On Sunday, we went to Sacrament Meeting with Laura and Michael's family. They attend a ward that provides ASL interpreting of meetings, so I watched some interpreting and got to talk to a few of the deaf members afterward. It was testimony meeting, so that was fun. Those are usually my favorite meetings to visit. It's fun to see the character of a ward.
After church, we said good-bye to the family and drove our rental car down to Ft. Lauderdale, where we got on a giant ship to sail away! We had a few small holdups along the way (mostly traffic-and-detour-related) that were slightly stressful, but in the end we made it to the ship in plenty of time. We dropped off the car at the airport and took a taxi to Port Everglades (our embarkation port), where we put our pre-printed tags on our luggage and handed it over to the porters. (It showed up in our stateroom over the course of the next few hours.) Then we showed our passports in the terminal and received cards with barcodes and our names on them. We went through security (much like the airport) and then headed through a hallway and through a doorway and suddenly we were on the ship! They scanned our cards and took pictures of us that would be associated with our cards from then on. We walked in and took some pictures of the grandiose atrium, and then headed off to find our room. It was compact but very functional. Here's a video tour of the room (actually taken much later in the trip):
We got settled and I chatted with my family for a few minutes since it was our last chance at phone service for a week and a half. We did a mandatory emergency drill and then went to get a little food before the ship left. Our first cruise food was pizza, which turned out to be not worth the calories. We only had it twice the whole time because there was so much other food that was so much better (and also because it just wasn't very good). After we ate, we found the highest point we could to watch the ship sail away. We took a bunch of videos and tried to e-mail a couple out to our parents as we left the harbor, but Jon's phone internet lost connectivity right away as we were heading out of the port. Here's what we tried to send:
Then we went to get real dinner. It was fun. We split two meals - salmon and tri-tip - and then two desserts - a chocolate brownie mousse thing called the Princess Dream Love Boat (haha), and a creme brulee. It was kind of weird because we were still in the mindset of how we eat out when we're paying for it - just the entree and sometimes dessert - so we confused the waiter by ordering just one salad to split (he actually argued with us over that one) and no appetizers. Haha. It was a relaxing night. We pretty much just explored and watched the ocean and hung out, especially because it was Sunday.
OH. Also. The ship's rocking was way more intense than I expected. I thought I would barely feel it, but it was always noticeable. We both felt a little dizzy at first, but the motion sickness meds took care of it really well. Still, it was a novelty and a much more present effect than I thought it would be.
So, welcome to our cruise!