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December 18th, 2010, 08:22 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gulf Coast
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If you saw my pics on FB, the pics in this review will be a little different so that I'm not being redundant!

So you probably read the thread I posted where we didn't get to leave on the ship on December 4th because I came down with the flu on December 3rd. DH's work just happened to be flexible because he wasn't scheduled to have any students until the 16th (he's a tech school instructor and his schedule is not normally that flexible), so we were able to rebook for December 11th, returning on December 16th. The only thing that changed was the ship and city we sailed out of, as we were still scheduled to go to the ports of Progreso and Cozumel in Mexico.

I have to say, it was sooooo nice to be able to drive to the port and be there within about an hour's time. We left our house a little after 8:30 in the morning and were in downtown New Orleans around 10. We stopped at Walgreens for a couple of things and then parked, took the shuttle to the port and were checked in by about 11:15. It was about 30 minutes before we were called to board the ship and then in another 15 minutes or so we were onboard. We headed to the Lido deck for lunch at the grill and buffet, then we headed to the 5th floor to check out the Promenade deck where most of the bars, clubs and shops were as well as the casino, arcade and coffee bar.

At 1:15, they opened the doors to the rooms, so we unpacked and settled in for a nap with Maddie. We were awakened around 3 by the Purser calling our room. They were calling because I'd asked to sit out the muster drill because there was no way Maddie was going to be able to handle it and it was no problem at all. They brought the information by our room and asked if we required any further special assistance.

Side note: Now please don't get me wrong, I don't play the special needs card unless I HAVE to. I requested special needs check-in at the NOLA terminal but Maddie was having a good day and we did not end up using it and went through the regular line. I had also requested sitting out the muster drill but had planned to go if Maddie was still having a good day, but when the phone woke her up out of sleep, it was meltdown after meltdown and the afternoon was no longer pleasant.

We then headed up to the Lido Deck after the muster drill was over for everyone else, grabbed some drinks of the day and before we knew it, the ship was doing it's 180 degree turn and we sailed down the river. Maddie's mood was less than stellar and would be until she got a secondary nap a little later in the evening, so the sailaway was not as pleasant as it could have been but that's just part of being a parent.

Pics of the sail away and the ship headed downriver:

Random bit of trivia: When sailing out of NOLA, the ship takes 8 hours to reach the mouth of the Mississippi River where it meets the Gulf of Mexico.

We explored the ship a bit more and then took a second nap before dinner. We had late dining (not my choice, we were stuck with it) so Maddie needed a second nap every day around 5. We got up and got ready for dinner. I had the flat iron steak which was tough, chewy and lacked flavor. Our wait staff seemed frazzled, but we thought it might just be first night kinks working themselves out. They brought a soy milk for Maddie promptly and a fruit bowl. They also brought it every night immediately at the beginning of dinner thereafter, so that was at least nice.

We headed back to the room where our towel animal awaited us and that thrilled Maddie to pieces.

It was a pig and she promptly knocked his head off of his body and then proceeded to melt down like crazy, shouting "OH DOE!!! PIGGY! OH DOE!!!" Oh Doe is how she says "Oh no." I took that as a sign that it was bedtime. I'm not a fan of eating a heavy meal and then immediately going to bed, but it happens. It was about 10:15...dinner took a full hour and a half and then we wandered the ship for a little bit just to walk some of the dinner off...we walked off maybe a grand total of 10 out of 10,000 calories LOL. That's what it felt like anyway.

Stay tuned for our next segment featuring Day 2: Sea Day.
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December 19th, 2010, 03:35 PM
mamamudd's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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Oooh can't wait to read the rest!
Proud mom to Boogie (7) and Babydoll (5)
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December 19th, 2010, 03:52 PM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
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Was this your first cruise with Maddie? I should know this answer for some reason, I can't remember if you cruised with her before, or just the hubby. Mind blank here.

I never would assume you to play the special needs card, btw You're not new to cruising, so it's not like you wouldn't know the drill. It's nice they let you off the hook!

I loved the photos (I saw ALL of them on FB and commented on several).. I'm looking forward to reading day 2!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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December 19th, 2010, 03:55 PM
Platinum Supermommy
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Yep Erika, this was our first cruise with her!

If I can get DH's dang computer to cooperate, Day 2 will be coming shortly.
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December 19th, 2010, 03:56 PM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
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Ok, I had thought so.

Would you rush to do it again?!
I'm sure there were awesome perks, and harder parts with a kiddo!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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December 19th, 2010, 04:18 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Day 2: Sea day

We had 2 sea days on this cruise, one heading to Mexico and one heading back from Mexico. A nasty cold front had moved through during the night and the weather was cool, but not cold. I lived in my sweater most of the day, though.

We got up and headed to the Lido deck for breakfast at the buffet. We were a bit early, so we ended up taking a few pictures before venturing inside to get breakfast.

I thought this one was strange...they have a toddler wading pool, but a big sign next to it that says no swim diapers allowed.

After breakfast, we got ready for the day and then headed out to play movie trivia in the main lounge. We were in a 3-way tie for 1st place with 18 out of 20 right and instead of giving everyone a ship on a stick like they used to, they did a tiebreaker, one we lost Oh well!

Entertaining Maddie during movie trivia:

DH dropped Maddie off at Camp Carnival after that as they were finally open and I went to one of the bars to play Scattergories, one of my favorite games ever! I came in first place and won my very first ever ship on a stick! DH is always the one that wins them, not me LOL.

Please don't mind my lack of makeup. I was still battling pink eye and was trying to save all of my disposable makeup I bought for elegant night that night.

After Scattergories, we wandered the ship and got a few more photos:

The Cyber Cafe

The big map:

The Cigar Bar:

The main show lounge:

Soon, we collected Maddie from Camp and headed to the Lido buffet for lunch. After lunch I laid down with her for a nap while DH went out and about. When she woke up, we went up to the grill for her afternoon snack and then headed back to Camp. DH and I played more trivia after dropping her off. After wandering around the ship some more, getting a frappuccino from the coffee bar and doing a little shopping, we headed back to get Maddie and then DH laid down with her for her second nap of the day.

I didn't do a whole lot while they were sleeping. I mostly just sat and people watched. The people who had early dining were already in their formal attire as it was elegant night and they were getting pictures taken all down the Promenade Deck where backdrops were set up. It was fun just to watch them.

I did get my only picture of a sunset the entire trip this evening:

Soon, I headed back to the room to wake them up and then we all got ready for our dressy dinner that night.

We went to get our formal pictures taken, which proved to be a disaster LOL. Maddie just doesn't cooperate. Then we headed off to dinner, where a bowl of fruit was waiting for her. I like this picture because she's all "W-T-F is this??"

But soon, she decided she'd rather play with her fruit, so she started lining them up and counting each piece. Hey, whatever keeps her from being fussy.

You can see my poor left eye was still half closed due to the end of my pink eye infection, but at least the makeup wasn't as bad as I thought it would be:

Had a fancy steak for dinner and warm chocolate melting cake for dessert. We turned in for the night after we got back from dinner. Maddie was thrilled to find a frog towel animal waiting for her and as soon as she saw it, she bellowed out RIBBIT RIBBIT. I asked DH if he taught her that and he said no, he thought I did, but I hadn't. See...she picks up on everything, she's just not forthcoming with the information LOL.

Stay tuned for our adventure in Progreso.
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December 19th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Gulf Coast
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Originally Posted by Java~Junkie View Post
Ok, I had thought so.

Would you rush to do it again?!
I'm sure there were awesome perks, and harder parts with a kiddo!
You know, we were talking about a cruise next summer just me, my mom and Maddie since DH will likely be deployed. Now I know I would not cruise without DH if Maddie is with me. He was instrumental to keeping her happy. I stress out when I travel and I would not make a good sole caregiver of her because my mom sure as heck wouldn't be able to pick up the slack. So that's probably out of the question. Most of the problem centered around the fact that Maddie mostly just wailed when we were in the stateroom. I don't know why it upset her so much...maybe because it was small, didn't have a window, wasn't home, I have no idea. She has never been that upset on vacation before.

It was really nice being able to drop her off at camp though 3x a day. The only thing, besides her wailing in the room, that was bad about it was having to go to bed early...which wouldn't have even been bad had we been able to get early dining. I just don't like eating and then going straight to bed, but obviously Maddie needed her sleep so one of us had to stay behind and I was somehow always the chosen one. Lucky me.
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December 19th, 2010, 05:01 PM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
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I love how she lined up her fruit so cute.
NCL is the same with the kid pool, btw.. they have a special toddler pool/wading thing/fountain .. just for the wee kids... with signs that say "no diapers or swim diapers" To my knowledge, most 1-2 year olds that would use those teeny toddler wading pools would have diapers. Strange. I know it's for health reasons, though.. but then, why have them.

Anywho, loved the photos and write up! I feel like I'm there

And, I'm with you- I tend to stress a touch during vacations with Alexis, too. I would never take a big vacation with her, and without him. At least you know now! But, still an experience for her that lots of little kids don't get

Can't wait to see the next!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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December 20th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Our day in Progreso didn't start so smoothly. I should have taken it as a sign of what was to come and just stayed on the ship.

We docked at 7, but since the kiddo needed a wee bit more sleep than 8 hours (remember, we had late dining), we decided we'd sleep until we just happened to wake up or be awakened with announcements. We woke up on our own around 7:45. We headed up to the Lido deck to get some breakfast and then went back to the room to get ready to go into port.

While up on the Lido Deck, we got some pictures of the Ecstasy that was parked next to us. It's a bit of a smaller ship, but the Lido Deck had undergone a nice refurbishment with the addition of palm trees and tiki huts. Made it look all tropical and stuff.

We packed the bag and then grabbed it and the stroller and made our way to the fore elevator.....to give you an idea of where our room was, we were on the 8th deck, one deck below Lido, and our room was right around the corner from the aft elevator.

We rode the fore elevator down to deck 0, made our way off the ship and started walking through the wind tunnel between us and the Ecstasy to get to the pier facilities and then it occurred to me that we had not packed any form of photo ID. I suddenly envisioned us getting thrown into a Mexican jail for committing some crime I didn't even know we were committing and since we'd have no photo ID, we had no hope of ever getting out alive.

So, I have an overactive imagination. Sue me.

I sent DH back up to the room to retrieve the IDs. I plopped Maddie into her stroller and just walked laps around the pier there between the ships. I did about 8 laps before DH finally got back...remember, he had to get back on the ship, catch an elevator going up and then go all the way to the back of the ship. He joined me and I turned around to head through the port area to the shuttle buses into Progreso. See, when you dock in Progreso, you're on a dock that is 4 miles out into the Gulf...the only way to the mainland is via a taxi or a free shuttle. But without a car seat, we wouldn't take a taxi....more on the shuttle bus in a minute.

As he joined me and I turned around, I casually asked "got it all?"

"Not exactly."


"I didn't realize until I got up there that I used your room key to lock the safe so I need it."


Gave him my room key and did about 12 laps around this time waiting for him to get back. At least 20 minutes had passed and I was certain that he wasn't able to get back into the safe with my room key and had to call the purser to come open it with the master key. There was no other explanation for why it took so long.

Finally I saw him heading in my direction. Again, I turned around toward the port area and started walking and asked "Can we go now?" when he told me "Well...no."


"I couldn't find your driver's license."

It occurred to me then that it was in my pants pocket from embarkation day. I think that logically, pants pockets would have been the next place I'd have looked if I were looking for a missing ID of his, but I can't really say for sure. I tried not to blow a major gasket - about 35 minutes had passed at this point by the time we'd originally gotten off the ship. I snatched all of the cards with magnetic strips out of his hand as I wasn't sure which one he'd used to lock the safe back up in case I needed to get into it, and then tore off for the ship myself. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Stormed up to the room, sprinting down the hallway, opened the cabin door, went straight to my jeans, retrieved my IDs, tossed my military ID and credit card into the safe and then tore back off for the gangway.

Of course, getting off of the ship this time, I was getting PISSED because I got stuck on the gangway behind people who wanted to take 3 different combinations of pictures with the guy with the parrot on his shoulder. I just wanted off the daggum ship!

So, I found DH and we started to the port area with photo IDs in hand. It was then that he asked me "Well since we have our driver's licenses, do you want me to take the passports back?" When he couldn't find my DL, he grabbed all 3 of our passports.


I told him no, but he better guard those passports with his life because he'd lose an important body part if they got stolen and they were to never leave the safe ever again.

So....45 minutes after we'd gotten off the ship, we were finally ready to go into Progreso.

I snapped a picture of us parked next to the Ecstasy.

We maneuvered through the stores in the pier area and headed toward the line for the shuttle. Which wrapped around and around and around and around. I told DH "Let's just get back on the ship." By the time we would wait in a line that long, Maddie would be done for the day. She simply can't handle things like that. She doesn't get upset like a normal 2 year old would, she literally melts down and melts down and doesn't stop until naptime when she has an opportunity to "reset."

DH told me tough crap, we're sticking this one out. We went back and forth about it but then 2 shuttle buses showed up so I decided to just drop it because maybe it won't be long.

10 minutes later, 3 more shuttle buses showed up. Maddie was on the brink of melting down at this point. I could see it in her eyes that she was getting really overwhelmed.

Then, people started cutting in line way up ahead. I was about to blow a gasket.

3 more shuttle buses came and the line cutters got on board.

Shortly thereafter, 2 more buses came and if the line cutters wouldn't have cut the line, we'd have been on one of these buses. Finally, a bus came for us, but there were only 2 seats left on it that weren't together - at that point I didn't even care, but DH sat down in the first available seat, leaving me with the other one that was on the inside of some lady and she did not want to scoot over to let me sit down! I was like W-T-F lady I'm carrying this big stroller, I need to sit down. She huffed and puffed about it but eventually moved over.

By the time we got off of the bus, it was 10:25....a full hour and 25 minutes after we'd initially gotten off of the ship. Aye. Thankfully the shuttle ride calmed Maddie down because she thinks it's really cool to be on a bus.

We were immediately approached by a man who wanted to sell us a beach tour. I told him "No thank you, we're headed to the beach over there" and pointed to the beach 1 block away. He told us, quite seriously, "That beach is broken. You can't go to it."

The beach is broken? ROTFL! That's one of the funniest things I'd ever heard and at that point I needed a laugh.

We then saw the open air bus was about to leave so we bought tickets for $3 each and hopped on. It was really fun and informative and only took about 20 minutes.

View from the bus

Since Maddie thinks buses are so cool, she was glowing during the entire ride on this bus:

Town square in Progreso decorated for Christmas. The elf all the way to the right in the pic sort of creeped me out:

When the tour was over, we headed to the beach. The broken beach. It's true that the road was under construction, but the beach was pristine...just a wee bit too chilly for our liking to swim or sunbathe.

We stopped for lunch at this place called Buddy's that I'd heard about on Cruise Critic. Everyone seemed to love it there and I trust the general consensus of the opinions of people on that website as I've done numerous private tours through recommended vendors on there and have loved them all.

To put it bluntly, Buddy's SUCKED.

No one wanted to seat us and it took over 15 minutes to get a menu and 10 more minutes to get some chips & salsa at our table. If it weren't for a Christmas tree with shimmering lights next to us that Maddie could stim off of, she'd have had a nuclear meltdown. We ordered and then we waited. Waited. Waited. Was getting irate:

Then this guy came and serenaded Maddie with Jingle Bells and then expectantly waited for a tip. We were going to tip him anyway but he lost 50% of his tip for being rude about waiting for a tip:

We noticed "hey....not a single soul in here has any food." At exactly noon they started bringing food out - we think their kitchen didn't open until noon. Or maybe they didn't start serving until noon. Either way, my tacos were ice cold and they served Maddie some sort of mystery meat that turned out to be a pork burger. At that point we just wanted to get the hell out of there so we paid our huge $29 bill for 3 measly entrees and left.

We wandered around trying to find a pharmacy that had something I was looking for and actually needed right away but no one had it and strangely enough, none of them spoke English - I'm not complaining as I know English is not their native language, but I've found that typically around the touristy areas in Mexico the pharmacists speak it well. I wasn't worried as I knew in Cozumel the next day, the language barrier wouldn't be so pronounced so to speak

We went to the flea market and shopped for a little while.

Didn't find anything of interest other than a guy on stage who was singing Lady Gaga and wearing impossibly tight jeans. I should have snapped a photo of him LOL. He was very entertaining.

We were sort of over our not so great day at that point so we got back in line for the bus, which came much faster than it had that morning and we crammed ourselves into a seat with Maddie, our bag and the stroller and headed back to the port.

This is Progreso from the bus ride out on the pier:

And the port area, taken from the ship once we were back onboard:

Once we got back to the port area, I bought some vanilla as it's something I use a lot of and I like the stuff I can get in Mexico, but you have to be careful in making sure you're getting the right product. Some of the "real" vanilla contains nasty stuff that isn't real vanilla at all.

DH bought some cuban cigars to smoke in the cigar bar onboard the ship.

We headed back onboard and got Maddie straight to her nap. We woke up just before it was time to sail away at 4 and headed up to the Lido Deck to get a snack. We checked her into Camp Carnival for about 45 minutes while we played a trivia game and then we retrieved her and wandered the ship some more, looking for anything interesting to do. Not much was going on and people were tired from a long day in port as we were docked for 9 hours. Maddie took her second nap of the day with DH while I hung out around the ship and then she got up, we got her ready for dinner and then took her to Camp Carnival while we got ready for dinner. It was much easier getting ready for dinner while she was up at Camp Carnival! We even got to stroll around the ship for a while and we came across an adorable backdrop for a photo area that was set up that we thought she'd look cute in so we signed her out of camp and tried to get a picture of her...but she wasn't in the mood to cooperate. Bummer.

Headed up to dinner. This was the only night I remembered to get a photo of the menu.

I had the quesadilla and short ribs. They were both excellent. And of course, warm chocolate melting cake for dessert.

Maddie continued playing with her fruit all night.

And when we got back to the room, she fell in love with her new elephant friend that awaited us. You can see her Funship Freddy doll who was her previous best friend was tossed aside for Mr. Elephant.

Maddie and I headed to bed while DH went to smoke a cigar in the cigar bar. He got in sometime around midnight I think.

Stay tuned for my day to myself in Cozumel - yes I ventured into port alone!
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December 21st, 2010, 06:39 AM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
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Location: Albany-ISH, New York
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That was a bit more of a rough day But when I got to the part about the broken beach, I literally LOL'd out loud!

That sucks that the restaurant experience wasn't good Maybe that was a fluke or something.. and it's not usually like that?

On a positive note......
It appears you and DH certainly got your exercise that day?!

Love the pics!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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December 21st, 2010, 02:11 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Sorry ladies, I've been wanting to finish up, but I've been busy.

So, day 4 was our day we made a stop in Cozumel from 9-5.

It was a few degrees warmer in Cozumel than it had been in Progreso, so I was able to shed my sweater for the day thank goodness.

We got up around 8 and headed up for breakfast. We were still navigating the channel between Cozumel and the mainland so it was fun to watch us pull up to the Ecstasy as we shared a dock with her again at the Punta Langosta pier. Cozumel has 3 cruise ship piers that I know of and this is my favorite one to dock at because the other 2 only have port shops and then you have to take a cab to get to any other shopping areas. This pier is in the town of San Miguel where all of the non-port shopping is.

We took a look at the Fun Times, the Carnival newspaper showcasing the day's events and we both agreed that we wanted to stay onboard for 2 straight hours of games and trivia.

DH wasn't sure if he'd get to go off of the ship in the afternoon because of Maddie's nap but I for sure needed to go ashore to try to find a pharmacy for a minor issue I was having, so he got off of the ship with Maddie right at 9 just to go around the port shops and get some photo ops.

Maddie in the Senor Frogs car:

As you can see it was still very windy:

I was up on the deck above the Lido deck checking out the Ecstasy again and the view of Cozumel and saw them get back onboard, so I went to go meet them at camp where we'd drop Maddie off for the morning.

We signed her in and headed down to the coffee bar for some brain teasers and puzzles. After that, we headed to the casino bar for 1.5 hours of trivia games and Scattergories.

I was not the Scattergories champ this time, ONLY because DH insisted we play separately and then his answer on the very last question canceled out mine which would have put me tied for first place. Grrrr.

However, we did win another coveted ship on a stick trophy for some trivia game...and I couldn't even tell you what kind of trivia game, I lost track of the subjects LOL.

It was the same group of us playing games and trivia together for 2 straight hours so we sort of made friends with them. They had the same game plan as us, games in the morning and then going ashore in the afternoon. After trivia, we got Maddie out of camp and headed to lunch. After lunch, we enjoyed exploring an empty ship and then she and DH went back to the room for a nap while I ventured into Cozumel alone.

It was my first time ever going ashore alone. I was excited and a little nervous, but I know I could hold my own if anyone tried any funny business, so I wasn't too terribly worried. I collected my things I'd need to take with me and headed down to the gangway and off of the ship. I had 2 hours before I needed to wake them up, so I had plenty of time.

Once I got to the area with the port shops, I was lost LOL. I could not find a down escalator to save my life and that was the only way to get out of the port shops area. I went round and round in circles and I finally found it. At the bottom of the escalator, I saw....

When I brought it up to DH later, he said he saw a line of people making a beeline for Starbucks as soon as they got off of the ship. I guess it really is a way of life for some people LOL! We liked the coffee on the ship...but I was also putting real cream and sugar, not splenda, into my cups of decaf I was enjoying now and again.

I walked the strip along the main drag in San Miguel looking for a pharmacy. The view of our ships from where I was walking:

I went into 2 pharmacies and couldn't find what I needed. I went into the third one and something similar was staring me in the face, but I wasn't entirely comfortable getting it until I found an internet cafe and googled it. I mean, I thought it would work, but it may have only been able to work when taken in conjunction with another medicine - I took it a couple of years ago but couldn't remember the requirements for taking it and the pharmacist didn't speak good enough english for me to ask about it.

So I went looking for an internet cafe. I know they're all over. I walked 3 blocks and found nothing. I went into a jewelry store and asked if they could point me in the direction of one and they did....on the back streets of San Miguel way off the beaten path.

Now don't get me wrong. We normally go off the beaten path for stuff when it's just DH and I. We never book ship tours; always private tours that take us to places where there aren't a lot of tourists. But being that I was alone I wasn't crazy about it but I looked down the street she told me to go down and it looked fine. It was just 4 blocks anyway.

I went down there and the internet cafe was right where she said it would be. I went in and....not one single english speaking soul to be found. LOL. Still..I asked "dolares o pesos?" and the girl behind the counter stared at me blankly and said "QUE????"

OK...LOL. Never mind. I went back to the main street and walked about 3 more blocks but never found an internet cafe. At that point, my issue was really bothering me and i was just like screw it, I'm buying the pill and hoping for the best. So I did....$12.50 USD for 1 pill, but I needed it. I thought medicine was supposed to be cheap in Mexico?? LOL it probably was....that 1 pill would probably retail for like $200 in the US. Thank goodness for military insurance is all I can say. As much as it's a thorn in my side, they pay for all of our medicine when we get it at the pharmacy on base.

I had about an hour before I needed to be back on the ship so I looked around at some of the markets and people selling things off of tables on the street. I love to barter with these people. Stupidly, I didn't prepare myself to barter though....I like to make it seem like my dollar amount I offer is literally the last money I have on me...I don't like opening up a wallet and they see I have more money. Well I didn't have pockets and was just carrying my money in my sunglasses case in my hand, so unfortunately I missed out on a good deal on a necklace I could have gotten because he would not go below $20 and I would have paid $10 max. I got away from that market area and took out a $10 bill and stuffed it into my bra for the next opportunity to barter for a necklace LOL.

Being a female wandering alone in Mexico, I got asked at least 20 times if I wanted a mexican boyfriend. Most I ignored, some I said "no" to and a couple I said "I'm married" to and they both told me husband never had to know because what happens in Cozumel stays in Cozumel. Ew. They were gross.

I wandered back to the port area and then past it on the other side to see what they had. I came across a store called MEGA and it had a picture of a lizard on it. I was curious what it was so I went in and it was like a Wal-Mart. I was running out of time so I didn't want to take too long to look around, but it was fascinating to me.

Most fascinating of all though were the escalators you took your cart on. Flat, angled escalators.

I left and continued wandering....past 4, yes 4 internet cafes. LOL. That's my luck. Didn't need them anymore...

I stumbled across Margaritaville and saw I had 30 minutes so I'd get a quick margarita.

Enjoying my margarita and the view:

Strangely enough, that time I spent by myself ashore was one of the top 3 vacation moments I've ever had, no joke. I LOVED being by myself without someone talking nonstop in my ear about who knows what or having to worry about a toddler getting out of her stroller and running away. It was just nice.

So I was drinking my margarita and Manuel appeared. First words out of his mouth were "Want a mexican boyfriend?"

Then he started asking where I was from and stuff. It became apparent that he didn't even speak english and had just learned these phrases to converse with the tourists - he was an employee there. I would answer and ask him something in return and he would never answer, just nod and say "I see, I see." I thought that was interesting. It never upsets me or rubs me the wrong way when they don't speak english because after all, I am in their country where they speak spanish. I guess it's like the time we were in Playa del Carmen and DH asked a guy "Donde esta el bano?" and he answered in spanish and DH couldn't understand him. Hahahaha

I finished my margarita and headed back to the ship. Finally got to barter for a necklace and pulled my $10 out of my bra and promised the lady it was the last $10 I had as I was on my way back to the ship. She said "No, $17." I took the necklace off and told her "bye" and suddenly she could do $10.

Love my new necklace! This is really the only decent picture I have of it.

I got back on board and woke up DH & Maddie and we got her a snack, played more trivia, watched our sail away from Cozumel and then she and I took a short nap where she didn't actually nap.

The rest of the night was the same old thing as every other night - dinner then bed. I had a filet mignon/shortrib duo thing for dinner and warm chocolate melting cake. I wasn't starting to feel good when I'd eat and go right to bed. Like I was feeling sick from a full stomach. Ugh, if only I knew what the next night had in store for me.

DH and I before dinner:

Maddie at the kids camp:

Maddie & DH dancing at dinner...one thing I wish Carnival would do is NOT encourage the waiters to sing and dance every night. It cheapens a nice dining experience (and delays dessert LOL)

Night night:

Stay tuned for our last day at sea...which wasn't all that interesting hehe.
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December 22nd, 2010, 12:12 PM
Platinum Supermommy
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I'll have to finish up tomorrow probably. DH's computer is the only one I can upload pics from and he's home today and monopolizing it. He goes back to work tomorrow
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December 23rd, 2010, 07:02 AM
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Day 5: Final day at sea

This will probably be a short review of the day since not a lot went on and I didn't take many pictures.

We woke up and headed up to breakfast and the line was already pretty long for being 7:30 in the morning.

One thing about Carnival's buffet breakfast is that it's the same foods every single day...the only thing that changes is one day they have pancakes and the next they have french toast and they keep rotating the 2. There is a lot more to choose from if you're willing to go to the main dining room and sit through a 1-hour long breakfast, but we're not. In the morning, I want my food and I want it now.

We ate and looked over the Fun Times to map out our day. When we were done eating, we went back to the room to get ready for the day.

I don't even remember what we did after breakfast!

Once the kids camp opened at 10, we took Maddie up and signed her in. She didn't know it, but she was about to meet Funship Freddy, the Carnival mascot and her new best friend.

DH and I played Scattergories at the casino bar again but we didn't win.

We wandered the ship a little more taking random pictures.

We then headed to the library as it was the hour the attendant was there and we could finally get into the bookcases. We grabbed Clue and Scattergories to borrow for the day. We then sat in the library and played games until about 11:45.

The lunch buffet started at noon, so we dropped by the room to drop the games off and then headed up to the Lido deck...we got there about 5 minutes early, but the buffet was already open and PACKED. I hadn't seen the lines that packed since my first cruise ever in 2003.

DH joined the buffet line but I joined the much shorter line to the deli but it was still a 15 minute wait. I got a turkey sandwich and then joined him in the buffet line and managed to finish almost my whole sandwich before he navigated the line and we could sit down. It took him 25 minutes to get through the buffet line.

It was also what they called the "chocolate buffet" on this day but I've seen their previous chocolate buffets and this wasn't it. This was just a smattering of desserts and half of them weren't even chocolate. Not that I'm complaining, just observing.

I went to retrieve Maddie from camp while DH finished his meal. The camp staff said she was so stoked to have met Funship Freddy. She clapped and danced when he was in the room up there and that says a lot because when she's with other kids, she normally just plays alone and ignores everyone else.

I got lunch for Maddie, then she and DH went back to the room for a nap.

She was super excited about her Funship Freddy tattoo that she'd gotten:

While they slept, I shopped and bought a new necklace. It was my only souvenir from the ship...normally I shop in the shops a little more but they were always packed and that annoyed me.

I entered some drawing to win another necklace and then went into the main lounge to watch a game of BINGO get underway. I wasn't able to stay to see who won because I had to go back for the necklace drawing. I didn't win. You had to guess the carat weight of the gem and it was 2.75 - I'd guessed 3.12 so I wasn't too far off, but 8 people guessed it right on the nose.

I went to Name That Tune trivia at the casino bar and it was the most packed I'd ever seen a trivia game. There were probably at least 40-50 people who showed up. They did 80s songs, which I suck at, and I only got a score of 16...the winner scored 42 to give you an idea of how badly I did.

I went back to the room and woke DH & Maddie up. We returned the games to the library and then went to watch the Christmas show in the main lounge. Surprisingly Maddie sat still most of the time. Santa showed up and then she got excited because she loves Santa.

After that, we headed to one of the aft lounges for the Fun Farewell party. The only reason we went is because it was the only time during the week that had free booze.

I know from past experience the drinks are always way watered down so I drank 4 in about 20 minutes. Holy crap, these were not watered down. The room started to spin. I couldn't walk a straight line and felt best when I leaned or slumped against something LOL. I was so drunk and I wasn't even trying to be. I was going for just a warm fuzzy feeling and thought the drinks were watered down.

Anyway, DH and Maddie took to the dance floor again during this party.

They were the only ones on the dance floor for the first song and everyone loved them. They were whooping and hollering and clapping. When they were done, one person even asked if he could take a picture of them. That was sort of weird and I hope we don't end up on some internet list of the top 10 people who suck at dancing, but whatever. One of the guys in the band grabbed the mic when they were done and said "Let's give a big round of applause to the brave little girl in the pink dress!" and the crowd went wild LOL. It was sooo amusing to me in my drunken state.

The next song was a slow dance so they sat it out while more people went up on the dance floor. There was this tiny old couple...we'd seen them busting moves all over the ship in the clubs and stuff and a crowd of people would always gather around them....they couldn't have been taller than 4'10" and they were just so darn cute. The crowd went wild for them when they were done and then another fast song came on and DH & Maddie went back up and were dancing with a big crowd of people. It was cute.

I was starting to visibly lose my balance and slur my words at that point so we went back to the room and I volunteered to nap with Maddie because I sure needed it LOL.

Well, she didn't nap.

At 7, we took her back to Camp Carnival and went to the lounge to watch the big production show which was New Orleans themed and great, but long. Plus my attention span was short because I was STILL drunk. We left about 45 minutes into it and went out on one of the decks on the front of the ship - we were sort of shocked to see we were already back in the Mississippi River. That meant the cruise was really almost over

We headed up to camp to retrieve Maddie and turn in our cell phone we'd been issued for the week. We headed to dinner one last night. I had yet another steak and warm chocolate melting cake and after this meal I was so freaking sick.

I tried to go to bed with Maddie while DH went to the cigar bar to smoke the last of his cubans and I just tossed and turned. I had awful indigestion and heartburn and felt like I was going to throw up. DH finally got back around midnight and I told him that I had to go walking to try to speed up my food digesting. I couldn't just lay there. I walked for an hour straight. It was cool to go out on the deck and see us heading upriver. We were upstream enough to populated areas at this point and could see cars and streets and houses. I walked...and walked....and walked....I must have walked 3 miles around the ship. I finally felt like I might be able to go to bed and was able to.

We got up at 6:45 the next morning and DH went up to the Lido buffet to bring back some cereal & milk for all of us but I didn't eat mine. I felt AWFUL. I was still stuffed from dinner. Little did I know this lovely problem would last with me until Sunday night. I could hardly look at or touch food for the remainder of Thursday and all day Friday. Saturday I braved food again and at about 3:30 in the morning, I SORELY regretted doing so!!!

We self-disembarked and took all of our own luggage off of the ship. They called our deck to disembark around 7:50 and within minutes we were off of the ship and through customs. We waited about 15 minutes for our parking garage shuttle and then about 4 minutes later we were back at our car, loading it up to go home.

It took us about 1.5 hours to get home as we had the last little bit of NOLA rush hour traffic to navigate. When we got home, there was drama with the neighbors, who had moved out but thought it would be fine to use our trash can for all of their trash (and more) without asking us first. When I asked them politely to come get their garbage, they were SO mad. All she did was come over and drag the lawnmower, chair, ottoman and cardboard boxes she'd left back over to her old house instead of taking them with her and she refused to take the bags she'd left out of the trash can. Well...we still had 5 days until trash day so where was our garbage supposed to go? I guess that wasn't her problem, right Anyway, big lesson learned, NEVER ask them ever again to watch over our stuff while we're gone.
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December 23rd, 2010, 09:59 AM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Albany-ISH, New York
Posts: 33,890
I enjoyed reading this sooooooo much!!! Every word!

<~ is curious about this pill...

The time alone sounds heavenly, I would have loved that. I love wandering on my own a bit during vacations (land based, cruise, whatever) and exploring and just having time to me, me, me!

I saw the video on your FB a few days ago where your hubby and Maddie were dancing so cute!

Sounds like an awesome trip, it was nice to read about and see pics!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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December 23rd, 2010, 10:07 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 11,402
The pill was for a problem that is TMI....I'd been taking antibiotics when I got on the ship and the first night I developed a nasty side effect of them. The magical pill wasn't a cure-all but definitely helped. That's all I'll say LOL.

I think you need to plan a cruise now Erika!
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December 23rd, 2010, 12:34 PM
MidgeMadge's Avatar Queen Turd. Bow down.
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Albany-ISH, New York
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Ok, I won't ask..

I wish :/ It's gonna be quite awhile before I can cruise.
We're taking an expensive trip to California next year, and can't afford a cruise even remotely close to that.

.. but, I'll do a CA review?
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..

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February 19th, 2011, 12:15 PM
Just_Marie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 28,175
loved the review, thanks!

Lucky mother to five!

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February 23rd, 2011, 09:20 AM
Mattiez's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,422
loved the review.
Thanks for posting it.
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