Monthly Archives: July 2017

Formal Night

Welcome to the last day of July before the best month of the year! That’s right August is truly the best month of the year and yes it’s because it’s my birthday month.  Let the celebration begin!

Of all of the cruise forums that I read on a daily basis, it’s not as many as you are thinking right now, the major discussion is about formal night. On six or more day Carnival cruises they host two formal nights for all passengers that would like to participate.  Please note that this is not a must but an option.  If you would like to eat in the main dining rooms during formal evenings then you have to adhere to the dress code.

It’s a simple dress code. Men should wear dress slacks, dress shirts, and it is suggested a sport coat. Scott has never worn a sports coat on elegant night so we know that it is not a requirement but a suggestion.  Men can also choose to wear a suit and tie or tuxedo.
Women should wear either cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. Women can also wear an evening gown.  What’s not allowed, jeans, men’s sleeveless shirts, shorts, tee-shirts, sportswear, gym or basketball shorts, baseball hats, flip-flops and bathing suit attire.

You are probably wondering why there would be so many discussions on forums about a dinner.  My take is people are a bunch of crybabies and complainers.  I do understand that jeans can cost way more than a dress but that doesn’t make it elegant apparel. I am also fully aware of the fact that not everyone owns “dress up” clothes.  This is exactly why elegant nights are optional.  Please feel free to eat on deck 10 The Lido at the food areas.

During our December cruise we will experience two elegant nights.  Please check your Fun Times daily to find out when the elegant nights are.  They also have a channel on the tv where you can check the menu and attire for the evening.  It is not anybody’s responsibility but your own to know when elegant night is.  Obviously we will all keep an eye open and hopefully let the group know as we are made aware.

Scott and I like elegant nights because quite honestly there are only a few times during the year that we dress up for a nice dinner.  Plus, we look fabulous in our “dress up” attire.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 3 Comments

Sail and Sign Cards

Here’s to another Monday.  Another week on the road for Scott and a busy week for me.  This week we are celebrating Elle & Jaxson’s birthdays.  So happy birthday Elle and Jaxson.

Today we are going to talk about a new system that Carnival has started using on their ships.  This new system has caused a lot of positive and negative chatter on the cruise forums. As a matter of fact, in this house we have differing views.

Starting this month the Carnival Breeze will have a new embarkation process.  In the past when checking in at the Galveston terminal the friendly staff would set up each passengers sail and sign accounts.  They would go to a box and pull out your already printed sail and sign cards and give them to you.  You would then use your cards to board the ship and for the remainder of your cruise.  Passengers with priority status such as diamond, platinum, and faster to the fun are able to go straight to their cabins once they board.  They can drop off any carry on luggage they have, check out their rooms, sit on the balcony, or take a nap to name just a few.

Now instead of receiving your sail and sign cards at the check in area you will use your printed boarding passes to board the ship.  When your room is ready your sail and sign cards are placed in a sealed envelope and put in your mailbox outside your cabin.  If your room is not ready then you will not have the envelope and no access to your room.

The reasoning behind this new process is to speed up check in and to stop having passengers from going to their cabins. Passengers that were not priority were heading to their cabins as soon as they boarded the ships.  They would interfere with the room stewards that were trying to get all of the cabins ready.  Items were placed in cabins before room stewards get there to prep the room thus leaving the room stewards liable for items being misplaced or broken.

The negative comments on this new process is that people don’t want their cards placed outside the rooms because they could be stolen or tampered with.  So far this has not happened on any of the ships that have this policy in place. If you want to order drinks or make purchases before your cabin and cards are available to you that’s not a problem.  The staff will use your boarding pass and a picture of you will come up on their screen.  You sign for your purchase and the charge will go to your sail and sign account.

If for some reason there are charges that show up on your account go to guest services and get them removed.  Also, if your sealed envelope is missing from your mailbox, go to guest services.  They will get to the bottom of it and get you all squared away.

As with any new process I am sure there will be a learning curve.  Personally, I just want to get on the ship faster and the fun to start.  I also know that if I have a problem with my sail and sign card Carnival will make it right.  I hope that everyone will give the new process a try before making any judgments.

Less than 150 days before we set sail!

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

Lions, Tigers & Bears Oh My

Welcome back to Gina’s Amazing Adventures and another posting about our family cruise this December on the Carnival Breeze.  Today I am waiting for our internet to be fixed.  If you are reading this then it is fixed and we are swimming in the internet pool of life.

Let’s talk about stuffed animals.  Those lovable, huggable toys that nearly every child has.  I loved stuffed animals as a kid.  I still have a dog the kids got me one year as a present.  Heck, even our cat Junior has a stuffed bear that he carries around.

When the kids were younger they enjoyed going to the mall and making their own stuffed animals from the store called Build A Bear.  I’m pretty sure DJ still has his Colorado Avalanche hockey bear.  It was fun picking out the character and then accessorizing it.  Carnival Cruise offers the Build A Bear Workshop At Sea experience for the kids on their ships.

There are a variety of animals to choose from including bears, penguins, monkeys, sharks, Cat in the Hat, and so much more.  The animals cost $26 and then you can purchase clothes for them if you want.

I have read conflicting reports online about how many times the workshop is made available.  Some say twice while others say only once.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s at least once.  Sometimes I’m so smart…or is it smrt (that one is for you Simpsons fans).

The one thing I can say about Carnival is they do keep kids entertained.  I can’t wait to see all of the kiddos with their stuffed creatures.  I might even be able to convince one of them to let me snuggle with theirs.  Fingers crossed!

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

Make Money Money

Well look at this. It’s Monday and I’m typing my blog post.  I have not been very good at getting the last few posts out on Mondays.  I sure hope everyone has had a good last week and staying on the cool side.  I thank goodness for A/C every day.

Today I would like to talk about the hard working crew members of the Carnival Breeze.  There are 1,386 amazing crew members that work everyday all day to make your cruise enjoyable.  It never ceases to amaze me how the room steward always remembers our names.  It is not unusual to be walking to our room and we hear “Hi Scott and Gina.”

I have not come across a crew member on any ship that wasn’t smiling and saying hi.  You will notice that on the name tags of each crew member it not only has their names but it says what country they are from.  These people are from all over the world.  Most are willing to chat and even have a picture taken with them.

Now I do not know how much crew members make nor do I feel like it is any of my business.  Just like any service position crew members love to be tipped.  Carnival has a policy that $12.95 a day per person is charged to your Sail and Sign card to cover the cost of gratuities.  I know some of you are sitting there with a calculator figuring out how much more you need to budget for on your cruise.  Let’s get into the details.

If you are sailing on a 7 day cruise your room would be charged $12.95 a day per person.  One person for 7 days would be charged $90.65.  These gratuities cover everyone from the room steward to the wait staff and everyone behind the scenes.  When you look at it that way $12.95 a day is not too bad.

Carnival does give you the option of prepaying your gratuities on the website.  Just go to and sign into your account. Select Manage, then My Booking, view cruise details, and click on add prepaid gratuities.  One of the new features is that you can choose which person you are prepaying gratuities for so you can do a person at a time if you need to.  If the option does not show up for you just give George a call.

If you want to prepay for gratuities you can. If you want to just have it added to your Sail and Sign on board account you can.  If you think $12.95 a day per person is too much money you can go to your Sail and Sign account once you are on the ship and adjust the amount.

Scott and I prepay for our gratuities because when we board the ship we want our vacation already paid for.  We also bring small bills to tip people at ports such as drivers and tour guides.  We do bring extra money for our wait staff and room steward.  If we feel like they have done an amazing job, which is usually the case, on our last day or dinner we give them an extra tip.

Your tipping preferences are your business. I do plead with you to not just delete all of the gratuities to save some money.  The crew members do work very hard to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible.

If you managed to read the whole blog then you can now participate in my little giveaway.  To enter the giveaway all you have to do is read the blog post and leave a comment.  No DJ leaving the word comment in the comment section does not count!  I will give everyone until Noon CST on Tuesday, July 11th to leave your comments.  I will then draw a name from my super incredible heart shaped bowl that Scott and I made together.  Once I have the winner I will announce the prize.


Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 6 Comments


I took a few days off to hang with my man and celebrate America & Junior’s birthdays. So happy 241st birthday America and happy 4th birthday to our fuzzy cat Junior.

Today I feel the need to talk about bling.  In this house the bling you will find are sequins and glitter.  While this may make you pause, it might be worth mentioning that I’m a crafter.  Yep, making cards, wreaths, and home decor.  But today isn’t about glitter it’s about jewelry.

There are several times during the cruise that you will find shopping talks you can go to.  These talks tell you about the best places in port to buy jewelry.  They also give you coupons and discounts.  There is a Carnival shopping expert that has a little booth you can go ask questions to and get the best answers.

We purchased a coupon book for $25 on our first cruise and then went around all of the ports we stopped at getting all sorts of free items.  I currently have enough charms to fill my free charm bracelet.  I should really add the charms.  I will put that on the things to do list.

Diamonds International is a big deal in every port. There are several good and bad reviews that I have read online.  I find the best plan is a well researched plan.  If you know that you are going to want to purchase fine jewelry in the ports then go online now and find out everything you need to know.  You are not allowed to complain to me later that you think you paid too much if you didn’t take the steps to be informed.

I will say that if I were to purchase fine jewelry from port I would most definitely go for the Tanzanite.  It is the most beautiful and vibrant blue stone I have ever seen.  I do know that Tanzanite is sold at Diamonds International.  Not that I have been looking at every port we have stopped at but I might have been 🙂

Last week I wrote about the Breeze being in dry dock a few months ago and got some upgrades.  One of the newest changes to the Fun Shops on the Promenade deck 5 is the addition of the Pandora shop.

I’m pretty sure most everyone has seen commercials about Pandora bracelets.  If you have been in the market for a Pandora charm bracelet well now is your chance. I haven’t been to a Pandora store so I will make sure and take a walk thru in December.

If you want the bling then cruising is a great way to buy it.  You get to see different stores at different ports.  With the coupons and discounts that you get on the ship buying that bling is even affordale, depending on your budget that is.

Categories: Crusing | Leave a comment

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