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Caribbean Chris

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  1. Thanks for the photos! At the rate the vaccine distribution is going in Sarasota, we may need to drive to Sebring to get our cruising fix this year.
  2. I’ll have to take a look. I love the Keys. I cook all the time, too, so I’m used to that drill like you are, and cooked 90% of the time when we had our RV. There are good restaurants, and grocery stores in the Keys like Winn Dixie, too, with the same prices as Florida north of the Keys. Enjoy your trip!
  3. It’s been two years, but I found Edge to be a little too trendy and gimmicky at the expense of function, with wasted spaces and furniture chosen more for style than comfort. There was a lack of the typical functional lounges designed for events and gatherings (for example, the Cruise Critic party was double booked with trivia in Eden so fizzled out, and the Captain’s party, again in Eden with its partitioned spaces, just didn’t work properly). I agree that it wasn’t worth a price premium for Blu - no view at all, just curtains - and a daily trip through the “spooky forest” to reach it
  4. Keith, I’m so sorry to hear about Lucy. So very hard. It was good of you to check in. I’ve wondered how everyone has been faring lately. Between the pandemic and electoral turmoil, I’ve been in an unproductive holding pattern lately, just wishing it would all end. A lot of cookies and naps. Slowly people I know are getting their vaccinations here in Florida, but we (both over 65) are still trying to get appointments without success. But we are pretty healthy with no preexisting conditions besides our age, so have to just be thankful for that, and patient.
  5. What Hank said. When HAL started the non refundable deposits, our agency was clear in pointing out it could not be re-priced. So unless I’m sailing fairly close to final payment, I stick with the refundable option. We’ve re-priced cruises often. One thing I found helpful was to add up my bar, specialty coffee, water and wine charges after one trip. That knowledge of what we’d spend per person per day has made it easier for me to calculate & compare all the perks & credits and arrive at my true bottom line - using a real-world value of that beverage package to me vs buying d
  6. Barb, what’s the name of the place where you staying in the Keys? I’ll be interested to hear how you like it. I’ve looked online at a lot of cottage-type places with kitchenettes and thought about booking a Keys getaway later this year. We drove down to the Keys from NC for several years each winter before moving to Florida, but were always in an RV (which we sold in 2019). It’s around 300 miles now from SW Florida, so just five or six hours....which does beat 20 hours each way! Fingers crossed that Florida has sunshine & warm weather for you whenever you come. One Dece
  7. Cindy, the photos were wonderful! I took this photo of Raylene on a chilly day (for Florida) recently. Merry Christmas & happy holidays to all - with wishes for a bright new year in 2021! Chris, Bob & Hearing Dog Raylene
  8. Hi everyone. We are also planning a quiet Christmas, mostly likely just the two of us plus Raylene, of course. Fairbourne, it was interesting to hear what's going on in your neck of the woods. I am very encouraged about the vaccines now arriving at our hospitals for the medical staff people who have endured so much since March. We are hearing that by springtime, all the over-65 crowd should have had an opportunity to be vaccinated. If that proves true, perhaps we will make a trip of some sort by car in the summer or fall. Otherwise, we are looking forward to the potent
  9. Cindy, you’ve made my day with this photo of your new granddaughter- what a happy little cutie!! We had a small outdoor Thanksgiving by the pool with two close friends who have been our pandemic buddies. The weather was beautiful and we were thankful for so many blessings. Raylene was thankful to score a cracker my friend dropped - she never gets any table food at all, so it was a rare treat! Bob left at 6 a.m. to drive to a Covid test site today, needed for foot surgery on Tuesday. I won’t be able to sit in a waiting room next week, so will have to either sit in my car
  10. However, make-your-own & self-service anything is likely to disappear on cruise ships, IMHO.
  11. I haven’t kept up with HAL (or Carnival Corp?) management changes...who is Harris and what changes are being made? I like the blue very much. Those Club Orange (if that’s what the photo represents) chairs look much more comfortable than on the NS. But it is still a far cry in appearance from Celebrity’s Luminae suite dining room.
  12. Brought more than one tear here! I absolutely enjoyed that amazing welcome to the new flagship of the X fleet. Lifting a virtual glass to join the wish Apex a future of fair winds and following seas.
  13. One of Raylene's trainers said the same thing. She definitely has that grey muzzle and really acts like the "old lady" at age 9 compared to the 4 year-old CCI boy.
  14. I love the Doggie Halloween picture. Henri and her friend on the left look happy but that boy on the right looks like he's thinking, "I don't care what we're celebrating, I do NOT wear hats!"😃
  15. I have loved & used both the Exchange and former Libraries in the Explorations Cafes. Nothing was more relaxing than facing the sea on one of those leather Eames chairs with footrests - accompanied by a latte and good book on a sea day. Books & maps often help people take action to actually see places they’ve heard of or dreamed about for “someday”, don’t they? Sailing back to Florida after a wonderful Italy vacation, I began to read a good guidebook to Ireland, browsed those big Atlas books on the library tables, picked up some schedules from the future cruise co
  16. Well darn, Cindy. I hate that your January cruise is off. We switched everything to 2022, thinking “surely by then...”. Of course, we were thinking that earlier this year about 2021. There is no “surely” anymore. To cheer us all up, here’s what’s going on at my house with our young visitor. He’s a CCI Hearing Dog, Yellow Lab of course, and we have him until Wednesday when his mom returns from a trip. Hard to be down in the dumps with those three happy faces to enjoy.
  17. Fairbourne, I laughed at your “long suffering” description, which so perfectly fits Horty, my Raylene, and other worried-looking black Labs. I always think yellow Labs (and definitely Golden Retrievers) have default happy faces in comparison. I’m looking forward to our week, starting Wednesday, hosting my friend Pat’s CCI hearing dog, Firenze, a yellow Lab. (He always stays with us when she is away for a scenario where she’d rather not bring him along.) The doggies have a wonderful time hanging out together 24/7, needless to say. Will take a photo to post.
  18. Rebecca, adding my thanks to you and your family for these wonderful photos and stories of your Grammy. We miss her here.
  19. Cody, thank you so much for giving us all insight into the wonderful life that Roz lived! And thank you for attaching the photo of beautiful Roz where she loved to be, aboard ship.
  20. Thank you, Host Kat and Laura. (And our thanks to the late Host Walt, who swiftly helped Roz restore peace when a particularly unpleasant troll briefly invaded these useful pages a few years ago, as some will remember). This little corner of Cruise Critic has been life-changing for people with many disabilities who were encouraged by Roz - and by those who joined in along the way - to travel with their service dogs and enjoy the wonderful world of cruising like any other passenger. We don’t know what difficulties the world will hold for travelers with service dogs when cruising resumes, but I
  21. Debi, I want to add my condolences to you for these two losses in your life, coming in such a short time during very difficult times for our country and the world. We are all so grateful you let us know that Roz had passed away. She was a special lady whose personality radiates through all of these pages and posts.
  22. Cindy, you and John were first in my thoughts when this terrible news hit us. Thank you so much for posting those wonderful photos.
  23. Oh Roz, we will miss you. Morty and Brenda must be overjoyed to be reunited with you in heaven. It is unbelievable that Roz, who was such an inspiration and a life-force even for people who never met her in person, could now have left us. She never complained about her own physical challenges, just alluded to them as needed when she gave advice. I, too, doubt I would ever have cruised with my dog without Roz and her generous advice. My favorite thing is that Roz never hesitated to tell us the funny, crazy episodes when Brenda or Horty slipped up. She made me realize that
  24. The first time I cruised with my then-new service dog, I was so nervous about the logistics I booked a suite, reasoning that we’d have more space for a 70-lb Lab and her stuff. Around that time, X had just introduced the butlers. When we arrived and the butler stopped by, I asked her for assistance in locating the dog’s relief station (since the front desk had been clueless, and this was a key topic to resolve quickly). The apparently dumbfounded young woman giggled, stared, and kept saying she had never seen a service dog before. She never took any steps to help so we eventually s
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