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SpeedNoodles

Navigator - 911 hits the High Seas (Dec 2 - Dec 6, 2019)

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Ok, my attempt at blogging my Ovation cruise was a colossal failure (I'm just going to blame the bad internet connection, because why not?), but I'm going to give it another crack.  Not that there haven't been a thousand Navigator blogs.  I'll do my best to attempt to make it remotely interesting.

This time I will not be sailing with Mr. SpeedNoodles - instead I will be sailing with a coworker and a retired coworker - two of my bestest buds. We are (and/or were) 911 Police/Fire/EMT dispatchers from the cold, snowy state of Minnesota.   My retired compadre (Kris) has been on one cruise previously (7 nights to the Western Caribbean on Rhapsody, last Feb) and my other friend (Tiffany) has never been on a cruise. Ever.  Her biggest fear is getting seasick, but she's pretty excited about it nonetheless. It will also be her first time away from her two little girls, so she'll probably have mixed feelings.

I work overnights (aka "dog shift"), so I left work at 7am this morning, after working through a snowstorm, during which I brushed the snow off of my little car no less than 3 times throughout the night. I was burned years ago when I didn't check on my Chevy Equinox overnight during a storm and I couldn't find my car for over 24 hours.  The driver's side mirror was all that anyone could find the next day. I'm not retiring in Minnesota, if anyone is keeping track.

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So as of this morning at 7am, I'm officially ON VACATION!!!!!  So excited.  We will be celebrating not only  just time hanging out together but the birthdays of my two partners in crime, and my recent promotion to Floor Supervisor at work (which won't actually go into effect until April, but who's counting).  We are all #TeamDX.  As a birthday gift to my friends and to spoil them a bit I purchased The Key at an acceptable price.  We booked a corner aft balcony (under the Windjammer, but I don't anticipate a great deal of grief with this location) - huge balcony and I'm not sure I'll ever get Tiff out of one of those lounge chairs back there.  She says she's just planning to sleep there. Time will tell.

In Nassau we will be going to the British Colonial Hilton for a beach day (I don't do "sit around on the beach" well, but they say the use of their kayaks, etc, is included, so I'll keep busy) and spending a little time exploring the port, which I didn't do when I was there last Feb.  At Coco Cay we have an Oasis Lagoon Cabana booked (I found it at the awesome price of $319, and harassed them into doing it - I'm not sure I'll ever again find such a deal!), and Tiff and I have reservations for the helium balloon, but we'll see if weather cooperates.   #highwindsfollowmeeverywhere    My friends have both had a great deal of stress over the last few years, and they are looking forward to relaxing, so whatever they want to do goes.

So I have 3 days to try to stop thinking about work, try to settle into vacation mode, and pack! Our flight leaves on Sunday morning, and we will be staying at the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami, very close to the Intercontinental (great deal obtained through HotWire).

More to come soon! (Seriously, I promise).

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I am so excited for you guys !  I know you’re going to have a blast.  I have often, secretly, considered a “girl’s cruise” but I don’t think I would ever be able to ditch you-know-who.  He has one of those sad dog faces when he is disappointed and I don’t know if I could enjoy myself (plus, I’d never hear the end of it !).

Good for you that you are doing it !

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5 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I am so excited for you guys !  I know you’re going to have a blast.  I have often, secretly, considered a “girl’s cruise” but I don’t think I would ever be able to ditch you-know-who. 

Honestly, I've never been a "girl's trip" kind of person - I'm an only child, so sharing a room and making plans with a group of people (who aren't my husband) is a real social and psychological challenge for me.  I totally failed the roommate thing in college. We'll see how that aspect goes!  Still, I'm really looking forward to this one!

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3 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Honestly, I've never been a "girl's trip" kind of person!

This is totally me too.  Fortunately I have found my "people" and after years of drama thinning out the crowd I have a group I wouldn't mind sharing a cabin with.  But oh goodness trying to get anyone to make a decision and making plans is like herding cats 😂

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33 hours until our flight to Miami is "scheduled" to depart.  I'm trying to get onto a daytime schedule, but last night I wasn't tired enough to fall asleep until 4:30 am (that's a lot of binge watching of "Shameless" on Netflix).

I spent the night packing (i.e. discovering that I gained weight over the summer and a change of plans for what clothes got dumped into the suitcase).  Still, I got it done without shedding a tear, so I'm calling it a win.  I also had to do it pretty quickly - as anyone with a cat knows, there's not much time between opening the suitcase and the cat inserting itself into said suitcase.

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The next challenge is the weather.  The closer we get to our flight time, the worse the forecast becomes.  I guess that's why we fly a day ahead, right?  Keeping fingers crossed that we aren't delayed too long, and can spend a little time enjoying Miami.

 

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OK, I just went out to shovel the deck, but the ice pellets hurt my head. I seriously need to get out of here. 

We are all checked in for our flights, but only two of us received seat assignments, so I don't know if that means they overbooked the flight and the other will be on standby or not. I don't fly frequently, and rarely on Delta. We're crossing our fingers. 

(wow, clearly I haven't learned the art of posting smaller videos and photos - sorry, gang!)

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We made it to the airport with plenty of time, but it looks like there's a delay due to a problem with one of the plane deicers. Good thing we all had Bloody Marys and a bite to eat at the airport version of the popular Mpls Hi-Lo Diner. 

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23 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

They found us a plane! We will be boarding soon. Not really too bad of a wait. It took me less than 5 minutes from curb to the end of security, and the TSA agent was keen on my shirt. 

Yeah! Start up the Will Smith... "going to Miami..."  :27_sunglasses:

 

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Kimpton Epic Hotel 

We booked the Kimpton Epic through Hotwire at $239/night. We picked an area we wanted to stay and a star rating, and came up with this. Not bad for 3 people. Mr. SpeedNoodles and I will be back in February, used Priceline, and wound up with the same hotel and price. Lesson learned, don't pay more thab $240/night at the Kimpton. 

After grabbing a Lyft from the airport ($15.33) we enjoyed a 15-minute ride to the hotel with a very friendly driver. When we checked in, the desk host said "Well, because you've been having winter in Minnesota since about July, we're going to upgrade you to a water view!". Well....ok by us!!!!! 

Each room has a generous balcony, and ours did not disappoint. We have a full view of the cruise port, and could spot Oasis of the Seas. 20191201_160045.thumb.jpg.c43d1250cc3e9bb9db474cb73e4f2f15.jpg

We were really happy with the room, and spent some time cleaning up. We had to make Happy Hour (read : free wine) by 5pm.  Here's some pics from the room :

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Pool area:

 

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After wine we walked down to Biscayne Marketplace and had a bite to eat at Hard Rock Cafe (#toursist) and then mojitos at the Mojito Bar.. 

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Hitting the hay for tonight, more to report tomorrow, from SpeedNoodles! 

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After a brief Uber ride to the port, we arrived at Terminal A. It was a quick check in, and we were on the ship by 10:35.  We dropped off our luggage in the MDR (The Key) and headed up to grab a quick "breakfast" at El Loco Fresh (and maybe a drink). 

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We did a bit of ship exploration, and then hit our actual lunch (Chops in the MDR).

We have a corner aft oversized balcony on deck 10. Here's a short tour (hopefully!) 

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We're going to do a little unpacking and then hit the water slides! 

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