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Monday, January 11, 2010

Departure of Ft. Lauderdale and 1st Day at Sea

Departure of Ft. Lauderdale and 1st Day at Sea
Sunday morning early MA and I stepped out onto our hotel room balcony only long enough to count five new cruise ships including our Emerald Princess getting ready for their new passengers. I say only long enough because it was freezing out there!
Based on yesterday’s lunch experience and the long lines for the expensive breakfast buffet we braved the cold wind and set off for Blimpie’s again where we ordered “Mc-Blimpie” breakfast sandwiches, stocked up on more water and went back to the hotel.
At last it was high noon, time to check out and get to the ship. Between the pleasant surprise of a hotel van service over the bridge to the dock and the smoothest embarkation we’ve ever experienced we found ourselves in Cabin P329 within 45 minutes!
P329 is located on the 5th deck, amidships, starboard (right) side. We couldn’t get a balcony cabin so we’re adjusting to a slightly smaller but still comfortable space. Of course the flat screen TV with the football games on made up for any cabin shortcomings. Our only complaint is the noise. It seems we are right above a mechanical room and we hear all kinds of shifting and sliding and grinding of gears.
If you’ve ever been on a cruise you know there is a mandatory emergency drill for everyone and so off we went to our “Muster Station”. Our “Muster Station” turned out to be in the casino and we found ourselves sitting on high back chairs in front of a row of slot machines. I was trying to figure out how you won on this one arm bandit, when we met another couple, John and Mary Ann from Florida. We soon discovered that like us, their lives revolved around church and family and life vest drills are the only time we all found ourselves in casinos!
John and MA discovered they were both CPAs getting mentally ready for tax season and they took over with a lively discussion of the IRS as only “bean counters” can do! After the drill we cleared up a little mix-up with our assigned dinner hour and table number straight. You have to keep your priorities straight around here! M.A. went to the library while I walked to the top deck and found the NFL game on a huge big screen TV. Again! Priorities!
The Emerald Princess departed Ft. Lauderdale at 5:00pm with three US Coast Guard escort boats and we were quickly rocking and rolling in the Atlantic Ocean. It was rough most of the evening but we are fortunate in that it doesn’t seem to bother us. At dinner later we met one of our table-mates, Stan and Susan from Highland Park, near Chicago, Illinois. Stan’s a Periodontist and Susan works out and spoils her new Maltese puppy.

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