Cruisin’ into Summer

Staffer recounts cruise experience

The+vast+blue+view+found+outside+on+the+ships+balcony

The vast blue view found outside on the ship’s balcony

Nate Carr, Webmaster, Staff Writer

For a week in the middle of May, my family and I spent time on a Carnival luxury liner named the Valor and explored the cities of Cozumel and Progresso in Mexico while enjoying our time in the sun.

The cruise departed Monday evening at 4:00 and headed into the vast pristinely blue water. Our eyes saw nothing but the horizon for another 40 hours until that following Wednesday. Coming from Galveston complimented what I saw on all side of the ship considering that Galveston isn’t particularly regarded for appealing waters. For the rest of Monday and the entirety of Tuesday, everyone enjoyed the view and the various activities on board, such as the two pools and the waterslide.

I visited one of the many different dining and entertainment options. Food choices ranged from burgers to sushi to even Mongolian cuisine. Entertainment options ranged small jazz concerts in the interior of the ship to trivia nights and movies. My personal recommendation is the 80s Music Trivia Night, a must have for any classic rock or pop music fan.

Every night, as a fitting conclusion to the day, my entire family gathered in the Grand Lincoln dining hall on the 9th floor of the ship. I enjoyed some of the best food of my life, while marble sculptures, gold chandeliers, and exquisite paintings and wood workings surrounded me. On this cruise, I enjoyed caviar and the to-die-for Carnival Chocolate Pudding that melted in your mouth. By far though, the best thing about our family’s overall dining experience was our serving staff. They made us feel welcomed. Their amusing behavior added to the quality of our dining experience.  

Next to the food and entertainment onboard, the experiences off deck amazed me. On Wednesday, we arrived in Cozumel where my family snorkeled in thirty feet of deep crystal clear blue water and then went on a catamaran to a beach and snorkeled more. In the water, I swam through and around schools of fifty or more black and yellow striped fish with a light blue fish base on the body. While at the beach, I saw a two foot long silver barracuda that threw any light that touched its body into the surrounding waters.

As a hobbyist who enjoys watching and keeping aquarium fish, that brought me the most pleasure.

On Thursday, we arrived in Progresso where my family visited a small group of Mayan ruins and another beach. At the ruins, we found a plethora of iguanas ranging in sizes of eight inches to four foot long. At the beach, I enjoyed delicious, authentic Mexican food served rather well. I learned something rather depressing there as well though. I mentioned that the service overall in Mexico and on the ship surpassed that of anything I ever experienced before and my grandmother mentioned that the reason why was because wages in Mexico aren’t very high, so most people in major tourist cities and on the ships have to earn larger tips in order to support their families.

That moment is when I realized why I never once saw a waiter or server who didn’t appear welcoming and full of glee. Happiness apparently sells goods and earns tips.

Friday came around, and all the passengers felt the same heavy feeling. Depression. It consumed everyone onboard. The only good thing about that day was the view. The thing that surrounded the first day now seemed to engulf the bow of the ship. With it came an optimistic thought in this somewhat depressing time: getting to see friends, complete the final week of school, then go straight into summer. I was ready for that.