We all got the bags together after 9 and packed up the car. We were on the road by 9:30.
Coming from the west side of the airport we hit some morning traffic. Nothing awful, it kept moving, but it was just under 30 minutes. We saw first sighting of our home for the next week at 9:55! Still very early.
We unloaded the car, parked it and got into the terminal. Check in was very easy and we went to the emerald area to sit. It was not a long wait at all. We were boarding the ship at 11am. Took the welcome aboard picture and headed on to the ship.
First thing we needed to do was to head the shore excursion desk. We had read that if you booked a bungalow on Coco Cay, as we did, you could head there upon arrival and pick your bungalow. We pre-ordered a bungalow. These are done through the cruise planner. Note- keep checking on prices. If you see a sale, you can always buy at the new price and refund the old order. We did this and saved extra! These bungalows can fit 6, so it’s great to share the cost with friends for a private area that you don’t need to rush for when you get there. Well worth the extra expense.
We were first at the desk and chose bungalow 21. No real reason except it was the first row (of two) in front of the water. Also it has a direct line to the bathrooms! Lol. 😉 Also as part of the bungalow you get beach floating mats and water. Plus you can pre-order lunch that will be brought to your bungalow. How awesome! Each person can select three items from the list. (Pic to be shared later)
We will have much more on the bungalow tomorrow. Let’s hope for good weather!
The group then headed to the Windjammer buffet on deck 11! The Windjammer was looking good with the recent refurbishment. Same space, but new modern decor that matches the look of the newest ships. There was plenty to choose as always on the embarkation lunch buffet.
After lunch, we started to look around the ship until the rooms were ready at 1pm.
We headed to our Junior Suites to look at them. Always love some extra space in the rooms. Two families have Aft Junior Suites with the other room being a Junior Suite on the hump! (The area that curves out on the ship so you can see forward and aft a bit more. Plus, right by the stairs! Awesome!!
Great thing about this JS our friends have— it was the great room we first stayed in on the Mariner 11 years ago and started our love of Royal Caribbean cruising.
Time was moving fast now. We decided to continue to explore the ship. Focusing on the promenade and lower decks to see the new additions like Playmakers Sports Bar and arcade, The Bamboo Room, Starbucks and more. Tip- we found a quiet little alcove behind a Starbucks. We claimed it as ours for the trip! Don’t tell anyone... Lol
The gang split up for some rest and to bring in the luggage to our rooms.
At 4:00 pm was the muster drill then sail-a-way! Then the weather decided it was time for a thunderstorm. We headed to the cabin to watch from our aft balcony with lounge chairs. It worked out real nice! Even though it was raining we enjoyed. Cool and relaxing!
Dinner was in the main dining room. Now called The Dining Room, it still has kept the Sound Of Music theme as it always has had. Great meal. Great servers! We really enjoyed. Food was hot and tasty! We tried the Chicken Marsala and the NY Strip with the kids chicken! I think we all licked our plates clean!
After dinner we headed to the 8pm ice show. It was really full, so we headed to the Star Lounge to play a game and watch the Finish That Lyric Game show. Good times!
Then we headed back to Studio B for the 10 pm Under the Big Top ice show. It was a really well done ice show as we remembered. It was new to the rest of our group and they all really enjoyed. Especially K! Watching these thorough a 10 year old set of eyes is always special. Including her love of getting the front row!
After the show, half the group went back to the rooms, the other half to check out the late night snacks at the Windjammer that is from 10:30- 12:30am. We expected more dessert and snack items. It was mostly real meal food like hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken and a bunch of the buffet dinner foods. Big let down. So we went to the Cafe Promenade for cookies, pizza and drinks, while dancing to the 70s Disco Party on the promenade.
That’s all for today! Early wake up tomorrow at Coco Cay!
- If you do your online check in, the entry process in the terminal is a breeze!
- The new inside refurbished areas look great! For that matter all public areas look fresh and new!
- The rooms (unless you are in the New panoramic rooms or extra additional rooms built) were not refurbished. The room is not bad in any way at all. Just the pink/ green Caribbean look as opposed to the new grey/ blue brown modern look of the new ships. The only area that seems a bit older is the bathroom, but not awful. Note- in a Junior Suite you get a full bath tub shower!