I had a mini adventure yesterday to the urgent care as well when I woke up at 2am to discover I could not get a deep breath without alarming pain in my right lung and rib cage. An xray discovered no obvious cracks or splits, but I still cannot take in a deep breath and am unsure where this may have come from. Just one more thing to alarm those who love me with--sorry guys!
At any rate, now that this apology and explanation is behind me, I come to the real reason for this post: a letter to Carnival Cruise Lines.
* * * * *
Dear Carnival Cruise Lines,
We five old biddies (well, OK, four old biddies and Briana who really is still too young to counted as a biddie) had a great time on our cruise to Ensenada. We loved the boat, which was beautiful, we enjoyed the food (for the most part), we loved the little nooks and crannies all over the boat where we would find a quiet place to read. I can't remember ever laughing to hard in my life. My sides ached at the end of each day from laughing and as far as I can recall there is no better medicine than from-the-bottom-of-your-belly laughter like that. Thank you for a great birthday celebration.
I was particularly impressed by how well five adult women fit into the smallest cabin you have. I was convinced that we were going to only barely tolerate the accomodations but they were better than adequate. Nicely done!
Now, on to some other things...
From the minute we booked this cruise, months and months ago, I had been pestering your guest services department about whether or not there would be a priest on board to give mass on Sunday. We were to be at sea on Sunday and I have never, ever missed a Sunday mass since becoming Catholic in 1999. Plus, I was about to cause three fellow Catholics to miss their Sunday mass as well since I did not check out the mass situation before I booked. (I won't make THAT mistake again!). At any rate, it became evident as I checked with guest services one more time at departure that not only was there no priest on board, but there was also no generic religious service at all. Now, I have no idea how many people are on board a ship like this, but I was pretty sad that, given all the debauchery and gambling and half-dressed people running around that there couldn't be at least a small concession to those of us who would really really like to remember God on Sundays, because I know there must be more than just us five.
After praying for months that God would send a priest on board for us, my prayer was answered in a most unusual way. Hurricane Hillary appeared south of us on Saturday forcing cruise ships to juggle their positions and change their itineraries. Suddenly, we found ourselves at sea on Saturday and in port in Ensenada on Sunday. Yippee! We ended up going to mass at the Cathedral of Ensenada on Sunday and had a beautiful mass. I couldn't have planned that if I had tried! After two days on the boat, I was so relieved that I had nothing to do with getting a priest on that boat because the dress allowed was so offensive to me that I couldn't imagine a priest trying to avert his eyes from scantily clad person after scantily clad person. I was thrilled that my husband and children were not on that boat either, as it is not right for anyone to have to act like they aren't noticing that person in front of them in the buffet line who is wearing large patterned lace pants and NOTHING else. I had to move place in line. Carnival, I know you are the "fun ship" but please consider a basic dress code because everywhere I looked I was horrified. Do these young people (and worse, some of the older people) have no self-respect? I was embarrassed for them and had to resist the urge to run after people putting towels on them. Yikes! Our society has become such a "reality TV" culture where everyone is basically shouting "look at me!". Look at my clothes, or lack thereof, look at my tattoos and body piercings, look at how clever and funny I am when I drink too much, look at my put my hands all over this person's body who I just met tonight. Shudder.
On another note entirely, I would like to mention that your wheelchair accessibility was not stellar. The ramp lips were very difficult to navigate and many a time I was nearly dumped right out of my chair as we charged them to get me over the doorway humps. Just a thought.
So, Carnival, overall we had a great time and hope next time we sail with you we will do so under a classier dress code and improved wheelchair access. Also, we loved the comedian--so nice to have a family-friendly option.
Suzanne Di Silvestri