Today was a day at sea. We were on our way to Barbados.
This morning began a little earlier than my body wanted it to, and Mom said she was in the same boat (har har). We had to be up a little early to have breakfast and for her to be ready in time for our Behind the Fun tour. I was regretting my gluttony a little from the steakhouse the night before. I was just fine once I took an Imodium though and we headed off for the tour.
The tour started at 8:45am in the library. I snacked on a couple of the cookies and juice they had setup for the group. Our guide came around at exactly 8:45 (Please forgive me, I’m TERRIBLE with remembering names). I can’t remember her name but she was very understandable and efficient. She handed us each lanyards with large passes on them after completing our short roll call. We then headed off to begin the tour. She told us there is a lot of walking with the tour and she was right. I was good for it, but it was a stretch for Mom. Be warned, if you can’t be on your feet for longer periods, you may have a tough time with this tour.
The tour began as we headed to the lower decks of the ship. First stop was the bow of the ship. This was normally a crew only area. I was thrilled to be there because its generally my favorite part of the ship. Some crew were indeed out there having a break (some, a smoke break, don’t be surprised). We learned how heavy the spare anchor is. I forget just how heavy it was but my guess was WAY off. I was surprised that sucker didn’t weigh down the bow more! Continuing on from there, we visited the stage and did some Q&A with the entertainment staff. They were very informative and more than happy to answer questions. It was neat to see all the different things that could be done with the stage and all the different costumes for the dancers/singers. We also learned of the multiple duties everyone had in that particular department. They are busy. From there, we went below to the crew and “business” decks of the ship. We walked along the “I-95” of the ship. We found (but didn’t look inside) the brig and morgue.
Continuing on, we worked our way to the engine control room. I laughed a good bit because one of the crew had placed a Ferrari sticker in good humor next to the ship’s speedometer (which reads knots). The engineer gave us an excellent breakdown of what controlled what as best as he could through his heavy Croatian accent. Pretty cool guy with a neat job. In the control room there, were video monitors displaying the actual ships generators (which are pretty big).
We continued through the gangway area on deck 0, into the galley, laundry, rooms, and crew areas. One of the chefs showed some of us how to make flowers from veggies. The crew cafeteria really reminds me of an American diner. We walked through the galley and ascended the then stopped escalators to the upper level of the mid ship dining room (Lincoln). We took a break for a little bit.
The bridge was the best part of the tour. looking at the controls was awesome and meeting the officers was a privilege. They have an AWESOME view out of the bridge. Particularly from the wings. NOTE Don’t do anything embarrassing on you balcony, because chances are they would see you. The captain wasn’t present at the time but did greet us shortly after. I think he might have been taking a nap, or been busy in his office. We took a group shot (while I’m the only dummy not looking at the camera, dang). Then exited the bridge.
The tour wrapped up in Scarlett’s Steakhouse. We were offered some drinks. We completed a survey and we got some swag from Carnival. Our swag included a travel bag, cap, arm band, lanyard, and recipe for warm chocolate melting cake. One of the crew also carved us each this cool swan out of a bar of soap. It was a great time that was well worth the 90-something dollar price and lasted just shy of 4 hours. When I returned to my cabin, they also left each of us chocolate covered strawberries and cookies.
The rest of the day went rather fast. I got a couple of drinks and we enjoyed the rest of the day at sea.
Drawing on my previous 2.0 ship cruises I have to admit I like the updated lido bar setup on those ships. The hot tubs in the middle of the deck seemed a little odd to me too, but I never used them. I missed Guy’s Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina, but there were still good lunch options. The burrito bar’s food was almost as good as Blue Iguanas, but not quite.
That evening we skipped-out on elegant night and had dinner in Rosie’s lido café. It was pretty decent and not too crowded when we went. We then went to see Night Club Express in the Ivanhoe theater. It was dated but was still entertaining. I stayed up a little later, visited the club, and then walked around for a while before crashing.