I woke up on this day with overflowing inspiration and excitement. It is cruise day!! I cannot wait to board the Carnival Glory Cruise Ship that is waiting for me at the New Orleans Port.
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As always, I had not packed a separate pre-cruise bag and had to unload most of the packed suitcase to find what I needed, then repack everything. I don’t know if I will ever learn to pack a small first night bag. Finally ready, its downstairs to meet up with friends who will be joining us on the cruise and we make our way through the streets of New Orleans to the cruise terminal. I triple check we have passports and printed boarding pass in my purse, yep, they are still there.
Parking in the ramp was pretty simple, we chose to park close to the elevator door. Only Princess parking will do 🥰, just kidding, but it was nice to not be far away. There is a little chaos in security. So many people trying to keep their family and luggage together, dropping things everywhere, and leaving their boarding passes as they try to hurry. There are several security lines, so I decide to pick one further away with less people. With my super-girl strength, I launch my over-packed suitcase and my extra bag with the wine I brought onto the conveyor belt. “Oofda”, I am pretty sure that a little bit of Minnesota slipped out. Next to the security table for the full wine bottle inspection, and I’m all set to enter the seating area in the terminal.
Once in the terminal, I got my first glimpse of my home for the next week. This week is going to be epic! Cruising and friends is the perfect mix of awesome. Just like all cruises I take, it doesn’t feel real until you see that ship. I wonder what great memories are in store for me. I was able to find my friends saving a seat for me and make my way over even though I got in trouble by the room attendant because they had that area roped off already. Plus, I went to get two other friends to sit next to me who were sailing with all of us us. Too many people not following the rules!! I promise, these are the only folks coming to sit over in this section. I could sense the disapproving glare and it got me feeling a little smaller in my chair like a little kid getting in trouble, oopsies.
It is a rule that we all sit down, not stand and wander, not sure why. I do get a chance to snap a couple photos of the ship smack dab in front of me. There is a refreshment stand to purchase snicky-snacks, restrooms, and loads and loads of people waiting just like me. A wedding section to hold quite a few people is still empty, I hope they make it in time for their magical wedding on the ship!
It seems like only minutes and they announce my group, Faster to the Fun (FTTF). Which is a fancy way of saying, “pay a little to get me on first”. This time it’s worth it, I feel a like a VIP!
The suitcase is full and I could have left it with the porter; however, this time I can get to my room right away and decided to bring it on myself. Up the gangway, it’s a bit of an incline and pulling probably fifty pounds of beachwear, extra clothes, shoes, necklaces and who knows what else is not easy. I must question my packing expertise, how many times have I put way to much in my suitcase, I am certainly paying for it now, but who knows if I will ever learn to do it right. On a positive note, I count this as my last pre-cruise workout!
Once inside, I am sent right into the Atrium. This space has color changing tiles in the ceiling and comfy couches and chairs to surround the small stage. The elevator bank is the ship’s feature wall. It sends your eyes all the way up to the top of the ship where you see a glass ceiling, talk about raising the roof! Neon lights set the mood and people are already starting to get their first drink of the cruise. I love this feeling on embarkation day! Once you cross that gangway and step your first foot onto the ship, it feels so official! I can sense the excitement and it’s contagious. All of us have had our countdowns for this cruise that tick slowly and finally the day has come! I am looking forward to this week of vacation so, so much!
Because I have the “get me fun fast ticket”, I knew the elevators should not be too busy and it would be nice to leave my good friend Ol’ Samsonite in the room while I get this party started; and considering Ol’ Samsonite doesn’t like to party anyways. It only took a few minutes for an elevator and up to 7th deck. I arrive in in the room just a few minutes later and do a quick video of the room before I drop and run off to the fun promised to me!
We are finally back to the Atrium, where many more people are gathering, getting drinks, and pulling their suitcases. So many matching t-shirts for larger groups and people of all ages have come to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun this week. The energy is high, you can feel it! Maybe first time cruisers who stand in awe of the detail in this room, what will we do first?? I remember my first cruise, I was so nervous, I had booked and cancelled so many times before and this was the one final time I kept the booking and finally went on a cruise. Such great memories and I am so glad I tried it, it’s really is a wonderful way to meet people and see parts of the world I would not have normally.
Our group of eight have assembled in the Atrium and I sip my tropical drink without a straw, they will give you a sugar straw if you ask. My heart is happy. This is going to such an amazing time with amazing people, I thought to myself I have to cherish all of this, every moment!
After visiting for a while, I want to explore the casino as we will be spending some time here throughout the week. I must find all the winning machines. This casino space surprised me. Outside the strange Egyptian decor, it is very nice and pleasantly spacious. The coloring is not off-putting either. I have been on some ship casinos that almost you feel like you are in some strange, shiny closet. Seriously, can you feel the migraine headed your way? Anyways, in this casino, I was impressed by the space between the machines and tables and did not feel stuffy or crowded at all.
You will find large Egyptian statues scattered throughout. I am a detail person and I was surprised to see the themed ceiling, there are hieroglyphics and drawings I am not sure what they are. I also noticed on the ceiling carvings of camels in stone. Very interesting; however, I do think the deep red carpet with golden triangles and squares seems to bring the space together. There are mustard color chairs for the slot machines and high tops for the table games. Lots of great games here too, it will be fun to hang out here. On one side of the casino, you will find a bar with stools and a couple of bartenders and what seems to be a smaller dancer floor; on the other side, a sports bar. There is a tiny stage on the edge of the casino and nice looking couches, chairs, and tables ready to enjoy some live music.
Up to the pool deck to the Blue Iguana Cantina to grab some lunch. Rice and veggies and all the toppings for me. Luggage has taken over the pool deck, everyone who cannot get into their room have to hang on to those suitcases. It makes for quite a crowded space. Then I head down to the room to unpack. There is so much storage on this little inside Stateroom, it will fit all I have plus some space left over. There is a vanity space with drawers and closet with lots of hangers, shelves for everything. I pretty much just grab my folded items and put in the shelves, hang as little as possible and throw the suit case under the bed (its great having so much space to store the suitcase underneath). I also have a tradition to put out my whiteboard outside and write some fun checklist items on it. Hey wala! I am all moved in!
Alright, move it, move it!! I don’t want to be late for muster drill and I fear I am. Off to Muster Station F, deck 4 outside. At this point I am thankful it’s not raining or too chilly. We line up with our fellow Muster F shipmates like cadets and receive important safety info before being released to enjoy our vacation. It always seems to take forever for it to be done even though we all know its necessary. It got to the point where I stood on one leg and rested my other like a flamingo then switched to the other leg. There has to be a better way to do this, its not often we have to stand for muster, many times I have been assigned to a dining room or something. It’s a good thing this group passed Muster and they release us first. That’s a big A+ for Muster Training on my report card!
I head straight up to the Lido for sail-away party. I have a new pep in my step, weaving around other walkers, a skill I have now perfected for sail-away day. This is one of my favorite things on a cruise. Since we are sailing out of New Orleans, we will be in the Mississippi River for several hours. It’s a very different type of sail-away from seeing the bridge and muddy river water to barges with fire lighting the sky and boats along the river even into the night. It’s a different kind of cool.
Before the dance party, I am able to get some video and pictures of New Orleans drifting off into the distance.
Of course, I must dance a little or attempt dancing. So I get on the dance floor and join in the celebration. People are at their happiest usually on this day of the cruise, it’s great being around everyone.
The Red Frog Rum Bar is hopping during Sail-away, it’s nice to have a place right by the pool to get a drink. Its slightly chilly outside, so we chose a spot along the pool to sit where the sun could still catch us. It won’t be long and the sun will be gone for the day. For now, it feels warm, the drink in my hand feels cool, and that, my friend, is one enticing combination.
Off to the Casino, which has now opened and hoards of people make their way to hopefully create their winning story this week. Unfortunately, my friends and I did not win big. This round goes to the Casino.
Before dinner we are all meeting at The Alchemy Bar for a clever named cocktail. There is usually something unique in each one. I chose the Beautiful and Bold Berrytini. It was really good. The half -circle bar with stools and another longer table make up the seating for this small bar. I love themed decor. There are flasks and drawers for ingredients behind the bar. The Bartenders are dressed like scientists and they mix, shake, and pour their science experiments, which is a show in itself. On to dinner with eight of us in our group. I have to admit, the first night seems a bit chaotic with the staff and service. Its not going to ruin my night, but I feel like they could use a few extra hands, it must be tough doing all that they do. Dinner takes a while and it’s good, I get some vegetarian sides and pom-tini, and still leave plenty full.
Its group slot pull time! This was one of my highlights of the evening. Six of us put in $120 each and run through $12 a spin. I don’t know how it was possible but we end up about $100 up each! It was so much fun cheering for everyone pushing the button. People would walk by as I am sure they were wondering what was up with all the cheering, high-fives, and clapping. It was a good time! I played a few other slot games and tried the Let It Ride Card game for the first time and won $30. Yay me! Making it rain.
The rest of the night went by fast as we spent a good portion of it visiting. I was worn out and took a minute to sit in the Atrium, the music had stopped and it let me think about this entire first day. So many things went right today. My favorite thing of the day was spending time with friends, seeing them smile, hearing their stories; it’s so wonderful and I’m so grateful for all of them. I cannot wait to see what we do tomorrow, day two of our cruise!
Now I am off to the lil’ cabin, get in my comfies, and snuggle in for the night. I am excited it will be my home for the next 7 nights!
Join me for Chapter 2 – Once upon a Sea Day!
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