Autumn arrived in Vancouver about the same time we did. The temperature dropped about 20º and the rain clouds hung low over Whistler Mountain. The cheery interiors of our ship more than made up for the gray skies. Carnival favors a decorating style that is a few millimeters away from over the top. Although it might be blasphemous to compare our ship to a European rococo cathedral, I was left with the same feeling - where should I look first? The night club has an Egyptian motif - golden mummy cases line the entrance way and the curtains, upholstery, and carpeting is peppered with cartouches and hieroglyphics. A smaller club a floor below is decorated to look like a French palace. A floor above we can order an overpriced drink from a Chinese lounge redolent with the red, gold and black colors that country favors. But if your eyes have had enough, you only need to look our the window at the endless seas.
Ken has brought a new digital still camera which is so clever it does everything but make toast. I have been having a ball making mini movies and documenting our ship's decor to the max by taking a series of horizontal shots that my computer stitches together. I hope that these panoramas provide a better impression of the sumptuous decor and the feeling that being hundreds of miles from the nearest land mass provides.
One of the reasons we are on this cruise is that it only costs $100/day. It's not hard to spend that much at home and here we are tempted by gourmet food 24/7 and entertained by dancers, comedians and musicians. However, the cruise line must make a profit somehow. We were barely out of sight of land when the casino threw open its doors. The spa staff toured us through their gorgeous facility extolling the virtues of hot stone massage and sea weed wrap. That $100/day could triple in no time. Because we resent being charged $2.50 for a can of pop, we schlepped twelve days worth of pop on board in our suitcases. We are geezers on a fixed income after all!
In the past cruising left us somewhat isolated from what was going on in the world. Things improved when a xeroxed form with headlines of the day stuffed under our cabin door was replaced by a satellite connection to an international version of CNN. We learned a lot more about cricket scores than we wanted, but at least when a major event occurred, we did not feel like we had been on another planet when we disembarked. On this ship we are amazed to be connected to all the major US networks as well as a number of other typical cable channels. With the time zone shift we have to remember to be in our cabin at 3:30pm for the evening news, but at least we are up on all the Iraq explosions, scandals, and Bushisms. Maybe it's time to go back out on our balcony and watch the waves...