Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Carnival Breeze Southern Caribbean Cruise - Day 2 - Fun Day at Sea

Sunday, March 16 - Fun Day at Sea

We had set our wake up call and were up early, ready to fight for deck chairs. And then Max remembered.... he didn't want to risk getting a sunburn the day before he had to scuba dive. A sunburn would be really uncomfortable with a wet suit and scuba gear. Me... I wanted to get my tan on because I was sick of people mistaking me for Casper. But Max's logic did make sense, so we decided to refrain from laying out in the sun and instead do other things on the ship.

Sea Day

The free drink is really the only thing you get as a red VIFP member. No more welcome back party for people who have completed less than 5 cruises (or have less than 25 cruise points). I guess I can't complain too much... I did get a free cabin.



Sea Day

Don't let the dirty window fool you. It was quite sunny outside.

Sea Day

We did appreciate the pivoting television. Not only could you angle it towards the bed, but you could still store things behind the TV.

Sea Day

After eating breakfast in the Lido buffet, Max and I started our day outside on the Promenade deck. Though he didn't want to lay out on the sun, he did agree to the cantilevered hot tubs. After finding one that wasn't packed with people, it turned out to be just luke warm. Perhaps that is why it had turned into a kiddie pool with three children splashing about in it.

Sea Day

Sea Day

We went to the atrium bar for bubble-less Diet Cokes.

Sea Day

Then went back to the stateroom and decided to clean up and then eat sushi for lunch.

Max loves sushi, so it didn't matter that the sushi was an additional charge because it was worth it to him. The sushi at Wasabi on the Norwegian Epic was also an additional charge, but I found their prices more reasonable at $2-4 per roll. The prices at Bonsai Sushi are comparable to those at your neighborhood sushi bar.... that is if you live in a rather affordable location such as Upstate South Carolina.

Sea Day

Sea Day

I loved Bonsai's logo design. It was simple and clean.

We both ordered the miso soup. Well, they brought mine out long before Max's. Max was getting frustrated because he thought they had forgotten his soup. It turned out that they just brought him his after his sushi. Weird. Service there wasn't the best and we had more bubble-less Diet Cokes.

Sea Day

Sea Day

Max loved his sushi rolls, though. That made him much happier.

I ordered the Bento Box.

Sea Day

Sea Day

Sea Day

Sea Day

The presentation was nice, but I wasn't a big fan. The California roll was rather dry (I don't like California rolls too much to begin with), and I didn't really like the salad. I should have gotten the sushi boat instead.... it came in a boat. Whyyy did I pass up that opportunity?

Sea Day

Max loved it, though. He asked if we could come back, and I told him yes, probably. He wanted to go there for dinner one night. Sure, Max!

We never made it back.... there were too many other options like the C-Side BBQ and Seaday Brunch to check out that we never returned. Max enjoyed the sushi, though, and I enjoyed the graphics.

After lunch, we went shopping. Max was looking for a dive watch and finally settled on this G-Shock.

Sea Day

We then wandered over to Hasbro the Game Show. The first round for the cruise was at 3:15.

Sea Day

This is where they take Hasbro board games and make them life-size. Audience members are selected to participate. Therefore, kids are jumping up and down like mad. Luckily, Max and I chose seats in the balcony, so we didn't have to worry about crazed attention-seeking audience members surrounding us and just got to enjoy the show.

Sea Day

Our cruise director, Pete, aka "Peaches," was the host of the show. I actually think that the two entertainment crew members who introduced the show were more energetic in those 90 seconds than he ever was throughout the entire show. He also didn't do a good job picking children. Sure, they had to answer Scattergories questions to be picked for a game which required hand-eye coordination, so the qualifier didn't really help for the actual game, but Pete seemed to be successful in choosing the least athletic kids in the audience to play Connect 4 basketball. After one full circulation of shots, there were only two balls on the board. It took forever. Pete even said something about "the longest game of Connect 4 basketball ever."

I mean.... look at the final board!

Sea Day

The worst thing was that the grown-up couldn't even manage to get a basketball on the board. The only kid that was any good at the game was the little boy on the winning team named Zachary. I believe he made 80% of the shots on the board.

Sea Day

For Simon Flash, they needed adults or bigger kids to wear the blocks, but a smaller kid to be the team captain and press the button when his or her team was in order. The problem with that is that if your kid really stinks at pressing that clicker, they might click too soon when no one is lined up and disqualify the team or not press it soon enough and miss out on the win.

Sea Day

Sea Day

I believe that Zachary's athleticism paid off in the end because he coincidentally won the Monopoly jackpot. All of the winning contestants get to choose a Monopoly bank card, and after the games, they put their card in the machine to see how much money they won. The person with the most money wins. After watching two game shows, I believe that winning has absolutely nothing to do with which card you pick and absolutely everything to do with whether or not you are chosen to win. The grand prize is a collection of Hasbro games, but everyone who is on a winning team walks away with something.

Sea Day

We decided to check out the Red Frog Pub which was similar to O'Sheehan's on the Epic. They had a food menu, and we thought that the food was complimentary, but we had overlooked the $3.33 price at the top of the menu. That's not a bad price, but it's not a lot of food, either. We each ordered the Caribbean Sliders.

Sea Day

Sea Day

I took a picture of the drink menu because the layout was all over the place. There is no sub-heading for the first section of drinks. The second section of drinks includes a description to the side, while the third has the description underneath. The text architecture is well-established and consistent, but the layout is not. Max thought it was an attempt to hide the prices and get you to purchase something more expensive than you were intending. I thought it was bad design.

Sea Day

The onion rings were not good. I'd suggest trying to substitute for something else like fries or chips.

We went back to the room to get ready for the Captain's Celebration.

Sea Day

I was disappointed to find that the Captain's Celebration was a total bust. It was poorly attended - most likely because bartenders were not circulating with free champagne. Not only that, but the Captain was taking pictures in the atrium so there was no place for dancing.

I've only cruised with Carnival three times since 2007, and it's crazy the amount of changes I've seen in just seven years. Back in 2007 on the Carnival Imagination, I remember them passing out complimentary champagne not just on formal night, but also on boarding day. In 2010 before the 2.0 upgrades and changes to the VIFP Club, as second-time guests we were invited to a welcome back party with complimentary cocktails. Now in 2014, all you get is a ticket redeemable for a cocktail at breakfast, brunch, or lunch in the main dining room. I'm not really all that bitter about the lack of a welcome back party for Red VIFP members, but I do think that the lack of complimentary champagne seriously deteriorates the mood and attendance for the Captain's Celebration.

Sea Day

Empty!

Max and I quickly moved on to the Ovation theater for the evening show, Motor City.

Photography is not permitted during the show, but I did snap a photo of the set beforehand, as well as the pre-show.

Sea Day

Sea Day

I enjoyed the pre-show and thought that it did a good job of creating a fun mood in the theater for the show. They brought several audience members to the stage and dressed them up. Most notably the three gentlemen as the Supremes.

Over the years, I've seen my fair share of Motown-inspired stage shows. I actually didn't think that the new productions are as bad as some people make them out to be. I liked that the entire cast was capable of singing and dancing. There were two vocalists who were significantly better than the others, and I wished that they would have featured them a bit more. While the sets are electronic and changed only with the LED screen and moving risers and stage parts, I found the costuming to be much improved. Max actually leaned over to me once and said that he really liked one of the dresses.

Is it Broadway-quality? Definitely not. Disney-quality? Nope. But I don't think it's terrible entertainment and the double-talented cast makes it more entertaining. Max said that he would rather watch that than Legends in Concert.

It was another slow night in the dining room. We didn't order wine tonight which we thought would speed us up, but service was even slower.

Formal Night

We found the menu tonight much more interesting, though. Max and I both ordered the alligator fritters as an appetizer, and they were really good.

Sea Day

Service tonight may have been slower because they took the time to "entertain" us. Probably about ten minutes before the entertainment, the lights in the dining room turn an obnoxious orange color (I think it's supposed to be blush, but it did not appear that way in our corner). Then all of a sudden, they started blasting music. You should have seen the look on Max's face! It was the closest I've ever seen him come to side-eyeing Chloe...



He was not used to the strange custom of being entertained by your dining room staff. They started singing to us, and I wish we were in a location where we could have actually seen what was going on.

For entrees, Max and I both ordered lobster. Max went ahead and ordered two.

Sea Day

The dessert menu didn't interest us and we were sick of being in the dining room (by this time, it was around 10 PM), so we left without ordering.

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Sea Day

We did satisfy our sweet tooth later with the chocolate cake from room service. It is delicious!

Sea Day