Carnival Victory: June 19-23, 2008

Carnival Victory: June 19-23, 2008

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My family loves going on vacation, and cruises are something we can always agree upon.  I especially love the fact that cruises provide the opportunity to travel to multiple destinations on one trip, with the ease of plopping your suitcase in one location, and without the hassle of constantly boarding planes or wasting vacation time on the train/bus.  When you’re female you end up with a heavy suitcase no matter where and how long you go for!  The past few years we had been going on cruises to the Caribbean, but my mom decided that this year we would be going to Canada?  Not a common cruise destination in my book, but the ship itself is always a good time.  The cruise was leaving out of the city, making it rather
 convenient for us New Yorkers.

We boarded the ship and decided to have some lunch at the buffet.  Cruises are all about the food people!!!  Free flowing food (including ice cream!) at all hours of the day, who can’t resist that?!  After our first of many meals, we went up to the top deck to see the ship depart from NYC.  We had so much fun with this, with the strong winds blowing in our hair.  And finally, after what felt like forever, we left!  The skyline was oh so pretty that day, and we took so many pictures.  We passed right by the statue of liberty and went right under the Brooklyn bridge, missing the bridge by what looked like only a few inches!  We observed the “goodbye” party held by the ship’s staff, and watched my dad partake in the dancing.  That’s always a fun sight! 


We spent the next few hours exploring the ship, and of course indulged in our first of many ice cream cones (it was hard to resist)!  The next few hours were spent unpacking, exploring some more, possibly eating MORE ice cream, and partaking in the safety evacuation drill.  My sister Ali and I always have too much fun with our lifejackets, although it is actually very difficult to walk down x amount of flights of stairs to get to the proper deck.  You can see our tiny interior cabin in the picture as well.  It was livable though; we made do.  I can’t quite remember the rest of the night’s activities, so I will begin with a new day.

Our days at sea comprised of laying around the pool, lunch at the buffet, more ice cream, yummy drinks in fun cups, and just enjoying life.  My dad participated in the hairy chest contest, which turned out to be more than just that.  The men had to dance and sing, and act like animals as they gained applause from the crowd.  Of course my dad chose to act like a monkey- the crowd got a kick out of it!  The whole thing was hilarious.  If I remember correctly, my dad came in second place, not bad!  We also watched an ice carving that was incredible.  Imagine looking at a block of ice, then looking back a few minutes later, and vwah-lah, it transforms into a unicorn!  The man chipping away at the ice was pretty spectacular, since he did not need a stencil to carve out the unicorn.  The picture below does not do the ice carving justice.  Just trust me.  Unfortunately, the unicorn starting melting away in the sun moments after it was completed.


Just a few extra pics from our days at sea (click on the pics to enlarge them):

Saint John, New Brunswick  
And then we arrived.  The only St. anything I’ve ever been to was a tropical island, and this Saint was no such thing.  I didn’t wear an itsy bitsy bikini with pina colada in hand, instead I wore jeans and a sweatshirt!  It was cold and rainy!  Not my piece of cake.  We get enough of that during the winter months on Long Island!  Instead of dwelling over the unfortunate weather (we went north for god’s sake!) we explored what the island had to offer.  We encountered many moose, wooden and made of metal (we were in Canada!), came across a street fair, and decided to check out the Reversing Falls in the Bay of Fundy.  Instead of taking a taxi up the long and tiresome hill up to the falls, we did it the old-fashioned way and walked.  And boy were we sorry!  After the long trek up the hill, we watched a film about the history of the reversing falls and what is it today.  Honestly, I think we were all too exhausted to enjoy it.  Next part was to actually see the “falls”, which were in fact more like “rapids”.  I did not see any waterfalls whatsoever.  I learned that these extreme rapids occur when the St. John River “has to pass through a narrow gorge and by the huge rise and fall of the tides in the Bay of Fundy“.  Ok, I admit, I looked that up!  I did not find anything too spectacular about the Reversing Falls, either we came at the wrong time of day, or I didn’t know what I was looking for.  Is it possible we arrived during those 20 minutes or so when the water is completely still with no rapids whatsoever?  I would have loved to see some rapids gushing through.  Only if my family was more adventurous, or we had more time, we could have taken a ride through the rapids on a jet boat.  Now that would have made the walk more worth it!

We took a walk along one of the nearby paths, and looked out for seals.  Unfortunately we were there the wrong time of year, and were unable to see any.  That’s our boat in the background, if you couldn’t tell because of the horrible fog.

We left Saint John in the early evening, just as the sun was setting, which made for some nice pictures.  We watched the boat disembark from the port from our balcony.  The water was so calm, and the sky and sun were so nice being reflected in the water.                                        

Back on the Ship
One night we had the opportunity to go to the Captain’s Cocktail Hour on the ship. This called for pretty dresses and some free champagne!  Both of which I absolutely love!  We were worried that my sister, who was underage at the time, wouldn’t get served.  But no worries, no one questioned her- probably because she looks older than me!  We had fun, eating some hors d’oeuvres and drinking our mimosas and other beverages.  The captain was there, and we were able to get a picture taken with him.

All in all our vacation was good; the ship itself was a lot of fun, and we were able to have a lot of family-time, but Saint John could have been a little more entertaining.  

Before I forget, here are some of the towel animals that were created for us by our cabin maids.


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