February 17-24, 2018 - It's Gonna Be Magical - or was it? My review.

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#42
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Thank you everyone who is following along.

Been a busy weekend but I hope to post more tomorrow.
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#44
North Georgia
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Joined Sep 2010
Once on board we headed straight to our cabin to put our carry ons down and to checkout the cabin since this was the first time we had booked a Deluxe Oceanview cabin. Ours was Cabin 1390 and although the cabin seemed to have been about the same size - it was spacious enough for us. I don't think I would have wanted 5 adults in the cabin though. I really liked the 2nd bathroom with the tub. It was great for the boys. We did have an extra closet in this room which came in handy as well.

After checking out our cabin we all headed up to Lido for our first meal of the cruise. I was looking forward to a Guy's burger and William and Justin wanted pizza. Glen and I divided and conquered and got our food and the boys food. William pretty much just sat and looked at his food but Justin ate some of his pizza and then decided he wanted some of my burger.



After lunch we looked around a bit and then headed back to the cabin to see if our luggage had been dropped off. It hadn't been so we decided the boys should probably take a quick nap before the Muster Drill so they wouldn't get thrown overboard by a fellow passenger who didn't want to hear them whine and complain. Yes, they are mine and I love them but when they are tired no one wants to be around them- trust me!

After our short nap it was time for Muster and our station was E3 which was located in the lower section of the Southern Lights Dining room - which also happened to be our Early seating dining room. It was painless, well except for the fact that Justin DID NOT want to wear his bracelet. He pulled and tugged and tried his best to get it off! The funny thing about this is that we have now been home for 10 days and he still has that dang bracelet on and won't let me cut if off - I ask every day! Sorry - getting back on track, we did have to wait on a few slackers but it was over pretty quick and we were released to go - didn't have to go up on deck to the lifeboats!

It was nowtime for sail away and we went up on the upper decks so the boys could see allthe people waving at them and see everything going on. They were very impressed with the"Mickey Mouse Ship" they called it. I'd love to be able to take them on a Disney cruise one day but don'tsee it in our future unless we win the lottery!



After getting out into the ocean and cruising a while we headed back to the cabin. Luggage had arrived and we quickly unpacked and put all that stuff away. I could finally relax knowing all that had been taken care of and we were officially at sea!

By now it was getting close to time for our early dinner and we all got freshened up and went to dinner. I had hoped that dinner would be the one time all day that we could all get together and see what all everyone had done during the day but it didn't really turn out that way. Before cruising I had gotten in touch with John Heald and requested that we have 2 or 3 tables close together since our bookings were all linked. We really enjoy the round tables so we can all talk and not have to yell down to the other end of the table so that's what I had requested. We ended up being at 3 tables - a 12 top round and 2 4 top booths which were right beside/behind the 12 top. It was a great place for us even though during the whole week everyone was never there at the same time. Oh well, I tried.

Our wait staff introduced themselves and did a good job. They were definitely not the best we've ever had (that was on the Dream in 2011), but definitely not the worst we've ever had either (that was probably on the Sunshine).

I don't have a clue what I had for dinner that night, but I do remember that each night we ate there the food was good - not great but good. What was supposed to be hot or warm was and what was supposed to be cold was - so that's a plus.

Having 2 small boys in tow, we really didn't want to spend a whole lot of time at dinner even though we do enjoy the dining experience. Some nights took longer than I would have liked - others around us seem to get their courses much quicker and finish a lot earlier than we would even though we were always on time and didn't take too long ordering and eating.

We usually always go to the Welcome Aboard Show but didn't make it this time. Like I said, this cruise was really difference for us because of having the boys. We decided to take in the Dive In Movies and even though they weren't kids movies, they loved it. The first one that night was Going In Style with Morgan Freeman. We watched it and then the boys and Glen we retired so they headed back to the cabin. I decided to stay and watch Home Again with Reese Witherspoon. It was a cute movie too!




Our first official day was over and tomorrow was a sea day!
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#45
Jersey Shore
495 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Loving your review! The boys are adorable. Thanks for taking the time.
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#47
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by oncruisecontrol
Nice photos. I love how your husband's royal blue tie matched your royal blue dress on the formal night. Very nice!


Thank you! I always try my best to co-ordinate all of us but with so many sometimes it's really hard!
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#48
Leander TX
1,871 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
All four of your kids are beautiful, but I loved the 3 boys in their vests and ties! How adorable!
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Carnival Vista Family Cruise - Jun 15/2019
Carnival Breeze - Sep 17/17 My Review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2552201
Carnival Magic - Oct 2014 My Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2127532
Carnival Paradise - Jul 2012 My Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1674471
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#49
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Shaded Lady
All four of your kids are beautiful, but I loved the 3 boys in their vests and ties! How adorable!


Thank you very much! I actually have 6 in total - 3 girls and 3 boys. Kind of like the Brady Bunch I guess lol!
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#50
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,857 Posts
Joined May 2006
I'm enjoying your review so far. A couple people mentioned about you and the rest being "dressed up" for formal night, etc., but so far, I didn't see any pictures like that. Looking forward to see them.
#51
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Sunday -Sea Day

Everyone was tired so we didn't get up until about 8 and by the time we all went for breakfast and made it out to the pool and waterworks area - it was hopping. We did snag some chairs in front of the water works so we could watch the boys play - or so I thought. As it turned out, it was windy that day and they didn't really want to be in the water.

A side note about Chair Hogs. When we got to the Lido deck it was probably around 9:00 or 9:30, I don't really remember. There were tons and I mean tons of towels, books, shoes, etc. laid out in all the chaise lounges and I would venture to say that 80% of them didn't have a person in them or no where around. It's very frustrating when you are going to be there but can't find a seat because everyone has"saved" them but are nowhere to be found.

OK - enough ranting - back to the review.

We hung out there at the chairs we had and Glen took the boys to play mini golf and do a few other things. They were already tired again, so he went with them back to the cabin for a nap. I probably need to add here that he was ok with being the designated one to take them back for a nap. He had knee surgery 3 weeks before we left home so he still wasn't up to par and was probably ready for a rest as well!

I should have taken some notes on what we did the rest of the day, but I didn't. I'm sure I stayed out most of the day and Hope wandered around the ship.

This was our first elegant night so we went in early enough to get everyone showered and ready for dinner.

Getting myself, 3 boys, a husband and a teenage girl ready for elegant night was a chore. Amazingly, the little boys didn't really complain when they had to get dressed which was amazing but I made sure to tell them that they would be matching big brother Collin. Glen hates to dress up but knows I enjoy doing it on the cruise so like the great husband he is, he does it without too much complaining. Hope got herself ready, including about 1 1/2 hours on hair and makeup!

I think we clean up pretty good though don't you?












We took a few photos before dinner and then headed to the dining room. The menu was standard elegant night fare with prime rib and lobster. The lobster was ok - but it seems to me the portions have gotten smaller and smaller and it just wasn't as good as I've had before. I'm not complaining - just stating my opinion.
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#52
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
A few more elegant night photos - I hope I'm not on photo overload - but aren't they so cute and handsome!





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#54
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,857 Posts
Joined May 2006
Great pictures for formal night. I just turned 75 (most people think I look younger), and I love to dress up for the formal nights. I am amazed on the compliments I get to be this old, but people liking what I am wearing. I loved the blue in your dress. You may have posted this, and I probably passed over it. Are the two youngest boys twins, or just close together in age? I have twin wons myself, and then 11 years later after having cancer surgery, we had another son together. Sort of like the old program on TV years ago, "My Three Sons."
#55
North Carolina
6,386 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Great formal pics!


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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Past Cruises:
Carnival Pride (Baltimore): March 17, 2012 (Port Canaveral, Nassau, Freeport)
Carnival Breeze (Miami): November 3, 2013 (Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, Nassau)
Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral): May 9, 2014 (Aruba, Curacao, Grand Turk)
Carnival Sunshine (Port Canaveral): February 28, 2015 (Cozumel, Roatan & Belize)
Carnival Splendor (Norfolk): October 23, 2015 (3 days in Bermuda)
Carnival Pride (Baltimore): March 13, 2016 (Grand Turk, San Juan, St Thomas, Dominica, St Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, St Maarten)
Carnival Sunshine (Charleston): May 26, 2016 (Nassau)
Carnival Victory (Port Canaveral): July 28, 2016 (Nassau)
Carnival Magic (Port Canaveral): October 29, 2016 (Amber Cove, St Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk)
Carnival Vista (Miami): January 8, 2017 (Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
Carnival Vista (Miami): January 14, 2017 (Grand Turk, San Juan, St Kitts, St Maarten)
Carnival Vista (Miami): September 3, 2017 (Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel) Hurricane Irma Cruise!
Carnival Sunshine (NYC): October 7, 2017 (Boston, Portland, Halifax, Saint John)
Carnival Magic (Port Canaveral): February 17, 2018 (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya)
Carnival Dream (NOLA): April 22, 2018 (Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
#56
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by rpyne
What a beautiful family! So nice to see you all dressed up.


Thank you so much! This is really the only time we get to dress up so it's nice to see every now and then.
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#57
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by beshears
Great pictures for formal night. I just turned 75 (most people think I look younger), and I love to dress up for the formal nights. I am amazed on the compliments I get to be this old, but people liking what I am wearing. I loved the blue in your dress. You may have posted this, and I probably passed over it. Are the two youngest boys twins, or just close together in age? I have twin wons myself, and then 11 years later after having cancer surgery, we had another son together. Sort of like the old program on TV years ago, "My Three Sons."

Thank you so much - I was happy they turned out so well. I don't have to dress up for work and we don't really dress up
for church either so it's nice to do it when we cruise. My dress came from Ross - it's my new go to place for formal wear for our cruises. You just can't beat their prices.

Our boys aren't twins although we are asked that all the time. I bet there were 25 or 30 different people who asked us that
while we were cruising. They are close in age though - 17 months apart. William will be 5 in June and Justin will be 4 in
November. We have been foster parents for almost 13 years and they are our newest (and last I should add) permanent additions to our family. William was 9 months old when he came to live with us and then Justin was born 8 months later
and was 2 days old when he came to live with us (we actually picked him up from the hospital). They were birth Mom's number 9 and 10 children - but don't get me started on that! We certainly hadn't planned on adopting a child much
less 2 at our age, but God had different plans I guess. That's wonderful that you had another child after having cancer. Eleven years difference is a lot - our oldest likes 5 days being 20 years older than our youngest. Her birthday is November 7 and Justin's is November 2!

Thank you again, they mean the world to us!
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#58
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Sunday -sea day continued

After dinner we took the kids back to change and took them to Camp Carnival for the first time. We knew we would need to leave them there on Monday evening when we went to the Steakhouse so to break them in for a little while first. We knew William would probably be ok with it,but Justin tends to want to stick with us - he is the baby after all and rotten. They did great when we left them so we were happy about that.

We decided to go see the show "Flick" in the Showtime Theatre and it was wonderful! Probably one of the best shows that I've seen. We have seen some great shows and this one isn't at the top, but it was at least in the to 5. If you have the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend you do so!

After the show we went back to get the boys because tomorrow would be Cozumel day and we had a full day ahead of us!



Monday - Cozumel



Our plans for Cozumel had been made for some time because we pretty much always
do the same type thing. We have a driver that we use and have used many times who we love like family. His name is Crescencio and he is wonderful. Since our party was larger this time - even though 6 of our group were doing other things, Crescencio didn't have a van that would accommodate all of us so he recruited a friend and fellow driver to help him out that day.

I had been in touch with Crescencio through Facebook and we decided since our ship docked at 9, we would meet him at the taxi area around 9:45. That would give the ship time to dock and start debarkation and give Glen plenty of time to make the long walk down the pier.

He and Alex (the other driver for the day) were there waiting on us when we reached the taxi stand area. We divided up and all of my crew and Donna's crew went with Crescencio and Ronnie, Lisa, Andrew and Megan went with Alex.

We had a few first timers to Cozumel so we drove through part of the town and they showed us some of the hi lights and talked about their schools, hospitals, insurance, etc. It's interesting to me to know how different countries handle things like that.

We always enjoy a drive around the island to see the "wild side" so that's what Crescencio did for us. We stopped at a beautiful place where you can walk up on the rocks and get pictures of the water and waves crashing into the rocks. There is a small gift shop there as well. I'm sorry, but I don't remember the name of the place.

We did have something interesting happen there though - Andrew proposed to Megan and they are now officially engaged. It happened before I even knew it so I missed it - not uncommon for me it seems.

She was happy and excited and I hope they have many wonderful years together.


After a stop there, we drove on around the island to Playa Palancar. We really enjoy our stop there every time we visit Cozumel. Everyone is super nice and the beach is always pretty and we enjoy snorkeling there. Crescencio always includes 1 hour of snorkeling (equipment included) if we go to Palancar. I bought me a full face snorkel mask last year though so I don't have to use their equipment.

It was a very beautiful day and the boys played in the water and the ladies enjoyed the sun while the men sat in the shade.

A little guy came by and asked if we wanted to ride the banana boat. Well, we had never done that before so we thought- what the heck - sure we will try it. So, Donna, Brandi,Hope and myself walk down the beach and get on the banana boat. I told him to take it easy because I was old and couldn't afford to have something broken lol! He was easy at first but then we ended up hitting some waves and off we all went! It would have
been fine except Donna and Brandi ended up butting heads and I'm not sure but I think
Brandi may have had a concussion. They hit really hard! You should have seen all of us trying to get back up on that thing in the ocean though - it was a sight to behold. I wish I had pictures but Donna has them on her go pro and I haven't gotten them from her. I'll post those later if I end up getting them.

Soon after our ride we decided we would head back toward the ship. We all loaded up and Crescencio headed back to the port area. We had to make a pit stop at a pharmacy because Collin had informed me that he couldn't find his toothbrush. Now remember, this is Monday and we've been on this ship since Saturday - and he is just now telling me he doesn't have a toothbrush! I would have thought he would have told Steven this by now since he was staying in the cabin with him. Boys - you have to wonder sometimes!!!

We got back to the ship and headed to the cabin for a short nap. We had reservations at the Steakhouse for 6 and had to have the boys ready and up at the Lido deck to eat with the other Camp kids at 6 and then head down to the Steakhouse.

I was afraid the boys would pitch a bit and want to come with us, but they were troopers and stayed there on the Lido deck to eat.

The Steakhouse has changed their menu from last February when we last visited a Steakhouse. It was actually on the Magic then as well.

My go to steak was still on the menu thank goodness. I love the spice rubbed ribeye. Oh my, it's like heaven. It's flavor and tenderness are wonderful. There were 8 of us who ate there and we all opted to do the "Art at your Table" for dessert. While the actual dessert part wasn't the best, there were several different things to try, the show of them actually doing it was really neat. Let's face it,after you've eaten your special item from the chef, an appetizer, salad and a huge steak with a side most everyone is ready to explode anyway and can't even hold dessert so it worked out great!

As soon as we finished eating dinner we went to the theatre for the Love and Marriage Show with Dr. E. It was a cute show with the couples who participated. When it was over we headed to pick up the boys at camp and it was a good thing. Justin was crying because he had fallen asleep and I guess woke up and didn't really know where he was. I picked him up and carried all 37 pounds of him back to the cabin and tucked him and William in for the night. They'd had a really big day and were worn out!

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to show you - I'll tell you all about that when we get to Wednesday!
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#59
North Georgia
1,434 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Tuesday - Belize

We had decided before we ever sailed that we would probably just stay on the ship in
Belize. We didn't have any excursions planned and thought it would be a good day for the boys (and Mom and Dad) to catch up on their rest and enjoy the water works and ship when it wasn't so crowded.

We got up and I headed down and collected some breakfast for everyone. Hope and I decided we would go into Belize for a bit just to say we had more or less. Glen and the boys stayed in the cabin and chilled out.

We had purchased FTTF so we had priority tendering. We went to the dining room, waited about 5 minutes and then were called to our tender. It was about a 15 minute ride to Belize. We walked around for a little while, Hope got a Henna tattoo and we headed back to the ship.

When we got back, I got the boys ready for the pool and waterworks and we headed up there to enjoy the day.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Sometimes when you are anchored or in port it can be very hot on the ship since it isn't moving and you don't get any air, but the wind was blowing that day and it made for the perfect pool and waterworks day.

The boys finally ventured out and played with the water guns and rode down the small slides. They had a ball. I just enjoyed watching them, soaking up some sun and reading my book.



We stayed out most of the afternoon until they got tired and then Glen took them back for a nap.

I had almost forgotten, but today was the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea party. We wanted to take them down and let them pick something out because they had never done anything like that before. It was at 4:30 and there were quite a few kids down there. It was very organized and we were out probably by 5:15 or 5:20. Both boys decided they wanted a shark so they ended up with a shark, a pair of clothes, a bag to carry it in and a little St. Jude shirt for their sharks as well. It was a costly event - about $90 total for both sharks, clothes and bags - but they do love them!






We went to dinner - I don't remember what we had but I'm sure it was fine, I certainly didn't go hungry as you can tell by looking at me!



After dinner we went to the Country Road show in the theatre and then to the Guess that Motown Song with Dr. E in the lobby.

I haven't really said much about our CD Dr. E. He was ok. I've certainly had better and I've certainly had worse. I enjoyed his difference voices, but he just didn't seem as personable as some of the cruise directors we have had in the past.

The Guess that Song was one of our favorite things to do on both our trips on the Fantasy but I believe it was because of Mikey the CD. He is super awesome and makes everything so fun. I'm very sad that he won't be the CD in May when we cruise the Fantasy again.

Time for bed again because tomorrow we will be in Roatan.
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#60
Kansas City (Gladstone) , MO
3,857 Posts
Joined May 2006
Thank you for sharing information in regard to what I ask. Yes Ross has nice dresses, as I have bought them there before, and I believe there is one that is even moving closer to where I live, so that will make it even better. I will mention that I get quite a few of my clothes from thrift stores, or consignment shops. I get so many of my formal wear there, as I know I probably won't wear the item more than a couple times, so I get my "money's worth."

You mention the two younger boys (I thought they looked like they could be twins) were foster children that you had adopted. How wonderful! The reason I say this, my mother was adopted, and we have at least 3 or more couples in our church, who already have families, like you and your husband, and started caring for foster children, and have adopted them. God bless you and your husband in doing this.