Carnival Spirit: The Rest of the First Day
After we fully unpacked (iron law!), it was time to explore. Exploring! Yay! How about finally joining the throngs up on the Lido deck?

The elevator dropped us off in front of the spa. I have already gone on and on about how amazing the special spa facilities were on Splendor. The thalassotherapy pool. The aromatic steam room. The heated tile recliners in the sauna. The fresh-fruit-and-water relaxation area. The rasul ("couples mud lounge") room that we didn't book, but which I will use as a bargaining chip if Mike continues to try to talk me into scooping another ladle up of beans and rice and planning to cruise on Splendor again. Heck, you can read my whole love letter to Splendor's spa and spa cabins here.

But otherwise, we're not spa people. At all. We didn't even step inside of the spa on Elation. (The spa personnel standing out front on the first day put us too much in mind of timeshare vultures.) But, we heard that Spirit had a very nice hot tub inside of the spa, one for adults only, but seldom visited even by them.


So, instead of following the current aftward to the vittles, I said to Mike, "How about we tour the spa?" I wanted us to get comfortable with the lay of the land right away, so if we did feel like hottubbing, we'd not hold ourselves back out of not wanting to wander around one extra step more than we had to, on unflattering display in swimming gear. (Possibly "we" is "I.")

There were about eight of us on the "tour," and it was kind of interesting, even though we didn't care about tooth whitening or pedicures or how to cure irritable bowel syndrome with acupuncture. On the other tour, on Splendor, it was just the two of us, so when we got to the fitness area and were both completely disinterested, a few awkward turtles swam part. This time, though, while everyone stubbed their toes in the carpet and waited for the speakers to finish, I brightly chirped responses to all of the trainer's questions. "What's on at 2:30? SECRETS TO A FLATTER STOMACH!!!!" Okay, maybe a little too brightly, but it moved things along a shade faster, if just a shade.

As we were led from room to room of spa technicians and their "models" (with Mike eventually hanging back in the hallway, establishing a clear "I'm the agreeable husband in tow here, nothing else" position), my favourite part had to be the seaweed wrap. Upon request, we dutifully each held out a hand, which the technician coated in fragrant green muck, and then she stuck a little piece of shiny foil on top. A sampling!

I have to say - that seaweed spackle? Took me right back. Right back to whatever scents they use in Splendor's aromatherapy steam room. "Mike, sniff my hand!" I couldn't stop giving it another whiff. Ahhh.

But after the tour was over (the hot tub spotted, the ladies' changing room pinpointed, the locker procedure - apparently you ask at the desk for a key? - noted). when we were sitting in a booth on the Lido deck, I realized that I had no idea what was supposed to happen next.

Carnival Spirit - Seaweed Wrap Tour

Was it "done"? Did I just peel and wash? Massage off and rinse? And what does it supposedly do?

All of the lovely smells coming from my fist were harshly quelled by the hand sanitizer I used to (eventually) get off all the goop. The Lido deck was still crazy, and after one full loop (and one of only three trips I made near the aft pool all trip), I didn't want to swim the criss-crossing crowds to the wash my hands again.

Carnival Spirit - Lido Buffet Seating (Non-Boothy Area)

Not to keep talking about my ex, but I will, for I still love her so, but Splendor had the greatest booths in the Lido dining area. Located by the windows and separated by partitions, it elevated the eating experience from "tasteful food court" (Elation) to "Denny's, if done right and including a majestic view." So, we were sad when we saw photos online like the one above. Very open plan, very get in and get out, etc. (Obviously that shot was taken well into the cruise at an off-peak time.)

But we also, in just one photo out of the entire (super-skimmed) Internet, saw a glimpse of something else. Booths? Sure enough:

Carnival Spirit - Lido Buffet Booths

And this is where we had our first meal. (Actually, it was on the other side, further back. I don't know why I always have to elaborate on these things.) We didn't spend a lot of time on Lido this trip, even though the quality of the buffet food was perhaps better than the last two cruises, but these booths were usually our preferred spots.

Drawback: they are right next to the passenger freeway. Spirit may only be a matter of feet narrower than Splendor, but at times like this we felt every missing inch. The booths are good, but a table by the window is far pleasanter when it's busy.

Carnival Spirit - Deli Sandwiches

I said that the buffet was perhaps the best yet on Spirit, but this did not extend to the deli or the pizza.

Above are our sandwiches for our first Spirit meal. Mike's is mostly gone because a) I was wandering around, getting us two rounds of lemonade and trying to sort out my seaweed hand, and b) he eats too fast when he's hungry. Mine - my usual reuben without the corned beef (or "toasted swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and dressing" for those who couldn't wrap their heads around a meatless reuben) was okay, but not quite as good as the past two trips. Couldn't quite figure out why.

Later, when every sandwich was far worse than this one (one laughably so, but that's another story), I realized it was because the sandwich maker was hardly pressing down on the press. This reuben was okay, but subsequent sandwiches were lucky to have grill marks, and they certainly didn't have that "squished, toasted, and tied up with a ribbon" taste that would always leave me pining for sandwiches during the post-cruise blues.

The pizza... yuck. Inedible. But that will also be another post. (I find I have a lot to say about pizza lately, especially the wars between different styles.)

So, this was the part of the afternoon where I ventured aloud that I was a little... disappointed?

No, wrong word. Of course, once it was past my lips, there was no taking it back. Mike worried. I reassured. No, no, not disappointed, just... erm... well, not disappointed in the "I won't have as much fun!" sense. I was totally ready for fun!

Fun! Fun! Despite the small-feeling room with its motelish window, the crackling paint and rattling cupboards, the "reduced fat chocolate ice milk powdered mix" cartons prominently on display as crew refilled the ice cream machine (I'll never get why everyone on the discussion boards is so crazy about 24/7 soft-serve), and the press of some many people rushing past... and the fact that I seemed to be about to die from lemonade poisoning. Dang if that stuff isn't extra-sweet sometimes.

We wandered to the library/internet cafe to see what the raffle for free online time was about. (Oh, you had to buy minutes to enter. Lame.) Of the three cruises, the Elation still wins for best library, in the classic sense. It's really lovely, a super place to curl up with a book. Splendor has an awful library. The selection may be okay, but the room is subpar with an weak "Alexandria" theme. Might as well call the cramped space a card room and be done with it. Spirit's library, which I seem to have forgotten to capture on pixelloid, is very attractive in dark woods, neat in layout, and seems well-stocked, but it is not a place to hang out for long. Its main focus is the bank of computers in the middle. Still, I prefer it to Splendor's tiny disaster, although I miss the spaciousness of the Mark Twain library on Elation. One thing Spirit does very well is making the games room completely separate - all in all, of the three, Spirit probably has the most sensible and becoming layout for meeting everyone's needs.

Then we sat for a moment in the Pharaoh's Palace, which has all of the themeing that I miss from the Luxor here in Las Vegas. (Did you know that all of the Luxor's discarded Egyptian themery is now part of a display at the Natural History Museum? Don't laugh - the reproductions were made at great expense in close conjunction with the Egyptian government. The exhibit is on our to-do list. Luxor is not. Why go, now?)

Madame Recluse here was ready for a break.

So we went back to the room, now looking much more inviting. Mmm, king-sized bed.

We weren't in the room for long before it was time for Muster Drill. All hands to Deck 3!

Mike at Muster Drill - No Lifejacket

Sorry, it's just called the "Safety Briefing" now. Carnival recently changed the policy so that lifejackets aren't required, so no more photos of Mike's head in an orange frame. I noticed that on John Heald's blog, someone recently commented that they had a hard time seeing or hearing what was happening during the muster drill. John seemed very concerned, but my first thought was, "as usual, no?"

One, people can't STFU. They just can't. I don't know why. It's no longer even satisfying to point at older people and say, "this is why the kids in the classroom won't shut up." It's too true. Even if it's not clueless full-volume talking, all of those whispers add up.

However, it's hard to change people (including me), so maybe Carnival needs to think about microphones. (The intercom just isn't clear and immediate enough.)

Two, you can't see the people doing the demonstration at all. I'm a fairly average 5'6" and always end up in the back (because we arrive on time, dognammit), and it's a mystery to me what's happening five rows up, even if everyone in front of me is around my height. It doesn't help that people can't disengage from their chat-partners long enough to line up in recognizable lines. I think platforms for the crew to stand on may be in order? Actually, the goings-on aren't a total mystery, because on Elation our muster station was around the Lido stage, so everyone just kicked it in deck chairs and watched the show, while those on lower decks were led in small parades to visit their lifeboats.

Three, I'm not actually complaining, because I have already paid attention to the muster station location and letter, the exit map, and the lifejacket locations. I feel comfortable. But that commenter is right - many people can't really see, and some people can't really hear, and Carnival should perhaps acknowledge the less easy to manage aspects of crowd control and consider using platforms and (possibly) microphones.

Oosterdam (pronounced OH-sterdam and not OO-sterdam, despite how much fun it is to say the latter) was having her "naked" muster drill at the same time, but we finished first. Back to the room to take photos of the Holland America ship and get ready for sail away!

(Impatiently, we decided to take the steps. After the third flight, I began to wonder how I would ever survive the "Behind the Fun" tour. After the fourth flight, all of my brain cells were being used to lift my leg one. more. step. Sigh.)

Oosterdam - Logo

Now I got my dancing-foot excitement back on while playing on the balcony, alternating between twirls and photos of the Oosterdam. (Later, after the ABBA dance class, I really put the balcony to the test in terms of choreography.)

Oosterdam - Check Out Those Loungers

Are those lounge chairs padded? With cushions? Those bastards!

Oosterdam - Balconies

And is that a potted plant I see? And wicker balcony chairs?

Oosterdam in San Diego

Okay, so I find that black paint job more severe than stately, but other than that, the Oosterdam looks pretty darn nice. I wonder if the people waving back at us as we sailed away were chuckling and feeling sorry for the Carnival riffraff across the way. "I say, Thurston. That chap isn't even wearing an ascot with his blazer. Pagans."

Seriously, I'd love to try several of the other cruise lines, and maybe someday I will wake up with a vision clouded only by the sure-thing dollar signs in my eyes, but until then, we will stay with Carnival, at least so long as the price beckons. (Also, even though Carnival owns Holland America, and Princess, and P&O, and Cunard for pity's sake, cruises on the other lines don't count toward platinum status. I need platinum Carnival status, and if there's anything that's going to make me change my mind about inside cabins, it might be getting to platinum by racking up seven quick weekend cruises at an inside rate. Oh, we were fools not to make even more of last summer's swine flu rates!)

Sailing Away from San Diego

Goodbye, San Diego! See you in eight days!

Ronald Reagan - Nimitz Class Carrier

Goodbye, recently returned Nimitz aircraft carrier! Goodbye, Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier!

And so on, as we passed all the spots I took photos of last time, although maybe more velvety seals on buoys, and we squinted behind us as we left the bay, barely able to make out the shadow of the Oosterdam following us.

Now what?

We opt to enjoy the balcony and just relaxing, skipping Cool Island Sounds, Country Music, the Spa Raffle (this "must be present to win" stuff in an essentially closed environment is patootie, and again, a bit too much like a slick sales push - but I guess this also ensures that only the people who will appreciate it the most will win? But what about those who just need the push of a free treatment to get hooked?), Family Karaoke Party, Golf Information, Variety Music, Jazz Music, Guess the Price of the Painting (oh, I have a whole post coming just about the Park West auctioneers), the PIN setup session for the casino, the Meet Your Entertainment Staff gathering (at this point, entertainment staff were still faceless entities to us), Ultimate Mind Game (considered it, but still too busy relaxing), Free Gaming Lessons (as the voice whispered to Homer Simpson, "it means gambling," Gym Orientation, Cocktail music, "A Sale You Can Sip On (21 and Over)," Variety Music again, Alcoholics Anonymous, Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgendered (I love how it's "Friends of Bill" then "Friends of Dorothy" right underneath - does anyone ever naively think that maybe Bill and Dorothy are a couple that booked this cruise with their friends, but then they separated, and now they're going out of their way to avoid each other as much as possible while making their friends take sides, right down to scheduling this in the capers? Bring Love Boat back, I've got something here!), and all of the youth-oriented programs (not because we're kid-haters, but because kids get their very own and seemingly very cool "no adults allowed" stuff to do, right down to their own nightclubs)... until it was three hours later, and I said...

"Why don't we go to this 'British Pub Trivia' before heading over to dinner?"

"What time does it start?"


When is dinner?"

"8:15. We can always leave the trivia early."


As convenient as our room was (at least to what we ended up caring about), we sure got turned around a lot, trying to follow our muscle memories from the past two cruises. (Right up until the last sea day, I was still pressing the "up" button on the elevators when leaving the Lido deck.)

The Shanghai Bar, where British Pub Trivia was taking place, was a straight-shot down to the third floor, just behind the fountain staircase. (For some reason, the fountain was non-operational for the duration of our cruise.) Even so, we still were a little wobbly on directions, getting to see the library/internet cafe again and peeking at the chapel before finding our way there.

Once inside the Shanghai Bar, we grabbed a booth in the back, curious but not especially committed.

Carnival Spirit - Shanghai Bar - Mike Ready for First Pub Trivia

We played trivia once on Splendor. It was something of a let down. First, it was held in the cigar bar, so it was hard to breathe. Second, the host wasn't very personable, and he nervously said that his answers were final, whether they were true or not, which made for some frustration when they weren't. How are we to have a chance at guessing your wrong answer? Third, and most importantly, the family next to us was surreptitiously cheating on their smartphone. I hate to be vulgar here, but if you're cheating at cruise ship trivia with your smartphone, then you are a fucker. You just are. This includes your children, too, because with that kind of example, it's only a matter of time.

As I'm sure I mentioned in the last trip report, on the last day of the cruise, these fuckers (once the word is out there, might as well get full value) tied for the "Win a Cruise" bingo. You could tell they were very tense and wanted it very badly. So, imagine my reaction when...


Yes, I am a terrible person for finding any glee in this, but I'm just trying to keep the world fucker-free. And I guess this proves that the Sorting Hat would put me in Ravenclaw, because when people joke about cheating at trivia on the Cruise Critic boards, I turn puce and start hollering about SCHOLARLY INTEGRITY, PEOPLE! Then I imagine people (fuckers) saying, "Shari, geez, it's just a game," and then I imagine emphasizing (not yelling, just emphasizing) that "This! Is! The! Point! It's a game. Why cheat and spoil it?" And then I imagine those people in their cheatypants not getting it, and then I look at the unseen camera like I'm Wil Ferrell in Zoolander and shout, "Am I taking crazy pills?!" Then I eat some chocolate before I need some actual crazy pills, and congratulations America, I just solved the obesity epidemic. Segregation between the perpetually stupid and the unapologetically sensitive - guaranteed to work better than Jenny Craig.

Okay, so, anyway, the upshot of our lone, lousy trivia experience on Splendor was that our expectations were set very low. People might cheat. Answers might be wrong. Hosts might not care. But we were on a cruuuuuuuise, so it's all good, it's all good.

And then it became kind of great.

British Pub Trivia, as presented by the fun and funny Sam (himself of England), is a mix of twenty British and American questions. The compulsive, data gathering and sharing nerd in me wants to go through all of the answer slips (of course I saved them) and show off where Mike and I excelled, what distant brain-ping led to some lucky answers, where we were clueless, and mostly bounce up-and-down all over again because this was so fun, which is why I don't want to give out any spoilers. Everyone was nice, everyone played fairly, and the questions were sufficiently challenging without being cruel. One of the reasons I hate all sports is because I've so rarely been exposed to a demonstration of truly friendly competition, but here it was, and I was in it. This was perfect trivia, where you are genuinely pleased to learn something even if you don't win.

Except we did win.

Carnival Spirit - Mike After First Pub Trivia Game

That's Mike holding our oversize can of Boddington's beer, a glass, and a bottle of champagne with a medallion around the neck and a "ship on a stick" stuck on top."

Well, you would've thought we were both crowned prom queen. With three minutes until dinner, we stopped exclaiming and reliving the moment - the moment we've surely been training for all of our lives - of having all of this extraneous head cabbage pay off, and Mike bolted upstairs to drop off our goodies. Somewhere along the elevator ride he found a taker for the beer, but we decided to keep the champagne. (It's champagne. You don't have to be a drinker to revel in its proud-necked symbolism of success.)

And with extra skip in our step, we tra-la-la'd along the Atlantic Deck toward the upper floor of the Empire dining room.

This would be a good spot for a photo, except I didn't take one of the queue. I suppose the wait was under 15 minutes, but the line snaked around into the photo gallery, and we made a note to arrive a little early or a little late next time. (Since we had our own table - our own table! - we didn't have to worry about inconveniencing our table mates.)

This first night, we took the wrong way around and had to wedge past waiters and big circular tables at the end of the ship, but soon enough we were there, at our perfect table, the table of our fervent, shameless dreams.

Carnival Spirit - Mike in Empire Room

Per its name, the dining room (there is only one) is done up in the style of early 19th century France. I found it more memorable than Elation's and more elegant than Splendor's, although those ships had lovely rooms as well. (The big round balls, meant to be "pearls," on Splendor were always a little too toy-like for my taste.) As you can see, we had an excellent view of the entire room and the length of the lower level below. Beautiful.

Carnival Spirit - Table 415

That's when the Hungarian man came.

Our waiter, Zoltan, of Hungary and soon to be back there (as I write this, he is a week away from retiring from Carnival, and you must trust me that right now you should be a tiny bit miserable that your last chance to meet him in his professional capacity is gone), was probably the best waiter I have ever encountered in my life, and for all of my kvetching, I've met some good ones.

We didn't get to know Zoltan's assistant because Zoltan himself was always here, there, and everywhere - not unlike John Turturro's character in the Mr. Deeds remake - but after a few days the assistant was replaced with Mile from Serbia, who appeared at our table to begin the meal with a selection of bread. There was actual panic in Mike's voice: "Where's Zoltan?"

Despite that rough start, we came to treasure Mile just as much as we did Zoltan. And as tempting as it is to book our next cruise on whichever ship John Heald is calling home, if we had all the money in the world, we'd follow Mile around for awhile, like a couple of deadheads. Breadheads, you might say.

And then we'd go to Hungary and find Zoltan and give him half of all of this money in the world, because he was "really something special." (To quote what he said about the warm cinnamon and fig cake, served with rum raisin ice cream.)

However, this is just the first night, and we are only just starting dinner, so we don't know any of these things yet. (Like, the endearing way that Zoltan always playfully twitched the bread tongs like crab pincers or Edward Scissorhands.)

Carnival Spirit - My Fave Bread

I love that I've reached a level of Carnival geekery where I can claim a favourite type of bread stick of theirs. The one shown above is especially aromatic with herbs. Nom nom.

Carnival Spirit - Empire Room (Looking Down)

A slanted view of the lower level of the dining room. Imagine the flame war we could start if this was uploaded to any popular cruise discussion board. (Man with baseball cap, seven o'clock!) But I'm too fuzzily warmed by our cruise memories to start trouble.

Carnival Spirit - Heart of Iceberg Salad

Mike's Heart of Iceberg Salad. He loves Carnival's balsamic vinaigrette. Toward the end of the cruise, he couldn't get any at lunch, and the waitress said it was because they were out. Oh, the sadness. (Right up there with when the ship ran out of Mr. Pibb, sometime after the second or third day.)

But Zoltan, being so incredible, said this was nonsense, and Mike's final dinner (not that we're there yet, I'm just saying) was complete with the deliciously peppery vinaigrette. (Alas, even Zoltan could not make the Mr. Pibbs reappear. I toured the soda stockroom and everything during the Behind the Fun tour, and saw the empty spot where the cans should be, but again - another story for later.)

Carnival Spirit - Gazpacho

I began with the Gazpacho Andalouse. That crunchy cluster of diced and spiced cucumber - oh, so good! There is another gazpacho served later in the cruise, but I didn't get to try that. Too many options. Not that I'm complaining! The BeeGees clearly never cruised. The concept of "Too Much Heaven" is alive and well.

Carnival Spirit - Mike's Happy Ribs, Take 2

Mike had the ribs, another one of his favourites. In fact, this is his second helping. (Zoltan was very encouraging of the second helpings, the "try it" tastings, and the "your food is taking too long, here is some fruit" moments.)

Carnival Spirit - Best Indian Vegetarian Dinner Yet (Except Chickpeas)

I ordered the Indian Vegetarian Dinner, which is always a highlight of the cruise. This was the best bread (I think it's kulcha, not naan?) yet, and the paneer - mmm, not rubbery, not too grainy, and more than two pieces (clue to Splendor). The rice, ah, extra-tasty! What are those, caraway seeds? Every time I had rice on Spirit, it was delicate and flavourful.

The only thing that was bad, and bafflingly so, was the chickpeas. I'm a take-or-leave person when it comes to garbanzos, but Mike is not a fan. But even Mike loved the chickpea portion of the dinner on Elation and Splendor. Shades of seasoning, plenty of "wow!" Miracle chickpeas.

But these? Like eating burnt paste. Bumpy, burnt paste. Weird. But, the rest was too good to linger on this. Maybe it's just a different style.

At least I was better off than the poor gent next to us. He wasn't halfway through his main course when his wife and two late-teen daughters abandoned their partially eaten hamburgers and took off for somewhere else. Of course, who knows, maybe this is what makes them happy. But, as he silently finished his plate, then quietly tucked into dessert, I felt bad. I know I'm projecting too much onto a situation of which I am completely ignorant, but you see it so many times - the vacation tiffs that come of uncommunicated hopes and expectations. But hopefully they were just really tired (or really overdue for a previous engagement), and hopefully he really enjoyed his meal nonetheless.

(Or maybe he's a polygamist and those were his three wives, more happy when they leave a meal early to go do chores. Perhaps they were off to help with the towel animals. Speculation is fun!)

Carnival Spirit - Black Forest Cake

We ended the meal with Black Forest Gateau. (Please don't make me look up how to make the accent mark.) "Chocolate cake filled with Bing cherries, Heavy Cream, and Kirschwasser." And yumminess.

This was why we brought elegant clothing - the dining room is such a terrific experience, especially when you have all the time in the world, are surrounded by people who make you believe they care about your meal, and can look across the table into the eyes of the person you love.

(And keep verbally high-fiving each other because we won! We won a ship on a stick! And a medallion! And a bottle of champagne! Just for knowing stuff!)

It was nearly 10 p.m. when we left the Empire. Now what?


Mike did the karaoke one time on Elation, and despite some very engaging Dion and the Belmonts, I am not allowed to show any of his performances here. (Harumph.) On Splendor, we never got around to it. On Spirit, it started as "We'll just have a look."

"I'm not going up," says Mike. (It's understood that I'm never going up there. Ever. Not because I'm shy - that can be overcome - but because I'm awful. Earnest and awful, even, which is worse.)

"Well, I'm just going to look at the book," says Mike.

Carnival Spirit - Mike on Karaoke Prowl

That's Mike, wandering after the book. The Versailles Lounge is located under the Pharaoh's Palace showroom, and it's quite cozy and nice. I really like some of the murals - they have an enchanted storybook feel.

Carnival Spirit - Versailles Lounge Painting

Carnival Spirit - Versailles Lounge Stair Details

Carnival Spirit - Versailles Lounge Statue and Beads

On the Spirit deck plan, the Versailles Lounge is labeled as the "Butterflies Lounge." Misprint, I assume. It was a little weird/new, after Splendor, being on a ship that actually uses its Riviera deck for public spaces.

Before long, Mike was giving his little slip of paper to the staff member we would come to know as Joey, from Orange County. And me with only the pocket camera! (Again!)

Not that it matters, for once more I am not permitted to show you the very decent job Mike did with Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans." I guess you can scroll back up, memorize his face, and picture it while watching this:

Then later, more memorably, if not quite as on the mark (what with losing his voice on the high notes), Mike took on... Freddy Mercury.

Who does Freddy Mercury at karaoke? It can't be done. Not even by winsome young men with a song in their hearts. It's irresponsible for them to even put Queen in the book. "Warning. Do not attempt. Professional driver on a closed course."

I enjoyed Mike's high-energy (and charmingly self-deprecating) rendition, but I'm definitely not to allowed to show that one. Sigh. So, again, with the memorized head transplant:

The world's loss.

Living on in my memory, but alas not on video, are the "window girls" (three surely underage ladies last seen posing in one of the shop windows on Atlantic deck, now gamely fumbling through disco tunes - cute!), the couple that could almost take "Love Shack" on the road, Andrew with his sandals and shiny ears, and Carlos.

Ah, Carlos, you were cheated when they didn't pick you for the Legends show. I'm pretty sure Carlos booked this cruise just to sing "My Way," and while it may not have been a mirror to Frank's version, it certainly didn't lack for a drop of personality. White suit and everything. Well done.

Also memorable were a pair of young men groomed in the manner of, shall we say, the grittier streets. They found a trio or so of co-ed ladies who were clearly on round number ten of the Funship Special. I'm not sure how those girls were even walking when they left... which was right after they, the Christmas brothers (as I called their urban companions in red and green caps), and one old bearded man, were told they couldn't smoke in this lounge. (Another plus to Spirit: on Elation, the Cole Porter lounge was definitely smoky.)

To each their own.

Back to the room, at last! What! No towel animal? Perhaps they're just very busy on the first night. (Brave sniff.)

After stepping out onto the balcony a few more times (ocean! moonlight! breeze!) I fell asleep with a pillow over my head, drowning out Night at the Museum II: Battle of the Smithsonian.

An excellent day.

(Next Post in This Cruise Report: The First Sea Day.)

03 May 2010 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)