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Day One-All Aboard

Day One – All Aboard

It amazes me to realize that we have been aboard the gorgeous Celebrity Constellation for six days. The time flies by. We are active from morning to night. There is so much to tell. Where to begin? At the beginning seems a good plan.

We boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, April 17th. Embarkation was so easy. We were out of the car, through security and check-in and onboard the ship in less than fifteen minutes. As we walked up the gangplank, the excitement began to mount. I’m normally very unfazed by travel, but there’s something about boarding a huge ship that elicits butterflies in my stomach. They are not dull brown moths, but beautiful sort of Monarch butterflies symbolizing joy and happy anticipation. As soon as we exited the gangplank and entered the stunning marble foyer, we were greeted by staff offering us champagne. Yes, an auspicious beginning.

After genteel imbibing during which I chug-a-lugged two Mimosas, we boarded the elevator to deck ten to enjoy lunch. Our stateroom wouldn’t be available until one-thirty PM. We found a table in front of the window already occupied by a nice English couple. They were happy to have us join them and introductions were shared. Soon an absolutely lovely, quite elderly Scottish couple joined us. I am so used to my husband that I forget that he has an English accent. He just sounds like John to me. I quickly realized that because we were on a transatlantic crossing to England, the UK would be heavily represented both person and accent-wise on this trip. It made me happy to hear the cacophony of accents from every part of the UK. I’ve come to know that we have a large contingent of Germans aboard. All announcements are made in English and German. I will write more about the Germans later when I am more kindly disposed toward them. Today, based upon poolside lounge chair saving/hogging beginning at seven AM by hordes of Germanic speakers, is not that day.


Half-way through a delicious lunch we were informed that our room was ready. We have a very nice deluxe veranda stateroom. We weren’t sure that we really needed to spend the extra money for the upgraded veranda room, but thinking of fifteen days aboard ship decided we would like to be able to sit on the veranda and soak up the sun. I am still reserving judgment as it has been too cool for me to sit out there today (we are somewhere between Bermuda and the Azores).

Before the cruise I joined a discussion forum about cruising. On the board one may join a discussion group called a role call designed especially for one’s particular cruise. Through the forum, I found others and we managed to “meet” three other couples and form a dinner table group of eight. We all wanted a late dinner seating, eight-thirty PM. We like meeting new people. Before the cruise each of us wrote a brief sort of introduction of us as a couple. Still, we had no clue how this all would work out. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped by ill suited tablemates.

Before dinner we went to the theatre for a show by a gal named Jackie Michaels, a former Broadway singer and then back-up singer for Barbra Streisand. She was good; not outstanding.

Dinner dress the first evening out of port is “country club casual” meaning not formal, but no shorts, jeans, tennis shoes etc... This dress code is because not everyone may have their suitcases by dinner time. We were led to table 448 and our first face to face meeting with our online friends. Dinner conversation was lively and quick, but still somewhat exploratory. Over dessert though…well, that was the piece de resistance. I cannot remember the exact crystallizing moment, I think someone mentioned Obama, but we each had the “aha” moment almost simultaneously, realizing that we were all politically attuned and could freely exchange thoughts on the state of world affairs and philosophical beliefs. Small talk would not occupy our dinner conversations. The hell with the weather or the colors used in the staterooms or the nationality of the cruise staff members. We could actually discuss substantive ideas and global issues. Being the effusive, impulsive, affectionate girl that I am, I gushed to all, “Oh, I love this table! I love you all!” What a serendipitous event to have never once on the forum even alluded to anything other than cruise details and to have ended up gathering together eight liberals for dinner. Truly, my heart sang. We spent over two hours at the dinner table. Our meal was excellent from starter to salad to entrée’ to dessert. I started with Feuillete with Mushrooms in a creamy Herb Sauce, followed by Chilled Tangerine and Apple soup, Caesar Salad, Broiled South African Cape Hake and Crème Brulee. I did not and will not count calories. Why upset myself? We left the dining room and sat for a half hour in the champagne bar before waddling off to bed. We would sail overnight to Nassau, Bahamas, scheduled to dock at seven AM. In our little world, everything was fantastic.




Reader Comments (7)

Hi Dana and John. This is your family back in Florida. We miss you guys and are glad you are having a wonderful time (hopefully you still are having fun). The kids send huggs and kisses. Taffy won't get out of the pool. She is doing great. Take care.
David, Tina, Kyle, Keli, Ethan and especially... Taffy

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Smiling to myself here. How like you to research and find exactly the right mix for dinner. You GO Girl!!!!! Have a wonderful time!! And enjoy the veranda! I would . Loves to you! ~M

April 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMezzo

Sounds really great, glad you are having a good time. Me, I am literally at standstill with a fluey cold that everyone appears to have at present. Was due away today but wont make it as far as the front door, three very fed up dogs. Maybe they will in protest the way they keep glaring at me and looking suggestively outside. When do the deckchairs get put out, could you place towels on them before bedtime? Why does some things never change?

May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Hey Dana,
Sounds like you are having a great time, I am envious in Kentucky, thanks for sharing and post more pics!

May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Hi John & Dana:

Miss our "Happy Hour" meetings and of course Taffy. Glad you are having a marvelous time. We're still in sunny south Florida until June 1 when we'll be traveling northward toward North Carolina. Take care of yourself and stay in touch. We loved meeting the both of you.

Your new friends,

David & Nancy

I'm newbie here, I hope to get friends at this forum

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