Monday, March 28, 2011

The Entire Cruise in Blog Format (With Photos!)

Some of this I'll be taking directly from my Carnival forum posting and filling in some gaps here and there.  Since I stopped updating Wednesday you'll get to read the rest of the week and see the photos now too!
Day 1 - Embarkation and Sail Away

We woke up before the alarm on Sunday and started to gather things together for the dogs. Byron did his usual "climb on top of me" to wake me up routine since he always has breakfast on the brain. After they were fed we packed their bedding and paperwork into a suitcase and started loading things into the car.

Somehow I managed to forget my makeup case which isn't a huge deal but irritated me a little bit that I forgot something so obvious. We dropped the dogs off at the boarding place. It went much smoother this time, Basil didn't seem scared at all and was actually running around quite happy. Byron loved seeing new dogs to play with and Bernie was just happy there was a new person to pet her. I explained the feeding routine for all of them and then we went off to grab some breakfast at Waffle House before heading back home to print off confirmations for excursions that I forgot to do.

Then we were off to the port! It was chaos when we showed up. I don't remember it being that busy last time. I think we showed up later than last year since it was more chaotic when we got inside the door. We had to wait in line about 30 minutes or so between the security checkpoint and the Carnival check-in desk before getting on board. The good thing is we didn't have to wait at all this time, after we got our Sail and Sign cards we just went on board. We caught up with our friends and headed up to Lido deck and I talked them into heading to the new Serenity area to wait until our cabins were ready.

The new Serenity area is fantastic! We occupied a section of chairs and couches and relaxed. My worries about children infiltrating the adult area were unfounded as I noticed one family bring their child in and they were asked to leave the adults only area while we were waiting. There are several tables, couches, lounge chairs, papasan chairs with clamshell covers and 4 hammocks. I doubt I'll be climbing into a hammock anytime soon as my history with hammocks is not a good one. **I actually spent some time in the hammocks and the only mishap I had was caused by my husband trying to scare me.**

After grabbing a small bite to eat (I had Sicilian fish with grilled vegetables that was wonderful) we headed to our cabin. Our cabin is on the very end of the ship so we get to see - and hear - the ships wake and everything behind us. We do have quite a few neighbors but they were not overly loud thankfully. Our balcony came equipped with 3 deck chairs and a small table. Ringo's chair fit out there just fine and he felt comfortable in it. It is heavier than the deck chairs so I don't think we'll need to fold and unfold it every time we go out there.

We went to the informal meet and greet for our Cruise Critic roll call but no one showed up. Earlier up on deck at the Serenity area one of the roll call members recognized me and we said hello. I also ran into another member that recognized me in the elevator! I'm hoping everyone shows up for the meet and greet open bar that they paid for today. I get the feeling that is where I'll meet a majority of the folks I've been chatting with the last 10 months.

We took a tour of the spa and entered to win spa treatments (we didn't). The spa is really nice and they have a shower and sauna area available for all guests. The fitness center has a great whirlpool inside of it too if you don't want to be out in the sun. We might do that sometime if it isn't crowded.

Then we went on deck to watch the ship go under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They have about 14" of clearance so it is amazing to watch. I got a few photos - hope they turn out ok since the sun was setting and kept messing up my exposures.

After a bit more exploring we went back to our room and relaxed a bit before dinner. I had shrimp cocktail, gazpacho, St. Louis style ribs and for dessert - creme brulee and chocolate melting cake. The rib plate was gigantic. I couldn't believe the amount of ribs I got and they were so tender and delicious. Ringo got the southern fried chicken plate, lasanga and same desserts as me. He said the lasanga wasn't what he was used to but he really liked it. Our friends got the same entrees as us and enjoyed themselves. We were seated right next to the railing so we could see the dining room below us. I brought my gnome Carl to dinner and he enjoyed it too.

Speaking of Carl - he is making the rounds already and having quiet a few photos taken of himself. I figured out I can clip him to my lanyard via the handle of his bucket so he is easier to carry around. Kind of regretting leaving on his "handle" but it's ok, it has come in handy a few times I just gotta make sure I don't impale myself.

Last night after dinner we went on the Serenity deck and enjoyed the hot tub under the stars. It was quite deserted so I'm glad we went. The moon looked amazing over the water! I took a few photos but I doubt it did the moon any justice. It was a relaxing evening and we all had a good time.

Once back at the room Ringo ordered some BLT sandwiches (our favorite room service meal) so we snacked on those and then tucked in to bed.

The ship wasn't rocking nearly as bad as the first cruise we took. I'm glad for that. This morning it is rocking a bit more, I think it is because of how windy it is in the Caribbean right now. I heard Grand Cayman is supposed to have high winds all week so I don't know if we'll be able to go ashore because of that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Holiday!

Well I'll be out of the country for a bit cruising around the high seas, hopefully staying out of trouble.  If you want to read about my shenagians live you can follow my updates over on the Carnival Forum in my onboard thread. They let you post there for free from the ship so I don't have to pay for internet access to update family and friends. 

You can also reply for free if you want to take a moment and register an account with them.

I'll have tons of photos to share when I get back!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cruise Countdown

I've got a lot I need to do before the cruise still.  I hate how all the little things seem to add up on you at the last minute.
  • Haircut & color (being done Thursday, might do something daring and get some really bright red highlights or something crazy)
  • Mani/Pedi - I'm hoping to do this on Friday if I have time after going to the sewing Expo.   
  • Shoes - I haven't purchased new shoes in about 12 months or so.  I want to get a pair of flats, a pair of comfy walking shoes and maybe a pair of heels if I find something nice.  Might do this at lunch today.
  • Pack - I haven't packed a single thing.  I have been washing loads of laundry to prepare for the packing frenzy.  Ringo said he would pack his own clothes so I'm hoping he does a decent job of that.
  • Prepare Dog Stuff for boarding - I'm making a batch of Bernie's food either tomorrow or Wednesday.  I'll have to type up some instructions for the lady to tell her what to do.  Will also have to package Basil's meds up so she can give him those each day with his meals. 
  • Finish Commission - I've got a Dog Ribbon Quilt order that I'm close to finishing and will deliver it this week before I go. 
Saturday I'm going to a corgi meetup.  I have a feeling the rest of that day we'll be getting things loaded into the car so we can just get up and take the dogs to the boarding place and then head off to the port.  This year we're having to drive ourselves and park there since our friend isn't available.  It's ok - makes it easier when we get back, we can just go pick up the dogs.

Vacation starts Friday!  I so need it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Info on Basil's Hip

I just got off the phone with Basil's vet since I needed some clarification on what went on with his hip and how it could be going in and out of joint without showing signs of hip dysplasia.

She explained to me how they test the hips prior to the x-ray to see how well they rotate in the joint.  It is called Ortolani Sign.  He was positive for it in his left hip at about a 45 degree angle. 

The "Ortilani sign" is a test your veterinarian may perform during examination of your dog. Presence of the "Ortolani sign" indicates joint laxity in a young animal, but does not mean necessarily that the dog will develop hip dysplasia.

See video of it being performed 2 minutes in:

She told me usually when the hip does that she will see hip dysplasia on the x-ray but it didn't show up with Basil.  This means he has a ligament that has torn and now his hip isn't staying in the joint like it should.  

There isn't any way to tell if rest is going to fix it.  Dr. Ricci is hoping that rest will help more connective tissue to form around the area so the leg will stay in place better.  He does seem to be responding to the Rimadyl and glucosamine supplement, I haven't seen him limp since he's started them.   She will check and x-ray again next month to see how things have turned out.  

I asked her about surgery to repair the ligament and she said that is usually only done for dogs that have problems keeping the hip in joint a majority of the time and even then, the mobility the dog has afterwards isn't great.  If Basil was to get some sort of surgical intervention she felt he would be worse off than he is now.  

So I'm seriously looking at having to retire him permanently. I can have a specialist look at him to get a second opinion if we get bad news next month or the lameness continues.  I don't want him to be in pain just to do agility.  Bernie might have another pet dog in the house now. 

Doing everything I can to not cry at work now.

Please Hold. Someone will be with you shortly.

Trying to limit this activity is hard!
Well Basil is on rest for a month so no agility training until he gets the all-clear from his vet.  He's been having some on and off lameness with his back legs for about 6 weeks and I got him looked at.  Turns out his left hip is coming in and out of socket randomly which is causing his right side to overcompensate and creates lameness.  Thankfully he isn't showing any signs of hip dysplasia - I don't know how that happens but it is what it is.  So he's on Rimadyl and a joint supplement every day until he gets checked out again.  Crossing my fingers we'll be back in April and we might be able to make a May night trial before the season is over. 

Keeping a corgi "calm" is kind of hard when we're talking about Basil who loves to run.  He's the corgi that gets chased around the yard by Bernie and instigates the chasing games. 

So of course I'm worried about that since we both love to do agility together and I don't want to give that up.  If it ends up being too painful of course I won't do it anymore but I'm hoping we can get it fixed so he can continue to play agility with me.

In other news, I'm just gearing up for the cruise that we leave on in less than two weeks.  Trying to get all my laundry done and get the suitcases out so I can start packing and organizing everything.   I'll have to do a batch of Bernie's food early so the boarding place has enough on hand for her meals.  Since Basil is on meds I'll have to pack that also.  Poor Byron thinks he is missing out when he doesn't get special meds in the morning, all he gets is kibble.

So pretty much it has been work, dogs, quilting and trying to keep the house from falling down around my ears lately.  I need a break.  Here are some videos in case you've missed them:

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