Six days ago, I boarded a cruise ship for the second time in six weeks. This cruise came out of nowhere, a special rendezvous that my mom’s work organized. I had to pay my own way and it took me a lot of hemming and hawing to decide. On the cons: it would require taking more time off work (most of it unpaid) after I had just taken a week off in May and I wasn’t sure I was willing to take such a large hit on my finances. But on the pros? IT WAS A SECOND CRUISE! My favorite way of vacationing. I talked it over with my boss and when she basically told me I had to take this opportunity and run with it – we were set.
The Carnival Paradise’s deck plan was almost exactly similar to the deck plan of my first cruise ship, Carnival Inspiration. They are both older ships, but my mom and I actually liked the deck plans of these older, smaller ships than the deck plan of Carnival Freedom, the cruise ship we took in May. It was easier to get around and the Serenity Deck was located at the back of the ship, away from the hustle and bustle of the Lido deck.
On this cruise, we had at-sea days on Friday and Sunday, and spent Saturday in Cozumel, Mexico. I plan on spending an entire post on our time in Mexico because it was an adventure! Actually, this entire cruise was it’s own adventure! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know Florida and the Gulf of Mexico got pummeled this weekend from Tropical Storm Debby. We definitely felt the effects of it on the ship. It was rocky and everyone was unsteady on their feet. We all looked drunk and it caused a lot of people to get seasick. The good news is that through this experience, I found out I don’t really suffer from getting seasick!
Aside from the rocky seas, we still had an incredibly fun time. With the early dining time, we got to see more shows. We caught two comedy shows, a fun breakdance show, as well as a handful of other smaller shows. Some of the shows were better than others. (The woman comedienne spent half her time chatting with a 9-year-old who really didn’t have much to say and then a good 10 minutes on the effects of menopause. This show was filled with young kids so I’m not really sure why she thought that was appropriate but gah! A wasted 30 minutes.)
We played putt-putt golf at the top of the ship in the pouring rain. We learned the fun that can be had while playing Scattegories. We took lots of naps, both on the Serenity Deck and in our room. I spent $20 on a coconut that I’m not sure I’ll ever use again. I started dreaming about a November birthday cruise while on this one.
The biggest downside to the cruise (aside from the gray weather!) was the service at dinner. Maybe we were spoiled by Panda (pronounced Pon-day!), our head waiter from our May cruise. He was so amazing. Friendly and personable, fast with his service, and completely adorable. This time? Completely different. The waiter barely spoke to us and the service was sloooooow. Incredibly slow. Our wait times between appetizers to entree to dessert was just ridiculous. And I know: first world problem. But it was still annoying.
Our room was much smaller than our room from our May cruise but we made it work.
Breakfast on Friday morning. I pigged out on the breakfast buffet and took it out on the Serenity Deck. Ah, perfection.
This was basically what the weather looked like for our entire cruise, save for a few hours of sunshine on Saturday afternoon.
My favorite view.
The bluest waters of Mexico. Sigh. Love it.
My $20 coconut. (To be fair, it also had an alcoholic beverage in it – Miami Vice, a mixture of a strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. YUM!) How cute is he, by the way? His name is Parry, the Paradise Coconut. I’m so creative.
See? His insides were so yummy.
I tried to take a picture of how crazy the seas were on Sunday. This doesn’t come close.
Raise your hand if I’ve scared you away from taking a cruise in the future! And, on a more serious note, what the heck should I do with my coconut?