Sunday, January 13, 2013

Navigator of the Seas ---- Day 1

Saturday January 5, 2013

We finished packing and loaded up the car this morning.  We put a luggage tag on a case of water.  We wanted to make sure we would have drinking water in the cabin.  

We left home just before 11AM.  We drove down to New Orleans and parked at an off-site parking garage called Fulton Place.  It was about half the cost of parking at the port and provided covered, secure parking and a free shuttle.  I reserved online and we had no trouble presenting our email receipt and finding a place to park by the elevators.  A man came and loaded our luggage and water onto a cart and we rode the elevator downstairs to wait for the shuttle. 
Finally the shuttle came.  Our bags were loaded on and we took about a five minute ride around the port and were offloaded by the ship.  We decided to check two bags and a case of water with the porters and proceeded into the building.  Because we had never cruised before, we had to get in the back of the 'general boarding' line.  The line moved pretty quickly until we got to the security area. 
It seemed like everyone and their brother were setting off the metal detectors.  We laughed about people and how they could not be prepared.  I took off my belt and put it in my purse.  We didn't bring a laptop with us so we only had two small bags, a camera bag and a purse to put on the conveyor belt. 
Then it was my turn to walk through the metal detector.  When I went through the alarm went off!!  What??  The security guy asked me if I was wearing a watch.  Yes, yes I was.  So I had to go back through, remove my watch and try it again.  I was THAT person who set the alarm off!  So, we were laughing at me then. 
We got in the check in line and it moved relatively slowly.  Not quite as slow as the security line though.  Finally it was our turn to check in.  We were using our birth certificates and driver's licenses.  We did not get passports for this trip.  It seemed to take a little longer than the people who had passports.  I also had to show our marriage license.  Soon we were finished though and the lady handed us our sea pass cards. 
We stopped at a concession stand and bought a sea pass lanyard for Brian and then we were on our way.  Around a corner, up the escalator and through the long hallway onto the ship on the outside deck, 4.

We had arrived at port at about 12:45 and were on board around 2 PM. 

 We turned toward the aft of the ship as our room was back there.  We put our sea pass cards into the machine, smiled for the camera that links to our account and declined the welcome aboard photo.  We entered the doors and headed for the stairs.  We went up to deck 7 and to our room - 7688.

The blue rectangle is the location of our room.  This is deck 7.  We were located on the aft corner on the port side.  

We had a long walk to the cabin each time.  But it was worth it - as you will see in our pictures.  

This flag was flown at the back of the ship when we were in port - but not while underway. 

A boat on the Mississippi River. 

Our luggage hadn't arrived yet so we dropped our carry-on bags and went out to explore before the guest assembly, or muster, drill. 

The beautiful three-level dining room. 

An example of a table in the Swan Lake Dining Room - on deck 5.  This was the upper level of the dining room and where we would dine as part of My Time Dining - more on that later. 

Because we had arrived later in the afternoon, we decided to skip the Windjammer Buffet and head to the  Cafe Promenade for lunch.  

Brian had a prosciutto sandwich and I had a ham croissant.  He had coffee and I began a long series of hot chocolate encounters.  Yum!

Next we went to Royal Caribbean Online on deck 8 to set up our online account information.

This is how we would communicate with home while we were gone.  

More exploring . . . 

Brian on the promenade 

Then it was time for the muster drill.  

There was a huge Christmas tree on the promenade.

We found our way up to the spa and took some pictures on the way.

Then it was time for sail-away.  We were right up front when the captain blew the horn.  It made me jump.

The following are some pictures from New Orleans as we sailed by on the Mississippi.

Looking back at the bridge.

 We went to a raffle there but didn't win anything.  It would be a recurring theme throughout the week :).

Back down the long hallway to our room.

Our luggage had arrived including our case of water!  

Here are some pictures of our cabin. 

We spent some time unpacking and we unloaded the minibar fridge and filled it with our water bottles.  

We spent a little time on our balcony taking pictures of the river and then decided to head to dinner.  It was casual dress for dinner tonight. 

We signed up for My Time Dining.  That means that we could request a table for two and eat at our own time.  Although we could have, we didn't make reservations before we left home.  The dining room was full when we went to eat so we made a later reservation.  However, we ended up cancelling that reservation and headed to the Windjammer Buffet for dinner that first night.  It was wonderful.  We both had prime rib and lots of other yummy stuff.  There were hardly any people there and we got to sit at a table by the window on the very back of the ship watching the river go by.  

Two ships passed us in the river that night.  

 A Carnival ship.

And then a little while later . . .

A NCL ship.  Pretty neat to see them go by so close.  

Then we headed to bed.  

A very nice first day!


Wife of the Farmer said...

Nice pics of your first day. Neat that you could bring water, we didn't think of that when we cruised. I'm sure you found out, there is NO lack of food offerings aboard. Looking forward to more pics.

The Resident Farmer said...