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Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial

Day 7: Barbados

DAY 4 on the ship-BARBADOS!!!!!! Woo hoo!

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So this is (was) my first time here and I was super excited. Even though I had never been here before, I knew that one thing that Barbados is known for is turtles. We seen turtles for the first time in Bermuda last year and we were so excited. However, as soon as they seen you, they were "outta here". They would never let us get close. I've tried going several places before where they say you're sure to see some, but with no luck. So I knew for sure I wanted to see me some turtles!

 

I searched the boards and a lot of people suggested The Boatyard. I did find other places that looked appealing as well...and I only looked elsewhere because I know that the Boatyard is close to the port and figured it would be crowded because that's where most would head.

 

However, what sealed the deal for me was when The Boatyard emailed me back saying that it was $20 to get in and INCLUDED a free drink for everyone, 2 chairs and 1 umbrella AND MOST OF ALL....IT INCLUDED A BOAT TRIP TO SWIM WITH THE TURTLES!!! At no added cost! Yep, that did it for me! We were going to The boatyard! Others had said that you can find vendors along the beaches that would take you out to the turtles for $20pp. I'm paying $20 pp and I get everything else too.

 

So...from the beginning...

 

I set my alarm for 6:45am and we headed up to the buffet grill outside by the pool again.

 

Like always, there wasn't many out and about and there was no line. I just can't believe this! I feel like I'm the only one on the ship most of the time. But I thought it was so nice for Carnival to throw me this exclusive cruise.

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First day eggs, second day eggs and croissant then you combine the eggs on the croissant to make a breakfast sandwich. Just mix it up a little each morning.

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This is obviously the hubbys or Sakari's plate because I don't eat ham nor is my name Sam.

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The windows they open up on the pool deck. They kinda scared me because it gave B access to sticking his head out at any given moment or body parts depending on his mood.

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It was 8am and I knew we could get off around then. Beepppshhhhbooommmm went the intercom sound on the pool deck and everyone jumped. What the heck is that??? I took it as a sign and we all headed to our rooms to get our beach bags, have my cooler bag filled with ice for drinks, and off the ship we went at 8:10am.

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Once we were off, we really wasn't sure which way to go.

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The paparazzi was waiting for us to exit and they managed to get a picture out of us.

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We had to ask which way to go and they pointed "that way" and off we went.

 

They had a neat sign and we had to stop for pictures.

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There was a really nice lady (couple) that was standing behind us waiting to get their pictures done. She ask if I'd like her to take a picture of all of us. "Why yes, thank you".

 

We all did a funny pose and she snapped the picture. She said "Let me get a few more" and took 2 more pictures and handed me the camera back.  Then she ask if I would take a picture of her and her husband. So I did and we were on our way.

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We entered a building and it had a lot of stores. However, there wasn't anyone open, which I found that strange. I mean I'm sure they know what time the ship is in port. Although it didn't matter to me because we always do our shopping after we return.

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Thank goodness for this is all I can say.

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We made it out...now what?? I wasn't really sure.

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I found the sign...

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This is the taxi stand and they were all lined up and waiting

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Of course several people approached us and ask where we planned on going and tried to get us to go some place else. We told them "no, we are going to The Boatyard". Several tried to talk us out of it and I walked away and on to the next.

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Another guy said "I'll take you there" and we followed him.

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He said follow me and we walked down past the taxis. Um....ok.

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We passed up all of the taxis. Now I'm feeling a little uneasy.

 

I look back:

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Then all of a sudden he takes off running! :eek: We were just left standing there and confused. We started to walk back and another driver approached us and ask us where we were going and he would take us. He told us to walk outside the gates with him.

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The family did not look too thrilled so I ask him why we had to walk outside. He told us in order to take a private taxi and not have to wait on a taxi to fill up, we would have to go outside. If we caught the taxis inside, they would not leave until they were full. Ok, good enough for me.

Once we got in the van, the driver told us "You know they charge you to get in to The Boatyard"? "Yep, I'm well aware of that, but thanks for letting me know."

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Sorry, it wasn't a very interesting ride there. It was a short ride. I think it took 10 minutes to get there.

The driver stops in the middle of the road and then does this huge U turn and pulls in.

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I like this place already...

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We checked in and paid our fee's of $20 pp. They put wrist bands on us and ask us about the boat trip out to the turtles. They said their first one would probably be around 9am and they would have them throughout the day. I told him we wanted to be first on the list. He added our names and said when it was time, we'd hear them call for us.

 

About that time we heard a noise...it was a familiar noise. It was a noise I had hoped we wouldn't hear the entire cruise. It was POURING! The sky turned dark and opened up. (Look closely at the pictures, you can see the rain drops in the blue sky part, which I thought was pretty cool).

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So while it was raining on my parade, I figured I'd take a few pictures and have a look around.

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I took this picture and posted it for all to see back home. Everyone was sad that we were not having good weather. However, look at the picture closely. You see the dark angry clouds, but if you look at the sand, the sun is shining on it. Yep, the sun was over us with 10 minutes and we would have the most beautiful sunny day there.

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We headed out and to the left and picked a spot in the first row. I wanted to be able to see the munkin(s) from my chair if needed (well you know, with my FOMO disorder, I would only be in the chair no more than 10 minutes tops anyhow). See the hubby is leaving me already (picture below).

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They put the umbrella up for us and they had the huge, thick cushions up at the building. The hubby went up and grabbed one (and by grabbed one, I meant came back dragging it because it was heavier than dragging an 8 year old mermaid kicking and screaming). Then he would do this x2 in order to put one in the chair I wouldn't be occupying during the day and all. Actually I would spend so little time there that I didn't even get a picture of it. LOL

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The kids were the first to hit the water of course.

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I have to admit, this place was GORGEOUS! The sand was beautiful and soft and the color of it was amazing. The water was clear and blue and just so pretty.

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It was hot out and I hit the water too.

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We decided to swim out to the water toys...I made it out there first. I may be 50, but I hauled my fat butt up that ladder like I was superwoman. I might have been huffing and puffing after I got up there, as I tucked away the big "S" on my chest, but hey, I wasn't about to let anyone else know that.

 

Kendra was struggling for some reason. She was way behind.

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She comes up and yells "mom, look what I found". I had no idea what it was. I had just put my "S" away and my x-ray vision was not working now.

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She made it!

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Now show me what you got! She placed this in my hand:

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So I'm going to share a "smaller" picture of a "bigger" Kendra now. This was what was holding her back. She's never had these before and well, this was her first experience in buoyancy. :p

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You see she got new tata's when I was on my last cruise on the Breeze (which is one that she has been wanting to go on FOREVER) and at the last moment, she decided to buy some tata's. I hated that she was having surgery while I was on the ship and told her I was upset that I was not going to be around to take care of her. Like a stubborn child, she did it anyhow. No worries, she's very proud of them and I can't blame her since she looks good and has wanted them forever. You go girl!

 

She struggled for awhile with swimming and jumping on the trampoline...I don't think was her forte either. (See my daughters matching tat on her foot too).

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Sakari made it too and up the ladder she came.

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Sakari was having a blast jumping

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I could not get the hang of it though. When you jump, the trampoline moves with the water and it's really weird. I felt drunk without the drank.

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All of a sudden the hubby appears. Well I guess he wanted in on the fun.

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A very short little video of us having fun:

I was watching the kids having fun jumping off the trampoline and the hubby disappeared. Then he reappeared over here:

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It was funny to watch because he was so heavy that once he got on the side, it started to tilt and lift up. The higher he went, the more it laid on its side. It wasn't doing him any good to try to climb it because he was now laying sideways.

 

 

Sakari decided she would prove to me that she could climb the trampoline ladder and still be a mermaid too.

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Kendra decided to prove a point

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She made it

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Now I have to apologize for a lot of my pictures from today. I honestly have no idea what was going on. Some pictures turned out good under water and others were just so darn blue. I know with my 830 camera my finger has a habit of hitting the round turn knob and switching the settings. I think maybe that's what happened. I do it all the time. The 620 camera has a different way of turning the settings and that doesn't happen. Grrr

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We started to swim back and B yells "mawmaw, look" and about 2 seconds later Sakari is diving down because she seen it too.

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He was not happy she was the one that came up with it.

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We heard them calling our name and we headed out of the water and up to grab our things. It was time for our boat tour to the turtles.

After grabbing our things and heading up to the meeting area, they informed us that we would not be able to take our fins because they were afraid that we might hit the turtles. We could take our mask/snorkel tubes. They would provide the snorkel jackets. They gave us a briefing of the do's and donts and we headed out to the dock.

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I managed to get some pictures from up high while on the dock

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When the boat arrived, we would have to climb down this ladder to get to it.

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Off we went...

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It was about a 8-10 minute ride along the coast/beach area and we were there. There were several other boats there (maybe 3?) and we immediately spotted this guy

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We all jumped in and "DUDE" they were everywhere.

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We were actually swimming with turtles!! Finally!

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It was so amazing.

We were withing feet and inches of them. So amazing and they are so graceful.

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I don't know how Sakari was able to dive down to them with a snorkeling vest on. But she was determined.

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B was the first one back on the boat. I'm not sure why. The other lady didn't get in the water.

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So remember how I was complaining that I always forget to take videos of things when I'm snorkeling? Well, as some of you may know, my son-in-law (Kendra's fiance) bought me a pair of snorkeling goggles that have the camera built in to it last Christmas. I have only used them once during a cruise, and it has multiple settings that I have yet to learn. (4 different settings that are colors-red, blue, purple, green). I can't seem to remember what color means what.

 

Well, I had it with me twice this time: Barbados and swimming with the turtles and St Lucia while snorkeling at the beach. I just discovered them.

 

I "thought" I was taking pictures (which I did end up with a lot of them), but I also ended up with a lot of video as well. So, I put them together and made a video of each day. Now I want to remind you that I did NOT know that it was on video at the time. So, not the best video because you'll see me just zooming around looking, coming up out of the water, hair in the way and so on. I was unaware that it was on at the time. I have attempted to cut out a lot of the really bad "crap". So...enjoy.

 

Here's my swimming with the turtles video. It's a little over 2 minutes long.

It was an amazing experience. You don't stay really long. It's not an excursion and they do this as an added extra. If you want to go out for a long time, you'd have to actually book an excursion or probably pay extra for someone to do it. The guy said it would only be for about 10 minutes but we were probably out there at least a good 30 minutes and that was more than enough. I shared a bunch of pictures and that's probably on 1/4 of what I took. I mean you can only take so many pictures from so many angles.

 

As we headed out, I took this picture in hopes that someone could tell me the location. You can see we are not that far out.

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Coming back to the dock

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When we got back and gathered our things, we decided to move to the other side for the rest of the day. This would be the picture I sent back to friends and family at home.

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We were ready for a drink

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Then of course we would find out that there is a limited amount of drinks to pick from

 

This would be my pick of course and then hubbys drink

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Brayden was just chillin

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Then here come Sakari with a new friend...geesh. The girl will touch or pick up anything

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Then off she went

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I found a Chiton. I have only seen these on the rocks in the water before and never in the sand. I found this one in the sand. I don't know if he was dying or what. I can tell you that it stunk REALLY REALLY BAD!

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B was getting the hang of swimming and it doing better and better every day.

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Mr Crabby

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Me and the kids headed over to the long dock area to explore

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There were a lot of different kinds of fish hanging out there too.

Some more juvenile angels.

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A banded butterfly fish and if you look close, to the left of my name stamp, you'll see an Aiptasia Eating Filefish.

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I really hate these pictures turned out like this. I really need to learn to keep my finger off the turn button. I feel like the old days when I use to get the disposable cameras for snorkeling and they would turn out green. Sigh

 

A white and brown feather duster

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These poles were loaded with plenty of things to see and there were PLENTY of crabs.

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This area is pretty deep and gets deep quickly. So beware.

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We headed back over to the sandy area in front of our chairs. We started finding these...and BUNCH of these. They were everywhere.

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I think we must have found at least 30-40 of them. I took pictures and then we put them back. 

Sakari was busy covering them back up.

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Still concerned with them being covered up.

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This is the area that people rent jet skis from. It's not part of The Boatyard. The Boatyard will tell you, and there's sign posted, that if you want to do any jet skis or water activities, you must do it before coming on their property.

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Sakari was putting her crab up so that we could go eat.

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The hubby went up and ordered food.

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It was time for a few "fun" pictures before the day was over.

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The popo was riding up and down the beach. We felt safe.

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Then I see Kendra talking to someone.

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She falls for the guy with the monkey and pays him $5 to have Braydens picture taken with it.

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Then we noticed these guys...

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The cruise director, his assistant that was dancing at sailaway (Chris) and a bunch of the staff, including a lot of the girls from the kids club, was at the beach. The CD had a super small drone that he was controlling from his phone (?). I heard him talking to the staff there and they must come there a lot when in port. They all seem to know each other.

 

Now, I'm just going to stop here and mention...a little later after this, when we packed up to get ready to leave, they seem to be getting a little "tipsy" (some of the girls). Well, one of the girls from the kids club actually took her top off. :eek: While that might (or might not) be ok at some places (like I know it's ok and normal in St Maarten), I still do not think it's a good idea to do this at any public place when you are a kids club staff and there are potential kids that may be in your group back on the ship there. I was a little shocked. (We would later end up riding back to the port with some of them). Nudity does not bother me. I could care less myself. I guess that comes from being a nurse and I have seen more nude bodies than one can imagine. Nothing shocks me and nothing like that bothers me. Just saying because of "who" it was and "who" might have been there at the beach to see it...like our kids that go to the kids club.

When we decided it was time to get ready to go, we gathered our things and headed up to wash off. They had an outside shower and there were people lined up to use it. They had signs posted up that you must be clean of all sand and dry to get in a cab for the return trip to the dock.

 

That meant washing off and trying to sit in the blazing hot sun to dry off...which made you want to get back in the water.

 

We headed toward the "exit", which was a small building and it was a store. We told the lady in there that we were ready to leave. She called for a cab and we waited for about 10 minutes for it to arrive. Once it got there, we walked out and got in and then that's when a lot of the staff from the ship came running and piled in. All were able to get in but 1 person. So another got out and said she'd wait with her for another cab so she didn't have to wait alone. They tried to talk the cab driver into letting her sit on someone's lap or squeeze in and the cab driver was real strict with the amount of passengers she was allowed to carry.

 

We made it back to the dock and took a few pictures

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Then we did a little bit of shopping and I managed to get my tee shirt and of course a magnet.

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We headed back to the ship at 4:15pm and off to the room for showers and dry clothes.

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After showering, we headed up to the top deck to watch the sail away and I would, of course, take pictures of the dock and area.

 

It kind of reminds me of Freeport

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As we were backing out and turning, we came SO CLOSE to the dock that the hubby and I seriously thought were would hit it. Others must have thought that too because they gathered on the side close to the dock and were taking pictures. Of course by the time I got to that side, I was too late to show just how close we were.

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As I was taking pictures, Sakari was busy playing putt putt with a group of friends.

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The day before, B begged and begged for Kendra to get him a whale tale cup/drink. Sakari had been begging for one, so we finally broke down and got her one.

 

I figured it would be just one of those novelty items that you buy and would never use again, with it ending up in the cabinet collecting dust, then eventually end up at the thrift store. But, she has actually been using it since we got home. So, as long as it gets some use, I'm good with the purchase.

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As we were sitting, I noticed the staff still constantly cleaning the glass. I have to say that this is the first time that I noticed SO MUCH cleaning on Carnival. I see it constantly on NCL, and not saying that Carnival doesn't clean, but I haven't noticed it this much before.

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After sail away, we headed to the buffet area to wait on the kids club to come so that Sakari could go eat with her friends. This is one thing that she loves to do and NCL does not offer it. We dropped her off with them and went to eat at a table within her site.

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After dinner we headed to the room to drop of her whale tail cup that I knew I was going to get stuck carrying around and to grab some headache medicine. My head was throbbing at this point and I needed something to ease the pain. Wait, I'll ease the pain by heading to the casino and win some money! I did ok and the headache went away, but I didn't come out too much of a winner that night.

 

We headed to Pixels to buy our photos and ended up with 7 of them. I like that they offer "free" stuff with you purchases. The more pictures you buy, the more free stuff you get. I ended up with a free coupon for a picture book from Shutterfly (which I love), a free Carnival cup, and a Carnival luggage tag.

 

I also manage to find our Dr Seuss pictures from our breakfast the day before.

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Remember how I mentioned that right outside the casino and in the hall where the live band was playing so loudly? That was where the cruise consultant was located. We stopped by to see the deals they had for booking during this cruise.

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Now I can tell you I would have been interested in the Bermuda cruise on the Sunshine and ESPECIALLY the 8 day Southern cruise on the Vista with 3 ports that I haven't been to yet. I can almost guarantee that I would have booked that one. However, YOU COULDN'T HEAR HER TALK!! It was so frustrating. Shouting back and forth. Not being able to understand what was being said. Why would they put someone in that location? I walked away and didn't book. They lost a sale, I lost a chance to save money.

 

It was getting dark and we headed to go pick up Sakari from the kids club at 9pm. I had really hoped she wanted to leave this time instead of waiting until the 10pm close time. If you have any hopes of getting dinner at the buffet, you have to be there early because they close.

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I believe it was Mexican night and she had made a mustache (it was fuzzy and funny) and a sombrero. She wanted to go eat and she decided she would wear the mustache every where she went.