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Old May 18th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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Default Carnival Freedom Review (post 2.0 upgrades) pt2

Day Five—Wednesday—St. Thomas, USVI
Good weather and smooth seas overnight, but cloudy with some showers. I slept very well and we were docked when I awoke about 9:00 am. I relaxed and watched the activity from my balcony then went up to the Lido to get another nice omelet breakfast. About 10:45-ish I went down to get a shuttle into downtown Charlotte Amalie ($4). I had not been to downtown Charlotte Amalie in years and it’s pretty much the same with great shops located in the restored Old Warehouse area. Lot’s of Jewelry stores and tourist shoppes. I looked around the various stores and soon came across Creque’s Alley of Momma and Poppa’s fame. There is a very nice bar there now, the Side Street Pub, with Wifi and nice cocktails, including a Painkiller. I stayed for a while at Side Street Pub then did some shopping before going back to the ship about 3:00 pm. Upon return a Guy’s Burger really tasted good at this point. I returned to the cabin to clean up and enjoyed a really nice sunset and sail away from the harbor. Later it was off to the Alchemy Bar for cocktails followed by dinner. Tonight I ordered: two Shrimp Cocktails, Potage Saint Germain (Pea Soup), Green Garden Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Grilled NY Sirloin Steak, Fruit Plate, and Bread Pudding Cake for dessert. Friends went to see the feature show: Comedy & Magic with TC Tahoe and said it was very entertaining. I retired after dinner.

Day Six—Thursday--San Juan, Puerto Rico
Smooth seas overnight, and a hot and humid day. I had a good nights sleep and we were already docked when I awoke a little after 8:00 am. I’m in no rush today and went to the MDR for a nice breakfast ordering: Melon, Eggs Benedict, Bacon, Tomato Juice, and hot Milk. The ship docks right in Old San Juan (OSJ) and I left the ship about 10:00 and although with a bad knee walked up to Fortelezza Street looking at a few shops and stopping at a small park along the way…then down to the Barrachina Restaurant for one of their famous Pina Coladas. It was actually better than I remembered from previous visits. I then went to El Convento the luxury boutique hotel in OSJ located across from the Cathedral to hopefully use their Wifi, have a cocktail, and see this site located in what was a 17th century convent. There are some beautiful architectural details in this lovely building that was a convent for over 250 years. I went to the patio bar and ordered a Ginger Mojito and the excellent staff made sure I could get access to the Wifi, even booting their router so I could get connected, I did and it was super fast. Great drinks, fast wifi, a cool breeze, and beautiful location…I’m staying for awhile. I still have some business from my just completed Festival I could finish online and I could update email, etc. perfect. This also allowed me time to sample one of Puerto Rico’s craft beers: Magna. Luis the bartender provided great service and after some discussion about the history of Pina Coladas’ at Barrachina and the original island resort, I had to sample one from El Convento. It was an excellent Pina Colada served in a tall glass, somewhat creamy, with a floater. Although it was now downhill all the way back to the pier I took the easy way and took a taxi back to the pier and was back onboard about 3:00 pm. Once back at the cabin I called room service for a couple of BLT’s (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato). Carnival has excellent BLT’s and I order them every cruise. They were served within a few minutes, another reason to like Guy’s Burgers as the room service delivery on port days is greatly improved since so many now eat at Guy’s. We sailed early, about 4:15pm and I watched us sail out of the harbor and around El Morrow castle. I was lucky to have balcony on the starboard side of the ship. I returned the iPhone cable to Jade at Guest Services on the way to the 4:30 Past Guest party in the Victoriana Theater. Skip did a good job, it was the usual party with a film and some banter. My server was good, I did not go lacking. Following I did some people watching on the Promenade deck before going to the Alchemy Bar for a ‘special spritzer style cocktail’ by Adri. So good I had another as well as several other folks at the bar. It was now time for dinner, tonight I had especially ordered Onion Rings, Wild Mushroom Cream Soup, Lasagna Bolognese (as starter), Petite Filet Mignon and Short Rib of Beef combination, and Butter Pecan Ice Creme for dessert. During dessert we were joined by Lance Montalto the Comedian who just boarded the ship in San Juan. Always good to see friends. The Love & Marriage Show featuring Skip was the entertainment tonight.

Day Seven--Friday--Fun Day at Sea

Smooth seas overnight and nice partly cloudy weather as we slowly sailed north. I had a fruit plate for breakfast as I have plans for brunch. I spoke to Guest Services (GS) about the next cruise then talked with the future cruise representative on Promenade deck about some potential future bookings. At 11:30 I met a group of friends including comedian Lance Montalto for brunch. Great fun and the food was good, I had the Fiery Tomato Soup (spicy), Steak & Eggs, and Fruit Plate. This was a great cabin/balcony day. I actually had a two hour nap and did some reading on the balcony this afternoon. At 5:00 I went up for a Guy’s burger, I got one just off the grill hot so ate it ‘as is’ or a Plain Jane with no condiments…very tasty. I received a call from GS and I’ll be getting an upgrade on next weeks cruise, a balcony on deck six, just one cabin over and two decks down from current location…Woo Hoo. I went to the Alchemy for an aperitif on this our second ‘Elegant Night’. Most passengers are not near as ‘dressy’ on the second night. For dinner I ordered: Escargot, Pasta (as starter), Three Shrimp Cocktails, Chateaubriand, with Cheesecake and Baked Alaska for dessert. It was good although I thought the Chateaubriand was tough. Lance joined us for dessert again. Tonights feature entertainment was a Magician, but I went to the Alchemy Bar for a Deal Closer then went to see Seth Gibson in Scott’s Piano Bar. All of my MDR table went to the Punchliner Club for the late 11:45 pm show to see Lance Montalto’s second show this evening. New material and very funny as usual.
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