Last week, I took a break. I continued to blog, only because I had pre-scheduled posts for the A-Z Challenge. I even wrote my Ten Things of Thankful in advance. During that week, John and I celebrated our 28th anniversary by going on our first cruise. We turned off our cell phones. We left the computers behind. We lived life, unplugged. This week I've just been readjusting to "normal" life, but I still have things to say about our cruise, so this TToT post will be my own version of the vacation slide show of yesteryear. (I won't claim to be as entertaining as Charles Phoenix, but hopefully you'll want to stick around anyway.)
1. I'm thankful we decided to try a cruise. We chose a Carnival ship, only because they offered a short (in case we didn't like it) cruise that left from a port we could drive to. We've talked for years about trying a cruise, and finally bit the bullet.
|Why yes, it was windy. What makes you ask?|
2. I'm thankful that said Fun Ship was not filled with spring break revelers. Quite frankly, I hadn't even thought about the fact that college spring breaks could greatly influence the atmosphere of the ship. By sheer dumb luck, we missed displays of drunken exuberance. Only once we were awakened by a couple arguing in a nearby room. Other than that, everyone behaved civilly.
3. I'm thankful for the wealth of information on the internet, and for the tips I read ahead of time. One of the most valuable pieces of advice was about "Faster to the Fun." For a modest per-cabin fee, we could be first in line to embark and disembark. Our room would be ready for us upon arrival, and (had we chosen to use the porter service) our bags would be waiting for us, too. We chose to carry our own bags, and that made things even faster during disembarkation.
When I first tried to book Faster to the Fun, no tickets were available. Fortunately, I had read the advice to keep checking back, and sometimes additional tickets were released. The day before we left, one ticket was available. After double-checking that we only needed one ticket for both of us, we quickly snatched it up, and were so glad we did! We enjoyed extra time on the ship upon arrival, and we literally had NO lines when it came time to disembark. We walked off the ship at 7:15, walked directly to the customs agent, got in our car, found the freeways amazingly devoid of traffic, and arrived at Disneyland by 8:10! Had we not have had Faster to the Fun, we wouldn't have even been able to join the line to get off the ship until after 9 or 10 (depending on whether we carried our own luggage.) From what I have heard, disembarkation can be a very different experience than what we had.
My advice? If you book a cruise, Faster to the Fun is well worth the cost.
|We arrived at Disneyland in time to get drenched in a rain storm on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad|
4. I'm thankful for the special greetings we had for our anniversary. I had ordered room decorations to surprise John, but I didn't realize that it included a door decoration. That made it really easy to find our cabin; ours was the door with the "Happy Anniversary" sign. (Of course, I then forgot to take a photo of the door.)
5. I'm thankful for the whimsical towel animals the room steward left in our room each afternoon, and for the fun towel animal class that was held on the at-sea day. Seriously, I think I need to have some towel animals in my bathroom here at home. They just make me smile.
|My attempt at a towel puppy|
When the cruise was over, we went to Disneyland and stayed in the Ayres Hotel in Anaheim. I had booked a regular room, but when we checked in they had upgraded us to a suite. And what a suite it was!
7. I'm thankful for the pace of the cruise. There was plenty to do, but we never felt rushed. There was time to sit back and enjoy the view.
|view of the harbor out the porthole--or as John liked to call it, the starboardhole|
|sunrise on disembarkation day|
9. I'm thankful for the chance to try new things. I'm not talking about food, though escargot is actually quite tasty. I'm talking about the time when the cruise employee came into the audience and took me up on stage during comedian Seth Buchwald's improv show. Let it be known, I was NOT volunteering. During the long walk up on stage, I just kept hoping that I wouldn't be tongue-tied.
Seth Buchwald had just finished his first skit when I was brought on stage. There were three of us on stage: the cruise employee who had selected me out of the audience, Seth Buchwald, and me. An audience member would ask a question, and the three of us would answer the question. One person would say one word, the next person would add another word, the third person would add another word, and so on until the question was answered.
Apparently I did fine. After we answered quite a few questions, Seth asked me if I was OK. I said yes (amazingly, I was calm and actually enjoying myself), and we continued answering questions from the audience. At one point, Seth Buchwald brought up a young boy to join us, and we answered a couple more questions. Then the show was over. I was up there practically the whole show!
Of course, we had left our camera in our room, so we don't have photos of me on stage. However, we did run from the 9th floor aft, down to the 5th floor forward, back to the 9th floor aft, in order to retrieve our camera and get this photo of me and Seth after the show:
10. I'm thankful for John. We have so much fun together, whether we are doing silly things like folding towel animals, or serious things like attending the temple together (which we did on our final vacation day). It is just so nice to be married to my best friend!
What are you thankful for?
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine
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