Vacation Day #2

Ashlyn took this picture on the Deck of Carnival Spirit in the Port of San Diego.
We all got up bright and early and were really excited because we knew that in a few hours we would be on the Cruise. We checked out of the Candy Cane Inn, and started off to get on our 8 day Mexican Riviera Cruise. An hour and a half later we arrived at the Parking Terminal in San Diego. I was able to find a parking structure that would shuttle us to the Port, and also found a coupon so we only paid $7.00 a day, rather then $10.00. The parking structure was called the Mission Brewery. As we neared the Port, Ashlyn was the first to point out our ship. Jeff and I went on a cruise a few years ago with friends, so we knew what to expect. This was a first for the kids so they were very awestruck at the enormity in size of our cruise ship.

After being picked up by the shuttle and dropped off on the pier with the other passengers going on the cruise, we checked our luggage in and got in a long line to go through security and get our cabin keys. Even though there were hundreds of people in line, the whole process took about 20 minutes. It was fast and painless.

Ashlyn, Jeffrey, and Jeff getting their first glimpse off the deck of the Carnival Spirit Cruise ship in the Port of San Diego, California

When we arrived on board, we looked around and started to explore the ship. It actually took us all week long to really see what was all over the ship, and it took a few days to get our bearings.By the end we were pro's (well the kids and Jeff) as to where everything was located.

Jeff and the children watching dolphins swimming and playing off the side of the ship in the bay.

While we were exploring and waiting for the ship to leave port,we heard an announcement that there would be a raffle in the Spa area for free treatments. Jeff and I wanted to see if we would get lucky so we signed up. I couldn't believe it, but out of all the people there, I won a $199.00 teeth whitening treatment! I thought being on the cruise was wonderful, but to win something on top of that in the spa was just the cherry on top.

I know it is hard to believe, but we even had a waterslide on the cruise ship. The kids were really excited about having a chance to try this out. Some other exciting features on board was a 9 hole miniature golf course, a basketball court, ping pong tables, 3 swimming pools and jacuzzi's, a library, casino, auditorium for the Las Vegas style shows at night, sushi bar, 24 hour buffet, formal dining area, and a Supper Club. There were other features as well, but you seriously would have to see it in person to understand how big the ship was.

Ashlyn, Janele and Jeffrey look out from an upper deck and enjoy the view!

In the San Diego Bay, there was a battleship, and other ships that resembled that they came from the Seven Seas. Ahoy ye matey!

Ashlyn became quite the photographer on the trip, and did a great job capturing family moments A kind passenger on board offered to take a picture of us as a family while we all waited for the ship to leave the bay. At last, a picture with all four of us!
Our ship was supposed to leave by 4pm, but we actually left about 5:30pm because they were still loading supplies. Once the ship got on its way, we went down to our cabin and found out that our luggage had been left in front of our door in the hallway. We got ready and headed to the main Empire Dining room, and had a wonderful meal. My favorite part of being on a cruise ship is by far the sit down fancy dinners each night. The kids were able to try cuisine that I would never have been able to concoct, and I was very, very impressed that they were willing to try new things. It was also a time for them to practice their table manners and etiquette. I never had to ask them more then once to place their dinner napkins in their laps, and with some gentle coaxing I was able to keep their elbows off of the tables. They ordered for themselves each night, and were very polite when speaking to our waiters. Because, we had an early dinner time, we missed the orientation for the Camp Carnival program for the children, but was able to sign them up for the programs. There was a Welcome to Camp Carnival Party, so we headed down to that, and the kids were able to dance and get to know the other children on board. There were only 75 kids total on board, so the groups were small, but our kids had a ball.

The kids went to a dance party, where each of the squares they stood on lit up and they had to do different dance moves. It was hilarious to watch Ashlyn and Jeffrey.

At the end of each day, our Room steward Antonius (he was from Honduras)would turn down our beds and leave us an animal made out of a towel. We all thought it was great!

Something funny happened after my children read the first entry I did about our trip. Once Ashlyn realized that I had included her journaling about Disneyland, she handed me her school journal to make sure I included the events from our first day on the cruise ship, followed by Jeffrey. Since I put Ashlyn's in the last blog, I will start with Jeffrey's version first this time.

*8 year old's perspective* Jeffrey wrote "We were at the terminal and I had to wait in line the whole time, and we saw battleships and real cannon holding Pirate ships. We finally went into the ship with our luggage and we were waiting until we left there from the port. We saw incredible things and we met all sorts of people from all over the United States of America. We saw all kinds of dolphins and we played disco with Ashlyn's friends and that was the end of the day."

*10 year old's perspective* Ashlyn wrote, "After waking up today we got ready to go to the cruise ship. We missed breakfast, so Dad got us all doughnuts to hold us over. (I sucked on a giant lollipop stick I got from Disneyland.) We drove for an hour and a half. It was intense. Then out of the blue, I saw the tail fin our our ship! It was collosal!! You could see the water slide from miles away! Fun Fact: Millions of sea mammals take residence in San Diego Bay. We explred everywhere and even saw 5 dolphins swimming around the ship! At dinner I had Chicken a la Greque, and Tiger Shrimp Cocktail. I sent my complements to the chef."

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