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MITSUGIRLYS FREEDOM OF THE SEAS REVIEW & PICTORIAL

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I am loving your review , it is amazing , thank you. I think all the photos are great but I do have senior eyes , cheers Buzz.

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A pair of trumpet fish

 

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Trunkfish

 

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Another scorpion fish

 

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Queen Angelfish. She was huge and checking me out and came really close.

 

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Another trunkfish

 

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Another eel spotted. I guess I can spot them if they are big...just not small and hiding in the sand (not getting over this any time soon I tell ya).

 

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So much color and so beautiful. I love these mushrooms. I have a bunch in my tank and they just multiply like crazy. 

 

 

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More trumpet fish

 

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I wonder where that hole goes to

 

 

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Now I can't remember what she said the following fish were. I thought they were high hats but when I said that, she said something else.   These were little babies and you really had to look for them.

 

 

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Then I spotted a goby. I love gobies. They are so much fun to watch in a tank. They take huge gulps of sand and sift it and it comes back out of their gills on the side. (It's in the middle of the picture). 

 

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This is our goby at work....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas tree worms

 

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Here comes Kia's group.

 

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I guess our fun dive was about to end.

 

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Kendra and Shawna made it to the surface

 

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And Brayden popped up from the side.

 

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I'm glad I was seeing a smile on her face

 

 

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Shawna looked happy too. I honestly can't believe Shawna wasn't freaking out. I mean she did freak out over a small harmless sea urchin the other day at the beach. 

 

 

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Is that tank heavy Kendra? lol

 

 

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We all compared notes on what we had seen and everyone had a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So here is a Carlisle Bay Marine Park map. There are 6 shipwrecks located there. We went to 4 of them plus the barge.

 

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We went to Bajan Queen, Eillon, Cornwallis, Berwind and the Barge. According to our instructor, we went down 40' but it says the Eillon is in 55 feet of water so I don't know. She wouldn't give an "exact" amount.  She said we dove for 30 minutes. According to my pictures, it was more like 45 minutes. The water was 82 degrees and said visibility was 50 feet. 

 

 

I "think" this was maybe our 7th dive we've done and I'm feeling more and more comfortable with it and I can't wait to go again!!!!

 

 

 

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I absolutely love your underwater photography! I have a question:  You said you used to have a garden eel.  What happened to it? I'm curious as to the lifespan of some of these creatures.

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Now when we pulled up in the boat, the instructors go "Oh my! Yuck" and we looked at the beach and it was covered in seaweed. So weird how much came in while we were out there.

 

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Back at the dive shop, we waited for quite some time for our instructor to finish what she was doing (the other people that dove had left already) and I was waiting to have my book filled out. They actually paged her several times. She didn't fill it out but gave me the info to do it myself and she stamped it.

 

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The dive shop

 

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I wanted to mention the lady at the counter is very rude. After checking in she handed us our books to fill out. We've done this enough times to know what all goes on it and so on. Then on the page beside it was the "test" you have to fill out and sign. Well, I filled out my book and did the test and she started yelling at me "You have to read the book. Did you read the book?" I told her I've done this test enough times and know the answers that I don't need to read a book to know the answers. She had a fit and told me to go outside and read the book and THEN take the test. She sent everyone out with books and said: "go read". At this point, the entire group was agitated about her attitude. I came back in and gave her my book and she said: "are you sure you are ready for the test?" ....Um, lady I've already filled it out but the last 2 questions, what do you think?

 

Then Sakari came in looking for me and she started to do her test. Well, Sakari has a reading disability and I knew it would take her a while to do without help. So, I read her the questions and the lady started screaming at me "THIS IS A TEST! YOU CAN NOT HELP HER! SHE HAS TO PASS THIS ON HER OWN!" Oh my god! At this point I was sick of her attitude and I said "She has a hard time reading and I'm not telling her the answers and I'm not doing anything but reading it to her and if you have a problem with this then I'm done with this place and we won't dive at all!!!!" She finally backed down. There were some other issues when we first got there so that lady was already on my bad side to begin with.

 

Now I have to say that this is the first place that has ever had us take the test before doing the class. Normally they do the class and go over everything, then you take the test, then you go to the water for skills. Just plain weird.

 

 

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Here's the Hilton

 

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The diveshop from the beach

 

 

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After that, we headed to the beach for a while.

 

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We were all a little hungry after the dive and walked down to a little place for some food.

 

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The kids had found a coconut and were determined to break into it and eat it...and they succeeded.

 

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The food hit the spot and then we walked back to the dive shop to gather our things and head back to the ship.

 

 

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We walked into the dive shop to let them know we were ready to go back and they looked at us like we were crazy. They say "you can go across the street to catch a taxi". Wait what? We were told you provided the transportation. They said no, we'd have to go on our own. But that's not what we were told in the email. Then the story changed to "we looked for you and couldn't find you". Um no, we were sitting right in front of the dive shop where we were before the dive too! They knew this!!

 

We pretty much argued back and forth and she made a call to someone and said she'd get an "override" and then got off the phone and said, "No, he said he would not pay for it because our driver is already gone".

Now wait a minute, we told them in the email over and over that our ship leaves late and we had planned on staying before and after the dive to enjoy the beach. They were more than aware of this. We were told we could get a ride back from them and was INCLUDED in the price as long as we booked ahead of time, which we did. I told her I had it all in email. They told me to PROVE IT. So I did!!!!!!!!! They said if I could show them the convo about staying at the beach after and the convo that promised us a ride back then she would "override" it and pay for a taxi. I showed her...then she refused. Now THAT pissed me off because I took the time to go over every email I had between them (which is a lot) and prove that this occurred only for her to go back on her word.  Yea, we were all a little pissed. But ....they called us a taxi. How nice of them! Ugh

 

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So the taxi arrived and took us back to port where we would later discover that Kendra was completely ripped off by the first taxi driver by about  $20. At $7.50 pp, she should have paid $37.50 plus tip. He ended up charging them $58 I think she said...or maybe it was $68.00 and Billy also gave him a tip. We thought maybe it was Barbados $$ and they just paid that US $$ or something. Either way she was pissed at this point. 

 

It only cost us $40 to take all 11 of us back to port.

 

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What a day. Such a great dive, but yet rude people. We all agreed that the people in Barbados needs an attitude adjustment. They are always so rude when we are there. I had always thought it would be a nice place to do a land vacation at or land vacation and cruise out of there...but now, there's just no way I'd want to. 

 

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Ok, I'm going to stop for the night. I'll finish out the rest of the day tomorrow.

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4 hours ago, Tiggerontheseas said:

Hi Mitsugirly!

 

This is so cool.  After reading some of your reviews over the last few years I saw this one and realized we just sailed together on this cruise.  LOL!   I probably saw you out and about and didn't even realize it.  🙂

 

I just wanted to let you know that, no, this is not the Star Lounge.  I am stumped though.  I have NO clue what it is so big help that I am.

 

 

Seriously? You were on that cruise too? Haha.

 

 

4 hours ago, bettyboop16 said:

We took a taxi to Jolly Beach this past Feb. cost was $6.00pp each way. Nice beach & wasn't crowded.

 

 

yea Jolly is the closer beach to the port. Maybe we'll make it there another time.

 

4 hours ago, ABQrobin said:

☺️  I am watching!

 

BTW - backroll is way easier and more fun than giant stride.  

 

 

I agree and so much more fun too!

 

 

4 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

 

Looks like it might be the sitting area in the back of Sorento's, or maybe the back of the Promenade Café???  I need another cruise on Freedom to be sure (in 6 days!).

 

Not the promenade cafe I don't think. Hmmm, I have no clue.

 

3 hours ago, TheGirlNextDoor said:

I meant that when I snorkel, I am really only able to dip below the water. You seem to go deep down and get up close. Do you hold your breath? I know Sakari can hold her breath forever. Just amazes me. I love snorkeling but I get very anxious at first. I despise the salt water in my tube. Once I calm down and enjoy myself... tour is over.

 

Oh no, I don't go down too deep too often. I can't seem to pop my ears when I'm diving while snorkeling. But I try a little. I'd say about 95% is all from the top of the water. You need to get a dry snorkel to keep water from going in your tube if you are getting water in there. That would prevent it. I never get water in mine.

 

3 hours ago, ABQrobin said:

Woo Hoo!  Orange Cup Coral bouquet!  Or are those star coral?  Not sure.  Nice job!

Aren't they gorgeous?

 

ha... luckily my coral ID book is sitting on bookcase next to me.  They are Orange Cup Coral.  Woot!

 

YES! Awesome isn't it? And so much of it! I was amazed and knew you'd like it! I could have taken pictures of it all day from every angle possible but you are always so rushed during the dive.

 

I need to dust off my coral and fish book. It's been awhile. LOL

 

 

1 hour ago, BuzzBuzzen said:

I am loving your review , it is amazing , thank you. I think all the photos are great but I do have senior eyes , cheers Buzz.

 

Thanks so much and glad you are enjoying it.

 

22 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

I absolutely love your underwater photography! I have a question:  You said you used to have a garden eel.  What happened to it? I'm curious as to the lifespan of some of these creatures.

 

Thanks so much.

 

Ellie our garden eel. Well....she managed to go over the top of the tank and into the back where the pump is (my smaller tank has the sump built into it on the back) and got caught up in the propeller. I only noticed because one of the pumps had stopped working and I couldn't figure out why. I had to remove it and take it apart only to find that she was wound up in it. 😞  It was such a sad day. They don't have the garden eels at our saltwater shop often. As a matter of fact, it's the ONLY time I had seen them there and I've been going there for years and I'm part of the fish club there so buy just about everything there.

 

Online says lifespan is 35-40 years but I'm not sure in a tank.

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Kim, I’m glad you’re feeling so much more relaxed about diving. Are you ready to think about getting certified yet? You know, you wouldn’t have to go through all the stuff with the testing before each time you dive once you’re certified. You would get to spend a lot more time actually diving, too! 

 

I can can relate to you with camera issues on our recent cruise. I has planned to use my Sea Life because it is in an underwater housing so can go deeper than my Olympus. I made sure it was all set up on the correct underwater setting. Then, at the very last minute, I found that we would be diving within the depth range of the Olympus. Since I find the Olympus without the housing fits my small hands better than the bulky housing on my Sea Life with it’s housing, I prefer to use the Olympus when I can. So, at the last minute, I grabbed the Olympus.  Only problem is, I never put it on the underwater setting. I thought it was already done, so I never even checked it. Didn’t discover the problem until I was walking back to our ship and went to put the camera back on land settings so I could take some pictures along the way. Not only that, but I had somehow managed to change another setting on the Olympus that changed the resolution of the pictures without realizing I had done that.  I didn’t find that problem until I got home and downloaded the pictures. I was so disappointed! No, I still haven’t gotten over it yet. I will be sure I don’t make either of those mistakes again! All of the pictures I used the Olympus for on the cruise except the ones from the first day are disappointing. I am glad that I used my phone for most of my pictures on the ship. At least they came out good. I did tell DH we need a re-do on our cruise so I could re-take all of my pictures. He got a good laugh out of that one!

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I was really dreading the long walk back to the ship.

 

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However, there was a bus outside the port and a lady said "You want a ride? It's complimentary". WOO HOO  score

 

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Back to our rooms and X was pulling out.

 

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One of the buses that took us back had made it's last trip.

 

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It's so pretty when we are pulling out at night and you get to see all the lights.

 

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We knew that the ice skating rink was open tonight and we were determined to make it there.

 

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Xander and Kam became really good friends and loved playing together. Tonight would be them practicing gymnastics.

 

Splits.

 

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And backbends

 

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The skate sessions ran, I think, 45 minutes each and I believe they were only open for 2 hours. We got in on the last session.

 

 

Sakari was one of the first out the door...

 

 

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Brayden ended up with a pair of skates that were way too big for his feet. He really struggled with his ankles turning.

 

 

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Kendra was really getting the hang of it

 

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Sakari and pawpaw helped Kam out

 

 

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She was one-handing help within no time

 

 

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Everyone said the ice was uneven and Sakari took a small spill. She ended up cutting her hand but didn't show any pain related facial expressions. Shawna absolutely didn't like it at all and said "never again" when she was done. The hubby has been a rollerbladder all his like so he supervised most of the time. Put him on a pair of blades and he does tricks, jumps, flips and everything you see the skateboarders do on ramps but icing skating is a little different.

 

 

 

 

 

Kia and Michaela were doing pretty good

 

 

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Kia was really enjoying herself lol

 

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Our whole group of wall huggers

 

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Kendra was getting brave toward the end...watch her spin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We did watch the surfing for awhile that night too. I think it might have been before ice skating and killing time.

 

 

 

 

Then off to a show...

 

 

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Xavier Mortimer: Has performed in 30 countries and also in Cirque du Soleil and on the Las Vegas strip. He does magic, comedy, drama & illusion.

 

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The show was decent but I've seen a lot better. It was mostly a "show" and I guess I thought we'd see more illusions. I still (so far without sailing the Oasis class ships) say that NCL has better entertainment and variety.

 

 

It had been hours since we ate back at the beach, so our option was.....

 

 

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Cafe Promenade had some wraps and goodies and that's what I ended up getting and the hubby got pizza.

 

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Sakari's drawing for the night

 

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April 25: Sea Day

 

 

I honestly don't really care for sea days. I guess that's why I enjoy sailing out of PR...you get less sea days.  But this will be our one and only sea day and we needed to entertain ourselves.

 

 

Time to mix things up a little with breakfast...just grab a bagel, eggs, and bacon and make your own breakfast sandwich. I also tried the biscuits and gravy, which was good. 

 

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Our morning view

 

 

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Sakari wanted to go swimming...because there's nothing more important that water life right? Later Brayden would join her. (Note, the kid B is talking to in the pool would later give them problems).

 

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I think after the kids were done swimming, they wanted to go play some basketball and us adults headed to the adult pool for a bit.

 

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I loved this chair. It was so warm after getting out of the cold pool.

 

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Kia showed up after awhileand we sat around and talked forever. I enjoy these times where we can just talk and talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now I knew I wanted to try out Johnny Rockets during the cruise. It's funny how I really didn't discover this place or the location until almost the end of the cruise. I don't know why I didn't explore much this time around until the end.

 

Now I have to say, this place was over run by super loud kids. They talked so loud and it echoed in there and some screaming and so on. The location is right beside the arcade and I'm sure that lured them all in. But, I wonder how many of their parents knew they were coming in here to eat and how often? I mean honestly, it's not cheap at almost $13 a plate.

 

You get to pick what you want off the menu and it's all included.

 

 

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It all was pretty yummy and very filling. At some point, someone turned on the "juke box" and it was drowning out the kids. I just had to laugh. Most of them left and we sat there and enjoyed our desert.

 

 

 

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Later that night the kids were playing basketball and we decided to play some putt putt

 

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Let me tell you what...whoever designed ships and thought it was a good idea to put putt putt up there in the wind should be fired. Balls were flying everywhere and not to my advantage! LOL

 

 

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The new thing with kids these days...Sakari can't stand still without doing this....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They had an ice skating show tonight. "Ice Spectacular".

 

The show is 45 minutes and was a very good show. We did see one girl take a fall (the guy dropped her) but she recovered quickly. All of these skaters are pro...either in the Olympics, in Disney on Ice and so on. I seriously don't know how they can get up and go on hurt. 

 

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After the ice skating show, we headed to the theater for the Variety show with an Aerial Act (Jimmy & Anna) and a comedian (Rodney Johnson). Both were ok but I thought the aerial act would have a little more to it with the stunts. It was more of a storyline and I guess I'm just used to the awesome aerial shows they have on NCL with them flying in the air over the audience or dropping out of the ceiling.

 

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I don't think we did much after that and probably headed back to the room where we would find our monkey towel animal waiting for us AND MY SEAL FROM THE FIRST DAY GONE!! Ugh. I had left a note in the beginning that I wanted to keep them and the note was gone and they had been left. However, it was now gone. 😞

 

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I feel like I'm never going to get to keep my collection of towel animals until the end for a good picture.

 

We packed our beach bags for our last port day in St Maarten and off to bed we went. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 11:52 AM, mitsugirly said:

 

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Yea, she's excited.

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 11:52 AM, mitsugirly said:

 

 

 

I think this is the first review I have seen where the gangways are working again.  I think Jewel in 2018 we were still boarding at the ground level, I have lots of pics of damage in this area.    Love Freedom, enjoy!

 

OH!

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On 5/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, mitsugirly said:

 

So here we are...the big day in St Lucia. We absolutely loved St Lucia the last time we were here. We had booked a tour with Spencer Ambrose to go to the Pitons last time and it has some AMAZING snorkeling there! Like amazing! This place holds a special place in our heart because this is the place that our little mermaid, Sakari, decided that she wanted to become a scuba diver. The last time we were here, they had several divers there that day and she watched them from above and tried to dive down to where they were at and insisted that this is what she wanted to learn to do. We immediately came home to check into diving for a child her age, at the time she was 8 years old, and found that they had a class for 8-10 year olds. She started taking monthly classes and she was the first at our scuba shop to "graduate" and become Master PADI Seal certified.

 

Great story, that is how I started, but at age 50. Good luck to her. 

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21 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

We packed our beach bags for our last port day in St Maarten and off to bed we went. 

 

:classic_sad: That's always the worst.

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I'm sitting here working remote phone support drooling over these pictures!!!!!!!!!!

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11 hours ago, perfect match said:

Kim, I’m glad you’re feeling so much more relaxed about diving. Are you ready to think about getting certified yet? You know, you wouldn’t have to go through all the stuff with the testing before each time you dive once you’re certified. You would get to spend a lot more time actually diving, too! 

 

I can can relate to you with camera issues on our recent cruise. I has planned to use my Sea Life because it is in an underwater housing so can go deeper than my Olympus. I made sure it was all set up on the correct underwater setting. Then, at the very last minute, I found that we would be diving within the depth range of the Olympus. Since I find the Olympus without the housing fits my small hands better than the bulky housing on my Sea Life with it’s housing, I prefer to use the Olympus when I can. So, at the last minute, I grabbed the Olympus.  Only problem is, I never put it on the underwater setting. I thought it was already done, so I never even checked it. Didn’t discover the problem until I was walking back to our ship and went to put the camera back on land settings so I could take some pictures along the way. Not only that, but I had somehow managed to change another setting on the Olympus that changed the resolution of the pictures without realizing I had done that.  I didn’t find that problem until I got home and downloaded the pictures. I was so disappointed! No, I still haven’t gotten over it yet. I will be sure I don’t make either of those mistakes again! All of the pictures I used the Olympus for on the cruise except the ones from the first day are disappointing. I am glad that I used my phone for most of my pictures on the ship. At least they came out good. I did tell DH we need a re-do on our cruise so I could re-take all of my pictures. He got a good laugh out of that one!

 

Quite honestly, I don't think I will ever get certified. It's just not in the cards for me at my age and life.

 

It would be awesome to not have to endure the classes every time but the skills check off, I think, is what gives me a chance to get comfortable with the breathing and I don't mind it as much. I also have no desire to do anything different (such as night diving or going below the 40' mark) and I'm quite happy with what we are doing now.

 

I don't how much longer I will be able to do it at all and this is satisfying enough I guess. 

 

Ahhh the camera (user) malfunctions. Been there done it and it still happens every once in awhile. I spoke with Kendra yesterday and she said she didn't change any of her settings and the camera kept freezing up on her. She said she had to turn it off and on several times during the dive (which is why she didn't get many pictures) and I'm thinking still somehow she managed to change the settings to land because she took several pictures of us on the boat going to the dive spot and they were spot on for land photography and I'm sure I didn't change it after that to snorkel. 

 

2 hours ago, BillOh said:

 

I think this is the first review I have seen where the gangways are working again.  I think Jewel in 2018 we were still boarding at the ground level, I have lots of pics of damage in this area.    Love Freedom, enjoy!

 

OH!

 

Yea, I was thinking that too when we were on the Jewel last year. 

 

 

2 hours ago, BillOh said:

 

Great story, that is how I started, but at age 50. Good luck to her. 

 

Thanks.

 

2 hours ago, BrandFam4 said:

 

:classic_sad: That's always the worst.

 

I know...that sinking feeling of having to leave the next day.

 

12 minutes ago, RNnNC said:

I'm sitting here working remote phone support drooling over these pictures!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

LOL

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

Quite honestly, I don't think I will ever get certified. It's just not in the cards for me at my age and life.

 

It would be awesome to not have to endure the classes every time but the skills check off, I think, is what gives me a chance to get comfortable with the breathing and I don't mind it as much. I also have no desire to do anything different (such as night diving or going below the 40' mark) and I'm quite happy with what we are doing now.

 

I don't how much longer I will be able to do it at all and this is satisfying enough I guess. 

 

Ahhh the camera (user) malfunctions. Been there done it and it still happens every once in awhile. I spoke with Kendra yesterday and she said she didn't change any of her settings and the camera kept freezing up on her. She said she had to turn it off and on several times during the dive (which is why she didn't get many pictures) and I'm thinking still somehow she managed to change the settings to land because she took several pictures of us on the boat going to the dive spot and they were spot on for land photography and I'm sure I didn't change it after that to snorkel. 

 

 

I wondered how much that doing the class before your dives helped your comfort level while diving. As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing and willing to deal with doing the class each time, which, at this point, it sounds like you are, then keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy!

 

As I get older, I have definitely been scaling down the difficulty of the dives I choose to do.  I’d say I’m about 15 years older than you, and knowing that I want to be able to keep diving for as long as I safely do so is what motivates me to stay in the best shape I can. I know you’ve been enjoying your diving, especially lately, and I’ve certainly been enjoying your pictures, so I hope you will be able to keep diving for a while longer! 🐠😀🐟

Edited by perfect match

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