Once onboard, we proceeded to our rooms. DH and I were in a balcony cabin on deck 8 and the kids (teenagers) were across the hall in an inside cabin. Our room was absolutely fantastic! We had both a good-sized room and a good-sized bathroom (with a full-size tub and shower). The room was in great shape, showing no wear and tear at all. The stateroom attendant, Adrian, had already emptied the fridge so we had plenty of room for our Diet Dr. Peppers. The balcony had one lounge chair, two other chairs and a small round table--all plastic. It seemed plenty spacious to us and we used it a lot.
The kids' room was, of course, smaller and darker. But it was also in excellent condition and was perfectly suitable.
We had the lifejacket drill an hour after boarding and our luggage was in our room even before the drill. After the drill, we had just enough time to change clothes for our main seating dinner. It was casual night, but since the bags had arrived in such a timely manner most folks were not wearing shorts. Our waiter was Dimitrij from Lithuania and was a perfectly good waiter. We had a table just for the four of us on the upper level of the beautiful King and I restaurant. We liked this location because you didn't have a deck railing obscuring your view. We ate dinner every night (except formal night) at the restaurant and the food was excellent--much better than I expected. Everything we were served was presented so well and tasted so good. Among us four we had cod, ravioli, chicken with rosemary, turkey parmesean, baked turkey, and prime rib. The desserts also exceeded my expectations except for the dessert on the last night--dark chocolate brownie. My kids and I each ordered that and even though we are all choc-o-holics, none of us ate more than a bite--it was very, very dry! However, the kids had a moist chocolate pudding-cake one night that was to die for! Also excellent was the key lime pie. One night they served baked Alaska and we were hoping that it would come out flaming, but it did not. Nevertheless, the kids enjoyed it.
That evening we went to the Welcome Aboard show in the 42nd Street theatre. We got there about 15 minutes before showtime and had no problem getting a good seat. It was crowded on the nights of the Productions Shows (nights 2 and 4)and you needed to get there at least 15-20 minutes early for a good seat. But it wasn't necessary to get there that early on the Guest Artists nights. There were guest artists on nights 1, 3 and 5. Night 1, the Welcome Aboard show, featured a comedian who I didn't find very funny but he left the ship when we returned to Galveston. On night 3 was a comic with a duck puppet. Some of the show was funny, but most of it was not. However, it was something that the young children aboard seemed to really like. On night 5 we had a juggler and a woman who did hula-hoops. They were OK. On the other hand, the two production shows were great! On night 2, the singers and dancers performed a show called "Starstruck" featuring songs from the movies. On night 4 they performed a show featuring songs from Broadway shows.
Dancing was available every night. There were several theme nights for dancing--70's Disco, 50's and 60's Rock and Roll and Country Western. We attended the Rock and Roll night and it was a blast! I believe there was also dancing in the Viking Crown Lounge every night for the over 18 crowd, but we didn't attend these. There seemed to be plenty of opportunities to dance in the evening.
This pretty much finished Day One. I'll do more about the activities, teen activities, port activities and dining options in later posts. Any questions?