CARNIVAL PARADISE Part 5
(click on pictures to enlarge)
Friday 30th November 2012
Today we have a day at sea, before arriving back in Tampa tomorrow, but it is very misty and we cannot see the horizon. I had to set the alarm clock as I am going on a ‘Fun Ship Behind the Scenes’ tour and we have to meet at 8.45 a.m. in the Blue Riband Library.
I think this must be first time I have been there in daylight and could see the ceiling properly. Because the room is curved around part of the Atrium it is not a regular shape, and a ceiling mural starting with the Arctic Circle in one corner of the ceiling spreads out to show some of the shipping lanes used for travel from European ports such as Genoa, Le Havre and Southampton to New York, plus ships and other geographical points. Teak wall panels are shaped to resemble ships’ hulls, topped with mahogany superstructures fitted with amber-tinted brass-trimmed porthole lights. Carved chain mahogany mouldings connect the hulls, with brass anchors completing the bulkhead and door decorations.
A full-size Replica of the Hales Trophy is in the centre of the room in a glass case. Models of six Blue Riband winners are in glass showcases that form the walls between the Library and the Atrium – fascinating to see but almost impossible to photograph with so much glass. I really liked this room and its design features, again from Mr Joseph Farcus. He was a protégé of Morris Lapidus (1902-2001), the Odessa-born American architect responsible for so many buildings in Miami, and the man who reminds us that soldiers march in a straight line but people meander, and the man who was asked to design the interiors of the first two Carnival ships and followed this principle. I gather Mr Farcus worked with Mr Lapidus on the second ship, and then set up on his own account with great success. As one of my good friends says, the rest is history.
On this, our day at sea, the security man checked each of us to ensure we were not carrying phones or cameras, and the sixteen of us were taken on our tour. We saw the various departments and met their head person, including the Galley, Laundry, Stores, Thaw Store, Crew bars and mess rooms, Engine Room control room (Italian officers) and finally the Bridge, where we were introduced to the Captain and a group photo was taken.
Back in the Crew mess room we were each given a baseball cap and a lanyard as gifts, and later that afternoon there was a knock on my cabin door and I was handed a covered plate with two buns, three tiny Florentines and three chocolate-covered strawberries as another gift.
There was rain, cloud, a big swell, and force 5/6 on the Beaufort scale all showing on the weather chart.
I went for lunch up in the Paris Restaurant inside and, for the first time ever, had a Reuben sandwich, and made especially for me in the American grill sector. As I ate it I thought of a tiny boy at home, and American friends who occasionally mention it on one of my favourite web sites (thank you Liners Listers).
The weather cleared a bit after lunch and became warmer so I sat on deck and thought about the 5.45 p.m. entertainment shown in the Programme as 'Let it Snow'. Many of us went into the Grand Atrium to see a female singer, saxophone player, and a pianist on the atrium dais; she sang the well-known song ‘Let it snow’, the wonderful Christmas song created by lyricist Sammy Cahn and the composer Jule Styne in 1945, and by the time she came to the chorus, it did indeed snow! Fake snow fell down on us from on high, and gosh that was fun. She sang it again, and hundreds of us took photos. Tiny 'flakes' floated down and settled on the cloths over the Bar bottles (poor Bella) but it soon disappeared – it was a huge success.
I changed ready for drinks and dinner, had a glass of Prosecco in the America Bar with the others, and Dewey played for us. There was more snow at 8 p.m., with an even bigger audience this time.
My final dinner on board was again with the lovely and friendly Misty and Jeremy, and I hope they have a beautiful baby in April. At 10.00 p.m. more snow was expected and there was an even bigger audience that time. I thought that was such a fun final touch on my Carnival cruise, to be long remembered. There was the usual crowd in the America Bar again after the final snowstorm, and there I met Bobby and one of his friends. Amongst other things, we talked about my father’s photographs from his visit to Miami in the early 1930s and also my reasons for visiting the USA, so he was interested in the ships. Bobby and his wife are expecting twins in the Spring, which is happy news.
This is my last night on board CARNIVAL PARADISE, as we berth back in Tampa early tomorrow morning. I then return to Miami for a few days before sailing again, this time on CELEBRITY REFLECTION on her short inaugural voyage from Miami.
I have enjoyed being on this ship and seeing all the Farcus interior decorations; it was a complete contrast with the interiors on CARNIVAL BREEZE, and just as interesting. For people who enjoy discovering cruise ships of old and a shipping ambience, CARNIVAL PARADISE and its historical cruise ship detailing come highly recommended.
Ships seen: Jewel of the Seas heading south as we were on the Bridge.
Saturday 1st December 2012
To be continued…