Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Much To Tell

Well, I guess that I might as well get started on the details of the trip. So, ya'll just stay with me. As I said in my last post before we left for the port, we were scheduled to take that noon shuttle to the port. We were packed, ready, and waiting, when I noticed the other couple sailing on the Valor had their Carnival luggage tags. I asked them where they got them, and they said they were sent online. Nothing had ever been sent to us, and believe me, I had scoured every pixel of my Carnival account page. So, I was a little worried. The shuttle arrived right on time. Our patience paid off by waiting. There were only 4 other people on the shuttle. I knew that if I could survive that drive on the shuttle, I would have NO problem surviving the trip on the ship. That shuttle drive scared the peewaddins out me. That was one of the craziest rides I've ever been on, except for the ride in St. Thomas, which I'll get to later. We finally arrived at the port and got our bags unloaded. The Carnival porters were absolute sweethearts. They got us tags and gave us our cabin number in about 5 seconds. Crisis averted. Whew!

As I said, our timing couldn't have been more perfect. They were already boarding folks onto the ship. We went through security, which was a lot like airport security in a flash. Then we went through the line to get our "Sign & Sail" cards. It's your room key, and you also make any purchases on the ship with it. They accept NO cash on the ship, except at the purser's desk. Once we had our cards, we got in line to board. They were boarding the ship in small groups to make it faster and easier. We waited in the boarding line probably no more than 10 minutes. When we finally got onto the ship, it was 1:30 p.m. That was the time that everyone could go to their stateroom, so we immediately got to go to our cabin. It was an inside cabin, but that was fine with us. I had heard that the cabins were REALLY small, so I was suprised that we had as much room as we did. You guys know that Casey and I like to stay at Microtels, because they are really nice and cheap, so we felt right at home. We stashed our stuff, and waited for the safety drill. They do all of those drills, before you ever pull out of the port. We learned where to go and how to board the lifeboats in case of an emergency. As soon as that was over, we dropped off our lifejackets in our cabin, and headed up to the Bon Voyage deck party. They were handing out the tropical drinks with the fruit and tiny umbrellas to everyone. So, I ended up paying for a drink almost immediately. Oh well we got to keep the souvenir glasses, so I guess it was worth it. We pulled out of port right on time. The view leaving Miami was breathtaking. It was also a bit strange, since I had never traveled out of the US before. It was a weird feeling watching the US disappear, but it was soon forgotten.

I hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast, so we immediately headed to Rosie's to have lunch. Rosie's was the cafeteria style buffet on the ship. I had some really good roasted chicken and ratatouille. Once we had our bellies full, Casey and I decided to explore the ship. That took the rest of the afternoon until it was time to get ready for dinner. Dinner was such a fun experience! We met our waiters, Armando and Rico. Armando was from El Salvador and Rico was from the Phillipines. They were both cute as buttons and did a fantastic job of serving us all week.


Armando, Casey, Me, and Rico

We were assigned to sit at a booth with another couple. Their names were Suzanne and Dan, and they were from Vermont. We really lucked out. We really liked them both and had a great time with them all week. Dinner was fantastic that night. Casey and I both had the NY strip. I had a yummy soup for an appetizer and they served green peas in some sort of casserole and THE best macoroni and cheese that I've ever eaten! For dessert, I had the chocolate melting cake, and Casey had the Cream Brulee'. We split them and shared. Both were wonderful. By the time dinner was finished, it was nearly 10:00 p.m.

We went up on deck a little after dinner, just to see what everything looked like at night. They had music and the big jumbo tron going. It was really nice. We went back to the room, and I decided to take a run on the track. The track was on deck 11 and on the outside. It was really something running on the ocean with the view. Spectacular! Running on the track was one of the most fun things I did on the ship. Afterwards, I went back to the cabin. It was after midnight by then, so I cleaned up, and got ready for bed. We had an early port morning coming up in Nassau, and we were really looking forward to our first full day. More tomorrow.....

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