by Glen Ferrera
Cruise to Nowhere
October 17, 2002
The day before the cruise, we couldn't find my birth certificate. I called Carnival and they told me that under no circumstances would I be allowed to board the boat without it. They were also very quick to tell me that I couldn't get a refund either. So, the day of the cruise, we left early and went to the town I was born in (Denville, NJ) to get a copy of the certificate. It happened to sort of be on the way from Pennsylvania to NYC, so it was no big deal and went without a hitch.
Carnival said that the ship was to start boarding at 1:30. There was an accident a few cars ahead of us in the Lincoln tunnel heading in to NYC from Jersey so we were backed up. We got to the pier and waited in line for about half an hour. It wasn't too bad and we were able to check in pretty quickly. Guess what?!?! They only looked at my photo driver's license and they didn't check the copy of my birth certificate! I wasn't too thrilled about that, but I was on.
There was a line as soon as you got on the ship for the elevators, so we walked to another bank of elevators and carried our own bags to our room. The good thing is you are never more than a few steps away from an elevator on this ship.
We got to our room (4211) and opened the door. There was more room than I thought there would be and lots of closet space. The bathroom was nice size with plenty of room to move around. On the vanity, there was a basket filled with everything you needed including tooth paste, Tums, deodorant, mints, razors, soap, shampoo and conditioner. The only thing you need to bring is a tooth brush and shaving cream. There were no outlets in the bathroom and the hair dryer was in a drawer in front of a large mirror in the main room. There were two double beds separated by a night table. When we cam back later, the night table was moved and the beds were pushed together. The room opened up to a small balcony with two chairs and a table. Nice view.
The ship it's self is huge, but it didn't take me too long to get my bearings and I was able to find things quite easily. We went up to the top deck, hung out and had some drinks. Then we went inside for a look around. On the Lido deck, they had burgers, fries, pizza and all the fixings. I've seen some people on the message boards saying that the décor on the ship was ugly. I wouldn't necessarily agree, but it was extravagant.
We had the late seating for dinner. The Truffles restaurant was huge and nicely decorated. Our seating assignment had us at a smaller table with a couple from Connecticut. The food was good although the service seemed a little slow. We were in no hurry to go anywhere, so we didn't mind. The food was well prepared and tasty.
by the time we left the restaurant, it was 10:30 and we were tired due to a water problem we had at home that kept us up the previous night, so we called it quits and went to bed.
The next morning, we woke up to a rocking ship. It wasn't much, but you could notice it occasionally. There was a nor'easter a few days earlier that stirred up things up and caused 9 foot waves. The captain changed course and headed south. By the afternoon, you didn't feel any waves at all. I was quite surprised that the ship's stabilizers didn't fix the problem. Like I said, it was no big deal.
After a great breakfast on the Lido deck, my wife and I walked around and decided to catch a trivia game in Billy's Piano bar. Everyone had a great time but unfortunately, I didn't win the plastic ship trophy they were giving away for the most correct answers. After that, we headed to Folly's Lounge for "The Game Show". That was fun too and everyone laughed their butts off at the audience members who participated. In between having drinks, a cigar on deck and eating, we also went back to Billy's for a name that tune contest. Again, it was a great time.
Dinner that night was excellent, but slow again. Afterwards, we went to Folly's for the main show. It was nice, but half we through, we decided to head back to Billy's for the sing along. We had a great time and hung out with our dinner-mates until 2:30 in the morning (so I'm told).
The ship docked at 7:30 the next morning. We woke up, showered, had breakfast, purchased some pictures and were off the ship by 9:30.
My biggest complaint is it was too short! Overall, I would rate the ship as follows (out of five stars).