The cruise last month was my third one in the past 12 months. All three have been with Carnival. Carnival is considered to be an entry level cruise line or so I am told. Regardless of where they sit on the spectrum I have to say the food is stellar. Other things not so good. Communication on board the ship has been an issue. There’s nothing like travelling with your sister and having a honeymoon cake delivered to your dinner table complete with little chocolate hearts. Or the towels made into little hearts on the bed. The cabin steward didn’t believe me when I told her we weren’t a couple, we were sisters. I got eyebrows raised in disbelief and a sympathetic smile suggesting I wasn’t ready to come out of the closet.
Ah, Carnival. Lots of fodder to write about there. The honeymoon mix up was only one of several things, but that’s to be expected I guess when you have 3000 guests in a confined space. But on the cruise trying to get cup of hot tea with milk became a personal challenge. On one occasion a gentleman from an adjacent table, after watching me request the tea multiple times over a period of 20 minutes, finally ordered it for me from the same server. Guess what, it arrived in, oh, three minutes at most. This wasn’t unique to one trip – I had the same problem for two out of three, hot tea apparently confounds them, as perhaps do women travelling alone.
I really don’t have anything to compare Carnival ‘s service to at this point, but I will by this time next year. We have already booked a cruise with Norwegian for November of this year. I think the intent is to always kick off the winter with a cruise (November) which is around the time of my sister’s birthday, and then kick out the winter blues with a cruise in February. Once I have put a little more distance from Kevin’s death in March 2015, I hope to find a way to go away that month too. Our anniversary was the 24th and he died on the 29th. It seems like a good idea to run away from reality that week.
Anyway, it will be interesting to compare the two cruise lines. My understanding is that the staff to guest ratio is slightly better with Norwegian. They also have a unique offering amongst all the lines – cabins for singles. In a secure area, some with balconies – but geared to and priced for people travelling alone. I haven’t booked one of these cabins since I am travelling with the sis, but who knows what the future holds, so it will be good to check it out. A bunch of us are planning on going – the more the merrier.
Invariably though I find I have a little weep when I am travelling. It was Kevin’s passion to travel. I doubt he would have had any interest in travelling by cruise ship, they are just too restrictive. Even the food wouldn’t have been enough. But it suits me fine, I am not the most adventurous and there’s plenty to do aboard the boat. And there are lots of cruise lines. I’ll just keep going as long as I have someone to travel with.