Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Honeymoonin' {Days 1-4: New Orleans and sea days}

We're back from our honeymoon and finally settling back in. We took my digital camera, of course, but we also bought 4 of those old-fashioned, disposable, waterproof cameras, too. I was too scared of getting my digital camera messed up by all that water...I didn't trust myself not to drop it or let it get splashed! Anyway, we dropped the cameras off at the photo processing center yesterday, and I felt like I was back in 1999. Wasn't even positive that places developed those types of cameras anymore, lol. In any case, we just got the pictures back. I uploaded them to our online photo storage site and facebook, so I guess it's time to write posts about them. :)

We left on Friday, July 29th at about 6 am. We had to drive to New Orleans for this cruise (long story), so we decided to hit the road early.

After a few stops, we finally made it to our hotel around 4:30 pm. IT. WAS. SO. HUMID. Case in point: we left a stack of cruise-related papers on our desk from Friday at 4:30 pm - Saturday at 10:00 am and they were WET when we left. Nothing leaked...the humidity was just so darn high! Ugh.

Our hotel was within walking distance of the French Quarters and Bourbon Street, so we walked down there for dinner and to explore. It was pretty early when we walked down Bourbon Street for the first time. Although J had never been to New Orleans before, I had. But when I went, I was about 12 years old and with my family, so of course, my responsible parents didn't take me down Bourbon Street when there was any semblance of a party going on. So, needless to say, we pretty much felt like we were in a whole other world. We saw some....er, interesting things while we were there. lol.

On Saturday, we went to the port after lots of driving aimlessly through New Orleans. It wasn't necessarily that we WANTED to wander around in our car...but we couldn't get anywhere! There were lots of crazy corners, random streets were one-ways, the blocks were super-short, and our GPS couldn't keep up with all the "recalculating" it was having to do. We were plenty early for our cruise, though. Here's our first look at the ship:



We were able to board pretty easily and quickly, which was a pleasant surprise...thanks, Carnival! Since it was our honeymoon, J opted for a room with a balcony:


We spent the rest of the day exploring the boat and relaxing. Because of how nauseous I got on just three roller coasters at Six Flags with my sister a couple weeks ago, I was dreading the sea-sickness thing. I'd gotten some pills from my regular doctor, some OTC anti-nausea meds, and "sea bands." I took one of the anti- pills before boarding the ship, but soon realized that wasn't the best idea. The box claimed that the person taking the medicine might feel "a little drowsy," but I could barely keep my eyes open! I took a long nap in the afternoon and was still a zombie during dinner. I decided not to take the meds the next day and see how things went. I didn't know how it would go (since I got a little nauseous looking at the shore when we were leaving New Orleans [over an hour late, might I add]), but I didn't want to sleep through the whole trip! Luckily, everything turned out fine. As long as I didn't look at anything that my brain knew wasn't supposed to be moving, I was OK. Hooray! The nice part about Carnival, though, is that they film most of the "big events" going on around the ship, and then they play the tapes on their special Carnival TV channels. So even if we missed something live, we still had an opportunity to see it in our room.

Sunday was our first full day at sea. We went to the top deck and basked in the sunshine for a few too many hours and wound up getting some gross sunburns (whoops!). It was only 86 degrees, but the reflection of the sun off the water is what got us, I guess.

Sunday, we went to this love and marriage game in one of the lounges. We were careful to keep our hands down when the hostess asked who was newly married (I'm not into being embarrassed in public, thank you), but they found three suitable couples with varying years of marriage under their belts. There was a really old couple that had been married 65 years, and they were hilarious! I wish I could've filmed the show. 

Sunday was also our first formal dinner night:


We had opted for the "any time dining," as opposed to the strict 5 pm or 9 pm dining time. Little did we know, that meant we weren't going to see 90% of the shows the waiters perform during dinner. Boo.  On Saturday night, when the waiter announced that Sunday would be our first formal dinner, he suggested that we wear our most form-fitting formal clothing Sunday because by the time we had our next formal night, we might not be able to fit into it. ...We laughed, but it was so true! I'm pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds on the cruise. I'll spend the next month trying to get it back off, but I guess it was worth it. :) 

*For future reference: I'm not really a cold-natured person, but I was FREEZING on the boat once the sun went down. They keep the rooms very cool, and I was CONSTANTLY wishing I'd brought some pants and a heavier jacket. ...I hope I remember that when we take our next cruise. :) 

Monday was our other day at sea. We applied sunscreen very liberally -- lol -- and laid out a little more. We attended some shows and other activities that were on the boat, including some comedians  they'd reeled in this season, as part of their new, on-board comedy club.

It was a great start to a great week!

I'll leave you with one more picture of the ocean. This was taken from the ship:



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