Last week I traded out my back porch for a porch of a different kind. Instead of drinking beers and staring out at my backyard, I was drinking margaritas and staring out at the Caribbean Sea from the front of a gigantic cruise ship. On the 11th my family and I set sail out of the Port of New Orleans on the Carnival Dream, and what a dream it was! We traveled from the Gulf down to Jamaica, to Grand Cayman, and finally on to Cozumel where I considered accidentally stranding myself.
This was my first cruise and my first time out of the good ole U.S. of A. The whole thing was a little daunting but Carnival made everything so easy that I quickly felt foolish for being even the slightest bit worried.
Now, every spare moment of my time is consumed with thoughts of when my next cruise will be. I already miss being greeted by little towel animals sitting atop a freshly made bed – I had to take the eyes off the things though. Couldn’t stand the thought of ‘em watching me and my husband sleep – I also miss being able to order whatever I wanted (like two appetizers every night) and devouring everything in front of me without a single look of judgment from the people around us (since everyone else was doing the same thing).
Being from a state that is known for its love of food, I was very satisfied with the selection Carnival had to offer. The food was just as good as I’d heard. There were endless amounts of ice cream and pizza that taunted me at every turn. I had lobster, shrimp curry, salmon, and tons of other delicious dishes each night at dinner. I tried snails and scallops for the first time and loved every buttery, dripping bite. The desserts were some of the best I have ever had… and that’s sayin’ something considering the types of desserts southern women can whip up. I tasted a bread pudding that was so good I just might slap the next person to try and feed me bread pudding that didn’t come from a Carnival cruise ship. And of course, I had to try the infamous Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake, and it was every bit as mouth-wateringly delicious as people claim it to be. In fact, my momma thought it was so good that she had it every single night.
[Now I should probably add here that I was so full after eating 2 apps and my main course that I didn’t order dessert every night. Instead, I just gave in to temptation and started eating off of everyone else’s plates. You should feel bad for my sister and my husband since they were the ones on either side of me…]
And did I mention the margaritas? Of course, I spent most of my time haulin’ around a beer bucket mixed with Bud Light and Miller, but there were those special occasions where I had to mix it up and try something a little more festive. I quickly discovered that those fruity, frozen concoctions that people seem so fond of were just not for me. However, those margaritas were so dadgum good.
In the early part of the cruise, before I became brave enough to venture off on my own and really explore the ship, me, my husband, my cousin and his wife found the hot tub on the Serenity deck. (Serenity deck = NO KIDS ALLOWED) And during that period where I was just trying to get comfortable and used to my surroundings – and not puke every time the boat so much as swayed – I was able to enjoy a blissful moment staring out at the ocean, margarita in hand, and just let all my problems roll right on off my shoulders.
Not a single time on that ship did I think about the job that I had taken off from. Nor did I think about having to continue my desperate search for a new job when I got back. I didn’t worry about any of the things that had been plaguing my mind up to the cruise, and honestly, I didn’t think about them when I got back. My mind stayed in that peaceful place it had found on that boat for a couple of days, but unfortunately, the real world is a cruel mistress that will not be denied, but I will not go gentle into that good night. So, I will rage against the dying of the light by reliving those blissful hours here – on my blog. I’m going to split up my cruise into three more posts where I will share my experiences, my pictures, and the knowledge and insights I gained from a little bit of cruise therapy.