Let’s just clear one thing up — Manhattan hotels are able to charge way too much for breakfast. Enough said.
After breakfast, we repacked our luggage down into the two big and two small bags we had originally planed, and took a hotel sedan back to the airport to meet our bus from the cruise line. They drove us from LaGuardia Airport to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, where we got our first view of the Caribbean Princess. This thing is HUGE!
Check-in was well-orchestrated, with our luggage going straight from the tour bus into a huge bin, which was then fork-lifted into a screening area and eventually delivered to our cabin on the ship. Since we had arrived relatively early, our own check-in was very quick, with only a short wait in the security line. After a few formalities, we were off to board the ship—with the obligatory stop for pictures (available for purchase on board, for what we’re certain will be a nominal fee—and a recurring theme!).
This ship is absolutely beautiful inside — it’s relatively new, having been built in 2004, and it looks it. We ended up in cabin D201, which is fairly far forward on the starboard side, just above the lifeboats. The view out the balcony is incredible — the balconies on our deck are the farthest out from the ship. We wandered around the ship for a while to get our bearings and explore the decks — there must be something like 10 swimming pools on this ship! We ended up watching the departure from New York from a deck built on top of the ship’s bridge, where we could watch the Statue of Liberty slip away to starboard. Then we attended the mandatory safety briefing, where we learned how to put on the life jackets and about the emergency procedures. When that was done, we headed up to the top decks for the “underway party,” where Neil won a raffle for a spa gift certificate — which was promptly turned over to Geitra. Then we headed to the buffet area for a seafood dinner as the weather got a bit nasty and the swells started to pick up a little bit.
Unfortunately, things weren’t going quite as well back in D.C. — a huge storm came through and knocked out power to the house around 3PM. Nana Snider and Amelia overcame it, though — Nana cooked up Amelia’s dinner out on the grill, and they played together in the dark while waiting for Farmor (Swedish for “grandmother”) Mickelson to come home from visiting friends. The car overheated and Farmor ended up getting home late courtesy of AAA. We learned about all of this as the ship was leaving port and heading out to sea — we had cell phone contact until nearly 8PM, but that wasn’t long enough to hear the resolution of the story. Between the swelling seas and our worries about home, we had a bit of a restless first night on the ship while we waited to hear about everyone’s safety and whether the house had power.