Our Ship Has Docked

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North America » United States » Florida » Kissimmee
March 9th 2022
Published: March 10th 2022
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Our ship sailed…..we had a great cruise…..and it docked back at Port Canaveral February 26th. I see all of you who wanted to go with us, made it…even with such short notice. Good for you! I knew you could do it. Lulu was glad to have us back home. She’s a people-person …..you know that….so doesn’t really like being on her own. We were concerned she might turn our RV into a party rig in our absence but, alas….she behaved herself. Whew! That was a shocker! She does have a naughty side….you know that!

As you recall, we left Port Canaveral on February 19th. Sandy, Sam, Cory and I all drove together in our car. We boarded Carnival’s newest and biggest ship: the Mardi Gras. Our boarding experience went quickly and smoothly. Cory and I used an app called VeriFLY which enabled all our documents to be viewed immediately during the process. Our balcony rooms weren’t ready so we headed off to the buffet for the beginning of our unceasing food fest. Once stuffed, we went to our rooms….very nice. Then on to the muster stations. What a pleasant change this was. We reported to our assigned area & showed them our sail card. They asked us if we knew how to put on a life jacket….of course! Fine….you are done! And that was that! Wow! Easy Peasy…..no more standing in squeezed crowds “forever” waiting for their demonstration to begin. A real plus for Carnival Cruise Lines! We began our exploration of this big ship. We had been told we wouldn’t see it all in a week’s time…..Surprise! By the next afternoon, we had managed to traverse the whole ship and see it all. It is a beautiful ship. It had many various restaurants to chose from….several of which were complimentary. We liked the Italian one the best. Cory loved Guy Fieri’s hamburgers! I paid $15.00 for a lobster roll only to find out I actually got 2 lobster rolls and French Fries. A truly yummy deal. I didn’t count the bars but they were around every turn you took. Of course, there was the Main Dining Room. We had “Anytime Dining” which gave us flexibility. Carnival had its own internet hub app that we bought for $5.00. It allowed us to stay in contact with folks in our group, check our account, see what was happening each day, see
Mary Jane, Ray, Sam, Sandy Cory, Jim Mary Jane, Ray, Sam, Sandy Cory, Jim Mary Jane, Ray, Sam, Sandy Cory, Jim

Eating a small filet mignon on our first night
the daily menus of all restaurants and more. We used it to reserve our table in the MDR. We also used it to order our meal in the dining room…they did have paper menus but preferred us to use our app. It worked well until almost the last day….then the people contact part crashed ….they refunded our $5.00.

They did have the usual entertainment theater but the main shows were held in the middle of the ship called “The Center Stage”. It was an awesome place but if you wanted a seat for a show, you needed to go at least an hour or more early. We had a “meeting” place if we got lost. It was overlooking this Center Stage so during the day, we could watch their rehearsals for these shows. We knew what was going to happen in case we couldn’t see it at showtime.

Of course, they had a fancy casino. Because Cory had won BIG on the Princess Cruise Line, we used his casino bonus offer in booking this cruise. It also gave him the perk of free drinks while in the casino. Guess where he liked to go!! Drink, please!! Glug, Glug. He did not disappoint as usual…..he won a nice piece of chunk change….just not the $20K he won on the Princess ship. Me….I lost as usual. Ho Hum. What’s new? Thank God for Mr. Lucky! How many times have I said that?

We stopped at three ports. Cozumel was the first. My main goal here was to get drugs from their pharmacy…..No….not illegal drugs…..just antibiotics! I felt your alarm and concern….not to worry. We are clean. We are all set if we should fall sick…..pray we don’t have to use them.

Next port was Costa Maya. Here we watched the Dance of the Flyers Ceremony (Danza de los Voladores). That was fun to see. See my photos. The men climbed the high pole, wrapped ropes around it and themselves and then fell back and dangled and “danced” upside down from these ropes. We didn’t by the replica toy they sold. Each port had the typical tourist souvenir and jewelry shops. We went in them all. Only bought t-shirts.

The last port was Mahogany Bay (Roatan, Honduras). It was the smallest of the three. It had a moving ski-lift type ride that took you over the lush, green trees, to their beach and back to the shopping area. We took it as a round trip. That was a neat experience. Up, Up and Away!

With three full days at sea, we were able to see and do everything we wanted to. On the very top of the ship were all the main amusement rides, etc. They had a big roller coaster called The Bolt. No…..call us Chickens if you want…..we did not ride it. I doubt that you would, too. Sandy & Cory did try out the fancy “rocket” seat example that one would ride during this death defying escapade. There was also a Zip Line. No way, José. Didn’t try this either…..Cluck, Cluck, Cluck!

We ooooed and awwwwed over the Serenity area with all the comfy lounges offered. Folks were sprawled every which way on all sorts of couches, beds (yes…real beds!), cabanas, massage huts, etc. Cory was the only one to enjoy one of the hot tubs. Our Waterboy! The pools were nice but very busy….we passed them up. We went to a comedy club show, several game shows, nightclub show and information show. If you like Trivia….this was the cruise for you. There were so many Trivia contests everyday…..all day! We went to one….”Name the Song”…….we got 8 out 20 and that was with three of us working together. We needed our friend Jill for this task. She knows them all! We went to a Karaoke night because our friend, Grant, was singing. ???? He did fantastic. We didn’t know we had such a talent living next door to us in the park. We want to get his signed autograph now. We have his picture! See it… There were quite a few folks from our RV park that went on this cruise. We would see them here and there but they stayed in their own groups. We enjoyed being with our group of friends. We shared many laughs and good times together….. as it should be.

Debarkation went nicely. We had breakfast before we left. Going through customs was just a facial recognition screen. Easy Peasy. We did have to wear our masks throughout our cruise except while dining or drinking….even then you were to sip and cover. Most abided by the rules but there were some who felt they were the exception. Now the cruise line has ended the mask requirement so these folks are having an easier time of it….Luckeeeeee them. We had to be completely vaccinated plus have a negative Covid test 48 hours prior to boarding. What an alteration in lifestyle this pandemic has made! So glad to see it is on the downswing now. Hallelujah!

Hope you all had a fun time cruising along with us. I’ll really try to notify you sooner next time we take another adventure.

Once back on land, some of our morning coffee group decided to take another day trip. This time by train. We boarded the Sunrail train and traveled to Winter Park. Once at our destination, we ate our lunch at a restaurant called The Coop. It had a fun ambiance. We all then trotted along to the main shopping area of Winter Park. It was a really nice day and even better cause we experienced it with good friends.

Speaking of friends, we were surprised one day by a brief visit by one of our good friends…Jon Gibson. He and his lovely wife, Linda, used to stay here in the park. They haven’t been here of recent. It was so nice to see them both. Cory lent them our golf cart so they could get around faster to see all their other friends who miss them as much as we do.

“Trains- Ships- & - Auto’s”. That’s our version of the old movie with a similar title. Our “auto” will be a road trip….tomorrow. OMG! I’ve done it again…..another short notice that I’m giving you. What’s wrong with me? Sorry! I’m hanging my head in shame. Do the best you can….we are only going for a couple days so you should be able to get your stuff together without too much trouble. We are heading to Marco Island to stay with our daughter and son-in-law, Kim & Jim. They have been renting a condo down there. From the pictures she has posted…..it looks like a great place to visit. Seeing the two of them will be the best. Buckle up in the morning. See you then.

There are 57 clumps of photos to view. This is a “Show & Tell” blog. Let the pictures do the talking….well…..part of it anyway. I make up the rest of it with my chatter. There will be several pages of photos so remember to scroll WAY, WAY down and then go to the next pages. Enjoy!

Additional photos below
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16th March 2022

What a wonderful blog, pictures and memories. Thank you!

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