Day 1 – Monarch of the Sea

Well I have to say day one has already came and gone and boy did it go fast. For the first time on board I am taking advantage of everything that I can out there and all the events Royal Caribbean has to offer on the ship. Definitely take a highlighter when you travel, you’ll need it to highlight the events you want to do… sometimes all that small print runs together. I pulled out of Jacksonville, Fla., about ten thirty yesterday morning and made good time getting to Port Canaveral. Once arriving to the port, embarkation was a breeze. It is recommended to do all your sea pass paperwork online. This is one of the first times I actually remembered to do it. We boarded the ship about one. Keep in mind right when you get on the ship is when the fun begins! Drinks are offered at the front door for a charge. They have the “drinks of the day” that are sometimes reduced. On the embarkation deck (deck four) a dude saw the waiter and asked “how much,” to which the waiter responded “three.” The dude on the deck thought it said FREE. I’m thinking.. seriously?!

 Boarding around one o’clock was great because it wasn’t too early and that’s when the rooms were open for the passengers to get settled. I walked down to deck two and got into my room after getting turned around and being backwards. Usually I stay aft (back), this trip forward. I was very surprised when I walked into the room and found a queen bed made up. The room isn’t all that spacey but for just sleeping, showering, and changing… it suffices. One cool thing was my “Crown and Anchor” membership package and the money saving coupons they gave me (free internet credit, reduced spa and shop coupons). Also was a bathroom option which I opted out.

The muster drill (lifeboat) was at three thirty in the Boleros lounge (deck 9). They must have a new way of doing the muster drill. Every drill I have ever done you have always had to bring your life vest up to the drill. Yesterday that told us to keep the life jackets in the room. They made us go to our muster station and they called random room numbers. I am still trying to figure out why they called random room numbers… and I will get to the bottom of that before the trip is over. The drill lasted for about thirty minutes. Now it’s time for the sail away party!

The sail away took place at four o’clock. Hooting and hollering on the lido deck commenced as we past all the fishing, tug boat, and restaurant docks. We really picked up steam once we made it out of the inlet of Cape Canaveral. It was comical watching everyone making the last minute phone calls telling their kids to behave (for me it was updating my social media pages). The live music and drinks flowed for a good hour or so. You couldn’t ask for more perfect weather (sunny and 88F). We were officially Nassau, Bahamas bound!

At five o’clock the casino (deck 5) opened to give classes. Five thirty the casino opened for gaming (my guess was we were in international waters). I played two dollars and left! Right outside the casino is “The Schooner” lounge. There is a piano bar nestled in the back of it too — I sat there for a bit while my friends gambled. From that point TJ and I went and chilled out in the Viking Lounge (deck 14), its on the very top of the ship and its Royal Caribbean’s signature (being circle on the top of their ships).

We had a late seating dinner so we all went to get ready to meet in our dining room by eight thirty (deck4). Dinner last night was casual attire. We got to dinner and our table mates were three girls living through the southeast and sailing for a birthday party. It’s always enjoyable when you can have conversation with your dinner mates and not awkward weird silence… been there, done that! The offered shrimp cocktail, steak, caesar salad, and an assortment of rolls for dinner… that’s just what I had! The staff was spot on and I thought it was a nice touch that they addressed you by your first name every time they spoke with you. Dinner was great. Dessert was a banana cake, it was delicious! I did notice a lot of folks taking part in the “My Time” dining (where you can eat when you want to).

 After dinner we sat in the piano bar for a bit and listened to the entertainer, Phil Anderson. At eleven pm they had a great 1970’s dance party. That was creative and a hoot! The dancers dressed up in disco and like the village people. You can tell they had a great time doing it. There were probably 500 people packed in the centrum for this. The disco party lasted till about midnight then we went to “The Circuit (deck 8)” for dancing. The music was a mix of hip hop and top 40 although the DJ sucked. He was in his own world and wouldn’t play requests. It was good, definitely the 20’s and early 30’s crowd in there. I stayed in til about three o’clock am then came back to my room to sleep.

TJ, Me, and Callie at the piano bar.

 Overall day one was great. It was my group of friends first time sailing with Royal Caribbean and they are impressed so far. As I sit and here type this blog we just arrived in Nassau, Bahamas. Time to go out, explore, take video, and pictures! I hope you are having a great weekend.

One thing I left out was the comedy show which was in the sound of music theater at 7:45.

The comedians name was Rick Corso. He was family oriented. To be continued……….

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