We woke up around 8am and took our time getting moving. We went downstairs to the Starbucks in our hotel to get some breakfast. We also found out about getting a taxi to take us to the port. They told us there would be taxis waiting out front whenever we were ready and we could just ask any of them to take us there. We went back to our room and ate our breakfast. We called GrandMom to check on Little Monkey but he didn’t really care to talk to us too much.
We took a taxi around 11am to the port. Check-in at the port went really quickly but they were not boarding the ship yet, so we had to just stand around and wait for a bit. There was plenty of people watching to do. There was a couple getting married on the ship before it departed, so they were the first to board the ship, along with their guests (who were later kicked off the ship so we could leave). When we finally got on board, we took care of having our gratuities prepaid onto our onboard account and scheduling a couple’s massage for Saturday morning. We had lunch while waiting on the ship to depart. Before the ship was allowed to leave the port, we had to do the mandatory safety drill. On other ships I have been on, they tell you to carry your life jacket with you and not put it on until you get to your muster station. Apparently this is not the case on Royal Caribbean. I got told, while climbing the stairs, to hurry up and put my life jacket on! Funny though because after we were standing at our muster station for awhile, the announcer giving directions explained how to put on your life jacket properly while a cruise ship worker showed us how to do it. As soon as the drill was over, we set sail.
We headed up to the front of the ship to watch the ship head out to sea. There was even more interesting people watching. There was a family on the ship together having a family reunion with about 25 family members (That was their guess, they didn’t seem to know how many of them there were!). They had shirts professionally made and trucker hats for the guys too. I tried to tell Big Monkey that at least we weren’t that crazy. Yes we did make shirts before but we made them ourselves…and we didn’t make hats. Later in the week we also saw other groups with family trip shirts.
We went and grabbed a snack, hot dogs and fries and then decided to go change into our swimsuits. We went to one of the indoor hot tubs (in the Solarium, no kids under 16 allowed). After we were there a few minutes, two older couples joined us. The guys were brothers, both retired cops. After a bit of hanging out, we cleaned up to go to the Welcome Show and dinner. The Welcome Show had introductions from the Cruise Director, Karen and also comedy from Tim Jones (Seen on HBO, Showtime and The Tonight Show, You can find samples of him on YouTube).
After the show, it was time for dinner. Our set dinner time was 8:30pm every night. We were at a table for 10. (We had discussed this previously and decided we’d be more likely to like SOMEONE at a table of 10 than at a table for six or eight.) At our table was:
Mark and Liz, a couple from El Paso with a six year old girl (They also left her at home.) He is a Dr. and she is an interpreter.
Angel and his wife, a couple from Miami with an 18 year old son and an eight year old girl (They also left them at home.) He works in Marketing for a Cigar company.
Suzette and Denise, 20-something cousins from Phoenix
Alex and Mom, Alex was 16 and they live in CA
The first night was a little overwhelming…Angel was very over the top (We do believe he was drunk or high or both.) He gave Mark and Big Monkey free cigars, saying they are the best you’ll ever have and he doesn’t think that just because he works for them. For dinner I had Caesar Salad, Shrimp Ravioli and Chocolate Cherry Cake. It was all pretty good. After dinner, we went to the Library (at night it is open for cigar smokers) and hung out with Mark, Liz, Angel and his wife. We all didn’t really want to be there and thankfully Angel left after not too long. We chatted a bit more with Mark and Liz and decided to meet up the next day. We thought it was going to be quite the interesting time at dinner all week long.