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Lisa

Age: 35

Occupation:SAHM

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Legend

Sailing Date: February 21st, 2006

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Legend
Exotic Western Caribbean

Lisa

This was our first cruise; Me - 35, DH - 36, DD -10, DD -7.
We booked kind of last minute (January for a February sailing). We wanted to visit in laws in Ft Lauderdale for a few days before going on the Legend.

Sunday, Left Newark Airport for Ft Lauderdale on JetBlue.
I cannot say enough good things about JetBlue. The flights are almost always on time or early. Our flight this time was supposed to land at 8:50pm. We had out luggage and were in my FIL's car at 8:25. Awesome.
We stayed with family for 2 days so I have no hotel experience to report.

Day 2 was spent visiting with in-laws

Embarkation:
We arrived at Port Everglades at approximately 10:15, handed off our luggage to a porter and walked toward a growing line near the terminal.
I felt a little unsure of things. There wasn't a Carnival employee around to tell us where to go or what to do. After about 5 minutes of general confusion an employee did come out and organize the mass of people. After that, it was about 10 minutes until we were though the check in, Sign and Sail cards in hand and on our way to through security and up to the waiting area. We thought this was great!

We had to show our S&S cards along the way at different points.
A Carnival employee was waiting to usher passengers into the sitting area of rows of blue chairs. We were about to go to the end of the not so full row when the nice CCL employee told us to squeeze our family of 4 into 3 chairs and a table (picture a hospital waiting room). We weren't sure why - but we did it. Then we realized that the rows were called in order. We were in row 3 (and would have been in row 4) thanks to the CCL lady who told us to squeeze! Yeah! We waited till just after 11:30 and rows started to be called. The CCL employee told us our rooms would NOT be ready, to not even try to go to them, but to please enjoy the rest of the ship and to have lunch on Deck 9. We got our picture taken for our S&S cards and then a family one near the gangway as we were about to board.
At about 11:45 we were aboard.

Aboard:
The first step on to the Legend is memorable. You're just there. In the middle of the atrium, the one you've looked at again and again through the eyes of previous passengers and their camera lenses. It's a wondrous thing, all gilded and mirrored with the lovely urn accents.... The glass elevators are lit and sparkling clean. I wasn't quite prepared for the opulence or the grandeur. I was expecting slightly tacky and overdone. Not true. The angelic-type nudes around the ship were a bit much. DD7 told me once that "those pictures are just gross". Hey, she's 7! Naked, roundish people are gross to her!

We wanted to familiarize ourselves with the ship, so we went up to deck 9 - Lido deck and grabbed a drink of the day (The Fun Ship) and a table by the pool area. We found one pool open, the aft pool closest to the Spa. The main pool and forward pool were roped off and empty as were all the hot-tubs.

By this time it was after noon and we wanted lunch!
The Deli area was opened, as was the Chinese area, the Rotisserie and the Taste of the Nations.
We enjoyed our lunch then made our way down to Deck 2 (Promenade) to check out some more of the ship. I saw people reading Capers and I knew I needed to get me some quick!
We found these at the Purser's Desk.
Here we bought the kids their Fountain Fun Cards. We did this at the atrium bar. It was about $70 for the 2 cards.
After 1:00, I went to the dinning room to check on our table assignment.
**DD7 is highly allergic to peanuts. If someone at our table were to order something made with peanuts or peanut butter, she'd have a reaction. Even if she didn't eat it. All she'd have to do was touch something they touched with peanut oil on it, or have the waitress touch some peanut butter, then touch her fork and BOOM! Anaphylactic shock. Not pretty. Scary and possibly deadly. Therefore, we needed to be seated alone, at a table for 4**

So... I get to Truffles to check on our table and there is a line there, but no maitre'd. Abbey and I waited with a few other people for about 20 minutes. More people were coming, some were walking around the room, toward the kitchen, some went upstairs in search of help. Nuthin' . I finally sent DD10 to get the Capers I'd left with DH and DD7 back near the atrium bar. Ta Daaa! There was a reason why no one was there to answer dinning questions! We were in the wrong place! DUH! We had to go up to Deck 3 and into the Round Table Room/Odyssey Lounge area. Duh.

Lesson #1.. Always check the Capers!

I was informed that we were seated alone,thanked the guy (who wasn't the maitre'd) and was on my way. It was time to get into our room! We had booked at 7A, Deck 5 (Upper) with an obstructed balcony view. Our room was 5162, port side, midship, but kinda forward. I really liked the location of this room, but more on that later. We got in and started to check things out. The balcony was bigger than I had expected. It's not HUGE, you can't have a cook-out on it, but the 4 of us could stay out there and not bump into each other. The obstructed view only mattered in that you can't see down. You can see out, you can see side to side, but if you look down, you see lifeboat. Poor DD7 couldn't see anything! I made her stand on a chair and held her around the waist so she could enjoy the view of Ft Lauderdale. Problem solved.
My bed was made up into the king. DD7's bed was made, but DD10's loft was still up in the ceiling for now. Our ice bucket was filled and we had plenty of towels.

I found a lot of garbage in the room that I don't think should have been there. There was old, used, empty Ziploc bags stuffed along side the safe; some empty, used water bottles in the drawer below the couch/bed; fruit stickers (like Chiquita Banana ones) stuck on the closet doors, room walls, ceilings and mirrors - kind of shocking since the rest of the ship seemed pristine in condition.

I started to poke through the amenities basket (not really a basket, a white plastic bowl) and received my second shock of the day. PEANUTS. Loose peanuts were rolling around in the bowl. I looked a little closer and found, tucked amid the packages of Pond's moisture lotion, men's and ladies razors and toothpaste samples, an old, open pack of US Airways peanuts. Whomever had this room before us had discarded their airline peanuts in the amenities bowl. Talk about your bad luck! The bowl was then filled up by our room stewards without being replaced or cleaned or whatever.

**Ok. I know not everyone is aware of peanut allergies. Not everyone can comprehend that my child could die from coming in contact with peanuts. I get that. But regardless of the danger factor, what does this say about the cleanliness of everything else? If there had been an open pack of M&M's rolling around in there I still would have felt like the steward was negligent in cleaning the bathroom.

I told my daughter to stay the heck out of the bathroom and
pressed the room steward button on the phone. I figured they must be super busy getting stuff together, and understandably so, because I waited on hold for about 15 minutes. I finally hung up and called the Purser's Desk. I explained the situation and asked the bowl be removed and the area cleaned. So now we sat in the room and waited for our room steward to show up, not a bad deal, by the way. We liked the room and it was good just to [B]be[/B] there. After about 20 minutes she came in, and said she'd received the message and was sorry but the person who filled the basket/bowl was new and must not have noticed the peanuts in there. I told her I understood, and that it was OK, but please take the bowl/basket out of the room. She went into the bathroom, closed the door, and stayed in there for nearly 5 minutes. I assumed she was cleaning and removing the stuff. She came out empty handed and I said "Thank you so much" and handed her $20. I thought she said "I'm so sorry, I'll be back later to take it out". Um no. I went in to double check, and guess what? The bowl was still there, peanut pieces were still in the bowl and the peanuts and package were in the garbage. Ok, so now I know she "didn't get it". Can't hold that against her. It's a language thing as well as a specific medical issue that most people aren't aware of. I had brought along Clorox wipes. I dumped the contents and the bowl/basket into the garbage, wiped everything down and closed the door. Then I wiped all the door handles, surfaces, light switches, the phone, the TV changer and damn near everything else down with the Clorox wipes. We left the room. When I found our cabin steward later, I explained to her that she had to remove the entire bowl/basket, all the contents and all the peanuts from the room. She said "But I threw the peanuts away!" "But that is your amenities basket! You can keep those samples." I explained about peanut oil, about cross contamination, about how touching those packages could make my daughter's throat close and ca!
use her
to stop breathing. I still don't think she got it, but she took the basket away. I thought maybe she'd bring a new one some time later, but that never did happen. It was fine. We didn't need the free samples anyway.
After this I was a little worried about germs and peanuts and all kinds of stuff. No wait, that's not true. I was petrified!
The good news is we had no incidents of any kind while on board. And after that, I always felt our room was cleaned and maintained properly.

We had a little time before anything was happening. We walked around some more and ended up near the Spa. We were asked if we'd like to take the Spa tour and we did. There was no incentive mentioned for taking the tour, no discount code, no free demonstration. It was just a tour and I got to see where the Spa showers were for further reference. It was very Spa-like; clean and spartan, just how you want your Spa to be.

Lifeboat Drill:
This went smoothly. My kids got their bracelets, we listened to the instructions and roasted in the heat. Kinda what I expected.
There was an obnoxious drunk women behind us that talked over the announcements, so we missed some things. She was bobbing and weaving and complaining about not being able to smoke while waiting for the muster to be over. Nice.

Sail Away:
After the Muster we returned to our room to open our bottle the bottle of Asti we'd carried aboard and wait for sail away. I had asked on the cruise website about glasses to drink the Asti out of. I was pleased to see 2 champagne flutes in our stateroom when we got there! Bonus! We all went onto the balcony and blew bubbles as we pulled out of port, waving at people on the intra-coastal and in condos along the way. Lots of fun. This was about 4pm.

Our luggage arrived piece by piece. The last piece coming around 5pm. We had the Main Seating (5:45), so we were getting kind of nervous, not wanting to wear our shorts and T-shirts to dinner. Once it all came, we were fine and on our way to Truffles.
We had a table on the upper level of the dining room. It was a table for four and across from the window, so we still were able to have a view. Our head waitress was Christina from Rumania. She was very pleasant and cute and friendly. Maya, from Bulgaria, was our Assistant waitress. We liked her a lot also. These 2 girls worked their butts off! Migle was our regular bar waitress. She became a regular pal after a few nights! (Yes, we ordered lots of drinks!)
The food was excellent, everything came as ordered. We enjoyed every last bit. I can't tell you what we had each night, but we were usually very pleased with our dinners.

Dinner/Camp Carnival:

Tonight was the Camp Carnival Orientation. We wanted to attended this talk. It started at 7:30. Looking back, we should have maybe told our wait-girls this as soon as we sat down. It was 7:10 and we didn't have our meals yet. Panic! Panic! My husband caught Christina's eye and told her we need to go to this talk at 7:30 and could she bring our dinners out as soon as possible? They turned on the gas and had our meals and our desserts to us in no time.

We were able to make the talk and actually waited in Follies till about 7:45 for it to start.
The Camp Director explained everything (it was all pretty much old news to me as I had read about and researched the Camp extensively). All the counselors came on stage, told where they were from and what they did. After the talk, Meagan, the 9-11 Inters counselor was waiting in the back of the lounge to sign kids up for the Late Night Party that would take place the night we left Costa Rica. I signed DD10 up for that and found out that there is also a Late Night Party for the 6-8's on Belize night. That wasn't something you need to sign up for in advance though. I spoke the head counselor after the talk regarding DD7's peanut allergy. She knew all about her and I felt totally confident that she would be safe. I also spoke with Amy who does the ExerSeas program. She has a sister with Anaphylaxis to strawberries. All these things helped alleviate most of my fears regarding DD7's safety while at Camp Carnival.

Welcome Party:
The next thing scheduled on our Capers for us to do was Camp Carnival Welcome Party at 8:15 held in the Medusa's Lair Disco. This is for parents and kids. The counselors were there, manning the Dj booth and dancing. They drag the reluctant parents out there to do the YMCA and stuff. DH and I did it. It was fun. Kinda. Funship Freddie came and danced too. The kids loved it.
We beat it out of there a little early so that we could go back to the cabin and get the kids ready for Camp Carnival later that night.

We spent the night in the casino.
I expected to drop lots of money in there and not win. This was going by the many comments I'd read about tight slots and no big pay offs. I love to gamble and I do so when ever we can afford to loose. DH plays Blackjack, I play Roulette and slots. Here's the thing. If you bet big you win big. Or you loose big. If you're betting a nickel per spin on a nickel machine, you're going to win 2 nickels. If you're betting 100 nickels per spin, you may just win 4000 nickels. I hit the slots for more than $1000 total over the week. I put most of it back, but that's the fun of gambling for me, and I don't know when to walk away.
I spent a lot of time in the casino!

Since we were both winning, me at the slots and DH at the tables, we skipped the adult comedy. We picked the kids of from Camp Carnival which, by the way, is on Deck 5, same as our cabin. This made it really easy to go back and forth to check on the kids, grab them a sweater, etc.

No towel animal tonight. Kids were disappointed, but I assured them they'd get one soon. We ordered room service, some bagels, juice and a BLT. It came really quickly and everything was great. We were sleeping by 1am.
Loooong day!

Day 4
Our first Sea Day:

Breakfast:
We had breakfast each morning on the Lido Deck at the Unicorn Cafe.
Every morning there was the following:
oatmeal, grits, a Spanish soup, an Asian soup, ham, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, white, wheat toast and toasted bagels, hash browns and either pancakes or French toast.

There was also condiments available: butter, margarine, syrup, honey, sugar-free syrup, jellies, marmalade, jams, sugar-free jellies, cream cheese, brown sugar, raisins.
Separate from those things were lots of cereal varieties, Danish, melon, pineapple, apples, pears and oranges.

We didn't have a problem finding pool side chairs this day. We stayed at the pool the entire day. The band "Kolorz" came on at noon. They weren't very good. The music sounded like it was trying to be reggae, but it missed. The songs were like radio songs with the same bad reggae beat. And it was loud. Not good loud, but "speakers are turned up too loud" loud.

At some point during breakfast I realized I couldn't find my prescription sunglasses. I went to the Purser's Desk to ask if they'd been returned there but they hadn't. I searched the room a little and then decided to file a missing item report.

Today was Legend Survivor which takes place on the Lido Deck stage (once it's vacated by the pseudo-reggae band). My kids watched it. It was "eh". They replay this like every 5 minutes on the in-room "Funvision". So if you miss it, you'll have another million chances to see it. While this was going on, I ran down to Deck 3 and bought some new sunglasses, obviously not prescription, to hold me over. The sun was reallllly bright!

After lunch at the Grill and more pool time, we headed in to get ready for the first Formal Night.

DH went down to get his tux. When he got back I packed a bag and went to the Spa to take a shower. These showers are really great. I took one there for the first 5 days. Then I just didn't feel like packing up my crap and started taking them in our cabin. There are maybe 5 shower rooms in the locker room area of the Spa. Each has a front changing space with a bench, sliding glass doors, pumps on the wall of Dove shampoo and Dove cool cucumber body wash (the same 2 that are in the cabin showers), one "rain" shower head and 4 shooting out of the wall.
I liked these showers. The one problem I had was that they were HOT. Of course showers are hot, but these rooms needed some ventilation.
There are piles of towels out in the changing area where the lockers are. It might just be me, but these towels were more fluffy and thicker than the cabin ones.

We ordered some room service to hold us over till dinner.
Just some veggies and dip and fruit salad. It is sooo great to be able to pick up the phone get stuff!

When we were dressed for our formal dinner, we went to Decks 2 and 3 for picture taking. We did about 20 poses with one background, then got in line for the Captain's Cocktail Party.

I guess when they're giving away free drinks it makes people crazy. Honestly, people were knocking us down to get in there.
We met the CD Lenny who introduced us to the Captain. We found a seat and got some gross drinks (some kind of sour, rum punch, etc.) then wised up and ordered beers. Our waitress brought them to us no problem.
The hor's devours they offered were chicken nuggets, meatballs in barbecue sauce, a little Mexican meat pie thing, and some phyllo dough thing. Not bad. They came around a lot.

Lenny Halliday came on stage and introduced the captain who introduced the crew members.
When this was over they showed a video.

Dinner this night was awesome. Lobster tails and other yummy stuff. Our waitresses greeted us and said they had something for me. My sunglasses! I'd left them at dinner last night and Christina had taken them with her, to her cabin so they'd be safe. This was such a relief to me!

Tonight we were in no hurry and enjoyed our meals at a leisurely pace.

After dinner we changed. We couldn't stay in those clothes any longer! I know it's fun to dress up, but I'd had enough from 4 till 8.
We had our first towel animal!
It was an elephant (we think). This was a favorite part of the day; going back to the cabin after dinner to see what kind of animal was left, grab one of the mints and browse through the next day's Capers.

The kids went to Camp Carnival. Then to the show with the camp. I was worried that they wouldn't like it, but they both did. We, of course, went to the casino. We checked on them a few times during the night, and finally picked them up around 1:30. We were all beat!

Another gorgeous day at Sea!

Today we slept late! I mean late. We almost missed the Lido breakfast. S'ok. Since we never do this, at home or on vacation, it felt strange and we ended up being sluggish all day.

Since we didn't get out to the pool till around 11, there were. of course, no pool chairs available. My kids went to the Camp Carnival talent show sign-ups and dance class. I just needed one chair for me, one for DH. We'd eaten outside and I began scouting chairs when we sat down to eat, around 10:45. We sat on the edge of the pool for 45 minutes waiting for a chair to open. After 1 hour, I went up to the security guard. I told him we'd been here for over an hour and not once had any one come near these chairs (an entire row). He shrugged and said I should go tell someone near the towels station. Yeah. Right. This guy had no freaking clue what I was saying. I tried to explain to him that the chairs had been saved and wasn't that not allowed? Nuthin.
After an hour and a half I walked over to one of the chairs, picked up a library book that was the supposed "marker" and plopped it on another chair. I stayed there till 2:00. Nobody came. Ridiculous. So now I knew I'd have to stoop to that level. Like Ron Burgundy says "When in Rome...".
I left just before the Ice Carving started. I was fried and I needed to start getting everyone ready for the night.

The wind was really kicking up now. I started to feel seasick for the first time in my life. Not pretty.

After a trip to the Spa shower for me, we were ready to head out for the evening.
We went to Deck 3 to check out the shops and hit on the Free Rum Cake Tasting. Yum. I ended up spending about $50 on rum cake!
At this point I thought, "Ok, I'm gonna loose it". I went out to the deck for air. DH and the kids looked at the pictures from our formal night. We bought one that came out fairly nice. The 8x10's are $19.99. This can really add up!

We went to our dinner and I stuck with club soda this night. My stomach just wouldn't take any hard stuff.
Neither DH not the kids felt anything at this point.

As we were walking out of the dinning room, one of the Legend Showgirls was posing for pictures. She was in yellow, feathers and all, and so was DD7 (minus the feathers). We got a really cute picture of DD7 and the showgirl. I think it's framed on DH's desk right now. Eh hmm.

Back to the room. Towel animal #2 was a swan - very cute.
I popped some Bonine and was good to go. Kids the Camp for a little while, DH and I hit the casino. He made friends with a nice couple from Nova Scotia while at the Blackjack table.

We decided to check out the Piano Bar. This one of things we looked forward to most. We love a good Piano Bar!
Well, we sure couldn't find one on this ship! Ugh.
We did find the couple from Nova Scotia there and we thought "Hey this'll be fun! We'll hang out, listen and sing along..." Um no. This guy was bad. I mean b.a.d. He wasn't funny, he wasn't entertaining and he was unappealing to look at. Really off-putting.
The set up is a good one however. The piano rotates behind the bar so you can watch him playing. There are bar stools and tables further back.
Back to the guy...
This was Gregg, just so there's no confusion. He had song books that you could flip through, choose a song, shout it out and he'd (attempt) to play it.
So DH calls out a song (it was Brandy). The guy did not know the words to his own songs. I mean, how hard is it to know the words to 20 or so songs? *I* knew all the words to these songs, and it's NOT my profession! So disappointing. We listened for about 30 minutes. We would have left sooner but the waiter took like 25 minutes to come back with our drink order. As soon as he showed up, we took off.

Grabbed the kids, ordered room service and hit the hay.

Panama
The port in Panama is picturesque. Brightly painted store fronts, mountains off in the distance. The Legend docks sideways (I'm sure there's a nautical term for that, I just don't know it) and we were lucky that our cabin was port side because we woke to the scenery. Very nice.

We got up with the plan of breakfast, getting off and shopping, coming back and spending the day at the pool/water slide.

Believe it or not we did not book any excursions in Panama or Costa Rica. No touring, no seeing the Locks or Rain Forest. We just didn't. I know that's the whole reason to go to Panama and this itinerary but our kids would've been moaning that they didn't want to take a bus/taxi ride to where ever to get on another vessel to where ever to get back on the first vessel and back on the ship. Again - that's our kids. Other kids would love the zipline tours and the cave tubing. Ours wanted to hang out on the ship and go on the water slide.
As to this specific itinerary, the dates worked for us; we left mid-week, had lots of sea days and came back mid-week which makes flights so much less expensive. So, no, we didn't go on this cruise for the ports of call.

Breakfast:
The ship was nearly deserted. This only mattered because we were easily able to find a table for breakfast and pool chairs later in the day. I have to say, I don't think I ever felt crowded. With over 2000 passengers aboard, we never had to wait in huge lines. Ever.

We lathered on the sunscreen and grabbed our camera and some cash and headed forward of the ship to Deck A toward the gangway. You can't get to Deck A from all the elevators, I'm pretty sure not the glass ones. We didn't have to go through a search or anything as we got off, just hand over your S&S cards, wait for the "bloop" and off you go.

Colon, Panama:
We stepped on to a big dock and the cruise terminal thing is off to your left, the port being in front of you. We went in then up an escalator to the walkway and passed a group of men playing island music. Then the barrage began. We were chased down by people selling tours, wanting to take you in their cars, wanting money, whatever. They do a fairly good job of keeping the people away from the terminal, but the guards must let some through, because there they were.

Down another set of escalators into the little shopping area. More men chasing after us to go in their cars, to the zoo, and God knows where else. For me, all it took was a "No thank you". But they kept on DH, obviously thinking he was the one with the money. It was a little disturbing. Now, keep in mind we are big city people. New York City is a 45 minute drive away. We are used to people asking for money on the street. My kids see this all the time, they know not to make eye contact and to keep walking. They were petrified. They kept saying "I want to go back on the ship. I want to go back on the ship".

The shopping area is a crescent shape of stores, curving out from the escalator at the terminal. There is a grocery store - this was cool. We poked around in there for a while. There are little trinket stores along the way as well. DD10 bought a drum. (?) DD7 and I bought bracelets. 2 for $12, but she took $10 for it. I think they expect you to bargain and that they make the price higher for that reason.

When we got to the edge of the buildings we kinda looked around like "should we go that way?" A group of men sitting on at a table nearby said "No! Don't go that way. Nothing over there for you". Ok! Thanks for the tip!

We made it around the other side of the crescent and there was nothing much to see so we headed back toward the ship.

We got a picture of the girls with a man who was playing some kind of wind instrument in the terminal walkway. I was just trying to take a picture of the kids with the ship in the background and Panama to the right. He gets in the picture, gets between the girls, they're terrified and I take it quick and the guy walks up to Dave and points to his money cup. Yeah, we got it dude, you want money for taking a picture with our kids.

There is shopping at the foot of the escalators. Nice Panama souvenir shirts for $5, someone selling post cards, and a hat stand. On the other side of the escalators is a duty free liquor store. They had samples of rum, frozen margarita and coffee to try. They also had single beers - Heinken was 65 cents a can!

There was no line to enter the ship. We had to show our S&S cards again, wait for the "bloop" and have our bags scanned. Painless.

We were back aboard in time for lunch!
Lunch, pool, waterslide.
It was open today and my kids spent a couple hours there.

Lunch on the Lido Deck was excellent. French was the featured cuisine. I remember some mushroom thing that was so good.

About the Asian side of the buffet; every day there were choices of a soup(Hot and Sour, WonTon, etc) a rice, a lo mein, a vegetable entree, a meat entree or two, and a spring roll or fried won ton (dim sum) - this was always good.

I had a Goombay Smash, the DOD, which tasted like pineapple juice and a little rum.

Today was "Sports Trivia" on the Lido Deck as there was no reggae band playing. Jen, the assistant CD did this. She was amusing. She didn't know a darn thing about sports, so she just read the questions. The way this works is you go up to the stage, get a form and a pencil then you can basically go anywhere in earshot to fill out your form. Now if you realllly wanted to win a solid gold plastic ship on a stick, all you'd do is take 2 forms, and fill in a blank one with the right answers as they're read. Not very diplomatic. I sat right in front of the stage and "played along" with Jen. I knew lots of the answers, I think 15 out of 20. Someone knew all 20. Hmmm... one of the questions was "how many dimples on a golf ball?" Not to be cynical, but I guess I am... these people weren't sitting up front! Eh, what can you do?

About 3pm we decided to skip dinner in the dinning room and stay longer at the pool.
After getting showered up for the night, we swung by the 5:30 3 hour Diamond Sale in the Gift Shop. Just window shopping.

We had dinner in the Unicorn Cafe. It was an OK break from the dinning room, and sure took a lot less time to get a meal in. But I missed the whole experience and was sure we'd be going back to Christina and Maya tomorrow!
This is where I saw the man washing his hands and forearms under the drinking water fountain.
Also 2 people thought it would be ok to wear the room bathrobes to dinner. This made us all uncomfortable. And... just so you know, we're normal... at home my kids run around naked nightly...they have no shame. But in the middle of a restaurant? Nah. It was just uncalled for. I don't want to hear any crap about "maybe their luggage got lost". No. I'd seen them before. You couldn't miss this girl. She stood out. She HAD other clothes.
Ok, enough.

We made sure we were ready for the 8:30 show "Singin' With the Big Band" with Christopher Allen Graves. The kids went to Camp and the counselor told us the kids would be on stage and part of the show.
Graves was excellent. All the kids in Camp Carnival went on stage and sat with him when he sang "Candy Man". It was cute.

Back to the casino for us.
I want to mention the singer in the casino, Pat. This guy was good. Not a huge repertoire, but he fit the casino perfectly and kept the mood going. He did Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Jimmy Buffet and more. I liked him.

The end of another pretty good day.

Limon, Costa Rica

We did the same ol' thing as Panama; woke up, ate breakfast on the Lido Deck, got packed up and went ashore. As I mentioned, we have no tours planned for this day either.

Exiting the ship was pretty much the same as in Colon. Very easy.

When we got off here you could really feel the heat. It was steamy. You step off to the port and a walkway that takes you past a tour tent. The prices looked pretty good in comparison (that is if they were per car/van and not per person - I didn't ask). Nobody mugging us to take their tours, we just kept walking till we got to the shopping area. This was a tarp covered flea market kind of thing. I felt pretty safe there for some reason.

As soon as we got into the tent a woman asked if we wanted to have the girls' hair braided. We did. She said "special price, both for $40". Sounded good to us. She took us to the front left of the tent thing where a "beauty shop" was set up. They did manicures, pedicures and massages there. Right there. Molly went first, she got to pick her beads and her clips. I asked how long it would take and she said "15 minutes". Actually it was more like 30 minutes, but we didn't mind. She did a great job on both girls. We gave her $50 and were on our way.

We did a lot of shopping in this area. We bought some wood crafts, coffee, funky necklaces for the kids and an embroidered bag for my mom. I noticed there was an inside shopping area too. I asked our hair lady what was in there. She said "same thing, just more money, high rent". Made sense to me.

We did go inside to check it out though. They had a "pharmacy" of sorts. You look through a book and they guy sends someone to get the meds you want. We looked through it and saw some Tylenol with codeine and other recognizable generic drugs. It all seemed pretty official in there.

There was a coffee bean stand also. They had coffee for sampling and chocolate covered coffee beans. We bought a lot of this stuff. I think there may be crack in those beans because my husband can not stop eating them! Junkie!

We thought we'd venture outside and shop a little, but one foot out the door and we were smacked with the hawkers. Back in we go!
We had to show our S&S cards to an armed guard upon reentry. Like I said, we literally stepped out the door. Pretty tight security.

There was also duty free liquor in there. We bought a few beers. The Pilsen was $2 a can and it was goooood. Stronger than your average beer, 2 had us feeling a little loopy.

Time to head back to the ship. There was a line forming to get back aboard. It didn't take longer than 5 minutes and we were headed up to get our suits on and hit the pool and grab lunch.

The kids wanted the waterslide again. The view from Deck 10 is pretty amazing. I was looking around, seeing if we were getting ready to pull away (we were supposed to leave port at 3pm and it was about 3:30) and then I saw the reason we hadn't left. The LINE to get back on board was about 200 people deep! Yikes!

We followed our pattern of getting ready, having a drink in the Odyssey Lounge, then going to dinner. After dinner, we went back to the room to find a sloth hanging from the room border! So cute! We thought it was a monkey, but we had a monkey another day, so since we were in Costa Rica, we went with the theme and called him a sloth.

The girls went to the Camp. Tonight was the SUPER LATE NIGHT PARTY for 9-11 year olds. We had signed DD10 up in the beginning of the week. The cost was $26 and it went from 10:00pm-3:30am. A councilor walked her back to the room at 3:30. I guess she had a good time... she proved it by being miserable for the next 2 day!

I went to the Camp to check on DD7 about 10. She did not look good. She said she wanted to leave. Now. I got her back to the room and ran back to the Camp to check on DD10. While I was gone, DD7 was sick. Poor Dad had to clean that up. Hee Hee. DD10 was looking pretty green too, but she ended up making it the whole night at the Party.

We didn't go to the Deck Party tonight. We saw them setting up tables earlier in the day in front of the stage area on the Lido Deck. We all stayed in the room and tried to fight the motion of the ocean, well, except DD10 who was doing Freaky Fear Factor, Hide and Seek, Dance Revolution and Lord knows what else! I wasn't worried though. The counselors were with them the whole time.
Another long day in the books.

Sunday, 2nd Formal Night
3rd Sea Day


We're on the way to Belize!
Today, the seas are much more calm. Finally!

We decided that since tomorrow we'd be spending the day at the beach on our excursion to the Private Island Beach Break on Bannister Island off Belize, we'd stay away from the pool/sun and do some of the on board activities.

After breakfast on the Lido Deck DD10 went to Camp Carnival to do a scavenger hunt. There were lots of these throughout the week. I think she did everyone. She loved these. DD7's group was doing bingo and an opposites game.

DH and I hit the casino for a little while and then caught the end of The Ultimate Mind Game in the Follies Lounge. This was another trivia-type game, all trick questions. I wish we'd been there for the beginning. We knew them all. Rats!

We stayed for the next game, Sea Feud, which is Carnival's version of Family Feud. I got picked to play! Fun.

The questions were regarding aboard life and were pretty subjective. Again, it was for fun and I laughed and had a good time. My team didn't win. We got a runner-up ribbon/medal. The other team got the ships on a stick.

Truthfully, your mind goes blank up there! It's like watching Wheel of Fortune at home... you scream at the TV "What's wrong with you dummies? How could you get on the show and not know that??" You just freeze! Duh.

After a little more casino time we picked up the kids from camp and had lunch. DH and the kids stayed on the Lido deck to watch the Hairy Chest Competition. He said it was funny. I can't comment. They went to the Card Room and played cards for a while and I met them there.

We were back in the Follies to watch the Newlywed Game. The kids were with us and this may have been a little too adult for them. Honestly, most of it went over their heads (I think). After that we walked around and looked at some of the photos taken. We didn't' really have a lot. We never got one taken as we got off in the ports, we never had one taken on deck. We didn't avoid them, we just weren't asked. Kinda disappointing. We did buy all of the dinning room poses they took, except the one with the pirate...? This lame-looking pirate guy comes around to your table during dinner and you pose with him. What is up with that? Just bizarre. Does anyone buy these?

We missed Tea Time on the other sea days, so I made sure we were there for it today. We went to the Atlantis Lounge at 3:35. Tea Time was 3:30. I guess we should have showed up a little earlier. All the seats were taken. All the bar seats were taken. We tried to sit at the end of the bar and the bartender said "Can I help you ma'am?" I said "We'd like tea". He said "Can you sit somewhere else? We like to leave these seats open so the waitresses can serve from here". Well, there wasn't anywhere else to sit so we left.

If you want to go to Tea, go at least 30 minutes early and stake out a seat. One of our waitresses, Maya, was serving tea. Later that night, we asked her why there were no seats. She said people camp there - just park it and sit there all day waiting for tea. Ok, so now I know.

After that fiasco, we headed back to Follies. We made it in time for Bingo. This was one of the pre-show bingos. Actually, I think they're all pre-something. What we wanted to watch was the Towel Folding Demonstration.
This was not what I expected. After the bingo, they stage is set with tables, one stage front, and a bunch in the back.
The social host (this was Andrew, he was great all week) introduces a group of room stewards. One of them comes to the front and starts to demonstrate. Then he invites people to come on stage and get a close up look at the other demonstrations.
If you don't go on stage, you don't see anything. My kids were right up there. We sat in the audience and couldn't see a thing, not even the one in front because people on stage totally surrounded the table. Whatever. The kids were happy. We bought the towel folding book ($12 maybe?) and thought it was money well spent since it kept the kids busy for the rest of the trip. DD7 was quite good at it!

Back upstairs to get ready for the 2nd Formal Night. Tux for DH, pink dresses for the girls and black pantsuit for me. Or not. I forgot the pants. Luckily I had another dressy type dress that I felt was dressy enough, especially after seeing what other people considered "formal" on the 1st Formal Night. So we were good to go.

We took lots of pictures this time, different background, some just me and DH, some just the kids. We ended up getting a few good ones, but less than I would've liked.

Dinner this night was ok. I can't recall the exact menu, just that I wasn't really thrilled with it.

The kids wanted to go to the Take II show, so we dropped them off at the Camp and we did a little shopping and went back to the casino. DH was beat and decided to call it a night.

Tonight is the Grand Gala Buffet. We were all about this.
I picked the kids up from the Camp at 10pm and we walked around the ship a bit, waiting for the viewing time to start.
The Capers said Truffles would open at 11:30 for picture taking, but all of a sudden people started bum-rushing the door around 11:15 and so we just followed the crowd.

We took so many pictures! Everything looked awesome, incredible. We had over an hour till the Buffet was open for actual eating, so we thought we'd go check on Dad and see if he felt like joining us....

Why don't we just lay down for a few minutes. We'll go to the Buffet soon.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
We all fell asleep, sound asleep, in our clothes.
Woke up about 4 am! No buffet for us!

Belize:
Our only booked excursion was to be Bannister Island, the Private Island Beach Break offered only by Carnival on this particular day. It was very inexpensive, around $160 total for the 4 of us. It included one rum or fruit punch, your ride back and forth in the tender boat, and 4 hours of beach time. Just what we were looking for.

Yesterday, we stayed away from the pool so that we wouldn't be fried for our beach day. I walked out onto the balcony today and it was gray. Cold, rainy and gray. It'll clear up, right?

We had a regular breakfast on the Lido Deck, came back to the cabin to pack sunscreen, Carnival towels (we had to request 2 more, we only ever had 2 in our room), cameras, etc.
Our tour tickets (these were delivered to our room on our first night) said out tender left at 9:30 and that we should be at the Follies Lounge 15 minutes early. This was really screwy. We walk into the Follies lounge and there were people walking in, people walking out, people lined up at the stage, people in the chairs, people in groups in the back. We didn't know what the heck we were supposed to do.

There was a social host on stage giving instructions. I caught the end of him saying "....get a sticker up front at the stage". So I walked down there, told the rest of the gang to grab a seat.
Turns out he wasn't calling my group but that didn't seem to matter. It was totally confusing. I showed one of the Carnival employees my tickets. She said "Oh, you're going to Bannister Island? We can offer you a full refund because of the weather. Or you can still go."

Oy. Did they know something about the weather that they weren't letting on? Not that it's Carnival's fault - of course that's just ridiculous, but I felt out of touch. No computer, no local news stations. How would we know if there was bad weather coming?

Also, this was our only excursion. Did we want to wimp out because of gray skies? Nahhh. We decided to go for it.
We got our colored, numbered stickers and took a seat. Within 5 minutes the Host announced that those of us going on to Bannister Island with stickers numbered "2" should follow this guy. So off we went, down to Deck 1 where the tenders are. We passed some crew areas on the way.

We got out onto the platform, handed our tickets and climbed aboard. This boat is small, but fits about 75 people. Most of it is covered. Our guide said the ride over would be about 20-25 minutes. We got there in 10. The approach of the Island is great, so cool. You pull up to a wooden dock and there's a girl there handing out your tickets for punch. It's about 10 am.
This is a gorgeous island. It looks "unspoiled" and pristine.
A white sandy shoreline, palm trees, grass huts. Paradise.

The sand is white, but it sticks to you powder. There are lounge chairs lining the shore and thatched umbrellas with tables underneath. There is a kids play area with swings, slides and a see-saw. The gift shop is very small, closet sized actually. There is a walk-up food stand that served hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq chicken, red beans and rice and maybe other stuff for all I know. I didn't go near it.

The bathrooms were very clean and new looking. There was running water and soap. There were signs above the toilets asking you not to throw any paper in to them, to put paper in the garbage cans next to the toilets. I don't know why. I'm guessing a water treatment issue.

There is a large bar area with a huge square bar and table and chairs under a thatched roof. We parked our stuff on a lounge chair near the water and walked toward the play area. The kids stayed on the swings and junk for a while. The island photographer took a picture of DH and the kids on the swing. We walked out onto the pier and looking down saw clown fish in the water near the wood. Nemo! We took some pictures with the underwater camera. I haven't developed them yet. The girls walked the beach and picked up shells. They had really cool kinds, the kind you never find on Long Island Sound, but they were reallllly small. We took another photo of the 4 of us by the pier.

We got our rum punches (unfriendly bartender) and prepared for some beach time. Ok, I haven't mentioned the fact that it's getting pretty dark and cold out. We feel rain drops but pretend not to. Molly is huddled under her towel yelling "I'm cold! I'm wet! And I don't know where my shoes are!"
It's about time for lunch and we notice a bunch more people coming from the dock area. We determined that there was a second group of Legend passengers with a later departure time that were arriving.

Ok, now it's raining. Realllllly raining. Cold rain. Not "Let's ignore the rain" rain. We moved under an umbrella area in front of the gift shop. DH and the kids decided to brave out the island food. The kids got hot dogs and fries. They liked them well enough. DH's burger was orange. We're not sure what kind of burger it was, but we are pretty sure it wasn't beef.

The people just coming on the island were crowding into the gift shop to purchase towels, shirts, anything they can to keep warm. It's raining too hard to stay under the umbrella, so we move to the bar area. The bartenders and island manager are behind the bar. These are the freaking most unfriendly bunch of guys I've come across the entire vacation. Rude. Ignoring the customers, talking amongst themselves. You know what? It's pouring! There's nothing to do but drink. Can you SELL us some drinks please? Jeez!

We see some people walking toward the dock and decide to check things out. There was another boat, a catamaran, and the boat that we came over in docked at the pier. We asked the guide people if they'd be willing to take us back early since it was pouring. They said "majority rules, you got to get the other people back on board too." So we sat on there alone for about 30 minutes. At least we were dry.

The guide guys then told us they were only going to make one run back to the ship, combining the 2 departure times. They were able to do this because lots of the people that had originally come over on this tender had already left on the catamaran! Huh? What? We could've left on the catamaran and gone back to the Legend? Why didn't any one tell us that? It's 11:30.

We want to know when this tender will go back to the Legend. "As soon as everyone gets on board. We make one trip back."
I asked if they let anyone know this. They didn't seem to think they needed to.
I took it upon myself to get off the tender, leave my husband and kids, and try to do a good dead. I went up to every single person on that island and told them "The tender is going to make one run back to the Legend. Once everyone is on board, they're leaving" .

Lots of people got on board. We sat there with about 40 people for another 30 minutes. Our tender was supposed to leave Bannister Island at 1:00. The second group's tender was supposed to leave Bannister Island at 2:00. The general chatter on board was "Let's get back to the ship - get dry, get lunch, try to rescue some of this day."
At 12:30 the island manager comes on and yells (now this is a BIG man) "You don't have to leave. You can stay on the island until your time is up. They lie to you." Obviously this guy wanted to sell more drinks. He was loosing a day's business and he was pissed.
Sorry buddy! We're done!

Some obnoxious passengers started arguing with him. We just sat there waiting for the captain to start the engines and leave!

Guess what? The guide guy tells us that there are still a few passengers on the island. THEY don't want to leave. THEY paid for 4 hours of beach time and they're getting their 4 hours of beach time. THEY don't give a crap about the 40+ people waiting on THEM. Apparently they came to the beach to sit in the rain and read a book while drinking soda. You know, because you can't do that stuff on the ship!

How inconsiderate can you possibly be? In my entire life I've never been able to be that selfish. Why are the wants of these few people more important than the needs of the majority of people? Who the hell are they?

When this group finally came on board, they were all smug and self-righteous. These are the same kinds of people who talk on their cell phones in the middle of a restaurant, like they're the only people in the world that matter. Pathetic.

When we finally started moving, we stopped half way through to see dolphins, as it turned out. More inconsiderate people... My little kids are trying to look out the tender's window to see the dolphin. This older guy slides the window near him open, which then makes the window my daughters are looking out of double-pained glass. They couldn't see anything! He is practically jumping out the window to see these dolphins, spouting all this marine biology 101 stuff and all the while the little kids are looking at foggy glass! It was so crappy. I said "Can you close that so the rest of us can see?" I guess that's when he lost his ability to speak English because he didn't answer me and he didn't move. Jerk.

SO.. we get off the tender, go grab lunch and try to salvage a blown trip.

Let me reiterate. None of this should be taken as a bashing of Carnival.
I think, had "they" (whomever "they" are) known we were heading for a cold, rainy day, they would've canceled the excursion all together.
I feel the Bannister Island management company was so furious at loosing a day's receipts that they deceptively tried to get people to stay on, even though the weather was horrible and there are no indoor areas.
I think there should be some policy in place.... "This is what we do when the weather is poor" and that it should be enforced. All passengers have to follow the rules, including the ones that think they don't have to follow the rules.

You can't control the weather, but you sure can make people aware of things.
Back on board.
We head up to the Lido Deck for lunch. It's still early enough that we didn't miss the buffet. That was good.

It's not raining, but it's not sunny either. The kids want to do the waterslide. I head to the shops to get some take-home gifts for people.

We know we want to go to the hypnotist's show tonight at 8:45. We have our dinner at Truffles and then drop by Camp Carnival to sign DD7up. Tonight is 6-8 year old's All Night Party. It's really just till 1 a.m. but for my 7 year old, that's plenty late enough.

The party doesn't start till 10, so we'll be able to see the show, get her changed into pj's, drop her off and head back out.

Tonight is also the past guest party in the Follies Lounge. We kind of hung around by the entrance because we weren't sure what was going on in there and didn't want to walk in on something "private". A Carnival guy said "Please, go right in!"

We did. We sat and watched Lenny Halliday do his thing and then another promotional Carnival video. We didn't have any of the hors d'oeuvres they were passing since we'd just finished dinner, but I did grab a melon sour from the passing waiters. Yuck yuck and double yuck.

Once the presentation was over and the crowd began to file out to go to their late seating dinner, we were able to move right to the front row, dead center. The place really started filling up! Before the show started, DH got up to use the bathroom. He was gone mayyyyybe 1 minute. A woman climbs over to his place and sits down, sitting right on top of DD10's sweater. She starts waving to the man she was with to come on over.
Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I said "Excuse me, you're in my husband's seat."
Crazy lady: "Oh"
Me: "He just went to the men's room."
CL(crazy lady): "Oh. Is he coming back?"
Me: "Yes. I'm sorry you can't sit here."
CL: "Oh. Someone's sitting here?"
Ok, now I'm getting annoyed. The gentleman on the other side of her says "Lady, that is someone's seat! Get up!"
DD10 yanks her sweater out from under the lady's butt and finally she seems to focus and realize SHE'S IN SOMEONE'S SEAT! It was really unbelievable.

Ok, off of that, on to this. The hypnotist. This guy was... different. While introducing him, the CD said he flew in to Belize just for this performance. He's a tall guy, bald. He had the biggest, longest shoes I've ever seen. His voice was weird... hypnotic if you will...hee hee. His voice reminded me of Nicholas Cage in "Peggy Sue Got Married" - he's all nasally, pretending to be a teenager and then his voice gets deeper or cracks(Cage I mean). Funny, but that's what I kept hearing. Nicholas Cage as a teenager.

So he does a few cool tricks on the audience then says he needs 20 volunteers to come up on stage. Man, people ran up there like he was giving away free rum cake samples! So then there's one chair open. We talked DH into going up. It was so cool. Since we were in the front row, he hoped the stage and took his seat.

I won't give it away, that wouldn't be fair. But I will say out of the 20 people, I think 2 or 3 were actually under and none were my husband. The rest were faking. After a while, the hypno-guy (I can't remember his name and I can't find my Capers for this day!) would tap people on the shoulder and say "Thank you, you can take your seat". Some people just got up on there own.

All in all, it was a good show. I would recommend it. The kids cracked up! We all enjoyed it.

The rest of the night was pretty routine, Camp Carnival, casino.

We were ready for a good day by the pool tomorrow!

Our last day :(

I woke up bright and early to a sunny day! Woo Hoo!

I grabbed my "stuff" (sunscreen, beach bag, book, camera) and headed up to the Lido Deck. I got some Frosted Flakes, coffee and found 2 deck chairs at the main pool, nearest the bar on the starboard side, at the very end of the row. It was about 7:30a.m.

I sat, ate my cereal, drank my coffee, read my book.
A little while later, Dave and the kids met me. We stayed there for a while.

We wanted to do the "TV Trivia Game" that was being held in Follies. We all left the stuff and headed down there for the game.
Um, suffice to say we watch a LOT of TV and we know a LOT of trivia. We won! 17 out of 20! The kids ran up and got our plastic ship on a stick. This was a good time. We headed back to the pool.

Dave and the kids stayed there the rest of the day. I shopped and gambled a little. Then I went back to the cabin and started packing. Phooey.

I came up to the pool around 2 to find that they'd all been swimming and sunning and having a great old time without me. Well, enough of that! I claimed one of the 2 chairs, which now had wet pool towels on it as well as all our junk.

Dave gets up to go to men's room (every time this guy leaves to pee, something happens!).
A woman comes over, blocks the sun so I look up.
Crazy Lady#2: "Is that your towel?"
Me: "The one I'm laying on? Yeah, that's mine. Well, actually it's my daughter's. She just used it when she got out of the pool. It's soaking wet." I smile.
CL#2: "Oh, I think that's my towel. Those are my chairs."
Me: "These chairs? No. We've been sitting on these chairs all day."
CL#2: "Well, I'm sure I saved these chairs and 2 towels. Are you sure those are your towels?"
Me: "YES! I've been here since 7:00 this morning! These are my towels! I had breakfast here. Right here."
CL#2: "Mumble mumble, husband, mumble, room, towel, mumble" She walks away.

Dave comes back. I tell him what happened (and think, my God! ARE these our towels??) He says "What? We've been here all day! Wait I have the receipt from the towel rental!" He pulls it out and I can taste the victory!

All of a sudden, it gets strangely dark, like a black cloud has descended upon us.....the sun is gone..... she's back.

This time she comes behind my husband who had his back to the pool, straddling the chair. She puts her meaty hooks on his shoulders and says:
CL#2: "I'm going to ask you again, are you sure those are your towels?"
Dave: "Yes! Here's the receipt!"
Me: "LADY! We've been here all day! He has the receipt!"
CL#2: "Now, it's okay. I won't be mad. Just tell the truth. Did you take my towels?"
WHAT THE HELL ARE WE? 4?????
Dave: "We didn't take your towels! These are our chairs! I have the receipt."
CL#2 : "I won't be mad if you did. I just want to know. You should just tell me if you took my towels."
Me: "I cannot believe this. Are you sure it was here. There are 2 other pools you know. Was it this pool? On this side of the ship?"
CL#2: "Mumble, husband, room, mumble......" walks away.

Okay. Now we're starting to steam. Come ON! Are ya nuts?

THAT corked it. You're going along, having a nice afternoon, the kids are playing, the sun is shining, the drinks are flowing and some nutjob comes up and accuses you of something and Splat! There goes the good time.

We waited a while to see if she went and got her husband or someone else, but she never did come back. What a LOON!

Now for the topper....
We go to leave, and head toward the forward elevators by the Spa. Guess who we see? WITH her pool towels, in the last 2 chairs on the starboard side... yep, you got it. Crazy Lady #2 herself.
The old bat was at the wrong pool! Rather than just listen to us, she harassed us and talked to us like we were a couple of toddlers!
People suck.

And what did my husband want to do? Well, he wanted to go over there and snatch Crazy Lady#2's towels just for fun. Wouldn't you?
But of course, that would've been rude.

It's getting-ready and dinner time and we don't want to miss the chance to say goodbye and thanks to our wait staff, so off we go.

Grrrrrrr.

We were nearly packed when we left for dinner. That stinks. We decided to do self-debarkation. That meant we didn't have to have our luggage ready for pick-up and we could finish packing when we came back from our night out. When I say "we" I mean "me".

We found the maitre'd tip envelope waiting for us when we returned from the pool. We went back and forth over this. What does this guy do? Ok, he assigned our table, but other than telling some jokes after dinner, what has he done for us lately? I had no point of reference for tipping him either. What was a fair amount? $5? $10? $20? We took the envelope with us when we left and thought we'd figure it out along the way.

Since we didn't have many posed photos, and by chance we were all wearing white shirts, we decided to try to get another good one in. After this it was dinner time.

I've seen it mentioned before, but I think it needs repeating. Why Why Why do they have the cigar/smoking lounge right outside the dinning room? Sitting next to someone smoking doesn't really bother me. Sitting in the middle of 30 people smoking and a few of them smoking cigars is hard to ignore.
I'm a reformed smoker. My kids have asthma. Maybe that makes me more sensitive to it, but we weren't the only people moving our seats to get away from the heavy smoke. We spoke to 2 other couples who were complaining about it. It's just not a smart thing logistically.

So in we go. Tonight was Seafood Newburg and Prime Rib. Both these dinners were excellent. I also want to mention that every night the kids had children's menus at their place. They didn't order off of them, my kids are eaters, but they colored and did the little activities inside.

This being the last night, we gave our servers there own tips. It awkward because you're not sure when to do it. I guess the right time may have been at the very end of the meal when they come around with these Carnival place mat things? We also tipped our bar server on the way out. We did tip the maitre'd, but it was really just for form and I felt like we were forced to rather than wanting to based on merit.

The kids went to Camp Carnival's Farewell Party. They made T-shirts and got some Carnival merchandise, a backpack, and a CD case. We also tipped the Youth Staff. These girls really made the C

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