Caribbean Vacation Part 2, The Cruise Begins

As stated here before, I had selected the Carnival Valor for a Southern Caribbean itinerary

CRUISE DAY 1

I tossed and turned most of the night. Having hardly slept, I woke up with a pounding headache and nausea. GO FIGURE! It was the day I had to sail. As the morning continued it got worse and worse. I then found out Paul Walker died. I was honestly pretty sad about it. Being a car enthusiast myself and fan of the “family” from the Fast & Furious franchise, I was a fan. I also admired his work with Reach-out Worldwide. He was a pretty good guy from my buddy who worked with him as a stunt man. R.I.P. Paul Walker.

Getting back to my nausea, it just kept getting worse. I looked out and saw the Valor docked at the pier and told myself. “Damn it! You’re going to make this cruise! If not for you, you’re not going to prevent your mom from going!” She was starting to get worried and asked if I thought we could make the ship in time to book Behind the Fun. I felt pretty bad though. Guts bubbling, head bumpin’, and some dizziness.

The Valor in port. Who could say “NO” to this?! DSLR pic 🙂
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I made a big decision then. I then forced myself to “get sick.” I had to get out whatever was doing this to me so that Mom and me could get on the boat!!! Boy, was it unpleasant. After “getting sick” several times and taking some alka seltzer I started feeling a lot better. Turned out I had food poisoning from the stupid fish salad I had at the stupid Cafe Puerto Rico. Hate that place now!

Felling much better now, we made our way down to the pier to get into the terminal. The terminal opened a little after 10:30 that morning. there was a little bit of a crowd waiting in disorganized “lines” to get in.

Once in we proceeded to the FTTF line which was a breeze. After checking in, we waited………… and waited! The coast gaurd was doing an inspection prior to this particular cruise and it pushed boarding back to past 12. Nobody at the terminal made any announcements about it though and the place started getting pretty packed. Seating isn’t nearly as plentiful as the Miami terminals. I just really wanted to get on the boat and get situated after the very rough morning.

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Mom and me were really ready to get on the ship once they announced boarding after 12:30. To catch-up a little they allowed some FTTF guests to board with Platinum and Diamond guests (sorry guys!). Mom my was getting a little tired from standing so I took the opportunity. We heading inside and headed right to the Shore Excursions desk. I booked Behind the Fun for my mom and I and then we proceeded to our neighboring balcony cabins (7216-Mom, 7220-Me). We were a little bummed though when we realized that we couldn’t open our balcony divider. Turns out if the balcony doors are next to each other, the divider will block one, which is not allowed. Bummer, but oh well.

Balcony cabin 7220. All to myself! I had an awesome view of the ship’s bridge wing.
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We grabbed some quick lunch in Rosie’s lido cafe. I ate a really small amount as I was sick only just a few hours earlier. I had to work my way back up. The sun started coming out and it was great to see it.

Feeling drained from the night and morning, I took a nap for a while to let my body catch up. Man, did I need it.

I woke up a little later to party cloudy skies. I grabbed my DSLR and walked around, shooting photos of the Valor mostly.
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This was my first cruise on a non-2.0 Conquest Class. I get more into the differences in my Sea Day post.

We ate in the dining room that evening. Both dining rooms were open seating (anytime dining) that night. Afterwards we went exploring the ship again. When I say that, what I really mean, is I showed Mom around as I had been on other Conquest Class ships before. She then went and unpacked, while I spent some time people watching.

Muster drill came at 9:30. It was one of the more difficult ones as Mom had difficulty standing for longer periods of time. If she stood in the back and rested against the railing she couldn’t see. If she moved up, she had back pain from standing still unsupported for so long. It seemed like a long time, but it finally finished and we headed over to secret deck 7 for sail away. It was very nice. Not a lot of people (I kind of missed the deck party though). The front of the ship is not lit at night, so we saw everything once our eyes adjusted. There were now clear skies and once out of port we could see many stars.

Mom went to bed after that. I stayed up to get into the shop to buy a ship shaped Valor magnet for my tool box at work (to go with my Liberty, Glory, and Independence of the Seas magnets). I’m an auto technician. My $10,000 Matco tool box is filled with many expensive tools and parts. The thing I like most about it are the magnets I have from islands, ships, and beer caps (from these islands). No photo of this though.

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