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About harleyquinn228

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. YES! Their chocolate grilled cheese there is amazing! Man I'm so hungry for it now haha
  2. Can you give more information about that Puzzle Mystery? Trying to google it just brings up the actual escape rooms they have on the other ships. I love things like that! Is it just geared towards kids? Do they advertise it in the daily guides? Thank you for doing this review! I love seeing how everyone experiences things differently, and I can't wait to see this ship in November!
  3. Thank you so much for your review! I am SUCH a planner. I'm not sailing till November and I'm already on here learning as much as I can! I think it just gets me excited and keeps me excited as the time to the vacation slowly creeps up! But it was refreshing to see how at ease you were with everything on your trip. I always said my favorite thing about a cruise is you can do as much or as little as you want! Thank you for your positive attitude and light kind-heartedness, and for taking us on what seemed to be a very relaxing journey with you! I can sometimes be a bit overcritical of things, especially when I'm spending a lot of money, but it's good to remember that anything can be good and anything can be bad depending on how much you LET it effect you! Going to try and remember that when I sail on this beautiful ship in a few months!
  4. That's good news, although it seems like that can change at any given time, and my cruise isn't till November =( I'll have to keep an eye out for it, thanks!
  5. Did they tell you if the BOGO was limited to certain restaurants? I'd really love to dine at CP 150 on the Allure, just wondering if they would include that
  6. Wow. I have never known there was an official list. This is great, thank you so much! Learn something new every day
  7. Depends on the size of the port. Larger islands will be able to handle more people, they can spread out with many excursions and places to go.
  8. I'm not sure I have a solution, but I'll say an issue I have with them. I find for myself I want to go to the M&M but have trouble actually mingling. I'm a bit shy and feel weird just walking up to people to chat. There was one set up on a Disney Cruise I went on once, in the main open area. My husband and I went, but we sat on the outskirts bc I didn't really know what to say to anyone. I doubt anyone realized we were there for the M&M lol. My next trip will be on the Allure -still ages away =(, and we are going with a group of friends so I won't necessarily need to make best buddies, but it would be nice to at least be semi familiar with some people to cheers a drink to when we see them at the bar! Of course also depends how active the roll call becomes. It's a fine line to walk between making a comfortable environment with activities and light bonding to making people be on the spot and spend uncomfortable amounts of time with people they aren't getting along with.
  9. Man I am so sorry all! Lots of life things happened in the last few weeks and I just haven't come back! I did not forget about you, and I will continue as fast as I can! Next post will be the Fun times, thanks for nudging me back! =)
  10. Day 2: Fun Day at Sea J and I woke up around 9ish. I sat on the balcony for a bit, enjoying the sea. We decided to go to the gym. It was my goal to go at least 2 times while on the ship, I think we made it 3! I think the gym is pretty well set up. It’s obviously smaller than most gyms you would find locally, and it doesn’t have all the machines we normally use, but there are plenty of treadmills and we were able to use the free-weights without waiting each time we went in. I did not partake in any of the classes they offered, free or otherwise, so I’m not sure how they were. We planned to meet with everyone else at the sea day brunch at 11. Brunch was in the Southern Lights. The menu was OK, but we found the choices and quality to be better just on the regular day’s sit-down breakfast. They are prepped by the same kitchens, but I think the recipes and variety is better on normal days. Example, S got the French toast that was coated in Honey Nut Cheerios. I have had things like this before, and usually the cereal is crushed up and coated as crumbs. This just had the cereal stuck to it whole. OK, that isn’t necessarily bad, except that the cereal was stale and tasteless. So it wasn’t anything amazing. We then went and explored the ship a bit. I had read that one of the lower decks allowed you to walk all around the outside of the ship (Deck 5 I think?) so we did just that. You can go to the front of the boat and see the, er, tip? Bow I guess it’s called? Anyway, it was pretty neat to be able to go there and see the ship cutting through the water, and we saw what I assume was the crew pool deck. There was also no one else there, so it was a nice break from the crowds. We also went to the arcade for a little bit. It has a lot of games, and there were only like 2 people in it when we were there, so we could play whatever we wanted. It is tricky however because you just swipe your S&S card to pay for them, and it can get pricey, so be mindful! At some point, 2 bottles of water were delivered to our room, as well as a Carnival pin, since J is gold. This was in addition to the bottles that start in your room, which are not free. Not a huge perk, but we were happy to have the water, free, in the room late at night. We got our suits on and headed up to the pools. P and S found a spot on one of the lower decks for some sun and the hot tub, or sort of warm tub as they called it. J, N, and I got a spot on Serenity and decided to get in line for the slides. It was surprisingly not that long of a line for a sea day. Both slides are body slides without a tube, which I don’t like generally, as I can feel every seam your body hits, but I wanted to at least try it. We went down the Orange slide (it might have an actual name but I don’t remember.) This slide is an enclosed tube that ends in an open bowl that you zip around, and then you walk down the stairs in the middle when you are done zooming around. Well, I never stopped zooming. It was like I was covered in cooking oil. I just kept going! I had to turn myself sideways, very ungracefully, in order to slow down. So after that, I decided once was enough, and we headed back to Serenity. We got into a hot tub and ordered some drinks, and just enjoyed the view for a bit, chatting with those around us. One of the couples in the hot tub was telling us how their inside cabin had no AC, and they were given a fan! :eek: We didn't see them again through the cruise, but I really hope they got the AC working for them. Especially being an inside cabin and not even being able to open the balcony door for air circulation! After the pool we made our first stop of the cruise at the Red Frog Pub. I wanted to do a bunch of the trivias while onboard, and they were having a pub quiz. We sat at the bar and got a drink, and waited for the questions. This was just a quick 10 question quiz, and the things asked weren’t really fun in my opinion, but it was still a relaxing time spent at the bar. We had Ari hosting, the Turkish Delight as he called himself. He was fun though sometimes hard to understand, and we had him for 2 other trivia’s through the week. We walked around the shops and hung around some more, and then got ready for dinner. Tonight was the first elegant night, so we wanted to get some pictures before we headed to the dining room. We met downstairs, got some cute and also weirdly posed pictures, and got a drink at Alchemy Bar with our favorite bartender. Dinner was very nice. It’s always fun seeing people all dressed up, makes you feel like you are out for a fancy night at home. The food was pretty good. None of the appetizers looked amazing to me, but 2 entrees sounded delicious. S gave me an idea to order an entrée as an app! So I got the Spaghetti Carbonara as an appetizer, allowing me to have a taste at a reasonable portion size, and still get something else as the main course. In truth, I think the pasta was the better of the two things, but I was happy anyway. And it was good to know that they will work with you on portion sizes and dinner requests. (N often ordered either 2 apps or 2 entrees) After dinner we were planning to go to the hot tubs, but it was a little chilly, so we just hung around and then decided to head to bed, as 4 of us had a pretty intense excursion in the morning. I think that about does it for day 2. Still waiting on the Fun Times, sorry! Next up: Amber Cove, and the Waterfalls of Damajagua! (Waterfalls of Doom, as I call them)
  11. Embarkation Day: April 7 (finally) We were at the room by about 12:10-12:15. Even though the doors to the rooms were closed and said they wouldn’t be open till 1:30, we went through since we had FTTF. Our room was ready, the Key cards were there, with holes already punched through. (We brought lanyards to use. My husband barely used his, but I rarely had pockets, so I was happy I had one. Got them with the buckle in the middle, so I didn’t have to take it on and off to pay for things) So with the port traffic fiasco, we only got into the room about an hour and a half earlier than if we didn’t get FTTF, but it was still worth it for other reasons you will see later on. N’s room wasn’t ready yet so he just dropped his stuff off in ours and we went on our way. ROOMS: We were on deck 6. My husband and I had room 6493, P and S 6499, both large balcony L-shaped rooms, and N had an inside room, 6394. I had never sailed in the L room before, but P and S had and wanted to get it again, so we decided to grab the one next to them. This type of room doesn’t have a couch, but we found we didn’t really miss the space, even when we had everyone come in and hang out in the room. There is still a chair, as well as the bed. And the balcony has 2 regular chairs and a lounger, which was nice when we all had a drink out there. The one real downside was that we couldn’t open the balcony dividers because it would block one of our doors. We didn’t know that when booking the room, and found out later. It was a real bummer bc we were really excited about being able to open it and share a HUGE balcony! It wound up being all right, as we could still all fit on the balcony (a little snugly) but if our other 2 friends had been able to sail, we would have had to hang out somewhere else. The two L rooms are similarly mirrored, BUT they are NOT identical. Our room had a longer hallway, which allowed us to store all 3 of our suitcases between the wall with the door and the closets. The other room did not have more than about a foot between the closet and the entrance wall, so they put their cases under the bed. The foot of the bed was also slightly further away from the outside wall in our room, giving a bit more walk space. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the specifics, I thought I snapped them before we left but I can’t seem to find them. I found the location of the room great. Being at the back of the ship meant there wasn’t any extraneous traffic past our doors. But we were still pretty close to the elevators and stairs, so hopping around was easy. Several things we liked to go to, including Alchemy bar, the coffee shop, piano bar were on Deck 5, so it was really nice to just be able to pop down one level for those things. We were also in the Southern Lights dining room, and our table was on Deck 4 so again, very convenient. Prior to sailing, I had read some people complaining about those rooms because Deck 5 sticks out below, ie you don’t look straight down to the ocean. Some people said that they got noise and smoke from below since the casino and clubs were on Deck 5. We didn’t experience any of that. In fact, the tables and umbrellas below and a little forward that we could see from our room never seemed to have people in them. It might have just been that’s not where people hung out on our sailing, but we found the rooms very quiet and undisturbed. Bathroom is about as you expect on a cruise. The shower was small, but oddly I don’t think it’s the smallest I’ve experienced, so we managed well. Toilet is at an angle, and you might hit your knees when you sit, but was fine for a shorty like me. There were several shelves around the mirror for various things that J and I needed in the bathroom, so we didn’t need to worry about things on the counter, which was also spacious. Prior to sailing, I purchased toothbrush covers with suction cups on them to hold them to the mirror. I got cute ones, which I will link below, but they have many non-animal looking ones =P We just wanted to have our brushes off the counters so they didn’t roll around or get lost in the shuffle, and I’m really glad we had them. NOTE if you buy these, they do have a strong silicone smell when you first take them out of the package. But I left them out of their boxes when we got them, and then they had a soapy bath, and the smell dissipated. No taste or smell transferred onto our brushes. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075QJJSQW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Back to the action! We met P and S at Guy’s Pig and Anchor BBQ for lunch, since it’s only open on Embarkation and Sea days, we wanted to try it. We grabbed food and headed inside to sit right in front of the stage in Ocean Plaza (in front of Alchemy Bar.) That was the first and last time I will eat at Pig and Anchor. I got Mac and Cheese, Baked beans, and the Pork butt, thinking I would try a little bit and then go back and try other things if I wanted. The beans were SPICY, which was OK for me, but S doesn’t like spice so she had to stop before her mouth burst into flames. The mac and cheese was cold. The pork was the SALTIEST thing I have eaten in a long time, and was also cold. I took one bite and pushed my plate aside. I would have to find something else to eat later. Was it the worst meal I have ever eaten? No. But we were excited to try it as a specialty place on this ship and I was super disappointed. And it was the first meal on the ship and that was worrisome. But thankfully, that was the worst one we had. We decided to head to the main atrium lobby for guest services to add our gift cards to our onboard accounts, and make sure the price adjustment for our excursion was added. Big surprise, the line for guest services was already HUGE. However, we had FTTF, and basically walked right up. SCORE! So we all got our GCs added, and went to the bar right there in the Atrium to truly start our vacation. It was there that we discovered everyone’s favorite drink for the trip. The Mango Magic! Frozen drink with mangos (duh) and 2 types of rum. Very yummy. We then took our drinks up to the Lido deck to explore. We got a silly picture with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, which was odd but turned out really cute. We walked around the buffet to see what they had, and then scoped out the Serenity Deck. We also looked at the sports deck, and tried out some of the outdoor gym machines…with drinks in hand. It was at this time that we split for a little while. P and S went back to their room, and J, N, and I went to take a spa tour. J and I had been thinking of getting the Thermal Suite Pass, but didn’t buy before sailing, so we figured we would take a look at it, and N had never been on a ship and was thinking of getting a massage. I half regret doing the tour. I enjoyed getting to see everything in the thermal suite and have it all explained(we wound up not buying the pass this time around,) but the tour took a really long time because they bring you into EVERY room for massages, the salon, facial treatments, etc and have them pitch to you. I remember doing tours before and I was not dragged around the entire area meeting every spa employee. But still, it was fine, we had some time to kill anyway. After the tour we went back to our rooms. I am pretty sure that our luggage had arrived by this time, but I can’t exactly remember. We unpacked and got everything settled. It was pretty much perfect timing because then we were called to our Muster station, which happened to be the Southern Lights Dining room on Deck 3. N had a different area so we planned to meet up with him afterwards. MUSTER DRILL: Ahh the muster drill. Please, for the love of everything, go to the drill, check in, and sit down in a timely manner. We had such a delay because they kept calling cabin numbers that hadn’t arrived yet. It was so tedious. Announcements cutting in over other announcements of who was missing. You don’t even need your life vest anymore! You get to sit INSIDE! It’s not that much of a hassle, provided you actually get there. Anyhoo, this was the first sailing of the Magic with Cookie as the cruise director. We didn’t know much about him at all, everyone had been raving about Dr. E, but he left that morning. Cookie did his best to read the rules and regulations in a fun way. He sang some phrases intermittently to try and alleviate the monotony, and I think it helped. He was trying to have fun with it. It was cheesy, but much of a Cruise Director’s announcements are. P was groaning at his cheesiness, but don’t worry, Cookie won him over in just a day or two. After the drill, we grabbed a coffee from the Coffee bar, (get the punch card if you plan to get coffee through the cruise) and then met up with N at the back on the Lido deck to sail away. I got some pizza to fill the void that the few bites of BBQ did not. The line was LONG, but the pizza was pretty good. I opted to just eat whatever the first pizza to come out of the oven was, instead of waiting longer to order a different one, but they had I think 5 different ones, and throughout the cruise, all the ones I tried were really good! We grabbed some drinks and sat watching Orlando fade away. ALCHEMY BAR: N, J and I then headed back to the spa for the raffle at 5pm. We weren’t picked but because we went, we received “deals” later in the cruise. Pretty sure they were the same prices they always wind up being on the last few sailing days. After we didn’t win, we decided to drown our not at all sorrow with a drink. We met P and S at the Alchemy Bar, which was maybe my favorite spot on the ship. They had a Martini Tasting at 6pm, and it was here that we met Natalya. Natalya is a bartender at Alchemy bar from the Ukraine. *Flash forward to when we paid for the drinks- P has a Polish last name, and she noticed as she took his Sign and Sail card. She then made some jokes about P’s drinking, as I guess it’s a stereotype at least between the Ukrainians and Polish. It was very light hearted, deadpan ribbing, and we all found it hilarious. She remembered us the whole cruise, as we went back a few times, and P even had some friendly insults to throw back at her one day. His nemesis, he called her. It was great, and another high note for our first day of vacation! Back to the Martini Tasting: You pick 4 martinis from a list, which is a pared down version of their full menu. They make the martinis, mix them up, and you have to try and guess which one is which.(P got his guess wrong, which made for even more back and forth with Natalya) I chose 3 I had been looking at on the main menu, and then had them make their own creation for the fourth. I think all of us had them make a surprise one, and I believe only 2 of us had the same mystery drink. It was really fun, AND super yummy. And the way they pour them all is super impressive! (The favorite one I ordered through the cruise was The Youthful and Bold Bertini.) They do all sorts of fancy drink making, lighting a sprig of rosemary and infusing the glass, slapping the mint to break it-there are several that need lighters lol. It’s an entertaining bar with great drinks, personable people, and right by a stage that often has music playing. I’m pretty sure we stayed there for a little while, we may have had another drink after the tasting. I’m not 100% sure, the martini’s left my memory a little fuzzy =) We had the late seating for dinner, so we decided to head back and get ready. While I was showering, J met our room steward, Lorenio. He was good throughout the cruise. I didn’t see him a ton, but he was always helpful and smiling when I did see him. The first shower was a bit of a problem though. When I finished I realized I was standing in a lot of water! It overflowed the small lip that separates the shower into the rest of the bathroom. Thankfully it kept itself contained in the bathroom and didn’t flow into the room, but I was worried this would be a problem. I have heard horror stories about, er, plumbing issues on some of the Carnival Ships. We called someone to fix it, they came in while we were at dinner, and it was never a problem again, which I was very thankful for! We got to dinner, Southern Lights table 709, and met our wait staff team- Ronald, Peter, and Martinelle. They were all super attentive, and Ronald may have been the best head waiter we have sailed with. Like most workers on a cruise ship, he knew us all by name after day 1, but he was also just very personable and easy to talk to, AND it was a blast watching him dance to their choreographed numbers, especially when he used his own dance moves. I can’t remember what we ate that night except I know we all got the Strawberry soup! And since the main reason we were sailing was P and S’s 10 year anniversary, they brought out a cake and sang to them, and made them kiss through the whole thing. There were TONS of special occasions in our dining room, and they sang to ALL of them. But our table was first, so it made it better; P and S were the most special! We never really got a bad meal in the dining room, though nothing really stands out as fantastic in my memory. But still, it was enjoyable, and J and I generally like to sit in the dining room more than the buffet just due to being able to relax. We did however go to the buffet one night. Originally we were going to do a night in the steakhouse, but they changed the menu shortly before we sailed, and some of the things we were all looking forward to disappeared, so we decided not to spend the money. After dinner I *think* we changed and hung out at one of the bars. But to be honest, we were all pretty tired, I don’t believe we stayed up too late. INTERNET: I forgot to mention the internet situation for our group. Originally, we were planning to get the $5 Hub app chat feature. P and S got the low tier Wi-Fi to be able to chat with S’s mom on Facebook Messenger, who was watching the baby that week. N got the mid-tier package. So instead of having everyone pay for another message system, we decided to get the low tier as well (only on my phone.) We used Facebook messenger for our group to organize meeting up in the mornings and such. The speed and reliability was pretty good. FB and Instagram loaded fairly well most of the time, but I wasn’t using them too much, trying to be somewhat disconnected. The only places we had issues with service was on our balcony and in our bathroom. Shutting the doors there cut it off completely. We had a bonus feature that wasn’t expected with their internet plan: iMessage was working for me. Not regular text messages, but iMessage on my iPhone went through the whole week. Any pictures of gifs that were sent by other people didn’t load, but that wasn’t really important. I wasn’t expecting to communicate with people that way anyway, and it worked out nicely to be able to chat with my parents, since I couldn’t use email and they don’t use social media. I wouldn’t say you should rely on iMessage working, but it was def a good perk to have. OK that about does it for day one! Fun Times will be posted as soon as I get the scans from my cruise-mates! Next up, Fun day at Sea!
  12. My travel mates have the fun times, so I will be posting them, but they need to scan them to me first >.< I believe we have all of them but one night, but I will post as soon as I have them!
  13. Sorry it's taking a bit long everyone, I haven't really had access to my computer the last few days. And it's also turning into sort of a novel. Sorry, I'm wordy =P Hoping to add the next post tonight!
  14. That's great that your hotel shuttle was so smooth! With people coming from every which way- self park, drop off, hotel, etc it's got to be crazy trying to organize it all and get everyone in and out. I was happily surprised at how fast we went right on board though! It was one of the smoothest boardings, didn't even have a chance to sit down, just walked through. I wonder if it's just that people aren't in a rush to be on board early or travel same day, because it never seemed crowded at all. I'm sure the staggered check in helps, but not even the Early/Late line was long.
  15. Wow I'm so jealous! lol. Yea it was quite different. What you had was what I was expecting/hoping for. Part of it was the rental issues for sure, but the dropping off the bags was a really unexpected snag. Maybe there had been a delay just before us and it just was very backed up? Maybe we just got in the wrong lane? Whatever it was, it wasn't pretty! But if anything, that extra stress made the relaxation of finally getting on the ship that much sweeter! Our debarkation was also not smooth, but it was really on the rental car, and not any fault of the ship/port.
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