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t4jes

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About t4jes

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    Los Angeles
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    Carnival

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  1. No major renovations, but the rooms seem to be redone (at least the bathrooms), including some public space bathrooms (the one near the main dining room seems very modern and new). The video above showed a re-done pool. It was raining so we didn't use it much, so can't speak to it. They added a Bonsai Sushi permanent station. I've read many reviews about how Inspiration felt dated and old. We didn't feel that way at all --- hopefully that's due to the Dry Dock. I did post a trip report that mentions a bit about the condition of the ship and some of the dry dock features. You can read a lot more in detail here: .
  2. They didn't add any activities or dining even though you couldn't tender?
  3. This isn't about the guaranteed balcony on the Legend, but I can speak that some of the obstructed cabins are barely obstructed. I had room 5180 and all we couldn't see was down. We thought it was great! There are others you can find online (here's another 5190) that you can almost see everything. There are others that will have large lifeboats in the way so you want to choose carefully. If you're concerned about what you might get, maybe it is worth it to spend the $60 and find one of the obstructed that are barely so, rather than potentially ending with one where you can't see anything, or will have a very noisy location.
  4. Hope you have a great time! There were maybe only 2-3 hours where it was warm enough to be outside, but we never found it too crowded anywhere in the indoor areas. I believe the ship was pretty close to capacity.
  5. Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise. Here's some general ratings for the ship: Ship Design/Cleanliness: B+ I thought the ship was well-kept up. Looked modern and not old (hopefully result of recent dry dock). Some portions of the ship can be hard to navigate, and some of the design is a little bling and old-school Vegas-y. But for a short cruise, it was great. Rooms: A- We had an inside cabin (R138). No complaints. Room was clean and modern. I thought bathroom was pretty good size. Shower was actually pretty good. Our home shower is not super strong nor does it get super hot, so it was a treat to have a hot strong shower. Bed was comfortable enough despite the two twin beds separating sometime. Not a lot of space to hang out other than the bed, but that was okay with us. Plenty of storage space. Elevators were easy to get up and down. Dining: B A couple of dishes were very good. Food is not fine dining, but definitely good enough. Was fairly easy to eat healthy. Rating went down because lack of choices on last few days. Guys burger was good. Blue Iguana was good too. If i was to say favorite dishes, it'd be the Miso Salmon in MDR, the Sea Bass in MDR, fries at Guy's Burger, Shrimp/BeefTostada Bowl at Blue Iguana, and fish tacos at Blue Iguana. I don't eat a ton of desserts, but most Lido desserts weren't good. MDR was okay. The ones at the pay cafe looked good though! Service: B+ Room was well taken care of despite them moving to only one cleaning a day. Didn't see room steward that much and didn't interact much. Dining staff was pretty good. Wasn't A+ service, but was good enough considering we weren't in that much of a rush. But nothing to complain about, and we felt well-pampered enough. Entertainment: B+ Shows we watched were decent. Nothing spectacular. We didn't watch any of the main productions. Guitarist in the Atrium Bar was good. Didn't pay attention to many of the other bands. Overall, found enough things to do when we wanted, but we plenty enjoyed our free space to be able to just read and such. Overall: A It's funny. Despite not giving an A to most of these categories, the overall trip was an A. The cruise was fun and exactly what we needed. Enough to relax and eat and just enjoy. We were super impressed that the captain was able to get us some decent weather and get us to both ports, especially when coming back, we heard it had rained for 4 days straight. Our "Fun" factor was definitely an A+ and I think that helped a lot. Even with the rain, we were able to enjoy and have a fun vacation. I think being chill and relaxed about things really helped! I think these West Coast short cruises get a bad rep of being booze cruises, but we didn't experience that at all. Ship was well-kept and I didn't think it was showing it's age. We were ready for 3 more nights, and I looked into the Carnival Panorama for a 7 night next year, but not sure if it'll happen as work schedule might not work out. Looking forward to the ways Los Angeles and the rest of the West Coast will keep expanding with cruising. Such a great staycation option without needing to stay super still. If we got a good deal, we'd do this same cruise again! Thanks for following along. Again, I give props to everybody who does these extensive pictorial reviews. It took a lot longer and a lot more work than I would've thought, but I enjoyed reliving the cruise, two weeks after we're back. I hope that others can learn and it's helpful for those who are considering or planning this cruise. Feel free to shoot any additional questions you might have, and I'll answer as I can. Blessings!
  6. We woke up around 7 the next morning. I had thought about going back to the MDR, but we decided instead to go to the buffet for our final breakfast meal. Many people were already beginning to disembark. As I mentioned early, we did the checked luggage option, and chose luggage tag number 8. We didn't want to rush off the ship, but we also didn't want to be very last. I had to be back at work around 11:30 that morning. Breakfast was fairly uneventful. My husband grabbed another huevos rancheros (aka chicken taco w/ cheese), and I grabbed a few things from the buffet, including another slice of the gluten free bread. I did find the sliced fruit in the salad section to be better than the diced/cut fruit in the buffet line. One thing I do remember --- ice cream was shut off in the morning. It was not 24/7 and we were not able to get anymore. Not that we should be having ice cream that early in the morning. We walked briefly outside, and my husband saw this bird and took a picture. We headed back to our room to get our stuff. They asked us to clear the rooms by 8:30. It was probably about 8:15 when we left the room with our backpacks. We headed up to Promenade deck and planted ourselves by one of the table along the windows. They were calling for self-assist disembarkation by decks, and if we were self-assisting, we would've been able to disembark around 8:30. They started from top decks and worked their way down, so Deck 4 would've been the last self-disembark deck. At that point, I was thinking maybe we should've taken the early disembark option, but snapped myself out of it when I realized I had some more free time to read and relax. So we sat and read while we waited for them to finally call our tag. It was probably around 9 or 9:15 when that happened. We walked back into the big dome. Then we saw the huge line. First, we were let into the area with all our bags. Everything was there already, but we had trouble finding one of them. It turns out that instead of putting it in Section 8, they put it in Section 18. It took us a little while, but fortunately our bag is unique in that it's a hardshell purple bag, so we could locate it. Then we got into the Customs line. We chose to pick up a customs form because we had gone over the alcohol limit. I'd rather declare and be asked to pay the duty rather than be in trouble. The line took about half an hour. We did see porters offer to take people to the front, but they tended to target people with lots of bags. We wouldn't have even been able to have the option as they never came to us. In this line, you can't use your cell phone, but I did take out my kindle and try to keep reading. When we got to the front, the Customs officer just waved us through. No duty. He just asked if the alcohol was all we got. I ordered a Lyft (I had checked Uber about 20 minutes ago, and it was $38, and then when i checked when we left, it was $50!, so we decided to go Lyft. There must've been a surge right in that minute). It was a fairly smooth ride back. Lyft cars are older than Uber if that matters to people. You can tip on them both. Our driver told us that many drivers start their day off waiting in the Queen Mary lot for Carnival cruisers as there are 4-5 different days they can get work due to Imagination and Inspiration both sailing. Her car had a little bit of problem going back to our house, but we made it in one piece. When we got home, one thing we realized was that our bags were wet. One thing we did to try to lighten our load was to put our leftover sodas into our bags. I double bagged them incase they leaked but it was not enough. I guess they were thrown around quite a bit overnight being checked in. Fortunately, it was a sparkling water and cream soda, so didn't stain anything too badly. I made it back, and I headed to work, and then our vacation was over... Will write up some final thoughts when I have a chance these next few days...
  7. I didn't specifically order soft boiled eggs by the minute, but this is what the menu said (I copied and pasted from a Carnival menu https://www.carnival.com/~/media/Images/explore/dining/menus/dining-room-breakfast-menu.pdf) breakfast board soft boiled egg, baby lettuce salad, pastrami, grilled sour dough house-made yogurt butter, seasonal jam I just assumed they'd be soft boiled, but they came out hard boiled. There was no way that they could've called what we got soft-boiled, so it was misnomered. I bet if you order it and just specify soft boiled, they'd bring it out right. I was just bummed that they didn't follow through with what they said it'd be. The poached eggs on the avocado toast were great. I'm glad my husband shared them with me. 🙂
  8. I forgot to add the paragraph in the beginning: As we were driving home, we were given the options of being dropped off at the ship, or in downtown depending on what you were looking to buy. They were also willing to stop somewhere on the way back, as one family almost stopped by the beach to go horseback riding, but didn’t have the cash on hand to do it. Instead of dropping half the group on the ship, they dropped us back at our starting point where people could catch the shuttle back to port. When we purchased the tour, we were given a ticket for the shuttle back to the cruise port. We didn't end up using it.
  9. My husband and I opted to get dropped of downtown since we still had a few hours to kill. They dropped us off in the middle of the shopping district. It was more of the same kind of things that we saw at the market by La Bufadora – mostly trinkets and souvenirs. My husband was bummed there wasn’t any bootleg things like we saw at the market, like fake bags and purses, etc. There were still some places giving out tequila tastings and such. We ended up walking around a little bit, and then saw a chocolate store with free tastings, and a sign for purple corn tea. Don’t remember the name, but we decided to go in. When we went in, we saw a guy with a broken leg on one of those knee scooters, and we realized it was the comedian we had seen earlier on the cruise (he had made jokes about it). It made me curious about comedians and their contracts, and found out that they often just go on for a trip or two, and perform at night, and then are able to explore during the day. Back to the chocolate store – I decided to order a purple corn tea. It was a long day, and time for some refreshment. While waiting, we sampled some of their chocolates. They had a lot of flavors (don’t remember them all, but remember strawberry, lavender, blueberry, and such). They were good. Good enough that my husband wanted to buy a bar. It wasn’t cheap – maybe $10 for a large bar of 85% dark chocolate, but it was really good. The purple corn tea was also good – it reminded me of Korean Corn Silk tea, so I’m guessing they’re similar. It just tastes lightly of corn essense – doesn’t taste like corn if you think that might sound weird. A little bit nutty. I decided to Yelp and see what food was around the area. (I mentioned in a response, but we have T-Mobile, which made it great for us to have cell service everywhere we went.) Saw a posting for La Guerrerense which had amazing reviews and it was only a block away. We walked over and looked at their menu. They specialized in tostadas and seafood. Woohoo! Even though we weren’t that hungry, we were in Mexico and on vacation, so we decided to order two tostadas as a snack. They have about 12 types of seafood tostadas that are their regular priced (I think they were between 1-2 dollars), plus a few specialty ones that were closer to 5-7. They also had cocktails. We ordered the sea urchin one (we love uni) and a mixta tostada (mixed with fish, shrimp, squid I believe). The sea urchin one was really flavorful. The mixta one was good, but not as good as the other. I wish I were hungrier so I could try more. If I could try more, I would’ve tried some of their pate ones. They looked kinda like a tuna salad. The specialty ones also looked interesting. They had a ton of hot sauces you could try, and they sold them as well as they were homemade self specialties. Sea Urchin (left) and Mixta (right) - Very yum! It was a great little pit stop, and recommended if you stop in Ensenada downtown. As a note, you order first, they make the tostadas, you eat to your hearts content, and after you’re done, then you go to the back lady to pay. I believe it’s a bit of an honor system. Apparently this was a pit stop for Anthony Bourdain at some point, so it’s worth checking out. After this, we took our time to walk back to the ship. There were some good views of the ship on the walk back. We asked a security guard to take some photos for us. As we went back onto ship for our last few hours, we decided we were going to go to MDR early, since we wanted to head back to the room to pack up and finish off our time. Originally, I had thought we’d just do self-assist express debark, but we decided to see if we thought we could pack up our bags to send down that evening for the checked luggage option. We had taken advantage of bringing sodas on board with us since we do like a Diet Coke here or there. My husband was in charge of buying the sodas and had got some Diet A&W so we decided to go do root beer floats. We went up to Lido and enjoyed some while we continued to play Monopoly Deal. It was here that my luck finally turned and I began to beat him. He beat me 7 in a row, and then I proceeded to win 3 in a row. We stopped before the damage continued for him. We headed to the MDR right at opening (5:45 I believe). There were a few people waiting already, but for the only time on this cruise (other than for Sea Day Brunch), we were sat immediately. I wasn’t super excited about the last two nights menus, but decided I’d order the Indian Vegetarian one of the nights. Since we didn’t go to MDR the night before, I used it for this night. My husband decided to try one of the upcharge $20 Surf and Turfs since he too wasn’t super excited about the entrees. We also got the Lychee bisque, escargot, and salmon cake for appetizers. Lychee bisque tasted kinda like cereal milk – whether that’s good or bad is up to the diner I guess. The Indian was fairly good – we have some really good Indian food near where I live, so I thought it was on par with what I’ve had. The surf and turf was decent – I’m not sure if it’s worth the $20 upcharge. This was the only night I ordered a dessert – there was a no sugar added key lime cheese stuffed apple. Most of the no sugar added desserts didn’t super appeal, but this one did. It was good (I forgot to take a picture). Salmon cake - was pretty good Lychee Bisque - aka cereal milk Escargot - very, very buttery, which is typical for escargot. Indian Vegetarian - my favorite part were the fritters on the right side, and the round dish on the top. Surf and Turf I told my husband I wanted to see the other comedian, so we made it back for the dearly PG family-friendly show with the comedian Roman. They had described him as “smooth like jazz” or something like that. I wasn’t sure how a comedian would do that, but I realized what they meant. Roman’s comedy I thought was funnier than the other comedian – my husband had a few deep belly laughs. I don’t know how to describe it, but his dynamics were very muted. It wasn’t that he wasn’t animated, but it was like listening to jazz music. His voice was so soothing, but made it a little hard at times to follow what he was saying. Also, I had not been to many comedy shows so I didn’t know what family-friendly meant, so I was a little surprised at the content as while it wasn’t offensive, it wasn’t kid-friendly. In my quest to learn about comedians on ships online after I got back, I learned that comedians just need a show that doesn’t contain language or explicit content – but it doesn’t need to target families. In fact, it said these shows most likely will go over kids heads. I’m surprised how many families brought kids to the shows, as I’m not sure how interesting they would’ve been to the kids. We headed back to the Lido so my husband could get another cone, and went back to our room. We were able to pack all our things into our bags for checked baggage option, and had grabbed tags for the latter half of the earlier checked baggage disembark and sent two bags out (when we came on the ship, we only checked in one bag). We thought it’d be easier to do when hanging on the ship for our time home. And so I continued my novel while my husband watched TV. Sometime this day or the day before, they switched to the new programming on TV, which meant they had shows like HGTV and Food Network. I think they were just on loops, as we turned to Food Network, which was basically just Chopped. But we had seen them play the same episode at least twice. However, we like Food Network so it was a nice change from the channels that were previously there. We lamented that it was our last night, but was grateful for the trip that we did have, particularly the great sunny day in Ensenada.
  10. Yes, there are definitely lots of places to eat and shop within 1-2 miles. Will get to some places we explored when I have time to finish the last few pieces of this review. Also, you can easily find some places on Yelp. We had T-mobile international coverage so easily looked up things when we were there, but even if you looked ahead, I think you can find things. As for beaches, I noticed one as we were driving out of town where people could ride horses. I think it was the Playa Ensenada or Playa Hermosa, but honestly, not sure how far it was away. Looking at Google Maps, I think it's probably accessible to get to walking, but probably a little further than 2 miles. For embarkation day, we embarked on Deck 7, but each of the days that we went to port, we disembarked on Deck 3.
  11. Day 4 – Ensenada Last day on the ship. It felt like it flew by fast – particularly with the sea day on the first day. We were docked in the morning in Ensenada. It was a longer day in port (All Aboard I believe was 5:30), and we didn’t have a lot of set plans. Plus, we had read weather would be pretty good all day, so we decided to take a slower morning. I remembered enjoying the MDR breakfast on our last cruise, so I asked my husband if we could do that. The new MDR breakfast menu was being served. I didn’t take a picture of it, but it can be found on the web. There were some fancier options that weren’t on previous menus, but I did notice some things that maybe were previously available weren’t. We tried the Breakfast Board and the Avocado Toast. My husband also got the Smoked Salmon and I got the Bruleed Grapefruit. I forgot to take pictures of the appetizers. Avocado Toast Breakfast Board About the breakfast, it was served pretty fast. I think we got in and out in about 35 minutes and we had two courses. It was nice to have some fancier options than upstairs, but the food wasn’t as good as the brunch. The smoked salmon plate looked fancier, but didn’t taste as good. The bruleed grapefruit wasn’t really good at all – I would’ve preferred fresh grapefruit. The avocado toast was decent. The breakfast board was also decent, but I was disappointed that the supposedly “soft-boiled eggs” were just hard-boiled eggs. The people sitting next to us ordered a ton of food, and some things like French Toast and other more traditional foods looked good. I think we may have walked to Lido just to grab a little more fruit or coffee, I don’t quite remember. But while we walked, we encountered the Towel Animal Invasion. Pleasant morning surprise. We went back to our room, got our stuff ready, and disembarked on Deck 3 for Ensenada. We didn’t really have much plans for the day. We thought we’d walk around. I had read about the Canopy Tour/Ziplines, and was interested in that. My brother had also told me about the Bufadora, which I’d seen many pictures of. My husband’s main goal was to have some good fish tacos. I had read enough to know that if we wanted to do something, we shouldn’t book excursions on the ship, and they’d be way cheaper on the shore. Next to us was the Emerald Princess I believe. I found out later from some that were on that ship that they were on the tail end of a 15 night cruise to Hawaii, and Ensenada was their foreign stop. I was jealous they got to go all the way to Hawaii and for that long, especially since we were on our last day. We weren’t exactly sure where these tours would be so we just started walking around. There were shuttles into town, but I had heard it wasn’t too far to walk, so we just decided to explore ourselves. It wasn’t super clear where to walk to get to town, so we just followed others who walked along the boardwalk-ish looking area. We eventually got to a small area with a bunch of stands, and we thought maybe we’d be able to find some tours there. There were a few people trying to get us to go on a horse carriage (not interested), and a few men holding signs that seemed to be selling tours. There was one bus there, but it looked really empty, and I didn’t want to get on a tour where I’d have to wait hours waiting for it to get full, so we passed, and started walking in the actual downtown area instead. We walked a little further, and seemed to hit the main transportation depot – I’m not sure if it was a bus station, or a pier or something, but it was a little bit more busy. Plus, this was where the cruise shuttles (at least the Princess boat) seemed to be dropping off people. We saw a bus being loaded pretty full, and a small window that seemed to be selling tours. We asked what they had, and they mentioned there was a ride to Bufadora for $17 per person. That seemed reasonable, and we didn’t bother to ask about anything else (plus hubby wasn’t really dressed for anything too exciting). We were ushered onto the bus, where it was practically full. It was called Tour Misioneros. Turned out everybody on the boat was from that Princess ship, but it was fine. There was a brief moment where I realized I had not any idea how long this tour actually was, but I knew that the blowhole shouldn’t take that long. I was relieved to hear that we’d be back in plenty of time to make the Princess ship all aboard, which was an hour earlier than the Carnival one. Our tour guide was Gabriel. He was fantastic. It took about 45 minutes to drive out, and he was hilarious. Gave some really interesting facts, told some funny jokes, and most of all, gave us real insight into how to survive the flea market there. My husband and I weren’t planning on shopping much, but it was nice to know. Basically, bargaining should be at about 1/3 of the original price that they quote. Best way to get a good deal is to be willing to walk away. He told us about tequila, and how it was much cheaper in town, but also told us to give them a try there. We arrived at the Bufadora. Gabriel first walked us through the flea market. It was clear (and he didn’t hide it – in fact, he straight us let us know) that he had relationships with some of these vendors and definitely got some kickbacks for having us shop there. But the tour wasn’t overly full of pressure, and in fact was informative to know what’s there. The biggest things that people seemed to buy were leather, metal trinkets, fake brand-name purses, and pharmaceuticals. Lots of fun free samples everywhere of Pina Coladas, Mexican candy (peanuts), pan dulces, and churros. We didn't need to buy any extra snacks. The Market We finally reached the blowhole itself. It took us a little while, but we got a few pictures of the hole in action. They told us it really matters what the tides are like. It was low tide, but we got some pretty good blowhole action. Sign by the blowhole La Bufadora! On our way in, we stopped at a stand to have some grilled clams and shrimp on a halfshell. It was covered with cheese and some tomatoes. It cost us $8 USD for two halfshells. I wasn’t sure whether we were being ripped off, but they charged the same for a lady next to us who was speaking Spanish, so I think that is the going rate. We did see another place further up the market that was selling for $6 for two halfshells, but they weren’t right by the blowhole, lest couldn’t charge a tourism upcharge. It tasted pretty good. One of the perks of doing the tour is that we got a free Margarita from Habana Banana. This was the bar in the middle of the flea market. They had tequila tastings as well as opportunities to take photos with the lions and jaguars. I know there is controversy over these, and I’m not saying they are more humane, but I had heard some other cruisers mention they didn’t want to do it because they are declawed and that seemed inhumane. But the tour guide told us not to do it because they could scratch, and in fact, other people on our tour observed somebody get scratched up, so it seems the cats aren’t totally being declawed. Free Margarita - had to go to upstairs bar to have it. I had read about the amazing tacos somewhere in the market, and our tour guide had mentioned this one stand at the beginning of the market called Lidias. It’s up behind the parking lot, and they have a smaller satellite in the actual market. We ordered shrimp and fish tacos. They were awesome. Highly recommend you stop by here. Great Tacos! We ended up walking around. We went to one of the stores with the leather fake brand name bags (yes, they’re not real!) First, he tried talking to me in Chinese. I do speak Chinese, but I knew he originally pegged me for an Asian tourist as they tend to like to buy these brand-name bags. But quickly corrected him and let him know I mainly spoke English. I tried bargaining for a clutch. He started at 50 or 60, and I told him I was really just looking for a bag that I could use for weddings, and I could buy one at Kohl’s for like 10. He just let me walk away. Told me the only thing I could buy for that price is a wallet. We did buy 3 magnets. She offered 1 for 3. We ended up countering 2 for 4, and she said 2 for 5. She in the end giving us 3 for 6. I know we paid too much, but it’s okay. They were cheaper than what we had paid before, and we were happy with what we got as souvenirs, and that’s all we got. When we were on the way home, people shared their bargaining stories. After seeing a woman with 5 or 6 coach bags, I asked her more and took a look at them. I had wished I had looked at the bags more carefully, as perhaps they would be worth $20, rather than the 10 I offered if they were indeed leather. I don’t love bargaining, so it was creating more anxiety and made me not want to really shop more. But I do think if I had a little more mental energy and a desire to shop, it would’ve been worth it to look for something I would’ve liked and bargained a little bit for it. But it’s okay. No need for more stuff. It’s a Marie Kondo kind of year. Another shot of the market We took the bus home and headed into Ensenada around 2. Scenic drive back to port More views from the bus
  12. We did go to the comedy shows - mentioned it briefly for the Sea Day (Day 2), and I'll get to a little bit more on my next post on Ensenada (Day 4). We never hit the piano bars at night. They started around 9:30 or 10, but even though we walked pass the area, I don't think it ever drew our attention The piano bar wasn't very big (we usually hung out there during the daytime). We did pass by the Karaoke at night. Never went in, but seemed to be well attended. Hopefully the Imagination is just as fun! All the activities should be practically identical, but I do know they haven't done some of the same refurbishments, though you will have all the Funship 2.0 things!
  13. We were back on the ship and went to Lido Deck to grab some lunch. The first day, we had a Guys Burger, and my husband only thought it was okay. I think it was because it was cold because we were waiting for one another. So today, we made a different plan. I’d go grab the Guys Burger and try to keep it hot, and my husband would go grab tacos (we like the fish ones) from Blue Iguana. There no lines at either, so we thought it’d work out great. I got my burger and found a table inside just beyond where I could see my husband. Then I waited and waited and waited for him. It probably took about twenty minutes, and by this point, the burger was cold again. Our plans were thwarted, and again he had a cold burger. Apparently, there was a huge delay in the taco line for some reason. Usually it was super fast, but not today. We didn’t end up eating everything, which is okay, because this day ended up being a snack kind of day. I don’t exactly remember when, but I’m pretty sure we also discovered the Taco Salads at Blue Iguana and shared one later on that afternoon or maybe the day before (though it’s not in my notes, but I know we ate it!) Since we missed the 1pm trivia, we decided to go for the 2pm movies trivia. They were just finishing up Scattergories. One interesting fact I heard from the guy in charge is that he had tons of “Bling on a String” – so he was giving them out liberally since they didn’t have much of a winner for the Scattegories game. The trivia game started pretty much on time. We didn’t expect to do well. As soon as they hit the second half where they were talking about Classic movies, we knew we were done for. Actually, after scoring, we were probably in the top 5, but nowhere near the top. They did give out a Ship on a Stick for the winner. I had read that maybe they had gotten rid of it and replaced it with the Bling on a String, but that was not the case. The person who won had won the previous trivia game as well, so walked away with two. I don’t know what you’d do with two ships. I wish we could’ve gotten one, but then again, I don’t know what I’d even do with one ship. My husband wanted to stay for Carnival Tower, which was basically giant Jenga. We were generally split into two teams. It was pretty nerve-wracking to play. The first game ended pretty quickly and our team had won! The game leader decided to let us have another change to play again, but not for prizes. I liked that this game really got everybody around into it, but it was much harder than regular Jenga. Our prize for winning: Bling on a String! Carnival Tower! (this angle makes it look really tall. It was probably about 4 ft high) Our bling on a string! We returned back to our room for a nap. We went to Lido deck to check out what dinner looked like up there since MDR menu didn’t really inspire us. We decided to make that day a chill day rather than going to MDR. We weren’t quite ready for dinner yet though, so we just spent some time upstairs in Lido watching another movie (Searching) and reading. I loved that on this cruise, I could actually read and enjoy it. I think with all the internet these days, I usually don’t sit down to read a long book. But this cruise, I was able to read through the book Pachinko. We had an appointment at 5pm to meet up with the Dreams Studio photographer. I was worried it’d be high pressure, but wasn’t at all. We had a chance to view the photos, and I was actually quite impressed. The photos were really good. When my husband and I got married, our wedding photographer was actually a friend of my husband’s who specialized in studio photos. He had taken photos of celebrities and politicians. We got some because he threw it in with our wedding photos. They were good, but I thought these ones on the ship were done better. I commented that these must be really expensive, but the photographer said they weren’t that much more than the photos outside. He said it’d cost about $150 for 5 of them, which came out to be about $30 a piece. The photos outside were 21.99 for the Cruise ProPortraits so he was right. The problem: because these were just black background photos, we didn’t really think there were five that we’d want to take home. And they wouldn’t sell just one. So he let us walk. Remember on the first day, when I mentioned they asked us to sign up for a photo session and I declined? This is where I wish we actually did. If we had some other photos on other parts of the ship, we might have actually purchased the package since the photos were quite good. If we had 5, I think we might have splurged.I’m surprised Carnival wouldn’t want to get some money out of us by selling more single shots. Oh well. We ended up going back and looking at our ProPortraits and chose one that we’d get free wallets for. Now that I’m home, I’m not sure what I’ll do with those free wallets. They managed to suck us into those purchases with all these promotions! The rest of our day was fairly uneventful. We went back up to Lido deck and ate from the buffet. Probably around 7:30 pm, we went back to our room and rested up. We read and watched movies as we prepared for our next day in Ensenada. Oh, one last thing. Somewhere in the afternoon, Orlando, the CD, came on the loudspeaker to apologize to everybody about the weather. He did say there was nothing they could do about it since that’s out of their control, but he did wish people would’ve had more fun. I realized that those who might have waited later to get off the ship (maybe 11 or after, since we were in port until 3:45 or so) probably had a miserable day. It wasn’t Carnival’s fault at all. In fact, I’m super impressed the captain switched around the schedule so we could even make it onto the island at all, but I bet there were those very disappointed with the lousy weather that day and wanted to blame Carnival for it. The guest services lines were often VERY long. I'll throw in some Lido Deck and ice cream machine photos for the heck of it --- since a lot of our afternoon was spent here:
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