For our first full day at sea on Monday, Steve and I planned on getting up a bit early. I wanted to work out and darnit, we wanted one of those big comfy chairs on the Serenity Deck!
I was at the gym a bit before 7:15 and it was definitely not as crowded
as it had been the day before at around 8 - there were actually a few
treadmills available when I arrived. That said, those few were taken
within ten minutes of my arrival.
We arrived on the Serenity deck right at 8 AM...and ALL of the big comfy
clamshell chairs - specifically the ones with the covers - were taken!
By bags, though, not people. Now, the couches, most of the lounge
chairs, and a couple of the round chairs that don't have the covers were
available but we wanted one of those clamshell chairs.
We set ourselves up on one of the couches and yes, I was one of "those
people" who doesn't stand for long-time chair hogging. Within 10-15
minutes of our arrival the occupants of two of the chairs had
returned...but after we waited 40 minutes and the third chair still only
had a single beach bag "holding" it, I approached a crew member and
asked him about removing it. He had been cleaning the deck when we
arrived and had been within twenty feet of us most of that time, so when
I explained how long we had waited and that not a single person had
approached the chair he removed the bag to the nearby towel station.
Needless to say, at about 9 AM the woman who had been "holding" the
chair with her single beach bag finally returned. She wasn't happy about
the situation but thankfully didn't cause too much of a scene. Honestly
I'm guessing she put that bag on the chair before 6 AM or possibly even
the night before, due to something we experienced later in the week
(I'll get into that on my final sea day review, promise), and I
refuse(d) to feel bad about asserting my right to that 30 minute rule
Steve enjoying our hard-won chair! We even brought pillows up from our
room. Darn right we enjoyed every moment we spent in that thing! haha
Now, for breakfast first Steve went to get a plate of food from the buffet, then I did. That way there was always someone in our chair.
We're not big buffet people but I will say that the French toast was
good, as were the croissants. We also had other random items like
cheese, cereal, etc. The chocolate muffins were kind of dry/bleh and the
scrambled eggs were honestly disgusting. They *looked* like scrambled
eggs but *tasted* like hard-boiled eggs. Something was wrong there,
though I'm not quite sure what.
As for the general chair-hogging scene...I don't know if it was just
because we were up there pretty early, but even as "late" as about 9:30
AM there were still chairs available here and there on the Lido deck
(like, around the pool - though more so on the levels that are stepped
up rather than the ones right next to the pool). There was a lot of
chair hogging but it wasn't like there wasn't a single chair available,
if you catch my drift. The Serenity wasn't even *that* bad - there were
still several lounges available as late as 10/10:30 AM, though all the
best chairs were taken...haha
Luckily for the woman sitting on the lounge chair next to our clamshell
chair, we had somewhere to be at 12:30...a Cruise Critic roll call
cocktail party! I'm not even kidding you, the MOMENT we showed any signs
of packing up our stuff this person was on the edge of her seat waiting
to grab "our" chair. I don't mean to say she wasn't polite about it or
anything...we just got a bit of a kick over it.
Our cocktail party was a bit early for my taste, and held in the Stage
Lounge. Gosh I wish they'd schedule these outside/in a place that has
inside-outside access if they're going to do them in the middle of the
day like this! That said it really was a blast. We had an extremely
active Cruise Critic roll call (as I think I mentioned before) and I got to meet
several of the people I'd been chatting with for months, which was
great. Service was really good, as well.
Post-cocktail party (it ended at 2:30 and honestly still wasn't long
enough! so much fun) we went back to our room to crack open one of the
bottles of wine we'd brought on board and enjoy our balcony for a bit,
before heading back up to the Lido for a bite to eat and some Bingo.
This is the first time I'd had a balcony room since my Princess Alaska
cruise in May 2008...I'd forgotten how amazing it was...sigh.
Bingo was at 3:15 so we ran up and were able to snag chairs right by the
pool in order to participate. Now, I don't play bingo at home but I had
*so* much fun with it on my Alaska cruise that I wanted to give it a go
again. Unfortunately...it just wasn't the same. Probably because there
isn't much else to do on an Alaska cruise, or maybe because Princess
puts a lot of focus on their Bingo activity. Sad.
Anyway, so Steve bought our Bingo card and I grabbed another Guy's
Burger. YUM! I have to say (because I meant to mention this in my recap
of our first day, and forgot) these burgers are just amazing...but WOW
are they messy! Though it was nice that both times I had one (around
2:30 on embarkation day and at a few minutes after 3 on the first sea
day) I didn't really have to wait. Maybe a 10 minute wait that first
time and less than 3 minutes this time. Though to be honest it maaaay
have been because I was eating at such odd times, haha.
So yeah, Bingo was $20 for three games but honestly they went SO
quickly. They were offering the cash craze things for $5 but we didn't
buy any...thankfully, because the very next night they were giving them
away for free when you bought a Bingo card.
Anyway, I'm also not big on the idea of this round of Bingo being on the
Lido deck...Mainly because it was hot, the sun was pounding down on us
(the only shady spots where you could see the screen were at the edges
of the Red Frog and Blue Iguana bars), and I'm just not the BIGGEST fan
of the noise level right around the center area/main pool of the Lido.
I'm not sure if they held Bingo out here during the day at any other
point throughout the week, but if they did...we didn't go.
Phew. More to come about the first formal night, so stay tuned :)