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Our vacation began at (FNT) our flight left at 7 am. I had originally booked 12A & 12 C. But, when we checked in we were offered the EXIT row with seats 22A & 22C.
If anyone needs extra leg room this is the perfect spot. Being that I am 6?2? I could stretch out without a knee bend whatsoever. We were lucky that we had a tail wind as our flight made it to Orlando in a mere 2 hours 11 minutes. Once we retrieved our luggage from Deck 2 we headed down to Level 1 to catch the Hertz shuttle bus. We made one other stop before heading to the Hertz car showroom. it?s a quick 5 minute ride from the airport. The driver drops you off at either the GOLD or the Prestige drop points. We were dropped off at the regular customer drop point. ( Weeks earlier I had gone online and checked in using the Hertz #1 Club signup. What?s the difference? When we were dropped off at the office everyone stood in the rental line, Except me as I found the Hertz #1 Club line and I was the only one in it. So in less than 5 minutes I was off to C-37 to get my white SUV.) Only thing that was funny. When we got to C-37 it was a Mazda not a Toyota. So I went back to the line which was empty. The young lady asked what she could do. And I stated that my Toyota turned into a Mazda hatchback. Immediately the manager had me in another vehicle. J-25 and we were on the road. Very happy with Hertz?s service center in Orlando.
Now we are headed on the 528 toward Port Canaveral. Driving was light at 10 am to 11 am. One toll plaza along this stretch. $1.25 for our vehicle. We spotted the remains of many palm trees that had been burned right up to the highways edge. The swamps were so dry that the streams that had run through them were dry river beds. No wonder the locals are moving, looking for water.
We got to Port Canaveral and drove down to Cocoa Beach and ate at Taco Bell. Not very high class but it quenched the thirst and tummy. We then went to Ron Jons. I had barely made it in the front door when a salesman tried to sell me a timeshare. My wife came over and said NO THANKS its my turn.
We did not purchase anything but it is a nice shop. We drove along the beach all the way back to the hotel. It?s a nice drive. And you can see the pier. We headed to Radisson at the port. We checked in and we had a nice room 201, it?s a 2 room whirlpool suite. We changed our clothes and headed to the pool. The pool is not round nor a rectangle. More like a mushroom shape. With a waterfall separating the two areas. Along with a circular kiddies pool and an isolated Whirlpool for adults. We did not use the inside facilities, but the drinks at the outside bar could have been a little more potent for the money. We stayed in the pool for a few hours and then we got out and headed to dinner.
We ended up driving along the pier and Grill?s was packed. We wanted to go there but we could not find a parking spot nowhere. We drove down the pier and my wife spotted Fishlips. We got right in and went upstairs and got a port view sitting. We ordered their signature drink which was very tasty. It was like a colada with a Baileys additive. We found another great drink. And three foo foo glasses. My wife had a Mahi Mahi meal and I had a pasta chicken dish. Both were very good. We watched as two ships went to sea, Disney and Carnival and had we waited another 10 minutes we would have seen the RCCL Mariner pass by. We even got a free cheesecake with ice cream.
We headed back to the hotel and decided to try out the whirlpool.
After walking a little around the hotel we called it a night.
We woke up around 9 and I took the rental back to Hertz. Before I dropped it off I had to fill up the tank. Just a mere $12 versus buying the entire tank. They drove me back to the hotel and we walked around a bit and then headed to the main door to wait for the shuttle. Make sure you call a few weeks ahead of time to make sure you have a spot on the shuttle. The Radisson also has park and ride for the shuttles. Once we boarded the shuttle at 11:15 am we were at the ship with in a few minutes.
It was much nicer and easier to let someone else drop you off at the pier. We went right inside and make sure you have your Bahama card filled out. And being a platinum member we got to take the short cut line. There must have been 40 people in front of us but being that we have sailed before we got to go to the front. And then we were only at the counter for a short time as we had all ready filled out the Sail Pass form. Before we knew it we were standing in line waiting for our pics to be taken for the Sea Pass Card.
Once onboard I got a drink special with a flashy glass. We also purchased the Coke cups. We next headed to the Windjammer for lunch.
There was ample room in the Windjammer and the food was good the entire cruise. We then headed to the pool deck where we found two chairs next to the pool. The pool was netted off, and the second pool was being refurbished. By the end of the day they had a nice new paint job for the entire pool.
At 1 pm the rooms were opened and we headed to our room. 7550. We were a mere 3 rooms from the nearest door to the deck. So we had a great balcony which was public but it made the trip special. For this trip being our FREE cruise the room was very nice for $56. However the tile in the bathroom was lifting in many places. And a strange odor was coming from the drains so we kept a towel over the drains. Our bags arrived before 3 pm which is great compared to Voyager class ships were it may be 8 pm before you see your luggage. We headed back to the pool deck until around 4 and then we went to get our life jackets for muster drill. By 5 pm we were heading out to sea. We stayed on the pool deck for a while and then headed to our cabin to get ready for dinner.
We went to dinner and table 22 was empty. But then along came Gene and Theresa from Panama City, Fl. They were a very nice couple. Then after a short time three others showed up. They had requested early sitting but there was a mistake. They were from California.
Oliver was our waiter from India. Our assistant waiter was nice but, my soda was empty longer than it was full. Oliver was funny and enjoyable. I think we had a Head Waiter on Day One and Day four.
The food in the dining room was good and the service was overall good.
We saw the show on Day one and Rodney Johnson was a great comedian. If you want to lose weight by laughing go and see his show.
By midnight we were ready to find our Cabin.
We ordered room service for 7 am and our Coffee and Tomato juice arrived promptly at 7 am. Very good. We arrived at CoCo Cay by 8 am but the gloomy skies and rain made everyone wonder what the day would hold. We went up to the Windjammer for breakfast and many were talking ?Where is the sun?? We went to our room and gathered up our snorkeling gear and headed to Deck 2. There was a long line but within 20 minutes we were on the tender heading to the island. There were good 5- 7 foot seas. Once we got to the island we found some chairs and parked. Then came the chit-birds. They were grabbing food and dropping there loads. When we were in the line of fire we moved to the outer rim of the snorkeling area.
We snorkeled twice and got some good pictures of fishes. After we swam around we went to lunch and then headed to the ship as it was a mostly cloudy day. We did some onboard shopping and I bought a very nice Citizen Professional Divers watch for $209 and we did play in the casino a few times. They now have it on the Sovereign that you can earn points for how much you spend in the casino for added gifts. 150 points gets you a free drink up to $10 and 300 points gets you a Casino T shirt.
We went up to the Windjammer and watched the sail away from CoCo Cay.
Tuesday night was formal night and also the Captain?s Welcome aboard reception. FREE CHAMPAGNE.. Don?t miss it. Drink quickly as in 30 minutes they turn off the flow.
Next came dinner and when I came to our table there were 4 Kentucky Bells sitting at our table. It turned out that these lovely four ladies had asked for a large table but they were seated at a four top and thus could not meet anyone new. So here we had, Wanda, Libby, Darlene and Ruth. And they were a wonderful addition to our table. We lost the 3 from California as I assume they found a table at early dinner.
Tuesday night ended pretty much after dinner. The Captain did however pour on the juice and we docked at Nassau on Tuesday night around 10 pm. He did this as we pretty much had a rain day on Tuesday and this way people could explore Nassau at night. Many got off and headed to Senor Frogs.
On Wednesday morning we woke up at 7 am to room service then got dressed and headed to the curb to await the Stuart Cove?s shuttle. I have been waiting for this dive for weeks. We spotted the shuttle and ran over to it and it was misting at the time. The driver said that the snorkel had been cancelled due to the weather. So we headed back to the ship and to the Windjammer for breakfast. While we were eating the skies opened up and I thought it was Monsoon season. The rain was coming down sideways. At first I was bummed about not having the excursion however when the rain let loose I was a little bit happier. We had seen many excursions leave on boats for snorkeling and the glass bottom boat also and everything was cancelled after they headed out then turned around and headed back in. It was an all day rain. We went to Bolero?s for a Name that Song Contest. We were teamed up with Champs as we took first place but I do not remember answering any questions. My hat goes off to that other couple. We won RCCL pens.
After that we headed to Nassau in between the showers. We bought 3 shirts, 1 shot glass, one Del Sol bag and then we ended up at Senor Frogs. I had a Yard in a half of drinks and my BH had a half of a yard. Then we stopped at the Straw Market before returning to the ship. We stayed in port until midnight and it just would not stop raining.
That night dinner was wonderful and Darlene even had an Italian stallion as a shot. We were looking forward to sun for our Sea day.
The next day Thursday?..the Captain found Sunshine. The pool chairs were claimed by 9 am. We went to breakfast at the Windjammer and then headed to our saved chairs. We did the pool scene all day. Drinks were flowing and I think we may have been sailing along at a mere 5 knots. Very smooth day and we were under blue skies all day. We were invited to the Viking Crown Lounge for the Platinum / Diamond get together. We were drinking champagne and Eyeopeners by noon. And eating salmon and scrumptious goodies.
I had to bolt by 1230 pm as the belly flop contest was scheduled for 1245 pm. And being a silver medallist from the Navigator I had to enter. After the first flop I was in 1st place. But then those that whimpered out in the first round hurt themselves in the 2nd round. But out of no where the Belly flop was won by a 6?4? female that absolutely had wonderful form on the 2nd flop.
You can see pictures at http://community.webshots.com/user/michigancruisers
I should have the Sovereign uploaded by next weekend. As I only took roughly 800 pictures in 6 days.
Well we stayed at the pool until nearly 5 pm and low and behold my skin color changed from slightly red to beet red. It was a wonderful day at sea that clinched the end of the cruise.
We packed versus going to the show but we did go to dinner and then won some money in the casino at the Black jack table and slots. I think after the rain days they loosened the slots up.
We headed to the cabin around midnight as 6 am would be coming too quick.
Well its 6 am and the ship is off the coast but land is in sight. By 630 we were headed into the port and by 7 we were against the dock. We were lucky to get beige #1 which meant first off. All Platinum and Gold members get off together after having coffee, tea, juice in the Conference room along with pastries. Hats off to the Crown and Anchor ambassador and her assistant. We got off and went to immigration and customs at the same time. Next thing we knew we were looking for our luggage. Once we found the luggage we headed to the Hertz van for a ride to the Cape Canaveral site. We were in our SUV by 8 am and on the road. 1st stop breakfast. McDonalds?.Strange in Florida Biggie sizing only gives you a bigger drink but not another hash brown. It must only be a northern thing. We stopped along the highway to take one last look at the Banana River before heading toward Orlando.
Since we were 12 hours from leaving on our flight we headed toward Universal Studios. We decided to do the City Walk. It costs us $1.25 at the first Toll, $.75 at the second and another $.75 at the third toll. No wonder there are call boxes along the highway. They can afford it. At the end of 528 you head north on I-4 to get to Universal at exit 75. It costs $10 to park. Then we walked around in all the shops and stores. We ate TCBY and then had lunch at Jimmy Buffets and the Volcano Nachos is enough for 2-3 people. And I ordered that plus a Cheeseburger in Paradise. Wow was I full. We left the park around 3 and made it back to the Hertz Service center by 330 pm and after checking in we were on the shuttle and at the airport by 345 pm. We had to wait until 435 pm to check in as our flight was not until 835 pm. We paid extra to get business class but I did enjoy the bigger seats. However the exit row gives you more leg room.
Well we walked the mall for some time before heading to our terminal. Once we got to our terminal we ate dinner and then waited for our flight. We were onboard by 815 pm and we left at 835 pm and we landed at 1103 pm. At the gate by 1106 pm and headed home by 1120 pm. It was too short. When do we leave again? I will sail Sovereign again.. Arvids