Anchors a-way, my boy, Anchors a-WAAAY!

Hmm, I'm not sure what has inspired all of this nautical singing on the blog. Possibly the stirrings of the steel drum band here on the deck of this Truly Lovely Cruise Ship.

Anyway, a run down of Day 1:
The morning was spent checking in and waiting for the ship to allow us to board. There were about 1600 people getting checked in, but the entire operation was surprisingly smooth. So smooth, in fact, that I had to really work to come up with one gripe. Luckily I found it, and his name is Ed. (I doubt Ed was his real name, but I never got close enough to the name tag, so I'm calling him Ed for simplicity. Besides, he looked like an Ed). Anyway, Ed was horrible! Ed was the affable cruise ship employee whose only job was to guide the people coming out of the check-in queue to their seats in the back of the giant lobby. It wasn't hard. All he had to do was point to the chairs and ask the people to sit. Except Ed, being such a friendly guy kept wandering away from his post to talk to other people already in line! And with Ed being otherwise engaged with his conversation about what he was going to eat for lunch later, the poor people coming out of check-in had no idea where to go! They wandered right past the turn, right past the chairs, right past Ed's brilliantly stimulating conversation ("Sometimes I get turkey, but most of the time its ham") and congregated with uncertainty along the wall. COME ON ED! Don't you know that people without a clear sense of order, people who don't know THE PLAN, get very uncomfortable? Of course, the entire episode tugged at my little order-loving heart. I wanted to jump up and lead them to their chairs. I wanted to let them know the plan, but I couldn't leave my own place in the line. Finally, some other Carnival employee noticed the congregating mob of confused people and led them to their chairs. A crisis averted.

But I digress. Once we got onto the ship, it was fantastic. We had a good lunch, unpacked our stuff and sat on the deck by the pool to watch the "Farewell to Jacksonville" party. Tony was totally psyched over two dolphin sightings on the way out to sea, and that has convinced him that he wants to move to Jacksonville immediately. We spent most of the afternoon wandering around the ship, trying not to get lost. There are 10 decks to the ship, and about 40 different staircases (which, I am convinced, move around like in the Harry Potter stories, because I SWEAR we took that staircase two minutes ago to get to the piano bar, and now we can't find it again). These ships are freakin' HUGE, and this one is only considered a mid-sized ship.

Favorite places so far: The second sun deck overlooking the pool with the waterslide. Good place to listen to the music and watch the people, but without actually having to be down there with them.

Dinner: An absolutely perfect Filet Mignon with green beans and mashed potatoes. Also, a side salad with ranch and the best. Chocolate. Cake. EVER. for desert. I can't pronounce half the fancy French names for all this awesome food, so I pick out the one word I do know in the description and use that when ordering. ("I'll have orange sauce"). Our waiter, bless his stuffy Frenchie waiter soul, is the epitome of fancy stuffy Frenchieness, but is good enough to pretend like he knows exactly what I'm talking about when I'm waving vaguely towards the menu and ordering um with orange sauce. I could so get used to this.