Day 2 emBARKation:
We wake up to the site of our ship from the hotel, the excitement builds, unfortunately our ride to the port via Radisson shuttle is scheduled for 1 pm, Take the rental car back to Avis with a full tank of fuel or elseâ€¦â€¦ Arrived at Avis check in of the car was a breeze and was taken back to hotel. The smokers need more ciggs so we walk up to rally all the while we see this huge ship in the short distance we are to the port.
We start the luggage parade at about noon, even Sugey has to take something, we are definitely over packed, all the tags are on and we wait in the lobby for the shuttle with hundreds of others cruisers – Disney and Carnival as well, felt bad for those carnival sensation folks, thatâ€™s an old ship. Shuttle arrives and we are finally off to the Port.
Upon arrival to the there are 2 lines snaked around both ends of the building, the driver unloads the luggage then the porters take it and place them on carts to be loaded into the ship. Big signs state the porters are salaried and tipping is not necessary, but the expression on their face says they want the tip if you want your luggage.
The check in process was the worst Iâ€™ve encountered, took about 2 hours, could have been bad timing or we just may have been spoiled by Disney and Princess. You have to show your passport about 3 or 4 times to different people throughout the process and they did not just glance at them, they were scrutinized. We get to the check in desk told to slide to the left then back to the right then back to the left then told to meet me in the middle. Finally stepped onto the ship at 2:45 PM way later than we had hoped.
The coke drinkers had to get a coke card, Gerty got one and did not realize the automatic gratuity and gave more for a tipâ€¦â€¦. Got a quick bite to eat at the Windjammer buffet before they stopped serving at 3:30 and then it was the mandatory muster drill.
Back to the rooms to get the lifejackets, we have 2 rooms one on deck 6 one in stewage deck 2. The deck 6 room only had 2 lifejackets so we were late for muster which means you have to swab the deck, after hearing the muster speech in 6 languages we head up to the helipad for sail away.
We are now underway and can commence the vacation in full Griswold mold, so now itâ€™s a battle between getting coke, smoking ciggs and keeping Sugey happy, but wait JR is throwing a hissy because he canâ€™t do anything until he is 16 and Kate was ticked about this as well but got over it quickly. Ya see they have age restrictions for the rock wall until mom signs a 6 page waiver of rights and liability. Kids canâ€™t ride the elevator alone until age 11 etc.
Back up to windjammer so JR can get his chocolate fix, so we eat once again. Then the coke & ciggs come into play again. Then some exploren around the ship. The kids end up in lotus lounge singing karaoke, the night is finished by watching the parade in the promenade, about this time Kate lost the coke cup and the world just about came to an end, some did not realize that all you need is the sticker on the card. So Heather buys another coke card.