The last couple days have been pretty uneventful in the best of ways. We left early Sunday morning after a quick breakfast in the hotel lobby. Stevie’s friend Sarah was kind enough to drive us from Tampa to Cape Canaveral since it was mostly on her way. It took some Extreme Tetris to get all of our bags in a single midsized sedan, but we made it work.
The drive was just over two hours without any traffic, though Stevie and Sarah both lamented the lack of public restroom facilities along the way. We checked into the cruise line and continued to gather more of our group in line, joining forces with Scarlett, Carrie, Michael, and others.
Our group slowly gathered into a single location on the Lido deck, old friends greeting each other warmly, new friends making introductions, and many others finally putting a person to the name they’d interacted with online for so long.
We finally set sail around 5pm after a safety briefing that nobody could hear through the muffled speakers. If the ship sinks, we put on our life jackets and go to the life boats. How hard can that be? We have assigned muster areas, but in the event of a real emergency, is anybody really going to calmly adhere to order?
After the briefing concluded, we broke off to our staterooms to briefly unpack before rejoining in the main dining room for a group dinner. Among many of the gifts our organizer, Gillian, was able to procure for us, each stateroom received a complimentary bottle of wine at dinner in addition to the champagne and chocolates we already had waiting for us in the room. Gillian is the best. From dinner, we all returned to the Lido deck for an impromptu group photo shoot (pictures to come later if/when I get a copy) and play games, then it was off to karaoke with Stevie, Scarlett, and Dustin! Other than ourselves and another family, the room was pretty sparse with a low turnout, but they do karaoke every night so others might be better. The acoustics in the room aren’t all that great, but it’ll do. We stayed until closing, then called it a night so we could get a few hours of sleep before getting up early the next morning to meet the rest of the group at 8 for a 9am debarkation.
Or so we thought.
7am. I wake to get ready for the day and look out my balcony to see the sun beginning to rise. The boat sways more than usual. This ship has fantastic stabilizers; even though my stateroom is one back from the most forward it can be and on the second from the highest stateroom floors (deck 7), we hardly felt any sway all night.
8am. We’re not as close to port as we should be. The boat lists from side to side.
9am. Our scheduled debarkation time. The captain gets on the radio and reports that unfortunately, all shore excursions are canceled due to weather and we won’t be making port. Wind gusts up to 40 knots prevented us from docking safely, so we’re skipping Freeport for now and heading straight to Nassau. We’ll hit Freeport on the way back instead. So today was a sea day.
We spent the morning and afternoon coming and going from the Lido deck, alternately socializing, eating, and basking in the sun. Today is Gillian’s birthday, so we’re celebrating that too. Come evening, it’s time for a formal dinner, followed by bar hopping and karaoke since we’re all dressed up with somewhere to go!