Thanks for finding me and joining me at my new little blog. I've always thought about starting a blog, but didn't really have the time, direction and motivation. {actually I have started a few, but didn't actually go anywhere with them, but that's another story...}

Over the years I have used and read many blogs, forums, etc. to get information and found many "experts" along the way. Some of those "experts" I have totally agreed with, others I didn't seem to agree with at all. Let's face it, there really is no right way or wrong way to do anything in life. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for the other. I'm not going to claim to be an expert. My point in this is just to share things from my point of view, and hopefully the point of view of some of my family members (if they are willing to join me).

I love to cruise, and my family tries to take at least one cruise a year. We live in Central Florida and are huge Disney Geeks. This blog is going to include our thoughts and comments on the vacations we take, the time we spend in the parks as well as my thoughts on any news and information relating to our vacation preferences.

I am also going to fill in the blanks and talk about vacations we have taken, and what we liked (or didn't like) on previous vacations.

Welcome aboard. Hope your enjoy our journey.

Mrs. Vacationista

Coronado Springs Resort Refurbished Room 2018

We got to stay in a refurbished room at the Coronado Springs Resort in late July 2018.

The area we were in is known as Casitas 2.   Casitas 2 is closer to the main building, as preferred, but starting to get a little further away.  Not as far as the other areas. From what I can tell these areas were the first to be refurbished as the resort is still going through the existing room refurbishment.

The entire resort is getting its own extreme makeover. Besides the guest rooms, the common areas and restaurants are getting a new look as well as the pool area later this year.  In addition they are  building a brand new 15 story tower with new rooms as well.  The theme is the southwest.  They are toning down the heavy theme and making the rooms more upscale for the heavy convention clientele as this has one of the largest convention areas on property.

In our eyes they did a great job! Very updated, modern but a hint of theme and not over the top. The use of granite topped furniture and bathroom counter added an extra deluxe touch to this moderate resort. The removal of carpet adds to the look with the great design.  Also the high beds allow for the extra storage of your luggage! Plenty of drawers, closet and toiletry space.

Let’s take a tour through the room.
Overall room shots:

Dressing area behind the great barn doors:

Bathroom area:

Take a good look at the floor of the shower. Slanted to stop the flood of water that sometimes occurs on the bathroom floor.

The Three Caballeros are within the room.

The room had plenty of lights to keep it bright and not dark like some older resorts. Plus, plenty of electrical outlets and USB connections.

Also notice the Keurig machine...

We give this room a major two thumbs up!

When the resorts full refurbishment is complete this will be a great place to stay overall, but the current construction did not hinder our stay.  (Keep in mind the main pool area will be closed for the second half of 2018.)
New Tower under construction

Mariner of the Seas Live Blog: Day 4- Sea Day

It’s Sea Day... we decided we were going to do breakfast in The Dining Room. The group met on level 3 to start the meal.  The breakfast has hot meals that can be ordered from the wait staff and a buffet for all the cold and continental items.   The wait staff was great and the food came out just right. Nice and relaxing compared to the Windjammer.

After breakfast K and a friend went to Jaime’s for a pre-reserved Cupcake decorating class. K says:  "It was so much fun!  We worked with pre-made cupcakes from the chef.  He showed us how to ice them with special designs.  He showed us how to make a rose out of fondant.  It was so cool.  We decorated four cupcakes each."  8 cupcakes for the whole gang to eat later!

While the decorating was going on, the rest of the group walked around the ship and everyone met up at our cozy Starbucks corner.   Drinks and snacks just like on land with a great view outside the big ocean view and promenade window.

The gang went up to the Viking Crown Lounge where there was great views of the sunny day and we had a few great games of Uno.  Also some yummy chocolate chip cookies from the Windjammer. Yummmm.

Then four of the adults attended the Escape Room called The Observatorium. It was so awesome.  There were 12 people in this fee based activity. $19.99 each. It runs all day with times you can pre-book on the cruise planner. It starts off with a quick briefing of what is happening and then you enter the room.  Without giving too much away you have 60 min to solve the issue at hand.  It takes communication, teamwork and a lot of analysis and deduction to figure out clues that are all around the room.  We actually solved the puzzle with just over 5minutes to spare.  The host said that about 40% of the teams solve it.   She was very impressed with our group cause we solved it missing one clue that we never found. She said we solved the hardest part easily and had a hard time with an easy one. Lol.  It was great, but it really requires the group work together to solve this and escape! Personally, I had no clue on some of the challenges, so I left that for the smart people, but I did help to solve a key component and found many clues! Lol.  I would highly recommend this if it’s for you.  There are 4 Escape rooms in the fleet so far, with more coming.

The group then decided a late snack (lunch not had) at the Cafe Promenade was needed. pizza and sandwiches for most.

Then we went to the Schooner Bar at 4 for Harry Potter Trivia. Half the group are Potter Fans. The other half fell asleep or just listened in. The group found these questions very challenging. Still interesting to hear all the questions and answers.

Our final dinner at the main dining room took place and as usual the food and service were great! We found our servers to be most attentive and they cared about our needs and changes to menu items as well as multiple desserts! Lol

We unfortunately needed to pack after dinner so we decidedly to not see the show. We then met up for games in the library!  Off to bed for most by 10:30, however I went with another party member to explore the ship. We went to the Helipad and pretty much spent most time there. It was phenomenal. The full moon and Mars were just above and out to the distance were clouds and lightening! So hard to capture it all in pictures...

Then, some extra walking around the ship and off to bed.
Tomorrow we get off the ship... four nights is a short trip, but we did have a great relaxing time.

Random Observations:

  • Escape room was a lot of fun. Go with people you know if you are not as outgoing, but you will find you totally get right into it and start searching the room and get going.
  • The ship is beautiful and the refurbishment with new Royal Caribbean Wows really breathes new life into the older ships and makes this a must do for people who want some extra activities.
  • Lazer Tag was so much fun! Highly recommend you doing this to try it out. We wanted to go go back but had no time... next cruise!
  • K said the new water slides, the Perfect Storm was a great plus as well!

Mariner of the Seas Live Blog: Day 3- Nassau

Today’s title should be really called "Ship Day in Port"!  As is customary for our group we like to utilize the ship facilities and explore when we are in a standard port.  In this case Nassau. The ship was docked really early at about 8 am and left at 11:59 pm.

We woke up late at about 9 am.  We got dressed and went to a packed Windjammer buffet.  Nothing really good to write about.  The place was jam packed and no room anywhere.  We were there late enough to get a seat in Chops  after they stopped its use for real suite guests. Junior Suites don’t rate this special perk. I found the food to be cold and very blah.  Oh well.   Maybe it was late, but it seemed half the ship was there. Another part of our party went to the dining room and said it was good.  We shall try there tomorrow.

We then all met for mini golf at the Mariner Dunes.  Very nice refurbished golf course.  It used to be in the back of the ship where the new Flowrider, Skypad  and water slides were addded.
The mini golf was great.  It now features the new look that has been in use on Royal ships for some years now.  The group had fun.

We then had K and friends go  swimming and try out the new Perfect Storm.   They loved the new slides.   Said they were a lot of fun!

We did not try the Skypad.

The team then decided we would go to try out the new Laser Tag in Studio B!  It is called the battle for a Planet Z!   It was a lot of fun.   It is first come first served.  The line was very short since it was a port day.  There is a max of 14 players and two teams are formed into the Aliens and the Robots.
You see a short briefing video, receive your gear and gun and then have about 7 minutes of fun.  The whole set up occurs in the area of the ice rink on a normal floor. There are walls made of rubber bounce house that is filled up. Just as the name implies, you are shooting the opponent.  Lots of fun to be had. Our team had middle of the road scores, but two honorable mentions...the most accurate player and the most trigger happy.  (That was me!)  This is a must do for those that will enjoy it!

We then had some time to do a music trivia in the Schooner bar before Dinner.  Dinner was in the new Izumi Hibachi. We had a great meal.  We chose it as we did not have many choices in the dining room and always love the Hibachi.  It was worth it.  We had a great chef and an even more awesome server.  Eduardo! He really took care of us! Thanks Eduardo!

After dinner we went to the show.  It was a cover band night.  Not just a cover band!  They were awesome!  Called Private Stock.  They have been around for 28 years and really do Rock!  We can’t say enough great stuff about them!  If they are ever in your area or on your cruise, they are a must see!   Great rock and roll from all the years past!   From Billy Joel to Elton John to Stevie Nicks and hair bands!   Don’t forget Journey!

It was now getting late and the gang was tired.  All retired at 10:30 ish except for me and a friend. We went to see The Quest scavenger hunt in Studio B!  Without giving away all the fun of the Adult Quest, it involves some crazy things for a great set of people to participate in.  We watched them call up teams to do the wackiest of things. Like a guy and a girl need to switch clothes!  You can see where this is going.  Don’t take the kids, they are not allowed.

What a great day! Tomorrow is a cruising day!

Random Observations:

  • 4 nights is too short!!  Enough said on that subject.
  • Izumi did not disappoint, but be warned that specialty dining now includes an 18% service fee on top of the pricing for each person.  
  • Our daughter was only charged $15 for her meal.
  • The new additions to the Mariner definitely do not disappoint and give this “older” ship a lot of extra bells and whistles to compete with the “newer” ships.