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Old 11-08-2009, 01:51 PM
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Took the 5-nt to Bermuda out of Baltimore from 10/31 - 11/05. Grandeur is still in great shape despite her years. She's now on a 9-nt to the Eastern Caribbean, then will take her final trip out of Baltimore for a 14-nt repositioning to FL. Our waiter said that soon after, she'll be on her way to Germany. Didn't know if she were being sold or will still be operating as RCI.

Her replacement in Baltimore will be the Enchantment.

A few confirmations:

1. Muster drill was held without life jackets. There were a couple of staff for each muster station and one demonstrated the procedure for putting it on while the directions were announced over the ships loud speakers - all muster stations did this together. This was similar to flight attendants demonstrating how to put on a life jacket, oxygen masks, etc. while drections were announced over the PA system. I noticed that there were many storage boxes overhead that contained life jackets. Also, they said that directions for donning these were included on the notices on the inside of your cabin door, and that you should review the instructions and try on your LJ at your earliest convenience. There were still LJs in your cabin.

2. Pool Towels. There are no longer any pool towels in your cabin, but you can get them on the pool deck at the "towel exchange". They are quite large and a nice design - RCI logo and wording on them. You go to the towel exchange to get one. Give them your sea pass and they charge you $20. When you return it, you give them the towel and your sea pass and they'll credit your account $20. If you want to keep the towel, you don't have to return it, and the $20 will stay on your account. Sounds like a reasonable solution to the lost and stolen towels problem.

3. Got "fancy" luggage tags from my TA which indicated our stateroom number, quadrant, c&a status, and full name. Same as Dave's scanned tags.

Just a word about Captain Rob Hempstead: he has a fantastic sense of humor, and we all looked forward to his noon status report over the ship's PA system. One of my favorites was after giving the weather, heading, speed, and such, he announced the depth under the keel as "6,524 feet and 1 inch". I almost exhaled my iced tea through my nostrils!

Weather in Bermuda was sunny and about 80 for both days!

Signed up for a NextCruise, using the "decide later" option. The deposit was $100/pp with an OBC from $50 - $300, depending on length of cruise, and the OBC had no expiration date! We might use that for our 2011 cruise. Also, got two certificates that I could give to family or friends who can get the same deal, providing the go on the same cruise (ship, dates) along with us.

In all, a very enjoyable and relaxing cruise.
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:07 PM
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Thank you for sharing that with us, Johnboy. It's smart to get a "Next Cruise Booking" while you're aboard. I bet those 5 nights really flew by.


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Old 11-08-2009, 02:09 PM
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Captain Hempstead reminds me of a cross between Johnny Carson and Tommy Smothers with his dry delivery and wit.
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:11 PM
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That is so true, Sonny. We were just settling in and starting to get into the routine, when it was time to start packing our luggage again.

I think you've got the right idea with doing b2b's - must be a great feeling to watch everyone getting off when your cruise is only half over!

Maybe some day...
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:19 PM
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YES! It's a great feeling. I just got another price drop for my b2b - that's a great feeling too. It's down to $543pp for a balcony cabin. With my balcony discount it's $443! I sure love cruising!

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Old 11-08-2009, 02:19 PM
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Boy, does he have a dry wit! There's so much that he does that's humorous without being obvious. Like, he starts every announcement with "Good morning (afternoon / evening) ladies..." (followed by about a five second period of silence) then continues with "... and gentlemen". Also, he was a scream in the cake decorating contest between him and the food director.

Dave, was he the captain when you took your recent cruise on the Grandeur?
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:23 PM
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Yes, Captain Rob was on the Grandeur in June. The cake decoration was as good as any comedy act.
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:25 PM
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We also got a great deal on our upcoming Navigator 4-nt to Cozumel cruise: $696/pp including insurance for a JS!

If this keeps up, we might be able to afford a stint on the Oasis! Sure can't wait for those reviews to start coming in.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:10 AM
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Welcome home, johnboy, sounds like a fantastic time was enjoyed. Thank you so much for sharing the news with us. Did you use the bus pass in Bermuda? What was your favorite spot there? I am never ready to get off, even on a 21 day, it just goes by too fast. I know the prices are not good for the cruise line and the travel agents, but they sure are nice for the public. I wish the economy would straighten out soon, but until then, we just need to try to find ways to budget the bargains for cruises You don't have long to wait and then you'll be off to Cozumel. Great way to spend time during the winter!
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:23 AM
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Thanks, Penny.

We got a two-day pass which can be used for both the busses and ferries, but we got all interested in watching the glass blowing and doing some shopping at the Glass Factory and missed the ferry! As we had already been all over the island before, we were only going to go into Hamilton to do some Christmas shopping.

Anyway, it was another hour or so until the next ferry and we were getting a little hungry for some lunch, so we decided to get a bite in one of the little restaurants near the ferry. My wife looked at a menu that was outside and saw that a salad was $17.95 and a hamburger was $19.95!

So, we decided to go back to the ship for lunch and just relax by the pool (there were only four, yes FOUR people lounging around the pool). It was sooooo relaxing - almost like having the ship all to ourselves! And, we really enjoyed the bottle of wine with dinner that night in place of the expensive salad and hamburger we could have had for lunch!

We had such a relaxing time that afternoon that we decided to cancel our shopping trip to Hamilton altogether and just stay on the ship the next day.

Now I know how Sonny must get all those pictures all over a ship with nobody in them - I'll bet he spends time on the ship when in port, too!

My wife's favorite place on the island is Horseshoe Bay Beach. We still haven't spent any "real" time in Hamilton yet, so that gives us a reason to do another Bermda cruise

Haven't ever been to Cozumel, but heard that it's not one of the more "memorable" ports. We'll see...
 
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