My husband and I had grown weary of cold, damp weather when I spoke the magic word: "cruise."
"Let's take the Carnival ship out of Galveston, Texas," I said. "The trip is only four days and goes to Cozumel, Mexico." My spouse needed no urging after I read aloud the description of turquoise water, tropical temperatures, and seemingly endless food.
"Let's go," Bill said. "I've been ready to get warm since January."
We flew to Houston, and then caught a cab for the dock in Galveston. The taxi fare cost about $80 and was worth every penny for transporting us and our four big bags and carry-ons to Carnival's Celebration.
After presenting identification (passports or certified copies of birth certificates will do for Mexico), we were free to board and explore the ship. A buffet lunch awaited new and hungry passengers. We listened to a band under the Galveston sun before heading down for an informative talk in the Astoria Lounge. There the friendly folks with Spa Carnival told about all the treatments and services offered onboard.
Then came a lifeboat drill at 3:30 p.m., and a half-hour later, the Celebration pulled out of Galveston Bay, headed for the Gulf of Mexico and warmer air. Bill and I felt sunnier already as we walked to the Sushi Bar. A late dinner at 8 p.m. filled in any empty spots that the previous food forays missed, and we enjoyed the Welcome Aboard Show before retiring to our cabin. Water, water everywhere--but no lurching, rocking, or rolling. And the cold was slowly seeping away from our bones.