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Carnival Magic to the Southern Caribbean Aug 26-Sep 3 2017

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Carolyn Jane:
Magical Moments
Carnival Magic August 26 - September 3, 2017

26 Aug 2017.  St. Augustine, FL.  Saturday.  We left home about 10am yesterday, and drove as far as St. Augustine, where we planned to spend the night.  I hate to do all of the five hour drive in one piece, and hotels were more reasonable here.  We were early to the hotel, but they had a room ready, so we dropped our overnight stuff, used the bathroom,and then went to lunch.  Denny's.  Very close. 
     After lunch, we browsed both outlet malls but didn't find anything to buy.  Back in the hotel, we read and napped until time for supper.  This time it was Cracker Barrel, where we both had the vegetable plate.  Vegetable of the day was lima beans, something I grew into as I aged. 
     Back at the hotel, we read and I crocheted and computed.  Watching Hurricane Harvey, feeling sorry for those who were hoping to sail from Galveston today.  And tomorrow.  Couldn't find any baseball on the TV station selection, so settled for HGTV.  Lights out for me was 12:30am, but Mary was still awake.    She was already awake when I got up this morning, so I guess we can get an early start.  It is raining, and will probably last all day.  We will have a wet sailaway, maybe even thunderstorms. 

Carolyn Jane:
26 Aug 2017.  St Augustine to Port Canaveral.  We were up and out earlier than I expected.  Apparently Mary woke early and couldn't get back to sleep.  So we went to the hotel breakfast, checked out and were on the road south by 8:45.  Sunny, then overcast, but only a few sprinkles.  In fact, there was no rain at all today.  WE made good time, and were into the parking garage and chedking in at 1100.  Although things moved fast, they were kind of disjointed.  Used to be you went into the terminal, handed in your health form, went through security, and on to check in desk.  We were priotity due to my  loyalty level, so we went in a separate door, stopped at a desk where our passports were scanned and they checked our boarding passes.  Then it was security, and then we were directed to another desk where they collected boarding pass and pulled our cards out, put them in a bin and directed us to the priority lounge, where we did not even have time to sit down before were were called to the check in desk.  She collected everything, gave us our cards, took our pictures, and sent us off to board.  We were onboard is less than 45 min. from when we pulled into the parking garage. 
     Once onboard, we took the elevator down to deck one and found our cabin.  Quick exploration, and then to unpacking which did not take long, as we only have carry on baggage.  We decided to go explore, and find something to eat. 
     We went to deck 5 to the Piazza anf Lanai, where we got lunch from Guy's Pig and Anchor BBQ.  Baked beans, mac & cheese, smoked brisket, a bun.  Tasty.  We then went up to deck 10, looking for a place to fill our water bottles.  We ended up on deck 11 at the pasta place, which is a pay venue at night.  We spotted an ice machine in a service area, and snuck in.  then we went out on deck, and down to deck 10 and the Lido Marketplace (buffet).  Checked out Tandoor and various other stations.  Things were very crowded as cabins had not yet been made available. 
     We op[ted to return to our cabins and relax, even napped a bit.  We watched them loading luggage from our window - Essie and Lizzie were supervising.  I think our cabin must be above a storage area, it woulded like carts were clanking around, and this continued periodically even after sailing.  Muster drill signal was at 3:45 and we went to the convention Center (which later turned into the Art Gallery).  GEtting there was circuitous - we had to go up three flights, then cross the ship and walk back forward, bucking the traffic going to other muster stations.  By the time we got there and were screened in, all chairs were taken, so we sat on the low stage/platform.  The CD narrated everything in various persons/voices.  He said at the end that he does that not to amuse but that so everyone will pay attention and hear what he is saying.  The whole thing took about half an hour.  They only had to call four cabin numbers that were tardy.
     We came back to our cabin and rested until dinner time.  WE requested and got a large table on the lower level of the MDR.  We wanted to be able to see the singing and dancing.  So we are at a table for 11.  Two of the seats remained empty.  When we arrived there were a pair of dark skinned ladies who immediately identified us as sisters, and they also are sisters.  They are from Delaware, and were wearing matching group t-shirts.  They were joined by two more of the group, and that couple knew one of the sisters from a mutual acquaintance.  They are apparently a part of a much larger group, some of whom we saw eating other places in the MDR.  The organizer of the group came around to talk with them.  She has a travel agency in VA.  I am wondering if the organizer is a member of our Cruise Critic roll call who said she had a group of 72 going, and had arranged t-shirts for them.  Anyway, we also got another couple, from FL, and a third man joined who apparently knows them. 

     Dinner seemed to take forever, due to the usual first night confusion, and the waiter probably was waiting to see if the last two chairs would be filled.  We were not out until nearly 8pm, much to late to see the welcome aboard show.  We left the MDR and made our way to the shops to survey the merchandise, and did not see anything we liked that we could afford.   WEnt to the piano bar, where we enjoyed Matias, who goes by Mat and has an accent not of the US.  Before hitting the piano bar, there was some stuff going on in the lobby that was a continuation of the Welcome Aboard show, with a Name That Tune game, and drawings for free drinks.  They proceeded to the Piazza on 5, and then came through the piano bar for 15 minutes or so, leaving to go to yet another venue.  I am hoping things settle down to a slightly less frantic routine.  Tomorrow night is the first Elegant night, with a Playlist show.  We have not been able to make it to the Captain's receptions on other Carnival ships because they hold them at 7pm, and we are not out of our 6pm seating in time.  But that was a problem on Princess, too, with the champagne waterfall. 
     BAck in the cabin, Mary has taken a bath in the short but deep tub, and pronounced it satisfactory.  I booked one of the Deluxe OV cabins with split bath.  Toilet, sink, shower in one, and sink & tub/shower in the other.   We met the steward after muster, and requested bathrobes, ice, a blanket instead of duvet on Mary's bed, and only evening service.  Mary will not have to get up before noon. 
Time to go to bed.

Thanks CJ!

Carolyn Jane:
27 Aug 2017.  At Sea, afternoon.  I was up sort of early, and made it to Sea Day brunch in the MDR.  Fruit plate with a dash of cottage cheese, and Eggs Benedict.  Large glass of grapefruit juice.  Thenn off to explore some more.  Lots of people lined up for brunch.  Found the Warehouse, which is where the video and other games are.  Connected to Club O2.  Went to part of the port talk and then sat in on the end of general trivia.  Then went up to the Spa for the intro to acupuncture.  Just wanted to see what they said, no intention of doing it again onboard.  Physical therapy has helped me greatly. 
Left there and went to the Lido Marketplace which was heating up for lunch.  Wasn't really hungry, but didn't want to be looking for a snack in the afternoon, so I got a selectionn of salads, and a small piece of lemon grilled fish.  Came back to the cabin and took a nap.  Tonight is the first Elegant Night, and so I will shower soon.  Weather has been lovely, hardly any white horses out there.  Essie and Lizzie are staring out the window watching for flying fish.  No report yet on the tally. 

Later.  I took a nap, then showered and washed my hair in the tub.  I like it because it has a grab bar.  The cabin is longer/deeper because of the split bath, so there is one more closet, and the desk is about 1/3 longer. 
     I was quite surprised to see how many people really dressed up tonight.  Every time we get to our table in the MDR, we feel a little swaying motion.  Typical of aft MDR.  There are two two top tables by ours.  Midway through the meal, one couple left because she was getting seasick???  There is hardly any motion! 
We were some of the last out of the dining room again.  the waiters danced tonight.  We went straight to the theater for the Playlist show, Flick.  Movie themed.  A bit odd, lots of laser lights and darkness.  And too loud.  Another show tomorrow night.  Then we went to the piano bar again, and had bloody Mary's.  WE stayed until he took a break, and are now back in our cabin. 
There was a knock on our door this afternoon, and delivery of the chocolate strawberries.  I shoved the plate into the fridge.  Maybe tomorrow...

Carolyn Jane:
28 Aug 2017.  At Sea, Monday.  A lazy sea day.  I went to Sea Day Brunch again in the MDR.  Had an omelet which was okay.  Went wandering, found the Warehouse, where the gaming machines are.  I believe it opens into the Red Frog Pub.  Did a full circuit of promenade deck and believe it is .33 miles, per my fitbit.  The motion of the ocean is multiplying my flights of stairs.  I had intended to go to the Chinese Medicine lecture but I was late, and they had moved it from deck 5 up to deck 12, so I gave it a miss.  After wandering some more, I came back to the cabin.  Mary was still here.  I ate the chocolate strawberries, and then took a late morning nap. 
   I left the cabin again about 1pm and found myself on the promenade deck again.  Another circuit around, and then I found the taste bar open, and had a very small tuna salad sandwich.  Watched them playing Yahtzee with big foam dice.  I do not understand the game...  Went into the Red Frog Pub and discovered tennis on the TVs there.  US OPen is just starting, but the pictures were blurry, I had to guess at the names.  There is no sports bar per se on Magic.   I made a pass through the shops and grimaced at the singing of the duo in the lobby.  She was trying to do an imitation of Sarah Vaughn on something she hade famous.  She did a poor job.  Gliding up to a pitch only works if you eventually get to the pitch. 
  Took the girls to dinner tonight.  There are two empty chairs at our table.  Two of our regular folk did not show, so there was plenty of space for them.  After dinner, we went to the show, another Playlist Production, Country Road.  It was okay.  I like country music, but do not listen regularly, so only know the big hits.  It amazes me how they manage to do an entire show of songs Ihave never heard. 
After the show we headed for the piano bar.  We got there nearly half an hour before he starts, but it gets us good seats.  I had a frozen strawberry margarita.  On the Pride, the piano bar did not have the facilities to do frozen drinks.  Essie licked my straw and then did a back flip onto the chair.  Enough for her.  Back to the cabin for the night. 


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