also pretty cool to watch. He juggled clubs, knives, and whips.
    After the show I met my friends at the hot tub, and stayed there until it was time to head back to the room.
     
  2. Like
    tdcackler reacted to monorailmedic in Uber or rental   
    I can't speak to your specific experience, but something I learned from a friend of a friend who picked up some work for Lyft a while back was that for certain airports (and not sure if cruise terminals are like this as well), they require drivers stage in certain areas.  This is largely b/c of the laws worked out with local authorities that allow only cabs to be in the cab lines.  This means to pick up an airport fare, the driver may be required to be a bit of a hike away.  It may not be geographically far - but you know how airport traffic can be.
  3. Like
    tdcackler got a reaction from Sweety in Holidays   
    Wishing you all a white, sandy beach Christmas and a joyous new year! 
  4. Like
    tdcackler reacted to chalkdawg4 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    Day 3 - Labadee
    After only having 5 hours of sleep the day before I took the liberty of sleeping in, so I wasn’t up and moving until 10. I was out of the room and down to the Windjammer to eat breakfast by 10:15. My mom was the only one there because my grandmother and dad had already eaten and my grandmother’s friend doesn’t eat breakfast.
    I actually enjoyed breakfast in the Windjammer more than I thought I would. I tend to stay away from the Windjammer if at all possible, but my two experiences there so far on this cruise have been great. They had an awesome topping bar for the pancakes which I really enjoyed.
    Then after breakfast, at 11:30, we all met back up and got off the ship to go to Labadee. We took the tram straight to Adrenaline beach (the last stop) and got a table there right on the edge of the beach. It was 75 and windy so the weather was very pleasant.

    I took the liberty to catch up on some more sleep, and took a nap on one of the loungers out on the sand. I woke up at 1 and went to grab some food before the buffet closed. There wasn’t a ton of selection for a vegetarian, but the red beans and rice were good.
    When I got back to the table, only my parents were there and they told me that my grandmother and her friend had already gone back to the ship. We decided to do the same since it looked like it was about to rain. Before getting back on the ship I took a few last pictures.



    Once back on the ship, I took a quick shower and my parents took a nap. Then my dad and I went to the 3:00 trivia. We got there right at 3 and they were already 4 questions in, so it wasn’t worth participating. It was a bit frustrating that they started early, but we were fine to just sit and listen. We would’ve missed most of the questions anyways lol.
    After trivia I went to find my friends and hung out with them until 5. Then I went back to my room to get ready for dinner. Since we had a little time before dinner, we finally got around to putting our Christmas decorations up.

    Tonight at dinner we were finally able to find a dish that pleased my grandmother. I don’t know how our waiter managed to do it, but he convinced her to get the crab cakes for an appetizer and she loved them. Everyone else, except for my mom, also got the crab cakes and really liked them. They said they were different but very good. My mom got the burrata salad for her appetizer and said it was one of the best salads she had ever gotten. I stuck with my kids meal and just got carrots with ranch.
    For the main course, I finally ventured away from the kids menu and got the ravioli. It was delicious. My mom got the roasted beef loin, my dad got the jerk chicken, and my grandmother and her friend got the roasted pork loin. They all thought their meals were good also.
    Then for desert I went back to the kids menu and got the dark chocolate brownie again. It wasn’t as good as last night, but it was still fine. My mom, grandmother, and her friend all got the apple pie again which they enjoyed. My mom also got the soufflé, but she wasn’t a fan. My dad got the no sugar added desert again, so tonight, that was the strawberry trifle. He thought it was pretty good.
    Here’s the menu:

    After dinner we rushed to go see the show at 7. My dad was right; the Absolute Journey tribute band was spectacular. The lead singer looked just like Steve Perry (I know Gregg Rolie came first, but I still consider Steve the lead singer) and they sounded just like Journey. 
    After the show, I stuck with my normal routine of just hanging out with friends until 1.
    Some other notes:
    •The WiFi was great the first two days, but it’s become awful today, so I apologize for the lack of pictures. I’ll edit the post when I get back home and add the rest of them.
    •I got to see the iconic I-95 today.

    •I finally got around to taking some pictures of the decorations on the ship tonight. Although the ship is a bit worn, the decorations are still beautiful. (I’ll post pictures of them when I get better WiFi)
     
    •The time is going one hour forward tonight. Little disappointed that that means one last hour of sleep lol.
    •Labadee has some really nice Christmas decorations. It was the most it’s felt like Christmas time since I’ve been on the ship.



  5. Like
    tdcackler reacted to monorailmedic in Uber or rental   
    Not too much around there of interest, but do check out Knauss Berry Farms while in that area.  Great produce (esp the strawberries), fresh milkshakes, and awesome baked goods (people travel for hours for their cinnamon buns and pecan rolls).
    http://www.knausberryfarm.com/location.html
    Coral Castle could be another neat stop around there as well.
    https://coralcastle.com/
    You may want to hit Key Largo since you're venturing that far south, too.
  6. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Larry Muster in Uber or rental   
    The biggest issue I’ve ever had with UBER is when I am one of the first ones off the ship.  The UBER’s that are all queued up sit and wait to activate themselves until surge pricing goes into effect so getting a ride can take a while.  Once the closest ride they found for me was over 15 minutes away.  
  7. Like
    tdcackler reacted to monorailmedic in Uber or rental   
    This is a non-issue.  I take Uber/Lyft from my home about 40 mins north of FLL to MIA and PortMiami - trips that are over an hour.  South Florida is dense, but not as vertical as other cities, and has no significant mass-transit options, so long drives around here aren't nearly as uncommon as in other metropolitan areas.
    I'd really avoid renting a car, you'll just lose a lot of time to logistics and I don't think there is anything to gain in your particular scenario.  If you end up not wanting to use a ride-share service, I'd hire a car service.
    When you arrive at FLL you'll follow the signs to the nearest ride-share/commercial vehicle pickup area.  There are two, and they're well positioned so it's never more than a minute's walk at most once you're outside.  You can find pics of the signage and other Uber/Lyft tips for cruisers in S FL here: https://www.cruisehabit.com/uber-lyft-cabs-shuttles-how-get-and-your-cruise-easily-cheaply
    I will tell you that if you're sailing out of Terminal A, they should have made the pickup area much larger and changed when the lanes converge, so after your cruise walk all the way to the end of the pickup area before requesting a ride, and note the number of the post.
  8. Like
    tdcackler reacted to twangster in Uber or rental   
    I'm sure you'll be fine finding an Uber/Lyft to PoM.  I would suggest you look up the terminal for your ship and enter that in the app.  
    You can look up terminals here:  https://seaport2.miamidade.gov/dailydock/Default.aspx
    Once you know the terminal letter, enter that such "terminal g port of ..." and then it usually finds it in the Uber/Lyft app.  This way your driver will take you directly to that terminal, which can be helpful if you end up with a Spanish speaking driver and you don't speak Spanish.  That sometimes happens in the South Florida area.  If you just say "port of Miami" it will find the administration offices which isn't where your terminal is.  
  9. Like
    tdcackler reacted to tiny260 in Uber or rental   
    To answer your actual question, I don't think it will be that big of an issue to get Uber to take you, last year I went from FLL to Miami airport and it was a 45 minute drive.
    I was faced with the exact situation, I sail out of POM on January 13th on Allure, but because of flight prices I'm flying in to FLL on the 12th, it was about $150 PP cheaper (First class), flying out of Miami after the cruise. My flight arrives around 2pm on the 12th.
    What I choose to do was hire a limo and drive to Miami on the 12th when I arrive and stay in a Miami hotel (Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, you can see the port from the hotel) and  then take Uber the morning of the 13th to the terminal. There are a lot of other hotels that Matt has highlighted in the blog around the port in Miami. The limo for 2 people was $80, I took a step up and reserved a Luxury limo, there were cheaper options. I went this route because I don't like big bus transfers and I don't like Taxi's, admittedly I forgot about Uber. The name of the limo service to "goairportshuttle". I have used them 2 other times in Florida and had no issues with them or their service.
  10. Haha
    tdcackler got a reaction from Skid in Holidays   
    Wishing you all a white, sandy beach Christmas and a joyous new year! 
  11. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Matt in Priceline Express Deals for Hotels (Thanks Matt)   
    Wow, that's awesome!
    Just installed the extension, thanks.
  12. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Matt in Holidays   
    Happy new year!
  13. Like
    tdcackler reacted to melski94 in Holidays   
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  14. Like
    tdcackler reacted to mworkman in Holidays   
    Thanks @Skid Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!
  15. Like
    tdcackler reacted to tiny260 in Holidays   
    Happy Holidays to everyone, hope everyone stays warm and safe.
  16. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Holidays   
    Same to you @Skid and everyone else here!  Enjoy and cherish the holidays with those you love!
  17. Like
    tdcackler reacted to ellcee in Holidays   
    Happy Holidays!!!
  18. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Sweety in Holidays   
    Happy Holidays Mon!!!!
  19. Like
    tdcackler reacted to JLMoran in Holidays   
    Thanks, @Skid! And the same for you!
  20. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Skid in Holidays   
    Wishing a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2019 to all. And happy cruising!

     
     
     
  21. Like
    tdcackler reacted to chalkdawg4 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    Day 2 - At Sea (pt. 2):
    Dinner was really good once again. For appetizers my dad got the calamari, my grandmother got fruit, my grandmother’s friend and my mom got French onion soup and a ceaser salad, and I got vegetables off the kids menu since none of the appetizers really appealed to me. My dad and grandmother both thought their appetizer was good enough to order a second helping and my grandmother’s friend loved the French onion soup as much as my mom. They also both thought the Ceaser salad was delicious. My vegetables off the kids menu were good, but you can’t really mess up cold cut vegetables lol. The ranch was really good, though.
    For the main course I stuck with the kids menu and just got a grilled cheese with fries. Once again it’s hard to mess that meal up, but either way, I enjoyed it. My grandmother and her friend both got the prime rib for their main course. My grandmother’s friend loved it, but my grandmother wasn’t a fan. We have all decided that it’s impossible to please my grandmother, though, so I’m not sure you can blame the food😂😂 My dad got the pork chops which he thought were pretty good, and my mom got the chicken Marsala which she thought was spectacular. Both of my parents also got the salmon to share just so they could try it and they both agreed it was just average.
    Then finally, it was time for my favorite part - dessert. I kept the them of ordering off the kids meal going and got the dark chocolate brownie. It was honestly the best dessert I’ve ever had on a cruise ship. My grandmother’s friend, my mom, and my grandmother all got the apple pie and all thought was great (well as great as it can get for my grandmother lol). My dad always sticks with sugar free desserts since he’s diabetic, so he got the blueberry cobbler. He really enjoyed it.
    After dinner we stopped and got a couple formal pictures done, then I headed back to the room for a few minutes to change and unpack while everyone else made their way down to the theater for the “ballroom spectacular” show at 8:30 (forgive me if I got that name wrong. My memory is quite awful sometimes. I’m sure it had the name ballroom in it, though).
    While in the room I saw that our towel animal for the night was a cat.

    I met back up with everyone at the theater right at 8:30 and they had great seats in the balcony.
    We all kinda agreed that the show was just average. Don’t get me wrong, those singers and dancers are spectacular, and maybe it’s just a my family thing, but after an hour of a show solely with dancing and singing it becomes a little repetitive and boring. The main female dancer was absolutely spectacular though. She immediately captivated me every time she was centered on the stage.




    At the end of the show our cruise director announced that the absolute journey tribute band would be performing tomorrow, which my dad and I are both stoked about since we’re huge Journey fans. We had read before the cruise that they would be on the ship, but we hadn’t seen anything about them so we weren’t sure it was true. My daw saw them on a previous cruise and said they were mind blowing so I have very high expectations haha.
    After the show, I split up with my family and met back up with my friends. We hung out in the teen club for a bit before heading to the hot tub and spending the rest of the night there. On our way back to the rooms at 1, we stopped at cafe promenade to get a quick slice of pizza and headed our separate ways. 
    Some other notes:
    •I like just Cafe Promenade rather than Sorrento’s and Cafe Promenade like it is on some ships. It’s nice just having all the food in one place.
    •We saw two other Royal Caribbean ships, I couldn’t make out the names of either and only was able to get a picture of one. It’s always cool to me to realize we’re not the only ones in the middle of the ocean.

    •My friends and I tried our hands at sports trivia today and actually ended up with 14 out of 18. The winning team had 16, but my friends still nominated me as the team MVP. I guess me being obsessed with all things sports does pay off😂😂
    •If y’all want to hear more about what I do with my friends just let me know and I’ll start including it. I’ve just been keeping it vague so I don’t bore you with information you have no interest in hearing lol.
     
    Next stop, Labadee!!



  22. Like
    tdcackler reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    @chalkdawg4 I am loving this blog for several reasons:  Love the pics so far.  Not sure if you know but I am a teacher.  I teach mainly 13 year olds but over the years, the writing skills of young people have been going downhill.  Quite scary at times.  As I read this with my "teacher hat" on, this blog is so well written for a teenager.  The style and wording is not only descriptive but there is an excellent voice coming through.  Love it!  
  23. Haha
    tdcackler reacted to chalkdawg4 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    I’m a girl, so for me it would be a guy😂😂 I’ll be sure to keep that out of it though lol
  24. Like
    tdcackler reacted to JLMoran in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    Well, just leave any sappy romantic stuff about the cute girl you met out of it. We're all old and past those days, all that matters to us are the port photos, the sunsets, and the food pics. 😉😁
  25. Like
    tdcackler reacted to chalkdawg4 in Navigator of the Seas - 9 night Southern Caribbean   
    Day 1 - Miami (pt. 2):
    At 3:00 I did a meet up when some of the teens I had set up a group chat with before the cruise. I posted on cruise critics for teens to text me and ended up with about 10 teens in the group. It was super nice to already know someone when I got on board.
    Then at 4:15 I headed back to the room for the 4:30 muster drill. It was quick and painless. We also had the Carnival Victory sailing away during our muster drill, so that made it much more interesting.

     
    After the muster drill we headed up to the pool deck for the sail away party where I caught some awesome pictures on the sunset. 


    I tried to also take a time lapse video, but it was far too windy.
    We also caught a glimpse of the Norwegian Sky.

    At 5:30 we headed down to deck three for dinner. We were seated at a table for 9, but the other 4 never joined us. Our waiter was Seryeo and our assistant waiter was Shiv. So far they both seem awesome.
    For our appetizers, all of us got the arugula salad except for me mom. They all loved the arugula salad and although I didn’t think it was bad, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. My mom got the French onion soup which she loved. Then for the main course I got fettucini with marinara (I’m a picky vegetarian so you’ll rarely see exocric food choices from me😂) and everyone else got the red snapper. My dad also got the fried chicken to try.
    Everyone except for my dad sent the red snapper back. They said it was thick, tough, and tasted very fishy. My mom and grandmother’s friend ordered the steak instead, and my grandmother got the shrimp cocktail. They were all happy with their second choice. My dad said the fried chicken was pretty good also.
    Then for the desert I got the royal chocolate cake, my dad espresso mouse, my grandmother’s friend got apple pie, and my mom and grandmother got something that had rum in it (I wasn’t there when they ordered so I have no idea what it was haha). Whatever is was, though, my mom loved it and my grandmother said she wasn’t a fan. My mom said it wasn’t very sweet which she liked. We all loved the rest of our desserts.
    After dinner we rushed to the 7:30 tree lighting. I still need to upload the pics from it so I’ll post them tomorrow. The tree lighting really wasn’t much though. Truly all they did was light the tree. Maybe I’m wrong, but last year on the Indy I seem to remember them singing Christmas carols and dancing up on the balcony after the tree was lit.
    Then after the tree lighting, we went back to the rooms and our bags were FINALLY there. At this point it was almost 8:00 which was the longest we’ve ever waited to get our bags. We unpacked for a bit then I headed to the teen club for the icebreakers. I met a couple new friends and we planned to meet back up at the hot tub after the welcome aboard show.

    The welcome aboard show was awesome. The band started off by playing a couple Christmas songs and we’re really great.

    They were followed by the singers and dancers who were also pretty good. Then came out our cruise director Rob McNalley from Liverpool, England. He came out singing Sweet Caroline and was honestly almost better than the actual singers. After singing he spouted off a few quick jokes which were very clever and witty. I can already tell it’s going to be a great cruise with him.
    He then introduced the officers and after their short introduction sent out the comedian, Landry. He was hilarious!! He had everyone laughing for thirty straight mintutes.
    When the show ended, I headed down to the hot tub to meet my friends and we just hung out around the ship the rest of the night.
    Some other notes:
    •The ship was really rocky for seemingly calm waters. One of my friends said he had heard they didn’t completely fix one of the stabilizers, though, so that could be why.
    •The teen club counselors are super lax on this cruise. They truly left the teen club at 11:30 and never came back. Security had to come kick us out.
    •Sorry for no pics of the food. I’ve always just kinda found it weird to take pics of food.
    •I’ll get a pic of the menu tomorrow. I had to run back to the room to put my phone on airplane mode during dinner, so my parents ordered for me and I never even saw the menu tonight.
     
     

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