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SonoranDevil's Mardi Gras Pre-Inaugural Sailing Full Review with Pictures! -7/31/21


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20 minutes ago, SonoranDevil said:

Well, that is very odd.  Have any of the pictures, even at the beginning, been visible?  I'm wondering if there is a privacy setting in my google pics that I'm missing.  

Not 1 picture is coming up.

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23 minutes ago, SonoranDevil said:

Well, that is very odd.  Have any of the pictures, even at the beginning, been visible?  I'm wondering if there is a privacy setting in my google pics that I'm missing.  

No, none of them.  Tried it on my cell phone and recently again on my PC, nothing either time.

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1 hour ago, SonoranDevil said:

Well, that is very odd.  Have any of the pictures, even at the beginning, been visible?  I'm wondering if there is a privacy setting in my google pics that I'm missing.  

I saw them last night and today they are gone. 🙂

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1 hour ago, SonoranDevil said:

Well, that is very odd.  Have any of the pictures, even at the beginning, been visible?  I'm wondering if there is a privacy setting in my google pics that I'm missing.  

Yes pics worked before! 

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2 hours ago, SonoranDevil said:

Thanks everyone.  I'll check my Google Photo settings after work today, to see if I can resolve the issue and get the next post up as well!

 

Great review! Thank you so much.

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During our exploration of the ship, we escorted our 14 year old up to Circle C to register them for the week.  We were cordially greeted and took care of completing the registration.  They would be having an ice breaker event at 9PM which the kiddo was eager to attend, in hopes of meeting some new friends on our journey.  

 

After resuming our exploring, we made our first stop at one of the many bars Mardi Gras has onboard.  We quickly found ourselves at Fortune Teller, one of two brand new offerings available only on the Mardi Gras.  This New Orleans inspired haunt would become one of our favorite venues on the ship!  We found a cozy couch to kick back on and we were soon greeted by one of the lovely bar staff.  I ordered the Lime In The Coconut (Barcardi Ocho, Flor de Cana 4 Year Rum, caramelized pineapple, lime and coconut lime foam) while Shani ordered a Venus Rising (Absolut Citron, St. Germain, cranberry, lemon and hibiscus).  We both enjoyed the drinks and quickly decided that there were other drinks we would want to try throughout the week.

 

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Hanging out in Fortune Teller

 

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Venus Rising in Fortune Teller

 

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Lime in the Coconut in Fortune Teller

 

After finishing our beverages, the group decided to head up to Lido and take in the sail away party.  I take pride in being a native Arizonan and calling the Sonoran Desert home.  I don’t flinch when temps hit 115 to 120 in Phoenix.  Well, Florida...I cry uncle.  It was not even 90 degrees and it was oppressively hot and humid out in the sun.  Yet, in the face of the suffocating heat, there were 1000+ people out there dancing their hearts away.  They were led by our Cruise Director, Chris Williams (The Flying Scotsman).  Chris was out there leading the way adorned in his wool kilt, full of the energy he would bring the entire cruise.  

 

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Sail Away Party Fun

 

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Sail Away Party Selfie!

 

Once the festivities for sail away were complete, we made no haste in heading back inside with the air conditioning.  We decided to head back to Deck 6 and try out the other new bar offering on the Mardi Gras, Brass Magnolia.  Brass Magnolia is also themed after New Orleans, though with a motif that is a bit classier than Fortune Teller, even though they are right across the walkway from each other.  We were greeted by one of our stand out staff members this trip, Claudia.  Claudia was very personable and we developed a bit of a rapport throughout the week.  I ordered the NOLA Iced Tea (sweet tea, Bayou Rum, Jack Daniels, Absolut Vodka, Bayou Satsuma Liqueur, lemonade and a splash of Pepsi) while Shani went with an Ojen Cocktail (Ojen liqueur, Peychaud’s Bitters and club soda).  The NOLA Iced Tea (I had a second) was probably my favorite drink on the ship while Shani enjoyed the anise flavor of the Ojen Cocktail.  Another win for Carnival!  Fortune Teller and Brass Magnolia were our favorite bars on the ship!

 

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NOLA Iced Tea in Brass Magnolia

 

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Ojen Cocktail in Brass Magnolia

 

After cooling off with our cocktails, it was nearing dinner time.  We had chosen YTD dining which is served in the Flamingo Dining room (conveniently next to both Brass Magnolia and Fortune Teller).  We checked in with the Hub app and our table was ready in a matter of minutes.  The six of us walked the 50 feet to the dining room and were quickly seated. The Flamingo Dining Room would be hit and miss throughout the week, with a bit of a wait time issue on the first Elegant Night, which I’ll describe in a later post.

 

Shani and I both ordered the brisket for our entrée.  She went with a salad to start things off with while I went with the Roasted Tomato Soup.  The tomato soup was excellent and a shining spot for the dining room meals we had.  The brisket was decent, tender and not overly dry.  While it wasn’t slow smoked (I’m a big barbeque fan), it was certainly serviceable and happened to be the largest food portion we would see all week.  I finished with some Butter Pecan ice cream while Shani chose the Tiramisu.  The meal took about 90 minutes, which we expect when visiting the main dining rooms.  Our servers were all friendly and did a fairly good job with the timing of everyone’s meals.

 

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Roasted Tomato Soup

 

Once we were done with dinner, we decided to head to the Limelight Lounge, for karaoke.  Both my 14 year old and I really enjoy singing.  I used to sit in with various cover bands in the local Phoenix live music scene, after I determined that being a full time musician didn’t align with my desire to be a homebody and being able to pay my bills on a regular basis.  Our 14 year old, well...she’s the real talent in the family.  About a year ago, the kid eclipsed me from a talent perspective and could probably step in and front a rock band today, if we would allow it.  By the end of the cruise, we were being stopped by random people asking if our kid was the “girl from karaoke.”  The first time it happened, the kid froze and ended up running away not knowing how to handle the inquiry.  Ok, Dad bragging will conclude, for now at least.

 

Karaoke conveniently ended at 9PM, just in time for the child to head to the Circle C ice breaker event.  The adults decided to make our way to the Piano Bar for some sing along fun.  The piano man for this cruise was Patrick Duffy.  Admit it, one of you started humming the theme song to the TV show Dallas.  Well, it’s not THAT Patrick Duffy.  Patrick appears to be a force of nature and it was clear that he had some of his die hard fans that were on this sailing.  The Piano Bar was always full.  We made it in twice, but every night was full to the brim.  There was some feedback we heard about the bar always being too crowded and that the venue was too small. I would venture to guess that if Patrick didn’t have his die hard followers so well represented, that there may have been a little more room in the room throughout the week.  

 

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Patrick likes to make many toasts in the Piano Bar

 

We made it to about 10:30 PM when we realized that we were all old and had probably drank a little more than we expected on the first day.  We all agreed to head back to our cabins for the night.  We were joined by the 14 year old and were pleased to learn that there was already a small group of about 6 kids that formed an immediate bond.  All of them seemed to be pretty good kids!  Day 1 goes down as a success!

 

Up Next:  Sea Day #1, Sea Day Brunch, Facebook Group Cabin Crawl and Elegant Night.
 

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It should be illegal to be both the beauty and the brains of the operation.  Once again, my wife is brilliant.  Here are the pictures from yesterday's and today's posts...

 

Terminal 3 Drop Off Area, A glimpse inside Terminal 3, Our first view of Grand Central Atrium, and the balcony for Aft Excel Suite 9504

 

 

 

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Hanging out in Fortune Teller, Lime in the Coconut from Fortune Teller, Venus Rising from Fortune Teller, NOLA Iced Tea from Brass Magnolia, Ojen Cocktail from Brass Magnolia and Roasted Tomato Soup...

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4 minutes ago, SonoranDevil said:

It should be illegal to be both the beauty and the brains of the operation.  Once again, my wife is brilliant.  Here are the pictures from yesterday's and today's posts...

 

Terminal 3 Drop Off Area, A glimpse inside Terminal 3, Our first view of Grand Central Atrium, and the balcony for Aft Excel Suite 9504

 

 

 

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20210731_111817.jpg

20210731_113824.jpg

20210731_115619.jpg

20210731_115642.jpg

Eureka! You did it! I see all the pics now. Thanks!! 👍

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23 hours ago, Cruise Related said:

Don’t let the no pic thing getcha down! Enjoying your info and experiences! I can’t see them either if that helps anything. 

Thank you!  I think it's all figured out and I'm eager to write my next post after work to include the pictures where I want them!

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Just now, SonoranDevil said:

Thank you!  I think it's all figured out and I'm eager to write my next post after work to include the pictures where I want them!

We're sure looking forward to it! I'm really enjoying you review! Good job! 👍

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