Our first day at sea got off to an auspicious start. I woke up around 3:00 A.M. feeling pretty seasick, which is unusual for me. I’ve never had a hint of sensitivity to motion on any of our previous cruises, but this first night definitely hit me hard.
The ship was definitely rocking, and when I opened our balcony door to check the conditions outside there was some pretty powerful wind. One thing about the Dawn is she really cuts through the ocean at a good clip. Sometimes on a cruise you can barely tell you’re moving, but that’s not the case on this speedster. I definitely felt more motion on this cruise than on any of my others, but luckily I only felt sick that first night.
I took a Dramamine pill, but I was never really able to get comfortable enough to fully get back to sleep. We eventually gave up on the concept of sleep, and we decided, since we were up earlier than expected, to try breakfast in the dining room.
Breakfast was decent; Kathleen enjoyed her omelet a bit more than I enjoyed my waffles, which tends to align with my thought that ships typically do better with savory, egg-based breakfasts than things like pancakes or waffles.
After breakfast we decided to head back to our cabin to relax. One of our favorite things to do on a cruise is relax outside with a book. On cruises passed, this typically meant finding some loungers in the crowded pool area, but now that we were spoiled balcony people, we just sat out on our veranda and enjoyed the sunny skies and soothing ocean sounds in private.
We’d intended to go to the Cruise Critic meet and greet, which was scheduled for 11:00 that morning. Since I’d barely slept the night before though, I opted for a nice 90 minute nap instead. Kathleen went off to grab a small lunch snack, and I opened the balcony door and fell asleep to the sounds of the waves, which was a fantastic way to nap, let me tell you.
Still feeling pretty beat after my nap, we made a stop at the atrium café where I picked up a very tasty double espresso. That gave me the energy I needed to continue lazing around for the rest of the afternoon.
We headed back to O’Sheehan’s for a quick bite. Today was the day I discovered the most excellent fish and chips, and the nearly equally delicious jerk wings. This would not be the last time we consumed either.
We finally ventured out to the pool deck and were able to grab a couple loungers out of the sun. We watched the battle of the sexes pool games and then enjoyed the reggae band, all while sipping on more fruity concoctions. The reggae band for this cruise was called Flavors, and they were very enjoyable. As a musician, I like when the bands consist of more than a guy or two playing a keyboard with a built-in rhythm track, and this band was a full four pieces.
Next on our agenda for the day was another of our favorite cruise activities: playing trivia. Today was music trivia—more specifically, TV themed music trivia. We won music trivia on both of our previous two cruises, so we were eager to see if we could make it three in a row.
Luckily, Kathleen is an unstoppable force when it comes to music knowledge. Relate it to TV or movies especially and she can’t be beat. She came through again (I added literally one correct answer she didn’t know), and we won music trivia for our third cruise in a row. On our Getaway cruise, this earned us a free NCL coffee mug, but this time we collected signatures on participation cards, which you could then redeem for prizes on the last day of the cruise, depending on how many signatures you collected over the course of the cruise. It seemed a little bit of a hassle, but the hunt for additional signatures did add some spice to events throughout the week.
Flush with victory, we headed back up to O’Sheehan’s where we enjoyed a couple drinks while listening to the piano music from down below in the atrium.
We killed time until dinner, which was to be at Los Lobos. The food here was crazy good. This first night, we actually filled up on appetizers. No worries though, we went back two more times throughout the week to try more menu items. I fell in love with the empanadas, and Kathleen went apeshit over the guacamole, and we both loved the queso fundido—amazingly melty cheese with chorizo on yummy hot tortillas. If you like Mexican food, Los Lobos will absolutely blow you away.
After our Mexican feast, we headed down to the theater for the Newlywed Game, which is always enjoyable. We stayed for the second showing of Band on the Run, which was just okay. The music was pretty good, particularly the Dawn Show Band, but the cheesy storyline was kind of, well, lame.
After the show, we stopped in Gatsby’s to check out the piano music and to grab a quick drink. Unfortunately, the piano entertainment on this cruise was pretty lacking. There’s something about hearing Piano Man sung in a thick Eastern European accent that fails to communicate the essence of the original or to provide that sing-along vibe you want with live piano music.
With our first port on tap for the next day, and still feeling tired from my sleepless night, we decided to once again turn in early. After a little more balcony time, we quickly fell asleep.
Up next in cruise day 3: our day is “ruined” in Costa Maya.