Just the Facts:
Date: November 13, 2011
Master of Ceremonies: John Heald
Captain: Giovanni Cutugno
Port: Galveston, Texas
This was a port day set aside by Carnival between the transatlantic cruise and the first Texas inaugural cruise. Very smart of Carnival as it serves two purposes: 1). a day for various US Coast Guard, Health dept., & US Customs inspections and 2). a day to preview the new Carnival Magic for Travel writers, Travel Agents, and even Investors. There were 21 passengers doing a B2B and they were allowed to stay on board ship for this one day between cruises. Thank you Carnival, it was the right thing to do.
Sunday- 11/13/11- Galveston
Since I am already on board this will be an easy day for me although I will have to change cabins. I was supposed to move down just a few cabins to my next cruise balcony cabin, but due to a mix up I will have a cabin forward on Lido deck. While passengers debarked in Galveston I went to the MDR for a nice leisurely Eggs Benedict breakfast. After breakfast I returned to the cabin to pack for my move. Those doing the B2B (and the contractors on board to repair the thrusters) met to go through US Customs at the conclusion of the debarkation process. For the first time in Galveston it went very well as we went down at 10:30 a.m and were back on board just about 11:00 am. Congratulations to both Carnival and the Port of Galveston on a smooth debarkation process. My new cabin was 10201 as far forward as you can get with a cabin on the ship. This is a handicap cabin with a lot of extra room in both the cabin and toilet. It has a window looking forward onto a small almost private deck and is very clean, I doubt anyone was in it for a while. I was assigned the one day inaugural sail & sign card and the great thing is that there will be no accounts set up so all drinks today will be complementary. A nice bonus. There are a lot of Carnival people boarding, but the TA’s are scheduled in the afternoon so the Lido Marketplace opened later than normal and there is a lot of last minute activity to make sure that the ship is in top shape. The staff is even wearing their formal night uniforms for the day. When the Mongolian Grill opened I was there for a very nice lunch. After lunch I participated in some of the Travel Agent activities, they basically had gift stations set up around the ship so that you would end up taking a tour of the ships key features. Also took advantage of a few cocktails. I had a Miami Vice cocktail at the Red Frog as I wanted to sample more bar snacks that they were serving just as fast as they could cook them up. It was like an all-inclusive resort feature and a different experience for sure. I admit I asked for a few diet cokes when ordering a drink so I would have some for the next cruise.
The big afternoon activity was a concert by the very well known band Maroon 5. I had floor passes, but decided to watch the concert from the balcony in front of my forward cabin. In the above photo I would be above the flag on the deck above the bridge. (click photo to enlarge it) The view was from the rear of the stage, but the music was just fine. I also didn’t have to fight the crowd and waste any complementary drinking/party time either. Thanks again Carnival.
There were a lot of activities scheduled: The Groove Line production show, Punchliner Comedy Shows, Piano Bar, and all the entertainers in various venues including the Lido deck. Just as on a cruise, the days Fun Times listed all the activities. The official welcoming and inaugural ceremonies were held in the Showtime Theater before the show. A very impressive day.
Several of the B2B passengers met for dinner in the Southern Lights dining room for a very nice dinner. I ordered: White Stuffed Mushrooms, Black Tiger Shrimp Cocktail, Prime Rib of Roast Beef with Baked Potato, and Lemon Tart for dessert. They served red and white wine with dinner. I also had a cosmopolitan cocktail and Grand Marnier as an after dinner drink. There were a lot of parties around the ship and I did a little TA watching before retiring for the evening. I know I have another six days to party with very good friends on the inaugural cruise.
A very FUN day.....Thanks Carnival