Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rolling in the Deep ~

Last month we did some rolling in the deep on this baby:

The Carnival Magic is gorgeous, really!! We did a 7 day cruise, eastern Caribbean. Ports: Key West, Florida...Freeport, Bahamas...Nassau, Bahamas. Since we were onboard for Valentine's Day, we dubbed it the Love Cruise. Think what you will.

She's a new ship. The only other ship I'd sailed before was the Conquest, which was very cool and a big ship too. But, The Magic is a Dream Class, over 1000 ft. long. I loved that!!

Here's some stock photos of some of what Magic has to offer. Up first is SkyCourse, the first ever ropes course at sea. That must be a thrill, if you're not bothered by heights. I wouldn't know. But it's fun to watch. We talked to one of the guys in charge of this and he says Carnival takes this very seriously. And he said it's a total blast.

Here's one shot of Serenity Deck, an adults only area. If the chairs look comfy, just know that they are. One of the crazy good things about The Magic is all the different decks/areas they have for you to relax outside. One of our favorite places was on deck 11 aft, quiet and relaxing with magnificent views.

This is the Atrium (lobby). It goes from deck 3 all the way to the top. It's pretty, and the glass elevators are shiny and sparkly. (I like shiny things) Notice the long sofas? They come in handy if you're a people-watcher, and I am.

This shop is called Cherry on Top. Of course it's just darling, filled with pricey treats of all kinds. Sweet things in shiny containers to put in cute packages with shiny ribbon...well you know where that's going to lead.

Carnival's Waterworks. It was a bit chilly on our cruise but I bet if you're there in warmer weather, you can play the heck out of this (if you're so inclined). They have several giant waterslides and more things than you can count.

This next place is adorable. Like other cruise ships, there are dozens of places on the Magic to eat, most included in the cruise price, some you pay for extra. But unlike others, this ship has it's own family-style Italian restaurant. It's called Cucina del Capitano. You choose your meat or seafood, your pasta, and your sauce and they fix it for you, along with a signature Caesar salad. It was delicious. You can eat free for lunch or have a more elaborate dinner (with desserts) for $12 each. It's the wall art too. We only ate there once but for sure I want to go again next time. And there will be a next time.

OK, here we go, here's our pictures. Me and the Bear. Papa Bear. (I call him that sometimes. Breaker breaker Papa Bear.) Nevermind - wrong story. Wrong decade. Wrong century.

And our favorite cruising compatriots...Charles (brother in law) and Lou Ellen (sister). Better known (on this cruise) as the people who swim with dolphins.

We stopped at Atlantis, on Paradise Island in Nassau. It's where the wealthy play. And the cruise passengers walk through and look. I am a bit taken with my own picture of this water thing, so here you go.

Lots and lots of yachts.

I believe the dark blue one is my very favorite. Now why didn't we ("we" is my sister and I, the guys really don't care) look up the vital info on this beauty and see who owns her. Maybe it's not too is my friend.

Final thoughts...

Rolling in the deep is an excellent way to spend a week. And I say that in all seriousness. I'm someone who gets carsick if I have to ride an hour in the back seat of a vehicle and I never, not once, felt queasy.

The Carnival Magic was everything I imagined and more.

Really, people...the amenities!!!!

(amenities are in the eye of the beholder...)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Key West (come as you are)

Key West, Florida...where the signs say "Come as you are" was our first stop on our cruise last month. It's a small place, only a few square miles but it's interesting and artsy and kind of pretty. The whole island vibe, the we're-cool-and-we-know-it attitude, and the historic areas all add up to a fun place to visit. Be aware's a liberal minded, liberal culture, alternative values kind of town. (No worries, we avoided posing with the naked statues.)

We rented a 4-person electric car to cruise around the island. It was sort of like riding in a souped-up golf cart.

The infamous Sloppy Joe's saloon.

We passed by Ernest Hemingway's home but didn't have time to stop. I'm not such a Hemingway fan anyway, but I was sort of interested in the cats on site, most of them still are bred to have six-toes.

However, when in Key West, take a pic with Hemingway....

The sisters. Oh yeah, we're cool. And we know it. ;)

My brother-in-law Charles, eating the Kermit's (award winning) Frozen Key Lime Pie.

We had lunch at Pepe's, the oldest restaurant in Key West, known for oysters, steak and key lime pie (like everyone else on the island). Not friendly service...but they don't have to be, they trade on their name and the homemade menu items. I ordered the Oyster Medley. They were good, but small. Once was enough.

We ate on the patio. Here's the chandelier over our table. I bet it's pretty at night.

We got a parking ticket while we were there. (we were targeted, I'm sure of it). Big Daddy wasn't such a fan of Pepe's. This is his happy face.

What's a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?

Key West is eclectic. And they're proud of that. On Duval St. you can see a seafood shack right next door to a Birkenstock store, just across from Fast Buck Freddie's (souvenirs), a museum, an independent art gallery, and a Coach store.

Yes, we stopped at Coach. I took this khaki and red puppy home:

Pretty scooters, all in a row.

Goodbye, Key West.