I’m back (duh). It’s the end of Day Oh. Bloody Mary is in the casino getting rich… yeah, right. While she’s there, I’ll do a wrap up on today.
The mustard drill is about serious business. I know that. Yeah… I know, it’s muster drill, but I just can’t quite take it serious even though I know I should. Even though it’s important, Carnival continues to loose everyone’s attention. First, we gathered in one of the lounges. A moderator tells everyone to be quiet because this is important stuff. Then we sit there. After a few minutes everyone starts a little chatter. There’s nothing else coming from the moderator nor over the ship’s intercom.
Once again, the moderator asks for absolute silence… and once again, after a few minutes everyone starts a little chatter. This time, the moderator demands absolute silence and after an even shorter period everyone starts to chatter. This repeats itself several times for twenty or thirty minutes. It gets to the point where it starts to become comical. Finally, the Capi’tan comes on and says a few words that most folks can’t understand. Then the cruise director, “Goose,” comes on. By this time most folks…
Well, I’ll stop there because you get the idea. Finally, they take the whole crowd out to the area where the lifeboats are. We stood there in the chilly weather and to be honest, I don’t remember a thing that happened there. So much for the “fire drill”.
It was nearly dark by the time we sailed out of Long Beach. The harbor and coastline are all lit up and it really sparkels. There’s what looks to be a sea wall with multi-color lights, a Ferris wheel and a bunch of other stuff at some kind of amusement park. Everything adds to the sparkle. If you get a chance you really have go out on the poop deck to see it. It’s quite pretty.
I still lament the loss of live bands during the sail-away… especially the one or two man bands on the Lido deck in the afternoons or during the sail-aways. The DJ they now have is OK… but just OK. And on this ship the sound system doesn’t seem to be up to par so it is just becomes some loud background noise. Although Carnival seems to have brought back the steel-drum type band on other ships… not this one.
Dining at the “American Table”… This is Carnivals latest scheme for dining on some ships. Dinner was good and the service was what I’ve come to expect from Carnival… which means very good. But… now here it comes… Carnival seems to have hit the height of cheapness. Their “American style” dining sucks. They’ve started by doing away with the tablecloths. That in and of itself isn’t a big deal. But now, instead of a clean tablecloth between the early and late sittings, there’s just the bare table… the table where you can still see the traces of the wash cloth that wiped down the table. EEWWWWWW. Some of the silverware gets put on the table. EEWWWWWW. I learned to “intercept” the silverware before it hit the table and put it on my bread plate instead.
Doing away with tablecloths isn’t the only bad thing. Now instead of serving bread to each person before ordering your meal, they just put a platter of bread on the table for everyone to share. They also put pitchers of ice water on the table for everyone to help themselves to. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if you were just with family. But I like to sit at one of those big round tables that seat eight or ten people. You know… the ones in the middle of the dining room. Last night they sat down the bread by the guy next to me. He decided that he needed to see which pieces of the bread were soft before he chose the one he wanted. Then he passed the platter on to me… EEWWWWWW. I decided I didn’t want any bread.
NOTE TO BEAN-COUNTERS: Some things may look good on paper… and they aren’t!
A while back Carnival started offering their “Didja” (“didja” = “did you?”). They still have it here… only they don’t call it that.) Each night the “Didja” offers exotic stuff like snails, frog legs and the like. Tonight’s didja was alligator fritters. For me, every one of the didjas have always been notgunnas.
The menu has changed. They used to have two pages of stuff. One page was the stuff you could order every day and one page was for each day’s special stuff. The special stuff used to have three or four entries. Now there is only one page and seems to be one “special” of the day and everything else is what is available every day.
The thing I always look to for the first night’s dinner is the Chocolate Melting Cake… mmmmmmm-mmmmm good. I don’t usually even take the dessert menu. Tonight I took it just to check things out. There seemed to be fewer offerings than in the past, but I’m not sure on that one. Of course tonight there was only one thing to consider for dessert… Chocolate Melting Cake. For me, it is always the best dessert of the cruise. Except tonight it was more like soupy pudding… not like cake at all. It was still good, but just not quite as good as when it is 2/3 cake with pudding in the middle.
I do have to tell you that even though this post has seemed a bit negative, I’ve really had a smile on my face since setting foot on the ship. All of the staff has been cheerful and go out of their way to take care of folks. Our “room ninja” came by in the afternoon and like magic, he took care of some stuff we asked for. The bartenders seem to be better than usual… quick, efficient, and the drinks are all “well poured”.
That’s enough for now. It’s off to the Piano Bar for me. I’m told the entertainer in there is pretty good so I’ve got to go check it out. I’ve also got to check in on Bloody Mary to see how big of a condo we’re going to buy in South Florida from her winnings.
Next up is Santa Catalina Island