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Day Two: Ship Sails

After Debbie got back from church this morning, we packed and had the breakfast buffet at the glorious "Kindaclosebutnottothe" Airport Doubletree.

The food was actually pretty good until the lady who sat two booths behind us got in line to serve herself. She either had triple pneumonia or the worst smoker's cough I have ever heard. I was sure that there was a lung somewhere in the scrambled eggs. I think the little Oriental lady in the lobby wearing the mask had heard the sounds down the hall and fortunately still carried her SARS gear.

Oh well ... who needs an appetite.

We jumped into a town car and headed to Pier 91 for ...EMBARKATION!

Apparently, 5000 other people decided to do the same thing at the same time. Those who have cruised before know the drill: Line up with your passports, health forms and credit cards in hand. Other than the credit card, it must have felt exactly like this for my grandparents when they landed at Ellis Island. I guess there were a few more people and less air conditioning too.

It took about an hour or so to get through the paperwork but when we finally got to our room ... it was worth it!

The suite is amazing. Jacuzzi bathtub, separate shower, big closet (I would have never noticed it ... Debbie did), private deck, two TVs, fruit, flowers, chocolate covered strawberries, butler concierge ... Incredible!

However ... it is an Aft Suite (boat talk for back of the ship). So there's a noticeable vibration. I figured it was either somone getting lucky below us or we are over the propeller.

After we did the Muster Station Drill ... which I must say I excelled in ... we explored the rest of the ship. We saw the place where they try to sell you artwork, the place where they try to sell you photos they took of you, the place where they try to sell you spa treatments, the place where they try to sell you liquor and jewelry ... Is it me or do you notice a pattern here?

We ate dinner at a cool dining room with a waiter that was nice (and loud) and tried his best to sell us cases of wine while the hostess did a half hour on special champagne breakfast buffets at sea for only 50 bucks apiece. I swear ... the only saving grace was that the waiter looked just like Mango from SNL.

Okay ... it's 9 PM and I have to check out this sound coming from the 6th Deck ... I hear plastic chips, cards shuffling and spinning wheels ... can't imagine what that is ....



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