1-23-15 Friday (Cruise – Day 6 – Cococay, Bahamas)

Here’s port info if you’d like otherwise scroll down:

CocoCay, BahamasSurrounded by the gentle, translucent waters of the Bahamas chain lies the secluded island of CocoCay®, an eco-certified private destination. Reserved exclusively for cruise ship guests, this 140-acre tropical paradise was awarded a Gold-Level Eco-Certification by Sustainable Travel International™ for its environmentally friendly activities and tours. With its white-sand beaches and spectacular surroundings, CocoCay is a wonderland of adventures. Explore new aquatic facilities, nature trails and a ton of great places to just sit back, relax and enjoy a tropical drink.

So… we didn’t even bother getting off the ship.  We’re not particularly fond of sand, beaches and a hot sun so therefore that makes this undesirable for us. 

We slept in pretty late (in bed at 3am the night before) so totally missed breakfast.  Unfortunately with it being a port day, the main dining room was closed leaving us with buffet options yet again.  After lunch we walked around for a bit.  We ran into a fellow Segway-er from our excursion and talked with her for a while.  We’ve had such a great time talking to people on excursions and meal times.  Later we went to Johnny Rocket’s for a milk shake.  We had a BOGO free deal.  Yummy.  

Next we returned to the room, changed into swim wear and for the first time all cruise, enjoyed the hot tub.  I had an altercation of sorts there.  Several kids without adults were getting into the hot tub.  2 of them had ice cream cones.  I’d say they were 5 or 6 years old?  I said, “you can’t bring ice cream in here.” and they backed away.  What I’m assuming to be their dad, walks up with the 2 kids and tells them to get in but they won’t.  A few minutes later dad and the 2 kids return, all 3 eating ice cream and the dad assures them it’s OK.  Father of the Year.  Jim and I eventually get out and while drying off the father comes out and tells his wife how someone said the kids couldn’t come into the hot tub with the ice cream so he purposely went and got ice cream to go into the hot tub.  Naturally, I had to say something.  “Oh sorry, that was me.  Your kids came into the hot tub with ice cream and no adults.”  He goes on to tell me how he was sorry and that his kids were honoring my request.  Jackass.  Most of what he said is a blur and didn’t really make sense.  Jim and I were baffled.  After the moment passed, I had one of those “wish I would have said” moments.  You see, I never mentioned that I told their kids that because it was against the rules.  I suppose in addition to mentioning that, I could have nicely pointed out that when an adult explains the rules to a child that I can see how it would make sense for their father to say it was OK to break them.  Whatever.

Back to the room for a nap.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

Almost done…  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.  OK we’re up.  Got some pictures of the sunset. 


Showered.  Changed into dinner clothes and off we went to the Champagne bar for a glass of Moscato prior to dinner.  The dining room was buzzing with announcements and acknowledgement of some of the wait staff.  When we were seated at an 8 top, there were 2 women looking over the railing with their backs to us watching the announcements + 2 women we’d never met + an older husband/wife that Jim and I have dined with previously (funny to sit with the same people).  After sitting down, the 2 women with their backs to us turned around and it was Jill and Valerie!  So funny.    

2015-01-23 014Above: This is a much better photo of Valerie (L) and Jill (R).

The 4 of us went to the final show and afterwards took a photo with 2 of the crew.

2015-01-23 015Above: Jim, Erky from Turkey (as they called him) the Activities Manager, Jill, Leigh (Cruise Director), Garret, Valerie

Afterwards, the 4 of us went to Johnny Rockets for a shake.  Yeah, second round for Jim and I.  Oink, oink.  We bid our farewells to Jill and Valerie.

Jim and I returned to the cabin, changed, and headed to the hot tub.  It was our final soak.  It was already after midnight and we’d need to get up by about 6:30am to have breakfast and get off the ship.  So sad…

I won’t have a post for tomorrow but funny enough, we ran into Jill and Valerie yet again on the Royal Promenade as we were waiting to be called for disembarkation.  We’re all Facebook friends now! 

The cruise was wonderful.  We had a great honeymoon.  I’m already itchy for another cruise.

1-22-15 Thursday (Cruise – Day 5 – At Sea)

It’s another lazy day at sea.  We got to bed late the night before and didn’t get up today until 11am.  We decided on lunch at Johnny Rockets.  They charge a $6 per person upcharge to eat there but you can order what you want.  We enjoyed our meal and then wandered the ship a little bit.  We actually walked the sports deck.  There’s a rock climbing wall, mini-golf course, basketball court, ping-pong tables, etc.  We did not partake. 

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We signed up for the Park West art auction.  So many times we don’t go to these things because we’re not really into art.  We thought, what the hell and attended.  It went on 1.5 – 2 hours and it entertained us.   We even marked a couple of pieces we were interested in but it was out of our very low low low price range.  The auctioneer was very entertaining.  He made it fun.  Who would have thought?

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It was time for a nap.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.  We woke up, showered again and were dressed in our usual pants outfits for dinner.  We were seated with an older couple from Ohio and a woman and her neighbor from Baltimore.   Jim had his escargot again and I had a mushroom pastry tart.  For Dinner, we both had the prime rib again.  Jim also had lobster and I too ordered an additional entrée of tortellini.  Once again, delish.  It was time to order dessert.  I told Jim what I wanted, got up to use the restroom and returned to the table.  The server brought FOUR desserts and put them in front of me.  I was confused and the table was laughing at me.  Earlier in the conversation we all bitched about the lameness of the desserts at the buffet and then we talked about the difficulty of deciding on one in the main dining room.  Based on that conversation, Jill evilly suggested to Jim that he order all of the desserts, which he did.  It was funny.  We knew we liked Jill and Valerie for a reason.  We had such a great conversation with Jill and Valerie that once the older couple left we still remained for long after. 

2015-01-22 006Above: Four desserts.  Baked Alaska, white chocolate mousse, Espresso soaked chocolate truffle, and Grand Marnier soufflé with vanilla sauce .  Jim helped me with them.

2015-01-22 007Above: Jill and Valerie.

We bid farewell, and went onto tonight’s show, “Invitation to Dance” which was choreographed by Luis Van Amstell of “Dancing with the Stars”.   Jim and I enjoyed the dancing and singing.  It was good.  But we were bored.  We watched it all the way through though.

Meanwhile, back at the room:

2015-01-22 008Above: I’m not sure what it was.  I called it Jar Jar Binks

Next event was a scavenger hunt in Studio B which is the ice skating rink.  They cover the rink for events such as this one.  We spotted Jill and Valerie and took the 2 seats next to them.  This was so much fun that I wished we would have attended more of the goofy games and contests the ship offered.  I was glad we saw that Newlywed-ish game the other day.  Anyway, this scavenger hunt had the theater divided into 12 teams.  Each team had 4 captains.  This was adult themed so kids were not recommended and while there was no profanity, nudity could happen.  The MC (cruise director) would do things like “first team to bring up 2 shoe laces wins.”  The other teams were awarded partial points depending on the order they came up.  So the nudity?  Well, show a thong.  A unique tattoo place.  Twins (which made woman come up and flash their boobs).  It was all so fun and we were all involved.  As a matter of fact, one challenge which we won was to get as many of our teams 2 feet to touch a towel.  We tied with another team at 32.  In the end, our team took home the gold!

2015-01-22 027Above: Jill, Valerie, Jim and me.

2015-01-22 011Above: This round was sending a someone from each time who can do something strange.  It ranged from someone able to stick their fist in their mouth to rolling their belly to doing a head stand.  All humorous.

2015-01-22 013Above: There was a lot of team cheering.  Points were assigned for wildness!

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Above: Jim on the floor with his feet on the towel meanwhile I, (below) was standing above him.  Yep, 32 feet on a bath towel.

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2015-01-22 018Above: Each team had to bring up 2 pairs of men’s shorts/pants.

2015-01-22 026Above: The finale.  Each team had to dress a male in specific women’s clothing such as bra, shoes, lipstick and then accessorize for the win.  Then stage 2 of the challenge was them parading with the others around the floor.  The final stage was an individual strut around.  It was hilarious.

There’s more!  We went to the Chamber (night club) for a silent dance party.  That’s where they give everyone a set of headphones with 2 different channels for 2 different types of music.  So when you walk in you only hear people talking and others are on the dance floor moving to music.  It seemed so weird.  Jim and I got a set to wear around our neck so we could hear the music a little but still be able to chat.  Jill and Valerie joined us.  We closed the place down at 3am.  I was drunk.  We had so much fun.

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OK, now we’re done…

1-21-15 Wednesday (Cruise – Day 4 – Cozumel, Mexico)

The night before we preordered breakfast as room service.   The only hot dish they offer for breakfast was scrambled eggs.   This morning we cancelled it and went to the Windjammer (buffet).  We were able to get made to order omelets instead.  Afterwards, we exited the ship and made way to the end of the pier to meet up for our excursion. 

3 Reef Snorkel by Boat

Discover a pristine underwater world as you plunge into the dazzling waters off Cozumel for a snorkeling adventure through three distinct coral reefs. Enjoy panoramic coastal views and soothing breezes while gliding by boat across turquoise waters off the Mexican shore alongside a welcoming and experienced crew. Equipped with snorkel gear, swim around three coral reef systems that teem with colorful tropical fish and other marine life. Enjoy two complimentary beverages and rejuvenating onboard snacks.

What an awesome excursion.  Beautiful reefs.  We saw small jellyfish, a stingray, and a huge grouper (compared to the other fish we saw).  We saw a lot of sand dollars and small colorful tropical fish.  The tour guides brought fish food with them to get them to swim near us for pictures.  The water temperature and weather were perfect.  We bought a CD with about 10 photos from our trip.

2015-01-21 001Above: Our ship as seen from the snorkeling boat.

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Back to the ship for a shower and lunch.  Disappointingly, the only thing open was the Windjammer again.  Sigh.  They do have good burgers.  Love their mashed potatoes.  Love their bread.  There was plenty of good food there.  I just wish they’d offer some other unique stuff.  Some suggestions would be a changing international section.  Indian, Mexican, etc.  Also some other general foods could be onion rings, fried shrimp, fried chicken, roasted chicken, etc.  Someday when I’m king.  Someday.

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Above/below: From our balcony, pre-shower.

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After lunch, we went back into the port to shop and walk around.

2015-01-21 004Above: Why yes, that’s a donkey tied to a tree in the background.  It was unattended and I sincerely hope nothing bad happened to it.

2015-01-21 017Above: A pre-dinner glass of Moscato wine.  Our Royal Caribbean status level gave us a BOGO on one glass of wine so we took advantage of it.

Tonight’s dinner is at the specialty restaurant called Portofino’s.  We’ve eaten at this restaurant on the sister ships and really enjoyed their fillets.  The cover charge for this restaurant is $25 each.  The service was pretty slow.  The food was excellent.

The headliner show is “The Unexpected Boy’s Oh, What a Night”.  Think Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  It was another good show. 

The Royal Promenade featured a 70’s dance party.  Several different dancers and singers entertained the crowd to get them motivated.  They threw trinkets into the crowd, started a dance train, dressed as the Village People, Austin Powers, Saturday Night Fever garb, etc.  After that the party was moved to the Chambers which is a 2 level night club decked out in medieval theme.   We went there as well and people watched.  There were quite some characters.

1-20-15 Tuesday (Cruise – Day 3 – Costa Maya, Mexico)

After our 16 hour slumber, Jim awoke sickness free.  Yay.  Something he ate?  Not sure.  Who cares, as long as it’s gone. 

Off to breakfast in the main dining room.  Delicious omelet and again some great dining companions.  Interesting conversations.  It usually starts with basics like: where are you from and is this your first cruise.  From there the conversation blossoms. 

After breakfast we wandered around the ship for a while and then laid by the pool (in the shade where we like it) and people-watched.  Time for lunch.  Yes, feeding time.  We were bummed to find the main dining room closed.  Johnny Rockets (a $6.00 cover) was also closed.  So, up to the Windjammer for the buffet.  There’s always something to eat there but it’s boring buffet food. 

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Once off the ship, we’re pretty much dumped into the shopping plaza complete with very pushy Mexican salespeople who really want you to check out what they have for sale.  I just try not to make eye contact.  We don’t need nor want anything.  It was very very hot and humid.  Not fun for us.

2015-01-20 034  Above/Below: Jim checks the water temperature.2015-01-20 037


2015-01-20 033Above: A shot from the pier.

Eventually we found a shady spot to sit and relax.  At 2:15 we met up for our excursion:

Segway Adventure and Beach Break:

Glide through the town of Costa Maya by Segway and visit a beautiful beach club. A guide trains and orients you with your Segway. You'll coast along the beachfront with its magnificent views and local flavor. A refreshment stop occurs en route to the main commercial center where you'll have time to shop. Then relax at the beach sipping a cool beverage, swimming in the ocean or just laying down on the beach.

We love Segway tours but unfortunately this one wasn’t very good.  There were 13 people who, one at a time, had to fill out a waiver sheet.  Then the guide delayed us more.  It appeared he was stalling.  We all walked to some shady area of town, up a side street, entered in some gates to a big yard, sat in the shade on plastic lawn chairs and watched a short safety video.  We then got directions on how to use the Segway.  2 guides took each of us one at a time and ensured we knew what we were doing.  We had to don helmets, knee pads and elbow pads.  A little much we thought. Especially since we only wore helmets in DC where as Jim put it, is the attorney capital of the US.  This entire process put us at 1 hour into the tour.  We finally got to ride around the town and stop here and there.  The last stop was at the beach and no one wanted to lay around there so back to the ship via paid taxi we all went.  The entire Segway experience was only 1 hour.  $95 later.

2015-01-20 042Above: A beach stop.

Here’s the Mexican ruins:2015-01-20 039

Above/Below: Just beyond the cruise port.  It’s the old port?  It’s all boarded up and deserted. Sad.

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Back onto the ship, shit/shower/shave and off to dinner.  I couldn’t decide on what I wanted so I ordered lasagna (meaty but didn’t care for it much) and a delicious pork dish.  Jim also had the pork and shared the lasagna with me.  He was able to have his escargot.  Yay.  I also had some mushroom ball things and garlic soup.  All really good.  I don’t take pictures of the food and the menus like I did during the first several cruises.  I also don’t take photos of too many “things” in general unless we’re in the photo.  Seeing picture of a chandelier is typically boring to the rest of the world and typically cool to the photographer.  Well, I take that back.  Perhaps with some mad photographing skills with a good camera, proper lighting and an eye for angles,that chandelier could look amazing.  I have none of those so I don’t bother.

The show tonight was great.  It was Joel Mason, An Elton John impressionist with a comedic twist. 

After the show we stayed for the Love and Marriage Game (Newlywed game).  It was funny.  The cruise director is quick witted.  The couples: married 1 week + 31 years + 60 years.  They won in order of years married with the newlyweds last.

1-19-15 Monday (Cruise – Day 2 – At Sea)

We went to the sit down breakfast today and enjoyed the food (caramelized onion and bacon quiche) as well as the company of fellow passengers.  It’s always interesting to strike up conversations.  After breakfast, we went back to the room for a nap!  It was going to be a lazy day.

2015-01-19 024Above: Here we are waiting for bingo to get organized.  Once we discovered the price to play, we decided it was too rich for us.

2015-01-19 023Above: One of the venues, Maharajas.

2015-01-19 022Above: Jewelery?  I shake my head.

(stretch!) Nap over, time for lunch.  Yes, really.  Back to the dining room we went.  Jim had a Turkish chicken wrap and I the gnocchi dish.  We both swap part of our meals and enjoyed both.  After lunch we went over to the ice skating rink for an ice show called “Spirits of the Seasons”.  It was a good show.  We decided another nap was in order.  Yes, really.  We slept pretty long but Jim woke up with stomach issues and the feeling of wanting to vomit.  We just stayed in bed.  He had issues throughout the night.  We slept 16 ours.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that and it was refreshing. 

We totally missed dinner as well as any other evening activities.  Oh well.

This would be an otherwise short entry so I’ll use it to talk about the ship.  I like the ship.  It’s showing signs of wear but it’s going into dry dock in 2 months for a major reno.  So just as we expected, there would be some things they aren’t going to invest money in just to have it all ripped out shortly.  The cabin was in great condition other than some wear spots on the cabinets.  The shower pressure was amazing while the sink, not so much.  We had so much space that we actually had some empty cabinet space. 

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Jim drinks excessive amounts of Diet Coke (yes, he’s heard about all the bad stuff) so we purchased a drink package for him.  It works like Disney, you get a special cup with a chip in it and you go to self-serve machines and fill up on 9,584.655 (estimated) different drink combinations.  The rub is that there’s a timer that limits the time between refills.  We think it’s once every 15 minutes but not sure.  You can also go up to the bars and have them fill up the cup.  They don’t check times there.  It’s not really that hard since the dining rooms will serve you soft drinks by just using your card which has the soda package logo on it.

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Some other miscellaneous photos: 

2015-01-22 004Above: Shot of the buffet.  All of the stations I triplicated throughout.

2015-01-22 001Above: There are several pools and hot tubs.

1-18-15 Sunday (Cruise – Day 1 – Port Canaveral)

Good morning!  As I said in the last post, I awoke refreshed.  The hotel had a breakfast of waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy as well as items found for a continental breakfast.  Good enough. 

Here’s our view out of the hotel room.

2015-01-18 007Above: It’s one of them there swimmin’ holes.  We ain’t got enough time to swim.

It was a 3 star hotel we got for $55 a night via Priceline.  It turned out to be a very nice hotel room.  Better than Disney for sure.

2015-01-18 0093 more hours on the road and we arrived at Port Canaveral.  The line to drop off people wasn’t very long but was annoyingly slow.  Once we got close enough to see the holdup, we found they only seemed to allow for 4 vehicles at a time to pull in and unload.  People moved at the speed of pause as they unloaded luggage and passengers.  It was as if they were still packing their suitcases or something.  We unloaded the car quickly.  Jim parked while I waited at the entrance to the check-in building.   Jim was able to park fast.  Once inside, the whole embarkation process went fast. 

Here’s our itinerary:

Intinerary mapIntinerary

We made it onto the boat!  We found our cabin, dropped off our carry-ons and went up to the Windjammer (their buffet area) for lunch.  I caught an old man touch and squeeze 2 rolls with his hands and leave them there.  I called him out on it but realized there was something wrong with him.  Be it dementia or Alzheimer's, he didn’t seem all there.  I got a crew member who was very polite to the man to help him and move him along.  The nice crew member then discarded the handled rolls.  It was all done so discreetly unlike me who was embarrassing Jim.  Why wasn’t anyone with this man every step of the way?  Sheesh.  I know, some of you are saying “that’s why I don’t like buffets.”  It’s all they had going at the time.

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2015-01-18 020Above: One end of the Royal Promenade.

After lunch we returned to our cabin to unpack our carry-ons (luggage would arrive later).  We explored the ship a little.  We’re on Explorer of the Seas which is a sister ship to the Navigator of the Seas which we’ve been on twice before.  So we’re pretty good navigating the ship.


Later in the evening, we went to dinner in the main dining room.  Jim wanted escargot but it wasn’t on the menu.  The waiter sent over the head waiter and they weren’t able to accommodate him that evening but they would have it available for him on other nights.  Fantastic service, as usual.  They gave him some type of scallop in butter thing that he said was good.  I had mushroom soup which was amazing.  We both had prime rib which was awesome. 

The theater show was “Welcome Aboard Show” which featured highlights for the week coming up mixed in with tidbits of entertainment.

We finished out the night on the Royal Promenade, where we watched the “Bon Voyage Parade”.  It wasn’t all that great of a parade so I didn’t bother with photos.

1-17-15 Saturday (I Did)

Today was the big day!  It was morning business as usual.  At about 2:30, our witness Ruby and her husband Jamie arrived as did Beth, the 2nd witness.  Beth brought us unique boutonnières.  So this is why she asked about sci-fi, and superheroes.  I LOVE them. 

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Once the officiate, Trish, was present we all made some small talk and then the “ceremony” started.  We didn’t have vows, we didn’t have anything to say. We did write up some info about us which she read.  “6 homes, 2 states, 10 cars, 10 pant sizes, 15 years later, we're finally able to marry.” 

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2015-01-17 005Above: Beth & Ruby sign as witnesses.

Afterwards, we sat around and chit chatted until it was time to meet the others at Ruth’s Chris at 5pm for Restaurant Week.  The table was adorned with some hand decorated wine bottles, compliments of the Robison clan. 

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We later moved the tuxes to our champagne flutes:

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The food was delish.  Anne out-did herself with making a dessert that she knew we’d enjoy.  It was a-maz-ing. 

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2015-01-17 015Above: Brother and sister, David and Angie.

2015-01-17 017Above: Clockwise: Jim, Deanna, Tim, Robin, Beth, Anne, David.

2015-01-17 018Above: Deanna & Tim.

As I said, the food was delish, but the service was slow.  We were there 3 hours and got a bit of a late start on the journey to Kingsland, Georgia which is 5 hours away.  With pee-pee breaks and all, we rolled in at 2am.  We were exhausted.  We set our alarm for an early start in the morning but we actually beat the alarm.  Even with 6 hours sleep, we felt refreshed and ready to go. 

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