Monday, January 22, 2007

1/12/07 - 1/13/07 Traveling

(The morning we left - procrastinating).

e started our day in Placerville. Today was the day that we needed to pack, because of course we consciously decided to procrastinate until the bitter end. We spent about 2 hours gathering all of our belongings we wanted to take, finally got the car packed and headed to Fernley to drop off the dog at my mom's house. Approximately 4 hours later we arrived. It normally only takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there, but of course I hadn't stopped the mail yet (which we did on our way), and we had to turn around and go back to the house because I forgot all of our traveling money. Yikes!!! So now we were running late - but we did get there in just enough time to hang out for a couple of hours before my step-dad drove us to the airport. We arrived with about 20 minutes to spare before we boarded the plane.

We hopped on the plane (a wind-up plane if you ask me - too small), the first leg of our 3 legged plane adventure and headed towards San Francisco. If you are wondering why we were headed west versus east when we clearly had to go to Florida, your guess is as good as mine. Thus is the wonderment of the airline industry I guess. After a short 30-minute flight, we were in San Francisco. We then boarded our second flight from S.F. to Chicago, which was a much bigger plane, you know, the size that you actually feel safe flying in. Approximately 4 hours later we arrived in Chicago, only to have another short hour layover before boarding our third and final flight to Ft. Lauderdale, which took almost 3 hours. If you are keeping track, we have already traveled for over 20 hours to simply get to the ship, the Star Princess.

We finally arrive at the port after hailing a cab and see we the boat. After having sailed on a number of different cruise ships, 5 others to be exact, I am pretty sure this is the biggest cruise ship I have ever been on. Exciting!!! Not much about cruising excites me anymore since I have been on so many cruises, but I was impressed.

(The view from our balcony looking right)

After a short waiting period at the dock, we board the ship and are welcomed with many many many 'Welcome aboard the Star Princess' greetings. We find our room and deeply exhale as we have finally arrived at our next adventure. We open the door to our room and find that we are impressed with how the room is laid out and the size of the room. We see a queen bed, a sitting area, dressing area, two TV's, a decent sized bathroom with a bathtub, not just a stand up shower, and a nice sized deck with 4 reclining chairs and a table.

(Shawn sleeping as soon as we got to the room - but at least you can see what the room looks like)

We sit on the couch in the sitting area and relax for a bit. Of course our deck was too inviting to stay inside, so we sat outside for a bit before going to the buffet.

(This was our wonderful balcony! We had 'lots of fun' on the balcony during our trip.....don't ask). :)

By this time we were hungry, thirsty and exhausted. We grabbed some fruit, cottage cheese, a bit of pasta for Shawn and some drinks. (The first thing we did when arriving was purchase the drink package that allows for unlimited soft drinks throughout the cruise. Shawn loves Coke, and I am a big fan of soda water and lemon).

After a snack, we inspected the room for bed bugs (which appears to be bug free) and retired for a short period of time for a nap. During our nap was the mandatory boat drill which we were determined to skip because of our exhaustion - and because we have sailed so many times we find it's pretty repetitive. So, I talked to the cabin steward and informed him that we were tired and would not be attending. He, of course, was opposed to us skipping the drill, but after some convincing, he made sure I knew where our muster station was and allowed us to nap.

Of course since you aren't allowed to bring your own luggage aboard, we had to wait about 4 hours for it to be delivered. During our nap the luggage deliveryman came by 3 times to deliver luggage (while we were napping of course). The first two times he gave us the wrong luggage, but in his defense another passenger had written our room number on her luggage. The third times a charm apparently because we finally got our luggage. So, while Shawn continued to nap, I unpacked, hung our dress clothes and proceeded to disinfect the room (I am a bit anal about this, but I bring bleach wipes to clean everything from light switches, TV remotes to all touchable surfaces in the bathroom). This process is a must for me - I have watched way too many 20/20 specials about germs in hotel rooms, so I disinfect everything (let's not talk about the bed we are sleeping in though please). Plus, it makes me feel at home because I can touch things with comfort.

About 6pm Shawn finally woke from his nap, or should I say good night's sleep? We showered, got dressed and went to our first dining room dinner. Shawn had a spring roll appetizer, creamy mushroom soup, salad with thousand island dressing, and a really good chicken and pasta dish. I ordered a beautifully sliced fruit appetizer, beef broth soup with wild rice and julienned vegetables, salad with thousand island on the side and grilled salmon with asparagus on a bed of cous cous. Both of our meals were wonderful, everything was cooked perfectly. The meal portions on this cruise are much bigger than I have experienced in the past. Plus, they have wonderful options for those that are watching their caloric intake.

After meeting Roy and Diane, our dining mates who were quite a bit older than us but great conversationalists and pleasant to be with for an hour or two, we headed off to the welcome show in the theater. The show consisted of singers, dancers, the ship director talking about onboard activities and finally a standup comedian. Nothing about this show was too notable, but was fun to attend nonetheless. By this time it was past 11pm, so we headed off to our room to relax, watch some episodes of 24 season 5 (gotta love Kiefer Sutherland) and go to sleep. We have nothing really planned for tomorrow, which is a day at sea except breakfast in bed and a workout at 10:30am. We will see how tomorrow pans out.

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