18 August 2018
We all slept brilliantly last night. The room was cool but not cold, and the beds were really comfortable.
Cornelia had nearly 12 hours of sleep and woke up ready for her breakfast. We dressed and headed to the restaurant next door, where breakfast was served. Unfortunately for Bugsy, never knew pancakes, but she seemed happy enough with a waffle and strawberry jam. It is Lara Bear’s birthday today and Auntie Carole rang us while we were having breakfast, so we had a good old chat with her, Lara and William. It is so good to see the faces of those we love at home.
Back at our seats, it was helpful to have four police officers sitting next to us, as it meant Cornelia was perfectly well-mannered, although she did accidentally knock over her glass of water, which was mopped up super-quick by one of the waitresses. After a quick change around of seats, Bugsy finished her waffle and went in to demolish a bowl of Cheerios.
Tummies full, we went back to the room and started packing and repacking and repacking again, while Cornelia was allowed some giant TV time and enjoyed some Bubble Guppies, something that she hasn’t seen for months and months!
We have been researching holidays to Hawaii and Vegas but still haven’t made a decision, so we have left Seattle without any idea as to what we are going to do next. I have updated our budget and we are now well over… but we still need to be somewhere in eight days, so will have to get this sorted soon!!
Checkout wasn’t until 12:00, and we ordered an Uber which arrived pretty swiftly. Omar, our driver, was a nice guy – very talkative and friendly (as we have found most Uber drivers to be) but to our great surprise, it turns out that he is a Trump supporter! We bit our tongues and listened to him rave on about how brilliant Trump is, despite being an immigrant from Kenya himself. He likes him because “although tearing those immigrant families apart was really awful and evil, he is better off now because of the change in tax rules”. And therein lies the difference in how you use your vote. Is it for you to be better off personally and it doesn’t matter about anyone else, or do you vote with a social and moral conscience? Anyway….
It was quite a lengthy trip to the port which was crazy busy with passengers ready to board. There were no luggage trolleys available, meaning we had to cart our own bags some distance to the check in area. Because we had had no access to a stapler prior to arriving, we had a long wait in a queue to use a stapler to secure our luggage tags, in the required way. It seemed terribly inefficient that there should be just one man and his stapler, affixing dozens of labels to suitcases, but he was very friendly and directed us to go behind “the man in the blue shirt “ near the front of the next queue (those passengers who had already secured their own tags), meaning we were quickly through luggage drop off and into the check in area.
Here, we collected our Cruise Cards, which will act as ID, credit cards and door entry whilst we are on board. Cornelia also has a wristband in case we are separated from her. We had to give up our beer to the hand luggage security guys, as you’re only allowed to bring wine on board, not beer! 🙄
And finally, we climbed the zigzag ramp on board and went to our room – D110, a decent-sized mini suite with a balcony and chairs, a sofa (which converts into Cornelia’s bed) and a coffee table, and a bed for us. The room has an American-excessive two TVs, and lots of storage space. It sounds ridiculous, but it was so nice to be able to unpack and hang up all of our clothes!!
We pottered around for a bit, before going off for lunch at the buffet-style restaurant “Horizon”. Bugsy loved having lots of small amounts of different foods: pasta bolognese, macaroni cheese, cauliflower, chips and carrots, and cleared her plate! She had room (of course) for a cupcake after lunch, as a special treat. If I don’t return from this trip half a stone heavier, I will be very surprised!!
At 15:30, all guests were required to be at their muster stations for the emergency and safety drills. We were in the Theatre, where they perform nightly shows, although I am not sure that we will get to see any, unless one of us babysits Cornelia. The safety demonstrations lasted about forty-five minutes in all, after which we went off to check out the fitness centre. It is a great space with loads of machines, daily fitness classes and an outdoor jogging track. I have booked into a spinning class tomorrow morning, to try and offset some of the intended overeating!!
Cornelia wanted to see the kids’ club but unfortunately it was closed until registration at 19:00. She was distraught (tired already, I think!) but cheered up a bit when I said we could go in the pool for 20 minutes before it would be time to come back. Ian headed off for a run on the treadmill while I took her for a swim. The pools are outdoors, but heated. It was “refreshing” with warm bodies in the water and a cold head being whipped by the chilly breeze! Cornelia continued to do some excellent swimming – it won’t be long before she will be able to go in a pool completely by herself (with close supervision from the poolside!). There was one other father in the water with his slightly older son, and another couple joined us too. Other than that, we had the pool to ourselves.
She was a real pain in the backside when it came to getting out. I ended up getting quite cross with her, as she was messing around a lot and because she was so tired she was just being fractious. Not a great combination! It was bloody cold getting out of the pool, but I wrapped her up in a towel and we hurried out of the wind to get dressed as quickly as we could. Next, we went up to the kid’s club, which was now open for registration. This was quick as I’d done most of the form-filling online already, so it was just a case of confirming how it all worked. It is basically free babysitting all day, every day, apart from two hours at lunch and two hours in the evening! Even if we go onshore at the ports, we have an option of leaving her (which we might consider if the weather is crappy, or if we want to do something a bit more hardcore than a tram ride up a mountain!). We had a little look around, but it was clear that she was tired and hungry and I desperately wanted her to sit down for her meal nicely!
We went back to the cabin and bumped into Ian, who had just finished his run. He needed to shower before supper, so Bugsy and I played and chatted until Ian was ready. It was late already – 18:45 – and the dining room we first visited had a thirty minute wait, so we just went back to Horizon for our meal. Another great selection of food: I had turkey chilli with rice and some lentil dahl, Bugsy had chicken, broccoli and mash, and Ian had baked potato soup to start with, followed by [. ]. I’m rather afraid to say we also had pudding (peach and blackberry oats, so reasonably healthy until you add the whipped cream we had with it), and rolled back to our cabin, with heavy tummies!
Cornelia, as mentioned, was exhausted, and went to bed with no arguments at all. She asked me to cuddle her, so I wrapped her up in her duvet and ended up dozing next to her for a few minutes until Ian nudged me awake!
The clocks go back an hour tomorrow, and I have to be up early (ish) for my spinning class. At least I’ll have plenty of energy with all that food from today!!