Second, the reality. Boarding was much like boarding a plane. However, after getting settled in the cabin (outside with a window near the water line – actually it was great!), we wandered around the public decks, through a bar area to encounter The Pinkies: a group of aging pink t-shirted sorority sisters out for a good time. They were in the process of quickly getting drunk and VERY Loud. Did I mention obnoxious? I almost entirely lost my “calm, open and receptive” when they paraded through the common areas singing badly at the top of their lungs – to the karaoke bar. Wow, what an intro. Fortunately, they dissipated after the first evening and were not identifiable again.
Carnival Paradise is a party boat, truly Las Vegas on water. Noise, “excitement”, lots of drinking, parties, 2 weddings before setting sail. Unlimited mediocre food, lots of people eating large quantities of it as well as drinking quantities of alcohol. Of course, we were saintly… however, an immediate attitude adjustment was necessary and quite helpful.
The stops at Grand Cayman and Cozumel were made for tour boats, complete with the same China-made trinkets(aka “junk”) found in every tourist shop. We did find a thimbleful of history on Grand Cayman (the best jerk chicken lunch) and great snorkeling on Cozumel.
You know, everyone looks a bit better with some color. Carnival Paradise caters to all shapes and sizes of folks, all looking for the same thing – a bit of fun in the sun. I, too, am gaining a bit of color – mine is a sort of light toast. It feels good here in the sun!