Set sailing

The Carnival Sensation
The Carnival Sensation30-Dec-2011 13:51, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 8.898mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
 
We got up for a late breakfast. With no plans to explore Florida further that Thursday, we started driving to Cape Canaveral around 11:00 AM. It is about an hour’s worth of drive from Orlando. The drive was smooth and we arrived at the dock about 12:15 PM. Parking was rather easy after getting nuts at Universal the day before. There was a decent line at the entrance to the Carnival cruise docks. Families chatting each other, some dressed up, some casual but everyone was looking forward to wind it down soon. Documents check came okay and we took the escalator up to the Ecstasy deck – the 7th floor. We were right on time for the rooms to open at 1. Our cabin was at the very back of the ship with a clear view of the water. There was another Disney cruise liner docked and that looked a bit more modern than the Sensation, but I had not complaints being this the first cruise for us. A small yatch would have been as exciting as long as we were going far into the ocean. We immediately headed to the buffet which gave us a taste for the amount of food on a cruise ship. The dining hall (the one we were at) was easily large enough to accommodate about 300-350 people. We had some decent choices for us vegetarians. The salad bar was excellent overall though you want to get in quite a bit ahead of the closing time. Plenty of dessert choices made our task easy – when you see too much of anything your instincts warn you and we headed our hearts.
Surrounding the lobby
Surrounding the lobby29-Dec-2011 16:13, Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, 4.0, 18.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 
We explored the ship – all of the top three floors and the deck. The deck had a walking track, a mini golf course and a water slide. The lower part of the deck had a huge pool and a hot tub and it was already teeming with people. The Florida sun was sparkling and shining through very few clouds and was very welcome after the colder weather up north where we came from.  Soon we found out none of the activities were interesting for us and we went back for a nice nap. After the nap, I wanted to get some shots of the sunset but I missed most of it napping! Rama took some snaps of the red sun; but I could get the richly hued skies right after. It is a great time for photography – just before and after sunset.

Catching the first sunset aboard the ship
Catching the first sunset aboard the ship29-Dec-2011 17:29, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.5, 30.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 
Dinner would be at 8:15 PM – the late-r seating; the early seating was at 6:00 PM. I was dressed up for the evening dinner as we stepped out of the room and so was Rama. We ran into many photographers on the way and decided to get some photos done – it was a great decision. You have literally photographers at every major congregational place and time – as you step into the ship, as you step out, dinner time with each day being a theme such as formal, casual, fun-time, etc. Then you have photographers in the dining room take many snaps as you eat. Add to it a pirate steps up to each table for individual and group photos. We missed the family friendly comedy show and thought we will catch up next day.

Poolside at night
Poolside at night29-Dec-2011 19:54, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 2.8, 6.1mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
At Dinner, we were seated along with two other Indian families and got into conversation rather quickly. The children were younger but Vikas found a HS junior for his company and dinner went along. Again some vegetarian choices made it easy. The Indian vegetarian plate was good enough with a couple of vegetable curries, dhal, rice and even mango pickles!! The spinach dip and chips starter was a bit too garlicky. Ended up with some ice cream which was easily forgettable. After dinner we went to the deck to catch the dark skies and hopefully a lot of stars. But that wasn’t the case to be. The lights from the ship itself was too bright and the skies were no different than back at home – okay a bit better to see the Orion constellation quite clearly. As you look farther out into the horizon, you could see much darker skies, but with cloud cover. The evening breeze was enjoyable; the waters were very calm with absolutely no roughness at all. I was prepared for some shaking but that didn’t happen throughout the journey.

Arriving at Nassau, Bahamas
Arriving at Nassau, Bahamas30-Dec-2011 11:33, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.5, 30.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
 
We stopped at the Guest services desk and checked out the activities for the next day. Vikas wanted to do para sailing; I was hesitant at first and then decided there was no strong reason and caved in to the request. If I didn’t go with him, then who would? I didn’t want him to look out for a relative or a friend always to do the thrill rides he wanted to. These fun-cursions were expensive at $90 for a seven minute experience.

Back in the room, which was all cleaned up by then, there were some material that we would be reaching Nassau around Lunch time. Nassau is where the Atlantis resort is – one of the largest such resorts; I had heard and seen so much of it on TV that it was to be the highlight of the cruise. Worth waiting for and I went to bed. It took me 1/2 hour of getting some 3 stars on Angry Birds before my eyes tired out.

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