Jump to content
MO & LO on the go!

Explorer | Feb 7-16, 2020 | First Time To ABC Islands!

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!  We are Matt and Lisa (or MO and LO)!  Matt is the main typer and poster with input from Lisa.

We are now down to double digits for this cruise after booking it with more than 400+ days until we boarded.  We don't remember the exact number of days because it was so painful to see such a high number so we did not pay attention until recently 😉.  We booked it at Next Cruise on a previous cruise and got a $100 OBC!  Next Cruise is our preferred booking location for obvious reasons!  

Only 98 days until we board, 97 until we fly out!  We are flying from Minneapolis to Miami so you can imagine how excited we are to leave Minnesota in February from the cold and snow!  We initially had this booked on the itinerary right before this one but changed it after we figured out that the Super Bowl was in Miami in 2020.  We would have been flying in to Miami on the Saturday before the big game so we decided that it would have been EXTREMELY expensive, busy, and not relaxing or enjoyable for us so changed it to the week later.  Very glad we did this.

 

Why this cruise?:

  • We have never been to the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) and REALLY wanted to get there.  We really enjoy longer cruises since we feel like we really get to experience it and settle in.  For us, anything under 7 nights seems too short.  We also like the Voyager Class of ships so it was perfect.  From that class we have been on Adventure (March 2017) and Mariner (May 2019) in the past.  We recently did our first 9 night cruise which was on Serenade (Jan 2019) and learned that the boat was a bit small for us for such a long cruise.  This will be our 10th cruise together and give us a total of 100 points!  Our first together was our honeymoon in 1997 on Monarch out of Puerto Rico.  All our cruises together have been on RCCL.  I (Matt) have been on 1 extra cruise that I took as a kid with my parents on the Big Red Boat (if anyone remembers that one).  

Flights: 

  • We are flying on Delta from MSP to MIA on February 6th.  We always go atleast one day early because the weather is unpredictable in Minnesota that time of year and also because the stress of flying and boarding is just miserable......especially if something doesn't go quite right and we get delayed.  We will not land until late at night so that day is purely a travel day.  Unfortunately we learned something about companion fares........they only have so many allowed per flight so you need to book very early.  We did not realize they only allow so many per flight and got burned on this.  Normally we fly out a day or two ahead and hang out but they did not have that option available with the companion fares.  So with the companion fare issues in mind, we had to stay TWO extra days after the cruise to get the first flight available home.  We normally fly out as soon as we can on disembarkation day but now we will have 2 extra days in Miami.  We have never stayed more than a few extra hours after the cruise is over so this will be interesting to try.  We fly back on February 18th.

Room:

  • 9th floor balcony 

Excursions: 

  • So far we haven't booked anything but will update on that as we continue the planning

Dining & Drink Package: 

  • We will be having every meal in the dining room because we love main dining.  We enjoy the personal connection and attention we get from getting to know the dining staff.  By the end of the cruise they have "learned" us  and our needs/wants and we love that!  We will be doing early dining (6pm on this cruise) so that we aren't eating so late at night!  That is always our preferred choice.
  • We will be getting the Refreshment Package since we aren't heavy alcohol drinkers.  We WILL be taking part in the Diamond Lounge drinks every night though! 😉 

Full Itinerary:

  • Travel Day from MSP to MIA
  • Day 1 - Miami 
  • Day 2 - Sea Day
  • Day 3 - Labadee, Haiti (8am-5pm)
  • Day 4 - Sea Day
  • Day 5 - Kralendijk, Bonaire (9am-6pm)
  • Day 6 - Oranjestad, Aruba (8am-9pm)
  • Day 7 - Willemstad, Curacao (8am-5pm)
  • Day 8 & 9 - Sea Days
  • Day 10 - Miami
  • Post cruise day - Miami
  • Travel day from MIA to MSP

Hotels:

  • We are staying at the airport and downtown Holiday Inns.  Holiday Inn is our preferred chain because of quality and price along with consistency.

This Live (or mostly) Blog:

  • We will be doing our best to give live updates as we are doing them but obviously not everything can be live so some things will get posted when we have a chance.

Vlog/Recording/Youtube/Twitter:

  • We will be recording/vlogging as much as we can.  We have recorded numerous excursions for our personal collection and friends.  We recently thought that people, like us, would be interested in seeing some of these excursions so they know what they are like and what to expect.  It has helped us in our research of traveling/cruising.  This turned out to be very popular on our YouTube channel so we wanted to expand on that.  This will be our first attempt at that.  Our YouTube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-JW4jgv_suiK-NCHyhQIVA/ .  We will be posting these after they are edited and ready, which will probably be after we are home, but will try to get smaller/shorter things here.  Please subscribe to our channel so you will know when they are posted.  The videos will not just be excursions.  They will include lots of other stuff and we hope to have fun with them.  We will also post to our Twitter account with updates (https://twitter.com/MOLOonthego1).  We just bought the brand new GoPro Hero 8 Black to upgrade from our Hero 4 Silver to get some better quality videos (and not have them shake and bounce all over).

Final Thoughts On First Post:

  • We are excited to bring everyone along and showcase how we travel and what we do!!!  We look forward to everyone's comments and reactions to our first trip to the ABC islands!  If you have any questions, suggestions, thoughts please feel free to post on here or reach out to us privately.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...what a great itinerary.  I haven't been on Explorer in many years but I love that class of ship so I know you will have a great time.

Say hello to Curacao for me.  It's my favorite Caribbean island (not that I have been to every one of them !!!).  It's so quaint and inviting.  You will learn what "My Dushi" means (a good thing !).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a fantastic trip, and even better for being able to do the ABC islands without having to leave out of OSJ. Looking forward to the coming updates!

Oh, and @Matt / @Lovetocruise2002 -- please don't feel obligated to now start your next live blogs at 100 days out. You really don't need to maintain your titles of King and Queen of the Early Live Blog Start. 😁😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Wow...what a great itinerary.  I haven't been on Explorer in many years but I love that class of ship so I know you will have a great time.

Say hello to Curacao for me.  It's my favorite Caribbean island (not that I have been to every one of them !!!).  It's so quaint and inviting.  You will learn what "My Dushi" means (a good thing !).

We are very excited for this itinerary!  We have been wanting to do this for awhile and it finally worked out!  So far our favorite island has been St Lucia so we will have to compare that to these new islands.  We will refrain from using google to see what "My Dushi" means 😉 

 

51 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Sounds like a fantastic trip, and even better for being able to do the ABC islands without having to leave out of OSJ. Looking forward to the coming updates!

Oh, and @Matt / @Lovetocruise2002 -- please don't feel obligated to now start your next live blogs at 100 days out. You really don't need to maintain your titles of King and Queen of the Early Live Blog Start. 😁😜

Going out of Florida was such a bonus for us!  So does that mean it's too early to start our live blog for our January 2021 cruise on Harmony????  🤣

 

4 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I hearby hand in my crown (if there ever was one)...This is an early start to a live blog!

Have fun with your double digit dance!

We were just so excited to start this!  We have a few things left to plan and hope to get some input.  I guess at least we waited for double digits and didn't start in triple digits 👻🤣🚢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...