By 2004 I had convinced my friend and coworker Alan that cruises are really a fun and unique way to spend some vacation time. Of course my opinion was only from my previous experience on a Carnival cruise in 2002. But it's true that they can be very entertaining and often provide a good deal for what you get out of them. So we decided to take a 5-day cruise on the Carnival Celebration in May. It sailed from Galveston, TX and made two stops: first in Cozumel, and then in Calica, Mexico (basically Playa del Carmen). Alan and I certainly did enjoy the cruise, with the plentiful sun, relaxing sea, and beautiful women all around!

On the road south to Galveston. We took my truck and parked it in a passenger lot near the pier for the duration of the cruise.
At our hotel in Galveston, where we stayed for one night in order to catch the ship early the next morning, some people were throwing food at the gulls which were everywhere. It was really nice of them to give the birds fuel to crap all over everyone's cars in the lot.

Before leaving the hotel, I took some time to walk around the Galveston beach, which was only a couple blocks away. After seeing fantastic beaches in Mexico and Grand Cayman, I was surprised at how nasty this beach was. The sand was dirty, the waves were rough, and the seawall was an eyesore (though I recognize its necessity).

You know, the standard picture of myself in front of some distant scene to show I was there... Get used to it!
Since we didn't have to board until around noon, Alan and I walked around downtown Galveston while we waited for time to pass. Here's a pic of some of the buildings along the main strip, called the Strand.

Directly after we left port, some morons were leaning over the railing at the stern of the ship, throwing food waste at birds that were trailing the ship. Then they began teasing the birds, holding the food out, and then taking it away at the last second as the bird swooped in. Well, the birds got smart and got a little more aggressive. As they flew in, they started pecking at the people, who in turn found their game was not so fun anymore. That little bit of foolishness ended rather appropriately!

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