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Andrew72681

Navigating to CocoCay May 17th-20th 2019

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12 hours ago, Andrew72681 said:

Since you’re not allowed onto the Helipad on Oasis Class vessels, we decided to take in part of the Sail Away from there (a certain blogger said it was “too hot” out there

love the helipad, but Miami in Florida summer out there = giphy.gif

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13 hours ago, Andrew72681 said:

All things considered, I’d put Hooked at the bottom of the Specialty Dining restaurants onboard. The items that were fried had a breading that lacked flavor, and the “Maryland Crab Cake” that is on the menu doesn’t belong in the middle of the sea

Good to know.  I was excited about the prospect of Hooked but I had my doubts on the MD crab cake and I'm not a huge lobster fan so the menu doesn't appeal to me very much.  I know others love lobster so neither my wife or I partake in Lobster Night to leave at least two more lobster tails for others on the ship.

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4 hours ago, mbk999 said:

Good to know.  I was excited about the prospect of Hooked but I had my doubts on the MD crab cake and I'm not a huge lobster fan so the menu doesn't appeal to me very much.  I know others love lobster so neither my wife or I partake in Lobster Night to leave at least two more lobster tails for others on the ship.

Living in MD my whole life my basic philosophy is that there’s only a 90 minute radius where a crab cake should be consumed. 

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@Andrew72681, what are you using for pics and video? Those night shots on the upper deck are really impressive, as are the looping video clips and your shots of the skating show.

I'm guessing it's all mobile phone, but curious about the model. Pixel 3 with that new Night Sight mode?

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

@Andrew72681, what are you using for pics and video? Those night shots on the upper deck are really impressive, as are the looping video clips and your shots of the skating show.

I'm guessing it's all mobile phone, but curious about the model. Pixel 3 with that new Night Sight mode?

Just my iPhone 10s. On a short cruise no space for a real camera in the carryon. And haven’t had any time to process any of the pictures to clean them up. 

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Day 3 Nassau

We arrived to a very dreary rainy morning in Nassau. The weather looked so bad early that we considered calling Hyatt and cancelling the room reservation we had. After grabbing some breakfast in the Windjammer we decided we’d head out and see what the forecast had in store for us. 

Once we stepped off the boat it was if the clouds had parted specifically for us as the sun began to beam down on us and the temperature jumped up. After a short walk through the terminal and shopping we got a cab driver to take us to the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Taxi fare for the four us of was 32 dollars, but was in a nice new Honda Odyssey with real working air conditioning. That also meant we didn’t have to wait on 19 more people to cram into a van, which is always a pleasure.

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We pulled alongside the Norwegian Sun, which as I’ve learned Hull Art is the bane of @Matt‘s existence. 

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I’m still a big fan of their newer boats hull art, like Encore which they revealed recently

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The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is about a fifteen minute taxi ride from the port through some cool parts of town. We drove by the Governors house as well as the golf course they joke that he spends all of his time there. Arriving at the complex you get a feel of just how massive the property is. There’s three separate hotels, the Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, and SLS. The Grand Hyatt would be the more family oriented property, Rosewood would be the luxury property, and the SLS would be more for the party crowd, which I’ll never find myself part of.

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When you first enter the property, you are dumped right into the casino, one welcome fixture if we ever stay for multiple days is that the property has a race and sports book. The property also has a large casino, but I figured it was better to “donate” my money to the onboard casino in hopes they’d want to have me back at a discounted rate later 😎.

 

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We went to check in around 9:30 and as expected our room wasn’t ready, no problem though as we were really there to enjoy the facilities. Within about five minutes we had our wristbands to show we were staying and they took my cell number for when the room was finished being cleaned. With that we headed for the pools as well as the beach.

The complex features four or five pools in total, but two are part of the main area rather than the specialty properties. Right near the entrance is the main pool which was much more subdued than the others. It features a large main area and a very large hot tub (~25 people)

A walk down a path leads you to the Dean’s Blue Hole. The pool while not massive is hiding it’s greatest feature inside the grotto. Once you make your way through the waterfalls you are greeted by two giant tanks filled with aquatic creatures ranging from Sharks to Sea Turtles to sting rays. It’s also much cooler in there as the sun isn’t beating down on you from above. Be sure to grab some pictures as we keep getting photo-bombed by the turtles as well as witnessing a “fight” between a Sea Turtle and a large puffer fish that was hilarious. I had no clue a puffer fish could swim away that fast. They feed the sea life several times a day and it’s quite fun watching the feeding frenzy down on that level.

My daughters favorite part of the day was the rock walls to jump off of. There are two, but almost no one uses the 8 foot wall. Everyone goes for the 15ft jump, which is quite exhilarating (perhaps even more than a drop slide cough cough @Matt.) I did learn however to keep your arms tucked in as the force which a six foot guy hits the water is quite hard. Over the course of the day Addie probably jumped off ten times and had a blast doing it  

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The property also also features myriad food trucks along the beach line ranging from Hot Dogs to Tacos to Daquiris. Keep in mind that as a “captive audience” food doesn’t come cheap and also contains the VAT as everything in Bahamas does. For a hot dog, soda, and chips it was 13$ plus taxes, which is still substantially cheaper than anything I’d get at a hockey game  

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Water activities  are included with your 35$ per day resort fee, and we noticed SUP boards, floating mats, and some kayaks. Be sure to check out the private pier the beach has as it gives a great view of the property. We witnessed a teenage girl nearly die on the rocks as she was trying to get the perfect pose on the jetty rocks. Her mother was taking the pictures, so you can guess who I blame.

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At about 1:30 my phone rang letting me know the room was ready. We decided to head up and check it out as the resort grounds definitely warranted coming back. We were given a room on the 15th floor with a beautiful ocean view. 

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Once you walked in your could almost smell the newness of the property which was clean and modern while retaining its comfortability. While we didn’t sleep in the beds they seemed quite comfortable. The hotel had a great shower with a rainforest shower head and good water pressure. We all decided that taking showers in a full size shower was a better idea than waiting till we got back on the ship. 

It proved fortuitous as when we got back the ship the room had no cold water, only scalding hot water. 

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At about 30 we caught a cab back to the ship, which was driven by my new favorite cab driver G-Man. During the ride, he popped in a CD and played his favorite BackStreet Boys tunes. He had us join in the chorus, which made for a fun ride back  to the pier.

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Once back at the pier we were parked next to a carnival ship which was also on a three day journey, but who’s vessel had none of the fun bells and whistles of Navigator.

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Once back on board, the girls headed to To Dry For to try out the styling options before dinner.  But first, we were getting hungry so we stopped off at PlayMakers, which was just recently added to the Unlimited Dining Package. Be sure to let the server know that you have the UDP as they don’t yet have a way to fix it once the check is generated. The wings and potato skins were good, but the Nachos were a little too busy for my taste.

 

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I forgot to take a picture until the other two were already gone  

 

 

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however, they weren’t big fans of the process as none of the stylists seemed to listen to any of the styles you actually ordered. Both ordered an “up-do” but both came back with hair that was down not up. Addie’s stylists barely said a word the whole time. After about an hour we were on our way to Izumi for dinner, which would be my first time eating at a non-hibachi Izumi. 

 

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Spicy Crispy Shrimp roll

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Pork Gyoza (potstickers)

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Ebi (Shrimp sashimi) they seemed to have forgotten the rice though.

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Assorted Tempura

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DX Sushi Combo

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Mixed Seafood Hot Rock

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Surf and Turf Hot Rock

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Mochi 

 

All in all we mostly liked Izumi. Nikki did wish that there was a Sushi combo featuring cooked sushi, which we assumed the DX would, but it all came raw, which seemed like that should have been the Sashimi combo. You really have to pay attention to the hot rock as things will stick to it very, very quickly, especially the scallops. 

 

After dinner we had our first drinks in the Bamboo room and caught up with Matt about the events of the weekend. That’s when he mentioned to keep my eyes out for news on Oasis this week and luckily he was right on as it came through. After drinks it was time to pack and get Addie to bed.

 

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Disembarkation was an absolute breeeze, unlike any I’ve ever been involved with. It went so quickly I didn’t have a chance to get pictures. As we had The Key we could have walked to the Bamboo room and been escorted, but as we just had carry on luggage we decided to just do the self walk off. 

At 7:35 we left our room on the 10th floor, as elevators are a mess unless you are at the top floor, I carried two of the suitcases while everyone else walked down. There was zero lines getting through the terminal, and only about 30 seconds wait at Customs. 

By 7:47 with an eight year old in tow we were on the curb waiting for our Uber. Luckily Uber XLs were piled up and by 7:50 we were in a car and headed to FLL for our 10:25 flight. Monday morning traffic was comparably easy (I live in the DC area where ten miles will take two hours some days) and we were at the airport by 8:45, with way too much time to kill in a very boring FLL airport. 

FLL has rolled out Clear Service to terminal 1, which meant security took about sixty seconds.

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As a bit of a conclusion, overall I think Navigstor is best served by rating it separately on public vs private spaces. 

On the Public space side, Navigator is a 10, from the pools to the slides to the bars it’s every bit a full featured ship that’ll give an Oasis Class vessel a run for its money. 

As for the rooms it was a very mixed bag, the bathrooms and closets are small, which isn’t as big a problem for a three night cruise as it would be for a week long. 

The room infrastructure is showing its age, our weekend seemed to revolve around issues with water:

Saturday morning we woke up to a soaked entry way carpet, at first I thought maybe they were silently steam cleaning during the night. However it turned out to be a leaky pump room had flooded the place. The brought in an industrial dryer which made a ton of noise in the room. Saturday night into Sunday we didn’t have hot water, only room temperature water in the shower. Sunday night and Monday morning we had the opposite, no cold water, only scalding hot water that no one could shower in unless they wanted first degree burns. 

 

We’ll get to see if that room was an anomaly as my daughter and I are headed back on the same itinerary on our first Daddy-Daughter cruise. 

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20 hours ago, hayley_bopp said:

Wow! 😯

Is this a regular occurrence in Coco Cay?

I’m going to guess that it’s a regular occurrence anywhere there’s people in their early 20s and copious amounts of alcohol. A day like a CocoCay is where it might not be a bad idea for RC to adopt limits like Carnival has. 

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9 hours ago, Andrew72681 said:

with way too much time to kill in a very boring FLL airport

yeah, we had to kill 3 hours there in October.   The terminal for SW gets overwhelmed with people and limited meal options.

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9 hours ago, Andrew72681 said:

I’m going to guess that it’s a regular occurrence anywhere there’s people in their early 20s and copious amounts of alcohol. A day like a CocoCay is where it might not be a bad idea for RC to adopt limits like Carnival has. 

I'd be curious if there's a difference in the passengers between  the Navigator out of Miami and the Mariner being out of Canaveral.  ie, Miami might draw more of the weekend  "party boat" crowd while the Mariner might pull more families and Orlando tourists looking to combine a cruise with the parks.   Or does it just vary sailing to sailing with no rhyme or reason.   We're looking at a quick getaway over President's Day weekend and that's a factor I'm trying to figure out.  

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1 hour ago, mbk999 said:

I'd be curious if there's a difference in the passengers between  the Navigator out of Miami and the Mariner being out of Canaveral.  ie, Miami might draw more of the weekend  "party boat" crowd while the Mariner might pull more families and Orlando tourists looking to combine a cruise with the parks.   Or does it just vary sailing to sailing with no rhyme or reason.   We're looking at a quick getaway over President's Day weekend and that's a factor I'm trying to figure out.  

I’d think Presidents’ Day is a little bit safer. By May 17th when we left a good portion of colleges have dismissed so the 21 and 22 year olds are there to go wild. 

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1 hour ago, Andrew72681 said:

I’d think Presidents’ Day is a little bit safer. By May 17th when we left a good portion of colleges have dismissed so the 21 and 22 year olds are there to go wild. 

Agreed.  There will be a larger family demographic over Presidents week as it's a holiday break for some of the northeast.  There should be some locals that take advantage of the 3-day weekend and book but it won't be as crazy as the Spring Break crowd.

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