I started writing this post before Covid hit... back when living in Florida meant the opportunity to jump on a cruise ship whenever my little heart desired. It is definitely a bittersweet subject, cruising. Once my go to choice for a quick, carefree getaway... now is literally the opposite of everything we should be doing while the world learns how to handle this pandemic. While everyone waits anxiously to see the fate of the cruise industry, I have come to terms with the fact that (for many reasons) I may have taken my last cruise.
Oh how we take the good things in life for granted! Let us take a trip down memory lane and reminisce for a moment, back when cruise ships carried you off to the middle of the ocean, salty air in your face, and a cold drink in your hand...
“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” - Joseph Conrad
September 2019 we took a cruise on the Carnival Liberty to celebrate our Anniversary. This was my 6th cruise, and the second time I cruised with Carnival. Chris had never been on a cruise which is why we opted for something short and inexpensive in case he wasn’t a fan.
I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean, as I find the overall quality a better bang for your versus the other lines I’ve been on (Carnival and Norwegian). However, I wanted to give Carnival another try, and the price was right so we booked.
We initially booked in an interior room. I am all about saving money where ever possible, and I had never cruised in anything other then that so I had nothing to compare it to. However as the vacation got closer I really wanted to do something extra special for our anniversary so I came up with a crazy idea.
Enter FABULOUS DECISION #1: Calling to ask for an upgrade.
Low and behold there were still a few balcony rooms left about a week before our sail date, and I snagged one for $200. Let me just say, that once you go Balcony... you’re really never going to want to go any other way. It was magical. We spent hours reading, drawing, drinking and snoozing on that balcony. It more then paid for itself. The room itself was a typical room room for an older ship, well used but clean and comfy.
Which brings us to FABULOUS DECISION #2, was to make dinner reservations for the first night at Diamonds Steakhouse. I honestly can’t even put into words how amazing everything was from start to finish. It was a $35 up charge per person, and honestly it was worth every penny. Plus if you book on the very first night, you get a free bottle of wine with dinner.
The highlight of the evening was the desert we picked called “Art At Your Table”. We had NO clue what to expect but are all for trying new things! The description under the title read “Abstract in Presentation, Focused in Flavor” which just increased the mystery behind this uniquely named dessert. To put it simply, the experience ended up being performance art paired with an absolutely delightful dessert spread. It got the attention of everyone in the restaurant, and I HIGHLY recommend trying this at your next Steakhouse experience.
Other highlights of our trip included snorkeling in Nassau, winning runner up in the 80s Music Trivia Hour (finally got a Carnival medal!), stuffing our faces at Guy‘s Burger Joint and watching movies under the full moon out on the main deck.
Overall, this cruise was a great length and price for a quick Bahamas getaway, and we would definitely cruise with Carnival again if the price was right. What that will look like Post-Pandemic remains to be seen, but at least we have our memories to hold us over.