By now, you should have received Jan Fisher's blog from the Quantum about our first impressions of the ship. My blog will take up where Jan's left off and is meant to provide you with LOTS of information about your upcoming cruise, the poker room, and the ship itself. We continue to be impressed with the Quantum. The food is excellent and there are a lot of new and unique features of this ship that are fun to explore.
Today we met with the food and beverage manager, the casino manager, and the hotel director. We have good news and good news! The poker room will have the standard good food available for our players during poker hours. Here is a picture of the conference room....
Now for the question you've all been wondering about - What do I do about dinner reservations? Drum roll please...We've got you covered. Aside from about a dozen of our players who requested dynamic dining and wanted to make their own reservations, we will be enjoying "group dining privileges." This means that we have made dining reservations for you at 6 p.m. every night rotating through each of the complimentary dining rooms. Rather than being assigned to one dining room for the duration of the cruise, we will move as a group from dining room to dining room since each particular dining room has the same menu every night. We will start with Chic the first night. If you stay with the group, you will eat at each dining room two or three times during the voyage. Of course you are welcome to eat in the Windjammer, your cabin, or any of the pay restaurants.
Tonight, we went to the Grande Dining Room. This is a "formal" dining room and men must wear jackets, though ties are not required. I am very eager to return to this dining room several more times this week, even though it means dressing up a bit. By the way, they weren't too picky about what the women were wearing, but I did see them give a male passenger the choice of letting them provide him with a jacket or he would have to dine elsewhere. Men, trust me, it's worth it for the outstanding food... bring a jacket! Between Jan and me, we had jumbo shrimp cocktail, chicken noodle soup, melted brie salad, a vegetable plate, and scrumptious lobster tails. Next time we go, we will try the French onion soup (it looked devine!) and the tenderloin which our neighbors said melted in their mouths. The service was good too! Here I am in the Grande dining room.
We will be moving our table tents with us so you can be seated in our section without waiting in line. Unlike our other cruises where I recommend that you find a group you want to sit with and stay at the same table each night so your waiter gets familiar with your likes and dislikes, I recommend that we switch table mates within our group on this group. The group is smaller than usual (90 total) and it will be fun getting to know each other. Of course if you find the perfect match, you can reserve a table and sit with the same people each night.
We've also had questions about the North Star, which is a pod that goes 300 feet up in the air to provide guests with a birds-eye view below them. The ride takes about 12 minutes and 14 people can fit into the pod at the same time. There are no reservations available for North Star... it is first-come, first-served. I was going to go today, but the line was about an hour wait so I opted to skip it for now. We've been told that if the line gets REALLY long, they will give you assigned times to return so you don't have to stand there waiting. Jan or I will give you an update later in the week when we get our turn to go up in the North Star.
You can get a reservation time for the IFLY. Jan has already done it and is trying to figure out a way to use my reservation time since you can only go once per cruise for free.:) We will be trying the bumper cars later too.
We played Tribond trivia today and got 19 out of 20 answers correct, which wasn't good enough to win. In Tribond, you have to figure out what three things have in common. We screwed up on the question: Elvis, lion, Budweiser... can you figure out what they have in common?
I'm going to end my blog for now with some cruise tips for you:
- Download the Royal IQ app if you have a smartphone. It is amazing for organizing your calendar of shows, dining reservations, checking your bill, cancelling appointments, etc. Jan can answer questions about the app and can help you download it once you are on the ship if you haven't already done so.
- Bring a sweater or jacket for the cold spots on the ship and for the first and last few days at sea. BTW, it was 77 and beautiful today and the seas were calm.
- Lay out everything you are planning to pack on your bed and then put at least half of it back. You don't need to bring as much as you think.
- Get to the cruise terminal between 2 p.m. and 2:30 for the shortest wait time to board the ship. However if the weather is really bad on Feb, 2, it might be a good idea to get here earlier and have a complimentary lunch on board. You wouldn't want to risk missing the ship due to bad weather.
- Plan to come to the welcome-aboard party at 5 p.m. in Boleros on embarkation day.
- Bring lots of $1s, $5s, and other bills. I always encourage our guests to tip when you get good service in the Windjammer or other venues since the ship's crew doesn't expect it and they are most appreciative.
- If you have a propensity toward motion sickness, bring some Bonine. I took it for the first two days and had no problem with the rocking of the ship.
- Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds MANY times a day. They even have hand washing stations (pictured here).
- Now would be a good time to get a Fitbit or a pedometer if you don't already have one. You will get lots of exercise walking back and worth to the poker room and will feel good about it.
- And lastly, learn how to say, "Would you please let me off the elevator before you barge into it?" in German, French, and Italian.
Thanks for reading the blog.
Please write to me at Cardplayercruise@aol.com if there are any specific questions or comments about your upcoming cruise.
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