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Here We Go Again! - Allure of the Seas - Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022 - Star Class


CravingaCruise
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Whoo! just a few more days until you cruise. 

I love me some packing cubes, I fluctuate between 3 and 4. I use my travel backpack to hold miscellaneous items, I believe it is 8x6, so I pack my first aid kit, Clorox wipes, etc. in that. Clothes smell good and have less wrinkles......I can avoid checked bags and lost luggage.

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23 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

I can avoid checked bags and lost luggage.

We're checking bags this time just because there are so many of us and I have to be over-prepared!  I just can't help myself.  We're cross-packing though, just in case we lose a bag.  Crossing our fingers this doesn't happen!

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29 minutes ago, CravingaCruise said:

We're checking bags this time just because there are so many of us and I have to be over-prepared!  I just can't help myself.  We're cross-packing though, just in case we lose a bag.  Crossing our fingers this doesn't happen!

I hope.......I am going to cross my fingers and toes for you.

I was flying out of LAX last week and the line for lost baggage stretched way down the terminal. That's the main reason packing cubes have become my besties.

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3 Days Until We Leave!!

The luggage tags have been printed!!  My drama tonight was figuring out why my printer only wanted to print in grayscale!  I ended up having to uninstall my printer and all the drivers and start over!  Tim asked if we really needed them tonight - um, YES!!  It's on the schedule!  He offered to go to Office Depot to print them tomorrow for me, but I couldn't stop troubleshooting until it was done.  It's fixed, but I spent way too much time on it.  Yes, I have an obsessive side.  😇

We've been watching Invest 98L in the Atlantic because it's modeled to go right up the path of our itinerary next week.  A little sad that we could be rerouted because we know Mom and Aunt Cindy were looking forward to the ruins and dolphin encounter.  However, it's a cruise and I'm sure the captain will make sure we have some sunshine, so it's not a bad thing.  It's got our Facebook roll-call group all a flutter!  

I think I'd be happiest if we got rerouted to CocoCay as that is one of my favorite places, and I know Kenzie and Kayla would have a blast at the water park.  If we end up there and the wind is right, I think it would be fun to go up in the balloon.  Look at me planning it out already!  🤣

Tonight is about to the end and that leaves us one more full day/evening before we need to pack up our final things (charged electronics, etc), head over and pack Mom, and then we all head to the hotel.  I, unfortunately, have a long way to go with the packing because I've had a busy week. 

I need Genie Jay!!!

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12 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I hope.......I am going to cross my fingers and toes for you.

I was flying out of LAX last week and the line for lost baggage stretched way down the terminal. That's the main reason packing cubes have become my besties.

Oh my!!!  Really hoping to not end up in that line! 

Thank you!  We'll take all the good luck you can muster with your crossed fingers and toes!!  Others feel free to join in on this!

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3 hours ago, Cruisin and Boozin said:

Watching the storms that are brewing. Safe travels and have an excellent cruise.

Thank you!  We've been watching too.  We're following James Van Fleet (Chief Meteorologist for RC) and yesterday he was still thinking we'd be okay on our original itinerary.  We'll see.  

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VACATION...STARTS...NOW!!!

We are in Fort Lauderdale...and our luggage made it too!  I'm so happy!!  It was quite a journey getting here today...

Kayla, coming from Jersey, didn't get her passport in time, and had sent her original birth certificate with her application, so she only had a copy.  Friday at 4pm Est, she texts me and asks if she needed an original or if a copy was okay.  I reached out to Royal to see if they make any exceptions, and the answer was a hard no without something original.  There are combinations that they would take with a copy of the birth certificate, but none of them were things she had.  Turns out that her mom had an original, but she lives three hours away from Kayla and Kayla was working a closing shift at work last night.  She got off at 11pm and took the six-hour round trip to get the original birth certificate so she could come with us.  Got back in time to finish packing, take an hour nap and head to the airport.  Whew!  Crisis 1 evaded! 🤪

Crisis 2 came with picking up mom and her meds.  When you get older, you end up needing to be on things for various reasons, and she is no exception.  We got to her place and checked her meds.  One of her meds ran out in the middle of the cruise (we had addressed the meds earlier in the week with the pharmacy, but the promise made to us did not pan out).  We called the pharmacy and got her meds worked out - but that was a three hour delay.  😒

We FINALLY made it to the hotel last night and had to repack stuff to make it flight worthy.  I was so afraid some or all of our luggage wasn't going to make it that I had myself tied up in knots over cross-packing.  Turns out there was no issue with our luggage making it, so my extra efforts were not necessary, but we just didn't want to take a chance.  I stayed up a little too late working on luggage stuff, and we finally climbed in bed at around 9pm Pst.  We had to be on the 3am shuttle to the airport, so we were trying for about 5 hours of sleep.  😴

Well - I got maybe 3 hours - if I'm lucky; Kenzie and Tim slept like babies; but Mom and Cindy stayed up like little school girls chatting all night and they maybe got an hour or two.  That turned out to be a bad thing on our second leg of flights.  We all made it on time for the 3am shuttle with fresh lobby coffee in hand.  We got to our gate with 90 minutes to spare and got to chill for a bit.  Then Kenzie and I noticed that Starbucks right next to us was open, so we went and placed a mobile order.  20 minutes later, we asked about it and she went and pulled it off of her machine - really???  The entire line that wrapped around the store was done when we finally got ours. I swear we weren't mean to her!  By the time we got our coffee, it was time to board and we made our way onto the plane - no drama there - just uncomfortable plane seats and faulty wifi.  We got to watch the safety video like 10 times while they tried over and over to reset it.  That was fun!  🙄

Got to our layover spot to switch planes and made it with enough time to drink a bottle of water, down a protein bar, and make sure we all had our boarding passes ready.  We got on the plane and it was like a sauna!  We all instantly started sweating and wished we had more layers to shed.  We shared some of the little Hershey Kisses gift bags with the flight attendants to show our appreciation for all they do, and started our flight.  This time the wifi worked and we only watched the safety video once.  

About 30 minutes into the flight Mom started feeling off and within a minute, leaned forward with her head against the seat in front of her and passed out.  I ran and got someone and they called for medical assistance.  We got a physician, a raspatory therapist, and a nurse who responded.  They took her blood pressure, checked her blood sugar, and her oxygen level.  Blood sugar was fine, blood pressure was low, and her oxygen level was super low.  They brought oxygen and put her on that for a bit until she started feeling a bit more normal.  She ate a little, drank some orange juice, sipped on ginger ale, and then took a nap for a bit.  When she woke up from her nap, she was still not all the way better, but the flight attendants brought her some food which brought her back to life.  After eating, she felt waaaayyyy better and finally had her color and her big smile back.  Dang!  She gave us a scare!  😳

Made it to FLL late afternoon and Kayla was waiting for us at the gate because her flight landed before ours.  It's so good to see her!! We got our luggage and hopped on the shuttle to our hotel.  Kenzie and Kayla went to Publix to get some fried chicken for us (IMHO - the best fried chicken) and the rest of us jumped in the pool for a quick refresher.  😋

We learned that because of hurricane Ian we're losing our stop in Roatan Honduras.  Kind of sad, but in the end, I don't mind an extra sea day.  It gives us that much more time to relax in our suite.   😎

Tomorrow we sail!  We're so excited!!!!  

Celebrate Happy Birthday GIF by Sawyer

 

 

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23 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Holy samoly !  What day !  So glad your mom is ok.  That would have scared me half to death !  Just glad she’s “back”.

Thank you!  Same!  She’s a tough one but that flight made us stop and think a bit. She’s a precious gem and we need to remember she’s perhaps not as tough as she used to be now that she’s climbing the senior ladder!  

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6 hours ago, Traveler said:

Happy to hear everything went well at the end . The early flights are not easy to anyone with all the extra stress flying now days. Enjoy you cruise. 

 

5 hours ago, Sweety said:

Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad your Mom is well. I too travel with my elderly parents. We take early flights. I will be sure to take extra snacks in case they need them. Have a cruise full of joy and memories.

Thank you both!  Yes, traveling with seniors definitely requires some extra moments of thought.  🙂  We're happy that she is doing better, and hopeful that is the only hiccup in things health-wise.

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IT'S CRUISE DAY!!!!!

We didn't make it long last night before our whole party was passed out from sheer exhaustion and the stress of getting to Florida.  I think we were all asleep by 9pm, including the late-night party animals (Kenzie and Kayla).  

Shortly before heading to the hotel in Portland on Friday, we learned that Kayla is not vaccinated. 😲  I grabbed two at home tests and threw them in our bag to bring with us because she is required to take a test within three days of the cruise.  Incidentally, we had $250 worth of the proctored tests that were beyond the two week return date when we learned fully vaccinated passengers no longer have to test for our cruise.  That is in addition to the free tests received via the postal service when the government said we could get them for free.  I think we're good for tests!  Kayla did her test last night and she is negative - THANK GOD!!  That would have been a major disaster!

We're at the Holiday Inn Express on 17th and we're in a 2 Queen bed suite.  Our room is great!  The beds are comfortable and there was a great mix of pillows so we all got the one(s) we wanted!  I'm not convinced the beds are queens - they feel a bit more like doubles to me, but we're used to sleeping on a King.  The girls had the pull out sofa bed, and it's a typical sofa bed, so it wasn't comfortable like the beds, but they're young - they'll recover.  🤣

Tim and I woke up at 5am, because we just couldn't sleep more than 8 hours, and decided to go down and get coffee.  

NEWS FLASH!  The t-shirts all fit!!!  I'm so glad the dryer didn't turn them into doll clothes!!  😍🥳

 

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Embarkation Day (Day 1)

Breakfast and coffee were just what we expected and then we finished getting all packed back up.  It's crazy how much gets unpacked for one night in a hotel!!  We all sat in the room for the last hour just tapping our toes waiting to leave.  Cindy asked every five minutes if it was time to go yet.  We were all so excited!  I had confirmed 10:30am with Jay though, so I didn't want to get there too early.

We took two XL Lyfts that showed up at the hotel just a minute apart.  The two lifts ended up at ~$12 each plus tip, and for one person to use the shuttle from the hotel it would have been $15.  Had we used the shuttle, I guarantee we would have lost our luggage to the over zealous porters as soon as the driver opened the door.  Instead, Lyft was an excellent choice!  I highly recommend it!! 

The two vehicles went through the security gate at the same time - which was good because I had already collected everyone's documents and Tim had them in his bag in car #1.  Since they wanted to see everyone's ID, we sent our person over to his car and they checked everyone off.

Loved passing everyone at the port to get to star class.  Everyone knew not to even get out of the vehicle until we had a star class porter.  He showed up with a cart, loaded it up, and we were on our way with an escort passed the incredibly long check-in line!!!  We walked by them all and weaved in and out of groups as we made our way directly to the counter where it took about 5 minutes for us all to be on our way up to the suite waiting area.  As we made it by the last group into the building, Tim threw his hands up with the rock and roll signals celebrating our front of the line pass.  If there was ever a reason to book star class, this is it people!!!

Jay was busy when we arrived so we found some comfy seats and the conversation that started Friday night at the hotel in Portland continued.  Man, we can talk!!  Okay - mostly Cindy, Kenzie, and Kayla, but we keep it going.  🙂

We didn't pay attention to how long it took for Jay to arrive (because we were talking), but it wasn't long - maybe 10 minutes?  He came over and we were instantly family.  He got hugs from everyone and we chatted for a few minutes.  He needed another 10 minutes before he would be ready for us, so we chatted a bit longer and he came back over and got us.  We made our way onto the ship and Jay used the magic card to get us up to the 17th floor where he dropped us off in the Suite Lounge to await our room readiness.  The girls went nuts over the magic card.  🙂  So easily amused!

We met Dr Booze (aka Sachin) in the Suite Lounge and when Cindy asked for Pims, he said he didn't have it there, but he knew it was at Blaze because he had served it last night there.  We figured we'd go there later and get a drink.  Nope!  10 minutes later, he arrived with Pims in hand and Cindy got her drink.  Great way to start the trip!

Jay arrived shortly after and took us to our suite that was all decorated for our different celebrations.  We had a few snacks and cake number 1.  Jay made sure we had macarons because Kenzie has a bakery that specializes in them.  Nice touch! 🙂 Our luggage (minus one bag) arrived shortly after we did and once we got a chance to ooh and aah over the suite, we started unpacking our 11 bags.  Lunch arrived and all but Kayla had Caesar salads and shrimp cocktails from Chops.  We also had a couple of sides of mac & cheese and tater tots.  It was great!  The girls and Cindy went back up to the suite lounge after they unpacked and got Cindy's Pims drink, and they stopped by and got pizza for Kayla.

It was almost 2pm and we decided to go up to the Schooner bar for the 9/25 bday meet & greet.  We met some great people and hung out until we realized at 3pm that we needed to go get checked in at our muster station by 3pm.  We headed out and did that, then I went back to the room to finish unpacking while everyone explored a bit - hoping my bag was there.  Unfortunately, it wasn't.

Jay had to go track my bag down and found out it was in the naughty room.  😳  It was tagged with "Kettle" but there wasn't anything in the bag that was not allowed.  We did bring our own hand soap pumps onboard because the bar soaps dry out our hands, so maybe that popped up on their scanner?  They waited for Jay to arrive before they opened the bag and he said they were amazed by how organized it was.  🥰  Nothing was "naughty", so he gathered the bag and brought it to me.  

We met Iman, our cabin attendant, and he is awesome!  We walked through a few things we needed and when we came back from dinner, they were all handled.  

I finished the unpacking - after having to get more hangers (yes, with 12 bags, we used a ton of hangers), and made sure things were picked up for our turn-down while we were at dinner.

While at dinner, Jay collected our drink order for our show tonight.  

Dinner:  150 Central Park - The bread!!!!  The bread is a loaf of 6 chunks (seemingly) soaked in truffle butter - YUM!!  I ate waaaay too much bread!  Kenzie and Kayla didn't want any, so I helped them out.  We had a mix of things - halibut, braised short rib (again, yum!), and the Lobster Thermidor, pumpkin bisque, and scallops.  Kayla has a tough time with most food, so she asked to order off-menu and got the steak salad from Chops' lunch menu. For dessert we had a couple of the fried cheesecake (yum again), Kenzie got the peanut butter chocolate thing, and Kayla got strawberry ice cream.  Ritikesh was our server, and a few of us had cappuccino with dessert. When Kenzie asked for vanilla for hers, he said he had some because he got it by accident earlier that day when he got the lemon liquor for the garden martini.  So we all had vanilla cappuccinos. They were great.  Oh - we had one of the famous garden martinis too!  That is now Cindy's new favorite drink!  It was cool that he made it tableside!

Aqua Show:  We watched it from our suite deck and that was a really cool thing!  This is our first aqua-theater suite and watching the show from our balcony was the reason Tim wanted it!  Bucket list item - check!

After the show, everyone pooped out and migrated to their own spaces.  The first day was a huge success!

Side note about the room so I don't forget to tell you later:  There are outlets behind each nightstand in the master bedroom!!!!  I probably watched every video on the internet about our room and not one of them said anything about outlets behind the nightstands!  Let me tell you that this made me VERY happy!!

Okay - going to bed!  Photo dump coming next...

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Day 2 - Sea Day!

We had given Jay our coffee order and (silly us) asked for a delivery at 7am.  🤪 What???  7am is far too early for a wake up on vacation!  Tomorrow, it will be 7:30am instead.  

Our coffee arrived as ordered, but there weren't any identifying markings on them so we were all tasting each others' coffees to figure out who they belonged to.  Breakfast arrived at 8am as ordered except for one extra plate of 2 eggs and hash browns.  One thing we had learned last year is that they take orders very literally.  If you order 2 eggs, they think it's 2 orders of eggs.  Not too bad for our first room service order.  

Jay stopped by after breakfast to go over our day and we chatted for a long while getting to know him.  He's genuinely a really nice guy!  By the way - if any of you are looking for info on gifts for Jay, he loves coffee!  His drink of choice on the ship is a venti caramel latte with almond milk.  🥰

We hung out in the room most of the morning and got to see the rehearsal for the aqua show.  We're amazed at the talent the performers possess!!  We finally ventured out a little after 11am so our cabin attendant could come in and put our room back together.  We wandered down to Starbucks (to get Jay his favorite drink), and ended up at the wrong end of the Promenade because they had just started the parade.  We went down to 4 to cut over to the other end but ended up at the entrance to the casino.  When I walked off the elevator, it was like walking into a wall of smoke.  I turned around and went back into the elevator and told the group I'd meet them down there.  I ended up going up to deck 7 and walked down the stateroom hallway to the other elevators.  The group never made it to Starbucks so I stopped and got his drink then met them at Izumi where I found them all melting from the temperature.  

It's so hot on this ship!  I kept thinking it was just me, but I'm beginning to hear it from others also - so I'm not actually having one long hot flash!  🥵 Thank God!!  I've been running so hot that I've been reluctant to put makeup on because it would just melt off of my face.

Jay had arranged lunch for us at Izumi sushi and while waiting for it to open at Noon, Mom was feeling a bit woozy again.  After the incident on the plane, we immediately contacted Jay and he brought up a wheelchair for her.  It turned out to be motion sickness, so Tim, Mom, and Cindy went back to the cabin to get her Dramamine and eat lunch there while she rested and recovered.  

After mom was feeling a bit better, Cindy joined Kenzie, Kayla, and I at the restaurant and she got caught up with the rest of us on the appetizers.  We learned on Anthem that we loved the chicken karaage and the edamame!  Of course we ordered those and gyoza dumplings, and we got a couple of the signature rolls to share at the table.  We sent some food to the room also so Mom and Tim didn't miss out.  Unfortunately, the room delivery wasn't delivered for a very long time (we ordered it at 12:30, and it showed up at 2:40pm.  When we left at 1:45pm they said it was on the way.  It must have made a few laps around the ship because by the time it arrived, it was inedible. 

Thankfully, Jay had ordered a feast of snacks for everyone so they munched on 6 orders of chicken wings,2 whole pizzas, 2 orders of quesadillas, 2 orders of tacos, 1 charcuterie plate, 1 order of nachos, 1 veggie tray, 1 order of chocolate strawberries, and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.  Um...there are only 6 of us!  😳 So. Much. Food.  We requested that tomorrow's snacks be a plate of berries and some cookies - only!

Mom and Tim sat out on our next adventure while mom relaxed a bit.  The other four of us met other star classers up on deck 12 and we got to do the Star Class bridge tour!!!  Jay said that was only the second tour they had done for the star classers since the comeback, so they were making sure everyone was extra well behaved - they don't want to give them any reason to not continue that perk.  The bridge is amazing!!  I could easily live up there!!  Just sayin.

We went back to the room and kicked our feet up for a bit, then Cindy, Kenzie, and Kayla decided to go hide all the ducks they brought on the trip.  They had a blast, and have even seen a few with people since hiding them. 🦆

Tonight was "formal night" and we all decided not to take our formal too far, but instead only do a semi-formal / dressy night and just color coordinate.  Our color tonight was blue.  🙂  It was also Kenzie's birthday celebration.  Dinner was at Samba Grille and the amount of food they provide you there is crazy!  We all tried to pace ourselves through dinner, but each time the gauche came by with more new meat for us to try, Mom looked at us with a look of shock and dismay!  She was a trooper and ate at least a bite of everything just to try it.  Some of the side dishes that are served Mom tried and didn't like, but was going to eat it anyway since she took it.  We told her it's okay not to eat something she didn't like.  Such a hard concept for someone to grasp when they've spent their entire life not wasting food.  I'm sure we'll have to continue to remind her. 

After dinner when we were all bloated, and I'm sure with food in our teeth from all the meat, it seemed like the right time to go have some pictures taken.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  We definitely need a better plan in the future.  We made it through two photographers, and then were all melting from the temperature of the ship and the heat coming off the lamps.  We called it good for the night and headed to our next thing.

The headliner show tonight was on par with most headliner shows.  It was good enough to keep us entertained, but it wasn't amazing.  Jay reserved us great seats, and we'll have the same tomorrow night for Mamma Mia!  We can't wait for that one!!  The seats we have are six seats that are semi-private - which is really nice.  We're in the front row of the mezzanine, which we totally prefer.  I have to say that I love that Jay asked what our preference was.  🥰

Kenzie and Kayla didn't join us for the show tonight, so there were two seats not used in our little private area.  In the middle of the show, some woman climbed over the back of the end seat and barreled her way in front of us, not even apologizing for trampling our feet.  I was left somewhat in shock over it but figured I'd save my complaining until after the show when we could all pile on together over the annoyance.  🤣

Apparently, it's a thing because at the end of the show, three more women climbed over the back of the end seat and forced their way by us, annoyed that we weren't pushing our way into the crowd.  The front woman was extremely rude to Cindy telling her that she needed to get out.  Don't people excuse themselves anymore?  Where did manners go?   😟

We came back to our room and it was like a sauna in here!  I let Jay know and he was coming over anyway to drop off some things.  He called maintenance along the way and when he got here, he started sweating!   😅  He called maintenance again and they asked him to check the doors to make sure they were closed.  According to Jay (who has been on ships for years), they were closed.  However, when maintenance arrived, he checked the sliding door in our room and the living room and he determined that it was the doors keeping our AC from not working.  If Jay thought they were closed, how are people who don't live on a cruise ship supposed to tell if the door is closed or not??   

While in the room, we had the maintenance guy pull a staple out of the carpet that Kenzie and Tim had caught their feet on.  It was sticking up and was hard to find after it happened.  Crazy!  I'll share some thoughts on the ship and the cabin a bit later in my blog, but I can tell you that Allure is starting to show her age and could really use a facelift.  

Here are my pics from today.  Sorry, I didn't get the food pics from Kenzie before she fell asleep.  Also sorry that one of the pics of the compass is sideways.  

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Day 3 - Sea Day (originally scheduled for Honduras but rerouted because of Ian):

Our day started off with coffee at 7:30am instead of 7am, which was definitely better.  I was in the shower when it arrived and by the time I made it out to the living room for coffee, everyone was up and working on their coffee and fruit.  We had just enough time to get through our coffee and breakfast arrived at 8:30am as ordered.  

Jay came by at 9:30am to run through our day, and the housekeeping manager stopped by at the same time to check on the AC.  The temp still had not come down, so he ordered maintenance on it while we were out during the day.  More to come on that.  Kenzie had found another staple in the carpet just before he arrived, and we pointed it out to him.  We let him know they had pulled one out last night and there was another by the chair Tim was sitting in the night before.  He got to see first hand the issue with the staples, and he sincerely was worried and wanted to spend some time looking into that. 

While there he asked how the rest of the room was, and I mentioned that there were a few things we were hoping for that we hadn't really seen evidence of yet (i.e., the towel animal farm) and a couple of other things.  Incidentally, our first night on the ship, our attendant didn't leave any towel animals for us at all, so I went out and mentioned it to him (it was one of the things I requested in advance from Jay and he said he shared my request with the attendant).  The attendant told me he would start it the next morning.  I've never heard of that before!  The next morning came and went, and we still had nothing.  That night, we got a small towel mouse and I was a little jealous of other pics I was seeing in our FB group.  I was surprised I wasn't seeing anything special with my request going through Jay and then the attendant himself.  More on that later as well.

Our first agenda item today was the galley tour.  Everyone from our cabin went, and we all loved it!  Our guide was one of the sous chefs and she was fantastic!  One could easily get lost in the kitchen(s)!

We went back to the room briefly to change shoes and sit for a few minutes before heading to lunch at Sabor.  It's an open restaurant and was roughly the same temp in the dining room as it was outside - warmer, in fact, because there was a breeze out on the boardwalk.  We were not overly impressed with Sabor.  The food just didn't have the overall "Mexican" flavor.  Nobody was brave enough to try an avocado margherita, and I don't do tequila, so it just didn't become part of our experience.  We originally had Sabor on the schedule again at the end of the week because we love Mexican food, and we cancelled it.  

We were supposed to do a wine tasting this afternoon, but we moved it to our last sea day instead, in place of the Sabor lunch.  We figured we'd do a huge charcuterie with it, and call it lunch.  

Since we cancelled the wine tasting, we went back to the room briefly  and Cindy sent Tim and I away for some alone time while Mom took a nap to get ready for our big night.  When we got back to the room, we had a welcoming committee in the hallway to tell us they had fixed the AC and were excited to have us check it out.  True to their word, the AC was fixed and the room had cooled off!!  So happy!!

Dinner tonight was Coastal Kitchen because it was filet night!  It was cooked perfectly and was almost buttery enough to cut through it with a fork.  Everyone at the table got the filet except for mom, who had her fill of red meat last night at the Samba grille.  She opted for salmon, which was fabulous!  Tonight we celebrated Kayla's birthday, and the bartender decided to bless our table with a lot of alcohol!  We ended up doing a bunch of shots at the end of our meal, and I was a little worried that we all had to walk all the way to the front of the ship for the show right after dinner.  

The show was Mamma Mia! tonight!!!!  This was the show we were all waiting for because it's Mom's favorite!  It didn't disappoint!  I'm sure we're going to see it again.  It was the full length show and I was very impressed with the production.  Mom sang to everything, and it made Tim tear up a bit seeing his mom so happy!

If any of you saw flashes during the 8:15pm show, we apologize for that!  Tim was taking pics of his mom smiling and singing to the songs and couldn't figure out how to turn off the flash (I'm sure it was a result of the after dinner shots).  

Another result of the shots, in combination with the chair Tim was sitting in, was keeping him awake during the show.  Tim took the seat all the way on the far left of the semi-private section in which we were sitting to assist with stopping people from climbing over the edge and leaving by our row.  I think because so many have done this, the seat was reclined an addition 4 inches from my seat.  That recline (amongst other things) made it really hard for Tim to remain awake. The two gals behind us got into the action of keeping him awake during the show and were instructed to do something to help him wake up if I hadn't caught him sleeping.  Thankfully, it never made it to that point, but we had a good laugh over it all at the end of the night. 

 We arrived back to our room to find a family of towel animals in addition to the mouse and the other one sitting in a chair we received after breakfast!!  Yay!!  Incidentally, we gave a gift to our cabin attendant of googly eyes, ad they've been put to good use!  Today was a great day!

Pics coming tomorrow!

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That travel day post gave me SUCH anxiety! I'm so glad everything worked out well and that Mom is doing better. Sounds like breakfast and rest before the travel day is a must on the return. Fortunately you'll have a whole buffet to enjoy!

Also glad Kayla remembered to tell you guys BEFORE the port that she's unvaxed.

Embarkation day sounds so fun! I think it's one of the best days on the cruise even if comes with unpacking.
Shirts look great BTW!

Honestly this whole vlog sounds fun! I'm loving living through you.

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9 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

That travel day post gave me SUCH anxiety! I'm so glad everything worked out well and that Mom is doing better. Sounds like breakfast and rest before the travel day is a must on the return. Fortunately you'll have a whole buffet to enjoy!

Also glad Kayla remembered to tell you guys BEFORE the port that she's unvaxed.

Embarkation day sounds so fun! I think it's one of the best days on the cruise even if comes with unpacking.
Shirts look great BTW!

Honestly this whole vlog sounds fun! I'm loving living through you.

Thank you so much! 

Yes, travel day was super stressful!  We learned a lot that day and we think it was motion sickness, so we're going to make sure she has some Dramamine before the flights home...on top of a good breakfast and lots of water!    

Embarkation is my favorite day too because I love to unpack - I'm funny that way.  I like unpacking after a move too.  🙂 

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Day 4 (Puerto Costa Maya - Chacchoben Ruins Excursion for All:

What a day!  Coffee arrived at 7:30am, right on time.  However, half of us had the time zone incorrect on our phones, and were so confused!  Local time was 6:30am, but ship time was 7:30am.  My phone alarm went off based on ship time - which surprised me because it was set to automatically change time zones like everyone else.  Thankfully, I was up because the coffee delivery would have called Jay had we not answered - and I know he was probably still sleeping at that time.😴

We decided to eat breakfast in Coastal Kitchen this morning, and made our way up there at 8:30am.  It took forever for breakfast, but we did have time, so it was fine.  We met Jay back in our suite at 10am while we scrambled a bit to grab everything for our excursion.  He then escorted us all the way to the meeting spot for our excursion - which I'm sure we would have botched had he not been with us because there were soooo many people getting off of two ships at the same time.  😳

By the time we made it to our meeting spot, we were all melting and sweating into our eyes.  Cindy grabbed some napkins from the little stand nearby, but it wasn't many.  They were all drenched within minutes.  We climbed into a passenger van with 2 other couples and our guide Orlando and driver Freddie were outstanding. It was an hour drive to the ruins, we stopped for a quick restroom break before exploring, then had another quick stop at the same little market before heading back.  All in, the trip was four hours long.  Orlando fed us some very interesting facts about the ruins and the area on our entire drive over, and the information never really stopped flowing throughout the trip.  We learned a lot today!  We all covered ourselves with bug spray and it seemingly worked (until most of it was sweated off at the end).  We'll find out for sure tomorrow if we ended up with any bites. 

Other than having to look down to see where we were walking all the time to avoid tripping hazards and fire ant colonies, it was a fantastic tour.  We got some great pics (can't seem to upload them tonight), and we captured some big smiles on Mom throughout the tour!  At one time, there was a baby spider monkey playing in the trees above us and poor Orlando just stopped talking while we all oohed and aahed over it.  🥰

When we got done with the tour, I almost bought a t-shirt in the market just to wipe off all the sweat!  We felt so gross and couldn't wait to get back for a shower!  The only downfall during this excursion is that there is no time for food and it goes through lunchtime.  Not good for someone who needs nourishment regularly.  Thankfully, we had brought with us some nuts, granola bars, and chips.  At least we had that and water to hold us off. 

We got back to the ship and Jay had ordered a bunch of snacks for us!  I was never happier to have so much food in our room!  He popped by while we were elbow deep in shrimp cocktail and we chatted for a bit.  Kenzie had found a keychain for him and suggested that he turn it into a magnet.  He shared that he absolutely treasures the things he receives from guests and has a shrine of all of the gifts and notes he's received over the years.  He's such a good human!!!  ❤️

Dinner tonight was at Giovanni's and Cindy wore her tiara and sparkly rhinestone lanyard in honor of her special night!  She says that everyone has to have a princess name and hers is Princess Consuela Elizabeth Hook.  The card she received from Jay tonight started off Dear Cindy (aka Princess Consuela).  Aaaaahhhh!  She about teared up!

Of course she got a cake, and instead of eating it at the restaurant, we had it delivered to the room for us.  That at least gave us an opportunity to get into stretchy pants to accommodate more food after stuffing ourselves once again!

Mom is a trooper!  She was brought up in the era that if you take a plate of food, you eat that plate of food.  We keep telling her that she doesn't have to do that - but she keeps eating anyway.  Tonight was no exception!  I snapped a pic of her when she was finishing up her meal - she looked a bit distraught!  🤣

We cancelled the ice show tonight and decided to stay in and play a game.  We started the game, but quickly lost Mom to bed.  We ended up visiting for a while, and then eventually lost Cindy because she realized how early we're starting in the morning. 

Tomorrow we are having coffee delivered to Coastal Kitchen and will rush a breakfast because Mom and Cindy are doing a dolphin encounter bright and early!  We're so excited for them to do this!!  So are they!  🙂 

Pics tomorrow - seems to always have a rough time at night loading all of the pics.  

Thanks for following along everyone!  🥰

 

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Day 5 (Cozumel):

Day 4 pics will be uploaded with day 5 since I forgot to do that earlier!

Today was amazing!  It was mom's birthday celebration today and she was treated like the queen she is!  We started the day off getting ready for our excursion and then all heading to Coastal Kitchen (the suite restaurant) for breakfast where Jay had our coffee order delivered and waiting for us right when we walked in the door.  Star class is so nice!!!  The girls followed shortly after because their excursion was about 30 minutes after ours.  Gede (our server that we've had each time we've been to Coastal) was on it and we had breakfast in about 7 minutes.  The girls arrived and their breakfast was just as quick.  It was perfect!

Jay came up to get us in Coastal and escorted us off the ship and to the excursion meeting area.  He got us settled and then got Kenzie and Kayla set up for their fun day.  Smooth sailing!  Mom and Cindy were doing a dolphin encounter today, Kenzie and Kayla were doing a beach day, and Tim and I were accompanying Mom and Cindy...Tim to be paparazzi and I was down by the encounter area to assist with mom if needed. I didn't want a repeat of the plane, and she's about as light as a feather in water that was a little choppy.  I was glad Cindy was in there holding onto her.  Others around her also assisted with Mom, holding onto her to keep her steady, then offering a hat when I got worried she had been in the sun too long (they wouldn't let anyone wear sunscreen in the dolphin enclosure).

We got hundreds of pics, and then purchased the package of all the digital pics and two prints.  The pics made Cindy tear up every time she saw them because this was something she had always wanted to do and never thought it would happen.  I love that this made her that happy!!!

When we were waiting on the pics, they offered lunch and drinks, and we declined both.  We asked about water, wanting bottled, and they said no, it was filtered tap - um, can someone say NO WAY!!!  I think she was offended, oh well!  I'm not going to let Mom end up with tummy problems because we let our guard down.  We ate at Coastal Kitchen as soon as we were back on the ship.  Waaaaaaay better than any free lunch at a dolphin encounter place!!!

After lunch, we put our suits on and went to the Solarium.  It was nice - busy in there, but nice.  There was only one server in there trying to manage drinks for everyone - holy cow!!  Kudos to Wei!  We got our first drink round and ordered another one.  In the two(ish) hours we were there, we got 2 drinks each and were waiting on a water for Tim, and finally gave up.  

We came back to the room to another star class snack (I mean feast) and hung out on our balcony for a bit.  It was so windy, and we realized there was no way we could eat on the balcony tonight.  We messaged Jay and found out that our meal was about to leave the kitchen and head our way.  We tried to figure it out but Jay ended up setting us up in Coastal Kitchen and had our food rerouted.  Gede was our server once again and he got us all square away.  He delivered the food that had been traveling all over the ship, and the kitchen did everything they could to revive it.  By this time in the cruise, we've eaten so much food that we really could have skipped this meal entirely, and we wouldn't have felt it, so the steaks that were very overcooked because of the reheat, didn't really bother us.  Everyone ate what they wanted of the dinner, and it was great because this was Mom's birthday celebration night.  We made a big deal about it and she felt special!

We had originally forgotten them, so Kayla ran back to the room to get the birthday queen tiara and sash.  She wore them both proudly and got happy birthday wishes from so many people all evening!  She loved the attention!!!  

Cindy snuck back to the room just as we were leaving port so she could take some cool pics leaving the port in the sunset.  We asked Gede to send mom's cake up to our room and we met Cindy along the way to the comedy show.  While waiting for Jay outside of the show, everyone leaving the ice show saw mom in her tiara and were telling her happy birthday.  Cindy and I were about to break out in song for her just to see if the group would join us, and that's when Jay showed up.  I'm pretty sure they all would have started singing had we started it.  🙂 

The comedy show was great!  The first guy was really good, and the second guy was good, but not as good as the first.  It is not a clean show, so set your expectations!  If you like comedy, we would recommend this show.  There was one gal in our audience that had this loud, high-pitched cackle and the first comedian called it out saying it was a great laugh.  OMG!  She got so loud after that and super annoying.  Aunt Cindy wanted to strangle her by the end of the night!!  The second comedian wasn't as amused by her, and it pretty much shut down the laugh - thank God!!

We came back to the room and found Kenzie and Kayla passed out from the long day in the sun, so we called it a night.

Tomorrow - no coffee delivery and no breakfast order!  We're sleeping in as long as we want and taking it easy!

Pics tomorrow.

 

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On 9/30/2022 at 4:25 AM, Sweety said:

Happy Birthday to your Mom. Great job in honoring her.

On 9/30/2022 at 9:56 AM, Yesiamthere6 said:

So darn sweet how you are making sure “mom” is having a good time.  

Thank you both!  We knew this was probably going to be the last big vacation for Mom, so we wanted it to be extra special for her!  We'll have others, but probably will stick closer to home.  🥰

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