I got several weird looks when I told people I was going on a Carnival Cruise for a 21st birthday booze cruise. But aren’t you sober? But you don’t drink, right? I am sober and I do not drink, but I love a good time. I just like when people are relaxed and having fun. Some people think they need alcohol to do that, I just know I don’t. So, I was excited! This was also my very first cruise. I didn’t know what to expect and really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew that I always had a great time with my best friend when we went out and that I enjoyed the time I had spent with the other ladies that were going. I went into it with a positive state of mind and ready to find out what this cruise business was all about.
We drove down to Port Canaveral super early on Thursday so that we could spend as much time on the boat as possible. (Can you call it a boat? Or is it only a ship?) We made it through all the lines to board and headed straight to the pool deck after getting drinks. Let e just tell y’all. A virgin daiquiri is just as tasty as one with alcohol and it comes with a cute little umbrella, too! We all had the drink package, so we just had a card to swipe to get all the pretty drinks we wanted. If you don’t want people to know you don’t drink, they really never have to know. I was impressed by how every bartender on the ship didn’t bat an eye at me ordering virgin drinks. They made everything I wanted, just minus the alcohol and if you didn’t hear me order it, you would never know. I personally don’t care, obviously, if the whole world knows I am sober, so that was not a concern to me. I just wanted my pretty drinks and I got them!
We spent a few hours laying out and swimming in the pool and then we went to find our room. We went with the cheapest option, so it was very small, but we really didn’t spend much time in there, so it didn’t matter. The bathroom was funny though! It was basically the size of an airplane bathroom. Anything you wanted to do in the bathroom, you could do at the same time! I later saw some rooms with huge bathrooms, even a tub! Thankfully, our friends had balconies, so we spent time there. Watching the ocean roll by is truly amazing. It makes you feel so small as a tiny person on a giant ship in the middle of the enormous ocean.
I had always heard about the food on cruise ships, but I thought it was just buffet type food which really isn’t my things, but, y’all, it is a sit down formal dinner! I loved it! You can order all the appetizers and entrees you want! Now, I did control myself and did not order the entire menu like I wanted to knowing I couldn’t eat all of that! Let’s be real. I did order several apps each night though and was not disappointed! The food was great! I think I ate enough to pay for my cruise price! I also loved getting dressed up! After dinner you could do a variety of things. They had shows, a comedy club, casino, a dance club and so many other activities.
The next day we were in Nassau, Bahamas! We ate breakfast with a beautiful view of this colorful place. We spent most off the day on the beach and in that stunning blue water. I wanted to explore more, but time was limited. I think next time I will rent a side by side and ride around town. We met many of the locals who just seemed genuinely kind. Yes, it is their job, but there were several instances that they did things that they didn’t expect a tip for. I left my money with our things and went to help carry drinks with my friend. While I was there I realized I wanted a water. We didn’t have any cash left. The lady behind the bar told me to just take a bottle, no problem. I went back later to pay her and she was shocked and wouldn’t take it, I left it anyway. That was the feeling you got from them that day.
By the time we left the beach, my friends were feeling very good and happy. We had an interesting walk back to Senor Frogs to say the least. I did not expect to have the best ceviche ever at a tourist spot, but it was truly amazing! We had a great time there dancing, playing games (like drunk scavenger hunt, which is really unfair to everyone else when a sober person is on your team) and eating that delicious food. Everyone from our ship was there and we connected with people from Florida and Georgia. In a way, it was like an adult camp. You make friends with strangers and connect on a different level because you are experiencing these new and exciting things together.
We had a great night at dinner and then went out dancing afterwards. We had a blast getting to know our new friends and developing friendships with the people we came with. The next day we spent out at sea. There was a huge party atmosphere on the main deck. It was just a great time! We swam, danced, talked, and went down the big slide! I could go into detail, but they all just blur into this beautiful memory. I didn’t feel left out at all. No one judged me or made me feel bad about not drinking. Honestly, no one cares about anything except having fun. I think that is how we should all be.
I would recommend a cruise to anyone who loves to be in the sun, eat, laugh, explore and adventure. I made friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime and deepened ones with friends from home. I love the communal vibe or just positivity that seemed to surround that cruise. I loved the happy that seemed to be permanently fixed on all of our faces. I love how my sides hurt from laughing and my body hurt from dancing. I wish more people could be in cruise ship mode more often. I hope I can carry that happy feeling with me more often in my everyday life.
So, my advice:
Over-pack and wear all your clothes!
Order all of the apps you want.
Go and do everything, even though you are tired, it is worth it.
Talk to everyone! You never know who you are going to meet and the connection you might make.
Take a ton of pictures because you will want to remember everything!