Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Day 1 - Long Beach, CA

September 8, 2018

We leave today on our cruise! We are cruising out of Long Beach, CA aboard the Carnival Splendor.

Before I get in to Day 1 I’ll give you a little back ground on us.

I have been cruising since I was a kid but it took a lot of convincing to get Henry on his first cruise. Now we both love cruising and we think it’s the best kind of vacation because you get to travel and it’s all inclusive.

It’s been 18 long months since our last cruise but we are set to sail once again. In March of 2017 we sailed on the Imagination for 4 days and 3 nights with one port of call in Ensenada, Mexico. This time we are heading back to the Splendor (my favorite Carnival ship) for 8 days and 7 nights and heading a bit deeper in Mexico. We’ll have 3 days at sea and 3 ports of call, Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. This will be our 3rd time on the Splendor and we’re booked in a spa room. This means we have unlimited access to the Cloud 9 spa facilities which include steam rooms, saunas, a Thalassotherapy Pool, a relaxation room and more.

I’ve decided to blog this trip so I purchased a little journal at Walmart and personalized it a bit. Each night I hope to write down what we did, what we ate, etc. so I don’t forget anything. 

I love my Silhouette Cameo!

Now on to Day 1.

We headed down to Long Beach Saturday morning. We’re lucky to have family who live a few miles from the Port so we were able to park at their house and just Uber to the ship. Parking at the port is $22 a day and the Uber ride was only $8.

It was a little hectic when we got to the Port. There was a LONG line to give our luggage to the Porters but I found a guy coming back from the ship with an empty cart and we slipped him some cash and he tossed our suitcases on his cart before he went back to the line.

We got in the check in line at 12:30pm. Our boarding time was 1:30pm so we got in the Too Early/Too Late line.


It took about 20 minutes to get checked in and go through security. Checking in consists of showing your ticket, ID and Passport or birth certificate. We use our birth certificates. We then put our carry on luggage through the scanner and we walked through the metal detector.

I had linked my credit card to our accounts online before we left so we were able to bypass the next line and head straight on the ship. By 5 minutes to 1:00pm we were on! 

Our room wasn’t going to be ready until 1:30pm so we headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. I had the Ol’ Fashioned BBQ. Options there include braised pork butt, smoked beef, dry-rubbed grilled chicken mac-n-cheese, molasses baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad. Everything was delicious! Henry opted for ice cream (his first of many).

Next we headed to check out our room. Our room was on deck 10.  We actually ended up in an accessible room since that was all that was left when I booked.

If you’ve ever cruised before you know that the rooms are pretty small but it doesn’t really matter because you don’t spend much time in the rooms anyway. Since our room was an accessible room our bathroom was larger than usual and had a pull down shower seat and grab bars.

We are currently Gold with Carnival (working our way to Platinum) so we received pins and free drink coupons in our room a well as 2 large bottles of water.

I had also pre-ordered 24 bottles of water for the room since you can't bring bottled water on board.  But you can bring a bottle of wine per person, go figure.

Also in the room was Saturday's Fun Times.  This is the schedule of every thing going on all day and night.

While we waited for our luggage to be delivered I decorated our door.  This is a tradition for us.  This time was a shark and fish theme.

  Our luggage was delivered around 2:30pm and I'm happy to report that all of our alcohol made it!  Yes we smuggled our liquor on in Cruise Flasks.

Captain Morgan, Vodka, Malibu and Fireball
We quickly unpacked, made a drink in our cups and walked around the ship until the Muster Drill (safety briefing) at 3:15pm.

After the Muster Drill we found the Serenity Deck (21+) and watched as we sailed away.

Then we headed inside to the Relaxation Room and hung out until dinner.  

We opted for Anytime Dining as opposed to a set dining time and ended up eating at 5:30pm.  We were assigned the Black Pearl dining room.  

The menu changes nightly but there's always bread.

When you cruise you can order as much as you want.  I started with the Strawberry Bisque and Henry had the Cured Salmon.  For my main course I had the Braised Beef Brisket and for dessert I had to get the Melting Chocolate Cake with a side of peanut butter!  

We were done with dinner by 7:15pm and then we headed to the Spa.  Since we were in a Spa room we received a free jar of Chocolate Peppermint Scrub.  

After the Spa we headed to the Deli and had sandwiches.  I had turkey on a pretzel bun. 

Our next stop was the Piano Bar, then the Red Carpet Dance Club.  We stayed until 10:45pm then headed to the Comedy show that started at 11:00pm.  After comedy it was back to the Dance Club and around 1:00am we called it a night.
The Piano Bar