Today we start our cruise. We were up early (although we are getting closer to normal) and headed to the Tropics Bar and Grill for breakfast. It's normally a bar with entertainment, but does full breakfast in the morning. The nice thing is it's right on the beach. Lovely view. We were seated, and after a few minutes put in our order. This restaurant had one issue. There were a number of birds and pigeons that frequented this establishment. Usually the wait staff cleared the tables as soon as possible, but there was a table near us that had a lot of food left, and had a protective pigeon having breakfast. Other birds tried to share, but he was hearing none of that. The restaurant puts up netting around most of the place to cut down on the bird population, but the front entrance is still open. I assume if the netting wasn't there there would be a lot more birds.
Breakfast finished, we headed back to the room to finish packing and get ready to head for the piers. The ship starts boarding at noon, and everyone must be on board by 5 PM. We had to check out of our room at 11, but our ride wasn't going to get there until 12:30. We had time to catch up on reading in front of Starbucks. I felt bad sitting there without ordering something, so I did. At about 11:45 I received word that our ride was going to be about 10 minutes late. Not bad. I had figured that the boarding area would be crowded at noon, and if we arrived at 1 we may miss a lot of traffic.
Our ride showed up at just about 12:40. We went to another hotel to pick up another couple, then off to the pier. We arrived at the pier at about 1:10. I had underestimated. There was still quite a line to get through. I guess when you have to check-in and board 2100+ people, it takes a while.
We boarded the boat and discovered that the floor our room was on was not ready yet. We had to wait, but it was suggested we wait at the buffet restaurant which was open and serving a full menu. And what a selection they had. There were tables for salads, entrees, Asian food table. pizza and pasta, dessert, etc. Cheryl said I had dinner for lunch. Nice pork roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, a couple of vegetables and dessert. I don't understand what she meant.
Soon our room was ready. We went upstairs to deck 8 and found our room. It is a cozy room. Not tiny like the train, but no wasted space either. We dropped our stuff (our main suitcases were checked and not yet in the room). We decided to go exploring. We started on the 5th floor, and made it up to the 11th floor before we went back to the room. We saw most of the 16 eating establishments, 12 bars and lounges, 3 swimming pools, a full size theater, a large fitness club, internet center and library (you know we had to check that out), etc, etc, etc.
At 4:45 we had a mandatory safety session at our assigned gathering spot. Lasted about 30 minutes. By now it was dinnertime. We chose to go to a cookout party on one of the pool decks. Lots of music, and the cruise director convincing people to hop into the pool. Quite a scene. Dinner finished, we decided to go to one of the walking decks to watch the ship depart from the dock. Quite a sight. We watched them turn the ship around to head to the ocean. Took about 15 minutes then we were into open waters. We walked around a little more, then decided it had been quite a day, and we have our first excursion tomorrow at 8:00 AM. Time to get to bed.
Tomorrow: The Road to Hana on the island of Maui.