Our second Royal Caribbean cruise is underway (I wonder if I should call it the 2nd or our 1st since the last one was 26 years ago.) The who, what, and where of the experience.

On day one, we started by needing help from the hotel/airport to the ship. I had called and made reservations for a wheelchair taxi to pick us up at 10 am, with our port arrival time being 10:30-11:00. Well, the taxi company called, and the driver did not speak English which made it very hard to find our where we were going to meet him. But once we got that worked out I thought, “We are good to go!”. Until he showed up driving an SUV (No ramp or lift), he looked at me strangely when I asked him, “Where the wheelchair van was?” He called his company and talked to them, then they spoke to me and let me know they were sorry and would work it out and call me in a few minutes. I am still waiting to hear from them. We reached out to all the taxi companies driving by us to see if they could help and were told no by all; we then headed down to the taxi stand in the airport, hoping they could help. Luckily they had a few taxi vans with ramps and sent one to pick us up. 

Traffic to get to the terminal could have been better. Our driver told us it was worse than average but could always be crazy. It took around an hour to get to the ship, usually around 20 minutes. 

Once unloaded, we gave our luggage to the porters and headed to the terminal. From that point on, everything went very smoothly. We got through security, checked in, and were on the ship in 15 minutes. I was overwhelmed and forgot to take photos of the port area; they restrict what you can and can not take pictures of, so I put my camera away for a bit. 

Lots of room a smooth gangway
Not to steep ramp
First look at the ship

Since we were in a suite we went to a different area to check in, it was a calm and easy process. From what I heard the non-suite check in process was a very easy and fast process as well.

That’s a carousal!

We headed to our muster station and got that taken care of (very simple and fast; just do it at the beginning and be done with it.) The muster station was check-in and watched a video on the app.

Surprised by it all
Everything was super sized
Power opening doors with plenty of room for wheelchairs

 Then off to find some lunch! We ended up at the Windjammer (buffet-style dining) for lunch; many told me to avoid the Windjammer for 1st lunch, but I found it very spacious for Daniel’s wheelchair, and they even had tables reserved for wheelchair users. This was a pleasant surprise and a nice touch.

At 1:00, we were able to access our cabin; our luggage was also waiting for us at our door. I was told that never happens, but there it was. Another pleasant surprise!

 I will talk more about our cabin later. After dropping off our bags, we head out to explore some and see what is happening. Along the way, I answered Brett and Daniel’s questions about what was included and what was not.

I had decided to try the “My Dining Time” option for dinner and made reservations before the cruise. This was a challenge since I was still determining what time we would want to eat or if our times might interfere with plans like shoes or other onboard activities. 


We arrived on time and were greeted by an utterly chaotic lobby; there were people everywhere, with no one seeming to know what the other was doing. Once checked in, I was told they had no record of the allergy requests, nor did they have a table set up for the wheelchair yet. This added to the chaos and wait time. Dinner had a few hiccups, and we felt indifferent about the whole event; after dinner, it was typical first-night exhaustion for us, and we went back to the cabin for some downtime and sleep.

Day information and touch screen map

There was so much to take in, and after cruising smaller Disney ships, I was still determining how I would ever learn my way around the ship or be able to see it all. I am learning many things along the way and how things are done on the ship. One of the most significant differences is the number of people. I knew that this ship was big, and we had a full sailing, but the sheer size only registers once you are here. There are lines everywhere, and I have yet to find a space where I could curl up with a good book and just be left alone (but I will keep looking). They have a cozy library, so I will check it out soon. 


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