VACATION DAY TWO: LEAVING PORT
We were all pretty tired after the previous 48 hours. Sunshine and I had gotten about 2 hours sleep on Friday night and maybe 6 hours sleep on Saturday night…but once we made our way to the ship we were completely awake and ready to go.
We arrived at the Carnival Glory around 12:30pm. We left our luggage with an attendant and went to stand in line. There were a TON of people standing in a line that snaked around the front of the building. Luckily the weather had decided to co-operate…it was absolutely gorgeous outside without being too hot and hey, it wasn’t raining so that was definitely a good thing.
I was initially discouraged thinking that waiting in the line-up would take forever. Surprisingly the line was moving quite rapidly around the building. However, I became even MORE discouraged once I got inside the building itself…
But honestly, this room FULL of people made up about four or five lines and they moved at a decent pace. This was the customs portion of the cruise and I was quite surprised at how quickly everything moved. It was maybe a ten minute wait…not much considering around 2,800 people would go through this area over the course of the next three or four hours.
So we moved to the next section of the boarding process, which basically was the check-in. It was here that we got our Carnival ship “Sail and Sign” cards. Y’see, once you’re on the ship there isn’t really a reason for money. At all. If you buy a drink, you use the card. If you buy a photo, you use the card. If you buy a souvenir in their gift shop, you use the card. Each room had a safe so we could lock our wallets/purses/valuables in our room whenever we weren’t at a port. Really, this was an EXTREMELY simple way of going about our week.
After a few more minutes, we made our way on board…
We only stayed in our room for a few minutes just to get situated. We took the usual “self portrait” that we’re now famous for (lol) and head straight up on deck to enjoy the “Sail Away Party” that was going on.
I gotta tell you…Miami is one of the most beautiful cities I think I’ve ever seen. Would I like to stay there longer than a day or two? No…but just check out the scenery from the 10th deck of the Carnival Glory:
Each time we left a port there was a “Sail Away Party”. This normally included a two-man band and then some line dancing. Seriously…line dancing was a big part of the “party” experience.
Let me just say for the record that if you’re NOT an extrovert or if you don’t really care to be around other people, then you probably won’t like a cruise. From the time we boarded to the time we left, this ship and its staff were all about having FUN, whether it be dancing or laughing or participating in something. And y’know what? I absolutely appreciated that. It wasn’t just a “thank you for the money, here are the sites” kind of trip. This was an experience that Carnival wanted us to have and remember forever.
After supper we went to the Amber Palace, which would be a location we’d end up becoming VERY familiar with by the time the cruise was done. This would house the nightly shows and performances (more on those later) and it would also be the home to trivia games, contests, bingo, and a lot of other fun activities.
The first night was “Game Show Night”. Me being me, of course, immediately volunteered for Round One. Luckily for me it was a “Name That Tune” contest that really was too easy (well…for me, at least…lol). Actually, at one point the host (Kiwi) had me stand to the side of the stage and start counting the lights in the chandalier in the middle of the room so that the other two had a chance to get back into the game.
But at the end of the day, I prevailed and ended up winning the first of FIVE trophies…the infamous “Ship on a Stick”. Can you tell how happy I was to win this beautiful piece of gold-plated plastic?
As the first day came to a close, Sunshine and I were absolutely exhausted. The party was still ongoing on deck but we just needed to catch up on our sleep and knew that we’d have PLENTY of time to further enjoy our experience.
This last picture became a nightly highlight for us. Y’see, every evening when the room steward turns down our sheets and provides us with a mini-newsletter of what’s happening on the ship the following day (yeah…how awesome is that?), they also make a little “towel animal” and leave it on our bed. We were really impressed with this and it was just one more small, but extremely fun, detail that added to the overall enjoyment of the cruise.
Here is the towel animal from Day One:
So ended the second day of the vacation. C’mon back tomorrow for more!