Friday, August 12, 2011

Hey, who switched off the Fun Button?

There isn’t anything sadder than waking up on Debarkation Day.

So, the night before we were given the option to pack and place our bags outside the door for Carnival to carry our bags off or keep our bags and self-debark. Given the time we finished with Chef’s Table (and all that free-flowing wine) the decision really was no longer up to us ... we would keep all our bags and self-debark. Which would have been fine if I had at least started packing the bags that day.

It was the crack of 7 a.m. when that annoying noise came over the P.A. system (I don’t remember announcements being annoying during the cruise). “Those choosing to Self-Debark are requested to do so at this time ... blah, blah, blah” I got up and was immediately hot (where did all the air conditioning go?). I walked through the cabin and felt the first pang of stress (where is that happy, warm fuzzy feeling?).

I honestly believe there is some large lever or button down at the bottom of the ship that is labeled ‘FUN’ and it’s one crewmembers job to switch it ON at Embarkation and switch it OFF at Debarkation. Clearly it is held in a highly classified area because I didn’t spot it at all during the Behind the Fun Tour ... and I looked.

Enter frenzied shower and packing and somehow we were off the ship within the hour.

Goodbye Towel Animal friends ... I will miss you!

Final Thoughts 

This was a cruise of firsts. Our first Port Hole Cabin ... I would book it again. The best part (besides the price) was being on the Empress Deck. I would book an Ocean View over the Port Hole if that was the only way to get on that deck. I liked the location that much.

Our first try at Your Time Dining ... I will do it again, depending on the type of cruise we are taking. For example, our Alaska cruise next May will find us with Your Time Dining because we don’t want to miss a thing from our balcony (I wouldn’t be surprised if some dinners were from the Lido that trip!) But, I will do Traditional Dining again. I just really love the pomp & circumstance of it all ... and the singing waiters!

Our first Behind the Fun Tour ... DH wants to see the Bridge from every class ship, so we now have a checklist. I enjoyed the tour a lot and am humbled by the inner workings of our great cruise.

Our first Chef’s Table ... What an extraordinary experience! Yes, we will absolutely do Chef’s Table again. In fact, hubby wants to reserve it for every cruise.

Our first cruise together without kids ... Rod and I had a great time this cruise. We love the kids (please don’t get us wrong) but we needed this time away together. Thank you, hubby!

And one last first ... this has been my first cruise review! I had a great time sharing our cruise with you. I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope I have answered some questions you may have about the Carnival Paradise. The Paradise is leaving Long Beach and relocating to Tampa. To those of you in Tampa ... you are getting a beautiful ship. We look forward to the Inspiration coming to Long Beach to take her place. Thank you all again for following!

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