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Old January 13th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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This cruise is sadly coming to an end, with just a day in Nassau left tomorrow. It’s been even more interesting because it was the second half of back to back cruises for us, on different ships and on different cruise lines.

There’s many people these days doing back to back cruises, or thinking about them for the future. We’ve been fortunate enough to have done them several times, because it makes tolerating the difficulties encountered flying across the continent somehow more worthwhile. So, I thought I’d offer my opinions on back to back cruises.

People doing back to back cruises often book both weeks on the same ship; finding ships which do alternating itineraries each cruise. This way they visit different ports each cruise, but don’t have to deal with two debarkation procedures, and two embarkation procedures. The downside is that the menus and entertainment repeat. And if you’ve been following this report, and are cruising a line you’ve cruised before, like me, you may have seen much of the entertainment on prior cruises even if you do change ships.

However, even with those considerations, we’ve found that we prefer “jumping ship? between cruises, and switching cruise lines. We believe it’s worth the packing and unpacking, and embarkations and debarkations, because regardless of similarities the change makes both cruises more interesting. You’re getting two different dining experiences, and two different cruise experiences in one vacation, so for us that is the key to making it worthwhile.

Tonight was the second of the “formal nights? on this cruise. Formal wear on cruises is always a bit of a hot button topic. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t care if they have them or not. We’ve sailed Norwegian Cruise Lines, and enjoyed the casual dress onboard, and not having to pack formal clothing. BUT… what is a burr in my behind, is cruise lines printing a dress code and then not having any enforcement to follow it up with.
No way am I suggesting everyone should be wearing tuxedos and gowns, but certainly if the cruise line is serious about creating a different ambience onboard for one or two nights, it’s not difficult for passengers to make an effort to assist. But, tonight I saw people coming out of the dining rooms in torn blue jeans, t-shirts, and wearing ball caps.
I’m certainly not implying that’s the norm of dress standard onboard, or anywhere close to any kind of majority. In fact it was probably one or two isolated cases. And it’s not just Carnival. We saw similar dress last week in the dining room on Celebrity.

My bottom line advise to the cruise lines … if you’re dress codes are going to be optional, then like NCL has done, quit the charade, and be direct in your promotional materials and onboard reality, say formal clothing optional!

Dan joined us again for dinner tonigh in the dining room, so he's temporarily well fed.

The more time I get to spend with him, the more impressed I am. He’s polite, well mannered, well dressed, and has to be an asset for Carnival with what we’ve seen of him interacting with the 15 -17 year old teens in Club 02. I’m glad we got to meet and spend some time with him after watching him “grow up? as CruiseMates Teen Host.

As I’ve mentioned in previous days reports, I haven’t spent as much time as normal in the casino, but I was back in for a bit today, and got the opportunity to visit a bit with Nichole and Andrew. The first day of the cruise when I was in the casino they both spotted me right away, and remembered me, and greeted me really warmly.

Nichole was on the Island Princess last year when we sailed the Island Princess, and she remembered me from when I did my “day as a casino dealer? story. Andrew also remembered me from previous ships. It’s pretty amazing to me how good their memories are, considering the thousands of faces they’ve seen since we last sailed together. I actually apologize, because though I recognized their faces right way, my memory wasn’t good enough to remember which ship or when we’d met. They did though, which is impressive.

It was nice to see Nichole is now working as a casino host, and Andrew a supervisor. And they are a sweet couple, and it was nice to see even with the difficult ship’s life, they are still fun and still together. It of course makes sense that young people can meet and form relationships at their workplace, but I suspect maintaining these relationship while working on ships, where everyone works together and also lives together can offer some unique challenges for young couples. Maybe there’s a story there to follow up with. I’ll have to try and stay in touch with them, and follow up.

Mrs. Kuki, who is my production show critic (since I’m tone deaf) and the other CruiseMates said tonight’s show, Rockin Down Broadway, was fantastic! A high energy production, and they were awed that even with the ship still really rockin on it’s own, the dancers never missed a step! With the showroom forward at the bow on Decks 3, 4, and 5, a location where motion is most apparent, it’s got to be quite a talent to dance, while passengers are staggering to get to and from their seats.

Will Marfori performed his Adult Comedy show at midnight, and we did go to that. He’s a pretty funny guy, and interesting because he has Cerebral Palsy. Seems many people believed this is just part of his act, but it’s not. With this disease he must have had to work long and hard to battle through to get to the point of being able to perform and entertain audiences… so like him or not, you have to respect him. I personally enjoyed his sense of humor too!
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