The four of us arrived at lunch with one large suitcase, and four carry-on bags in-tow (read more about why we ate lunch with our bags in Part 1). This, along with several hundred other families lugging around their families and bags, made finding a table for lunch interesting. After circling the Windjammer once, we got lucky and pounced on a table as another family stood to leave.
Lunch was a buffet, and everyone was pleased with what they found to eat. Chad scarfed down 3 cheeseburgers, Chase accepted the challenge to try each dessert on the dessert bar, Heather was excited to find a salad bar, and I found some Thom Ka Gai soup… one of my favorites.
By the time we were done eating, our room was ready, so we dropped our bags in the room, and went to investigate the kids’ areas of the ship. Locating the kids’ areas was easy (Deck 10, Aft), what to do when we got there was a little more difficult to figure out.
In order for Chase to participate in his age group’s activities we needed to register him. However, when we arrived to do this it was not clear what we were supposed to do. There was only one employee present, and she was understandably overwhelmed. We tried to ask her for help, but she was so busy we never got a great answer on how to complete the registration process. Eventually we found a table with some registration forms on it, filled one out, handed it in, and hoped we had done it correctly.
Our next stop was the rock-climbing wall (Deck 12, Aft). We had read in the “Welcome Aboard” documents that we needed to complete a release form so that Chase could climb whenever it was open. When we arrived there was nobody there… just a few tumbleweeds blowing around the deck.
Suggestions for Royal Caribbean: Signage in the kids’ area telling parents how to complete the registration process would have helped the parents, and the employee that was there. A “We’ll be back at ___” sign at the rock-climbing wall would have helped us know when to come back and register our son.
By this point we were ready to find a couple of chairs to relax in before the boat left the dock, and headed for the Bahamas. Even with the number of people already on-board we were able to find a couple of chairs together. Here is the view from the deck before we left Miami:
Before long all of the passengers were aboard, and we were ready to set sail from Miami. There was just one thing to do before we could leave– a practice emergency drill.
When you get your SeaPass card your “muster station” is printed on it. In the case of a big emergency (like hitting an iceberg) the captain will sound an alarm, and everyone proceeds directly to his or her assigned muster station. From there your “muster chief” will give you further instructions. It is a bit of pain to practice this, but I can understand and appreciate why they do it.
Once the all clear signal was sounded it meant we were clear to leave. Heather and I found a good vantage point on an upper deck, and enjoyed watching Miami fade into the distance as we headed to the Bahamas.