Monday, August 18, 2014

Carnival Triumph Cruise 2014 - Part 1

Day 1 - Monday Aug. 11, 2014
Made the journey leaving our Panorama Village home at 9am.  Traffic moved well until we reached the south side of Houston.  Then we were in stop and go traffic about 15 min.  It seemed silly to leave so early but we arrived at our destination without worry and timing was perfect.  *Don't forget I-45 & exit #19 has an out of this world huge Buc-ee's.  Clean restrooms!
After exiting I-45 in Galveston, arrival to the terminal was follow the leader (pickup ahead of us loaded with suitcases making us certain they were headed to the cruise).   We chose to pass up signs in Galveston reading "discount parking," by following official "Cruise Terminal" worry free parking ...Pull up, tip a porter to handle luggage then on to follow signs to parking spot.  A shuttle brought us back to the terminal and then the shuffle through security was on.  Actually lines moved swiftly.   Room card in hand and then on to load the ship. 
 
Lunch was being served on the 9th floor also referred to as Lido Deck.  We quickly learned if food isn't actually prepared then don't waist the calories.  Mark's Panini was yummy as was my Chinese food.  But just stay away from the buffet.  Let me add one exception ... the Lido deck has ice water, ice tea and coffee all at no additional fee.  Return trips with my glass will be made to collect water!
As 1st time cruisers it was good to take the ship tour.  Good thing we had on comfortable shoes.  Because we were lead on several floors of steps.  The elevators we have learned were way too slow. 
The Room is what would be expected for a small area and the balcony had private beautiful views. .  The best thing as I learned later that evening was our shower head was removable and plenty of hot water.
 When the emergency drill is announced go early so that you can stand against the wall.  Our mistake ...we had waited a bit. Instructed to stand in front of others (so we had nothing to lean on).  All in all there were 4 rows of people packed like sardines standing waiting in the heat.  Needless to say miserable conditions, but my muster area of people were friendly and we made the best of the situation.  After all, we might have to save each other's lives!



Dinner oh very much worth the wait.  Mark's Lasagna yummy. My chicken was ok.  His cheesecake was like eating a piece of cheese.  It only took one bite to realize not to tally those calories.  My black forest cake had whole black cherries which I picked out, gobbled up then left the rest.
The evening show was a good way to end the day.  If only we had ended it after the show!  Instead we ventured into the jewelry show.  Price wise no-no-no.  However, I did pick up some Elizabeth Arden on clearance for $20.  Then the clerk promptly handed Mark 2 raffle tickets.  We had to be present to win.  Now this is our 2nd mistake because earlier we had also attended and stood around waiting at the spa raffle.  Lesson learned no more "have to be present to win" raffles.  My poor swollen feet were ready for sleeping!
 
Our evening balcony room view gave way to a romantic full moon!  I awoke several times during the night.  Perhaps it was the constant rock of the ship or perhaps it was the water I inhaled staying hydrated.  Always upon returning to bed I first had to glance at the Heavens, the magnificent work of Art, and thank God for also forming the Land.  I know that sounds amusing to some people but seriously "How Great Is Our God" to have formed such gloriously delightful creations for us to behold.

Day 2, Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014
This will be a total day at Sea aboard the vessel.  We are awake and on the Lido deck before breakfast preparations are ready.  But after coffee was poured into my system,  I walked on ahead of Mark upstairs to the track and completed a brisk 1/2 mile walk.  Breakfast consisted of Omelets made to order .... ok.  Attended the shore excursion presentation.   Another raffle opp.  Why did I do this raffle?  Score ... Paris lounge has brunch until 1pm.  Yay.  Brunch, a total success.  Mark had tomato soup, eggs, bacon and finished with banana pie with a brown sugar caramel sauce and  ice cream.  I had a Cesar salad and a "hey pork chop" ...  deliriously finishing every bit if the gravy with my spoon.  Now I can reasonably say that I will brag on the cruise meals.  As long as we continue to skip the Lido deck food all will be happy.  Continuing on to the Art Auction.  Did you know that a glass of complimentary champagne is served? Oh gee 3 more raffle tickets.  Now I'm hooked to the end.  Wasn't I going to skip raffles?  Well ok another glass of champagne is offered so I remain seated.  But after the attractive blonde from Africa settled in beside Mark to make sure the artwork which  he wanted to place a bid had been offered I was ready to leave.  I'm the one who registered and had a bid number not him,  where was my attractive attendant settling in beside me for sales pressure? 
Mark has a headache at this point.  Note to self:  remember Mark is a diabetic and no more rich desserts for him.  We have now retired to the room for a nap.  He is out like a light.  I read until my eyes closed for 20 min.  Then it was tea time.  Ran a brush through my hair and braved the maze of the ship by myself.  It took courage to walk a few minutes late into the Paris lounge ... but I pushed through the almost empty dinning room to join already seated guests.  After all it was tea time!  We had triangular shaped sandwiches of cucumber and dill, and also smoked salmon (no thank you).  After selecting my flavor of tea from the wooden box then came the decadent cart of sweets.  I was like a child in the toy store.  I limited myself to 2 small selections ... one was a chocolate pudding tart that I would love to purchase whole and take home and let each of my readers sample (but too bad for them), the other was a 4 layer chocolate cake.  Ok, so I ate the icing and left most of the cake wishing I had another piece of the chocolate pudding tart.  I visited almost non stop with a lovely Science teacher from Katy ISD until we were the last 2 remaining in the lounge and we decided to remove our bodies from our chairs..
Returning to my room I am on the balcony enjoying the moderate temperature while Mark continues to sleep.  Watching the water I notice something surfacing to the waters diving three times then out of sight.  There are 3 somethings ... and it happened repeatedly.   I am now engaged with watching for creatures when an entire flock of birds fly momentarily with our ship.  I was frozen to my chair knowing if I left for my camera I would miss the sight ... a Kodak Moment without my camera in hand.  Another quiet moment and Thanks Given with an uplifted spirit to our Heavenly Father for this  gift of sighted pleasure.
4:30 now ... Tonight is our formal evening ... I best shower and get dolled up, Mark wants formal attire photos tonight.

Indeed we had formal pics done, we even shook hands and posed with the ship Capitan.  Then off to the London Dinning room for at our leisure dinning.  Dinner was a marvelous strawberry bisque, lobster tail, and jumbo shrimp.  Mark had yummy stuffed mushrooms and salmon.  Tonight I topped off my meal with chocolate melting cake.  Yes it was good but perhaps I'm tired of rich chocolate.
After dinner we attended the punch line comedy club.  To our dismay the act was noted as family fun; however, we were unimpressed with the content knowing children were in the audience.   Mark's comments were, "for a supposedly  family friendly audience it was offensive to hear jokes about boys peeing in the front yard."  I could add more but need I at this point?  Let's take a break, refresh and change shoes... then off to yet another evening function.
The Rome Lounge performance tonight is titled, Wonderful World.  The dance routines showcased pieces from around the globe.  All selections were marvelous.   I sat on the edge of my chair during the Irish steps similar to those of Riverdance.  The African selection found my foot tapping with the drum beat.  My favorite had to be the penguins performing to Puttin' on the Ritz and had me vocally giggling like a child.  The young dancers are truly talented in their abilities and the live band performance contributes to the spell bound don't move from your seat experience.
I'm tired, my feel are swollen and I'm ready for a nap.  Tomorrow is another day.

Day 3, Wednesday Aug 13, 2014
Progresso .... upon arrival I find myself wondering why we are bothering with this stop.  It seemed quite unattractive from our balcony chairs.  As first time cruisers we watched as other guests disembarked and how they searched for the attendants holding signs for specific excursions.  Now we are ready to choose a last minute tour.  I was quite indecisive about the Progresso stop.  Mark chose Shopping in Merida, Mexican Rodeo Show & Buffet.  Yes, he made a wonderful choice and our guide spoke excellent English. 
 
 
Merida, the capital city, is about 30 minutes from Progresso.  my pleasure the scenery improved immensely as we entered the city.  Our first stop was the Governor's Palace, followed by the oldest cathedral in Mexico, shopping, and finishing at the Rancho Tierra Bonita where a fabulous Mexican Buffet awaited our starving tummies.  We enjoyed the Mexican charros showing off their equestrian skills and the singing and dancing of the colorful folkloric ballet.
 
Returning to the Triumph I couldn't wait to get back inside our clean vessel and be grateful that eventually we would return to our home country!