Greg and I were woken up at 6:30am by a train; a train that felt, and sounded, like it was right below us!
We tried to go back to sleep, but by 7am we were up for good. It was cruise day! Finally, after nearly a year of waiting – the day has arrived!
The weather was gorgeous! Clear, blue, skies and warm weather! Daniel, on the other hand, said it was too cold and was wearing sweats!
We had a few errands to run before we made our way to the cruise terminal. We stopped at Publix for soda and a small snack; Greg and I were hoping to hold out on eating so our first meal would be on the cruise, but we got too hungry.
Of course there was traffic and part of I-95 was closed – the part that was the most direct route to the Port. But, Daniel has an iPhone so we were able to get directions (and that was when I told Greg that he must buy me an iPhone for my Birthday). And, before we knew it:
There’s our ship! And, it was the first one in line (there were 4 others behind her)!! It finally sunk in that our cruise was about to begin.
We waited outside for about 20 minutes before we started checking in. And, since Greg and I were VIP, we had a special place to check in that had no lines and was full of goodies. Once we were checked in we received our room cards and waited in this giant area until it was time to start boarding.
While we were waiting to board the ship, we and a group of others were pulled aside by our concierge, Anca, and were told to wait. Turns out, aside from the “b2b” (back-to-back) cruisers, we were the first group of people to board the ship!!
Greg and I were immediantly taken to our cabin:
and were immediately blown away by the size of our room! It was so much bigger than we expected!
and the bed was the bestest bed I’ve ever slept on!
In our room were 2 bottles of champagne and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries:
Greg and I opened our champagne and toasted ourselves to our first, of many, cruise experience and all the work we did to get here:
after our toast, we sat on the balcony for a few moments and took it all in… We’re on vacation!!
The view of Miami from our balcony were awesome:
And then it was time to have our first meal on the ship! Greg had already decided to have breakfast (and lunch) everyday at Cagney’s, so that’s where we headed.
Greg is overjoyed!
Greg is more brave than me and decides to try something new and different:
Goat Brie with beet vinaigrette. I, on the other hand, stick to a more traditional item:
yep, a boring garden salad. However, I did try Greg’s appetizer… and I didn’t really care for it (more so the texture than the flavor).
Our entree’s were:
Greg: “the best club sandwich I’ve ever had” and I had steak and fries. The steak was pretty damn good, though over cooked for my request (medium well = well).
After lunch, we walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves:
First, we walk around the promenade deck
and then make our way to the main outside area, where the pool and all the fun stuff is:
then we go back inside and check things out:
After we explored the ship, we headed back to the main outdoors area and to the Spa. Greg had decided that he wanted an all access, all week, pass to the spa, so we did the tour and signed up (the ship only sells about 30 passes to keep the crowds low).
We went back to our room and found our luggage waiting for us, so we decide to unpack and get all the little things out of the way so we won’t have to worry about them tonight. We also made our dinner reservations for the entire week.
Before we know it, it’s time for the muster drill. We grab our life vests and head to our designated area. The whole drill was said and done in like 10-15 minutes. After the drill we return to our room to drop off the vests and grab our camera’s and meet some friends from the message boards at one of the many restaurants called The Great Outdoors. On our way there, we stop to get a drink:
We said our hello’s and chatted for about 20 minutes. Around 4:30 I called my Mom because I was starting to feel a little homesick (what I haven’t mentioned are all the other phone calls I made to my Mom since boarding the ship – I believe this was the 8th one, literally) and I really started to miss Amelia. This trip was my first trip outside of the US and so far away from my Mom and Amelia; I was a little emotional.
As I was talking to my Mom, one of the cruise ships made their way out:
and before long we were pulling away from the pier… the ship was moving… the trip was about to begin!!
Greg and I find a spot on the deck to take pictures of the city as we left port and make our way to the Cayman Islands: **most, about all, of these photos haven’t been edited hence the reason for the delay in posting**
Once we made it out to sea, we went back to our room to read the “Daily”, the ships ‘newspaper’ to see what activities were going on. Also, we checked out the TV and learned that there was a dedicated channel that show details of how far from Miami we’ve sailed, how much farther to go until we reach the destination and all other details. I was easily entertained:
The rest of the night gets a little fuzzy and I don’t remember the details. I believe we had a late night snack at The Blue Lagoon:
toured the gift shop:
and walked around the ship some more:
We make it back to the bedroom and relax and take it in; I had a little difficulty accepting the fact that I’m going to be ‘here’ for more than just a night – since all previous vacations were really just one-nighters; I had to get the mentality of “I don’t need to pack right now” out of my head.
Sometime during the week, Greg took a video tour of our room:
And, this concludes our first day on the ship!