Thanks for the warm welcome home! I really want to do the Freedom but unfortunately the timing didn't work and we had too many conflicts on the dates, which is why we chose the Triumph and I had to cancel it, but I can't remember how to kill the countdown clock and to be honest I really haven't put too much effort into figuring out lol! You could be right about slacking on maintenance due to impending dry dock. I know we will get to cruise together someday, I do regret that I won't be able to next month though. I know that you all will have fun without me though (does anyone have a tissue?)
AKtoFL, yes there was mini golf and even virtual golf. I used to be on a virtual golf team and it is actually a lot of fun. Try it out, if you like golf at all, you'll love it! Formal nights were the first sea day and the night you leave Grand Turk. I don't think the pools were open when we left the ship Yesterday. However, I think the pools were opened as soon as we boarded the ship. I forgot to mention that in Miami they have done a great job streamlining the embarcation process we left our hotel at 10:30 a.m. and we were on board by 11:00 a.m. It was very organized and I was amazed. I highly recommend that you arrive at the port early.
My kids ate in the dining rooms the first night and both formal nights. They love dressing up in their tux and gown. The other nights they joined Camp Carnival for dinner. They have really expanded their services. They offer breakfast at least one morning and lunch on some days. Not sure how old your kids are, but the dining room no longer offers the plastic cups with lids for the children to drink out of, so if your kids occasionally knock glasses over or spill their drinks and you don't want to sit on pins and needles waiting to be showered by apple juice at dinner. Bring those cheap plastic disposable sippy cups with you. There's like 6 in a pack and they can be washed out and re-used and finally pitched at the end of the cruise. Let me know if I can help with anything.