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SunnydayKim

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Posts posted by SunnydayKim

  1. Hello! We are taking our first Mediterranean cruise this summer and our cruising 6 year old will be with us! He is a veteran cruiser with 6 cruises already, but always in the Caribbean and beach or ziplining type activities for excursions.

     

    Have any of you taken your children to an excursion that includes visiting catacombs in Italy? I am on the fence on this one.

     

    Any past experiences/people who have done this, please let me know what your kids thought! Were they scared, interested, etc.

     

    Kim

  2. Thanks for your report! We are boarding Splendida and doing nearly the same stops in June! What time did you get to the port in rome/civitavecchia? We are planning on a driver taking us from Rome to port & don't want to be there too early, but also want to try not to get stuck in so many lines as you did!

     

    Also, how did your kids like the catacombs? We have a 6 year old. I am not certain how he would do with the catabombs.

     

    Thanks again for your review!

     

    Kim

  3. Hi

    We were on this cruise in December. We had a great time, we stayed 2 nights pre cruise in Rome. Oh I loved Rome so much and we did and saw so much in our few days there. It was our first time to Europe!!

     

    Yes the cruise is port intensive especially when you include precruise in Rome. But it was so worth staying in Rome a few days, Food is good . They have fresh pasta every day. Big variety in buffet for your son. And the have kids menu so I wouldn't worry. Only thing in buffet to drink is coffee, hot chocolate and juice. Coffee is very strong. I missed my American coffee. I learned though if you put half coffee and half hot milk it was better. We had the 18 coupon drink package which worked out great for me and my daughter. I used it a lot for specialty coffees. Those were really good.

     

    Not sure where you are staying in Rome. We stayed in City Center and it was so convenient to all the sites, shopping etc. I'm sure you know to get tickets etc prior to your trip. There are lines!!!

     

    We went to see the Pope at noon on Sunday for his blessing. My daughter didn't want to go to Rome without seeing the Pope. That was a really nice experience and to be blessed by the Pope.

     

    Monday before getting on the cruise we did a private 3 tour of the Vatican. That was so worth the money. Had lunch and off to the ship.

     

    Palermo was kind of seedy. Cab drivers were all over us when we got into port. Trying to get us to do tours etc. We took the hop on hop off bus to the church and then walked to the Catacombs. My daughter wanted to go there. It was interesting!! We went to the markets and the food was so good especially the rice balls and pizza and really cheap. I think if I went there again I would do an excursion. It was the yellow hop on hop off. Don't take that one. We never saw them after our first stop

     

    Malta is beautiful. We did the jeep excursion. Basically a ride around the Island. Very pretty

     

    Marseille we did the city tour. Too many languages on the bus. Annoying. I would do a private tour out of Marielle

     

    Barcelona was beautiful. We had tickets to Samilia Familia. That was beautiful. We just took a cab to the church Then another cab to Port Olympic for the best lunch recommended by the cab diver and then a cab to Las Ramlas for shopping and gelato. There was 4 of us so it was cheap for cabs.

     

    Genoa. We did a private tour of Portafina, Santa margherita and Rafella. That was really nice and tour guide recommended a nice restaurant for lunch. Best pesto!!!

     

    Enjoy your cruise

     

     

    Thank you so much for all of your tips & feedback on your cruise! Yes, I am super excited at spending some time in Rome pre-cruise (and one day post cruise too just in case!!)! Good feedback on some of our stops too!

     

    Hoping that a couple of other CC cruisers will be on this cruise with us!

     

    Kim

  4. Hello MSC-ers! I am super excited that we just booked our first MSC cruise for this summer (June 4th out of Rome) for 7 days. We have cruised many times, but never on MSC or in Europe!

     

    This will be our first European adventure as a family! Myself, husband & son (6) will be going to Rome for 4 days before the cruise.

     

    The cruise is very port-intensive with no sea days and I know we will be quite tired some days & not do a lot onboard. But... Spendida will be our home for 7 days... so, tell me everything about her! Haha. The good, the bad & the "different to a silly American".

     

    We have done some research and I have looked through & read some reviews & threads within this board (thank you for those!). A couple of questions specifically:

     

    1. I know that they repeat announcements in many languages, however are menus and other written things onboard in multiple languages as well (that include English)?

     

    2. Food options for picky eaters. My 6 year old is not very adventurous when it comes to eating. Do they have a kids menu and/or options that are more geared towards chicken fingers or hamburgers? (I have a fear that in Italy he is going to be laughed out of the country for liking his pasta with just butter & cheese)

     

    3. I know that there is a kids pool. (it looks minuscule) Are children not allowed in the other pools with adult supervision?

     

    4. Are there available non-alcoholic drinks like juice, milk, water, iced tea, lemonade without a package out at self-serve stations or is it all by bar? And, if we do get a package, is it for all in the cabin or could I get one for husband & I and a different one for son?

     

    5. How is the storage in cabins compared to a Carnival or RCI? I have to do better at packing light since we are flying and limiting to 1 bag per person, but... I still tend to over pack. Are hangers provided & how many and/or can you request more?

     

    OK- that is it for now! But... feel free to tell me your Splendida tips, suggestions & thoughts!

     

    We know that this will be a bit different than our past cruises, but it will be AMAZING & we are really excited! Just trying to be prepared so that I can then prepare my son (and myself!!).

     

    Happy New Year & thanks in advance for your tips!

     

    Kim

  5. Hello Norweign cruisers!

     

    We are veteran Carnival cruisers (8 cruises for me, 9 for hubby & 6 for son). We love cruising but are looking for a new itinerary & to try a new cruise line.

     

    Summer 2017 we are planning a European cruise! We have it narrowed down to 2 options, a 10 day on Spirit or a 7 day on Epic. Both sets of ports are amazing & of course I would LOVE to spend 3 more days & go to more places, but I am a tad worried about the age of Spirit & what onboard there is to do with my 6 year. There will be a LOT of sightseeing & "not so fun for him" things in port, so on the ship we would love for him to have a great space.

     

    A few questions:

     

    For those who have been on both ships, is there a noticeable difference in activities? (Spirit v Epic)

     

    Is the specialty dining package needed on both of these ships (I have heard that you should get it, but don't know if that just applies to the newer ships or all)?

     

    Any tips for a Carnival vet switching over to NCL?

     

    We are super excited & plan to book after Christmas!!!

     

    Happy Holidays to all & thank you in advance!

     

    Kim

  6. Grand Cayman- Snorkeling & Stingrays

    Well, the farther away I write this, the more details I lose. So, I will try to remember as much as I can!

    Another perk of FTTF is tendering. Grand Cayman is a tender port and the line to pick up your "number" started early- I saw people lined up at 7:15 when I went down for my coffee. With FTTF, we just went down to guest services, they had someone walk us to an elevator and we were on the first tender.

    We booked the Stingray Excursion with Moby Dick Tours to visit Sting Ray City and snorkel.

    The excursion was on time and there were only about 15 of us total. We met Moby Dick right in the area at port and all walked over to the bus which took us on a "tour" to learn about the island on the way to the marina.

    The boat itself was very nice and it was wonderful to have small number of people on board. I will say, although I enjoyed this excursion- I am not certain if I would take this company again. There is no real reason, they were all nice, but just not "wow". Maybe it was just the day.


    [URL="http://postimg.org/image/4ms0tfzj9/"][IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/4ms0tfzj9/DSCN0352.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    The ride out was nice and sunny, but the waves were coming! It was a very rough day out in the water and this did put a bit of a damper on our snorkeling and stingray city.

    We snorkeled first. It was too rough for Keiran to get in the water. Really too rough. It was almost too rough for us. Steve & I took turns snorkeling. We saw some great fish, but the currents and choppy waters made it difficult to swim too.

    Stingray City sandbar was rough as well. But, it was shallow enough and not as big waves so Keiran came into the water with us. The stingrays were amazing. It was a bit scary as the waves would push you over and we had to watch out for the rays.

    [URL="http://lookpic.com/O/i2/310/5OkJ9b4.jpeg"][IMG]http://lookpic.com/O/t2/310/5OkJ9b4.jpeg[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL="http://lookpic.com/O/i2/1744/X4xDNrn.jpeg"][IMG]http://lookpic.com/O/t2/1744/X4xDNrn.jpeg[/IMG][/URL]

    [URL="http://postimg.org/image/wk7nd59yd/"][IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/wk7nd59yd/DSCN0465.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

    Even though the weather was not on our side for a nice, smooth trip, we made the best of it and had a great time.

    We went back to the port area (the bus either dropped you off at beach or port). There was this little stand that had really yummy meat pies. They were inexpensive as well, a nice little kick of spice in them! Right inside the port area. I did a tiny bit of souvenir shopping and then headed back to the ship.

    Back on ship we had a late, small lunch. I think it was from the grill but do not remember! Keiran loved the hotdogs.

    A nap was in store for all of us this afternoon, followed by our regular routine of some afternoon trivia, pre-dinner prep.

    Tonight after dinner was again a camp Carnival time for Keiran and the comedians/casino for Steve and I. (Sorry, again- the details of night-by-night have now escaped me!)

    I will wrap up with Sea Day and overall Carnival Splendor thoughts on the next post!

    Kim
  7. To anyone who was reading this review, thank you. I apologize for the delay, but I will finish this as I love "reliving" our cruises.

    Life has gotten in the way since I last wrote on this. My father had a heart attack and a double bypass, but thankfully he is recovering and doing great now. Between that scary time, work and a few minor illnesses in our house, the delay has just gotten longer.

    I will be finishing up this review this week.

    And for those of you that are sailing on Splendor in the upcoming months, you will have a great time. Hopefully something that I write will help in your vacation planning as so many other trip reports have helped me!

    Kim
  8. We took our son on his first cruise when he was 2. He is now 4 and we are going on his 4th cruise in September!

     

    He absolutely loved Camp. They had bubble parties, played games, had dance parties and more.

     

    I would recommend going to the family party on the first night of the cruise so that your little one can be both with you and get to interact with others at the same time.

     

    My Victory review below in my signature was when he was 2.

     

    Kim

  9. Another idea, and this one is really cheesy but I would love it! Do a scavenger hunt that you make up on the cruise. Since you all have cruised so often you could do things like, go to the place we (insert fun cruising memory here).

     

    It would take a bit of effort but it could be a fun walk down cruising memory lane :)

     

    Kim

  10. Congratulations on 50 years!

     

    We did the photo package and the pictures turned out great. We met at an assigned time and took about 45 minutes taking family pictures all over the ship.

     

    We only ended up purchasing 4 as it was an unplanned expense. They are very expensive, but really great pictures. I think they had different packages in the $300+ range. Individual pictures were $35 a piece I believe. There was no fee for the booking.

     

    Have fun!

  11. The women with no faces bother me.

    Have you seen them?

     

    Somehow just unsettling.

     

    That is funny as we actually like the Emile Bellet paintings/prints and have purchased a couple on past cruises. We only buy what we like and the frame pricing on some of them can be great and less than you would pay on land. We are not buying as an investment, but for decoration.

     

    I guess it really does go to show you that beauty -and art- are in the eyes of the beholder. :)

     

    I will say, the past few cruises, we haven't gone as they seem like just the "same stuff".

     

    Kim

  12. After about an hour total at the beach (including walking back and forth to the spot to meet our driver) we headed back to port with some more scenery and history on the way. Also, our driver made a stop to get good, cheap Honduran coffee for Sharon. She gave a bag to our driver and and kept the rest for them to bring back for themselves & gifts.

    The ride back was on the other side of the island and my goodness... I could see us getting a vacation home there! If only flights were more frequent and reasonable, I think we would! Maybe one day we will plan a land vacation and spend a week in this beautiful part of the world.

    As I mentioned, payment was $25 per person. We paid + tip at the end. It was a wonderful day and the drop off was much closer to the boat this time then when we met him; dropped off right in the port area.

    We were STARVING when we got back onboard. We did have some fruit while we were out, but that and water was all since breakfast. It was around 3pm when we went up to Lido and ate lunch.

    This would be the only night we didn't eat in the MDR for dinner. We just had too late of a lunch to be hungry at 6pm. After lunch, a nap was in order!

    We woke up late from our nap, walked around the ship and did (something!). Then, Keiran wanted to go to camp, but camp was closed unless you wanted to eat there. So, we hung out a bit more, got Keiran a bit of dinner from the buffet and he went off to camp around 7pm.

    I think that this was the night Steve & I went to 3 comedy shows. They had 2 really funny comedians on that had a lot of just funny comedy, not your standard cruise-ship jokes. Although I like a good room-steward ninja hiding under the bed or cruise ship toilet sucking you down the drain joke, they can get old multiple nights in a row! These two comedians were funny and their set could be told anywhere. We went to both family shows and then one of the adult showings.

    Tonight was a party in the kids club and so Keiran stayed late. I picked him up about 11:30pm and off to Lido deck to get milk and then straight to bed. As an FYI, at home Keiran is in bed at 8:45 and usually falls asleep by 9-9:30. On a cruise, with so much to do and longer naps during the day, we allow him to stay up later (and hopefully sleep in a little later than his normal 7am too!). Bedtime routine on the ship included milk from the lido to bring back to the room, and he would have a chocolate from our room steward's turn down chocolates. Then, brush teeth and time to lay down. There were not many options for kids TV at this time of night, but Keiran got to know the wonderful world of Tom & Jerry! Usually, within 10 minutes of laying down (even with the TV on) he would be asleep.

    That was it for a wonderful day at Roatan. Next stop, Grand Cayman.

    Kim
  13. We wanted to do a little more snorkeling and hit the beach. We parked and our driver gave us directions to a good snorkeling spot about a 10 minute walk away. Well, we evidently did not find the spot he was talking about, but still had fun in the water and saw fish snorkeling!
    The things I didn't like about this beach were that you had to pay for any chair, which I understand (but we were only planning on staying for less than an hour, so didn't feel like doing that) AND you had to pay for a spot in the shade? Even on the beach sand. That didn't make any sense to me. And, in order to sit there, you couldn't just pay a few dollars, you had to buy a wrist band. So... we made our trip to the beach extra short as Sharon & Johnny weren't getting in the water and were just going to watch.


    This beach was crowded, but nice. The water was clear, lots of shallow areas for Keiran to play in and we had a nice time. Steve & I again took turns swimming out a bit to snorkel.



    [B]Snorkeling selfie:[/B]


    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/du7mmz2rr/DSCN0255.jpg[/IMG]

    [B]Lots of fish[/B], even if this wasn't the reef!

    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/qrzhwklon/DSCN0269.jpg[/IMG]





    [B]And of course, crystal clear water![/B]


    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/ktlomc2pz/DSCN0311.jpg[/IMG]

    [B]The family shot[/B] (steve hates these pictures, but "in action" we have no other way to get pictures of all 3 of us together! The one with the longest arm wins (Steve) and since he doesn't like them, if in one shot we all aren't looking- oh well. No re-do's! So, this picture isn't the best, but it is what I have!)



    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/kd0gzweyv/DSCN0313.jpg[/IMG]

    [B]Our water baby...[/B]


    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/5d84c1y2v/DSCN0315.jpg[/IMG]

    Sharon sitting in the sun (the only "free" spot on the beach!)

    [IMG]http://s13.postimg.org/h8pt33y6f/DSCN0316.jpg[/IMG]


    Kim
  14. [quote name='Twintowngirl']I am enjoying reading your review of the Splendor! So far she isn't one of the ships I am planning on going on but I am in the process of doing my first cruise review ( after 6 cruises!) and I am gathering ideas for photos and a more creative writing flair.

    We were at Victor's Monkey zoo in 2012....fun place!

    Happy sailing to you and your family and thanks again for sharing your story and photos.

    Deb[/quote]

    Thanks for reading and happy sailing to you as well! Have fun writing your upcoming review, they are lots of fun reliving your vacation. But, do take some work with the pictures (and remembering details!).
  15. I think this little guy was more Keiran's style! (you can tell by the smile instead of the "what am I supposed to do look" on his face with the monkey!)

    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/owk1vrue1/DSCN0234.jpg[/IMG]

    This parrot had some claws! It hurt! Beware if you have hair!

    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/7o8xcuh09/DSCN0223.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/n3h57g97d/DSCN0222.jpg[/IMG]

    (well, maybe Keiran still isn't big into animals on his shoulders!)

    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/c6ftiomft/DSCN0239.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/s5yh28ihl/DSCN0251.jpg[/IMG]

    Just to note there was hand sanitizer and as I said a full bathroom area here too.

    Kim
  16. Next stop...Victor's Monkey Business. This was $5 extra per person and a really cool place. There is a private tour guide that takes your group on a tour. So, add in some tip money to your budget as well.



    Monkeys, lemurs, birds of all types, etc. It was set up as kind of an interactive zoo. There is also clean bathrooms here, a gift shop and water bottles/etc for sale. Victor Bodden actually lives here- so you can see his house as well, just not view it. This stop is also available on non-Victor tours, but I think the pricing is more like $10.


    We all had the chance to have a monkey climb on us.



    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/61jprm4yh/DSCN0188.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s14.postimg.org/7ersfw5ox/DSCN0200.jpg[/IMG]


    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/b1h5zkal5/DSCN0178.jpg[/IMG]

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    [IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/bjcbff061/DSCN0185.jpg[/IMG]

    Kim
  17. Our first stop was at a little outside market up on a high hill looking over the water and island. We purchased a bracelet made from a Hondurian coin and a picture from a local artist. We also just looked around, took some pictures and talked with a few local vendors.


    [B]The only picture we got of all of us![/B] (Johnny, Sharon, Kim, Steve & Keiran!)



    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/qdmgcwb4j/DSCN0161.jpg[/IMG]



    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/yx5uanjgz/DSCN0160.jpg[/IMG]
    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/o7s5ie7o3/DSCN0168.jpg[/IMG]

    [B]Big Guns. [/B]This was a bit of an eye-opener. These are Honduran military on guard. And, this picture doesn't show the extremely big guns that they had their hands on...



    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/5ja3v2gr7/DSCN0175.jpg[/IMG]

    [B]Beautiful scenery. [/B]Great view from up here. The road was a bit scary driving up to this point! One-way road with two way traffic a few places on the island!



    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/gdrjwzzv7/DSCN0173.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s11.postimg.org/jjc5n7ihf/DSCN0162.jpg[/IMG]


    Kim
  18. Roatan (Mahogany Bay) is a beautiful island located off of the main land of Honduras. This was the only day in which Steve's Aunt & Uncle would be going on an excursion, and- it was with us! I had pre-booked an excursion outside of Carnival with Victor Bodden Tours. We had a driver and a van for $25 per person who would take us where ever we wanted to go on the island. I thought this was a great deal and had a few conversations via email with the tour company prior to getting to the island. They verify everything with you and try to “plan out” your day a bit before you get there. I have to say that I was impressed with Victor Bodden's company and our driver. We paid cash at the end of the day plus a generous tip. It was one of our favorite days and both Sharon & Johnny said it was the highlight of their cruise.


    We had a bit of a wait until we were “cleared” after docking and so it was a madhouse at 9:30am getting off of the ship. But, we were “dinged” off and made the long treck up to the road past the little shops and cruise tours. Note, if you do a private tour it is about a half mile walk up a fairly steep hill to meet any non-Carnival tour. However, it was a nice little walk and we soon were met by our driver who took us to the van for the day!


    [B]Music to greet us in Roatan! [/B]



    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/hmphpsa8d/DSCN0145.jpg[/IMG]

    We learned so much about the island itself, the people, the culture, income, schooling, etc. However... now I can not remember all of the details and would hate to pass along the wrong facts. You will just have to go there and take a tour and learn for yourself (haha!) However, I can tell you that it was all very interesting and we loved it.


    Some pictures along our drive...



    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/v4we22mdp/DSCN0148.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/8dnbfo1cd/DSCN0151.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/vba355vil/DSCN0153.jpg[/IMG]


    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/hrxud76x9/DSCN0156.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://s28.postimg.org/qo8mh4xjh/DSCN0155.jpg[/IMG]

    Kim
  19. This was the only time that we didn't eat on the ship. However, Steve & Keiran still wanted ice-cream! After a quick trip to get some ice cream it was time for a short nap. That is something I miss from the cruise, napping! Keiran hardly naps at all anymore at home or “school” (daycare) but when you are swimming for multiple hours, you need a nap! Steve & I enjoyed our little afternoon naps as well most days it was both of us, but sometimes the other went out exploring or to do something else.


    This afternoon and tonight were pretty similar to all evenings- dinner at 6pm, Keiran to camp afterwards and Steve & I did the comedy show and casino. There was one night that we went to the main lounge show. It was OK, but it really isn't our style of entertainment.


    Off to bed relatively early for us all tonight as we had a busy day planned for tomorrow... Isla Roatan Honduras :)


    Side note on Roatan. Steve & I were married in 2009 aboard the Carnival Legend in port in Tampa. We had about 80 people attend our wedding and reception onboard and then 20+ stayed on with us as we sailed to Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan and Grand Cayman. Steve & I both loved Roatan and couldn't wait to get back! This was our first trip back and we were very excited to see the island again and go on the tour we had planned.


    Next up... the beautiful island of Roatan, Honduras.



    Kim
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