I would have written about the cruise last week, but as usual, I lost my pictures somewhere in the computer and couldn't find them. I got some help so I'll try to post them now. Some of these aren't my personal photos, but are from the cruise line's web page. I wanted to use them though, because they give a much better view of the ship than I could myself. This first one is the promenade with a bunch of shops.
Today I'll talk specifically about the ship and tomorrow about our ports of call. We went on the Royal Caribbean line and the ship was the Mariner of the Seas. It was like a big floating apartment building. We heard it was 50% bigger than the Titanic and carried 3200 passengers and 1200 crew members. Our stateroom was on Deck 6, toward the front of the ship.
We boarded about noon on Sunday and immediately went to the buffet for lunch. Then we were able to go to our rooms after 1:00 and we both took naps; we'd been up since 4:30 that morning so we could catch our shuttle. Our dining time was 6:00, which I thought was a very reasonable time for dinner. We ate at the same table with the same people every night, but for breakfast and lunch the table and people were all different. The dinner menu had six appetizers and six entrees, then the dessert menu also had six desserts. After the second day we learned we didn't have to choose; we could have as many as we wanted of everything. It was great! Then of course the buffet went on pretty much all day and in addition, there was a cafe on the promenade that was open 24 hours and served pizza, sandwiches, pastries, cookies, and milk, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Now after all this "free" food available, it was interesting that when I came home I'd actually lost half a pound! Yay overactive thyroid! (Lloyd was not so lucky, but he doesn't want me to say how he did.
Some of the facilities and activities on the ship were amazing. There was a climbing wall, a basketball court, a miniature golf course, at least two swimming pools and two hot tubs, a casino, an ice skating rink, a library, a promenade with several shops, and a bunch of stuff for kids like an arcade. There were planned activities going on all day but most of the activities we didn't participate in, like the men's sexy leg contest and the belly flop contest. We still managed to enjoy ourselves. For one thing, our room had a balcony and we spent some time out there reading (we did like the library).
Every night there was a live show in the big theater and we went to all of them. (There was also a movie theater, but we never liked what was playing.) The shows were like vaudeville revues with singing and dancing, and then there were comedians, jugglers, a motown group, and an impressionist. Great fun! One night we saw an ice-capade show at the ice rink that was AMAZING! Especially when you figure that the ship/floor was moving and not stationary. Also, there were smaller venues, like bars, that had some good music too and we enjoyed them also.
Coming back was when we had some rougher seas, but the ship was so big it wasn't too noticeable most of the time. You could tell you were on something moving though and not on land. One afternoon the ship was swaying so much that the water in the swimming pools was really sloshing over the sides in waves. They said they had to keep filling the pools because the water kept sloshing out.
During the show on the last night, the cruise director told us about some of the odd questions he'd been asked by passengers. Here is a partial list of them with some of his answers in parentheses:
1. Does this elevator go to the front of the ship?
(This is not the starship Enterprise; our elevators only travel up and down.)
2. At what elevation are we traveling?
(Think about that one for a minute.)
3. Does the ship produce its own electricity?
(Actually we run a line that's plugged into the port in L.A...)
4. Does the crew sleep on board?
5. Is the water in the toilet fresh or salt?
(What does it matter?)
6. What do you do with ice sculptures after they melt?
7. How small does my face have to be for the mini facial?
Can you tell we had a WONDERFUL time? I don't know if this was a once in a lifetime experience or not, but I sure would like to do it again.
Tomorrow, I'll tell about the ports we visited and the excursions we went on.