Traveling Mamas

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  • One the aspects I love about cruising is that I don’t have to cook for days! On the Carnival Breeze, there’s a wide array of dining options to fit every craving and taste. Here’s the complete list of where to nosh while cruising on the Carnival Breeze cruise ship. These venues are in addition to reserved dining in the two main dining rooms on board and the no-added charge 24 hour room service.

    Shrimp cocktail served daily in main dining rooms on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Bonsai Sushi – This is Carnival’s first full-service sushi restaurant offering a variety of sushi, sashimi, and rolls along with bento boxes and even their own version of a sushi boat. Carnival makes the sushi experience accessible for those who haven’t had the chance to try it while at home, giving guests a ways to broaden their culinary experience. Check out our review of Bonsai Sushi on the Carnival Breeze.

    Shrimp tempura roll at Bonsai Sushi on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ – Currently only offered on sea days, guests on the Carnival Breeze can enjoy authentic down-home BBQ. While everything on the menu is pretty darn tasty, the pulled pork sandwich has to be my favorite.

    Buffet at Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Guy’s Burger Joint -This has to be one of the most popular dining venues that Carnival has introduced during their FunShip 2.0 initiative. I know it’s one of my favorites and its the first meal I had when stepping onto the Carnival Breeze for a quality control check. Yeah. It’s still as good as I remember from the Carnival Liberty. When Guy’s Burger Joint was first introduced, the daily number of burgers served was 400. Now on the Carnival Breeze, 1200-1500 burgers are served each day.

    BlueIguana Cantina – Most cruisers don’t realize they can get breakfast from this Lido Deck venue located near the Beach Pool. The freshly made tortillas can be prepared however you want, be it a burrito or a soft taco. I not only enjoyed a breakfast burrito one morning, but on another afternoon I sampled the fish tacos and chicken tacos. This venue is convenient and I love the salsa bar.

    Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez – On sea days, the Punchliner Comedy Brunch is a nice and luxurious alternative to the Marketplace Buffet breakfast. The menu is extensive and offers either a breakfast or lunch menu, depending upon your cravings at the time. There is also a Bloody Mary bar if you’d like an eye-opener to enjoy during the brief comic relief offered by the comics booked on the Carnival Breeze. I was pleasantly surprised to see cheesy grits on the breakfast menu — and the dish was delicious!

    Eggs Benedict at Punchliner Comedy Brunch by George Lopez on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse – Carnival ships always have a nice steakhouse and the Carnival Breeze is no exception. The steaks are always consistent from ship to ship in the entire fleet and offers a romantic setting for a quiet high-end meal while on the ship. Fahrenheit 555 is a California inspired steak restaurant offering an extensive and top-notch wine list. There is a premium of $35 per person but does include a four course meal.

    Crab cake appetizer at Fahrenheit 555 steak house on Carnival Breeze cruise

    Cucina del Capitano – First introduced on the Carnival Magic, Cucina del Capitano brings an old Italian homestyle kitchen on board certain Carnival ships in the fleet. It pays homage to the heritage of Carnival’s captains, serving Italian cuisine and special dishes made from many of the captains’ family recipes. A fun aspect of this dining venue is the singing waiters and the Chianti cart. This is a premium restaurant with a $12 charge and the Chianti is $5 per glass ordered from the cart. It’s a very good value for family-style dining and the portions are enormous. Check out our review of Cucina del Capitano.

    Lido Marketplace -This is a casual, pool-side eatery and has international offerings from paninis to Indian Tandoori. If you are craving pizza, it can be found here. A Mongolian wok station is always ready to cook your choice of ingredients and almost everything else can be found at this buffet.

    Pizza from Lido Marketplace Pizza Pirate on the Carnival Breeze cruise (Beer tube from RedFrog Rum Bar)

    “The Comfort Kitchen” – This is a new venue located in the Lido Marketplace offering American-style “comfort food”.

    Ocean Plaza – This indoor/outdoor cafe serves cappucinoa, lattes and espressos, along with pastries and other sweets (for a charge). During morning hours, a light continental breakfast is offered (at no extra charge) at The Taste Bar, which is adjacent to the Ocean Plaza. In the evenings, cocktail service is available.

    RedFrog Pub – When one is at the RedFrog Pub, sometimes the munchies sneak up on you. For a very minimal charge, Caribbean-inspired fare can be found in this themed pub. It’s always a fun atmosphere with live music going on at various times. It has a British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West feel to it and is always a great place to chill.

    Serenity – This adult only retreat area used to only serve drinks at the bar, but on the Carnival Breeze salads, sandwiches, wraps and other light fare can be found for those relaxing in this area connected to Cloud 9 Spa.

    The Taste Bar – A new aspect of the FunShip 2.0 enhancements introduced on the Carnival Breeze is this complementary appetizer program located in the Ocean Plaza. Each evening, bite sized offerings inspired by different dining venues are available to guests during cocktail hour. There are also signature cocktail specials tied to the theme of the evening.

    Sea Dogs – Coming in November on the Carnival Breeze, guests can enjoy American hot dogs served from a hot dog-shaped cart located in the SportSquare outdoor recreation area. I’m confident this will be a hit with kids and adults alike.

    For more information on the Carnival Breeze or to book your next cruise, visit Carnival.com or contact your favorite travel agent.

    Carnival Cruise Lines hosted international media, including this outlet, on a media junket for editorial research.

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  • I love LSU Tiger Football. My parents have had season tickets since I was little and each year my husband and I purchase the tickets from my parents. If I can’t attend the game in person, due to work or my travels, I make sure to find a way to watch on television.

    Enjoying a Thirstyfrog Red on the Carnival Liberty cruise shipMy biggest concern about having an afternoon flight and cruising on game day was the possibility of missing the SEC Championship Game between LSU and UGA. Fortunately, I was able to catch the game at the new EASports Bar on the Carnival Liberty, part of the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements. Of course, I was sporting the blinged-out LSU shirt my brother and sister-in-law gave me for my birthday.

    I don’t know exactly what I was expecting at EASports Bar, but when I walked in I was wowed. It was like being at a sports bar in any city, but I had a better view out the window! As I was looking around for a place to sit, an older couple invited me to sit at their booth to catch the game. They were super nice and we even ended up splitting a bucket of Dos Equis during the game.

    During the game, there were complimentary snacks of chicken tenders and big soft pretzels. On the wall were signed framed jerseys from Tim Tebow, Brett Favre, and a few other notable athletes. Across the top of one wall was a ticker tape of game scores from all over the globe. Behind the bar were four gigantic screens playing two games – one of which was the SEC Championship.

    EASports on Carnival Liberty

    It was fun to sit there during the game, enjoying the ribbing from other cruise guests when the Tigers were lagging behind during the first half. Of course, I joked with them commenting that I was just glad none of the team members got arrested the night before the game.

    Big screens at EA Sports bar on Carnival Liberty

    Watching SEC Football at EASports on Carnival Liberty cruise shipFortunately, the LSU Tigers came back to win the SEC Championship and I didn’t miss out on this important sports event. The EASports Bar provided a fun venue on the Carnival Liberty. Throughout the cruise there will be live gaming tournaments for video gamers, and other special sports games will air on the many screens. So far, so good with the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements on Carnival Cruise Lines.

     

    Special thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines who invited me to learn about the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements being introduced to the fleet. My cruise is complimentary, which is standard in the travel industry for story research purposes. I have not been compensated and all opinions are 100% my own.

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  • The Carnival Magic has arrived home in Galveston, Texas!

    Recently, Maroon 5 and the Port of Galveston, along with fans and cruise guests, welcomed the Carnival Magic to her home port in the Gulf of Mexico.The Carnival Magic’s year-round Caribbean cruise program features two different week-long itineraries, including seven-day western Caribbean voyages to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and week-long eastern Caribbean cruises to Nassau, Freeport, and Key West.

    Carnival Magic offers a wide variety of innovations, including the RedFrog Pub, a colorful Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring its own private label draft beer; Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportSquare, an expansive open-air recreation complex with the first ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea. Other features include an exciting WaterWorks aqua park with a 312-foot-long spiral water slide and other attractions; The Lanai, a wraparound promenade with an outdoor barbeque area and whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides; and Ocean Plaza, a stunning indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue.

    Carnival Magic cruise ship outdoor theater

    Carnival Magic joins the Carnival Triumph which launched year-round four- and five-day cruises from Galveston last month. Homeporting the Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph in Galveston represents the largest-ever capacity commitment by a cruise line to Texas. With these deployments, Carnival expects to carry more than 450,000 guests annually from Galveston – a 28 percent increase over the current year. Carnival Magic’s arrival is also expected to have a positive impact on the Texas economy. According to a study commissioned by the Cruise Lines International Association, in 2010 the North American cruise industry contributed $1.1 billion in direct spending to the Texas economy, with cruise industry spending generating 16,457 jobs and $828 million in income for Texas workers.

    For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

    Carnival also can be found on:
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise
    Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/carnival

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  • Carnival Fantasy Cruise PoolWhen I first stood out the doors of Circle “C” I was timid and reluctant to enter. I felt as if I was a new girl standing out of the doors of a school – until, my brother told me it would be fun. I thought if my brother told me that, then I can do it. I told my mom and dad bye, I could tell that they were nervous, especially my mom. I entered this room full of 12-14 year olds playing video games, talking, laughing and dancing. I stood against the wall watching the waves roll by for like 2 seconds until a girl named Destiny asked me if I wanted to be in her group for the scavenger hunt. I said yes, and joined the group of crazy, loud kids. During the scavenger hunt Destiny and I were having a ball, talking about ourselves while doing crazy things, like finding someone named Bob. Then 10 o’clock came and we had to go back to the Circle “C” room.

    We also met Taylor and Abby the first night, along with a lot of other super nice kids. We hung out the whole night, at the shows, pool, mini golf, and pizza place. The show was absolutely amazing and welcoming to all ages. The pizza was 24/7 and GREAT! The mini golf was a challenge but we made it through, and the pool was just right.  Even though it was late at night there was still movement, and excitement. Everywhere you turned there was something fun going on.  Also, there were free photo shoots going on, and of course my friends and I hit of every single one of them.

    Fun and Dancing at Dinner on Carnival CruiseThe next morning I woke up and got dressed as fast as I could and looked for my friends. OF course I find them at our spot, right next the sodas and picture shoots. We went on the waterslide at Carnival Waterworks because Circle “C” doesn’t open till 11 am.  There is one long water slide, and two mini drops. Also, for younger kids there is a kiddy area. Then came lunch, which there is a variety of a couple of places to eat.  My friends and I always went to the buffet because the other restaurants were sit-down fancy food.  So we got that American food. With Circle “C” we watched shows, sang karaoke, had another scavenger hunt, we ate ice cream, went to the pool, and Waterworks – Until my mom just had to make me come to dinner. At the restaurant each night I saw my favorite waiters of all time, Koko and Samsump. They would make crazy objects with the napkins and include the kids. I didn’t even wait for dessert before getting back to my new friends because every night Circle “C” had a dance party for kids only.  After the dance parties there were dance off competitions and all kinds of fun and games going on around the cruise ship, so my friends and I had to be a part of that!

    Carnival Cruise Lines is great for kids of all ages. Even the kids who don’t like to do anything ( like my brother) . There are a lot of options to do at once. You can send your child to Camp Carnival or Circle “C” – depending on their age. But no matter what, they WILL make friends. I still text my friends till this day. We keep in good contact. After you leave the cruise you feel like you have known the kids forever, in a good way. I highly recommend Carnival Cruise Lines for a family cruise. You will not regret it. In fact I’m itching to go back now.

    This post was written by my daughter, who accompanied me on a hosted press cruise (she sometimes travels with me on press trips and media visits.) She always brings along a travel journal to keep a personal record of her adventures. These are her opinions and description of Carnival Cruise Lines Circle “C” Club for ages 12-14. I can attest that we did have to force her to dinner with the family each night. On our final night of our family cruise, we searched the picture gallery for our family photo. My husband, son, and I busted out laughing at all the photos that included three particular 12 year old girls with various poses and backdrops. We weren’t laughing, though, when she purchased a few of these photos for herself….and charged them to our cabin. ~ CajunMama

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  • At TravelingMamas.com we’re always on the lookout for great travel contests and promotions for our readers. Holland America Line recently announced their “Win the Key to Half Moon Cay” Photo Contest, giving those who enter the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean cruise for four.

    Grand Prize: The grand prize winner will receive a 7-day Caribbean cruise stopping at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island, which is the line’s highest-rated Caribbean port of call. Winner will be given the key to the island and VIP amenities to ensure they enjoy their visit. The winner may bring up to three friends to share two staterooms (a verandah and a suite). The Grand Prize includes airfare for winner and up to three guests and other great amenities. Of course, some restrictions apply, so check out the complete Official Rules for all the details.

    How to Enter:

    • “Like” the Holland America Line fan page.
    • Submit a photo of yourself in your favorite vacation moment by December 5. You must also include your first and last name, country, email address and date of birth. (Please no brands or trademarks other than Holland America Line in your photo.)
    • Tell your family and friends to vote from December 6-26. Fans of Holland America Line will vote for their favorite photo based on originality, creativity and how well the photo brings to life the theme of living the good life on vacation. You can vote once per day. The ten photos with the most votes move to the semi-finalist round.
    • Review the semi-finalists from December 27 through January 3, and vote for your favorite photo based on the same criteria as before. You can vote once per day. The photo with the most votes will be named the Grand Prize winner on January 4!

    Who Can Enter? US and Canadian territories excluding Quebec. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

    Now that I’m personally addicted to cruises, I’m off to enter my own vacation photo. Good luck to everyone!

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