Cruises for Everyone Part II

Carnival! That sound like celebration and fun, right? Well the definition I found said that carnival is a traveling amusement show, other said festival. I think Carnival’s name live somehow it’s definition. Last time I was sharing with you my experience visiting different ships during ship inspection. In this post I am going to talk about Carnival Valor and Sunshine. Each Carnival ship have their own uniqueness but over all each ship offers fun, great food, relax time and great destination at great value. Other great thing about Carnival is that all members of the family can enjoy it from little kids, to teenagers, parents and grand parents.

I previously wrote about Carnival Valor in another ship inspection that I did on August. You can check out my previous post here. Still on this inspection I took other interesting pictures.

One of my favorite places.

 

Some decoration

 

Piano Bar

 

Piano Bar

 

Comedy Club

 

Salmon for lunch

The Carnival Sunshine

Carnival Sunshine was formerly Carnival Destiny built on 1995. It went to dry dock on 2013 for a renovation of $155 million dollars. Now Carnival Sunshine have the major renovation that features all the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades.

I personally think that it’s amazing the look and all the fun amenities that Sunshine can offer for the whole family. Let me show you what I saw…

 

From the top

 

 

 

I want one these

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s have some fun!

 

Red Frog

 

Alchemy Bar

 

You can get married with Carnival!

 

Main Dinning Room

 

Piano Bar

 

Library, board games, wine!

Can you see yourself enjoying these great amenities? Are you ready to relax and have fun at the same time with a beautiful balance vacation?

Sunshine is in Port Canaveral and she will be there offering 3 to 8 day cruises. But later on she will be moving to other ports in 2016. During the summer 2016 she will be on Virginia, South Carolina and finishing in New York around October. She will be back to Cape Canaveral. If you want more information about Sunshine let me know I and I can help you with your travel story. 😉

 

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂

 

 

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Reviews Are Relatives

“Hey! This restaurant has great reviews, it has all five stars. I think we should go and try this one out.”

 

When we travel we like to try new things (related to food). A coffee shop, a restaurant, an

ice-cream place, anything that give us a new perspective of things and new flavors. Even close to home I am always in the look out for a new place to go and try something new. For this I love to use Groupon ( I had talk about this before) and also I consult Yelp.

Usually the process starts searching the area where we are at a given moment. For that I used my great friend “Yelp”. After looking, I select the ones that look more appealing for my needs at the moment and then I check the reviews.

Jorge and I try to look for those places that have more than two or three reviews. We look at the dates that the reviews were written and we read the comments. At least we scan the reviews to see if is worth to read. Then we look for pictures and see if the pics call us by our names.

Well…after doing so much investigation we make a decision hoping that our experience is going to be as good or better. Then sometimes our expectation could go a little higher than it supposed to.

 

This past Monday, after a great wedding weekend in Brooklyn we were going back home but first we wanted to have breakfast in a local, small coffee place. We went through the process like I described it above and Jorge read the word CREPE. That was enough to narrow down our options. It was fine with me, I like crepes!

We found this little place were the reviews were pretty good between 4 and 5 stars most of them. To make the story short we walk around 10 minutes with all our stuff (luggage) with us, we were hungry and excited to sit and enjoy some good coffee and breakfast before heading to the city.

The place was small, cute and cozy. At the moment we got in, there wasn’t anybody at the little restaurant. We were putting our stuff away when the owner told us that they were close, that they haven’t open it yet. My face change colors. A thousand disappointment expressions came across my face also. But then he start laughing and acknowledge me about my face. He told us it was a joke and we laugh with him. We order coffee, some crepes with eggs and everything else, I added two cheeses, mozzarella and goat.

The coffee was good, we got that first. I was trying to hold my coffee as much as I could, because I like to eat and drink coffee at the same time. The crepes… Let me put it this way, they were AWFUL! The funny thing is that we were the only ones in this tiny place with the owner. There was no way that we could run away from this place without the owner knowing that we totally dislike the food. Believe me! I want it to run away so bad. I looked at Jorge, Jorge looked at me and between facial expressions and no words we communicate our frustration.

I am not a rude person, I didn’t want to make the owner feel bad, Jorge neither. So, believe it or not we ate almost the whole thing. Now I know the feeling of eating just for survival and not for pleasure.

Our conclusion, the reviews are relative. This is the second time that I go through this situation of reading good reviews and then my experience is completely different. I went back to Yelp and read more carefully the reviews, definitely people like this place. Is either that we did a poor choice from the menu or our taste is not built for that place.

I will not share the name of the coffee shop because I choose not to put down the place, when there are so many people who like it. I just wanted to reflect on the fact that a review will not always give you the answer, sometimes you have to check places no matter what other people think. We had the experience before to go and enjoy a place very much and then when we check out how people rate it is less than we think.

 

Each experience is different, and we all are different, what is good for me, may no be for you or vice versa.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂

 

 

Love Story In NYC

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In a magical city, where time runs as fast as the people who walk on the streets.  In a secret place on a street of Brooklyn everything stop for a moment. There is nothing more important that the love confession from one to another. Neither the time, nor the business of this magical place can stop the occasion to celebrate eternal love. We were just witnesses of the seal of love that was passing to another level. Love that will continue to evolve in many ways, in a corner, in a secret place of that magical city, anywhere and everywhere…

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biking At Central Park: What I Thought versus Reality

 

Riding our bikes while listening to birds singing beautiful, coordinated melodies. I can smell the strawberries from the Strawberry field from the distance. We parked our bikes and pick some of the berries… We continue our bike ride, the fresh wind caress my face and hair. Where ever I looked, people are smiling and they look as happy as we are. The sun is shining with glory but not too hot, so our day looks clear and perfect. Families all together playing on the park, a couple having a romantic picnic over the green, emerald grass. The sound of the city disappears with the distraction of nature, the smell of flowers, the glowing pond and lakes… The Castle enchanted the moment, feeling like I was in another era. Perfection is all around us. The shade of the millions of trees is comfortable and the bike track is so smooth and flat that^&^##$%^&(*&(*&*&^ WAKE UP!!!!!

That was just my day dreaming adventure of what I tought it was going to be biking in Central Park. Now the real story went a little bit different…

 

I been in Central Park before, about 3 times, but only to the area between the W 59th St. and Bethesda fountain and The Loeb Central Park Boathouse (The Lake).

 

 

So, I was guilty of dreaming unrealistic dreams about my next visit to Central Park. Specially…. Number 1, I wanted to see the whole park and number 2, I want to take a tour bike… I thought it was going to be easier to bike, that to walk around so much. The park is huge and there was a lot that I wanted to see and learn about it… besides I love biking (but far from being a professional).

OK!Check this out. First, we got late to the bike tour, so instead we rented the bicycles for 4 hours (it was included with the NY passes that we bought)Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals

Second, there are no strawberries on the Strawberry Field!(This was so funny to me because I thought that I never visited the Strawberry Field before,I thought it was called like that literally because had strawberries. But I did visited before, but didn’t know that the John Lennon Memorial was the Strawberry Field.) O____o

Third, Central Park is Not Flat! I did not know that the park has hills… You know, up and down hills!! I love biking but I do it more recreational not as an exercise event. I am not used to ride going up hills! Did I mention that Orlando is flat! So, if you are not in good shape or at least you are not used to ride bicycle up hills you will have a tremendous work out.

After getting our bikes, I was designated to be the “tour guide” because I had the list of things to see. After studying the map, and get a little lost we found the bike lane. For my disappointment the bike lane runs along a street that goes around the outer part of the park. The park doesn’t have a bike trail through the park where the trees, ponds, lakes, castle and all the pretty scenery is. For us to be able to see anything in our list we supposed to leave the bike lane and walk our bikes through the interior part of the park, is prohibited to ride bicycles on the walking path. Another little detail, we were not able to leave the bicycles unattended because we didn’t get the locks that were provided for us… We tought we were not going to need them. Oops!

We started and there it came the first hill, without breath we decide to take our first break.

 

 

 

 

Later continuing our bike ride our speed was almost none, many bikers continuously went by passing us. Our second stop was by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, by the 5th Ave. It was my first time seen this pretty sight. Jay stayed guarding the bikes while we went to see the reservoir. Remember, we left the locks… we thought we were not going to need them… Hmmmm we were wrong!







As we continued, more hills came along followed by tiredness, sweat, thirst, back pain, leg pain, and all the complaints, and pain list that you can imagine. The fun part was every time we went down the hill… Weeeeeeee! I loved it! The wind, the speed, it was awesome until… the next hill. My son Jay was having a blast, he loved the challenge. He is in great shape and exercise almost every day, so for him was just one more day of exercise. He had to stop many times to wait for us. Jorge and my mom were on a tandem (2 person bike) so when my mom couldn´t do it any more she walk and Jorge kept going on the bike but at Snail speed. My daughter Jadzia and me, we invented a new technic… it’s called riding & walking bike technic. Walk your bike up hill and ride it down hill as simple as that. It was the only way for us to do it. I know! I know!! Its terrible!!

For some reason none of us wanted to stop to see anything, we wanted to finish. We didn’t stop anymore,there were not pretty, inspiring sights, just the street and people passing by us.

At the end we laugh at ourselves and had fun with our funny experience. My mom felt pretty good with herself after riding a bike now that she is 66 years old and haven’t ride a bicycle for a long time. Something I can tell you for sure the “Biking in Central Park” bucket list item is checked mark and have a DONE! in bold letters on the side. 😉


 


Reality hit me, my expectation of riding a bike in Central Park were different of what we lived, but still I loved the fact that we had own story to tell. It was a great experience because as a family we created memories, we had bonding time and our own unique travel story. Travel is about been real and enjoy the experience no matter if is not a Cinderella setting. Travel with family is about having a great attitude, is about making the decision of enjoying and embracing life with happiness.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Where your expectation were too high? Share your story with me!


Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Much Fun With the Wax Art

Never imagine that we could have so much fun in a wax museum! Madame Tussauds in New York is a fun place to go. Here you can get in character yourself and pretend meeting the famous. Some of them look so real! The good thing is that Madame Taussauds are in many other cities besides NY. It is incredible that I went all the way to NY city to have this way of fun, but now I found out that even they are opening one Madame Taussauds in Orlando, early 2015.
So let’s get started and have play time with the wax! Here you will see some of the famous that my family and I met. You too can have an experience like this. Check out the locations at their website www.madametussauds.com

In the mind time,come have fun with us!

I can’t believe she is with both of them!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think they have a problem…. LOL

 

 

I guess he is famous! 🙂

 

 

 

 

My mommy and me drooling… LOL

 

 

 

Can we sing Purple Rain?

 

 

Traffic in NY!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My boys with Jennifer! -_____-

 

 

 

Oh Jay!!!

 

What in the world!!

 

To finish here is a video of my famous meeting with Steven Spielberg!!!!

I hope you will enjoy it!

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂