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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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May5- Funchal, Madeira – Freedom
Land Ho! After 5 “interesting” days at sea crossing the Atlantic, we docked this morning about an hour early, at 10:00 AM.

The stampede to the gangway was ON! Everyone thought they should be the first off, except for us. The clouds were hanging over the mountain top of Monte, so we decided we were in no rush to get ashore. Our plans entailed taking a shuttle in to the center of town, and strolling through the town of Funchal until the clouds cleared and then take the cable car up to the town of Monte.

The shuttle is not provided by Carnival; it costs 4 Euro per person, and is a total rip off. The last time we were here the shuttle did indeed drop you in the center of town. It now drives up the center, shows you where it is, and then turns around and drives almost ¾ of the way back to the ship to a new drop off point… near a shopping galleria (mmm). For 5 Euro you can get a taxi to drop you off wherever you like in town.

Around 11 AM Mrs. Kuki and me, as well as Kuki Jr. and my future daughter-in-law, set out to wander Funchal. Me and Mrs. Kuki had been here before, and know what a real gem of a stop this is. People who have never visited, aren’t normally aware of what to expect, and are most pleasantly surprised. The island is scenic, the town of Funchal lovely, and colorful with flowers everywhere. The most fun and unusual thing to do is something called “the sledge ride”. It’s a large wicker basket, large enough for two people to sit down in and it’s propelled down the steep streets by two men, who run behind it, turning corners by pulling on ropes attached to either side of the basket. If they want to slow the basket, they use their feet as brakes. Carnival no longer offers this tour, and gave some warnings to the passengers about doing it, but having done it before, frankly I really don’t see any extreme danger; and this coming from someone who hates midway rides at the Fair.

Having “sledged” before, we spent the morning and part of the afternoon walking, and bonding with our son and fiancé. We stopped at the central market, and wandered the side streets, then stopped in one of the many restaurants for a late lunch. After enjoying an excellent lunch “the kids” took a taxi to the beautiful botanical gardens, while Mrs. Kuki and I walked casually back to the ship, as the clouds up in the hills were still hanging low.


Sampling the famous local wines.


Now these are SARDINES.

And we stumbled across this “interesting” offer…


I really enjoyed tonight’s menu in the dining room. Even though we had a late lunch, I still ordered 4 courses… a pasta, a soup, a salad, and a Rib-eye steak. The servers we have are excellent, but some nights, like tonight, the service is slow. I don’t believe it’s the fault of the servers! The problem lies in galley.

This is the third cruise since Carnival reverted to its previous standard of two set dining times. In Jan. when we last sailed this ship, there were four dining times; 5:45, 6:15, 8:00, and 8:30. The decision to change back to two was made because not that many passengers were happy when they were assigned the 5:45 or 8:30 times. Therefore they decided just an early and a late seating was the solution.

The problem now arises with all waiters or assistants from both dining rooms coming to the galley at the same times looking for the same items, and there are no extra staff in the galley to capably handle the onslaught of orders.

I discussed this issue with servers from several teams in the dining room, not just those from our table. They all complain of the same issues. All the guests at their tables agree, the servers are great, and they can see they are doing their best, but are not being given ideal conditions to be able to serve the guests efficiently, in a timely manner.

Interestingly Jack the Butter-Knife’s table was nearly empty tonight. Maybe they found some plastic cutlery in town today and were up on Lido Deck for a final showdown; spoons and forks at 20 paces.

After dinner tonight the headliner in the showroom was Mel Mellers, a comedy magician act, who Mrs. Kuki reports, was very funny. I went up on Lido Deck for awhile to watch Karaoke “Under the Stars”, which I thought is another great idea, which was just lacking talented participants.

From there I headed to the casino for a bit of blackjack, and for a change managed to stay and play for a bit before losing my money. The blackjack tables on Carnival Corporation ships use automatic continuous card shufflers. For those who know the game, the shufflers change the game considerably, and lean the odds further to the favor of the house. I have myself, avoided the tables much more than I usually do because of this.
After returning to the ship from Funchal today, I was able to load many more pictures into the photo galleries; Some from the past several days; from our CruiseMates Cocktail Party, from the dining room, and from our day in Funchal… if you’d like to take a peek.
And today there’s some television available in the cabins. We’re no receiving BBC News, and Sky News from Great Britain. Tonight we didn't have to change the clocks. YEA!! A 24 hr day!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mstill
Wow! I caught up! Things certainly haven't been dull! And we thought Sis and Kat would be the ones in trouble! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Melody
Kat and Sis have been absent from the dining room the last several days, so I haven't seen much of them. Sis and hubby Mike (hope that I remember that correctly) have been down with colds. Thought I saw them tonight, and they are feeling much better.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for the update Kooter! You know Kat will be very upset to learn that her husband is a polygamist who is now married to her Sis as well!

I'm glad things are better! What's the deal with the attack on purser staff? Any info on that?

Your pics are beautiful! I think I would enjoy sledging! Sign me up!

I'm headed to the photo gallery to see what you've posted there! If I get in trouble at work, it's all your fault!

Later Kooter!

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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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Kooter!

I loved the pics! The flowers trailing on overhead vines are beautiful and the straw market looked like fun! The shot of Kuki Jr. and his fiancee' on the back of the boat would be one to frame! Keep up the good work! I hope you can make me look that good on the Blog2NOLA cruise!

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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Kuki -

Absolutely loved Funchal when we made the TA crossing last November - your description of it is spot on.

As for the return to the two dining times, I am a bit surprised - can they really accommodate a full ship in just two sittings? It also makes me afraid to take the late sitting, as my wife wishes, since it would seem that service will take longer as both dining rooms are at the same point in their dinner.

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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Hey Kuk, noticed your new daughter in law to be isnt wearing an engagement ring... is your son waiting to buy one in port or is it hopefully left at home in safe deposit box somewhere? Maybe your son is waiting for the big Freedom deal on jewelery this week..
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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by briguy
Hey Kuk, noticed your new daughter in law to be isnt wearing an engagement ring... is your son waiting to buy one in port or is it hopefully left at home in safe deposit box somewhere? Maybe your son is waiting for the big Freedom deal on jewelery this week..
That was left at home, safe and sound. Couldn't afford one in Euros anyway. But "the kids" are going on to Turkey after the cruise.
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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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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Kuki, there must be something in the water on the ship! Don't drink the water! What a strange trip, this has been!
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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Everyone looks wonderful, and so relaxed.....I bet the "Butterknife Killer" wishes he could rewind to before his crazyiness, I bet everyone is steering clear of this fruitcake:) It seems, this cruise just gets more bizarre as the days go by.......be careful pal;)
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:11 AM
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Kuki, isn´t the waiters singing and dancing something you can expect on a Carnival cruise? I should really hate that and that´s one of the reasons why I don´t do Carnival cruises.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by erikhag
Kuki, isn´t the waiters singing and dancing something you can expect on a Carnival cruise? I should really hate that and that´s one of the reasons why I don´t do Carnival cruises.
The last several cruises on Carnival they only had them a couple of nights, which was just right, and fun. It's the every night that I don't care for.

I'd certainly not use that as a reason to book a different cruise line. That would be kind of funny actually.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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I just can´t see why the waiters shall sing or dance at all, in my opinion their job is to serve food!

I think that it´s good that people are different and I have no problem with that some people like when the waiters sing and dance so for me it´s okej that they do that on Carnival cruises, as long as I can choose a cruiseline were I don´t have to see/hear it!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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My husband and I recently were on our very first cruise. We were on Carnival, and we enjoyed the nightly entertainment by the waitstaff. We looked forward each night to see what they might do differently. I guess it is mostly because we are Newbies. lol.




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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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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhag
I just can´t see why the waiters shall sing or dance at all, in my opinion their job is to serve food!

I think that it´s good that people are different and I have no problem with that some people like when the waiters sing and dance so for me it´s okej that they do that on Carnival cruises, as long as I can choose a cruiseline were I don´t have to see/hear it!
Yup.. and that's why I do believe these Virtual Cruise Reports are valuable. It offers a source of information, and assists people in choosing cruise lines that are right for them... who's strengths most match what they're looking for in a cruise.

There's obviously some people on this ship who would have been much happier if they'd researched the cruise before purchasing it. And there's hopefully others who will research come across the reports, and say... that cruise sounds like it's for me!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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I'm so glad to hear that Judd is doing well, after that scary inncident. Now I will add benedryl to the list of things to take along.

That street shot, is absolutely beautiful...wish I was shopping till I dropped there!

I loved th shot of all of you at dinner, I knew almost everyone! Hard to believe your days at sea are almost over, but so many of you have Rome to look forward to. Tell Simi to have a ball, Under "the Tuscan Sun"this summer, and her trip back on the Queen!

Make the most of your last few days together, I am loving the pictures:) xoxox
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Old May 7th, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Kuki, I know what a scare that must've been with the allergic reaction!
It happened to me last summer at work, and thank goodness we had Childrens' Benadryl in the medicine cabinet, I drank 1/2 bottle of the stuff after I had a severe reaction to Mangos of all things!
I now carry Benadryl with me everywhere, and pack it in the 1st aid kit for every cruise!

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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Kuki what a great moment to capture in that photo. Lovely!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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May8- Last Day at Sea- Freedom
I’ve now been on the Freedom 26 days in the relatively short time since Nov. ’07. We experienced American Thanksgiving on her, and then the John Heald Blogger’s Cruise, followed shortly thereafter by this transatlantic sailing. By now we should definitely be pretty accustomed to her.

Perhaps the most interesting about the three trips on her is that all three were quite different from each other; each unique because of the different itineraries, and because of the make-up of the passengers on each sailing, and to some degree, the changes to the way the ship was operated for each sailing.

I reported daily to CruiseMates from each of these cruises, and you may find it interesting to go back and read each of those reports. If you did so I believe you’d find that each cruise has its own “character”. Different cruise experiences are available, not just by sailing different cruise lines, or different ships, but just by choosing different sailings of different ships.

One common denominator is on each of these sailings we were accompanied by a Cruisemates Group; members of our own CruiseMates community. And the other common denominator was what a great bunch of people are members of that community! Some of the people in these groups are active posters on the community message boards. Others are those “lurkers” we often talk about, who read the site often, but rarely post on the message boards.

In both cases, what they have in common, is they are well armed with excellent up to date information on what to expect, and in large part, because of that, they are well prepared with fairly accurate expectations, to enjoy the cruise experience they get. This assists and enables them to relax, enjoy and have on their cruises. As on this cruise which has been filled with “distractions” from fellow passengers who are less prepared, those in the CruiseMates group have viewed all the complaining and resulting rudeness, and squabbling, as entertainment, and they’ve been able to enjoy their cruises, and get full value for the vacation dollars they’ve spent.

It’s proven to me yet again, what a wonderful community of people we have at CruiseMates, and how valuable the information we share on the site is. I would also dare to say everyone who’s in our CruiseMates would say they enjoyed their cruise immensely, and in large part because they were a part of our CruiseMates group. I’m not reluctant in saying this because many of the people in this group have already been asking me for, and talking about, future group cruises we have planned.

ANYONE who is considering a future CruiseMates group cruise shouldn’t hesitate! It really is worth it to sail with other CruiseMates folks, and it does make the cruise special and different!

Our next CruiseMates group cruise is a repositioning cruise from New York to Miami on the NCL Jewel. She’s a ship I sailed last year, and I was most recently on her sister the Jade last month. As a result I’ve become a big fan of NCL’s new “Freestyle” ships. And I can almost guarantee joining us will result in a superb cruise for you. Just click in the link in my signature file below for all the details, and come along with us. I know you will not regret it!

Our morning today is cloudy and it’s quite cool on the open decks; thus this mid-day report. I’ll be back later to report on the balance of the day.
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  #81 (permalink)  
Old May 8th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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Great report Kooter! I'm loving every minute of it! I can't wait to see you on the Blog2NOLA cruise!

Melody
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Default Great Reporting!

K, as always I have enjoyed your reports, you manage to make me laugh. Like the man said, People are Funney.
Knowledge in life is that which allows us to be part of the process and not a by-product. Have a safe trip home. Mike
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Old May 8th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Kuki, as usual your writing is amazing... You have made me laugh and you have to make me cry....

When you posted about your son, him being away at College etc etc tears just came to my eyes...

How scary it is that our kids have to grow up so quickly. My big one had her last day of HS yesterday and the same day we signed up my little one for her entering HS classes!!!

Mrs Kuki looks absoltely wonderful... You must have purchased her some nice jewelry this trip!!!

Enjoy your last days onboard and keep posting... Oh, and by the way, are your son & his girlfriend the youngest ones on the ship? Is this their first cruise? Are they having a good time? When are they actually getting married? Mazel Tov to them and to you and Mrs Kuki...

Would love to hear their version of this cruise....
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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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thank God your son looks like his Mother ::..As one father to another, enjoy this time with your son because pretty soon when they start their own family, you'll remember the words to the Cat Stevens song "Cat In The Cradle"

cruising gives you the time with him now that I know you will cherish

bring the both of them to BLOG2NOLA and maybe I'll bribe my son and his wife to come along at Dad's treat
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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Part 2 – May 8 at sea – Freedom
With today being our last sea day, and a full day port of call in Livorno, Italy – for Florence, most everyone was packing today. No doubt everyone on the ship is doing a tour tomorrow, either to Florence or Tuscany, or somewhere, and we’ll all get back to the ship tired and hungry. Therefore packing today is a pretty wise.

The self-serve launderettes onboard were busy all day as well.

At 4:30 this afternoon we had our final CruiseMates get together. I read out the answers to the dinner team trivia sheets we’d given everyone, and the winners got prizes. We’d also set up a couple of teams for a scavenger hunt, and they brought the items they collected. Considering I only gave them hints on what the items were they did a pretty good job of reading my mind, and bringing back the right things.




I have to thank the ship’s Group Services Coordinator, Tracy Brown, for reserving the lounges we requested for our several CruiseMates get-togethers, as well as helping coordinate the luggage tags for those in the group who are taking advantage of the optional inexpensive transfers to Rome post-cruise, which we had arranged through Port Promotions.

I was really upset today when I learned that last night I had missed the menu featuring veal parmegana. It’s one of my favorite Carnival dishes, and even though I enjoyed a superb filet mignon, I’m sorry I missed the parmagana. Maybe I can get an authentic version at lunch tomorrow in Florence to make up for it.

After the CM meeting today, I was enjoying the warmest part of the day sitting out on our aft balcony. At 7:15 PM I felt a sprinkle, and quickly jumped inside the cabin. Sure enough they were hosing down Deck 10 above us AGAIN! I called the Guest Relations desk once AGAIN, as did our neighbors. They’ve been informed of the problem several times, and obviously have taken no action to remedy it. If it were more serious, I’d have gone to speak to the Hotel Director about it already, but it’s been more of an inconvenience than a serious problem. Frankly though the fact they’ve consistently ignored the complaints is rather annoying.

As I was watching the flood on the balcony dry, I heard a call over the PA for “Zero Team to the Posh Dining Room Aft” repeated several times. Either “Jack the Butter-knife” had gone to early dinner seating to assault somebody or someone had taken ill.

Seriously, and unfortunately it was the latter. A passenger experiencing chest pain, and the call was for the medical team, but the “title” of the call indicated the seriousness of the situation. I hope that the passenger is alright. At least if he is need of further medical assistance than the ship can supply, we are in port in Italy in the morning.


A bit about our service team tonight; Ioan (pronounced Yuhn), from Romania is our Sr. waiter. Gusti, from Indonesia is his/our assistant waiter. Both are very nice young men and eager to try to please. They’ve been working as a team for only 3 cruises, when Ioan joined the Freedom. When Ioan speaks his voice reminds me of Latke, from the television show Taxi… for those who might remember; particularly true when he says “Who’s Your Daddy”, which he does occasionally. Lol I’ve enjoyed our 13 nights with them, and would be happy to sail with them again.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine515
Kuki, as usual your writing is amazing... You have made me laugh and you have to make me cry....

When you posted about your son, him being away at College etc etc tears just came to my eyes...

How scary it is that our kids have to grow up so quickly. My big one had her last day of HS yesterday and the same day we signed up my little one for her entering HS classes!!!

Mrs Kuki looks absoltely wonderful... You must have purchased her some nice jewelry this trip!!!

Enjoy your last days onboard and keep posting... Oh, and by the way, are your son & his girlfriend the youngest ones on the ship? Is this their first cruise? Are they having a good time? When are they actually getting married? Mazel Tov to them and to you and Mrs Kuki...

Would love to hear their version of this cruise....
Hey Elaine,
Thanks for the kind words. Glad you are enjoying the cruise with us. Kuki Jr. has cruised with us, perhaps 8 or 9 times. This was Shira's very first cruise.
Even though for sure they are amongst the few youngest, next to infants, they are having a fabulous time! They both worked hard this year, and graduated, ready to start their new careers. And they both have jobs waiting for them when they get back. This was my gradutation gift to them, then after the cruise they are off to Turkey for two weeks. Then it's home to start work, and time to get off the parental payroll
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Old May 8th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Kuki
Just want to say how much I have enjoyed your posts on this cruise. We were on the Freedom April 2007 when it was almost brand new and we sailed from Rome. We loved the itinerary and were considering the transatlantic in April 2009, but are waiting to see what the US$/Euro rates look like a little later. We may have to wait until 2010 and see what happens.

Glad your son is alright. I always travel with Benadryl since an allergic reaction several years ago put me in the emergency room with my throat closed off from the swelling. This is a very scary feeling and even much more when it is one of your kids.

I know what you mean about the proud parent moment. Sounds like you have good reason to be proud of your beautiful family. I loved the pictures of all of you but particularly the one of you and your son (you look just alike) and the one of you in the early post resting on the red pillow. Not to sound forward, but you looked like Sean Connery in that one!

Keep us posted on the rest of your travels if possible, or at least when you return home. What are your plans when you arrive in Rome? Will you be spending a little time there or just heading home? We spent a few days in Rome prior to our sail date and then went back for one more day and one more night before coming home.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:22 PM
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S'cuse me, but wasn't that "red pillow" your long lost Samsonite luggage??


donna
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:23 PM
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S'cuse me, but wasn't that "red pillow" your long lost Samsonite luggage??


donna

p.s. just thought you'd like to know, Calgary is expecting 15-20 cms of SNOW tonight!
Don't get off the ship Kuki!!!
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerdonna
S'cuse me, but wasn't that "red pillow" your long lost Samsonite luggage??


donna

p.s. just thought you'd like to know, Calgary is expecting 15-20 cms of SNOW tonight!
Don't get off the ship Kuki!!!
Oops - I think it was "Sam" - I guess I just wasn't focusing my attention on that part of the photo!
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2004 Fantasy
2005 Holiday, Sensation, Conquest,
2006 Conquest, Celebration, Holiday,
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2008 Fantasy & Sensation,
2009 Fantasy, Holiday & Dream Grand Med
2010 Fantasy and B2B Elation
2011 Monarch of the Seas
2012 Booked - Breeze from Barcelona 12 days
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