Note: We came across this magazine article we
thought our guests would be most interested in reading. It first
appeared in Carnival Cruise Line's Currents magazine, Summer 2005. If
you are thinking about planning a family reunion cruise
here for more information.
By Rick Just | Currents
Posted May 20, 2005
IT'S A FAMILY TRADITION
family and friends gather at the home of Dean and Nola "Nikki" Frahm in
Stacy. Minnesota. There, at the Frahms' pool and hot tub, they toss
around ideas for the next big family getaway. "We travel together
because we like each other," Nikki explains, "and as a family we are
building memories together."
This year 13
family members and friends agreed on a Western Caribbean cruise on the
new Carnival Pride. Their voyage took them to Key West, Florida: Belize;
and Cozumel and Progreso/Merida in Mexico.
the Pride because it sailed to unchartared ports and offered a special
class of service and friendly comfort,'' Nikki says. After they set sail
in February from Port Canaveral under Florida's bluebird skies, the
Frahms explore Carnival's sleek ship. Though many are veteran cruisers,
they're impressed. "Everywhere you go," says family friend Paul Radunez,
there are "cool little touches,"
the seven-day cruise, the group finds a range of activities and pastimes
aboard Carnival Pride to suit their varied interests. The littlest
cruiser, Nicholas Rizzo, 2, son of niece Sharon Rizzo, enjoys the fun at
Camp Carnival and the pools onboard. "Uncle" Paul basks in the sun and
relaxes in the gentle sea breezes on his stateroom's private balcony.
Nikki enjoy lingering at the elegant upper-deck David's Supper Club,
while the young and more restless couples get late-night laughs from
corned/ shows and boogie into the wee hours at Beauties Dance Club.
FIRST PORT—KEY WEST
In port 100
miles from Miami and 90 miles from Havana, a trolley zips the
Minnesotans to historic and colorful Key West. This is one reason why
the Frahms and so many others choose to cruise for their large-group
gatherings: Not only can you spend time together, but you also can go
off and do your own thing. In Key West, some cruise guests choose a
catamaran sail-and-snorkel trip or a bike tour, while others paddle
through groves by kayak or tee off at the Key West Country Club.
Heading to the heartbeat of the island, Dean and Nikki arrive on lively
Duval Street, a district jammed with funky shops and good-time watering
holes. They stop at Sloppy Joe's, a popular restaurant and shrine to
author Ernest Hemingway. Papa Hemingway, it's been said, liked to drink,
write and fish in Key West.
Back onboard Carnival Pride, the Frahms join other guests for an eagerly
anticipated ritual—fine dining in the dazzling Normandie Restaurant.
"Anything you want," Paul says, marveling at the ship's array of
culinary delights prepared and served with flair. As owner of The
Cornerstone Pub & Prime in Wyoming, Minnesota, Uncle Paul is the group's
expert food critic."I had some teriyaki ribs that were great. A killer!"
After dessert, the group encounters an unexpected treat in Beauties
Dance Club: Super Bowl XXXVI is playing live on the massive
floor-to-ceiling video monitor. The outcome generates cheers from some,
groans from others. Family unity goes only so far. Then it's off to the
Winners' Club, Carnival Pride's spacious casino.
described as an unpolished Caribbean gem, Belize is a place for those
who seek the unique. You can explore the Belize River by boat, the
jungle on horseback or float through caves and rain forests on a
Many of the Frahms join a guided half-hour boat ride to Goff Key and
world-class snorkeling. This remote island, inhabited only by birds and
coconut palms, is a tiny circle of paradise about 14 miles east of
Nicholas and his folks romp on the beach while the rest of the party
slips into snorkel masks and fins. Diving into the clear, marine-blue
Caribbean waters, they flip through a maze of colorful coral and schools
of fish. April Frahm, Dean and Nikki's daughter-in-law, bolts to the
surface. "I saw fish this long!" she gushes, stretching her arms a yard
After hours of underwater snooping along the Caribbean reef, the Frahms
hop aboard a tender to Belize City, the country's largest town, for a
quick look around.
COZUMEL—SUCH A DEAL
Welcome to Cozumel, Mexico's largest island, where you can snorkel or
scuba, experience a dolphin encounter, go on an eco-adventure by Jeep or
board a party cruiser—the triple-decker Fiesta that takes you to Playa
Sol Beach Club.
Or shop. The
Frahms pile into cabs for a ride into downtown Cozumel, where haggling
is a time-honored custom. They are on a mission to find jewelry and
other souvenirs at discount prices.
Daughter Misty Knode scores on a silver and burgundy bracelet by talking
a salesman down from $20 to $4. Husband Mike lands a shark's-tooth
necklace. "I've wanted one for years," he beams. Later, they join others
at rocking Carlos 'N Charlie's for lunch, libations and dancing. "I
could spend a week in Cozumel," Misty sighs.
MARVELS AT PROGRESO AND MERIDA
recently offered to Carnival guests, the Progreso/Merida area in Mexico
already has plenty of excursions to choose from. Among the most popular
choices are various tours of Mayan ruins—from the Chichen-ltza
archaeological site to the beautiful city of Uxmal with its 114-step
Pyramid of the Magician. Some guests opt for a kayak adventure. Others I
head for a Mexican rodeo show or visits to either Progreso or Merida.
Frahms, Thursday brings an easygoing tour of intriguing shops in
Progreso's old market area. As the sun climbs, they find the wide beach
and kick back in the sand under the shade of thatched-roof huts.
dozen from Minnesota wraps up a final Fun Day at Sea Friday evening with
a champagne toast on the full balcony of Dean and Nikki's aft stateroom
suite. With a panoramic view of the sea as wide as the horizon, they
hoist their glasses to three special occasions—Dean and Nikki's 33rd
anniversary, as well as the birthdays of niece Lisa jaynes and family
friend Joanie Coughlin.
another successful Frahm family reunion.
week sure would be great," Lisa's fiance Jason Flagstad says wistfully
over the rhythmic shushing of the sea. "This is the only way I want to
Carnival Cruise Lines........
Carnival Cruise Lines
recently enhanced its complimentary fleet-wide kids’ program "Camp
Carnival." Added to the kid-friendly amenities is a new turn-down
service with bedtime cookies, an updated children’s menu and more logoed
items to all "Camp Carnival" participants.
At Carnival, fun is a famliy affair.
We don't just allow kids. We love kids. Every "Fun Ship®" has a
terrific supervised program just for children. We call it Camp
Carnival where your kids will have the time of their lives.
Whether they're teens or toddlers,
Camp Carnival has an age-appropriate program offering full days of
high energy fun under the friendly nd competent supervision of Camp
We haven't forgotten about the
grownups, either. Whether you're looking for dazzling Vegas-style
shows or a late romantic evening in an intimate piano bar,
Carnival's got your fun. And, assuming you can pull your kids away
from the fun they're having, there are plenty of great activities
for the family to enjoy together -- sumptuous meals, sports and
games, and all kinds of entertainment. And that's just on board. You
can explore the activities, culture and sights at every port of
So, bring your kids and your taste for
fun. This year, treat the family to a perfect family vacation aboard
a Carnival "Fun Ship®". And discover for yourself why Family Circle
magazine calls Carnival "The Best Family Vacation Value" among
little things that add up to a great vacation," says Bob Dickinson,
Carnival president, "and these enhancements represent our continued
commitment to providing guests of all ages with a high quality cruise
The new turn-down service provides kids with freshly baked chocolate
chip cookies on their pillows on the first and last night of their
cruise. Accompanying the cookies is a special poem, one welcomes the
child on board and the other thanks them for their "Camp Carnival"
The children’s menu now includes kids’ favorites like hamburgers, hot
dogs, French fries, pepperoni pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
banana splits and daily "Junior Specials." In addition, the ever-popular
"Fountain Fun Card" still offers unlimited soft drink purchases for
children under age 21. The cards, purchased on board, range in price
from $8 on a three-day cruise to $18 on seven-day voyages.
Ping pong, scavenger hunts, poolside water games, toys, puzzles,
computers (including Apple iMacs), outdoor play areas and three swimming
pools are just some of the activities and facilities children can enjoy
on a Carnival Cruise.
Babysitting for children under 2 is also available from 10 p.m. to 3
a.m. Cost is $5 per hour for one child; $3 per hour for each additional
child in the same family.
To choose a
family cruise by cruise ship and see the latest specials on Carnival
information is presumed to be timely, but may not be up-to-date
and is subject to change without notice.
Information source: Cruise Line
International Association. Visit the CLIA at
www.cruising.org for further
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