Pre Cruise---Saturday, May 8th.
We left Tampa around 9:30 and met up with everyone in our group at the MCDONALD'S just before Alligator Alley. While crossing the everglades Jeff spotted a sweet dark blue Bentley coming by to pass us. When the car pulled even to us it was none other than Edgerrin James of the Indianapolis Colts. Little did we know that we would be seeing another NFL running back everyday of our vacation.
Just like last year we booked a room THE CLEVELANDER art deco hotel in the heart of SOUTH BEACH . This hotel rocks and the POOL BAR seems to be THE spot alongOCEAN DRIVE . After spending a little time at the beach we headed back to the pool bar for some drinks and to catch the HOT BODIES contest. This place doesn’t suck! That night we ate at a cool spot called Jerry’s Famous Deli. THE MENU is the size of Moby Dick (the book you perverts) and the prices aren’t too bad considering you are in South Beach.
Sunday, May 9th – Day 1 (South Beach)
Met down in the lobby around 9:30 and made our way to the port. Stopped by Burger King for some breakfast and it was evident that the excitement (or the I don’t care I’m on vacation attitude) was getting to us as Maureen threw her tray away with her trash. I scolded her and we on our way to the terminal. Handed over our luggage to the porters along with a good tip and a look that said, “all my cool stuff that I own is in there, can you please make sure I see it again.” The ship was late clearing customs so we had to wait a little while…no bother as this gave us some time to make fun of other people in line.
There was a couple that showed no shame when the walked in with two 12 packs of soda & one 12 pack of bottled water. His black socks, dress shoes, and shorts gave me the impression that he really didn’t care what other people thought. Anyway, since we booked a Junior Suite we hung out in the preferred waiting area and were allowed to board before the masses around 12:30. Today was Mother’s day (yes I made sure to call her…twice) and they had hundreds of visitors onboard for lunch. I could never do this, as the temptation to stowaway would be too great.
Our first action onboard was to check out OUR SUITE and we were not disappointed. An inside is fine for two maybe three people, but I couldn’t have imagined us four guys rooming in one. THE BALCONY was large enough for all of us to sit comfortably and Anthony even took his rollaway out there a couple of nights TO SLEEP The walk-in closet was big enough to allow whoever came out of the shower to go in there and get dressed.
After pushing all the buttons, and playing with all the bells and whistles we continued with the tradition of going down to the CROWN & KETTLE (Pig n Whistle on Voyager) to get our first drink. Didn’t take long to then make our way to CAFE PROMENADE for some free pizza and sandwiches. Gosh this place rocks. When then spent the next few hours checking out our home for the upcoming week and comparing her to the Voyager, which we have sailed on twice.
Our clothes arrived late that afternoon which prompted me to exhibit a strange behavior only seen onboard…I unpacked with organization. Like I said in my last review I guess it really sets in that this is the place you’re gonna live for the next 7 days. That still doesn’t explain the schoolgirl grin across my face as I hang up my “outfits”. Normally at home my clothes go directly from the dryer to my bedroom floor and now here I am dictating which drawers will hold my socks and which get my boxes as well as coordinating and HANGING UP certain clothes. Weird!
That night we made our way to TABLE 381 in the Magellan dining room where we met Rudolph our waiter and Mihail his assistant. Can’t say that I’ve had better service on any cruise that I’ve been on. They were perfect and very personable as well. One touch that I thought was a little tacky was that they don’t put bread on the tables anymore. Your assistant comes around at the beginning of dinner and asks which bread you would like. I guess a lot of it was going to waste (that wouldn’t have happened with our group). Not a big deal though. That night we spent some time in the casino where most of us came out ahead while others hit THE CHAMBER
Monday, May 10th -- Day Two (at sea)
As we did every morning we made our way to the windjammer/island grill for breakfast. Got an omelet each time and that was one of the few lines I had to wait in the whole cruise. I thought the food (regarding breakfast & lunch in the WJ) was excellent. After that we hit the pool area for a few hours and then spent a couple more in the Solarium. Gosh I love that place.
Went to the Island Grill for a snack and that’s where we all noticed how much the ship was moving. I get seasick very easily but decided not to take the bonine I brought as the last few Western Caribbean cruises I’ve been on were very calm. I paid for it that night and didn’t make it to the first formal dinner. The rest of the cruise was smooth sailing though. Luckily Jeff brought a portable DVD player so I sat in my boxers, ordered room service, and watched a great surf documentary called Step Into Liquid. As we did every morning we made our way to the windjammer/island grill for breakfast. Got an omelet each time and that was one of the few lines I had to wait in the whole cruise. I thought the food (regarding breakfast & lunch in the WJ) was excellent. After that we hit the pool area for a few hours and then spent a couple more in the Solarium. Gosh I love that place.
My 2004 Explorer review----> Alcohol, NFL running backs, & naked debauchery…my EOS review with pictures.
Pics of my 2004 Explorer cruise----> http://community.webshots.com/user/grizzyfla
My 2005 Explorer review---->More alcohol less debauchery...my new EOS review with pictures
Pics of my 2005 Explorer cruise---->