A few days after I arrived in Tampa, the 8 members of our family who were in Tampa piled into a party van that my grandma had arranged for us.
After a two-ish hour drive to Port Canaveral, we all unloaded ourselves and our luggage. The boarding process for the ship was relatively painless. We dropped off our suitcases and did not have to worry about much besides getting food and killing some time until we get could get to our staterooms.
After we were able to put our things in our rooms, my mom, aunt, and I went off to explore a bit and see the gym/spa area. The ship, the Oasis of the Seas, is the second-largest cruise ship in the world, but during the sea days it didn’t feel all that big. Last time I was on a cruise, I was 13 or 14 years old, which made this time a very different experience. There was no camp for me to go to, no time spent attempting to make friends with kids I would never see again. Instead, I had so. much. freetime. I dealt with this by reading a lot, hanging out with my family, and wandering around when I could.
On our first day at sea, my dad and I went on a special behind the scenes tour of the ship. The tour had been a present for his birthday, and I got to tag along. The tour was really interesting, even if it was pretty long. We got to see the kitchens, the crew quarters, the engine control room, and the bridge. I think my dad got more out of it than I did, but I still had a good time. (I was also the youngest person the tour by at least 10 years.)
The ship was absolutely beautiful and had almost everything a person could need.