Tuesday, January 10, 2023

December 22, 2022 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Partly Cloudy - Warm

Embarkation Day

The room was indeed quiet, and I think we both got some sleep. I went down around 7 AM (breakfast was from 6:30 – 9:30 AM) early enough to get a show of dawn skies from the hotel.

Right near the elevator is a really neat photomural of an airplane jet engine.

It was a modest breakfast, but they did have waffles.  I had some Product 19 and a waffle, and I tried a little bit of a chocolate muffin.  The coffee was OK, but the disposable cups were small.  The breakfast was passable.

Checkout was 11 AM but we had that extended to 11:30 AM.  The shuttle do the cruise port was run through a third party and ran $15 a person.  I went with Uber instead.  I called one Uber but as the car was about a minute away another driver appeared on the app.  The ride was $10.12 including a $2 “booking fee”.  Our driver did not get out of the car to help me with the bags so NO TIP.  Port Everglades is really close to the hotel and we were there in no time. We had to show ID to enter the port. Celebrity Edge was docked at Pier 25, but you could see the huge ship before you got into the cruise port. 

We dropped our bags with a porter ($5 tip) and headed to security and check in.  We had digital express passes so our visit with the Pier Coordinator was short and probably not necessary.  She didn’t ask for anything and said we could get on the ship.  We went to the Oceanview Café on Deck 14 Aft for lunch – a salad for me. 

We are in Cabin 3195, the second one from the end of the corridor.  We were in 3197 the last time we were on Edge, which abuts one of the restaurants.  We do have a neighbor in 3197 and we will see how quiet he is.  Cabin 3195 seemed smaller this time round, but this was probably due to the larger cabins we have been in since including an upgrade on the Apex.  Still, it’s a great room with a spacious shower and bathroom.  

It does lack closet space but we don’t usually bring much along so no problem there.  There is no real place for our shoes, so they are out of the way on the floor. 

We checked in with Restaurant Reservations and made 5:30 PM reservations for Tuscany for tonight and Normandie for tomorrow.

We attended the Chanukah celebration in The Club, which was led by a rabbi from Aventura FL.  We got there at 5:02 PM and missed the candle lighting.  There was a great turnout, and everyone joined in the songs – the rabbi played a guitar.  We couldn’t stay for the latkes and sufganyot because of our dinner reservations. 

As we headed Aft toward the restaurants, I did get a shot of the Central Plaza.  This area is usally extremely loud but it was a bit quiet now and I took a shot of the dance floor.  I was never able to figure out the names of the various bands and groups playing in the Plaza.

The dinner in Tuscany was OK.  I had the wedge salad, but it did not come with much dressing, so I asked for more.  I had the Branzino and it was OK – like Halibut.  We both had the mushroom flan and I thought it was tasty but gooey. We both had apple pie a la mode for dessert. 

The show tonight in the theater featured comedian James Demaris, who hails from Texas. James was introduced by Lewis Power Stannard, the Cruise Director, who, like all CDs has a little shtick he does when he comes on stage (in this case a little pirouette that stops the music).  Before the show started, Lewis shared some passenger information - there are folks from 60 different countries on board. Strangely, there aren't that many Canadians. There aren't as many Americans as you might expect and there are also a lot of non-English speakers on this cruise. There are also 270 kids on board. 

James was pretty offbeat and sported mid back length dreadlocks, which he kept clearing away from his face.  His act revolved around his time entertaining the troops in Iraq.  His humor wasn’t rib tickling, and he was difficult to understand but there were some funny bits, in his act. The theater wasn’t full, but the turnout was OK.

The letter in my room said I was to meet with the Activity Manager, Crystal Ott, at 8:45 PM in her office.  We had some time so we stayed in the Club to watch “True or False” one of the many game shows they run on board. Crystal and her staff ran the game and winner got a Celebrity trinket. Crystal said that she was from Oklahoma – she doesn’t have a trace of twang.

At 8:45 PM, we went to Crystal’s Office (Starboard Side just before the theater entrance on Deck 4).  She wasn’t there yet but Bill Fall, the Priest, and we were all crammed into the small office space. We said hello to the Cruise Director, Lewis.  Crystal finally arrived and spent quite a while with the priest trying to figure out all of the masses and other Christmas events.  When she got to us, it almost seemed like she didn’t know who we were.  That is pretty close to the truth since she did not have any of our information from shore side.  I wound up emailing my topics to her – I don’t know what Bill did.  It turns out that neither of us is speaking on the first two sea days.  There are only three legitimate sea days left in the cruise so who know what kind of schedule she will come up.  I would be happy to just be a quasi-passenger and not give any talks if it came down to that.  I asked her about my travel receipts, and she told me to email those to her.

Out next stop was the iCafe, where my internet was set up.

Back in the room for the night.

The room was not made up for the night.  I called Guest Services and an attendant, not ours, showed up.  He said our attendant was sick – swore it wasn’t COVID – and was unable to do the room – shouldn’t someone be assigned his room until he gets back?  Anyway, we told the attendant that the room was OK for now and he did leave some chocolates. 

Here's the itinerary for this Caribbean Holiday Cruise.

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