Today I got up by myself at 8:15 and went to the Lido deck buffet and got an omelette. As mentioned before, today was MUCH better with lines although I noticed on the way up that Southern Lights had tons of people waiting. Not sure if people got turned off from the buffet the previous morning that they all decided to go to the MDR or what.
I didn’t bother putting any towels down right away but in hindsight, I don’t think it would have mattered. This was the worst case of chair hogging I had seen so far on any cruise. It was bad. Every even half-way decent chair had a towel on it and I would bet 75% of them did not have anyone sitting on them. I actually didn’t have a towel with me so I went down to the room to grab some. The adults were up and we went back up together and while Chris, Linda, and Heather went to walk on the track I tried to find a spot to sit. Even the adult only area was full. The aft was all full. The only thing I could find was to rig up some chairs on the port side where the sun was in the morning, BUT there was a wall in place of a railing so you couldn’t actually see the sea. That sucked but it was the only place in the sun at the time. I couldn’t figure out why they put a wall for short span on that deck but then figured it out later, it’s where the Carnival Magic signage is on the ship for all to see. Not a good place to put signage, at least not for your customers looking for a spot to sit.
The remaining adults finished walking, Heather managed to trip and fall on the ever so slightest bump on the track, which if you know her, is just something she manages to do from time to time while on vacation. Heather went to check in on Sophie down in the room and Chris and I manned the chairs. We actually decided it would be better to at least turn our chairs around so we could people watch. It became quite entertaining actually as this young, pretty lady who looked to be from Taiwan laid down by us. So we watched the guys walking by and whether their eyes would fix on the lady as they walked by. Lets just say it became quite funny after while watching people go by and sort of rubber necking their way past.
We also watched crew members perform maintenance on the ship. As I stated before, the Magic is quite rusty and what we first assumed would be paint that they were rolling on the ship walls, must have been in fact some sort of solution to slow down the rusting? Not really sure. Other ships at least paint to cover up the rusting so that you can’t see the problem. Carnival doesn’t seem to do that, at least not with the Magic. Plus once rusting starts, you can’t really stop it other than removing the metal and replacing it so not sure what this stuff was that they were rolling on. It looked pointless to me, I would rather they paint over it.
Eventually the young lady laying by us moved as the sun would move behind the ship so our entertainment was over so we decided to go grab lunch. We weren’t gone more than 30 minutes and we came back to our towels and chairs were moved. REALLY??? This whole dang ship had towels laying over every lounger and OURS gets moved???? I don’t get frustrated often while on vacation but the chair thing really bugged me this time.
So we would eventually find some chairs aft of the ship and had a couple drinks.
I think one was Heather’s….but I probably drank them both….
We never got our tickets for our excursion that we are doing the next day but the Augers did have theirs the first day already. I went to check in on this at the service desk and they gave us an extra set of tickets (normally it would be the Excursion desk but they were closed at the time). When doing that, Linda noticed that our times on the tickets were different so Linda and Heather later went to check on the problem, turns out we were in two different times for the excursion and the one we were in (the one we were all supposed to be in) was now full. Thankfully they added an extra excursion at 11pm because all the others were full so they put us all in that. While in line, the ladies overheard a couple of the entertainers talking behind them and one of them said, “Patrick can be such a jerk”. Well that really got them thinking about the night before and how uncomfortable things looked on stage so they really wanted to go to the show tonight.
The 3s decided to go to the Build A Bear workshop at this time. They had some cookies and refreshments and waited for their number to be called to come up, pick a bear of their choice, then someone would stuff it, there was a heart the girls would wish on and they would place the heart in the bear and sow it up, then the girls would pick out the clothing.
Notice the 3s were already ready for dinner for the night but the moms were not. So they contacted me to come up after I finished getting ready so they could get ready for dinner. I came up and it was hot in there but still, we waited. There were a lot of kids! Finally they called our numbers.
Putting the heart into the bear after they made a wish on it.
Then they stuff it.
Sophie putting her heart into the bear. Note they both picked the Captain Bear…the most expensive one!
Sowing up the bear We get done and had an early dinner of 5:30.
Cruise ships love to make money by taking pictures of you and then trying to sell those pictures. They didn’t do it excessively while we ate, I’d say Disney was actually the worse for taking photos while we were at dinner. I had try my hand at going around and taking pictures of everyone.
During this cruise we couldn’t believe all the stations set up to take photos…and there were lines of people at a lot of them. This would go on throughout the cruise and we couldn’t quite figure out people’s obsession with them. However, this was another one of our elegant nights so we wanted to take our own pictures and decided to take them circular stairs case in the lobby area.
We would check out some pictures we took from our first few days that Carnival took. Interestingly, Carnival would print most, if not all of them out so you could look at them. I wonder how many of them get stolen? Of course you really had to search for them so it was easier to find them using the touch screen but that didn’t always work the best either. Then of course, there would be the random people on our account who either didn’t want to give their real room number or forgot their own.
We did karaoke this night and everyone did quite well. Kaitlyn probably would have been awarded best singer when she did “It’s the Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Ella brought down the house along with Sophie and Kate with her rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. She did it like Ella would, weird and with emotion. People were laughing and she even got a few standing O’s in the end. Of course Chris was the crowd pleaser by doing “God Bless the USA”. One guy was pointing at him during the chorus and Chris would later find out the guy served in the army. Oh! And there were some interesting people who showed up all dressed the same in sequin blue and green….jump suits I guess you’d call them. We figured for sure they had a karaoke number that they had rehearsed and did everywhere they went. Before karaoke had even started, they looked like they were doing a Saturday Night Live skit as they were playing “Heads Up” with their phone. It was quite comical to watch. Surprisingly enough, they never did sing and even left early.
While some of this was going on, Heather and Linda really wanted to check out the show in the theater to see if the tension was still there on stage. This night, Britnee was sick so she did not perform but others stepped up an did quite well I guess. They said the tension wasn’t quite as evident tonight but you could sense a little uneasiness at times.
So tonight was New Years Eve. I had read on some forums that in the past, Carnival had a countdown celebration starting at 10pm in the lobby complete with a countdown and big balloon drop and giveaways. Then I read that everyone moves to the big party on the Lido deck and the champagne flows freely and I thought I remembered reading about fireworks. Well, after reading all that, our actually New Years Eve turned out to be a bit of a let down, at least for me after reading all that. They had some sing along going in the lobby and people were having fun but no big countdown, no balloon drop, no free drinks, no free stuff. Move to the lido deck and it was so full that, while I do know there was some champagne going around, you had to be at the right place to get any cause we never even got close to any. Nor were there fireworks at midnight.
At first when we got out to the Lido deck and the live band the High C’s and The Shredders were performing and they did an excellent job. In fact, we were out there for a while before Chris finally realized it was a live band and not someone spinning music. DJ-Cue then came out for the last 45 minutes before midnight and while I like him and his personality, I prefer to listen to live music but whatever. Also, they had been advertising trivia all day that would go on during the NYE party on Lido. Really, all this consisted of was about 10 or 15 questions they put up on the big screen and just replayed it over and over, so it really wasn’t challenging nor was it very engaging. By 11:30, everyone knew the answers to the questions cause they had replayed it 3 times by then.
One guy put his arm around me and said he knew me and I looked confused at him and said “I don’t think so”. Our group laughed because they thought he was going in for a smooch. I had to admit, I was a little concerned myself but was deeply confused because he had been hanging around with what I had assumed up to that point was his family, but I thought, hey…you just never know with some people. I find out later on in the cruise that he’s a meteorologist in Aberdeen. I didn’t actually know him but am familiar with the world of meteorology.
The crowd was getting so bad that Sophie was getting nervous and had to go to the bathroom…about 8 minutes before midnight! So we quickly made our way through the crowd, find the bathroom and squirm back and find our group just in time.
The ship horn gave a good long blast, everyone cheered and hugged, some people jumped into the pool to which security had to come and put the netting over the pool shortly after that, and then people slowly dispersed. Music kept playing but DJ-Cue was done for the night and you had the choice of either just sticking around and dancing or leaving. We stuck around for maybe a half hour and decided we needed to get our usual bedtime snack and get to bed. We had our excursion the next day, grant it that it was a little later in the morning but we still had to be functional for it.
Overall, the New Years Eve party was fun and there were tons of people. Maybe was a little underwhelming given what I was expecting but it was one the best places I’ve been at for a New Years Eve count down. With that said, unless some cruise line does some amazing stuff, I wouldn’t say I would have to be on a ship on New Years again.
Tomorrow: Amber Cove – Dominican Republic