Embarkation DayOn the day of embarkation, we checked out of the hotel early to meet up with a bus for a pre-cruise Carnival Excursion. We were to be at a hotel (about 10 minutes cab ride away) for a 9 a.m. bus pick-up. We were there for 8:30 to give us lots of time to grab some breakfast before boarding the bus. Then we sat ... and sat ... and sat. The bus finally showed up an hour late! The excursion was to be a five hour excursion and they would drop us right off at the ship for emarkation ... and now we've already lost an hour. To top it off, after picking our group off, the bus then had to make a stop at another hotel to pick up another group ... which must have taken another 45 minutes away from excursion time. We weren't too impressed.
We finally got on the road. We drove up into the mountains to Montserrat. Unfortunately, the weather was foggy and drissly up there. From below we couldn't see a whole lot. We boarded a train at the base of the mountain (or maybe it was half way up) and it took us up to the top of Montserrat (about a 15 minute train ride) to a monestary.
When we came out of the train station at the top, it took my breath away! I don't know what I was expecting ... but it certainly wasn't what I saw!
We had a couple of hours there. John and I ended up breaking off from the tour group (who were lined up to see the Black Madona) to explore on our own. We went off and walked around for a while, and took some time to sit and enjoy some homemade pastries from the coffee shop.
We met up with the group again in time to hear the Choir Boys sing. It was a perfect way to end our visit to the Monestary.
After our excursion the bus took us right to the ship for check in and embarkation. By the time we got there, and checked in, we were able to board right away and drop our things off at our cabin. Then we went up to grab some lunch before checking our the ship. The Carnival Breeze is a new ship (inaugural trip was in June, I think.)
I have borrowed these pictures from cruiseweb.com as I didn't get around to take photos of the ship that first day.
One of the two main diningrooms (and the one we were in) Blush
The Ovation Theatre
The Lido Marketplace - aka the buffet.
Not our actual room, but the same.
I thought the Breeze was a beautiful ship. I loved the lighter decor. It wasn't dark like the other ships I've been on. I loved the layout of it as well ... of course, it helped that we were on the 9th floor and midship so we were close to everything.
The rest of that day was spent unpacking, and watching the ship pull away from Barcelona. By 8:15 we were ready for dinner. I was a little apprehensive about who we would be dining with each night, but I have to say that we had the best table! Our table mates were great! There were 10 of us in total and we had the best time each night. It was always one of the highlights of our day ... but more on that later.