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kjbacon

Live from the Explorer - The Caribbean Reunion Tour!

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15 hours ago, EAGLESLOVER said:

Just heard about the earthquake 

Has this affected the cruise?

Two earthquakes apparently:

6.1 quake 69 km from the Caymans

7.7 quake 160 km from Montego Bay, Jamaica.  That is HUGE.

 

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2 hours ago, Host Dan said:

Karen, I look forward to more pics and posts from the Explorer!  I embark on April 3rd.  I mentioned this thread to my (incredible) TA, and found out that you use him too!  Great minds think alike!

Isn’t he great? I just love him! Wish I could give him a plug.

 

The Meet and mingle was this morning but it is so gorgeous out, we skipped it to relax and read by the pool.

 

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Lunch at the pool grill today is a burger bash or bonanza or something lol with about half dozen different kinds of burgers and rolls along with every topping you can think of. Along with the usual beef there’s also spicy beef, turkey, salmon, and veggie. On the opposite side of the grill, I have to make mention of the fig and prosciutto flatbread. 
 

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I must admit that I’m getting more than mindful of the earthquake situation but at the same time, I don’t want it to worry about it. I’m trusting that the competent crew is monitoring the situation and keeping our safety as the priority.

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1 hour ago, Hambagahle said:

Two earthquakes apparently:

6.1 quake 69 km from the Caymans

7.7 quake 160 km from Montego Bay, Jamaica.  That is HUGE.

 

There is talk that the second was an aftershock. Hope everyone is safe and it stops!

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From what I saw on the Internet site there were two distinct earthquakes, both with after shocks.  At sea you should be just fine.  Tsunamis were expected but didn't happen and they concern the immediate land area anyway - all a ship will do, if some km from shore, is to rock a bit.  (Geology 11 at Smith College a very long time ago....)

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We continue to have smooth seas and good weather. There are some improvements here on the Explorer including the addition of an outdoor seating area to the Coffee Connection. It’s very nice with some sofas and some tables with chairs.

 

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Another big improvement is that afternoon High Tea has been moved down to the Meridian Lounge which has cleared the traffic jam up in the Explorer Lounge with those of us playing Mensa and Trivia.

 

We aren’t having as much trouble with the internet as others have been discussing lately. We are finding it rather reliable and not that slow. All good!

 

Our favorite part of the day continues to be listening to Ross play the piano while we have cocktails and snacks before dinner. Our vodka taste test is going strong and is more fun than we had hoped! Some of our reactions are not what we expected but we are far from a final result. Last night’s featured snacks were a Corn Soup that we did not try and a delicious Crab Salad Wonton.

 

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Dinner in Pacific Rim was excellent and so far, the favorite meal of our Seattle friends. To be fair and to show that I will make mention of the misses and not just the great stuff, the wait staff did make a couple errors. It seemed clear to us that the errors were based on the language barrier and not bad service ... yes, I’m saying that the service was good, certainly well intentioned, even though there were mistakes but the point is to be certain that your server and you are on the same page with what you are ordering. Two of our dishes were not correct but they were still delicious and we didn’t care all that much (but you might so now you know!). Between us we had Sushi, Shui Mai, Panko Tofu, Pho Beef Soup, Tom Kha Coconut Soup, Ramen Noodles, BBQ Ribs, Fried Rice, Aromatic Duck, Stir fried Asian Greens, Lobster Tempura, and Coconut Tres Leche. Not one bad dish. Dishes of special note include the Sushi and Pho Beef Soup, soooo good. Believe it or not, the Panko Tofu with Eggplant was my standout dish of the night and one of the very best bites I’ve had on Regent so do the unthinkable and order tofu on vacation! 
 

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Today is another sea day and the weather looks promising. We are getting a couples bamboo massage this morning so this will be our first experience with the new spa. No restaurant ressies today so maybe it will be a Sette Mari night.

 

 

Edited by kjbacon

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Enjoying for adventures as I drink my coffee this am! The food porn is nothing but SPECTACULAR! Those pix should be in a foodie magazine! Glad you're having such beautiful weather!

Carry on !

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Love reading this thread...thank you so much!  One of my favorite dishes at Pacific Rim is a starter course of Duck and Watermelon salad.  I know, it doesn't make sense and I can't begin to describe it to you, but it's sensational!  Enjoy ..  and again, thank you for sharing!

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:47 PM, kjbacon said:

We are on board and the Explorer is looking more beautiful than ever! It was very special to be recognized by several of the crew who made us feel like we were coming home. Embarkation was smooth and well done, prompt and efficient. The downside I must mention is that C terminal was freezing, like sitting in an ice box, so they need improvements there. Lunch in La Veranda was terrific and rooms were ready by 1pm. We are already unpacked and settled in. Our friends from Seattle are here and the reunion is as sweet as we hoped. The weather is finally nice and we are enjoying cocktails and fresh air, plenty of sunshine! We are having dinner in Prime 7 tonight so be ready for the food porn. Life is good!

We are on board with you and I agree the cruise is outstanding.  The food is the best that I have ever experienced, so far.

 

What time did you arrive At the terminal for embarkation? Our experience was very different.

 

Missed you at the roll call yesterday.  Only seven of us showed up.  This is not uncommon.

 

Although I may not know who you are, I am sure that I will see you around the ship.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

 

 

 

Edited by jagoffee

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3 hours ago, Mudhen said:

Enjoying for adventures as I drink my coffee this am! The food porn is nothing but SPECTACULAR! Those pix should be in a foodie magazine! Glad you're having such beautiful weather!

Carry on !

Thank you, that is so nice of you to say! I’m glad you are enjoying the pics and I’m having fun doing it.

 

2 hours ago, bebop bonnie said:

Love reading this thread...thank you so much!  One of my favorite dishes at Pacific Rim is a starter course of Duck and Watermelon salad.  I know, it doesn't make sense and I can't begin to describe it to you, but it's sensational!  Enjoy ..  and again, thank you for sharing!

I’m glad that you are enjoying along with me! I had that Duck and Watermelon Salad on our last trip; I completely agree with you that it is divine! You must try the Panko Tofu because it gives that salad a run for its money (and in the very best way)!

 

1 hour ago, jagoffee said:

We are on board with you and I agree the cruise is outstanding.  The food is the best that I have ever experienced, so far.

 

What time did you arrive At the terminal for embarkation? Our experience was very different.

 

Missed you at the roll call yesterday.  Only seven of us showed up.  This is not uncommon.

 

Although I may not know who you are, I am sure that I will see you around the ship.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

 

 

 

We arrived at the terminal early, about 10:30. The weather was just too inviting to go inside yesterday after 5 days of not-so-great weather in Florida and winter so far in Philadelphia. Hope to see you too. Have a great cruise.

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32 minutes ago, kjbacon said:

Thank you, that is so nice of you to say! I’m glad you are enjoying the pics and I’m having fun doing it.

 

I’m glad that you are enjoying along with me! I had that Duck and Watermelon Salad on our last trip; I completely agree with you that it is divine! You must try the Panko Tofu because it gives that salad a run for its money (and in the very best way)!

 

We arrived at the terminal early, about 10:30. The weather was just too inviting to go inside yesterday after 5 days of not-so-great weather in Florida and winter so far in Philadelphia. Hope to see you too. Have a great cruise.

Yes, it was a very nice day as is today.  Great start to our cruise.

 

Arriving early must have been the key.  What time did they start checking people in and what time did they start boarding.  (Reference for the next time)

 

Thanks

Edited by jagoffee

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The Spa. Oh my, I really prefer my fun and cheerful reviews but I can’t do that. This new spa is a major disappointment and it would be easier to say what they did right .... hint: not much. Know in advance that it is a very high pressure sales environment, possibly the highest I’ve seen at any spa.

 

To sum up our experience, we booked a couples massage and had to settle for a very inconvenient time because we waited too long to make the reservation and there is only one couples room. There were many times available for 2 single massages but we wanted a couples massage so we took what we could get. Evidently, they had double booked the couples room because they tried to take us into separate rooms when we arrived at 8:00 this morning. Um, no. The clocks changed last night so 8:00 felt like 7:00am and I’m sure you have seen that I don’t miss a meal for anything other than an emergency lol! When we raised our objections, they said that the couples room was not available as though that made it ok. Um, heck no. So, they put us in a waiting room for 15 minutes while they converted a single room to a double room.

 

Consequently, my table was a temp table so it did not have the usual heater or comfort. They didn’t tell me that would happen so it was an unwelcome surprise after undressing and climbing onto the temp table. My husband did have the expected warming table. The room was too cramped for 2 tables and the therapists could hardly move around. Maybe we should have taken the separate rooms but had I known what was coming, I would have scheduled a convenient time.

 

The most ridiculous part was at the end when they presented us with a bill for 2 individual massages, some $30 or $40 more than the couples massage we had booked. Um, like way heck no.

 

We waited another 15 minutes or more while they adjusted to the correct charge.

 

Back to my regularly scheduled good time!

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Karen continuing to enjoy your posts and especially the food reports and photos.

That sounds a real disappointing Spa visit and xtra price increase. 
Hope you don’t mind if I ask a wee favour of you? I always like to have my hair washed and curled or put up so to speak. Would you be able to let me know the price with the new spa management?  Thanks I appreciate you taking time out your lovely cruise.

Enjoy Sette Marie this evening, we always enjoy meals up there.

Thanks, Jean.

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We are in Aruba right now.  It is warm and sunny. Wear your sunscreen and hat tomorrow 😎.

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3 hours ago, liptastic said:

Karen continuing to enjoy your posts and especially the food reports and photos.

That sounds a real disappointing Spa visit and xtra price increase. 
Hope you don’t mind if I ask a wee favour of you? I always like to have my hair washed and curled or put up so to speak. Would you be able to let me know the price with the new spa management?  Thanks I appreciate you taking time out your lovely cruise.

Enjoy Sette Marie this evening, we always enjoy meals up there.

Thanks, Jean.

Jean, happy to help. Hope this is what you need:


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Karen thanks so much. Prices look from memory similar to last year on Mariner. I know it varies from length of hair too. Looks like I shall get to the ball like Cinderella then  hehe.

Jean.

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Thank you for your great food photos and recommendations for Pacific Rim.  I fear that I will need more than one visit to that venue, too many things that I must try!

 

Sorry about your disappointing spa experience, but I know that it will not dampen your enthusiasm for this great cruise.

 

Looking forward to seeing what follows.

 

Bob

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We continue to have a fabulous time on this beautiful ship! The food is just unbelievable and the service is great. There are a lot of new crew members but they seem to be doing very well and they have that special personality that we’ve come to love about the Regent crew.
 

Today is our first port, Aruba, and we are excited to finally see the ABC Islands. Our weather has been basically perfect but that may start to change. It appears to be very windy this morning and there is rain in tomorrow’s forecast.

 

Trivia has been a blast. There are lots of passengers participating so the competition is stiff and we don’t seem to be as smart this voyage (but I still think we should have gotten credit for the name Petey on number 5)!

 

Yesterday’s lunch was a Caribbean BBQ at the pool grill and even though I’ve come to expect a lot, I was amazed at how good it was. Can’t remember all the dishes but I had Caribbean Chicken Curry, Refried Beans with Cumin and Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Pineapple Salsa.

 

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Dinner was at Sette Mari and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We love dining al fresco and we had beautiful weather for it, maybe one of the last good outdoor dining evenings for a couple days.

 

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For those of you that are new, there are selected appetizers brought to your table like olives and bruschetta. There is also an appetizer bar set up buffet style Indoors that has all kinds of deliciousness like whole roasted garlic, eggplant, and arancini.

 

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Main courses are ordered and served to you. Between the four of us, we had Gnocchi with Creamy Pesto Sauce (fantastic), lasagna, Osso Bucco, Veal Piccata, and Gorgonzola Crusted Filet Mignon on Potatoes in a Red Wine Sauce. 
 

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We decided that we shouldn’t have dessert and after dinner drinks so you can guess what we did.

 

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Wonderful way to start the morning here on the East Coast!!! Loved the photo of Sette Mari al fresco! Looked like the perfect evening. I also liked your "dessert" course....you guys are my kind of people!

Hoping the weather holds for you....in the meantime, carry on!

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We have been coming to Aruba since 2005 this time of year.  Believe me, the wind is your friend. If it rains, it is usually very brief. I would think it would be the same for all the ABC Islands.  My husband saw the Explorer come in this morning from Eagle Beach.  Hope you have a great day. 

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On 1/29/2020 at 6:30 AM, kjbacon said:

The only objectionable outfit we saw was a skin tight speedo on a chubby older guy on the pool deck before sail away. It’s one of those things that you just want to un-see.

There are always a few of those, aren't there?  FYI, if you encounter a few more, just ask a crew member for a chilled melon baller - I've found that's the best and most comfortable way to gouge out your own eyeballs.   😄

 

On 1/28/2020 at 4:47 PM, kjbacon said:

It was very special to be recognized by several of the crew who made us feel like we were coming home. Embarkation was smooth and well done, prompt and efficient. The downside I must mention is that C terminal was freezing, like sitting in an ice box, so they need improvements there.

That's always nice, isn't it?  We ran into several crew members on our cruise earlier this month that actually remembered my wife by name (I guess I'm a bit more forgettable) and it always makes you feel like more than just another passenger.  One of the things we love most about Regent, I think.

 

Glad embarkation went well - on our Jan 8th cruise we got moved to Terminal F and it was a bit of a mess.  Much nicer going out of J, I think.  Oh, well, once on board, who remembers the embarkation, right?

 

Enjoy your cruise, everyone!

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Just got off Explorer.  The Osso Bucco was the only bad meal that I experienced.  The Osso Bucco was so salty that it was inedible.  It was perfectly tender.  Conversely, the risotto Milanese had zero salt.  We ate with another couple traveling with us on another night in Sette Mare and one of them ordered the Osso Bucco.  It was perfect.

 

We ordered an off the menu special meal for my GF and DF spouse.  The chef did a fabulous job.  Otherwise, he is limited to salad in Sette Mare.  It was a simple grilled chicken breast with a lemon caper sauce on GF pasta.  It looked really good.  He was thrilled.  We made certain to speak to the chef and thank him profusely for his efforts.

 

You win some and you lose some.  What was a loss, turned into a win.

Edited by orvil

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The photo of dining outside looks wonderful.  I don't like Sette Mari but will give this a try!!  Thanks!

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Hi Everyone,

We've been enjoying your blog and comments immensely as we'll be aboard on the April TA.

Question: Can you tell me who might be tending bar in the Observation Lounge? What about the pool bar? We've enjoyed Mario through out the ship and are hoping to see him again. Is he on board? Since it looks like you guys are enjoying the lounge scene, is there anything special, drink wise, that might be new, different, otherwise notable? I'll be taking notes.....haha!

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Loving all your food pics!  My mouth is watering. Thanks for taking the time to blog.  I’m really enjoying it.  

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