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Kuki December 28th, 2006 10:13 PM

Join us beginning late tomorrow night/early Saturday morning :) as we supply daily reports live from the CruiseMates New Year's Party of the Century.. on the Century.

Some of the incoming cruisemates have begun to arrive in Florida. Some are staying in the Ft. Lauderdale area, and others (Mrs. Kuki and I included) are in Miami.

This evening Mrs. Kuki and I are heading down to South Beach with plans for dinner at one of the bistros along the Lincoln Road Mall.

Tomorrow evening the "group fun" kicks off with a pile of folks getting together at Lombardi's at BaySide MarketPlace. We understand Lombardi's has new owners since last year, and Mike says they were wonderfully cooperative about accepting our group reservation.

Hopefully the fun will start here tomorrow evening, with some pictures of the first "gathering of the Century", and the beginning of the party!!

Tune in here early and often to see what's going to happen next :shock: :shock: :wink:

Jump right into the thread with any questions about the ship, etc. and we'll do our very best to respond.

Lynne&Trevor December 29th, 2006 06:21 PM

Hi Kuki,
I'm looking forward to cruising with all of you this week via your posts and pictures. I'm still coming down from our cruise that returned Dec.2, so this will hit the spot until our next one comes along!!

Say hi to everyone for me (us)--Ray and Helen, Skymaster and the "Lovely Vita", rollerdonna and others who we may have met at our Central Florida get-together.

Bon Voyage!!!! Lynne :D

MaryLou December 29th, 2006 07:59 PM

Hello! We just arrived in Miami. It's been a longgggg week and I'm so happy that it is over and the fun is just about to start. We got in too late to attend the pre-cruise bash, but can't wait to see everyone tomorrow. I can't believe it is finally here!!!!!! We are just waiting for Jill and Steve to arrive from Seattle, will grab a quick bite and catch up with them. Then off to bed to prepare for the CRUISE OF THE CENTURY!!!!!

Kuki December 29th, 2006 10:37 PM

DEC 29 Pre Cruise
Virtual Cruise
Pre Cruise Dec. 29

While the cruise hasn’t begun quite yet, the pre-cruise activities have. Mrs. Kuki and I were fortunate to have the time, so we arrived in Miami for a couple of days to recover from the jet lag, and enjoy some Miami time. Being holiday season we got really lucky getting the beautiful InterContinental Hotel, just blocks from Bayside Market Place, for $100 bidding on ( bidding their Miami, downtown zone, 4 Stars).

On our final day in Miami, other’s from the CruiseMates group started arriving into town as well, including Nancy Bogert, the Travel Agent who’s handled the bookings for this group.

Mrs. Kuki and I met up with Nancy this morning, and dragged her along to spend part of the day with us. In our rental car we drove up to the Village of Merrick Park, in Coconut Grove - it’s an upscale shopping center, built in an “village? theme, with lots of outdoor gardens and cafes where the non shoppers (husbands), can relax in some pleasant surroundings while the shoppers (ladies) do their thing.

After a short but somewhat deadly shopping spree, I decided to head all the way up to North Miami Beach to take the ladies for some deli, and one of Miami’s originals, the Rascal House, way north on Collins Ave. Even though we arrived at 2 P.M the place was still lined up. The piled high Pastrami on Rye sandwich was a good deli fix, but honestly made me want to head to New York and the Carnegie Deli for more of the “real deal?.

From there it was back to the hotel, for an afternoon siesta to refresh before heading to Bayside Market Place for the first CruiseMates party at Lombardi’s.

Close to 50 showed up, and everyone spent time hugging and kissing old friends, and introducing new friends, and a few of the “who are you really? looks? when meeting online friends for the first time. And of course, as we met people through the evening, different spouses explaining it was the “other spouse? who spent time on the Internet, and booked the trip… and they were just told to show up J
We did have a fairly small section of the restaurant, and everyone seemed a bit travel weary, and hungry, but most did get a chance to move around and socialize a bit, and start the “party? ball rolling. A few gifts were revealed… Donna bringing Mike a book, Carole bringing me some “moose wine? and a special gift of a hand made New Year’s Thong from Trip for your truly. Though you’ll have to wait for the pictures of my modeling debut, the tone is being set early on.
We’re all eager to board tomorrow! See you ALL onboard!

VTJen December 30th, 2006 08:17 AM

Great Photo's. They got me all choked up. Wishing I were there to meet everyone!

Keep it coming! and Thanks!

Paul Motter December 30th, 2006 08:19 AM

No pictures, but my wife and I hit Las Olas in Ft Lauderdale yesterday where she ran up my charge card at Chico's - home of haute fashione for fine cruise ladies everywhere.

We hads some great sea food on the beach with some friends in Holly wood who will be taking us to the ship today. we will see you there about 1:00, I am guessing.

Luanne Russo December 30th, 2006 08:51 AM

Great pictures Kuki, but we need names to go along with the pictures.

Hi everyone!!!! WE miss you!!!!

Mike, You look so good

ready2gonow December 30th, 2006 11:29 AM

Wish I were in every picture! :wink: Well, O.K., I would settle for one, because that would mean I was going along!

Mike, who does your hair? Looks great!

Paul Motter December 30th, 2006 04:12 PM

Getting ready for fire drill now. I had a chance to meet Rollerdonna, Trip, Gaile, Kuki, Mike Mastellar and Nancy Bogert. Also Bob and Ray and Helen.... (and more, I'm band aty names).

See you soon. We have early dinner and I hear six short and one long...........................................

steph_texas December 30th, 2006 07:24 PM


The pix are awesome, I recognized RD & her son right off... and of course Mike... but others I didnt recognize ? (Who was the couple looking at the menu in the first photo including RDonna's family ?)

Mike... u r looking good my man... Hope you all have a great time !!

Take Care,

Paul Motter December 30th, 2006 08:34 PM

I just got back from dinner, with RollerDonna at our table with her wonderful husband and son, plus April and Suzycruise. Then when we got home we had some GREAT gifts from someone in the group (to be revealed later): keychain, bag, fridge magnet, and a CD of all our favorite cruise songs.

Kuki December 30th, 2006 10:55 PM


Embarkation Day at last!! I had arranged to return our Hertz rental car to the location in the lobby at the Biscayne Bay Marriott this morning. We of course began to get antsy to board earlier than planned, so set out to gas up the rental and return it about 10 A.M. Even with a stop at a Walgreens we were at the pier by about 10:45 A.M. I assumed this was going to be much too early, but we weren’t even the first CruiseMates to arrive. And catching up with others who’d arrived and more as they arrived passed the waiting time very quickly. The embarkation process began, and with my Xpress Pass in hand (since we’d filled in all the immigration online at the Celebrity web site), the entire check in process was a matter of minutes, and we were on our way through X-ray and security.

This too would have been very quick if Gaile (Tweety) had of remembered her recent knee replacement was what was setting of the metal detector. I watched carefully as she emptied everything from her pockets and the pockets of everyone else around her, before I suggested it might her “new knee? causing the problem. LOL (Though it had to be a great job on the knee for her to forget it. LOL).

Even with the “knee-d to know? delay, we were being welcomed onboard by smiling staff by 11:40, though cabins weren’t going to be ready for guests until 1 P.M.

At Noon the buffet opened for embarkation lunch, and the CruiseMates weren’t wasting any time attacking. Lunch was very good, and a hopefully a good indicator of things to come.

Most of the afternoon was spent by the Sunset Bar, aft of the Islands Café, awaiting the arrival of more CruiseMates, and meeting and greeting. The plan was to hand out goody bags, etc during the afternoon, but of course in the excitement no one had thought the luggage wouldn’t arrive until later… and all the “handouts? with them. It was still great to see more and more of the group arrive, and welcome each other.

As you saw above, some of goodies were waiting for CruiseMates later in the evening when they got back to their cabins.

The stern of the Century, both above and below the Sunset Bar is chock full of CruiseMates. All of the new Sunset Verandah cabins on Deck 12 are occupied with people in our group, as are all the stern cabins on Deck 10, below the Sunset Bar.

The balconies on the Sunset Verandah cabins are totally open to view from Deck 13, above. The Category NS stern balconies, are partially open to view from the Sunset Bar, but have a covered area as well. Jill, Steve, Mike and Betty on Sunset Veradahs.
Mrs. Kuki and I have main (early) seating dinner, at 6 P.M., and our section of the dining room is pretty much surrounded with CruiseMates. Though I believe the group is split fairly evenly between early and late diners. Between meeting the wait staff, a delightful meal, and socializing table to table the dining time disappeared quickly.
After dinner, the early diners dispersed; some heading back to their cabins to unpack, some to the Welcome Aboard Show, with a wonderful A Cappella group, The Cat’s Pajamas (who I had heard previously when I sailed the 2 day preview of the ship in Nov.)

I went to spend a bit of time in the casino myself, but with the luck I was having, it only took a little time, so I moved to the showroom to catch some of the Cat’s Pajamas act.
They’ll be appearing throughout the ship during the remainder of the cruise.

Late seating dinner was still taking place, and as I wandered the ship, things seemed pretty much like a first night of most any cruise; quite quiet, with many people retiring early, to recover from their travel woes.
With a port day in Key West, and New Year’s Eve coming up tomorrow it’s not all that surprising that everyone is going to want to be rested.

As I type, I am being serenaded from the deck of the Sunset Bar above, by a guitar player, and there seems to be a few “happy folks? up there singing along. Some of the “stern people? may be stern in the morning because of the close location of the party… which is scheduled to go on until Midnight. Me, I think I’m going to head up there to see what’s up.

Internet is very slow at the moment, so having trouble loading some pictures.. check the photo galleries later and I'll try again.

Dorothy December 30th, 2006 11:27 PM

Have a great times CM's - wish I was there! :cry:


Lynne&Trevor December 30th, 2006 11:56 PM

It sounds like a great start to a wonderful time. I did recognize rollerdonna and her son, too. Kuki, you could be related to one of our newly retired members of our Engineering (Maintenance) Dept fellows. Same hair and moustache! :) He's a good guy-I was the Matron of Honor at his wedding 3 years ago-Trevor took the pictures.

And, to think, our cruise just ended Dec.2! This same month!!
Continue to have a great time!!


Paul Motter December 31st, 2006 08:52 AM

New Year's Eve

Events today include a CruiseMates party at Margaritaville (free drinks - unlimited??), a champagne toast with the captain at 9:00, a champagne reception hosted by Lou Ann and Myself in a penthouse from 10:00 to 11:30, and then the main party tonight on Deck with MORE CHAMPAGNE.

Sorry - we had breakfast without you. Docked here in Key West on New Year's Eve, our steward was intuitive to take our breakfast and set it up on the balcony without even being asked. I guess every passenger was doing it that way. Century has these nice human sized tables & chaIrs on their verandahs. Now we shower & tour.


ready2gonow December 31st, 2006 10:50 AM

I am drawn to the virtual cruise like a moth to the flame. It's killing me to not be there but I can't wait to hear about what all is going on. What a wonderful way to start the day, Paul.

msblackjack December 31st, 2006 12:16 PM

Can't wait to see pics from the Margaritaville Party!!!!!

steph_texas December 31st, 2006 12:55 PM

:( WISH I WAS THERE !!! Live it up for me yall !!!

Paul Motter December 31st, 2006 04:21 PM

Party at MargaritaVille - as we start making ready for tonight's gala, we stir it up downtown on Duval Street at a well-known libation's emporium.

Video of special cruisemates light effect:

mteague December 31st, 2006 04:21 PM

It looks like heaven on earth! Names with pics please!

VTJen December 31st, 2006 05:20 PM

Everything looks and sounds awesome! Just like the rest of you, wishing I was there.

Keep having tons of fun!

steph_texas December 31st, 2006 06:32 PM

Only 1 I recognize is Mike.... maybe Helen ? (If I were to guess)

Maybe yall should ALL have on name tags for US !!!

Looks like a blast....

Paul Motter December 31st, 2006 09:23 PM

There is Mike & Helen, and my wife Lou Ann is the smiling one looking at the camera, across from her is RollerDonna's husband (sorry, name escapes me) and her son Tad is in there somewhere. You see Carol (Seatrekker) and her husband Earl, then there are Ray and his wife Helen.

With Kuki's wife Geela is Yasmine, a young lady who has been on each CM cruise with her husband - Dave (? - sorry, I hate to guess at names but I am trying.)

It is now about 9:30, we are getting ready to head over to Nancy's PENTHOUSE for a champagne reception I am hosting. Cheers and happy new year all!!


Kuki January 1st, 2007 01:09 AM

December 31... New Year’s Eve

Before I get to today’s report…. Just a follow up on last night’s “party? goings on at the Sunset Bar that I was going to, when last I left you. Though it sounded like a party, when I got upstairs I found a pretty entertaining guitarist/singer and about 10 people.
The audio driven image of the party from our cabin didn’t quite equate with what I found when I got there. But the few who were there seemed to be having a great time. LOL I checked around the ship again, in search of late night action, but about the only crowds I came across were in the casino.

Today we end our year with a visit to eclectic Key West, and begin the New Year onboard the “New Century? with 150 CruiseMates friends! Life (especiall this week) is pretty darned good!

We thought we would be docking pier-side next to Mallory Square today, but unfortunately we docked at the old Naval yards, which required a shuttle ride to the center of town. It’s only a 10 minute ride, but it is so much more convenient at the downtown pier, where you can get on and off the ship easily.

Some of the CruiseMates booked tours, others rented the small electric cars available in town, and others, like Mrs Kuki and I, just strolled the streets… with obligatory stops at the Blonde Giraffe, along Front Street, for a chocolate covered frozen key lime pie on a stick, and stops at ½ Buck Freddy‘s, and Fast Buck Freddy’s, before heading to Margaritaville for a CruiseMates party put together, and VERY graciously hosted by our cruise host Mike M.

Thanks for the drinks Mike!! Totally unnecessary, but very much appreciated by all who showed up!

The streets of Key West were pretty electric today, with the anticipation building to the legendary New Year’s Parties in Key West… and as they were going to be closing off Duval Street to all traffic in preparation for all the activities, most of us headed back to the ship at a reasonable time as not to get caught up trying to catch the last shuttle back to the ship. And no doubt many headed for their cabins for a pre New Year’s nap to help them make it to Midnight.

After dinner this evening many of us gathered in Nancy Bogert’s Penthouse Suite for champagne toasts, hosted by our Editor in Chief, Paul Motter and his wife Lou Ann. It was great fun seeing everyone decked out, and ready to bring in 2007! It’s odd when you think nothing of it seeing someone in a hot tub, wearing their tuxedo, and it just seems “normal? ( OK there wasn’t any water in it)… and there is a “rumor? floating around that there was a moose with it’s pant’s down around it’s knees and wearing a thong… though I personally didn’t see it. We even had a few officers drop in to have a New Year’s toast with us.

Afterwards many of the group headed up to the pool deck for the ship’s largest New Year’s Party. There was plenty of music, dancing, drinks and followed of course by late night food.

The mood on deck was festive and also hopeful! And all of us at CruiseMates wish each other and ALL OF YOU a VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY and PEACEFULL NEW YEAR!

Luanne Russo January 1st, 2007 01:13 AM

Happy New Year Cruisemates!!! Have a wonderful time.


Kuki January 1st, 2007 01:29 AM

I have been having some trouble reducing the size of the pictures I've been taking, to load quickly into the photo galleries.. but I am working on it... and a few have been loaded... so you can check the photo galleries for more pictures.

Over the next few days I'll work on trying to load more, and have to go over the lists and add names as I get a chance.
Some of the pictures will simply have to wait until I get back. But I'm sure as time goes on other cruisemates will be posting many of their own pictures as well.

Luanne Russo January 1st, 2007 01:32 AM

Thanks Kuki!!


Kuki January 1st, 2007 01:50 AM

Returning to our cabin late tonight night we discovered a rather large moose laying in our bed. An inanimate, stuffed version, and not a towel creation by a room steward. This cuddly creature was lying there grinning at us, with no note as to how, from who, or by what means it had got there. So now there’s a “moostery? to be solved, and only 3 days to do it!

Tomorrow evening is our “official? complimentary CruiseMates Group Cocktail Party, and it’s going to be wonderful, now that everyone’s settled in a bit, to get to meet and spend some time talking to many more members of our group. And the interrogation, to solve the “moostery? will begin.

We also have the ship’s beautiful alternate restaurant, Muranos, reserved for members of our group for tomorrow evening, as well as Jan. 2. In talking to other passengers who’ve dined there already, all of us who chose to dine there are in for a treat.

Even though the New Year’s party is now done, the fun, the stories, and the great memories being made are far from done.

steph_texas January 1st, 2007 02:23 AM

keep up the hard work gang.... and give us some Moostery clues so we can sleuth with you....
Happy 2007 Yall !!!!


katlady January 1st, 2007 03:22 AM

It's sounds like a blast Happy New Year to all the cruisemates. :D Good Luck solving "the moostery" We are loving all the wonderful pictures keep em coming.

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