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Live Blog Equinox Southern Carribean(ABC's) Sept 13th-23rd

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Hi.

 

Inspired by a few recent live blogs and an unlimited internet package, I thought this would be a fun way to document our vacation. 

 

I'm Randi( with an I) and my wife is Julie.  We're a female, married, same sex couple who currently live in a suburb of LA.  Julie works as a Sgt with LAPD and I'm an attorney.  

This will be our 4th cruise on X!! Our last cruise on X was in 2015(Alaska).  Last summer we cruised with friends on NCL and I did not enjoy that nearly as much as I enjoy X.  So here we are......

 

I booked this cruise on September 16th, 2018.  Like @ChicagoPaul.  I like to give all the money facts.  We paid $4824.83 with the BEST Upgrade.  1) Prepaid Gratuities for two 2) Premium Beverage Package for two 3) Unlimited Internet 4) $300 Onboard Credit .  The TA gave us an additional $100.00 in OBC and another $50.00 for their loyalty program.  So, in total we have 450.00 OBC.   We're in an AquaClass Cabin.(A2) an accessible stateroom.  #1526.  I have a Psoriatic Arthritis and the push button doors are great for my lack of hand strength.  I don't need an accessible shower or any other features, however the extra large room is really nice.  

 

I'm starting this blog now because we're flying out to Ft. Lauderdale tonight.  I did NOT want to fly out on Sept 11th, but we had no choice.  We prefer to fly Alaska Air.  I have the Alaska air visa card.  It gets up 1 companion fare a year and we get free checked bags.  They recently changed their one flight a day from a morning flight to a red eye.  The flight arrives tomorrow at 5:45am.  I did not want to risk arriving the morning of the cruise, so we're going tonight.   I've been looking at the seating on the flight and apparently a lot of people feel the same way I do, there are a lot of empty rows.  Hopefully, we'll be able to get an entire row and sleep. 

 

I paid 539.44 for two round trips flights.  That included 50.00 off each in a credit from the airline.  I did pay an additional 119.00 each to upgrade our seats on the way home.  When we debark, we're heading to the airport.  Our flight back to LAX doesn't leave FLL until 5pm.  It will be a super long day for us, so I thought the extra leg room would be nice. 

 

When we arrive in Ft. Lauderdale, we're renting a car for 1 full day.  I got a midsize on Hotwire for 51.00 total.  We need a car because we're staying in an Airbnb in Hollywood.  We've stayed with these owners numerous times. I grew up in Plantation, FL.  We come to the area at last once a year for a pit stop(few days) before heading to our future home of Naples/Marco Island.  We pay the owners directly now, rather then going thru Airbnb.   They are charging us $100.00( its normally 70.00).  They are letting us come in as soon as we arrive.  I'm pretty sure we'll go right to the studio apartment and hit the sack.  

 

I'm a little bit "down" right now.  I'm super excited for this vacation, but I'm down because I just dropped off our 4 dogs at the boarding place.  We have a 15yr old half standard poodle/half cocker spaniel (Sophie)we rescued last November.  We also have a standard wirehair dachshund ( Walter) and 2 standard poodles( Toby and Sully).  We haven't packed yet, because the Poodles are very sensitive.  They have sensed something was amiss these last few days.    Its now time to get the suitcases out and start packing.   We don't travel lightly.  Lol.  

 

A couple weeks ago, I started a thread here called " Do you bring any creature comforts".  The answers surprised me.  A few people said that if I wanted the comforts of home, I shouldn't leave home.  I don't agree.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your kids are adorable.  I feel the same sadness when I leave my parrot behind!!!

 

I am excited to read your review.  I am booked on Equinox 9/4/2020 with the same itinerary that you are doing.  I've sailed on Equinox twice before but next year will be as a solo, which I think will be a challenge.

 

On a side note, my parents used to have a place in Naples...very close to the bridge that leads to Marco Island.  That is just a little slice of Heaven!!!

 

Enjoy,

Susan

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17 minutes ago, lola2013 said:

Your kids are adorable.  I feel the same sadness when I leave my parrot behind!!!

 

On a side note, my parents used to have a place in Naples...very close to the bridge that leads to Marco Island.  That is just a little slice of Heaven!!!

 

Enjoy,

Susan

Thank you.  I wish I could take the Poodles.  The other two are kinda a pain, but the poodles are such great dogs.  They love everyone.   

 

We have 4yrs before we move to Naples, when Julie retires.

 

Btw, I'm 52 and Julie is 57. 

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We fly in tomorrow morning to Fort Lauderdale for this cruise!! We are staying at Lago Mar and eating dinner at Shooters Waterfront.  This will be my second time on Equinox.  I'm travelling with my mom! Girls trip in memory of my dad who passed away last September.  Looking forward to an awesome cruise!🥂😎

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8 minutes ago, calicakes said:

Thank you.  I wish I could take the Poodles.  The other two are kinda a pain, but the poodles are such great dogs.  They love everyone.   

 

We have 4yrs before we move to Naples, when Julie retires.

 

Btw, I'm 52 and Julie is 57. 

I did read your creature comforts thread...was pretty sure people would laugh if I said I took my little stuffed parrot with me...he keeps me company in the cabin...he has a place of honor on my nightstand!

Naples has changed so much...I used to spend two weeks with my parents each March.  I always brought a list of my favorite restaurants with me...each year, the list got smaller & smaller & smaller as places closed.  One of my favorites was The Dock down by Tin City.  I'm obviously not a foodie...give me a great burger anyday!  Now I have relatives on the east coast near Ft. Lauderdale.

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Just now, Pier290 said:

We fly in tomorrow morning to Fort Lauderdale for this cruise!! We are staying at Lago Mar and eating dinner at Shooters Waterfront.  This will be my second time on Equinox.  I'm travelling with my mom! Girls trip in memory of my dad who passed away last September.  Looking forward to an awesome cruise!🥂😎

Hey Pier290 in Chicago (I'm in Schaumburg).  Please let me know how you like Shooters.  I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale after Thanksgiving and staying near the beach before boarding the Edge.  I was at Shooters about 7-8 years ago...I believe it's more upscale now than it was then.  Just curious how you'll like it.

Randi...sorry to momentarily hijack the thread!

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1 minute ago, lola2013 said:

Hey Pier290 in Chicago (I'm in Schaumburg).  Please let me know how you like Shooters.  I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale after Thanksgiving and staying near the beach before boarding the Edge.  I was at Shooters about 7-8 years ago...I believe it's more upscale now than it was then.  Just curious how you'll like it.

Randi...sorry to momentarily hijack the thread!

I was just there recently as well....it's FABULOUS. They remodeled the entire place....highly recommend. 😎 Schaumburg....! I'm from Elmhurst originally....gotta love Woodfield mall 😁

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I hope this blog won't be super boring.  I always joke that we're like an old married couple.  We've been together 9 yrs, married for 6.  We were actually together for 1 summer in 1993, but for many reasons, we didn't end up together.  It took each of us a couple failed relationship with others before we made our way back to each other.  Our wedding anniversary is Sept 28th and this was our "anniversary present". 

 

Even though we have the premium beverage package, you won't see us hanging in any bars.  We don't drink alcohol.  We're not in AA, we really don't enjoy the taste.   I remember our first cruise, we were so excited.  We rushed down to the "friends of dorothy" meeting and no one showed up.  

 

Julie has a super stressful job.  She gets up for work at 2am.  She has over an hour commute.  When we cruise, we spend a lot of time in the cabin.  We like to veg out and chill.  Our excursions are all water excursions.  We love, love, love the ocean.   

 

We have a snorkel/stingray city booked in Grand Cayman, we're renting a car in Aruba and will probably go snorkel on our own.  We're snorkeling on the sea cow in Bonaire( thru the ship) and we have a private snorkel booked in Curacao.   We used OBC for Grand Cayman and Bonaire.  We still have about 100.00 left.  Julie is interested in the glassblowing class. 

 

Back to packing.....

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Safe travels!  Can't wait to follow along b/c work has been a bear lately so it will be nice to live vicariously through you, haha.  And don't pay any mind to those who hurumph at "creature comforts".  I mean, we travel not only to learn more about other cultures and people, but to also more fully appreciate what we do have and not take them for granted.  I hope you have a fantastic flight later today, and looking forward to your cruise!

  

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I just received an email from X.  My moveup offer was unsucessful. 

 

I bid 795 .00 x 2 for a Sky Suite.  I'm not  upset, we would have given up Persian Gardens and my wife really enjoys that. 

 

Plus we saved 1600.00. 

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23 minutes ago, Pier290 said:

I was just there recently as well....it's FABULOUS. They remodeled the entire place....highly recommend. 😎 Schaumburg....! I'm from Elmhurst originally....gotta love Woodfield mall 😁

I work across the street from Woodfield...I am there WAY TOO MUCH!!!

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Hi Randi!  We are Wanda (me) and John.  We are on this cruise with you!  We fly out of Philly tomorrow at 10:30am.  We are staying at the Doubletree Galleria in Ft. Lauderdale.  I totally get leaving your fur babies!  We have a 6 year old 1/2 Maltese, 1/2 Shihtzu Lily.  We pay someone a LOT of money to stay at our house with her so she is in her own environment.  We did this same ship and itinerary last September.  It was amazing!  Looking forward to seeing you on board!  Wanda

February 9 008.JPG

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OMG !!! Great pics already :-).

although we are not doing the same itinerary on November 16th this will be a fantastic thread to follow.

 

cant wait to hear all about it.

Have fun

Sea Ya

Eric 

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1 hour ago, spammie said:

Hi Randi!  We are Wanda (me) and John.  We are on this cruise with you!  We fly out of Philly tomorrow at 10:30am.  We are staying at the Doubletree Galleria in Ft. Lauderdale.  I totally get leaving your fur babies!  We have a 6 year old 1/2 Maltese, 1/2 Shihtzu Lily.  We pay someone a LOT of money to stay at our house with her so she is in her own environment.  We did this same ship and itinerary last September.  It was amazing!  Looking forward to seeing you on board!  Wanda

 

Lily is adorable.  Does she know something is up?   We used to have an @ home pettsitter, but now that we have 2 very active standard poodles, they prefer to run around and play with other dogs.  They are boarded  at a home based business. They also get a pool to take a dip into, if they so desire. 

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Take care of the ship, I'm boarding the 23rd...I'll be checking in from time to time, have a blast.  

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3 hours ago, calicakes said:

I hope this blog won't be super boring.  I always joke that we're like an old married couple.  We've been together 9 yrs, married for 6.  We were actually together for 1 summer in 1993, but for many reasons, we didn't end up together.  It took each of us a couple failed relationship with others before we made our way back to each other.  Our wedding anniversary is Sept 28th and this was our "anniversary present". 

 

Even though we have the premium beverage package, you won't see us hanging in any bars.  We don't drink alcohol.  We're not in AA, we really don't enjoy the taste.   I remember our first cruise, we were so excited.  We rushed down to the "friends of dorothy" meeting and no one showed up.  

 

Julie has a super stressful job.  She gets up for work at 2am.  She has over an hour commute.  When we cruise, we spend a lot of time in the cabin.  We like to veg out and chill.  Our excursions are all water excursions.  We love, love, love the ocean.   

 

We have a snorkel/stingray city booked in Grand Cayman, we're renting a car in Aruba and will probably go snorkel on our own.  We're snorkeling on the sea cow in Bonaire( thru the ship) and we have a private snorkel booked in Curacao.   We used OBC for Grand Cayman and Bonaire.  We still have about 100.00 left.  Julie is interested in the glassblowing class. 

 

Back to packing.....

 

You didn't ask, but I'd suggest that you consider a snorkeling trip on Woodwind when you are in Bonaire.  Hopefully they still have a two openings.  Snorkeling is the best we've ever seen in Bonaire and the Woodwind is head and shoulders better than the ships tour.

Edited by ipeeinthepool

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1 minute ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

You didn't ask, but I's suggest that you consider a snorkeling trip on Woodwind when you are in Bonaire.  Hopefully they still have a two openings.  Snorkeling is the best we've ever seen in Bonaire and the Woodwind is heads and shoulders better than the ships tour.

Well, we actually tried to get the golf cart for the day, but it was sold out.  The owner of Bonaire cruisers suggested the sea cow.  She also said she'd give us a cart to use for free after our snorkeling.  Its probably too late to change.  We used OBC. 

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Ok, sounds like good deal.  It looks like the Sea Cow also goes out to Klein Bonaire and does drift snorkeling along the reef.  That area is great.  We took a ship's snorkeling tour and it was second rate.  It sounds like you have a better tour.

 

Enjoy your cruise and thanks for doing the review.

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This is awesome!  We'll also be boarding as you get off, and in Aqua.  Travelling with our longtime best friends. 

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Hello,

 

  Will be following along as my husband and I are on the Equinox on Oct 4, also in aqua.  We did the ABC Islands on the Equinox last year and went snorkeling on the Sea Cow (is it called the double dip snorkel?).  It really was great and we are doing it again in Oct.  We have been spoiled by the Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti and Bora Bora.  Bonaire is the best (most color and coral) that we have seen in the Caribbean and I am sure you will love it.  Hope you both have a wonderful cruise!

 

Jane

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  • We're now safely ensconced in Alaska lounge.  We have 3.5hrs before the flight leaves. 

I have some work to catch up on.  Julie is reading her book.  

 

You know how you get a feeling you forgot something, even though you double and triple check.  Well, on the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport, I turned to Julie and said " Did you take the luggage tags for the cruise".  I ordered them from X a few weeks ago.  I laid them right on top of our passports in the drawer.  Her answer " What luggage tags?" 

 

So, now we don't have them.  Of course, I'm stressing.  Julie, ever calm and cool said " I'm sure we're not the first person to forget them".   I thought I could print them out in this lounge, but they don't have a printer.  They could print for me, if I could email them, but I don't think I can do that. 

 

I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff. 

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