Have you missed me?
I mean, did you even notice I was gone?
It’s okay. I barely know if I am coming or going these days, so I can’t expect you to know where I am, either. But let me fill you in this time…
I’m currently sitting 5 miles off the coast of Belize, wearing a robe in the middle of the day, freshly showered after a long soak in the Thalassotherapy Spa pool.
Things could be much worse.
On Saturday I boarded the Carnival Dream with Jon and Seven, courtesy of the Carnival PR team I met at Blissdom in March. (I know, I know – I am spoiled. But you don’t know the half of it yet…stick around.)
Upon our arrival at the Orlando airport, we were greeted by a Carnival rep who pointed us towards our shuttle bus that would be taking us to the cruise terminal. The coach was large and comfortable – plenty of space for a crowd of vacationers ready to get their fun on. About an hour later, we pulled into the terminal and started the boarding process.
Now, we’ve been on a lot of cruises, but this was the first time we had VIP access. What’s VIP access, you wonder? Well, when you see the giant line full of cruisers waiting to board, and then the very short red carpet line, full of comfy chairs and a multitude of workers ushering you quickly through the line – THAT is the VIP access. I can’t tell you what type of room you need to book, or how much you may need to pay, but I assure you of this: it’s worth every penny. It took us no more than 5 minutes to make our way from outside the terminal to the minute we had our room keys – and, though it was only 11:30 in the morning, our stateroom was ready for us, thanks to the VIP access. You know you want this. You do. I will ALWAYS get it in the future.
Let’s talk a little about our stateroom for a minute. Again, I’ve been on a number of cruises, and 4 of them now on Carnival. This stateroom – an outside room with large window (Sev loves sitting in it) – is much different than those in the past. Sure, we still have the tiny cruise ship bathroom, but – right beside THAT bathroom is another bathroom, with a small TUB and another sink. That’s right – a TUB. Perfect for families with small kids that may be frightened of showers.
The rest of the room is average cruise size – a king bed for us, a sofa bed for Seven, and, should we have needed it, a pullman. There’s plenty of room in here for all of us, and we’ve really enjoyed the layout and comfort of this room. And – we’ve had no trouble at all napping or sleeping at night – we’ve been exhausted!
As you may have heard, food is always in abundance aboard a cruise liner, and the Dream is no exception. Every morning we’ve had a late breakfast up on the Lido Deck (which is open for breakfast until 12 if you are so inclined – or, open for lunch at 11am…haha!) and then reconvened there or at the phenomenal pizza bar for lunch in the late afternoon. But dinner? Well, dinner is a real treat.
We were assigned a small private table in the elegant and RED Scarlet Dining Room, with a team of wait staff that has blown us away. Seriously. We are in awe of how attentive, thoughtful, and downright friendly they all are. The young lady, Elizabeth, has taken to Seven and has been not only catering to him at dinner, but also finding him at breakfast and lunch to make small talk. She’s also loading him up with origami creatures…he’s kind of in love, or so he tells us.
Last night we were surprised right after dinner when the Dining Room Maitre’d came over to meet us, and said that the Head Chef wanted to meet ME. And? To give me a tour of the galley if I’d like it.
Are you kidding? How cool is THAT?
So, that’s on the docket for later this week – on our final day at sea. They didn’t want to impede on our port days, for fear we may miss something we wanted to see.
Thus far we’ve docked in Cozumel (yesterday) and Belize City (today), but all we really did in either port was to walk around and shop. We’ve been to both places a few times, so there wasn’t anything we really wanted to do, so, we took advantage of most folks being off the boat and visited the normally crowded pools and waterpark on board. Seven is having a ball on the waterslides, and me? Well, I’m working on evening out my sunburn. Gracious, I am a white girl.
Later this week I’ll tell you all about the spa (holy moly) and the Camp Carnival, which we are ALL loving. Seriously, I can’t imagine anyone not seeing the value in a cruise, especially with kids. Meals, pools, tons of activities, shows, built in babysitters (free ALL DAY until 10pm), a casino, shopping, and of course – a traveling hotel in the most gorgeous seas. What’ s not to love?
See you in a few days with more vacation fun!
Disclaimer: As mentioned, I was sponsored by Carnival Cruise to experience the Carnival Dream. All thoughts and opinions are my own.