The 20th Anniversary Celebration Continues on the Fun Ship: Day 1

Who: Rich and Kathy
Where: Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera
What: Carnival Miracle
When: August 13-20, 2016
Why: The 20th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Continues

We started celebrating our 20th anniversary, which officially occurs in August, with the Valentine’s weekend kickoff trip, and the Mexican Riviera cruise on the Love Boat (Crown Princess) in April. We were undecided about what to do on the actual anniversary. We thought about celebrating somewhere locally in Las Vegas but really wanted to leave the desert for a week in August just to get away.

Naturally, we thought about Timber Cove Inn in Sonoma and made reservations. At one time, we’d made ressies at the Grand Californian. In the end, we wanted to go someplace where we could totally relax and be pampered for a week so we chose to cruise. And, in summer, out of L.A., this means Carnival. We’d had a good time on the Miracle in 2015 so we decided to book it for anniversary week. Our Princess cruise was the more romantic, formal celebration and our Carnival cruise was the fun, casual celebration.

We drove in Friday from Las Vegas, leaving home around 2:45 pm with a stop for a couple of Del Meat burritos at Del Taco in Barstow. We hoped to arrive at our destination by 7 pm, but there were three separate accidents along the route, so we didn’t arrive at our Residence Inn Fountain Valley-Huntington Beach until 8 pm.

We were exhausted but our king studio was lovely and comfortable. As Elite members, we were upgraded to a corner room with a fireplace. We’d like to return during fireplace weather. We sipped a glass of wine and snacked on some popcorn supplied by RI.

We slept in, Rich got our breakfast from the lobby, and we got on the road to Long Beach around 10:15 am. Another accident slowed us down on 405, but we arrived at the Port of Long Beach a little after 11 am. We parked in the top level of the parking garage and took this photo of the ship.

IMG_7249We checked in through the Faster to the Fun line and were soon waiting to board around 11:30 am.

Unfortunately, Carnival had a technical glitch, and we did not board until 1:30 pm. The waiting time was not totally wasted as we met and chatted with an Oregon honeymoon couple, first-timers who asked us for lots of advice. That made the time more pleasant.



Once onboard, we dropped off our bags in the cabin, and headed up one deck to the lido buffet. We stopped at Chopsticks where we had rice noodles, rice, and chili spice beef. Rich also had a slice of cheese pizza. We had iced tea and dessert – fruit and cookies and lemon meringue pie.

We returned to our cabin for a rest until the muster drill at 4:30 pm in the hot sun on the promenade deck.
After the drill, we were back in our cabin for a big snooze. We were so tired, we ordered room service dinner: roast turkey sandwich, BLT, and Caesar salads.

After dinner around 9 pm, we headed out to Sam’s Piano Bar where Josh entertained us on the piano for 2 hours while we enjoyed our Martinis (Vodka for Kathy, Gin for Rich). We took some video and will upload it later.


We stumped him with our Meatloaf request but he said he’d work on learning it. We checked in later in the week but never really made it back there to see if he’d mastered Meatloaf – lol!

We were back in the cabin around 11:30 pm and asleep by midnight.

About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.