We’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.