Off on a Cruise

Ivan and I woke up at 9 am on July 3, 2013.  We gathered up our luggage.

It was an overcast day.  We left Sussex at 10 am.  Ivan recognized the area of Gants Hill since his grandparents lived there.  Ivan said we just had to stop at Shalom Hot Bagels for a Jewish bagel.

We parked right in front of the bagel shop and picked up a bagel to share and a few fish balls.  The bagel was a lot more dense and tasted fantastic.  The fish balls were good.

It was a short drive away to Romford where we were picking up our Australian friends Tim & Gabbie.  We arrived at 11 am at Gabbie’s cousin’s apartment.

Tim and Gabbie said good-bye to Gabbie’s cousin and his wife and kid.  We were glad that Tim and Gabbie only had a small suitcase and two small backpacks since we had a a lot of big luggage already in the car.

It was great to see the Aussies again since we get along with both of them so well.  They’re super cool and so fun.  We spent a lot of time with them in Las Vegas.

Ivan drove us towards Dover, our trip took an hour.  We bought alcohol at a convenience store.  Ivan dropped us off and then dropped off the car at the car rental office.

We waited for him and then went upstairs at the cruise port to check in at 1:40 pm.  I’m glad there wasn’t a long line.  Check-in was relatively fast.  We each got a bottle of liquor each on the ship.  You could always try to sneak on more alcohol by checking your bags in.  Sometimes, the boats scan… but we’ve always gotten stuff on with no trouble.  Our group was on the Carnival Legend at 1:55 pm.

This cruise ship is a lot smaller than most cruise ships we’ve been on, but it’s going to Scandinavia and we love the cruise director, John Heald who’s so funny.  He’s the brand ambassador of Carnival – he basically is the face of Carnival.  His personal assistant Calvyn is hilarious.  Together they are such a comedy duo.  We’ve done a few Carnival cruises with both of them before.

Atrium on the Carnival Legend

We love walking in to the grand Atrium which was dark brown and gold which reminded me of the Louis Vuitton bags.  Norwegian doesn’t have an Atrium on their cruise ships.  I just think all cruise ships should have an Atrium.  It’s just a great central place to meet, hear music or have a drink.  I really like seeing the elevators going up from the Atrium.

The rooms were ready, so we checked out Tim and Gabbie’s interior room.  Then, Ivan and I put our backpacks in our room.  We got a room with a balcony.  I love being able to see the ocean right from bed.  Also, it’s great to have breakfast on the balcony.

It was time for lunch – so we went up to the buffet in the Unicorn Cafe.  We had some great fish.  The apple crumble was really tasty for dessert.  The food in the buffet here in Carnival was better than the gourmet food on the Norwegian Epic.  That’s pretty sad.

Ivan took us on a tour around the ship.  I call it the ‘Ivan tour’ since it’s just following Ivan around the ship on the first day.  It’s really quiet everywhere, so it’s the best time to walk around and take pictures.  I’m used to really bright décor on the Carnival boats.

Follies Theatre on the Carnival Legend

The décor is bright in some areas, but it has a medieval theme.  I never thought of a medieval theme, but it’s different and looks great.

Lil Dave went to search the cruise ship for other monkeys to play with.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I played a fun game of miniature golf.

Jen playing mini golf on the Carnival Legend

Tim ended up winning.

Ivan and I chilled in the room before going to the Mandatory Safety Briefing.  We heard the cruise director John on the intercom and he made funny comments.  It was good to hear his voice.  Being on a Carnival cruise ship on the first day feels like coming home to me.

Tim and Gabbie met us in our room.  We had champagne on the balcony for the sail away from Dover.

Ivan and Jen with their champagne

We gave Tim his birthday gift which was a fez and stick-on mustaches.

It was cool passing by the white cliffs of Dover.  Too bad that the weather was still overcast.  The pictures would have turned out a lot better with blue skies.

The White Cliffs of Dover

We chilled on the balcony for awhile and listened to music.  Ivan, Tim and Gabbie went to the Truffles Restaurant to change so that we would be on the same dining table for dinner.

Ivan and I started getting ready.  He left after his shower to play the Mind Game Trivia while I was still getting ready.

He didn’t win the trivia game.  I met him at 8 pm.

We went to our table which was #220.  There was a couple sitting there who were in their 40’s.  Tim and Gabbie joined us shortly.  We found out that the couple are from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with three kids.

I started with a linguini for a starter.  My main course was tilapia which was average.  It came with a tasty mac & cheese for a side dish.

Ivan and I got the famous chocolate melting cake to share for dessert.  It was so very tasty.

Tim and Gabi were pigs and got four desserts to share.

Tim & Gabi eating lots of desserts

Ivan, Tim and Gabbie and I headed to the theatre Follies.  We wanted to get a good seat for the Welcome Aboard Show.

I headed to the toilet.  Calvyn was doing Bingo and recognized Ivan.

The Welcome Aboard Show was really funny.  John, the cruise director, talked to Tim and Gabbie since they clapped when he asked where the honeymooners were and we were sitting in the front row.

Later, when they were picking six people to go on stage.. John said Come on, Blondie to Gabbie to head up to the stage.  Gabbie is really shy and doesn’t like being on stage.  I thought it was funny that she was picked.  I knew she didn’t want to go up at all.  I guess she felt she had to.

John can make any situation funny.  Some of the people were funny like the guy who has been married for 50 years.  To celebrate being married for 50 years, he and his wife got tattoos with their names on their upper arm.

John Heald and Gabi at the Welcome Aboard Show

Gabbie was really shy and you could tell, so John didn’t talk to her much.  All six people got a bottle of champagne and a gold ship on a stick (cruise ship trophy) for being on stage.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I headed to Guest Services.  Ivan and Gabbie wrote letters to John.  Ivan told him about our wedding anniversary and Gabbie wrote about how they’re on a year long honeymoon.

Gabbie switched her champagne bottle for a cold one.  We headed to the room to drink champagne and talked for awhile before going to bed.

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