Right on schedule, our bus dropped us at Norwegian Cruise Line's part of the dock. We all filed into a big waiting room where we were efficiently divvied up into groups of about twenty to present our passports and fill out some paperwork that included a public health form. Everyone's very concerned about H1N1 flu at the moment, and when I acknowledged that I have some respiratory symptoms (much reduced: Cold-Eeze works!) and that some of my coworkers had actually had the swine flu, I was pulled aside for special screening as a potential health hazard. They took my temperature and said that it was up a bit and that I should take it easy the first couple of days, but they let me go through.
We shuttle-bused over to where the Norwegian Sun was docked in all her glory, and I climbed the gangway for my first ocean voyage!
The ship's staff sure have this down to a science: right at the door we were faced with a large hand-sanitizer dispenser (I'd love to have the Purell concession here), and then we were photographed and sent off down the corridor and over to the main restaurant. In the restaurant, we were directed to find the P table (our last name begins with P) and get our ship cards. These are the room key-cards and also our IDs for the ship. They also function as credit cards in a way: we all gave our credit cards to the staffers, who took an imprint. We can charge things on our ship cards and at the end of the cruise they'll put the charges on our credit cards. Very efficient.
Once we'd been propelled through the system, we made our way to our stateroom where we explored briefly, locating our life vests in the closet, and then collapsed. We turned on the TV because we'd been told to watch the "ship channel" for instructions on the forthcoming lifeboat drill. Not soon enough....