My pain woke me up before my alarm did… another really crappy sleep… I cannot believe I am still moving to tell you the truth, it must be the adrenaline…
I woke up before my boys did, and IMMEDIATELY made myself a cup of Starbucks coffee, which was complimentary in our room. I opened the drapes and went out onto our balcony… and there she was in all of her glory…
The MS. Oosterdam, all 936 Feet of her, and weighing in at close to 83,000 gross tonnes, she is regal and definitely a site to see!! For those who aren’t familiar, she is owned and operated by Holland America Line, and was christened in 2003 by Her Dutch Royal Highness, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. It is an absolutely beautiful ship, and awesome in the truest sense of the word… It is hard NOT to be in AWE of her…
To give you a little bit of personal background, my first cruise when I was 6-year-old. I have been absolutely blessed in my life to have been able to travel. It was, and still remains a BIG part of my education. While back home my elementary school friends were comparing name-brand clothes such as Benetton (the United Colors of) and Esprit, I was experiencing a taste of 3rd world countries, and watching children my own age beg on the streets. It is something that has stuck with me my whole life.
3 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. It shook my family to its very core. When hospital staff come into your private room and suggest you get your affairs in order, it is a clear indication of what your prognosis is… It was terrifying.
Because it has been years since we went on a family vacation, my Dad decided to book us ALL on a trip. He very PURPOSEFULLY booked it a year in advance – it gave him something to look forward to, and something to fight for… and fight he did!! We celebrated a YEAR after his diagnosis on the Oosterdam on a 7-day Mexican Riviera Cruise… and TWO YEARS later we are doing it again… A MIRACLE!!!!!
Because my honey had never been on a cruise, it was SO exciting for me to be able to share every MOMENT with him! I couldn’t wait until he opened his eyes, so he could take a first glance at the ship what we’d call home for the next week!!
After the boys were both up and at ’em, we got our luggage read to be picked up and taken to the ship, and made our way downstairs to meet up with the rest of my family. We snacked on Banana Bread and Lemon Loaf, has another coffee, and toured the hotel once again before we got picked up by a shuttle which took us to the cruise terminal.
My honey was so in awe of the process, and my little dude was a CRAZY monkey!! The excitement was tangible… You could feel, smell, and almost TASTE it….
(Insert Angels singing here… “AAAAhhhhhhhh” LOL)
We boarded, and after a slight emergency (Mom lost her purse!! It has all of her ID in it, and we all panicked and stopped breathing the moment she realized it was gone. She had to get off the ship and go back to the cruise terminal while we waited, and a million thoughts went through our heads.. An ANGEL turned in my Mom’s purse the MOMENT they saw it! There are still wonderful people on this earth!! THANK YOU to whomever it was who turned it in!!) we headed to the dining room for a special ‘Welcome Aboard” Luncheon. At this point most of the people getting on the ship would go to The Lido Restaurant, an AMAZING buffet-style cafe. Because my parents are seasoned cruisers, we got to sit down in the dining room and take it all in….
We began our meal with an Artisan Salumi plate, an appetizer consisting of cured meats, and freshly baked bread with the creamiest butter ever!!
We then had a cup of Cream of Broccoli Soup finished with toasted pine nuts.
For lunch I had the Mango Chicken Salad, while my boys decided on a less than standard cheese burger (even the burgers are First Class!)
And for dessert, a Fruit tartlette with creamy custard…. And just so you know, my family was SHOCKED that I didn’t pick the chocolate mousse!! 😉
After our bellies were full, and we had a chance to process the day so far, we headed to deck 4 to find our cabins!!!!
Stayed Tuned for the Second part of ALL ABOARD!!! Dec 4th
To Be continued…
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