Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Cruise '07

Crusin' with The Carnival Ecstasy

It was very hard to ever make this cruise. We feared that it might not happen. Started out with a horrible ice storm that took out our electricity for my family for the week prior to leaving. Then the day we were to leave a snow storm was coming in. We left for the airport and everything was fine. (except that it was 4:30 a.m.) We were to meet up with Beth in Dallas and she was not leaving until 7:00. We got off the plane and had a message on my phone.... Beth's flight had been cancelled. She was now driving to Tulsa from OKC to catch a plane there. She turns in her luggage and walks away only to hear, that flight was now cancelled. In the meantime I had rented a limo to pick her up at another whopping $220.00 to transfer her to the ship from the airport because the Cruise line's last shuttle stopped at 1:00 and Beth was not due in until 1:30. I asked if they could hold the bus for just that 30 minutes and they said no. Good grief. She has to catch this ship, she has no passport to fly to our next port. So it is either do or die at this point. (I was afraid of who the die might be if she did not make this cruise! After packing by flashlight and driving from OKC to Tulsa, someone was going to die I feared!) She ran back to the counter to grab her luggage and to ask what she should do. She was told in OKC that she could not change tickets to another carrier which is why she had to drive to Tulsa. So she went to the counter and a very nice lady called Continental and guess what??? They got her a straight through flight to Houston. Why couldn't that have happened in OKC? Why couldn't we all have gotten straight through flights in the first place. And now she was going to be in Houston at 12:30 not 1:30 as the American Airlines fight was to be. How great is that? So I called and cancelled the limo (thank goodness for cell phones and credit cards!) and all is well. What a way to start our cruise.
Beth gets off the plane, calls me and says, Please! meet me at the baggage claim. No problem. I need to make sure for myself that she is there and fine. Yep, she is good. Tired, (a little cranky) but good to go. We are heading back to the shuttle stop and the cruise ladies tell us the next shuttle is to leave at 1:30 (?) OK, well I guess they can hold a bus for a little while huh? We grab a bite to eat and go wait for the shuttle bus. Oh, did I tell you my 72 year old parents are traveling with us? They have been without electricity and they are (mom) is very cranky. She wanted to cancel her trip all together to stay home and....sit in the cold dark house?? So we finally convinced dad to get her on the trip to get away. That might have been a mistake. The loss of money for the Cruise might have been less painful in the long run.
We make the last bus and are ready to go when we find out that we are now having to wait for some other passengers. We finally leave a little after 2:00, our ship leaves at 4:00 and it is 1 1/2 hours away by bus to the dock. Close, but no problem. We take off finally and for some reason about 30 minutes into the ride we figure out that the driver has no idea where he is or where he is going. A passenger is calling for directions to help him and he confesses to us that he has never picked up passenger at the airport before and he has missed his turn or exit. We are lost! Thanks to cell phones once again, this passenger calls and gets him the directions he needs and helps him to get back on the right path. We are all fearful that we will be late and miss the ship. I call the number of I have been using all day dealing with getting Beth onto this ship and call "Amy" myself. She starts asking questions that I don't know like where are we? How long have we been on the road? Has the driver called his dispatch to let them know he is lost etc. She calls the port to find out that they know we are late, but did not know much of anything else. She tells them we are on our way. I ask if they will hold the ship, and she says, well that is up to the Captain and I can't get ahold of him myself at this time. She had tried. I guess he might have been a little busy you think? We are all in a panic, Beth says, if I went through all this trouble to finally get a flight and now miss the bus because a new driver gets lost and has no help, some one is going to die. I fear she needs medicine at this point (or I do).
It is 4:00 p.m. and we see the pier in the distance. The poor driver is hurrying fast as he can.
We get there and they are yelling at us to hurry up, go do this, go do that. My poor mom is hurrying as fast as she can, we are grabbing our luggage and pulling it all the way, trying to sign credit card approvals, get our keys, we have missed the life boat drills, good grief. I need a vacation! We finally get to our room and it is nice....not like Holland America, but it is nice. There is no sofa to sit on, no tub, it is pretty tiny. But it is quiet and clean, and we are finally on the ship. That you God for a safe journey, we are at last on the ship. And there are TJ and Amanda, all is good. Not wasting any time we set sail and are on our way. We go to watch us leaving the dock, and to check out the ship. We sit down and see the dolphins in the water. The water is dirty, but you can see the dolphins, where is my stupid camera, oh yes, it is in my room in the bag. Oh well, they are cute, (note to self, take camera everywhere.) Finally we are on our way!

What better thing to do on a cruise than to play cards, (and lose money). Beth found this table called Fantasy Fun 21. It is like black jack but with no queens, and you can surrender half your bet or your whole bet depending on the situation, all kinds of rules. This girl was not my favorite. My favorite girl dealer was Chloe from England. We had so much fun with her. She explained the game, made it fun for us and still took our money. We pretty much played with her only for the others made losing money painful. Chloe made it fun! Big difference. Beth would make money, sometimes up to $100.00 and then she would lose all of it. I asked her why she didn't stop, she said, I had a lucky streak going, yes and that is why they call it gambling, you win and then you all.....unless you STOP. We had so much fun. Many of us became regulars at the table and enjoyed laughing with each other while Chloe took our money. Beth even had some guys hit on her. That is what being on a cruise is all about. She might have even gotten lucky if it weren't for her mom and her grandma and grandpa tagging along with her everywhere. But then again it was a dirty old man that walked up and said, hey, do you like older men? (he was about 60/65ish) (oh, and did I mention falling down drunk?) Beth said, sure I like my grandpa a lot!! I thought Chloe was going to bust a gut trying not to laugh so hard. This man was terrible and Chloe had to get tough with him. We finally left and just came back later. Drunk people, you just have to love them (no you don't, just throw them overboard!)

This picture is of us in Cozumel. We went to Senior Frog. Ok, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The music was LOUD and the people walk around trying to get you take shots of something. I did not do it, but I sure got an eye full when TJ took a shot, and then I about fell out of my chair when Amanda took one. OH MY GOSH. I will not be posting those pictures! but the food was good!
I had to buy a hammock. In fact I bought three I think. This little old man sold me two (but I wanted them) and he was so sweet. I really feel sorry for the people in Mexico. I feel guilty not buying anything. I could not stand to live the way they do. I am not going back to Mexico.
This guy had Beth trying one out. This is the chair hammock, yes, I bought one, no, I bought two. One for me and one for Beth. I loved this. The horse is wearing a sombrero. Too cute.
Scott and I did make it to the beach area, if only to take a picture. Ok, not a good hair day, the wind was blowing like crazy, but who cares, we were on vacation!Beth wearing the pink dress we got in town that day. It is really cute and she put her white sweater with it because she is ALWAYS cold.
Norbi and Jose were our fine dining waiters. They were the best. We truely bonded with them and would love to have been able to exchange addresses to stay in touch. But you can't do that. Jose on the right is getting married soon and Norbi is married with the cutest two year old daughter. He quickly showed us their pictures. His little girl is truely very cute.
This was our formal night, my parents didn't want to come with us. They did not pack formal clothing for many reasons, but thats ok, we had fun.
Beth saw the captain walking and asked if she could get a picture with him. He said ok, after we took the picture others wanted to also, but he walked away. Beth felt really lucky.
Beth getting off the boat atCozumel. This was NOT my favorite cruise. But I loved the costume and the look. It was warmer than where we call home, I did not have to cook my own food, nor clean my room. WE WERE ON VACATION. And I LOVED taking a fun vacation with my kids. Beth is a lot of fun to be around. Vegas here we come.

We went to a five star resort (?) at Progesso and played on the private beach. It was COLD (50's I think) that day. The girls laid out and did get some sun, but I was cold all day. I even had more clothes on than they did, (I had ALL my clothes on.) And the wind was still terrible. But it was so pretty. The water, the beaches, it was all so pretty. Makes me appreciate what I have all the more. We had a good time, and I was glad we got to go together as a family. My kids had never been on vacation with my parents, their grandparents. So that was really important as we all are aging. I feel this will be my mom's last cruise, she did not get around well at all, her spirits were down and she was not much fun to be around. But we were very thankful that she and my dad were there. There is so much to be thankful for.

(Merry Christmas kids, I love you all so very much. Love, mom)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its cause you went on Carnival!!! HOW DARE YOU!!! LOL I am kinda just kidding!!!! ROYAL CARIBBEAN all the way!!! LOL!!!!