. report #3 from the Quantum of the Seas
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Quantum of the Seas 2015 pre-cruise blog

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Pre-cruise report #3 from the Quantum of the seas.

1/29/2015 Quantum blog #3

Linda and I are miserable and it's all your fault. Yup, that's right. It's your fault!

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We decided to make it our mission during this voyage to sample every item on every menu in every eating establishment so we could report to you what's good and what's not. Now we're bloated, lethargic, and unable to find anything that we can’t recommend! We've been to the Windjammer multiple times for lunch and once for dinner. The Windjammer is a buffet open 24/7 for a full meal or limited menu depending on the time of day; it has the BEST cookies in the entire universe!

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We’ve tried the Grande (the formal dining room - men, you must have a jacket but it's worth it!), the American Icon Dining Room (a Route 66 inspired cuisine of simple, yet amazing tastes), Wonderland (a pay restaurant that's unique and fun), and Jamie's Italian, complete with sorbet freshly made on the premises. We have thoroughly enjoyed everything we've ordered so far and perhaps the only thing I wouldn't recommend would be the "apple pancakes" at American Icon. Enough about food!

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely and quite warm (are you listening North Easterners?) day in St. Thomas. Since we have been there at least 30 times and have tried most of the excursions, we elected to stay near the ship, enjoy the local streets, and wander around the Havensite port. It's been a long time since Card Player Cruises has docked at this site, and it has been built up a great deal since the last time we were there. Within the terminal area, there is a Señor Frogs, a genuine Turkish Bazaar, and lots of shops, bars, and restaurants.

During the cruise, we will be in St. Thomas on Feb. 7th. You are invited to join us for an outing to a nice beach called Secret Harbour where you can swim or snorkel from the shore. The restaurant and bar are there for our pleasure. This is strictly a lazy beach day without a lot of other people to disturb us. We will be going together via an open-air safari bus. You will get to see some of St. Thomas during the 20-minute ride each way. The cost for this excursion is $35 which includes transportation and a beach chair. Lunch is an additional $8 - $15 per person. We have taken many groups there and everyone seems to have a nice experience. Please email Linda Johnson (cardplayercruise@aol.com) or me ( pokerfish@gmail.com) if you want to sign up for this excursion so we can arrange the transportation.

st-kittsToday we were in St. Kitts from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Since neither of us had been there before, we booked a lengthy tour of the beautiful island with a private tour company. We enjoyed it so much that we made arrangements for a custom tour with the same guide for our group when we are in St. Kitts on Feb. 8th. The tour will last approximately 4.5 hours and is in a nice, air-conditioned bus. You will get to see the highlights of the island and hear great commentary from a knowledgeable, charismatic guide. At the end of the tour, you will have a choice of being dropped off at a beach or going back to the ship. If you choose the beach option, the driver will pick you up approximately two hours after dropping you off. This tour costs $40. We will leave at 10 a.m. and be back about 2:30 p.m. The people who want to add the beach option will be back about 4:15 p.m. There is limited availability for this tour and it will fill up quickly so get back to me right away if you are interested. St. Kitts is a lovely island with coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

flowerThe beaches are clean and the tropical and lush topography make for wonderful photo ops and beautiful vistas. monkees During one of the stops along the trail, we had the chance to pose with monkeys and asses. Can you spot them?

I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Quantum’s gym and it’s great. It has state of the art equipment most facilities back home merely hope to attain. It’s not crowded and is clean and new. If working out is your thing, definitely put the gym on the list of items not to miss.

Now for the North Star update… the huge crane that extends into the air holding a pod carrying 14 passengers at a time high above the sea has continued to elude us. Each time we’ve ventured out to it, we’ve been met with an hour or longer line. They don’t take reservations, so we will keep trying.
north-starWe also have yet to try the bumper cars or the ice or roller skating. The entertainment continues to be great. The cabin is comfortable and welcoming. It is so inviting, in fact, that we’ve spent hours watching the Australian Open tennis event and are both looking forward to the Super Bowl. The huge TV screen in the cabin (or maybe it seems that way since the room is narrow?) is perfect for enjoying the sporting events. That said, I do look forward to it all ending and the poker commencing! Bring on games I can play and not merely watch! I feel like such a voyeur!

A few things to remember, as your big embarkation day nears…

Do your online check in and print your boarding documents.

Make a copy of your passport before you leave home and then lock the original away in your cabin safe as soon as possible. Never take it to port with you.

Always bring a photo ID with you to port. A driver’s license or photocopy of the above is fine. You must have it to reboard the ship when leaving some ports.

So far, there has been a shuttle along the pier at each stop. We suggest you use it. It’s been hot and humid, and they’re offering free rides. If you even think you’d be happier taking the ride, go with your instinct.

The daily program lists the UV (exposure to sun risk) as a 3. I don’t buy it. Bring your sunscreen and use it. A nasty sunburn canpool ruin your vacation as well as be potentially harmful to your health.

If you choose to ride the North Star (and wait in the line), do it while you’re in port. At sea it seems silly as all you can see is water and the ship. You already could see all of that! I’m not at all saying it’s not a very cool and novel idea, just sayin’ that in port, it would be like riding a gondola over a cool scenic view, as opposed to riding one over, well, water!

Ice in the cabins is now available upon request only. Your cabin steward will be happy to accommodate you, but you will have to ask for it. This has been a great way to reduce waste, by not automatically giving folks things they don’t need or use. Save the waves, right?

The Windjammer has amazing and abundant food. Hmm, I think I said I was done talking about food. I guess I’m not. Anyway, each night is a differently themed menu. One night was cold seafood and pasta; tonight was crepes. There was a Mongolian grill the first night and a steak and eggs night on another. If you decide to pass on the 6pm group dining, you’ll love this option.

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My best tip of all is about tips. Linda and I carry $1's and $5's around with us. We “take care” of our server at every meal or snack. You’d be amazed how this makes the day of the hard working wait staff. They get part of the automatic tip at the end of the week, but a few bucks here and there and they’ll be fighting each other to serve you. They’ll also remember what you want and how you want it. Tipping the staff will make you happy too when you see the smiles… I guarantee it. They light up when you tip them and are sooooooo appreciative.

It’s time for me to get back to tennis. I hope you enjoyed blog #3. As always, feel free to write to me at pokerfish@gmail.com with any questions about your upcoming cruise.

Jan Fisher


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