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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Kuki Kuki is offline
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Jan. 10 - Liberty

Now that we’re half way through the cruise, I thought I should report more about something near and dear to all our hearts; our stomachs.

I’ve talked about the buffet food in earlier reports, but not the dining room food. The food in the dining room has been very good. Presentation may not be as elaborate and artistic as on some other lines, but the quality, variety, and portion size, have ranged from very good to excellent. The soups have been served hot every evening, and the cold dishes cold, the entrees from prime rib, to steaks, to pastas have all been well prepared and flavorful. I am not a fish eater, but Mrs. Kuki has had fish most nights, and has said it’s been very good.

Carnival also offers a very extensive list of “alternate choices? along with the dining room menu each night; including starters, and side dishes. It’s nice to be able to choose different accompaniments with entrees if those listed on the menu are not appealing to you.

One short coming on Carnival is the bread. The same rolls and slices of French bread are served every evening without variation, and a bread basket is not placed on the table to help yourself; rather it is served by the assistant waiter, and in our case, you’d best take as much as you want the first time because it’s rarely offered a second time.

Other than the bread issue, and the blip on our evening in San Juan, our dining room service has been very good. Beda, our waiter, is an excellent server. I suspect that his assistant Michael may be relatively new to the job, but Beda has been going the extra mile to ensure our good service. Even though no one at our table is much of a drinker, our drink waitress, Erika, has my diet coke waiting at the table each night, and a refill arrives without even having to ask. So, all in all, no complaints about service.

On Carnival, in the dining rooms each evening the wait staff entertain, either with songs or dancing. Personally, this isn’t my favorite thing. I feel once or twice during a cruise would be ample. But from the crowd reactions this entertainment is popular with many.

This morning we arrived in Antiqua.

The last time we were here we did a mini-boat excursion, where we were assigned small two person motor crafts, and led out to a ride some waves, with a stop at a beach. We enjoyed that, but as some of our other CruiseMates had booked a day pass at an all inclusive resort, we thought we might join them. By the time we got moving around this morning, Mrs. Kuki and I had decided to pass on that. Many people love these port a day itineraries, but we like a break between ports, so we made the decision to just walk around the port area to see what’s out there, and stopped at a bar by the pier for a cold drink, then returned to the ship.
At the pier, as you approach the shopping area, there’s a taxi dispatch with posted rates to different beaches, and for varying tours.

If you keep on walking, just past the pier exit, there are lots of drivers and guides to take you anywhere you want to go on the island for LESS! Negotiate a price for whatever destination or tour you have in mind! People were getting day tours of the island in fully air-conditioned vans for @ 15-20 person.

Yesterday we were docked next to the ship we were on last; the Celebrity Century. Today in Antigua, the NCL Jewel, the ship we’re on in May for the “It’s All Greek to Me? CruiseMates Group Cruise to the Greek Islands, pulled in next to us. She looks like a beauty, and from our balcony I had a fairly clear view of some of the deck space which goes with the Jewel’s Garden Villas. Not that I’m going to have one when we sail her, but they look GREAT!

After wandering in town today we returned to the ship to spend some of the afternoon baking by the pool. As I sat there the Captain, his wife, and son wandered by dressed as “civilians? enjoying an ice cream cone, and stopped to chat for a bit. Of course it was the one time during the entire cruise that I didn’t have my camera with me. Too bad because with the three of them together, doing something so simple as eating ice cream together, it was such a very sweet moment of a loving family that I would have liked to share the picture with all of you.

We then had time for an afternoon nap. We’ve got reservations tonight, along with a few other cruisemates for Harry’s, the $30 pp alternate restaurant, and we’re really looking forward to it. Dan, the Director of 02 on the Liberty, and ex host of the CruiseMates teen area is going to join us for dinner.

The ships’ pub crawl is tonight as well, culminating with a late night deck party.
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