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Noreen411

Anthem of the Seas - Review - Southern Caribbean - Feb 3, 2019 - Feb 15, 2019

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6 hours ago, Woodmnky said:

Following along as we are going on Anthem next week. Wondering if you made it to Divi Little Bay and if you liked it. This is what we have planned for our St Maarten day. We also prefer a more go with the flow style of shore excursions. Last time we were in St Maarten it was raining most of the day, so we opted to skip Divi Little Bay in favor of just some shopping around the port, but I am hopeful that things will work out for this trip. 

Hi

 

We did make it to Divi Little Bay.  While we still liked it, it was much more crowded than when we went in 2017.

I’m guessing that since not all the other places are fully operational, the places that are will be a bit more crowded.

 

It makes a nice beach day - I’m sure you will have fun.

 

Noreen

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Sunday 2/3/19 - Continued...

 

We headed to dinner at Coastal Kitchen.  Rajeev remembered us and we were off to a great start.

 

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The menu has a classic side that is always available (I won’t post this each day since it’s the same)

 

 

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Then there is the side that changes

 

 

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We would always receive a bread basket with various spreads

 

 

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For our appetizers, Scott had the salmon tartare and the shrimp cocktail.  I had the Burrata.  Our appetizers were good.

 

 

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For our entrees Scott had the duck and I had the filet mignon.  Scott said his duck was kind of dry.  My filet was off, the texture was weird.  We wondered if maybe they were using up the leftover food from the last cruise this first night (I hope not).

 

 

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For dessert we shared the chocolate praline tart and the Royal chocolate cake.  These were both pretty good.

 

 

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The funny thing we noticed is that the first night menu was pretty identical to the first night menu in Luminae (suite restaurant on Celebrity Reflection) from April 2018.  And we ordered the same appetizers and entrees.  The presentation was slightly different.

 

After dinner, I finished unpacking while Scott went to watch the Super Bowl for a bit.  He came back to help finish unpacking and put the suitcases under the bed.  He only saw parts of the game.  

 

We went to the casino and played some slots and tables.  We were both doing well tonight.

 

At 10:45pm I went to see the comedian Kivi Rogers in the theater.  Scott stayed in the casino.  Kivi was very funny.  He has another show tomorrow night too.

 

I’m guessing with the Super Bowl being today they didn’t bother having a more traditional Welcome Aboard show.

 

After the show I went back to the casino and played a little more.

 

When we went back to our cabin Scott ordered a hot dog and fries from room service.  He loved these last year on Anthem but they weren’t that good this year.  Last year I kept forgetting to take a picture despite him ordering it probably 9 out of the 12 nights of our cruise, but this time I remembered.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Following, considering doing the same itinerary on Anthem next year.  Thanks for sharing your photos and insights.

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Monday 2/4/19 - At Sea

 

I went to the gym in the morning a little after 6 and Scott slept in today.  Surprisingly, the gym was not too crowded.

 

I stopped at the Patisserie and got iced white chocolate mocha (no whipped cream) and 2 bottles of water.  This became my standing order each morning after the gym at the Patisserie.  There was a long line here this morning.

 

Scott was talking about cantaloupe recently so I went across the way to the promenade cafe and picked up a little container of cut up cantaloupe slices.  When I brought them upstairs to him and he tried it he said it wasn’t very ripe or sweet.  I guess it’s not really the season.

 

After showering and getting dressed we went to the dining room for breakfast.  There was a long line here and someone working there was suggesting people go to the Solarium Bistro instead so we gave it a try.  It was like a mini Windjammer but with less choices. 

 

We stopped at the logo shop since Scott wanted to look for a sweatshirt similar to the one he got on Quantum of the Seas but they didn’t have anything he liked.  We bought a ship ornament.

 

We stopped at the Patisserie for Scott to get a cappuccino and a bottle of water.  

 

Then we took a few pictures.  I always like taking a picture in front of this statue and in the little basket chair

 

 

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We went to 270 and sat in one of the wicker lounges near the back looking out at the wake for a bit and just chatting.

 

We went back to the cabin and Scott fell asleep while I read my kindle.  I never find time to read books when I am home so enjoy having some time to do so on vacation.

 

When Scott woke up he wanted to go to the gym since he didn’t go this morning.

 

I went down to the casino and sat at my favorite poker slot machine.  I hit a Royal Flush for $1,000.  I played a bit longer hitting a few other decent hands and cashed out $1,500.

 

 

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I went back to the cabin and Scott was just getting back from the gym.  I asked him “Guess what I did while you were at the gym?” And spread the $1,500 (all $100 bills) fanlike on the couch.  

 

Scott jumped in a quick shower and the sun was coming out so we went upstairs to walk around outside.  It was still windy and wet, but we saw a rainbow.

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We went to Bingo in the Music Hall at 3:45.  They really do not give away much considering how much they take in.  We did not win anything at Bingo.

 

We showered and changed.  It is formal night.  While it is called formal night, it is nowhere near formal like it was years ago.  We dress nicely like we would to go to dinner at home but not overly dressy anymore.  We saw people in all sorts of attire.

 

We stopped to have some pictures taken.  There was a photographer set up by the chair near Wonderland.  I always like that chair so we had some pictures taken there.  At one point the photographer was saying MMM MMM MMM to us (meaning we should kiss).  Scott didn’t get what he wanted us to do so starts saying MMM MMM MMM too.  It was very funny.

 

 

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We stopped at the Concierge Lounge for a drink.  I had a rum punch and Scott had a martini.  It was somewhat crowded but not overly packed.  We didn’t stay too long.  As we were leaving we ran into Dianne and Steve and chatted with them for a bit.  I met them years ago on a winter cruise and we seem to end up on this same timeframe cruise almost every year together.

Edited by Noreen411

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Great Review !!! Sailing on Anthem next January, so really pleased to have found your report - there don't seem to be too many around for her.

 

Oh, just a quick FYI. On the pic you posted with your S&S cards, your full names are visible. Might be worth thinking about blanking those out - could lead to possible identity theft. Not through just the name, so no immediate worries, but it could be an opening for somebody with malicious intent.

 

Looking forward to the rest !!!

 

Paul

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On 5/23/2019 at 6:47 AM, Nolsie said:

Great Review !!! Sailing on Anthem next January, so really pleased to have found your report - there don't seem to be too many around for her.

 

Oh, just a quick FYI. On the pic you posted with your S&S cards, your full names are visible. Might be worth thinking about blanking those out - could lead to possible identity theft. Not through just the name, so no immediate worries, but it could be an opening for somebody with malicious intent.

 

Looking forward to the rest !!!

 

Paul

Hi.

 

Thank you for the concern about the names on the card.  I never thought about it since it’s just a name without any other info.  But I’ll keep that in mind going forward.

 

Thank you

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Monday 2/4/19 - At Sea - Continued

 

We went to Chops for dinner.

 

 

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They started us off with warm bread with both butter and a pimento spread.  This was really good and it was hard not to fill up on the bread.

 

 

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For appetizers, I had the tuna tartare and Scott had the Shrimp cocktail.  We enjoyed both of these very much.

 

 

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For entrees, I had the filet mignon and Scott had the Shrimp.  The sides we chose to share were mushrooms, spinach, and tater tots.

 

 

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For dessert, I had the warm chocolate cake and Scott had the red velvet cake.

 

 

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We both enjoyed our meal at Chops.

 

We walked around outside a bit then stopped in the Windjammer to get some chocolate chip cookies to keep in the cabin.  They had nice cake displays; these weren’t for people to eat, just to admire.

 

 

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We stopped back at the cabin to drop off the cookies and had an elephant towel animal.  Scott posed the towel animal with a cookie.

 

 

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We went to the casino for a little while.

 

We saw the 11pm late night comedy show with Kivi Rogers.  He was funny but I thought his show last night was funnier.

 

We went back to the casino for a while before heading up to the cabin.

Edited by Noreen411

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Tuesday 2/5/19 - At Sea

 

We both went to the gym around 6:45 this morning.

 

I stopped at the Patisserie and got an iced white chocolate mocha (no whipped cream) and a bottle of water.  They don’t have small iced cups for the mocha, so I got the grande size (the size it would be at Starbucks).  That’s a bit more than I actually wanted to drink so unfortunately, some of it gets thrown away.

 

After showering and getting dressed we went to the dining room for breakfast about 9am.  

 

 

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I had banana pancakes which I liked since the bananas were actually baked into the pancake.  Scott had a bagel with lox and cream cheese.  In addition to ordering breakfast from the menu, there is also a buffet with breakfast items.  We got some fruit from the buffet.  Scott also got a few sausages.

 

After breakfast we walked around the track since it is much nicer out and sunny.

 

 

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We went to the Top Tier event at 11am in the theater.  Terry Lavelle (the performer who plays Spectre in Spectre’s Cabaret) performed a few songs.  It was more crowded than I expected.  I was hoping they would have talked a bit about future ships or future plans for the Crown and Anchor program since we keep hearing rumors of changes coming, but they didn’t.  

 

 

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Forgot to mention this earlier, but the dining room menu is posted on the TV daily.  Rajiv (our waiter from Coastal Kitchen) told us that if we see something we like on the dining room menu he can get it for us.

 

We went to the casino for a little bit.

 

At 2:30 we went to the theater to see We Will Rock You.  We always enjoy this show and have seen it several times already.

 

After the show we sat on our balcony reading and/or playing on the internet.  Scott fell asleep for a little while.   We really like the lounge chairs on the balcony in this cabin; they are very comfortable.  We like that they are real lounge chairs rather than a chair and footrest.  

 

We showered and changed for dinner.  We ended up chatting with our room steward Simeon for a bit.

 

We were a little early for dinner so were walking around the pool deck.  The movie showing was about a wolf and in some shots the wolf reminded me of our dog Kiki that we miss so much since she passed away a few years ago.  

 

 

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The below picture is Kiki.  She was an Akita and the sweetest dog.  We both miss her.

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Edited by Noreen411

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Tuesday 2/5/19 - At Sea - Continued

 

We had dinner at Coastal Kitchen.

 

 

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For appetizers, Scott had the Scallop Carpaccio and Shrimp Cocktail.  I had the Braised Beef Gnocchi.  We both enjoyed our appetizers.  

 

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For our entrees, Scott had the Oven roasted Cod.  I had the Veal Cannelloni.  I also tried a small piece of the grilled tofu but didn’t like it.

 

 

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We both had the Grand Mariner Soufflé from the dining room for dessert (we saw it on the menu on the TV in the cabin).  The Soufflé was OK, but I think it needed to be cooked a little more.  Below is the dessert menu from Coastal Kitchen even though we didn’t order from it.

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I went to see Spectre’s Cabaret at 9 and Scott went to the casino.   Since I arrived pretty close to showtime, it was crowded.  I was able to find one of the bar stools at the back of the theater.    We have seen this several times.  I enjoyed it.

 

I met Scott in the casino after the show.

 

 

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Scott keeps leaving his cell phone places but luckily has been able to find it or get it back pretty quickly.  It’s become a bit of a running joke that he keeps leaving behind. He normally isn’t forgetful with his phone like that.

 

I went up to the cabin around 1 but we had to move the clocks ahead making it 2am.  Scott came up a little later and was hungry.  He ordered a hot dog and a cheesesteak from room service.  He was not thrilled with either one.  I thought the French fries were good and crispy.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Day 4 Compass and Planner

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Puerto Rico Map

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Edited by Noreen411

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Undoubtedly the best ship review I have read. Why has it stood at page 2, I  want to keep reading. 

Couple of questions I would appreciate your opinion on -

which shows do you have to book, which do you just turn up to

If on late sitting, are the shows before dinner or after

best place for breakfast

how do you calculate what time to order a cab when you disembark. Do not want to pay for him to sit waiting for us if we cannot get off at the time he arrives  

look forward reading more of your reviews

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6 hours ago, edgwaremike said:

Undoubtedly the best ship review I have read. Why has it stood at page 2, I  want to keep reading. 

Couple of questions I would appreciate your opinion on -

which shows do you have to book, which do you just turn up to

If on late sitting, are the shows before dinner or after

best place for breakfast

how do you calculate what time to order a cab when you disembark. Do not want to pay for him to sit waiting for us if we cannot get off at the time he arrives  

look forward reading more of your reviews

 

Hi

 

Thank you for the kind words about the review.  

 

There are 3 shows you should book in advance.  We Will Rock You, Spectre’s Caberet, and The Gift.  They will be offered at multiple times on different days so you can choose what works best for you.  You book them in advance of your sailing in the Cruise Planner.

 

The other shows you just show up to.  The times vary depending what else is going on that evening on the ship.  Some nights you will see a show listed with times at 6:30 and 8:30 so the late diners would go pre-dinner.  Other days you will see 8:30 and 10:30 so late dinners would go post-dinner.  Some other shows like a late night comedian or game show type thing would only be offered once.

 

The other things you should book in advance if you are interested is IFly and Northstar.  Also available in the cruise planner before sailing.  If interested the Escape Room sometimes is available to book in the cruise planner as well.   

 

We’ve always driven to Bayonne and don’t do self assist since we have so much luggage, but have been off the ship anywhere between 7:45 and 9 on our various trips on Anthem.  If you do self assist (carry your own luggage off) you can be off the ship earlier.   Of course things can happen to delay getting off, but I would say if you arrange a cab for 10am it gives you plenty of time to have breakfast and get off the ship.  I’m hoping others who have arranged cabs will chime in with their responses too.  Another option may be Uber or Lyft since you can get them on demand (assuming they pick up in Bayonne) and don’t have to pre-arrange a time.

 

Thank you

Noreen

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Wednesday 2/6/19 - Puerto Rico

 

I went to the gym in the morning and Scott slept in today.  With the time change, it was already almost 8am by the time I went.

 

I stopped at the Patisserie for my iced white mocha (no whipped cream) and bottle of water.  The baristas working there already know me and my order when they see me get in line.

 

After showering and getting dressed we went to 270 cafe for a more normal breakfast.  As nice as the dining room can be for breakfast we don’t normally eat such a big meal.  I had yogurt with granola and Scott had oatmeal.  He also had some Frosted Flakes and a bit of a chocolate covered donut.  

 

We stayed for the Veteran’s Get Together.  Scott is quietly proud and did not share his story of being in the Marines, but it was interesting to hear the others that did share their stories of service.  There were not any Marines that spoke up.  Both Rich and Scott were Marines and Rich commented later when we were talking about the get together that there were probably other Marines there, but in general they don’t usually talk about their service, but are quietly proud.  It was a very nice event and I’m glad to see Royal Caribbean taking the time to honor those that have served our country.  And other countries too since I think someone also spoke about their service but it wasn’t in the US.

 

We stopped on the pool deck to pick up beach towels for tomorrow and dropped them off in the cabin.  We hung out on the balcony for a while.

 

We pulled into San Juan a little earlier than scheduled.  

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We walked around Old San Juan.  We found the street covered with colorful umbrellas.

 

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We stopped at La Bombonera and got a Mallorca to go.  We ended up not trying it until the next morning and it was a bit stale by then so after we each took a bite we threw it out.  It probably would have been really good fresh.

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While walking around we bought a Tshirt and a Sweatshirt for Scott, an ornament, a post card, and cute placemats.  The weather is really nice; it’s not too hot or humid.  

 

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When we got back on the ship we put on our bathing suits and went  to the pool.  It started to rain so we went to the indoor pool/hot tub for a while.

Edited by Noreen411

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Wednesday 2/6/19 - Puerto Rico - Continued

 

We showered and changed for dinner at Coastal Kitchen.

 

 

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For appetizers, Scott had the Seafood Veloute.  I had the crab cake.  I really like the presentation of the Veloute.  The bowl comes out with some seafood on a little piece of bread, then they pour the liquid over it.

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For entrees, Scott had the Roasted Lamb Loin and I had the grilled Barramundi.  Rajeev also brought us cheese tortellini to share.  We both enjoyed our entrees.  The tortellini  was good but very heavy so we each only had a bite or two of that.

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For dessert Scott had chocolate cake and I had the Vacherin.

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We walked around the deck a bit then stopped at the Windjammer to get some cookies to bring back to the cabin.

 

We had a bat towel animal tonight.

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We watched some TV and started dozing off.

 

We woke up as we were starting to pull away from San Juan so we watched from the balcony.  

 

Scott went down to the casino when they opened at 11:30pm tonight.

Edited by Noreen411

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Day 5 Compass and Planner

 

 

 

 

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St Maarten Map

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Edited by Noreen411

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Thank you for posting.  We've been on Anthem once but only a 5 day.  Your itinerary is MUCH better.  We love the Southern Caribbean.  I am enjoying your review and dreaming about our next cruise!

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Thursday 2/7/19 - St Maarten

 

We both went to the gym around 6am when they opened.

 

After my normal stop at the Patisserie, we showered and got dressed.  

 

Our beach bag was packed and ready.

 

We went to the Windjammer for breakfast.

 

We didn’t arrive in St Maarten until 10:30am.  

 

 

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We took a cab to Divi Little Bay arriving about 11:30am.  We shared a cab with people from an MSC ship and a Princess ship.  The cab driver wanted us all to agree on a time to return.  We don’t stay too long at the beach and everyone else wanted to go back around 3.  I doubted we would stay that long.  We paid for the one way trip since we would have a different driver back since he didn’t want to come back just for us when everyone else was staying later.

 

It was crowded at Divi Little Bay.  We were able to get 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella but there weren’t many left.  

 

We swam and snorkeled.  We sat on the beach a bit.  We walked down the beach.  We swam a little more.  We were ready to go by 1:30 so changed back to our clothes and got a cab back.  

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At the pier we found some T shirts for Scott.

 

We bought a box of chocolates and 2 bags of chocolate dipped cookies that are kind of like wafers with caramel inside from the Belgian Chocolate Shoppe at the pier.

 

We stopped and sat at the GuavaBerry stand and had a GuavaBerry Colada.

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We got back on the ship after enjoying our drink.  

 

It’s great that you can swap out your old wet/sandy towels for new clean ones right as you enter the ship so we did that.

 

Back in the cabin we emptied the beach bag and repacked it for tomorrow.  We washed out our bathing suits and hung them to dry as well as our snorkel gear.  

 

We hung out on the balcony for a while.

 

Later we showered and got dressed for dinner and made a stop at the casino.

Edited by Noreen411

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Thursday 2/7/19 - St Maarten - Continued

 

We met Rich and Eileen at Coastal Kitchen for dinner.

 

 

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For appetizers, Scott had the Tuna Tartar and shrimp cocktail;  Eileen and I both had the Octopus; Rich had Tomato Mozzarella.  We all enjoyed our appetizers.

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For entrees Eileen had the green vegetable curry, Rich and I had the Short Rib, and Scott had the Duck.  Rajeev brought an order of the pasta for the table.  The short rib was very good.  Sometimes they can be too fatty, but this one was good.  Scott thought his duck was a little on the dry side.

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For dessert I had the ricotta cheesecake, Scott had coconut custard, Rich had apple pie, and Eileen had chocolate cake.  I liked my ricotta cheesecake.  Scott wasn’t thrilled with the custard, it was just OK.

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We went back to the casino after dinner.

 

We planned to go to the juggler show but were having fun playing in the casino and missed it.  We stayed in the casino until they closed.

Edited by Noreen411

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Day 6 Compass and Planner

 

 

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Antigua Map

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Edited by Noreen411

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Friday 2/8/19 - Antigua

 

I went the gym this morning around 6 and Scott slept in.

 

After my usual stop at the Patisserie we showered, got dressed, and packed our back for the beach.

 

We had breakfast in the Windjammer

 

We got off the ship and walked towards the meeting spot for the arranged cab to Beach Limerz at 9:30

 

 

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It took a while for them to get organized and get us in a cab.  We were at the beach around 10am.  The driver wanted us to agree on a time to go back to the ship.  Most people said 3 or 3:30.  We were the odd ones that asked to go back at 1.

 

 

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It’s very pretty at Beach Limerz with a nice breeze.  Everyone was in the restaurant/bar area while they reviewed who was on pay as you go vs all inclusive.  We did the pay as you go.  Once sorted everyone was brought out to get situated in their lounge chairs.

 

 

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The lounge chairs are hard plastic ones and are not very comfortable.  However, it’s not crowded and the views are great.

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The water was cold and on the rough side.  Last year when we were here the water was also very rough and one of the guys in the group dislocated his finger after getting hit by a wave.  We were told it’s not normally like that so we wanted to come back.  Scott went to the hospital with the guy that dislocated his finger so he didn’t get to spend the day here last year.

 

Scott went in the water for a bit.  I only saw one other person in the water wile we were there and they didn’t go in too far.

 

 

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We walked down the beach.  We hung out for a while on our chairs and I read my kindle and Scott tried to take a nap.  There was such a nice breeze it was a bit chilly.

 

We were ready to go a little before 1 so we changed back to our clothes and reminded the bartender we wanted a cab back at 1.  He called and the cab arrived may 10 after 1 and took us back to the pier.

 

As pretty and uncrowded and nice as the people working there are, I don’t think we’ll go back.  We do not usually eat at the beach so while we heard the food was good we didn’t partake.  We were not able to enjoy the water since it was cold and rough.  I thought last year the rough water was an anomaly but after two tries, we will have to try another place.  We could not really enjoy hanging out for long since the chairs were uncomfortable.

 

I know this sounds negative, but it’s really a great place.  It just didn’t work for us.

 

Back at the pier we found a T shirt for Scott.  Surprisingly, we could not find a postcard.  I don’t buy them to mail; I like to use them when I print out pictures of the trip and put them in an album.  I use the postcard of the island to show where those pictures start.  It is usually a much better picture than one I could take and includes the islands name.

 

Once back on the ship we were hungry and trying to decide where to eat lunch.  Jamie’s Italian is closed fo lunch on port days.  We tried Bock and Bull (the new pub that replaced Michael’s)

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Friday 2/8/19 - Antigua - continued

 

OK - I was trying to add text to the above pictures and the system timed out and would not let me add the commentary so I’m adding it here to go with the above pictures.

 

At Bock and Bull for lunch we shared the Lobster Mac and Cheese and each ordered a burger.  We both had soda.  It was empty with only one other customer there.

 

We asked for them to not include the aioli on the burger since we didn’t know if we would like it.  I also don’t like any kinds of sauce on my burgers like ketchup as they often make the bun soggy.  So I said no ketchup either on the burger, just on the side.  The bartender laughed at me when our burgers were delivered since I took it apart and put it back together as there were too many toppings and it was huge.

 

We were pleasantly surprised by the food.  It was very good.  The burgers were huge.  We should have shared one as each of us only ate about half of our burgers.

 

Back at the cabin we unpacked the beach bag, washed the bathing suits and hung them to dry.

 

We sat on the balcony and Scott dozed off for a bit.  When he woke up he went to the gym since he didn’t go this morning.

 

I was standing at the balcony railing and our neighbors said “Hi”.  JR and Paula were our neighbors.  I hung out talking with them the whole time Scott was at the gym.  When he returned he joined us and we all hung out chatting for a while longer.  You meet the nicest people on cruises.

 

We had to start getting ready for dinner.

 

Our dry cleaning was delivered when we were out earlier.  The regular bag of laundry was delivered while I was out on the balcony chatting away with the neighbors.

Edited by Noreen411

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