It’s the morning of our long-awaited Greek Isles cruise embarkation and we’re up about 6:30 am in Civitavecchia. We started getting our bags organized to to kill time before the breakfast (and more importantly coffee) opened at 7 am. We had looked for nearby coffee spots that would be open at 6 am but nothing; McDonald’s, a block away, doesn’t open until 8!
Boy were there a lot of freighters in our view this morning. The water was like glass!
Morning at Hotel
We headed straight to coffee in the breakfast room before hitting the food tables. It was better this morning (the bacon was cooked properly) and I had a chocolate pastry that was very good.
We saw other guests we knew and learned that checkout was 10:30 am; we passed it along to others so they wouldn’t get a surprise call from the front desk.
At 10:30 we took our bags down to the lobby and checked out. We had a bill of 15.50 euros after the tax (it can’t be prepaid) and one minibar cocktail.
We had to wait until noon for the shuttle so we both spent time with our iPads on the patio. It was nice until a couple came out and started talking us. They had just gotten off the Jewel and were waiting for their room to be ready. They complained about the cruise, the hotel not having a room ready for them and everything else. We were glad when the front desk clerk came and told them their room was ready.
At 11:30 we moved indoors so we could hear when it was time to get on the bus.
Port Transportation and Checkin
The bellhops started loading luggage at 11:45 and told everyone waiting with tickets to board a few minutes later. For some reason we didn’t leave until 12:30 pm and I never did know what caused the hold up.
A couple of fellow Americans on-board were super rude to the driver. The one behind us yelled “turn on the air conditioning” and another banged the wall pointing to the vents. Yeah, that’s going to motivate the guy to turn it on. So, thanks to them we never got air.
It was a short drive but due to traffic and the port design it took about 15 minutes to get there. Once there, luggage was quickly unloaded. We dropped our bag with the porters who did not expect a tip because he left before I could get my money out. Wow!
We then got to the point where we were given health questionnaires to fill out and then went to the platinum check in line. We were next in line and quickly called up to an agent. Everything was processed quickly and it was right at 1 pm when we walked on the ship.
Cabins were already open so we dropped off our carryons and I took some pictures while it was as pristine as it was going to be.
You can’t really see the two nightstands well in the photo above but they each had a drawer along with a open cubby below it.
I loved the loveseat and used it a lot in the evening to relax reading or writing up my notes.
In addition to our three closets (two for hanging clothes and one with shelves), we had all the storage around the desk.
The sink was good and I had enough space in the storage area on the left side of the mirror for our things.
Now we’re at the thing I really hate about Royal Carribean cabins….
They have the smallest showers! I have never experienced such small showers on the ships of five other brands.
Our shore excursion tickets were n the cabin when we arrived along with my cup, the cruise. Critic meet and mingle invite…
and the top tier party invite…
among others (linked at the bottom of the post).
Lunch and Afternoon
This ship’s buffet is much smaller than what we enjoyed on Liberty of the Seas. For this first meal we were happy with the offerings (our story changed as the cruise went on). I also found the freestyle soda machine to use with the refillable coca cola cup that comes with drink packages. They had both caffeine-free Diet Coke and diet ginger ale; two of my favorite soft drinks.
I was so hungry there’s no pictures of the entrees we enjoyed but I know it included curry and carved roast beef. For dessert the cream puff was good for me and Steve had key lime pie.
We went back to our room where I unpacked my carry-on and then our three checked bags. We had plenty of storage and really feel this inside cabin isn’t too small.
Once done unpacking we split up my stack of reminders for the two private excursions I organized and delivered them. That left us just enough time to get our first cruise drink before muster drill so we headed to the Schooner bar.
I had a lavender daiquiri and Steve had a pina colada.
The muster drill was hot and we both were hurting from standing still so long. We decided it’s time to do the special assistance muster drill stations from now on.
Dinner and Evening
We decided to relax in the cabin and cool off until our 6 pm seating. At the appointed time there was a line to get into the dining room tonight but we expect that will dissipate soon now that people know where they are seated.
We are at a table (435) for 10 in the middle of deck 4. For about 15 minutes we were the only ones there but then were joined by a nice couple, Reggie and Jeff, who had sailed on the previous sailing, the Transatlantic from San Juan. Thirty minutes after that another couple, Jay and Chin, joined us. At least one person in each couple works in the medical field so lots to discuss.
Our waiter is Humberto from Mexico and he was great. I didn’t catch the assistant waiter’s name this evening and he was pretty quiet.
For starters I had cream of mushroom soup…
and Chicken Waldorf salad.
Steve also had the chicken salad along with shrimp cocktail. I didn’t get a picture of the shrimp this evening but he had it every night so got it later. 🙂
My entree was chicken Marsala.
The beautiful prime rib below was Steve’s choice.
For dessert, I selected the warm chocolate cake.
Steve had apple pie a la mode. We had to ask for coffee and got it.
We decided to skip the entertainment tonight but did walk around the ship exploring a bit where we found this beautiful scene.
Afterwards we headed to the room; I had over 10,000 steps on my watch and my legs were aching. We needed to rest for our day in Messina tomorrow!
Below are the handouts from day 1.
Platinum Benefits Letter
Gold Benefits Letter
Officers and Staff
If you missed the other parts of the recap the links are below.