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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2007, 06:42 AM
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Day 1

We arrived at the terminal at 11:40 am and as many of you know, RCI uses a stockyard approach to keeping the passengers moving. It was non-stop motion through the serpentine chutes - from the entrance, through security, to the check-in windows, to the security photo station, and finally to the lounge. With our platinum Crown & Anchor membership we now enjoy priority embarkation, and the wait was not long. We sat down at about 11:55 am and the boarded us at noon. So…twenty minutes from curb to Windjammer. Great job on the embarkation!

The cabins were made available at 1pm, which gave us plenty of time to eat lunch. We were among the first to enter the Windjammer. At the entrance everyone had to take a hand wipe from an attendant. The ship is still using increased sanitation because of the norovirus that occurred on the second voyage. This is the sixth voyage for the Liberty. I couldn’t find any passengers who had a problem with the requirement to use the wipes. The same practice is used at the dining room and one also finds wipe dispensers at bars and other public areas.

The buffet lunch was perhaps the best I’ve had with Royal Caribbean. My hopes were fulfilled when I found a fresh tray of paella that had not been touched. I piled some on the plate and chowed down. It was very good. Roast beef and fried chicken were also very tasty.

Our cabin is #9580, which is a junior suite. Nice room. The most impressive thing to us is the walk-in closet, which is huge. The bathroom has a full tub. Large balcony with three chairs and a table. And being classified as a suite (at least for the time being), we get two cruise credits, which puts us that much closer to diamond member status.

After the usual discomfort of the emergency drill, we finished unpacking and went to dinner. Table 546, which seats eight. We have some very pleasant tablemates and look forward to the week chatting with them. Dinner was excellent. Bowing to the pleas of many, I tried the chilled watermelon gazpacho and have to say it was thoroughly delicious. Very refreshing. I then had a spinach salad, cod with garlic-mashed potatoes, and for dessert a white chocolate mousse. It was a nice dinner.

I then repaired to my favorite watering hole on the Freedom class ships…. Boleros. Take a caiparinha or three while chatting up the engaging bar staff, some great music, and you have a pleasant evening. I was pleased that one of the bartenders – Denisse from Chile – remembered me from the Freedom cruise last year.

Today we are at-sea. The waters have been glassy smooth since we left Miami. We are going through some thunderstorms right now (8am on Sunday) but the waters have remained calm. Hopefully this will blow over and some pool deck time can be had. The ship is sailing at capacity according to our waiter Tan, which means the chair hogs will be in abundance.

I see no mention of any Internet minute packages. Just 50 cents per minute. I’ll do more checking on this today. I got a $7.50 Internet credit coupon in my C&A book, but that’ll only last 15 minutes. So – I hope you’ll understand if I don’t respond to your questions during the cruise. I’ll read them and get answers, and the reply when I return home. As it is, I am typing these updates in Word and then doing a quick copy and paste to the forum.

Still haven't met up with papae!
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2007, 08:36 AM
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Sounds like you are having a fantastic time so far Dave! Don't worry 'bout us!! Wait till you get back!! Excited to hear all the details though!
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:46 AM
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Day 2 into 3

What a great day at sea yesterday. The morning storms were left behind and we had mirror seas and sun all day. At this writing we are about 120 nautical miles from San Juan with an arrival time of 3pm. Departure is set for 10pm. Not especially good hours to really do much, so we’ll probably walk around the old city for a while and then return to the ship.

Yesterday I took advantage of the wine tasting coupon in my C&A book. It was pleasant with samples of four wines and guidance from one of the eight wine specialists aboard. Our son did the introductory ice skating lesson and found that he was fairly good at it. He will return for more lessons. They dress the kids up with roller blade safety gear which no doubt helps their confidence level.

Dinner last night was the first formal. Beef filet was the featured entrée. As always, I had mine medium rare and it was very good. I had the escargots too, but felt they overdid it with the garlic in the sauce. It seemed very salty too. For those keeping up with it, the chilled soup was pear. I passed on it.

The big show was “Somewhere In Time”. The two featured singers did very well but the performance lacked segues between the show segments. We skipped the Captain’s welcome reception.

This has been a very pleasant cruise so far. We have great tablemates and Tan, our waiter, is very polished. The headwaiter for our section came by for the usual gladhanding last night.

I went to the loyalty office yesterday and made an open booking. You deposit $100 per person. Within three years you have to finalize the cruise and at that point the amount of your on-board credit is determined based on the cruise and cabin category. Your agent also gets credited with the booking.

Oh, and I finally met papae (Ed) yesterday. We both infiltrated the Cruise Critic meet and greet party. Ed will probably have more to say about it later, but he was quite disappointed on embarkation day to learn that RCI has banned beer and liquor deliveries by outside vendors to the ships. I think the name of that company was Yours Truly or something like that? Anyway, they can no longer offer their services to RCI ships.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:02 AM
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Dave : it is nice to know someone on board to live vicariously through! Have a great cruise!
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2007, 09:35 AM
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It's still hot and dry here. We had a light shower yesterday for about 10 minutes. I put my raft in the pool and rocked back and forth to pretend I was on board with y'all. Then I put a pan of water and sea salt on the stove and inhaled the steam. It's not quite the same, but I'm trying to imagine being there. It's great reading your on board review. Like tncruiseman, we're cruising vicariosuly! Have a glorious day
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:52 AM
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Dave, thanks for the updates. Sounds like you're having fun. Is Jacob in the youth program?

Sandy
  #47 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2007, 12:12 PM
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We are about 30 minutes away from San Juan. Great day at sea so far. Oddly enough, as we get closer to Puerto Rico the seas has gotten choppier. I ran into another bartender from the Freedom last year.....Adrienne from the Philippines. He worked Boleros on the Freedom and now works the On Air on the Liberty. Great guy.

The internet minutes packages showed up on my screen after my $7.50 worth of free credits ran out....in other words, they make you use free credits at 50 cents per minute before you can use the cheaper packaged minutes....which for me means the 150 minutes for 50 bucks. So you can't buy a package and then apply the free credits to it. Kinda cheap of them, don't you think?

No dining room dinner tonight for us....unless things change. We have a very lovely 12 year old girl at our table, and my 12 year old son just asked if "she" was going to be at dinner tonight....and if we were. Hmmm...
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2007, 12:13 PM
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Sandy,

Jacob doesn't much go for the youth programs. He prefers to hang around.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2007, 01:20 PM
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Anything special planned for San Juan? I wish I could step off a ship and head up El Meson for a big Cubano sandwich. It's fun following you Dave. Thanks for the reports.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:23 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
It is Father's Day, my wife is fixing me pancakes using Chef Ken's famous whole-grain pancake mix, and I just might make some mimosa's to go with it. Because like every sophisticated cruiser, I always have a bottle of champagne in the fridge.

Thanks for the plug Dave. Hope you enjoyed them.

Mimosas and Bloody Mary's are how I like to start a cruise day!
 
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