Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boarding the Ship

Today has been a long day, but a great day. We left the hotel around 10:30 in the morning. A snazzy black SUV picked us up to take us on the hour-long ride to Port Canaveral, where we quickly checked through security.  As I passed through the metal detectors, a guard stopped me and said, “What do you think you're doing? You can't get on this ship!” I froze, feeling startled and nervous. I couldn't get on the ship? What? “You're going to have to go buy a Longhorns shirt somewhere because no Aggies are allowed past this point.”

A smile broke across my face. I was wearing an A&M t-shirt. Of course, the guard was only teasing me, so we exchanged fist bumps and grins after I passed through the metal detector. “We're cool, we're cool,” she reassured me. “We can still get along.” What a Longhorns fan was doing in boarding the jpgFlorida, I'll never know.

We are traveling with Royal Caribbean's "Freedom of the Seas."  The ship is HUGE and very fancy!

Boarding the ship was a little nerve-wracking for me. I'm terrified of the ocean, as many of you know, so as I stepped over the bridge and onto the slightly rocking ship, I knew there was no turning back.

It really isn't that bad. When I walk, I can feel the rocking of the ship the most. Dad says he feels like he's drunk or something and I see what he means, even if I've never been drunk. The ship moves up and down between steps, so it's easy to lose footing. Luckily, none of us is seasick.

Our room is very small. Amy, Luke, and I all have to fit into three twin-sized beds and a bathroom that somewhat resembles an airplane restroom. However, the beds are topped with memory foam and soft sheets, so while we are in cramped quarters, we will be comfortable.

In our room is a balcony that overlooks the ocean. At first, the balcony made me a little nervous, but now it's not so bad. For a little while, we enjoyed pointing out stingrays and jelly fish that we could see bobbing just below the surface.

We put on our bathing suits and Amy, Luke, and my Dad all went for a swim in one of the several swimming pools on deck. Mom, Nawnie, and I decided to tan instead, laying out on beach chairs and relaxing. I'm not sure if I tanned at all, but the sun sure felt nice. We get complimentary ice cream and soda wherever we go.
sun bathing in the jpg
At four-thirty in the afternoon, the ship departed, quickly leaving the shore behind us. We are now only surrounded by a deep blue ocean that tucks behind the curve of the earth. No islands are in sight at this point. Tomorrow's journey will be entirely at sea.
foamy ocean jpg
fancy dinner at jpgWe took dinner at a nice restaurant where we met our waiter from Tunisia. He's a very nice man and I'll enjoy getting to know him over the next week. He has a very thick accent and it was hilarious to see him try to communicate with Nawnie, who is half-deaf and forgot to wear her hearing aids today. With everything he said, she'd smile and nod and not understand a single word until I finally tapped him on the shoulder and said, “She doesn't have her hearing aids, so she can't understand a thing you're saying.” We all had a good laugh.

We went to see a show after dinner. At first, a very corny musical group performed, which made us all cringe with dread. Was this going to be the entire hour-long program? Thankfully, a comedian came and spoke, and two acrobats performed as well. Overall, it was a great show.

Now we've returned back to the room. The door to our balcony is wide open, so a light breeze is drifting into the room where I sit. I can hear the loud sound of the waves crashing against the boat. It's a little eerie to look out into the black ocean. The sky and water are both very dark. It's a little frightening. The water is so big and deep that it could easily swallow me up and out of sight.
It's best to not think of such things!

Anyways, it's been a great day so far. I can't wait to see what is in store for tomorrow.

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