We woke at the crack of 8ish, and adjustments to the charter bus were made to compensate for the fact that we were at a totally different hotel than they were supposed to have. Hampton Inn's Passable Breakfast was had by most, checkout happened, and we loaded onto the bus when it arrived at 10.
There was the typical eye rolling when the sister unit asked the brother-in-law unit where he put her phone when he was done using it. He didn't know. She didn't know. He went back in and checked their room, and it was right on the bed. Crisis solved.
The bus trip from Houston to Galveston was about 45ish minutes. There's still alot of post-Ike destruction visible. Some of the buildings have memorialized the high water line. Many of the buildings are boarded up or for rent. And even for a Sunday morning, there was a weary lull that sort of hung over the whole town. But damn if the Cracker Barrel didn't a an overflowing parking lot and a line around the corner.
We unloaded in the terminal parking lot, and some of the men headed off in search of the liquor we didn't acquire the day before. There was much laughing while we waited for them to get back, and even more laughing when the phone call came that the liquor store that they walked to was no longer in existence, and they were using their illustrious GPS to find the next one. And the next one. And the next one.
Eventually the hunters returned with wine and beer, cause you can't buy liquor in Texas on Sunday, duh. Once beer and (boxes) of wine were stowed, we hauled our luggage in, and got in the big, long line to check in.
What Continental lacked in forward line mobility, Carnival more than made up for. That line MOVED. We all got checked in (sister unit got to use the VIP line-- we hate that) and made our way, FINALLY, on board.
After dinner reservations were straightened out (sister unit and brother-in-law unit were on early dinner, the rest of us on late dinner), we went up to the Lido deck for lunch and drinks. But mostly drinks.
Almost immediately, sister unit recognized Pedro, the drink delivery guy. He claimed to have only been on board for a few weeks, but they eventually realized they had sailed with him back in 2004 on a totally different ship. Pedro brought us drinks all afternoon. And so did about 4 other people. Ho. Ly. Crap.
Life Jacket Drill (or Live Dragon Jill, depending on which drunk was talking) was uneventful, and we learned about our Muster station and Life Jackets. We returned our Life Jackets to our rooms, and headed back up to deck 10 to watch ourselves leave port. Then it was back to pool side for more booze, more laughing and eventually some "pre dinner" snacks.
While we snacked, wife for the week went down to the room to organize her stuff, and our housekeeper, Joanna, stopped by.
"Hi, I'm Joanna, your steward, I'll be taking care of you for the week."
"Are you with the big group?"
"The ones drinking up on the deck?"
"The ones ordering all the buckets of beer?"
"Oh, I've heard about YOU already..." and she smiled politely.
About 6:30 we made our way to our cabins, did some unpacking and got ready for dinner. There was a general "HOLY SHIT" among the assembled when Ed decided that it would be a good idea to spider-monkey climb along the OUTSIDE OF THE FUCKING BALCONIES because it was the fastest way to get where he wanted to go.
That encouraged our room stewards to open up the doors between our cabins a little quicker. Which made the drunken room visits much easier. By then it was dark, but it didn't get cold, which was nice. Unfortunately, Ed went missing, which panicked us all a little bit, since the last time most of us had seen him was hanging from the side of the ship. A general muster of our group was made, a possee went out and he was eventually located in the casino.
Then it was dinner time. Our waiter Luko (from Croatia) and his assistant Iputu ([ee poo too] from Indonesia) were nice, although Luko wasn't as jovial as waiters we've all had in the past. Dinner was good. Desert was great. We all got really full. It was during this time that brother-in-law, when asked about the hot dog he at during "pre dinner" snack time, said "I ate a hot dog? When?" Which led to "I was wearing a girl's earing? When?" Which led to "I threw up in our cabin's bathroom? When?" Which eventually led to us realizing that he'd lost about two hours of the day today to the evils of alcohol. We're gonna start making things up that he "did" every day now.
After dinner, we went down to the theater for the welcome show, but unfortunately, we got there about 25 minutes early, and after 20 minutes of watching bingo, we all decided to bail back to the rooms.
It was slightly startling to open our cabin door only to be greeted by a big, white vagina with eyes crafted out of a towel. After a moment, we realized it was supposed to be a walrus, and we quickly named "Vajayjay" after we removed his eyes.
Good nights were said, doors were closed, and then the balcony sneaking began. Sister unit, Wife for the week, and Ed's wife sat in our room and ordered 6AM breakfast delivery for half our crew. Thank god we're on their good side.