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About tripleboom

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Western Iowa
  • Interests
    Hockey, Travel, Golf
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  1. I kept meaning to circle back and thank everyone again, but a busy weekend got in the way. Thanks to everyone that followed and read along! This was a lot of fun for me to put together, and it brings us to the 368 day mark until the next cruise! Since it'll just be the two of us on that cruise, there will probably be a few more drink and food photos to be had! πŸ˜„ Until then, from our family to yours, happy sailing to you all!
  2. I believe the problem is with power strips with surge protectors. I've brought the same power strip on four cruises without issue so far. There were two U.S. outlets and a European outlet in our balcony room. None in the bathroom.
  3. After disembarking, we tracked down our five pieces of luggage, hailed a Lyft, and got our ride back to the hotel where we had left our vehicle. No issues with pick up there, and not long after we were back on the road, heading as far as Little Rock for the night. Pro tip: Don't try to stop for lunch in a town in the midst of a huge strawberry festival. You'll never get back to the interstate. OOPS! Lesson learned. After an hour spent trying to get food and gas and back on the road, we did manage to get to Little Rock shortly before dark. With the longer leg ahead of us the next day, we ate breakfast and hit the road early. We did plan to stop in Ozark, Missouri for lunch and the spectacle that is Lambert's Cafe. With their famous complimentary "pass arounds" like fried okra, macaroni salad, and piping hot rolls (which they throw to you from across the room in some cases) with sorghum, this place is the perfect way to fall asleep at the wheel right after you get back to the car. πŸ™‚ Back in long sleeves. 😭 That's not bacon on my burger, that'd be hog jowl. 🀀 Incoming! I thought better of trying to add a brownie the size of a dinner plate to my meal, and soon after we were back on the road for home. Right around St. Joseph, Missouri was when the boys decided they'd had enough of being in the car. The past two days in the car, plus being overly tired from such a full week made the adults cranky enough without the boys acting up too. I pushed the speedometer forward a little further. πŸ™‚ We finally found ourselves arriving home to a beautiful sunset on our little country hilltop. Exhausted, but full of wonderful memories and probably still full of O'Sheehan's wings and brownies. Thanks everyone for following along during this review of our family's time aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. Our boys couldn't have possibly had a better first cruise experience! Now...... what do I do with the 372 days before our next cruise?? Hmmmmmm. πŸ€”
  4. Disembarkation Day I had kept meaning throughout the cruise to give a quick walk through of our cabin. Knowing that essentially all of the non-suite bathrooms looked the same, I skipped that area, but wanted people to be able to see the set up of the room with the pullman down and the couch converted. Cabin 9126 really was perfect for us, and felt just right for our family. I definitely would have wanted more room if our kids were teenagers, but we found plenty of storage for all our clothes and accessories, and never felt overly crowded, due in large part to the expanded balcony. The boys were still pretty bummed out, so you'll have to excuse their mopey faces in the video. After getting up and about, we gathered up our last few items in the room, and were headed up to the buffet for our last meal. We had taken one of the last time slots for disembarkation as were weren't in a huge rush. We ate a leisurely breakfast, sulked... ... and then headed to Deck 7 to disembark. We stood on the boat deck for probably 20 minutes or so as everyone shuffled toward the security checkpoint where our cabin cards would be scanned for the last time. We retraced our steps from five days prior where we had been so excited to board, and gave a last goodbye to our ship; the end of a perfect family vacation.
  5. After dropping off the boys at Splash Academy, Stacy and I headed back to the room and finally set about enjoying a bottle of wine that we had brought with us. In all the crazy, packed past several days we hadn't made much time to just sit down and chat just the two of us. Tonight we watched the last few rays of sun slip away while sitting in the balcony loungers, sipping on our favorite wine. Tough to beat. Is there anything more bittersweet than the final sunset of a cruise? With the wine bottle emptied, we headed to O'Sheehan's for our last meal of the cruise, knowing that we still had to get back to the room to finish packing. This wound up being a lot of fun as Bandaoke was starting up in the atrium below. I gotta tell ya, there were actually a lot of very impressive singers in the bunch. Right up until Gary (name changed to protect the very guilty). Gary decided he'd try his hand at the Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." So much of that song was basically spoken rather than sung by Neil, so I figured Gary should be able to handle this without too much difficulty. Oh, Gary. What proceeded made me grateful that no service dogs were in the atrium that night, as Gary's off-key bari-ten-prano voice filled the expansive room until the crowd would provide temporary relief in the form of "BA BA BA!!!!" every so often. It was all Stacy and I could do to keep from having iced tea spew out our noses with each caterwauled line of the song. God bless the house band that managed to drive the tempo as the song began to drag, bringing it to as speedy a conclusion as they could manage! 🀣 Gary, if you're out there, please know that we really were laughing with you, not at you. We had a wonderful last night due in no small part to you! After dinner we retreated to the room to finish packing up and tagging bags to be set out that night. Stacy also took the time to fill out our Hero cards for the unforgettable staff of the Breakaway. Again, a huge shout out to Yintao, aka Cici, who made Landon's whole trip! With full dark now well upon us, we saw movement out on the balcony and saw that we were passing a large ship, signaling that we had left behind blue oceans and recently re-entered the Mississippi, working our way back to Mississippi for our morning arrival. After picking up the Boys from Splash (and the cookies from the buffet of course), the finality of it sunk in for the boys. To anyone on the balconies around us on that last night, I apologize for my wailing kids. It took quite a while to calm them and get them tucked into bed that night. No one wants to leave a ship like this to go back to school on Monday. I feel ya boys. 😞 With the overly tired boys finally asleep, Stacy and I did the same, and thus ended our last night aboard.
  6. My kids barely survived muster without trying to call for a mutiny, so I can't imagine how they'd have done with the Panama Canal excursion talk. πŸ˜„ Thanks so much for the feedback!!
  7. Connor asked me to take a sunset pic of his duck. ☺️ I haven't mentioned my amazing wife nearly as much as I have mentioned the kids, but let me say it now. Stacy is an amazing woman, and I am incredibly blessed to be able to call her my wife. We've now been on four cruises together, and I'm so excited to see what the next 60 years of our lives together will bring. Hopefully lots more cruises together! Just a couple more moments of sunshine before sending the boys off to Splash Academy as the ship slips into the evening.
  8. Just off the ship on 4/12. It was one of the first things I looked for as we were setting up our cabin. No such luck. Glad I brought our power strip along!
  9. After the dinner show was over, we needed to head back to the cabin before the boys' final night of Splash Academy. Tonight was pajama night, so they were all too happy to dress the part. The boys were also quite pleased with the final towel animal that awaited them when we returned. As we waited for 7 PM to roll around, we were treated to a wonderful sunset on our side of the ship, so we took full advantage of the views and soaked up every minute we could.
  10. There certainly is plenty of lemonade to go around on a ship like the Breakaway, but I'm with ya. The loss of Cirque shows is quite a blow.
  11. When we got back to our cabin after Costa Maya, Connor was all too happy to start waving and saying hello to all those aboard the Jade, so hopefully he served as a deterrent to anyone getting too comfortable in their suites! πŸ˜‚ I think the kid complement on the Breakaway was probably lower than average as well, but I still think there were at least 80-90 kids of the Splash Academy age based on what I saw at the Extravaganza event. It never felt like the staff was overwhelmed by the number of kids, but I can't imagine what it's like during the high traffic times! I've looked at the water park each of our last two times in Costa Maya, but always opted for other activities. How would you rate your experience there? In videos and photos it certainly appears like it would be a fun way to spend the day!
  12. After the kids' show, they were all taken back to Splash Academy until it closed at 5 PM. This gave Stacy and I the chance to head back to the cabin and take care of a couple needed tasks. First and foremost, I needed to go to the atrium to pick out our colored tags for disembarkation. Other than disembarkation itself, I don't think I've had a sadder stroll on a cruise ship. The finality of picking out tags and declaring when you agree to voluntarily leave the ship just seems so mean! I consoled myself with another couple of pictures of the 678 Ocean Place chandelier. Upon my return to the room, I started packing up as much as I could, trying to get ahead of the task a bit. Finally 5 O'Clock rolled around, and Stacy went to grab the kids. When she left to do that, I headed down to Deck 6 to get in line for the Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy Dinner Show. We had reserved this experience on the first day of the cruise, and decided to shell out the money for the kids to come with us. We knew that Burn the Floor wouldn't have interested them much and that Rock of Ages would have scarred them for life, so we thought we'd book this experience to give them a little taste of the entertainment available on board. When I arrived at the entrance to the Spiegel Tent, I found that I was actually the first in line. I knew with a dinner theater set up that it'd serve us well to arrive early to get a good seat. I also knew that many of the best seats would have been reserved for Haven guests, so it was all the more important to get there early. I passed the time until the doors opened by chatting with a mother and daughter pair from Texas as well as amusing myself with the fun house mirrors posted outside. Stacy hadn't arrived yet with the boys, but when the doors opened, they scanned by sign & sail card, asked how many were in my party, and escorted me to a table with seats right at the foot of the round stage that sat near the slightly off-center, round stage in the room. As more and more guests filed in, and the appointed start time of 6:15 neared, I hadn't seen Stacy yet. I began fearing that I'd have to defend their seats in similar fashion to the Rock of Ages family in front of us the previous night. Fortunately, with about 10 minutes to spare, Stacy and the boys arrived. I came to find out that in the excitement of the post-show, Connor had either elected not to or never had the chance to wash the clown makeup off his face. Rather than risk looking silly, or worse yet being mistaken for a performer, Stacy hurried back to the cabin to clean Connor up. Our apologies to the staff tasked with getting THAT towel back white again! Once we were settled in, the waitstaff began serving the prix fixe meal to us. They did offer a chicken strips and fries alternative for the young ones, but the price per person for the show was a fixed $47.99 regardless of age or meal selected. Because we still had an SDP credit left, Stacy and I cost only $12/person for our two dinner show admissions. As many have opined before, the meal itself is nothing to write home about, and is probably sub-par compared to the meals offered in the MDR. A prosciutto & mozzarella antipasto was served first, followed by a surf & turf main course consisting of jumbo shrimp, beef tenderloin, potato fingerlings (they were just simple potato wedges, let's not dress it up more than is needed), and broccoli. Of the main course items, the shrimp was actually quite good. The steak was overdone and swimming in a glaze of some sort, but I had known about the knocks on the food in here well ahead of arriving. Apparently the couple near us had not been, and the gentleman called for the management to discuss his concerns. His significant other was soon after served a plate of chicken strips and fries. πŸ˜„ Finally, the dessert trio of a mini-red velvet cupcake, creme caramel, and chocolate cake were served. All three of these were really quite good I found. Throughout the dinner service, a number of cast members waltzed and pranced about in costumes reflective of the jungle theme. While photos and video during the show itself were strictly prohibited, we were encouraged to take photos during this time. A hunched over human costumed to look like an emu? βœ”οΈ Once the dinner plates were all cleared, the lights came down and the show began. With trapeze acts, jugglers that juggled a half dozen balls while riding a hoverboard, a juggler that did so while riding a unicycle on a slack line, jugglers that juggled other humans, a pair of roller skaters that skated around the platform at speeds that wouldn't be advised on dry land let alone on a rocking cruise ship. All in all, it was a VERY impressive show filled with lots of "Ooooohs," and "Ahhhhhhs," gasps, and laughter from adults and children alike. Sadly, I believe that as of the end of this month, this show is no longer being offered on the Breakaway. Knowing that, I am all the gladder for having paid what we did to watch this show with our boys. Sub-par meal or not, it was worth every penny for the entertainment alone!
  13. If my own experience is any indication, you're going to have a terrific time! Have a blast!!
  14. After our time at the pool, we had to get the boys changed again and ready to go to Splash Academy. They were coming up on their shining moment! Throughout the week the kids had been working on skills and tricks to be part of the Splashtacular Extravaganza, a circus style show that the kids put on for parents on the last day of the cruise. The boys had kept us in the dark about what they'd been doing, so we were going to be surprised by their roles in the show. The show was scheduled for 3 PM, so after dropping the boys off at Splash Academy Stacy and I headed for the theater to make sure we could get good seats for their show. Deal or No Deal was still going on so we sat through the last couple of rounds of that before that crowd departed and we then settled into the second row for the show. Soon the kids all started to get paraded in and took their seats in the audience wing areas to wait for their turn on stage. While I spotted Landon right away, Connor was nowhere to be seen. Hmmmm. πŸ€” Before long, the show got underway and Splash Academy staff serves as the ring leaders of this circus. Unfortunately, the first announcement they made was that the show would be delayed as we all had to go through the muster drill one more time. The ring leader asked for the circus clowns to come out and show us the muster drill again. That's when we saw Connor in full clown gear come out onto the stage with a handful of other kids. Let me tell you, this kid is a natural born ham. He enjoyed his moments in the spotlight far too much if you ask me! His little butt wiggles at the end still put me in stitches! 🀣 Earlier in the week Landon had told us time and time again that he wanted no part of this circus thing. Putting on a show for anyone, let alone an audience mostly full of strangers made him super nervous. But when the time came, he was ready! He didn't look overly happy about it, but I think he was just very focused on his act more than anything. His scarf juggling was flawless, and by the end he did have a big smile on his face!
  15. Day 5 - At Sea As it was with our first day at sea, and particularly after such a long, full day the day before, we elected to let the kids sleep in a little bit. Ok, WE wanted to sleep in and were happy the boys let us do so! Even still, we were up and getting around by 9:00 or so. While the boys were getting ready, we stepped out to the balcony to start soaking in the last day of tropical sun. After we got dressed, we headed up to the buffet to recharge. The boys were hoping to squeeze in a little more pool time before we had to bring them to an afternoon Splash Academy session. We told them they could play more on the pool deck or do Splash Academy, and they were ALL over going back to Splash Academy. While we were finishing up at breakfast, a young girl came over to our table, offered a shy smile, then said, "See you at the pool, Landon!" before she ran off. Apparently Landon and this young lady had made plans to meet up at the pool the night before. I wasn't about to let Landon break a young girl's heart, so we headed back to the room, changed into the swim gear, and headed to the pool. Here's Landon's little friend with her back to the camera. Connor's best "That's enough pictures, Dad" face. We also managed to squeeze in a few more trips down the slides for good measure.
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