Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 Carnival Breeze Southern Caribbean Cruise - Day 5 - Aruba

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Aruba

Max requested to eat breakfast in the dining room - that's something I haven't done in several cruises! It turns out that Max paid a great deal of attention every evening when Subrata would tell us what was in store for dining the next day because he always knew where the special food was.

We wanted a table for two and had to wait a bit for it, but the view was well worth it...

MDR Breakfast

Service felt rushed and impersonal. When we were ordering, I asked for an omelette with scrambled eggs. "Do you want an omelette or scrambled eggs?" I couldn't have both? I was caught off-guard and told him just the eggs.... big mistake!!!



MDR Breakfast

MDR Breakfast

Omelette presentation wasn't exactly on point, though. It looks pretty pathetic and small on that large white plate. Needs some decoration!

One of Max's complaints was that the schedule would be filled full of activities, but none of them were very interesting. What I want to know is do people actually go to activities like "Look 10 years younger in 10 minutes?" Maybe I should go to that.... do you think it would work?

We tried to play trivia, but it's such a popular activity that we could never get a table or a card (possibly because there is nothing else interesting on the schedule). I also really stink at trivia because I am too young to really know anything. But if they had Disney trivia or architecture trivia, I think I could hold my own.

Carnival Breeze

If you aren't interested in Aruba, it would definitely be a good day to spend at the pool on the ship - it was almost completely empty!

Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze

Carnival Breeze

Aruba

Aruba

We weren't scheduled to arrive in Aruba until 2:00 PM, and we were a bit behind schedule. I was well-prepared for the line to depart the ship to be absolutely miserable. And it was. We caught up with the line on deck 5....

Aruba

They made a few announcements suggesting that people wait until later to leave the ship. We weren't going to do that because by that point, we had already invested 15 minutes in that line, and we also wanted to get off the ship as soon as possible so that we could get an afternoon at the beach in before returning to the ship.

Over half an hour later when we finally made it off the ship, the line to get a taxi was also very ridiculous. There was a sign with prices, and I recognized Eagle Beach (where we went the last time we were in Aruba) at $12. Max was completely on-board with going someplace that I'd been before, though I told him I really did not care. It turns out that there was a bus going to Eagle Beach for $4 per person - score!

Eagle Beach was almost completely different than I remembered it!

See... the first time I was in Aruba, it was 7AM, and the tide was ridiculously high. So high that the water would rush up under our chairs...

DSC_5821

Well, this time, it was late in the afternoon and at low tide!

Aruba

The beach was so large yet uncrowded. We purchased chairs from the beach attendant for $15 for two. Max gave him a $20 bill, and the guy didn't give him any change back until Max spoke up, "Wait - I thought you said it was $15?" "Oh, yes! Here you go - " Mmmhmmm...

He told us to pick a spot and he'd come find us. We chose in front of the jet skis.

Aruba

Well, we waited... and waited. And watched everyone else after us purchase and get chairs. I told Max that he needed to go and remind him. It turns out the guy had just misplaced us.

Aruba

As you might could tell by the sky, the weather wasn't too ideal for lounging on the beach. But we had just paid for the chairs, so despite the on and off sprinkles, we were going to sit in them! Finally, about a half hour before we had originally planned to return, we decided to end our battle with the clouds.

Aruba

Aruba

Aruba

We caught a van back to the pier for $5 per person. Then Max wanted to go looking for Duty Free stores...... didn't find any with large amounts of alcohol. I was certain there would be some in Aruba.... nope.

Aruba

Aruba

The Vision of the Seas had pulled into port while we were gone -

Aruba

Aruba

I had asked Max earlier if he wanted to eat in the dining room or find a restaurant in Aruba. He said that honestly, he didn't want to skip the dining room because he didn't want to miss out on any of the food!

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

You might tell from my lack of captions that I didn't take any notes or really remember the menu. What I do remember is that the cake pictured had a little heart by it for "healthy" and it was really bad. Took one bite, and I was done!

We did want to take advantage of being in port until late that night (scheduled to set sail at 11:30). Max had asked if I wanted to just walk around Aruba.... I asked if I could bring my tripod!

Aruba

Max definitely deserves credit for these photos. We would agree upon the composition, I would adjust the exposure, and Max would release and close the shutter.

Aruba

It was also ridiculously windy, so weighting and blocking the wind from the tripod was a challenge that I definitely couldn't have conquered on my own.

Aruba

Aruba

Freewinds was already docked when we arrived, and Max was shocked that something so tiny could be a cruise ship. He kept cracking jokes about Freewinds. "That's where rich people send their teenagers when they've been bad. 'You missed curfew? Freewinds for you!' 'Failed your classes? You've been grounded to a month on Freewinds.'" Well, I had to research the ship once I got home, and she has a very interesting and rather unfortunate history! It was actually original constructed as a ferry and then converted to a cruise ship. Her maiden voyage as a cruise ship was cut short as she hit an underwater cliff in the Stockholm Archipelago which breached the ships hull and fuel tanks. Today, Freewinds is owned by the Church of Scientology and used as a training center. It was also discovered to have blue asbestos in a 2008 drydock which is the most dangerous form of asbestos, but perhaps due to the expensive renovations needed to remove the asbestos, the Church of Scientology denies that blue asbestos is present on board. The Wikipedia article is very in-depth if you're interested - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewinds.

Aruba

Ready for it?

Aruba

Aruba

I also must add that one of the most entertaining things of leaving the ship in the evening was watching all of the incredibly intoxicated people stumble back on.

We were returning to our room when I remembered seeing "Adult Games" on the Fun Times and thought it might be the Quest (which I learned to love years ago on Royal and since found other lines - Princess, Norwegian, and Carnival - adding it to their activities as well), so I suggested we stop by the Limelight Lounge to watch. We were too late to play, and honestly, I wasn't sure how into it Max would be, anyway (when Max read "Hairy Chest Competition" on the schedule a few days before, his immediate response was, "That's disgusting. Why would they do that?").

The Quest

The Quest

The Quest

The Quest

The Quest

Unlike Princess, they were actually policing the door and keeping children out (our Quest game on the Royal Princess got taken over by children playing.... which included putting on their mothers' bras). I think a name as vague as "Adult Games" is probably a good way to keep out kids, as well. The Quests were nearly identical to those on Princess, but it was much rowdier because participants weren't made to line up in an orderly fashion.

It was good fun, and Max found it hilarious and said he'd like to participate on the next cruise. I was glad that Max took an interest in Quest, considering that my family and I are two-time champions.

Carnival Breeze