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The Summit Cruise that almost was....


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Vacation: Day 2

Original Plan: boarding a cruise in San Juan.

Reality is overrated, so we're taking the cruise in our heads.  (If you've ever read a cruise review...)

First day report.  Embarkation day: we magically woke up in our stateroom, with all of our clothes unpacked.  And we didn't even spring for a butler!  What a breeze compared to other trips.

Because most restaurants are closed on embarkation day, we wandered up to the buffet.  No staff in sight, so we helped ourselves to coffee and a bagel.  I'll have to train the "cabin steward" (I'm not sure, but I think his name is Ed) to bring this to me every morning in our cabin.

We decided to check out shore excursions for the trip, and found out that all excursions are free, but mostly limited to "Explore the port on your own!" 

Our stateroom is nice and large, and a good sized bathroom.  Plenty of closet space, too.  We don't even have to put our luggage under the bed.

First night out of port is always casual dress, so we don't need to get dressed up.  And tonight's welcome aboard show is titled "The best of Broadway on Netflix," so I think we'll skip it.

The few passengers we've seen are a little standoffish- they don't even smile at you when you pass them.  At least, I don't think they do...hard to tell with the masks.

Unlike past cruises, the ship's officers are nowhere to be seen.

We sprang for the "Unlimited Beverage Package" and they seem to have a nice selection of California wines on board.  And a "Make your own" Martini Bar!!!

Other ship amenities:  the pool is closed, and there's no gym, but they do have a free self-serve laundromat, which is a nice touch- we'll be able to save our on-board credit for souvenirs!

We checked out our table in the main dining room- a table for eight, but the Maitre d' tells us that there's no one else assigned to dine with us...we might try a specialty restaurant instead...I hear good things about "The Porch" as a venue.  Same food, but you get to eat in the fresh air.  

Internet quality seems really good, and we got that "unlimited" as a perk, too, because our frequent cruiser status on this ship.

The ship is a little still...must still be at the dock, as I cannot feel the motion of the waves.  The captain did say he expects calm seas for the duration of the cruise.

More to report tomorrow when we hit our first port.  We're excited as we've chosen a shore excursion called "The trails and parks of the East Bay," which is sure to be fun...supposedly we get to see lots of local flora and fauna!

That's it for Day 2. More tomorrow...

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Vacation Day 3
Cruise Day 2

Original Plan: Dominica.
Reality: Port Cheznous.

The second day of the cruise has been nearly perfect, with just a few niggling complaints- it hasn't ruined the cruise, or anything, but certainly not like cruising in the good old days.

Our trip ashore was nice- easiest disembarking ever...of course, it wasn't a tender port...we hiked through the local trails outside of Port Cheznous, and saw wild flowers, deer, and wild turkeys.  The local roads were empty, so we walked into the local village to see about souvenirs.

Unfortunately, all the shops were closed- must be some local holiday.  The two stores open just had essential items, so slim pickings for local crafts, although we were tempted by large packages of locally made impinted 2 ply paper on rolls.  The locals said it was a rarity, and even they were buying all they could.  We decided that it would be difficult to pack, so left empty handed, except for some  chocolate made by a local woman with the unfortunate name of S. Nickers.  

I only mention the chocolate, as our room Steward, Ed, totally forgot the chocolates on our pillows.  Good thing he remembered the coffee and bagel this morning!  His tip may have suffered otherwise...it will DEFINITELY be on my comment card if things don't improve.

We were back on board for lunch, and opted to have a chicken pasta casserole for lunch.  Now, don't get me wrong...it was tasty- but more on the level of Olive Garden (or Costco prepared foods) than on a luxury cruise.  That, and we've noticed they are cutting  corners...it tasted remarkably like last night's Poulet Alfredo, just served differently.  I guess they really do reuse anything they can.

With the afternoon before us, we decided to try one of the onboard activities.  I opted for the lesson in Napkin Folding...envisioning impressing my friends at home with my entertaining prowess at my next candlelight supper!  It turned out that I also learned how to fold: towels, sheets, both flat and fitted, and assorted socks and underwear.  Hoping that means Ed will be making up our stateroom with fresh sheets, at least.

We were gifted a bottle of Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc and decided to have it on the verandah before our nap.  They were nice and didn't charge us corkage, although Ed brought out red wine glasses...I should remember that, as a room steward, his knowledge of wine is limited.  Comment two for the card!!.

After a restful nap, we decided to dress up in our formal wear for the evening's activities.  No t-shirts and sweatpants for us, no sir!  Polo shirts and athleisure's fanciest trou!!  We stopped by the "Friends of Dorothy" cocktail party, but it was a bust...only two old queens were there, both unshaven, in bad sportswear...oh, wait, that was a mirror.

After a light dinner in the "main diningroom," (where we noticed that the silver wasn't polished) we decided to walk out on the decks. Apparently it's a tradition on this cruise line for everyone to stand on decks and howl at 8:00 p.m. Cruisers are weird people, but what are you going to do?

As we watched the lights on shores of Port Cheznous fade into the distance, we decided to get more rest- we know that tomorrow's port, Puerto Casa Nuestro, is supposed to exceed today's port experience, and we want to be well rested!  Oh, and did I mention the movie tonight was "Groundhog Day?"  We feel like we've seen it 40 or so times in a row, so skipped it for an early night.

Until tomorrow's report,

Andrew

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Day 1 Plan:      Rent car, drive to Fort Lauderdale, drop car, fly to San Juan.  Board Celebrity Summit.

Day 1 Actual:   Under Safer at Home order, read a stupid book for book club.  Changed sheets on bed.

Day 2 Plan:      Tortola, BVI.  Haven't been there for a few years, was looking forward to it.

Day 2 Actual:   SaS.  Started new book.  Did a load of wash.  Passed on stupid book club book to my neighbor across the canal.

 

I must say I liked the plan much better than the actual.  Much prefer to have someone else doing the cooking, laundry, making the bed, etc.

 

Loving your take, Andrew!

Edited by Happy Cruiser 6143
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Love these--not really but you know what I mean.

 

Here's my contribution:

Saturday/Sunday:  plan:  Shop, embarkation, and a beach.  80s and sunny, blue skies.

Saturday/Sunday:  actual:  Laundry, wonder whether I should bother switching my closet for my summer work clothes or if I'll be stuck at home until it's time for the fall clothes again, gray and upper 50s and rainy.  No shrimp cocktail or French onion soup.  Wonder if I can get a refund?

 

Actual Sunday evening show:  reading quarantine humor here on CC.  Ok, well, that's better than a lot of the on-board comedians I have seen...

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....assuming you’re still in Walnut Creek (?), you hit the nail on the head about the folks on the trail! We’re all scared of each other, masks and all! 

 

Keep it comin’! Love it! And I hope Ed learns what type wine glass to use before you disembark in Port-au-WC!

 

I’m on the trail every day. Say “hi”. You can’t miss me!

 

EE6E48E7-EA3D-43FD-A318-A90B4C6E2BE2.jpeg

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We hope to join you tonight for dinner...

 

We will be on our very own veranda, wave to us from yours!

 

Due to being seen only from the waist up, (something to do with "Zooming"), I was able to pack only one black shirt, my pj bottoms, and 2 dozen scarves.  They will change from daytime cruise to nighttime chic.  I, of course, did all my shopping for cruisewear at the lovely specialty store, maybe you've heard of it, Amazing or something like that?   DH is joining by wearing any number of assorted jaunty ascots.

Edited by NonnaTLC
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Vacation Day 4
Cruise Day 3

Original Plan: Tortola
Reality: Puerto Casa Nuestros

 

Good morning, campers! ( I know you've all been waiting patiently for the next installment.  How sad that THIS is the highlight of your day!😉)

 

Cruise day three, we sailed into our next port.  If you've ever sailed in the Caribbean before, you've probably heard someone complain that it's hard to tell the difference between the island ports. I have a feeling it was never moreso than on this cruise.

 

Steward Ed managed to get me coffee and a bagel on time today, and even scored a pumpernickel one with a corn crust.  I guess because I told him that he'd done well, he took it as an invitation, and sat right down, and had one with me.  The nerve!!! The help are just getting too familiar.  But he's sorta' cute, so I'll let it slide.  But I may have a word with the purser...

 

Off the ship and on our way to explore Beautiful Puerto Casa Nuestros.   Remember what I said about all ports looking the same?  Well THAT is true.  Ashore we saw wild  turkeys, deer and wildflowers.  I swear they look just like the ones we saw yesterday.  

 

We decided to forgo any shopping, as we expected to find a (very) similar assortment of items in the shops.  For those who we've promised a trinket, salt water taffy from the airport will have to do...

 

We were hot and tired from our tour, so returned to the ship.  The pool butler, coincidentally also named Ed, was busy cleaning the decks and deck chairs, so no lying out for me.

 

I decided to try a spa treatment instead.  I'd needed a haircut for 45 or so days, and thought I'd take a chance. Big mistake. Huge!  I wanted a little off the top and sides, but have instead ended up with a weird combination of a buzz cut, an 80's New Wave cut, and a combo mullet/mohawk in the back.

  

Not pretty.  I complained at guest relations, and they were very unhelpful...even said that it looked like I'd done this to myself!  Seeing that bringing out my inner "Karen" was getting me nowhere, I hightailed it back to the stateroom, determined to both complain to Richard Fain when I got off the cruise, and to petition the Captain to find an Island with a "Supercuts" on it. Oh, the small things you miss when away from home...

 

Ed was cleaning the stateroom, but stopped and gasped when he saw what they'd done, and very kindly offered to deal with the mullet/mohawk portion so I could show myself at the Captain's Club Senior Officer's Party at night.

 

So, before dinner, we headed off to the cocktail party.  I literally did not see a soul that I knew...it was as if they all faded into the upholstery.  Officers were hard to spot as well.  A nice wine was offered, but paired with Chips and Salsa?  More cost cutting I see.  No canapes or hot hors d'oeuvres. Very disappointing.  I hope they do better at the Captain's Gala!

 

Speaking of upholstery, I really like the decor of the ship.  Almost as though I picked everything out myself!  So tasteful, so elegant.  Why, it's as though they copied me down to the last detail.  Even my coffee mug this morning had little Welsh Corgis painted on it!

 

The ship ventilation could use some work, as no matter whats being prepared in the galley, the smell is noticeable everywhere.  At the moment, it smells like Banana Bread, so that's not so bad...unless the Sous Chef, Edmundo, lets it cook too long.  Has been know to happen...

 

Onto dinner in the dining room.  As feared, noone else ever showed up to join us, so we had appetizers, salad and wine. It's true what they say about putting on a few pounds on a cruise, so we're rationing our intake...although it's not like they'll run out, right?

 

Our Waiter and Assistant Waiter feel like family after just a few days, and seem to know our tastes and desires almost as soon as we do!  If you EVER take this cruise, you absolutely must ask to have Andre and Eddie as your servers!  

The sommelier, also, surprise, surprise, named Ed, is a little stingy with the wine sometimes, commenting that we've already gone through a bottle, and it would be wasteful to open another.  Not like he's paying for it, is it???

 

Well, another day of the cruise done.

 

Tomorrow's port was supposed to be the Port of Granada, but I think they have shortened the name to Porto de Nada.

 

Abientot,

Andrew

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At this time, we all have had great previous cruises, some bad recent cruise experiences, and many have had future cruise plans cancelled or changed. Reliving and reloving some of our favorite cruises could be uplifting.  Sure could use some brighter days. Last year at this time, I was on Star Breeze. First of b2b cruises.  First was from Lisbon RT to Canary Islands and Morocco.  Madeira first stop with an overnight.  Weather was perfect. Island was beautiful with gorgeous vegetation and stunning seashore. Paradise!

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Dear Sir In Polyester Blazer:
Due to your unfortunate negative comments on my service, it is with deep regret and unbridled relish that I inform you of the following:
You are so much less enterprising than the other 5 passenger couples, every one of whom discovered independently by Day 2 that all you have to do to get a suite on this ship is walk into one (the same being empty), that I would not serve you any Champagne and chocolate strawberries from the overflowing cooler even if you offered me a case of N95's.
Yours most sincerely,
Eduardo
[emoji6]


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Oh my gosh!  Thank you so much Blazerboy!  This is so funny.....well done!  😄   Can't wait to read the next day's port review!

 

Edited by Reel Love
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Andrew- Blazer- that is fantastic- hilarious - what a great idea. How may we call it- " Home- Cruising"!

A Hello to your fantastic cabin steward/busboy/ somelier/ headwaiter- Ed.

By the way Andrew don´t be to harsh on the poor cabin steward etc etc etc. Keep him- who knows what or who the cruise line would send over to take care of you!

I would right now be on board the QM2 en route from New York to Hamburg!

I have a hard time to keep my very own cabin stewart in check...!

Oh- almost forgot- say also " Hello" to those two Queens in the Mirror- and give them a big smile- maybe- just maybe- they give you back a smile just as nice!

 

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I want to know why you get cabin crew and I have none.  Nada.  Zip.  Think I will have to demand my money back.  If that butler thinks he's getting a tip, he can think again.  

 

We must have a do over one of these days.  I think we would have had a ball on this one.

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Love reading this.

We have been keeping our roll call going for the 28 days since it was canceled with pictures, tales, and a featured drink of the day from an old Celebrity  'Cocktail Recipes Signature Series' booklet.

We set sail on the 21st and are now doing our virtual cruise together.

 

Cheers, heather

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