Monday, January 9, 2012

Adventure of the Seas Christmas Cruise [Day 1] - Embarkation

My family is notorious for working until the last second when it comes to time. We cut it really close leaving the hotel. We didn't request late check-out, and we were told that if we didn't check out by noon, we'd be charged the next night. At ten til, we called to check out and had the bellhop come get our luggage. I was still packing when he arrived, but finished my bag in time for him to take it!

Our bellhop thought it was funny that I was still packing. He remembered us and made sure we had a cab to ourselves, but the cab driver wanted more people. They fought a little before he took off. That guy knew every shortcut in the book. We zipped around corners, and when we got to the port, he drove around all of the cabs in line through the Princess port and cut his way ahead of the line!

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So we got to the port around 1:00 and went straight through embarkation with the priority line. We saw a family pulled off to the side, and they were having to answer questions to prove that they really were a family because one of the daughters didn't have a passport.

We got onboard and were told that our rooms wouldn't be ready until 2:00. So, we headed straight to the Windjammer (which my dad quickly shortened to "Jammer" ...then "Jam" ....so that he could have "jam sessions"... he's so cool).

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The voyager-class ships are decorated with a huge Christmas tree in the Royal Promenade.

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We had connecting balcony staterooms and were perhaps a little spoiled by the size.  [2014 update: I've since sailed Princess and Norwegian, and their balcony cabins are not nearly as large.]

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This flag has been all over the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and even the Mediterranean.

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We went all out in decorating our door....

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My parents' was a little more low-key...

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One set of jingle bells was stolen that evening. My dad heard them jingling down the hallway, but he wasn't dressed appropriately to go outside.... so he got dressed and then tried to chase the theives down. Of course, they had a huge head start, so he didn't get them. It's actually an ongoing theme with my dad to get dressed before chasing people. This summer, kids were TPing our house and my Dad put his clothes on... no shoes, though... before chasing them down. C'mon Dad - just chase them in your boxers! Makes for a funnier conclusion!

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[Note: Those old-school TVs though....]

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Muster was uneventful.

We went back to our staterooms to unpack a little more before going to the top deck to watch us set sail.

Our departure time was delayed by 45 minutes. I'm not sure why, but I guess it didn't matter because we didn't have far to go. That seemed to be the theme of this cruise - not that I minded it.

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It's not that often that we embark after dark!

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We gave up and went back to our stateroom to change before the ship set sail.

I look like a little freaky in this picture, but I figured I'd post it so you could see our dresses for the night. And yes, that's mom in the background rocking the turquoise dress and gold heels!

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We arrived at dinner and met our tablemates - a lovely family of four from Canada. They had a 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. I'm always a little nervous with tablemates because you don't know if dinner will be pleasant or awkward every night.

Man, did we get lucky with this family! Our first night onboard, and we were the last people to leave the dining room. We missed the Welcome Aboard Show, but it's not like we hadn't seen some variety in years past.

The Cruise Compass had listed an "Club 18-20+ Meet and Mingle" at Jester's (the ship's nightclub) that night, so Rachel and I decided to go check it out. We figured we could at least walk through, get some drinks, then leave if it was weird.

Well, we came in and it wasn't exactly hopping, so we sat down and ordered some drinks. Then, we were approached by two girls who asked us if we were there for the Club 18-20+ thing. Shortly after, four guys came up to us and we moved to a bigger booth. Well, unfortunately the guys were a good bit older than us (except for one who lied about his age that night... we found out two days later when he told us it was his birthday - he just turned 19!). One of the guys ordered shots for the table, but the bartender looked at me (the oldest of the ladies) with a doubtful glance and said he couldn't serve the minors, so we all raised our hands and said we wouldn't drink (except for liar boy who didn't say a thing). We talked a little, did a little dancing, then we left the club with a few extra people. The group went to the Promenade Cafe for snacks, and Rachel and I dismissed ourselves so we could go to bed!

NEXT: Day 2 - St. Thomas