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About cougaraz

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess and Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thursday 26 December, at anchor, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI I will continue our story, hopefully outlining our comings and goings on the 23rd of December during this update. I should mention that thus far on the journey the weather has been quite gray and stormy. Since leaving New York we have had times of sunshine and temperatures have been mild, but the rule has generally been for overcast skies, intermitent rain, thunder and lightning. At times the rain has been quite heavy and the wind has grown to Force 7 a few times. Thankfully, despite that the seas have remained
  2. Thursday 26 December, at anchor in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI Good morning on Boxing Day! I think it is fair to say that thus far this is trending to be the very worst "Live" review ever published. It is now the fourth day of our cruise and I am finally getting around to posting an update. Never fear, it has been positive rather than negative influences that have conspired against an earlier posting. We have been having an absolutely wonderful time onboard and it has seemed more challenging than usual to carve out 45 minutes to write a summary of the recent events.
  3. Good morning from Manhattan. It is still cold, right around freezing with some breeze and crystal clear blue skies. We were up early, before the sun to take advantage of the light crowds of tourists in the early morning. Last night we ate at Keens Steakhouse, which is conveniently located less than five minutes walk from our hotel. The dark colors and aged woods of the interior were warm and welcoming on a winter night. We had a reservation for 730 and arrived about 5 minutes early. We waited just a few minutes before being seated at a square table for four, set for three on the f
  4. Thanks for the kind words. The show was spectacular as expected. It was the third time for Melissa and I, but mom's first. I was really impressed with how seemlessly and artfully the visual effects were integrated into the show. These days there is a tendency to add technology for the sake of adding technology with out regard for added value. However the LED and lightning techniques used really made it feel like the entire building was part of the stage. We had a very relaxing afternoon, some deli sandwiches for lunch (to save room for Keens Steakhouse tonight) then some napping a
  5. It is Saturday morning in New York City and the day has started cold, but dry. Temperatures in mid-town Manhattan are in the mid 20s and the forecast is for a mix of clouds and sun today and highs in the mid 30s. Our arrival and check in at the Embassy Suites went very smoothly last night, but the front desk was quite busy when we arrived. We had requested adjoining or adjacent rooms when we booked months ago and confirmed the request when we got our pre-arrival email a few days ago. Alas, our rooms aren't even on the same floor! Not really a big deal, but a disappointing custome
  6. We had a super smooth cross country flight. Our flight attendant, Amy, was fantastic. I had the lasagna, Melissa had the Mexican salad and mom opted for the fruit and cheese plate. Honestly, the sheer mass of the cheese was crazy, it was enough for her and three others. On arrival in Newark we had a pretty smooth process. Our 6 bags were among the first dozen off the carousel! We met our driver with no problems and honestly traffic into the city hasn't been as bad as I would have thought for the Friday before Christmas. The wingviews were pretty great today going from
  7. I am writing this latest update from the American Airlines Admirals Club in Phoenix Sky Harbor. We were up early this morning for a quick walk around the neighborhood to make sure we get our steps in. Then, it was quick showers and coffee. We had a car booked for 730 and when I went to take out the trash to the curb at 655 the driver was already pulling up. We chatted and he was happy to wait until the scheduled time. Nonetheless, we were ready early and had the luggage loaded and were rolling by 730. It took less than an hour to go from Moon Valley to the airport, check our bags, clear securi
  8. And we are off! Airport was smooth as silk. Not sure whether we really need 186 total pounds of luggage, not including carry ons, but we will have plenty of clothing options available.
  9. The start of the journey is finally here! Last day of work in 2019 is in the books, the car is packed, our loyal hound is all prepared to go stay with his caregiver (not sure who loves him more, us or them) and we will be headed to the airport soon. Looks like the weather should not be a travel factor for us in the next couple of days. This is a nice change from last year when I was fretting over the FAA website and the latest weather impacts on the east coast. Between now and sailing, I will try to post more frequent updates, but once we sail, I will plan
  10. Hello again, it was almost exactly a year ago that I was starting the live updates from the last iteration of this adventure, but we had so much fun we are doing it again this year! About Us My name is Scott, I am 41 and my wife, Melissa, 42, and we live in Southern California. I am an active duty military officer and she is an accountant. 2019 has been another very busy year for us both, with LOTS of work travel, spanning a good chunk of the globe, along with a great Princess cruise to Alaska this past summer. This trip will feature a big change from las
  11. The Volcano is available on every ship, it is on the children's menu in the main dining room, but your waiter will be more than happy to bring it to those who are kids at heart.
  12. The UK does not have a direct equivalent to the Centers for Disease Control in the US, but recommend you consult the CDC and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Cruise critic is a great resource, but it is a poor choice for medical advice. Particularly when it comes to something as complex and controversial as the prophylactic medications for Malaria. This is a discussion best had between you and your doctor informed by experts in contagious disease.
  13. Sailed on the Grand Princess for 10 days in August and found the new wine list to be broad (multiple origins and varietals in almost every category) and deep (options at multiple price points and different expressions of the offered varietals). While we didn't get a chance to explore much of the list in just 10 days, I was familiar with a good portion of what was on offering and I find it hard to believe that one couldn't find multiple whites or reds in any given category to suit all but the most elite and expensive tastes. Overall, I am very pleased with the new wine l
  14. I agree, I do not understand the continuing perpetuation that the menu has been reduced to three courses. In fact, I think the menu most nights actually supports more than five courses. One could easily have a cold appetizer, hot appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert and a cheese course. The change in menu headings has not done anything to limit the offerings, only imagination.
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