For Christmas 2014 our family booked an eastern Mediterranean cruise, something that had been on our wish list since arriving in Italy! Grandma Rhonda J willingly obliged us by flying to Naples for her third Italian visit in order to accompany us on our cruise. A hardship, I know, but sacrifices have to be made for the family, ha! Seriously, if she hadn't come, we would not have been able to go as a family, as we needed to book 3 cabins, and there had to be an adult in each cabin.
I wrote in my journal about each day of our cruise, so even though I am posting these updates very, very late, the script was written when everything was fresh in my mind! So without further ado, here we go...traveling back in time to Monday, December 15.
We finally left the house around 10:45am. Not bad, considering! We piled all 10 of us into the Suburban and made a quick stop to drop off keys with Joyce, and then we were on our way. Our GPS wasn't terribly helpful, but following signs we made it to the port and found a parking area. Total: 110 euro for the duration--not bad. We took a shuttle to the ship dropoff point--got off one stop too soon--and walked to the right place. No one bothered to point out the luggage drop off area, so we lugged all our bags inside the "holding area," where we were accosted by "buy a drink package" reps and were dismayed to learn that all drinks on board are not included in the cost of the cruise! When we tried to find out about checking in, we learned about the luggage, so Ted, Rhonda, and Tobin hauled our stuff back outside and got it all checked, and THEN we received our boarding group number--17--which could have been 14 or so if we had known. Grrr.
We waited 1.5 hours before we could actually go through the check-in line, by which point Seanin was frantic and Zaden and Lucan were sprawled on the floor because they were so tired. We got our cruise cards, went through security, and finally onto the ship, reaching our rooms by 5:40pm. I was hoping to get Seanin a nap before dinner, but there was no crib set up (despite our request!), so we had to get that taken care of plus find Kenna and Arden's missing suitcase (held up because we had packed an iron, a big no-no!).
We thought dinner seating was at 7pm, based on the web sites I had viewed beforehand. So we waited and then went to the dining room, where the host told us rather rudely that it started at 6:00 and we were too late. So we went up to the buffet--at that point we were just hungry and exhausted. The ship pulled out as we were eating, causing Charis to feel seasick, so she went back to our room to lie down and get her sea bands on.
It wasn't a moment too soon before we got settled in bed for the night! Mamma mia, not a wonderful way to start off our vacation!!