Category Archives: Carnival Breeze

Comedy Mask Tower

On August 27, 2012, Ivan and I got breakfast at the buffet.  Lil Dave decided to find some monkey friends on the cruise ship instead of going into Venice with us.

We got the vaporetto (water bus) right to St. Mark’s Square which was a company had running right from the cruise port which was very convenient.

We did the St. Mark’s Clock Tower tour that Ivan booked. 

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It was really cool!!  It was only us and a Japanese couple and they looked and sounded like they couldn’t understand a single word of English, so in essence it was just us on the tour!  We love small tours since it’s private and feels very intimate.  The tour guide Elena was very nice.  She explained the parts of the clock.  The wing lion is above the church and the next to the lion was the Doge.  The Doge was the duke of Venice for over a thousand years.  The Venetians didn’t want to be part of Italy…  The Doge was removed though by Napoleon when Venice was taken over by the French.   At the top of the tower there’s a terrace with two Moors who ring the bell. 

There are beautiful views of St. Mark’s Square from the clock. 

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They have a procession twice a year with the 4 statues that a man does – he’s supposed to check on the clock once a week as well. 

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In the old days, the doge got the engineer to run the clock and got asked to live in the clock to run it.  The engineer asked if he could bring his family – so for payment, he got a big apartment inside a clock tower.  The clock was run from family to family for over 500 years, but then the last guy didn’t want to do it, even though his dad really enjoyed it. 

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So, it was bought by a company and now it’s mostly digital.  It was done manually to wind the clock and the bells which took 5 minutes every hour.  The digital clock was created in 1858 inside it which was the first digital clock in Europe.

The group headed to the roof and got to see the two men with the bells.  What a beautiful view of Venice from up there. We could see all the crowds below in St. Marks square and we felt rather smug to be standing on top of this tower with just a few other people, rather than with the huge crowds below!!!

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I really enjoyed the clock tower tour.  If you’re ever in Venice, you should check it out. 

Our mask making class was up next.  We were running late so we had to rush to the class.  It didn’t really matter since it was only us taking the class at that time.  There were already a group of kids making masks in the back.  First, we had to choose what kind of mask we’d like to paint on – there was a bit variety like jesters, cats and the masks with big noses (which is my favorite!).    Ivan picked the guy with the big nose and I picked a cat.

We got to choose a technique with different color combinations that were on the wall.  The lady told us how to do it with the paint colors we picked. 

So, we colored with one color of paint and then went over it with the next color.. which created a new color.  We had to dry it with a hair dryer.. and then we got to put detail on it with black. 

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The lady gave us a sheet that had different examples of what you could do.  I took some of the ideas and added some of my own. 

Next, it was time to dry again and then varnish the mask and dry it.

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The last step was putting on silver or gold.  We both picked gold.  At the end, we got to pick two different color (or the same if we wanted) ribbons for the holes.  I really like my mask, I think I did a great job. 

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What do you think?  Ivan’s turned out good as well.

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Next, we went souvenir shopping and then had a snack at a cicchetti place.  Then, we decided to get gelato at Grom.  This time we had cones with two scoops: I had chocolate sorbet (cioccolato extranoir) and lemon while Ivan had chocolate sorbet and raspberry. 

We got the water bus (vaporetto) and then the People Mover which is 1 Euro per person back to the port.  Ivan had food from the Indian tandoori.  I got a tasty cheeseburger at Guy’s Burger Joint (Guy Fieri from Food Network).  I made it with sautéed onions, banana peppers and chipotle mayo.

We went to the pool and checked out all the slides Twister and Drainpipe.  The best time to go on the slides is around 5:30 pm since people are getting ready for dinner and it’s really quiet.  Ivan always checks it to see how long the line is – we don’t like waiting in line for a long time.

We chilled in the jacuzzi and read our books. 

We had espresso before heading to dinner.  Ivan changed our dinner table so we would have a table on the main floor since it’s good to be part of the action.  Unfortunately, we had a horrible table of French Canadians who ignored us and barely spoke to each other even though they were a family.  I don’t know if they knew any English or not – my guess was no.  It was nice to hear Ken singing and actually see him from this table.  There was also dancing from the waiters and servers.  Ivan and I were sure that we’d try to find another table.  Hopefully, it would be better than this one.. Ivan thought it couldn’t be any worse which I thought it actually could be.

There was time to spare after the meal, so we went to the room to chill before heading to the comedy show at 10:45 pm.

The first comedian was a large black man named Thomas Brown who was hilarious.  The second guy was named Dwight Slade.  He made fun of us since we were sat in the front row.  He said we were boring… how could you really tell by asking us one question.  He was quite mental and funny.. not as funny as the first guy though.

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Windy Carnival

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 9 am on August 26, 2012 and packed everything up.  We said good-bye to Gabrielle and left the apartment.

The weather was overcast and it would probably rain later.  We took the bus and then the vaporetto (water bus) to the People Mover. 

The People Mover takes you right to the port – we got on that and proceeded to the luggage check-in for the Carnival Breeze.  We are taking a 12 day cruise through the Mediterranean with Carnival’s newest cruise ship.  Ivan told me to head to the check-in in case there was a line.  Thankfully, there wasn’t a big line since we were really early.  It can be an hour or more wait later in the day.  I was trying to get in and I said I’m waiting for my husband – the lady didn’t want to let me in..I told her he’d be a second since he went to put our big backpacks in the check-in.  Good thing, a manager was there next to her.. she said it was fine to let me through.  The lady is dumb because I could have checked in without him.  Some people don’t know about customer service.

We were on board at 11:30 am – but the rooms wouldn’t be ready for 30 minutes.  Ivan and I were really hungry and got food made at the Mongolian Wok at the Lido Marketplace (buffet).  The line wasn’t line since not many people were on board.  I got mine with Thai BBQ sauce with lots of vegetables and thin noodles. 

It was time to check out the room.  Our room was a lot bigger than our last Carnival cruise.  We checked out the balcony.  Ivan and I were really tired since we didn’t sleep much last night.  We took a long 2 hour nap. 

We started unpacking everything.  It’s great to be in a spot for such a long time – usually we’re moving around so much it’s pointless to unpack if you’re only staying a night or two in a city.

We took this Carnival cruise because we love the cruise director John Heald and his funny assistant Calvyn Martens.  Unfortunately, before the cruise started we heard through John’s blog that he wouldn’t be on the Carnival Breeze because he was having surgery.  We were really bummed about this since he was one of the main reasons we were doing this cruise.  He’ll be on the ship during the end of the cruise.. but he won’t be cruise director probably since he needs to take it easy after the surgery.  The cruise director is Butch Begovich who we’ve actually seen before on the Carnival Dream.  He’s a great cruise director.. but we think John Heald is HILARIOUS!!  John is also very down to earth and he’s from a city near where Ivan grew up in Essex, England.. and funnily enough he now lives in Southend-on-Sea, England where Ivan’s parents live. 

We checked out the cruise ship – it’s always so quiet on the first day so it’s a perfect time to take pictures.  The Liquid Nightclub looks like space or something from the future.

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It got really windy at one point.  The chairs outside were moving and the divider which is a divider for the next balcony came undone.  It got foggy as well.  We looked outside and there was a boat that wasn’t docked correctly and we saw it keep moving.  The Carnival Breeze was moving as well since the bad weather.  The boat crashed into the Carnival Breeze and the little boat got hit and started leaking oil.  The storm passed really quickly.. about 30 minutes.  We’ve never seen anything like it.  Thank goodness we weren’t on a vaporetto (water bus) at the time – that would have been scary!!

The cruise director Butch made an announcement saying that the gangway was closed and the Carnival Breeze had to move because of the high winds.  There was no mention of getting hit by the small boat.  They would let us know when we would be able to get on board.  We later found out that one of the gangways got damaged.

Ivan went to explore the boat while I wrapped his presents for his upcoming birthday.  I worked on the blog. 

Later, we went to the Blush Restaurant for dinner. 

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We were glad that we had Ken’s room who is the coolest singing maitre’d. We met our tablemates who were Marc and Clare from Northern England, an Latin/French couple called Andres and Caroline, and a Boring Scottish couple (they ain’t gonna be reading this blog, so what the heck – and if they ARE reading it – STOP BEING SO BORING!!!)

They were all really cool (except for the Scots) but we hated the position of the table – it was a long table like something you get at school, and it was upstairs so we were not in the ‘action’ downstairs which is what we usually like.

For dinner we had tomato soup, and salmon with apples.

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For mains, we had tofu steak which was very, very tasty. For dessert, we had the classic chocolate melting cake which was amazing as always.

Afterwards we went to the main theatre for the welcome abroad show hosted by Butch. It was okay…but no way near as funny as when John does it. Afterwards was the ‘Motor City’ show. We are disappointed that Carnival have got rid of their live band on the stage. They have these huge LED screens which are quite impressive, but we miss having a live band on stage. Also there are only 8 dancers/singers whereas before there used to be a lot more. I mean sure the singing and dancing was great, and with all the led screens it was quite an impressive site….BUT…it just didn’t blow our minds like previous Carnival shows have.

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