Embarkation Day Blues (Part 1)

After an uneventful 32 minute drive from Friendswood to the Galveston, I dropped Becky off at the Carnival terminal where a porter took custody of our bags. Becky grabbed our carry-ons to wait for me while I went to park our car.

Even though the lot I always use, Galveston Park n Cruise, is directly across the street from the Carnival terminal, I am forced to follow a long, congested road in the opposite direction. Eight minutes after dropping Becky off I finally exited the port and drove a mile back toward the terminal.

I checked in at the parking lot and used a crosswalk to get back to the port. The police officer directing traffic wished me a great cruise.

Nice cop. 

Once across the street I walked a clearly defined foot path with my eyes directed at the terminal to see If I could spot my wife. At this point I heard a shrill voice yell “You can’t do that”. The voice belonged to a young female officer and it was directed at me.

Preoccupied with finding my wife I had forgotten the walking path crossed a lane for exiting parking shuttles and I had walked out in front of a distantly approaching vehicle full of departing passengers and their luggage.

Perturbed cop.

Having cheated death by shuttle bus, I found Becky and we were inside the terminal a minute later.  We got through check-in and security in just a few minutes and took the escalator up to the 2nd level. By this time at least 5 terminal employees had checked our boarding passes and determined that, yes, we were supposed to be in the building.

Our boarding group was called about 25 minutes later, and after another 2 checks of our boarding passes, we began the trek to the ship. Normally the gangway deposits passengers onto the promenade deck and then into the ship’s ornate atrium. For some reason, we were instead directed to board on a lower deck which meant we did not get that usual “wow” reaction from our first glance inside the ship.

Instead we encountered a host of smiling staff members who were offering “express” elevators to lunch. Within 10 minutes we were enjoying plate-sized salads we topped with cheeses, capicola, and salami.

The time after lunch on embarkation day is one of the few aggravating parts of cruising. We had to kill more than an hour before we would be allowed into our cabin.  We wandered around a bit looking for someplace quiet to wait out our time.

We tried going out on deck, but It was miserably hot even in the shade. With the ship docked, there was none of the refreshing ocean breeze that moderates the summer temperatures.

We eventually discovered a nearly empty atrium which was uncharacteristically quiet, so we parked ourselves on a couch.

To be continued in Part 2

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