We got home on Sunday night from our cruise and have spent the past two days feeling so sad that it’s over! I’ve already priced out multiple cruises and whined to some friends about being depressed that the vacation is finished. It was such a great time away and I am so excited to share our trip with you. Actually, I should say WE are so excited because Anson is going to help me blog about the cruise! So, sit back and get ready for daily posts about our time away on the beautiful Carnival Vista!
We only booked this cruise about five weeks out, so thankfully we didn’t have tons of time to wait before we headed out. The first few weeks seemed to crawl by at a snail’s pace, but then the week before the cruise was a whirlwind of packing, cleaning before we left and making sure the kids were ready for us to be gone. I made a hundred to-do lists (mostly cause I love lists!) and checked things off. It must’ve worked because we were packed and ready to go without rushing around like crazy when my in-laws arrived to stay with the kids.
We flew with American Airlines and were at the airport in plenty of time to grab some dinner and board with ease.
We were so excited about our trip that frankly, the flight felt perfect even though I’m sure it wasn’t! There were charging ports in the seat in front of us, loads of movies to watch and seemingly everyone on board was in a good mood. I watched a movie (and even cried a little because that’s what I do!) and a couple Netflix shows and suddenly, we were in Miami.
We got our luggage and after giving up on waiting for our hotel shuttle, we called an Uber to get us to the Hampton Inn and Suites by the airport. We arrived around 11 PM, so didn’t bother looking for a hotel close to the port. We checked in and crashed for the night eager to get on the ship the next day!
We got up on Saturday morning around 8 and after a quick breakfast called another Uber to take us to Walgreens. After getting a few things we thought we might need we headed for the ship. Carnival had emailed everyone a few days before saying that embarkation might be slow due to only one gangway being allowed because of some construction. We had priority boarding so we weren’t too concerned, but when we arrived there were literally no lines anywhere! We gave our luggage to the Porter and headed right onto the boat. I was really impressed with how quickly we got on!
The first place we headed was Guy’s Burgers on the Lido Deck. We had read and heard amazing things about it and didn’t want to miss out on a great burger!
We weren’t disappointed and definitely had a few more burgers during the week! Immediately after our burgers, we headed for the ice cream because unlimited soft serve 24/7 is basically one of the top 10 reasons to cruise.
After lunch, we sat around and waited for 1:30 when our room would be ready. The turn around time between guests on a cruise is so short, it’s really impressive that they get you into your rooms so quickly!
At promptly 1:29, the main doors to the hallway opened and we were allowed into our room. When we originally booked our cruise we chose an interior room knowing that it was the cheapest and we wouldn’t be hanging out in the room anyhow. A few days before the cruise, Carnival called asking if we wanted to upgrade to a Spa Balcony Room on Deck 14 for an upgrade charge. We thought about it for about 30 seconds and then agreed. With our room, not only did we get a balcony (instead of no porthole or window at all!), but we also had access to the spa’s thermal baths, lounging areas and steam rooms/saunas for the week. It was totally worth it!
After checking out our room, we headed for the safety briefing. In the past, we had to head outside and put on a life jacket for the drill, but this time, everyone headed to a different indoor location. We headed to the casino where we had to sit and wait for the people who thought they were too important for a safety drill. (I actually kinda loved that they called people out by name over the speakers to get them to come check in for the briefing.) I am not sure what happened but after sitting for about 15 minutes, we suddenly heard Matt (the cruise director) come on and say that that was the end of our drill. Perhaps a microphone was broken or someone dropped the ball, cause no one gave any type of instructions to our group! Oh, well…. we’ve all seen Titanic so I figured we would know what to do!
As soon as the safety briefing ended, we started pulling out of Miami! Anson and I headed for the adult’s only Serenity Deck to watch us sail away. There is nothing I love more than seeing the water and feeling the gentle rocking of the boat. As we pulled out of the port, it was like our vacation finally began!
We napped a little before our scheduled late dinner time of 8:15. Anson loves the scheduled dinner times because you always sit with the same people. In the past, it has been a completely positive experience and something we really enjoyed since we have been able to get to know new people and make friends! As we were led to our assigned table for the week, we were definitely disappointed when we saw it was a table for 2 (We love talking to each other, too. Promise!). As we were seated, it wasn’t long before a party of 4 was put at the table right beside us. The tables were so close that they were almost at our table and Anson immediately greeted them. It didn’t take more than a few sentences to realize that they definitely didn’t speak English and since we don’t speak Spanish, those potential friends were crossed off the list! We laughed about it because we purposely changed to a specific dinner time instead of the “choose your own time” for the express purpose of being able to meet people! Oh, the irony!
After a delicious dinner of which I took no pictures, we wandered around the ship trying to get our bearings before calling it an early night.
Tomorrow would be our first full sea day and we had big plans that included eating brunch, lying in the sun and napping. Oh, and hopefully snagging one of these loungers….