The hubby and I, along with several friends, sailed away on the Carnival Cruise ship Fantasy for a six-day voyage to Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico. And no, Tom, even Vaseline couldn’t get the big suitcase in that little dinky trunk. I still had to carry the mid-size, but I just unloaded some of the hubby’s clothes when he wasn’t looking, and by the time he found out, it was too late to do anything about it. He got over it, and besides I left him the things that look best on him.
Anyway, I managed to get the “Monday Ramblings from the Byrd Nest” on before we left Monday morning, thanks to the hotel’s WiFi. I’d hate for anyone to not know what I was rambling about this past week.
As we have been booking with Carnival for several years now, my vacation planner (I love that word, makes me sound so important) kept reminding me that on our tenth cruise, we would be promoted to VIP status. Since this one fell on that number, I thought oh, boy, here come the perks.
First of all, we were allowed to bypass the long lines at the check-in desk, a process which got us a lot of dirty looks by those waiting there. The moment our carry-on luggage was scanned, we were escorted to the VIP office where we were immediately given a number — 17. Wait a minute, what happened to walk in, check in and get on the ship? Unfortunately, our first VIP check-in was backed up because the ship had docked two hours late and throwing everything off kilter. Although we were backed up a little bit, it still didn’t take too long, and besides that, we actually had a chair to sit in while we waited our turn, unlike those poor peasants who had to stand in line. After all, we were VIP now. And if it hadn’t been for that one joker who took up one of the clerk’s time by having his check-in all fouled up, it probably wouldn’t have taken as long as it did. In the meantime, I met an interesting couple who made fruit-flavored popcorn and were very generous with it.
Our luggage was delivered to our room quicker than we were, mainly because they were also delayed in getting the rooms ready for the boarding passengers. Not a problem, really, because we just wandered up onto the Lido deck where someone handed us food, and a waiter came by often enough that we forgot that we even had a room.
When we arrived on board, one flash of our Platinum Sign and Sail card got attention by the ship employees. Mainly, I figure because they depend on us veteran cruisers to keep their jobs intact. I don’t care. It’s not often around my house that people cater to my every whim and tell me how much they appreciate my very presence.
One of my favorite things was actually a minor perk in the VIP program. Upon arriving in the room, there on the table lay gorgeous silver monogrammed stationary with our names on the individual sheets and envelopes. Just wait until I write my next complaint letter. Will that company be impressed.
Other perks for the Carnival VIP is laundry service once during your cruise. We actually didn’t avail ourselves of this privilege because we’re such slobs that our unworn and previously worn clothes sort of got mixed together, and we couldn’t tell what to send to the cleaners. No one around complained of any bad smells, so I assume we pretty much pulled it off.
On two separate occasions, food was delivered to our room in our absence. One was appetizers and the other night was little cakes. I think they were good, but to be honest, we just gobbled them up before I really paid much attention. Although we were pretty much eating more than the normal amount one person should consume in a day, we didn’t take the chance something might get by us.
The hubby’s favorite perk, though, was the debarkation when we arrived back in port. Normally, on a cruise ship, you have to wait until they go through a process of calling floors and different criteria for leaving the ship. When you’re VIP, you get to leave first if you wish, which we did. Of course, even though it wasn’t even daylight, the hubby saw a chance to beat everyone out of the parking garage and make it home in record time, which we did, even though I was still able to get him to stop several times for necessary requirements. You know, something to drink, bathroom break, something to eat, bathroom break, something to drink, bathroom break….
I had several nice comments from people who missed me, and believe it or not, even though I was in the beautiful world of blue water and sunshine occasionally seeing scenes of the blizzard in Denver (for some reason, the ship’s main regular TV station), I missed my Internet access. Even VIP status didn’t rate high enough for a lower cost, and at 75 cents a minute, even my addiction to the Internet had to be curtailed. Sometimes I thought about you guys and missed you, but fortunately, a waiter would come by again.