Since we live in Jacksonville, the trip to the port was an easy ten minute drive. Pulling into the port there was a park and cruise place that said $10 per day and free shuttle. They had a lot of cars crammed in there so to me that wasn’t the best idea.
When we pulled into the actual port the security process was quick. There was folks standing at the gates and you had to show them your boarding pass and ID’s in order to proceed. Every few vehicles they would do a vehicle inspection off to the side. That did not affect the flow of traffic as that was off to the side. We dropped our bags off, tipped the porter and parked our car.
Embarkation was okay. With our platinum status we were able to use the VIP embarkation line and boy that was an express line! From curb to on the ship was about 15-minutes or so. It was a very quick.
When we boarded we went right to deck 10, Lido deck. The buffet line area was called Coconut Grove and had a salad bar, Italian food, snacks, pizza, and deli. The food was very good. Since we were on a cruise we had to eat LOTS so we went out by the pool and checked out the outside grill and Mongolian area. We went down to the bar afterwards and checked out the drink special which was the Funship Special. The drink was pretty strong and fruity. You get to keep the cup and get a reduced refill on the daily drink special. You save like .75 cents or something.
The life boat drill was a daunting task in itself. We had to meet at our embarkation station at the Puttin’ on the Ritz lounge and than walk outside up a flight of stairs. It had to be done so not much we could do about it.
Sail away was cool. It’s always neat sailing out of the St. Johns River. About ten minutes after you sail from the terminal you go under the DamesPoint Bridge. Watching the smoke stack clear the bridge is cool. The clearance is minimal and it looks like it’s gonna hit. Sometimes the ship has to wait until dead low water before it can leave the dock to clear the bridge. It started raining about 20 minutes after leaving the dock and the weather has been nasty every since.
Our stateroom was ready at 1:30 on the dot. We have an interior aft cabin on deck 5, Main. The room has two bunk beds so it could easily hold four people in here though a little cramped. My friend has never sailed in an interior room on a ship. He thought the room was very spacious and was surprised that there was only a plastic wall behind the window. A nice little area to use as a night stand.
Sushi was served on the Promenade, deck 10. They had a few rolls you could choose from and they were free so that was a plus. Sushi started being served at 5pm and ran until 8pm.
We did trivia at 6pm. Being big trivia nerds we came in second place, which is the first loser, but still. We won nothing. The winners got a golden ship on a stick.
Our dinner was late seating, Sensation dining room, deck 8. We had a table for six but we were the only folks at our table. There was escargot and smoked duck to start for us. For dinner we had the tilapia and steak, warm chocolate melting cake for desert. We did purchase the wine package, three bottles for $65. You saved 25% and no corkage fees. We went with a red tonight. Tomorrow night is the formal night.
The Welcome Aboard show was okay, hosted by Cruise Director Jen Baxter, who I’ve interviewed before on Carnival Liberty. Cruise ship entertainment is kind of hokey so I wasn’t a fan but my friend enjoyed it. They had the two comedians do a little preview in there, the comedians were Tom Foss and John Wesley Austin.
After the Welcome Aboard show we dropped by the piano bar and there wasn’t one person in there. The piano entertainer was Duane and when we sailed in March he wasn’t very good, no personality, hopefully this sailing is going to be better.
Punch liner comedy club was at 11:30p with the adult comedy show of Tom Foss. He was pretty funny. Really graphic so it was definitely and adults only show. It lasted exactly 30-minutes. The weather has been really rough so I called it a night after the show. One thing we did miss because we were in dinner was Superstar Live which is the karaoke with the live band. I tried it on Carnival Magic and was a blast. Tomorrow is a Fun Day at sea.