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Carnival Magic Photo Review: June 16-23rd Eastern Route

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I really enjoyed your Vista review and was happy to find this one. You do a great job on your reviews! Totally sucks that y'all missed St. Thomas. That is one of our favorite ports, so hopefully you guys will get another chance to go there soon. Thanks for taking the time to post the info and pics from your cruises.

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Loving this! Looking at the Magic next June out of Fort Lauderdale, it’s an 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise

 

 

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Sorry to hear you missed the port you were so looking forward to visiting. St. Thomas is our favorite port, we have visited 5 times.

Our second visit we discovered St. John and the beaches. We have gone to Trunk Bay or did some snorkeling off a catamaran each time since.

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Loving your review! We sail on the Magic in August on the same itinerary.

 

Thank you, glad you're reading along! Hopefully this helps get you excited for the cruise!

 

subscribed, were on the Magic in september for the first time. Did you guys have Cheers or just paid for drinks as you go?

 

Thanks so much! We paid for drinks as we consumed them. We have purchased Cheers/other beverage packages on other lines before and ultimately found that we felt too pressured to drink all the time to get our money's worth, especially on port days and towards the end of the cruise.

 

I also did some math after our honeymoon on the Vista: We spent an average of $58 per day ondrinks, total between us. The drink package is currently $52 a day per person (when purchased online),so $104 total. We definitely would not have gotten our money’s worth, and we definitely consumed a fair amount of drinks between 4 sea days and 3 port days.

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Thanks for your review. I’m new to Cruise Critic.

We were on the same cruise and were equally bummed about St Thomas and agree that the OBC was not enough. I realize it covers the port taxes they didn’t have to pay, but what about my lost embark day including pre paying for Cheers for the lost 1st day.

We made the best of it but had hoped Carnival would have been a little more equitable given it was their own propulsion system issue.

 

Hey fellow cruiser, welcome to CC! I totally agree about the compensation not being strong enough, and I didn't even think about the lost time on Cheers, that's a good point. The issue with dropping St. Thomas is definitely on Carnival and the higher ups didn't seem to understand the gravity of their decision. I hope you enjoy reading along!

 

subscribing looking forward to your review

 

We're on the Magic in August. Loving your review! Great photos!!

 

Looking forward to your review.

 

Huge thanks to all of you! So happy you're joining me in remembering this awesome trip! :D

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I really enjoyed your Vista review and was happy to find this one. You do a great job on your reviews! Totally sucks that y'all missed St. Thomas. That is one of our favorite ports, so hopefully you guys will get another chance to go there soon. Thanks for taking the time to post the info and pics from your cruises.

 

Aww that's so sweet! That really means a lot, thank you. I hope you enjoy this review too!

 

great review and photos!

 

Thank you! Very happy you're reading along.

 

Loving this! Looking at the Magic next June out of Fort Lauderdale, it’s an 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise

I appreciate that! Maybe this cruise will help sway you into booking! :halo:

 

Sorry to hear you missed the port you were so looking forward to visiting. St. Thomas is our favorite port, we have visited 5 times.

Our second visit we discovered St. John and the beaches. We have gone to Trunk Bay or did some snorkeling off a catamaran each time since.

 

That all sounds so amazing. We can't wait to get to St. Thomas, hopefully sooner rather than later! It was going to be our first time there and we had an excursion booked to go to Magen's Bay and Paradise Point, which we desperately wanted to go to. :loudcry:

 

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Thanks so much! We paid for drinks as we consumed them. We have purchased Cheers/other beverage packages on other lines before and ultimately found that we felt too pressured to drink all the time to get our money's worth, especially on port days and towards the end of the cruise.

 

I also did some math after our honeymoon on the Vista: We spent an average of $58 per day ondrinks, total between us. The drink package is currently $52 a day per person (when purchased online),so $104 total. We definitely would not have gotten our money’s worth, and we definitely consumed a fair amount of drinks between 4 sea days and 3 port days.

 

We typically get the drink package as well, no matter what line we go on. We are thinking about not getting this time, but I'm so afraid of spending more. Especially since non-alcoholic drinks are included too.

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Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and detailed review along with some awesome pictures...I can wait until we sail her in August

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June 17th, 2018- Day at Sea

 

We enjoyed sleeping in a bit and woke up around 8:30 to get ready for our first day at sea. We looked out our balcony in the morning and noticed we were going really slowly, which was weird because we hadn't ever seen a ship move that slow during a sea day. It definitely seemed to indicate something was malfunctioning with the propulsion/engine system. As a side note about our room, 6434, the main overhead lights took a long time to turn on. It wasn't a huge deal but certainly made us think that the lights were broken a few times. The vanity lights turned on fast so we used those a lot so we didn't need to stand in the dark for ~30 seconds.

 

As we were headed out the door to get breakfast, we found an updated shore excursion list in our mailbox. We had planned to go to the Shore Excursion desk that day to check on our Amber Cove excursion, so this was perfect that the info came to us. We noticed that our excursion was still happening (Yay!) but it was scheduled for the time we had our couples massage booked. The itinerary change moved around the port days, so we had previously scheduled the massage for the afternoon of San Juan, but now that it was on the Amber Cove day, we had an issue. We went to the spa to reschedule our couples massage from 3 to 4 and headed down to breakfast.

Just look at how calm the ocean is!

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The Tides aft pool again on our way to breakfast. We saw this view many times over the week since we always walked from our room on 6 aft to the food on 10.

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The lido area at 9:30 on the first sea day:

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If you've read my previous reviews, you know that we LOVE a good Blue Iguana Cantina breakfast, so we had been looking forward to our huevos rancheros and burritos for a long time before the trip. The time had finally come! My husband got in his line for the breakfast burrito, and I headed to the other counter to get my huevos rancheros. The worker asked me how many I wanted and how I wanted my eggs, which confused me because on the Liberty and Vista, I just said huevos rancheros please and I received my food. I stumbled my way through answering the questions, got my food, and found a seat. Unfortunately the food wasn't as good as I remembered from my two previous cruises so that was a sad start to the day. My husband loved his burrito though, so that's good! We walked around the ship enjoying the weather and sat outside reading for a bit before heading to Trivial Pursuit in the Ocean Plaza at 11. We totally under-performed but we love trivia so we still had fun.

 

We sat on the lanai (deck 5) for a while reading and soaking up the sun before getting BBQ for lunch. I don't want to give away the best-kept-secret of newer Carnival ships, but since you're reading along, you must be pretty awesome, so I will. If you need somewhere to sit, the lanai is a fantastic place to find beach chairs to lay out and catch some rays while also enjoying some quiet time away from the hairy chest contest or other lido deck games. We probably sat on the lanai almost every day of the cruise, and rarely sat on the lido deck because it was so packed. The BBQ line was shorter than the Vista, which was nice, and it moved quickly so my husband only waited a few minutes before returning with a plate full of food.

 

Here's a short compilation of the Lido deck (from embarkation day, whoops) and the ocean on our sea day. (Make it full screen for better viewing)

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In my last review on the Vista, I wrote about our first balcony room as a splurge item since it was our honeymoon. I also wrote that while we liked the balcony and were glad we bought it, we didn't think that we would be buying one in the future. We didn't feel like we used it enough to get our money's worth, and we'd be sticking to oceanview rooms. Well, fast-forward to February 2018 when I got an upsell email from Carnival to get a balcony room for super cheap, so I went for it. I'm not entirely sure why but I did- whoops! We had to make a conscious effort to use the balcony but we definitely did use it more than on the Vista and I actually liked our balcony up on deck 6 better since it was further from the water and therefore a lot more quiet. I also felt more safe in this balcony than the previous one. We sat on the balcony for a while and talked about life, as married couples do, and enjoyed our time together.

 

My husband looking out from our balcony. That water is so unreal!

(Yay Hawkeye tattoo)

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Enjoying our balcony!

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At 1:40 we headed up to the water park. Well, my husband went to the water park and I camped out in a clamshell on the Serenity deck. While I was relaxing and reading, my husband was doing the hard work of filming his rides on the two waterslides. It took him about 30 minutes to wait in line and ride both rides before returning to the clamshell. The first ride he did recorded fine, but the second one stopped right as he started the ride, which was weird and unfortunate. Guess that means more water park later in the week! My husband said both of the rides were fun, but the Twister (yellow slide) was better. He also said the lines moved pretty quickly. We must've fallen asleep in the clamshell because we were waking up at 3pm and headed to the deli in the lido to grab a quick meal. The deli doesn't have clear lines of where to order, who is next, where to wait, etc., so it was a little chaotic. I had the turkey sandwich on a pretzel roll, which was good, and my husband had the falafel which was just okay. Pro Tip: get the truffle aioli and use it on your fries. That was amazing!

 

Waterslide time!

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Here's my husband going on the Drainpipe! (Make it full screen for better viewing):

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We grabbed frozen yogurt from the self-service machine and went down to the Ocean Plaza to read before playing two rounds of trivia: TV theme music and 90's music. We did terribly, but no worries, you'll read about our trivia success later in the week! We decided to go to the cabin to relax before getting ready for dinner. I had read on Cruise Critic that the Carnival TV channel options are continuously getting smaller and more limited, and that was very apparent on the Magic. There were maybe 15 channels that were about Carnival stops/excursions/advertising, and maybe 8-10 stations that aired other content, but usually nothing desirable. While hanging out in our room, we were talking about how friendly the staff has been, as is Carnival's standard. Our one letdown so far was our room steward who wasn't very chatty, which was slightly disappointing. We love seeing our room steward in the hallway and sharing small talk about our day or how the trip is going, but we usually just exchanged "hellos" or "good mornings." Other than that, we had great service from our steward and we have no complaints.

 

Our room steward always made awesome towel animals, starting with the elephant:

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We gussied up for the first elegant night and headed down to dinner. We were standing in the atrium on deck 3 in a line that seemed super long and wasn't moving at all, which seemed odd since the dining room was open. We finally realized we were in a line for a photo op and not the line to enter the dining room. Whoops!! To our credit, the two lines were blending together but once we discovered our mistake and scooted over to the correct line, things moved quickly and we were seated shortly after, at 6:13. We quickly noticed that service was VERY slow. It took us about 30 minutes to receive our appetizers, and we finally received our entrees at 7:15pm, a full hour after we entered the restaurant. I'm not sure what the issue was but it was very frustrating.

 

I really need to figure out how to ask people to take a picture of us without feeling bad about it, because no one wants to see a million selfies:

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Elegant Night, American Feast:

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The dessert menu that I screen-shotted from the HUB App since we missed dessert:

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The first night of the American Feast did bring us the cranberry bread rolls which I love. My husband had the fried oysters and said they were good but it was a small serving. He also had the sea bass ("delicious, well cooked, well seasoned, potatoes pretty decent") and the spaghetti carbonara ("nice a creamy, lacked real flavor other than the egg and cheese"). He did regret getting two entrees but he polished them off. I had the Italian wedding soup for my appetizer and found it to be mediocre and maybe undersalted/underseasoned. I also had the lobster which was good but not super memorable and the shrimp were large and tasty. It wasn't a very filling plate but I do appreciate being able to eat lobster and not pay for it!

 

My husband's two entrees:

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The look of regret at ordering too much food:

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We had to skip dessert since we really wanted to see 88 Keys and the service took so long it was almost showtime. We got a great seat on deck 4, and I absolutely agree that this classic style of theatre is way better than the Vista theatre. 88 Keys was an AWESOME show, and I'm so glad we saw it! It was totally worth missing dessert, lol. The lead male singer was phenomenal and the two female singers were fantastic too. My husband loved the choreography and the set design, and was very impressed by the show.

 

After the show, we found some dessert in the Lido Marketplace to satisfy our sweet tooth (...sweet teeth?). We sat in the Ocean Plaza and listened to Hitsville with Whiskey Business and Tower of Brass. Oh wow they were super talented!! The saxophonist was crazy good. Like, hot damn! We had a blast listening to music and playing cards for a bit before heading to the Punchliner. We saw Michael Issac at 10pm and he was hilarious. I really wish they did more than 30 minutes of a show, I seriously need more comedy and laughter in my life. I'll have to look this guy up online to get another dose of hilarity. We headed to the cabin to read and watch TV after the show and rested up for another day at sea.

 

UP NEXT: Monday, Sea Day

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So is the aft pool open to everyone? I loved on my Victory and glory cruises that it was adults only!

 

I agree about the comedy shows being only 30 minutes, I wish they were longer! I also wish that they had the 2 adult shows back to back instead of a weird hour/ hour and a half gap in between (that’s how it has been for us anyways)

 

 

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We gussied up for the first elegant night and headed down to dinner. We were standing in the atrium on deck 3 in a line that seemed super long and wasn't moving at all, which seemed odd since the dining room was open. We finally realized we were in a line for a photo op and not the line to enter the dining room. Whoops!! To our credit, the two lines were blending together but once we discovered our mistake and scooted over to the correct line, things moved quickly and we were seated shortly after, at 6:13. We quickly noticed that service was VERY slow. It took us about 30 minutes to receive our appetizers, and we finally received our entrees at 7:15pm, a full hour after we entered the restaurant. I'm not sure what the issue was but it was very frustrating.

 

I really need to figure out how to ask people to take a picture of us without feeling bad about it, because no one wants to see a million selfies:

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Elegant Night, American Feast:

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The dessert menu that I screen-shotted from the HUB App since we missed dessert:

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The first night of the American Feast did bring us the cranberry bread rolls which I love. My husband had the fried oysters and said they were good but it was a small serving. He also had the sea bass ("delicious, well cooked, well seasoned, potatoes pretty decent") and the spaghetti carbonara ("nice a creamy, lacked real flavor other than the egg and cheese"). He did regret getting two entrees but he polished them off. I had the Italian wedding soup for my appetizer and found it to be mediocre and maybe undersalted/underseasoned. I also had the lobster which was good but not super memorable and the shrimp were large and tasty. It wasn't a very filling plate but I do appreciate being able to eat lobster and not pay for it!

 

My husband's two entrees:

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The look of regret at ordering too much food:

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We had to skip dessert since we really wanted to see 88 Keys and the service took so long it was almost showtime. We got a great seat on deck 4, and I absolutely agree that this classic style of theatre is way better than the Vista theatre. 88 Keys was an AWESOME show, and I'm so glad we saw it! It was totally worth missing dessert, lol. The lead male singer was phenomenal and the two female singers were fantastic too. My husband loved the choreography and the set design, and was very impressed by the show.

 

After the show, we found some dessert in the Lido Marketplace to satisfy our sweet tooth (...sweet teeth?). We sat in the Ocean Plaza and listened to Hitsville with Whiskey Business and Tower of Brass. Oh wow they were super talented!! The saxophonist was crazy good. Like, hot damn! We had a blast listening to music and playing cards for a bit before heading to the Punchliner. We saw Michael Issac at 10pm and he was hilarious. I really wish they did more than 30 minutes of a show, I seriously need more comedy and laughter in my life. I'll have to look this guy up online to get another dose of hilarity. We headed to the cabin to read and watch TV after the show and rested up for another day at sea.

 

UP NEXT: Monday, Sea Day

your review and pictures are incredible and I can’t thank you enough to take the time for the review- both good and bad. A lot to know for my cruise In August. Looking forward to your next day.

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So is the aft pool open to everyone? I loved on my Victory and glory cruises that it was adults onlyForums

 

 

Aft pool is open to everyone as long as kids are accompanied / supervised by an adult.

 

Aft pool was OK mid to late morning but got very busy after lunch and through the afternoon

 

 

 

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your review and pictures are incredible and I can’t thank you enough to take the time for the review- both good and bad. A lot to know for my cruise In August. Looking forward to your next day.

 

Thank you very much, I really appreciate your kind comments! I'm hoping to post the next day or two today.

Aft pool is open to everyone as long as kids are accompanied / supervised by an adult.

 

Aft pool was OK mid to late morning but got very busy after lunch and through the afternoon

 

Can confirm the aft pool on the Magic was open to everyone. I found it to be pretty busy most of the times we walked near it.

 

Great review following!!

 

Thank you for reading along!

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His face with the entrees reminds me of my husband, haha. We often get two things or get things to split and share though.

 

The cranberry bread was the only bread I ate in the MDR all cruise. I wish they had those rolls every night.

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Monday, June 18th- Another Day at Sea

 

We woke up around 8am and made our way up to the Lido Marketplace for breakfast. To our delight, there weren't any lines around 8:40 and our food was super satisfying (which is a weird way to phrase it but that's what my notes say from that morning!).

 

Breakfast views!

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After eating, we went to morning trivia where we scored two points below the winner, so we left feeling pretty good about our performance! We decided to live a lazy lifestyle this morning so after trivia, we lounged on the lanai for about an hour and enjoyed the beautiful weather and gorgeous water views. More trivia was on the agenda and we did not do well, which was a real letdown after our morning's close success. We went up to the lido to take pictures of the ship and grab a drink.

 

Busy day!

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While up there, we started listening to "Caribbean Sounds with Gerrant" but unfortunately his shift ended about 10 minutes after we sat down to listen, so we went back down to the lanai. I said it last post but it's worth saying again: the lanai (deck 5) is really the unsung hero when it comes to lounging chairs and soaking up the rays (there are also shaded spots if Vitamin D isn't your thing.) It's so peaceful and lovely and I'm missing it right now. My husband was sitting in the shade while I was in the sun, but after 15-20 minutes, the sun started creeping onto his seat and he started complaining. I suppose in all fairness, he does burn 10x faster than I do, so we decided to get in line for the BBQ and then go up to the balcony.

Lanai views:

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BBQ Menu

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The BBQ line moved fast and we climbed the flight of stairs up to our room. Side note, it was awesome to have a room on deck 6 because we're only a few flights of stairs away from basically everything. Now we know that it really is a prime location! Back to the food, the BBQ was pretty disappointing. I thought the beans were flavorless, the mac and cheese was weird and almost chemical-like. The pork was pretty good and the brown sugar bourbon sauce was good, so at least there's that. I will also say that the view from our balcony during lunch is unbeatable, and I wish I could have that view more than once or twice a year! We read on the balcony for a while before decided it was time to try our athletic ability on the Sky Course around 2:30pm.

 

I mean, it can't get better than this!

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There was no line when we walked up, so we got our harnesses on right away and the Carnival staff said we could go around as many times as we wanted since there weren't any guests waiting. We did two laps around the course, switching sides after the first lap. The route on the inside of the circle is the easier route and the outside is harder, but I think each route had some challenging sections. There were a few smaller kids on the course that shouldn't have been doing the outside harder section, so we were held up by them. Although, that being said, some could argue that mid-20 somethings shouldn't be on there either 😛 We had a fun time on the course and had beautiful views of the ocean and ship while up there. Honestly, I thought it would be a little more tricky or scary than it actually was, but again maybe that's because it wasn't designed for our age group.

 

A few screenshot captures from our video:

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Here's a video of my husband going on the Sky Course, edited to remove wait times for sections of the course and sped up to 1.25x. Make full screen for better viewing.

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We grabbed our belongings out of the locked cubby that was at the Sky Course (course and locked box free to use) and went down to the Lido Marketplace to grab some ice cream. We ended up in the Ocean Plaza for some trivia about musicals and didn't do as well as I thought we would. We went back to the room to shower, nap, and watch Netflix on my iPad before getting ready for dinner.

 

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Just before 6pm, we walked up to Cucina del Capitano for our reservations. We got a seat near the window which was really exciting because we typically cruise during winter months when it's dark at dinner time, so we were happy to actually to see the water and enjoy the views this time. Our service team was wonderful and our experience there was fantastic. This was our second time at a Cucina, and we continue to love it. Absolutely check it out if you're considering a little something extra to make your cruise special. Plus, at only $15 a person, it's not an exorbitant price, especially for the huge amount of food they provide.

 

I had the calamari which was delicious and plentiful. For my entree, I had the risotto and it was very rich and cooked well. If our room had a microwave, I definitely would've taken a to-go box to reheat some of it later, because I couldn't finish the whole bowl.

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My husband had the burrata as an appetizer since I had it on the honeymoon, and he said it was yummy and he loved the cherry tomatoes that were very sweet and dessert-like.

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He also had the lamb chop for his entree and said it was really good and almost like a ground lamb patty with crust. I think he meant it was very tender? He liked it so that's all I really know! He also had a side of spaghetti and said it was "out of this world good" and he would definitely order it next time. We also got the veggie side and I feel like the broccoli was burnt and the cauliflower was undercooked, but my husband liked the broccoli.

 

SO MUCH FOOD!

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For dessert, we split two choices. We had the lemon dessert, in which the sorbet is truly phenomenal and tart and I need more right now please.

We also had the sea salt chocolate cookie with coffee gelato. We feel like the gelato was lacking some flavor and too "ice-y" but the cookies were great.

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We left SO stuffed. Like wow, food overload! My husband also finished the meal with an espresso (included) and thought it was smooth.

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Cucina is right upstairs from the Lido Marketplace. Here's a good view of both at once. We didn't really notice any Lido noise so that's good!

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We went to the room to lay down and stretch out so the food could settle. We watched a little bit of Netflix before heading up to decks 3 and 5 to have pictures taken, then went back to the room to continue to relax. We went to the Showtime Theatre to see the country show at 9:30pm. I thought it was really good and the set design and choreography was awesome. I felt like the songs could've included a few more popular/recent country songs, but I did enjoy the story line and we had a good time.

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The mega deck party was starting on the lido deck so we made our way up there. Our cruise director Cookie was ridiculously energetic and has awesome dance moves. He really knows how to get the party going! My husband learned a two-step dance and we danced along to a few songs from deck 12 while watching the party and enjoying the Caribbean air. Ice cream was calling me again so we went down to grab a cone and went to the comedy show. We saw Michael Isaac again, and he continued to be hilarious and really had the crowd going. I know it sounds like we lounged a lot this sea day but that's hard work, so we were drained after the comedy show and went to the cabin to sleep.

 

It's a party!

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You all know the song, sing it with me! "Follow the lead-a, lead-a, lead-a, follow the lead-a"

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UP NEXT: Tuesday, San Juan!

Edited by the_lovely_voyage

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