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


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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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1 hour ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I'm having major issues getting onto Voom - it tells me to go to login.com, but my browser shunts me automatically to login business.com. It worked only once and I created a user name and password, but I received a privacy warning and it shut me down. Booooo. 

I was using logout.com on Oasis when I had issues to log off and back in again..maybe try that?

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2 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I'm having major issues getting onto Voom - it tells me to go to login.com, but my browser shunts me automatically to login business.com. It worked only once and I created a user name and password, but I received a privacy warning and it shut me down. Booooo. 

Some exact thing happened to me a bunch on Anthem last month...

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We had a full first day, with my traveling companions being quite impressed with the ship. We managed to hit one trip down the Blaster slide - tons of fun, only a 15-minute wait, and probably only the second water slide I've ever been on in my life #lame. After Muster, we headed straight to the helipad, and waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently one of the ships that was supposed to leave before us had been delayed, and we were 5th in line to go. After watching a few bypass us, it just became too chilly and windy to wait it out (not to mention it was getting dark.  We grabbed a snack from Cafe Promenade, a drink from the pub, and headed up to watch sail away from the protection of our balcony. 

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We had reservations in the MDR for 9:15, so we went down to see if we could get into the ice show. 

When I mentioned going to the ice show I received a positive, yet lukewarm, response. We sat in The Key section (really nice seats). I'd seen the ice show on Mariner, which I liked, but this one was so much better. Color my friends impressed - they were amazed (and I was so happy that they were having so much fun). 

Dinner in the MDR was very good. It's fun when you tell a new cruiser that they can have anything they want, and much as they want. While I'm having fun, most of my fun is coming from watching my friends become hooked on cruising. 

They were beat after dinner, but far be it from me to miss the 70s Disco Inferno Party on the Promenade (really the only time I like that space).  While I'm typically a pretty shy person, all bets are off on a cruise and I have no problems dancing with other passengers and crew, so I had an absolute blast. I had to be obnoxious and had to get my photo taken with the "cop" from the "Village People" for my cohorts. 

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We had a great time today in Nassau and on the ship. I have to say that I'm really unsure where the person /people who put out the Cruise Compass get their weather forecasts from, though. Checking weather.com daily, I expected temps in the low 70s. The Cruise Compass insisted (OK, strong word for a number on a sheet of paper, but work with me) that it was going to be in the low 80s.

It was 72.

But, being a weather site stalker, I was prepared. With rash guard and swim cover up in my war chest we headed off to the Hilton British Colonial for a beach day. Although we were planning to paddle board and kayak, it was simply too breezy (read:not quite warm enough). The property was beautiful. There were under 20 other guests there. The service was extremely slow, but very friendly. While there was a $40 food/beverage credit, it did not go far, the food was unrealistically expensive as it related to its quality. I did enjoy the Hemingway Daiquiri, however.

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We arrived around 11:30 and took off by 2:30. It was a good afternoon, but for what we were able to do (blame the weather), it would have behooved us to spend the day on the ship. I'm a weirdo, and was early amused by a Laughing Gull who was convinced that we were going to share some food, and just quietly hung out with us for quite a while. Be it exotic critters or sky rats, I'm pretty content when there's a critter around (#weirdchick). 

We stopped at Senor Frogs for a quick drink and guac made at tableside, then headed back to the ship. 

My friends took a shot at the Blaster slide, but at this point the sun was lower, the wind stronger at the top of the ship, and I was overchilled. I can't say this to Mr SpeedNoodles, though, as he's been home scraping I've. It's all in one's perspective. 

When we returned to the room we found that our stateroom attendant, Venicio, had complied with my request for the use of a robe, since I'm Platinum now. He brought one for each of us, which really tickled everyone. 

We got showered and dressed for Dress Your Best night, and stopped in the Schooner Bar for one (*ahem... maybe more) pre-dinner martinis and a bit of Classic Movie Trivia. Let's just say that after a couple of martinis none of us could remember the names of the Seven Dwarfs (poor Bashful and Happy). 

Dinner was good (too much food was consumed, and MORE WINE). We're turning in early in anticipation of tomorrow at Coco Cay. 

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Woke up to a gorgeous sunrise over NCL's Island.

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Once again, Royal is unrealistically optimistic in the weather department. I assume our helium balloon excursion will fall through due to wind, but we will be comfy in our cabana. 

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According to staff on the island, the weather is warm, calm, and sunny. It's, indeed, a Perfect Day!

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Coco Cay

What can I say about Coco Cay that hasn't already been said?

We had managed to score an Oasis Lagoon Cabana for the really nice price of $319 back in the spring. In the morning we were very thankful, as it sheltered us from the somewhat chilly wind. Not Minnesota chilly, but chilly for swimsuits and tank tops. We grabbed a drink, and just enjoyed the comfort of our private area. We ordered lunch about 45 minutes before they opened for lunch, so we had lunch on our table by 11:05 (wow, I really typed "lunch" too many times there). Finally a chance to try the crispy chicken sandwich! I didn't find it to be terribly crispy (maybe from sitting in a box for a bit of time), and I thought it could have used more spices, but I liked it, and I'd certainly get it again. 

We then decided to do some island exploring, since my traveling companions had never been there. It was a bit slow going since one of them had stubbed her pinky toe badly at the Hilton yesterday, and it was swollen and about 30 shades of purple. She was a good sport, though. 

We really spent the day doing much of nothing. The pool was really too cold for any of our comfort. But we were fine with doing nothing on a beautiful island. 

Our cabana service was sketchy. I don't know if our attendant was just disinterested, or if 20191204_085604.thumb.jpg.cf19990fd02a9cc7ce6dd2c6ea176759.jpgher wristband wasn't working, but it was a long time and several presses of the service button before she'd come over. Slightly annoying, but nothing that we were upset about. 

In typical "me" fashion, I was overjoyed that the critters of the island were hanging out in the cabana area. The chickens regularly hung out on the deck with us (no, we weren't feeding them.... although I may, or may not, have been dangling a shiny object to amuse the hens). Even one of the resident iguanas visited.

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The sky rats are crafty, and managed to steal some funnel cake off of Kris's plate, which started a huge sky rat scuffle. Frankly, I felt the winner had a pretty smug look on his face. 

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We stayed until a little after 3, when the sun got low enough that there was only shade in the cabana area. The cabanas face north, so the sun was always behind us. 

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We enjoyed sail away from our balcony and relaxed. I had a full night planned for us... We could sleep in the next day!! 

We hit the Schooner Bar for Elton John Trivia and some pre-dinner libations, then hit the MDR for another very good, and overfilling, dinner. By now we were all totally enamored with our waiter, Malcin, and had a great time. 

I suggested that we head down to Studio B for the Battle of the Sexes game, followed by the Quest. I was going with or without them. They made the correct choice. We all laughed nearly 2 hours straight, and participated as much as we could (note: The Key seats were good, EXCEPT there was no direct access to the floor without hurdling over a barrier. #ruleswhatrules.

With that, our night was complete, and we were looking forward a full sea day. 

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14 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

That sounds like such fun !

So who was the first to ask, “When are we going to do this again ?” ?

Ha, the one who had never cruised before. They are annoyed that I have so many cruises booked because it'll be hard for me to fit another in just with them. 

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Sea Day - my favorite! 

A day to explore the parts of the ship you haven't seen yet. Or hang out in your favorite nook. Keep busy. Do nothing. I love it. 

We partied hard the night before and nobody woke up until 9am. For the first time we decided to divide and conquer. One went to the gym (guaranteed not to be me), another explored a few Bloody Marys at the pool bar. I went to watch people on the Flow Rider, then took a little nap on the deck above the Lime and Coconut. We all met up for lunch in the MDR. 

I always love looking at the Itinerary channel on the TV. The captain has to be creative when trying to stretch the short trip from Coco Cay to Miami and make it last nearly a day and a half. That, or he also had the Deluxe Beverage Package. 

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We then hit the Schooner Bar for some Harry Potter Trivia (I just drank since I've neither seen nor read the stories). After a little shopping on the Promenade, we settled back into our room to enjoy the balcony for the last evening before dinner. 

Since it was a sea day and I had no sky rats, chickens, or iguanas to soothe me, I had to settle for #FakeDog. 

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After dinner (I miss you already, Malcin!!!) one of the women had a slight headache and went up to the room to lay down. But the two of us left were not ready to give up yet. We headed to the Hush Party to give that a try. It was definitely amusing for a short time, although the music waa pretty monotonous, and I was done after about 15 minutes   I wanted to get to the 80s party on the Promenade! 

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I couldn't remember exactly what time it was supposed to begin, so I stopped next to an elevator to check the Compass on the interactive screen.

Suddenly I hear my friend SCREAMING my name. I rush over and she dragged me into an elevator absolutely stuffed with people and the Stowaway Piano Player!!! 

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I was beyond thrilled. We'd been looking out for him all week. And my friends learned this week that few things entertain me as much as the opportunity to sing out loud with fun people and fun music. It was really the funnest 20 minutes of the cruise.

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The look on people's faces from outside the glass elevators, and from other elevators, was priceless. And the look when the elevator doors would open to people waiting... it varied from shock to awe. I probably would have stayed in there longer, but decided other people should be able to play, too (blah). 

It was time for Showgirls to start, so we ducked into there too check it out. The singing was good, but I was mostly impressed with the costumes. 

It ended in time for the 80s party, so I hung out there until I realized that I had not even begun to pack yet (denial was strong). It had only been 4 nights, surely it wasn't time to leave yet!!!! 

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Disembarkation and a few closing notes:

Oh gosh, what a whirlwind of a trip. 4 nights is simply too short!  I originally wanted to book a longer sailing, but one of the women had never been away from her two little girls, and I totally understood.  I managed to pack up the night before in half darkness (impressed the heck out of myself, lemme tell ya!). 

We sauntered down to The Key breakfast around 8am and treated ourselves to some decadent Eggs Benedict (the ONLY time I ever allow myself the pleasure is on a cruise), and lamented our impending doom. I mean, departure. When we finally dragged ourselves away from the table, we made it to deck 4 and off the ship with nary a line.  Zip .... off.  Since we carried on at the beginning of the trip, we carried off, and were rolling past all of the other people picking up luggage within about 3 minutes (which was as long as it took us to drag our heels off of the ship). 

I was kind of cruel at this point. My friends were booking along ahead of me - apparently trying to reinforce that they did, indeed, have longer legs than I, so I hung back at my own pace.  La la la la - watching them trying to finagle their passports out of their bags. BWAHAHAHA..... there was my chance to pass on the left! Passports?? We don't need no stinking passports!! This is Terminal A, BABY!!!  I stepped through the facial recognition before they even saw me.  But it was a nice surprise for them.  "Wait, that's it? We don't need to do anything else?"  Nope!

We scoped out the RideShare area (such as it is) and checked the price for an Uber ($37.14) to MIA.  Then a man from Koala Transportation offered a shuttle direct to the airport for $10/ea. Saving money AND Koalas???? SIGN ME UP.  Our wait for the shuttle was about 5 minutes. We loaded into a large Sprinter van with 10 other people who were similarly depressed to be off the ship, and were at the airport within 15 minutes.

Where we waited. And waited.  I went through the TSA Precheck line at 9:45 am and our flight wasn't going to board until 1:30pm.  Yep, that was the first flight available.  We eventually moseyed off to the Budweiser Brew House for our last libation and another snack (because, let's face it, it had been more than 30 minutes since we'd last ate), where one of them ordered a Coors Lite.  In a Budweiser Brew House.  I thought the ceiling would come down on us - I nearly ducked under the table - between the staff and all of the customers we were nearly booed and laughed out of the airport.  I told my friends that we could wander down to the Heineken Bar if it would make them feel better (that joke was not well received, btw).

Suffice it to say that they have kind of been spoiled for cruising in the future. Getting a little extra special treatment with The Key, having a beautiful aft-facing balcony (and that room really had a lot of space!), a cabana at Coco Cay - I think their expectations for the next cruise will be high (sorry, not sorry).  They are already looking at cruises for next December (7 night Allure). I'm trying to encourage them to do it, even though I might not be able to join them.  I will be starting a new position in April, and I''m not sure that I'll get approval for a week off in October (Group Cruise), November (Odyssey), December (girl's trip?) and January again. It MIGHT be asking too much.

But then again ... YOLO.

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6 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I so enjoyed your blog.  It sounds like your girls' trip was a great idea.  I'm glad it worked out.

If it's of any consequence at ALL, Dan and I are already booked on the 6 December 2020 Oasis....hint, hint....

I'd LOVE that - I've never been to Labadee.  But the chances of getting them on a cruise that does not go to Coco Cay is pretty much zero at this point, lol. But I'll see you in October!!!!!

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