Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cruise Day 1

In order to celebrate Mom's 60th Birthday, My mom's sister Lila, my sister Melanie, my mom and I all decided to go on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. We were set to sail on Monday so we decided to fly in on Sunday. I used Priceline and got our hotel for about 1/3 the price and we were set. Brian and the girls dropped me off at the airport and I got on my direct flight to Orlando- yeah one good thing about living in a big city. I arrived first and was a little disgruntled because it was odd to be at the Orlando Airport and not be going to Disney World like we did last October. I got to our lovely room and ordered Room Service and watched TV until Auntie Lila got there. We caught up until Mom and Melanie got there after midnight. We got ready for bed and I had to have a discussion with my sister about personal space when she put a knee in my back.

Monday, we got up, got ready, repacked, hit up Starbucks (where not one of us got anything with coffee in it), loaded up in the van and headed to Port Canaveral. We finally arrived, dropped our luggage off to the porters, went through 3 passport checks, security and went to stand in line to check in. Since we were in a suite, we got priority boarding and got to bypass the line. We boarded and of course Melanie headed straight for the Coke cups. She decided she couldn't make it without her Diet Coke fix even though her husband thought it would be a good time to break her habit and bought the coke cup. We probably were all better off she decided to not use our cruise as Diet Coke rehab. Our room wasn't ready so we went to eat lunch in the buffet. Well that was everyone else's plan and the buffet was a little packed. We had a nice meal and headed to find our room. This is where I need to add a vital piece of information. I booked a Grand Suite for us that was going to be a little over 300 sq ft. It was cheaper than booking to small rooms and would actually be more space. The week before our cruise I got an email that we had been upgraded to an Owner's Suite that is over 450 sqft with a 125 sqft balcony. So needless to say we were excited to see our room. Once we saw it, we were shocked. Our room was huge and Lila and I quickly informed Mom and Melanie they were ruined for all future cruises where space is usually lacking.

My mom is there in the entry way. On her right there is a door and that door leads to a walk-in closet- yes a walk-in closet on a cruise. We even used it as a changing room it was that large and of course we made several jokes when we would exit about coming out of the closet.

Yes that is a flat screen TV you see in the background and a bar on the left. Now let me discuss bathrooms on cruise ships. On our cruise in June, Brian and I had a Tube shower and there was only room for one in the bathroom at any time. Cruise bathrooms are an inside joke among cruisers for their lack of space. I have seen pictures of bathrooms that have a sink, a toilet, and then shower curtain with a drain on the floor and thats it. I opened the door to our bathroom and my jaw dropped

Seriously, a bathtub/shower, space for a person to stand between the toilet and the shower, a shelf there on the left and you can't see the sink with counter space on both sides over on the right. Certainly a plus when you have 4 women sharing one bathroom.

Our suite attendant Clifford came to meet us and he is a doll. He told us our perks of robes, slippers, free champagne and of course the best- him at our beck and call. We went to muster to prepare for a the ship sinking. Excuse the flouresent colors, it was a very dark picture and when I lightened it up, I had issues. The other ladies took a tour of the spa and some got facials and we all ended up taking a nap. We then watched the boat sail. Here the ship is docked

Notice the life boats, we decided that if the ship was going down, we were jump into one of these for safety

These are the ship captain's minions- I don't know the proper names but it was neat because this lookout was right next to our balcony. Lila tried to get them to blow a kiss but I don't think it worked. Melanie decided since they were working, it was time to start her vacation.

Back in February, I called Melanie to see what we were going to do for Mom's 60th birthday. We talked about a party but we hated to throw a party at her house and we couldn't surprise her because we would need a guest list and well her house. I then remembered that she always wanted to go on a cruise. With Daddy- that was never a possibility and Bruce was a pilot but got terribly seasick. I knew she would love to go but would probably never schedule it herself and since her birthday is during Hurricane Season- whoohoo cheaper prices. So I got busy planning and we called Aunt Lila to see if she wanted to go too. So our plan was hatched. This picture of mom reminds me why we scheduled this trip.

She looks like a woman who is content and who is getting one of her wishes fulfilled.

Good bye Florida

As we got ready for dinner and a waitress brought a platter of fruit for us to our room. Yeah- a suite perk. We went to dinner and we were sitting by a window so that was nice. We met our waiter and assistant waiter and were pleased with our service. Dinner was good and dessert was fabulous. We made it to the comedy show and laughed our tails off. We did have a few annoying hecklers who had obviously been drinking for quite awhile. The water was pretty choppy and Melanie did have a little problem getting used to the ship moving. But never fear, we all had on our motion sickness patches and we safe from illness. We finally made it back to our room and loved seeing our beds all turned down and chocolate on our pillows. We then crawled into bed and I had to have another talk with my sister regarding bed personal space. I was trying to read and she obviously wanted a snuggle partner so of course mom had to come snap a picture

I'll post later about Day 2 where we woke up anchored by Cococay and discuss Melanie's sleepwalking and talking adventures.

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