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Semi-Live: Valiant Lady, January 7th to January 13th


Ripheus
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Last post for Night 1

 

After dinner at the Wake, we stopped by Drought Haus for a beer. It was very nice to see porters and stouts other than Guinness offered on a cruise ship. We shared a Boulevard whiskey barrel stout. It scratched my itch of dark beers  for the day 🤣

 

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Then we went to the Red Room to see the Miss Behave show. The venue is nice but too small. Also one thing missing IMO is drink holder on the arm rest. 
 

DH ordered a boulevadier for the show. It was not made the way I like but still a decent drink. Too much Campari and sweet vermouth, not enough bourbon.

 

After the show, I insisted to try the pizza that everyone is raving about. I got a pesto chicken and DH got Pretty Fly for a White Pie. Just like everyone said, the pizza was outstanding for a cruise ship pizza. If I had to provide any critical opinion, I wish there was more salt or pesto sauce on the pizza. I needed that extra sodium to balance out the alcohol 🤫

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1 minute ago, Moochi said:

If I had to provide any critical opinion, I wish there was more salt or pesto sauce on the pizza. I needed that extra sodium to balance out the alcohol

This is the second time I've read a comment like this. Is it feasible to ask for extra sauce or toppings?

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9 minutes ago, Swells1 said:

This is the second time I've read a comment like this. Is it feasible to ask for extra sauce or toppings?

Next time (I mean tonight) I will ask for extra sauce and see it becomes the best pizza I have ever had 😍

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22 hours ago, CineGraphic said:

 

We love the shrimp so much, I started making it at home.

It's a quick and simple treat!

 

My favorite was those shrimp, I was addicted to them, LOL

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10 minutes ago, EBONI325 said:

My favorite was those shrimp, I was addicted to them, LOL

 

I remember day 1 of our first VV....we were eating at the Dock, and I said to my wife, "I could eat this ____ every day"

Very simple to make. The hardest part for some may be locating Aleppo Pepper flakes, but we have a great international grocer near us. Amazon has it as well.

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5 hours ago, Swells1 said:

This is the second time I've read a comment like this. Is it feasible to ask for extra sauce or toppings?

Definitely.  You can also ask for it to be "well done" if you'd like it a little more crispy.

 

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Skip to the post-dinner drink of Night 2, because we have a….looser🤫

 

 

After dinner at Pink Agave (very good experience, more on that later), we stopped by On The Rocks for a drink before going to a party. 
 

Husband ordered a Ron Meet Don. It’s weird. There’s so much going on with aged rum, tequila, sweet vermouth, and sparkling wine, plus the dehydrated citrus wheel and thyme sprig that were not on the menu. Too many directions with no theme. Sounds like a Manhattan variation but it didn’t taste good.

 

I ordered a Yellow-Bellied which is made of tequila, scotch, yellow chartreuse, and light larger. Sounds like an Old Fashioned twist right? Nope. It was served in a Collin’s glass, with a good amount of lime juice and whatever sugar syrup. It tastes like an experimental but terribly failed margarita. And why does the color look like a margarita? The scotch and larger should give a golden hue to the drink!

 
I’m pretty sure both drink were made wrong, but the venue was so busy so we didn’t want to go back for a re-made drink or money back.
 

$28 of our precious bar tab got wasted. I have to admit that I’m less forgiving about cocktails when we don’t have a drink package. 😅


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18 minutes ago, Moochi said:

yellow chartreuse

 

In my years as a liquor wholesale rep in Florida in the 80s, I can count the number of bottles of yellow Chartreuse I sold on one hand. Only a few high-end hotels carried it. Thank goodness I also repped brands like Absolut and Bacardi, otherwise I would have starved to death. 🤣

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14 hours ago, CineGraphic said:

 

In my years as a liquor wholesale rep in Florida in the 80s, I can count the number of bottles of yellow Chartreuse I sold on one hand. Only a few high-end hotels carried it. Thank goodness I also repped brands like Absolut and Bacardi, otherwise I would have starved to death. 🤣

We love herbal liqueur. Wish this sailing stoped at St Maarten so we can get some hard to find bottles on the French side without paying black market prices.

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Day 2 at Nassau

 

For breakfast, we tried Razzle Dazzle. It is a veggie focused restaurant but thank goodness they have a naughty menu. 
 

We both ordered fried chicken sandwiches. Hubby got a smoked cheddar jelapeno croissant. And the server brought us coffee. The coffee is nasty. My local IHOP has better coffee and I always think their coffee tastes like dirty dish water. The jalapeño croissant is okay. The filling is not bad but the bread party is dry. Hubby enjoyed it though.

 

I was so upset with the coffee and had to run to Grounds Club for something better before the chicken sandwiches come out. I ordered a latte for hubby and an Americano for myself. While waiting, I heard the almond croissants calling my name from the display case. Sure I will take one. 
 

Upon return to Razzle Dazzle, the chicken sandwiches have arrived. They are tall sandwiches! Picked it up, took a bite, and I decided to deconstruct the sandwich. The bun was huge and dry. The beet aioli was gritty. The chicken has good flavor but was over cooked. Breading was rock hard and the chicken was dry. The sandwich looks cute and that’s all it’s about. The French fries were overcooked as well. I will give this place another try. Hope next time someone in the kitchen watch the fryer closely. 😅

 

Back to the almond croissant and coffee from Grounds Club. The almond croissant has the texture of croutons. Hmm. Americano is a bit too acidic to my taste. Hubby enjoyed his latte. One thing I do like about the Grounds Club, is that the compostable lid held well with the steam from the hot drink. Maybe VV should look into paper straws with similar material?

 

After breakfast, we went off the ship to check out the newly renovated pier area. It was a much easier and shorter walk to the shops compared to last time we got off the ship in Nassau. 
 

We didn’t stay long at the pier. After buying a bottle of Corzo tequila which is very hard to find in Virginia, we headed back to the ship. We needed to grab some quick lunch before going to Loteria, the Mexican bingo.

 

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the very cute but not tasty chicken sammich

 

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jelapeno croissant 

 

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almond croissant 

 

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americano

 

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the great paper lid

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40 minutes ago, Moochi said:

After buying a bottle of Corzo tequila which is very hard to find in Virginia, we headed back to the ship

 

Are the liquor stores in VA still state run?

I used to manage a bar in Tysons Corner in the early 80s....and found them harder to deal with compared to my hometown in Montgomery County, MD.

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13 minutes ago, CineGraphic said:

 

Are the liquor stores in VA still state run?

I used to manage a bar in Tysons Corner in the early 80s....and found them harder to deal with compared to my hometown in Montgomery County, MD.

Yes it’s still state run. The only advantage is that everything is sold at MSRP. 

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Totally agree about the chicken sandwich....always seriously dry and over cooked.

Worst beverage on the ship--premium tea from Sailor Eats.  They do not separate the thermos type containers used for coffee from those used for hot water for tea or broth for soup.  The contents of the thermos smell and taste like old coffee.  I may be a purist, but no decent restaurant will use a pot that has held coffee for tea water, whether it is a "keep warm" device or a holding device.  A couple times I got the tea leaves in one of the cute little brewing pots with the thermos of hot water separate.  This sort of works because I can go to The Galley or Grounds Club for "clean" hot water...I often save the little pot and get the water the next day.  Once I got the tea already brewed in the thermos--sorry, it went down the drain.  I had tons of loot, so the cost was not an issue, but....yuk...  Same with ordering soup.  They sent the solids and the broth separately, but the broth smelled/tasted of old coffee.  I put the solids on a salad and dumped the broth.

I have put this in evaluations on each of our cruises.....they obviously don't care.

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I'm loving your semi-live reports so far!  It's very descriptive and I can really picture being there. Your candor is great and I love your cheekiness.  Looking forward to the rest!

 

We are considering a first VV cruise after a very unpleasant holiday cruise on Princess featuring several thousand shrieking children running amok (or at least that's how it felt).

 

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19 minutes ago, charliedalrymple said:

We are considering a first VV cruise after a very unpleasant holiday cruise on Princess featuring several thousand shrieking children running amok (or at least that's how it felt).

 

We left Princess about a year ago, and have never looked back, even when offered rates as low as $50 per cabin.

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While my better half is taking a bit of a siesta (after the paid Tequila and Mezcal event), I should continue where she left off. 

 

We both enjoyed the Loteria Gigante. It was tons of fun, interactive, and tasty. I think we both had 7 drinks during the event, which left us both a bit buzzed. We had and afternoon nap and I ordered some charcuterie and popcorn from ship eats. I tried to get a crafthouse old fashioned too, but it didn't show up. 

 

The meat in the charcuterie spread is quite good and consists of both prosciutto and salami. The cheese leaves much to be desired as it's just a couple of bricks of Parmesan and cheap blue cheese. The bread and nuts that accompany it are both stale. 

 

Soon it was time for dinner sr Pink Agave. I'll let DW get into detail on that experience, but suffice it to say  I was quite happy with our meals. I think we're going to try to switch our dinner at Razzle Dazzle later this week for another Pink Agave. 

 

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6 hours ago, cantgetin said:



I have put this in evaluations on each of our cruises.....they obviously don't care.

I did the surveys as well, and typed a long answer if I din’t leave the best ratings. Haven’t heard anything so I too guess they don’t care.

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Day 2 at Nassau continued 

 

we had about 20 minutes to get lunch before attending Loteria. We learned that’s a bingo game with drinks so wanted to make sure we don’t go hungry, especially I didn’t finish everything at breakfast. 
 

I went to the Sun Club Cafe on deck 16 for a poke bowl, and took my food to the galley so hubby can get a sandwich.

 

The salmon poke bowl I got was…eatable. Okay the smoked salmon has nothing wrong. The problem was the rice and seasonings. They used too much water when cooking the rice and turned it into a mush. It can really make Uncle Roger and my ancestors cry. Haiyaaaaa! Then the seasonings. There was some spiced power dusted on top of everything but no sauce. The bowl was dry. I could have added a drizzle of soy sauce, but it would be salty and really spike up my blood pressure. 
 

DH got a sandwich from the grab and go section. He said it was not good but not good either. It just did the job. 

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Day 2 at Nassau, the Loteria game.

 

It’s a ticket event that costs $50pp. Upon arrival, everyone was greeted with a margarita and some spiced nuts. Great start! I don’t want to reveal too much fun for whoever new to the game. It was designed in the millennial style, and the happenings casts were very funny and engaging. We were giving shots of tequila between the games and the margarita/Paloma kept flowing during the whole thing. I think everyone left very tipsy and had a lot of fun. Highly recommend if you have the loot.


I have the pictures but I’m not going to post them, hehe.

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1 hour ago, Moochi said:

I did the surveys as well, and typed a long answer if I din’t leave the best ratings. Haven’t heard anything so I too guess they don’t care.

 

If you are talking about the surveys that pop-up in your app while on-board, we've had management approach us as we arrived for our dinner reservations to discuss service issues we've brought up in the surveys. They might not be able to meet with everyone, but they do care, and try to rectify things when they can.

Edited by CineGraphic
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15 minutes ago, CineGraphic said:

 

If you are talking about the surveys that pop-up in your app while on-board, we've had management approach us as we arrived for our dinner reservations to discuss service issues we've brought up in the surveys. They might not be able to meet with everyone, but they do care, and try to rectify things when they can.

Glad to hear that! I won’t be upset if they don’t do anything about my survey answers but it would be awesome if they do. I was just giving them my honest feedback about a product a care about and would love to see improvements 

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On 1/7/2024 at 10:09 AM, Moochi said:

Boarding Day

 

we are currently waiting outside of the terminal after being checked in. 
 

After checked out from the hotel at 11, we decided to head out to the terminal early. Uber fare was $36 for the less than 2 miles drive and Lyft showed $15. Lyft it was. We requested the ride, and no driver was accepting it in a few minutes. Finally a driver from 20 minutes away accepted the request. I found the situation a bit odd, but didn’t realize what was going on. While we were waiting to be picked up, someone from the roll call group posted about the traffic being a mess heading to the terminal. He was not wrong. There are 7 ships in port today and it took us 35 minutes for the 2-mile ride. After giving the Lyft driver a big tip, we started the boarding process at 12:10.

 

We went through the door that has the Splash of Romance and Sailing Club sign. There was a lady checking everyone’s name from a printed list. After getting the DBE blue wrist ribbon, we were allowed inside to check in and get our wrist bands. Then we were asked to wait outside by the people who checked us in. Wait outside? Where outside? We came outside and there’s no sign or anything. We asked a gentleman wearing VV uniform. He told us there are shuttles taking us back to Bayside Marketplace if we want to shop and we were not allowed back in until 1:30. We thought it was too risky to go in and out of the port in an hour so decided to just wait outside, standing. Then we saw people started forming a line. It was the DBE and SOR line. We got in the line, hoping to get in to sit down very soon. It has been over 40 minutes. The line is getting longer and everyone is still standing outside. Both hubby and I are not very happy at the moment. He has some leg issues that makes it painful to stand for too long. I can see him struggling there, although he was leaning against a wall.
 

I understand we got here before our boarding time. But we had to check out the hotel at 11. What does VV think people are going to kill one hour with luggage’s? 

 

 

My biggest (and possibly only) peeve with VV is that they have this beautiful sparkling terminal and they make people wait outside. I don't get it. By the time folks are allowed inside, boarding has pretty much started - so what is the point of that lovely terminal?

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6 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

My biggest (and possibly only) peeve with VV is that they have this beautiful sparkling terminal and they make people wait outside. I don't get it. By the time folks are allowed inside, boarding has pretty much started - so what is the point of that lovely terminal?

Completely agree.  We had a much bigger problem with wheelchair assist disembarkation.  They had a beautiful seating area on the other side of a window with a door to enter, yet we were required to stand along that glass while waiting 30 minutes for the terminal assist people to come.  We were ok as my person who needed assistance had a rollator with a seat.  Several elderly people were forced to stand while leaning on the glass or their cruise partner.  Yes, they have large, lovely, unused areas while people are dangerously inconvenienced in some situations.

If you are a rockstar (suite guest), you are permitted to enter and wait in the terminal until boarding starts.

 

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