Paradise Followed Us to Florida Day 4

Today was another day at sea and this is what made this itinerary so perfect for a short cruise. We had our usual room service breakfast at about 7 a.m. – I didn’t sleep well at all the previous night – my knee was really hurting due to all of those stairs. At the time, it didn’t hurt at all and I could easily climb the stairs. But stairs are probably the worse thing for arthritic knee. I’ve worked up to walking all over Disney for several hours at a time so I was surprised that my knee would hurt so much on the cruise. We did get some BenGay in the ship’s gift shop, but even that didn’t help that much.

We continued to sit out on our Verandah after our breakfast, sip our coffee, check in with the pet sitter and enjoy the photos of our kitties. Later in the morning, we got dressed for the pool, stopped off at the Grill and had a second breakfast – ham, bacon, potatoes, sausage, etc. This was the first we’d eaten there for breakfast on this cruise.

Then we snagged a couple of chaises by the eating area, but after a few minutes, decided it was too boring. It was about 10:15 and the band wouldn’t start until 11:00. So we made our way to the Serenity Deck, knowing that all chaises would be taken – and they were.

Relaxing on the Pool Deck

We put down our stuff and got in the hot tub to soak. Rich spied two people from Tampa getting up, so he got out and snagged the chaises. We sunned ourselves and it was getting quite hot by then and noticed people cooling off in the outdoor shower so we did the same.

The Lovely Aft Serenity Deck

Then Rich went inside to get a couple of drinks from the bar since there was no bar service in the serenity area. These were delicious. And while I didn’t snap a pic of those drinks, here’s a pic of the “Drink of the Day” on the first day at sea.

Drink of the Day – First Day at Sea

Around noon, we headed back to the cabin with a stop for cookies (our favorite sweet on Carnival). Needing some private time away from the crowds, we ordered room service for lunch. Rich had a steak and cheese sandwich with potato salad and I had a caesar salad with shrimp and potato salad. Then it was nap time, wake-up Diet Coke out on the verandah. Here’s a pic of just part of this large verandah, where we spent so much time.

What Cruising is All About for Us

The one big production show was scheduled for this night – the first show was at 7 p.m. – so we dressed for dinner and arrived at the Elation Dining Room a few minutes before opening at 5:45 p.m. What a crowd every night – so many early diners on this cruise, but, then, there were so many passengers from neighboring towns in Tampa Bay (like those called “Heaven’s waiting room”). We chatted with a party of 4 retired folks and were seated next to them to our left and two women were seated on our right. The older folks were far more interesting – lol!

This was the best meal of the cruise. I had the delicious crab cake for an appetizer (had apple in it), Rich had French onion soup, which was also delicious, he tells me. Rich ordered the spring chicken with potato gratin (his favorite potatoes on Carnival and what he’d been looking forward to the whole cruise, although they called it “diced potatoes.”) I had the seafood pasta and another caesar salad, although by the third time, it was losing its appeal. We each had a glass of Murphy Goode Merlot. For dessert, we both had a slice of Baked Alaska. It was a very satisfying meal.

We made our way to the show lounge for one of the best shows at sea – Shout! It was awesome! We sat in a booth on the side and were able to clap, dance, and shout along with other “Boomers” who joined us when they saw our participation. But I felt like I was the only one moving and dancing to the “Surf City” music – well, most people from Tampa are from the midwest and I, of course, am a Southern California girl.

For the first time on the cruise (besides seeing “Cyn and Cary”), I felt connected to home. I’d thought that if we sailed on the same ship we’d sailed out of Long Beach on, that I would feel the connection in Tampa. Not so. The same feelings overcame me that overcame me back when we lived in Tampa – fish out of water – and felt totally cut off being out to sea with all of these Tampa people. Then I knew why we hadn’t moved back to Tampa and why Orlando would always be our “place” in Florida – so many more Californians in Orlando. So perhaps we’d cruised too soon after our move here, or maybe next time we’ll cruise from the other side of the state, because I was starting to feel really lonely. However, the music really helped! It was an awesome show!

Feeling Happy and Relaxed at Sea

We returned to our cabin and packed our suitcase and put it outside between the required times of between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Our Comfy, Cozy Bed with Turndown Service

Our Favorite Towel Animal

The next morning we ate breakfast for the first time in the dining room. It was “open seating” but, of course, they sat us at a round table of 12, which was actually rather interesting. Big enough to not feel on the spot about carrying the conversation but not awkward like a rectangular table for 10 I once had for an entire cruise. 🙂

Rich had the sliced bananas that I’d raved about since my first cruise in 1982 (and they lived up to their reputation), raisin bran, and some hash. I also ordered the hash but with 2 eggs over easy and we shared an order of toast, and coffee, of course.

We waited in the library for our priority disembarkation (the same place we waited in on our Long Beach cruise) and then we were off the ship, through customs, and off to the valet desk where we drove home, picked up Buddy at the vet, and home, sweet, home where our other kitties awaited us. After the cruise, we felt even more connected to the Orlando area and are looking forward to getting even more settled.

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer

One thought on “Paradise Followed Us to Florida Day 4

  1. Larry says:

    Sounds like a lovely cruise, though not without moments to ponder. Your pictures of each other are special, and now I know why!


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