Saturday, August 6, 2011

Four Days of Paradise: Our Cruise Ship Adventure

This would be a cruise of firsts. Our first porthole cabin, our first try at Your Time Dining, our first experience with Chef’s Table, our first Behind the Fun tour and our first cruise together without any children. I’m excited.

Sometimes the waiting period from booking to cruising seems like an eternity ... 111 days, seriously? Although the anticipation really is a lot of the fun for me.

We booked an ES rate back in April and sent in our FCC (purchased on the Carnival Splendor) for added OBC ... $50 since it’s a short cruise, woo hoo! In the upcoming months we would receive two price drops adding a nice little OBC fund for our adventures. Wow, that’s a lot of acronyms in that sentence. So, for you cruise newbies here’s the key: ES = Early Saver, FCC = Future Cruise Certificate, OBC = Onboard Credit.

Oh, let me introduce myself. I am Robin and I’m traveling with my wonderful hubby, Rod. We have five kids and a couple of cats ... we aren’t too old, but not too young either! We have been working really hard and like most people deserve a lovely three-month vacation ... but, we will gladly accept this shorter trip on the Paradise.

Living on the West Coast, our cruise destination options are somewhat limited. We just don’t have a lot of foreign Islands/Ports hanging around within reach like the East Coast has for a quick getaway. Our Baja Mexico itinerary, though, included a nice mix of port days and at sea days:

Monday — Long Beach - 4:30 p.m. Sail Away!
Tuesday — Catalina Island - 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday — Ensenada, Mexico - 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday — Fun Day at Sea
Friday — Long Beach - 8 a.m.

As I said earlier, the anticipation is a large part of the fun for me. This is where all of the planning and dreaming happens! So, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know I frequented the Port Cams often just waiting for the day it would be our turn.

The Paradise looked gorgeous sitting next to the Queen Mary when I snagged this shot from the Long Beach Port Cam, just a week before we were to embark. “Hello, lucky people!”

This trip journal will cover our experiences both onboard and off the Carnival Paradise as well as our pre-cruise adventure on the Queen Mary. Please feel free to ask any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them as best as I can.

Oh, I see there is 1 day left to cruise ... so we’d better get started.

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