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Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD

Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD

May 29th, 2016, 05:50 PM
  #21  
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Cruisers Log, Star Date 27.05.29.2016 A.D

10:47Hrs I am up but in a bit of a panic. There is a basketball tournament in less than 15 minutes at 11:00Hrs and I have not done my “Cruise Diet” routine for the day. We have come to the conclusion that if we do not get our gym time in during the early morning then as the Italians would say.. “you can forget about it..”

With the Carnival App on our phones we usually have our ship activities planned out the day before. Our “Sea Day” is suppose to be a busy one.. Basketball at 11:00.. Hairy Chest at 12:30 ... Lunch... Spa Seminar at 15:00 ... Volleyball at 16:00... OMG I don't think I am going to have time to get my hair done!

Leaving the cabin I decide I will just play basketball until I pass a “Ship Clock” then I realize I forgot to change my phone to the new ship time... I feel like Homer Simpson.. D'oh!

11:26Hrs (The Real 11:26Hrs).. I am feeling like Dennis Rodman without the dress in a competitive game of half court 4 on 4 basketball. With my inside game gone, although I probably never had one, I am thinking I need to be more like Steph so I put one up from “Downtown”... Big Mistake! The ball barely leaves my hand when it goes flying backwards in the air.. thanks to a 6-4, 23 year old Russian who later tells me with a smile.. he plays college basketball.

I tell you the kids today (especially the tall ones) have no respect for their elders!

12:30Hrs Although not as out going as the “Caribbean Ones”, the Vista Hairy Chest Competition is still entertaining. There are some really hairy men from Israel and India who can strut their stuff and woo the ladies....

With a winner crowned it is time for some line dancing on the Lido Deck. However, despite the Cruise Director's best effort the participation effort is dismal.

Most people are comfortable lounging on chairs soaking up some sun but then we get an unexpected surprise. Matt announces that he just received a call from the bridge that a whale has been spotted on the port (left) side of the ship.. Most of the Lido deck is up so fast that the Vista begins to tilt left.... Of course there is no whale but it does get a few more people on the dance floor.

Nice one, Matt.

13:33Hrs I am always amazed by the artistic mind because it is one thing I seem to lack so for me watching the ice craving demonstration is always impressive. This is even more so when “Ice, Ice Baby.. Vanilla Ice” is playing in the background.

More time on the Lido Deck then lunch thanks to the “Blue Iguana” and before you know it I am back up on Deck 12.

16:12Hrs And I am a “Wild Shark” because I am on a volleyball team with Denise a fun and energetic Carnival team member. If you need a smile or a laugh find Denise and you will be sure to get one. Unfortunately, we get eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

Apparently no one is intimidated by smiling wild sharks.

We do return in a post tournament game as the “Pelicans” and take no prisoners. We win by a score of 151-93.

17:21Hrs As I am cleaning up for dinner I keep wondering what it would be like to be a “VIP”. Rumors have been floating on the Vista that there is going to be a “Who's who.. Hollywood Red Carpet Event” this evening with some big names involved. 19 of Hollywood's biggest stars are expected to be there.

18:04Hrs The announcement is made as we are enjoying another “Marketplace Meal”. The stars are meeting at the “Red Carpet” in less than 10 minutes. Wanting to get a glimpse of the “Studio VIPs” I abandon my meal and head down to the Liquid Lounge. I am blinded by camera flashes then take a seat in the second row as it is still at least 30 minutes before show time.

Soon enough the house lights go down and a production show involving 70-80's disco music begins. It is a great show until a spotlight is shined on me and I am approached by a law enforcement officer which I did not know they had on the Vista.. I was stunned until he told me.. “We want you.. we want you as a new recruit..”

Just like that (kind of) I had officially became a “Studio VIP”... and the “Y” of the Village People.. Y.M.C.A

21:45Hrs My “Studio VIP” status is again in the limelight this time in the “Limelight Lounge” when the comedian opens his act with about 5 minutes of material about my “Y” performance on stage... He thought I looked very happy on stage but used a three letter word to describe my happiness.

If his demonstrations of my moves are correct I might have to work on being a little less happy.. although we both agreed there is nothing wrong with being happy.

23:13Hrs We pay another visit to the “Piano Bar” for a great time with Ben and I make two new discoveries. First, a great beer from NY.. Coney Island 1608 Amber Ale.

Second, Hank Williams Jr did not live out the songs he wrote to get divorced.... It's to get ..... D'oh!
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May 29th, 2016, 07:28 PM
  #22  
 
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I can imagine you with the spot light on you, you are having just too much fun. I stopped any type of sports in my early thirties. Have a drink and keep having fun, have a little for me, because I am not cruising this year, but I do have a couple of trips planned before the end of the year.
tch912 is offline  
May 30th, 2016, 06:11 AM
  #23  
 
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Glad to hear about the vino and also surprised too.

Someday I hope we get the chance to push that envelope together. It would be fun. Once the poster Sassafras, me and the late and great Dogster were on the Constellation together and she did manage to limp back into port somehow. .

You certainly have plenty of energy to do all that stuff in one day!

As for that bb game I know what you mean. We had a lot of driveway games, really a lot and having played vs. a bunch of 18-19 yr. olds who remembered what I did to them when they were 15-16, well let's say you can't hurt my ego anymore. I became immune. .

Keep it coming!
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May 30th, 2016, 06:30 PM
  #24  
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tch912,

Every now and then I think I should stop playing street basketball with the "youngings" who call me "paps" but once in a while I manage an "old school" move or sink one from "downtown" and think ... "Oh yeah"

To mix it up, I had a "Red Beer" (Russian) in Sorrento today.. So, "Here's looking at you, kid"..
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May 30th, 2016, 06:46 PM
  #25  
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Cruisers Log, Star Date 28.05.29.2016 A.D

08:02Hrs Our “Cruise Diet” is really hitting it's stride and we are happy about it.

Since we are told the average cruiser can easily gain 6lbs on a 7 day cruise and we are normally “above average”.. (I think on the amount of cruising). In doing the math I figure we could easily gain 30lbs a year which in 10 years would have me weighing close to 500lbs. That being the case, we decide on this cruise we really need to stick with our exercise program.

Furthermore, Lugi.. we a plan a to sample a lot a of a “mamma” cooking a on a this a itinerary a..

10:34Hrs With no “Magnificent Malta” plans we have another easy disembarkation from the Vista. This is a nice port with easy access to the “Old City” which is on the agenda for today. However, just outside the port terminal a 10 Euro deal gets our attention.

Several “Hop-On Hop Off” buses are available for this price. The one we chose has three routes that allow you to see the highlights of Malta. We decide on the “Yellow” route to “Midina”. On the way to our pick up point we do some souvenir shopping. The first shop on left hand side has the best deals, 1 Euro magnets, 3 Euro hats and 5-8 Euro T-Shirts. For 5 Euros we are happy with 2 magnets and a hat. We wait on the return for some more shopping and find better deals along the Valletta Waterfront again on the left side as you enter the hallway to get back on the ship.

11:13Hrs There is a line up to get on the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus as all routes depart from this point. A nice thing is the employees are efficient enough to change the available bus to match the demand for a particular route. This happens for us so we get called out of line and are soon on our way to Midina.

We have found that the “Hop-On Hop-Off” buses have always been a nice experienced especially when you are compressed for time. Although you can take a local bus to Midina for a few euros cheaper we think this one is a steal at 10 Euro. Along the way to Midina we learn about the history of Malta and a few highlights we pass along the way.

12:01Hrs We arrive in Midina and after having listened to the audio on the bus I have a new mission besides just sightseeing. Midina is a beautiful fortified medieval town with cool quaint walking streets. The highlight here is visiting the cathedral although there is an admission charge. However, if you are a “smiling pleasant pligrim” who just want to snap a few pictures go to the exit area in front and you might get “blessed” like we did.

12:31Hrs My new mission target is in sight but as I get even closer to it I face a terrible dilemmia. Should I attempt to conquer one or all of the delicious cakes at Fontanella Tea Garden. Thinking of being 500lbs we decide to split the “Traditional Ftira” (A Tuna Salad With Oil Olive On a Ciabatta.. Say No More) with two “lovely cups of tea” and a OMG delicious “Apple Cake”. All for under 13 Euros!

Although this place can be busy and maybe considered a “tourist trap” we found the food, the city views, the atmosphere, the service including free Wi-Fi and the prices to be well worth it.

A nice lunch and we decide our plans to ride the “Blue” route back which takes about 2.5-3Hrs is just not going to work. A walk around the city and another scientific sampling of gelato now seems more appropriate.

15:22Hrs We are back in Valletta and exit the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus at Stop-19 one stop before where we got on the bus. This gives us an opportunity to explore Valletta and it's local cold adult beverages before walking down some steep streets back to the port for some last minute shopping.

16:26Hrs 4 minutes shy of our “ Back On Board Time” we are scanned on the Vista.

17:00Hrs From our “Cove Balcony” we watch the Vista sail away as our evening plans are already on a tight schedule. In less than 15 minutes we have a “Studio VIP” after-party and I don't have anything to wear!

17:30Hrs Exactly I walk into “88 Piano Bar” (fashionably late) behind my $1 pair of “Terminator” sunglasses wearing my $4.99 Brazilian T-Shirt, $8.99 Navy Blue 6 Pocket Shorts and $12.99 Guess Sandals (From Ross. I am shocked that no one notices me. Inside I am not feeling like Sally Fields....

With his being only Vista's third sailing they are still in the process of figuring it all out but the “Studio VIP” party is a nice touch. In all there were 38 of us who participated in two shows in the Liquid Lounge and this party is the entertainment staff way recognizing our "immense talents" and saying “Thank You” to us and one guest.

We get the chance to meet the performers and learned a lot about their dedication and how the process all works while sipping fine “imported” champagne. We take a few group photos which I think will make a nice Vista souvenir.

19:01Hrs Unfortunately I have to call my agent and cancel my karoake performance for this evening due to unplanned scheduling conflicts which involve taking a nap..

21:03Hrs With two new comedians on board we are back on the “Punchliner” circuit.

Who knew the an Englishman and a Scotsman could be so funny especially when have 4 audience members perform “Camelot” gangsta style.
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May 30th, 2016, 06:53 PM
  #26  
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JW,

Today in Napoli... No X-Ray scan but this time we just brought water on. 0.50 Euro in grocery store.. 3 Euro at Pompei.. $3.75 on Vista.

Do the math.. How would you like to go with me in the water selling business.. "Coconut Water", "Shrimp Water"..

We could split the profits right down the middle and do a lot more cruising
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May 31st, 2016, 05:31 AM
  #27  
 
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Darn and I bought 5 cases of their water to have for excursions. Oh, well at least we won't have to stop at the market.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
May 31st, 2016, 06:32 AM
  #28  
 
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Well maybe but " stupid is as stupid does." .

Let's talk it over with a martini first. .

A lot of cruise wt. or at least some of it is H2O from the Na+ in the food and also for some it's booze. Actually 1 lb. of body mass wt. equates to 3500 calories and except for fat booze has the most calories per gram wt. On top of that booze calories burn first instead of fat stores.

TR is wonderful and thanks for taking the time to do this.

I don't remember the HOHO on Malta so that's a cool option.

Well it's 0830 here. Time to see the other retirees at the gym.

Cheers, Larry. .
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May 31st, 2016, 04:10 PM
  #29  
 
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DBMT, thanks for the beer. I enjoyed the hop on and off bus in Rome. You canceled the karaoke? The nap would have to wait. At my age, naps are becoming a girl's best friend, so I know what you mean.
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May 31st, 2016, 11:04 PM
  #30  
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trvlgirlmq,

I will leave our extra water on the "Cove Balcony" for you
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May 31st, 2016, 11:19 PM
  #31  
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Cruisers Log, Star Date 29.05.29.2016 A.D

02:06Hrs Some thing goes bump in the night and although I am not a light sleep it wakes me up. On previous nights we had heard scraping sounds around the same time each night but were not to bothered by it. We passed it off as “things working themselves out on a new ship”.

However, tonight I am sure it is more than that and place a call to “Guest Services” and I am told someone will come by the room to investigate. I am not to fond of the idea of someone coming in our room at 02:00Hrs but we need to get to sleep for an early get up and go in Messina.

In a few minutes after I call the noise stops and I feel like an “idiot” for making the call. Moments later someone from “Guest Services” stops by and the nightly mystery noises have been solved. It turns out that our “Cove Balcony” is right below one of the dining areas and the nightly cleanings is what has been causing the problem.

However, the real problem is a bad design combined with poor floor/ceiling sound proofing insulation. Normally this would not be an issue for us but with all of the early wake ups it is annoying.

08:13Hrs From our balcony we believe we are steering at a solution for today's “what to do problem”. Not realizing until too late that Messina closes shop on Sunday's our plans to visit Taormina and Mt Etna on our own is in jeopardy. There are no rental cars available and the bus and train schedules just do not work on a Sunday when you have a limited amount of time. Of course we could have booked a “Vista Excursion” but it is really not our style. We prefer to go out on our own which requires us to be flexible and to have a sense of adventure for which we are often rewarded.

10;18Hrs We are at the exit area of the port and blend in with other cruisers also trying to figure out how to get to Taormina. As luck would have it we run into a family of three from another cruise ship and mesh our travel plans together. For 50 Euros per person we are taking a taxi that will allow us to stay in Taormina for 2-3Hrs with about a 45 minute travel time each way.

Along the way we share travel and cruise stories with our new travel companions while comparing notes about different cruise lines. They were cruising on Celebrity with their 12 year old son who told us there was only one other 12 year old on their ship. A funny but sad story he told us was that he was scolded by some ladies while he was having what he thought was fun in the pool. He was told “water is not to play with”... I guess the water in Celebrity pools is only for swimming!

11:05Hrs We are dropped off outside of Taormina and told we would be picked up at 14:00Hrs.

One of the top highlights often mentioned to visit here is the “Greek Theater”. Take my word for it save your 10 Euros. The theaters in Ephesus and/or Pompei are much better and are included in the price of your tour. Fortunately, so far this is the only attraction where we felt ripped off. Otherwise, Taormina was a nice visit with great scenery, great strudels and cannolis from Roberto along with a multitude of gelato shops everywhere.

14:54Hrs Back in Messina we still have about an hour and a half before we have to be back on the Vista. We decide to walk around Messina but first chat with a “Blue” hair lady named Ellen who gives a pamphlet and some “food for thought” for our next port of call, Napoli.

Although like in Malta “Hop-On Hop-Off” buses are available for 10 Euros we skip that option this time and head over to the Messina Cathedral. A 4 Euro entrance fee and I begin making "one small step for man".. (me) with 200 or so more to go to reach the observation platform of the clock town. The views of Messina from here is worth the climb which turns out to be an easy one with some cool exhibits along the way. However, I heard the most impressive time to be here is when the clock strikes high noon.

A light lunch in town along with a 0.50 Euro espreso and we consider our “food for thought”. With free “Wi-Fi” available we go online...

At www.cantbemissedtours.com and book for $80 per person a tour of Sorrento, the Amafi Coast and Pompei. We do have to pay a separate 13 Euro entrance fee for Pompei. I believe that a similar tour through Carnival is over $200 per person.

18:09Hrs The Vista sets sail for Naopli which we are now really looking forward to.

19:30Hrs Its “Show Time” in the Liquid Lounge and since our “Studio VIP” party it is a show we have been excited about seeing. “Flick” does not dissappoint and I think like us most of the audience is left in awe. It is definitely one of the better cruise ship shows we have seen in a long time.

Interestingly, the Liquid Lounge is a multi-purpose room and the stage props are now mostly high tech audio visual back drops that are bright and colorful.

21:06Hrs I make my nightly "Fruit Run". Having found favor with the "Fruit Girls" I know my selection of grapes or fruit of day will be waiting for me. What a treat for a late night snack or early morning breakfast.
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May 31st, 2016, 11:20 PM
  #32  
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JW,

I will take mine.. "Shaken not stirred" ...
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Jun 1st, 2016, 09:05 AM
  #33  
 
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Im with you on the martini. BTW a Belvedere martini on the Oasis was almost $25.00 by the time you add the grat. For one.

If you are paying more for that balcony then they should have had the sense to sound proof it better as its one deck from a noisy area. We try to get a cabin with passenger decks below and above us for quiet reasons.

Too bad for that 12 yr.old. I don't know what happened but for a kid H2O is to play with just like it was for that lady who scolded him when she was 12.

I am glad to made the best of that situation touring on a day when things are closed or shut down early and how cool it is to book your Napoli tour like you did.

Keep it coming dude!!
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Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:21 AM
  #34  
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tch912,

It looks like I might have missed my chance to be a "Karaoke Super Star"... It is already our last day/night of cruising and I have not taken advantage (or may have been secretly denied) the opportunity to sing.

Apparently, my karaoke talents are well known around the Carnival fleet. I am almost sure that with so many Non-English speaking passengers on board the Captain wants to make sure that my singing is not taken as an "abandon ship" distress signal
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Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:46 AM
  #35  
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Cruisers Log, Star Date 30.05.29.2016 A.D

In some ways the early morning ports of calls on this itinerary is “ruining” our cruise nightlife. With an earlier to bed than usual routine, I have just not had the chance to show off my latest dance moves like I would like to except for being the “Y” in Y.M.C.A. However, thanks to running into a “Blue” hair lady yesterday we did not mind retiring early last night as we are excited about our outing today.

08:10Hrs As we leave the Vista I almost want to kiss the ground of the place that has brought me so many “stringy and doughy” pleasures..(offers that I just could not refuse).

I am excited to be in the birthplace of my favorite cheese, mozzarella and an old friend of mine named Al.

The Napoli Port Terminal turns out to be a large one but as promised there are a few gentlemen outside holding up “CBM” signs. Others have gathered around them and we join them to check in for our trip. We are all given little “Blue” stickers and I think this is the first time I have ever had one on a cruise. I feel so special.

08:30Hrs We are promptly rounded up and make a group walk about 5-10 minutes away to the tour bus staging area. Interestingly, in this area you can purchase roundtrip bus tickets to Pompei if you want to venture out on your own.

Some logistics figured out and there are about three buses with CBM clients. I know many have some doubts about using non cruise ship companies for fear of something going wrong like a late return to the ship. Over the years of using such companies we have never had a problem. In this case the worst we figure could happen is we meet up with the Vista in her next port of call, all ninety or so of us.

08:42Hrs we are on the rode to Sorrento with our tour guide Agosto who speaks about seven languages and our bus driver, Lugi.. Yes, I know could this be true. Feeling the same way I ask if Lugi is a good a boy... Agosto assures me that he is but warns me that if I pulla his leg, Lugi gonna slappa me in da face.

With that I know we are in good hands. On the road to Sorrento we get some history of the area along with our tour plans for the day.

Did you know that there is no such thing in Italy as a “Roma” tomato or that mozzarella could literally mean “softie” or that Al Capone was from outside of Naples? I don't know if Agosto is pulling our legs but if he is I am a gonna give an Italian kick or a slappa in da face.

Our drive to Sorrento is filled with awesome scenery and a few “OMG” photo opportunities. Although there are morning clouds still clinging to mountainous terrain the area along the coast is mostly clear and definitely beautiful.

10:08Hrs We arrive in Sorrento a stunning town that has an almost unbelievable violent crime history. We are told the last murder committed here was in the 1920's.

After a brief craftsman demo (with little or no sales pressure) at a local store we are given about two and a half hours to roam around the city. We walk less crowded streets here than in Taormina and really enjoy all the free lemon product samplings given with little or no sales pitch.

10:43Hrs At a small grocery/deli shop run by an Ukrainian we make our adult beverage selections an “International One” as we choose a Russian beer along with an Italian one. All in all five different nations are represented at this event.

Soon we make our way down narrow streets lined with high walls to areas along the hillside cliffs which gives us gorgeous views of the coast line below and glimpses of Capri in the distance. We are already wishing we had more than two and a half hours to spend here.

11:31Hrs Our lunch while delicious for less than 20 Euros is disappointing in two small areas.

First, I was expecting more than 8 grilled sardines for 8 Euros. Second, we never did get our free Limoncello as advertised on the flyer that partly lured us in. Maybe, the word had been spread that we had already received our fair share of free samplings in Sorrento.

In any event more scientific helpings of rich, smooth and creamy gelato more than compensate for our minor lunch disappointments. Again convincing me that a lot of the world's problems can be solved by ice cream.

12:36Hrs We are back on our respective buses for a drive down the Amalfi Coast. There are many more “OMG” photo opportunities. We stop just above Positano for breathtaking views of the area. The scenery seems almost unreal. Somebody, pinch me.

Although much seems to be made about driving the Amalfi Coast independently, I think much of the fear concerns are overrated.

Sure there are risk involved but safety in most situations depends on how well you manage the risk. Next time we will definitely do some driving in the area by ourselves.

13:12Hrs Our next stop Pompei is about 45 minutes away. Along the way we pay 13 Euros each for our admission into Pompei and are told we will be escorted around the grounds by an archeologist.

On the outside of Pompei there is definitely some “tourist” price gouging going on. We pay 3 Euros for water that sells in supermarkets for 0.5 Euro. Bring your own. In the area near the bus parking you can find more reasonable options like a pizza and a Coke for 6 Euros.

To say that seeing Pompei is amazing is an understatement. With a little less crowds it would have been a totally over the top experience.

We have about a two and a half hour walking tour and manage to hit only some of the highlights in a very small portion of the city.

Our guide definitely seemed knowledge about the history of Pompei which was fascinating. Knowing that they had “Fast Food Joints”.. aka McDonalds back then was pretty cool to discover. I'll have.. One McBoar with a large order of pottage and a diet Coke, please.

17:03Hrs We are at the port about an hour and a half before our back on board time. Across from the terminal we browse some shops and come across a nice supermarket. Here we do some shopping like a local and load up on bottles of water and some Italian goodies.

Back at the port terminal there is some chaos to get on the ship as a long line snakes around inside the building to pass through an airport type security to have our identification checked. However, there is no x-ray scanning of the items we are bringing back on board. I am glad because I would hate to have my thick focaccia bread topped with potatoes and sprinkled with spices confiscated.

19:18Hrs The phone rings and I answer an unexpected call from “Guest Services”. It is a supervisor type who has been made aware of our cabin noise issue from the previous nights. She offers a sincere apology and then tells me Carnival is removing our cabin service charges as a compensation for our inconvenience. While I think this is totally unnecessary I accept and this gives us another reason why we will be sailing on Carnival... again and again.

19:37Hrs It has been a long day touring and as the Vista sails away from Napoli it is time for a “Power Nap”.

10:38Hrs My “Power Nap” has turned into a “Deep Sleep” so I get up with a sense of urgency. Yo, world I hope you are ready me and my moves.. I am headed for the disco in the Liquid Lounge.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:53 AM
  #36  
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JW,

It's 10.50 plus tips for a "shaken not stirred one" on the Vista. However, I will put in a requisition with "M" to have the "Home Office" pick up our tab.

Afterall, we can consider our cruising and outing a service to country and just a part of being on "Her Majesty's Secret Service".

JB..
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Jun 2nd, 2016, 01:09 PM
  #37  
 
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DMB: Well it's worth a try . Also what a huge difference in price! About the only time I have one is when we are on a cruise as a toast to the late Fodorite the dogster who we met at the martini bar on the Constellation. These days I'm a red wine guy.

Very nice of CCL to lop off the cabin fees. Things like that bring a person back which is of course dollar wise in the long run. Alas IME many in CS don't get that.

I am loving your TR man. You inspire good times. . Keep it coming !
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 12:14 AM
  #38  
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JW,

Lugi says "Vino Rosso" is whatta all the cool guys end up drinking anyway ...
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 07:00 AM
  #39  
 
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DMBT, You CAN sing, I saw your videos. I didn't get to spend much time in Pompeii, more of a drive by. My cousin got turned around, we were supposed to be going to Sorento, but we ended up in the little town of Amalfi, which was very beautiful.
tch912 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 07:39 AM
  #40  
 
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DMB: must be their version of Carlo Rossis "Paisano". .
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