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I Belize in MAGIC! MITSUGIRLY revisits the Western Route. My Novel.

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It had been awhile since we had done the Western Caribbean route of Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya. We found a great deal and booked. Even though we have done this route many times, I can always find something new for our family to experience.

 

Plans for this cruise involved:

 

Cozumel: THE MONEY BAR for some snorkeling then on to PARADISE BEACH.

Belize: RENDEZVOUS CAYE

Roatan: WEST BAY and scuba diving

Costa Maya: BLUE KAY

Oh course, plans do not always work out and weather does not always cooperate. We have been fortunate enough to experience perfect weather with sunny skies on about 99% of our cruises. However, this would be a rainy and windy cruise with a little bit of sunshine thrown in at times.

 

We'll start with the "formalities" and get that out of the way. (Mostly copied from all of my other reviews, because things don't seem to change too much) with any updates we might have added/adjusted.

 

PLEASE NOTE>>> My reviews are LONG...as in VERY LONG, with a lot of details, A LOT of pictures and this is the experience of my family on the cruise, sorta like a blog.

 

*So, if you are not into long reviews and want something short, sweet and to the point...this review is not for you.

 

*If you expect this review to be done quickly and you don't like to wait...this review is not for you.

 

*If you don't like personal details of our daily activities, this review is not for you.

 

*If you expect me to sugar coat everything, this review is not for you.

 

*If you think I tell you about something that wasn't appealing or I didn't really care for or seen happen and you consider me "complaining" or unhappy...this review is not for you.

 

I'm open, I'm honest, we have a good time no matter what, but I report everything I see. It doesn't make or break my cruise or experience.

 

It's sad I feel the need to say these things with my reviews now due to certain people who like to come on a be rude in the past.

 

However, if you like to laugh, get a chuckle every once in awhile, think of our family and some of the things we do that could be pictured on "the people of Walmart" and want details and pictures of places...you have come to the right place. :D

 

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ABOUT MY FAMILY AND WHO CRUISED THIS TIME:

 

This cruise was myself, my husband and Sakari (pronounced just like it's spelled Sa-Kar-ee, our now 9 year old daughter). This time, my 2 adult sons would remain home (Kenny-31 and Kolin-23) even though they were supposed to be on this cruise and had scheduled their vacation time at the beginning of the year for this cruise.

 

Kendra, my 29 year old daughter, and her fiance and son (Brayden, also 9 years old) would book this cruise....basically last minute (or a little over a month before)...as she always likes to do...BUT WE HAD A CHANGE!!! A few weeks before, she decided it was time to add this little munchkin to the cruising family...

 

Everyone, introducing Kambriah. Kendra's daughter.

 

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She is 3 years old and Kendra has been taking her to the beach for a couple of years now, to get her used to it, and "Kam" or "Beana" as everyone calls her...refuses to put her feet in the sand and the family caters to her by laying beach towels down for her to walk on, carrying her and so on. She also does not like water to get in her face and you would think she is dying when it happens.

 

Yep, what better time to throw her into the mixture than now...on a cruise...with port days planned at the beach every day...and not only with water, but SALT water! :D Oh, and don't forget there's a water park on this ship too.

 

We'll also add a reminder of...Kendra's punctuality with 3 people and we're now adding a 4th person. Oh joy.

 

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My Cruising Experience:

 

As you can tell from my signature line, we mainly cruise with NCL and I have been trying to cruise the entire fleet. I have yet to be on the Gem or Escape.

 

I decided to try Carnival, back in 2013, and I'm so glad I did and we have a wonderful time on Carnival. So far, this will be our 6th cruise with Carnival and not our last for sure.

 

In the 80's and 90's I also sailed with NCL and Royal Caribbean.

 

This will make my 20th cruise, my husband's 18th cruise and Sakari's 17th cruise...I think? After awhile, things are starting to run together.

 

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ORGANIZATION FOR THE REVIEWS:

 

People always ask how I organize for my reviews and it takes A LOT to put together a review like this. Once I decided to post how I personally organize for my reviews and if you are interested, it can be found HERE-1ST HALF and the 2ND HALF HERE.

 

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CAMERAS:

 

I am constantly questioned about what type of camera's I use for my reviews.

 

Several years ago I decided to purchase my first Olympus point-and-shoot camera (not by choice, but because I had one of my many "bloopers" with my Canon cameras). I have loved the Olympus since that purchase that we actually have quite a few of them.

 

This entire review was shot with my Olympus Tough TG2 & 620. I take my model 620 & 830 along with me for back up because you never know what might happen and I would be devastated if I was without a camera. Last Christmas, we also purchased Sakari her own camera (the 620 model) and I also used hers at one point.

 

I'm a photography FREAK! Always have been. I do have a DSLR with tons of equipment, lens, and so on, but I find that I just don't want to lug it around with me on a cruise...and of course it's not waterproof.

 

When I process my photo's, I do take it in to PS (I have to get my watermark on there somehow) and I have an "action" that resizes the picture for a more appropriate posting size, and sharpens for web and I put my stamp on it. Every once in awhile I'll get a really crappy picture that just needs something (like white balance) done to it and I really want to share it and I might white balance it. For the most part, I don't do much of anything...no one has time for all that with the thousands of pictures I take!

 

I take thousands of pictures on vacation and I do a lot of walking and snapping. Yes, I may get some outstanding photos and quality, but for every good picture I get, there may be 3 bad ones. You win some, you lose some. I've been known to stand in a spot and take 3-5 pictures of the same thing, using different settings on the camera, just to get what I'm looking for to share. That's just me.

 

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ABOUT MY REVIEWS:

 

I am a very open and honest person. Everyone has a different expectation and experience, but I report how I feel during mine. You may or may not agree with my thoughts or views, but that's the beauty of it...everyone is different and all thoughts and comments are welcome.

 

We are a fun loving and outgoing family that, for the most part, don't get upset about much and roll with the punches. We've had a lot of "bloopers" (especially when the kids come along=Kendra lol), but it is what it is and I have learned over the years that getting mad or upset doesn't solve the problem and only takes away from the fun, so I try not to dwell on bad things (although I will always report them...not to be a Debbie-Downer, but to show this is the experience I had and how it contributed to what was going on at the time) and I move on.

 

We are BEACH people. So, if you are the touristy type of person that like historical stuff, seeing the sites, or likes to do the land tours, this review might not benefit you too much as far as the ports. If there's a beach, we will be there! I have to drag Sakari the Mermaid out of the water every place we go. So, to the beach it is for us. Sakari decided last year that she wanted to "be a scuba diver" and took classes and is now a certified PADI Seal. She is waiting to turn 10 years old to get her open water certificate...but we will see. She has 1 more class before she can become a Master PADI Seal. Brayden has recently completed is PADI seal classes and is a team member as well. So, you will find us doing some scuba diving in reviews as well.

 

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST: WHY I DO THE REVIEWS

 

My reviews are meant to be helpful to others looking for information. I'm a "picture" kinda girl and if I'm looking for information, give me a picture to help me understand and it will go 10x further in helping me with a decision. So many of you wonderful cruisers have helped me decide places to try out, shared your experiences with me, and even cruised with me....and this is my way of thanking you and continuing to help others the way they have helped me.

 

I'm keeping this "opening" a little shorter than normal. Most people around here know me and I hate to constantly repeat things...so if you want a more detailed "opening" statement, you are welcome to click on one of my other reviews (in my signature line) and it will give you more info on us. clear.png?emoji-smile-1742

 

With that said...I hope you enjoy the review. clear.png?emoji-cool-1690

 

 

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Yay! Another mitsugirly review! Following

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hi all!

 

Kim ~ so nice to catch your review from the beginning!! I wondered when we'd see Kendra's little girl & now we will. What a cutie pie! Yikes, she's not like her auntie as regards water is she?!!:eek:

Like you I first tried Carnival in 2013 & love it too.

Looking forward to your usual long, detailed fun review!

 

~ Jo ~ :)

 

ps I did Escape & Conquest in October & both were great!

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Patiently waiting for more! I always enjoy your reviews. The time and detail you put into them is really appreciated! :D

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Yayyyy!

My prayers have been answered! Lol:D

Looking forward to enjoying my afternoons with mitsugirly reviews and pictures.

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So, we will start this review out a week before the cruise.

 

It was a HECTIC week! Anyone who follows my reviews knows that my daughter, Sakari, LOVES to draw. It's her life. She's very good at it. She has been tested the last 2 years and determined to be "gifted" in arts. I'm so proud of her. However, this time around was a little different. I received notice that her name was submitted to the gifted program and they were requiring an art portfolio to be submitted for consideration to the arts school program. She doesn't have a portfolio and I keep a majority of her work in tote(S) that I would have to frantically run around trying to locate some of her best work to submit.

 

The other issue was, this portfolio was to be submitted on the day we leave for vacation AND she was supposed to have an interview on the day we return from vacation. Mom-panic-mode kicked in.

 

I still needed to pack and double up on seeing patients for the week and now this.

 

It was a very long week, but we managed to be able to submit prior to that friday and they agreed to forgive her for not being able to make it to the interview. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If she's accepted, this means she will get to go to the arts school in 6th grade and automatically be enrolled in the arts high school.

 

Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!

 

Ok, next deadline for that week....Friendship/kindness rock painting. What? Never heard of it. However, there were a few people on our roll call for this cruise that does this and posted their rocks. I instantly fell in love...and thought this was right up Sakari's alley! I showed her and she immediately wanted to do some for the cruise.

 

We headed out to buy the supplies and came home that night and started painting.

 

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She was loving this new "artsy" thing to do.

 

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We had so much fun that we think we are going to make this an event that we do for every cruise.

 

This was the first batch, but we did a second batch later in the week and for some reason I don't think I got a picture of them.

 

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Even Kolin, my youngest son, joined in one night and had some fun coming up with ideas to paint.

 

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I guess people have groups all over the place that paint rocks and they leave them in areas for others to find. They either keep them or move them somewhere else. I believe they are meant to brighten someone's day. So, hopefully we would be able to do that for several people on the cruise.

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The night before the cruise and I'm still waiting on socks and undies from the hubby...as always. I promise you one of these days he'll leave and not have any because I'll get tired of reminding him to pack them. But, for the most part, I managed to get all of our packing done in about a day. I'm a planner...this never happens...wish me luck that I didn't forget anything.

 

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We had picked a late day straight flight, since our family is really not a "morning" family, and this always works out nicely for us...especially when Kendra is involved.

 

We left the house around 9:45am so that we could get some breakfast prior to getting to the airport.

 

Sakari was so sad to leave her dog at home and hugged him forever. It was like he knew something was happening and kept sniffing the luggage.

 

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We have been driving ourselves to the airport for the last few years (instead of having someone drop us off) and it works out better for us. I just hate depending on others to be punctual. Kendra...she still relies on others to drop her family off and as always, ran into some snags. The person who said they would take her wouldn't answer the phone that morning and left her struggling to find an alternative. Eventually she did, but I don't need that type of stress added to my life.

 

It was COLD outside. We live in Ohio and it's officially winter. We found it to be colder at the airport than at home...probably because it's out in the open.

 

We arrived at the parking lot, pulled our luggage out, then jumped back in the warm vehicle until we seen the shuttle coming, then sprinted to the bus stop.

 

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But first some selfies with snapchat to entertain each other...

 

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Then off we went to the airport on the shuttle.

 

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Daddy and Sakari were continuing their fun on the shuttle over to the airport.

 

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We pulled up to our drop off spot at the airport and I had to distract the hubby and munchkin from all their fun so that we could get checked in.

 

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We checked our luggage in and patiently waited on Kendra and family to show up. They eventually arrived around 11:15am and we headed to check in with security. There was NO ONE...I mean NO ONE there! Not one person in the security check in. Weird. Are we the only one's flying today? Are we getting the VIP treatment? It was just weird.

 

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We all waited until it was time to line up and of course Sakari was busy doing her thing...drawing and passing time.

 

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Kendra was loading Kam and B up with sugar...notice the suckers. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

 

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Time to board the plane and the pilot announced that we would be arriving 37 minutes earlier in Orlando than scheduled. I guess he would hit the turbo button along the way?

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I settled in with my peanuts, pop and a show on home improvement-fixer uppers.

 

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Before the flight started, I guess Kendra's fiance was seated in an evacuation row. This means they get special instructions if something was to happen to the plane and we needed to go out their door. But first, the flight attendant ask him "Do you speak English sir?" AHAHAHAHAHA...So, as I told you in the beginning of this review, Kambriah has 2 nicknames...either Kam or Beana. Well, the Beana came when she was first born because everyone always says that Billy (Kendra's fiance) looks Mexican. So they started calling Kam Beana. Well, the flight attendant asking him if he spoke English just confirms that he does indeed look Mexican I suppose. Now only if he could learn to translate some of that Spanish for us when we will be in Cozumel.

 

Sakari continued with her drawings of course.

 

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And every so often she would remind me of her unique skills....twisting her tongue into a "triple tongue" as she calls it. She's very proud of the fact that she has yet to find anyone else that can do this.

 

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Kam seemed to be doing good on her first flight.

 

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We arrived at the airport and it was a successful flight for Kam.

 

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Headed to the monorail to make it to the other side of the airport to pick up our luggage:

 

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Up pulled the monorail and another first for Kam.

 

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Front row seats:

 

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It's a short ride, but the kids get a kick out of it.

 

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We had contracted with our hotel to have transportation from the airport to the hotel in Port Canaveral. We knew that everyone was a little hungry from the trip and decided to grab some Chipotle before heading out of the airport.

 

I'm here to tell you, if you are at the Orlando airport and expect to get pop, you will need to do it prior to going to the area you pick up your luggage. There is NOT ONE pop machine or vendor on that floor. Kendra and I would spend quite some time and leg work to head back up to the 3rd floor and walk all the way to the restaurants or store to find pop for everyone to have with their meal. What a pain!

 

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Hi Kim, it's great to see you back with another review! :D I've been waiting to tell you that when we were on Escape in October, DH and I went to Little French Key for our day in Roatan. Thank you so much for recommending them. We loved our day there, seeing the animals, drinking Monkey La Las (me :cool:) and enjoying the beautiful water. I would happily go back and I'll also be interested to see what you planned for your day in Roatan this time around. BTW, we loved the Escape. :)

Heather

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Yay!!... New Mitsugirly review!! :D

 

What a great way to start this week!... Thanks Kim!... looking forward to reading your adventures!

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The beginning of a Mitsugirly review and the middle of a Jamman review. (y)(y)How did I get so lucky!!! Glad to have you back. Congrats on your new GD. Sakari looks so pretty and grown up!

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We were on this same cruise, anxious to hear your take on things. Actually enjoy reading all of your reviews and have picked up some great advice from you regarding port excursions. Want to thank-you for all the detail with LFK in Roatan from previous reviews, we went there on this cruise and had a wonderful time (despite the iffy weather). But would definitely go back when we could enjoy it longer. It was a great cruise for us also and really enjoyed the Magic.

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WOOOHOOOO!!! Love you reviews!! Between the pics the review itself both are fabulous, I feel we here at CC have seen your little girl grow up through the yrs as well, (they seem to do that too fast, lol). We'll be taking our girls on The Magic at Christmas this yr and Doing the Western as well. So we've been reading and watching Youtube videos since we booked it to pass the time. Can't wait to read the rest of your review.

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So excited for another review! And WOW has Sakari grown up!! I can't believe how much older she looks in these pictures than in the last review you posted. She's still so beautiful :)

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YES!!! I finally can catch a review as you begin it!! Your reviews are not long...they are epic!! Its like going on an adventure of a life time!!

 

I am excited to once again to live vicariously through your travels!

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Our hotel...

 

We originally booked the Country Inn there on Astronaut Blvd. However, Irma had other plans for some of the hotels in that area.

 

Someone on our roll call said that they received notification that their reservations had been cancelled. Hmmm, I had not received anything either by phone, email or text. Weird. So, I decided to call them and yep, our reservation had been cancelled. Nice of them to tell me about this. I'm now wondering how many people they didn't inform of the closure and showed up to a closed hotel.

 

I would later learn that, even though the hotel we stayed at was only a few hotels over and had no damage, Country Inn received damage based on the way it was built and the height of the hotel. Country in has their a/c units on the roof and during the hurricane, the a/c units would malfunction or get destroyed and this would cause the water to leak down inside the buildings and destroy the rooms with water damage. Their hotel is 5 stories tall and the Radisson was only 2 stories. Maybe the other hotels around sheltered it? I'm not sure. Our driver gave us this information. I believe the Country Inn and Radisson are affiliated.

 

We immediately called Residence Inn down the street (relayed to us from our roll call that this is the place everyone was switching to and rooms were filling up very quickly) and were able to snag a suite that would fit all of us and had a bedroom off to the side with 2 beds and also a separate living room area. Perfect. It wasn't a bad price either ($156 plus tax), so we basically split that between our 2 families and made out well!

 

Radisson Resort at the Port also was known for their amazing pool with waterfalls. I had originally considered booking it, but Country Inn was a little cheaper (before Kendra decided to book).

 

Radisson will also arrange transportation from the airport in Orlando to the hotel. I checked other places and even checked using Lyft, but once Kendra and the family added this cruise, it was actually cheaper to just book with the hotel.

 

Transportation is $50 for the first 2 people, then $10 pp after that. So for 7 people, we paid a total of $100.

 

I did find out that the transportation company the hotel used is the Cocoa Beach Shuttle. For some reason I'm thinking I have used them once before, but I'm not sure. I did go onto their website to get a quote for our family and using the hotel was actually cheaper than booking directly with them.

 

Once we were done eating at the airport, we called the number listed on our reservation for pick up. As we walked out of the airport, we watched the van pull away. Oops, we had missed them...and several calls from them to let us know they were outside waiting. Well, no worries, another van came along within 10 minutes.

 

We piled in, I handed out the dirty grandma looks at B to behave himself and we were on the freeway by 4:05pm.

 

We arrived at the Radisson at 4:50pm.

 

As we got out of the shuttle, the driver mentioned our return trip back to the airport. Oops, remember how it was such a busy week prior to the cruise? I had completely forgot to book anything from the cruise port to the airport. He immediately did it on the spot and he even came equipped with a credit card machine. Imagine that.

 

At check in we were given the choice of a first or second floor room and of course I decided on the first floor. No elevators=no B playing on them. Wise choice.

 

However, our room said 2__ something. Um, ok. I would later find out that the first floor room numbers consisted of 1 and 2's. Weird.

 

Now here's our room...I really liked it!

 

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See those stools? They are on wheels. Not a good combination with a child like B in the room. They would become race cars by that night. #facepalm.

 

There was a small kitchen table and area with a refrigerator as well.

 

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Here's the bedroom with 2 queen beds. Very nice. (T.v.'s in both rooms).

 

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French doors led out to the living room area.

 

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The bathroom was off to the side of the bedroom and nicely done.

 

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My hubby said on our trip from Puerto Rico that he would NEVER, never, never, ever, like seriously never...get a room again with Kendra (or should I say B). I thought he would blow his stack when I told him it was happening again AND we were adding another child to the mixture. I told him it was only 1 night and he could put his big boy pants on and handle it...and handle it he did. I was shocked.

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Oh my goodness--I have read most or all of all your reviews as you are the person I try to find when I am visiting a port I know you have been on. But I don't always catch them right when you start one. I think your first review was when Sakari was 3--she looks huge now, I can't even believe that is the same little girl!

 

Anyway, I always enjoy your reviews even though I don't usually comment. I'm looking forward to seeing what all your fam did on this cruise! Congrats to Sakari on the gifted program and I think I read she is scuba diving too now? You must be very proud!

 

Oh and I think you are in big trouble in about 4 years! :)

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It didn't take long before the room looked like this (trust me, it got worse as the night went on). Kendra's room normally looks like a cyclone was in it by the end of her stay.

 

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Here's a few pictures of the hotel. They were taken both that night and the following morning.

 

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Pool area grill and eating tables.

 

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Inside the lobby area:

 

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This is a famous place to take pictures obviously. Everyone on our roll call was taking pictures of this in the lobby and I managed to not run into anyone once. There is obviously another one at one of the other hotels because they were also posting pictures of it.

 

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Outside the lobby and toward the courtyard/pool area.

 

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Entrance to hotel:

 

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Inside the lobby is a restaurant. Notice it says full menu served outside at the Tiki Bar? That's where most were eating at and we would do the same that night.

 

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Now let's get to the pool area and grounds. Very beautiful!

 

Here's the hot tub...complete with waterfall and yes, this waterfall is HOT!

 

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Well that tree grew weird.

 

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Back side of the pool area had ponds with fish in it.

 

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I'm not sure what these steps were for. I didn't see any type of pool slide. Maybe it was just a viewing type area. However, they had every steps blocked off with a chain to not enter. I can only imagine that some child like B stayed there once and decided to climb all over the rocks and possibly jump into the water or something.

 

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There is a lower level of the pool directly surrounding it. Then there's a wall with the upper area, which includes the dining area and bar. There's a lot of space here.

 

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There's also areas on the opposite side of this waterfall.

 

Landscaping in between the buildings

 

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Since our bellies were full from eating at the airport, we immediately went into swim/water mode.

 

Of course this peacock mermaid showed up instantly.

 

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The kids and us girls swam and the guys pretty much hung out at the tables and bar area.

 

Kam decided to go in with Sakari's old puddle jumper (some may remember this from back when Sakari was 3 years old up to about 6 or so on the cruises for safety even though she learned to swim when she was 3. It's in many reviews and I have definitely got my money's worth out of it). It's been around for quite some time now. Kam gets most of Sakari's hand-me-downs from bathing suits and clothes to the puddle jumper. LOL

 

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Kam is sorta like B, if Kendra is around B acts up. If he's just with me, not so much. Kam is a crybaby/whinny girl when it comes to "momma", but not so much with me.

 

She wouldn't let Kendra let go of her in the pool. Mamaw took her and Kendra dipped out of her site super fast.

 

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It wasn't too long before I had that girl in the water, letting go of me and kicking her feet to get somewhere. I worked with her a lot that night.

 

Kendra was super proud to get this picture of Kam not holding on...but you can tell she was a little scared.

 

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I have to say it was a little chilly out. But the water felt warm and the hot tub really hot. If you got out of the water, you quickly wanted back in to keep warm.

 

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So, we honestly spent 3 1/2 hours in the pool that night. I wasn't sure my fingers were ever going to go back to it's original form pre-pool experience.

 

The pool is heated for those wondering.

 

The guys decided they were hungry again and we ordered some wings and shrimp from the Tiki Bar.

 

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It was pretty good and filling enough.

 

We had several drinks and several "sodas" as well.

 

 

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