Friday, January 20, 2006

Day by Day (2)

Monday, January 16, 2006
You have by now undoubtedly read Erika’s blog so you know of our early morning adventures. After Erika leaves it wasn’t too long before our van came to shuttle Mom, Rita, Kadreya and I to the airport. We pile in and I am very cozy in the back drifting in and out of consciousness listening to the many conversations. Easy check in and a small stop at security. I hang back to see how the security works around Rita’s fake knees. I am curious how it will be to travel with Adam after surgery this summer. Not too bad, he will more than likely need to be wanded each time he goes through a metal detector. In the meantime, mom has disappeared! She claimed to be going to sit down, but was not at the nearest seating area. Why would she go further? We couldn’t think of a reason either. So I kept going back and forth up to security and the restrooms and the other restaurants but alas no mommy. Rita and Kadreya sat and I ventured ahead. Lo and behold, there was mom sitting at the gate like everyone knew she would be there! Sitting and waiting, mom realizes that she has forgotten her all-important cane. This will come into effect later in this trip. A very easy and not full flight so comfy seating and we are in Florida. Kadreya’s luggage somehow made an earlier flight than the rest of ours (how does that happen?) but we get settled in at our hotel with no problems. The room is rather far. Close to the elevator as requested but the elevator is in the back of the hotel. Mom waits at the bottom as we head up to drop off luggage and then we all go next door (think Vegas) to Taco Bell for lunch. Mom and I go back to the room for rest and relaxation and some computer time. Plug in to the data port, nothing happens, move the table, move the bed, plug into the wall, nothing happens. Walk all the way down to the front desk to be snipped at by some idiot who wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing, DUH! Then back up to the room and lo and behold it works on the first try. I think the phone was turned off and he realized it and turned it back on when I left. A quiet afternoon in the room and then I go to the other restaurant Mc Donald’s for carry out for mom’s dinner. Many games of Snood later and we are off to bed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 CRUISE DAY!
Continental breakfast and some wireless access in the lobby, then sit and wait for the shuttle to take us to the ship. Anticipation is growing; I am trying very hard to disguise it. At the port it is a short wait until they open the gates, mom gets a nice man and a wheelchair and we breeze through everything. OMG it is really happening, I have been waiting for this for over a year and now here I am. I can hardly believe it. As we are coming into the ship a very nice boy with a Coke display sells me a sticker to put on my cruise id that gets me all the soda/pop I can drink for the entire 10 days. 39.95 plus 15% gratuity, quick in your head, comes to about $45.00. That’s $4.50 per day. Not too shabby. (Side note, I got my moneys worth in the first two days) The nice man takes us all the way to our room and deposits us there. It is quite a hike from the elevator but mom is game and makes the best of everything as usual. Our room is nice. It is very small, however, it is bigger than I anticipated so – bonus! (Reminder, set your expectations low, good things happen – bonus, bad things happen – shit happens!) Details – (scroll down if you don’t care) As you walk in the door the desk is to your right, good size with 3 drawers on either side to use as a dresser. The bathroom is to your left, more on that later, past the bathroom is a 3-door closet. One door has room for long – read tall people – hanging stuff. Door number 2 has two tiered short hanging spaces and door number 3 has shelves and baskets for folded items and a shelf with a safe. All in all plenty of room for clothing and what nots. Just past the closet is a small refridge with a countertop for the $6.00 sodas they tempt you to drink. Above that on a nice little shelf is the TV with the remote that looks like a Twix bar. The two beds are pushed together to form 1 queen size bed, mom doesn’t like this because then there is no walking room to get to the bed, you have to crawl in from the bottom, a quick page to the steward easily remedies this. From here the day gets a little blurry, a lot happened in a short time and it was really a whirlwind. Lunch at the buffet. Rita has been raving about all the food and that’s pretty much what I have heard previously. Not too impressed with the buffet. This boat has nothing compared to Harrah’s Las Vegas! Small tour of the ship with Assistant Cruise Director D.J. Dan at 3pm., who gives good advice when it comes to the showrooms. 4pm time to muster; everyone grabs their life jacket and heads to their muster station to learn what to do in case of an emergency, well not “everyone”. Then up to the deck with Rita and Kadreya to watch the ship leave the port. I went to the rail! Of course there were metal bars and plexiglass but still that is a HUGE step for me. It was very dramatic and they did a count down to the blowing of the whistle/horn. Then we were off. I have to admit I cried a little, I know I am an old softie (shut up Adam!). We have been “rockin’ and rollin’” ever since. We are at the first seating for dinner in the main dining room so 6pm sharp we are seated and being waited on hand and foot. I flash my beautiful Diet Coke sticker around and have sodas galore. Our waiter Luis and his assistant are both from Mexico and have a couple of miss steps that first night but make up for it in days to come. Mom and I leave dinner a little earlier than others thanks to D.J. Dan’s advice about the theaters. GET THERE WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, it fills up quickly. From what I have been hearing around, this is a small ship. Although it has 1950 passengers the big theater only seats 700. We get there right away and sit in the very back row for the disabled. We try to reserve seats for Rita and Kadreya but the theater fills up quickly and we relinquish our extra seats. Wonderful Welcome Aboard show, introducing the staff and giving us a taste of a great performer coming up in a few days. We head up to our room and read our Princess Patter (the evening paper with details and timelines for the next day) and begin to plan our day. Mom is really not feeling well, and has decided to request a wheelchair for the remainder of the cruise. After a long day it is time for sleep.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Our intentions and our plans not as big as our need to catch up on some sleep. We awaken just before 9am and finally actually roll out of bed and head to the breakfast buffet after 10ish. Again not impressed. I guess when you have had Vegas buffets it really makes others pale. But honestly as far as breakfast goes even Hometown or Bob’s is better. I decide to pass on the line dancing and we make it to the first trivia challenge. Some of you may know that we are a bit of trivia buffs in this family so we are feeling pretty confident. Let the air out of your chest we stunk! Even with the help of friendly strangers and friends we couldn’t win, oh well next time. Since we had such a late breakfast we aren’t much for a big lunch so we head up to the upper decks and sit and watch the waves. The grill area smells really good and I can’t resist a free burger and fries. The burger was really good, no Canadian meat here Gretch! Back down to Deck 7 for the Princess Pyramid. This is like the Dick Clark pyramid except you have 1 person giving clues to the team of 6. We do ok, but even better we meet new trivia buddies Betsy and her mother-in-law Muriel. They come in handy later on. We skip the afternoon movie and decide to wait around for the next trivia challenge. While waiting I park mom and head off to the Internet café. I have purchased some wireless time but am also using the café when it isn’t convenient to carry my laptop down to the 5th floor and around to wherever else I’m going to go that day. Another bust at trivia and it is time to go up and change for formal night. I have had a couple of dresses hanging in my closet for a few years waiting for just this occasion, I chose to only bring one and it serves the purpose well. Following dinner is a musical revue called “Piano Man”. It is a production number involving the songs of Neil Sedaka, Billy Joel, Elton John and Liberace. Mom claims to not have noticed how much I was singing along, but I think she was just being polite. From one show to the other (thankfully all entertainment thingys are on the same floor, just usually from one end of the ship to the other). The next show was a fantastic comedian who has also written for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the David Letterman show, Tony Daro. Adam look this guy up, he was hilarious. That show didn’t start until 10:30, so we are straight back to our room afterwards.

Conditions of the Sea:
It was very windy in Ft. Lauderdale when we arrived and has been the same out on the open sea. The ship has been feeling to me like January 1994. There are constant aftershocks. We will lilt one way or another without a moments notice. There are sharp jolts that feel just like a 2.5 or better earthquake. As time goes on I have been rating them As I type we definitely had a good 5.0 for about 20 seconds. With the sharp jolt and then the rocking after. All you in California know exactly what I mean. This movement does not only happen during the day but consistently at night. At first it can feel like a gentle rocking to help you sleep but then whamo! in the middle of the night there is a jolt and roll. I woke up this morning and my bed was a good fists width from the wall. Thankfully there isn’t far to roll, so I’m not too worried. This constant activity is making moms back revolt. It has been uncooperative and even the magic medicine from her druggist Gene is helping only in spurts. The wheelchair is a godsend but can be a pain in the ass if the ships tilts one way and I am pushing the other. I came on this cruise for an adventure and this is what I am getting. We went out on the deck yesterday and found a very breezy but warm spot to sit and read and sleep. Mom had to put the strap on her hat it was that breezy. There will be proof in the pudding this time, I went to the rail (no metal bars or plexiglass this time) and mom took my picture.

1 comment:

  1. see at least on your cruise you don't get stuck watching the guy with the glasses play songs!! Just don't get married k!!!