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Live Navigator Review 3/2-3/6: Vegetarian, gluten free, disabilty inclusive


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Hello - it's time for another live review!

 

I'm CatLadyFemme, a professor at the University of Michigan, a cat lady (obviously, though we have lost two of our fur babies in the past 8 months, including one on our last cruise), and a moderately experienced cruiser. I am disabled/live with chronic pain, and so walk with a cane, plus I am a vegetarian and have Celiac disease, so am super duper gluten free. In addition to things like photos of the rooms, cruise compasses, etc., I will post about finding vegetarian GF food (we've had some AMAZING luck like with Belic on the Explorer, and some not great experiences where I ate iceberg salad and berries for days), and access/ADA issues. Oh! I'm also queer, so there may be some stuff about the LGBTQ meet up, etc. I like to stay in the shade/find a nice lounge and read, or enjoy the hot tubs with a big floppy hat.

 

My partner, MrCatLady, works as a social work PhD student, also loves cats, spends a lot of time in the sun, around the pool, and at the gym. He's pretty cute. Here is us together on May 4th.

 

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We'll be staying in an accessible balcony on Deck 7. Last spring was our first (ocean) balcony and it was our saving grace with the quarantine - hoping there won't be a need for that this time. We have no plans yet for either of the stops.

 

We have early seating at dinner, like seeing most of the shows, and are super excited to get out of Michigan for a bit given the impending storm. We both have the refreshment package (MrCatLady drinks a LOT of seltzer, and flavored seltzer, and seltzer with limes, and I am a fan of all sorts of creative mocktails. I usual get a few glasses of wine or full cocktail throughout the week, but not enough to break even) and internet packages.

 

Our trip starts on Sunday with flying down to Miami, getting to the hotel (Urbanica The Euclid), and finding a vegetarian/GF friendly place for dinner (any suggestions?). We'll probably take a Lyft to the port on Monday, unless the hotel has a shuttle.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions or requests; otherwise, I'll try to do regular updates (assuming the internet isn't wonky - is Tapatalk working any better now?), post occasional pictures, and hopefully induce a small amount of envy.

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Looking forward to this review!!  We sail April 20th!! 
 

Tapatalk is not better these days.   I read the boards on it because I prefer the font and screen display but to post I have to go to web view. 👎🏼

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Hi there! My husband and I will be on this cruise too! I'll definitely be on the lookout for the both of you. I have many of the same interests as MrCatlady (Tanning,Gym) so I'll definitely be on the lookout for him!

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Glad I found this thread, love your reviews.

 

Yup I'm a cat mom.............no kidding.

 

Wish you safe travels and good weather.

 

Safe sailing.

 

Take care

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On 2/25/2020 at 7:16 AM, suesnake2002 said:

Yah. Love your reviews. My BIL is celiac,and I'm always trying to get him and sis on a cruise. Safe travels. 

Whats the itinary? And plans for each stop. 

Aww, thanks! You should tell him I've never been glutened on RCCL, and that is saying something.

 

I believe we have a sea day, then Nassau, and then Coco Cay.  This was supposed to be a redo of our Brilliance cruise last year where MrCatLady got sick and quarantined, but he told me that ship was too traumatic for him, so we had to choose something else random over the same week (our shared spring break). Don't love the Bahamas, so no real plans yet,  but will keep you updated!

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On 2/25/2020 at 7:41 AM, cloud_nine said:

Ooh, you don't often see vegetarian reviews, specifically with other dietary requirements too (veggie with food allergy here!) so I'm looking forward to reading your review!

awesome! Can I ask what your allergy is?

 

If it is useful, I've been veggie and GF on several other cruises, and have reviews up!

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On 2/25/2020 at 11:35 AM, kwokpot said:

Hi there! My husband and I will be on this cruise too! I'll definitely be on the lookout for the both of you. I have many of the same interests as MrCatlady (Tanning,Gym) so I'll definitely be on the lookout for him!

Awesome! Please say hi if you see either of us!

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On 2/25/2020 at 12:30 PM, Lionesss said:

Glad I found this thread, love your reviews.

 

Yup I'm a cat mom.............no kidding.

 

Wish you safe travels and good weather.

 

Safe sailing.

 

Take care

Thank you! always here for pictures of your fur kids ❤️

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24 minutes ago, CatLadyFemme said:

awesome! Can I ask what your allergy is?

 

If it is useful, I've been veggie and GF on several other cruises, and have reviews up!

It's a weird one. Coconut. So I have to avoid most curries and certain Asian dishes and often some vegan food, that contain coconut milk, or anything made with coconut oil. I also can't drink coconut rum! 😭

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1 hour ago, cloud_nine said:

It's a weird one. Coconut. So I have to avoid most curries and certain Asian dishes and often some vegan food, that contain coconut milk, or anything made with coconut oil. I also can't drink coconut rum! 😭

That must be hard. My friend's kiddo has that allergy too, plus her other kid has a lactose allergy, so that makes things a nightmare for them.

 

I will say that I usually just hand my HW a list of what I can eat (green) and what I can't eat (red) and give them some suggestions of things I like to eat, and it has worked pretty well for me.

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Ok! We are at the Detroit airport getting ready to board. With both UM and MSU on spring break, we assumed it would be much more crowded, but between us flying on Saturday rather than Friday and the Coronavirus scare, it is pretty chill here.

 

I am immuno compromised, so am a little nervous, but about everything. Last year, even with the flu shot, I got H1N1 and was out for 6 weeks and quarantined for 10 days. Ugh. So we bring lots and lots of wipes and hand sanitizer. I also brought two weeks extra of my daily meds just in case we do get quarantined for some reason, plus some cold meds. Fingers crossed we won’t need any of them!

 

We are flying direct to Miami and can’t wait to get this show on the road. We only packed one big suitcase, and the carry on for this trip; trying to practice traveling light for our European cruise this summer (assuming the world doesn’t shut down). I am supposed to be in Europe for work and fun for 4 weeks before hopping on the Rhapsody, so need to practice less is more. Hard for a disabled femme!

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or things you’d like me to check into.

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23 minutes ago, CatLadyFemme said:

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Another cat lady here from Michigan, happy for you getting away from the cold and snow. Will be curious to know if you will see any extra precautions being taken because of virus scare, I know they ask specific questions before boarding. Where will you be eating most of your meals? MDR or Windjammer? Love your glasses and Go Blue! Have a great trip, I’ll be following along.

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3 hours ago, Ukigirl said:

Another cat lady here from Michigan, happy for you getting away from the cold and snow. Will be curious to know if you will see any extra precautions being taken because of virus scare, I know they ask specific questions before boarding. Where will you be eating most of your meals? MDR or Windjammer? Love your glasses and Go Blue! Have a great trip, I’ll be following along.


I am also interested in the additional screenings and cleanings; will up date you. Boarding day, will eat in WJ and likely whenever we are in Port, but usually prefer MDR because they are better with the Celiac stuff.

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thanks Voyager70; that is really kind.

 

We checked into our hotel; Urbanica the Euclid. Very very swanky. Small room but very nice and a patio/balcony bigger than the room itself! So nice, and we definitely are not hip enough to stay here.

 

After wandering around for a bit, and seeing this really cool house with an octopus door and fish decorations, we found Kalamata for a late lunch. Super friendly, very affordable, and great at double checking about what was GF, vegetarian, vegan, etc. Highly recommend, and Desiree, our server, was very welcoming and kind. I was accidentally brought not GF fries (but thankfully hadn’t eaten them!) and so they gave me a free and very tasty almond pudding (pictured). I had the mezze platter with falafel instead of tabbuleh (and veggies rather than pita); MrCatLady has a falafel sandwich he says was amazing.

 

Then I’ve been lying in bed to have a rest while MrCatLady walks down to the beach, and we are planning suitcase shuffle for tomorrow!

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This morning, we grabbed a Lyft and headed to the cruise terminal (Terminal A for those not in the know). We cruised out of Miami around this time two years ago, and the new terminal is super nice and very expedient. We got there around 11:15 and were through to the ship in 15 minutes using a wheelchair (super easy to find here, which is not always the case depending where you board). Lots and lots of hand sanitizer being dispersed everywhere. Line was a little longer for those without a chair, but nothing outrageous.

 

We headed right up to WJ; they have installed maybe 10 sinks along each wall heading in, so people are actually washing their hands before and after their food, which is nice. We had not trouble finding a table by the windows (that’s a first! Surprised at how not crowded it was) and then went to find a chef. There was a section labeled GF but the salad bar there had croutons, so I was assuming it was mislabeled. It wasn’t!!!! They HAVE GLUTEN FREE CROUTONS. Y’all; this is huge. They also have three types of fresh baked GF bread, including a roll that was the best GF bread item I have ever had. Fluffy, warm, moist. I made MrCatLady TT it first because I was so nervous, but I ate it and didn’t get sick and it was delicious, as was the (vegan) gluten free pineapple upside down cake. They also had a variety of GF salad dressings, rather than the usual just oil and balsamic. Even if the MDR doesn’t turn out well for us, I feel like I am set with WJ alone. I need to do some research on who this amazing GF baker is and follow them ship to ship!

 

After that, we looked at the Solarium, but it was already pretty crowded. We tried for the Star Lounge, but it was closed for a spring break get together of college students, which does not bode well. We grabbed an iced soy chai (me) and iced Americano at Cafe Promanade  and then settled to drink them in the R Bar, after scoping out the Bamboo Club for future adventures.

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Around 12:50, we made our way up to Deck 7 to wait in the library for rooms to open, and when we did, popped on over. Like Allure last summer, our sea pass cards were in an envelope on the door.

 

As with other things on the ship, the room looks nice with the refresh; newer couch and carpet, etc. However, we are missing a tissue box (?) and the requested extension cord, and haven’t yet been able to find the housekeeping person. We wiped everything down for good measure, and are enjoying the light from the balcony (though it is dock side and in the sun, so not sitting out there currently). I like the layout a lot!

 

Also; MrCatLady things our TV is sassy and keeps hitting on us. Ha!

 

We might try for a quick nap before the muster drill at 4. Tonight is MDR dinner, then perhaps the ice show, LGBTQ meet up, live jazz music and perhaps a movie on the pool deck.

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After we settled in, I grabbed a book and we headed down to Cafe Promanade, which seems to double as the pizza place here, for some olives and to fill our cups before the muster drill. Then we went and hung out in Boleros (I got a Virgin Caribbean Painkiller) and chilled before checking in for the Muster drill. This was the most laid back one I have ever experienced.

 

Past that, MrCatLady wanted his beard trimmed, so up to Vitality to book the appt, and then back to the Promanade to the •To Dry For” bar time have it done, then back again to the cabin to sit on the balcony for sailing away. In the meantime, we met Prince, our cabin steward, who brought extra pillows, ice, and an extension cord for medical stuff, plus a tissue box since we didn’t have one.
 

Once we were out to see, we unpacked more fully, blew up my camping pad for the bed, and then headed down to dinner.CD7D0106-DFA6-4382-A006-A238A4568005.thumb.jpeg.5e76742b193f6307196855dfbbf0c932.jpeg

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For dinner, we have the 6pm dining time and have a great table for two by the window, as per my emailed request. Our server Richard was nice but didn’t really seem to get the allergy stuff. It took a while to get the HW and when I finally got to him, it was getting late and I was hungry and I eventually ended up with a fruit plate (fine), “cold gazpacho” (without polenta croutons) from the vegan menu, tofu with rice, and rainbow sherbet.

 

The gazpacho had basil in it and taste like cold tomato sauce. I couldn’t eat it. The tofu was fine but nothing on the plate had any sauce or any flavor. I am more hopeful for tomorrow; first night is always rough. They also ordered me a GF portabello burger for Coco Cay for tomorrow. Things didn’t translate well last summer in Labadee, so hopefully this goes better.

 

mrCatLady has a crab cake (very tasty), Caesar salad (fine), his precious beloved prime rib (just ok, mediocre) and and chocolate cake (tasty). Our assistant waiter got my GF bread and kept our drinks filled. Not amazing but not awful.

 

Then we want to the iSkate show, which was my favorite RCCL ice show I have ever seen. Well choreographed, a fun drone light show, interesting costumes, and a super talented cast. Now just taking care of this before going up to the pool deck to see Charlie‘a Angels!

 

menus are for tonight and for tomorrow.

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