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GeorgiaMomof4

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

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Thank you everyone who is following along.

 

Been a busy weekend but I hope to post more tomorrow.

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

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Our first official day was over and tomorrow was a sea day!

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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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All four of your kids are beautiful, but I loved the 3 boys in their vests and ties! How adorable!

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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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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.

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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?

 

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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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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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What a beautiful family! So nice to see you all dressed up.

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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." :)

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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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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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Posted (edited)

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

 

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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!

Edited by GeorgiaMomof4
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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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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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.

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Wednesday -Roatan

 

We arrived in Roatan at 9 and wanted to be off the ship quick because we wanted to get to the beach. We debarked quickly and pretty much as soon as we set foot off the ship it started to rain. Now, I don't mean sprinkle, I mean rain. A clothes, shoes, everything drenching rain. We stood under the tent right outside the ship until it slacked off a little and then headed on toward the beach. It eventually quit raining and turned out to be a nice day.

 

Hope, Collin, Steven, Tia and Shiloh were doing some kind of wild life adventure excursion today so they all met up and headed to where they needed to be.

 

We decided to take the chair lifts over to the beach since Glen is limited on his mobility and I also figured I would end up having to carry one of the boys to the beach or for sure back from the beach because they would be so tired.

 

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The beach area right off the ship was nice - all the front row chairs had already been reserved so we found some loungers a few rows back. We could still keep an eye on the boys and they had their puddle jumpers on as well, so I didn't have to worry about them too much. We ordered some cheese sticks to eat and munched on those. Glen and Ronnie decided to go sit in the restaurant and have something to drink. I just enjoyed the sun, water and my book.

 

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We stayed at the beach the majority of the day and headed back around 2 or 2:30 so the boys would have time for a nap. I did a little shirt shopping at the Del Sol and got back on the ship too.

 

We just chilled out and napped until time for dinner and then we went to dinner.

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Wednesday - Roatan - continued

Here is where my trip took a turn for the worse!

 

Collin loves the strawberry bisque soup that they have on the first night of the cruise. He always asks if they will bring him some each night of the cruise. Well, he didn't come to dinner and the waiter had already brought his soup out. I asked our waiter if he would bring me a cover for it and told him I would take it to him.

 

We ate dinner and were getting ready to leave. The boys jumped up and followed Donna and Shane out and Glen and I got up quickly so we could be sure that they had met up with them. I grabbed the soup and Glen said he would go get us a seat for the show. I told him I would run the soup down to the cabin fridge and meet him there.

 

Our room steward was cleaning our room so I talked with him for a minute, put my soup up and headed to the theatre. A few minutes after I got there, I realized I didn't have my cell phone. I knew I had it with me in the dining room because I had made some pictures and send some through Facebook to Whitney and Lindsey back at home. I didn't really panic because I figured I had just put it down in the cabin when I was putting my soup in the fridge.

 

As soon as the show was over I headed back to the cabin to check on my phone - it wasn't there. Ok, still didn't panic too much -headed to our table at the dining room - late seating people were there and I asked our waiters if they had seen my phone when they were cleaning our table and preparing for the late seating. Theytold me no that they hadn't seen it but to check at guest services someone might have found it and turned it in. Now I was panicked! I went straight to guest services and you guessed it - no one had turned it in.

 

I was assured that if a staff member found it, they would immediately turn it in to guest services so to be sure and keep checking back.

 

I was devastated and heart broken. I had just purchased this phone - an iphone X in December after having my other phone for years! I wasn't as concerned about the phone as I was all the pictures I had on my phone. I wasn't sure how long it had been since it had been backed up by icloud and I was so afraid I had lost all my pictures from December to now.

 

I called my daughter at home to see if she could do anything as far as "find my iphone" and she did what she could. I also had Donna send an IM saying that I would pay a reward, no questions asked.

 

Needless to say this put a huge damper on my cruise. I didn't sleep hardly at all Wednesday night because I was so hoping that someone would be honest and turn my phone in. I actually went back to the dining room at 4:30 Thursday morning to look for myself. There were some security people in there and I told them about it. They said they would look into it, but I never heard a word from them. I went back to guest services too but no luck.

 

I was literally sick to my stomach. It was all I could do to eat breakfast and I didn't even want to go into Costa Maya and it's my favorite port!

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Posted (edited)

Thursday -Costa Maya

 

I was still bummed, but we did decide to go ahead and get off the ship in Costa Maya. We didn't have an excursion planned, we were just going to the beach and to Tropicante - our favorite place in Costa Maya.

 

I decided it would help me keep my mind off it if I was doing something other than sitting in the cabin waiting on guest services to call.

 

Several months before I had emailed Steve and told him how many of us would be coming and ask if he would reserve us some loungers and some tables. He said he was happy to do so, so we caught a taxi and headed on to the Tropicante.

 

We were greeted by his staff when we arrived and were quickly shown to our loungers and tables. The guys all just wanted to hangout at the table and us girls headed to the loungers.

 

This makes several trips to Costa Maya for me and I'd never seen the beach like it was on this day. It was full of sea weed and I mean FULL of sea weed. They told us that as bad as it was that day, that it had even been worse on Wednesday. I'm certainly glad we weren't there on Wednesday.

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The boys played and we lounged and rested. Tropicante is a wonderful place to go because Steve and his staff take care of anything you need - food,drinks, massages, snorkeling, bikes, etc.

 

I decided to have a massage - $30 for a 1 hour massage right there on the beach and itwas great. We ordered the fried mini burritos for lunch and they are amazing. Hope snarled her nose and said she didn't want one, but then we ended up having to order more because she liked them so much!

 

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The only downside to Costa Maya is that is always seems to be a short day. Before long, it was time to load back up and head back to the ship. It was ok with me though because that meant I could check on my phone again.

 

Straight to guest services I went and still no luck - no one had turned my phone in. The boys were exhausted so Hope took them back to the cabin for a nap. Glen and I went up on deck and hung out until we had left Costa Maya. He decided to go back to the cabin but I stayed out and read and took a nap before since I hadn't slept much the night before. Seemed like too quickly it was time to get ready for dinner - tonight was our 2nd elegant night.

 

We did dress for dinner tonight, but not quite as fancy as we did the first night. The boys sure did look handsome though. Collin didn't dress up and go to dinner with us tonight - he was too busy playing basketball and hanging with the new friends he had made on the ship.

 

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I'll be honest with you. I know guest services said that if a crew member found my phone that they would turn it in. We all know unfortunately that everyone isn't honest and I have a sneaky suspicion that one of the waitstaff got my phone and didn't return it. I know for a fact that it was on our table and we were the last to leave the area we were sitting in for early dining.

 

I continued checking with guest services, but my phone hadn't been turned in.

 

We went to the 88 Keys show but Glen was tired and so was I and we really didn't care for the show so we decided just to head back to the cabin. The boys were restless as well. I ended up packing up some things that I knew we wouldn't be needing to try and get a head start on getting ready to head home.

Edited by GeorgiaMomof4
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I'll be honest with you. I know guest services said that if a crew member found my phone that they would turn it in. We all know unfortunately that everyone isn't honest and I have a sneaky suspicion that one of the waitstaff got my phone and didn't return it. I know for a fact that it was on our table and we were the last to leave the area we were sitting in for early dining.

 

.

 

Sorry to hear about your lost I phone. I know it's a touchy subject accusing someone of stealing but I wonder if there is a dining room security camera where you were sitting that night. May not hurt to ask or go there to check.

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Great review so far!

 

I agree with you about Dr E. We had heard so much about him prior to our Halloween cruise on Magic, so I was excited. I found him on that trip to be very.....I don't know.....unpersonable and like he was putting on a big show for everyone. He seemed better this cruise, but he is still a far cry from Matt Mittchum (best ever), Wee Jimmy, Emma Nixon or Steve Kinsley.

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Oh my losing your phone, that was bad. I know how I would feel as well. It looks like it put a damper (you still tried to make the best of the day/s) on the rest of the trip.

 

Your young sons looked so nice (reminded me of when our twins were about that age, dressing them up in their suits, and getting so many compliments) in their suits for formal night again.

 

A few questions. We have never been to Costa Maya before. You mentioned Tropicante. Is that a private beach to use, and if so, what is the cost? I notice flamingos close by. I love the color of them. I believe (???) someone said in Costa Maya there are swings. I know you will think this is funny, but I LOVE to swing? No matter where I am, nor my age, if I see a swing, I will leave everyone to go and swing for a while.:)

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You have a beautiful family. Sorry to hear about your phone.

 

We are sailing on the Magic in April. Our first time on Carnival. Do you happen to remember if the ship always stayed on ship time (FL time)? I called Carnival and received different answers from different agents. One said if the advertised port time in Belize is 8-5pm that is the time we will be in Belize. But the fun times say to stay on ship time which would be 6-3pm local time. Thanks for any help.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Oh my losing your phone, that was bad. I know how I would feel as well. It looks like it put a damper (you still tried to make the best of the day/s) on the rest of the trip.

 

Your young sons looked so nice (reminded me of when our twins were about that age, dressing them up in their suits, and getting so many compliments) in their suits for formal night again.

 

A few questions. We have never been to Costa Maya before. You mentioned Tropicante. Is that a private beach to use, and if so, what is the cost? I notice flamingos close by. I love the color of them. I believe (???) someone said in Costa Maya there are swings. I know you will think this is funny, but I LOVE to swing? No matter where I am, nor my age, if I see a swing, I will leave everyone to go and swing for a while.:)

 

 

It definitely did put a damper on the remainder of my cruise. It's just beyond me that someone would keep something so personal of someone's knowing that most everyone has so many photos on their phone.

 

Tropicante is a restaurant that is owned by a gentleman named Steve. He is from Texas and my understanding is that he went to Costa Maya on vacation and loved it so much that he purchased a business and moved there! It is gorgeous - one of our favorite places to go. You can email Steve and he will hold lounge chairs and or chairs and a table for you - all at no charge. All he asks in return is that you purchase some food and drinks - even just sodas from him. The beach is beautiful and his staff are all very nice and attentive. The great thing about hanging out at the Tropicante is that Steve and his staff will arrange anything you want to do and you just pay one bill when you leave. Like I said in my review, you can get a full 1 hour massage for $30 and it's a good one. The ladies are trained and it is wonderful. I will be happy to get you his email address if you are interested. You can also google Tropicante and it will bring up his website with the menu and everything.

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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.

 

 

We are actually getting a Ross in our town in the next few months as well. I've been having to travel to Chattanooga to go to the Ross.

 

Thank you for the well wishes. We love fostering - it's the letting go part that's hard - I assume that's why we now have 6 children. When we began fostering we had no intention of adding to our family - only to help the children in care because our county had so many in foster care. God had plans we didn't know about I suppose.

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Sorry - it was a busy weekend and has been a busy week.

 

Friday - Sea Day

 

That last dreaded day was here. I always hate the last day because I know my wonderful vacation is coming to a close

and now I have to pack up all those clothes that I just knew I would need but are still sitting on the shelves and hanging in the closet.

 

We got up early because I was determined to get a decent seat today out in the sunshine.

 

I actually went down and brought breakfast back for the boys to save some time. We were up on deck by 8:30 at the latest and you guessed it - chair hogs were in full force! Once again, the only seats I could find were the chairs right beside the

waterworks area. This was ok but it was windy again and the waterworks didn't open for a while. When it finally did the

boys made the most of their last day and had a blast.

 

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After water works Glen took them back to play more mini golf and I sat and talked to Lisa and read some. It had been a

busy week for the little guys and they were once again nap ready so Hope took them back to the cabin and let them have a nap so Glen could enjoy the seats he and Shane had snagged in the shade right above the lido deck.

 

Back to guest services I went and still no cell phone! I did file a lost item claim with Andrea at Guest Services and she was wonderful. She said her cell phone had been stolen a couple months back by a passenger and it was never recovered either.

 

Lisa and I scowered around and found us some great lounge chairs on the starboard side. Once again, it was windy so you certainly didn't have to worry about getting over heated. I was pretty much a bum today. I enjoyed the beautiful sun and the beautiful view and my book and just chilled.

 

I finally decided it was time for lunch about 3 and was going to get me a taco bowl from the Blue Iguana but it was already closed! I ended up with another Guy's Burger and it was good. About that time, William and Justin came back up and were starving so I got them a burger too! Looks like William is enjoying his.

 

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Glen and the boys walked around some more and played more golf and I stayed in my lounge chair. :)

 

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Late in the day I decided I had to head in and shower and finish packing up what I could before dinner. We had decided to just eat on the Lido deck tonight because we didn't want have to get all dressed and ready to go to the dining room plus we just weren't really thrilled with anything on the menu.

 

We went to eat about 6 or 6:15 - the boys had hot dogs and I had a salad and some odds and ends. I wasn't really hungry since I had eaten such a late lunch.

 

We took the boys to the Lido deck for the last Dive In movie of the week. Gosh, I can't remember what it was, but they thoroughly enjoyed it as they always do.

 

After the movie we headed back to the cabin and I finished packing - I hate that chore!

 

One last trip to Guest Services - no luck there and one last trip for ice cream and it was time for bed.

 

Next up - Debarkation Day and some final thoughts

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Debarkation Day

 

As seems to be when sailing from Port Canaveral we were back in port very early - like probably 5 or 5:30 Saturday morning. Glen and I got up and showered and I ran down and got the boys a little something for breakfast. I knew we

would stop for something a little farther up the road but I didn't want them to get hungry before we did.

 

One more last stop at Guest Services to check for my phone - still no phone and I went back to the cabin to collect everyone. As I mentioned before we had FTTF so we had the option of meeting in the lounge to do self assist debarkation

or we could use Zone debarkation and we would have been Zone 2 or 3 I think. We always try to do self assist

debarkation if we can. With the little boys in tow this time we weren't sure we would be able to, but we managed

to do it just fine.

 

They started calling for self assist before or right at 7 and we were off the ship by probably 7:15 or 7:20 at the latest. Of

course, everyone was staring because we were all kicking and screaming that we didn't want to leave and they shouldn't make us leave lol! Actually, this was the FIRST cruise that I was really ready to get off of and head home. I'm sure

it had a lot to do with my phone being stolen but I was just ready to be off and at home!

 

We walked across the lot and our shuttle from Park and Cruise was right there waiting. We loaded up and headed

to our car. Those are some more people who have their jobs down. We gave them our ticket for our car and it was

parked out front when we arrived at their lot and we loaded right up and headed out. We were on the road for our

almost 600 mile trip home by 7:40 if not a few minutes earlier.

 

We stopped for gas and some breakfast a little ways up the road and luckily the boys were still tired so they slept a

lot of the way home. We made 2 or 3 more stops - bathroom breaks, lunch, ice cream - Marble Slab is my favorite and we don't have one at home so I always try to incorporate a stop into our trips when there is one close by. We arrived home

about 5 so we really did make good time.

 

Final thoughts -

 

This was our 2nd trip on the Magic and we did enjoy it. It was a very different cruise this time because of having the kids with us but that wasn't a bad thing - we just did very different things.

 

Our food was good this trip - nothing to write home about but I'm a simple girl and I'm not too hard to please. I don't do

5 star restaurants at home and certainly don't expect that on a cruise. I will say that I'm not as big of a fan of the pizza as I used to be and I do feel like the quality of the food has gone down a bit since we first started cruising in 2004. Certainly not enough to stop me from cruising with Carnival, but there have been some changes.

 

I have only wonderful things to say about our room steward Michael and Andrea at Guest Services. They were both stellar employees and Carnival should be very proud to have them as part of their team. I would hate to have to deal

with some of the petty things that Andrea and the Guest Services staff have to deal with on a daily basis. People really

should be more considerate and not complain about each and every little unimportant thing!

 

Oh, I'm not sure how I forgot to mention this but on Wednesday morning, Glen woke me up about 5:00 pacing the floor.

He said he was in a lot of pain and he thought he might have a broken rib. You see, the week before we left he went to the

chiropractor at home and said when he was getting his adjustment he thought the chiropractor had broken a rib. He hurt for a couple of days, but by the time we boarded the ship on Saturday he wasn't hurting any more. He took some pain medicine he already had for another chronic condition he has but it didn't ease up. We decided to go on down to the

medical center and have him checked. It wasn't opening time yet, but the nurse and doctor were very nice and professional. They did x rays and although a break or crack didn't show up the doctor said he was almost certain that was

what was wrong. As you know, there isn't really anything you can do for a broken rib, it just has to heal on its own. He gave Glen some tips on sleeping and staying comfortable and sent us on our way. We did have to pay a little extra because it was "out of hours" for the medical center. When I checked our sail and sign account I was shocked and actually pleased. With the x-rays and even with the extra hours charge, it was only $275. I know that may sound like a lot, but have you every gotten x-rays at home for less than $275 - we certainly haven't!

 

Once again, I will say that this is only my opinion. A vacation is what YOU make of it and nothing more. If you choose

to go into it with a positive attitude, 9 times out of 10 you will have a wonderful time. Don't sweat the small stuff, things will happen when you're on vacation - heck they do when you're not on vacation. Just make the most of it and go with

the flow.

 

I'm sure I have forgotten some things that I really wanted to add and I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to finish my review. I do hope you got some good information and that maybe I've answered some questions. If you think of anything, don't hesitate to ask.

 

Thanks for reading!

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You are so right. A vacation is what you make of it. It seems like so many people are negative:(

and nit picking, where I like you, try to find the "positive" things that I see and do.:) Once again, thank you for a wonderful review and pictures.

 

If you have posted this, I have not read it, but I assume, you never got your phone back, or it was turned in? How sad.

 

God bless you and your family in taking in the children as you do.

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In reading about your lost phone, my first thought was "its in the fridge with the soup." That's totally something I would do. Sorry that happened to you. We're headed out on the Magic in May and appreciate your review. Thanks!!

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You are so right. A vacation is what you make of it. It seems like so many people are negative:(

and nit picking, where I like you, try to find the "positive" things that I see and do.:) Once again, thank you for a wonderful review and pictures.

 

If you have posted this, I have not read it, but I assume, you never got your phone back, or it was turned in? How sad.

 

God bless you and your family in taking in the children as you do.

 

 

 

Beshears - Thanks so much for reading and following along. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to finish my review, but with 6 kids life does sometimes get in the way.

 

Unfortunately my phone was never turned in. A very costly lesson learned. After using my daughter's old phone which wouldn't hold charge for 3 weeks, I finally bit the bullet and went and got me a new phone. I did take the insurance out this time - probably will never need it again but it's there in case.

 

Believe me, we are the ones who receive the blessing with these children. They bring so much joy and sunshine to us that's it's just amazing. Since adopting William and Justin we have only done respite and haven't had a long term placement but our home is still open and we hope to do a long term placement one day again before long. With our ages and their activity level we just aren't sure we are ready for another little one just yet. We have so many people tell us that they don't think they could do it, that they couldn't let them go when the time came and it is hard, I won't lie. But, if everyone felt that way, where would all these children go? Having other children in our home we have to remember that Glen and I aren't the only ones who feel loss when the children move on - our own children have gotten attached to them just as we have and it hurts them as well. I always tell my husband (and sometimes he has to remind me) and our other children that God placed us in the lives of these children for a time....a time when they needed someone to love them, make them feel safe and secure and in turn to let them go when that time came. It's not for the faint of heart though.

 

Thanks again for reading!

 

I'll be cruising on the Fantasy in May - my oldest daughter is graduating college - the first in our family to actually graduate and I'll try and do a review then as well.

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In reading about your lost phone, my first thought was "its in the fridge with the soup." That's totally something I would do. Sorry that happened to you. We're headed out on the Magic in May and appreciate your review. Thanks!!

 

 

 

LOL - that's hilarious. We spent about 30 minutes looking for my daughter Lindsey's phone while she was home

for spring break. We looked everywhere and she had just had it. Ended up being in the refrigerator (she had helped me put up some groceries and had laid it down in there then)!

 

You'll have a great time on the Magic!

 

Thanks for reading.

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Yes, God blesses those, who bless each other. Your young children who you have taken in, I'm sure they do not realize how life could have been, if you and your husband had not taken them in. It takes a certain type of person with a BIG heart to do this, and I believe you folks have that. Yes, once I get attached to a small child, it would be hard for me to give them up. My son and wife have 7 boys, and that makes up the rest of the 15 (3 sons) grandchildren I have. When Declan the last of the 7 was born, we knew something would be wrong with him, but Patsy and James (my son) decided to have the baby born and deal with the situation as good as possible. Declan was born Spina Bifida. Actually he has been a blessing in disguise in some ways. He is a smart young boy, going to public school, and the children in his class treat him like they would anyone else, other than he is in a wheel chair, and we don't know if he will ever walk, along with having many surgeries, but he has been a trooper all the way. There has been so much love to give to him, not only from his 6 brothers, but from the rest of our large family. Like your young sons, we don't know what is ahead of them, or Declan, but God is in charge, and he will take care of them. God bless your family.

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