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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our 1st Cruise - Carnival Cruise

Finally getting onboard!


The cruise was supposed to be 4d/3n from Long Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico departing at 5.30pm on Friday and back on Monday at 8am. But nobody can do anything when mother nature strikes. We had a severe storm the week approaching to our weekend trip so the ship that was supposed to come in at 8am on Friday, didn't until 4pm. That means our cruise was pushed back. With the late checking-in and all, we finally got onboard around 8pm or 9pm. And boy were we tired! Went straight to the room to freshen up and then dinner. There was nothing much to do since the ship was still docked at LB Port. The club was close for private function ie wedding so we decided to just call it a night. I woke up around midnight and peeked at the window only to see that we're still docking. lol.

Waiting for breakfast

The next morning we got up pretty early around 6am and decided to find something to eat. Unfortunately breakfast wasn't fully served until 7am so we explored the ship to find out what is where. The ship is huge but not obscenely huge. I guess that is why it's used for short cruises. They do have 'basic' amenities to keep passengers occupied like different restaurants, pubs/clubs, casino, theater (not a movie theater), duty-free shop, gym, spa and kid's activity room. When it comes to food, we both agreed the foods at cafeteria is much better than at the formal dining rooms.

1 of the smoking sections

The cruise cost us around USD800 for seaview room and food, coffee, juices, water all included. You would have to pay for soda and alcohol. It is cheaper to buy the alcohol coupon online through their website and have it sent to your room. Any drink bought onboard will be charged an additional 15% gratuity and that includes bottled water. Everybody is allowed to bring either soda/water but there is a maximum that you can bring. Check their (Carnival) website for details or you can always call their representatives. We brought a six-pack soda and put it in our luggage so we don't have to carry it with us and a water bottle that we just refill. It is advisable to bring water or an extra water bottle that you can refill since a liter bottle cost around $4.

Every morning they would give you the daily activities and time schedule so you can plan your activities. My advise is, read them! You'd want to know where you want to eat and what since they have Taste of the Nation/World everyday at the cafeteria and the food changes. They would also have the show's time and what's going on on different part of the ship be it karaoke, champagne/art/jewellery auctions or hairy-chest competition! :P

View from our breakfast table

I'm in Mexico!

Because of the delay, we only stopped at the Ensenada, Mexico on Sunday instead of Saturday. Our plan was to go for the atv ride but apparently it was cancelled due to the mud no thanks to the heavy rain prior to our cruise. Going for the excursions is not cheap. The bus ride alone would cost you USD15/pp each way. Since I am very frugal, we just walked around the small tourist town near the port.

At America Bar, another smoking section

You know it!

Emergency briefing at the deck on Level 10

All in all the cruise was worth it and enjoyable. It is very convenient since LB Port is only 15min drive from our place and we can just park our car at the carpark building which cost 15/day.

The 1 thing that I was not happy about was getting off the ship. There were 2 lanes and Michael was already queuing on 1 lane and I joined him later only to find out at the front that it was for US citizen only. Apparently for cruises, GC holders are supposed to queue at the non-citizen lane unlike at the airport and non of the ground crew said anything. So I had to go all the way back, and it was a long one on the non-citizen lane. Nope, I was not happy at all. Ground crew was not as good as the onboard crew and I did express my dissatisfaction. Only then they started announcing the 2 different lanes.

So that was our 1st cruise experience. Should anybody ask if I would recommend Carnival Cruise, I would definitely say yes!

Scottish Band