Europe Day 3 & 4: First Day of Cruise + Day at Sea

carnival vista

On the morning of July 1st, we got ourselves out of bed, into a cab, and off to the Barcelona cruise port! We went through the whole process of checking in and getting our Sail & Sign cards (your room key, credit card, and boarding pass all in one!). I love the feeling of stepping onto a cruise ship on the first day. It’s so magical and exciting! We went straight to our cabins to check them out and put our stuff down. Our next stop obviously was the buffet. Well, my next stop was to Cucina del Capitano, a restaurant one deck above the buffet that has gluten free pasta! I had been to this place on another Carnival cruise a couple years ago and loved it, so I was very happy when I found out it was on the Carnival Vista too. They give you a little slip of paper with plenty of pasta, sauce, and topping options. I got gluten free spaghetti (the only gluten free pasta available) with bolognese and onions. It was really good! The meat seemed like it was a weird texture, but I only noticed it when I got a bite of a big piece. The nice thing about this place is that they don’t offer regular spaghetti, only gluten free, so I could be sure I was getting what I was supposed to. And then, after our meals, we of course needed to get some frozen yogurt (24 hour frozen yogurt and ice cream…can you say heaven??)

Now that our bellies were full, as they constantly should be on a cruise, we went to explore our home for the next 8 days. The ship was really fantastic. It had all the good stuff that all cruises should have: an amazing deck, cool lounges and theaters, and lots of places to just hang out and relax.

So now that we had seen just about every inch of the ship, we were ready to go back to our cabins and get ready for dinner! Our dining room was beautiful; I would show you but apparently I was too excited to take literally any pictures on the ship (the ones above were taken by cruise family member and fellow vacation photographer Lauren). We found our table and started to check out the menu. When our waiter came over, I asked about the gluten free options (we couldn’t make any special dietary requests for the first night), and I found out my choices were a little limited. For my appetizer, I got shrimp cocktail and strawberry bisque. The shrimp cocktail is a cruise dinner must, and it was delicious! I also almost always order the cold fruit soup, so the strawberry bisque was a no-brainer. It tastes like melted strawberry ice cream, or a strawberry milkshake. It was so yummy! For the entree, I got grilled chicken with a baked potato and vegetables. It was good, not great. I wouldn’t have chosen it if I could’ve picked anything on the menu, but it did the trick. And for dessert, two scoops of chocolate ice cream. For some reason, ice cream on cruise ships is so much better than at home. So now that the staff knew I have celiac, this night and every night for the rest of the cruise the waiter would bring me the menu for the next day and I ordered ahead of time so they could make the meal gluten free. It was cool to be able to be ahead of everyone and know what’s for dinner the next night! So once we were done, we went up to the pool deck and watched one of the dive-in movies. They were playing The Intern, which was adorable. We loved it so much we didn’t want to miss the end and skipped the Welcome Aboard show. Later we went to a comedy show, which was pretty funny. And by the time that was over, we were exhausted and ready for bed!

Fast forward to the next day: when I woke up, I headed up to the buffet to meet everyone for breakfast. Breakfast at the buffet is fairly easy; I just had some peaches, cantaloupe, and a peach yogurt. Then I was off to do whatever fun stuff I could find on the itinerary! One of my favorite things is the trivia, so I go to that whenever I can. The day was basically just full of wandering around looking for things to do, and eventually trying out the gym. I also had to throw some lunch in there at some point, which is when I headed back up to Cucina del Capitano for GF spaghetti with pomodoro sauce, grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers, and onions. This was seriously amazing. I loved it a lot. If I wanted, I could’ve also had the chef show me around the buffet and tell me what I could eat, but why would I choose that over pasta??? This was the first formal night of the cruise, so by 4:30 my wandering time was over and I was in the cabin getting ready for our 6:00 dinner—yes, I need an hour and a half to get ready, and really, I could’ve used two hours. I like to take my time ya know? Also, formal night always coincides with lobster night, one of our favorite nights of the cruise. We can appreciate even more now being served an already cooked, opened lobster tail after the serious debacle we had trying to have our own lobster night at home. Picture lobster juice everywhere, two girls not wanting to touch the things, and a lot of screaming. So when we got to dinner, I didn’t have to order since I had already done it the night before. For my appetizer, I got the fried oysters. I really didn’t think they were actually going to bread and fry them (I thought to make them GF they would just give me some plain ones), but I was pleasantly surprised when my waiter put a plate in front of me with nice crunchy oysters on it! They really were tasty. Now my trick to make sure what I was getting was gluten free was to make sure that the gluten-y version looked different, since at least one other person at the table usually ordered the same thing. And with this one, we were safe. Next up for my entree was, of course, the lobster tail. It came with garlic shrimp and orzo, but to make it gluten free they gave me mashed potatoes. The lobster tail was really good, but to be honest, I actually thought the shrimp were even better. Great flavor, really juicy, just awesome. And how can you go wrong with mashed potatoes? Okay, and now for dessert. The cruise staple. The chocolate melting cake. Yes, gluten free. Eating this was like being in heaven. So warm and gooey and decadently rich. I am in love. (P.s.- I didn’t take pictures of every single thing I ate at dinner, so you’ll only see pictures of the really good and/or really pretty things)

Since it was formal night, after dinner we went to take some pictures while we all looked nice and fancy. We didn’t do much for the rest of that night, except go to another comedy show later. We were very excited to get to our first port in the morning, Sicily! I will leave you this time with a nice picture of us children of the cruise family on formal night. 🙂

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Up next- Day 5 & 6: Sicily and Naples!

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