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
  #61 (permalink)  
Old March 31st, 2007, 10:18 PM
fllady's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,058
Send a message via Skype™ to fllady
Default

Thanks Kuki for the posts. It brings back good memories for Ellis and I when we were on Brilliance doingthe same itinerary.
Defintely Mrs. Kuki should get some little baubble as a remembrance of the cruise.
__________________
Jeanne
Reply With Quote
  #62 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 04:29 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
Day 6 - March 31 - Curacao

Unfortunately internet connections were not good again last night or this morning. Appears it got as sick as me.

If this were a regular 7 night cruise, at this point we, like all the “cruise afflicted“, would be starting to suffer from the dreaded “cruise is almost over? feeling. But today is just past the half way point on our cruise, and that alone makes today a wonderful day.

The particularly nice thing about the 10 and 11 itineraries that the Brilliance runs is the great mix of relaxing days at sea, and days in ports of call. And going as far south as this run allows, encountering good weather is quite a reliable possibility. Just one more Caribbean cruise and the Brilliance heads for Europe and the Mediterranean, and what incredible itineraries she’s doing while in that part of the world for the summer! Even the staff onboard are giddy about those itineraries, because of the variety of itineraries she does during the course of the summer months she offers the best of the best.

Sadly I woke this morning with a full blown cold, with a non-stop drippy nose (very pleasant to look at, so I’m sure you’re delighted I haven’t included pictures … lol). I began taking cold tablets last night at bed-time, but it hasn’t managed to stop the “leakage?.

As I wasn’t being allowed off the ship today anyway, it probably worked out for the best. I thought I was going to work onboard today, but I called in sick. That likely wasn’t very impressive action for a new employee. Mrs. Kuki headed into town on her own. The Brilliance was docked right “in town?, right next to the ferry, and the floating bridge. By foot it’s about a 10 minute walk to the center of town, if the bridge is in closed position, and available. If the bridge is moved to open the waterway for passing boats or ships, the ferry will transport you back and forth to the other side; a very short trip.




When the ship was leaving this evening, they moved the bridge, and we sailed past core of the city; quite a unique experience.

In the afternoon I took myself, running nose and all, for an interview with the Staff Captain of the Brilliance, Rune Johnsen. Other than leaving his desk covered in my Kleenex, we spent some very pleasant, and informative, time together, and our discussions should make for an interesting article about the position of Staff Captain. That should appear as a feature article after I return from the cruise.


I was a bit of a brave (or brazen) soul, and mentioned a couple of things that I thought could use improvement on the ship (such as the table and chairs pool-side) and Staff Captain Johnsen was kind enough to agree it was a good idea. So, I’m assuming they’ll be out there by tomorrow.

Tonight’s dining room menu was rather uninspired. I thought it might just be me, and my mindset (due to the cold), but everyone at the table greeted it with the same tepid response, and no one changed their mind to rave about it after the meals were served. That’s still not too bad that it took 6 days to find a dinner meal that wasn’t great.

Tonight’s showroom entertainment was another pre-dinner show, plus it was a production show… neither are my favorites, so I didn’t attend. Mrs. Kuki did go, and her opinion was that tonight’s show was about as impressive as the dinner menu.

RCI’s signature “Quest? game was tonight in the Colony Club, and it’s always a lot of fun, whether you’re participating or just watching, but I was becoming so congested I thought my sneezing would ruin the evening for anyone around me, so I went back to the cabin to try and get some sleep.

Using my cold as my excuse, I’ll also apologize for making today’s report as boring as tonight’s menu . Lol

I’m hoping the cold eases a bit so I can enjoy the next two nights. Tomorrow night we’re dining at Chops, and the following evening we’re participating in the Murder Mystery Dinner at Portofino’s. Looking forward to 2 wonderful meals, and hoping I can taste and enjoy them.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #63 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 04:34 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

Sorry you are not feeling well Kuki. Take care of yourself.
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #64 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 05:51 PM
tropical-cowgirl's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Central Calif.
Posts: 56
Default

I do hope you get better Kuki!
__________________
Carnivals Imagination 2006







Royal Caribeans Liberty of the Sea
Reply With Quote
  #65 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 06:05 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
Default

Kuki you have brought back some amazing memories of the joys of cruising. I already had a voyage booked for December but now I am looking at going away somewhere sooner. I need to get back on a boat!!!
Reply With Quote
  #66 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 06:52 PM
Donna's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: on my computer
Posts: 26,546
Send a message via AIM to Donna
Default

Hi Moose Man,
So sorry to hear about your cold. You may want to try sitting out in the sun, may-be it will burn out of you. Hope its a short cold and you can get out there and enjoy the rest of your cruise days.
__________________

Message Boards Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #67 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 07:01 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 282
Default

So can I go to port and put up a cardboard sign that says " I work for food and drink". Will I get a balcony also???? What in the heck are you doing Kuki?
Reply With Quote
  #68 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 08:09 PM
MaryLou's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,798
Default

Kuki: I can sympathize with your cold...I hope it leaves you quickly! Has Mrs. Kuki changed cabins yet so she doesn't get it? .
__________________
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
  #69 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 09:27 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 282
Default

Just curious do any of the staff ever have time to read these boards ?
Ask them
Reply With Quote
  #70 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 11:20 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 25
Default

I hope you feel better. Really enjoying your posts. We will be on next week after you and your posts are getting our family very excited. Kind of like an extended vacation.

Stay safe and healthy,

Sandy
__________________
Sandy Lambert
Reply With Quote
  #71 (permalink)  
Old April 1st, 2007, 11:38 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
Default

Feel better Mr. Kuki, and most of all ,poor Mrs. Kuki for having to deal with it all.............lol. Hope you are feeling better, nothing worse then being on vacation and being sick. But thanks for all the post.
Reply With Quote
  #72 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 09:18 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
Apr. 1 - Day 7

There’s no report today!
>
>
>
>
>
April Fools!

From what I could tell, April Fools Day went by pretty un-noticed on the ship. If I’d have been feeling myself, I’d probably have tried to cook up something, but I was too busy feeling congested, and feeling too sorry for myself feeling sick. Though honestly, if you’re going to suffer through a head cold, a ship isn’t a bad place to do it. The staff will bring you as much hot tea, or hot soup as you’d like, and do anything they can to make you feel more comfortable.

It was too bad that I wasn’t feeling great because, being a sea day, there was a lot going on all day; dance classes in the Starquest Disco in the morning, and then again in the afternoon, an enrichment lecture on the history of the Panama Canal (where we’ll bet tomorrow), a beginner’s class for Spanish, a bingo - where the winner got a tour of the bridge, and the Owner’s Cup horse race ( I had obviously missed the day they were auctioned off, because I usually enjoy bidding on the horses).

I slept in this morning, and then headed to the Windjammer for breakfast, and then out to the pool to enjoy the bright sunshine. I noticed today there were loungers free in the area immediately surrounding the center pool until at least 10 A.M. And there are certainly plenty of areas to get away from the crowd, and enjoy some relatively isolated solitude.

Feeling a bit guilty about all the eating and relaxing I’ve been doing I visited the gym today


But only long enough to take these pictures.
There was also a pool-side barbeque during lunch today.

But, after my tiring visit to the gym, my congested sinuses told me to go back to the cabin and lie down, rather than eat. I would have actually liked to watch how the buffet process went. Because of the limited space in the pool area, and lack of seating, everyone would have to go outside to get their food, and then have to take it back to inside the Windjammer to find a seat.

I slept through almost the entire afternoon in hopes of feeling up to our making our dinner reservation at Chops tonight. This evening was also the cocktail party for Crown & Anchor Society members. I wasn’t feeling too bad when I woke from my nap, so we headed to the cocktail party prior to making our way to Chops. The Colony Club was packed, so it’s obvious there are a large number of repeaters on this sailing.
At a surcharge of $20 per person (including gratuity), Chops restaurant is a must do. The décor is elegant, the staff are friendly yet professional, and the food is quite outstanding.

Both Mrs. Kuki and I had skipped lunch, so we both came in with appetites in tact. For entrees Mrs. Kuki had the Lamb loin
, which she said was excellent, and I had a superb steak filet.
You can order as many side dishes as you look, which are all served family style. We had the sweet corn with snow peas, as well as sautéed mushrooms, and I ordered a baked potato (which was as big as the state of Idaho).

Fortunately we both saved a bit of room for dessert, which looked as good as it tasted.



When we entered Chops to be seated, there were several families with young children being seated as well. At one time in the past I seemed to recall an minimum age requirement in the alternate restaurants, but that must no longer be the case. At any rate, the children present tonight were exceptionally well behaved throughout the meal.

While on the topic of minimum age requirements. RCI will no longer serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. Their old policy allowed parents of those 18 and up to sign a form authorizing the purchase of wine and beer. This is no longer an option.

After dinner Mrs. Kuki went to the Pacific Theater to see tonight’s headliner, Jay J Downs, from the 60’s group the Foundation - of “Build Me Up Buttercup? fame (Now that song is going to be in your head for 2 days). You’d expect him to be old, but he was only 19 when they had that hit. Though I have begun to feel somewhat better, I’m still sniffling and sneezing, so I just retired to the cabin, passing on the show. When Mrs. Kuki came in, she raved about the show!

I should mention the “secret? seats Mrs. Kuki and I have found in the showroom. On the main floor (Deck 4) of the showroom, the seating is divided into three sections. The first seats of each row of seats across from the center section are positioned such that they have no seat in front of them. So, for those of us who need a bit of extra leg room, these seats are like getting lucky and getting the exit row on an airplane. The sight lines in the Pacifica Theater are excellent, with the support pillars well off to the sides, not blocking the view from many seats.

We talked to a woman tonight who’s husband has been in the ship’s infirmary for several days, diagnosed with a potentially serious gastrointestinal problem. He actually became ill the day the ship sailed, but like many of us would be prone to do, just suffered with it to begin with, before finally being in such pain he visited the ship’s Doctor. This is one situation we no doubt all dread! It did make me think, that when traveling we all need to consider our itineraries, when deciding we’re going to be brave, and “tough it out? when we feel ill. Perhaps if they had visited the ship’s doctor earlier, they may have been able to leave the ship during our stop in Aruba (where the number of available flights home would likely be much better), and head home, rather than now face the possibility of having to seek medical care in Panama or in Costa Rica.


It was sadly difficult for us to be unable to be of any real assistance, other than to offer consolation. Because of previous history with family medical problems when we travel, I do travel with a satellite telephone, which I offered to loan the woman tomorrow, if she wants to call her own doctor at home to seek some advice.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #73 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:03 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,518
Send a message via Yahoo to Luanne Russo
Default

Why do you build me up buttercup baby, just to let me down.

Oh Kuki, Now look what you have done!!
__________________
Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

Conquest Virtual Cruise Topic Link
Reply With Quote
  #74 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 282
Default

do you see many hand sanitizers around the ship????
Reply With Quote
  #75 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 01:15 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,902
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

I feel your pain, with the cold, and I hope its gone soon...Keep up the great work...more chapters soon, please
__________________


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


Reply With Quote
  #76 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 06:38 PM
msblackjack's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 6,227
Default

Kuki here's wishing for a hot toddy to cure your cold. Great pics and info!
As always, thanks a bunch....
(Now if you were going to work in the kitchen, would they have been serving Moose that night )
__________________
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
  #77 (permalink)  
Old April 2nd, 2007, 09:50 PM
Phyllbo's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,502
Default

Kuki, I'm enjoying your reports. I sure hope you can get rid of that cold and really begin to take part in all the activities. I'm sure missing the dance lessons and beginning Spanish has been hard on your.

Please don't give that nasty cold to Geela. And seriously take good care of yourself.

Phyll
Reply With Quote
  #78 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 02:12 AM
candymaker's Avatar
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 364
Default

Kuki
Please keep the posts coming,so I can think about your cruise while I am out shoveling snow
Grant
__________________
There are four major food groups Dark chocolate, milk chocolate.white chocolate,and chocolate truffles
Reply With Quote
  #79 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 02:55 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
April 2 - Panama

This morning the Brilliance began her transit of the Canal bright and early. By around 6:15 A.M. we making our way to the first gate, which would raise the ship 85 ft. from the Caribbean to the second largest man-made lake in the world (Lake Mead being the largest).

The truly amazing thing about the Panama Canal is that it was completed in 1914, and the basic workings of it haven’t ever been changed, yet it can accommodate the needs of today’s shipping world. The locks themselves were built in the United States, and transported to the Panama site in sections, and then cemented together. As the ship made its way through the Gatun locks a commentator discussed the history of the canal, and explained some of its workings and functions.








Once the ship reached Gatun Lake, everyone who had signed up for excursions was tendered to their tour locations. We’ve been fortunate enough to transit the canal several times, so opted to spend the day quietly onboard, just watching the sites go by. Rather than actually cruising Gatun Lake, the ship anchored in the lake for several hours, before turning and returning from where we’d come.

The ship docked at the Cristobal Pier by about 2:30 P.M. We were only staying until 6:30 P.M, and I still wasn’t feeling terrific, so we stayed onboard today.

It was very HOT as we made our way through the Canal, with temps over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was also very humid. When I first stepped out on the balcony this morning, my glasses, and camera lens immediately fogged up. Because the ship moves very slowly through the locks there’s not much breeze to help cool things off either.

As we came back through the locks to return to Cristobal, a freighter was passing in the other direction beside us. I saw this sign, and thought this ship must have been at sea a long time if they posted a sign saying: “beware of single crew?.


Today they also began replacing all the pillows onboard. The beds were replaced over the previous two cruises, the pillows arrived today, and the duvets (which I had mentioned earlier) will be put in place when the ship arrives back in Miami, in time for the ship’s next cruise. All the beds, linens, pillows, and next the blankets, are being donated to charities in the ports of call the ship visits, rather than just going off to a dumping ground.


Today was the first day of Passover, and the Brilliance does have a Cantor onboard, and there was a Passover Seder service tonight for the Jewish guests. We are Jewish, but I had forgotten all about when Passover was, and we’d booked the Murder Mystery Dinner in Portofino’s for tonight. Unfortunately they overlapped, with the Mystery Dinner beginning at 6:45 P.M. and the Seder at 7P.M.

The Murder Mystery Dinner was held twice during this cruise, on night four, and tonight. The evening begins in the Colony Club with champagne, and an introduction of the cast members and the story line. All the cast members are from the ship’s production company. From there the action moves to Portofino’s restaurant, where we enjoyed an excellent meal, and further plot lines are revealed, as well as interaction, with guests being allowed to question the suspects, and eventually attempt to solve the murder mystery.

At $49.50 per person, it is a bit costly, but does include wine, and gratuity. The evening does provide a nice meal, along with some very fun entertainment. The meal is has 3 pre-set courses - antipasti, minestrone soup, Caesar salad, and a choice from three entrees, followed by dessert. Both nights this was held did sell out, so if you’re interested in participating in the Murder Mystery Dinners do book early in the cruise.

They do set up large tables in Portofino’s to encourage socializing as well. It must be my time to be with little old ladies, as Mrs. Kuki and I were seated with four elderly ladies again tonight. Though these four made our dining room tablemates look premium.
As they sat down at our table one rapidly spat out all four of their names, as though to get their social obligation out of the way and then immediately started complaining about the set menu … which was advertised, so they should have been aware of it. They of course proceeded to order items not on the menu. They were quite cranky throughout the evening, but when I asked how they were enjoying the cruise, they said they were loving it. Go figure.

I do have some video of the Murder Mystery Evening, but think it's going to have to wait until I'm home to post it.

Tonight’s showroom headliner was a comedian we’d seen before, Rick Starr, so we didn’t make the show, and spent a bit of time in the casino instead. It was also the night for the Chocolate Buffet, but having had a huge meal, which only ended at 10:30, we passed on that too.

As always, if you want to see any of the pictures in full size, just go to the photo galleries; you'll find them there.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #80 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 03:10 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: 9,531
Send a message via AIM to Lisa Send a message via Yahoo to Lisa
Default

Kuki - I did the Murder Mystery Dinner on my Radiance cruise last November and absolutely loved it. Of course I was with a group of 12 ladies and some of our group are not shy about participating............we actually had some of the cast members laughing so hard they forgot their lines! It was so fun I am afraid to do it again as I don't want to be disappointed if it is not as fun as the first one was.
__________________
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Lisa
Reply With Quote
  #81 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 09:11 AM
msblackjack's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sarasota FL
Posts: 6,227
Default

Hey Kuki that cold must be getting to you - looking at the sign again - single WHAT

__________________
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
  #82 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 02:17 PM
Topspin's Avatar
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 33
Default

I can't believe they are afraid of a single screw!! They should try living with a whole mess of 'em rolling around their brains!!!! PIECE OF CAKE, BABY!

The Mystery Dinner sounded fantastic, I wish I could have seen it.
Sounds like your having a great time.
__________________





Royal Caribbean-eastern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean-western Caribbean
Holland America-Alaska
NCL-Aug 6, 2007 Hawaii
Reply With Quote
  #83 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2007, 03:39 PM
adias.angel's Avatar
Senior Member
Yeoman
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 878
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by msblackjack
Hey Kuki that cold must be getting to you - looking at the sign again - single WHAT

that was a good laugh for a dreary day

Kuki, get to feeling better. Its hard to live vicariously through someone with a cold Just kidding
__________________
- Carnival Inspiration 3/3/07 - Grand Cayman & Calica
Reply With Quote
  #84 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2007, 12:25 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 25
Default

Hi Kuki,

Leaving tomorrow at 4:30 AM heading to Miami to pick up the ship after you get off. My husband wants to bring his computer. What is the costs of the packages? I saw you got the unlimited dial up. How is that working for you?

Sandy
__________________
Sandy Lambert
Reply With Quote
  #85 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2007, 05:17 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Sandy.. the cyber cabin is $120 for unlimited... it works great in port But while at sea it can be a pain in the "***. It's taken me until 3:15 today to post a report I started trying to send last night.

Brilliant Cruising
Day 9- Limon, Costa Rica

Early this morning the telephone rang, with a pleasant voice on the other end telling me our room service breakfast was ready to be delivered. The only problem was we hadn’t ordered any breakfast. I tried to roll over and get back to sleep, but that simply wasn’t going to work.

My head cold, has evolved and moved into my chest…. So not feeling as good as I might, we weren’t planning on to do much today anyway. On previous visits here we’re done the White Water Rafting, which I think it is one the most fun excursions available anywhere. We’re previously done tours boating down the Tortunga Canal, and have toured the Dole banana plantation, and have done the scenic drives with beach stops. Though I like Costa Rica as a port stop, it seems now we may have visited by ship too many times. That does get to be one drawback of cruising in the Caribbean often… at times the ports of call can start to feel un-inspiring. However, there are plenty of avid cruisers, like ourselves who don’t mind staying on the ship during some port calls.

We generally will at the very least get off in the ports of call, just to stroll, if nothing else, and we were going to that this afternoon until a major downpour began and convinced us to stay onboard. It does feel somewhat odd that I haven’t been off the ship since Aruba. But, even so, I’ve had much more to do, and much more to enjoy just staying on the ship, than I would have if I’d been on a land vacation and wasn’t feeling well. As long as the illness is of a minor nature, a ship’s a fine place to recuperate.

To follow up on the more serious illness I mentioned the other day, someone did see a passenger being taken off the ship yesterday while we were docked at Cristobal, Panama. We ran into Pat today, and fortunately it was not her husband taken by ambulance. He had been taken to a hospital in Limon for a Cat Scan, but had returned to the ship, and is feeling well enough to continue to the end of the cruise, and see his doctor when he gets home… which is great news.
The bad news… another one of the passengers may not have been so fortunate.

Through the 8 days of reports I’m sure it’s become obvious that I’m enjoying the Brilliance, and really like this class of ships. I do have one other pet peeve, aside from the lack of pool-side tables, in regard to this class of ship. It’s the lack of self serve drink machines anywhere. At the stern, outside of the Windjammer Café, there is a self serve coffee machine. However no juices, ice tea, lemonade etc, at all… with in the location or pool-side.

For any drinks other than liquor one is forced to go inside the Windjammer Café to the two drink counters, where drinks are often laying pre poured awaiting pick up. Personally, I think this in a very inefficient system, and am not even sure of the thought process in designing it this way… unless they think people will drink less, or order more alcoholic drinks at the pool-side bar.

Throughout these reports I’ve been very complimentary about the dining room food, as well as the surcharge alternate restaurants. Sadly the same can’t be report for the “buffet food? available in the Windjammer Café.

The physical set up, with separate islands (or stations) quite liberally spread throughout the café, and specific stations serving differenit items - like separate salad bars, grilled food areas (or omelet station mornings), another area with changing menu items daily, a pizza station, and separate desert areas as well (with self serve ice cream equipment).

The burgers at the grill are hard, dry and tasteless, unless your timing happens to be perfect and you get one freshly made. The pizza has been very good with some nice varieties, and the salad stations are just fine, with nice variety, and fresh vegetables. The weakness likes in the more typical buffet selections. Each time I’ve tried anything from that station it has seemed to have been sitting under the heat lamps too long, and the selection rather blasé.

We returned to the dining room, after two nights away, and the wait staff made us feel as though they’d missed us, which was nice. Rolando has proven to be a quick study in his first week as an assistant waiter. My soda is waiting at the table each night, along with lemons for Mrs. Kuki’s water. It’s obvious Eduardo has been a good teacher for him as well.

The ship is rocking again tonight, and not just in the clubs onboard. We were told it was only going to be 6 ft sea tonight, so I’m not sure why the movement is as noticeable as it is. Perhaps the Captain has to make speed tonight, so we can slow down during the day tomorrow. But in even moderate seas throughout this cruise it’s seemed to me that Brilliance doesn’t ride as well as her sisters that we’ve sailed on.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #86 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2007, 02:38 AM
mehawk's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Houston aka Space City, Texas, USA
Posts: 9,687
Default

Sailing, sailing, over the ocean blue..
__________________
Michael

Cruised more times than I can remember.

Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

Pick your company wisely! Hang around people who are going to help you become all God created you to be.
Reply With Quote
  #87 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
Day 10 - at sea

I have really good news!!…………………. For me . I’ve finally managed to rid myself of the cold; woke up this morning able to breathe, and no congestion in my head (other than the regular kuki thoughts). The bad news is there’s only 2 days left in the cruise. The good news is they are both sea days, as we make our way back to Miami.

It’s been a bit surprising to me, but during the course of the cruise I’ve met many fellow Canadians; even a couple from my hometown of Calgary. It’s not surprising that Canadians cruise so much, after-all we do have winter to escape. Yet, I don’t think I’ve ever met so many on any of our cruises.

With so many of us “aliens? onboard it’s a good thing that of late the cruise lines no longer seem to use the process of collecting our passports when were board. And therefore no need to get up hours earlier than other passengers to clear customs & immigration upon returning back to the United States. I first noticed the change in Dec. and Jan. when we did the back to back cruises on Celebrity and Carnival, and was happy to see that continue when we boarded Brilliance.

I didn’t notice it in the Cruise Compass until it was too late to attend, but there was even an informal Canadian get together scheduled for 1 P.M. today.

By the guest relations desk on all RCI ships is a message board, where passengers are welcome to post looking for just about any type of affinity group they’d like… so you may want to try using that to meet up with like minded individuals do to with anything you like on your next RCI cruise.

While we’re cruising Mrs. Kuki is a vociferous reader. I’d occasionally like to see her vociferousness turn to other areas, but that’s getting off topic.
She wanted to me to be sure to report to others who, like herself, rely heavily on the ship’s libraries for their reading material, that the library on the Brilliance is open 24hrs per day, and you just sign books in and out at your pleasure. She far prefers this to other lines where libraries have limited hours, rather than using the honor system.

With a sea day on tap, the possible activities began early, and there were some interesting alternatives offered; Adult beginner piano lessons in Hollywood Odyssey at 10 A.M. , Bridge game lecturers (which have been every sea day), Ballroom Dance Classes (again held each sea day) - today featuring the Mambo/Salsa, a lecture on the benefits of hypnosis… and that’s just a list of morning offerings.

Of course, being the lazy slob I am, I didn’t attend any! The sun was shining brightly, and the seas were calm, so I’m sure you can guess where we spent most of our day. Most of my afternoon was spent fighting with my computer connection to send in yesterdays story, and naturally a nice long afternoon nap.

While the Cyber-Cabin has been a wonderful tool to send these reports, and keep in touch, it’s a good thing it’s based on unlimited usage, because one needs unlimited patience with it on sea days. At times it seems to load quite quickly, and at others you could celebrate your next birthday waiting.

Three days ago we moved our clocks back one hour, which I assumed was to get us on the same time as our ports of call, but yesterday in Costa Rica I noticed “the Compass? told passengers to stay on ship’s time. Therefore I’m assuming our time change was only in consideration of our short time in Panama, which seemed odd. At any rate we give back the hour tonight, to get back on Eastern Daylight Time, to be in sync for our arrival back to Miami.

To this point, other than our dining room wait staff, I haven’t commented about the staff onboard, but I’ve found them both helpful and friendly to a fault. One day Mrs. Kuki and were sitting having lunch in the Windjammer Café, and a staff member walking by, noticed I didn’t have a drink in front of me, and offered to get me a drink; coffee, soda, water… whatever. I was very impressed that she even noticed, let alone make the offer.

There was yet another pre-dinner show tonight in the Pacifica Theater. Tonight was billed as “Herb Reed of the Original Platters and his group?. With no disrespect intended to Mr. Reed or any of the Platters, when I saw it was only one of the originals, I thought to myself, maybe he should call himself “the Plate“. Then later when Mrs. Kuki told me that he mentioned he had joined The Platters in 1953, I thought we should probably make that… the Upper and Bottom Plate. That’s just a joke!!!

At any rate, as most who know me know… I don’t do production shows, or music acts very often. Mrs. Kuki does, and is my eyes and ears. She reports that Herb looks quite frail on stage, and doesn’t really add much to the act, but the lead singer in the group has an absolutely astounding voice.

We enjoyed dinner yet again tonight. RCI has excellent breads, that I’ve been enjoying way too much of during this cruise. Throughout the cruise the buffet offerings in the Windjammer Café have not improved, in either selection or taste. I truly don’t expect a lot out of buffets; after all they are buffets, for a quick food fix. But, through this cruise, with not even a pool-side grill to get a fresh hamburger, hot dog, or grilled chicken breast, it magnifies the limits of the rest of the buffet.

Being the second last night of the cruise, our wait staff reminded us that tomorrow we’d be getting our guest comment cards, and mentioned they hoped the food and service in the dining room was to our liking.

There was a time when cruising RCI, and it was time for the comment cards to be mentioned, wait staff would almost beg for excellent ratings… and it got to be very annoying. It was so nice to see that this has changed. We did get excellent service, and our comment cards (which ARE read very carefully) will reflect that, and even more so because we didn’t have to do endure the begging process. We know just how hard these people work to make our vacations enjoyable.

Tomorrow is “packing day?, and another wonderful trip (spoiled slightly in the middle with the cold) is coming to an end. We’re very lucky, in that in just a months time we’re heading to the Greek Islands, Egypt, and Turkey on the NCL Jewel, so there will be no time for Post Cruise Depression to set in; only time to do the laundry and pack.

Hopefully the Internet on the Jewel will work well, and you’ll be able to cruise along with again in May.
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #88 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Irish Shark's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,591
Default

Herb Reed was the first "Platter" - he formed the group in 1953. I saw him and another original Platter Cornell Gunther (dead) for the first time on the SS Norway for a 50's/60's cruise. They, and Herb still does, put on one heck of a show.

That is what I call "entertainment". Forget all those jugglers, magicians, comics, and want-to-be singers.
__________________



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
  #89 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,430
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

Brilliant Cruising
Day 11- Last Day at Sea

Being the last day of the cruise, I think it’s a good idea to now have a discussion on dress codes. Not suggested dress codes for the dining room, but by the pool. Come on folks!! I’m certainly no “body beautiful?, but nor will you see me wandering around the ship naked (you have to attend CruiseMates New Year’s Parties for that). But, it amazes about the self image of what many people think looks good on them at the pool, and how little material looks good on them. And this applies to both men and women. I’ve certainly got no issues to the shape of people’s bodies. Nice people come in all shapes and sizes, but when you’re going to a public pool area wear a style that’s appropriate for your body, and enhances your appearance. There’s way too many Sharpeis in string bikinis in this world.

Today the seas were like glass, and the ship was barely moving forward, inching our way back to Miami.

We slept in again this morning, and by the time we headed upstairs to the Windjammer for breakfast it was 10 A.M. It appeared as though the entire ship was keeping the same schedule as us today. There were plenty of loungers still available in prime pool side locations, but the tables in the Windjammer were harder to come by…. Though we found a spot quickly.

This cruise I almost wished I was a dancer. Each sea day, and some days several times a day, there were ballroom dance classes. Today’s featured the Rumba, and the Tango. Sadly, when I dance, I look like the dance world’s version of a Sharpei in a string bikini.

There was a special lunch today in the Minstrel Dining Room for Diamond & Diamond Plus members of the Crown & Anchor Society. It struck me as a bit odd that to attend the lunch suggested dress code was “smart casual?, which on RCI suggests a jacket for the men. Odd more so because this was the last day of the cruise, and some people may have already done much of their backing in the morning, or even last night.


As we’d eaten such a late breakfast, we chose not to attend. Instead, after some time sunning and relaxing on deck, we came back to the cabin for Mrs. Kuki to pack us up, and for me to once again try the internet connection to send last night’s story.

This afternoon I decided to give the Solarium Café a chance for late lunch, as a change of pace. I had a freshly made traditional Club Sandwich, which was quite good. Aside from that they have salads, and pizza on the menu. It’s somewhat odd to me, but on this ship you can get pizza from the Solarium Café, from the Windjammer Café, from the SeaView Café, and from room service. Seems like a whole lot of pizza to me. I remember on previous sailings of Radiance Class ships they had excellent crepes available in the Solarium Café. Sadly, those seem to have disappeared. No more Reuben sandwiches in the SeaView, no more crepes in the Solarium; what’s a gourmand like myself to do?

In one of my earlier reports I had mentioned smoking policies being enforced, but today, out on the pool deck I noticed quite a number of smokers doing so in the non smoking areas. In one spot, buy a stairway, I saw four people sitting on loungers smoking right below a non-smoking sign. I’d wished I had my camera with me, because I’d have been tempted to take the picture, and show them how silly it looked. As I’ve stated previously, I am a smoker, but believe non smokers shouldn’t be forced to endure my habit in a non smoking area.

The final show of the cruise was once again pre-dinner, but I attended anyway, because it sounded as if it was something different. It was a two time U.S. Gymnastic Champion, and Olympic team member, Lance Ringnald, who is also in the American Gymnastics Hall of Fame. I was curious to see what type of show a gymnast would put on. During the show he mentioned he’d been working on cruise ships for three years, which surprised me, as I’ve not seen nor heard of him before.

His show was different, and very entertaining. He engaged the audience, while putting on a very impressive display of strength, and talent.

Dinner tonight was a typical last night of the cruise affair; thanking the staff for a wonderful job, wishing the tablemates a safe trip home, and leaving the dining room a bit melancholy knowing new cruisers would be sitting in our seats tomorrow night.

I’ll try and close this cruise out tomorrow, with some final general thoughts, and I’ll be writing a full review for CruiseMates in the coming weeks. Hope you’ve all had some fun cruising along!
__________________
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #90 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Donna's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: on my computer
Posts: 26,546
Send a message via AIM to Donna
Default

[color=darkblueKuki,
Have a safe trip back home, been enjoying your daily log.color]
__________________

Message Boards Moderator
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 02:44 AM.
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