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Monday, April 29, 2013

Embarkation: Ft. Lauderdale and 1st Day of Eight at Sea


Embarkation: Ft. Lauderdale and 1st Day (of 8) at Sea

The Ruby Princess is currently 24 hours from Ft. Lauderdale far into the Atlantic Ocean.  Sunday morning M.A. and I took the hotel shuttle for the short ride to cruise port. This cruise port is very organized and efficient. 

We’ve cruised with Princess several times over our ten years of marriage so we have some perks and one is a shorter check-in line. We found it, went through security and got our boarding passes in about ten minutes. There was just one problem; the ship was not ready to accept passengers, so we waited in a large room with all the other “platinum and elite card holders.”
 

The call finally came and we boarded the ship and found our cabin on the 12th deck. Our room is nicely furnished with a flat screen TV, desk and chair, and lounge chair. We also have a balcony with a table and two chairs.  One of our other “perks” is 500 free internet minutes. While that might seem like a lot, if you’re surfing they go quickly.  Why would we be surfing?  One of the trivial pursuit questions (a team game we like to participate in) was which president had what he called “Shangri-La” as his hideaway! Our team put down Reagan, even though MA had suggested Roosevelt.  She was right but we already turned in our paper.

 
Leaving Ft. Lauderdale
My first unpacking uh-oh was about what happened to MA’s special face cream and our toothpaste.  Although I knew I had packed it, it was nowhere to be found. I could replace the toothpaste but not special facial stuff. (It’s a ladies’ thing, that cream stuff.) Anyway for awhile there I was temporarily in the dog house! Fortunately we found them and MA was happy again but now it was my turn. Where was my toothbrush?  This time I put myself in the dog house and went a bought another new one. If these are our only problems this should be the greatest of trips!

We signed up for 8:15 seating for dinner. This is every night, same table for eight with the same folks.  We were joined by only one couple last night, (typical for first night out). Walt and Christina are from Columbus, OH.  After dinner, which I cannot remember what we had and which was therefore nothing to write about, we called it a night.  Long day! (MA says it was so-so prime rib!)

Our first day at sea began at 7:30am when the room service waiter brought coffee and yogurt to start our day. We later stopped by the breakfast buffet. MA then went over to the fitness center to work on that knee on the stationery bicycle while I walked 3 miles around the ship.

Princess was offering “English Pub” lunches in the large Explorers Lounge today and we usually like these. You can choose a typical English plate of fish and chips, Ploughman’s (don’t know what that is) or Shepherd’s pie. We had the fish and chips today. After lunch we enjoyed a great movie with Maggie Smith, “Quartet.” If you haven’t seen it, it is worth renting or watching it on cable.  This was followed by trivial pursuit and cappuccinos.

This brings you up to date on our cruise. Thanks for wading through all this. I’ll try to shorten everything next time. But we enjoy reliving our days with you all. Tomorrow I’ll try and show you some of the Ruby Princess.  Later!
 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ft Lauderdale Sail-away and a 14 day cruise to Rome

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Bon jour! It's time to travel again. Mary Alice (MA) and I are presently in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ft Lauderdale. We left home Saturday around 9am and got to IAH in plenty of time. We always allow for emergencies and delays but there were none. We did hear about the big storm late yesterday afternoon in Houston. Hope everybody was spared any flooding.

Sometimes MA takes after her daughter-in-law Sue in that she's never met a stranger.  As a result we already know several couples who are going on the cruise, some at the airport and some in the hotel.

This is a trans-Atlantic cruise. We did this last year and ended up in Copenhagen. This year we're going the southern direction and visiting some Mediterranean ports; Gibaraltar, Cartagena (Spain), Barcelona, Marseilles (France), Naples, and Rome.  The first five or six days are sea days and I'll just write about what we do on the ship. I hope you will follow us as we travel to Rome. See ya.