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A Cheapskates Guide To Cruising-Harmony of the Seas-August 21-28 2022-Live Blog


TheRick
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T-Minus 12 Days 

I must admit, I’m quite envious when I hear about people booking over the water cabanas at Perfect Day at Coco Cay, or eating at Coastal Kitchen, or emailing back and forth with their Genie because unless I find a magic lamp on St. Kitts, I’m not getting a Genie. How I wish I could book a suite, I mean who doesn’t want to stay in the owner’s suite with all the space, all the amenities, and a bidet, I will miss having a bidet, but since I’m on a tight budget, my rump and I will rough it in a balcony room. Like many Americans, I live from paycheck to four days before the next paycheck. Being a cheapskate comes naturally to me. Some might even say it’s a gift. Okay, okay, no one calls it a gift, especially my wife.

Here I will chronicle our seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Harmony of the Seas while attempting to save as much money as possible without compromising on having fun.

I pre-booked our cruise, the deluxe drink package, internet package, and two excursions. I rushed to book the cruise instead of taking the time to try to get the best deal possible; although, I’m pleased with our deal. The reason for rushing the booking was the sale was set to expire in 1 hours and 52 minutes and I didn’t want to miss out. Little did I know that this is the sale that never ends, it goes on and on my friends. I suspect that this current sale and all the extensions date back to the day when Noah chartered the Ark of the Seas from Royal Caribbean during the Great Flood. I think I might have been bamboozled by the threat of the sale ending.

I booked all the add-ons we wanted; repricing, cancelling, and rebooking when the prices dropped. We saved on the internet package by booking one internet package with two devices instead of two individual packages. Originally, I booked the deluxe drink package for $77.99 per person/per day. My wallet wept that day. I cancelled and rebooked when the price dropped to $72.99 pp/pd. And did it once again when the price dropped to $65.99 pp/pd. My wallet no longer weeps uncontrollably, but it does whimper from time to time, not to mention, my liver is not so pleased either.

 

I’m not going to go all Ebenezer Scrooge to the point we don’t enjoy ourselves, but we are not going to spend freely like the Real Housewives of the Seas. This is our first cruise in what seems like forever and that’s a might long time, but I’m here to tell you, there’s something else, the barometer. A world of measuring how we can save on future cruses, such as the four-day Catalina and Ensenada cruise we have booked in November. The November cruise we will be thriftier. 

There are a few things I won’t skimp on and they are as follows:

1.      Gratuities. We prepaid our gratuities, but I plan on tipping above and beyond, because I may be a cheapskate, but I’m not an A-hole. Well, I may be an A-hole, but I’m not the kind of A-hole that would screw over someone else on tips just to save a few bucks.

2.      My wife made it clear that she wants something special from the ship. I plugged the words “something special” into my husband/wife translator and it comes back as jewelry.

3.      Souvenirs for the grandkids. I am thinking of something loud and obnoxious; payback is a…, well you know.   

4.      And finally, I will not lie, cheat, or scheme to get something for free. For example, if we eat at a specialty restaurant, I won’t lie to the waitstaff telling them there’s a toe in my risotto (or would it be risot-toe) just to get a free meal. Even if my risotto has a toe in it, I hate confrontation, so I’ll probably keep quite while eating around it. I’m almost certain that quality control on the Harmony of the Seas is good enough to catch a stray toe in the food being served, at least I hope so.

I will be updating a few times leading up to our cruise with my observations on the preparations and then once we board I will live blog our experience.  

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I am looking forward to this. You are so blessed; I still have 28 days until I sail again. 

I am a saver.......Yes, I occasionally book suites and PE/Bus/1st class flights. But I do so at the upmost cheapest way and only after I have planned/finagled my way. Most of the time it is paid with points. I tip good but the cruise lines make little off of me in impulse purchases. 

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Eight Days and Counting

 We have eight days to go and we are already packing. In our defense we leave town in either five or six days. I want to leave on the 18th and my wife wants to leave on the 19th (we will stay with my parents so we won’t have to pay for a hotel). Like any good couple, we will calmly discuss why we want to leave when we do. Have a civil debate before coming up with a compromise, which means we will do whatever she wants.

We have two large suitcases, a carry on, and my C-Pap machine. We decided because we have two suitcases, we will put half my clothes in one suitcase and the other half in the second suitcase. We will do the same with my wife’s clothes, that way if one of our bags gets lost on the flight from California to Florida, we’ll each have some clothes to get by. My wife and I have been married for 30 years and together for 33, we have weathered many storms including the awful plunger incident of ’91 (which she brings up at least once every few months), and most recently when she reset my Wordle stats back to zero. But I will tell you right now, if we don’t separate our clothes and one of our suitcases gets lost in transit forcing my wife to wear my skivvies for seven days, we’ll probably never recover from that.

Since I’m retired and my wife still works, I offered to take a load of her shoulders and pack for both. She responded with an enthusiastic, “Not a chance in Hell, buddy.”  She would rather spend all day in work meetings that easily could’ve been an email than have me pack for her or myself or anyone for that matter. I am so bad at packing that she wouldn’t allow me to even pack for her worst enemy.  I don’t blame her one bit, I mean last time I packed for myself I ended up with two pairs of jammies, one shirt with a mustard stain, and eight pairs of undies for a 3-day weekend getaway, because when I pack underwear, I am like a fricken Boy Scout, “Be Prepared.” Here is how I pack my chonies: one pair for day one and one pair in case I poop myself. One pair for day two and one pair in case I eat Taco Bell for lunch (If you know, you know). One pair for day three and one pair for…surely it can’t happen three days in a row, but just in case, one more pair. And finally, two extra pairs just because. I always forget socks. It’s like my hidden talent to forget to pack socks. My wife is afraid if I pack for myself I might end up bringing three pairs of snow pants to the Caribbean, but hey, you never know when you need a good pair of snow pants.

We have stacks and stacks of new clothing my wife has been buying since we booked the cruise almost six months ago, yet I am not allowed to wear any of them. I swear, you get one little mustard stain on your shirt every time you wear one, and suddenly your wife doesn’t trust you around clothes…and food. Remember when you were a kid and you went to your friend’s house where the couch was covered in plastic and you weren’t allowed to sit on it? It’s the same thing with my stack of cruise clothing.

My wife is packing and I’m in the room to lend moral support, but I’m not paying very much attention. When I arrive on the ship and open my suitcase it will be a surprise, like when my kids were younger and they opened their Christmas presents in front of me and I see for the first time, what we got them.

I’ll be back in a few days to report on my pre embarkation testing and our traveling from rural county in California to the Sacramento area.  

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I can’t believe cross packing seems to be a novel idea.  I have been doing this for 40 years.  When it was us & the 2 kids, the suitcases would be open in the dining room and then it would be one set of clothes for each person in each bag, repeating until everything was packed.  Each suitcase then contained 2-3 days of clothes for each person plus a bonus day each in our carry on.  For the kids, a full set for each day went into a ziplock bag.  No issues with getting dressed in the morning, just pick a ziplock & put it all on.  Now I really need to do that for my husband too.  Garanimals (remember that brand of kids clothes?) for men.  I swear he’s colorblind.  You have grey shorts and green shorts left along with matching shirts and yet you try to wear the green print shirt with the grey shorts.  Why?!!  Just WHY??!!!

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I think I want to know why you need extra undies after Taco bell?????

When I was married, I am widowed, my husband was a known idiot. Grown man......mind you.... was so proud when he packed his first bag. It contained a pair of our sheets and a jean jacket. We were going to Ireland in April. For almost a month. No clothes, no toiletries. A jacket that didn't even belong to us and sheets. We were sharing this luggage and that's what he thought we needed. 

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Your blog is painfully familiar. Can’t tell the wife about this blog since there is just so many “I told you so” I can take. 
 

Cruise in January 2019 (last before Covid) I took one pair of shoes, both rights. My wife has picture on her phone of the shoes. She shares as often often as possible followed with “she what I have to up with”.
 

We cruise end of October which is first since Covid. God help me.

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Can't wait to hear more!  Going on Harmony on December 31!  I agree... You are a hopeful cheapskate like me... Try to save, but dang it, splurge on the drink pkg and balcony.  I live for the hope that one day I will retire and be able to cruise the cheap October season and get a suite.  I'm thinking though that the cost to stay in a suite vs a second cruise will sway me back.  Have an awesome time!!   Jane

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Three days and counting

I’m a negative person, my wife could attest to that, but just to be certain, I got a medical professional to confirm it. I performed the proctored e-med test this morning and it was negative and I’m positive about that. Even better news, my wife is negative too. It would’ve been horrible if she tested positive because I would miss her while I sunned on the pool deck with a lava flow in my hand while she would be home coughing up a lung. I probably would feel a little guilty leaving her behind, but another cocktail would help me forget (and yes I know if she tested positive, I wouldn’t be able to go, it was just a joke).

The test was pretty easy, although since I’m hard of hearing and still don’t hear well even with my hearing aids, I had to ask her to repeat herself a few time. Like my wife always says, not every sentence begins with, huh.

I think secretly my dog was rooting for a positive test. He’s not very happy about us leaving, I can tell because he chewed holes into all our masks. Never ever has my dog wished for us to get the ‘Rona. The cats on the other hand, don’t give a crap about us, as long as someone feeds them and leaves them alone, they will ignore anyone just as easily as they ignore us. They are equal opportunity jerks. They probably figure they can poop in the houseplants and puke on the couch whether we are there or not.

As I mentioned before, I want to leave today and my wife wants to leave tomorrow. After my passionate plea, she listened to me and agreed that I didn’t really want to leave today, so alas we are leaving tomorrow morning and by morning, I mean I’ll be ready by eight and we’ll leave by noon, hopefully.

I’ll report back tomorrow for the first of our two travel days. 

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Two days to go

 

We drove from our rural county in very Northern California to Sacramento, where my parents live. My parents, my two siblings, and their spouses along with my niece and one of my nephews are going on this cruise. We will stay with my parents in Folsom (the town, not the prison) to save hotel expenses. We’re flying out of Sacramento International Airport to the Orlando Airport tomorrow.

 

We drove to Folsom because the flight from our rural county to Sacramento airport (which is less than 300 miles) would be

over $1200 round trip for the two of us and over 7 hours. The drive was five hours and costs about $70 in gas and another $20 for food. Since there isn’t a lot of food choices in our area, when we travel, we only eat at places we don’t have at home. The options for dining are limited until we get closer to Sacramento. But we stopped at a Chevron gas station that has a deli for lunch.

 

I know what you are thinking, gas station deli while traveling? To be honest the food was good and doing a cost benefit analysis before we left, the risk of diarrhea out weighed the cost of the flight and the extra two hours to added by flying. Even if you factor the worst-case scenario where we would’ve had to stop at a Walmart to buy a six pack of whitey tighties because, well you know. We still would’ve had a net savings of over $1,100 dollars by driving.

 

We played our favorite traveling by car game which is my wife telling me to slow down, only to have her tell me to speed up as soon as I slow down. I have a better shot at being struck by lightning twice while cashing in my winning lottery ticket than driving the right speed according to my wife.

 

We are in Folsom California now, just outside Sacramento. It is hot here, 104 degrees, where we live we’re lucky if the temperatures reach the low 70’s during the hottest part of the year. It’s so hot here I don’t need my wife’s deodorant. Secret may be strong enough for a man but made for a woman, but I need super duper secret, strong enough for Satan’s undercarriage but made for a man.

Tomorrow we fly from Sacramento to Orlando so I will report back tomorrow when we arrive in Florida.

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The day before

 

“Hello darkness my old friend”. When Simon and Garfunkel weren’t singing about  it, they weren’t singing about getting up at 3:30 AM, because we woke up at 3:30 this morning and I can confirm, it was dark, but it wasn’t friendly.

Our flight departed from Sacramento at 7:20 pacific time this morning and we stayed about 45 minutes from the airport last night.

The first flight went well. I was prepared. I downloaded shows from Netflix, downloaded a playlist from Apple Music, and downloaded an audiobook. I was prepared for almost anything…almost. My hearing aids hook to my phone so I can actually hear my phone, but for some reason, my hearing aids weren’t connecting to my phone during the flight. I was stuck only looking at what was in the cloud, and I’m not talking the internet, I’m talking the white, fluffy ones.

We had an almost two hour layover at Dallas/Fort Worth airport where we had a delicious lunch and boarded our connecting flight with no problems…then problems.

Due to bad weather on our route, they had to find a new way for us to get to Florida. We sat on the tarmac during mid afternoon in Texas in August with no air. Luckily I have a few layers of fat, so I didn’t get cold.

The flight was bumpy and my hearing aids still didn’t connect to my phone, but I did find the Little League World Series to watch, no sound needed.

Due to lightning storms, no planes were leaving so there were no gates to taxi to, but the air was on in the plane and I got to watch an additional hour of the little league World Series.

It is 9:13 Orlando time(6:13 back home time). We are still waiting on the hotel shuttle. The weather isn’t as bad as I was expecting as we wait.

Tomorrow we have a 10:30 am check in time for Harmony of the Seas. I’ll report back tomorrow, hopefully a little more rested and a lot drunker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Pooch said:

Love watching the LLWS.  So exciting for those kids.  Bon Voyage!!  Have a great trip.  We loved Harmony and can’t wait to sail her again.

My son represented the state of Alabama in 2016 in Warner Robins, GA at LLWS.  We lost.  
 

TheRick have a great cruise! So looking forward to following along.  I will be checking-in this time next Sunday ! It is our first cruise since November 2019.

A6D48F2E-6E47-47B9-B1F5-638AD8E32990.jpeg

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Day 1 Harmony of the Seas August 21-29, 2022

Like a kid at Christmas, I woke up early this morning, 5:30 am to be exact, which wouldn’t be bad, except I’m from California so it was really 2:30 am my time.

We took an uneventful shuttle from the hotel to the port and check in and security couldn’t have been any smoother. The port employees were super friendly and helpful. Our 10:30 am boarding was pushed back slightly, but we were on the boat by 11:00 and that wasn’t with any special boarding status. I had a drink in my hand as soon as I hit the first bar. A painkiller from Boleros. The best drink so far.

We went to the windjammer to eat and make show reservations. A nice gentleman was walking around offering Bahama Mamas and I didn’t want to offend him so I got one. I ate mahi mahi, roast beef, and potato wedges, the food was okay, what you’d expect from a buffet. I finished my drink and left to the pool deck to find a bar with a blender. I ordered a lava flow with kraken. The bartender didn’t know how to make a lava flow while giving a valiant effort. I give him credit for trying something new. While drinking my lava flow, that nice gentleman offered me another Bahama mama. I had to politely decline his offer because my wife told me to slow down. I had three drinks in an hour and it was only noon or 9:00 am California time.

We mustered, checked into our room and unpacked before my wife headed out to get a pedicure at the spa, I warned her about the high pressure add ons they try to sell you. She assured me she wouldn’t get suckered, so naturally she bought an add on.

Next was sail away where we passed Kennedy Space Center, where supposedly we could see the rocket on the launch pad for next Monday’s launch. We didn’t see it.

After sail away we headed to dinner. I ordered two appetizers, the Maryland style crab cakes (delicious) and the escargot. The escargot was just okay, but much better than I remember the taste of the garden variety snails I ate from our yard as a young boy. Maybe boy me put too much salt on them back in the day.

For my entrée I had the prime rib, which the horseradish au jus sold me, unfortunately I tasted no horseradish, bummer. The apple blossom pastry and ice cream for dessert was tasty. I had a glass of Merlot with dinner.

After dinner we got separated from our family so I talked my wife into going to the Wonderland bar for a drink. I had the white rabbit Rita and my wife had the smoke rings. If you go on Harmony of the Seas, I highly recommend you get the Smoke Rings, for presentation alone it gets an AA++++++.

Next was the Aqua theater show Fine Line. I’m mixed, because there was way too much dancing for my taste, but the high divers and slack liners were amazing. I almost had a heart attack with the high wire act. Fricken amazing. I liked the show, but wouldn’t see it a second time.

Next was Nick Reeve playing piano and vocals at the schooner bar. He was terrific. Then it was a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s followed by a trip to the room for a shower and bed.

Stray observations:

I was so worried about getting seasick, but so far nothing. I told my wife she had to take care of me if I vomit because of our wedding vows, in seasickness and in health. She’s not buying it. The sea seems flatter than my first girlfriend, no, no, no, it’s not what you think, she was run over by a steamroller our senior year.  We didn’t work out, not because she was flattened, it’s just I could be a little much and her patience grew thin. But don’t feel bad for us, I met my wife and she married Flat Stanley. They have a small family.

The USB outlets in our room don’t work. We reported it, but it hasn’t been fixed yet. With rechargeable hearing aids, phones, my Cpap and other things we play power outlet roulette.

Tomorrow is Cococay, I don’t know if anyone is interested, but I’ll report back tomorrow night.

 

Good night.

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11 hours ago, TheRick said:

Day 1 Harmony of the Seas August 21-29, 2022

Like a kid at Christmas, I woke up early this morning, 5:30 am to be exact, which wouldn’t be bad, except I’m from California so it was really 2:30 am my time.

We took an uneventful shuttle from the hotel to the port and check in and security couldn’t have been any smoother. The port employees were super friendly and helpful. Our 10:30 am boarding was pushed back slightly, but we were on the boat by 11:00 and that wasn’t with any special boarding status. I had a drink in my hand as soon as I hit the first bar. A painkiller from Boleros. The best drink so far.

We went to the windjammer to eat and make show reservations. A nice gentleman was walking around offering Bahama Mamas and I didn’t want to offend him so I got one. I ate mahi mahi, roast beef, and potato wedges, the food was okay, what you’d expect from a buffet. I finished my drink and left to the pool deck to find a bar with a blender. I ordered a lava flow with kraken. The bartender didn’t know how to make a lava flow while giving a valiant effort. I give him credit for trying something new. While drinking my lava flow, that nice gentleman offered me another Bahama mama. I had to politely decline his offer because my wife told me to slow down. I had three drinks in an hour and it was only noon or 9:00 am California time.

We mustered, checked into our room and unpacked before my wife headed out to get a pedicure at the spa, I warned her about the high pressure add ons they try to sell you. She assured me she wouldn’t get suckered, so naturally she bought an add on.

Next was sail away where we passed Kennedy Space Center, where supposedly we could see the rocket on the launch pad for next Monday’s launch. We didn’t see it.

After sail away we headed to dinner. I ordered two appetizers, the Maryland style crab cakes (delicious) and the escargot. The escargot was just okay, but much better than I remember the taste of the garden variety snails I ate from our yard as a young boy. Maybe boy me put too much salt on them back in the day.

For my entrée I had the prime rib, which the horseradish au jus sold me, unfortunately I tasted no horseradish, bummer. The apple blossom pastry and ice cream for dessert was tasty. I had a glass of Merlot with dinner.

After dinner we got separated from our family so I talked my wife into going to the Wonderland bar for a drink. I had the white rabbit Rita and my wife had the smoke rings. If you go on Harmony of the Seas, I highly recommend you get the Smoke Rings, for presentation alone it gets an AA++++++.

Next was the Aqua theater show Fine Line. I’m mixed, because there was way too much dancing for my taste, but the high divers and slack liners were amazing. I almost had a heart attack with the high wire act. Fricken amazing. I liked the show, but wouldn’t see it a second time.

Next was Nick Reeve playing piano and vocals at the schooner bar. He was terrific. Then it was a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s followed by a trip to the room for a shower and bed.

Stray observations:

I was so worried about getting seasick, but so far nothing. I told my wife she had to take care of me if I vomit because of our wedding vows, in seasickness and in health. She’s not buying it. The sea seems flatter than my first girlfriend, no, no, no, it’s not what you think, she was run over by a steamroller our senior year.  We didn’t work out, not because she was flattened, it’s just I could be a little much and her patience grew thin. But don’t feel bad for us, I met my wife and she married Flat Stanley. They have a small family.

The USB outlets in our room don’t work. We reported it, but it hasn’t been fixed yet. With rechargeable hearing aids, phones, my Cpap and other things we play power outlet roulette.

Tomorrow is Cococay, I don’t know if anyone is interested, but I’ll report back tomorrow night.

 

Good night.

I am interested to hear if had to pull out vaccine cards and show? I have read other ports are not even asking for them? What is protocol these days at Port Canaveral?   I will be at port on Sunday waiting anxiously to board (praying for 3 negative COVID test on Thursday) and want to have all ready to go.  Ordered a passport and COVID vaccine holder and hoping can just flash and keep it moving to the bar.  Did you have to physically take it all out ? 
 

Great writing! Enjoy Cococay..

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3 hours ago, TheRick said:

I’m too tired to try to be funny. Maybe I’ll try to catch up tomorrow.

Catch up when you can. We'll happily follow along on a recap, if it comes down to it. The most important thing is that you have as much fun as you can. It's your vacation, after all. 😊

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(I skipped yesterday so here is yesterday’s and today’s update.)

Day 2:  A perfect half day at Cococay

We spent most of our day at Cococay and half of it was a perfect day. The other half, not so much.

Let me start by saying none of the bad luck was Royal Caribbean’s fault, mostly just bad luck and some stupidity on my part.

We got of the the ship, no problem. My wife dipped me in a vat of 9,265 spf sunscreen. She held me by my heel so I had an Achilles sunburn.

After the sunscreen I got into the pool at the oasis lagoon, got a drink and floated around for about 15 minutes when I realized my iPhone was in the pocket of my swimsuit. Luckily it survived.

Following the lagoon and a few more drinks, we headed to chill island where we snorkeled. My wife bought two full face snorkeling masks on Amazon for under $19 each, which also came with dry bags for our phones and ear plugs. The masks worked perfectly, the pictures from our phones in the dry bag were less than average. But the masks I highly recommend.  We snorkeled by the giant rock and saw a lot of fish, but I’m not a strong swimmer, so the poor lifeguard almost had an anxiety attack watching over me so I gave him a break by giving up and sitting in a lounge chair. I absolutely hate the beach. We live near a beach and I loathe it. Our beach has year round freezing temperatures, a strong undercurrent, and sand. However, at Cococay, I didn’t mind it because I was resting in a lounger under an umbrella and a nice guy kept bringing me drinks.

When my wife and sister in law finished snorkeling, we headed to the snack shack on our way back to the lagoon. I got a chicken sandwich and a brownie, my wife got the funnel cake. Back at the lagoon, a bird promptly stole and ate my wife’s funnel cake and to show his appreciation, he pooped on our beach towel.

I headed back to the lagoon where I got a drink and then lost my seapass card. After retracing my steps in the pool for about 45 minutes, I gave up and reported my lost card to security.

Then after being told several times to stop doing backflips into the pool by lifeguards, a kid continued to doing backflips into the pool, but he finally stopped when he flipped head first into the side of my sister’s face causing bruising and swelling. After that my 76 year old father slipped and fell. The lead lifeguard treated his wounds well, he was very kind staying with my parents the entire time and even arranged transportation back to the ship for my parents and sister in law who was helping them.

I was done so my wife and I headed back to the ship where I waited in line with all the other careless people who lost their cards. I was given a temporary pass to get back on the ship. After a shower and a rest, I was issued a new card at guest services and then was dinner.

I was hungry so I ordered two appetizers: Asian style pork tacos and a shrimp cocktail, two entrees: the garlic tiger shrimp and the salmon. Because I didn’t want to be a pig, I only ordered one dessert.

Due to a medical emergency, we diverted to Nassau for an medical evacuation. A few people expressed their displeasure with the casino closing due to being in port.

Following dinner was the ice skating show: 1887 a journey in time. The skating was amazing, but I had a hard time following the plot (that is if it even had a plot).

Then another trip to the wonderland bar to try the rest of the cocktails on their menu. It was super close to closing time, but they stayed open later to accommodate our party of 9 (my dad stayed in their room.) the mad hatter was even super friendly to my 75 year old mother. She loved the wonderland bar and wants to go back.

After a late night pizza and a beer, it was back to our room for bed.

 

Day 3: a sea day

Today was a sea day so we slept in, I got us coffee to drink on the balcony. Next was a quick bite to eat at the mini bites breakfast. Some of it was delicious and other things were just okay. Then off for more coffee at cafe promenade. The cold brew was great.

My wife went to lay by the pool and I started drinking pina coladas taking them back to the room to drink on the balcony while watching the water go by.

Then it was up to the pool deck to find my wife and watch the sexiest man contest. I didn’t last long on the pool deck and headed back inside. I waited in the rising tide bar where the bartender said it would rise in about five minutes. Fifteen minutes later we never launched and I received a text from my wife they were headed to the windjammer, so I got off the rising tide bar and has an unremarkable lunch at the windjammer.

My nephew and sister in law boogie boarded and then my nephew headed over to the standup surfing flow rider. My brother was in line to zip line. We stood in between to see who would go first, but they both went at the same time.

Then it was off to get ready for dinner. For appetizers I ordered the wedge salad and shrimp cocktail. For an entrée I got the seafood fettuccini Alfredo, and the soufflé for dessert. Like always the food was excellent, but the service was even better. The only mishap was the drink waiter spilled a Jack and Coke in my brother’s lap. He had to eat the rest of the dinner with a soggy grundle, which just so happens to also be the name of a band I saw at the Fillmore two weeks ago.

On the way to the room to change my clothes, I found the stowaway piano player again. We saw him briefly at the wonderland bar last night. I messaged my family and they came down to see him. I tipped him and he asked me three times if I had a request. I declined the first two times and finally asked if he would play Let it be by the Beatles. He is by far the best entertainer on the ship.

Next up was Grease. We all loved it, although my wife politely had to shush the older couple in front of us who decided that the middle of a Broadway musical was the best time to hold a loud conversation about their lives. I was also very concerned for the girl who sat next to the loud conversationalists that she would be unsuccessful at Candy Crush, but to my surprise she was better than I expected because she kept that game going for almost the entire hour and a half performance.

There are nearly 6,000 passengers on the Harmony of the Seas this week and tonight it was obvious. The only other times that I noticed that we have that many people on the ship is every time I get on the elevator with all the other 5,999 passengers on the same elevator.

Stray observation:

We went to the bionic bar tonight. Although I love the concept, the cocktail wasn’t very good, but it could be I just picked out one of their cocktails. It’s amazing that someone probably graduated from MIT with a phd and then invented a robot bartender. It’s genius really. Although I didn’t like the cocktail, I really liked my bartender, R2-3PO. Nice guy, has a family back home, he showed me a photo. He married a lovely blender and they are raising 3 sweet, but rambunctious toasters.

Tomorrow (or today) is a stop at St. Thomas.

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Day 4: St. Thomas

We started breakfast with the continental from room service, but my wife didn’t order coffee because supposedly the coffee tastes better when I go out to get it in the morning. The bagel, cream cheese, and orange juice was good, but the donut was the worst donut I have ever had. I never in my life thought I would say I had a bad donut.

After breakfast, my wife got ready and went shopping for a beach bag. I stayed back at the room, but I figured Valerio probably wanted to get our room picked up so he could go about his day. I didn’t find my wife in the shop with the beach bags, but instead in Regalia fine jewelry. To make a long story short, we need to downgrade our room in an inside room, maybe even the onboard brig for the rest of the cruise. Why couldn’t she find a dollar tree on the ship?

Lunch was at the Solarium Bistro, the food was good, nothing to write home about.

We did St. Thomas on our own. We got into a taxi at the port and the driver told us what the fare would be. While he was driving, he must have received a memo from corporate headquarters informing him of a price increase because when we arrived at the sky ride ( or two blocks away where he dropped us off, the price increased $2 per person.

The sky ride was cool and the view amazing, but there wasn’t a lot to do at the top of paradise point. We took great photos and had a drink. My wife and I had a banana daiquiri it was delicious and our server was great. The people running the sky ride were friendly and helpful. Whenever my father got on or off the tram, they stopped it for him because of his mobility issues.

We rode a taxi back to the ship where all but myself, my wife, my brother, and my sister in law got off we continued on to Magen's Bay. The driver was so cool and drove us there for the quoted price. He even stopped by Drake’s Seat so my brother could get a geocache. One thing I learned is in St. Thomas, traffic safety is merely a suggestion.

Magen’s Bay was beautiful, but we didn’t have a lot of time there. Our ship arrived almost 2 hours late due to the medical evacuation the other day that took us off course.

Two taxi drivers got into an argument over us. I thought it might go to blows. The taxi business in St. Thomas is cutthroat. I could see a series on Bravo: The Real Taxi Drivers of St. Thomas.

Back at port, my brother and I returned to the ship while my wife and sister in law continued to shop. I will admit I did worry my wife and sister-in-law might miss the boat, but they didn’t.

When my wife returned to the ship, we went to the windjammer, but stopped first at the schooner bar to hide a duck. It was ten minutes until the LGBTQIA get together and we had a cute duck with rainbow hearts. At the windjammer we enjoyed the jerk chicken or as my wife called it, The Rick chicken.

After dinner another trip to the bionic bar and then the adult comedy show. I really enjoyed the show, but definitely one comedian more than the other.

After the comedy show we rode the Rising Tide bar and played the card game I launched on Kickstarter and had extra copies after I fulfilled all the orders. We finished the card game where all the “adults” laughed and had a good time, while the “kids” (early 20’s) just put up with us.

On the way back to the room, my wife stopped by Sorento's for pizza and made friends with two little kids (it was past midnight) because she misses our grandkids.

Stray observation:

now every time we return to our room, our room steward greets us while he unlocks and opens our door for us. The service is beyond what we expected.

Tomorrow is St. Kitts and swimming with the dolphins.

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See hubby doesn’t appreciate how great a wife he has.  I HATE to shop except for the grandkids and during our biannual trips to Kittery where I buy just enough clothes to get me through to the next trip.  I don’t like or wear jewelry, expensive bags, shoes or perfumes.  My idea of vacation shopping (besides the grands!) is an Xmas ornament or fridge magnet.  Maybe some spices or special coffee blends.  Can’t force me into a jewelry store.

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🤣  

 

The Real Taxi Drivers of St. Thomas

When we went a coupla years ago, we saw how mean these dudes can be.  I think that would be a fabulous idea for a show.

St. Thomas is great, but it certainly isn't known as The Friendly Island like St. Maarten.

 

Enjoying your blog...

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