MITSUGIRLYS JEWEL OF A CRUISE review and pictorial

Day 3: Sea Day on the ship

So here we are again. Our 3rd day since sailing away from NOLA and our 2nd sea day that I was more than glad to have.

 

I didn't set a time for our wake up call and we woke up around 9:45 and headed for breakfast at the buffet. I did make plans to try either the MDR or go up to Cagneys for breakfast if we happened to wake up early enough (knowing that they closed for breakfast at 9-10am depending on where you are going). However that did not happen since we "slept in".

 

We had to ninja our way into the buffet area, zip in and out when the opportunity opened up, otherwise we would have been standing around for hours to make it in this line. It's like being at a rock concert...I just wanted people to pick me up above their heads and start surfing me to the food.

 

We did have an employee come up to me with a tray to help me carry things. (This had also happened on a previous cruise) She grabbed my plates and walked along with me as we piled food on our plates. When we were ready to be seated, everyone had taken all of the tables and chairs. There wasn't any room at the kids dining area, the handicapped area had people sitting at them again which you could obviously tell they shouldn't be there, and we continued to head down toward the back of the ship while our eyes zoomed in every direction as if we were hunting for treasure. No luck. Out the back door and into the Great Outdoors. Gasp! There wasn't one table out there either. We went all the way around. Then the lady holding our tray suggested that we go in to La Cucina to eat. OH MY GOSH! I had completely forgot about this!

 

In we went to have our nice, very quiet, breakfast. We were away from the hustle and bustle and is made for a private dining experience. We loved it and decided from now on if the buffet area was full, that's where we would head.

 

They had drinks at a table there set up with coffee and juices and we were more than content with the choice even though the lady carrying our tray ask what we would like to drink and she went and got them for us. How nice. Just the extra added touch that NCL does for people when needed.

 

Before we were even finished with our breakfast, Sakari was already asking to head to the kids club. By this time it was 11am and we knew she would only have an hour there and she agreed that it was ok. So off we went to drop her off. I don't remember how we killed our time for this hour before it was time to pick her back up. Oh wait, maybe I do:

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Once we picked her up, we decided this would be our "swimming" day for the cruise. It was finally warm out enough to swim and we were going to make the best of it. I do have to say the very first day we were on the cruise and even the next day, it was still very chilly outside. There were tons of kids in the pool and even some adults. Just watching made me shiver and I tolerate the cold water a little better than most I would say. Ok, I will say it...they were just plain crazy!!!

 

The water still felt a little cold and the hubby refused to do anything more than sit on the side of the pool and watch. I adventured in with Sakari because I didn't want her in there alone and knew it was over her head. She always seems to have issues swimming in salt water pools. I'm not sure why. She does fine in the ocean and terrific in a normal pool. But I think it being salt water and a "pool" just throws her off. I let her swim for awhile and then decided it would probably be a good idea if she was to put her puddle jumper on for safety. All I could think about was the poor little boy that drown the last day of the Carnival cruise a few months ago and he was around Sakari's age and his parents were right there with him. I wasn't taking any chances this time around. She hates when I put it on her and fights me to the end claiming "I'm a big girl and can swim". Sigh.

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We took a break from swimming after awhile and they were up on stage dancing. Sakari just HAD to go. Daddy told her "go on and have your fun" and off she went.

 

As always, she tried her best to do the dances up on stage with everyone else. It was hilarious. Video below.

Then back to the pool for some more fun. Now every cruise with NCL that I have been on, they have made me go down the slide with her. I don't know if they have an age restriction to go alone or if it was a height issue, but they have denied her of being able to go alone. (I you read my last cruise, on the Carnival Dream, you will see she went down the HUGE twister slides all by herself...over and over and over. She is fearless).

 

This time, they let her go by herself. She was so happy. I also have to add that all the children were going by themselves, even the little ones that looked about 3 years old. What the heck? I guess different ship, different staff??

I will say that she only went about 5 times. If you watch the video above, you'll see why. She would get stuck in them and go really slow. Sometimes we wondered if the slide had sucked her up and she was MIA, kinda like socks in a dryer. Maybe this was the reason they didn't allow little ones on the other ships to go alone. There's just not enough weight to carrying them down. So maybe it's a weight issue. I do know that these slides suck, for a better term of words, because even the adult guys would get stuck. I was told on previous cruises that their swimming trunks is what made them get stuck and my husband always found that to be true. I have never had a problem and go pretty fast.

 

The skies were getting a little dark in areas and before long we hit a cloud and it started to sprinkle. No biggie, we are already wet. Then it started to rain. THEN IT POURED!! People were scattering like flies being swatted at. Daddy looked like he was doing a hot coal dance because he "wasn't" (previous tense) wet.

 

We ran for the kiddie pool area and carried on as if it was just a normal day. Then Sakari wanted to try out the hot tub after awhile, so in she went.

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This is a full sized hot tub, even though it is for kids. So it worried me and I had to go up there with her. The hubby went over to the bar to get our sodas. The sun was back out again and people were starting to get out from under cover and head back to the pools. We had a bench that we were sitting on in the kiddie pool area and our things were there. The hubby put our fresh filled soda's on the bench and came up to the hot tub. Another guy with his kids came over, sat on the bench, swished our things aside and our soda went everywhere. He carried on as if nothing had happened and my pool bag and everything was sticky and wet. Thanks dude! Sigh.

 

Ok, so I have had enough of swimming at this point and we knew that they were having a slime time show at 4:15pm. We wanted to head back to the room to get ready. Now my child is a water child. We struggle with her to get her out of any water. She becomes a strong weight lifter when you pull her away kicking and screaming from the water. I have to admit, it's the only embarrassing moment I usually have with her. Otherwise, she is pretty well behaved. This would be no exception. However....I had ammunition this time around. I told her about slime time and how funny it was going to be as I jumped up and down with excitement making it sound like the best thing ever. She got excited and agreed to leave. No pulling required this time around.

So now it was time for Slime Time Live. Even though I hyped Sakari up about it, I really had NO IDEA what it was. I have never watched it before. I just knew people got slimed. I had read in the dailies you get slimed and that the children were picked from the audience to compete. I had no clue what this was about and knew that since Sakari hasn't watched this show, and with her age, she would not be able to answer questions or participate in this show. However, it should be fun to watch.

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As the show started, it was colorful and bright. The audience was hyped up and the Nick gang already had the "families" that were playing to win. There was the red team and the blue team. They had to answer questions to get a point. Then the audience participation began. Right off the bat, they tried to get my husband to go up...he wasn't having it. I tried and tried to convince him to go. He was not into getting slimed. However, this would not be the case...which we didn't realize. They also tried to get Sakari to go up and she refused. She had no idea what they were doing and was a little scared. They picked other kids from the audience and did various competitions, competitions that any age can participate in. After Sakari seen that, she was more than willing to try it out.

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I have to say, the things they did were hilarious. Every time they ask for someone from the audience and all of the kids were raising their hands and jumping up and down, Sakari was ready to play. She raised her hand and then pouted every time she didn't get picked.

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Time after time she tried and tried to get picked again and they passed her up. I guess she missed her opportunity. However, next Nick cruise we take, we will all be educated on this show and know it can be a fun thing to do.

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We found that the family that WINS are the ones to get slimed. I guess sliming is the thing you "want" to do, not what happens to the loser in the game. Who knew?

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The losers had to pie themselves in the face. The boys took it a little too serious and and rubbed it all over. The mother (as you can see) maybe got a little on her nose. Maybe she was just "target challenged"? haha

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I did forgot to mention that right before the slime time live show they made an announcement that we would be diverting to Grand Cayman for about an hour on our way to Jamaica. There was a medical emergency and they needed to evacuate someone there. They said that it wouldn't take long, it was on the way, and we should arrive in Jamaica the following day at the same time.

 

We could only speculate what might have happened. Anyone else on my roll call ever hear what happened? We thought maybe during the big rain down pour someone might have slipped and fell or something? The way people were scrambling for cover, it was the only thing we could think of.

 

I knew I wanted to get some pictures of us anchored at sea while we were there and it was getting close to the time they said we would arrive. I was ready for this Slime Time show to end so we could rush up on deck and take a peak. Then I started hearing the anchors go down. :eek: We were here.

 

However, there was a dance left to be done and Sakari wanted to participate. Since she had not been picked from the audience to go up on stage, she was at least going to get her groove on with the audience.

 

Video below:

So once the show was over, we ran up to the deck. People were looking over and I just realized "hey, I have a balcony room, I can just go there". I would find during the week that I would forget this. I'm just not use to having a balcony and would forget.

 

We ran back to our room to get a few pictures from our balcony.

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Independence of the Seas and Carnival Victory were anchored there that day.

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The sun was starting to set and it was beautiful as always.

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Here come the medical staff back to the ship

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The crew getting back on the Jewel:

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While we were watching, we heard a knock knock and then the door opened. Our VIP plate had arrived for today.

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Now you will notice this is a habit for our room steward. One quick knock and in they come. I heard others on the cruise complaining about the same thing. They did not give you a chance to come to the door or even a chance to grab a blanket if you happen to be standing there getting dressed. They were quick. Too quick. It made you realize that if you were getting dressed or didn't want to be disturbed, you had to lock the door completely. I have never had this happen before. Any other cruise, they would knock and give it some time, then knock again before entering giving you plenty of opportunity to answer the door. This would continue throughout the cruise. :rolleyes:

Tonight was another fun filled night of meet & greet with the Nick characters. It would be a Dora & Diego night at 6pm in the Spinnaker.

 

So I learned my lesson from last time that they line up on the opposite side that we were the night before. We decided to sit in the front row on that side hoping to not have to wait in line forever but kept thinking they would switch it up this time around because that's just my luck.

 

In come Dora and Diego with their entrance dance just like the night before with Spongebob and Sandy.

 

Video:

As soon as the dance was over people jumped up and started lining up. The line was long and the announcement came from the Nick crew "Well it looks like you guys know what to do". The hubby jumped in line at the end and it was another long wait as always.

 

Then it was our turn to have our family pictures done.

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The picture the photography staff took with added background.

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Sakari met up with her previous cruise friends. We met the mother and daughter (oldest in the picture) on our Star Christmas cruise last year and have kept in contact with them. When we booked the Jewel, they decided to come along too. They have added 2 new family members (she is now engaged and he has a daughter), so Sakari added a new friend to this cruise.

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After pictures, they give you Dora and Diego's "autograph" on the napkin. I don't think Sakari really gets the concept of an autograph. She would always hand them to me with that look of "why are they handing me a napkin?" I will put them in our scrapbook and she will appreciate them more in the years to come I'm sure.

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After she show we headed up to the buffet to check out the snacks and feed the munchkin before taking her to the kids club.

 

They had a bunch of carved watermelons on display. Sakari insisted that I take a picture of every one of them. Here are a few.

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Then off to the kids club. Sakari knew there would be another parade tonight and was excited to get there. Tonight was Pirate night and one of her favorites. They get to hunt for treasure... or at least for the pirate who took the treasure according to her.

 

We decided to head to a show tonight. It was going to be a comedian-magician and I always enjoy these shows.

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Now this is the first time I have noticed the "cup holders" in the chairs. We have always held ours and thought about how nice it would be if they would have holders in the chairs like they do in the movies. I think our last cruise or either our Pearl cruise is when I discovered that the vents in the back of each chair was air conditioning. Now I had made another new discovery. On the floor of the back of each chair is the cup holder. You pop it out and use it.

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Now I can't say I was to thrilled to find this. After all, everyone is constantly going up and down the isles and moving in and out and I can't imagine them not getting knocked over even in these things (and getting broke). Also, it's kind of hard to reach down and hunt for your glass when it's dark inside the theater during the show. We continued to hold our drinks in our hand and placed them in the cup holder when we were done.

 

The show was by Jean-Pierre Parent. I looked him up and this is his history:

 

Jean-Pierre’s love for magic started on his 9th birthday when he received his first magic kit. After practicing every day and performing tricks for his friends, JP started impressing his classmates and teachers. As soon as JP saw his first real magic show, he begged his father to take him to a magic shop. It was then that he realized his true passion for the art.

At the age of 12, JP began to create his own show that he would perform for local schools in the Montreal area. Word soon got out about the Montreal based magician, and it wasn’t long before he was sought out by businesses to perform at corporate events. At 16, JP got the opportunity to see David Copperfield perform live and had a chance to meet with Copperfield himself after the show, after this life changing meeting, Jean-Pierre knew that he wanted to devote himself and his career to magic.

 

As JP’s notoriety grew, he was asked to appear on several Canadian talk shows and along with this new found exposure, he decided to produce his first show in Montreal. Parent was quickly approached by an agent and offered his first job on-board a cruise ship. It was in these early contracts that Jean-Pierre began cultivating his comedic talent as well. By blending comedy and magic he found a unique way of entertaining crowds. It was not long until other cruise lines heard about this new comedy magician and JP began working for 5 of the most prestigious cruise lines in the industry, including: Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, and Cunard.

 

What started out as a 6 month contract has turned into a 14 year adventure of a lifetime. At just 34 years old, Jean-Pierre has had the chance to perform his magic for over 2 million people across 48 nations. His ability to speak English, French, and Spanish has allowed him to entertain audiences around the world with a unique mix of comedy and magic.

 

 So it looks like he got his start with cruise ships and is continuing his adventure with the cruise ships.

 

Most of his show consisted of doing magic tricks with cards and he also involved the audience. There were a few other magic tricks that he did. He was funny, not the best I have seen, but funny enough to keep us watching.

 

After the show, he was outside the Stardust trying to sell his magic tricks Christmas stocking kit. I didn't witness a very big line, so I'm not sure this is a big seller on the ships.

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So now the show was over and we were wondering what to do with our time (who am I kidding? We always know what to do with our "down" time....slot machines!) We didn't win anything big, but we didn't lose either.

 

Then we heard the chanting...make a run for it, the pirate parade is coming!!

 

Well that's not a scary pirate!

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This time she knew better than to run for us. She just smiled and waved. I have to add that the following day I was informed by another kids club parent that they came to the theater and did a little "dance" up on the stage. Why don't the kids club staff inform parents of this? It might have been listed in the chidrens program, but I didn't notice it. It would still be nice if they reminded us when we dropped them off so that we wouldn't miss it.

 

I worked up an appetite watching the parade and decided it was time for my nightly cheesecake fix. Off to the Blue Lagoon we headed to kill some time before we had to pick up the munchkin.

 

So I gave my strict orders of wanting a cheesecake, plain, no toppings, with tons of whipped topping. Then I also told them I wanted one the exact same way to go. (I couldn't leave Sakari out). Mmm, double whipped cream this time around. Winning!

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I ate mine and they brought out the other one. I was struggling with holding my "soda", my camera, my purse and picking up the plate with the cover on it of cheesecake. My husband had this "look" on his face and down the cheesecake went. All over the floor, all over the table legs and just all over. That stuff splatters really good and goes a long distance when dropped from about 3 foot in air! Had they used this stuff in the Nick Slime Time I would have been the biggest kid up there participating!!

 

So the hubby grabs the napkins and starts to clean it up. The waitress is having a fit that he is doing that and kept saying "no worries, I got it, please, I got it, you don't have to do this, I can do it" like it was non stop of her trying to get the napkins from him. She brought out a wet rag and he took that from her too while she clearly didn't want him too. The place was spotless when he was done and you couldn't tell that I had made a disaster that night and shhh, we'll never tell Sakari mommy was a klutz. After watching my husband clean the carpet and the table, I decided I might want to hire him to clean the house on his hands and knees when we returned home. I should probably rush out and get some cheesecake really fast. We'll see if it works but I'm not holding my breath. They brought out Sakari's cheescake to go and topped it off with 2 cherries in the whipped cream and gave me 2 slices this time around. I guess they were trying to make up for MY mistake of dropping the first one. How extremely nice they are. The hubby took one look at me and said "no" and grabbed the plate. I scurried off with my tail between my legs and head hung low while he followed with the plate safely in his hands.

 

We went back to the room to drop off her cheesecake and found our rabbit towel animal and our mints on our pillows.

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We picked up Sakari and headed to the room. When we arrived, Trixie had decided that the rabbit was big enough for her to ride. Sakari got a kick out of that since she wasn't just hanging around tonight.

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Sakari ate her cheesecake while mommy enjoyed her time out on the balcony watching the moon and stars.

 

She posed for a pirate picture and went arrrrr when I snapped the picture. A true little pirate she has become.

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While we were sitting on the balcony, the hubby jumped up really fast and headed to the bathroom. He came back with a towel and started wiping down the glass with all of the salt on it. He said he just couldn't stand it anymore. So now I'm thinking I can get him to do the windows at home as well. Again, not holding my breath. Maybe he was just getting ready to apply for a housekeeping position with NCL. Practice makes perfect, so I'll give him plenty of chances to practice if that's what he wants.

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Of course he would find that the following day it would just look exactly the same as that day. The salt accumulation and the water spray every once in awhile is going to keep the glass messy no matter how many times you clean it. Especially if you are on the 8th floor and closer to the water.

Off to bed we go and ready for our first port day tomorrow.