An old family friend of mine lives in Houston and invited us to come stay before or after our cruise. Jayne was key to making our cruise and trip go so smoothly. She picked us up from the airport and brought us to our ship the next day. Julie and Jimmy stayed at her house even though they arrived in the middle of the night.
We got to the embarkation process at exactly 12:30. This was not only my first cruise experience, but Jon’s as well. It took us nearly an hour to get through the airport-like security process and to obtain our “magic card”…the card that gets us into our room and all the drinks we could ever want.
Our first day out on sea was relaxing and sunny. Although I wasn’t entirely sure how I would like a cruise…and even though I’d been unemployed for nearly 3 weeks at this point, the relaxation was so needed. My mind had been overwhelmed with Japan and my friends, Peace Corps, and our future. I was actually able to let it all go on the Carnival Ecstasy…and I was shocked.
We drank out on the adult deck and basked in the sun for hours. The sun was something that none of us had seen for nearly five months now. Of course I slathered my Polish/Irish pale skin with as much sunscreen as possible. I read a book that I had started in Seattle in February, drank Coors Lights by the bucketful, and gazed out into the ocean. We celebrated our first night out at sea with several more drinks and checking out the bars that the cruise boat had to offer! The night ended with Jon getting everyone some pizza and headed into the cheapest room available on board…the bottom floor room with no view!