Sail Away!


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Published: September 26th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

There is so much to do when you first get on the ship! But, now we can go outside and see what's going on for Sail Away!

But first ... Safety Drill

We were Lifeboat Station #5, but we had to meet in the Normandie Main Lounge and then be led here by Carnival Team Members. Hopefully, we won't have to use this emergency system during the trip ... I don't think I could find my way here myself! Also, back in the day (as my kids say) we had to go the the Muster Drill with our Life Vests on. Not anymore. I guess they got tired of looking at a sea of tourists in orange vests all blowing their emergency whistles and making 'original' jokes about the ship going down ... am I the only one who misses wearing the Life Vests during the drill? Ahhh, good times.

Okay, let's get back to Sail Away!

There was a lot of excitement in the air as people were milling about on the top decks while waiting for the ship to sail. Say Goodbye to Long Beach and the lovely Queen Mary! See you in four days (yes, that does sound a bit short!). The Sail Away party was well underway with music, dancing and fun!


So, what were we doing during Sail Away?

Taking photos ... of course!

It's nice bringing along your own personal In Focus photog for the special moments ... like Sail Away! Love you, honey!

And we sailed away!


Your Time Dining


AKA Your Time Dining just as long as we have space otherwise you’ll be given a buzzer to wander around the ship until We Have a Time we can seat you.

We chose to try Your Time Dining this trip, we had never experienced this options before. I have been cruising since 1983 (SS Norway - I was 22!) and in that time I have come to look forward to and even rely on the Traditional Dining system. Late Seating, Early Seating ... I loved the ‘event’ of it all. I knew what I could count on. I knew where I had to be and I knew what time I had to be there.

In recent years, many cruise ships have been offering alternative dining options as well as a more
Sail Away Photo Op!Sail Away Photo Op!Sail Away Photo Op!

Rod seems very intent on this photo, doesn't he? I wonder what he's working on. Okay ... I'll show you!
relaxed dress code for the Main Dining Room. With all this said, I did have my concerns about Your Time Dining and how it would impact our cruise.

Here is how the wait played out:

First Night - There was a 20 minute wait.
Second Night - There was a 25 minute wait.
Third Night - No wait at all.
Fourth Night - We did Chef’s Table.

We opted to go to dinner each night between 6 and 7 p.m. PLUS we did ask for a table for two. We probably would have been seated quicker had we chose to sit at a larger table. The wait time wasn’t really that bad. We were given a buzzer and told we could go anywhere except the cabin. We wandered through the Photo Gallery and the shops until our buzzer lit up and our table was ready.

I’m sorry I have no photos of the dining room ... nor do I have any of those mouth-watering food photos. So I will try to make this as quick and painless as possible!

I found the food to be good. Our first night, we both
Sail Away!Sail Away!Sail Away!

It's nice bringing along your own personal In Focus photog for the special moments ... like Sail Away! Love you, honey!
decided to order the Lasagna as a starter ... I couldn’t believe the size of it when it came out! It was huge ... I just wonder how big it is as an entree! It was delicious, however and I wish I could have eaten more. But, I still had more food coming ... so I only ate a small portion of it. I will definitely order the Lasagna next time, though as my entree ... it was that good and probably my favorite item in the Main Dining Room.

In the end my thoughts on Your Time Dining is this:

On the plus side: I wasn’t worried about having to get ready to get to dinner on time. There was a certain relaxation about that. I did like that part of it ... a lot.

On the down side: There wasn’t the pomp & circumstance that I have grown to love from the MDR experience. There were no singing waiters ... yes, I am one who loves the singing and dancing! We must have always just missed them or were so far removed from that action that I wasn’t aware of them. But, I missed the singing waiters. The service was fine, the food was fine it was just missing the ‘event’ part.

Your Time Dining wasn’t, by any means, a bad experience ... it was just different. We will choose it again, for sure, depending on the cruise we are going on. I know on our Alaska cruise next year we will have YTD because we will be more concerned with what is going on outside the ship and don’t want to worry about having to be anywhere at a certain time (wouldn’t want to miss any scenery!). In fact, we may even eat a few dinners at the Lido Buffet ... now, that will be a whole other experience to share!


And so Day 1 ends ...



We skipped the Welcome Aboard Show (too bad too, I really like this show) and went back to our cabin at about 10:30. Of course we were hungry again so we decided to call Room Service! They came in under 10 minutes - seriously. I couldn’t believe how fast they got there. Anyway, I had a wonderful BLT and Rod had a Reuben ... nice way to cap off a great day!

Hello, Seal! Look who was waiting for us with tomorrow's Fun Times!


Additional photos below
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Me at Sail AwayMe at Sail Away
Me at Sail Away

Well, here I am and it looks suspiciously like I'm about to take some photos!
Carnival ParadiseCarnival Paradise
Carnival Paradise

Woo Hoo, Whale Tail! Not many people hanging out in the pool yet. And just LOOK at all those EMPTY chairs!


Tot: 0.127s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 10; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0183s; 25; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.3mb