Sunday was our first day at sea. Teddy began a streak of eating pizza for lunch and chicken fingers for dinner that lasted the entire cruise. (My favourite was the very last dinner, when Filroy asked what he wanted and he said in a very dramatic, pause-filled way, “Well… I think today I’ll have… chicken fingers.” The girls had a nap after lunch and I took Teddy to the shops. After assuring him for days that the shops would only have clothes, expensive watches, and jewelry, Teddy discovered that they do indeed sell cars. With everyone asleep in the room, we needed to kill more time, so I took him to try ping pong. He was, let’s say, not a natural at the sport but we had fun, and despite not returning a single serve, once I told him our time was up he threw his hands in the air and shouted, “Teddy wins!” We ran into my parents coming out of the casino on the way back, and Teddy had a ton of questions about it because it just looks like a big arcade. I did my best to explain what casinos were, and how he was too young, and why people went to them. The conversation ended like this (and I’m not embellishing this in any way):
Teddy: “So when people have too much money, they go to the casino to get rid of it all?”Dave: “Basically, yes.”
After the girls woke up, Veronica (the queen of fairness) demanded to go to the shops so she could buy something. After a lot of indecision, she eventually settled on a pink, plush dolphin, and suggested we buy another one in blue for Susannah. Then the kids went off to the Fun Factory, and the adults relaxed and had a drink. Which provides a good excuse to describe the beverage plan. As part of the deal we got from booking through CruCon, we had two major perks. All tips were covered (which might not sound like much but represents a decent amount of savings), and we each got a free drink plan. The kids plan gave them access to pop, bottled water, and premium coffees (none of which they drank, for the record). And the adult plan provided access to the same, in addition to beers, spirits, and wines (excluding top shelf stuff). It was perfect. Everyone could grab a drink anywhere they wanted, and they even served Crown Royal which is mom’s drink of choice. It was still great for me as a non-drinker because I had about 95 lattes and caramel macchiatos a day. I also rocked many a virgin bloody mary.
We sat, sipped drinks, and chit chatted with my parents, and this was the day it became very clear that they were loving the trip. Even the first day, despite so much newness, and all the figuring out where things were and how they worked – even then Mom and Dad seemed to be enjoying themselves. But talking with them that afternoon, there was no doubt about how they felt. They thought the ship was beautiful, Mom felt safe and not at all nauseated, and Dad was really enjoying chatting with the staff and the random strangers on board. It wasn’t until after I heard them say how much they liked it that I realized I was uneasy about it, fearing they’d say otherwise.