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P. 131: Disney Wish "Grand Hall" details teased!

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Part II: The Drinks!

 

As responsible adults, we like to have a few cocktails every now and then, and we enjoyed trying several options over the 2 weeks we were sailing. By the end of the first week decided our favorite was the "Italian Tea". It definitely was the most bang for you buck! Two of those and you are either warm and fuzzy inside, or, (if you drink them too fast), leaning over the railing on deck 12. Use with caution!

 

Here is most of the cocktail menu:

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The Pyrat Rum Runner was also quite tasty.

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I also tried a Goombay Smash, which was a little too fruity tasting for me, although there was quite a bit of booze in it.

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You know, I really don't recommend ordering any of the drinks on this page because of the martini glasses. If the ship is moving at all, half of it will be spilled by the time it gets to you, and then you will spill half of it every time you pick it up or set it down.

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Nonetheless, I DID have to have one Cosmo, which I drank in honor of all my Flamingo Friends from TPR.

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See the picture on the right? Ya, that's what will happen.

 

One tip I can give you if you want to get strong drinks and good service is to order directly from the bar, and always go back to the same place and the same bartender. A little extra tipping doesn't hurt, either, but is not necessary since a tip is automatically added to the price.

 

And that's that! Sometime in the next few days, I will begin posting some pics of the ports of call. Stay tuned!

 

P.S.: Anyone hungry or thirsty now?

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Source I really like this idea. My wife and I have always wanted to try a cruise mainly to relax and for the food. Feels almost like a starter pack for people who aren't too sure about the cost o

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^Great report!

 

We've actually been told that since a lot of the staff on board the ships are either vegetarians or don't eat red meat that you can usually get some pretty good stuff! I've found the pasta selections and Asian dishes pretty good in the past.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm sailing on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas on Friday for a quick little 3 day weekend cruise to Nassau and back. Anyone ever sailed on this ship? Any tips on really enjoying a Royal Caribbean cruise? I know it's one of the oldest ships in the fleet but it has decent reviews online. This will be my second cruise and first with Royal Caribbean and it should be a lot of fun. I'll try to stay sober enough to take a few pictures to post here (quite unlike my wedding party cruise in January).

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I'm sailing on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas on Friday for a quick little 3 day weekend cruise to Nassau and back. Anyone ever sailed on this ship? Any tips on really enjoying a Royal Caribbean cruise? I know it's one of the oldest ships in the fleet but it has decent reviews online. This will be my second cruise and first with Royal Caribbean and it should be a lot of fun. I'll try to stay sober enough to take a few pictures to post here (quite unlike my wedding party cruise in January).

 

The Monarch is a cool ship, even if it doesn't have all the fancy schmancy stuff that the newer ships have, (like an ice-rink). Think of it as a well cared for old limousine. The best way to enjoy the cruise is to take advantage of all the activities that are offered. We had so much fun playing the trivia games, like Name That Tune, and the like, as well as seeing the shows at night, and eating eating eating. Gosh, don't go on a cruise to lose wait, that's for sure! We were on the Monarch for our first cruise last November and really enjoyed it. I made some videos of the stuff we saw and did. Here's one about Royal Caribbean's private island: Coco Cay. It's really beautiful there!

 

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Oh, I just realized you may not even be going to Coco Cay. I assumed all of the Monarch's itineraries went to the island, but since you didn't mention it... ARE you going to Coco Cay, or is it just Nassau and a day of cruising?

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No Coco Cay is on the itinerary, we sail from Canaveral to Nassau, have full day in Nassau, a day at Coco Cay then back to Canaveral. I watched and subscribed to you youtube page Morgan, great stuff there, really helped out a lot!

 

Do you remember at Coco Cay if you could snorkel for free if you had your own gear with you? And did you try to Jade upcharge Asian restaurant t on the ship?

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No Coco Cay is on the itinerary, we sail from Canaveral to Nassau, have full day in Nassau, a day at Coco Cay then back to Canaveral. I watched and subscribed to you youtube page Morgan, great stuff there, really helped out a lot!

 

Do you remember at Coco Cay if you could snorkel for free if you had your own gear with you? And did you try to Jade upcharge Asian restaurant t on the ship?

 

 

Thanks for the compliments. I learned a lot from watching Robb and Elissa's videos, so let me just give them credit where credit is due

 

You can totally snorkel for free if you bring your own gear, the only thing they require you to rent from them is the life-vest. I don't remember how much that costs, but I think there is a price sign in the video somewhere.

 

We did not try Jade on the Monarch, however we did do the up-charge Portofino on the Mariner and it was pretty darn good. The desserts alone made it worth the price, however my opinion about up-charge restaurants on cruises is this: You've already paid so much for the cruise and they are basically throwing good food at you in the buffet, pizza place, and main dining room, so why pay more? We went to Portofino in the middle of a two week cruise just to break up the monotony and for a "romantic getaway", but I don't see it as a necessity in order to get the most out of the cruise. It's just a way for RCI to get more of your money! So, if you really love asian food, or if you want to have a "special" dinner, then go for it.

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Meh, all lines have failed or came very close in the past. Cunard is managed by Princess Cruises and is owned by Carnival Corporation, so you better bet it will be taken care of. Probably already has been.

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  • 2 months later...
08.25.11 - Anchor Dropper Agrees to Plead Guilty

 

Rick Ehlert is a 44 year old California man with a bit of sailing experience. Last November he was aboard the Holland America Ryndam - enjoying a few cocktails. For reasons that remain unknown, probably even to Ehlert himself, he stepped through an unlocked door that was clearly marked "Authorized Personnel Only" and found himself on the rope deck at the stern of the ship. This is a technical area where only crewmembers are allowed.

 

Ehlert then spent the next 12 minutes going through an elaborate process that he knew would result in a free-fall for the ships 18-ton anchor the entire length of its chain. Ehlert admits that he has sailing experience - his own 50-foot boat. A surveillance tape shows that he deliberately performed the elaborate process of putting on a pair of work gloves and finding and using a wrench to set the anchor free.

 

Once he managed to loosen the latch holding the anchor in place he allowed the anchor to "free fall" fast enough for rust to fly from the anchor's chain all over the deck area.

 

Ehlert had no idea what was going to happen after the anchor dropped, but it could have been catastrophic. The anchor could have caught a hard spot in the ocean floor and caused the ship to turn suddenly - tipping radically and causing furniture and people to topple over throughout the ship. Or the ship's hull might have ripped open, flooding at least one compartment and doing millions of dollars in damage.

 

At the very least - the anchor could have destroyed miles of coral reefs which have taken thousands of years to grow. Or it could have just reached the end of its chain and broken off.

 

Everything Ehlert did was caught on a surveillance camera - and so there is no way for him to deny his actions. His only excuse is that he was drunk, but he knew what he was doing. It isn't like he was lighting a cigarette and accidentally leaned against the "anchor down" lever. He admitted that he owned a 50-foot boat with a similar anchor system, and just for fun he also threw a lifebuoy over the railing.

 

Now Ehlert has thrown himself upon the mercy of the court by agreeing to plead guilty to a felony charge of attempting to damage the ship. The plea agreement was filed August 18 in U.S. Federal Court and it means that Ehlert could face as many as 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

 

Fortunately, the ship, which carries 1260 passengers and 560 crewmembers, was in deep enough waters that the anchor caused no damage. Crewmembers were able to restore it to its proper position within a matter of minutes. Ehlert confessed to the crime to FBI agents and Coast Guard investigators at the end of the Western Caribbean cruise sailing roundtrip from Tampa.

 

Is being drunk an excuse for his actions? It took him 12 minutes and the use of work gloves and other tools to accomplish this deed. It isn't exactly the kind of thing one does as a joke - niot when you have sailing experience. Something tells me this is one "prank" that won't be taken lightly.

 

Link

 

Your honor, I'll take possession of this idiot's private yacht while he's sitting in prison, thanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So Carnival announced some of their "Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades" in an effort to compete with many of the things that RCCL has done recently to plus up their ships. I have to say I am very happy.... since it will not tempt me to go on Carnival again...

 

It starts off sounding promising...

"Fun Ship 2.0 is the largest and most ambitious initiative that our company has ever undertaken and it will serve to significantly transform the Carnival vacation experience for our guests," said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. "Through breakthrough partnerships with some of today's biggest talents and most popular entertainment brands, plus our very own new branded experiences and on-board destinations, Carnival fans and those new to our cruises are destined for an incredible vacation experience."

 

aaaaannnnndddd..... goes downhill from there.

 

Through its partnership with comedian and TV personality George Lopez, Carnival will bring even more laughs to The Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez. As Carnival's "curator of comedy," Lopez will act as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of comedic talent in one of the line's most popular nighttime entertainment options, and advise on decor, lighting, music and more to enhance the overall comedy club experience. Hilarious pre-recorded voice and video messages from Lopez will welcome guests and club patrons, and a new Punchliner Comedy Brunch will keep diners laughing with live comedic entertainment in the line's main dining rooms. Over the next year, the revamped clubs will roll out fleetwide, creating laughter during multiple shows each voyage.

 

I know comedy is very subjective... but I don't particularly care for George Lopez. And a comedy brunch... WTF?!??!?!?!!?

 

At Guy's Burger Joint, Carnival and successful restaurateur, cookbook author and television star Guy Fieri have come together to cook up the best burgers at sea, and best of all, they're free! Guests have a choice of delicious fresh-off-the-grill burgers designed by Fieri, or they can make their own at a condiment bar by adding a variety of tasty toppings. Burgers are complemented by hand-cut fries. For lunch, a snack or dinner, guests can drop by this laid-back poolside dining venue modeled after a road-side burger joint off an iconic coastal highway.

 

Ugh!!!! Guy Fieri!?!??!?!?!?! They really are catering to the Nascar and Busch Beer crowd. I mean, celebrity chefs are almost as subjective a taste as comedians....but come on!

 

Next few things are pretty meh...not really game changers..

Under license from Hasbro, Inc., Carnival will create Hasbro, The Game Show, a new series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the popular Family Game Night television show from The Hub. Hasbro, The Game Show will put guests right in the middle of their favorite Hasbro games. Six main games are to be featured: Sorry Sliders, which involves a giant shuffleboard court; Simon Flash, where two teams of four guests wear giant light-up color boxes and must shuffle themselves quickly to repeat a color sequence; Yahtzee Bowling, with a giant ball and larger-than-life-sized bowling pins; Operation, which is set up like a skee-ball board where contestants try to get the balls into different slots on the "patient's" body, and Connect 4 Basketball, which uses a basketball setup rather than the traditional checkers to play.

 

Carnival has partnered with EA SPORTS, the leading sports videogame brand in the world, on an exciting new sports bar concept. Designed to be the ultimate hangout for sports fanatics, guests can play their favorite EA SPORTS videogames, watch live sports on a massive video wall comprised of 16 different 46-inch big-screen displays, and keep up with real-time sports scores 24/7 live on the ticker. Whether challenging their sports knowledge during daily trivia contests, competing in EA SPORTS videogame tournaments or just catching the latest sports action, patrons can enjoy a full drink menu and popular sports bar snacks.

 

Shorts and flip flops are welcome at Carnival's two new fun and relaxed poolside destinations. RedFrog Rum Bar offers guests the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with a pool-side version of the popular Caribbean themed RedFrog Pub, which debuted on the Carnival Magic. It will specialize in refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival's private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red. Just across the deck will be BlueIguana Tequila Bar, providing a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and specializing in delicious tequila-based frozen drinks and Mexican beers. Live music will fill the area as performers will entertain patrons at both bars, along with those enjoying fun in the sun by the pool.

 

To cure what ails you, Alchemy Bar is Carnival's vintage-themed cocktail "pharmacy," the go-to spot for guests who are seeking a unique experience with interesting drink flavors and ingredients. Carnival's expert mixologists will "prescribe" concoctions from different fun categories or guests can also try their hand at creating their own custom cocktails. Meanwhile, The Library Bar is a new intimate cocktail lounge featuring bar service and automatic wine dispensers, ideal for guests seeking a more relaxed and quiet venue.

 

and ONE MORE THING!

 

Carnival is expanding on its wide array of dining options with exciting new venues that focus on free favorite foods that are highly popular among guests including burgers at Guy's Burger Joint and fresh Mexican cuisine at the new BlueIguana Cantina. This complimentary poolside dining destination offers guests freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas they can make their own with a variety of salsas and toppings. Hungry vacationers can also watch the tortilla maker create fresh wheat and jalapeno tortillas, then enjoy three types of tacos with a variety of toppings, and three kinds of burritos with fantastic fillings, plus chips and salsa.

 

It's interesting that they are trying to push the "FREE FREE FREE" as a contrast to up charge restaurants on Oasis and Allure. I'm assuming its the same type of technique that SWA uses where the costs are baked in to an increased fare.

 

Oh, Carnival....

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Guy Fieri, George Lopez, and EA Sports? Wow, so if they weren't already locked in as the "white trash Coors light drinking" cruise ship line, they just wrote that reputation ticket right there!

 

My response: "No thank you!"

 

--Robb "I'll stick with RCCL, Disney, NCL, or just about any other cruise ship line out there..." Alvey

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^^Reed, I almost emailed you that article last night! I sent it to Robb with a note "Look, no reason to ever go on Carnival again!"

 

Seriously, this is great for Carnival as it further defines their target audience. And their target audience is not me or my family!

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Carnival gets few 2nd-time cruisers, and virtually none that go a 3rd time. I guess they are comfortable with that.

What's kind of sad about that, is that, other than the booze cruisers, I hear a lot of people who are turned off from cruising because they did a Carnival ship first. Can't tell you how many times I've heard "Oh, yeah, I did a Carnival cruise, and cruise ships aren't for me", assuming that all of the cruise lines are just like Carnival.

 

It's kind of like people who are turned off from roller coasters because they've only been on Manhattan Express.

Edited by robbalvey
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Guy Fieri!?!??!?!?!?! They really are catering to the Nascar and Busch Beer crowd. I mean, celebrity chefs are almost as subjective a taste as comedians....but come on!

 

If they could get food that tastes like the places Guy features on "Triple D", then it would be very good news for Carnival. Guy features good food on his show. But since this is just a "menu designed by" arrangement, it probably isn't that special: Pre-formed, frozen burger patties, I'd wager.

 

On the other hand, would it make sense for Carnival to hire someone good? "Carnival Cruises: Now With Food By Ferran Adria" would be totally WTF.

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This is amazing. It's like they sat down and said "what's the worst crap we can come up with?" and then did it! The only thing they missed was some sort of pool filled with Bud Light surrounded by statues of NASCAR drivers. Or a ship-board WalMart.

 

dt

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Seriously, this is great for Carnival as it further defines their target audience. And their target audience is my family!

 

Fixed that for me. More Corona then Bud-light (but both at every family party) sounds like this will be a hit out on the West Coast (which is mostly Booze Cruises that sell anyway, right?) with the Latino crowd.

 

In other news, I'm so FUCKING excited for my first cruise (AND it's NOT on Carnival) in 11 days!

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