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I'm back from my cruise! *pics*


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  #1  
October 16th, 2008, 11:47 AM
berrygirll's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 11,214
Hi ladies!!! Sorry for not getting on sooner, I was home on Sunday but just been busy getting back to reality, lol. Tuesday I had to take my mom back to meet my stepdad in Beckley so 1/2 my day was gone from 9am to 2pm just driving there & back. I still feel out of place if that makes sense!
We JUST made our plane in Miami by 3 minutes or we woul have been screwed! That airport is NUTS!!!! Completely nuts!

Where to start? We had a totally fabulous time & I would do it again in a heartbeat. NOT ready to come home at all... We are all very tan! I don't want to lose it!

We did so many things & met so many people. It really is hard to write it all down, lol.
The ship was awesome, huge... spent most of our time on the Lido deck with the pools, hot tubs & water slide. That's also where we chose to eat breakfast every morning (as I looked out over the ocean!) Spent most days at sea up there, listening to live bands or other music, just relaxing while the kids played.

Everyone kinda did their own thing during the day but we all went to dinner (we were at the 6pm seating- you have the same table w/the same people every night) and caught up on our days. I had wine with every meal (he he), the last night we had champagne.
Dinner was a long affair, usually over an hour and a 1/2. Then at 8:30 was the early show for everyone. We went into the Rome lounge (like a big, grand theater) with a balcony all around. There were comedians, jugglers, dancers, ventilouquist...every night something different. No pics were allowed in there though :-(

We also played Bingo & watched "game shows"- people from the audience who competed for a "ship on a stick"! LOL The ping-pong tournaments were neat too & Rob also took them to the mini-golf course on the top deck.
I bought a DVD of the vacation with clips from the sail away party, Mexican deck party, ice sculpting (Sam & I are in that one for a sec), hairy chest competition & the pool Olympics. It's going in the back of the cruise scrap album (we've already watched it, lol).

So much to do- the boys enjoyed Camp Carnival for the kids so a lot of times they were off doing that. Making & eating their own pizzas, scavenger hunts on the ship, charades, trivia...lots of fun activities for each age group. They each made a lot of friends so they had friends to play with & swim with during the day.
They also had all the dessert they could possibly hold! There were several ice cream machines & those kids got themselves more ice cream cones that week than I could count!! The last day, I know by 4 pm Sam had already had 6! LOL
At 10pm, we met up & I took them back to the room. They were allowed to watch tv for a bit then go to bed & not leave the room ( I knew they wouldn't). So then it was ME adult time! LOL I went to the casino, the karyoke bar, the piano bar (awesome- the girl who played could play anything & sang, everyone joined in the singing- FUN!), late shows, like adult comedy at midnight... so much. Sometimes I went alone but mostly with the other adults (my dad, Rob, LeAnne, etc). I thought I would mind being alone but I didn't. Everyone is so friendly & soon you start seeing the same familiar faces.

I can't think anymore, lol. But the staff was also friendly, helpful & everything was very clean.


Jamaica- Very beautiful, but SO poverty stricken. Very sad. The boys got necklaces there and we climbed a 600 ft. waterfall. SO scary! The lady in front of me actually fell! I really thought she got hurt but she seemed to be ok. There was nothing to hold onto but the human chain everyone made by holding hands with the person in front & behind you. The rocks were slippery too! It took about 1.5 to 2 hrs. to climb & I felt it in my legs the next day, lol. Sam quit 1/2 way through but he did great, I was proud of him. It was not an easy thing to do!
We spent the rest of the day at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville which the kids & I both loved!! Loud, thumping music, contests, a water slide & pool & good food! LOL We ate under a hut outside, right on the sand by the beach.

Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman)- Again, stunning but poor. They are also very expensive! We went to 7 mile beach (Sea Grape Beach) for the day. Beautiful, pristine beach...

Conzumel, MX- My favorite, by far. About 9000 degrees though! We went to a bunch of shops (we did at each place we visited too) then met up with my stepmom's brother (he went on 2 dives that morning). We met at another Margaritaville and this time Jake & I joined in the Conga line & did a Mexican dance on stage! LOL It was SO fun!! You also got 2 shots during the Conga line.
Afterwards, the others headed back to the ship, while Rob, the boys & I went snorkeling. He had a mask we shared and it was unbelieveable. The water is crystal clear blue & all the tropical fish were amazing to see! Jake really got into it & took about 5 long passes, describing the fish & coral reefs he saw & Rob told him what they were (he's big into diving & snorkeling & visits Mexico several times a year & knows people there).

I would def. bring more money next time. You use a "sail & sign" card on the ship for drinks, gambling, etc. - no cash- it just links up to your credit card and you pay it after you're home whenever. But at the islands you need $$. I thought I was good but prices are more expensive + transportation is per person (except in MX). So just a ride to the beach & back in Grand Cayman cost me $30 for myself & the boys. When you've only budgeted $50-$60 dollars for each island... Plus souvenirs & lunch, etc. Taxis to & from the airport in Miami were $$ too. $30 for a 5 min. ride! LOL Thank goodness for my dad! LOL

So... that's it in a nutshell. I've actually lost a few lbs. due to eating dinner/dessert then that was it for me the night. Plus all the walking, swimming, etc. The boys have def. gained a few though! LOL
I'm uploading pics to photobucket now and I'll make separate posts of pics since there are so many. I still wish I would have taken more ( I didn't get one of our room! Or the boys on the plane, etc.) but it's really hard to take a bunch of pics while you're trying to swim & do things yourself, kwim? Plus I was nervous with my camera at the beach! LOL So LeAnne has some of us on her camera & she's giving me a disk of her pics as well.

Anyway, got to go to the grocery store + I am getting pics from walmart- I got so behind on my prints! I got all the laundry done but need to take out the rest of the clothes from mine & Jake's suitcase.

Here are some random pics to start---

in Miami Sat. night (4th) @ Bubba Gumps restaurant. I loved this place!



it's in an open-air mall/shopping center and there was this really neat tree



Mama's southern fried chicken! LOL And blueberry lemondade! It was delicious!



signs on the table- if all is ok, you keep it on "run Forest, run". If you need the waiter to stop, flip it to "stop, Forest, stop" Pretty cool!





On the ship, saying farewell to Miami!







There was this huge screen on the deck- at night they would show movies & you could lay there or swim, go in the hot tub & get popcorn! We did that one night.




Ok, off to upload & post more... :-)

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- Sherry
Medical Assistant and freelance photographer
mom to:
Jake (16)
Sam (13)
Layla (9)
stepmom to:
Kayleigh (20)
Emilee (19)
Madison (7)

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  #2  
October 16th, 2008, 03:00 PM
lovemyfamily0799's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Metro Detroit area
Posts: 17,604
I am so excited to see this post.....I am going to sit down and look at your pics later tonight.

I actually am going on the Carnival Valor out of Miami in March. We are heading to Cozumel, Roaton, Belize, and Grand Caymens. I am super excited about it! Your pics are going to make me really wish March was here faster

I am going to go zip lining in Roaton (yikes, but you only live once) and then cave tubing in Belize...but we are sans the kids. We'll be celebrating (a little early) our 10th anniversary and hubby's big 40.
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  #3  
October 16th, 2008, 03:29 PM
berrygirll's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 11,214
Oh Chanda, now I'm jealous of you! LOL I want to go again SO bad. I don't know when or if I will get to go again but I am ready to start saving now!!
Mine & dh's 10th anniv. is next July- wonder if I could get him to go with me next time since he knows how much fun we had??
I was def. glad I didn't have Layla. She's still so young I would've had to been a constant companion with her (in the pool, running around, etc). The boys are easy at 10 and 7, they swam all day, listen, etc. And they were happy & fine with me leaving them in the evenings so I could enjoy the night life. I would def. take them again if we had the choice.

Take me with you!!! Your excursions sound fun!!
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- Sherry
Medical Assistant and freelance photographer
mom to:
Jake (16)
Sam (13)
Layla (9)
stepmom to:
Kayleigh (20)
Emilee (19)
Madison (7)

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  #4  
October 16th, 2008, 03:34 PM
SAHM and scrappymommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
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Sherry those are great photos. I only wish DH and I could go on a cruise. Hopefully one day we can. You got some great pics to scrapbook with. I can't wait to see what you come up with for these.
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  #5  
October 17th, 2008, 06:02 AM
Rusha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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ACK! Have I told you how jealous I am?

LOVE THESE pictures!!!!!!!!
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  #6  
October 17th, 2008, 07:29 AM
moms_soccer_team's Avatar Hoping 4 a happy 2010
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Oh I would not want to come home either lol.

I want to go to Bubba Gump!!!! *pout*
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  #7  
October 20th, 2008, 08:03 AM
lovemyfamily0799's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Metro Detroit area
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Just a couple of questions if you don't mind me picking your brain. I have been planning our cruise since July. In fact now I am working on trying to get this bod into bikini mode, already bought some outfits on clearance, and a bikini (YIKES!, so now I HAVE to get ready for the bikini mode).

But here are my questions..

How long was your cruise?

Grand Caymen, how long was the tender ride in? Also I have heard on numerous sites that sometimes the wave at Grand Caymen can limit the ability to tender in, and sometimes you are stuck on the ship. Not that it would be a bad thing...I mean a day in the Carribean on a ship? I can certainly take that in a heartbeat. But I am concerned about planning any excursions on that island.

What ship did you go on? And what were your favorite parts about the ship?

What kind of room did you stay in? Ocean view, balcony, inside room?

And last what was your favorite drink of the day? I can't drink a lot because I am a light weight, so I want to make sure what little drinks I get (that are certain one will put me over the edge) is a good one.

I am glad you had a blast!! And that the weather coepertated!!!



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  #8  
October 21st, 2008, 06:53 AM
berrygirll's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 11,214
Sure!!

How long was your cruise? 7 days - I wouldn't want it any shorter!


Grand Caymen, how long was the tender ride in? Also I have heard on numerous sites that sometimes the wave at Grand Caymen can limit the ability to tender in, and sometimes you are stuck on the ship. Not that it would be a bad thing...I mean a day in the Carribean on a ship? I can certainly take that in a heartbeat. But I am concerned about planning any excursions on that island.- The tender ride was not long at all- 5 or 10 minutes maybe? Everything was very calm with the water but obviously that can change depending on the weather. I wouldn't worry about planning anything. So you can wait till that day (night before) & book your excursion right on the ship. We when did the waterfall (Jamaica) we just went on our own & not with Carnival- I guess it's cheaper but you find your own transportation. Which BTW- make sure you plan enough $$ for that... I didn't know when I was budgeting our money but you pay per person for everything, usually $5 or $6 each way. When I spent $30 on transportation alone at one place, that kinda sucked up the funds! In Conzumel, it's per ride, not per person so that is nice.
At Grand Cayman we just went to 7 mile beach which was free (and beautiful) BUT I had to pay $10 for a lounge chair! They get you for everything & Grand Cayman was the most $$$ stop. It was actually the only place we didn't eat lunch there.


What ship did you go on? And what were your favorite parts about the ship? The Triumph. I loved it all, really. I don't have anything to compare it too though, lol. I loved the top deck (Lido) which is where we spent most of our days at sea. It's all big, beautiful & clean as I'm sure they all pretty much are.

What kind of room did you stay in? Ocean view, balcony, inside room? Interior. I had originally thought I'd like a room with a view (though I didn't do the booking, my dad did) but after seeing how little time we spent in it- I wouldn't spend the extra money on upgrading. All the rooms are small no matter what. Don't even think they're like the size of a hotel room- not even close! LOL But it was good enough & like I said- we went in to shower & chang efor dinner & we slept there. You don't spend much time in the room at all.

And last what was your favorite drink of the day? I can't drink a lot because I am a light weight, so I want to make sure what little drinks I get (that are certain one will put me over the edge) is a good one.
I'm not a drinker either!!! LOL I almost NEVER drink at home but I drank more there than I have in a year at home, no lie. I'm mostly a beer gal but I did love one drink called "Carribean Breeze". However, I could have 2 & not feel much anything so I don't think it was very strong ( just yummy). What gave me the most *buzz* was the red wine (or white) that me & 2 other of the guys had at dinner. One glass & I was feeling it but I usually had 2. Champagne the last night did it as well, lol.
I say plan on drinking more than you normally would- it just seems the thing to do (even for us non-drinkers) & it was very relaxing.


Hope this helps in your planning & if there's anything else, feel free to ask!
__________________
- Sherry
Medical Assistant and freelance photographer
mom to:
Jake (16)
Sam (13)
Layla (9)
stepmom to:
Kayleigh (20)
Emilee (19)
Madison (7)

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  #9  
October 21st, 2008, 10:02 AM
lovemyfamily0799's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Metro Detroit area
Posts: 17,604
Thanks Sherry!! We actually have been on one other cruise before on Norweigen. It was fun. And we are going with the same couple we went on our first cruise with this time and two other couples. It looks like the size of our ships are about the same. The one we are on maybe a tiny bit bigger. But much much much bigger than the last one I was on.

I know how crazy that ship and sail card account can get. We got quite the shock on our first cruise (I know it was over a grand for just the two of us). (and we never thought to bring singles for tipping) So I have it all budgeted out. In fact over budgeted. I did pretty well budgeting for our Italy trip (which I researched for a year and a half out)..this cruise I am researching 8 months out...so hopefully I'll have all the bases covered. I am a research nut

We are in an inside cabin too. We were with our first cruise. Even though the room was small..it sure was nice to just go there, take a nap in the dark room. But I was also thinking a balcony would be nice to have room service bring up coffee each morning and to sit and relax and look out at that gorgeous blue water. I don't eat breakfast and coffee is my ritual. So I am torn. The deposit is down, but the full payment isn't due until Dec. But I just can't justify spending the extra money you know?

St. Lucia by far was the most expensive for transportation. It was $110.00 to have a driver take us to the other side to see the pitons. Crazy..even scarier is seeing the burnt out cars at the bottom of ravines the roads are crazy curvy up hills that only leave maybe a 2 foot leadge to the ocean. So I saw that trip this way...the most expensive ride I have ever taken with my eyes closed tightly shut!

All of my excursions will be done through independents. Especially the Carnival Cave Tubing one on Belize. Whoever they contracted out to do their excursion there are really unsafe. In fact last month a woman died on the excursion. They let people just float around in these caves unattended to. The water was too high that day and she got pulled under and hit her head on a rock. If the guide had been there it could have been all prevented. So the company I am going with has an excellent record and great reviews and everyone is linked together with a guide at the front and a guide at the back in groups of 10. And with all of carnivals excursions you pay twice the amount you would independently...about 40 people with only maybe 4 guides at most.
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  #10  
October 21st, 2008, 10:57 AM
berrygirll's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 11,214
Good for you for doing your homework!

I did well with the sail & sign card- it was only $215 for the 3 of us! LOL Now mind you...80% of that was my drinks! But at $3 and $4-$5 per drink, it's not hard to do! None of us drink pop either so that was no Coca-Cola on that card, lol. The tips were included in everything so there was no need for extra tipping.

One thing I did have taken off my bill was the charge for $70 per person (not per room) for the stewardess who took care of our room. I paid the $70 for myself but took it off for the kids. My stepmom told me to or I wouldn't have known. That saved me $140.

I've never been to St Lucia but my brother & his wife have gone there to all-inclusive resorts twice now... they love it & ahve friends they keep in touch with. But they're TTC and are trying not to spend so extravagantly. It usually runs them 5 or 6 thousand for that trip! So now they're going on a Mexican Riviera cruise in January through Princess cruise lines... gee, what a downgrade.... LOL!!! Though it's def. cheaper than the St. Lucia trip!

A lady in front of me fell on the waterfall & she fell facedown over a couple of the "cliffs" or whatever you call them. Scared me to DEATH! Her granddaughter was crying, her daughter was all upset. Sam thought she died, poor kid. The lady landed at Jake & Rob's feet, luckily for her or she would have gone over another big fall... definitely scary stuff! Again, we did it on our own & not through CArnival. I've never cruised before but Rob has gone on about 17 (this was his 4th this year alone!) and my dad & stepmom's 3rd cruise so they kinda told me what to look out for & such.

You will have such a great time!!! Got room for one more??
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- Sherry
Medical Assistant and freelance photographer
mom to:
Jake (16)
Sam (13)
Layla (9)
stepmom to:
Kayleigh (20)
Emilee (19)
Madison (7)

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  #11  
October 30th, 2008, 04:27 AM
jellybeaninhk's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13,705
Sounds like you had a great time and I've really enjoyed looking at all your photos. My first cruise was with Carnival. If you have a chance, try Royal Caribbean as well. They have really great ships. We've been on them 3 times, once on Carnival and once on Princess. (we only do cruise vacations as you only unpack once and everything is catered for, even you destination and best of all, I don't allow DH internet or mobile phone use. DH is not a vacation person and if we went on land vacations, he'd just sit in the hotel room). We do seem to spend too much every time though (especially DH in the casino, but at least he budgets for it) but you're right that those shipboard cards are really dangerous.

We're planning our next one to Alaska next summer, hopefully if business goes well (abit touch and go right now with the credit crunch).
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