1st time Carnival cruiser (DREAM) complete review & pictorial (from a NCL cruiser)

Day 4: Cozumel, Mexico

Day 3-Our first port day. I have always done these 4 ports in reverse order with NCL, so going to Cozumel first seems weird to me, but hey I'm up for it.

 

We had our usual routine and was happy that we were not going to be pulling in to port and going ashore until 10am...I'm NOT a morning person. Never have been, never will be. So the later the better and I don't growl as much during the day.

 

Off to eat sloppy eggs and fight for my right to eat bacon again. Same ole, same ole. Then up to the pool deck to wait on my very slow daughter and her family to arrive. The one drawback of traveling with another family is having to wait on everyone to be ready at the same time. She is slow and on "Kendra" time and I am always punctual to everything.

 

Daddy and Sakari having a conversation about the amount of Cheerios she "needed" that day... Daddy "Do you really think you need that many boxes for the day?" Sakari "Oh of course I do, I might get hungry and need a snack." Daddy "But we are going to a place that will have real food." Sakari "But Cheerios is real food." I'm tuning out at this point......la la la

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Still waiting on the daughter and her family...Daddy and Sakari decided to kill some time by doing a little ball chasing all over the deck. (That is until daddy hit it too hard that it went overboard, the wind made it fly back to the ship, then it landed on the lower deck...thank goodness there wasn't anyone sitting at that table. Nothing worse than flying balls in your runny eggs. Save the bacon!)

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We booked Playa Mia using Carnival. It was the only way to go there and Kendra had decided last year that it was a "must-do" for her, especially since they were building a kids water park there last year. I'm normally not a "pool" person when cruising. We have a pool, we live in the pool in the summer and I don't cruise to the Caribbean to swim in someone else's pool. I usually head to the beach. However, this was my grandson's first cruise, we didn't know how he was going to react, and thought maybe this would be a good "start" to our day of ports. We were just in Cozumel 5 months ago and did the Nachi thing because we didn't think that the water park was going to be done by December (it ended up being completed a week prior to our cruise). So we knew this was a place we wanted to try out for sure...for the kids.

 

Now this is a new "port" for us. NCL always docks down at Punta Laguna port...very LONG, very tiring to walk, 2 stories tall of trying to make your way out of there with all of the shops along the way. They do everything they can to make it the longest trip out and the shortest back.

 

I have to say, I REALLY liked this port better. All 1 floor, no winding around and up and down before getting out. It was a pretty neat port with a lot of picture opportunities. Me liking pictures so much, I took every opportunity of the props too!

 

Three Amigos was a pretty neat place and had most of the neat things to take pictures of. It's right off to the right side when you arrive.

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My grandson is silly and you ask him to pose and he will do the weird stuff...usually involving laying down. You don't know how many pictures I have of him laying down. He even did it in the water park on the ship. If only that worked when he was being bad and I could just yell "picture time" and he'd drop to the floor.

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They always have the people dressed up in the ports for you to take pictures of too...of course for a "donation". Kendra takes advantage of every one of these.

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Plenty of shopping to be done in port and colorful as I always expect of Mexico.

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I think the Three Amigos invitied another family member that day...we'll have us Four Amigos today.

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Climbing isn't easy for a 5 year old...yeah right...

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The deformed couple...notice 4 hands for each person....oops

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Do donkeys really smile like this? Or do these have false teeth?

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This is one big Mexican. Too many burritos

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Ouch, it was too hot to sit on!!! I'll just stand by it ok mommy?

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Do you think the grandson thought it was too hot? Psshhh, nope, not only was he going to get on the moo-moo, he was going to ride the moo-moo

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We made it out of the port and in to a taxi...ready, willing, and available, at your service.

 

I took a picture of the taxi rates. It was went up since we were there in December and prior to that. We use to pay $15 for up to 4 people to Nachi Cocom from Punta Laguna (which is further away from there than this port) and I believe Playa Mia is before you get to Nachi Cocom. We have always paid $15 to Chankanaab twice before that too. So, maybe this is new or just for this port???

Click to e

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Here is where you will get in your cab:

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The sign out in front of Playa Mia at the road...I mean ROADS. I risk my life for this picture. LOL I didn't realize it was in the middle of two roads and started walking out there and here comes a truck on THIS side. So they are both 2 lane traffic, not a split road...if that makes sense.

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This is the "Welcome" Mat (by the bathrooms, but still appropriate to start the review out with).

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Once you arrive, you will check in at the shack to the right. They will give you arm bands to wear and they are different colors depending on the "package" you purchased. We decided to purchase just the "come and go as you want" package without the food. We brought money in case we wanted food later and had obtained a menu online to see what the rates were going to be for food. I'm really glad we did this...more on this later. So our rate included the entrance and use of the entire facility and all non-motorized sports of course. Then we are informed that the water toys in the ocean are being "repaired" and not out today. GASP! I think my oldest daughter nearly fainted. She was looking forward to this and it was HER main reason for wanting to come here (in addition to the water park for the kids). Ok, well, we will just have to suck it up without the water toys.

 

Now I do have to say that Kendra was CONVINCED that this would be her favorite port day. I was convinced that Little French Key would be the favorite port. So far, she is minus one on her port. lol

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Of course like a lot of places these days, it's all about making money and this place was no exception. When you enter the place, you are walking down a covered mall basically with shops and people wanting to sell you stuff. They did not hassel us or bother us. It was pretty much stop in if you wanted, if not and you kept walking they didn't say a word to us. Kinda nice and not what we are use to at the ports.

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Here is a map they have posted out front. It's huge for people that are blind like me. It was just a hassel to keep having to come out to the front to read where I was. j/k I sent my husband to do that. j/k again

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BIG, blue, pink, yellow BOLD colors...yes!!! Love it. I love Mexico and Cozumel so much.

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This was some mini pool swim up bar that I didn't see a sole use. So, we'll just get that picture out of the way and done with...not much to it.

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We have arrived to our first destination of the day...the beach. Really pretty.

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See all of those people in the chairs? Well that would continue the rest of the day. BIG GRIN!!

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Beautiful palms everywhere for a little shade.

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Sakari found her a conch shell. It was old and abandoned. Maybe next time you'll find something alive in it. She's an animal freak.

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Time for Brayden to join Sakari in the water. Do you guys notice anything different about the 2 of them? Maybe one (my child who has the smart mommy) has a tee shirt on after being in the pool all day long the day before (even though she tans like a bronze godess) and the other one (not my child but my grandson with the not as smart as her mommy is) has no tee shirt on??? Yea, well, more about this later.

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I love this picture. I just wish I was a little closer up or had zoomed in on them running down the beach to the water.

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More of the crowded beach....haha NOT

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Beauty at its best today

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Wait, is that a person in the chair? Well, probably, but I can almost gaurantee it was someone from our party. hehe

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The kids playing...one with a tee and one without and the other daughter relaxing on the beach.

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I decided to do a little snorkeling...this is my gear I bought about 3 cruises ago. Pink so it attracts all of the fish...and usually a curious barracuda or two.

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A bunch of neon fish and A yellow tang here and there.

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Some surgeon fish everywhere and a few French Grunts I believe and some Rainbow Wrasse

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This little anemone was really close to the shore line...I mean like about 5 feet from the beach. I was shocked that someone hasn't stepped on him and destroyed it already.

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Now these big suckers were circling me around and around. There was a lot of them. The picture turned out crappy because I was going around and around with them trying to figure out what they were and what they were doing. So, I was stirring up the sand.

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This little Rainbow Wrasse was following me around for some reason. Then when I stopped, he went in and out between my legs over and over. It was kind of cute. I tell ya the fish here are curious and they must be use to a lot of people.

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Sakari loves to snorkel. She started snorkeling when she was 3 and goes with us snorkeling at every place we go to. She hasn't learn to put a snorkel in her mouth yet, but I tell you what, she can probably hold her breath longer than I can. All previous cruises I would never let her out in the water snorkeling with me without her "puddle jumper" on. But the water was extremely calm this entire cruise and the places we went to that she begged (as she always does) not to wear it and I gave in. She snorkeled right beside me every time. She has become such a good swimmer and of course the sea water helps with the floating too. She loves to dive down to take a closer look at things.

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More exploring...at this point she was trying to catch a fish. It was just too quick for her and it was funny to watch her come up each time with a clenched fist thinking something was in it. She just couldn't accept the fact that the fish were all quicker than her little hand in the water.

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Fish in the water, fish on my leg

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Time to come out of the water and fight for a place to sit again. Ugh, such a chore.

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They had a place that you could get paddle boats and canoes.

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Kendra and her family decided to give it a try. I was a little worn out from snorkeling so much that I passed on the idea of having to use my legs some more for some paddling.

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I never did see them come back and the next time I looked out, they were in a canoe.

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They have a playground there but honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could use it since it's so hot, which made it too hot to touch let alone play on. 

Another area for the "little" kids to play in. Of course with all of the people there that day, I'm surprised we didn't see this place packed. j/k

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We decided it was time to try out the pool area and the water park. The one thing that I had been wanting to see since I knew they were adding it. We had went to the beach first because I knew once we made it to the water park, the little ones would never want to leave and therefore we would miss the beach all together.

 

This is the building that had the wall of lockers. With so many people there, we probably should have locked our things up but...not. j/k On the end of this building was the bar. This also had the restrooms in it as well...complete with a lady who sat in there with you to supervise.

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We had White Russians (the drink, obviously not the people since there wasn't many there), Miami Vice (which I am now completely hooked on and it's my new favorite drink), strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas=Miami Vice again. LOL The drinks were included in the admission, just not the food. We definitely had our fill for sure and our moneys worth between the 4 of us.

 

Kendra went for 2 at one time and came back saying that this time around that they tasted a little more "watered down". So next time she went up they told her that they have a policy that they do not allow "drunks" at their place and will start watering down the drinks if they are afraid you are drinking them too fast to keep people under control. Well, we are not drinkers and rarely drink (except for when we are on a cruise, out to eat dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant, or celebrating something...which doesn't come often). So we will drink and if we start to feel a little "tipsy" we stop and convert back to soda. Then go back to the drinks again later. So, we do not fit that category of "fallen down drunken arses" that you'll find sitting at the bar until you can't walk. Put that liquor back in my cup please!!! And they did. Then that was the last one I had or needed. LOL

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Cheezing for the camera. Yes, I'm always the one behind the lens snapping pictures, so in order to get a picture of me to prove that I was even there is usually to snap the picture myself. I almost forgot...I tried the Dirty Monkey a few times too.

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Time for the water park. I ask over and over what it was like and for pictures prior to going and it seemed as if no one has really been here. So, now I have my answers.

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After awhile, an employee came by and told us that we were not allowed in the water park with the kids. Um, ok. What if we had a toddler that couldn't go by themselves? Are you telling me that we would not be able to get in the water with them? At first I thought this was strange, then I remember taking this picture. Yes, Kendra again being a big kid and I have a feeling that is the reason they said this.

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It's not like she was actually playing on the slides. She simply went up for me to take a picture of her. However, after she told me they said that, I completely ignored it because I'm not sitting in the hot sun while I watch my child play in the water, not being able to get in and not being able to leave to go over to the pool because she is playing at the water park. Sorry senior.

 

Ok, so it was time to try out the water slides. Everyone went several times. Everyone liked it, I just didn't like having to climb to the top of the stairs over and over. So, a few times was good enough for me.

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On to the pool area. The kids were all game for it because they were ready to actually swim.

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If you look at the blue area (above) around the pool, it has built in seats that you can just lay there in the pool if you want.

 

You can see the massage area here. The lady walked around several times asking if we wanted massages. Once she came by and Kendra's boyfriend didn't realize who she was and couldn't understand her, so he placed his order for a drink. (rolling my eyes really loudly now). It was funny.

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My grandson in his puddle jumper. He has not learn to swim yet.

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And here we go again with the ritual of throwing the kids

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This bridge led you over to the "hot" tub. LMBO

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The little ones sitting in the "hot" tub

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They were just sitting there talking...for a good 15 minutes or so. Then once again, that same employee came over and told Kendra that they did not allow kids in the hot tub. Now, I'll have you know that before they ever went in there, I was in it and there was NOTHING hot about it. It was in fact colder than the water. After getting out of the so called "hot" tub and jumping back in to the water, the water actually felt like a hot tub. Hmmm

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Another wrist band to add to our collection

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At this point we had swam our little hearts out, snorkeled, some rode the big blue and orange sea creatures out in the ocean that my legs couldn't handle at that point, walked up several flights of stairs only to have a minute of pleasure on the water slide and drank until our little hearts were content.

 

It was time for some food!!!! Let's head over and see if we can find a place to sit in the dining area. It might be a little too crowded so we had better hurry.

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Hmm, looks like we can get prime real estate here too

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The menu and prices (click to expand)

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We decided to order the Nacho's and the Mexican platter and split it between the 3 of us. We gobbled it all up and was very satisfied with our choice.

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I don't remember what Kendra and the family ordered, but I know it wasn't the same as us. She tried ours and liked it much better. She ended up get her own plate of Nacho's after trying ours.

Now just making a note...

 

If you pay for the more expensive excursion here, it includes the meal. The meal is a buffet. We checked it out and it was mostly american-type food: hot dogs, hamburgers...or at least that's what it looked like. They had frieds and some other kind of nachos or something. But, it was nothing like what we ordered and I'm glad we didn't pick that package.

 

I'm not sure what or who this buffet was for because you seen how many people were here that day. Oh wait, we did run in to a few more people. Out of this ENTIRE dining room, we sat down in the first row, about mid way, toward the buffet. Along came a family and out of all of the hundreds of tables and chairs, they sat right next to us. Really? Invade spaces a lot do you? I just thought it was really weird.

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So we still had some time left and decided we would spend it back at the beach once last time before leaving.

 

Off we went:

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Everyone knows you have to stop at each hammock on an island for a "picture opportunity" to take back home and post to make it look like you just hung out on a beach, in a hammock all day while people served you drinks right? The looks are deceiving.

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Finally got the munchkins to stop for a minute while they were taking off to the beach again. Of course Brayden plops down to the ground as always. At least this time he is not laying down.

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This is what the boys did after lunch

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Don't worry, we didn't allow it to go on too long.

 

A few sand castles for the day

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One last play in the sand and then I had to drag her out and it was time to say goodbye.

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Someone looks a little...um...RED. I'm not gonna say I told you so but...I told ya so.

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This would continue to haunt us for the next few days.

 

Oh, I almost forgot...there was a guy walking around when we first got there (well about an hour after arriving) that had 2 macaws and they put them on Sakari's arms to hold. Right when I got ready to snap the picture, he yelled at me and told me if I was to take the picture, I would be asked to leave. Um, ok. Then he proceeded to take her picture...of course. He then told us that they would come back around to let us see it or tell us where to buy it at in a little while. They never did come back. I later had my husband go inquire about it and he was told "we're closed now and you can't get the picture". Way to go photographer....NOT. It kinda ticked me off that I was yelled at for nothing and I had every intention of purchasing the picture. I always bring extra $$ for things just like this. Too bad this place didn't get it after all.

 

They also walked around with an iguana you could hold. Sakari didn't get to hold that one.

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We decided it was time to go and headed for the entrance to grab a cab back to spend an little more time at the port taking more pictures before getting back on the ship.

 

When we got out front, there were several iguanas walking around.

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A cab pulled up within 5 minutes of getting out there and actually had to wait on us since we were busy taking pictures and looking at the iguanas.

 

We arrived back to the port in about 15 mintues. No problem Mon. Oh wait, that's Jamaica and was one of last years cruises. Oh well, I'm practicing up since we'll be there again in 6 months, 17 days, 12 hours, 43 minutes and 18 seconds...but who's counting.

 

So my final thoughts on Playa Mia.

 

It was a nice place. Beautifully decorated and landscaped. Bright, bold colors like I like.

 

The place was HUGE. There's plenty to do. I wish they had the water toys out in the ocean and we are sad we missed it.

 

I didn't like or appreciate getting yelled at or the several "rules" they implied on us that day, but hey, rules are rules so whatever.

 

The food was good...not great, but good enough to fill our bellies.

 

We are glad that we chose to do the smaller package because it allowed us to come and go as we wanted instead of just the allotted time frame the ship has for the excursion. Yes there were others there that day as you can see in my iguana picture, but I'm guessing no more than maybe 20 people there that day including us??? I can guarantee these people were people that took the higher package with the cruise ship because they were not there that long. I believe the ship allows like 3 or 4 hours there and you have to head back. We were there basically all day for a cheaper price. I have to say that if you are in port with a lot of cruise ships, I can't imagine being here. You seen the rows and rows of chairs and the place is huge and will accommodate a lot of people. I can only imagine what this place is liked packed. I sure know I wouldn't want to be there. I've been in port on days that there were 7 cruise ships there. I would head to an AI or Chankanaab on a day like that.

 

So would I recommend this place. Yea, with the exceptions above...a lot of cruise ships. It was a nice day.

 

Would I recommend it over my favorite place to far (Chankanaab)? No, not even close. We have been to Chankanaab twice for a reason. We have now tried Nachi Cocom and now Playa Mia. Neither compare to our beloved Chankanaab.

 

Would I go back to Playa Mia? Nope, it's one of those been there done that and I'm checking it off my list now.

Back in the port and ready for some more picture opportunities:

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Time to get back on our glitzy Dream

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So we got back on the ship, showered and changed and did our usual. Once we snacked and waited on sail away, the munchkin wanted to go to visit with her friends at CC. I sat out on the deck outside of the club and the hubby took her in to drop her off. They questioned him about the phone. He told them that I had the phone in my purse and was sitting right outside the door on the deck. They hassled him about it and grumbled like always. Grrr He came out and told me about it and I said if they didn't believe you all they had to do was call the number and I would have answered.

 

Kendra and family took a nap. We didn't see them until later that night. I believe we did our usual and headed for the casino to burn up a little bit of money. However, it was a good night. I walked away an extra $97 richer and the hubby won $30 something. It was a good night. Time to do a little shopping.

 

We went to the shops on board and purchased a few tee-shirts for Sakari, not only for a souvenir but so that she would be able to have one to wear the next day on our cave tubing excursion. (The one she had on all today was Braydens). I purchased some post cards for a cafeteria employee at work that is just so nice to me. He buys my soda every day I work and calls me "Fergie" because he claims I look like her and anyone nice like that is good in my book. He has never been out of our state and he always request post cards to places people go. It was the least I could do for him. I just love him to death.

 

Later that night they were having a RED party. I was excited. I love going to NCL's White Hot party. Kendra and I go out and my an outfit just for the occasion, boa's and all. Well I knew I was really going to miss this. But whoda thought...they have a red one...but I don't have anything red to wear. Oh well. I'm going anyhow to dance the night away.

 

We showed up, I located Kendra and we danced our butts off. Well, not really, I added more to mine on this cruise. But it was nice and everything was red, lights and all. Julie was up there getting everyone going and some of the staff was showing us dance moves. It was awesome as always. Sakari LOVED this night. Her and daddy were up there dancing away. Guess what???? She was caught on video by the camera man too. So now she was going to be on the big screen and the tv's in the rooms playing just like mommy was all week. LOL She was excited every time she seen herself on tv.

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We knew we had to get up early in the morning to go cave tubing, so it was time to head back to the room and get things packed and get to bed.

 

Tonight, she received a new "friend" and of course a mint for each one of us. I told her "Look at the monkey" and her reply was "It's not a monkey mommy, it's a gorilla can't you tell?" Geesh, kids. She will correct you every time. She doesn't call animals by their general names, she has to know the exact type of animal and she's pretty good at it. It's not a "bird", it's a parrot, a flamigo, a pelican and so on. I should know this by now...I'm an adult, but still get corrected. So she introduced her "gorilla" friend to her new pink dolphin friend we bought her at the gift shop tonight. (She always gets to pick out 1 toy, some times 2 depending on the price, each cruise. It's always either a dolphin or a whale).

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Good night day 3. Time for some sleep for day 4 and our second port day...Belize. :)