Our last guests left our suite sometime around 12:30 AM and we managed to get in at least 6 good hours of sleep. We were up around 7 AM and got our things together pretty quickly. Kelly’s parents came by at around 7:30 to get the room key (they were collecting stuff from our room to take back home later). We headed downstairs and Mom and Dad were waiting to see us off.

The car to the airport was already there and so we hopped in with our 3 bags of luggage and off we went. Despite my usual minor anxiety that everything will go smoothly on a vacation travel day, things went about as smooth as we could have hoped. We got to the airport in no time. Our plane boarded and departed on time. It was a relatively smooth fliht down to Fort Lauderdale, and there was no problem claiming or luggage, or with our transfer to the ship. About the only hiccup (if it could be characterized as such) was that the pull handle on my suitcase broke and the thing was stuck in the "up" position, and by the time the luggage was delivered to our cabin, the handle had broken off.

Our cabin, by the way, is perfect. We have a balcony room with a large balcony toward the mid-forward, starboard side of the ship on the Caribe deck (10th floor). When we arrived on board, we headed up to the Horizon Court (on the 14th deck) for lunch. That’s the 24-hour buffet place, and we had a mishmash of stuff. There was some excellent vegaterian curry. Rice, mashed potatoes and gravy. There were yummy chicken wings and also some meatballs. We got our "unlimited soft-drink" sticker and sat at the bar in the court eating. (It was crowded because everyone seemed to go there after getting on board.) Then we wandered around the ship for a little while, came back to the cabin and napped until the emergency drill at about 4:15 PM. Our luggage was delivered at about the same time. When we got back from the drill, we unpacked, and then headed out to the balcony to watch our departure from Fort Lauderdale.

Dinner was interesting. We figured we’d be seated at a table of other honeymooners. As it turns out, we were seated at a table of 6 Philipino people, whose party had been split up because there were nine of them total. So we sort of felt like intruders. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our first dinner on the ship. We started with an appetizer of vegetarian egg rolls with this excellent peanut sauce. That was followed by a shrimp cocktail. For the main course, Kelly had a vegtarian ragout with triangle pita bread, while I had the "5-star" prime rib of beef in au jus, with green beans, corn on the cob and a baked potato. Dessert will be familiar to those of you who read about my trip to Europe last summer: The Princess Love Boat Dream, which is a heart-shaped chocolate mousse with a raspberry sauce. I capped it off with a small glass of Sambuca.


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