Catch Me I’m Falling

 

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No, I didn’t fall again.  But others did.  Well, I almost did at the poker table, but the pit manager and another player caught me.  The pit manager was pulling out my chair for to sit down and I didn’t know it, so when I went to sit down, I would have hit the floor if they hadn’t caught me.  Two people had nasty falls on the Lido Deck on day one of the cruise.  It was raining, there was standing water everywhere and the deck was very slick.  Both had horrible bruises on their legs.  One lady was in a wheelchair with her leg extended.  A lady was telling me about a Princess cruise she and her husband had taken some years ago to Hawaii.  It was a 14-day cruise out of San Diego.  The median age on the cruise was 78 and in the 14 days on board, there were 6 deaths and 13 broken bones.  Now you would think that the deck was stacked against the older passengers before it ever left port and it would be sad if it weren’t so comical thinking about the bodies stacking up and casts on legs and arms.  Ok, ok, I’ll be nice.

Our boat was set to sail at 4:00pm on August 21.  We were on the Carnival Breeze sailing out of Galveston.  After making a quick stop at the bar on Deck 3 where we entered the boat, and people-watching because everybody enters the boat on that deck,

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we made our way to the buffet (our last and only trip to the buffet) to grab a snack before Muster.  We thought we could hide and escape Muster, but no such luck.  No place is safe to hide from the Muster Nazis.  Luckily our station was in one of the theaters so we didn’t have to stand out in the rain.  One lady came in late like us and was having difficulty standing.  The theater was packed with every seat taken and people were sitting on the floor.  The Muster Leader asked if anyone would volunteer their seat for the lady and not one man responded.  However, a lady got up and gave her a seat.  Two guys asked if they could have a chair because their legs hurt too.  I could expound on this and the lack of chivalry, but I’ll leave it at that.

Because Marie and I both had birthdays in August, Carnival gave us gift cards.  Marie got a $50 card to the spa and I got one for $25 worth of pictures from our cruise (which I didn’t use).  We did make spa appointments for later in the week, Marie for a manicure and me for a pedicure.

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After getting settled in and unpacked, it was time to hit the casino.  We had to wait about thirty minutes for it to open up.  Marie sat down at Lil Red and I went to Gorilla Chief.  I had played it before on the Breeze and did pretty well.  It’s really fun when it’s active and today was no exception. I got several bonuses, fifty-plus free games and made some money on it.  I love it when the gorilla goes into chest beating mode and he did and drew a crowd.  Really fun.  Then on to one of the new machines on the Breeze called Diamond Storm.  I met a really sweet and beautiful lady named Indy.  She was on the cruise with her husband, father and fifteen other family members and they were having a great time.  I really enjoyed visiting with her.  But eventually we both gave up on Diamond Storm.

We were booked for the 8:15 dinner seating at the Blush restaurant, one of two fine dining restaurants on the ship and each has an early and a late seating.  We decided to go on over and get in line.  The doors are locked between the two seatings, so there is usually a line waiting to get in.  Plus it usually takes us several days to get our bearings and locate our restaurant.  We were anxious to meet our dinner companions and hoped we would like them.  We got lucky.  There were two other sisters from Texas, Opal and Judy;

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two beautiful young ladies who both had just taken the bar exam; two nurses from Louisiana; and a couple from Dallas.  The couple from Dallas were originally from New York, moved to Miami to retire, then moved to Dallas to be near their daughter and grandchildren, but were not happy with the move.  In fact, it seemed their unhappiness was overflowing onto the cruise because the first night they called the maître d over to ask for a table change.  The wife said she thought her husband would be more comfortable with a husband/wife couple to talk to, but I think she was the one who would be more comfortable.  He probably would have been just fine with a table of eight younger women to talk to.  As far as the menu on the first night in the dining room, it has gotten increasingly harder to give a positive critique.  It is the same menu night after night in the dining rooms – every Sunday on the Breeze is the same week after week, every Monday the Breeze has the same menu and so on.  To be fair I am sure it is quite the undertaking to replenish supplies if every week brings a new menu.  Plus many new passengers seem to enjoy the food.  After four or five cruises they will have a new perspective.

After dinner we went back to the casino, but good luck was not to be.  We went to bed about midnight.  It had been a long day with traveling three hours, boarding, unpacking, Muster, etc.  We had all day the next day to gamble so off to bed we went.

Marie got an earlier start than I did on Monday.  She went down about 9:30 and I went down about 1:30.  I planned to have a Bloody Mary for breakfast and a Bloody Mary for lunch and dinner, but I couldn’t wait.  I had to have Pizza Pirate which was as good as ever.  I had a Margarita pizza and Marie had a cheese pizza.  Yum!  We strolled through the casino where we saw something we had never seen before.  There were two Amish girls standing by the craps table watching.  And yes they were Amish; well they could have been Mennonite but we think Amish.  Maroon long loose fitting dresses with a gathered waist and elbow length sleeves, no buttons or trims of any kind.  Such a strange sight to see them in a casino, but more on the Amish girls later.

Dinner that night was prime rib and lobster tail.  We couldn’t not go, lobster dinners don’t come around very often.  It was very good.  In fact we had two each and probably could have eaten more.  The only thing about that is when you order a second entrée, they bring you the whole plate again, sides and all.  So I had one slice of prime rib with a baked potato and two lobster tails with sautéed shrimp and rice pilaf, plus dessert.  Between the entrée and dessert course, the waiters danced for all of us.

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It’s always fun and they do encourage audience participation.  A girl at a table behind us was really enjoying the show and decided to join in the dancing.  She stood up on her chair and mooned the other diners and began dancing and waving her napkin over her head.  Because she was standing on the chair in her high heel and short dress, it was probably not a good idea.  Suddenly she lost her balance and landed on the table, sitting on her plate of prime rib.  At the risk of sounding catty, it really was hilarious.  We were all so busy enjoying the moment that we forgot to take a picture.  However I did get her picture in the casino later.

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After dinner I sat down at a Sacred Guardians slot.  I had never played it before but the man next to me was doing quite well.  He was there with his wife who was on the other side of him.  He ordered a drink and unfortunately when he tried to set his drink down, he missed the shelf and spilled it.  I handed him my napkins and almost immediately an attendant came over and cleaned it up.  He mentioned he was legally blind and couldn’t see that he was going to miss the shelf.  I assured him it could have happened to anyone.  He pointed to his wife and said she was his fifth wife.  He said that he was retired from the Coast Guard and had five different wives in five different ports.  I wasn’t having much luck on my machine so I wished him luck and went on my merry way.  I was afraid he might be looking for Wife Number Six.

I had some luck on Super Fusion 7’s for $358.52.  I played it down to $300 and moved over one machine to Lucky Lines.  I won $477.60.  I had a good night for a change.  It was about time I had a change of luck.  Marie was still playing in the same area.  We felt like we had to stay for the big loot midnight drawing every night, but some nights it was struggle to stay awake for it and this was one of those nights.

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img_1726On Tuesday we docked in Cozumel.  We got off the boat and walked down the pier to the duty-free shop but decided we were hungry and would come back and shop after we ate.

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We passed all the shops and made our way to Pancho’s Backyard for lunch.  We were starving and looking forward to chips and salsa and Margaritas.  Pancho’s has a really good queso with green salsa.  We ordered the queso to share and each a Cadillac Margarita.  It’s a frozen Margarita with Grand Marnier on top.  I had beef fajitas and Marie had chicken quesadillas.  So good.  On the way back we went back through the duty-free shop planning to buy alcohol, perfume and jewelry.  Instead we bought a chocolate candy bar.  Shows where our priorities are.

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On the way back to the ship, there was girl who thought she was a great dancer.

 

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After a long nap we made it to the casino.  We had no plans for dinner since we had such a big lunch.  I decided to play Ultimate Texas Hold-em.  I bought in for $200, played three hours and cashed out $165.  I guess I didn’t do so bad.  Marie was still playing slots and doing good.  She can play the same slot for hours and not lose or make much money and not get bored.  In fact I don’t think she went above a 20 cent bet all cruise.  And with that bet, there was no way she would win a free cruise.  I have ADHD when I play slots but I can sit on a poker table for hours.  I have gotten Marie to play video poker a few times and she liked it but she doesn’t want to try table games.  Maybe someday.

On Wednesday, we docked in Belize.  Because we had both been there before and it was raining, we decided to stay on the ship.  We went out by the pool and enjoyed watching the other people and we watched a Bee Gees concert on the outdoor screen.  Marie walked over to the Italian restaurant on the ship named Cucina del Capitano and made reservations for dinner that night.  Then she made our spa appointments for Thursday while I watched the concert and drank a beer.

img_1732Our dinner at Cucina Del Capitano that evening was very good.  We had been given a bottle of red wine by Carnival so we took it with us to drink with our meal.  I had the Caprese salad for a starter and Marie had Eggplant Parmagiana.  I had the braised sort ribs which I did not like at all.  It wasn’t like any short rib I had had before.  It was more like a huge slab of roast beef, stringy roast beef.  Marie ordered Chicken Parmesan.  Marie skipped dessert but I had the apple tart which was the best part of my dinner.

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Thursday was a beautiful day in Honduras but since we had spa appointments, we stayed on the ship.  Plus we had each been there several times.  Marie decided to nap on the deck.  She kept waking herself up snoring and said “Sorry, Sorry.”  The deck was crowded.  She then fell asleep again and an hour later when she woke up the deck was empty.  I guess she snored everyone away.

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The spas was very popular spot.  Lots of people were using the sauna, getting massages, and taking a soak in the hot tub.  Marie’s appointment was first at 1:15 and mine was at 1:45 so I was able to sit in the lobby and watch the comings and goings.  While I was sitting there one of the Amish girls came in to make  appointments for a pedicure and a massage.  Yep, I was confused too.  She also said she had to ask her boyfriend if the time would work for him.  So I don’t know if they were going for couple massages or just making sure the time was okay.  Marie had seen them on the deck earlier and the boyfriends had on shorts and tank tops.  I did  read where because the Amish people have much better cash flow because of their business ventures (furniture and produce) they are taking vacations now.  I also read that young adults after the age of 16 can participate in Rumspringa which is when they can choose to see what life is like among non-Amish before they decide if they want to continue to live the Amish lifestyle.  Maybe this was what was going on.  I would have loved to ask, but I really didn’t want to be rude.  No, really.  There was a male Amish father type along and he was dressed in traditional Amish apparel also with a bowl haircut.  The Spa could have given him a more hip style.

That evening we ate dinner at the Sushi restaurant.  It was awesome, Tuna Tartare, California rolls and a Tuna roll.

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Afterward it was time to try our luck in the casino.  When the ship is in port, the casino is closed so after the ship enters International waters, only then is it open.  I don’t know if my heart wasn’t in it, but I couldn’t do anything but lose money.  We decided to spend a big part of the day in bed.  Both of us were tired and needed the rest.  The next morning Marie woke up with chills and stomach problems.  I didn’t have chills, but my stomach was a little messed up too.  I don’t think it was the Sushi.  I asked her if she wanted some Tylenols and she said yes.  I gave her three and she took them.  She asked me why I gave her three and not two like the directions on the bottle says and I told her that the bottle instructions were only a suggestion.  So then she said that I have an answer for everything and I told her she could take the high road but someone has to take the low road and that would be me.

I don’t know if we were tired of rich food, or we ate something that didn’t agree with us, or we had the Zika virus but I did have two mosquito bites so I guess it was a possibility.  We were moving pretty slow and enjoyed it.  We started thinking about how comfortable it is to be in your Pj’s and robe and that the cruise ship should have one whole day designated as Pj’s and Robe Day.  No other clothes allowed.  Eight straight days of hair and makeup and uncomfortable underclothes gets pretty tedious.

We managed to pull ourselves together and leave the room  We had two days left to hit the big one and accumulate points in hopes that Carnival would give us another free cruise.  We received in our mailbox outside the door to our room a coupon for four people to order off of the steakhouse menu.  We decided to invite Judy and Opal to join us at dinner and it was very good.  We all had lobster and filet mignon.  It was delicious.  After dinner the four of us went to the casino to play.  Judy played mostly video poker and Opal played the slots.  I don’t know if they won much money, but they both had accumulated a lot of points.  In fact, they each received a free cruise for two.  Carnival is good about that if you play a lot.  I don’t know if Royal Caribbean or Norwegian does the same, but it is nice to be appreciated.

As we were debarking the ship we took an elevator to deck 3 to head to Customs and Baggage Claim.  As we got on the elevator there was a young handsome deck hand getting on also.  His name was GianLucca and he was Italian.  He had a very thick black hair and beard.  On his dimpled chin he had a white streak in his beard, another one in his eyebrow and another one on his temple.  I told him he needed to get a flight out to Hollywood instead of docking in Galveston.  I think I still have a bruise on my arm where Marie punched me.

By the end of the night of the last day of the cruise I had accumulated 6900 points plus the time I spent playing poker.  But we did not receive a free cruise this time.  We were very disappointed.  When we got home I called Carnival and they said because we have two more cruises booked they were not able to offer another one until we had taken the ones coming up.  I actually thought that was pretty tacky on their part, but what are you going to do?  In November, we will sail out of New Orleans to Jamaica and Grand Cayman on the Carnival Dream and then in April of next year we are really excited to sail on the Carnival Vista, the newest ship in their fleet.

Next week we will be in Las Vegas for six days.  Hopefully we will have several success stories when we get back.  Catch up with you then.

 

One thought on “Catch Me I’m Falling”

  1. Sounds like a great time and the cruise to Hawaii 6 people passing away I guess you’re playing the odds at that age anytime you go anywhere for 14 days

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