As mentioned in the last post, it’s difficult to coordinate travel with 17 people and their schedules. Our late June sail date from Bayonne, NJ seemed like a good time to travel. Then four Nor’ Easters hit New Jersey during March. Our snow days were obliterated and all of the kids on the trip ended up missing the last few days of school.
Of course, what kid wouldn’t trade a few days of school for a cruise? We were all excited for the school year to end and to get our vacation on. Then June decided to be as miserable as March had been. Many times in June we are dealing with an early heat wave. But the cruise departed on a gray, chilly, windy day.
It was lovely to be able to drive to the port and not worry about flights. Security was easy and we were soon on the ship. Within a few minutes of getting on the ship, the first of our mishaps occurred. All of the family were staying on the same floor and were all reasonably close to each other. As we tried to help each other find our cabins, my uncle fell. He had turned to say something and didn’t see a large mop and bucket in his way. He went tumbling down the hall and actually flipped over. I think he was all right in the end, but it didn’t give us a cruise vibe to start the trip.
I’ll go into detail about the ship another time, but will relate another almost mishap. We entered our cabin for four and saw…two twin beds. Having sailed before, I knew the second set of twin beds often folded down from the wall. But the walls were bedless. It took a little bit of freaking out until someone explained to us they came down from the ceiling. Oops. At least a crisis was averted.
We made our way to the Windjammer to have lunch then register the kids at the Kids’ Club (spoiler-they never attended a single kids’ club event). After that it was time for departure. We huddled together on the deck with the other 2,000 passengers and tried not to blow away.
The coolest part was sailing under the Verrazano bridge. Of course we knew there was enough space for the ship to fit, but from our perspective it seemed…close.
Mishap number 2 occurred when my uncle tried to secure a table (or tables close to each other) for dinner. We had decided to forgo the same dinner table and time each night for more flexibility. The “my time” dining sounded as if we could make reservations as we decided to eat in the main dining room. That is not what it meant, and many of the larger tables were already full. We managed to eat at the tables a few nights, but it was stressful. I felt as if I should have planned more.
Fortunately the weather warmed up and stayed beautiful the rest of the trip. And while there were more mishaps, we lived through them. We ate at the Windjammer again for dinner instead of battling it out in the dining room. Soon after, we discovered Cafe Promenade and found that it was a quieter, cuter place to eat. And it had mini-breakfast burritos. And pizza, coffee and dessert.
The general cadence of our trip went the same way. We found something we didn’t like or chafed against. Then we found a way to enjoy something else. It was important for us to keep this perspective, and remember the trip was for my grandmother.