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Emperor Norton

Sojourn - Caribbean: When your vacation plans get trumped

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As you may infer from the title this is going to be about a cruise on Sojourn that was sadly trumped.

 

I checked the mail the other day and found a package from a vacation paradise.  What do you do with your clamshell?  I can't imagine someone who already has a tablet would want to use it for protection (or would need it) but perhaps I'm wrong on this.

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I have another month or so until I depart.  Perhaps Santa will find a way to bring an early Christmas present and use his sleigh to fly us into Cuba.

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You don’t need Santa, there are plenty of land trips to Cuba from the U.S.  but they have to be educational or service type.   I also don’t know what I will do with the clamshell when we receive it, guess it will go to the charity shop.

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Are you on the 28th November cruise? We're on the one after that. We'll be on Sojourn for 25 days so am very much looking forward to reading your posts about your cruise.

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Is this something new from Seabourn, we did Med cruise July/Aug and our docs came in something else

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This clam shell case is ideal for protecting your normal size iPad or iPhone. Smart design.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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6 hours ago, markham said:

If it’s too big then don’t try to zip it. Geesh... I guess this never happened to you.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

I've tried to squeeze it in occasionally but your right,don't try to zip it in case you damage it.

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On 10/25/2019 at 6:31 AM, Isklaar said:

Are you on the 28th November cruise? We're on the one after that. We'll be on Sojourn for 25 days so am very much looking forward to reading your posts about your cruise.

Yes I am.  I just got to the airport lounge for my flight to Miami.  It took 10 minutes to drop my bag and get through security so that was nice.  

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As always before a cruise I like to imbibe some alchemical concoctions to keep wee beasties at bay.

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A ride in a side car can be an interesting experience.

 

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Perfect Manhattan is best Manhattan (IMO).

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The American lounge doesn't seem to have quite the number of offerings as other lounges and most things aren't included which lead to this dinner of champions - Tomato and mushroom grit bisque with a chocolate chunk brownie.

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Upon arriving in Miami I was picked up at the airport and taken to the wrong hotel.  One Uber ride later I was at the correct hotel and the room that was supposed to be ready at 3pm was ready at 8am.  That was nice.  I had time to rest without a screeching yakking baby and without my aisle mate throwing random body parts at me as he "slept".  

 

After a brief respite I went out to Versailles which is supposed to be the goto place for Cubanos and bakery items.  I started off with a Mojito which while visually impressive was rather lackluster after the first sip.

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The Cubano itself surprised me as I was expecting every bite to have all the ingredients.  Not quite.  However the bread was excellent and the roast pork was nothing like what I'd previously encountered in other versions of this sandwich.

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After finishing the sandwich I perused their dessert/bakery menu and a few things that looked interesting.

 

The key lime pie grew on me.  I was non plussed when I started it and felt it got better the further into it you went.  I think I'd need to try one in the Keys for a comparison.

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The Cuban coffee could become dangerous.  Barely more than a thimble full but nicely sweet and potentially addictive.

 

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The final item was a Pastelito (a turnover) filled with guava and cheese.  The filling was very good but the dough itself - I could taste the ethereal buttery pastry 20 minutes later.

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I might have to go back and pick up a box of pastries and perhaps a Cuban coffee.  Or six.

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I met some friends from previous cruises and we went to dinner.  Our Uber driver said that for locals the best Cuban Cuisine is Havana Harrys we ended up at Versailles again.  Dinner was much more crowded.  The mojitos were better, the sangria was nice (we couldn't figure out what made a beer "Cuban style" however).  At dinner they bring a sliced Cuban bread thats been drizzled in garlic oil.  You could've made a meal out of that.  We split an appetizer plate and the fries were crisp they were just steak fries.  The croquettes (ham) were cooked perfectly they needed the dipping sauce that was provided.  The empanadas inherited the same buttery flakey crust as the pastry I had at lunch and were filled with a nicely spiced ground beef.  I had the bigger version of the Cubano for dinner I don't know if it was the size difference or just a different kitchen staff but I found it to be the better sandwich compared to its lunch size sibling.

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12 hours ago, Emperor Norton said:

I met some friends from previous cruises and we went to dinner.  Our Uber driver said that for locals the best Cuban Cuisine is Havana Harrys we ended up at Versailles again.  Dinner was much more crowded.  The mojitos were better, the sangria was nice (we couldn't figure out what made a beer "Cuban style" however).  At dinner they bring a sliced Cuban bread thats been drizzled in garlic oil.  You could've made a meal out of that.  We split an appetizer plate and the fries were crisp they were just steak fries.  The croquettes (ham) were cooked perfectly they needed the dipping sauce that was provided.  The empanadas inherited the same buttery flakey crust as the pastry I had at lunch and were filled with a nicely spiced ground beef.  I had the bigger version of the Cubano for dinner I don't know if it was the size difference or just a different kitchen staff but I found it to be the better sandwich compared to its lunch size sibling.

Join the roll call for your cruise. We are a small group. Check it out under the Seabourn Roll Calls.

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Thanks for the menus.

 

we heard that the bar manager is Sean from South Africa. If you get the chance could you confirm this and whether he's on through the holiday cruise? 
 

oh and Happy Thanksgiving! 

 

Edited by Isklaar

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Bad news. I asked the sommelier about him and he had to disembark today. I hadn’t seen him since 2013 and am disappointed he had to leave. Currently we have no bar manager.

56 minutes ago, Isklaar said:

Thanks for the menus.

 

we heard that the bar manager is Sean from South Africa. If you get the chance could you confirm this and whether he's on through the holiday cruise? 
 

oh and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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16 minutes ago, Emperor Norton said:

Bad news. I asked the sommelier about him and he had to disembark today. I hadn’t seen him since 2013 and am disappointed he had to leave. Currently we have no bar manager.


oh that's bad news for us but also concerned for Sean that he had to leave. 
We haven't seen him since 2016 on Quest and had been looking forward to seeing him again.  

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Sean was on the Encore in October last year and made our experience an unforgettable one for the right reasons , we told him that we were coming back on the Encore in February 2019 and make sure all the bars had my wifes special Seedlip Non Alcoholic Gin in all bars and in all flavours . As a Rugby fan he was very passionate for his beloved Springboks team so he will be immensely proud and vociferous to telling any Kiwis and Englishmen  how great his team is .  

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On 11/28/2019 at 6:50 PM, kowhairob said:

Sean was on the Encore in October last year and made our experience an unforgettable one for the right reasons , we told him that we were coming back on the Encore in February 2019 and make sure all the bars had my wifes special Seedlip Non Alcoholic Gin in all bars and in all flavours . As a Rugby fan he was very passionate for his beloved Springboks team so he will be immensely proud and vociferous to telling any Kiwis and Englishmen  how great his team is .  

Interesting last I saw he was I believe an All Blacks fan. 
 

For those concerned about chair hogs - sorry. They’re (SB) still don’t do anything to correct the issue. 
 

I had to escalate something that used to be a low level request because once again Sojourn staff are...

 

For trivia fans: learn the ships god mother and where the Pina Colada was invented. You’re welcome (pro tip - don’t waste time/money going for the original Pina Colada - it comes out of a slurpee machine now. )

 

A lot of first time SB cruisers (“how much to upgrade to Mt Gay rum...). Also first time I’ve seen dental floss on the pool deck. 
 

Mixology program seems DOA. Bars this time are very different in what they stock. They’ve gone back to the horribad line mix and no longer make their own Bloody Mary mix. It’s either the regular tobacco mix or the spicy. It took 20 minutes the other day for one couple to get horseradish to spice theirs up. 
 

Steak tartare this time was actually hand chopped (yay). 
 

The only formal night was off time. For what I thought was a full ship mostly venues are not over crowded.   Colonnade breakfast is still faster by far than the restaurant. 
 

Taking a few days but slowly finding staff I like (though there is one officer and one other crew member I’ve known for years - theyve been immeasurably helpful). 
 

Having fun - but if I was new to the line and/or cruising I’m not sure. 

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Today was in Old San Juan. We did a private tour of the town, El Morro and then the pork highway. The highway created an amusing memory. Sitting under a corrugated steel roof listening to Christmas songs in Spanish with 80+ degree temps. The skies open up and it sounds like the rain is trying to shred the roof. At a table next to us a group of outlaw/mc types start scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off as they realize their bikes and helmets are out in the rain.

Due to weather we’re replacing Marigot with Phillipsburg. 

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On 11/30/2019 at 3:35 PM, Emperor Norton said:

 

For those concerned about chair hogs - sorry. They’re (SB) still don’t do anything to correct the issue. 
 

 

 

So true. We're off the Sojourn from the previous cruise. 2 days in a row, I observed 2 people claim 10 loungers in a row at around 8am (I was walking deck 9 at the time). They disappeared, only to return around 10:30 to use them with friends in tow. Loungers were at a premium on our cruise, especially the 4 sea days.

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Emperor - were shuttles really needed between the docks and main part of these towns?  If so they should certainly have been provided. 

 

I have the impression that Caribbean cruises attract a slightly different demographic - and I suppose that Thanksgiving week is a school holiday in the US?  I admit that if I wanted to cruise in that area I would tend to wait until Jan/Feb., which I think would be after the possible hurricane season.

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6 minutes ago, lincslady said:

Emperor - were shuttles really needed between the docks and main part of these towns?  If so they should certainly have been provided. 

 

I have the impression that Caribbean cruises attract a slightly different demographic - and I suppose that Thanksgiving week is a school holiday in the US?  I admit that if I wanted to cruise in that area I would tend to wait until Jan/Feb., which I think would be after the possible hurricane season.

 

I think that there are some other reasons, not just location, as to why the recent and next Sojourn cruises are likely to attract a different demographic.  

We're joining Sojourn next week and will be on for 25 days. Our cruise is an 11 day and a 14 day cruise combined (not a back to back,it was sold both as split and 25 days) and let's just say that I've prepared myself for the cruise to be slightly 'unusual', especially the first segment. Um, I'm trying to be diplomatic here...

We've taken several Caribbean cruises with Seabourn over Christmas/NY previously and I expect this one to be rather unlike the others and probably quite an eye opener. 

I'll leave it there!

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21 minutes ago, Emperor Norton said:

Was told they can’t enforce either the chair hog rules or the dress code (jeans every night in the restaurant). 

 

Who is in charge in the MDR?

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