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Adventure of the Seas - July 10th 2021 - How many questionable life choices can I fit into a week?


joshgates
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Ok, so it’s a week early but I’m starting while I’m thinking about it. Looking at the Adventure sitting in port getting ready to head off on its last sailing before mine doesn’t hurt either.

I’ve lost track of how many cruises I’ve had canceled but earlier this year I booked the Grandeur for December thinking it might be my best chance to get on a ship next.  Little did I expect to see the Adventure sailings announced (or just how fast things would start up from the US).  Almost didn’t book since I’m not a fan of cruising in the summer, but after some internal fighting… YOLO.  Was sorely tempted by the first week, but in the end decided that if I’m going to book something for the summer why not just spend my birthday on the ship with no responsibilities and a drink package?

This cruise marks a couple of firsts for me, first time on a ship embarking outside of the US and the first time flying in the day of a cruise.  The latter one worries me a bit…but I’m using Air2Sea and have the first flight out at 5am, connecting in Charlotte and landing in Nassau a little after 10am.  Hopefully this gives me enough leeway for the inevitable delays.  Worst case, I guess I’m swimming to Freeport and meeting the ship there.  Fine, sure, they have flights into Freeport but what fun would that be.

To be clear, I don’t recommend doing this!  Life conspired against me making it my only option, how dare it give me exciting new opportunities.  I started a new job a couple days ago and other obligations are keeping me away from home until Thursday.  Figured it’d only be nice to give my new boss a few days of work before showing her where my real priorities lie.  Oh, yeah, and give myself time to do things like pack, finalize moving plans, etc.  What idiot thought it'd be a good idea to try and fit starting a new job, taking a vacation, and moving to a new city/state all into a month?  Don't answer that.

Ok, preamble done.  If you made it this far you have my sympathies for how bored you must be.  Let’s set some proper expectations, here’s a few of the things you can’t expect:  quality, coherence, any sort of vague adherence to a schedule, good pictures, dressing in formal wear on formal night, and socks.  To not leave you completely high and dry though you can absolutely expect: alcohol, plans to change on a whim, inebriated answers to questions, sometimes even the ones that are asked, and sandals.  Feel free to google "tuxedo swimsuit", but I'm not sure I'm mean enough to inflict that sight on the other guests.  Maybe just for a Christmas card photo.

As of now I have few plans:

Friday 7/9 - work, pack, check in to flight, stay at hotel airport.

Saturday 7/10 - Flight to Nassau, mani-pedi, lots of beverages.

Sunday 7/11 - Freeport - Drink, read, repeat

Monday 7/12 - CocoCay - Beach Club

Tuesday 7/13 - CocoCay - Beach Club and the Helium balloon

Wednesday 7/14 - Sea Day - Sushi and Sake lunch

Thursday 7/15 - Cozumel - Cozumel Bar Hop

Friday 7/16 - Sea Day - Doing inappropriate things, or reading

Saturday 7/17 - Sadness, depression, flight home.  Maybe some beverages too.

 

I’ve got the UDP, no idea what I’ll schedule for that.  To be honest I could easily subsist on random rolls/sushi/sashimi from Izumi all week but I’ll likely do a night at Chops and Giovanni’s.

Things left to do:

  • Pack.  I wonder how small of a bag I can use for this one…
  • PCR test on Monday
  • Verifly stuff
  • Royal Health Questionnaire
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45 minutes ago, joshgates said:

Saw a few too many horror stories of flights in yesterday, was able to rearrange my schedule a bit and coming in on Friday now instead.  This week might be a little busier now but a far less stressful way to start vacation ?

Oh yeah..that one was a nail biter!  Even planning to come in the day before didn't work out...I have been hearing horror stories about airports and flight cancelations all over the place because of the increased travel demand.

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16 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Oh yeah..that one was a nail biter!  Even planning to come in the day before didn't work out...I have been hearing horror stories about airports and flight cancelations all over the place because of the increased travel demand.

Yup! I saw at least one guy who left Friday morning and didn't get there until Saturday evening.  I'd probably be fine since it's not a holiday weekend but wasn't thrilled with the idea anyways.  I'll suffer and be forced to get a decent nights sleep before boarding instead of flying out at 5am.

image.png.0627ab0913118cfbe01c28bc69bf8a69.png

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PCR test came back negative over night and heading home this evening to pack, it's almost feeling like there's actually a cruise coming soon.

With any luck new housing search will be done today so I'll be set to move on schedule.  Probably shouldn't have booked the movers first, but what's life without a few extra challenges.

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Headed to Athens to board Apex tomorrow. We are flying out of Miami via Newark to Athens. This is a same day arrival. They're risky. I booked with Celebrity Air so, it's up to them to get us there. We live about an hour N of Miami International Airport. We booked a hotel and stayed there last night with short shuttle to airport. Way too much risk/stress getting stuck in traffic same day with am departure. The hotel I booked has free parking for 3d then $6/d after that. Airport parking is $16/d. I experienced some mild URI symptoms the 3d prior to our flight. I'm vaccinated but still didn't want to get to the cruise terminal in Athens and get a positive antigen test there administered pre boarding be X. If that happens you'll be denied boarding and quarantined by the Greek government. So we went to the airport early and I did an antigen test there.Took 30m. It was negative. As a result we checked in with United about 3h early. The airport was quiet, TSA a breeze and there was no line at the UAL counter. The agent reviewed all our docs that included passports, vaccination record and a pre-arrival form required by the Greek government. That took longer than the antigen test! Tips for international trave: check country entrance requirements and make sure you complete pre-entry forms. Print copies. Book flights with plenty of time between connections Arrive at airport earlier than you would for international travel. Arrive at least 3h before your flight leaves to check in. That is taking longer than usual as staffing is short. Better to get through check in and TSA  then sit than be rushed and in a hurry.  On COVID testing: Greece requires proof of vaccination or PCR. My recommendation is that even if you've been vaxed and if you have URI symptoms pre travel get tested. Why? URIs, mostly absent for the last year are on the rise. Chances are that's what you have. However, even if you've been vaxed, you can get COVID. An unmasked high dynamic indoor area exposure to a Delta variant can be problematic. I had one of those. Don't set yourself up to get quarantined on international travel. Test. 

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12 minutes ago, JeffB said:

Headed to Athens to board Apex tomorrow. We are flying out of Miami via Newark to Athens. This is a same day arrival. They're risky. I booked with Celebrity Air so, it's up to them to get us there. We live about an hour N of Miami International Airport. We booked a hotel and stayed there last night with short shuttle to airport. Way too much risk/stress getting stuck in traffic same day with am departure. The hotel I booked has free parking for 3d then $6/d after that. Airport parking is $16/d. I experienced some mild URI symptoms the 3d prior to our flight. I'm vaccinated but still didn't want to get to the cruise terminal in Athens and get a positive antigen test there administered pre boarding be X. If that happens you'll be denied boarding and quarantined by the Greek government. So we went to the airport early and I did an antigen test there.Took 30m. It was negative. As a result we checked in with United about 3h early. The airport was quiet, TSA a breeze and there was no line at the UAL counter. The agent reviewed all our docs that included passports, vaccination record and a pre-arrival form required by the Greek government. That took longer than the antigen test! Tips for international trave: check country entrance requirements and make sure you complete pre-entry forms. Print copies. Book flights with plenty of time between connections Arrive at airport earlier than you would for international travel. Arrive at least 3h before your flight leaves to check in. That is taking longer than usual as staffing is short. Better to get through check in and TSA  then sit than be rushed and in a hurry.  On COVID testing: Greece requires proof of vaccination or PCR. My recommendation is that even if you've been vaxed and if you have URI symptoms pre travel get tested. Why? URIs, mostly absent for the last year are on the rise. Chances are that's what you have. However, even if you've been vaxed, you can get COVID. An unmasked high dynamic indoor area exposure to a Delta variant can be problematic. I had one of those. Don't set yourself up to get quarantined on international travel. Test. 

Have a safe flight and a great cruise, Buck !  Let us know how it's going.

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

Headed to Athens to board Apex tomorrow. We are flying out of Miami via Newark to Athens. This is a same day arrival. They're risky. I booked with Celebrity Air so, it's up to them to get us there. We live about an hour N of Miami International Airport. We booked a hotel and stayed there last night with short shuttle to airport. Way too much risk/stress getting stuck in traffic same day with am departure. The hotel I booked has free parking for 3d then $6/d after that. Airport parking is $16/d. I experienced some mild URI symptoms the 3d prior to our flight. I'm vaccinated but still didn't want to get to the cruise terminal in Athens and get a positive antigen test there administered pre boarding be X. If that happens you'll be denied boarding and quarantined by the Greek government. So we went to the airport early and I did an antigen test there.Took 30m. It was negative. As a result we checked in with United about 3h early. The airport was quiet, TSA a breeze and there was no line at the UAL counter. The agent reviewed all our docs that included passports, vaccination record and a pre-arrival form required by the Greek government. That took longer than the antigen test! Tips for international trave: check country entrance requirements and make sure you complete pre-entry forms. Print copies. Book flights with plenty of time between connections Arrive at airport earlier than you would for international travel. Arrive at least 3h before your flight leaves to check in. That is taking longer than usual as staffing is short. Better to get through check in and TSA  then sit than be rushed and in a hurry.  On COVID testing: Greece requires proof of vaccination or PCR. My recommendation is that even if you've been vaxed and if you have URI symptoms pre travel get tested. Why? URIs, mostly absent for the last year are on the rise. Chances are that's what you have. However, even if you've been vaxed, you can get COVID. An unmasked high dynamic indoor area exposure to a Delta variant can be problematic. I had one of those. Don't set yourself up to get quarantined on international travel. Test. 

Question - could you have flown to Newark the day before, stayed at the airport, then direct to Athens - so it is in effect a direct ?  Does that meet the rule criteria for testing? 

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

Headed to Athens to board Apex tomorrow. We are flying out of Miami via Newark to Athens. This is a same day arrival. They're risky. I booked with Celebrity Air so, it's up to them to get us there. We live about an hour N of Miami International Airport. We booked a hotel and stayed there last night with short shuttle to airport. Way too much risk/stress getting stuck in traffic same day with am departure. The hotel I booked has free parking for 3d then $6/d after that. Airport parking is $16/d. I experienced some mild URI symptoms the 3d prior to our flight. I'm vaccinated but still didn't want to get to the cruise terminal in Athens and get a positive antigen test there administered pre boarding be X. If that happens you'll be denied boarding and quarantined by the Greek government. So we went to the airport early and I did an antigen test there.Took 30m. It was negative. As a result we checked in with United about 3h early. The airport was quiet, TSA a breeze and there was no line at the UAL counter. The agent reviewed all our docs that included passports, vaccination record and a pre-arrival form required by the Greek government. That took longer than the antigen test! Tips for international trave: check country entrance requirements and make sure you complete pre-entry forms. Print copies. Book flights with plenty of time between connections Arrive at airport earlier than you would for international travel. Arrive at least 3h before your flight leaves to check in. That is taking longer than usual as staffing is short. Better to get through check in and TSA  then sit than be rushed and in a hurry.  On COVID testing: Greece requires proof of vaccination or PCR. My recommendation is that even if you've been vaxed and if you have URI symptoms pre travel get tested. Why? URIs, mostly absent for the last year are on the rise. Chances are that's what you have. However, even if you've been vaxed, you can get COVID. An unmasked high dynamic indoor area exposure to a Delta variant can be problematic. I had one of those. Don't set yourself up to get quarantined on international travel. Test. 

Good luck and safe travels!  I'll be getting to the airport earlier than I usually would for sure.

Ended up being a good trip out, was able to meet my new team at work, start getting up to speed, and finalize a decision on where I'd want to move into.  Luckily I had it narrowed down to two places before I headed out and seeing them in person made it a quick decision.  Having a nice view from the living room and a decent rooftop observation deck made it fairly easy.

observation deck

Getting that settled just lifted a bit of a weight since it was the last thing that needed taken care of before I left, now I can enjoy vacation ?  

Going to avoid any formal wear this trip and keep things as casual as possible so packing should be quick and easy this afternoon.  I mean, worst case as long as I've got my passport, health visa, test results, phone, and wallet I can take care of anything else on the fly.  I've already got copies of the negative PCR test and Bahamas Health Visa in my passport along with my vaccine card.  Keeping PDF copies of all of them on my phone too just in case. 

Well, took a break to pack, ended up being able to fit everything into a personal item (electronics) and a small carry on (clothes and toiletries).  Double checking that I've got everything, well, mostly that I've got the required documents.

Now to figure out what to put onto the kindle and which audiobooks to download.

 

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1 hour ago, joshgates said:

I need to have a word with whoever decided to have me take a 6am flight.  I'll punish myself with gin later today.

About the only thing I'll miss about using the Pittsburgh airport is seeing a Dinosaur skeleton every time I'm here.

Pittsburgh Airport Dinosaur

 

But early morning flights are almost always on time!  Not sure I have ever flown through PIT, being from Ohio I have check fares but yea I have flown from there.  Dropped people off or drove by (not really) on way to party in Pittsburgh.

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1 hour ago, DanielB said:

But early morning flights are almost always on time!  Not sure I have ever flown through PIT, being from Ohio I have check fares but yea I have flown from there.  Dropped people off or drove by (not really) on way to party in Pittsburgh.

Yeah, that's my reasoning to, and I'll get in Nassau by noon.

Current me hates past me, but future me will appreciate current me's suffering on their behalf.

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3 hours ago, joshgates said:

About the only thing I'll miss about using the Pittsburgh airport is seeing a Dinosaur skeleton every time I'm here.

Fun! I am slated to fly from Pittsburgh towards the end of September, so I will have to look out for this guy.

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5 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Fun! I am slated to fly from Pittsburgh towards the end of September, so I will have to look out for this guy.

Pretty easy to find! It's sitting between the escalators when you get off the train to the concourse.  There's a few other little displays too from the Carnegie Science Museum  

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Today was a day.  Started at 2am when I left for the airport, when I got there a line had already formed for checkin, even getting there 2.5 hours before the flight I only got to the gate about 10 min before boarding.  One thing was made clear today, social distancing is not a thing at airports.  Here's a photo of a less crowded area of the terminal at JFK

JFK C64

 

Landed in Nassau and was at immigration by 12:19 unfortunately a few planes must have landed right before us because the place was packed, took around 40 min to get through the line, but the process itself was seamless.  Line for taxi's was long so opted for a town car instead, took about 20 min to get to the hotel and pool bar drinking commenced.  Honestly I didn't do much else today, it's about 9pm and I'm exhausted, between the heat, alcohol, and early morning I'm ready to call it a night and get some rest before tomorrow.

Coming in a day early was 100% the right choice, that's not a travel day I'd want to do before jumping onto a cruise.  Hilton has a beautiful beach though, I'd not hesitate coming here for a few days just to relax and enjoy.

British Colonial Hilton NassauBritish Colonial Hilton NassauBritish Colonial Hilton NassauBritish Colonial Hilton Nassau

I think now it's time for a shower and some rest before tomorrow ?

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