Once Upon A Cruise…

Reading Challenges: #Let'sDiscuss2016

Cruise 2.0

This was my second cruise with my TMFL/BFF Tara. The first was last September when we did a New England/Canadian cruise. (A snippet of that cruise was posted here when the news that we would be going on another cruise together.) Much like before, I enjoyed this one very much. Since we had been on one before we knew the dos and the don’ts so we.

I don’t want to give a detail recollection of the day-to-day activities but I am going to hit on a few things.

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The wonderful gifts that Tara came bearing.

The cruise began last Monday, but Tara and I met up Sunday because that’s when her flight came in. We spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up. She came bearing wonderful gifts.

The gifts included: a 10-foot iPhone lightening charging cord, a beautiful card with a handwritten note from the best friend there ever existed, magnetic bookmarks, two pairs of gorgeous earrings, and a friendship keychain with a star in Arkansas and a star in Georgia and a path leading to each star. The gifts were so wonderful and thoughtful.

Monday rolled around and it was time for the embarkment phase of the cruise and luckily for us Tara had purchased the “Faster to Fun” for this cruise which meant we could skip certain lines and what have you. So the checking in was a breeze. It really took us no time.

The cabin's shower - the hot water was scolding!
The cabin’s shower – the hot water was scolding!

When we were finally on the ship we didn’t have to wait for a certain time to go to our room because the F2F also meant our room was already ready. I must admit I am not sure what I was expecting from the room, but the room on the Carnival Splendor (the previous ship) was fancy (except for the lack of a window). This ship was a bit older than the previous one and the cabin was proof of that.

The cabin's toilet & sink. The toilet was a suction.
The cabin’s toilet & sink. The toilet was a suction.

The cabin’s bathroom was shaped differently than the other but according to Tara is was bigger. To me I didn’t think so. I liked the set up of the other ship’s bathroom. Regardless, it served it’s purpose.

My bed that I slept on during the cruise.
My bed that I slept on during the cruise.

The cabin included two twin beds, a desk, a mirror, a television, three closets, and a window. (I did not take a picture of the closets or Tara’s bed/window and I am not going to post the mirror/desk combo.) The television was not like the previous ship’s … it was older and the remote control didn’t allow us to check our funds or anything (like before).

Like before, we just walked around the ship the see what was all there before heading to our room to … NAP – this became our favorite pastime while one the ship just like before. 😀 Then it was dinner time…our second favorite pastime on the ship. Dinner was the sit-down event where you were waited on hand and foot and where the food was (mostly) superb.

The "Fun Times" itinerary each day. Also, my Sail & Sign card. And a pamphlet of the Carnival Elation.
The “Fun Times” itinerary each day. Also, my Sail & Sign card. And a pamphlet of the Carnival Elation.

Each evening, after we returned from dinner we would find out beds turned down, a copy of the “Fun Times” itinerary of the following day and a towel animal lying on one of the beds. On the second night when we returned from dinner, we discovered one of the towel animals not only wearing my sunglasses but a $50 gift card to the spa. (A better picture of the said towel animal can be found on my Instagram as it was photographed with the books I found in the ship’s library that day.)

The towel animals included a frog, a rabbit of some sort, a crab/lobster, a heart and bird of some sort.
The towel animals included a frog, a rabbit of some sort, a crab/lobster, a heart and bird of some sort.

During the trip we made sure that we went to a show (or two) every night, which was something we didn’t do on the first cruise. We were both proud of our decision because all the shows we went to were good. Three were concerts – Rock & Roll night, Diva night, and Soul night – boy were the singers and dancers great. I wish I had taken pictures but I wasn’t sure if we could. (Apparently we could since others seemed to have taken some.) We also attend a comedy show which was pretty vulgar but was funny nonetheless. And on two separate occasions we attended the game show…which I could never get picked to participate in, but I did try.

As you’ve noticed I did a lot of reading on the cruise. The books were found in the library of the ship and I found some good selections. I am glad that I made the decision to read the ones I did because every last one of them were five stars and they were not a typical romance. They also gave me a break from my reading challenges.

The view from our cabana at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.
The view from our cabana at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

I’ve talked about what we did on the ship, but let’s talk about the two stops. The first stop was Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, which is a private island that Carnival runs or owns or something. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was so clear and blue. I actually stayed in it longer than I would have if it was a beach near me – which I do not frequent at all. While at Half Moon Cay, Tara had rented us a cabana for the day and boy was it amazing. The cabana rental included snorkeling gear for the both of us (I tried to use the flippers but was unsuccessful), a vegetable tray, a fruit tray, chips and dip and guacamole, fruit, soda, and bottled water. The cabana had two lounge chairs with cushions, a wicker table and four chairs, a fan that sprayed water, a a/c unit and a mini-fridge. So I must admit that Tara made a good selection and it was well worth it to get. I took two naps while we were there because it was that nice and pleasant.

The private island was very nice. No extra tourists, just cruisers. We were give a grilled lunch and free range for the most part. The experience was very enjoyable.

Tara took this picture of Nassau before we returned to the ship.
Tara took this picture of Nassau before we returned to the ship.

The second stop was Nassau, Bahamas and we did not have an excursion planned so we got off the ship and went exploring the tourist area. However, I was not impressed with this and it actually made me a bit nervous. I was ready to return to the ship. And guess what I did (other than reading)? LOL I’d like to go back maybe one day. And I guess if that happens I will most definitely would consider investing in an excursion for the stop. As you can tell from the picture, the water was absolutely beautiful as well.

Tara took the picture of the view from our seat at dinner. Isn't it simply beautiful?
Tara took the picture of the view from our seat at dinner. Isn’t it simply beautiful?

The cruise seemed to end too soon. I enjoyed spending time with Tara. We always have a good time when we are together. As for our next adventure together we are not sure. I may just have to make a visit to Arkansas which is some place I’ve never been and which I have been wanting to visit for the last ten years.

Oh yeah…I also did not return back home looking like a lobster! Neither of us did. So our 100 SPF sunscreen was a success! 😀

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Thank you taking the time to relive the cruise with me. What about you? You ever been on a cruise? How did you enjoy it? Where’d you go? Never wanted to go on one? Why?

4 Comments

  1. I have been on 2, one many years ago and the second just 2 years ago. I loved them both. I would cruise every year if I could afford it. For this last one, I went alone. I spent the majority of my time sitting & staring at the amazingly beautiful water while listening to audiobooks. It was awesome.

    I think my favorite stop was Roatan, it is just so beautiful.
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    1. Going on one alone would be interesting and probably rewarding as well. they are very relaxing and I have enjoyed them very much.

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