With the car loaded we made the hour drive down to Miami but once again even though I had full access to my camera, I forgot to use it! I swear, I was turning out to be one lousy photographer! When we got to the Port of Miami my first thought about seeing the Carnival Glory docked and loading was "Holy Ship! That thing is huge!" but I didn't have too long to marvel at it before we found ourselves swept up into the hordes of people going through the embarkation process. They've obviously got it down to a science though and it wasn't long before Barb and I were checked in with our Sail & Sign cards in hand and making our way to the ship. It was at this point that I finally remembered to pull out my camera and do something with it!
|A view of the Carnival Glory from inside the Embarkation Center|
|A bit of the queue of passengers waiting to get "checked in"|
|Barb makes her way towards the gangplank and the ship|
|Lots and lots of luggage to load!|
|The ship reflected in the windows of the Embarkation Center|
|While waiting to actually board the ship, I took a picture of the gangplank we had just crossed|
Eventually everyone did manage to find each other and once again I didn't take pictures but I do believe that there are some over at Sandee's blog ... or Sandy's blog! Thank goodness Zane was doing a better job documenting the event than I was as I had suddenly seemed to forget that I was even carrying a camera! We were told that there was going to be a meet-up of members of the Evil Crew (Big Ed's group that was part of the Bloggers Cruise portion of the trip) in the Bar Blue so we made our way there where we found Sarge Charlie giving pole-dancing lessons!
That man really knows how to have a good time and I'm sure that part of that smile had to do with having attained Platinum status with Carnival Cruise Lines and getting lots of nice perks in the process!
While Sarge continued to practice his sultry dance moves, Barb and I made our way back to the Lido Deck to find some lunch and where I took the picture of Miami above while Barb ordered a beer as she was feeling pretty parched at that point.
Shortly after that it was time to find our cabin (#9201) so we made our way to the fore of the ship to find that our luggage had already been delivered (some folks didn't get theirs until way later). We did a quick unpacking after I checked out the view from our window. Not much to look at while we were still in port but it definitely had potential!
Barb had picked out our cabin based on its location on the ship as there was an open area just outside that we were supposed to have access to where Barb could smoke. As it turned out, per the orders of the Bridge, the door to the outside which was just down from our cabin was locked and would stay that way for the duration of the cruise because it was located directly above Navigation and apparently the door banged in the high winds or something. The outside deck was still accessible; you just had to go up to Deck #10 and take the stairway down - something that I got quite good at during the course of our cruise and which you'll see more of later along with pictures of our cabin!
We were scheduled to set sail at 4:00 so after stowing our belongings, Barb and I made our way back outside where we found that we were indeed already heading out to sea. The muster for our safety briefing would be soon but before that I took some pictures on the Lido Deck.
In all honesty, at this point I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. Yes, it was a big ship but that also meant that there were an awful lot of people on-board (I believe about 3,000 passengers; never mind crew). Barb told me that once we got underway people would scatter to different areas of the ship and then it wouldn't seem like there were so many of them but for the moment, they were all still gathered on the Lido Deck watching Miami fade into the distance. As someone who doesn't do well with crowds, I was feeling some trepidation but hoped that would pass as the voyage progressed.
Following the Safety Muster where crew members took very seriously the task of showing us how to put on life vests and what to do if something disastrous were to happen, it was time for everyone who was there for the Bloggers Cruise to meet in the Amber Room for free drinks and a welcome from John Heald who is the Senior Cruise Director for Carnival Cruise Lines.
John has a blog and a Facebook page and a cast of many who help him make it all possible whom he introduced to everyone. His team was there to document the cruise and there are videos and such over on YouTube that you can check out if you're of a mind to. I believe that there were about 300 people on the ship who were part of the Bloggers Cruise but not all of them were bloggers themselves - some of them just followed John's blog but there was no rule that said you had to be a blogger to be a part of the Bloggers Cruise - you could certainly be a blog reader!
This not very good picture is John Heald himself with just the tip of Empress Bee's tiara caught in the corner. It was quite the nice tiara as it lit up with flashing and sparkling lights but then again, as Queen of the Ship, it was only proper that she have a flashy tiara.
It may seem like a strange place to do so but I'm going to end at this point as it's taking me a dreadfully long time to edit all of the pictures I have and I'm trying to do them in some sort of proper order but not to worry, I'll be back with more before too long! Just please be patient with me!