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S2S RCL Symphony & Celebrity Reflection: Feb 12, 2022


Traveling Mike
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Note:  Page one is Symphony of the Seas.  I start Celebrity Reflection tomorrow on page 2

Just took my Covid test and it came back negative.  Now is the hard part,  packing for 14 days at sea on two different ships.  If you would like to follow me that would be great; I am no writer and my thought often get scattered but we will have fun.  In the past I have done this for my friends and coworkers but I have started using Royal Caribbean Blog and thought this was a great medium to post my thoughts and experiences.  I will be like a bad penny and my posts will keep showing up here.

Introduction:

  • Name:  Michael, Mike, Traveling Mike, Dad, Coach..
  • Age: 61 … Still trying to figure out if I am old enough for the adults table at Thanksgiving
  • Home Town:  Fresno California … I have to say I also have been from Kingsburg CA and Paris Texas  
  • Traveling With:  Solo.. I have been a single father for 24 years traveling with my son and now he stays at home and works so my traveling partner is myself now.
  • Occupation:  I spent 16 years driving truck, went back to school and now I drive a Computer (computer programmer)
  • Spare Time:  I coach water polo.  I coach elementary kids and high school varsity
  • Cruising Experience:  as close as I can figure I have been on 20 cruises (5 with 1st wife, 12 with my son & 3 solo) (5 Disney, 6 Carnival, 1 RCL, 4 NCL, 3 Princes, 1 Celebrity)

 

2 days before my cruise:

I am setting at work and do not want to work.  I have lots of thing to do but nothing I want to do.  I work for a School District and they have free testing every day.  Because I coach water polo and am around lots of kids I test every Thursday.  This worked great because today I just walked across the street and took the test.  Fifteen minutes later, I got the results, printed them and saved them on my one drive (some place in the computer world that keeps my files so I can get them later).  I have printed and saved everything on the cloud so as long as I have phone service or internet I can retrieve them.  I have been told to print everything because they will ask multiple times at the port.  

.... I have to stop for now because someone is wanting me to do my job 😞  

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A Hard Day's Night

I pulled out my bags to start packing a week ago.  I did laundry and ironed things this last Saturday.  Tonight... the bags are empty.  Tonight, I did the most important things; I printed and organized all my paperwork for both cruises.  I am following recommendations and printing copies of all items I need to get on the cruise ship.  The items are Boarding Pass, Luggage Tags, copies of my covid immunizations, copy of my negative covid test, list of all dinner bookings for when i get on the ship.  I also am packing my passport, my global entry card, my traveling credit card.

Next, I packed my large suite case.  I started loading it and when it was full, I was done.  The nice thing is I am a person that does not have tons of cloths and I am leaving for 14 days on cruise ships.  I did make sure I had the few things I would need; dress slacks and button up shirt for nice dinners, bathing suit and swim shirt (with my body I need the shirt to cover up), shoes for (dress, walking and water), shorts for workouts and daytime adventures.   Then I fill the remaining with all my socks, underwear and polo shirts and t-shirts (that I can wear in public).

Preparing for Travel Day

Before I star telling you about my night preparing for travel, I wanted to let you know I am flying out of Fresno.  Fresno is a smaller airport, not tiny but smaller.  I have been getting emails from American Airlines trying to get me to volunteer to move my flight to a different time or day.  All of the flights out of Fresno on Thursday and Friday are way overbooked.  That is putting a panic in me.  One of the main reasons is I am a big man, and we are putting this big man in a packed plane.  So, with this fun coming tomorrow I have to be at the airport much earlier to make sure I am on the plane and not cut off the boarding list.

Getting ready I have my computer bag that I have to fill with all my travel needs.  Just so you might think about what you might forget here is my list:

  • Cash money, ones for tipping the people dealing with my bag.
  • Pens for dealing with any paperwork.
  • Face Masks, cloth and N95 (for the plane)
  • miniature flashlight (if there is a crash, I have a light to get out) ... ok it won't work but it makes me feel better
  • Mouse for my computer
  • Phone charging cord and battery pack for recharging my phone
  • Change of clothes (socks, polo shirt, gym shorts)
  • Hairbrush, toothbrush and deodorant
  • My laptop and power cord
  • My noise canceling headphones
  • **** I am on a diet so no snacks

 

Now off to bed to see if I can sleep 

Study Reveals That Counting Sheep Will Not Help You Fall Asleep but  Relaxing Will | POPSUGAR Fitness

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Have a safe trip.

AA kept trying to get me to change my flights. They are really overbooking. Every seat was filled on my last 6 plane rides from Jan -till now.

Also don't forget to bring your actually Vax card and not copies. I saw a person turned away for not having the actual card. 

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Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay Airport

This blogging is about my cruise, but we are not there yet.  Part of the fun is planning and traveling.  The airlines made today lots of "Fun".  I have found out that they airlines have been overbooking everything for the last month or more.  There is not space on any flight, and I am traveling the day before the cruise and am still afraid of not getting to the ship on time.  In the past you flew the day before to be safe, book the flight show up and get there.  In the current environment I do not know if that is enough time.  I ended up going to the airport 3 1/2 hours early to make sure I got out of Fresno.  When we left there were some people trying to find another flight because ours was overbooked and they did not know to check in early.

Eating at the airport on a diet

I am on a mission this year.  I am trying to lose 2 lbs. a week for the next year.  I am just using an app to count my calories (My Fitness Pal).  I did not eat before going to the airport because I was not hungry and the big part of losing weight is breaking bad habits like eating just because.  After setting in the airport for a couple of hours I went to the one restraint that Fresno has in the airport.  For breakfast they did not have anything that did not include toast and tater tots.  I ended up eating eggs, bacon, toast and tater tots (900 calories out of my 1880 for the day).  On the airplane I thought I was good and had cranberry juice but found out when I entered it in my app, I drank 210 calories.  The next flight I settled for water.

COOLEST NEW PLACE IN TOWN! "Peace"

I am at my Airbnb in Miami.  I looked at hotels and they were all $200 or more.  I found this Airbnb that is a two-story house and they rent out 4 rooms.  This section of the house if separated with its own entrance and has a little kitchenette and setting room.  The house if older but it is clean and well maintained.  He has all of them listed as "Coolest New Place in Town" with the name of the room.  The one I have is a queen size bed with a very good mattress.  There is a dresser with a couple of setting chars.  There was a couple of waters for me, and I am all set for the night.

O I almost forgot...

I did my first ride share by myself tonight.  When me and my son travel together, we each has things we do.  His job was always taking care of the Uber.  Before the trip I setup three different ones on my phone, Uber, Lyft and Bolt (Bolt is for Europe).  When I got off the plane, I checked the prices, and it was $20 for my ride.  After I got my bags, it was $30 for the ride.  Lyft was about $8 cheaper than Uber and I had a coupon for linking Lyft to my Delta miles program.  My ride went well, it was easier than I thought, and the girl was very nice.  And yes... I way over tipped her because I found out she was a single mom.

Now to sleep before boarding the cruise ship tomorrow.

This is my airplane outfit (no covid for me)

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I was but now I am not

I was going to write about my thoughts this morning but the boarding on the ship was so amazing I forgot everything else.  I got up this morning after a great night's sleep in a bed better than what I have at home.  I really liked my Airbnb in Miami and the best part it was only $80.  I sent for a Lyft car (cheaper than Uber) and headed to the port.  The Miami Cruise port is on an island and is very large.  My driver did not speak English, but I was able to pull out my Google Translate app (get it if you don't have it).  He had not been to the port before and both of us learned something important.  Halfway down the port the road curves to the left and if you do not take the left curve you go to where the trucks are getting containers.  It is one way, and you cannot get out.  We had to make a U-Turn and drive the wrong way on a one-way street.  The amazing thing is we passed 5 cars doing the same thing. 🙂   As soon as we pulled up to the curve there was a porter there to grab my bag (have your tip ready).  I went down to go in the building and got in the wrong like with 20 of my closest new friends.  Noone was sure so I went to the front of the line and checked to see what it was, Suites and important guests.  Me and my new friends left that line just in time for them to open a new line for us.  Very Important... have your proof of immunization and proof of covid test in your hand.  They will ask for it multiple times.  I went upstairs and was sent to a young man just standing at a podium to check in.  He just checked the immunization, test and room number.  Because I did everything online, we were done.  If you want to save time while you are doing the online check-in, take the picture of your passport.    Once I was done there, they sent me upstairs to a holding area.  After about 5 minutes (maybe because I was one of the last to fill the room) they told us to move onto the ship.  The total experience from getting out of my car to being on the ship was about 20 minutes.

once upon a dream Ship

I have the Ultimate Dinning Package (one price for all specialty restaurants).    I knew I wanted to book my times as soon as possible so that is the first thing I tried to do.  When you get on the ship you are placed right in the middle of deck 5 the Royal Promenade.  It was packed with people and lots of people in lines waiting to be helped.  I knew I did not want to be there, so I grabbed an elevator and went up to the pool deck (it was quiet).  I got connected to the internet, it knew I had an package.  When I went to book my specialty restaurants it did not show me what I had for the first night and when I tried to book the first night it looked like it was going to charge me again.  I realized this computer programmer was confused and over my head; I went to find help.  I looked and the went to the specialty restaurant that would be away from crowds.   I went to deck 16 to the Hooked restaurant.  I found a very nice girl that helped me get everything booked.  She understood that I was solo and was not picky.  We were able to set all my dinners around 6 pm and I hit all the specialty restaurants.  She gave me recommendations and made sure I hit everything important.  The best thing she did is find me a place to eat on Valentine's Day and not feel like an outcast.  People that are not single forget or do not know what it is like to be alone on these types of days.

Feed the Addiction

On the first of December I started a quest to lose 2 lbs. a week for one year.  The first thing I did was drop all Diet Sodas, there is no calories, but it does make a difference.  Until that point, I would drink 2 or 3 on most days.  I had not eaten for the day, and I was on the Sympathy of the Seas.  I thought of all of my options and decided low carbs at Playmakers.  The first thing I did was get a Diet Coke on my Soda package; followed by 5 more and 2 glasses of water.  I stayed away from carbs and ordered a 10 pack of Buffalo Hot Wings.  I got the medium heat and that was just a little more timid that I like (I like hot things).  The wings were very good.  For those that do not know Playmakers it is a Sports Bar that is not free.  You have to purchase food or have the UDP (dining package).  At 11 am it was very quiet but now at 1 pm it is very loud with people, music and games.  To finish my lunch, I ordered a plate of celery sticks (not on the menu).  Lunch ended up being 744 calories out of my 1880 for the day.

Now it is time to go see my room and explore the ship.

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Wonderland Restaurant   Earl Turner Up and coming performer 1980's

I was just going to write you a review of the Wonderland Restaurant and keep my babbling to a minimum, but I have to tell you about the show last night.  I went to the show last night just because it was the show in the Royal Theater.  I went 30 minutes early just to make sure I go a good seat down front (did not need to do that).  I got my isle seat right in front of the stage.   They played a video about Earl Turner right before he came out and I realized he was a performer from the 1980's.  Then he came out and started singing his first son with the Cruise Ship Band.  It was not really good, and he moved like an old man.  I was stuck in the front and was wondering how bad it would look me getting up and leaving at his first song.  I decided I would stick it out and not be the person everyone sees walk out of the show after one song.  The second song was not as bad.  Then after a few songs he started talking about the difference in music in the 1950, 1060 and 1970 having "Words" and the new stuff not.  Then he got into having 45 records and how current kids do not know what they are or how to put the adapter in the 45.  The next break he talked about growing up with one TV and it having rabbit ears.  If you do not understand rabbit ears, ask your parents or grandparents.  The show was getting really funny and entertaining.  Then he showed us the cloths his son had to have in the 1990 (Snoop Dog).  With his oversized jacket and hat on sideways he sang a rap song "with no words".  He ended his show with Bruno Mars and everyone dancing with him.  I was surprised I went from wanting to walk out to dancing in the theater.

Wonderland Restaurant (Allice in Wonderland)

Tonight, I have the pleasure of eating at the Wonderland restaurant. It’s a specialty restaurant based off of Alice in Wonderland. Before going I looked at the menu and decided what I wanted and then went to dinner. I had good intentions on entering all the calories in my app to keep track of everything and stay my diet. The waiter started out by asking me if I trusted him to bring me what I needed and not what I wanted. I told him to go for it.  I soon figured:

  1. Nothing looked or tasted like the menu
  2. Trying to figure out how to enter anything into my calorie application was an exercise in futility
  3. Just set back and open my mind to new and strange things

They kept bringing out food that looked like something else and had completely different flavors than what you would expect. Some of it was really good tasting. Others it just made you wonder what is that, what did that tase like, do I like that. during the dinner The Mad Hatter kept coming around and talking to us and make sure everything was OK. All in all, it was a delightful experience. I don’t think it’s a restaurant that I would go to twice on a cruise. Especially since I’m trying to count calories.  I would suggest you go to the restaurant and tell them it’s your Un-birthday. 

FYI - I am starting to upload photo at https://photos.app.goo.gl/L4kMVCWVKpFW6vUT8

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Shut up, count your calories, i never looked good in mom jeans   (link to song https://youtu.be/3TPx2rIstWA )

I had dinner at the Hooked Seafood restaurant tonight and was able to enter all my calories into my app that is helping on my 2lbs a week adventure.  About halfway through a manager seen me trying to figure out food close to what I was having to enter in my app.  She informed me that all the restaurants can tell me the calories of the dishes.  I just have to ask my server and they can get them for me.  Yes, you can count calories on a cruise ship. 

Now onto my dinner.   My expectations were mixed.  I love seafood and the restaurant helped me the first day book all of my dinners.  Then I read on a Facebook post that they did not like the restaurant.  After eating there, I would go back.  I had a water named May and she was fantastic.  She took my order and helped me with choices.  I had the soft-shell crab just because I have seen it on TV and never had one.  To me it is kind of freaky eating the shell of the crab.  I had it and ate all of it.  I am not a big crab eater, and this just did not have much of a taste.  Don't know if that is good or bad, just did not thrill me.  Then my main meal come, Lobster Tail, Blacken Halibut and shrimp.  These things, I do know about.  The lobster and shrimp were good and were as good as anyplace I have eaten.  Now the Blackened Halibut was very good to me.  It had a good spice level and my old taste buds were awakened.  If you do not like spicy things do not get the blackened fish.  The last thing on my main dish was cajon French fries.  Now let me ask you... have you ever purchased frozen fresh fries from the store that are thin straight plan fries?  That is what they served me.  They looked like McDonald fries without the taste.  Now the cajon part was a little spice that you could not taste.  It was not salt or flavor.  I just need to thank Hooked Seafood restaurant for serving me the fries because it saved me 300 calories from not eating them.

The last part was the best.  I told May (the server) to check the calories on the Limon Tart and bring it to me if it was under 350 calories.  She served it to me with a smile on her face telling me 280.  I closed my eyes and really enjoyed my limon tart 🙂

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Run away, but we're running in circles

One last one before going to sleep.  Today I found the jogging track by mistake, but I like it.  All the other ships I have been on the running track is above the pool deck and it the way of everything and everyone is watching you run or walk.  On the Symphony it is on deck 5 and goes all the way around the ship.  I got on it and walked 2 miles today and it did not see that far.  It feels like you are inside, but you are really between the lifeboats and the ship.  They have signs to encourage you to keep going.  Here are a couple of pictures.

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A Sea Symphony

It seems like we have been on the ship a long time but yesterday was our second day and our first sea day on the Symphony of the Seas.  I did fall in love with the ships size and wonder. … sounds fancy, I liked the ship 😊 I do not know if part of liking the ship is we are only 45% full and can do anything without lines.  I walked lots of the ship looking and everything and just sightseeing.  Then when I look at the ship layout, I only hit the highlights and there are still lots to see. 

Casino Life

Our Facebook group did a slot pull yesterday.  After some confusion about the time, we had 31 people show up.  A warning about Facebook, if you put an event in your group it will adjust the time of the event to match your time zone.  Our event showed 1:30 pm and the Slot pull post said 10:30 am.  This one was done a little different than the ones I have done in the past, not better and not worse.  Everyone kicked in $25 and $20 went into the slot machine and $5 went into a winner pool (person with the highest money won on their pulls).  We started out with $620 in the slot machine and everyone did 2 pulls of $10 a pull.  That thing was tight.  It did not like giving anything back.  When we were done it had $217 of the original $620 left in it.  I am becoming a true believer that very few people win anything on a cruise ship.

The Ultimate Abyss

I went up to the flow riders yesterday and enjoyed an hour or so of watching people try to ride the flow riders.  One side if for stand up and the other side if for boogie boards.  It is neat to watch people learn and crash trying something that looks so simple when done correctly.  But there is no bigger thrill than watching a someone get on for the first time and to be able to do it for 5 seconds.  The pure enjoyment on their face just make you feel the fun.  When I was tired of watching the flow riders I walked over and watched people get on “The Ultimate Abyss”.  Check out the video here https://youtu.be/cvajQkIUNzI  I wanted to do it but then I am telling myself, I am old (61), I am way overweight, I do not get up and down easy.  I am not in good shape.  I am wondering will they turn me away when they look and see my size.  Will I get stuck in the slide halfway down.  Will I not be able to get up when I get to the bottom.  See none of the normal fears like it drops 10 stories and starts on deck 16.  Well, I went over to the Bar and got a drink to steady my nerves (Diet Coke, plain).  Now I was able to tell myself, I have lost 20 lbs. in the last two months, I walked 5 miles the day before and I am a water polo coach that can eggbeater for 2 hours without a break.  Off to the slide I went.  It was much easier to get in than I thought.  As soon as I started sliding, I heard the guy on top tell me to scream.  When I did, I realized it multiplies itself in the slide.  The slide was full of lights and took long enough to let you realize you are going a long way.  It was a blast; I am going back, and I want to do it at night.  Everyone reading this, If I can do it, everyone can do it.

A simple dinner at Jamie’s Italian

I do not have a lot to say about dinner last night.  I did Jamie’s Italian because I wanted to experience all the restaurants and my son loves Italian food.  I was able to stay within my calorie count by having Garlicky Prawns for an appetizer and baked lasagna for my main course.  The prawns were good but with the name I expected to taste the garlic.  They were just well-cooked plain prawns.  The lasagna came out and it was good but nothing I would write home about.  It did have a good amount of meat in it and was well cooked.  The last thing I had was Limon Cheesecake.  If you are paying attention, you have figured out, I like limon deserts.  This one also was OK.  All in all, the dinner was OK.  Now I do have to be honest and let you know.  There were 2 couples in the table next to me that showed up (not their first time) and ordered the entire list of appetizers.  They loved everything and were having a blast.  My waiter was fantastic (I think his name was Boodoo).  And I had a glass of wine that was so good I am going to find out where to purchase it when I get home.

Now it is time to get up see what the day has to offer.

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12 minutes ago, Traveling Mike said:

I wanted to do it but then I am telling myself, I am old (61), I am way overweight, I do not get up and down easy.  I am not in good shape.  I am wondering will they turn me away when they look and see my size.  Will I get stuck in the slide halfway down.  Will I not be able to get up when I get to the bottom.  See none of the normal fears like it drops 10 stories and starts on deck 16.  Well, I went over to the Bar and got a drink to steady my nerves (Diet Coke, plain).  Now I was able to tell myself, I have lost 20 lbs. in the last two months, I walked 5 miles the day before and I am a water polo coach that can eggbeater for 2 hours without a break.  Off to the slide I went

This just made my heart smile !!  GOOD FOR YOU !  I have these same anxieties and they always hold me back.  Maybe your courage will inspire me next time.

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Now that you’ve done the slide, do the flow rider!  Im guessing with the waterpolo coach gig, you are comfortable with water up your nose if it comes to that.  As a 55 year old, overweight grandma, I can say that it is great!.  Go early on a port day so nobody is there to watch (i admit to a few private session without spectators to learn).  I now go every time and impress people with my grandma surfing skills!  If you can do the slide, you can do the boogie board.  I’m loving your trip!

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Don't Give Up the Ship

Yesterday was the port Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico.  For those of you that did not know this is one of those ports the Mexican Government created just for cruise ships.  They put in everything you would need just as soon as you get off the ship.  There are swimming pools, swim up bars, dolphin adventures and lots of shopping.  I had real attentions on taking a taxi over to the real town beach and have lunch, a massage and do some swimming in the ocean.  When I got up, I really did not feel like it and I did not want to eat food that I could get on the cruise ship and enjoy better.  This is why I love cruising; I changed my mind, and it was no big deal.  I sleep in and when I got up, I got off the ship and walked all of the port area.  I ended up walking 2.5 miles there and back.  I also confirmed that I did not like this port they setup; it felt like a tourist trap to me.

After I got back to the ship, I spent the day having fun.  With so many people off the ship I was able to do anything I wanted.  I ended up playing miniature golf, shuffleboard, swimming in the pool, reading an entire book and taking a nap.  I ended up the evening with dinner, listening to a jazz band and going to seeing Randy Cabral in the Royal Theater.  Randy Cabral was a juggling act with comedy.  If I knew he as a juggling act I would not have gone but I was glad I did.  His comedy was very good and entertaining.

The last thing I did for the day is booked a 4-day cruise during Thanksgiving 2022.  I was able to get a Balcony Cabin for $720 out the door and they are giving me $150 to spend on the ship.  It is out of Los Angeles so there is no flight, just drive to the port on Monday and enjoy a short vacation.

 

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Chops Grille did it right

I wanted to put this on its own post because I liked it so much.  When I went to dinner it was pouring rain.  It seemed strange being in the middle of the ship on deck 8 and running to the restaurant to keep from getting soaked.  When I got into Chaps, they made me feel right at home from the start.  I knew this was a top fancy steakhouse, but it did not feel like it, it felt like friends.  Do not get me wrong, it looked like a fancy place, but I felt comfortable there in my blue jeans and polo shirt.  I started my meal with Grilled Black Pepper Bacon.  It was good but not what I expected, and I would not order it again.  They brought me bread and the one that looked like pretzel was very good and soft in the middle.  The other bread was very bad and hard, not my liking.  Then came my 16 oz Prime Bone-In Ribeye; It filled the plate.  This was easily the best steak I have had in a very long time.  I added on the mushroom to give me some vegies.  I took my time and really enjoyed the meal.  I finished the meal with the Key lime Meringue Pie.  I took the meringue off and at the key lime filing.

When I was done, I changed my day 6 reservation to Chops Grill.  I will end up eating here 3 times out of the 7 dinners.   If you get the chance come and let me know if it is as good as I think it was.

Note:  After my dinner, before I left, the main waiter of the "Main Dining Room" came over to talk to me.  He tracked me down to find out why I have not been to the main dining room for any of my meals.  Evidently if you do not eat any meals there it looks bad for them.  I tried to tell him when you are counting calories you are picky about where and what you eat.  Maybe they need to make it easier to keep track of a diet in the main dining room then I would eat there all the time.

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Thomas is Amazing

Today is Cozumel Day.  I ended up going on the tour "Island Roots, Honey and Chocolate Traditions" booked though RCL.  Our tour could have been "it's OK" but turned into a really good tour just because of the tour guide.  Our tour guide was Thomas, and he loves his island.  He spent the entire 3 1/2 hours telling us everything he knew about Cozumel.  I found out that there is only one main road around Cozumel that goes along the coastline around 3/4 of the island.  We first went south to the Mayan Cacao company.  We did an outside tour that showed a few things about the Mayan people and how they used cacao (chocolate).  Thomas did this part of the tour.  Then he dropped us off in a lecture hall where we got a demonstration on making chocolate.  The young man talked and showed us what it takes to process the coco bean and make the chocolate.  When he was done the chocolate was made.  Then we were moved into a tasting room where it was explained how Tequila is made and we were given a very small tasting of 5 different types of Tequila.  Tequila is not my thing, so I baled as soon as it was done.  Downstairs was a gift shop that had tasting of all the different flavors of chocolate they make.  I tasted a couple and ended up purchasing "Cranberry, Almonds and Grapes" chocolate bar.  After that we went drove south then back north along the east coast of Cozumel.  The beach was beautiful on the east coast.  As we headed back west through the middle of the island, we stopped at the Mayan Bee Sanctuary.  This tour was about these stingless bees that make this special honey.  At the end we had a tasting and had a chance to purchase honey products.  After that we were back to the ship.  Here are some interesting things I learned:

  • The island of Cozumel depends on tourism for the majority of its income.
  • The soil on the island is poor and will not grow anything except with the exception scrubby tropical jungle that covers most of the island.
  • The majority of the island is protected by the government
  • The people live on the west side and when hurricanes come in, they hit the east side and the scrubby jungle helps kill the hurricane.
  • The Cacao beans do not come from Cozumel, they are imported from the mainland.
  • The Mayan Bee is not native of Cozumel, they are imported from the mainland

 

Johnny killed my calories

When I got back on the ship places to eat was limited.  I have been wanting to eat at Johnny Rockets, so I went.  I took my computer and did some work and had a good meal.  Before I get into what I had; Johnny Rockets is a typical Johnny Rockets but with sit-down service that was great.  I had the Original #12 and onion rings topped off with a large diet coke.  Yes, I entered my calories before ordering the food and it almost killed me.  I had to keep telling myself "I am on vacation".  The positive thing is before the meal came; I was able to figure out how to order dinner at 150 Central Park and only go over my calories by 25 (I hit the walking track to burn those before dinner).  If you are interested my calorie split is Breakfast 175 (chocolate bar); Lunch 1280 (Johnny's); Dinner 597 (Filet and Lobster).

Now I need to shower and go see if I can do the dinner for 597 and a show in the Royal Theater.  

 

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Fast Low-Calorie Dinner at 150

Just a quick review of my dinner tonight at 150 Central Park.  I used all my calories at Johnny Rockets and my lunch was at 2:00 pm so I had to make adjustments for dinner.  I moved my dinner from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  I also had to figure out how to eat for 600 calories.  I showed up and was seated.  The waiter gave me the menu and disappeared.  He showed back up 5 minutes later with this bread that was covered with butter and looked like one of the best things I have seen in a long time.  I took a deep breath and asked him to take it away.  😞 😞   When he came back, I let him know that I had to limit my eating tonight and there was not going to be bread, an appetizer or desert.  I ordered the pan seared halibut and warm potato salad (don't look below).   I was also able to order one glass of wine.  Now if you want to know if it was any good... look below at the picture 🙂 

Note:  Tomorrow I am going back and have all the courses.  I will give you a better review.

 

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Just what I expected

Yesterday I went on the excursion "East End Sites and Garifuna Culture".  Before I booked it, I did my research and knew it was not going to be a great excursion.   The reviews were not bad but not great.  It ended up being almost what I expected.  We got a medium sized bus and drove up the island to the northeast corner.  During the drive the tour guide tried to tell us everything about her island Roatan Honduras.  We stopped at a "Ship Reck" but they did not let us get off and it was just a bunch of metal left from a ship next to the shore.  It was so impressive no one took pictures.  When we got to the main location, they walked us over to this patio and put us in rows of seats.  They gave us water and some type of fish stew.  Most people did not take the stew and I did not blame them after I ate mine.  Then they played some drums, chanting and what they called dancing.  It was just like the other reviews and the people looked like they did not want to be doing this for us.  After they were done (15 minutes) they had tables setup with things to purchase.  Then we drove back to the ship.  I got what I wanted out of the excursion.  I got to see the island.  If I was going to do this over, I would have just rented a taxi at the port and let them show me the island.  Roatan is a tourist stop where I question if they are helping or hurting the people that live there.  They live in shacks and make very little money.  The price of everything is inflated from foreigners coming in.

American Mexican Food

Just really quick.  When I got back, I had a late lunch at El Loco Fresh.  I am from Central California where it is farm country and 1/2 of our population is from Mexico.  We know what Mexican food is and this was not it.  Don't get me wrong, it was not bad, it just was not asthenic Mexican food.  I would just call it good American Mexican food.

Flight... Dare to Dream

Last night I went to the first and only real show at the Royal Theater.  It was the full production Bradway type show.  The show was about the history of flight.  It started in the future and moved backward through time.  It was fast moving and had singing, dance and people flying through the air.  It was one of those shows where you wander "where do I watch".  There are so many things going on at once that you want to watch.  They ended the show with one of the Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur Wright) flying a real sized plane through the air above the audience.  

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Real Meal at 150 Central Park

I saved the calories and went for a full meal at 150 Central Park.  150 Central Park is a fancy restaurant that I would classify it as an "Above my class" restaurant.  I got the same waiter as the night before and he brought me the bread with my menu.  I am not sure what was on top of the bread other than butter, but it was too good.  You could destroy your meal with just the hot bread.  I decided this meal was going to be "everything I have never had" meal.  I started out with seared scallops.  I figured out scallops do not have a taste to me.  Next came the main meal.  I got Venison Loin.  If you are not failure with it, it is a very lean meat from deer.  I was surprised I did like it.  I just had to not think of it as beef because it had a completely different texture; think and dense.  The last think was my desert.  The waiter said I had to get the fried cheesecake.  In my mind I was picturing like they do at the fair with everything you can imagine, put a slice of cheesecake in batter and deep fry it.  What I got was not that.  It was cheesecake filling deep fried with a very light thin shell.  It was paired with something between a cream and meringue.  This was what I call a "One Bite Desert".  You can take one bite close your eyes and enjoy.  I can stop with one bite because it is so good.  I did not want to waste so I ate both of them.  If you have this desert have some black coffee with it.  That made the perfect pairing.

 

 

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Wrap It Up

This is my summary of the week.  Just remember these are my impressions and I am very different than most people.  If you have questions, please ask.

  1. Counting Calories:  It is very hard.  The one restaurant said the chiefs should know the calorie count, but I found out it is "Should".  They don't know and don't care.  I the app I use I was able to guess on things that were close to the same thing I was having and chose the ones with higher calories.  I weighed in the gym the first day and weighed today and ended up losing my 2 lbs.  At home I have an expensive scale that tells me everything and last Saturday when I weighed it showed me 8 lbs. heavier than at home.  I just used that as a baseline and my goal was to stay that same weight.  
  2. The Shows:  I try to understand that this is covid times and the ship is under 50% full.  I felt the live music around the ship was very good.  I really liked the bands that were in the promenade on the center stage.  The comedians were just OK.  Nothing to write home about and their act did not change during the week.  The stage show last night was top notch.  I would go back to see it again and you could tell they spent a lot of effort on the show.  The Aqua Theater was great.  My room overlooked the theater so i was able to watch the show every night it played.  I just wished they did a little more from the high platforms. 
  3. The walking/jogging track:  All ships should design their track the way it is on the Symphony.  I think one of the best things about the ship is the walking track.
  4. FOOD ** in order of best to not best
    1. Chops:  I feel at home and the steaks are great.  Not fancy just good food.
    2. Playmakers:  The service is great.  The wings were very good and kept me on my diet.
    3. Wonderland:  Not an every night thing but what an experience.
    4. Johnny Rockets:  Even with them destroying my diet they had great service and really good burger (#12) and onion rings.  
    5. Jamies Italian:  Great service and good food.  My son is the big pasta eater, but I enjoyed my meal here.
    6. Hooked Sea Food:  Good Sea food but all I can remember is how bad the french fries were.
    7. 150 Central Park:  To fancy for me and not my cup of tea.
    8. El Loco Fresh:  Not bad for a quick bite
    9. Sorrento's Pizza:  OK pizza but not worth the calories 
    10. Windjammer Buffet:  Not a great buffet and hours of operation were terrible.  I like the buffet late at night and they are closed.
    11. Central Park Cafe:  The food was so bad I did not eat it and left to go find something else to eat.

 

Note:  Overall I love the ship.  I will be coming back and next time bring my son and part of my extended family.

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