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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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May7 – Malaga, Spain – Freedom
By 7 AM this morning the Freedom was tied up at the pier in Malaga. Some of the all day tours had gathered in the showroom by 6:30; like those who had booked the trip to the Granada, to visit Alhambra – one of the most important historic sites in the area. It’s a long drive there and back, and with a very short port visit today, it made it a very tight time frame for people on the tour. Of course, we did hear rumblings of this around the ship, even though we didn’t go on the tour ourselves.

We’ve visited the area several times, so we took a shuttle to a shuttle to the exit of the port, which basically puts you in the center of town. The shuttle to the shuttle is very strange, and it wasn’t really explained in advance. At the ship, you can board a shuttle that goes perhaps 300 yards, before you get off, go through a terminal, and purchase tickets ( 4 Euros per person) to board another shuttle to downtown. (Returning, of course many people simply walked the few hundred yards back to the ship)

From there it was only a short walk to the Picasso Museum, which we toured, then continued strolling, stopping at sidewalk café for lunch, and did more window-shopping, and a bit of buying too… but just some a few authentic Spanish made dry goods.

About an hour after we’d had lunch Kuki Jr. said he felt odd, turned beet red, and developed a fever. He has never before been allergic to anything, but his quick thinking fiancé, Shira, understood he was experiencing an allergic reaction, and gave him Benadryl, which she always carries. It was very lucky for us all that she was carrying it with her, because despite the fairly extensive “medical kit” we do travel with, Benadryl is not an item we normally include.

At that point I had to make a decision; the ship was leaving in just over an hour, so I had to decide if we were going to a hospital, or back to the ship. It appeared he was stable, so I hailed a taxi and returned to the ship, and took him to the infirmary immediately on boarding. The Nurse was quite kind, checked his vital signs which were stable, and decided he should remain in the infirmary for 20 minutes or so, in order to check his vitals again. He was fine, so he returned to his cabin, and slept for a bit. Thankfully, by 6 PM he was “pale” again, and feeling normal.

After the infirmary visit, we were sitting on the balcony, visiting with our neighbors, when the “leak from above” began again. I called Guest Relations, and someone from housekeeping came to look, then a short while later a maintenance man came to look. I began telling him that every night we get a leak or a full shower, and he was saying it wasn’t possible, when my neighbors popped their heads around the corner to say YES it IS possible, and HAS been happening.

Our neighbors on the other side said they’ve been reporting the incidents to the Guest Relations desk daily. To date all we’ve received is denials, and three staff members entering our cabin, and looking up. So after a dozen nights it seems reasonable to report this to be a continuing problem for those in cabins on Deck 8, on the stern.

We had reservations for the Supper Club tonight to dine with some of the CruiseMates from early dinner seating, and Kuki Jr. was well enough to join us. Dinner in the Supper Club is always a nice treat during a Carnival cruise, even if it does cost an extra $30 Per Person. The only issue, if you’re a large group it is difficult for everyone to get the various courses delivered in unison. There were indeed 12 of us, at 3 tables for 4, located side by side. However there’s really no reason, despite the “fine dining tag” that 12 can’t be served at the same time.

Unlike some others, we had no issue with the length of the dining experience, which was the staff’s response to any service questions. As stated the issue was with the considerable gap and the delays serving courses to the tables within our group reservation. Regardless of that we enjoyed dinner with our CruiseMates friends.

The Supper Club was in fact quite busy tonight. But I do think their goal is to be busy, so they should be equipped to handle being busy seamlessly. The food itself was delicious!

I posted the picture above because, as it was being taken, I was actually almost in tears; thinking how wonderful it’s been to spend almost two weeks with my son, who’s been away at so much at school the last few years, and how proud I am of his accomplishments to date; now graduating Law School, and how happy we are with the mate he has chosen. And foremost, the wonderful dreams I have for their future. Just a “Proud Papa moment” to share with you.

After wonderfully smooth seas crossing the Atlantic the ship was being jostled a bit tonight. If the passengers don’t have their sea legs by now, they never will, so there were no apparent signs of illness, and all the evening activities on the ship continued. After a bit of a stressful afternoon, going through the Kuki Jr. incident both Mrs. Kuki and I were tired, and retired to the cabin rather early.

There’s no clock change tonight, and I intend in sleeping in tomorrow.
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