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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2006, 12:00 PM
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One bartender told me this is the first cruise where they used the computers to charge for the drinks. He said the preview cruises had open bars, and the travel agents and other dignitaries kept them busy from opening to closing, with people three deep at times. (By the way, this confirms my suspicions about the travel agents being a notable group of freeloaders . Anyway, as a result they have found some problems with the bar computers. The system has crashed more than once.
Dave, it was truly a sight to behold. I am not sure how much booze was poured on the Freedom of the Seas during the inaugural, but it had to be another record. Is the FlowRider a hit?

Tom
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2006, 12:09 PM
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Dave, sounds like they have a few hiccups, but I am sure all the kinks will get worked out...That is to bad about the scenery over there lets hope they dont get hit with anymore hurricans in forseeable future. And all the food sounds pretty good, I have to try to get my wife up early enough to get into the dining room, that will be a chore...but maybe the kids and I can get in there and get a good breakfast!! Have fun and look forward to hearing your next update!!
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2006, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for all the info. We just got Sunday from a 9 day Grandeur cruise. We also went to Cozumel and did a beach bash. Not the same as yours, but had the food and drinks and beach, pool etc..

Sounds like the menu is very similar. My husband loves the lamb. Has has had it twice on two different RCI ships and loved it, same with the escargots. Continue to have a fablous time
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2006, 05:12 PM
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I agree with Dave also about eating breakfast AND lunch in the dining room. Nice menu, nice experience and you meet new people each time.
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2006, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for the good reporting Dave. It's almost like we're there with you. I can really relate because I was on the Freedom for two days. Day four already... time sure flies when we're having fun.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2006, 06:01 AM
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Tom, the Flowrider is indeed a hit. Always a crowd watching and a line to try it. As noted in my latest report, they ran it at night which added a level of excitement to it.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2006, 06:03 AM
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Day 5…

It was an off and on day of rain in Grand Cayman. Tendering took longer than it did in Cozumel. The big reason is that the ship was just a couple hundred yards from the pier in Cozumel but not so in Georgetown. Tendering on this ship has some minor problems that need resolution. In Cozumel it was quite disorganized and no one seemed to be in charge at the Arcadia Theatre, which was the gathering point for all the tours. A big bottleneck occurs when returning to the ship. The security station is not especially efficient. Yesterday they only had one card reader operating and so you had a tender load of passengers being funneled one at a time through the checkpoint. It took a good 20 minutes or more to empty our tender. Another card reader was available but not manned. But this is the first voyage and so these kinds of things should be expected. Hopefully they will be fixed.

We did the Nautilus semi-submersible and the butterfly farm. The Nautilus was good. The butterfly farm wasn’t. The rains returned just as we arrived and so we spent 45 minutes standing under an umbrella listening to the guide explain the lifecycle of butterflies. All the butterflies took refuge from the rain and we saw very few of them. After that it was lunch at Senor Frogs and then back to the ship.

They have a new cruise ship receiving area in Georgetown. Much nicer than the old one. Plus they provide free bottled water and soft drinks, and samples of rum cake. So don’t buy any water on the ship before leaving! You can take as much as you want for free at the pier.

Dinner last night was “surfer” themed. Non-stop Beach Boys music played and fish played a prominent role on the menu. The Malaysian fish soup was good but quite spicy. Surf and Turf was the featured entrée, and in this case is was beef filet and grilled shrimp. The beef was good and served medium rare as ordered. There were only 3 shrimp per plate and they were a tad dry but still good. Our waiter was more than happy to bring customized plates, such as the snapper with some of the shrimp, etc. The snapper entrée looked very good. The serving sizes are ample. The steak came with wasabi mashed potatoes and snow peas. Dessert was a very delicious chocolate banana cream pie.

They had the Flowrider and rock wall running late last night – from 10pm to 11:15pm.

We were late mooring in Montego Bay this morning. Supposed to be here at 7am but didn’t tie up until 8. We still have to be back aboard by 3:30pm. They have a concert planned for us on the pier with some famous singer named Shaggy. This is my first time on Montego Bay. At least from the ship’s view it is much more picturesque than Ocho Rios.

One thing I noted is the buffet breakfast and dining room didn’t open until 7am this morning, yet some tours were supposed to meet on the pier at 7:15am. Had we arrived on time, those passengers would not have had much chance to eat anything more than coffee and donuts, unless they had ordered room service. I think at least the buffet should have opened at 6:30am if the ship has tours starting at 7:15. I also noted that the cold cereals have appeared in abundance at the buffet. As you may recall, they were not there on that first day at sea.

I don’t have much planned for today. Probably take a cab to Margaritaville and then return to the ship and spend the day with the pools and other things – which experienced cruisers know will be less crowded yet still operating while most passengers are ashore.

The days are flying by now. Tomorrow is Labadee, then our last at-sea day, then home. Tonight is the second formal night. Venetian dinner menu according to the Cruise Compass.

More updates tomorrow!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2006, 09:04 AM
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Dave,
This may be the Freedom's first cruise into Grand Cayman, but it certainly isn't RCI's. The Voyager ships are in there all the time. With that many people they should know better and have more kiosks running.
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2006, 08:05 PM
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Dave... can you do me a favor and ask the folks there what the deal is with room 1334. I really want to reserve it but it looks like the balcony is cut off.... Would love to know ahead of time. Thanks..much
Rosemary

Party on!
  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by occhi:
Dave... can you do me a favor and ask the folks there what the deal is with room 1334. I really want to reserve it but it looks like the balcony is cut off.... Would love to know ahead of time. Thanks..much
Rosemary

Party on!
I'll see what I can find out.
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