Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dec. 16 At Sea

My favorite days, sea days, and after five port days in a row I am ready for a day on board of pure relaxation. 
My two coffee cards have been completely used up and I don’t really want to buy a new coffee card since this ship doesn’t have the specialty teas we are wanting so I will just purchase my latte per cup which is $2.50.  I will note that we have a feeling that they are probably going to change the specialty tea brand.  After seeing a huge box (like a case each of 1000 tea bags) of the orange, black, mint Revolution Brand teas in Horizon Court offered for free beside the regular tea makes me wonder.  And since they don’t appear to be ordering any new English Breakfast, I bet they are getting rid of this tea because they are going with a new brand. 

The Bijoux sale is going on in the Michelangelo dining room – it is zoo in there.  I stop in to check it out and everything Baltic is on sale, checked out some flip flops but there are four flip flops there and they are all left ones!  The regular stuff is there and the line up for check out is probably 15 deep so even if I do find something I like I don’t want to wait.  I do see a woman screaming at one of the staff trying to check her out – really no one should be talked to like that.
We head off to find a quiet space to read and head to the horizon court for lunch.  We discuss cruising and which cruise we would like to take in the future.  We also discuss how the passengers are really getting to us and how rude so many are and how we can deal with that.  I know a lot of it has to do with the fact we have done so many trips that we know how the system works, we know where to get things, and we find we have little patience when it comes to those who walk then STOP dead in their tracks, those that complain because of something, until we point out the solution is right in front of them.  The people who are demanding resolution to simple things that really should be shrugged off. I think we are going to have to change first J.
I do walk back towards the cabin via the pool deck to check out what is happening and I smile as I watch a father sharing a slice of pizza with his two year old daughter as she blows kissing to the passengers.  There is a movies under the star but can’t really make out what is showing because of the sun.  Calypso pool is getting ready for the ice carving demonstration.  The Lotus Pool is closed for cleaning so it is quiet there, appears that the Sanctuary is packed.
This afternoon’s matinee is the movie The Help and I really want to see it but first I want to check out the snow in the Atrium.  It is pretty cool but for those of us who know snow the novelty wears off quickly and I walk around and check out the stores and the tables set up outside around the Atrium.  I did hear thru some of the staff that a lot of items get stolen from the tables when it is busy!  In fact three watches were stolen the other night.  Who the heck would stoop so low as to steal a watch, and a staff tells me people even steal perfume samples!   Wow, guess they stink so bad they need to.
The Princess Theatre is very busy and the movie is lovely, in fact when it ends people even clapped.  It is 5 pm and we have dinner reservations at the Crown Grill tonight for 6:30 so I better get back to the cabin.
This our second time eating in the Crown Grill, we ate there last voyage and we are sat in the same section with the same waiter.  Once again we bring a bottle of champagne.  I should note that we have brought wine or champagne to most dining room meals, I would guess about 12 times and we have been charged the corkage of $15 most of the time.  I think 3 times we were not.  We don’t mind paying the fee and still find it a great value.  We do however tip our waiter every meal normally (between $5 and $8) if the service was good and if no fee was charge we usually add $10 to the tip.  This is us, and of course tipping is a personal thing and of course your automatic tipping does include the wait staff. 
Back to the Crown grill, I started with the lobster cake, very good but very rich.  Then of course the black and blue onion soup, which I still say is the best I have ever had.  For my entrée we both had the filet mignon and we order lobster tails on the side and we made a surf and turf entrée.  For dessert we of course had the chocolate molten cake, but when we got them the cake was only about an inch high in the ramekins.  And there was no molten part at all, it was cooked too long.  The waiter noticed and said he would bring two new ones.  The next ones arrived and they were cooked perfectly but again the dessert was only about an inch high in the ramekin, not sure what happened here.    Must be a different pastry chef, heck you would of gotten about the same about of molten cake if you ordered the four sampler dessert.  We did enjoy it though and our tea.  We did notice the service was lacking later on in the meal because the waiter’s section got busier and he didn’t really have much help.  He was moving fast around the tables and kept hitting the back of my chair, that I actually got up and moved to the other side of the table.  After a similar experience in Sabatinis it is apparent that the staff need one or two more bodies to help out.
What to do now?  We saw the comedian Jay Moore last night, the Princess theatre is showing Motown (which we have seen many times) we opt to head over to Club Fusion for the Love and Marriage show, sometimes called The Newlywed, Not So Newlywed Show.  The place is packed and unfortunately Club Fusion is not well laid out to accommodate a lot of people because of site lines blocked because of pillars and lack of seats.  I really miss the Vista Lounge seating that other ships have and hope that the Emerald Class ships will get Club Fusion changed when they do a dry dock sometime.
Back to the Love and Marriage Game show, three couples are picked and boy I have to say this was the worst version I have ever seen.  One couple, the husband had a hard time understanding the questions, one other couple the husband was older and had a hard time too, and when the men were escorted out of the theatre while the women answered the questions the older man had to walk to his scooter and then scoot on out, I swear it took five minutes and kind of killed the show.  Tim was having a hard time he could tell it was dying but what to do?  I have seen the show where they sit the couples back to back and have them write their answers that seems to flow much better.

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