Despite being cruise newbies, Jay and I knew all the tips and tricks of season veterans. My friend Holly and her husband Todd had gotten the trip together in order to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. Having never experienced a ceremony. they wanted to do a vow-renewal ceremony.


Jay and I drove 4 hours Friday to spend the night with them, then Saturday morning we met up with the rest of the crew – Mike & Karen and Mark – and caravaned to Savannah. They wanted to get on the boat early, so we were on the boat, in the dock for hours before we ever set sail.

We all had our first drink immediately upon boarding and Jay experienced his first (and only) bar sticker shock. For the rest of the cruise we took a “its vacation” approach. We had the money to cover the bill so we made an effort to enjoy ourselves instead of nickle and diming things. I considered it our reward for being so frugal the rest of the year.


After our cabin rooms were ready, we dropped off our carry-on luggage and head around the boat to explore. We found the walking track which surrounded the mini-golf course on the very top deck. 

 Jay had never been to Charleston before, so Mike & Karen gave us the tree-top tour, pointing out the tops of the the tallest buildings in the City.


Leaving the port we saw our first and only dolphins of the cruise. We also watched as the armed Coast Guard boat guided our ship to see. With a machine gun at the helm, it was a tad intimidating despite the relative smallness to our vessel.

Dinner dress-code regulations weren’t in effect the first evening, since some people may not have had their luggage. Jay had a bit of dread for these events because he loves flip flops and stretch shorts (basketball shorts with elastic waist bands), but we ended up attending every evening. Through the mornings and afternoons we did our own thing, then our group would meet up for dinner and spend the evening together getting into some form of foolishness.

Most all of the evenings were spent in the Majestic Lounge. Our server came to know us by name, drink order, and finally room number – to the tune we didn’t have to show our room key to charge to our accounts. 

We chose the lounge because it was the one place with a TV for Jay to watch the NBA finals. Every-other evening we watched basketball and the other evenings we watched NHL. Finally when both sports crowned their champion, we explored other evening activities. We caught a couple comedy shows, “The Game of Love” interactive game show, an adult scavenger hunt, and listening to a performer in the piano bar.

I cannot overstate how lost Jay and I were the first day at sea. We are used to action-packed vacations and we felt like we were missing something. By the second day we had no problem kicking back, ordering a drink, and enjoying the slow pace of the cruise. 

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