While I have a lot more information to share about how we got to the point of cruising, but I figure it would be a ot more interesting to you as a reader if I shared some of our actual time on the boat.
We embarked on a Saturday morning. Let me just say, these cruise lines have this process down. We arrived at the cruise terminal via shuttle, which is another post, and immediately, the valets start taking our bags. They put tags on them with our room number.
We had received these tags in the mail but misplaced them. It turned out to be a non-issue. You can print a new set with your ship boarding pass and staple them on yourself, or, memroize your room number and the luggage valets will put the tags on right on the dock. The key here, KNOW YOUR ROOM NUMBER and make sure the valet writes down the correct number.
We made our way through ticketing and to security. While there is security, it is hardly as rigorous as airport security. Mostly, your bags go through an x-ray machine and you step through a metal detector. All was clear so we moved on to getting our all-important key cards.
These key cards are seriously your lifeline on the cruise so don’t lose them.
Now the anticipation was building. I could see the boat! I wanted on the boat! No such luck. We were ushered into an area with lots of rows of chairs. They all faced the boat and it was making me super excited to finally be on our way! We waited about a half hour there, just paying games on our phones and iPads until our row was finally called. Finally.
Then the part I wasn’t aware of, the embarkation photos. Don’t dress to sloppily if you think for a moment that you might want to purchase this photo. Oh and don’t wear a bright green shirt. (I told you I was going to get detailed!) they take this photo against a green screen. We had a good laugh at all the passengers who were essentially floating heads when the pictures were on display. I would guess they didn’t purchase those.
We embarked on the boat about 11:30 a.m. and immediately put ourselves to work becoming familiar with the boat that would be our vacation home for the next week. The staterooms weren’t going to be ready for a while so we decided to eat and get rid of our nervous energy but walking the deck and taking in the views. We were able to see a few manatees in the cove we were docked in and lots of fish. That helped keep us preoccupied when all we really wanted we to get into our room and sit on our balcony.
We had some lunch in one of the dining areas and explored the different decks before being told that our rooms were ready and we were able to check them out. We were so happy we got a balcony room. We had an awesome view off the back of the boat. We also found that my mom had purchased us some wine and had some cash put on our on-board charge account. Shortly thereafter Jacob told me he ordered the honeymoon/anniversary package so we were also getting chocolate-covered strawberries. It made our send-off a little more special to enjoy these extra treats and watch the busy world get smaller and smaller as we sailed off into the Atlantic.
We headed to the Seven Seas dining room that first night for dinner. I think it is supposed to be the fancier of the two included non-buffet restaurants, but really, all the means is guys have to wear pants. It is a cruise casual atmosphere anywhere on board, which is why we picked the Norwegian line.
That night, I had a beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes. It was quite awesome. I capped it off with some chocolate ice cream for desert, my first taste of the goodies that were coming my way throughout the week.
The seas were a little rough. With a hurricane churning in the north antlantic, the weather patterns were a little off, making it choppy as we headed to our first stop in the Bahamas. As a first-time cruiser, I was nervous. Not so much that anything was going to happen to us, but mostly that each evening would be rocky and challenging to walk around and even take in activities without feeling slightly sea sick. I was worn out from the day, concerned about the seas and anxious for the next day, so I took some sleeping pills and turned in for the night, sort of.
Jacob went to the bar and saw a comedian at the theater while I rested. Afterward, we setbup our camera on our balcony and took some pictures of the view behind us.
We learned later that the reason the boat was so rocky is because the stabilizers can’t work effectively if the waves are coming at the boat from every direction. It wasn’t really swells as much as chop and wind. Still, it was a bit unsettling to me to feel that way. I soon got used to it and enjoyed the week.