It’s Saturday, and I hope you guys have great big plans, because I am doing nothing. Well, nothing except cleaning! But first, I am journaling about day 3, the first full day at sea and our first formal dinner night.
Every night, late night, when we returned to our rooms, we would find the mail for the next day. It would include notes from the bridge, weather, the happenings like the day’s activities/itinerary and major events, any words from the feature executive on board and shopping discounts that were happening. Like this:
On our first day, however, it was the first time we received mail before heading to lunch. We received an update that our port plans had changed due to some sketchy weather. Originally, the cruise was to go to Princess Cays, their private island, but since the weather was too dangerous to risk traveling through, they diverted us to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on the following day. Giving us an at sea day that first full day on board.
March 21–Our first day at sea was spent poolside. It was a perfect 81F on the Straits of Florida this day. We had Cuba on the right side of the boat for the entire trip going South as we swam around. It was a beautiful view.
The pool set-up was nice. The Lido Deck had two bars, one ice cream spot, a pizza place and a grill. There were four hot tubs in the main area, two on the first level and then two on the second. There were also adult pools with hot tubs, along with a private pay area called The Sanctuary, that was all cabanas and service hands a foot. So back to the regular people, there was a large pool on one end that was split by a deck then to the kids’ pool, it was all surrounded by a two foot surround where people can sit and wade in the pool. This was all in view of a large TV and surrounding decks. You did have to get there early to get a chair.. so be aware!
There was live music a few hours on the Lido Deck every day, this day was the Jamaican steel drum player. It was the perfect backdrop music for our first real day of vacation. There was also a deck between the two pools that cleared out by 5/6PM, to reveal a water show nightly.
After cooking our skin into a crisp all day, we got ready for our first dressy night of the week. Apparently, cruise ships require formal nights, which is a total b*tch to pack for alone, nevermind for four people. This night we went to Symphony at 7PM, this was the main dining room which was part of the cruise package. We dined and wined till almost midnight talking and goofing around. It was so much fun. The kids made a friend on the ship named Marvin, his job was to be aware of all the happenings in and around the ship, and the children. They loved Marvin, and coined this restaurant as “Marvin’s Place”.
This (below foto) made me laugh on this night.. so, long story short, I fell down the stairs at the pool area because i didn’t dry off my feet from the hot tub upstairs. And I mean I fell THE WHOLE WAY DOWN, breaking my favorite pair of jewel encrusted sandals..and bruising my left leg (bummer). I was so upset, but I am a klutz and am used to this stupidity.. I didn’t hurt myself, thankfully, but man, I loved my new sandals. I had only wore them a few times last year. But, from a crappy situation innovation is born.
Unfortunately, my husband lost his cufflinks, which he was bummed about because he just got them from the kids for Xmas. BUT ALAS, his creative mind went right to my freshly broken sandals. He tore them apart to fashion a pair of cufflinks. He used a jewel from each shoe and my bobby pins! Boom..cufflinks. Now that is one sexy mind.. hubba hubba.
Then..our daughter found the missing cufflinks on the floor behind our luggage the last day of the trip! She was so relieved!..and so was he.
Voila..day three! Next up Ocho Rios!
Happy Friday and Happy April Fool’s Day!!
Unforch, I am working today…though working from home! 🙂
Still can’t believe this trip is overz, but I am loving all that I am reliving through these diary posts. Man, I miss everything about this trip, I am surprising myself.
So, day 2, we woke up to sunny skies that quickly turned grey and rainy. The weather was seriously cuckoo, it rained hard one minute then the sun was shining brighter than bright the next. So in between the rain falling, and through a sea of people walking in a big AIDS walk, we ran to Starbucks on the strip for a coffee and a noche; looking at the waves of Fort Lauderdale’s beach. Ahh Beach life, man. Why do I live in Boston again?
After we got our fill of the waves, we trotted back through the drops to our hotel to grab a taxi to the Everglades port to get on our cruise! I was so nervous, excited, nervous, anxious, nervous..did I say nervous? One of my worries, you see, is that I suffer from mild vertigo sometimes. It’s not a big deal, but once every two years or so, I get the spins that last a few seconds. My father has it too, and I am thinking it’s probably a genetic disorder that only the awesomest of the awesome get. Ahem. So, anyway, I already don’t go on super spinning rides at amusement parks because I fear aggravating it, so my thoughts were at a constant worry of ‘what if i get vertigo or worse from the cruise?’. I researched a lot on this topic, and found so many drug options and people who have the same condition. I bought them all before our cruise to be safe. (Luckily, I needed nothing throughout and am just a worry wart!!)
We had never been on a cruise ship before, and even with all the research, talking to friends and watching youtube videos, I still wasn’t entirely sure what I would feel or experience. So I was pushing my butterflies down through this whole morning.
TILL I GOT ON THE BOAT. HOLY AWESOME!
We cruised on the Regal Princess, which is the Love Boat. This cruise was headed to the Western Caribbean for 7 days- Princess Cays, Grand Cayman, Mahahual and Cozumel, Mexico.
What a spectacular place; from the moment we walked onto the boat it was just beautiful and all my fears were squashed.
First there is the group photo at the entrance after you check in at the gate..here’s the one I snagged of me with my family.
As you enter, you are greeted by staff directing you where you need to go from the fourth floor elevator embankment. It’s beautiful. All shiny, with the nicest details..like a luxury hotel. As we went up to our rooms, the glass elevators had the snappiest travel sayings that I loved reading every day. For example…
We were in room M511 (Marina deck aka 15Fl; room 511). It was way more spacious than I figured. If you look in the first room photo, you will see that my daughter is sitting on the convertible couch, then above her is the drop down murphy bed, which when laid out at the same time, acts as a bunk bed. Then there was a giant closet across from the bathroom. The bathroom was small, but it worked out well for us.
As soon as we settled in, we jetted off for a bite to eat on the 16th floor buffet since our luggage was not dropped to our room yet. There were so many people there…like our buddies! The food choices were real good surprisingly. They had everything and anything you could think of, switched out every twenty minutes or so.
We enjoyed a quick lunch together, before going off to explore some of the boat and performing the mandatory Muster Station/emergency walk through. Soon after that we sped up to our rooms to unpack. Then the cruise ship departed port and we watched the ocean as it made it through the channel. What a beautiful sight! We even saw some dolphins along the ship after a few minutes. IT WAS SO SURREAL!!!!
We then got dolled up for my friend’s big fortieth birthday dinner at Sabatini’s. This restaurant was not part of the price of the cruise, it was an additional service price of $25 per adult and $15 per child. The food and atmosphere were beautiful. So tasty. We started off dinner at 6:45PM and finished at 11PM! We sat talking the whole time, enjoying the kids laughter and each other’s company.
It was a perfect way to kick off our first night on board!
Happy 40th Birthday, Pat!! Hope we made some great memories!