Monday, April 20, 2015

Carnival Cruise Day 1 - Setting Sail!

I'm a details kind of girl. I like to remember everything we did. So here I am, sitting on my bed in my stateroom, typing out the days activities on my laptop that I brought along for two purposes: blogging each night and dumping photos from my GoPro every day. I will have to post my blogs after we get home because we don't have internet, but just know that they were written every day and will be dated as such. Now onto the fun:

I have been so excited for this day to come. We woke up around 7 am so we could take advantage of our free breakfast at Baymont Inn before heading down to the cruise terminal. I had purchased something Carnival calls Faster to the Fun, which gives regular cruisers the same benefits, including early embarkation, as diamond and platinum club members, so there was no need to delay getting to the terminal – we would be in one of the first groups to board.

After parking our car literally just across the street from the terminal with Galveston Park ‘n Cruise, we walked over and entered the check in area to begin our adventure. We used passports instead of birth certificate and driver’s license, so the process was super easy. Once up in the terminal and through all the security, it was time to wait for boarding to commence. We had arrived a little bit early, so we sat and waited and watched people arrive. Finally they started boarding, and first up were the wedding parties (there were 3 or 4!), then diamond and platinum cruisers, and then Faster to the Fun people! Woohoo – here we go!
One of the perks of FTTF is that our room was ready as soon as we boarded, so we walked up to the 9th deck, Lido, and quickly found our room. I’ll just stop here to say that I was expecting a teeny tiny cabin with hardly any room and it would be cramped and that would be ok, because I had booked us an interior cabin with no special features. I was pleasantly surprised at how big our cabin actually is. I mean, sure, it’s not as large as a standard hotel room and definitely wasn’t as roomy as the hotel room we stayed in last night, but honestly – It was way bigger than I had mentally prepared myself for.
We have lots of storage space too, which was also surprising. There are 3 closets, 3 drawers, a small cabinet, and then in the bathroom another cabinet and a shelf under the sink with lots of counter space. I didn’t unpack right away though. We dropped off our stuff and quickly headed out onto the Lido deck for food.

Guys Burger joint (yes, that Guy, Guy Fieri) is on board and I had heard nothing but good things about them so that was our first stop. I was not disappointed! I ordered mine straight up, which was pretty standard with the addition of something called donkey sauce and Nick ordered his with some kind of BBQ stuff. There’s also a toppings bar with amazing bacon available. We might had each had a burger and then split a second one as well…but I won’t say for sure.
Then it was time for ship exploration, so we started walking all over and checking out the lay of the land. I decided now would be a good time to go unpack and get the cabin in order, so I left Nick to go explore some more. 
When we got back to our room, I decorated our cabin door. Our Facebook cruise group was having a door decor contest, but I would have decorated it even without that. Not only did it make the boring hallway kind of festive for us, but it made finding our room super quick each time we came back to it. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to miss your door when every one of them looks identical. 
Muster drill was kind of pointless if you ask me. We all gathered in our designated evacuation spot, watched a cruise crew member put on a life vest, and stood there for an unusually long time listening to announcements. Then it was over. I really felt like I could have learned most of that information from watching a video on TV or something, but I understand why they require it.
Our cruise group had a meet ‘n greet during sail away so we headed aft to one of the bars back there and participated in the home town gift exchange while meeting and chatting with new people. We hung out doing that for a little while and then decided to go ahead and arrive for dinner at 5:45. We opted for Your Time Dining instead of a set time, so we can arrive at any time from 5:45-9 to eat.

For my appetizer, I had spinach and artichoke dip and Nick had smoked duck (it tasted like ham to me). Then just for kicks, and because I could, I ordered escargot beaujolais and actually somewhat enjoyed them. Nick tried one (there were 6 on the plate) and wasn’t a fan, but I didn’t mind so much. I think it had a lot to do with the buttery garlic sauce they were floating in. I ordered chicken a la grecque, which I didn’t really care for, and Nick had the Atlantic salmon. Since he liked the chicken just fine, we decided to switch. For dessert Nick ordered fruit because he’s weird, and I ordered the warm chocolate melting cake which I proceeded to devour. If I could’ve fit my face into the ramekin to lick it clean, I would have.
It was time for the Welcome Aboard show after dinner, so we found a seat in the lounge and quite enjoyed the show. It was sometime after the show that I really began to feel the effects of the ocean movement. Eventually I gave up on being down in the lounge and we came up to the room so I could take Bonine. I haven’t been nauseas, but my head feels like it is swimming. At times, I’m not so sure that my brain isn’t sloshing around in my head. Nick even said I was walking like a drunk woman, kind of all over the place.

We chose a couple of loungers on the Lido deck for the dive-in movie with our deck blankets and some popcorn, which was Ride Along with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. It had some language, but it was really funny. When the movie was over I felt much better and my head had finally stopped swimming. By then we were pretty tired so we went back to the cabin to check over the Fun Times for the activity schedule for tomorrow before heading to bed.
So far I’m really enjoying myself, although I could live without the headaches. It comes and goes, but mostly I feel kind of weird. Thankfully not sick to my stomach though, so that’s something to be thankful for.
Our towel animal for today:

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