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First TIme in a Long Time

Getting Ready and Getting There


View Cruising the Chesapeake and Riding to RI in 2021 on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I was so excited to go on this trip. I was packed two weeks before the embarkation date. That gave me a week to remember all the things that I had forgotten. Although I have been on many cruises before, I was not familiar with this particular type of ship. So I didn't know if I would need things like a door chock. I downloaded all the documents from the cruise line and tried to figure out how the embarkation would go. The ship will be docked right in the Inner Harbor. The emergency phone number for the ship is in their CT office at 1-800-894-8570

Cinco de Mayo - 5 May
Embarkation is Saturday. Wednesday (today) Lynde was supposed to come to put the last minute things in, but she decided to come Friday instead. George called and I answered the phone with great trepidation, thinking that he was going to tell me that the cruise was canceled, but he wanted my phone numbers (the cruise line wanted them) and to tell me that I had been upgraded to a balcony. The room is on the second deck which (when I look at the deck plan) allows me to get out on the stern without going up steps whereas from my former room, I had to go up steps to get out on the bow. The dining room is on the first deck, but there is an elevator.

Thursday (tomorrow) the cat lady is coming (for our trip to RI) so Bob vacuumed today with his special vacuum and he got so much cat hair in it that he had to take it all apart and ream out all the tubes. He said he got a trash bag of cat hair. At dinner tonight I didn't sneeze at all.

This is the itinerary

Sailing Dates: May 8, 2021 - May 14, 2021
Boarding Date: Sat. May. 08, 2021
Boarding Time: 11:30 AM
Cruise Code: #912
Ship: Independence
Guests Arrive to Ship
Sat. May. 08 11:30 AM Sat. May. 08 01:30 PM
Pier 5 711 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202

Sun. May. 09 07:30 AM Mon. May. 10 04:30 AM
Riverwalk Landing Marina
425 Water Street
Yorktown, VA 23690

Mon. May. 10 11:30 AM Tue. May. 11 05:30 AM
Crisfield City Pier
Foot of West Main Street
Crisfield, MD 21817

Tue. May. 11 01:30 PM Wed. May. 12 03:00AM
Municipal Yacht Basin
101 High Street
Cambridge, MD 21613

Wed. May. 12 08:30 AM Thu. May. 13 05:30 AM
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
213 North Talbot Street
St. Michaels, MD 21663

Thu. May. 13 08:30 AM Thu. May. 13 05:00 PM
Annapolis Anchorage
Harbormaster's Office 1 Dock Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Fri. May. 14 8:00 AM 13 08:00 PM Guests Disembark Ship
Pier 5 711 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202

8 May 2021 - Embarkation (
In spite of the fact that we discussed in minute detail where the ship was going to be docked (it's not at the regular cruise ship terminal) – Bob decided that he needed a map of Baltimore. He couldn't find a book map among the ones I had when I was working. All he could find was a Bike map of Maryland. Eventually he found both a Maryland map with Baltimore on it and a Baltimore map.

I was supposed to be at the dock at 11:30 (so I should leave at 9:30) and I was going to shoot for 11:00. Bob set the alarm for 6 so that he could do all the cats and eat his breakfast before we left. I was going to eat some cheese and crackers and I did eat one cracker and a little cheese. By 8:15, I was dressed and ready to go, so I packed up the computer and went downstairs. The result was that we left at 08:45
Our Sweet Bay Magnolia as we leave

Our Sweet Bay Magnolia as we leave

I was able to put the address of the dock in the car GPS. For some reason, from the top of our hill down past the sewage treatment plant and the cemetery and up the hill to Leonardtown now has a speed limit of 25 mph. Why I don't know, since 5 in town past the hospital the speed limit is 40 mph.

Of course the GPS wanted us to go up Branch Ave to I-95. But first it wanted us to go across to MD 235. Nope – not going to do that. Then it had a fit when we turned off in Hughesville.

Newly paved?

Newly paved?

Roadside stand

Roadside stand

Naylor MD

Naylor MD

That road seems to have been recently resurfaced. There were a lot of new signs “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” (and they really have to because there are no shoulders).

May Use Full Lane

May Use Full Lane

No bicycles though like there were last time. They don't have the old school marked as a school zone anymore, but it is still a crossing – from a building FSBO to a guard rail with poison ivy on the other side.
Crosswalk

Crosswalk

Then Croom Station Road was closed so we just went out to US 301 on Croom Road
Croom Road

Croom Road

Intersection with US 301

Intersection with US 301

All was well until we got to I695 – the Baltimore beltway. Bob forgot that to get off on MD 648, you have to go in the direction of the tunnel and take the last exit before the tunnel and I didn't remember it either until I saw it. But we just went on down Russell Street to Pratt
Pratt Street

Pratt Street


and turned on President

We were a hour early. We had to wait until 11:00 to board. It was a raw windy day – they had a little tent over the welcome table.
Tent over the welcome table from my balcony

Tent over the welcome table from my balcony

We had to fill out a Covid form giving our date of our shots and what kind they were. Bob dropped my suitcase, the rollator, the scooter and the computer bag and me. The little guy there said he could unfold the scooter, but we didn't believe him, so Bob unfolded it before he left. He said later that he got lost going home and wandered around south Baltimore for an hour - he didn't remember that Russell Street wasn't a through street anymore.

Then when we could get on, they took the bag, the computer bag and the rollator to the hall outside my room and I rode the elevator up. It is a handicapped elevator – only room for 2 people, or one person on a scooter. It is not handicapped accessible. It has a heavy door to open and then you press the floor button and a gate closes behind you.
Elevator gate inside

Elevator gate inside

Gate opening

Gate opening

Heavy elevator door from the inside

Heavy elevator door from the inside

Then the gate opens and you have to open the door manually and it is a heavy door

I took the scooter into the room, and pulled the suitcase in, but I couldn't lift it onto the bed. The bed was made up as a king.

Bed

Bed

I asked for it to be made into twins, and they did that during lunch. The head of the bed is toward the bow. Two night tables (one on each side with two drawers and a cubby hole and a light on each one. There is a clock on one bedside table and it has two plugs and two USB ports on the top of it.
Desk

Desk

There is a desk with a coffee maker, and ice bucket and a lamp with multiple drawers in it and a big mirror, and a closet with a suitcase rack. Opposite the bed is the TV on a chest with three drawers. On top of the chest was some wine and cheese, a wine bottle and two glasses.
Bathroom

Bathroom

The bathroom has a tiny square shower and a sink with a pretty big counter and some drawers under it. I have asked for a shower seat.

I went out on the balcony - two chairs and a table, and took some photos of the lighthouse.

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

The round screwpile lighthouse

The round screwpile lighthouse

The other side of the lighthouse

The other side of the lighthouse

Light of the lighthouse

Light of the lighthouse

The road is paved with brick

The road is paved with brick

Park by the lighthouse

Park by the lighthouse

Lighthouse window

Lighthouse window

Lighthouse underpinnings

Lighthouse underpinnings

Looking past the lighthouse

Looking past the lighthouse

Water Taxi stop

Water Taxi stop


This is the Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse which was originally out near the end of Bodkin Creek where Bob grew up.

The medical officer came in and did a covid test. He put a timer on the door and came back to read it. I passed. My camera said that the battery was low, so I changed batteries and I unpacked the computer bag. My phone apparently was not charging on he way up so it was almost dead, but I put it on the USB charger on the night table and by noon, it was charged enough for me to go to lunch.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:18 Archived in USA Tagged cruise lighthouse chesapeake Comments (6)

Sailing Sailing Over the Bounding Main

Leaving Port


View Cruising the Chesapeake and Riding to RI in 2021 on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I ate a little of the cheese on the wine and cheese board. I was feeling a little queasy by now which is the way I feel when I am anxious about something. This cruise was a test for me to see if I could possibly travel by myself. Now was the time for the first test. Could I do the elevator by myself?

I took the rollator down the elevator. Yes I can do it.
Dining room

Dining room


I was about 10 minutes early so I sat on the rollator and waited. I was the first one there for lunch. It was open seating at tables for 6.
Table for 6

Table for 6

Lunch menu

Lunch menu


The lady who is the lecturer - name of Rachael came and sat with me.
White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili


I had the white chicken chili as an appetizer - it was hot and spicy. I had chicken salad sandwich for the main course.
Chicken salad sandwich

Chicken salad sandwich


It was chicken salad with a few pieces of apple and a slivered almond on a croissant with lettuce and tomato, it it came with some nice grapes and kettle chips. They have cranberry juice, but the waiter says it is cran-grape so I think I will use my cranberry juice to take my pills with.
Blueberry pie

Blueberry pie


I had blueberry pie for dessert, but as I am trying not to gain weight, I only ate half of it, and not all of the croissant.

Two other ladies came and sat with us at lunch Jan and Patty. One lives in Florida and the other in New England. They were friends who lived in a condo in FL and their husbands died so they went back to their original homes, but they travel together. A lot of people have multiple ACL (American Cruise Line) cruises.

The captain did the Life Guard drill on the loudspeaker while we were at lunch. Our life jackets are under our beds. One of the ladies on the crew put the suitcase up on the bed just before we sailed away - they had separated the beds at lunch. So I was able to unpack. I had my dresses already on hangers so all I had to do was pick them up and hang them in the closet. It is hard for me to stand for any length of time, but I managed to do that

I also got one of the chairs taken out and I can come in (the doors stay open once they are opened - I don't need a chock), and turn around and back up to the TV chest and there is a plug right there to charge the scooter. I have misc. stuff on the other bed. I borrowed the cheese board to put my computer on and when I saw the room steward again I asked her to take the wine and glasses away.

There is no phone in the room. If you want to call someone you either push the red medic alert button (which calls the doctor), or you use your cell phone to call the cruise director. They left the room keys and the plan of the day on the desk. I put one key in the little neck pocket I carry my cell phone in, and the other in my passport case. The plan of the day is one sheet. One side is called "Ship to Shore"
Ship to Shore

Ship to Shore


and has the weather forecast, the port and the dining times. The other side is called "Coastal Rundown" and has the schedule with the important announcements (Please Listen for the Captain's Safety Announcement) in red.
Schedule of the day

Schedule of the day

At two we had a mandatory meeting in the Chesapeake Lounge - most things happen in the Chesapeake Lounge and that is two doors down from my room.
Mandatory meeting

Mandatory meeting


This was to introduce the officers, re-emphasize the abandon ship drill that we heard at lunch, and tell us about the excursions. The captain was a Warrant Officer in the Coast Guard and then he did commercial and charter fishing. I found out that while the ship (which has a 6 foot draft) normally goes to Tangier, it is not going this time because of Covid - the Tangier people don't want them there. Also the Naval Academy tour was canceled - same reason. In Annapolis they will anchor out - no scooters. I may just stay on the ship.

I got back to my room for the sail-away
Coast Guard escort?

Coast Guard escort?


Casting off

Casting off


and sat on my balcony for a little bit. I looked but I didn't get to see the Trash Wheel.
Looking for Mr. Trash Wheel

Looking for Mr. Trash Wheel


This is solar powered robot which collects the plastic and trash that comes down the Patapsco River so it doesn't get into the harbor or the Bay. I took photos as we left
Paul Reed Smith guitar on the roof of the Hard Rock

Paul Reed Smith guitar on the roof of the Hard Rock


Rusty Scupper restaurant

Rusty Scupper restaurant


Marina by the Rusty Scupper where we stayed on our boat

Marina by the Rusty Scupper where we stayed on our boat

USS Constellation on the right

USS Constellation on the right


and then I went in to write emails while I was looking out my window at a white capped bay as we rocketed along toward Norfolk (or rather Yorktown). This is the longest leg of the trip.
White caps and a barge on the Bay

White caps and a barge on the Bay


I had closed the blinds to keep the sun out - it is a bit cool so I turned on the heat - it is still a little cool. I opened the blinds just as we were going under the Bay Bridge about 4.
Opening the blinds to see the Bay Bridge

Opening the blinds to see the Bay Bridge


At 5 there was a solo traveler's get together and I went and met a lady named Jane from Florida,and there was a man from Indianapolis. Plus me and Rachael. Both the man and me had originally had the two single cabins forward on deck one and had been upgraded to a balcony on deck two.

At 5:30 there was cocktail hour - they had cheese and crackers and tiny crab cakes, some kind of thing on a stick, and little spinach turnovers. And nuts. And whatever alcoholic drinks you wanted. I got a root beer. I only drank half the root beer and took the can back to my room, and then took it back down to dinner. I decided not to be the first one in the dining room. While I was there, I asked about the wi-fi as I was getting no signal. The medical officer told me that the ship is steel and I would get a better signal if I kept my door open. And that does seem to be the case.
Soft drink end of the bar

Soft drink end of the bar


I found out tonight that while the ship holds 100 pax and 25 crew, (the crew do double duty - the medical officer was mixing the drinks at the happy hour), there are only 40 of us on this cruise. We are to wear masks at all times except in our cabin or when eating.
Dinner menu

Dinner menu

Anyway, I went to dinner and sat with a black couple -John and Barney. They drive to all their cruises as John won't fly. Another couple came - Barbara and Stanley who live in Solomons right across the Patuxent from us. I had chicken noodle soup,
Chicken soup

Chicken soup


and a very good crab cake
Crab cake

Crab cake


and ate just part of the cheesecake dessert.
What was left of my cheesecake

What was left of my cheesecake


We left the dining room at 7. Barbara wanted to take a photo as they passed her house, but the shore was so far away that I don't think even my telephoto lens would show anything.

They came in to turn down the room, and I asked again about a shower seat. They said they would buy one for me tomorrow!!! So now I really have to take some showers. They gave me the schedule for tomorrow.
Musicians in the Chesapeake Lounge

Musicians in the Chesapeake Lounge


I wanted to go to the 8:20 listing of tomorrow, but I got there late and they were starting a show - two guys, one on guitar and one on keyboard and they sing. They are from Jacksonville and are getting off the ship tomorrow. So I stayed for the show. One of the girls came around with sundaes and root beer floats. Since I already had a root beer, I took a sundae. Except for that, I have been good.

Then I set the alarm on the bedside table for tomorrow.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:53 Archived in USA Comments (5)

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