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Liljo22

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About Liljo22

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. It doesn't have to be made in Texas but it needs to be bought from a distributor in Texas. Since the cruise lines buy in bulk usually, they only purchase a small amount of liquor from a Texas distributor to comply with the short time its required. Bottles bought from a Texas distributor will be labeled with a small barcode sticker.
  2. Someone will always be upset. If they extended it through the end of the year, someone on a Jan 1st cruise will complain that they were not included.
  3. Key word there is Majority. It does not say all their ships. Carnival’s announced plan is to start with a limited amount of ships from Florida and Texas. I would think NCL would do something similar.
  4. I just saw the same offer and had the same thought. Weird that it says Bar on Board but doesn’t include cheers.
  5. If you look at the ports they are planning on restarting from, its Texas and Florida. Both states have started to open back up. This was Galveston this weekend.
  6. Every cruise line is cancelling cruises up to a certain date and stating they plan on resuming on the next day. Carnival is actually talking about phased openings and listing actual ports and ships that they are planning on starting back up. There was no reason for Carnival to state this unless there is an actual plan to restart.
  7. Quintana Roo(Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel) is opening up for tourism starting June 1st. This area has been hit hard economically with 64,000 people losing their jobs. I would be surprised if cruises are not allowed to port there by August.
  8. Actually that is not true. The Fair Credit Billing act gives merchants 90 days to refund a credit card once they acknowledge a refund is due. And it actually is really easy for a merchant to answer to an Amex chargeback. You log into the Amex merchant services portal and they would just need to upload the refund policy. Amex actually pulls the money back from the merchant right away so NCL will be more inclined to answer the chargeback quickly. Visa and Mastercard do not pull funds back from the merchant until a decision is made.
  9. I know cruises are not going to be back up and running in July but the pricing is almost worth the chance. The Vista is $1000 plus $500 OBC for an inside Family Harbor for 4.
  10. July 2017 Western Caribbean in the Vista. Purposely booked one of the oddly shaped corner rooms in the Family Harbor.
  11. Day 4 - Jet Skiing in a Rainstorm How can you not love cruising when you can wake up to this view. Roatan is beautiful island. And the second pier was far enough along for us to dock instead of tender which was a bonus. They are still working on constructing buildings along the walkway but there is a wood plank dock leading to the current shopping area. The shopping are is not much. A few restaurants and bars as well as your normal jewelry store and trinket stores. We started the day with the usual breakfast at the buffet before heading out . Our friends went on an excursion to one of the Monkey/Sloth locations but we did this last time so it was not on our list. My plan was to head to the West End Beach area for a calm beach day and maybe some shopping. We headed down to the taxi area and setup for one to take us that way. The price ended up being $70 for the 4 of us which may seem like a lot. The difference is he was our taxi driver for the day. He would stay with us the whole day and take us where ever we wanted. You pay when you get dropped back off so no worry about him ditching us along the way. I told him we wanted to head to West End and he suggested Henry Morgan which is a resort on the beach. Getting to the West End means driving to the top of the mountain. Our driver pulled over at a spot that looks out over the jungle and ocean. It was beautiful. So we get to the resort and a downpour starts just as we get to the excursion desk. I am talking full on hard rain. We were worried about paying and then it raining the whole time but our driver reassured us that the rain does not last long. We paid for the resort pass that was $20pp but there were options for drinks that was $65 or $80 if you wanted drinks and a lobster lunch. We did not plan on drinking $40 each so we stayed with the basic pass. It got you beach access with loungers, use of the wifi and pool. The rain started to die down so we hopped on a golf cart to take us to the beach area. The rain fully stopped after we got to the beach so we put our stuff down and headed into the crystal clear water. So much nicer than Galveston's muck and calmer than the Atlantic beaches back home in Florida. The beach area is actual public so you were constantly approached by locals selling stuff. They were never pushy though. You could tell them no thank you and they move on without attitude. Also, scuba diving is big here so there were a ton of dive boats anchored along the beach. We promised the kids we would rent jet skis if we were on a beach with them. There were several setup along the beach so I headed down to check pricing. They wanted $75 for a half hour but I told him I wanted two and we negotiated it down to $50 a half hour for each. I have been burned in the past where we go out and the skis are junk and overheat so I mentioned it to him. He was really nice about it and said I can pay when we get back if we want. The skis he gave us were just about brand new and they hauled. They had someone out there with us who showed us where the reef and divers were but besides that we had free reign. After the half hour, we headed back to the bar for lunch and to work on our virus immunity. Too soon? Maybe but that was the running joke for anyone drinking Corona this week. We swam in the pool for a bit before heading back to the pier. When we got back, we were met with an ambulance pulled up to our ship and a women being taken off. Of course the first thought was coronavirus but only one person was wearing a mask and it looked more like an injury than respiratory issue. We met our friends up at the pool bar for a drink before heading down. Tonight we had the early show for Burn the Floor so we figured a quick meal at O'Sheenan's would be better than a sit down MDR dinner. The kids wanted to go to the buffet so it was another adult night for dinner. It turned out another family we are friends with from our neighborhood was on this cruise and they also planned on dinner here so we made it a six top booth. The pub atmosphere is a lot of fun. On one side is the reserved seating and then on the other is the bar with high tops and video games. Food wise it was really good. We ordered a several styles of wings plus nachos for our app. For dinner several of us had the burger which was good also. I highly recommend O'Sheenans for dinner. We also did them for a late night snack another night. At this time, they have a limited menu of snacking items and deserts. Our reservation for Burn the Floor was at 7:30 and I had heard about getting their early to make sure you get seats. We showed up about 7:10 and there were only a few other passengers at that time. We were able to get seats center section row three and our kids wanted to sit front row on their own. There were still seats available on the sides at showtime. The show had a West Side Story feel to it. There were two warring latin dance groups and a love story between the two sides. Dancing was excellent. One of the couples were the trick dancers and he had the woman flying all over the place. He had her flipping around and I could only imagine how hard that would be if the ship was rocking. At one point, a woman dancer grabbed the hat off a male dancer and turned around to toss it back. The hat went flying out of control and landed in the lap of one of our girls. Lets just say our young teenage girls got a nice treat when he jumped off the stage shirtless and blew them a kiss as he retrieved it. I would compare this show to Carnival's Playlist Productions. There were a couple of musicians on the drums and live singers but the stage is very simple. After the show we hung out at a few bars on the Waterfront. We did not hang out in this area during the day but it looks like it would be a nice relaxing area away from all the craziness. We headed to bed looking forward to a nice relaxing day at Harvest Caye tomorrow. Freestyle for Day 4
  12. Day 3 - Lazy Day in Cozumel Good morning and Happy Easter to those that celebrate. Today was our Cozumel day. This port might be the one I have been to the most like I am sure most of you. Its either this or Nassau. I prefer this one over the Bahamas just because of the amount of options there are. In the past we have done Dolphinaris and been to Playa Mia several times but I didn't want anything big for this port. I had a plan to go to Chankanaab beach park on our own though. Through NCL it was way more expensive than going directly to the park. I would suggest this way if you do decide to go to this park. Its $23/adult and $16/kid for entrance but there are options for other activities you can prepay for. Here is the link to the park website. https://www.cozumelparks.com/en/chankanaab-eng/ We were in no hurry to get off the ship today though. We got ready and headed to the Garden Cafe for breakfast. I can't remember if it happened for breakfast or lunch but NCL went to the no self serve starting today. They had tables setup at the front with plates, silverware and condiments and you had to be handed a set by a crew member. Everything including drinks had to be served to you. It slowed everything up a little which for us was not a big deal but you could see that some passengers were not happy about it. I felt bad for the crew because they were pulling people from all over the ship to help serve. There were engine crew handing out drinks and spa crew helping with serving. I even had the General Manager pouring ketchup on my burger. It added a level of stress for them all to an already stressful job. It was about 11 before we stepped off the ship. Our friends were already at Chankanaab at this point. We made the long walk through the mall to the taxi area and started the trek to the park. It was $13 total for one way to the park which is not bad. The park is farther than I thought and we passed by the second pier with the RCCL ships to get there. Once there, the cab pulled up to a stand and an employee came up to the window with a board showing the options. There were dark storm clouds all over so we decided to do just the park entrance in case we had to make it a short day. Total was $85 but they charged our card in pesos so it ended up being less once the currency exchanged. The park was pretty nice and had a ton of different activities for you to do. There is an area you can swim with the dolphins or manatees(extra), a sea lion show(free), a pool(free), zip lining(extra), an small zoo(free), snorkeling(extra) and tequila tasting(extra). My kids decided they wanted to snorkel while my wife laid on the beach loungers. There are several independent snorkel companies in booths and of course they are willing to negotiate. The price is $10 for a snorkel and fins but I only had $20 cash on me and told him I had to go grab more but he said he would do three for the $20. Snorkeling was great. There is a small reef as soon as you get in the water and a ton of fish. There was even an eel going from coral to coral. We spent a good half hour just floating around close to the shore. I will say that the one downside of this park is that there is no beach access to the water. At the end of the sand is a rocky area and there are stairs that take you down to the water. If you are looking for a beach, this is not the place for you. After snorkeling, I went to grab a few snacks for the kids at the Dolphin area. At this point it was lightly raining but not enough for us to run from out spot. The kids were having a great time swinging in the hammocks and we were relaxing on the loungers. There are waiters coming around for drinks and prices were not bad at all. I think we had 2 beers, a daiquiri, and a couple of waters for $20. All in all it was a nice cheap day in Cozumel. About 3:00 it seemed like another storm was going to be heading over so we made our way back to the ship. There were taxis constantly pulling up so we were able to get a van to hold all eight of us for $26. They dropped us right in front of Senior Frogs and we made our way back through the mall. Back on the ship the sun was out again. We had lunch in the Garden Cafe and the kids and I wanted to do the ropes course while we were still in port. The course on the Getaway is huge. There are so many different paths with different levels of ability. There is also a zipline part at the end that is fun. They also have a part called Walk the Plank. Its a beam that jets out about 8 feet over the side of the ship. Its definitely a little unnerving. Surprisingly, all 8 kids went all the way out to the end. I was not so brave and only made it out half way before turning back. Disgusted with myself, I headed back and made it all the way this time. It was a lot of fun and one of the reasons I prefer the bigger ships. We hung around by the pool area and watched sail away for a while. And then headed down to get ready for dinner. Tonight was the adults only night at Cagney's. I planned on running the kids over to the Cafe for the buffet dinner but they wanted to do the MDR on their own tonight. They said the crew was great and treated them all like adults. It was a great experience for them. We meet our friends at the Prime Meridian bar for a drink before heading into Cagney's. This is the bar that is between Cagney's and Modernos. After we were seated, a waiter came and took our drink order. Our regular waiter came right after and asked if we were using a dining plan credit which we were. He explained the menu and said we could get one entree and several apps and sides. He also explained that a few of the items had additional service charges. I have seen people say that they were told only one or two apps but that was not our experience. We all ordered salads and several apps to share. We got the thick cut bacon which was excellent. I upcharged to the tiger shrimp which were good but I don't think it was worth the extra $5. The men both got the ribeye and the women both got the filet. I like my steaks medium and that was exactly how it came out. The seasoning was very light which was a little disappointing but I ordered chimichurri sauce with it. The check came and it shows how much the cost would have been without the plan. We both added additional tip as our waiter was really great. It was an excellent meal at Cagney's. After dinner we headed to Syd's to see Back in the Day. They are an 80s hair cover band. They started out playing lesser known songs but picked up steam and had the place rocking. So much fun. They play in the main theater on the last night also. There was the 70s/80s deck party tonight so we grabbed our kids and went up to Spice. I almost died when Vincent came out dressed like this. You can't see but he is wearing platform heels. The dance party started out playing Disco and then moved into the 80s. They would dress passengers up as different musical groups from the era which was fun. We party here until almost the end and then called it a night. Freestyle Day 3
  13. Thanks. Hopefully you give the Getaway another shot. She is not without her flaws but felt she was a great ship.
  14. Spoiler Alert. They went to no self serve on Day 3.
  15. Day 2 - Rocky Day at Sea I took someones advise on here and setup room service to come in the morning with coffee, fruit and pastries for a starter breakfast. I set the time for 8-8:30 thinking we would be up by that time but the knock on the door woke me up. My mistake thinking we would but up that early on vacation. After everyone getting up and ready, we headed up to the buffet for the real breakfast. Its your normal buffet breakfast. Scrambled eggs and meats, an omelet station, french toast and pancakes. It was all very good. There are long high top tables at the front of the cafe that seem to get overlooked. We decided this would be our area for the rest of the cruise. The Gulf was rough today and winds were really high. The ship was rocking pretty bad. I'm talking bounce from wall to wall in the hallways level of bad. They had to shut down the sports deck which was disappointing but there was no way you would be able to be on the ropes course or basketball court in this weather. I was worried one of my family members would get sick but surprisingly we were all good. Our friends' daughter did get sea sick and slept it off in the room most the day. We ventured out to the hang by the pool. I get the complaints about the pool deck. The open area on the actual pool deck is not very large so there are only a few loungers out in the sun. The rest are in the shade. If you want sun then you have to go to deck 16. We didn't have any trouble finding loungers up here. Actually we found the perfect spot in our eyes. There is a set of loungers above the bar/marketplace. This spot gave you access to everything. You could watch the events going on poolside or easily hit the waterslides. There are also two temporary bars on each side of you serving beer, hard seltzer, and basic mixed drinks. Inserting the deck plan below. The blue is the seating and the red is where the two bars are. We hung out here for a while and watched the sexiest legs contest. This was good fun. It got a little raunchy at times but not as bad as Carnival's poolside twerking contest. There were two funny moments. The guys were suppose to dance for the judges but one of the young guys mom was a judge. Also there was an older guy going last and he covered with a towel. He took the towel off to reveal he was in a diaper that said something about sorry I farted. I want to talk about our cruise director, Vincent. I thought he was great. He was all about dressing up in costumes and outrageous suits. He was one of the best CDs we have had and I would put him up there with Matt Mitcham from Carnival. His catch phrase at the end of everything was "I will sea you when I see you". We gave the slides a go after the contest. There are 5 slides on the Getaway. Once open slide on the lower level, two spiral closed racing slides, and two drop slides on top. The drop slides have a minimum weight of 99lbs and maximum of 300lbs. They also do not allow you to wear any jewelry at all even earrings. You get in a tube standing up and the bottom drops out from under you. They are worried you are going to try to grab on to something and get caught. Also, if you are on the lighter side of the scale, ride the green side only. After you drop the slide goes upwards and lighter people were not making over the hump and had to get out at the emergency exit. All the slides were a lot of fun. Here is a video to see how the slides go. We ate in the buffet for lunch and then headed down to get ready for dinner. Dinner tonight was in the Tropicana Room. As I said before, I think the TR is the better of the MDRs. It just feels like a cruise ship dining room. Its also very big so there was never any wait for a table. Service was very good and we were in and out in about and hour and a half. I had the baked ziti on the everyday menu. It was ok. For desert I got the nutella creme brulee. This was excellent. I love creme brulee and this was an interesting twist on it. After dinner our kids left us to hang out together. This was the first cruise where we felt they were mature enough to venture out on their own but they all had to stick together. It was nice not having to stick them in the kids club after hours. We did the rounds at the different bars. There was karaoke at Syd's that was fun. Bliss was not crowded at all and the people in there were underage. The DJ kept announcing that it was 18 and up but they did not listen. Security came and kicked them out. Afterwards the dance floor started to pick up and we had a fun time dancing before hitting the room. Cozumel is tomorrow. Freestyle for Day 2
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