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mom2mybugs

Freedom of the seas March 25-March 31!

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So I did one periscope but my cruises are about absolute relaxation!   So no voom, no live blog and not a ton of pics.  But I had an amazing time with my husband and 15 year old daughter (who I pretty much only saw 1 day lol).  

   I had not been on a cruise until 2015.  We did 3 cruises in 2 years and then we hit Disney (the other obsession!)  I can't even describe how much I missed being on a ship.   This was the 2nd time on freedom.   I did like the cruise terminal at port Canaveral better than port Everglades but embarkation was super easy... under 40 minutes for sure and drinking my first lava flow (with kraken rum) by 11!

   We had an ocean view... plenty big enough for the 3 of us. Our stateroom attendant suzanna was wonderful and we loved our 4 towel animals! 

  The 6 days was too short (Joe took my extra day for his 8 day.  Freedom alternates 6 and 8 day cruises right now) but we still hit 3 ports... grand Cayman, Costa maya and cozumel.  The biggest disappointment of the trip was that it was so windy in grand cayman that they canceled all excursions to stingrays city.  I was very bummed but we still got to swim with lucky the dolphin and buy lots of pics!   In Costa maya my husband did one of the ruins while my daughter and I shopped and enjoyed the one day we could get near the pool (chair hugs were awful and i sure wish rc would enforce their policy).  In cozumel we went to nachi.   Since there were a ton of ships in port I'm glad we went.   We got in so early we beat all the employees... got a beautiful beach spot!  We enjoyed it... the food was excellent!

   Speaking of food,  we ate...a ton!  Sabor was excellent (service not great though)  and I loved the tuna tacos and the guac.  I tried all 3 margaritas (goes love the drink pkg) and liked the cucumber jalapeno the best.   Chops was so good (and the service great)  that we took the 25%off and went back the next night.   The my time dining was mixed.... the service was fast (almost too fast)  but the tables for 2 were right on top of each other and the food was good,  but not amazing.   I'm glad we tried my time but not sure we will do it again.  And then....CHEFS TABLE!   the chef was amazing, the wine was amazing,  the food was amazing and the dessert (the world from wonderland)  was ever moist AMAZING thing I've ever eaten or watched!!  This was our 2nd chefs table and we will definitely do it again. 

   RC lost money on my drink pkg for sure.   Most days I parked myself on my sky deck chair with my book... read,  eat,  drink,  repeat.   We also had a mocha or latte every morning, wine with dinner (loved the bartender at vintages... she never steered us wrong and one of her suggestions was served at chefs table) and after dinner drinks.   My daughter was probably a wash in terms of cost...we got her the refreshment pkg and she was over a few days,  probably underused more but it was nice to have it paid for before the cruise.

   The ship never felt crowded and traffic flow was great.   It's really a perfect size... not too big and not too small.   For what I do (loaf in a chair and try to thaw)  it works well.   I'd love to try oasis class for the dining and the shows... someday lol!

   Precruise we stayed at the Hilton marina.   We had an amazing corner balcony that had views of the intercoastal waterway as well as the port.  Their pool area was a perfect way to unwind precruise!  We ate at cheesecake factory on Las olas and that was fun.   Post cruise we stayed at the W hotel and got upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite...amazing!  I could sit on the balcony staring at the ocean and the waterway!.  Both were absolute splurges but we decided to yolo book them!

   And so now I'm over 400 days till my next ocean cruise.   I thought about a 5 night navigator next spring break but we really need to save for our summer 2019 cruise...12 night Mediterranean/ Greek isles out of Barcelona on vision of the seas.   It will be the trip of a lifetime and with 8 ports we will spend a 5 night cruise amount just on excursions.  We also have Paris this summer to link forward to (we have never been to Europe and will be going on a viking river cruise!)  Both are very different from our Caribbean cruising!

   So that is my freedom trip.  I wanted to share more since I love reading everyone else's blogs but I was too busy reading and being lazy!   Let me know if you have any questions!   Jane

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@mom2mybugs what drinks are those?? They look yummy 😋 

Miami vice (half strawberry daiquiri, half pina colada) and pina colada... both with kraken rum...my new favorite rum!  I should have posted my frozen blue Hawaiian... that was great too!

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Glad that you relaxed. I did the same thing on the Navigator. You are going to love Paris and the Greek Islands. I loved both places. I did have three pieces of red velvet cake (the third piece jumped on my plate). Next cruise Bermuda on Grandeur in June.

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AWESOME!   I'm so glad you had a great time!  

I love Freedom, too, but man, the Solarium on Oasis has me hooked!  

 

I am anxious to hear about your Viking cruise this summer.  We used to live in Germany and have thought about it, but we would rather go with an open itinerary so we 

could visit some of the towns where we used to go (especially Trier!).  Paris is phenomenal!  I hope you can get some macaroons from Laduree!

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2 minutes ago, Floski said:

AWESOME!   I'm so glad you had a great time!  

I love Freedom, too, but man, the Solarium on Oasis has me hooked!  

 

I am anxious to hear about your Viking cruise this summer.  We used to live in Germany and have thought about it, but we would rather go with an open itinerary so we 

could visit some of the towns where we used to go (especially Trier!).  Paris is phenomenal!  I hope you can get some macaroons from Laduree!

We are doing the Paris to Normandy on the seine... if we like it we might do the Basel to Amsterdam trip.   I'm really excited to hit Paris (and Europe)  for the first time...I will look for the macaroons!

I will try oasis class at some point,  but I feel like I need to stop spending money on the Caribbean and expand destinations,  do I have to hit older smaller ships!  Jane

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I was in Germany a total of 7 years, and never once made it to Normandy.

That, and never learning to ski while I was there, are two of my biggest life mistakes.  Kick myself every time I think about it.

My nephew lived in Basel until January, and we never made it to see them, either.   Grrrrrr!

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On 4/10/2018 at 9:12 PM, Skid said:

Jane--what a beautiful family picture. And what a great feeling when we can bring such a great smile like your daughter's to our children's' faces.

That is our only group pic... the 15 year old found friends and ditched us!   It was really a nice break for us!   We can't wait for our next family cruise!   Jane

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On 4/10/2018 at 9:00 PM, Floski said:

I was in Germany a total of 7 years, and never once made it to Normandy.

That, and never learning to ski while I was there, are two of my biggest life mistakes.  Kick myself every time I think about it.

My nephew lived in Basel until January, and we never made it to see them, either.   Grrrrrr!

Never say never... go back!  I know we loved in Virginia for 3 years and I wish we'd visited DC more and got into the Shenandoah more often!  Jane

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On 4/11/2018 at 2:57 AM, mom2mybugs said:

We are doing the Paris to Normandy on the seine... if we like it we might do the Basel to Amsterdam trip.   I'm really excited to hit Paris (and Europe)  for the first time...I will look for the macaroons!

I will try oasis class at some point,  but I feel like I need to stop spending money on the Caribbean and expand destinations,  do I have to hit older smaller ships!  Jane

I have been to Paris 5 times if you need any advice on places to go, good places to eat and how to avoid being scammed etc feel free to ask  

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6 hours ago, Ray said:

I have been to Paris 5 times if you need any advice on places to go, good places to eat and how to avoid being scammed etc feel free to ask  

Anything you have to share is awesome!  We will be staying in an airbnb near Luxembourg garden for 9 days before going on the cruise.   I'm foggy on best ways to pay for the metro... I'm assuming that is the best way to travel in France... and the trains.   Is there a week pass?   Jane

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The Metro is good and pretty easy to use ( very similiar to NYC Subway system) each route in numbered and colour coded. Signs in metro tunnels leading to each stop only show the LAST metro stop on that route, so the likes of the yellow line will have two tunnels going in different directions with only the final destition displayed at entrance,  so when you are heading for a train make sure you know the final destination of the route you want.  http://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tarifs/paris-visite-travel-pass

Stations are in my opinion cleaner and safer than NYC, However this is one place you can be scammed and not expect it!

If you arrive at airport ( CDG) head downstairs towards RER train and there is a place to purchase tickets. Buy RER ( Train) ticket into Paris, this ticket will allow you to use metro to get to your final destination within Paris, when you arrive at Gurd De Nord or any other main Station you will as we all are first time be lost and be looking for correct subway to get to hotel, Be careful of gentleman wearing suits approaching you to offer help, they will ask to see your ticket tell you it's NOT valid even though it is, and that you need another one to use metro, and to follow them. they will take you to ticket machine OUTSIDE station and then put their weekly or monthly pass into machine to buy your tickets ( which you dont need as you were already inside metro station), if you are lost ask the guards or police. 

The metro is zoned from 1 to 5 so if going outside Paris this is zone 5 and more expensive. 

Very Nice area you are staying in, i have stayed near there in Place de Italia, given your location almost all Paris Landmarks are within walking distance. so metro pass may not be needed some days, The Latin Quarter which is near your hotel area is a great place to eat, every restaurant offers fixed price 3 course meals prices range from 10 to 18 Euro 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g187147-d189685-Reviews-Latin_Quarter-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

Some Attractions such as the Louvre, Arc De triomphe etc offer free entry on a sunday. 

https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/paris-for-free/free-museums-and-monuments-in-paris/free-admission-and-good-deals-in-museums-and-monuments-in-paris

The Area around the Moulin Rouge is an eye opener if travelling with younger children or men with heart conditions best to avoid lol 

Around every attraction there will be Eastern Europeans looking for visitors to try and beg money from or sell things to. like anywhere else just ignore and walk by. 

Some Toilets in Paris can be an experience as my oldest daughter found out :4_joy: A hole in the ground with 2 footprints in concrete to show where to put your feet as you squat wasnt her idea of luxury ( public toilets charge so make sure you have loose change ) 

 

Anything else you want to know just ask 

 

Ray 

 

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3 hours ago, Ray said:

 

Some Toilets in Paris can be an experience as my oldest daughter found out :4_joy: A hole in the ground with 2 footprints in concrete to show where to put your feet as you squat wasnt her idea of luxury ( public toilets charge 

Ray 

 

Omg... this would kill my youngest daughter lol.  We are going kidless... I would like to really explore all the neighborhoods.   Your scam/ train advice is wonderful... I'm talking a secure purse and I know about the kids grabbing money etc but hasn't heard this one.   Other than spending 1 day at Disneyland Paris and going to Versailles,  we will be guessing in Paris.   

I'm excited about where we are starting.   Originally I wanted to stay in marais but we just couldn't beat the price for staying out a bit.   We are traveling with another couple so we need a bigger living room too!  

I might message you here as I stay to do research!   Thanks again,  jane

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"Some Toilets in Paris can be an experience as my oldest daughter found out :4_joy: A hole in the ground with 2 footprints in concrete to show where to put your feet as you squat wasnt her idea of luxury ( public toilets charge so make sure you have loose change )"

 

I experienced a lot of these type of public toilets in China when I spent 3 weeks there a few years ago! :1_grinning:

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