07/15/13
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Portuguese Beach

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8 am on July 15, 2013.  Ivan and I packed everything up.

We left with our bags and went to the buffet at 8:45 am.  Saw The Aussies there and ate our breakfast.

Left the Carnival Legend at 9 am.  While we were waiting for Ivan’s dad Ken to pick us up, we chatted.

We piled into the car and Ken dropped off The Aussies at the Dover train station.  We said good-bye to Tim and Gabbie.

Arrived in Southend at Ivan’s parents house at 12:08 pm.  It was good to see Ken and Denise again.

Denise had fixed up a big feast with fish, walnut bread, salad and more.  A tasty fruit salad with soy raspberry yogurt was for dessert.

Ivan and I had lots of laundry from the cruise, so we put it in the washer and then later hung it up outside.

Ivan, Ken, Denise and I drove to East Beach and walked by the water.

East Beach

It was a lovely day out.

Went back to the house where Ivan and I used the internet.

Bread, Pear cake and a Crumpet

Ivan, Denise, Ken and I had tea with pear cake, bread and crumpets.

Later, that night we all went to the Portuguese restaurant O’Picado.  Ivan and I shared mackerel marinated in herb and wine vinegar sauce for our starter.

Ivan & his vegetable bean stew

Ivan got a great vegetable bean stew while I had a good black scabbard filet in a Provencal sauce.

Back at the house, Ivan and I watched the movie Get Him to the Greek before going to sleep.

07/14/13
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Amsterdam

Ivan and I woke up at 9:30 am on July 14, 2013.  The Carnival Legend was late arriving in Amsterdam.

We had breakfast in the buffet with Tim and Gabbie.

We got off the cruise ship at 10:45 am.  We walked 10 minutes to the city center of Amsterdam.

Ivan & Jen in a klompen

Then, we walked around the city looking at souvenirs and the cool buildings.  Ivan and I got a falfael wrap at Maoz while Tim and Gabbie grabbed food nearby.

We went to the meeting place at the Dam Square for Sandeman’s New Amsterdam Free Walking Tour.  Our guide was an Irish man named Mark.

We saw The Old Church.  Mark told us about The Red Light District.  The windows are €75-105 for 8 hours.  The girls aren’t allowed to use the toilet, so they pee in a bottle.  You’re not allowed to take pictures of the girls.  They will come out of their window, chase you down and throw their piss at you.

Amsterdam canal

Our group saw lots of sights like The Red Light District, The Anne Frank Museum, the canals, the narrowest house and the Royal Palace.

Mark told us interesting stories and history about Amsterdam.

Unlocked bikes around the canals are thrown into the canal.  20,000 bikes are taken out of the canal a year.

The tour was great.

After, we did more souvenir shopping.  We all shared some tasty fries at Mannequin with the spicy samurai mayo.

Worried that we wouldn’t make it back at 6:30 pm, but other people were running late as well.  Back on board at 6:40 pm and the Carnival Legend left at 7:10 pm.

Ivan and I showered and went down for dinner.  Ivan and I each started off with a crab cake.  Ivan got the Indian dish while I got a cheeseburger.  Ivan and I shared a chocolate melting cake for dessert.  It was a filling meal.

Ivan, Lisa, Ron, Tim, Gabbie and me

We said good-bye to Ron and Lisa.  They have a place in Las Vegas, so we plan to meet up in August.

Headed to room with Tim and Gabbie to drink wine and chat.

07/13/13
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Comedy Battle

Ivan woke up early at 8 am on July 13, 2013.  He went back to sleep at 10 am.  We both woke up at 1:50 pm.  It was another Sea Day on the boat.

Ivan and I had lunch at the Truffles Restaurant.  Ivan got a vegetarian pita with hummus for an appetizer.  We both got a delicious salmon piccata with risotto for our main course.

Ivan went to see if The Aussies were up.  Tim was still in bed, but Gabbie was up.

We went to to the Battle of the Sexes with Gabbie.  It was a funny game with the women winning.

We went to see if Tim was up.  He was eating food he ordered from Room Service.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I went to Tea Time.

Ivan & Jen at Tea Time

The scones, apple tart and chocolate tart tasted great with our tea.

Checked out the Bean Bag tournament.

I went to the room to nap while Ivan watched the orchestra band in the Firebird Lounge.

Got ready and went to dinner at 8:15 pm.  Ron and Lisa didn’t come to dinner.  I started off with the corn chowder Maryland while Ivan got the broccoli soup.

Basa filet with cous cous hash

Ivan and I both had the delicious award-winning basa filet with cous cous hash.  We shared a chocolate melting cake and amaretto cake for dessert.

Went to the comedian Lowell Sanders with Tim and Gabbie.  He was funny.

Next, we went to see hypnotist David Knight.  It was a clean hypnosis show and it was good.

We saw the comedian Mark Simmons who was really funny.

07/12/13
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Elegant Marriage

On July 12, 2013, Ivan woke up at 8 am and watched the Morning Show.  I heard the show, but went back to bed.  Ivan went back to bed after the show.

It was a Sea Day so it was nice to sleep in until 1:50 pm.  Ivan and I headed to the Caribbean buffet where we had grilled fish, potato wedges and sweet potato salad.

Lil Dave was out having fun with his monkey friends – doing the usual monkey business and eating too many bananas.

Went to the theatre for the Marriage Show.  Ivan noticed Tim and Gabbie sitting off to the side, so they could avoid being chosen.

The cruise director John asked for people who had great or horrible marriage proposals.  He chose a few people from the audience.  Then, he kept asking for any really special marriage proposals.  Ivan and I knew he was looking for Tim and Gabbie since he read about their underwater proposal.  John pointed in their direction and Gabbie went up.

We heard good and bad marriage proposals.  One guy put a ring on his girlfriend while she was sleeping, woke her up and asked him to marry him.  How weird is that?

It was Gabbie’s turn and she said how Tim proposed to her while diving.  Tim was to re-create the proposal, although it wasn’t underwater this time.  Tim had to get down on one knee and sing a few lines from their song “(Everything I do) I Do it for You” by Bryan Adams.  It was cute and sweet.  Tim sang better than the other two guys before him.

We all went to Tea Time and enjoyed a tasty scone and a brownie with our tea.

It was time for the Bean Bag Tournament.  Ivan and I got knocked out in the second round.  Tim and Gabbie ended up winning the tournament.

Tim & Gabbie win the Bean Bag Competition

I headed to the jacuzzi while Ivan, Tim and Gabbie went to the Mini Golf Competition.  I chilled reading Lee Mack’s funny autobiography Mack the Life.  They got knocked out pretty quickly and came to meet me at the pool.

Tim and Ivan talked awhile while I continued reading my book.  Gabbie chilled on a lounge chair.

Everybody went to get ready for Elegant Night.  Ivan made some Hammer & Sickle drinks for us.

Ivan and I took pictures on the staircase with our fancy clothes on.

Ivan & Jen all dressed up

It was dinner time.  Ivan started off with pea soup while I had a lovely ricotta cheese and spinach crepe.

Ricotta cheese & spinach crepe

Our main dishes were blackened tilapia for Ivan and Cornish game hen for me.  We decided to share a delicious chocolate melting cake for dessert.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I went to The Big Easy show which has a Louisiana theme.  It was an amazing show with terrific dancing and singing.

We stopped by our room to grab the vodka.  There was a cute hanging monkey towel animal hanging in our room.

Monkey towel animal hanging around

Headed up to the Lido deck to get orange juice, but lemonade is only available at night for some reason.  Vodka and lemonade is tasty, but really sweet.

Tim thought we should play a Bean Bag Drinking Game.

Gabbie, Tim & Ivan having fun

The lights kept changing different colors while we were enjoying our game and drinks.  I think Security was watching us since the lights went off after we finished playing.

Ivan thought we should check out the nightclub Medusa’s Lair.  It was nice to see lots of people dancing in the club.  It’s a really cool club.

Gabbie and I went on the dance floor and danced around.  We noticed a few of the entertainers.  I was drunk and told Gabbie that I danced better than the entertainers which I thought was funny since they dance professionally on the ship.

We had all had another drink in the club.  After dancing, we went to Tim and Gabbie’s room and chatted for a long time.  It was another fun night with our favorite Aussies.

Ivan and I went to sleep at 6 am.

07/10/13
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Garden Palace

On July 10, 2013, Ivan and I woke up at 7:15 am.  We had breakfast in the room and left at 7:40 am.

Our 2nd day of the St. Petersburg Grand Tour started at 8 am.  The first stop was at St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral.  Ivan was sick of cathedrals at this point and only went in for a few minutes.

Lovely gold decoration

I went in, but they were doing the blessing around the church with the ball, so the smell was quite strong and made me want to cough.

Next, the driver took us to Yusupov Palace.  At this palace, you had to pay €5 per person for take photographs and €10 per person to take video.  You’re given a sticker if you paid.  I didn’t pay, but took pictures.   There were Russian ladies in the palace looking at us.  She saw a few people who didn’t pay, but were taking pictures.  So, I stopped taking pictures.

Wax figures were in one room which we thought looked really creepy.  Here’s what Rasputin looked like.

Rasputin wax figure

We learned that people tried to poison Rasputin.  The poison was put into the cookies and wine, but it was too sweet so it didn’t end up killing him.  Felix Yusupov shot him since the poisoning didn’t work.  That didn’t work either.  Vladimir Purishkevich shot him and then they put him in the river to make sure he died.

We saw a rotunda and a blue and red parlor.  The palace is filled with colored themes.

Blue parlor

We stopped at a hall where an a capella men’s choir sang a song called Day & Night.  Their singing was beautiful.

The theatre was quite amazing in this palace.  Sorry, there are no pictures of the theatre.  I didn’t want to be taken in the back room by a mean Russian lady and beaten up.

Our group went to a big souvenir shop where we had time to shop and pay for our tours.  Ivan and I bought a few things.

It was time to take the hydrofoil (catamaran) to the Peterhof.  We were given a packed lunch which was a crepe with cheap cheese, an apple, box apple juice and a chocolate bar.  Ivan and I were happy that we brought two sandwiches that we got from the buffet on the boat, just in case the lunch was bad like yesterday.  Ivan and I fell asleep on the boat after lunch.

Jen & Ivan at the Peterhof

At the Peterhof, we were shown lots of fountains and walked around the lovely gardens.  It was a lovely day to walk around the gardens.

Beautiful fountains at the Peterhof

A lady from our group got money taken from her purse.

Our last stop was the Catherine Palace.

The Catherine Palace

It’s lovely in Baroque style.  We had to put ugly brown covers over our shoes.  It looked like we were going into surgery.

Pretty gold room

It was another beautiful palace filled with great art work on the ceiling and lots of gold on the walls.

Lovely ceiling in the Catherine Palace

The group saw a big 1000 square meters ballroom which was filled with gold.  It was made out of 160 kilograms of gold which was thinly put all over the room.

Beautiful gold ballroom

It could stain and turn black if you touched it.  The ballroom is used for guests.  Our guide told us that the royals live quite modestly in every day life.

One of the rooms had many artworks placed on a wall next to each other with frames separating each one.

Lots of paintings

It was interesting and pretty.

We saw the Amber Room where we weren’t allowed to take pictures, probably since the room is so small.  It’s filled with cut amber all over the room with 8 panels.  People are puzzled to how the amber was cut since it’s very strong.  I think they placed a bunch of amber in a big sack and threw it from the roof of the palace.

The group walked around park of Catherine Palace after our tour.

The driver took us back to the cruise ship and we arrived at 5:30 pm.

Ivan and I headed to the buffet for a slice of margherita pizza, sushi and a soft serve ice cream cone.

We watched an episode of Luther.

Dinner was at 8:15 pm.  I got the delicious tom ka gai soup and shark & langostino fire cracker rolls.   Ivan and I both got the tasty vegetable and black bean enchiladas for our main dish.  We shared the the lovely chocolate melting cake for dessert.

We hung out with The Aussies (Tim & Gabbie) and went to see the juggler Jonathan Stamp.  He’s a great juggler who’s also funny and entertaining.

Ivan thought we should all check out the Mexican buffet.  We walked up the stairs where I noticed one my favorite art works Icarus.  I remember his story since he flew too close to the sun.

Icarus flying too close to the sun

I picked up some dessert at the buffet.

We chatted and played the bean bag game and did well even though we were drinking.

Gabbie, Tim & Ivan

07/9/13
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Art Cathedrals

On July 9, 2013, Ivan and I woke up early at 7:30 am.  The Carnival Legend was docked in St. Petersburg, Russia.  We had room service deliver our breakfast.  Ivan and I had smoked salmon with toast and cereal.  Ivan put the extra Raisin Bran in my bag in case he got hungry later.

In order to go into Russia from a cruise ship, you have to be booked on a tour.  It can be a tour that you booked yourself or through the cruise line.  Ivan booked a tour online since it was cheaper than the one on the cruise ship which is almost always the case.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I left at 8 am.  We stood in line for immigration.  20 windows were open, so it went pretty fast.  You have to bring your passport, immigration form and your tour ticket.  Ivan and I went to the The Immigration desk together.  The Immigration agent didn’t say anything and was stone-faced.  She took Ivan’s passport and glanced at Ivan’s paper for the tour.  She stamped his passport.  She barely looked at my tour paper.  I’m sure it would have been easy to book a tour to get the paperwork since you don’t pay until the last day of the tour.

Lil Dave left to go meet up with his cousin Davoff.  Ivan and I met up for The two day Grand Tour with Alla Tours.  We went on the bus which was a total of 15 people including us.

Our guide was a Russian named Vladimir.  We were given headsets, so we could hear what he was saying.  His voice was monotone, so it made you want to go to sleep.

The group’s first stop was at Admiralteyskaya metro station.  This station is 1 year and 7 months old.  We took a long escalator ride down which is 410 feet long.

Long escalator to Admiralteyskaya metro station

There’s a shorter escalator to the station since it’s difficult to build an escalator beyond 410 feet.  We took the train one stop and then came back to Admiralteyskaya.  Ivan and I thought it was pointless doing this since the station wasn’t all that special, the only cool part was the 410 feet long escalator.

Our bus driver drove us to the next stop which was the Hermitage Museum.    We didn’t have to wait and got right in to the museum.  This museum gets a million visitors a year.

Lots of cool art in the Hermitage

You know a museum is going to have some cool architecture and art when the staircase leading to the museum is impressive.

1 1/2 ton bronze chandelier

Vladimir pointed out the one and a half ton bronze chandelier above our heads.

We saw many halls like Peter the Great Hall, St. George Hall and the Da Vinci Hall.

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We would see one hall and you thought Wow, this is wonderful, but then you see another one that’s just as amazing.

The museum got crowded in some areas.

The murals on the ceilings were quite wonderful.

Beautiful art on the ceiling

You really do need a guide to show you all the cool rooms and artwork otherwise you’d be clueless to what you’re looking at.  Vladimir definitely knew his stuff.

Lovely artwork on the ceilings and walls

Our group saw lots of artwork varying in types like Baroque, Renaissance and Russian.  I did listen to what Vladimir said, but sometimes I went off to take pictures.  Good thing I didn’t lose our group.

Vladimir took us to the New Hermitage where we saw statues and art.

Crouching Boy by Michelangelo

Got to see the Crouching Boy statue by Michelangelo and a few paintings by Rembrandt.

The Holy Family with Angels by Rembrandt

It was great to be able to see so much during our 2 1/2 tour of this wonderful museum.  I highly recommend a visit to this museum.

The group was driven to Via Dell’ Oliva for lunch.  The restaurant was pretty inside.  There was coleslaw and bread at the table which wasn’t anything special.  Ivan and I were sitting with an older couple from San Antonio.

A soup was brought out.  Ivan told the guide that we were vegetarian.  No vegetarian soup was brought out as a replacement.

The Texan couple got a chicken breast and a boiled potato for their main dish.  Ivan and I got grilled vegetables.  We think the chef wasn’t very imaginative or Alla Tours is only paying a small amount for our lunches which means a limited, boring menu.

Our next stop was The Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood.  It’s an Orthodox church filled with beautiful mosaics on the walls and ceiling.

Mosaics in The Church of the Spilled Blood Savior

I thought this church was amazing inside and I would have loved to explore it more and take lots of pictures.

The driver took us to the river where we boarded a boat.  Ivan and I sat at the top where we could get a good view of everything.

St. Peter and Paul Cathedral

The commentary said St. Petersburg was modeled after Venice and Amsterdam, so it’s good to see the city by boat.  The boat showed us the sights of St. Petersburg.

It was off to another cathedral, this time it was St. Isaac’s Cathedral.  It’s the 4th biggest church dome in the world.

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The church is filled with classic and baroque art and architecture.  I can tell you one thing.. the Russian artists and architects seem to love to use gold in their work.

Our last stop was at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.  Many Romanov rulers are buried here:
Peter the Great and his family are buried here, Catherine the Great, all three Alexanders, Paul, Peter III, Anne and Nicolas I and II.

Inside of The Peter and Paul Cathedral

Ivan and I were tired, so I only walked around a bit to take a few pictures.  I did notice a lot of baby angels on the ceiling.

The driver took us back to the Carnival Legend ship.  Ivan and I got back on board at 6 pm.

Later, we went to dinner.  We were supposed to meet up with The Aussies at 8 pm.  Found out that Tim and Gabbie had already eaten, so we thought we’d get assigned to a table with other people.

We sat down with an English couple who live in Wales.  The lady got robbed on the first stop on her tour and she reckons the tour guides were in on it.  A handy tip: If you’re going to St. Petersburg, wear a money belt.

Ivan and I had the black bean soup which was delicious.  Ivan also got a study in sushi which is small, but tasty.

Lisa from dinner came over to talk to us about her boring guide, I guess we weren’t the only ones with a guide who had lots of knowledge, but was boring and monotone.

We both got the delectable baked herb polenta with mushroom ragout for our main dish.  For dessert, we got a cinammon, fig and raising cake which was yummy.

Since we were so knackered (tired), we went back to the room and called it an early night.

07/8/13
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Helsinki

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:55 am and the Carnival Legend was in Helsinki, Finland.

We went to Truffles for breakfast with Tim and Gabbie.  I had a baked apple and smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel.

There was free internet at the port and we used it for a few minutes.

We all took the shuttle into the city center which was 10€ for each person round trip.

Got off the shuttle bus.  Ivan was looking at a city map.  A lady told us about a market nearby.  So, we walked down the street to the market.  Tim and I took some pictures.

Ivan wanted to use the internet, so we said bye to Tim and Gabbie.  We walked around to find a café where we used the free internet.  Ivan and I both had an espresso since we were tired.

We walked to the Hotel Klaus K for the meeting point for a tour.  This hotel is filled with lots of cool décor and artwork.

The Helsinki Food tour started shortly after noon.  Our guide was a goth girl who had pink hair, not sure what her name was.  She was really in need of a tan.

Bread with sour cream, veggies & herring

We had a spruce drink and a tasty bread with herring, cream cheese, onions and cucumber on top.

The small group of eleven started walking to our next food destination.  Eromanga is a home bakery.  Here, our guide started handing out meat pies called lihapiirakka.  Ivan said that he was vegetarian.

Lihapiirakka, a Finnish pastry

The meat pie was like a donut on the outside with meat and rice on the inside.  It was slightly sweet.  The guide plopped down Ivan’s substitute and didn’t say what it was.  Our guide never even told us anything about the meat pie.

It was off to our next stop which was at the market.  Our guide gave us reindeer meatballs with a cranberry sauce and little fried herrings with sour cream.  Ivan asked if he could get a water.  The guide looked at one of the guys who ran the stalls and said Uhh, I think you have to buy it.   You would think that since we’re paying 55€  per person for the tour, we could get a bottle of water for free.  Ivan ended up buying a bottle of water.

The reindeer meat was tasty.

Ivan with a little fried herring

Ivan and I both enjoyed the fried fish as well.

The group’s next stop was at Pure Bistro where we had a pine slush which is made from the sap of the pine tree.  An American guy said it tasted like Christmas which it actually did.  I could definitely have more of this tasty slush.

We walked to a square where you can see a big church on a hill.  The guide tried to gather us together to tell a story, but everybody started taking pictures.  She did tell one person the story.  She was a really bad guide.  She seemed shy and didn’t want to talk to us.  I think she thought it would be fine just to take us to places and not really explain anything.

Helsinki Cathedral

The group walked up to Helsinki Cathedral.  I asked her what it was.  She said something about it, but it didn’t make much sense.  All I got was that it’s a famous church on a hill.

Our next stop was Krypta Cafe.

Krypta Cafe in Helsinki

It was cool being in a crypt, but the food was really weird.  It was a cafe that sold tea, coffee and cakes.  We got a chocolate cake and an apple pastry.  Again, we didn’t get any explanation about the food.  It was just cheap cakes that you would get at a hospital cafeteria.

We walked by a lovely Roman building, but our guide didn’t say anything about it.  On most food tours, they will talk about the places we are passing by.

The group went to Anton & Anton next which is an organic grocery store.  A lady from the store told us about the blueberry and cardamom ice cream.  She was much friendlier than our guide.  Our guide seemed to look at her in envy since everybody was listening to her.  The ice cream was delicious.

We also got to taste cheese that was aged 5 months that was on a cracker with jam on top.

Tasty cheese & jam on a cracker

The last stop was at Chjoko which sells Finnish chocolate.  The store sold lots of chocolate and truffles.  Our group got a dark chocolate bar that was broken up in pieces and little milk chocolate balls.  Ivan thought it was cheap that we didn’t get any good chocolate truffles.  The guide only told us what kind of chocolate we were getting.  She said it would be our last stop and gave us our diploma.  A lot of people were asking what places we visited.  Our guide had to think about it.  She has got to be the worst guide we’ve ever had on a tour.  We’ve done a lot of tours during our years of traveling.  She wasn’t a good storyteller and never explained the foods we were eating.

The Helsinki Food tour was good for the food.. but it’s overpriced.  I’m sure it would have been a lot better with a good guide.

We walked back to the drop-off area and boarded the shuttle bus.  Ivan and I saw Tim and Gabbie sitting down.  The bus left at 3:45 pm headed to the port.

We tried to use the free internet at the port, but it wasn’t working.

Back on the Carnival Legend, Ivan went walking around.  I watched music videos in the room while I tried to work on the blog.  It was nice to chill on the balcony.

Ivan came back to get ready.  I fell asleep when he was in the shower.  When he was done, he told me I should get ready and meet him at trivia or at Truffles for dinner.

I fell back asleep since I was tired.  I showered, got ready and walked to find Ivan.  He told me that he, Tim and Gabbie won the British Pub Quiz and they each won a Carnival medal.

Ivan started off with a fruit appetizer while I got a vegetarian soup.

Ivan had the vegetarian Indian meal – the dishes change nightly.  I had a cheeseburger with fries for my main course.  I do miss my burgers when I’m pescetarian.

The waiters were getting ready to dance.  I told them Gabbie and I wanted to dance.  I went up, but Gabbie didn’t want to.  We danced to DJ Otzi’s Hey Baby (If You’ll Be My Girl).  I copied the moves of the waiters which were very easy to learn.

Jen dancing with our waiters

I love dancing and I realized I miss doing it.

We talked awhile with our dinner mates at the table.  Everybody left at 10 pm.  It was really windy outside and the ship was really rocky tonight.

Ivan and I decided to call it an early night and went to bed at 11 pm.

07/7/13
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Knight Illusion

On July 7, 2013, Ivan and I slept in.  Lil Dave was already playing with his monkey friends.  We went up for lunch at 1:45 pm at the buffet.  I had salad, steak and fish and chips.  It was another Sea Day.

I was hungover and didn’t feel like being a judge for the Hairy Chest Competition.  There were only 3 contestants for it and 1 judge who was an old lady from Wales.

We weren’t sure if Tim and Gabbie were awake or not.  Ivan thought we should check to see if they were in the dining room Truffles.  They weren’t in there, but we saw them as we were walking away from the dining room.  The dining room was already closed for any more orders.

Tim and Gabbie got lunch at the buffet and then we headed to Follies Theatre.

We sat down for The John and Calyvn Show.  It was a game show with 2 Canadians and an older lady from Austin, Texas. 

The John & Calvyn Show

It was a funny show since John and Calvyn made it funny.  We love watching them together doing anything.  The lady from Texas was nervous and kept saying stupid answers.

The Aussies (Tim and Gabbie) left to do a trivia game during the show. 

We met up with Tim and Gabbie later on to play Seafeud 2.  Didn’t end up winning though.  Tim stayed to play more trivia while the rest of us went to Tea Time. 

The Tea Time is in the Truffles Restaurant.  Sometimes you can get a seat by the window with a lovely view of the water, if you come early enough. 

Ivan, Gabbie and I had scones and brownies with our tea.  Ivan and I take our tea very seriously… well, not really.. but we do enjoy the Tea Time on the Carnival cruise ships. 

Later, we all went to the jacuzzi to chill out, read our books and chat.

Ivan and I were late for the Star Wars, Sci Fi and Horror trivia game.  There was lots of nerds playing, so we didn’t win.  Tim said that an 11 year old got all 20 Glee Songbook questions right.  I knew somebody would be really obsessed and get most of them right, so I didn’t bother going to that game.

It was time for dinner in the Truffles Restaurant.  I started off with tasty duck pot stickers. 

Ivan with salmon cheesecake

Ivan and I shared the salmon cheesecake which was interesting.  Ivan also got a fish soup for himself.

Ivan had the tasty vegetarian Indian dish while I got an average pasta with eggplant and tomato.

Gabbie bought a cake at the candy shop for Tim since it was his birthday a few weeks ago.  She bought this cruise for his birthday.  Our waiters came out with the cake and a candle lit.  We all sang Happy Birthday to Tim. 

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The chocolate cake was very tasty.

The waiters danced around to Flo Rida’s Low.  Some of the waiters had on accessories like one guy had on a Rasta hat with the fake braids on.

Ivan and I checked out the sunset on our balcony.  It was quite pretty tonight.

Lovely sunset on the Carnival Legend

We didn’t go to see the comedian Tom Pepper since we’ve seen him before on a Carnival cruise ship and he’s not funny at all.  Ivan says he’s like your drunk uncle trying to tell you jokes at a family gathering.

Went to the Justin Illusion show which had dark music  Justin Illusion was a bald guy who you really wouldn’t want to mess with.  It was an entertaining show, but Ivan and I knew how the tricks were done.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I went to see the comedian Austin Knight.  He was an old school 70’s English comedian.  He kept talking to the four people in the front row and trying to flirt with the girls.  He was funny.

Tim and Gabbie said good night to us.  Ivan and I went to the room.  I worked on the blog while Ivan used the internet.

07/6/13
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Crazy Germans

Ivan and I were supposed to meet up with Tim and Gabbie at 9:30 am for breakfast on July 6, 2013.  We didn’t wake up until they were knocking on our door at 10:30 am.  We were really tired from the lack of sleep the night before.

Ivan and I got food at the breakfast buffet and then went to Tim and Gabbie’s room.  We all left the boat at 11:15 am.  The Carnival Legend was docked in Rostock, Germany today.  The train ride to Berlin is 3 hours long.  Ivan and I have been there before, so we decided not to take the long journey there.

Took a shuttle bus to Warnemünde.  Ivan previously found out that there was a boating festival going on today.

Cute townspeople statue

It’s a cute seaside resort.  We walked around the town and checked out all the food stalls.

Boats sailing by in Warnemünde

Lots of lovely sailboats passed by on the water.

Checked out the beach and saw a guy in a speedo which wasn’t very pretty.  Lots of girls were playing beach handball.  Handball is like soccer except they play with their hands.  One of the teams did a great play where one girl got on all fours and another girl stood on her back and threw the ball making the goal

Girls playing handball on the beach

Walked around to find lunch.  Ivan got a herring sandwich while I got smoked salmon.  We also got champagne and strawberries for our drinks.  Tim and Gabbie got German sausage.  Lil Dave had a banana crepe.

After we finished lunch, a German guy sat at our table.  He didn’t speak a word of English.  He did manage to figure out that Tim and Gabbie were from Australia.  He had a cute dog with him.  He just kept talking German to us and drinking his little shots of alcohol.  It was really funny.  He told us that his name was Rambo and showed us his drivers license to prove that his last name was Rambo.  We thought it was hilarious.  You never know who you’ll meet!  He wanted pictures of us and we took some with him on our cameras.

Jen, German Rambo & Ivan

I think he may be a crazy, lonely guy.  I think he liked me coz he kept patting me on my shoulder.  I think he called me snugglemouse when I put my arm around him to take a picture…which I found quite amusing.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I  said bye to Rambo and started walking around.  Tim and Gabbie really wanted a beer in a stein.  We couldn’t find anything since we’re not in Bavaria.

We all got some German beer, so we sat down.  We saw a few hen dos (bachelorette parties) selling weird things.  It’s a competition between the bride and groom to see who can sell the most stuff.  Then, they use the money to get drunk with on another night.  You can buy all sorts of weird things like condoms, lighters, nail polish, lotion, chattering teeth, leis, naughty dice and shots of alcohol.  Gabbie asked one of the ladies if she knew Rambo since she saw the shots.  She said she knew him.  He must love buying the shots of alcohol from these hen do sellers.

Ivan found some leis, so we all put them on.  Ivan bought a condom lollipop and naughty dice for us.  Gabbie got a box from Tim that said Romance on it with a heart which she thought was sweet, until she read that there were condoms inside in the small print under the heart.  We also bought a few shots for later.  Lil Dave was bummed that they weren’t selling any bananas or any monkey products.

Another group of girls were selling a bunch of things.

Girls selling things for the hen do

We bought more shots since they didn’t have any naughty stuff.

We stopped at a supermarket and bought alcohol.

It was off to the park to relax for awhile.  We chatted and drank our wine.

Ivan, Gabbie, Tim & Lil Dave in the park

Time always seems to fly by when we’re hanging out with Tim and Gabbie.  It seems like we’ve known them for ages, but we’ve actually only known them for three months.

We saw a stag do (bachelor party) selling stuff, but they didn’t have much left.. so we didn’t buy anything.  It was really funny though since the bachelor was wearing a pink dress.

Bachelor wearing a dress

Tim and Gabbie wanted to take wine back on board, so we stopped at the supermarket again. Ivan and Tim went in while Gabbie and I stayed outside.

Gabbie asked a young German guy how to say white wine in German.  He just said white wine in English.  I said No, in German.  Of course, I don’t remember what he said.. but I’m sure it was the right translation.  His friends joined him with lots of alcohol.  Ivan and Tim came outside.  The young German kept kissing me and Gabbie on the cheek and then would try to kiss us on the lips.  But, thankfully we resisted.  Not sure why, but the German guy showed his penis and I thought it was fake since it was so dark.. but no, it was actually his penis.  I didn’t know I’d be seeing more German sausage today.

Ivan said that lots of people were staring at us.  I thought it was hilarious.  I don’t know how people can be so bold and show strangers their private parts.  But, then again we are in Germany.. so it kind of makes sense.  The guys wanted us to party with them.  This sounded like a good idea since it would be fun.. but we’d probably end up getting really drunk, missing our boat and waking up in some crazy German’s house.

We took the shuttle bus back to the cruise ship.

Ivan and I changed.  I put on a pink hula skirt which matched my lei.  The German Bierfest event was happening on the Lido deck, so we grabbed German food at the buffet.  I got sausage, but the German meatballs were the best.

We watched the oompah band “Diech Tirolero” while we ate our food and drank German beer. The tasty strudel was great for dessert.

The band were good, but needed to play more lively songs.  A conga line did form at one point.  I didn’t feel like joining since I was still eating.

I was getting lots of weird looks since I was wearing a pink hula skirt.  I don’t really care what people think of me.  I think it’s funny wearing costumes or anything controversial.

Tim and Gabbie came to the buffet to grab food.  Ivan and I were talking to Ron and Lisa, our tablemates from dinner.

After Tim and Gabbie finished dinner, we all went down to the lobby.  We chatted and drank alcohol.

Ron and Lisa were hungry, so we went to the Pirate Pizza in the Unicorn Cafe.  Ivan and I each got a slice of Funghi Pizza and Margherita.  The pizza is delicious.

We all talked for hours about life, bogans, traveling and Germany.  It was time to say good night.

Ivan and I headed to Tim and Gabbie’s room to chat more since Tim didn’t want to sleep yet.

I was so tired when we finally went to bed at 5 am.

07/5/13
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Lovely Gardens

On July 5, 2013, we heard a knock on the door.  It was Room Service delivering our breakfast at 8:30 am.  Ivan and I had smoked salmon with toast, cereal and tea.  Lil Dave had a banana and he saved one for later.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I left the Carnival Legend ship at 9 am and we were in Copenhagen, Denmark.  We walked to the train station Osterport.  We took 3 stops and then got off at Vesterport.

Today, we were meeting up with our friend Joyanta and meeting his wife.  They were running late, so we found a café to use their free wi-fi in.  Ivan and I shared some tasty bread at Emmerys while we drank espresso and we used the internet.  I was so tired since we had to put our clocks forward and I didn’t get my 8 hours sleep.

Left the café at 10:40 pm and walked to the train station nearby.  It was good to see Joyanta and meet his wife Ayena.  She’s short like me, slightly taller.

Ivan wanted to check out Tivoli Gardens.  Jo has been before, but Ayena hasn’t.

We walked to Tivoli Gardens and bought tickets for the entrance only.  You can buy a ticket which includes the rides as well.

Tivoli Gardens is beautiful inside with lots of greenery and a few amusement rides.  Ivan and I talked to Joyanta and Ayena about married life and our trip.

Ivan, Jen, Ayeena & Joyanta at Tivoli Gardens

Ayena is really sweet.

It’s great walking around to see all the lovely gardens and fountains.

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I would love to see Tivoli Gardens at night since I’m sure it looks beautiful all lit up at night.

Ivan and Jo were silly and tried on a few different wigs from one of the stores.Ivan & Jo with their wigs on

Jo thought he made a pretty girl.  I disagreed and I think Ayena did as well.  I thought both of them made ugly girls and should definitely stick to being men.

I liked Dragon Boat Lake with the pagoda in the background.  You can rent a boat and drive around.

Ivan, Lil Dave & Jen at Tivoli

It looked like rain most of the time we were there.  It was trying hard to rain, but didn’t.  The sun came out at the end of our visit.

Pirate ship at Tivoli Gardens

If you’re ever in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens is definitely worth visiting.

It was time to get some lunch.  Jo knew of a great Pakistani place nearby.

We had lunch at Kebabish.  We shared chicken jalfrezi, chicken methi, aloo palak, vegetarian biryani and dal.

Pakistani food at Kebabish

The food was very tasty.

Ivan, Jo and Ayena and I walked to the station at 2:50 pm.  We said good-bye to Joyanta and Ayena.  It was great catching up with Jo and meeting his wife.  We had a great day with them that went by too fast.  I hope they come to Las Vegas to visit us soon.

Ivan and I went back to Osterport and then walked to the Carnival Legend.  There was a long queue (line) to get back on the ship since the deadline to board the boat was soon approaching.

Ivan and I were both so knackered (tired), so we took a 2 hour nap.

It was time for dinner with Tim, Gabbie, Ron and Lisa.  Ivan and I got mussels, pear and mozzarella salad, shrimp Thai soup and an ahi tuna salad with beet root to share.  The mussels were cooked too much and didn’t have much flavor.  The rest of the dishes were lovely.

We both got the eggplant moussaka for our main dish.  It was very Americanized and had way too much cheese on it.  It was good since we ate the vegetables and avoided the cheese.

Ivan got a fruit salad for dessert while I got lime and pineapple sherbet.  I thought the pineapple was okay, the lime sherbet was delicious.

Ivan and I went to the Punchliner Comedy club to see comedian Lance Montalto.  He was terrible, so we left after a few minutes.  We popped in to see the singer Siobhan Phillips who was even worse.  She looked like a man and Ivan thought she sounded like one too.

Later, we saw the comedian Michael Dean Ester.  Ivan and I were glad that he was funnier than the last guy.

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