Cruising on the Serenade of the Seas

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This Christmas we tried something a little different.  We hopped a flight to New Orleans and took a cruise to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas.  This beautiful 962ft ship would be our home for the next week and unfortunately we were forced to spend more time on board than out exploring exotic lands but that is no ones fault but that bitch Mother Nature.  Either way we still had a blast and enjoyed what good weather we had.

We launched out to New Orleans, but before we left we spent a night exploring the town.  I won’t get into great detail, one because everyone has a story or has heard a story from or about New Orleans (that is UNDOUBTEDLY TRUE) and two, I did not take my camera on our walk.  We originally went out to find a camera shop so I could pick up a new strap, that strap that I took off to shoot hockey and told myself to put back on before we left, yup that one.  We started our walk around 3pm and never made it back to the hotel to grab my camera until the early hours of the morning and by then I didn’t know what a camera was.

The next morning, as our heads were ringing, on a gloomy overcast spiting day, dodging construction equipment and the arsenal of fork lifts moving luggage we boarded our ship.  After we toured the ship and had our safety drill we were free to do what ever as we did a U-turn in the middle of the Mississippi river and headed out to sea.

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The Centrum that was the focal point of the ship, was a five-story bar/theater/gathering place that had a highflying show or concert every night.  The first day was a meet and greet with the Captain followed by an aerial performance by the Royal Caribbean dancers.

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We arrived to a beautiful day in Key West hustled around the island to see all the landmarks that everyone was already lined up to see.  We only had 4 hours to explore so there was no waiting in lines for us.  When we got to the Southernmost Point Buoy there must have been a 30 minute line to stand next to the most visited and photographed attraction in Key West.  No chance I was standing in line with a hundred sweaty travelers.

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Dont mind this guy, just passing though….

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Or this guy, A statue of a man painting a statue of a statue of naked people….

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Back on board the ship there was a 50-60’s night of music and dancing.  Led by our cruise director Topi and his crew, they put on a great show.

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Next stop was Nassau and snorkeling on Christmas eve but no cruise would be a cruise with out a belly flop competition and of course the fan favorite “Santa” from Wisconsin took the gold.

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When we went out in Nassau I only took out my Go-pro for some under water shots.  When we were in Key West I found a shop, that will remain nameless, that sold extension poles for the Go-pro. After breaking the first two I picked up I put them back on the shelf and high tailed it out of there.  So with no pole  I took every piece of hardware I had coupled together,  set it up for a 2 sec. interval shot timer and dove in.  There was a lot of fish and not a lot of coral but It was cool to try something different.

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An obligatory stop at  Senor Frogs for some drinks to get the salt out of our mouths and ease the pain of the Piranha street vendors.

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Before we left Nassau I ran out side to grab some shots of the ship at night and Atlantis across from us.

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Onboard the ship there was Christmas caroling by the staff and guests.

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We were excited to wake up early on Christmas and enjoy beautiful Coco Cay for the day…. Or so we thought.  We were greeted to the Island by an announcement by Captain Anders that killed the holiday sprit.  Due to high winds and 14ft swells we were unable to get off the ship and were forced to skip the Island and start our trek back home making for three LONG days at sea.  The staff scrambled to keep 2400 guests busy but they did a fantastic job. There was shows, bingo, trivia, movies, and of course the casino to keep our minds off the fact that we had to make a one day trip home into three.

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This damn game I’m sure you all know, is the devil.  I’m not sure if its the mesmerizing motion of the quarters or the fact that they defy the laws of gravity all together but were proud to say we beat the system and got 2 of those 20’s.  Sure we spent $600 and they renamed the casino after us but damn it we won…

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The Frankie Valli tribute band, The East Coast Boys, put on a hell of a show…

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My favorite act of the entire trip was a Comedian/Juggler named Randy Cabral.  He kept us both dying laughing the entire act as well as completely amazed… No joke. THE BEST!!!

Check him out: http://randycabral.com/

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Now this was a first.  I have never heard of the game known as Quest.  So with not much else to do we got to the club and got front row seats to watch and watch is what we did.  If you haven’t heard of this game either don’t worry I will explain.  There are unlimited number of teams up to 8 people and they are put on a basic scavenger hunt within the team.  The first team to RUN up to the host, Topi, and present the item gets points. Now with 47 or so teams in close quarters shit got crazy fast.

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Items in the hunt ranged from belts, fruits, men in women’s shoes and vice versa, bras, thongs, piercings, tattoos, hairy backs, things like that.  I must now make sure that you know that there was no cash prizes.  Again NO CASH PRIZES!

After 29 Quests the grandaddy of them all came.  A man dressed as a woman. The teams had 2 mins to change. What walked up on stage was disturbing.

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They were then asked to give their names and walk the cat walk.

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Now back to the professionals, as they put on their final performance for the trip.

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Now it was time to pack up and head home.  We pulled back into the soggy New Orleans port, I think it was named, Under Construction, and headed for the airport.

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On the way out we heard so many complaints but there is absolutely nothing you can do about the weather.  The food was wonderful and the crew was excellent. I absolutely recommend this ship to everyone.  Now back to reality….

 

 

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