9 Oct 2006
|Today we boarded the cruise ship Mercury. The whole boarding process was a bit of a drama. As we are non US citizens, we were directed to another area to be processed there. Not too much of a worry but as there was a lot of US counters open, you would have thought it more efficient to let people like us go to an available counter. I mean, surely that would speed up the process.
We had our photo's taken for souvenirs and also for security. Our hands also had to be disinfected with this hand wash. As we went through the process of boarding we had to also fill out 'gastro' forms to state whether or not we had it and were we healthy. These hand wash areas are all over the ship and you are also expected to do it as you enter for dinner. It's a clean feeling but the smell isn't that great.
We arrived early for the cruise but were allowed on straight away...after all the rigmarole! They had put on lunch for us and as we had not had breakfast, we certainly looked forward to a meal. Well we stopped at the place we thought was right and Mum had a chilli dog that she couldn't taste the chilli in and I had a burger that was edible but nothing to brag about. After we had finished, we took our welcome cocktails with us for a walk...only to find a very nice buffet luncheon through the doors. A lot better food but you live and learn. It reminded me of a cruise that I have been on before. But at least this time there was no bug in the food.
The cocktails were pretty potent and it took us a while to drink them so we wondered around until the announcement was made that we could go to our cabins. So we headed off and found our concierge class cabin on the penthouse deck. Beautiful. The room is of nice size and the bathroom is huge for a ship. The shower was much bigger than I had expected. We also have a balcony with a side table, two chairs and a table. There was a bowl of fruit with scrumptious grapes, banana, orange that Mum enjoyed tremdously, a pear that she didn't enjoy so much and an apple that has yet to be eaten. Lets not forget the bottle of Champers that I think will be sitting there for a little bit. So much it's kind of overwhelming.
The emergency drill had us all in our bright orange life vests and those things are not made for anyone who has a larger bust size. We took ourselves down to the meeting area with everyone else which left the casino in a sea of orange. Would have been a good shot if I'd had the camera with me. After we all arrived there and were given the instructions on what to do in case of emergency, we were then moved out to were our life boats are. We liked the fact that they weren't the little ones that we had seen earlier but the big propeller ones that had roofs. Yes paying that bit more for a better cabin also gets you better service if the ship sinks. There will be no titanic, locked in with the rats episode for us.
The ship headed out at 5.15pm and there was a band on to entertain us. They had lots of things happening and we found one area that had a place were you could have a few of the ships areas of activities etc explained to you and we also were given raffle tickets. We sat down and waited for the draws but of course won nothing. What a shocker. Quite handy actually as we don't really have the room to store a $500 art work.
Our dinner was the main one at 6pm so we headed on down and joined the pack that seemed quite ravenous. You wouldn't have thought that some of them had only eaten half an hour prior. Food never stops being served on here. We were taken to our table of eight and started the intro's. There was Pina and her mother-in-law Mary, Swan and her husband Wayne, and Danelda and her husband Art. The two others of course were us. Wayne used to be in law enforcement then he was a judge for a while before now being retired. I guess they get paid really well as he only looked in his late forties maximum. Art was a homicide detective for twenty years but now also retired. It seemed that their wives had no previous employment, as best as we could gather at least. Swan was from Indonesia and that is where she met Wayne. Pina is a Vancouver local. Not sure where the husband/son was. All in all, it was an interesting mix and made for non stop dinner conversation.
After dinner we had a bit of a wonder around till 9pm when the comedian was on in the theatre. He was fantastic. Some ladies down the front told him he had to earn there laughs and applause and he went with that joke all night. He was brilliant and didn't mind taking the piss out of himself to get a laugh. As Aussies, we like that. He was on for about an hour and a quarter and never skipped a beat.
We headed to the casino after and just so that I could say that I gambled in there, I put all of one dollar in a machine...and promptly lost it. Well that was all they were getting from me. Mary however was having a great time and I get the feeling that gambling is one of her usual habits. I think she's around late seventies and she's a right royal crack up. We like her.
Well after a long day we retired to our room. In our room we found a complimentary tote bag inside another smaller bag. Not bad and it's getting to the point that we need the extra room. We had to buy clothes for this cruise so the backpacks are getting tight.