Monday, 30 September 2013

Freedom 2013 - Embarkation Day



We woke early, and had the buffet breakfast at the hotel. It was okay, although it was nice eating poolside. Afterwards, we went for a walk around the grounds, and enjoyed looking at the turtles in the pond.

The World's Greatest Husband with Breakfast Al Fresco

We decided to leave around 11:00am, so we got everything ready and checked out. The front desk kindly called us a cab. In my last post, I think I mentioned the new flat rate system. It worked out to our advantage, kind of, this time. The cited price was $15 (usually the metered fare from slightly more distant port is around $12). Okay, it's not worth the hassle to argue, and it turned out the drawbridge was up when we got there, so the wait would have probable made the fare over $15. However, I handed her a $20, and she left immediately, without any pretence of making change. I know what you're thinking, but she didn't help with the bags, so a 33% tip was definitely not warranted. On the other hand, you have to give credit for big ones to someone who can rack up a $750 bar bill by herself on a 4 day cruise and is willing to admit it. I certainly couldn't do it and wouldn't brag about it if I could.

Our first look for this cruise at our Beautiful Ship
The line to go through security was very long. It took more than a half an hour. Of course, after we had gotten through, we noticed a second shorter screening area around the corner of the building. Once that was out of the way, it was smooth sailing, so to speak, through check in, and onto the ship.

We wandered a little, and then made our way to Sorrento's for the no-crush lunch. The pizza there is good, and it is never as busy as the Windjammer.

Sorrento's was not busy
We wandered about a bit, and stopped at Bolero's for a beverage, and then went up to the pool deck to walk around outside. Soon, it was time for our stateroom to be ready, so off we went to have a look.

The sofa is large

The bed is large, and comfortable.

The front Balcony cabins have an extra bubble on the balcony

The theme for this trip seems to have been wildlife, for me. While I was looking down from the balcony, I saw a manatee. Later, looking down, I saw a sea turtle and a jellyfish. Sadly, I couldn't get my camera up quickly enough to catch the turtle.



We hung out in the Solarium for a while, and then got dressed in time for muster drill. Our station was in Pharaoh's Palace.


At sail away, we were supposed to meet people from our Facebook cruise group, but we only met a few. They were nice, though. After this, was dinner. We went to the main dining room, and discovered that our table was for two. We don't mind table mates, but this was okay, too. The service was a little rough the first night, but we believe it was because there were latecomers in our section who weren't sure they wanted to be there, and kind of threw things into an uproar.

We spent a relaxing evening, and enjoyed the sunset and moonrise from our balcony.