Welcome to my daily “live” blog from onboard the Carnival Spirit sailing on a 9 night Mexican Riviera cruise.

In both our business and personal lives we have been taught and rightfully so that you only get one first impression and that it is extremely important to make it a good one. That philosophy is exactly why my wife and I, and several friends are on this particular cruise. Last April my wife and I took our very first Carnival cruise. It was a 4 day Baja Mexico cruise on the Carnival Elation that I needed to do for part of my CLIA ACC certification. I went with a lot of negative pre-conceived notions of what a Carnival Cruise Lines cruise was like based on what others had said about it over the years. We found that none, and I mean none of that reputation of Carnival was at all true. It was the complete oposite. I have also had many clients sail on the 4 day Carnival cruises and all have come back talking of a positive experience and a remarkable vacation. Absolutely no complaints. That said, a Carnival cruise is certainly not the same as a Princess or Celebrity cruise. More of the comparisons later this week.

While on that previous Carnival cruise we were presented with a great price for this 9 night cruise and we booked immediately just so we could experience a longer cruise on a newer Carnival ship. Our friends Jerry and Dorene, and Bob and Carol decided to take advantage of the value pricing of this cruise and are here with us already having a blast.

I purpously booked my wife and I in an Interior stateroom (as well as our friends) so I would get their opinions on not only the Carnival experience but also an interior stateroom. I have been in interior staterooms for training and convention cruises but my wife and our friends never have, nor have our friends previously sailed on Carnival. This insight will help me to assist with my clients and their options for their cruising needs in the future.

We arrived at the port right at the height of the embarkation process. Lots of people and lines although it moved rather quickly and smoothly. Remember that first impressions are extremely important. When we got to the check-in counter we were asked for our passports. The agent then said, “Welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Nordhavn, thank you for cruising with Carnival again”. What a nice touch and this certainly set the tone for the next nine days.

Before you knew it we were in the atrium having our first cocktail and waiting for the staterooms to be ready. Onced ready, we took our carry on luggage to our stateroom before heading for lunch. What a pleasant surprise when we entered our stateroom. It is relatively large and well laid out by cruise standards. A very generous amount of open space at the foot of the bed where two people can manuever without having to continually shift so the other can get by. A chair, small coffee table, desk area and stool, lots of closet and shelf area as well as desk and bedside table drawers. The restroom is very roomy with a beter than average large shower as well as very comfortable and roomy toilet area. Better than any other Interior stateroom I have had previously and even roomier than some ocean view and balcony staterooms I have occupied on previous cruises. I am sure that there are many more pleasant surpirses that we will experience in the next 8 days.

Until tomorrow,
Bon Voyage!