Sunday, May 20, 2012

Carnival Caribbean Cruise: Day 2 – Embarkation Day

Well today we board the ship for our cruise to the Caribbean. We were awake by 6:30am and then we had breakfast at the hotel in The Tremont Café. Thomas had Eggs Benedict and I had a Croissant Sandwich. We ate and had coffee and just relaxed for a while. Then we returned to our room to get everything packed and organized and get our luggage tags for the ship placed on our bags.
Galveston Pier
Then we loaded the car and decided to take a drive along the sea wall. We parked near the new Galveston Pier and walked to get a closer look. Unfortunately it isn’t open yet and we could only see it from a distance (maybe it will be open when we return from the cruise and we can stop for a visit). Then I called my brother to see where they were. My brother and sister and their spouses were in Lafayette and were driving into Galveston this morning. They were meeting us at the car rental place near Hobby Airport and then we were all driving to the Port together. They were getting close enough that Thomas and I needed to make our way back north to meet them. We took the exit that we needed and filled the car with gas and waited about 15 minutes for them to get there. We placed our bags in their car and then they followed us to return the car. Now we could head back to Galveston.

I rode with Donna and Mark and Thomas rode with Brent and Heather. It didn’t take long to reach the Port but then we had to wait a little while in traffic to get to the drop off area. Mark dropped Donna and I off with the luggage and then went to park the car and take the shuttle back. Brent and Heather dropped Thomas off with their luggage and then went to park their car. Donna, Thomas and I waited at the terminal for them to return on the shuttle. Fortunately our wait time for things really wasn’t all that bad.

Once we all together we entered the terminal to start our boarding process. The first line was to show passports and boarding passes, the second line was to go to security and have our carry on bags x-rayed, the third line was to get our Sail & Sign Card (room key and charge card while on board the ship), the fourth line was to have our picture taken that so that they can match us with our card, the fifth line was to check into the ship using our card, and the sixth line was for a photo of our group right before we boarded. Then it was a pretty good walk up a switchbacked ramp to the ship. All this probably took less that 30 minutes – a pretty efficient operation. Once on board we had to find something to do because we still had a little more than an hour before we could get to our cabins. So we all grabbed a little fruity drink with an umbrella and a fruit garnish and then headed to the Lido Marketplace for the buffet lunch. We ate and visited and relaxed.

Donna, Heather, Brent, Mark T
After lunch we all headed to our cabins to get settled and relax some more. We are all on Deck 12 – Spa Deck. While we were in our cabin we received some gifts that Brent and Heather sent to us – a Fruit and Wine Basket and some Soda Drink Vouchers. We also received three of our four pieces of luggage. After about an hour in the cabin Thomas and I headed out to walk around the outside of the Spa Deck. On this deck there is a water slide called WaterWorks and a rope obstacle called SportsSquare. They also have a minature golf course, walking track and basketball court here. We walked around a little and then we checked out a couple of other decks just below us. Deck 11 has some cabins and they have Camp Carnival (this is the kids area with arcades and day care areas. On Deck 10, the Lido deck there is the pools and a large open area with deck chairs. They also have the Lido Marketplace buffet, a grill and a pizza area. After exploring a bit we returned to Deck 12 and ended up meeting everyone else. So we found some chairs and talked foa a very long time. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and the nice easy movement of the ship. It was great to catch up with the family and we had some good laughs. It was good to see everyone relaxed and having a good time. We had some drinks and pizza for a snack to tide us over until our dinner time at 8:15pm. Thomas, Brent and I tried our hand at the SportsSquare and did pretty well. Then Thomas, Mark and Brent each took a turn on WaterWorks. It was a great afternoon and we even saw part of Taladega Nights that they played on a big outdoor movie screen.

Around 7:00pm we headed back to our cabins to shower and change for dinner. The six of us are sharing a table with a family of six. The parents live in Knoxville, TN and their son lives in Georgia with his girlfriend and they just graduated from Georgia. The daughter and her boyfriend live in Dallas and just graduated from SMU. They are a very nice family and we had a great time visiting with them. The menu for tonight’s dinner was wonderful. Thomas had heart of iceberg lettuce and brisket with some molten chocolate cake for dessert. I had a mixed fruit platter and pan seared tilapia. And my dessert was crème brulee. After dinner Thomas and I called it a day – we were both very tired and need a little sleep. A great first day on the ship and we are looking forward to all the rest of them as well.

Towel Seal

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