Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas: Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Sparkling Wine

After my last blog post in early December, I went through a mentally exhausting week of finals, and followed it up with a flight to Florida and a one week cruise in the Bahamas.  I thought I’d share some photos from/comments about the trip over the next few days – there was so much activity, it’s impossible to squeeze it into one post!

We landed in Florida around noon on a Saturday, and were greeted by the shuttle company provided by the Carnival cruise line.  Once we boarded the ship (ours was the Carnival Ecstasy), there was a lunch buffet waiting for us in the Lido Restaurant.  We ate, made last minute phone calls before we would be charged for roaming, and then climbed up to the outdoor upper level to watch the ship depart.  View of another ship from the top of ours as we were leaving.

View of another ship from the top of ours as we were leaving.

Mon 9We hung out on the deck for a while, breathing in beachy air and enjoying the warm breeze (ridiculously weird, considering we had left 30 degree weather behind where I live), until some guests nearby decided to feed bread to the seagulls.  Now I’m deathly afraid of birds, so when the seagulls started dive-bombing toward the deck, I ushered our party inside.

But fear not, because the view from our cabin was pretty nice too:Sunset from our cabin

Sunset from our cabin

I should mention that the staff on the Carnival Ecstasy are very polite and friendly – from the staff member who greeted us at the airport for the shuttle service, to the crew that clean the cabins who give you a friendly greeting every time you pass them, to the crew member assigned to our cabin who personally came to our cabin to introduce himself – I got a very good impression of the Carnival Ecstasy staff from Day 1.

So anyhow, tired from a morning filled with flights, multiple security checks, and turbulence, we were planning on just staying holed up in our rooms until dinner time.  As we were making plans on where to go for dinner, there was a knock on the door.  I opened the cabin door to see a staff member holding a bottle of wine and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries – COMPLIMENTARY.  I love chocolate covered strawberries, so I could’ve gone home right then and been satisfied with the trip =)Mon 12

We got dressed for dinner and decided to go exploring a bit around the ship before eating.  Some pictures of things that caught my eye around the ship:
Mon 13

Mon 14

Mon 15

Mon 16
Water slide on the uppermost level of the ship

After dinner, we were excited to return to our cabins and feast on chocolate strawberries and finish off the night with some wine.  What we didn’t expect to find when we returned was this little guy:
Mon 17I’m not 100% sure what animal this is – my bet is it’s a puppy – but the important thing is: it’s made out of TOWELS!  TOWELS!  Those are some serious skills right there.  Mon 18There were three beds in the room – these two, and one behind me.  During the day, the ladder is detached, and the top bunk collapses into the wall.  Sometime in the evening, the crew member assigned to our cabin comes in and sets it up for us and makes our beds for the night.  Sometime in the morning, he comes back, collapses the bed, and makes our beds again.  That’s two times that he comes in, every day, to make our beds and tidy things up for us – such dedicated service!  And every night, he leaves a different towel animal and pieces of chocolate – one per member of the party.

That’s pretty much it for day 1.  It’s mostly a blur to me; I just remember the flight, being tired from the flight, and wanting to rest after the flight.  Stay tuned as I continue to post about the trip over the next few days, and to see what towel animal appeared in our room each night!

**Update: to see the second post of my trip, you can check it out here.

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