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About Quilcruisers

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  1. Quilcruisers

    My Freedom Birthday Cruise Review 9/29/18-10/6/18

    The last sea day!! I love love love sea days, but I hate the last sea day. The last sea day for me is filled with sadness, but excitement. I always think back on the week at things that I wanted to do but didnt and try to cram everything in. We got up early and had brunch, walked around and looked at our pictures. We always get a canvas of our formal pictures and they had a really good deal going on, we got 2 canvas (16x20) and 3 8x10 pictures, a memory stick with all of the pictures we bought and a porthole frame that we had our eye on, for about $120. The canvas was buy 1, get the other for 20 more or something to that effect. These are the pictures: I found some frames on amazon and we DIY for a much lower price than I have paid over the years at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Of course, our frames are not "professional", but they are nicely framed for the price. We have a nautical theme in our bedroom, so this one goes very well with the decor: The day before, we sent laundry off and ended up with 3 bags. We had to ask our room steward for 2 additional bags. We were allowed 3 bags per person with our plat perks but only needed a total of 3 bags. I did not separate our clothes, so some things had a bit of a tinge to them, it was fine though. I appreciate the laundry so much and mostly sent underwear, pajamas, tshirts and things like that. We did dress up for both elegant nights. The first elegant night was Sunday, I wore the black and purple dress and we took elegant pictures. The next time was the night of my birthday and I had on the yellow skirt. We used to go all out for elegant night, sometimes we still do. My husband and son both wore tuxedos up until about 2 years ago. Now, we just dress nice, but not formal. We like to get a canvas made of our family, so we will dress up at least 1 of the nights. The other nights, we just dress like we would to go to dinner at home, dressy, but not formal. This was the day of the Diamond/Platinum party. The party is held on the last sea day, at 5pm usually and in a lounge. This time it was in the International lounge I believe. Of course I could just scroll down and look at the picture. We always walk in to these early, find us a seat, order several drinks and play the games. We do enjoy this little treat, the apps are usually tolerable but the drinks, divine. My husband likes fruity froo froo drinks, I like wine mostly, but will also drink hard liquor(shots, martinis, etc. ). I do not like frozen, fruity drinks. They had a wide variety of drinks at the party. Emma was entertaining as the host of the party. I dont know when some of the cruise directors get to sleep. She was everywhere! We really enjoyed her. They introduced the officers and also called up a gentleman who was turning 100 years old and on his thousandth cruise (maybe not thousandth, but he had cruised a lot). Me and hubby, just enjoying the party. This is the invitation. It is usually left in the cabin the 3rd or 4th day. They do not publicly advertise the party. It is invitation only. Sometimes they actually collect the invitations, other times they just look and let you take them. Once we left the party, we walked around a bit and then went back to the cabin to pack. Our laundry had been returned by our room steward and it made it so easy to pack. I didnt go through the laundry, I left it packed up. I dont send anything that is too fancy or I would cry if I lost but I will group the like items together next time. We were going to self-debark, which I prefer, so we did not have to leave the luggage out the night before. That is always a downer for me. I did pack everything so that we could go out and enjoy ourselves without worrying about doing that. Packing is not our strong suit, we usually overpack and this trip was no exception. Regardless, we had 1 suitcase each, a backpack each, our rolling cooler stuffed to the gills (souveniers, my fan, random toiletries) and our canvas container. Once we had everything packed, we went to our last dinner. We had YTD and did not eat in one spot but 2 days out of the week. We left the tips as they were, did not tip extra to the dining room team. We did hand our room steward an extra tip, he was good, kept our room clean and kept our cooler full of ice. The dining room was low-key as everyone was dreading the end of vacation but we sang along to the funship song and had our dinner/cried in our beer and went to enjoy the rest of the evening. Coming up next:Debarkation and final thoughts.....I promise I will finish before my next cruise next week 🙂 Thanks for reading.
  2. Quilcruisers

    Why travel solo?

    I love this !! its sad how people are judgmental. I think it is really selfless to be able to "release" your spouse from doing things they dont really want to do. I am still struggling with releasing him because I think he does enjoy a lot of these things, he just does not know how to let his hair down and enjoy himself. He is also an all or nothing type of person, so he either feels like he has to go on every trip or none at all. I would be perfectly fine if he just wanted to do cruises every other cruise or every other year. If he would just say this it would make things easier, instead of pouting about it. He just wont be honest about what he really wants. But, when we cruise at the end of the month, he is going hunting a couple of days.
  3. Quilcruisers

    New dessert buffet

    We really enjoyed the new cakes. They had them on the Breeze each day. They were better than other desserts and set up separate from the buffet. They also had people slicing and serving them. To me, they weren’t as good as the cakes at the coffee shop but they were free and very tasty
  4. Thank you for this review. Good to hear from my hometown. We lived in humble back in the 80s and have a lot of family that still live there. Congrats on the pregnancy and looks like you all had a good time. I can also relate as my husband is a police officer and has to miss a lot of things, but he loves his career and I appreciate first responders so much. Looking forward to more.
  5. Quilcruisers

    Canned wine instead of bottle?

    The last time we cruised from Galveston, they didn't even want to see my wine. I am a creature of habit and happily rolled my cooler over to have them check my soda and wine. The agent there only checked my wine and cooler because I "hoisted" the cooler onto his table. He couldn't be bothered with checking it. I pulled both bottles out but realized that I caused myself more trouble because I then had to fit everything back in like it was. I carry my wine, sodas and red bull in my cooler. I also carry a bunch of snacks, chips, cookies, my corkscrew, yeti cup, etc all crammed into my rolling cooler. I probably look like the Beverly Hillbillies when I come through, nevertheless :)..... I think some ports are more focused on getting check-in done quick and painless, so they have relaxed a little on some of the strict rules and inpections. The man next to me walked to the table with his sodas and the guys waved him off too, said they didnt need to see the soda either. As matter of fact, the tables are off to the side and really goes by the honor system - there is no one there forcing you to go to the tables to check your stuff. This has happened the last 3-4 cruises that I have taken over the past year. Same with getting back on from ports - checking the liquor at the tables is very different from when I remember. It seems to be on the honor system too.
  6. Quilcruisers

    My Freedom Birthday Cruise Review 9/29/18-10/6/18

    This place was very crowded and the drinks look really good. We didnt stop though, it was very hot and humid and I could not imagine adding alcohol to that mix. These were the panchos we got from Cozumel - we were very excited to get these - my husband is a huge Football fan - we also bought a couple of backpacks and some hats and shirts for my son. This picture was taken at home - notice the Mexican blanket in the background? We have a ton of these blankets purchased many years ago. We still use them regularly to this day. Once we got back to the ship, we went to drop off our purchases in the cabin. We made our way to the lido for more food. We always bring 2 bottles of wine but will buy several drinks during the day and in the evening while at the shows and dinner. I always wish I had more wine because I am finished with the 2nd bottle by the 3rd day. We also bring soda and snacks, like chips and cookies so we do not go hungry. For our meals, we eat breakfast at lido or in the Seaday brunch on sea days. We alternate breakfast with a mid-afternoon lunch at Guy's /Blue Iguana or the buffet and will reserve room for dinner in the MDR. We eat most dinners in the MDR. One or two nights we will eat a late lunch and skip the MDR. These nights we will sometimes take our food back to the cabin. The deli and pizza are good for me. My husband does not eat pizza, but the deli is a nice alternative, late night meal. They have the best hot dogs. We took advantage of the empty ship and changed and went to the aft pool. I got in, my husband sat in the chairs and relaxed. I met some really nice people in the pool and tried to read but I never can. I am a very social person and the only time I can really focus on reading is if I am alone or not around people. Add people to the mix that are being social and reading loses out every time. I spent about an hour in the pool before it started to rain. I got out a little bit to see if they would close the roof, the rain was really cold by this time. We decided to wrap up and get ready for dinner. We had a lot of activities to do later and planned to go to dinner early so we could make it to the other things we had planned. Unfortunately, we never got to watch any movies and missed the Quest but we did see 2 comedy shows, Love and Marriage and played in the Casino a couple of nights. We also watched a little football and caught up on some of our Netflix favorites. We had a great mix of catching up on things we enjoy and mixing them in with cruise activities. As we sailed away, we went on the balcony and watched the Horizon on the Horizon. 🙂 (A little cruise ship humor) Coming up next, final sea day - the best and worst day of my cruises.
  7. Quilcruisers

    Future Cruise ?

    I hate they stopped this program too. We always try to use our future cruise booking option when we return from cruises. You will have 2 weeks to book at a discounted rate. I don’t like the fact that you can only book one with the discount. I guess I could use my husbands discount but he doesn’t sail in all of the cruises so I usually just book under my name with my discount.
  8. Quilcruisers

    Dinning together

    Agree with previous poster. Once you board, look for the sign in the mdr that lists the time they handle dining requests and changes. They have been able to accommodate us a couple of times to get our dining changed from what we were given or even to group us together with our other friends when we forgot to do it before boarding.
  9. Quilcruisers

    My Freedom Birthday Cruise Review 9/29/18-10/6/18

    I think we went to comedy on the night of Grand Cayman, although I cannot be sure. We went to comedy two different nights. One was good, the other "meh", neither one were very memorable to me. I usually enjoy the comedians, possible it was an off night. Now, onto the next day - Cozumel. I really prefer having my ports at the end and sea days at the beginning. This cruise was ideally scheduled from a port perspective. Even still, I personally prefer sea days and could do an entire cruise of sea days with maybe 1 port stop, I love my beach fix. Every trip we take goes to Cozumel, so we are very familiar. We did not go to our normal port this trip, it was full, so we went to the "old" port that we went to back in the day. I remember this port and still enjoy it. I went to the track and walked and we ate lunch before leaving the ship. I try to walk the track daily, all this eating and drinking is not my norm, so I try to cleanse myself as much as possible so that I feel good. It was a beautiful day in Cozumel and we just intended to get off the ship and stretch our legs. We waited until the crowds died down and made our way to exit. The ship was empty and getting off was a breeze. This was a great shot of the ship in all its glory, and my husband standing beside the ship. Such a beautiful view of the island This water is so pretty, but don't get too close, I'm always scared of crossing the "line" Our first selfie of the day. More views from the pier I love Hooters, we didnt plan on eating, we only eat on the ship. The restaurants were crowded though. There was a hooters here and a few other restaurants. This owl was pretty cool Can you guess which ones are real? Well, besides my husband? We tipped them for this photo. This shop had great prices. We bought a few things before we made it here and paid way more than the prices here. We bought some nice sports panchos for the "cold" weather in Houston. We talked with the store owner for awhile too. No rushing for us this day, we had plenty of time in Coz and did not have any plans outside of hanging around the port. More statues Another selfie. We had many offers to take our photos but we did our own this day. I love these pictures. I often use these for my screen background. They do not look real and lot of people will do a double take to see if its real or a postcard. I always tell them that these views are indeed very real. I do not use my camera a lot, I use my phone - I have a Samsung Note 8, nothing fancy, but I took most of my pictures with my phone. We walked around Cozumel for several hours and then decided to go back. I wanted to get in the pool/hot tub while it was still empty. We still had a few more hours in Cozumel before leaving. Also, all of this walking around tends to make us hungry for a Guy's Burger or Blue Iguana taco/burrito.
  10. Quilcruisers

    Heating pads

    My husband needed one in August. We didnt bring it because we didnt want it confiscated. I know you dont want to hear it but we did use a hot water bottle - bought at Walgreens for 15.00. We ordered hot tea from room service and they brought us a kettle of very hot water that we poured in and it stayed hot for awhile. Not ideal, but we used this in conjunction with thermal wraps and ice packs.
  11. Quilcruisers

    My Freedom Birthday Cruise Review 9/29/18-10/6/18

    You are welcome. It’s what keeps me sane in between cruises. You will love the freedom and Emma and team are so fun!
  12. Quilcruisers

    My Freedom Birthday Cruise Review 9/29/18-10/6/18

    I agree, the newer ships get tons of praise. I love sailing on this class of ship as evidenced by the fact that I have sailed her twice in one year and have cruised this exact itinerary many times too. I always wish I was closer to Florida ports but living near Galveston is not half bad.
  13. Quilcruisers

    Valor 5 Day Menus

    I found pictures and some pieces of the menu. All of these were on the valor either 4 day or 5 day. Also included pictures from the steakhouse demonstration, held the first sea day at noon. Same meal, small samples but very good. ‘’I don’t know which day or whether this was 4 or 5 day but it was on the valor. This was the sample plate from the steakhouse demonstration. Very delicious. Don’t miss this and don’t be late. It’s the first sea day at noon and fills up fast . Free samples after the demonstration. Chicken breast, Mac and cheese, potatoes. Steakhouse demo. Bacon and blue cheese salad and mushroom soup. This is just a picture, they serve you a nice helping of both of these but not in those sizes. Mushroom caps in the main dining room and tiger shrimp with mash potatoes ; these dishes were definitely on the 5 day valor cruise that I took with my husband. He didn’t go on the thanksgiving cruise. Dessert menu - creme brûlée made a special appearance. If you like this, get it when you see it, they don’t serve it often. This was a chocolate mousse of some sort. Anotjer menu another day Same - I have a picture of the lasagne but can’t remember which cruise. This was the port of call page on the five day valor This was on the 5 day valor I want to say it was flat iron steak but don’t think so, it does not have a sauce usually. my husband has the flat iron steak most every night. This seems like something different maybe ribs? Salmon is usually on the grill page and can usually be had every night ‘This was the bbq flatbread on the 5 day valor. I remember because I wasn’t really hungry but it was really good. i want to say this is meatballs, but something tells me it might be lasagne ? this is scallops Tiger shrimp and ribs I think. Tiger shrimp and some kind of fish. This was probably the 5 day because my husband combines his entrees onto one plate. And no one eats rice like he does. Lol
  14. Quilcruisers

    Valor 5 Day Menus

    We did the valor in 2017 on both the 5 day in October and the 4 day in November. I posted some “food porn” in my review here. ‘’I do take pictures of some of the menus so if you want a particular day that is not posted on the review I am sure I can go back to my gallery and find it. I take pictures of my meals on land too. Food is my life !
  15. Quilcruisers

    Upgrade offer

    I have never had an interior myself and never on lido. I do love my midship oceanview so this is a hard choice. Last cruise we were on the 8th deck and my husband, who never has an opinion about what I book, said we must always stay in that location from now on. It was super awesome to be so close to everything. This is a very tough choice but for a long cruise, I would choose the oceanview. On long cruises, I spend a lot of time in my cabin relaxing, reading and napping. When I am not in my room, I am partying hard. Cabin amenities are important in that regard. Did you check to see if they had anything else more midship? Deck 2 has never been a problem and movement won’t be an issue unless that is the dining room used for seaday brunch or you are below the galley. We were right below the aft pool and pizza and were not bothered at all except for an occasional chair scraping. Let us know what you choose.