Best Vacation Ever, Day 3
So, on Saturday July 2nd, we wake up nice and early to get ready to go. The night before, Roy and Corey had loaded up everything we were bringing on the ship onto a rolling dolly, and we just kept it in the room with us. I got the little boys dressed, and then I cleaned myself up. I was amazed at how much cigarette smoke my hair absorbed the night before (not from Roy or I, but from the fine establishment we visited). I don’t know how Roy slept next to me! Roy got up and got dressed, and by that time it was only about 8:30. We didn’t catch the bus to the ship until 10:30.
The seven of us headed down for our complimentary continental breakfast. I kept it simple - fruit and yogurt. I was just too keyed up to bother with waffles or anything like that. The little boys had some eggs and bacon, a bit of fruit, and then we joined my in-laws on the pool deck.
Everyone was excited and raring to go. We laughed and joked around and basically we just couldn’t wait to get started. We decided to go up to the room around 9:30, and as we were walking out, I was glad we got up a bit early - the line was now out the door for the buffet! We just bummed around the room for a bit, and finally it was time to go down!
Roy, Corey, and Joe put the ‘excess’ stuff back in the van, and I waited with the three younger boys in the lobby for our shuttle.
At 10:30, our shuttle buses pulled up, and we packed up our luggage. The ride over to the terminal was short, and when we got off, it was a mad house!
People running around everywhere, lines left and right - and I was just praying that all our luggage made it on board. We tipped our driver (and I must say I didn’t like his attitude - Roy had all our cash, and he got off last to get something, so when the boys and I got off, the guy looked at me with expectant gleam in his eye, and when I said I would be right back after speaking with my husband, he looked mad!). And then we headed into the terminal to stand in what would be the first of many lines that day.
Our first line was the usual security checkpoint. We had to put all our carry ons on the belt to be scanned, and then we proceeded through a metal detector. Ok - passed with flying colors! Even with a large cooler in tow.
Our next line was basically to get to the next floor, but a guard checked our passports and the kids’ birth certificates. Then we rode the escalator up to check in. Once we made it to the desk, we gave up our credit card and turned in all our papers (I filled everything out online, which made it all MUCH easier!). They handed us our “Sign and Sail” or room cards. Then it was off to the next floor.
At the next stage, they inserted our room cards and took our picture, attaching a face to each card. Dean didn’t know what to make of this, and was confused as to why Roy or I wasn’t in the picture with him. But this phase went off without a hitch, and it was up to the next floor to get on the boat!
The kids were giddy with excitement, and I couldn’t wait to step on the boat. We walked up the gangway (I think that was what they called it) and into the boat. WOW!
The lobby was ritzy, without being overly gaudy, and the ship personnel was right there to offer us welcoming smiles. It was about noon at this point, and since our rooms wouldn’t be ready until 1:30, we were directed to the Lido deck where we could have something to eat and sit down. And if prepared, you could even jump in the pool.
Once we stepped out onto the deck, it was obvious to us that people knew about the room issue. Kids were already in the pool, and parents were lounging next to them in one of the many chairs.
The seven of us, followed by my in-laws and our nieces and nephew ambled across the deck and got in line to procure soda cards for the kids and then headed for some lunch.
Apparently, Joe and I got in the line for Mongolian BBQ. Wrong line for this day at this time… it was packed! And SLOW! Roy got a burger for himself and some hot dogs for the kids, and told us that line was a lot better, so after a few more minutes of waiting, we gave up and hit the other side of the buffet. Here they had salad, and little sandwiches - exactly what I wanted to tide me over until dinner. We got our food and went to sit down.
At this point I was overwhelmed. People were everywhere, jostling one another, and kids running around our legs. But we were excited! And while on any other day, the crowds would annoy me, I kept cool and understood that it was just because folks couldn’t get to their rooms yet.
Since Corey wasn’t hungry, he went down to the lobby to get a schedule for the day. The rest of us sat at the table and ate our lunch. The kids chattered with excitement and couldn’t decide what they wanted to do. Eventually, Corey made it back to the table with the daily schedule, and we looked over that.
SO much to do! Shows, kids activities, games - you name it, and it was somewhere on the ship.
“Hey, Aunt Chris. It’s 1:30.” Our oldest niece, Crystal, said this to us as she knew we wanted to get rid of the bags and cooler we were carrying around.
“Great, let’s see if we can hit the room to dump some of this stuff off.” I told Roy and the boys.
So, the seven of us wandered down one floor to our room. Our luggage wasn’t there yet, but we were at least able to get into our room. We got a basic interior room, and I expected a closet, but I was pleasantly surprised. The room wasn’t huge, but the two beds had already been converted into a king for Roy and I, and there was enough room for us all to move. The older boys were right next to us, and they had two sets of bunks. Perfect!
I was raring to go… so I urged Roy and the two little boys along, reminded the older three that we were going to meet for dinner at 6:45, so be at the room at 6 to clean up and change, and off we went to kids camp!
I was worried about Dean. He is home with me and can sometimes be very shy, but as soon as he saw the bright colors, and all the toys, he was thrilled! The young lady, Heather, was very welcoming, and we filled out all our forms. Camp Carnival (or “my party” as Dean took to calling it) wasn’t open until the next day. So, we played with the toys for a bit and got some info from Heather about the ports we would be stopping in, and then off we went to explore the ship.
We found a little coffee shop, and I had an iced coffee, and we ordered a birthday cake for Corey. We sat in what we later learned was called “the Ocean Plaza” and took everything in.
At 6 we went to our room to freshen up, and then got the boys ready for dinner. Not sure what to expect, we went in and were immediately seated at about 6:30. We assumed the rest of our family would be seated at the large table next to us… not so, and when they came in, they were on the other side of the dining room! Lesson learned - if we want to sit together, we need to come in together.
Dinner was wonderful! Right off the bat, Joe tried something new - grilled Mahi Mahi. The kids got a kick out of being able to order an appetizer AND an entree AND a dessert and certainly took advantage of that. Addi loved his appetizer of chicken fingers and his entree of Southern Style Ribs. I forgot what I ate, but it was delicious! Dean was just overwhelmed by the day, and cuddled next to Roy.
After dinner, the older boys went off to do their own things with their teen groups, and we took the two younger boys to the Welcome Show.
The show was rather cheesy, but we were all just so excited to be on board that we had a blast anyways, but alas the two younger boys had about had it. We dragged them off to our room, and tucked them in. Addi was there and agreed to keep an eye on them, so Roy and I could do some more exploring.
I think I dragged him up to the nightclub, and though it was rather dead at this point, they were playing good music, so we went in and sat for a bit. Around midnight, I was beat, and put my head on Roy’s shoulder.
“Come on, tomorrow we will be in the Bahamas, let’s go to bed!” He said in my ear.
We got up and went to our room.
The White Star Line
What happened to the White Star Line, the company behind the Titanic? It’s now part of Carnival Cruise line. Have fun thinking about that on your next Carnival vacation! 8D