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About VtMac

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Hockey and more hockey.
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  1. Just to play devils advocate, I actually think NY may sail first. Based on the trends of the pandemic, if you buy into the data, NYC is in better position to resume than Miami Dade county, Orlando, or Tampa. We are already seeing rapidly increasing air traffic in NYC, from my seat anyway. With hotels in Ny opening, the city is learning to handle what needs to happen, coupled with the protocols in place with the cruise ships, and those still to come. My bet...NY first. If I win, you all send coffee to Vermont! I you win, send beer.
  2. Didnt sail priority but Jan17 it was easy as heck. Easiest ever for us. After checkin go through a short Hall way where you will see the Access check in. Turn left, first area on left is for those needing assistance. Just beyond that a room off to the left had Haven and Platinum and above. The large area on the right was general boarding. We arrive at 9:30, Haven etc went on board at approx 1030ish. We were group one and sitting in O’Sheehan’s at 1100am. When we left, we were one of the last groups off and at the car in 20 minutes from last card swipe (sadly). At the Courtyard on Iberville in another 15. Thats with Carnival Glory also there. While entering customs grab a porter, tell where u are headed and let him pave the way!
  3. We were told we were moving from Georgetown to Bodden fairly early. On that side of the island it was calm, somewhat. We had an excursion so we met in Tropicana. We booked an excursion only so we would not have to deal with the potential tender anger. While in Tropicana NCL got wind of excursions being canceled. The vendors canceled all the Stingray City and dive events. The tender process was being announced all the time and frequently. Same tender vendors they use in Georgetown came over. Load on top and exit on bottom in Bodden. Opposite coming back. There was a delay at the dock simply because Carnival was using one side and NCL the other. Only two fit at a time. I thought NCL managed it well and once we saw the port at Georgetown I was grateful we did what we did
  4. For us it required more planning for a reservation for dinner, entertainment, more bodies, smaller pool deck, and the Atrium was always packed for every event and people did not move all day which was fine. Like I said, we would again given the right itinerary. Just like the smaller Gem vibe. That said there was certainly stuff to do
  5. We docked in Coxen Hole. There were two ships on the other side of the peninsula, Carnival and a Princess
  6. Just a quick recap: Embarkation. Quick, efficient, easy etc. Platinum, Haven, Priority, assisted, group 1 Courtyard on Iberville to O’Sheehan’s at in less than an hour. Arrived at the pier at 9:30am. We did choose that time, and no, I did not see anyone turned away. Cabin. 11224 mini suite. Skip the added cost, not worth imo. Steward was good, not around as much as years past but did a nice job, and was friendly Food. (Full disclosure, Im a chef by trade). As always food was good, never bad. Didnt like a item here or there but it was always made well. Buffet was challenged with food temp for some reason but I felt the menu and overall experience was good. They added something new in my experience with folks wandering around with morning specials. They had one pillowy soft butter, sugar lemon danish that was ridiculous! Dont miss it. They also pulled two buffets at lunch out of Moderno. Didnt go but heard it was fantastic. Cagneys was great, server made it so. Food was avg, imo. Le Bistro however made me take notice, best meal on a cruise for me. Port calls Costa Maya. Did Maya Chan, the reviews are legit. Great staff, better meals, solid bartenders Harvest Caye. As expected. Stayed on the island and parasailed, zip line, etc. all good Roatan. Jolly Rodger snorkel. These guys did the best they could in awful rain and cold. Would book again for sure Grand Cayman. Turtle Center it was fun, easy day. We actually could not enter Georgetown as they closed the port due to winds. We went into Bodden Town. Not much over there but when we saw the surf at Georgetown.....Capt made the right call! Ocho Rio. Just walked around the port and hit Spice. Not much to see or say but we did feel safe the whole time if that helps The ship. Well, this is tricky. This was our first larger ship. All previous have been Jewel class or similar. We read all the complaints, all the negative stuff about staff, food, smells, casino smoke, etc. I did not see any of it. The staff was great. Juni at Sugarcane’s is the top dog bartender for me! Marjesh in Cagney’s again a top dog. Cruise director was meh, mainly because I dont look for her and dont really interact with her or her staff. But they seemed good. The rest seemed as good or better than past cruises. That said that size ship isnt my cup of tea. It will take the right itinerary for us to sail on a large ship again Entertainment. Million Dollar Quartet was good. Did not see comedy. All the lounge entertainers were very good. However, Syd Norman’s Pour House is another level for us. Great venue. The ship production show was great and a ton of fun. We also had Jeff Lyon’s Rockshow on board and they are real deal. They literally “were” Foreigner if you closed your eye. The down side....Syd’s is way to small!!! It can be tough to get a seat. Arrive early, they open 30 minutes before any event and no reservations. Lastly, we had what I feel was a high number of medical calls on the trip. Rumor has we had one soul pass the night before Costa Maya I have no direct knowledge, other than hearing the code alpha, and the rumor mill we all know a ship can be. I do know, as we watched it, that we had had two medivac via USCG as we entered the Mississippi last evening. Very humbling to say the least. The NCL team was all aces. The USCG....we all know what they do, and why. They did not disappoint. None the less, next time you are fortunate enough to be on board a ship, before you find the timy detail to complain about, remember you are there with someone you care about and not everyone goes home the way they intended. Enjoy that time! Ask questions and I will answer if I can with more detail. You wont hear much complaining from me though, not a cheerleader of anything other than not being in -7deg and 12” of snow while driving to work!
  7. Seven days and counting. Wait....no concrete? No throngs of hipsters wanting a casino, 40 bars, waterslides, yada yada yada? Just a small family run beach hangout with friendly folks, great food, a great bar, warm breeze and water.... well sign me up
  8. Good question. In this case they say “green” due to the front end carbon footprint. That of course has its own issues with large commercial farming etc. I pay attention to this as I work in the hospitality world and it matters to my guests. But I also remember corn based “Plastic” utensils and them being compostable....only to find out they were not. Now, like this bio plastic, it can be but only in large commercial composters that can reach a required heat which in turn begs the question of how and where does that exhaust go, and whats in it. At least we are finally trying to move the gauge in the right direction
  9. The cap is actually made from sugarcane, its a sustainable source for “plastic” as it simply gets grown, converted to ethanol, and into “green plastic”. Still cant be composted however.
  10. Fair enough. Being ex military...I’m actually peeved this hasn’t happened long before now. Paranoid for sure, but that be me. Happy cruising amigo! Hope you won’t be cruising next January and will be able to watch the NHL Winter Classic!
  11. Idle curiosity.....why not spent three minutes to be sure? Debate all you want about the why, contemplate the if, point to the “it hasn’t”, but a simple 3-5 minute call takes all that away. I was standing in the security cue at Logan once upon a time not too long ago and watched someone lose it when denied access with a non real ID, while his wife kept saying I told you! I guess my question for you is: if NCL is telling you to do it this way, why not do it, more importantly, why do you seem to advise others to follow your lead?
  12. Because I see your name... ever have a birth aft under the flight deck? loved the pitch on good ole CG30 when the screws would leave the water....never felt such a shake, includin SoCal earth quakes
  13. Trust me buddy, mate....grrrrrr, rabble, rabble, rabble grrrrrr
  14. Pages and pages on CC about the “missing” scavenger of the sea, bottom feeding lobster. Yet not one about the lack of BBQ rat, the land version of the same animal?? Go figure
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