– is it really “fun for all and all for fun?”The week of Feb 18, 2013 hubby had to go on a work cruise on the Carnival Elation ship. His industry was holding a conference to create new opportunities for business growth and development. This was hubby’s 3rd cruise and my 2nd with him. So for him, it was not much of a break-from-work cruise and for me, it was supposed to be a vacation. Let me just say right off, that cruising is far from my ideal idea of a vacation. I was so freaking glad to get back home; I can’t say that enough. Getting sick during the trip did not help ease my misery.
The cruise left the Port of New Orleans on Monday and arrived back on Saturday. We flew into New Orleans on Sunday and walked around town on our own. We went down a portion of Bourbon Street, and I quickly discovered, with absolute certainty, that place is not for me. I was so uncomfortable while walking that street (during daylight!) that I quickly realized I would not ever want to go there during the night, and unquestionably would not want to get drunk in that area. I absolutely did not see the appeal of the place. We thought it best and safe to eat at the hotel’s café for dinner after seeing Bourbon St.
Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back to the question at hand. CARNIVAL CRUISING – is it really “fun for all and all for fun?” As you read this, you will be able to determine my answer.
The ship was old and small. Can’t really fault the ‘old’ part. The ‘small’ part – well there were too many people on board for its size. But one part I can find fault with is the décor. OMG, it was sooo tacky. The décor was truly awful – it kind of looked like the 80’s and 90’s exploded in and then meshed with your grandma’s old-person’s home. Bad colors, bad style, bad execution – just tasteless. Another outrageous thing they did was to tip the hell out of patrons for their drinks. While out on sea, you could not sit at the bar and open up a tab, and then, when finished pay up and tip on the whole amount. NO! With every single drink you ordered, you paid and had to tip on it. Really??? Really??? That is just insane. (Now keep in mind this was only my 2nd cruise and my 1st was 3 years ago on a different cruise line. So this offensive tipping policy may be standard practice and I am just unaware). Also, the food was bland; some of it was fine, but mostly just some tired thing to keep you from starving. I did enjoy the 24 hour pizza bar, the ice cream machine and the Mongolian Wok though. Those were delicious. And the biggest factor I did not like was having my schedule set for me for a vacation. When I go on vacation, I want to be the one to set it, with hubby’s input of course.
There was one thing on board that greatly amused me – the Hairy Chest Competition. One afternoon the assistant cruise director hosted this funny contest on the Lido Deck. There were 7 men ranging in age from late 20’s to late 50’s. The oldest of these had on a santa hat and a santa boxers. Three women were the judges for the competition. Some of the things the men did to these women to try and influence their decision just made me cringe. Eww Eww Eww! The men really got into this contest and did some really silly/slightly embarrassing antics to try to win this most prestigious of awards. In the end a 30-something man with a very hairy chest (and hairy back and arms) won. He was the most fun to watch as he knew how to shake his booty enticingly. ;-) The other thing 3 things I enjoyed the most were the 2 comedians, playing roulette in the casino (and ultimately losing) and late-night dancing at a lounge. Two of those nights I was out until after 2am. I do not stay out/up that late in my normal life, but hey, I did not have to be anywhere the next morning. And the comedians on board were great and really funny. I enjoyed their shows and witticisms very much.
The cruise stopped in Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. Hubby and I only got off at Cozumel and walked around for a couple of hours, though some of that time was spent in Margaritaville for lunch. Lunch there was really tasty and so were those large margaritas. ;-) After much window shopping, I did buy a beautiful statement necklace and a couple of normal touristy junk things. The store peddlers really really really got on my nerves. I know they were doing their jobs, but I was starting to hate them and their pestering ways.
So all in all, the trip was just fine. I would not be excited about doing it again anytime soon. But I will look on it as an adventure and of going to 2 places I had not visited previously – New Orleans and Cozumel. And I got to fly to/from NOLA in first class! I do love flying and traveling.
But back to the question in the title - “Is it really ‘fun for all and all for fun’?” I very strongly say NO. Hubby and I were so happy to get back to New Orleans and even more excited when our flight got us back to Atlanta and ultimately home. Despite the 2 comedic shows, hairy contest, roulette and 1 night of dancing, there was really nothing much else that delighted me. I was bored a good deal of the time. When we debarked in NOLA and were making our way to customs, I heard a few older people say how much fun they had and wanted to turn around and walk right back on the ship for another cruise. My thought was ‘what the f--- cruise were you on?’ But as I said earlier, I got sick during the last ½ of the cruise and was miserable. Anyways Carnival, thanks for giving me something to do that week other than going to work. I hope I have a more satisfying vacation later this year.
I did get some pics though during the trip – here you go:
view of ship from hotel room
mounds of what would become semi-bland food
love towel animals!!
“The butcher backed up into his meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.”