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CHICAGOPAUL - LIVE!!!!!!! CRUISE BLOG - November 5th Celebrity Reflection!!!!!!!!!

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A very early good morning everyone. First I’d like to say thank you to everyone for commenting and following along. Now that there is a “like” feature I’m able to like all the comments as I read them. Hopefully you can see that too. 

 

As usual we are insanely early to the airport. We ordered an Uber Black from our place (well our temp place) around 3:45am. We checked our bags and we’re through security by 4:20. We have two hours until our flight. About an hour and a half until we board. We’ve encountered our first problem. Not a single bar is open! However I did a little research and found one at the other end of our terminal that opens at 5am. Seeing as we board at 6 we have plenty of time to waddle our way over there and have a drink. I think we will do just that. 

 

Priority Check In line for American has no wait this morning and there was no line for pre check. Very smooth process. 

 

When we woke up around 2:50/3:00 I felt terribly exhausted but I feel fine now. I’m sure it will catch up to me this afternoon, however. 

 

As as mentioned we ordered an Uber Black. I know each city is different in Uber offerings. Uber black are licensed livery black vehicles. Think Cadillac Escalade, XTS, etc. I always prefer that when I travel since the drivers know what they’re doing, a well polished, and understand the airport. For instance our driver today knew to drop us off by the priority American check in. Saves us a few steps. The cost however is more. Usually double or more of a regular Uber. Today the cost from downtown Chicago to ORD was $86. We had a $15 credit from our Amex card to use for Uber so our effective cost was $71. 

 

Fingers crossed we have a problem free flight. Thanks again for following along and for all your comments! 

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Have been keeping an eye for this! Can’t wait to follow along - only 34 days for us now until we are on there, not that I’m counting!! Well done on finding an open bar and have a great trip guys! 

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2 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Ok it’s 5:00am and the bar is open. First drink of vacation. 

33307501-AAE7-4625-A7B3-5141849FA117.jpeg

Holy cow! Well it's 5 o'clock somewhere...apparently that somewhere is O'Hare...5am that is😁

Edited by jpodds

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3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

A very early good morning everyone. First I’d like to say thank you to everyone for commenting and following along. Now that there is a “like” feature I’m able to like all the comments as I read them. Hopefully you can see that too

 

Yes, we can see your "likes".  Great idea!! Safe travels today 

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3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Ok it’s 5:00am and the bar is open. First drink of vacation. 

33307501-AAE7-4625-A7B3-5141849FA117.jpeg

Vodka and Ketchup in the same picture, no words to describe, oh thats right its 5:00am..

Norma

Edited by h20cruzer
incorrect word

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I’ve been watching your Instagram for this cruise. Haven’t been using cruise critic since the loss of the app, but we can’t miss a Paul & Edward live blog! Will you be posting the same info on your personal travel site/blog?

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We are on Reflection starting on November 16th, so we are following.😁

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Looking forward to the review and will be following closely, we are on the same cruise the end of January. 

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1 hour ago, levramosis said:

I’ve been watching your Instagram for this cruise. Haven’t been using cruise critic since the loss of the app, but we can’t miss a Paul & Edward live blog! Will you be posting the same info on your personal travel site/blog?

If I’m able to easily I will. I was a bit worried about the app causing an issue with me posting. But if you copy and paste the URL for the blog and save it on your phone or tablet (or bookmark it) the new mobile version of the cruise critic site works pretty well and seems very easy to read. 

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Cheers from Miami Beach. We had a wonderful flight. On time and a very well season flight and cabin crew. If AA could make each flight like this they’d be unstoppable. But we all know that is not the case. 

 

The cabin crew had all been with AA for decades. Well executed service and most importantly we had a departure drink which I greatly appreciate. I find it’s usually only about 30/40% of the time I get a departure drink on AA in first. I had a couple vodka rocks and a sparkling water during the flight and the fruit plate and yogurt for breakfast. Edward had the same food but to drink had a coffee screw drivers and coffee. 

 

Baggage claim took a few extra minutes but once our flights luggage started coming out ours were some of the first. 

 

Matter we grabbed our bags there was no line for cabs. We hopped in a cab and headed to our hotel, The Confidante Miami Beach. Cab ride was $35. He never turned the meter on but told us the amount when we got in. We know cabs well enough to estimate amounts. This was definitely fair and I always pay cab fare in cash anyway. 

 

Our room is not ready as it is, well, still before noon and the hotel is near full occupancy. So we’ve placed ourselves with some wine at the pool bar. Still deciding on what to do for lunch. 

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Hi Paul. 

I was going to meet you at the gate when you arrived but we were at

the Centurion Lounge all the way over in D concourse.  We are

now on your plane and asked the crew if they came from ORD. No they came

from LGA.  So I guess you didn’t leave us a message.  Ha ha. Have a wonderful stay in Miami and enjoy your cruise!

 

Pat. 

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thank you for all the really good information about the logistics of your entire trip.  Much appreciated.  Oh, and yes, I'll be following along as well.

 

I really liked the 5AM "5 O'clock somewhere" joke. 

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I am excited to follow your blog! I will be first time Celebrity Cruising on the Reflection December 7th to celebrate my 50th birthday with my husband. Our itinerary is different, but I Can’t wait to hear all about the ship, shows and restaurants.

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Well it loos like Cruise Critic is back up and running and we can post again! Hopefully no new problems. Here is the blog I wrote last night:

 

OK so let us get back into the swing of things! It is currently midnight here in Miami and we just returned from dinner. Before I discuss our dinner let me discuss our day.

We had lunch at our hotel, The Confidante. We decided to hang out at the pool side bar here while we were waiting for our room to be ready. It was ready by around 1pm which is what I expected given that is the typical early check in guaranteed by Explorist status with Hyatt. Our bartender at the pool bar was awesome. It turns out he worked in the cruise ship industry for a few years with Carnival. His name is Yoro and he is from the Ukraine (I’m Ukrainian as well). We had some wine, then moved to beers, then had some food. Edward had the key west shrimp tacos and I had the tuna poke bowl. Key West shrimp is fantastic. It’s usually available at our Whole Foods in Chicago. While it is typically the priciest of small shrimp in Chicago I find it to be some of the best quality, if you’re looking for smaller shrimp that is (for pastas or tacos for instance). The tuna poke bowl looked small when it arrived but it was heavy! There ended up being an incredible amount of tuna in the bowl. The tacos were $21 per order and tuna poke was $19. Our wine was Oyster Bay Sav blanc which was $13 a glass (pretty standard) and our beers were $7 each. We finished lunch around 1:30, went to grab our room keys and had our luggage delivered to our room. We then needed a nap. I popped a few aleve and chugged some water. I definitely needed it after the long flight and drinking since 5am.

 

We woke up a little after 5pm and checked some e-mails, made a couple calls, etc. We took showers, got dressed, and then decided what to do for dinner. Rain started to roll into Miami beach area around 6:30pm. We ordered an uber around 6:50 to head to South Beach, specifically the Loews Hotel for a cocktail before dinner. Originally before leaving the room Uber X said it would be around $7. By the time we got downstairs prices increased to almost $12. We ended up ordering an Uber LUX for $14.80 to take us to the Loews. The rain kept coming down and the streets were quite flooded. The Uber showed up quickly and it didn’t take too long to get to the Loews. We had a martini at the bar and then a glass of wine. We decided to head to Quality Meats next door (at 15th and Collins) for dinner.

Our goal was to have a simple dinner but this turned into a bit more than that. We ordered a great Italian wine which, for the quality (at least per my taste) was priced very well at $79 per bottle. We started with the seafood tower priced at $65. It had a lobster claw, some lobster meat, crab meat, tuna, shrimp (U7), and a couple east coast and west coast oysters. Then we ordered a bone in sirloin and a lobster tail ($54 and $49 respectively) with a side of grilled asparagus. We skipped dessert but did have a couple double espressos which is why I’m able to stay awake and type this for you tonight. The uber back to the hotel was dirt cheap at only $6.80.

 

I’ll review our hotel after tomorrow evening so I can give you a full review. We’re not sure how we’re getting to port everglades yet. We might use Uber or we might book Cata Black car services which we’ve used in the past. I’ll see how I feel in the morning. After seeing all of today’s bills from drinking and eating I might opt for Uber….or maybe walking or taking a canoe???

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Yo, Chicago Paulie! I'm a Chicago Southsider like yourself (south side of Streeterville that is). It's my 1st time following youse guys and I give you high marks for your blog. 

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Just read about last night's dinner. What was that great Italian wine you had?

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11 minutes ago, jim87 said:

Just read about last night's dinner. What was that great Italian wine you had?

 

Here is the bottle 14A34D7C-7EB6-424C-8EB1-B28585630C43.thumb.jpeg.582fb279c4288d25c2a33d3ca8f6f96d.jpeg

 

 

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19 minutes ago, jim87 said:

Yo, Chicago Paulie! I'm a Chicago Southsider like yourself (south side of Streeterville that is). It's my 1st time following youse guys and I give you high marks for your blog. 

Bridgeport Southsider here...youse guys gotta love this!!!

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Hi Paul

Glad to see you are back Live blogging. I will of course be following you, whilst tracking Valentina as she is now on her way crossing the Atlantic aboard the Edge.

Peter

 

 

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