We were picked up at the Contemporary at 11 AM by Bob of TTC and headed out to the port. We made a stop at the supermarket to pick up water and juice, as well as one or two things I realized that we had forgotten from home. As we came over the bridge, there she was. She is absolutely beautiful and much larger than I had anticipated. There seemed to be a bit of a backup for drop-off, and DH ran out of the car with DS, who needed to use the facilities (at 3.5, you don't mess around with that stuff). We were just pulling up in front when they came back. We unloaded our luggage and had a porter tag our bags. We had our water in a grocery bag and juice in a soft side 12 can cooler and they took both. We headed into the building to check in. While I stood in line, DH went with DS to stand in line to take a picture with Minnie in front of the model ship. There were a number of people waiting to check in but no one on line to get on the ship. I think it was between 12:30 and 1 PM at that time. Turns out that since we had been at WDW for the previous 3 days, we didn't need to check in and everything was in order. I herded my little family together and headed to the gangway. We were welcomed aboard but no names were being announced. Had our picture taken and were directed to either Parrot Cay or BBB for lunch. When we got to PC, they were directing everyone to deck 9 to BBB. Got up there and it was very crowded. I think that this was probably the worst meal we had the whole time, since it was muggy and everyone had bags and no one seemed to know where to go or what to do and a lot of people were milling about. We finally found a table and I went to get DS something to eat. He's not what I call a picky eater, just somewhat limited. Nothing on the buffet would be good for him, and I happened to see the chicken fingers so I asked about those. Stepped out onto deck 9 and got some from Pluto's and brought them back for him. DH then went to get something, but I passed. Guess I was too nervous or excited or something but nothing really appealed to me. Met a nice couple with an older boy with whom we talked while everyone ate. We would see them several times over the next 4 days. After lunch we headed to our cabin, since it was after 1:30. We had cabin 6072, which is slightly aft of the mid ship evevators and on the port side of the ship. Our cabin steward was Alfredo from the Phillippines. Our cabin was a Cat. 6 w/ verandah and you have all heard exactly what it looks like so I won't bore you with that. Suffice it to say it was big enough for the 3 of us and we had plenty of storage space. Our suitcases, however, did not fit under the bed so 2 of them went in the closet and one sat in front of the connecting door to the next cabin. Alfredo came by and had me sign for the welcome box of goodies in our cabin, as well as my $50 credit on account (I got one of the postcards for first time cruisers). We let him know that DS would be sleeping on the daybed and he said he'd have it made up for us. Found our dining tickets in the room. I had originally been assigned late seating by the travel agent, who never asked me what I wanted and just gave it to us (I'd like to think that Disney did it and not her, considering I don't know too many families with 3.5 yo kids who can eat at 8:30). We had requested a change to early before we left and were told that it would be noted and we'd find out later on. Our final docs still had late, so we had a talk with DS about going to the club. He was somewhat wishy-washy on it, and when we looked at the dinner tickets, we saw that we had been changed to early. Lucky us! We then went to sign DS up for the Kids' Club, in case he was interested and we could get him to go a bit over the trip. He seemed interested at first, but I guess when he figured out that we were not leaving in our cars to go to work (like we do every day from daycare) but were still on the ship somewhere, it was much harder to get him to stay there. Ah, well, we didn't hold out a lot of hope for it so I wasn't that disappointed. We then headed back to the cabin and got ds in a bathing suit so that he could swim a bit before the drill. About 3:30 or so we headed back to the cabin to get ready for the drill. Our muster station was outside on deck 4 and let me tell you, all those stories about how hot it is are true. We all stood there outside with the life vests while they went over the drill. Poor little DS couldn't stand still, but he managed to get through it. We headed back to the cabin, dropped off the vests and headed upstairs to deck 9 for the sail away party. Lots of music and characters with a lot going on. I have to say that we never would have noticed we were moving if I hadn't seen the shoreline going past me. This ship moves like a dream. We stayed a while, then headed back to the cabin to sit on the verandah and wave to the boats as we passed. Since we had early seating, we then got dressed and headed to our first dinner at AP. We were seated at a table for 8 with a family from North Carolina. They had an almost 5 year old and an 18 month old and DS and their DD got along well. Our server was Alit from the Phillippines and Julia from Portugal. Perhaps it was because it was the first night, but I remember hoping after dinner that they would improve, since there wasn't a whole lot of interaction from them. DH and I had the lobster & shrimp wrappers and caesar salad for appetizers; I remember that I ordered the maple glazed salmon which was very nice and DH ordered the pan fried veal chop. He liked it and even tried the asparagus (which he doesn't like). For dessert we had the chocolate fudge cake and cheesecake. Kids menu has chicken fingers, pizza, mac & cheese or a hot dog. Same every night. Now that I look back on it, I have to wonder why they don't at least offer noodles or spaghetti and sauce for the kids, too. DS definitely would have eaten it. Our table mates were not quite what I had hoped for, but we hoped that things would get better as the nights went on. After dinner, we went to the 8:30 showing of Hercules. DS really wanted to see this (although I doubt he really understood what we were talking about). Theater was full but we got decent seats. I have to say, one thing I was looking for and didn't notice was the climate around the ship. I had packed a sweater and jacket for me, zip sweatshirt for DS and something for DH and never even got them out. The restaurants and theaters were never cold to me. I usually do get pretty cold but not on this ship. Just my observation. Anyway, we really enjoyed this show. DS liked the fact that he recognized the story and there was a bit of adult humor thrown in for good measure. Was it Broadway quality? No. Was it entertaining and fun? Absolutely. DS talked about it for the rest of the trip and kept wanting to see Hercules again. Afterwards, we headed back to our cabin to get DS to bed since it was almost 10. We had left quite a bit on our bed so Alfredo didn't get a chance to turn it down. I don't recall if there was a towel animal that night. DS was asleep before he hit the pillow so I went out on the verandah while DH checked out the ESPN club for a bit. We then turned in and looked forward to another day and our stop in Nassau.