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

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Keep it coming. Fellow Iowan here going on the Magic in two weeks - same itinerary. With that said...

 

Go Big Red

 

This gave me a good laugh. I'll look past your last comment and just be happy I have a fellow Iowan here! :p Have a great time on the Magic!

I am loving your review so much! Thank you for the beautiful pictures and commentary.

 

I really appreciate that, thank you so much for reading along!

Edited by the_lovely_voyage

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On the Magic in 316 days (Southern) out of Ft. Lauderdale for my son's graduation cruise and on the Fascination departing from San Juan in 30 days. Make sure you do the Bacardi tour next time you're there. Looking forward to the rest of your review as haven't been on the Magic yet. What were you planning for St. Thomas? That's one of our ports on our cruise next month and only one haven't decided. We've been before and not one of our favs so any suggestions are welcome.

 

Thanks so much for the helpful comments! I'll be sure to keep Bacardi on the To-Do list. We were planning on doing a Carnival-sponsored excursion to Magen's Bay and Paradise Point. Still SO bummed we couldn't go! Enjoy your future cruising adventures, whatever you end up doing!

I am going on the Magic in September and have cabin 6430. Did you have any obstruction to the water below? Still reading your review and enjoying it!

 

So glad you're liking it! If you look at post 38, you can see my husband looking off our balcony and you can see the lanai below us. We were right at the point where the lanai widens from just a little walkway to the actual lanai with chairs and tables, so part of our view was pretty much water and part of it was the deck. I do have a few more pictures coming up in the review that will show it a little better. When looking our of the balcony, your room is two spaces to the right, so you'll be fully over the lanai. I think it's still going to be a great spot though!

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Follow along here!

https://thelovelyvoyage.blogspot.com/2018/07/carnival-magic-amber-cove-dominican.html

Wednesday, June 20th- Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

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We started our day off with breakfast in the Lido Marketplace and some entertainment while we waited in line. There was a group of 6 staff members dancing in a conga line around the dining area with a boombox. It was certainly a fun way to start the day! After eating, we debarked the ship and walked the VERY long pier to find our shore excursion group at zone one, as listed on our tickets. Real talk, this pier was long. You'll want to give yourself at least 5 minutes just to get from the ship to the shore excursion group area.

 

On the long pier walk

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It was SO hard to get a good picture of the sign without people in front of it

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A waterfall in port

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Today's excursion was booked through Carnival and called "Amazing Ultimate Adventure with Lunch" and ran from 9:30am to 2:45pm. It was $115 a person and included a safari truck ride (old military truck) to and from the adventure park, zip-lining on 6 or 7 routes, horseback riding, and a traditional lunch. So we found our group and were waiting about a minute or two when another tour guide came up to our group looking for two or three people to come with him to leave now instead of waiting. I volunteered and we were whisked away to a truck that was fully loaded and ready to go. Woohoo! Our tour guide's name was "Papa Alex" and he said our ride would be about 30 minutes. It was an incredibly bumpy ride to the park, and honestly I didn't feel super safe since there were a lot of road on the edge of cliffs with no guard rails. We did get there safely, thanks to our driver Orlando, around 10:15 and were off for the next stage of our adventure!

 

 

I loved how these red plants framed the famous whale tail!

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The safari trucks

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Our group zip-lined first, which was definitely to our advantage as we ended up eating lunch first after the ziplining and horseback riding, whereas the other group arrived after us and did the two activities in reverse from us and ate second. We got our harnesses put on and the team went over all the safety features of the entire system. They stated a lot of numbers and facts and I can't say for sure that it's the truth but I had no reason to think they were lying about the safety of their equipment. After the safety briefing, we were off! I will say that zip-lining was the part that I was dreading the most, but my husband has this magical way of opening my mind to new experiences and feeling at least semi-comfortable while jumping in.

Obviously these helmets are the hottest new trend:

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The stairs up to the first platform

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Look at that handsome man ready to go!

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Bye bye!

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That's the look of a successful zip-line:

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That being said, after the first zip-line, I was hooked! Wow, what a thrilling experience. The second route was over a river and was really long, so that was super awesome. The last route was the longest and was so crazy fun. The routes offered a lot of great views of the Dominican Republic mountainside. There was a fair amount of hiking up steps and hills, so we definitely see why it's rated "intermediate" on the activity level. We would almost say it's expert level, especially when it's warm and sunny and depending on how fit that you feel you are. My husband loved the hiking part of the zip-lining and actually wanted to do more haha. It was very warm outside and we were all sweating, so I was going to pass on wanting more hiking.

 

Wheeee!

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"Hiking" to get to the last zip-line route

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The views were remarkable

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The longest, best, and last zip-line of the day. If you follow the cord up with your mouse you can see the platform I started at!

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He had SO much fun!

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I've never zip-lined before so I didn't know I was going to get turned around on the line while flying at high speeds, so I started to panic and used my hand incorrectly and ended up with a burn through my glove. Lesson learned. The guides along the routes were really great and helpful, but also fun and would joke around with people. Aside from jumping off platforms high in the trees and hanging by a wire, I did feel safe throughout the whole process. We zip-lined for just under an hour which did feel like a good amount of time, but of course I would've loved more now that I knew how much fun it was! The guides did bring water and cups for us, so we were able to stay at least somewhat hydrated.

 

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Once we were done zip-lining, we dropped off our equipment, had a bathroom break, and headed over to the stables to see the horses. It took a little bit of time for us to be assigned our horses, but once we were all saddled up and ready to go, we had a great ride. We only spent about 30 minutes on the actual trails and riding, and it would've been fun to do a little bit longer, but I was also ready for lunch so I don't have too many complaints. My horse's name was Colombia and he was a horse who loved being in the front and had a mind of his own at times. My husband was stuck in the very back of the pack because his horse was an old stallion and would get ornery with other horses if he wasn't in the back with a trail guide. He did have good conversations with another cruise passenger that was stuck in the back as well. It was unfortunate that we couldn't ride together though. Colombia did some galloping and riding off the path which was fun, but also slightly terrifying haha.

 

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This is Colombia before the storm...

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...And this is Colombia at a solid gallop- the trail guide had to help me slow down.

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Poor husband stuck at the back

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About to cross the "river"; I think it was more like a stream

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Make it full screen to get the real experience!

[YOUTUBE]yalvmjL6-oY[/YOUTUBE]

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After all of the adventures were done, we were served lunch with water, Sprite, and Coke. My husband loved the baked chicken, and I though the pineapple was delicious. The scenery was beautiful and such a nice place to have lunch at. We were shown the gardens and vegetation in the area, but it seemed a little rushed and we would've liked to have a bit more time to wander around and see the area. We were also shown a demonstration of carving petrified wood and creating liquid chocolate and coffee, which were all a part of a sales pitch to sell local crafts. That was a little annoying but we do understand. I ended up buying a $40 USB of our photos from the day (forgot to mention there were two photographers that followed the group around all day) since I wanted photos of us ziplining and riding the horses instead of just the photos we took of the scenery. Our USB consisted of 140 photos which is awesome, but I feel like $40 is a little steep. They know people are going to buy them and it does give us more memories of the awesome day, so I was okay with it.

 

What an awesome lunch view!

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The story of the traveling flag!

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My internet sources tell me this is Heliconia, but please let me know if I'm wrong!

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I spotted a hummingbird and it was super cool

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Key Limes!

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Cocoa pods:

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My husband being artsy with his photography

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Plumeria, I believe:

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We left at 2pm and had a very bumpy and loud ride back, but there was amazing scenery to look at. I have no reservations about recommending the excursion we did, it was so much fun and definitely full of adventure and thrills. Upon returning to the Amber Cove port, we took some time to walk around and at least see the area before getting back on the ship. The pool and cabanas were fun to see and we wanted to stay out there a bit longer but the sun was pretty unbearable and we had to be back onboard for our massage, so we left after buying a few trinkets. We took quick showers then made our way up to the spa for our couples Swedish massage.

 

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A confusing set of directions

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Yes, this is indeed paradise

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There's our ship!

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He sort of looks like he's selling the Carnival water bottle

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Our massage therapists greeted us in the relaxation room and escorted us to our large room with a hot tub and beautiful views of the island and water. They got to know us a bit and left us to get ready. This was my 4th massage on a cruise ship (I think) so I was familiar with the whole process, but my husband hadn't ever had a cruise massage, so he was surprised by the dry brushing with the cactus bristles, but he said it was different and liked it. We both loved the warm oil they used, and he also liked the cooling oil at the end. The aromatherapy was also awesome and the rice eye mask was nice. The experience was very relaxing but it was a little weird hearing my husband make noises as the massage therapist worked through the knots in his shoulders, so that made it a little less relaxing. After the massages were done, we were left to relax for a few minutes before they came to ask us to change. They finished with the typical upsell of Elemis products, which was annoying and I had warned my husband in advance to not commit to anything.

 

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We held hands for maybe one minute before my husband let go. So romantic...not.

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We ate in the Lido for dinner before heading to the Red Frog Pub at 7 for trivia. It was a totally different set up than we had ever seen before, and we weren't a big fan of it. The quiz master gave 10 questions for everyone playing, then the top three teams who scored the highest went on to the next round. We tied for highest score with 8/10 questions correct, so we moved on to the next part of the quiz- rapid fire questions. One team would approach the quiz master, and we would ask each person to name three things belonging to a a category in give seconds. Either that person got three things named or they didn't. The number of categories answered by your team determined your score for that round. Confused? Yeah, us too. Basically the staff member would ask me to name three types of dogs in five seconds, and then he would ask my husband to name three types of spices, and so on. We tied with a team of five people, so we both went on to another round of rapid fire. I choked on my second category so my husband carried our team to victory!! He was a rockstar and the quiz master was definitely in awe that the two of us beat a team of five. We got a free fishbowl as our prize- wooo!

 

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There was Caribbean music playing in the pub after the quiz game, so we stayed around to drink our fishbowl and play cards and Pass the Pigs. It was a great time just relaxing and enjoying the music. We did comment on the fat that we spent less time in the Red Frog Pub than we did on the Vista, which is where we spent a majority of our ship time. It was an early night because my husband was tired, so we retired to the room to watch some Netflix before going to sleep.

 

UP NEXT: Thursday, Grand Turk

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Wife & I are looking to do the couple massage with hot tub......

Is it better to book on a sea day or port day?

And with the hot tub was it extra?

Thanks

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Would you use GoPortCanaveral again? We need to find a hotel soon and it sounds like a good deal

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SO SORRY that I stopped updating! Hopefully people will still read along and find this helpful!!

 

 

Would you use GoPortCanaveral again? We need to find a hotel soon and it sounds like a good deal

 

I would absolutely use them again. We've definitely used them twice, but it might even be three times. It was a little frustrating that they didn't offer to make any sort of change or help us since the ship was delayed boarding, so that was a strike against them for us, but it won't stop us from considering them in the future. I don't know if it's the BEST deal on the internet, but I do think it does help a lot and it's nice that one company is managing all of your transportation and board for the night.

 

Wife & I are looking to do the couple massage with hot tub......

Is it better to book on a sea day or port day?

And with the hot tub was it extra?

Thanks

 

I think the hot tub is used in certain services, but I don't think we could've used it with the Swedish massage. Peruse the spa menu and/or your Cruise Manager to see what services include the hot tub on your ship. Price-wise, it is definitely cheaper to book on a port day. They offer discounts because less people are likely to use it those days.

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Thursday, June 21- Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

 

It was an early morning when we got up and ready for our beach day at 7:30 a.m. While getting ready, we opened our blinds and saw this gorgeous view of Grand Turk from our balcony and it made us that much more antsy to get off the ship. Breakfast consisted on Blue Iguana huevos rancheros and I was so relieved that my food tasted much better than the other day. We grabbed new towels from the stand on the Lido deck because our room steward took our dirty ones but didn't give us new ones, which seemed weird but maybe they don't do that anymore?

We made it!

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Debarking off the ship was easy and we walked down the pier. Of course they built the duty free shop right at the end of the pier so passengers are forced to walk through the stores before getting to the beach. I got a little turned around about how to get to Jack's Shack (our plan for the day) but quickly remedied it once I found the shoreline again. While walking through the sand, there were A LOT of people yelling at us trying to sell things such as beach chair spots and horseback rides. Some people were trying to charge $4 for a beach chair right outside the pier (pictured above) and Margaritaville, but last time I checked, that area was free to use, so be careful about that. The walk to Jack's Shack was a little bit longer than I originally anticipated, but it wasn't too bad- only a handful of minutes. Once we saw Topher the Doodle playing in the sand up ahead of us, we knew we made it!! We watched him play for a little bit before grabbing a seat under an umbrella at a table.

 

Topher!

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A magnificent sight

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That water is absolutely amazing:

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June 2018 menu:

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June 2018 menu:

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The ocean water was really warm for early in the morning and I enjoyed just wading in the water and taking photos of the beautiful surroundings. After hanging out in the ocean for a bit, we moved our belongings to the sand and laid out in the sun. We did a combination of swimming and tanning for about two hours before grabbing a local beer that was really good. Sitting on the beach looking at the ship and the water had an incredibly calming effect on me and I was already dreaming of the next time we could come back to GT!

 

Digging that view

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That water color though....

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For the past few years, I've wanted a photo with our ship in the background like this and I finally got it!

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The travelling Hawkeye flag makes another appearance

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Along with seeing Topher running on the beach, there was another dog, Calypso, who is a brown Labradoodle, and a mystery dog who enjoyed playing together. It was so much fun to watch them play and definitely made us miss our pup at home. The beach at Jack's Shack was well kept and was definitely a prime piece of real estate. When the hurricanes came through last year, we were very worried about how Jack's Shack would pull through and we were so glad to see that they were up and operating. Guests can rent an umbrella and two beach chairs for $10 and someone would set it up for you wherever you'd like. We stayed with our beach towels in the sand, but it's not a bad price if you're planning on being there for a long amount of time.

 

Calypso and Topher

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Around lunch time, we moved back to a table and ordered some conch fritters for a little snack. There were 8 bites for $8 (well, actually $9 with tax) so not a super great deal but they were pretty delicious. They are a little spicy as a heads up. Our waitress never came back to our table to check on us or bring the bill after she dropped off the food, so after people watching and enjoying the scenery for about 20 minutes, my husband went up to the bar to pay. Of course then our waitress approached my husband and was annoyed that we were paying at the bar. Well, how long do we sit without even a check-in or bill before we need to do it ourselves? Jack's Shack has a few "showers" to rinse off in as well as bathrooms and a gift store (that has awesome A/C, which was a bonus).

 

After spending a handful of hours at Jack's Shack, a place I would highly recommend to anyone checking out GT, we walked back towards the ship and found our way into Margaritaville. It was definitely a happening place but it was pretty hot in the sun so we weren't too interested in just hanging out. We walked around and took some pictures and did some shopping as well. It was a nice area and parts seemed brand new, maybe they had to rebuild and/or repaint some of the port area after the hurricanes last year? We got back onto the ship and my husband headed to the water slides while I went to the Serenity. FYI, the decks are very hot without shoes; we both learned the hard way haha.

 

Inside Margaritaville looking at the ship

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Food was calling our name so my husband had a Guys burger and I had a pina colada and some dessert in the Lido. We found that the cakes are often too dry/overcooked/hard and that's pretty unfortunate because the look super delicious. The chocolate chip cookies were always good though, so at least we had those to fill the void! Lounging on the beach is somehow very exhausting, so we took a nap in the room then watched some Netflix on the balcony. Our next-door neighbors were very noisy and we could hear them through the regular wall in our room as well as very clearly on their balcony. Why is it necessary to scream when you talk? I'm not so sure. We watched sailaway from our balcony at 3:50 pm, which was only 20 minutes after "all aboard," so people must've really had their stuff together. We continued lounging about before packing up some of our clothes and then getting dressed for the last formal night dinner. All in all, I would have no hesitation about putting Grand Turk in my top 5 cruise ports. Jack's Shack delivered as promised, and the water and beaches were beautiful. We have no current plans to cruise back to GT, but I'm very much ready to stop there again.

 

Appreciated our balcony a lot more this trip!

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Our view when leaning right out of the balcony

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That beautiful water color doesn't photograph as well as it looked

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Edited by the_lovely_voyage

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We had a GREAT waitstaff tonight and would end up requesting them for tomorrow night's dinner as well. Bojan was our headwaiter and Krisztina and Bobby were assisting him. Much more speedy service than the first formal night, and they were very friendly and took time to talk with us. I had the shrimp cocktail for appetizer, which was a classic and tasty, and my husband had the four season salad which was fresh and good. For my entree, I ordered the spanikopita since I remembered how good it was when my husband had it on the honeymoon. It didn't disappoint and was actually so tasty that I found it to be a little small and I wanted more. My husband had the mushroom fusilli, which was "very mushroom-y but good and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would" -direct quote.

Dessert for both of us was the warm chocolate melting cake, or whatever they actually call it now. It's like how they want people to call the Sears Tower in Chicago the Willis Tower, but it'll always just be the Sears Tower. These WCMC were our first of the cruise and super amazing. I ordered a side of peanut butter, as I had seen many times on Cruise Critic, and it was an extra kick of delicious I never knew I was missing. My husband got butter pecan ice cream instead of vanilla and loved it.

 

Spanikopita

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Mushroom Fusilli

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Asked for peanut butter and loved it! Thanks CC for the recommendation!

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My husband getting fancy with his dessert photo

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After dinner, we sat for more formal photos then headed to the Red Frog Pub for adult trivia. Spoiler: WE WON!! It was definitely for adults only and the staff member running the quiz was adamant about checking how old people were when they tried to walk in. She also often announced that it was adult trivia, so no worries about accidentally walking into something you're not prepared for. The questions were raunchy and of a sexual nature, so don't sign up if you're not willing to answer them. We chose a 101 oz beer tube for our prize, and shared it with other people that were playing trivia but couldn't pull out a win 😉 We sat at our table enjoying our winnings while playing cards, mostly rummy, for quite a while before polishing off the tube with a lot of help from new found friends.

 

Thanks again to my husband for sitting through photos!

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Cheers!

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All gone 😊

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There were new formal pictures posted to our account, so we walked over to Pixels to check those out. We then sat in the Ocean Plaza and listen the the band again for a while. Yet again, they put on an amazing performance and we really enjoyed listening to their talent. We stopped in the piano bar for all of a minute before realizing that the pianist/singer was alright but definitely not great, and he seemed to get worse after he drinks. I'm not saying I could do better, but I also wouldn't audition to play on a ship.... With this, we headed to the cabin to rest up for our last day at sea.

UP NEXT: Friday, Day at Sea

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I think the hot tub is used in certain services, but I don't think we could've used it with the Swedish massage. Peruse the spa menu and/or your Cruise Manager to see what services include the hot tub on your ship. Price-wise, it is definitely cheaper to book on a port day. They offer discounts because less people are likely to use it those days.

We will be on the Magic..... Saw you had it and wanted an idea of the price.

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Here's the route we took originally and realized our mistake:

We headed from the ship north along the yellow line to the star. Once we were there and realized that wasn't the entrance we headed back down the hill and went up the blue route towards the triangle, which is where the main entrance is. Hopefully that helps someone so they don't make the same mistake!

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Great report so far, looking forward to reading the rest.

 

Was there not an entrance to the fort where you marked with a yellow star? That is where we entered a couple of years ago.

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Great report so far, looking forward to reading the rest.

 

 

 

Was there not an entrance to the fort where you marked with a yellow star? That is where we entered a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

Thanks so much for reading!!

 

No there wasn’t an entrance where we first tried at the yellow star. It definitely seemed like there should’ve been an entrance, but instead there was just a sign saying that visitors must enter down the road, where I have the blue arrow. Totally makes sense that you entered up there before, so I’m guessing that they’ve since closed it off.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Thanks so much for reading!!

 

No there wasn’t an entrance where we first tried at the yellow star. It definitely seemed like there should’ve been an entrance, but instead there was just a sign saying that visitors must enter down the road, where I have the blue arrow. Totally makes sense that you entered up there before, so I’m guessing that they’ve since closed it off.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

Good to know, thanks.

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Great review and beautiful photos. Makes us want to be on a cruise NOW! We were hoping to book Magic next Spring, but the week is cancelled due to chartered booking . So we may end up on Breeze instead. Btw my DH does not care for red meat, and eats incredibly slow.

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