I'm going to take a stab at writing a review, pictures are being uploaded and will be added later. This was my first cruise. It was badly needed. I work as an EMT and recent workplace politics has made my job kind of stressful. On top of that, a week and a half ago I was dumped by my boyfriend for another woman. This was my first real vacation. I went by myself. I had planned to go by myself as my (now ex) boyfriend was unable to get off work and a friend kept saying she wanted to go but never got around to putting down the deposit. I am a VERY shy person, so my grandmother was convinced I'd have an awful time and be lonely.
So, it's the wee hours of thursday morning (around 4am.). I am awake, and wake my mom up by shrieking "I'M CRUSING TODAY!!!!" which made the dogs bark. I got a shower, got dressed, made sure I packed everything, made sure my phone was charged.
I got a donut and orange juice for breakfast, but I made the mistake of getting up and leaving the donut on a plate on the coffee table. I came back to no donut and a very guilty looking boston terrier. I spent the rest of the morning reading up on cruise critic.
9am rolled around and we picked up my Grandmother. She was there to keep my mom company on the drive back, because my mom isn't used to driving much. We had to stop in at my little cousins thanksgiving play. I could barely sit still in my seat I was so excited.
1030ish we left, and we were off for Port Canaveral!
The drive was a little over an hour, and it was rough, I think it was I-95 was the worst road ever. Half of each lane was repaved. Only half. So both were horribly uneven and I hate driving on uneven roads.
I started shrieking again as we saw DCL's Dream, and The Carnival Sensation from the road. I was bursting with excitement when I saw the signs pointing toward the ecstasy terminal.
We arrived at 1130. I found the terminal confusing. We drove up to a bunch of guys standing around a cart. Someone knocked on the trunk for me to open it, I popped it open, he took my bags and threw them on the cart. I never got a chance to tip him because he never came to the window. Then we kept driving looking for where I was supposed to get out. Some cruise employee told us to just pull off to the side and I'd get out. I set my mom's GPS so she could get back, pulled over, got out. We switched sides, grabbed my bag and I was off.
I got my passport and boarding pass out, and was directed by a smiling old man into line. I got into the port and was directed to another line to check in. At the head of the line there was a man directing you to open desks to check in. All the "Regular" lines were full, so he directed me over to the Platinum line, which was completely empty.
A rather rude and abrupt Carnival employee told me that I couldn't do that. I tried to explain that this is where I was told to go but she wouldn't listen, until the woman at the desk (i forgot what her number was) told her that yes, the guy at the line had told me to go to her, and that she was checking in guests while there were no platinum guests to check in.
I must have gotten there at the right time because as soon as I got my stuff out the platinum desk became crowded. I got pushed out of the way by some man's back pack.
Here's a tip: I bought a passport cover on Etsy. It looks cute, but the passport had to be taken out of it's cover to scan. The bending of the passport to take it out caused more damage then just leaving it out uncovered. So, if you have a cover I would recommend not using it.
After she gave me my sail and sign card, I was off! I took the embarkation photo, I was literally directed in front of something and then told to turn and smile before I knew what was happening. The carnival staff was very quick and efficient. Then I got to the part where they scan you sail and sign card (Beep!) and take an ID picture.
Up the gangway I went, and as soon as I stepped into the ship I was swept into a elevator by another carnival employee and was taken up to the Lido deck.
I was amazed by the atrium... It was... wow! I stared down for a good five minutes before I made my way around to the double doors and stepped out onto the lido deck!
Over all, I found the terminal a little confusing, but the check in process was fast and easy and the employees were very pleasant. (Aside from that one lady who kind of yelled at me :P)
More to come when I can get these pictures up!