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Pirate's LIVE and Back On The Mardi Gras Sept 16-23, 2023...Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!


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This post was recognized by LauraS!

"And another from pirate4me2! Thank you for generously sharing your time at sea with everyone at Cruise Critic! Please consider submitting it to the site for publication as well: Click: Write a Review"

pirate4me2 was awarded the badge '"Live from...."' and 5 points.

Hello, my cruising family!


Who is sitting at work, glaring at their cruise countdown clock, willing it to move along a little quicker? I may not be able to smuggle you onto the ship in my suitcase, but I can do the next best thing: let you live vicariously along with my cruise adventure thru this live review! So, if that, along with a few tropical drinks (sorry, you have to mix them yourself) will help you get thru until your countdown clock reaches zero, then come sail away with me onboard the beautiful MARDI GRAS!


First though, a little background info. This poor cruise has been changed so many times, and it’s the first one I used a TA to book….I usually book them myself thru the website, or use my PVP, but during the great 2020 event that I cannot bear to name, we went to Texas and met a former CD who is now a TA. I decided to throw a little business their way, and when cruising resumed I asked her to book Chris and I on a cruise onboard the Sunshine from Charleston. However, due to some life events, that cruise wasn’t going to be feasible, so we moved it to another sailing on the Sunshine for September of this year. I even snagged us an awesome aft wrap cabin! However, after sailing Mardi Gras last November, and then the Celebration in March, I just couldn’t get the itch to get back onboard Mardi Gras out of my system. We absolutely loved that ship, and even though I would be giving up that aft wrap cabin and sailing in an interior, I called the TA and made the switch.


The changes were not done though! Right after final payment date, I stalked the website just for kicks and giggles to see if I could snag a balcony, and guess what? There were some magically available! Thank you forgetful people that missed final payment! I didn’t snag just any balcony though….I managed to snag an extended balcony! YESSSSSSS! Now I am done with changes, and I am sure my TA is breathing a sigh of relief.


This sailing is happening just 3 weeks after I got home from jumping ship to another cruise line. Please don’t hate me, my Mama made me do it! That sailing really helped me out though, I was feeling a bit burnt out on Carnival after 25 cruises. Being away from “home” made my heart grow fonder though….I missed the more laid back atmosphere, and I REALLY missed my free Platinum laundry!


I did a lot of pre-cruise planning for these 2 cruises together, since they both left from Port Canaveral. I booked Chris and I back at Home2Suites (thank you Jeff and Patti for helping me discover that hotel!) and this time we decided to try their Park & Cruise package. It includes parking for the duration of the cruise and a shuttle to & from the port. The location of this hotel is awesome, and it is clean and well kept. Anytime we sail from PC now, this is our go-to hotel.


 I also booked the value wifi for this sailing, since Chris is working on his final semester of college (way to go honey!) as well as the Cheers package because, well….we are somewhat alcoholics, let’s just be honest, and MG has a LOT of awesome spots onboard to max out that package! I still have yet to max out my Cheers in a day (or maybe I have and just don't remember) so that is my goal this cruise. Game plan: start with spiked coffee first thing in the morning, and go from there. 


As far as excursions, we are not very exciting people. We both lead really, really busy lives back home (Chris is a full time assistant fire chief, I work in financial services), so we like to go on cruises and just crash. Relaxing in the ocean is a perfect day for us. This cruise itinerary includes two amazing spots for that….Costa Maya, where we will return to Maya Chan, and Cozumel, where we will return to Paradise Beach Club. Our other port of call is Roatan, where I will stay onboard and enjoy Serenity, and Chris will do a dive excursion at Anthony Key.


I think that takes care of all my pre-cruise planning so far. If anyone has any questions about MG, the hotel, or our excursions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them for you!

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14 minutes ago, Jamman54 said:

Great start to your review! We'll be following along! 😎

Glad to have you along, as always!! And i can't wait to follow along on your Venezia journey when y'all get back! 

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39 minutes ago, rizkeeper said:

looking forward to this thread...just under 70 days until I'm on the Mardi Gras

If you have any questions about the ship/itinerary/etc, just ask and I will do my best to find out answers for you! Hopefully this will help pass the time until your cruise quicker for you. 🙂


18 minutes ago, princess76021 said:

I'm excited!!  I cruise virtually through you guys!  Not ready to solo yet!

Thanks for taking the time to do this!!

Hugs from Texas!


Hopefully you can cruise again soon!! Thanks for following along 🙂

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1 hour ago, d-lite-n-cruisin said:

I'm aboard for this journey.  Safe travels and welcome back to Carnival.  It was good to see your perspective from another line.  

It will sure be good to be back "home!" Thanks for following along. 


46 minutes ago, slavigne5577 said:

Thank you for sharing. I am interested in Maya Chan. We are going there in February.

We have been once before and LOVED it, I am hoping we have another wonderful experience. I am a bit worried about how the seaweed situation will be there (I'm not a huge fan of seaweed) since I know its been an issue this year, so we will see how that plays out. 


22 minutes ago, mamiamjo said:

Subscribing! Enjoyed your MSC Review looking forward to reading all about this trip as well!🙂

Thanks for following along on my "betrayal" to Carnival, hahaha. Glad to have you along on this one as well!

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I’m so excited for this, we’ll be boarding the Mardi Gras in 19 days and I haven’t seen a recent review in months! 

Ours is an eastern itinerary but we were on a western earlier this year and we also went to Maya Chan in Costa Maya and Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Love those places, have fun! 

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1 hour ago, Frank12 said:

Here for the ride.  We'll be on her for the second time in a few months!

She’s a great ship worth sailing a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time!! Welcome aboard! 

1 hour ago, ninjacat123 said:

I hear you about the seaweed.  As long as they have nets keeping it at bay, you should be good.👍

I sure hope they do. 

1 hour ago, LincolnLog said:

I’m so excited for this, we’ll be boarding the Mardi Gras in 19 days and I haven’t seen a recent review in months! 

Ours is an eastern itinerary but we were on a western earlier this year and we also went to Maya Chan in Costa Maya and Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Love those places, have fun! 

Whoo hoo, hopefully this will help get you thru most of that time until you’re sailing! 

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Thank you to your DH for being a first responder!  I am a mother of a firefighter and know that it can be a very stressful job and they tend to keep a lot inside.  I am also an Italian mother so I feed his shift once a month and provide the station with snacks and protein bars.  Those came in handy when the city had 84 calls the night we had recent tornadoes.


Loved reading your MSC experience.  Enjoy your cruise😎🥂

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