What has become now a bit of a tradition, Ella and I got up first on this first morning. With that said, it wasn’t as early as our previous two cruises, I think we were up by 8 whereas other cruises it might have been 6:30 or 7. Also different from our other cruises is that this first day is actually a port day. You see, we love the sea days. They are relaxing, you don’t have to worry about getting moving so early if you don’t want to. Some decide to sleep in, you get a chance to check out the ship and see what there is to do on that first day. This time we are awake but with a purpose.
We head up to deck 10 and get to the buffet and the lines are LONG. I mean super long. Ridiculously long for a buffet. I mean it’s a buffet, you grab what you want and go, you’re not ordering anything. I had sort of made up my mind the night before I was going to Blue Iguana for some breakfast burritos so that’s where we headed. There was a bit of a line there but I expected that because they are throwing the ingredients you want together into the burrito. Ella wanted to go to the bathroom while we were in line and I figured she had plenty of time, there were still about 5 or 6 people ahead of us. I was wrong, I actually had to order for her and she came back just as I was getting the food handed to me. So that was a pleasant surprise. It was a bit of a cluster however to find a place to sit, especially near the Blue Iguana but we managed to snag a seat.
The rest of my family showed up probably 10 minutes after that and headed to the buffet. Now get this…the buffet…..the BUFFET took at least 30 minutes to get through. Ella and I were waiting for what seemed like forever before they came back. It was ridiculous. Thankfully, it was never like this the remainder of the trip so not really sure what happened that first morning or if that always happens on those first mornings for Carnival. I mean really, it shouldn’t at all at a buffet so something needs to be figured out there.
So this was also our first tendering port we have ever had. This is where we need to take a ferry boat from the ship to land because the port doesn’t have deep enough waters or a pier to use. As I said in the previous post, we had to pick our tender number and the wives picked #40 figuring it would be around 10am and they were very close! Good job ladies. We all (including the Augers) finished breakfast right as our number was getting close. They would typically call off around 5 to 10 numbers at a time. Just as 40 was called we were all done getting ready, which thankfully because we are on a cruise, doesn’t take long as that just consists of swimsuits, sandals, and making sure you have everything in a swim bag for the day.
The process to get on the boat was actually pretty quick. Of course the boat was completely full and we got stuck on the bottom section. This one was kind of neat as it had a glass bottom (sort of) so you could see what was going on underneath the boat but we were going so fast that you really didn’t see much.
When we got there we couldn’t decide what to do right away. I didn’t quite do my research on this one as to where is the best place would be to grab a seat. We just figured we’d have to walk a bit. So some wanted to look at souvineirs right away and while some did that, we put on sunscreen and took a few pictures.
The beach was packed! It is a long beach but what I call a narrow beach meaning there isn’t much room from where the beach begins to where the water is. In fact the water would rush up under the first row or two of chairs when we first got there. It got better later in the day. The chairs were also very packed in the narrow beach. Here is the view looking down a path toward the beach with the ship in the background.
We find a spot, take up a bunch of chairs amongst the crowded area of chairs, finish putting on sunscreen. Heather and I found drinks to buy. The kids would swim a bit then decided to go check out the slides.
Chris saw a sail boat come back to the beach and wanted to go so us two and the 1s went sailing on a rickshaw. The cost was $50/hour. Chris had taken a college class back in the day but this was the first time for Kaitlyn and I. It was pretty neat and Chris did a nice job. While we were out, we saw the sail on another boat tipped over and they could not get it back up. The boat was upright, but the sail was not. They worked on it quite a while before some people finally came out in boats to help. By that time they had almost drifted to shore.
We came back and Carnival had a Slow-Mo lifeguard competition going on right about the area we came in on. It was pretty funny to watch and as always, the people would put on the best show wins. Myself and the 1s decided we should find the food court quick before it closes. It was a little hard to find but not terrible. The food was your typical private island food of burgers, hot dogs, chips and salads. Really though, you can’t go wrong with those, especially when you’re starving. We get back and the 2s had rented water bikes. They came back and said it wasn’t very exciting so we let the 3s take over on it. Sophie was nervous at first but when she came back she said they weren’t very exciting either.
Meanwhile, the 2s had some fun in the water together.
I think they were practicing their own Slow-Mo lifeguard skills
The 3s got back and I think actually had more fun swimming in their life vests. It was time to go and they didn’t want to come out but unfortunately it was time. By the time we got to the line for the tenders it was around 2:45 and the line was very long. So much so that there almost was a fight that broke out as some people were trying to jump the line. We actually noticed they managed to weasel in a bit behind us. When we were making our way up there was a feet washing station so we took our time and washed our feet. Older couple behind us mumbled they don’t need to wash their feet and wiggled their way around us to get ahead of us. Didn’t do them much good as the line ahead hadn’t got very far. Not sure if she was worried she was going to miss her tender but there was no possibility of that. We were in laid back mode so we didn’t care but it is interesting how some people act at times. Especially on vacation. Relax people….you are on VACATION! It’s time to slow down. While the line was long, it really only took a half-hour to get on a tender.
Looking back on the island a bit.
We all got back, showered, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and Heather found out that the Red Frog Pub has happy hour from 2 until 4:30 where drinks were buy one, get one. So Heather and I both ordered two different drinks that were all quite good. At Red Frog Pub, they also have a bunch of board games to play and TVs playing various college bowl games so it was nice to sit at after being at the beach. The 2s reportedly fell asleep on some comfy chairs on deck 11 aft and said it refreshed them for the night. Tonight, we all went to 88 Keys at the theater before we ate. We went to the pre-show which was actually pretty good I thought. He would take requests. The guy who did the pre-show would be at the Piano Bar later in the night. While I like that sort of thing, the Piano Bar was set up so only maybe 30 or 40 people could sit around him and others would have to sit down on normal lounge chairs and tables. That’s not enough people to enjoy it when there are 4700 people on board. He should be up on a stage like the comedy club. Norwegian had dueling pianos and were elevated a bit and everyone sat in the chairs and watched. That to me made more sense.
Then the main show started. They didn’t elaborate why but they said they couldn’t do the full show with the singing and the dancing but we later learned that it was because the stage wasn’t working. Normally it rotates and moves to add effect but I guess nothing was moving so they just sat like they were seated at a bar singing karaoke.
And mostly the one guy, Patrick, sang the songs. It seemed really awkward and you could tell on the faces of the remaining cast that they were not pleased with how it was decided to work around the problem. The wives would actually overhear a couple of them complaining about Patrick the next day. Either way, it wasn’t very entertaining and you could tell the actors were not all pleased.
Tonight was actually Captains Night but we actually never noticed that advertised anywhere or if it was, we totally missed it. We walked out of the show and there were people everywhere in the lobby along with every important person on the ship waiting to be introduced. Wish we would have known (free champagne) but we wanted to get to dinner.
It was also at this time we noticed a passenger that became very hard NOT to notice throughout the cruise. A tall, young lady who always wore revealing dresses and would actually change about 2 or 3 times a night the wives would notice. We saw her on shore and somewhere else before the show and by this time the wives picked up on the fact that she had already changed into another dress, this one a bit more “elegant” I guess if you could call it that.
We ate later this night and we knew how the whole seating arrangement would work and everything flowed much better tonight. Service was even faster so not sure what happens with Carnival at first but it seems like it takes them a day/night to get things rolling but not sure why that would be. They actually gave all of us extra lobster who ordered lobster. Not sure why, we didn’t complain about it but it would turn out a bit later that they had our desserts all messed up and it was almost like they had to start over with our dessert order. Maybe they already knew ahead of time they had to make up for something. But actually, it was all fine, it didn’t take long to get it fixed. The lady we had this night was actually quite nice. Wish we could have had here throughout the cruise. Tonight we had entertainment in the form of one of the waiters singing Sweet Caroline. Of course everyone joined in on the chorus. Here is our crew crowding the railing looking down to watch the “show”.
We are not big foodies but this one looked so neat Heather had to take a picture of it.
After dinner, per usual, we all scattered our different directions. Adults went to comedy. The first show was packed with standing room only so we waited for the late show and got there early. There was actually a line again for the show. So we got in line, and sat down to play Wizard while we waited and wound up talking to an interesting couple from Florida so we didn’t get much Wizard in. Chris always loves talking to new people.
After the show we got a quick bite, went back to our rooms and I always like to take a late night stroll, especially when the next day is a sea day so Heather and I went for a walk around the top few decks.