Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Welcome to Santa Catalina Island!

The ship dropped anchor at Santa Catalina Island sometime before 7:30 a.m. I know this for a fact because from where we were it sounded like we had run into something. I really don’t mind noises on the ship, in fact I actually like all the different sounds you hear. Besides, dropping anchor makes for a great wake-up call.

So does ordering breakfast from room service the night before.

Right around 8 a.m. we received a much-welcomed knock on the door and lo and behold *key the grand music* there was breakfast. A word of caution - every number you place by a food item on the room service order form produces a covered plate. We had seven covered plates ... most of which was fruit! I wish I had taken a photo of the breakfast tower because it was quite impressive how it filled our little room.

I then took what will now and forever be known as the ‘Best Shower Ever.’ *key more dramatic music here*

The steady and powerful stream of water just couldn’t be beat. I don’t remember having such a memorable shower experience on any of my other cruises. Maybe it’s just the showers on the Paradise. Or maybe it had to do with being the very front cabin, and I was simply taking all the water pressure from the rest of the ship. Whatever it was ... that shower rocked!

Time to head off the ship! Catalina is a tender port and we were all advised to not leave between 10 and 11 a.m. because the tenders would be the busiest. So, what time did we leave? Yes, we left at 10:20! So, of course there was a line. But, really it wasn’t all that bad and it did keep moving.

Before we knew it we were on our tender and speeding away from the Carnival Paradise.

 Bye, Paradise!

Hello, Catalina!

We didn’t have an excursion planned for Catalina. We have been there quite a few times and just wanted to venture off on our own. It’s an easy port to do that, though I will say Carnival had some interesting shore excursions offered. Once you get off the tender there are also plenty of options for tours available. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants. It’s a pretty cool port.

Golf Carts and a Casino

The most common mode of transportation on Catalina would have to be the Golf Carts. There are really no cars (maybe a handful) and everyone who lives here travels by golf cart. How fun is that? You can also rent a golf cart to tool around the island by the hour. So what happens when you put a family of tourists in a golf cart?

Who’s watching the road?

We didn’t rent a golf cart this time around, but we have in the past and they are a lot of fun. It’s amazing how much land you can cover in an hour. Though Rod says I have a lead foot and that I’m a crazy golf cart driver ... maybe that explains it.

Instead, we opted to walk along the water towards the Casino. The Casino is the most recognizable landmark in Catalina, for sure. And for those who have never been there before - it isn’t the type of Casino you are probably thinking of. There is no gambling there.

The Casino was built by Wrigley (yes, the gum guy) in the late 1920s as a place for the locals to gather. The building houses both a large ballroom as well as a movie theater. There is also a museum inside.

The Art Deco styling of the 20s and 30a can be seen in all the details of the Casino.

The details are really pretty. The tiling was intricate and had murals portraying underwater scenes.

They show movies in the theater late afternoon and evening. One day, we’d like to be able to see a movie there. The theater is quite large and ornate. Watching a movie in there would be an event.

We stepped behind the Casino to have a look at the harbor. Yes, there goes those golf carts again! These guys kept going back and forth behind DH. I’m not sure if they ever made it out of there. Now, that we are here ... what's that Rod's working on?

Another photo of us, of course!

Here are a few more photos before we head back to the ship!

Hey, there's the ship!

Behind the Casino and down this walkway is another beach area.

Catalina must really love their pigeons!

Carnival -- to the right for the Tenders.

Time to board the Tender and head back to the ship ... I'm hungry for lunch!

No comments:

Post a Comment