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Old June 4th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Today is the Anniversary of our first cruise last year. I have so many nice people say that I had helped them, and your welcome, but I thought it would be fun to reread our first cruise, and see how much I have learned. I always say that all of us were Newbies once. Hope you enjoy.


I did not correct the typos because they were due to the excitement I was feeling, including the misspelled Ecstasy.

Hi Guys, Can't sleep because the bed is moving, so I thought I would
start this. I am going to do this as if I am talking to a newbie, so you other guys hang in there.

We drove to Galveston, from Ft Hood last Friday afternoon. Stayed in the Best Western over night. We drove to the port to see the ship when we got into town, but couldn't find it. Ha More on that later. The morning of our cruise, we called a taxi, and had one heck of a ride. He played chicken all the way. We turned a corner, and there she was. Now keep in mind, i am 51 years old, and have never seen a cruise ship. It is so pretty, and BIG. The reason we couldn't find it, was it wasn't there the night before, but is funny that we thought it might be behind one of the buildings. lol I have heard some horror stories about some of the ports, but we had the best experience. People were helpful, smiling, and kind to us. We didn't leave until 4:00 but was told by one of you to go around 11:30. By 10:30, i was driving everyone crazy, wanting to go now. lol. We got there about 11:00. There were groups of people already there, so we got in our own line, and then they (Carnival) organized us. It went very smoothly. The fist stop was the Carnival counter. I had everything, plus extra in a zip lock bag. he ended up taking my passports (expired 8 years ago) the fun pass that I did on line, and the tickets. They boys pass ports were when they were little boys, so i didn't take theirs because they are young men now and look very different. I had their birth certificates. He asked us all for some sort of id. My youngest had forgotten his wallet, so the guy smiled, and said not to worry. He gave him a piece of paper that verified that he was who he was, and we were on our way. he gave us our sail and sign cards as well. We were using a credit card, so he didn't ask how much we wanted on it. Our next stop was to have fun pictures taken, then we were on our way up. On the way, we had our picture taken for the security thing, and then it was up and on the ship.

I did not go expecting the inside of the Holiday Inn, and I was not disappointed. It was beautiful inside. Rich and neon, which I guess doesn't go together, but it worked for me. I won't describe anymore, because i want the new people to see for themselves. Our rooms were not going to be ready until 1:30, so we went to the Lido deck for our first meal. The best way to describe this is to picture going to the mall, to the food court, and someone telling you to eat what you want, anywhere you want. It was a lot of everything. Our boys had separate rooms from us, so we took them to their room first. They were not in the same area, which bothered me, for the first day, but soon realized they were almost grown, and boys, so i stopped worrying. Our room was cute. it had a double window, and it was very nice. We unpacked, and our suitcases fit under the beds, so they were out of the way.

We explored the ship. and went outside to watch us leave port. I had on a sun dress, and men before you turn up your nose, because you think I am going to talk about fashion, don't It is windy on deck. That dress would not stay where it was suppose to be. The camera man was out there too, and I have yet to view the DVD to see if he captured my dress flying over my head. lol My husband ended up helping me hold it down, because i would see something, and let go, and it would fly over my head again. lol Once we got in open water, we went to our cabin, and got ready for our dinner meal. It was even prettier. Let me tell you how it went. Our stewards were the sweetest people. They seated us with two other couples and two teenage girls. My boys were not disappointed. The menu was a lot of things I had only read about. we live in a small town, and the highlight, is to go to the next town for Red Lobster. lol I won't go into what we had to eat, but i will tell you that it was fun picking out things that i had never tried. More about the food later.

We went to one of the welcome shows, and then when to midnight buffet. To describe this is to get you to empty out your frig, and cabinets of all the food in the house and call everyone to eat. Fruit, salads, and many different types of bread, and a cakes, pies,cookies, and sandwich meat. Let me tell you, this was not your average cold cuts. There was no Oscar or Mayer. lol And Duncan Heinz did not make the cake. These are cut small for a reason. They are so rich. After eating, we wattled to our rooms. The ship was swaying, but we thought it was fun. About 4:00 in the morning, I got so sick. My first thought, was that it was the water, and soon realized that we were barely out of port, and realized it was all that food. I work in a classroom all day, so my idea of a meal is to throw a roast in the crock pot with some salt, pepper, and onion. I was not use to all this food. I was careful not to over eat after that. The next day, we checked on the kids, and went to one thing after another. There is no way do to it all. We tried, but it was impossible. the ship had started to move more, as the day went. Again, I thought it was fun. You walk down these hallways and we were bouncing off the walls with everyone else. ( We did not know there was a storm in the Carrib) I did notice that those who drank, did a better job of walking. By that night, the sea was rough, and the wind was rattling the window. You would be laying in bed and could feel the ship rising, and then falling. It was like a roller coaster with a blanket. lol Am I complaining? No way, I wanted an adventure, and got one.

Cozumel morning......... Rain....... trips canceled, but not ours, because we were going to Paradise beach, and it's wet, so I didn't see a problem. At the beach the kids and hubby snorkeled, and jet skied, and para sailed. Had a ball. ate lunch and it was great. In the afternoon, we walked back through the shops, and bought some stuff, and enjoyed the ship again. Still raining when we left that night. We got to Playa whatever Carmen and it was dark and cloudy. Husband and one son went deep sea fishing, and i took a day to do my own thing. Reorganized the room, and found my soap opera on the t.v. I wouldn't tell just anyone this, but you guys can keep a secret. I would slip down to the room everyday, and watch my soap. lol

Went up to have lunch in the lido and noticed a front coming in. We were rocking and rolling at port. I was in the lido (Blue neon room) and could see the deck, and watched the plastic chairs move around in the wind. I later learned that we were getting the feeder bands from the storm. More tomorrow.

Part II I feel a little better today. Thanks for all the great comments.

We are in Playa whatever Carmen, and there is a storm going on. My husband and son came back from their fishing trip shortly after the storm began. They both had lots to say about the fishing. My son caught a perch type fish, but much bigger than you see around here, and another man caught a barracuda. This trip was planned through Carnival. It was a two hour fishing trip, and then they were taken to a beach, and if you caught anything, your fish was cooked for you. They had all kinds of things for them to do on the beach, plus Mexican food to eat. This is not a pretty port, but I think some have been a little mean on describing it. It looks like you have pulled up to a construction site. What is fun is inland. There are buses, cars, and other transportation to take you where you want to go. We went upstairs after they came back and you should have heard the complaining. People were complaining that they got wet in the rain, in their bathing suits. WHAT? I used this as a good lesson for my boys. I told them to just sit and listen to the people, and how they acted. Some people will complain about anything. The storm was not Carnivals doing. At this point, the storm was not even on the news. You know that if it isn't on CNN, it can't be happening. lol

At 4:00 we started back to Galveston. At that point we were ahead of the storm, and thankfully we moved faster than it did so the water was for the most part calmer.

Let me touch on somethings that I heard on the web sites, before we left, and now that I have seen it, i can comment. One was children running in the hallways. It is true that there were children playing, and you didn't see parents all the time, but all you had to do was listen to them laughing, and having a good time. They weren't hurting anything. One little boy, that i won't describe, because his mom might be on here, and realize that was where her son was. lol This little boy, about 7 years loved the glass enclosed elevator. He rode it all the time. It didn't bother us. When we wanted to go to a certain floor, we would tell him, and he would take us there. He wasn't hurting anything. But some complained. they just didn't see it in a fun way.

I just thought of something. This is for the newbies. What shoes are you taking? Get up from the computer right now, and go and get your shoes. Are you back yet? Hurry up, I don't have all day. lol Look at the bottoms. Are they slick? You will fall on deck. People complained that the deck was wet. Duhhhhhh It is outside and your on a ship for heaven sake. Their is a pool out there, and people are getting out of that pool with wet feet. THE DECK IS WET.... This is not Nascar where they have blowing machines to dry it up. Go to Wal Mart and get you some shoes that have tread on them.

Clothes is my next subject. You want to know what to take. Most of what you want to take are bathing suits, shorts, tops, sundresses. Now this is not the fancy stuff. This is your basic stuff, you will wear around ship. Picture yourself in a resort town, like Florida or any coastal place. That is what it is like. For the formal night. You can be as dressy as you want, but if money is tight, take church type clothes. What do you mean, you haven't been to church lately, and you don't know what they wear. You better get back into church before your trip. When you start praying for help on that credit card bill, I don't want him to be unavailable to you. lol Remember, don't wear shorts to dinner in the formal dining room. Men, Dockers and a polo type shirt, women, sundress or a pair of pants and top. But don't be afraid to go, it is an experience all in it's own.

Okay, The ending. Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. The day before we were told to pack our bags, and to set them out in the hall that night, between 10 and 12. We went ahead and took our showers, and only left out a change of clothes, and the things for the next morning. The last morning, we woke up to the sounds of coming into port. We found our steward to say thanks and to give him some extra money, and then went to find the boys, and check their rooms for stuff left behind. Both had been up all night, so they ate with us on the lido deck, and went to our room to hang out. Your bags will have colored tags, and that's how they call you to get off. Once our color was called, we waited in line no longer than 15 minutes, and left. The porters were waiting for us in the building, and I advise all of you to us there services. we didn't have to wait long at all in customs. These porters have a system all there own, and we went right ahead. I never looked back at her as we left. i knew she was there watching us leave, and i knew she knew that we were sad to leave. She is a grand old ship, and deserves our respect. She safely got us on board, entertained us, kept us safe, and returned us safely. those who work on her can be proud of what they are able to do. it is a team that works well, to make it a great adventure. I am truly hooked on cruising, and would love to try others in the future, but she is like your first love.

Ecstasy 2005
Conquest 2005
Elation 2005
Conquest 2006
Conquest 2007
Ecstasy 2008
Valor B2B 2008

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Old June 4th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
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Luanne, my how time flies!! I remember reading your post and enjoying your enthusiasm. I have a great picture of my husband on our first cruise on the Jubilee December 1990. We were walking down the hallway to our room and I turned around and snapped his picture. his eyes were like saucers and his mouth was open in amazement! No matter how many times we cruise, it still is a thrill to see the ship as you approach the port.

Happy Sailing,

Carnival Cruise #11 coming up
Victory April 22 2007
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Wow A year already Yes, how time does fly. I remember reading your posts also. Don't seem like its been that long either. Thanks for sharing your memory's. It was great

I watched the Valor sail out today. A week ago today, as I exit through the ship's gangway, I had to turn and wave bye to her. Not a goodbye, but like a "untill next time". A week ago today,at this time,we where in the Dallas Airport, about to fly home. I think I have PCD

Take care and happy sailing to all;
Dream - Sept. 22 2012
Truimph - Nov. 2010
Truimph - Aug. 2010
Legend May 2009
Liberty - Aug.23 2008
Fantasy - Sept.22 2007
Fantasy - Sept.27 2007 (B 2 B )
Holiday- Sept.- 2006
Valor- May - 2006
Conquest- August- 2003
Enchanted Isle- Sept.- 1999
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Old June 4th, 2006, 06:22 PM
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Location: Somerset, New Jersey
Posts: 145

I love your enthusiasm!!! Thanks for sharing your first experience, and enjoy the very short countdown til your next one!!! 8)
Previous Cruises since 1985 Carnival (32) - Holiday X4, Jubilee, Celebration X3, Fantasy X2, Ecstasy, Sensation X2, Fascination X2, Destiny X2, Victory, Triumph X2, Glory X2, Legend X3, Pride X2, Miracle X3, Dream, Splendor
Cunard - Countess
NCL - Norway
Premier - Rembrandt
Celebrity - Zenith
RCI - Explorer of the Seas

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Old June 4th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,619

Hi Luanne,

I, too, can't believe it's been a year!

By then we'd been on Inspiration and Elation, and were getting ready to go on Grand Princess. Now we've also been on NCL Sun and are going on Sun Princess in November.

I loved re-reading your post! Your excitement really does come through!
Carnival Inspiration2002CarnivalElation&
EmeraldPrincess2017 Island Princess2018
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