And once it begins the end is inevitable.
It seemed to take forever to get from parking the car to actually being on the ship last Sunday. The previous passengers were still disembarking when we arrived at the Cruise Port around 11:30 am, which wasn’t a good sign to me. Drop the luggage, and then it was on to the Line Ride. Once we checked in, it was off to a room where we waited, and waited, and waited until it was finally our turn to board.
Sunday was a bit of a blur, get on board, eat, drink, unpack, drink, eat, then sleep. We did manage to get a group shot in from a fellow passenger who would quickly become someone we saw repeatedly over the course of the week. As we got farther into the day the Cruise Director and Captain (who we could barely understand, damn Italian accent) made the announcement that the due to the path of Hurricane Cristobal we would have to change the Ports of Call for the week. So instead of going to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport, we were going to stop in Port Canaveral FL, Nassau, and Freeport. Eh whatever, I’m on a cruise and not at home.
Monday and Tuesday were still Sea Days, we did a lot of nothing. Well unless you count eating, drinking, eating, and drinking nothing. As is usual for a sea day there wasn’t a chair or hammock to be found at the Adults only Serenity area on Deck. That being said it seemed as thought around 3 or 4 in the afternoon spots seemed to open up so we made the best of it and staked our claim for some pre dinner swimming, sunning, and hottubbing. With all the downtime this week I was able to read 2 3/4 books.
Wednesday was our first of 3 Port Days in a row. We were supposed to dock in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos for the day but instead we sidled up the Florida coast in Port Canaveral. Yes I did get on a cruise ship in Baltimore only to make the first stop in Florida. Like I said before, we were on a cruise ship and weren’t home. If that is my biggest complaint so be it. The Hubby and I and our friends parted ways for the day, we weren’t really interested in getting off the boat and they had a couple things in their mind they wanted to do. The Hubby and I spent all of 5 minutes on dry land, we got off the ship took one look and got right back on. This proved to be the best option as everyone else got off and we had the Pool Deck pretty much to ourselves for the afternoon.
We did decide on night 1 that we were going to go to the GLBT or Friends of Dorothy meetings whenever they were. Funny thing is with Carnival they change the time and meeting place every night, and I think one night they didn’t even have one listed in the “Fun Times” daily schedule of activities. And not surprisingly the first few nights it was just The Hubby and I and our Friends there. Oh wait, there was another couple that showed up, sat on the other side of the room, and proceeded to ignore us. Oh well. A few other guys joined us as the week went on and we had fun.
Thursday was our second port day, again in a different port than originally planned. We ended up in Nassau instead of the Private Island Half Moon Cay. The Hubby and I have been to Nassau a few times and decided to at least get off and walk around a bit, maybe buy a couple souvenirs. Nassau was just as we remembered it, but a little bit different. They are well known for their Straw Market which the last time we saw it was just a hut with stalls in it. They have since upgraded to a wooden structure and solid concrete flooring. But the outside was new the inside hadn’t changed.
Thursday night we decided to dine at the specialty restaurant onboard the ship called Davids. It’s a small additional fee to dine there but they food is different from the main dining room food. The menu consists of appetizers, sides, and then a selection of Steaks, Lamb, Chicken, or Fish entrees. We enjoyed ourselves, the food was delicious, the company was great, and the waiter was HOT! The picture below is from the restaurant. We sat upstairs under David’s elbow.
Friday was the last port day and the only original port we had on the schedule when we booked Freeport. This is another port we had been to and decided that we were definitely NOT getting off the ship. The port looked a little more built up since our last visit but not enough to peak our interest. Instead we again had free reign over the pool deck until the thunder and lighting started. It never rained but it was enough of a cloud cover we decided to just pack it in and do other things. We left port at 1 in the afternoon so the ship activities resumed in full force. So off I went to try my hand at Bingo. Bingo was one of Mom’s favorite hobbies, as long as I can remember she went every Monday, rain or shine. I had talked to my Dad earlier in the week when we were in Florida and he told me I had to play, so I did. This was the bet deal as it was 5 games for the price of 1. I came close on games 2 and 3, then on game 4 I was 1 number away. I looked at the card and saw it had my Mom’s Birthday Numbers (8 and 26) and her Anniversary Numbers (8 and 17) on it. I ended up winning $130 on that card, I was a happy man!
Saturday was the usual Sad day as it was the last sea day and meant we were heading towards home. We were prepared for the pool deck being mobbed so we meandered up another deck and camped out on the side of the ship. This put us closer to the Water slide which we took advantage of for a 3rd day on the trip. Later in the afternoon we headed to Tea Time in the dining room, our second time on the trip. They serve tea and pastries and cucumber sandwiches. After tea and before dinner we went back to the room and packed up our suitcases, we had some time to waste before dinner.
After dinner we met our new friends ( the one I mentioned who took the pic) for a drink. Which turned into 2 hours (for the 2nd or 3rd day of the week) of just bullshitting. Turns out Michelle and her Husband Dale (HOTTIE) lived at some point in their lives local to where The Hubby and I live, and where our Friends who were traveling with us lived. Dale is a lawyer and Michelle is a Stay at Home Mom and volunteer. They were a breathe of fresh air on the cruise as they just got us. During one conversation Michelle said “Can I ask you a question?” That question was “when you first saw Dale did you think he was Gay? Can you tell just by looking? Our answers were a resounding No, and Yes, then we explained Gaydar to her. The next thing we knew it was midnight, it really felt like they were old friends of ours. We will keep in touch via the Face Space.
To sum it all up we had a great time, but we also realized that all of the reasons we left behind Carnival as a cruise Company were still out there and that we would definitely be sticking to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity in the future.