Sunday, October 30, 2011

Days 6 & 7: Boarding the ship and Cartagena, Spain

It’s so great to be aboard the Liberty of the Seas.  Lady Liberty is one of the 2nd largest classes of ships in the fleet (Oasis and Allure are the biggest, then sister ships Freedom, Independence, and Liberty).  We were on here last March with my daughter Amy and her husband Chris, so we are familiar with the layout and amenities.  She’s over 1,000 ft long and 14 decks tall – enormous!
As soon as we booked the cruise 2 months ago, I went onto the website  They have a thread for every cruise line, ship, and sailing.  You sign up and you can cyber-meet your fellow cruisers, plan activities, share information, and register for events onboard.  The first activity was the sail-away party.  We were to meet at the Sky Bar by the pool wearing a pink shirt and pink boa.  So here we are:
We wanted to have something unique as a conversation starter – so I made our “boas”.  They’re stuffed with socks so we wouldn’t waste suitcase space.  They were a huge hit.  We made lots of friends. 

The first night at Happy Hour was fun.  There are over 2,000 Diamond and Diamond Plus status cruisers (levels of the loyalty program)!!!  Instead of the Concierge Lounge, they moved us to the Sphinx Lounge and it was still packed.  Insane was more like it!  But we saw several people we had met last year on the Australia cruise, and a few other people we already knew so it was a happy reunion.  We also met some other people from London and the south of France, as well as all over the US.  We enjoy talking with other avid cruisers.

Our dinner mates are Steve and Joyce, from the Dallas area.  There were 4 other seats at the table, so perhaps others will show up at some point.  We had our typical first night menu which is always so yummy.

Today we arrived in Cartagena, Spain.  We bought a pass for the 5 top sites in the city for 10 Euros each.  It was a pretty good deal.  Everything was easily within walking distance from the ship.  We had a great weather day – some clouds, hot, and humid.  But no rain!
I am so amazed at the antiquity of this country.  Only 3 blocks from the pier are the remains of a coliseum built in about 13 BC.  Imagine that!  It’s amazing that buildings can last for so long without being completely destroyed.  We went thru the museum first, which was the entrance into the coliseum.
We also toured an old castle, not nearly as cool as the one in Mallorca.  I didn’t even take many pictures of it.
To exit the castle there were 2 choices:  walk down a million stairs, or ride “the lift”, which was one of our 5 sites on our pass.  I have a terrible time with heights, so I wasn’t thrilled about walking across that walkway.  Fortunately it had a solid floor.  If it had been see-thru I never would have made it.
The fifth “site” was a bus tour around the city.  We saw so many gorgeous old buildings. Unfortunately, the internet is extremely slow and terribly expensive, so I'm not gonna be able to include all the pictures I had wanted to in the blog.  I'll have to upload everything when I get home.

We walked down the main street.  It’s Sunday, so most of the shops were closed.  I did find one place to get a magnet for my collection.  There were so many interesting buildings along the way.

Tonight was our first of 3 formal nights.  We got all dressed up, but ended up not having dinner in the main dining room.  The Windjammer (buffet) had everything we wanted.  We met the Captain and had our picture taken with him.  Captain Patrick, who normally has this ship, is on vacation.  So we were meeting Captain Kjetil for the first time.  (No that’s not a typo – he’s from Norway).

Tomorrow we’ll be in Pablo Picasso’s hometown of Málaga, Spain.  The excursions include a 9-hr trip to Granada (2 hrs in a bus, each way).  I’d be tempted, but that’s a long bus ride and Alhambra Palace (the main attraction) is closed on Mondays.  So we’re planning to just walk around in Málaga on our own. 

Stay tuned for the next exciting blog…

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