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  #61 (permalink)  
Old January 4th, 2007, 10:37 PM
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I have to admit that my first thought at the luggage warehouse was Oy Vey (thanks Trip!) but we found our bags quickly, got a porter (yes, I beat out the old lady who was also trying to get a porter but I was the one waving the money and she sounded very whiney so he picked me! ) and were out of there before we knew it.
Mike, I say lets do this again in 2008!
Angela Z.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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We are home too, and so sad and missing our new CruiseMates friends!
James and I had a fabulous cruise and agree that the best part was meeting so many wonderful people! We will definately do another CM cruise in the future! so many wonderful moments.....which I will get to as soon as I've had time to download my photos!
Thanks everyone for such a great time!

donna
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2007, 01:17 AM
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Default MY WRAP UP

New Year’s Party of the Century - comes to an end.

Without a doubt this was a great cruise! A lot of people in the group loved the Century, others not so much. But, I think everyone loved the cruise experience we shared.

I felt the food throughout the cruise was a solid 8 out of 10; lots of variety on the dining room menus, and everything tasted good. Muranos specialty restaurant is a lovely, intimate setting. My personal favorite for such venues remains “The Olympic?, on the Millennium.

Some of the CruiseMates group had previously sailed only on larger ships, and I think some of them missed some of the amenities offered by larger ships; more lounges, more swimming pools, etc. Though the Century, at over 70,000 grt is not small, it does take some getting used to for those used to the 100,000 + ton ships.

We found the air-conditioning to be spotty around the ship. Some areas were cool, while others would be warm. Yet, this didn’t seem to be a consistent phenomena. On one visit a public room might be pleasantly cool, yet next time it seemed like the air wasn’t circulating at all. Though in our stateroom the thermostat seemed to work just fine, and kept our cabin at whatever temperature we chose.

In an earlier report I discussed some members of the group who had issues with their level of service. Two tables who I spoke with had a problem with slow service. One table, addressed their complaints to the Maitre ‘D on the first night, and enjoyed excellent service for the remainder of the cruise. The other table, which I discussed in the earlier report, after discussing their issues, chose not to return to the dining room, and ate their remaining dinners at the casual alternate evening restaurant, at the Islands Café. Now personally I have to think it was a mistake to give up on the dining room after the one evening of bad service. While the alternate restaurant seemed to have satisfied their needs, and they did say food and service in the evening alternate area were very good, they did miss out on the dining room experience, and dining with the rest of the group.

I highly recommend taking the approach of the first table; speak up, have it dealt with, and give them a chance to make it right! Bottom line… for those who avoided the dining room… the cruise line really doesn’t care if you’re in the dining room. The reaction to abandon the dining room- though somewhat understandable- really just takes away from your own vacation experience that you’ve paid good money for. Even Donald Trump believes in second chances!

I have to give kudos to Nancy Bogert, our Cruise Planners agent for doing a wonderful job on this group. Amazingly in this large group everyone seemed happy with their dining assignments, and their assigned table-mates when they were mixed and matched with people not originally traveling together. All the fits seemed very good! Not an easy task, and very time consuming to get it right. Nancy delivered on the ship board credits, and cocktail party promised as group amenities, and she also brought along really nice, and useful, bags for everyone, as well as lanyards, for everyone, and then having the CruiseMates group into her suite for New Years… very nice bonus amenities which were never promised! It’s very pleasant dealing with an agent who will try to “go the extra mile? for the group… and Nancy certainly did that!

This cruise needed to be about a 16 day cruise for us to enjoy the special camaraderie established. 5 days disappeared in a blink of an eye… but I think the majority of the group fit nine days of life into the 5 that were available to us.

The Internet service was, as expected, a bit slow, but wireless service is available in every cabin, if you bring your laptop. Internet time can be purchased for 75 cents/per minute, with time packages available, reducing the charge to 60 cents/per minute.

Debarkation today went very smoothly, no crowding , no rushing and no pushing. Collecting my rental car at the Marriott Biscayne Bay did not go near as smoothly, so I had to go to the airport Hertz location, and we then drove to Ft. Lauderdale to spend a couple of days before boarding the Liberty for 8 more great days.

There’s no perfect cruises, and there’s no ship that everyone is going to fall in love with. But…whether people in the group loved the ship, or ran into some glitches, it seemed everyone loved the CruiseMates New Year’s Party of the Century group cruise. We’re currently working on adding a couple of new and very exciting group cruises, which we hope to be able to announce very soon after my return from Liberty… so keep your eyes peeled to CruiseMates!!

Pictures I had difficulty loading from the ship, are now going up in the photo galleries... set up in groupings by day, so check back often.

I hope you've all enjoyed our daily reports, and hope you join us starting Saturday for "a taste of Liberty" for the Virtual Cruise Reports for the next 8 days.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Now it's time for all the CM cruises to keep sharing their thoughts, when it isn't costing 60 cents a minute to post them 8)
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Old January 5th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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We made it home........finally.....our plan was delayed by about 40 minutes leaving Miami & got in about a hour late........glad I made a call to my brother so he didn't think we stayed in Miami longer.......

The cruise was great.....the room was great.......the people were GREAT......but like Kuki said.....the cruise was just too short.......

As Kuki said we had problems in the dinnning room......we chose to stay in casual dinning as it was quieter & Larry did better there.....we did miss our table mates tho.........

Getting off the ship was the easiest ever I think......we were off the ship by 9 am.......found our luggage & was in a cab in no time......we were at our hotel & in our room before 9:30.......that was nice to be able to rest a bit before exploring Bayside yet again......

Was nice to run into Mary Lou, Gary, Jill & Steve........made the crusie seem a bit longer........

Later that evening we met up with Brenda in Canada & her family at Bayside....they were there before their cruise on Saturday.......was nice to see her again.......

Got home around 1 pm.........started to unpack.......decieded not too....can do that later.......Larry took a nap........I started checking the messageboards......I need to count things in here more........had a bite to eat & here I am........

All of you still on a cruise or going....have fun & type at y'all when ya get home.......




Sharon
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2007, 10:13 PM
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We also made it home. We were delayed in Atlanta for 2 hours (40 minutes of which were spent on the plane on the tarmac with no a/c) due to tornado warnings and heavy rain. Our pilot and co-pilot were stuck in Charlotte.
Funny because I deliberately did not book a flight through Chicago because I was afraid of what the weather might hold there in January......never really gave much thought to that happening in Atlanta. So we arrived home after 5 instead of 2:30. I still had to stop at work and bring some work home to do tonight. Tomorrow morning we are off bright and early to pick up the puppy (who I'm told is not feeling well, so it could be an interesting trip back home!)
Then, I'm off to work for the rest of the day/evening. It is almost like we were never away! Back to reality.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old January 7th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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Do any of you recall a boat incident on the last day when the captain first made an announcement saying "thank you for reporting the circling boat" and LATER CAME ON AND SAID "the coast guard has sent a fighter jet to investigate the boat."

Did you guys hear that the same way I did?
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old January 7th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Hi Paul
I think you must have been reading my mind-- I too just told that to my husband----and yes I heard the captain say jet figther but nothing after that---
Boy I was on this cruise and missed so much----- glad to see the video and know what all the chatter was with Kuki dropping his pants-----

Wonderful pictures too----- even the one of me aren't too bad-- I really dont like my picture taken--- the one Mike took of me sticking my tongue out are my usual pictures ------ and yes I did show my husband the pictures-----

Cheers to all
I must admit the following 2 night cruise dining experiance was totally different than the 5 day one-------- down stairs and late seating-- the wait staff was fantastic-----too bad I cant say that about the 5 day one

April
back to reality tomorrow--but at least I did book another cruise

PS-- I can't tell you all how wonderful it was to meet all of you--again or for the first time--------don't get me started or I'll really suffer from PCD-- more like Post CrusieMates Depression------
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old January 9th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Reading this post, I realize I did miss some things but still thoroughly enjoyed myself, too!

I've been showing people at work the pictures and they all commented how everyone looked like they were having a fabulous time! I said, we were, we were! :-)

PCD set in rather badly, but looking at the pictures, playing the CD helps and it just was so super seeing everyone, meeting new folks, all in all just a great time.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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I want to thank everyone for making this the best group I have ever sailed with. It is the people that make Cruisemates cruises so special. Betty and I hope to sail with all of you in the future on a longer cruise so we can actually spend some "quality" time with you.

Now for the sad part. I am going to remove this "sticky" from this thread and it will slowly sink into the board. We will always have our memories and many more cruises to come.



Take care,
Mike
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