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Bahama Beach Wedding Diary


dcarter4
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Quick question. Where did Kel order the inter-racial cake topper? I have been looking for a decent one for months now.

 

HAHA...I just LOVE how you assume KELLY ordered the cake topper?!!

 

She did not....

 

I ordered it...but after receiving a warning about advertising...I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention websites...which makes this informative forum...kinda less informative. Send me a private message and I (the MAN) will link you to several sites!

 

Dwayne

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you cant private message on Cruise critic, but another site that does interracial (and have a lot of different figurine poses) is miscaketops.com. They hand paint everything, I got ours because they will hand paint on a firefighters uniform on the normal (suit) figurine. Order early though! I ordered mine almost a month ago it supposed to come in today!

Edited by Bo59rt
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Hey All!

 

4 Days, 15hours..3 minutes to Go!!!

 

Under Pressure…

 

 

Taking a few minutes to update you all…..

 

Kel and I had an EXTRA special day (and night) yesterday…..followed by an extra special hangover….those of you who have followed this diary from the beginning, can probably do the math…

 

Today was rough…..but no rest for the wicked...

 

Tomorrow I need to deliver on some programming and Sunday, we have a small Catbitat to install.

 

Unlike last week, I’m really hoping to get back home by 1pm or so.

 

We have sooo much to do…..

 

Is that a problem???

 

 

I rented my Tux(s) from Men’s Warehouse. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the service I received during the fitting…and I am less happy today!

 

I thought I’d give them a call, to double verify that all was well…glad I did.

I called them at noon. The guy who answered said they were very busy…and that he would call me back…he did.

 

After spending 5min trying to explain to him, that I did not know a Phil Thompson…and that I have no idea HOW he got on my reservation (REALLY!!!)

 

….the guy then says….

 

Him: “OK…it looks like it’s on our truck for Tuesday. Should be here by noon”.

 

Me: “Well I hope so…I plan on picking it up on Tuesday. I leave early on Wed. morning.”

 

Him: “OK…so we’ll see you on Wed…”

 

Me: “Aah….NO…you will see me on Tuesday afternoon. I fly out of town on Wed…”

 

Him: “Oh…well I hope it’s all here by then”

 

ARWERWEWEJWRIHI*(#$&@)(@(_#*@(_#@_(#&@_##@:mad:

 

I hope for Men’s Warehouse’s sake…that it is ALL THERE…and that it FITS!!!!

 

Or else…you will be seeing me on CNN!!

 

I’ll be the story about the quiet computer geek, who suddenly went on a shooting spree….

 

B.Y.O.M.U. (Bring Your Own Make Up)

 

 

Being a guy…I don’t get why my bride wants to spend money for a stranger to “do her makeup and hair” on the one day where you want to look your best.

 

I mean…Trusting some stranger to do something to you…that you do every day…and know how to do it EXACTLY the way you want it….well…it’s a bit of a needless risk for me. (Risk Mitigation in Project Manager speak…)

 

What if she makes you look like a clown…or a hooker?!:cool:

 

But she wants it…so I tried to hook it up.

 

My Celebrity Group guy, Rob, said he would contact Group Relations, who would then contact the Spa Manager…blah blah…

 

I give him the time…he sets it up. I called today to confirm (naturally)….

 

He assured me that everything is good to go…and mentioned that the Spa people recommend that she bring her own makeup?!!

 

WHAT?!!! So….we’re paying for WHAT exactly?!!

 

Oh well….I’ll leave it up to her. It’s her thing….I won’t pretend to understand it.

She doesn’t get the beauty of a fine, $ 3k Tube amp….and I don’t get paying money for hair and makeup..BYOMU?

 

Check the seat cushions….

 

 

Naturally…..I’m obsessing over the remaining items…and how much we will have left…during the cruise.

 

Now I know what you are saying…relax! Have Fun!!!

 

I WILL…..as soon as I know I will be able to pay my bill, when I leave the ship.

 

There is no time left for anymore side jobs…..no last min. Catbitat sales are comin’ my way (I think)…It’s down to the good ol’ paycheck now!!

 

After paying for our Drink package (which seemed about $ 80 higher than it should be), I started looking at every splurge.

 

Kel’s mom sent us a Wedding Card…and a nice check!!! Some of it will make it to the Cruise fund….but I’m still not in my comfort zone.

 

Let’s see how this weekend plays out…

 

Later

 

D & K

Edited by dcarter4
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Yeayyyyyyy I'm so excited for you. Everything is going to turn out wonderfully . Your tux will arrive on time and Kel's make up will be gorgeous. Hopefully some surprise catbitat sales will come your way.

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Hope your wedding day and cruise are everything you have dreamed of! Beautiful wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness!

 

 

PS As a former MU artist, it's good to bring your own make-up, the last thing you need or want is an allergic reaction! Tell her to make sure she has foundation and eye primer and LASHES they make all the difference.

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Hey All!

 

1 Day to Go!!!

 

“Well I’m Leavin’ On A Jet Plane……”

 

Well this is it…..1 day to go!!!

(actually....about 10.5 hours from now...)

 

Oddly, one the best things about tomorrow..will be practicing “The Art of Letting Go” (Pat Benatar reference)..

 

Once we turn over our bags to security (for the second time), they, like the rest of the trip, will be (mostly) out of our hands. Our wedding will be in the hands of fate…and numerous professionals whom we are trusting to do their jobs, correctly.

 

For a control freak like me, it will be a welcomed relief. For some people, relinquishing their power, drives them crazy. Not me.

 

I will have four moments of relaxation:

 

Deep breath #1: When we board the plane…headed for FLL.

Deep breath #2: When we are headed to the hotel…with all of our luggage.

Deep Breath #3: Thursday morning when I check my phone for my Direct Deposit.

Deep breath #4: When we board the Constellation....

 

At that point in time…we are a GO!!! What will happen…will happen!

 

But not yet……

 

Is that a Viennese Waltz you’re doing…or are you just glad to see me???

 

Kel and I nailed down the music selection this weekend. If the “Child” will play it in the proper order…it should be good.

We were very unsure about the First Dance. Would we do one? What would it be? How would we dance to it?

 

I (naturally) have been thinking about this for weeks. Kel…has not.

 

Needless to say…we decided to do a First Dance…which I have already choreographed…in my mind! The reality….is a bit harder. I mean…I have reluctantly watched too much Dancing With The Stars…how hard can this be?!!

 

Um…it’s a bit hard….

 

Now…I DID try to get some professional help….but she could never find the time.

 

So we are on our own!

 

We are using our garage as the dance floor. I think we’ll pull it off. Worse-case….I step on her train…and shred it!!

 

She can't really move too much in her dress...so....I’ll let you know how it comes out… in the review.

 

Checking the cushions….

 

Even with all of my planning, working and pleading…our trip will still come down to my weekly paycheck. I can’t be helped at this point.

If my direct deposit isn’t in the account, come Thursday morning…our trip is a bust…(you rich followers won’t remember what this feels like…but the rest of you do).

 

Now…I’m not complaining, mind you. We have pulled-off the unthinkable. The unimaginable (for us).

 

As of this writing….we have paid off: $ 13,377.50..in 5 months!!

 

Not a single $$ came from borrowed credit. A combination of wages (yes..we do OK), frugal spending, a LOT of weekend work, a LOT of luck, a little gambling wins, a little family help, and a little tax refund….but we did it!

 

[Note: As of this writing..my client has asked for me to order him a few more items....it's only a few $$$...but you KNOW I will do it after this post!!]

 

Well…at least we PAID for it. You will have to wait for our return…before we can answer whether or not…we got what we paid for!!

 

So here I type……pouring over the few remaining items. Thinking about what to wear, and trying to remember how to dance. What electronics to bring? Do I have enough memory.

 

The list just keeps getting longer….

 

Starting with the proposal in the Wine Country…all the way to these few remaining hours…

 

WOW….what a trip so far!!??

 

Surprisingly, we kept the drama to a minimum. I certainly expect drama on the trip (that goes without saying)…but for the past 5 months…we saved the Drama for Your Momma!!.....

 

..which is ironic…considering most of the attempted drama came from both of our Mama’s :D

 

Speaking of which, Kel’s mom did send us a nice card and check. They spoke this past weekend. I was not privy to the conversation, but Kel mentioned that is was more of the same.

 

Why didn’t you just do something NORMAL, then it wouldn’t have cost so much”..I just don’t do cruises…” Blah Blah….I think she’s a bit sad…..and we are sad for her, too.

 

Regrets are a Bi#$.

 

I don’t envy her this one……

 

In conclusion….

 

This is my final posting before we leave. I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words. I know that this forum page is mostly filled with anxious Brides……but rarely the groom.

 

I wanted to take you all on this journey..from a guy’s point of view…

 

I know I approached this diary from a different angle than most. It was heavily geared towards and about the money.

 

While it is possible to have a Destination Wedding for a lot less (and certainly a lot more money)….the all mighty dollars (as in life) plays a critical role in your wedding plans.

 

It remains to be seen, if the cut backs we were forced to make…will make or break our wedding day. I wish I knew in advance…what will go wrong?…who will screw up?…what will blow up.?.. But we can’t, can we?

 

That’s what makes this all the more exciting, right!!?

 

So…here we are folks…..here at the end, we return to the beginning.

 

This whole odyssey started with a single question…

 

Can you throw a Destination Wedding in the Bahamas…in just 5 months?!

 

Well my friends…we are about to find out…..

 

Yours….

 

Dwayne & Kelly

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I enjoyed your post so much being the man who is also in the same situation.

There were some parts that I almost fell on the floor laughing my a$$ off you are way too funny :D:D. Everything you went through we are going threw and more and as it gets closer the stress seems sometimes to be unbearable. But my partner on this journey helps me threw it and there have been a lot of laughs. My mom also decided awhile after we booked it the journey was too much for her and it really hurts too know she and my dad won't be there. So I really feel for Kelly in that aspect I mean come on it's your kids wedding right I could go on and on with the story of the now fued between my future wife and my parents but what are you gonna do. I really hope you come back on and tell us all the last chapter cause I'm dieing to know everything that happened and I wish you two all the luck for your future adventures and I hope Kelly has a huge win at the casino on the ship thanks so much for the on going posts they all really made my day every time I read them best of luck.

 

Tony and Denise

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Hey All!!!

 

Weeee’rrrrreee Baaackkk!!!

 

“May I present to you……”

 

Wed1.jpg

 

Kelly and I tied the knot, on a beautiful beach in Nassau, Bahama, March 14, 2014 at 2:15pm!

 

It was a wonderful day! The sky was clear and blue…the birds were singing…the….

 

WHHHAAATTT?!

 

You want the whole story? A day by day, blow by blow?

 

Well fans….let’s begin at the Beguine…..

 

 

“Day # 1…or as I say…A.I.S. Time (A__in Seats)!!”

 

 

After a restless night of sleep, I awaken before out 4:45am alarm. A thousand different thoughts in my head…and sleep wasn’t one of them.

 

I had time to set the lighting automation and make one last check of the electronics, before the ladies started to stir…well…Kel anyways. “The Child” won’t budge…. Skip forward….

 

We kiss the kitties’ goodbye and head to the airport. Our Southwest Flight is on-time and we head to LAX to catch our Virgin America flight to FLL.

 

Kel asks the flight attendants if there is anywhere she can hang her dress (it’s in a clear, see-thru garment bag).

 

The answer….is “No…..just lay it in the overhead bin…on top of the luggage…it will be fine.”

 

Well…at least they said it nicely….

 

As we land at LAX, I decide it is now a good time to inform Kel that we have just 85min to get our bags and re-check and board them…in another terminal!!

 

Hey….leave ‘em no time to panic, right?!!

 

Luckily, our bags arrive quickly (all four of them..), and a short shuttle bus ride lands us at the Virgin America counter.

 

If you recall, Kel wasn’t thrilled with flying in the wrong direction for an hour…just to try a new out a new airline…..but I was!

 

After check-in and a frustrating security line (where “the Child” is allowed Pre Check status the entire trip?)….we board our first Virgin America flight!!

 

We all find the interior lighting (a cool pink and purple) and the larger than normal coach seats to be VERY cool!

 

Again…Kel asks the flight attendant’s if there is anywhere she can hang her dress

 

Again….the answer….is… “No…..just lay it in the overhead bin…on top of the luggage…it will be fine.”

 

She’s done asking this question…..

 

Folk….unless you are in First Class….your wedding dress is getting NO LOVE!

 

I immediately distract the ladies with the touch screen and power outlets on each seat.

 

We are surrounded by babies and toddlers…so the headphones go on, as we all start to channel surf! Soon, we are all surfing thru the food menu, as I order us some wine…..

 

We are all smiling….as we take off and head to FLL!!!

(Deep breath #1……ahhhhh……)

 

 

“Your Chariot Awaits….”

 

 

Four hours and twenty minutes later…we arrive in FLL!!

 

We are all anxious…a combination of stress and anticipation. We see all four bags come down the slot…This reoccurring vision (of seeing all of our bags) will repeat itself throughout the trip…but is the most important…right now.

 

Four bags mean tuxedos for me…and everything to the B2B (Bride 2 Be).

 

I have ZERO reception in baggage claim (our cellphones and communication will plague us throughout this odyssey). I NEED some bars…because I have arranged for a stretch limo for us. The limo driver can’t contact me!!

 

I lead us to the curb…and our reception returns. The humidity hits us and….Our cellphones start BLOWING UP!!!

 

 

Text after text…….her family is delayed in GA!!…My family is delayed in GA!! One of my friends is already at a bar…my best man is at the hotel….one of my friends says the hotel is not honoring the special Marriott rate…..My family now see’s Kel’s family…they are on the same connecting flight! They are gonna do a pub crawl in the airport for 2 hours….

 

I feel my pulse quicken……

 

My phone rings….

 

It’s my limo driver from Infinity Transportation. He spots us….

A nice, white stretch limo pulls up. “The Child” is ecstatic. Kel is confused….

 

We get in….

photo5.jpg

 

Once inside…we both let out an audible breath…..

[Deep breath #2: When we are headed to the hotel…with all of our luggage.]

 

As “The Child” snaps picture after picture and posts them to her friends online….we notice a cab pull up close to the limo…it’s my sister and her family!!! They are right behind us!!!

 

Suddenly…this is real…we are all converging on the Marriott Courtyard Hotel…

 

“Welcome to the Terror Dome”

 

Kel and I steal a little kiss, before we exit the limo. We’ve done it…we are in FLL for our wedding!!

 

Family and friends are everywhere…in the lobby…by the cab….by the limo. I square things with the driver (the amount is EXACT…to the penny), hand him a $ 20….and step into……..

…HELL!!!

 

Suddenly my BIL (Brotha in Law) from WI races past me. We is on the phone and practically running down the street. His wife (Kel’s sister…) has left her cellphone in the cab!!

 

This is bad…..you have NO idea how bad this is. They do NOT handle stress very well (or change). If may recall what it took JUST to get them here!

 

Once inside…there is commotion at the desk. Only a few of the 25 guest (i.e. 11 confirmed rooms) are getting the $ 175+ discounted rate. It seems the forms are wrong…..

 

I am quickly losing my cool….

 

 

Then they inform me that whey will be charging all of our credit cards…because…they only put a “Hold” on the room charges….

 

Not to bore you with the details….but my poor sister and I now accessing our online bank accounts….trying to prove them wrong.

 

In the end…our forms were accepted…and I put my credit card down. We were 2 hours into our wedding trip….and I was down $ 320.00 (for two rooms).

 

NOT good.

 

How will I pay for dinner? My check doesn’t come in for 5 more hours….

 

Mia, the helpful and patient desk clerk gave us our keys and said….”Here you go…we took care of you…congratulations!”

 

OK….whatever…..

 

We agree to meet by the pool bar and head up to our room.

 

We open the door….

 

…into our SUITE!!!!???????

IMG_0101.jpgIMG_0102.jpg

 

Mia hooked us up!!!! A separate living room, Full kitchen, master bedroom….BOOOM!!!

 

We both could not believe it!! We were smiling again!!

 

Our phones continued to ring, constantly. My power is low (yep…I forgot my power pack in my office)…but I keep texting back.

 

Everyone is arriving….everyone is STILL having check-in problems…(“Ask for Mia”) becomes my mantra….Mia makes everything better…

 

We freshin’ up and head downstairs to face Kelly’s family….a missing phone is NOT good….

 

“If You Don’t Have A Geek…You Don’t Have Nothin…”

 

Timmy (TIIIMMMAAAAAA!!!…you must say it this way….ala South Park…. throughout the entire trip, mind you..) is downstairs with his/our fellow friends (and ultra-geeks, Renzy and Neal).

 

Together; TIIMMMAA, Renzy and Neal, are not only the best friends a guy could have…but win the love and admiration of the entire group, throughout the trip.

 

As a groom, my best man and his “team” took care of everything…and everyone. I have not figured out how to thank them properly…but I will.

 

Upon arriving back into the lobby, I am greeted by my friend, TIMMAA!!!!

I ask about the details of the lost phone, and where K and J are?

 

“Dude…don’t worry…we’re on it”!

 

This becomes their mantra throughout the entire trip.

 

When they said they had it….they had it!

 

The Geek Squad had already reviewed the security photage (to identify the cab company), spoken to the bellman, and started to hack and track the phone….but they also had K & J at the bar…with several drinks in their hands.

 

Believe it or not…but there were Mac’s and WAPs connected on the bar…messages being left and rewards being offered….all before we could order a drink!! Many laws were broken in the next few hours, my friends….

 

With all their effort…all of the tracking attempts were unsuccessful. While they were able to hack into her cloud account to locate all of her files…(they were going to take her to an AT&T store, just 2.8 miles away..the next morning, get q new phone and download her info into the new phone….) they failed.

 

You see…she had NEVER backed up her phone to the cloud…so her account was empty…and “Find Your Phone” feature was never turned on…and….etc…etc…

 

Her phone was never setup properly….

 

Time to head to the Café Del Mar….

 

I needed a stiff drink…and Kel was spiral into a mood…..

 

“Table for 25 please!!....”

 

Café’ Del Mar turned out to be a wonderful suggestion by our Elite Cruisers, Cathy and Jeff.

 

They quickly put together a table for 12 within minuetes. We were right by the entertainment..so talking was a bit strained. I didn’t care…I just needed a DRINK!!!

 

K & J announced that THEY would be buying our dinner?

 

WHHATTTTTT????

 

despicable-me-minions.jpg

 

This was a pleasant surprise…as I was very worried about covering the bill….until my check is deposited. Service was a bit slow….but I finally got a margarita…but no limes.

 

NO LIMES…..this would haunt us the ENTIRE trip!!!

 

Slowly…our table grew from 12 to 14 to 16…to 20!! They just kept adding table after table……

 

The meal was ok…but the music was fantastic!!

 

I was desperately trying to relax. TIIMMAAA was summoned by his girlfriend (this would be the first time we will meet her). He had to leave for the airport to pick her up.

 

My mom was texting and calling me…but I could not hear her over the music. After 15min…I found myself ready to smash the phone against the wall.

 

Luckily, my sister was there…and in communication with Mom.

Mom was headed to Miami ……you see…she didn’t know the address of the hotel so…Miami sounded right, yes?!!

 

AARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Oh…and Ray (her husband…who I did not want to come)…was pissed.

 

Naturally……

(Stress deflector shields on HIGH)!!!!

 

Thankfully,….my sister saw the look on my face….and took care of the details. Mom was now headed to the right hotel…..Mia was on standby….

I kept Kel in the dark about most of these issues…no since upsetting both of us…..

 

TIMMAAAA returns with his lovely girlfriend, Deanna. He makes an

announcement over the music.

 

“I present to you……Kasey’s LOST phone”!!!!

 

In his hands….he held my SIL lost iPhone…..and single handedly saved the day (and possibly the wedding).

 

To this day…the details of how he found the phone…remain a mystery…..

 

 

After the meal, we decide to find some booze…and have a little party in the Suite!!

 

Two bottles of $ 12 wine (marked up to $ 24, of course) later…we head to the Suite!

 

“Turn..this Motha..Out…”

 

 

Eventually, everyone migrated to the Suite. My lifetime friend Jeff (who just flew 26 hours from Taiwan) arrived with his wife. He didn’t stay long…

 

Even Mom and Ray showed. Last to arrive was Jules…..Kelly’s long-time friend from WI.

 

She was rooming with “The Child” and was ready to collapse.

 

By this point..we had been warned by security twice (noise violation). No music…just talking….

 

Wow….TALKING TOO LOUD?? Really? Boy…are we getting old….

 

By 1:00Am Kelly tossed everyone out….we were all tired…by happy to see everyone. The only people missing were the Montana Crew (yep….there’s a theme here….), but they weren’t expected until the morning…..

 

We cleaned up a bit and fell into bed. I don’t remember a thing until the next day….

 

......The day we boarded the Celebrity Constellation!!!!

 

Wanna hear how that went?.....

 

Well my friends…you are about to find out…..

 

Dwayne & Kelly

Edited by dcarter4
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Hey All!

 

I forgot to add this...now I'm too late to edit my last post.....

 

I want to add a simple grade to each event or Vendor:

 

1) Southwest Airlines: B+ (On time...no surprises)

 

2) Virgin America: A- (Great entertainment, time flew by!)

 

3) Infinity Transportation, Limo: A+ (on time, on budget)

 

4) Marriott Courtyard Hotel: C- (needless check-in issues...but good customer service after the fact)

 

5) Cafe Del Mar: B (food and drink were ok...but service and entertainment was outstanding).

 

More to come....

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Hey All!

 

Our story continues…Day 2 (Embarkation Day)……!!!

 

“We’re On A Boat!!!”

 

Kel & I awaken from a much needed sleep….

 

Crap…it’s already 9:00am!!!! The bus to the dock arrives at 12:45!!

I call my BM. He has a rental car (he’s afraid to fly…so he and the Geek Squad drove down from Chicago…wimp!). We agree to meet in 45min. I need to get to Total Wine and More to pick-up my pre-ordered (and favorite) champagne!

 

I hit the showers while Kel arranges some beach time with the girls…

 

As I exit the shower…I remember the critical event of the morning…..Did my paycheck go in?!!!

 

YES!!!!!! We are good to go!!! [Deep Breath #3: Thursday morning when I check my phone for my Direct Deposit.]

 

As scheduled, we head to Total Wine. It’s a beautiful day. A little cloudy, a bit windy…but I am relaxed. The Montana Crew is at the airport. All 25 guests are present and accounted for!! This is starting to come together!

 

I just need my Starbucks (just 2.3 miles away…across the street from TW&M), some booze…and I’m golden. Heck…I might even grab a bagel….?!

 

We enter TW&M and grab our carts. I’ve got $ 200 budgeted for some booze…and I’m gonna get some good stuff! I stop by the customer service desk and hand them my confirmation number.

 

A friendly guy tasks my notes and tells me that I just need to grab my pre-paid champagne at this desk…when I’m ready to check out. EXCELLENT!!!

 

My boys and I are playfully arguing over who makes the best Pinot (Foley)….when the salesman interrupts me.

 

Salesman: “I’m sorry sir…but there’s a problem!”

Me: “WHAT problem ?!!!

Salesman: “They won’t release your order…due to possible fraud.”

Me: “WHAT FRAUD?!!!

Salesman: “Did you call them in advance…to release your order!”

Me: “NO…where does it say THAT?!!!

Salesman: [Looking at my printout confirmation] “See…it says right here….…to call”

Me: [Looking at the SAME printout confirmation] “NO…it says to call IF I wanted to CHANGE my order….I don’t want to CHANGE my order?!!!!

Salesman: “Right…you’re supposed to call…”

 

My mother always told me…to never do battle, with an unarmed opponent….or an idiot….so I grabbed my confirmation and headed to the parking lot (for better reception…and so I could yell at someone).

 

18min. later….and after providing them with all sorts of confidential information….to prove I was the guy who order this champagne..they released the order!!??

 

My feeling of relaxation…..GONE!!!

 

It is now after 11:00am. We load our booze and head to Starbucks. While waiting in a LONG Starbucks line…I realized that I forgot to buy a bottle of wine my mother wanted…..for Ray.

 

A bottle of White Zinfandel.

 

Yep….a $ 4.00 bottle of White Zin. (To you non-wine drinkers…White Zin is the equivalent of Kool-Aid. Nothing more).

 

I felt like I was buying porn….

 

Total Wine & More Online Pre-purchase experience: D-

 

Total Wine & More (Ft. Lauderdale location): C-

 

With no time to spare, we head back to the Hotel. We are greeted in the lobby by half of the group!!

 

Me: “Hey guys…..what’s up?! The bus doesn’t arrive until 12:45??”

Them: “…but checkout is at noon?”

 

Jesus…….Newbie travelers……

 

This encounter should have given me a little warning of what lies ahead….

 

…it did not….

 

I run upstairs to change into my “Cruise Clothes”. Kel’s all packed and ready to go. We call for my strong and handsome (he looks just like me, ya know..) nephew to come give us a hand with the bags…and we head down to the lobby.

 

Everyone is down there (minus the Montana Crew). It’s a bit chaotic as we slap on our Celebrity luggage tags. Luckily, I printed out several copies for the newbies…..because they had few…or none). And yes….they were informed of the need for them a few weeks ago!!

 

We stuff bottles of wine into all the luggage…..Time to go!!

 

The Driver is right on time…and tells everyone to come to the side of the building to board….

 

..no one moves?

 

I herd them out the door, as I attach a few more tags in the lobby. Finally, Kel and I head to the bus…

 

…only to find them all lined up against the wall….(and the bus door open)??!!

 

Me: “Ummm…..let’s get on the bus?!!”

 

Them: “OK!!!”

 

Most of them slap a $ 20 in my hand to help with the cost…and we (finally) board the bus!

 

IMG_0107.jpg

 

As we merrily head to the pier…I realize…that Kel and I are the Host. They are our guests. They are waiting on us…to tell them what is what. We invited them….and they are looking to us for direction….

 

I accept that. Kel….mmm…not so sure….

 

The excitement builds…and we cross over the bridge…and they all get a glimpse of the Celebrity Constellation!!

 

Folks….this is ONE of the moments we have been waiting for! All the blood, sweat, and tears….just to see the looks on their faces. For many of them…this was their first exposure to a giant Cruise ship!!

 

Most of them had never even SEEN a modern cruise ship!!

 

I make a point of letting them know…that this isn’t even their LARGEST ship!!

With mouths wide open…they exit the bus……

 

…and into the grumpy hands of the Port Everglades Security!

 

Accepting my role as Tour Guide and Host, I lead them all the way to the Celebrity Embarkation building.

We were told no photographs…but many of our guest wanted pictures of the Constellation…including myself.

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I pull out the MOST VALUBLE DOCUMENT OF THE ENTIRE CRUISE…

 

…my Contact Sheet or CS!

 

It’s a simple word file I put together, listing everyone’s stateroom number, who’s in the room…and their cellphone numbers.

 

This simple document helped save this adventure several times over. I HIGHLY recommend you put a CS together, and carry it with you at all times (like your SeaPass).

 

Our rooms were all on the same floor, on the same side…and (mostly) together…but how can anyone remember 12 different stateroom numbers and who’s in them?!

 

With my CS in hand, I did the “host” thing, and checked on everyone, room by room.

 

Every room have the welcome champagne and wine we asked for....even the room with the minors...we'd have to grab those bottles...and quickly!

 

I let everyone know, that we would be taking a tour of the ship, starting with the Spa (so the girls could book their massages).

 

In what became the only realistic way of corralling 25 people on a cruise ship…I simply stated….

 

“Hey _______, we are headed to _____. Please join us, if you wish. After that, we are headed to _____ and then _______”

 

Those who wanted to join us, did. Those who did not…didn’t.

 

It soon became apparent, that it would be impossible to try to keep track of 25 people. Cut to a few hours later, when our cellphones stopped working (a SERIOUS problem throughout the cruise), and you could drive yourself crazy trying to track people down.

 

After the tour of the ship, we would head up top for the send off…then descend to the Martini Bar.

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I live in a pretty big city. It took no longer to get a martini at this bar, than it would at any crowded bar. I ordered Kel and I our usual..Greygoose martini, with lime. About 10min later, we were served, two Greygoose martinis, with LEMONS.

 

I flagged the bartender, and kindly asked him for Limes. Simple mistake.

 

Him: “Sorry Sir…we have no limes”

Me: “Oh..you just need to restock?”

Him: “No Sir. The entire ship is out. There is a LIME shortage”

 

WHHHAAATTTTTT???!!!!

<a href=despicable-me-minions.jpg' alt='despicab

 

Folks…do you have any how many drinks require LIMES?!!

Needless to say….this issue raised itself MANY times throughout the cruise. I hear a rumor, that some limes may have been smuggled aboard….while is Key West. It’s just a rumor I tells ya’!!

 

Celebrity Martini Bar Staff: B

 

Lime-Gate Shortage: F

 

The majority of us made it to Blu for our first dinner, with a few of our guest going to (discounted) specialty restaurants for the first meal.

 

“The Child” discovered the Buffet, and soon became the expert on what dish was at what station at what time….

 

For Kel and I were looking forward to a nice meal at Blu. About 12 of us arrived at Blu, around 8:45pm or so. The maitr’d was very accommodating, but asked that I give him a little advanced notice next time.

 

I did so for the remainder of the cruise. I would tell him each night we dined there (at about 7pm), how many of our group would be dining at Blu…and at what time. Each time, he was able to seat us close together. EXCELLENT service.

 

The food??

 

Well….the first night I ordered a Ribeye….and got a very tasty ¼” thick piece of streak.

 

Now….being a “healthy” dining room…I wasn’t expecting a 2” slab of meat…

 

but this thin little steak was….disappointing.

 

Tasty….but disappointing.

 

We dined in Blu 3 of the 4 nights. The service was always excellent. The food was always tasty….but it was a step down, from how we remember Blu on the Solstice. Also, the sommelier was, (at times) hard to get a hold of.

 

Clearly, ordering bottle of wine got his attention, much more than ordering glass after glass….which is understandable.

 

Blu Restaurant Staff: A-

 

Blu Food Quality and Experience: C+ (Clearly a step down….)

 

After dinner, we broke apart. We were all tired…but Kelly wanted to check-out the Casino (naturally). I had a bit of luck, pocketing $ 300. Kel…none that I know of. We soon headed off to bed.

 

Big day in the morning….we were getting’ MARRIED!!!

 

Later….

 

D & K

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My fiance and I are planning something similar through WITB (May 16 2014). Which beach location did you choose and why? We are debating on a few different ones but cant seem too make our minds up. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks and Congratulations!

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