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foxesden1

B2B Monarch/Brilliance with A SOY DAIRY GLUTEN CORN SUGAR FREE KID*ALLERGIC TO CRAB*

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Love this review! Really makes me miss the Monarch! I had the best cruise on this ship!

 

Looking forward to the 2nd leg of your sailing. :D

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Please, please, please! Don't forget to do your review on the Brilliance. We will be on her late in February! ;)

 

I will not, I finished uploading pix last night but my daughter is home sick do I need to be nurse mom for the next few days!

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I will not, I finished uploading pix last night but my daughter is home sick do I need to be nurse mom for the next few days!

 

Oh no... Poor Miss Em! Hope she feels better quickly.

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Well we made it, just. No thanks to Happy Limo. We arrived at the airport by 10am, (flight was at 11:35). Did curbside check in. Not quite sure what the agent was thinking, because he wanted to charge me over $500 for baggage. I pointed out that we had three passengers, and that he could split up the charges between us, so it was not ONE person checking in FIVE bags, but rather three people.. which of course brought our fee's down to $145.00:rolleyes:

 

We checked in and I went on the hunt for food. All I could find was a BURGER KING, so I ordered two hamburger patties, with lettuce. I also asked for the kids meal box/toy to keep my daughter happy/busy. I of course paid over $15.00 - full cost for two whoppers and a child's meal. (which we never took). McDonald's allows you to buy the toy only.. not quite sure what happened at Burger King.. I waited 30min (it was crazy busy) and headed off to find out gate.

 

We were flying American Airlines and NEVER EVER have I witnessed such a sight. There was no control, no order. The loud speakers were not working, our flight was delayed and everyone kept pushing ahead of the 8 wheelchair bound people who needed to be boarded. It was just awful.

 

We ended up boarding, over an hour late - and then we were not able to push back from the gate due to power troubles. At this point, I was looking for flight options on my cell, as I was sure we were going to miss our connection to San Juan.

 

We arrived in Miami and had less then 15 min to change planes - which of course was in a different terminal.

 

That morning my daughter found a penny.. and boy was it lucky! Not only did we make our connection so did our baggage! :D

 

We arrived into San Juan sometime after five pm, and we were looking forward to heading to our hotel for some rest.

 

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Edited by foxesden1

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We arrived and were ready to find our baggage (YAAA it ALL arrived!) and headed out to find a taxi. The system is very clear - but the prices don't seem to reflect the signs. We always seemed to be paying a few dollars more then what was posted.

 

We were staying at the Hilton Carib San Juan Hotel.

 

We were taken to our hotel, which was provided by Royal for the night. Because we were on a overnight stop over, I assumed we would be given the worst rooms in the house.

 

I had sent a email to the hotels concierge to inquire about side by side/or adjoining rooms with my IL. Due to the large amount of the guests at the hotel that weekend, we were able to get across the hall rooms, main tower. 8th floor.

 

It was close to 7pm and I had pre booked a table at Morton's Steak House. (I had looked at their menu and saw they offered Soy and Gluten free options, so I thought it would be a good choice for us.:( )

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We ended up in the bar section at Moron's as no one wanted a long drawn out dinner. We wanted food, and the bed.

 

It took some time to sort out what we could eat - but in the end we ordered our meals. I spent some time going over my daughters meal, and in the end ordered the sliders - with no bun, cheese, seasonings, or other toppings.

 

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They fry in cottonseed oil so my daughter was able to have some potato chips. (4 - we avoid most night shades)

 

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My daughter about 1/4 of her $30 meal - and said it did not taste right. A few more questions from the staff, and we found out the plain ground beef we requested contained huge amounts of salt and pepper. No replacement was offered, no adjustment to the bill. I ended up leaving with my DD as she was not feeling well over tried and started to cry. My dinner was packed up and back to the room we went.

 

My husband followed shortly, with a $200 bill. :eek: NICE.

Edited by foxesden1

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We went to bed, and woke up to a rainy day.

 

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BREAKFAST was ordered from Room Service!

 

My daughter was thrilled to have bacon again after our week on the Monarch.

 

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The portions were very large, so we ordered two meals, (two share) and a pot of coffee con leche to share. It was just under $50.00

 

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Rum Raisin French Toast with Whip Cream is a must if you stay at this hotel.

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Hotel Grounds Tour

 

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When we checked in we were given a kids club infomation package with directions to go to the towel station by the pool to collect a free gift. (It did not state to take letter with you). I was never able to find the kids club, but I was able to get her free gift! (SWAG!). It was a small beach bag, with a beach ball and a sippy cup). All labeled with COKE.

 

149343_10152455206730065_75567564_n.jpg View from beach. I am not sure what that building is. May or may not be part of the hotel.

 

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Loved this KEY shaped sitting area!

 

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Now, I have to stay, I loved this hotel. I would 100% spend a few days here pre or post cruise. BUT first I would want to see if these Villias have kitchens. Because I already know the food would not work for us at this location if we had to dine out all the time.

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Garden Villa Rooms.

 

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When we arrived at the hotel, we were given a letter from Royal advising us that our transfers to the Port were included, and we have to exit our rooms by 11am - all baggage had to be placed in the lobby and that our transfer would be at 1pm. We may or may not be picking up other guests from different hotels en route. Because you could SEE the ship from our rooms, and it was a $12.00 fare to the port, we opted to go on our own.

 

We left the hotel between 10 and 10:30 and arrived at the port very quickly. So quickly that we only had to wait 15min for the boarding to began.

 

The set up is great at the San Juan Pan Am port - but you had to stand inline with your baggage until 11am - then you had to exit into another line. I found that odd.

 

They had staff members handing out colored luggage tags at two locations.

 

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The lines moved very quickly and we were on board by 11:30! As my DD put it, we did not even have time to SIT DOWN!

 

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149343_10152455206730065_75567564_n.jpg View from beach. I am not sure what that building is. May or may not be part of the hotel.

 

That's the Normandie Hotel. The architecture was inspired by the SS Normandie and the hotel was opened in 1942. It hasn't been running continuously since 1942 though, and I'm not even sure if it is open now. I stayed there in 2009 and it was a little weird. It used to have an open interior with an enclosed swimming pool. Supposedly one hotel manager's wife died while trying to dive into the pool from an upper story hallway. The open area was roofed over and the pool removed. I hear the hotel is haunted. :D

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Once again we boarding without my IL - they were on their first RCL with Monarch, so they were not in the system as "C&A" members yet. So they were in a different line. (But really not far behind us).

 

As soon as we boarded, we were directed to deck 11 - and the bank of elevators to the left.

 

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I loved how we were greeted in English, Spanish and French. I knew right away this cruise was going to have a very "European" flavor to it. :D

 

The ship felt empty, you would never know there were so many B2B and other cruisers who boarding prior on it. You really felt as if you were all alone on the ship.

 

I LOVED the decor of the Brilliance, I could see touches which I liked on LOS carried over - I thought the elevators with a view of the ocean were stunning.. but far to S L O W W W W W....

 

I think the only thing I felt that was missing was Boleros. ;)

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As was our tradition on CCL - we headed straight to the water slide.. only to find out it was only open from 3-5 daily. :mad:

 

This was one of those little nagging annoyances that kept coming up to bug me. By the end of the trip, I came to understand that Adventure Ocean staff manned the waterpark,and only children/ or adults with children were allowed to slide. So I guess.. due to the cost of staffing the park, 3-5 is when they opened it. On Sea days it was open 11-5.

 

I only wish when they closed the main pool one day - they had of opened the water park BEFORE 3!

 

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The ship was empty but yet the hogs were out.. :p A few times I saw tables/chairs saved, but really not bad at all. Not like on our LOS TA crossing in 2011. So what ever RCI is doing, its working.

Edited by foxesden1

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Spa waiting room, with Diamond + deck (which was NEVER used) out front. I loved the adults only area, and would have loved to have had access to a quite out door adults only area.. but seeing as I am gold.. thats not going to happen on this ship for a LONG LONG time.

 

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I feel ill one of the days.. Barbados I think it was.. (Cold, cough, etc) so I booked in for a day pass... and felt great afterwords. My husband, is STILL fighting the cold he caught on board as is my DD.

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We had a great time, but NEVER would we do a B2B with major travel needed between ships. It was just to much work.

 

I always assumed a B2B was when you stayed on the ship (in same room) for 2 consecutive cruises? :confused::confused::confused:

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I always assumed a B2B was when you stayed on the ship (in same room) for 2 consecutive cruises? :confused::confused::confused:

That seems to be most common, but some folks move one from ship to another. Sometimes the ship is in the same port, other times not.

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