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  #21  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 08:56 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2cruz44 View Post
Jenn & Jim,

I posted on CC that I really wanted your email address to keep in touch with you but then the thread was ended. Anyway, please email me at galenann4244@sbcglobal.net Your comments about "diamond level" are spot on and I have even coined a phrase to describe them. There are the diamonds you would love to own and then there are the ugly diamonds.

Sure miss our nightly Deck 3, aft 7:30PM get-togethers!
Hi Ann!

Will send you an email tomorrow! We really enjoyed getting to know you as well, though I think we ran into you the most at the casino!

And of course not all diamonds are the same, we definitely met some great people on this cruise too! Though the ugly ones make for funnier stories, haha.

Jenn
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  #22  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 09:01 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mephistoles View Post
Loving this review. I wish that I had taken the opportunity to do a sail in Europe. I also love your "snark" I would've been side-eyeing the he-- out of those "entitled' people! Ugh!
Thanks! I was hoping the humour would come across rather than just being 'mean'. There's definitely a wide range of people you run across on a cruise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darcy15 View Post
Loving your review!

So nice to see my country from another perspective! - sorry about the weather though

Fabulous photos as well
We LOVED your country, despite the rain! I definitely would like to go back in the future. Actually the worst days of rain were in Ireland and Norway, but of course I haven't gotten to those days yet. Stay tuned!
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  #23  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 09:16 PM
lovingretirement lovingretirement is offline
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I'm really enjoying your review, and look forward to future posts! We were on the cruise before you, and my cousin was on the cruise with you. Yes, we had some rain, but it didn't ruin our cruise. We had a fabulous time on the Legend! Keep it coming!
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  #24  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 09:27 PM
MagnoliaBlossom MagnoliaBlossom is offline
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Hey, Jennifer, we were your next door neighbors in Dover - the ones with the other Jwnifer in our group. Has been good to relive the cruise. And yeh, some of those diamonds are something else - you would think it was their private yacht.
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  #25  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Crusin Karen Crusin Karen is offline
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Oh, I am enjoying reading this! I "recognize you both" so maybe I have read one of your other reviews. Agree about the "snarks." Cripes, it annoys me when people are like that. Looking forward to the rest. Thanks for sharing with us!
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  #26  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 11:01 PM
CruiseGator1 CruiseGator1 is offline
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Loving your review and am looking forward to reading more ! Sounds like a great itinerary even with the unfortunate changes. Thanks for writing it!
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  #27  
Old October 2nd, 2013, 11:24 PM
Silent Penguin Silent Penguin is offline
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OMG, that room in London was tiny! Great information and pictures. I'm looking forward to reading more.
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  #28  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:10 AM
Sargent_Schultz Sargent_Schultz is offline
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Originally Posted by jenng1976 View Post

Our fellow diners in our section ... well, most of them weren't quite so sweet. One couple "the diamonds" (they wore their lapel pins every night ... really?), who were on a B2B2B always seemed miserable and were complaining about something.
without being a jacka**.

The "diamonds" one night were talking to us and commented that we had a new bottle of wine every night (so?) and that one night, gasp!, I had ordered a burger at dinner to go with my wine. Which I didn't really see what was wrong with - the burger is on the menu and on a 12 night cruise I don't necessarily want something "fancy" every night. But, I guess everyone does dinner differently.
As a Diamond, I am underwhelmed by the behavior and attitude of some of the other Diamonds. Carnival owes us nothing.

For the record, we had a bottle of wine almost every night and one night this Diamond ordered a bacon cheeseburger as my entree. Another Diamond at the table ordered the meatloaf one night and enjoyed it. Shocking, I know.
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  #29  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:53 AM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Originally Posted by Sargent_Schultz View Post
As a Diamond, I am underwhelmed by the behavior and attitude of some of the other Diamonds. Carnival owes us nothing.

For the record, we had a bottle of wine almost every night and one night this Diamond ordered a bacon cheeseburger as my entree. Another Diamond at the table ordered the meatloaf one night and enjoyed it. Shocking, I know.
Haha, love it! Cheeseburger lovers unite for dinner!

Jim ordered the Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Meatloaf another night and loved them both.
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  #30  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 11:26 AM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Sat - Sea Day

Saturday - Sea Day

Today is our first sea day - yay relaxing! - and while we wanted to sleep in, we also wanted to make breakfast in the dining room so we set our alarm for 9AM. (Breakfast ends at 10).

While I know many people enjoy Lido and the buffet - for us nothing says cruising like going to the dining room and having a nice relaxing breakfast served to you, so we chose this option pretty much every day.

At the dining room, the hostess asks for your cabin # (I'm assuming so they can track trends and such?) and whether you want a private or shared table. We always choose private and throughout the cruise were seated in a variety of sections throughout the dining room, so it is fun to see the different viewpoints in the room.

Breakfast was always good - my sole complaint is that toast is never very warm, but obviously that's a function of how far it has to travel before it gets to your plate, so understandable. Their croissants and mini cinnamon rolls are delish!! I highly recommend people try breakfast here if they've never done it before.

After breakfast we have about an hour before we were going to John's Shore talk about the first few ports. We wanted to attend so we could figure out what in the world we were going to do in Liverpool! I'm not positive what we did in the gap - either we went to the casino or found some chairs to read on - pretty much our two go to options!

Anyway - we got to the lounge a bit early since we figured it would be packed due to the itin change. And were right! This was a constant theme to this cruise - people were always very early to all the shows so you had to go early too if you wanted a good seat.

After the talk was when we ran into a bit of good luck - a guy came up to us and the couple next to us and said that he knew someone who was arranging a 16 passenger bus to Wales for the next day (while we were ported in Liverpool) for approx $70/person and wondered if we were interested in joining. And of course we said - YES, sign us up! Sweet ... we didn't have to settle for a Carnival Tour or spend the day looking at Beatles stuff. We didn't know anything about Wales, but it looked nice in the photos that John showed in his shore talk.

Our tour was also quite the bargain - Carnival's similar tour was around $180/person I think. We gave our cabin numbers to Jim the organizer and would firm up plans later in the day for the next morning.

Afterwards - it was close to 12PM - lunchtime! Yes, I know what you're thinking. We just finished breakfast and really weren't that hungry - but you just have to push through, haha.

First though we had to surrender our passports - due to the itin change for Immigration/Customs reasons (since we were going from the UK to Ireland and back) - the ship needed to collect everyone's passports and would return them after our last Scotland stop before Norway. We weren't thrilled about this - normally we bring our passports ashore in ports (just in case), but it wasn't our choice. They seemed fairly organized in collecting them, so we hoped we would get them back later (we did). We timed it right since we just beat the line that formed right after we were there.

And beat the lunch rush line too - got a private table and enjoyed a nice lunch and free "Past Guest" drink.

After lunch we headed back to the cabin to do some reading and start getting ready for the first elegant night! You may be wondering why we are getting ready for dinner in the middle of the afternoon - but our roll call had arranged for an Open Bar Meet & Greet ($20/person for 2 hrs) starting at 4PM. Since we had Early Seating, we would be their in our finest!

Thanks to Bob for arranging a wonderful party! We had a lot of fun meeting some of the people we had been chatting with for so long, plus had a chance to catch up with Eileen & Mike who we had met on a previous cruise and enjoyed hanging out with. Plus had LOTS of drinks - and took a couple of glasses of wine 'to go' to dinner! (Somehow avoiding spilling them on the long walk there, haha).

The rest of the night was filled with the Evening Show, the Comedy Club, and the casino. Good times!

And had this cute little guy waiting for us when we got back to our cabin!



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  #31  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 11:44 AM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Sunday - Liverpool

Sunday - Liverpool

Today we woke up bright and early - we were going to Wales!! And had this beautiful sunrise to greet us.



We met up with the rest of our group in the lobby to get off the ship together - our van driver was waiting for us and away we went!

First stop was a little tourist town - probably an hour/hour and a half drive from Liverpool - I don't recall the name but it's apparently quite popular for local tourism.

We had about 45min to walk around and the town and luckily it wasn't raining!






Alas - this would not stay - by the time we got to our next destination, Conwy - it was. Boo!



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  #32  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:04 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Wales Continued





These pictures were all taken near Conwy castle - we didn't go in, but there were walls you could go up where you could walk around and take pictures.

We also had a the worst lunch of the whole cruise here - it felt like the place your 90 year old Grandma would go for Sunday lunch. Very old-fashioned and not very good! Oh well. They can't all be good!

Next up - we went 'off-roading' and over to a Glacial Valley. It was the most beautiful scenery here - the pictures do not adequately capture how gorgeous this place was. The rain and mist just added to the beauty.





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  #33  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:13 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Wales Continued

After leaving the Glacial Valley - we headed on to a small village for shopping and a drink.





After this we were originally supposed to go for a short scenic hike, however due to the rain we headed back to Liverpoool. Some people on the van wanted to see something Beatles related - so we stopped at Mathews Street where I think they played or something like that.



The "Liver" birds of Liverpool





Overall a great day in Wales and I was so happy we were able to get out and see the beautiful countryside.

After dinner, show, casino ... this little guy greeted us for bed!

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  #34  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:33 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Monday - Greenock

Monday - Greenock

Today we were in Greenock and had a fairly low key day planned. We were hoping to do the Castle Tour offered by the local tourist association in the morning, and a relaxing afternoon on the ship.

I think lots of people went to Glasgow today - but we weren't really interested in seeing another city, and were looking forward to a slower paced day.

We woke up to sunshine - but it alternately was sun and rain for the morning. It seemed to change on a dime!



We headed off the ship around 8:30AM - we checked in with the tourist association at the port and they were offering tours so we signed up for the 9:30AM Newark castle tour.

The Inverclyde tourist group operates strictly on a volunteer basis, accepting donations to cover costs of the coach (suggested 5GBP/person). We also had to pay the castle entrance fee.

There was a bit of time before the tour so we walked around Greenock for a bit.







The tour was a little late starting but by 10AM we were off!






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  #35  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:36 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Greenock Continued

Newark castle was quite neat - and the tour guide quite knowledgeable. The tour was about 2hrs start to finish.









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  #36  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Greenock Continued

A little fun back at the port terminal! They also offered Internet access here at the bargain price of 1 GBP for 15 minutes, so we took advantage.

Greenock really seemed to pull out the stops to welcome cruise ship visitors.






Once back on the ship - we took advantage of the fact that everyone else was still ashore and did laundry (ugh! but necessary). It cost $3 per wash and dry, charged to the S&S card. And had lunch on Lido at the Grill since the dining room wasn't opened on port days.

At sailaway - we were treated to bagpipes and a giant highland blowup dancer! Photo taken from our faux balcony angling the camera under the lifeboats.



The rest of the day was frittered away on this and that, nothing exciting that I remember.

Dragon (from Wales) was having fun with our towel animal that evening. Dragon was a gift for my 6 month old niece.

Next up: Dublin, Ireland!


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  #37  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Great review. It's so interesting to see the UK through the eyes of someone who's visiting. I go down to London every month or so and it's a great city, but I guess you do tend to take things for granted. Funny about the pickpocket signs, if I'm in Rome or Athens I'm as paranoid as the next tourist but in London I never think about it!

It's a shame you didn't come in July though, we had great weather all month!

I live about 30 miles from the Welsh border, it made me smile how excited you were to visit there but as you discovered it has some truly beautiful scenery and to be fair it does look better in the mist and rain (just as well really)!

Looking forward to the next instalment.
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  #38  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:47 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Originally Posted by Goldwolf View Post
Great review. It's so interesting to see the UK through the eyes of someone who's visiting. I go down to London every month or so and it's a great city, but I guess you do tend to take things for granted. Funny about the pickpocket signs, if I'm in Rome or Athens I'm as paranoid as the next tourist but in London I never think about it!

It's a shame you didn't come in July though, we had great weather all month!

I live about 30 miles from the Welsh border, it made me smile how excited you were to visit there but as you discovered it has some truly beautiful scenery and to be fair it does look better in the mist and rain (just as well really)!

Looking forward to the next instalment.
Thanks! I think that's very true that in our home environments we don't worry as much about what 'could' happen.

We really did love our day in Wales and were fortunate to get to spend the day there! Though it's too bad we had to miss Belfast since I'm sure that would have been great as well.
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  #39  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:17 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Tuesday - Dublin

Tuesday - Dublin

Today we are in Dublin and woke up bright and early once again. This was definitely not a 'sleeping in' kind of cruise. We were really excited to visit Ireland.

We had pre-purchased tickets for the Green Hop-on Hop-Off bus - and the company was nice enough to honour them on the day we were there so we didn't have to buy new tickets.

Once off the ship, we decided to take the ship's shuttle into town - for 9 Euros/person return (or around there) - there were also cabs waiting and I'm sure we could have found someone to share with, but the bus was there so we did that. It was about a 15-20 min drive to the Trinity College area of town where we were dropped off.

Oh - have I mentioned the weather? You guessed it ... rain. Miserable grey dreary rain that looked like it would never end. Ugh. You could just tell this would put a damper in the day. Nonetheless - we randomly walked to where we thought the bus stop would be and found it and waited for the next bus. Of course we smiled for the camera! Thank goodness for hats or I would have looked like a drowned rat.



We waited maybe 15 or 20 min, with the crowd growing every minute. When the bus arrived, he crammed as many people as possible into the bus - so we ended up standing near the back. The windows were all fogged up so it was tough to see, and it was somewhat hard to hear the driver. Good times.

We got off about 20 min later at the Guiness factory. It was 16 Euros/person, which included a free pint. I wasn't really into Guiness at all (more of a lager girl!) but we thought the tour would be fun/interesting.

Well, it wasn't. To us anyway. It's more of a self-led walk around reading information on displays or watching short videos. I guess we have short attention spans, we never bother to actually read stuff, so we just wandered around from display to display. We did happen on to the Tasting Room, where they teach you about the beer, and the "proper" drinking technique - and that was the best part of this place.



Later we headed up to the 360 degree Viewing room for our free pint. I didn't drink much of mine (ugh!), but Jim drank all of his.





Oh well, live and learn. We heard the Coor's factory in Colarado has an actual tour with a guide, so that is probably more our style!

Next, we hopped back on the HOHO, and got off a few stops later at Kilmainham Gaol. This was the highlight of our day in Dublin. I don't remember how much the entrance fee was, but a guided tour was included and was starting in 10 min. Yay - an actual tour!

The jail was really interesting and the guide told some neat stories that we actually kind of remember. (A lot of the history we learned on this trip went in one ear and out the other!!)



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  #40  
Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:26 PM
jenng1976 jenng1976 is offline
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Default Dublin - Continued





After the Gaol - we walked down the street to an Irish Pub for lunch. I had a Grilled Cheese - omg, soooo good!



After lunch it was back on the bus - and surprise, surprise, it had stopped raining enough that we could sit up top on the HOHO. It was a bit on the chilly side - but at least we had fresh air and could see what we were looking at. Plus the driver was really funny and entertaining. If we had any Euro change left we would have tipped him - but of course we didn't and I wasn't going to leave him 5 Euro! Sorry buddy.






We took the bus around the loop and got off near Trinity College to walk around a bit, do some souvenir shopping, and head back to the bus meetup. There was a huge line - and within about 20 min the bus arrived and we headed back to the ship. We even ran into our favourite waiter Elvir on the bus! It's nice that the staff are able to take some time to see the sites as well between shifts.

So, all in all a good, but not great day. I think if it had not been raining we would have enjoyed the HOHO more, but I guess it wasn't to be. If I were to go back to Ireland though, I would want to see some of the countryside, rather than just Dublin.

Next up: Sea Day #2
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