Today we checked onto the boat. It was a pretty easy process with only a mild bit of confusion. They had Sponge Bob hanging around the boarding area to occupy the kids while we waited. Misty loved that :) We hung out at the pool until we could check into our rooms. My mom somehow got us a free upgrade to the balcony suites.
|A Room with a View|
The day dawned later for us than we thought it would - at almost 7AM. We all got up and showered and dressed. Then we walked to a nearby bakery and ate donuts, Lemansa’s, and something that looked like a flattened pecan twirl with cream cheese (turned out to be vanilla pudding, but it smelled wonderful and Angie is happy to report it was so very tasty that she didn’t think about sharing it).
The food and rest helped a lot so we were all in good spirits and ready for the day. We grabbed our luggage and walked a block and a quarter to the nearby Taxi queue, which we grabbed and took to the ship. As we were loading our luggage I spoke to both the cabbies (it would take two cabs to haul a family of six and all their luggage). They both spoke good english and knew where the port was. When we got to the port, Kathy’s cab driver seemed to have forgotten his english skills and math skills in some sort of an attempt to have her pay 10 euro more. Angie’s and my cabbie spoke very well with us the whole ride and seemed delighted that our kids enjoyed artwork so much.
We unloaded the taxi’s and gave our luggage to the porter. I tried to do the whole discreet skipping of his tip to him in a handshake, but the guy reached out in such a way as to indicate that he didn’t want to shake hands, he wanted money. Farewell gentle notions of Spanish culture.
Checking in through customs and security and room/boarding checks was a hassle, but was as straightforward and the Norwegian Cruise line company could probably have made it. It did a cause a little argument between Angie, her mom, and Myself. The guy behind the counter said the kids room cards would do this and that, but not the other. The ladies interpreted it to mean something which I thought was exactly what the the counter guy had said it wouldn’t do. By the time that argument ended (only seconds later) we were seated and just about to start waiting patiently, when who should show up but the same person that lives in a pineapple under the sea, absorbent and porous and spongey is he? That’s right! Spongebob the character showed up, and so did Misty’s awesome smile!!! She was so amazed that she ran up to him and hugged him, saying she loved him! It was so cute! I even had a half chance to catch it on film - yeah me! Then it was boarding time.
Once onboard we knew we would have to wait for our rooms to be readied. So we went to the pool deck and ate cheeseburgers and fries. Then those of us who packed our swimsuits (not Neil - he didn’t bother to read the list his mother had so carefully put together in an effort to ensure that he had everything he would to maximize his fun onboard - ha ha foolish mortal!) put them on and went swimming. They had only just started filling the pools when we sat down to eat, but the pools and water slides were ready by the time we were. Misty and I had a great time playing in the kids pool and the deep end (I was holding her the whole time!).
Our rooms were ready way before any of us had thought they would be. Angie and Lexi and Neil all independently toured the ship, while I was swimming with Misty. When Angie returned she asked to take me to the spa so we could book our couples therapy. This coincided with Misty running out of energy extremely well - she had just fallen asleep in my arms while swimming. So we got out of the pool, dried off and went back tot he room to change and shower - while Misty took a nap.
Kathy took over babysitting duties of the sleeping super cutie so Angie and I could go to the spa. We got a tour of a pretty well funded and confusingly layed out place. They had a normal nail care area (which had some pretty stupid kids rules - so Lexi could not have a grandma and me or even a mommy and me mani/pedi), and a connecting gym full of cardio gear and some weight equipment, and a lot of therapy rooms for all sorts of relaxation therapies. But they had an awesome heat therapy area! It started with 4 different types of steam rooms - some with no dry heat and some with minerals/herbs/etc. They had four chairs which looked liked waves made of small tile. These were heated and perfectly shaped for lifting the feet above the heart. In less than 1 minute of laying on them, neither of us wanted to get up. They also had a large [what looked like] pool. It had a 4 way water jet fountain in the middle and some weird metal poles on one side. I found out that it is a hot tub with jacuzzi features and a place to sit or lay down. It was absolutely designed for people who work their backs too hard (like me!). What a place!
|View from Our Cabin's Balcony|
We didn’t like any of their couples only therapy sessions, so we opted to try an individual treatment experience we were both curious about - acupuncture! We even setup a consultation so we knew what we were getting into. The acupuncturist gave Angie an amazing read. She took Angie’s pulse and looked at her tongue, than without asking any questions she pronounced Angie as being stressed (we all knew that), constipated (okay, how could she tell that?), and highly anxious - being prone to anxiety attacks. She nailed it!! That was amazing!!!! My read was not so interesting - she looked at my tongue and took my pulse then said I was stressed but healthy.
After our consult we took the whole family to Tepanyaki’s. This is one of those cooking is the show dinner places. Being on a ship though meant that there were no fires or flaming entrees. Pretty tame event, but the food was very nice.
After dinner, Angie and I went in for our acupuncture therapy. I asked the therapist if she could help my right ankle as it has been hurting for a few weeks and she said it would be no problem. She also stuck me for a relaxation job. I came out of it with my ankle very stiff and incredibly sore and was NOT relaxed. Needless to say, I was unimpressed with this 2000 year old remedy which only moments ago I had been so curious about.
Angie came out after me and looked AMAZING! Her skin had a great parlor and a very bright glow to it! She looked so incredibly happy and relaxed! I was amazed at how well it appeared to have worked for her! She said she had already had a bowel movement and felt tingly all over. Her skin was crawling with new vigor. It was amazing! I was so happy for her that I fell for the therapists sell of more sessions and booked Angie for 2 more therapies during the week.
At that point we went to find out kids and set some ground rules for curfew, etc. That took a while! We found out that someone had been in the arcade to the tune of $178.50!!!!! [whistles loudly].