Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hawaii cruise 2012 Day 1

It was a beautiful early fall morning Sept.18, 2012 when our friends picked
us up and drove us through Vancouver to the docks where we hurried to get in
the lineup to finally get through to sit and wait some more and then
another lineup to stand and wait to eventually board the
Carnival Spirit. We then had lots of time to look around the ship before we
sailed at 6:30pm an hour and a half later than expected.
This is B.C. Place and the ship terminal

A view of Vancouver

Container dock and sea bus taking passengers back and forth to North Vancouver

The Carnival Spirit

The Spirit is a beautiful ship and so far haven't seen even half of it. What
I did observe is how sort of gaudy ship decor is when looking at the
individual elements which however is necessary for overall effect and
ambiance. Also, when viewed amongst the hoards of people it does look quite
lovely and homey in person unlike in pics or on the net where it loses its
warmth and glow but in time it somehow it grows on you and becomes beautiful.
The first thing on the agenda is of course food....we were directed
to the Lido restaurant where i foolishly loaded up on the first thing I saw
which was a Sicilian white fish, rice and veggies, and
missed out on all the other interesting food as well as the desserts!
Something to drink, even water seemed hard to find from this point on, even
in our cabin, bottled water @$4.54 a bottle was not something I was willing
to do but had to a few times. I guess i drink alot of water and didn't
realise not everyone does. Eventually found the iced tea and lemonade and will
drink that when at the right place at the right time other wise I was destined to be
thirsty alot on this cruise;once even settling for lukewarm water at one food
counter. I can be a spendthrift in some ways but at times of human
neccessity I feel the need to make a statement and availability of fresh
drinking water is one of them, preferably with ice and i don't want to have to buy
it. A diet Coke once in awhile, like maybe twice a day would be welcome and some can
be brought
onboard but who has the power and strength to handle their own luggage and pack their
Coke as well?

After lunch or brunch or whatever that was we strolled around awhile before
going to cabin 4204 which is a few floors directly above the restaurant and
in a very nice location close to the elevator on the port side. Our room was
clean and efficient with tons of closet space,lots of drawers and
cupboards, queen size bed, flat screen tv,small fridge stocked with little
bottles of expensive alcohol, coke and candy, a table and a big
enough veranda (or is it a balcony) with 2 chairs....we can live here for the
next 12 days just fine.

Luggage arrived while we were there in our cabin so that worked well, we
unpacked, freshened up then went up to the Serenity pool deck and lounged
around for awhile before going to our muster station as we were told to do
at 3p.m. We left there at 3:15 as only two other people were there
waiting,obviously also given the wrong time to appear.At 5p.m. our tour was
stopped by an employee who sent us to our muster station where the life raft
drill did finally take place and it was a simple demo unlike the full deal
on Holland America where everyone had to actually put on and secure
their own life vest, no ifs, ands or buts; even those on their 99th cruise.
I was a bit conflicted about this basic easy drill because of recent ship
disasters I wanted to know what to do and how but it became evident this
cruiseline has really simple, easy to put on lifejackets that anyone could
figure out quickly and easily if needed and maybe HAL has them now too; i
hope they do because their old ones were really complicated. They also
didn't take a roll call like they do on HAL and i'm smart enough to know
that means lots of people did not go to listen to the talk and demo. On HAL
they will actually come and find you if you don't show up.Why do
people not want to know what to do in an emergency is beyond me,
especially when travelling the open sea. We then met the other couple from
the 3p.m aborted muster drill and visited with them until
it was time to go to the dining room.

We were the first of 3 couples to arriveat table #27 and when the other two
couples arrived it was discovered upon introductions that all of us had been
married for over 50 or do they pair up people this way?
One of the other couples lived near us in B.C, the other from Wa state, all delightful
people. We will dine with them for the next 12 days. We learned at this first dinner
that 90% of the people on board were not only going to Hawaii but sailing on
to Australia and will be on board for 28 days. Our travel agent missed the
boat on informing us of this and had we known might have gone down under
too. None of our dinner companions were going to Australia so that may have
been the factor in the seating arrangements as well, we may never know but
that fact makes the most sense.
The ship began its journey as we dined and while I had wanted to get pics of
Stanley Park and sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge had to forgo that as it
was poor timing and unfortunately our dinner companions knew nothing of what
a shame that was to miss so i didn't dwell on the loss.

For dinner I chose a delicious red gazpacho soup and guacamole and chips
which were very good but then messed up with my choice of the beef for my
main course; it was disgusting, some kind of like canned mystery meat fom
somewhere far away that they got a bargain was so awful and the
taste or maybe the thought of where the heck did this come from remained
for 2 days afterwards. I had been vegetarian for a while leading up to this
and it turned me off of meat once again. Then the Black forest cake and
cappuccino later made up for it a bit as did finding the soft serve ice cream
and frozen yogurt machines later that night.
After dinner we enjoyed watching the sun turn Vancouver into shining gold
and disappearing in the distance as well as seeing how big Roberts Bank Superport has grown.

We walked around inside and stopped awhile at the Pharaohs Palace where an impromptu show for an audience of about 5 was in progress. We browsed in some of the shops
before finding the casino where we were took for a few bucks rather quickly.
We took the elevator to the Atrium

Took a look at the chapel
and the water going by

First night at sea

Eventually made our way to the Lido deck where we splurged on Diet orange
cake, lemon yogurt cake and cookies before retiring to our cabin.


Snowbrush said...

Wow! You make me want to leave home more. I drove two hours from home last week and came back feeling like Marco Polo. Now, I want to go a cruise!

Lorraina said...

Thanks for your comment Snow. Cruising is really a great way to get away and i'd encourage you to go for it. I'm already thinking of #5 where to go and which cruiseline to go with. This one was 12 days then we spent a couple days in Waikiki before flying home. I'll be posting my sometimes long winded daily diary entries for the next 14 days.

Linda Gross said...

A cruise! I thought from reading your last post about your vacation that you had flown to Hawaii. I've never been on a cruise. I doubt I ever go on one either, as husband doesn't want to go on one.

Lorraina said...

Cruises are really quite wonderful; you get to see new places plus enjoy a nice fun life onboard the ship. Then maybe plan to stay awhile wherever you disembark. Choose your cruise wisely, by this i mean go wherever you really want to see and try to get the ports of call at those exact places, not on the opposite side of the island or whatever. To fly home do not take a red eye flight; that's just wayyy too hard. And if you can get a balcony it's really worth the few extra bucks. Hubbys are often like that at first but after one cruise they want to go again and again. Maybe going with another couple will be the ice breaker. We did the Panama Canal with another couple a few yrs ago and that cinched it for my hub and now he's not against going it alone if need be.I noticed a Panama canal cruise on the Queen E that ends in NY in April 2013...great price, nice, always wanted to see's hoping.