Our Cruise Log: Boarding in Fort Lauterdale!

We woke up Sunday morning, weather was still cloudy in Fort Lauderdale, but warm…warm enough to put on T-shirts and shorts.  We ate breakfast at the hotel’s breakfast bar, and then the hotel’s courtesy van took us over to the ship.

At first, we didn’t notice the ship was in dock when we looked out the balcony, then we looked to the left and saw the HUGE Regal Princess at the dock that looked like a massive skyscraper built on land!

Our luggage was placed on one of these carts, and would be moved to our room by their staff.  We headed up and got into line for priority boarding where we took these photos.  When we stepped out the hotel van, we could see the top of the Regal Princess towering above the terminal building.  We got our passports out, checked in and got our cruise cards that became our ID, room key and purchasing card on the ship.  Check in was prompt and orderly.

We hat to wait in the terminal for a little while, not very long at all actually, I guess for the previous guests to leave the ship before we could get on.  I took these photos of the ship out the window of the terminal.  We were on the second floor of the terminal. This is getting exciting…this ship is HUGE!   We then entered through the covered plank on the top right picture to get on the boat.  We enter the boat at the Piazza, which looks like this:

 

Wow!  awesome looking ship inside!  We looked around the Piazza and at some of the shops around. We could not enter our rooms yet because they were still preparing them for us. Of course, Andrea wanted to check out the Library 🙂

 

We then headed up on deck to check it out.  A James Taylor concert was playing on the big 30 diagonal LED display

We checked out the Sea Walk…a walkway that goes out over the water…about 120 feet down!

Then headed over to the Horizon Buffet for some lunch

We were then able to check into our rooms.  They had put balloons up on my parents room for their 50h anniversary 🙂  They had a mini-suite, and we had a standard balcony room.  Our room was second from the end of the boat, where theirs was closer to the middle.  Here’s photos of our rooms.  Mom’s on the left, and ours on the right.

From the view from our balconies, you could see all the activity going on at the port…all the cages full of luggage, and a fuel truck with um…about enough fuel to keep us going for a few hours.  Looking to the left was a great view of ALlure of the SEas which was in dock at the same time.  It was also time for muster, where we had to go for our lifeboat drill.  We met in the lounge at the back of the boat, which is pictured here

Then it was time to head to sea! We had to wait a short moment for a fleet of Lasers having a regatta to get out of the channel before being able to head to sea, then The Regal Princess gently eased away from the dock using her thrusters and slowly began to move through the inlet out into the open waters.  She blaster her “Love Boat” horn on the way out to sea

With the Miami skyline fading into the distance, The Ft Lauterdale pilot disembarked, and we were on our way to the Bahamas.  They had a football game playing on the big TV.  One of the few non-superbowl football games I actually watched.

The seas were rather choppy that night with 6-8 foot swells as we headed west.  That didn’t stop these acrobats in the piazza from their amazing performances and balancing as the boat rolled and pitched.  It wasn’t a whole lot really, but enough to notice…These acts though are a challenge on stationary land though, not counting on a moving ship!  The rolling motion and the hum of the big diesel engines made for a relaxing night and we slept good.  The next morning, we would awaken in Princess Cays, Bahamas!

 

 

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