MITSUGIRLY lets the BREEZE flow through her hair-Spring Break Review/Pictorial
Day 3: HAPPY EASTER!
SUNDAY-March 27: EASTER!!!
We were up at 8am this morning (don't it figure since it was actually a sea day and we could have slept in). However, I heard this loud banging, which I tried to ignore, but the noise would continue. At one point I thought we must have been caught up in a storm and I was totally convinced that a gust of wind just overturned my chairs on the balcony and someone was stacking them up along the steel door, trying to find an escape to higher ground. A few more minutes, I thought the neighbors must have brought their fishing poles and they had managed to snag my table and chairs and were reeling them in as they screeched across the floor. Anyone who has had a balcony knows this screech! It's as bad as fingernails on a chalkboard. Ok, I might as well get up.
It was beautiful outside, our furniture was still in tact, there was no storm outside, but man our balcony stunk! You know how you pass places with the big air vents on the side of a building and it smells like rotten food with the air blowing out at you? Yep, that was the smell. Phew!
Before we left home, Sakari was playing with my snapchat and made a bunny picture to send back home to her brothers and sisters for Easter. It was now time to send that picture to them.
As we got ready, Sakari was watching the Cartoon Network, only it was the Spanish Cartoon Network???? It would go back and forth between English and Spanish and I was super confused because it was the only cartoons on the t.v. the entire cruise.
Since this was a sea day, we decided to head to the MDR for a nice sit down breakfast. When we arrived, they told us if we expected to be seated alone, we would have a little bit of a wait. However, if we could sit with another family, there was no wait. Ok, well let's do this thang then!
They took us over to a table and we sat down. However, we were the only ones at the table. Maybe I misunderstood them?
I took a look at the menu:
...And Sakari discovered they had new pictures loaded on Snapchat since she was on it last.
She would send new updated "live" pictures back home to Kendra for Easter.
Meanwhile, they managed to sit another family with us finally. Parents and two children. Ok. So they bring out the danish and rolls...and I'm unrolling my silverwear to get a fork to get one and the other family is using their fingers to grab the food. Um....ok. Are we going to get our own basket since we have become germaphobes on this cruise after contracting noro on the last? Nope, they expected us to share these rolls. Sigh.
I'm a friendly person. I really am. I'll talk to anyone. But I am a tad bit shy sometimes and usually never make the first move unless the opportunity really presents itself. BUT.... I do not like to share a table with strangers. Never have, never will. (Now I'm not saying if I've met you on the cruise and we're like "Hey, let's go grab a bite to eat at the MDR", then you are not considered a stranger.) These people never said one word to us the entire time. You get the occasional glances over and your eyes meet and you think "OMG, I hope they didn't think I was starring at them" look back. Very uncomfortable. This is something that I totally hated when cruising back in the 80's and 90's = Being forced to eat with people I don't know. I enjoy our meals and it's usually an opportunity to sit and discuss things, make plans, talk about private things, enjoy each others company, reflect on the day...not within the ears reach of others to overhear. Then now I have people putting their fingers on the food that I am to eat. Sigh! I knew it was a bad idea.
We had to wait on the other family to decide what they wanted before we could place our order (since they arrived after we did, we sat for awhile). Then after placing our order, it would be 45 minutes before our food ever arrived. I watched people come in way after us, sat down at a table for 2 or 3, order taken right away, their own "private" basket of rolls/danish, food came out, they ate, they were getting up to leave....all while we were waiting on our food still. Like seriously ridiculous!! All because I was stupid enough to say "Sure, we'll sit with another family". I told my husband "Never again. I would rather wait until a table became available because these people came in after we did and they managed to get a smaller table...which would have been ours."
Our food finally arrived
Once we were done, we got up and left. I'm sorry, I'm not waiting for the other family to finish just because I had to wait for them to arrive. They never said one word to us and we were outta there and outta that uncomfortable situation.
After breakfast we decided to go down to Ocean Plaza/Red Frog and Sakari discovered the Foosball tables...where we would spend the next hour or so doing tournament after tournament. She just absolutely loved this game.
Daddy let his winnings be known to all of those around.
We played foosball until it was time for the scavenger hunt. Sakari was looking forward to this. Last year on the Pride they gave all the kids a paper and they had to hunt around the entire ship for the place by figuring out the clue. Once they found the place, they would receive some candy and a sticker and then on to the next clue. Once you made it to the end, there was an Easter party with cake and a dance. She loved it.
This was different and we wouldn't find out until after we were already knee-deep in the game. The had the "team leader" line up around a circle and we were given a list of items we had to run around the ship and take pictures of. For each picture you got, you get so many points. You had a total of 15 minutes to complete it and be back on the circle.
What we managed to get...
Ping pong table
Picture of a frog
Smiling bar tender
High five the entertainment staff (which we got wrong because they wear red)
"All dressed up strawberry"
Getting an alcoholic drink at the bar
Getting ice cream
hear, speak and see no evil-worth 5 points
15 minutes went by QUICK!! And this is not anything I can see a young child doing. Here's momma duck racing around getting these items and pictures and dragging my pour family with me. We made it back with about 10 seconds to spare and stood on the line. There were only 3 families back. Um ok...so much for the "rules" They waited and waited and had I known that, I would have managed to take more time and get more items myself.
In the end a family of 3 young teenage girls won I believe with some outrageous amount of points, which I can't see how, but we had just wasted about 1 hour of our time doing something we thought was going to be an actual Easter Egg hunt. It left me wondering what happened to the Easter Hunt.
Well sad and depressed that Mr Bunny wasn't going to present himself as we expected, we decided we would cheer Sakari up by heading to the water park because water makes everything better!
I stopped this review because Sakari turned 8 today! Everyone came over to sing Happy Birthday to her and she told everyone that she's "about to be 8 as soon as you sing Happy Birthday too me."
I surprised her with this cake.
And she got her a mermaid blanket, which she is now sleeping in. THIS was a shock to her since she had never even seem them yet...even though they came from the same company that makes her mermaid tails. HA! I pulled one over on her...FINALLY!
She had a great day of family and friends over, a cookout, riding her new pro Haro bike, then going to the trampoline jump place and then out to dinner. She was so tired I had to threaten her just to get her into the shower tonight instead of going straight to bed. :p Now THAT'S how you wear out an 8 year old. :D
So I would say that she had a great year being 7 with 4 cruises under her belt just during the age of 7. Yep, what more could any child ask for? Oh yea, another cruise, I forgot. :eek: And ask she did!
Ok, back to the review. Sakari's birthday is over...
Time for some water fun because water fun is good for everyone.
Now the Breeze is a big ship and with big ships comes big crowds plus add in Spring Break....whew.
It's almost impossible to find a seat on a sea day with this many people on the ship. But...we managed to find a spot up at the water park, so this is where we decided we'd spend some time.
This water park was awesome...for both the kids and adults.
I loved getting caught under the bucket. I made it a point to never sit and watch it and if it happened to "dump" in the location I was, well so be it. That's what it was all about and having fun! You can get dumped on just about anywhere including the steps.
Since there's so many levels to this water park, you never know when someone is above you, ready to pound water on you, and that included us catching Sakari many times.
he thrill seekers at the park would wait for that moment of getting drenched.
Team work is what it's all about. I'll fill your bucket up, you dump the unsuspecting people below.
They had the "baby" slides for the youngsters who couldn't or wouldn't go on the big slides.
Baby slides for the little ones? Well, sometimes I guess they were appropriate for the big kids too...especially when daddy wanted to race Sakari.
Just so you know, there's a glass wall that surrounds a portion of the water park and then chairs for people to sit in on all sides...you are NOT protected from the water and especially from the different hoses that you can squirt people with...just be warned...we became a pretty good shot from up on top to the front and sides. :D If you don't want to get wet, you probably shouldn't be at a water park. Just saying...
We spent hours here and had a blast. Sakari rode the water slides over and over and loved them (as she always does). I had a blast but man climbing those steps were gruesome for an overweight girl like me these days. Which, of course, gave me more incentive to continue to climb them and maybe work off some of those Guys Burgers I knew I would be consuming all week.
The water slides did go pretty quickly. There are two "lines" on the same set of steps, so make sure you are looking down and know which line you are in...people are not passing you up, they are simply in a different line than you.
We spent several hours here and Sakari decided she wanted to go to the pool and off we went. However, you have to remember that the pools are salt water and Sakari came to a screeching halt when she entered the water for the first time and you would have thought someone just took her favorite blankie away forever. She screamed bloody murder and the waterfalls of tears started pouring like Niagara Falls. I had no idea what was going on and of course I had already plummeted into the water, making the biggest tsunami wave possible. Could I have just thrown her out of the water and onto the edging like a beached whale?
Nope, that wasn't it. After calming her down and looking at her body language, because using the English language for her at this point was not working out too well, I discovered she was holding her belly. Once I peeled back her fighting hands, I found that she had several "rug burns". She had them on the back of her legs up toward her bottom, right below her bathing suit top, the top of her feet and her elbows...and they were red and raw. Oh just great! What type of flesh eating disease have you managed to catch on the ship this time???
Well, after bundling her up like a newborn child, I would finally reteach her the English language and convince her it was a good thing to communicate. She let us know that she had been running and sliding on her belly and bottom, up at the water park, over and over and over and over! She obviously managed to get some friction burns out of this great idea...and now she would have to suck it up and live with the burning sensation or not be able to go to the beach "tomorrow" because that was our first port day. Ohhhhh my goodness...bring on the cow tears again. Oh the thought of not going to the beach to morph into a mermaid was unbearable. She convinced me that she would be all better by tomorrow and today she would just have to forego the pools with salt water in them.
She settled for a Guys Burger and things were better.
I got me a pig patty and loaded it with everything and I was all better as well. All was good in the world for the moment.
Back to the room, with our bellies full, I thought it would be a good idea to chill for awhile and deescalate the "burn" situation for a moment.
I would sit out on the deck and enjoy my view, far enough away to not hear any of the whimpers coming from inside, and just relax.
I ask Sakari several times, while we were at the water park, if she'd like to go to the Easter Party. She said no each time. I almost begged and really played it up about how great it was going to be and reminded her of the last party on the Pride for Easter and all the dancing involved. It didn't work. If you give her the choice between 1) Anything involving water and 2) a party 3) candy 4) dancing 5) a million dollars....she's going to pick the water related activity every time.
So now that the water activity had put a blemish on the day, I did ask her about going to the "Build a Bear" Beary Cuddly Workshop. She agreed that she would like to do that and I was relieved that I found something that would possibly let her forget that she was in pain still.
Off we went to the workshop in hopes of having some fun.
They hold the workshop at the kids club and the cost is around $25 to build your own stuffed animal. Sakari loves going to the Build-A-Bear here at home, but this is a "little" different. You actually get to stuff your own bear by hand. Of course at the shops here, they have a machine that does it for you and you just have to press on the foot pedal and it blows the stuffing in the animal. Sakari would tell me that she likes this much better. So, it looks like we have managed to find something that will become a ritual when cruising with Carnival.
She picked out an elephant animal that she would later name "Peanut".
They had an entire closet full of animals waiting for new owners on the cruise.
It came complete with the "house" box, just like the stores have.
At the stores, you can put various things in it (for an additional price) such as a heart or a sound...and even a "smell". Included with the price of THIS animal on Carnival, you get 2 pieces that go inside, you know, to make them come alive and be functional and all.
Sakari takes building her animals very seriously. She is hoping for all the greatness in Peanuts life to become a reality and that he would be happy with his new owner and lead a fulfilling life with her.
It also comes with a Carnival tee shirt. She dressed Peanut and it would probably be the only time Peanut has clothes on. I stopped buying her all the fancy dress-up items at the store because she strips them all and they end up hanging in her playroom closet gathering dust. Carnival also has the option to purchase extra clothes for them here as well. That was a definite "NO" for us, since they would never get used and Sakari will also say she doesn't want any clothes. She doesn't like clothes, so I guess she thinks her stuffed animals don't either. I guess I get off cheap with her.
At the stores, you get a certificate of "birth". With Carnival, Peanut needed a Passport! So a passport he got!
(Don't-cha just love her fancy writing? She does this all the time).
Now Peanut is ready for the road and Sakari had fun making it.
We headed up to the pool deck to relax for a little bit and Sakari would now have Peanut to entertain her for hours on end. She is VERY good at playing alone and can take a new toy and get so engulfed in acting out that I really believe sometimes she thinks it's real. But hey, it keeps her occupied and very quiet for hours.
Now...remember I showed you mine and Sakari's free water for sailing with Carnival again? The hubby's was missing right? For some reason they have him as a new cruiser this time around. I have no idea what happened, but he's been on every cruise with me so....I was going to make the best of this situation and use it to my full advantage...the.entire.cruise!
Aww would you look at that newbie Blue card? Isn't is purdy? hehe
Well....."Since you are a newbie on this cruise, it's time to initiate you because that's what newbies get". The hubby is looking at me like...oh geesh what now. "Well, I'm kinda thirsty after all that bear-building." He's looking around and says "Where is the closest bar?" I point in the direction of the steps, walk my fingers as if I'm going down the steps with them, then point to the opposite corner at the Blue Iguana bar. Off he went. heheh
There he is, waiting on our drinks.
And doing the walk of shame on his way back.
This would continue the rest of the cruise. If I can use it to my advantage, I'mma gonna. hehe. I told him multiple times to go down to Customer Service to get an updated card, but he said he didn't want the hassle and it didn't really matter to him. So-be-it, newbie for the rest of the cruise you are! You are at my command. :D
I will get you to pose for all the silly pictures during the cruise as well....just so you know what you are in store for newbie.
I would like to say that today was the ONLY day that anyone ever came up to me because they knew who I was from here "Mitsugirly". They ask just how many times I had already been spotted on the cruise and believe it or not, she was the only one that spotted me for the entire cruise. (I think more people know me and can spot me on the NCL boards because I'm over there more often I guess).
But it was real nice talking to her and I hope I didn't give the impression that I hated that she approached me and recognized me (I think I joked about being incognito). I love talking to people that recognize me during the cruise. The problem is, everyone knows me from my reviews but I don't know anyone else...leaving it up to them to say something. But normally I'll run into people that recognize me and they'll come up and talk and I'll continue to run into them again throughout the cruise. I love getting to know people like that. I never did run into her (or anyone else) again that cruise. So if you are here, and reading my review, stop in and say hello again. :D
Now one thing that I really like about Carnival is that they have a "Kids Dinner" where you can drop your child off at the buffet area to eat with them. NCL only offers this "lunch" if it's a port day and your child is staying with them while you are off in port and they charge you $6 for the meal...you know, the meal that is free to eat had you been there.
Well Sakari loved going and eating with her friends. We tried to make it a habit to do this every day that we could (except for port days of course...we weren't able to make it most of the time). But every day at 6pm, we headed to the buffet for them to eat. At least we knew she was getting fed right?
We headed to the casino to try our luck, which didn't work out too good for us so we went to check out our pictures taken by the ship photographer.
They managed to find us out on the water park deck and took a picture. I would later realize that almost every female on this ship would have some form of blue and white striped, cruising-looking cover-up for their bathing suit or just a shirt. When it came time to find us in pictures, we quickly learned that simply looking for a person with blue and white stripes on would not point us in the direction of OUR picture, but usually someone else. LOL
Then back to our room to put everything away and capture a few moments of the beautiful ocean and clouds before sunset.
We did a little packing for tomorrow, since it was our first port day and we were super excited.
When it was time to pick Sakari up from the kids club, we headed up to the floor to get her only to find a short line for pick up, which was awesome. Carnival has you pick up the kids by 10pm. NCL is at 10:30pm.
At least she was able to create herself a mask tonight. She was super excited about it. She would wear it most of the rest of the night. I had to laugh because the rubberband that held it to her face was pretty tight and the eye holes that were cut out was close together...it made her eyes looks super funny. But, she insisted on wearing it and I wasn't about to stop her.
For desert, the waiter suggested the pie à la mode and it was ok. I was so full that I didn't eat it all.
So back to 10pm and picking up Sakari. We are "late night" people and we eat dinner late at home (we just finished eating at 10:30pm tonight). I will say that Carnival has the most messed up times to eat that I have ever come across. With NCL, there's ALWAYS some place to eat. Whether it be the 24/7 Blue Lagoon/O'Sheehans (and we are talking all kinds of food, not just 1 item) and the buffet stays open most of the time with usually only 1/2 hour or so between meals that it's closed. (Or at least that's what it seems like, but I'd have to pull out some daily's to check). But we have never had a problem finding food on NCL at any given time.
With Carnival, they would close their buffet down at 9:30pm I believe. So, picking up your child from the kids club at 10pm, there's never anything to eat except PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA or going to the deli, and quite honestly there's not much there that I enjoy and definitely not anything Sakari likes. It made for quite a challenge this cruise and our schedules just never seemed to line up at the right time for dinner. Thank goodness Sakari at least got to eat dinner with the kids at 6pm, but of course by 10pm she was starving as well.
So tonight we would head to the Pizza Pirate where we would stand in the long line, waiting patiently, for pizza to be made and served...with an entire pizza only going to 2 people each time. Sigh.
After eating, we headed back to the room to find our towel animal for the night with my $50 spa card in its mouth.
Sakari decided that her animals were unable to get along and they must be split up. That meant she needed to construct bunk beds for them to sleep in. She would steal my chair and this would be her creation for the night...complete with towels as their blanket. (Sorry for the blurry picture, I was trying to be inconspicuous when I took the picture).
We headed to bed around midnight where I would continue to hear the clanging of something (I assume coming from the galley, but sounded like it was coming from my balcony) for about the next hour before I either drifted off to sleep or they stopped. I'm not sure which one it was at this point. It was annoying and loud! Don't book this room...like EVER. :p
So I just looked at my NCL daily to compare the "buffet" times of operation. Now most have 2 buffets (considered the Garden Cafe, which is the inside huge buffet area, usually located on both sides of the ship) then there's the "Great Outdoors", which is a mini type buffet, located on the back of the ship.
Here's the times they are open:
Breakfast: Buffet 6:30am-10:30am Outdoors 7:30am-11:30am
Lunch: Buffet 11:30am-3:00pm Outdoors 3pm-5:30pm
Dinner: Buffet 5:30pm-9:30pm Outdoors 9:30pm-11pm
Then many nights they would have "specials" at midnight, such as their "Mexican Fiesta" night and it's loaded with Mexican food and so on.
So does anyone see this pattern? One buffet closes and the other opens and then back again. You can get meals any time of the day from their buffet. This is what we are used to and would never notice a "shortage" of food on any cruise with them. This is what we would be missing on Carnival. :(
I will also mention that others on my roll call came back and was talking about the "lack of food" or being able to find it also. Many even posted that they managed to actually lose weight as well. So, I'm not the only one that felt this way.
We didn't need an Easter Egg hunt, we needed a food hunt on this cruise and many times we were pretty hungry at any given time because we would have to wait for something to open up...if it did at all. :p