betsyrossapk Posted November 9, 2004 #1 Share Posted November 9, 2004 We arrived at the Cleveland airport 1 1/2hrs early for our 9:15AM flite to Tampa. The security lines were long & we arrived at our flight gate with just 10 minutes to spare. We arrived in Tampa at 11:40AM. I thought the shuttle we reserved w/ Tampa Bay Shuttle would be waiting for us. The procedure is you call them by a courtesy phone & then they come to pick you up. So 1/2 hr later we were on our way to the ship. I would recommend not taking the shuttle & just taking a taxi. There is no difference in price & you are getting more personalized service. Carnival was extremely efficient in the boarding area with more than 20 ticketing agents checking people in. Didn't wait more than 10 mins in line to get to one. By the time we were finished with this process we were able to just get our sail & sign card w/no wait & then walk right on without waiting because the huge lines were already gone. We went immediately to our room & dropped off our carryons. I swear we were told that the lunch buffet was on the Lido deck by the pool & so we went there where hamburgers & hot dogs were being served. When we finished we walked toward the Brassiere & what a surprise this huge buffet. So we did indulge in all the delicious desserts they had. So be sure to go further inside when you first arrive on the Lido Deck. I then thought to look at my card to confirm we had the early seating (6:15PM) for dinner as that what we requested & it also appeared on the screen when I had checked 'My Reservation' online. Well we had been given the latest seating at 8:30PM. We went immediately to the Matre Di. He informed us that the boat was completely full & there was absolutely no openings in the early dining room. I asked to be put on a waiting list in case someone else requested a change. I knew we would have late seating the 1st night but hoped we could get changed for the remainder of the cruise. We checked back the next day & no luck. So we just decided to make the best of it & plan our days accordingly. The Lifeboat drill was scheduled for 4:30PM & we still had not sailed away by that time. The drill went very smooth. I don't think we waited more than 10 minutes after we arrived at our Muster Station. So after we returned our life jackets we went up on deck to await departure. It did not happen until 6Pm. It would have been nice if they announced that there was going to be a delay as we kept wondering what was wrong. Rumor had it that there were some mechanical problems being worked on. We were disappointed that we were sailing down the channel in the dark, but we remained outside to watch the ship go under the Sunshine Bridge & it was quite impressive. Then back quickly to our room to change & get to dinner at 8:30. We were at a table for 10 w/3 other couples & these people pretended that no one else was at the table. It was the strangest thing I ever experienced. Fortunately that was the only night that they were all there & it seemed like each night we had different people & that was fine with me as they were all way more pleasant. Our female wait staff was very efficient & we were always done with dinner each night by 9:30PM. I thought that must be a record, because I had heard others state how long their dinners had been. We went to the Welcome Aboard Show. The CD was Marahscalh Stanton & he did grow on me after awhile. We then retired for the night, it had been a long day. Day 2 later.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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