Monday, July 9, 2007

RFamily Cruise, part 1

Yesterday, our friends Maya and Laurie arrived early bird style at our hotel. They had taken a red-eye from California and needed a place to hangout before we all headed to the big boat. They were pretty tired upon arrival so Maya, teenager that she is, immediately cocooned herself into the bedspread and napped until just before we left. Meanwhile, the rest of us headed to Brooklyn Diner on 57th for a fabulous breakfast. I cannot say enough good things about the Blueberry pancakes with lemon zest...Yummy!! I made a very last minute decision to trash my large suitcase, as this was going to be it's last trip anyway. So before we went to breakfast I ran across the street and picked up two bags, one purple and one orange. This made my bags more noticeable and storage so much easier on the ship.

We weren't far from the terminal, but we did have 5 people with at least 8 bags!! However were we going to get to the port? Never fear, hotel guy was near!! He called a company that had those big ass SUVs. We piled into the SUV, luggage and all, and arrived safely at the port terminal. I can't imagine driving in NYC...chaos at it's best. After unloading our bags, finding a porter and being directed to proper place we started our cruise adventure. The lines weren't bad at all and moved quickly. We got to the desk and began our check-in process. It was a bit hectic as we didn't receive the proper papers to fill out before hand. Also, they kept Sofie's passport since it was from Ukraine. (She doesn't have her US Passport yet, so we had to use the Ukranian one...that was expired but no one seemed to notice!!) After finally checking in, we headed to the place where they take your picture, pre-cruise. We anticipated that, so we all wore our different variations of RFamily tees. Little did we know that the background was a green screen, so when we saw the pictures Debra head was floating without a body because she had on a green tshirt. Live and learn.

We'd been warned to bring a change of clothes because they weren't sure when we'd get to be in our rooms or when our luggage would arrive at our stateroom. Sofie wanted to cannonball into the pool...which she did, but was quickly told that there was no jumping in the pool!! We were able to get into our staterooms quite early and our luggage arrived a couple of hours later. I was hungry and cranky by mid afternoon, so I headed to one of the two restaurants that were open...Blue Lagoon. I actually almost walked right past it because it was so small. I've never thought of cubby's as being restaurants, but apparently size doesn't matter on the ship. I found a booth and waited and waited and waited. Finally, someone came took my order and I waited and waited and waited some more. (This was probably an exaggeration, but like I said, I was cranky and hungry!) The food was actually pretty good. Tomato soup and a burger.

The remainder of the day was low key. That evening we received our "FreeStyle Daily" which gave us the list of goings on, so I highlighted what I thought we'd each like to do, then gave it to Debra to see if she wanted to add something. Since this was our first cruise we had no idea if we'd actually get to attend any of the workshops, but we worked it out.

Today is Sunday, the first FULL day of the cruise and there was so much going on! After breakfast at the Garden Cafe, we dropped Sofie off at Kid's Crew(much to her disdain.) We wanted to attend the "Making Schools Safe" workshop that Family Pride created. It was an incredible workshop. Well organized and informative. I'm impressed with what Family Pride is doing for our families.

The afternoon was swimming with Sofie in the sea water pool...yick...yes, sea water! It was de-salinated but still salty and gross to taste and painful to get in your eyes! We're still getting in the groove of things, so by weeks end we'll probably have our regamine down pat!

The evening entertainment was "Rosie's Broadway Belter's." Laurie agreed to hang out with Sofie in the room while Debra and I attended the show. Sofie was tired from swimming and wanted no part of Kid's Crew. (This is going to be a problem, I can tell already!!) We were grateful to Laurie, but apparently it wasn't hard because Sofie slept and slept and slept. We ended up going to dinner after the show because Sofie woke up hungry. We trapse off to the Garden Cafe...again...for lovely buffet food.

Tomorrow is another day, so maybe we'll eat somewhere other than the Garden Cafe!! Oh, to wish.

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