T – Taste Bar

Well hello there.  Happy day to you and an early Happy Mother’s Day.  The month of May is turning out to be quite busy and extremely productive.  Along with my trusty partner in crime Scott we will be crushing it this month.

Let’s take a moment to talk about food. I know a ton of information has been about food.  But I say what’s a little more.

Located in the center of the Ocean Plaza located on deck 5 Promenade you will find the Taste Bar. What is the Taste Bar you might be asking yourself? Let’s find out.  Every morning the Taste Bar has a small continental breakfast for people that don’t want the food in the dining room, lido, or room service.  Last December the hours for the Taste Bar continental breakfast were 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on sea days and varied on times for port days.  Of course the easiest way to find out the time is to look at your Fun Times under the food section.

On embarkation and sea days the Taste Bar also offers “tastes” of restaurants found on board.  These are appetizer sized portions of food from Red Frog Pub, Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi, and Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. There is a menu posted at the Taste Bar so you can read what they have before grabbing a plate.

One of the best parts of the continental breakfast is that you can step right outside, sit under an umbrella, and watch the sea while you eat.  Oh did I mention that this is at no additional cost?  That’s right all of the food from the continental breakfast to the restaurant samplings is free.

Until next week my people……

 

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

S – Seuss

Happy Monday!  We have had a busy filled week but managed to find time to play some Batman Lego 3 on Xbox.  Yep, we call that quality time.  Any game harder than Lego and this girl is not so good or I guess you could say super bad.

We are all the way up to the letter “S”.  I don’t want anyone to panic I have plenty of ideas for the remaining weeks before the cruise. If we are going to talk the letter “s” then we have to talk about Dr. Seuss.  Carnival Cruise Line has joined with the Dr. Seuss brand to bring passengers Seuss at Sea.

Even though it is geared toward the kids Scott and I have found it to be a lot of fun for adults or adult aged people.  Scott doesn’t like being called an adult.  During the week of the cruise there are different events that are held for the Seuss lover in all of us.

There is the Seuss-A-Palooza Parade where the kids march around the ship with the Seuss characters playing instruments.  We like to sit at the Ocean Plaza on deck 5 and watch the little ones with their bells and triangles.

Dr. Seuss Bookville is a library filled with fun furniture, bright colors, and of course books.  It’s a happy place for all those young readers.  As a matter of fact I think i would love Bookville to be in our home.

Located at the Fun Shop online you can purchase Dr. Seuss items and also room decorations.  How fun would it be to have the kids walk into their cabin the first day with Seuss decorations welcoming them.  There are quite a few options available so make some time and go online to check it out.

There is one event that happens on the ships that Scott and I enjoy so much.  For the low price of $5 a person you can go to the character breakfast.  When on the ship there is usually a table setup by the Lido entrance where you can sign up for the breakfast.  We do it the first day right after we board. It is so much freaking fun!  The menu is different then anything you have eaten all week and simply delicious.  There is a big Cat in the Hat ice sculpture and fun decorations everywhere you look.  The Seuss characters go table to table taking pictures with everyone and Thing 1 & Thing 2 like to stir up a little trouble.  It’s all in good fun.  Each guest gets a passport that the characters stamp as a souvenir.  I highly recommend going to the breakfast.  As a matter of fact, we will be attending this event again in December.

Just when you thought a cruise sounded like so much fun and no vacation could get any better, here comes Dr. Seuss.  If you have kids then you definitely don’t want them to miss a moment of the fun.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

R – Refreshments

Howdy y’all on a beautiful Monday.  I’m in my country mode because I am hard at work making items for DJ and Matti’s wedding.  Now they didn’t call it that but I’m the Mother of the groom so I can call it whatever I want.  Look at me practicing for my future Monster-In-Law role.

We have discussed on previous blog posts some of the refreshment packages you can purchase.  First being the Cheers package for alcoholic beverages and second the Bubbles package for soda/pop.  I refer you back to those posts for more information.

Carnival has several bar areas spread throughout the ship for you to make drink purchases.  You can also order drinks during dinner in the dining rooms and at the various shows that are performed on board.

We found it interesting that on the Breeze not only is there a wine bar in the library but also a beer station.  The beer station is like a vending machine.  You swipe your sail and sign card and choose from the menu on what beer you would like.  Out comes the beer and off to drink it you are. (I had a Yoda moment). This station is located on deck 10 Lido  by the Tides Pool.

The Ocean Plaza on deck 5 Lanai has a coffee/dessert/ice cream shop.  any purchases made in this area are an extra charge put on your sail and sign account.  Carnival does have a coffee club punch card.  After you purchase 5 coffees you get a free one.

Don’t forget if you are wanting beverages delivered to your cabin you can go online to the Fun Shop and place an order.  We always order the case of water for $3.99 and it usually arrives the evening of our 1st day.

If you aren’t much of an alcohol, foofoo coffee, or milkshake drinker don’t worry.  Carnival gives every guest free iced tea (it is unsweet), lemonade, hot tea, coffee, juices, and milk,  Scott likes to dilute his lemonade 1/2 water 1/2 ade.

For all those that enjoy fun cups Carnival has a wide variety of souvenir cups.  We have fish shaped cups, monkey, disco ball, funnel, parrot and tiki.  There are also shot glasses you can get.  Now that I have listed them all I realize that we might not need anymore of these souvenir cups.  Who am I kidding?  We will get whatever new shape there is.

 

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 1 Comment

Q – Quizzes

It’s Monday! I know that the best part of your Monday is waiting to read the blog post every week.  No worries my people, I aim to please so here we go.

First, I would like to put a disclaimer to this post.  It is not intended to point fingers at my big brother…sorta.

So you think you are a know it all. If you are that person that has a plethora of useless, I mean, important facts that are all crammed into your brain waiting for the world to know. Then you should try your hand at trivia.

Every day somewhere on the ship there is a trivia contest. These contests are not a get up on stage and have a Jeopardy style showdown.  You simply check your Fun Times to find out where the trivia games will be held for the day and what the topics will be.  Go to the designated spot and grab a pencil and piece of paper and take a seat.  We found that a majority of the trivia contests were in the Ocean Plaza on deck 5 of the Breeze.

The trivia contests range in topics from music, science, literature, sports, etc.  These contests are all based on the honor system.  While most people are honorable and say correctly how many they got right.  There are others that must win at all costs.  They “stretch” the truth on their correctness.  You can choose to make a big deal out of it or just enjoy the trivia fun.

What do you win? Well a gold plastic ship on a stick.  who wouldn’t want this amazing prize? Scott and I have participated in a couple of the trivia games.  There was one on the solar system that we got smoked!  Turns out not everything you learn in junior high is saved in the memory bank, unless you are my brother.

Now don’t give up on us because when we did movie trivia we were awesome. We missed two answers but still lost.  Now I’m not saying the people that only missed one answer and stole, I mean won, the ship on the stick lied but….they did. When shouting the answers out the winning team were wrong on several answers.  But when all the players were asked to raise their hands on how many they got right, amazingly the bad people had only missed one.  Oops, I mean the trivia savvy people only missed one.  I know I sound bitter but I just don’t like cheaters.  I just don’t understand the need to lie about such trivial things.  Did you see what I did there? Hahaha I crack myself up. It all worked out in the end because Scott and I had a great time playing together and had many high five moments.

Okay back to business.  If you’re looking for some quick fun and want to show off your knowledge then go check out the trivia contests.  If you do win a ship on the stick I will buy you a drink or dessert to celebrate.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

P – Pier Runners

Happy Monday from a soon to be wet Central Texas.  We are under severe weather warning until tomorrow.  So far I think I saw two big drops of rain.  Guess we will see what it turns out to be.

We will be stopping at three ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, and Mahogany Bay.  Later this year we will decide on excursions we want to do or maybe just walk around the ports, maybe stay on board the ship.  If you decide to go ashore and partake in all of the fun and excitement of exploring a new place then we seriously need to talk about ship time.

Ship time is the time that is set for the ships clocks.  When sailing out of Galveston the ship time is set at Central Standard time.  So let’s break that down.  If you live on the East coast and it’s 10:00 a.m. there then it is 9:00 a.m. Central (one hour behind Eastern).  If you are living in the Mountain time zone i.e. Colorado 8:00 a.m. would be 9:00 a.m. Central (one hour ahead).  Now if you are living on the West coast which is Pacific time i.e. California then 7:00 a.m. is 9:00 a.m. Central (two hours ahead).

Every activity and schedule you see on the Carnival Breeze will be according to Central time.  Make sure your watches or phones are set accordingly.  In your Fun Times and on several announcements made by the Cruise Director you will hear what time you must be back on the ship from each of the ports.  If the designated time is 3:00 p.m. then be back on the ship no later than 3:00 p.m.

Carnival pays port fees for docking at the ports and must leave on time in order to not incur more fees.  When Carnival gets the all clear to pull out of port by the port officials then off the go.

If you have not made it back onto the ship in time you will be left behind.  It is then at your expense to make it to the next port of call or go back to the United states.  There will be a Carnival representative with all of your stuff waiting for you on the pier.  Complain all you want and give a big sob story but you are late so you got left behind.

Scott and I like to get back on the ship a good hour before the designated time.  we will not be left behind!  It’s fun to watch over the side of the ship all of the passengers coming back on board.  There are always the one’s who have had far too much to drink try and walk down the pier.  Then there are the pier runners.  The people that clearly know they are late to board and run toward the ship as fast as their legs will carry them.  Once the ship starts pulling away from the dock it doesn’t matter how close you are or how fast you are running, you are being left.

Now I don’t want anyone to panic.  There is one way to have Carnival wait for you and that is taking one of their excursions.  Carnival guarantees that they will not leave any passenger behind because their excursion that was purchased from Carnival ran late.  Now that isn’t to say that you take a Carnival excursion at 10:00 a.m. and it finishes at 2:00 p.m.  Then you go shopping and lose track of time.  They won’t wait for you then.

A perfect example was in December of 2014.  Scott and I were on a cruise that one of the excursions ran into engine trouble.  Every passenger that was on that boating excursion could not make it to the ship on time.  The excursion was a Carnival one and the company radioed the ship to tell them what happened.  we waited nearly two hours for the passengers to get safely back to the Carnival Magic.  Thank goodness it was a Carnival excursion.

So don’t be a pier runner and have everyone watching and yelling things like “run faster”, “run forest run”, or sing “nah nah nah nah hey hey hey goodbye”.  Set your watches, phones, and clocks to ship time….Central time….or as I like to call it Texas time.  That’s right when you live in Texas everything is about Texas!  It might even be a good idea to set an alarm on your phone or watch that reminds you an hour before you need to be back.

To see some serious pier running action go to YouTube and type in pier runners.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

O – Ovation Theater

Hello April! Yep it’s April already. The weather in Texas has been raining and then hot.  We aren’t complaining because we know some of you have been getting snow.  I mean seriously Colorado, it’s Spring, enough with the snow!

Today’s blog posting is brought to you by the letter “O”.  Ovation Theater is the topic and good times to be had there is the name of the game.

The Ovation Theater is located on decks 3, 4 and 5.  That’s right, it needs three decks to be able to hold all of the fun.  Some passengers will find the muster drill (see previous blog post on this topic) will bring them into the theater for the first time.

There are so many activities and shows that happen in the Ovation Theater that you will need to check your Fun Times to keep up with it all.  In the mornings on sea days there is a morning show that the cruise director holds.  During the morning show the cruise director entertains the crowd with stories, introduces special guests that work on the ship, and gives a run down of the happenings around the ship for that day.  A few times the cruise director even gave prizes.

There is an informative event discussing ports of calls and shore excursions that is held in the Ovation Theater.  If this is your first time cruising and you have not been keeping up with all the important information that I share in this blog, then it would be worthwhile to attend this discussion.  There are also prizes given away at this event.

BINGO! Bingo is also held in the Ovation Theater during the week.  Now we all know how much I love a game of bingo.  My goal is to actually win once playing.  So far the only thing I have won at are the little pull tab games they sell during the bingo times.  Oh the sadness! Allen and Keegan have not only won at bingo on their own but also split the pot on another game.  Needless to say the crowd did not care for them very much.  hahaaha  If you win a game of bingo then they apply your winnings to your sail and sign account.

The Playlist Productions performs during the week in the Ovation Theater.  There are song and dance routines.  Overall we have enjoyed the shows that are performed.  I must confess the last cruise we took there was one show that involved a lot of glitter and was….interesting.

I don’t want to give away all of the fun shows that they hold in the theater but man oh man there is something going on there every day and night. For those of you that like to have a beverage while being entertained don’t fret the wait staff is there going thru the aisles getting orders and bringing them to you.

I would like to take a moment to talk about seat saving.  It happens every time we cruise.  There is a large group traveling together and they all want to sit together.  But the group is out having fun on the ship and doesn’t want to go to the theater early to make sure they have seats together.  So what do they do?  Well they pick one member of the group to punish and have them sit in the theater saving rows of seats.  Sorry my people this is not allowed.  You want to sit in a group then go as a group.  There have been raised voices and people coming close to throwing punches over saved seats. The worst is when someone saves 15 seats and then only 5 people from their group show up and the rest have decided not to go to the show.  That gets tempers flared up.  So don’t be a seat saver for a large group.

Let’s all give the Ovation Theater a round of applause for all of the wonderful and entertaining moments that it houses for the guests all week long.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 1 Comment

N- Nine

Well hello Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend and plenty of fun was had. I can’t believe we are already on the last week of March.  This year is really cruising by.  Let’s get this blog started…

Located on decks 12 and 14 is the Cloud Nine Spa.  It is a beautifully decorate and inviting area.  I found it to be extremely clean and very busy when we took a tour.  Feeling the need to pamper yourself on your relaxing vacation? Head on up to Cloud Nine.  There are plenty of ways to get pampered for both men and women.

If you would like to take a tour of the spa area that’s not a problem.  As a matter of fact, keep and eye on your Fun Times because there is a time during the cruise when you can take a tour of the spa and get signed up for a raffle for a chance to win $500 in spa credit.  If you partake in this and happen to win don’t forget how much you love Gina 🙂

Every day the housekeeping staff puts spa advertisements in the cabin.  These advertisements are for daily specials and seminars.  A few of the seminars that are offered are on improving walking, detox for health and wellness, increasing metabolism, and secrets to flatten your stomach.  Now I’m not saying you need to flatten your stomach, I am just letting you know that this seminar is offered.

Here is a list of just a few of the pampering services that the Cloud Nine Spa has to offer:

  • Massages
  • Body Exfoliation
  • Scalp Massage
  • Facials
  • Pedicures
  • Manicures
  • Shaving
  • Hair  cuts
  • Baby Doll Lashes
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Collagen Facials

Now this is just a sampling of the services. If you want to make an appointment for the spa you can go up to deck 12 and the friendly front desk staff will be more than happy to assist you or you can dial 1199 from your cabin phone and get that scheduled.  Please note that if you are going to cancel on a scheduled service you need to give 24 hours notice.  If you do not than 50% of whatever the service price is will be charged to your sail and sign account.

I know not everyone is into the whole spa treatments but for those of you that are you will find that the prices are comparable to those on land.  Keep a watch out for those spa specials because there are some great deals.  I personally have not had a spa treatment but Kelsey has.  She had a massage done and said it was awesome.  Maybe this cruise I will go ahead and do a treatment. I do like to be pampered.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

M – Muster Drill

Welcome to Spring and Jen’s birthday!  Happy birthday to you Jen.  Scott is off to the exciting state of Alabama….roll tide. I can’t believe we are already to the letter M. This year is flying by so fast.

SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) guidelines state that passengers must have a safety briefing immediately before or after sailing.  Passengers learn to use their life jackets and what actions to take in case of emergency. During the safety briefing or muster drill EVERY passenger no matter age must attend.  The Carnival staff will actually go room to room to make sure everyone attends.  And yes, attendance is taken.

When we took our very first cruise on the Carnival triumph the muster drill was held outside on the decks.  On the Carnival Breeze the drill is inside at various spots on the ship.  Carnival assigns passengers to their muster stations based on where their rooms are located.  Even if you are traveling with a group doesn’t mean you have the same station area. Carnival makes it easy to know where you need to go.  On your sail and sign card in the bottom left corner is a letter.  That letter designates your station.  You can also find the location of your station on the back of your cabin door.  If you still aren’t sure just ask a staff member and they will direct you.

All children 11 years old and younger have to wear wristbands during the entire cruise.  This wrist bands let the staff know which muster station the child and their family is assigned to. If your child is at one of the awesome kid clubs during an actual emergency and must go to their muster station, the staff will take them to the correct station and meet up with the parents/guardians.

When we were on the Carnival Breeze in December of 2016 our muster station was located at the Ovation Theater.  The carnival staff member located at the entrance told us where to sit and scanned our sail and sign cards to show that we did attend.  The briefing was less than an hour.  Was it exciting and the most fun a passenger could stand? No, but it is necessary. The longer it takes everyone to get to the drill the longer everyone has to sit around waiting for the drill to start. Don’t be one of those passengers that think they are too good for the drill and try to hide.  You will be found and every other passenger on the ship will hate you for wasting valuable vacation time.

As a side note, there are no alcoholic drinks allowed during the drill.  Save your drinking for after.  It’s not that big of a deal.  Causing a scene because the staff has taken  your drink while entertaining for us at first just becomes a nuisance.

The muster drill is all about how to use your life jackets and everything to do during an emergency.  Kinda like if Titanic is going to happen here’s what you should do.  You will find all of the life jackets for your family located in the closet in your cabin.  You do not need to bring your life jackets to the drill.  Just know where they are located and make sure that your children do as well.

The best part of the muster drill is that once it is over the ship will be leaving the Port of Galveston shortly.  Then it’s off to fun and sun.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

L – Library

Hello!  I hope everyone has adjusted to daylight savings time and the loss of our precious hour.  I do like the evenings having more sun but getting to the office in the morning when it’s still dark does not make me a happy girl. Ok let’s be real, I’m always happy 🙂

I know that a few of my blog followers are asking “Why would I care about the letter L when it’s about a library.”  It’s not just a library. Oh no, it’s more. No worries Hayden, Zach, and Ry you can still get books.

The library is located on deck four The Mezzanine.  In fact it’s not just one room.  It is split into two separate rooms across the hall from each other.  In the library you can borrow books based on the honor system.  Take a book and bring it back after you are done.  If you want to sit in the library and read with some piece and quiet there are some very comfortable chairs for you.

So far you are sitting there reading this thinking “Yep it sure sounds like a library.” Read on… Another great option in this library is the ability to borrow a game.  There are several board games for all ages that you can play in the library or take them but remember to bring them back.  DJ I don’t think you will find Cards Against Humanity so feel free to bring that game on board yourself. Scott and I saw several families with board games on tables all over the ship.  They were enjoying some quality time with the family on a peaceful sea day.

In the room across from the board games and books there is another library area with books and a wine bar. Yes, Matti a wine bar.  There is a vending machine where you can slide your sail and sign card and it will dispense a glass of wine for you. You do need to be 21 years old or over to partake in the wine.  The wines are dispensed in two, four, and six-ounce pours. They range in price from $2.25 for a generous tasting of Vouvray, to $15 for a full glass of Barolo. Did that sound like I know my wine or what?  Honestly, I know there was red and white wine that could be dispensed.

No need to pack a bunch of books.  Just go on down to the library and borrow one from Carnival.  Board games too bulky to pack, leave them home.  Carnival has got you covered. Need to get away from it all with some wine, comfy chair, and some quiet the library is waiting for you. If you just want to go where Allen can’t find you, yep, head down to the library. Just kidding son….or am I?

 

 

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

K – Kitchen

One of my favorite parts of cruising is not having to cook or clean up the kitchen afterwards.  I would also like to mention that there is no grocery shopping involved. Just thinking of having someone shopping, cooking, and cleaning for me makes me wish I could cruise more often.

On embarkation Scott and I like to look over the side and watch all of the forklifts bringing all of the supplies onto the ship for the next seven days.  It is absolutely amazing the volume of food and drink that gets brought on the ship.  Now this might prove how easily entertained we are but we are ok with that.

On the Carnival Magic and Freedom Scott and I took tours of the galley areas. The kitchens were absolutely amazing.  The amount of food that gets prepared everyday is mind boggling. The cleanliness makes me realize that I have some cleaning to do when I get home.  This galley makes food for both dining rooms, room service, the staff, and the specialty areas of the ship.  This galley is running 24 hours a day.

We watched the kitchen staff prepare hundreds of orders all at one time.  The waitstaff carrying massive trays from the galleys all the way up to the dining room areas.  I have no idea how they manage the trays, walking, and avoiding running into other staff members all at the same time.  Me personally, I can’t even text and walk at the same time let alone do both while carrying a drink.

The tour of the galley that we took was part of the Chef’s Table excursion. Scott and I paid $75 per person extra to do the Chef’s Table.  This was a two hour event that is limited to fourteen guests.  The dress attire was that of casual dressy.  No open toe shoes are allowed.

During the evening the guests are treated to a tour of the galley.  The chef explains the number of staff working and what they are in charge of.  You are treated to champagne and wine.  If you don’t drink you can ask for iced tea or water.  The menu has eight courses.  We really enjoyed the experience of the Chef’s Table.  The food was new and different.  If you are a foodie and willing to try just about anything than this is the ship excursion for you.  If you do not have an adventurous palette then I would suggest you not waste your money.

If you are interested in doing the Chef’s Table you can go online to http://www.carnival.com and go to specialty dining reservations.

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.