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Thursday, July 2, 2009

We Had a Great Vacation, Batteries Recharged For The Next Push, But It's Good To Be Home

We made it through the cruise, nobody fell off the ship, got sick, or killed each other, so it it was a good vacation, and a very much needed break away from captivity! It was great to not have anything to clean-up, cook, or figure out. The weather was great, Bermuda is beautiful, and the water is actually as blue as I've always heard, if not bluer. We had a great time on our first adventure at sea, and were glad the kids, and the wife's family were there to share it with.

I always heard too there was so much food you couldn't believe it, midnight buffets, round the clock smorgasbords, and mer-folk throwing seafood at you for our consumption, but we didn't find it on this cruise! The dining hall food was very good, the entrees were presented beautifully, and were very plentiful, although the shrimp cocktail reminded me of those 51-60 already cooked shrimp you see in grocery stores. There was a late night buffet each day, but it was hamburgers, hot dogs, and 7-11 pizza! One night they had a fancy spread up to the pool, in an area not accessible by wheelchair, which I used at my families urging, so the boy's plan of eating until he exploded went unfulfilled.

The one thing I did not like, even a little bit, was how they handled your drinks. We bought a prepaid soda package, $25 or so a person, show your card for a soda, no problems. The problem comes when you try to get the wait staff to get you a soda. Royal Caribbean must have it set up that every beer, shot of tequila, and rum swizzle the crew can sell, they get paid a cut? They bombard you every few seconds asking if you'd like a cocktail, in a specialty glass, only $12.75! It was over the top, very bothersome, and we had quite a few times we asked for a soda, and we never saw that particular person again. It also wasn't very easy for me to get the drinks, they were only in the bars and eating areas, so unless I was tethered to the bar, no soda.

I'd be interested to see how the other cruise lines handle things, it was great leaving out of the Port of Baltimore, we left this morning and were home in 20 minutes! I would go again without hesitation, but I think I would give one of the other lines a try, I wasn't overly impressed with Royal C! I spent most of my free time alone up on the top deck looking at the water, searching for dolphins and Arial, never saw either, but had a blast, must have taken 50 pictures for other couples up the very top. We had a ball, including watching the kids parasail, worth every penny, and made the trip!


Stuff could always be worse said...

So happy you had a great time, it will be a good memory. I agree with the cruises, they are all different in some way, but the same also. Glad you watched for dolphins and Ariel. Love the photos.

Libby said...

OMG, did you try parasailing?? that lookd like SO much fun!! i still wanna bungee jump, too...i like to push my luck...BTW...your wife is beautiful! how'd you do that? (haha)

awb said...

Kim - We did have fun, everyone was happy, and it was nice eating dinner together each night.

Libby - My kids went parasailing, I went to the ship and watched! My wife is gorgeous, she was on a pity streak, or had a fit.

Herrad said...

Hi Andy,

Sounds like you had a brilliant time wonderful!



Living Day to Day with Multiple Sclerosis said...

So glad to hear and see that you had a wonderful time on your trip. We have missed your blogs. So it was great to see you pop back up again

awb said...

Herrad - Thanks, it was great!

Tara - It's great to get away, but it's always nice to get home again, especially when people notice you were gone!


Cranky said...

Andy - trips sounds great. You have a lovely family! Hard to believe there was a spot where they set up a buffet and it wasn't wheelchair accessible.

I think different cruise lines have different strengths and weaknesses. And, they generally cater to different age groups. You know, Carnival is considered a party ship for young people, Holland America is for the older crowd. We've been on 4 Holland America cruises and generally loved them, though on our last cruise our friends complained a lot about the quality of the food (I thought it was good).

Glad to see you back!

Anne said...

Hi Andy: Glad your cruise was a success and no incidents!

Our last cruise in April was Carnival, the Fun Ships! LOL Very bawdy, noisy and drunken young people oriented.

Re: soda ticket - Carnival charges $4 a day for all you can drink. Most people go to (or send someone) to the bar to get it for them. Servers were not too keen on delivering soda to our table either in lounges or dining room.

I drink bottled water and that is not one of the choices on the "$4 ticket". So if I wanted a soda once or twice that week, I just ordered it at the bar for $2.50 a can. Ice tea, coffee, hot cocoa, and hot tea were free and available all the time.

Every cruise line has something they excel at and are remembered for. Most cruise lines have at least ONE great midnight buffet so they can show off their skills in ice carving, desserts etc. Sorry yours was backyard BBQ food. :-(

Glad you got to experience cruising. But please write more about the island of Bermuda!!! I want to go but am worried about getting around there and not having much to do. I can't do the heavy hitter activities (parasailing, scuba, etc.) but I love the beach (with cool packs on me). Any more pictures of Bermuda?

Looking forward to more stuff,

Cathy said...

Glad you had a great time. Our cruise is just around the corner. I for one am not doing the soda thing. I want all my drinks to have colorful umbrella's. LOL

awb said...

Anne - We had people so drunk by 9am, I can't imagine if we were on a party cruise! We had one group go to the infirmary before the muster drill, at the crew's insistence.

There was plenty of food, and the food was good, it just wasn't as over the top as I had heard for snacks. Burgers and such were snacks, so I can't complain. Dinner was lamb shanks, roast duck, lobster, onion tarts, and good stuff like that.

Cathy - The wife accrued a few of those umbrellas!

awb said...

Cranky - Thanks, I think I'll keep the family, I just got them broke in right. (How's that for proper English?) I think I may have overstated about the food, there was plenty, and the buffet hours were long. it was just not the food we expected.

The poolside buffet was in an accessible area, but the way they had it set up made it impossible to negotiate.

Slammermike said...

Sounds like you had a great time. It sounds like a nice thing for the DSA. That would be a blast.
I didn't know you were back already