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Everything posted by danp2482

  1. Final thoughts: The Ship: Navigator is awesome. I've been fortunate enough to sail on a bunch of ships, including Symphony and Navigator may be my favorite. The size is manageable, the layout is good, the decor in the main areas was beautiful. The amplified pool deck with lime & coconut is awesome. I love what they did with the main pool area and the entire layout and vibe. Never felt too crowded! Lime & coconut is awesome and the outdoor bar area with high tops and beds was a great idea! Wish I grabbed a few drinks there in the evening. Since it's been amplified recently, the ship is in great shape. It was almost like being on a new ship! Don't get me wrong, I love the Oasis class ships but on the Navigator and Mariner, things just seem more relaxed! Coco Cay: I was on Coco Cay a few weeks before the expansion opened. I never saw Coco Cay pre construction so I have no comparison. I can only compare being able to use the upgrades vs not. We had a great day on CC before the expansion opened but I think the expansion hit the mark! There is so much to do there. Whether you want a relaxed beach experience, party at the lagoon, water park attractions, snorkeling, water sports it's all there! I've been to Disney's Castaway Cay and Coco Cay is currently blowing Castaway Cay out of the water. The Cruise: We had a great time. The length was a little short. I missed my sea days. I love 7 day sailings! I think my sweet spot for a shorter is 4 days! Staff was wonderful! We witnessed some of the other cruisers being rude to crew members and having no consideration for others around them. We also saw a few incidents of people not participating in "washy washy" which I'm sure happens all the time but I noticed it a lot more on this sailing. It was a great weekend and we're looking forward to doing something like this again soon!
  2. Day 4: Debarkation day We awoke around 7am. We quickly got cleaned up, while I was getting cleaned up I heard Nichole cursing and she let me know our flight for 3pm was already delayed 4 hours. Ouch, I knew it was going to be a long day! We packed up the rest of our stuff and headed upstairs to WJ for one more breakfast. We both just grabbed something light, grabbed a cappuccino from Herbert and gave him a hug. We finished up breakfast, headed to the room, grabbed our bags and were off the ship around 8:15. We were though customs very quickly and out at shared ride before we knew it. We ordered up an Uber and headed back to Coral Springs to meet MIL and Lilly Bear! We waited out the delay at MIL house. We did actually depart just over 4 hours later than expected. Finally made it home to our house by midnight. It was a great weekend getaway with just one minor hiccup at the end! I'll be back with final thoughts on the ship!
  3. The perfect couple is quite like the belly flop competition. The contestants and host can make or break it! It can be hilarious or boring and everything in between! This sailings perfect couple show was just average. Not crazy funny but not dull either. It was 11pm and the awesome 80s party started in 15 minutes. We were trying to push through that and then we were going to go to the cosmopolitan club to party and listen to DJ Jerome spin! Nichole suggested that we just head up to cosmopolitan club right at 11 because we've seen the 80s party a few times and even though we enjoy it, we were both fighting to make it a late night. I agreed and we headed upstairs. When we got to cosmopolitan club, there was a decent amount of people! We made it a point to make it there this night because DJ Jeromes style and music choices were definitely more aligned with ours. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. I can't fault the DJ, he played the crowd and they seemed to be enjoying the same 90s hip hop/crowd favorite type stuff that the scratch DJ played the night before. We just didn't expect that from him because his style had been so different every other time we saw him that cruise. We gave it a little time to see if he would mix it up. I was ready to party all the way into Miami if he changed up his music programing some. Unfortunately we waited a while and no change so we called it a night.
  4. The belly flop competition is hit or miss depending on your contestants and activities staff. This one was pretty good and everyone had a blast. The cruise was winding down…the weekend getaway cruise is awesome but just when you really start enjoying yourself, its over! We didn’t want to call it a day yet so we grabbed a daybed at lime and coconut and enjoyed the sunshine as we left Nassau. Although we had thought we’d do MDR for dinner, Nichole suggested we go to the WJ and see what they had to offer before completely writing of WJ for dinner. We usually do MDR every dinner except a few specialties so this would be a shock if we didn’t even see the MDR! We lounged a bit longer and then headed downstairs to get cleaned up. We hit the WJ on the way and along with all the offerings from night 1, the specialty offerings were seafood and some asian dishes. We got cleaned up in the room and when I asked where dinner was going to be, Nichole said the desserts she saw at WJ were the deciding factor. We headed upstairs but my one caveat was that we sit at a table and not the bar! We made it upstairs, had dinner and then agreed Dessert would be at the bar with espresso martinis. We made our way to WJ bar and you guessed, Herbert and Dylan were waiting for us. We had a few drinks with them and found out from them when they were leaving the ship and returning. We hope to catch these two characters again! It was the last night on the ship and we had a few things we wanted to check out so we said "see you soon" to our new friends and headed down stairs for the perfect couple gameshow.
  5. Sorry about the double post guys! It's been a couple hours and I don't think I can remove the second one!
  6. Day 3: Nassau For those that read the Symphony review, you know that we’ve been fortunate enough to have ported there a handful of times so now we tend to stay on the ship and enjoy lighter crowds while onboard. We woke up on day 3, got ready and headed up to the vitality spa to use the gym which is deck 12 aft. A lot of people posted how upset they were with how the renovations affected the gym on navigator and how they ruined it. I will say, the gym was a bit small and the ceilings were very low! I felt like I was going to hit my head on the ceiling as I used the elliptical. Nichole knocked out a quick 4 miles and I used an elliptical. Even thought the gym is small and cramped, it seemed like all the equipment was new and it all worked. We headed back down to the room to get cleaned up and head to breakfast. I grabbed some pics of the sports deck and solarium pool on the way back! We grabbed breakfast at WJ and then head to the WJ bar where (you guessed it) Herbert was waiting for us! He cracked a few jokes and put 2 fresh squeezed OJ screwdrivers in front of us. He also made us iced lattes. As I ate breakfast, a 2nd screwdriver showed up and then a 3rd! My intention was not to get buzzed during breakfast but my man Herbert was a bad influence! We finished up breakfast and headed out to the main pool. Dumbo was showing poolside and Nichole wanted to see it. We grabbed a few in water loungers and took in the movie. After that we headed into the solarium and grabbed a couple of loungers in the shade. Nichole grabbed a quick nap and I headed to Lime & Coconut to people watch. I went back after about an hour and we headed back to WJ for lunch. We headed back out to the solarium and relaxed a bit. Around 3 we headed back out to the main pool to relax and get a decent spot for the belly flop competition.
  7. Day 3: Nassau For those that read the Symphony review, you know that we’ve been fortunate enough to have ported there a handful of times so now we tend to stay on the ship and enjoy lighter crowds while onboard. We woke up on day 3, got ready and headed up to the vitality spa to use the gym which is deck 12 aft. A lot of people posted how upset they were with how the renovations affected the gym on navigator and how they ruined it. I will say, the gym was a bit small and the ceilings were very low! I felt like I was going to hit my head on the ceiling as I used the elliptical. Nichole knocked out a quick 4 miles and I used an elliptical. Even thought the gym is small and cramped, it seemed like all the equipment was new and it all worked. We headed back down to the room to get cleaned up and head to breakfast. I grabbed some pics of the sport deck and solarium pool on the way back! We grabbed breakfast at WJ and then head to the WJ bar where (you guessed it) Herbert was waiting for us! He cracked a few jokes and put 2 fresh squeezed OJ screwdrivers in front of us. He also made us iced lattes. As I ate breakfast, a 2nd screwdriver showed up and then a 3rd! My intention was not to get buzzed during breakfast but my man Herbert was a bad influence! We finished up breakfast and headed out to the main pool. Dumbo was showing poolside and Nichole wanted to see it. We grabbed a few in water loungers and took in the movie. After that we headed into the solarium and grabbed a couple of loungers in the shade. Nichole grabbed a quick nap and I headed to Lime & Coconut to people watch. I went back after about an hour and we headed back to WJ for lunch. We headed back out to the solarium and relaxed a bit. Around 3 we headed back out to the main pool to relax and get a decent spot for the belly flop competition.
  8. So as I mentioned, Dylan and Herbert were awesome! We spent more time at the WJ bar with them then anywhere else on the ship! I know for a fact that we missed things that were going on because we stayed there with them instead. Although we like cocktails, including martinis, we're not ones to sit at bars for long periods of time. These guys kept us happy, entertained and were so friendly! We sat with them for a few hours and more than a few martinis! We finished up, said goodnight to the guys and headed down to studio B for quest! When we got to studio B, DJ Jerome was killing it. He was playing lots of big dance tracks to get the crowd pumped! If any of you haven't been to quest its hilarious! It's definitely an adult game! It's an adult scavenger hunt where the host asks for different things from the crowd. Each section becomes a team and the team captains must deliver the request to the host. It can get pretty crazy and it is amazing how inhibitions are thrown to the wind! We had a blast and our section won. Now studio B is "transformed to the hottest nightclub on the high seas!" It's time for RED! When we were on Symphony, RED was kind of a bust for us. Actually anything that revolved around a DJ was because the DJ talent on Symphony was so horrible that trip. We hoped for a better experience this time. On the production side of things for RED, Symphony has Navigator beat but that's understandable, newer technology and bigger ship. Unfortunately the DJ for RED wasn't going to be DJ Jerome. It was the scratch DJ OhTommy. Without getting to deep into it, a scratch DJ is more of an open format DJ they can play hip hop, EDM, house anything really. They use scratching and effects to mix the tracks. It makes them pretty versatile. We're more electronic music and house music fans. We knew it wouldn't be a Vegas club but we hoped for a good mix. DJ OhTommy did a decent job! He had a great crowd going, played the room/crowd and had a good party going. Unfortunately the music was more 90s hiphop and crowd favorites which is great if you're at a wedding but shouldn't be billed as a high energy nightclub experience which is what they try and sell RED as. Although his music style wasn't our taste, he had some great technical skill which is way better than what we saw on Symphony. This may have been the wobble which I heard half a dozen times over the weekend. We stayed for a dozen songs/mixes before we called it a night. Since the music wasn't our taste, we couldn't get pumped enough for staying awake to be worth it. Tomorrow was a new day! Also the last day...
  9. Nichole had a 7pm appointment at To Dry For (blow dry bar), we had a chops reservation for 8pm and we also wanted to catch the crazy quest and RED nightclub experience. It was a busy night planned so we grabbed a quick nap! We got up and got ready. Nichole was heading to the dry bar for her hair appointment and I headed to schooner bar for name that tune trivia. I obviously grabbed a drink or 2 when I played! Nichole met me in Schooner bar after her appointment and she seemed a bit disappointed. We had met a group of women in schooner the night before and they were raving about their experience at to dry for. Nichole even said that their hair all looked great. Nichole said that her experience wasn't as great. She said she felt that she probably could've done her hair herself and gotten the same result and I agreed. Nichole was the last appointment of the day for the stylist that did her hair and she thinks the girl rushed through it just to get it done. Nichole said the same group of women from the night before was in with her and they seemed like their styles were getting much more attention. When we saw them later in the evening, I agreed. Nichole said that her experience could have been a fluke because of tired or bad stylist but she wouldn't pay the money again to find out. We finished pre dinner cocktails at schooner and headed up to chops. We were seated right away at chops. Nice table location and friendly staff. We had a nice dinner and our fellow diners both left and right were friendly and having great meals as well. We noticed a lot of large groups during our dinner. Nichole started with crispy goat cheese salad and I had charred beef carpaccio. We both had 6 ounce filets. We had creamed spinach, gruyere cheese tater tots and Mac & cheese as our sides. We finished off dinner with cheesecake, warm chocolate cake and of course 2 espresso martinis. The entire meal was delicious! I was nervous when I ordered the cheesecake for dessert because it can sometimes be heavy or dense. This cheesecake was light and delicious. If you like cheesecake, I recommend it! We finished up dinner and conveniently the WJ bar is just outside chops! Dylan and Herbert were waiting for us!
  10. We hung out in the pool bar the bar for a little while. Things were still pretty tame as the ship started to wake up and get onto the island. Before we knew it, people were showing up and things were starting to get busy. Around 10am a DJ started playing right next to the bar. There was a pretty chill vibe with house music playing. We were back and forth between the loungers, the pool and the swim up bar for a good portion of the morning. We both caught a few short catnaps and then decided to grab lunch. We ended up walking over to skippers grill. I was very impressed with the food area. There was a bar, multiple drink (water, lemonade and juice) and condiment stations, covered picnic tables and multiple food stations. Offerings included burgers, dogs, bbq chicken, fries, potato salad, macaroni salad, paninis, fruits, cookies, brownie and a few other things I may be forgetting. There was also a taco bar which was basically El Loco Fresh on land. The food was pretty good! I believe the chill grill has very similar options. I will offer one bit of advice. The seagulls around the grill areas both skipper and chill grill were in full force. I left Nichole at the table as I went to get more napkins and the gulls attacked my plate as Nichole sat right across from it. Word of advice, don't leave your food for a second. As we ate a brief rain shower moved in but it was no big deal. We finished up lunch and headed back to the pool. When we got back to the pool, the water was empty. Apparently there was a lightning strike in the area. The land bar area was slammed now and people were just hanging out. After a little time, the pool reopened and people continued their day. Nichole and I decided to head to the beach for a bit so we walked over to the beach with the floating bar. This section of beach had a lot of sea grass but Royal did a good job creating paths to walk around in the water and even head out to one of the sand bars. The beach wasn't completely free of sea grass in the water but there was enough area that you could walk around, swim or hang out. The swim up bar was pretty busy and people were coming and going. We climbed up, grabbed a few drinks and hung out for bit. We stayed for a few rounds of drinks and decided to head back to the lagoon. There was a great shot of the giant balloon on our way back. We got back to the pool and began to witness what people had posted and talked about. As the day goes on at the Lagoon, the partying heats up. The DJ was keeping a good party going and there was a pretty big party vibe going. Lots of shots and drinks going down and lots of dancing and partying. If you're looking for a chill relaxed vibe, things are a bit more relaxed on the other side of the bridge or you can head to one of the beaches. The main area of the lagoon by the bar is party central. Being a person who likes to party in Vegas, I loved it! That's whats great though, if the party is not your thing, you could easily get away from it by going to the beach! The island did offer something for everyone! The party continued and even though we are partiers, we kept it pretty tame. We hung out at the lagoon the rest of the day and were back and forth between the bar/party and our loungers. Before we knew it, it was 4pm and we were getting ready to head back to the ship. The crowds were starting to die down and we heard the DJ spin the last song. We packed up and headed back to the ship. On our walk back, I grabbed a few more pictures of harbor beach, skippers grill and a great shot of the back of the ship! We made it back on with little to no wait at all! Both forward and midship gangways were open. If you didn't mind walking to the forward (which we didn't) there was literally no one there but us and maybe one other family. A few seconds and we were back on the ship!
  11. Thanks! We did have both remotes and figured that's what one of them was for but it didn't work. When it didn't work we weren't sure if thats what it was for or not so we just closed the blinds!
  12. Thanks! Every time we cruise, we try and meet like minded cruisers and people! A few trips we ended up doing excursions and hanging with people we meet the entire trip!
  13. Thanks for following! Sounds like a great group trip! I had hoped to get some friends on this one with us to have a large group for Nichole's birthday but it just didn't work out. The waterpark looked pretty good and I think you guys will have a lot of fun with it! The ice show is great! Don't miss it!
  14. Thanks for following along! I was excited for all the changes but did really enjoy Coco Cay before and was afraid of how the changes would effect things. Now that I've seen a lot of it, I love everything about it!
  15. We planned on staying on chill island which featured. Harbor beach, chill beach, the oasis lagoon and the floating bar. Harbor beach is where the tenders used to come in and dock. They turned it into a pretty nice looking white sand cove. The bridge over to chill island is a great place to snap a picture of whatever ship you're on! After a short walk we made it over to the Oasis Lagoon! The pictures don't do the massive scale of it justice. The lagoon is huge and there is a ton of loungers and seating all around it. As the day went on, things got busy but I never noticed it get to the point where someone couldn't find a lounger around where they wanted to sit. The massive swim up bar has 2 sides. One for land with high tops and one for those in the water. We grabbed a few loungers and claimed our spot for the day! After a quick video chat with our Lilly bear (yes the Zoom wifi works everywhere on Coco Cay) we headed to the bar and grabbed something fruity to get into the island mood!
  16. Day 2: Coco Cay We were super pumped to be seeing the new perfect day at Coco Cay! We had just missed all the updates opening by a few weeks when we were there on Mariner! Don't get me wrong, we had a great day on Mariner but we were definitely excited for the upgrades specifically the Oasis Lagoon! Our only worry was that we wanted to spend some time on the beach too! So many options and so much to see! Because we wanted to take full advantage of Coco Cay we knew we wanted to get off the ship right when the gangways opened. We woke up around 7, got ready and headed to WJ for breakfast. I think we may have hit things a little too hard the first day as breakfast wasn't really appealing but had to be done. Nichole and I both grabbed a few things and sat at the WJ bar with our breakfast. Our man Herbert was there and had already started making us mimosas. We also grabbed some cappuccinos as well. We finished our breakfast and headed down for the gangway! I love the mornings before the ship wakes up! On our way down to the gangway I was shocked at how few people were up and getting off! I figure Coco Cay was one of the main attractions on these weekend cruises! We literally walked off the ship with no one behind us and small groups up ahead of us! Being able to walk off is so awesome! Tendering wasn't bad back in February but this is much better! We liked the shade provided on the pier! Royal did a nice job with the entry walking up! At the end of the pier there was a band playing and dancers dancing as well. Definitely a party vibe! Thrill waterpark which is an additional fee. I will say, waterparks are right up our alley but there was so much to do and we just wanted to chill and hangout at the lagoon and on the beach. The slides looked awesome and I've heard good things. Maybe next time... Signage was very helpful getting around. If you have been to Coco Cay prior to the renovations, you will probably not recognize it at all and will need some assistance finding your way around!
  17. While I'm sure he appreciated your options, no need to add your little tidbit about "life with children vs life without" That's not advice or options. It almost sounded like you were trying to lecture or scold him...
  18. When we arrived at schooner bar the piano player was playing. This sailing had a different twist to the schooner bar piano player. It was called improv musical comedy with David Curtis Mutter. He was a talented piano player and very funny as well. Just as we arrived at the bar, he bang chatting with a guest. Next thing we know she is signing along to his piano playing. I believe it was I will always love you by Whitney Houston but can’t be sure I remember that right. Needless to say, she was amazing. This wasn’t a Karaoke type singing, she was talented and had the crowd and staff cheering for her! We finished up drinks at Schooner bar and headed up to the promenade for the 70s party and balloon drop. When we got up there the party was in full swing. People were having a great time and the activities staff was doing a great job with the show. The 70s party was wrapping up and it was time for the balloon drop. In NYE style the countdown began and the balloons came down. Everyone was cheering and pumped to be starting off a few days of vacation! After the balloon drop we plan don heading to bed. The party kept going though and the resident DJ from the ship was awesome! On our Symphony cruise both the resident DJ and visiting DJ were terrible with technical skill and music programing! Nichole and I have high standards when it comes to DJs because we're huge dance music fans and visit Vegas often. The resident DJ Jerome on Navigator was awesome! His technical style and music matched our tastes and we were pumped to have the option to hear him for the weekend! Knowing that we wanted to get onto Coco Cay early, we didn't stay too much longer. We headed up to the room and went to sleep.
  19. We woke up from our quick nap and started to get ready for dinner. For those that didn’t read the symphony review, Nichole and I like to treat each night of a cruise as a date night. We take time to get ready for dinner, we participate in formal nights if the cruise has them and other nights its sundresses for Nichole and Khakis and resort shirts for me. We’ll start off with drinks before dinner and take also take our time with dinner. After dinner we see where the night brings us. Some people like to be more casual on vacation and that’s fine too! Don’t get me wrong, we’re in swimsuits all day every day but we enjoy treating each night as a date! Just before our Symphony cruise, we chatted about how we had never had dinner in the Wind Jammer and we always went to the MDR or a specialty. We decided on Symphony to do WJ for dinner one night. As some of you may have read, it was a disappointment. Since we had already been on Mariner, we knew the WJ layout and hoped for a better experience. We liked the idea of dinner in the WJ because we could come and go as we pleased and work it around what was going on around the ship. We decided that we’d give WJ another shot this cruise and would make the determination based on what the MDR menu looked like. Nichole had taken a look at the menu earlier and decided that night 3 looked more promising so we decided we’d head to WJ for dinner. When we arrived at WJ it was quiet. I was surprised but I guess I shouldn’t have been. The ship has quite fewer passengers than Symphony. The WJ Bar was pretty much empty and only one side of the WJ was open. There were standard things like pasta, salad, carving station, burgers and some seafood but there was also specialty cuisine each night which was Mexican themed the first night. A large skillet of nachos, a taco bar, a few different rice dishes and some other things. We both started with a salad and then each had a mix of the different offerings. The food was ok. Nothing spectacular but nothing disappointing either. It was during our first visit that we met two crew members that ended up making our trip even more enjoyable! I was grabbing drinks at WJ bar and began chatting with the bartender (Dylan). He was very friendly and cracked a few jokes. I noted the espresso machine and asked if they made espresso martinis. (Nichole loves espresso martinis and symphony only offered them in wonderland) After Dylan confirmed he could do it, I went back to the table and told Nichole, she was excited and we decided to take dessert to the bar. When we got to the bar, Dylan and his partner bartender Herbert were waiting for us. He asked Nichole if she liked her drink and chatted with us a bit. I can't begin to tell you how friendly these 2 guys were! They were awesome and we probably ended up spending way more time at their bar than we usually would've because of it. We ordered Espresso martinis and had dessert! The desserts were ok but the martinis were awesome! Not bitter and really smooth. We chatted with Herbert and Dylan for awhile. The great part about being friendly to bartenders at a slower bar is that the service is unmatched. I think we had a second martini and then headed down to studio B for iSkate 2.0. On the way down to studio B, I snapped a few pictures of the main pool as well as Lime and Coconut. As I mentioned before, I love what they did with the main pool area. The pools are all lit up blue at night. It appeared the pools and pool deck stayed open late. I'm not sure how late Lime and Coconut stayed open but I loved the lighting and feel of an outdoor venue! Unfortunately we never made it there in the evening... We made it down to studio B for iSkate. The show was really well done. Lots of energy and excitement. The skaters were awesome and really put on a great show. When iSkate finished up, we headed back to Schooner bar for the piano player and a few drinks.
  20. They're great! This was the 2nd one we did! It's a little short and goes by so fast but it's a nice taste of cruising until you can get on another week + long cruise!
  21. Once muster was complete, we started to head for deck 11 but we made a quick detour, actually we got lost but stumbled upon the helipad! Nichole was psyched because this was the only ship we’ve been on so far that the helipad was accessible. From deck 5, walk past the forward exit/entry doors and there is a set of stairs. Keep moving towards the front and you’ll stumble upon the helipad! We snapped a few pictures and headed back to our original plan! The plan was to hang at Lime and Coconuts roof deck for sail away. We've done the sail away party a few times and last cruise on Symphony we hung out on the "King of the World" wing. We figured the Lime and Coconut would be an upbeat place to be and if it got too crazy, we'd head to the Lime and Coconut roof deck for a more peaceful sail away. The rooftop was a great choice! It offered an elevated 360 degree view of sail away but also allowed us to view and hear the party without being right in the middle of it. There are couches and small tables to relax at. One thing we were afraid of that happened on our Mariner cruise in February was that we were going to be too tired to do much at night so we decided to finish up sail away, wave goodbye to Miami and head to the room for a short nap before dinner.
  22. We hung out at the pool for a few hours and then we grabbed lunch at El Loco Fresh. We enjoyed El Loco Fresh quite a bit on Symphony and thought it was a great addition to the Navigator as well. It is located on the main pool deck which made it quite busier than on the Symphony. Unlike SOTS which was basically self serve, ELF on Navigator has an attendant serving up most of the items. The food was just as good! We finished up and rooms had been ready for about 30 mins so we headed down to check it out and drop our carry on. We were in 9291 which is an inside stateroom with virtual balcony. Typical inside stateroom but there is a 4K screen with a mock up of curtains and digital railing with a view of outside of the ship. The concept is neat and the picture was nice. A few things I didn’t like about it. First, I am not sure you can turn it off which makes the only way of making the room dark is by shutting the curtain. The digital railing was bright though and unless you closed the curtains just right, some light made it in. Second, Royal has elected to make all of these 4U or virtual balcony rooms the mid ship interiors. So if you’re interested in a midship interior (which is our go to category) you have to book the virtual balcony which they sometimes charge significantly more for. Some people absolutely hate the interior rooms. We could go either way, we don't love or hate them. We just don't mind them. Knowing the type of cruisers we are, we know that the room for us is a place to get cleaned up, change and sleep. We spend so much time out of the room that it makes no sense to spend the extra money on a balcony that we won't use. As I mentioned, the concept of the virtual balcony is neat but I wouldn’t pay any more for it. If I could get a midship interior without the virtual balcony, I’d be just as happy. We took a few minutes to unpack our bags and had a few about an hour before muster so we head out to explore a bit. Knowing that we had an hour I asked Nichole if she’d like to go to R bar, Schooner or Boleros. Here answer…why not all 3? We headed to Schooner first. We were pressed for time so we enjoyed our drinks and then headed down to Boleros for round 2. Technically it was round 5 or 6 at this point but who's counting! We were on ship time! I love the coconut Mojitos at Boleros. I even make them at home with all the same ingredients. We fell in love with them on our Allure cruise a few years ago. Every cruise I swear I'm going to drink tons of these. The past 3 cruises I've had 1 each time... I thought the dominos table inside Boleros was a nice touch! Not sure if it's unique to the Navigator but I've never noticed it in Boleros on other ships. We finished at Boleros and headed to R Bar. It was nearly 3:30 and venues would be closing soon for the Muster. The ship was busy now with all the guests on board. We grabbed our 3rd cocktail. Nichole was rethinking her plan and didn't think it was as good as she thought before. We headed down for our muster station and muster was completed without issue!
  23. A short walk through the doors and we were on the ship! The excitement that buzzes through me on embarkation day never goes away! I am always so pumped to get on the ship and start vacation whether its 3 days or 7! This trip we decided to change things up a bit. We usually get on to the ship on the early side and then just explore and bar hop. This trip Nichole requested that we get on early, change into swimsuits and enjoy the newly renovated pool area for a few hours before we grabbed lunch. We made our way to deck 11 and it was a great idea! The pool and deck were very quiet to start out! I have to say that I love the new concept of the resort style pool area! The lime and coconut bar is awesome as well! The entire pool deck is awesome and really has a great vacation feel. The main pools are great! There are reflection pools, loungers in the water and also a ledge around both pools that you can sit on. There are tons of loungers, cabanas and a bunch of hammocks on decks 11 and 12. Before we changed into our swim suits for pool time, we carried on our usual tradition! The first drink on the ship is always a shot for Nichole and I. We usually find a bar tender and just ask them to make something tasty. It's definitely more of a symbolic thing vs for effect. If it were effect purposes we'd just get shots of patron! We chose Lime and Coconut and ordered the first round!
  24. Day 1: Embarkation Day!! Sleep was no problem! We were so exhausted from the 3am wake up the day before! We woke up and we were excited to be heading off to the port. Nichole had been seeing that people were getting on as early as 10:30 and that was her plan! With 3 short days, we wanted to take advantage of every second that we could! We’ve done a few cruises already this year and my MIL has been awesome about taking us down to the port. Between picking us up at PBI and then taking us to the port, we felt like that was tons of driving for her so this time we planned to Uber from coral springs down to Port of Miami. Its about an hour ride and an Uber was going to be about $50. We figured even round trip $100 was way better than what a car service would cost. So the plan was for a 9:30 Uber to get us to the port at 10:30. Unfortunately, Lilly had different plans and it took a bit of unexpected time for us to get her down for her morning nap. We departed in the Uber around 10:05 and with a bit of traffic expected to be at the port by 11:15. The Uber plan worked out great. Comfortable and direct ride. We made it to the port by 11:07! The port wasn’t that busy yet and we were ready to get our Birthday celebration started! Bags given to the porters and off we went! For those that haven't been to Terminal A in Miami yet it is awesome! The facility is really nice and the process is so streamlined! 2 out of 3 embarkations, we've basically walked onto the ship. Our Symphony cruise was a bit different but computer glitches can mess anything up. You enter the terminal and immediately get onto the escalator. Your home away from home sits behind a sea of glass windows and of course these giant gold plated propellers! Off the escalator its a right turn where you present your pre printed sea pass card to one of about 30-50 agents waiting for you. No more check in desks. This is all done standing at rope lines with the agents using iPads to do everything from scan your sea pass, scan your passport and take security pictures. After checking in, its thorough security and upstairs to the gangways! The entire process is very quick and easy! From curbside to being onboard was probably around 8 minutes! Again, the facility is very modern and clean!
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