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Home :: Alumni & Friends :: Events :: Alumni and Friends 2011 Cruise

2011 Alumni and Friends Cruise to the Exotic Caribbean

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Hello, all-it’s your cruise director, Eileen Hasson reporting about this year’s great adventure! Come aboard with us on the Carnival Miracle as we recap some of the happenings on this trip!

Monday, May 30, 2011, we set sail for the beautiful, tranquil islands of the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk on the Carnival Miracle. Leaving out of New York City is always a thrill, and we were excited to begin our journey. Each year, I make up some sort of comical gift for our group, and this year I tried my handiwork on personalized tote/beach bags! I had stayed at work the Friday before the trip putting the craft together, and only then realized that the fabric paint required over 24 hours to dry! So, I had to return to the office to retrieve the gifts prior to our departure.

All packed and ready to go, we arrived at the Port of NY and proceeded to check-in, which took over 2 ½ hours! Once on board, we ran into a few of our cruise mates and went directly to the Lido Deck for the Welcome Aboard Buffet! The ship is impressive, colorful and sets a dynamic tone! The dining room area was packed, as were the outside decks as 2,300 passengers readied for departure. We had arranged a meeting on Deck 3 at the Piano Bar so we could all get acquainted and so that I could distribute the gifts. Why is it an impossible task to gather a group together at a given timing?!! But, we assembled as best we could and began this adventure. We had a few first-time cruisers with us, and it was fun to watch them in awe of the experience.

As the ship set sail, we passed the images of the NY skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge. We were on our way! We then reported to our muster stations for the safety drill. Since the majority of the group selected the early 6pm seating for dinner, it was already time to get to the Bacchus Dining Room, where our group was placed nearby each other and we all enjoyed window views of the ocean. The Dining Room takes up two entire floors of the ship, and is massive, yet intimate as well. We were looking forward to the food! The menu was extensive and everyone was chatting away and getting to know each other. We decided that we would alternate seats so that everyone would get to mingle throughout the cruise. Our older sub group opted to be seated together at a larger table location, but the rest of us who had early seating stayed together as a unit.

The first night’s entertainment began with a game show theme. I happily volunteered to participate on stage, and had a blast! I won a medallion, and knew we were going to have an active time promoting our group, our college and our Long Island roots! The entertainment continued with a Welcome Aboard Show highlighting some of the comedians who would be holding shows throughout the cruise. The Miracle Dancers and Band entertained us as well Comedy was to be a big theme of the cruise with nightly acts holding shows in “the Punchline” Club.

We got to meet our Assistant Cruise Director, Sean and Cruise Director, Malcolm (“WOO HOO”). We visited the casino and went to our rooms to get set up and unpacked for the journey.

Tuesday, May 31 — Day art Sea- Formal Night

We were up early and people opted for either the Breakfast Buffet or the Dining Room open seating breakfast. Once fed, many gravitated to the gym, spa or pool area. The weather was ideal for sunning, and getting familiar with our new home and fellow passengers. It always amazes me how there can be so many people yet you seem to run into the same faces all the time. The day was relaxing, hot tub, pool and sun for the most part. We then got dolled up for the formal night, Captain’s reception and pictures. Everyone looked lovely. We arranged to have a formal portrait done of our group the second formal night on the stairway. The dinner was delicious. The entertainment that followed was a show called “Generations.” The show was very lively and entertaining, and fun. The Captain had assembled a meet and greet on the Promenade Deck and we got to meet his staff. The late night music theme was 50’s and 60’s, but most of our group retreated to our new favorite hangout, Jeeve’s Lounge, where a great band would serenade us and we could dance.

Wednesday, June 1 — Day at Sea

Another beautiful sunny morning greeted us. Up and ready for breakfast, then off to the rear pool deck—our preferred spot for pooling and sunning. Our favorite bar hand, Vladimier greeted us with smiles and the offer of drinks! The afternoon offered casino fun, arts and crafts, disco dance lessons and of course, Bingo! The evening’s entertainment was titled “The World’s Greatest Showoff” starring Magician Bob Brizendine, who regaled us with fun and interesting tricks. I got to be his assistant during one of his card tricks, and had a blast being blindfolded and helping him with the illusion of locating a card with my name written on it. I still do not know how he pulled that one off! Lots of laughs! Late night dancing in Frankenstein’s Disco ended the evening!

Thursday, June 2 — Land, Ho! We arrive at Grand Turk

A cloudy day greeted us as we prepared to disembark the Miracle for the first time in days. Even a little rain could not dampen our spirits. We toured the shops and stopped at the original Margaritaville for a break. The complex had a series of pools, live entertainment and was a lot of fun. We eventually made our way to the beach and relaxation. Not too much sun, but the rain had subsided and everyone enjoyed the beach.

The night’s entertainment was focused on a hilarious Love and Marriage game, which was very funny. Prior to that event, there was Bingo and I actually won $233 to be applied to my onboard credit! Thrilling! There was also the ship’s version of Minute to Win It, and I got to try to win a prize by moving a cookie from my forehead into my mouth by only utilizing my facial muscles! Apparently, I looked like a crazy woman with the contortions I was making with my face. I could not complete the task in less than 60 seconds, but I did get a lot of laughs and a few cookies out of the deal!

Later, there was a mega deck party with dancing and wild fun!

The one thing about early dinner seating is that you are actually hungry by the time midnight rolls around. Thank goodness for the late night snacks, 24 hour pizza and ice cream to hold us over!

Friday, June 3 — Half Moon Cay

This was a spectacular adventure, a private island, beautiful sunshine, and crystal clear waters. We were tendered to the island from the ship in groups of 200+ on ferry boats, and the island proved to be a favorite among so many of us. Once settled on the beach, we luxuriated in the warmth of the sun and an incredible clean, white sand beach. Perfection. Some went on horseback riding excursions, others just relaxed. The ship had a catered luncheon for all of us and then it was back to the beachfront. While standing in the water, you could see clearly to your feet-no rockiness, just soft sand. This was to be our favorite beach on the cruise for sure.

The pirate theme was everywhere and the time flew by- no one wanted to leave this paradise!

Once back on board, we readied for the evening. After dinner, we attended a show “Singin’ With the Band” a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. The singer was Christopher Alan Grimes, and the highlight was when he brought the kids from Camp Carnival onto the stage for a song. A very nice tribute show.

Saturday, June 4 — Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas

Many of us were looking forward to the adventures awaiting us on these islands. Some of us experienced swimming with the dolphins, while others wanted to explore the Atlantis aquarium, pristine beaches or tour the culture of the islands. Atlantis is a destination all its own, so many plan to return there. The gambling, marinas, water park, Atlantis has it all. It was fun to see how that area has grown throughout the years. Soon it was time to return to the ship. By then, 4 other cruise ships were lined up at the Nassau pier. Imagine how many cruisers had descended upon the area! Everyone shopped and it was time to board the ship.

The evening’s entertainment was a comedy ventriloquist named Phil Hughes. Most of our group did not enjoy his show, and we actually left early to either gamble or attend that night’s comedy show. Later, the audience got to tell jokes, and it was amusing!

Now we were headed for New York and home.

Sunday, June 5 — At Sea

This day at sea was filled with sun, a scavenger hunt, trivia, bingo—where Roseann won $1,000!!! And more fun! We frolicked in the pools, even experienced the waterslide! We had many laughs along the way. People shopped on board, and of course, ate to our heart’s content!

Some of our group opted to have dinner at “Nick and Nora’s”, the ship’s premium restaurant, and they thoroughly enjoyed their meals.

This was the second “formal” night of the cruise, so we took formal group photos and still could not get everyone in one shot! The entertainment this evening was by far the best- a tribute to the Beatles called “Ticket to Ride”, a spectacular, lively, exciting show highlighting the music of this great band.

Monday, June 6 Final Day at Sea before returning to NYC the following morning and back to REALITY!!! A day to make sure you did everything you wanted to do and see whatever areas of the ship you didn’t get to see before it was time to go home! The day was filled with activities, sun, food, friends, and comparing notes! Everyone had a fantastic time and so many memories were shared.

Thanks to Lynn, Nina, Sylvia, David and Joe, Anna, Barbara M and Barbara S, Carolyn and Fred, Roseann, Jennifer, Hervey and Chris, Lenny and Mickie, Francis and Katherine, Theresa and Sevvy, Mary and Ralph, Chris and Sue (Thelma and Louise), and Maria C and Maria V for making this cruise so memorable. Also, Ruthie and family, the newlyweds, and the Leone family, our waiters, room stewards, bartenders, cruise director staff and Captain who made the trip so special!

So, where to travel next year? Stay tuned and be sure to join us for our next adventure!

Thanks to all who were able to join us as well as the many people we met along the way. WOO- HOO! Enjoy the photos from the trip!