So, we made our way onto the very huge ship. We were on the "Riviera Deck" (i.e., Steerage), so there were many floors to go down in an elevator. We got there and walked . . . and walked . . . and walked some more to our cabin, which was pretty far aft but thankfully had a window. It was vaguely reminiscent of a less seedy Tutwiler Hall, with twin beds, lots of built-ins, and minimal floor space. We unpacked out bags and stowed them, then ventured out for food.
I think the passenger capacity was around three thousand? Believe me when I say it felt like many, many more than that. Teeming multitudes, swirling confusedly but purposefully like ants. Anyway, we went to the Lido Deck where we wandered around lots of cafeteria-style lines (again, reminiscent of tarted-up college dining options) before Charlotte settled on a slice of pizza from some kind of poolside vendor. We got beverages and settled down at the bar to eat/drink.
Two notes: One is that a major hidden cost of cruises is your beverage options. I understand and expect to pay for alcohol, but they charged for Cokes, for heaven's sake. Another is that one point on which Charlotte and I diverge is that, when hungry, I will pretty much eat the first non-seafood and non-mayonnaisey thing I can find. Charlotte, on the other hand, will be more selective even as she grows hungrier.