OK, so we left on the morning of the 13th of December at 4:30 in the morning to go on our cruise on the Carnival Conquest to Key West, FL , Freeport, Bahama's & Nassau, Bahama's. As it was I didn't get any sleep the night before we left, so I was tired, but so excited that the tired didn't show up. I was the last one to go to sleep and the first one to get up.
The neighbors showed up at 4:10 and we were out the door and ready to go within 15 minutes and were on our way. (Thanks Kevin & Phyllis, you rock!).
So, we went to eat at IHOP. The Fleddermans (in group picture below) showed up as well. So, our group (all shown together in the group photo) was all together from the moment we started.
I will blog days individually after this, but I want to get the main points highlighted here. :)
We got on the bus at 6:30 with fond farewell's from Kevin & Phyllis. They still rock!
We had three stops to make -- Rockport, Aransas Pass & Victoria (not in that order I don't recall..lol -- I think A.P. was before Rockport.) We had to pick up more passengers at these locations.
So, we stop at Hillje at about 9:30ish. Got some snacks, drinks & jerky and on our way again after about 30 minutes. We arrived in Galveston at about 2:00ish. It took us NO time at all to get on the ship. (Insert embarking photo that I did not buy because "I" was looking elsewhere for some unGodly reason!!) It was awesome. We got on the ship, bought our "Coke" Cards & headed to our room. None of our luggage was there yet. We checked the room out (one room for all four of us w/ pull out beds for the boys) and headed to our friends rooms. We all caught up w/ each other (we were on Deck 8, they were on Deck 9 -- Lido deck) and went to eat. Buffet was totally ready. Awesome. Four PM rolls around and people are still boarding. At 6 PM, people are totally boarded but the ship isn't moving. Umm..problem?! Yes! Totally! We are fogged in!! The harbor master will not let us leave. We were not the only ones either. Their was another ship docked behind us. They didn't get to leave either!
So, that evening we spent checking the ship out, eatting and checking out the kids clubs, etc. it was awesome. At 6 pm we have to be in the dinner room (Monet Dining Room, table 523), where we eat "formally" each night. The mandatory diner dress is collar shirts for the men w/ nice blue jean shorts (no cut offs or swim trunks) and regular shoes, NO flip flops or sandals allowed and for the women is pretty much the same, except nice blouses. You can dress up formally each night for dinner if you want, but it's not mandatory. Only two nights, Monday & Thursday. So, we eat -- alot -- meet our waiters (head waiter - Jose, assistant - I-Gusti, we "hear" the Maitre D for the first time that night. We learn the phrase of the ship "fun, fun fun.." laugh about it a bit, and then head on out. I am not in a routine yet, so we wonder the ship checking stuff out. Then off to bed.
So, Day two is here. 12/14/09
Wake up to find out that it is STILL foggy! Even worse than the night before. You can't even see the other ship behind us. This sucks! So, we get breakfast, which isn't served until 7:30 (we've been up since five thirty), and chill. We had a few things to go to today on board (no one is allowed off ship even though we can't leave the harbor.)
So, we go to a few scheduled things, then eat lunch.
At two we are sitting in a diamond lecture and OMG, the ship started moving. Talk about instant changes of attitudes. WOOHOOO -- we are MOVING!!! Some people didn't believe me and my girlfriend Debbie, but we KNEW. LOL..we WERE moving!! Two hours later we have to start getting ready for the pics/dinner.
Tonight is formal night. Pictures. Lots of them. (Several posted at the end of the blog.)
It's awesome because everyone know's that after dinner the casino and shops will be open.
So, we head down for pics. So, we eat and head to the shops. We check out what they have to offer, have some stuff set in our sights, and move on. Hubby decides that he's going to go to the casino. I have NO clue how much money he lost, but I know he lost at least $200! He heads for the casino, the boys go to their clubs, Shawna goes to the show. I had already decided that I was going to hit some shows while I was on the ship and boy oh boy was it worth it!!! I'll post more on that later.
At midnight I go to check on hubby and then we go to get the boys and find that they don't want to leave. Both of them had made some friends. I was so pleased. :) Off to bed hubby and I go. Yes, we went to bed, too. LOL!!
Day 3 -- 12/15/09
We find out that we are dropping one port of call and heading straight to the Bahama's. We find out that we will be there Wednesday evening at 8PM and will be leaving Thursday at 2:30. We aren't sure about getting off the ship that night so we decide to hang tight on the ship until the morning.
Next morning we get up, eat breakfast and hit the road. (Disembarkation photo below.) We walked. We had originally had an excursion for each port scheduled, but ended up canceling all of them because time had been cut short for each one. No worries though, shopping galore. And that we did. I ended up purchasing a pair of tanzanite earrings and a ring in Nassau. Awesome & expensive. Ugh, there goes Christmas for me. LOL! Got some gifts for my sister who was at home in nasty weather taking care of my animals for me. (She rocks too!!!) Back to the ship.
Off to dinner. Then we head to the show. Hubby heads to the casino and now Robert, one of the group, is hanging with me and heading to the show, as is his grandparents. Fun Fun Fun!
(more pics of this in another blog another day.) Off to another "show" after this. We had a blast. Robert ended up hanging with me most nights for the show's. The "show" was a deck party. We were the blue team of the ship so we were the smallest, but we won the loudest team. :) We were on video, too. NO, you don't get to see that video. LOL and YES, I bought it. :)
Day 4 -- back at sea. 12/16/09
We are now headed to Key West, FL. Kind of dreadful since we will have to hit customs when we get to FL. Oh well. So, we do some fun stuff on the ship that day. I hit the casino for the first time. Ooh cool. Won $40 playing the dollar slots. Fun, Fun, Fun! We are supposed to dock in Key West tomorrow morning, so we get an awesome itenerary of Key West and the shops, etc. Of course, we are still attending shows, and other functions during the day. (Don't worry, I'll tell ya all about em. Just not in this blog. LOL)
Day 5 --12/17/09 -- Key West, FL
It's cold. And wet. UGH. We docked to find that another ship was docked and had docked late the night before. No worries. The worry for today -- omg, it's raining on top of it. It was COLD rain. So, they have trolley's and trains for us to get to the downtown section where we need to be to go shopping.
Ride the train in, no rain, just tiny drops -- get to the downtown train tracks -- it's pouring! Sheesh. So, we get some umbrella's and go on. It stops raining for a short time. We come out of one store and it's pouring again, to continue to pour the remainder of the day. Cold & Wet. UGH. Just what I need to get sick again. We go into the "mall" and my girlfriend Debbie has bought another item of jewelry. I didn't want to go into the shop, but while we were there, I got impatient and went looking, it was as if fate intervened because lo-and-behold, there was a pendant to match my tanzanite earrings. Woohoooo! Awesome!! Yep, you guessed it, I bought it. Didn't buy the necklace I would have LOVED to have bought, but I did buy the pendant. Awesome price. (I'll tell ya'll about the prices later.)
Anyway, went on and headed back to the ship via the train. As we head back we ALL get soaked. The train is only covered with a canvas tarp and we are not allowed to use our umbrella's. :( So, I worry about getting sick now.
Day 6 -- 12/18/09
Youngest son wakes up sick. :( UGH. Not too bad, but bad cough. Give him my meds. It works. He has a somewhat peaceful day, and doesn't run a fever, so all is good. We are in the ocean heading back to Galveston today. More food, chocolate bar at lunchtime. You would not believe the food. I have some pictures from the digital to share later, but not in this blog. Gosh, it will probably take me two months to get through all the neat, fun stuff we saw, did, etc. All deserts it was on this bar. Interesting. Very interesting. I'm halfway glad I don't make these things at home.
Day 7 -- 12/19/09
Still at sea. More casino, shops, and overall fun on the ship. :D (more to blog about later). Went to the last two shows today. Christmas show, which my kids were supposed to be part of but didn't go to their clubs like they were supposed to (tell ya more later), and which made me cry and final crew show. Awesome.
Day 8 -- 12/20/09 - Galveston & Disembarkation
It was crazy!!! Boy do I mean Crazy, too! They had prearranged how they were going to disembark, but people weren't listening. By the time we starting offloading people were so ready to be off that it was sheer & utter chaos. I'll have to tell you about pulling into port & the dolphins later. Let's get through the disembarkation, first. First to disembark were handicapped that needed help and self assist. The self assist ended up being a joke. Everybody and their mother (even those who only carried a backpack off) got off. It wasn't supposed to happen like that. They were to call the handicapped first and then certain floors. If you were on that floor you were to go ahead and go. However every single floor and their mother's ended up going. If you weren't self assist, you were not supposed to even be on that floor, but there were so many other people there that it wasn't happening. Finally we got to get off. Three hours after we docked. Didn't take us no time. No customs since we had been through customs in FL. Awesome. Hardest thing about the actual getting OFF the ship was finding our luggage. That won't be a problem next trip!!!
So, now it's the drive home on the bus. We didn't get to Corpus unti 6:30, went to eat at Golden Corral w/ Phyllis (she rocks for coming to pick me up -- my sister would have, but wouldn't have had the room in her suburban for all of us plus all of our belongings & luggage). Finally headed home.
We got home, got our husky Buddy and brought him in and we went to bed. Yep, 8 pm and we were all asleep! Exhausting Day! Finally Home. There's NO place like home.
Pictures of formal night, the group, etc. below. Enjoy -- more to come of various things on the blog during the week, etc.
OK, not sure why I can't put the pictures in here, but until I figure it out, here's my picasa sight w/ the formal pictures. :)
Picasa -- Cruise Pictures