Monthly Archives: July 2016

Pictures

By the volume of pictures I see of this family posted on the various social media sites, I would say this is a good topic.

Carnival has a whole staff dedicated to taking pictures.  There is hardly a place on or off the ship where you won’t see a Carnival Pixel staff member snapping away. Some people love the cameras while others avoid them as much as possible (this would be my man).

Let’s set the scene…..you are laughing it up with your family pool side and a Carnival Pixels member asks if they can take a picture.  Sure you say so the family gets the best goofy faces on and click a precious family moment has be created on film.  Now what? How the heck do you get to see that picture? What if you want it? So many questions and look at me with the answers!

Everyday Carnival prints out all of the pictures that were taken.  On deck 4 there is a rather large area set up called The Pixels Gallery.  Simply go to deck 4 search thru the 100’s of pictures on the wall.  It’s actually not as overwhelming as you may be thinking right now. Carnival has the pictures sorted by event. So if you are assigned to the Blush dining room at 6:00 pm then any photos that were taken during that time are in an area labeled as such.  If you find a picture you would like to purchase grab it off the wall and take it to the register.  The nice Pixel staff member will take your Sail and Sign card, swipe it to charge you, put your picture in a bag, and off you go.

Now let’s say you find a picture and oh my goodness this picture should not be seen by anyone let alone purchased.  Take that sucker off the wall and place it into the photo container that is clearly labeled for photos not wanted.

Holy moly what is that?! Well that is the Photo of the Day area.  If your photo is located in that area you get it for free!  These are randomly selected photos that are updated daily.  Even if you don’t have any intentions of purchasing photos you should go up to the gallery daily to see if you get a free one.

The Pixels Gallery has a punch card that is used when purchasing.  For every photo purchased you get a punch on the card. At certain levels you get a free item such as a Carnival luggage tag, a Carnival tumbler, and there is even a USB in the shape of a Carnival ship.

Prices: This is the pricing as of today. If I see any changes in the prices I will make sure and update this post.

Original Prints

  • Fun Shots (5×7): $11.99 each
  • Cruise Collectibles (6×9): $14.99 each these include embarkation, dining, and gangway photos
  • Pro Portraits (8×10): $21.99 each

Reprint Value Sheet: $9.99 per image (sheet)
*There is a disclaimer that the photos must be purchased in their original size before reproductions can be ordered. Offer not available for groups of 6 or more.

  • 2 – 5×7 prints
  • 1 – 6×9 print
  • 1 – 8×10 print
  • 1 – 5×7 + 4 wallet size prints
  • 1 CD

Canvas Wall Art: When Scott and Gina sailed on the Carnival Magic we had one of our photos turned into a canvas.  We then took our canvas to Michael’s (the store not my brother) and had it professional framed.  It turned out beautiful and are very happy with the quality.

  • 16″ x 20″ – $59.95 each
  • 20″ x 30″ – $79.95 each

There are special pictures that are taken on elegant nights but I will get into that when I post about what an elegant night is.

The last special photo opportunity that I would like to tell you about is the Dream Studio.  Scott and I have not tried this yet but are thinking about it when we set sail in December (140 days).  The Dream Studio has a photographer that sets up various photo shoots either around the ship or at a port of call.  The photographer will then take all of the pictures and edit them down into a unique storybook.  There is absolutely no obligation to buy and no sitting fee. But after seeing some of the storybooks they have had on display there is no doubt that purchases will be made.  The packages are tailored to each guest and what they want so I can not give you pricing.  If we decide to do this in December I will update the post with pricing.

So get your best cheesy smile on and get ready for some picture taking fun!

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

The Fun Times

The most important item for the cruise is delivered to your cabin every evening.  This is a newspaper called the Fun Times. In the Fun Times you will read about all of the happenings going on and any special information Carnival would like you to know for the day. Each Fun Times vary on the information given but I have listed a few items you might find each day.

The front page of the Fun times more than likely will have the following information:

  • The date which includes the day of the week (example: Sunday, December 17, 2017).  You will find this helpful as the week progresses because it’s easy to lose track of what day it is.
  • The times for sunrise and sunset are listed.  If you wanted to see the sunset or sunrise on the ocean you will now know what time to be out on the open deck.  This makes for great picture times.
  • There will be a spot that will tell you if it is a Sea Day or a Port Day.  If it is a Port Day the name of the port will be on there.
  • There is also a section on the front that reminds you what ship you are on along with the names of some team members and their title assigned to the ship (example: Captain Giovanni Cutugno who is the Captain of the Carnival Magic).
  • There is a Safety Message with a safety item you should be aware of.
  • A Special Message is listed on the bottom of the Fun Times.  It might be a reminder of an event being held that day or what channel on the TV you can watch the Morning Show with the Cruise Director.

Inside the Fun Times will be sections with the following information with times and locations:

  • The Top 10 events to not miss that day
  • Casino action that is happening
  • Activities, games, and more for youths that day
  • Listings of shows including comedy and production
  • Spa events happening
  • Drink Specials
  • What is going on in the Fun Shops

On the back of the Fun Times will be an Information section:

  • Lists of times certain areas of the ship are open and where they are located
  • What movies are showing
  • Dress attire for the dining room
  • Entertainment you can find on your TV
  • List of smoking areas

This is just a small list of information you can find in your Fun Times. Because there is far more information than a normal person can retain Carnival has a condensed portion of the Fun Times that is perforated and can be torn off.  Scott and I like to read thru the Fun Times before bed while hanging out on the balcony in our cabin.  We take a highlighter and highlight on the tear away section anything we might like to do the next day.  We then separate it from the Fun Times, fold it, and stick it in our lanyard to carry around with us the next day.

I highly recommend you read your Fun Times from front to back every night or first thing in the morning.  There is so much important information that each of us should be aware of.  And honestly, with as many activities that go on there is no way to keep it all straight without a little help from the Fun Times.

 

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The Breeze

And the days keep on cruising by….I hope you have all received your countdowns (except for The Peebles Clan cause the post office is mean) and are fully in sync with 523 days to go.

Today lets talk about the Carnival Breeze.  The ship we will call home for 7 days.  Where great times will be had.  Where lifelong memories will be made.  Look at me with all of these glorious thoughts of our cruising future.

The Breeze is one of three ships that are part of the dream class for Carnival. The dream class ships are the second largest ships in the fleet, second only to the new Carnival Vista. It was built in 2012 with a gross tonnage of 130,000. Finally something that weighs way more than me…lol. It’s 1004 feet in length. The guest capacity is 3690 while the crew consists of 1386 people.  For the people that went on the 1st family cruise on board the Triumph here is the comparison. The Triumph has a guest capacity of 2754 and only 893 feet in length.

The Breeze has 15 decks counting deck zero and the absence of deck 13.  Yep, just like a lot of hotels the 13th floor is omitted. The only time guests are allowed on deck zero is to get off the ship at the various ports.  I will get into more detail about that in another blog.

One of the best kept secrets about the Breeze are the secluded areas.  In the front or forward of the ship on decks 6 & 7 accessed through unlocked doors are the secluded areas.  These areas take you to the farthest forward of the ship.  Great picture opportunities during sunrise and sunset. This is where yelling “I’m the king of the world” would be appropriate.

If you want a place to lounge away from the party area on the Lido deck, head on over to deck 5.  On this deck you will find the Lania.  It is still close to food and hot tubs but just a little quieter.

There are 19 places to eat not including room service, 10 bars for your drinking pleasure, and lounge chairs galore to eat your food and drink your drinks. There is a casino, spa, adult retreat, gym, pools, hot tubs, kid areas and oh so much more! You want shopping then guess what, you get shopping. It truly is a floating resort.

 

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Disclaimer & Gift Cards

Happy 4th of July (and Junior’s 3rd birthday)!

I would like to start today’s post with my disclaimer.  I think it is necessary to let everyone know that I am here to help, inform you on items you may not know about, and add some excitement to our 500 + days of waiting.  I am not a cruise expert or a Carnival employee. Scott and I simply enjoy cruising and have gained some pretty good knowledge about it. I cannot be responsible for everyone’s schedule once on the ship.  That means you need to keep track of when dinner is or an activity that you would like to do.  Scott purchased an inexpensive $10 watch that he calls his “cruising watch.”  He only wears it on cruises because we choose to turn our phones off and not get charged for international roaming.  This may be a good idea for some of you as well.  So, soak up some fine cruising tips and gear up for a fun filled vacation!

Now on to today’s main topic: Gift Cards, Bar Cash & Cruise Cash.

Gift Cards

There are several local stores that you can purchase Carnival gift cards from.  Here is a list of some: Kroger, Giant Eagle, Hyvee, Price Chopper, Safeway, Meijer, Albertsons, Lowes, Winn Dixie , Office Max, and Publix. We get all of ours from Lowes.

These gift cards start at $25 and go all the way up to $500.  With the gift cards you can use them for paying toward the balance of your cruise, setting up your Sail and Sign account, or adding it to your on board account after you have set it up.  Gift cards can be used for any purchase with Carnival.  The advantage to buying gift cards in advance of your cruise is you can collect them and can’t spend them on anything else. So if you have a hard time budgeting or you steal the money from your cruising set aside fund during the year for other purchases, the gift cards are like money in the cruising bank. Gift cards also make great presents for birthdays, holidays, and just cause days. These gift cards do not have an expiration date.

Bar Cash

Another product that Carnival offers is Bar Cash.  It can be purchased directly from http://www.carnival.com in increments of $25 up to $100. Cruise Bar Cash gives you an immediate credit to a your Sail and Sign account which can be applied toward any bar purchases.  This credit is good for any bar charge made including alcoholic drinks, juice, soda,  bottled water, and coffee shop charges.  This is the important part: “Cruise Cash Bar is valid for a single voyage and cannot be transferred to future bookings.  Cruise Cash Bar is non-refundable and any unused credits will be forfeited.” So if you have $100 in Bar Cash you need to spend all $100.  This is also a wonderful present for the drinkers in your life.

Cruise Cash is Carnival’s way of having letting you basically put money on your account ahead of time and it being used for all purchases on board the ship. It is purchased from http://www.carnival.com website in increments of $25 up to $100. If you want to start building up your spending money and putting it just toward the Bar Cash isn’t for you, then Cruise Cash is the way to go.

 

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