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Serenade 3/30/18 10 night Eastern Caribbean


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IT'S CRUISE DAY!!!

Disclaimer - @SaltyNavyCruiser15 started a live blog a few weeks ago but out of respect I'm trying to avoid taking over his post and starting this.  I'm hoping they continue to blog as it will be an interesting comparison having different users providing perspective of the same sailing.  Their blog is here:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/5849-30-mar-09-apr-southern-caribbean-cruise-on-serenade/

This week has been a busy week for me.  Between business trips and my flight to reach Serenade there were four flights to her the day before sailing (an unexpected business trip had me flying over 6,000 miles this week).  From my 3am ET start to the day to landing in Fort Lauderdale at 1:44am ET on the day of the cruise I would have been up for 24 hours by the time I reached my hotel if it were not for sleeping on the MD88, 767, 757 and 737 it took to arrive here.  Someone today asked me what class of ship Serenade is and I drew a blank,  I couldn't even remember half the classes.  Yeah I'm tired.  A cruise starting with two sea days is perfect right now.

Itinerary

Sea Day,  Sea Day,  St Thomas,  St Croix, Martinique,  St Kitts,  St Maarten, Sea Day, Sea Day

Excursions

(booked during a recent sail event:)

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Skipping St. Croix excursion due to work requirements.  I'm familiar with St. Croix from having done some work there so once conference calls are over I'll wander around a bit on my own.  Fun fact - St Croix is home to the Eastern most point of the United States (excluding the main land).   

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Fort Lauderdale - Port Everglades 

I called my hotel twice throughout the day to make sure they wouldn't give away my room as a no-show given my 2am arrival.  It was nearly 3am when I crashed into the hotel bed.  I woke at 8am to re-arrange my luggage and inventory what I missed since packing for the cruise a week ago.  I did pretty good and double packed some items. 

Lyft was $12 and I arrived at terminal 19 at 10:10am. Apparently they were doing work on some terminals so we couldn't use terminal 18 or 29.   I haven't used terminal 19 since a cruise on another line in 2013.  It hasn't changed much (still small).  The terminal contractors seemed to like it as much as I did. 

Suites/Pinnacle boarded at 10:30, Diamond Plus at 10:40-ish and a few minutes later they called Diamond - the escalator can only take so many at a time so they regulate flow.  Not bad - just over 30 minutes from my early terminal arrival to boarding.  Pretty painless.  BTW - terminal 19 also has free wifi.

Lunch in the WJ.  Honey Stung Chicken and Curry and a few other things and before I knew I it my plate looked like food coma.  I need a nap.  Cabins opened right at 1pm as offered.  Cabin and dinner pictures tomorrow once I've slept.     

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Day 4 - St Thomas There is no easy way to put this, this post will be photo intensive.  Sorry @Matt, in the immortal words of Roy Sheider's character in Jaws... "We're going to need a bigger boat

IT'S CRUISE DAY!!! Disclaimer - @SaltyNavyCruiser15 started a live blog a few weeks ago but out of respect I'm trying to avoid taking over his post and starting this.  I'm hoping they continue to

Day 8 - St Maarten continued... This afternoon's excursion would be on the catamaran 'Swept Away' which is why this excursion was called "Swept Away Coastal Cruise".  We met on the pier and guest

Posted Images

He's BAAAAAAACK!  

Everyone secure your wallets!  10 night blog by @twangster might get expensive for some of you :10_wink:

Thank goodness you are blogging.  I was beginning to think you went into hiding somewhere.   Following as always.

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Cabin Tour!

Deck 7 Standard Balcony 7028

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On the Radiance class the deck 7 balconies are extended with the extension open to the sides and above.  I don't plan to be on my balcony in my underwear so this isn't an issue for me but if you are seeking a more private balcony experience you may want to accept a smaller balcony on a higher deck.

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15 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Since you said you left the Osmo 2 behind, what are you using to stabilize your phone for the hyperlapses? Or is that just a feature of the hyperlapse app, and you’re holding the phone in your hand?

Smooth Q gimbal.  I'm thinking of trying the SMOVE Mobile.  It has a built in extension.

The Osmo Mobile 2 was very particular to balance and in some orientations it would freak out and shake the phone excessively.  The Smooth Q works well with an iPhone 8 but struggles with my 7 Plus.  Adding a WA lens would be way over the top for it.

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@twangster What's with the "No Reservation" post it notes?  I've never seen that before.

It's chair hog mitigation.  Trying to out fox the chair hogs by getting one step ahead of them.  I guess instead of dealing with it once people have put down their stuff, the pool attendants went to work very early to place notes informing people you can not reserve loungers.  "No Reservation" maybe be better phrased "No Reserving" but I'll take it.  

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I won!  Woohoo!  At the CC Meet & Mingle they had a raffle for "stuff you'd never buy" and I won an RC backpack.  Our ship representative warned us several times they tend to fall apart but knew exactly how they could be fixed by sewing them up with dental floss.  Things you make you go "hmmm".  I should have brought my dental floss needle, but heck it's free and I won it (I never win anything).

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Enjoying my balcony today... how else?

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I thought I'd test out wifi calling given that this is a non-O3b ship.  I called my agent to save $400 on a December cruise.  Not bad, the call broke up a few times but in the end I saved $400 so I'll take it!

As I sat there I spotted a celebrity approaching.

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Using my bot-like vision I discovered it's the Celebrity Silhouette.

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Soon after some birds came along.  At first I wasn't sure what they were doing out here but then it became obvious. 

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Success!  Flying fish being taught a lesson by a flying bird - better to stay in the water.

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8 minutes ago, twangster said:

I won!  Woohoo!  At the CC Meet & Mingle they had a raffle for "stuff you'd never buy" and I won an RC backpack.  Our ship representative warned us several times they tend to fall apart but knew exactly how they could be fixed by sewing them up with dental floss.  Things you make you go "hmmm".  I should have brought my dental floss needle, but heck it's free and I won it (I never win anything).

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A major award !!  YIPPEE !!!

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Playing around with a timelapse video from my balcony.  The wind blowing the tripod around makes it look like I'm on a train more than a ship but I'm traveling light and left my heavy duty 8 lb. tripod at home so my cheap but light tripod can't hold still in this wind.  The ship isn't moving very much, just an occasional gentle and slow pitch.  I don't feel it but looking aft I can see a slight up-down slow pitch.  Great day so far.

Lunch is calling, gotta run. 

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46 minutes ago, twangster said:

It's chair hog mitigation.  Trying to out fox the chair hogs by getting one step ahead of them.  I guess instead of dealing with it once people have put down their stuff, the pool attendants went to work very early to place notes informing people you can not reserve loungers.  "No Reservation" maybe be better phrased "No Reserving" but I'll take it.  

Ah, that's what I suspected was going on but the "no reservation" wording threw me off.

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46 minutes ago, twangster said:

I won!  Woohoo!  At the CC Meet & Mingle they had a raffle for "stuff you'd never buy" and I won an RC backpack.  Our ship representative warned us several times they tend to fall apart but knew exactly how they could be fixed by sewing them up with dental floss.  Things you make you go "hmmm".  I should have brought my dental floss needle, but heck it's free and I won it (I never win anything).

5abfbdc312566_SerenadeDay1mid-10.jpg.15df755df32d70307cacd5063c18f869.jpg

Enjoying my balcony today... how else?

5abfbe29cc8cc_SerenadeDay1mid-1.jpg.732f1d7bfd97877d69f8d7cc46b57394.jpg

I thought I'd test out wifi calling given that this is a non-O3b ship.  I called my agent to save $400 on a December cruise.  Not bad, the call broke up a few times but in the end I saved $400 so I'll take it!

As I sat there I spotted a celebrity approaching.

5abfbec643c1b_SerenadeDay1mid-3.jpg.23b6abbc9cdc8779b53a5c5c6520a261.jpg

Using my bot-like vision I discovered it's the Celebrity Silhouette.

5abfbf11ae5ed_SerenadeDay1mid-4.jpg.b1d61dd0400fe4385baed01f61af895f.jpg

Soon after some birds came along.  At first I wasn't sure what they were doing out here but then it became obvious. 

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Success!  Flying fish being taught a lesson by a flying bird - better to stay in the water.

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What ship are you own?

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