Monday, January 7, 2013

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Sunny – 82F

Embarkation Day


The Cruise Itinerary

No need to get up real early as our shuttle ride to Port Everglades is scheduled for 11:00 AM.  Our ride is complimentary since we booked our reservations (ages ago) before the ride picked up a surcharge of $8.00.

Waffles for breakfast (a La Quinta tradition) and soon we are on our way to the port.  There are five ships in port today including the Celebrity Silhouette and the Crown Princess. 

Not much of a crowd at our terminal and although they didn’t have our sea passes printed, they soon came and we were on the ship.  The buffet was not quite set up for the passengers who were starting to come aboard but eventually we did get some pizza and salad.

Ft  Lauderdale tugs and freighter (Small)

Tugs maneuvering a freighter into position

Ft Lauderdale condos (Small)

Ft. Lauderdale Condos

We made our usual visit to the Maitre D’ who gave us the usual news – no openings at the first seating.  We asked for Select Dining (open for us on the last two cruises) but that was also booked.  He assured us he would find us something in the next day or so.

We are in Cabin 5015 – Port side forward (in front of the “Door:).  5015 is a nice cabin with a “roomy” bathroom. 

20121220_Cabin 5015 (Small)

20121220_Cabin 5015 1 (Small) 

Cabin 5015 – Pretty nice

I met with the Cruise Director, John Grantham (from the US) and Jamie Potter (Activities Manager from the UK) at 5:15 PM in the Library.  There are several enrichment personnel on board – me, or course, Uncle Marty Harrington (Destination), a Smithsonian Journey speaker (Dik Daso - Aviation), a water color artist (Maggie Nevens), a certified Zumba instructor, and two clergy.  Even though we are speaker heavy, Jamie indicated that I would be giving all eight lectures.  John and I taped an interview during which I sweated like a porcine (the lights are hot). 

IMG_20121219_Interview with John (Small) IMG_20121219_Interview with John best (Small) IMG_20121219_Interview with John 3 (Small) IMG_20121219_Interview with John 2 (Small)

Interview with John Grantham

We missed the initial sail away but we did get out on the deck just after sunset and got a nice sail away photo.

Ft Lauderdale Sail Away (Small)

Sail Away and Sunset

20121219_Ships position 1 (Small) 20121219_Ships position 2 (Small)

Ship’s Position at Sail Away – check out the wind speed on deck

Dinner tonight is in the Garden Cafe Buffet.  Not that many choices but I did get a very nice made to order pasta (sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, garlic, and onions).  A nice option the next time we wind up in the buffet.

The Rendezvous Lounge features the “Celebration Band” with a girl vocalist (with a foreign accent), and three backup musicians.  They are very entertaining and perform at a comfortable volume level.

20121219_Band in Rendezvous (Small) 20121219_Rendevous Band (Small)

Celebration Band

20121219_Kindling in Rendezvous (Small)

Kindling in the Rendezvous Lounge

The Opening Night show was pretty short – A Swedish A Cappella (yes from Sweden), Trocadero took up most of the half hour.  There was a demo number by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers and a description of the Celebrity Life activities by John and Jamie.  Short and sweet.  Best of all, the volume of the music and microphones were set at a comfortable level and not at the deafening level on previous cruises. 

Note: The background music on this ship is actually “background” music and set at acceptable volume levels. 

20121219_Opening Night 1 (Small)

Opening Night Celebrity Theater

The rest of the evening was spent in Michael’s Club listening to pianist-vocalist, Eddie Covarrubias.  Not the classical type of vocalist but he makes it work and the atmosphere in Michael’s is very relaxing.  It looks like we have two nice acts to keep up entertained during this cruise.

Lights out at 11:30 PM. 

Seas are smooth.   

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