-- note: this post was written while aboard the cruise ship on the 13th of July and posted on the 19th of July after arriving back -- Diane and I are on a cruise ship waiting for the captain's reception and formal dinner. This is the 2nd night of our honeymoon cruise, and I've disconnected myself from the interwebs for the duration of the trip. While internet is available, I don't really like paying the premium for it at this point so I'll just check email when I get home.
So yesterday was our first cruise day. We hung out in our hotel room in the morning for a little while and had breakfast before checking out right before noon and wandering over to the dock where the Elation was sitting there waiting to be boarded. After a surprisingly smooth check-in process, we boarded the ship and the first thing we did was pursue food. Our room wasn't going to be ready for another 45 minutes or so, so we needed to pass some time which we did by finding a table in Tiffany's restaurant.
There was a lot of people there for lunch, so we just kind of hung out and took food from the short lineup areas which included a fruit and salad bar and the 24 hour soft ice cream bar. That was pretty fun. After relaxing a bit, we went down to check out our cozy little room. It's nothing particularly special, but it's certainly comfortable. There's even a fake window with curtains to make it look like a hotel room (I'm not sure it's really all that necessary).
After stowing our carry on luggage in our room, we wandered out to explore the ship a little. This is our first cruise so we needed to check out how the ship was organized and what it had to offer. I don't know how the Elation compares to other ships, but it has a pretty wide array of rooms and conveniences. The cabins are down low, with our cabin on the Upper Deck (3rd floor from the bottom of the passenger cabins, with one above ours). On the Empress Deck, there's a bar in the middle in a wide open room where you can see all the floors higher than it. A couple floors up is the promenade deck which is the only floor where you can walk from one length of the ship to the other without going through cabin areas. Most of the action goes on either on the promenade deck or up or down one floor. The restaurants are one floor below on the Atlantic deck, and the pool and buffet (with the 24 hour pizza and ice cream bar) one floor up on the Lido deck.
We found out most of the information by joining a whirlwind tour starting at 2:45. After the tour, we had a few moments before joining the people for the mandatory safety drill. That was a whole lot of boring-ness, but I imagine it's a good idea so people know what to do if something goes wrong. Not that that's high on the expectation list.
We were supposed to leave at 4:00, but we didn't quite get going right away. Eventually though, we did set off and Diane and I watched the depart on the top deck at the rear of the ship with a good view of the rock/blues band that played for us while we set off. We watched the ship negotiate the bay outside San Diego and after a little while we were cruising down the west coast.
After awhile we returned to our room to get unpacked and do a bit of laundry so we could make it through the remaining days with enough clean clothes. We have the late dinner session at 8:15, so there was lots of time to fit in laundry and we basically relaxed for awhile while waiting for the clothes to be ready.
We headed up for dinner a little early and found our assigned table. There was a nice couple already seated when we got in so we chatted a bit. Another couple came by not too much later and they basically took over the conversation. Actually, it was the woman who took over the conversation. She chatted, loudly, throughout just about the entire dinner which wasn't all that pleasant. My poor right ear :(.
Dinner was actually pretty good. I got Fried shrimp for an appetizer and pan-seared fish (Starts with a T, white fish) for my main course. It was quite tasty! Diane got portobello mushroom for an appetizer and steak for her main course. The steak was okay, but it was no Alberta beef. Dessert was also pretty good. Diane got some cheesecake, and I got some sort of black forest concoction. Both were pretty good, although I think Diane won with the better dessert this go around.
Immediately after dinner there was a welcome aboard show, so we went there after a quick stop at the Piano Bar. In that room there literally is a piano bar - a bar with a bunch of keys on it. Diane and I both enjoyed that a lot.
The welcome show was interesting. There was some rather high energy dancing, and singing, and then a comedian came on. He wasn't too shabby -- he got a few laughs out of us, though we've seen better. Tonight he's going to do an R-rated show ... we'll see how that goes.
After the welcome show, we came back to our cabin to collapse and get a bit of rest before the next full day at sea.
This morning we woke up and went to have a little bit of breakfast from the buffet. I started out with a slice of pizza, and then a bowl of fruit from the buffet. Next, we consulted our list of stuff to do and ended up going to the shore excursion talk. We got some tips on what to expect on the excursions and some descriptions of some of the excursions. We'd already chosen ours, so we just went to listen and see if there was any good advice for us to check out.
After that we ended up heading to the dining room for lunch. I didn't realize that we'd have a formal dining option for lunch, but it turns out there was, and I'm glad we checked that out. It was rather good! I had some more pan seared fish (a different one this time), with some california rolls for an appetizer and creme caramel for dessert. Mmm, tasty. Although the california rolls were strangely sweet.
Unfortunately, lunch made us miss the Bar Mixology session. Whoops. But we did go on to a wine tasting seminar which was rather cool. We tried 5 different types of wines. Two whites, a white zinfandel, and two reds. I learned a little bit, but still have a lot to learn about wine.
We hung out for a bit before heading to high tea back at the piano bar. We got some tea and several little tea snacks. Lots of little tasty things including cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on toast, and a bunch of sweets. After tea, we went up and played some win, lose, or draw -- pretty much pictionary. Our team won. Both Diane and I contributed a bunch to our cause by stealing a point from the other team with "Jockey", and drawing birdhouse (me), walking the dog (diane), and sandcastles (also diane). That was pretty fun.
So now it's just about time for the captain's reception and I need to change into my formal clothes (just a nice shirt and pants). It's been a fun couple days and we're both excited to hit Cabo San Lucas in the morning to do our zipline and rapelling session. It should be lots of fun!