We are a family of 4. Two adults in late 20's and early 30's and two kids 7 DD (Dear daughter) and 8 DS (Dear Son). DH has been on one cruise with carnival prior to this one. The rest of us were newbies.
Jan 31 2010
Embarkation day! Wow what a day and it has only just begun!!! We actually started our trip on Saturday leaving the DFW area around 3. We deciced at the last minute that it would be nice to eat at a restraunt that DH and I went to on our honeymoon. The Aquarioum in Kemah Texas. The kids LOVED it and were starving when we got there but forgot all about their hunger after seeing the fish everywhere. After dinner we headed to the hotel. Holiday Inn at the beach. They have free parkng for the week and also free shuttle to and from the pier. It was a very nice hotel in my opinion. Didn't have a free breakfast but that is okay we were heading to the ship early and were going to eat lunch as soon as we boarded. We got our shuttle and got to the pier about 10ish I think. took our bags to the drop off place and didn't even deal with a porter....saved a bit on the tip I guess. Then we were off to check in. Flew through the check in process with no hassles. Then go to the holding area. Saw lambie seeral times just didn't say anything to her becuase I knew we were both in lines and were wanting to get on the boat. Plus we were meeting 2ish at Sur Mer. We finally got to board about 12ish....there were three weddings that had to board first before anyone else...then it was our turn to get on...that was quick and painless got our pictures snapped before getting on the boat and went down...guess this wasnt normal procedure but one of the other ships had hit the gangway and it was being repaired...I wouldn't have known had we not been told becuase this was our first time. We went straight to the Lido deck for food...with two kids that hadn't eaten since dinner the night before...and not much of it...we needed food! We found the pizza station...and also ate at off the grand buffet. all the food i had was really good. After lunch it was time that we could go to our rooms so we went to go check out our upgraded room...it was great! We had originally gotten an interior room but the week before our cruise we got an upgrade call and were able to upgrade for $100 to an Ocean View. It was great! The kids absolutely LOVED the window and getting to see the ships while still in port then seeing the waves the boat was making after we really started moving. They also fought over who was going to sleep in the bunk and who had the converted couch each night but they did take turns. We went back to the Lido to meet with our wonderful Cruise critic Friends Sorry I can't remember everyone who was there but it was fun meeting everyone! We decided to walk around the ship a bit beore we headed to musterd drill. Found our dining room and a few other place...DS kept setting off the alarms with his jacket....not sure why..but no one stopped us so I guess all is well! We went bak to our room to figure out where we were supposed to be for muster...and hoping our luggage would be there...it wasn't...wentto muster and didn't take a jacket....did I mention it was FREEZING in galveston...okay not freezing...but it was COLD and I didnt' realize that muster was going to be outside so didn't take a jacket...but after they put us up aginst the wall shoulder to shoulder and then but 3 more rows of people in front of us it sterted to warm up a bit! LOL! That was done and over with pretty quickly..not sure how to put the life jacket on as I couldn't see anything...thik a video would have been better or something...but I am sure it isn't that hard to figure out even in an emergency. Went somewhere to the top....not sure where....to watch us take off! At first we were just inching along and then all of a suddenn we realized we were getting faster. Headed to the lido to grab a drink and the kids watched the ships we were passing and started to play a little battle ship with all the ships and boats that were there........Decided to put our names in the spa drawing...didn't win anything though...oh well...after listing to their sales pitch we went to sighn the kids up for camp came back to our room and guess what!!! Our luggage was there....ALL OF IT!!! YAY! and nothing seemd to be messed with even though nothing was locked. before we knew it it was dinner time already...we had early seating in the Monet! It was lovely....I liked it anyway. wewere at a table all by our selves..which part of me liked that and part of me didn't. It was nice becuase since my children (DS) had decied to leave table manners at home didn't have to worry about really offending any other table mates....but it owuld have been nice to meet soem new people. But hubby and i decided kids can eat in kids club and we can have dinner by our selves all week! I had a salmon thing as my starter...didn't know it was goign to be raw...it TASTED okay...but I didn't like the texture. I say it needs to be a little more cooked! hubby played it safe with some fruit and DD got the tomato soup. For our diiner DD had nuggets and fries...just ate the fries DS had TWO bugrgers and one serving of fries and then DH had I think it was talipa and i had mahi mahi. Delicios.....but the BEST part of our first dinner was the DESSERT!!! I got the chocolate melting cake and it was to DIE for! hubby got the creme brulee and it was almost as good as my CMC. After dinner we went back to the room and had some family time. Had our evening worship...we may be on vacation but Jesus is with us ALWAYS then brought a favorite card game and played that then itw as time for the kids welcome party....DD said that was the most fun she had all day! YAY! Theya re starting to get hooked. Then we did the build a bear thing...got it out of the way in the beginning. After that we headed to the first show....it was realy good...but I have nthign to compare it to but even the kids enjoyed it. they did get bored with the comedian. He was funny and even though he was totally clean and family friendly the jokes still went over the kids head a bit. Came back to the room and they CRASHED! Gotta get rested up for anothe day of FUN!!!
Feb 1 2010
Sea Day #1! We had a really great day! Kids FINALLY got to go to camp carnival...Had you heard them the day before you would think they were never going to ge tto go to camp! They had a really great time. Picking them up the next day seemed to take forever. We learned to go a bit earlyier or a bit later to pick them up and we wouldnt have to stand in a LONG line! It can take a while to get the kdis when everyone shows up right at 11:45. I think this was the day that we ate lunch in the dining room. It was nice but we prefered having lunch on the lido more. We did go to dinner in the MDR for elegant night though. It was really nice Our servers Randall and Nellie were great! They took really good care of us the entire cruise. Monday was also our offical CCM&G did get to meet a few more people we didn't see on sunda but we didn't stay long becuase we wanted to grab soem lunch and there was something else we wanted to go do...can't remember now what it was though....Think we missed it becuase lunch in the dining room took about an hour.....somehow I got the impression that lunch in dining room would help us get food quicker becuase we didn't fight crowds....but really did not save any time at all, That was just a misunderstanding on my part though. The kids stayed for the late night party in camp carnival so we had an extra 2 hours to explore and check out some of the things that the ship had to offer. The kids had a great time in camp and were already plannign to stay for the party the next night.
Tuesday Feb 2. 2010
Sea day #2. The kids had told me they wanted to wake up early so they would get to CC for the first activities but they didn't wake up early enough...I tried waking them up but they just slept....they got up an hour late. We grabbed a quick breakfast on the lido and took them to cc then went back to the room to find DH awake and ready for breakfast. I accompanied him and just enjoyed the time with each other. Found that time went fast and before we knew it it was time to get the kids for lunch. This day in the CC was a family day. Didn't participatein all of it but did some. Had fun and did a few things just as a family. The kids decided that they wanted to have dinner with their friends so we let them go and we had a nice evening in the MDR without them....of course our waiters really missed them. We seemed to get a tad more attention when they were there. They really did everything they could to make the kids happy. DS like ranch on his burger and he reminded the waiter of that and the waiter broght him 3 things of ranch...just in case he ran out on Monday. They really did do whatever they could to make the kids happy and they interacted with them which they loved! The kids ahd another fun night in CC and they wanted to stay for the Frddy party so we let them and bought them the freddy t shirts. And of course we had another couple of hourswith just DH and I!
Wednesday Feb 3 2010 JAMACIA this was the one port we really ddnn't know what we were doing. When we got there we deicded to do a little sightseeing then we went to the Aqua Sol beach and the kids LOVED it! It was a nice quiet beach not many there at all. And it had a water trampoline and I think we could have also rented other things like jet skis or soemthing..but i'm not sure since we didn't plan on doing any of that. There were only two people that came up to us trying to sell stuff while we were there. One was for hair braids..which my daughter had told me weeks ago that she DID NOT WANT. And the other was selling fruits. We Also did a little too much shopping..more than we had budgeted for there but hey we are on vacation! Got back on the ship....YAY didn't get left behind!
Thursday Feb 4 2010
Grand Cayman...we had alraedy planned this one on line with Franks Water Sports. We did the sting ray city and snorkel tour. The kids LOVED the sting rays! Well we all did actually. DD had decided that she was afraid of the stingrays thanks to my mom mentioning steve Irwin to her but when she got in the water and started to pet them she fell in love with them. Then we went snorkeling. DS took to it like a fish to water but DD didn't want to get in because she couldn't touch the bottom. She stayed on the boat and watched us and was totally happy. It was fun but was over way too fast. Got back to the ship in time to go have lunch then had a dip in the pool/hot tub. It was a LOVELY day. This was also our second elegant night and although we had originally planned to not make the kids dress up again we made them because the pics from Monday had a glare on hubbys glasses and my mom wanted us to get a good pic for her of us together in our elegant attire. as soon as we took the pics though we let them change and took them to camp carnival for dinner with their friends.
Friday Feb 5, 2010
Cozumel..we also already had our excursion planned for this port. We went to chankanaab national park and did the Dolphin Encounter. We really enjoyed spending time with the dolphins but felt like we were herded in and out and it was more about getting the picture rather than the experience..kiss kiss shake.....next person...kiss kiss shake....next...my suggestion for anyone doing this is to have one person in your group taking pics. because they have you positioned in such a way that the people you are with look away from you for their picture so you can't see them to take your own pictures...they do allow you to take cameras though and they also allowed us to bring our water camera in. I also noticed....even though we were warned other wise...that they didn't seem to care what kind of sun screen you were using. I saw many people putting on banana boat and other common brands that were not biodegradable and did not see them checking bags or anything else. Also for us the dolphin encounter seemed to take up quite a bit of our time there at the park and didn't get to do any snorkeling. We did some walking around so that we would know more of what the place had so that we could plan a trip there again though.....there was SOOOO much to do there is no way to get it all in one trip. As we were leaving the park a storm was rolling in...very fast...and by the time the taxi got us back to Puerta Maya it was raining. We took cover in the Del Sol store for a little while then when it let up a bit we headed for the ship. Of course the winds were high and we were walking into the wind so it made it a bit harder more of a workout. We were also docked a bit longer than we were supposed to be for the people that were still on the mainland tours....guessing that they rain slowed them down or something.
the last sea day. we didn't do much this day just kind of took it easy slept till 9:30 let the kids go to camp for awhile while we listened to the debark talk. Got the kids then got most of our stuff packed and ready to go. Had lunch then spent some family time playing some games in the room with the kids till dinner time. Took the kids to camp for dinner for the last time and we enjoyed our last dinner in the Monet dining room. Went and purchased a few pictures and some scrapbook stuff then went and watched the last shows in the lounge!
Sunday Feb 7, 2010
DEBARK day! We so were not ready for our trip to be over! We had put our bags out the night before and were number 31 so we knew we had some time before we had to be off...which was fine since we were in no hurry. We finished getting our last few things in our carry ons and made sure we left nothing in the room. Said goodbye to our room and headed to breakfast. For some reason I was expecting breakfast to not have many choices but it was just as well stocked as it was the first day. We ate our breakfast and enjoyed our last couple hours on the ship. before long it was time for EVERYONE to get off the ship so we headed to deck 0. We had to be the last people off because after we got our bags and were in line for customs there was no one behind us. We went through customs with no problems at all. Got on our shuttle back to the hotel and got our luggage in the car and were home a little after 5.
Our over all impression of the ship.....WONDEFUL!! The crew that we dealt with were awesome! We enjoyed Chris the CD. talked to him a few times and he was always very friendly and willing to answer all the questions and help where he could. The kids said that they don't want to try any other ship for the next cruise...they always want to be on the conquest! So I think they really enjoyed everything! Overall everything was great. ran into a few fairly rude passengers....but nothing that would make me me want to say my trip was ruined because of it....just the same type of people you meet in day to day life! Didn't notice the chair hogs...of course I never really looked for a seat so it didn't bother me. Didn't notice kids playing in the elevators either....maybe I was just lucky! My kids were not perfect but I really do hope that they didn't ruin anyone's cruise. They were either with me or in camp the entire time. Not ready to let them have run of the ship just yet....30 sounds like a good age for that! HAHAHAHA