there's a whole lotta pictures in this post, so i'll try to keep the commentary to a minimum. hell, i'll be lucky if i keep your attention through to the end. and this is only day one!
me, in pack mule mode. and you don't even see the backpack i also carried.
being completely spoiled, the teen and i eyed this sign longingly as we walked past. didn't know what kind of fun stuff V.I.P.s got, but we still wanted in. heh.
but we trudged into the line with the rest of the peons. ho hum.
i couldn't take pictures inside. and the uniformed officers weren't messing around, either. they looked mean and i didn't take any chances.
since we'd done our check-in online, the rest of the process was a breeze. we showed our passports, handed over a credit card for our onboard expense account, and then we were on our way. as we walked along, i noticed no less than four separate bachelorette parties, all decked out in matching gear.
we were happy to note that our cabin was located on the same deck we entered the ship on. following the signs, we made our way around to our home for the weekend: good old e-168.
the bean hopped right onto the giant king-sized bed and played with the light switches until she caught sight of the crib that was waiting in the corner. "baby jail," i called it.
even funnier was when she realized that there was a mirror right in front of her. she waved and smiled and flirted with herself as the teen and i busted up.
she lost interest quickly and decided to finish off the chicken nuggets she'd pooh-pooh'ed in the car.
exploring the ship before the mandatory lifeboat drill.
with lifejackets in hand, we made our way to our muster station and found seats in the shade. the bean was given a wristband that was required for all children under the age of 11, which she had to wear all weekend long. oy. she was annoyed with it at first, but luckily she forgot all about it as she settled back and did some peoplewatching.
lunch on the lido deck. there was pizza and soft-serve ice cream available 24 hours a day up there. the latter kind of looked like poop, but the bean was happy to indulge.
"whatchoo talkin' 'bout, willis? this is good crème!"
we didn't even realize we were moving until we noticed these.
those cruise photographers work fast. a couple of hours after we'd taken it, our boarding photo was already in the photo gallery. and obvs, i completely ignored the "no image capturing" sign. oh, yeah. i went ghetto style and took a picture of our picture. but i had to do it quickly and stealth-like, so sadly, it's rather blurry. but you get it.
i'd stupidly forgotten to pack a single bib for the bean. luckily, i discovered that the ginormous cloth napkins did the trick very nicely.
ah, cruise food. ain't nothing like being handed a menu and being able to order anything and everything off of it, without getting stuck with a bill at the end of the meal. in order: shrimp tempura, dinner salad, cinnamon squash/yam/cheddar pot pie (my mom's vegetarian entree, which she shared with the teen), and my flatiron steak with mac & cheese.
the bean enjoyed her hot dog off of the kids' menu.
dessert time! the "warm chocolate melting cake" was like a souffle, without the 20-minute wait. rich, creamy, and delicious.
back in the cabin, we found a walrus waiting to welcome us home. the bean waved a "hello" and blew kisses to it, but refused to get too close. she wasn't touching that thing for anything. and the teen scrambled up the ladder to get comfy in her bunk. even though the king-sized bed was more than large enough for the three of us (because no way was the bean gonna sleep in baby jail. psh, as if), she thought it would be fun to sleep up there.
the bean jumped around in the crib and then decided to check out her sister's bed.
the cabin was very nicely air-conditioned. actually, it was downright frigid up in there. we could've hung meat in it. but hey, after leaving 99+ degree temperatures behind, there was no complaining from anyone. slept like babies, all three of us.
day one, check!