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CHICAGOPAUL LIVE!!!!! 15 Night Bering Sea & Japan TRANSPACIFIC CRUISE - LIVE BLOG

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6 minutes ago, Cruisin4ABruisen said:

Hey Paul! Thanks again for the pictures. Have you noticed how busy the Solarium is on your cruise? Wondering if that would be a good place to chill. 

 

It definitely has been crowded in the Solarium. What I’ve noticed is the amount of seating is less than on S Class ships. At least that is how it looks. The pool in the Solarium has been closed the past few days due to the movement of the ship. But the hot tubs have still been open. 

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Happy Sunday morning from Blu. As I wait for our food to come out I figured I should post the Daily since I keep posting them late. Here you go! 

 

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Glad you are having a great time and meeting so many new friends. Maybe I missed it, but could you tell me who the cruise director is?

Norma

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Last night was dinner in Blu. We ate again with our friends so we had a table for 7 and Owenn was our waiter. We started with the fish cakes, followed by the grilled octopus and then we had the prime rib from MDR. 

 

The fish cake was quite good. Not sure what type of fish was used but it was tasty, similar to a crab cake. The grilled octopus was good. Not chewy but was lacking the awesome char that our octopus had in Luminae. 

 

I really liked the prime rib. The cook point of medium rare was perfect and it was served hot. The horseradish sauce on the side was excellent, as were the mashed potatoes that came with it. The green beans were good but they were just simple green beans. 

 

Meatloaf was on the menu. I asked Owenn about it and he pushed me towards the prime rib. It was a good call. Our friend at the table got it and it was...interesting. It almost tasted like canned food and had an interesting presentation coming out in hockey puck like form almost as if it came out of a can. I tried it and while there was plenty of flavor it was an interesting flavor to say the least. 

 

The entree took a while to come out. I think the MDR May have been a bit backed up getting things plated and caused the delay. The apple pie for dessert from the regular menu was excellent and was a huge piece. Very tasty. Nice crust. 

 

For wine last night Edward and I had the Grgich Hills Cabernet. Don’t think this is available by the glass. Not sure what the upcharge is but we will see. We’ve basically left our wine choices in Melwin’s hands and have let him surprise us each night. 

 

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37 minutes ago, h20cruzer said:

Glad you are having a great time and meeting so many new friends. Maybe I missed it, but could you tell me who the cruise director is?

Norma

 

Hey Norma! Steve is our cruise director. I can’t remember ever having him before. I’ll take a photo of him and post it. 

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We’ve been at the martini bar every evening before dinner but haven’t been there after dinner. Mainly because we’ve been in the casino either playing or at the casino bar and watching our friends play. Or the occasional night in Sky Lounge. The staff at Martini Bar has been very nice and knows our orders and most of everyone else’s too. Tada is the “Godfather” I guess you could say. He’s a very nice guy and can appear quiet but once he gets to know you he is much more out going. He does magic at the bar and actually good magic, not just silly stuff. I’ll try to video a few tricks for you. Here is a little flight he made for us. All of these came out of the same shaker! We do have video of it that I’ll post. 

 

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I also have been following and enjoying this travel blog.  Last September we were on the same itinerary from Vancouver to Yokohama followed by the next cruise around Japan.  These were the itineraries impacted by not one, but two typhoons.  Much excitement as the 200+ B2B passengers were evacuated off the Millennium and those planning to board were told to stay in their hotel rooms on what would have been embarkation day when Typhoon Trami hit Yokohama.  And then the itinerary not the second leg was impacted by Kong-Rei.  We had done three trans-Pacific taking the more southernly route through French Polynesia, but this was the first time we did the northern route.  We had so much fun we are also booked on the Eclipse in 2020 from Vancouver to Yokohama, and will leave the ship in Singapore.

 

Eagerly anticipating more of Paul's excellent reports.

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Hi Paul

 

We're currently on Equinox, also in AQ.  Tomorrow's menu has the meatloaf.  I suggested it to my picky wife and she said she would try it.  I guess she's going to change her mind now. LOL.   

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3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

Hey Norma! Steve is our cruise director. I can’t remember ever having him before. I’ll take a photo of him and post it. 

 

We had Steve the first week of August. He is very nice and personable. He did a presentation on the last day (after we did Hubbard Glacier) where he talked all about his travels, the lessons he has learned and the people he has met. It was a great way to spend an hour or so! 

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3 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

I also have been following and enjoying this travel blog.  Last September we were on the same itinerary from Vancouver to Yokohama followed by the next cruise around Japan.  These were the itineraries impacted by not one, but two typhoons.  Much excitement as the 200+ B2B passengers were evacuated off the Millennium and those planning to board were told to stay in their hotel rooms on what would have been embarkation day when Typhoon Trami hit Yokohama.  And then the itinerary not the second leg was impacted by Kong-Rei.  We had done three trans-Pacific taking the more southernly route through French Polynesia, but this was the first time we did the northern route.  We had so much fun we are also booked on the Eclipse in 2020 from Vancouver to Yokohama, and will leave the ship in Singapore.

 

Eagerly anticipating more of Paul's excellent reports.

 

We are looking at the Windy app now and it looks like a system might be running into Japan this upcoming weekend which I hope it doesn't since that can easily affect our flight back home. As much as I'd love to spend more time in Tokyo that is not how I want to do it! We're loving the cruise so far and really looking forward to Japan! 

 

2 hours ago, calicakes said:

Hi Paul

 

We're currently on Equinox, also in AQ.  Tomorrow's menu has the meatloaf.  I suggested it to my picky wife and she said she would try it.  I guess she's going to change her mind now. LOL.   

 

LOL, I was excited for it too! But when I went to order it Owenn gave me a look and said, I think you should get the prime rib. That's all I needed to hear! Haha. I think the other day they had meatloaf in the MDR for lunch that people liked but clearly it was not what they were serving in Blu. 

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Mid Cruise Review

 

Well, if we were to board the ship today it would be as if we are taking a 7 day cruise as we have 7 days to go! Today is our 6th straight sea day with two more sea days left before we reach our first port of Otaru in Japan. As we are just past the mid point in the cruise I want to take this time to do my mid cruise review and point out the positives and negatives of the cruise and give you my thoughts of what I’ve really enjoyed thus far.

 

Cabin: Let me start with the cabin itself, Aqua Class room 9042. The renovation is very nice. I think it’s beautiful, timeless, and the room feels bright and spacious and this is coming from someone whose last cruise was in a Royal! The bathroom is very small however the design is functional and very aesthetically pleasing. Traditional storage in the bathroom (such as covered shelves or drawers) is non existent but the shelving that is there is ample at least for our needs. What we did this cruise was keep things such as first aid kit, stain remover, emergency medicine, etc. in our luggage and just put out the essentials. This makes it much easier to get ready and helps keep us tidy in the bathroom. The ventilation in the shower is excellent. Even after taking a long hot shower there is no issue with steaming up the mirror, at least not until you open the shower door!

 

Our room attendant has been excellent. We rarely see him with the exception of the occasional hello, but that is exactly what you want from your room attendant. He knows our schedule and the room has been cleaned very well, laundry returned quickly, etc.

 

Cabin Noise: We have had some bizarre noises but nothing intrusive. Occasionally we have heard what sounds like water running in the cabin. The cabin door doesn’t seal as well as they should or could, so with that being said we hear the ocean some which to me is a positive thing, I love that sound, but I realize it might not be for everyone. Occasionally we will hear what sounds like a rolling cart above our cabin. None of these we have found as major issues at all, but just want to point them out.

 

Casino: This cruise we’ve spent a decent amount of time in the Casino given all the sea days and the fact that our friends on the ship are loving the casino. The majority of the casino staff have been excellent with a few dealers that are really very nice. The bartenders at the casino bar have been very quick and our favorite, Amitava, has been so very nice. Getting a drink at a table is extremely easy. The slots have been very tight on this cruise according to everyone we’ve talked to with the exception of one couple who put in $2 and won $800….twice!

 

I don’t think many of the casino tournaments have been attended well. I know they’ve announced them in the casino but they’ve been pretty hard to hear. We were planning to play the blackjack tournaments but didn’t seem like they were well attended at all.

 

Table play at night has been not to well attended though there is always one blackjack table full along with a couple poker tables. I haven’t seen anyone playing craps

 

Entertainment: We haven’t gone to any of the shows but we have seen some of the live music and have gone up to Sky Lounge in the evenings. We’ve also watched some of the beyond the podium speakers on TV. The daily has been full of things to do. Lots of speakers throughout the sea days on a variety of topics from nature to the brain to celebrities, etc. Live music throughout the ship has been pretty plentiful including the live band in the foyer, to music at care Bacio, etc. There is daily trivia that our friends have been attending every day and they’re decently picky people so it must be run well. I’ll ask them for the specifics and report back. I know they’re enjoying the music trivia.

 

Blu: We’ve been pretty happy overall with Blu and have little complaints. Yesterday was a bit of an off night with some peoples food not being too great (especially the meatloaf and meatloaf presentation) and then our entrees taking forever to arrive. However, in the whole scheme of things we’ve been very happy with Blu and have enjoyed almost every item we’ve ordered. breakfast has been great. This morning I had a very fluffy omelet. The manager and hostess continue to touch tables throughout the meal service. We also asked if one night we could have an Indian night in Blu and they said yes! We plan to do this the day after next so we will see how that goes. I look forward to letting you now how it all is!

 

Bars: Getting service at the bars has been no problem at all. The bartenders have all been great. Not too many people have drink packages on this cruise so that is the reason its so easy to get a drink. With that being said the bartenders have been excellent at checking on us as we sit there and asking us if we need another. They’ve been great at remembering our friends drinks and their special little changes they like to make to drinks. The staff outside at the Sunset Bar (Oceanview Bar, but I’m still falling it Sunset Bar) have been very friendly even on the rocky windy days when I know that’s the last place they’d want to be. Reddy has been very friendly, Randy one of the bar servers even went to find us blankets one day when we were cold, Roger from Jamaica (another bar server) always says hello.

 

Tada, Agus, Bagus, and Deni at the Martini bar have been great and very friendly. Amitava and Bagus at the Casino bar are great and Lionel, one of the bar servers, has been very friendly and we’ve had some great chats with him.

 

Cafe Al Bacio: Cafe Bacio has been pretty crowded during the mornings and early afternoon but service has been pretty quick. Routinely sitting down at a table (when we can find one) we are served almost right away and the staff has been extremely friendly. Even one of the assistant bar managers was helping out when it was busy, clearing tables and taking our order. The small tables around the grand foyer on deck 5 at al bacio are a bit on the small side, but they’re more comfortable than they look. It does make for fun people watching too and we always run into someone we know and have a quick chat.

 

Weather: We’ve had some rocky days. The past two we’ve specifically felt some good movement both side to side and up and down. It never bothered me but I know some people were not feeling too well. Some outside decks were closed and our balcony was getting hit with some sideways rain even though we have a decent overhang. After leaving Sitka the weather has been pretty coo. One day was quite chilly. Layers are needed! Today was not too bad and the sun has been back out most of the day thus far.

 

Cruise Director / Activity Staff: I’ve seen Cruise Director Steve out and about a bit. I watch the cruise director channel in the morning and I’ve been really happy with the way he explains about things not just going on the day of but also about things going on in the coming days which is great for planning. The activity staff throughout the ship has been very upbeat and friendly, especially when they’re running things in the Sky Lounge.

 

Sea Days: I know some of you have asked me how I’m enjoying all the sea days. I am loving them! Yes, things are getting a bit…monotonous but I’m loving every minute of it and doing my best to try not to take any of the day for granted. At any point if I find myself being bored, I need to understand I’m happy with the boredom. I like sitting at Cafe Bacio with Edward simply not talking and just staring out at sea or people watching. Sitting back and relaxing and watching the staff work around and sipping on some coffee or a drink is perfectly relaxing for me. Sitting here at the Casino bar typing this review for all of you is perfectly relaxing.

 

So I think it is now time for me to go play a little blackjack. Keep the questions coming! We have a whole 7 days to go and I’m excited to share them with you and show you our viewpoint of Japan!

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3 hours ago, Northern Aurora said:

I also have been following and enjoying this travel blog.  Last September we were on the same itinerary from Vancouver to Yokohama followed by the next cruise around Japan.  These were the itineraries impacted by not one, but two typhoons.  Much excitement as the 200+ B2B passengers were evacuated off the Millennium and those planning to board were told to stay in their hotel rooms on what would have been embarkation day when Typhoon Trami hit Yokohama.  And then the itinerary not the second leg was impacted by Kong-Rei.  We had done three trans-Pacific taking the more southernly route through French Polynesia, but this was the first time we did the northern route.  We had so much fun we are also booked on the Eclipse in 2020 from Vancouver to Yokohama, and will leave the ship in Singapore.

 

Eagerly anticipating more of Paul's excellent reports.

We  are also booked on the 2020 TP on the Eclipse and waiting to hear more of what Paul has to report.

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Paul, one of the things I'm looking forward to on my first Aqua Class cruise is the Persian Garden. I haven't seen you mention it. Is that sort of thing just not your cup of tea, or have you been too busy relaxing elsewhere? 

 

Thanks, again for all your posts! I truly enjoy reading what you have to say and the comments by others.

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Also interested in feedback on any spa treatments, gym,  Solarium and hot tubs and spa cafe.  Thanks

Edited by hcat

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Let me add my thanks for a fantastic review.  Your descriptions  allows us all to see the cruise so vividly through your eyes and your attitude is a ray of sunshine.  Wish everyone cruising was like you, what a joy that would be.  Anxiously awaiting hearing about Japan, enjoy!!

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Paul,

   I notice the nice neat line of shirts hanging in your closet.   Do you use the laundry service on the ship & if you do what instructions do you write on your laundry sheet?

 

   How did you get the prime rib at Blu on meat loaf night?   I looked at the menu three times & I didn't see it listed.   Doesn't mean it wasn't there - I just didn't see it.

 

Thank you, Barbara

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Help, those who signed up for MLife and then Hyatt. Ok I now have both numbers but can't find out where on Mlife to upgrade my Hyatt acct. Maybe it's just because I'm a blond?

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So looks like wifi works well in the crossing?  We are doing this cruise in April 2021 and have the free wifi. I am enjoying this.

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3 hours ago, silkismom said:

Help, those who signed up for MLife and then Hyatt. Ok I now have both numbers but can't find out where on Mlife to upgrade my Hyatt acct. Maybe it's just because I'm a blond?

Go to this link:

 

https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/mlife-rewards-program/preferred-partners/hyatt-hotels.html

 

Scroll down to tier match and click the “opt in” button and log in to your Hyatt account. 

 

 

Edited by WNcruiser

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Thanks for the mid-cruise review.  I so enjoy reading all your posts.  It sounds like you and Edward are enjoying the ship and the cruise.  I would love all those sea days!

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23 hours ago, calicakes said:

Hi Paul

 

We're currently on Equinox, also in AQ.  Tomorrow's menu has the meatloaf.  I suggested it to my picky wife and she said she would try it.  I guess she's going to change her mind now. LOL.   

Meatloaf is one of my comfort foods, and I enjoy the food in Blu, but, this and one of the vegetarian dishes I tried are not it, lol! I wanted to leave a copy of the Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe under my plate - how hard could it be?

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Paul, I’m new to your cruise reviews and am certainly enjoying this one, your style and detail is great. Thanks for taking us along.

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16 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

Meatloaf is one of my comfort foods, and I enjoy the food in Blu, but, this and one of the vegetarian dishes I tried are not it, lol! I wanted to leave a copy of the Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe under my plate - how hard could it be?

We didn't order it, but the server brought it anyway. It was one of his recommendations. Lol. Julie said it was not that good. The potatoes were cold.

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