Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Royal Caribbean International
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 28th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: slidell, La
Posts: 2
Default

If they (Cruise Ships) can tell you that you can not bring water/soft drinks/ beer/ wine on board/, why not ban Cell Phones?

New Policy: 30 minutes after ship leaves port, turn on "the cell phone jammer" and leave it on for the duration of the cruise untill 30 mintues before ship returns to home port. Food for thought.

As far as myself and wife the one thing we DO NOT pack is a cell phone, becuase who will we call?, all our freinds are on the Boat wtih us. If we need to talk to them, we just lean over, and say"What's up?"
Reply With Quote
  #32 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 12:39 AM
RCscoop's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 208
Default

Good to read your report Kuki. Interesting idea, the First Time Cruiser's Club. Hope you can attend one to see if it really is legit.

I too have noticed more cell phones being used. What's up with that? I just don't get it, why some people feel this intense need to stay connected. Hopefully the industry will limit it's appeal by electronically "limiting" cell phone range on board.

Eat well (Sea View Cafe is calling your name ), sleep well on the new beds, even if you do hang off the end, and enjoy one of my favorite ships.

What cabin do you have? Let us know if it's one you'd add to the list of secret cabins or not.

Take care, Steve
__________________
I'm Steve Cooper. I love Royal Caribbean, and recently discovered NCL and love them too. I've also cruised Princess and HAL.
NCL Pearl Alaska Glacier Bay
RCI Liberty of the Seas E. Caribbean
Reply With Quote
  #33 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 12:47 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,405
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
March 28 - Day 3

Though referred to as one of RCI’s private islands, Labadee is actually a peninsula which juts out of the coast of Haiti. It’s been a few years since we last stopped at Labadee, and it has changed pretty significantly over time. Much more of the area is developed for the use of ship’s passenger’s visiting. There’s no shortage of loungers to lay and bask in the sun, and no shortage of employees to assist you in finding your favorite spot on a beautiful stretch of beach. There’s an extensive choice of excursion activities, including jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, etc. as well as a water park area with enormous inflatable water slides, and floating ice bergs to climb (entry to the water park area comes at a fee). And the “flea market? area selling local souvenirs has been expanded dramatically. This is now a something for everyone, fun in the sun stop, where you can be as active or as relaxed as you chose.

The beach bar-b-q area is pretty similar to most of the private island stops, with grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken main stays; and a few salad choices, along with plenty of fresh fruits and desserts.

After lying in the sun for a couple of hours, I strolled toward the bar-b-q, found some lunch and a very pleasant patio bar along the ocean to just sit and contemplate. The burning question was to whether I come with a solution for world peace or put on more sun block.

By about 2 P.M I hadn’t come up with a solid plan for achieving world peace, so we strolled through the flea market and headed to catch the tender service back to the ship.

Over the years we’ve come to expect very limited selection of in cabin television programming on all the cruise lines. But, during a cruise on Carnival in January we got a bit spoiled in this regard. Carnival has begun to offer all the major U.S. networks, as well as the American version of CNN. Unfortunately on RCI there’s no regular U.S. network feeds, and CNN and ESPN are the International versions. It’s just not quite the same finding soccer from Uruguay when you’re looking for a “Final Four? basketball game.

There’s a group of close to 60 people onboard who are deaf. The group has 3 “interpreters? with them, and they’ve got a reserved section in the show room. It’s been interesting watching the person signing for the people in the group during the shows, and fun to see them seemingly enjoying the shows. It simply goes to demonstrate that with a bit of effort as well as assistance and accommodation from the cruise lines just about anyone can enjoy a cruise vacation.

In Day 1’s report I briefly mentioned our assigned dining companions, and questioned if the selection was going to prove compatible and acceptable to all concerned. We were assigned a table for 8; the two of us, a couple of comparable age from Indiana, and four slightly elderly women from Florida who were traveling together. The couple from Indiana both work for a pharmaceutical company. On the first night I wondered if they had slipped some of their company’s samples into the meals of the “ladies?, as generating a conversation with them, as hard as I tried, seemed to be quite difficult. All four are VERY soft spoken, so when I was able to get a response, I kept finding I had to say excuse me and have them repeat the response several times.

I considered requesting a change of tables, but it wasn’t that anyone was being unpleasant so we decided to just go with the flow and remain where we were. Last night we came across a women going through the dining room table to table asking if anyone had room at their table where people spoke English. Apparently she had ended up at a table full of non English speaking passengers, and they were having difficulty relocating her, so our “problem? suddenly looked more trivial.

Besides I think I may have loosened up “The Ladies? last night; as we were leaving the table, I told them to enjoy their parasailing excursion in Labadee… and they all smiled at me. Each night they’ve warmed up, and though they’re sometimes difficult to hear, they are very nice dining companions… so the moral of the story I suppose is not to judge people or situations too early.

There was a pre-dinner show tonight for late seating guests featuring Tango Buenos Aires from Argentina. As the name would suggest, they were comedians. That, of course, is my attempt at humor; they were indeed a dance duo, backed by Argentinean musicians. Pre-dinner shows for late seating guests is one of my personal pet peeves, so I didn’t attend, but Mrs. Kuki and just about everyone I spoke to after the show said it was fabulous.

Each evening of the cruise our service in the dining room has improved. It seems it just took a couple of days for our waiter Eduardo to get in sync with having Relando as his new assistant. They are both trying very hard to please. Tonight I requested a pasta that was listed in the alternate entrees to be served as a starter, and there was no hesitation in granting the request.

And btw, to this point, the dining room food has been very good.

Due to the pre-dinner show there wasn’t a lot going on after dinner. A lightly attended game in the Colony Club, and a bit later the “Almost Original Village People? entertained a larger crowd in the disco.

The casino on the other hand was the busiest it’s been all cruise…. And I’m assuming that’s the plan.

Another wonderful relaxing sea day in store for us tomorrow. The temperatures have warmed, the seas have calmed, and I’m most certainly into cruise mode. I could tell for sure, when earlier today I called Chops alternate restaurant to make a reservation for dinner later in the cruise. The Maitre d confirmed my reservation, and asked for my cabin number. My mind went blank…I told him I knew where it was!

I was going to run and look at the door, when Mrs. Kuki overheard the conversation, and rescued me by yelling out the cabin number.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #34 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 12:58 AM
ready2gonow's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,837
Default

Kuki, thanks for the reports! I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgets their cabin number!

I can just feel that sun drain the stress from my shoulders. No, wait..... yep, it's still there! Have fun! 8)
__________________
Darlene
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas

HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Reply With Quote
  #35 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 01:08 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

I made the mistake of not reading your itinerary, so I have no idea where were are going on here. It's kind of fun, so no one help me out.

Loving the cruise Kuki!!!
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #36 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Travelnut's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Tidewater, Va.
Posts: 1,911
Default

Thanks for keeping us updated,,,,we sure are jealous. Sounds like you are having way too much fun.
Don't bake too much.
__________________
Jo Anne

"Attitude is determined by latitude"

Geoff Peterson for President.
Reply With Quote
  #37 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,886
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Your brain drain is making me Green with envy! Ship sounds wonderful!
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #38 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 04:35 PM
Topspin's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 33
Default

Thanks Kuki, for giving us all a virtual cruise fix............ :o

RC is one of my favorites...............enjoy!
Reply With Quote
  #39 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 06:02 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,405
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default We've GOT PICTURES

Being the Techno Genius that I am (NOT!) I think I've found a way to have my camera take small enough pictures to load into the photo galleries. So here's a few, and from here on in hopefully we'll have pictures help tell the story.
Here's the pool deck today

Here's a sign posted at the entrance to the dining room every nights since night #1.

Here's a view of the beautiful Centrum staircase from above.

Here's a view of Mrs. Kuki relaxing on the balcony
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #40 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 06:04 PM
wayward_bob's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: centex
Posts: 74
Default

Keep the reports comming! And with those great pictures you posted, I feel like I'm there with you.
__________________
On the Conquest!
Reply With Quote
  #41 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Mean Dean's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 2,281
Default

Excellent work, Moose Man!

Though I am disappointed to hear you're having such a hard time posting your photos. Is your in-cabin Internet connection that slow? Are the Wi-Fi areas of the ship any faster?

You'd think with a satellite hook-up, the ship's Internet access would be at least DSL speed.........

Have a great rest of your cruise, and thank you very much for all you're doing to keek us feeling like we're there with you!

Dean
Reply With Quote
  #42 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 06:46 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,405
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
March 29 - Day 4

I’ve got pictures!! It still takes some time to load them to the gallery, but at least you’ll get so see some of what we’re seeing, and the remainder will have to wait until I get home to up load them. All of the photos you’ll see in these reports can viewed in larger form by going to the photo galleries, and double clicking them.

Smoking on cruise ships often leads to never ending threads on the message boards, that can get very heated. It’s a complicated issue, made even more so by so many city, province or state governments, enacting public smoking bans in their respective areas.

For those who are interested in the topic, and the rage that often follows, I think Royal Caribbean has come up with some very good policy decisions regarding the issue… and I happen to be one of the evil breed of people who still smoke. Public areas onboard this ship, where smoking is allowed, is very limited. The vast majority of indoor public areas on the Brilliance are non-smoking; the dining room and showroom (as on most of today’s cruise ships), the entire areas surrounding the Centrum are non smoking, including the Champagne Bar, Latte’tudes Coffee Bar, and also the Schooner’s Bar on Deck 6.

In fact indoors the only places people are allowed to smoke is in their cabins, in the casino, in the Sports Bar located next to the casino, a small area at the very back (aft) of the Colony Club Lounge, and a small area in the disco on Deck 13... Plus of course the Cigar Bar on Deck 13.

On the pool deck smoking is allowed on the starboard side only, and only by the central pool… and the policy is enforced. No smoking is allowed in the Solarium. Nor is it allowed at all at the tables on the stern outside of the Windjammer Café. It is also forbidden outside of the Seaview Café on Deck 12.

As an “evil smoker? I do have to put in a bit of extra effort to know where my habit is allowed. But non smokers should also be somewhat satisfied because they also have to look hard to find, or stumble across areas where smokers congregate. I know the subject always brings out some zealots who believe smoking should simply be banned everywhere. However, those who are willing to find a compromise solution that at least deals with the issues from both sides, Brilliance offers a pretty good one, and should probably be on your wish list for future cruises.

The Reuben’s are Gone

Mrs. Kuki and I decided to head to the SeaView Café for lunch today. As we made our way aft on Deck 12 my taste buds began to bubble anticipating their famous Reuben sandwiches, and onion rings. But alas, it was not meant to be! They’ve changed the menu at the SeaView Café, and they no longer serve the Reuben’s, or the delicious onion rings. The Seaview now only offers Panini’s (hot Italian sandwiches), pastas, or pizzas… along with salads.
Though the pizza was tasty, and served piping hot, it wasn’t the Reuben sandwich I’d been craving. Below are the new SeaView Cafe menus.






After the beach day in Labadee yesterday, today at sea the pool deck wasn’t nearly as crowded as on our first sea day. I’m guessing some of the bright red folks I saw wandering around the ship accounted for at least a part of that. Sun loungers in prime spots were much easier to come by today, though we noticed some rather imaginative means of saving loungers poolside. It seems someone may have initiated an entire new industry catering to “chair hogs?…. it’s no longer a clothes pin, but it’s now a “cruise pin? - to assure the towels the chair hogs mark their space with, while doing other things, don’t get blown away by the wind.


Mrs. Kuki and I finally decided on a shore excursion for tomorrow in Aruba. We’re going to go on the ATV safari tour. That should keep her out of the jewelry stores and me out of the casinos.

I’ve never minded having shops onboard to entice passengers to part with their dollars. But the sales pitches are beginning to get intrusive. Yesterday there were tables set up pool-side to hawk RCI logo wear, shorts and tanks tops. Today, at the top of the stairwell, just in front of the Windjammer Café, they had set up the tables for selling “gold? by the inch. If they want to cram the stores and Centrum areas with sales pitches, so be it, and there’s enough junk mail delivered nightly with our Cruise Compass letting us know where to buy everything we could possibly want, and there’s more than enough announcements made numerous times a day to tell us where we can spend our money, but please don’t bring the merchandise to me everywhere I might go on the ship!


It’s now Day 4 of the cruise, and as I mentioned I am settling into cruise mode. I believe I’ve noticed the RCI cruise experience becoming very similar to the Carnival cruise experience. There’s a certain “fun ship? tone being set. I’m a fan of the Carnival experience, so in many ways I don’t object to the growing similarity, but I do think it’s a bit of a different direction for Royal Caribbean; intentionally keeping things active and family oriented.

Specifically because of the recent incidents of three people going overboard from ships, with this in mind, I stood out on our balcony this afternoon. I am 6 ft. 3? tall and standing normally, the top of the balcony rail came to just below my chest level. Even if I tripped over the door-jam as I exited the cabin, then slipped on a banana peel Mrs. Kuki had inadvertently (or intentionally) laid out on the balcony floor, there is no way I could fall overboard. And there’s certainly no way I could have had all my clothing ripped off in the process (unless I happened to be wearing a shirt Mrs. Kuki really liked, and wanted to keep for her next husband).

Now, if after climbing up on a chair first, I happened to sit on the top rail, and the ship was moving even slightly, I’d say my chances of maintaining my balance, and not falling off would be slim.

So, if you’re at all concerned about safety on private balconies there are several schools of thought - 1. act normal and with reasonable concern for your safety. 2. - act like a moron, and pretend you’re invincible to entertain your friends with parlor tricks during drinking games. 3. - avoid cruising with spouses or significant others who you believe have murderous intentions.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #43 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 112
Default

Kuki,
I am at your recent post...thanks. Sounds like so much fun.
I am jealous of your stop in Haiti. I MUST get there someday because I teach Haitian children here in Miami and they are my heart.
Mrs. Kuki's picture is awesome....that's EXACTLY what I do for 80% of my cruise. Sit on the balcony and think, and read, read, and read some more. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I can hardly wait.
Looking forward to your next post.
You are truly a very gifted writer.
Raina
__________________



*Liberty 6-3-07
*Fascination 7-30-07

Triumph 12-16-06 (Married on the ship!)

Imagination 10-05 (*two extra days at sea due to Hurricane Wilma...YAY!)
Reply With Quote
  #44 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 10:24 PM
MaryLou's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,798
Default

Kuki: Say it ain't so......no onion rings in the Sea View Cafe? It can't be true!!!!! What about my beloved crab salad? Is that still available? How about the chocolate shakes? I feel like I've lost a friend!!!!!!!
Please say it ain't so!
__________________
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Reply With Quote
  #45 (permalink)  
Old March 29th, 2007, 11:33 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 25
Default

I really look forward to your posts. We are on the next cruise leaving April 6th and Im getting very excited. What time should we get up to get a chair out by the pool. We are not the "chair hogs" but love to be in the sun and people watch. I would love any tips you could give us about the cruise. Enjoy!!
__________________
Sandy Lambert
Reply With Quote
  #46 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 12:21 AM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 282
Default

those fishy clothes pins ...just too cute. Wonder where they got them. Would be great in a Easter Basket.
Reply With Quote
  #47 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 02:06 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,405
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Dean.. I've used the ship's internet for these reports for a few years now, and they are all VERY slow; not even close to DSL, more like poor dial up. That's why package pricing is always the best deal, and can still end up being costly.

Sandy.. honestly you shouldn't have trouble finding loungers. There always seemed to be some "prime spots" open... as long as you don't get out there too late. Then a few hours later, generally lots of open up as people have had enough sun.

Brilliant Cruising
March 29 Day 4 Continued

I posted the initial part of Day 4 earlier in the day because I found myself with time, so sat down at the computer to write for a bit, and then found the internet connection to be quite good, so I could load the pictures, and post fairly easily. But didn’t want you to miss the late afternoon and evening activities…

Late this afternoon, after posting to the boards, I headed up to the WindJammer Café to check out their offerings for tea time. Found some really good sugar free chocolate chip cookies and listened to the pool-side band , called Element Duo, for awhile and they sounded pretty good, even to my tone deaf ears.

In an earlier day’s post I’d mentioned what I saw as a need for an area with tables and chairs around the central pool. This picture is of the deck area, on Deck 12, immediately in front of the Sky Bar, overlooking the pool.

Now, come on, isn’t this the PERFECT spot for some patio style tables and chairs? It would make an excellent gathering spot for socializing, and no doubt make drive much more business to the Sky Bar.

On my way to dinner this evening, I noticed they moved the tables selling “gold? by the inch from the entrance of the WindJammer to the stairwell next to the entrance to the dining room. Tomorrow I’m expecting to see reports of gold by the inch kiosks being installed in every cabin.

This evening at dinner “the ladies? got quite chatty with us (they must have been drinking). During the course of the conversation they asked how many times we’ve cruised before. When we told them, I also had to tell them I was a writer for CruiseMates (otherwise they’d have thought I was filthy rich… lol). Well, lo and behold, one of “the ladies? had been researching on the Internet before the cruise, and had found CruiseMates, and had read a lot of my articles. It was nice to meet one of my anonymous readers, though I wasn’t about to ask whether she liked my writing.

Towards the end of dinner this evening, there was a parade of kids from the Ocean Adventures kid’s program, all made up with pirate make up. I’ve seen them do this before, on previous cruises, and they gather on the stairway and sing a song, and it’s very cute. It surprised me to see it this trip because of the length of the cruise.

I’m obviously still surprised by the large numbers of kids onboard. The children in this photo are obviously pre-school age, but we’ve also noted quite a number of teens sailing. I haven’t seen any being disruptive, but I did notice a lot of little ones unattended in the hot tubs again today.

Tonight’s show in the Pacifica Theater was billed as “Mario and Daniel, Two Funny Guys?, and they were! It’s a difficult act to describe. Some parts are just silly fun, some parts very funny, and some parts display very exceptional and unusual talent. The entire crowd seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, as they got a standing ovation at the end. In total, to date, the entertainment has been first rate!
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #48 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 09:59 AM
msblackjack's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 6,227
Default

Kuki: thanks a bunch for taking us along...
re: the gold kiosks I noticed that on Enchantment in Sept 06; that darn table and also a t-shirt table was showing up all over the ship; blocking the pathways and such.... seems like this is a sign of the future on RC...

also the pic you posted with reference to having patio tables and chairs rather than the loungers; it does look like a great spot for dining... put it in the suggestion box

look forward to more. thanks
__________________
Carnival Victory March 9, 2013
*carnival dream *
Glory 2/28/2010: Dina & Marty
Valor Feb 2009: Dina & Marty - again
Grandeur Feb 2008: DTW, Dina & Marty
Inspiration May 26, 2007
Fascination: Feb 2007
Enchantment of Seas: Sept 2006
Imagination (3x)
Radiance of the Seas
Majesty of the Seas
The Big Red Boat
Reply With Quote
  #49 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Topspin's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 33
Default

Kuki, I'm having so much fun on your cruise with you! I can't decide if I like the cruise or your writing the best. You have me rolling on the floor laughing! I think it is so funny that the women at your table found your posts! I can also understand why Mrs. Kuki would be saving all of her banana peels...........
Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #50 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 01:48 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
Default

I agree with the lack of no tables to sit and have a drink and maybe a bite to eat. Bad enough, there are never enough seats at the pool bar. Also, nice to be able to get something to eat/snack and sit outside in a wet suit opposed to inside in the a/c with a wet suit on.
Reply With Quote
  #51 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 02:01 PM
tropical-cowgirl's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Central Calif.
Posts: 56
Default

Thank you Kuki, very entertaining reading! I also agree that it is nice to have table and chairs at the pool bar. CC Imagination did. You must put it in the suggestion box.
__________________
Carnivals Imagination 2006







Royal Caribeans Liberty of the Sea
Reply With Quote
  #52 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Irish Shark's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,592
Default

"I am 6 ft. 3? tall and standing normally, the top of the balcony rail came to just below my chest level."

Interesting .... on the Princess ships, the rail is at belleybutton level to me. I stand (slouch ) at 6' 1".

I don't remember how high the rail was on the Radiance, but I will check it out on the Explorer on our next cruise.
__________________



SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
Reply With Quote
  #53 (permalink)  
Old March 30th, 2007, 03:27 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,886
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Since I am a crafty gal, I will be making & painting some lounge chair clips!!! Keep up the patter Kukala, I am enjoying it!
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #54 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 01:46 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,405
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
March 30 - Day 5 - Aruba

I have to admit to being a bit spoiled of late. Before this one, my last couple of cruises were on CruiseMates Group Cruises. While I certainly still enjoy going cruising with Mrs. Kuki, spending time together one on one, and making new friends, the extra fun and friendship from cruising with a CruiseMates Group is missing. The daily and evening impromptu gatherings are often as much fun as the planned activities. So, in some ways, even on this cruise, I’m missing cruising with my CruiseMates Family.

Until you’ve done one of our groups, and feel the familiarity and the camaraderie, you won’t know what the heck I am talking about.

This morning we awoke to find the Brilliance docked in Oranjestad, Aruba (which was a good thing because that’s where we were supposed to be). There’s a bit of new construction going on right across from the cruise terminal, so the walk to the center of town is slightly longer than it was on our last visit. Even with the bit of a detour, it’s only about a 5 or 6 block walk.

We chose to sign up for a ship’s excursion for the afternoon, allowing us to sleep in this morning, and then after breakfast go for a stroll through downtown. Thankfully at the moment I’m not in debt to Mrs. Kuki for any particular outrageous act, or important (to her) forgotten dates, so though we peeked into a few shops, we did no purchasing. I’d considered having lunch in town, but we ended up coming back to the ship, having lunch, and readying ourselves for our afternoon tour; “ATV Mania? ($110 pp, so not cheap). ATV Mania was a particularly odd choice for me because I am basically “a chicken?; I cry for my mother if they force me to get on a Carousel at a faire.


Our last, and first, visit to Aruba was approximately 18 months ago; very shortly after Aruba’s famous Natural Bridge had collapsed. At that time we rented a Jeep and explored the island on our own, and we had no difficulties finding our way around, and managing to find the major highlights of the island. There’s still several rental outlets right at the dock area for those who choose to take that route. There’s also no shortage of drivers, and guides offering tours just outside of the dock’s security gates, and taxis if you just want to go to a beach.

Of course the ship also offers all types of excursions, including snorkeling, diving, etc. for those who are after water oriented activities. We chose the ATV Mania because it sounded like a bit of an adventure, while staying on land. And it delivered as promised. Each person drives their own ATV, and after some brief instructions on their use, and safety issues (where the brakes are) we were off.

While we visited the regular highlights, like the no longer natural bridge,

using the ATVs allowed us to get to some spots that were inaccessible by any other means. Now we know where King Kong is buried.


At one point we climbed to the second highest spot on Aruba (in the protected National Forest), from where we had a 360 degree magnificent view of the entire island. In one direction we could see the high-rise hotel area, and the Brilliance sitting at the dock; in another direction was Venezuela, which I was surprised to learn is only 14 miles away.


We thoroughly enjoyed our excursion. Being mobile allowed us to see a lot of the island, and back country which we would have never seen otherwise. You do get jostled around quite a bit on the off road sections of the tour, and though not truly physically challenging, one does need some arm strength to keep the bikes in control in some rough terrain….and by the time you return to the ship, you’re covered in dust. But, it’s fun!



Tourism is the industry that pretty much sustains Aruba, and the people seem to appreciate the tourists visiting. We found them to be friendly, and helpful. The ship remained in port until 1 A.M. Many people did venture out in the evening, but most shops close at 6 P.M, so it wasn’t for shopping. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and casinos close by to entertain yourselves though.

After our afternoon of eating dust, we couldn’t wait to get back to the ship to have a shower. And of course, once “home? we decided not to go out again, so we settled in to relax until our 8 P.M dining time. Once again dinner was quite delicious, and Rolando is settling into assistant waiter’s job quite nicely, and clicking with Eduardo. “The ladies? didn’t show up for dinner tonight. I guessed they were down the road at Carlos & Charlies dancing on the tables.

I was surprised to find the ship’s casino open this evening, while in port, but I was told this is a regular occurrence for ships staying over 12 hours here. After dinner Mrs. Kuki and passed some time here before attending the show in the Pacifica Theater. Tonight’s entertainment was “Fallon Magic?, “Mastering the Mystery?. Illusionists aren’t my favorite acts, but their show added some aerial acrobatics, ala Cirque de Solei, which made it more interesting.

Following the show we checked out the Caribbean Deck Party, and buffet. I was too full from dinner to try anything, but the buffet looked quite extravagant. I stopped to take this picture of the suckling pig being carved.

I moved aside for a moment to look at the picture, and decided to try and get a better shot, but in that short time the pigs devoured the pig; all that was left was carcass. Must have been the early seating people who attacked it, as they hadn’t eaten for 4 hours.

Other than the feeding frenzy at the buffet, there wasn’t all that much energy at the deck party, so we just returned to the cabin. Though there’s not much chance of getting to sleep tonight until we leave port. Aside from the music of the deck party above, there’s music from the bars along the water in downtown.

Somehow after a day of being out in 80 degree weather, by dinner time I’d come down with a cold. I’m assuming it’s just a result of going from heat to air- conditioning repeatedly the past few days. I’m not feeling ill, but at the moment I have the proverbial faucet running from my nose. Hope you don’t catch it reading.

Tomorrow the ship will be in Curacao. I’m going to be like some of the staff though, and won’t be allowed to get off. I’m being put to work, but hopefully that’s going to be a separate story that you’re going to have wait for. Sadly, I won’t be driving the ship, because it will be parked. I hope I’m not going to be unloading garbage.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #55 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 03:21 AM
Lisa's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Posts: 9,520
Send a message via AIM to Lisa Send a message via Yahoo to Lisa
Default Regarding the SeaView Cafe manu.....

I have read while researching the Radiance class ships that on one of the Radiance class ships the SeaView Cafe served more italian type fare, while the others served the sandwiches, onion rings, etc. If I recall correctly the Brilliance is the one ship that has a different SeaView Cafe menu.
__________________
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Lisa
Reply With Quote
  #56 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 11:33 AM
MaryLou's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,798
Default

Kuki: I'm sorry you got a cold.....I've been sick here the last few days and keep reminding myself that they only way it would be worse is if I were on a ship and sick.
I do not know where I have been (besides buried in my work) but, I had no idea the natural bridge collapsed. I'm so happy that we got to see it before that happened.
Keep up the great work, Kuki...I'm really enjoying your trip.
Even though you don't "owe" Mrs. Kuki for anything you've done lately (ha ha)...you could pre-buy for the next thing you do....you know it is only a matter of time before you "owe" her for something. Besides, the Caribbean won't be the same if you do not purchase a bauble for Mrs. Kuki......you do not want to hurt their economy, right?
__________________
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Reply With Quote
  #57 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 12:24 PM
tropical-cowgirl's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Central Calif.
Posts: 56
Default

Kuki,
I do hope you don't get a cold! Darn. Get some Zicam... It really does work. Lots of vitamins and water to! Love, the report. Thank you!
__________________
Carnivals Imagination 2006







Royal Caribeans Liberty of the Sea
Reply With Quote
  #58 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 03:47 PM
Topspin's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 33
Default

Hi Kuki: I hope your sniffles are just a reaction to some new or exciting pollen you incountered on the ATV. Cute helmets, by the way..........

I want to know what pretty bling-blings Mrs. Kuki's gonna get? She was just kidding about the banana peals.........really!
__________________





Royal Caribbean-eastern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean-western Caribbean
Holland America-Alaska
NCL-Aug 6, 2007 Hawaii
Reply With Quote
  #59 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 04:34 PM
Mean Dean's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 2,281
Default

I too, am curious about the Seaview Cafe's menus on the varying ships. Last time I was on the Radiance, the menu was the regular one, not the Italian one. I wonder if the Italian menu is unique to the Brilliance?

Dean
Reply With Quote
  #60 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 08:42 PM
rayb's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 3,723
Send a message via AIM to rayb Send a message via Skype™ to rayb
Default RB

Since being away for your entire report I have just finished reading it and catching up.

Enjoyed the virtual tour you are giving and the comments by others.

What day do you return to MIA?

__________________
RayB

Cruising on Ruby Princess: September 22, 2015. 10 Days, From New York to Quebec City. My 98th Cruise!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
18, 2011, act, allure, ashley, cabin, cruise, cyber, director, headliner, kerr, majesty, scheduled, seas, september

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
May 9-16 Daily Virtual Cruise Reports from the Veendam Kuki Holland America 66 August 2nd, 2010 08:03 PM
May 9-16 Daily LIVE Virtual Cruise Reports from the Veendam Kuki Chit - Chat for Cruisers 1 May 7th, 2010 09:23 PM
Daily LIVE Virtual Cruise Reports- Blog2NOLA Kuki Carnival Cruise Lines 45 February 19th, 2009 01:10 AM
Kuki's CruiseMates Daily Virtual Cruise Report- Nov.16to24 Kuki Carnival Cruise Lines 59 December 17th, 2007 10:57 PM
Kuki's CruiseMates Daily Virtual Cruise Report- Nov.16to24 Kuki Chit - Chat for Cruisers 3 November 24th, 2007 09:55 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:18 PM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1