Our story continues . . . . So, after finding sustenance we went down to our cabin and waited for the ship to sail, which it did, around 4 p.m. It was great fun to watch Miami ease away. Shortly thereafter we went up top - well, up a couple floors, anyway - for a lifeboat drill. It was at this point we discovered our cabin had only one lifejacket, a problem that was never rectified.
After standing around "listening" to instructions on what to do if we had to abandon ship . . . and I say "listening" because we were positioned near some kind of fan or vent that was blowing noisily and preventing our hearing anything at all . . . we sauntered back to the cabin and got ready for dinner.
Now, many cruises have assigned seating for their dinners, and this was no exception. I had great fears of being trapped with some overly-sincere, apple-cheeked, corn-fed Michael W. Smith devotees, but it turned out Charlotte and I had our own table, and per the rules of the cruise, would continue to have our own table through the entire vacation. Nice! We also had the same waiters, which made for a pleasing continuity. The formal dining room (the "Gold Olympian," I think) was very elaborate . . . lots of deep red velvet-looking banquettes, gilded staircases, etc. The sub-waiter, a small man from Indonesia, got our beverages and tempted us with bread. The main waiter, a Peruvian, told us about the specials and offered his recommendations.
Aside: The food on the ship, while not absolute top-drawer, was consistently tasty. In the main dining rooms there was a base menu ("Carnival Classics") composed of standard steaks, Cesar salads, etc., and there was a daily-changing list of specials as well. I particularly enjoyed a lentil soup, an Indian vegetarian plate, and fattoush. My very favorite thing to have for lunch was a bowl from the Mongolian barbeque line. I'm sure it was neither Mongolian not barbecue, but it was a very tasty bowlful of self-selected rice noodles and vegetables, wokked and sauced by one of the cooks, and served HOT!