Port days

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It’s Patriot Day.  A day to remember 9-11.  A sad day and I am sure everyone remembers where they were when those towers fell.  I would also like to do a shout out to the residents of Florida and hope everyone is safe after Irma’s visit. September is a big birthday month for our family so here is a shout out to Michael, Dad, Ryleigh, D.J., Kitten, and Kara. Now let’s get to the blog.

This week is about port days.  No not port as in wine but port as in the town or city with a harbor where ships load or unload.  We have several ports that we will be going to: Galveston, Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, and back to Galveston.

The port of Galveston is where we will be boarding for our seven day cruise.  I will have a blog post about just the boarding process as the cruise date gets closer.  I will also have another blog post for the return to the port of Galveston.  So, you should pretty much ignore the port of Galveston for now.  Act like it was never even mentioned.

This might get a little confusing because there are different factors that come into play when going into port.  I will break it up by whether or not you have an excursion booked thru Carnival and the port of Belize.

If you do not have an excursion booked thru Carnival then here is the overview of the disembarking process (the get off the ship process). When the ship arrives at the port they must first get inspected and granted permission from the port authorities to let passengers off.  This process takes some time so just chill.  The cruise director will keep making announcements of where to go and when to be there.  You will notice lines starting to form on deck three by the stairs.  You may not use the elevators to get to deck zero unless you are handicap so don’t even try. Simply get in line and be a lemming.  Follow the line of people down the stairs to deck zero.  At deck zero you will see several signs telling you that food cannot be taken off the ship.  It’s simple, don’t take food off the ship.  You can have unopened water bottles.  Make sure you have your driver’s license or passport along with your sail and sign card.  The ship’s security will swipe your sail and sign card as you exit the ship.  The process runs fairly smooth but the whole standing in line thing can get old. Once you have exited the ship head thru the duty free shop and begin you day ashore.

If you have an excursion booked thru Carnival one of two things will happen.  You will get tickets in your mailbox right outside your cabin.  The tickets will tell you where to meetup for the excursion.  In Cozumel we were told to go to the Ovation Theater and they called us by excursion group to get off the ship.  We still walked down to deck zero and went thru security to have our sail and sign cards scanned.  We then went to the center of the shopping area and found our tour and signed in.  It sounds kinda of intimidating going to a country you have never been to and then having to find your way to your excursion but it’s all about following the train of people.  When we went to Mahogany Bay our tickets told us to go to the port and locate our excursion by a sign being held up.  We found the sign easily and off we went.

In Belize things are different. Why? Because I said so. Just kidding.  It’s different because once you exit the ship you get right onto a boat.  Because of the reef along the port area the ships cannot pull up to a pier.  The ships anchor themselves out in the ocean and tender boats are used to transport passengers.  The ride is only 10-15 minutes in length.  Once you get to the pier, passengers are unloaded from the tender boats and directed where to meet up for excursions.  Again, just follow the crowds if you are nervous.

There is no need to panic or rush to get off the ship.  Pushing and shoving your way down the stairs is rude and can cause injury to yourself or others.  Since Scott is so good at throwing elbows I let him lead us down the stairs and I hold onto his backpack strap.  We have only had a few jerks that pushed their way thru and I am happy to announce that they forgot their sail and sign card so they had to go back to their cabin.  That’s called karma!  If you have a little kiddo I suggest you just carry them down the stairs.  It’s safer and quicker.

If you are handicap please go to the guest services deck the day before and let them know that you are going to be getting off the ship.  They will tell you where to meet up the next day.  This way you can use the elevators to deck zero.  If you are sweet enough you might also mention the other people in your party so you can all go down together.  I leave that up to you and your fellow party people.

If you have any thoughts or concerns about disembarking at the ports just leave a comment and I will get you the best answer I can.

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