No Wi-Fi all morning...Late posting...Cruising along...Immigration issues at the port...

The Promenade deck is a favorite of ours.  Its comparable to a long street in the ship where there are bars, dining establishments and shops.  Great people watching!
It's almost 5 pm and the first time today we've been able to get online except for a few instances on our phones.  Its been frustrating to say the least. No doubt, its due to the vast number of passengers of this ship using their phones and iPads..

We'd hope to get today's post uploaded close to our usual time but based on the 3,825 passengers on this ship, the connection  is and will continue to be sketchy to say the least.

Our standard balcony cabin is small but we're fine with it.
After paying over US $500 for the VOOM high speed unlimited Wi-Fi for two devices for this 24 night cruise, we expected a little more.  There's no point in bringing it up to customer service since its clearly outlined that the ship's service may be unavailable at times.

Beside that inconvenience we are doing FABULOUS!  Although the ship, Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas, is old and a little dated (built in 2000, refurbished in 2015) its in good condition with all the amenities a passenger could expect for this cruise line. 

Our toilet seat had a huge crack in it.  Last night they replaced it upon our request.  The bathroom is tiny with little storage space but we make it work.
Yesterday's boarding process was relatively easy except for one not-so-surprising glitch...immigration.  With copies of all of our bridging visa documents on hand, we still got whisked away to be "reviewed" in a separate area. 

The agent mistrusted what appeared on the computer and refused to look at our documents.  Weird.  However, neither of us panicked when we were certain we had the correct documentation.  Instead, we waited for over 30 minutes while the agent satisfied her curiosity that her superiors in Sydney had in fact done the documents correctly.

I offered the name of the supervisor in Sydney suggestion she contact her for confirmation.  Instead, she plodded along trying to read the laws while we waited to ensure it had been done correctly. 

View of the Sydney Opera House from our balcony prior to sailing away.
Finally, she let us board the ship reminding us we'd have trouble if we wanted to get back into Australia at any time in the future..  With no plans to return, we weren't worried.

Back on track, we boarded the ship to warm welcomes from staff, glasses of champagne (we declined) and with a short waiting period until our cabin was ready.

In no time at all, our bags were delivered to our door, except for Tom's suitcase containing two power strips (referred to as "power boards" in Australia).  Later in the evening he had to go to security to retrieve his bag after the power boards were confiscated.  They aren't allowed to be used on ships.  Instead we're supplied with extension cords.

I started shooting a few photos before we made a mess unpacking our bags.
Most passengers don't have everything they own in their cabin, like us and don't have power boards in their possession.  For our lifestyle, we need them and our adapters in our possession everywhere we travel.  We have to way to "leave them at home." 

Once we unpacked, neatly folding and hanging our clothes, we began to feel settled and comfortable.  As Diamond Club members we're provided with free drinks in the Star Lounge each evening.  Usually this runs from 5 pm to 8:30 pm but last night's muster drill at 5 pm, caused the happy hour time to be from 6:15 pm until 9 pm.

Alas, we had so much fun, the time slipped away and suddenly, it was almost 9 pm.  By the time we made it to the dining room it was closed.  Immediately, we took the elevator to the buffet, the Windjammer Cafe only to discover it too was also closed. 

Most likely, this was the last of many photos we'll have taken of the Sydney Opera House.  Goodbye Sydney.  Aside from a few glitches, it was grand.

Then, we headed back to our cabin to order room service only to find there wasn't a single item on the menu that I could eat.  Since I haven't been able to digest raw vegetables these past months, salads were out of the question.  The remaining options were sandwiches and wraps.  No good.

Tom refused to order anything with me being able to eat which was entirely unnecessary as far as I was concerned.  Who misses the first night's dinner on a cruise?  Isn't food what cruises are always about for many passengers? 

The perception that cruises have food available 24 hours a day is not necessarily true.  Sure, there was food but nothing either of us wanted to eat.  We laughed.  Only us!  Fun over food!  We went to bed without a morsel after haven only eaten a few bites of cheese back in fairlight before we left for the cruise terminal. 

Tonight, if we stay at the Star Lounge until happy hour ends at least we'll make it to the dining room well before the 9 pm closing.   Since we always select "My Time Dining" we can eat anytime we want before the 9 pm closing.

Surprisingly, we were starved this morning and we each had a good breakfast in the main dining room.  The head maitre'd met with me to review my food list and fully understood my restrictions.  My usual meal consists of fish, chicken, beef or pork (no sauce) and two sides of non-starchy vegetables.  Its not filling but the hunger abates in no time at all.

This afternoon when we couldn't get online to post.  Instead we went to the main theatre, The Palace, to see the movie, "La La Land."  What a fabulous movie!  If you haven't seen it we couldn't recommend it more.

Now, we have to get ready for "formal night" with another upcoming happy hour and tonight...dinner in the main dining room.

Cruising is fun and we're not missing a beat.  Today at noon,we experienced our first one hour time change.  There will seven one hour time changes plus one entire day.  Ha!

Have a wonderful day or evening wherever you may be.

Photo from one year ago today, April 23, 2016:
The signal is too weak to post the one year ago photo.  We'll add it tomorrow if we can.  Thanks for your patience.


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