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LIVE BLOG Explorer May 16-28 Bermuda and Caribbean


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Well being a RCCL virgin I've never live blogged here, and to be honest in the past my live blogging as be intermittent. But I'm going to try again. Hopefully this will be fun for me, entertaining if not enlightening for you and wont cost me a fortune on wifi time.

 

But just to practice and say HELLOOOO.... did I mention, we are the last of the heavy packers. Yes, I'm one of those who likes to have anything I might need with me; and DH, well DH likes his clothes... and his shoes. What can I tell you. There are worse hobbies.

 

So after extension negotiation, here we are almost 100% packed

IMG_20130515_084510_259.jpg

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Can't wait to read your review when we return. Hope it is all good.

Toni

 

Hi Toni!

In theory I'm going to be blogging from the cruise. That's the theory. If wifi is too terrible, if I get too lazy or any number of things, it might not happen. But that's the plan.

 

See you at the M&M.

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I know y'all want to hear about the cruise... but I'm not there yet. I'm sitting here at 37,000 feet, having paid for gogo inflight wifi and having caught up on email, I figured I'd regale you with our trials and tribulations so far.

 

We go to the airport with about 30 minutes before boarding so we decided to use the facilities at the Admiral's club on the way to the gate. And wouldn't you know it - checking the departure board (which we had just checked in the terminal not five minutes earlier) our flight was delayed. So we hunkered down in the admirals club, found out the delay was due to thunder storms in NY, and watched as our flight was delayed again...

 

And then when we still had another 45 minutes until the 2nd delayed boarding time we heard "Flight 16 to JFK is down boarding." WHAT??!! Scramble to close down the computers, finish our food, and run to the gate. Apparently the weather is clearing and they wanted us OUT OUT OUT.

 

So here we are - winging our way to JFK and then to our hotel at Newark (hey, the flight to JFK was much cheaper and direct). I'm hoping the bad weather that was showing up as "winter storm" and "small craft advisory" in the waters between NJ and Bermuda on the NOAA website has left. It looked like it was leaving the neighborhood when I checked last night. but who cares!!! we're on our way!!

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Yay, another live blog from the Explorer! DH and I will be doing the same itinerary at the end of June, so we are excited to see your posts.

 

One question/favor to ask -- can you get a list of the fees for the group exercise classes and the current schedule? Would like to know how many times a day spin and yoga are offered.

 

HAVE A GOOD TIME!

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Well being a RCCL virgin I've never live blogged here, and to be honest in the past my live blogging as be intermittent. But I'm going to try again. Hopefully this will be fun for me, entertaining if not enlightening for you and wont cost me a fortune on wifi time.

 

But just to practice and say HELLOOOO.... did I mention, we are the last of the heavy packers. Yes, I'm one of those who likes to have anything I might need with me; and DH, well DH likes his clothes... and his shoes. What can I tell you. There are worse hobbies.

 

So after extension negotiation, here we are almost 100% packed

IMG_20130515_084510_259.jpg

 

That's not an excessive amount of luggage for 12 days! :D:):D

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That's not an excessive amount of luggage for 12 days! :D:):D

 

Bless you!

 

We're in the Newark Courtyard and I'm all revved because I'm using a new laptop and it wouldn't find my cellphone which means NO PICTURES TO UPLOAD.

 

But thanks to Dell Gold Tech support at 12:30 am, I'm up and running. But nothing worth seeing yet. But if anyone wants to see my husband at the Admirals' club at SFO... here's a link to my picasa album

 

A little story while we all wait for the cruise part of this live blog to begin. I used to travel from California to NYC for a week with a small carry-on bag. Then I met my husband. Preparing for our first trip together, he laid out several pairs of shoes with WOODEN SHOE TREES in them. In spite of the fact that we were in the flush NRE (new relationship energy) and trying to be on good behavior, I went ballistic. WHAT!!! Not only shoe trees but heavy wooded shoe trees. He and I had already discovered that he buys good shoes and clothes and keeps them forever, while I buy cheap clothes, spill food on them (already took TWO hits and we’ve not even landed in NY) and toss them out quickly. So to his mind preserving his good shoes was worth the extra weight in the suitcase.

 

But while I may be careless about clothes, I am good at logistics. He wears size 12; I’m 6.5 (5 ½ in boys size). Could my shoes act as a shoe tree?? Well, in fact they can. Peace was restored to the universe.

 

Then … the clothes. My 2 pair of slacks and 4 LLBean t-shirts; his slacks and sports jackets and suits and and and. But, he explained (and this was before airlines were charging for luggage) why not have what you want with you. And besides, he was there to handle the heavy stuff. Oh. Um… Since there was no way we weren’t going to avoid checking luggage, why not go for two bags.

 

Still it took me years to get out of the habit of packing minimal clothes.

 

And I do have to admit, part of the problem is my liking to have anything we might need in terms of emergency supplies. Imodium, Mirax, Nyquil, Dayquil, Musinex, Kleenex, duct tape, paperclips. You need it, I’ve got it. I figure if I pack for enough “what ifs” then none of them will happen.

 

So between my stuff and his clothes – we're up to 4 bags.

 

I know I should go to sleep but I'm TOO EXCITED

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Well I was worried something had to go wrong, packing and finishing up stuff for work just went too smoothly.

 

3:40am Thursday, May 16 - woke up to take a late night stroll to the bathroom and WHAM, caught my toe on the sofa near the bed. I usually am pretty good at charting out hazards to navigation before I go to sleep, and no question. the sofa corner and bed corner create just that. But I didn't notice it when we got in last night.

 

I'm certain it's not broken, and shoes actually seem to help give it stability. But if I move the wrong way, ouchies. :eek:

 

And I really wanted to keep up with exercise while on the cruise. I've just spent almost 5 months really pumping iron and building up my cardio endurance. It was very cool for me to be able to easily keep up with my husband who's legs are so much longer than mine, dashing through the airport. So I hope this will ease up quickly.

 

And one might ask - why so much blogging and you're not even on the cruise. Well it's either this or go check work email while I wait for DH to finish showering so we can have some b'fast. This is fun. Work is... well I love work but it's not as much fun as keeping my excitement going on CC.

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Well being a RCCL virgin I've never live blogged here, and to be honest in the past my live blogging as be intermittent. But I'm going to try again. Hopefully this will be fun for me, entertaining if not enlightening for you and wont cost me a fortune on wifi time.

 

VERY excited for this Live blog. I am on the next 9 day so I will live vicariously through you while I wait my turn :-) I know its a bit early for "requests" but I would love to hear about the food. Specifically if the escargot shortage has been resolved. Eating escargot is my favorite thing about cruising, and the though of one without them is really sad for me. I hope you have a WONDERFUL time!!

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Writing to you from the Solarium.

 

We got our cab a bit before 11am and arrived at the port... or the traffic before the port at about 11:00. It took about 20 minutes to wade through the traffic to unload and then only about 10 minutes to walk through the big tent to the Suite check-in, which took all of a minute or two.

 

Meanwhile the main check-in area was crowded and they were only checking in multiple wedding parties. So far the price of the GS is paying off if you like luxury and a bit of a pampered feeling. Although I know from other cruises that once we set sail the pampering is more universal.

 

We explored a little. I had planned on lunch at the Promenade Cafe as I am not to be trusted at buffets. But we were so early, we couldn't get to our cabin to have our soda cups for the machines, and it took longer to get a warm diet coke than it had taken to check-in.

 

We walked around and now we're sitting enjoying perfect weather. Not so hot that we miss our bathing suits. Just perfect.

 

Here's the view from the deck. It's a bit hazy - my eyes didn't notice but the camera on my cell phone did. And no, I didn't actually take a camera - only my cell phone, on which I have my TripIt info with what time we're eating, where, spa appointments etc. Knowing myself I wouldn't remember my camera half the time. But this view made me sad I didn't have a better camera.

 

On the other hand, in the "there's always a silver lining" it does make Lady Liberty stand out a little.

 

IMG_20130516_124306_007.jpg

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OK, here we go, my first impressions of RCCL and EOS. I’m trying to be honest and accurate, although these things are always subjective. If I say something wasn’t great, that’s not to say I’m unhappy. I’m thinking of “would someone want to know this honestly to decide on a particular cruise or cabin category, etc.

 

So first –music. DH and I like music and a lot of styles of music. But when we boarded and went to the promenade for a snack they were playing rap music. I don’t mind it that much. And I can’t make out the word. DH for some reason hears the words – and rap lyrics are often not pleasant. It was a very bad first impression for him.

 

BUT… the musak in the cabin is really pleasant, better than average orchestral arrangements style musak. And you can adjust the volume. We’ve kept it on – but at a low level. Very nice. The Connoisseur’s club was playing Van Morrison.

 

General impressions: we’ve never sailed on a ship with this many passengers. Since it’s also bigger than the other ships we’ve sailed on I was surprised it felt more crowded. I felt a definite sense of relief getting back to the cabin.

 

And I’m pretty extroverted. However DH is an introvert and finds crowds a bit draining. Maybe I was just feeling his stress levels rise. I’m hoping that as the cruise continues and everyone isn’t on such a similar schedule, not to mention walking around trying to see everything, it will thin out a bit. But I don’t think I’m going to be very temped by the Ben & Jerry’s on the promenade because that’s a little bit frenetic for me if it stays that way.

 

Another issue – the concierge lounge, which we thought would be quiet was bustling when we went there about 6pm. The hot appetizers were … well let’s say I’ve eaten frozen Chung King eggrolls that are better. This is actually good news for me because again I don’t have to worry about that temptation. They also had fried shrimp, breaded and fried mozzarella sticks, friend chicken wings. Are you sensing a pattern.

 

DH had a shave with a facial which was great. The upsell was pushed really hard – he was presented with a bag of goods and a bill without having said “OK, sure I’ll buy it all.” But for the upsell he would have had the shave and facial again – which he still might do. And I broke a nail and they did a great quick fix for me.

 

Passing under the Verrazano Narrows bridge was great, especially for an ex-New Yorker who’s driven OVER it so many times.

IMG_20130516_164503_997.jpg

 

And the staff are all amazingly helpful and friendly. Our cabin attendant is Jo and when we went out for just a little while (our short visit to the concierge lounge) she had come in, pulled the blinds, put on the lights and while we hadn’t had time to make much of a mess she obviously had straightened up.

Mahmoud, the concierge was very welcoming when we went into the lounge and we almost felt badly leaving so quickly.

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