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TracieABD

Live From the Royal in the W Caribbean- November 24, 18- To Blog or Not to Blog...

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TRACIE!!!! So excited to see your "Live from" thread....oh how I love them!

Glad you enjoyed your day at Tropicante. I just love Steve, and Oscar is the BEST! Hope you had the chicken and sour cream enchilada. They are to die for!

 

Keep having fun!

Natalie

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We will be on Royal in February and with the change of MDR dinner times to earlier just wondering what the show times are....

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So happy to travel along with you again!  Must be nice to get a dose of sun and sand before hitting the holidays.  Enjoy!

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Tracie, I have followed your blogs/threads in the past.  You bring a smile on a very cold day!  We'll be on the Royal in 24 days so thanks for the dining room times.

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Thanks for your review, we are on this ship in January, you are certainly upping my excitement.

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November 28, 2018

Belize City, Belize

 

Hi friends!

 

Today was the port I was most looking forward to- Belize. I have not been there and had always wanted to go. Upon waking, the day looked cloudy and gray, but we persisted. We started our day with the delicious coffees that Jon scared up in the International Cafe. I have to say, the coffee there has been consistently great- and well prepared.

 

We made the decision to fuel up for our big adventure in the MDR for breakfast. I had oatmeal and bacon- and Jon had eggs and bacon. Yes, we are a family of bacon eaters. Yum. Bacon. Meat candy. 

 

We scheduled a tour with Shore Excursioneers for a snorkel through the Hol Chan to see sharks and stingrays with a visit to Caye Caulker. First we had to tender off ship. We used their tenders- which were large catamaran ferries. Our tour was scheduled to depart at 9 am and we anchored around 7 am, so by the time we were ready to disembark- there was no wait. The ferry ride is about 20 minutes, but the catamaran ferries are a very smooth ride, in spite of some chop.

 

We followed the printed directions to exit through Terminal 2- and viola- there they were! We walked for a couple of blocks to a smaller pier where we paid and waited. We waited for the boat. We waited for the fuel. We waited for another couple to come from the Carnival ship. We waited for the supplies to be loaded on. And all the time that we waited, the skies grew darker and cloudier. By the time we were off to Caye Caulker, it started to rain.

 

Once on Caye Caulker, we had the opportunity to pre-order our lunch- and then we were divided into two groups. One group went to Coral Gardens. Our group headed to Hol Chan to see the coral reefs. They were lovely. We made a second second stop to swim with dolphins and stingrays. We got up close and personal which was great. The downfall of the day is that with the advent of waterproof housing for phones and Go-Pros, so many people are looking for that perfect shot- and those of us who would just like a peek can’t see around them. It got to be a bit frustrating.

 

We reboarded the little boat to return to Caye Caulker for our lunch. Jon had a fresh lobster quesadilla and I had fajitas. Both were fine. It was pouring rain so there was not impetus to explore the little island. And to be quite honest, we were over it. We tried to board a ferry back to Belize City, but were told that we could not. So we were hostage on the bumpy boat in the middle of a good rain.

 

Just an aside- during lunch I ran back to the boat to grab something I forgot. The crew might have been indulging in some “island herbage”. No, it was not my imagination- I went to college in the early 80s. I know what smells are what smells... Maybe the captain should lay off the chronic when he has a group out. Just saying.

 

The conclusion? I did not love this tour. I am not sure if it was the other 15 passengers, the very loud talking tour guide, the mediocre equipment. I know I did not love the weather, but that is not the tour company’s fault. I am grateful it was not expensive. I think next time, I suck it up and book privately. But that is just me.

 

Once we returned to Belize City, we climbed aboard another ferry and headed back to ship. We were the first on the ship, so we rushed up to the cabin to get ready for our second and final formal night. I am so glad that Jon is such a good sport about a suit- because he looks amazing in one!

 

We decided on dinner in the Concerto Dining Room. We were seated at a lovely window. I had salad and the pumpkin crepes. Jon had the Wellington and he had the Princess Love Boat Dream. I had the Norman Love. The pistachio one. Yum...

 

We rushed to get seats at the production show, The Secret Silk. Jury’s out on this one. It was better than Encore, and I loved the puppets... but there was a lot going on— and if you don’t read the storyline- I am not sure if it would make sense. And it was loud. So loud that a couple of the people around us left in the middle of the show. And one more thought... not sure if it was based in Japan or China... the costumes just could not make up their minds.

 

After the show, we headed to Princess Live to see the Marriage Match Game, but alas, we were too late. Boo. Not a seat to be found. So we headed up to Deck 16 to watch the Fountain Show. It was the James Bond one. So fun! And twinkly!

 

And that was it for me... I had done everything I could do. I am pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I am grateful that Jon knows when I just need to call it a day. 

Thanks for coming along to Belize!

More later!

Tracie-Lynn 🙂

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Tracie,

 

I sailed to Belize in early November and we found out from the locals that this is their incredibly rainy season.  We had a tour booked to explore the caves system and go tubing, but alas, due to all of the rain the caves were flooded and we couldn't go.  It was a bummer indeed.  I'd love to go back someday, to try that excursion again, now I know to travel in the spring time!

 

-Kara

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We saw The Secret Silk in September on the Royal. It did not live up to the hype for me. I much prefer Encore and Bravo and Music City and almost anything else, even What a Swell Party.

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I loved Secret Silk. We saw it back in April when it was brand new.  Love Encore, too.  

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Ugh... I am 800 versions of annoyed right now. I have the remainder of the blog written on my iPad- but every time I try to access Cruise Critic, it just loads and reloads and reloads. I will work on it today.

 

Thank you for your patience!

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1 minute ago, TracieABD said:

Ugh... I am 800 versions of annoyed right now. I have the remainder of the blog written on my iPad- but every time I try to access Cruise Critic, it just loads and reloads and reloads. I will work on it today.

 

Thank you for your patience!

 

Not to sidetrack this thread... but this has been happening to me.  I just cleared my cookies and it stopped it.  I wonder if it will happen again next time I log in???

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40 minutes ago, dickinson said:

 

Not to sidetrack this thread... but this has been happening to me.  I just cleared my cookies and it stopped it.  I wonder if it will happen again next time I log in???

Happening to me as well; cycles between LOG IN and LOG OUT. Went to incognito mode, was not doing that, signed in there without a problem.

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46 minutes ago, dickinson said:

 

Not to sidetrack this thread... but this has been happening to me.  I just cleared my cookies and it stopped it.  I wonder if it will happen again next time I log in???

#metoo

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6 hours ago, TracieABD said:

Ugh... I am 800 versions of annoyed right now. I have the remainder of the blog written on my iPad- but every time I try to access Cruise Critic, it just loads and reloads and reloads. I will work on it today.

 

Thank you for your patience!

I'm having the same problem with my iPhone.  😞

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I have the same problem on my computer at home.  This forum is on my list of favorites.  If I then go to my  favorites and click on a rollcall, and when it comes up, again click on this forum and it opens normally.  I have no idea what the problem is

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FYI - there are several threads about this issue in the Forums Assistance forum.  I am sure CC is aware of the issue.  Some people also say they get logged out after about 20 minutes.  A couple of people said they log in under incognito or private browsing and don''t have the issue .

 

Anyways... hopefully Tracie will update soon on her blog.

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November 29, 2018

Cozumel, Mexico

 

Hi Friends-

 

Again, I am a little behind in the old blog... Sorry.

 

It was gray and cloudy again- and we decided to scratch out plans to go to Nachi Beach Club for the day. Yep, we forfeited our $22 deposit. It rained on and off all day, so there was not point in heading out there. If you are interested, it looked nice and they limit the number of guests- which was a huge bonus for us over Mr. Sancho’s.

 

Jon seems to like cruising... a lot. So I suggested that he might want to purchase a FCC. We headed down to the sea the Future Cruise Consultant- and casually mentioned that we might be interested in Antarctica... Yes. Princess is headed back to Antarctica! And guess what we did... Used one of our brand new shiny FCC’s to book a 34 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Santiago, Chile- with four days of cruising around (not all the way) Antarctica. We decided, based on the length of the cruise- that we are better off in a mini-suite. Once we got over the sticker shock, we started to plan a little. We have exactly one year to get it together. It will really mean something when we book flights and pay final deposit. We both have some concerns with the number of sea days- but it would be good for us too. I have a million questions for people who have done long cruises...

 

We headed into the port for an hour to walk around and ignore people hawking their wares. After a nice coffee and making some business calls- we headed back on ship to Alfredos. We both had the veal agnolotti and antipasto. Yum.

 

Dinner was again in the Concerto Dining Room. It was the night of all nights! Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflé! Only this time they put peanuts on it... odd. The ship is headed into a very short dry dock to change the mattresses and the TVs.  So they have run out of some things- like limes. Plenty of lemons, but no limes.

 

We stopped to play a really fun trivia game call “What in the Heck?” It is 35 pictures, logos, sounds, macros, and bunny movies... and you have to guess. We got 23. The winning team had 34- I believe it was the Ringers again. Prizes were coasters.

 

We then made our way back to the Piazza to play cards for an hour before the next big bunch of fun called - “Dance Your Face Off”. It is the love child of the new cruise director Alexander. Ten teams- randomly paired- danced to disco, pop, Bollywood, country, rock, and “sea interpretive” (to My Heart Will Go On). I have not laughed so hard in a very long time. Who needs a production show when the guests will do the entertaining!

 

Which led me to bed time... and that is where I will leave you.

 

More tomorrow about our final sea day!

Thanks for dancing along!

 

Tracie-Lynn

 

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Peanuts on Goat Cheese Souffle??  Good grief.

 

I'm glad you're having such a wonderful cruise and how great that Jon is enjoying it, too.  He's definitely an advanced student:  jumping from Cruising 101 - The Caribbean  right to AP Cruising - 34  Days Including Antarctica!  

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November 30, 2018

Last Day/ Sea Day

 

Hi Friends-

 

Not. My. Favorite. Day.

 

I woke up after 10 am to Jon getting ready to get the morning coffee... I decided to join him and grab a yummy in the IC. When we got there, I ordered and Jon found a table. Alexander, the awesome cruise director, started a game of Trivia in the Piazza that was very, very different.

 

The premise of the game was was to gain possession of Stanley the Stuffed Bear. If you did, you were asked a question. If you got the question incorrect- you passed it to someone who could answer it. If you were correct- you got another question. If you got 5 correct, then you got a prize! I really wanted to play- but I am really very shy. Jon (who is the most unshy person ever) marched up, gained possession of the bear and passed it to me. I was fine for question 1- but question 2 was “What is the surname on the Family Guy?” Jon started laughing. Wrong person. I don’t watch TV. I got an assist from the couple next to me and could answer the other 3. I won a wine stopper. I don’t drink- so I passed it on to the nice couple who gave me the answer to the Family Guy question. I just wanted to play. It was really fun- and the audience really did help each other. First time I have seen this on Princess. Alexander comes from Celebrity- so it looks like he has brought some new tricks to the old dog! He was great... as in Lisa Ball and Ron Goodman great!

 

We headed back to the room and started packing. Ugh. The worst part. We had to take a break at Alfredo’s for some pizza. There, I witnessed one of the worst things I have ever seen on a cruise ship. After we ordered, we heard a man at the table behind us talking very, very loudly. While he seemed to be in good spirits, he swore like he was getting paid. (Now, don’t get me wrong- I can’t claim sainthood- I can drop the f-bomb like it is my my job- but I am conscious of when and where and who might be within earshot.) This guy was on fire- like he was going for gold in the Greco-Roman Cussing at the Olympics. But that was not what caused me to levitate... Our waitress was from China. She was truly lovely- the kind of person who is lit from within. She was gracious and humble and a very, very good waitress. In the middle of service, the cretan behind us yells out- “Hey! There’s my little China Doll. We miss you, Sweetheart!” And it was as if the air was sucked out of the room. She smiled shyly and waves- but when she turned, her face just fell. The saddest part is this guy doesn’t even know. I am grateful that Jon stayed in his seat- because that level of blatant racism just does not fly with him. There are no words. Just no words.

 

After lunch, I returned to the room to continue packing. Ummmm, that would be code for taking a nap. Whilst I was sleeping, Jon snuck out to surprise me with crepes... only I tried to surprise him with Afternoon Tea in the room... There was so much food- we were tripping over it. Based on the gigantic late afternoon snack, we decided to forgo the Crown Grill. At about 8, we headed up to the buffet for a little snack. We chatted a bit with Roy and Sandra of PCL-Facebook fame- and headed down to complete the awful packing job.

 

Bags were out by 10, and I was back in bed. Jon went to donate to the needy casino fund. And I am going to bed.

 

Thanks for helping us eat all the goodies!

More later-

Tracie-Lynn

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12 minutes ago, rdsqrl said:

Peanuts on Goat Cheese Souffle??  Good grief.

 

I'm glad you're having such a wonderful cruise and how great that Jon is enjoying it, too.  He's definitely an advanced student:  jumping from Cruising 101 - The Caribbean  right to AP Cruising - 34  Days Including Antarctica!  

Annie-

It was really weird. 

 

Can you come out to Antarctica and play? It would be so much fun... I promise!

 

(PS- I’ve lost your email)

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Hi Tracie

I was looking forward to your impressions of Nachi in Cozumel.

Too bad the weather interfered in your day.

We are going to be there in January and my daughter said she's heard rumors of drinks in all-inclusives in Mexico not being safe.

Something about them using "home made" liquor to save money .

Did you hear anything about that?

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18 minutes ago, TracieABD said:

Annie-

It was really weird. 

 

Can you come out to Antarctica and play? It would be so much fun... I promise!

 

(PS- I’ve lost your email)

I was actually looking at that cruise -- not the entire 34 days, but the round the Horn/Antarctica bit.  It's very spendy, though, so I'll have to see if I can beg for it as a birthday present.  But since  this year's birthday present was gifted just a few weeks ago, I better wait a few months before I ask for next year's!

 

I'll send you an email and we'll catch up. . . . 

Edited by rdsqrl

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December 1, 2018

Disembarkation Day

 

Hi Friends-

 

I’m mad. I’m really, really mad. Princess did it again. Threw me off the ship. And I was really, really well behaved. They threw me off anyway. But first, Jon produced coffee! 

 

Disembarkation was a little slow this morning. We were in the first group after walk-offs and though our time was 7 am, we did not get called until 7:20. That may not be a big deal to most- but I am mentioning it for those risk-takers who book a 8:30 am flight. It would have been a definite push.

 

We had a 4:45 pm flight on the lovely Allegiant, so we rented a car to store the luggage and drive around. We visited with some friends and did a little spending of the money. 

 

We dropped the car around 1:30 and then stood in line at the Allegiant counter for an hour waiting for the staff to decide to come to work. We had girls directly in front of us and directly behind us. They had been on a Carnival cruise. While they seemed loyal to the brand, they did not have anything nice to say about the cruise. Certainly not a ringing endorsement to try  Carnival.

 

Our flight is relatively empty, so I have a little extra room to write.

 

Here are my final observations:

  1. I love the Royal. After 5 cruises, it is like coming home.
  2. Even with 440+ Elite, laundry was super fast. 
  3. I am not sure why, but there was a different class of people on this ship. I will probably not rush to book another Caribbean cruise in the near future. 
  4. Chair hogs were out in forces. There did not seem to be any management of it.
  5. The dining rooms were pretty empty, and I never saw a line for Anytime Dining.
  6. If you hold a paper coffee card, they take a punch for everything. Latte. Punch. Double espresso. Punch. Quadruple espresso. 2 punches (Jon enjoys his caffeine). Brewed coffee. Punch. Hot tea. Punch. I have one coffee card left. I am not sure I will have the opportunity to use it. I guess they stop taking the paper copies on August 30, 2019. This may be rumor.
  7. THIS IS THE BIG ONE- PAY ATTENTION- Princess is reportedly phasing out Splenda. They are replacing it with some weird white stuff- that has the same ingredients as Sweet and Low. Saccharine gives me a migraine, so it is off my list. I was lucky. The nice lady at the IC dug around and gave me every Splenda she could find to hoard. It wasn’t much, but it got me through. I will be bringing a big box of Splenda on our 34 day cruise. Has anyone else had this experience?

 

Well, that is pretty much it for me!

 

Thank you for cruising along... I am not sure if there will be another cruise to buffer the year long wait for the next one. (Oh. That made me really sad).

 

Fini-

Tracie-Lynn 🙂

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10 minutes ago, chamima said:

Hi Tracie

I was looking forward to your impressions of Nachi in Cozumel.

Too bad the weather interfered in your day.

We are going to be there in January and my daughter said she's heard rumors of drinks in all-inclusives in Mexico not being safe.

Something about them using "home made" liquor to save money .

Did you hear anything about that?

I have not heard anything about bad liquor. I don’t drink, so it is not anything that has crossed my path. It sounds dangerous.

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