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MITSUGIRLY has a JEWEL of a time on my 1st RC cruise in years!

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Thanks for your pictures of the lovely Jewel. I had forgotten how truly beautiful she really is! Prompts me to look at booking her again if she moves out of San Juan. I see your Hotel Director is Robert Taggert. Your on board experience should go smoothly, as Robert is one of the very best hotel directors!

 

 

 

Jewel moves to Miami around the first of the year and then after her Mediterranean season is cruising the Middle East winter 2019-2020. The Middle East cruises haven’t been released yet.

 

 

 

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They had us wait on the dock, in the hot sun, for some reason, instead of getting on the boat and sitting down. The other 1/2 day trip was allowed to board their boat and sit to wait for them to leave.

 

Our crew was Mike, Kristen and Daniella. They told us a little about the history of Big Beards and how they had been in business for 40 years. The owners name was John, but there was already someone there that had a business named Big John, so he decided to name the business Big Beards...since he had a ... well... big beard. John has since retired and the business was sold off to keep the legacy going. They said John actually did look like the Big Beards picture you see on everything on their logo.

 

They did mention that the boat we were currently on, did get some damage by the hurricane and it tour up the front and the railing down the side and a spot in the back. So, I guess they did get some damage by the hurricane. I just really didn't hear or read much about it.

 

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I tell you what, these little bitty girls do all the work on here. Mike is the Captain and that's what he pretty much does...drive the boat. Both of these girls were doing some heavy labor with carrying everything from food to barrels of drinks, coolers, lifting the sails...you name it. They were really working hard.

video:

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We pulled away from the dock around 9:45am and we were on our way to Buck Island.

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Someone lost their boat. The crew mentioned that they had never seen it there washed up on shore before.

 

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Buck Island was in view and I couldn't wait to see this beautiful place.

 

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Ok, that concludes my ship tour...WHEW! Sorry if I missed any areas. By the last day of the cruise, I was still finding areas that I hadn't seen the entire cruise. I know there's other places (like the work out place, which always had tons of people in it so I didn't want to go around and snap pictures of them, and places like the spa) but hopefully this will give you an idea of most of what's located on the ship.

 

She's a beautiful ship and we really liked the layout of it! Super easy to navigate.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. :)

The Country Club is where you go to pick up sports equipment and sign up for different sports events. I love the Jewel. I did a 14 day transAtlantic on her and hated to get off. I liked that line of ships so much we did a 15 day Circle Hawaii cruise on her sister ship. To me, it is the perfect sized ship, but we aren't into all the water slides, rope climbing, etc. and really enjoy being able to see the ocean and feel the ship move through the water.

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We arrived at Buck Island some time around 10:45, so it takes about an hour to get there although it sure didn't seem like that long.

 

It was absolutely beautiful there. The beach was gorgeous and so was the water.

 

Now notice in the picture where the boat is docked. Yes, it is out in the water. The steps leading down from the boat are in the middle of it. You have to climb down the steps and wade in the water to the beach. So...if you are bringing anything ashore with you, you are going to have to carry it and if you don't want it to get wet, you carry it above your head.

 

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Immediately the mermaid was off to find her special spot to swim.

 

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We were told that we could snorkel to the left and it's somewhat of a grassy area and then there's an awesome place to snorkel to the right where there were some rocks. Well, I wanted awesome so we went right.

 

The hubby brought his new snorkeling mask with him to try out. He would later use these for scuba and he needed some practice first.

 

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We found the spot that looked like it had rocks and in we went.

 

I immediately spotted this little guy and I was super excited

 

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A cute little (well not so little actually) spotted trunk fish.

 

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Sakari found a cool snail to show me.

 

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Daddy and Kari snorkeling

 

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Absolutely loving your pictures! it makes me want to have a trip on this beautiful ship! I wonder - are all RC ships so pretty? Wanted to ask you - did I miss a picture of your cabin or you did not put any up?

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My little mermaid posing...

 

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Well obviously the new snorkeling/scuba mask is working...he's still in the water longer than I was.

 

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We didn't snorkel too long because quite honestly, there wasn't much to see and if that's what they considered good snorkeling, I was almost afraid of what was to come.

 

We did see a LOT of lobsters and I'm talking BIG lobsters. The only problem is that they hide super quick and usually the only thing you can see sticking out are their antennaes. They were just everywhere and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get a clear picture of them.

 

We also seen some squid. Also, too fast to get a picture of them because most of their time was spent running from a guy that was chasing them. Ugh!

 

But I did get a video.

 

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We headed over to the left side of the boat just to see if there was anything interesting. The only thing we seen there was a huge conch shell that was crawling along the seabed way down below. There was a crab that had obviously purchased himself a new house and he was in the process of moving it to a better location.

My little mermaid seems to need to see everything up close and loves diving down.

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I almost laughed out loud when you said the mom I'm pregnant. lol. Awesome review. What a beautiful ship. I love the nautical decorations.

 

True story. :D

 

 

We were on the Radiance of the Seas last summer to Alaska. I agree, all of the windows to be able to look out is just amazing!

We also don’t get making reservations for MTD. That is why we choose MTD, so we can just show up when we’re ready.

 

 

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Yea I really loved the set up of the elevators and all the windows.

 

 

Great start, Kim, as usual! I have been wanting to do the itinerary you just sailed for a while now, but I'm spoiled by living in FL and being able to drive to port instead of flying. Maybe you will inspire me to finally book......

 

Why thank you. This is definitely a must do itinerary! We loved it. I wish I lived in FL because even then you wouldn't have as long of a flight to get there and back.

 

 

Radiance was my first RCCL cruise - also to Alaska. As I understand it, she (being the first in this class) was specifically designed FOR Alaska with all the glass. My second RCCL cruise was on Brilliance (sister #2) to the Med. And in 76 days I'll be on Jewel (baby sis) to Greece! Only the Serenade to go and I'll have cruised all the Radiance sisters.

 

I will speak to why I make reservations with My Time Dining. I make them for the same time every night at a time between the two seatings. First it allows me to eat at a "decent" time instead of stupid early or crazy late. Second, since I have to eat gluten-free, I like having the same service team, but since I cruise solo I do NOT like being put at a solo dump table or worse being the lone solo with a group of couples. It's just never a good scene - way too awkward. With my reservation for the same time each night, they are able to give me the same table in My Time Dining each night with the same service team. It works beautifully. There was a whole little colony of us on Brilliance who did the reservation at a normal time thing and all sat in the same area. So while *some* people may feel that the point is to eat whenever, for others of us the point of MTD is to allow us to make a reservation at a time that works for us between the two fixed times.

 

It sounds like you like this class of ship. My neighbor likes the Freedom class and insist that I try them out.

 

 

Thanks for your explanation of why you make reservations. I am not understanding when you say "between the two seatings"? I don't get it. We did have the same table and the same waiter every night we went to the MDR and we never had a reservation or ask for the same place. We also didn't go at the same time either. I thought that was very strange that we was put there each time. So by making the reservation that allows you to eat between the seatings with all of the people (colony) you stated, wouldn't that have been the same as doing the other assigned dining at the same time and have everyone seated together? Sorry, not being argumentative in any way...just trying to understand that's all. I definitely understand the part about not being seated at a table with others you don't know or couples. I get that. That's the main reason we don't do the assigned seating. But either way, I'm glad you found what works best for you because that's all that's important. :)

 

Continue to follow...

We were on the Jewel a few moons ago in Fort Lauderdale.. She is a beautiful ship too.

We sailed out of San Juan a few times... but its nice to hear other experience and shore excursions as well

Thank you

 

 

Isn't sailing out of OSJ just the greatest!

 

 

[quote name=

 

Cruisin'Chills]

We did a transatlantic on the Jewel 10 years ago (my then-3-year-old’s very first cruise' date=' in fact!). I’d forgotten how beautiful the ship was, but I’ve NEVER forgotten those glass elevators with the ocean view and the days of the week! My daughter LOVED those. [b'](And more than one staff member joked during the cruise that “they change them on every floor”.).[/b]

 

Enjoying the review!

 

 

NOW THAT IS HILARIOUS! I have to tell my hubby!

 

 

The Country Club is where you go to pick up sports equipment and sign up for different sports events. I love the Jewel. I did a 14 day transAtlantic on her and hated to get off. I liked that line of ships so much we did a 15 day Circle Hawaii cruise on her sister ship. To me, it is the perfect sized ship, but we aren't into all the water slides, rope climbing, etc. and really enjoy being able to see the ocean and feel the ship move through the water.

 

Oh ok. Thanks so much Carol. I had no idea what it was for.

 

 

I thought this size ship was perfect too...especially with the amount of people on it.

 

 

Absolutely loving your pictures! it makes me want to have a trip on this beautiful ship! I wonder - are all RC ships so pretty? Wanted to ask you - did I miss a picture of your cabin or you did not put any up?

 

It was very pretty.

 

 

OH CRAP! I completely forgot about the cabin pictures. I'll complete it after I'm done with this day. Thanks for reminding me!

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Ok, I am done for the night. I am super tired and been at this just about all day.

 

I'll continue again tomorrow with more of our trip with Big Beards and the rest of the day.

 

Thanks for joining me and I hope you are all enjoying it still. :)

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omg... I need to wait till tomorrow??? :loudcry::loudcry::loudcry:

really enjoying and looking forward to more..

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There's the Fascination...what an amazing vacation we had that time around on her! I was hoping that this would be no different.

 

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Wonderful review Mistygirly! Love all the photos and your take on the ship. So this is where I get a little "photonerdish", if that's a word, and geek out! I'm going on our first cruise in less than 45 days and have a few questions about your photography.

 

1) Would you be willing to share your settings for your nighttime shots? So clear and vibrant with such little movement.

 

2} Is the PS action you use one you created, or is it one that you bought from someone?

 

3) I've been playin around with posting a photo here on CC, but have had no success, would you care to share your process?

 

OK, by now you've realized I'm a photographer as well, and I'm sure we've lost a few folks with this conversation, so please, feel free to PM my with your answers!

 

Keep up the great job and I cant wait to see what follows :-)

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Thanks for your explanation of why you make reservations. I am not understanding when you say "between the two seatings"? I don't get it. We did have the same table and the same waiter every night we went to the MDR and we never had a reservation or ask for the same place. We also didn't go at the same time either. I thought that was very strange that we was put there each time. So by making the reservation that allows you to eat between the seatings with all of the people (colony) you stated, wouldn't that have been the same as doing the other assigned dining at the same time and have everyone seated together? Sorry, not being argumentative in any way...just trying to understand that's all. I definitely understand the part about not being seated at a table with others you don't know or couples. I get that. That's the main reason we don't do the assigned seating. But either way, I'm glad you found what works best for you because that's all that's important. :)

 

 

By "between the two seatings" I mean I've made reservations at 6:30. Early seating is like 5:30 and late seating is at like 8:15 (ish...I don't know the exact times). So between the times.

 

The difference with the "colony" as you called it is we did not HAVE to talk with each other. We chose to. It was like a restaurant where we were at our own tables and did not have to converse with each other - we just started to after the first few nights when it became clear we would be there. And it was just a simple polite hello and then we each did our own thing. Not like when you're assigned to be at the same table and then it's just rude if you don't talk. We'd do quick check ins, then Couple A would have their own conversation or not, Couple B would have their own conversation or not, I'd read, etc. and it wasn't the awkward that it would be if we each did that at a mass table. We also could have gone the whole cruise and NOT chatted and it would have been fine.

 

But I like eating at around the same time - just not so early or late if I have a choice. So making a reservation works for me. And special needs advised me that while I *might* get the same table regardless of when I went, the best way to make that happen with MTD was to have a standing reservation. For my upcoming cruise, other than Santorini day, we are already sailing at my chosen time, so it's not cutting into any port time (I have the reservation for Santorini day, but I'll cancel if I am not too tired after a volcano hike to go up to Fira), and I have never been bowled over by any "entertainment" not on a Disney ship, so I'm not stressing show times.

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Love your reviews! I typically cruise Carnival, but am considering a cruise through the Panama Canal on the Jewel, I read somewhere that RCI ships rotate the main dining room menus every few days. Can you confirm this? I would be disappointed if this is true. Carnival always offers new courses every night.

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Love your reviews! I typically cruise Carnival, but am considering a cruise through the Panama Canal on the Jewel, I read somewhere that RCI ships rotate the main dining room menus every few days. Can you confirm this? I would be disappointed if this is true. Carnival always offers new courses every night.

There is a different menu every night. We've taken cruises as long as 15 days and have not seen a repeat.

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GETTING ON THE SHIP

 

 

It cost $12 for the cab ride to the port and we arrived at 12:20pm.

 

Our driver was CRAZY! At one point he pulled out into the road with oncoming traffic both ways. Then all of a sudden a huge bus was coming and I thought I might just tinkle myself. The bus wasn't stopping and he wasn't moving out of the way. He floored it and barely made it out of the way. The bus would have hit my side and I kinda like my side and would like to keep it intact.

 

At that point, I put away my nice tip I had for him. Like seriously, almost the entire ride there was like that. I wasn't in a hurry and I did say that when we got in the cab "no hurry, we have until 7 tonight" lol.

 

He sang all the way to the port...ALL.THE.WAY. Of course it was in Spanish and we didn't understand. My husband asked if the taxi job was just a day job and he was really a singer. He laughed and said "I only sing to my customers to welcome them to our beautiful place and entertain them". Then started talking more. So, since he was going out of his way to sing to us, I put the tip back in my hand. He got lucky.

 

So the first thing I notice here is that we didn't have a place to drop off/check in your luggage and you had to carry it with you in the lines. This just must be a PR thing.

 

We went and got in line. It was moving FAST!

 

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We checked our luggage in and went through security by 12:50PM. Prior to putting our carry-on's on the security/x-ray belt, I asked the lady about what do we do with our wine we had brought. Do we leave it in our bag or take it out and carry it. She said leave it.

 

At the end of the security belt, we picked it up, noticed that they had pulled a few people over to a table to check their wine and we were told "that way please"...which was to the lines to check ourselves in with Royal. Hmmm...ok, so they didn't check us for some reason. I'm good with that.

 

Now let's talk wine. I have NEVER liked wine. It just taste bitter to me. I like the fruity fru-fru drinks that taste like cool-aide. People on here have given me suggestions of things to try and I have just never liked it.

 

Kendra is the same as me with wine. However, last year she found a wine at a party and told me I had to try it and try it I did and liked it! Thank goodness it's a cheap wine.

 

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We have been drinking this ever since. Then about 2 months ago, we went to Olive Garden and they were giving samples of their wine and we liked it too... probably more than the Arbor Mist.

 

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So now I have 2 options. We decided, for the first time, to bring 2 bottles with us and I decided it would be the Poggio!

 

After checking in with Royal and flashing my RC-Anchor-bright-pink-tee-shirt-with-all-of-the-ship-names on it that my neighbor let me borrow, we had our pictures taken by the ship photographer.

 

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Then we headed to the ship. This was the weirdest way I have ever gotten on a ship that I can remember. It was on the ground level and you walk out to the deck and around to the ship and on the ship. I'm used to walking up the ramps that wind back and forth leading up to the lobby area.

 

Here's a picture of where you get on.

 

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SO WE ARE FINALLY ON THE SHIP!!!

 

It was a super fast experience from stepping out of the cab to walking onto the ship.

 

My wife is the same way with wine. She loves the Poggio though! Great choice as it's sweet and screw top so that it re-sealable and you don't need a corkscrew.

 

Also, if you guys have an Aldi's nearby, the sell a really cheap moscato called Winking Owl that is a good inexpensive substitute for even the Poggio. Only like $3 a 500ml bottle.

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omg... I need to wait till tomorrow??? :loudcry::loudcry::loudcry:

really enjoying and looking forward to more..

 

haha, sorry. I was so tired and needed my rest.

 

 

Wonderful review Mistygirly! Love all the photos and your take on the ship. So this is where I get a little "photonerdish", if that's a word, and geek out! I'm going on our first cruise in less than 45 days and have a few questions about your photography.

 

1) Would you be willing to share your settings for your nighttime shots? So clear and vibrant with such little movement.

 

2} Is the PS action you use one you created, or is it one that you bought from someone?

 

3) I've been playin around with posting a photo here on CC, but have had no success, would you care to share your process?

 

OK, by now you've realized I'm a photographer as well, and I'm sure we've lost a few folks with this conversation, so please, feel free to PM my with your answers!

 

Keep up the great job and I cant wait to see what follows :-)

 

1) First of all, I need to ask...do you have an Olympus Tough camera? That's what I'm using and if you don't have one, then it's hard to tell you the settings if they are not the same.

 

 

2) To be honest with you, I don't really remember. I've had it for so long. If I had to guess, it was probably one I made according to someone else's instructions.

 

 

3) First you need to have a site to host the photo on. I use Smugmug. You grab the url link and hit the button on this forum when you are typing up your post that looks like a mountain in a picture and then a box will pop up. You just post your copied url in that and that's it.

 

 

Just so you know...there's no PM function on these boards.

 

 

 

By "between the two seatings" I mean I've made reservations at 6:30. Early seating is like 5:30 and late seating is at like 8:15 (ish...I don't know the exact times). So between the times.

 

The difference with the "colony" as you called it is we did not HAVE to talk with each other. We chose to. It was like a restaurant where we were at our own tables and did not have to converse with each other - we just started to after the first few nights when it became clear we would be there. And it was just a simple polite hello and then we each did our own thing. Not like when you're assigned to be at the same table and then it's just rude if you don't talk. We'd do quick check ins, then Couple A would have their own conversation or not, Couple B would have their own conversation or not, I'd read, etc. and it wasn't the awkward that it would be if we each did that at a mass table. We also could have gone the whole cruise and NOT chatted and it would have been fine.

 

But I like eating at around the same time - just not so early or late if I have a choice. So making a reservation works for me. And special needs advised me that while I *might* get the same table regardless of when I went, the best way to make that happen with MTD was to have a standing reservation. For my upcoming cruise, other than Santorini day, we are already sailing at my chosen time, so it's not cutting into any port time (I have the reservation for Santorini day, but I'll cancel if I am not too tired after a volcano hike to go up to Fira), and I have never been bowled over by any "entertainment" not on a Disney ship, so I'm not stressing show times.

 

Oh ok, I get it. The in between times is had you gone to the assigned dining.

 

 

Sorry, I used the word "colony" because that's the word you use when you said "There was a whole little colony of us on Brilliance".

 

 

Thanks for you detailed explanation. That puts things into perspective as to why someone would make reservations. I just do the my time dining because I never know when I'm going to get hungry and need food plus I have no desire to sit with someone I don't know. I guess we all have our reasons and it works out nicely for us. :)

 

 

Love your reviews! I typically cruise Carnival, but am considering a cruise through the Panama Canal on the Jewel, I read somewhere that RCI ships rotate the main dining room menus every few days. Can you confirm this? I would be disappointed if this is true. Carnival always offers new courses every night.

 

Every ship I have ever been on rotates their menus nightly. Not the ENTIRE menu. There are items that are always on there and then they will rotate the other items to give you something different every night. It's been like that on CCL and NCL.

 

 

 

My wife is the same way with wine. She loves the Poggio though! Great choice as it's sweet and screw top so that it re-sealable and you don't need a corkscrew.

 

Also, if you guys have an Aldi's nearby, the sell a really cheap moscato called Winking Owl that is a good inexpensive substitute for even the Poggio. Only like $3 a 500ml bottle.

 

Yes, the screw off top makes it nice for sure.

 

 

Yes!!! We have an Aldi's. I will have to check that out. Thanks!

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People were starting to get back on the boat to head out to the snorkeling area.

 

We were ssslllooowwwlllyyy making our way back. Although there wasn't much to see as far as snorkeling, it was such a beautiful island and I could have stayed here all day.

 

I managed to capture an over/under picture. As you can see, nothing but sand in the area the boat was located.

 

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I almost caught a glimpse of a mermaid under the water by the boat...but a big wave came along...darnit

 

 

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Sakari found a pretty snail and wanted a picture with it.

 

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They yelled at her to put it back and that she wasn't allowed to remove anything from this place because it was a protected National Park. Duh, we already knew this and there was a snail in it so no matter where we were at, we wouldn't have removed it. Geesh.

 

Around 11:44am, we were all in the boat and off we went to the snorkeling site.

 

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The snorkeling area is just on the other side of the island. Less than 10 minutes away.

 

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My My, what a great review. Your pictures tell so many stories; plus you have better photos than Royal Caribbean has on their website. Thank you, thank you for this great review. Loved the water shots in St. Croix.

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As for the "art gallery"...art was everywhere on the ship, just as it is on all ships. They had auctions and one day, toward the end of the cruise, they had the auction in the Safari room. I randomly took a few pictures there and around the ship of things that caught my eye.

 

This drawing is one that I could see Sakari doing with the crazy filled in shapes. I think we'll have to try it some day.

 

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Another psychedelic picture that appeared 3d and moved with you.

 

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There was a series of these pictures of women and they had jewels attached to them. I thought they were very pretty.

 

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Then there's my favorite picture...kissing fish. I was eyeballing this picture from day one. This artist does a series of pictures like this and they seem to be black pieces of foam that is put on top of each other to create a 3d picture. Then topped off with bright colors of course. I would later find out that this particular picture cost $3,000!!! Say what??? I immediately put in a request for Sakari to make me something like this!

 

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Great review... thank you for bringing us along... I think this is a BRITTO... hence the $3k tag price! LOL... I am sure Sakari can do this much better!

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The hubby thought I was taking pictures of him but in reality, I was trying to be inconspicuous about taking some pictures of the restaurant.

 

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When we were walking by outside, trying to pick a place to eat, I noticed these taco's on a woman's plate and thought they looked really good. So when the menu came, I was all about finding what it was she had.

 

I LOVE shrimp and I can tolerate fish, depending on what kind. I hear everyone on cc talk about fish tacos. I seen it on the menu. I decide to order a plate of 4 combo tacos: 2 shrimp and 2 fish. Hey, if I didn't like the fish, I still had the shrimp to fall back on right?

 

Booking Da House was providing to be adventurous so why not continue this adventurous night and try something new!

 

So fish and shrimp tacos it is! They came and I knew they were exactly what I had seen outside.

 

O

M

G

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The best tasting thing I have ever had. They were to die for! Even better than the shrimp. It made me wish that I had just ordered the fish tacos. I will know next time!!!

 

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The hubby does NOT like fish...or seafood, but I have turned him on to shrimp scampi over the years and he will eat that. I insisted that he take a bit of my fish tacos and even though he put up one heck of a fight, he tried them and even liked it. Not enough to ever order any, but enough to not give me his puke face and that was good enough for me.

 

Hubby ordered chicken "balls" of some sort. Or maybe they were crispy balls of chicken. I can't remember the name. But they came and they were definitely CRISPY!

 

P3310071%20copy-L.jpg

 

At one point he actually ask the waitress if they were over cooked and got the reply that's why they are called crispy chicken balls or whatever. Hmmm, makes sense right?

 

Sakari played it safe with regular chicken tenders. No crispy balls for her.

 

P3310072%20copy-L.jpg

 

 

We ate there before our Jewel cruise last year, and agree completely. The fish tacos (and to a lesser extent the shrimp) were incredible, the best I have ever had. If we get back there, we will definitely be going again.

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Oh ok, I get it. The in between times is had you gone to the assigned dining.

 

 

Sorry, I used the word "colony" because that's the word you use when you said "There was a whole little colony of us on Brilliance".

 

 

Thanks for you detailed explanation. That puts things into perspective as to why someone would make reservations. I just do the my time dining because I never know when I'm going to get hungry and need food plus I have no desire to sit with someone I don't know. I guess we all have our reasons and it works out nicely for us. :)

 

You're welcome!

 

OMG. I did not even realize. I was on my phone and it was supposed to be "community". Must have typed something weird and it corrected to "colony". Hahah!!!

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Sakari's water skills are simply amazing.

 

I can't wait to read about all the ports. I've only done one cruise on RC but thought the food was great. Looking forward to reading the rest of your adventure!

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We need a"like" button ..

Your review is sooo good. It's like a great book that you can't put down..

Even woke up from my nap (work all night) to continue...

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