While staring at the same four walls sitting for weeks, stir crazy is an understatement. I have the pictures I took on my last cruise to keep me company.
In November, I sailed with Carnival to Mexio, Grand Caymen, and Jamaica. In all sincerity, I have sailed on other cruise lines, and spent a bit more for ‘nice rooms’ and balcony’s. On one cruise, I even had a butler that came with the room.
I say that to moderate this next sentence; I wasn’t expecting much on the Caribbean cruise. I have never heard anything good about Carnival, so I had low expectations.
It turns out that I never heard anything good because, I was not listening.
A cruise to me is a time when the cell phone does not work; you can have dinner with people who are not looking at their phones and doing things that you would typically not do. In short, it is a reprieve from life, and allowing someone else to do the driving.
I was more than pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. That was not all that impressed me.
For those who have never traveled with Carnival, allow me to talk about the voyage.
Making my way through the embarkation process, I surrendered the luggage and was pointed in the direction of food.
First things first, we all head to the Lido deck and find that there is plenty of food of all kinds for your enjoyment. If you follow my blog, you know I have a day job, and I write novels. I am stressed a good bit of the time. I sat there with my food in front of me, and I could feel the pressure leave, much like pushing that button on those Insta-Pots; the pressure was vanishing.
The time came that the cabin should be ready.
Outside the door is this little mailbox thing that held my door key and badge, that makes all things possible.
Keep in mind that I usually travel a little more upscale, so, again, I was expecting a small room with an unobstructed view.
The TV was on and in front of the bed. I forget what was playing, but I suspect it was information from the ship’s crew, something about ‘muster.’
The bathrooms on ships amuse me as they are very efficient. I am a little bit of a germ-a-phoebe. This room was so clean and pristine; I quickly dismissed my trepidations regarding its cleanliness.
The Balcony was my next stop after testing the bed.
Let me advise you on that balcony door, it is heavy and makes a rather loud noise when you close it. If you are like me and wish to dampen the sound by not allowing it to slam, be on the lookout where your fingers are. My thumb was between the door and the frame. Yep, that smarted, and much like someone with Turrets, I was probably less than polite. Watch where your hands are.
The Balcony would be adequate for those of us with insomnia. The sounds of the ocean ‘swishing’ beside the boat as it glides through the Gulf of Mexico were intoxicating. Sunsets and Sun Rises are a treat on the sea too. Stargazing was also great as this was during a meteor shower. I sat out one night and counted many particles of space dust streaking through our night skies as if to punctuate the otherwise beauty of the night sky.
On to muster.
Just do it. When you are sailing on any cruise ship, it is required by maritime law that you are briefed on where to go, and what to do, in the case of ‘disaster.’ When I say law, I mean, they will not start until they have accounted for every guest. That means if you try to hide in your room or hot tub, they will track you down before they begin. We waited close to an hour before they could account for everyone. Don’t be the ninny that causes tens of hundreds of people to sit and wait, while they hunt you down.
Once everyone is accounted for, the talk is not much longer than what you hear every time your fly.
With that over, your vacation begins.
Once on the cruise, eating, relaxing, and socializing are the main events that you need to think about. As your eating dessert, plan your next meal. It is great!
I was super impressed with the Horizons Restaurant. The staff were terrific, the food was delicious, and the nightly entertainment during your dinner brings happiness to the table and the entirety of the restaurant, as a collective.
Speaking of food, I did have a reservation at Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse. You might be thinking to yourself, Why TW…all the food is free, why pay for it?
I was with a large party, and it was my birthday. They were so lovely that I was not going to say anything when they overcooked my steak. The waiter saw that it was not what he wrote down, and ask me about it after I had eaten some of it. I told him it was ok, don’t worry about it. His response was, “It is not ok with me. That is not what you ordered; you are going to get what you asked for.”
Another at my table had the same issue. This guy bent over backward to make it right. Not only were they super friendly folks and made sure that my dinner was pleasant and of the quality, it should be but, the chef made an appearance at my table and apologized profusely.
If an overcooked steak is the worst thing that happens, life is grand, right?
The night was magical, and in truth, I just made myself hungry reliving that memory.
There are so many things to see and do while onboard; you will not be bored. Seek out the smaller venues, as they change personnel from time to time. From the piano bar to the IMAX Theater, you will notice that the time flies.
As a writer, I am always in need of new experiences. I came up with an idea for a novel regarding cruise ships while on this last trip. The idea was a little dystopian, which we are now living through. Anyways, you will meet many different people, and if you are like me, you will get to know them, and some will remain in your life, as some have for me.
Last night I wrote about Character Arcs, guess what, you need to meet characters to write them. On the island of Jamaica, I met two that will live with me years to come. Miss Lola and her sidekick Dr. Lizard.
They showed me parts of their island and their people that amazed me.
I understand that while in Grand Cayman, there is a place called Hell, and if I had known about it, and gone there, they would have stamped my passport, showing I visited Hell.
This being holey week, one must ask, is there a town called Heaven?
Why am I sharing a small part of my vacation with you?
Folks, we are currently experiencing a speedbump on the road of life. You can either piss and moan about it, or you can make the best of it. As a writer, I am doing my best to keep up with you folks, and learning new techniques for the craft of writing.
As soon as they find a way to mitigate the effects of this pandemic, I will return to my life, and yes, that means Cruises. In the meantime, I will continue to work on novels, my craft, and keeping you folks entertained and, in some cases, informed.
Much Love -TW