Master Mixology Contest:
I was all kinds of confident with my drink recipe.... if judged on taste, I believed I was a shoo-in,,, THAT IS... until I was called up with the other selected contestants and the host told us, "Okay you will not only be judged on your drink, but also on your swag!" Wait what?! Well there went my confidence- ha! What swag? I'm a girl, I don't have swagger! Then he asked us, "Have you ever seen the movie Cocktail?" I jumped right in nervously laughing, "You want us to be flipping bottles and getting crazy?" Um I was getting stage fright and thinking, "I need a drink, before I can go on stage" haha- but there was no time for that! The contest was starting, and I was in it- and lined up stage right! Last thing he said, "You have to be entertaining for the audience!" Crap, here I thought I was in a bartending drink contest, now I have to entertain, what the heck do I do?
Oh well, I was called 2nd and I got up there to find that they didn't have 2 of my ingredients ready on stage. So I sent an employee to get them and I just danced and made my drink!
A new panel of 3 judges (the actual "taste testers") were chosen - 2 people selected from the audience and 1 employee. They were actually pretty harsh on the other contestants, but in the most funny way. They were supposed to describe to the crowd how the drinks tasted- I heard one say, "Have you ever had cough syrup?" haha, and "This looks like toilet water." The other contestants were super nice, so I was thinking "Dang- ouch!" Luckily they liked my drink- so they had nice things to say, haha! John said he could tell based on the judges that I was going to win, but I had no idea.
Apparently this was the wrong dress choice for Lido Deck, haha! I was caught having a few Marilyn Monroe moments!
The host had us all line up again at the end. He walked the line of us asking the audience to applaud for their favorite, naming us one at a time... Nothing like that embarrassing moment when they point to you!
Splashing is Fun!
Just before the contest started, they had an ice carving demonstration taking place on the Lido Deck. We caught some of it while I was signing up. The artist created this beautiful Indian sculpture. The funny part was after they hauled it off, there was a giant puddle of water and Maletch made a bee-line for it! He had fun splashing his feet and doing dance moves (lots of spins on the slippery floor)!
Maletch is always a magnet towards puddles! If there is water anywhere, he finds a way to get in it and get it on him! Doesn't matter if it's a water fountain or disgusting gutter water- he's going to touch it!
Build a Bear (for St. Jude):
After mommy won the contest, we took the kids to something onboard similar to "Build-a-Bear Workshop" the cruise line calls "Beary Cuddly Workshop." Carnival has partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and all proceeds from the sales go to it. It was wonderful to be able to help do a little good and have some fun at the same time! The kids were excited about this! We let them choose their stuffed animal first. The kids have to first stuff them with the fill- that was a fun step! Maletch chose a Calico Cat and Sariah chose a Reindeer. Then the kids got to choose a themed outfit (cute little clothes) for their animal (Maletch chose a "surfer" and Sariah chose a "princess") and the kids got to dress them. Later in the cruise, we let them buy a second outfit for their animals (the outfits are so cute and have the cruise logo on them too)- so the kids now can change their outfits! Maletch got a "fisherman" and Sariah a "hula girl" as their second outfits. I laughed when I heard the kids talking about her "reindeer princess" so casually- as if that's something you hear everyday.
One of Sariah's Projects:
When we arrived at the Bear Workshop, we saw this huge Alien/Monster poster near the entrance. Sariah announced, "I colored that monster!" I asked her which part she did, she said, " I colored the pants part and I wrote my name." If you look closely (enlarged) you can see her name in orange next to the pants. She liked finding her art displayed, and so did we!
With our "bears," we headed back to the room to quickly get dressed up for our first Formal Night which consisted of the Captain's party (which we basically skipped) to squeeze in some photos (not the private session- just other portraits)- and still have time to run to formal dinner and make the family-friendly comedy show. They had multiple comedy shows over the 8 days, some were listed as "family friendly" meaning no cussing and no offensive jokes - and they held "adult only" comedy shows later at night.
Dinner was wonderful. The service is always amazing, and I love that the staff always calls you by name! Its amazing that when you sign in (with only your room number)- the entire staff takes the time to learn everyone- even the kids' names before they approach the table, saying, "What would you like to drink tonight Sariah?" It's that way throughout the entire ship- so awesome! Considering for 2500 passengers, they have 1000 crew members onboard- that's really an incredible ratio- and that is why you get fantastic service everywhere!
We always try to be adventurous on vacation and try a few new foods we would never normally try- that night John and I tried "alligator" as one appetizer- it wasn't bad, not my favorite- but at least we tried it! On another night, we both tried "frog legs" as well! We both found the taste "gross"- but again it was fun to at least try it!
The 2 level restaurant "Bacchus" is very beautiful and full of details everywhere. We dined every night on the upper level and this was our view:
View looking down at lower level from our table!
In addition to our M.C. hosting the "Showtime" song/dance/light show each night, we also had a walk around magician show us some tricks at our table- super fun!
We all danced at the restaurant during "Showtime" to "That's Amore" - fun!
At The Mad Hatter's Ball for the Family Comedy Show!
We had a few portraits taken before dinner.
It is always a fun surprise to return to the room and find our new "towel animal" of the day! The kids would always BURST through the door to see what our steward had made us- and then their other favorite part was finding where he left our chocolates! HA! The room stewards are like ninjas- they know when you leave- they never knock and bother you (unless its important)- they are super fast- and they're GONE! You'll never catch them in your room! We were all fascinated with how they make these things- sometimes using more than one towel too! Really cool. Years ago, we bought a "how to make towel animals" book that the cruise sold on-board. We still have the book, but we never learned how, haha!
They do offer several FREE "towel animal lessons" scheduled on-board which sounded like fun, but we were always too busy. Maletch was shown how to make one at Kid's Club (but he doesn't remember how).
What a cool gorilla!!
*** still to add to this post: VIDEOS of master mixology contest video, Build a Bear, and more***