Sunday, May 4, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink

Today was the day! We were getting on our Mediterranean cruise! I stayed back and packed up while the others took Brian, Esther and Betty Jean on a walk to St. Mark’s Square, since they hadn’t had a chance to see it yet. I was on vacation and wanted to sleep in! I also had the surprise of being treated to more buttery croissants when they returned.

Then, we were ready to head towards the cruise ship terminal. We locked up the apartments and headed to the vaporetto station with our suitcases. We were learning that you had to fend for yourself here and had been working on the art of making human walls to stop people from cutting in line. This definitely almost happened while trying to board the boat. They even stopped letting on suitcases halfway through our group because the boat was so busy, but all seven of us managed to rush on, while the attempted line-jumpers had to wait for the next one.

We got off at the final stop, Piazzale Roma, and attempted to find the train to the cruise ship terminal. It seemed like a great idea that there was a train to get us out there. After walking in a few circles, we finally found it. We got settled on the train and quickly discovered that we would only be sitting for about three minutes. Then, we were up again to get off! We thought it would be a quick walk to the terminal because we could easily see it from the platform, but then we had to keep walking . . . and walking . . . and walking. We were at the FAR terminal. We were pretty much ready to pack it in with sore backs and no energy when we finally arrived.

We were able to get rid of our suitcases (finally!) and headed in to register and get our cruise cards. Unfortunately, the ship got in late due to some weather in Dubrovnik and we ended up in line quite a bit longer than expected. We were able to snag some water and juice while waiting though and one gentleman waiting near us took it upon himself to walk up and down the line offering people cups and water.

Finally, we got moving and after going through security, boarded the ship and headed to the lunch buffet! We found lots of great things and once we were stuffed, we went down to the rooms to check them out and get changed into bathing suits for some hot tub time!

We left port around 5:00pm and travelled down the Grand Canal and into the lagoon. It was a little nerve-wracking to see our massive ship try to navigate between the markers showing deep water. We watched from our rooms at the back of the ship and then rushed to get ready for dinner, since we were the first sitting.

We had heard rumours that tap water wouldn’t be automatically ready at the dinner tables (and even available at all), as we had experienced on all of the other cruises we had been on. After sitting down and taking a look at the menus, the drink server arrived to take our orders . . . and the rumours were right! They wouldn’t let us have water, unless it came in a bottle and was of the fizzy or mineral variety! We were pretty surprised by all of this and my mom, being my mom, wasn’t going to let the issue drop. We had heard that Americans got free water tickets for dinner, since it was something they were “used to with dinner.” My mom marched down to Guest Relations and explained the situation and how Canadians drink water with dinner too! She did it . . . she got us our water! It still came in a bottle, but at least we weren’t going to have to lug down tap water in our own water bottles from the buffet.

After a long and drawn out dinner, we headed off to our various activities for the night. Tanya and Stephanie tried to check out the candy store, Brian went to casino and mom, Esther, Betty Jean and I headed off to the show. Our first day on the ship definitely started out as an interesting one!

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