Alaskan Cruise Day 1 – Departure and At Sea

Today, we formally began our Alaskan Cruise 2007 onboard the Celebrity Mercury. We arose early in the morning in our Vancouver hotel and met my Mother, my Aunt and my sister and her husband for breakfast. It wasn’t anything special – the food that is. The company was wonderful.

After a brief snafu of getting the hotel bills settled – they charged everything to me – we departed for the cruise ship about 11:00. Suzanne had arranged for a large van with a trailer to pick us up and take us to the ship. We arrived at the cruise terminal a bit before noon. Within fifteen minutes, we were aboard ship. The registration and check-in process at the Canada Place terminal went exceedingly smooth.

The rooms weren’t quite ready when we boarded, but we immediately began seeing familiar faces. As we had just sailed on the Mercury in November, we recognized many cruise members. To my surprise, many also remembered us. Since they called us by name from sight, they weren’t just making friendly conversation. We ran into Shiva, our wine sommellier from the last cruise, Raissa, who brought the kids many sodas, and several other waiters. At dinner, we ran into Fernando, the cellar master, who we knew from the Infinity Hawaii cruise a few years back.

Since our rooms weren’t ready, we grabbed a quick lunch. By the time we had finished, the rooms were ready. We were anxious to see our cabin since it was the same one we were in when we sailed last November. However, it was to be remodelled and get a balcony since then. The room did’t disappoint. The balcony is fabulous. It’s maybe a 10 feet by 10 feet balcony on the back of the boat. The room length was also extended by a couple of feet, but seems much bigger since a couch that was under the former window is now gone. This is a wonderful room. Everyone was quite happy with their rooms. We enjoyed a glass of wine, a bon voyage gift, on the balcony.

After the uneventful Muster Drill, we all gathered on the top deck for the sail away party. To our surprise, Imade was again manning the sky bar. He took very good care of us in that very spot last November. The band sounded very good and the kids were happy to get out there and dance. Grammy and Aunt Jeri stayed for a bit, but it was too loud for them, plus they wanted to sit down. They headed inside to get a pre-dinner cocktail. The rest of enjoyed the deck party for a bit before joining them. The ship was actually late leaving Vancouver due to late arriving folks. I am guessing since the ship waited for them, they had arranged travel with the cruise line. By the time we headed in for early seating dinner, the ship hadn’t yet left.

We enjoyed a wonderful sail way dinner with the beautiful Canadian coast going by the windows. Everyone enjoyed the meal tremendously. Savannah even ordered four desserts. I didn’t order any figuring I would just nibble on hers which worked out nicely.

After dinner, we hit the casino. I usually visit the casino one night on a cruise and donate my money, but hadn’t figured to do it the first night. I think Mother, Aunt Jeri and Barb will be in the casino every day. They love the slots. They play nickel slots and can play all day without losing too much. I think I got in 30 or 45 minutes the blackjack table before I was down $200 and walked away. It was a rough night as the cards weren’t coming to me. At best, I was up about $40. I usually do pretty well on the cruise ships. Who knows, I may try to get even another night. 😉

The family closed out the first day of the cruise at movie music trivia game. We were victorious and brought home the victory and spoils. The kids were very excited. We listened to the band and did a bit of dancing before heading to the cabin for the night at about 11:00 pm.

Tomorrow is a day at sea. It should be quite enjoyable. Fernando, the cellar master, has invited us to a couple of special wine events during the day, so it should be fun. It will also be a formal night with the Captain’s gala toast. The ladies are already planning their attire for the night.