Monday, April 7, 2008

And away we go...

Hello from the sunny Caribbean. Or what is supposed to be sunny. Because it’s not supposed to rain on MY vacation.

Yesterday, we dropped the van at the dealership and called a cab. That was not a simple process. The first company I called went to voice mail. The second company only had two cars and could not handle four people and an unmentionable number of bags. Third time’s the charm…they (Yellow Cab) sent a van that arrived in 20 minutes as promised.

We arrived at the port under cloudy skies…got all our luggage to a porter…and went into the terminal to check in. We each had a carry-on bag…and the girls were carrying their American Girl back packs. Those back packs are large. Perhaps we shouldn’t have filled them. Madalyn protested carrying hers on her back. It probably did weigh as much as she does. We went through security and then to the line to check in. The girls looked at the line and groaned. They could not believe we would have to wait in a line. Madalyn insisted that we should only have to wait in a line if we were going to Disney…not on a cruise. But the line moved quickly and we were finally onboard.

When you arrive on a cruise ship…the first thing they have you do is to go eat. It sets the mood for the journey. We went up to the Lido deck (deck 9…click here to see the deck plans) and found a table outside by a window…and then went to find our gourmet lunch (well…gourmet for the kids):
Michael did not want dogs or burgers…so he went to the buffet inside the Unicorn Café to find some sort of spicy Asian dish:

When the girls finished they went in search of ice cream…dodging the first rain drops of the day.

We finished up about 1:30…so we were finally able to go and find our room. When we made the reservation, we did a guaranteed oceanview. Meaning that we did not reserve a specific room. It’s less expensive than reserving the room you want…and you have the possibility of getting an upgrade…which we did. We have a balcony cabin on the Panorama deck (deck 8). Very nice…

At 3:30 we headed to the Follies lounge for our muster drill. This was much more relaxed than on previous cruises. We had to carry rather than wear our life vests. When we reached our station, they instructed us on how to put it on…and I had barely gotten mine on when they told us “for our own comfort” we could remove the vests. I had to insist my family keep theirs on for a photo:
After the muster drill, we went back to the cabin. I worked on getting all our bags unpacked (even though the rooms are small…there is a lot of storage. I have space for the girls and my clothes. Michael is on his own.)…and Michael took the girls to explore. This is the view of the Legend’s atrium:
Finally we got gussied up for our dinner at the Truffles dining room. We have the late seating (8:15pm) so everyone is ravenous. We met our waiters for the week: Phillip and Memel from the Philippines. Both girls ordered chicken tenders for an appetizer (I forgot to take a picture); Michael and I had the smoked Alaskan Salmon:

For our main courses, I had the New Zealand lamb (it had a much fancier name…I just cannot recall the details): Michael had Chicken al Greco (or something like that) Katie had Sweet and sour shrimp with fried rice (that according to her, was contaminated by the peas): And Madalyn had her second cheeseburger of the day: For dessert…because that is what we have been waiting for…Michael had the vanilla crème brule and the girls and I had warm chocolate melting cake:
After dinner, we headed across the ship (walking off ALL those calories we just consumed I am sure!) to the Follies lounge for the welcome aboard show. To get to have to walk through the casino. Here you can see them upholding the rule of "no children in the casino."

Before the show entertain you...there is Bingo. And we have to play. HAVE TO. We didn’t win. We started watching the show…it was kinda cheesy…well…really cheesy…and Madalyn was looking really sleepy…so we headed back to our rooms to be rocked to sleep by the ship...

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GBK Gwyneth said...

Live cruise blogging, cool! It looks lie a lovely trip, even if the weather isn't cooperating yet.

I hate to ask you to take time away from your trip to keep it up, but I'm dying to know what happens next :)

I hear my dream of wifi on airplanes is becoming a reality now. I wonder if Amtrak has wifi too...

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Hey Gwyneth! It is fun to blog...and as Rhea posted's somewhat of an addiction. I have been writing the bulk in the evening...and it's just a matter of uploading the pictures. I need to keep a record anyway for my why not share it with the world?!

Today the weather has been gorgeous...hopefully I'll get that posted either later tonight or tomorrow!

Rhea said...

How are you uploading the pictures? I'm super impressed! I love the update and the great pictures. Fabulous room, pea contamination, I love it!

All that food looks fabulous. My favorite line of all was your being rocked to sleep. I'm so jealous. Do you guys careen around in the hallways at all due to the motion of the ocean? I remember a little swaying when I went on a cruise way too long ago.

So good to hear from you, Kat!! I hope you have sunny skies from here on out.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Rhea--I am just downloading the pics to my laptop...and then uploading them to blogger (just like I do at home :-).

The food is fab...wait till you see what we had for dinner tonight! There is a lot of motion on the ship. A lot more than there was on my first cruise to the Bahamas...and about the same as our last cruise (which was to the same destinations). We are not doing too bad in the hallways. I keep asking the kids if they can feel the boat sway and they look at me like I am crazed. But then later they'll tell me they are dizzy. I just don't think they know what they are feeling.

Rhea said...

A laptop, well, duh! I was picturing you using a ship computer lab or something..forgot about personal portable computers. lol Very cool! I wasn't expecting pictures while you were gone, so I'm in heaven now (besides being insanely jealous).

Skeller said...

I'm loving your photos and commentary (what a hoot about making your family wear those vests for just a wee bit longer!!). Looking forward to more ... :-)

Kori said...

Ahhhh Creme Brulee.