Carnival Venezia: New York to Bahamas

The start of our nine day cruise to the Bahamas has been a bit of a whirlwind. Three days in, and it simultaneously feels like we’ve been here for a while and we’re just getting started.

Day 1 started out simply enough. Fly to New York City, board cruise ship. However, when we arrived in New York City, we had a few hours before our scheduled cruise boarding time. Three guesses as to what Christina and I would do with the extra time…

If you guessed escape room, you’re right. We played a safe bet and used one of the most reputable chains, opting for Playground at Escape Game. I’ve seen this game get a decent amount of buzz and was glad to finally have the opportunity to try it myself. The game was fun and we got out with enough time to comfortably get to the dock.

At the dock, I spotted another place I’ve added to my wishlist of travel destinations – the USS Intrepid. I don’t know much about it other than that it’s a retired US aircraft carrier that now looks like a museum ship, which instantly makes it a must-visit for me. We wont have time for it on this trip, but it’s a guarantee the next time I visit New York City.

Boarding the ship went smoothly. The boarding area was packed but well-organized and we were rewarded with a quicker line for arriving during the window we selected when arranging our trip. In under thirty minutes, we were on the Carnival Venezia!

The Carnival Venezia is a bit different from Carnival’s other ships. Instead of Carnival’s usual blue / red motif and whale tail stack, the ship’s colors are blue / yellow and the stack is round. That’s because the ship was originally from the Costa fleet and was recently repurposed into a Carnival ship. It’s still a very new ship with lots of space and lots of ameneties.

The decor of the ship is Italian through and through. Most of the aesthetics evoke Venice, with gondolas, faux outdoor spaces, sky-patterned ceilings, and columns. I heard before boarding that the ship felt packed, but my experience has been quite the opposite- there are many different options for seating and food and the lines are generally short.

The first night, we participated in a new event in the main theater called “Mobile Trivia.” It was the first chance aboard the ship to earn a Carnival Venezia medallion. Players use their phones to answer various movies, TV, pop culture, and music questions as quickly as possible.

100 players participated. Rankings changed throughout, but at the end of the day, I took home the first medallion. I got nervous when I made an early mistake in the Movies category (picking Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a Bond villain because I remembered his character from Mission Impossible 3) but I was consistent and fast after that point and won comfortably. My mission to get a Venezia prize was completed at the first opportunity!

The second and third days were sea days, but they were far from dull. We opened off the day with general trivia, and I came one question away from getting back to back event wins. The question? Which US state is the only one where houseflies can’t live?

I intially wrote Alaska given that its colder climate would make it harder for flies to live. Then I thought about my recent trip to Alaska. The weather in southern Alaska was quite temperate, and it didn’t seem prohibitive to flies. I then thought to my times in Hawaii, where restaurants regularly open without glass windows. The temperature is more amenable to flies, but maybe there’s another factor, like the impact of the saltwater on the soil or air?

Nope- it was Alaska!

UPDATE: After getting to Miami, I checked online and apparently houseflies live in all 50 US states. Go figure.

The next trivia event was a big group trivia game- the room had about eighty participants, and the MC broke the room up into about four groups of twenty or so. Team members took turns spinning a wheel to get the category and question difficulty. If one team gets a question wrong, the other teams have a chance to steal.

I picked up a few nicknames at this event. My first nickname was “Tang.” One of the other teams got the question “What drink popular in the 80’s had the catchphrase ‘a kick in the glass’?”

Two of the other groups got it wrong, and it was our turn to try to steal. It wasn’t until it was our turn that I got the spark of inspiration that “Tang” could be the answer. I don’t recall seeing the ads, but it felt right, and the rest of the team went along with it. We got it right, and I got a nickname.

The other came from the finale. When the game stopped, our team had the same number of correct answers as one other team. Each team sent up a participant to play in a tiebreaker. I was our team’s choice.

The instructions: raise your hand when you know the answer, and if you’re correct, you win. I got some laughs for looking way too intense going into the question, but I can’t help myself in situations like this!

The question started. “The Japanese horseradish…” I raised my hand. The MC was confused about me interrupting the question but after double checking to make sure I understood the rules, I answered “wasabi.” I was right. The full question was “The Japanese horseradish is better known by what name?” It was a bit of a risk, since the question could have easily been ABOUT wasabi, but my move paid off.

I came back to our team’s area to chants of “Tang, Tang, Tang!” with a stack of medallions to distribute. I already had mine so I doled out the full stack to my teammates. As we were leaving the lounge, a few people from other teams called me “wasabi.”

Christina wasn’t to be outdone. Later the same afternoon, the ship had a round of The Office trivia and Christina landed a perfect score. “Who bought Michael Scott his ‘World’s Best Boss’ mug?” “What county is Scranton, PA in?” “When the office starts on fire, what is the name of the cat Angela throws through the ceiling?” Those are just three examples of the 24 total points Christina needed for her perfect score.

Since then we’ve competed in a lot more. We did well in a ping pong tournament and quite a few more rounds of trivia, including one more round of “Mobile Trivia.” I got 3rd out of 77 this time, having a pretty rough round on musician countries of origin but overperforming on a special topic on Carnival Cruise Lines.

Next up is Miami. We’re going to do at least one escape room, and the rest is bonus. After that, it’s on to the Bahamas!

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