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About luvabargain

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Texas, U.S.
  • Interests
    Cruising - of course! RV-ing, Scrapbooking, Reading, did I mention vacationing?
  1. We really enjoyed the Mariner. They did a good job with the updates and it's a good sized ship.
  2. A couple more pictures of the bathroom....totally sufficient for the 2 of us.
  3. For this 4 night cruise, we decided not to get a balcony cabin, but I had seen the Interior Promenade rooms and I thought they looked fun and different, especially this being my first time on a Royal ship, so I booked an Interior Promenade room. The room number was 7583 and we were very pleased with the room, it's size, the location and type. Our room steward was I Dewa and he was so relieved that I spoke English and not Spanish. He was apologizing to me for not being able to speak Spanish and I told him that makes 2 of us. LOL He said that the majority of the passengers in his rooms only spoke Spanish and he didn't know the language. He tried to be very helpful to us, always giving directions and pointing out things he thought might be of interest to us. He was probably the nicest room steward I have had on a cruise. I lounged on the couch every night with the curtains opened, just enjoying the promenade view while journaling and reading. It was very relaxing.
  4. We had to eventually make our way to the muster station which was a nightmare. They were yelling and packing us in like sardines, single file lines vertically with children in front, the little ones didn't like it, wanted to be with their mamas. I believe this was the worst muster I've been to. It was very loud and uncomfortable but thankfully we only have to do it once per cruise. They did scan our cards when we arrived and made sure we were at the right place. Muster Drill We took off shortly before 4pm and got our Bon Voyagedrinks. That afternoon we hit the iceshow which was a circus theme and was absolutely amazing! LOVED it. We had My Time Dining and went to dinner pretty late, around8:30 pm. Our waiter was Jose andassistant waiter was Vansangkima. Our Bon Voyage drinks. I can't remember what I had, but the bartender used orange juice instead of pineapple juice. Hello and goodbye Norwegian Sky
  5. We checked our bags in with the porter and quickly made our way through the Royal Caribbean section onto the Mariner of the Seas with no wait time. The first thing we did was to explore the ship. We went all over taking it in and then decided to check out our room. It was one o' clock and we were pleasantly surprised to find our room ready. We unpacked and then headed to the buffet area to find some eats. I had the taco and salad bar along with a couple of other items, and most everything I tried was good. We're not big buffet people, but the lunch buffet was good, we enjoyed the taste and variety.
  6. Monday August 13th - Day 1 - embarkation WHOOP! WHOOP! It's cruise day! We took our time, didn't feel like much of the free breakfast, just a yogurt, but I HAD to have coffee. We walked to a nearby Publix grocery store and purchased two bottles of wine to take onboard. we contacted Uber a little after 11am and before we knew it, we were on our way to the Port of Miami for around $8. This Uber driver was friendly and a little talkative, so it made for a quick pleasant drive. There she is! HELLO Mariner!
  7. We went back to our hotel and enjoyed the hot tub for a while. The had the bar opened to the poolside, so hubby got us a couple of drinks and we just relaxed for a while, feeling excited about our upcoming cruise the next day on the Mariner.
  8. We had a couple of drinks at this Mambo place. My Mojito was ok. That evening we went to a very nearby Mediterranean restaurant called Zuuk that was very similar to a Chipotle. It was decent, not something I would want to go to all the time, but again, not bad. I don't think Chad was all that impressed, so a bit disappointing for him.
  9. We had the same female tour operator for the South Beach tour, we sat right behind her, and she turned out to be very friendly. We chose not to get off at any of the stops, it was late in the day and there was only one more tour bus behind us. View from the bus - South Beach tour Ocean Drive Cruise ship going out to sea We had a couple of drinks in the Bayside Marketplace, did some more looking around and then instead of walking all the way back to our hotel, we took an Uber back for around $7. Bayside Marketplace area
  10. Thanks. I've thought of that too, but some I have copied and pasted and some I have written directly. It even looks different depending on which computer I'm using. So strange. I think the thing that bothers me the most is the run on words. I will correct them in preview, but once I hit submit they'll go weird again. Anyway - I hope you enjoy. There are more reviews and trip reports now, but I had a hard time finding any recent before our cruise, I guess due to the fact it being in Asia.
  11. We were in a cigar shop when we saw the hop on hop off bus pull up, so ran out and across the street to barely make the bus.There was no more rain at this time, so the rest of the tour was dry. Our new tour guide was a young lady who called us "my lovelies" and was a bit more rehearsed.There was only one leg left and then back to the Bayside Marketplace.We still had the South Beach tour to do, so had to wait for that bus to leave.
  12. We had ice cream at the famous Azucar Ice CreamCompany. The ice cream was like any ice cream really, nothing outstanding, but a nice treat. Afterward we stopped by theCafe La Rica and had some spiked coffees. Mine had a strawberry liqueur. The coffee was yummy and the service excellent. We weren't hungry and so didn't stop for afull meal in Little Havana. Azucar Ice Cream shop Cafe La Rica
  13. The bus for the city tour was finally ready to start and we were told that we couldn't use our app, that we had to have a printed ticket. No problem, I whipped out the printed one, and NOPE - that would not work either. Huh? They had to have a receipt specifically from the vendor in the parking lot. Chad ran over and got in line to get one, and same thing was told to other people trying to get on. Of course there was along line now. No promises that they would wait, although they did. This happened later to other people as well. The bus traveled through different areas while the tour guide gave us a tour while we ducked and swervedfrom tree branches. I believe there were 10 stops, with stops in Perez & Frost Museums, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Midtown, Wynwood Walls (arts), Coconut Grove, Little Havana, Downtown. We would have liked to get off in the Wynwood Walls area, Coconut Grove areas, but we had started the tour later in the day, and still wanted to do the South Beach tour route, not to mention it was raining, so that was not a big motivator. We were content to listen to the history on each place and just enjoy the views. We were sitting outin the open on the top deck and could put earphones in to hear better, althoughthe guide was a few seats away from us. Every once in a while he would yell "trees" and we wouldduck. It was hot and muggy, but early onin the tour the clouds rolled in and before we knew it, it was pouring. The guide passed out rain ponchos, andseveral people decided to go below deck. We laughed and hooted and waited it out. It lessened up and quit all together after a while. We decided to stay on the bus through severalstops, but got off in little Havana. Wewere going to spend just 40 minutes there until the next bus arrived, but weenjoyed ourselves and stayed longer. Our tour guide was great. I didn't catch his name though. We could see the writing on the wall - AKA: the inevitable storm about to invade our space A lot of laughs Wynwood Walls
  14. Pre-Cruise Day - Sunday August 12th We slept in and it felt great not to have a specificagenda. That was hard for me, as I like to plan everything, but I knew our days ahead would be full, and Chad would need to breath a little, and have some say in the agenda. We had the complimentarybreakfast offered at the hotel, and then went to our room to plan out our day. Breakfast at the hotel We were going to try and see things ourselvesby using public transportation, but we felt overwhelmed with getting todifferent places and trying to figure out what we wanted to see. We decided to do the Big Bus Hop on Hop off bus, so I went online and bought tickets that morning. I found a few different companies selling the tickets, one company was $40.50 each and the other was $44.10. I went with the first company, but my debit card wouldn't go through. I tried another debit card and same thing. I wasn't sure if it was my cards or if it was the company, so I just went with the other for $44.10 and it went through fine. That one said to either use the online ticket through the Big Bus app, or to bring a printed copy. I downloaded the app and printed out the tickets in the hotel business center - just in case. About 20 minutes later I got messages on my phone regarding if I had authorized use of my debit cards to this travel company. The bank had purposely declined the card because the travel company was located in England and it came up suspicious. I got that straightened out with no more issues from them. Things were a little confusing with thebus. It said we could get on anywhereand we could use our printed ticket (I printed one out on the hotel computer) orwe could use the app and download the ticket. We decided to walk to the nearest hop on hop off point, and it wasseveral blocks and over a bridge away - farther than we expected. Views along the way The bus driver picked us up and weweren't asked to show our tickets. Thiswas the last segment of the tour route and it would be pulling into the BaysideMarket place area, which is where they start the tours. We got off there and discovered that the nextcity tour wouldn't be leaving for about 40 min., so we browsed through the malland even got some daiquiris to quench our "thirst". The Daiquiri Bar - Bayside Marketplace Daiquiri was ok, I've had better, especially for $12. Thankfully the pineapple was only for decoration - no pineapple juice inside. I hate pineapple.
  15. The hotel gave us vouchers for a free drink from the bar, so we cashed those in immediately on the first evening - lushes that we are. Ok, so not really - this was my first alcoholic beverage in a couple of months. I had a sweet wine and Chad had a beer. Cheers! Nightlife was hopping on Saturday night in Miami. We headed out to take a look at the downtownBrickell area and to get some dinner. Dinner: We settled ona place just a couple of businesses down the sidewalk from our hotel called theBatch Gastro Pub. The food was ok,service was good. We sat outside wherethe music wasn't as loud, not to mention there was no room for us inside,anyway. Food: Chad: Boneless Chicken Wings/Truffle Fries Melissa: Mac Attack - Gnocchi Mac, Aged Gruyere Cheese &"Dorito Dust". I don't remember the Beer Chad wound up ordering, but I tooka pic of the menu, as it had a beer listed from our home town - Bend,Oregon. Of course, they were out of it -the waitress told us it was really popular. We were ready to chill, so headed back to our room to justveg out and get some sleep.