My family has been so fortunate to enjoy some fun family vacations at some spectacular destinations. I am so grateful for these opportunities. It is my hope that writing about them will encourage some of you to get out there and plan your own dream vacations!We began the morning already happily packed. This is one of the times my creative brain works very well with my logical side and I can Plan, to Have Fun. May I say, I’ve got packing down. Four outfits, three pairs of shoes, carry-ons. See my recent post on packing necessities.
For some reason, we had decided to pack two large bags for the family, and check them this time. Upon checking in, we observed that the checked luggage was piled near the area, and we saw one of our bags get on but not the other. So we hovered and watched about twenty bags go through the queue, before they got to our second bag.
Turns out, that second bag never made it on our flight! There was a similar-looking suitcase spinning on the carousel, and I thought maybe someone had taken mine, instead. This was the larger suitcase containing all clothes and shoes for myself and my daughter, as well as our toiletries and borrowed binoculars. My hubby tells me he added his own toiletries and medications to our bag. too. Great. Our airline offers $600 if it is lost, but there remains a possibility it could arrive on the next flight which arrives in two hours. They ask me what uncommon or easily identifiable objects might be inside, in case they need to open it. The first unique item that comes to my mind is my romance novel paperback!
I tell my hubby I think we should take the $600. I can go to Target or Walmart and shop. We cannot wait until 2pm to go shopping, because we have to be at the pier by 2:30pm. So we decide to do this: I take a taxicab to the nearest Target and begin shopping. Meanwhile, my kids and hubby wait at baggage claim. Fortunately, I had made sandwiches for everyone, and the kids enjoy those while hubby calls his doctor’s office to see what happens if he doesn’t take his meds for a week. If the next flight arrives and our bag is not on it, then I purchase. If our bag arrives, then I just abandon my cart.
I happily sail through the girls and shoes departments throwing items in my cart. This part is very easy, actually, as I’ve now memorized my packing plan and I know what items are needed, and there are many 4th of July sales/ clearance items, as well. Perusing through Women’s is much less fun, however. I quickly decide just to abstain from swimming and not even buy a swimsuit. I have to dig deep and search for a black sundress which could double as “formal” night wear. Four tee shirts, two skirts, one pants, one shorts, all complementary colors per capsule wardrobing. Darnit, my beloved reversible necklaces are in my suitcase! I need to buy three bras, jammies, underwear, socks, jewelry for me and hair accessories for my daughter, the whole kit and caboodle. It’s not completely overwhelming, as I’ve still got my wits about me. But it is less fun, now. The whole time I am thinking: Thank God I had the sense to keep my anxiety meds in my backpack! I’ve just sailed through health and toothbrushes when my hubby calls with good news: our bag arrived! I purchase only a few items and run outside to wait for my family.
Their taxi arrives and I eat my sandwich in the cab. We are on the phone with the cruiseline, saying we can see the boat from our taxi, we are only 2 miles away. They say, fine, as long as you are here by 3:30 for the 4pm departure. And here we were rushing to get there by 2:30 per their instructions. We meet our family on the pier and check in together.I’ve brought lanyards for my kid’s Sea Pass Cards, which are our ID’s, room keys, and charge cards while we are on the cruise. Hubby says, “Do I get one of those?” Uh, no, as you are not a kid. LOL. Our Jr. Suite is every bit worth the upgrade we paid! We have a balcony and a walk-in closet, more shelving and drawers than we know what to do with, but most of all, all this space to walk around in the room! Last summer we were in a regular Balcony room, and it was tight quarters. (We learned to upgrade to a Jr. Suite when we sailed to Mexico earlier this spring.) Our nephew is visibly and vocally jealous. I almost feel bad telling them about the walk-in closet. The closet is really handy though, as it also serves as a private dressing area, which is nice when you are travelling with family. One time, when we were just hanging out in the room, I looked up at the kids and said, Where’s Daddy? They said, In the closet! (The rocking of the boat had shut the door on him.) Here are some pics I found online of our Jr. Suite. Beds View Desks View
We are all starving, so our Party of Nine checks out the Windjammer Café (buffet). We all decided to go back for seconds and call it our dinner. Exploring the ship is really fun, there are so many more activities than we are used to. Arcade, Ping pong, rock wall, mini-golf, and surf simulator. It’s too cold to surf or golf, though. My 8 year old daughter proudly carries her notebook wherever we go and takes notes for her daily journal entry. We end up at the Theater and enjoy a welcome production show including singers, dancers, live musicians, and a comedian. The Cruise Director is also extremely entertaining. It’s like he is a comedian, too.
We begin our bedtime routine although it is still sunny outside. Sunset will be at 10:30pm! The blackout curtains overlap, so its all good. The boat is rocking, gently, well, moderately. But I love it. We are on a boat.
Tomorrow is our first day at sea. I can’t wait to explore the ship even more! Plus, it will be Formal Night, which is always fun.