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cruisin USA

"Good Things on the Horizon" a cruisin USA "Long and Lengthy" Cruise Novella

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  Made it back to the ship. We got back to the cabin, and relaxed for a bit out on the balcony. I checked the Fun Times. ‘90’a Music Trivia? LipSync Battle? Piano Bar? Blackjack Tournament? All sounded ok, but we decided to have dinner,  followed by Roman in the Limelight lounge, and then Playlist Productions “Orchestral Strings”. Sounded like a good plan. We still hadn’t started moving yet. We changed and went down to the Havana Jacuzzi. Just loved it! There was just a couple sitting there.

 

There were a few people I could see sitting over in the other Jacuzzi. I couldn’t help thinking to myself. I said “Self, Although this is an exclusive area, We haven’t seen more than 10 people at a time here during the entire cruise. Sure the Havana bar was going good till late most nights, but this outer pool area was seldom used. Even after 7, when the area was made public, we still never saw more than 10 people, all in the Jacuzzi, none in the Infinity pool, maybe a few in the loungers. Kinda felt like wasted space. Maybe Carnival should have a package where they include a wristband to the Havana area for an extra fee? We enjoyed our cocktails.  Again, we were pruney when we got out. Back to the cabin to change. We’d be pulling away soon.....

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Posted (edited)

Changed into our comfy clothes. We had to order room service. A bottle of White Zin for her, 4 Coronas for me. We still were good on the Jager, Red Bull, and Pepsi. It didn’t take long to arrive. $62.00!! Ouch. At least the gratuity was included…sigh. Restocked, we headed back to the elevators.  

Did I mention the elevators? As a person who has been on many a ship, and waited for many an elevator(just like most of you), this system works. Just touch the keypad to the floor you want to go to, and the elevator will assign a letter for you to go to. Didn’t have much of any wait at any elevators this trip, except for peak times. We were definitely going to use them now, cause we were heading up 5 floors, to Deck 11. We found a comfortable chair outside, and hung out with the rest of the smokers. Fun lot, the smokers. Saw Kam Kam out there. We exchanged stuff we’d done. Kam Kam said that they’d gone to Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel. Said they had a GREAT time! Mary Ann and I just don’t do the beach on cloudy, cool days.

 

 

 

Edited by cruisin USA

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Headed back to the cabin. We’d be leaving soon, and that’s where we like to hang when we leave a port. Not too long, and we see the motion in the water behind the boat. We can definitely feel the vibration. The engines are revving up. Soon we are underway. Goodbye Grand Cayman!!! We could still see the lights of Grand Cayman fading into the distance as night fell.

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We rested for awhile, but we had to get to dinner early, if we wanted to see Roman at 8:30 and the Playlist Production show at 9:30. By now, we knew that the comedian would only last a half hour or so. That would give us time for a room stop, before heading to the show. We got dressed, and headed back to the Java Blue café for our seating assignment once again. Got our slip, and headed for the dining room. We were sat, and came to find out that the guy who took over for our waiter(just for dessert) on night 1, would be our waiter tonight. He wasn’t the slow guy, so we would just have to see. His name was Rizzalini. Nice guy,  funny, and as it turned out, was a GREAT waiter.  He stepped up to the table. Recognized us, gave us a big smile, and said his hellos, and gave us menus. American Feast!! We had already had elegant night! Sure enough. So on a 6 day cruise we had elegant night on nights 2 and 4. Hmmm. Well…. No Lobster on this menu.

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For me? Shrimp Cocktail, Country Chicken Soup, 4 Season Salad, and Filet Mignon(yep, 2 nights in a row, but I’m on vacation!!). For Dessert? Grand Marnier Souffle..YUM YUM!! No waiter show tonight, it could have been that we were just early though.

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Posted (edited)

Worked our way out of the dining room, and back to the room for a minute before going to see Roman. We were just a little later than we thought. The show was PACKED(sorry Mike), Roman definitely had a bigger following. He was just good at telling funny stories. Things that had happened to him in his life. We just kept walking deeper into the showroom along the perimeter seating. We worked our way around the arc, and found the last 2 seats in the house! They were right next to the exit doors. Although we could see a bit of the stage, we couldn’t see Roman…sigh. There was a TV placed so we could see. There’s a guy, one of the entertainment staff. I didn’t catch his name. He would introduce the comedian at all the shows we saw. Since they were the R rated shows, he had to give a disclaimer every time that “If you are easily offended, than this might not be the show for you. You know there’s 4 letters for anyone who might be offended. "GTFO” He then would say to the audience, “Which means?”. The whole crowd would erupt. “Get the F@@K OUT!” He did this without fail at every show. Roman came out. It’s amazing how he can do so many shows each cruise, and not repeat, Had us ROLLING a couple of times. Definitely worth going to see, but just not long enough. Sure enough, we were out by 9.. Back to the cabin to freshen our drinks, and down to deck 4 to stop at the casino bar on the way to "Orchestral Strings"

Edited by cruisin USA

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Just a short pause to thank everyone for their patience. 

 

Coming up to finishing Day 4. (That will be late tonight).

 

Thank you to all who have responded for your kind words.

 

”1cruisingal”....They had the regular brunch menu on the Breeze last month. Guessing that this is a “Horizon only” experiment.

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4 hours ago, cruisin USA said:

Just a short pause to thank everyone for their patience. 

 

Coming up to finishing Day 4. (That will be late tonight).

 

Thank you to all who have responded for your kind words.

 

”1cruisingal”....They had the regular brunch menu on the Breeze last month. Guessing that this is a “Horizon only” experiment.

Just an FYI re: the brunch.  Although they don't list the juices on the menu except for the fresh squeezed, they have the regular juices just ask. We had tomato juice a few weeks ago when we went to the brunch. 

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Thank you mistycruiser for the info. If that’s the case. I think it’s kind of cheesy on Carnivals part to make people ask if they can have free juice with their breakfast. Just my opinion

 

And if there’s any questions or comments feel free to ask/contribute.

 

Gary aka cruisin USA

 

 

 

 

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On 2/4/2019 at 3:43 AM, cruisin USA said:

Prelude

 

 

 

 

Finally, after months of waiting (you all know the feeling), the day came. It was a pretty cold December morning in Detroit. Fortunately, we didn’t have any snow, so the roads were good. Our flight was at 12:30. I dropped Mary Ann off to kennel our dog (our only cruise regret….sniff), and I did my last minute banking across the street. Headed back to her, and she was already standing in the parking lot. Off we went. The ride to the airport was smooth and we didn’t get stopped by too many lights. We got to the long term parking. $24 a day!! OMFG!! I remember when it was $15!! It’s probably paid for itself twice. Why does the airport have to gouge the folks already paying high airfares, as well as 2 way baggage cost? Chalk it off to being a captive audience if you choose to drive and park. Will be looking into other option on our next trip. Most flights on Delta, we get a TSA pre-check. Not this time…sigh.

 

 

 

 

We parked, took the elevators up to the terminal. The usual check in right there at the elevators was closed. We would have to take our baggage up the escalators. Geez.  The line to check is was pretty long, but went fast. Dropped off our luggage, and headed to go through security where that line was also long (go figure). Luckily, we were directed back down the escalator to the very short security line by a lady at the entrance. Our flight was on time. Good. We headed to our favorite little airport Coney Island and had breakfast before our flight. Got to our gate with enough time to stop at the store for a soda and snacks for the flight. Boarding was a snap, and soon we were taking off. The flight went smooth. I did nod off a couple times. Delta had computer screens on each backrest in front of you. You can track your flight, play games, and watch a movie. Pretty cool, and the flight went by pretty fast. Landed got our bags. And headed out to our familiar cab stand. The warm Florida air felt GREAT to a couple from the cold Midwest. We had been here many times before, and even witnessed a person drop of a heart attack at the bus stop there back in 2011. That was on our Miracle cruise. We also found out he was supposed be on our cruise, and later, that he had a Miracle of his own, and lived to tell the tale! A fifteen minute drive (and $25) later, we were at the Embassy Suites.

 

 

 

 

 

The cab driver dropped us and our baggage off, and we walked in to the lobby. There were lots of people hanging out. Nice hotel.  There were 4 people working the front desk. I just walked right up. Presented my driver’s license and credit card, and was told that our room wasn’t ready yet. Geez. It was after 4. The lady took my cell number, and said she’d call when the room was ready.......

 

 

We are from Dearborn, Michigan and like you fly into FLL for Miami cruises. You may want to check out SAS transportation-they pick up at many FLL hotels (list is on their website) $15/p-will call when on there way and keep in communication with you. Have used them several times going to Port of Miami as well as from Port of Miami back to FLL.

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Out of the cabin, we head towards the elevators, but end up taking the stairs 2 floors down. Just a short walk to the entrance marked "lower promenade". We pass the Comedy club. They are still taking the seats out from the comedy, and getting the room to be changed into the disco. This, was odd I thought. Usually the ships have a disco AND a comedy lounge. I could see how the room was set for comedy, but as a disco, it was an odd layout. Was this the next level? ....Stay tuned.  We worked out way forward past the Skybox Sports Bar. It was empty now. Stopped for a few pictures.

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Although it was quiet now, this Sports bar was the busiest I've seen on any ship. Good crowd there on Sunday. We weren't there to see it, but I bet there were a more than a few who disappointed when everything was shut down for muster drill, The Monday night football crowd was busy too! Maybe the location has something to do with it. I've always thought those sports bars were a little bit of wasted space on most ships I've been on. Usually, directly adjacent to the casino, with an entrance from the atrium side. I think if they put video poker inside the bar itself, like in Vegas, they'd do a LOT better. And then they could add Video Poker tournaments. Just like the  Blackjack, and Slot Machine ones. Never saw anyone actually playing at the provided poker table. But I do know it's a popular game

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Moving forward through the hallway past the Skybox, is Mr. Radu's photo gallery. For those who don't know. Mr. Radu is Carnivals official photographer, which means he get's to go up in the helicopter for those aerial view shots of the ship. Get's to go to ALL the cool places those ships go to, and having creative control to showcase the Carnival image. Been a fan of all the wonderful photos that he's shared. I got to meet him abaard FFS 2, but that's another review...hehe. Anyway, here were photos(printed on metal) that you can actually buy.

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This one caught our eye. We had been there before. Grand Turk. Pretty famous dock that's been filmed in a few commercials. The pricetag was a a little steep.

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Here's one of mine you can just have.......Mine even has a catamaran!! Don't mention it!...lol

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We were on right on time to the show, but were held up at the showroom entrance. 3 people dressed in White, 2 with violins, were getting ready to enter at the start of the show. Didn’t take but a minute. The music started, they were off. We just found a seat. A little far back, but we could see ok. They would also come out into the audience a bit dancing around some set pieces that were set in the middle of the showroom. Although the 3 Orchestral strings were the center of attention, they were playing along with the Playlist production cast. The show had this “Phantomesque” feel to it. I knew a few of the songs. The presentation made the term “Rock Opera” come to mind. The singing and choreography was GREAT!! Those Carnival singers ROCK!! The violinist’s had a wireless set up, so they were all over the place! Although Orchestral Strings isn’t my favorite Carnival show, it is impressive. All that talent on one stage!!! Again, it was over too soon. Mike comes onstage, he mentions once again, that “the party isn’t over, we’re just moving it out to the atrium” We were close enough to the door to follow the cast right out.

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Posted (edited)

Worked our way up the stairs, and up to deck 5, where we got a good place to check out the after party.  We knew that there was going to be a 90’s trivia party. Probably wouldn’t be staying for that. The atrium was full of people. 90’s music was pumpining through the speakers. They didn’t spare any expense for this sound system. It was as about as high fidelity as you could ask for in a 3 story room. People were dancing. Fun party. A lot better than being on a windy lido deck for a party. Good thought beards! As expected, we didn’t last till the trivia.

 

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Edited by cruisin USA

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We stopped at the casino bar for a cocktail. There was 2 couples next to us. They all go “GARY!!” More roll callers! It was Jeff, Kelly, Bobby, and Amanda. Always fun to meet up with folks you’ve been talking to on the internet for months about your mutual upcoming cruise We sat there at the bar, and talked for quite a bit. Jeff asked if we’d ever tried a slippery nipple? At this point I had to tell them that I own a bar. Next thing you know, 2 slippery nipples are set in front of me and Mary Ann. For those who don’t know, the slippery nipple is basically Baileys Irish cream and butterscotch schnapps. A sweet, creamy drink. Almost like a shot of butterscotch and chocolate milk. Shot in hand, we raised our glasses and I proposed a toast. I recited my favorite cruise toast. For those who have read my reviews before, you know what it is. Others will have to wait for later…hehe. We talked for over an hour, comparing notes on what we all had done. I sent back slippery nipples to both Jeff and Bobby. Over $16.00!! For 2 shots? OMFG!!

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We decided to stay and play for awhile. I headed over to the craps table while Mary Ann tried some video poker. They were only using half the table. Bought in, and played for a bit. Didn’t do any good, until this lady starts throwing the dice. She has a golden arm, and gets both me and her husband up to even. I had seen him before at the table, but this was the first time I’d see his wife. She saved the day for us. Colored up my chips, and went to find Mary Ann. She was holding her own at video poker. I came and sat beside her. She said we could take some turns. The machine went cold, and we got out before she lost all her bank. We got a nightcap at the bar, headed toward the atrium, and up on flight to Deck 5. We stopped off a the piano bar for a few tunes. It was full, everyone enjoying the sing along, Elizabeth was a good piano player/singer. I have always thought that Carnival should do a “dueling piano” theme instead of just one person. Heck, If they can afford 3 violinist to play sporadically during the cruise…..2 piano players gives you diversity, a duo vs single entertainment. The best part of it, aside from being a bigger draw, would be that if one player catches a cold/laryngitis the other can pick up the slack. If the pianist goes down on Carnival now the “call letters” are S.O.L. Stayed for a few songs, and headed aft toward the Havana Bar. We’d been here by here a couple of times. Never stopped to see the band. Impressive. Really loved the Latino Vibe music. Lots of area inside this bar to sit and sip a cocktail while listening to a live band. Wish those Salsa dance lessons would have helped. Not us…..hehe. It had been a long day. It was time for bed. Luckily, we just walked up a floor and we were there.  Looked over tomorrows Fun Times before falling fast asleep.

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