Our flight to Houston was actually a little early. (Imagine, Dayton to Houston to Ft. Lauderdale... Airlines are wack!) We walked & trained the length of Houston airport to get to our connecting flight, which was delayed. Then we got breakfast at one of the restaurants in the food court near us. Eggs, bacon, and croissant. Apple juice for me. Not too bad, price or flavor.
While we waited for our flight, we talked with a nice man from Tennessee who has lived in Texas for the last 28 years. We also talked with a newlywed couple who were going on a Carnival cruise for their honeymoon. Which departed an hour before ours. (They'd missed their first flight to FLL due to an error on their end. We're hoping they got to their cruise on time!)
When we got to FLL, the cruise people were at the bottom of the escalator. After we waited an age for our luggage, the cruise lady directed us to a bus which had been waiting on us. The bus picked up a few more folks, then we headed for the Princess area of the docks. The Emerald Princess was bigger than the other two ships at port. We got through immigration quickly and were on board in time to take part in the fire drill.
Our ship, the Emerald Princess.
judiang and elsaf were already aboard when we arrived. They have the room next to us. We're on the Emerald deck, which is deck 8. Our room is E317 and despite having an “obstructed view” it actually has a nice view of the sea (overlooking the lifeboat). I was just expecting light. Mom says the bathroom is bigger than the one on the sleeper train that she & dad were on. It's small, but not as small as is possible.
Our view from the stateroom.
After we were drilled, we returned to our rooms, then headed to the Neptune deck for the launch party. Judi and I danced (poorly) but didn't win anything with the raffle tickets we got for dancing. Mom and I purchased expensive fruity rum drinks ($8.95 + 15% gratuity – I think I'll refrain from booze for the rest of the cruise!) The drink was tasty, however.
Judi and I dancing. (We ain't got rhythm!)
Folks watching the launch. (The busiest the deck was all trip.)
Mom and I found our way to the Lotus Spa to turn in raffle tickets for that, and wound up buying the VIP Thermal Spa package where we can visit the Thermal Spa any time during the cruise. It was $150 for a couple. We felt it would be worth it. (Now we KNOW it will be worth it.)
Due to a conflict in shore excursions, mom, Elsa, and I had to cancel the Conch World tour so that we can do our snorkeling adventure. Judi will have to let us know just how tasty conch is. I did the cancellation and returned to the room in time for us to head for dinner.
We ate at the Da Vinci dining room. I had spring rolls as appetizer, followed by frozen soup (piña colada with pineapple dots), and prime rib w/ tater, grilled tomato, and bean greens. They cooked the prime rib with rosemary and served it with a horseradish sauce. Very tasty. Dessert was good too, floating islands in vanilla cream (meringue in cream). If they offer that again, I'll probably order it.
After dinner, we returned to Lotus Spa so that Elsa could join in on the VIP Thermal Spa (Judi had bought a single pass when she was in getting her teeth whitened.) Soon after, Judi, mom and I took advantage of said spa. The warm ceramic beds are nice, as is the sauna. We also partook of the hot tub/jacuzzi at the adults only pool in the spa. Very, very relaxing.
I was still restless and wanted to explore the ship. Mom decided to come along. We wound up only exploring deck 7, the Promenade. Then we went to the Welcome to the Cruise show at the Princess theater. They introduced the entertainment team, who were entertaining, and then they had a comedian. Forgot his name atm. [Phil Tag.] He was quite funny. Hope to see his full show tomorrow night. Hope they find his luggage! (He says Delta stands for Don't Expect Luggage To Arrive. Nice to know that before we fly back home via Delta....)
It's almost midnight, so I'd best get to bed. I'm tired & mom's already asleep. Busy day tomorrow!