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Mitsugirly takes great PRIDE in bringing her Spring Break extreme review

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I have been waiting for this one. I can't wait to read your review of HMC.

 

Aww thanks. I can't wait to tell you about HMC.

 

GREAT start!! Looking forward to reading your take on "our" cruise!! :D

 

 

Thanks Jamman. "We" had a great cruise didn't we? :D

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SO excited you have started your review!!!!

Between you and Jamman54, I have something GOOD to read.

Keep it coming!!!!

Sakari is getting SO big!!!

Cannot wait for more.....

Hope it was a great cruise!

 

We will give you more than enough to read that's for sure. :p

 

Glad you can join me in this adventure. :)

 

Great start, can't wait to read more! Thanks for putting the review together

 

You're very welcome and glad you have come to read it. :)

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I live 30 minutes from that outlet mall! That place is always crowded on the weekends.

 

It was a mad house, but a really neat mall.

 

Yay, it's here, now I have two reviews to read each night.

 

 

You are going to be very busy between the both of us. :D

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I'm hoping you'll have this finished before we leave on Thursday night. If not, I'll have to finish it up when we get back from our B2B on the Valor. I love your reviews and look forward to the rest!

 

 

I seriously doubt it will be finsihed by then. :( My reviews are pretty lenghty and with the amount of pictures I have to share, I can't see it happening within that time frame. :o I hope you have a wonderful cruise on the Valor. That was one of my 4 I had listed when I was trying to decide. I really wanted to go to Bonnaire and Aruba. Hopefully some day.

 

 

I've stayed at that Best Western before, but obviously before the remodel. It looks great!

 

Always interested in your reviews since we have daughters about the same age.

 

Keep it comin'. You and jammin' are convincing me to try the Pride!

 

We really loved the Best Western. We decided if we ever cruise out of Baltimore again, we will definitely be staying here.

 

I definitely recommend you trying the Pride. She was an awesome ship!

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Ok, going to stop for now. It's been a busy day and I'm tired. I will continue in the morning when I wake up before heading out to work. See you all then and thanks for joining me. :)

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I have been waiting for this. We are on the Pride at the end of August with my son(6) and my daughter(3). Can't wait to read the review from a mothers perspective!!!

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Hello all. This will be my April 5th-12th Spring Break review and pictorial from our Carnival Pride cruise to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport out of Baltimore. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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A little about "me" (us). I have been cruising since the 80's & 90's off and on and "full time" (hehe) since 2010. We try to take at least 2 cruises a year but have been fortunate enough to cruise 3 times last year and I'm hoping it will be the same for this year.

 

We normally cruise with NCL...I don't know, it was the first cruise line we ever cruised with and I kinda stuck to it with buying the future cruise certificates and getting great deals with the kids/family sail free specials. However, I tried Carnival for the first time in 2013 on the Dream and LOVED it!!! I vowed to do Carnival again in the future and I'm very sorry to say I am just now getting around to it again. Although this was only our 2nd Carnival cruise, once again, it will NOT be our last!!! The only other line I have been on is RC and that was back in the 90's. I hope to sail with them again, I just need a raise to do so...a huge raise. (wink wink).

 

So since this is my second Carnival cruise, I will not bore you with comparisons between the 2 lines (Carnival vs NCL) since I did that in my first review (located in my signature line) of the Dream. However, I will throw in a few things here and there with both lines when I feel the need. Fair enough?

 

I have been to many ports (some several times) in the Caribbean and hopefully have helped a lot of you cc people out with my detailed reviews, suggestions and answers on the ports of call sections. I try to be as detailed as possible and I'm a picture FREAK! I'm a visual person and have to see things in detail to get a better feel for what I'm looking at. I'm a research fanatic and will spend months and months reviewing, searching and asking questions over and over before making a decision. So many of you cc cruisers have helped me out in the past and I love to give back to the community as much as I can. I will not sway a person one way or the other but like to give MY honest opinion...and we all know that opinions are VERY different between people and just because I may or may not like something by no means determines whether or not you will be the same. I only give MY experiences and hope that you will dig deeper into whatever interest you.

 

Now, who I cruise with...normally (well always) the hubby and my 6 year old...wait NEWLY TURNED 7 YEAR OLD (this weekend) BIG GIRL, Sakari. Sometimes my oldest daughter (Kendra, now 26), her boyfriend and my grandson (Brayden, who is the same age as my youngest but 3 months apart) will join us. Then my youngest son (age 20) and his girlfriend (21) have joined us twice now. I have yet to get my oldest son (28) back on a cruise since he was a teen. Some day...

 

This cruise, it will be myself, hubby, Sakari, Kendra and grandson Brayden.

 

We (well truth be known, I) scoured the Internet for the perfect cruise to add to our "collection" for Sakari's Spring Break. I knew I had wanted to come back to Carnival and it was a task to find the perfect cruise. I knew I wanted to try different ports this time around as well. I'm hoping this year will be full of different ports than the past (I'll be doing my first Bermuda cruise in 45 days from now). After polling the people on here between 4 different ships....I picked a totally different ship than the 4 I had posted...thanks to, once again, wonderful suggestions from people on here. The Pride it was. After a lot of research and interrogation from everyone I could, I found that it came highly recommended, had just had the 2.0 updates, Dr Seuss, water works, Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina and looked fabulous!

 

Now...just throwing this out there...but this is the MOST EXPENSIVE cruise I have EVER taken...like ever!! Like 2 1/2 times the amount I normally pay for any cruise. However, with the Pride cruising out of Baltimore, I would save what I would normally pay in air flight and that was the way I was able to justify booking it...to the hubby at least. Also, the ports we would be visiting would basically be "free" ports and we wouldn't incur additional expenses with these ports if we didn't want to. Cha-ching, another point checked off in my direction. Hubby agreed, we booked. (Now that I have to pull too many strings for him to want to cruise again lol). However, I bragged a little too much to Kendra about this upcoming cruise that she worked and saved every dime she could...and booked it too. But this time, she left the bf at home and it was just her and my grandson this time around. Now anyone who has read my reviews in the past, know my grandson is...um, well...a little terror to say the least. Constant reminding and threatening does not go a long way with him. I love him to death, but man does he strike a nerve when he can. Just saying...

 

So the Pride was booked and the planning had begun and I will tell more about that during the review.

 

As you can all tell by now, I'm a little winded with my reviews. Yes they are long. Yes they have a lot of detail in them. Yes, they contain a lot of pictures. If you are not prepared for that or like the short and sweet reviews, this one is probably not for you.

 

However, I can say this is the first time I have started a review and have ALL my pictures picked out, done and hosted. So all I have to do is type and insert pictures. It should go a lot quicker than most of my reviews. I know how people can get a little anxious waiting for more. I'll try to do my best. Hey, I want this over with as soon as possible too so I can continue making plans for Bermuda. ;)

 

So let the fun begin...

 

 

Yes!! Your reviews are my favorite!!!! I am so excited!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Once again, have to give credit where credit is due...

 

When searching for a hotel, it was suggested to look up Trinity Reservations. They have excellent hotel/park/fly/shuttle services. I'm just sorry I had not learned about them prior to now. They are wonderful and so cheap. You really can't beat the prices.

 

I really struggled over which hotel to pick. I had read terrible reviews on 2 of the hotels I wanted. There seem to be issues with the shuttle service. Since we were flying in, we needed a place that had some type of food within walking distance for dinner that night (even if it was fast food) and also a place (whether it be a gas station, grocery or pharmacy) to get pop (yes POP, I'm from the north, we call it pop...for all you southern "soda" people that don't understand-hehe) for the cruise.

 

Everyone suggested staying at the Best Western Elkridge, which seemed to be located around...n-o-t-h-i-n-g! Ugh. Perfect place, highly recommended, good reviews, but nothing close by.

 

I contacted the person at trinity and they gave me direct numbers to all of the places and the contacts he works with. That way I could ask all the questions I had directly to them and get the answers I needed first hand. I was very grateful for this. The first 2 places (with the no-so-good reviews) was Comfort Inn and Best Western. The issues with these places seem to be the shuttle service. The way things are done there are...you don't sign up for the shuttle service until THE DAY OF the cruise and you MUST be checked out of the hotel AND put on a waiting list. The other problem is that the airport people coming in and leaving take priority over the cruise ship people. So you may be sitting around and waiting for them before they can shuttle you. (There were reports of people waiting as long as 6-7 hours and not leaving the hotel until 2pm). The other issue is that the hotel waits until they received a call from the cruise port saying "we are letting people board now" before they'll even put you on the shuttle. Well, we had purchased FTTF, so that was unacceptable!

 

Now, time for the interrogation with BW Elkridge. You sign up for the shuttle when you arrive and check in. You can leave whenever you want. They have several shuttles as well and someone to drive you 24/7. Also, they informed me that there was a restaurant on the premises in the parking lot if we wanted to eat there AND they would shuttle us to the local mall at any time we wanted day or night. They also told us that there were plenty of places to eat there and also a Walmart for our "soda" needs. I think I found the place! Something told me this was a good decision and I'm 100% satisfied I chose it.

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

So back to the airport.

 

We gathered our luggage and called the hotel for the shuttle at 12:25. The shuttle arrived at 12:39! Just 14 minutes later and we had our luggage in the shuttle, piled into the van and on our way at 12:41. Now that's service.

 

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We arrived and checked in quickly and the place looked great. You could tell it had just been remodeled.

 

 

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This is the area off to the side of the entrance and where they served the free hot breakfast the following morning.

 

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They also had lemon water you could get during the day.

 

There was a nice fireplace in the lobby.

 

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We did a quick check of the area and took a quick look at the indoor pool. This would come in handy with trying to entertain 2 kids during the rest of the day and it was still chilly outside.

 

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It also had a hot tub, which was good for us cold-natured people as well.

 

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Haha I love how your grandson is still laying down for pictures!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Loving these Pride reviews! We leave on Sunday and can't wait!

 

Glad you're here.

 

I have been waiting for this. We are on the Pride at the end of August with my son(6) and my daughter(3). Can't wait to read the review from a mothers perspective!!!

 

 

I hope you have a blast. We did.

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Yes!! Your reviews are my favorite!!!! I am so excited!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Aww thanks for the compliment. Glad you are here.

 

Haha I love how your grandson is still laying down for pictures!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I know right? It's never ending with him and the laying down and also the "peace" fingers. :o

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Very cool. I just wished you hadn't used the hot PINK font as it burns my eyes out.

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At noon, they started letting us board the ship. They called all the VIP/suite people sitting across from us and they marched out like soldiers...only not in single file, a little bit too excited and jumping for joy at this point.

 

Then we were called right after them. I glanced back at my daughter and she mouthed "see you in a minute" and winked. (Once again making reference to us purchasing the FTTF and she didn't).

 

Away we went with Sakari in the lead of course.

 

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Now normally I'm use to being in a building, up high on the floor that we have taken an escalator to and going up about 2 inclining floors to the ship. But I had forgotten that we were still on the ground floor and had to make our way all the way up there.

 

This girl really didn't want a cruise and she's so bummed about being here can you tell?

 

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We walked and we walked and the excitement grew.

 

Mommy and daddy fell behind and Sakari reminded us to "get up here" multiple times.

 

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Then there she was...we stepped foot on her and our vacation has officially started.

 

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Welcome back. Welcome home! I like it!

 

We walked around and explored for a short period of time.

 

My first thoughts were "man she's a beautiful ship"

 

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I love the glass elevators.

 

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I also love the expression of Sakari getting caught off guard when one pops up in front of her face.

 

 

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Daddy grabbed his first bloody mary from the bar.

 

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Sakari posing under the "Happy Easter" sign.

 

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We made our way to our room...since we had FTTF and all...we felt special that we were able to head there before everyone else had access to theirs. Only...the purpose of heading there first would be to drop off our pop in the room and not have to lug it around and now we didn't even have the pop because they allowed us to check it in. Oh well. We could still check out the room while we were at it.

 

We walked in and Sakari found a gift bag on her bed that our wonderful TA left for her. She absolutely loved it.

 

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It was filled with all kinds of goodies and she screamed with excitement as she pulled everything out of it one by one and demanded I take a picture of her posing with the items. (I won't bore you with all of them).

 

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We absolutely loved the room and the layout and the placement of Sakari's bed being against the wall and out of the way. It definitely felt like we had enough space compared to the rooms we have been in where you pull the bunk bed down over the regular beds.

 

I had planned on putting up my decorations on my door that I had spent a month making and precisely measuring out everything since we have the FTTF and are supposed to get our luggage early. But it was not here yet. I'm not really sure what "getting it early" meant, but since we were here so early, maybe it just meant earlier than everyone else and not upon arrival to your room?

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I love your reviews! I've been reading reviews non-stop before our cruise in just under 3 weeks. I absolutely LOVE the Pride! Been on her many times in the past. And I love reading about your daughter. Mine is just about 6 months younger and it reminds me so much of how much she loves cruising.

Edited by BugsMomma

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Since we are in our room, I will give you the small tour of it. Our home away from home for the next 7 days.

 

Now first I want to tell you a story about booking this room. When we decided to book the Pride, we didn't book right away and I had been watching prices for awhile. When it was time to pull the trigger, the Carnival site said there were no more interior or ocean view cabins left. YIKES! We "normally" sail in an interior to save money, which allows us to cruise more often. We honestly don't spend a lot of time in the room other than changing, showering and sleeping. Yes, we love the times we have had a balcony, but honestly still don't feel it's worth the charge.

 

This time, we would basically be forced into a balcony since there were no other options and spending about twice the amount we had hoped to spend. Sigh

 

We went ahead and booked, reminding ourselves that we would still be spending about the same by saving in air flight tickets (and we all know how that turned out).

 

The day after I booked, the price of the balcony went down $100. I immediately called Carnival and told them that and they sent me a $100 gift card in the mail for the price adjustment. I'm use to dealing with NCL where they just adjust and credit your room (even weeks or months after booking and even most of the time if you are past final payment date...or they'll upgrade your room). I have heard stories in the past about having to submit some form to Carnival for price adjustments. I'm just glad I didn't have to do all of this for my adjustment.

 

Then about a week later...the INTERIORS AND OV BECAME AVAILABLE??? What the heck? My TA had even called with some "connections" trying to get them to open up one of the rooms and they refused and said there were none available. Then here they are available now. I was a little ticked about it.

 

This process of them becoming "sold out" then later showing up available would continue up until the entire ship sold out about 2 weeks prior to the cruise. I just think it's crappy of Carnival doing this. I wonder how many people were actually going to book and once finding out they would have to spend double the amount for a balcony then went somewhere else or booked an entirely different ship.

 

I got over being upset and convinced myself that this was going to still be awesome with a balcony, sailing to the Caribbean to places we hadn't been before, and I was determined to spend more time in there and put it to use. Time to put on my big girl britches and move on and I did.

 

We had originally picked a balcony on the 4th floor, aft area. Then the price dropped again and my TA managed to get us moved up a floor and the first room once you turn down the hall from the elevators. It made for a great location, but I was a little concerned because I had seen pictures on the blue prints with the life boats being directly 1 floor down and beside us.

 

This was the hallway.

 

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Our room...daddy already out on the balcony taking pictures....of the port...lol not much to see there.

 

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There was TONS of storage space. I was real happy with the layout of the room and the storage.

 

The first closet door with shelves.

 

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There was a second closet for hanging items and also a third closet for storage and hanging more items. This is also where they had the Carnival robes. Now I have to say we have never used these and this cruise would not be an exception. We have gotten surprise VIP status several times with NCL and they provided robes and house slippers. We just never use them.

 

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Plenty of drawer spaces, which we used for the "undies"

 

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Yes, our room had the flat screen tv upgrade.

 

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The hair dryer is located in the top drawer.

 

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This would be our room steward.

 

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He was the nicest man ever. So fun and full of life and you couldn't help but smile every time you seen him. He was so friendly and learned Sakari's name right away. He was always asking how she was and if she was having fun. If he seen me leave the room without her, he'd ask about her. Sakari, at the age of 6, even noticed how happy he was. She would say "he's so happy and always smiling mommy."

 

I did speak to him in depth one day on the cruise and he told me that his 7 month contract was up this week and he would be flying home to Indonesia when we returned on Sunday. He said he had a child at home and couldn't wait to see her again. He told me stories about being on the Pride during dry dock in Freeport and how the ship had no electric or a/c. He said he would sometimes spend the night in the cruisers rooms with a balcony just so he could get some air because it was so hot. He told some interesting stories. I really loved his personality and he was probably one of the best room stewards we have had.

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We had the standard cruise cabin bathroom that you find in most rooms

 

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One thing I love about Carnival is this mirror attached to the wall. Perfect for trying to see the back of your hair. It gives new meaning to "mommy has eyes in the back of her head and can see you".

 

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Your normal body wash and shampoo dispensers in the shower.

 

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Outlet in the bathroom for shavers above the sink area.

 

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There have been discussions and debates over the last few months (and probably over the years) about people propping their balcony doors open.

 

Carnival states this on the doors:

 

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People state they take all kinds of items to prop their doors open. The discussion lead to a poster on here that is real knowledgeable about the ships and the air system and you will find complaints from cruisers about their rooms getting too warm and never getting the a/c to work during the cruise. I believe it has been determined that this is due to cruisers propping their doors open. Something has to do with the air being pulled from adjacent rooms to yours because of the door opened and they can't keep their rooms cooled. I propped my door twice during the cruise for a different reason...I'll go into that later.

 

Good to Know items:

 

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Want to know the pricing on laundry?

 

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That room menu that I didn't even notice until it was time to leave (I only seen the one hanging up on the wall for breakfast for some reason).

 

Carnival had announced that it would start charging for items on the room service right before we left for our cruise. So I guess that's why I never bothered to check for a menu. Only after returning did I find out it hasn't started on the Pride yet and it will only be certain items. Oh well.

 

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Laundry specials...

 

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Want to take home Carnival items? Here's your pricing...

 

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This is the breakfast menu...you know, the one that's in plain site for you to see but nothing I would want on it (I like my hot meals).

 

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Want to make calls back home from the ship?

 

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The safe info. Super easy to work but you must have a card to swipe other than your room key.

 

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Now one thing I did want to mention about this room location (or any rooms near it)...

 

I usually try to pick a room in this location on all my previous cruises...close to the elevator and the first (if possible) in the hall. It's easy access to where you want to go and usually works out good. However, this time the location wasn't the "best"...ok, but not the best for this reason...

 

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We were located directly across from the storage room for all of the housekeeping equipment. Every day the halls were lined with "stuff". The maintenance room (I believe) was also located there and there were many times I seen tools and maintenance men in the room across from us. It was always pretty crowded with items and it was like playing dodge ball a lot of times getting into the room.

 

 

My concerns for the balcony were unfounded. It ended up being a good view and the life boats really didn't distract from looking down. Not the perfect balcony room where you can look down and see nothing but the beautiful blue ocean, but that wasn't because of the life boats.

 

The life boats are kind of recessed back, so there's not much "blocking" going on.

 

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I guess the things I didn't like was when you looked down, there was the promenade floor sticking out instead of seeing just the ocean. Looking directly out was good of course and you didn't see it if you were sitting down. No biggie, just thought I would mention it.

 

Our view looking down.

 

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Now is the time I want to ask you cruisers a question...

 

Where do they get what they play on the tv? Is this pre-recorded shows? Is there sattelite? How does this all work? When you are watching the "news" is it really what is happening now? Or is this all pre-recorded from the week before?

 

I ask this question because we would spend the entire week watching commercials of this...

 

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Now I will take you on a full tour of the ship and get that out of the way. I know many of you are wanting to see the ship and maybe not my ramblings about our cruise in general. For those of you that just want the nitty-gritty of what the ship looks like...this is for you.

 

I will go floor by floor with the pictures that I have. Yes, I missed some things and I'm sorry for that.

 

**Disclaimer** I'm a crazy-happy snapper. I "walk and snap" on a lot of pictures. I get excited. I halt at the drop of a hat and my family "use" to run into me when I did that, but they have been trained over the years. They are always on the look-out for my sudden stopping and snapping a picture. They know never to get ahead of me because that causes "delay" when I have to give that "look" of "you are in my picture way" and they have to do an about face to move back so I can get "the shot". LOL But like I said, FOR THE MOST PART, they are pretty good about it.

 

As for the walking and snapping...a lot of times I'm in a hurry. Sometimes I take 10 pictures of the same thing trying to get the perfect shot. You will get pictures that are awesome, you will get pictures that are sometimes blurred from me walking and snapping. Please bare with me. It's just the nature of the game.

 

So I bring you the ship tour.

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