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Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Cruise

A few years ago Edward and his Riverside friends went on a short cruise to Mexico on Royal Caribbean. They found a really good deal and had a great time. All they could talk about was the delicious, fancy food. So when Edward found a similarly good deal on a Carnival cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico we decided to try it. So Dave, Edward, I shelled-out about $350 each for a three day trip--not bad, right?

I was too busy before we left to pre-register us so we were pretty unsure of where to board the ship (we just knew it was next to the Queen Mary) or even how long before departure we should arrive. I did know, however, that boarding opened at 1:30pm. I tried to call to find all this out the day before the cruise departed--Christmas day--but the Carnival hotline was unmanned that day (which is weird since there are cruises that depart on Christmas). Normally I'm totally on top of things like this, printing out all the necessary paperwork, getting directions, etc. But not this time. Fall quarter was totally crazy this year and I just didn't have the wherewithal to get it done. Luckily for us we got there in time (we left Livermore at 6am to drive south) and had no problem boarding.

First things first--when I think of going on a cruise (not that I'd ever been on one before) I think FOOD. All-you-can-eat, available anytime, scrumptious food that you can't stop thinking about. As Edward put it, you think about what will be offered for dinner the whole day. So the first thing we did was eat lunch at the buffet while all the rest of the people boarded. Then we checked out our tiny room (but it had a large window), which had the most comfortable beds in the world--trust me when I say this: we slept a lot on this cruise. Why did we sleep so much? Because we had food coma and there wasn't all that much to do. We went to everything on the ship that had free cocktails since we were too cheap to buy any ourselves. And we went to the cabaret and comedy shows of course.

There was a mini-golf course on the upper deck that we messed around on a bit--it was so cold and windy that it was hard to play (the ball kept blowing around).
I guess most cruises have lots of classes, shows, and other fun things to do all the time. This one was a small ship and was only 3 days long so it was a little boring. And the food was only okay. Nothing to look forward to at all.

When we got to Ensenada we just walked off the ship and wandered around the town for a couple of hours. Dave bought me a pretty ring since my engagement/wedding set is damaged right now. (The jeweler who designed it for us is in Concord so it'll take a while for me to drive back and forth to get it repaired.) Then we got some drinks and enjoyed the sunshine until it was time for free sushi on the ship (we were very food motivated on this trip...).

My favorite part of the cruise was the delight of finding towel animals in our room every day. Seriously, they were so cute!

So overall it wasn't a bad cruise--it just wasn't a spectacular cruise like we were expecting. It was pretty clear by the end of the trip that Carnival cruise line is a budget cruise line. For the same price you can find a Royal Caribbean cruise and you'd get a lot more out of it.

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