Round The World In 28 Days

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 6

    We were awake pretty early again. We got up and ready and headed to the Windjammer for some breakfast. This time we walked out to a beautiful sunny day. The Windjammer was relatively empty, which was a nice bonus. Graham had a plate with cold cuts, cheese, smoked salmon, bacon and fruit. He then went back for a bowl of porridge. I had apple juice, Eggs Benedict, poached eggs, sausage and hash browns. I had another reminder that Eggs Benedict really don't belong on a buffet. I also had a donut, a chocolate chip muffin and what I thought was a brownie, but actually turned out to be some kind of ginger cake. It was very nice though.

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    Once we had finished our breakfast we went to Cafe Promenade for a cup of coffee and fortunately this morning they had the nice coffee. We then went for some fresh air on deck 4 before our first commitment of the day. We had received an invitation to the Crown and Anchor Welcome Back Reception the day before. I was quite surprised about this. This was discontinued fleet-wide on 1st May 2016. We did have it on the Ovation last year, but this set sail only a few days later and with this being a new ship, I figured they just wanted to show themselves from their best side. I had no reasonable explanation why this was happening on this cruise other than that Explorer of the Seas had not got the memo. It was a nice occasion. It took place in the theatre and the band was playing when we got there. Quite a few senior officers were in attendance again including the captain. Drinks were flowing very liberally. I had a couple of glasses of sparkling wine and a couple of cocktails. Graham stuck to the sparkling wine. I was glad that I had a decent breakfast.

    After the reception, Graham headed out to the helipad and I went to the Pamper Party event that was organised by the spa. I normally enjoy those events, but I was not too convinced on this occasion. There is always an element of them trying to sell various treatments and this is absolutely fine. In fact, I have got some really good deals on multi-treatment packages out of the pamper parties in the past. However, the emphasis on that day was more on the hard sell than on the pampering aspect. With hindsight, I should have just left. They did give out various products, but despite the fact that I was right in the middle of the second row, they kept bypassing me. I was not too worried when this happened with the serum, but I did stop one of them when it happened with the toner as I had a lot of cleanser on my face. One good thing came out of this. I met a lovely lady from the Seattle area. She was excited when she realised that I was from the northwest of England. She had done some genealogy research and her ancestors are from a small market town called Frodsham, which is near Chester. I actually had heard of this before as a friend of mine who I used to work with is originally from there. It was really nice chatting to her.


    I then went in search of Graham who was still on the helipad. We went to get some lunch. Graham was being healthy and just had a salad. I had meatloaf, cheesy pasta, meatballs, pork chop, chips and Indonesian roast chicken. On the way past, I got some vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream from the machine on the pool deck. On Explorer of the Seas, they don’t have a soft serve ice cream machine inside the Windjammer. Unfortunately the ice cream was nothing to write home about either. It was not set enough. I then went to progressive trivia and Graham headed back to the helipad. We did not do quite so well getting only 9 out of 15 questions right, but we still had fun. After progressive trivia, I went to check on Graham. He was still on the helipad. It was too windy there for my taste so I went up to the solarium to read. Graham joined me there at some stage as well. We had a lovely lazy afternoon.

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    About an hour before dinner, we went back to the cabin and got ready. We then did the rounds of the photo opportunities before going to dinner. We were seated with two couples, one from Australia and one from Florida. We had some interesting conversation again and it was an enjoyable dinner. The food was nice, too. Graham started with cream of mushroom soup and I had a Coke and chilled honeydew melon soup. We both had the Chicken Cordon Bleu with rice pilaf, carrots and broccoli. Graham passed on dessert, but I had the Cherries Jubilee. Even Royal Caribbean cannot get those wrong.

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    After dinner, we said goodbye to our table companions and then had another early night. We spent a while reading. I set the alarm, as we wanted to be out on the open deck when we were sailing into our first port. About an hour later, we switched the light out and fell asleep.
     
  2. jedijill

    jedijill Chiefs fan living in Bronco country

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    Your food looked delicious! Excited to hear about the ship board food and activities. I'm on a RCI cruise in October to Cuba and haven't sailed RCI since 2007.

    Jill in CO
     
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  4. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    Looks like you had a relaxing day!
     
  5. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    That sounds like a perfect sea day :cloud9: lots of yummy food, fun, and relaxing.

    I can't remember, do they have chairs on the helipad?

    Fun that they had the reception even though they're not doing them anymore.
     
  6. Owlpost23

    Owlpost23 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your trip reports.You put so much effort into them.I love all your photos because you're always smiling.Thank you!
     
  7. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    It's funny, your food sounds delicious, but I cringe when I look at your plates! Everything is touching! :eek: :rotfl2:

    Sounds like another relaxing day at sea, and you and Graham got some cute pictures again!
     
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  8. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Neither of us had ever had an issue with this. I suppose we figure it will all touch in the stomach anyway.

    This was definitely needed as the first intense block of port calls was about to start.

    Corinna
     
  9. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Day 7

    The alarm clock went off bright and early ‪at 6:00 in the morning, as we wanted to watch the sail in at our first port. We got up and ready and went up to deck 12. It looked a bit dreary when we first got there. It must have been raining off into the distance as we were treated to a lovely rainbow. Even with it being quite grey, the islands around us looked very beautiful.

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    Once the ship had anchored, we went to the cabin to get our snorkeling gear and everything else we needed. Then we went to the Cafe Promenade for some breakfast. We both had some coffee and a raspberry Danish and a vanilla Danish. Graham also had a slice Austrian Strietzel (sweet yeast bread with dried fruit) and I had a chocolate donut. We had timed this perfectly. No sooner had we finished, than an announcement was made that the ship had been cleared by the authorities and we were free to go ashore. So we headed down to the tender lobby on deck 2 midship.

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    Although this was our 4th cruise on Royal Caribbean, this was the first tender port that we had encountered. I was a little nervous about this especially as most of our ports on this cruise were tender ports. Well, there was no reason to be. Royal Caribbean has tendering down to an art form. As soon as we got down to deck 2, we were directed to one of the tender areas. Our SeaPass cards were swiped and we were on our way down to the tender. There was a tender waiting. We got on and did not have to wait long until we were our way.

    The trip across to Isle of Pines took about 10 minutes. When we left the tender pier, there were photographers out. So we stopped for some photos. There was even a mermaid. Then we went off exploring. I had spotted a sign for a craft market and decided that this may be quite interesting. So we headed in that direction. It turned out to be a beautiful walk and we saw some beautiful birds and butterflies, but did not find the craft market. Still it was a lovely walk.

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    Our detour did take us to the beach. There were two options there. On the left was a nice beach facing the open water. On the right was a shaded beach with a lot of trees. This overlooked a sheltered cove with a rock in the middle. As we were not here to enjoy the beach, but to snorkel, I chose the second option. This turned out to be a great choice. We had got quite hot during our walk so when we first got into the water, it felt pretty cold. However, once we had got used to it, the water was lovely. Initially the water was a bit cloudy and I started to worry that this would be rather disappointing. However, as soon as we were a short distance away from the beach, the water became crystal-clear. Better still, near the rock there was something that was best described by bowls formed by coral. Those bowls were jam-packed with all kinds of colourful tropical fish. We saw a lot of old favourites like butterfly fish, surgeonfish, parrotfish and Moorish Idols as well as a bunch of fish that was new to us. I can finally say I found Nemo. I have never seen anything quite so beautiful. Snorkeling will never quite be the same again as I will compare everything to the stunning beauty and utter perfection of the snorkeling at Isle of Pines.

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    We had been snorkeling for just over 2.5 hours when we both got the first signs of a possible cramp so we decided that it was time to get out of the water. We swam to the beach, got out and gathered our stuff together. When we walked past the other beach, Graham commented that it would be a shame not to at least try this. I had no issue with this. Again, the water was lovely and warm. This beach was great for relaxing on the beach and swimming, but the water was quite cloudy so would not have been any good for snorkeling. We spent about 20 minutes or so floating and then we were done. We slowly made our way back towards the tender pier. Next to the second beach, a little market had sprung up and we had a look around there. There were a couple of things that caught my eye, but nothing that I could not live without. So we moved on. We did figure out where we had taken a wrong turn when we were looking for the craft market when we arrived on the island. So we had a quick look there. There were a couple of nice things, but again nothing that enticed me to get my wallet out. We then headed back to the tender pier. There was quite a line when we got there, but it moved quickly enough and we were on the second tender back to the ship.

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  10. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    When we got back to the cabin, we got showered and changed and hung up our wet snorkeling gear. Then we headed up to the Windjammer for some lunch. They had finally fixed the Coca Cola Freestyle machines in the Windjammer so I got us both some drinks. Graham had Cherry Dansani Water and I had Cherry ginger ale. Graham started with some salad and then had some Lancashire hot pot and rice. He said that this was very nice. I went straight to the hot food and had Chicken Parmigiana, chips, stuffed pepper and prime rib. The Chicken Parmigiana was great. Graham had some fruit salad for dessert. I had a cream puff, orange jelly, chocolate crunch cake and a slice of orange pound cake. The cream puff was nice and you cannot get jelly wrong, but the rest was nothing to write home about.

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    After lunch we went back to the cabin to get my iPad and Graham’s telescope. We then headed down to deck 4 and found a nice sheltered spot to hang out for the afternoon. It was nice to just chill out and do very little for the afternoon. ‪Around 16:00 we headed inside and to the R Bar. We decided to check out what they offered in terms of non-alcoholic cocktails. They only had a fruit punch. This was nice and refreshing, but it was a little disappointing that there was only one option. We stayed for a second drink. Graham had a Corona and I had a chardonnay from the Languedoc. Once we had finished our drinks, it started to get quite busy so we decided to go somewhere else. We headed downstairs to the Schooner Bar. I wanted a drink of the day, which was a pomegranate Margarita that day. It came in a nice souvenir glass, which was mine to keep. The Margarita was very tasty. Graham had a White Zinfandel. At some stage, a guitar player started playing and he was not very good so we took this as our sign that it was time to head back to our cabin.

    We had a little downtime that I spent reading and then we got ready for dinner. We did the rounds of the photo opportunities and then we went for dinner. We ended up sitting with a couple from Australia and a couple from Florida and we had some interesting conversation again. Graham started with Escargot and I had the beef consommé with truffle egg custard. This was not as flavourful as the chicken consommé that I had earlier in the cruise, but still very nice. Graham then had the buttermilk-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted corn and gravy, which he liked well enough. I had the steak Caesar salad and that was out of this world delicious. Graham passed on dessert. I had the Chocolate Sensation with vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately this was not as good as it was on my first Royal Caribbean cruise, but I did enjoy it.

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    After dinner we went back to the cabin. We sorted out the stuff we would need the next day. We both read for a while and then we got ready for bed.
     
  11. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Nice update, beautiful island, and beach pics. Nice that you got to see so many beautiful fish. Were the vendors at the craft markets really pushy? I hate that, it turns me off of a lot of those things when I go on cruises. I love to look but I don't like the pushy vendors so it makes me not even want to look at their stuff. Nice pre-dinner pics, I love that dress, pretty blue color.
     
  12. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    How lovely to get out for some snorkeling. That sounds like a perfect day :cloud9:

    Glad the tendering process was smooth.

    Great idea to try the other beach but glad your first choice was better for snorkeling.
     
  13. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    I LOVE rainbows! So magical!

    You always get the best snorkeling pics! So clear and not just half a fish. That was a really long time to snorkel.

    Your dress is beautiful! I just love the blue color and the cut.
     
  14. kittymamma

    kittymamma Mouseketeer

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    As always, I look forward to seeing your updates on Sunday and reading about your adventures. That flowered dress is so pretty....a happy dress.
     
  15. rdbred

    rdbred rossb

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    Hi Corinna. Long time lurker. First time ever posting. Love your trip reports. Thank you for all of the hard work which you put into them. One comment. I noticed on Graham's cold cut plate from breakfast a hidden mickey in a piece of cheese and just had to comment. Cheers from Canada!!! Ross
     
  16. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    People on my TRs tease me since my plates always have a clear delineation of where the foods are placed. I've heard this argument, and I always say that it does end up in the same place, but my tongue has to taste it separately before it can pass through to the stomach! :lmao:

    Those are some awesome pictures! Fran always says she wants to get scuba certified, but I don't see how that is going to happen when we can't even finish the project at hand! I would love to even go snorkeling again sometime!

    Always nice to have some downtime! I love your tropical outfits! That dress looks great on you, and the two of you together look adorable!
     
  17. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    I saw it as well!
     
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  18. jedijill

    jedijill Chiefs fan living in Bronco country

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    What a lovely day of snorkeling! Love you and Graham's tropical attire!

    Jill in CO
     
  19. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    No, they were not pushy at all. If anything, it was kind of hard to get their attention. It was the same in Noumea and on Mystery Island.

    I am with you on this.

    Blue is my favourite colour.

    It really was.

    So was I. With so many tender ports, it would have really miserable otherwise.

    We called this one right. Unfortunately we were not always that lucky.

    We were blessed with quite a few of them on this trip.

    I took well over a hundred and deleted must of them as they were either blurred, there was nothing in them or just a partial fish.

    We both love snorkeling and kind of lose track of time. Graham made some calculations and we spent about half of our waking hours snorkeling when we were at Aulani.

    This is probably my favourite dress nowadays.

    I have the same style with pink and grey flowers and I actually wear them quite a lot at work teamed up with a cardigan.

    Welcome on board. I am glad you are enjoying them.

    I totally did not spot this.

    I can understand that argument as well.

    Part of me wants to get SCUBA certified, but I am worried about the pool work as I totally freaked out during the try dive on Navigator of the Seas.

    That is something that has become a real passion. I am always a little sad if I go on a vacation and not get the chance to snorkel.

    Thanks. We had tropical night every evening we were in a port, which was really nice.

    I was totally oblivious to this. Somebody on a different forum pointed out that there was a hidden Mickey in Graham's oatmeal on another instalment. I had not spotted that one either.

    It really was. I think that day spoiled me forever.

    Corinna
     
  20. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Some of you are probably wondering what is going on as I am only updating once a week at the moment. Shortly before I went on this trip, my very elderly Macbook was throwing up issues. The screen keeps going black in the middle of what I am doing. This has got progressively worse. As I do need the laptop when I work from home over the weekend, I have been using this very sparingly. The instalments I have posted so far, I have typed up on my iPad, which is slow going at the best of times and then I used some precious computer time to post the update.I got a new Macbook on Tuesday, but it is taking forever to migrate the content of the old one across and in the meantime, I cannot use either. Hopefully this is done by tonight and then I can set the new one up and I will be up and running again. The timing of this is not ideal as my boss is going on leave for two weeks on Monday and I will need to put in some extra hours. So I will stick to a weekly update for now and once he is back in mid August, I will return to twice weekly updates to ensure that I am done with this trip report by the time I leave for the next trip.

    Corinna
     
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  21. tiggrbaby

    tiggrbaby <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder

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    Bummer about the computer issues! Take your time as your reports are worth the wait!
     

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