Cruise Day 1- November 1st

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Day 1, Saturday, November 1st

                As typical, I didn't get much sleep Friday night as I had so much on my mind before we left for vacation. In addition, Ava didn't sleep well and was up 3 times, probably due to teething. I ended up being up for the day at 2:30am. The older 4 kids were awake before 6am and the littles were up by 6:30. We finished up some last minute things and loaded up our van. I was surprised that I was able to condense our luggage to 2 large suitcases, 3 small suitcases, 1 garment bag, 1 duffle bag of shoes and a small box of consumables like diapers, wipes, etc (that way I could throw the box away on the ship and have 1 less piece of luggage to drag home). Not bad for 8 of us for 15 days!

Missing from photo is the garment bag.

                Around 8am, our friends Dolly & her husband Shawn arrived at our house. They graciously gave us their time to ride with us to bring our van home. Typically we leave our van at the port in NJ but since this was a repositioning cruise (one that starts at one port and ends in another), we couldn't do that. We left our house a little after 8am. It was an overcast, rainy day. I was really hoping for a sunny day for sail away. We made great time getting to the port as we arrived by 10:30 am. We had a bit of a wait in the car line but once we parked, we unloaded our luggage and said goodbye to Dolly & Shawn. Our luggage was loaded into a huge bin and we headed to the terminal to start the boarding process.

                During our previous 3 cruises, we got through this process very quickly with little waiting so we were surprised at the amount of time we had to spend in line. Once we got checked in, we sat in the terminal waiting for our number to be called so we could hop on the bus for the short ride to the ship.

                Prior to our cruise, I participated in an online roll call where you can meet people online ahead of time that will be on the same cruise as you. Many of these people we've sailed with before and we've kept in touch over the years, even sailing together again on other cruises. We also got to know some new people in the months prior to today. So while we were waiting to board, several people from our roll call came up to say hi to us and finally meet in person after talking for months. (they knew to look for the family with all the kids haha!)

                We finally boarded around 12:30 and headed to the Windjammer, which is the buffet dining on the ship. After a little bit of a wait, we finally got a table and some food. We all just sat there saying wow, we are FINALLY here! We sat there eating with a cloudy view the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty can be seen slightly to the left of the center of the photo.

                Once our rooms opened up, we went there to leave the few things we carried on. We have 2 interior connecting rooms which is what we've done in the past so we knew exactly what they would look like. At 3pm we had our muster drill which is where each person reports to their emergency station to go over the life jacket process and what to do in case of emergency.

This is the view of our room looking in from the door. There are 2 bunks that fold down from the ceiling. Our room connected to this and looked identical except our beds were connected and we had a pack-n-play squeezed in.

View from the bed looking towards the door. Desk & closet on left, bathroom door on the right and a single chair just barely seen in the corner of the photo.

The tiny bathroom where you could practically shower, brush your teeth AND use the toilet all at once. HA!

                We were supposed to sail away at 4pm but we were delayed until 5:10. We had been on a semi-enclosed deck outside but after all that waiting, the little ones were getting cold and antsy. Both hadn't taken naps since the cat nap in the car so Susan & I stayed on deck and the others headed back inside. We tried waving a big towel so those watching us sail away on the webcam could see us. But according to the texts I was getting, we were too tiny to see. Ah well, I looked like a goof waving a towel for nothing then!

The teardrop memorial as seen from the ship. It's from Russia in honor of the 9/11 victims.

Sailing under the bridge.

Just as we are under the bridge.

Short video clip as we started to go under the bridge. There is about a 6 foot clearance from the highest point on the ship to the bridge.

                Once we had finally left and sailed under the Verrazano Bridge (with only about 6 feet of clearance!), we headed to dinner in the Main Dining Room (MDR). We had the perfect table, right by a huge window and in a corner which I was hoping for. I knew the little ones would be more content if we weren't in the center of the dining room.

The clouds were finally lifting by the time we sat down to eat so we were able to catch a glimpse of the sunset. And since we didn't observe daylight savings on the cruise, we got to experience sunsets many evenings during dinner!

 Dinner each night consists of an appetizer, main course and dessert as well as a choice of rolls from a basket that the waiter brings around. When it came time for dessert, the waiter passed out menus to everyone and skipped Olivia. She gave the waiter a funny look and he asked her if she wanted a menu and she said yes please and proceeded to take the menu and act like she was reading it!!! When he came around to take orders, she held the menu like she was contemplating what to order and said, “I will have ice cream, banilla (vanilla) please.” The waiter was almost in stitches!!!

                After dinner, we headed back to the room so I could start unpacking the few pieces of luggage that had been delivered. The girls had a meet & greet in the teen club at 8pm with a party following at 10pm. I had gone down to guest services earlier in the day and while there, I had inquired about the number of kids on board as I knew there weren't going to be many. They said there were 19 teens and only 8 children!!! Out of those 27 kids, 6 of them are mine, ha!! In fact, Ava & Olivia are the youngest on board with the total number of people being 3,031.

                While unpacking, we noticed the ship was starting to rock more than usual. The captain had said that we were heading into rough waters, so we weren't surprised. Typically when we sail out of the north east in November, we experience rough seas until we are past Cape Hatteras. About 8 pm, I ran up to the Windjammer for a snack of sushi that I took back to our room. I was up on deck 11 for that (our room is on deck 6) and boy did I really notice the ship rocking! Everyone was swaying as they walked

                Overnight, we had a rough night in more than one way. Ava was up for about 2 hours and just would not go back to sleep. Looking back I am wondering if she was feeling seasick as she has never done that before.  We heard the wind howling (and we don't even have a balcony!) and the few times I was out of bed with Ava, I had trouble walking. Eventually Ava fell asleep in bed with us around 3:30am. I happened to be awake around 5am when I felt the ship slam around in a way I never experienced in all our cruises. You could feel the whole side of the ship rise up and then crash back down (before this, the rocking was side to side). At the same time, all our drawers came flying open then slammed shut, which happened about twice. Anything that was on shelves and wasn't secured went flying off. It wasn't until the next morning that we heard about what all had happened during that time!

All photos can be clicked on to enlarge. The photos I am sharing are a combination of ones I took as well as my kids and husband on a variety of cameras and iPhones, hence the varying quality.

1 comment

  1. Wow how do you find the time to post - hats off to you and Allen - what a terrific family you have


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