Feb. 17-20, 2012


We left Pittsburgh at 6:20 AM Friday the 17th of February, on the plane with Laura, Jeff, Kimberly,

Melanie and Logan, and would meet Jeff's son Keith and Keith's girlfriend Tiffany on the boat at Port

Canaveral, Florida.  Of all of us, only Laura and Jeff had been on a cruise before.  My main expectation

for the cruise can be simply summed up in one  I wanted to see blue sky over blue water and,

as you will see, I did.  These pictures are a record of my finding of blueness more than anything else.





Since we got out to the hotel by the airport earlier Thurs. night than Laura and Jeff did and would have to wait a while, Carl and I

went down the road just a couple of blocks to wait at a hotel where we'd done a couple of weddings in the past to wait in their

more comfortable lobby.  On one side of that is this figure of a waiter we remembered and I took a couple of pictures of Carl with him.



Dawn was just beginning as we left Pittsburgh for our plane change in Atlanta. I was glad to have a window seat on all four planes

we flew on during the round trip.




Further south, the sunrise showed beneath the clouds, giving a really nice effect I hadn't seen quite the same before.



Closer to Atlanta, everything went all pale gold and I just loved watching the changing look of the light and shadows.



The airport is south of Atlanta and when I could see the land from the air, my thoughts were filled with Jonathon, who walked and battled

all around the city in 1864.



We took a full-sized bus from the Orlando airport the 41 miles to Port Canaveral. These were my first views of the Royal Caribbean

Monarch of the Seas out the windows of the bus. Kimberly and I had the front seat near the door.



Once off the bus and through security, we waited in a long line to check in for the ship. That's Kimberly right in front of me.



Deck 11, with the pool and behind me, the Windjammer Restaurant where we went for buffets.



The Kennedy Space Center VAB, Vehicular Assembly Building, as seen through the aqua glass by my mid-afternoon lunch table before we

set sail.



Jammed in with folks under our lifeboat during compulsory drill at 3:30.



Looking out our cabin window down the coast of Florida as the ship put to sea



That evening after supper, Carl and I strolled around the upper, open decks, watching dolphins in the water and seagulls on the rails. It had rained

while we ate, though we weren't really aware of it, but the railings and deck chairs were quite wet from it.



The evening sea was very calm and smooth.





No King of the World moments as only crew was allowed down there



(No, that's not me!)





I was sure Captain Kirk was in there somewhere





Thus endeth the first evening onboard.  It was from the edge of the circle with the plants and sculpture you see in the picture above that I had

to be wheelchaired to my room since my 2009-broken leg refused to bear weight after all the airports and the process of boarding the ship.

Tomorrow there would