Carnival Miracle: Embarkation!!!

So, I had to tell you a little something about Cruise Critic before I got to this point simply because I got so much information about this home port from there.

Anywho, if you are joining us for the first time, here’s Part I, Part II and Part III.

We woke up at the crack of dawn. Remember, we passed out early because we were still on eastern time. So, early to bed meant too early to rise. It was pitch black. I dozed, but I couldn’t really get any good sleep. When the sun finally came up, we got up and dressed and headed down to breakfast at the Promenade Cafe. I had the steak & eggs. The food was only okay. It wasn’t terrible, but a little overpriced for what I got.

Normally, I like to arrive at port around 10 or 10:30, but I had read on cruise critic that debarkation was a little later than I’m used to on the east coast, so we planned to do the free self-guided tour of the Queen Mary. Plus, we only had to walk through the parking lot to get to the ship, so travel time was not a factor.

We went down to the basement level to get the headsets to start the tour, but we saw the ship in port and all the people lined up and we immediately got impatient to get on the ship. So, we did a 180 and headed back to the room to get our bags and check out.

The Carnival Miracle from the deck of the Queen Mary
The Carnival Miracle from the deck of the Queen Mary

Remember that loooooooong walk down the hallaway? Welp, we had to drag our bags back. LOL! We got to the elevators only to find EVERYBODY checking out. We waited by those two tiny little elevators (no way was I dragging 4 bags up the stairs after that long walk). We waited. And waited. And waited. Then the doors magically opened! But an elderly couple was in the elevator looking to get to the Sun Deck. We told them which floor it was on and sadly watched the doors close on us. Sigh.

So, we waited. And waited. And waited. Then magically, the other elevator door opened! Guess what? That same elderly couple was in that elevator looking for the Sun Deck! Deja Vu! This time, I stepped in to press the button for them and then got out to sadly watch the doors close on us.

Miracle of all miracles, the other doors opened and no one was inside! Yay! We squeezed in there with our luggage like a can of sardines! By the time we got downstairs to the parking lot, my Mom said she wanted to take a cab through the parking lot to the terminal! And she was serious! I asked her how long was she willing to wait for a cab? She thought about that for a moment. I told her I refused to pay for a cab to drive me to the other side of the parking lot. I mean really! She caved and off we went! We had to take the scenic route since they were having a winter festival, but we made it through in a bout 5 minutes.

The crowd at the terminal was hectic and no one was boarding yet. It looked to be a long line even for the platinum and diamond cruisers. As much as I hear them fussing about lack of perks on the cruise critic boards, I have to say that the long line they were standing in would be one I would complain about.

At Long Beach, you drop your luggage over by the parking deck and then go check-in. So, we did that and then got in line. We filled out our health screening questionnaire and eagerly awaited our turn to get our sail & sign card. The line moved pretty quickly and the agent we got was super friendly. By the time we finished with everything, they were calling our zone! We lined up to board. There was an extra pep in our step. We skipped the embarkation photo and hallelujah we stepped onto the ship!

The first stop we had to make was at guest services to arrange the burial at sea for Gramma. Guest services was super nice. They offered their condolences and explained the process. The service can only be done on a sea day and you have to have a biodegradable urn. We purchased ours directly from the crematorium, but there are a plethora of online stores you can get one from. They said that the environmental officer would contact us to let us know what day we could have the ceremony. I had also contacted John Heald, Carnival’s Ambassador on his Facebook page to request this be arranged.

After leaving guest services, we headed up to the Lido deck for food. It wasn’t quite 1pm. We’re not platinum (yet!) and had not purchased Faster to the Fun, so our room wasn’t ready. We both had burgers and fries. By the time we finished eating, it was 1:30pm and figured the room would be ready.

After we dropped our bags off, we walked around a little to get the lay of the land (or boat lol). Here’s a view of the Queen Mary from the deck of the Carnival Miracle.

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We went back to the room to see if our bags had come, but they hadn’t. We had ordered two cases of water from Bon Voyage to be delivered to the room, but only one was there. We decided that we’d stop by guest services after muster to ask about it. In the meantime, I took a couple of photos of Long Beach from our balcony.

We went to muster and met a Pastor from Las Vegas. He said that he and his wife and recently done an Alaska cruise with an excursion on the Alaska train. This is on my bucket list!

Our muster buddy from Vegas!
Our muster buddy from Vegas!

Shortly after muster, you kinda expect to sail away, but um err uh, we didn’t sail away. There was no explanation. We kinda just sat there. It was dark when we left.

Late Long Beach departure.
Late Long Beach departure.

We’re still on eastern standard time, so we were too sleepy to make it to a show after dinner. Another night where we went to bed waaaaay to early. But, as you’ll soon see, there was at least one benefit…

Up next: Sea Days 1 – 4

Until next time.

Your Cruise Girl

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