MITSUGIRLYS GRADUATION GETAWAY CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 2: Sea Day
Here we go with DAY 2:
I set the alarm to wake up at 9:30am since it was a sea day. But for some reason I woke up earlier.
I have to say that for being a new ship, the bed was extremely hard. Not at all what I have experienced on the other ships in the fleet. I felt like I was sleeping on a board. There was no lead way to sinking in and getting comfortable.
It was kind of cloudy today and 77 degrees out. The ship was rocking some and had several big waves. It didn't bother me, but since it was Courtneys first cruise, she was a little unsure about it.
We got ready and messaged the kids to see if they were awake and wanted to head to breakfast. Of course Kolin and Courtney were, while Kendra and the rest of the family were still sleeping. I let the hubby sleep in today and decided to head out with the kids. So off to breakfast we went.
We usually always head to the buffet for breakfast. I'm usually hungry when I first wake up and I don't like going to a MDR and having to wait to order and then wait for my food to come out. I also enjoying being able to get a variety of things and to go back for seconds if it's something I really enjoy. I'm just not your MDR kinda girl I guess.
We had our fill of eggs, sausage, bacon, cereal, boiled eggs, waffles and french toast. WHAT IS IN THE WHIPPED TOPPING ON NCL THAT MAKES IT SO DARN YUMMY? I have yet to find this anywhere else, including other ships (Carnival) or on land. This stuff is SO GOOD. I want the recipe. I'm not sure if they take whipped topping and add confectionery sugar or what. I just can't get enough of it and I know all the fleets at NCL has it.
Anyhow, after breakfast Sakari wanted to go to the kids club. Since she didn't go the night before, this was her first visit. When signing her in, they had me make up a password that we would have to tell them each time we picked her up. Sakari decided she wanted it to be "Dolphin". So, dolphin it was. (This was something new and we had never had to have a password previously on cruises).
Also, they put a wrist band on her and told us that we would need to have her keep it on the entire cruise. Another new thing we have never encountered (other than on Carnival). They informed us that if it was ever removed, we would be charged $5.
This new ship came with all the bells and whistles and it was on a "new system" which was all computerized. They could pick up their monitors and hand them to you. I had to sign my name using my finger.
Sakari was off to make new friends and away we went.
We went up to the ropes course to see about doing it and they informed us that you had to have closed toe shoes on in order to be on the ropes course. Well, NONE of Kendra's family brought tennis shoes and neither did Courtney. Sigh, really? Everyone had sandals. So we changed our plans.
We had purchased the slotplay coupons prior to going on the cruise (as we ALWAYS do since it's a great value) and we headed back to the room to grab them (hubby still sleeping) and off to the casino we went. We went to the desk, got our cards and headed to find a slot machine that looked intriguing.
Kolin & I picked out our first machine and sat down. Neither of our cards worked. Sigh. Courtneys did. Back up to the casino desk to get them taken care of. The next time around they worked fine. I managed to stay ahead in my winnings, the kids didn't have much luck. (It's the first time they have ever played slots since you have to be 21 back home).
When we were done, we headed back to Kolin's room and I called Sam from my cell (using that wonderful iConceirge program) and he answered the phone. For some reason he couldn't hear me though. I parted ways with the kids and headed back to the room to find that he was no longer there. Man he's quick.
I hung out in the room for awhile on the balcony and it wasn't long before he showed up....with less hair. He had been to the barber shop where the barber (he said) played with his hair, commented how healthy it was, brought other employees over to check it out, then put "clay" in it to hold the style. A hair cut/playing session cost him $45 plus tip. They tried to talk him into a "special shave", which the employee claimed that once he tried it out, he would constantly want it done. The cost $95 :eek: He decided against it.
We picked up Sakari from the kids club and headed to O'Sheehans to eat lunch. I have always loved their food...any time of the day.
I ordered a dirty banana only to find out our room cards were no longer working again. BIG SIGH. One room worked, the other room didn't. So here we go again. (Of course they still let you get your drink and have you sign a receipt type paper).
For lunch I had the mild wings and fries with a side of artichoke dip.
I noticed that the artichoke dip seemed to be different than it normally taste (not to mention they had chopped tomatoes on the top and I do not like tomatoes) but it was still good.
We snapped a few pictures and after returning from this cruise and looking at the pictures, I have come to realize just how lazy I get while cruising. I have a tendency to just pull my long hair up and not bother with make up a lot. So don't mind the scary pictures of me. It's just my "cruise look". :D
Yep, Kendra was up by now and met us there.
Now one thing that I absolutely LOVE at O'Sheehans is their cheesecake. On previous cruises, I will stop nightly just to get a cheesecake to take back to the room for a midnight snack. THE MENU HAS CHANGED....everywhere. There was no longer a regular cheesecake. They now have a brownie cheesecake. Sigh again. (I would later find that other venues had different variations of cheesecakes too, but no regular cheesecake).
Our dailies said they were having a Dora Dance Party at 1:15 in the Atrium, so after eating, we headed to the Atrium.
We arrived just in time to see that the kids club was practicing their "Circus Big Top" skills for the show they have every cruise at the end. So Sakari jumped right in and decided she wanted to try the spinning plates.
She got the hang of it.
Here's a couple of random pictures from earlier in the day. At the elevators were the cabins are, they have various pictures and everyone was always taking pictures there. They munchkins decided they wanted their picture taken a few times.
Not a great picture, but they love each other so much. They always hug when they say goodbye and they were hugging for the picture.
The circus practice ended and it was time for Dora's Dance Party.
Dora came out did the backpack song and then the kids did a bunch of dancing to songs like Row Row Row Your Boat, BINGO and so on. It was the same as they did on the Jewel and Sakari loves it. They tell a story about Dora trying to make it over the bridge and the songs go along with the story. Since this was Sakari's second Nickelodeon cruise, she knew what to expect and was right up in front the entire time.
I thought this picture was funny. All the kids and everything is in focus....BUT SAKARI. She was just too fast and dancing her little heart out.
Brayden was playing the shy act and wouldn't go out there. He hung with his mommy during the entire time even though Sakari tried really hard to get him to come out there.
I'm not sure how this happened, but Sam headed off to the casino with the boys and us girls (and B) decided to go back up to the ropes course to check it out.
Now as you recall, they didn't bring any closed toe shoes. Kendra did have her water shoes, so she decided to wear them up there. I changed into my tennis shoes and I let Courtney borrow my water shoes. Brayden put on his water shoes...and of course Sakari had tennis shoes because this mom comes prepared for anything.
When we arrived, we measured the kids and they were both too small to go on the big ropes course. Even though Brayden is 3 months younger than Sakari, he is still about 3" taller than her and was just shy of making the mark. I guess it's a good thing because I think Sakari would have been in tears if he got to do it and she didn't. This is the child that was zip-lining in the rainforest in Roatan by herself at 3 years old after all.
I decided to stay back with the kids while Kendra and Courtney tried out the ropes course.
They geared up and away they went. The ropes course goes down one side of the ship, around the middle and over to the other side. It's pretty huge and really neat.
Kendra getting the hang of it
Courtney trying to compose herself for a cool picture while hanging on for dear life.
Meanwhile I'm running back and forth trying to get pictures of everyone testing out their balancing skills.
Here's the little ones getting ready to do their mini-ropes course.
The kids arrived to the mini course and the disappointment with Sakari was almost unbearable to watch. You don't know how bad she wanted to go on the big course and not the "baby" course. Of course Brayden tried several times to slide by the worker and head up the stairs to the big course and mawmaw had to scold him over and over to get him to stop. He wasn't happy about it either.
I guess the good thing about the kids course was that there wasn't very many kids on it. So they were able to go back and forth over and over as much as they wanted without having to stop.
Back to the "big kids" for more pictures once the munchkins were done on their course.
I'm so glad I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on Kendra growing up in competitive gymnastics. At least somehow her skills paid off. LOL
She still has her balance beam skills even though I couldn't convince her to do a back handspring on it.
The little ones decided they would play some putt putt while Kendra and Courtney were finished their ropes course.
So here we are...time to introduce Kendra's personality. I told you she was a free spirit and she loves to have fun. She is not the least bit shy and keeps us laughing (well, when she's not making us late that is). She is daring and will try anything of course.
After everyone was done with the ropes course it was my turn to go up....WAIT!!! WHY ARE THEY PUTTING THE HARNESS EQUIPMENT UP??? Sigh. They were closing the ropes course. Of course, just my luck.
We decided to head over to the kids bounce/climb area. They had already shut down the line for the bungee trampoline bounce and they would only allow the kids on the "Spider Web".
Sakari and Brayden headed off to do that. Sakari was struggling a little bit for some reason. I think because she was in the middle trying to make her way up and she kept falling back down. She got frustrated. So Courtney went over and gave her instructions on going to the side where it was more sturdy and being able to use the side net to put her foot in to help get up to the next level. It worked and she made it to the top.
After she got the hang of it, she did it over and over and was loving it.
We headed to the gift shop to check out our pictures so far. I will post them as we did them even though we didn't buy them until the end of the cruise.
If you wait toward the end of the cruise when you have a bunch of pictures to pick from, you get a better deal. They offer 10 pictures (any picture/size printed) for $129 or you can get 20 pictures for $199. I ended up picking 10 pictures for the $129 and with my latitudes discount, I paid $104. So not too bad especially since they charge $19.95 for the embarkation pictures and usually $12.95 for the regular pictures.
Here's us boarding the ship pics:
It was almost time for the buffet to open up and I DID know that they now did the Lobster at the buffet instead of the MDR. So we decided we (not really "we" since I did nothing but walk around taking pictures) worked up an appetitie on the ropes course that we would head off to the buffet. We had already missed the Nickelodean arts & crafts at 4pm because we (again, using this term lightly) were on the ropes course.
I picked up 2 lobster tails and went in to total shock when I seen them. They were the smallest things I have ever seen. Really? At least when they had them in the MDR they were bigger than this. This was like a few bites and they were gone. I honestly think they gave some jumbo shrimp some steriods, a little lobster flavoring and proclaimed them to be lobsters or something. You can tell by the size of the cheese squares and my noodles that they weren't big at all. Very disappointed.
Kendra being Kendra
I did not find any shrimp on the side we were on, but Kendra came back with skewers of shrimp. I was off to find my own.
I have to admit, they weren't the best either. The ones I make on the grill with seasoning were better than this.
Kendra gets this "look" when she's dissatisfied and she had that look after eating. Not at all what we were use to.
Sakari enjoyed her meal and man did she look like a hot mess after playing all day and getting sweaty.
As we were walking out, the munchkins insisted that I take their picture by the carved watermelon. I obliged, but refused to do one by every watermelon like they wanted.
Here's the new wine stations that they have on the ship. You put in your key card and pick the wine you want (prices varied).
Some time during our snack, I managed to piss Courtney off and she cried and stormed out. (This is a normal practice for her. She is very emotional and can cry at the drop of a hat). So the rest of us left after that.
I dropped Sakari off at the kids club and headed back to the room. The hubby wasn't back at the room yet and Kendra headed back to her room to "take a nap" that lasted the rest of the evening.
I decided to take this alone opportunity to head out with the camera and start taking some pictures as I walk along the decks. I usually do this on the last day of the cruise and fairly late. But for some reason I wanted to do it now. Something was just telling me to get a few done now. So the pictures that I posted earlier pretty much came from me doing this tonight.
I took the elevator down to deck 6 and was going to start there. Low and behold when the elevator opened, there was the hubby standing there. I swear we read each others minds. He had left the casino and something told him to go down to deck 6 to take the elevator back up to deck 9 to our room. We now know why.
We walked around taking pics for awhile.
Once again we stopped by Bliss and it was pretty dead if I say so myself. As you can see, no one was dancing.
This is the day we managed to find the pin bowling alley. I didn't even realize this other side of O'Sheehans existed until this night. I told the hubby I at least wanted to remember to do the bowling some time this cruise.
We later met up with Kolin & Courtney and decided to head up to the buffet and eat some pizza as our late night snack. I guess she had forgiven me at this point, but still wasn't talking.
I immediately headed for the crape station...my absolute favorite. The only fillings they had this time was pineapple, blueberry, peach and of course the heavenly whipped topping cream. I chose pineapple.
We all decided to head to the casino to play more of our slotplay. I sent the hubby over to the bar to get us some drinks to get us started. What do you think happened? OUR CARDS DIDN'T WORK AGAIN!!! Geesh really? I was assured the last time they would. A trip back down to the customer service desk to get them activated again and once again we were told they should all be working.
Back up to the casino for a little fun. I ended up finding one of the flashy bright lights seizure machine that I liked and it was treating me well. I wasn't winning a lot, but it kept me playing forever. The hubby had already used up his money and was standing behind me at this point (which ALWAYS gives me bad luck), so I sent him away to get me another drink.
I'm setting there playing and all of a sudden I feel something hard in my mouth. WTH? I quickly spit it out and this is what I found...
My entire fricken tooth fell out...screw and all. Heck, I didn't even know that tooth had a screw in it. Sigh. I quickly cashed out, ran to the bar where the hubby was standing, ask him if he had ordered my drink yet and he shook his head no. I said "LET'S GO!" He had no clue what had happened and had that worried look on his face. When we got to the elevators, I showed him the tooth. OH EM GEE! So now I had a huge spot in my mouth that felt like I had just had a tooth pulled that I couldn't keep my tongue out of and a hole in it that obviously goes up into my jaw. I was so worried about what this night might bring for the rest of the cruise. Only I have this type of luck when cruising.
We picked up Sakari from the kids club and ran into a fellow cc cruiser that we had cruised with back in December. I feel bad because my mouth was hurting and I was barely talking. I hope she didn't think I was stand-offish that night but I was just a mess. I also found out that night from talking to her that I had missed the meet & greet. Oh just great! My days were totally screwed up. All the meet and greets were held on a sea day and on Monday. I kept forgetting that we actually left on this cruise on Saturday, therefore the M&G was held on a Sunday. Sigh. Things just aren't going well at all.
When Sakari came out of the kids club, one of the counselors at the desk said "Did you guys happen to cruise on the Jewel last year?" I replied "Yep, we were on it the week before Christmas." She said she was Sakari's counselor on that cruise and remembered her. (I'm sure the name Sakari is probably helpful when remembering a child. How many Sakari's do you know after all?) hehe
When I got back to the room, I headed for the massage shower. I could really need some comfort as I just wanted to cry about losing my tooth.
After my shower, I headed out to the balcony to do some writing about our day, trying really hard to remember everything that took place. My husband looks over at me and says "Make sure you write on there that I just said I love you." Giggle. He's such a romantic and funny all rolled up into one. My response was, "Well you're not telling me that until right now and I'm just waking up on my paper this morning." Big grin.
I finished my writing and decided to come in for the night and get ready for bed. This was after stepping in the water puddle on the balcony that was still there. Sigh. The hubby was watching tv and it had a special on it from making the Epic and the Breakaway. It was pretty interesting to watch.
I did want to mention that I noticed a bit of a whistle in the room. It always came from the wall above the bed. I have no clue what it was (and it wasn't due to the wind between the cabin door and the sliding balcony doors...that's a different type of whistle that happened when you shut the doors). I also want to mention that man this new room creaked and cracked during the night. I don't think I have ever had a room that made so much noise.
It was time to turn in to our hard bed and try to get some rest. Tomorrow was another sea day, so I was glad I didn't have to get up early. I set my alarm for 9:30 since I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss breakfast (after all, it is my favorite meal).
One last thing...
This was our towel animal for the night. Sakari loved that he had sun glasses on. But when she took them off, she yelled "Oh my gosh mommy, he has no eyes!"