Cruise Day 1
We all got up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (wait, seriously, where DID this saying come from, anyway?!) early that Friday morning, packed all our last-minute toiletries and then loaded up the van. We had a general time-line we had to follow, so after a quick run to the store for a few things we needed, we drove through the golden arches and headed up to my in-laws' house. The plan was that everyone was going to meet up there, and then we'd take a big hired bus to the docks. This would make it easier, since there were 14 of us in total going -- my family of 4, lem's parents, his mom's parents, his brother and brother's fiance, and his aunt and uncle and their 2 kids Matt and Nate. Whew! A lot easier to coordinate if we all meet up and ride together. The weather was GORGEOUS.. sunny, warm, no rain at all.
Loading the bus:
We're heading to the ship!
Mother-in-law Kim digs for something while Megan plays on her DS.
Lem's brother Noah with fiance Allie. Hi Nate waaay in the back!
Nate and Adam smiling in the back. I think Lem is asleep.
The Grandparents and awww isn't she cute?
We made it to the docks with no problems, retrieved our mountain of luggage from the bus:
and proceeded through check-in. We found out a few days prior that we *might* need a notarized letter from my ex stating he was aware we were taking the kids out of the country (Canada, geesh).. and he obligingly got it to us. Good thing, cause they asked for it! *whew*
The ship! Pronounced "zan-dam" which of course leads to all sorts of stupid merchandise using the " 'Dam
We were greeted on board by a string quartet, who were VERY good. Lem says they were Russian. I think that some of them looked really young to play so well:
And then walked past the center of the ship by the Main Office, where they had this ginormous pipe organ that played by itself, and had little figurines around it that played instruments by themselves, clockwork-style.
I didn't take a bite out of the pic, it was a lamp in the foreground.
We all headed up to the Lido deck to catch some lunch while our rooms were being prepared:
NOM NOM NOM hey look, it's Seattle!
We headed down to the room to dump our stuff, we were fortunate to get an Ocean View room this trip, though honestly the windows were so HORRIBLY FILTHY on this ship that it gave light, but not view. The little bit of extra elbow room and slightly bigger bathroom were worth it, though.
A quick pic of the boat harbor next to the ship while we wait to sail away, I liked the sea wall:
Then we checked the kids into the kids' programs (separated by age) and Lem and I headed up to the Crow's Nest to relax:
We all kind of did our own thing during the days, and the whole family met up each night for dinner in the Rotterdam Dining Room, where you couldn't wear jeans/flip-flops/t-shirts. You can imagine the kids were Sooooo enthusiastic about this but I told em TOUGH it was payback for us going on the cruise. Lem looks excited about it too:
waiting outside the dining room for the rest of the family to show up.
The wait staff..um.. waiting. Most of the crew seemed to be from Bali, and a lot of the guys would sing under their breath as they cleared tables or poured drinks. I asked one guy to translate and he haltingly described a sad love song. It sounded better in Indonesian.
Still waiting... it takes a while for over a dozen people to all converge:
Hey! Is that Jaws?!!
Brad and Diane and their kids get their turn sitting next to G&G. Brad
is my mother-in-law's brother.
Daughter Megan looking lovely.
And it's the Patriarch! Lem's Dad arrives in style.
Soon followed by his mom and brother.
Grandpa sits next to Megan just so he can annoy her through dinner. Love it! Kim shows off her bling.
The sun beams in on Megan and her Grandpa
All the corridors on each level had prints and other artwork on the walls. Each level was sort of themed. Ours was nautical pictures (go figure). This was on the wall near the elevators. Rather neat looking painted tile:
After dinner we headed back to our room to change back to comfy clothes. Every night at dinner your room steward (ours was Daniel) goes in and makes the beds up.
Lem opted to sleep on the side that's partially under Megan's bunkbed. And then spent the entire rest of the cruise banging his head on it whenever it was down. Yes, Megan brought both her blanket, and Big Black Doggie. Mmm chocolates.
Adam's bunk, which used to be the couch:
We then wandered around the ship exploring:
The back Lido deck outdoor (heated) pool. What the?? What's with the cows?!! Must be just for you, Dad:
At the Crow's Nest, looking down alllll the stairways:
Lem and I crashed early, it was a long exhausting day. Adam stayed over in the other boys' cabin and Megan I think stayed up watching a DVD in our room. The ship had tvs and DVD players in all the rooms, and a very extensive library of DVD's you could borrow (2 at a time) from the Main office. Thus ends Day 1 !