8-23-13 Friday (Day 1, Travel Day)

2013-08-23 013Mom and Aunt Donna took us to the airport for our 9:30am flight. TSA was pretty quick.  We boarded the plane and unfortunately sat right across from the lavatory.  Several times, unpleasant odors emitted … OK, it friggin’ stunk at times.  The flight was 5 hours long.  Most of the time we entertained ourselves by playing Angry Birds.

After a safe and mighty fine landing, we made our way to the baggage claim.  Jim called a car service (for $45 + gratuity) which was awesome.  A towncar was waiting for us right outside the airport doors.  The ride to the port was probably 30 minutes.  We checked our luggage in with the porters and walked into the cruise terminal.  Using concierge priority check-in, we got through the security quickly… well almost.  Their scanners picked up an iron that Jim packed (I wasn’t aware). Irons and candles are no-no’s.  They confiscated the iron and gave us a receipt for it.  We have to pick it up at the end of the cruise.

2013-08-23 023 Above: Claim Ticket of Shame.

Cruise ItineraryThe next stop was the cruise ship check-in. The line was long but with priority check-in we jumped the entire line and got right to an agent.  It was so awesome!

Once we boarded the ship we were greeted with a glass of champagne.  Gulp, gulp, gulp.  We stopped at some guess-the-price-of-a-painting-contest thingy... mostly because it was in our path.

Naturally with everyone boarding and using elevators, the wait time looked lengthy.  We found a different set to use at the other end of the ship.

Eventually we arrived at our cabin.  The size is typical for a veranda room but there’s storage galore.  We unpacked our knapsacks (laptops and CPAP) along with 2 carry-ons.  As for the 3 large suitcases, they’ll get delivered later. 

2013-08-23 018Above: On our veranda.

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Here’s a room tour video.  It was taken several days into the cruise:

We freshened up a little and headed to find some food.  The Oceanview Café has numerous buffet stations.  We ate lite since it was already 3:00pm and we have dinner reservations at the specialty restaurant for 6pm.  Our lunch view was of the Space Needle.

2013-08-23 020Above: A fantastic lunch view.  The tint gave it a weird color for the photo.

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Each evening, we get canapés for 2 in our room.  It was part of that concierge upgrade we got.  I don’t have photos of every night but I do have several.  Here’s our first night.

2013-08-23 025Above: Very small portions but perfect for a before dinner snack.  You can see the order form to the left of the plate.  This one was melon balls, humus (we started eating prior to the photo), olives and a light and flaky tortilla chip of some kind.

Dinner at the Tuscan, a delicious Italian restaurant.  Mmmmm so good.  It was the first of three specialty restaurants we purchased in a package. The ship had already been in motion for about an hour.  We were seated at the windows which over looked the back of the ship.  We started with bread service, 3 types to choose from. The waiter presented an antipasto selection on a tray.  Prosciutto, mozzarella, artichokes, etc.  Our appetizer, braised ravioli was good.  Next up, French Onion soup, pretty good.  Salad was arugula with fried goat cheese balls.  Our main course was a delicious and perfectly cooked filet mignon accompanied by sautéed spinach (not that great) and a good macaroni and cheese.

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As I said, the filet was great but we were warned at time of ordering that it would be cooked accurately but the light through the windows would make it appear well done.  He was right, even the juice on the place looked dark.

2013-08-23 028Above: Jim’s dessert plate.  The strawberry was coated in a hard sugar which had a long thin strand atop it. 

After that dining experience, we were thinking maybe we’d be spoiled for the remainder of the cruise.  Great service, yummy food, fantastic presentations and an awesome view.

The show for tonight was an introduction of sorts.  Some orchestra music and some dancers, nothing special.  Mostly it was all about meeting the cruise director and what we’d be experiencing for the week.

Miscellaneous:  Here’s some video tours of Lobby/Foyer areas:






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