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    Silver Spring, MD
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  1. So fun story. I’m waiting in line and someone behind me starts yapping at us. i turn around and its a pair of friends from home i haven’t seen in years. Cool surprise.
  2. Here we are at Universal Studios Florida. Crowds arent bad. This is my first roller coaster in maybe 3 years Rougher than i remembered. Otherwise not bad
  3. Good Morning from Orlando. Why am I up so early?!?!? We had made a plan. I wasn’t going to try and get up early. It was a late night. I didn’t actually fall asleep until about 2:30. Didn’t sleep that well for some reason. And at 7:30, I gave up and got out of bed. Good News! There’s a Starbucks in the hotel. Bad news. They markup everything 30%. Once i finish breakfast, its off to the Parks.
  4. I made it to the Universal Adventura Hotel. This is a pretty nice hotel. Its really high tech. The room is controlled by an Ipad. You can put a sleep alarm on everything at once. The lights and the TV can all go out at a certain time period. The Ipad also controls the TV which is odd. It took a little getting used to. You can also stream netflix, hulu and prime (if you have it). All controlled through the ipad. Also, this is the view. I should be tired, but i’m still excited. Must sleep. I have a long day tomorrow.
  5. Planes here waiting. Wow, no delay! (watch me eat these words)
  6. Not even 5 minutes and most of it was my fault. No taking off shoes. it was a breeze. So much so it threw me off my game where i had to go through the metal detector a couple of times. I’m usually a pro through it. Thats why i planned midweek. I’m expecting it though. It is the premier event. So as you can probably surmise. I’m at the airport. Good news, there is plenty of time for dinner with the wife. Bad news, there’s nothing pre-security. The one place I found online, was closed. So we parted early and now i’m at Silver Diner. There’s not anything really interesting post security either, at least around Concourse B. This is the only sitdown place other than a bar. Breakfast for dinner. Oh 7:24 and still on time for 8:40 departure.
  7. I've been going to the local haunts and we have some good ones, but everyone tells me that HHN is the premier event, so I'm there for two nights. I did a 15 night cruise once for our honeymoon. That was actually too long. By day 11, I started seeing the patterns in the activities and realize it was no better than a nursing home. You had morning lectures, you had lunch, you had afternoon activity or nap, you had pre-dinner show, you had main show, and then late night...rinse and repeat. And with a 15 night cruise, you know it skewed older. It was a good cruise on Celebrity, don't get me wrong. So I'M DONE WITH WORK. I AM FREE!!! VACATION OFFICIALLY BEGINS. Edit: I tried to paste a gif here and it didn't work....oh well.
  8. 3pm all is well. As of right now, my flight is still on-time. This is kind of good news. Yesterday's flight was delayed so i thought tonight's would as well. It looks cloudy out with possible rain here so, who knows. The only good thing is that if it is delayed, I will actually be able to eat dinner with my wife before flying out. The food option at BWI is a little dearth pre-security. That's the one thing I don't like about BWI. All the vendors are mostly post-security. Also, I get to try out my new "toy" Global Entry/TSA Precheck. I picked it up when I got my passport renewed in July. It literally took me two days to get approved. 24 hours after filling out the application and paying, they ask me to set up an appointment. However, there were no appointments anywhere near me at all. The closest one with an appointment within a month...BUFFALO, NY!!! (From Maryland where I am). But then i read somewhere that you can refresh and cancellations may appear. I did that a couple times throughout the day and then boom, availability TOMORROW. So i grabbed it, and went downtown DC and did the interview in 5 minutes. We'll see how that works. I almost forgot I said I would tag @FionaMG here. I have about 3 more hours here in the office. As you can probably guess, I'm not being very productive while i post on here. I'm actually eating lunch, which is a little late.
  9. In my opinion, best burger goes to Princess Salty Dog pub. And i'm talking about complimentary ones. They cook it to order. But Guy's is a good close second. I gave it to guys until I sailed on Princess in 2019.
  10. I'm doing it for the double points. 12 points for me here. I did a 2 night once. Never again. I told @death_star that the two worst days of a cruise is embarkation day and the day before disembarkation. On a two night, that's ALL you get. At least on a 3 night, you get 1 real cruise day, but still not enough time to get into a stride. I really think short cruises are for experience cruisers, not beginners as you need time to find your stride.
  11. I never listen to people when they make a broad statement like this about the food. First off, food is always subjective. Second, each ship is unique. Even in their specialty restaurants among their own ships. I've had great experiences in MDR and specialty restaurants, I've had bad experiences in MDR and specialty restaurants across different ships in the same line. Generally, I like both Carnival and Royal Caribbean and I find their product to be similar. They market to the mainstream. The difference i notice is that Carnival has better cruise directors overall. They do a better job shaking the passengers up and connecting them and the result is a more livelier party atmosphere. Its just fun. Royal Caribbean depends on their innovation to provide the cruise experience. As a result, Royal Caribbean is a little more sedate, but has more of an amusement park feel to it. Passengers don't connect with one another as well as they do on Carnival, but there's always something innovative to do. I believe Ovation has an escape room, it has bumper cars, maybe a trapeze lesson (there was one on Anthem and Ovation has the same setup). Did you make a mistake? No. I don't think you could make a mistake if you book any of the major cruise lines. When you go, just keep an open mind and stop comparing it to what you know and just enjoy what Royal Caribbean has to offer.
  12. Nice! This happened in Vancouver for me. I never showed my passport to anyone when i disembarked. I just walked out more or less. This was in 2019...before the dark times...
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