Tuesday, April 7, 2020

February 10, 2010 – Ft Lauderdale FL – Mostly Cloudy – 80F

The room turned out to be quiet, after all – even barflies have to sleep. 

I went down to the restaurant for the breakfast buffet at 7:00 AM.  On my way, I took some early morning pictures of the pool area (no one there).

The breakfast area is large and there is a lot of seating; I got a nice seat away from the crowd.  I had some oatmeal with brown sugar (not so good), self-made waffles with jam (a little underdone but OK), and some scrambled eggs (seemed like real eggs and OK), and a mini-sugar donut.  The coffee was a fair distance from the food but the drink itself was OK.  When I got back up to the room, Ellen went down to get her breakfast.

We scheduled a shuttle (gratis) to the Reflection (the hotel does it ship by ship) at 11:30 AM.  We were in the lobby a little after 11 AM and departed for the port a little late at 11:40 AM.  The ride, in spite of the traffic, took only 10 minutes and dropped us off right at the Celebrity Terminal.  We tagged our bags and went up the stairs and through security (very fast) and to the check-in agent (most of the folks must have already checked in as there were no lines).  After some discussion about entertainers, we did get our SeaPass cards, had our picture taken, and boarded the ship.

Our first stop was the tremendously crowded Oceanview Café.  Ellen scouted around and found us a table.  I had a salad from the salad bar, a spoonful of both tuna and egg salad, and a slice of tomato pizza (kind of Margherita) (good).

We checked in with Shorex about escorting – the agent took our contact info and said she would call us (we knew how this would turn out).  In a few minutes, we went down to check out our cabin – 3521 – the first one behind the door on the port side (one in which we’ve been before).  The cabin was clean and stocked (amenities and hangers).

I dropped off my computer bag and we headed upstairs to the Solarium

where it is quiet and we can read.  We will most likely spend most of our time up here until the chlorine fumes become an issue.  Cracking the windows will help.  The Solarium's large windows provide great views.

I have started “The Fix”, the third book in the “Memory Man” series by David Baldacci.  The Amos Decker novels always have a good hook and this one did, as well.

The safety drill took place at 3:30 PM and we got another dose of “Agent Blair”.  Newbies on board thought it was great.

At 4:30 PM, I met with William Cabiaux (from Belgium), the Entertainment Manager, to go over the lecture schedule for this cruise.  His list and mine (supposedly generated by the same folks) had the same titles but in a different order.  I said I would modify the presentations to match his list.  My first talk would be in the theater at 2:15 PM tomorrow.  He also gave me the Wi-Fi code that will give me internet and texting on one device - at a time - for the duration of the cruise.  The Cruise Director for this voyage is Rich Clesen, whom I’ve not work with previously.  The destination speaker is Bill Cashell, whom I’ve not worked with before.

Although we have departed from Port Everglades numerous times, we still went out on Deck 4 to watch the sail away.  This time, we were on the starboard side away from the condos and beaches.

When we got back to the cabin, our bags were there – we unpacked and changed for dinner.  We also met Leon, who would be our room steward for this trip.  Based on our conversation, he is going to take real good care of us on these voyages.

At 5:30 PM, we went to the Opus Dining Room (Select Dining option) and asked for a got a table for two - #505 (we won’t get this one again as there is too much traffic passing by and the table density is high).  We set up a recurring reservation at 5:30 PM with the hostess (from Mexico and very personable and helpful).

For dinner, I had the Cesar Salad (not good, surprisingly), the mushroom soup (good but thin), the seared salmon (good), and cheese ravioli with tomato and alfredo sauce (OK – just tried one).  Ellen had the same thing but no salad.  We shared a real tasty slice of apple pie and had decaf and chamomile tea.

The headliner tonight is comedian, Louis Ramey, a new act for us.  

Louis was funny and cutting, even throwing in some political jokes that got equal cheers and boos.  Nevertheless, he was the funniest comic we have seen in some time.  A great show.

After the show, we went to hear the “Velvet Duo” (guitar and vocal) in the Ensemble Lounge.  

They were really good but a bit loud so we had to find a seat that toned down their decibel level (which was 62 on my phone app).  Ellen even spoke to the singer about the volume and she said something about the sound system.  We’ll see if the volume is lower going forward.  Also, we liked the vocals but the instrumentals on the electric guitar were a bit much in such a small venue.

The next stop was the room with a stop for water and some sweets at Café Baccio.

Celebrity does leave chocolates on the pillows at night – it might seem like a small perk but I missed that on our last cruise on another line.

Note about Cabin 3521 – this cabin is home to a veritable zoo of noises – little clicks, buzzes, and mini-whines.  We have come fully prepared with a full box of earplugs.  That should do the job.

Seas are smooth.

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