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PelicanBill

Breakaway Solo Cruise Oct 13-20

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Breakaway Solo Cruise Oct 13-20

 

Hello everyone, going to recap the highlights by topic here rather than day by day.

 

Background

My 11th cruise, 5th on Breakaway.  We like the ship and it was based in NY so we could drive and avoid the risks and costs of flying.  I am an IT Professional with a high stress job and although we did a cruise as a couple in June (Anthem of the Seas) I got a bonus cruise this year but went solo.

 

This cruise was the western itinerary, from Miami to Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel and back to Miami.  I booked into a Solo Studio on deck 11.

Why 5th cruise on Breakaway?  Well the first 4 was because it was sailing from New York. We did the traditional Port Canaveral – Nassau – Great Stirrup Cay run.  The Next year we wanted to try the 7 day Bermuda trip. Two hurricanes had other ideas. We had to wait in NY for one to pass, then went to Port Canaveral and Nassau – but late after a pier became vacant so we had little excursion time and shops were mostly closed.  Oh well.  Third time – a 12 day with 6 ports across the east/south Caribbean. Hurricanes made a mess of 2 of them – and Norwegian scrapped the itinerary after final payment and sent us to – you guessed it – Port Canaveral – Nassau – Great Stirrup Cay, and three more that could have been good.  Costa Maya was a divert to Cozumel, however, at 10pm at night to transfer a sick passenger to Mexico. And then the freak weather came. For Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios we were 1-2 hours late each port to dock slowly, all water activities were canceled, and wind of 45-50 mph put a real lid on most things to do.  One more try, right?!  We learned the ship was leaving NY and booked the reposition trip – 15 days including Aruba and Curacao.  This trip was wonderful, although started off with Breakaway’s delayed return… an amazing story in itself but we hung out at our hotel’s breakfast area until 12:30am and boarded at 1:00am. Yep, it was supposed to be 4pm sailaway but we sailed at 6am and had a 3am muster drill. No kidding.

 

The last reason for a 5th time on Breakway is Rock of Ages.  I love this show and all its performers. I go to all 4 shows. With this trip, I will have seen it 18 times on Breakaway and twice in Las Vegas.  What I did not know when I booked is the show is ending it’s run – and I would among the last to see it. Just two more weeks of shows after my sailing and it’s all over. Glad I get to see it one last time.

Back to this trip…

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Weather

I am a serious weather watcher – you’ll see all my work on the Hurricane Zone here on Cruise Critic. I participated actively in the Roll Call and other social media related to this cruise.  The tropics had quieted down but then a broad area of storms formed in the western Caribbean, threatening our first two ports to be stormy.  But it drifted NW over land just ahead of each of our first 3 ports! They told us it has been bad weather just the day before in each place but we had lovely sunny weather at all 4 ports. That stormy area became weak Tropical Storm Nestor, it stretched all the way down to the keys and gave us a gloomy horizon to our left back side on the last sea day – but we stayed ahead of it and had smooth seas and a good amount of sun.

 

I want to highlight that I travel during hurricane season often. I am prepared for changes, and I buy trip insurance.

 

Travel

My flights were all on time and I planned travel the day before embarkation and the day after disembarkation.  I stayed at the Leamington in downtown Miami, a budget place because I just needed a place to sleep. It was acceptable but most would consider it rough.  But others were well over $200 for that night or far away and I wanted to be downtown.  I ate diner at a peruvian place called CVI.CHE 105, and had a ceviche platter that was to die for. Then walked around downtown a little and the Bayside area which is vibrant and fun at night.  The only weird thing is all the scooters everywhere. Lyft and Uber have this weird thing where you walk up to an unused scooter and use their app to rent it. Take off and go. And leave it wherever you want when you are done.  So these scooters are lying around on all sidewalks, on corners, in doorways.  It’s pretty awful. And you have 1,000 inexperienced people riding at a nice 15-20mph clip. On the sidewalks.  It did not feel safe for pedestrians in the dark. 

 

I scored a great rate for my last night after getting off the ship at the Miami Beach Hotel Breakwater.  It’s on Ocean Blvd facing the beach, has integrated restaurants, and a nice small pool and lounge area overlooking one of the restaurants. Dance music drifts up and a lively scene can be watched below. My room was deluxe. Comfortable, large, and a great bath with giant shower.

 

Oh, I like to master public transit wherever I travel.  I did extensive research and was prepared.  Upon arrival to MIA airport, it was a very long walk to baggage claim.  Then another long walk to the MIA Mover train, which takes you out to the parking and transit center.  There, I bought a transit card ($2 for the card) and loaded it with $6 to cover my train ($2.35) and my bus for coming back ($2.35 or 2.65, wasn’t sure).  Got on the Orange line to downtown and… sat…. and sat… problems delayed us an hour. Which is silly since I was a half hour taxi or uber ride from downtown. But I was determined. Finally we went for the 20 minute ride. I got off the Government Station, dropped down to floor 1 to catch the free downtown people mover.  That went 4 stops to First Street, and I was just a block from my hotel from there. 

 

The next day, I could have taken a free shuttle to the port offered by the hotel at 10:45am, but I woke early. 4am. I walked to the bridge to the port and took pictures of Carnival Horizon and Breakaway as they came in and turned in the basic before docking.  I have a great time lapse of Breakaway! ( I track the ships using the MarineTraffic app on my phone.)  Then I was second in line to open Starbucks, and by 9am I was more than ready to leave. So I walked 2 blocks over to Biscayne and up to the stop for the free trolley – Coral line. Hopped on and was dropped at the port just before 10am.

 

When we returned to Miami, I called for Uber. I walked to the end of the Mayhem and found a quieter spot, and sent my location to the driver “G 01” to find me.  Perfect.  Uber was half the cost of a taxi to Miami Beach. The ride is 20 minutes.

To go home, I had learned about the Miami Beach Flyer #150, which has 20 or so stops in Miami Beach then express to/from the Airport.  I bought my fare ahead of time as mentioned but you could pay cash. My flight was 11:15am. I headed out from my hotel at 8am, rolled it 4 small blocks to Starbucks, got coffee, then 100 feet away waited for the bus which comes every 15-30 minutes. Just google “Miami bus 150” and choose your stop from the search results and see the stop times!  I was at the airport at 9:00 and checked in by 9:30.

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Embarkation & Disembarkation

I walked in at 10:00 and flew through security and check in. Got Group 1 and found I was in the first 30 or so in the hall.  At about 9:45 we saw the last people come off the ship.  At 10:30 they started to organize the assistance group and told Group 1 to line up.  Then told us to sit down.  And got the announcement that one of the twice-yearly full coast guard inspections was underway and we would not be able to board until it was done.  So the hall filled up over capacity and it was after 1:00 when we were finally boarding.  And hungry lol.  A lot of people got grumbly but what can you do?  We watched them inspect a lifeboat station for 45 minutes on our side!  And when we got on we found they had dropped all lifeboats on the water side into the water and were piloting around.  I got to watch several get retrieved.  My plan for lunch was to pay for Margaritaville.  Relaxing, good drinks, and no need to worry about watching my carry on bag while navigating a crowded buffet (I don’t like most of the food at O’Sheehan’s.)  Muster was as planned and we were sailing as planned just after 4pm.

 

Disembarkation was different than any other I had experienced. I chose the last luggage group – Gray – expected for 9:30. Put my larger suitcase out the night before.  Gray was called shortly after 9:00. I went down the forward elevator to deck 7 and joined a line that stretched to the back of the ship. I quickly figured out the aft elevators had a separate line that stretched to the front – so two different exit points. Once I reached the Manhattan Room I found that ship exit and Immigration were staged here. I carded out with ship security, then stood for the Immigration face scanner and got a green light to get off the ship.  Now we walked the length of the ship along the waterfront (outside) all the way to the front because that’s where the gangways are positioned.  Off the ship, and now walked all the way down to the end and halfway back again waiting for the two slow escalators.  (Elevator people had to wait a lot longer.)  Down to the luggage hall, where my gray tagged bag was found in the Magenta Section (I have never found it in the correct section).  And then another line because of a narrow choke point exit door.  From the call to get off at 9:10 to standing outside at 10:10 – one hour.  Pretty long.  Every other time I have gotten off a ship I have been through it all in 20-30 minutes. Except New Orleans. That was a disaster (first time Breakway arrived there).

 

Cruise Critic Meet n Mingle

Our meet n mingle was well attended and Vuk and his staff were all there.  Norwegian takes this quite seriously and I appreciate it. Royal Caribbean was less of an experience on this.  What was fascinating is we got a second invitation for the last sea day to come back and give feedback. The officers circulated among our tables asking for our opinions on anything.  Way to go Norwegian!

 

Cabin & Solo Lounge

It was honestly an adjustment to the small solo cabin as I am used to Balcony cabins.  The space is very efficient. The bed was comfortable.  There is storage, but too much is hanging for a man so I had a little trouble separating my things that needed shelf space.  There is almost no top space – just a tiny surface to set things down and it was full of my water bottles!  I put those into the storage space inside the stool. There is no refrigerator, so I asked for an ice bucket. There is no place to sit really, other than the bed.  But at the end of the hall on each solo cabin deck, we have a door to the solo lounge. Plenty of seating, a bar that is staffed each day 5-6pm, and available any time to us are water, coffee from a fancy machine, and cookies and pastries.  And juice in the morning.  This was a great place to say hi to others in the morning, evening, and at our daily social time about 5:30pm.  An assistance cruise director is assigned as our solo host.  Ours was Vo.  He facilitated our first meet up, and each evening made arrangements for a dinner location, and seating areas for some of the shows.  It made it comfortable for many of us.  Note that solo travelers who are not staying in the solo cabins are also welcome to come to the social time at 5:30.  Otherwise the lounge is only for those in the solo studio cabins.

 

Food

I had no plans for specialty restaurants other than one visit to Margaritaville, and some sushi.  I hate the cover charge format for Margaritaville as it was too much food in the past. Well they fixed that. Now it is less food for the same price. Doh.  Would much rather they be a la carte and have the great food they had before.  The quality is good but $18 is too much for what I had as an upcharge. 

 

I prefer the buffet at breakfast and lunch when on ship.  For dinner, I like Caribbean night and Italian night at the buffet and was sure to partake.  I think I ate there once more and went with the solos to a dining room twice.

 

Unfortunately, one of those nights, Monday, I got food poisoning.  Definitely food poisoning as it fit the characteristics perfectly. I left Syd’s at closing and headed to bed. But had been uncomfortable the last 2 hours. Then from 12 to 6 I was very sick. It stopped, and I slept in until 10 or 11, and then felt a lot better and began to carefully eat and drink again.  I had to skip my Roatan excursion, forfeiting my deposit of $23, but c’est la vie.

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Sea Days, Crew & Staff

I generally like to get some sun, hang at the bars, watch some activities, and listen to music on sea days. Especially if the band that plays poolside has good reggae.  See below for that.

 

I find Norwegian Officers and crew to be more friendly and approachable than other cruise lines. And I enjoy interacting.  Clay, the Cruise Director, seemed familiar to me. And I asked him how long he’s been on Breakway and he said only some months as CD – but he was the Entertainment Operations Manager before that. Aha! I met him last year and talked with him quite a bit.

 

I am also a fan of Vuk, GM for the ship, and the way he runs his operation.  He’s attentive and his team is very good.  I reported a problem I witnessed during embarkation. Group 1 was released up the escalator too soon after the assistance group – and they got overrun and an unsteady man was knocked down.  I wanted them to hear my description of what happened and ask them to tell the pier team to wait longer before releasing group 1.  They did listen, and sent some treats to my cabin in thanks.  They also did me another favor I’ll describe under Entertainment.

 

 

Ports

For Roatan, I had planned to do a resort for a day at Mayan Princess, that included a 2 stop snorkel by boat, use of the resort, food, drinks, and transportation.  Next time!  I did get off and walk around the port and had a Coke Light (diet)  to detox from Pepsi.

 

I had no plan for Harvest Caye.  If I was totally bored I might have taken the ferry to Placencia, but I decided to walk around Harvest Caye and check it out.  I checked out the beach, spent a couple hours lounging and using the pool (nice pool), and then had lunch at Horse Eyed Jack’s, the farthest restaurant and bar where it is quiet.  They had a rice and beans platter with Caribbean sides and a choice of chicken, fish (snapper), or lobster.  I sprung for lobster and got a huge plate of food with 1 ½ tails.  With 3 drinks I think I paid $65.  Excellent.  Got back on the ship to enjoy a less crowded pool and music around 2pm. The pool never felt crowded although lounge chairs were in short supply by 11.  By the way- no beach seaweed or jellyfish problems here.

 

I had a reservation for Nacional Bungalows and Beach Club for Costa Maya. $110 included taxi, breakfast, lunch (anything on the menu), drinks, and a 20 minute massage.  They have a little plunge pool but it was, uh, green.  I upgraded my massage to over an hour for $40 including tip. (There were many massage places nearby also and they had a terrible lack of customers. Negotiate.)  The beach was short and shallow and clear for a way but then seagrass on the bottom. But the water was clear with no algae, seaweed or jellyfish.  The food quality was tremendous.  And lots of it. Very happy with my choice. Some ship entertainers and their family were also having lunch there that day and I had some nice chat time with them.  I had met the family during the Rock of Ages performances the night before! And the entertainers are favorites of mine as you will read further down. 

 

I was feeling no pain as I got dropped off at the port and wound my way back to the ship. This port makes it really hard to find your way out to the taxies and trams to the beaches… a long twisty confusing walk.  Same coming back in.

 

In Cozumel I had a plan to do a sail and snorkel trip on the FE II, out of a Marina just south of the Carnival pier. (Norwegian docks at Punta Langosta, near downtown and furthest north.  2 miles south is the International Pier, where Royal Carribean docks, and adjacent and southmost is the Puerta Maya Pier where Carnival docks.)  I got a taxi for $12, and arrived early, and waited around. We were due by 9 or 9:15, and there were 12 booked, but only 5 of us showed. Normally they need 10 to go, but for some reason decided to take just the 5 of us.  We had a nice hour sailing, and the captain chose to do one longer snorkel in the shallower sheltered area rather than the open water deeper area where it was a bit rough. And we had a beginner in the group so that’s a good idea.  The snorkeling was in the shadow of the Carnival Glory at dock.  It was 20-30 feet deep and the reef was decent but not great. Fish and wildlife was underwhelming but okay.  When it was time to go aboard the guide tapped two of us, the more advanced and strong swimmers, to follow him instead.  We swam 1,000 feet to deep water and a much nicer reef. Tall coral heads, colorful fans, and a ray.  Snorkel score upgraded to quite good. Snorkeling was from 9:30 to 12:30.

 

On return, I had my taxi drop me further up from the pier and at the other end of downtown Cozumel so I could get some local food and drink and shop. (1:00pm)  Did not find anything to buy until I was in the mall across from the ship, but bought 3 silver turtle pendants with fire opal. Starting price $400, paid $300. Back on board 4pm ahead of the 4:30 deadline.

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Entertainment

I’ve saved the best for last.  I think Norwegian and Breakway have terrific entertainment.  The conversaion of Fat Cats to Syd’s Pour House (a Rock n Roll band show) was a great addition last year as well.

 

I always want to see a good band poolside playing island music and reggae. The band last year was amazing. And this year, it was a different band, but with the same lead singer!  He’s awesome. I think his name is Leo.

 

But Rock of Ages is the highlight of my Breakaway cruises. I am a superfan and many of the cast who have done past rotations know me. I have Rock of Ages themed shirts and I try to sit in the front row every show.  I reserve my one show and am first in line or close to it for that show and in the standby line for others. This time they were letting standby in right away and it took a moment to future that out. Yikes.   Well I just made it to the front row for show #1.  But it was hard because we found the front row almost all occupied already. They were now seating Havens guests in the front row before the House opened. This has never been done before and I was somewhat put off by the idea. For one, what’s the point of having a reservation, and not nice to deny someone waiting for an hour at the door that chance for the front row.  Second, these people aren’t in the front row because they are fans. They are there because they paid more and are being given a privileged seat.  And that is a disservice to the cast, who would much rather see people in front who are excited to see the show.  This repeated for the second show that night and I had to settle for the second row.  The consolation is I got to meet family members of one of the cast members and learned a whole lot! 

 

The bad thing is that people in that front row got up and left during the show.  Here’s a *slap* for them. If you sit in front, commit.  It’s really, really, rude to the performers to sit in front and leave in the middle.

 

So, the favor.  Thursday morning, I wrote a polite note to Clay (Cruise Director) and left it at customer service asking if they could be sure he got it during the day.  I describe my dismay at seating people in the front row before the house opens, especially when some get up and leave.  I asked if there was any way to be sure I could be in the front seat for the second show, this superfan would really appreciate. And I had a special reason too.

 

When I returned to the ship from Cozumel, I had a message from Clay’s secretary to call the Box Office Manager, who answered right away, and said there would be a seat marked reserved on the center front row on the aisle for the second show.  With my thanks, I ran and got dinner and got in line to get in early at the first show.

 

It turned out that there was nobody seated early for either show this evening and I got the front row easily for the first show. But my reserved seat made it possible to go eat some food in between shows this time. So I could wander down at 9:45 for the 10:00 show and watch people wonder what sort of VIP I am.  Haha.

 

All four shows were great as always. And being into amateur theater myself, I always spot the fun mishaps like when two dancers got their costumes stuck together and they had to hop off stage connected as one!

The best part was that I had a sign ready to hold up during bows. A series of pages taped together that unfolded read

 WE
WILL
MISS
YOU!

I got a lot of surprised and appreciative looks during the bows and end of the song.

And as the theater began to empty, the lead ran out and asked me to stay for a picture with the cast. That’s a souvenir I could never have hoped for!

 

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This is amazing!!! Also a huge RoA fan, and disappointed to learn that they won't be returning. Granted, I won't be on the Breakaway again until 2021...but still. LOVE that show!

 

 

29 minutes ago, PelicanBill said:

The best part was that I had a sign ready to hold up during bows. A series of pages taped together that unfolded read

 WE
WILL
MISS
YOU!

I got a lot of surprised and appreciative looks during the bows and end of the song.

And as the theater began to empty, the lead ran out and asked me to stay for a picture with the cast. That’s a souvenir I could never have hoped for!

 

 

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Here's a little story from the cruise. Perhaps the funniest moment I've seen on a cruise other than my own 5 year old ordering "beer" from a menu.

 

It is sailaway time or a little after. The band is going great guns poolside and everyone is dancing.  A swimsuited mom is in the shallow part of the pool dancing away.

 

And her 8 year old daughter, fully dressed, is standing on the raised edge of the pool, trying to get her attention, and tapping her wrist where a watch could be.

 

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Bill, I enjoyed sitting next to you, and learning from you about the show, during our repo cruise last October...

Was "Lonnie" played by T Scott Ross, again?   

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1 hour ago, PelicanBill said:

The last reason for a 5th time on Breakway is Rock of Ages.  I love this show and all its performers. I go to all 4 shows. With this trip, I will have seen it 18 times on Breakaway and twice in Las Vegas.  What I did not know when I booked is the show is ending it’s run – and I would among the last to see it. Just two more weeks of shows after my sailing and it’s all over. Glad I get to see it one last time.

Back to this trip…

 

Rock of Ages is one of the main reasons we booked Breakaway. We sail Nov 3, but were never able to book it online. I was told we have to obtain tickets/reservations once we board. Looks like we might be the last to see it...if we can get seats.

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7 minutes ago, Wilson said:

 

Rock of Ages is one of the main reasons we booked Breakaway. We sail Nov 3, but were never able to book it online. I was told we have to obtain tickets/reservations once we board. Looks like we might be the last to see it...if we can get seats.

Great! You might be able to see the very last show!  Just get in line early. Normally, there are always seats available. Rarely full. If they promote the fact this is the last shows, then maybe there will be more interest so just get in line early.

 

Be aware that your shows will be Tuesday and Wednesday due to some kind of conflict... instead of the usual Wednesday and Thursday.

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Bill - do they still have Howl at the Moon on the Breakaway? That is one of my all time favorite night time venues. Never a dull moment, and missed it tremendously on the Bliss and most recently the MSC Seaside.

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26 minutes ago, bob brown said:

Bill, I enjoyed sitting next to you, and learning from you about the show, during our repo cruise last October...

Was "Lonnie" played by T Scott Ross, again?   

Hi Bob!  No he was not.  We had the same Connie, same Stacee, and one other I can't recall.  Lonny was played by Jason Kennedy this time.

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1 minute ago, JC5240 said:

Bill - do they still have Howl at the Moon on the Breakaway? That is one of my all time favorite night time venues. Never a dull moment, and missed it tremendously on the Bliss and most recently the MSC Seaside.

 

Yes indeed. I failed to mention that.  I did spend some time there and have a funny story to tell.  Our performers were Jeremy, Sarah (Sara?) and Rhonda.  I am afraid to say I am not a fan of Rhonda, although many other people are. she is very popular. The reason I don't care for her is she gets too silly too often, butchering up serious songs with silly lyrics.  I like it when we sing along or get playful but not changing lyrics to be funny.

 

Anyway, the last night is a great time to be at Howl at the Moon dueling Pianos.  If you don't know, there are two performers at a time out of 3 on pianos taking turns to lead off with songs that have been suggested by the audience along with a tip.  Sometimes other performers join in. Sometimes the third plays drums as they rotate out or in.

 

One older, round gentleman was clearly having plenty to drink and was a frequent flyer going up to the performers to bring songs and tips, and try to talk to them, which can get in the way.  The performers were as polite as can be.  He went back and forth from the bar. At the bar, I could see he was peeling off $20 bills often.  Then I saw the $100s and he went and tipped a $100 bill to "play whatever the hell you want".  That was fun.  Then he sat down in a chair next to the speaker which he must have moved there. with his hand grabbing at the speaker, his head rolled forward and he fell asleep.  At that point, Rhonda did something funny, and had us all sing "Hallelujah" to him.  Shortly after, the head of security showed up with a white shirted officer, and a blue suited officer.  I've never seen one of those - he was outfitted for special tactics. There must be a small force of special police aboard not normally seen in public spaces.  They gently woke him, and he was helped away.

 

Everybody yelled good night and waved.  LOL

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4 minutes ago, PelicanBill said:

 

Yes indeed. I failed to mention that.  I did spend some time there and have a funny story to tell.  Our performers were Jeremy, Sarah (Sara?) and Rhonda.  I am afraid to say I am not a fan of Rhonda, although many other people are. she is very popular. The reason I don't care for her is she gets too silly too often, butchering up serious songs with silly lyrics.  I like it when we sing along or get playful but not changing lyrics to be funny.

 

Anyway, the last night is a great time to be at Howl at the Moon dueling Pianos.  If you don't know, there are two performers at a time out of 3 on pianos taking turns to lead off with songs that have been suggested by the audience along with a tip.  Sometimes other performers join in. Sometimes the third plays drums as they rotate out or in.

 

One older, round gentleman was clearly having plenty to drink and was a frequent flyer going up to the performers to bring songs and tips, and try to talk to them, which can get in the way.  The performers were as polite as can be.  He went back and forth from the bar. At the bar, I could see he was peeling off $20 bills often.  Then I saw the $100s and he went and tipped a $100 bill to "play whatever the hell you want".  That was fun.  Then he sat down in a chair next to the speaker which he must have moved there. with his hand grabbing at the speaker, his head rolled forward and he fell asleep.  At that point, Rhonda did something funny, and had us all sing "Hallelujah" to him.  Shortly after, the head of security showed up with a white shirted officer, and a blue suited officer.  I've never seen one of those - he was outfitted for special tactics. There must be a small force of special police aboard not normally seen in public spaces.  They gently woke him, and he was helped away.

 

Everybody yelled good night and waved.  LOL

 

 

Ah, so that's how I got back to my cabin that night.  I couldn't remember.

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LOL - that's great!! Yes, I LOVE it there on the last night. The songs they do trigger some amazing (and sometimes sad) emotions that literally last a lifetime (when they do it right, without the comic relief - because like you said, the singalongs are what make that show).

 

I'm very happy to know that they're still on the ship. One of the sailings I was on was one of the performers last sailings after being on the ship for (I think) four or five months. Anyway, you would have loved it - on the very last night, a lot of band members from Rock of Ages joined on the stage and they went full out. It was such an amazing experience.

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18 hours ago, PelicanBill said:

Entertainment

I’ve saved the best for last.  I think Norwegian and Breakway have terrific entertainment.  The conversaion of Fat Cats to Syd’s Pour House (a Rock n Roll band show) was a great addition last year as well.

 

I always want to see a good band poolside playing island music and reggae. The band last year was amazing. And this year, it was a different band, but with the same lead singer!  He’s awesome. I think his name is Leo.

 

But Rock of Ages is the highlight of my Breakaway cruises. I am a superfan and many of the cast who have done past rotations know me. I have Rock of Ages themed shirts and I try to sit in the front row every show.  I reserve my one show and am first in line or close to it for that show and in the standby line for others. This time they were letting standby in right away and it took a moment to future that out. Yikes.   Well I just made it to the front row for show #1.  But it was hard because we found the front row almost all occupied already. They were now seating Havens guests in the front row before the House opened. This has never been done before and I was somewhat put off by the idea. For one, what’s the point of having a reservation, and not nice to deny someone waiting for an hour at the door that chance for the front row.  Second, these people aren’t in the front row because they are fans. They are there because they paid more and are being given a privileged seat.  And that is a disservice to the cast, who would much rather see people in front who are excited to see the show.  This repeated for the second show that night and I had to settle for the second row.  The consolation is I got to meet family members of one of the cast members and learned a whole lot! 

 

The bad thing is that people in that front row got up and left during the show.  Here’s a *slap* for them. If you sit in front, commit.  It’s really, really, rude to the performers to sit in front and leave in the middle.

 

So, the favor.  Thursday morning, I wrote a polite note to Clay (Cruise Director) and left it at customer service asking if they could be sure he got it during the day.  I describe my dismay at seating people in the front row before the house opens, especially when some get up and leave.  I asked if there was any way to be sure I could be in the front seat for the second show, this superfan would really appreciate. And I had a special reason too.

 

When I returned to the ship from Cozumel, I had a message from Clay’s secretary to call the Box Office Manager, who answered right away, and said there would be a seat marked reserved on the center front row on the aisle for the second show.  With my thanks, I ran and got dinner and got in line to get in early at the first show.

 

It turned out that there was nobody seated early for either show this evening and I got the front row easily for the first show. But my reserved seat made it possible to go eat some food in between shows this time. So I could wander down at 9:45 for the 10:00 show and watch people wonder what sort of VIP I am.  Haha.

 

All four shows were great as always. And being into amateur theater myself, I always spot the fun mishaps like when two dancers got their costumes stuck together and they had to hop off stage connected as one!

The best part was that I had a sign ready to hold up during bows. A series of pages taped together that unfolded read

 WE
WILL
MISS
YOU!

I got a lot of surprised and appreciative looks during the bows and end of the song.

And as the theater began to empty, the lead ran out and asked me to stay for a picture with the cast. That’s a souvenir I could never have hoped for!

 

Good review Bill. I was glad to meet you at the M&G. We did have a nice turnout with some super nice people didn't we?  

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16 hours ago, ColeThornton said:

 

 

Ah, so that's how I got back to my cabin that night.  I couldn't remember.

Bwaa haa haa!

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25 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

Good review Bill. I was glad to meet you at the M&G. We did have a nice turnout with some super nice people didn't we?  

It was a good one!  Nice to meet you too!

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On 10/24/2019 at 2:26 PM, PelicanBill said:

I always want to see a good band poolside playing island music and reggae. The band last year was amazing. And this year, it was a different band, but with the same lead singer!  He’s awesome. I think his name is Leo.

 

Was this him?  If so, this is Leo and he is awesome!  If it is him, I hope he is still there in January. We stalked him on our cruise in 2016.  

 

 

2016-12-10 21-02-272 1.jpg

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On 10/24/2019 at 1:26 PM, PelicanBill said:

Entertainment

I’ve saved the best for last.  I think Norwegian and Breakway have terrific entertainment.  The conversaion of Fat Cats to Syd’s Pour House (a Rock n Roll band show) was a great addition last year as well.

 

I always want to see a good band poolside playing island music and reggae. The band last year was amazing. And this year, it was a different band, but with the same lead singer!  He’s awesome. I think his name is Leo.

 

But Rock of Ages is the highlight of my Breakaway cruises. I am a superfan and many of the cast who have done past rotations know me. I have Rock of Ages themed shirts and I try to sit in the front row every show.  I reserve my one show and am first in line or close to it for that show and in the standby line for others. This time they were letting standby in right away and it took a moment to future that out. Yikes.   Well I just made it to the front row for show #1.  But it was hard because we found the front row almost all occupied already. They were now seating Havens guests in the front row before the House opened. This has never been done before and I was somewhat put off by the idea. For one, what’s the point of having a reservation, and not nice to deny someone waiting for an hour at the door that chance for the front row.  Second, these people aren’t in the front row because they are fans. They are there because they paid more and are being given a privileged seat.  And that is a disservice to the cast, who would much rather see people in front who are excited to see the show.  This repeated for the second show that night and I had to settle for the second row.  The consolation is I got to meet family members of one of the cast members and learned a whole lot! 

 

The bad thing is that people in that front row got up and left during the show.  Here’s a *slap* for them. If you sit in front, commit.  It’s really, really, rude to the performers to sit in front and leave in the middle.

 

So, the favor.  Thursday morning, I wrote a polite note to Clay (Cruise Director) and left it at customer service asking if they could be sure he got it during the day.  I describe my dismay at seating people in the front row before the house opens, especially when some get up and leave.  I asked if there was any way to be sure I could be in the front seat for the second show, this superfan would really appreciate. And I had a special reason too.

 

When I returned to the ship from Cozumel, I had a message from Clay’s secretary to call the Box Office Manager, who answered right away, and said there would be a seat marked reserved on the center front row on the aisle for the second show.  With my thanks, I ran and got dinner and got in line to get in early at the first show.

 

It turned out that there was nobody seated early for either show this evening and I got the front row easily for the first show. But my reserved seat made it possible to go eat some food in between shows this time. So I could wander down at 9:45 for the 10:00 show and watch people wonder what sort of VIP I am.  Haha.

 

All four shows were great as always. And being into amateur theater myself, I always spot the fun mishaps like when two dancers got their costumes stuck together and they had to hop off stage connected as one!

The best part was that I had a sign ready to hold up during bows. A series of pages taped together that unfolded read

 WE
WILL
MISS
YOU!

I got a lot of surprised and appreciative looks during the bows and end of the song.

And as the theater began to empty, the lead ran out and asked me to stay for a picture with the cast. That’s a souvenir I could never have hoped for!

 

 

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Love, love, love Rock of Ages. Saw it multiple times on last year’s Breakaway repo, made even better by the special lyric sheet provided by Pelican Bill.

EF8F87DC-9E10-4751-BE13-61CE610FBDC3.jpeg

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On 11/4/2019 at 2:33 PM, sunkey1 said:

Do you know what is replacing Rock of Ages?

Yes.  "Six", about the Six wives of Henry VIII from London's West End starts next week.

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