(Family Cruise Continued)

     We were dropped off at the terminal, gave the luggage to the porter, and walked to the security/check in line.  It was SO long, and moved very slowly, which was a frustration with 5 kids and a lot of carry-on baggage. The kids quickly got impatient, and it was Dylan's nap time so he was grumpy.  When we got to the front of the line, we saw why it moved so slowly. The check in was actually on the second floor, and we had to wait for the line to move forward enough to use the escalator, or else people would be walking in place on it waiting for the line to move. We had a stroller, so were able to use the elevator, which was just as slow, as it was held for handicapped and elderly people as well.  When we got to the second floor, the line was just as long, with 6 turnstiles, and it seemed to move steadily until it stalled out for some reason.  We stayed in place for a long period, and noticed that there seemed to be some problems with the metal detectors.  Once they got that solved, and went from 1 to 3 detectors/x-ray machines, things went very quickly. Ethan's hat was the the only thing to set the detector off, and after that we could go around the corner to the ticket handler and saw an even much longer line. UGH! Thankfully, we had 2 sleeping kids and a stroller, and the lovely lady told us to use the VIP check-in line, so 2 minutes later we were checking in, getting our Sail-and-Sign card, and going up the gangway.

Watching the ship sail away from Galveston

We spent around 2.5 hours in line, all in all. We knew this didn't bode well for the sail-a-way party, as we were scheduled to embark at 4:00, and still had to to the muster (life boat ) drill, and the line behind us was long. We entered the ship and just collapsed in the atrium area, which is beautiful and huge and has glass elevators going up 12 stories, and lovely classical music being played. We took a breather and went to find our cabins, which, of course, at the opposite side of the ship, and dumped our carry-ons, and saw that we were in line so long that our luggage had already made it there. We wandered the ship, had lunch at the buffet, and had our muster drill, which did indeed run into sail-a-way.

As soon as we dumped our life jackets in the cabin we raced up to deck 9 (7 flights of stairs) and enjoyed sailing away. Mark called his Mom to say we had made it and that we were sailing out of the port. We feared that Alisa would be afraid to be up that high looking over the rails at water, but she loved it, as did all the kids.  Dylan just wanted to be set down so he could run around.  After the sun set we went down and got dressed for dinner, which was delicious. 

Our first dinner in the formal dining room

(Mark's notes probably include what we ate each night, but I am not typing up them too!) The Melting (Molten) Cake was a big hit with the kids each night. Alisa ordered pizza pretty much every night, and Mark and I picked what we wanted to try, and ordered food for Dylan that we also wanted to try, but knew he would eat. After dinner we headed to the Camp Carnival orientation where we signed the kids up, and then they had a family party and dance, after which we headed for bed exhausted.  Thankfully we had very moderate seas, and were comfortable.

Dance party with Funship Freddie