The first official thing that is done aboard ship is the muster drill. This is a mandatory exercise where you practice what to do in the case of a ship board emergency. It entails wearing the ever stylish life vests and finding and going to your cabins muster station. Most of these stations are outside on deck and you get to stand in lines either in very hot or very windy and cold conditions. This trip we were very fortunate. Our muster station was in the dining room. Of course there are questions that come up with that as a gathering point. one being, will we still be sitting in the dining room as the ship goes down while everyone else is on deck getting into life boats? Fortunately we did not have a ship board emergency so this question was not answered.
Before I go any farther in this cruising adventure I think I need to introduce you to our traveling companions Bob and Nancy. This was their first official cruise. They did have the fortune of traveling on a navy transport ship when they returned from Spain in the 60's (I think that is the correct decade). We had a great time together and there faces, and backs, will show up in future pictures. This picture was taken while we were waiting on deck for "sail away". Nancy was enjoying and clapping along with the music that was being played on deck. Part of the sailing out of the port was going under the Verrazano bridge. I had really wanted to see that since they say the ship just fits or that's what it looks like anyway, but we had early seating for dinner which was supposed to be at 6pm, but they changed to 5:30 so we were already inside at our table when we sailed under it.
I know these pictures aren't very exciting, but at least you know the main characters of this trip now. Next I will take you on a short trip around the ship as the first full day of our trip was spent at sea. Normally this would be a day outdoors by the pool, but on a cruise that goes north in October swimming is not a desirable of an activity. Though there were people in the outdoor hot tubs most days and on our last day at sea I did see a couple of kids and their brave parents in the pool itself. Every afternoon though there was a band that valiantly withstood the cold and played for an almost none existent audience. You will see them later as well.
By for now.