Monday, February 9, 2009
OK, I'm back! The needlework cruise is over. The ship was the Carnival Paradise, leaving Long Beach last Monday evening. We arrived at the ship around noon and by the time we got checked in and had lunch our luggage had arrived at our rooms. Always a welcome sight! The first day is always very busy, what with unpacking, finding your way around, lifeboat drill, etc. This ship seemed smaller than others I've been on and it was harder to find your way around. There was only one deck where you could really walk the full length of the ship, outside. We stitched awhile after dinner. The room they had set aside for our stitching use had terrible light and only a few outlets, all in one end of the room, in a cupboard! But we "made do" and hoped for better light in the daytime, there were windows.
Tuesday we were in Catalina when we woke up. Some of our group went ashore first thing, but the rest of us decided to stitch in the morning and go after lunch. With the drapes open, the light was better for our stitching, although still not great! We had to take tenders from the ship. One picure above shows the tenders heading to the ship. Avalon hasn't changed much since I was there 30 years ago! It is just a tiny sleepy tourist town. We looked around the shops and made a few purchases, including some reproductions of the famous tiles that were made there years ago. I bought some notecards of the tiles which I hope to turn into a needlepoint design!
Tuesday evening was "dress up" night and the Captain's cocktail party. So we got all done up in our finery for cocktails and dinner. This night I sure missed my husband as we could have had a good time dancing!
Wednesday was Ensenada. The whole group of us headed into town right after breakfast. We took a bus from the pier as it looked to be quite a long walk. But we walked a lot anyway - lots of shops to see! Most of them are trashy tourist stuff, but there are some very nice jewelry (silver) stores and I think almost every one of us bought something! We had lunch in town, a very elegant restaurant. One of our ladies was having a birthday and the restaurant treated us all to Margaritas and a birthday dessert for Joyce! That night at dinner, back on the ship, we had champagne & birthday cake for all. Joyce certainly had a memorable birthday! After dinner we went to the show, which was a magician and a comedian. Both were pretty good.
Thursday was a full day at sea so we got quite a bit of stitching done. It was a cold overcast day, but we had had wonderful weather the previous days. So we made the most of mealtimes! And stitched in between! We had to have our luggage out for pickup by 11PM, so after dinner was spent packing for most of us. Friday was still rainy and cold, but the disembarkation went very smoothly and before we knew it we were at LAX, waiting for our flights.
All in all, it was a nice time!