Cruise Day 1.. Aboard the Pride
2023-06-10 The alarm was set for 6:00 a.m. this morning so I could get up and shower and wash my hair before breakfast. After breakfast we went downstairs to eat at the free buffet the Hilton provided, which was very nice. Make your own waffles, all kinds of meats, hash brown potatoes, an expresso machine, cereals, etc. It was nice and gave us a full feeling to start the day. After we got everything together, about 8:00, we headed across to the terminal again to catch the carnival shuttle to go to Dover. We set there till almost 10:00 as there was some kind of delay. Our check in time was 10:00 a.m., so we definitely were not the first ones on the ship like we had hoped lol.
The shuttle person was extremely on the rude side. As teachers, we definitely saw some error in the way he was trying to direct people! He told us to stand by the lift, then when we stood by the lift and some lady was apparently a little too close, he had to push her back and tell her not to stand by the lift. Then he told us when we got on the lift, not to go anywhere, not to touch anything, not to do anything, that he would handle it all. Then he told us when we got off to stand there and wait for him, do not go anywhere and do not move and if we saw anyone else moving to get them back too. We sort of laughed about that cuz it was so silly. Then he fussed at us the whole way to the shuttle. When we got on he told us to leave an empty seat toward the front on both sides, so we did. I would like to point out 'we' being the collective 'we' as a group, not just me and Kay, so no we weren't being naughty lol. So everyone that came after us, we would say no, save those seats. Then when he got on, no one was sitting in those seats! After we started moving the ladies across from us and we realized that there were empty seats in front of us so Kay and one of those ladies moved up and we four had seats to ourselves. I'm sure everyone behind us thought that we were being greedy but it wasn't us, I promise!
When we got going on the shuttle, headed to Dover, it was really cold. 20° C but it got colder! As I said there shivering with goosebumps, Kay in front of me was wondering about the feasibility of taking the curtain on the window and wrapping it around her. She ended up using her backpack and getting it wrapped around her as much as she could. I just sat there and shivered. And of course it was a clock that kept switching back and forth from time to date to temperature and at one point it dropped as low as 16° C. My trusty phone converter said that was a little above 60° F. I wish I had not checked because then I was even colder! After an hour and a half, and passing the road that turned to Canterbury, we got to Dover. It was really nice and I enjoyed seeing the White Cliffs of Dover that I've heard so much about all my life. It was such a welcome site to round the corner and see the ship ahead of us in the harbor, not the least of reasons because I was freezing, and I figured it would be even warmer on the ship. Well first we had to get into the terminal, and we ended up standing right at the door where the wind was whipping and blowing good. By the time I finally got inside that terminal, I was an ice cube. But we were in, and we met the nicest British gentleman standing there talking to us and guiding people. He talked about the Spitfires that used to be over Dover during the war, and that there is one that still flies over Dover in a commemorative flight. That was interesting too.
We got through check-in very easily after using the Verifly app, and we were on the ship in no time. We did muster drill and went to get something to eat. Lido was full! There was nowhere to sit. There were one and two people sitting at those five and six people tables and in the south, New Orleans and Galveston at least, people would see you walking around with a plate and say here come sit here. That did not happen on this ship :-) We finally went upstairs to the 10th floor which happened to be the steakhouse on this ship, and we sat at a table up there and ate.
And what, you might wonder, did we do exciting after that for all afternoon. The most exciting thing I could think of! We slept. Kay had set her alarm for 5:30, and silly me trusted her. But it was 5:30 a.m. lol. She woke me up at 5:37, because fortunately she just happened to open her eyes, and we went to dinner at 6:00 p.m. . We really liked our team of Edwin, Martin, and Sanjib, and I think we're going to enjoy them for 21 days. In all of our history of cruising, our top waiters were Cenon, Acer, Agus and Maynard. We will see how this team compares to them! We are in the back at a table near a window, so we'll have plenty of good sights while eating.
We are sitting in a shared table of six, but Kay and I were the only two that showed up tonight. I don't know if someone else will show up tomorrow night or not. We don't mind sharing tables, so I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. My card was laying on the table and Edwin said, 'oh you're a diamond. You have unlimited drinks.' What??! He double checked and came back and said yes. Unfortunately I am not a drinker so we don't get free alcohol, but I did get a free Shirley Temple and Kay got a chocolate mocha getaway. I'm going to be spoiled if this continues for the next 21 days. He even came back and asked us if we wanted a refill, and we both told him no we better stick to just the one :-). Obviously we're no fun!
We are now sitting on our balcony enjoying the night time. Whoops did I say night time? It's 9:00 p.m. and it's still daylight outside. The moon is showing but there is no darkness :-) I think as we go further north it's going to be even more so like this. It's a little cool on the balcony but not too bad. I'm definitely warmer than I was on the bus! Can't wait to see some beautiful sights and share them with all of you. More to come tomorrow.
By the way in case you're wondering, we are 6 hours ahead of Mississippi time right now. I think someone said we'll move the clock forward another hour tomorrow so that means tomorrow will be 7 hours ahead and probably remain that way for the rest of the trip. Look for pictures of Norway starting tomorrow hopefully!