The Chardonnay Sisters Last Ride

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239 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I think most would agree that 2016 had been the ďNew CokeĒ of years. Right up there with the Edsel,
bottled water for dogs, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. So, what were we to do but set out on the high seas to help move the calendar toward 2017 and better days.

We took a Lyft to LAX, having decided to brave the big, scary airport and fly direct rather than meander down to the Hollywood Ė Burbank Ė Bob Hope Ė Gene Autry ĖBrad & Angelina Ė Jennifer Lawrence Airport where the name is actually longer than the runway. This required xanax and Chardonnay, which we packed for just such an eventuality.

We stopped into the Gladstones at LAX for some pre-flight drinks and munchies where I ordered the ďseasonal fruitĒ plate. Apparently, my brain was already in the Caribbean because seasonal fruit in Los Angeles in late November consisted of a bowl of cantaloupe and nothing more.

We boarded our first ever Virgin America flight after hearing many people rave about this airline. Apparently, their claim to fame is mood lighting. Which meant that we entered the plane around 10 am to find all the windows shuttered and a very dim cabin indeed. Of course, the window seat passengers could have corrected this but no one seemed so inclined and so we flew the whole daytime trip in almost complete darkness which I thought was a bit weird.

Once in FLL,we called the hotel to ask about the shuttle and were told it was full but would come back for us. An hour later,the van did indeed come back but was again full. Eventually we called a Lyft driver but he couldnít find us. Finally, we gave up and hopped a cab. 2 hours after collecting our luggage, we were checking in at the hotel that was 1.2 miles from the baggage claim. Needless to say, we were pretty cranky when we got to the hotel and that only got worse when the perky front desk person told us (quite cheerfully) that our reservation had been cancelled. Sis managed not to d anything warranting a Code Red incident and whipped out the color-coded file of spindled and mutilated travel docs to prove that we did, in fact have a reservation and we would be staying at their fine establishment if we had tobunker down in the lobby.

Weíd stayed at this hotel before when it was a XXX but now it was between names as it undergoes upgrades to become a Four Points by Sheraton. Itís not there yet, say 2.5 points but if you can deal with only one working elevator and blackout drapes that we assured were there but seemed to be hiding, it fit the bill.

We settled in, meandered across the street to Ernieís for a grilled ham and cheese on Bimini bread for me and teriyaki chicken on great slabs of said bread for Sis. Wonderful. Then we stopped at the conveniently located CVS next to the hotel for some last minute essentials Ė tissues for the cabin,cough drops, full size shampoo and conditioner (does anyone else hate that Elemis stuff?)
Once back at the hotel we realized that the Evil Twin had left her glasses at the front desk. Since she was less than gentle with the desk dude, I claimed they were mine and made puppy dog eyes until he reluctantly produced them from under the counter. I donít think he believed me for a second and they were certainly headed for the shredder.

Next morning we crawled down the road for pancakes at Dennyís and called an Uber to get us to the pier. We were too scared to call Lyft in case we got the same confused driver as yesterday. That one tried to charge me $5 for being a no-show. I complained that if I was a no-show, so was he and got the charge lifted. If neither party shows, who exactly stood who up? I need to watch An Affair to Remember again.

The Uber driver complained the whole way about the traffic and about how little he would be making from our trip. This is our fault, why?

Short line to check in but body-slamming aplenty and lots of other bad behavior to be seen. Hopefully, this was not to be the norm for the trip.

I need to remind myself that the overly-caffeinated, happy people saying, ďthis way, this way,Ē and ďright over here,Ē actually make me insane because I can clearly follow signs, Iíve been here before, the entire crowd is moving in the same direction and Iím not actually an idiot.

The lovely woman who checked us in, letís call her Myopic Myrna, squinted at each of our passports and boarding passes, leaned down until her nose was practically touching the computer screen, looked from one sister to the other and kept swapping out paperwork out in front of us as if she just wasnít sure who was who.

Normally this is not a big problem; Mom couldnít tell us apart and no harm done. In fact, Christy often got blamed for my antics so it usually worked in my favor. Not this time.

We left the desk and made our way onto the ship where we joined different lines to pass through security. I was waved through but The Twinís security guy puffed up his chest, stood in front of her blocking her way and was clearly giving off signs that there was going to be aďincident.Ē I looked over to his desk and clearly saw my picture on his screen. When I tried to tell him that, he seemed freaked out that there were now two security threats instead of one.

We tried to explain that somehow Myrna had put my pic on both IDs. No one seemed to believe us and even when we explained we were sisters, travelling together, the alarm bells were minutes away. We were asked to wait and many phone calls happened. One security guy went out to interrogate Myrna (who is likely doing time as I write this) and we were both asked the same questions over and over Ė what room are you in? Me: 7081. Her: 7081. ďBoth of you?Ē ďYes, as weíve explained, weíre sisters, traveling together.Ē That was not going down at all.

Eventually,a Front Desk person was called and escorted us down to check us in all over again. The Twin had to re-do everything from her passport info to her Emergency Contact.

But finally,we were in and after running to our room to drop off all the heavy electronics that never seem to work in the Caribbean anyway, we headed to the MDR to checkout our table. I looked at my keycard and saw that we were at Table 75 which was set for four. Never liking to take a chance sharing a table, we decided to go have it changed. Our HAL TA has bought us a Pinnacle reservation for that night at 5:00 and being late diners, we wanted to see if we could change that too.

So, I went to the Pinnacle and Her Evilness walked over to the desk set up across the way to sort out the dining table. The Pinnacle folks had us sorted in no time and Sis was quite miffed when the MDR guy asked to see her key card and pointed out that it clearly said Table 73, which is already a table for two. Fine, Iíll buy a pair of readers in the shop.

OK, thatís as far as I got on this review. My beautiful sister passed away, against doctorsí orders, and mine, last week. Iím furiously pissed off about that and Iíll get back at her someday, I promise.

This is the Chardonnay Sisters checking out. It was a great freaking ride!

This review was going to be great and here are some of the lines I was holding in reserve:
I hope they make you chuckle.

Sounds like a greeting card from a Chinese dollar store

I tested negative for affluenza

If I wanted to kill myself Iíd climb your ego and jump to your IQ

Iím pretty sure my spirit animal has rabies

People who donít understand sarcasm are awesome.

I hate being bi-polar. Itís awesome.

An optimist is simply one has yet to hear the news

Six out of seven dwarves arenít happy

Whenever the brain and heart fight, itís always the liver that suffers

Öwouldnít even hear the grenade rolling in

He could start a fire in a bowl of water

Blame the tooth fairy for prostitution. Sheís the one who taught kids to sell their body parts for money

Iím an indoorsy type

Your secrets are safe with me because thereís a good chance I wasnít listening

Iím not insulting you, Iím describing you

What is the new testament if not fan fiction?

Iím dressed like a carnival ride

I think my guardian angel drinks

Some people are proof that evolution can go in reverse

I stop the microwave at 1 second so I can pretend I just diffused a bomb

Wine -- the medicine that makes your mouth work faster than your mind

I hate people who use big words just to make themselves loo perspicacious

When I see ads on TV with smiling, happy housewives using a new cleaning product, the only thing I want to buy are the meds they must be on

My calling in life went straight to voicemail

I don't find it hard to meet expenses. They're everywhere

Our conscience is clear- we don't use it

Nothing is fool proof to a sufficiently talented fool

You look like a before picture

Dear alcohol, we had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter,and a better dancer... I saw the video... we need to talk

I'm not an alcoholic. Alcoholics need a drink, but I already have one

In principle, I can stop drinking, the thing is Ė I don't have such aprinciple

We all sprang from apes, but some people didn't spring far enough

I haven't been ignoring you; I've been prioritizing you

The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action

I think I figured out Victoria's Secret. She's hungry

I'm not afraid of commitment, I'm afraid of involuntary commitment

I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more

Don't jump to confusions

Plan to be spontaneous, tomorrow

I love how people say they're "expecting" a baby, as if it might be something else, like a penguin

Oops. That should have stayed in a thought bubble

Explaining **** is a bit like teaching poetry to fish

Donít judge me because Iím quiet. Donít mistake my silence for weakness. No one plans a murder out loud.

Never insult seven people if you only have a six-shooter

Ah, so and so, my constant reminder that Darwin was right

Iím indecisive and impatient; I donít know what I want but I want it now.

Iím ambidextrous; I can write illegibly with either hand.

I canít go to the store today because Iím still in my PJs. The same ones I wore to the store yesterday

Has anyone ever chosen delayed gratification over immediate?

Iím may be superficial but Iím not superfluous

Iím in good shape. Round is a shape

Well thatís a bear we all gotta cross

I still canít figure out how velcro works

Quit shuffling and deal

Grey Gardens remake

exerting himself to a perspirational degree

I broke a few of my clay tablets on the first day and may have missed something important

Concentrating so hard I think she must have found a way to get Gilligan off the island

Last time something like that happened, Noah was building a boat

Some things are better said with an eye roll

I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain

Facebook is the only place where itís acceptable to talk to a wall

Donít stumble over something behind you

Iíve seen these guys. Thereís no Kirk, thereís no Picard. They barely have a Jordy

Fat enough to pull small moons out of orbit

Iíd trade that for a tic tac

A four way stop is an IQ test you take in public

Just saying, I would unplug some peopleís life support to charge my phone

Not the fastest server on the net

Iíd have his best intersts at heart but he has no heart and I have no interest

Makes my eyeballs itch

Sometimes I drink water to surprise my liver

If I didnít drink how would everyone know how much I love them at 2 in the morning

I wasn't lying, I was just writing fiction with my mouth

Plan B has stubbornly refused to reveal itself

Your expression does not lend itself to your defense

Youíre driving me to drink. No,really. Get in the car, youíre driving.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once

Warning: Dates in calendar are closer than they appear

Revenge is beneath me but accidents happen

I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem

I say no to alcohol, it just doesn't listen

Sometimes my intense dislike of prison food/the color orange is theonly thing keeping me in line

I didnít say it was your fault I said I was blaming you

Thank you very little

I am more pissed off than a dragon trying to blow out candles

My stomach feels like it's taken up macramť

A woman can sometimes make a fool out of a man but most guys are the doit yourself type

They say alcohol kills slowly. So what? Whoís in a hurry?

I put my scale in the closet and thatís where sheíll stay until she apologizes

He's a recovering alcoholic: recovering from last night

Why should I learn to be patient? I want to be patient NOW!

My liver just won employee of the month

The type of people who use summer as a verb

If youíve never missed a plane, you're spending too much time at theairport

Sometimes I take baths because itís hard to drink wine in the shower

I don't need a reason to enjoy a little wine. All I need is a glass

If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it

If procrastination was an Olympic sport, I'd compete in it later

Iíd say she was approaching forty but I wonít say from what direction

Iím not really a social drinker. Iíd say most of my drinking iswork related.

I do yoga to relieve stress. Actually I drink wine in yoga pants.

I know right from wrong. Wrong is the fun one

The best way to deal with fatigue is to sleep it off

Never met a clichť he didnít have a head on collision with

All very fascinating in an NPR kind of way

Apology accepted. Trust denied.

If you stop telling people everything will be sorted out when theyíre dead maybe theyíll try to sort things out while theyíre still alive.

Iím not slurring my speech, Iím talking in cursive

Just a whiff of existential despair

How Sarah Bernhardt of you

Butter Ė Paula Deen dinner mints

I think Iím overdue for an aneurysm

The end of an error

Not exactly backward about being forward -- karaoke

Someone told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn

If a telemarketer calls, give the phone to your three year old and tell her itís Santa

I canít wait to see his face on a milk carton

Suffering from premature disembarkation

He could jump into a haystack and get stabbed by the needle

Having the kind of day at work where I fear Iím a flight risk

She said please as if she wasn't sure if she was pronouncing it correctly

I was gonna give her a nasty look but she already had one

She gave me a look that made me very grateful she didn't have superpowers

He sets an abysmally low standard which he consistently failed to maintain

Sorry, I didnít hear you over the sound of you proving my point

I donít have a bucket list but I have something that rhymes with one

I donít remember much but the fact that i needed sunglasses to open the fridge tells me something

After four drinks Iím using **** like a comma

Sheís now on her ďcut your own bangsĒ glass of wine

I got the whole life story and trust me, no one is paying for the movie rights.

drink like no one's watching. Or is that dance? whatever

Youíre a career break for the right therapist.

You smell like drama and a headache. Get away from me

I'm glad I don't have to hunt for my food, I don't even know where hamburgers live

If you mix Taco Bell hot sauce into your ramen, it tastes exactly like poverty

Sometimes I write ďdrink wineĒ on my to do list just so I feel like Iíve accomplished something

This aging thing is really getting old

It was surreal. Kinda like when youíre travelling in a different city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 instead of 7:30.

I dont meet the height requirement to ride that roller coaster

I drink wine for other people's protection

I donít have kids because Iíve seen the village and I donít want it raising my children

Itís not that Iím immature; itís just that she started it

Dinner is poured

Trying to understand some peopleís behavior is like trying to smell the color nine

Thereís a nap for that

Auto reply Ė If You Can Read ThisÖ then Iím on vacation.

I need a 6 month vacation twice a year

I pretend to like people all day. Thatís called being an adult and why wine is called an adult beverage

You canít drink all day if you donít start in the morning

I have a black dress and Iím not afraid to use it.

Cute jacket. Itís white with sleeves that make you hug yourself

I donít have the blood alcohol level to deal with this right now

Iíd have better people skills if I was with better people

You look like I could use a drink

I think my check liver light came on

You canít make someone love you; you can only stalk them and hope forthe best

My decision making skills closely resemble those of a squirrel tryingto cross the street

I donít have bad handwriting. I just have my own font

Like drinking a glass of hot sand

The Grape Depression

Mornings are something that happen to other people

It has been said that civilization is 24 hours and two meals away from barbarism.

Iím ashamed of what I would do to a Klondike Bar right now

Pretty sure i can see the inside of my own skull

Spilling a full glass of wine is the adult equivalent of letting go ofa balloon

Vacation deficit disorder

Rolled my eyes hard enough to affect the earthís rotation

Itís important to learn from your mistakes if you want to repeat them perfectly

How did it get so late so soon?

Fat people are harder to kidnap

If heat makes things expand, I donít have a weight problem, Iím just hot.

That girl could find a corner in a round room

Satan called, he wants his weather back

You know itís too hot when the chair gets up when you do

I wanted to lose 10 pounds before the trip. I only have 13 to go

Iím already eating at a Thanksgiving level

Mostly what I call cooking is just melting cheese on stuff

I once tried to cook something from scratch and ended up summoning ademon

Alcohol is the liquid version of photoshop

Thereís no time like the pleasant Ė eric idle

In alcoholís defense, Iíve done some pretty stupid things when sobertoo.

Iím in the fitness protection program

Unlike my cell phones Iím not getting thinner and smarter

**** FIT Ė so happy its Thursday, Friday is tomorrow

Moving at the speed of dark

It is not MY fault that I never learned to accept responsibility! I blame the scapegoats

Horse sense is a good judgment which keeps horses from betting on people

Wine flu

Looks like something Iíd draw with my left hand

Donít be condescending (thatís when you talk down to people)

I go online to check my mail and 5 hours later Iím watching a video tutorial of how to talk to a giraffe
Iíd fight a radioactive bear

Iíve never faked a sarcasm in my life

Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the reason I have trust issues

Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle

Iíd fake my own death to avoid going to a party

I drink wine because I donít like to keep things bottled up

You be Thelma, Iíll be Louise

The risk I took was calculated but man am I bad at math

The heat index was somewhere between OMG and ***

ďI love humidity,Ē said no one ever.

Stepped on a lego

Not to get technical but according to chemistry, alcohol is a solution

My patience was fully in the deficit range

I know the voices arenít real but they come up with some really good ideas

Iím ready for some blessings that arenít in disguise

Gravity storm

I still have tabs open from the Mondale campaign

Montreal, Canada
635 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
We haven't met (on Cruise Critic or in person), but I love you already, and I hope you're on my next cruise, whenever that might be! I am so very sorry that you have lost a piece of your heart and soul (my aunts were twins; one died too young, and the other will never be the same).

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Beautiful is the dream that makes you mine

- Andy Kim

6,571 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Sunshine and rain together. Those are incredibly funny lines ,except for the at the beginning. I too am so sorry. Thank you for sharing this joy and sorrow.
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112,923 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I have followed your travels before and really enjoyed them.

Sorry for your lose.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
3,281 Posts
Joined May 2013
Please know that your sister and your travel antics will be greatly missed! So sorry for your loss. Your postings were some of my very favorites as you 2 traveled the world. Hopefully you will continue to cruise and write your awesomely entertaining and so very literate chronicles.
1,405 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I am so saddened to hear about your sister. I loved reading about your travel escapades and you always brought a huge smile to my face.
I have visions of your sis rocking a bright gold harp shaped handbag now.

Again, so sorry.

Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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Denise from Indianapolis

Proud Member of the Conquestionables 2015
Victoria Harbour, ON
3,604 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Sorry to hear about your sister. But reading the rest of your post I had a good laugh.
North Carolina
4,537 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
So sorry for your loss...I've always enjoyed reading your trip reports.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
11,238 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Very sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your loved ones.
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The mail thing: poa1 - at -
2,567 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
My condolences to you and your family.
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'Life is short, drink the good wine first'

2018: Diamond Princess 7 day Circle Japan.
2017: Prinsendam 14 day Scotland/Ireland ; Volendam 16 day Trans-Pacific, Tokyo to Vancouver; Eurodam 7 day West. Carib.
2016: Rotterdam 18 day Viking Passage, Rotterdam to Boston; Noordam 13 day Australia/New Zealand; Zuiderdam 11 day partial Canal.
2015: Amsterdam 16 day Lima to San Diego; Oosterdam 3 day Coastal; Botticelli 6 day Seine; Veendam 7 day Bermuda; Volendam 17 day N. Pacific Crossing, Kobe to Vancouver
2014: Veendam 18 day Circle Hawaii; Seine Princess 4 day Seine, Paris RT; Veendam 7 day Historic Coasts; Noordam 11 day Med. Explorer; Celebrity Century 8 day E. Carib.
2013: Zuiderdam 7 day E. Carib.; Eurodam 7 day Norse Legends; Veendam 7 day NE/Canada,
2012: Volendam (HAL) 7 day Alaska, CC Review

1980s: SS Dolphin IV; Vista Fjord (Cunard); Rhapsody (Paquet) (Statendam IV); QE II (Cunard) TA; Skyward (NCL). 1970s: Mermoz (Paquet); Orpheus (Epirotiki-Swan's Hellenic); Royal Viking Sea.
Western Washington
781 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Condolences for your loss. Tales of the travels of the Chardonnay Sisters were some of the most delightful postings on this forum.
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Don't put Descartes before des horse

Ryndam (28 days); Statendam (28 days); Amsterdam (39 days) Zaandam (32 days); Maasdam (14 days); Eurodam (17 days)
Central Texas
1,460 Posts
Joined May 2014
My prayers are with you. Please pop in from time to time. Your reviews are great, which I'm sure is a reflection on your sister and yourself. May God Bless
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
12,711 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I am so sorry hon for the loss of your awesome sister. I just hope the Evil One will not be joined by you anytime soon. After all darlin, you still have a painting to find

God Bless

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Email [email protected]

"To me a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met."

Our Personal Web Site for our cruises, photos, menus, activities, etc.

Past Cruises

Brendisi-Piraeus Jun 83

Greek Islands Jun 85
Piraeus-Venice Dec 85
VA 5054-Alaska May 08
Westerdam-SA 7076-Alaska May 09
VF 8154-Caribbean (E&S) Feb 10
Nieuw Amsterdam-
SC 6164-Caribbean (W) Nov 10
Oosterdam-SC 6166-Mexican Riviera Apr 11
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Alaska Sept 11
Noordam-SB 7142-Caribbean (S) Mar 12
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 6175-Caribbean (W) Nov 12
Westerdam-SA 7085-Caribbean (S) Dec 12
Zuiderdam-SC 5190-Alaska May 13
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Panama Canal (PT) Nov 13
Westerdam-SC 5190-Alaska July 14
Westerdam-SS 6052-Alaska July 14
Nieuw Amsterdam-SB-5187-E/W Caribbean 7-21 Dec 15
Noordam-SB-7142-San Diego/Alaska 5-23 May 15
Oosterdam-SB-6166-Caribbean Wayfarer 16-27 Nov 15
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 5186-San Diego to Alaska Inside Passage - 19 Days-25 Apr through May 14 2016
Zuiderdam-SB 5190-Panama Canal (Partial Transit) 20 November 2016
(FINAL Cruise due to HAL Smoking Policy Change)
Lake Stevens, WA
7,180 Posts
Joined May 2007
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. My sincere condolences. I have always enjoyed your trip reports, they're some of the best on this board.
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Veendam, Montreal-Fort Lauderdale 2017; Infinity, Pacific Coastal 2017; Koningsdam, Eastern/Western Caribbean 2017;
Infinity, Pacific Coastal 2016; Veendam, Fort Lauderdale-Montreal 2016; Statendam, South America 2015; Westerdam, Pacific Coastal 2014; Eurodam, Baltic Adventure 2014; Infinity, British Isles 2014; Zuiderdam Pacific Coastal 2013; Noordam, Southern Caribbean 2013; Maasdam, Fort Lauderdale-Montreal 2012; Silhouette, Holy Land 2011; Amsterdam, Pacific Coastal 2010; Zaandam, Circle Hawaii 2010; Zuiderdam, Sunfarer Panama Canal 2009; Rotterdam, Med 2008; Volendam, Pacific Coastal 2007; Noordam, Pacific Coastal 2007; Rotterdam, Eastern Med and Egypt 2006; Amsterdam, Alaska 2004
85,671 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I am so sorry to hear of your loss and do not wanr to believe it is true.

yOU and your sister
povided many of us with such good humor for years and many of us will greatly miss your fun reports.

This latestt report is you usual magnidficence ans needss to be perinted an saaved.

My best wishess to you as you work through your loss. Surely your wonderdul memoeries and great humor will help see you through. You and yor sister gave us the great gift of laugfhter. THAN K You. you b well and please come back to 'see us when you pic k up the pieces and move along. Be well and be happy..
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