It has been a very hectic week. In the past six days my youngest daughter Alyssa packed everything from her old house into two U-Haul trucks, closed on the sale of her old house, closed on the purchase of her new house, and unloaded the two trucks. And that was just Sunday and Monday! Anyway I am headed to the Adventure of The Seas, with my family and some friends. 10 of us are headed to Ft Lauderdale in two cars, four others will meet us on the ship, having flown from other parts of the country. My alarm is set for 5 AM and I leave the house by 6.
I am on the ship by about noon. The drive was long and I was very tired, but we all arrived safely without incident. Cabins are ready before the announced time of 1:30. By 3 I have found my suitcase about 20 doors down the hall from my cabin. It is rare anymore that luggage actually makes it to your door. We are lucky if it can be found in the general area of the ship where your cabin is. Maybe eventually the cabin steward would find it for you, but most passengers are content to find it themselves and complete the task of unpacking as soon as possible.
The weather is perfect as we sail from Ft Lauderdale just as the sunsets over the city skyline.
Whereas on my past several cruises you could count the number of kids on your fingers, there are over 400 on this cruise. It is OK, I was a kid once, and I can escape to quiet locations on the ship. The benefits of frequent cruising.
This is my first cruise as a "Pinnacle Club" member, having acquired over 700 points with Royal Caribbean. I haven't decided yet how often I will wear my gold badge indicating my status. Maybe that decision will be influenced by the details of a short story.
I recceivd the badge, crystal block, luggage tags etc. a few weeks ago. Now most people would wear a name badge on the left side above any shirt or jacket pocket. However this badge is held in place with a strip of very strong magnets. They seem to hold quite well, and of course magnets will not damage your clothing as much as pins would.
But I also need to tell you that I have had a pacemaker for about two years. Guess how you turn off my pacemaker? Place a magnet over it!
Considering the maturity of most people that reach Pinnacle level, I wonder if someone at Royal figured out this was a good way to trim the ranks of senior customers that are less likely to shop in the gift stores, take excursions, etc. and also the customers they spend the most on in the form of perks like free cocktail parties, bottles of wine, and lavish dinners.
This ship was recently refurbished. More slides were added, and the specialty restaurants updated. The Suites and Pinnacle lounge has been elegantly decorated with marble counters, bright wall paper, and plush carpet. Seating is comfortably spread out and not cramped as often is the case in other lounges.
As is often the case the Diamond lounge is way too small, and the entire Viking Crown Lounge, called the Blue Moon on this ship, is being used for overflow. Both of my daughters have access to the Diamond lounge, my son will after his next cruise I believe.
Most of the group scatters to various venues for dinner. I grab a quick bite in the Windjammer. Despite having been serving dinner for two and a half hours, everything I had was served HOT! Amazing that Royal can do this.
There is little motion to the ship as I retire. In the bathroom of my cabin you can feel a steady vibration from the propulsion system, a vibration not perceptable in the rest of the cabin. I am sound asleep by 9:00 PM. It has been a long day. The next two days will be sea days prior to our arrival in Williemstad, Curacao early Tuesday morning.