March 4th was finally here! We had waited for this day for months and now it was finally time to get on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world.
We woke up and walked around the trail behind the hotel that led out to the beach. We walked on a dock and I saw a bird that reminded me of the birds in the movie “Finding Nemo” the way they were sitting on the wooden poles. We walked around some more and took pictures. The weather was nice that morning, but the forecast said that it would get cooler as the day went on because of the cold front from the line of storms on the East Coast.
We got on the road, stopped at Burger King to eat (by this time the sky looked pretty dark and the wind was really picking up), and finished driving. We returned the rental car to the airport and then got a bus to the port. The bus driver said they would have us on the boat in 30 minutes and they weren’t lying! There were no lines and it went very smoothly. We were on the boat in about 20 minutes.
The boat was huge! We got on the boat around 1pm and went around to about three different restaurants and ate at all of them…and our dinner was at 6pm. The muster drill is something that everyone hates doing when getting on a cruise. You’re just getting on vacation, you want to just relax and look around, but everyone has to do the muster drill. On every cruise I’ve been on before, everyone has to wear their life jackets and then go to the specific area that you would go to if there were a real emergency. But this time, they said that life jackets weren’t required to be worn…which made it a lot better. That was at 4:30 and after that we got interviewed by a reporter from Conde Nast so we might be in a magazine article sometime! Then we went up to the top decks to see the boat leave the port at 5pm. At this point it was really windy and actually kind of chilly, but we stayed up there for a while.
Our dinner was at 6pm so we decided to go to our room and see if our luggage had been delivered yet so we could get dressed. This is when vacation really begins for me – when I actually get my luggage to my room. I was so relieved to see it sitting outside of our door when we got to our door, but we noticed that we didn’t see Michael’s. I didn’t really think much about it since they said it could take up until 9pm that night. We were waiting in the hallway for my brother and his wife when our stateroom attendant came up to us and said, “I’m sure you’ve noticed that you only received one of your bags of luggage. You will have to go down to level 2 to open up your other bag of luggage because security detected something suspicious in it.” I immediately knew it was the travel iron that Michael tried to bring because they aren’t allowed. Being the worrywart that I am, I was worried what they would do. But after dinner we went down to level 2 and they just held it until the end of the cruise. They had a whole cage of liquor that people had tried to bring onto the boat too and were joking that they didn’t want us drinking and ironing… Michael finally got his luggage and we were able to unpack. So, learn from our mistake and just don’t even try to sneak the travel iron on.
Here are some pictures of the boat:
Here is the view from near our room (towards the very front of the ship) down the hallway. You can’t even see the other end it’s so long.
Here is what I would think is the main area of the boat, the Royal Promenade. It is an inside area where there is shopping, some restaurants, the customer service areas, and the main elevators and stairways are off each end of it.
I think we stopped here at Sorrento’s at least once a day for pizza.
This is an area of the boat called “Central Park”. It has lots of plants and greenery with benches to sit on to make it look like a park. There are more shops and restaurants out there, one of our favorites being the Park Cafe, which had awesome sandwiches, paninis, pastries, and other deli foods. Those are balconies of some rooms that overlook Central Park.
This is towards the back of the boat, in an area called the “Boardwalk” area. There are shops and restaurants down below, a carousel, and the thing in the back is the Aqua Theater (stage, 2 big screens and seating for shows). Those are more balcony rooms that overlook this Boardwalk area.
Here is our dining room table for the week: