Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vacation Journal 2008 Day 1 & 2

October 26, 2008 San Francisco to San Diego

We left Antioch at 5:30 am with our very friendly driver Wanda. There was little or no traffic which was a blessing because W was driving a rental and did not know how to control the sound system. It scanned through stations for the entire hour from home to airport. So annoying. Our flight actually left on time and we had decent seats. We were met at the baggage area by Royal Caribbean representatives that whisked our luggage off to the bus loading area. We still had about 40 minutes before we could go to the ship, enough time to hit the restroom and get some coffee.

We reached the pier in about 15 minutes and the lines were moving very fast. We boarded the ship and went directly to the Windjammer Café for lunch. For those of you who have never taken a RCCL cruise, the Windjammer is the informal dining room at the top of the ship where you can enjoy buffet style dining from about 6 am to 11 pm every day. We had an excellent lunch and met our first new friends, Linda and Chris from a small town just outside of London. They were delightful and we chatted and ate until we were able to go to our staterooms.

Our stateroom on deck 8 is nice enough and we have a private balcony and refrigerator and a safe. Good enough. Our first night in the dining room is casual. Our dining table mates consist of a couple from Calgary Canada, Shannon and Kim. A couple from Oahu, Hawaii, Marcie and Vick. Two couples from Baton Rouge, Louisiana Johnny and Rita, Brad and Myrna. All very nice people. Our wait staff are both rookies, Annette from Jamaica and Carlos from Puerto Rico. They are so sweet, we are being very patient with them and they learn more each day.

October 27, 2008 Cruising

We are at sea all day. I have explored the ship from deck 12 down to deck 4. I went to the library and checked out two books and picked up the daily Sudoku puzzle. We received coupon books as Gold Members of the Crown & Anchor society. I will check out some of the offerings. I will definitely get the $5.00 credit for wifi internet usage. The bar credit for buy one get one free bottled water. I also plan to get a new bracelet for a $1.00 per inch of gold chains. I never like the style of the $1 chains, and end up with the $4 or $5 per inch gold and silver jewelry instead. We visited the photo gallery to purchase our welcome aboard photos, but the computer was down. We will have to get them tomorrow.

I attended the Shopping seminar where we were given the maps and tips for all of the ports of call by Shannon the RCCL professional/personal shopper. I have been envious - lets make that Extremely Envious of my friend Julie's Chocolate/Champagne diamond ring. She bought a loose stone in New York and they created a setting for her. The ring is gorgeous. So I decided I must see if I can find something just as lovely in a country in which I can buy it without duty fees or sales taxes. Therefore, I attended the shopping seminar. Shannon invited us to her desk to get VIP cards to take with us shopping. I got one for Diamonds International (owned by Debeers) to find the diamond studs I want and one from Milano Jewelers to find a chocolate/champagne diamond for a ring.

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