Sunday, April 16, 2017

Come Sail Away

Now that we're both back from vacation and I have a laptop again, I should write something up. If nothing else, it's a good way to learn how to type on the new laptop without accidentally hitting the touchpad. I'll cover the special parts of the cruise we went on in the next post. For this one, you get San Diego and the general ship experience.

Our first stop was Legoland. Don't go to Legoland if there's a chance of rain. The park handled it terribly. On top of that, at least with our package, you had to cancel 5 days in advance of your reservation, so by the time the weather forecast is reliable enough to make a decision, it's too late. We got to experience one indoor ride, one kid play area, one 4d movie (that sprayed us with water on this rainy day, repeatedly), one water ride (that spun people around in a circle and got them wet), and one indoor area where you could build and race Lego karts down a ramp. There was also a Mindstorms experience, but both kids were too young for that, so we missed out. The worst part, though, was how the refund policy works. They say up front that if they have to close the park for two hours due to bad weather, you'll get credit to return to the part free within a year. Let's ignore the cost of plane tickets, car rental, and lodging, and accept this as a good faith gesture. That gesture was ruined by what actually happened, which is that the rain stopped almost exactly two hours before closing, but instead of getting those two hours to experience the rest of Legoland (other than the one ride we'd been cycling through, which broke down several times), they closed the park early, secure in the knowledge that the 2-3 dozen of us there that day had no grounds to demand vouchers to return. Great guest experience there.

The rest of the trip went really well. We were easily able to bus from our hotel to the San Diego Zoo, there was a convenient spawning point for getting Pikachu wearing a party hat, and we discovered there's a Ghirardelli Chocolate in San Diego, which went a good way to offset not getting up to LA for doughnuts this trip. We'd planned to go back to Balboa Park for another day, but the kids were happy enough to play at the park next to the San Diego Clerk/Recorder Building. By the way, if anyone reading this is on a career path that would set them up to be County Recorder or something like that, this looks like a gorgeous building to work in. You should consider it.

After that, we boarded a ship and went to Mexico. None of us had gone on a cruise before, so this was a new experience. We lucked out, choosing a midship cabin, which limited how far we'd have to walk to get anywhere, since the things we wanted were spread out all over, and child care was four decks straight above us. Midship also had more elevators, although I tried to use those sparingly to offset the food and drinks. The cabin itself worked well for us, with a surprising amount of storage and a very efficient layout. We were in a suite, since it was something we could do, and made sense for having the four of us share that space for a week. It did mean we got a bathtub, which Shannon and the kids appreciated. We also got what the ship called a dressing room, which Moira really enjoyed, plus a custom Davis Storage Compartment. We'll see how well it works on future trips, assuming they happen.

The movement of the ship was a lot more pronounced than I was expecting. We had some minor concerns about seasickness before going, so took a number of precautions. Honestly, most of the problems I had were after returning to land. Either that, or while we were gone, everyone else has taken a much more casual approach to the frequent minor tremors we had.

I'll leave you with a few moments of Davis checking out our stateroom


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