Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cruising is HARD WORK!

And we are still recovering.

Repeating our previous year's early arrival at the cruise terminal - in order to get on the ship early and take full advantage of the lunch buffet - we found the boarding process had ground to a screeching halt. Seems that the ship had just returned that morning from a 6-day Bermuda cruise, and for some reason, the elevators and escalators in the terminal "weren't working", whatever that means. What it meant was that the departing passengers were agonizingly slow getting off, so we were stuck in the terminal.

Last year, by noon or so, we were on the boat and enjoying the bounty of culinary delights that await around every corner of the Lido Deck. Not so this time. We didn't get to the first round of overindulgence until about 2:30.

(Next morning's breakfast - all those plates belong to the tiny little niece. She had to be removed from the ship with a crane)

After that, until we pulled away, there was plenty of time to look at the harbor...

(The USS Wisconsin)

...and explore the ship...

(Would anyone really want to drink a cocktail made with soy milk?)

(The tiny room I shared with my friend)

...and the cruise that was supposed to depart at 4:30 didn't pull away from port until almost 6:00. Here are some scenes of our departure from the harbor:

(The Lido Deck, site of pools, bars, and FOOD!)

This is the trademark 'whale tail' of Carnival Lines. It has a railing about 4 feet up that we all climb up on every year. Best views on the whole ship, and I have pictures of us all up there, but our faces are all clearly visible, so I must refrain:

But here are all my traveling companions - their best sides anyway. From left - friend, friend, friend, niece, brother, BS:

Once the boat did start to move, the mood suddenly lightened, and the music playing on the Lido Deck inspired quite a few folks to burst into spontaneous dancing:

Then BS espied an old school chum from kindergarten all the way through high school. It was really quite a touching reunion:

As we left port, we saw some stuff that we don't see often. Views of the city from quite different vantage points:

(The world headquarters of PETA, which, even though some people insist it stands for 'People Eating Tasty Animals', really stands for 'People Embarrassing the Tidewater Area'. One of our greatest sources of pride.

Look at all those trains at the Lambert's Point coal piers. In 1930, the port of Hampton Roads became the largest point of coal shipping in the world. In September, 2005, Norfolk Southern reported that it had loaded "the billionth ton of coal at Lamberts Point's Pier 6, the largest coal-transloading terminal in the Northern Hemisphere.")

And let's not forget the largest Naval installation in the world, protecting your freedom 24 hours a day.

The crown jewel of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group

This is Fort Wool, sitting out there right in the middle of the harbor. It was very active during the Civil War:

A little later, we were treated to a breathtaking sunset:

Each evening, our cabin steward made us little towel critters. Seems none of our companions had such thoughtful cabin stewards. Nyah.

The water is VERY blue out at sea:

It was a rougher sea this year, and that, coupled with our full & taut bellies, made for some queasiness now and then.

I won a trophy at one of the trivia contests. It was a game of advertising slogans. The fact that I knew them all could be a sad commentary of my life, but it is really a game that I constantly play with BS, my sister, and my nephew - movie lines, slogans & jingles. No, really.

As for all the fun that we had on the ship...
What happens on the Fun Ship stays on the Fun Ship!

Next time, I think I would like to go on a cruise that, you know, like, actually goes somewhere.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Sounds like you had a fun time. Congrats on the trivia trophy.
Maybe Mr. Hawthorne and I will consider a cruise someday

xmaskatie said...

I almost had a heart attack when I read Rosie's comment!
I think I would need a room with a view, I suffer from closetaphobia.
My question is, would you recommend this cruise? Any negatives to consider?
Thanks for sharing.

Brother said...

Hello Kathy... such great photos! Actually the cabin steward did make our towels into cute critters as well! Bye!--Brother