MITSUGIRLYS BACK TO BELLY SUN CRUISE review and pictorial
Day 7: Cozumel
Day 6 on the ship: Heading to Costa Maya Mexico
FRIDAY: Our day in Cozumel, Mexico.
I set the wake up call for 7am. Can anyone guess what happens next? I bet you can...I'm up at 6:45am.
On our way out the door, we noticed this:
There seems to be something missing. Yep, someone stole our decor off the door. Sakari was completely bumed, but I knew this was a possibility when I put it up there.
We ate at Moderno this morning and headed up to the deck to watch us pull into Cozumel.
Meanwhile the goof balls were having fun and didn't realize I was snapping pictures of them. She loves her daddy so much.
We headed down to the Stardust Lounge at 8:30 to meet up with our excursion group.
Yes, believe it or not, I purchased my second SHIP SPONSORED excursion this cruise. YIKES! I know it's so unheard of for me...but hey why not.
I have been wanting to go to Passion Island for several years now. I loved the pictures that I have seen people post on here and when you hear "That's where they filmed one of the Corona Commercials" you know that it has to be beautiful there right??
So I knew I had to at least try this place out...if not only just to tell people "Hey, I've been there...now what???"
It seems as though for years, Carnival was the only cruise ship I could find that had an excursion here (well, I'm sure there's others, but didn't research much in to it) and they did it by the Twister boat, which looks like it could be fun...but I'm not sure with a small child. No need to get whiplash right?
I tried to figure out the best way to do it on my own, but it seemed like it's very time consuming. Book with someone after getting off the ship...walking to where they are. Getting in a taxi/car to take you to where you then have to get on a boat to go over to the island. It really didn't appeal to me. I would much rather just get off the ship and get on the boat and just take me there darn-it!!! I don't like to waste time.
So...we booked with the cruise line.
We met at 8:45pm and got our wrist bands.
They announced that the catamaran would be a little late, possibly 10 minutes or so. So we waited....
I have to say that all of the announcements over and over while sitting in the lounge...they really push selling their water and have a table set up with staff to purchase it from. I have yet to see anyone actually buy it though.
When it was time to go, we got off the ship and headed down the dock. Of course you always have to stop for the "picture" from the great NCL photographers.
Well would you looky here...here comes the Epic! I was super excited to see her. I absolutely LOVE this ship. She was the first ship we sailed on when I started cruising again (and my husbands very first cruise) and I love everything about her. The entertainment, the casino, her beauty and decor, the water park...I just love her. I know there's a lot that don't and the poor Epic has been under fire about her "hat" since she was built. But hey, it gives her a look of her own! I'm all for being your own person...be the leader, not the follower! hehe
A look at the Suns "rump"
This would be the boat that takes us over to Passion Island. It was docked right there on the pier next to the Sun. Not far to walk at all and that made it nice. We didn't even have to go into port...winding our way around all the vendors in the 2 story complex.
Pulling away, I was able to get a few more shots of the Sun docked.
Before we took off, we were told that it was a little wavy out today and it might make for a little slower ride on the way to the island. We were going against the waves and the wind.
By then the Epic was "pulling in"
On the way (leave it to me to pick the wrong side), they closed our plastic blinds right after I snapped this picture and the water was splashing everywhere.
Epic still pulling in. She is going to look massive next to the Sun.
It was about a 20-25 minute ride to the island.
The island looked beautiful with powdery soft sand and we got off the boat.
Glancing down the beach, I just couldn't wait to pick our spot for the day.
Looking toward the opposite side of the island where the boat docks.
The guides from the boat told us as soon as we got off the ship that we would walk over under the trees and he would give us a quick "low-down" on the day and where everything was at. He also warned us about the "photographer" guys that will line everyone up to take pictures. We were told that if we didn't want our picture done to just tell them no and keep walking.
Well, the people ahead of us did just that and they actually started yelling at them...to the point that they said "hey lady, GET BACK HERE!!!" It was really rude like and kind of took me back a second. We decided at that point that we wouldn't stop and instead of staying in their hearding line, we walked AROUND them and of course got yelled at (yes I did this on purpose after hearing how they talked to the other people). We just kept on walking and didn't look back.
We made it to the spot where "the speach" took place. They had the cutest little "pineapples" there. It didn't realize pineapples grew in the sand like that. Can you see them?
Now THIS is what I'm talking about!!! I could look at this all day (and I would...well kinda).
This would be where they want you to stop and have your picture taken.
They said this is the exact spot where they filmed the commercial.
Can you tell I'm not paying a bit of attention to "the speach"?
There's just too many neat things to take pictures of...you can hold down my attention to boring talk.
FINALLY the talk was over and we scattered like someone had just stepped on fire ants. The gun went off and the racers started the race...off to find the perfect spot for the day.
We passed the showers
This looked interesting...if only it was closer to the water!!
Of course our late arrival left us with no beds. Others beat us to them. We decided to just put our things down at a table under a palapa. Now do you notice anything about this area?
It's really far from the water as well. Geesh. See this is the type of thing I don't like when going somewhere. I like there to be areas that are very close to the water both in the shade and the sun. I don't like to have to walk a mile to go to the water and I sure couldn't let Sakari play there while sitting in the shade. You are pretty much forced to sit in the weird S chairs in the sun the entire time if you go down there.
There was a playground directly behind us and I was hoping that Sakari might make some use of it and we would be able to see her at our table while relaxing.
We were informed that this was an AI...all you can eat and drink all day long!!! YES!!! So this was the AI that I was talking about when I thought it was the free lunch you get on our excursion with Shark Ray. I guess I'm kind of glad it ended up being this place instead since we would be staying her all day instead of just enough time to eat like at shark/ray.
This was the dining area under the roof. They served food all day long and as much as you wanted. They had 2 bars here as well...or your server would get anything you wanted for you.
The playground area:
I guess I'll start the day off with the Passion Island drink. Let's get this party started. Throw caution to the wind and forget about what time it is. Drink, eat and be merry. We are on island time!
The weird thing I didn't like was that you had to walk so far down the beach to get to all of the beds and chairs and tables (from the boat dock). The area around the boat dock is very beautiful and I wished that they had chairs and loungers down there.
The other problem is that the restrooms are back the other way and can be quite a walk depending on where you decided was your spot. I'm glad we didn't go "too" far.
Before long Sakari was having a fit about heading down to the water and I knew I couldn't hold her off much longer...but yet I wasn't sure how we were going to do this. I sure didn't want to sit in the sand in the sun the entire time.
We grabbed a couple of beach towels and headed down. She couldn't wait to get in the water.
I have to say, it looked pretty "icky" to me. It was real wavy out instead of calm and there was a lot of seaweed. I know you can't control this and it's a mother nature thing...but not exactly what I had pictured in my mind when coming here.
The beach looked lovely and you could tell that they kept it clean and raked. We did see them doing more work to the island, but it was just the water that was a bit of a turn off for me. They had a bunch of hammocks out in the water. They looked very inviting. However, one toe in the water and YIKES!!! It was freezing. I tried my hardest to get in up to my ankles and it just wasn't working for me. As much as I wanted to make it out to the hammocks and just hang out, it just didn't feel worth it to me.
Sakari however was determined to go out there. Since it was so rough in the water, I insisted on her putting her puddle jumper on. I wasn't about to risk it and sure wasn't going to ruin my day by going after her.
Of course once she got out there, she couldn't get in them. I'm not sure I could have gotten in them myself without getting knocked over by the waves.
We seen the water toys out in the water. They looked like they could have been a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity to be able to use them for free...but once again, I wasn't getting in this cold and wavy water to try it out.
But you know Sakari would attempt it.
Of course she couldn't do it by herself and started swimming back. The water was just so churned up it didn't look inviting at all.
I yelled for Sakari to come out of the water so that we could go back up to our table. She got about waist deep and screamed. Then came out of the water crying and holding her leg. Oh no...what now.
This was her leg:
She cried all the way back to the table and every time I looked down at her leg, it was getting worse.
By the time we made it back to the table, it was now all the way around her leg and was swelling. Oh just great...are there jelly fish here today? I know that they told us that we could go over and look at the "Lagoon" on the other side of the island, but we would not be able to swim there because they have jelly fish there AND crocodiles!!! Really? If they are there, then they are probably here as well right?
Jorge, one of the tour guys that came over on the boat with us immediately noticed her crying and came over. I showed him her leg and he said it was from the fire coral. He explained how they were out there and when the water gets rough and turned up, sometimes their tentacles get broken off and they float in the water and people get stung.
He went over to the buffet and brought back vinegar to take away the sting and a tomato to take away the itch. He explained to Sakari what to do and how to use it. He promised her that if she didn't scratch it, it would be gone in about an hour. The key to not scratching it would be to use the tomato every time instead. She thought this was quite funny to be putting a tomato on her leg but liked that it worked. She still talks about it and would use this as a teaching tool on another excursion we did the following week. (I'm glad to see she was not only paying attention, but understood why it was being done).
She cried all the way back to the table and every time I looked down at her leg, it was getting worse.
Jorge was worried and kept checking in on us all day. Sakari was pleased that he did tell the truth about it going away. It was gone within an hour and there was no trace of anything happening by the time we left. Sakari decided that she was not going back in that water for the rest of the day!
A few selfies
So since you can't swim in the ocean for fear of being stung...what else is there left to do for a child? EAT OF COURSE!
I had to go get Sakari some food, since she was now disabled and all...
"Our" spot for the day
Part of the childrens area. They had hammocks to lay on in there.
They also have an area to play some hoops
The beach that could have been, but never will be now.
I really love using the tilt shift feature on my camera so you will find pictures all during this review using this feature. It just looks neat to me, even on the ground (but works out better from a distance). I also liked using the "soft" focus to when it comes to the palm trees. It just looks dreamy.
Although this place didn't have the traditional Mexican food that I oh so love when I'm in Mexico...the food was still very good and we ate all day and they had nacho's, guac and pico.
Daddy "claims" he had to use the restroom, only he didn't return for awhile. (Remember how I like to do this?)...well, I figured out why he wasn't returning...he found the food as well.
Sakari's leg was all better now and she was ready to play.
We headed into the playground and she started with the trampoline.
There is a lady who works in the playground. They call her "The nanny". She pretty much works all the arts and crafts and has tons of things inside the little hut for the kids to do.
She pulled out a picture for Sakari to paint on. (Now remember what a good artist Sakari is...don't judge her by that...she's terrible at painting!!! lol Then again, so am I).
Jorge taking her up to the nanny to find her something to paint.
The nanny getting her set up
Meanwhile, this is what I'm doing...
I was relaxing there for quite some time and enjoying it.
I was also taking pictures as I laid there too. LOL (Well, come on now, you guys know me...if I seen an ant crawling across the hammock I would snap a picture).
Meanwhile...I see something out of the corner of my eye run across the playground and it wasn't a child.
Sakari had no idea what was going on right in front of her.
However the nanny did. When I said something to her, she said that it was a mommy raccoon and she had babies over in the playhouse...um say what? And they let children play in here??? Yikes! Just what I needed...to have my child stung by fire coral and bitten by a raccoon.
Of course Sakari, lover of all creatures until the bite or sting her, says "awww, how cute" (she says this for everything even if it's the ugliest monster looking creature ever created).
Then she went back to her drawing.
I'mmmmm thinking it's time for some morrrre food.
...and possibly some more drinks??? Sure why not. There's one thing about this island...they will load you up with drinks and before you can finish one, they are bringing you more. The ONLY problem I had was I normally like frozen drinks. They didn't have frozen drinks.
The blue drinks...ewwwy, very sour.
Some of the shops. I did not bother to go to any of them.
Me wondering off...saying I was headed to the restroom...and doing my thing.
Here are the restrooms. They have the mens and womens together in the building, but separate entrances.
There was some talk...well someone that was supposed to be on a Carnival excursion to here posted a review on TA saying that they had a peeping Tom at the restrooms and really raised a stink about this alleged allegation. They claimed they were in the restroom and it was dark in there. They said that they looked up and seen someone looking in the window behind them with a camera or something like that.
Now I'm not really sure since I've been there about this. I had something TOTALLY different pictured in my head about the restrooms.
If they did have a peeping Tom, they no longer peep. The windows are boarded up.
The bathroom is not at all "dark"
I mean the entire place has an open roof with plenty of light.
I'm just really not sure. I mean yes, I guess they could have boarded the windows up after this incident, but it was just way different than what I had pictured (which was more like an outhouse shack type of thing, dark and dingy, small and a little more accessible from the outside.) But whatever. You don't have to worry about it now.
There are 2 openings to come in the the restrooms and then the restrooms are on either side. I must have gotten turned around when I came out because I then managed to get myself lost. I was just busy taking pictures along the way and didn't actually notice that I was never coming to our spot until I came across the boat dock area. LOL Silly me.
I managed to make it back to the hubby and it was time to revert back to drinking some soda. I think the few icky blue whateveryoucallit sour drinks did me in.
I looked over to find Sakari and she was no where in sight. The panic in me set in. "Where is my child?" "Why are you not watching her???" Jorge was close by and said "Don't worry, the nanny took her to get some food" LOL My child just ate, but hey, if she wants to eat again...she's on vacation and I don't have to pay for it. (Just in case you are wondering...our table, directly behind our table: maybe 2 feet, then the lunch are beside it...they are all together. Nanny didn't run off with my child and she could be seen from where we are at. Of course I go into complete panic mode and never give the hubby a chance to speak).
The nanny set up a picnic table for her to eat at. I think she was enjoying this "service" of her own.
I walked over to get her picture. I wanted it as a keepsake and to see what a....fine job she did? yikes Like I said, painting is NOT her thing.
Before long, we decided to pack up our things and take a walk. We would walk toward the boat dock in order to leave, but had plenty of time for exploring along the way.
I wanted to go check out this lagoon they were talking about. They said it was really pretty...just don't go in unless you wanted to be lunch to the creatures over there.
I didn't think there was much to see. They had some guys working on some speed boats over there, but it was far from being pretty to me.
This is where you will find the sign for Isla Pasion. I really pictured this to be different too. You always see everyone taking their picture with this and I just expected it to be out front somewhere on the other side when you enter the island. It was just in an odd place. It had fake grass in front of it and didn't look as nice in person and what you see in the pictures. LOL
Sakari practicing her photography skills (hilarious at first because we posed forever and she just kept saying "It's not working"...only later to find out she was recording.)
They had what looked like a church over there
The workers were building something here.
I thought it was so beautiful over here. There was just something about the unspoiled nature of the area. There wasn't any chairs, palapas, tables or anything over here. Just the few buildings.
Honestly, I would have been 110% happy with coming to a beach that looked just like this with nothing on it. It makes for a beautiful beach and surroundings and I could just hang out all day right in that spot on the beach under the palm tree with nothing to sit on but my towel.
It was obvious that they must do weddings there.
Our boat was waiting at the dock for everyone and we decided we would just sit here in the beautiful sand, on the beach, under the palms, all alone, until it was time to leave.
When it was time for everyone to go, I noticed that everyone was meeting back in the same area (right past the statues) and they were all talking...for quite some time. I was enjoying the peace and quiet and the last thing I wanted to do was get up and walk all the way over there to hear another speech. Nope, I would stay right where I was and forgo that part. Hopefully they weren't taking roll call.
We took a few last pictures before leaving this beautiful area.
Then you could see the crowd start to move in our direction. We decided it was time to beat the crowd and head straight for the boat.
They did give us then when we first arrived. However, like I said, we didn't even go to the shops. Anyone know what they give you for "free"?
We were back on the boat (meeting time was 1pm) and we were to pull away at 1:15pm.
Since we had waited in that area, we were second to get on the boat and I immediately told the hubby I wanted upstairs so that I could take pictures on the way back. He gave me "that look" and I assured him it would be fine since once we started moving, we would have air to cool us down.
Mom and child selfie
We pulled out right on time and stirred up the water even more. Take that you fire coral.
A few last pictures of the island as we were pulling away.
Daddy was happy to have some air coming his way at this point.
Those two are at it again...
The angry water from the day was still beautiful
This was fun to watch but I didn't realize I still had my camera on tilt shift, so it made the picture blurry in the areas I wish it wouldn't have. That'll teach me.
When we got closer to the port, everyone noticed that the Epic had pulled in right beside the Sun and they all jumped up for pictures. Of course everyone from down stairs started coming up to our territory for the same reason. I'm pretty sure the boat got top heavy at that point. LOL
Would you look at the difference in size??
It almost looks like the Sun got a new hat and shades.
And a few added "layers" on top.
But you don't really realize just how much bigger the Epic is until you come around back and see this...
We headed down the pier to the ship. Of course we were VERY early back (as you always are when you are on a sponsored ship xcursion).
They had a sign up for everyone welcoming you back...however, there would be no party since we weren't actually leaving port until 5pm and all aboard wasn't until 4:30pm. Sigh** I always love the welcome back party, but it is what it is. (You could tell the sign was for Epic, but a girl can dream right).
Guys riding their bikes for a tip
I was kind of surprised at just how many people were on the pier coming back at such an early time. But then again...remember the "type" of cruise we were on with a "much older" crowd on board.
My final thoughts of visiting Passion Island:
It was a beautiful place.
The sand was powdery soft and the landscape was spectacular.
The food was good, even though it wasn't an authentic "Mexican" meal like I like. I did get hooked on their salsa and chips...once again, I don't like tomatoes but could eat this salsa all day. I actually told the hubby when we were there that if I had this salsa every day it still wouldn't be too much for me. :p
There were plenty of seats...there just might not be the seats you want if you are not the first to arrive (the beds if you want to relax). But you definitely had your choice of tables to pick from and plenty of the S chairs out by the water.
The childrens play area and the nanny were a nice extra added touch, which in our case...was really appreciated that day. Otherwise, I'm really not sure what Sakari would have done for the rest of the day. She's like me and always has to be doing something and can't just sit still.
It's a fairly short ride over to the island.
All you can eat and drink included in the price!!! What more can I say? I love these type of excursions.
A wonderful staff and very helpful (especially when Sakari was hurt they went out of their way to help her and comfort her).
Always making sure that you had plenty to drink and filling you up before you were even done with the last. The service was EXCELLENT and VERY FAST!!!
The bathrooms were nice and loved the way they were decorated. They had someone cleaning them and restocking them constantly.
There just isn't enough time spent here. It's such a short day...especially for the price. I can never understand why they make you go back so early on any of the ship sponsored excursions.
The water being turned up and sea weed all over down by the water. (Of course no fault of Passion Island or the excursion itself). It just happened to be the day we were there maybe?
Getting stung by the fire coral. Again, could happen anywhere and probably due to the water conditions.
Only having 1 set of restrooms located a bit of a walk depending on where you decided to sit at.
Having everyone walk so far from the boat dock when the area around there was so beautiful.
The very rude and pushy photographers at the beginning of the island.
The lagoon area was just ugly and of course couldn't be used.
The whole "speech" at the beginning. I mean come on, there's really no need to tie up our very limited time on the island by a long drawn out speech. Welcome us, point in the direction of the restrooms, tell us what time to be back on the boat. End of convo. It's not that hard!
So would I go here again? Nope, I sure wouldn't (but I knew this coming here). I just wanted to experience the place and put a ✔ next to my list of things done in Cozumel. Of course I also wanted to tell everyone that I had been to the Corona commercial island too. :D It was beautiful, but just not my "paradise" that I'm searching for. Chankanaab still remains my favorite place out of every place that I have been to in Cozumel so far (Chankanaab, Playa Mia, Mr Sanchos, Nachi Cocom, and now Passion Island).
A "Did you know" fact about Passion Island. We were also informed that Passion Island is in fact NOT a part of Cozumel or considered Cozumel. So I can say that we went to Cozumel AND another place while here...does this mean we visited 5 places on this cruise? :D
We returned to the ship and I know that a lot of people on here talk about how nice the ship is on port days when everyone is off of it. You have the whole place to yourself. Well, I figured we were pretty much going to get to experience this today since it was so early.
We headed to the room to drop our bags off and found the VIP treats.
Of course they want you to purchase a FCC. We decided not to get one this cruise and would pick up and few on our next cruise the following week instead.
We decided to not even get dressed and spend the rest of this time by the pools.
We headed to the main pool for awhile. For some reason, I completely forgot to take pictures while here and this was the only picture I got.
The water was very cold when we got in and I didn't stay long. Therefore, Sakari was forced to put her puddle jumper on and I was forced to hear the whinning about what a "big girl" she is and didn't need it. Nope, this momma is not about to go back in the freezing cold water to save you if needed. You will wear it.
We decided shortly to head over to the kiddie area. That would give Sakari a chance to take her floaties off and we would relax for awhile.
But once we got there, we decided just spending time in the hot tub sounded a little more relaxing.
Daddy didn't want to be left out of the fun and decided to join us.
Now the ship is a little old and it's not perfect, but we really didn't see very much that needed repaired. This would probably be the most we seen the entire cruise.
I <3 my family...
I can say that when we were in the hot tub...you know, the "kiddie" hot tub, there was a lady that came up and stood there. Then she sat by the pool. She was there for awhile and then finally left. I'm almost 100% sure she was one of those "adults" that figured they would come here to use the hot tub to get away from the crowd. We would have been more than happy to share with her...but I guess that's not what she wanted and after awhile, she walked away with this "look" on her face.
Then later, a couple did the same thing. It's almost funny to watch the expressions on their faces. It's almost like they look at us as if we are doing something wrong and why does a child have to be in the hot tub? Well, if you haven't noticed, this area is for KIDS. It's a kids hot tub and just because you know that it's not used much and can be a private little getaway most days, sorry about your luck. You don't like the adult hot tubs to have children in them so why do you have that same look on your face about the kids hot tub? :confused: :rolleyes:
We decided to get out after awhile and knew that it was getting closer to the time people had to be back on the ship. I wanted to get a few pictures of the port from the ship before pulling out.
Of course I had to do some tilt shift pictures because I'm just so hooked on them and they make the pictures interesting sometimes...if they turn out focused on the right thing.
They were playing music and welcoming everyone back. Sakari was having her own party and dancing on the deck by herself with not a care in the world.
All she could do was point at the Epic and say she wanted to go on that ship and THOSE slides mommy.
When I told her that daddy and I had been on that ship, she wanted to know why she didn't remember it. I told her we went without her and the look that I got was priceless. She just can't understand there was a time before "Sakari". LOL
As you can see, there was never very many people on the front of the ship.
The clouds were beautiful that day.
It was almost time to leave and WHAT'S THIS??? There are 4 people missing!!! How can this be?
They were making announcements for the missing people and Sakari goes "Are they saying my name?" She was completely convinced they were calling her name over the loud speaker and she said she heard them say Shakira. She is now convinced that Shakira is part of her name. For some reason one of the counselors in the kids club could not say her name so they just called her Shakira. She got use to it all week. When we would pick her up, they would call "Shakira Sakari, your mommy is here to pick you up." LOL
But it didn't last for long. (BTW this is by far my favorite thing to do at sailaway from the ports...I try to get Sakari every time only this time she knew what was coming LOL...but daddy didn't).
As you can see at the end of the video, we pulled away from the Epic, everyone waving and then it was exposed....the SUN!!! It was the absolutely brightest and most beautiful sun I think I have ever seen.
I also love when the ships blow their horns at each other and go back and forth. I really feel like I'm on a cruise when they do this. hehe (Did you see and hear the crew worker stacking the chairs laughing at Sakari when the horn went off? He got a kick out of it).
The minute we had the Epic out of the way, you could hear everyone on the ship say "Awwwwww" and what a shocker it was to see the sun in that way. It was like a big revealing. No seriously, you had to be there in person to know what I'm talking about. Seriously! The absolute BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST colorful sun ever!!!
It was so bright that it made so many spots in my camera from the glare. Unbelievable.
Good bye Epic. I love you!
The captain came on and announced that we would have smoothe sailings back to the port of Tampa. It was 5:10 when we pulled out and I'm not sure if they ever found the 4 missing people.
We headed back down to the room to shower and get ready for the night.
Sakari wanted to head to the kids club, but I figured we had better eat something first. We ended up at the Garden cafe on the back and they had some wonderful and "interesting" sandwiches that night.
After taking Shakira, I mean Sakari to the kids club, they finally decided it was time for a new one of these....after hanging off of her wrist for days...I guess so.
We signed her up for the after hours sitting services since we knew that the white hot party was tonight. The staff said she was the first child that was signed up "so far". I told them I would sign her up and we were off to the casino for awhile and then we would come back and check on her. At that time we would probably take her for a snack and then bring her back for the after hours sitting. They said that was fine and they would see us later.
Off to the Casino we went and I managed to play the machine that had been treating me well all week. $10 went in it and I played for a straight 2 hours only having to get up long enough for the hubby to sit and guard my machine while I went to the restroom. No joke...my "arse" was falling asleep but I was too scared to get up for fear of missing out on a big win.
All in all, I did ok and had a lot of fun.
We headed back to the kids club to check on Sakari and she said she wanted to stay longer. At that point there were 3 kids signed up for the after hours sitting. Woo hoo...not. I guess I couldn't expect too much since this wasn't a cruise with a bunch of kids or younger families.
We headed up to the pool deck and seen they were setting up things for the White Hot party.
There was already people up there and finding "a spot". Some of the furries were up there too hanging out and walking around.
Fondy was just so cute with the little balloon with a drawing on it of what I assume was supposed to be Fondy.
Now I believe that the white hot party was to start at 10:30 or 10:45pm, but there were a lot of people starting to gather at 9pm already, which is weird and I have never experienced everyone arriving so early. The seats were starting to fill up quickly and by 9:45pm they were already playing the music loud and people were dancing. YIKES!
Ok, so what to do??? Both the hubby and I looked at each other and said "you know Sakari would want to be here...it should be alright to just bring her. She would have more fun here than at some kids club with only 2 other kids in there!"
I agreed to go down and get her and get her ready for the party...gosh, did I bring anything white for her??? I'd have to find something....and I did.
When I picked her up from the kids club, they said "bye Shakira, we'll see you tomorrow" and acted as if they were happy they weren't going to have the sitting services open. Maybe the other families cancelled too? I'm not sure. I never once mentioned that we weren't coming back. If you remember correctly, I had said we would be picking her up to eat and bringing her back for the sitting services while we went to the White Hot party. I guess they didn't want to bring it up and hoped that they wouldn't have to stay. No problem I guess.
So I got her ready, did her hair and she wanted to model for me.
"Take my picture mommy"
So on to the white hot party. Daddy was saving us a seat when we got there and the party was going full force. Sakari was excited and we headed out to the dance floor to join in.
Immediately she found her furry friends and was having a great time.
This is Aiden Shywolf and Sakari made her rounds dancing with each of them.
I think they must have some type of "paw" signal. They always put their paws out and Sakari would put her hands up to the paws and dance. It was cute.
Then she found RC Fox, which is one that danced with her for awhile the other night and she loved him. He was quite a character and was so funny to watch.
In this video you could just tell she was so fascinated by RC Fox...her mouth hanging open in a huge smile.
Sakari dancing with Wiesel
So back to Fondy...and the balloon. Fondy was nice enough to let Sakari hold the balloon and she obviously thought it would be like any other balloon, you throw it up in the air and it floats back down for you to hit it. What she didn't know was when you are on a ship, there's a lot of wind up there in the air...Oops!!! She threw it up and away it flew. YIKES! Oh my gosh!! I felt so bad.
Me and another guy went chasing the balloon that went over toward the back of the pool and he was able to retrieve it...thank goodness!
Moments before the incident:
I almost envisioned it coming at this point...
So now it was time to actually get the party started and the Sun dancers came out on the deck. Sakari spotted her favorite and waved the entire time.
Then everyone joined in on the fun.
They were handing out lights to everyone in the audience. I don't know how, but Sakari ended up with 4 of them. She was glowing all night.
They had a few ice sculptures over in an area roped off. They were selling wine over there.
Upstairs dancing on their own are RC Fox, Nightclaw and the Boat (Bunny/Goat) get it? haha
Sakari dancing with Wiesel again. Paw to paw. lol
The furries headed up on the stage to dance.
Boat, Nightclaw and Archai dancing with one of the ladies that was always at every function and getting the party going. I'm not sure who she was. You would have thought she was the cruise director because we seen more of her than the cruise director himself. She is also the lady that caught me yawning at a show and told me there's time to sleep when I'm dead. LOL
Sakari with Wiesel and Gearpaw and then a new furrie we hadn't seen until tonight: Scooby
Everyone headed up on the stage to dance. Sakari was too shy at first and then a lady that was getting a little wild and crazy came over and grabbed her hand, helped her up the steps and started dancing with her. Archai dancing behind her.
Crazy lady with Sakari dancing...lol You could tell she was having the best time ever.
Sakari with Gearpaw, Aiden Shywolf, Fondy, Scooby (can you see that Scobbys eyes light up?), and Boat.
Tek Otter made it in the picture to the left.
I think Fondy forgave her for the balloon incident.
More dancing fun
Sakari decided to come down and dance with daddy for awhile. Then when things died down a little bit (you can always tell when the party dies down...the kids hit the stage), Sakari was up on the stage dancing with the kids:
When we were almost ready to leave, the furries were on the stage and taking pictures with everyone. This is only a few of them. The others were wondering around the deck or up a floor still dancing.
From left to righ on the bottom: Scooby, Tek Otter, Gearpaw, Boat, Aiden Shywolf, Keet Collie, Wiesel.
On the top from left to right: RC Fox, Fondy and Archai.
The ship photographer took pictures that night as well and we were able to locate some of them at the photo gallery the following day.
So that was pretty much the end of the White Hot party. It was a great party and just like I like it...plenty of people, plenty of dancing, great weather and good times.
So on to about the furries, since everyone is asking about them.
I had no clue what they were until this cruise. Since then I have done extensive research to find out about this phenomenon and culture of critters.
There are several sites out there that you can read up on them. They have been around for several years, since 1980 and it's just another social group of people that like to express their feelings and visual arts and create these characters, usually being a character that represents their "inner-self". Some people are shy in real life and become the person they want to be when they are in suit. Kind of like that techie guy you may know at work that is shy and doesn't talk to others because of fear that has a whole other life outside of work...they put on the suit and they come to life being the goofy fun person they always wanted to be. Of course this is not all of the furries. They love to express themselves with their furs, love the arts, animals, comics and so on. Well, you can read up on it if you like.
They participate in parades, go to conventions, do fund-raising charity events and so on. I even read where they do childrens events for hospitals and such. It seems as though the community had a bad perception of them early on, but now the community have become more inviting and of course curious about this population. (I guess I've been hiding under a rock and hadn't really noticed, but now after reading about it, I do remember it being on a tv show I watch-Greys anatomy).
The furries have been doing cruise get togethers since 2005, with the last 2 cruises being on NCL and RCL prior to that I believe.
They do have strict guidelines for the furries to cruise and I do know that after finding out what they were, I was talking to a crew member about them and they told me that they go threw extensive screening and regulations. They have to get added permission from the cruise line itself as well and several other things.
From the furries cruise website:
The Furry Cruise by nature is a public furry / fursuiting event held onboard one of many cruise ships each year since 2005. Unlike any other con we are only a small number of people on a very large moving hotel and in so much we represent the furry community as a whole and should place our best foot forward.
General behavior and rules are first and foremost dictated by the ship's code of conduct; please review this information on the appropriate cruise line's web page. Above and beyond that though we ask that any attendee whether it be in costume or not should maintain a proper respectful attitude to all members of not only the group but other guests onboard the ship. We also request common sense be used in both talking about the event and the furry / fursuiting community in general. If you are in doubt please refer questions to the Furry Cruise Coordinator.
Unfortunately we CAN NOT allow any copyrighted characters for suits onboard the ship, for legal reasons.
We request that once on board the first day of the cruise, please allow time for the Furry Cruise Coordinator to approach the ship staff and secure proper permission and give the group an 'all clear' before any suiting activities begin. We request and very much recommend that you not fursuit without there being at least two of our group present and preferably one person who is not in a suit (handler). Traversing the ship and operating doors, buttons, elevators and other obstacles can prove to be more difficult than normal on a cruise ship due to limited space and close quarters. In addition, we have always attracted a lot of attention and the small walkways can easily become extremely crowded.
Dealing with the public on board requires a level of tact and patience; unlike other events, suiters are not to approach people unless invited to do so by those people. We are not to solicit or demand attention but rather welcome it only when given freely. The Furry Cruise is a G-rated event and all activities, actions and appearances should remain as such. Please be mindful, in everything you do, that a large portion of the ship's two to three thousand other guests are families including every age imaginable. We have put smiles on the faces of everyone from children to the elderly and we want to continue doing so. Use common sense and, when in doubt, ask the Furry Cruise Coordinator.
Fursuiting is to be onboard only due to uncertainty regarding local laws and customs; it is neither in NCL's or the Furry Cruise Coordinator ability, nor responsibility to confirm or deny whether fursuiting at any port of call is permissible or legal.
Please ensure that your fursuit is fresh and clean, observe general etiquette for public fursuit performance, etc. Most of all, relax and enjoy the cruise.
This cruise I believe there were around 16 furries on the cruise, but 18 fur suits total (some have 2). The fur suits can run thousands of dollars to have made.
I myself thought that them being on the cruise was interesting and everyone loved them. At one point I stopped a group of them walking by and told them how much fun they made the cruise and I would much rather see them on every cruise than Sponge Bob.
I get the feeling that people on here are a little concerned about them by a few of the responses. Furries are male and female. Some are married, some gay/lesbians/bi, straight...you know, just like the rest of the world. One of the furries that interacted with Sakari a lot was marriage and his wife was with him on the cruise.
Their code of conduct doesn't allow interaction unless they are approached or they know it's ok. I completely watched this take place every time we were around them. They never once approached anyone and only interacted if they were approached first or instructed to do so. They were very gentle, in a nice and shy kind of way. Sometimes I felt sorry for them because people flock to them and in reality, they are just there trying to enjoy their vacation as well. They treated us and Sakari with the utmost respect and never stepped out of line.
Think about this...do you have concern when Sponge Bob and Dora come out? Do you have concern when either of the characters hug your child for a picture? Did you never allow you child to sit on Santa's lap at the mall for a picture or the Easter Bunny? Have they never been to Walt Disney and hugged the characters? Have you never dressed up at Halloween as a character with a mask? Don't you become a different person and play the part? There are many more instances I could name. If you can say that this has never happened, then I'm sorry, you must live in a bubble. This is no different. I am there with my child the entire time. I had no reason for concern. If I'm missing something...please let me know.
I can remember when I first started at the hospital and we had a Halloween party. I dressed up as a mummy...wrapped from head to toe. I played the part. I didn't talk to anyone and it took all morning for them to figure out who I was. I starred at my co-workers, I tilted my head, they laughed, the patients laughed and I put a smile on their face. I won for the best costume that year. It was a lot of fun. Maybe I'm a furry at heart? :p
I am a very open person. I think that's why I love cruising so much. I get to experience different cultures and people. I don't judge unless you give me a reason to...meaning you crossed me in some way that was not right. I realize not everyone is the same or equal...that applies even to your neighbor. I hear people say things on here about how they won't get off the ship because of....some type of information regarding the people that live in that country and what they might do or how they act or whatever. Well it's your prerogative whether or not you want to experience different cultures, but do you realize that those "other" cultures are right beside you on the ship? Do you realize how many different cultures are sailing with you? I go with an open mind. I live life. I chose to make it a happy one and live it to the fullest while not stereotyping and judging others. I try to see the best in everyone. That's just me.
Lastly, I would absolutely LOVE to sail with the furries again!
A few pictures taken of them by people that was with them. These are not my pictures. This shows others that I did not get pictures of. They looked like they were having the time of their lives...just like I was.
After the White Hot party around 11pm, we headed to the garden cafe for food. One thing that I noticed about this cruise...there was NEVER any pizza anywhere! What the heck??? Well tonight would be different. They had pizza at the buffet and people were grabbing it like there was never going to be pizza again...and they were right.
I managed to get 2 slices after waiting forever on it.
But hey, at least I got my pizza fix for the cruise I guess.
We ran into Sakari's favorite Sun dancer and we talked for a little bit. She told Sakari and me "She is the prettiest little girl on this ship!" I told her about Sakari seeing her at the first show and sitting up in the balcony waving and she was so flattered and extremely nice. She said it was past her bed time and she had to be up early in the morning and we headed to the room ourselves.
We got on the elevator and there was another couple in it. My hubby looked at the guy and the guy looked at him and my hubby goes "There IS really another young buck on this cruise! I thought I was the only one!" They both laughed and the other "young buck" agreed. LOL
It was around midnight when we arrived back to the room and found something monkeying around in our room.
We also found that dreaded time change. Sigh. That meant we were going to lose a whole hour tonight. Yucky!
Sakari took her shower and headed to the bed with her pen and pad.
There was a horse furrie that she seen today...his name was cloudchaser pony. I think she might have been trying to draw him.
Then she came up with this...I'm really not sure what it is supposed to be, but in the mind of a child, I'm thinking it's the "bad guy" that bit her leg at Passion Island today.
We headed off to bed and I had high hopes that I would NOT wake up before the alarm went off the next night...we would see.