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Joe01

Harmony LIVE ~ 6/30 & 7/7 ~ Eastern/Western Caribbean

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Just finished my final exam and I am now officially a HS graduate. Been a long ride. Now time to focus on cruising! I've seen a few people start their live blogs early on here, so I'll follow suit.

I'll be leaving 1 month today (June 27th) to head for 2 weeks on the Harmony of the Seas. Below is the itinerary:

  • June 27th - Flying from Edinburgh to Orlando (on United via Newark)
  • June 28th - Orlando, Florida
  • June 29th - Orlando, Florida
  • June 30th - Embarking Harmony of the Seas in Port Canaveral, Florida
  • July 1st - Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • July 2nd - Sea Day
  • July 3rd - Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
  • July 4th - Phillipsburg, St Maarten
  • July 5th - Sea Day
  • July 6th - Sea Day
  • July 7th - Port Canaveral, Florida (turnaround day)
  • July 8th - Perfect Day at CocoCay (again!)
  • July 9th - Sea Day
  • July 10th - Costa Maya, Mexico
  • July 11th - Roatan, Honduras
  • July 12th - Cozumel, Mexico (docking with the Liberty of the Seas!)
  • July 13th - Sea Day
  • July 14th - Disembark Harmony/transfer to Airport/Fly to Newark/6 hour layover in EWR (may go to NYC for lunch) and fly home to Scotland
  • July 15th - Arrive in Edinburgh/Drive home to Glasgow (hopefully won't be 5 hours late like in 2016)

I was quite hesitant to return to Harmony initially (I'm a Sagittarius, I'm easily bored and like to try different things), but the 2 calls at CocoCay were too tempting to pass up. In addition - Port Canaveral, Costa Maya and Roatan are also new to me. I've never been to the Orlando area, so I'm going to need some help regarding what to do on my 2 days there pre-cruise. Definitely planning a Cheesecake Factory visit! Planning an express visit to New York for lunch on debarkation day - I will need it since United Airlines serve awful food. I wish there was a decent airline that flew between Scotland and the USA - who wants to fly across the Atlantic on a 757? I digress - just not a fan of flying.

I'm going to have a 2nd stab at live blogging. I tried it last time and I wasn't too successful for multiple reasons but none of them should apply this time, particularly since I now have more phone data so will be periscoping more. No pics until I'm home, but plenty of scopes + commentary. All comments, questions and compliments welcome, although if you dislike what I'm saying, please don't try to derail my blog - I'm deadly serious, it happened last time and I was pretty irked by it. Any issues with my comments, then drop me a direct message. Thanks. 🙂

In addition, you might know me as the CD connoisseur on here. For now, Marc Walker is scheduled to be the CD (let's hope there will be no changes at the eleventh hour like in 2016 when Abe Hughes had to extend his time home and John Blair came in instead). I've heard great things about Marc so hopefully I will enjoy him. Moe is his AM and I believe that they are a team that work well together so I'm getting the best of the best for the CD/AM combination. Captain Gus is onboard as well, we've sailed with him several times - great guy although I hope he's updated his schtick now that the ship has switched homeport.

We'll be in an inside stateroom on Deck 6. We had options to upgrade but no point paying extra when the inside is perfectly sufficient. 

I think that's all for now. Looking forward to this sailing. If you have anything to say, I'll see you in the comments below. 

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2 hours ago, Sweety said:

Congratulations on your graduation. What a way to say, "World here I come." I will be following.

Thanks! Excited for new endeavours.

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If you could pass on the Cruise Compasses to Matt to post for your Western itinerary, I’d be most appreciative.  Trying to plan entertainment and dining for our November Harmony cruise and there aren’t yet any posted CC for that itinerary out of Port Canaveral.

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Lucky to have experienced so many cruises already at such a young age...

 

This should be a great two weeks for you......

 

I am not a huge CD person, but Marc is the only one that I remember...I have been lucky enough to have him 3-4 times and each time there is something about him that makes the cruise more enjoyable. He is supposed to be on Harmony on Nov when I get on her, so fingers crossed...

 

Enjoy and I cant wait to see lots of pics...inside room for us as well!

 

 

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22 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

That is a "Do Not Pass It Up"! 

Gotta be honest, scratching my head at this one. Orlando is home to some really fantastic food, but Cheesecake Factory doesn't make the list for most people. I had no idea it was viewed as iconic to travelers from afar. It's good stuff, but generally ranks like a 6/10 compared to getting the same dish at a place that specializes in it.

With two full days in Orlando, the obvious suggestion is a theme park. Universal's Islands of Adventure is the place to go for roller coasters, but Disney World is the best of the best and you can't go wrong there. It will be offensively hot, but you knew that when you bought a ticket to Florida in June. The Space Center is also excellent, especially if you're staying on the coast overnight before embarkation. Disney Springs is home to shopping and a bunch of restaurants that I'd pick before Cheesecake Factory, if theme park days aren't on the agenda, or CityWalk at Universal, same thing. Orlando City soccer has a home game the night of the 27th, but compared to the UK, you may not find American soccer very compelling, especially after a day on a plane.

Other restaurants worth considering while you're in town: 4Rivers, several locations, some of the best barbeque in America. Roy's, chain of Hawaiian-Asian fusion restaurants that we miss very badly having moved away. California Grill, atop the Disney Contemporary, is a great meal- if you go late, can view Magic Kingdom fireworks. For very touristy attractions, Rainforest Cafe & T-Rex Cafe are pretty fun. Kobe hibachi on International Drive will be about half the price of Izumi on board. 

If you have other questions about bouncing around Orlando, there's a few people around with roots there who can help.

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4 minutes ago, joshvc said:

Gotta be honest, scratching my head at this one. Orlando is home to some really fantastic food, but Cheesecake Factory doesn't make the list for most people.

It does if you are from Canada or Europe and there is no Cheesecake Factory in sight! 😉

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

Along with Dunkin, Olive Garden and Applebee's for myself....

Wait, you have Tim Horton's in Canada, no? Friends of mine who've gotten their donuts and coffee there say they blow Dunkin out of the water! What appeal does a Dunkin Donuts have?

And if you like Olive Garden, then I strongly recommend you try out Romano's Macaroni Grill if there is one reasonably close to wherever you're holing up. I just checked and see they have one in the Orlando airport, as well as Lake Buena Vista in the Orlando area. Also one in Miami at Miami-Kendall. Miles better than Olive Garden and very close in price. All of the locations near us closed down years ago despite being hugely popular, and we've been sorely disappointed by that.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

Wait, you have Tim Horton's in Canada, no?

Uh..YES!  And to derail this blog even more (sorry @Joe01 lol), Tim Horton's in Canada is way better than Tim Horton's in the US.  There is a difference!  Good tip about Macaroni Grill.  I've always wanted to try it out but have never had the opportunity.

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20 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Uh..YES!  And to derail this blog even more (sorry @Joe01 lol), Tim Horton's in Canada is way better than Tim Horton's in the US.  There is a difference!  Good tip about Macaroni Grill.  I've always wanted to try it out but have never had the opportunity.

We have Tim Horton's in the UK now. It's nice but nothing special. It's probably hard for them to compete with Greggs which is a British icon.

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Tim's coffee is very strong..I prefer a mellow so I like Dunkin for that better....I also like their cups better(Styrofoam) as it stays hotter longer......I also like their food selection better(although Tim's is starting to have better options) and it prob has something to do with the fact that Dunkin is a vacation treat for me......

 

Nice tip for Romanao's...have to check it out the next time I am down there....November!

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If I may - how old are you?

 

I think it's fantastic that you're already D+

Your writing style is excellent - nothing I'd expect from a young person (no offence!).  It's 

a very easy, readable, and enjoyable pattern.

 

We will be sailing Harmony for the first time in April, so I'll definitely be following along closely.  

After managing to go on Lady O twice last year (my 3rd and 4th total), she has a lot to live up to.

 

It won't be long now!!

 

LOL  I'm such an idiot.  I forgot that RCBlog levels are similar to Crown & Anchor tiers.   Never mind that part....Image result for rolls eyes gif

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@Joe01, I forgot to say earlier after hijacking your thread — Big congratulations on your graduation, and I hope you have a fantastic time on your B2B sailings! I know you spent a lot of time working out the best option; may it exceed all expectations!

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Currently at Heathrow Airport. Had a nice weekend away in London. Amazing city - I highly recommend it.

That said, I'm exhausted. Is it just me or do land vacations remind you of why you love to cruise so much? All of the walking around is physically taxing - did 106K steps over 3 days.

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On 5/28/2019 at 4:37 PM, JLMoran said:

 Wait, you have Tim Horton's in Canada, no?

 

On 5/28/2019 at 6:18 PM, Joe01 said:
On 5/28/2019 at 5:57 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

opportunity.

We have Tim Horton's in the UK now. It's nice but nothing special

Was also going to chip in with the UK offering now. I've yet to try it but I know they don't do bear claws - my Canadian friend was most upset when she went. 

1 hour ago, Joe01 said:

Currently at Heathrow Airport. Had a nice weekend away in London. Amazing city - I highly recommend it.

That said, I'm exhausted. Is it just me or do land vacations remind you of why you love to cruise so much? All of the walking around is physically taxing - did 106K steps over 3 days.

I know what you mean - feel exactly the same having just come back from 6 days in NYC where we walked 50 miles.

 

Really looking forward to your live blog btw @Joe01

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Congrats on your graduation! You’ve got me craving cheesecake & bread now 😂

looking forward to your blog, we’re doing the Western internary in Sept and I can’t wait 

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