What can be said but AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Diane and I had a great time on the Oct 25 Eastern Caribbean sailing of the Glory out of Port Canaveral. We had my Mom and Sis-in-law drive us down as we thought $105 was a little steep to park at the port. It was raining as we arrived around 11:30 in the morning (great weather if you ask me). After quick hugs, we sent them on their way and made our way through security and upstairs to get our SnS cards. All in all this took about 30 mins. We dropped our carry on in our room and met our room steward Putra and then headed to the Lido for a DOD and some lunch. Even though the ship has a quick turn-a-round, it was clean and ready for us. It was such a relief to be on the ship and our countdown was finally done! We sailed pretty much on time and had our luggage in our room by 5:30ish. Not too bad if you ask me. Diane and I were supposed to dive in St Thomas (outfit other than the boat as the excursions were booked up), but never could get confirmation of it, so I called to cancel while could still get cheap cell phone rates (finally got a call from the dive shop confirming my cancellation on Sunday late). We had thought about getting the soda card, but in the end didn't drink all the coke we brought on board. We ended up getting late dinner as there was a large request for early seating. That was fine as we figured we wouldn't have to rush back from the ports. We had some great people at our table with Mark and Kathy (brother and Sister), Shane and Kenny and a couple others that only ate with us twice. Our Head waiter Mario was good and very entertaining and seemed to be able to anticipate what we would want and how much. Food was fantastic and plentiful and I REALLY enjoyed the Chocolate Melting Cake (so need to do a search for that recipe). We were supposed to meet with some other bloggers at the Casino Bar, but by the time we got out of dinner, we couldn't find them. Caught part of the show, then did some more touring of the ship to get ourselves acclimatized and stopped by the casino cage to get our slot tournament tickets. All in all, a great first day/evening on the Glory. We ordered room service for the Bahamas port day as it allowed for a little sleeping in and not bothering rushing up to the buffet or to the dining room. We hadn't booked an excursion for the Bahamas and just took a taxi to Atlantis. Spent a few hours there, won some money in the casino and then headed back towards the ship. Looked at few jewelry stores before hitting the Hard Rock for a few beers(needed a few after all those pushy jewelry people). Headed back to ship for an afternoon snack and to beat the crowd back on and get ready for the Captain's Cocktail Party. Cocktail party was fun and talked with a lot of nice people. Fair amount of people showed up. Probably many where there for the free drinks. Off to dinner and the lobster was great!!! We visited many of the formal portrait shoots that were set up. Wish we had hit the Titanic staircase one, but the line was too big. Will have to plane earlier for the next go around. Our first sea day was great. We purchased our Monkeyheads and enjoyed our first of many drinks in it by the lido deck pool. Think it was a yellowbird (or something like that). The pool was great and so was the weather. Ended up getting a little sunburn, but not too awful bad. One thing I did notice was a lot of people using the automatic hand sanitizer stations posted around as well as the little paper towels (inside the bathrooms) to use on the door handles which was nice. Better to be safe than spending a few days hugging the toilet. On the St Thomas morning, my sinuses were giving me some issues and Diane seemed to be under the weather, so we cancelled our dive excursion for the next day in St Maarten. No reason to dive if I can't clear my ears. We headed out with our shopping map from Carnival kind of hoping to maybe find some wedding bands and/or rings at a decent rate. Not really knowing what we were after, we were more into looking than buying. But getting that through a salesperson's head is not the easiest thing to do. Found them to be very pushy and many times just flat our rude. And while the prices were reasonable, the attitude of the people pretty much turned us off from buying anything. I think we would rather pay more stateside and get what we are after and if anything happened, we could get it taken care easier. I know Carnival offers a year guarantee on purchases made, but I think it would be very hard if not impossible to deal with a shop in St Thomas/St Marteen while sitting in Florida. We swung by a liquor store to get some bottles and dropped them at the ship before heading back out. We had purchased tickets on the ship to ride up to Paradise Point on the sky ride. We had planned to be there for the sunset (from advice of our CD Butch) and to have several Bushwackers. The sunset was amazing and the Bushwackers were yummy. I stopped with 4 of them. After sunset, the exodus back to the ship began with several hundred people waiting to head down the hill. Each car (for a better word) was supposed to carry 8 (or 24 in three cars). We had 12 in ours. After cleaning up, we headed down for dinner and then caught the show/comedian (not sure which as I don't have a caper for Tues). Then off to the Piano Bar to listen to Mark (Piano whore) and finally to bed. With Scuba cancelled in St Maarten we decided to spend some time at the beach. After a quick water taxi ride (was able to use up some left over Euros I had) we headed to the beach. There were many groupings of chairs and umbrellas on the beach (different vendors). Each vender had a different deal with Miguel having the best with 2 chairs, umbrella and a iced six pack for $20. We accepted and planted our butts on the chairs. We were a little worried about leaving all our stuff on the chairs, but hey were no more than 30 feet away and it seemed that Miguel was kind of a security guard over the area. We swam, relaxed, had a beer, swam relaxed. Great way to spend the morning if you ask me!! After a bit we headed to one of the jewelry stores on the map and once again were greeted by the rude salespeople. They had a husbands/boyfriend chair set up and would hand you a beer/drink while waiting for your wife/girlfriend to drain your wallet or charge your credit cards up. We got about 5 lowest prices available on one ring (from about 5 different people including the manager) before we decided we had enough and left. We ended up finding a pinball machine at an arcade by the beach and Diane and I were in heaven. We just love pinball!!! We decided to call it an early day and head back to the ship for a nap before dinner. Dinner and the rest of the evening we great.
Thursday was a sea day as we headed back towards Port Canaveral. We slept in and then headed to the buffet for breakfast. We had purchased our "Walk on the Deck for a Cure" shirts earlier in the week for the breast cancer walk on the jogging track. Unbeknownst to most on the ship (until an announcement came), a crew member had a medical emergency and the boat had turned southwards towards Puerto Rico (I had noticed the sun on the wrong side of the boat and figured we had turned for some reason). We went about 6 hours south till we were in range of a Coast Guard helicopter that flew in and airlifted her out. We had heard she had appendicitis, but can't confirm or deny this. So, we were going to end up getting an extra day at sea as we wouldn't be getting back to Port Canaveral till nearly 5pm (instead of the original 7am). WOOO HOOO for us!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was a little disappointed in the lack of participation in the breast cancer walk. There wasn't any advertising for it. Guess if Carnival wasn't going to make money off of it, why advertise it. It seemed like more people were interested in guys dressed as girls by the lido pool, rather than walking for a good cause (and maybe burning off a few calories from the buffets and 24 hour pizza and ice cream. Lol).
Thursday night was another formal night and we got all spiffed up. Did a couple more picture sittings as well. Another fun evening. Found and ordered some pictures after eating dinner and popped into the casino a bit before hitting the room and sitting on the balcony for a bit. Then we hit the bed.
Friday was another great but windy day on the Glory. There was defiantly some sway in the ship the last few days, but nothing that wasn't manageable. For me It's like being in a rocky cradle and it lulls me to sleep at night. I am sure the people who had a little too much to drink may have had some issues. And those who weren't may have wished they had been. Lol. We slept in and moseyed up to the Lido deck for the breakfast buffet. Afterwards we popped down to the casino and grabbed an entry into the slot tournament. We were also planning on playing some bingo that afternoon. Probably wouldn't do again as bingo is not that much fun for me. After tapping the bloody spin button like maniacs, Diane and I made it to the final round of the slot tournament. Being 2 of the final 9, we figured our odds of winning were good. Yeah right. Lol. We had fun nonetheless. We headed to the room for much pre-dinner nap. As with almost every day, we hit the sushi bar for some pre-dinner snacks (Diane doesn't care for it, but always grabbed some extra for me). Dinner was awesome as usual. We handed 'Super Charged" Joseph our tip on the way into dinner and had our last meal with some great people. Finally learned how to play craps. Have been in tons of casinos, but had never learned to play. Had a couple of people give some quick and dirty instructions. Played for nearly 2 hours on $40 and leaf the table with $42. So not bad entertainment for $2!!
Saturday should have been an early debarkation day, but with the medical emergency, we got an extra day. WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!!! Sorry for those who missed their flights, but I would have added an extra day on both sides of the cruise, just for this situation. And while Carnival would have probably loved to see us go Saturday morning, I am very sure they enjoyed everyone dumping money in the casinos and buying drinks on board. We asked our steward when we needed to be out of the room and he asked as long as we didn't mess with the bed, we didn't have to leave until after we hit the dock. We gathered what we had left and moved up and sat in the casino, had a beer and watched the gator game on the TV. We finally got off the ship a little after 5pm and were on the road by 6.
Things to remember: Extra Day on board High Energy CD Butch "Super Charged" Maitre D Joseph Awesome food and table mates - Mark and Kathy, Shane and Kenny Piano Whore - Mark Weiser Balcony Great Shows and Comedians Great Ports of Call
After a good night's sleep, we booked our Honeymoon Cruise on the Dream for its first cruise out of Port Canaveral, a 9 day eastern Caribbean trip. Thanks Carnival!!!!!!!