Friday, August 2, 2013

Cruise- Day 1 & 2

I'm back, and I still don't have my land-legs (I'm not exactly dizzy, but the earth seems to gently roll back and forth a bit). I'm leaving again, next Friday, for the Michigan Fiber Festival, but at least there, I'll have internet access.

So, there's no time to dilly dally- here, mostly in pictures, are the first two days of this amazing journey.

 At the Aberdeen Regional Airport, waiting to board the first flight of the day, to Minneapolis. From there, I went to LaGuardia. I have no idea why I was routed through LaGuardia, but I caught glimpses of the Statue of Liberty, the new World Trade Center, Central Park, Manhattan, and many cool bridges before we landed.

I had plenty of time to become disenchanted with LaGuardia itself (not enough chairs, and not a single charging station or outlet anywhere that I could see), because we were on the plane, and then off the plane, and then back on the plane, and then taxi-ing for an hour, due to GPS woes. I arrived in Charleston 3 hours late.

Luckily, my high school friend DeeAnn, waited for me at the airport (for 4 full hours... above and beyond the call). We drove to the Airport Radisson in Charleston for the night.
No matter where you go, no matter where you stay, every motel room has one of these. The staff and food at the Radisson were all great, as was the shuttle service and the free parking, so it seems churlish to complain that the room was a bit shabby (and on my return stay, it was downright sad, with a broken toilet seat and no plug in the sink, etc). But we slept well, and they got us to the port safely, and on time.

 Our luggage in the lobby, waiting to be transported to the ship. It got there before we did, and was delivered to our room later in the afternoon.

 Standing in line, the first of several times we had to show our passport and boarding passes. It was very hot and sticky.

 First sight of the ship. It's a Big Boat.

  Closer. We weren't allowed to take any pictures during customs/arrival, but we got our Sign and Sail Cards, which doubled as ID (except when we needed Passports), room key, and credit card for all on-board purchases. I have a feeling that many people were very surprised at the total at the end of the cruise.

 I didn't realize how fuzzy this shot was until I got it on the computer. Here's the big glass elevator in the central lobby. We're talking sensory overload, here.

 This is the Lido Deck, where the pool and hot tub is. It was very hot on the Lido deck and I did not spend any more time there than necessary. I wasn't about to get in the pool with 2,000 screaming teenagers, and had no desire to get in a hot tub when the air temp was over 100 (up on the Lido deck, anyway, which was open to the full sun and yet sheltered from any breeze at all) and the humidity matching. Many people did enjoy all of those things though. The interior of the ship was nicely air conditioned, so we didn't have to be any hotter than we liked. Except during the safety drill, which took place on the Lido Deck... I almost didn't make it.

Our room was bigger than I expected, and nicely appointed. It was small, but there was plenty enough room for us. Every morning someone made the bed, and every evening, someone turned the bed down, left chocolates, an itinerary of the next day's ship (or land) activities, and a towel animal. I'll do a post of the assorted towel beasties in a day or so. We had a window (did not open), which was lovely (and cost an extra $100@- worth it).

At sea around 5:00pm on the first day, passing Fort Sumpter.

Me, on the deck, already with the Humidity Hair (soon to become a Cruise Theme).

We conked out early that first night (well, every night), but we spent most of the first afternoon just exploring, and getting kind of lost (though all Cruise Employees were very helpful).

Official photo of the ship.

Us, on our first day on the ship (they take your picture everywhere, all the time- you'd go broke trying to buy them all). This is a photo of a photo, not a scan, so it's not totally clear.

I don't know how clear this will be, even if you click on it, but here's the ship layout and some helpful colored dots.

Tomorrow- first day at sea and classes.

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