Thursday, June 2, 2016

Day 7: Our Final "Fun Day at Sea" on the Carnival Breeze

It never fails to amaze me how a 7 day cruise goes by so much faster than 5 days at work. I tell people all the time that a bad day cruising (if there is such a thing) is still better than a good day at work. I love my job, I really do. It’s interesting, it’s challenging, it’s rewarding and yet it’s still…….work. But enough about that. We still have one more  sea day to squeeze in as much fun as we can. We have drinks to drink, food to eat and slides to slide!



As usual, we got up around 8 to the alarm. I was ready to get up and enjoy our last day at sea. The four of us headed up to Lido about 9 and we hit the Blue Iguana for some breakfast burritos. As a native Texan, I have to say I’m impressed at the quality of breakfast tacos and burritos offered by the Blue Iguana. Their salsa bar has some tasty, and most importantly, spicy salsas. It takes a LOT for me to call something spicy and a few of these actually make the grade.

My breakfast today



Let’s see, who’s been paying attention to my blogs? What do you think happens next? Come on, you can do it. That’s right! We went back to our cabin to change into swimwear. Now I know some of you are wondering why we don’t just put on our swimwear and go up to Lido like that. That’s a perfectly reasonable question and my best answer is….you’re not gonna believe it……we just don’t. I think part of that is because Cindy would rather wear something other than her “coverup” when actually eating in the Lido area.

We staked out a good spot in the shade and we were ready to hit the slides. I wanted to ride both of them and take some video with my GoPro. Due to high winds, the slides and ropes course were closed on our first two sea days. By the time we reached Mo Bay, though, and for the rest of the cruise, the slides were open.



Handy tip: Make sure you wear either water shoes or secure sandals (like Tevas) if you plan on riding the slides. The deck and stairs get hot! I made the mistake of trying to go up some stairs barefoot and had to turn around halfway. I thought my feet were going to blister before I got to the bottom. Yep, I immediately put my Tevas back on and kept them on. I only took them off when I got into the pool.



All four of us rode the slides, and Keith and I rode each of them more than once. I shot some cool video on both slides, both with the GoPro facing forward and with it facing me. I’ll eventually edit these into a brilliant, seamless video worthy of Steven Spielberg and upload it to YouTube……eventually. We had plenty of fun on the slides and just as much fun standing under the “Power Drencher.” This giant bucket is constantly being filled and when it reaches a certain point it’ll tip over and soak everyone nearby.



On the last sea day, Carnival has their “Chocolate Extravaganza” in the Lido buffet starting at noon. You can find just about any kind of chocolate cake, pastry or cookie, as well as a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit. As much as I like chocolate, my favorite treat from this extravaganza is a bowl of candied walnuts and almonds. I’ll fill a small bowl of these and munch on them with some ice cream.

All those stairs up to the two slides starting wearing me out after climbing them multiple times. I think soaking in the pool would do nicely, so in we went. It must’ve been the combination of a warm sunny day and many people in the pool, because it was bathwater warm. It wasn’t “hot tub” level, but it would take much to get it there. Even with that, though, it was still refreshing. We hung out in the pool a little longer before heading back to the cabin.

We have a full evening, so we need to pack for disembarkation tomorrow. Any luggage we don’t want to carry (which means everything but our carryon) needs to be outside our cabin by 11 pm.  We’ve done this enough that it didn’t take too long, and once that chore was out of the way we continued with our fun. We’ll leave our packed luggage in the cabin until just before 11, then set it outside.

When we are diving, we are very careful about how much we drink. We were done diving, at least for the cruise, so Cindy and I got cleaned up and went to the RedFrog Pub (RFP) for some final day libations and a helping of their Caribbean chicken wings. These are really yummy and I make it a point to order them at least once per cruise. They’re not really jerk wings, but definitely have a spicy sweet flavor that makes me think “Caribbean” when I eat them.



We enjoyed the RFP, eating wings and drinking a “Painkiller” or two until it was time for the “VIFP Diamond and Platinum Reunion.” Until last year, the Gold members were always invited. We’ve been cruising with Carnival since 2007, and Gold members since 2009 and always enjoyed this party until last year. Carnival claimed that having so many Gold members made this party a “service challenge” so they changed the way the party was conducted and eliminated the Gold members. I realize Carnival can do what they want and we can basically “take it or leave it.” That’s fine, I guess, but I still found it insulting. Granted our last cruise in 2015 was the only one where this directly affected Cindy and me, but I still think Gold members should be allowed to the party. Carnival, as much as I enjoy your product, I think you are dead wrong here. That’s my humble opinion, but I stand by it.

This party was pretty much like what we used to attend, except there were less people there, obviously. One really cool thing, though, was we ran into another member of our dive club! We both looked at each other, and almost at the same time said “I didn’t know you were on this cruise!” It was cool seeing Mark there, and we visited briefly as the party ended. The Breeze is a big ship, and unless you know someone is on the ship and actively look for them, you’d never know it otherwise.

We still had a little time before dinner, so Cindy and I sat down in the Breeze Atrium to listen to 2Country4Nashville some more. I mentioned them in my “Grand Cayman” blog, but they absolutely deserve another shout out here. I appreciate how they take requests, and I asked them to do the Wabash Cannonball. They did a fantastic job with it, and LeAnne even had a train whistle to accompany Jo-el’s vocals.  I really hope they get a long term gig with Carnival, or barring that, I hope they make it down to our area. Cindy and I would happily pay to hear them sing again. Keith and Barbara found us, and we all enjoyed listening to them until we had to go to dinner. Our reservations at the steakhouse were for 7:30 and it was just a short walk to get there.


Like Cucina del Capitano, the steakhouse carries an additional fee. Carnival charges $35 per person extra, but it is very much worth it. Also like Cucina, if you decide to eat there, the most important tip I can give is be hungry! Portions are big and you will be stuffed by the time you leave.

First course: Baked onion soup

Second course: Caesar salad


Main course: Cowboy rib chop


Dessert: Hazelnut cheesecake


What a way to wrap up another fantastic cruise! The food, as usual, was divine, and the relaxed pace of dinner allowed us to truly enjoy the moment. By the time we were finished, we had enough time to go to the cabin and place our luggage outside. We could still make the last comedy show if we went directly to the comedy club without stopping anywhere, including the RFP (awwwww!). So, striding purposefully, we made it in plenty of time to get a good seat. We watched Mark Simmons and enjoyed his act. I hope we get to see him on another Carnival ship soon!

Our cruise is over tomorrow, and we need to be up by 7, so it’s definitely time to call it a day. It’s been a blast and I could easily do another 7 days on the ship, or 14, or 21, I’m not picky.

Coming up next, my final thoughts on this wonderful cruise.