You probably guessed: I just recently went on a week-long cruise which I can easily describe as a dream vacation. You know, where the skies were pretty much sunny, the air was warm and a calliope of chatter (in about a dozen languages) and laughter filled the air wherever we were… the sights were fantastic, the food was hmmmm very good, and there was plenty to see and do.
As memories go though, there were three or four standouts. First, there were the towels mimicking various sea creatures. Yes, I did say towels! You see, each evening, when we came back to our cabin after the sumptuous evening meal, we were greeted by a clean room and a towel sea creature sitting atop the bed. As I remember correctly, we had a frog, a penguin, a sea turtle, a stingray and I presume a pelican. There was also two swans kissing, representing a heart, to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.
This simple gesture, provided by our daily housekeeper, who cleaned our room, not once, but twice a day, was actually something unexpected but eagerly anticipated after the first evening’s surprise. Although I am sure the overall cost of the cruise includes what some might think nonsensical; I on the other hand thought it to be a thoughtful and genuine state of hospitality, something often lacking in any vacation, be it on land or sea. By the way, the towel brigade was in full swing the morning of our final full day at sea when the pool deck had an array of towel-sea creatures sitting atop lounge chairs, much like I imagined soldiers would look, all bedecked in white uniforms, guarding their charges of blue.
Then there was the 10th floor (of the 14 story Carnival Breeze that I sailed upon) that delighted at every turn. The Lido Deck had it all. A theatre size screen showing nightly movies, The Red Frog Rum Bar or the Blue Iguana, no doubt Jose Cuervo’s favorite hangout, for the “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” crowd, added a colorful Caribbean vibe; but not to be outdone by Tequila Sunrises was Guy’s Burger Joint! I do believe this was everyone’s favorite go to place for at least one if not several meals. This was a burger with such a tantalizing aroma wafting through the air teasing your taste buds until you just had to have one. Served casually on a tin plate, between a crunchy toasted bun and accompanied with a pile of specially seasoned fries; well, I couldn’t have been happier except to have met famed Chef Guy Fieri serving the burgers himself. If you weren’t into burgers though, there was plenty of foodie faves served in numerous food venues, not only on the 10th deck but just about everywhere. It was evident that Carinval had every palate in mind . . .
Everywhere you looked you were awed with a different venue, so much so I crept around the ship one early morning so I could take snap shots to look back on, but I have to admit sitting in a hot tub overlooking the Caribbean is hard to beat, unless its bringing home some of the green from Deck 5: The Casino!
All in all, shore excursions included, I believe it was the people who sailed the ship, who served the guests, who provided a multitude of services, who cleaned the public areas and cabins and simply made the cruise one of the most enjoyable vacations I’ve ever had. I am happy to say ‘hospitality is alive and well’ on the sea of tranquility. Isn’t this what touristic moments are? A special memory, a new discovery, and simply being made to feel at home away from home.