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NBliving

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Everything posted by NBliving

  1. @Sleep7 Loved your review! We are somewhat new to cruising and have sailed on X exclusively the past 3 years. During this down time I am exploring what to do when we can cruise again and Azamara is intriguing. We are booked on the X Constellation for September 2021, but am thinking about switching to an Azamara Med cruise. Just seems like port times are too short to see what my husband and I would like to see. Always fun to do the research! Thanks again for a great review!
  2. Thank you so much for your report @Germancruiser I really appreciate your observations and hope you have a wonderful time!
  3. In this time of Covid, your review was a great distraction! We are scheduled for a 9 day Best of Western Med in late September 2021 on Connie. I've started researching/planning as I love to travel. Thanks for a great review, we are looking forward to the time we can cruise again.
  4. I'm sure this was incorrect information on the X agent I was speaking to, but maybe not... We had a 10 day Aruba, Curacao, Bonnaire cruise on the Equinox on May 13, 2020 that was cancelled. I called about the lift and shift because there is a May 14, 2021 9 night cruise (just left off Key West). The agent looked at what cruises were being offered for a L and S and she came back with a 14 night Iceland/Irish coast cruise. What the heck? I am going to call later and see if a different agent has a different answer.
  5. I am wondering if any of the crew are coming down with CoVid-19. I'm sure some of them will get it based on the statistics. I wonder if we will hear about these cases and if they will have to transport those with severe cases to a hospital?
  6. We will be on this cruise with you and yes I did look at the title and think "what? did I miss something??!!" Looking forward to reading your pre-cruise posts and to a great cruise in May!
  7. We rented a car because we wanted flexibility of what we saw on the way to/from Grand Case. I think the contact at Rainbow Cafe said it would be around $40 for a taxi there. It would be very easy to get a return taxi from Rainbow Cafe. It was a wonderful establishment! You'll have a great time on the Edge!!
  8. The last time we were on the Summit was November 2018 and we had a great waiter who played the guitar and serenaded us! I can't remember his name but I'm pretty sure it started with an M. If anyone knows who I'm talking about I'd love to get his name and see if he is still on a Celebrity ship.
  9. You are correct. Anyone who wants to see the show should ask when it is as it is only offered maybe 3 times during a 7 night cruise.
  10. I had one of the Celebrity beach bags. When we were on the beach, I just left it near a rock or tree. A lot of people were doing that. Definitely wear water shoes/sandals. You are walking along rocks and sandy trails. You will have a blast!
  11. Our flight from FLL was at 3 and we arrived at the airport around noon. It worked out perfectly for us!
  12. I did not see anything like that in there. They performed on the wooden floor as far as I remember.
  13. Thanks! I think you'll really enjoy it! We enjoyed the extra entertainment options like the Eden show and then there was a trapeze show in the Club several nights - we never went, but it was nice to have options for the evenings.
  14. If there were more regular balconies on the Edge for the same price, I would have chosen a real balcony. But since that wasn't an option, we were fine with the IV. There's just the extra step of pushing the button to roll down the upper part of the window. Once that was down, it was very similar to a traditional balcony. It was nice having the extra space in the room especially since we had some gloomy weather. We could sit in the "balcony" chairs with the window up and still get the view of a balcony without the wind or rain outside. We had an ocean view years ago on a Carnival ship and this was definitely better than that.
  15. The Cruise Director was Giuseppe. First contract on the Edge. He came from the Reflection I think. He was great! One of our favorites.
  16. Yes, the second show in the theater is 9:30. We thought the Edge handled the high waves beautifully. My husband can get a little motion sickness from time to time, but he wore the seabands and was fine.
  17. Day 8 – Fort Lauderdale Our meeting place was in the Club at 8:15. We ate breakfast in the Cosmopolitan MDR and then went to check in. We were called around 8:30 and debarkation was a breeze. Our luggage was waiting for us so we grabbed it and headed for the exit! With the facial recognition we just walked up and they verified it was us and we walked out of the terminal because we didn’t have anything to declare. We were escorted to our tour bus where the driver separated our luggage by airport and left shortly thereafter. Our tour guide, Bonnie, was wonderful. She gave us lots of history of the area while we were driving. We went to Sawgrass Recrational Park for our airboar ride. In addition we saw some gators who had been rescued and also another area with rescued animals such as panthers, snakes, a porcupine, etc. We heard from guides in both areas. Next, we boarded our airboats – much bigger than we expected. They fit around 40 people each. The captain was hoping to find us an alligator to see. We didn’t realize this was the goal of the trip lol. We lived in Houston for 30 years and have seen a few gators just walking in our neighborhood! We were lucky and saw 2 of them while we were out. The trip before us didn’t find any. After the airboat ride, we were driven to our final stop. I can't remember the name of it, we think it was something with Long Key in the name. There was a museum which showed what happened when they drained the swamps to the Native Americans and wildlife. There was also a nature trail you could walk to see some beautiful old oak trees and other local plants. We were driven to FLL and had enough time to grab lunch at the airport before we caught our flight home. It was a great week on the Edge. Beautiful ship, top notch staff from the Captain on down. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer.
  18. Day 7 – At Sea The Cruise Director was giving a presentation today at 10 about his hometown of Sicily. That is one of the port stops on the cruise we booked on board so we went to hear his take on it. His presentation was great! After that we stayed for Captain Kate’s Q & A. It was packed! The day was a bit rainy and overcast so that might have accounted for the crowd, but she is really personable and I think everyone just likes to hear what she has to say. She brought her hairless cat, Bug, out at the end for everyone to see. Pictures below, sorry for the poor quality... We spent the rest of the day playing cards or reading in Eden, the Solarium and our cabin. Ate dinner in Tuscan. Eri brought me a crème brulee J He brought my husband 2 helpings of seared scallops he had seen on another MDR menu. After diner we went to the late night show of Doug Funk. He was hilarious once again. We decided to call it a night after that. We had an early debarkation to go on a shore excursion – air boat ride through the Everglades.
  19. Day 6 – At Sea Luckily the seas weren’t as rough now and our trip back to Ft. Lauderdale was fairly smooth and uneventful. Today we did our usual relaxing but also my DH attended a Beyond the Podium presentation by Dan Benedict. He has had presentations each day about Astronomy and space travel. Today was the only one DH attended. He said it was very interesting. After that, I joined him for a presentation by our excellent Cruise Director Giuseppe about ship life. It was interesting to hear how the crew live. We were surprised to hear they worked 10 hour days. We knew they worked 7 days a week but that is a long day even if it’s broken up! We very much respect these individuals who work in the cruise industry. Even with months off at a time, that’s a lot of working! This night we had reservations for dinner at Fine Cut Steakhouse, our own specialty restaurant dinner. I had tried to make some reservations before we boarded, but the only times available were 9:00 or later. We made this one right when we boarded the first day. Our reservation was for 6:15. It was very good food and service. We’ve eaten in Murano and Tuscan Grille. Our only complaint was the restaurant is open concept and so you can hear the music from the grand Foyer as well as any guests noises coming from that area. We didn’t think it had the intimate feel of the other steak house restaurants on other ships. We caught the end of the show in the theater that night – Uptown. It was a high energy, Motown music show. After the show we went to the Club for the ABBA mania sing and dance along party. It was so much fun!! For me 😂 Luckily my DH is a great sport! After the Club we went to the Grand Foyer and listened to Bryan James again. I've posted some random photos from around the ship. It was a great day!
  20. Day 5 St. Martin – This was our 3rdtime to visit St. Martin on a cruise. It is our favorite island. We decided to rent a car as we did our first time and head to a new area – Grand Case. We first went to check out Marigot. We had been there on our first cruise in 2016 before the hurricane in 2017. It had been our favorite spot. Unfortunately, while it has come back a bit it is still really devastated. The shopping stalls are there selling t-shirts and other souvenirs, but we only saw 2 or 3 restaurants along the main road. Nothing else was open there but there is a shopping mall that I think is new. I've posted a picture looking out at the marina there. Lots of beautiful boats. After our walk through Marigot we drove up to Grand Case. We had a reservation for 2 beach chairs and umbrella at Rainbow Café. We didn’t know what to expect since that area had also been hard hit by the hurricane. There is still a lot of damage, but several beach side restaurants are open. We found a spot on the street a few blocks away to park and walked in to the restaurant. Our chairs and umbrella were waiting for us. The water was gorgeous! The sand was very, very nice. Service was excellent. I’m sharing the drink menu. We ate lunch in the restaurant part. We had cod fritters and split a Caribbean Salad. Everything was spectacular. Very fresh. We stayed there until about 2:30. The people at Hertz had warned us to leave enough time in case of traffic. We drove back through the other side of the island and didn’t hit any traffic. We were back at the port by 3:30. The car return is right at the port where you check in to get your car. Very easy. Went back on board, headed to the pool and enjoyed the rest of our afternoon. Beautiful sunset tonight. The entertainment tonight was another comedian, Doug Funk. We went to his 7:30 show and thoroughly enjoyed it. He does mostly improv with guests participating. It was hilarious! After dinner we went back to Tuscan for dinner. Stopped at the casino for a little while begore heading to Eden to listen to Bryan James who was doing a Simon and Garfunkle playlist. We had heard Bryan elsewhere on the ship and really like his voice. We stayed for his whole performance then called it a night.
  21. Day 4 Tortola – For today, we had booked a ship’s excursion to the Virgin Gorda Baths. I had read so many reviews about it – do we do it ourselves via ferry or take the ship’s excursion, or to do the boat ride in or by bus. Since we had the OBC and had never been, we decided to do it through the ship and we chose the bus ride over the boat ride. I was able to book it during a shore excursion sale so it was only $44.80 per person. Our main concern was that it would be super crowded. We really didn’t think it was. If we go again we would do it on our own, but the tour guides were great and even though we wish we could have stayed at both the Baths and Devil’s Beach longer we had enough time to enjoy it. We brought our own snorkel masks and enjoyed seeing some fish and coral at devil’s beach. The water was crystal clear! So gorgeous! We were back at the port around 1 and didn’t really know what else to do. We decided to go back onboard, eat lunch and hang out at the pool while it was less crowded. We went to the 7:30 performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was very good, high energy, excellent talent. After dinner we ate at our MDR table then went to the casino for a bit before calling it a night. Tortola Snorkeling.mp4
  22. Day 3 San Juan – we were supposed to arrive in San Juan at 3:30, but because of the strong winds we didn’t arrive until 6:30. Captain Kate told us the winds were around 50 – 60 mph so even with all engines going we were making slow progress. It didn’t really matter to us as we have been to San Juan 2 other times to start our cruises on the Summit. We had made a dinner reservation for 8 at Carli’s Fine Bistro thanks to a CC post I had seen. We ate breakfast in the Cosmopolitan MDR then went over to the Future Cruise desk to look at 2021 European cruises. We had them hold one for us on the Constellation. New for us was that they are really pushing the non-refundable deposits. They are “giving” you the 4 perks with that. After thinking about it over the course of the day, we decided even though it costs us about $500 more we really couldn’t do a non-refundable deposit for a cruise that far away. So we eventually changed it to the refundable deposit with 3 perks. We ate lunch in Le Grand Bistro ($20 pp). Unfortunatley, my husband wasn’t really hungry because of the rocky ride, but we had the OBC so we tried it. We both enjoyed our food and the wait staff. I especially liked one of the assistant servers (I think her name is Valeria) because she insisted we share 3 desserts instead of 2 and we really liked the 3rdone she brought us which we probably wouldn’t have picked. The island in the cloud. We arrived in San Juan as I said at 6:30 and since our dinner reservation wasn’t until 8 we decided to get a drink on board first and wait for the crowd to disembark. Besides our dinner in town I wanted to stop at CVS and buy some shampoo. I am the least picky person I know about shampoos, but I did not like the shampoo in our stateroom. The first day both my husband and I thought the bottle had been mistakenly filled with body wash. It hardly lathered and I used about 15 pumps or more in my hair to get any lather. Very strange. We asked our stateroom attendant to replace it and make sure it was shampoo. He did, and my husband said it was a little better. I wonder if there is different shampoo in the concierge level staterooms? Anyway, I just decided to buy some I knew I liked since we could. We are so glad we made a reservation at Carli’s. Very small restaurant, great food, great entertainment. We stayed there until about 10:30 then went to the ship. Captain Kate had negotiated an 11:30 all aboard instead of the original 10:30 since we had arrived so late. Tomorrow is Tortola and we had a shore excursion meeting time of 8:15 so we turned in.
  23. Day 2 Sea Day– “The sea was angry that day, my friends” - George Castanza on Seinfeld. The next two days were very rough seas. The Edge handled it beautifully. Captain Kate told us we would be using all 5 engines to get us to San Juan on time, but we would be cruising through very strong winds and taking a different route to keep us out of some nasty weather. We walked the track this morning. One direction we were being pushed and another we were walking against the strong wind. We did get our mile in though before heading to the solarium. The main pool deck was too windy for us. We had a super relaxing day, ate lunch from the Mast Grill, read by the pool. It was great! We decided that day we really didn’t want to wait until 8:30 to eat dinner so we got dressed around 5 then went to Tuscan to see if they could seat us earlier. They could have sat us right then, but we also didn’t want to eat that early lol. So we went to the martini bar and found two seats and ordered our drinks. About 6 we went back to Tuscan but now it was a 45 minute wait. We walked over to Normandie and they said it would be about a 15 minute wait for us so we got a buzzer and went back to the Grand Foyer area to listen to music. About 10 minutes later our table was ready. It was nice to try a different MDR, but really the only thing that is different is the specific restaurants 4 or 5 appetizers and entrees and those stay the same for the whole cruise. It was nice to find that out because one of our nights in Tuscan I didn’t see anything that I wanted so I asked our waiter to bring me the menu from Normandie so I could get one of the items I liked from there. Another night, we went to each MDR and looked at their specific menu so we knew what they had to offer in case we wanted that instead of what Tuscan ordered. After dinner that night my husband wanted to watch the College Football Championship game so he watched that in the Casino bar while I made a donation to the slot machines. We had run into some friends from our hometown earlier that day who were watching it on the Rooftop Garden so after halftime we went up there to find them. It was a great space to watch it in with the big screen, even though it was a bit windy if you sat in the wrong spot. DH stayed there to finish watching the game and I called it a night.
  24. Day 1 – We woke up and had a continental breakfast at the hotel which was included. I’m not sure if it is because of our Hilton Honors level or if that’s for everyone. We could have paid $6 extra for a full breakfast but figured we were getting ready to have unlimited food for the next week so we would be good for one morning 😉 Our check in time for the cruise was 12:00 so we took a walk around the marina area then got our things together. We left the hotel around 11:15 and took an uber to the cruise terminal. Lots of traffic! We got there about 11:50, gave our suitcases to the porters who are waiting at the curb and walked in to the terminal. Very easy embarkation. Maybe 3 people in each line to show them your passport and express pass. I had ours on my phone which was fine. I was a little worried that I hadn’t printed it out as well, but on our last cruise the electronic one worked just fine. We walked right on to the gangway and on to the EDGE! We’ve stayed in a concierge cabin for our last two cruises but this time we had a regular infinite veranda cabin. So no lunch in the MDR for us this time. We got to our cabin to drop off our hand held bags and get our sea pass cards. Our room attendant Prederick was in the hallway so he came over to introduce himself and show us how the shade/window work for the IV. It was so nice to meet him first thing. On our last cruise we didn’t meet our room attendant until about halfway through the cruise! We decided to explore the ship before finding lunch. The Edge really is beautiful. So many nooks and crannies where you can find chairs to sit in and relax. We ended up in the Eden Café for lunch. I got a ruben panini, potato salad and a brownie Jand my husband got the tuna pita sandwich with chips. Both were very good. We took our food to one of the chairs/table along the windows facing the back of the ship. Really, really nice to have all of those windows. Makes it so bright. We sat next to a couple who have cruised quite a bit. We enjoyed talking to them about where they have been, what ships they have sailed on. One of our favorite things about cruising is meeting new people – both fellow cruisers and the staff on board. After lunch we found some chairs in the solarium and relaxed until it was time for Muster. Ours was in the theater which was so much nicer than being crammed in to a specialty restaurant. I've included a picture they showed on the screen in the theater of the muster station areas. The Captains Club cocktail party was that day so after Muster we checked to see if our luggage had been delivered to our cabin (it had!) so we unpacked a bit then headed to Eden for the CC cocktail party. Captain Kate was the captain for this sailing. This was our 3rdtime sailing under her command – Summit, Equinox and now Edge. She might feel like we are stalking her lol. The line to see her as usual was pretty long, so we skipped it since we have introduced ourselves before. We found some seats and visited with a couple from Maryland. They were first timers on X, we told them some of our favorite things about X and chatted with them about each other’s travels. After that, we went to watch the NFL divisional playoff game in the Casino Bar. Unfortunately, our team lost. We went back to our cabin, changed for dinner (we had 8:30 fixed), then went to get a drink before heading to the 7:30 comedy show in the theater. We have mixed thoughts on this ships martini bar area. We missed the iced counters and the smaller area found on the Summit and Equinox, but grew to really like the overall space as it is easier to find a seat and we liked the music being right there instead of a floor below. It really is a mixture of the martini bar and grand foyer on the Equinox at least. We were usually able to snag 2 seats at the bar every night and thought our bartender, Jomann, was great! Tonight’s comedy show was with Rich Aronovitch. He was funny enough, but we felt like he went on and on about people coming in late. Granted a lot of people did come in late, but we felt like he was too focused on that. We picked the fixed dinner time for this cruise. We had select dining on our last cruise and missed getting to know the wait staff. We also picked 8:30 because we didn’t want to be rushed during port days to get ready for dinner. There was a card in our cabin that told us we were assigned to the Tuscan Dining Room and our table number. We ate in the MDR 4 out of the 7 nights. Our head waiter Eri and assistant Roman were both great. We enjoyed hearing about their families back home and they were very attentive. After dinner, we went to see the show Revelation in Eden. A few things I had read here on CC about Eden made me a little hesitant – mainly the smell of incense. I think they must have gotten rid of that because I am very sensitive to incense and I didn’t smell anything. I thought the show was great! My husband thought it was a little too artistic or interpretive….The cast does interact with the audience, but if you don’t want to get up to participate they went on to find another guest to join in. We turned in after the show. Very enjoyable first day!
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