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MITSUGIRLY sails off into the HORIZON-review & pictorial

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I am so excited to discover a new mistugirly review, I have been missing them.

 

This trip looks amazing.

 

Can I also just say that your beautiful little girl is turning into a beautiful young woman. She'll break some hearts 🙂 best put daddy on notice now 😄 

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9 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

Did you do the Fascination out of PR? We had a great trip that time! Love the Breeze as well!

 

You will love this itinerary. It's awesome!

 

We love Aruba and have been doing land vacations there in the summer the last 2 years and will probably go back this summer. 

Yes!  We did the itinerary out of San Juan with zero days at sea-  it was wonderful yet exhausting.  I would definitely do it again someday though, and want to spend more time in San Juan also.  

We did a land vacation in Aruba about 15 years ago so a return trip is long past due, but I'd love to see Bonaire and/or Curacao too.

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4 minutes ago, Liverpoollovely said:

i love your review so far will need to go back and look at past reviews 🙂 

 

 

Thanks and glad you are enjoying it.

 

 

9 hours ago, SenatorsFan said:

That's too funny about the Victoria's Secret store. It was definitely open on our October cruise. :classic_biggrin:

It looks like you all had fun on the muddy excursion.

Heather

 

 

Right. They think they have everyone fooled every cruise. lol

 

2 hours ago, hdowney said:

I am so excited to discover a new mistugirly review, I have been missing them.

 

This trip looks amazing.

 

Can I also just say that your beautiful little girl is turning into a beautiful young woman. She'll break some hearts 🙂 best put daddy on notice now 😄 

 

Why thank you and glad you are here. It was an amazing trip. Daddy is definitely preparing himself.

 

54 minutes ago, GimmeAdventure! said:

Yes!  We did the itinerary out of San Juan with zero days at sea-  it was wonderful yet exhausting.  I would definitely do it again someday though, and want to spend more time in San Juan also.  

We did a land vacation in Aruba about 15 years ago so a return trip is long past due, but I'd love to see Bonaire and/or Curacao too.

 

Isn't it just the most amazing cruise? I love less sea days myself. I still have to make it to Bonaire. Very little cruises seem to go there. When I was looking at Carnival, they aren't going there again until December of this year. I wonder why?

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12 hours ago, 30scruiser said:

Beautiful pictures!  They almost look fake. Maybe because everything is so green and looks perfectly in place from the distance.

 

Thanks. They look like that because of the setting I used on the camera when I took them. There's a setting called "miniature" on my camera, which blurs out the sides and pops the color while having the middle in focus. It's supposed to be a setting that replicates what photographers do in a "tilt shift" photo but I also like to use it on just scenery.

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One last video that was done by Sakari and I had to share. She took a very long video and I had to cut it down to the part I'm posting. It just cracked me up...the laugh and the things she says...especially at the end "You're not even aware of danger" lol

 

I could tell by her laugh each time we whipped around the corner that she was having a blast. It's  a "fun" laugh and not a "I'm scared laugh".

 

 

 

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I absolutely love your reviews!  We're on the Horizon for 2 weeks in May and I can't wait!  We've done the Vista twice already (and loved it) so I pretty much know what to expect but I did want to ask if they still have games in the (inside) Pig & Anchor or if they have totally turned it into a restaurant space only?  On the Vista, the back section of the Red Frog Pub, the room that cuts through to Ocean Plaza, has 2 shuffleboard tables and 2 fooseball tables.  These sound like they are gone on the Horizon and that is one of our favorite hang outs on the Vista, so just wanted to confirm.  

 

We also did the Pro Excursions Dune Buggy Excursion in March of this year and it was a blast!  It's a shame the school was closed that day.  That was a really neat part of it to visit with the kids there and some people brought gifts.  We'd definately like to do that one again.  

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3 hours ago, GimmeAdventure! said:

Yes!  We did the itinerary out of San Juan with zero days at sea-  it was wonderful yet exhausting.  I would definitely do it again someday though, and want to spend more time in San Juan also.  

We did a land vacation in Aruba about 15 years ago so a return trip is long past due, but I'd love to see Bonaire and/or Curacao too.

We sailed on the Fascination out of San Juan in September. We had no sea days either as Dominica was included as a port of call. We got a travel alert from AA that Wednesday as we were to make a connecting flight out of Charlotte on that Saturday. We flew down to San Juan 2 days early and are so glad we did. So, if you ever get a chance to spend some extra time in San Juan, do it!

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3 hours ago, Hillbillygram said:

We sailed on the Fascination out of San Juan in September. We had no sea days either as Dominica was included as a port of call. We got a travel alert from AA that Wednesday as we were to make a connecting flight out of Charlotte on that Saturday. We flew down to San Juan 2 days early and are so glad we did. So, if you ever get a chance to spend some extra time in San Juan, do it!

We did fly down 1 day early, then flew home late the night after arriving back in San Juan so that we would have some time.  We went to one of the forts, ate lots of great food and walked around quite a bit but I would still love more time to explore San Juan as well as other parts of the island.

Our itinerary included Antigua instead of Dominica-  as we were there in June of this year, I don't think any ships had returned there yet after the hurricane.  I would love to see Dominica and Grenada as well.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

We came to a little village called Benerito.

 

We would park the buggys and get out and walk the streets. There were a lot of little kids that followed and wave.

 

El Comedor - dining area

 

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Escuela, which was the school. The guy who ran the school was the principal, the teacher, the secretary and many other things. He earns one of the highest pays there at $600 a month. The school was closed today because if the principal/teacher/secretary needs to get his hair cut or has an appointment, they close the school.

 

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These trees were so pretty and neat. They were very soft and like fir trees.

 

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I'd normally just wait till the end unless I had a question, but I just LOVED this part of your review and the videos!  Busting a gut laughing and getting some odd looks from one of our "boys" (cats).  That last video with Sakari's comments cracked me up & so did the one right after the stop to eat when she referred to you guys as "these two drunks".  Lol!!!  Sounds familiar, our friends' kids have made similar comments, many times, over the years about all of us.   You are right about those pictures that you purchased from the tour.  They look like they were taken with a cheap, disposable film camera.  They'd have come out great if they were done right. 

 

Oh, those trees are Norfolk Island Pine trees.  I currently have two smaller ones here at home.  They can be grown as house plants.  They are very popular around Christmas and WalMart usually has a bunch on sale with little (cheap) ornaments attached to them.  I actually had one grow to about 7 feet (was getting ready to hit the ceiling) before I lost it a couple of years ago.  I had it for 22 years and it was probably a couple years old when I got it.  They're really cool though.

Edited by pghsteelerfan

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5 hours ago, Nuclearchik said:

I absolutely love your reviews!  We're on the Horizon for 2 weeks in May and I can't wait!  We've done the Vista twice already (and loved it) so I pretty much know what to expect but I did want to ask if they still have games in the (inside) Pig & Anchor or if they have totally turned it into a restaurant space only?  On the Vista, the back section of the Red Frog Pub, the room that cuts through to Ocean Plaza, has 2 shuffleboard tables and 2 fooseball tables.  These sound like they are gone on the Horizon and that is one of our favorite hang outs on the Vista, so just wanted to confirm.  

 

We also did the Pro Excursions Dune Buggy Excursion in March of this year and it was a blast!  It's a shame the school was closed that day.  That was a really neat part of it to visit with the kids there and some people brought gifts.  We'd definately like to do that one again.  

 

Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful cruise like we did. I love these ports!

 

There were no games in the P&A now. Just tables and chairs. I know the area you are talking about because the Breeze and I think Magic have that area too just inside and around the Ocean Plaza. It's one of Sakari's favorite places to hang out at and play foosball.

 

Glad you had a chance to do the Buggy Excursion with Pro Excursions. It was such a blast! I will definitely be doing this again! I would have liked to see the school, but there were a lot of kids hanging out and following us around and waving. 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Hillbillygram said:

We sailed on the Fascination out of San Juan in September. We had no sea days either as Dominica was included as a port of call. We got a travel alert from AA that Wednesday as we were to make a connecting flight out of Charlotte on that Saturday. We flew down to San Juan 2 days early and are so glad we did. So, if you ever get a chance to spend some extra time in San Juan, do it!

 

PR is amazing and we have spent many days in the area and "done it all". We love going down days ahead of time and after and going to other areas. One of my favorite cruises was when we went down and spent 4-5 days before the cruise and stayed at El Conquistador and then moved on to Luquillo and then to Isla Verde. AMAZING time in PR. I highly recommend going before/after and staying a few days. 

 

4 hours ago, goaties said:

Glad to see you back. Congratulations on school.

 

 

Thanks so much!

 

1 hour ago, GimmeAdventure! said:

We did fly down 1 day early, then flew home late the night after arriving back in San Juan so that we would have some time.  We went to one of the forts, ate lots of great food and walked around quite a bit but I would still love more time to explore San Juan as well as other parts of the island.

Our itinerary included Antigua instead of Dominica-  as we were there in June of this year, I don't think any ships had returned there yet after the hurricane.  I would love to see Dominica and Grenada as well.

 

Definitely spend more time if you can! I haven't been to Antigua and was just looking the other day at cruises that went to places that I haven't been before and that was on the list. 

 

I would love to go back to Grenada as well!

 

25 minutes ago, pghsteelerfan said:

I'd normally just wait till the end unless I had a question, but I just LOVED this part of your review and the videos!  Busting a gut laughing and getting some odd looks from one of our "boys" (cats).  That last video with Sakari's comments cracked me up & so did the one right after the stop to eat when she referred to you guys as "these two drunks".  Lol!!!  Sounds familiar, our friends' kids have made similar comments, many times, over the years about all of us.   You are right about those pictures that you purchased from the tour.  They look like they were taken with a cheap, disposable film camera.  They'd have come out great if they were done right. 

 

Oh, those trees are Norfolk Island Pine trees.  I currently have two smaller ones here at home.  They can be grown as house plants.  They are very popular around Christmas and WalMart usually has a bunch on sale with little (cheap) ornaments attached to them.  I actually had one grow to about 7 feet (was getting ready to hit the ceiling) before I lost it a couple of years ago.  I had it for 22 years and it was probably a couple years old when I got it.  They're really cool though.

 

Haha, Sakari was cracking me up too with her cute little laugh and comments. I don't think she's ever seen us with alcohol in our system like that, which made it even more funnier. 

 

Oh yea, those trees! I know exactly what you are talking about at Walmart and they come out at Christmas time. I thought they looked familiar. lol   I can't believe you had one that long and that big. Wow! You must have a green thumb! I can't keep anything alive. 

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CURACAO: 1:30-10:30pm

 

Well, we had a bit of time before docking in Curacao today and I was glad to "sleep in" somewhat. That usually doesn't happen on a cruise and especially after we had stayed up so long the night before.

 

I woke up at 9am and feeling a little tired still. I mean I still only got around 6 hours of sleep and today was going to be a big day for us....DIVING!!

 

Trixie and Cookie were hiding in the bathroom in the tissue box area...

 

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Around 9:30am we headed to the buffet area for breakfast. At this point, I decided I was tired of the runny eggs and it was omelet time for the remainder of the cruise if possible. I never really seen the omelet lines too long, which was a nice change from experiences on the other ships. 

 

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We hung out on the deck for a while and noticed the pool was "temporarily closed". Well, this lasted the rest of the day. So who pooped in the pool????

 

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We watched Lorelei (I'm not sure if she was the assistant cruise director or what but she was involved in every event and everywhere on the ship) conduct the Zumba class and they had everyone up on the decks participating as well. 

 

We met up with Kendra after she got probably around 13 hours of sleep since yesterday and Sakari and Kambriah was begging to go swimming. We decided to let them go up to the water park (but the slides were closed for some reason). 

 

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I decided that I was going to vegetate until it was time to get off the ship because I needed to gather my strength for diving today. Run along little ones, I'll watch you from right here. 

 

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Eventually, we headed up to tell the kids they needed to get dried off and get ready to go ashore once we docked. 

 

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I noticed Brayden had joined in on the fun at this point. 

 

 

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At 12:30pm, we were back in the room and the kids were changing clothes and getting ready for an exciting day in Curacao. 

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Our decision on diving this time.

 

We contacted several vendors this time around (just like last time) and with our limited time in port (not arriving until 1:30pm and it starts to get dark around 5:30-6pm) this put a damper on how far we could go from port and how long we could spend in port. 

 

Last time we dove with Curious 2 Dive and had a wonderful, but yet stressful time. Of course, originally Kendra's fiance was to be with us and we needed a decent beach for him and Kam to hang out at. They offered us the Tug Boat dive, which the beach is not much of a beach and rocky, or they suggested going to Directors Bay and drift diving back toward the Tug Boat. But it has a "coral beach" they said. Well, since we had already done the Tug Boat (and really enjoyed it) it was an option, but both beaches were not. They also suggested going to Porto Marie but they were concerned with the times. 

 

I also contacted places like:

Ocean Encounters, which was a lot more than other vendors were charging. 

Scuba Lodge Diving but they already had 5 people coming and didn't tell us where we would be going. 

Dive Bus: Refused d/t the late arrival of the ship

 

We ended up deciding to dive with Bas Harts Diving. I had contacted him last time and we didn't use him and had said we would consider him next time around. Well, he offered a pick up from port and return (included in the price) and to take us the opposite way on the island that we had never done before. We were going to a place called Cas Abao. I looked up the beach online and it looked AMAZING!!! I knew this was what we wanted! It was a shore dive as well and I knew that Kendra would like that since she struggled last time from a boat dive. 

 

https://bashartsdiving.com/

 

 

 

Bas charged $95 per person and everything was included.

 

Pick up at the port
2 private instructors
All dive gear
Pictures (if available)
Beach fees
Taxes

 

I'm not sure what the "pictures" are because we didn't get any of those.

 

I have to tell this story...just because...

 

They ask our height and weight for the wet suits. Well, I was working at the time I answered, so I had to just guess. I told him that Sakari was probably around 4' 2" and maybe around 95 pounds. I would later find out that she's actually 4' 10" !!!!!! What? Really? You are that tall now? I had no clue. She only has another 8" to go and she'll be as tall as me!!! I had no idea...seriously! I knew she has grown a lot over the summer but man! 

 

 

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23 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

After the party, Sakari wanted to go back to the room because she was tired and wanted to draw and we decided we would head to our first Quest show. I've heard a lot about them in the past and wasn't sure I wanted to go but the hubby was very social this cruise and several friends he kept running into told him "you must go" and go we did.

 

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It was hilarious, fun and very entertaining. We laughed and laughed and OUR TEAM WON!

 

There was supposed to be a midnight buffet, but we got there a little after 1am and there was nothing. Maybe it doesn't last long and we hadn't really had an official "dinner" and was on the prowl for food...pizza again. Geesh. Sakari was asleep and we had a pet frog tonight. 

 

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Sakari had drawn a picture of her bird on her phone (Candy Cane)

 

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I believe we went to bed at 3am. Thank goodness tomorrow is a late arrival day in Curacao (1:30pm).

 

 

Which venue did they hold the Quest event in? I’ve never seen it on Carnival but it’s one of my favourite events when on a RC cruise. 

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Thank you for the awesome review!   We only have 6 more 'sleeps' until we sail on the Horizon as well.  A few questions, if you don't mind?

- Were there a lot of long lines and waiting, since the ship is so big?

-It doesn't sound like you had too many meals in the dining room?   Was it because of the food?

-We haven't decided what we want to do yet in La Romana.   Which do you suggest?   The Sauana (sp?) excursion or the dune buggy's?    We are a group of 4 ladies, who 2  like to lie on the beach, and 2 are more active.

- I am probably too cynical :classic_blush:  and I'm hoping my question doesn't come out wrong - When I have read about going through the villages in La Romana, I wondered if it felt manufactured, like the tourists are expected to hand out candy and stuff to kids?  :classic_unsure:  

Thank you!!

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15 hours ago, GimmeAdventure! said:

We did fly down 1 day early, then flew home late the night after arriving back in San Juan so that we would have some time.  We went to one of the forts, ate lots of great food and walked around quite a bit but I would still love more time to explore San Juan as well as other parts of the island.

Our itinerary included Antigua instead of Dominica-  as we were there in June of this year, I don't think any ships had returned there yet after the hurricane.  I would love to see Dominica and Grenada as well.

We are booked on a Journeys cruise next month and Antigua is one of our ports of call. Grenada is on our bucket list also.

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14 hours ago, sayvan said:

 

Which venue did they hold the Quest event in? I’ve never seen it on Carnival but it’s one of my favourite events when on a RC cruise. 

 

It was in the theater so plenty of room. Only a few Carnival ships have the quest on them and they are fighting to keep it according to the cruise director.

 

7 hours ago, norwane said:

Thank you for the awesome review!   We only have 6 more 'sleeps' until we sail on the Horizon as well.  A few questions, if you don't mind?

- Were there a lot of long lines and waiting, since the ship is so big?

-It doesn't sound like you had too many meals in the dining room?   Was it because of the food?

-We haven't decided what we want to do yet in La Romana.   Which do you suggest?   The Sauana (sp?) excursion or the dune buggy's?    We are a group of 4 ladies, who 2  like to lie on the beach, and 2 are more active.

- I am probably too cynical :classic_blush:  and I'm hoping my question doesn't come out wrong - When I have read about going through the villages in La Romana, I wondered if it felt manufactured, like the tourists are expected to hand out candy and stuff to kids?  :classic_unsure:  

Thank you!!

 

 

You are welcome and I hope you have a wonderful cruise on the Horizon!

 

Long lines: NO! Not at all. At lot of the cruisers were commenting what a big ship it was but no waiting or long lines (other than trying to get in to the small venue for the rated R comedian show in the Limelight Lounge.

 

We went to the dining room a few times (which is what we usually do during a cruise). There's more to come.

 

Saona Island is a neat trip but it's a long boat ride to the island, you eat there and spend a small amount of time there, then you are off to an area off in the ocean that has a sand bar with tons of starfish in the area to hold. It's a neat trip, but the boat ride takes up a lot of the time. I did a complete review on that trip and if you expand my signature line and go to the DR section and click on Saona, you'll be able to see the entire review.

 

No, the villages did not feel manufactured at all. Everything was authentic, even the places we didn't stop at. We only stopped in the small town with the school and the kids were waving and smiling. They were following behind us but never said a word or begged. We were never asked to hand out anything and it was only mentioned that sometimes people will bring things like school supplies for them.

 

5 hours ago, Hillbillygram said:

We are booked on a Journeys cruise next month and Antigua is one of our ports of call. Grenada is on our bucket list also.

 

I really want to go there. What exactly is a Journeys cruise? I've heard of it, but never looked into it.

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4 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

 

I really want to go there. What exactly is a Journeys cruise? I've heard of it, but never looked into it.

 

Journeys cruises are special cruises that Carnival does. They are longer in duration, and go to some ports that Carnival typically doesn’t go to. They also have special activities on board during these cruises like throwback themes, a extravagant midnight buffet, classes that you can take and earn collectible pins. I really want to do one someday, but due to the limited number of Journeys cruises offered each year, it seems that the dates never work out for me. Someday though! Very high on my bucket list. 

 

https://www.carnival.com/journeys.aspx

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Immediately it was time for Kam to go to school. We crossed our fingers and our toes that she would go and dropped her off...without a problem! Wow, this was going smoother than we had ever hoped for. At that point, Brayden was pulling a "I don't want to go scuba diving and want to go to the kids club today" and I put my foot down because he had privileges to sign himself out of the kids club (which he managed to do instantly after his mom was out of site every time). I told Kendra under no circumstances would he be allowed to stay on the ship without her being there and running wild. No way! When I ask him about why he wasn't' wanting to go diving (when he had done so well every other dive and enjoys it) he said because of his sunburn and he didn't want to put on a wet suit. I told him they would not MAKE him wear one and it was up to him. He felt better after that and agreed to go...not that I was giving him a choice, but it made it a lot easier on us.

 

We pulled in and docked a little after 1pm. They had told us (on deck 1 and close to our room) that it could take up to 1/2 hour for them to clear and open that area HOWEVER, if we wanted to go to the front of the ship, we were able to get off right now and off we went.

 

Boy was it windy out! Just like Aruba is every day!

 

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We were given instructions to walk out and to the right and to the exit and they would be waiting on us. However, since this was our second time here, I thought I knew where we were going and we headed out of the port area and was following everyone else along the sidewalk. Then I said "we had to have walked too far" and pulled out my instructions, that included an actual picture of the port with an arrow of where we were supposed to meet, and seen that we had walked right past it. About face and back we went.

 

Immediately upon exiting that area, we meet Bas (pronounced as Boss and everyone gets it wrong he says) Hart and he is the owner of the company (obviously since it's name Bas Harts Diving). He's a very friendly and informative guy and easy to get along with.

 

We walked across the street and they had 2 trucks waiting for us. We piled in one and sent all the kids with, well...my kid (Kendra).

 

Since we were limited on time (daylight time that is) Bas had prearranged to bring us straight to the dive site and no going to a business or anything for the "class". Well, he knew about our diving and experience, so it was going to be a quick class to go over everything (signals, lung expansion and the water, equipment and what we would be doing for our skills once we got in the water).

 

We arrived at Cas Abao

 

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This is a pay beach and it was included with our dive.

 

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There is a dive shop located at the beach, which Bas is friends with and our other instructor works there (I believe). I know he said that Bas contracts him on days he needs more help and since our group was supposed to be 5 divers, we would need 2 instructors.

 

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We were fitted with our wet suits (and Brayden decided that he would wear his since having the BCD would mean that it would probably rub his shoulders and hurt worse than having a wet suit on) and fins and then we quickly went over everything that a normal Discover Scuba class would, but in fast motion since we already knew everything.

 

We geared up with our tanks and off we headed to the beach and ocean.

 

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We got used to our equipment and went down to do our skills with Bas and Sam the instructor.

 

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Posted (edited)

Now if any of you have read my other diving reviews, you'll know the anxiety I get when I first start. Well, I'm happy to say that I had absolutely NO PROBLEMS this time. None what so ever! I wasn't nervous, I didn't have anxiety, and I didn't pop up once to adjust anything or because I freaked out. This dive would be the best dive I have ever had...not because of the area or what there was to see, but because of how comfortable I felt. I just couldn't believe it.

 

So...a selfie before we started out (why is it I always look like my jaws are inflated 4x the amount in pictures and everyone else always looks normal????)

 

 

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Doing some of our skills...

 

 

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Then off we went...

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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Now I'm giving everyone my disclaimer now. I'm very disappointed in my underwater pictures from today. I'm not sure what happened. A lot of them aren't clear and the close ups just didn't not turn out like they normally do. The pictures have some weird blue tint to them that they normally don't have. I had several issues with my cameras (or it may have been the sd card) and this entire cruise I kept getting error messages on the camera. I'd have to change out the sd card for it to work. It would say it's protected and another error I can't think of at the moment. It was very irritating and a lot of nights I would just use my phone to take pictures (which is probably why I'm missing a lot of them). I'm not sure if there's a "shelf life" on sd cards or what the issue is but I'm thinking I may need to purchase new ones soon. If anyone knows...please let me know.

 

 

So, sorry in advance for the crappy pictures.

 

The hubby doing just fine.

 

 

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Sakari and Bas

 

 

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Brayden and Kendra diving and Kendra wasn't having any issues this time around with the dive itself (other than later her ear would still be hurting, which gave her problems later in the dive and not being able to go down far).

 

 

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It's hard to tell from this picture, but this sea cucumber was the largest and longest one ever!

 

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Parrot fish

 

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Why do these guys look like they are walking instead of swimming? I would see this a lot out of them. LOL

 

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Sakari

 

 

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Since we all had wet suits on, it's sometimes hard to tell who is who. I can always tell Sakari because she has the pink fins. The hubby said he was going to wear his bright yellow swimming trunks so I could tell who he was and he ended up pulling them down and out the bottom of the wet suit so that I could notice them. LOL  It's a fashion statement.

 

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Kendra trying to clear her ears...I don't think it was going too well.

 

 

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There's that "walking upright" position again.

 

 

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Same with Brayden...do they think they are on a Sea Trek walk?

 

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Posted (edited)

Tons of little fishies

 

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I'm trying to account for everyone...then I notice that Sakari is way back in the distance with Bas. She was having some issues with her ears I would later hear. This is abnormal for her. She usually has some issues with clearing her ears when she goes to scuba class, but in the ocean, never a problem. Could it be that she has not been diving since March (at her scuba class) and last ocean dive was actually April? Does a child somehow lose the ability to clear their ears or forget if they haven't been for a while? I thought it was weird, but later on her. Bas stayed back with her and Sam (our instructor) took us on.

 

VIDEO:

 

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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