Did you like my little sneak peek? Longing for more? Of course you are. I thought before we got into any of the stops I'd show you the ship! We sailed on Royal Caribbean Int'l and our ship was called the Mariner of the Seas. She is a pretty big ship; bigger than the Disney ship we were on. Somehow when I booked the cruise, there was one aft facing cabin left. If you don't know what that is (and lets be honest, some people don't), that means it was on the back of the ship. Cabins on the aft have extra large balconies, which was nice. Where a regular balcony on the side of the ship can hold 2 upright chairs and a small side table, our balcony had 2 regular chairs and a small table, it also had 2 lounge chairs, and loads of room to spare. We loved it. The cabin itself was not huge, but large enough for us if Indy's bed was made back into the sofa. To be honest though, with a crib, it was a bit cramped. Next time, I want a junior suite!
Getting to the ship was an adventure that I do not care to experience again. We flew to Rome and spent 2 days there, then took the train out to Civitavecchia, about 45 minutes away to board the ship (apparently it's a ship and not a boat). This was all fine and dandy, except that the train from Rome drops you at the second platform. This means you have to go down a set of stairs, under track 1 and then back up a set of stairs to go through the station and get out. We had about 800 pounds of luggage that had to be carried up and down those stairs, plus a baby and a stroller. I was so not happy. Gigi has recently had back surgery, so hauling heavy suitcases up and down stairs was not really something she should be doing. She argued of course that she in fact could carry them, but throwing out her back and being in traction for the cruise was not something I wanted to deal with. I was a big sweaty mess by the time all the luggage was up at the station. We had 3 large suitcases, 2 pilot cases and Han Solo's stroller. Oh, and getting the stuff off the train was a treat too. The train has a TWO MINUTE scheduled stop. TWO MINUTES! That meant everything had to be practically thrown off the train onto the platform. Gigi and Indy went down with Han Solo and one of the pilot cases and then I started dropping down everything else (the train was really high above the platform!). The first thing I dropped down was the stroller and guess what? It fell off the platform and went UNDER the train. Holy ****! It was just under the edge though, so I hopped off the train, grabbed it and hauled back up on the platform. Probably not the smartest move, but we needed that stroller! Then I jumped back on the train and started chucking down the luggage. Because there was soooooo many people getting off the train for the cruise with a ton of luggage themselves, the train was actually stopped for about 6 minutes. It's a good thing, or we'd have had a crushed stroller, and probably a bag or two still floating around Italy. Enough of the insanity of getting there, let's look at the ship, shall we?
In the interest of full disclosure, these first few photos are not mine. They are from travel websites because, well, they show the ship better than I could.
This is the aft. The circled balcony was ours.
The dining room was gorgeous. While it was all the same place, each floor had its own name. Our table was on the bottom level, which was titled Rhapsody in Blue. The other 2 levels were The Sound of Music and Top Hat and Tails. I don't know why.
This is the pool deck. There was also a pool for adults only, but these were the "everybody pools."
The sports deck. It was so windy though, I don't know how anyone could play mini golf. I tried to talk Indy into rock climbing, but "Mr. I don't think that's safe" would not go for it. If Han Solo were old enough, he'd have gone with me!
Okay, now these photos I actually took. As you'll be able to tell by the quality. :) This is our cabin before it got completely destroyed. I tried to get a photo the minute we went in, because it would never be that clean again, but 2 little munchkins ran straight in and started messing it up. We put Han Solo's crib on the back side of the bed, near the glass doors, and the sofa made into a queen bed for Indy.
The balcony.On the last night, Indy and I pulled out a ton of blankets and pillows and slept on the two lounge chairs. He thought it was great fun.
This is actually a photo I took of the pool day the day of embarkation and they weren't open yet.
Indy on the deck (sun deck, I think) just above the pool on the day we boarded.
Indy and Han Solo. This is actually the solarium, which is for adults only, and has the adult pool and hot tub, but if you use the forward elevators and get off at the pool deck, you have to walk through this area to get to the rest of the pool deck. Weird. Anyway, I had them sit on a lounger so I could get their photo.
These aren't great photos, but the lighting in the dining room is not conducive to photos unless it's a really god camera, or a professional shoot, apparently.
Me and Han Solo before one of the "dress up" dinners. If you can't tell, I picked up the dress while we were in Greece that day. See the Greek pattern on the waist?
From our deck, looking down on the Royal Promenade, which is full of shops, restaurants, bars (champagne bar!) and cafes, and leads tt one of the theaters and the casino.
Taken from the same area as the above shot, looking through the elevator shaft. You can just see Gigi and Indy. This was debarkation day. :(
This was our first full day at sea. We left from Civitavecciha and spent 2 days sailing through the Mediterranean before porting in Egypt.
I think this is between Israel and Turkey, but I don't know. I wasn't really paying attention after a while. I was too relaxed.