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MITSUGIRLYS DAWN TO BERMUDA NOVEL (or review and pictorial as some may call it)

Bloopers Review and Day 3 of our vacation: Day 2 on the ship



Ok, here we go. I'm going to do this and get this over with and out of the way. Some may agree, others may not. But I'm doing it anyhow.


Everyone knows (and even if you don't you can see from my signature line) that I primarily cruise with NCL. This doesn't "just happen", it happens for a reason and that reason is because I seriously enjoy NCL. I feel the staff is absolutely wonderful, friendly and do a great job. They are always cleaning and keeping everything tidy. I feel that the food is good whether it's from the buffet or MDR. "Usually" the service is just as great (with a few bloopers in the past with the MDR being extremely slow). Yes, I love NCL.


HOWEVER...I do call it like it is. I'm honest in MY opinion and this is MY opinion only. I think because I'm a "photographer wanna-be" I notice things that a lot of people don't. I have been on cruises before and noticed things and had people on the same cruise with me on these boards come back an basically flat out call me a liar (in a so-so nice way) that I did not see the "bad" things that I seen...just because they were on the same cruise or they have sailed that ship over and over and never had that experience.


Now everyone knows I'm a firm believer that your cruise is what you make of it. I make EVERY cruise a good cruise and little things that I see that are not "up to par" does NOT deter me from 1) having a good time and 2) bad mouthing a cruise line or completely going off the deep end as some do. BUT, I will report what I see. Period! I try to get pictures of "proof", but it's not always possible to try to be so inconspicuous of what you are doing and of course this time around I was on a "battery saving" journey the entire cruise. So, it is what it is. Believe it or not.


So, here goes...


There were a lot of things I seen on this ship that kinda made me go hmmmm.


Right from the beginning, on the first day, I noticed several public bathroom stalls out of order. So no, this wasn't something that happened along the cruise, it was already like that and wasn't fixed nor did it get fixed the entire cruise.

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Another I managed to get a picture of. No, this is not the same stall. This stall didn't have the "Out of Order" sign on the door and I walked in to find it.

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There was NOT ONE of the public restroom doors that I went in to that still had the door lock on it. You know, the original door lock that you see on all the other ships that when you turn them from the inside to lock them, from the outside you see "red" meaning it's occupied and "green" if it's empty. They were all missing and most had holes where they use to be, as you can see in the following picture. Instead, they had the little slide lock that you try to line up with the hole on the door and then push down.

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I found bathrooms that were so rusty at the bottoms of them that the rust was actually still laying on the floor.

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A few times we found the ENTIRE restroom closed. Not for cleaning, but because it was flooded. My husband said the same with the mens restroom a few times. The entire restroom was flooded. I heard others on the ship comment about it as well. Now of course this is probably a problem caused by a passenger on the ship putting crap in there they shouldn't. So totally not NCL's fault. I did notice they had signs in EVERY stall on the door saying what NOT to put in the toilets with a warning that if you clogged them, it would affect 50 other toilets on the same drain. I have never noticed this before on the other ships. Maybe I missed it before. Maybe it's something new just starting. Maybe it's just a major problem with this ship. I don't know.


Now I know this is not a new(er) ship, but I have been on most of the fleet with older ships and did not find these problems. Just saying...

Of course there's always good as well.


I found a lot of signs all over the place reminding people to wash their hands, their children's hands and so on. NCL is one cruise line that I feel that takes sanitary issues to heart as they should. (Washy-washy, hand sanitizers all over the place and so on). I feel they do everything they possibly can to try to keep an outbreak from happening...short of going in and washing peoples hands for them.

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This is something I hadn't noticed in the past on other ships, but then again, maybe it's just that...I didn't notice it. But it's a very nice added extra touch on the part of NCL to provide this. The only odd thing I found was (this was right next to the diaper changing station in the "womens" restroom) that the diaper changing station you pull out from the wall always seemed to be right there in front of the door. That meant that you could potentially be blocking the door as people entered...and others outside seeing your naked child's bum and parts. Poor placement I thought.

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There was always Ms Washy Washy at the buffet line (but only 1 end) and they only had 1 employee there, which stood in the middle of 2 separate doors going back and forth trying to catch everyone that walked in. You win some, you lose some.


I have noticed over the last several cruises that the "Washy washy" seems to have taken a back seat in the entertainment department. You use to always hear them say it, now it's a hit or miss if they say anything at all. I have been on so many cruises where you even have them "singing" washy washy songs. Yes sometimes tacky, but yet super funny and Sakari just loves it. ;)

We did see some "leaks" from the ceiling during the cruise. They were all in hallways, so no clue what was above there leaking.

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As I have mentioned previously...there were a few places that had the carpet "bumps" in them. I didn't get pictures (no camera at the time), but I assure you they're there and I was not drunk.


Blue Lagoon. These poor tables really need to be replaced. There are A LOT of them like this, obviously from water damage of course. The bad part is, you really have to watch where you put your cup down because the wood is so even from the decay.

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I noticed a few places the window tint was peeling. At first I really wasn't sure what I was seeing when it caught my eye and thought it was just a dirty window or something. Maybe they just had some vigorous window cleaners.

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The pool towels...oh lordy lordy where do I begin. Ok, we had 4 in our room. They were used daily x6 days. I can guarantee you that out of those 24+ towels (including 4 towel each x6 days in Kendra's room) we maybe had a total of 5 towels that DID NOT have a yellow stain on them. They were nasty looking. I don't know what this yellowish stain is, but if odds are that we had them, everyone else on the ship did too. They seriously need to do away with them and start all over!!!

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Service at the bars=excruciating painful waits. I found that most bars had 1 bar tender doing everyone's drinks. Then they would have 1 person that was making the drinks only for the runners on the floor. This is either at a pool bar or the casino bar. Every once in awhile we might see 2 people back there helping those standing in herds around the long bars, glaring at the bar tenders, and demanding their drinks saying they were skipped. I would NOT want their job. They seriously need to hire more people. But hey, I guess this is a way to slow down the drinkers with the UBP right? I just want a fricken Pepsi. Just give me a Pepsi...but I would wait, and wait and wait, and be passed up and wait some more. Some times the hubby would think I ran off on him and vice versa. But nope, you'd find me still there waiting. This is one cruise I would say that I DID NOT get my moneys worth out of the soda package.


Shower in the room-I have had this problem happen on several cruises...the water temp will vary and go up and down. Now normally it doesn't bother me "too much" but when you are a little red from the days water/sun activities, going from cool water to scalding hot can be a little aggravating. Just saying...

I have always noticed how well NCL likes to try to keep their ships in tip top shape. Every cruise I have witnessed the workers always sanding and varnishing the railings and steps. This would be no exception.

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There was a guy out on the pool deck EVERY day polishing the NCL Olympic Swimmer girls. (Wait, is this maybe why the towels are getting yellowed? Notice the pool towel he's using?)

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People were always cleaning dishes and cups away. Sometimes they are so quick that if you are not looking your stuff is gone before you are finished. LOL (Not always a good thing) Heaven forbid you have to get up to get a refill on a drink. You may come back to an empty table with your food long gone.


I do think I noticed that there were less plates/trays and such in the hallways this time. They must really be on that now. While we are on the subject of hallways and plates...I know it has been a big discussion on the boards about adding the "no food to your room" policy because of the hallway problem (ah hem...right...because the people that order room service don't do that right...sure) BUT I have really never known exactly WHAT to do with my plates. I have probably only taken a plate back to my room maybe 2-3 times and that is when Sakari was around 3-4 years old and she fell asleep at the table and they offered to let us take it back. But, I have had VIP status several times before and they do bring you "goodies" on a plate daily and so then I'm left with plates. I personally have found that if I leave my trays in the room, they seem to never get picked up by the room steward. I'm sorry, after 2-3 days of it sitting there, I have put them out in the hallway as a "Hey, if you haven't noticed this food has been sitting in my room for days, then maybe this will get your attention..." notice. So, here we are. I still don't take food back to my room even though the "band" has been lifted. But, my TA sent me a dish of chocolate covered strawberries and the "remains" stayed in my room for 3 days before the room steward took the plate away. I had vowed to do this as an experiment to see just how long it would take for them to remove it. I'm sorry, but IMO that's a little too long. When you factor in the space a dish takes up in an already too small interior room because anyone who has stayed in one of these rooms knows you have next to no space left after unpacking all your necessities, it's time to get rid of the plate.


Someone on a thread once said "put it in your shower on the floor, they are sure to take it then", which I think is a WONDERFUL idea and it's what I will be doing when/if I need to in the future. I just didn't try it this time because like I was an experiment. ;)


So one last thing that I can think of that's a "baddie" I guess. Broken seats in the theater. I managed to get a picture of this one but did notice a few others during showtime. The back of the seat with the air conditioner in it was broken/coming apart.

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Oh I almost forgot something else. Someone else on here mentioned the "jewels" on the decorations in the atrium. Well, they had a bunch of jewels/stones missing on them as well. Just a little observation.


I'm sure there's tons more of the good and the bad. I just don't remember them if I didn't manage to get a picture of it. Again, no battery sucked big time. Maybe some of the things will spark my memory during my review. we go again.



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Since it was a sea day I decided not to set the alarm and just wake up at our (my) leisure (because truth be known, once I'm up, it's time for everyone else to get up...momma says so).


I woke up and 10:30am using my belly alarm and I went out to the pool deck to check on the weather before waking the rest of the family up. It was chilly and I was bummed. I had really hoped by now things would be a lot warmer. JUST GIVE ME HEAT!!!


Back down to wake up the family and head to breakfast. We decided to head to the buffet since they were open later than the other places.


After breakfast we walked around a little and took a few pictures killing time. Sakari is not cold natured like I am and insisted on wearing a dress. That child can stay in ice cold water and it wouldn't bother her.

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This was her idea, although it didn't turn out too well. She has been having her pictures done by me since she was very young. She loves photography herself. She knows the poses and she can come up with stuff on her own. We were standing at the bar in the middle of the atrium trying to purchase our soda packages and she said "I want you to take a picture of me here" and ran down the steps and around.

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So...back to waiting to buy a soda package. We waited and waited and waited. I swear we were probably there a good 30+ minutes before we were helped. So many people there and not enough help. Then the hubby screws things up and tells them he wants 2 beverage packages...because pop is a beverage right? The guy came back with a HUGE bill and the hubby looks at me and says "Do you really want to pay that much for pop?" I had to laugh and ask him "What did you say you wanted? The soda package with a diamond in the bottom of the cup?" Seriously...LOLed. I explained to the guy what we wanted, he corrected it, gave us our "souvenir cups", a glass of diet Pepsi, a glass of Mt Dew and we were on our way.

We headed back to our room to get our "shhh pass" without telling anyone where we were going (to the private party).

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I have to say that I have ALWAYS HATED that they have this party at an hour that the kids club is always closed (1pm). I don't feel right bringing my daughter to this for some reason, but we are forced to since it's the same time every time.


Let the free drinks begin...

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The captain came out to speak to us...and told us he had no idea who was running the ship at the moment. Hopefully it was on auto-pilot and thank goodness we weren't close to any reefs to run into. I'm sorry, did I just say that out loud? j/k folks, I would have LOVED to be on the ship 2 weeks ago and had that happened! Just saying...

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Sakari was happy when she was finally able to get her a virgin drink in a cute little cup. She ask me "Am I going to get drunk?" I told her "yea, punch drunk". She looked worried but drank it down like a soldier. But not before "cheers" was to take place.

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I tell you getting a drink this time was just as hard here as getting a drink at the bar. They seem to never come around and the place was PACKED!! At one point we finally got our second drink and I ask for another virgin for Sakari. He said he would go back to the bar and get her one. When he came back a lady sitting behind us grabbed it and I thought Sakari was going to tear up. I looked at the guy and told him that we would require another one because that was supposed to be hers and he looked at the lady and said "did you want alcohol in yours?" She said "OF COURSE I WANT ALCOHOL" he said "then you don't want that one." LOL


Sakari got her drink and she was happy again.

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Like always, I never win anything. This party was a little different than all the rest I have been to though. Before, they would just call your name and you went up and got your prize. This time if they called your name, you had to "shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty, shake your booty" all the way there to the song. Then once you got to the stage, you were required to put on your best superman stand/pose, then up to the band to do some other type of pose/stance and then you got your prize. I was almost hoping they wouldn't call my name. I guess my wish came true.


We finished off our whole 2 drinks a piece, since that's all we could get from the waiters, and out the door we went.

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The hubby has the worse bladder ever created. Seriously! He's worse than any child. We stopped at the restroom...oops, it's flooded...and not from him either. I over heard several people talking about what despair the ship was in and how many repairs it needed. Now remember, this is only the first sea day and people are saying all these bad things. I'm starting to worry...then that's when I started noticing more things.


Then we headed up to the kids club because Sakari was begging to play with her "new friends" since we got up. Who were we to stop her right?


After dropping her off, we headed down to the photo store to make a decision on what I was going to do about my charger. I know from plenty of other times that there would be no hope of finding just a charger. I debated, I pouted, I gave the hubby puppy dog eyes, I was in dispare over what to do. The only thing I could do is what I have to do every time...purchase yet another camera. I told him I would go ahead and purchase one but swore that when I got home I would sell it right away. I had no intention of using it, I just needed the charger. If I wasn't able to sell it, I would give it to one of the kids for Christmas (probably Kendra since she's the only one that really cruising non-stop with us) and that was justifying my purchase at this point.


We made it down to the photo store and "browsed" around, then ask the staff "if" they had chargers...and of course I knew the answer "no" but they added a "we are sold out of them". Um ok? Then he proceeded to tell me they have a universal charger. Ok...where's that? No, THEY have a universal charger...not one for sale. Sigh. Ok, that's not going to do me any good.


So, I started looking around for another Olympus Tough camera to purchase. Wait...where are the Olympus Tough cameras???? THERE ARE NONE!! Once again, "We are sold out". How are you SOLD OUT???? What the heck! Now is the point that I'm seriously ready to cry...seriously. No chargers, no cameras, I'm screwed. How can I do a review without pictures? I NEED my camera. I NEED my batteries. Wait, I NEED pictures of my vacation for MY needs too!!! It's my first trip to Bermuda and I won't even be able to prove it or have anything but a memory of it. sniffle


I walked off super worried and hurt and didn't know what I was going to do. Truth be known, I acted like I was going to search for our pictures taken on the ship so that the photo guy couldn't see the tears in my eyes. I live for my pictures. The hubby stayed back and talked to the guy. Then came to me and told me that the guy said he would charge my battery for me...since they had the universal charger, it should work...AND IT DID!!! Back in business 2 hours that is. WOO HOO. I was happy.


Off to the casino to celebrate...or either donate. I wasn't sure which one it was....actually we donated that day. Boo


We picked Sakari up at 5pm from the kids club and swung by the photo shop to pick up my newly charged battery and then headed to the Blue Lagoon for lunch. I always just love Blue Lagoon.

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I always get the Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip and chips. Now in the past, this has always come out a greenish color, I assumed from the spinach. However this time it was white and runny. Um...did someone forget the spinach? It was almost like drinking a creamed soup that wasn't too creamy. It tasted like it was from a can. Did they recently change their recipe or something because I remember this happening on the last cruise too. It's not at all what it use to be.

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The hubby ordered 10 wings and fries and I ordered 10 wings.


When the hubby got his food, there were only 9 on the plate and they didn't bring the fries. When I got mine, I only got 6 on my plate.

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When we said something to the waiter, his reply was "They can't count"...and he said it with a very serious face and I seriously believed him! how about the rest of them? The hubby said, "well, I'd like to order another 6 piece then and that should do it". So they quickly brought out another 6 piece (got it right) and his fries. Sakari got her regular cheeseburger and all was good.


Sakari and I HAD to order the cheesecake. I live for this stuff and it was YUMMY!!!! Even the stuff on the sides was yummy and I have no idea what it was (it was very sweet) LOL

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It was only 5:30pm (which meant we did have fast service there...yippee) and the sun was coming out FINALLY!! It was also getting warm out so we decided to head back to the room for our swim suits and go out to the pool for awhile to kill some time.

When we made it back to the room, we had a special delivery. It was from my TA...who I have to say is AWESOME and I didn't even book this cruise with this TA. I just recently found him a few months ago and booked my Pride cruise with him (both Kendra and I booked using him) and since I had already had this cruise booked with another TA last year, Kendra booked this cruise with him. He was still kind enough to send me a gift. How sweet! I guess he's a keeper right? (Read the card)

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Out to the pool we headed on this nice, warmer, sunny day.  Sakari still has her golden tan from the last cruise 2 months ago. Lucky her.

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Here's the kids lounge chairs I was talking about earlier.

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Like I said, I'm cold natured and even if the weather is 70 degrees, I'm still cold. So, the hot tub it was for me (us).

Of course being goofy because it's just not us unless we are goofing off.

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We weren't there long before a worker came by and told us the pool was closing and everyone had to get out and leave. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Why? He said they are only open from 6am until 6pm. SERIOUSLY? Why would they close the kids pool at 6pm every day is beyond me. That just forced the kids to head to the big pool, which is already crowded and that is the last thing I wanted to do because my kid isn't swimming in there without me being in it beside her and I'm still cold remember?? Bummer!


Sakari hopped on the bouncy thingy before saying goodbye to the pool area. She wasn't leaving without a fight.

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We headed back to the room to shower and get ready for the "evening" (ha, to us it's not evening until like 10pm but we are on ship time for a week now).


Us girls were ready and waiting on daddy to shower and decided it was time to be goofy of course... She couldn't stop long enough for me to snap the picture of her goofy face.

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Our plans for the evening was to go to a show and then I wanted to eat at the MDR tonight since we were all dressed up. However, Sakari wasn't having it. She wanted to go to the kids club instead of hanging out with us. So, I decided after awhile that I would let her go and we would just have to do without her tonight. After all, it is her vacation too and I want her to have fun. She absolutely loves the kids club. She insisted on staying in her "pretty" dress.


After dropping her off, we headed down to the shopping "mall"...I use this term loosely because it was basically 2 stores. One side with the jewelry, booze and cigs and the other side with the clothes and trinkets.


Sakari collects the little ship Christmas ornaments from each ship. We had checked on the first day for them and couldn't find anything but the metal (pewter?) ones. I was so disappointed. When I ask about the white ones, I bet you can guess what I was told...."We're sold out" SERIOUSLY??? IS THIS SHIP SOLD OUT OF EVERYTHING?? WE JUST LEFT THE PORT YESTERDAY? Who does their ordering????? They should be beheaded! Just saying. we arrived and I ask another crew member about them (hoping to get another answer because I know that sometimes they don't have everything out and it could be in the back and if you ask for it they'll sometimes go looking for it) and I was told "yes, we do, I just put a few out" We made the Christmas ornament purchase and all was good in the least Sakari's world.


She started collecting these a little late in the game and was missing about 4 of the ships. The WONDERFUL people here on cc have managed to pick me up all but the NCL Spirit and the Carnival Dream ship. (I always reimburse the cost of the ship x2 for the trouble plus shipping and it has worked out wonderful) That's all she has missing from her collection now. She has her very own Christmas tree in her room during the holidays and she decorates it with her ships. hehe She is responsible for these so during the "off" season, they stay on her dresser for display because her room is a "no-play" zone and she knows they will remain safe in there from the grandkids. She's the oldest (even if only by 3 months LOL) out of the other 5 grandkids and she has no intention on letting my grandson get a hold of them. Good girl!


Now momma's world...not so much. I collect a shirt from each ship with the name of the ship on it. At this point I bet you all can guess.... "We're sold out of them" Ugh. I'm not liking this ship at all with their excuses. How do you expect to make money if you are "sold out" of everything?


For you smokers out there...most ships carry the huge 5 carton packs. Not this ship...once again "sold out" so no deals for you and you are going to pay $46.99 for 1 carton and deal with it.


Their selection of just about everything is null and void on this ship. They didn't even have a section of stuffed animals for the kids on the ship. Not much for kids at all actually. I always allow Sakari to pick out 1 thing from the gift shop each cruise and it's usually a stuffed animal of some sort and she was unable to get anything this time. What a disappointment. I'm trying to spend money and NCL is actually keeping me from doing so. Hmmm

I seriously don't know what all we did that night because I was so distraught over the shopping situation (well, not really but I still don't remember), but I do know we headed to the Aqua MDR for dinner that night at 9pm.

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The waiter was nice enough to take a picture of us together so at least we could prove we were there at the same time that night.

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We started out with some yummy rolls.

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We really weren't too hungry and decided that we were just going to eat light tonight. The hubs ordered the onion soup and a salad from the starter (as his entire meal) and I ordered the grilled shrimp from the main menu. We ask that everything be brought out together since we were making this our entire meal and wanted to eat together at the same time.


However, the onion soup came out a starter and I got nuttin! We both looked at each other like "obviously the people on this particular ship can't 1) count chicken wings and 2) can't bring everything out together as we asked. Sigh. He just sat there. I told him to go ahead and eat and I would be fine. He wanted to wait until my meal arrived, but he still had his salad to come and we would eat together at that time.


He said the soup was pretty good, which was apparent by him slurping up the entire thing.

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My grilled shrimp came out and it was yummy. I'm not sure what type of sauce they use on this but it is wonderful!!! I just wish they gave you more of it.

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The hubby had his salad brought out at the same time my shrimp all was good.

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Everything tasted fabulous and our bellies were full. EXCEPT...I knew I had to have that cheesecake that was on the menu of course.  As always, never a let down. YUM!

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We decided to hang out a little in the atrium and listen to Jose and Pati for a bit. It was 70's night and they are a fabulous duo.

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We headed back to the photo shop to see about having my other battery charged (since I do have 2 cameras) and the guy there seemed a little "put out" over me asking him to charge my battery. He made the comment "We are doing you a favor by charging your battery". Um ok, yes, yes you are. You don't even begin to know how big of a favor you are doing me...and the entire world on cc. Just saying... However, he started fumbling around with his words and then said "we already have someone's battery on charge for them at the moment. You'll have to come back tomorrow and try again". YIKES! It made me very nervous the way he said it. He informed me that they would be open at 9am and I could try then but he couldn't promise anything. Sigh. I walked away in distraught again knowing that this would be our first day in Bermuda and I was heading to the beaches. I just couldn't go without my batteries charged. That's when I take the most pictures!!!!! I wanna cry again. sniff sniff. The hubs does everything he can to console me but he knows how I am with my pictures.


We picked up Sakari from the kids club and no matter how down I am, she can always bring a smile to my face and comfort me.


I guess they had a fashion show tonight and the kids made their own costumes. She was mighty proud of her eyeball, feather, trash bag, plastic wrap, colored tape contraption complete with a set of wings, head band and fairy wand. (I would give anything to get inside her brain for 1 day).

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Ok, so she claimed she was a butterfly princess. I guess that makes sense???? Yea, we'll roll with that.


We swung by the buffet and Sakari filled up on pizza for dinner that night. We managed to see Kendra for the first time today and she said she was in the room all day sleeping because she had a really bad headache. I informed her of the activities planned for Bermuda tomorrow, told her the time she needed to be up, the time she needed to have breakfast done, she better be packed, and where we were going in case she wasn't ready and I was forced to leave without her (don't think I won't!)


We returned to the room to find our towel animal. However, it just wasn't complete with the yellow circle eyes. Sakari started peeling off her "eyeballs" from her costume (there were about 10 of them) and put them on the towel animal. Now it was complete.

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The room steward would continue to use the "eyeball" collection during the rest of the cruise for the towel animals. Sakari would get a kick out of it.


Now I thought that some time ago they said they were doing away with the mint chocolates at night? Or is that Carnival? Maybe I'm confused. But we got them every night. Sakari loves these.

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I packed our bags for the following beach day and Sakari was busy messing with my snorkel. She has been snorkeling with us since she was 3 years old. However, she refuses to use a snorkel or a mask. She only likes her speedo goggles (which of course doesn't cover the nose, so you can't use a snorkel with them). She is VERY VERY VERY good at holding her breath. Like seriously good. Last November her and Kolin (my youngest son who is 20) had competitions on the cruise to see who could hold their breath the longest and she won every single time. She's that good. So, snorkeling to her is holding her breath and staying under forever. She sometimes freaks me out doing this though and I'll pull her up and she'll tell me to "Stop, I'm fine." LOL


Anyhow, back on track. She was putting my snorkel in her mouth and asking me if it was in the right way. Yep. She pulls the snorkel out of her mouth and out comes her tooth. LOL Now how is the tooth fairy supposed to know you are all the way out here in the middle of the ocean? You are going to make her wings too tired to fly back. You better hope there are other kids on the ship that lost teeth tonight so she'll have enough time to rest before flying back across the ocean. (Yes, she bought this story).

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We headed off to bed around 12 midnight after watching a little tv. Sakari was out quick. She was giving the tooth fairy all the time in the world to make it there tonight.

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