This was our first cruise with a group so it was a different experience than previous cruises.  The group was a lot of fun and we stayed way busier than usual.  Highlights of the week:

  • Surprising Sylvis and Peach worked out better than I could have expected.  I think they really appreciated the gesture and I certainly appreciated her reaction when I jumped out from behind the door.
  • To set up the stalking, I had been texting and talking with their friend Tiger for a few weeks. Since he was hanging out with them for a couple days before the cruise, he changed my name to Bob in his phone in case Sylvis or Peach happened to look over and see who he was texting. Due to my super spectacular stalking skills, I was known as Ninja Bob throughout the cruise. I like it.
  • Miami Vice.  That is all.
  • Diving is an awesome activity!  I have loved snorkeling over the years but this was so much better.  Hubby has always been able to free dive to get down and see some of the more interesting stuff but I’ve never been very successful with that.  This was my first time being able to really see everything and feel part of the underwater world.  It was exciting and soothing.
  • Getting a corner, interior, accessible cabin is so the way to go.  By far our most spacious, dark, and comfortable accommodations on a cruise ship.  Happily, I did not see very many people in wheelchairs through the week so I don’t think we took it from someone in need. 
  • Our dinner companions were wonderful.  There were several nights that we were the last four leaving the dining room because we were so engrossed in conversation. 

A couple of disappointments as well:

  • This was our first cruise ever where I felt the service we received for dinner was so inadequate that we actually decreased the gratuity for our wait staff.  On every other cruise, by the third night, my post-dinner milk automatically showed up without me even asking.  This time, not only did I have to ask for it every night but there were a couple nights that it was forgotten even after I asked for it or I had to ask a second time.  There were several nights that we waited and waited for our plates while all the tables around us were served each course.  There was one night that my water glass was empty before our appetizers came out and stayed that way until dessert.  When it was finally filled, hubby’s glass, which was also empty, was ignored.  It was completely sub-par service for dinner on a Carnival cruise.  I don’t even know our head waiter’s name because he spent no time talking to our table at all.
  • We mostly chose comedy over main shows but the couple main shows we did attend were pretty bad.



I had actually intended to accompany hubby to the gym today but my head wasn’t having it. I’m not sure why my head has been so angry this week. It’s gotta be something on the ship. By the time he returned and I consented to getting out of bed, most of the breakfast buffets were closed and I actually got a sammich from the deli instead.

they really know how to dress up fruit on a cruiseship

We took our time eating but nobody came by our table like yesterday. We then headed to the lobby to peruse our portraits from the week and we ran into fishphobia and her husband. They talked hubby into a beanbag toss tournament in which he skillfully placed second out of forty-three participants.

hubby getting competitive

fishphobia tossing a sac

hubby putting on the pressure

fishphobia's hubby

such graceful form

silver medalist!

We went from there to the art auction, where we ran into the fellow Orlandians in the group, Master and Bubbly. They had the Donald Duck piece that I was so enamored with on the last cruise. It is Ducky See Ducky Do by David Willardson and I was so tempted to get it but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much on a Disney serigraph. I do love that piece though (although now that I’ve found the artist’s website and perused it, i find that Corkscrew is the one I really MUST have).

one day, maybe, i'll actually own this painting instead of just drooling over it

When the auction was over, we went back to the room to start packing before our final dinner on the ship. How much do I love that my final dinner consisted of a beautiful bowl of baked mac-n-cheese with bacon? First time seeing that one on a cruise menu and it very well may have been my favorite of the week.

towel animal du jour: heart-shaped chocolate box :-)

because the eskimo thought it was a fire to warm up to

We then visited the future cruise desk to get a credit on our next Carnival cruise and ended up in the main theatre to watch the Battle of the Sexes and Liars Club games. We intended to skip the first AO comedy show, by Mr Rimi, and only see the one by Mr Blanchard but someone read the schedule wrong and we were there for Mr Rimi’s first show. We occupied a large section right up front on the side. He spent half the show trying to heckle our new Orlandian friend, Master, to no avail. Our new Fishphobia friend kept bending over my shoulder to say how lousy this guy was. The credit I gave him last night for being slightly better than the last cruise we saw him on was definitely premature. We were much happier when Mr Blanchard’s show started. He still rocks and I was very upset with my bladder when I couldn’t wait until the show was over so I did miss a couple minutes of the show. Stupid bladder. After that show, we all agreed we’d rather not go back in for Mr Rimi’s last show so we gathered in the hall taking pix and saying goodbyes. Packing is done other than toiletries and my pillows and blankies. One more buffet until vacation is officially over.

sylvis and me

part of the gang waiting for the show to begin

the other end of our couch

our original cruise buddies!



While hubby got up to gym, I chose to sleep in this morning. It’s my vacation and I’ve gotten up early the last three mornings so don’t you judge me. When he got back from the gym, I got up and we headed to the breakfast buffet. While we sat eating, nearly everyone from the group passed by at some point and chatted. We finally decided to visit the pool with some of them so we spent about ten minutes in the pool and probably five minutes in the hot tub and that was enough of that.

monkey on my back


We then tagged along for the group’s poker run cabin crawl. I was hesitant to participate but I felt more comfortable after spectating and would probably join in next time. They basically went around to seven host cabins picking up treats and a card from each of the first five cabins. The last two cabins were discard cabins if they wanted to trade a card each cabin to try for a better hand. The guy who won had four queens and got the $80 pot they had built up. Pretty cool but it was just as much fun to watch.

the prettiest shots i've ever seen

forget "how many people can we cram into a cruiseship stateroom" we're going for the "how many people can you get on the tiny couch" record!

While the awards were being handed out, our little group ducked out to go fishy-bomb a cabin. Apparently one of the ladies is terrified of fish so they got the room key from her husband and they put fishies all over the place in there. She took it like a sport. It was a fun afternoon and required a pre-dinner nap.

hubby and me

you can never have too many "look at us all snazzied up" pix

our ontarioan dinner companions

We then spent the remainder of the night enjoying the AO shows of the new comedians onboard. The first and final show were from Mr Jason Blanchard. Loved him! He had great material and we laughed like crazy. His final show, he was getting heckled by some ridiculously drunk woman and he managed to heckle her back until she finally got up and left. A thunderous applause followed her departure.  He was definitely among the best of the cruiseship comedians we have seen to date.

The middle show of the night was by Mr Carl Rimi, whom we had seen on the Elation back in May. It was mostly the same show we saw six months ago – same jokes, same annoying swagger around the stage, same tired attitude and overuse of “meh” and “my life’s in shambles” – but I will say that he at least had more prepared material than back then instead of spending all his time heckling the audience. Though I still didn’t find him to be anywhere on par with Mr Blanchard, I do think I laughed a little more than I did that first time we saw him… so there’s that for him.

towel animal du jour: eskimo!