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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:25 AM
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Blogger’s Cruise – Day 2 – at sea
Before going on with today’s report, we have to backtrack to yesterday morning, as we were disembarking from the Zuiderdam in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s an episode I call….
It Goes To Shoe What Can Happen

We have one couple from home traveling with us on these back to back cruises. They aren’t first time cruisers, though this is the first time they are cruising with me and Mrs. Kuki. On Zuiderdam their balcony cabin was adjacent to ours, and we had opened the balcony dividers to share the space. Yesterday, we met on the balconies for coffees, and our male friend reported that he had packed all of his shoes in the luggage he’d put out last night.

This was certainly not “the end of the world?, as he could get his shoes as soon as he retrieved his luggage inside the terminal building. However, I could tell he felt kind of silly making this small mistake, so we of course proceeded to use every shoe joke and pun we could think of to taunt him until he retrieved his shoes.

I told him he’d have no problem at all until he got to U.S. Immigration, and then the Immigration Officer would only look at him and his bare feet and say: “Are you going to straight home to Appalachia??, and he could respond… Shoe enough Officer.

I then tried to assure him no one would even notice that he was barefoot. Just before we left the ship one of the events staff onboard noticed, and said… “packed your shoes huh?? Don’t feel bad she said, another person just ahead did the same thing. My friend said: see he wasn’t the only one. But I told him, don’t believe her, she was just trying to make you feel better! For shoe you were the only one that dumb.

Sorry to digress. Now it’s back to today’s story.

Beginning last night and continuing on this morning, and into the day, the seas have been a bit on the rough side, and there are a lot of folks walking sideways down the hallways. John has been on the public address system several times asking guests to hold on to the hand rails when using the stairways. I’ve heard of several passengers stopping by guest relations to get some sea sickness tablets, including the wife of my friend, Shoeless Joe.

Aside from rough seas, it’s also been cloudy with showers all day. There were several indoor activities scheduled including a cooking demonstration this morning at the Sun Viking Supper Club. This event has become so popular reservations to attend are necessary. Throughout the day there were other activities, including the standard Blackjack Tournament, Bingo, art auction preview, gaming lessons, etc.

At 3 P.M. today, and again at 6 the NFL Playoff games were broadcast on the outside large screen, Seaside Theater on Deck 9. Even with brisk, cool weather, a surprisingly large number of passengers showed up to cheer on their favorite teams. If the weather had cooperated no doubt the entire pool deck would have been raucous. The indoor Player’s Sports Bar, on Deck 5, was packed with football enthusiasts as well.

Even with the football game as competition, I was surprised to see how John and Heidi’s Game Show at 3:30 P.M. in the Victoriana Lounge drew crowds anyway. Even the country line dance lessons being held in the 70’s Disco Club had a large number of people participating.

Mrs. Kuki and I also took the time to deliver the cabin door magnets and name tags we’d made to all the cabins in our CruiseMates group. We haven’t met them all yet, but we’ll be working on correcting that in the next few days. By the way, the cabin doors are this ship are not magnetic, but the walls next to them, where the cabin numbers hang are magnetic.

Tonight is our first formal night, and the Captain’s Welcome Aboard Reception. During one of John’s announcements he stated that there were 12 cabins, 21 passengers onboard whose luggage the airlines managed to lose on route to the ship. He made a point of publicly announcing that they should come to dinner tonight regardless of how they were dressed. So, I thought I’d seize on the opportunity to go to dinner tonight in a bathrobe and tie.

My afternoon nap accidentally extended through the timing for the Captain’s cocktail party. Now that means I’m in full cruise relaxation mode. I did shower and dress for dinner, and tonight’s meal was very good, and as is our dining room service.

While in the dining room tonight I checked on the whereabouts of the diner tables some of the CruiseMates gang who I haven’t met yet. I got the information, and went to visit them. Didn’t have to go far because they were at a large table right next to where we’re seated.

Mrs. Kuki apparently let the cat out of the bag; today is my 58th birthday, and Ken, the Maitre D wished me a Happy Birthday over the rooms public address system. The acknowledgment was very kind, but it is sort of odd for me to be treated as a “somebody?.

Then of course all the staff and passengers at nearby tables gathered ‘round and sang Happy Brisday Two Shoes, and presented me with a birthday cake. I blew out the candles, and made a wish. I wished that next time they’d spell Koki right on the cake.

The post dinner show in the theater tonight was one of Carnival’s production numbers; The Big Easy. As bad a judge as I am of all things musical or rhythmic I did go to the show tonight. The costuming was terrific, and Mrs. Kuki tells me the entertainers talent excelled as well.

I snuck out of the show just a bit before it was over to spend a bit of time in the casino before heading to the cabin to write tonight’s report. The casino staff are going out of their way to be nice and friendly and helpful. I believe Carnival’s Ocean Players Club got my memo about better follow up with OPC members coming back to their ships. At any rate, the staff are very pleasant, and it makes spending time in the casino much more fun.
Tomorrow we dock in Cozumel at 8 A.M. I’m booked to go golfing at the Cozumel Country Club with the ship’s excursion, then will meet up with Mrs. Kuki later for a likely visit to Carlos & Charlies and Margaritaville.
As I passed a cool weather day this afternoon talking to my travel companions who are first time Carnival cruisers, and were with us last week on Zuiderdam (and who have previously sailed Princess and RCI), I found it quite interesting that after only a couple of days they are saying they are enjoying Carnival the most. It will be interesting to see what their thoughts are as the cruise continues.
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