I hadn’t been on a cruise since October 2009 and really wanted to get back on a ship again. Ok I know what you are saying “Last cruise 2009? That’s not very long ago”. Well you are right, a year and 4 months is not very long unless your addicted to travel and especially cruising. So I called up my Mom and told her we were going on a cruise. Now I am not a big fan of the 3-4 day cruises. I much prefer the 7+ day cruises where I really can start to relax but I figured any cruise would do at this point. My Mom was game for anything I planned!
I checked out the dwindling short cruises going to Mexico and found the Carnival Paradise leaving out of Long Beach, CA, stopping in Catalina Island and Ensanada. I checked out reviews on Cruise Critic to see what others were saying about the Paradise and it seemed like many of the reviews were positive so I went ahead and booked the 4 day Mon-Fri cruise out of Long Beach CA.
I had gotten my Mom the Suite which was a gift from my Dad (who doesn’t cruise) and I stayed in a oceanview cabin. I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the suite. It was really spacious in the room, closet and bathroom. The balcony was very comfortable for two. My oceanview cabin was perfect for me and would have been fine to share with my husband. It was a little cramped but I wasn’t really in my cabin very much.
I have a funny story about our first few hours on the ship. We started off at the pool bar for a drink since it took me 2 hours to board. It was a little long but I survived. My Mom on the other hand got the VIP treatment, which meant special waiting area, VIP line and 20 minutes to get on to the ship. That’s what happens when you get a suite. Anyway we relaxed for a bit, got to our cabins, unpacked and before we knew it it was time to go do the muster drill. Well we thought we would be smart and get a head start on getting down to our muster station. We grabbed our life jackets and started to the elevator. I couldn’t figure out why people were giving us strange looks. We got in the elevator with 4-5 guest and 1 crew member. As we wait for the elevator to go up the crew member says” Excuse Ma’am, you do not need to bring your life jacket with you to the drill”. All I wanted to do was shrink into a hole but at the same time I started laughing and I tried to keep that in until we got off the elevator. Once we started back to our cabin I was against the hallway wall laughing so hard I was falling to the floor! The more my Mom laughed the more I laughed. More people were coming out of their cabins going to the drill looking at us with our life jackets laughing our heads off. I swear I only had 2 beers! That is how our cruise started. Come back for more about our journey on the Carnival Paradise!