JohnnyQ
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October 17th, 2023 at 3:26:41 PM permalink
I was surprised to see how hard it is to read the $ 5 aud chips ? Could that be on purpose ?

The $ 100 chip is not that clear either.

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JohnnyQ
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October 18th, 2023 at 1:19:40 AM permalink
CAIRNS

While the wives went shopping, my cruise buddy and I checked out the REEF CASINO. It was not very busy inside on a Wednesday afternoon.

No video poker. That seemed odd.

Decent-ish $ 20 Aud BJ RULES but only double down on 9-11.

Single 0 roulette but I didn’t see the payouts posted.







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JohnnyQ
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October 18th, 2023 at 1:27:51 AM permalink
We did this earlier in the day:





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PokerGrinder
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October 18th, 2023 at 2:15:09 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

We did this earlier in the day:






link to original post


Is that the Great Barrier Reef? How much was the plane ride? Do you book the whole plane or per person?
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100xOdds
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October 18th, 2023 at 12:33:37 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

CAIRNS

While the wives went shopping, my cruise buddy and I checked out the REEF CASINO. It was not very busy inside on a Wednesday afternoon.

No video poker. That seemed odd.
Decent-ish $ 20 Aud BJ RULES but only double down on 9-11.
Single 0 roulette but I didn’t see the payouts posted.


link to original post

I will be in Cairns next week.
what else is there to do besides the casino?

link to flyover of the great barrier reef?
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JohnnyQ
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October 18th, 2023 at 1:49:08 PM permalink
Quote: PokerGrinder


Is that the Great Barrier Reef? How much was the plane ride? Do you book the whole plane or per person?
link to original post

Yes, $ 113 per person. We booked it through GETYOURGUIDE.com, but you might be able to book it directly with DAINTREE AIR SERVICES.

It was about a $ 17 UBER ride from the cruise ship port to the airport.

Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 18, 2023
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October 18th, 2023 at 3:27:51 PM permalink
Interesting course last night, I assume that was to point the ship into the wind for a smoother ride.



Today’s stop in Port Douglas was just cancelled due to rough seas.

We were going to have to use the ship’s lifeboats to shuttle back and forth, and the swells make them bob up and down which makes getting on and off tricky, especially for the older folks (and tall people).
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JohnnyQ
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October 18th, 2023 at 3:39:29 PM permalink
Quote: 100xOdds

I will be in Cairns next week.
what else is there to do besides the casino?

We didn’t do this, but I think it was a popular excursion from the ship.

Skyrail.au.com

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Mental
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October 18th, 2023 at 4:08:14 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Interesting course last night, I assume that was to point the ship into the wind for a smoother ride.

[Today’s stop in Port Douglas was just cancelled due to rough seas.

We were going to have to use the ship’s lifeboats to shuttle back and forth, and the swells make them bob up and down which makes getting on and off tricky, especially for the older folks (and tall people).
link to original post

That is a risk of cruising. We have had four different port calls cancelled due to high winds. One was a due to a hurricane. We were already docked at one port, but the captain was worried that the winds would break the mooring lines so we left without disembarking anyone.

I got to two of the cancelled ports on later voyages. I have been to 80 different ports on NCL ships.

I hate tendering in the lifeboats. Larger tender boats can handle higher winds than the lifeboats.
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October 18th, 2023 at 4:34:31 PM permalink
I hate cancelled ports. Unavoidable sometimes though.

The saddest one for me was once on a Royal Caribbean cruise CocoCay was canceled due to a medical emergency. We woke up and we were in Fort Lauderdale when we were supposed to be in CoCoCay.
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October 18th, 2023 at 4:36:07 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Quote: PokerGrinder


Is that the Great Barrier Reef? How much was the plane ride? Do you book the whole plane or per person?
link to original post

Yes, $ 113 per person. We booked it through GETYOURGUIDE.com, but you might be able to book it directly with DAINTREE AIR SERVICES.

It was about a $ 17 UBER ride from the cruise ship port to the airport.


link to original post


Awesome thanks I am in the process of planning my trip for the new year. 45 days in the NZ and Australia, I’m so excited.
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JohnnyQ
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October 18th, 2023 at 5:34:47 PM permalink
Just surfing the web on our unexpected extra “Fun Day at Sea” and I saw this list of gambling rules for Queensland casinos.

I found it interesting because:

a) it was published

b) it was easy to find, there was a link to it on the Reef Casino website

c) the dealer has to announce the point total for each player in Blackjac
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DRich
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October 18th, 2023 at 5:48:10 PM permalink
Quote: Mental



I got to two of the cancelled ports on later voyages. I have been to 80 different ports on NCL ships.



I had no idea that one company serviced that many different ports.
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PokerGrinder
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October 18th, 2023 at 6:56:05 PM permalink
Carnival has many more ports than that.
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Mental
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October 19th, 2023 at 2:45:25 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

Quote: Mental



I got to two of the cancelled ports on later voyages. I have been to 80 different ports on NCL ships.



I had no idea that one company serviced that many different ports.
link to original post

NCL probably serves at least 200 ports worldwide.
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100xOdds
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October 19th, 2023 at 3:07:15 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Quote: PokerGrinder


Is that the Great Barrier Reef? How much was the plane ride? Do you book the whole plane or per person?
link to original post

Yes, $ 113 per person. We booked it through GETYOURGUIDE.com, but you might be able to book it directly with DAINTREE AIR SERVICES.

It was about a $ 17 UBER ride from the cruise ship port to the airport.


link to original post

you did This one?
https://www.airtoursaustralia.com.au/scenicflights
(179 aud is around $113 usd)
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October 19th, 2023 at 3:11:41 PM permalink
Quote: Mental

Quote: JohnnyQ

Interesting course last night, I assume that was to point the ship into the wind for a smoother ride.

[Today’s stop in Port Douglas was just cancelled due to rough seas.

We were going to have to use the ship’s lifeboats to shuttle back and forth, and the swells make them bob up and down which makes getting on and off tricky, especially for the older folks (and tall people).
link to original post

That is a risk of cruising. We have had four different port calls cancelled due to high winds. One was a due to a hurricane.
We were already docked at one port, but the captain was worried that the winds would break the mooring lines so we left without disembarking anyone.
link to original post

Break the mooring lines?
wow! high winds indeed
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100xOdds
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October 19th, 2023 at 3:13:31 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Just surfing the web on our unexpected extra “Fun Day at Sea” and I saw this list of gambling rules for Queensland casinos.

I found it interesting because:

a) it was published

b) it was easy to find, there was a link to it on the Reef Casino website

c) the dealer has to announce the point total for each player in Blackjac
link to original post

Link?
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JohnnyQ
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October 21st, 2023 at 6:33:46 PM permalink
Quote: 100xOdds

Quote: JohnnyQ

Just surfing the web on our unexpected extra “Fun Day at Sea” and I saw this list of gambling rules for Queensland casinos.

I found it interesting because:

a) it was published

b) it was easy to find, there was a link to it on the Reef Casino website

c) the dealer has to announce the point total for each player in Blackjac
link to original post

Link?

Yeah, sorry about that. I can’t get to WoV through the ship internet, and I can only use my phone when we are in port.

We are today.

Go to the Reef Casino website:


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October 21st, 2023 at 10:19:06 PM permalink
Back in BRISBANE

I got to watch college football again today on the cabin TV, which was a bonus. The only downside was getting up at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.



I went upstairs to get a pizza before it closed at 4 a.m.



We had to get off the ship to go through customs, so we went to the mall to kill some time. I saw this there, but didn’t get any:



We are back on the ship now. Instead of going EAST-ish, our itinerary has been changed to re-do what we just did and we will head north instead. We heard there is a storm forming somewhere along the course of the original itinerary.



Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 22, 2023
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October 22nd, 2023 at 2:24:56 AM permalink
I dabbled in the slots for a little bit. I started out just wanting to confirm how many $’s it takes to get a point on the slots. $ 3 I think, and $ 5 per point for vid poker.

I think there was a slot machine with a minimum bet of $ 9 per spin. I can doublecheck that tonight or tomorrow.



I did OK on this one, Mrs Q wanted to show it to me.

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DRich
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October 22nd, 2023 at 5:50:23 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Back in BRISBANE

I got to watch college football again today on the cabin TV, which was a bonus. The only downside was getting up at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.



I would say the downside was that it was a terrible game. Penn St had no offense and the Buckeye QB was terrible too. The only interesting thing in that whole game was Harrison jr.
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October 23rd, 2023 at 2:11:36 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

CAIRNS
link to original post

Found out I'm at Yorkey's Knob and not Cairns.
Cairns is 12miles south of me.
Not sure if i have time to visit the casino.

edit:
didnt have time :(
Last edited by: 100xOdds on Oct 23, 2023
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JohnnyQ
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October 24th, 2023 at 2:59:00 PM permalink
Misc:

The ship casino is now NON-SMOKING. Thanks, Aussies !

And usually it is not very busy. Apparently casino gambling is not as popular with the Australians, who are now the majority of the passengers, as it is with Americans.

We are pulling into Cairns right now.
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DRich
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October 24th, 2023 at 3:08:20 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Apparently casino gambling is not as popular with the Australians, who are now the majority of the passengers, as it is with Americans.



Probably because gambling seems to be available everywhere in Australia,. I probably visited at least sixty different clubs in Sydney that had gambling.
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October 24th, 2023 at 3:51:25 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

Quote: JohnnyQ

Apparently casino gambling is not as popular with the Australians, who are now the majority of the passengers, as it is with Americans.


Probably because gambling seems to be available everywhere in Australia,. I probably visited at least sixty different clubs in Sydney that had gambling.
link to original post

in Sydney, I was surprised how many Lightning link/clones there were. It was like 60% of the slots offered in the huge casino.
I didn't find anything I liked to play.

Rich, what slots did you play in the Aussie casinos?
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October 24th, 2023 at 3:53:07 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Misc:

The ship casino is now NON-SMOKING. Thanks, Aussies !

And usually it is not very busy. Apparently casino gambling is not as popular with the Australians, who are now the majority of the passengers, as it is with Americans.

We are pulling into Cairns right now.
link to original post

if you're going to the Cairn's casino, write a review pls :)
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October 24th, 2023 at 5:13:06 PM permalink
Quote: 100xOdds

if you're going to the Cairn's casino, write a review pls :)

scroll up a bit for a mini-review. Summarizing:

Pretty good blackjack.

No video poker.

Single zero roulette.
Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 24, 2023
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October 24th, 2023 at 5:42:42 PM permalink
We are currently headed out to the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkeling. We booked it at the pier.



Nice excursion ! We went with some friends we met on the ship.

All the snorkeling equipment was included, and there was a hot buffet lunch, and a short semi-submersible ride. 7 hours total. 270 aud pp is approx $ 172 US.

Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 25, 2023
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October 28th, 2023 at 5:44:39 PM permalink
Casino Update:

For the last cruise, I cashed out 850 ( Australian Dollars ) up.

Mrs Q lost about the same amount. I haven't added that up yet.



I played more slots on this 7 day cruise than I typically play in a whole year. I can understand the attraction. But my brain still reminds me about the ~10 ( ??? ) percent house advantage. So I will see if my Carnival offers ramp up as a result of this trip’s slot play.

At $2.5 aud coin-in per point on slots, I ended up with more points than I usually get just from vid poker ( $5 aud coin-in for vid poker per point ).

We are in the Brisbane airport waiting to check-in our bags for a flight to Sydney on JETSTAR. Every time I mention that airline, I don't get positive vibes from the Aussies. So we'll see. The price was right.

Update:

JETSTAR was fine for a short flight. They had reasonable rates for heavy baggage, at least they did when I added that on-line a few days ago.
Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 29, 2023
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October 28th, 2023 at 5:51:38 PM permalink
Quote: 100xOdds

.

Rich, what slots did you play in the Aussie casinos?



I've been to Australia twice and I don't think I ever played a slot. Both times I was there to try and purchase a small casino promotions company that was somehow related to TAB. Somehow this little company got a trial of their promo system at a little bar in Vegas that I frequented called Billy's East. I was so impressed with it that I got some investors together and tried to buy the company or at least license the U.S. rights to it. I failed.
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October 28th, 2023 at 6:02:15 PM permalink
ps:

I thought the 270 AUD we paid for the CAIRNS Snorkeling trip was a great price. But it was actually only a few dollars less than what I could have booked directly with Carnival, and it sounds like the same trip.

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October 29th, 2023 at 1:22:31 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

ps:

I thought the 270 AUD we paid for the CAIRNS Snorkeling trip was a great price. But it was actually only a few dollars less than what I could have booked directly with Carnival, and it sounds like the same trip.


link to original post

That's surprising.
Usually there's a huge profit markup for ship excursions
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October 29th, 2023 at 10:37:56 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Quote: 100xOdds

if you're going to the Cairn's casino, write a review pls :)

scroll up a bit for a mini-review. Summarizing:

Pretty good blackjack.

No video poker.

Single zero roulette.
link to original post

I meant to mention that the BJ at the Cairns Reef Casino was 3-2 BUT I think it was also ONLY DOUBLE on 9-10-11. I'm not sure what the HA penalty is for that rule.
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October 29th, 2023 at 10:49:00 PM permalink
We took a mini-bus tour today to see the Blue Mountains and other sites today. It included nice stops at local restaurants for lunch and dinner.



3 Sisters:






And here’s a bonus pic from yesterday:


Happy Halloween !
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October 30th, 2023 at 5:45:03 PM permalink
Next up:



I think it should have a good casino, it looks like it has more Carnival type amenities than our last one, and it is a bigger ship too.

Update:

Fast and efficient boarding process today. That isn’t always the case with Carni.
Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Oct 30, 2023
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October 31st, 2023 at 3:19:25 AM permalink
Which boat?
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October 31st, 2023 at 5:10:09 AM permalink
Thanks for the updates, JQ. Sounds like you are having a great time!

Quote: JohnnyQ

But my brain still reminds me about the ~10 ( ??? ) percent house advantage.

If their best VP is ~%5 HE (not counting the 6/5 BP on the All-Star machines), I'm guessing the slots are much worse than 10%.

Quote: JohnnyQ

Update:

Fast and efficient boarding process today. That isn’t always the case with Carni.
link to original post

My experience is that some ports are set up for efficient boarding, and some aren't. San Francisco was the worst I experienced, followed by Jax. My first cruise out of Tampa was a cluster, but they have vastly improved this since then. Port Canaveral is the smoothest I have experienced. Last cruise, I don't think we ever stood still from the moment we left the parking garage until we were in our cabin*.

Also, for 2020-2022, Covid screwed up boarding because they converted the VIP boarding lines into Covid screening lines.

* -- OK, slight exaggeration, but not by much.
Last edited by: Joeman on Oct 31, 2023
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November 1st, 2023 at 9:17:34 PM permalink
Quote: PokerGrinder

Which boat?
link to original post

Carnival Splendor.

The casino has 3:2 blackjack at the $ AUD 25 level and 3:2 pontoon at $ AUD 10 min bet.

And they have the big horse racing track.



Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Nov 1, 2023
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November 1st, 2023 at 10:17:02 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Carnival Splendor.
The casino does not have good games.


link to original post

what is a pontoon?
And what is the HE?
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November 1st, 2023 at 10:41:52 PM permalink
Haha, I had to look that up too. Apparently a “pontoon” is a blackjack.

And that game has a low house advantage per WoO, depending on the rules, which I am not sure of on this ship.
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November 1st, 2023 at 10:50:05 PM permalink
Fascinating port stop today, Port Arthur, TASMANIA.



It was basically a prison colony from the 1830’s (I think) and on. So the whole area is a park with buildings, some restored and some not. And apparently Carnival covered our admission price to it.

Here is the main prison:


Rules from the other prison:


Here is the huge church, only the walls are standing (lots of devastating brush fires over the years):
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November 4th, 2023 at 9:57:02 PM permalink
Back in Sydney today, we took a loop on the Hop On / Hop Off bus this morning. It was raining pretty good on part of it, so we didn’t sit on the open air double-decker part.



View from deck 11 in Sydney Harbor:


Next stop: MELBOURNE.
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November 4th, 2023 at 10:17:15 PM permalink
Matching shirts seem to be all the rage down under, at least on cruise “holiday”:



And way up at the top of the Harbor Bridge is a tour group:



The tug SL COOK is giving us an assist to spin around and point out of the harbor:

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November 4th, 2023 at 11:04:23 PM permalink
JohnnyQ,

The flag on those matching shirts looks like the United Arab Emirates flag:



Except that their shirts' green is a much brighter shade than the UAE flag's green.

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November 4th, 2023 at 11:27:31 PM permalink
Very pretty shirt I must say
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November 5th, 2023 at 8:22:00 AM permalink
Johnny I know I’ve said this but I’m loving this thread! Thanks
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November 5th, 2023 at 3:11:14 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

Haha, I had to look that up too. Apparently a “pontoon” is a blackjack.

And that game has a low house advantage per WoO, depending on the rules, which I am not sure of on this ship.
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both casinos in Singapore have Pontoon blackjack :o
Craps is paradise (Pair of dice). Lets hear it for the SpeedCount Mathletes :)
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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November 6th, 2023 at 4:09:02 PM permalink
We arrived in MELBOURNE this morning and it is Melbourne Cup Horse Race day. Apparently that is a big big big deal here. A general admission ticket was included in our fare, but:

A) it is supposed to get very very hot today, and the forecast had a chance for an afternoon thunderstorm

B) it is customary to get dressed up, coat and tie for men, and fancy dresses + hats for the ladies

C) online reviews say that you might not even be able to see the main race with only the genl adm ticket

D) reviews say there can be an hour long line for food

E) upgrading to a reserved seat ticket is fairly expensive

F) I haven’t felt quite right for a couple days, but both Covid self tests were negative, so at least that is good

We were also given a ticket for Thursday’s races, and we are thinking about doing that. It is supposed to be much less crowded.

Free shuttle bus transportation to the race track is available to passengers, and it seemed pretty well organized, which is not always the case on Carnival.

There is a Princess P&O ship here today as well, I assume it is providing the same thing our ship is, IE, a bunch of floating hotel rooms.



I played a little bit of Ult X VP yesterday and some PONTOON as well. We cruised thru territorial waters yesterday afternoon, so the casino closed at 3 pm and then opened again in the evening.
Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Nov 6, 2023
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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Joined: Nov 3, 2009
November 6th, 2023 at 5:45:57 PM permalink


There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
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