Saturday, June 10, 2006

We're back

We're back from the cruise! We're all pretty exhausted. Janine and I often feel like the floor is moving back and forth, like we are still at sea.

We booked the cruise 5 days before it sailed. Last week Janine called to ask if they still had room. The agent said the best deal they had for the five of us was just over $2,000. Janine said she’d call try again another week and the agent quickly found a much better deal. It was kind of like buying a used car. Carnival is motivated to charge what ever they can get, but they want to fill the rooms.

We arrived in Long Beach Monday afternoon. We boarded our ship, Carnival's Paradise. The ship is huge. It holds around 2,500 guests and 900 crew. Paradise is almost 900 feet long and is about 70,000 tons.

The ship sailed about 5:00 PM. There was a practice drill, so the guests would know what to do in emergency. Our daughters were all given wrist bands which marked them as being as part of group A, so if we were separated the crew would know where to take them.

On Monday night we had dinner at 8:00 PM. The food was good. These were the fanciest dinners our daughters have ever had. They were amazed at all the silverware. We finished about 9:15 PM. We didn't get to bed until almost 10:00 PM. We were able to get our dinner time changed to 5:15 PM for the rest of the cruise.


Tuesday we arrived at Catalina Island. Catalina is about twenty miles West of Long Beach. Paradise just floated at sea for the night. The ship was out in the harbor of Avalon. We had tenders to take us in. We rented a golf cart and drove around Avalon for an hour. Then the girls played in the sand while Janine and I tried, without any luck, to get our laptop to connect to one of the wireless networks. We headed back to Paradise for lunch. Then it was back to Avalon.

I went to an internet cafe. Janine took the girls shopping at a bookstore. It was an interesting contrast. Paradise charges 40 cents a minute for access to the internet. Often the PCs at the Paradise internet room were unused. Carnival would generate more profit if they charged less money and kept all of their PCs busy. The internet cafe at Avalon charged $5 for an hour.

Both times we took a tender into Avalon they made a big deal about how you needed to be at the dock by 4:00 PM, because the last tender left at 4:00 PM, and if you missed it, you missed the rest of the cruise. We returned to the dock at 3:00 PM.


Tuesday morning we arrived at Ensenada. Paradise docked and so we could just walk off and back on very easily. The shuttle took us to a shopping district. We got some trinkets, but didn't like the area we were in. There was some very obscene stuff for sale. The part of town we were in had lots of bars, and what appeared to be strip joints. If we ever return to Ensenada we'll head some where else.

At sea

Paradise spent Thursday at sea. Our daughters greatly enjoyed the main pool. It has a very fun slide. I read some. We packed up our suitcases.

Back in Long Beach

Friday morning we woke up at 6:30 AM, and had an early breakfast. Paradise pulled into Long Beach around 7:30 AM. We stood in line for forty five minutes to get off the ship. We loaded up our car and were on the road by 9:15. The traffic out of Los Angeles wasn't very bad.

Our daughters said this was their favorite vacation so far. Janine and I enjoyed the cruise, and we'll probably try another one in a year or two.

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Hanley Family said...

Welcome home! Now I'm jealous...My dream is a cruise along the Alaskan shoreline, though.

Henry Cate said...


We would like to try an Alaskan cruise also. They look like a lot of fun.