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Armonia July 1st to 8th review


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Good afternoon,

   I'll do this a day or 2 at a time. We drove from Atlanta to Ruskin, Flordia on Sun, June 30th and stayed in a hotel on the bay. We could see the port of Tampa and watched a carnival ship sail off... we got up Mon, ate at a Bob Evans  and drove the about 4 hrs to Miami. Miami traffic is horrible..just an fyi... we drive was fine till we hit that. We arrived about 1:30 (our papers said after 3 but having cruises multiple lines we ignored that) , handed off luggage and got inside. We waited maybe 10 min and got to check in. We got a pic and was on board around 2. We headed up to our room 1108 and got right in. We had a fantastica suite on deck 10. We originally booked a balcony and when prices dropped, called our TA and got the better cabin. Walk in closet and plenty of storage space. Bathroom with tub. We unpacked a little and headed up to buffet. MSC needs some improvement here. The buffet doesn't really have good flow... and the so called stations need better organizing. I.e. the toast/bagels sections is after you hit condiments forcing you to back track to get them.

 

I got pizza outside at the pizza station. I got plain cheese and some 4 cheese one that had blue cheese. Very good. I would proceed to get pizza for lunch or snack every day starting on Wed. I got salad and figured out the drink station finally (some have drinks, ice or got water and some don't) 

 

Went back to cabin, got rest of luggage inside which had been delivered and unpacked. Went exploring... found spa, gelato (had raspberry), went and got my card activiated and put some cash down on my account and then went back for muster drill.

 

 

Another area MSC could stand to improve, muster drill... 

 

Most lines you meet in a lounge and listen to instructions and watch how to put on life jacket..

 Yeah... they made us go outside in the heat, crammed together with life jackets in hands.  Several ppl asked if they need life jackets and some crew said no or something. Obviously a language barrier... more on that later... the overhead announcements finally came on and gave instructions which sent many back to cabin to grab life jackets for the rest of their family..

 

Lots of reminders you had to attend and finally they started (we were all sweaty by this point) the torture finally ended and several of us just waited inside in lounge for congestion to die down. After going back to cabin, taking a bath and changing it was time for dinner.

 

We had table 631 in La Pergolia anytime dinning. We had Caesar and Nakkita, who were awesome. We enjoyed dinner, dad and I both ordered a Miami Vice, drink of day, after the muster drill stress... 😁

 

 

We had our cruise critic invite for the next day and mom and dad had their ship pen gift in room. (Status Match gold)

 

Mom was exhausted but dad and I went to show and loved it. I went to bed after.

 

Day 2, seas day, Elegant night- woke up early and watched the sun rise. They do move tables and chairs around 6am on Lido and our group of cabins is under that... fyi... didn't really bother us though.

 

Went to dinning room for breakfast... I had scrambled eggs with cheese... the ONLY thing I ordered on ship and really didn't like... eggs. I had them again another day and gave up. Just didn't like the taste. Not sure why. We explored, looked in shops. MSC has lemoncello, which is hard to find in states. They have a special label and it was 2 bottles for 22. We got them to take home. 

 

Dad went down to guest services to move 100 of the OBC to my account... yeah... the guy acted confused and we should've checked later but I didn't get a print out till Fri and realized the didn't do it. We did go down and talk to a different person who got it done...

 

Fyi.. Several crew members don't understand English well... so make sure you talk to someone who does if you need answer or something done... not a big deal but something you should know.

 

Cruise Critic party- was a blast. I included some pics of the snacks and the official pic, which I did have to go to photo gallery and ask for. 35 had signed up, 7 of us came. The rest missed out. We had fun and the crew who came were nice and chatty. Eric was our cruise director, new to Armonia and MSC... (He has worked with other lines) he came and sat and chatted with my family for a bit and then the lady...from India..csnt remember her name. She's the food and beverage manager or restaurant management one. Both super nice. We had food, drinks and cake. Eric asked about any issues or comments and mom mentioned the horrible muster drill compared to other lines, he said he'd pass that along...

 

I had booked a spa thing so went and set times for my 30 min massage and facial for next morning since we didn't get to Roatan till noon.

 

We are lunch in dinning room. I had Philly cheessteak, fried mozzarella bites and cheesecake with chocolate sauce. All good. 

 

Rested, watched the Cuban coastline in view (pictured below) and noted how close but yet far we were...

 

Got cleaned up and dressed up for Elegant night. Show was 3 times so got our new drinks in lounge (from 5 to 6, bars and lounges on decks 5 and 6) and went to early show... French Follies... was good. A lot of French singing and early show not full. Went to dinner and then dad and I did pic with Captain (see below). Benjamin, the international host from France directed traffic. He was nice and we mentioned having traveled to Bordeaux  and Paris before. The captain was also very nice and chatted with us a bit. Couldn't resist mentioning our trip to Italy and how much we loved it. We turned in after that.

 

I have to say all the crew we saw at CC party and there, they all made sure to say hi and all whenever we saw them throughout the cruise. 

 

Up next day 3, Roatan and surf and Turf dinner.

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Day 3, Roatan. The previous day I had went to shore excursions and asked about Roatan excursions. I wanted to go near the Run company as a friend wanted some specific rum (mango) from this company.  I talked to the lady and explained. She looked it up and said the glass bottom boat and West end village would be close by and I could walk. Apparently she was confused. On the tour the guide said it was 30 min away, opposite end. I'd like to thin she just didn't understand versus trying to sell an excursion.... anyways onto the day.

 

 

I woke early again. We went back an hour first night and again the previous night so my internal clock was all off. I went and grabbed my coffee from Jackie, I had the dark chocolate latte this time and got it to go as I wanted to grab breakfast in buffet before my 8am appt in spa. I got there a few min early. The girl did an excellent job, asked once or twice about the softness or hardness I wanted and was silent. Facial was by same girl and just as quiet. I had been warned ahead about not being able to add additional tips in so brought some cash which I handed to her on my way out. I got a card to come back and do thermal suite later as I didn't want to do it then.

 

I went back to cabin, which was cleaned up and we went for arts and crafts which I did. Dream catcher. Then we got some gelato and waited for buffet. The paper said dinning room would open at noon and as we all had to meet for excursions at 1pm, we opted for buffet. I waited in line for that yummy pizza. As i sat down with plate, they came on and said dinning room was open and empty for all those who wanted to come down (really, should have said it would open early sooner) 

 

We got ready and met. Mom decided the night before to join me so we were group 19. We had two separate bus loads.

 

Dad did the hiking and monkey thing. It's marked as moderate but he said it was strenuous so beware... he came back really tired. MSC needs to work on excursion descriptions being accurate as well... More on that later...

 

I posted pics from glass bottom boat which wasn't glass bottom... The bottom as under water, you walked down and sat on these narrow seats that come down and Windows on either side are glass... it was better in my opinion than a true glass bottom. It took a bumpy 30 min bus ride to get to boat. After we drove a couple min further to restaurant and shopping. They had lemonade and tea for us. I drank it and proceeded to walk ten min to liquor shop. They had dark rum by Bacardi that I hadn't seen in states before (not the I've bought before... We have dark rum but this was different) they don't do plastic bags and didn't have ant bags so I thought darn... can't carry it back without something.... next door was a gift shop... They had reusable, recycled woven bags... 4 dollars... bingo! Got it and went back for rum. When I got back to restaurant, I was hot and sweaty.  (Mom stayed there and didn't walk all that way) I ordered a rum and coke and chilled till time to board bus. We got close to ship before our last stop, cameo factory. Very nice but they are all 30 buck min so beware and bring enough cash for it if you want one. Mom got a nice hummingbird one for grandma.

 

Got to ship, went through xray machine with stuff and no body took my rum, no table to take it too or anything (heard about that on here so didn't really surprise me) stored my rum and got cleaned up. Dad got back right before the 5:30 deadline (tour started late) he got cleaned up and we went down for our surf and Turf dinner... Mom is a vegetarian so didn't go, she was also wore out. She grabbed a little food after we got back and then rested. This was the Beatles tribute night... 

 

Eric mentioned that MSC has flown these guys in from UK for our cruise and one after before they'd go back so we were excited...

 

We had 6:30 reservations but go there early and got seated. Fyi... They don't have tap water here. Only bottled so you get charged for it.

 

We had crab cake (pictured and yes the flower is edible), lobster and steak and tj3 cheesecake with rum sauce (also pictured and to die for)  the lady from India came by and checked on us (from cruise critic party... wish I could remember her name) she asked about mom and we explained she's a vegetarian so it would be a waste for her (she doesn't eat seafood either).

 

Took us an hour maybe... We also had the 15 percent discount from the tasting earlier the day before (line was too long so we just called to make reservations and skipped the tasting but they let us have discount) 

 

Note they also offered discount key West night and I believe Cozumel...

 

We grabbed mom and headed to show... it filled up fast. The group was good and we enjoyed it. They really looked like the young Beatles too... lol... off to bed for day 4 and Costa Maya...

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Edited by AerynSun_JohnCrighton
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Day 4, Costa May, we went forward an hour during the early morning hours...

 

  Up early again. Mom and I went for coffee in San Marco, had the white chocolate latte this time. We went to dinning room for breakfast where I got eggs for the last time. Just didn't like the taste. Dad had a snorkel so had to meet early.

 

We got back to cabin and found him. His had been cancelled due to waters and seagrass everywhere. I had booked the port pass so he decided to do that as well.

 

It was 6 of us. Our guide showed us around the port, pointing out different things and showed us the tequila factory and how to sign up for the tour included in our pass, showed us the chocolate factory and how to sign up, showed us the bird aviary with suspension bridges and explained it was about a 45 min to 1 he thing depending on time we took in each habitat. Showed us where to get 3 dollar tacos and finally the bar where we got up to 3 drinks... water, soda, virgin or cocktails...

 

The drinks were not mentioned in excursion descriptions... but you get 3. Dad and I got water and then our guide suggested we do chocolate first, then bird and tequila last and asked for any questions and we were off on our own. Our whole group decided to do chocolate first. It was fun and interactive. We tried out some chocolate and dad and I decided to walk around. The others went on to bird. We then did the bird aviary. It was neat, you get a cup of seeds to use. Some of the habaitiats the birds didn't care (like the first group and 2nd to last) but the rest came down and landed on you and ate. The last group of parakeets are the most aggressive. Nothing dangerous but more like greedy...

 

After that we decided it was taco time. I got the chicken fajita and steak ones. 6 bucks. They had sauce, onions and limes to add. Very good. We then went to get our second drink, we choose a margarita.

 

We then caught up to the rest of our group for the tequila tour. It was also nice and when I showed them a pic of a tequila my friend wanted, they showed me right where it was. After tour, we bought our tequila and they wrapped them up good with bubble wrap and all. It was HOT, so we decided to get ice cream. It was only 2 scoops, they didn't do single. I got mango and coconut, dad chocolate and mango. Very good. We then got our 3rd drink. He got a mango margarita, I got a blue Hawaiian,  Mexican style (Vodka instead of rum). It was great. We chilled by bar and got Wi-Fi and downloaded some pics and such for a few min and then it was 2pm, we went back to chocolate to make purchases (you could do earlier and they'd keep till you were ready to go back but we waited as we didn't know what we wanted yet) and back to ship.

 

I had a nap, the show was Adams family and we didn't care about seeing it so we just had dinner, looked at shops and called it a night. 

 

 

Up next Cozumel, Italian night and Jose Curveo tequila tasting and tour at Discover Mexico.

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Day 5, Cozumel. I was awake by 6am. We all went and got coffee with Jackie Lou, I had the dark chocolate latte again, mom and dad had excursion earlier than me. We went to buffett and they headed down to the theatre for their Atlantis submarine excursion. It's one that a little pricey but with the credit from missing Cuba they decided to try and enjoyed. I went to guest services to get a print out and discovered the OBC hadn't been moved over. As mentioned earlier we went back later that day and got it fixed.

 

I had chosen to do the Jose Curveo tequila tasting and tour at Discover Mexico excursion. The description talks about tasting tequila and learning about it, snacks and the museum and cultural show.... yeah... there's a lot more to it. 

 

 

It was 4 of us so pretty intimate group. Carlos was our guide. We headed out with the chocolate making crew and had to wait for 2 more at security to join us. We walked through mall and boarded a taxi. Carlos kept up a steady stream of information on the way there. Once we got there, he passed the chocolate group to their guide and we went to side to learn more about the agave plant. We had a small margarita (about 1/3 size) and walked to see an actual plant off a few feet. Then we entered the tasting room.

 

We had 3 glasses pictured and a plate with 2 crackers, 2 lime peels, some chocolate and 2 cinnamon sticks, coffee beans and glasses of water. He gave us some history and then told us most people drink it wrong... It's not supposed to be shot. 

 

Then we took a coffee bean and broke it to smell, to clear our nose.  Ate part of cracker and drank water. We poured a little of the white 1800 on our hands to feel real tequila. It's smooth, like lotion, not sticky, it's part of the aloe family. We sniffed, smelled the lime peal and sniffed again and then tasted, swishing around and swallowing. Waited as he talked and did again, the third sip you hold for 3 seconds and then swallow. It takes 3 sips to actually fully taste. 

 

We repeated that process starting with coffee bean for 2nd but without the lime. On the third we broke cinnamon sticks and sniffed and tasted with chocolate. Very interesting and good.

 

 

After we sat down and had a full sized passion fruit margarita with pepper rim (pictured below also not in MSC description) and looked in shop to buy stuff and then went through the small art museum. Then he showed us to taco bar, tacos, beans, catus blend, carrots, peppers, different sauces and such. You got beer, soda or water as well. The taco bar is a full lunch and also not in MSC descriptions. The four of us discussed that omission and told Carlos, who told his boss who came to us and we told him, it wasn't in the print. (I Did add that onto my end of cruise survey MSC sent me)

We saw the show, it's like 10 min tops (see pics below) and then we picked up our purchases and Carlos said bye as he handed us into taxi to go back.

 

I walked by myself as the other wanted to shop in mall area. I was tired. I got back on board and grabbed some gelato. I took a nap and got a slice of pizza around 4pm for a snack.

 

It was Italian night. It was good. I had the rice balls with mozzarella and sauce, salad and lasagna. We all opted for the Lemon Delight (pictured below) made with lemoncello cream. Very good.

 

I was stuffed and tired from 3 days of excursions so didn't go to show. I walked around a little and then went to bed. 

 

Up next, day 6 sea day and welcome back party with 2nd elegant night.

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Sail away from Cozumel pictured below.

 

Day 6, sea day. We got up and had breakfast in main dinning room, ours, La Pergolia. They had specials, a Spanish vegetable omelette mom enjoyed and shrimp and grits, dad and I enjoyed. I asked for cheese in mine and it came out good. Don't miss It! The shops had ran the 2 for 20 destination t-shirts and I got a Caribbean sailing, MSC, kick back and relax in paradise (blue and green, very pretty) and Key West ones. 

 

Disembarkarion talk was this am. Eric suggested one family member attend and it was only about 20 min. Talked about customs in Key West and such... it was funny when he talked about liquor.  He asked who bought some, like 3 of us raised hands... Don't know if no one else had or they were shy... He proceeded to tell us it would he delivered next night and if you bought on ship you picked up at liquor store next night. Dad and I had a good laugh since they didn't confiscate the rum, tequila or the 2 beers he got in Cozumel... lol

 

 

La Pergolia was open for lunch so we went. I had artichoke and spinach dip, my favorite and meatball sandwich (was good but could use a bit more sauce on it), mom and I skipped dessert as it was same thing from before and opted to leave dad and go get gelato.

 

Another nap and relaxation in cabin, along with waving to Cuba as we passed by...

 

Our welcome back party was 5:15, so I got dressed early (2nd elegant night) and went up for a slice of pizza. (I don't drink on empty stomach) 

 

There was line as everyone wanted the margaharita pizza. They pulled it out of oven and put another in. It was gone within 3 ppl as most were taking several slices. I thought this was tacky of them considering the line, they could always come back for more in a few min. I only got once slice, ate it and returned to cabin. 

 

The maintenance guy came to do something to bathroom so we left and got to party a few min ahead of schedule. They let us in within 5 min and we were given champagne. There was music and then several crew spoke...

 

They took pics. I got a 2nd glass and we headed to dinner. We ate pretty fast and ended about 7, so went to early show. This was one called The Greatest and featured songs from Broadway. I enjoyed it but was disappointed there was nothing from Les Miserables. I'd have preferred that to the Moulin Rouge one...

 

After show, we walked a bit and then I went to bed. 

 

I did try the Blue Hawaiian the night before during dinner... It was good. 

 

Up next, Key West, US customs and packing...

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Edited by AerynSun_JohnCrighton
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You mentioned on day 3 Roatan, they had surf and turf..Was that on the regular dining room menu for all dining rooms. Was the surf a lobster tail and could you get more than one, since I assume it was small. Also the cc meet and greet was held on the 2nd day of the cruise..correct...thanks

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Just now, jamon said:

You mentioned on day 3 Roatan, they had surf and turf..Was that on the regular dining room menu for all dining rooms. Was the surf a lobster tail and could you get more than one, since I assume it was small. Also the cc meet and greet was held on the 2nd day of the cruise..correct...thanks

I said we went to Surf and Turf. It's the only specialty restaurant on this ship. You can order it for 23? From dinning room but we wanted to try the other stuff on menu as well... It's 35 per person but they do offer 15 percent discount on certain nights.

 

The party was the first sea day, 2nd day on ship if you count boarding day.

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OK..do you know if in the regular dining rooms if they serve lobster tail like they do on most cruise lines, without an up charge? Or what the main courses were on the two dress up nights, since this is typically when cruise lines would serve it..thanks😄 

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57 minutes ago, jamon said:

OK..do you know if in the regular dining rooms if they serve lobster tail like they do on most cruise lines, without an up charge? Or what the main courses were on the two dress up nights, since this is typically when cruise lines would serve it..thanks😄 

You do know most cruise lines have stopped that right? 

 

 The first formal night I had some lobster ravioli. The night 3, when we went to Surf and Turf, I believe there was a fishman's plate in the main dinning room that might have some lobster something on it. The 2nd formal night, no. 

 

@Beamafar has the menus on their review. 

 

 

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Day 7, Key West

 

Up early and getting passport and stuff together. I was group U For customs. All US citizen went to La Pergolia so it wasn't open for breakfast, non-us went to theatre.

 

Dad had snorkeling so he had priority ticket to go get checked. I went to buffett and got some waffles and chocolate croissants and came back and ate (love the chocolate croissants) dad left and I waited... They called letters... A, C, E, G, I, K, M... etc was us... B, D, F, H etc was non-us... Don't ask why... by letter O... I had moved to photo gallery to wait... a passing crew saw me and told me to go on it... I didn't have wait... They barely looked at my passport... didn't ask about liquor or anything and sent me on my way.  Mom and I headed out to shop. 

 

We walked a bit and there's a big building with several stores. We looked through them. One is the butterfly conservatory store. There is a blue cat and red dog too store but it wasn't open. It was HOT, so we headed back. I went to get frozen coffee but it wasn't open and wouldn't open till noon... darn...

 

I bought a bottle of spring water (my ankles were swelling with the salt, heat and all the walking during the week), I waited and rested then got gelato again when it opened. I ate it up on deck and chilled. I then decided to try the drink of the day... coco loco... pina colada sorta with mango... I went to pool bar. Got it and the guy gave me an extra glass with another ounce or two... I asked for receipt... he said something about the machine and my card (didn't quite understand) but it was free for some reason...

 

I drank it by pizza and then grabbed a couple slices. After lunch, I headed back to cabin. Dad arrived about 20 min later from his excursion...

 

He Got cleaned up and ate lunch and then we headed out to go to Kermit's. It was cloudy and kinda spitting a little rain by now. He walked me like 20 min to the place... I was hungry by then. I got my slice and he did too. We ate and he wanted to get the chocolate covered kind and went back to get it (we were still there but in the eating area) some baby chickens came walking by ( Pictured below). A rooster keep hollering as well. There's a Hemingway rum distillery a couple feet away. We went it and tasting are free. The bottles are expensive.. The dark is 45 but it's several kinds put together...

 

We walked back towards ship. We went in the car store, it was open. I missed my baby so wanted to grab him something. I got a little cat nip toy for 2 bucks... and a magnet for me.. (pictured below)

 

We stopped and took a pic of front of ship when we were close. Benjamin was walking back as well. Key West was only stop that checked picture id... All the rest just looked at your cruise card and waved you on...

 

 

Got back and thought about packing. We had a rose tag which was 10am but Atlanta is 10 drive (without stopping for food and bathroom) so dad went down and got us lime 1... 8:10... much better...

 

I grabbed a chocochino... finally... Dad got the photo from party night before of the 3 of us (gold members get it free).

 

Everyone was supposed to be back on ship by 5:30...  5:45 (we were on balcony watching) two ladies and child leisurely walking through and stopping to look at things... not sure if they didn't know the time or what...

 

Few min later 2 guys come running through... obviously they knew they were late. After that the ropes were let go and we shoved off..

 

Between all the walking (16,000 steps in Key West according to my Samsung health app) and needing to pack and the menu not looking thrilling. We opted for buffet. 

 

I had gotten cruise thank you cards off Amazon. We used these to give extra tips for some of the crew.

 

I had my last pizza... plus some other stuff... then off to finish packing. 

 

MSC logo store opened at 7:30... There was a line and the store is tiny... They need to make it bigger or put stuff out on deck like the t-shirts and stuff earlier. I got a magnet and pen.

 

My last purchase on ship. We skipped show. 

 

Mon morning we got up dressed and got the last few things in carryon. Ate buffet and waited to be called. The one crew member was directing folks off the ship, he keep saying home this way... one time he said wrong way... Mom got tickled at him, so when we were called dad looked at him and jokingly said.. home is this way right? 

 

 

We were off the ship, with luggage and in car by 8:40. No customs as we did day before in Key West. Traffic was thick for a min but thinned out. We were home by 9pm. We ran into several ran showers as well...

 

Overall a great cruise. Most kids were ok. You could hear running on lido deck from time to time but not a big deal. The only issue I saw was 2nd night show. A family in front row let their kids climb all over the stage and grab stuff and bang on stuff. I couldn't believe MSC didn't say anything...

 

I was waiting for the kids to break something... wonder what that bill would have been...

 

 

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Thank you for your review and photos.  We will be going on the Meraviglia out of NY and was wondering how the formal night on the Armonia was ( thinking they will be similar).  Were people very dressed up or is a dress shirt for my husband and dressy pants and top good for me?  We have never been on MSC.  Thank you

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26 minutes ago, jimbri said:

Thank you for your review and photos.  We will be going on the Meraviglia out of NY and was wondering how the formal night on the Armonia was ( thinking they will be similar).  Were people very dressed up or is a dress shirt for my husband and dressy pants and top good for me?  We have never been on MSC.  Thank you

That's up to you. I saw lots of really dressy people (ties and bow ties... a few jackets and dresses/skirts) and several not as dressy...it seemed kinda spilt down the middle.... We dressed up and made dad get a tie in shop since he 'forgot his...

 

I'd been expecting not as many to be dressed up so was surprised it was as many as it was...

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4 hours ago, AerynSun_JohnCrighton said:

That's up to you. I saw lots of really dressy people (ties and bow ties... a few jackets and dresses/skirts) and several not as dressy...it seemed kinda spilt down the middle.... We dressed up and made dad get a tie in shop since he 'forgot his...

 

I'd been expecting not as many to be dressed up so was surprised it was as many as it was...

Thank you.  

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22 hours ago, AerynSun_JohnCrighton said:

 

I had gotten cruise thank you cards off Amazon. We used these to give extra tips for some of the crew.

 

 Can you please elaborate on the above. Did you purchase cruise themed thank you notes and insert cash, or did you actually purchase amazon gift cards? Seems like a nice idea :)

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45 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 Can you please elaborate on the above. Did you purchase cruise themed thank you notes and insert cash, or did you actually purchase amazon gift cards? Seems like a nice idea 🙂

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GZC47MF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Just cards and we added cash. They are cute and talk about how grateful you are for the person making your cruise great... 

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2 minutes ago, Touringmom said:

Thanks for great review! What did you think of overall condition of the ship?

 

It looked ok. It's older so I didn't expect brand new look, some out of order public toilets, elevator buttons that didn't quite work right unless you pushed them hard etc... every time I turned around though, they were doing maintenance or painting etc on ship.

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13 minutes ago, AerynSun_JohnCrighton said:

 

It looked ok. It's older so I didn't expect brand new look, some out of order public toilets, elevator buttons that didn't quite work right unless you pushed them hard etc... every time I turned around though, they were doing maintenance or painting etc on ship.

 Thanks -  it’s going into dry dock a few weeks before we sail so hopefully that will be a nice refresh as well. 

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