Day 266 – Carnival Splendor Day Six

tailSo, it’s day three in Puerto Vallarta, we are allowed to get off the ship beginning at 8 this morning, but we have to be back on by 4 – new departure time out of PV is set for 5 p.m.  We’ve been watching the repairs, they seem to be going slow.  There are a lot of grumbly people on board, folks who think we should have repaired in Long Beach before we left, others who are insisting to get off the boat NOW.  Carnival has offered $200 to anyone who needs to change their departure flights; the airlines aren’t charging any change fees and we get an extra day aboard with no charge, hell, they are even picking up the gratuities.  But, no, some people think they have to be home for Monday, I’m really glad, I’m not one of those.  In our world, it just really doesn’t matter.  We watched hundreds of people get off the ship to fly home.  Carnival made it right for all of them, not only did they cover the change fees, but they also covered the hotel rooms for them.  Now, I’m thinking about the hotels for the departing passengers, what about all of those coming in for next weeks cruise, Are they covering the hotels for those people too?  That could be another 3000 people, just because a repair didn’t happen fast enough.  Wow, that’s a cruiseline who takes care of it’s guests.

We’ve been bouncing from activity to activity today, we went to the Love and Marriage show, hoping to be on it, but they picked the newest married and we’ve already been married for 21 days, they also picked the longest married, now they were funny.

We met the girls up on the spa deck for some swimming with the grandson, he is fearless with his life jacket on.  I loved when he led the train and swam all around the pool with Kayla and I hanging on making choo-choo noises.  We got a bunch of smiles from the adults during that one.  Dressed for dinner we met the whole crew again, Jimmy (Kayla’s father-in-law ) has been quarantined.  Turns out he stopped down at the infirmary for some immodium and they threw him back in to his room for 24 hours.  No one likes the thought of an epidemic of any kind on a small floating city.

Another comedy show and a little time in the piano bar, it has been an awesome day and we are underway again. The ship is repaired and we set sail a little after 7:00, just a bit behind schedule, but not bad.

 

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Day 267 – Carnival Splendor Day Five

pinnacleSo that whole tired thing has caught up to me, we are in port at Puerto Vallarta and I have no desire to go anywhere.  I know there are about a billion things we could be doing in the city, but five days of play has created the need for a day off.  Swimsuits on, we are headed to the aft lido deck for the day.  In and out of the pool and the hot tub, it was a great relaxing afternoon.

Highlight of the day:  the Pinnacle restaurant.  We attended a cooking demonstration back on Monday held at the steakhouse on board, the food was magnificent, so a reservation at the Pinnacle seemed completely in line.  We got to dinner at 6:15, it wasn’t over until well after eight.  A squash soup, a bleu cheese salad, 10 ounce lobster tail with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli followed by a chocolate sampler dessert that included tiramisu, banana pannaceta, and two other delicious desserts.  Oh, I am a happy girl.  Every part of the meal was exquisite.

Our ship was set to set sail today at 11 p.m. – yeah, that didn’t happen.  We had gotten two days in PV because of a repair that is being made on the seals around the propulsion shaft.  From our cabin, we’ve been watching the goings on near the repair site.  After dinner, it sure didn’t look like they were wrapping up.  Not long after, they announced we would be staying in PV another day.  What that meant though was that the cruise was going to last a whole nother day.  Staying in Puerto Vallarta meant we couldn’t get to Long Beach on Sunday, the soonest we could arrive is Monday.  Oh, darn…we have to stay an extra day.  This is our second vacation in six months that we couldn’t get back on time, I’m lovin’ it.

Not everyone is happy about this change, but it’s awesome for us. An extra day is awesome, we are having such a good time, and who cares where we spend Sunday, in town or out doesn’t really have an impact on our world.

Day 271 – Carnival Splendor Day One

carnivalWe’re back!  Awesome week on the Carnival Splendor – this was our adventure from day one.

Cruising has not really been my idea of fun.  I’ve done it once before, with my sister and one of my best friends, we did an Alaskan cruise, and while it was fun, I didn’t think it was the end all be all vacation.  So going on a cruise this time was something I was just a little mediocre about.  My daughter, Kayla, invited us.  She got married earlier in 2012 and her family was going to celebrate her father-in-laws 60th birthday, so all of Lindsey’s family is here.  Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Sister-in-law, nephews and us.  We are here for Kayla.  Now, I love my daughter, but years ago, I vowed never to vacation with her again.  We joke when we introduce her that she is “Kayla Krehbiel, ruining vacations since 1987.”  She just gets stressed out about having fun and then wigs out.  But that’s another story.

So the cruise wasn’t really our idea, but we embraced it.  It’s been on the agenda for months, we just got lucky enough to call it a Honeymoon Cruise after we got married 15 days ago.  Rich is ecstatic, I don’t think he’s ever actually taken a vacation, so this is a brand new experience for him.  I didn’t recognize how ecstatic he was until we got to the dock.

I always let him make the plans when we are headed somewhere, whether by plane or now by boat, I would tend to stress him out because I don’t arrive as early as everyone else, so planning departures is always his job.  He said we were leaving Temecula for Long Beach by 10:30.  We were out the door by 10:10, a quick stop for breakfast on the way and we arrived at the departure port at 1:20.  Perfect timing.  Kayla and the rest of the family were already on board, we were standing in line.  Now for those of you who haven’t had this experience, try to picture it.  3006 passengers being herded onto a gangplank in less than three hours.  There is a huge dome that swallows all the people and spits them out where they need to be.  It’s pretty painless, they dropped us in to some lines and then moved our lines forward.  You can tell they’ve done this before.  We were through the lines in no time.  We had dropped our bags with the porter already and then moved through the line to get our room keys.  Of course, I hadn’t printed any documents to carry on, guess what?  It’s not a problem, we didn’t need anything except our passports.  So easy.

On board the ship, we checked out our room.  Just a standard space with a balcony, it’s probably comparable to our regular living quarters.  Kayla came by the room to check out ours, they are in the bowels of the ship in a small interior room, it’s perfect for them, not much sway down there.  We appeared for our mandatory safety briefing.  Don’t even think about skipping that, the stewards check all the rooms, including the balconies for stowaways.  The extent of the briefing was how to put on your life vest and where to go.  A worthwhile thing to know.  We visited with some couples around us and the time passed quickly.

After the briefing, we toured the ship as we left the dock, a rain squall came in just as we were leaving, so not many people were out getting pictures of the skyline as we left.  We had most of the exterior to ourselves.  Starting at the top, Deck 11, we toured the spa, the Pinnacle restaurant and moved down to Deck 10.  Lots of water structures there for playing on, then down to Deck 9, the Lido deck.  An indoor pool that was being filled, a huge movie screen and the food.  Huge spaces to feed those 3006 people more than they need to eat at any given time.  There are restaurants parked all over the Lido deck.

At six we appeared for the family dinner, our table captain appears to be fun, he made our grandson, Jacob, enjoy eating his dinner, and that is an accomplishment all in its self.  Dinner was good, Rich and I excused ourselves for the Ballroom Dancing lesson.  A little cha-cha and a little salsa dancing.  There were a few times we bumped bellies because I was going the wrong direction.  After the dancing, we stayed for the rest of the evening in the Spectacular, Spectacular stage.  I got picked to play on their game show.  Never done that before, I didn’t know many of the answers, but I had a blast.  I played with Matt and Moody and we laughed a lot.  It was fun, we followed that with Bingo and the night show and finally ended with the comedians.  There is so much to do, I didn’t think Rich would come to bed.  He’s a little afraid of missing something fun.  We had a great time on our first day, there is so much to do and so many people to meet.  We are enjoying that immensely.  I can’t wait to see what he wants to do tomorrow.