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cruisin USA

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  1. I poured out our last of the Jager and split a Red Bull between the 2 glasses. Mary Ann poured the last of her White Zin into a wine glass and off we went. We made a short stop at the Casino bar for a smoke break before the show. Mary Ann sure does miss being able to smoke on our balcony….sigh. At least there are still smoking areas that are close. The “bar guys” were sitting there in their usual spots. Can you reserved the bar seats? (Cliff and Norm) There was a spot open right next to them that we could fit in to order our drinks. Ordered a Corona for me and a new White Zin for Mary Ann(to go along with our Jager Bombs we had carried). Shared a slightly remorseful moment with the guys, sharing that we weren’t ready to leave yet. They didn’t want to leave either. Time flew, we already were late. We bid our farewells, and headed off to the show. It was pretty packed…… We had to sit a little farther back. No worries. As long as I hear.
  2. We were seated halfway into the dining room. I recognize someone from our page was sitting right next to us. It was Mark who asked if there were any Elite cruisers in our group? That’s what led me to google it. I introduced Mary Ann and myself. He was sitting with a young lady that he introduced as Brooke. Although they got along ok. I got the impression that they weren’t boyfriend/girlfriend. As it turned out she lived pretty far from him. They were both very nice. He was telling us that he was on his limit for his free drinks(15?? Wow!!). Hey, if you got a free Cheers package, you might as well use them up. The conversation turned to me mentioning that I thought I was going to see a LOT of high rollers this trip. He told me that most of the players he met from the Elite group were older, and mostly playing in the morning. I said I’d been at the craps table for the most part. He said although he played a little of everything, he noticed that most Elite’s were slot players(makes sense). Dinner came, and we started eating, enjoying our last night’s dinner. We knew that it was going to be Baked Alaska for dessert. We were just finishing up our Prime Rib when the Matre D’ came over the microphone. He asked once again if everyone was enjoying their dinner? Big Cheers!! He then said that he had a special announcement. He said that one of our waiters was going to be going home tomorrow, because his wife just had a baby!! It’s Rizzulini!!! He continues…. “We’re going to miss Rizzulini. He’s been onboard with us now for 10 month’s now”…lol. Levity over, the waitstaff all starts coming out carrying Baked Alaska. I know its coming. Always have to fight back a tear or two when they sing the “Leaving a Funship” song, They flame up the Alaska, and finish up with a Happy Tune. Finiculi Finicula!! We had our dessert, Thanked and Congratulated Rizzulini and we were off. Had to get our last Jager Bombs that we were going to take to the comedy show.
  3. We had to empty our cooler so we could dry it out before we could pack it. We placed what little we had left in the refrigerator. As it was we had made the Jager last the whole trip. We had a couple extra Red Bulls. I had made sure I would have my Pepsi for our last dinner. We would be buying our drinks from the bartenders for the rest of tbe cruise. We showered, changed into our night clothes and headed to the Blue Java one last time for our seating assignment. Headed to the podium, and we were seated quickly. Rizzulini again!! He was a GREAT waiter. Always a smile, and a GREAT attitude!
  4. Headed back to the cabin. The way was practically instinctual by now. Aft elevators down to Deck 6. We still got a chuckle over the way the elevator pronounces the word “Upper(with a long "U") when it announces "6th Floor, UUUpper" when the elevator doors open If you’ve ever sailed Carnival, you’ve heard it. Starboard side and all the way back. Quick wave of the key over the door, and we were in. Time to start packing…..YUK!! When you’re packing for the trip, everything is fresh. You’ve picked out your clothes(no easy task). Add you’re toiletries, and you’re pretty good to go. Carefull placing your clothes in your bags so that they won’t wrinkle. On the way home it's a little different...sigh. A SURE signal that vacation is coming to an end (and soon…. double sigh). Got our suitcases out from under the bed and got it all packed within a half an hour or so. Showered and changed into our night clothes. We would be sure to leave tomorrows clothes out too. I packed the worlds most traveled beach towel, and our matching sign we always have hanging on the balcony door with suction cups. We were pretty quiet. It’s so sad to realize that this trip was almost over. We put the bags of to the side knowing that we'd place them out when we came back after dinner.
  5. Captains finished. Mike finishes up reminding us that tonight the comedy would be here in the theater instead of the Limelight lounge. There would be dancing in the Limelight tonight.....wink. The party is over(too quickly). We understood. Early seating would be starting soon. We left, passing the casino for supplies and stopped up on the smoking deck for a smoke break. It was almost dark. I could see that the Carnival Ship(think it was the Glory) was still off to our starboard. Headed back to the cabin. Soon enough, it would be time for dinner. We had packing to do.....................................................sigh
  6. Mike lets the Captain talk to us for a bit. The ship's officers are all Italian. (I remember when all our cruise directors were British. John Heald came out of this era . It's different now with CD's, and that's ok). Our last few cruises the captain has come on the P.A. during the cruise directors muster speech. It's ALWAYS hard to understand what they are saying, Considering that English is their second language, they try, but I think most Americans will tell you the same. This Captain was much better than any I've heard(aside from the Captain that mentioned that someone out on deck asked who was driving the ship?, to which he replied, "Don't Worry, the monkey's doing fine...lol). Just another thank you to all of us and the crew that puts it together each cruise.
  7. Mike then goes on to start introducing the people behind the scenes helping to make our cruise so FUN!! The executive chef, head of housekeeping, entertainment director, a couple of others. Last, but not least, Mike introduces the captain of the ship. The head man himself!!
  8. Then it’s time for the show of ships. All the Carnival ships pictures came scrolling up. It was a chronological pictorial, with oldest ships first scrolling down the screen 3 by 3. Mike would announce ALL the ships, and you were supposed to cheer if you any ship you sailed on was mentioned. We got to cheer for the Ecstasy, the Imagination, the Paradise, the Destiny, the Miracle, the Glory, the Splendor, the Breeze, and now the Horizon. Being the newest ship, it was the last one called. That got a BIG cheer from ALL of us in the audience!!!
  9. I knew he’d be leaving shortly, as he was scheduled to play in the atrium at 5:30. He finished up. Mike came onto the stage microphone in hand, asking about that last song, with the guitarist humbly admitting it was an original. Mike came out in this OUTRAGEOUS “Union Jack” Suit Coat. A “Union Jacket” some might call it. He starts by basically thanking us for our return business. It lets him know they’re doing their jobs right. Cut to the contests. Cute, but we didn’t have a horse in the race
  10. The guitarist was up on the stage doing his thing. All these Carnival performers are good. Great background music for a party. Not too loud, and we knew his songs, except one, that Mike coaxed out of him, was an original.
  11. Walked through the doors of the theater, handed them our invites. Still enjoy them saying “Welcome Back”. The lower level had quite a few people already seated. Nobody in the upper area. Waiters were carrying around trays of assorted drinks. YEAH! Others were carrying trays of appetizers…Meh! Found a couple of seats more centered than we usually do, but that’s what was available. We picked a couple of fruity looking drinks off one of the waiters. We accepted the appetizers to be polite, but we’re on a ship where we can constantly eat for free. If I had a beard, I would suggest that Carnival could let these go as a cost cutting means. We’d been well fed over the last 6 days. They are playing a couple of party games as usual. On the side screens they were suggesting we play some games. “Guess the Epaulette”???… We’ve never been in the military, so we never had even heard the word before, let alone know what it meant. We didn't even try guessing. Another game was guess the crew member from their childhood photo. Fun stuff, but we were just hanging out, mingling, and enjoying our free cocktails.
  12. I think I figured it out. The answer lies in deck 3. Directly below the showroom. 50 cabins. 22 Inner. 28 Ocean View, The inner cabins could hold up to 3 people. I did some quick math, and figured almost 80K (at capacity)for these cabins on a 6 day cruise. I bet those sub woofers went right through to all those cabins!! Yow!!!! Carnival, in it’s infinite wisdom(and knowing that social media would maul these cabins like lions), decided to just have shows in the theater(that usually are over by 11pm), to keep the “quiet" value in these cabins. Too bad. All that engineering, just to find out they might lose 400K a month due to those rooms having bad publicity. I can just hear my PVP.. “Yeah, we do have a few cabins left. They are under the showroom, and it might be a little THUMPY till about 4 am”……er……no. Mystery solved. Let's get to the party......
  13. In this picture, you can see the ring of light scaffolding that would be directly above the dance floor.
  14. Before I go into our VIP party, I would like to mention something that I wasn’t sure I would cover in this review. But in the interest of detail. I would like to point something out. The layout of the theater. This rooms was VERSATILE!! From the round overhead lights that would change color, to all the effects(lasers, smoke ,Strobe lights, and confetti droppers) across the entire ceiling to the all those seats(main floor) that weren’t secured down, the tile floor, the bar in the back, to the incredible sound system…..This was supposed to the DISCO of the ship!! With the Limelight acting as the Comedy Club/Multi-purpose area. Made sense. But they are using the Limelight lounge as the disco too, along with being the comedy club, etc. Something must have happened……
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