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11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise Photo Review - Celebrity Reflection


Marvy Mare
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It was certainly busy when we were there. The cottage resort wasn't fancy, but looked like there were cool little cottages. I'm sure most of those sailors were fairly young, so possibly young people in the cottages as well. Your are right about the natural beauty and the colourful sails made for even a better photo opportunity.

 

Maris

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When this is all over, I’m sure my son & his girlfriend would love it there. They were looking for something other than an all inclusive and are both windsurfers. He could head over to the kite school too. 
 

Maris
 

 

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Our excursion stopped at Sorobon Beach.  It was pretty enough, gorgeous water and very shallow.  It was very busy and it was before lunch.  Lots of windsurfers the day we were there.

 

Not much of a walking beach but quite nice, not long enough.  We didn’t stay very long, but it was a nice visit.

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Loving the review.  Great writer and great pictures!   Thanks for taking the time to write it. 

 

The ABC's are my favorite islands.  I am surprised that you didn't snorkel on any of these islands.  These 3 islands have the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.  On Aruba and Curacao we rented a car and went snorkeling/sight seeing around the island.  On Bonaire we took a snorkeling tour which was out of this world.  On Curacao we snorkeled with the turtles up North. Best time in the water ever.   I can't wait to go back.  Almost booked the April cruise.... glad we didn't.

 

Looking forward to the rest of the review.

Thanks again!!!!

Duane

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12 minutes ago, Duanerice1 said:

Loving the review.  Great writer and great pictures!   Thanks for taking the time to write it. 

 

The ABC's are my favorite islands.  I am surprised that you didn't snorkel on any of these islands.  These 3 islands have the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.  On Aruba and Curacao we rented a car and went snorkeling/sight seeing around the island.  On Bonaire we took a snorkeling tour which was out of this world.  On Curacao we snorkeled with the turtles up North. Best time in the water ever.   I can't wait to go back.  Almost booked the April cruise.... glad we didn't.

 

Looking forward to the rest of the review.

Thanks again!!!!

Duane

Duane

 

If we ever go back, I’d love to try snorkeling. You said that you rented a car on Aruba and Curacao. How did you know the best places to go or have you been there before? Did you bring your own equipment? I did talk to a couple who did a snorkeling tour on Bonaire (actually I think they went to an island off Bonaire). They said that it was amazing. 
 

Maris

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March 9 - DAY 8 - Kralendijk, Bonaire

 

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 We continued to head back towards town. More Yatu cactus but not more donkeys.

 

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 Yatu Cactus Fence along the side of the road. There were a few isolated homes out here.

 

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This was a bit bizarre. Mini golf in the middle or nowhere. We would have stopped but it wan't open.🤣

 

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 That plane back there looked in pretty good shape. Maybe someone flew in for a game and never left.

 

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Must be a fairly big Chinese population.

 

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A colourful home in the suburbs

 

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Back in town.

 

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I slept in until 5:30 this morning so didn't get much of my report done. I'll get back to it later. It is supposed to rain here today, so yard work (we have lots) will be put on hold.

Edited by Marvy Mare
correction
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March 9 - DAY 8 - Bonaire - Sail away 3pm

 

We checked the golf carts back in by 12:30 and headed back to the ship. 

 

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We relaxed for a short time on our deck. You can see the tour buses that have returned.

 

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To the front left are the Portable shelters set up by tours, including Bonaire cruisers.

 

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There they are up close. No one there now. The Aida would be leaving early too.

 

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Soccer field

 

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Crowded on the pool deck and on deck 15. We managed to secure seats with Lorie and Angus and took turns getting lunch. 

 

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Pulling away from port minutes before 3pm. I don't see anyone running down the dock, so I guess we were all onboard.

 

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If you know where to look, you can see the home of Bonaire Cruisers.

 

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The full name of this ship is the Aidaperla. We waved bye. Wouldn't be seeing them again. They were headed elsewhere. Currently the ship is anchored in Bridgetown Barbados. I wonder if they were able to make anymore stops and if everyone got home. The virus was more of an emergency in Europe at this time. 

 

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Salt pyramids in the distance

 

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Live music for the sail away with the House Band Indigo

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We had dinner that evening back in the main dining room. I failed to make a note of what we ate but we did talk to a young couple from Winnipeg, who had reservations at the same time as us most evenings. We met them for the first time when we boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale. They were to be on our flight back to Toronto, where they would transfer to another flight to Winnipeg. We half heartedly kidded about renting a car to get back to Toronto if we had to. Everyone was getting understandably nervous by this point. We would have been happy at this point just to head straight back to Fort Lauderdale.

We did attend Celebrity Showtime: Broken Strings. Another live performance by the production singers and dancers. I think we saw the same show on an earlier cruise, but it's faded from my memory now. 

We were to set the clocks back an hour that night. My iPhone and Fitbit had just managed to catch up. I would be out of sync again, but as it turned out the next morning. I wasn't the only one. 

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March 10 - DAY 9 - At Sea

 

While I think I have the time changes straight, I'll get it written down. It's not easy to see on the map, but Columbia is in the Eastern Time Zone, just like Florida & Lakefield. So there was no time change when we went to Cartagena. The ABC islands are in the Atlantic Time Zone so while we were sleeping, on the way to Aruba, the clock went ahead by one hour. Therefore the sunrise was later in the morning. After leaving Bonaire, we headed north east towards Grand Cayman. Back to the Eastern Time Zone. If we had been in Florida or Lakefield on March 8, it would have been the beginning of Daylight Saving Time so the same as the Atlantic Time in the Caribbean (they don't have daylight saving there). But since we were still in the tropics we were instructed to turn our clocks back one hour as we headed back into the Eastern Standard (not Eastern Daylight Savings)time. The room attendant, when he/she (are there female room attendants?) come to do the bedtime turn down they leave your TV on with the message about the time change.

So now my iPhone and Fitbit were an hour ahead of time. Woo. Still trying to get my head around it, but so were a lot of other people.

Later. It's not raining yet. Yard work.

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Really enjoying your review. I’ll take rain, we have 6” of heavy wet snow. 
 

we were on Bonaire Cruisers with Elaine. I believe the Sorobon beach you went to was a bit farther down the road to where we stopped. We actually went into the Sorobon Resort. We did buy drinks, best mango smoothie I think I’ve ever had! Interesting fire pit made of shells Melody

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March 10 - DAY 9 - At Sea

 

I did wake up that morning at 4am. I read for a little while and by 5:00 I was ready to head up for coffee. I was quite surprised to find I had to line up. Usually there were a couple of other people in the Oceanview. There were more than a few this morning. I headed to to get some sunrise photos.

 

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I think it was a full moon. There would be a beautiful moonset a little later. Again with my 200-500 I get amazing moon photos, but this was pretty cool.

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I think this is Deck 16.

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View from the Sunset Bar. 

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Outside the Oceanview. It was still closed. 

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The stairs at the back of the Oceanview that lead up to the Sunset Bar.

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It doesn't show in these photos but I normally see a handful of people up walking on deck 15 at 6am, this morning it was starting to get crowded at this time.

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The chair savers were out in full force. Some of them were actually sitting in chairs to save their places before 7.

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The pools weren't even open yet but quite a few poolside seats were occupied. In the cafeteria people were wondering why the full breakfast wasn't available at 6:30am. They were all as confused as me.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

Duane

 

If we ever go back, I’d love to try snorkeling. You said that you rented a car on Aruba and Curacao. How did you know the best places to go or have you been there before? Did you bring your own equipment? I did talk to a couple who did a snorkeling tour on Bonaire (actually I think they went to an island off Bonaire). They said that it was amazing. 
 

Maris

That was our first time there and yep, brought our own snorkel equipment.  Forgot who we used for the car rental but I put a review on the Aruba and Curacao boards.   We also went to Klein Bonaire (the little island) for snorkeling.  We used Woodwind and they were great.  By far the best water/coral I've ever seen.  But I'd trade it all for the turtles in Curacao.  When we go back we will probably do it on our own as they have a ferry that drops people off at the island.  

 

I like to rent a car if feasible and Aruba and Curacao are easy to get around.  So for the price of a cheap excursion we can explore the island and snorkel all day.  

 

These are by far our favorite islands.  I can't wait to go back.  Oh and we were in Curacao on a Sunday too so late afternoon shopping was non existent.

 

Keep writing…...

Duane

 

 

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Duane

I just noticed that you live in Fort Myers, so just a nice drive for you over to the cruise port. We did a few road trips to Fort Myers Beach. A few people I talked to on the cruise had rented cars on the ABC islands and I think they were even cheaper than the golf carts. Something to seriously consider if we ever go back.

I think the couple on the ship who were raving about the snorkeling did the Woodwind tour as well. 
The islands were great and felt very safe. It was an amazing itinerary.

Maris

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March 10 - DAY 9 - At Sea

We were heading north east, getting closer to home. It was another gorgeous perfect Caribbean day. We spent much of the day in our regular spot on Deck 15, talking to our friends, people watching and enjoying watching the activities by the pool.

 

If you happened to be on this cruise and spent time on deck 15, you probably noticed a tiny, tanned, very fit, attractive woman who frequently walked the track on the deck. No it wasn't me (I wish)😂, Often she had bare feet, but that didn't slow her down. She was quick. I did see her a couple of early mornings as well and tried to catch her. No way. We stopped her for a second and asked about steps. 30,000 a day. That inspired me. Instead of just sitting for hours and getting up to get a drink occasionally, I would get up and walk every so often. Good plan, but I only managed 15,000 steps that day. 1/2 her steps and twice her size. I'm still working on it at home. The treadmill gets tedious,  the spin bike doesn't count steps and when walking the dog I have to stop & sniff everything. I'll get there. Wait until you see me on my next cruise. Two years from now, maybe?

 

Speaking of next cruises, we decided to check out Future Cruises. With this dire situation surely prices would be taking a nose dive. A couple of people that we talked to on the ship had come from a back to back that stopped for Mardi-Gras in New Orleans. Ken was interested in that one. We watch all the Mardi Gras activities on my Web Cam app. There's not much worth watching anywhere these days. And I would consider a TA, though Ken is not interested at this point and maybe never. Turns out that both cruise prices were double what we paid for this one. I was doing the kick Ken thing under the table. I really didn't need to. He was so shocked he cut the conversation short.

 

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We enjoyed our afternoon canapés on our deck. See that in the distance. I think it's rain. At one point earlier in the day, I was in the Solarium pool for a quick dip. When I came back out everything was wet. The first shower of our vacation.

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We had our final specialty dinner that evening at the Lawn Club Grill. I didn't realize that it was Evening Chic night. Glad we missed it. I'm just  not a dresser upper. I took the camera with me this time as I was thinking we might get to see a sunset.

 

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The picture on the big screen showed me what I was missing by not snorkelling.

 

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I took a much better photo of the menu the next morning but I don't have it loaded up to Flickr yet. I'll post again later.

 

 

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Not crowded at all. The people behind us look as if they dressed up. We didn't. Oh well.

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March 10 - Day 9 - At sea

 

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We split a Margherita flatbread for a starter. Probably more than we needed. A salad and the main would have been enough. A flatbread is really just a thin crust pizza, right. It was good. 

 

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Looking out on the lawn. I rarely saw anyone out there. Early in the morning there was always a lot going on. The lawn being cut, watered and raked. At one point it looked almost dead but the lawn crew brought it back. One morning a lawn guy had removed bags of grass. It was great to see that it had recovered. The cabanas off to the side are available for private rental. I think they were quite expensive, cheaper on sea days, but I didn't notice them being used too often on this trip. 

 

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The table next to us was soon to be occupied by a nice couple from Nebraska. We had never met people from Nebraska. Turns out they were very nice. Am I generalizing? They told us some interesting facts about Nebraska. Omaha's claim to fame is Warren Buffett. I don't think they'd ever met him. I imagine Nebraska might be like our prairies, which I have traveled across a number of times. We, more Ken than I, really enjoy meeting and talking to new people. Some just can't be bothered conversing, but this couple was very friendly.  Our server, seemed a bit inexperienced. He disappeared from time to time. Maybe he had duties elsewhere as well.😁 They were short staffed. It did make for a longer more relaxed meal. We didn't feel rushed.

 

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Preparing our flatbread. Does he see something that concerns him in that dough? 

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Red sky at night... I had salad from the salad bar. It was well stocked and at this small restaurant people weren't crowded around it like in the Oceanview. For my main I had the Filet Mignon medium rare. It was perfect. Ken, having had steak almost every night chose the bratwurst. What can you say about bratwurst. Not much. I don't remember the sides. Some kind of potato and veggie. It was all very good. I would go back.

 

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You can watch your dinner being prepared.

 

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After dinner we stopped by the Oceanview for our cookies for the morning. Do you think that the two chefs above are the same ones from the Lawnclub Grill?

 

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Might as well grab a glass of wine while we're there 

 

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March 10 - DAY 9 - At Sea

 

After picking up our cookies for the morning we wandered through the Solarium. I had often watched people playing ping pong. Great tables there. We decided to stop and give it a try. Spent a bit of time having rallies. No counting points. Have I mentioned I'm a sore loser? Ken was surprised and I was pleased. I wasn't too bad at ping pong. I guess it's like riding a bike. I spent many hours of my misspent youth playing ping pong in our basement. Possibly with my brother, though as I mentioned about my inability to lose gracefully, probably not for long. He's a natural athlete. Most of the games I played were with my best friend. It all came back. Next cruise we'll have to try again. 

 

Entertainment that night was Uptown. Three young men, singing and dancing Soul and R & B music. They were great. Wonderful voices and the dance moves were classic. A lot of these groups also 'chatter' in between songs. I didn't enjoy that part as much. Back in the day I had a couple of 8 tracks of Stevie Wonder that I listened to over and over. And as a connection to the famous; one of my friends moved to Hawaii for a few years after finishing university. She sold hot dogs on the beach. She was a classic 70s beauty with long blond hair. One day she actually met Marvin Gaye and he asked her out. She said 'No, I have a boyfriend'. Probably a good response but still, she may have been tempted. I guess I chatter between pictures too. 🤣

 

Early to bed again. We never did venture out after 10pm.

 

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March 11 - DAY 10 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman

Arrival 12 noon Depart 7pm

 

Ships in port

 - MSC Meraviglia 8-4

 - Norwegian Breakaway - 8 -4

 - Liberty of the Seas - 10 - 6

 - Carnival Sensation - 9 - 5

There was also a Windstar Sailing ship in port that wasn't listed on the page that I had copied before our trip.

 

I'm not sure when or how we heard it but sometime that day the WHO had declared a pandemic. And at this point our greatest concern was, would they let us off in port? We just figured that would be an indication of how bad things really were.

 

 

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Up early again. I did my deck walk and then went back for my camera (sunrise 6:45 and sunset 6:53). Another perfect day though a little cooler (high 27).

 

 

 

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There were quite a few people saving chairs. I did notice this group many mornings and they did occupy their chairs, so they were OK.😎

 

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The window was wet. Maybe it rained in the night.

 

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The Porch.

 

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It just kept getting better and better.

 

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Edited by Marvy Mare
correction.
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March 11 - DAY 10 - Georgetown, Grand Cayman

 

Our trip was coming to a close and by this time. We were all ready to go home. Usually getting sad at this point, but on this day feeling glad. We could have just skipped Grand Cayman. But I guess it just doesn't work like that. Anyone who has cruised before, even Ken and I had probably been there. And lining up for tenders is a bit of a pain.

 

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This was the lawn that had appeared really dead earlier in the trip. The lawn crew had worked  hard on a successful repair. If we kept our lawn that short, it would die too. We don't water though. I think the lawns are watered for much of the night. I had to dodge sprinklers on my early morning walks. 

 

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 I think I saw him yesterday.

 

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There's that menu.

 

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The Lawn Club is pretty in the morning light too.

 

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Got all their front row seats and it wasn't even 7am. I think quite a few people chose to stay on at Georgetown.

 

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The seat savers a/k/a chair hogs had so many seats clipped  with towels but looks like  only a few chairs were being used.  Pool Butlers should have politely taken care of this.

 

Still following..will hate to see the review  end!

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Thanks hcat.

 

Glad to see that you are still with me. As the cruise fades from memory, and the weather improves here I need encouragement to continue, but I will persist. 

 

I didn't see as many chair fights on this cruise. I think because it was so consistently hot, maybe not as many people sat out?  It was alway entertaining. Those mornings that I was up and out in the dark, I would see people heading out to save chairs, some still in their jammies. Most likely so they could go back to bed. Very bad behaviour. I did witness one fight over a chair for a gentleman that used a walker and needed more room to access a chair. The woman who occupied the lounge that was in his way refused to budge an inch. The pool butlers came to his rescue and found him another accessible spot. The not budging an incher got to keep her seat. Hope that she was happy.

 

People were constantly moving chairs around too. Often out into the walking track. Sometimes just a little bit but enough to cause an accident. Ken had a fall and he isn't the clumsy one in our family (that would be me). He tripped over the leg of a chair that was on the track and fell. Scraped his knee. It was a two large bandaid injury. 

 

Maris

 

 

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