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abbydancer

Sort of Live from the Equinox - Western Caribbean

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CVS will only have stamps for domestic US mail. I’m assuming you are wanting stamps for mail back to Europe....for those you would likely need to visit a post office....

 

Joe

Joe, dutchclogs can indeed use regular US stamps for international mail (I send mail to my brother in England regularly). I just use the correct postage for an international letter, make sure I include the country in the address, and off it goes. I do write”Air Mail” on the bottom left corner of the envelope, but I’m not sure that’s necessary any longer.

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To bring this thread back to it's original purpose ( a report from the ship), here's the sea day.

 

Our first of two sea days. We started with a breakfast in Blu with our friends Melissa and Ryan. It was good, and similar to Luminae, but not as good. They mentioned that they wanted to see a suite, so we invited them to visit us tomorrow around 5.

 

Next up was the Cruise Critic Connections Party.

 

At the gathering we met many of our fellow cruisers, including a couple of ladies who were also flying out of New York on Friday. They were on the 9:00 flight from Newark (yes, one of the ones I thought about protecting onto) and it was cancelled. Apparently, they flew into Fort Meyers at 8 am on Saturday morning, and just made the ship. Like me, they'd contemplated booking a back up reservation to Grand Cayman.

 

Immediately following that, we headed to the casino for the slot pull. We all kicked in 15.00 and loaded it onto a machine. That gave us 5 spins each. The idea is that after everyone spins, you cash out and split it. One alternative is to keep playing until you run out of money, which is what we did. That took until about lunch time, so we headed to Luminae.

 

During the slot pull we arranged to have dinner at 8 with a couple of our roll call members.

 

We ordered lunch, and then our friends Danna and Bruce walked in. They were at a two top near but not next to each other. There was an open four top, so we asked someone if we could move, and just did it. That confused things, and our orders were on slightly different timing, but it was all good. I ordered the lamb burger, and Beth decided to try to make the Luminae burger into a grilled cheese sandwich (cheese and the great bacon jam). However, she just asked for it without the beef, so that's what she got. I realized, when I got the burger, that their burgers are just too thick. So, I cut it in half horizontally and ate half that way. Perfect.

 

After lunch, we brought our computers to Cafe al Bacio, and enjoyed coffee and tea until around 3, then headed to Michaels Clubs. When the butlers arrived to serve the tea, I asked Jo if he could bring 4 wine glasses and some cheese and crackers tomorrow. He assured us he would take care of it.

 

After a nice tea with some of our cruise critic friends, we decided to head to the room, and then back up the Sky Lounge to watch the ocean.

 

Following that, we headed to the theater to see Charlie Peachock - a juggler who was a finalist on America's Got Talent. He showed some videos of that and did a bunch of juggling combined with humor. Very entertaining.

 

After that, we headed to Luminae to meet our friends. We were seating with Serkin, our FWT (favorite Turkish waiter). One of the appetizer was a kale salad that looked great, except for the kale. At home, we use Blue Apron, and I get kale a lot. I know that to make raw kale palatable, I have to massage it a lot. I didn't trust Celebrity to do that, so both Beth and I asked if we could have it with Romaine instead. His comment was that that would be a caesar and we could have the standard one. We explained we wanted the parmesan, lemon, and especially the roasted tomatoes. Somehow, he made that work. I followed with the NY Steak and finished with a pine nut flan. After dinner, Beth and I took a walk, and head back for the night. The plan for tomorrow is to go ashore and just see Georgetown.

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Today was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. What exactly is a Cayman?

 

 

 

No matter. Our plan today was to get breakfast, grab our stuff and tender off, and then

 

walk around.

 

 

 

We did just that. We went to Luminae for breakfast and then grabbed our bags, and headed to Michael's club where Avaline, the concierge, would escort us to the tender. Beth, realizing she'd forgotten headed back to the room, while I went in. There was another woman there waiting for her husband. When Beth arrived, the other person said for us to go since she didn't know how long he'd be. She took us down to the tender (from the port, not the ship), and off we went.

 

 

 

We arrived at the port entrance, and quickly left the port area. We decided to just take a walk, and arbitrarily turned left. We walked past a few stores, and then saw a bus stop. It mentioned the bus went to some of the well known spots, and was 2.50 per person. We decided to take a bus ride, assuming it could get us back in a timely manner.

 

 

 

We only waited a few minutes and a bus pulled up. The driver told us he does go back and it would be 5.00 each round trip. The total time would be about 45 minutes. Since we had about 6 hours before we had to be back on this ship, that seemed fine.

 

 

 

The bus ride was fun - the driver pointed out a few things along the way, including a new hotel going in, the hotel where the Queen stayed when she visited (apparently the only hotel at the time), turtle farm, and the entrance to the rock formation known as hell. Periodically, the driver would stop and back up to pick up someone he'd noticed walking along the street. Very nice. He also varied his route to take someone to the grocery store.

 

 

 

As promised, he got back to Georgetown, and dropped us off near the port. We noticed a peace memorial building, so we checked it out. There was a plaque from Britain thanking the Jamaican troops for their help with WW II in Palestine, so I guess Grand Cayman was part of the jurisdiction of Jamaica back then. We then got a coffee from a local shop, and walked around the port area for a bit (with the required stop at Del Sol, of course). Following that, we took the tender back to the ship.

 

 

 

Before lunch, we decided to head up to the spa to see about facials to use our OBC. Their special of the day was an Oxygen facial for about 70.00 off the 200+ price. We said we could do that. She had an appointment at 3 and one at 4:30. We said 4:30 wouldn't work, but 3:00 would. While trying to figure a different service for one of us, she said she could do one now and the other at 3:00. So I took the current (12:30) one, and Beth the 3:00.

 

 

 

I had a young woman from Poland and had a nice chat while I did the facial. At the end, she said that it probably wouldn't be worth her time to try to suggest products. I agreed, and away I went.

 

 

 

After that, it was lunch time so we headed up to the buffet. We easily found seating in the back, and enjoyed lunch.

 

 

 

After lunch Beth went off to the spa, and I headed down to Michaels for afternoon tea before our little see the suite party. Beth eventually joined me and we spent some time with our cruise critic friends and our hallway neighbors. At just before 5 we headed back to the room.

 

 

 

Yesterday, we'd asked our butler to for some cheese and crackers for our friends, as well as wine glasses and cork screw. He assured us he'd take care of it.

 

 

 

So, back to the room, not only were there wine glasses and a corkscrew, there was a bottle of Prosecco, a platter of shrimp, chocolate covered strawberries and of course the cheese and crackers. At 5 promptly Ryan and Melissa arrived and were, needless to say, quite impressed with the spread. We enjoyed a nice hour chatting with them, and then they were off to their specialty dinner. We gave them our second bottle of wine, and the shrimp platter.

 

 

 

We decided to see the show - it was a Broadway Cabaret. The lead singers and dancers did a bunch of old songs from somewhat obscure shows. How many have seen Smokey Joe's Cafe, or Man of La Mancha, and the favorite Songs for a New World (has anyone even heard of that one?). The only current show they did was Aladdin. Overall, fairly ho hum.

 

 

 

We had a bit of time until our dinner at Murano, so we relaxed in the room.

 

 

 

At 8:30 we arrived at Murano. We were seated at a table at the back of the restaurant, in a very cozy location. We shared a goat cheese souffle, I

 

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had the spinach salad and Beth the pear in puff pastry. We both had the Rack of Lamb for our entree.

 

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For dessert, she had the chocolate souffle and I the Grand Marnier. All was excellent, although I thought the spinach salad was better on the Reflection.

 

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We had a nice long chat with our waiter after dinner about his life in Romania. Thus ending a very nice day.

Edited by abbydancer

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Today is Cozumel. If anyone doesn't know, it's an island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, just south of Cancun. If you do know, it's still the same.

 

 

 

For Cozumel, we'd booked a cooking class on the beach, with both a tequila tasting and a chocolate demo. The ship was supposed to arrive at 10, with a meeting time at 10:30. The location would depend on which dock we were at. The ship actually arrived at 9:30, so we were golden.

 

 

 

We went down to breakfast, and enjoyed it.

 

 

 

After breakfast, we went upstairs gathered our backpacks, tickets, water, etc. Upon exiting the ship with no waiting, we walked out of the pier area. We then took out the map to the meeting spot. First question - which pier were we at? Apparently, they use 3. We asked a couple of the vendors, and found we were at the international pier. The meeting point there was at the Playa Mia office on one side of the Hard Rock Cafe, or just in front of the cafe.

 

 

 

In front of the restaurant, we found a representative from Playa Mia, the waterpark hosting the tour. He told us to go around the back to the their office. It took a few minutes, but we did find it. They were expecting us and we registered by signing waivers. It was about 10:20. They did say that 10:30 was the check in time, and we'd be leaving at 11. She also told us how to get to the restrooms before we left. A few minutes later, a couple came in - they were joining us on our tour. They gave us wristbands for the water park (apparently we were welcome to stay, but we'd have to find a taxi back), and a sticker to indicate who's group we were with. Our guide was named Reyes, and he was there with, so at 10:40 he called the transportation, and about 5 minutes later, we headed to the taxi area, and boarded a mini bus.

 

 

 

Our first stop was a small village, where we'd have a few minutes to take pictures of the local church, as well as the remains of a Mayan pyramid. He did tell us we wouldn't have time to shop. That suited all four of us just fine.

 

 

 

After viewing the church, we headed into what appeared to be a bar, but was actually a tequila company. They had, similar to a winery, a tasting room. First, we learned that tequila, like other liquors can be barrel aged, and the longer it goes, the smoother it is. We then tasted some 6 and 12 year aged, as well as some flavored tequilas. I particularly liked the amaretto flavored one.

 

 

 

After we finished tasting, and our fellow tour members bought a couple of bottles, we piled back into the van and headed to the Playa Mia water park. First stop was the chocolate shop and, for lack of a better term, museum. We started with a greeting from a mayan priest (or worker dressed as one) and then wandered through the displays about chocolate. One fun moment was the display about coco beans as currency. You could buy a turkey for 300, an avocado for 3, or a public women for 30-50. We thought that was rather funny, but it turned out that public woman was a nanny or maid. Also along the tour we were treated to a tortilla stuffed with a pumpkin mixture that reminded us of refried beans.

 

 

 

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We were then treated to a demonstration of chocolate making, including a taste of pure coco, which was pretty bitter. There was then a demonstration of how to make it into edible chocolate. They followed that with a local coco drink (in a ceramic tasting mug so ecologically friendly). It also was pretty bitter, but there was sugar, honey, cinnamon, etc you could add to it. Since I don't like chocolate anyway, I took one sip and gave up.

 

 

 

In the store, I found they had a nice white chocolate bar with puffed rice. The sample was good, so I thought I'd buy a few bars. Turns out they were 8.00 US. That's a lot for a chocolate bar, so I just got two.

 

 

 

After that, our guide lead us through the shops at the water park and over to the buffet. He told us to wait there. All of us had the thought that we signed up for a cooking class, not for =a lunch buffet. Reyes soon came back and said that our class would start at 1:30 in the building next door. In the meantime (it was about 1pm) we could shop, or have any drinks at the included bar.

 

 

 

After grabbing a drink and wandering a bit, we met at the entrance to the building. Reyes arrived and told us the chef would be there in 2 minutes, but that would be mexican minutes, so who knows?

 

 

 

It was really close to two minutes. Chef Moses came and introduced himself and we headed up a few steps into the class kitchen. We donned chef hats and aprons and headed to the cooking stations. There were several cooking stations, similar to what you see on Master Chef. He put us all around the same station, facing the person you wanted to cook with (it was the Clare and John, the couple and me and Beth, the sisters).

 

 

 

We started with dessert. We had two cut plantains, some sugar and some cinnamon in front of us. We put the sugar and cinnamon on the plantains and then cooked them on the gas stoves in front of us, and we grilled the plantains until they were caramelized. We then peeled them them, got a demo of decorating the plate (note that mine looks nothing like that) and plated them. They went into the refrigerator when done.

 

 

 

Next up, was the entree. Normally, it's fish, but Beth and I requested something else and we got chicken. They also put out some chopped vegetables, and a couple of sauces. First up we grilled the chicken until the outside was was done. We put it aside, and then grilled the vegetables. When they were partially cooked we added the sauce, which was basically tamarind sauce and very sweet. We then took the other sauce, which was a chile sauce and added enough to cut the sweetness and add heat to our taste.

 

 

 

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Once that was done, we put the chicken in foil, topped it with the sauce and vegetables (plus a couple of tomatoes) wrapped it, and put it on a plate, which we wrote our name on (in heavy cream). It was then going into the oven to finish cooking.

 

 

 

Our last course was our first course. We started with a ball of tortilla dough and a tortilla press. Our goal - make sopes. Those are a small bowl made from tortilla dough that's filled with something. The class called for shrimp, but we had chicken. First step was to grill the tortilla. At this point chef Luis took over for chef Moses. We put the dough balls in the tortilla press, and pushed down until they were roughly the thickness of a sugar cookie. We then put them on the grill and grilled until cooked through. Then we pinched the sides up to make a little bowl, and put them on a plate. We then cooked the chicken or shrimp, added tomato sauce and chile sauce to taste. We split that between the tortillas, and topped it with lettuce and crema.

 

 

 

We then removed the hats and aprons, and took the sopes to a room with a set table upstairs. Bottles of water were provided there as well. Chef Luis sat and chatted with us as we enjoyed the appetizers. Following that, the chicken was brought up, supplemented with rice and cabbage. Finally, they brought our dessert plates.

 

 

 

After enjoying our meal, our guide Reyes came back and took us back to the port. There was a lot of traffic on the road, but it was only about a 15 minute drive without traffic and the ship wasn't leaving for about 4 hours, so all good. Reyes dropped us off at the port around 4:15 and we headed back to the ship.

 

 

 

Since we hadn't yet visited the martini bar, we stopped in for a martini. I had the Candied Apple martini and Beth had a Cosmo. After enjoying those, we headed to the room. For tonights snack, Jo had left a cheese and meat plate, a plate of shrimp, plus two glasses of wine. (When we ran into him later, we said to just bring the normal plate, but no fish or sea food).

 

 

 

Beth decided to go for a swim, while I hung out in the room. Earlier in the day, we'd talked about maybe having dinner with our friends Dana & Bruce. They agreed we'd call at 6:30 to see when they wanted to go. I called while Beth was still at the pool and left voicemail. Beth returned soon after. Dana called, and apparently they'd had a rough day snorkling, so were going to skip dinner. We then called our usual 8pm friends, but they'd had a very late lunch, so were going to just have their small appetizer plate, and some left over birthday cake. I offered them my shrimp platter, and took it over. I chatted with them for a while, and we agreed for dinner at 8 the next day.

 

 

 

Back to the room, dressed for dinner and headed down. We were seated along the wall, and Serkin took our order. A few minutes after that, Dana and Bruce came down - they'd decided to do dinner after all. We moved our tables together. Interesting since we had a different waiter. Our service was slightly offset, but it was fine and we had good conversation.

 

 

 

This is the day that I love the appetizers in the main dining room, so I ordered 4 for dinner. From Luminae I had the Mushroom Terrine, which was only OK. From the main dining I had beef Carpaccio, a gorgonzola salad and crab cakes. My waiter thought it was a bit odd, but made it work. (Next time, I'll just get the beef tartare, salad and an entree, as the crabcakes weren't great either). For dessert I had the Hibiscus parfait.

 

 

 

We had an early start the next day so it was a quick after dinner walk and then off to bed.

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Our final port.

 

 

 

About a week before the cruise, we were researching Costa Maya. It's not actually a city or a town, just a port that was built a while ago to accommodate ships. It's near a small fishing village but that's about it nearby. However, there are several sets of Mayan ruins within striking distance. We thought we should do something, so we found an excursion that goes to the nearest ruins at Choco-choco-latti (actually Chacchoben) and then to a Mayan village for lunch.

 

 

 

The arrival time for the ship was 7 am, and we were to meet at the tour company an hour later. The tour was to be 5.5 hours, which should return us to the ship around 1:30 or so. Perfect. The map that the tour company sent said to allow 20-30 minutes to get there. We walk pretty fast, so we're on the 20 minute side.

 

 

 

We ordered room service to be delivered between 6:55 and 7 am. Jo arrived with it right around 7. We ate breakfast, and then headed out around 7:25. A stop for water and rest room, and we were off the ship around 7:40. We noted we never heard an announcement that the ship was cleared.

 

 

 

The port is a cluster of shops around a small body of water. It's also a fairly long hike along the pier and then you enter the port area - lots of shops and a pool. The map said to skip the first exit at the bell tower and go to the next. It wasn't clear to us that the second exit wasn't an arch as indicated, but the middle of a building that's perpendicular to the shops. We passed it, and found ourselves at the end of the shop area. We could go behind to the outside row of shops, so we did that and eventually found the exit, and the main street to head up. We walked two blocks up, turned left per the map, and then two more blocks across on a street without sidewalks, or, for that matter, much on it. To our relief, the office of the tour company was right where it was supposed to be.

 

 

 

We turned in our voucher and they gave us a wristband. There were a lot of people there, but they all had different color bands. They did tell us that they have chauffeurs, not drivers, explaining that taxis have drivers, but they are not a taxi company. They offered us water while we waited.

 

 

 

At about 8:10, they started loading the large family groups (different band colors than ours - we saw nobody with the same color as us) into vans. A couple of minutes later one of the guides came over to us and told us to join on of the family groups for the ride over. We'd be separated at the ruins, and go onto our tour. A guide, Rosa joined us and we set off. She gave us some information about the area and what we were about to see as we drove. It is about an hour drive. Apparently the rest of the bus was going to a lagoon after the ruins.

 

 

 

We arrived at the location and were given a few minutes to use the restroom, etc. After about 5-10 minutes Rosa came over and took us in - apparently she was our guide for the day. She did mention that there were supposed to be four people on our tour.

 

 

 

We went to the first pyramid and she gave us information on the site and the excavation. She also said that most of the hills in the area are covering pyramids because the land is pretty flat.

 

 

 

There is one pyramid towards the opening, and then the main site, which is a pyramid with a flat top that you could climb to. On top were two other pyramids. On the back side of one, under a cover was a piece with some of the original stucco. Apparently back in the day, they were brightly painted. Rosa also explained that the interior of Mayan pyramids are more pyramids (think onion not Egyptian pyramids). The stucco is on an interior one, so you can really see that.

 

 

 

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While she was starting the explanations, two guys from San Juan joined us. Apparently, since the ship didn't announce clearance until 8am, they waited for that, and were driven over after us. They were good company for the day.

 

 

 

After viewing the the pyramids, we headed back down. A few minutes for restrooms and shopping if you wanted, our new van (smaller) arrived. We headed out and off the main highway pretty quickly into a village with brightly painted houses. We pulled up in front of what looked like a few open air buildings with a nice garden. During the ride, she taught us how to say hello and thank you in Mayan.

 

 

 

Rosa walked us through the garden pointing out different plants and picking leaves for us to smell and guess the plant. These included allspice, cinnamon and garlic.

 

 

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After the garden tour, we headed into the buildings. First we passed through the room where there were tables and a buffet line set up, and then into a room with a grill. After being introduced to the ladies there, we gathered around a table and were given a ball of tortilla dough. One of the ladies showed us how to flatten it into a tortilla. We all tried to copy her sample, but none were as round or as flat. One at at a time, she corrected the tortillas. Luis, one of the guys, did what we all thought was perfect, but she said no and corrected his. Another one of the ladies grilled the tortillas, and then we filled them with the pumpkin puree. Apparently, that's a Mayan specialty.

 

 

 

Following that, we headed to the other building for lunch. There was a buffet lunch, with items in small clay pots. We each had a vegetable tamale (wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks) and there was chicken, rice, beans and steamed vegetables. We were also served a cold hibiscus juice to drink. For dessert, there was flan and a fruit skewer. We really enjoyed the meal and the company.

 

 

 

As we were finishing, we noticed another van pulling up. They were touring the garden as we gathered to leave. We thanked our hosts in Mayan and headed back to the port in our small van. I think most napped, I read.

 

 

 

We wandered through the port again. While it was deserted at 7:30 - not so much at 2pm. What we thought was a decorative pool was actually a swimming pool with lots of people in it (note that we were in port with a smaller MSC ship and the very large Norwegian Getaway). There were also a group of acrobats setting up.

 

 

 

We took the longish walk back to the ship, and boarded. First stop was actually Cafe Al Baccio for tea and coffee. Beth had a conference call, so she took it from our balcony and I went to Michaels for tea. She joined me after her call.

 

 

 

After that, we decided to head up to the sky lounge to watch the sail away. It was mostly empty and had a great view. We sat down, and noticed no bar servers. Usually, they have the captain's club happy hour, but I think there was the senior officer's party, so no happy hour. Our next door neighbors from the San Diego area came and joined us, and we chatted for a while.

 

 

 

Tonight was the second Evening Chic night, and the only production show of the cruise. It's called Life and I remember it being so so from last year. But since it was the only show, we went.

 

 

 

I'm not sure what the point was. It was simply a collection of songs, with singers and dancers, a couple with acrobats, and no story or staging. Last year we had Eylsium and Topper, both involved staging and were more entertaining. Of any cruise I've been on, this was the weakest in entertainment. The second weakest was the Reflection last year, which had the same cruise director. Maybe he's the problem?

 

 

 

After the show, we met our friends Ann & Greg at Luminae. They usually sit in the back room, so tonight we did that. We did have a window table, but the room seemed darker than the front. I think it's just that it's just smaller. Our server was their favorite Jesus (I think). He did a good job serving dinner. I chose the iceberg wedge salad, and the rack of lamb. I did ask for the lamb chop sauce for the main dining room (cabernet mint). For dessert, I had the coconut tapioca. Lobster was on the menu, and Ann had that and reported it was delicious. Everyone else had the chocolate bar.

 

 

 

It had been a long day, so to bed after a quick walk.

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So today was our second sea day, and last day of the cruise. We had breakfast in Luminae as usual and we were pleased to be back in the front with Serkan, who hasn't been there at breakfast much. After breakfast, we were able to secure a bridge tour, so we headed to the elevator bank at deck 10. At about 10:20, the suite manager came by to take us there. We had to do a wand scan (same as last year on the Reflection during the behind the scenes tour). After that, we headed to the bridge. One of the apprentice officers gave a short talk about how the wing bridge station works (we were roped off from the center bridge) and then we had a chance to wander around and take pictures. Roxanna then gently encouraged us to leave.

 

We had some time before lunch so decided do a stop at Cafe Al Baccio. As always, enjoyable.

 

At about 12:55 we headed to Luminae. We had some OBC to burn, so we'd invited our RLFs (real life friends) to join us for lunch. We'd cleared it with the Maitre'd and asked her to charge our cards 20.00 each for lunch.

 

Right at 1pm, Ryan and Melissa arrived. We were promptly seated at one of the tables for 4, and Serkin came over. Because our friends were new to Luminae, he explained the menu in detail, including an explanation of the Luminae burger. He did tell them that it was impossible to eat as a burger.

 

Beth decided to try her grill cheese again. We explained that she wanted the cheese and jam on bread, and then grilled. That pretty much worked. Both Ryan and Melissa decided to order the burger, and I opted for the Cobb Salad with steak. I started with the Butternut squash Veloute (ie soup) and I think the others did too. Serkin thought we should have the Burrata cheese salad, so he brought two for the table. We had a lively long lunch, and then said goodbye. I know we will see Melissa stalking in November.

 

After lunch, Beth went for a swim, and I decided to head to Michaels to work on the blog. At 4 or 4:30, a future cruise person was going to come in to talk to us about our next booking. A couple of our friends were there, so I chatted with the for a while.

 

Beth showed up a little after 4, but no future cruise person. He did arrive at 4:30, so my time was off. Not a problem though. We knew we wanted to book the Eastern Caribbean for the first week of August. That part was easy, the time was spent determining what room to book. We'd enjoyed having the suite perks, but the price difference between that and Aqua and Concierge wasn big, so we selected Aqua. We picked a room roughly under where we are now.

 

After that, we headed back to the room for a while and then down to our final dinner with Ann and Greg.

 

Tonight we ate in the front part of the restaurant with our favorite waiter. For dinner, he recommended the short ribs, so we all had that, and started with the Burrata. Very good. We pretty much closed the restaurant, bid Ann and Greg a fond farewell (turns out not the last) and headed back to pack and call it a night.

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Really enjoying your review & your pictures. If you get back to the Martini Bar and see a server named "Taz" (he's also from Turkey) would you please tell him hello from the O'Connor's. He was just so sweet when we met him on the Silhouette a while back.

Looking forward to more of your review.

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Note to AbbyDancer: Since you asked: A Caiman -- Cayman- is a small type of alligator. So Grand Cayman would be a large Caiman.

Common in the Caribbean.

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Sadly, it was disembarkation day. We decided to finish the day with breakfast in Luminae.

 

Right after we arrived, Ann & Greg did, so we enjoyed breakfast together. From breakfast, we all headed to Michael's club. We saw our other friends, Danna & Bruce, so we all sat and chatted until Avaline told us we had to leave.

 

She escorted us to the gangway and we scanned out. There was a line to get to the escalator, but it moved fairly quickly. There there was also a gangway ahead of us, and we wondered why the Michael's concierge didn't walk us to the front gangway to merge in. Ultimately, it didn't delay us much.

 

We walked to the end of the terminal to find our bags (the suite bags were laid out, not on the luggage carousels). I guess we were almost the last people off the ship since there were only a few bags there. There was a fairly long line snaking through the terminal for customs. I think it only took about 15 minutes. We had a brief chat with a customs person and we were on our way, or so we thought.

 

We get out to the curb and Beth can't bring Uber up on her phone. Our plan was to Uber to Ft. Lauderdale airport. We spent about 10 minutes trying and then decided to take a cab out of the port to a nearby Starbucks. We got into the cab line, and when we got the cab he told it would be 20.00. What? For 1/2 mile? He suggested we get out and take the free shuttle out of the port area. We weren't sure what he meant, so Beth asked what it would cost to take us to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. He gave a discounted price that we could live with and we decided to just go with it.

 

About an hour later, we were dropped off at the Jet Blue terminal (her flight was earlier than mine). It was a zoo. When she tried to use a kiosk to check her bag, it wouldn't let her check in. So she went to the special service line, and I decided to walk from terminal 3 to terminal 1 to drop my bag.

 

It was quite a hike and uphill. A very nice gentleman going the same way did offer to help, but I was almost at the top.

 

When I got to the kiosk, it wouldn't let me get my luggage tag, so I went to to the premiere line, where a check in person told me it was too early. Oh well. In the meantime, Beth showed up. I got in the help line, but there was a guy there taking a long time. We gave up and headed to the baggage level, where there was seating and a few food options. We had Starbucks, and then she left for her flight.

 

I went back to the check in area, even though I was an hour early for my check in time. This time, the special service line was empty and I spoke to the agent. She was unable to get me onto an earlier flight, but she did override the system to get my bag checked. After that, through security and hanging out for hours. I'm pleased to report two very unexciting flights, and this trip was a wrap.

 

I'll be back on the Princess board for my cruise the first week of September, and then back here in January for the Eclipse.

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