The heart sank when the taxi rounded the corner and Pier 91 was dwarfed by the giants of cruising…..The Explorer of the Seas is 12 decks of glitz and glam and 1800 passengers of varying degrees of enthusiasm all trying to embark. Full marks to the staple contoller whose job it was to staple the stateroom tag to the luggage. He didn’t miss a beat when I only got 2 staples instead of the regulation 3.
Already LSM was missing the background drone of the motorway outside the windows of the cosy, old-fashioned airbnb you see in the lower apartment block on the right of the image below…what had we let ourselves in for…….hmmm!
Top marks also to the organisation of the customs, immigration and boarding staff of Royal Carribean – extremely efficient and friendly. HOWEVER, the call of “washy, washy” from the perky handwash distributors on board soon became less than fresh. Yes, I know the intent is to foam every last germ out of existence so that minimal infection strikes, but we are now waking up to Day 3 and my hands are so clean they reflect the light from the chandeliers.
Yes, the ship is large, the stateroom is very comfortable, the deck fittings are sheer bling, the orientation past the mini-gold course to the daily walking track (9 laps equals an American mile) is easily accessible, and discovering the HUGE eating area offering a pleasant assortment at the Gluten Free corner have all been part of that initial Wow! Factor.
The first evening was the Unlock the Past genealogy conference rego, group dinner (succulent salmon), and our first lecture……copious notes, fun anecdotes and the program was off to a flying start.
Day 2 was a very rocky intro to sea cruising…….yes, my fears were coming true. LSM was so woozy he only managed the first lecture before he retired to cabin to regain his equilibrium somewhat. The conference program saw more note taking in the morning, but the news that all handouts and lecture notes would be sent to Dropbox saw an immediate stopping of penmanship. Lectures became relaxed and lots more new and interesting family history info was absorbed. LSM ate a green aplle wnich quelled the motiin pronlem and he rejoined the flow after lunch.
All relevant info for friends and family will be sent personally on my return and no further details of the program will haunt the blog….phew she hears!
So after a full program from 8am to 9 pm and the first of the formal dining sittings last night (LSM looked dapper in his formal kit!), we were quite weary and the ship has now manoeuvered in to calmer waters.
The sun is glistening on the water, the rocking has stopped and we are heading for Juneau – and no doubt a fun shore day – if we can avoid the many jewellery outlets. So it’s all aboard for trivia, library exploration, shore time, and more conference and nightlife after dinner tonight.
Blog you in a couple of days…🚢🙌🍾🕶🍹🍺🇺🇸