It is around 8:00 am (not exactly sure since there are no clocks in the stateroom and we have our cell phones locked up in the safe). We are waiting for room service to arrive. We are not exactly sure when it’ll arrive since there was not a place to check-off a desired delivery time. Mr. B is fairly certain he wrote down 9:30 am on the card before hanging it outside our door late last night, BUT, it was a very long day yesterday with plenty of vacation medication along the way, so, well, I suppose we’ll know when it shows up!
In the meantime, we are certainly enjoying sitting out on our balcony and watching the beautiful ocean float by below us. It’s a lovely day as well; quite warm already, which bodes well for our plan to hang out by the pool later on.
Our Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle is at 11:30 am in a special section of the Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 11. We’ll get the chance to meet some of the folks I’ve been chatting with on-line since February. Later on this afternoon at 4:00 pm, we’ll head to the Library on Deck 7 to hook up with (probably many of the same people) that plan on going on a tour together in Samana (Dominican Republic) on Tuesday.
It’s the first of two formal nights tonight, as well as a Captain’s Reception prior to dinner.
As with being on the QMII, there is PLENTY to do on board, if we want to, according to our daily Cruise Compass.
Top page of one of the Cruise Compasses. We got one every day.
BTW, our stateroom attendant is Esther. So far, she’s already been quite responsive to the “love notes” I’ve left her stuck to the mirror (someone on Cruise Critic suggested this was the best and easiest way to leave your stateroom attendant a message that they’d definitely not miss!)
A few notes before going to the Captain’s Reception in the Spotlight Lounge on Deck 6.
Room service was delivered to our stateroom around 8:30 am (good thing we got our cookies out of bed when we did). It wasn't too bad, in fact, it was quite decent (far better than the room service we had on the QMII). We need to get a menu for the other food they offer via room service, just in case we ever want to order snacks, or, stay in the stateroom for lunch or dinner.
After eating, I felt sort of queasy; I’m not sure if it was motion sickness or the fact I’m not used to eating “real” bacon and sausage for breakfast. I took a motion sickness pill which basically brought on an immediate wave of sleepiness. So, I actually ended up going back to bed until about 10:30 am.
When I got up and we got ourselves dressed, we met the Cruise Critic folks at the Meet & Mingle. Turns out they were not just those I’d been yakking with on Cruise Critic; a few others, as well. There was food (ugh) and a non-alcoholic punch (this was ok but a bit sweet). There were some RCI staff there handing out a few door prizes. Guess what? Yours truly, who never ever wins anything, walked away with a pretty nifty beach bag. It is bright yellow and HUGE! It also opens up to serve double duty as a beach mat. After chatting a bit at the M&M (BTW, it was sort of interesting to walk into a room full of people we’ve never met and be recognized and called by moniker (Mrs. B! Her DH the CPA!) , we went to Deck 6 to check out our Welcome Aboard picture. Since it didn’t stink (and I didn’t look too awful) we bought it. I doubt we’ll buy any more, though, unless one just turns out MARVELOUS.
We got some lunch from the Windjammer Café and stumbled around looking for a place to sit down (literally because it was a) really, really crowded in there and b) because it was so crowded, we had to go outside to the pool area and it was extremely windy). After eating (at one of the small bars), we tried to sit out in the main pool area but it just got a bit too uncomfortable (I HATE wind), so, we ended up in what will likely become one of our favorite places on board, the Solarium. There are several nice aspects to the Solarium: a) no kids under 16 allowed b) it has a retractable roof c) it’s buffeted from the wind and c) the waiters hang around in there, too. We stayed out there several hours reading an indulging in drinks (already I wonder what our tab at the end of the cruise is going to be like).
Mrs. B hanging in the Solarium!
We met the others going on the tour in Samana at 4:00 pm. Everyone is really nice; I think we’ll have a great time with them. The only issue is someone will have to wait in line to get tender tickets Tuesday morning so we can all go out on the same tender (tender = lifeboat that serves as a ferry from where the ship will be tendered to the pier; Samana is the only port of call where the ship will not be actually docked). There were a few people in the group who are Diamond Members (“elite” status of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society); they think they might be able to get the tickets early from their Concierge Lounge.
After leaving there, we hit the Schooner Bar on Deck 6 for a drink to take back to our room to enjoy while smoking a cigar on our balcony and playing some cards and reading before having to get ready for dinner. There were a bunch of ladies sitting in the bar having a hoot and holler time. I was undecided about what to order and noticed one of the ladies had a green colored frozen drink. I asked her what it was and she almost shrieked at me, “You’ve GOT to try it! It’s so damn good! It’s a frozen Mojito!” She’d obviously tried one or two herself, a good enough endorsement for me so I ordered one and thus began my love affair with RCI’s frozen Mojitos!
Mr. B on our balcony enjoying a cigar
The reception was quite nice. We learned a bit about the ship, the Captain, and his primary officers. The majority of them (as with the rest of the crew) are from a myriad of countries. The Captain is from Croatia. I think his first officer is from either England or Scotland. There is an officer from South Africa, too. Of course, the Human Resources person if from the U.S. What a job this must be!
It was fun looking at all of the evening gowns the majority of the women at the reception had on (not so in the dining room, we were to discover, where it seems the dress code is not strictly enforced, given how many folks we saw wearing jeans and shorts (on FORMAL night, no less)). I wore my bronze dress; I bought it 10 years ago in Colorado Springs to attend an opera. I was sure happy it still fit!
We had our picture taken both prior to entering the reception and then again at dinner. Like I said, we’re not going to buy any (likely), especially since we had Edmond take a picture of us at our table with our camera and it turned out really good.
At dinner on the first formal night at Table 86!
After dinner we went to the Schooner Bar to have a night cap and listen to the pianist. But, alas, I was tired, so, we headed back to #8562 relatively “early” and here I am writing this! We found our first towel creature of the cruise waiting for us as well!
First towel creature. A duck (we think!)