We have just returned from our “Cruise of a Lifetime”. We went on a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise, aboard “Liberty of The Seas” to Roatan Honduras, (well, maybe not), Costa Maya Mexico, and Cozumel. It was absolutely beautiful, and so much fun. Definitely a experience to never be forgotten. So how did this all happen……
A little over a year ago our friends Ron and Theresa were telling us of this cruise. Ron has a Travel Agency on the side, “Get Out Their Vacations”, Check out the FB site. He is always looking for good deals. This trip was a very good deal. Better if we all booked early. He was also signing up friends and family back in his home town in Nebraska. Rich has always wanted to go on a cruise, so we decided this was the time. We would be with Ron and Theresa and others, so they could guide us through all the steps. Ron ended up with 6 couples counting them. That is 12 people, 8 who were first timers. So how did we meet Ron and Theresa……
2 years ago we workamped at Adventureland in Des Moines. Ron was also workamping and worked Rides with Rich. Theresa works from home for a Computer Company. We became friends their and I gave them info on Eastgate, and all the fun things to do in the Rio Grande Valley in the winter. They decided to come down last year and spend the winter. We’ve become good friends. Then they came back this year as a Workamper.
So finally after waiting for a year, the time had come. We all waited patiently for the winter season here at Eastgate to be over. On Sat. April 7th, Rich and I, Theresa and Ron, packed our car, very tightly I might add, and headed to Galveston. The day before, 2 cars also packed to the hilt, left Nebraska with 4 couples. We were all headed for a motel for Saturday nite. Fortunately our trip was only around 7 hours. We arrived first, and several hours later the other 4 couples arrived. Now they had left bitter cold and snow. Ron had promised them sunshine and warm weather……It was cloudy, overcast, and chilly. Jacket weather. Darn…..Its gonna get better, I’m sure…..
We met the couples and alot of visiting was done. It was like an old friends and family reunion. We all ate out, did our last shopping for forgotten things and hit the sack. In the morning, the last minute repacking was done, and then repacked the cars and headed into Galveston. Ron had also arranged parking, which also supplied the Shuttle to the Ship. After we unpacked the cars, we practically filled the bus with luggage and people. We only had 2 medium bags and 1 carry on…..OMG….Some of them had huge bags and many more than us. But we made it.
This was one of our first views of the ship. It was nice to be with people who had done this before. We waited for the porter to load up our bags to be checked. Ron had supplied us with our baggage tags.
We then entered the building and were herded like cattle through the maze of paths to the check in area and then the Customs area where all bags are scanned. Finally we walked up the enclosed walkways and entered the ship.
By that time, our luggage had been checked. Our carryon’s had been x-rayed. Our Passports had been checked and our Sea Pass cards had been issued. These look like credit cards. You buy a lanyard and wear them around your neck. This is your life line for the rest of the cruise. This supply’s your name, room number, dinning room and table number, account number and allows you to purchase anything on board. It is attached to an account that you have set up using a credit card or cash. You will also have taken a photo that is attached to your account. Every time you scan that card, your photo will show for identification. It also has your area to assemble for a life boat drill on the outside deck. Heaven forbid that is ever needed. Late in the cruise, we were given some facts about the ship which I’ll share now. The ship can actually hold almost 4,000 passengers. The crew amounts to over 1,300 representing over 50 countries around the world. At the beginning of a 7 day cruise, they load 496,000 lbs. of food on board. Every day they cook 26,000 meals. It is amazing.
Our rooms weren’t ready till 1pm so we went to lunch. We found the Windjammer Café which has the buffet. As we entered we met the Washy Washy man. There were several Purell dispensers. They are encouraging everyone to Washy Washy your hands so you don’t get Sicky Sicky.. He would sing his little jingle over and over. Everyone loved him, especially the kids.
We walked past tables and areas of food. Their were several other resturants on our way to the Windjammer. Once we arrived, their were islands and islands and so many stations of food to choose. All the tables in the dinning area were around the outside lining the wall to wall windows. What a view. Right now we were still in the Port overlooking Galveston, but I just couldn’t imagine what it is going to look like once at sea.
We choose our food and drink and sat down to eat. We watched as a window washer attachment with a worker washed the windows one by one. We found out they are constantly cleaning on this ship. Never a dull moment. Cleanliness and trying to be germ free are so important to Royal Caribbean. They were constantly cleaning and disinfecting the miles of handrails on the stairways, cleaning all the glass, as well as even the dust that accumulates in the corners. They are an amazing crew. Purell dispensers are everywhere. Finally while eating, the announcement came, our rooms were all ready. Windjammer Café is on Deck 11 and our rooms were on Deck 6 on the inside. We have a window overlooking the Promenade.
So Ron and Theresa herded us all to the elevators. They said to expect the elevators to be so busy the first day, and they were right. Finally we got one, arrived at our floor and walked down the hallway. Ron had positioned all our rooms together near the center of the ship. He said it is the best for first timers to see how the movement of the ship might affect them. I was anxious to see our room, as I had always heard rooms were so small. I was impressed. I really was laid out very nice. King Size bed with rounded corners, a nice L shaped sitting area with coffee table, and a desk area.
The window was overlooking the Promenade Deck which is Deck 5. What an awesome view out the window. We would be able to watch all the people walking and shopping down below. So many shop, restaurants, bars and entertainment will be going on in this area. You can see the other rooms across from us. So now what about the bathroom.
It was very close but also very efficient…Plenty of room for all your essentioals, and the shower was just a capsule, lol, but it was fine also. We had brought 2 medium sized suitcases, so we unpacked quickly, hung up everything we could, and placed everything else on the shelves in the closet. Just enough space for us. I really don’t know how the others with their huge suitcases did it. We had everything in our closet. They also had a safe for valuables, and of course a TV. Now we had the announcement that at 3:30, we all had to go to our designated spot on Deck 4 on the outside for Safety training. Another words…...If an Emergency and the ship is sinking….How to save yourself in a Life Boat…..lol….TITANIC??? lol That’s what came to my mind….. We all gathered in our designated areas. Everyone had to check in by our Sea Pass cards being scanned. It would begin after all had arrived. Training was quick and easy. Finally it was approaching 4pm. That was the time to leave. Ron and Theresa lead us up to the Heliport in the front of the ship. It was a great place to watch our departure. It was freezing and so windy. Also in the dock was a Carnival ship that was leaving at the same time.
He had told us about the Port Webcams. I sent the link to the kids. Tammy was watching as we left the dock area. We were on the deck right below the little white windows. After Carnival left, we cast off our lines and we started our adventure.
Also in the Port was the TALL SHIPS. They were so small compared to us, but so impressive. They were so beautiful with their tall sails and many flags waving in the wind.
So here we sat on the benches around the front of the ship. The wind was blowing, we were freezing. Remember we just came from the Rio Grande Valley, 80 and 90 degrees. It was only in the 50s. I guess we are wimps now. We were now embarking on an Adventure. We were a floating ship as big as a city. Everything was aboard that we would need for the next 7 days. So as we were leaving Ron knew where the different cameras were in the distance. He was watching the camera feed on the website also. He told us when to wave….
AND WE DID…….Tammy caught this shot of us on the Web Cam……I’m of course the short one, Rich is next to me. Ron I believe is on the edge of the Photo…….Pretty amazing isn’t it…….So this is the beginning of our Adventure for the 7 days. So much to learn now about the ship, so much to see, ……SO MUCH UNKNOWN YET……For many of you, I’m sure you’ve been on cruises, but for us its a “CRUISE OF A LIFETIME” This is actually Ron’s Quote, and he’s so Right. This is Just the Beginning…..