Cruise Ship Vacation Photos
Excellent Cruise Ship Food!
Art Auction on a Cruise!
Taking a cruise vacation sounds like a great idea! Bob, some friends of ours, and I just returned from an August cruise aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. Sailing out of Galveston, Texas to Cozumel, Mexico in high summer is definitely not the best of ideas.
The heat! Oh sure, it's a heat index of 110 degrees, but when you go for a cruise the humidity will up that heat index a good 5 degrees. So, standing around in a cruise terminal in lines as long as the interstate will just about kill you. When you do get aboard, heading for the nearest lunch buffet is a great idea. Here's a tip: take your luggage to your cabin immediately! Don't try to drag it around looking for sustenance and cool drink. The nearest drink counter and food buffet was out on the Lido deck in full sun! Being first time cruisers, we didn't know to go a few more feet and get in the air-conditioned buffet.
Ok, now the fun begins, luggage stowed, bathing suits on and out to the pool we go. Right, three or four hundred people have also thought of the same thing. The pool is standing room only. My pool at home is bigger than this pool. We decided to try the Serenity deck for adults only. Trouble is, that deck only has hot tubs. It's 115 in the shade for crying out loud! No hot tubs needed. Ahhh, at least there was a cool shower handy and some deck chairs in the shade.
Dinner was the highlight of the day. We discovered that the Wind Song dining room is the coolest, funnest, and best place on the ship. Big windows to watch the Gulf of Mexico go streaming by. Starters, main course, and dessert are served nightly. Cocktails, wine, and other beverages are available. Some of them are free! The food is included in the cruise price. The food is wonderful. The service is fantastic. Dessert is heavenly.
The first night photo round begins with some crazy pirate going around to take pictures with all of the guests. I do mean all of them! He must have smiled 500 or more times that night. Wouldn't want his job. Vacation expense - buy photos! The Carnival Cruises miss no opportunity to take vacation photos of everyone on the cruise.
Art Auction Fun on a Cruise!
Now everyone is not as clumsy and accident-prone as I am, but on the first fun day at sea, I had to take a spill. I'm just happy I didn't fall off the ship! I went to the Art Auction. I'm an artist and this intrigued me.
Ok, the room is darkened, lit by recessed lighting and framed art is everywhere. It's set up in a maze so the audience must walk by each piece of 300 or so art objects. You're supposed to fall in love with one or more pieces and raise your hand to get the pre-bid price. Then, if you are really interested in purchasing the art, you can place a sticky on it and move on. The auctioneer will hold an official auction of each of the pieces with stickies on them. Meanwhile, help yourself to free Champagne.
The piece of art I fell in love with was a photo of Mohammed Ali and the Beatles. Ali was pretending to throw a right hook and John, George, Paul and Ringo were all pretending to get hit by the same punch. Unfortunately, as I was gaping at the photo and trying to keep up with the line, I snagged a guide rail on the floor and down I went! I never expected to get knocked out by Cassius Clay in the middle of a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico!
I was whisked away to the infirmary with a bruised knee and a bloody nose. I didn't even get a chance to get my free Champagne, whaaaaaaah. At least they didn't charge me for the band aid and the ice pack.
Caribbean Cruise Vacation Notes
After tying up at the pier in Cozumel, everyone but Bob and I it seems decided to hike in the 100 degree Mexican heat to do the various shore excursions. I have been to Cozumel so many times in the past that I didn't want to stress my sore knee and risk heat-stroke, so we stayed on the ship.
Excellent idea! We had the place to ourselves. We got out and swam in the ship's pool - ALL BY OURSELVES! Sweet! It was so refreshing. Then we had a leisurely lunch buffet on the Lido deck, delicious, and there was a dessert bar too! At last, I found my private yacht in the Caribbean. Now this is the way to enjoy a vacation!
The return trip was uneventful. The four of us mostly watched some of the excellent shows put on by the entertainment staff. We thoroughly enjoyed the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We lost a few bucks on Bingo. Never did make it to the onboard casino, but it was available. We heard stories of some people winning some jackpots.
All in all, a Caribbean cruise is a nice vacation. Parts of it were good, parts were bad, and parts were downright ugly. I have the bruise to prove that! Would we do it again? I think I would prefer to fly or drive to some resort or stay in an old haunted hotel instead. Cruise ships are for young people, or the young at heart.
The best advice for cruise ship vacations is to get a balcony state room. Unless you are really trying to save pennies, it is worth the extra expense to have your own private balcony. You will also get free room service and great food in a cheap room, but having your own balcony is truly special and relaxing. The rooms are bigger and much more comfortable than the inside and lower deck rooms. A balcony state room is the perfect spot for a great vacation cruise!
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The Carnival Ecstasy Pool
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