Family Cruise

A couple weeks ago my family and I went on our first cruise.  It was a 5 day/4 night stint with Royal Caribbean that went to Coco Cay and the Bahamas.  We left Tallahassee around 8am Monday morning to make it to Port Canaveral by noon-ish in order to board the ship around 1:3o.  Well, we made it safely there with enough time to get a decent parking spot up on the 3rd floor of the garage near the docks and head on down to endure all 500 security checkpoints.  It was pretty ridiculous.  I think I’d rather have to deal with the TSA at the airports if I had a choice.  Dad got in trouble right as we walked in the door for the first bag check and body scan.  He was just messing with the settings on his phone like the people at Verizon told us to do before leaving the country.  A scruffy old security guard got rather testy with him and told him to shut it off and that phones needed to be away.  They had signs all over the place about not permitting weapons and all that jazz, but nothing about phones.  So, I let him know they should have a sign for that.  I’m not sure if he heard me.

After another 4 or 5 ‘making sure we were who we said we were’ stops, we finally made it onto our boat – Monarch of the Seas.  This particular boat was built 20 years ago, but you couldn’t quite tell by looking at it.  It was kept up in fairly nice condition.  Either way, I must say that seeing a cruise ship for the first time in person is pretty amazing…apparently, it was the biggest one around when it was first built…but it doesn’t even sit within the Top 100 list anymore.  Pretty scary to think of how massive these boats can get.

This is the Norwegian Jewel – the only other ship docked before our departure

Well, upon boarding, we went straight to our cabins…which, nicely enough, had our luggage sitting right outside the door.  I shared a room with my brother and next door to us were our parents.  After getting settled in we walked around a bit before the lifeboat drill.  After the drill at 4:30, we were officially on our way to the Caribbean!  Most people headed up to the top decks to hang out around the pools and listen to the band and eat.

Dad about to enjoy his first drink

The band played A LOT of Bob Marley

Not too long into our voyage were we able to enjoy our first dinner at sea.  I wish I had taken pictures of the menu  :/  I can’t think of all that was on them.  There was usually 6 or 7 appetizers, 4 or 5 entrees, and 5 or 6 desserts…and you could order as many as you’d like.  I was in heaven at 5:45 each evening.  One night I tried 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, and ALL the desserts listed on the menu plus one (an ice cream sundae with two large choc. chip cookies stuffed in the sides that I saw some kid at the table next to us having).  Stevensan, our waiter, would always encourage us to try as much as possible, and so he seemed extremely delighted in my gluttony that particular night.  I also wish had taken pictures of the food every night, but it was a bit awkward eating with the camera.  I’ll figure out a better system next time I’m on a cruise!  Until then, here’s just a couple samples of how we ate every evening…

Shrimp Scampi

Chocolate Lava Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream and a Rasberry Mousse at the top left.

That was about it for the first day.  At least, that’s all the interesting photos I have from the first day.  After dinner we all went and just looked around the ship for a while before heading to bed to get ready for Coco Cay in the morning.

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