Europe Trip 2012 Day 12 (July 3, 2012): Bottoms Up

And so the cruise begins. After going through the check in process yesterday and exploring Venice with my family it was on to our first full day of the cruise. The cruise ship stayed in Venice overnight and departed today at 2PM but we had to be on board by noon. My parents with Amy and Ally left to go back into Venice for a few hours while Jenn and I slept and Jake worked out.

Jenn and I went down to lunch at around noon and surprisingly my parents were already there finishing up their lunch. We sat down at a table for two and ordered our lunch. Jenn got the creamy carrot soup with pasta bolognase (sixth time on the trip) and I had their salad bar with a steak sandwich. When I went up to the salad bar I saw Jake walk in looking dazed and confused there was no room to eat at my parents table so he pulled up a chair at Jenn and my table for two and made himself nice and cozy. Jake also got the salad bar and pasta bolognase.

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From lunch it was time for the obligatory safety drill. For the first time ever we didn't have to wear the orange vests. It actually was much more organized then before as well you just have them scan your card and that makes you checked in. It used to be much more of a hassle and luckily this time it went quickly and we were sent on on our way.

As I mentioned earlier, the cruise was departing Venice at 2PM and so Jake and I got some drinks at the bar I got a gin and tonic and Jake got a Kettle One Cooler which the bartender had no idea what that was even if it was on their menu. I also got Jenn a lava flow which is basically a pina colada with some strawberry in there. We brought the drinks back up to the room and sat on the balcony and watched the ship navigate its way through Venice and onto the open sea.

We all took some sort of sea sickness medicine which all said “non-drowsy” but as we have seen in the past and was once again the case today we all passed out after the initial cruise out of Venice and literally slept up until it was time for dinner. Tonight is the first of three formal nights and no one was prepared for it. When we contacted Royal Caribbean months before the cuise we were told there was only two which were on the at-sea days. Well we were shocked to find out that was not the case so everyone threw stuff together and we all looked presentable for the first formal night on the cruise.

With the formal nights comes also a better menu in the dining room. Both my parents and Jenn and I bought seven bottles of wine for dinners so my parents went with a Riesling and Jenn and I a Merlot. I can't speak for my parents wine, but the Merlot was fantastic. For dinner, Jenn went with the Lobster Bisque and the Roasted Duck and I went with the Escargot and the Filet. For desert I went with the Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé and Jenn had the Strawberry Cheesecake and an order of Vanilla Ice Cream. Dinner tonight was a huge improvement for the first night although I think Jenn's duck was the best pick of the dinner.

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After dinner Jake and I went to the casino and played some blackjack. The casino wasn't very busy so we had no problem sitting down at the $6 minimum table and we actually did really well. We both started with $40 and I got up to $80 and Jake got to $125. We were both happy with the winnings and called it quits. Jenn, Amy, and Ally explored the ship before we all met up for tonights show. Tonight we had Abba Max performing which is an Abba cover band. I don't know much about Abba and really only my parents did from our group so we didn't enjoy the show all that much.

Post-show we all (Jenn, Jake, Amy, and Ally) went to one of the bars in the main lobby and had some late night drinks. Jenn, Amy, and Ally had Cosmopolitans, Jake had a Newcastle, and I had an Old Fashion. Post drinks the girls went dancing at the Viking Club Lounge while Jake and I went to try our luck again at the casino. When we went back to the casino it was much busier and there was not a seat open at blackjack so we went to play craps. This was both of our first time playing with dice and Jake was on a roll. A British guy joined the table and Jake made him a ton of money so he kept giving us $5 pieces as Jake continued to roll him into more money. I got out after twenty minutes up thirty bucks but Jake being the much bigger gambler stayed in and broke close to even after being up a lot and down to his last chips.

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After we left the casino Jake and I went to join the ladies in the Viking Lounge and danced with them for a half hour or so. The lounge had to have at least 100 people in there and half of them were on the dance floor, so needless to say it was crowed. We ended up leaving the lounge at around 2AM and called it a night. I know I speak for everyone when I say we were exhausted and yet excited for tomorrow for our first stop on the cruise, Dubrovnik Croatia.