What I'm reading: Cutting Edge, by Allison Brennan
After an uneventful drive to Port Canaveral, we found two lines of cars moving very little, if at all. Rather than schlep our luggage from the parking garage, we figured we'd join the line snaking around to the drop off point. Eventually, it was our turn, and a porter took our checked luggage and added it to the growing piles on the carts. When we swung back into the parking line, it had thinned out, so after paying an exorbitant amount of money to leave our car there for the 4 days, we found a slot and schlepped only our carryon luggage into the terminal.
Inside, things were well orchestrated, although the checkpoints were numerous. Typical travel security, and then pre-boarding lines. We were lucky because our kids had gotten us a junior suite, which put us in priority boarding. We still had to provide our payment information and swear that we were healthy enough to sail before getting our on-board sea pass which was our everything card. Room key, ID, and payment card all in one. After that was issued, another station where our photographs were added, so they could make sure it was really us when we got on and off the ship, and then we were actually heading up the gangway. But not before the cruise photographers snagged you for a photo.
Drinks with umbrellas awaited (for a 'small' fee). Luggage would be delivered to our stateroom, but the when was iffy. A lunch buffet was in progress, so we sipped our umbrella-topped drinks and had our first of many on-board meals.
Our stateroom was more than adequate, with its bedroom and sitting areas, and the balcony a definite plus, thanks to our kids giving us the "junior suite." Also had a tub/shower instead of a tiny stall. Every bit of space contained some sort of storage, so we had no trouble putting everything away—and there was even room under the bed for our empty suitcases. But no clock.
For more, and more photos .....
Ship exploration was next. There were 14 decks, and we climbed a LOT of stairs as we explored most of them. There was also the mandatory lifeboat drill, although life jackets weren't required.
Once that was done, we were ready to set sail. Seas were calm, weather was good, and we were off. We changed for dinner, waited for the dining room to open (apparently 5:45 means 6:00 to the staff), and met our dining companions for the rest of the cruise. All were in our general age-range, which was a plus. We had a table for 11, and although it was a bit on the crowded side, the variety was nice. Nothing like being stuck at a table for 4 with another couple you don't like.
There's definitely enough to do on board. Bars everywhere, casinos, a theater (where we saw the stereotypical cruise-ship comedian perform), and shopping galore. We hit the art gallery for a free gift—an animal print (maybe I'll offer it as a blog prize to a commenter), the liquor sample station (vanilla rum—excellent; mango vodka—so-so), and the tattoo concession.
I now have a green frog on my ankle. No, not permanent. Airbrushed, and it's supposed to last up to a week. What the heck—why not?
We found the bar at the top of the ship. Very quiet, and the Jameson's is very reasonably priced. It became our last stop of the night for the duration.
So much for Day 1. Tomorrow, back to writing craft with my special guest Neil Plakcy, who's going to address "Voice." After that, I'll get back to some more cruise notes. I did a lot of people watching, and gathered all sorts of information should I ever set a book or scene on a cruise ship.