After we got off the GoPort shuttle and surrendered our luggage, we got into a huge line that snaked around like a Disney-line. When we got in the building, however, there was a separate line for Key Members and we were on the ship very quickly with no waiting anywhere
We quickly found the Main Dining room for our Key Lunch
I had the caesar salad, filet mignon and cheesecake, with coffee, of course.
Tom checked out the menu then copied my choices
The walls of the Main Dining room has an interesting texture
Even though our cabin was ready, we decided to go to the AquaTheater in the Boardwalk Neighborhood to do our muster drill. This one was the fastest, ever.
Next stop was our cabin 14332. I couldn’t get an aft cabin because of the AquaTheater (above) but I got pretty close!
First photos of our cabin:
There was NO coffee maker in the cabin. BOO and the steward didn’t bring ice after I asked. Tom had to ask again later. He finally remembered it most of the time.
It seemed fairly cold, so we turned the thermostat up and up.
First views from the balcony
Tom had a meeting in MDR at 3:30 so I may have taken a nap
Dinner at 9 in the MDR was tomato soup, prime rib and key lime pie. This was our last dinner in the MDR.
We walked around – listened to a big band playing on the Deck 5 Promenade and a guitarist in the Central Park Neighborhood,
Sunset, the first day. This was from the Solarium, starboard side. The portside was already dark
Sunday was a big rush of things. We had agreed to skip breakfast due to time constraints, which was fine with me since I never/rarely eat it anyway (I know, I know – most important meal of the day)
As planned, Michael arrived at our hotel and we put luggage tags on his backpack, made sure we had everything packed up and got an Uber. Tom had checked us out and we went out the door and into the Uber with all our luggage.
The ride to the temporary Steinway Hall was pretty fast and we got there about 10:30 or so. The doors were locked but Michael’s teacher arrived a couple minutes later and we were inside.
Eddie Strauss, Sales Manager, let us use the freight elevator to haul all our luggage to the second floor/mezzanine where we could leave it outside the Henry E. Steinway Recital Hall.
Although this is a temporary location while their new facilities are being built, it is very beautiful.
…temporary location at 1155 Avenue of the Americas.
This short-term “pop-up store” will allow Steinway to remain open as the new headquarters is being constructed, allowing for continuous service to its customers.
Steinway, well-known for handcrafting the world’s finest pianos, will now have a gallery space that encompasses approximately 18,000 s/for both retail and showroom, and a small concert hall that caters to the world’s most prominent pianists.
Michael played Johann Sebastian Bach’s Italian Concerto.
This video certainly doesn’t do his performance justice!
We played the first two movements of Peter Warlock’s Capriol duet (also, the video isn’t the best quality):
Speaking of video quality, Eddie told us that the new Steinway Hall will have professional recording equipment in the recital hall and that will make things much better for the future.
We left Steinway about 12:15 and took an Uber to the terminal. The driver left us at the terminal by the Gem about 12:35 but it was an easy walk next door to the Breakaway terminal at Pier 88.
We left our checked baggage and went through the terminal process very quickly. We never even had a chance to sit down and we were on board by 1:00. That was the fastest I have ever boarded any ship.
The Garden Cafe was crowded but we found a table without much effort. Before we finished eating, it was announced that the cabins were ready. Our cabin – 9918 – was fantastic! It was a bit tight for the 3 of us but we made it work.
The balcony was the best part. I had chosen an aft balcony on 9, starboard. We had 2 loungers, 3 chairs and 2 tables and plenty of room to move them and ourselves around.
Looking up to the other decks, we could see from the angle that ours was larger than the others above us.
There was a lot of storage but some was tricky to find. The bathroom was a good size, as was the shower. There were more shelves in the bathroom than usual and I liked being able to leave my stuff in there. I had read that there was no conditioner in the showers so I brought my own.
I also followed advice from Cruise Critic and brought magnet hooks for the walls and those were great for hanging hats, card lanyards and so on.
The end tables on each side of our bed were pretty narrow but we made that work. The lights beside the bed were a little high up, so I’d have to get up to turn mine off. Luckily, I read a Kindle before bed so I never really needed to use the bedside light.
Our luggage arrived before 4:00 pm which was really nice.
I had been concerned about going on a ship this size but there was really no problem. The elevators were crowded the first day but after that, no big deal. I would like to point out that we mostly always took the stairs going down and walked up if it was only 2-3 decks.
We got the unlimited internet package and it was well worth it for us. On other cruises, I would get the max minutes and always be watching the time – and I would still often run out at the end. I am the web master for a couple companies so I need to spend some time online each day. This internet package was a life-saver for me and we were able to share it between the 3 of us.
We also made good use of the iPhone iConcierge app. We used it as a messenger to let others know where we were and we made reservations for 3 restaurants and 2 shore excursions with it. I also checked how our account was doing. That cost us $7.95 per phone and was well worth it.
While we were waiting to “set sail”, there was a beautiful monarch butterfly that flitted from the next balcony over to ours. Butterflies always remind me of my good friend, Alice. I have a monarch butterfly as my phone background. I’d like to think that this butterfly was a reminder from Alice to have a wonderful trip.
Then, right after sail-away, the traditional First Nap 🙂 Our bed was great, very comfortable king sized with 2 pillows each.
Tom went out to a meeting, something that he would do at 5:30 every day.
We ate our first dinner in the Garden Cafe, followed by Guest Relations to get band aids, antiseptic and distilled water for Michael’s CPAP machine
Then, off to an early bed. Our steward, Bradley, turned the couch into a nice bed for our son.