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Treehouse of Horror MMXXl-Allure of the Seas Oct 31st 2021- Nov 7th 2021


Ampurp85
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@WAAAYTOOOAfter the whole theme park fiasco I gave up planning. I usually announce I'm heading somewhere and then they say they are coming, so I wait. Then I miss it. I have few plans for the cruise as it is my relaxation time.

I am feeling much better but I am cautious, we are dining in CK so I won't have the same issues, hopefully. I did bingo and didn't win anything so now I am in the suite lounge enjoying my book and a Bellini.

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4 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

the whole theme park fiasco

Not to make you relive an unpleasant experience but I am trying to plan a family Disney trip myself so I am interested in more about all of this.  If I can't cruise I might as well take advantage of living so close.  Even though I now live in FL I will still go and stay in the Disney property hotels just for the convenience.

I know that you said you thought the Genie thing was a waste of money....but do you think that b/c the family was so unorganized or b/c the program itself just wasn't working ?  I will go back and re-read your post about that...but do you have any other insights ?  Would it have made a difference if you had been staying on Disney itself (one of the Magic Kingdom hotels - Polynesian, Contemporary or Grand Floridian) ?

It has been over 20 years since I last visited Disney and I know a lot has changed.  Even back then (when I was much younger, much thinner and much more able to get around) I insisted on staying on property b/c I love getting up early, going to the park, coming back in the middle of the day to relax and rest and then going back to the park in the evening to enjoy the cooler weather and the nighttime activities. The whole "car thing" is such a hassle that once you get in the car and leave, I do not have the interest or the energy to come back again.  Once I'm done (if I'm not on-property), I'm done. The nights are so awesome at WDW but I cannot stay there all day AND all night.

Dan is from Southern California so he grew up going to Disneyland.  He has never been to WDW.  I want him to at least go once so he can see the difference. I, myself, have never been to the Animal Kingdom.  It wasn't even there the last time I went.

Thanks for your help on this !!

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3 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Having been the organizer of many group cruises, this is what I have discovered.  I will NOT try and organize peoples' daily activities.  I will decide what I want to do, invite anyone who would like to participate to come along or join me later, and then do whatever the f'k I want to do.  Another thing I have learned is that when my family disagrees with my opinion on something (my daughter is a die-hard vaxxer) I just avoid that topic and try and talk about something else.  That's about all you can do.

I truly hope this will not discourage you from doing family or group cruises again.  It is really a lot of fun to have friends and family around but it just isn't worth my sanity to be in charge of their activities.  I hope that your family enjoys the cruise and that it gets better for all of you over the next few days.  

Spot on from WAAAYTOOO. I was coming here to post something very similar.

You can't please everyone, so I personally don't try to.  I love organizing and planning, love sharing that with others.  It's almost as much fun as the cruise itself.  Almost.  lol

I make plans, and my "bestest" of friend know this.  They understand that they can hop onto the "Barb train" and go along for a fun time, or do something else.  It doesn't matter to me which they choose.  I have a work friend (like a sister) who asks what my vacation plans are that I'm willing to share with others.  She and her hubby have traveled 3 times with us now, and are comfortable enough to go their own way when they want.  

Please try to have fun.  Don't let this spoil your cruise.  While the "piling on" was very unkind, please try to shake it off, and enjoy YOUR cruise.  Let others know where you are going and what you are doing, and don't wait around for them if they are late.  It is not your responsibility to cater to their every moment.  This is your vacation too!  🙂

We enjoy talking to our waiters briefly when dinner is wrapping up, if they/we have time.  But we also prefer to have privacy during our meals.  It's a fine line between being attentive, and hovering, and the best servers know where that line is.  Maybe this will improve as the week goes on. 

Hope your cruise is uphill from here!

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@WAAAYTOOO I will post more later about the Genie+ as I talked to a few other people staying in the actual resorts who had issues as well. With all the kinks it is just a cash grab right now, it also requires you to be on your phone a lot instead of enjoying the experience.

 

Also after some truth or dare trivia and a Effy jewelry demonstration I am in a great mood. I also just had a tequila sunrise🤣 and I just got a peach daiquiri while on the deck in the shade. Boat is rocking but I'm only a few drinks in.

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I’m usually the planner for my family. I have come to the conclusion that for me at Disney World things will not go as I had planned. As long as we make it to our dinner reservations on time, I try to not become stressed about the rest.

My hubby and I will usually go a couple days earlier or stay a couple of after so I can do what I want.

I hope you continue winning in casino and have a wonderful time the rest of your cruise.

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I’m the planner in our family too. Even if I do all the planning and paying my kids still veto my desires while on the ship.  That’s why God put casinos on cruise ships……to keep me from smacking them upside the head. I get a drink, sit at a machine, and all my worries disappear.  🙂  
 

You do you. 
 

That said, you are wonderful for planning all this for them.  Next time they gang up on you, tell them Yesiamthere thinks you are awesome!

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Day 3 was pretty good. Some members attempted, that's the key word, to ice skate. It didn't work out well at all. I spent most of the day in either the suite lounge or suite deck relaxing and reading. Too much sun breaks me out, so I tend to mostly avoid it. A stray observation is that the suite lounge fills up at exactly 4:55 and clears out at around 7pm. The view is perfect for having a drink and relaxing, I am usually the only person in there until happy hour. Kristen and Albert always take great care of me.

I tried my hand at a bit of trivia but my group didn't do well at all. A few of us went to Dazzles for some bad dancing. I will say social distance is not a thing.  Every elevator says no more than 6 or your party. We are 5 and this group of 4 tried to get in. BFF mom is a nurse and a stickler. She always reminds people of the rules. Well yesterday the group of 4 tried to get in with us, they had no mask on and were clearly tipsy. They informed her, proudly, that the number was 10 people and she doesn't have to be a covid bitch. BFF mom closed the elevator but this made her mad, she wanted to tell the captain what happened 😂

Dinner at CK was very good, the braised beef gnocchi is divine 😋. My only slight issue is the manner in which they bring out food. I got the shrimp cocktail and braised beef as apps but I received the cocktail 25min after my first app and literally 5min before my entree. My brother ordered the scallop app and the curry soup. His soup came 5min before my shrimp cocktail. I chalked it up to the fact we told our server we weren't in a rush. But it was a bit odd. Most of my party was blown away by the ivory mousse dessert, I was quite disappointed with the chocolate napoleon. But if I am being honest none of the desserts have impressed me.....except the ranger cookies.

After dinner we all went to Dazzlers and then I headed to the casino. As I am typing this, I am even. I had a decent run, then some lady sat next to me and refused to stop talking. She gave me bad juju and I lost pretty bad,well everything extra I won. I ended the night with the exact amount I started the cruise with. So the plan is to play with my alloted amount tonight and hope for the best.

The captain just announced we have docked at our first port of the cruise,  St. Maarten. The plan is to get off around noon and see the port and be back aboard around two. Tonight is also our reservation for the comedy show. Right now I just finished breakfast at CK and I am heading to the NextCruise desk.

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It was far too hot in St.Maarten. I brought my mother a tennis bracelet from Effy, tried some guavaberry rum and then had lunch at CK. Some of CK's food is a touch too fancy for me but I do enjoy the Flatbread. We are undecided on whether we will eat dinner at CK or get room service, my vote is for room service because tonight the MDR has mushroom risotto. I broke even again in the casino because I hit a minor jackpot of $383. I cashed out and another lady sat down and hit a little over $3000, I kicked myself. But at least I'm not in the red. Since I am enjoying myself it works out fine. I've met 2 pins so far and they crack me up. They told my brother his bag wasn't big enough to hack all the snacks. I have been keeping track of all our wonderful servers for the survey.

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The comedy show was actually pretty good. Both comedians had pluses and minuses. It appears that they overbooked the showing as a few people were turned away. I had some sprt of delicious frozen daiquiri in a tropical flavor that may be go to drink now. We hit sorrento for a slice and they were pretty good. I went back to the casino determine to only spend $50. I hit pretty big, it covered all my incidentals......  so at this point I haven't spent anything on this cruise, minus the fare 🤣. While in port BFF brought a fortune voodoo doll and everyone believes that it was responsible for my good luck.

My party loves the Windjammer and instead of doing CK they had dinner there, I waited and ordered room service. The quesadilla are really good and I definitely recommend. I have been the only one to partake in CK breakfast and lunch. The rest of the party has only had Windjammer and the MDR once for breakfast. I will say the Windjammer, from my observations, has very limited selection. I haven't seen a lot of staples, but my brother is obsessed with the make your own pasta station.

Today we are heading to Port to do some shopping and of course I plan to hit the casino after OceanAria. Everyone keeps talking to me so I've only been able to get through 1 book so far. The plan is to relax later with another one. I keep saying "the plan is..."because they rarely work out. The concierge informed me it is time to tell them my disembarkment preferences, I can't believe it's only two days left.

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St. Thomas was also very hot. They require you to wear mask everywhere but most people kept removing theirs whenever a crew member turned their backs....only to be reminded again of the policy. The plan was to catch a taxi downtown and explore but with the mask mandate, the party opted to just visit the shops along the port. I got off, got some color-changing nail polish and a highly touted lemonade and returned to the ship. I saw several large lizards who wanted something, as they started walking towards us as we snapped photos. I took a nice nap and woke up to my party returning, they of course went to Windjammer. Side rant: Windjammer was just okay before the pandemic happened, post-pandemic that place is inedible IMHO. Five days in and the selection has been the same, the only change has been the carving station. I ate in there the first day and haven't been able to find anything since. My party loves it though, they can always find food. Of course I had other plans but out of courtesy I sat with them for a bit while they ate and told me what they did in port. I knew today was the day I would try the famed roast beef sandwich and it also did not disappoint. I got it with the gravy and then horseradish on the side. The bread was the only meh part but after the gravy settled in, it became softer and more delicious. Fun fact, there are several little birds in Central park and they want your sandwich. Some guy came out on his CP balcony and yelled a few swear words to his neighbor and went back in, so I also got a show.

Yesterday we received a cheese and fruit plate, today they sent us a dessert plate. My party found all of this odd as the fruit plate had 3 small slices of different cheeses, some grapes, a half of strawberry and 2 packs of crackers. They stated how can we all share this, that isn't enough for 5 people. I shrugged and told them to enjoy. They were even more unimpressed by the dessert one as it had 1 chocolate-covered strawberry, 2 fruity pebble kind of rice krispies and a Dulce de leche bite. I have no idea if these are suite treats or gifts from my wonderful TA. Every single one of us is excited to see the Aqua show tonight and I can't wait to enjoy a few more daiquiris. There was an Alpha, Alpha,Alpha....shortly before we departed St. Thomas and I hope they are okay. I just realized as I am typing this I haven't received anything from C&A, I know I am a lonely gold but I expected something.

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I love those fruity rice krispy treats !  It's one of my favorite snacks.

So none of your party is even trying the Coastal Kitchen ?  I find that somewhat odd.  I have never been a Windjammer lover so it's hard for me to understand why anyone would prefer a buffet to a nice sit-down meal but I guess it's a good thing everyone doesn't like the same thing !

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On 11/2/2021 at 10:13 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

Not to make you relive an unpleasant experience but I am trying to plan a family Disney trip myself so I am interested in more about all of this.  If I can't cruise I might as well take advantage of living so close.  Even though I now live in FL I will still go and stay in the Disney property hotels just for the convenience.

I know that you said you thought the Genie thing was a waste of money....but do you think that b/c the family was so unorganized or b/c the program itself just wasn't working ?  I will go back and re-read your post about that...but do you have any other insights ?  Would it have made a difference if you had been staying on Disney itself (one of the Magic Kingdom hotels - Polynesian, Contemporary or Grand Floridian) ?

It has been over 20 years since I last visited Disney and I know a lot has changed.  Even back then (when I was much younger, much thinner and much more able to get around) I insisted on staying on property b/c I love getting up early, going to the park, coming back in the middle of the day to relax and rest and then going back to the park in the evening to enjoy the cooler weather and the nighttime activities. The whole "car thing" is such a hassle that once you get in the car and leave, I do not have the interest or the energy to come back again.  Once I'm done (if I'm not on-property), I'm done. The nights are so awesome at WDW but I cannot stay there all day AND all night.

Dan is from Southern California so he grew up going to Disneyland.  He has never been to WDW.  I want him to at least go once so he can see the difference. I, myself, have never been to the Animal Kingdom.  It wasn't even there the last time I went.

Thanks for your help on this !!

I don’t know anything about Disney’s genie but thought I would share a couple of our Disney experiences. We always included a trip to WDW pre and/or post cruise. We have stayed on property at Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort.  Next month we are staying at the Polynesian Resort….I am excited as it has been newly renovated. We prefer the proximity of Bay Lake and Contemporary Resort to the Magic Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom was our least favourite resort.  Depending on your group size you may want to look into Disney’s VIP tour. We treated my in laws to this on their 55th at Disneyland and it was such a fun day. It is pricey so you would want to compare it to other offerings to see if it’s the right option for you.  

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA/events-tours/private-vip-tours/

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There's always a bit of disappointment traveling with a crowd. I'm a planner too, I get it. I've been trying to be a little less of the planner but I'm at the point where friends and family expect it. I've learned to set a basic plan and try my best not to be annoyed when things don't work out. Still trying to deal with other's expectations tho, I suck at that.

Hope you're having fun and am enjoying following along.

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8 hours ago, Jax said:

I don’t know anything about Disney’s genie but thought I would share a couple of our Disney experiences. We always included a trip to WDW pre and/or post cruise. We have stayed on property at Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort.  Next month we are staying at the Polynesian Resort….I am excited as it has been newly renovated. We prefer the proximity of Bay Lake and Contemporary Resort to the Magic Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom was our least favourite resort.  Depending on your group size you may want to look into Disney’s VIP tour. We treated my in laws to this on their 55th at Disneyland and it was such a fun day. It is pricey so you would want to compare it to other offerings to see if it’s the right option for you.  

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA/events-tours/private-vip-tours/

Wow !  Thanks so much for the help.  Like I said, it's been soooo many years since I was there and I have never even heard of Bay Lake Tower !  LOL.  Also never heard of the VIP Tour but that sounds like something for me !

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@WAAAYTOOO We have eaten in CK every night but one for dinner. The rest of the party prefers the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. Although after last night, there probably won't be any more CK.

@Jax Genie and Genie + are very new, just rolled our towards the end of Oct. And it made for a very different experience. I also found animal kingdom to be better than epcot but to each their own.

@ellcee I like to plan and I'm always okay with changes but I'm a stickler on time. If you say we leave at 8am but it's 9:50 when we actually do, I became agitated. Or worse you tell me to wait to do something and then change your mind, making it impossible for me to even do what I want on my own. I waited to do things because they asked me and then either the line was 2hrs or it was sold out. I love my family and friends but they are a mess.🤣

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Wow !  Thanks so much for the help.  Like I said, it's been soooo many years since I was there and I have never even heard of Bay Lake Tower !  LOL.  Also never heard of the VIP Tour but that sounds like something for me !

Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property which is basically timeshares.  Most of the nicer Disney resorts now have a DVC section and there are also stand alone (DVC only) resorts.  The rooms tend to be larger and/or include kitchenettes and multiple bedrooms so they can make sense for longer stays.  DVC members have first dibs on the rooms but at some point (still months in advance), available inventory becomes rentable to anyone.

The north garden wing of the Contemporary Resort was demonlished to make room for Bay Lake Tower.  The Contemporary's main tower and south garden wing are still there.

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15 minutes ago, Atlantix2000 said:

The north garden wing of the Contemporary Resort was demonlished to make room for Bay Lake Tower. 

😥

We stayed in the north garden rooms on our last visit to WDW in 1995.  My [then] MIL was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and it was the last trip she ever got to make.  That trip was fun but it was the f'n hottest I have ever been in my life (possible exception a trip to Hong Kong in the summer a few years earlier).  We were there in August.  It should a violation of some kind of health standard to go to WDW in August.

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So we are on day 5. It started out great, dipped, went high again and ended weird. As usual I ended up eating lunch alone, afterwards I went to the boardwalk and played the games through the app. I spent most of the afternoon watching the water from our balcony. Around 6:45 we decided to hit happy hour at the suite lounge. They had beef skewers, garlic shrimp and a few other nibbles. I had a rum punch while my brother and BFF enjoyed double hennys on the rocks. They each enjoyed 4 before we headed a few feet over for dinner. BFF has weird eating habits, he won't touch a vegetable and survives on meat. For the past couple of nights, all he has gotten is steak. He likes it well done, ugh, but they have all been delicious 😋 to him. Well last night he got the classic strip and it was bad. Even I knew it was bad from looking at it. It was grey and small. Luckily BFF had ordered chicken as well, so at least he ate. Three out of five ordered the braised beef, all three of us thought it lacked seasoning and flavor. It was the first night our plates weren't cleaned.

Maybe since our dinner time is so late or he just does this every night but the chef always comes out at the end to see how the food was. This night our server, Dora, noticed all the full/semi-full plates and brought out the chef. He was a totally different guy and he told BFF the reason his steak was bad was because it was well done. BFF apologized and said everything but the  steak was amazing, the chef keep saying if he had gotten steak cooked to a proper temp, it would not have tasted this way. BFF informed him this was 4th time eating here, he had gotten well done all those times and it tasted amazing.  We didn't want it to be a thing so we thanked him for the rest of our amazing meal and tipped our sever. The chef went right to the bartenders and my mom assumed he was talking about us. So we left without dessert.

We had the Aqua show and I  left right away to get us seats..... I wish sky class had reserved seats like they use too. Instead we can arrive 45min early,  which cuts into drinking/fun time. BFF decided to go back to the suite lounge and get a glass of wine to take to the show. It was 9:30 and we have gone to the lounge later than that to get a nightcap or water bottles. The service has always been prompt and friendly, probably because we have been tipping $2 per drink. Now I can only take this at face value because BFF had been drinking a lot and gets paranoid but he said they snubbed him. He said they saw him and walked off. Then started helping another guest while he waited.  He said they looked right through him and he waited almost 20min to get served. He still tipped but he showed up to the show with tears in his eyes. I don't want to believe they would behave like that just because of him telling the chef he didn't enjoy his meal. I feel like he had drunk goggles on. Needless to say his mother and mine no longer want anything to do with deck 17.

The Aqua show was amazing, we had seats one row after the splash zone. The hand balancers or whatever they are called needs all the money. That show is Las Vegas caliber.....don't get me started on the divers. The whole thing is a must see. I can't wait to see the other iterations across the fleet. I had a portside punch and it was alright. I feel like the drinks at the shows are a little weak.

After the Aqua show I headed to the casino....big mistake.  It was packed, people were smoking in the non-smoking section and everyone was lit. Some were so drunk they were being rude to the staff. I got long purple braids for vacation. I'm use to people trying to touch my hair in any state but it's worse when in braids. This lady was playing next to me and her drunk friend was behind my chair playing in my braids. She got called and tried to take me with her....nothing like having your hair yanked while sitting down. Then she came back to apologize and fell into my machine and hit a max bet. So I'm now down $25 lol 😆 😅 😂.  I was up or even all week, so I can't complain. Other than the slight headache from having my hair pulled, I am still having a amazing time. I ate breakfast at Park Cafe, I  wanted to enjoy the trees and write this entry. We have Mama Mia at 2:30. Ugh, heard an announcement that luggage tags will be delivered soon. This cruise is ending too fast.

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@WAAAYTOOOI agree with @Jax100% about the Disney VIP tour. 
Our family of 7 went pre cruise Xmas 2019 and our private VIP Tour Guide led us strategically behind the scenes to board rides —no lines, all access, all attractions.  Our tour guide drove us to each property to park hop. Every detail was coordinated. We covered 3 parks in 2 days experiencing Disney like never before. It is pricey (comparable if you’re cruising Suite/Star class on mega ships) but well worth it to preserve your time, energy, and to avoid the disappointment of tiring days at the park using apps and waiting in lines. We were exhausted but did everything we planned plus more! If you decide on a Disney vacay instead of cruising, VIP Tour is an amazing WAAAYTOOO go<3

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Today was the first time we met entitled people. We had reservations for Mamma Mia and the ice games. Sky and pinnacles used to have reserved seats, now you have to show up early. At both shows there was a crazy lady screaming about being diamond plus and needing her special seats, she was cutting in front of people. It was a mess. I got great seats for Mamma Mia as I arrive about 40min before show time. I did all the waiting while my party showed up 6min to showtime. I think the show was pretty good but the sound was off. You could tell these were the backup performers, I could barely hear them singing some times. Also it is a test of fortitude because those two and a half hours dragged. When the show was over we were hungry and tired so we took advantage of the in suite dining.

The MDR seasoning has been consistently bad. We ate there one night and nothing was seasoned.  When we ordered it from room service it was worse. The African lemon chicken tasted like nothing, no spiciness, jut meh. The beef tenderloin didn't have sauce and BFF mom's steak was raw instead of well done. My party went to the Windjammerfor dessert and I hit the casino. I just want to point out that with my casino winnings and OBC I currently only owe $29.99 on day 7. I have never had an account balance that low.....also this is for 3 people as my mother and brother's spending is linked to my card.

The ice games were really good and the guest performers from Russia was the best part. D+ yelling lady was at this show throwing a fit, she yelled at the crew so bad, I felt like I should have apologized on her behalf as I was first in line. I of course saved seats for my party. Several cruisers were upset by this and tried to tell me I couldn't do that. As we were supposed to keep social distance and stay with our own travel party I didn't understand that. I spent the next 30min explaining that to anyone who wanted the seats. As usual my party showed up 6min til showtime. You could also tell this was the B team as well. Two of the performers fell on the dismount. It was still a very good show. We went to Bow and Stern and the Dazzles.  Around midnight we got back to the room and knocked out. Tomorrow was perfect day at CocoCay so we needed rest.

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I am also a planner (I think many of the people in this site are planners as they got here searching information for planning their RCL cruise 🙂 ). Its not easy to plan for a group , its even harder to do so for newbies, we want them to experience all the things we love in cruse  , the first time in Disneyland/other team park or first time in any new famous place. I love to experience it as if it was my first time there. I love it so much that sometime I forget that every one can experience things differently and not all the things I love other also love. I learn to ease the expectation and try to plan with much more flexibility (I said tried , its not working all the time , ask my spouse 🙂 ). I do hate when others effect my plans due to being late  , for example setting time for dinner in a restaurant ,   what I do is to set an earlier time and if people are coming on time we can just go to the bar and drink something while waiting for the table.     

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Okay so day 7....Perfect day at CocoCay.

We all got up around the same time, which was definitely a first. I  think everyone was just too excited because you can see so much of the island before we even dock. It was a mad house, we could see people rushing from our balcony, so we waited until closer to 11am to disembark. The wind was high, so high we were crashing into others. I knew our Up, UP away hot air balloon wasn't happening, so I started scoping out other things to do. I saw plenty of people on and waiting for the tram but we ended up walking to Oasis Lagoon and just relaxing with a few drinks. We hit snack shake and partook of everything they had to offer. We split most items but everyone ended up with their on snack shack crispy chicken sandwich. I tried the island juices (lime, strawberry-kiwi, and mango) but didn't like them separately. When I wasn't having some sort of alcoholic slushy, I was drinking that mixture. They were really good for thirst quenching on a hot, humid day. We walked the whole island, then took the tram around. Side note: none of the cabana areas were full, I only saw 3 of the floating cabanas with stuff or people in them the whole time I was there. We got back on the ship at 2:30 and I saw 2 star class families being escorted to the island but that still leaves quite a few empty. I heard nothing of RCG trying to sell them, which seems like a waste IMHO. We definitely would have brought one if they had offered a deal. We tried the adult billiards and failed. Then we decided to head to Chill Grill and see what they had. We tried the tacos and they were good. I like that they make the tortilla shells there, it makes the tacos taste pretty fresh. We did a little bit of shopping and then headed back to the ship.....there was sand everywhere. The weather was weird, it was cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms but also humid. On the way back to the ship, the wind was so high, the lady in front of us lost her scarf to the sea.

We got back to the ship and took some naps. I packed before we left for CocoCay because I am a weirdo and everyone else packed after we got back. No one wanted to do a sit down dinner because they were a bit fatigued. I got a delicious roast beef sandwich from Park café for my early dinner and everyone else ate at the Windjammer. Everyone bailed last minute on the other headliner show with the ventriloquist. They said it would creep them out, so I went alone.  It was the worst in my opinion and it was also a bit creepy. We gave out our tips and made sure to write down the names of those who helped to make this an amazing welcome and welcome back cruise. I had a few slices from Sorrento's much later after the show. That's when the fun happened. I am sure some of you may have heard about this on FB or other sites but that boat was crazy, bananas rocking. Rocking so bad that luggage in the hallway were flying, cabins were creaking and doors were slamming. It was so rough and loud that only one of us were able to sleep, my mother. BFF mom was so afraid that things would fly into her, she stood in the door way. I heard people throwing up over the balcony. She took all of my Dramamine, but still felt like crap and didn't sleep. We had another Alpha, Alpha, so many people thought the ship was hauling butt because of that. We did get to the dock early and saw an ambulance get someone and leave, so who knows. We had a noon flight but too many luggage to self-assist, especially after eating all that food for an entire week. Our number was called a little before 7:45 and we got to MCO at 8:50.

I did enjoy the disembarkment process as it wasn't congested, crowded or long. I think it was a total of maybe 10min from our 9th floor cabin to the Lyft/Uber area.....we took the stairs too. Several people were sitting on the floor sad because they didn't follow directions and had to wait for their numbers to be called. It is always a few. I will say MCO was fluster cuck. Baggage drop off had an hour wait because they were short staffed. Several people missed their flights because everything was backed up. We got in line at 9:50 to go through security and the line was all the way into another terminal. We made it through security at 10:40am and our flight started boarding at 11:20. Thankfully flight was on time with everything else and smooth but either way I don't plan to ever fly Spirit again. Just like the first flight we waited over 30min for them to start delivering the checked bags. Luckily we had gained an hour because of daylight saving and then another because we returned to Chicago. So it was only 3:50pm when we returned home, I of course was very sad. It is a very long 63 days until my next cruise.

 

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Okay so now for some stray observations and anecdotes.

We spent a lot of time in the SL, we didn't buy drink packages because my mother and BFF mother aren't drinkers. We didn't miss the package as we only averaged about 2 extra drinks a day per person. This came out to less than half the price a DX for one person, for the whole cruise. Also BFF was drunk the entire cruise, which resulted in several wardrobe changes each day. Crew members and people would comment on this. Now because we frequented the SL so much we got to know a lot of the suite guest. We met best friends from St. Louis who were obsessed with my brother, even though they were married. They kept saying it was the mom in them but it was weird. They kept touching him and being really friendly.

I was by myself a lot and met a funny couple celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary. The wife was like me, reading books and drinking in the suite lounge alone during the day. My brother told me later that the husband tried several times to get him and BFF back to their suite. That was a theme this cruise, lots of swinging and solicitation. I knew from FB that there was a large group, 300+, of singles on this cruise but I didn't expect that much tomfoolery. While heading to CK one night we were taking pictures of the night stars only to look over and see two nude men getting in and out of the hot tub on the balcony. I have no idea why they didn't close the shades, they saw us and just stood there. We finished getting our pictures and headed to dinner.

During our 2:30pm showing of Mamma Mia a pervert set next to BFF. I figured he was drink and confused. During intermission he asked to switch seats and sure enough this guy was horrible. He had a name tag that indicated he was part of the singles group. Every time the lady next to him got up he grabbed her butt, then spent most of the show rubbing between his legs. I tried to look forward but he was making noises, he also took a sip of my wine! The lady he fondled was solo and didn't seem to mind at all of what he was doing. When we got up to leave he pressed his whole body into her, only to say he was going the other way. 

Literally the day before we left my brother hurt his leg. He is tall and skinny and goes to the gym to try to muscle up. He believes he pulled a muscle but while at the theme parks it swells up pretty bad and we go to the CVS minute clinic, they believe it is a spider bite and gives him a prescription. He says he is not in any pain and a cruise will allow him to relax so we press forward. There are lots of people who seem to be on deaths door, so my brother feels okay about his leg. Except whenever people comment on the leg they mention the wrong one. They think it is his regular leg that is affected, several women tell him not to worry as it will "plump" back up. Several nurses offer to give him medicine from their personal stash. Two women in CocoCay ask him why did he only work out one leg. It was always a conversation starter.

I brought him a painted muscle tee in Scotland. It has a torso with a six-pack and the beginning of a kilt. He wore this with his plaid shorts in St. Thomas and several crew members felt compelled to touch him. We had a good laugh because his arms are so muscular that the shirt looked real. The last night Janet, she hands out the Windjammer plates for dinner, asked my brother where do the plates go? She told him, night after night she hands him plate after plate, yet he gains no weight. He should teach her how to hide the food. I just want to point out that my brother and BFF were hitting the Windjammer every night before wherever we had dinner reservations. 

The casino was by far the most populated venue on the ship. Someone hit a $16,000 and $20,000 jackpot. I was here every night, but the last, and saw quite a few people hit in the thousands. I added up my win total and it was $842, I won way more than I ended up spending. BFF mom lost a lot and was reward with a $100 off your next cruise certificate. We were solicited several times in the casino. The first was a very old man in his 80s who was pinnacle, he flashed his white card and said it opened all the doors and anyone of us could step through. I thought it was funny but my mother was offended. Another 70+ guy came over with a beer and told us this was a beauty contest he didn't want to judge. We should chose who gets to have dinner with him and sit on his lap. BFF mom jokingly told him the only lap she would sit on is the captains and he took a sailors hat out and said he was a captain.......on his boat. We joked a bit as it took a while for him to realize it wasn't happening. The last night I was in there a couple tried to get me to come back to their room. What is sad was I almost went until I realize it was for something else beside a chat, I'm a little slow on the uptake when it comes to that.

I forgot to mention our specialty dining experiences, of which it was one lunch. Half of us went to Sabor and the rest to Izumi for sushi. My brother and BFF mom really enjoyed Izumi but there were complaints about Sabor. They didn't find it spicy or authentic. As usual it was a seasoning/flavor issue, I tried to explain that they might be light on both because they understand that everyone has different palate. Either way it seems the only food that made most of them happy was the Windjammer.

Final thoughts is that.......while I enjoyed the reduced capacity for a large ship, the atmosphere was off. With reduced shows and space, you felt it. People were rude and pushy to get decent seats. In bars and clubs people sat a lot as opposed to dancing and mingling. All and all, even with any negatives, this was the best cruise I have been on. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will answer to the best of my ability.

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@Dlove707 I had a great time despite any negatives and I found all the solicitations funny. I am sure plenty of people get hit on on cruises and vacations in general.

I went in with low expectations for my family/friends so I was able to get over any disappointments easily....except the whole waiter thing. They realized their mistake later on in the cruise.

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