Totally at sea, it was time to explore the boat. We made a conscious decision that we would not use the lifts and by running the stairs we would be justified in letting ourselves eat whatever we liked. This worked as we only put on 1 kg during the voyage. By the end of the first day our muscles had almost turned to jelly and we both were experiencing quite a bit of pain in those areas that we obviously seldom use.
We went downstairs first. On decks 5 to 7 were the main entertaining decks. The Piazza and shopping galleries, coffee shops, clubs and bars, promenade deck, lounges and libraries, theatres and dining rooms were to be found.
Here, over the cruise, we gathered for special events such as the champagne fountain. The crowds were always large for these events and finding chairs at times difficult but sometimes you got a better view standing on the sweeping staircases or the galleries above.
What assaulted us on the first day were all the venues selling items and packages. Again we had to consider drinks packages, coffee packages and internet packages. We decided against everything other than coffee. Next time we wouldn’t bother with coffee either. No offence but Americans don’t know what good coffee is (no offence) and I preferred the drip filtered coffee from deck 17 to the black esspresso. As I don’t drink alcohol was no problem for me at all and Roger drinks little. He would have a glass of wine or a beer at his evening meals, sometimes he didn’t bother and we didn’t find the cost expensive. A bottle of beer cost about $7.50 au. If you were to drink 6 a day then it was worth considering the drinks package. We had met someone at a party before boarding who told us that they felt, having the drinks package, that they had to make use of it. As a result they started drinking at breakfast time and put on vast amounts of weight. We did attend as many champagne events as we could where we could get a couple of free champagnes (I gave mine to Roger) and as these were able to be found on most days drinking was for us not a problem. For someone else however, having bought the drinks package and not realising it was for one person only bought drinks for his entire table. When he was confronted with this (he must have already been sozzled) he head butted the waiter. The captain used his at sea powers and detained him and put him and his wife off the boat (with a New Zealand police escort) at our first port of call in the Bay of Islands.
Leaving the middle of the ship we made our way up to decks 16 and 17 where the outdoor movies were being shown, the 24 hour smorgasbord dining was found, specialty restaurants, swimming pools, children’s areas, beauty salon and fitness centre, pizza, hamburger and other take away food outlets. Having got our bearings we made our way to our anniversary dinner. We had chosen anytime dining which meant we could choose to sit by ourselves or join a random table which gave us different table companions each meal. For this meal we ate alone, were serenaded by the waiters and had a special super delectable chocolate anniversary cake gifted to us. It made our day very special.
We then went and watched our only sunset. We somehow managed to get to the back of the boat but couldn’t find our way back in. The wind was blowing strongly, even Roger’s hair was standing on end.
We could see the teenage boys inside but we couldn’t get in. As it became dark and we were up amongst the communication equipment
finding a door that was locked I started to panic. Soon after we found our way in and made our way to trivia nights and other entertainment but that will be for another post.