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About Kilmarlic

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    reading, camping, grandsons
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  1. I've never sailed Carnival before. To say I'm excited is an understatement because this has ended up being next year's Christmas present to my sons and grandsons. It started out that friends were going to celebrate a birthday and invited a group of mutual friends to tag along. I was planning to take my Daughter In Laws who have both wanted to cruise with me. I had the travel agent price out the 3 of us going big with a suite and all the perks or going smaller and taking the "Boys" with us. Turns out the price was comparable and now my Christmas shopping is done!! The stops are Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We've got plenty of time to plan excursions, find the best places for a couples massage (that will be their anniversary presents) and debate the drink package. I'm most interested in tips, tricks and suggestions that you guys might have concerning the grandsons. They will be just under 4 years old at the time we sail. Thanks for all the help to all the questions I'll be asking that are Carnival & port specific. - Iris
  2. I did the party bus in Aruba last year on Royal. I absolutely loved it. Great way to see the highlights. The energy from the bus driver was contagious. I will do it again.
  3. I'm sailing Feb 23 on Empress with stops in Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize. I'd really like to take a ship sponsored excursion to visit the ruins but I'm clueless when it comes to deciding. I know some will offer cheaper alternatives by going outside the cruise line but I will more than likely being doing this solo so I want the peace of mind that comes with booking an RC excursion. For those who have been there and done that please offer some guidance.
  4. You can spend your entire time walking around the fort if you want. We chose to do the guided part as soon as we docked and then later took advantage of the amazing snorkeling opportunity. There was plenty of time (in my opinion) to enjoy the Fort. One of our party did get fairly sea sick on the ferry ride back so make sure you have Dramamine, patches or the wrist bands (whatever you know works for your party).
  5. Fort Jefferson was probably the first place I ever put on my bucket list. I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade when I read about it and knew I had to go see it for myself. That was probably around 1977. Well I finally got to go in 2015. It was AMAZING. Everything I had ever imagined and then some. You just can't fathom the remoteness until you're actually there. One of the amazing things about the trip was that the entire family (16 adults and 3 kids) all wanted to go. No one was willing to miss out. Most of the adults are history buffs to some degree but probably half were not familiar with the existence of the Fort. They quickly learned. Now I want to make a second trip so I can just take it all in...again. I might decide that my 60th birthday should be spent primitive camping there in a few years....just so I can add it back to the Bucket List. The whole point of the trip to the Keys had been to celebrate my 22 year old now Daughter-in-law's graduation from college. I was amazed to hear her tell friends that the highlight of the entire week long vacation was the trip to Fort Jefferson. Knowing that it beat out the Duvall Pub Crawl, ParaSailing, Shopping and everything else that a Florida vacation had to offer makes my soul happy.
  6. Checked in early to the Holiday Inn at the Port. Older hotel but I LOVE the location. The energy at Bayside Marketplace is incredible. So many food options we're going to forgo the traditional turkey. Opting instead for an array of appetizers. (And maybe a few drinks)
  7. Yall keep an eye out for me. I plan on wearing a PINEAPPLE shirt to the meet & greet. I'm currently enduring THE longest work day in the history of mankind. While I'm stuck in a cubicle, my suitcases are hanging out in the trunk of my car. Overnighting in Norfolk, VA tonight before a 6:30ish flight in the morning to Miami. To say I'm excited about this cruise is an understatement of epic proportions. Our roll call here and on Social Media has gotten busier. Safe travels to everyone cruising with us. Also a very Happy Thanksgiving to those reading and following along. - Iris
  8. I think you and your sister are in for the trip of a lifetime. I totally understand the packing list. I'm packed and ready to head out tomorrow and I know I have things in my suitcase I won't use but I'd rather pack them and not need them than having to hunt around the ship in the middle of the night for something minor that would have fit in a Ziploc baggie. 1 thing that I use at home that I've found extremely useful on every vacation & cruise is Dr. Bronner's 18 in 1 soap. I can wash clothes, dishes (I take my Yeti & straw everywhere too!), my hair and body with it. I keep some in my 3-1-1 bag for everything. If you decide to take some, try it at home first. I need a little more conditioner in my hair with it but I find it less of a problem than some of the products that are sold or given away in the travel size containers. There are also some bar soap options for multiple issues. Enjoy every moment of your trip!! - Iris
  9. Hi Donna. I'm so very excited for this cruise. My solo status just changed for this cruise as my cousin will now be joining me. Her name is Donna too. You are welcome to pull up a lounge chair (or dining chair) and join us. I look forward to meeting you. - Iris
  10. BBC's make an excellent choice for breakfast! Don't judge. lol
  11. I've got a Pineapple shirt that I think I will wear on my cruise in 5 weeks.....all in the name of research for my beloved Cruise Critics. If I fail to report back after the cruise yall can just assume that I met a wonderful couple who decided to take me home with them.
  12. My local TJMaxx had both the Baggalini brand bags in several sizes and colors as well as a couple of Vera Bradley Back Packs. Yep. I came home with one of each as well as a new make up bag, travel journal and a travel adaptor.
  13. I love to Journal (not just on vacation). I do have a special journal for my cruises and I love to browse back through it as I prepare for an upcoming cruise. Knowing I wrote down the cabin steward's name or the great waiter at the pool bar helps make it much more personal. After I come home I might add a picture of the towel animals or the answer sheet from the trivia contest to the pages. On my last cruise, I sailed with my step sister so I bought a travel journal for her too. On one of the last days of the cruise she commented that she hadn't written in hers so she'd just copy from mine. WHAT?!?!?!? That may have been the defining moment in deciding to cruise solo from now on.
  14. For my 50th birthday I cruised and one of the stops was St. Thomas. My grandson Thomas was only a few months old at the time so I came home with a ton of "St. Thomas" branded things for EVERYONE in the extended family. The baby loved his stuffed turtle. Every trip since then has resulted in another turtle of some sort for him. His favorite is the Jamaican Turtle with dreadlocks and a rasta hat. I bought a simple $2 woven Jamaican anklet braclet that is tied on for my cruise to mark my divorce becoming final. I wear it everyday. I'm still wearing it a year later later. It hasn't faded nor has it come undone. I have a back up in my desk drawer. Every time I look down it reminds me to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  15. OMG!! This post was written just for me. My PF was just diagnosed last week. I've got a cruise to the ABCs coming up in November. Currently I'm sleeping with a "boot" at night and wearing Nike's during the day. No barefeet for me (that's the hardest part!). I hate wearing shoes. The diagnosis was the perfect encouragement to purge my shoe collection, not to mention the task was long overdue. I have several outlets available to try on some of the suggested brands and styles. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! - Iris
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