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Published: November 22nd 2009
I was up pretty early so logged in to check on some emails etc and soon thereafter John was online too (3 hrs earlier due to time differences) so we skyped some more. Lin was half awake during some of the conversations and did eventually pick up on the balcony when he asked about my surprise again. She was thrilled so that was good. Finally said goodbye to John which was hard since we probably won’t be able to Skype again till I get home next Sat.
We got ready and headed down to breakfast which was a pretty good buffet. I hadn’t arranged for a shuttle to the pier and figured we’d just take a cab over about 11. When we went down they had one of the shuttle drivers take us over so that worked out . It turned out to be a very good time to arrive. Last year we had to wait in line for about an hr before they opened checkin but this time there was no line. We dropped our bags off (and the porters did have staplers to put on the new on-line print your own luggage tags), filled out our health questionnaire, and checked in all very quickly. They must have just started boarding the ship before we got there since they were calling for group #3. We were giving group #13 so headed upstairs and sat down to wait for our number. They went pretty quickly and it was probably only 15-20 minutes before we were having the traditional picture taken and on board the ship.
Lin is a big Ohio State fan and of course this ended up being the day of the game with Mich which I guess is a big rivalry. So she was assuming they’d be showing the game on the ship. Since the cabins wouldn’t be ready till 1:30 we decided to get lunch and then head to the sports bar so she could watch the game. We checked the dining room menu but decided to go to the Lido instead. I had the Chicken and she had the roast and everything was very good. But when we headed down to the sports bar found out the game she wanted to see was not the one they were or could show. They only have ESPN and the game was on ABC (or one of those like that). Someone else was keeping up with the score by texting a friend so they knew what was going on and they did show some highlights during half-time etc. I played with my DS game while she watched. Our cabins weren’t actually ready till about 1:45 but when announced we headed down to drop off the carry-ons.
Our balcony was on the land side so we decided to head back out and watch the boats etc up by the pool. Lifeboat drill was scheduled for 4:15 and she didn’t want to deal with the steps on it this time so we went and got our life jackets about 3:45 and went and sat in the lounge on deck 3 early. It was the normal drill and a bit warm out on deck with the jackets on but it’s important to know where to go and what to do so we’re now fully trained. We dropped our jackets in the room and then headed to the Crows Nest for Sail Away and the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. A few others showed up so we introduced ourselves and then everyone headed out to watch the sail away. The carnival ship left first followed by the Princess one and then we were behind that. Another HAL Ship, the Noordam, was behind us leaving the Costa ship as the last one out for the day. It’s always interesting to back down the channel and then turn around these big ships with all the small boats around but they have it all down.
We then headed down to the cabin and our luggage was there so I unpacked while Lin was on the balcony. She didn’t want to get changed for dinner so we headed up to the Lido where they were having a BBQ. We found a table by the pool and the steaks were very good. She then went down to pack and I headed out to check out the Casino and entertainment. Well the Casino took my daily contribution quickly so I wondered around to see what else was going on. The only entertainment at that time (about 8) was Marisha and the HAL cats in the Queen’s lounge. They were actually pretty good and taking requests from a long list provided on the table. It ranged from Motown, old standards, and even some Prince song that I’d never heard. They took a break just before 9 so I headed over to the Piano Bar. Les was just getting setup. He didn’t have a microphone yet but started in and they eventually brought one for him. He was playing requests too and was very entertaining with people singing along. He even played the Devil went Down to Gerogia which was oddly good for on a piano. About 10 I headed to the Main Stage for the show there. It ended up being an introduction to the cast which is much larger than on the other ships. I think a total of 14 (10 dancers and 4 singers) and it looks like they may be pretty good. Will find out tonight. They also had some game shows including one with couples loading food on trays on one of their heads and dumping it into barrels. I watched that for awhile then headed down for the night.
So that’s the trip so far. Will finish this off for now and get ready for mass.
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