As I mentioned in a past post, I recently had the opportunity to go on a cruise with the senior band students from the school where my daughter teaches. Taking students on a cruise is a really foreign concept to those of us in Iowa but apparently in Texas it's pretty common, given the proximity to ports where cruise ships dock. I had never been on a cruise (truthfully, it has never been on my to-do list!), but I jumped at the chance to spend time with my girl!
A few weeks before the cruise, she let me in on ONE LITTLE DETAIL she had neglected to mention: SHE WOULD BE DRIVING THE SCHOOL BUS (part of the way) TO GALVESTON! In recent months, we've had to get used to the idea that many band directors, coaches, etc. in Texas must have their CDL for school bus driving. This, too, is a foreign concept to those of us in Iowa! Over the past few months, she trained with a bus driver, took classes, and passed her DOT tests with flying colors. Still, I could not get used to the idea of her driving a bus! :)
So we left the school around 3AM in the morning to head for Galveston -- pitch black outside, raining cats and dogs with The Mama in the front seat of the bus and The Daughter behind the wheel. (This was my view, once the sun came up.) Of all the experiences I've had as a parent, riding on a school bus being driven by one's daughter has to be one of the strangest! LOL
At one point along the route, I decided I'd do some reading on my phone. Soon after, I started to feel queasy and realized that wasn't the best idea I've ever had. I'd never been car (bus?) sick and this was definitely not the time to start! So I dug around in my bag and unwrapped my new sea bands. I had no idea how to use them and didn't dare read the instructions so I just slid them up my arms and hoped they'd do the trick. Apparently they worked because I soon felt a little better!
Of course I knew Bailey would be a good driver, but driving a school bus full of precious cargo (kids) is a huge responsibility. I'm happy to report she did a great job, and you never would have known it was her first rodeo!
Once in Galveston, we moved through the "embarkation" process smoothly. We were pretty tired from not sleeping much before we left and everyone was anxious to get on the ship!
While we waited for our room to be ready, we toured the ship.
Of course we knew it would be big, but it was really HUGE!
Once we made it to our room, we were surprised at how large and nice it was. The beds were extra comfy, much more so than I expected! Of course, we might have just been extra tired! :)
Even before our safety training, I located the life jackets. WHEW! :)
The bathroom was a bit dated but very functional, much like a camper.
We had never seen a blow dryer like this one! It was sort of like a car vacuum but it worked great! Not that it mattered because my hair was a complete disaster the entire time. Humidity does not agree with me! :)
Cameras on the ship give you a view out the front windows and also show your location on a map.
When the ship leaves port, there's a little dance party on deck.
Soon we could no longer see land!
One of the first things we discovered was Guy's hamburgers and fries. Oh, my! I must say that the food was mostly very good and very plentiful. These fries...MERCY.
I soon figured out that if I wanted to eat those fries, I'd better do more than lie around all day. I found the track, which didn't seem to be popular at all! A sign on the wall said that 11 laps around the ship equals one mile so as I worked my way up to that, I felt a little less guilty about those fries!
Ice cream is WAY too accessible on a cruise ship! One day I even had ice cream TWICE! So I found the gym, which was not at all busy. It was fun being on the treadmill because the view was right out the front of the ship, much better than at our home gym!
Because I'm fair and don't like the heat, I stayed out of the sun most of the time. I only spent a little bit of time on a lawn chair. I was probably the only person on that cruise who didn't get any color from the sun!
As you can see, there are plenty of chairs for sunbathing or relaxing! At night, they show movies outside on deck, which is pretty neat.
I had a great time on the cruise and loved getting to spend a little quality time with my girl as well as get to know her co-directors and students. And I'm happy to report that after the bus ride, I never once had to use my sea bands on the ship!
I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to tag along on this trip. I'll share a few more pictures in a future post. :)