Author Topic: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019  (Read 261 times)

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Carolyn Jane

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Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« on: August 25, 2019, 08:48:34 PM »
Armonic Experience  25 Aug  - 2 Sep 2019
MIA - Roatan - Costa Maya - Cozumel - Key West - MIA

25 August  JAX - MIA.  Sunday.  We were off to JAX by 0900.  So faar no rain.  Drive was uneventful.  Found a good space in long term covered parking.  Going to cost a bundle, but certainly a lot less than cruise port parking.  Checked in at the gate - had checked in for flight online, had boarding passes on phones as well as printed.  Got 'valet check' tag for rollaboards.  Actually, we could have checked them for free from my credit card, or at the gate because bins on this 1x2 plane are not large enough for even rollaboard suitcases. 
 Plane left on time, arrived on time.  It was raining in Miami, lightly.  As we glided into Miami I had a good view of the port and Breakaway in for turnaround, and Grandeur on a port call.  Made our way to the terminal exit and called for the shuttle to the hotel.  Did not have to wait too long.  Not much longer than it took me to get through in the first place. 
Checked into the hotel, this year Hampton Inn Miami Airport East.  Room is kind of minimalist.  Missing a lamp in the corner by the couch.  Bathroom has a barn door that slides to close the closet or bathroom.  No nightlight in bathroom.  Must remember not to leave mine behind. 
I went back down to the desk to register for the shuttle to the port.  $12pp.  Probably what a cab would cost.  We are not in to Uber or Lyft yet.  Also got a list of suggested dining in the area. 
Took a nap as we had a baseball game on, and when I awoke there was a thunderstorm going on.  Hard to tell if I was hearing thunder, or the landing path for the airport had changed. 
Got on my ipad and browsed through the menus for the suggested venues.  Lots of focus on Cuban cuisine.  We settled on a sports bar, and it was good.  The hotel called a cab for us, and when we got there the driver gave me a card.  When we were done, we went out and I called the company and they were there in five minutes.  It was raining again.
Back in the hotel, we are again watching football.   
I think airports are cutting down on a/c.  Definitely not cold in JAX, and the plane could have been a tad cooler.  Coldest place was the terminal for gate 60 in MIA.  We always freeze there waiting for our flights home.  As we entered, a lady walked by with a blanket around her.  The hotel lobby is cool, as is the room, but the hallways are hot!  Had a new experience in the elevator.  You have to wave your key card over a spot on the wall before you can punch in your floor. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 07:15:14 AM »
Our ship awaits   :bounce: ;D


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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 07:15:14 AM »

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 12:01:54 AM »
26 Aug 2019  Miami   Early morning for me.  Up before 7am.  Awake earlier than that.  We hav been down to breakfadt, which was standard hotel fare, and crowded.  We should have waited 20 min.  Lots of table hogs, like in the buffet...  Bet a lot of them are on the 1000 shuttle to POM.  Sunny day, although there was rain about 0600. 
Later.  This has been a most interesting day.  We got the 11am shuttle to the port.  There was some confusion about paying, as when I booked it he said they could charge it to my hotel bill, and I said okay.  Apparently he was supposed to give me a voucher, and she finally got it from them..When I checked my bill later in an email, they had not charged me for it, and the room charge was quite a bit less than I was told when I reserved...
We got to the port about 1130.  The shuttle had two other groups that were going to Carnival Victory, so they let them off first.  We walked around to the front of the building and right in.  No lines at all.  They waved us to the not too long line, but when I said Black Card we were waved to a line that wasn't - just us.  We went through security and Mary's hip didn't ding it.  And I didn't have to take out my computer.  Then up the escalator and the long walk to checkin hall.  I don't remember this hall, and we only sailed MSC last Feb.  Of course, there was no Yacht Club tent out front, as Armonia doesn't have Yacht Club.  But it all seemed different.  No lines at checkin, and we were rolling right along.  Straight onto the ship, as we had priority boarding and they were already calling group 3, and by the time we were walking in, up to group 7.  The ramps were downhill...
We boarded the ship on deck 6, and walked aft some before we just collapsed into chairs along the windows opposite the casino.  We sat awhile, and Mary really needed something to drink, so we started aft again, and ran into a bar that was open, and they filled her bottle with ice and water.  Then we headed for the elevators to deck 11 and the buffet.  Which was a madhouse.  Not just the lines, but finding a table.  There was a place checking bags, but we just kept rolling ours.  We grabbed a table being vacated by a single guy, and I went to the buffet and got salad.  When I came back, Mary went and got soup and some salad and fruit.  She refilled her water bottle, and off we went, to find a less crowded place to sit and wait for our cabin to be ready.  They said they would be ready at 2pm. 
We took the elevator down and wandered through the Marco Polo restaurant and found our assigned table, 541.  It is a 9 or 10 top.  Depends on how they squeeze on the settings.  The restaurant is odd, as it is in two parts, separated by an elevator bank.  To get anywhere from it, you either have to take the stairs/elevator up one floor, or walk forward theough the other part of the restaurant.  Which we did. 
We found a lounge with lots of seating and sat for a spell.  Then I got up and went exploring farther forward, and found the White Lion Pub which is sort of a sports bar, and one of the screens had the US Open tennis on.  I also found the theater, and went in to take pictures.  There were a few people sitting in there, watching one of the performers practicing on the large hoop. 
I went back and rejoined Mary, and at 1:30 they announced that the cabins were ready.  WE came to the cabin, sat and rested and explored it, and then I unpacked.  There is lots of storage.  Even though it is quite small.  One odd thing is that there are quite large nightstands, but we can't use the storage.  They are fitted with lamps that the shades are hemispheres, and when the beds are together, the stands have the lamps against the side walls.  So there are doors that open and a shelf inside.  But when you split the beds, they put the side with the lamps under the window, and the doors are against the side of the bed and can't be used.  One could pull out the stands and turn them so that the lamps are back to back in the middle of the stands, and then have use of the storage, but I guess they thing people wouldn't like that...  I know it is hard to imagine, but I will post pictures.
After awhile, Mary decided she needed to eat, so she went up to the buffet.  I went out shortly after and headed for the gelato place.  I thought hey, I'm just on deck 9, I'll take the stairs op to deck 11.   Ummm...the nearest stairs only go to deck 10.  So it was take the elevator to deck 11, or walk forward to another set of stairs....  I took the elevator, which let me out by the pool area.  I went forward, taking pictures...It had started to storm earlier while we were eating, making the crowding in the buffet even worse as people couldn't sit outside.  It was still raining lightly, but there were kids in the play area and in the pools.  I found the gelataria and had the stracciatella (chocolate chip), which was pretty bland.  Not much taste to the vanilla part.  I then walked further forward and found the kids area (under threes, and over threes...), and the spa.  Then went down each deck, and glanced down the hallway to the Medical Center, which is on deck 7.  Odd, since they are usually below the lowest passenger deck. 
I walked back across deck 6 to the elevator closest to our cabin, taking pictures as I went.  When I got back to the cabin, Mary was in bed...a little bit teary.  Less than five hours on the ship and she had eaten something with her allergen in it.  Probably a roll.  She had eaten a little of a sandwich and realized she was having trouble swallowing.  Came straight back to the cabin for benadryl.  By this time it was 4:30, and muster drill was at 5:15.  But we made it okay. 
Muster on Armonia is out on deck under your lifeboat (like on HAL).  We were station W.  They go all the way to Z.  Of course, they were scanning cards to make sure everyone attended, but some didn't, so immediately after they announced a drill in the business center for those who missed it...
We had time to relax a bit before going to dinner.  Hmmm... No dress code tonight.  LOTS of shorts, but then, a few who really dressed up.  During the evening we saw people in dresses that would certainly be called gowns.  There are several scooters...One of the waiters was having fun with one, which had been accessorized.  REd lights across the base at the back, a fan on the tiller, as well as a horn and rear view side mirrors, as well as one of those found green fans on the base pointing up.  He rode it up and down the dining room tooting the horn...
Our table was set up for 10, seven chairs and three on a curved banquette.  We took the banquette, as first there.  Three young girls and a fellow joined us, but then he and one of the girls went off, and when he eventually came back, he had arranged a whole table for a full group, and it was right next to us.  That left Mary and I, and an older man who had joined us.  Eventually, our orders were taken, and we were served pretty fast.  Hope some new people show up tomorrow.  Elegant night. 
After dinner, we wandered forward and through the shops which were now open.  There is one strictly MSC logo shop, small and crowded.  There is an apparrel shop that seems to be aimed at Europeans, of which there are a lot onboard.  Lots and lots of watches; the Inch of Gold will be available tomorrow...  The jewelry store was packed, too.  We ended up in the White Lion Pub and watched tennis until time for the show. 
The cruise director dragged out introductions and welcomes too long, and Mary was falling asleep, so she left before the real show started.  I stayed and the show was pretty good.  Four singers, four male and six female dancers.  No cirque stuff tomight.  After the show, I wandered through the jewelry shop, then headed back to the pub to watch more tennis.  There is a decent singer there, and when she went on break, one of the staff came around with the opening round of progressing trivia.  Surprise!  I won.  Got 11 of 16.  Then it was time to come back to the cabin and start in on this opus. 
Before we left 'Verizon waters' I was able to upload all my pictures from my camer into Shutterfly via the app.  Glad I figured out how to do that, and had set up the folders ahead of time. 

I must say that the ship is beautiful, she doesn't look old and worn, although I believe she is from 1999 - although stretched at one point.  Still, she is smaller than the Fantasy class of Carnival.  I have a lot more exploring to do...
We gain an hour of sleep tonight.

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 12:17:50 AM »
27 Aug 2019  Tuesday, at sea.  Of course, I was up much earlier than Mary, and went up to the buffet for breakfast.  It was not terribly busy, so I was able to find a table.  I found that this ship does have cottage cheese, so I had some with fruit.  Along with eggs and sausage.  I went around taking more pictures, mamaged to find a machine working to register my credit card, and sat outside the Red Bar waiting for the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle to start.  I watched them set it up with the cake, and little plates of hors d'ouvres and martini glasses with chocolate strawberries.  We were offered drinks...chanpagne, mimosa, wine, bloody Mary.  I had the latter.  I think you could have asked for other things.  The cruise director welcomed us, and introduced some of the senior staff.  I joined a couple who were talking with the asst. hotel director, and he told us that at the end of next year, Armonia would be going to Tampa.  And that they hoped to have a dozen ships sailing in the Caribbean.  I suggested that the Armonia class was the ideal size to sail from many US ports, those that could not handle the larger ships because of bridges (Baltimore, Jacksonbille, Tampa and that the ships currently serving those areas are the oldest in their respective fleets...
We also had a chat with the head of housekeeping, and soon after, they were knocking on our door to remove the duvet (too hot) and replace with a top sheet.  They also delivered our chocolate ships, chocolate covered strawberries, and bottle of prosecco.  But back to the M&G:  they told us there are 1900 Americans onboard, and 900 Europeans.  Tonight at the show they introduced the senior officers, the captain (from the Faero Islands of Denmark) read a list of how many guests were from which countries.  Quite an amazing array.  Not all of the non-Americans are from Europe. 
I came back to the cabin after the meeting and Mary got sressed and we went to get her some brunch.  It was really crowded, and we ended up at a table outside.  There was a breeze so it wasn't too bad.  I went down to the pub and watched whatever was on the tV, although it wasn't tennis.  Did a little crocheting.  Came back to the cabin and got a little nap before we showered for Elegant Night.
I must say that this shower makes Princess seem roomy.  But it works. 
In the dining room tonight, there were still people trying to find their tables, and to change them.  There was a continual crowd around the Maitre 'd desk.  And people came it very late.  The people at the next table, some didn't show until 7:10, when dinner is at 6:30 for early seating.  I think many can't adjust to not having anytime dining.  We are to be only three at our table, unless someone asks for a change and are assigned to us.  We have a good view of the passing scene, and the dress code was nowhere in evidence.  Ragged short shorts and t-shirts alongside evening gowns.  And everything in between. 
We went from dinner back to the pub to watch tennis again, until time for the show, French Follies.  It ran a little late, as the captain took up so much time reading the list.  He has a sense of humor...or maybe that is humour...  Lot of dancing, not much singing, but the acrobats were there in full force.  After the show, we went back to the pub and did night 2 of the trivia.  Tougher tonight, very random, but I still won with 6 out of 15. 
We gain another hour of sleep tonight, not arriving in to Roatan/Coxen Hole until noon.  The captain said we are making good time because the chief engineer has figured out how to harness the treadmills to the engines to increase efficiency...

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 12:38:49 AM »
28 Aug 2019  Coxen Hole, Roatan, Honduras.  I went up to breakfast after 9am.  Still crowded at the Brasserie.  But I managed to grab a tables a a lady was leaving.  While I was eating, the captain came on and said that since we had had 25 kt winds and seas, we would be delayed into Roatan by 45 min.  But that he would keep the ship in port another hour and tours would not be affected.  We were due in at noon, already.  I finished eating and headed back to the cabin.  Mary headed up to find something to eat.  Before noon!  I rested a bit, and while I was sleeping we arrived in Roatan.

The port is outside our window, so I grabbed my cellphone and went out to get some pictures.  I wanted to get to deck 6 and go outside, so I went all the way aft where there is a door to the outside and a small deck area with stairs.  I went down to sseven, and there were a few loungers there, and a couple of people.  There were stairs down to deck 6, so I went down.  There were tables there, set for dining, a a couple taking pictures.  I think they belong to either la Pergola restaurant (Aurea and Fantastica Suite guests) or the Surf & Turf restaurant.  I didn't think I would dare go through those doors, so I went back up to deck 7.  There I went back down the inside stairs to deck 6.  I walked forward through the lounges but all of the doors either said crew only, or were tied off for 'high winds'.  I finally found one where the sign had been put aside, and was able to go out. 
It was still quite breezy.  I took pictures from the railing, lots of people gathered on the dock behind guides with signs.  The gangway was all the way forward. on deck 4.   From there, I went back inside and went up to deck 12 in the elevator.  I went to the railing and took more pictures, then went aft, taking pool area pictures (without people, wonder why...).  Aft, I went up to deck 13 and found the mini-golf course, and then went up the stairs to deck 14 and the basketball court.  Then it was time to go back to the cabin.  It was quite warm and humid.  The wind up top blew my visor off but I managed to catch it before it could blow away. Later, on the pier, we would see a man race across the pier to grab his hat before it could blow into the water.

I came back to the cabin and gathered Mary, and we went ashore.  I don't think there is much more here than there was the number of years ago when I was here before.  The upper level of the shopping mall is being renovated, so there is nothing there but a restaurant.  We did find t-shirts with lizards on them, and I bought a ring in Colombian Emeralds.  But it is not an emerald, just a silver ring.  We were hot an sweaty, so came back to the ship to cool down and rest. 
Supper was disappointing for me, as there were no entrees that I liked, so I ordered the always available New York strip steak.  I have been disappointed in MSC beef before, and this was no exception.  Not much taste, and very tough.  Half a dozen bites and the rest a waste.  But the appetizer and salad were good. 
Back to the White Lion to watch Serena Williams at the US open, then to the show.  The Addams Family.  Not much point to the show, the acrobats and juggler were out in force.  Then back to the pub for more tennis and trivia.  Guess what.  We/I didn't win tonight - we tied for the lead.  Bit I still lead the totals by 6 points.  By that time, it was 11:45 and we lose an hour sleep tonight.  Have to pay back what we borrowed last night.  Costa Maya tomorrow.  We dock as 0800, but we are there until 1730, so we will probably be off the ship after noon. 

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 12:38:15 AM »
29 Aug 2019, Thursday, Costa Maya.  We arrived on time, promising to be a hot day.  The cruise director said it was predicted to be over 100 degrees, or 35 Celcius.  35 figures to me to be 95, as 37 is our normal body temp of 98.6. 
I went to breafast, then took some pictures from the rear of the ship, then down on deck six promenade.  We are docked stern in, alongside NCL Breakaway, also stern in.  Her stern is a lot more imposing...as is her bow art.  MSC says it will be sending a ship to Alaska.  This would be a great class to use, as they have observation areas on the stern for nearly every deck.  But the top deck forward is Top 13, for Aurea and Fantastica Suites only.  Divina and her class have poor public viewing, and all forward areas are Yacht Club.  Seaside class might work...
I walked forward, taking more pictures of empty areas, then sat in the pub and watched Sports Center until tennis came on.  When I came up to the cabin, Mary was on the way out, thinking maybe I had gone on ashore, but we sat here awhile as my phone needed charging.  Using the camera a lot...
We are parked butt in, and they use the forward gangway.   It's a looong way to shore.  There is a little trolley if you can catch it.  It stops right as Breakaway's gangway, which is nearly halfway for us.  We were exhausted and sweating when we got to the port area.  We visited the shops, bought a couple little things, then found a table to have a Coke and people watch.  Refreshed, we wandered the shops some more, then headed back to the ship.  The trolley was full.  2 miles so far today.  My fitbit is happy. 
Back in the cabin, we have both showered, Mary is napping and I am aching.  I have dosed myself and hope it works. 
The captain made an announcement that they are monitoring the situation with Hurricane Dorian, but that all he knows is that we are going to Cozumel tomorrow as scheduled.  When he knows more, he will let us know.
We had the Black Card party tonight, and the captain spoke there, again.  Corporate and working on plans B & C.  He will have a conference call with them in the morning and we will know more then.  He expects the Coast Guard will close the South Florida ports and when we know that, plans will be put in place.  I seriously doubt if we do dock in Miami on Monday, that my puddle jumper flight to JAX will take place.  We could go into Tampa, she would fit under the bridge, but that might not be an option either.  Staying at sea would probably mean an extra two days, as Tuesday doesn't appear to look any better.  Maybe we could go to Havana...  Not sure how going in Sunday would help, weather would still be terrible.  So, it is an adventure.  We have food and shelter, might run a tad short on medications, though. 
The show tonight was excellent, Italian.  Lots of dancing, and really good singing.  One of the males is an operatic tenor.  Of course, they closed with Time to Say Goodbye, sung all in Italian. 
Off to the pub, and tennis.  But most of the matches that interest us were over,  Time for trivia.  Guess what - I won again!  13 out of 15.  One other team had 12.  Now it is off to bed. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 10:21:01 AM »
30 Aug 2019.  Friday. Cozumel.  We are still in the dark as to our course.  We are here in Cozumel until 8pm.  The noon update from MSC said a decision will be made tomorrow morning.  The storm seems to be slowing down, but showing Wed over JAX.  WE will be getting a lot of rain. 
I was up by 7am.  Pulled back one side of the curtains and saw nothing but water.  I had felt the vibration of thrusters and we weren't moving, so I knew we were docked.  I got out my ipan mini and checked on the hurricane and a few other things.  An hour later, I again looked out, and I was looking at the side of NCL Breakaway.  She left Costa Maya before we did, but we got here first...  We are docked at Punta Langosta, first time at this pier for me.  Seaside was supposed to be here when we were on her, but went to Puerto Maya instead.
I went up for pictures off the stern - we are docked stern in again - and looked at the buffet, and decided to go to the MDR instead.  I got seated, but it was 20 min. before they took my order, and I had to beg for juice.  There were lots of people running around with pastries, and coffee...  Food came pretty fast after ordering, juice took longer.  I had the special of Eggs Benedict on a biscuit instead of English muffin.  It was good. 
I wandered around and sat and watched some of Sports Center in the pub, then came back to the cabin.  Mary was still in bed, so I rested until the seward knocked on the door.  We decided it was time to feed her and go ashore.  Buffet was not busy and we had no trouble finding a table.  I filled my bottle with ice while she ate.  Then we made our way forward and down to the gangway. 
One of the worst parts for us is the long walk to the shore.  The piers are too long!   Here they had the bicycle pedi-cabs that work for tips, but we wanted the steps.  So once we get to the shops, we look for one that is well air conditioned with a place to sit.  We rest a bit.  This time, it was Diamonds International (DI).  There is a two level mall as you reach the end of the pier.  We walked areound both levels, then headed downtown.  We really didn't go into many shops, and finally reached the EFFY store, where I bought the earrings to match the ring and necklase I bought on the last cruise.  But I think I bought them in one of the EFFY shops at the other pier.  Mary bought a ring.  After that we were done, so we walked back along the malecon to the mall, where we stopped at Hooters and had cokes.  That rested us enough to make the walk back to the ship.  7500 steps, over 2 miles.  Mary has showered and I am cooling down.
MSC has adopted the Celebrity practice of cool washcloths and flavored water as you approach the gangway.  And chairs under a canopy.  But the washcloths don't have ice in them...  But they do the job.  As we were passing the NCL gangway heading for ours, the staff were singing and dancing the passengers down the red carpet.  It was really loud.  It seems to have stopped now, though.  Maybe they are leaving soon. 
Down at the other piers we could see Allure, Empress, and Carnival Freedom.  Glory was there, too, but she was hidden by Allure.   
Decent dinner again.  The rooms seem to be a bit cooler as the cruise goes on.  But one thing we notice is that everywhere seems to be humid, particularly our cabin.  A/C is erratic.  As you walk down our corridor to the forward elevators, you travel though areas where the A/C is much cooler than others. 
WE headed forward to the pub to watch some tennis until time for the show.  Show tonight was the Crew Show.  Some dancing and a lot of comedy.  They did their version of 'If I were not upon the sea...' and I didn't really realize what was happening with the first three people, because each was doing their thing in their own language.  I had just said to Mary that I thought that was what they were doing when the fourth person came out, and did it in English.  They finished with YMCA. 
Trivia again.  This time we didn't win, but we are still ahead of the other teams by ten points. 
We still don't know our schedule, are to find out about 9am tomorrow.  And we lose an hour of sleep again tonight. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 12:11:38 AM »
31 August 2019.  Saturday.  At sea.  Woke up and checked the MSC site for Dorian update.  We are now on a nine day cruise, on our way back to Costa Maya and Cozumel.  Reser my clock...  Now off to change flight home.
Interesting day.  About half and hour after I chacked the MSC website, the captain came on the intercom in the cabins and gave us the news.  It was then repeated in four of five languages.  Cruise director said there would be a meeting in the theater in a few minutes for all those speaking English.  Please send only one rep per cabin, as there re 1100 of us and only 550 seats...
I missed the very first part where he showed a graphic of the path of Dorian.  Then the captain further explained the decision.  The Coast Guard was closing the FL ports as of this evening.  They explored several options (not explained) and he was sorry that we couldn't go to different ports, but Grand Cayman would have too bad swells, even that far from the storm.  Plus they needed to take on fuel and could only do that at Costa Maya.  There would not be a refund of the port fees for Key West, but the ship would not charge us port fees for Costa Maya and Cozumel return visits.  In addition, they are not charging gratuities for the two extra days.  (I will give separate gratuities for those two days.).  If people really need to leave the ship before Miami, they will help them to leave in either port, although there is no airport at Costa Maya and it is a bumpy four hour ride to Cozumel.  In Cozumel they would pay for the ferry to the mainland.  You would have to wrestle your own luggage.  Everyone gets one day (24 continuous hours) of internet free.  They set up four more computers in the business center for those without access.  We will get new cruise cards for the last two days as the current ones are only coded for 7 days.  Accounts will carry over, though.  Don't know about the drinks packages and my wifi package...  They videoed the program and are running it on the TV in a loop.  Comprehensive letter under the door...  I'm sure I am forgetting something. 
I left that meeting and went up to the buffet for some breakfast, but I guess everyone had been wakened by the announcement, even though it was after 9am, and the place was packed.  The only crowded place on the ship...  So it was too late for the MDR and I came back to the cabin.   Went back up at 1230 and it was stil lpacked, so I went to the MDR for lunch.  Then came back to the cabin to boot Mary out to eat. 
Sat in the pub watching tennis in the afternoon, then back to the cabin for a snooze and to get ready for our second Elegant night.  Had prime rib, and it was good.  Passed through the past guest party, in larger venue than the Black Card party, and into the pub again for tennis.  Then to the theater for the show.  Don't know how they do it, but they always come up with some 'great' songs I have never heard.  Tomorrow night is MSC Crews Got Talent, and I think it is an add on/substitution, because that would ordinarily be the last night, and they do the Michael Jackson show then.  Apparently, there is no condensed opera on this ship.  Pity. 
Trivia again.  We didn't win again, but got 11 of 15, one other team got 12.  But we are still ahead by at least 10 points.  After the trivia was over, this young man came over to chat and ask how we knew so much.  He is off to college - in Canada, to be an electrical engineer and may miss the first day, as it is Wed.  We told him it is just a matter of having broad interests and following up on them. 
Back in the cabin, and I have reset the clock yet again.  I am going to have to try wifi calling tomorrow to get the flight changed.  I have had my TA working on it, but she called them and they said they want to talk with me as I was the one that booked the flights. 
The seas have been very calm, hardly any swells. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 11:15:07 AM »
1 Sept.2019. Sunday.  Key West.  Oh wait!  This looks like Costa Maya.  We were here two days ago!  We are docked on the stem of the T shaped pier.  We have company.  Allure is across from us, and Navigator of the Seas is across the top os the T.  With the shortest walk into town.  The little red trolley does not appear to be running.
I went up to the buffet and ate, then set about trying to get my airline reservation changed.  My TA is working on it, but not having success.  I tried to look for available flights Wed. and it was only letting me see options using points to pay, even to look up flights.  That was on the website for AA.  Then I tried the app, and it was showing flights but all prices were in NOK!  I tried to cancel the existing flight but the app kept saying I had to call, but wifi calling wasn't going through, it waid I was not connected to the internet, but I was.  Finally, I got a good quote and book a one way flight, just a little later than the original flight Monday.  Then I tried canceling again, and I must have tapped cancel flight enough times it finally went through, as I got an email saying the flight reservation was cancelled.  But shortly after I got an email saying I could now check in for that flight!  In the meantime the TA got back saying she was awaiting a call back from AA and posted the same flight as a possibility.  I emailed back I had already booked that flight.  Really, though...The weather looks doubtful for landing in JAX on Wed., but as long as I can get to the airport Wed. the rest is up to AA to fix.  If we have to stay in Miami for a night or two, it will be okay. 
I came back to the cabin about noon, and Mary was gone.  I waited a bit, then decided to go ashore, as as I was walking down the corridor forward, I could see her coming toward me.  She had already been ashore, so we went back to the cabin and chatted, then I left.  I took the long hot walk and stopped first at Diamonds International.  I asked the man at the door when they had got notice that there would be ships there today.  They were supposed to have four days off, next ships on Wed.  He said they heard Friday afternoon.  Everything ws open, lots of people in the pool.  I cruised the shops and found a keychain and cord necklace with my Mexico version of my Mayan birth sign.  Totally different from the Guatemala one.  This one says I am a snake, rather than a woodpecker, and has a date range like a zodiac sign.  Anyway, I bought each, and a necklace for Mary with her sign.  Total for three, $26. 
I wandered over to the pool, sat on the edge and dangled my feet in the water.  I was refreshing, but after awhile it felt warm.  I left and made it back to the ship.  Without the little trolley, there were shore people rolling people back in wheelchairs.  Don't know if there was a fee, or tips only.  Cooling down and a short nap, and it was off to dinner.
Dinner was okay, but my souvlaki was definitely mutton, not lamb.  (In the second night of trivia, one question was 'what meat is in traditional Irish stew?'.  The answer was lamb, and he wouldn't take mutton).  I really only wanted it for the vegetables. 
Off to the pub again for a little tennis, and then to the theater for the Crew Talent Show.  I think there were five singers and one bartender/ juggler.  Everyone was good.  Then back to the pub for music and quiz.  We did miserably, not the worst, but poor for us.  I really think he may be looking for questions we won't know.  But then, most of the others won't either.  Then it was off to bed. 
2 Sept 2019.  Monday, Labor Day (US).  This doesn't look like Miami...I think we are in Cozumel.   I was awakened at 0700 by a nock on the door.  It was the cabin steward handing out the new cruise cards and collecting the old.  Looking out the window, I could see we were docking.  But I couldn't tell where.  Checking that the new card worked in the door, I walked down the corridor to the back deck.  Okay, we are at Punta Langosta again.  Off to port were two Carnival ships waiting to dock, and further south was Navigator of the seas, with a Carnival ship already docked.  Soon I could see Disney Fantasy coming in from the north.  She is now docked across from us.  That makes six.  Where is number seven?  It is raining.  First bad weather we have had.  Maybe it will have cleared by the time (noon) Mary gets up.  We have to take the girls into town to visit the EFFY store. 
The internet quit on me last night so I couldn't post my blog, and I couldn't get on this morning.  But when I went down to the front desk, it worked.  It must be in my cabin where the problem lies.  Guess I will have to take the computer somewhere to upload. 




Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 12:28:33 AM »
Later.  I took the laptop down to the computer center area and was able to get things uploaded.  I also could see my pictures uploading to Shutterfly.  Much faster than anywhere else.  I hope to be down there tomorrow, too, but bet the net will be slow with people checking in for flights.
I went up and took a nap, as it ws still raining.  When I woke up, the sun was shining, so we took the girls and walked into town to EFFY.  We did a little minor shopping, too.  then had cokes at Senor Frog's.  There were only six ships here, not seven.  Back onboard, it was time to shower and dress for supper.  The captain came on to thank us for being back early so we could leave on time.  He tells us we are about to leave and will be debarking the pilot on the port side in a few minutes, wave goodbye to him. 

They apparently have only a seven day menu rotation on this ship and no supplies to concoct new menus for extra days.  So tonight, we had the menu for day one again.  The spring rolls were still good, as was the lamb.  Not mutton this time.  Off to the pub to watch tennis, and then to the show.  The CD said they had run out of shows so they had the crew talent last night, and tonight was one the entertainers had put together, rehearsing until 0200.  If so, they must have gone through the wardrobe to see what costumes they had, and chosen under the sea.  Lots of fine, scales, sea horses, etc.  Tumblers and aerialists.  No singing.  Before, the kids groups got up on stage and danced to Happy.  Back in the pub, trivia was hard again, we got 7 points, still ahead by a couple.  We will probably lose the last night.  I think we might have some rougher seas late tomorrow.  We are hopeful Port of Miami will be open Wed.
 I am pretty sure from the projected track of Dorian that they will not fly into Jacksonville on Wed., so I have made a hotel reservation in Miami for that night. 
WE lose another hour of sleep tonight. 




Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 04:13:57 PM »
3 Sep 2019.  Tuesday, at Sea.  Another eventful day.  I was awake early.  Still in bed around 0930 when the captain came on to say that we did not know yet if the port would be open to9morrow, but thought it would probably open this afternoon.  Debarkation papers with luggage tags appeared under the door.  Cruise director said there would be a briefing at 1000 in the theater, English first.  I got dressed and went.  It only lasted about 10 mnutes.  I wandered up to the buffet, but it was too crowded, couldn't find a table.  Second time around, i did manage to catch someone leaving.  Had my usual breakfast.  Wandered out to where the future cruise rep was, because I wanted to ask a question.  He was busy booking someone.  I should have asked him if there is any space on the 5 day that leaves tomorrow...  I really wantrd to know if you could really book a cruise today and sail tomorrow, as that is always a question on CC.  The poster says 'Book today, sail tomorrow'.  So yes, you can.  Then I sat around waiting for a group of Asian speakers to move from their extended conversation in front of the poster, so I could record the proof.
I went forward to the White Lion Pub where tennis was just starting, but there was no place to sit with a view of the screens.  I eventually ended up back in the cabin.  Mary was still in bed.  She finally got up to look for food, and the cabin steward wanted to check the mini-bar.  I said we used one can of Coke (Mary).  He left and I sat down with the ipad.  I got a text:  AA 818 cancelled from CLT.  CLT?  I'm not going to/from Charlotte.  So I went into the AA app, and found that, as I suspected, our flight tomorrow has been cencelled.  They had rebooked us, with a flight at 5:29p that went through Charlotte, arriving in JAX around midnight.  But the second part was cancelled.  I could accept that routing, of choose one of the other possibilities.  I chose the same flight on Thursday that we had for tomorrow.  So, when we leave the ship tomorrow, we will go straight to the hotel instead of the airport. 
Then I packed.  Mary came back and packed, and we both went down for naps.  We have been feeling motion, some rolling.  The captain came on to say that we were encountering some tropical weather, feeder band from Dorian, causing a lot of wind, 30 kts and to keep balcony doors closed and they were closing the outer decks.  Then he was back to say there was a medical emergency and a helicopter evacuation would take place in about half an hour.  No photo or video, please.  Came back later to say there ws a delay with the shopper from Key West, another 45 min.  So, here we are.  Bright sunshine. 
Captain Meinhardt Hansen came back to say that the Coast Guard have now reopened Port of Miami, so we should be docked by 0630.  We should be at the pilot station at 0445.  There will be nine (9) ships in POM tomorrow!



Carolyn Jane

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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 05:43:06 AM »
Later.  I have not felt totally well today - think I have developed an attack of diverticulitis.  Dosing with Acetominophen and Ibuprofen.  Didn't bring antibiotics this trip, haven't had a treatable attack in 2 years.  Went to supper:  repeat of day 2 menu.  I had an app - teo really as I had the eggplant parmesan app as my main and ice cream.  Went to the pub and saw that Serena is into the quarterfinals.  Did not go to the show, as it ws to be a reprise of some of the favorite parts of the shows we had seen.  They have really hustled to fill two extra days. 
Then it was time for trivia.  We were only mediocre, and only came in second, but that was fine, as I didn't want any of the prizes he was giving:  a bottle of prosecco - mwe have one sitting in the cabin that will be here when we leave...and a logo backpack filled with logo items.  Didn't want that either. 
WE sat in the pub until Federer lost. then it was time to leave.  I decided I couldn't wait two days to take the antibiotics I have at home, so I went to medical center.  Of course, there was noone there at this hour, so we had to go back to the cabin and call the emergency number.  The person who answered said they sell meds in the perfume shop, which would be open for another five minutes, but I seriously doubted they have what I need, so she said if I went to the Medical Center there would be someone there in five minutes.  the consultation is $180, plus the cost of the meds.  I said fine.  I went there, and the door was open.  The woman who checked me in was from Montenegro.  I didn't get to see where the nurse was from.  Vital signs, press on my stomach, and hand out pills.  In and out in less than 20 minutes.  I feel better just having gone.  Back in the cabin, took the first dose of pills.  No alcohol until I am done.  Since I hardly drink, that is no hardship.  But you have to be careful about lotions, and nasal sprays...
It's going to be a short night until people start dragging themselves down the corridors to breakfast and to debark.  We will be some of the last off. 

4 Sept 2019.  Miami, WEdnesday.  Was up shortly after 5am.  We were coming into the channel at Port of Miami.  Passing by Symphony of the Seas, Carnival Horizon, Navigator of the Seas as we headed for the turning basin.  As we were docking, Carnival Victory passed us heading for the basin, and Empress of the Seas is still out there.  Can't see on AIS who the other three might be.  The sun is starting to come up. 


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Re: Armonia Western Caribbean 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 05:43:06 AM »