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MrsKC08

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  1. After our fun time with the birds, we ran into a few more as we walked the shops... I mean seriously...who couldn't spend the day just hanging around this port area? It really stinks that we had such a short visit at this port. So short in fact, that there were 8 people who were left at Costa Maya because they missed the "all aboard" time. Once back on the ship, we grabbed a quick lunch in the Garden Cafe and then made our way to the cabin to relax a bit before it was time for dinner and some evening fun. Dinner tonight was in Taste or Savor. To be honest, I don't quite remember. But this was the night of the Glow party in Spice H20 as well. After dinner we spent some time in the Atrium watching the Perfect Couple Game Show. This is quite fun, but again...another event that should be held in the theater and not the atrium...in my opinion. Shows like this always draw a crowd and it would be so much better if it wasn't right in the middle of the atrium. Once that was over, we made our way to the Glow Party up on deck in Spice H20. Lots of fun, lots of people in attendance, unlike our November cruise on Harmony for the White Out party. This was definitely fun for all. But then it was bed time. One more day...a sea day and then it was back to reality. Our last day was very relaxing, and sad...as they always are. Not much to report for that, other than we met some amazing people on this cruise who we feel will be friends for a very long time. Daily_Day6.pdf Daily_Day7.pdf
  2. I was thoroughly impressed with just the port area of Costa Maya. Had I known what there was available right there when you get off the ship, I wouldn't have booked Tropicante. I would have reserved a lounger there by the pool/bar/restaurant area and stayed right there. I'm not sure the cost, but there was a dolphin experience right in the port area. We enjoyed just watching the dolphins do tricks and play. I kept seeing these suspended bridges above us, and I really wanted to find out how to get up there. I could tell that my husband was getting a little frustrated following me around like we were in a maze as I kept looking above me. But...boy, was is really worth the effort to find it. There is a beautiful aviary floating above all the buildings and shops. It was $12 per person and they give you a little cup of seed so you can feed the birds. It was truly the highlight of our entire day, and probably the entire cruise! Toward the end of walking through the aviary, someone comes and snaps several photos. We had several digital photos emailed to us for $20! Best souvenir of the cruise, I think....oh, maybe the coffee in Honduras is a close second?!
  3. I'm back guys, and I hope you forgive me for having such a delay in this review. Covid-19 has taken over everything around the world it seems, and life has been crazy in our little world. But...I'm back and hope to get the last two days wrapped up today and tomorrow. Day 6 happened to be my favorite stop of the cruise. Costa Maya! Our plans for today was to spend the morning/early afternoon at Tropicante. We contacted Steve through email to request two loungers in shade to be reserved for us and quickly got a response back from him. It took us a little bit to find the "exit" from the port area to get a yellow taxi, but it was a quick ride to Tropicante. I was impressed when they knew who we were upon our arrival. Of course, my hubby said they must have overheard me call my husband's name when we got out of the taxi. Either way, it was a nice touch to be addressed by name. They took us to our loungers and gave us the WiFi password. I will say though, the WiFi didn't work at our loungers, and I had to go closer to the "restaurant" to get a decent signal. But that was ok. We were happy with our location... There was plenty of shade and a nice breeze blowing. Since we were the only ship in port at the time we got there, it was not crowded at all! Nice and quiet and a great place to relax. The only negative about the whole thing was the constant locals coming around trying to sell different things from sun glasses, to jewelry, to hats and more! It seemed to be every 5 minutes or more. We kindly said "no thank you" and they moved on...but it was a repetitive thing and became a nuisance for sure. The drinks were good, and the fish tacos were delicious! After lunch, we requested a taxi to take us back to the port. I wanted to do some shopping and look around before we had to be back onboard...which was an early 1:30pm all aboard time! 😞
  4. Well, they took us to a different part of the ship to get off, not to the stairs that we used when we got on. So, they filtered people off from the top (we were on the bottom) and with people who had mobility issues...it cause quite a snag. Not quite sure why they put us off at the other spot as opposed to the double stairs they use when we got on. There wasn't a tender at the stairs. And thanks for the birthday wishes. So sorry that you had to cancel, but you probably wouldn't have been able to truly enjoy yourself with the foot. At least I know I wouldn't have. I did see some people with boots on their feet during our cruise and I couldn't help but wonder if they were really enjoying themselves. But, at the end of the day a cruise is much better than sitting at home or at the office. Hi there. Sorry that there was a delay in my review. As you can imagine...the world is crazy right now and I've been dealing with work and home life issues. BUT...I'm back to finish! Thanks for coming by.
  5. Sorry for the delay guys, as you can imagine, life has been a little out of the ordinary. I hope you all are staying safe and finding creative ways to pass the time while staying in. . . . . Now, back to the review. Once back on board, and after having a light lunch in O'Sheehans, we got ready to have our spa treatments! With our Priority Access, we each received a $50 credit for a "signature" spa service. This has to be used on a port day, so we chose this day to get our treatments done since we knew we wouldn't spend the full time on the island. We both selected to have a facial, which happened to be my husbands FIRST ever. Needless to say, he truly enjoyed it. We both enjoyed our treatments. Of course, like most spa treatments on a cruise, they tried to do some upselling, but we both told them at the onset that we were not interested in any products or other services. Keep in mind, that although they discount the price of services on port days, your $50 credit is taken off the regular price, NOT the discounted price. And, like everything else you purchase onboard, there is a service charge automatically added to your bill. When it was all said and done, the final cost of both was about $169 with the gratuity included. We did not tip extra, as the service charge was 18%. Dinner tonight was at Cagney's. It was good, but quite frankly I feel like Chops on Royal Caribbean is better. Since I was celebrating my birthday on the cruise, even though today is my actual birthday, I had a card left for me in our cabin earlier in the cruise to take to any restaurant to have a cake celebration. We chose tonight to do that. Our server offered to have him and some of his fellow crew members sing for me, but I assured him that was no necessary. We could tell he was happy about that. 🙂 The cake was probably the only thing we had all week that wasn't that great. We ate a few bites, and decided it wasn't worth the calories, carbs, and miserable feeling I would have after eating it. We went right from dinner to Syd Normans to see Back in the Day. They are quite good, if you like 80s rock music...which I do. You can find some videos of them on Facebook, but I did not take any because I didn't have my camera with me. From there, we had 10:15 reservations for Million Dollar Quartet. One word, FABULOUS! I could have seen this show over and over again. Being music lovers like we are, especially country music...HELLO, NASHVILLE...We knew we'd enjoy this, but it was definitely one of the highlights of the week. You could tell these guys really studied their roles, and the people they were portraying. This is definitely a show you should not miss! Daily_Day5.pdf
  6. We made our way back to the tender pick up point, and there was already a big line, mostly because it was lunch time and people didn't want to pay for lunch at Harvest Caye when they could get a free one onboard. It was hot, not much of a wind, and we were ready to go. Although it was a long line, it took no time at all to get on the tender to make our way back to the ship. I do have to say that getting off the tender was probably the worst experience we have ever had. I bet it took over 45 minutes for us to get off and back on the ship, not counting the ride time. Back on board we decided to have lunch at O'sheehans.
  7. Once we were done lounging, we walked through the "wildlife experience". I love flowers and plants. There were some beautiful foliage around.
  8. Day Five: Harvest Caye. This was a port I was really looking forward to. I had never been to Belize and heard so many great things about it, not only from my husband who had been several years ago...you know, before me. I knew we were going to tender here because of the damage to the pier a few months ago. This was where the Priority Access was a plus. We were instructed to meet at the Illusionarium at 8:00. We were ushered onto the very first tender and were able to get a nice shaded lounge spot near the pool and restaurant/bar. One thing that is ultra frustrating for me is that you cannot use your cruise sea pass card at this stop. Almost every "private island" stop is tied to your shipboard account, this one...is not. You must pay with card or cash and expect to be taxed here and gratuity auto added to anything and everything. Two small mediocre drinks at the bar cost us $25! Needless to say, those were the only drinks we got all day there. We spent some time at the loungers until we got overrun by a group of 15 or so that were congregating around 3 chairs by us. Before we left we noticed there was a new visitor to the bar...do you see him? Take a little closer look My crazy mind kept hoping he would take a jump onto the unsuspecting folks below. Ha...
  9. Come to think of it, we did spend some time in Headliners for the Comedy. I think I had forgotten about that because the comedians weren't all that great and very easily to forget, IMHO.
  10. After lunch in the Garden Cafe, we headed back to the cabin to rest for the afternoon. Dinner tonight was Teppanyaki and boy was it delicious. A ton of food, and we definitely over ate for sure. Honestly, I don't remember much of what we did the remainder of the evening after dinner. I know we were both so stuffed there was no dancing. Daily_Day4.pdf
  11. When we left the monkey and sloths, we made a few other little stops at a local shop and a local Chocolate maker. Both were quite interesting, and the chocolate covered banana was delicious. Once back to the port, we did a little window shopping and some tequila tasting. My only souvenirs from this port were two bags of coffee. Funny, two years ago I wasn't drinking coffee, now...I am a coffee snob and coffee from Roatan was on my list of things I wanted to get! The water was so pristine and blue as we walked back to the ship to have a late lunch.
  12. Day four was our day in Roatan. To be honest, this is one port that we normally avoid for personal reasons. I had never been here, but Hubby has and had some pretty bad experiences here. We've also had friends who have had bad experiences (safety) here as well. BUT, since I had never been I wanted to at least experience it for myself. I knew this was one island that I didn't want to just go off "on our own" and explore, but I wasn't too terribly impressed with the excursion offerings from NCL and the prices for the few I was slightly interested in. Through many recommendations here, we chose Daniel Johnson and a back up plan with Explore Roatan. I cannot say enough good things about Daniel Johnson and the tour guide we had...who bless her heart, was having voice issues from all the tours they have been doing lately. But, she was such a trooper and did a fabulous job. I also liked how personal it was. It was just us and another couple with her, so we were able to get all our questions answers and have a more personal touch than if it had been a bus or shuttle load of people. We had the perfect weather. Not a cloud in the sky and the humidity was no unbearable at all. Nice breeze blowing all day. We got a good tour of the island as we made our way to what I knew would be a wonderful experience. As an animal lover, I couldn't stop talking about being able to hold a sloth and a monkey. Although our monkey's didn't cooperate very much, they sure were fun to watch. Let me give a PSA about these monkey's. They are little sneaky thieves. You are instructed to take everything out of your pockets, your hair, your earrings, etc because they will take it. They aren't lying folks. I witnessed these little boogers taking hair scrunchies out of women's hair, paper out of pockets, and even one that was exploring and digging through a woman's bun. They definitely inquisitive. The birds were absolutely beautiful too, which was a nice treat because I didn't know that we would get time with birds at the monkey/sloth zoo. Honestly, it was a great day and a wonderful experience. If there was any negative at all, it was that the free wifi was non existent. I could not connect, and I was truly hoping to so that I could check in and see how everything was back at home from the tornado aftermath. But...it just wasn't happening.
  13. Once back on board, we both took a shower to wash off the say and have a little late afternoon siesta! 🙂 Dinner was at Moderno, and oh so was is delicious but so much food! I wish I would have taken my camera to get some photos of the food, but quite honestly I wasn't even thinking about photos...just the delicious food we would be having. As many others have mentioned...the grilled pineapple was too die for! Don't skip out on that part or you will be missing out. We did check out the 80s party up in Spice H20 and it was well attended and lots of fun. 80s is my second favorite genre of music, being a child born in the 70s. But we didn't stay too long. We were both tired and it was quite windy up on deck. Daily_Day3.pdf
  14. Day three found us in Cozumel. Honestly, this is not one of my favorite Caribbean ports, but we always have a go to place when we are here...Nachi Cocom. If you've spent any time at all on these boards, I'm sure you've heard Nachi mentioned, along with Mr. Sanchos. They are similar, in that they are both all-inclusive type beach day "resort" type of excursions. You pay one price and it includes your drinks and food. We prefer Nachi over Mr. Sanchos mainly because they limit the number of guests to just 130 guests, where Mr. Sanchos does not limit their guest count. Mr. Sanchos is perfect for families or large groups that want to have more of a "party" type atmosphere IMHO, whereas Nachi is much more relaxed, laid back, and tranquil. You can book either directly with them on their websites. The day we were there, it was very quiet and not a whole lot of guests and the weather...it was picture perfect! And the drinks were free flowing... Those were all mine by the way. I was trying several different "recommendations" from the bar tender and our server. The wifi is free at Nachi, but unfortunately didn't reach well to our spot on the beach, so I walked over toward the pool and dining area to get a stronger connection so I could check in with our fur babies and my dad. Before I knew it, my phone notifications were going off with posts from Facebook, messenger, emails, etc... You can imagine my shock and confusion as to why people were worried about us. Had they heard something that we hadn't heard. Something going on with cruises or maybe something in Mexico. I just didn't know. And then I see what they were referring to... Needless to say, we were both shocked and concerned for what we would come home to. I quickly reached out to my dad who was at our house watching our fur babies, and he assured me...all was ok on the home front. Whew... Once we knew all was ok, we posted a quick live video on my page on the face site and then returned to my happy place and took some adult medicine (of the liquid kind) to calm my nerves a bit. After lunch, we had them call us a taxi and we made our way back toward port. I wanted to do some shopping, and I wanted to make sure to get some Vanilla. I do a lot of cooking and baking, and Cozumel has some of the best vanilla extract at the best prices. I ended up buying 3 one liter bottles of clear vanilla extract for $22. Score!! Then we made our way back to the ship.
  15. Happy Friday all! Sorry that I didn't do any updates yesterday. I was ordered Wednesday afternoon to start working remotely from home, given the current circumstances. I had other things to get into place to get that happening so that took my focus. BUT, I'm back today!
  16. Day Two gave us our first Sea Day as we made our way to Cozumel. For breakfast we decided to try O'Sheehan's which was a quick walk down the two decks to deck 7. As I mentioned, being on deck 9 was perfect for us and we found ourselves using stairs quite a bit throughout the week. We spent a lot of the day exploring more of the ship, checking out the shops, and even a nice afternoon nap. Believe it or not, we didn't spend any time up on the pool deck so I cannot comment on the chair hog situation. 🙂 This was the "Dress up or Not Night" of the cruise, and we dressed up! Matter of fact, formal nights on cruises are one of our favorite things to do. It's not often you get the chance to dress up and have a nice dinner, dancing and a show? Besides, my hubby sure cleans up nice. Dinner was in the Tropicana Room. That was the one and only photo we bought from the cruise. We had a lot taken, and liked many of them...but just didn't need anymore 8x10 photos of us. After dinner, we had 10 pm reservations for our first production show of the cruise, Burn the Floor. From our past experiences on other cruiselines, and from reports I had read...we made sure to arrive early (roughly 40 minutes early) to the theater. They hadn't quite opened it yet, but there were already a few people in line. The show was good, definitely high energy, but not one I'll remember and definitely not one I would see again if it was on a future cruise. Just not my type of show. But props to the dancers because they killed it. If I was up there, it would have been "Collapse on the Floor" instead of Burn the Floor. Once the show was over, it was time to turn in. I think just watching them wore me out! Day Two Daily Attached! Daily_Day2.pdf
  17. After dinner we made our way to the theater for the Welcome Aboard Show. I have to say that the theater here kind of surprised me. I'm so used to double level/balcony type theaters, it was strange to see the theater just on one deck, and only two aisles which makes it hard to get in and out of and a slow egress after a show or event in there. But the seats were comfy and I did like the bar service in there. I think it is so smart to have the tablets for them to place drink orders and scan cards at your seat without having to remember your order and take your card off to the bar. Service seemed pretty fast in there too, given that there is a bar right at the back of the theater. Props to NCL for this. Not sure if this is consistent with their other ships, but definitely something that we noticed as different from our other cruises. I was bummed to find out that they don't allow photos or video of the shows, which I've always been able to do on other cruises. So, unfortunately I won't have those to share in this review either. Just blows my mind that we cannot do that with NCL. And, although I tend to bend the rules a little when I go to the Opry and take a few short video clips (they don't allow it there either), I was a good girl and didn't take any this time. After the Welcome Aboard show, we headed to the Atrium to check out a little bit of the Majority Rules Game Show, and then off to bed. After all, I had been up since 2:30 that morning!
  18. Let me apologize and say that I did not take any photos of food or menus. Normally in past I have, but I just didn't drag my phone or my camera around with me when we were going to dinner. I know many people look forward to that, and I'm sorry that you won't find that in this review. One of the things I read so much about prior to this cruise was how bad the food was. Food is one of those things that is subjective and what one person might not enjoy, someone else might love. Not to mention, one chef can fix something one night that is a little off, and then the following night the same dish be perfect. BUT, I did go in with an open mind because I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment. I am here to say, that food our entire cruise was great! Matter of fact, we both said it was probably the best food we had in all of our cruises. Granted, the food could have been served at a little hotter temperature, but presentation, quality, quantity and choices were very good! But, since I don't have the menu's or photos of food. I hope that I can make it up by sharing the Freestyle Daily's for our cruise for those that like to plan. Attached is the Daily for Day One. Daily_Day1.pdf
  19. Don't quote me on it, but I think that was it on tap, at that particular bar. We didn't have any draft beer all week. Hubby was upset that they had no flavored whiskey/bourbon at any bar. He loves Jim Beam Apple and it was not available except in the store on board. Thanks for coming by and commenting. 🙂 We did find someone singing at one of the bars on Bourbon street, but we didn't stay long, if that tells you anything. Here in Nashville we have some amazing talent on Broadway...which thanks to the virus has them all shut down. 😞 Definitely a ghost town here now.
  20. This probably was my favorite sign I saw all week, just outside of Syd Normans! Rooms were ready around 1pm and we were able to drop off our carry on bag. And, before we knew it, it was time for our muster drill which happened to be in O'Sheeans. Typical drill, but dang no one wants to listen. I can't tell you how many times they asked people to get off their phones and they would start. On a foot note, we had a super fun couple sit next to us at the bar during the drill that we immediately clicked with. We found ourselves spending time with them every night of our cruise in the Atrium. By the way, this is one of my favorite things about cruising...meeting new people! Normally for sail away, we would make our way up to the pool deck to watch as we sailed out into the ocean. But, all our prior sailings have been out of Florida and with us going out of NOLA and being on the river, I wanted to be down low so I could see things as we sailed by. We elected to do our sail away from deck 8 at the Waterfront. Soon it was time to get ready for dinner, which would be in Taste.
  21. Good morning CCers! 🙂 Glad to have you join in on my chance to relive our cruise vacation. With everything going on in the world these days, I kinda wish I was back on a cruise ship and away from it all. We certainly didn't hear anything about it while on the ship, except for the times we had a our TV on trying to get some information about the horrible Tornado situation that hit our city while we were gone. I'll get to that shortly....but I think I left off just before our embarkation! Checking out of the hotel and finding the Fulton Parking Garage was quick and easy. We had pre-paid for our parking via www.neworleansparking.com website. Our total for the week was $83.40 and included transportation to and from the terminal. We showed our confirmation email upon entering the garage and were directed to go all the way (8 levels) to the top for parking. It was tight corners for sure, but doable in our SUV. We gathered our luggage and tried to find the elevator down, which took some exploring. Once down and outside to wait for the shuttle, we took a photo of our luggage, just in case we needed to identify it later. They also asked that everyone take a photo of the shuttle so we knew what shuttle to look for upon our return in 7 days. The ride over was quick and smooth, but the cluster once at the terminal was CRAZY. The crowds of people leaving, along with those of us arriving made for a mass confusion on everyone's part I think. People trying to push onto the shuttle before everyone was off, and then trying to find where we were supposed to drop off our luggage just gave me a huge headache. BUT, once we dropped our bags off with the porters, it was smooth sailing through security and check in. Matter of fact, I don't truly think they looked at our documents, and although there was an additional health form to fill out...it was easy peasy! I think from the time we got onto the shuttle at the garage, to the time we were sitting in the waiting area was a matter of 30 minutes max! PRIORITY ACCESS: For this cruise, I opted to pay the extra fee and do the Priority Access. I know that many people feel this is a waste of money, and there were times that I second guessed my purchasing it, but there were a few reasons why I decided on it. First, I knew there was a good possibility that we would have to tender in Roatan, and then after hearing about the tendering at Harvest Caye, I knew that we definitely would be needing to tender at least once. Second, since we have never cruised with NCL (again, Hubby was a lowly Bronze), we weren't sure how the embarkation would be with us "steerage" class. 😉 And Third, the priority disembarkation was important for us since we had a long drive ahead of us to get back home once the cruise was over. As for the check-in process, we found that there was definitely signage indicating where we were to go. I had read several accounts that this was not the case, but there was signs for Priority Access. They offered to give us a boarding group number, which would have been 1 had we taken it, but when I mentioned the Priority Access, and showed them our cards with the PRTY stamped on them, they told us we didn't need it. Some reported that there was a special waiting area for Priority, but I asked 5 different staff members and they said there was none. The only "special" waiting area was for those in Haven, which quite honestly is laughable for us. As I mentioned, we sail Royal Caribbean regularly. And, although we don't splurge for a suite, I can tell you that the waiting area for those who are in suite on RCCL are amazing... But what they have for those in Haven suites in NOLA is basically the size of a regular classroom with chairs. It kind of shocked both of us, with what you pay for Haven to be put in a little closed off room, I know I would have been disappointed. But...it's also something I'll never experience as we won't be sailing in suites (unless we find some crazy deal)! Anyway, once Haven are called to board, and then those requiring special assistance, Priority and Platinum passengers were called. Be prepared though, people all swarm the entry point and you have to push your way through, and be prepared to show your sea pass card indicating the Priority Access. Once onboard, we entered on deck 7 at O'Sheeans and stopped there to get our first drink and await lunch which would open at 11:30! For lunch, hubby went with the coney island dog with fries, and I had the open faced turkey. We shared the nachos! All was good and hot, with the exception of the cheese sauce. TIP, ask for the cheese on the side OR and for EXTRA cheese. I found later in the week that if I did this, the cheese was hotter. Once lunch was done, we set off to explore the ship.
  22. I agree...just because someone is a doctor doesn't make them a know it all. I just stated what I heard. But, you are wrong. Coronavirus was first identified in the 1960s. Since then, seven human-infecting types of coronavirus have been identified, including Covid-19, also known as Wuhan Coronavirus. That information was just pulled from a reputable health website. And confirmed by the CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html
  23. I've heard from several people in the medical field (doctors and nurses) that this was the 19th strain. So...Dunno. Either way, we have definitely seen this virus in the past.
  24. Ok...you had me at garlic butter! Dang...I missed out. Guess another cruise out of Nola is in order.
  25. No Oysters. We are not oyster eaters. I did remember you mentioning them to me before though. 🙂
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