The BobLog, Sunday, January 11, 2004.

Got up, after waking up a few times.  Think the mistake was to eat such a big meal right before going to bed!  Oh well.  It’s a nice day here, still a little windy, in the 60s.  We got our bags all packed and tagged for the ship pickup.  I saw the guy that picked up out stuff, so I felt a little more secure…

We decided to eat at the restaurant here at the hotel, as there didn’t appear to be any good transportation available.  All of the hotel staff are busy with the people leaving for the cruise.  The restaurant had a buffet for a mere $14, of which we partook.  We met a couple there who is also going on the cruise, from Alberta, Canada: Leo Schafer and Linda (Gould). Good people.

Mom needed to get some enzymes, so we took a cab to a GNC store that was just a few blocks away.  I thought the cab ride was mild, mom felt otherwise. Heh.

We checked out time at noon, and are waiting in the lobby for our transport to the Ship.

We were transported in one of 6 buses to the port, which took off after some wait.  Princess is real good about waiting for those people who booked their travel through them.  We waited for one such person.  And later in the day, the ship waited for someone to arrive before leaving (about 30 minutes late).
Check-in at the port went quickly, except that mom could not find her driver’s license (which they required).  She finally found it, and all was well.  There were several other cruise ships in the port (hopefully seen on the pics I will be uploading).

Our room is very conveniently located next to elevators, and is a nice room.  It took them a while to deliver our baggage, which finally arrived in full sometime after 5pm.  We went to grab something to eat, did some walking around, then came back and unpacked the bags that arrived.  Our cabin is close to the middle of the ship.  Check out the view down the hallway!  These pics show both directions.  Can you see the end?

We have a nice deck outside.  This pic shows the shoreline of Ft. Lauderdale:

We have a nice cabin, with an extra little sitting area:

After everyone was aboard,  there was a emergency drill that was required, which took around 15 minutes.  It was close to time for dinner, so we headed down to the assigned dining room.

There were quite a few people in line!  The ship is pretty much at capacity, which is 2500 visitors and 1200 staff, for a total of 3700.  Most of the staff are from other countries, and do NOT have English as their first language.  Our room guy is Ruben, and you have to listen very close to understand him.  He’s a real nice guy though, and everyone here is more than willing to help you.

We opted for the traditional dinner seating, which means they assign people to sit at your table.  We sat with a gentleman who used to be an Air Traffic Controller who now lives in Arizona, A couple from New Jersey, and another couple from Denver, CO.  (Pictures will be in tomorrow's log.)

The ship departed just before we went to eat, and the water was pretty rough.  The ship was definitely moving, and in the line waiting to enter the dining room, people were grabbing anything they could to stay up.  Its pretty amazing that something this big would sway like it did.  Mom had some queasy feelings, but got over it.  I was fine, but the wife of the couple from Jersey didn’t fare so well.  Sheila was using a Dramamine patch, but it apparently wasn’t kicking in.  She went to her room, without eating.

The food was real good – I had a chicken and pasta dish, mom had the salmon.  The food was very gormet-ish, but the portion was small (in my opinion).  After I finished off the plate, one of the servers asked if I wanted another.  Sure!  Hehe.  Nice. 

After that, we went to see one of the shows at the Princess Theatre – a comedian was there.  He was pretty funny.  They have all live music, and there was a small band playing before and after him.  When we first arrived, there was a reggae band with steel drums playing on one of the decks.  An excellent pianist was playing on the “first” public floor level in an atrium, and there was another band playing at a different location.  All the mixers here for the various locations are Yamaha 01 digital boards (not sure the exact model), with various different speakers.

The guy in the Atrium:

Mom checked out some of the shops, and I checked out the internet café.  They were selling jewelry by the foot in the Atrium area:

Back in the Internet Cafe, I found a way to plug in to their network, so I’ll try this tomorrow and see if I can send this off.  We stopped by to snag a snack, and came back to our room.  Pretty tired!  It’s midnight, and I’m off to bed.

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