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Cathy p

We are back..Zuiderdam 3/5-3/12

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Hello, sorry so long in writing, however, I am still trying to catch my breath. WOW. First let me say for some reason my spell check does not seem to be working so hopefully you all can figure out what I am talking about.:p DH and I arrived at the FLL airport the day before our cruise and it took about 10 minutes from getting off the plane and getting the luggage to calling the Courtyard by Marriott Dania for pickup. They have been called by someone else so it took a mere 3 minutes for the van to arrive. Checkin was fast and had our room by 2:00 pm. Nice and clean nothing spectacular as I am use to the regular Marriott. Left our room and went to the Fishing Hall of Fame. $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors which really was not worth the price. We left there and had lunch at the Islamorada Fish Co. They start you off with Bamini Bread..YUM..It is like having desert first. I ordered a flipper sandwich (dolphin) sorry peta fans. DH had a plain ole burger. Hugh piece of dolphin, ff...Wonderful. Bill was $24 no alcohol. Went through the Bass Pro Shop that is attached. Went back and took a nap then back to the fish company as the only place within walking distance was Subway. I had the 4 little lobster tails stuff with crab, scallops and shrimp in a peppercorn sauce. Kind of bland for peppercorns. DH got fried combo shrimp and clam strips, ff. He was it was very good. Large portions. Went back to the room and I was beside myself just wishing it was Sat. to get on the ship. However, once I layed on the soft Marriott bedding it was all she wrong. Sound asleep. Got up the next moring ready to go. Had breakfast of eggs and sausage and gravy some limp bacon and very good OJ. I almost fell over when I was givin a bill for $19. I have stayed at a crummy Fairfield Inn by Marriott and gotten a free continental breakfast. Very disappointed. The van left our hotel at 10:00 and it was a short ride to the pier. Porters took our luggage and we gave them $1 for each piece we had. We were the 6th and 7th people in line. We started talking with 2 ladies that were sisters and instantly hit it off. Nancy from Boston was addicted to chocolate...and had 3 boxes in her carry on...My friend instantly. Her sister was Pat and an artist. 11:05 they opened the doors. Oh my gosh I was so excited. I had planned everything so carefully. We got up to the lady to show our birth certificate and ID which was fine until she asked for the Credit Card...:confused: I could not find mine. In a panic DH said hand on I have mine. Wrong he could not find his either..By that time I was ready to cry the lady was so nice she told me to take my time and take a deep breath...I did and found it instantly. DH said oh here it is...Soooo as my heart was pounding we finally got thru that. Advised to go thru the double doors and they would call us by number. As we were sixth in line we had number 1. We sat up there maybe 20 minutes. Finally they announced number 1. I almost knocked everyone over to get to the ship.HEE HEE. When we got to the gangway they took our picture and advised us to go and have a nice lunch in the Lido Restaurant. I had Grouper, mash taters and broc. very good. Watermellon was not sweet and the cheesecake was YUM. I forgot what DH had but he said it was good. We looked over the list of activities for the day and decided to go on the tour of the ship at 12:45. The Zuiderdam was beautiful...Purple being my favorite color I was in 7th heaven along with the oranges and yellows. After the tour they announced that we could go to our cabins. We took an outside glass elevator which had a wonderful view. I could just imagin what it would look like at sea. Got to our cabin and WOW it was outstanding. We had an Superior Veranda Suite. It was alot bigger than I thought it would be. The bathroom was huge as bathroom go. It had a tub with the jets and shower. It also had a shower by itself. Very tiny would be good for a child. Double sinks that was nice. I went to open our Fridge and it was locked. Called the front desk and within 5 minutes our cabin stewart CHARLES showed up. What a doll he was from the moment we met him. He unlocked it with a huge smile and welcomed us. We told him our names and from that moment on whereever we saw him it was Hi, Miss Cathy and Mr. Ken. Even though we call my DH Wayne his first name is Kenneth and since that was on his badge we stuck with Ken. After unpacking oh by the way plenty of room for clothes. We had huge suitcases that fit just fine under the bed. 3 closets and a safe that you put in your own code. Very easy to operate even for me. Left and went to the giveaway (no luck) lots of great prizes. 4:15 lifeboat drill. Came down with my life jacket on and it was tied wrong so the guy showed me what I did wrong. Come to find out it was not only me...plenty of life jacket dummies on board. HEE HEE. As the ship was sailing at 5 we decided to scurry back to our cabin and dress for dinner. We had 1st seating at 5:45. Went to the aft of the ship (back of the ship) for the sailaway party which became part of the cruise everytime we left port we had a party. It was late leaving and we were to meet several cruise critic buddies at the Oak Room in the Crows nest. We managed to get up there at 5:30..I was not leaving until I did the Love Boat Wave..even though there was no one to wave to. :p Got up to the Oak Room and met Seabiscuit, Riz, gO4it Seabiscuits DH and I am sorry another man and i forgot your name. We only stayed a few mins. as we had dinner to go to. I am a hugger so started hugging. It was great. We had made reserv. at the Pinnecal Rest. as it was only $10 a person the first night instead of $20. What a dinner. WOW WOW.. I started with seasoned greens, a pear and blue cheese dressing. Sorry the green looked like the bushes that were bare outside our hotel and pretty much tasted like a bush. Although I have never tried one. HEE HEE DH wanted the clam chowder. After that the waiter brought us a gift from the Chef...Salmon Tartar...I looked at my sweet DH who had promised me before the trip that he would try everything and he had a pretty sad look on his face and looked up at me and said in a tiny voice....Is it raw? I looked at him and said it is the color of Salmon and he said OH..We both took a bite and decided the sauce was really tasted and we would eat the rest in one more bite. Bless his heart. His facial expressions were to die for. I had the 7oz Filet..OMG..the waiter described it as Silver beef the top in the USA. YOu could cut it with a fork. I also had sauteed mushrooms and scallop potatos. YUM DH had a 10oz filet with a backed potato and rice. By the time desert was upon us we were really full...however...we had to try the vocano cake which we split. It was huge. YUM. Since it was a casual night we went back to the room and changed. I could not wait to put on the flip flops. We explored the ship some more and ended up in the casino I lost and DH won $50 and then lost it before we could get out. HEE HEE. We to the crows nest and danced. The band was playing oldies and they were very good. Somehow we ended up missing the show and ended up going to bed at 10:30. Sorry, Gang, I have to get ready for work..will continue this later..Bye:)

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Really enjoying your review - keep 'em coming. We leave a week from today for FLL - and will be staying at the Courtyard too - thanks for the tip about breakfast -think we'll just wait for the luncheon bufett on the Lido.

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We decided since room service was free we would have our first morning on the verenda so we put our little menu on our door before we went to bed and at 7:05 am a knock on the door. We had put between 7 and 7:30. In case I forget to mention it never took more than 10 minutes for room service and by the way I did tip them between 2 and $3 each time since they do not get a portion of the $10 tip each day charged. OK we had scramb. eggs, bacon juice and coffee and oh yea I ordered a crossant, YUM, I wish I had ordered two. We ate at the table on the veranda watching the ocean and the land as we were about to pull into Half MOon Cay. The Island that is owned by Holland America. We had to go to the queens lounge and have them give us a tender ticket to get off the ship. I guess that is so we don't look like a bunch of cattle.:p Once again we were number 1 so off we went...Big surprise with how windy it was and chilly. We went with our new found buddies Nancy and Pat. The beach is like non I have ever seen. Snow white sand and emerald water. We had rented a clam shell because DH can't have much sun. Boy oh boy did it block the wind. NICE. I managed to put ankles in the water and felt like they were going numb. COLD.. That was enought for me. Under the clam shell I went until it was time for a drink. Went up to the bar where the 2 people group the rumrunners were playing so in honor of them I had a rum punch. Hey it was 9:30am decided it was 5 o clock somewhere..YUM Nancy and Pat came up and we looked around there little shops they had set up. Nothing excided. I looked at my watch and said it is almost time for the BBQ. Did not smell anything so asked the bartender and he said to catch the tram over there. We looked and low and behold there was a John Deer Tractor pulling a wagon. Sure enough we were the cattle. We were waiting in line when one of the officers from the ship showed up and told me to start a line over there which I was happy to be number one again. However, this time an Island Guy came over and told me NO NO cannot stand here and I said your boss told me too at which point he smiled and handed me a plate. The burgers were good however the ribs I think were still attached to the cow because the meat did not want to come off. Just a little tough.. The rest was same ole BBQ stuff, cole slaw, tater salad, fruit and cookies and brownies for desert. I shared a bit of my food with the local poultry that looked like they were happy we were not eating chicken. Dad came back with MOm and the family for my buffet. After that we took our tractor back and went back to the ship. By the time we got back and walked the promenade deck it was time to get dressed for dinner. I looked at DH and just shook my head wishing we had a later dinner . I don't think he understood my look as he said are you not going to change for dinner. At that point I looked him straight in the eye and said it is a casual night I don't think they would mind if I was in my swim suit and turned around and went in the bathroom. I came back to see him in shorts and flip flops. Oh my, men. We finally changed and went to the Vista dining room. This is where you have the same table and the same waiter the entire cruise. Since we had gone to the pennicle the night before it was our first time. Our waiter was Eka and was wonderful. I cannot say enought fantastic things about him. I started with tomatoes with fresh mozzerella and some spicey bread with a vinergerett (SP), cream of potato soup and ravioli with mushroom. It was GREAT DH decided to play it safe with a bit of chicken soup and prime rib. He said the soup was better than Campbells but the steak did not compare to the Pinnecle last night Oh yea we also went to Bingo and I was disappointed well yes because I did not win but because we spent $20 each for 3 cards for 4 games and the first game paid $70 and the next 3 a little over $100. There seemed to be around 100 people playing so that was all I needed. No more bingo for me. Went to the casino and lost a bit and went back to the room to change and instead fell asleep at 8. So no show that night either. 3/7 AT SEA DAY and formal night for dinner. We changed our clocks ahead one hour and got up at 8:40 went to the Lido for breakfast. They did have a nice omlet station and all the regular breakfast stuff so let's say breakfast was good all the days and leave it at that. Now we did a little shopping at the stores that are only open when you are not in port. Duty free, cheap booze and cigs for those that partake. Stopped by the casino and gave them some more money then went to lunch at the Lido. That is when we discovered the PIZZA....OMG the absolute best I have ever eaten. Well we ate and ate and as a matter of fact that was lunch and sometimes snack everyday thereafter. I can taste it now. WOW. Nancy and Pat invited us up to their suite cable 7055 right accross from the Neptune Lounge. Personally there suite was not that much bigger than my ss cabin. They did have the updated bedding and down comforter. Big deal. We then went to the Neptune lounge which is the PRIVATE Lounge for the suite people. It was ok little desserts some cold cuts and a couple of people that looked like they were born with their nose in the air. No smile.. said HI ..no answer. Well for the extra $500 per person they paid for that snobbery I will take my SS suite and the Lido with also no line any day. We left and got ready for the Captains Reception and formal dinner. Shook hand with the guy and had picture taken and then went in for some champagne (2 glasses each) and some little app;itizers. I asked the waiter what they were and then could not quite figure out what he said . Well needless to say DH tried it and said he did not care what it tasted like at least it was cooked. HEE HEE. They take several pictures on the ship for formal night and also other times. You have the option of buying them individually or a package of 10 for $124.50 which after we found so many ones we liked it was less expensive to do it that way. Went to dinner and I had Brie..ok..Lobster Bisque.,.did not care for it at all and rigatonni with asperagus and tomatoes. When Eka came to ask how it was I asked him were the asperagus was and he looked shocked and said he would find out. I said never mind I was tired anyway. DH had shrimp cocktail, french onion soup and filet. Great but still not like the pennicle. No dessert. Walked around the ship alittle. Not much as I had heels on and my feet were hurting. On formal night you need to wear you best on all inside sections of the ship except the Lido. We managed to stay awake and make the Under the Boardwalk show. I was really disappointed. It was not all that great. Came back and in bed by 10. 3/8 St thomas...Woke up the the sound of immigration being called by floors. I tell you if we had been drinking alot, that would have really been a wake up call. HEE HEE. We had to go and show our papers (birth certificate or passport and ID) to the Immagration guys. Very quick and off the ship by 8:30 READY TO SHOP TILL DH ...well you know that part. We pulled right up to the dock so we did not have to take the tenders. We took a cab to town which was $3.50 pp DH bought me a beautiful Tanzanite and Diamond ring at Cardows. A note to please make sure you buy your jewls from a store that is listed on the ship form that they provide. You never know what you will get at some store which no one has heard of. I was so excited. I think after I looked at 6 different stores and the same type rings he got the hint. Well I felt bad that I had not bought him something so we turned around and went back into Cardows and I bought him a pretty diamond ring for his right hand. with his credit card. Oh welll it's the thought that counts. Had lunch at Andy's Grill on one of the side street. Really juicy burger with cheese, mushroom and onions, ff and the best fruit punch without booze I have ever had. DH had a plain ole burger with mustard and a pepsi and said it was ok . It is a shame he is stuck with just mustard no wonder it has no flavor. We stopped and talked to a Island guy with a donkey. Her name was Opal and she was all dressed up right down to polish on her toes. She was a smiling and kissing donkey. Well we took pictures and then he took pictures and we gave him $5. Shopped some more. Got back to the ship at 3 and put our rings on. Went to the Lido Bar and had Bannana daquires (SP) DH had a frozen Margarita. Loves those things. Stopped to get a piece of pizza. They were having a BBQ on the ship that night and we did not care for the menue so we went to the Vista dining room I had Island Fruit YUM, chicken gumbo nice and spicey and a Indonesian dish which was very spicey and very YUMMY. I am not sure what was in it, but it was great. DH had the fruit, soup and pork chop which he said was the best he ever had. Did not say much for the ones I cook. Oh well. We went to the sailaway party at 8:15 and they had a special pina collata that was poured in a real pinneapple. OMG YUM is not a good enough word. DH switched from his Margarita to that the rest of the trip. We both had two that night. Well DH is home and getting ready to go bowling so will be back after he leaves.:)

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I'm really enjoying your review~your detail is great! I'm going soon on the Zuiderdam and your postings are answering some things I've been wondering about!!

 

Did you regret your early nites? I'm hoping I can stay up and not miss anything!

 

Ok-we are 1/2 way through your trip..............ready to hear the rest!!

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Cathy-

 

I'm enjoying your review, but having a little trouble reading it.

 

could you put a couple breaks in between the paragraphs?

 

thanks,

 

Beth :)

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Cathy, I'm loving your review! Thanks so much for putting in the little details that bring back memories of my Sept. cruise! Chef Nancy:)

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You may have to put the breaks on your own. My computer will shut off if I try to make paragraphs. I tried it twice and gave up. Aside from the fact I am not computer literate so I am sure that does not help. How about a few....... will that help? OK..... 3/9- Tortola, BVI....I did not want to get up. We had the same old breakfast so we will bypass that......We went ashore at 8:30 and boy was it hot. We are kind of old so we did not do the snorkel or sailboat things. We decided to shop, again......We bought some tee shirts and spices. They really do not have much to do for people that are not into the water excursions. I really think that there might be a different Island that we might explore other than Tortola. However, they do have a mean rum punch which we had around 9am...........Back to the ship at 11:30 for more pizza. Cannot get enough of that stuff. Decided to hit the movies on the ship......YEA, I know, movies on a cruise.....Well, yes...we saw Ladder 49 with John Travolta and I cried. It was the only movie I remember that he really was not the star. It was great. Everyone had popcorn except us as DH could not find the smell........HEE HEE.....The movie was great except that the projector cut off a few times.............Dinner was informal tonight, jackets for men and pant suit for ladies. I had two appetizers...Thai spring roll, YUM YUM and filet sliced real thing with a vinegar based sauce. Jerk chicken for entree. It was not spicey enough for me but was tasty. It came with fried plantains which I had never had and will not again. No taste. Yuck. It also came with rice and pineapples with some type of bean. Not being a bean eater I picked those suckers out. Chocolate truffel with choc. & rasp. sauce. YUM. ......DH had the fruit plate, reg. salad and sirloin steak. He is starting to look like Elsie the cow.......Spent the rest of the night walking the ship and in the casino donating once again....................Is that enough dots? Next day 3/10 Out to sea....Formal night again......Got up late, again. Considering we get up 4 am every day I could not believe how late we slept. The cruise director, Dane gave a talk on how to disembark the ship. You really should attend if you have never cruised before.....We had I know you guess it, Pizza for lunch. This time we added rice pudding. YUM........We went to the art show and checked it out. Nothing I would pay those prices for.......Maybe that is why we still work.....We went and picked out our photos that we wanted so far and they put them away for us. Went to the blood bank to give again...(casino)..............Dressed for dinner and had pictures taken several more times. I only had one appitizer and it was a salad because it was.......LOBSTER NIGHT>>>>>> YEA... I had 4. Yes, I am the female of the twosome and not that large. YUM YUM YUM.. Our waiter even gave me extra melted butter. DH had fruit cup, bean soup...he kept looking for the beans and I told him they went somewhere else for the evening. HEE HEE One more filet for the GIPPER (sp). We managed to stay up and watch the last show. It was the same cast that did the under the boardwalk, however, it was stage and screen with Bob Mackie costumes. WOW what a show.....It was great. For some reason the ship was kind of rockin and rolling that night. I got into bed and told DH that I was glad I did not get seasick. Well 10 mins. later those lobsters were doing the electric slide in my belly.....2 tums later and I was gone for the night.....................3/11 Nassau....starting to feel sad as it is our last day. This day was not our typical one. After breakfast we came back to the room and I paniced when I could not find the Holland American bag that I used all week with my wallet and my life inside. We went back up to the Lido and Officer Pipit the head steward said he had not seen it. We went to the front desk and Carlos one of the officers took my hand and tried to calm me down....He said it will be ok we will find it. Nobody can use you cards on this ship and we still have a couple of hours before we hit port. Advised me to just go back to the cabin and rest. Well, I was sitting at the vanity feeling very sorry for me, when I kicked something and yes it was the bag.........You know the thing about this is I never took my wallet anywhere on the ship because you don't need it. All you need is the little id that they give you when you first get on. We bought lanyards and hung them around our neck...........We got off the ship and took a Van to Atlantis. We had a driver from downunder. WOW I wondered if we were going to make it a couple of times. We went to the casino and I was winning and winning. I had a card and put it in a $.25 machine except it was a $25.00 and one push of the button and my card was worth $14.50.............DH kept loosing and I kept winning. I really enjoyed myself. We had lunch at the casino and since I have been to Nassau 25 years ago I kew how expensive everything was. Potato skins, burger for guess who and 2 pepsis $32.......Left the casino and headed for the pier. Cab ride was like a ride at an amusement park.......Heart pumping.......Before I went to the ship there is a little mall with a bunch of little shop and I had to have a Bahama Mama oh yea the same as it was years ago...................Final dinner started with crab dip followed by kickin crab soup followed by a tuna steak. DH had fruit cup, again, wedding soup and roast beef. We were not hungry. I don't know whether we were just sad or full. DH took a picture of Eka and me and we gave him $40 for wonderful service. Yes, he does get part of the money we paid each day but he deserved so much more. Went back to the room and packed.............They had a special show with the guy comic and the magic man....Sorry I thought they both sucked. We left there and went back to the blood bank so I could deposit what I won in Atlantis..............3/12 We had put our luggage outside out door before we went to bed so they could take care of it for disembarkation. We had breakfast and they called you by the number on your luggage tags to get off the ship. They started about 8:15 and we were off by 8:45. Went thru immagration one final time and got the bags. Ready to go to the hotel by 9. I called the Courtyard and was told they will not pick you up just bring you....I had to take a cab. Needless to say I was livid. They advertise the airport and cruise port. I am a Marriott Elite member and I have not written a very nice note to them. It would have been one thaink if they had let me know...................Well that's it....I am sorry if my English is not perfect and I have bored you in any way. I just wanted to share the most memorable vacation we have ever had with all of you. Without you to begin with we may have picked the wrong ship. The Zuiderdam was wonderful and beautiful and I would sail proudly with her anytime. Thanks again, everyone for all the tips and hope to be sailing again, soon. God Bless, Cathy and Wayne!!!!

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I cannot say enough about the crew of the Zuiderdam. They were all so wonderful and treated us like a part of their family. When you go on your cruise, please put the names on the survey they give you of all the people that mad a special memory of your cruise. It makes a difference to them more than money.:)

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Cathy, Was this your first cruise? How long till you book your next one?:D It took me 2 weeks after leaving the "Z" before I rebooked!! Thanks again for the AWSOME review!! Nancy:)

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Cathy,

We very much enjoyed your review :) Ahhhhh to re-live ours thru others cruise ! Glad you had a wonderful time! Soon the depression will set in and you will book another cruise just to survive post-pardom-cruise depression :)

Go sign up on the cc cruise we all have going :)

Thanks again and Welcome home!

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Loved your review Cathy P and it sounds like you are both going to cruise again !!!

 

It was great meeting you on the ship and I am glad you had a great time.....we didn't want to go home :(

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Could you tell. Oh I cried when I got off the ship. I thru my arms around Pipit and said I did not want to go and he said our paths will cross again very soon. What a sweetheart. I am already trying to think of a way to get another cruise going. The next time I would love to have my son with me. He is a handsome divorcee that is a gourmet cook and immaculate housekeeper. So why is he divorced. Beets me I don't want to know. There are some things Mom's really don't want to know. Will work on DH:p

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I am sorry we never did get to meet your DBF. Maybe next time. We enjoyed meeting you also and wish we could have spent more time together.:)

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Cathy, thank you so much for one of the best and most entertaining reviews I have ever read! We are going on the Zuiderdam in just over a week, and the excitement is building like crazy!!! You made me even more pumped up. I'm glad you had such a wonderful cruise!

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:D Cathy, thanks so much for your play by play of your wonderful cruise on the Z. You have to plan another cruise to get thru this muddle of sorrow. Just think, then you can do it all again......planning, preparing, shopping, more planning, checking cruise critic, etc, etc, LOL:p

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Enjoyed all of the details and your enthusiasm is the best part of your review. Would love to have a whole ship of Cathy P. type people on my next cruise. I had to wipe my eyes a time or two--smiling donkey and John Deere tractor visions:D

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Hi Cathy,

Enjoyed reading your review of our week on the Zuiderdam. It was nice meeting you and Wayne, riz and go4it in the Oak room after sail away. I'm just sorry we never crossed paths the entire week after our initial meeting. I think we were on a much later dinner time (8:30) than you and consequently did everything that much later shows etc. I'm already thinking about booking again.....perhaps Bermuda this summer. Well, keep on cruising and you'll soon discover you're as addicted as the rest of us ! ;)

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Unfortunately, Pipit will probably not return to the Zuiderdam. I was on the same cruise as you and we talked extensively with Pipit throughout the week. He said that he had a mere 17 days to go (at the time) on the ship and when he got off he didn't think his family would want him to return to Holland America. He hadn't seen his wife and kids in nearly a year and was ready to return home and start a new life. :(

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Like the others.. love the review, but very hard to read.

 

 

Guess if you can't break the text with your computer. perhaps making smaller "chapters" would help us readers.

 

we love to hear what you are telling us.. we are sailing once again on Z Sept 10&17th

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Cathy,

 

Thanks for the outstanding review. I could feel your excitement as the week went on. Now that the "cruising bug" has bitten you, there is no remedy, except to book another one!;) Glad you had such a memorable 1st cruise.

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Great review....especially for all of us having withdrawals. Something just came up at work that I can't cruise at least for another 2-3 months. Don't think I can make it...but at least maybe with reviews like yours, I'll just live vicariously. I am glad to see I'm not the only one so impressed with the crew on this ship. They are the best! I just bought a joke book today for Hunky Dorey (at his request). In addition to learning everyone's names on every cruise, i think he wants to start cracking jokes too. He had asked me to look for a "one-liner" joke book for him. So you future cruisers, be prepared for his jokes. It goes in the mail tomorrow. And Rick in the Ocean Bar had asked me about what a "redneck" is. Don't know if I was able to define this just right for him to understand, so I got a Jeff Foxworthy book for him. This should be interesting. GREAT JOB AGAIN Kathy! Glad you had a wonderful time and now you're hooked like the rest of us! Lisa

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