The Cruise…Week #1

Pictures and more details to follow!

Hi…it’s 5 PM PM on Sunday, October 9, 2016, and we are on our way out of Galveston, and I am posting what I can, using my cell phone as a hot spot!!  Having the best time, and looking forward to week two!  Right now, we are sitting on our balcony with Kenny and Chris, drinking bottle 3 of our champagne for Sail Away #2!  See you all next week!!!!

 

Day Forty Three – Sunday, October 2, 2016

We are firmly ensconced in Stateroom 6580, having seen “our boys” and met Chris’ Dad, Step Mom, and two Grandmas on the pier. This morning worked out perfectly, as we dropped off our luggage, parked the car, and met up with the boys and Chris’ family. After Chris’ family set out for their shuttle to head to the airport, the boys went off to lunch in Galveston, while Mom and Dad checked in. In a very short time (much quicker than we got on board in Bayonne last year), we were through check-in, on the ship, and in the R Bar taking advantage of our “Ultimate Drink Package”. At this point we have had 3 Texas Teas, gotten into our room, received our luggage, unpacked (great job Susie), spent about an hour with the boys, and now we are awaiting the Assembly Drill, which the boys are both involved in. We will do Sail Away in our cabin with the boys. We already signed up for a Martini Mixology Class tomorrow (like we don’t know how to make Martinis). Looking forward to a great two weeks!!!!

Day Forty Four – Monday, October 3, 2016

Today we started with room service breakfast. The weather wasn’t wonderful, so rather than eat on the balcony, we sat on the couch and ate at the coffee table. Because the boys are involved working with Port Shopping, and were working the 10:30 Port Shopping Seminar, we left the room and headed there to see what it was all about. After it was over, Susie and I headed to the Hoof and Claw, Irish Bar on the Promenade, I had 3 Captain and Cokes, Susie had 3 Bloody Marys (A- a little hair of the Dog, and B – Ultimate Drink Package), and we waited for the boys to show up. They joined us for a couple of drinks, and then we all headed to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch, the boys headed off to a rehearsal they had for the Mystery Dinner and Susie and I wandered till it was time to return to the R Bar, for our Martini Mixology course!

We were the first ones to arrive, and they had a series of mini martini glasses set up on the bar (mini-tinis), and eventually the rest of the class showed up! What a great thing we signed up for and so much fun. The topic was fresh fruit martinis, and we learned how to muddle, shake, and pour perfect martinis. Our Master Mixologist was Melvin and he was helped by his two assistants, Arminda and Kristina, and we learned that a martini must have 3 things…have potent ingredients, be served cold, and be served in a chilled martini glass! We made Peach, Strawberry, Pear, Kiwi, and Chocolate martinis and had a great time! We were hands on involved, doing the muddling and shaking, even behind the bar! So much fun, such a great group of people, and I can’t say enough about the staff at the R Bar…it is now our bar of choice!

Last night was Formal Night, and the Captain’s Cocktail Party, so after the boys came and picked us up at the cabin, we went to the Promenade Deck for free champagne, music, and people watching! Great fun as we saw everything from full-on tuxes, to women wearing heals so high they could barely walk in them, to one guy with denim shorts and work boots on! We also ran into some folks from our Martini class, and people that Kenny and Chris work with on the ship. Then we were off to Vintages, the wine bar, had a cheese plate, and Kenny bought a much too expensive bottle of Camus wine! After that, it was Sorrentos for pizza (our dinner), and then the boys had to go do some Port Shopping work, and deliver VIP cards to various cabins. Susie and I headed back to the R Bar for a night cap. She had her usual Grey Goose shaken cold with a twist, while I had a dirty Grey Goose with muddled olives! We had some more conversation with Melvin and Arminda, and then were invited by two gentlemen that were in our class to join their group and meet their wives. We did, and it was a very nice night!

Day Forty Five – Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We awoke this morning already tied to the dock in Cozumel, Mexico. I opened the curtain, not knowing what to find, only to be looking at another set of balconies from the ship that was right across the pier from us! I later realized it was Royal’s Allure of the Seas, Kenny’s first Royal Caribbean Ship, which he was on 5 years ago doing Chicago. A little worse for wear this morning (it was the red wine Kenny ordered in Vintages, not the vodka)…(“sure, sure!”, said Sue), it was good we didn’t have to hit the ground running! Tonight is the production show, In The Air, and they had a tech run through this morning, so we were meeting them about 11 AM.

We got off the ship a little before noon, grabbed a cab, and headed to Panchos for lunch! Susie had a Burrito Sonara and I had the most delicious fish tacos I have ever had. To start, the boys ordered excellent guacamole and a very interesting hot Mexican cheese, that was served with freshly made tortillas. A couple of different types of Margaritas washed down a really excellent lunch.

We started walking up the main street in Cozumel, but honestly the “hard sell” that most of the merchants did along the street was less than enjoyable. That, plus the fact that it was very hot, humid, and as I said earlier, I was suffering the effects of being “over-served last night” (damn that wine!) (“hmmm?”, said Sue!), we grabbed another cab, back to the International Pier! We didn’t die during the return ride…close, but no, we didn’t, and walked through security and back on the pier. I was then struck, as we walked towards the pier, that there tied up on either side of one pier, in Cozumel, Mexico, was Kenny’s entire Royal Caribbean Resume…the Allure and the Liberty of the Seas!

I will be very honest, I was a wreck at this point! Susie told me to take a cold shower (I couldn’t stop sweating, even in the AC). I did, changed into my PJs, and honestly went to bed! About 3:30 I woke and wasn’t sweating, for the first time in hours! I was on the mend, and was very happy!

Kenny had arranged for us to get in the theater early for the 6:30 show of In the Air, and we headed down there. We sat through show 1, (after a Captain and coke….a little hair of the dog, which helped!) and as always, loved seeing the boys on stage! It’s always good seeing them doing what they love.

After show 1, we headed to Sorrentos for a couple of pieces of pizza for dinner, and then went back to the theater for show 2. What, you think we came all this way to just see Kenny and Chris perform once??? No way, Jose! We sat in row 4 for the second show…new perspective, same great show!

We’d arranged to meet the boys in the R Bar after the show, and so we headed there, sat at the bar and had a martini with Arminda, and when the boys came, they participated too. Before the night was over, we’d turned the R Bar into a mini Martini Class Alumni meeting, with Scott and his wife Leasa joining our group, and eventually Johnny, who’d also been with us! A very enjoyable evening speaking with folks we didn’t know from a hole in the wall before yesterday!

It’s now a little before 1 AM (ship time) and bed time. Tomorrow Grand Cayman Islands!!!
Day Forty Six – Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Disappointment for some on the ship this morning, when we were informed that we wouldn’t be stopping at Grand Cayman as expected this morning. The decision was made by the Captain based on weather. We are currently sailing in beautiful blue waters, under sunny skies, but the problem had to do with this afternoon’s forecast in Grand Cayman. Unlike the other ports, Grand Cayman is a “tender port”, where they have small 250 passenger boats ferry you from the anchored ship, to the island. There are 5 tenders and the process takes about 45 minutes, and the forecast for this afternoon was for winds and squalls, which the Captain was afraid might interrupt the tender process. So rather than risk having several thousand people stuck on the island, we bypassed the port.

I’m sure it was disappointing for some who had booked excursions (our friends Leasa and Scott from the Martini Class, had scheduled to swim with dolphins with their daughters), but since the boys were taking us to a beach club, we were not upset at all. Susie warned me not to be too happy in case Kenny was bummed about the change of plans, but when he showed up at the cabin at 9:15, he was just as happy too, so all was well!

The first order of business this morning, was the DreamWorks Move It, Move It Parade, in which Chris stars as Pinocchio! It was great fun to see all the families, and single adults who had assembled to watch the parade at 9:30, and no one was disappointed. One of the girls who is in the shows with Kenny came and joined us, and it was really fun! Great way to start the morning. Susie and I then decided too go back to the cabin and put the camera away, and then head to the Windjammer Cafe for some breakfast. Kenny said he’d meet us later.

We got back to the cabin, delighted to discover that our stateroom attendant was just finishing with our cabin, even in the short time we’d been gone. Her name is Dilcia and she is one of the best attendants we have had on Royal Caribbean, and is doing a great job taking care of us! As we were dropping off the camera, the phone rang and it was Kenny saying that Chris could do with some breakfast, and they were going to join us. So, we had a nice family breakfast!

We’ve got a full schedule tonight with two shows and a wine pairing dinner at Vintages, so we let the boys have a down day, and Mom and Dad would entertain themselves. We traveled down to the casino and made a donation…one of us quicker than the other. Then we went and looked at our pictures in the Photo Shop, and now we are on our cabin balcony reading, and drinking a Captain and Coke! We will meet the boys at 6, at the R Bar, but till then we are just going to chill and relax. We love it! Can we do this again next week? Oh wait, we are!!!

Day Forty Seven – Thursday, October 6, 2016

The plan today was to sleep in, so when we woke after 9, the Liberty of the Seas was already tied to the pier at Falmouth, Jamaica. As I opened the curtains this morning, I looked out over Royal Caribbean’s impression of what a British Colonial Village on the isle of Jamaica would look like, and what do you know, but that there was another cruise ship tied up on the other side of the “town” from us…and guess what…It was Kenny’s Allure of the Seas again!!! Thanks to Hurricane Mathew, the staff in Royal’s Miami Headquarters has probably been working OT , re- routing ships, and here was the Allure again with us when it was probably supposed to be in Nassau, Bahamas, which may not even exist anymore!

So the boys came down to us, and Kenny was not a happy camper. It seems that the Headline Comic, that was supposed to be entertaining on the Liberty tonight, could not fly out of Miami because of the hurricane and they’d just been informed that as a replacement, they’d have to do their 45 minute song set, Summer Breeze. He was not a happy camper, because the boys had planned on taking us to Margarettaville to eat, drink, and go to the pool, and Kenny couldn’t drink if they had to do Summer Breeze! So, off we went to Falmouth to see where the day would go.

We weren’t off the ship 5 minutes, when Kenny got a message on his phone, telling him that they were getting the comedian from the Allure to come on the Liberty to perform, and they weren’t going to have to do Summer Breeze! Suddenly “Happy Camper Kenny” was back with us!!! Off we went to Margarettaville where we ate, we drank, and we had a great day in the pool and at the swim up bar! It was hot and was crowded because the Allure was with us in town, but we found a table, an umbrella, and enjoyed being someplace that Kenny always seems to call us from, thanks to the free Wi-Fi! Speaking of free Wi-Fi…Susie and I could have gotten their password, and hooked up to the Internet, and checked email and Facebook and the like, but you know what? We’re enjoying being out of touch, so continued to use our iPhones just as cameras! Kenny did use the Wi-Fi to FaceTime with Krissi, so we talked to our daughter, but that’s it!

On the way back to the ship, we stopped and each got a delicious Jamaican Meat Patty. Per the boys’ instructions, we added some very tasty sauces, and really enjoyed the patties. We loved the sauces, and visited a store that sold all kinds, and are taking some tasty souvenirs home! Back on the ship, we had several hours to relax, shower, and prepare for the evening. The Allure was leaving before the Liberty, and as our balcony overlooked the “town”, we enjoyed watching the last of the Liberty’s passengers return to the ship, and watching our lines being castoff, as we headed off towards Galveston and our two sea days!

The highlight of tonight was the 70’s Dance Party on the Royal Promenade, that started at 10 PM with Kenny and one of his fellow cast members Charlotte kicking the festivities off with their 15 minute 70’s Set! We preped for the evening by visiting with our friends at the R Bar for a couple of Martinis, and since it was slow, had some conversation, which let us learn a little more about the bar’s staff. We also ran into several of our Martini Class Alumni again, and agreed to meet at the Promenade later for the show. About 9 we went to secure a table outside of Sorrentos, where we ate a little dinner, and waited for the group to assemble! By the time Chris and the rest of the folks showed, the Promenade was very busy, and we were glad we’d gotten there early! The show was fun, Kenny and Charlotte were great, and we had another great night on the Liberty of the Seas with Kenny and Chris!!!

Tomorrow is the first of two Sea Days heading back to Galveston, and the end of week #1 of two! How obscene that we get to do this all over again!! See you tomorrow!

Day Forty Eight – Friday, October 7, 2016

Today is the first of two sea days, on the way back to Galveston, to end week one of our two week cruise. As a sea day, folks are pretty much on their own to see and do things they haven’t done, or to get a chance to repeat things that they’ve enjoyed. On a sea day the pool decks are crowded as folks try and get a little more tan before heading back to work. People are on the Flowrider, or the climbing wall, or one of the three new water slides, or they’re down in the stores on the Royal Promenade, seeking out bargains!

So, what did we do bright and early this morning? Nothing, because we didn’t set an alarm, but just slept till we woke up, which this morning turned out to be about 8:40. The seas are calm, the sun is shining, and we really had to remind ourselves that we were on a cruise ship, as we got out of bed this morning! Our cabin is about mid-ship this cruise, just slightly closer to the bow than the stern of the ship. The ride has been incredibly smooth, and we are not sure if that’s because of the placement of the cabin, smooth sailing, or a combination. Either way, it’s been a comfortable 5 days on the high seas.

We sat around just watching TV this morning, kind of putzing around till I went over to the night stand and looked at my watch, and discovered it was about ten minutes to ten! Yikes! We had to be on deck 14 for a return cruiser meeting at 10:30! Time to get our acts in gear! Quickly, we were out of the room, at the meeting, and got all the info we needed so that we now know what to do on Sunday when the ship arrives back in Galveston. After the meeting, we popped into the Windjammer for a small breakfast, and then we somehow found ourselves in the casino! We played a couple of slot machines, and I ended up walking out with $100, thanks to a Wheel of Fortune machine. Time well spent!

At 1:15, we met the boys outside Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant, where the boys had made a lunch reservation for us all. From the red sangria to the table side guacamole, to the appetizers, through the entrees, right to the dessert tray we were brought…everything was superb! A great lunch, which we will follow up with a much smaller late dinner tonight! After lunch, well we were back to the casino, this time with Kenny and Chris in tow (they can watch, but not play). We did even better this time, and both Susie and I took some money out of the slots in the form of folding money!!

Money in hand, we headed up to the Royal Promenade, where Susie converted the cash into a couple of bags she’d checked out earlier in the cruise! Then it was time to say bye to the boys till later, as they had things to do, and Mom and Dad need to veg a bit!

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