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About alleghator

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Jersey
  • Interests
    Community theatre, travel, movies, TV, knitting
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    St. Thomas or Roatan

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  1. I canceled an excursion the night before we arrived in Grand Turk. I booked another excursion and received a full refund for the first one.
  2. I've seen a few requests after mine receive responses, so I'm respectfully re-submitting mine. Please send the map to alleghator at gmail dot com. Thank you!
  3. If you want to fly, Newark would be the closest, probably.
  4. Bayonne is just outside of NYC. (the cruise terminal is about 3 hours from Baltimore)
  5. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!!! My daughter and I are exploring going back on the Pride for a spring break cruise in April. We didn't use the slides on this trip. We didn't spend much time on the lido deck at all -- except for getting burgers or burritos, or watching the movie. We will be on Royal next August out of Bayonne.
  6. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
  7. Excited to check out this resource! Please email alleghator@gmail.com
  8. We just had Cabana #14 a few weeks ago, and it was heavenly. They give you a ride out to the cabana, and if you let one of the attendants know when they stop by, they will call for a golf cart to take you back. We liked being away from the crowds. (My trip report has pictures) We had FTTF and went to the excursion desk immediately upon boarding and there were already five cabanas claimed before we picked ours.
  9. SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 -- Day at Sea We slept in some today, but eventually headed to the dining room for breakfast. Upon coming up the stairs from our cabin, we saw these towel animals leading into the Taj Mahal. VIEW FROM OUR BREAKFAST TABLE After breakfast, we decided to pack our suitcases. Not because we were in a hurry for vacation to end, but because we wanted to do some shuffling between bags to see if we could get everything down into what we could carry off. It was fairly quick. We left out clothes for dinner that night and to drive home the next day. Then we met up for General Knowledge trivia (and another WIN!). We didn't do so well at board game trivia (which was a bummer, since we play a lot of board games), but then we were again on the winning team for Trivial Pursuit. We had to change seats between trivia and Trivial Pursuit, because it started to rain heavily outside and the window was leaking! Fluffy called for service, but no one came while we were there. MAKING GOOD ON MY CHEERS PACKAGE TRIVIAL PURSUIT BEFORE TRIVIAL PURSUIT AFTER WATER RUNNING DOWN THE *INSIDE* OF THE WINDOW Emily and I went to the final art auction to check it out and try to win prizes. I'd never attended a cruise art auction before and found it quite interesting. I bought a sericel for my husband's birthday. I kept checking eBay constantly throughout to check to see if the cruise auction offerings were good deals. Many were. Some weren't. They had many different ways of selling the art, which kept it interesting. We didn't stay all the way until then end. We were there about an hour and a half. I had to go later that night to the gallery to finalize my purchase and give them shipping information. The art arrived at our house about a week ago in packaging that was seriously overkill for the size of what I bought. Guy's Burgers again for lunch. It was pretty empty all day on the Lido deck due to the rain. Then we headed back to the pub for some board games. Our local community theatre performed Mamma Mia this summer, so we may have noticed it more than we otherwise would have, but we did hear a lot of ABBA in the Red Frog Pub. We like it, but we had to laugh because we always heard ABBA if we were in there for more than a few minutes at a time. The it was time for Game of Thrones trivia. We missed only one, but two people had perfect scores, so we weren't contenders. We had a lovely final dinner in the dining room. I was just worn out, so I didn't stay for dessert, but went back to the cabin for a nap. It didn't occur to me that I'd miss saying good-bye to our wonderful servers, and I feel bad about that. We wound up back in the piano bar on our usual stools, and then few of us regulars followed Mike downstairs to the Pub where he performed with the "Frog Fest" music festival. He sang with the CocoNotes. He was a great performer and appreciated us for being such great piano bar supporters. He came over and sang with us on mic as he worked the room. And he came over and personally thanked us for being such fun all week. He said that our enthusiasm was a big part of the fun that week. I joked, "Well, any time Carnival wants to give us a free cruise, we will come back and drum up business in the piano bar." He then said that Holland America pays "patrons" to do just that -- cruise their ships and have a great time getting everyone involved and that it keeps people drinking longer and having a better experience all around. If this is real, sign me up! USING MAGNETIC HOOKS TO GET MY FAN TO KEEP BLOWING ON ME ALL NIGHT SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 -- Debarkation We packed our final items and had a quick Lido deck breakfast. We had FTTF info directing us to the Red Frog Pub by 9:15. We were there around 8:40am and it was already crowded. We got a table and the guys had one last game of shuffleboard. They called us at 9:08am and it was so easy to disembark. I wasn't eager for the cruise to be over, but I hate when travel and complications cause stress at the end of a relaxing vacation. This was completely stress-free. The line snaked through to the lobby, our S&S cards were scanned one more time and we wheeled our luggage down the ramp. Once in the terminal, our passports were checked. We were in the car and pulling out at 9:34am. It was a wonderful vacation and I can't cruise with Carnival again (they sent our S&S balance on a gift card, so I will have to find something!). We are sailing on Royal Caribbean for the first time next August out of Bayonne. Thank you for everyone who followed along and for all the kind comments! QUICK PIC WITH FLUFFY BEFORE LEAVING. SHE LOVED MATTHEW AND REMEMBERED HIM THROUGHOUT THE WEEK. GOOD-BYE FOR NOW, PRIDE!
  10. FRIDAY, AUGUST 16 -- FREEPORT We slept in a little this morning before getting Lido buffet breakfast again. We had no plans in Freeport, and it was such a short visit. Joe and Matthew stayed onboard while Emily and I walked around to see the port area and do a little shopping. There isn't much there -- Senor Frogs, some T-shirt shops, souvenirs, etc. We were back on board in about an hour. WELCOME TO FREEPORT ANOTHER SHIP AT FREEPORT LOADING FUEL ONTO THE PRIDE IT WAS ACTUALLY INTERESTING TO WATCH THE WORK UNLOADING THIS CONTAINER SHIP BLUE IGUANA LUNCH -- WE ALSO GOT EXTRA PICO TO GO WITH THE CHIPS LEFT OVER FROM HALF MOON CAY There was a strong smoke smell throughout the Piazza Café and toward the Taj Mahal, and we hadn't noticed it early in the cruise. We came to the conclusion that it was from the doors being open down on Deck Zero. There was a constant breeze drawing smoky air from the casino forward along deck two. We WON at Fact or Fiction trivia and at the Heads Up game which preceded the Win a Cruise Bingo. Two more Ships on Sticks! I also won some bingo cards, so we played to see if we'd win a cruise. We only needed one more, but didn't win. It's the only bingo we played this week. LORD BINGO AT TRIVIA Matthew played the piano and we napped a bit. The Captain made an announcement about some rough weather ahead on the way back north. I love storms and so does Emily (she's a meteorology major), so we had to go up as high as we could to check it out. We all gussied up for our final Elegant Night and made our way to the dining room for dinner. Then it was back to the Piano Bar! Next … Last day .. AT SEA ...
  11. THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 -- HALF MOON CAY We got up around 8am and headed to the Lido for a buffest breakfast. We thought we weren't moving, but when we got up on deck we realized we hadn't anchored yet, but were moving quite slowly. VIEW AS WE WERE COMING IN TO ANCHOR We met at the Taj Mahal around 8:40 (our excursion tickets said to meet at 8:45). They announced that we wouldn't need any photo ID, only our S&S cards. So, I quickly ran back and put our passports in the safe in the cabin. We soon called to get onto the first tender to shore. It took a little while to load everyone one, and some people were complaining. But, it was a beautiful day and we were on vacation, so we just sat and waited and did our best to ignore the grumps. READY FOR A BEACH DAY! LOOKING UP FROM THE TENDER ON OUR WAY TO THE ISLAND GLIMPSE OF THE ISLAND ON OUR WAY IN PLAYGROUND When we got to the island, we had to wait awhile for the food to be unloaded (they made an announcement to this effect while we were still in the Taj Mahal). People started getting off around 9:15am. We went directly to the sign-in desk where they had our names on the list for a cabana. There were some shops and a bar right at the pier. We didn't go to any of these. We got on an open "safari" type truck and everyone was dropped off at cabanas. WE DIDN'T STOP FOR A PICTURE, BUT HURRIED TO THE SIGN-IN DESK MAP OF THE ISLAND READY TO GO TO OUR CABANA WE DROVE PAST THE PIRATE BAR FIRST VIEW OF CABANA #14 We loved having a cabana. Emily and I spent a lot time reading, and Joe and Matthew played games at the table. We would occasionally use the floats in the ocean (which was heavenly). The breeze/current kept pushing us along the shore, so it was hard to just float and relax for long at a time. It was wonderful having the shower to rinse off. The sand was the softest I've ever seen, and the water was warm and quiet. The snacks arrived around 10:30 and there was plenty for the day. I made a run over to the buffet (mostly out of curiosity) and brought back some salad and a couple of burgers. But, everyone had plenty with the fruit, veggies, chips, and drinks provided with the cabana. And the buffet food was mediocre, really. We had check-ins from attendants a handful of times while we were there, but nothing intrusive. It was an entirely relaxing and perfect day. By about 2:30pm, we packed up and took a tender back to the ship. VIEW FROM OUR CABANA WE DIDN'T USE THE MIST FUNCTION MUCH, BUT THE FAN WAS LOVELY. IT WAS NICE TO PLUG IN NEXT TO THE FAN -- WE PLAYED MUSIC ON MY PHONE THE GUACAMOLE WAS PHENOMENAL WAITING FOR THE GOLF CART TO TAKE US BACK TO THE TENDER -- AN ATTENDANT CALLED IT FOR US HEADING BACK TO THE SHIP After we got back on board, we showered and hit some trivia. Emily played some more piano. We chilled out until dinner. We were all kind of sleepy from all the fresh air and sun. WE FOUND A FEW DUCKS AND RE-HID THEM WAITING FOR THE EAGLES SCORES TO COME AROUND ON THE SPORTS B AR TICKER Next up ….. Freeport!
  12. Thank you! We're very close. We have the best times together.
  13. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, GRAND TURK This was our first visit to Grand Turk, and when we come someplace new, we always like to get an overview of the country and see as much as possible. We booked (at the Excursion desk) the Island Vibes Bus Tour and Beach Getaway. We had a 10:30am departure from the desk in the center of the Cruise Center. We started our day relatively early and made it up to the Lido buffet for breakfast before the ship had finished docking. We were called to disembark at about 8:35, and we joined the line on deck 2. It moved quickly and soon we plopped our stuff down on some beach loungers in the shade at the pool. Thank you, Margaritaville! We swam and splashed around for about an hour and then Emily and I did a little shopping. We all met back up at 10:30 for our tour. They read everyone's names off lists and gave us all wristbands. There were enough people for two small tour buses (maybe 20 people each). The tour was informative and interesting and made it all over the small island. It was sad to see hurricane damage and litter around, but it was good to remember that not all of the island is like the artificiality of the cruise center area. We saw the lighthouse, interacted with the donkeys (even a baby one), saw the Salinas and heard about the salt industry. We saw some very expensive properties and got to see much of the island. There was a quick stop to see some flamingos (at a bit of a distance). Everyone had the chance to keep a hunk of salt crystal from the largest Salinas. The tour ended at the beach near the wrecked ship (Governor's Beach?). We didn't need any beach time that day (with Half Moon Cay coming up tomorrow), so we just stayed on the bus back to the cruise center. We only would've had maybe 40 minutes there anyway. We did a little more shopping and got back onboard. VIEW FROM THE LIDO LINE TO GET OFF THE PRIDE THE BAR WAS BUSY AT 9AM VIEW FROM OUR CHAIRS EM EMILY LOVED POSING WITH THE TURK'S HEAD CACTI SOME LOVE FOR A BABY PALM TREE OUR BUS THIS SIGN MADE ME LAUGH OUR TOURGUIDE, JAMES, SHOWING US SOME SEA LIFE I GOT TO HOLD A SEA URCHIN. THEY'RE PRICKLY AND KIND OF CUTE! GATHERING SALT CRYSTALS YUMMY SPICE CAKE! I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE UNTIL AFTER EATING ALMOST HALF OF IT. When we got back onboard, there was a surprise waiting for us in our cabin. Thank you, John Heald! Joe and I went back on deck after dropping off our beach bag. We had a late lunch at Guys/Blue Iguana and then headed down to deck three. I always like to watch when the ship is unmoored from the pier. I grew up a Navy brat, and ship operations fascinate me. VIEW FROM DECK THREE LOOKING ACROSS AT THE MAGIC STILL A GOOD-SIZED LINE. THIS IS ABOUT 30 MINUTES AFTER WE WERE ALL SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN BACK ONBOARD. While we were watching, the Hotel Director came up and chatted with us for awhile. It was really interesting to ask him questions about how this all works. He eventually got a call on the radio that the ship was at "Zero Count," which meant everyone who'd left had returned onboard. He excused himself and dashed off. PULLING IN THE GANGWAY UNMOORED Once we were underway, it was time for a quick nap before Emily and I met up for the Digital Scavenger hunt. We had a great time, but sadly only came in second place. The guys, of course, played more shuffleboard before dinner. WE WATCHED BEER PONG FOR A WHILE FLAT IRON STEAK WITH BAKED POTATO AND MAC AND CHEESE AFTER DINNER, EMILY PLAYED SOME PIANO (OUTSIDE THE DINING ROOM ON DECK THREE) BACK AT THE POKER TABLE NEXT UP …… HALF MOON CAY
  14. TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, SEA DAY #2 I slept sooooo much better with the fan on me. Didn't have any more issues feeling too hot at night. We woke up around 8am and headed to the main dining room for breakfast (brunch). I didn't take many pictures this day (because I forgot to charge my phone overnight). The next thing we did was check the next day's weather in Grand Turk. The extensive UV warnings and high temps/humidity made me very nervous. Heat and humidity are major asthma triggers for me (summers in South Jersey are rough), and snorkeling with our pasty backs exposed to the Caribbean sun for several hours without relief seemed like a bad idea. So, I went to the Shore Excursion desk and they canceled our Power Snorkeling excursion with a full refund. We booked a bus tour of the island instead. We spent this Sea Day in our typical fashion -- board games (this time we played in the card room and ran up to the Lido deck to bring back lunch), trivia contests, shuffleboard. We played "Reverse Charades" (really the celebrity Heads Up game) and Matthew won a Ship on a Stick (He won one on our cruise 9 years ago and was VERY eager to get another one). Dinner tonight was a special treat: The Chef's Table! While not necessarily "foodies" per se, my kids have always loved cooking shows on TV, so we all thought it would be great to try some truly unique dishes. The menu is standard and has been posted many times online before, so I'm not going to list everything here. Everything was creative and delicious and they were very careful to accommodate my husband's no-dairy requirements. The close-up magic performance was a big surprise and a great treat! LOUNGING BEFORE DINNER MY SASSY GIRL, READY TO GO TO DINNER AFTER A SHORT TIME IN THE GALLEY (with a few tastings), WE WERE SHOWN TO DINNER I FORGOT I TOOK THIS -- HERE'S THE MENU, AFTER ALL! After dinner, we stopped back in the cabin nd found our favorite towel animal of the trip Then we headed back to our regular stools in the piano bar. When Mike found out that Emily can play, he invited her up to the piano during one of his breaks. https://www.facebook.com/heidi.dugan.9/videos/a.10220239733485222/10220262556255777/?type=3&theater He even told her where on the ship there is an unlocked piano. After 12 years of piano lessons, Emily is quite good, and she plays at home almost every day. She was happy to get her "fix" in while onboard. We loved the piano bar and got to know several of the regulars there. This night was the only night that was a little annoying. There were some people sitting right at the piano who just kept talking during every song, and didn't even acknowledge the player afterward. In fact, they'd look annoyed when he'd start playing another song and would try to talk over it. I get that not everyone wants to sing along, or might not be as into the music. But, I feel those people should sit in one of the booths or tables further back. They were only there one night, but it was a bit of a bummer. NEXT UP ….. Grand Turk ….
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