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Eric & Kevin Attend Robb's 40TH Birthday Cruise


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Over a year and a half ago, Elissa sent an invite about doing a surprise 40th birthday cruise for Robb. Kevin and I both hadn't been on a cruise for almost 10 years, so we thought this would be a perfect time to be re-introduced to cruisin'. And what a better way to go on a cruise than to celebrate Robb's birthday TPR style! We are so glad we did! What an amazing time. Between the delicious food, ship activities, shore excursions, entertainment and just relaxing , the cruise was amazing! Along with Robb's birthday celebration a highlight of the cruise was when Kevin and I got commitment ring s on one of our last days at sea. It was was a special moment for us. We figured after almost 7 and 1/2 years it was time.

 

We flew in a day before our Mexican Riviera Cruise and spent the day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Both of us had been to the studios when we were very young in the early-mid eighties. Since I had been to Orlando agazillion times, I was really looking forward to the unique Hollywood attractions. My only memories when visiting when I was six, was the parting of the seas and our tram being attacked by Cylons during the Battlestar Galactica portion of the tour. The day was great. A big thanks to Joey for helping make our experience so much greater, we really appreciate it! After a day at the park, we spent the night at our old friends Mark and Tom's house in Hollywood.

 

Onto the photos!

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So the next day Kevin and journeyed to the port to start the cruise. But we kind of got lost a few times in downtown L.A.! Will we finally make it in time to catch the cruise? Stay tuned!

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It was great seeing and hanging out with old friends.

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After a day at the studios, Kevin and I visited and stayed with my old high school friend Mark and his partner Tom.

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Thanks again to Joey for making our Universal Hollywood visit so much fun!

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While walking through the Universal Experience exhibit we came across this gem, a outfit worn in my recent t.v. obsession, Battlestar Galactica.

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Got a new credit. I enjoyed Revenge of the Mummy here because I didn't know what to expect. I liked the longer backwards portion but missed the ceiling on fire part. Overall a good ride.

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It was hot!

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I enjoyed Backdraft. It was like Twister without wind, but replaced with lots of fire.

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I was excited to experience a unique non-Florida attraction, Backdraft.

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War of the Worlds props.

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This photo is for Erik in Gainesville: a ship from Serenity and Firefly. =)

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The Psycho House and Bates Motel with a splash of Wooville.

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Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives.

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From the movie the Grinch.

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Good old Jaws.

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The cars from Fast and the Furious liked to dance.

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Kevin, who loves everything Jurassic Park, was happy to see props from The Lost World.

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The flash flood, an old favorite from when I was a kid.

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Entrance to the famous Universal Studios Tram Tour.

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The park rolled out the red carpet for our return!

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Universal Citywalk, Hollywood style.

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Along with Robb's birthday celebration a highlight of the cruise was when Kevin and I got commitment ring s on one of our last days at sea. It was was a special moment for us. We figured after almost 7 and 1/2 years it was time.

 

Congrats Eric and Kevin!

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Universal Studios Hollywood is a very interesting Park if you actually look at it as it is a movie studio with some rides unlike Orlando. Glad you had a good time though.

 

Congrats to the two of you as well! I hope there are pictures to get verklempt over, and I can't wait for the rest of the pics in general.

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So after a little bit of an adventure, we finally made it to the port and onto the ship. It had about 10 years since I last went on a cruise and for Kevin it was about 8 years, and wow have cruise ships gotten bigger! I forgot how much fun cruisin is! Our ship, the Mariner of the Seas, was gorgeous! The 14 decks consisted of a 2 story theater, casino, an ice skating rink, roller blading rink, mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, 3 pools, 7 hot tubs, a sauna, steam room, movie theater, fitness center, spa, 10 lounge,s agazillion bars, jogging track, a 2 story nightclub, 2 specialty restaurants, a full sized Johnny Rockets, a 24 hour cafe, 3 main dining rooms, library, internet cafe, arcade, kids areas and a basketball court. Cruise ships today are really floating resorts, like mini cities! Here are a few photos from the sail way party/first night and first day at sea. Enjoy!

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I'll end tonight's update with one of the first night's towel art surprise that was waiting for us when we returned to our cabin. Next up our port days in Mexico. Stay tuned!

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During a nice but breezy walk along the outside decks.

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Chuck gave a show on the stairs.

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Exploring more of the ship. The background painting of the woman is kind of freaky!

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Who knew TPR people could get dressed up!

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As do Chuck and Ginny.

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Guy and Alana looking good as always.

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During the first formal night. I guess we clean up ok.

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The cracked glass stairs in the Dragon's Lair Nightclub. Here Kevin re-creates a scene from Jurassic Park: The Lost World when Julianne Moore's character was trapped on a glass window that was cracking over a cliff. Oh only Kevin.

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But the main appeal to the Windjammer is the view while eating. I wish I could start everyday like this!

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The next morning we had breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe which featured a mile long buffet.

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It was a good way to end the night.

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It was a lot of fun!

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The first night at sea ended with a theme park like parade down the promenade,

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Trivia time with Kevin, Chuck, Ginny, Alana and Guy at the Schooner Bar.

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The other end of the Promenade.

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With Ginny, one of our great new friends we made on the cruise.

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A few of the decks. Here is part of the main promenade.

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Later in the evening we decided to explore some of the ship, starting with the very cool themed casino.

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Enjoying the sunset and our first drink of the day. I think I'm starting to disconnect with any worries from real life! =)

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It was great to see old friends and meet new ones! Stacy was super excited, while Reed kept a good watch for any icebergs that may lay ahead.

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We meet up with the rest of the gang for the sail-away party.

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First order of business when boarding the ship - you eat! This became a common activity the next week!

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I was looking forward to a week to disconnect from the crazy work stresses back at home.

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Kevin was super excited to finally get to the ship!

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Tonight's update: Cabo San Lucas.

Our first port was Cabo San Lucas. Kevin took a grey whale watching boat tour while I joined the group for some ziplining. This was very cool. I had never gone ziplining before. Being out in the baja area with lots of cliffs was a great place to first experience zipling. Thanks to Elissa for arranging this fantastic tour. Other than the ziplining, I didn't really get to see a lot of the area. But I did enjoy the large beautiful rocks that jetted out from the water along the coastline. These were really gorgeous especially during sunset. Onto the photos!

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The end of tonight's update with a dog towel. Stay tuned for more!

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What an awesome backdrop.

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Happiness.

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Sunset magic time.

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Me with a new friend.

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Senor Frogs was a popular place for a lot of the group. Here Stacy checks to make sure she is tall enough to drink!

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I highly recommend everyone experience ziplining at least once. Thanks again to Dan and Hano for this photo.

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It was awesome! Thanks again to Dan and Hano for this photo.

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My first time experiencing ziplining, Thanks to Dan and Hanno for this photo.

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Our ziplining group.

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TPRers gone wild in Cabo!

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At the port of Cabo.

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These were a beautiful sight to wake up to.

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To get on land we had to take a tender from the ship to shore, since the port was so shallow or our ship was too big.

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These are such awesome pictures Eric! They bring back such wonderful memories. Congratulations again to you and Kevin. It's about time "You put a ring on it!"

 

Alana can't wait to get down to Florida to visit all the new friends she met on this trip. We both loved having you, Kevin, Chuck, Ginny, Dave T. and Mare as our dinner mates.

 

I look forward to the rest of your report.

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Eric,

I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with you and Kevin. Hope to see you guys again soon.

 

Right back at you Ginny, please let us know if you are ever in Florida, we would love to meet up!

 

^ Thanks Guy! Whenever you, Alana and the kids are down in Florida, please let us know and next time we are at Dollywood, we will let you know!

 

And I echo what Guy said, it made the cruise more fun to have great people at our table we knew! Chuck, Ginny, Dave, Mary, Guy and Alana, you guys were all awesome!

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^ Thanks so much!

 

Our next port of call was Mazatlan, Mexico. Once again, similar to Cabo, the coastline was pretty with lots of large cliff and rock formations. While half the group did the off-road ATVing, we choice to relax with the other half by talking a sightseeing cruise and relaxing on a beach.

Later that day, we officially celebrated Kevin's birthday at dinner. While our waiter brought over a dessert with a candle, we found out that it was also Stacey's birthday too. So we had a lot of celebrating to do! We continued that night at the midnight poolside buffet and dance party. It was a blast! We ended the night at the usual late-night hangout, The Dragon's Lair Nightclub. Onto the photos!

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Tonight's towel art: a Rabbit. Puerto Vallarta coming up next, stay tuned!

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The night ended with group fun in the elevator.

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Chris teaches Alison some dance moves.

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The party moved to the Dragon's Lair Nightclub for more fun. Shots! Shots, Shots! was a popular song this night!

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Good times with good peeps.

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The dance attack Squad attacked a few victims this night!

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Partying at the midnight buffet and dance party. Here Kevin and Alana dance and sing to a little "Bad Romance".

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Kevin and Stacey, both born on the 13th!

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Celebrating Kevin's birthday at dinner.

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Back to our week-long home. =)

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At the beach in Mazatlan.

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After the sightseeing cruise we were transported to our beach portion of the tour via truck pulled by a tractor. It was interesting to say the least.

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A hightlight of the cruise was seeing these cute guys.

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During our sightseeing cruise in Mazatlan.

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Our next port, Mazatlan, Mexico.

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Our third and final port was Puerto Vallarta. This was our favorite stop. The coastline as with the other ports was gorgeous. Beautiful houses and resorts lined the coast. We took a 5 bus hour tour that included a city tour and a jungle trek to a place called "The Garden of Eden".

 

The Garden of Eden is famous because this was where the 80's Arnold Swartzenager classic movie, Predator was filmed. Once we arrived at the Garden of Eden we did a guided nature tour through the jungle. After finishing the nature tour we had lunch. Some of the group went swimming in a lagoon that was home to a natural waterslide and waterfall complete with a statue of the Predator, which we found quite humorous.

 

Something that we didn't know was that this area also had a ziplining course through the canopies. So we decided we had to do it. Like ziplining with the group in Cabo, this was a lot of fun. The course consisted of 12 lines, with the highest line being around 250 feet tall. But unlike the Cabo course, even though it was tall, it wasn't as scary. Because of the trees below and around you, you never felt as high up as the one in Cabo. The most memorable part of the day was when we were climbing the gazillion stairs between zip lines, when I heard a growling sound from the jungle behind me. The growling got louder and I heard the girls behind me scream. I never looked back! I ran up those steep stairs like I was in a Scooby-Doo episode, my feet never touched the ground! It turned out that a worker was dressed up as the Predator and was scaring the group. We had a good laugh! If you ever have the chance to visit Puerto Vallarta, do it! it is beautiful!

Onto the photos!

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Puerto Vallarta will be missed!

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Kevin agreed.

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Puerto Vallarta was a port I wouldn't mind coming back to visit.

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The beach near the port was pretty.

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So Kevin loves ziplining but hates roller coasters, weird huh?

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Ziplining near the base of the course.

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The lagoon area was very nice.

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The Predator lurks from high in the trees!

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In the jungle.

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Our guide putting out some wildlife on our nature tour.

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The nature tour had a real swinging suspension bridge.

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Part of our jungle trek tour.

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This was the cheesiest photo, we couldn't resist getting it.

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I end tonight's update with a monkey towel!

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My final update consists of our last 2 days at sea. We tried to experience all the ship had to offer. From ice skating and roller blading for the first time in over 15 years, a round of mini golf, having a late night snack at Johnny Rockets, to relaxing in the spa, I think sometimes my favorite part about cruises are the days at sea. There is so much to do, or you can do absolutely nothing!

 

Our personal big event was after looking in the ship's jewelry shop all week, we decided to to get commitment r ings. Both of us are not really big jewelry wearing type of people, but we found some bands that were simple and not too flashy, but nice. We figured the trip felt right and after being together for over 7 years, it was time. It was a special moment when we got them and a great way to remember the trip. We hope to have a commitment ceremony sometime in the next 2 years.

 

The last night of our cruise we all got together for a private cocktail party Elissa had organized to celebrate Robb's birthday. It was great having one last time where everyone was together. Later that night we ended the cruise with a TPR take-over of the Dragon's Lair Nightclub and danced the night away!

 

Thanks again to Elissa and her mom for organizing this fantastic trip and always being there to help answer questions for the last year and a half! Robb, thanks for having a milestone birthday and for making our photo DVDs, they are awesome! Hope you were able to relax on this trip! Thank you both to Robb and Elissa for everything you do, having this website and all the hard work that goes in it. You both are amazing. And a final thank you to everyone in our group. It was so great to hang out with old friends, getting to know other friends and meeting some great new ones, you all rock!

 

That's it, thanks for reading! I'm ready for another cruise!

 

-Eric

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Tanks again to our TPR cruise group, you all made the trip a blast! I miss you all and can't wait to do another one!

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Last night with towel animals.

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"Just Dance and it will be ok"

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TPR take over of the Dragon's Lair Club.

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Our table group (minus Dave and Mary) with our fantastic wait staff.

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All the birthdays celebrated on the cruise.

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Another birthday - BigMike!

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Our last night, we took over the stairs for this photo. I think our group looks pretty good!

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Kevin and Alana kicked my butt in mini golf.

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"Come on ride the train"

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Stacey was flying around the track!

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Even Chuck put on some skates!

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It was very cool view!

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Roller blading on the ship was fun.

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Dodge Ball was entertaining to watch.

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A late night snack at Johnny Rockets.

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In the dining room. "Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could. so somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good." Yes The Sound of Music was a favorite movie when I was a kid. Yes I'm a dork!

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After getting our commitment rings.

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Even though the rink was super small, it was fun!

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During our last few days at sea, we tried ice-skating out.

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And one final happy birthday to RObb, hope you had as much fun as we did. Thanks for letting us be part of your celebration! Thanks for reading!

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