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mitsugirly

MITSUGIRLY sails off into the HORIZON-review & pictorial

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Sea Urchin trying to be incognito but he didn't fool me.

 

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I know it's hard to see...but I spotted a smooth spotted trunk-fish. These little guys are just so adorable. Their fins "flutter" back and forth and you would think this would make them slow but it doesn't. He wouldn't let me get too close to him and scurried off quickly each time I tried. I guess he didn't get the memo from the Angelfish that fish are friends not food.

 

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This was some blue colored coral and it's always my favorite color to find (along with purple). You don't always see this color. But, my camera settings would mess up the coloring for my pic darnit.

 

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Christmas tree feather dusters...my favorites!!!

 

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At this point, we started seeing a lot of fins in the water...and they weren't attached to fish either. We had reached the area where everyone comes to snorkel off the boats anchored here. Then I noticed it...my camera settings. I had a Charlie Brown Auuuggghhhh moment and quickly changed the settings.

 

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Evil devil...(fire worm).

 

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There were so many schools of fish this day. Everywhere we looked they were around. There really wasn't anything too interesting or out of the ordinary during this snorkeling adventure.

 

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We had been snorkeling for what seemed like a very long time. We had went pretty far. We came up to assess the situation and noticed we were not even close to Boca Catalina yet. Ugh!

 

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I seriously did not think it was this far. I thought around the bend and over a little. I knew it was the next beach up from Arashi. But obviously there's a few houses before that that I hadn't accounted for. At this point, we decided it was just too far to continue on. Not really too far for us to swim, but too far to continue since we are on a limited time frame in Aruba and we had stuck the hubby with all 3 kids...2 of which would probably never listen to him if needed.

 

I made the executive decision to swim toward shore and walk the street back and off we went.

 

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Pelicans were diving all around us. I love to watch them circle and dive into the water.

 

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Blue head wrasse

 

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Parrot fish

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A swarm of wee wittle fish

 

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A regular feather duster worm hiding in the rocks.

 

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Kendra managed to snorkel all the way up to the shore and over the very close rocks in the water.

 

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We made it out of the water, gathered our equipment and headed to the road for our long journey back...bare footed in the heat.

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Although it was very sunny and a balmy 84 degrees, Arbua is known for being windy and windy it was, which felt awesome. We really didn't get too hot on the way back and even the sidewalk didn't burn our feet.

 

It was such a long swim over to where we were but such a quick walk back. Seriously...I thought it would take awhile and we were probably back over to Arashi within 10 minutes or so.

 

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Sakari had morphed into a mermaid and was showing off for everyone on the beach.

 

 

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Looking over toward the lighthouse

 

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She's not as light as she use to be daddy!

 

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This usually occurs at some point on the cruise and today would be the day...however, B got smart this time. He was going to let the girls bury him and make sure the sand wasn't going to get in his mouth or eyes this time around. AND he was going to be able to breathe.

 

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Kendra was getting hungry and went up and got food. It looked so good that we decided we'd do the same.

 

IT.WAS.SO.CROWDED.AT.THIS.TIME!!! We stood in line for a while and then ordered. They told us to "go do something and come back in about 15 minutes". Well, we decided to go over and just sit at one of the tables. Then the crowd got "crowdier" and before long...you couldn't even see the area you pick up your food. 15 minutes had come and gone a long time ago and you couldn't even make it up to the counter. I was in fear that people were probably grabbing other peoples food because they only had a limited option, which meant everyone orders almost the same thing. I slithered my way around the crowd just in time to grab our order before someone else did and slithered my way back out quickly.

 

So pricing:  Can's of pop is $2. If you want a bottle it's $3. Chicken strips (which is crispy like KFC) is $10 for a basket and to add fries is $5 more. The shrimp basket is $15 (which includes fries with it) but if you only want shrimp...it's still $15.

 

Oh...and chairs are $7 each but if you wanted 2 chairs and an umbrella, it would cost you $30-40. They told us it's normally $40 but would give it to us for $30. So, who knows. It would be the first time we have ever rented any there because when we rent a home in Aruba, they usually have chairs for us to take and use at the beaches.

 

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It was a lot of food and very filling. I know the seagulls just love us every time we come to the beach. The kids have so much fun feeding them and seeing just how close they can get to them.

 

Scuba girl...

 

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Kendra and Kambriah started walking the beach in search of sea glass. I had already collected quite a bit and now she wanted some.

 

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Notice she was starting to get a little red...I tried to tell her...even though it feels so good outside and not too hot, you will get burned in this sun! She said "but it don't even feel hot. I could lay out in this all day with no problems" Well no, no you can't. 😉

 

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Aruba's famous divi divi trees. They always lean toward the Southwest, due to the winds that blow across the island from the northeast.

 

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Edited by mitsugirly

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We had told our taxi to pick us up around 2:30pm. We wanted to get back a little in hopes that we would run into our friend at the port. One of the workers at Arashi called a cab for us and when he pulled up, it happened to be our same driver...only this time, there was no problem putting all 6 of us in the van for the return back to the port.

 

Off we went and we were pulling back up into the turn around area at the port and we noticed our Aruba friend walking across the parking lot. We rolled down the windows and was yelling. At first she couldn't tell who was in the van and gave a friendly "hello" wave...and then the minute that I opened the door after the van stopped, Sakari jumped out and went running into her arms. We were so happy to catch up with her and see her...I mean it's been a whole 3 months since we had seen her last. 😉

 

This is what happens when the wind is against your back and you have long hair and it's beach hair to boot!

 

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We got smart and turned around facing the wind...ok, now I can see.

 

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Sakari got an update on her tortoise our friend gave her last time we were here but at the last minute we didn't have all the paperwork needed to transport it back to the states (next time) and she sends Sakari pictures of her all the time. She was the size of a quarter when we were there months ago and now she fits in the palm of your hand. Sakari named her Leah and all she does is talk about Leah back home.

 

Unfortunately, we had to say our goodbyes with our promise to return again soon to stay on the island and visit with her and hang out. We had originally talked about coming for another land vacation for Christmas here and staying at a house next to our friends. But, Christmas time is outrageous to stay in Aruba and that's how we ended up on a cruise instead. Last time we were there she gave us a guided personal tour of the places we shouldn't adventure to on our own (the National Park and along the treacherous terrain of that area and beaches) and we had a fabulous time all day visiting the park, swimming, going through the multiple caves...and of course searching for that cactus with the flowers that you can eat.

 

Back to the ship we went.

 

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Back on the ship and straight to the shower we went. We made it out just in time to watch us pulling out of port. Goodbye Aruba...until next time. We'll miss you.

 

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There is a tree in the middle of the water (I'm assuming on a sand bar but it's under water)

 

Do you see it?

 

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One thing I like about getting your pop at the bar at the pool area is that they will give you a can of pop and a glass of ice.

 

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Sakari decided to head to the kids club ONLY because they were having "free time" which meant that she could create things...things with rubber bands...things that she could wear. So, she was only there from 4:15-5pm and then signed herself out and back to the room.

 

We decided we wanted dinner early tonight and the great thing about having the Carnival Hub App is that you can request a table from your phone. It will pop up when it is time to head there. If you go to the dining room and request a table they will put you in the system and give you a beeper. You can only go so far with that beeper and not the entire ship. With the phone app, you can be anywhere and they will notify you.

 

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The lights in the dining room change at times and it's real pretty.

 

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Dinner

 

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This cold soup is DA BOMB! They seem to have a different kind each night and they are amazing! My favorite is the strawberry.

 

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They came around with some drinks to buy (while I was in the restroom I might add) and the hubby decided we needed a drink. They were YUMMY! They came in a souvenir cup.

 

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CHEERS!!!

 

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DESERTS

 

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One of my favorite things about cruising is locking my cell phone in the safe and being unplugged for a week not having to carry it around.  This Carnival hub app looks quite useful though.

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Now this time at the dining room, the messed up our order x2. Eventually, it was corrected and the food was good.

 

After dinner, Sakari wanted to go find her a lanyard to use for her keycard instead of carrying it all the time...then, of course, she had to find her ship ornament to add to her collection of about 20+ ships now.

 

She decided she just wanted to go back to the room and draw on her phone so we told her we were heading to the casino for a little bit and we would come back to the room to grab her for the 80's deck party. 

 

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Off to the casino we went and had a little bit of luck here and there and I ended up walking out $86 richer than I walked in with.

 

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Around 10:00 pm we headed back to the room only to find her stripped down and fast asleep. Hmmm, should we wake her? How fun would she actually be if she's half asleep? Yea, I guess we'll leave her and it will be an adult night. I texted Kendra and told her to COME ON! (She LOVES the 80s) 

 

 

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We danced and had a great time! Mike the CD is awesome and gets the crowd pumped up! He came dressed up as....none other than Richard Simmons. They handed out glow sticks and wands. I made sure to collect a few for Sakari since she was missing out. 

 

We shook all night long....and waited on Kendra to arrive.

 

 

 

And then we started something...without Kendra because she still hadn't shown up.

 

 

 

Then it was time for some footloose. Now Kendra has taught me this dance and we do it when we go out dancing...it's such a fast paced song and there's a little bit of foot slapping and I can tell you that the dance we do has a lot more to it than the way they had us doing it this night. I just realized I was so busy trying to learn the way they did it that my video was pointing toward the floor once the dance started. LOL  But eventually there were a few of us that were able to catch on and do the dance. The hubby gave up on this dance after a while.  Meanwhile...Kendra is laying in bed not able to move from her sunburn....and missing it all.

 

 

 

 

Then came....THE THRILLER! Now I was on NCL once and they had actual classes that you could go to, to teach you this dance, and then on their 80's night, everyone did the dance and it was so awesome! This time, they taught us on the deck step by step. It was fun and hilarious but we caught on. Even the hubby was having fun. Still no Kendra. Don't worry, I was sending her updates on everything she was missing out on. I mean I might as well rub it in right?

 

 

 

Then I watched Lorilei run upstairs with the guns...I knew they were about to shoot something and started filming only to catch the end of it.

 

 

 

 

The deck party was over with by 11:30 pm, but they were having an after party at Ocean Plaza and it was a live band singing 80's songs. They were pretty good. Richard, I mean Mike made his appearance and then off he went.

 

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They didn't play long and then it was all over. I guess the fun was coming to an end and we headed back to the room.

 

Our towel animal for the night.

 

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I have to say, this is the FIRST CRUISE that I have ever been able to keep my towel animals. I see people post pictures of them all together at the end of the cruise and I always wonder how they manage to keep them. My room stewards have always confiscated them every day. It's like they think they're gonna run out of towels on the cruise or something. But this time...I got to keep all of them but the first 2 I think it was.

 

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we have 2 of the shot glasses. they came around just as we were finishing dinner. sounded good yeah, let's have a couple. They didn't state 'til after we downed the shots (just okay) that we had to pay for the glasses as well. so whatever, fine....ended up like $13 each? something stupid like that. 

 

to be fair though, they are nice shot glasses.

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9 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

Now this time at the dining room, the messed up our order x2. Eventually, it was corrected and the food was good.

 

After dinner, Sakari wanted to go find her a lanyard to use for her keycard instead of carrying it all the time...then, of course, she had to find her ship ornament to add to her collection of about 20+ ships now.

 

She decided she just wanted to go back to the room and draw on her phone so we told her we were heading to the casino for a little bit and we would come back to the room to grab her for the 80's deck party. 

 

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Off to the casino we went and had a little bit of luck here and there and I ended up walking out $86 richer than I walked in with.

 

IMG_7038%20copy-L.jpg

 

 

Around 10:00 pm we headed back to the room only to find her stripped down and fast asleep. Hmmm, should we wake her? How fun would she actually be if she's half asleep? Yea, I guess we'll leave her and it will be an adult night. I texted Kendra and told her to COME ON! (She LOVES the 80s) 

 

 

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We danced and had a great time! Mike the CD is awesome and gets the crowd pumped up! He came dressed up as....none other than Richard Simmons. They handed out glow sticks and wands. I made sure to collect a few for Sakari since she was missing out. 

 

We shook all night long....and waited on Kendra to arrive.

 

 

 

And then we started something...without Kendra because she still hadn't shown up.

 

 

 

Then it was time for some footloose. Now Kendra has taught me this dance and we do it when we go out dancing...it's such a fast paced song and there's a little bit of foot slapping and I can tell you that the dance we do has a lot more to it than the way they had us doing it this night. I just realized I was so busy trying to learn the way they did it that my video was pointing toward the floor once the dance started. LOL  But eventually there were a few of us that were able to catch on and do the dance. The hubby gave up on this dance after a while.  Meanwhile...Kendra is laying in bed not able to move from her sunburn....and missing it all.

 

 

 

 

Then came....THE THRILLER! Now I was on NCL once and they had actual classes that you could go to, to teach you this dance, and then on their 80's night, everyone did the dance and it was so awesome! This time, they taught us on the deck step by step. It was fun and hilarious but we caught on. Even the hubby was having fun. Still no Kendra. Don't worry, I was sending her updates on everything she was missing out on. I mean I might as well rub it in right?

 

 

 

Then I watched Lorilei run upstairs with the guns...I knew they were about to shoot something and started filming only to catch the end of it.

 

 

 

 

The deck party was over with by 11:30 pm, but they were having an after party at Ocean Plaza and it was a live band singing 80's songs. They were pretty good. Richard, I mean Mike made his appearance and then off he went.

 

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They didn't play long and then it was all over. I guess the fun was coming to an end and we headed back to the room.

 

Our towel animal for the night.

 

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I have to say, this is the FIRST CRUISE that I have ever been able to keep my towel animals. I see people post pictures of them all together at the end of the cruise and I always wonder how they manage to keep them. My room stewards have always confiscated them every day. It's like they think they're gonna run out of towels on the cruise or something. But this time...I got to keep all of them but the first 2 I think it was.

 

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Just loving this review  Three weeks from today we will getting on the Conquest.  Bring it on.  80's Party looks like a BLAST

 

 

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it looks like a lot of fun at the 80s night!  I love 80s music still!!!!!

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Aruba is our favorite vacation destination. Loved reading your review and seeing the pics. There is really good snorkeling on that end of the island where you were. We have always stayed at Bucuti & Tara but have thought about renting a house near where you were.

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13 hours ago, splash_in_the_water said:

we have 2 of the shot glasses. they came around just as we were finishing dinner. sounded good yeah, let's have a couple. They didn't state 'til after we downed the shots (just okay) that we had to pay for the glasses as well. so whatever, fine....ended up like $13 each? something stupid like that. 

 

to be fair though, they are nice shot glasses.

 

Ours was $19 something with gratuities included. We will get use of the glasses so I guess I'm ok with it. We thought the drink was pretty good and I was feeling warm and fuzzy all over within minutes.

 

4 hours ago, billfish said:

Just loving this review  Three weeks from today we will getting on the Conquest.  Bring it on.  80's Party looks like a BLAST

 

I always love the 80's party and glad they have them on Carnival.

 

1 hour ago, jenseib said:

it looks like a lot of fun at the 80s night!  I love 80s music still!!!!!

 

My favorite all time favorite music is the 80s.

 

1 hour ago, IronScott said:

Aruba is our favorite vacation destination. Loved reading your review and seeing the pics. There is really good snorkeling on that end of the island where you were. We have always stayed at Bucuti & Tara but have thought about renting a house near where you were.

 

I personally love the snorkeling at Mangel Halto. It's amazing out there.

 

We stayed at a private home, located in Noord on Safir in this super nice neighborhood. It was a $1.5 million dollar home with a private pool in the back yard and backed up to the desert. We loved it so much and will rent there again in the future. It was super close to Arashi. We've also rented a condo in Noord (closer to Eagle beach) and it was lovely little place with only a few condos there that surround a small pool and hot tub. It was cute and quiet. Then we've also stayed at the Tropicana, which had an awesome pool (several) with waterfalls and water slides (resort) on Eagle Beach. We can't wait to go back to Aruba!

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So on with this review so that I can finish. I have all the pictures uploaded and ready to go.

 

So now we had 2 sea days going back. I really love the cruises that are jam packed full of ports and very little sea days (which is why leaving from Puerto Rico is my favorite). We love to stay active and on the go all the time. But, since this was an 8 day cruise, that meant a total of 3 sea days...and the next 2 coming up.

 

We woke up around 10:30 am on Friday and planned on trying to find plenty of things to do to keep us occupied today.

 

Trixie and Cookie had made use of the glow lights I brought home from the party the night before. Sakari got a kick out of them.

 

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We headed off to the buffet for breakfast and I went straight for the omelette station. It wasn't crowded at all and I was shocked since it was a sea day and everyone was on board. Maybe everyone else had just already ate breakfast earlier.

 

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After breakfast we headed out to the pool area and they were having the "not so hairy chest" contest (at least in my opinion). They picked 3 ladies from the audience to be judges. The guys were being judged on their "hairiness" and "muscles and firmness" and I think ability to "woo" their judges by dancing and shaking their bods. I know a lot of people don't like this competition and say it's degrading or what ever the reason, but it's kinda hilarious to me. I like to cut loose and laughter is a great thing no matter who you are and these things do get funny.

 

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Sakari decided she wanted to swim while everyone's attention was on the contest and games.

 

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Even though it felt like we had just ate, Kendra had been up since very early this morning (remember she came back from Aruba and pretty much hibernated in her room nursing a sunburn and not wanting to move). So, she wanted to go to the noodle/pasta bar upstairs. It is only offered certain days and only certain times. It was already 2 pm and they closed at 2:30 pm. She talked me into going. The hubby stated he was just going to stay put in his nice comfy chair and would be there waiting until I returned. He said he wasn't hungry yet.

 

Off I went.

 

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Now this is free during these lunch hours but in the evenings, it's an additional charge, and it's an Italian restaurant. So enjoy it while you can for free...

 

 

You get a menu and you check off everything you want on it.

 

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The food was good but I still felt like I had just finished breakfast and wasn't able to eat it all. I took the rest of my noodles back to the hubby with me and he ate the rest ("I thought you wasn't hungry?").

 

 

Edited by mitsugirly

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20 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

I personally love the snorkeling at Mangel Halto. It's amazing out there.

 

We stayed at a private home, located in Noord on Safir in this super nice neighborhood. It was a $1.5 million dollar home with a private pool in the back yard and backed up to the desert. We loved it so much and will rent there again in the future. It was super close to Arashi. We've also rented a condo in Noord (closer to Eagle beach) and it was lovely little place with only a few condos there that surround a small pool and hot tub. It was cute and quiet. Then we've also stayed at the Tropicana, which had an awesome pool (several) with waterfalls and water slides (resort) on Eagle Beach. We can't wait to go back to Aruba!

 

We did Mangel Halto and I enjoyed it but my wife didn’t. A little too rough that day out by the reef and breakers. We did get to see a small-ish barracuda (probably 16-20 inches). It just hung around the trees and kept swimming back and forth. It was cool. Baby Beach was good as well but the Noord area was the best. Your pics are much better than the video I got.

 

Noord is where we would look to rent. Some super nice houses there for good rates. We are trying to get others to join us since most of them are way bigger than two people need. We love that area but also love Eagle Beach as well. Bucuti is incredible for peace and quiet and their beach area is beautiful but we’d like to try something different.

 

Aruba is so different from many of the other Caribbean destinations. It’s really not geared toward partiers and children, at least compared to places like Cozumel, Jamaica, DR, etc. We love the variety and safety of the island. Also, there are so many good restaurants, I can’t imagine doing an AI and not experiencing the local food. Grocery stores are very reasonable as well.

 

It’s interesting to read the viewpoint from a cruiser perspective, even though you are a regular Aruba visitor. We’ve always watched the cruise ships come in and leave but never knew what all they did. We did eat one night this summer downtown after a cruise ship arrived and it was crazy busy.

 

BTW, if you haven’t tried it, Yemanja (downtown) is our new favorite restaurant. It is outstanding.

 

Thanks again! Enjoying your review.

Edited by IronScott

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After lunch, we (and by "we" I mean Sakari) was begging to go back to the Sky Course to ride the cars and do the ropes course. She just loved this...more this time than before.

 

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They started with the skyride. I decided to sit this one out and wanted to get pictures of them.

 

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I guess Sakari didn't realize the first time she went on here that the outside cart hits a dip and goes really fast around the corner and leaves the other cart behind. At first they looked like they were racing and then after daddy "left her in the dust"...she slowed way down.

 

 

 

 

No worries though...once you go around the corner, the other car catches up and gets it's own hill.

 

 

 

 

Sakari would catch up with daddy and they had a great time.

 

 

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Of course she had to do the ropes course again and went around and around until we had to tell her times up. LOL She got so comfortable that she was doing poses.

 

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I couldn't believe just how great the weather was on this cruise and the seas were so calm and I didn't feel any rocking at all this time....NONE! This would be the very first cruise I never felt any movement or got that "fake drunkenness" feeling.

 

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We absolutely love going to the 4d theater. I love anything like that. They have different shows each day and they do repeat so you have a chance to see them all.

 

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You do have the option of purchasing tickets at any time. You can come to the theater and use their kiosk or at the counter when they are open or even use your phone app. We did not do that prior to coming and would find out that the shows were sold out. They would not be playing the one we wanted anymore today. HOWEVER...the guy was so nice and not only had our family, Kendra's family but another family that wanted to see this. They said once the current one was finished, they'd run in real quick and reset it up and give us our own show by adding an extra time for us. WOO HOO! We were excited.

 

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So sad your report is half over! What's your next cruise? Bad, I'm already thinking about your next TR.  In 2019 we are on Breeze and then Freedom.  That weather looks just incredible, especially in those shots on the upper decks by the skybridge.  Just wow.

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After the movie, I knew that they were  having a Christmas party in the atrium and I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss it.

 

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Once we arrived, we would notice everyone dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters!! They were hilarious and I loved it. I was so sad that I didn't know anything about this contest and wished that I did because I know Kendra and I would have made something for this occasion!

 

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Two couples showed up with the same "1-piece" shirt. LOL

 

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Creepy sweater with the grinch on it and legs hanging....LOL

 

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There were even people with shirts and skirts that lit up.

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Now I seriously couldn't figure out what these Eeyore outfits were supposed to be about. What did it have to do with Christmas or an ugly sweater? There was actually a group of them.

 

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At one point Lorilei came and passed out Christmas Santa Hats. Everyone had them and it just set the mood!

 

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Everyone started singing Christmas songs

 

 

 

They had a parade of ugly sweaters.

 

 

 

 

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Then it was time for Santa's grand entrance....

 

 

 

 

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It was a great time and it made me realize just how much fun it is to cruise at Christmas. It's an entirely different experience and I had really missed it since it had been a while since we did some Christmas cruises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After the party, we split up from Kendra. She wanted to take Kam to the Build A Bear, which Sakari now feels too old for it, and Kendra had mentioned wanting to go to the Spiderman 3D movie later.

 

We headed back to the theater, purchased our tickets and was excited to see another 3D movie.

 

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Now as I mentioned before, you can get your pop refills there for free but snacks will have to be purchased. They do not have any "regular" popcorn but you can buy bags.

 

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The theater is pretty huge and has plenty of seating.

 

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The movie was pretty good and Kendra was telling me that it hadn't even been released in theaters yet. I believe that I had read (prior to the cruise) that they do have new movies that haven't been released yet on the ship. The other one that they were showing was Atlantis and a few others.

 

Kendra never did show up and would later say "I didn't know you were going"...um, but it was your idea Kendra! LOL

Edited by mitsugirly

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