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KansCocoa

Middle Aged Drama Queen's Eastern Med Review: Serenade, Pics, Surprises & Fun!

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This has to be the best review ever posted, and we haven't even boarded the ship yet. Great Info, Photo's and I feel like I know your family too :)

 

Thank you, can't wait for the next chapters.

 

Chrissy

Edited by chrissycpm

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This is one of the BEST reviews I have ever read!

 

Thanks for taking the time to post!!

 

It gets better...just wait until Florence...just sayin'!!!

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Awesome review!! We are sailing the Splendour in November on a very similar itinerary. I already checked and tried to book JO & the tapas tour, but it is not available for the day we are in Barcelona. :( We will have to perhaps try the other orange umbrella tours you have mentioned. Look amazing!! I'm very excited to read the rest of your review.

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We left off with our intrepid travelers heading home from the gluttony-fest aka "The Tapas Party", with fellow CC'ers....

 

 

Yay! FINALLY! Embarkation Day!!!

 

 

Y'all being fellow cruise addicts, y'all get my excitement for this day...the day I've been waiting for, for well over a year now. We finally GET ON THE SHIP! {jumping up and down, doing the happy dance!!!!}

 

After not sleeping the last two nights, I FINALLY wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the world!

 

I wish.

Once again - it appears I am not destined to sleep on this trip; I tossed and turned all night long, too excited about finally getting on the ship, that sleep was impossible. I heard every dog in Barcelona bark. I heard every car horn honk. I heard every door in the apartment slam. Etc. Etc. Sigh. This could become a huge detriment, as this cruise is 12 nights...if I don't start getting some sleep, I will morph into a zombie, and we all know - that ain't pretty. Zombie Moms are NOT pleasant, trust me.

 

After rousing everyone else, I send the Hunter/Gatherer, aka Hubby Mike, out to hunt & gather breakfast for the troops. It's my hope that he'll remember my passion for all things chocolately & churro-y, but alas...he comes back with McDonalds. McDONALDS???!!!! Really, honey? We're in Barcelona - where food is revered - and you come back with McDonalds???!!! Not to mention...he comes back very late, because he discovers that McDonalds in Barcelona does not open their doors until 9:30 a.m. Yuppers - don't plan on an Egg McMuffin any time before then, because it ain't happenin'.

 

Our pre-arranged Barcelona Day Tours taxi arrives around 10:15 am to pick us up, as I had assumed I would have to return our apartment key to the apartment manager - who is in a different location in the city. However, we found out that all we had to do was leave the key on the table, and so no extra trip was necessary. I had assumed wrong. Oops.

 

Wait. This means...we'll get to the port just THAT much sooner!!!

 

In fact, I'm a bit worried now that we'll arrive at the port TOO soon...as we'll be there so early, they won't let us check-in. It's only about a 10-minute drive from our apartment to the port, and I am somewhat hoping that our taxi driver will take his sweet time in getting us there. But no such luck...our taxi driver (and I apologize that I can't remember his name) drives like he's in a NASCAR race - and in fact, we find out that his son, Antonio Garcia, is a professional race car driver. Of course he is. Like father, like son. On a day that I want to go slow, we WOULD get the father of a professional Formula One driver.

 

 

We arrive at the port in record time, entrust our many piles of STUFF to the porter at the curb, and then head through the sliding doors...where we find...no line. At all. As we enter, who should come up behind us to check in, but Cathy (cat54) and her husband, Ken, whom we had met the previous evening at our CC Tapas Party, and who we are to share several tours with later in the cruise. In fact, this sets the pattern that is soon to follow - during the course of the 12-day cruise, we end up bumping into Cathy & Ken EVERY WHERE we turn...we were either stalking them, or they were stalking us - but it turned into a laughable joke later, every time we'd bump into them. You've all probably had THAT couple/family that you end up bumping into every time you turn around on a cruise...and for us, Cathy & Ken were it.

 

After we go through security, a family comes in behind us to check in, and the mom looks at me and asks, "Hey! Aren't you Sherri? From Cruise Critic? I recognize you from your picture!"

 

"Why, yes...yes I am!" and just how weird is it, to be recognized by complete strangers in public places??!!! My kids think this is SO COOL - that their own mom is "famous" - and they start looking at me in a whole new light - like maybe I'm Angelina Jolie or something. (I wish.)

 

This was Linh (sokrfamily) and her family, and introductions were quickly made as we all moved forward to the check-in desks.

 

There was NO ONE here yet checking in, so we pretty much could have picked any darn line/non-line that we wanted to...however, there was an RCI agent checking SetSail passes, and after he looked at ours, he indicated a line for us to enter.

 

And here's where it gets really fun. No, really. Usually, when I type that, it's done with sarcasm...but in this case, it was truly fun. Because...we had the Royal Suite. Oh, wait. I should say that again. We had THE Royal Suite. As in Room #1556 on the Serenade. (The boys had room #9260, an aft balcony).

 

In full disclosure...I didn't always have the Royal Suite...nope. I originally had an Owner's Suite...where Hubby Mike, Mickey and I would have been more than comfortable. For many months, though, that gosh-darned Royal Suite sat...well...empty. And for good reason, as the price that RCI wanted for it was astronomical. Someone would have to take out a second mortgage to get that room...geesh. So, for many months, I had joked on the June 22 Roll Call that I was eyeing that Royal Suite, and when the price dropped, it would be mine. All mine. Well...about two months ago...in early May...there was a post on our Roll Call that basically said, "Hey, Sherri! Have you checked RCI's site this morning? You've GOT to check out the Royal Suite price!" And so I did...and I couldn't believe what I saw. The price for the Suite had been slashed by almost 50%. I started doing the calculations in my head...and realized that for approximately $2,000 more than what I had paid for an Owner's Suite...I could upgrade to the Royal Suite.....

 

Wheels started turning...should I? Should I not? Should I? Should I not? If I do it, will Hubby Mike kill me? Divorce me? Hug me? Hate me?

 

Decisions, decisions. On the one hand, $2,000 is a lot of money that could be spent on drinks, souvenirs, spa services, etc, on board. Not to mention the additional money I'd need later for attorney expenses for the divorce that Hubby might throw at me. On the other...twelve nights in the Mediterranean...in the Royal Suite...that my boys would also be able to enjoy...as well as all of our new-found friends on CC...

 

Before I knew it, my hand was picking up the phone, I was calling RCI, and BOOM. The Royal Suite was ours. I was literally shaking when it was all over and I had secured the Royal Suite. A true once-in-a-lifetime event, for sure, as this will NEVER happen again for us.

 

That night, I made an extra-special dinner for Hubby Mike. If you ever watched episodes of "I Love Lucy", I felt exactly like Lucy did when she had something to confess to Ricky...and she wasn't sure how Ricky would react. That was me. I finally worked up the nerve to tell him what I'd done, and his response? "I would have killed you if you HADN'T upgraded." Whew. I was still married. I was still alive. And my Hubby was happy. Life was good.

 

So, back to check-in. When you are in the Royal Suite, RCI has the Concierge come down, personally greet you, and you get a personal escort onto the ship.

 

And that's what happened. After RCI confiscated our passports (which I knew was coming, and had planned ahead by making copies of them that I'd take with me into ports), Daniel, the Concierge, came down and escorted us on...waited while we got our photos taken...and then took us on to the ship. And then gave us a complete tour (which was more for the kids, as Hubby and I have sailed on the Serenade before).

 

And so...I'll now pretend that you are all staying in the Royal Suite, and I'm your personal Concierge, and here is YOUR tour (in no particular order) of the always-beautiful, always-timeless, Serenade of the Seas:

 

 

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The iconic Centrum....a central gathering place, a meeting place for tour groups, and a party place every evening where live music would be played...

 

 

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The rock wall...of which I have climbed once, years ago, and decided that once was enough....

 

 

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The Library...of which both Hubby Mike and Brainy Brad utilized & enjoyed....

 

 

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The Kiddie Pool...of which none of us utilized nor enjoyed, due to our advanced age....

 

 

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A little seating area outside our cabin on Deck 10...this was enjoyed by not only us, but many others...using it to check their email, read, or just people-watch...

 

 

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Just one of many of the fascinating art displays on the different stair decks...

 

 

To be continued....

Edited by KansCocoa
Because spelling is important...

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Again, thanks to everyone who is reading and posting...I appreciate your sentiments, and I'm glad you're enjoying our adventure....

 

...and as Steve & Amy keep saying, if you don't read the entire review, that's okay - but at least hang on to Florence. :)

 

In my line of work, I've had to develop a sense of humor...and it's worked well, what with the many things I've seen and been able to do. I hope, if anything, people laugh and enjoy our cruise vicariously...and perhaps you can learn a lesson or two on things that didn't go exactly as planned for us! ;)

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There was definitely some walking...but we took frequent breaks, of course, to indulge...and the walking was all flat...not strenuous at all. I don't think we did more than a mile or two by the time it was all over....altho you could email the company and ask them exactly how much walking is involved to get a more definitive answer! :) Tell Jo the crazy family from Kansas City said hello! :)

 

How do you find Jo, I would love to book this tour ?

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And...as promised...more of your personal tour of the Serenade of the Seas (in no particular order):

 

 

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Checkerboard on Deck 12...for GIANTS...who knew??? All I could keep thinking was of the awesome checkerboard scene in one of the "Harry Potter" movies...Next to it, there was a Tic-Tac-Toe board for giants, as well....

 

 

 

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The SeaView Cafe...my kids quickly discovered this little gem, and made good use of it...it served American fare, which was a bummer...I wish it would serve pizza & pasta while in the Mediterranean, but they didn't consult with me. Go figure.

 

 

 

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The arcade. Daniel, while showing us this, said, "This place is very dangerous. Kids can come here and rack up many charges on their Seapass account." Little did we know how right he was....In fact, ONE of my "precious" children is still in deep doo-doo with regards to this little money-sucker, and will be my personal slave for many weeks to come. More on that later....

 

 

 

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The slide at the Kiddie pool...no age limit to use it, but we never did. I have a phobia about water slides - I'm always paranoid about getting stuck...please tell me I'm not the only one with this fear???!

 

 

 

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The FREE Putt-Putt miniature golf course...my kids enjoyed this, as well...and because it's FREE, that was a good thing.

 

 

 

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The under-utilized Crown & Anchor room...never crowded; always cool & blissfully peaceful...a great place to creep on the pool...not that we would do that.

 

 

To be continued....

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How do you find Jo, I would love to book this tour ?

 

Go to The Barcelona Taste...because they can only take 8 people per night (due to the small size of some of the bars we visited), it can book fast. So book early! Good luck - she's a gem!

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Funny you mention the price drop. Several years ago we were on a b2b on NOS, eastern Med and TA. Shortly before the Med cruise, the prices for that cruise were slashed so far that we could have had a GS for less than our balcony had cost. As it was , we were able to switch to the same JS for both legs of the cruise that saved us even more.

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I began reading yesterday and have thoroughly enjoyed your reviews and accompanying story. DH & I were in Barcelona this past Oct for our TA and didn't get to see as mucha s we would have liked. We did enjoy our Walking Tour of the Old City presented by Runnerbean and trip to Montserrat with about 40 from our Roll Call. Looking forward to reading more.:)

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Want more photos??? Here you go!

 

 

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The Hollywood Odyssey... Normally, Hubby Mike and I are ones to enjoy dancing the night away...but honestly, a Mediterranean cruise is EXHAUSTING, and so we never enjoyed this night club. (And don't tell me it's because I'm getting old...please!)

 

 

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The Sports Court...and being that Too-Tall Taylor is a jock, he basically lived here. In fact, I'm not sure why I paid for him to have a cabin...he spent more time here than anywhere else on the ship. Well. Except, perhaps, for the buffet. Basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, and soccer was played here; especially soccer. We cruised during the Euro2012, and so soccer was BIG on this cruise.

 

 

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The Coffee Shop...one of my "precious" children...who shall remain nameless (cough, Mickey, cough)...discovered that she loved the taste of mochas...and discovered that this was a "magical" place where all you had to do to get a delicious mocha was hand over the magical card known as the Seapass...and life was good in her world. Until Mean Mom & Mean Dad got wind of the Seapass account.

 

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The Art Gallery...and let me just say here that I am doing dances of joy now that RCI has downsized the annoying, omnipresent art auctions they used to have onboard...

 

 

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Really? I really have no words...other than to say that these were in 3D. And we got to walk by them every time we ventured to the Tropical Theater....

 

 

 

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Speaking of the Tropical Theater...we loved the balcony seats up on Deck 6. Made for a fast & quick getaway, if needed...which was needed on this cruise. Some of the "entertainment" wasn't so entertaining...more on that later....

 

 

To be continued....

Edited by KansCocoa

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Not to diverge from this wonderful review for too long, make her wait till she can pay for it. ;) Having raised a daughter of my own (now 28 married 2 years) I can understand her feelings, but she is a beauty as she is, as an adult it may become less or more important to her later, there is time. I know return you to this wonderful pictorial feast.

 

And on the other hand....I had a rhinoplasty at age 15 and that and that alone gave me confidence beyond my dreams! If she wants it, and it is in the budget, and a certified plastic surgeon can see a need then I say go for it!

Just thought you might like to hear the "other" side.....:)

Bonnie

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More of your personal tour of the Serenade of the Seas:

 

 

 

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I LOVED this print...it was near the Tropical Theater (of course!) Sometimes, in our rush to get here or there on the ship, we miss the little touches that someone (a designer? decorator? architect?) has put a lot of thought and effort into...and I thought this print was an awesome little piece of magic....we all need to stop and smell the roses sometimes in life, right?!

 

 

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Speaking of roses...perhaps this is what this print is telling us...stop and smell the roses...appreciate the little things onboard the ship, as well as in the ports. It was a good reminder for me every day to see these....

 

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The Sports Pit...otherwise known as, "The Place Where Euro2012 Soccer Was Being Shown and 10,000 Crazy Soccer Fans Would Pack In To Watch & Cheer" - which was actually rather fun to watch in itself. We had an international crowd onboard, and to see the crowd when it came down to the finals, Spain vs Italy...???!!

 

 

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The Sucker Club - I mean, The Casino. I meandered in here one night, lost $60 in a matter of minutes on the slots, and quickly meandered out...It was never crowded on this cruise, but always smokey. I think passengers were more interested in soccer than slots for this sailing....Because the ATM in Guest Services was continuously & forever broken, we sometimes utilized the casino to obtain money throughout the cruise - if we couldn't find an ATM in port.

 

 

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The Cinema...which would show fantastic, wonderful Mediterranean-themed movies, such as, "The Pirates of the Caribbean." REALLY? Seriously??!! Why couldn't we have been watching, "To Catch A Thief", or "Roman Holiday"??!! RCI can do better here....{getting off my soapbox now}

 

 

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The Champagne Bar...another great place to hang out in the evening, drink, and watch people...

 

 

 

To be continued...and aren't you glad I'm not on the Oasis??! There'd be 100 posts of photos - it would take us all day!!!!

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Ah, those pictures brought back happy memories of our sailing on the sister ship Jewel - I love this class of ship and it's really made me excited to sail on Serenade next year. :D

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A few more of the ship...and than I'm done. Well. Done with the photo tour of the ship - not the trip report, of course.

 

 

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Portofino's...we ate here twice...once for the Murder Mystery Dinner, and once again so we could utilize their entire menu...I'll review it later in the trip report...

 

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Mickey near the Schooner Club...normally our favorite place to hang out, enjoying the Trivia contests or the Piano Guy...but this sailing was different, and I'll explain later why we never utilized this little treasure....

 

 

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The Safari Club...because the crowds were getting so huge in The Sports Pit for Euro2012, the Powers-That-Be got wise and eventually began telecasting the soccer games here in the evening. The only problem? That meant that some "normally-scheduled" events, like The Quest, had to be bumped back super-late to accommodate the game....

 

 

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The tilty pool tables near the Safari Club...my kids found these and enjoyed them; Hubby Mike and I never did...they'd be pretty busy in the evenings....

 

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Another view of the Tilty Pool Tables...I'm sure they have an "official" name, and Tilty Pool Tables is probably not it...but it works for me.

 

 

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If pool's not your game...perhaps a game of chess? Or Backgammon? Or checkers? You can find all three in the back of The Safari Club.

 

 

To be continued...with just a few more shots...

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And last, but not least...more photos:

 

 

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These abstract prints are found in the elevator banks on every level...they all appeared to be focusing on the construction of the ship...and were actually pretty interesting to get up close and look at. But again...we always seemed to be rushing right by them, trying to catch an elevator...myself included.

 

 

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The Business Center, located on Deck 7....not usually too busy, except for the day before Debarkation, when everyone was trying to sign on and check on their flights home....

 

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The Photo Gallery. Sigh. Knowing that there's better technology out there - that helps people find their photos - rather than putting 10,000 photos up on a wall and making everyone do the Photo Scavenger Hunt - is frustrating. We saved our Photo Scavenger Hunt for the last day or two of the cruise, and utilized the kids...they have better eyes....

 

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The Centrum Shops...I thought a "menu" of shops would be more helpful to new cruisers, than a photo of each shop....I didn't go to the shops but one day, but when I finally DID go - I made it count. More on that later.

 

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One last shot of the artwork in the Centrum....

 

There. Notice I don't have any photos of the dining room...or the Windjammer...the spa...the gym...or - gasp - the pool. And I utilized those places a LOT! But I forgot. The places that I was actually UTILIZING - I forgot to whip out my camera and take a photo of. And I apologize for that. It won't happen again, I promise.

 

BUT...I DO have photos of the Royal Suite...which will be coming later...because, as anyone knows who's cruised before with Royal Caribbean, we can't get to our cabins until 1:00 pm...and it's not 1:00 pm yet. On our first day onboard.

 

You have to be patient, like we had to be, on our first day onboard...even tho we were DYING to go check out the cabin. We had to wait.

 

 

Up next: How would we ever fill the time between check-in and time to check out our Suite???!!

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And last, but not least...more photos:

 

 

Ship20.jpg

These abstract prints are found in the elevator banks on every level...they all appeared to be focusing on the construction of the ship...and were actually pretty interesting to get up close and look at. But again...we always seemed to be rushing right by them, trying to catch an elevator...myself included.

 

 

Ship19.jpg

The Business Center, located on Deck 7....not usually too busy, except for the day before Debarkation, when everyone was trying to sign on and check on their flights home....

 

Ship3.jpg

The Photo Gallery. Sigh. Knowing that there's better technology out there - that helps people find their photos - rather than putting 10,000 photos up on a wall and making everyone do the Photo Scavenger Hunt - is frustrating. We saved our Photo Scavenger Hunt for the last day or two of the cruise, and utilized the kids...they have better eyes....

 

Ship2.jpg

The Centrum Shops...I thought a "menu" of shops would be more helpful to new cruisers, than a photo of each shop....I didn't go to the shops but one day, but when I finally DID go - I made it count. More on that later.

 

Ship23.jpg

One last shot of the artwork in the Centrum....

 

There. Notice I don't have any photos of the dining room...or the Windjammer...the spa...the gym...or - gasp - the pool. And I utilized those places a LOT! But I forgot. The places that I was actually UTILIZING - I forgot to whip out my camera and take a photo of. And I apologize for that. It won't happen again, I promise.

 

BUT...I DO have photos of the Royal Suite...which will be coming later...because, as anyone knows who's cruised before with Royal Caribbean, we can't get to our cabins until 1:00 pm...and it's not 1:00 pm yet. On our first day onboard.

 

You have to be patient, like we had to be, on our first day onboard...even tho we were DYING to go check out the cabin. We had to wait.

 

 

Up next: How would we ever fill the time between check-in and time to check out our Suite???!!

 

 

 

LOVING your review. I was on Seranade 5 or 6 years ago and loved it!!!!! Just wanted to let you know that the pool tables are called "self-leveling" :-)

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Thanks, Staci! If you want, you can Friend Request me on FB, where I have "most" of the photos posted...and I promise to get the rest of them posted soon...look for Sherri Wagner Odell. That's me. :)

 

your review is excellent. i'm laughing out loud at some spots! you are hysterical. i just tried to friend you on facebook but it says "no one by that name". :(

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Eventually, it is time to meet back up at the bus stop at the Plaza de Catalunya, for the 2nd part of our Gaudi tour with Barcelona City Tours. I find an Orange-Umbrella Lady, and mention that we are here for Part #2. She motions me over to a bus where people are already in line, boarding.

 

We head over and stand in line, and as I approach, I see that Carlos is now gone and we have a new guide, Ellie. As I start to board the bus, she immediately stops me and asks, “Where is your ticket?”

 

Oh, yes. My ticket. The one that I didn’t think I had, but really did. I reach triumphantly into my purse and hand her the ticket…and start to board the bus.

 

Again, she stops me…looking a bit confused at the ticket…and says, “This isn’t the right ticket. Do you have a different ticket?”

 

“What do you mean, it’s ‘not the right ticket’?” I ask. “That’s the only ticket they gave me this morning.”

 

Ellie indicates the rip in the corner, where Carlos had torn it earlier, and says, “This ticket is only for Part 1 of the tour. You should have a different ticket for Part 2.”

 

Oh, brother. Really???!!

 

“I never got another ticket…that’s the only ticket I got,” I explain.

 

Ellie looks confused, and asks, “You didn’t get another ticket? Are you sure?”

 

“I’m pretty sure, “ I reply.

 

About that time, Ellie begins waving over one of the Orange-Umbrella Ladies. Here we go again, folks…it’s déjà-vu all over again.

 

The Orange-Umbrella Lady walks over and she and Ellie begin an animated conversation in Spanish, too fast for me to understand, and I stand there…in the sun…once again holding up the line.

 

The people behind us begin fidgeting, and a murmur begins in the crowd. Eventually, my kids take note and direct their attention to me.

 

“What’s up, Mom? Why aren’t you getting on the bus?”

 

I explain that I didn’t have the right ticket…that I only had Part 1, and I didn’t have Part 2.

 

And the kids look at me in exasperation and say, “MOM!!! You do TOO have a Part 2 ticket!!! It’s in your purse – where you put it this morning when you turned in the voucher!!!!”

 

OMG. Really? I peek into my purse, almost hoping they’d be proved wrong this time, but nope. There it was. My Part 2 ticket.

 

Ahem.

 

Clearing my throat, I get Ellie’s attention enough to show her my ticket…the Orange-Umbrella Lady glares at me, does an indignant “Humpf!” under her breath, stalks away…and I slink on the bus…thoroughly chagrined.

 

Ellie looks at me as I pass, narrowing her eyes, and says, “Hey…I think Carlos warned me about you.”

 

After finding a seat on the now-crowded bus, I can only watch in shame as my children all find seats on the bus far, far from me, while pretending they don’t know me…and who can blame them?

 

I say to no one in particular, "What can I say? I'm really, really tired. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight."

 

Hubby Mike just gives me THE LOOK. If you've been married for a significant amount of time, you know THE LOOK I'm talking about. Ack. I hate being on the receiving end of THE LOOK...as normally, I'm the one administering THE LOOK. I can only hope and pray that my world will turn around and I will be, once again, Woman. Hear Me Roar.

 

But enough of the ticket saga…let’s get on with our Gaudi tour.

 

 

OMG!!! i am crying i'm laughing so hard! i'm sitting in my office with tears running down my face! you are soooooo funny!!!!

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And...as promised...more of your personal tour of the Serenade of the Seas (in no particular order):

 

 

 

Ship36.jpg

The slide at the Kiddie pool...no age limit to use it, but we never did. I have a phobia about water slides - I'm always paranoid about getting stuck...please tell me I'm not the only one with this fear???!

 

 

 

 

 

LOVING your review - thanks so much for doing it! I will admit to the same fear of water slides if they are enclosed. Open ones like this I'm okay with, but I won't go on those tubular ones. :o

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Really have enjoyed reading your review so far and am looking forward to the rest. The Serenade is DH and my favorite ship. We have thoroughly enjoyed sailing out of Puerto Rico on her. :)

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LOVING your review. I was on Seranade 5 or 6 years ago and loved it!!!!! Just wanted to let you know that the pool tables are called "self-leveling" :-)

 

See - I knew they had an official name...but doesn't "Tilty Pool Tables" sound more fun??!! :D

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your review is excellent. i'm laughing out loud at some spots! you are hysterical. i just tried to friend you on facebook but it says "no one by that name". :(

 

Yikes! Try again! I've been on FB for years now, and I'm pretty sure that's me...I DO exist, I promise!

 

Sherri Wagner Odell - that's me. ;)

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We last left our excited travelers as they toured the ship with the Concierge, Daniel...who has no idea what he's getting himself in to but will soon find out.

 

 

Daniel does a pretty thorough job, taking us all over the ship and giving the kids some great tips and advice. As we entered the enclosed Sports Court, Too-Tall Taylor's eyes lit up - especially when he saw the basketball sitting on the ground...so lonely. So in need of a bit of attention.

 

Daniel saw the yearning look on Too-Tall Taylor's face, and told him to go ahead - shoot some baskets. TTT was only too happy to oblige, carefully setting his just-received Seapass & his iPod Touch (which he was using as a camera) down on the sports deck, and eagerly picking up the basketball for a short game of hoops.

 

After a few minutes, it was time to move on with the tour, so we headed back to the SeaView Cafe...when suddenly, TTT says, "Hey! Where's my Seapass?"

 

"Whaddya' mean, 'Where's your Seapass?!' I say. "You just had it...didn't you pick it up from the Sports deck?"

 

He checks his pockets again, and not finding it, he rushes back to the Sports Deck. I look at Daniel and shrug, as if to assure him that yes, this is pretty normal behavior from my kids. A minute or two later, TTT comes back and says, "It's not there. Who picked it up???!!" We all look at each other like we're suspects in a line-up, with shrugs of "Not me" and "Nope - I didn't do it." A little irritated at this point, we ALL walk back to the Sports Court to do a thorough search for Taylor's missing Seapass. And....guess what? It wasn't there. Nope. Huh.

 

Well. This was certainly going to be a long cruise. My kid loses his Seapass card within 15 minutes of being onboard. Really????!!!

 

There wasn't any wind to speak of, so we know it didn't blow off the deck. There was no other soul around, so we know no one else picked it up. And it was in the netted area of the court, so we know that a little bird didn't swoop down and pick it up. And for all of you smart-alecks who assume it was in my purse - along with the Tickets for the Gaudi Tours that I said I didn't have but I really did - I checked my purse, just in case - and it wasn't there. So there. Anyway...where the heck WAS it??!! This was quite the mystery going on, on the Sports Court deck on Embarkation Day...and we could have used the skills of Scotland Yard about now to figure out where the missing card was.

 

Well. The card was gone, so there's no other choice but to turn back around and replace it. Sighing, I apologize to Daniel, assuring him that our family is not normally so scatterbrained (you'd probably beg to differ at this point, after reading our adventures of the first couple of days, right?!). Daniel shrugs, says, "It's okay. It happens."

 

"But...does it happen THIS soon after embarkation?" I ask...continuing, "I mean...did we, like, set a record or something for Fastest Seapass Lost?"

 

Oh-so-serious, Daniel says, "Yes. You set the record." I'm going to like this guy. I like his style.

 

"Is there a reward for setting the record?" I ask.

 

"No," Daniel replies. "It's not a reward. It's punishment. Your son will now have to swab the decks for the next four hours."

 

And we all look at Taylor, who gulps.

 

While trooping back towards the elevators, so we can backtrack down to Guest Services and replace the Seapass Card that had only been in Taylor's possession for a matter of 15 minutes, Taylor suddenly exclaims, "HEY! I FOUND IT!!!"

 

Apparently, while slipping his iPod Touch back in his shorts, the SeaPass Card had "stuck" to the screen...and had magically disappeared from his view (& touch) in his pockets.

 

Yay - celebration! We had NOT set the record, and Taylor would NOT be swabbing decks for four hours! And Daniel is looking at my family now like we're the craziest thing he's seen since...well...ever.

 

So...on with the tour. I can see Daniel's brain thinking of excuses as to how to get far, far away from us - and our craziness - so he directs us to the Windjammer and makes a hasty retreat. And who can blame him?? Poor guy.

 

So...we head off to the WJ and I introduce the kids to the joys of Cruise Buffet Dining, of which they think is the coolest thing ever. And when I assure them that yes, they can eat as much as they want - and it won't cost anything - well. They'd died and gone to heaven. Especially the boys. SCORE!!!!!!!

 

We made fast work at the buffet, and then went at a slower pace around the ship - visiting the Spa, the gym, the Fuel Teen club - so the kids would have a feel for their bearings. And soon...before we knew it...it was 1:00 p.m.

 

Yes. The All-Important 1:00 p.m. When The Cabins Are Opened. And I capitalized that on purpose, because that's how important it is.

 

Time to go...check out the Royal Suite.

Edited by KansCocoa

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Okay, I'M IN!!! Don't you just love a good sense of humor? . . . I'll be waiting for more. This review is better than the book I'm currently reading (and I was thoroughly enjoying it). Thank you so much for taking so much time out of your day (well, quite a few days, ultimately) to post this review. Fantastic.

Edited by dreamer976

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