Native Texan Livin': Carnival Magic - Day 1 - Departure Day

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Carnival Magic - Day 1 - Departure Day

What is it about a vacation that makes you want to do NOTHING when you get home?  Maybe it has something to do with not having a schedule, being relaxed...then having to come home to a little something called REAL LIFE!  So after a month, I'm finally getting around to posting about our cruise!  Hope you enjoy!   :-)

DAY 1 - Sunday, 7/6/14 - Depart Galveston

WOOOOHOOOO!  We're finally leaving on our cruise to the Caribbean & the weather will be beautiful...after the rain storm of course! We got the Expedition loaded down with people & luggage...inside & out (luggage, not people!) and we headed to Galveston.  We had to put trash bags on the 2 suitcases on the hitch in hopes it wouldn't get wet in the rain storm.

Once at the pier, we waited for my sister Julie & her family to show up before checking in.  We went thru security, got bags checked, showed our wine that we're allowed to bring on & then got to check in.  Check in process was super easy.  They check passports & boarding passes, take a picture of all passengers for their sail & sign cards and assign you a boarding number.  They board the ship in groups so it's more organized & less chaotic...we got group 12.

We found chairs in the waiting area for all 10 of us, plus strollers & carry-ons and camped out til our number was called.  After 50 bathroom breaks, 2 water breaks, 1 spilled cup of water, 15 fights over who was gonna sit by who & who gets to play with what tablet, we finally got our call!




Before you get on board, a team of photographers takes pics of your family in front of a cruise boat backdrop.  Pictures snapped....lets get this show on the road.  Up, up, up, left & right, around, switch back this way & that, we climbed the enclosed ramp up to the boat.  Right as we were about to enter the boat, you put your sail & sign card in the machine, in bings you as OK & you're in!


We entered the boat & the kids had no idea we were even on board!  I told Izzy she was on the boat now & her jaw dropped!  My first stop was to the pursers desk to get someone to punch a hole in our sail & sign cards so we could wear them on a lanyard.  After that, we headed up to the 11th deck to check out our rooms.  We had 3 rooms in a row - mom's (11256), ours (11254) & Julie's (11252).  Our room steward met us at our cabins & he was able to open the partition on our balcony that connected to Julie's room.  He would've opened up the other side too that connected my room to my mom's but it would've blocked one of our doors out to the balcony, so we had to leave it closed.

After we dropped off our carry-on luggage, we went out to the lido buffet to have a late lunch. (It was about 2pm by now)  Most everyone had pizza, hot dogs & salad but I waited in line for the Mongolian wok.  After waiting in that line for 30+ minutes, I had my bowl of hot, spicy, meat & veggie filled noddles!  Y.U.M!!!!

Bellies full, we went back to the room to change into swim suits so the kids could play in the splash area. We still didn't have our luggage at this point, but we were all smart enough to pack our suits in our carry-on bags.

Check out the twinsies!







About 30 minutes later, everyone on the boat had to attend the muster drill.  This is where you go to your assigned muster station & sit to listen to instructions on what to do in case of an emergency.  We watched staff members put life jackets on/off, listened to instructions, kids got an wristband they had to wear the entire cruise that listed their muster station. (This was for ALL kids on the boat just in case they were in Camp Carnival if/when an emergency happened, the staff members would know where to take those kids.)  For some reason, the boat was delayed leaving by about an hour, so by the time we came out of the muster drill, we had already set sail.

Next, we attended a meeting about Camp Carnival letting you know all the activities they had planned for each age group.  We signed up the kids at this point, but otherwise, this meeting was a waste of time seeing as how we had already read about everything the kids would be doing on board.

Back in the room with only some of the luggage delivered, we got ready for dinner.  Since everyone knows a lot of people may not have their luggage yet, you don't have to dress "fancy" this night.  We were assigned early dinner seating at 6pm in the Southern Lights Dining Room.  We got to our assigned dinner table #702 and it was not that great...sucked pretty bad to be honest.  It was "right by the window" (ooh la la) which ended up being a window that "looked out to the water" after you looked past the walkway where the engine room crew would walk around & take their smoke breaks!  Seriously, if I wanted to see a guy in coveralls smoking, I'd hang out at any local refinery & not be on a cruise.  Anywhooo, this table was also right next to the doors where waiters come in/out with their trays after they come up the escalator, which I assume leads to the kitchen.  So, these were our 2 views at dinner this evening.  Not to mention, all the kids were tired, whiney & annoying, so dinner was super fun!  ;-)  Julie went to thmaître d' to request a new table for the rest of the cruise.  They said they'd see what they could do & let us know by tomorrow night.

Next stop....candy shop!  There's a candy shop on board called Cherry on Top and needless to say, it was bribery at its finest.  Kids behave = they get to go to Cherry on Top...They don't = they won't!

After dinner, we went to a Welcome Party that Camp Carnival was putting on.  About 6 families showed up, we did dance competitions, cha cha slided, gangnam styled all over the place...and Julie won "Best Mom Dancer" and received a 24k gold plastic medal!







9pm now, Julie and I went to Camp Carnival with the kids to let them check out their respective rooms they'd be playing in during their time there.  The kids seemed to really like it so that was a good sign!

Once back in our rooms, we all had our luggage so we all unpacked & got organized.  We were met in our room by a...crab?...frog?  After we were unpacked, we went down to the lobby to listen to live music for a bit then went back to the room to enjoy ice cream in Christopher's bunk bed!!!

Off to bed with a sugar high....let's get ready for tomorrow!


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