Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bryan Family Christmas Cruise, Part 2: Big Boat Time

Sooooo.....we all made it onto the boat!  After Bryan family reunion in Houston, we made our way out to Galveston, loaded some much-needed Whatatburger into our bellies, and headed out to board the giant ship.  We hauled our luggage out of the car and bid it a safe farewell on a cart manned by an enthusiastic flowered-shirt helper and proceeded through security, check-in, and health forms to find ourselves aboard a floating city - the Voyager of the Seas.  After a quick thumbs-up to congratulate ourselves for making it onboard...

...we set out to explore the ship.  After a few "king of the world!!" moments...

...some quality time in the deck chairs...

...and capturing the first of our daily "oh wow, they put the DAY OF THE WEEK in the elevator!" (I think I was definitely most excited about this) foot moments...

...I paused for a moment to consider this crazy ship.  This being my first cruise experience, I was really somewhat amazed at what all they manage to fit onto this thing.  I mean, we're dealing with multiple pools, ice skating rink, miniature golf course, three story theater, multiple dining rooms, stores, ridiculous amounts of foods at all times...rooms for all these people...it's really pretty amazing to me that all of this manages to float along on the sea.  Ridiculous.  Needless to say, there's definitely a lot to see and do.

We didn't get the chance to wave goodbye to Galveston because we were a little late getting out of port and we were already at dinner...I was a little concerned about the 5:30 dinner seating when we were nearly crushed by hordes of old people dying to get into the dining room, but of course I then realized that 5:30 dinner gives you plenty of time to have second dinner later on.  There's always food!!  Everywhere!!  After starting Red Meat Fest 2009, we did some more ship exploring and discovered that we were nowhere near those warm Caribbean breezes yet.  It's chilly out on deck when you're not too far out of Galveston!  Glad I'd packed a fleece for my Texas time, because it got a workout on the boat when we hit chilly weather.  I had to cling to the plastic Johnny Rockets man for warmth, for crying out loud.  After retiring to the warmth of our staterooms and letting the boat gently rock us to sleep (so, so weird), we were ready for the adventures of our first full day at sea.

After experiments with room service breakfast (a little iffy - better to just head to the feed trough...I mean, Windjammer Cafe), morning yoga class (go sis!), and capturing some morning sunshine moments:

...we ate and ate and ate and tried our hand at bingo, which did not go well at all.  Yes, the bucks you shell out for the cruise may cover things like a place to sleep and excessive amounts of food, but it does not cover the fun of bingo, which goes by far too quickly and does not generate a high fun to dollars spent ratio.  Boo on you, bingo.  However, you are somewhat redeemed by the fact that there's a man carving ice sculptures on the pool deck and that I find the ship's wake somewhat beautifully fascinating.

We also took in an afternoon ice show (check out the human slinky action and ridiculous pants!), may or may not have enjoyed a fruity beverage, and attempted to not go overboard in the crazy, crazy wind.

Before you know it, it was time to fancy up for formal dinner #1, where Mom's awesome glitter shirt was in full-on glitter attack mode, we were awfully amused by an old lady's Christmas ornament earrings, and Red Meat Fest 2009 totally continued.  Ooh, and I ate escargot!  However, I was somewhat disappointed that they came to the table already out of their shells - I think Mom was hoping for a "Pretty Woman" shoot the snail shell across the dining room kind of incident, which I give a pretty high chance of happening had the shells shown themselves. 

Post-dinner, we did some minor dress repair (I love you, H&M, but I the cheapness caught up a little bit) and some more ship exploring before settling in with fruity beverages to take in the Elvis impersonator.  He was actually pretty entertaining, although I was a little uncomfortable when he was writhing in the aisle next to me during "Dirty, Dirty Feeling" singing "I'm gonna chain you to the wall" with my parents sitting two feet away.  And then he proceeded to gaze into my eyes and ruffle my hair...dang, Elvis, this is a family show.  Keep it clean, man, keep it clean.  After that crazy show, you KNOW it was time to hit the casino and bring in the big bucks.  Except...I'm not much of a gambler.  I'm an accountant.  I'm just too conservative for this, and my favorite button is "cash out."  Mom, however, has a sixth sense about slot machines and is really the slot machine queen whose favorite button is "play max credits."  Makes for some interesting family dynamics, but we definitely had a good time cheering on Mom, win or lose.

After a little cookie action (the coconut cookies!  I dream about you!) and some beverages, we headed off to bed so we'd be all ready for the next day's Mexican adventures.  Waking up in the early, early hours of the morning while on vacation?  Yes, it's coming.

You can check out my excessive number of pictures from Snowpocalypse 2009, crazy travel adventures, and day one on the boat here, and day 2's at sea adventures are hanging out over here

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