Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day of Departure

After staring about the ship's entryway with wide eyed wonder, our stomachs finally decided to alert us to the fact that we were a bit on the hungry side. The Windjammer is the all hours cafeteria style serving area, and the first line we jumped in started with the with our culinary exploration of some East Indian fare. I chose to skip the rice options to go with my hot pink Tandoori chicken and Masala beans, instead opting for a small spoonful of the best mashed potatoes I've had this year! Truthfully the only ones, but still. Then a supplemental salad topped with fresh peas, parmesan cheese, arugula of all greens, and olives. A few broccolis and the scraping on my plate of the ladle used to dip a scoop of Cesar salad dressing out. It wasn't much , but a little does go a long way with me when it comes to dressing. I figured it'd be terrific incentive to eat those little green florets of healthy intentions.
So did I cap the meal off with a soft serve ice cream cone, petite four sampler, or fresh fruit? No, I figured there'd be plenty time for that, and why start this week of fabulousness with a regretful tummy? There's a very comparative narrative running through our conversation as we bask warmth of our place in the window, watching our cruising companions pile obscene amounts of food onto their plates and return for more. We ponder, what is it that brings out the desire to excess on a vacation like this?
The drink packages onboard worked out to be about $25 a day for the liquor and $16 a day for soda and bottled water if you signed up the first day. Don't forget they include a souvenir color changing cup lol .DF and laughed about how important it becomes to some people that they MUST HAVE DRINKS! Agreeing that we both don't need that type of enhancement to make the vacation worthwhile, and then laughing about how we had started the day with Bailey's.
Next it was off to the Spa for a tour and the chance at winning part of the $500 in certificates they'd be giving out after muster. The scents of Eucalyptus, mint, and algae permeated the air and the lilting accents the spa staff were relaxation in themselves!
Now, when I cruised on Holland America's Oosterdam in 2012, we went out on deck and stood under our life rafts for the safety drill. On this boat, we were directed to muster in our designated area- inside the boat, in one of the nightclubs, a room with no exits to the outside as far as I could tell. With about 500 people! As one of the ladies crammed onto the stage with me remarked, is this what it's going to be like in an emergency? Feeling very Titanic-ish as we were advised to, "step back, please make room for the arriving guests," and hearing them call out repeatedly for rooms that had not yet reported in, the same woman further pondered, would we be waiting for these slowpokes in an emergency?!
I know we weren't the first ones to enter the Conference room which would become home to our scrapbooking sessions over the next week. I knew we were only two among 90, and that we may not become fast friends with everyone in the room. I also knew that our teacher Shelby Dredge of Embellish It! would have provided some fabulously trendy goodie packs to house our new memories, even if our two table name tags had been misplaced.  I still savored the opportunity to look over all of the kits out waiting for their scrappers to arrive.
We would be working on a mini cruise/vacation/summer album, as well as two, two-page 12x12 scrapbook layouts. The rich textures and patterns of Simple Stories, Echo Park, and Fancy Pants, a few sentiment sticker sheets, and a card of ombre ribbons, as well as an additional card kit were all sifted through with delight. I myself  had packed only 3 additional kits to work from, and then a large supply hoarding of cruise and vacation style embellishments I hoped to use in the mini-album. I also brought about 6-10 loose photos in case I ran out of "stuff" to work on.
Remember how we were waiting for our crop supplies to appear in our room? A quick run up to the room before dinner and guess what? No bags outside our hallway waiting. Hmm, well I wouldn't have minded going to dinner in my jeans and scrappy Paper Wizard tee, but luckily I didn't have to, our Porter Kenneth had them there inside waiting for us. Our paths crossed again on the way to dinner and after we thanked him he shared that, "When I saw these to bags coming up, I said to myself, oh no- these two are going inside where they will be safe!" Awww. He didn't want anyone taking our precious scissors!
Remember those two friendly ladies we had met in the hotel, Lani and Nancy? Can you guess who's table they'd be sitting at? Yep, it was ours! Hooray, now we will have even more gab time with our neighbors from Sequim :-) Notice they have on beautifully coordinated ensembles in coral- totally not planned. But I love to see women (and men, too) wearing this cautionary color. It's funny that a color so easy to wear for so many skin tones is the one that people steer away from. So, next time you see it, why don't you try it?
Yumm, if you've ever gone on a cruise, or know someone like me who has, you will be sure to hear a lot about the food onboard. My favorite place to eat is always the dining room, maybe because of the formality of the wait staff. Or perhaps I just enjoy selecting three courses each night without a care to the price! Yeah, pretty sure that's it... So bring on the Eggplant! Poached Salmon? yes! BBQ Crème Brule? OK! oh and the Drink of the Day, sluuurp! All enjoyed next to a large porthole window overlooking the sun as it sets on fun-filled, dream like day.
After dinner, I was so tuckered, I just went right to the room for night the night. NOT. I had get at least one page out of my system, and besides we wanted to meet our table mates, Candi, Halee, Miranda, and Laurie. Such sweet ladies, Laurie even remedied the name tag situation with a flash of paper and flourish of sharpie. I enjoy any opportunity to teach, and with my Sweet Carolyn over my shoulder, it was no time at all before I had shared the basics of scrapping, from the foundation up. Echo your story with patterned paper or colors, give your photos a resting place, include room for journaling, add a title of some sort, and embellish away!
Finally, it was deemed retirement time, but knowing my craft habits as well as I do, and feeling especially grateful that I had the supplies with which to create with, I brought a small armful of treasures back to the room and made a thank you for our steward, Ken, who had also re-arranged our King size bed into the two twins we had requested.  Sitting at the vanity while Daphne read herself to sleep, I couldn't help but consider what my day would have been like at home... wondering would I be able to catch up on some sleep in the morning? And, what would I like delivered from room service! Sweet dreams indeed for our first night at sea.
Thanks for following along as I relive my adventure filled cruise onboard the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas. I'll be posting all week, so feel free to share the trip with your own friends and family, and ask anything you like in the comments section. There will be fun (and facts) abound as we continue towards our first port of the island of Roaatan, Honduras!

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