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About KG1924

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Interests
    my dogs
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We both said while we were in TN that we would LOVE to come back in the fall. It has to be absolutely gorgeous! It felt so good to just be outside in the fresh air (although 90+ temps and humidity made it a little steamy lol!) We would hike and talk and take it all in. Sounds odd, but it felt good to feel "normal" for a minute, meaning we weren't wearing masks since it was just us two hiking, we weren't watching the news, and we almost forgot what was really going on in the world. It was a great mental break. I think that if we keep doing the car travel, we will start doing/seeing more along the way. The way things are going, I guess I'm hesitant to plan a bunch just to have the plans go awry due to covid restrictions (not complaining about them...I'm happy to go along with any safety measures) So for NC we're driving straight through with my Mother in Law tagging along and my husband and I will switch driving every gas fill up and get out to stretch our legs a bit. Getting there is never as bad as you know you've got vacation ahead. As we get closer, we may opt to stop overnight on the way home and hopefully squeeze in some sight seeing on the way. I like the flexibility of it all. I'm envious of your travel plans and I hope you get to go! 2020 for me has just become a year of waking up and saying "Who knows what today will bring" 😄 ETA: Gatlinburg is a beautiful town by the way. I don't want to deter people from visiting. It was just too crowded for us on that particular evening. My sister and her family went there the next evening to go to Anikeesta (not sure I'm spelling that correctly) and said it was about a 1/3 of the crowds that were there the night before.
  2. We decided to recently spend a week up in the mountains in Tennessee. We also just booked an ocean front house in North Carolina in October. We found that it was a great way to get a change of scenery and an even better way to social distance! I will say, we ventured very briefly into Gatlinburg where social distancing was pretty non-existent and mask wearing was minimal unfortunately. So we retreated back to our gorgeous cabin and stuck with hiking, golfing, and relaxing with drinks everyday. I was very surprised how much we enjoyed the slower pace of a vacation in comparison to a cruise. I expect our fall trip to the beach to be much of the same. We'll do curbside groceries on our way just like in TN and I would imagine that we will golf a few times but will spend the majority of our time back at the house. Illinois doesn't offer much in the way of great scenery, so we'll actually take the time to enjoy it. Although I do miss staring out into the middle of the ocean like we do during a cruise. Some day..... BTW-these are the very first long distance trips we've done via car. It's only my husband and I, so flying just makes sense to us. But with everything going on, we've decided to bite the bullet and drive. 8 hours to TN was a little rough....not looking forward to 14+ to NC!!
  3. Can you clarify what you mean by positive results not meaning infections? I'm sure there are some false positives in there (same as there are false negatives....science is not perfect) but I take a positive test as the person has the virus, whether symptomatic or not, and can spread it to others.
  4. Great post....but as my husband is named Keith, I assure you that he would never act like a male "Karen" 😊 Side note, I feel awful for those named Karen these days....who knew a very common and nice name would turn into an insult lol! Also, I hear consistently about the 4 current hot spots on our local news, AZ included. I sadly have family in all 4 states so I watch intently and annoyingly check in with all of them. I also track the numbers daily, but on the weekends I try to put myself in a little bubble and stay away from the news for my own mental breather.
  5. At work we are required to wear a mask the entire time we are in the building (not fun, but I work with the public and I'm grateful for my employment....sadly the acne that is popping up under this thing from sweating 8+ hours a day is REALLY not fun lol!) We were provided a face shield as well, but it was optional and the mask still had to be worn underneath. The way it was explained to me was that the mask protects others from me, the shield protects me from others. I wore it for about 5 minutes. If I could go with just the shield I would, but it's way too many layers for me with the mask underneath and I felt that I was a bit intimidating looking! I have an even deeper respect for people in the medical field that are facing this thing head on and have to wear that and then some day in and day out. I couldn't do it. One positive I could see for face shields on cruises is that you realistically could still sip drinks through a straw while wearing it....but in reality, I don't see myself cruising until this thing is gone. I'm not against masks in any way, we are still required to wear them in indoor public places so it's pretty normal to me right now. I just don't see how the logistics would work on a cruise in general, let alone the whole mask thing.
  6. I also get where the OP is coming from. For us, a drink package is usually a savings (sadly lol!) and I really do enjoy having everything paid for ahead of time-it allows me to really feel at ease on vacation. Our last cruise that we took before drink packages left us with an $1800 bill at the end and I believe the only on thing on there besides drinks and extra tips was a single ornament 🙂 In fairness, that was our first vacation that we went into without holding back-we got whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We've grown up a bit since then but we always get a drink package now just to take one more thought out of vacation. We are looking at VV for our 10 year anniversary this fall and while we would love a drink package, we are ok with going "all out" for a 4 day cruise....I'm hoping a shorter trip will help with the sticker shock of the bill at the end. We are considering a suite and I really wish that they would elaborate on the "open bar" in the suites. Some of the verbiage makes it seem like it's only the first round, but then I read "on us" in a lot of places. I think if it truly was open bar for while we're getting ready or relaxing on the balcony at night it would really help us justify the price difference. We have only ever sailed in regular balconies and we would be perfectly fine in one for this trip too but since it's a bigger anniversary we'd like to pamper ourselves a bit. My frugal side keeps saying the price difference would probably cover our drinks for the trip though lol!
  7. I don't mind the change, we really enjoyed our visit to Coco Cay this past May-to us it's just an extension of the ship since anything we do is free lol! My question is about how they handle staffing. When we were there it was one of the first weeks with everything open (I know they aren't officially done yet, but it was kind of a 'grand opening') and some of the bartenders that we visited frequently talked about how a large percentage of the staff was working on the island and then doing their regular jobs that evening. Now I'm thinking they went above and beyond for the first few visits as far as staffing goes to make a good impression, but if a ship (or two) is going there multiple times then I don't see how they can continue not only putting a high percentage of staff on the island while it's docked as well as how they can have them work so many hours like that. One would assume (or hope) that they would have a staff dedicated just to the island, right?
  8. I'm no expert in fraud/finance but I had my wallet stolen while I was at work earlier this year. I wasn't even aware until my Chase Visa called and texted asking if I approved the $700 charge at Target across the street. Within 30 seconds our account was deactivated and every recent charge/attempt was gone through line by line. My bank was not so great...sure enough the debit went right through with no problem and it took about 8 days to get my money back. Also, Visa sent new cards overnight, I had to wait until I could sit down with a banker to get new debit cards. To add insult to injury, because our account was "closed" (as it should have been, they also got my check book that I NEVER carry on me except for that week lol) I couldn't even access my account to get cash out through a regular teller. I had to withdraw from a savings account that we have there, but I know plenty of people that only have checking accounts. Moral of the story (for me, given my limited experience) I would MUCH rather have my credit cards compromised then my debit card. We are not wealthy people by any means, but thankfully were able to get by with out the funds that were missing. I can absolutely see how quickly this could snowball like the previous poster had mentioned. I don't love using CC's all the time because it's very easy to get caught up in it if you aren't diligent, but for me it's a much safer way to go-we charge almost everything and pay it off each month. After going through each charge lol
  9. We were just on the Adventure last month and thought the food was just fine. We usually grab an egg and some toast for breakfast so it's hard to mess that up. It was crowded at certain times but there was always a seat at the bar in there and a mimosa makes breakfast taste even better. MDR was fine for us as well, there was always something that we liked and if we didn't then they always offered to bring something else. But we go into a cruise knowing that it isn't going to be gourmet by any means and we are hardly foodies either so our opinion will differ from yours if you were expecting higher quality. I do think that the larger ships (Oasis class in particular) has better daytime options for food. I don't generally enjoy a buffet anywhere so we enjoyed being able to grab a quick lunch in the multiple other venues.
  10. We were on her for the 5/17/19 sailing and I agree with everyone else....compared to brand new ships she's a bit "dated" but overall in good shape. The only thing I noticed in our cabin was the varnish on the balcony railing could use a redo (I'm assuming that's just a constant battle anyway) but the interior was pretty good with newer carpet and what seemed like a newer couch-we were on her 15 years ago and I remember a lot more teal back then lol! The rest of the ship seemed great to me. Have a great trip!!
  11. Wow, you are really up in arms about this....did you address it while on board? You do realize that posting on here doesn't do much other then make others panic that they're booked on a decrepit, dinky ship? I was not on the ship but you showed a couple areas only of a 130k ton ship that is almost 20 years old. If you're looking for perfection then I would think you're sailing the wrong cruise line. And I'm confused...isn't the more recent picture of one of the main hot tubs?
  12. Or one could say that you took a picture of the worst kept one and left out all the perfectly fine hot tubs on the rest of the deck.....
  13. Just wanted to give a quick review of our recent Adventure of the Seas cruise to Bermuda and the Bahamas, including a Perfect Day at Coco Cay. We sailed 5/17/19-5/25/19. "We" are my husband and I along with 10 other family members ranging from ages 3-70. Bayonne: This was our first time to New Jersey/New York and the port itself was fine. We had an early flight into Newark and saw the 9/11 memorial and Museum with my parents. We stayed in Jersey City the night before at the Hyatt House (good hotel, great location with a beautiful view of the skyline at night) and took a 9:30 Uber to the port. We were there pretty early but there was plenty of seating and almost no line to check in. I'd say we were on board by 11? Ship: Our very first cruise was on the Adventure 14 years ago, so it was a bit nostalgic to sail her again. She's in great shape, although not as modern as the newer, larger ships. We really like the Freedom class of ships so while the Adventure is a bit smaller, the layout is identical so it felt very comfortable. Plus very easy and fast to get anywhere on the ship. The best part was the lack of lines/crowds. We feel like we never waited for anything this trip, including drinks 🙂 Service: Hands down, this was the best service we've had on any cruise in YEARS! We felt like we went back 14 years to when the service felt special. Our steward was funny and very personable, our servers in the dining room were still rushed like they have to be these days but still so kind and thoughtful. Bar service was the best we've ever had. Now, I will say that we are decent drinkers, especially on vacation. Everyone in our group gets the drink package and uses it well 😉 The servers in the pub were fantastic, especially Raul! The pub was often our meeting spot before dinner so if my sister had her kiddos with her he would bring them fancy frozen drinks (virgin of course) every time as well as remembering all the adults regular drinks (the kids did not have any refreshment package either....he just did it). The part I was most surprised with was the bar service around the pool. I feel like the last few years they've really minimized the servers that walk around deck taking drink orders but we had fantastic service this time. They were plentiful but not in your face. Even the bartenders at the pool bar itself were great-my brother in law would be 20 feet away and by the time he got to the bar, they would have his drink waiting for him. This was all before giving any extra tips by the way. Ports: Bermuda - absolutely beautiful! We just went to Horseshoe Bay, taking the $7/person mini bus there and back. Then we just walked around the port area a bit which was very nice. We contemplated taking the ferry over to Hamilton, but being that it was a Sunday we weren't to keen on spending the time or money to get there knowing that not all business are open on Sundays. This was probably the only "negative" of the trip, but obviously we knew that when we booked. We will definitely go back to Bermuda, but if we cruise we'll choose an itinerary that spends a couple days there. Nassau - our entire group has been here a few times so we didn't really plan much. We were in port from 12pm-12am as well so it was kind of odd times for regular excursions. Half of our group stayed on the ship, myself and the rest walked to the John Watlings Distillery which is beautiful and a fun way to spend some time. We then went to the Pirate Republic Brewery near the pier as well as the Never Say Never Again Bar & Grill which is a newer bar next to Senior Frogs. It was probably one of the funnest trips to Nassau even though we didn't do much. Coco Cay - So.Much.Fun. My husband and I have never been here so we don't have a comparison to the old vs. new but everyone in our group loved it. The same beautiful, relaxing beach areas are there along with all the other new activities. We spent most of the day by the pool bar (I told you...we're drinkers) My sister and her family went to the water park and loved it. Lines weren't bad at all and they had reduced the passes to $25 before we left so they were very happy. Some of us went out to the floating tiki bar which is fun, but a small rain storm rolled through so we headed back to land. We had lunch at Snack Shack which was surprisingly good. We had the crispy chicken sandwich and mozzarella sticks....hardly fancy but tasty! We all really had a great time. So much so that by the time we got back on the ship my other sister was already looking up itineraries that go there for next year 🙂 Debark: Easy easy easy! We had group 8 but we were a little slow getting off so I believe they were already on the teens by the time we got off. Either way there were almost no lines, and customs consisted of us standing in front of a camera and being let through. I have no idea what it was as I've never seen it before, but either way it took all of 10 seconds and we were out the door. Our flight home wasn't until 3:15 so we dropped our luggage off at the hotel that my sister and her family were staying at for another night (they drove in so they wanted to spend more time in the city) and 3 of us did a whirlwind tour of New York, hitting all the major things I wanted to see (I had to say I walked in Central Park) before heading back to Newark Airport. Which FYI is under construction and the week before we left it was voted the worst airport in the US...I can't say it was my favorite airport but it got the job done! Overall, it was just a great trip. My parents stayed on for the 6 day Canada sailing and are still receiving great service. I really don't have any negatives, other then the internet is not great on the Adventure-it was much better on the Allure and the Liberty which were our most recent Royal sailings. I didn't even get it because I had read it was bad and other then my dogs at home, there is thankfully not much I need to stay connected with as my family was with me. The rest of the group did have it and while it worked, it was intermittent. So if you really need to be connected, be aware that it's not the best! Any questions, please feel free to ask away. We don't keep the daily compasses (sorry) and we didn't even do any specialty dining our week, although I bought my parents a dining package for this week and they loved both times at Chops and one night in Giavannis. Also, I don't have kids but my sister did use the kids club-her middle daughter (7) LOVED it, but she usually does on most cruises. Her 3 year old went 2x's...but he's going through a bit of a mommy stage right now so once they convinced him to stay, he was good to go. Their 9 year old daughter has never been a fan of kids clubs so she never went. I believe my sister was happy with their services and my niece got a cute little boyfriend that she met there lol!
  14. I'm so sorry!! I totally missed that in your original post!! And I feel like this was a great post for both smokers and non-smokers alike. I unfortunately (for me) was the only one left in my group that still does (I know, it's gross and believe me, I know it needs to end!!) so it's nice to be somewhat prepared on where to step away to as needed. The positive of being the sole smoker in a group is that you definitely smoke WAY less when you don't have a buddy or two to go with you 🙂
  15. We prefer Fort Lauderdale both because the beach front area is fun and we like ease/closeness of the airport....since you're driving I would say go with the closer drive! Both are very nice, easy ports with plenty to do in the area if you're coming in the night before.
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