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LIVE - B2B 10/26 and 11/2 Halloween, Birthday, and President's Cruise

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Hi again! I debated whether or not to do a LIVE thread for this B2B, but it’s great to be able to look back over our cruise memories months (or years) down the road. Plus, this is our first Halloween cruise, our first B2B, AND our first President’s Cruise. How could I not?

 

We are booked in an Oceanview with Large Balcony on Deck 9, port side on the first "hump." Luckily, we have the same stateroom for both cruises. Yay! No moving. Western Caribbean itinerary is first. We will be doing Maya Key in Roatan and Maya Chan in Costa Maya. We have a Chill Island Cabana on Coco Cay on the first leg of the cruise. Made all of our show reservations during the first cruise and really want to play it by ear for the second half of the trip during Royal's 50th Birthday / President's Cruise.

I started packing 
yesterday and got up early this morning to finish. I made great use of my Eagle Creek lightweight packing cubes. Love these things!

 

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We packed entirely too much stuff. (There's one more bag not even shown in the picture.)

 

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We (okay, I) thought it would be a good idea to take a different route to Miami instead of the usual I-75 South across Alligator Alley. So we took a bunch of back roads and saw more orange groves, strawberries, and sugar cane than I ever knew existed. Yeah, the drive home will be back to the usual.

 

After learning parking at the Port of Miami is $22/day (so $308 for a B2B), we booked a "Park and Cruise" rate at our hotel - Hyatt Place - Doral. We paid $192 (including all taxes) for one night's stay and 15 days parking. It's within 5 minute walking distance of City Place Doral which is a shopping/dining plaza (https://www.cityplacedoral.com) and Uber or Lyft to the port will cost approx. $22 plus tip. The hotel includes breakfast and also provides a shuttle for $12 pp.

 

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Going to take a shower and wash the 3 1/2 hour drive off of us and then take a walk to City Place to find some dinner. Back in a bit!!

 

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Looking forward to your two cruises. I’m glad you have your show reservations. I think symphony entertainment is some of the best of the oasis class ships. I hope you get a chance to see the ice show as well as flight. 
 

Best wishes for calm seas, nice weather, and good health!

m

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You’ll have a blast, Symphony is a great ship!  At least I think so.  Though according to some you’ll be slumming it with food worse than McDonald’s. 🤣🤣🤣

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2 hours ago, cruisegirl1 said:

Looking forward to your two cruises. I’m glad you have your show reservations. I think symphony entertainment is some of the best of the oasis class ships. I hope you get a chance to see the ice show as well as flight. 
 

Best wishes for calm seas, nice weather, and good health!

m

 

Thanks so much for the good wishes. I'm really looking forward to the shows! I've heard good things.

 

11 minutes ago, parsec0298 said:

You’ll have a blast, Symphony is a great ship!  At least I think so.  Though according to some you’ll be slumming it with food worse than McDonald’s. 🤣🤣🤣

 

Ha! First week we will do MDR, second week we have the Unlimited Dining Package. I'll be sure to let you know which is better...Symphony or MickeyD's. Somehow I think I already know the answer to this one. 😂

 

6 minutes ago, suesnake2002 said:

Awsome trip. It will be fun to hear about your adventures. 

 

Thanks for following along!

 

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So we headed over to City Place and decided on a restaurant called Brimstone Bar and Grill (or something like that. Guessing it's on the doorstep to hell, maybe?). Drinks were a little pricey, but these are pretty much the last drinks we'll be buying for the next two weeks (yay for a $44 drink package) so we both got a "handcrafted" Dragonberry Mojito. Now. Aren't all bar drinks basically "handcrafted?" I mean, what else are they? You got a bionic bar back there Brimstone?

 

Anyway.

 

They were delicious. And they were $14 a piece.

 

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So...$56 later and ALL the appetizers were sounding pretty tasty. We opted for the tostones with chicharron and short rib.

 

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Mark got the Shrimp and Penne ala Vodka.

 

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I thought the crab cake with corn salsa sounded like my kinda thing.

 

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We had talked about "sharing" an order of jalepeño macaroni and cheese. But, yeah, this was mine.

 

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After dinner we took walked around the main circle in the City Place area and found a small ice cream shop. I asked if they had any non-dairy options. They had two. Lucky me! We went in for a closer look.

 

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This is the kind of place my seven-year-old-self would have only DREAMED about.

 

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They had ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, and even a separate side with cookies, brownies and other cakes and pastries.

 

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Mark thought Chunky Peanut Butter Cup would do the trick. I asked which were the two non-dairy flavors. Turns out you could have Lemon Ice Sorbet or Dark Chocolate Coconut. Yep. Gonna have to do the chocolate. That other one just sounds like someone accidentally put the lemonade in the freezer. 

 

All the lights and fountains were on and the music was beginning to spill out of the clubs and restaurants while we sat there eating our ice cream. I don't really think I'd go out of my way to come here if my hotel was in the port area, but it's a nice little spot if your hotel is already nearby.

 

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The plan was to sleep in and have leisurely breakfast since they are doing a US Coast Guard inspection for this cruise and have asked everyone to show up at the port at 1:00 pm or later. 
 

instead, I did the same thing I always do on cruise day. I woke up at *****-dark-thirty and can’t go back to sleep. 😑 This means I will go all day and crash by 10 tonight. It’s good to have cruise traditions. 

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So apparently Cruise Critic doesn’t let you use abbreviations like W T F
 

Huh.
 

What if I really want to tell you about my AMAZING Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but I’m pressed for time?

 


 

I might be a bit sleep-deprived. 

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58 minutes ago, aring75 said:

The plan was to sleep in and have leisurely breakfast since they are doing a US Coast Guard inspection for this cruise and have asked everyone to show up at the port at 1:00 pm or later. 
 

instead, I did the same thing I always do on cruise day. I woke up at *****-dark-thirty and can’t go back to sleep. 😑 This means I will go all day and crash by 10 tonight. It’s good to have cruise traditions. 

We are getting there when we planned  around 10:30. The time built I  is usually extra just  in case they run into a problem . Besides I understand Terminal A is something  to see.

 

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9 minutes ago, Tony O said:

We are getting there when we planned  around 10:30. The time built I  is usually extra just  in case they run into a problem . Besides I understand Terminal A is something  to see.

 


Yep. I’m pretty sure we have to be checked out of the hotel by 11:00 am anyway, so we will probably just go ahead and get there early too. 
 

Still can’t believe I’ve got two weeks of rest, relaxation, food, fun, and drink package in front of me!! 😁

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11 hours ago, aring75 said:

 

Thanks so much for the good wishes. I'm really looking forward to the shows! I've heard good things.

 

 

Ha! First week we will do MDR, second week we have the Unlimited Dining Package. I'll be sure to let you know which is better...Symphony or MickeyD's. Somehow I think I already know the answer to this one. 😂

 

 

Thanks for following along!

 

Following.

Your med cruise review was excellent so looking forward to this one.

Graham

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1 minute ago, grapau27 said:

Following.

Your med cruise review was excellent so looking forward to this one.

Graham


Thank you so much Graham. And I really appreciated all your helpful comments during that cruise! My husband is always astounded by my vast troves of “insider” knowledge. 😂

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8 minutes ago, aring75 said:


Thank you so much Graham. And I really appreciated all your helpful comments during that cruise! My husband is always astounded by my vast troves of “insider” knowledge. 😂

Happy to have helped.

 

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58 minutes ago, MrFunInTheSun said:

Thanks for bringing us along! 


Glad to have you! Always enjoy your reviews. 😊

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We'll be following along too..................are you dressing up for Halloween??? The only thing that we have done is decorate the cabin door and had a small basket with snack size candy for the Ghouls and Goblins. The ship had a costume parade - so many creative people with their outfits - lots of fun for sure.

 

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46 minutes ago, cruise wizard said:

We'll be following along too..................are you dressing up for Halloween??? The only thing that we have done is decorate the cabin door and had a small basket with snack size candy for the Ghouls and Goblins. The ship had a costume parade - so many creative people with their outfits - lots of fun for sure.

 


Glad to have you along!

 

I brought costumes. Mark doesn’t know that yet. 😳😂

 

I will report back if we dress up. I brought Halloween t-shirts too. I’m the one who loves ALL the holidays. Dressing up, decorating, give me all of it. Mark’s usually just along for the ride. 

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Mark slept til 7:45 this morning. I think he would’ve slept later, but I might have been a little bit loud “looking for my glasses.”

 

The included breakfast was much better than expected actually. Scrambled eggs, sausages, roasted potatoes, and pancakes on the hot table. Plus fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, and assorted cereals. Juices, milk (dairy and non-dairy), and coffee. The coffee was just so-so, but as long as it’s caffeinated I’m not that picky. 
 

Hotel bags are re-packed and we are getting ready to go downstairs and call Uber. (With my referral credit, they will be the cheapest option with an UberXL coming in at only $19.23. Would’ve been $29.23 and Lyft was around $24.)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, aring75 said:


Glad to have you along!

 

I brought costumes. Mark doesn’t know that yet. 😳😂

 

I will report back if we dress up. I brought Halloween t-shirts too. I’m the one who loves ALL the holidays. Dressing up, decorating, give me all of it. Mark’s usually just along for the ride. 

 

Your big "treat" is doing the B2B...............you will get some nice surprises delivered to your cabin next week during the 50th Anniversary cruise. We did the Presidents cruise last year on the Harmony - get ready for big party and surprises!!!! We have been to Maya Chan several times and loved it. If you have never been there before.............get ready for a bumpy ride to the resort but it is all worth the driving adventure.

 

Thank you for the info on the Hyatt Park Place - we don't often cruise from Miami but have the Explorer booked in 2021.  I will check them out for sure - the price is right especially with the 15 day parking.

 

Bon Voyage!!!!!

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32 minutes ago, aring75 said:


Glad to have you along!

 

I brought costumes. Mark doesn’t know that yet. 😳😂

 

I will report back if we dress up. I brought Halloween t-shirts too. I’m the one who loves ALL the holidays. Dressing up, decorating, give me all of it. Mark’s usually just along for the ride. 

Usually I sort all our holidays and Pauline keeps me company but since her mam died last October Pauline has booked us on Grand Princess to Hawaii next month and a TA on P&O Azura next March and left me to book our shorter cruises.

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51 minutes ago, crusinot said:

following.  44 more days until my next cruise,  getting excited.  great review so far


Welcome! And thanks. 
 

Onboard, and staterooms are almost open. Back soon!!

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I’m excited to follow your live review. We don’t have Symphony booked yet, but we do have Harmony and Allure for the first time and Oasis for the 2nd time. Next March we are Freedom after it gets amped up, or whatever. I think that’s the only thing keeping DH from trying to transfer to another Oasis class ship. He is in love with them!

Have a great time!

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just found this! gonna read now and catch up but you know I’m following along!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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