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h-sar

Live from the Sky Christmas/New Yrs

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18 minutes ago, h-sar said:


It’s been a pleasure conversing with you over a number of months 🙂. I think we’ve crossed paths a few times on here. Heading to the airport in a few minutes. Flight to Edmonton via Atlanta and Calgary, will see us at home in about 13 hours from departure time. Good thing nobody has to go to work or school on tomorrow. Although, poor daughter has to trek back to Calgary tomorrow afternoon with her car loaded down for a four month co-op position with Imperial Oil for the semester from the University of Alberta. Starts Monday! 

Hallelujah for that direct flight between Calgary and Atlanta. I’m just saying. 😁  Before it we always had to go through Toronto or Montreal and LaGaurdia.  So glad to only have one connection home now. 

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2 hours ago, h-sar said:


So, never did make it to Le Mer. Kids said all of their friends whose families did said that you really have to like seafood to properly enjoy it. Just as well I didn’t go! Did not like the openness of a pay for restaurant. If you’re paying that much, passengers shouldn’t be walking through by your table. 

THanks for the update. After looking at the menu and the info you have given, we decided on the steak house 

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Great review;  seems like you had an awesome time on Sky Princess.  Safe Travels home

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I have so thoroughly enjoyed your live review!

Thank you for taking the time to share your adventures and this beautiful ship with us!

We board the sky in 8 weeks and I am more excited than ever after following along. Hope you have safe and pleasant travels home!

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Posted (edited)
On 12/24/2019 at 9:11 AM, GOODIES said:

Please find out what the obstruction is for deck e 410

 

we board in Feb

thanks


Figured it could not hurt to take a peek two floors below us to see if your room was open this morning during turnaround cleaning. The first time I went down, it was not open. On my way back from breakfast, passed by again, and it happened to be in the midst of a cleaning. The stewardess was in the room next door and when I asked, she said it would be totally fine if I went in and grabbed a couple of pictures as the previous guests were completely out. Hopefully, she is still on contract when you board - lovely gal, Julia.
 

Here are a few pictures. In the first I am stunning (hey, that’s how the phone read my dictation, who am I to argue?!) standing with my back pretty much against the balcony door.
In the others, I’m looking down over the railing in both directions, except pic 5 where I’m sitting in a chair. 
Couple of pics of the room. 

The balcony is huge! You’ll enjoy it. 🙂

 

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Edited by h-sar

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Sitting in a restaurant, Chicken and Beer, in the intl terminal at ATL in the midst of a 4 hr layover. Love ATL - huge and shiny like a new shopping mall 😁. Family’s gathered around the iPad as the Barca match just came on, leaving me to my own devices 😜. Get it??

 

Had do take a bus from domestic to intl. Felt like we were going quite a ways - is it in two completely different locations?

 

Can’t get over all the baby faced boys in camouflage. Is there some sort of training base a flight away? 

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9 hours ago, phred119s said:

Hallelujah for that direct flight between Calgary and Atlanta. I’m just saying. 😁  Before it we always had to go through Toronto or Montreal and LaGaurdia.  So glad to only have one connection home now. 

 
Calgary is so lucky with the flights and usually cheaper, too. We have a 3 hr layover there tonight. Could drive home in less time. Have thought about driving there and flying out (have relatives there who’d look after our car - northeast side 😁)  but way too dicey in winter. 

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4 hours ago, #1Nanna said:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I have so thoroughly enjoyed your live review!

Thank you for taking the time to share your adventures and this beautiful ship with us!

We board the sky in 8 weeks and I am more excited than ever after following along. Hope you have safe and pleasant travels home!


Thank you 🙂

You will love the Sky!

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20 hours ago, tere247 said:

We board in a week and your posts and pictures have gotten me more excited.  Can't wait.  Thanks so much for taking time from your vacation to do this.


Only been off a few hours, and I’m already jealous!  Have a wonderful cruise. 

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11 hours ago, hllwdcruiser said:

@h-sar I just want to thank you again for this wonderful live review. I feel like I've been cruising right along with you. And again, a huge thank-you for checking out our cabin for us.

It looks like the rain is holding off for you today in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood - at least until later today. Are you heading straight back home? 


So, after two sailaways in the rain, the hottest day in Ft L was our leaving day 😕. Sun still made me happy 🙃

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8 hours ago, h-sar said:


It’s been a pleasure conversing with you over a number of months 🙂. I think we’ve crossed paths a few times on here. Heading to the airport in a few minutes. Flight to Edmonton via Atlanta and Calgary, will see us at home in about 13 hours from departure time. Good thing nobody has to go to work or school on tomorrow. Although, poor daughter has to trek back to Calgary tomorrow afternoon with her car loaded down for a four month co-op position with Imperial Oil for the semester from the University of Alberta. Starts Monday! 

 

We have crossed paths many times over the years and that's because I always seem to follow you, (by a month or so) sailing on the same ship. You and I have a lot in common, how we like to spend our time on the ship and in ports and most importantly, the foods we like to eat! In addition,  I grew up in London (UK) so I am not a American football fan at all! Perhaps one day we will find ourselves on the same ship at the same time.

 

During the summer months we live just south of the Canadian border but are way East of you. It takes us only about an hour to get to Montreal. People call us "Snow Birds" but I say we are "Sun Birds" since we leave Florida and our families to escape the oppressive heat of the summer. We drive the 1600 miles twice a year - but take four days doing so.

 

Safe travels today and Congrats to your daughter - that is an amazing co-op position. You must be extremely proud!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, h-sar said:

 
Calgary is so lucky with the flights and usually cheaper, too. We have a 3 hr layover there tonight. Could drive home in less time. Have thought about driving there and flying out (have relatives there who’d look after our car - northeast side 😁)  but way too dicey in winter. 

For sure!  We are still in Banff, and the snow had cleared out by lunch. We decided to drop some stuff at the hotel and go for a walk on a trail. My word in like 5 mins it went from fine to snowpacalypse. We weren’t dressed for all that. Coffee, Hot Chocolate, and Timbits for the win. 
 

Hope y’all have a safe trip home. We are headed back to Calgary tomorrow and home Monday. 

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1 hour ago, h-sar said:


Only been off a few hours, and I’m already jealous!  Have a wonderful cruise. 7

Thank you. I'll be on for a b2b also, so I am excited.  I also booked her for New Years 2020.  Partly thanks to you.  

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H-sar many thinks for a fantastic review. Can hardly wait to board in February!!!!!  We have cruised on most of the Princess ships and are looking forward to this new one. My favourite has always been the Pacific Princess, but  DH likes the larger ones so.... maybe this will sway me.

 

 

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10 hours ago, phred119s said:

@h-sar thanks for the E410 pics!! Our home during the summer. 😁


You’ll love the location and size of the balcony! 

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8 hours ago, h-sar said:


You’ll love the location and size of the balcony! 

Yay!!! We scoped it out as best we could when we were on last month. We were excited then but got more excited to see your pics!

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Posted (edited)

Woke up this morning, disconcerted as to why I was sleeping on the right side of the bed and my husband on the left, and disappointedly remembered that we were no longer on the cruise!

 

Yesterday was, as expected, a crappy travel day. Living as far as we do from my embarkation port of choice, it is just something we have learned to expect. The process of having breakfast, getting off the ship, which was expedited by our Nexus cards, and getting to the airport was very quick, all-around. Even though the airport was pure chaos yesterday with so many going home at the end of the Christmas break, things actually moved along very quickly.

Minivan taxi from the port was twenty dollars. The metre showed $15 and I had wanted to use a credit card, but the driver said he would take cash only and that it was twenty because there was a five dollar charge for getting a van. All sounded kinda fishy, but at the point, twenty dollars seemed pretty fair. We had not bothered trying to get an Uber as there was absolutely no wait for the cab.

 

The line for the initial Security was incredibly long and they refused to use the global entry or TSA pre-check line, even though one existed. Everyone was put into one line. Does anybody know why this is the case? Even still, it moved pretty fast. I would say that from the minute we left the piazza to get off the ship to the minute we got to our gate, the process took approximately one hour.
 

I won’t factor in the half hour of luggage weight distribution/shuffle time that we spent prior to security, getting all of the toiletries back in to the checked bags and moving things around to get under the allowable weight. Between the four of us, for the two weeks, we had three large suitcases, which all came in at 49 or 50 pounds. Yikes! We also had three very small carry-on suitcases which thankfully we were able to check in for free once we go tot the gate.
 

Our philosophy on the return travel day is a little bit of divide and survive. We all agree to meet in the piazza at a specific time to disembark, but don’t get together as a full group before then, because everyone is cranky and the ship is a bit of mayhem anyway. I think the kids’ general survival mode for the day is to keep a bit of distance between them and us, LOL.

 

With two layovers yesterday, we arrived in our driveway exactly 18 hours after we had left the piazza. Thankfully, the airport is only 15 minutes from our house. Huge thanks to my parents who drove one of our cars and parked it for the day yesterday in one of the airport parking lots. They had offered to come and just pick us up, but we were getting in after midnight.

 

One of our small carry-ons, which they’d checked in, had a zipper get completely busted on the return trip . Fortunately, it remained fully closed, but the zipper Pulltabs on either end were completely sheared off. The WestJet baggage desk was right by the baggage carrousel and they actually just gave me a brand new, similar sized bag in return for my damaged one. Got a hard case, double sided bag. 👍🏼. Only took two or three minutes, so thank you Westjet!

 

Will return later in the day with some final thoughts about our cruise and the Sky when DD is packed up and off for her four month stay in Calgary.

Edited by h-sar

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Posted (edited)

Kids are not so gently letting me know that, now that they are at the stage of playing Tetris with configuring everything into the vehicle, I’m only getting in the way of their system. Have no problem making myself scarce.😆. Poor DH had to go into work today at 7:30. 
 

Some pictures below of our final dinner in the main dining room. It was also the baked Alaska parade. Was better than the half hearted affair last year on the Regal. However, a cruise critic post I read a while back lessened the enjoyment of the parade, LOL. Someone had commented on the fact that the swinging around of the white napkins during the parade just throws everyone’s food remnants at others in the room. So watching it in action, all the white napkins twirling around in the air, just kind of grossed me out a little bit. Ha ha. Can’t seem to get that out of my head now. 🤮

 

So much nicer to post the pictures from home where it takes a couple of seconds for all of them, rather than the many slow minutes it was taking on-board.

 

First three pictures were from Alfredos. How will miss that place! The watermelon and feta salad with pumpkin seeds was very good. However, I wish they would go back to serving it in a bowl where the feta is in smaller crumbs on the watermelon. I simply dumped it on my plate and broke up the feta as it was far too strong in the larger chunks. I have loved all of the MDR fish I had on board, but the trout was a bit tougher and not as light and flaky as the other fish I’ve had. Or is that just typical of trout? I love all of the sauces and fruit salsas they do for the fish dishes. The kids had the surf and turf which they said was very good and husband had a chicken dish which he said was delicious. The baked Alaska was just ho-hum, but I really enjoyed the profiterole dish of the day, which had rum raisin ice cream and chocolate sauce. DH was not overly enthused with the Apple pie, but son really enjoyed his Creme Brulé.

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Edited by h-sar

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Posted (edited)

The crews of painters were out all the time, touching things up. 👍🏼
 

Counted 24 treadmills (yup, just treadmills alone) in the fitness facility. Uh, you understand that doesn’t necessarily mean I used any of them? 😆

One thing that was missing on the Sky from the Regal were all of the little workout machines, some pretty cool ones that my husband really enjoyed, that were set up around the running track outside.

 

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Edited by h-sar

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Truly, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! All the details have been extremely helpful as we plan to board in just about a month with my in-laws (who will be first time cruisers!). And your commentary is just the BEST. 🙂

 

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And this was my final picture on board before disembarking. And that’s all you get to see of that picture LOL. Actually, I did better than I thought I would. Over the two weeks, I let myself have whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, which was not always such a great strategy, as sometimes my body was not entirely happy with me.
 

I cruise for food, service, the sun, and the ports. Food is in the top two, so I let myself indulge. I did go on a very healthy clean eating kick with the kids for the three months prior to the cruise as we had all had summers with high carb eating. I had spent three weeks in Italy eating nonstop and my son had been doing an engineering co-op in Berlin for four months over the summer where he’d been carbing it up as well. We really reduced our sugars and carbs during the first semester of school. So, going into the cruise, we were all in a better place than we might normally have been. After 14 days, I am up about 8 pounds, and expect I will lose about two of that by tomorrow, in terms of salt and water intake, so will probably only have about six to really work off. 

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PS: the above machine is very accurate and is found in the fitness facility, just inside one of the entries.

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