The Old Man And The Sea

Today, we spent our last day at sea aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Freedom as we return to Galveston, Texas. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Today, we spent our last day at sea aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Freedom as we return to Galveston, Texas. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports

Friday, February 20, 2015

After nearly a week of sailing the Western Caribbean on the inaugural sailing of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom from her new homeport of Galveston, Texas, we’re nearing the end of our journey. At this time tomorrow, thousands of guests will be heading back to their respective homes, while another 2,980 will embark tomorrow for their very own Fun Ship voyage to the Caribbean.

Some of the best weather we've had all voyage greeted us this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Some of the best weather we’ve had all voyage greeted us this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Our full Live Voyage Report from here onboard the Carnival Freedom:

Since we’re spending a day at sea en-route to Galveston, let’s talk for a moment about how the good state of Texas is going to part you with your hard-earned cash upon your return to port.

As of January 1, 2014, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has decided that, regardless of whether you are a resident of Texas or not, you should pay an importation tax on any and all liquor and tobacco purchased on your cruise, or in one of your ports of call. This applies not only to Texans, but to anyone from any country anywhere in the world passing through a Texan port. Even if you’re in-transit to a foreign country (as I am), they’ll nail you.

Burning off the calories on Carnival Freedom's jogging track, Deck 11 aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Burning off the calories on Carnival Freedom’s jogging track, Deck 11 aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Now, I have to admit to having a huge problem with that. For a state that pretty much allows you to carry firearms unfettered to your little heart’s desire, cracking down on alcohol seems hypocritical. It’s not that the fee is exorbitant (a 750ml bottle of wine will cost a whole $3.25), but cruising out of Texas is still on the rebound after having nearly died out completely a few years back. Affixing a tax to alcohol and tobacco just smells like a cash-grab, particularly when the form from the TABC notes that the tax of $3.25 includes an administration fee of $3. Y’all come back now.

Speaking of y’all, my Texan friends have done an excellent job of educating me on this voyage. For example: did you know there are three distinct versions of y’all?

First, there’s y’all. This can be singular or plural. So, if you’re a couple, someone might say, “y’all make a cute couple.” Or something like that.

Then, there’s all y’all. This is usually used for a group. Imagine a family checking in for a cruise. “Are all y’all going on the Carnival Freedom?”

Finally, we come to allyall. This is, I’m told, derogatory, and the faster it’s said, the angrier the person saying it is. For example: “Allyall need to be quiet.”

I actually kind of like that: one phrase, three distinct meanings.

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Our Live Voyage Report aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom has sadly come to a close. Stay tuned for our Live Voyage Recap next week, and be sure to follow along with our future adventures on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport. Our next report begins March 15, 2015 from Cruise Shipping Miami!

 

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