By Sarah Phillips
After an early bedtime last night, I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and relived that I had absolutely nothing on the agenda today. It was so nice to not wake up to an alarm clock and have absolutely no where to be.
My friend Ashley had an early morning spa appointment, so after she left I finally decided to get out of bed and grab some breakfast. I headed up to Lido deck to browse the breakfast offerings on Carnival Sunshine.
In the past, I haven’t loved breakfast on the Lido deck, so I was pleasantly surprised by breakfast today. The Lido marketplace is now made up of pleasant colors – no more bright and gaudy. It’s got calming tans, greens and yellows. The layout flows more smoothly and you actually have more options. The traditional staples are there: fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt and danishes. There are self-serve got breakfast options including pancakes, eggs, French toast and eggs Benedict. I really enjoyed the serve yourself option as normally you get food through a buffet line and you’re given a set amount from the server. In addition to all these great changes, my favorite juice in the world – Orange Passion Guava – is still available!
After breakfast, I headed to a few rounds of trivia at the Ocean Plaza – a nice open space along the Promenade on Deck 5. While I didn’t win that elusive ship on a stick, I had a good time hanging with fellow cruisers. We ended up eating lunch at the Taste Bar while playing Sea Feud – a fantastic salad made to order.
After lunch and another trivia loss, we did some wandering on the ship – checking out the classic hairy chest contest and laying on Serenity Deck for a few minutes. The brand new adults only Serenity deck on this ship is amazing. A pool with a waterfall, super comfy lounge chairs, hammocks and cabana type chairs make this place a great way to relax and unwind.
Up next in the Fun Times was one of the things I was most looking forward to on this ship: Hasbro, the Game Show!! Here’s my confession: I’d gotten to ‘preview’ these games when Carnival trained their entertainment staff on how to run them in Philadelphia in early 2012. They needed audience members to practice running these shows, so I saw them in their infancy. The pieces weren’t pretty and it was basic, but I could NOT wait to see them played in the sea with all the bells and whistles. At 3:30 PM ship time, I got my wish.
Played in the main lounge, the Liquid Lounge, prior to start time, actual episodes of the game show Family Game Night were playing on the LED screens on stage. You could tell people were getting excited to see what this was all about. Our cruise director, Butch Begovitch, came out with tons of energy and we were off! To play the actual games on stage, you had to show energy and be picked to play a mini-game to win your spot on stage.
I was picked to play the first mini-game, Scattergories. Category was jobs and letter was C. I said cashier and was quickly standing on stage wearing a big fat name tag. My game was Connect 4. Basically, it’s a giant board and you play basketball with your team of fun to get a Connect 4. My team, the blue team, won of course!! By the way, it’s a lot harder than it looks to hit a basketball target in front a large audience on a moving cruise ship.
As winners, we got to choose a Monopoly game piece and move to winner’s row to watch the next game. The next game show participants played real life Simon Says. 4 adults wear giant boxes that change into red, green, blue or yellow. A color combination shows on the screen and the 4 adults have to hustle to get into the right order.
After the winners were declared, we all went back on stage to proclaim the grand prize winner. Each of us had chosen a Monopoly game piece card and now it was time to plug it into the Monopoly ATM machine to see whose card had the highest point value (this is randomly determined ahead of time by the computer). I went first and got 15,500 points. For a brief moment, I was the big winner. Until the second person went. Then my moment was over. I didn’t walk away empty handed though, I got a Monopoly Millionaire Deal card game and $20 to use at HasboToyShop.com.
Anyone can play this game – especially kids. Just have tons of energy and a big smile and you could be the next participant.
After the show, I went for a run on the track located around the Sports Square on the aft of the ship. There was a nice breeze and an even better sunset. This was one of my favorite parts of the day, watching the sun slowly set at sea as I went round and round the track.
Another something new today was dinner at the Italian restaurant, Cucina Del Capitan. For $12, we got bread, appetizers, a giant entree and desert. I had the chicken Parmesan and it was fantastic. Large enough for two people, it was delicious.
After dinner, we headed to the Playlist Production ‘Latin Nights.’ Featuring 7 performers and new LED screens, this show featured music from JLo, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and more Latin favorites. The Liquid Lounge was packed.
During the last number, the dancers came out into the crowd and started dancing with audience members. The lounge very quickly turned into the night club complete with DJ and dance floor. It was a neat use of space and amazing to see how quickly and completely the space was changed. We did stay for a little while dancing and people watching.
After a while, we headed to bed to call it a night – after all tomorrow was an early morning call to Key West.