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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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May 6 – at sea – Freedom
Slightly more chop in the seas when we awoke this morning, with temperatures hanging in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Only the hearty souls were braving the outer decks, and with the wind across the deck it was a bit chilly to be sitting out.

There was a bingo for a seven day free cruise (in a Category 6 oceanview cabin) held this morning, followed by Todd’s Port Talk for our upcoming stops in Malaga, Spain and Livorno, Italy. Immediately after that was the debarkation lecture. Gosh is it that time already?

There were a couple of changes made on this ship since our last visit in January, and I haven’t mentioned them yet. The Meiji Bar on Promenade Deck, Deck 5, has normally been used as a sushi bar in the early evening. Now, some days in the afternoon it’s used to offer various snacks. Then again, later at night they offer “midnight bites” of various “nibblies” changing themes as the cruise goes on.

Late last night I was sitting at my computer writing my daily
report when it seemed we were going through a massive rain storm. It turned out be the deck and window washing again. At least this time, about 1 AM it was unlikely many of the Deck 9 passengers would have been out enjoying their balconies… unlike previous nights when this cleaning took place closer to 7 PM. This is one of the drawbacks of the aft cabins on Deck 9; even though several people in these cabins have complained to the Guest Relations Desk, the unexpected showers continue on occasion. Other than the showers, and the very odd closet placement, cabin 8461 is a treat. It features a larger balcony than those on the sides of the ship, and a superb view of the wake, and where the ship has been.

My son and future D-I-L are on Deck 6 directly below us, so we get the occasional glance of them on their balcony. Looking down at them it almost looks as though they are at the bottom of a water fall, rather than above the wake.

I was up on Lido Deck this morning, enjoying my coffee, and watching Todd’s Morning Show. It’s evident that Todd is still somewhat frustrated by the complaints some people have been submitting. I was in the casino last night when one passenger at the roulette wheel began loudly berating one of the dealers, claiming the dealer was rude and arrogant, and creating quite a stir, with managers coming out to try and deal with the passenger. I’ve been in the casino on probably 10 different occasions during the cruise, and I’ve found the dealers to be nothing but friendly. No doubt last night’s outburst was just a case of a bad loser venting.
On the Morning Show Todd once again talked about being confused by the continuous evidence of people simply not being able to relax and enjoy their cruise. On an earlier Morning Show he’d even gone so far as to suggest these people are examples of why the natives in the European ports of call are a part of why some judge the cruise passengers visiting as “ugly Americans”.

Today he also spoke, as I did in my earlier discussions, about how Carnival has offered a pretty typical Carnival activities schedule, and he wasn’t sure why people were cruising on Carnival expecting something different. In other words… chose a cruise line that’s right for you, not a cruise line that you want to adapt to what you want. That’s an argument I’ve been making forever, regarding all the cruise lines.

A bit more drama on the high seas today; today was supposed to the 3rd and final running of the Horse Races. After the first day’s races some people involved were complaining that dice used to determine which horses moved around the track were not being thrown properly. The dice are in a cage, and roll around inside it. The cruise-staff were told they were simply rolling the cage, not flipping it, and that some dice were weighted, thereby creating an unfair advantage for certain numbers. HONEST, you CAN NOT make this stuff up!!!

After the same horse won the second race on another sea day, you can imagine who Mrs. & Mrs. Flip it Not Roll it reacted. So much so that Todd had promised to get new dice in Madeira prior to the next race, which was supposed to be today.

Alas there was not going to be any race three. After a thorough investigation by the AARP’s gang’s racing commission it was determined that there had been CHEATING during race 1 and 2, with other horses moving around the track, when they weren’t instructed to do so. The new bottom of the barrel cruise ship morality standard has now been established… cheating at cruise ship horse racing!

Next guests are going to be playing the futures market- stealing vegetables at the buffet, and stockpiling them in their cabins, and attempting to sell them back to the cruise lines at a premium price when the ship runs out.
I sit here in astonishment, but also thankful for all the material be provided for me by these “fruitcakes”.

Oh.. and more on the Jack the Butter-knife tonight too. Jack spoke “off the record” to his nearly cousin Simi, and he did admit to overreacting to the situation the other night. YOU THINK??? Rofl

I believe, looking back, he wishes he’d only used a soup spoon.

I’m still receiving the silent treatment from Todd, and the rest of the officers onboard to my query looking for them to share some information on Carnival policy with regard to the situations which have occurred. Frankly that bothers me some. One would think they’d want to ensure factual information is shared, rather than conjecture, and individual investigation. But, no one is calling me!

This evening was our second, and last, “Elegant Night”. I wore a jacket, slacks and a dress shirt. There was quite a mix of dress, covering the gamut – from tuxedos and gowns, to Hawaiian shirts and Khakis.
I’ve had a technologically challenging day myself. Every electronic gadget I have with me seemed to be fighting back today; my computer, my camera, my satellite phone have all revolted. At dinner tonight, with everyone wearing clothes lol I tried to take pictures of the CruiseMates tables at our seating in the dining room. As you can see, some turned out, and others did not. But I promise to make up for it with more pictures in the last three days.

The menu, and the dinner, tonight was fabulous! The menu’s variety was broad, and the food superb.

During our January cruise on the Freedom I was pleased to report we only had a couple of nights of waiters “entertaining” us, with singing and dancing. I’m afraid during this cruise we’re enduring their entertainment most every night. Though I am enjoying the dining room staff immensely, I’d rather be talking to them, than listening to them sing each night.

We’re turning our clocks ahead one hour again tonight, and tomorrow is a short port visit in Malaga, Spain. Sail-a-way is at 4 PM. As a result, after dinner, I came directly back to the cabin, to make it an early night. Though I did send “the kids” to see the production show, Ticket to Ride, which I think is Carnival’s very best show.

Tomorrow is Todd's birthday, and he is taking the day off, and I'd bet a cruise he is going to get really really really really really loaded
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