MITSUGIRLY BREAKAWAY's 1 last time for the year-review/pictorial

Day 2: Getting on the ship

I set my alarm for 7:30am and I swear it must have went off 10 minutes after I went to bed. Did I really get any sleep?

 

I finished my last minute packing, called the kids, got dressed, then we all headed down to the lobby for what we hoped would be a better eating experience than the night before.

 

When we arrived, the place was hoping and people were everywhere like buzzards that had just found fresh food. I guess everyone was starving and trying to make up for the nibbler food from the night before.

 

We were not disappointed in the selection. There was plenty of hot and cold food and we got our bellies full. I must have been really hungry because I don't show any food pictures on my camera from this time frame.

 

After eating, we went up to grab our luggage and headed down to the lobby at 9:30am. I didn't want to keep our transportation waiting because they had stated several times that if they had to wait at all, they would charge extra. They also stated 1 luggage per person or they would charge an extra $10 per luggage if it had to go up front with you. Yikes! Now we always carry an extra duffel bag on wheels luggage to put our pop in it to carry on the ship. However, we didn't want to be charged extra so we managed to pack lightly enough that we could put our pop inside our regular luggage with our clothes and then would later take it back out and put it in its own luggage to check in at the port.

 

We booked Carmel Transportation due to many people recommending them to us and their great service. With the amount of people we had (10), we had to book 2 cars to accommodate us plus our luggage.

 

We booked for a 10:00am pick up time. They do have an app for your phone and the app is pretty neat. You can use it to book if you haven't already, see your booking and even see where your current driver is located. However, we did learn that the map and the drivers location will not show up on the app until 5 minutes prior to your booking time. So, I was unable to see how far away our driver was.

 

At 9:45am, I receive a phone call from Jin and Loux. They tell me they are the 2 drivers from Carmel and they are outside the hotel waiting on us. SAY WHAT?!? It's only 9:45am and our reservation is for 10am. Kendra and family and Kenny and family are still upstairs doing their last minute packing. :eek: Oh no!

 

I quickly call Kendra and tell her that they are already here and to hurry and get down here if she didn't want to incur any additional charges. Of course her reply was "I booked for a 10am pick up, if they arrived earlier than that and I'm not ready, it's on them!" Which I guess she had a point there.

 

We headed outside S-L-O-W-L-Y and creeped to the last van handing our luggage to the driver 1 by 1 and trying to stall for Kendra & Kenny and while I said "You guys (smile) are early (smile). We booked (smile) for 10am (smile) and the rest of our family (smile) wasn't quite ready (smile) but they are on their way down (smile). Or otherwise....hint hint...YOU ARE TOO EARLY!

 

Now I swear everyone that works for Carmel is Asian and I'm not quite sure they even spoke English...just an observation from our drivers to the port and returning. Not 1 word from them. No conversation. No anything but a simple "yes" and "18" came out of their mouths.

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Kendra and Kenny finally made it downstairs with about 2 minutes to spare. They loaded them up and we pulled out together.

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I was getting updates from Kendra via text messages about how their driver was KA-RAY-ZEE with his driving skills weaving in and out of traffic, slamming on breaks, punching the gas while they all feared for their lives. :p Meanwhile, our driver is as calm as any driver I have ever encountered.

 

Somehow Kendra's van managed to get far behind us despite his erratic driving maneuvers and at one point I looked behind us and the road was splitting off...we went 1 way, they "started" to go another, then slammed on their breaks in the middle of the freeway and sat there...then darted over. Yikes! It looked like they were at the amusement park. We still managed to pull ahead and lost them somehow.

 

As we pulled up to the tolls...I managed to snap this picture of the pricing???

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Of course the drivers have the EZ pass and didn't have to stop and just zoomed on by.

 

When I ask the driver if I could use the app to pay for the ride...I got a simple "yes". I ask how much for the tolls, I got a simple "18". So, I'm not sure about the $14 pricing shown on the sign. I assume that it's different pricing depending on the size of the vehicle or even the amount of people in the vehicle? But I was thinking that this was a little high since several people had quoted me "no more than $15" for a ride there.

We approached the tunnel...I did one last quick check on my phone app to see how far behind Kendra & Kenny was...and they were a ways back there.

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We were making good time and zooming right along in the tunnel.

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Just kidding, I threw the camera over my shoulder and snapped a picture real quick. I'm surprised it even came out ok.

 

As we came out of the tunnel, I notice that the traffic right directly outside the tunnel was stopped...I said it was STOPPED! OMG, DOES OUR DRIVER SEE THAT THE TRAFFIC IS STOPPED???? At the very last moment I let out a gasp and the driver slammed on his brakes coming within inches of the stopped traffic. Did he zone out? What the heck. From there on out...the driving was all down hill. Sigh

 

He started weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, making his own lane, even went on the opposite side onto oncoming traffic to go around cars that were stopped headed in our direction. YIKES! Did some demon possess his body as we entered New York?

 

At that point I could not wait to get out of the van. Kendra was laughing at me of course...since their driver was like that the entire time.

 

We pulled up to the pier, piled out of the van, tried several times to pay using a cc on the app, with it not working every time, so I finally gave up and just gave him cash. Our luggage was dropped curbside and we started rolling it toward the people that take your luggage.

Here we would stand for awhile, taking pictures of the Breakaway sitting at the pier, waiting for Kendra & Kenny to arrive.

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No, I did not know he was making a face or throwing up the fingers until we got home and I looked at the pictures. LOL

 

We waited around for awhile and never did see the kids pull up. Kendra finally text me to ask where I was and told me they were already inside the building. :p

 

We took one last picture of the Breakaway and in we went.

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We had a super easy and quick security check in then on to check in with NCL. I did not see the normal "latitudes" check in line and even after asking, they just directed us into the line everyone else was in. No biggie, it was a short wait (15 minutes tops).

 

The weird thing about check in here was that you checked in at an area depending on what deck your room was located on. This would be a first for us.

 

As we were walking by some of the people directing us where to go, someone handed Kendra's bf a number with "20" on it. Then told us to keep heading on down for our "12th floor check in area".

 

Once we got to that area, we were handed a number "4" to board the ship, her bf quickly exchanged his number for the new number.

 

Once we were done, there were no chairs at all to sit in and we were left just standing around after we had our family pictures done. At one point one of the guys came up to us and told us that we would need to find a seat in a very rude way and tone. When I said there wasn't any seats available, he told us to go to a different section (pretty far away) and find a seat. Once again, there are NO seats and then I also ask how we would hear them call our number if we were half way across the building in a different section (which happen to be the section that handed Kendra's bf the #20). He then said "follow me and I'll show you were you can stand and/or sit on the floor"...which we did. It was at the end of our section and the beginning of another where the ropes widened. No problem. I plopped my butt down and we waited and he rudely told us not to move. :rolleyes:

 

It was maybe 10 minutes after we sat down a very rude lady came up to us and said "You can't sit here, you need to move" I told her that we were just put here by another attendant. She actually said "no you weren't". :eek: Are you kidding me? Did you just basically call me a liar? Now you have managed to strike a nerve cord with me and that doesn't happen often. I said "Not only were we told to sit here, the guy actually WALKED US TO THIS SPOT FROM OUR SECTION AND PUT US HERE!!!" Once again, she said "that's a lie and no one told you to sit here." GASP! At that point my blood is boiling. How rude! She ask me what person and I pointed in the direction the guy was, having no clue EXACTLY where he was at the moment. She marched off in that direction, then came back and said "Like I said, he did not tell you that and you need to move." :eek: Obviously you didn't find the right guy that not only told us to sit here, but actually walked us down and placed us here. She said we would have to move again...then moved us even further away. Since she had been so rude to us, it was nothing but fair game for me after that...I not only got rude back with her, but also got loud and expressed my opinions of how we were being treated then of course added that she better not dare come back and tell us to move once again because it was not going to happen. She stated that she would go get us some chairs to sit in and of course we knew she would never return with said chairs...and we were right. We were officially pretty darn far from where we would even be able to hear when they called our numbers and I was pissed. My official opinion of this port in New York is that these people are rude and I really have no desire to cruise from here again. It's crowded, there's no place to sit, the employees are rude and well the beginning of my vacation has me 50 shades of red with fury at this point.

 

The only way we found out that they were starting to board was we seen others getting up from their seats and headed to the gangway. That was our cue since we had boarding number 4. If it wasn't our turn yet, we were going to at least take the seats of those getting up so we could hear.

 

Once we got up there, we found that they had called 0-10 and this was around 11:45am and away we went hoping this could only get better.

 

Sakari is always in a hurry to get on the ship and always in the lead. I am constantly reminding her to wait for us.

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The kids are behind us having a good old time...

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Yep, that's my family....the party has started back there and we haven't even hit the ship.

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I just noticed all the girls had on holey jeans LOL

Obviously Kolin was in a hurry to get to the ship too...pulling Courtney along.

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Now that's excitement!

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I'm not sure how Sakari allowed some of the family members to get around her, but I was able to stop her long enough for a picture.

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...and onto the ship we went to explore. :D

On with the SHIP TOUR. You will find it located here....

So why we decided to do the Breakaway.

 

We had just cruised on the Dawn to Bermuda (our first time ever to Bermuda) back in June. I knew I wanted to squeeze in 1 last cruise before the year was up and I was planning on a November cruise (since we always seem to do our last cruise in November or December). Kendra managed to talk her older brother into joining us on a cruise and decided that she wanted it to be the most spectacular ship (in hopes that he would enjoy it so much that he'd cruise again with us in the future). So, she picked the Breakaway. I of course agreed since it was on my "list" of ships I had not sailed yet. Also, Kenny is prone (so he "says") to a lot of motion sickness and I knew that if there was someplace he should cruise to, it would be Bermuda...where the ship would be parked for a few days...just in case. :p

 

So now, it was only a matter of picking when to go. We REALLY enjoyed Bermuda in June, so figured we would just go ahead and go back on the Breakaway, which would limit us on only being able to sail up until mid October when the BA left Bermuda for the season. We picked the cheapest date and booked. :D

 

So this is how we ended up on the Breakaway only a few months after our Dawn cruise. :p

 

 

Now...on to our regularly scheduled program. Our cruise story.

While we were still in the port before boarding, they had handed us a piece of paper. I was busy doing something and shoved it in my carry on.

 

Once we boarded, they handed me another paper and I decided I had probably better read it this time. Hey, if it's important enough to hand it to you twice within hours, they obviously take into account for people like me that didn't bother to read it the first time.

 

Here was the announcement:

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So...bummer that it was not going to be your "normal" sailaway. Things were racing through my mind: Would they still have a sailaway party with dancing and everything if we weren't really going to sailaway? This would mean I would not get any pictures of the Statue of Liberty and everything would just be night pictures. Obviously this means the stores would not be open for shopping. It also means (gasp) that the casino wouldn't be open either. :eek: What are we going to do with ourselves?

 

I honestly didn't know what to expect, but it is what it is. I'm glad the Captain decided to do what he needed in order for us to stay safe. Let that mean old hurricane pass by and then we'll safely head for our destination.

 

The next set of papers we were handed consisted of the map of the ship. Hasn't NCL learned yet that no map is going to do me any good? I need a GPS to get around the ship most of the time and only learn by the end of the cruise which way I'm actually supposed to turn, once I get off the elevators, to get to my room.

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Here is your Day 1 Daily:

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Now the one thing I hate about these big ships (Getaway, Epic and now Breakaway) is the entrance to get on the ship. I just love the WOW factor of stepping onto a beautiful ship and seeing an open atrium with the glass elevators soaring up to the heavens with no end. These ships...forgetaboutit. You step on to the ship and you are in a hallway/room setting. Nothing to look at here! Move along. So disappointing as always.

 

At least there's a bright side to being on the Breakaway, I just might not need that GPS after all. I feel like I have already sailed this ship...and I basically did with the Getaway. It only took me about 2 days to get acquainted with the ship instead of the full 6 days. Hey, I'm making progress these days! Now I understand why some like to sail a particular ship over and over again. It has to be for the GPS factor of knowing your way around. Right? (Just agree with me and make me feel like I'm not the only one that gets lost).

The kids were super excited (although the entire family went on the Getaway with us last time with the exception of my oldest, Kenny and his gf, so they already knew what to expect).

 

We were off to explore the ship and of course...take tons of pictures.

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The kids always love it when the ships have these cameras to take pictures and post to their fb account for others to see. Me, yes they are neat, however I don't find them neat when we are still sitting in port and that can be done with your phone. I like when you can do it while actually sailing and in the middle of nowhere.

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I'm busy snapping pictures of the area only to turn and see this...

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Yes, that is my son Kolin lifting Sakari up by her head to make sure she was tall enough for their next picture. Oh my goodness...kids.

 

The end result:

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Don't worry, she thought it was funny and the only reason I probably even caught it was that she was giggling so loud about it.

 

So here we are...with Sakari's head still attached and functioning perfectly.

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This was taken in one of the elevator halls. I really loved the colors they had there and I wish I would have taken the time to take a better picture there instead of a snap and run. Sakari even came equipped with a spot on her face for this picture. Oh my.

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Sisters...only 20 years apart.

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The hubby feeling lost not being at work, so he felt the need to get behind a counter. I told him he was more than welcome to sit the next cruise out. He didn't seem to think I was funny.

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The kids stopped at the coffee shop to get a Mocha Chocalata ya ya Creole lady Marmalade something or other drink. (I have no idea what they're called since I don't drink coffee, but it reminds me of the song when they say it). Let's just say whatever it was they got (and paid extra for I might add), got passed from kid to kid because none of them would drink it.

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The most beautiful part of the ship (other than the water slides of course) is the 678 atrium. Now that's the wow factor I expect to see when I walk on to a ship! It's my favorite area and I really wish they had a seating area at the "6" to just sit and enjoy this magnificent view instead of dining.

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Here's the entrance to the ice bar. We did do the ice bar on the Epic and loved it, especially the sour apple drinks, and I might add it loved me as well. We ran out of time to go to the Ice Bar on the Getaway and it always seemed full. The one thing I hate about the big mega ships...having to book everything. It kinda takes away from the "freestyle" concept to me. So, I'll admit now, we did not get to do the ice bar this time either. Sigh. I fully intended to, but there just wasn't enough time and when there was time, it wasn't open.

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Time to head upstairs to explore a little bit and take some awesome photos of the city skyline.

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We had a Carnival ship beside us. I'm not sure where they were going (I'm pretty sure it wasn't Bermuda since I knew that only the Sunshine was due in Bermuda while we were there and they diverted to the eastern Caribbean because of the hurricane and was leaving from a southern port instead of NY). I want to say maybe it was the Sensation (if that's even one of the names) or something like that. It's not one of the ships that's on my radar to sail, so I didn't put much effort into really checking it out.

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The hubby ask if I thought they flew that plane in there and landed it in the right position for display. What do ya'll think?

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The one neat thing they added to the BA and the GA was these "floor windows". You look down below and it's the ocean under you. Sakari found them interesting (even though she seen them on the GA, I'm not sure she remembered).

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I have to say the crackled glass kinda makes it hard to see out of them. Then add all the salt water and it becomes a hot mess for the most part. It's also not too much fun looking down at ropes tying off the ship.

 

  

****EDITED TO SAY IT WAS THE CARNIVAL SPLENDOR THAT WAS BESIDE US. I PUT IT IN MY NOTES THAT I'M NOT READING WHILE WRITING THIS REVIEW. OOPS!****

So since we were already upstairs, we decided it was time to grab a bite to eat from the buffet area. We easily found some of the high top tables that all 10 of us could fit at and we would remain there until we needed to be rolled out of there with full bellies.

 

My husband laughs because it seems like every time I take a picture of Kolin during a meal, he always tilts his head back. The hubby commented that I have more pictures of Kolin at home on the computer with a tilted head than anything. The look on Courtney's face says it all. Then we have Kenny in the background with his mouth open. My kids will do anything to spoil a picture.

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I yell for Kendra...yep, she's the same way:

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My first pretzel roll of the cruise...and definitely not my last!

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After eating, we went out to relax by the pool. Well, at least the munchkins did. We all decided it was time for a drink!

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I always like the Dirty Banana/Monkey, so that's what I would start my cruise with. They always made such cute like designs in them during the entire cruise. It was always different.

 

Just a note, since we hadn't left port yet, that meant that any and all drinking done until 2am that next morning when we finally set sail, we would have to pay taxes on. Did that hinder anything? Absolutely not. If anything, we would be paying from .53 to 1.09 or something like that for our drinks. Something we were all willing to do and it really wasn't too bad. We weren't going to let that UBP go to waste! :D

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After awhile (and a few drinks in our system), we decided to head back to the rooms to check them out before having to go to the "mustard" drill.

About our rooms:

 

We originally booked interior rooms (3 of them) along a side hallway on the 12th floor. We had a room, Kendra's family had a room (their own for the very first time and not sharing with anyone else) and then the boy's (with their girls) had their own room.

 

After booking, Kendra's bf decided he HAD to have a balcony and they upgraded. Suckers! Why do I say that? Because right before the cruise, the prices dropped and we were able to upgrade our room for around $500 less (I believe it was...or close to) than theirs was. So, being the good mom that I am, I decided to upgrade the boys room too...and of course, NOT tell them!

 

So we headed to the rooms and quickly found them. I always manage to try to pick a room that's pretty close to the elevator. We stayed on the 12th floor and were actually right in front of the side hallway that we had originally booked.

 

They opened their door (of course they always have the blinds pulled in the room) and my son automatically went to the blinds.

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Everyone was silent...finally I yelled "surprise!!"

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They were super excited but yet stunned. You see I had done a lot of "fibbing" over the last few weeks right up until sitting on the ship eating lunch. I had told them that I upgraded myself to a suite and I wouldn't be seeing much of them in their hallway. LOL They are so gullible.

 

So then I went next door to my room:

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Of course the questions starting flying "Wait, you said you were in a suite"....

 

Then I sprung this on them...

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Not only were they stuck with a room right beside their mother, but mom now had access to their room by this wonderful thing they call a connecting door. :D I would be able to keep an eye on them now...or maybe we would all get into trouble together. That was yet to be determined...

I had told Kendra the day before the cruise what I had done and of course I got the "that's not fair because I paid $700+ more for my room". I told her "you need to learn patience young grasshopper".

 

Off she went to see her overly priced balcony room.

 

I will show you around the room now (obviously from the pictures, a lot were not taken when we first walked in).

 

One thing about NCL, they create storage everywhere possible. With 3 of us traveling together in a room on every cruise, I have yet to NOT have enough space to unpack everything. Well, with the exception of the Sky and I'm not even sure what happened to the storage on that ship. Thank goodness it does short cruises!

 

Here is the closet with plenty of shelving

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I do have to complain about this safe that was basically unusable. This safe was SUPER SMALL. Like smaller than other safes in the NCL fleet. I'm not sure if the Getaway had a safe this small (since they are the same ship, I guess it probably did, but I sure don't remember it) but this safe was definitely smaller than any of the others on the ships. You couldn't even put an ipad in it if you wanted.

 

I have folders for every cruise I go on. It's how I stay organized. My folders would not fit in here. I guess if you just wanted to put only your cash, wallet and maybe small cameras in it, you'd be fine. But not the stuff I brought that I normally put in there. This would be the first and only time I decided to just leave everything out and not even use the safe.

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There's a night stand on each side of the bed. One is bigger than the other. I'm not sure why.

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Plenty of shelving behind these doors as well with the corner one being really deep. Don't forget the little stool chair you sit on at the desk. The seat part comes off and there's storage down in there too if you need it.

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Also for those that might not realize it...

The wooden part on the top can stay on it and it can be used as a small table to put things on. Or, you can also remove the wooden part and you have a cushion to sit on as a chair at the desk.

 

For the PARENTS out there worried about traveling with young children and having a balcony. This is how you keep your little ones in the room and they can not sneak out.

 

The handle twist up and down to open and close. Then up at the very top where the doors slide, you have this lock...out of the reach of little hands.

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Here's the OH-SO-SMALL balcony that you will climb over each other if you try to sit down and then have to move again to go back in. These balconies are small and I have tried every configuration from moving the chairs to one end, putting them sideways, moving them to the other end...there's just no configuration that makes it easy. Maybe some day I'll upgrade to a larger balcony and see what it's like. I like to take baby steps.

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On our last cruise (Dawn) I FINALLY turned Platinum. Go me!!! So, this would actually be the first time I cruised as a platinum member. The hubby is still gold and he finally turns Platinum on this cruise.

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Along with the platinum status, we had chocolate covered strawberries waiting in our room when we first arrived and also a bottle of booze! Now what are we going to do with that since we already have unlimited booze to begin with? LOL There was also a box of chocolates (said in my best Forrest Gump voice) as well.

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I really wish we had some type of choice to pick from when we turn platinum, but I know that would just be too confusing and create more work for the employees. I just don't like chocolate (so that eliminates both chocolate items) and we don't like wine or champagne either. Scratch that off the list of platinum goodies as well. Sigh. I would be much happier if they could just give added OBC or something...anything...other than those items. Send me a plate of bacon, leave me a piece of cheesecake, throw in a few cans of pop...just anything I can personally make use of.

 

Oh well, I guess it's the thought that counts. I'm sure I'll find someone that will eat the items.

Here's the restroom.

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Don't mind the towels on the floor. There's a story behind that.

 

This ship is in magnificent shape (as it should be, after all, it's basically new) and it was really hard to find anything that didn't work or was broken. However, my shower door was the ONLY thing I found on the cruise with a flaw. The plastic stripping that went around the door on the side had came off and was just hanging. I tried to push it back on there a few times, but it would not stay. I'm not even sure if there is supposed to be a strip along the bottom (since it wasn't there) and whenever you would take a shower, water would get all over the floor. The small floor towel they give you would be soaked within minutes, so I always had to dry off and put the towels down on the floor to soak up all the water.

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Love these shower heads that can be moved up and down for any height. It makes it nice for Sakari when she showers and we move it down to her height and she thinks she's a big girl. Then...Does anyone know the purpose of this bar on the wall below the drain? The only thing I could come up with was something to put your foot on to shave??? But to me, it was just down too low for that.

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When we were on the Getaway, we had upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite. Everyone always ask what the difference is and you are pretty much looking at it. The bathroom! The bathroom in the mini suite is a pretty nice size (compared to this), with a very nice sink area (very pretty with the tile) and 2 sinks. The other difference is the shower stall is huge compared to this. It goes along the entire wall and has a shower head to die for! The shower head goes up and down the wall with multiple areas that water comes out. It's heaven when you want a good massage.

 

Other than that, the rooms are exactly the same. Did I miss that shower? You bet I did. But I wasn't willing to pay the price (or change our location by the kids) to get one. Oh well.

Just a few other things and we'll finish the room up.

 

Most people know what this is:

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But for those newbies that might not...you pull the knob out and it's a drying line for your wet clothes. The line pulls across the shower and attaches to this:

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While it's a great concept, I personally find in unuseful for me. I'm a Pisces...which makes me a fish, which means I like water. I like water a lot. I take a shower in the morning. If we swim or go to the beach during the day I take a shower when we return. Then I take a shower before I go to bed. So, hanging any type of wet clothing on this line does me no good because I'm constantly taking them down, putting them up, taking them down, putting them up. There's absolutely no way to shower with anything hanging in there.

 

In a 4 person balcony room, this will be your configuration of beds. Two beds put together for a queen size and then the couch pulls out into a bed and there's a bunk on the top:

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For those with a 3 bedroom room, you just have the couch that makes into a bed.

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While we were exploring our rooms, Kendra came back down with a grin on her face. "You DID do something for me didn't you?" :D I told her I had no idea what she was talking about. She said "You decorated my room! Or did you?" I told her I didn't, but at this point the kids didn't know what to believe. It was like the boy that cried wolf and then wasn't believed when you finally tell the truth. (Don't worry, this is not a habit of mine I promise).

 

Kendra told me to come look and we decided to go check out what she was talking about.

 

As I came out of my room...I found our doors decorated.

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I wasn't the only one with surprises this cruise. Kendra had decorated our doors when we were inside. The little sneak!

As we entered her room, we immediately knew what she was talking about... After all, you couldn't miss it.

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She absolutely loved it.

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However, like I had told her...I was not the culprit that did this. I was pretty sure our TA was behind this and told her if she looked hard enough, there was probably a note somewhere stating this. She had paid a pretty penny for this room and I assumed that was the reasoning behind it. Or he just really really likes Kendra and her ability to keep spending money on cruises trying to keep up with her momma! LOL

 

They also received an awesome cake...which I might add she did not share with me because I had totally forgot about going down and getting some later.

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I did end up finding the note that stated it was from the TA. He's such a sweet sweet person and we wouldn't trade him for the world. :)

We kinda hung out in our rooms for awhile and enjoyed each others company. I passed out my chocolate strawberries and Sakari ate a majority of them, so those platinum strawberries didn't go to waste!

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We went out to explore a little more knowing that we would be summoned to our stations to let us know what to do in case this hurricane decided to play tag with us and we became the titanic. When it was time to head up to the "mustard" drill, we found that we were in the theater for our section. However, it was quite the mess trying to figure out where to go. Usually there are employees in each of the stairways/elevator areas directing traffic and checking your key cards telling you where to go. This time...nada! We were so confused and had no idea where we were supposed to meet. Trust me, we were not the only ones.

 

It did take awhile to figure out we were supposed to be in the theater and that was only after stopping someone and asking them.

 

Before long, the drill was over and we were off to start our vacation...only we weren't off yet and we wouldn't be "off" for many many hours.

 

What to do??? Well, this is what we decided:

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We knew that you had to be at least 48" tall to go on the ropes course. Sakari is just at that point. She was so upset on the Getaway that she wasn't allowed to do the ropes course and had to do the "baby" mini ropes course a few feet off the ground. This time we were hoping that it was one of her "tall" days. I swear she goes back and forth. My grandson, Brayden, even though he is 3 months younger than her, is much taller than his aunt and we knew he'd pass the height restriction for sure. But, he's not as adventurous as Sakari...so would he actually do it?

 

We stood in line, the employees went up and down telling everyone "No-ting in pocket, no camera, no phone, no bag or purse no-ting!" as they patted us down like we were in airport security. (Just kidding, but I was waiting on it).

 

Sakari made it up to the front of the line and she was quickly whisk over to the "are-you-tall-enough" stick. Drum roll.......SHE MADE IT! Woo hoo. She was super excited and jumping up and down. They geared her up and she walked over to the stairs where you begin. She didn't even wait on me. GASP! Now I was the one that was nervous! My baby girl is growing up.

 

All that excitement came to a crash once she got up to the top and had so many decisions on which "path" to take. I kept telling her to take the easiest one available...just to get her use to it. But she was doing awesome.

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I have to say the only routes that made her a little uneasy are the ones that were around the edges of the ship. You know, the ones that when you look down, you see water and not the deck. But other than that, she was doing a great job for her very first time and so was Brayden.

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Kolin and Courtney having fun and Sakari is still going strong. The only issue she was having was pulling her line along. It would get caught up every so often and I would have to rescue her by coming up behind her and pushing it. She was getting pretty brave too and taking some of the harder routes.

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I have to admit, this was a little difficult for Sakari because of her little short legs. She took it real slow, but she accomplished it and showed it who's boss.

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Billy on the zip line and Kenny's girlfriend Michelle. This was quite fun for her and her first time doing anything like this. It's also her first cruise, first time out of the US, first time for...well, just about everything. She's a complete newbie.

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Kenny there to encourage her along...or either push her. I would guess push her if I had to. She got smart and decided to let him go first. That way she could go at her own pace.

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Kenny is a master carpenter by trade and works for an architect company building high end million dollars homes and renovations. He's use to being high up and having balance. Any chance he got to show off, he would.

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 Kendra always has a funny face to make when she knows the camera is pointed in her direction.  Being a daredevil. I guess the sibling competition is still alive. Kendra has balance as well. She was a competitive gymnast for many years.

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Kolin rides bikes, like doing tricks and flips and all that fancy stuff...so I guess he's a competitor as well in the skills department and didn't want to feel left out. (Or he was just practicing his titanic moves on the bow of the ship)

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Only my kids would think of this...

 

I look over and see them all piled on the plank.

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A video of all of us zip lining...and of course Sakari backing out of it. She just absolutely refused to do it. I wasn't sure what went wrong since they won't allow you up there with another person. She has zip lined in the Belize jungle all by herself at 3 years old. That's way higher up than this and she had no problem. However, today was different.

 

Click for movie:

Yes, Sakari walked the plank! I have to be honest, it completely freaked me out when she was out there. There's just something different about it being your child out there and it being yourself standing there instead. By no means am I scared of the ropes course, being up high or even walking the plank. Nothing about it scares me at all. However, my child standing out there and me looking down. YIKES! I could not wait for her to get off.

 

The even scarier part was her trying to pull the cord to take the picture. The cord is pretty high up and she had to stand on her tippy toes to do it. My heart is pounding right now thinking of that moment.

 

The other thing is, I can tell you it's an entirely different feeling hanging out over the edge with the concrete below you and the buildings beside you, than it being over water. I prefer the water.

 

The pictures the ship took of the plank that day COMPLETELY SUCKED!! I have complained in the past about ship pictures (but that's with the photographers), but this takes my complaints to an entirely different level. They turned out so dark and spotted (I'm sure from the salt water). But I just HAD to purchase one of Sakari. The kids pictures...they were all so dark and black that it looked like they were hanging on the plank in the moonlight. That was not the case and I have no idea what happened.

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(After the plank and zip lining for me....we continue with the story)

 

Since I had already zip lined, at the end of the zip line, you get off and they have a "clip" where you can't go back on the ropes course and are pretty much forced to end the fun and go down the stairs.

 

Sakari started freaking out and crying so Kendra was trying to rescue her, but couldn't get past the clip. I think at this point she was just tired and wanted to get down and now I was no longer up there with her to help her when her clip got stuck.

 

At one point she completely froze while standing on a single rope line, put her head down and buried her face in her arms that were holding onto her line. She didn't move for awhile and just cried. I felt so bad, but knew she was perfectly capable of doing this entire ropes course by herself. I know she is not afraid of heights, she has jumped many times off the 2 story building into the ocean at Little French Key. She's one of those kids that will ride the highest rides that she's allowed at the amusement park. So the height thing wasn't the issue.

 

Daddy and I stood directly below her encouraging her to move along and telling her what to do. By this time we had a bit of a crowd...people watching and probably judging me at this point. "How could you leave your kid up there alone?" "How could you allow her to go up there by herself?" You know, the things that would circle in your mind if you saw something like this. But she wasn't alone. The rest of the family was still up there, they just didn't know it.

 

I wanted to cry myself. I wanted to bury my face in my hands. But honestly, they had no idea the brave little girl she is and the things she does on her own. They had no idea that this was the famous Sakari from Cruise Critic everyone knows for her bravery of things she does at such a young age. She has done things that most adults wouldn't think of trying. I knew she could do this and we pushed on.

 

 

Sakari finally pulled herself together and came around the course, heading back the way she was familiar with and ended up at the beginning of the course but couldn't make it over to Kendra because of this darn clip. After awhile, one of the guys working the zip line seen what was going on and came over to remove the clip and let Sakari by in order to get off. Whew. I thought we would have a melt down but daddy and I played it off and had a huge celebration about what a big girl she was and tackled that ropes course. We were so proud of her giving her high-fives and she quickly forgot about the ending to it.

 

The munchkins decided they had not had enough of climbing (I guess she wasn't tired after all) and headed to the spider net climbing slide thingy.

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At this point we were all a little cold. THIS is not my idea of a way to spend a cruise...cold! At least it wasn't raining. But I'm cold nature to begin with and I just hate anything below 70 degrees. I was ready to head inside and warm up.

 

Before going in, I took some pictures of the skyline again. The sun was going down and it was reflecting beautiful images on the buildings.

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We got a quick bite to eat (basically for Sakari) and decided to head to the kids club to sign her up. (They open at 8pm on the first day). We knew she would be hungry before we would pick her up at 10:30pm, but we also knew that we would eat our "dinner" at that time before calling it a day...so the adults ate lightly. (Or as light as one can when on a cruise surrounded by tons of food).

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Since we had tried to sign her up earlier when we boarded and it was taking forever so we left, this meant that we wouldn't get to "tour" the place during open house. Oh well, I already knew what things looked like from the Getaway and it was no big deal.

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There was a line of very anxious parents waiting to sign their children in at 8pm. I guess we all wanted a little "adult" time at this point. Once we almost made it up to the counter a counselor told us we would need to go upstairs to a desk where they were registering the "late" people. Sigh. I ran up the stairs and told the hubby to stay in line.

 

I got lucky. There wasn't anyone up there and they quickly registered Sakari and back down we went. The hubby had only moved a few inches and we didn't have to wait in the long line again. Mission accomplished! She was checked in and we were officially on our own...well, on our own as we could get with still having 3 other "kids" with us and their significant others.

 

Since it was adult time, we decided to do adult things...like making the most of our UBP!! Now I'm not a big drinker...AT ALL! So that makes me a lightweight. When I'm on a cruise, I estimate about $100 for booze and usually only have about 5 drinks tops while on the ship. If I happen to book an AI in port with alcohol included, I'll drink then. But I just can't justify spending the prices they want for drinks on the ship. I usually just stick to my soda package.

 

However, this trip would be different and we started the night out with a bang! We started at one end of the ship and hit the bar. We'd have a drink and move on down until we came to the next bar. Down the hatch, rinse and repeat...over and over again. I have to say, it was a blast. We were having so much fun and cracking up the entire time.

 

The girls impatiently waiting for their drinks. You can tell the happy one in the picture...because he already had his drink.

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On to the next bar... This would be the night that I would try so many of the various drinks offered on the ship in order to find out which I liked best for the remainder of the cruise.

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One of my favorites is always the dirty banana. You can never go wrong with that.

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In the end, I discovered that I now have a new favorite drink...Toasted Almond=heaven. I would drink it most of the time during the cruise and the girls also agreed with me on my new favorite drink.

 

At one point we decided to go bowling. Once we arrive at O'Sheehans, we found that the price was $5 PER PERSON! Not per game. After trying to add that up in our booze filled heads, we decided it would probably not be a wise investment at this time for something that is not even real bowling, but a mini-version. After all, we had already tried it out on the Getaway, so we weren't missing much.

 

Instead the kids decided to play games. Kolin and Kenny challenged each other to a game of air hockey. The scores went back and forth and it was always a big deal when one of them scored on the other. Drunken air hockey between brothers with family spectators...nothing beats it. I think the most points were scored by them hitting it in their own hole. LOL

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Courtney playing games. She ended up with quite a bit of tickets but we had no idea what you are supposed to do with the tickets??? Anyone know?

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Kolin played a few rounds of basketball, but I can't seem to locate the pictures for it. Just know balls were flying out and I'm sure you can picture it.

 

We continued on around the ship to various bars and decided to pick up the kids and fill our bellies with more food.

 

Since it was late, our options were limited and we headed to the buffet where we would again find our tall tables available for all of us to sit at.

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Courtney knows I love my crapes and she come around the corner with a smile on her face with her newly made crape in hand...waving it in my face. Oh, it's on! Off I went to go get mine!

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It was the end of the day and without the casino being open, we decided to head to our rooms to hang out.

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I decided to take some pictures of us still sitting in port to report back to all my friends. We still weren't going anywhere for awhile.

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It had gotten even colder, so a night of just hanging out on the balcony wasn't really an option. I was freezing.

 

Just a few pictures of the mini-bar pricing:

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Now I have to say that my mini-bar was missing A LOT of items. There was barely anything in there at all. We didn't even have any pop in there. I always look forward to the 2 cold cans of diet pepsi when I board and I replace them with 2 of my hot cans from the cartons we bring on board. Not this time. There wasn't any in there. I did manage to go over and steal the diet Pepsi's from the kids room. At least they had some.

 

I did notice that these cans of pop had NEW YORK on them. Hmmm, is this a new way of seeing if you take their pop? I wondered, but thought...I really don't care. I'm taking it anyhow and replacing it with one of my non-New York cans. We'll see how it goes.

 

Here is the new room service menu.

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As you know, NCL changed their "free" room service to charging $7.95 for service once Del Rio became "boss". We never ordered room service in the past, so we weren't missing anything and this trip would be no exception. I'm perfectly happy walking up to any of the various restaurants or buffet to get a bite to eat.

So after taking a few pictures from the balcony (and now discovering what The World Cruise ship is) we just hung out in the room for the rest of the night since the casino was not open, the shops where not open and now having the munchkin with us, we were pretty limited to what we could do...especially with it being cold out.

 

We were able to meet our room steward "Ruby" and she was extremely nice.

 

I also noticed that we did not have our latitudes ship pins and ask her for those. This has become the "norm" on our last 4-5 cruises...not getting our pins in the room and having to ask for them. She said she would locate some and bring them to us tomorrow, but usually you could ask for some at the customer service desk.

 

Ruby also apologized for not having our robes in the room. :confused: Now I have noticed that sometimes we have robes (usually when we have been VIP status before) and other times we don't. So, I'm wondering why you get them in the first place? Is it the new Plantinum level status we obtained that now gets us robes on each cruise? I'm really not sure. However, we never use them. So, it really doesn't matter if she forgot them or not. We never use robes at home, even though we both have them, so I imagine having them on the cruise isn't going to change that. Ruby stated she would bring them tomorrow and kept apologizing. I told her it was no big deal, not to worry about it.

 

Even though the shops were not open today, I wanted to share our pictures from this day...since it's goes along with this Day 1 review.

 

The hubby and I both wore our "Bermuda" shirts from our previous cruise a few months ago. (I have to admit, I need to start planning this a little better with the color coordination. Man we're a hot mess)

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Then a picture with the entire group...all my kiddies TOGETHER this time...woo hoo.

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We were up early at the hotel and we had a busy day on the ship and even busier night bar hoping and we were all a little tired. I believe we went to bed around midnight or so and I knew I would miss going by the Statue of Liberty, but I figured I would just catch it on the way back. I was just too tired!

 

 

However, I do remember feeling the ship pulling out of port...at least I think that's what I felt when sleeping. Then at some point I jumped up to see if we really were and I might decide to stay up to take some pictures. I ran to the balcony only to discover we were out in the middle of nowhere and nothing was around us anymore. :( I guess I had missed it and we were now out to sea. Oh well, on the way back I'll catch it and back to bed I went.