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


Ripheus
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For dinner Wednesday, we ate at Extra Virgin. We tried a bit of everything. And we were thoroughly stuffed. I had the steak, which should surprise exactly no one at this point. I'm sure @Moochi has more pictures of our food (and remembers what she had for her main). To complement dinner, we had a wine from Virginia winery that we'd brought aboard. (Side note: this winery, Rappahannock Cellars, has the best wine club in all of Virginia, and most of the wine isn't half bad!) For dessert, I had the affogato, fully loaded. DW had each of ALL the ice creams and sorbets. 

Extra Virgin Steak.jpg

Our Wine.jpg

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Wednesday was also our Scarlet Night. It was...ah....interesting. There was definitely a lot going on all over the ship. We ended up in the little sitting area next to the Draught House and met a lovely couple from Jefferson City. When the area became too loud to converse, we went up to the pool deck and scooped up a spot on the outskirts of the pool deck. DW isn't a fan of modern, American music so it definitely was not for her. But I thought it was fun. 

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(Completely unrelated: Do we want to go on Celebrity Ascent in March? 7 night in Retreat for $5,500.)

 

For Extra Virgin, I got fried calamari for starter and DH got beef carpaccio. I love fried calamari. Whenever I see it on the menu, I order it. EV's calamari is bad. It's more like fried elastic band. Over cooked elastic band. I ended up eating hubby's carpaccio. It was quite good, despite the fact I don't truffle flavored anything. Not that I don't like truffles. There was a story involved a bar in Detroit, $280 worth of cocktails down in two hours, and truffle popcorns. I'm sure no one here needs to hear that story but it ruins truffle for me.

 

For pasta dish, I got bucatini carbonara. Although the flavor was great, I was not a fan of the texture of the noodles. It tastes gummy, like the dough didn't develop enough gluten. I was almost certain the noodles were extruded not rolled and cut. It was my own fault. I didn't know what bucatini was when ordering. I googled it later on. That shaped pasta gotta be extruded.

 

For main, I ordered braised pork cheek. It was flavorful, savory, tender but the meat still held its shape. Very solid dish. 

 

The dessert. The lovely couple (They have sailed on VV 17 times!) recommended chocolate olive oil cake. My head was full of the idea of having gelato. Knowing we had another booking in Extra Virgin on a later date, I decided to go with gelato and try the chocolate cake the next visit. Why did I want gelato so badly? Because I was disappointed at the ice cream at the ice cream place. It was full of ice crystals. So, I put on the biggest smile I can, and asked for one scoop of every single gelato and sorbet they have. I got what I wanted. It was delicious, satisfying, and ridiculous. I ate everything so fast, because the gelato was melting. My husband probably was laughing hard inside, but I didn't care.

 

IMG_3588.thumb.jpeg.96997a8b643cf56dd14a7d2c90ff1b47.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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We are finally on to Day 5, Puerto Plata

 

We booked the Wake for brunch. We had an excursion later on, and budgeted 70 minutes for the brunch. We thought we would have plenty of time to enjoy a peaceful brunch before heading into the heat. As it turned out, it was not enough. 

 

When we were seated, we heard in the broadcast that there's a crew safety drill happening soon. Our server didn't mention anything. We thought, oh, there's nothing to do with us.

 

After our drinks were delivered, there was a long pause before the food came out. We noticed the venue all the sudden got quiet. The table at the far end that was sharing their life story left. Along with all the servers in the restaurant. The customers were just sitting there waiting. Ummm where's everyone? What's going on? Did they go to the safety drill? When are they coming back? Are kitchen staff going to the drill too? Can we make it to our excursion? 

 

25 minutes later, my clam chowder showed up. It was as great as I remembered. But I started to worry about the time. 

 

Then the poached shrimp was brought to us. We were almost running late so I shoveled all the shrimps in my mouth and left like a chipmunk. I know I'm not supposed to walk around with food still in my mouth. But I think it's more rude to ask our tour mates to wait for us in the Puerto Plata heat. 

 

The food was still delicious but the experience was weirdly rushed in the end. We fully understand the importance of crew safety drill, and won't ask anyone to prioritize anything above safety. But since it's a planned drill, it would be really nice if the staff let us know that the service would be delayed by about 30 minutes and we can decide if we want to dine in or go somewhere else. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ripheus said:

DW isn't a fan of modern, American music so it definitely was not for her.

VV should adopt Celebrity’s silent disco idea for Scarlet Night. Then I will have a really good time doing people watching 🤣

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8 hours ago, Moochi said:

VV should adopt Celebrity’s silent disco idea for Scarlet Night. Then I will have a really good time doing people watching 🤣

 

Silent discos are all over the place but it would make scarlet night so boring

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More posts coming....we've gotten a bit of snow here in VA and we're expecting more tomorrow. While some snow won't keep most people from posting, its removal is part of my job so it keeps me quite busy. 

 

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8 hours ago, BethesdaSC said:

I appreciate the review! Did you find the ship spaces to be cold that you were always wearing a sweater etc? How easy was the iPad in the room to adjust everything? Thank you!

 

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On 1/10/2024 at 11:25 AM, aqlollipop said:

 I have a hunch if she had requested wheelchair disembarkation from sailor services on board, they might have wheeled her off the ship and then she could have sat in that wheelchair to wait for the port wheelchair. But I'm not sure honestly. I know I did see them bringing wheelchairs on board.

THat was not our experience.  We requested wheelchair assistance thru our TA when we made the reservation, on arrival at the terminal in MIA, and at Sailor Services while on board.  Sailor Services even assigned us a time which was different from our chosen disembarkation time(but not a problem). We explained that she could walk to the disembarkation point, but could not walk on the slanted gangway or thru the terminal...but we were instructed that their system was to pick her up in the cabin.  They assigned us a 10:00 pick up time.  Yeah, I called at 10:15 and 10:45 and was basically told to chill out, they'd be there.  They were making the "Final call, get off the ship" announcements before she was picked up on our last cruise.  We were the second to last people off the ship!

Then, as they have done each time, she needed to switch from a wheelchair that belongs to the ship to a wheelchair that belongs to the terminal.  On each of our cruises, they have kicked people out of the ship wheelchair while waiting, and the wait has typically been about 30 minutes.  In Barcelona they had someone bring out a bunch of folding chairs.  In Miami, you stand.  Fortunately, she uses a rollator, so she can sit there.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. When we got to the Terminal there was one person waiting there seated in a wheelchair, so that's where my (wrong) assumption came from. We didn't wait around so don't know how long she waited or what happened beyond that. 

 

Such a bummer that they can't seem to get this aspect of their service sorted out.

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14 minutes ago, aqlollipop said:

Thanks for sharing your experience. When we got to the Terminal there was one person waiting there seated in a wheelchair, so that's where my (wrong) assumption came from. We didn't wait around so don't know how long she waited or what happened beyond that. 

 

Such a bummer that they can't seem to get this aspect of their service sorted out.

We've never had this problem on any other line.  On DCL, I dropped her near the baggage drop where there was a bench and told her to wait for me on the bench.  When I got back from parking the car, she was seated in a wheelchair waiting for me to go into the terminal.  While every line has the same "on the ship" vs "in the terminal" issue, most of them handle it quite well.  

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