Thursday, December 15, 2016

Independence of the Seas - Dec 2016 - Day 1

December 3 2016
Fort Lauderdale, FL

We made it!  The flight was early but easy.  During the flight, every time the pilot turned off the seat belt sign, it got bumpy.  Every time he turned it back on, it smoothed out.  This went on for most of the flight LOL Laurie and I did some 'future cruise planning' as I had the current cruise book in my carry-on.  Here is the current "Wish List"

2017 - Back to Back (Check!)
2018 - Southern Caribbean 
2019 - Mediterranean
2020 - Re-positioning/Transatlantic

Once we landed it was off to collect our bags and head to the port.  We were at Pier 25 and was glad to see its now covered more than it had been in 2015 (when the luggage carts were out in the rain and a lot of our stuff got wet!) From getting in the cab at the airport, to sitting in the Windjammer, it was 56 mins!  Not bad at all!  Once we finished lunch, the cabins were open and luggage was already being delivered!  Our stuff was outside the cabin so we brought it in and just relaxed.  

After we got settled it was time to head down to the muster drill.  We figured we would go early to get a seat. Sadly, this one is still held outside! (I got spoiled on Oasis class, sitting in the Champagne Bar!) We made friends though and chatted to pass the time. When it was over, we headed up to the Pool Bar to meet up with the Cruise Critic group for sailaway.  We met Debra (who organized the group) Wendy and Shelley along with several others.  As we started to depart, everyone started to scatter to the rails to watch us sail out of the harbor.  I had sent Mom, Ash and Mark the link to the Port Everglades Webs cam and we waved as we left.  Once we were on our way, we headed back to the cabin to unpack.  Our cabin attendant, Moula, came by to say hello - we gave him our requests (separated beds, ice each night, more towels, etc) 

We showered and relaxed a bit before we headed out to Boleros for pre-dinner drinks!  I couldn't wait to have a glass of Moscato! Unfortunately, they didn't have any that night but the bartenders, Olga and Charie, said they expected to have some the next night.  Music was on in the hour before dinner (unlike Oasis class that has nothing at that time!) and the band was great.  

We headed to dinner and were seated at a table of 8 .. 4 ladies from Chile, 2 from Chicago.  There was a bit of a language barrier with the ladies from Chile, but we managed ok.  The youngest women spoke fairly good English so she worked as translator.  The other 2 ladies, Sandy and Marsha, were from Chicago and were sisters.  All seemed nice.

After dinner, they were holding the Love & Marriage show.  We were a little late, but that was ok.  We got seats and watched a bit, but it was not one of the best we've seen and therefore Laurie and I were falling asleep!  Decided to bail and just head to bed.  Tomorrow was going to be an early day since we were at sea.  (and we both had been up since around 4am)  So off to sleep we went!

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