Embarkation Day! Because I’m a Gold member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Club we were able to get priority check in. YAY. Trust me, you don’t want to be in line with the masses of people if you can help it. And get to the port early. You may have to wait a bit in the terminal before boarding but that’s better than waiting in line when it gets busy after noon.
We woke up early and went downstairs to the free breakfast at the Residence Inn. It was good and had a nice selection. After breakfast we all showered for the last time that week in a standard size shower. We packed the car and hopped in then went on a quest for a Publix grocery store for some last minute items. After Publix it was a quick drive to the port. We parked and gave our suitcases to the porters. We had to carry our tote bags on ourselves as we had wine in them. Royal Caribbean allows each guest 2 bottles of wine each. That wine (my favorite Moscato) plus my CPAP machine made my Thirty One Easy Breezy Tote super heavy (but I knew that bag could handle it!).
We went through security then up the escalators to check in. We checked in and got our Sea Pass cards. This card acts as your room key, charge card, and ID while on the ship. We were told to take a seat and then just a few minutes later it was time to board! We weren’t able to board until 11am but we went ahead and arrived at the port before 11 to get parked and checked in. So we were one of the first to board. While we were in line we actually met 2 couples from Charlotte.
We went up to the pool deck and to Windjammers, the buffet restaurant for lunch. We secured a table and wouldn’t you know it, right outside our window was the Disney Magic ship! I’ll hopefully see you next year Magic!
While we were having lunch and waiting to get in to our staterooms, Sara called home to talk to my nephews. Joey is turning 9 on January 18 and he was worried about how long Sara would be gone. He asked her “Will you be at my party?” It was so cute! Especially because Sara’s the one throwing the party!
At 1:30 our rooms were ready (deck 7, #7126 & 7128 connecting) so we went to drop off our tote bags (and wine). We put the wine in the fridge and freshened up a bit. We met our next door neighbors (Kristen and John from Nashville. Shout out! Holla!) Sara and Morgan were in one room and I bunked with Gigi. Our connecting door was locked though so we called our cabin steward to unlock it. We left the door open the rest of the trip so it felt like one big room. This is the view of our room from my bed. On the left is the bathroom (behind the mirror). Across from the bathroom is the closet. That skinny door opens to a bunch of shelves. There are 3 drawers in the closet. This picture is of the rest of the room. To my left is the connecting door to the other cabin. There are 3 drawers on each side of the chair at the vanity. The sofa pulls out to a bed. Normally there is a queen size bed instead of the 2 twins. Beyond the coffee table is the balcony. Sara and Momo would call to us from their balcony before the connecting door was open.
Next thing we knew it was time for the muster drill (my least favorite part of every cruise). If you haven’t cruised before this is the very crowded, mandatory safety drill you must go through before the ship can leave port. They sound the horn (SO LOUD OMG!) and you have to line up all pressed against strangers (good people watching though). Then a ship representative shows you how to put on your life jacket. Back in the day they would make you wear your life jacket to this but THANK THE GOOD LORD we don’t have to wear the jackets anymore.
After the drill I had to go by guest services to pick up an extension cord for my CPAP machine. There were no outlets next to the bed in my cabin for some reason. They charged me a $25 deposit and gave me a giant, green cord that got quite a few looks on my way back to the cabin. By the time we got back to the cabin our A/C was working (AGAIN, THANK THE GOOD LORD). We took a wee nap then unpacked and got dressed for dinner.
We had some time to kill before dinner (not many activities on embarkation day) so we went to the Schooner Bar and had a drink. This is a Ketel One Cooler. SO yum. I must say, they had quite a few tasty cocktails to choose from, which is a good thing because all I know is I like fun and fruity. We sat for a while next to the big centrum which was all lit up for the evening. Deck 4 in the centrum is where all the activities were held (little game shows, demonstrations, etc.).
Dinner was in the My Fair Lady dining room. Our waiter was Jon from India and our assistant waiter was Ferdi from Indonesia. I didn’t write down what everyone ate and I didn’t take pictures of everyone’s meals. That’s too much documentation. But I did note what I ate. I started with the watermelon and raspberry chilled soup. Don’t be afraid of chilled soups. They are basically smoothies. Then I had the shrimp cocktail. 3 shrimp with some sauce. My main course was the Mojo marinated pork chop with veggies. Very good. For dessert I had my favorite- creme brûlée. SO yum! It was a banana creme brûlée with a piece of biscotti. I also had hot tea each night after dinner. Sara would get the cafe mocha. She loved it.
Note- Sara is a gluten free vegan. She was able to eat heartily throughout the entire cruise. Each night she would go over the menu with the waiter and they would figure something out for her. So if you have dietary restraints, don’t worry. The kitchen/restaurant staff will work with you.
After dinner we went straight to bed! We were tuckered out! Next up…Coco Cay Day!