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caprcorn28

Cruise Report on the Carnival Victory 3/26/06

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Cruise on the Carnival Victory 3/26/06

And it's a LONG one...my DH is convinced that I will overload the CC server when I post it! :rolleyes: ;)

Our precruise planning and history can be found at: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=319263 and our pre-cruise description of our flight, where we stayed, what we did, can be at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=6345254#post6345254

** If you don't have the time or inclination to read this whole thing, that I will divide up in parts, feel free to look for the bolded words to look for topics of your interest.

This report/review picks up on Sunday March 26th.

We returned our rental car to Alamo at the airport location – but it’s actually not at the airport. You can easily follow the signs to the return site when you are within the Miami Airport roads however. You will drive in what seems like a lot of big circles, but it eventually gets you to where you need to be. They are pretty good at waving you to where you need to park to return the vehicle. Just a little beep of their scanner and we were done and ready to unload the car. Upon the unloading, one of the pop boxes exploded. Ok, exploded may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it broke and pop cans went everywhere…in the parking lot, under the car, rolling to the curb. BUT, thanks to Cruise Critic members suggestion…we had DUCT TAPE!! Whoo Hoo!! We patched up the box in nothing flat!

The “complimentary” shuttle to the port waiting area is around the building from where you drop off your car. The along the front of the building. You just kind of wait on the sidewalk. Thankfully there was a sign that said “Seaport”, because the one family that was there waiting for a shuttle as well, was less than friendly. We tried making small talk to no avail. The wife at one point, turned and walked toward her husband, with her back to us, whispered something and turned around and looked at us. Ok, real mature. :cool: Whatever. Then I noticed the RCCL tags. Hmmm. It’s a GOOD thing that we consciously know that this was just ONE rude family of thousands of people that sail on RCCL that are friendly and have manners better than to act juvenile like that. Because if she was representative of their clientele, you can guarantee that I would never sail with them. I imagine that this lady was a lot of fun to be around…Never smiling, or laughing at all, not even with her own family. Too bad. You’re on VACATION! I hope that they ended up having a good cruise on the Radiance of the Seas afterall....maybe I offended her with the duct taped pop boxes!! :eek: :p

The Alamo shuttle service is really poorly organized and very slow. We ended up just being this mass of people, waiting on a sidewalk for about 45-60 minutes. Fortunately we did end up meeting a lot of very nice people that were also being very patient. Several Alamo busses ended up coming and going, but we kept getting told “the next one” will be for us. The one driver that pulled in next, pointed to us (the crowd) and waved us over to another location, further down the sidewalk….and said that he would be right out to go to the port. Meanwhile, more and more people lined up. Wrong. He eventually came back out and got back in his bus and said that a bigger bus would be coming instead of him and to go back to where we were. Then another bus finally did show up, the bus unloaded, now it was our turn…Well, we lined up is a term I use loosely. But because 98% of the people that we were standing with all this time, knew basically who was there before/after each other, it went smoothly. Kudos to everyone for playing fair! We were on the first bus. The bus was loaded to the gills with people and luggage!

The driver of the Alamo bus was very friendly and talked to us as a whole before we left for the port. Our names, where we were from, etc. Gave the kids stickers. He earned his tip! Although the sign on the bus says that the driver isn’t able to assist with baggage weighing more than 25lbs., he was very instrumental in getting ALL the luggage on and off the bus!

*Note: It’s a free service. You are on their schedule. If you want speedier service, take a taxi. We have been dropped off at ports, driven ourselves, taken taxis and now a shuttle service. I prefer the methods in that order. I didn’t want the added expense, so we went the free route this time, since we didn’t have anyone to drop us off. It was fine, but when you are excited to get somewhere, you just want to go...not watch bus after bus pass you up!

We were the first passengers to be dropped off. “First stop, Carnival Victory!” The porters in their white uniforms were ready and waiting. It was about 11:15am. We took the services of the first porter that approached us once we had all of our luggage. He said to remember to take care of him to ensure that our luggage gets put on the proper ship! No problem! He was given a nice tip, complete with a handshake from my DH and DH got a nice pat on the back and a well wish for a fun voyage!

We walked over to the entrance to the terminal. There was a red rope gate thingy across all but one section of the stairs. That lead me to believe that it was too early to go in to the building. We met some nice people outside that offered to take a picture of our whole family for us.

I noticed that people were indeed inside the terminal. We went inside. The worst that they could do is kick us back outside. It was completely ready for us. Carnival staff greeted us right inside the door with a Welcome flyer stating in effect, “…As indicated in your cruise documents, although boarding is scheduled to commence at 1:30pm, we are pleased to be able to register you for your cruise and allow you to embark the vessel at this time…” etc. The other flyer was a “Welcome Aboard the M/S Carnival Victory sheet of FAQ’s. There was about 17 FAQ’s on there. Plus another sheet of the itinerary for this cruise. Very informative for the people that may have never cruised before and didn’t know what to expect about “those first things you need to know once you get on” kind of things.

We went thru security and saw the separate line for the FUN PASS. I met eyes with an employee that must have seen me say FUN PASS to DH. The employee waved me over and said, “Welcome, come this way with your completed FUN PASS.” We walked right up to the front of the line that was forming for the regular check-in process and right to a Carnival Rep for check in. WoW! I was blown away! She asked for the FUN PASS and our ID and a credit card for the S&S. I signed, DH signed for the S&S - the kids, I said would have no charging privileges. Sorry. Mean mom, I just know it wouldn’t have made for a good vacation for us or DS if he had access to video games with that thing! He would have been in trouble and I would have been mad. Just avoid it all together! No problem. She said, that was it, we were all set to board! Lunch was being served up on the Lido. Enjoy your cruise!!!

We took the escalators up to get the S&S cards. That line went really fast. The rep got our cards for us. I looked and noticed one minor glitch. Our youngest didn’t have her Gold card. The rest of us did. I said “Uh oh” and asked if we could get it fixed. He said that it wouldn’t be a problem, just go to the Pursers Desk later and they can make her a new one. We’d have to do that later. On we go!!

Eight months of planning and here we were!! The Victory is BEAUTIFUL.

It was 12:05pm!

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We immediately went to our cabin (Verandah 8-286) to drop off our carry-on stuff. This is an inside cabin with two beds pushed together for my husband and myself. Two pull down bunks from the ceiling and a little cot-like bed for our 5yr old. Perfect. I really liked the set up of this room. It was a nicer set up than on the Paradise. (*I did look for that “Ship book” that I have read so much about – our cabin did NOT have one. Someone must have beat me to it! lol)

 

There was a stewardess in the area, she said Welcome Aboard and said that we could just put all of our stuff in the closet since the room wasn’t ready yet. (We asked if she was going to be our stewardess. She said, no, she was from a different part of our floor. That was too bad, come to find out. She seemed really nice.) She would shut the door when the cabin was all ready.

 

We stepped out on to the Lido deck in the mid-ship pool area and took the first of our many (ok, my many) “Funship Specials”. Yum. I love them, my DH had one and then switched to different drinks on board the Fun Ship! They give him heart-burn. More for me!!

 

We made it back to our room by 1:30p to see if the “rest of the surprise” for the kids were ready. Sure enough, we get to our room and 6 out of the 7 pcs of our luggage had been delivered already!!! I was amazed!! Never have I had luggage delivered that quickly. I think that it pays to get on board early (and tip the porters a little extra than ‘normal’ when reminded about ‘taking care of them to ensure that your luggage gets on the proper ship’).

 

As for the “rest of the surprise”…we had ordered a Funship Freddy plush toy for each of the girls, a Bon Voyage baseball cap for our son and a “Just Chillin” soft sided cooler with baseball hat and Cokes for us. We did this thru the Bon Voyage Dept online. They were ALL there. Addressed exactly as I ordered them! Perfect! The Freddy’s are a really good size and definitely Quality made! (You can buy these in a couple of places on board for the same price, I just thought it would be a fun surprise – I was on a roll!) The hats were nice and also quality. The cooler was small, but would be fine to carry our pop on shore with us. Inside the cooler there was also a really nice, big glass mug with the Carnival Logo on it in an “etched glass” white color.

*Note: I could easily recommend using the Bon Voyage Dept. for yourself or others. I will definitely use them again!

 

I had also cashed in points from the previous CCL credit card that I had paid off and CCL/Capital One had discontinued their relationship…it was use them (points) or lose them. I cashed in points and got a fruit basket and five bottles of champagne. It was quite a display of gifts in our room!

 

Back up on Lido and decks above…we started to notice a lot of people with Yellow T-shirts. Rob’s Mother, Rob’s Princess, Rob’s Brother, Rob’s Cousin…etc. It was really cool. But who the heck was Rob…and WHERE was Rob…We went past the pool area again, only to see a man sitting on a chair with the name ROB on him! Matt and I went over there to say how COOL it was…Long story short…this Rob was from our Cruise Critic Roll Call!! I started the Roll Call thread, he was the first to join and he was the first one I met! This was AWESOME!! Completely accidental, but what a pleasure. He and his wife, we ended up spending time with during the course of the cruise just talking, our girls played together. It was so nice!! Great Family!

 

Time for the Muster Drill. We went back to the room to get the life jackets. We only had four jackets, all adult. We attempted to find a steward to get us two children jackets. The DS would be fine in an adult jacket. He is the size of most adults (he’s taller than me), but the girls both needed children’s jackets. A Carnival employee said to just go ahead to the MD with one of the daughters in an adult jacket, let the youngest go without, but just make sure to get one from our steward later.(*This would be the first of many things that the steward didn’t have for us…or that we would have to look for him/her) Thankfully we were in the very front row of our Muster Station. The whole process makes me claustrophobic. The jackets squeezing my neck will only be appreciated if I am in the unfortunate position to ever have to use them. In the meantime, that is the worst part of any cruise for me. So, all in all, my cruises are usually pretty good!!

 

I do like how they have changed the Muster Station bracelets for the kids though - thinner and "more comfortable" for the kids than those old THICK, plastic ones of years past!

 

Before leaving for the Muster Drill, I wanted to get my door decoration up. I am a scrapbooker. I have scrapped cruises before. I wanted to have a “little something different” in this book than in the others. I made a scrapbook page for each day of the cruise – decorated for each day albeit Bon Voyage, Sea Day, Mexico, etc. I hung the Bon Voyage 12x12 inch page up on the outside of the door with magnetic clips. One of the magnetic clips had a pen hanging from it so people could sign if they chose. (I had put up a smaller magnet inviting people to do so.) More on this later…

 

Sailaway!! Because the ship was docked “backwards,” we got a little extra ride. We had to go back in to the channel to turn the ship around and then go out to sea. Very cool how the Capt/whoever steers the ship can turn that humungous vessel around “on a dime” like that! So impressive to see! The horn was blowing, small boats sat within their boundaries and waved to us and off we went! People along the hwy sitting on the shore and driving down the road also waving as we went by. I love that! We waved for as long as it took us to get out of the channel! We were on our way!!! It was so beautiful. Windy and a little cool for me…but it was so awesome to be back on a ship again!

 

We came back to the room after sailaway. Much to my surprise, a lot of people had already signed my page!! I have to skip ahead to later in the evening…with a word of caution. *Do NOT leave anything out that may possibly misinterpreted as “garbage.” I had my 12x12 scrapbook pages between two pcs of cardboard standing, propped up underneath the desk…they were gone. Gone. No cardboard, no pages. I tore apart the bottoms of the closets, just in case I unthinkingly put them in there…but I know that I propped them up under the desk. Yes…within those precious 18” from the garbage can. I had an overly-zealous steward/ess, I guess. I take responsibility for leaving them in a “questionable” location…but I sure do wish they they wouldn’t have just thrown away something that was under the desk, just cuz it was under there. It was 2 pcs of scrapbook card board pcs, taped together. Pages inside. I was sooo disappointed that I put all that work in to those pages…and now for nothing. :( But, what could I do!? They were gone. My door decoration was a one day event…with the precious few signatures that I fortunately got!

 

We got our luggage unpacked and everything put away. Got ready for dinner. We didn’t have dinner until 8:00pm in the Pacific Dining Room, but we did have the Camp Carnival orientation to go to at 7:15 in the Adriatic Lounge. That was where the people on our roll call, with kids had agreed to meet, after the meeting.

 

Here is where we first meet Daliaha and her family (we waved at each other from across the aisle, my DH noticed her looking toward us as if she thought that it was ‘maybe us’. And when we all confirmed our identities, it was another feeling of excitement! I was sooo anxious to meet her, we really clicked online!), also at the meeting was Coho Ken, Scsagh, chloe5 and KAP. Some of us stayed and chatted for awhile, some of us had to go to dinner. It was so nice to put faces with names!! Confirmed our second meeting tomorrow at the Atrium Bar.

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Keep up with the writing....can't wait until tomorrow for the next installment! How about all that tipping? Do you think sometimes it gets out of hand?

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Pacific Dining Room 8:00pm Table 305

 

Our Head Waiter was IPUTU from Indonesia and the Ass’t Waiter was SLAMET, from the Phillipines. They are BOTH incredibly AWESOME! We loved them. We had two different sets of tablemates, but mostly had the table for ten, for just our family of five. The first night Mary and Dave joined us. They were my grandparents age, but very sweet. The next night they were gone (they told us that they would be requesting a change of the tables location ~ so we didn’t take it personally). Table 305 in the Pacific dining room is right across from the kitchen door. Right next to where the servers put their trays. It would undoubtedly bother some people, as it did Dave and Mary. It didn’t bother us. You could get mesmorized though if you ever sat and watched the revolving kitchen door (it’s a power-operated door in constant revolving motion). DH and I sat at the end of the table right next to the window (I was facing the kitchen door). Granted, yes it was dark at dinner time, but periodically you would see other ships out in the distance. That was cool. The third night, new table mates Tom and Elaine and one of their children, Megan. We actually, coincidentally met them getting back on the ship on Costa Maya day. Very nice family. Wonderful conversation at dinner. We really got along well. However, they also said that they were going to request to go back to the early seating time, because 8pm was too late for them. Oh well. It was kind of nice in the long run. Just our family at the table, more often than not just DH, DS and myself. The girls would periodically be off doing CC events.

 

Iputu was always more than happy to bring us as much off the menu as we wanted. Entrees as appetizers, many appetizers, salads, no salads, many entrees – all the same or one of each of what we were interested in. It was no problem for him! He’d even bring you something extra cuz he thought that you may want just a little “to try…” once he got to know your likes. He even brought out a lobster for Megan (5) to try on the first formal night. Why not. The other kids had theirs, she should be able to try too!

 

We always enjoyed our meals! Very good. Temps were always good. Appetizer portions of the actual appetizers are small. But the entrees if ordered as an appetizer are ample! I order beef medium-rare and it always came just perfectly. Iputu brought our one daughter a medium steak one night and it was too tough. We ordered her things med-rare too from then on. Perfect! Our son would periodically order “just a steak” and Iputu would bring out the “beef” entrée that was offered that night. Not exactly what Michael (12) wanted…but it was ok, cuz most of the time he ate it! (Shhhh! Don’t tell him what is in Beef Wellington!! He liked it. I am not going to enlighten him!!)

 

We had no problem getting a “free” pop with dinner for the kids. We had a very sweet bar waitress from Russia. She seemed to take a special liking to DH. What the heck. She made/brought good drinks!! She was going to be leaving the Victory ship in two months, going on vacation and then moving over to the Valor.

 

Order more than one dessert if it’s something that you like – desserts are small too.

 

Another food topic: Room Service

 

I haven’t ever really utilized this service in the past. I like the atmosphere of eating out in the open air. This time, I gave it a try a number of times because of the kids and the activities that they wanted to do vs. our dinner time.

 

Loved the menu. I tried several things that were really good. They delivered REALLY fast and were always very friendly and with a smile. It was a little weird though that the PB&J sandwich was toasted…but my daughters didn’t care, they ate it.

 

Due to a lot of raving about the Brownies here on CC, I had to try them. Sorry, I thought that they were gross. They tasted like unsweetened powdered baking chocolate to me. Something just this side of carob chocolate. My husband is the chocolate fanatic in our house. He likes anything chocolate and the more chocolate-like the better. He even likes dark chocolate – which I can’t even stand the smell of. He didn’t like these brownies either. But, as with any food, it’s a personal choice. Personally, I did NOT like them at all!! ...Dessert, to me, need to be sweet and moist. These, didn't fit the bill for me, in any way, shape or form. Sorry guys!

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Keep up with the writing....can't wait until tomorrow for the next installment! How about all that tipping? Do you think sometimes it gets out of hand?
Thanks Ken...and I couldn't agree with you more. EXACTLY like you put it in your review...by the END of the vacation...you are sooo tired of tipping...

We were in the warehouse area with our bags...and Matt was like, "I think that we may need a porter to get us to the shuttle..." I told him NO WAY, we could do it!! I am DONE tipping people!!! :cool: Yeah, we did it!! ALL the kids had to do their fair share of lugging!!! hehehe!! We tipped getting off the shuttle bus in the end...but THAT was it, the end of the vacation tipping!! (I just went to the bank today and deposited all my left over 1's...I had brought a lot and then always cashed the bigger bills thinking that I would need "more"....)

 

If I remember to put it in my Costa Maya section...our 9yr old took a picture with some Aztec-dressed "characters" walking along the beach "performing." The guy 'reminded' me that I needed to 'take care of him for taking a pic' with her...I told him that I definitely would, just to swing back and get me then. I got back to our table and sent Matt over with a couple bucks and said thanks again!...

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The Welcome Aboard Show

 

I am all about the silly stuff. The dancing by the Victory Dancers was good, some of the dancers were a little distracting. Ok, to explain. I had read about a “beefy” dancer on the Victory this past fall (the original authors’ word, not mine). The way that it was reported by the author, was pretty offensive to a lot of readers here on cc. But, I was able to pick her out right away, sadly enough. It was pretty hard not to focus on her since she was so much different than the other girls in her costume. But, all the dancers were good. They make it look so easy. The dancer that distracted me the most, however, was the one that had a very “theatrical face.” I don’t know how else to describe it. The smile was as big as could be, the make-up was over the top (I mean, when you can see the lip liner, separate from lipstick from out in the audience…), the movements were very sharp…she was, in a word… theatrical. Nothing wrong with it, just didn’t come across as terribly natural, like the other dancers.

 

The usual “spoon on a rope” activity/race with “volunteers” chosen from the audience came with Dana Hodsen, the Cruise Director. Sorry, but I laughed hysterically. Like I said, I am all about this silly stuff. Easily amused. People up there are great sports!

 

Another meeting with Cruise Critic Roll Call buddies and their spouses.

10:30am on our first sea day we met in the Atrium Bar area. We all had nice conversations, basically splitting up in to the usual men and women groups. There was laughs all around! We moved over to sit on the couches near the windows and ordered drinks. There were eight of us by the end of the get-together.

 

I had to try the infamous Miami Vice drink that I had heard so much about. It was ok. I guess I am just not much for frozen drinks. (I love Margaritas, just don’t serve me a frozen one. I only drink them on-the-rocks.) The Miami Vice tasted good, but just wasn’t something that I need to rave about. I didn’t try it again.

 

This is the day that the family (except me) tried the slide. Over and over again. They loved it. There was always a line, but it seemed to go fast enough that the kids wanted to keep doing it! I stayed at the top and watched. There was no seats at the bottom to sit at and watch.

 

This of course leads to the Chair Saving and other pool things. Chair saving is alive and well. The one chair saving ‘move’ that absolutely made me laugh was the lady that put the one pool towel across two chairs on one side of her. Another one pool towel on two more chairs on the other side of her. This was shortly after noon. Now, granted, we all know that it isn’t “allowed” and there are signs that say that. We are all smart enough to know that people do periodically leave their chairs to i.e. go to the bathroom, grab a plate of food. That is a fair reason and a fair amount of time to save a chair…but we also know that that isn’t the majority of the saving that is going on. Chairs are saved by any number of things…the first chair that we ended up taking on day was being ‘saved’ by a baseball hat. Hat went on the floor, DH went in the chair. He waited for the ‘appropriate’ time to go by and then got the chair beside him for when I got out of the pool with the 5 year old. That chair had been saved by several pool towels. Dolly and her family then took the next two chairs. No one ever came back for the hat. The lady that came back for the towels, many hours later, asked where her towels were, she didn’t want to pay $22/pc for them. DH told her “Then don’t leave them laying around for hours on end…” and that they were under the chair. She took them and left. She wasn’t wet or even in a swim suit. When we left, we packed up our stuff…never returning the items to their chair saving positions…leaving the chairs wide open for the next sun worshippers. We ended up with two chairs for a total of five family members. The kids didn’t need to have their own and our towels and goggles, books and lotion can all sit in the beach bag next to the chair where we were sitting. They didn’t need their own chairs either.

 

Other hot topics related to the pool – I saw many babies/kids in swim diapers and kids unattended in the hot tubs that were for “Adults with Children.” I did not see any young children in the Adult Only hot tub, but a few well-behaved teens that were literally just sitting in there relaxing.

 

Hair Chest Contest

Our roll call buddy, Rob’s brother made it in the contest. We tried our best to cheer him on to victory. He didn’t win – but that to me is more of an honor. The winner was this side of a gorilla. lol At the end of the contest, Karl, the Social Host got tossed in the pool. Pretty funny!!

 

Formal Night and Ironing

The best time to iron is at about 2 in the afternoon. No line, for the most part. I did wait for just one man to iron his and his son’s shirt. But it was a pleasant conversation so our time in there went fast. The iron was a really nice one. Fortunately not ungodly hot as Sablerose had experienced on her ship. The “steward” in the area, just replaced the ironing board cover right before I ironed. It was very clean in the laundry room. (Took me a while to find it, but that’s me.)

 

Captain’s Party

We went to the end of the first party (for the early seating) – in the Piano Bar, without the kids. We were served one drink and one small plate of chicken appetizers and DH had some meatballs. We were the first ones in the Arctic Lounge for the late seating (our seating) Captains Party with our entire family. We were served drinks way more often (LOVE the Whiskey Sours!! No bar on land can make them like they can on a cruise ship! Yum), but NEVER rec’d any appetizers. We were right in the front too. The waiters would walk right past us, not even looking. At least we had made friends with the drink servers!! But, there was no appearance by the Captain in the Arctic Lounge. No appearance or speeches by anyone of the crew. But we did have good conversation as a family and with a nice couple we met that was on their honeymoon.

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What a dope I am....

The typo...Hair Chest Contest....we all know about the HAIRY chest contest...Nice. Don't notice 'til it's too late to edit! :rolleyes:

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Love the review so far! Keep it coming

Thx! You may be sorry you said that :p It is insanely long!! LOL :D That is why I am trying to break it up so no one starts to 'glaze' over! hahaha!

I am kind of about details and description...:cool:

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WELL LET ME FIRST START WITH WOWWWWWWWWWWW

 

this is the BEST review ive read out of all of the reviews on this site ,well done!!

 

we should have 4or 5 more days hopefully:D

 

what was your take on the bar tenders were they nice?

also did u use drink coupons?

myself and my lovely dw r doing the victory on 5/7 and also have a inside cabin.

was there a sofa?

also were there robes?

 

i look forward to the next post its people like u that make the wait a little less paimfull ty again........:D :cool:

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WELL LET ME FIRST START WITH WOWWWWWWWWWWW

 

this is the BEST review ive read out of all of the reviews on this site ,well done!!

 

we should have 4or 5 more days hopefully

 

what was your take on the bar tenders were they nice?

also did u use drink coupons?

myself and my lovely dw r doing the victory on 5/7 and also have a inside cabin.

was there a sofa?

also were there robes?

 

i look forward to the next post its people like u that make the wait a little less paimfull ty again........:D :cool:

Awwe...too nice! Thanks. :o

 

We really didn't have much interaction with the bar tenders themselves...just the bar waiters and waitresses. We had our favorites of those. There was a sweet girl from Russia in our dining room (I would hate to list her name incorrectly, so I won't even try) and then Petar up on Lido. There were a few others over the week, but never really hooked up with one that we got to know super well. They were all pleasant though.

 

We didn't have any drink coupons.

 

In our particular inside cabin, there was no sofa.

 

There were two robes in the closet for our use. It was great for my DH cuz he loves his and didn't bring it. He bought one a couple of cruises ago after falling in love with them!!

 

That's probably something that I should mention too:

 

There was plenty of closet space. At least it was ample for us - and we're a family of five! There was three closets. The first had the hangers lower than the other two. Perfect place for the light jackets and suit coats to hang and shirts. The second closet and third had the hangers up high - for the dresses and pants. The hangers are the kind that hook in to that main holder, take the hanger out and the hanger is "useless" cuz it's just that knob thingy. Sorry for the lack of better descriptive or accurate words!! But there were plenty of hangers. I have been told that you can ask for more if you need them. (Thankfully we didn't....cuz heaven only knows if we would have received any from our steward/ess)

(Daliaha has a really great description of the closet space in her review if you want something a little more accurate!)

We put lots of stuff down at the bottom of the closets and in the first and third closet there were shelves (1 per closet) as well. DH put his shorts and t's on those shelves. At the desk/counter, there was like 3 (?) drawers - ahhh I can't remember - but I think it was three...and then to the right of the waste basket/stool area, is another short cupboard - about the depth of a video cabinet or maybe a little more - that my son used for his clothes. It all worked out for us. There was a couple of hooks too up on the wall next to one of the pull down bunks. We hung hats and periodically a towel or two to dry. There was also a hook inside the cabin door that was good to hang things on. In the bathroom there was a clothes line you could pull out and across the shower to hang your swimsuits/trunks. And another hook in the bathroom you could hang suits on too - or your clothes you wanted to change in to. I also took some of those "Snap Hooks" (you can see them on places like asseenontv dot com) THOSE were GREAT to have. I stuck a few up on the side of the closet next to the desk - we hung our lanyards there, and other light things. I put several inside of each of the closet doors to hang my tanks and shirts/DH and DS's ties. Those are a good thing to consider bringing! I think I have about 10 or 12 total (I bought one of those 'Bonus' boxes and paid like $7 or $8 for them. Highly recommend those for extra hanging space.

I can understand how one of those shoe organizers could come in handy - but I didn't get one for this trip. I did use the medicine cabinet for my make up bag, toothbrushes in their cases of course, brushes/combs...lotions and some other frequently used 'stuff' I kept on the shelf under the sink. There was a lot of room there. The other more infrequently used stuff sat in ziploc bags on that bathroom shelf under the counter. We kept the soft sided cooler on the floor in the bathroom. They leak. I haven't ever had one that didn't. We didn't keep it full - it was just a good place for it to sit when it was "drying out."

 

Any other questions - feel free to ask!!! And yeah...there is quite a bit more to post. :rolleyes: :D

 

I hope you have as fabulous a cruise as we did!!! I would classify this one as our best yet!!

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Costa Maya

 

It was finally somewhat hot! Let me say that I love hot. (Yes, I live in MN and it does get hot and humid here, believe it or not. July is my favorite month. We are trying to move to a warm climate – DH is looking for employment in a HOT southern state weekly) This was my first time on this cruise that I actually thought, “Wow…it’s hot.” I have been chilled a lot of the cruise. I hate AC, love fresh air, love to sit in the sun. But it was kind of ‘cool’ to my liking as far as being in the Caribbean. Don’t get me wrong, we had wonderful weather throughout the entire cruise, always sunny…but I have only cruised during Sept., Oct., and Nov., prior to this – it seems to be hotter in the Fall than in the spring.

 

Anyway! We didn’t have any excursions planned, so we were in no hurry to get off the ship. The kids and I waited up on deck for DH to be ready – he got sidetracked talking to our buddy Rob and his wife about their evening (Rob, if you’re reading – you did the right thing!!) The kids and I watched a ship coming our way – so cool to watch. Uh oh!! I remembered from reading on CC – when another ship is docking they close off your ability to get off the ship! I rushed the family as much as possible so we didn’t get stuck while the other ship docked. Well, we lost. We were stuck in the gangway/elevator area on Deck Zero for about 25minutes.

When we got off the ship finally, we walked to the “cruise ship – Mexican village” with shops/bar/rest rooms and a great swimming pool. We stopped here to let the kids swim and cool off before going to Majahual for the rest of the day. The pool was nice and clean (too cold for me though). The kids loved it. My son found a set of keys at the bottom of the pool and turned them in to the pool bar. We used the rest rooms – they too were clean.

 

We bought our tickets for the bus to Majahual around the corner to the right of the pool -$3/pp. We waited about 10mins for the next bus. It was about a “circa 1930 bus”…but it got us where we needed to go! I think that it probably would have been fun to get a golf cart – maybe next time.

We got off the bus and were immediately ‘attacked’ by the vendors selling any number of things. With two girls in tow, the hair braiders found us right away! I didn’t really want to have it done within the first 30’ of getting off the bus, but DH bartered to get both girls, half of a head, done for $30. Seemed to be about the going average after talking to people back on the ship. Our youngest has really, really curly hair, I didn’t know how that would work. But it did and really well. The girl finished really quickly and there was no tears or whines from the 5yr old. The 9yr old took a little longer (two different girls doing the braiding – this girl seemed to be new to this business). DH entertained himself bartering with a shopkeeper across the alley. The braids on both of the girls were EXCELLENT. Way better than (the oldest) have ever had before!

 

Further down the road, we ate a ‘beach restaurant hut thing’. The waiter put our table in the water for us (only ankle deep, so it was refreshing). We had nachos (ok…not great, definitely not anything similar to what I have seen pictures of from other cc members. Bummer, wrong restaurant), shrimp cocktail (supposed to be a mixed cocktail of conch, octopus and shrimp – but I didn’t say anything cuz it was the same price either way and the service was slow), DH had two Dos Equis and one Ticket to Fly and I had two Tickets to Fly (some mixed drink - I have no idea what was in it, and the guy never told me even after I asked him – it was ok, but wouldn’t waste my time drinking one again) The name alludes to something that contained a lot of alcohol. I don’t think that it did. I had zero effect from them. (But then again, maybe I am an alcoholic and just don’t admit it yet…?:p ;) ) The waiter had made a big deal about them and if I really wanted one. Yes. Lady, you want to fly?! Ohhhh He laughed. Just bring me one…nothing. Thought, I’d give it one more try (it seemed to have some kind of juice in it that was light and refreshing) and nothing. I think that the plane was stuck on the tarmac. No flying here.

 

A few souveniers were purchased – my 9year old bought a really, really cute outfit!

 

Taxi ride back to the Costa Maya port was $2/pp.

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GREAT trip report..we are going on the Victory for the second time next week and enjoying your notes..right off the bat I was especially interested in your Alamo info since we are flying in 4 days earlier and renting from them in FLL and dropping off in Miami..my take on it is FORGET THE SHUTTLE AND TAKE A CAB...(or play it by ear)..same as we've done waiting for the carnival bus or taking a cab)... looking forward to the rest since last year because of hurricane dennis we never made it to then Cozumel (this year costa maya) or cayman

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Hypnotist

 

The older kids and I went to the hypnotist show that evening after Mexico. DH and our youngest were completely wiped out and sleeping – so we left them in the cabin.

Asad, the hypnotist, was GREAT!! If he is on the ship when you go, definitely GO see him!!!

 

The Deck Party after the show was a lot of fun as well…even though I was alone with the kids. The Band was great! It was too embarrassing to my children to continue to hang with me when I was dancing to songs like Sweet Home Alabama…that we went back to the cabin to go to bed! lol

 

I love Sea Days. They are sooo relaxing. You can sleep in and don’t have to be in any kind of hurry. It was on this second sea day that we tried the Dining Room for breakfast. I had the infamous Eggs Benedict. Ok, but I remember them being better on previous cruises. Our waiter (no idea who he was since we were seated by the host) was not very interested in us I don’t think…or he was distracted. No hellos, how are you…etc. He forgot several items that we ordered, had to re-ask for them them (very nicely with pleases and thank you’s) and rec’d no apologies or ‘here you go”. Oh well, at least he wasn’t our regular evening waiter!

 

Past Guest Party

 

On Wednesday, Dolly asked me if I was going to the Past Guest’s party. Here, DH and I had been wondering when it was because we hadn’t rec’d our invites or pins yet from our steward. (*There’s a surprise. S/he hadn’t given us our towels back since we used them in MX. Didn’t actually get any for several days for the rest of the cruise, ended up buying towels in Grand Cayman – When on board, had to check them out at the counter by the pool. If you remember from the beginning of this LONG review/report, we never actually SAW our steward/ess. No idea who it was, if we had a male or female, but whoever it was, wasn’t very good at getting us things we needed. We never even saw/met our steward on that last day when they are looking to make sure that they get a tip/additional tip. *This was the first cruise that I didn’t actually, kind of wonder, if our steward was living under our bed or in the closet*…I have always had such attentive stewards. Not this time…) I thanked Dolly for asking me…and figured that I had to go to the Purser’s Desk to get our own invites/pins. (Which I am perfectly capable of – but it’s the whole point of it…Get my own pool towels, invites to a past guest party and the pins too…)

The lady purser that helped me with the invites was nice. She printed up one for the entire family just in case the steward never delivered them in time to go to the party (which was a good idea). I asked her about the pins, she said that we should be getting the invite and pins by 4:30p, but if not, just come back and she’d get them for us.

 

We were leaving our cabin at 7:05 to go to our Past Guest Party due to start at 7:15 – just to be greeted by someone (our steward? Nope, wrong again. Where is this mystery person?) in the hallway with our invites. Oh gee, thanks. Got ‘em already and Thank Goodness or we wouldn’t have been ready! No pins, I inquired about that with him and he said that we’d be getting them at the door at the party. Wrong again. We got to the party. No pins at the door.

 

The party itself was great fun. A couple of drinks – no whiskey sours available though. Too big of a crowd up at the bar to worry about it, and absolutely NO appetizers. Zero, zilch. Appetizers just weren’t meant for us at these parties.

 

At this party however, the Captain came and spoke and we even got to talk to him briefly after the party was over. Flipper and Monica were the Social Hosts.

 

Monica pulled my DH as one of the men to get up on stage to “do a little dance.” Turns out it was a little dance he got to do with the Indian Headdress on! Yes, YMCA! It was funny. Then, they did a Snowball kind of dance where the men (and Monica since she was up there) had to go in to the audience and bring someone that they didn't know, up on stage to dance with. Monica came back and then chose my 12yr old son! He was a good sport, but so ‘embarrassed’!! Too cute!! And so on. It was a very fun party!!

 

Later that evening we went back to the Purser’s Desk to get the pins. Yes, it’s a fun little tradition to have the pins and we like them on the lanyards. Remember, I am all about that silly little stuff. This time, a different Purser got this high and mighty “I don’t believe you” attitude with us. We told him the background story and who told us to come back, and we showed him our gold cards. We needed 5 – we were ALL past guests. He wanted to see all five cards. The kids were off doing other things and not with us. I said that if he really needed to, he could look it up to verify. He asked about a half dozen more questions and then finally ended up giving us the pins after going behind the wall for about 3 minutes. Ok….Maybe what he didn’t realize was, if he wouldn’t have believed me, all I would have had to do was contact Carnival with our cruising date/past guest number and they would have mailed them to me in a matter of a couple of weeks. He made it a much bigger deal than it needed to be.

 

Adult Hypnotist Show

 

GREAT! Dana (the CD) did remind everyone that this was an Adult show and that meant no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the show. He was apparently just saying that for formalities sake, cuz no one enforces it. Either I am now so old that I can’t tell ages anymore and everyone looks young…or people don’t know what “Adult” means.

No skin off my nose, it was hysterically funny once again!! If any of these young people that made it up on to stage, had their parents sitting in the audience, I would have been mortified if I were the parents! I have been married for almost 15years and don’t tell any people as much as these really young people said/did up on stage!! Eek!! :eek: But it’s funny as all get out to watch!!! (As long as you weren't their parents!!)

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I'm really enjoying your review. I leave next Sunday on the Victory and your review is helping me pass the time. Thanks!

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Grand Cayman

 

The day that we were in Grand Cayman, there was a total of SIX ships there! That was like having 18,000 people descend on that tiny little island all at once. It was busy! I was worried about that before even getting to the island, DH and I have been to GC before, and it was busy then, with not nearly as many ships in at that time. But, for us, it turned out to be ok. We had a perfectly great experience all around in GC. No need to have worried at all!

 

At the Travel Talk the day before with Dana, he made it very clear how the tendering process would work. It turned out to be even more simple than he described. We went to the Caribbean Lounge to wait for our turn to go in line to tender and we didn’t need to even wait. Apparently there was extra tender boats that day (as per Flipper) so we could just go right to the Gangway. Slick and Easy. It was about a 20min process. If you miss the travel talk in person, make sure to either watch it on your cabin TV. And as with any port of call, your Carnival Capers will have information printed in it, along with an emergency phone number in case you would need it.

 

We booked a private tour with NativeWay Watersports as per recommendations here on CC. I can, in turn recommend them!! We went on the Stingray and Island Tour at 10:30a EST for $45/pp. The bus/van was very clean and new. Our guide was Ashton.

 

We drove past 7 Mile Beach where people could get out for a few minutes for pics if they wanted to. Then to the Turtle Farm (Totally rebuilt since we had been there in ’01 – thanks to a hurricane that came thru in ’03?), Hell, past the Governor’s House, Tortuga Rum Factory (Cheap liquor here! Definitely purchase here!! They will put your order in their computer and deliver it to your ship for you, who in turn will deliver it to you on the last day. Good deals, could NOT pass them up! Try the Vanilla Rum – YUM) My DH drinks Absolute - $10 USD for a liter. Can’t beat that!

 

Stingray City was the last of the tour. We had to take all of our belongings off that bus to get on our boat to go to SC, because Ashton didn’t know if he would be back with that bus/van or a different one. Our Stingray City boat captain was Capt. Tom, Charlie Brown was our “guide” and Paul was the photographer. There were only 20 of us on the tour. It was GREAT! It was so personal. The only drawback to not getting to Stingray City until the early afternoon was that the stingrays weren’t hungry anymore. Trying to feed them was pointless. BUT, we had such a personal experience with the very big female that Charlie caught for us, we would definitely book a private tour again. It was fabulous!! And having such a small group, and a private photographer, we had a TON of pictures taken! Individual pics, family pics and candid.

 

The superstition is: If you kiss a stingray, it is 7yrs good luck. Ah…what the heck. I kissed her! Everyone in the family did – some of us twice! Even my DD’s that had said that they weren’t going to get in the water, let alone swim with the stingrays, ended up kissing the stingray and LOVING the whole experience!!

 

On your way back to land, Paul offered us the pictures for sale. Two pictures for $30 and $10 for each additional or $60 for ALL of the pics. He took a LOT of pics of us. (You got to look at them on his camera) We opted for the CD of all of them. I think I know which one is going to be our Christmas card!! lol The CD is going to mailed to us and we should receive it in approx three weeks Paul said. Update: **We just rec’d our CD yesterday – which was only 13 days since our tour!! I emailed VIP Productions right away (the company that Paul actually worked for) to say THANK YOU! Extremely fast service, great pics and we were very satisfied customers!!

 

Ashton met us back on land with a different bus – one with vinyl seats (there’s a surprise for a bunch of wet tourists!). One family on our tour needed to be back at their ship a half hour before we did and their last tender would be leaving soon. Ashton’s driver (never did get the guy’s name) took us a back way back to the tender spots to avoid the big traffic jam on the main road! We drove thru residential neighborhoods, and bypassed most of the traffic! It was great!

 

Ashton did tell us as we were getting off the van to *TIP ask the people in line what ship that they were waiting for, before wasting time in that line. Even though it can be your right tender ‘spot’ there are different lines for different ships. Good tip! We went to the back of the first line, and found out right away that it was for a different ship…only to walk to the end of the Victory line….way down the street! The line was HUGE!! Fortunately, the time passed quickly and the tendering process went very fast.

 

The unfortunate thing about waiting in that line, we had ‘front seats’ to a 13yr old child that was hit by a car. We didn’t see the actual accident itself, just the ambulance and police show up. I do not know for sure if the child was on any of the cruise ships – I heard a lot of rumors back on our ship however. I just hope that the child ended up being OK!!!

 

Back on the ship, the lines were unbelievably long for all the food stops. I don’t think that many people have time to eat on their excursions, so we come back famished!! Food always tastes better when you are truly hungry and after a beautiful day of sun, swimming and fresh air.

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thanks for the responces. Now I know more about the ship.

 

I am from Newfoundland, Canada. Got a question about the cola cards. Are they worth it?

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I am from Newfoundland, Canada. Got a question about the cola cards. Are they worth it?
We didn't get any this time. We have purchased them in the past and were always happy that we did. This time we brought a case of our own pop/soda/coke/cola :cool: onboard with no problem at all.

I suppose it just depends on how much cola you drink. As per one of my Capers here, it shows the The Fountain Fun Cards are: Kids Soda Card $28 Adult Soda Card $38.50 (15% gratuity not included). I can't remember what the cost per soda was ($1.75?? If someone knows - please let us know) That is a glass of soda - not usually a full can.

And - there is always complimentary tap water (which is really good), lemonade, punch and juices available. We just find that we drink a LOT of the water and lemonade.

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Good point about the water, lemonade, and punch, Caprcorn! We even liked mixing the lemonade and punch together. Kids also tried the punch with the soft serve ice cream. I was surprised how good they all tasted. We drank our soda on our shore excursions.

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Magic Show with Rand Woodbury

Fabulous show!! He is a terrific magician and very, very funny!!

The first thing that I really liked about the show, was Rand, himself. He reminded me a bit of Bruce Willis. Not just cuz he had a shaved head!! But the ‘personality’, his persona…he was just ‘cool’ and easy going. If you get the chance to see his show, make the time. It’s definitely worth it!! I just don’t know how he made all those dancers disappear though! Can’t figure that one out!!

Vrooom! The Show

I did not attend this show (long day at Jimmy’s!), but the family did and thought that it was great.

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica

 

What can I say other than, “What a BLAST!”

Ok, I will say more. :rolleyes:

We just got off the ship and walked directly to the Island Village. We didn’t have any problems with locals other than offering us a taxi every 10’. So, no big deal. It’s easy to say no. The Island Village is a quick five minute walk from the ship and is very clearly marked at the entrance. At the entrance there will be a lot more taxi guys offering tours. Just keep walking if you don’t plan on taking any kind of tour. We didn’t want to do any of that kind of thing at this stop, I just wanted to go to Margaritaville and chill out. I am a big Jimmy Buffet fan and have never been to one before.

 

On the way in to the Village, there were other people out front handing out coupons for free shots at Jimmy’s. Take one.

 

We went in to a couple of the shops inside the Village, including Del Sol. Love all of that Del Sol stuff. If you bought two t-shirts, you got a free canvas ‘beach bag.’ No problems there. Now, I will tell you it is NOT the canvas beach bag that CCL shows on their flyer that you get at the Travel Talk. It is completely different, but still cool! It was a beach bag with a ship on it…waves, setting sun, very pretty when it changes, so I wasn’t upset about the “switch” in what I thought that I was getting. Shopping accomplished, onward to Margaritaville!!

 

I had gone on to Margaritaville’s website months prior to our trip and found the “Lost Shaker of Salt” and printed out my coupon for a free margarita. I, fortunately remembered to bring it! I had that and the coupon for the free shot from when I walked in to the Village. Off to a good start.

 

The bartender had no problems taking either one. The free margarita is about ½ the size of the regular one. The free shot was some kind of green liquor. No idea what it was, it was free. That was in a ‘dixie cup’ shot about the size of a Nyquil medicine cup. So, it was big for me. I am terrible with shots…more of just a regular drinker.

 

The bartenders will just make you put your email address on the back of your free margarita coupon from the website. Make sure to get your free drink(s) out of the way right away so you still remember your email address! LOL! :D

 

We didn’t eat any food here, but the drinks were really good. I don’t feel like they were priced any differently than any other bar. We spent our fair share there, but had so much fun, it was all worth it. We did not get any souveniers at the store, but there is a lot in there to choose from if you want something!

 

The bartenders were a blast. Make friends with them, it will work in your favor. If you really want to do that, sit at the end of the bar where they are making the drinks, you will also be right across from the DJ booth as well. Perfect place to be, in my experience! The bartenders are naughty. I say that in the greatest sense of fun!! If you can’t handle witnessing a little “naughtiness,” do not sit up by the bar! There is a lot of dancing that goes on!

 

I am, like I said, a big Jimmy Buffet fan, but do NOT expect a lot of Jimmy Buffet music to be played. We did ask for a few “favorites” – your typical Jimmy Caribbean party music, and we did receive. But for the most part it is your typical, Loud Dance Club music. Like I said, it was a blast.

 

The DJ, Conroy, was awesome!! He played all those silly games and gave out prizes. (Thanks for the Blue Sapphire ring, btw! Blue Sapphire from Gem Palace!) He was a lot of fun! It is a party atmosphere! Definitely worth your time to go and check it out!!

 

If you are passengers on one of two ships in port that day, like we were, you will see a lot of your fellow passengers partying right along with you! Back on the ship, you may just get recognized by those people when they say, “You guys were having a LOT of fun at Margaritaville, weren’t you?!” :rolleyes: :p

We met up with Coho Ken, a family from (?) that was from our ship – the Dad was celebrating his 40th bday in a couple of days – they were fun, and of course “The Boys from Tampa.” (Just our nickname for them) These guys were so, so nice! It was a group of young men and a Dad from Tampa. If any one reading this knows them, we just loved them! Such gentlemen and so very nice!! We seemed to run in to them all the time, in ports, on the ship…took group photos for them. They were one of the highlights of this vacation too!

 

Because we stayed in Island Village, I can only recommend that as a fantastic place to visit when in Ocho Rios. I know that I would definitely go there again.

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Last Day at Sea

 

This is a “sad” day for me. I hate that the vacation is basically over. I hate having to hear about what to do for debarkation. I hate all the planning and anticipation of getting there, then all the fun that you are having, is over soooo soon!

But, instead of focusing on that…I try to just fit in everything else as much as possible.

 

I finally tried the Yangtze Wok. I have to say that that was one of the things that I really had looked forward to before even getting on the ship. I thought that it would be so awesome to have Chinese food available on a ship for lunch each day or any other time, for that matter. Well, I was either not hungry when it was open, or hungry for it when it wasn’t open. So, in a word…it wasn’t open a whole lot.

 

We went to the Carnival Legends show. That was a lot of fun! I think all but one of the performers was really excellent. You never know how many talented people that you are sailing with until you see performances like this! Congrats to all of those that participated! You were awesome! Oh, and Dana just looks lovely in a dress and wig…but not to be overshadowed by Karl as Sono Bono!! Great! Haha!!

 

Oh, and I almost forgot…back up a number of days. We have always loved the Piano Bar on the ships we have been on. We have been the party at various Piano Bars on ships. This one, shall we say, SUCKED. We went one night for a short amount of time and made this decision. I know that this Piano Bar has it’s problems, and if one of my fellow Roll Call people does a review…he can give you that story.

 

First of all, I don’t mind that it was filled with “young people.” I may be older than them, but I am not old by any stretch of the imagination. I know how to have fun. (Ask anyone that was at Jimmy’s with us!) But the people in here had NO concept of what a piano bar is, from all my years of hanging out at piano bars both on ships and in land ones.

 

Since WHEN do piano bar piano players play “Hip Hop” and “Rap” songs…?? I know they obviously were “requested”, but c’mon. Go to the disco for this stuff. The Piano Bar player (Eric) just stunk as a singer anyway, and then to have him trying to do “Top 40” was an absurd thing. This was a great disappointment to not have a fun piano bar on the ship. There was a guy in the bar that we talked with that said, “You really need to have a few drinks to even start to like the guy.” Forget it, we left. I don't think that there was enough alcohol available for that!

 

Debarkation

 

We waited for our deck color to be called. And had a very smooth and easy time getting off the ship. We found our luggage very easily and for the most part it was all together in the pile. I hated how easy it was to get off….the WONDERFUL vacation went way TOO fast!!

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Some Quick Misc Items and Notes of Summary:

 

I love the fact that Carnival has little hand tissues on the backs of the bathroom doors, with waste baskets on the other side of the door. That is GREAT. I just wish everyone would wash their hands leaving the bathroom! I witnessed grown women leaving the bathroom without washing their hands, I am sorry. That is DISGUSTING and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

 

We never saw/had any Sushi/California rolls served anywhere on the ship. That was very disappointing to me. I really missed that. That is something that I always look forward to when cruising.

 

I love that the Carnival Capers now have a “tear away” section of ‘Today at a Glance’. That was a really a good change from the past. It’s a whole lot easier to put in your bag or pocket to keep with you, than the whole Caper. Plus, it keeps my Capers nice for the Scrapbook when I get home!!

 

I was very happy with my experience in ordering from the Bon Voyage Dept. I would highly recommend it.

 

The photographers were great as well as all the different background options. Our favorite photographer was Liam from South Africa. If you see him onboard (cute ‘surfer’ looking kid with blonde hair spiked in every direction) tease him about the hair and tell him to make sure to not cut your head off in any photos! ;) It was a joke between him and us!! Then tell him “hello” from us! (The red-head and her husband! Hahaha!)

 

It is cold A/C inside the public areas of the ship. I am a freeze-baby, so take that in to consideration. Definitely bring a sweater of some kind for the dining room and lounges.

 

If the ice cream cone dispensers run out of cones, they are located under the coffee makers in the cabinet in the aft pool area.

 

All the clocks on the ship seem to show different times – and I don’t mean, like 10 minute time differences, we’re talking hours! If you need to be aware of time for any reason, make sure that you have your own watches or clocks.

 

For the younger kids – say five and under – there is a GREAT pool for them up on Deck 12. It is quiet, there were chairs and the pool is for all practical purposes, private. Our youngest loved it. Kind of like the backyard pool. Shallow, and fun to splash around in.

 

This was the first cruise that I have taken that I haven’t been completely lost for the entire week – something that helped me came from a woman I met in an elevator day two or three: Deck 5 goes from one end of the ship to the other!! That was really helpful to me!! Hopefully it can help someone else too! If you know the general vicinity that you need to be in, you can get there from 5!!

 

Finally, the last thing that I learned on this trip...I think that seven day cruises are no longer "enough" for me! I better bump it up to 10 days...at least until the kids are out of the house!! ;)

 

** If you have any questions – and are still even reading this (and thank you if you are, if you’re not, I can’t blame anyone, it’s long) – I will be happy to answer what I can.

Thank you to all of you out there that gave me all the good information that I was able to use on this trip!! This is a great site for first time cruisers or even experienced ones! There is always something new to learn or a new tip that you can use on your next trip!!

I would, without a question, classify this as our very BEST cruise that we have had!! We wish that it hadn't gone so fast - but look forward to the next cruise to medicate that PCD!! That may be next February - around the islands of Hawaii - so I'll have to be surfing around on another Lines' boards for tips on those ships/itineraries!! :cool: :p

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