February 20, 2015

2015 Cruise – Embarkation Day

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:45 pm by msweet42

We are on our way. Diane wanted to have breakfast at the hotel but they stopped serving at 11:00 and we didn’t get down until just after that. We found her some orange juice and cookies to tide her over. I checked our account on the TV and found we owed the hotel $20. Ah yes, the port transportation fee. Checked out of the hotel with no surprises.

The transfer from the hotel to port went smoothly. Handed off the large luggage to the handlers at the terminal along with $5. The handlers rather unsubtly suggested an honorarium. Inside the terminal we located the Crown and Anchor Gold line and did not have any wait. Checked in, got our pictures taken and proceeded to security.

Bearing in mind that for our license and passport pictures we are forbidden to smile, I asked the woman taking our Sea Pass pictures if we could smile. She said we’d better. We’re going on a cruise, right? We smiled.

The security people had no difficulty detecting my carefully hidden vodka and Kailua as well as our legal bottles of wine. They took the contraband and assured me I would get it the last night of the cruise. On my way out, the security lady suggested next time I put the contraband in a wine bottle. So I need to figure out what she meant by a “cutter” to seal the wine bottle. Helpful lady.

We left the hotel at about 11:45 on the “noon” shuttle. Everyone was there so there was no point in waiting. What with security and checking in to get our Sea Pass we were on the ship before 1:00 pm. I know it was before 1:00 because we were going to head to the Windjammer to finally get some food and found it wasn’t going to open until 1.

So off to our stateroom. Found it with no difficulty. Were surprised to see Diane’s suitcase in the galley way just before our room. Took a quick look out by the elevator and bonus! Mine was there, too. No trekking down to the Naughty Room to claim a bag with alcohol. Got the bags into the room. Our stateroom attendant, Rudy, stopped by to introduce himself and ensure everything was to our liking. It was.

Windjammer opened, we went in along with 500 other hungry folk. Got some food, found a nice couple willing to share their table. Were happy to discover the Windjammer is still making good serviceable foods.

We wandered around a bit to familiarize ourself with the ship. Legend of the Seas is very similar to Grandeur of the Seas so we had a pretty good idea where things were.

Back to the stateroom. Diane continues to tire easily so she laid down and supervised while I unpacked both bags. I enjoy the game of finding a logical, easy to remember place to put each item utilizing all the drawers, shelves and hidden cupboards in the stateroom. Again, having been on Grandeur and having a near duplicate of our previous stateroom helped because I already knew what was available. A new thing this cruise was the addition of three or four shelves in the closet. Come to think of it, the previous closet had a shelf running along the top. The smaller shelves were on the left side wall and because you can see what’s on them they are more useful.

Time for the mandatory Muster Drill. If one manages to make it on board without knowing what that is, there are announcements explaining what it is, where it is, and that it is Mandatory. The drill signal is given and almost everyone attends to their muster station. Actually, attending to the station promptly is a foolish thing. Foolish because you have to stand there. And stand there. And stand some more. You are waiting for the “‘cept you” people. As in “Everyone ‘cept you”. These are the people the crew has to go out and hunt down and herd out to the muster stations. These are the people who cannot be bothered or who feel that whatever they are doing is more important than whatever the other 2000 people were doing when they stopped to do the drill. So you are standing there, standing there, standing… and watching these people walk – slowly – to their station. A word of advice – leaping out of line to bitch-slap one of these people is generally frowned upon. Immediately satisfying but with negative longterm consequences.

We will get to see all these laggards again. Before we arrive at each port, there will be an announcement that “everyone” has to be back on the ship at 5:00 or 6:00. These are the people that will show up at the gangplank five, ten, fifteen minutes after the hour. You can also see these people by going to YouTube and searching “dock runners”. These are the folks who just – just – just missed the ship. And if they miss it, they miss it. The ship does NOT turn around to come back and get them. And all the rules-following people who had to stand there forever waiting for these people are the folks waving from the decks and cheering as the “‘cept you” people get left behind.

We found a good place to sit in the sun near the pool. I went to get drinks. RCI does a thing where there is a Drink of the Day with a special price. Departure Day’s drink was Sex on the Beach. I ordered one and got a Pina Colada for Diane. I noticed the bartender charged me full price for my drink. When I asked him what the drink of the day was he said it was a Bahama Mama. Ok. My bad.

Later on, I had a Black Russian.

We retired to our room. I checked through all the literature that had been left in the stateroom, verified the excursion tickets were the ones we’d ordered and generally had fun reading things to Diane. Hmm… in the Compass it said the Drink of the Day was – wait for it – Sex on the Beach for $7.95, not the $10 I’d been charged.

While Diane rested some more I went to Guest Services with the Compass and my drink receipt. Spoke with a very nice lady from Spain. She checked everything and said I was correct, the bartender didn’t know his stuff, and looked to see what she could do. She couldn’t refund the one drink because it was one of two on the ticket. Instead, she refunded the Black Russian. Sweet.

When we first boarded I spoke to someone about changing our dining arrangement. Because Diane is always telling me it is too late to eat this or that, I signed us up for the 5:30 seating. Oops, wrong, Should have been the 8:00 seating. Couldn’t change it online but I was sure I could change it when we boarded. I was right. Got it changed.

We went to dinner, found ourselves at a table for eight and sat in anticipation of who the other six would be. Two other couples arrived, Carol and Don, and two people who’s names both start with D. The other two seats were vacant. Carol and Don have done a great deal of cruising since 1992 but were pretty nice about it. The other couple have done a few cruises. We had a good dinner with good conversation.

Diane and I both had a caesar salad and striploin with baked potatoes and some chopped veggies. Diane was having difficulty swallowing so did not eat a great deal. I had a chocolate fantasy for dessert with coffee.

Other than taking some time to sit and write all this, that was pretty much Departure Day on the ship.

Tomorrow is the first of two sea days. We are planning to go to our Meet & Mingle at 9:45 so we hope to be out of bed at 8:00 am. The other thing I know about tomorrow is that dress for dinner is Formal. Right.

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