Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Vacation Day 2: The Breakfast Fairy
After a quiet night at the Disney complex, everyone except Dad was up early and raring to go. My brothers took their families over to breakfast early, and Mom waited while I showered and dressed, then we went over. I guess the best description of the building was a giant food court with central cash registers. Mom bought two coffees and went off to get us a table, and I got in line for an omelet & some bacon.
While I was standing in line, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I'm going to pay for your breakfast."
She wasn't anyone I'd ever seen before, and my first thought was that she had mistaken me for someone else. She explained, however, that she and her family were on a package tour to DisneyWorld, and they had cards for a meal plan. She had twenty-four meals left on her card and they were leaving that afternoon, so she was wandering around the cash registers paying for people's breakfasts. There was a big line behind me, so when the cashier asked if I wanted to go get two beverages which were included, I just asked for two coffee cups. We each had coffee and took three cups back to the hotel so that Dad could have some right when he woke up.
By nine our luggage was on the bus, and by noon so were we. There was another Disney infomercial for the hour and fifteen minute ride to the port, and then we checked in, went through security and boarded the ship. The Pickypants and Crossword-Mathgeek families stopped to get ID bracelets for the kids, so Mom & Dad & I went on ahead.
Like my mother, I tend to react to stress when it's over, so it was Saturday that I developed a splitting headache. As we came on board, the atrium was filled with people and noise, and I noticed a crew member was announcing the people before us as they walked in, using a microphone and calling for cheers and applause. She tapped my arm, and asked my name. I replied, "I'm Pamela, and please don't announce me, my head hurts."
She let me pass without fanfare, and the three of us found the elevators and located our stateroom on Deck 8. It was quite nice, small but with a ton of storage space. I particularly liked the separate teeny little rooms for the toilet/sink combo and the shower/tub/sink combo--it meant that one person could be using one room while someone else used the other. Plus, I prefer not to leave my toothbrush in the same room as the toilet (Zayrina will understand that).
Once we had dropped off our carry-on bags, we headed to the buffet restaurant on Deck 9. We met up with the rest of the family and grabbed a very large table to have lunch. The buffet was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were also three sort of snack stands on Deck 9 by the pools, one with fruit & deli-type sandwiches, one with hotdogs & hamburgers, and one with pizza. The buffet and snack stand foods were all adequate in quality, but far from gourmet. However, the self-serve beverage station was available 24/7, and unlike other cruises (or so I've heard), free.
After lunch, we dispersed to our cabins because there was an emergency drill at 3 o'clock. Let me tell you, faithful readers, someone with a 38G bra size looks scary in a life vest. I had a giant orange flotation device floating on my built-in flotation devices, and the damn thing nearly stuck straight out!
There was a big party on Deck 9 by the middle (family) pool to wave goodbye to land. I'd thought the atrium was loud when I boarded, but it seemed like a library compared to the music and crowd noise at the party. The younger of my two nephews (Alabaster Pickypants) is sensitive to loud noises. I think he's got really good hearing like his dad and like me, and he's just plain miserable in situations like that. I offered to take him to the back of the boat where it was a bit quieter, and he sat at a table and listened to his IPod until we started to move. There were people waving from shore, so we waved back and said goodbye to Florida.
Saturday night we had our first dinner. There are two seatings and three restaurants that serve dinner. Our group was table 47 in the second seating, and we rotated through all three restaurants. Our waiter, Emmanuel, was absolutely amazing. Our assistant waiter was good in the service-with-a-smile department, but not so great with speed. Right now, I don't remember what I had for that first meal, but I do remember that the dessert was an absolutely magnificent strawberry shortcake.
I can't speak for the rest of the group, but I know that Mom and I were in bed and asleep by 11. It was a pretty eventful day!