Final Countdown to our cruise on Freedom of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

To travel is to live. – Hans Christian Anderson

Last week before our cruise!

Finally!  Down to the final week before we cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas again!  This is going to be my last blog until I blog from her during our cruise.  Freedom of the Seas was my first “Wow!” ship, and I’m looking forward to being on her again.  I still remember the awe I felt when I first saw the Promenade on her last time.

So much to do

I have to admit, there’s so much left to do for our cruise that I’ve had trouble sleeping, plus I’m so excited to be cruising again.  We’ll be heading out a couple of days before the cruise just to get away.  First day I’m working half of a day, then driving for a few hours, then on Saturday, we’ll be driving into Fort Lauderdale.  I’ve never been to Port Everglades before, so it will be a new experience for us.

We’ve booked a room in Fort Lauderdale on Hotwire, and then booked parking at a local cruise parking lot.  We did that in Port Canaveral last time, and it worked out much better than the Snooze, Park and Cruise motels, and it was much cheaper.  Plus, the parking lot was much closer to the port and shuttles ran continually, so it didn’t take us as long to get into our car and on the road back home.

Packing

I haven’t even started packing yet.  As many times as I’ve packed for cruises, I’m still always afraid that I’ll forget something, so I pack too much and then regret it when I have to pick up the luggage.  I still have to figure out how to perfect the packing without stress.

I get to do an interview

And I’m working on my questions for my interview of whomever I get to interview on the ship’s bridge.  That does make me a bit nervous since this is only my second interview for my blog.  But I really enjoyed interviewing Tim Connor, the Cruise Director on Oasis of the Seas, last time, and I think that I’ll enjoy it this time.  Fingers crossed for a tour of the Bridge.

40th Wedding Anniversary

This cruise is actually a celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary.  In honor of that, Royal Caribbean is supposed to have a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries in our room.  And that is probably the only fruit that I will be eating the entire cruise.

Food is probably my hardest struggle on a cruise….trying not to eat too much of it. I know that people complain about cruise food, but I’ve always found that it’s pretty good, and that’s my problem.  Even though I use the stairs a lot of the time, don’t drink much alcohol, and walk a lot in port, I will still gain weight.  Usually I’ll gain 3 to 4 lbs. in the one week of the cruise.  And this time…and every other time…I am determined to eat healthier and not gain weight.  Yeah…right….  Anyway, I am going to try to at least eat more fruit and healthy food, but that chocolate cake looks so good…..

Favorite place to eat

My favorite place to eat on the ship is the main dining room.  We really don’t go out all that much while we’re ashore, so the MDR is a treat for me, especially on elegant night.  I love getting to know the waiters a bit, and we love to sit with other couples and get to know them also. I’ve made some good friends that way.  And I’m not a picky eater, so I really do enjoy the food.

I remember my first time ordering the Strawberry Bisque as an appetizer.   The waiter sat a bowl in front of me with a strawberry on it.  My husband and I looked at it in amazement, wondering if that was one of those new fancy tiny appetizers.  And then he brought the soup part, and it was delicious, like having your dessert before you got your main course.

Half the fun is trying new things that you’ve never tried before.  I’ve had lobster, which I wasn’t overly fond of, and last time I tried the Escargot.  Not fond of that either, but I did try it.  One of my favorite new things are the Alligator Nuggets.  Delicious!  That’s part of the fun of a cruise.  You’re not going to get the waiters dancing on Royal Caribbean, but it’s still a great experience.

We don’t do specialty restaurants

We really don’t spring for the specialty restaurants.  We go on a cruise because everything is included, so paying extra for food would really defeat the purpose.  For breakfast we’ll either go to the main dining room or to the Windjammer Buffet.  The buffet is okay, but it can get pretty crowded and sometimes it’s hard to find a table.

Last time on Freedom of the Seas we met a young man named Vherr who was new to the life of working on a cruise ship.  He had a wife and young son at home, and was going to work for two years to make enough money to start his own business.  And every evening after the show we’d go to the Windjammer for a treat and he’d have a table waiting for us and talk to us for a while (and that’s why I gain weight on a cruise).  I’ve never forgotten him. He was a special young man, and I’ve met many other ship employees just as special.  So, make sure to get to know the employees a bit, they are very interesting people.

Entertainment

Another thing that I’m looking forward to is the entertainment.  Royal Caribbean has first class entertainment, from the singers, to the comedians, to the headliner shows. It’s so nice to go to dinner, and then walk to the night’s show, and not have to drive anywhere.  It’s so relaxing, and there is no need for a designated driver.

Dolphin Encounter

We’re going to do the Dolphin Encounter in Cozumel at Dolphinaris which is exciting to me also.  I’ve always wanted to do it.  Other than that, we don’t have a lot of plans at port, but who knows what we’ll end up doing?  I’ll update you as we go.

So, for now it’s Bon Voyage.  Keep on the lookout for my daily blogs from Freedom of the Seas!

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