Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break - Cruise from Miami

Sunday March 18th we headed out from Ocala towards Miami for our family Spring Break cruise. We drove as far as Orlando and ran a few errands. Our next stop was shortly after 7pm in Stuart, Florida. In Stuart we visited with our dear friend and former pastor, Rev. Phillip Short and his family, including his wife Giova and daughter Carmen. We had called to let them know that we were coming and they made us a lovely dinner. It was so nice to have some time to catch up with them - Phillip was our pastor back in Seffner and married us as well as baptized both of our boys.
We spent the night at the Best Western in Stuart and got up Monday morning to finish the drive into Miami.

We got to Miami about 10:30am, parked at one of the offsite lots and grabbed the shuttle over to the port. We checked in with our boarding passes and passports, then went through the line for our Sail and Sign cards. The boys loved the view of the ship from the lobby...and spent some time checking out the map of the ship.

Our boarding zone was called about 12:15 and we went up to get our picture taken and board the ship.

We went up to the Lido deck and had lunch and then walked around and checked some things out before we were allowed to go our room at 1:30pm.

We were on the Deck 2 (Main) with an oceanview stateroom. The boys had a surprise from us waiting on the bed - Bon Voyage gifts including t-shirts, backpacks and water bottles.

They were thrilled with their bunkbeds and the window ledge became one of their favorite places to sit all week. They loved the view of the water and the ports.

Our luggage arrived, we unpacked everything and changed clothes so that the boys could enjoy some pool time. They got brave and decided to do the water slide. We all did the slide at least once. The boys did it each about ten times in between turns in the hot tub.

With our pool time we were also up on the Lido Deck for the Sail Away Party from Miami.

We had early seating for dinner at 6:00pm in the Universe Dining Room. Our waiter was Komang from Indonesia and our assistant server was Llado from Serbia. They were fabulous the whole week. Parker was visited by a special guest at dinner.

Following dinner, we took the boys to Camp Carnival's Sail Away Party for the kids. This was one of the only times that the boys were together for Camp Carnival events - usually they were split into two age groups. Parents were encouraged to stay in the room but on the sideline for this one.

After the party, we left Parker there for his age group's activities for the night and took Wesley up to a different part of the ship for his age group. While they were playing and making friends, we took in a game show trivia challenge in the Palladium Lounge and walked around the ship some more. When we picked up the boys at 10pm, they had each colored a special Camp Carnival shirt.

We took them up to the Lido Deck for the all-u-can-eat Ice Cream Bar where they had ice cream cones before we headed back to our room for bed. That's when the boys discovered the turn down service provided by our room steward Made' and the first of our towel animals for the week.

It was a wonderful first day at sea!

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