Seeing we had such a fabulous time cruising with Carnival in the past, we decided to take another cruise departing from New York City. This would make the traveling much easier and avoid taking any flights. The drive was very pleasant, the embarking procedure very efficient and was even surprised to see a friend of mine , Elan, who drove all the way to New York to bid me a farewell.
The view of the Big Apple was great. The skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty and even the display of their military dominance. They had some museum exposing many aircrafts from planes to helicopters.
The ship set sail, and as it was slowly leaving the city of New York, the excitement was building up. Our girls were 2 years older from their last cruise and definitely knew what to expect. A little more freedom they ask from us which in turn we ask a little more responsibility. All is settled and away we sail.
Having cruised before allowed us to settle in more efficiently and plan for the best times to do certain activities. We did allow our children to roam the boat by themselves and even do daytime activities on their own. The only emphasize was that we all enjoy supper together to recount the days’ events. This year as well, since we usually travel in July, we celebrated Milena’s birthday again. As our confirmed supper seating is the same every night, the waiter and bus boy are with us the duration of the cruise. For the life of me, I can not remember the head waiters name but was an hysterical individual. Seemed always stressed, active and completely bouncing off the walls. Wouldn’t be able to stay still for longer than a few moments. To top it all off, we practically didn’t understand any word he would say. One supper as he is walking frantically around the tables to ensure all was in order, he trips on some chair post and finds himself lying on the ground. As quickly he plumented to the ground he bounced right back up trying to elude to all that nothing happened. He may have been in pain but was trying hard to insist all was well. He did go about his work as if nothing happened. It was our laugh for the week. His sidekick busboy would ask if we wanted coffee so close to our faces that his nose would practically touch our cheeks. We couldn’t fight off tears of laughter almost every night.
Every set time, all photographers erect their backdrops and turn a full floor to some photo studio. We take advantage of many backdrops only to leave all pictures behind. Instead of buying the picture, we’d take a picture of the picture or I would strategically place myself incognito and snap away by zooming in. Hey, we had to save money somewhere.
This cruise had 3 ports of call. Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Bahamas. All beautiful islands each with turquoise water and white sandy beaches. Grand Turk offered a beautiful port experience. From where the ship docked, a short walk to the pristine beach to enjoy for the day. For those who opted for drinks, pools and shopping, all were at their disposal.
Half Moon Cay , Carnival’s private island, was another port of call and upon arriving, it clearly ranked one of my top 5 beaches I have ever seen. Water so clear that exposed the white sand even under the water. I was walking on baby powder.
The sky seemed as if it was painted with a few clouds perfectly placed. I bet Bob Ross has a painting of this. The water was very warm to allow us to walk right in, but cool enough to refresh us from the midday heat. With the large ship placed in the distance, it was a magnificent backdrop to our photos that day. I had to take a postcard shot of my three beautiful daughters.
And of course a picture of our full group that would continue vacationing together for many more years. After the fun day at the beach, a full lunch bar-b-que spread was served to all that attended.
Our third and final port of call was Nassau. This port was visited during our last cruise but we all decided to venture out to the beach again. We find our way to the beach and as with other guests, we all find a place to lay out our towels. The girls decide they want to try a banana boat ride and before they place their life jackets on, Robert wanted to make sure he can “loge” on it.
They strap themselves on, I take a seat in the boat to film and away we go. The captain even gave them a little tour of some nice homes along the water front.
Being quite common in many sun filled destinations, it can rain on you one moment and the next moment be completely dry. Oh well, after their boat ride, we had to run for some shelter since the clouds turned black on us without much notice.
During this cruise, we took a kitchen tour to see how they manage to feed 2500 guests with no issues at all. A room filled with staff, stainless steel counters and appliances working magic. Fine oiled process. Made us very content knowing they take good care of their kitchen. 4 pm roles around the ship and one Sushi speciality eatery served sushi. Whenever we were around, we’d take full advantage and swallow a few before our dinner. One advantage of our children getting older is that we’d have more free time to ourselves. As they become more self-sufficient, we would be able to explore the ship to our age appropriate venues.
One early morning, both my wife and I decide to take a walk along the top deck to see the sunrise. I guess we were too late, but the peacefulness was all worth it.
The sad part of vacationing is that it does come to an end. Luckily we chose the last evening to take some sunset pictures for the view was spectacular. As with every turn of the clock handle, the sun would shift lower and lower. Trying hard to get every picture perfectly centered and every colour doing its justice, we manage to get some real professional looking photos.
Until our next cruise.