Back when my husband suggested I create this blog, he came up with the idea of recapping the 2009 cruise day by day. And now, three months later, I'm actually going to do it. I'm hoping that in addition to getting you new cruisers excited for just what happens on board, it will have the added benefit of helping you see just how much and what you need to pack. Since I plan to be thorough, I'll break this up into three parts and plan to do one each of the next three weeks.
Let's get started!
Friday, May 15, 2009
I flew to Miami from NYC early Friday morning. I didn't know about Danny's party when I bought the ticket, and had no compelling reason otherwise to spend the money on a hotel Thursday night. However, this put my wake up time somewhere in the 3:30 a.m. range. Rose Tours' site said boarding would begin around noon. My flight landed at 10:45 a.m. No checked bags for me! I wheeled my way out to a cab and was soon on my way to the port.
About 20 minutes later I was at the Port of Miami, which, if you've never been on a cruise before, is set up like a very small airport. I quickly met up with Malina and Jennifer. Our first cruise experience was indicative of the whole weekend: we got in a very long line. Turns out this line was just for the x-ray machines. After that, we went into a bigger room to wait in an even longer line.
By the time we were fully checked in - which took even longer than normal because they could not find our cabin keys - we had been in line for well over an hour. But finally, we climbed the stairs, had our photo taken, and walked up the gangway.
The first thing we saw on the boat was a giant photo of NKOTB. Everyone wanted their photos with it, so we spent another 15 minutes there waiting our turn.
By this time it was probably 2:00, and we had mandatory emergency drills at 3:30 so I wanted to get to the room to shower and change. Waiting for the elevators was a mess, and when we finally got down to the right deck, we waited another 20 minutes or so to be let into our cabins. I did a quick clean up into a sundress, and we grabbed our life vests and headed off to find the location of our emergency drill.
Jennifer's room was on another deck, so she had a different drill location. Her drill had Joe and Donnie in it! The big excitement for our group was when they said to allow women and children into the lifeboats first and we all laughed.
Next we went back to the room to ditch our life vests. Everything took much longer than it should have because we were 1) lost and disoriented most of the time, and 2) competing with everyone else on the boat for elevators. By the time we got up to the lido deck for the Sail Away party, which was to start at 4:45, the lower level was jam packed. We settled for finding a spot along the railing above.
You've probably already seen plenty of videos of the Sail Away party, which do better than any description I could write.
Points to note:
- Maybe the second or third thing Donnie said at the party was that they would cruise again next year.
- Ddub, Joe, and Danny took lots of pics and signed lots of autographs. Jordan may have too, but I couldn't see him as well.
- Before leaving last, Donnie brought a bucket of beer to the girls in the hot tub.
- Next time, I'm wearing my bathing suit instead of a sundress.
After dinner, we headed back to our room to put up our door decorations. I had prepped most of it before leaving home, but we had a few last minute touches to add. Note: Rose Tours will tell you to bring magnets. They are crazy. The door is 0% magnetic. Bring tape.
The theme of our door was things Malina and I had done in the name of NKOTB from 1988-2009.
Around 8:30 we set out to get in line for our group's Family Feud. The show was at 9:45 and doors opened at 9:15 with general admission seating. I'm not sure when the line started, but by the time we got there, we didn't even bother with the main level and got in line for the balcony.
Even though we were in the front row of the balcony, the seats pretty much sucked. For one, the chairs sink practically to the ground when you sit in them. Two, there's a wall in front of you all the way around the balcony. It's plexiglass, but still. And then there are the poles. Sigh.
Anyway, Family Feud was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Again, I can't describe it as well as the videos can. I was sorry for it to be over after only an hour.
Back to our room we went to change for the PJ party that started at 11. Some people didn't like the PJ party, but I loved it! It was easily the best people watching of the cruise, and that was made even better with open bar. Here's me double fisting it in front of a girl wearing high heels but no pants. (By the way, cruise drunk is more fun than regular drunk because you're rocking back and forth in more ways than one.)
Donnie, Jordan, and Joe made an appearance at the PJ party. Donnie wore his regular clothes. Jordan wore the robe out of the cabin closet. Joe actually packed his own silk robe. They mostly chatted and danced onstage, although Jordan and Donnie did a bit of singing along with the DJ's music. Many girls anticipated their stage appearance and had been sitting around the stage area for hours to get the best spots.
One by one, the guys left. I don't remember if any of them went up to the VIP area on the balcony, but I didn't see them after 1:00. For some reason, Malina and I went to the Xanadu nightclub at 2:00. I don't remember why. Blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol.
Friday was my earliest night; I went to bed around 3 a.m. By then I had been awake for almost 24 hours, and as far as I know, I didn't miss anything by turning in. (Did I?)
Whew! Is anyone still reading this? Should I do Saturday and Sunday or does this put you to sleep?