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RestingBird

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Everything posted by RestingBird

  1. I loved the pictures in the Schooner Bar menu.
  2. Has anyone else noticed that smell when walking onto the ship? With only 4 cruises before this it already feels like I'm home when that smell hits me. Great feeling. Dinner was in the MDR most of the week. The first night i had the horseradish salmon. It was delicious, and my favorite dish of the week. For dessert I had the hazelnut chocolate cake...amazing, and the best dessert of the week. The NY strip was really really good. I tried the duck, and lamb, later in the week, both were so so. The lobster bisque was pretty awful. We had dinner in the Windjamair one night, so I was able to try the chicken curry, and sapi jamur (beef), both were delicious. The pepperoni pizza was pretty decent for a buffet. My wife visited the omelet station in the Windjamair every morning. The rock wall had weird hours all week, so I didn't get to climb as much as I wanted, but I made it to 3 sessions I think. There was 1 route on the wall I just couldn't complete, but I got a little farther each time I tried, so I'm happy with that. The wall was closed on day 4 due to high winds. I had to skip the adult speed climb this time around due to formal night dinner. I had lunch at Izumi on day 2 (1st sea day) while the baby and wife napped. I haven't had raw fish, so this being my first time trying sushi I started with something cooked to some extent...the crispy spicy tuna roll, and the champagne lobster roll...wow. I absolutely loved both of them. They organized the rolls beautifully on the plate. It was more food than I thought it'd be, so I only ended up eating 9 of the 16 pieces, and took the rest back to my room for later. I loved the crispy spicy tuna roll so much I got it on day 4 (2nd sea day) for lunch and took it back to my balcony. Cruising with a baby was not the best experience. We enjoyed the cruise, but there just wasn't a whole lot for a 1yr old to do, which is fine, Brilliance is a wonderful ship regardless. It was a great learning cruise I guess. My wife said our next one will have to be on a ship with a toddler pool, so Freedom-class or above. Our son loved the Schooner Bar (as did I), the Colony Club, climbing stairs, and the mini golf course. But, his favorite activity was riding the elevators by the Centrum and/or ocean. The crew loved him and would stop to say hi to him when they could. We left him in the nursery 3 times. The first time he did great, but the last two times he screamed as we dropped him off, so we ended up picking him up an hour early each session. We're hoping he'll grow out of it for next time. We took him to the open play twice and he loved it, since we were there with him. Our day in Grand Cayman was...interesting. We did the Trolley Roger tour, which was nice and short for the baby (we booked it on board, on embarkation day I believe). We walked around town afterwards and long story short I lost my phone. I freaked out, finally settled things in my head after back tracking and searching our bags, then we got back on board. My wife dumped the diaper bag out on the bed...there's my phone. Hooray! It had fallen to the bottom of the bag and I missed it each time I checked in there. I felt like an idiot for a few hours, apologized to my wife, and we moved on with our day. The next day in Cozumel went much better. There were 4 ships in port...Empress, Liberty, Brilliance, and Carnival Breeze. We received the "dangerous ferry" letter about Cozumel, so we decided we'd better try to book an excursion in Cozumel before everyone else started rebooking due to the ferry cancellations. We wanted somewhere our son could run around and get in the water. I probably should've booked Nachi like I originally planned, but we decided to go into this cruise with no plans. So, during our sail away in Grand Cayman we booked Chankanaab National Park day pass. For us it was a good choice. A small beach our son could walk into, a splash pad, a small playground, a pool with a swim up bar (in this case it was full of booty shaking spring breakers...I thought people only acted that way in movies/tv, lol), a sea lion show, and more. Our pass got us all that and more, including a small buffet lunch, and open bar at 3 of the bars on property. It was $50 per adult, the baby got in free. We were there 3hrs, but could've stayed longer. Our Junior Suite was amazing. The space in the room, and hump balcony were great. The bathtub was perfect for our little dude. Also, I really liked having the bath robes. We were able to put a blow up pool on the balcony for little man to play in. Overall it was a good cruise. Brilliance is a great ship. We've been on Serenade as well, so now I can say I'm a fan of the Radiance-class. Next time we cruise we'll have a 2 1/2, and 1yr old, so we'll be looking for that toddler pool on Freedom-class or higher, and we'll be looking into 2 connecting cabins as Matt and others have suggested. All my wishes came true...honey stung chicken, rock climbing, sushi, and meeting Michael Poole. I'll post some random pictures whenever I get around to it. Thank you to everyone on the forum, blog, and podcast for all the little tips and tricks!
  3. We're back, and back online. My phone's dying, so I'll do my full update when I get a chance later today hopefully.
  4. He was very nice, lol. I love putting faces to the names/avatars from the forum. I'm not staying on, but Mr. Poole is.
  5. I just met him today, right before disembarkation. We happened to sit down next to him in the Centrum.
  6. Brilliance is at terminal 6 here in Tampa, not sure how normal that is. Used a porter. Super convenient. Tipped a couple three $'s per bag. Having our son in a stroller got us moved to the shorter "wheels" line (wheel chairs, walkers, strollers, etc). No line for Gold C&A that I saw, just Platinum and up. Suite/Pinnacle line was a little confusing to find, but a terminal attendant caught the "suite" on our set sail pass and set us on the right path. I didn't keep track of the time, but I'd guess 20min or less to get from curb to ship. We got stuck in hockey game traffic (flyers vs lightning started at 1pm) around 11:30. Go Bolts! Rooms were ready right at 1pm. 2 of our 4 checked bags showed up shortly after. The last 2 came one at a time within the next 30min. I had ordered the RC slippers for my wife and myself, along with the tote/cooler/thing (both on sale at some point months back), and they were waiting on our couch. The complimentary robes are hanging in the closet.
  7. Thanks @Digmenow, we're using the magnetic strip, works great!
  8. He loves it so far, just keeps running around the room. The extra space is amazing.
  9. We tried a RVC cupcake in the Windjamair, pretty darn good. Will be keeping an eye out for the full cake.
  10. There are enough pictures out there of JS cabins, this is just a picture of our hump balcony.
  11. We're on the outside deck right now, love it. Honey stung chicken...check!!
  12. Not sure why it posted twice...someone with power please delete one when you get a chance, thanks. ?
  13. Ever wondered where the geographical center of Canada is? I haven't either. But, it's 5 O'clock in the morning there (Baker Lake, if curious minds are wondering). However, that's cold, and I don't like cold. I could try jumping ahead to 5pm, and I'd hit Bishkek, in Kyrgyzstan. I'd rather not be there at 5pm, considering I only just found out it's a place (thanks World Book Encyclopedia). It's 6am for me, and I just punched out from work, marking the beginning of this year's first week of vacation. Now, we already know it's 5 O'clock somewhere, but I have a few hours until I can reach that 5 O'clock state of mind. With a 1yr old we didn't want too many days on board our first cruise with him. 4 just seemed too short, and for only a few $'s more we could do 5. We've been on 4 cruises, and we're ready to take it to the next level...you guessed it...Platinum!!! But alas, those 4 or 5 nights just wouldn't get us there. But wait! RC invented Junior Suites (and the double C&A points that come with them), hooray! This will be a good way to see what kind of space we need while traveling with a kid, and push us over that threshold into our next precious metal (or whatever Platinum is). My wife hates driving, and we didn't want to spend the money to fly to a cruise port, so for us that narrowed it down to Port Canaveral. However, with only Oasis (7nights and too much mulah this time around), and Majesty (4 nights and small) available from said port, I moved on to the next logical choice, Tampa. Aforementioned wife has family in the Tampa Bay area and has made the drive an infinite number of times, thus helping her hate of driving, due to familiarity (I'll be sleeping for the ride over). Tampa has Rhapsody doing 7 nighters, and Brilliance doing 4s and 5ers...boom! So what's inside the little envelope? Brilliance, out of Tampa, with the lava flow. We'll be parking at my sister-in-law's, and she'll drop us off at the port. Her sister (my other sister-in-law) will be picking us up. Now, back to that state of mind... With this being our first cruise with a child we plan on having no plans. Work and life have been going well these last 4 months, but we're still ready to relax, so if there's a plan, that's it. Our beautiful transport will be stopping in Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. We've been to both islands once, with Freedom, so we may get off the boatship, or we may not. My only solid wishes for the week are to find the elusive honeystung chicken, shake Michael Poole's hand, try sushi/Izumi for the first time, and take advantage of the rock climbing wall. Nothing says "Come to me tropical vacation!" more than a heavy, dairy-chocolate-Deep Eddy infused beverage, so hopefully one of the drink stations will be able to make me one; but, if not, maybe I'll go back to that lava flow... We don't purchase Voom, so I can't say this is a live blog, but I'll see if I can't take some notes throughout the week and post them right here, on RoyalCaribbeanBlogDotCom, upon our return. Until next time, I'm RestingBirds, and we'll talk again soon. "Gonna put the world away for a minute, pretend I don't live in it..."
  14. Ever wondered where the geographical center of Canada is? I haven't either. But, it's 5 O'clock in the morning there (Baker Lake, if curious minds are wondering). However, that's cold, and I don't like cold. I could try jumping ahead to 5pm, and I'd hit Bishkek, in Kyrgyzstan. I'd rather not be there at 5pm, considering I only just found out it's a place (thanks World Book Encyclopedia). It's 6am for me, and I just punched out from work, marking the beginning of this year's first week of vacation. Now, we already know it's 5 O'clock somewhere, but I have a few hours until I can reach that 5 O'clock state of mind. With a 1yr old we didn't want too many days on board our first cruise with him. 4 just seemed too short, and for only a few $'s more we could do 5. We've been on 4 cruises, and we're ready to take it to the next level...you guessed it...Platinum!!! But alas, those 4 or 5 nights just wouldn't get us there. But wait! RC invented Junior Suites (and the double C&A points that come with them), hooray! This will be a good way to see what kind of space we need while traveling with a kid, and push us over that threshold into our next precious metal (or whatever Platinum is). My wife hates driving, and we didn't want to spend the money to fly to a cruise port, so for us that narrowed it down to Port Canaveral. However, with only Oasis (7nights and too much mulah this time around), and Majesty (4 nights and small) available from said port, I moved on to the next logical choice, Tampa. Aforementioned wife has family in the Tampa Bay area and has made the drive an infinite number of times, thus helping her hate of driving, due to familiarity (I'll be sleeping for the ride over). Tampa has Rhapsody doing 7 nighters, and Brilliance doing 4s and 5ers...boom! So what's inside the little envelope? Brilliance, out of Tampa, with the lava flow. We'll be parking at my sister-in-law's, and she'll drop us off at the port. Her sister (my other sister-in-law) will be picking us up. Now, back to that state of mind... With this being our first cruise with a child we plan on having no plans. Work and life have been going well these last 4 months, but we're still ready to relax, so if there's a plan, that's it. Our beautiful transport will be stopping in Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. We've been to both islands once, with Freedom, so we may get off the boatship, or we may not. My only solid wishes for the week are to find the elusive honeystung chicken, shake Michael Poole's hand, try sushi/Izumi for the first time, and take advantage of the rock climbing wall. Nothing says "Come to me tropical vacation!" more than a heavy, dairy-chocolate-Deep Eddy infused beverage, so hopefully one of the drink stations will be able to make me one; but, if not, maybe I'll go back to that lava flow... We don't purchase Voom, so I can't say this is a live blog, but I'll see if I can't take some notes throughout the week and post them right here, on RoyalCaribbeanBlogDotCom, upon our return. Until next time, I'm RestingBirds, and we'll talk again soon. "Gonna put the world away for a minute, pretend I don't live in it..."
  15. Thanks for sharing that, we'll be there next week.
  16. I'd be upset as well. Definitely keep trying to get a better deal, or maybe a good amount of onboard credit. It must be something major if they're cancelling a sailing.
  17. I hope they can do fish and chips justice. I had some in England almost 20 years ago, and have tried it in countless restaurants here in the USA, very few even come close to what I had over there. Even if it's not quite up to English standards, it could be a great venue.
  18. Ok...I'm definitely going to consider an itinerary with Costa Maya now, looks amazing.
  19. If your dispenser in the shower is empty when you board, or at any point, just go to the guest services desk and let them know, they'll send someone to fill it.
  20. No athletic wear. No pool/beach wear. No flip flops. No shorts. That's what the Windjammer buffet is for. Nice pants, a collared shirt, and close toed shoes (for men) in the MDR. I wear Dickies brand pants and a collared shirt typically, they look very close to dress pants/khakis, and are more comfortable in my opinion.
  21. lol. There is (or was, I haven't actually checked in a while) a magazine, Star Wars Insider, and IIRC if you subscribed to it then you were automatically signed up for the Official Star Wars Club. I just saw you mention Star Wars in another post about your husband, so it might be something for you to look into for him. I loved it, and people thought I was uber nerdy when I showed them my member card, can't blame them if the shoe fits.
  22. @twangster has "must be Pinnacle in C&A" on his dating profile IIRC, so you wouldn't be the only one with high standards ?
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