Embarkation – Civitavecchia, Italy

I woke up really early so I could get a jump on the day. There was a lot to do and I didn`t want to run out of time. First we had a big breakfast and I filled up on yogurts and cereals and vanilla tea. Then we packed up our stuff and I finished some last minute work online. I am not sure what kind of internet access I will have over the next two weeks so I wanted to get the latest photos uploaded.

Sus was very patient and sat quietly in the hostel lounge while I wrapped it up. I was getting frustrated because the connection kept dropping. Finally Sus let me know that she was getting hungry and we should get going to find some food. We needed to start for the port anyway so we got some pizza to go on the way to the train station. We walked down the street and I somehow balanced the pizza and backpacks.

In Termini station, Sus left me to watch the bags while she went to buy the tickets. I was sitting there munching away happily on my pizza sitting on my backpack. I thought about how much easier it is to travel in twos and was really grateful that I had found a travel buddy. I like traveling solo and it has been invaluable in my development. But I am really ready to share and really look forward to the next bit.
Sus came back with the ticket but wasn’t sure when it was for. I shrugged and told her to eat her pizza while I went to the gelato place. If the lady there couldn’t tell us the train time she would at least be able to give me some gelato. My last gelato in Italy. I got crème caramel, chocolate with nuts and nutella. I bounced back to out little pile of packs and Susanne still working on her slice. I was humming and doing my little happy dance as I do when I have good foods.

We took the electronic sidewalks (sus calls them “moving pavement”) to the otherside of the train station to platform 27. With only 2.5 minutes to spare, we nestled ourselves onto the top floor seats of the two story train. The day was sunny and we were too as we made our way to the port Civtavecchia. We watched the Italian countryside roll by and began vibrating with excitement as soon as we spotted the sea. I pointed out the red “tail” that belonged to our ship which is a signature of Carnival cruise lines.

We didn’t notice that there was a free shuttle bus that took passengers to the cruise ships so we ended walking the whole way. It took us about half and hour at a brisk pace in the hot sun. Sus groaned when we saw the free shuttle speed by and I reminded her how well we would sleep tonight after all the exercise. Finally, we rounded the corner and there was our ship, in all her glory. Apparently, Carnival is the largest and newest cruise ship in the waters. This would be our home for the next two weeks.

We completed the check in process quickly then found our stateroom. We both drank a bunch of water as we were hot and dehydrated from the trek to the ship. Next we surveyed our room and giggled in delight. We heard an announcement for a talk in the theatre so we made our way there. We saw Cortney and Aaron right away and we did quick introductions. We summarized our travel stories over the past few days in about 5 minutes.

Next, we listened to the cruise director for a bit before I whispered to Sus that we should skip this boring part. I have been on lots of cruises and know that they play these talks on the TV in your stateroom over and over again if you really want the info. I suggested that we should go “discover” the ship instead. We covered the whole thing in about a half an hour then decided to sample some of the food. I nibbled tho I wasn’t really that hungry. The best part was when I found the ice cream machines which also serve frozen yogurt. I don’t think I have ever been so excited about working out as when I saw the state of the art gym.

We went back to our room and unpacked until it was time for the muster drill. This is one of the annoying things you have to do on every cruise and I am in the bad habit of waiting until the last minute before joining the hoards of passengers on the deck. Basically, everyone stands around in bright orange lifejackets on the upper deck waiting for the loud beeps. Sus and I used this time to check if there were any cute guys onboard. Hum….looked like lots and lots of older couples. A couple honeymooners and a few kids but no real talent to speak of.

Then we noticed that there were a few guys that looked about our age but they were crew. Typically, you are not supposed to hang out with crew members when you are on a cruise. I smiled as I remembered the time Sonya and I broke that rule a few years ago when we went on a caribbean cruise.

Next I dragged the others to the gym and broke in the treadmills for the next few hours. They actually have TVs attached and a place to plug in your headphones. I watched a whole movie while I walked off about 500 calories. After I stretched and did situps, I rushed back to the room just in time to get ready for supper.

Sus and I were lucky enough to get seated at a table for two and our wait staff were really friendly. We giggled away excitedly reminding each other how cool this whole thing was. I ordered salmon for the appetizer and fish of the day for the entrée. We ended up having two desserts because it was so good. I reasoned that it was ok because of the mega workout I had just completed. We decided to try and remember to take photos of all of the food we eat. They do such an amazing job of the presentation, I hope we remember.

After eating, we came back to the room and I decided I had better do some work. I signed up for the internet and found out that we can get Wi-fi anywhere in the ship. So, I sit here in my bed, typing away. Its just about midnight and I look over to see that Sus is already passed out. We are both exhausted and I think I am going to have to hit is as well. But what a day!

Today I am grateful for exercise.

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