Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dominica


I want to back track a bit to cover our meal last night in Sabatinis.  After the night in Crown Grill we had said we would not dine at the specialty restaurants again but boy are we ever glad we did.  Tonight we stop by Sabatinis just prior to our reservation and ordered some wine so they could put it on ice and open when we arrive.  We head over to Adagio for a drink and we can hear they are doing the sports trivia and Corey is hosting.  It is so nice to see him again after spending a month on the Star we got to know him well.  He is happy to be back on board and is well rested after a two month break and visit home to New Zealand.

We meet up with the other four and have a quick drink and some olives!  Make sure you try the olives here!  They are so good.

When we are sat at Sabatinis for 8 we already can feel the diference.  It isn’t as busy as Crown was and the waiter and head waiter are immediately offering us menus and opening and pouring wine.  We see that there is a new hostess and we all comment to each other on the differences.

Tonight I really wanted to have the sea bass as it is something I have never had but have always wanted but it is a dish that is served for two and I have never found someone to share it with.  Tonight Bill says he will have it with me but our waiter offers to get it and have it for the middle of the table for all of us to share and we are tickled pink this is just perfect!

I start with the Calamari then have I have to have the mushroom tart and both were so good – but I made sure not to eat the entire dish so that I still had room for my entrée.  The pasta course is served next and it is good but again too much and I have to stop myself from eating all that they put on my plate.  For my entrée I love the lobster three ways but I don’t really want the tail what I really want is the risotto and they are happy to provide, but are very concerned that it won’t be enough and offer to add more to the dish and more lobster.  I say I am good with the regular portion but I get a large bowl of risotto with tons of lobster meat in it and even with sharing it with the tablemates it is way too much.  I should also add the sea bass is prepared in a salt crust that is served table side.  The waiter cuts off the salt and debones the fish there and serves succulent chunks of fish on a platter for the table.   It is so good and I have another favorite dish at Sabatinis.

For dessert I once again have the Napolean and a latte and we are all so happy with the food and service and I thank Bill and Cathy for suggesting it.  We thank the waiter and head waiter for a great meal and we don’t hesitate to tip extra tonight as we really appreciate it.

We need to wander and walk off this meal a bit.  After a few minutes we end up at Crooners cause Kory Simon draws us in with his singing and playing and we spend about an hour there laughing, singing along and having our food settle a bit. 

Another Great Day!

Now for Barbados…..

We wake and we both feel tired and grumpy…. Third port day in a row and we really miss those sea days.  We also have another tour planned today and we should know better we get tired of having too many things organized and maybe should of planned better but what is done is done. 

We wake, and Bernie heads upstairs for some food and brings me an egg sandwich to tie me over.  We get our bathing suits on and meet the others at 9 in the coffee bar when I get my latte to go.  We are all commenting on how we are tired and needed a later start today so we all grudgingly head ashore.

Oh I should say we are at the industrial pier about 2 km from town so this doesn’t add to our mood very well.  We are trying to find the sign for Antours.  Now for those that have followed my blogs for years you know we love Antours, this is our third tour with them, all of them River Tubing with one year doing the tubing and the Emerald Falls.  Today we are just doing the tubing again.  We finally meet up with the host who has our names and checks all our names off and says that there are four others that are already here but there are a few others still.  So we are lead to a shaded area that has a fence around it where we all giggle commenting that we feel like sheep that are corralled in their pen. 

Finally after about 15 minutes we are directed to two vans where our group of about 22 is divided and we get in and again all our moods are being put to the test as the fan is stifling hot and humid and we are sitting, and sitting and sitting.  Finally some AC starts and we are still waiting but at least the AC is helping.  The driver of the van in front keeps coming back and checking names.  We once again go thru the roll call and he is looking for Bridgitte!  This becomes the running joke as no one knows who Brigitte is and after an hour of waiting around, sitting, corralling, and checking names we are off.

Our driver does outline some of the sights but we are not interested we have been here before, I am tired and we are all still cranky.  We hope the day will improve, or at least our moods will.

Part way to the falls we are told we have a delay because of a scheduling error and we are told that they will take us to the black sand beach to hang out at for a bit until they can get us onto the river.  We are fine with this, but really we don’t have a choice. 

But as soon as we arrive we see this little girl of about four who welcomes us and says hi and how are you and well heck what do I have to complain about really…. And look at this beach!  Look at the water!  And guess what I didn’t have to drive the bus today so I soon change my tune.  And it looks like others are feeling better too as moods have adjusted after this short stop at the beach.

We are driven the short distance to the river and the drop off spot.  Antour is there and he remembers me and he apologizes so much about the error today.  We feel rushed though as another group from another organization arrives and they want to get into the water too.  We are fitted with life jackets and helmets and we are in the water.  The water is high today and this should help with the flow down the river better and hopefully I won’t get stuck too much.

Some of the people in the other van in our group are still cranky, especially  these two women who constantly complain as they go down the river but I try to block out their complaints and focus on the positive.

My butt can still fit in the river tube!  The river is running fast!  I can still fit in the life jacket!  The trees that surround the river are lush and work like a beautiful canopy for my transport!  The guides are fast and very helpful and getting us out of areas when we get stuck!  And I can physically still do these exciting excursions!

We are met at the end (which took about 40 minutes) by Antour who soon has us drinking beer, water or Kennedy rum punch…. All is right in the world and we are all laughing in our bus on the ride back. 

I am so tired as soon as I get on board I am struggling to stay awake…. Heck I am on holidays and a nap is in order and I crash.  I slept for a few hours and wake just as we are pulling out but I don’t feel guilty I needed it.

Tonight’s drink of the day is the mojito in Skywalkers and I hear that there is one with my name on it, well actually two!  We meet up with Bill and Cathy and Mike and Sue. 

At 7:30 we head to the dining room and Elda and Nathanlian are happy to see us again and we are happy to see them too.  I start with the pear and pineapple salad, then apple soup, then the fish kabobs and all is very good.  Of course a bottle of Santa Margaritta makes it taste so much better.

Tonight we opt to see Rolling Jay Moore in the Princess theater, of course as soon as he comes out we recognize him and we laugh our heads off but we are tired!  Go figure!   Other things going on tonight are Muts Pitch Perfect, Beatles Maniacs in Club Fusion, Majority Rules and Karaoke Madness and of course the regular bands.

Another great day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Barbados


Bernie is sleeping in today and I head down to get his tea and my latte.  Today we don’t dock until later, 10 am and everyone is dying to get off it looks like.  We meet up with the others in the Atrium at 10 but we see the line to get off is snaked around the entire Atrium and down the hallway.  We decide to head to the forward gangway which has a much shorter line and as soon as we hit the pier we are hit with humidity as a light shower had just passed thru.

The steel drum band is playing and we are dancing down the pier to the main terminal.  The lines and crowds are unbearable but Alice points us towards a shortcut thru Diamonds International…. And no we didn’t stop. 

We are doing a tour with Silvermoon today and we meet up with our transportation person at the proper gate at 10:30 but we are told to wait a bit and they will be right back.  We don’t have to wait long maybe five minutes and the bus returns and the 8 of us take the short ride to the pier where we board Silvermoon Two which we were on two years ago and we are excited to see Stacey as our captain again and Tony is her assistant.  There are four other people already on board, a couple from London England and a Mother/Daughter from the Ukraine.

I get settled in right away on the catamaran in the sun and I can feel any stress I may have had (which is already little) drain.  We are all enjoying the ride out to where we will snorkel with the turtles. 








Tony gets in the water and starts feeding the turtles and they just come all around and they are so docile.  We love this and even though we have done this four times now we get so excited every time.  We spent quite a while in the water with the turtles and we were even able to touch their shells, and often they would swim right up to you and even poke their head out of the water.  Too cute!





We board the boat again and head a bit of ways to a good snorkel spot where a boat was sunk to create an artificial reef and then closer to the shore is a natural reef.  We snorkel for quite some time and loved it, however the visibility was not as great as other trips here, but that may be because of the wind and it stirring up the water.



We board the boat again and we head towards Sandy Lane where we drop anchor and a wonderful catered lunch of fish, chicken, rice, cole slaw, green salad and garlic bread are served.  Of course any type of beverage you want can also be had.  I had a ginger ale earlier and then had a very good rum punch with my meal.  Later on they made fresh pina coladas with Malibu Rum (one of their sponsors).  We were anchored here for an hour so we were able to get back in the water and swim around a bit before board and heading back to the dock.  In all the tour was from 11 to 4, but normally it is earlier as normally we come in earlier.



We had a great time, we always do with Silvermoon – they are professional, courtesy, helpful and fun, we would recommend them again any time.  You can find their website at:  Silver Moon

We are back on board the ship around 4:45 and we need to shower and relax (ha ha ha just writing that we need to relax seems silly) but we may need a nap before dinner, actually Bernie is already napping as I type this.

We were debating on whether to attend the German Buffet again tonight or to go to Sabatinis.  Since the other four would like to go to Sabatinis as they are only on for this voyage we agree to go.  We were able to get reservations for 8 pm and tonight the drink in Skywalkers is Port (one of my favorites) but after last night I think we may need to pass. 

The production show is What a Swell Party but we have seen it and since we are eating so late and in the specialty restaurant I think we may just pass.

Antigua – January and who knows what day it is


We arrive at 8 am and as Bernie heads down to get my latte and his tea we relax for a bit as our day doesn’t start until later.  I had a great sleep!  And as Bernie heads up to the International café for a bite to eat I write up yesterday’s blog.

When he returns he tells me a funny story about couples up there…. We laugh our heads off as we see the type all the time.  Normally it is the wife, but certainly it can be the husband too but in this case it was the wife.  Screaming at her husband, “got a table here – here here” he finally comes over and she screams “sit – SIT – SIT” I am giggling just thinking about it.  But obviously these couples have been married for a long time and it works for them.  But I promise Bernie I will never do this to him.

Today we are heading out on a sailboat again, but this time Cathy organized it.  She researched and found Miramar Sailing Team www.miramarsailing.com   She booked a lovely sailboat for just the six of us for the day.  The boat was waiting for us as we got off and we met up with Captain Kevin and Tyler his assistant.  We quickly get settled and we motor out of the harbour of St. John’s.  

Bernie spotted Greg right away - the shirt was a dead giveaway
Tyler gives us a safety briefing and we are ready for some fun as he serves us a beverage of choice, but warns us if we are going to go snorkeling we shouldn’t drink.  I take a gingerale and head forward to lay in the sun, but lathered on the sunscreen as the wind and sun combination can be strong. 



We head south and as we travel we pass beautiful stunning gorgeous beaches (any and all would be a great place to spend the day).  We travel for about an hour and a half of sailing we pull into a harbor where we drop anchor and we have the option of swimming or ridding the small dingy to the shore where we will enjoy a lunch.  Bernie, Bill, Sue and I decide to swim in and it is so refreshing.

The meal was very good, chicken, salad, rice, vegetables, and fries with the Suzie hot sauce!  And of course there are beverages.  We stay here for about an hour before making our way back to the boat, which Bernie and I swim to.

this is where we got off and had a lunch


We make our way back to the ship and it is windy and the sailing goes smoothly.  We loved the excursion but we were under the impression that we would have been stopping and snorkeling (although they did say it would be murky and not a lot of visibility because of the wind) we still wanted to go in the water again.  And I know that their website did say they had fishing and Cathy had stated in her email that she wanted fishing but once on board there was no fishing poles.  Well that is ruled out. 

In the end we had a great day and I would recommend Miramar and Kevin/Tyler but felt that we should of gotten what we were stated we would of gotten.  I am sorry Bill missed his fishing too.



We are back on board at 3:30 and we are all aboard at 4:30 I wander up to deck 15/16 to take pictures of the Freedom of the Seas in port beside us and head back to the cabin to shower and get all this salt out of my hair!

Anthony
We head up to Skywalkers tonight for the sunset and a few cosmos, well a few turned into three each – how can that be we don’t know but Anthony has taken very good care of us and as we leave we realize oh my there was alcohol in those cosmos.

Dinner tonight is the five of us as Mike is missing in action and taking it easy in the cabin.  We are so happy to see Elda and Nathanial again and we quickly tell them so too.  I am happy cause I see the deep fried sushi is on the menu again! 


I start with the Carbarnara Pasta as an appetizer, then I have the coconut soup and well of course you already know I had the deep fried sushi for my entrée and then the cheese plate for dessert.  We have lots of visitors to our table tonight, many want to say hi and Greg introduces us to his beautiful Peruvian girlfriend – what a cute couple. 




But we want to get out as we have arranged to meet up with Johan for some drinks in Vines at 9:30 and the Beatlemaniacs are playing too, but somehow I think we will miss it.  But I really don’t mind we love Johan and we have missed him so much and chatting on facebook just isn’t the same.  We catch up and all of a sudden it is after 11, boy where does the time go? 

Johan - Princess is our family and Johan is family


We get back the cabin and crawl into bed, what a great day, one of many with great friends that made it extra special.  Tomorrow we are in Barbados and the ship is moving.  The Captain did warn us we would have strong winds and well he doesn’t disappoint.  But we don’t mind it, we get rocked to sleep again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Second Sea Day – Monday



Bethoven - who was on the Star in SA with us
I love my sea days!  Forced relaxation!  But I wake and still feel so tired, again my allergies, which are triggered by food/drink are causing me issue.  I took my antihistamine last night but I still have sinus pressure.  Oh well it isn’t going to ruin my day and I know it will ease if I get out and about.

We are excited today because there is Zumba!  Salt and Pepper aka Lexi and Leesh will be doing a session in Club Fusion first thing this morning.   Princess had a session on turnaround day for many of the cruise staff from three different ships (Grand, Caribbean and us) to get some of them certified to teach classes.  Lexi and Leesh say they are nervous and that they have been working very hard and staying up extra late practicing the routine.   But as soon as the class gets underway they are so professional and helpful that they look like they have been doing it forever. 

Bernie and I work hard to keep up with their steps but it is hard since this is the first time we have done many of these steps before.  We had a hard time hearing them and it would have been better if they would have had a hands-free microphone, and if they could of turned around so we could of followed their steps.  But we are looking forward to the next session and will definitely attend and hopefully we will look a little better and know more steps.

After a shower Bernie heads up to Horizon Court for a light snack then some sun and reading and I head to the Atrium for the Showcase at Sea event again.  It doesn’t seem to be as well attended as the last cruise session.  I don’t recall the dancers walking around taking pictures but I may have just missed that as I came a little late.  


The photography table was once again located right on the main dance area of the Piazza and again it was very hard to get to and maneuver to and from it.  Robert from the casino was once again doing his blackjack for muffins but because of this it takes time at his station which allows us to connect with him more and learn more about the casino.  I collect my draw tickets and then take a seat at the coffee bar with Sue and we chat with the bar staff and Bethoven makes us smile as he does a few moves for us.  I don’t win anything in the draw but it was fun participating.

Robert serving the ante of a muffin for blackjack
I head up to the Sun deck for a short while as it is very windy and a few dark clouds but it is still very nice and don’t be fooled the sun is still very strong and the sunburns tonight proves it.  We decide to head to the dining room for lunch and are sat at a table of six with four women, two from Edmonton, one from Dallas who is joining us on Silvermoon in Barbados and another lady from Fort Lauderdale.  I had the stuffed peppers and really enjoyed it. 

When we get back to the cabin we are treated to a lovely bouquet of flowers from our friend Johan, what a sweetie and it makes our day.

Sue and Mike invite us and Bill and Cathy for some wine in their cabin.  Well how can I describe the next four hours…..  wine, more wine, more wine and lots and lots of laughs.  What a fun afternoon and we can’t believe four hours have gone past and we definitely need some food.  We head up to Café Caribe tonight as it is Mexican themed dinner and it is very good. 




After dinner Bernie and I wander around the ship.  We see Kory Simon (the piano player from Crooners) is in Explorers tonight and the place is packed.  Princess theater is hosting Michael Wilson the Vocal Impressionist but both of us are tired and we don’t think we can handle an entire show so we just walk around and head into the stores on board.  Bernie chats with Michelle and I chat with Sara, then we head to Facets to chat with Courtenay and Natalia – they are so nice and they are going to be busy for this cruise as they are busy doing inventory. 

We head aft to check out what is happening in Club Fusion and we see Corey (who we sailed with last fall on the Star with but haven’t had a chance to talk to) and Leesh who are hosting the Lyrical Miracle Game Show, Bernie and I come in late so we just take a seat at the bar and play along.  It is a fun playing along and it is even more fun watching the others play along too.  It is a game where one person from the team has to get up to show Leesh the answer for their team and this really gets people moving and participating and it creates energy.

But it is now just before 11 and we are beat…. I know I sound old, and I am not but we are ready for some relaxation and sleep.  We watch the wake show (it is shown at night as well) and see they say that tomorrow in Antigua we all need to be on board for 4:30 and that is what is shown in our itinerary.  But someone made a mistake as the day’s Patter clearly states on the front of it, and inside as well that all aboard is 5:30.  We know to be back on at 4:30 though and are looking forward to our tour in Antigua.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Evening – Sunday


Tonight we had reservations at the Crown Grill for 6:30 for the 7 of us and we are sat at a nice table.  It was fun to sit and catch up and the laughs already have started.

We had another bottle of the London Fog for tonight and again it was so good.

It is busy in here tonight and we wait to get our menus and then we really wait to have our order taken.  Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long for our wine. 

When our appetizers arrived they sat on the tray behind us for over five minutes, I had the goat cheese and beet salad, Bernie had the lobster cake, which we have had numerous times and it is a nice normal Lobster Cake size, but tonight is it is this large ball the size of a tennis ball.    And because it waited on the tray it was just warm.  I then had the black and blue soup and that was hot and very good. 

For our entrée I had the 5 oz. fillet mignon with Béarnaise Sauce on the side, we had all the sides delivered to the middle of the table for us all to share.  Sadly the main dishes for almost everyone were not good, mine was warm and cool in the middle, the Béarnaise sauce was cold and had a skin on the top.  Bernie had the rack of lamb and he asked for it medium rare and two of the racks were perfect but one was very very rare.  Our friend asked for a rare steak and it came medium and he returned it and they did correct it, but at first the waiter came back and said the chef said that was rare and it was more cooked than mine and mine was medium.  Many of the sides were very good but again some were just warm.

But we had hope for the dessert and that didn’t disappoint, we made sure to tell him we wanted it molten and runny in the middle as last time it was totally cooked.  Tonight it came out perfect and we enjoyed it immensely.  Everyone ordered tea and coffee/espresso but again when it arrived the hostess served it and she had to ask, who had the tea? Who had the espresso?  Who had the coffee?  Who had the latte?  Really! 

We pay our bill and we all agree this was so poor and we regret having dinner here and especially since the service in the dining room with Elda is so great. 

Tonight when we get back to the room Bernie and I agree that with both the dinner in the Crown Grill tonight and the meal in Sabattinis the other night being so so we will forgo the specialty restaurants for the remaining of the cruises.  But we know this is not the norm and will definitely try them again on a different ship.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Sea Day

no it isn't raining they were cleaning the deck

We wake to the feel of the ocean the swaying back and forth, don’t worry it isn’t rough well I don’t find it rough but it is a lovely motion like being rocked to sleep like a baby.

With the clocks going back and hour I feel like I have been given an extra bonus of sleep…. and as we slowly wake Bernie decides to dress and head down to get me my  latte so I don’t have to stir.  Ahhh the love boat truly is romantic!  I turn on the t.v. to catch Lee and Frenchie making me laugh as usual.  And then throw it on a channel that is showing a movie “Did you hear about the Morgans”  Iove that Princess has movies in the cabin – not like other lines that make you pay for movies in the cabin.  I watch, I drink my latte, I curl up in bed and glance at the Patter.  What more can I want.

Okay enough lazing around in bed, time to head down to the International Café to laze around there.  I am smiling right now cause I feel relaxed just remembering it.  Beverly sees me and comes right over and already knows what I want.  The crew here are so good, and such a joy to see every day.  You never hear them complain and they all work so hard day in and day out and we truly appreciate it.  Beverly fills me on her day and how her two daughters are doing back home in the Phillipines.

I am joined by friends Bill and Cathy, then Alice and we catch up on how we are all doing.  We remark on how the crowd this sailing differs than the previous one.  For some reason we get a little protective of our ship and crew and a little defensive when we hear the passengers commenting negatively we want to shout out in defense but we know that given a few days they will fall into their new routine and figure out the flow of ship life.

Bernie and I really want to get a work out in, it has been a few days so we both change and head up to the gym.  I know I haven’t written much about it mainly because I only visited it twice last voyage, mainly because we tried to do more workouts on land in the form of long hikes and swims.  Today we are up and the gym is busy, which doesn’t surprise us as the first few days are always busy but it soon dies down as the cruise goes on.  I see they have some new machines that must have been installed during the dry dock. 

I forgot to mention that I had a bit of a sinus headache (usually caused because of food allergies) and I was having trouble getting rid of it so my thought was after the work out to head to the steam room (that is accessible thru the women’s change room – note it is not unisex) and it does the trick as my sinus pain eases considerable and I swear I must of sweated off a pound.  I should spend more time in here.

But really this is what cruising is about – doing what you want to do.  Relaxing, enjoying the moment, disconnecting from civilization, chatting with strangers, learning about different cultures and trying new things.  I try every day to do something new or something I don’t do very often.  Today sitting in the steam room by myself reflecting on things.  I am saddened because a good friend has recently been told she doesn’t have long after being diagnosed with cancer that  has spread considerably.  It makes me appreciate today and all the wonderful people that have touched my life.  Getting a little sappy but I am happy today.

I head up to the Café Caribe for some salad and soup and chat with some of the staff before heading down to Crooners to meet up with Bernie who is just about to head to a trivia game.  This gives me a change to stop in and see a dear friend Johan who just got on board yesterday.  We are very proud of him as he has been promoted since we last saw him.  We will meet up with him for tea a little later and we have twenty days to catch up in person.

Tonight is dinner at the Crown Grill with our friends.  It is also formal night but I don’t think we will be dressing up to formally.  But champagne is in order!

Jan 26, Florida aka Turn Around Day


We are docked before 7 am, and since our clocks go back an hour to coincide with Florida time we get an extra hour of sleep, but what it is sleep.  In fact I think I hardly slept all night, woke every hour.  For some reason my brain just wouldn’t shut off, don’t even know why since really what do I need to think about while I am on vacation!

We decided to do wash on turn around day, I know we get free laundry service but we really wanted to do some a fresh load and do it in bulk and get it really clean.  I will state that laundry was $2 for washing and $2 for drying, it sure has gone up since we use to do wash.  We got a roll of quarters from the casino.

We dress and head down to the dining room for breakfast where I enjoy the crunchy French toast, one of my favorites.

Today we have made plans to meet up with Alice and take a taxi (since darn it we are at pier 21 which is quite a hike to the exit) to the Publix mall where Alice and I get pedicures and Bernie heads out to get supplies at the Publix, the regular stuff, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc.  Then he restocks on some champagne and wine.  We then head to Starbucks and it is packed, did I tell you there are 8 ships in port!  Yup 8!  It is crazy! 

The next great thing about today is we are going to see Larry and Amy today.  We met them in 2008 when we sailed together on the Emerald, since then we have sailed with them once more and they have come to Vancouver too.  We had a lovely lunch together and got caught up and they were so nice to drive us back to pier 21. 

It was around 2:30 when we were dropped off and it was still crazy busy – what is going on!   When we first got on it was crazy and again today and it is late!  They are lined up out the door for security, we thankfully show our in transit cards and we are lead to the outer line where we can by pass the couple hundred waiting.  A few dirty looks but we really don’t care.  Once we get thru security it takes no time but all the areas are very busy!  

We get on board and see some familiar faces.  We lug our stuff back to the cabin where we meet Efren our new cabin steward who just got on board.  He told us he left the Philippines twenty hours earlier and he is on board right away and off and running.  He is super friendly and we tell him we are still having issues with our pillows and he quickly rectifies it with a pillow that is a dream.  We give him a good tip and we are both relieved to know we will be taken care of very well the next twenty days.

The Muster Drill is going on and I head up to the sun deck to relax and take some shots of the 7 other ships in port.  After the drill the people start filling up the decks and the band starts up and the party begins!

We dance, we say hi to familiar faces, we grab a drink, and let the party begin.

Tonight we head back up to Skywalkers, we hardly even got up here last cruise but tonight we join with Bill and Cathy and Sue and Mike for a drink and some catch up.  Dinner tonight is at 7:30 with Elda and Nathanlian again but our table has grown to 7 now.

I have the spring rolls to start, the broth soup with tortellini, and then the cheese and leek quiche for my entrée, and surprise surprise I had dessert the cheesecake.  All was very very good but I am so full and very very tired and we head back to the cabin to get some sleep.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sea Day and Sea Day – Thursday and Friday



Feels nice to know I don’t have to rush and get ready for the port today.  We take our time getting ready, we would love to have breakfast in the dining room; however it closes at 9 here, I much prefer the 9:30 that the Star closed at. 

We make our way up to the Horizon Court and well how do I describe it, a Zoo!  Not surprising since many are sleeping in today and missed the dining room just like us.  We have a light bite to eat and then head down to International Café for our coffee/tea and to catch up.  But the Bijoux sale is about to start and they are lining up and events in the Piazza are gearing up so finish up and then decide what next.

Beverly our waiter in the Coffee Bar every day - such a joy to see every day too

Bernie wants to do trivia again and I head out to find a quiet place to read and think the Wheelhouse would be good but darn it, it is closed because the pub lunch would be in there in an hour.  So I head aft to Club Fusion where the trivia is going on but sit at the back and read.  I can hear Bernie’s team, he is happy with his team currently they are having fun and I can hear the laughter coming from them.  This is more like it I think.

Today at MUTS they are showing The Devil Wears Prada so I throw on my bathing suit, lather on the sunscreen and head up to the Sun Deck.  The place is busy but I am able to find a lounge chair on the Sun deck, there were no chairs around the pool available but that is okay I prefer it up one deck where there are less crowds.  I grab two slices of pizza and start watching the movie and an hour into it I remember why I hate watching Movies Under the Stars during the day, the band at the next pool starts up and even though I love the band I hate having to hear it when I am trying to watch a movie.  I give up and head in. 

I decide now is as good a time to relax and maybe get a nap in.  When Bernie comes back to the cabin he naps too and when we wake we are rested and ready to enjoy the evening.

Bernie and Elda with Jasper
We meet up with Lori and Jeff and Alice prior to dinner and we head to the dining room at 7:30.  Elda and Nathanlian aka Nathan are waiting for us.  We ordered a bottle of wine that everyone had been recommending, London Fog and it was delicious and now I can highly recommend it.

Bernie Alice Lori Vickie and Jeff
For our meal I started with the Salad Roll (one of the new items) then the goat cheese with grape tempura soup, both were so yummy.  For my entrée I decided on the Beef Wellington and it was cooked perfectly and very good.  Of course I had the cheese plate for dessert to finish off my wine.




Tonight the show is Blame it on the Boogie, this is their new show and so I want to see it.  We get a seat up close and we are dancing and singing in our seats.  Great show, my only negative comment is the wigs the women wore…. They did not flatter them, but loved the costumes and the singing and the dancing.

We are in bed at 11:30 and ready for our last sea day and last day of this cruise.

Elda turned Bernie's souffle in an a piece of art

Nathan our Junior Waiter



I wake and realize we are rocking a bit more this morning.   This is not uncommon and something we experience when coming back to Florida.  It is overcast and raining, and we both comment oh it is going to be busy inside today.    Bernie ventures up to the Horizon Court and I decide to head to the International Café where I meet up with Alice and Anita and I grab an egg sandwich and yogurt.

There is another sale in the dining room today and the people are lined up twenty minutes prior!  Really!  I do make my way into the sale when the crowds have died down a bit and buy a wallet and a top, the line up to pay was long but it moved fast.

I am back in the cabin relaxing and watching the movie “the Words” on our tv.  I think room service is going to be the ticket for lunch today and more relaxation.

Oh I forgot to mention, when we saw our cabin steward this morning we told him not to worry about our cabin tomorrow, then he told us he was moving to another section starting tomorrow.  Not sure if I am happy or sad, in the end he worked out quite well just took a few days for him to settle in.  He is shy and I think he is new but he definitely has potential.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aruba – Wednesday



I wake to the feeling of the thrusters as we pull towards the dock in Aruba.  As many of you who follow my blog know I like Aruba, I don’t love Aruba but I do like it.  It isn’t our favorite place mainly because it is very busy and touristy and we have always preferred ports that are quieter and more of an island feel.  But we definitely want to head ashore as there is lots to do here.


We walk off quickly and we see we have the Caribbean Princess docked right behind us and a Holland American Masdam is also in but arrived a little later. 




Today we are meeting up with Ilene and Murray who we sailed with many years ago and keep in touch with thru facebook and even my Fan Page on Facebook.  We meet at the Starbucks in the Reannaisance Mall and we sit and chat for almost two hours! 

Bernie heading back on board

Since we don’t have any other plans today we decide to head back on board to enjoy the ship and we are surprised at how many are on board still.  Normally when we are in Aruba the ship is deserted.  We grab a quick bite to eat at Horizon Court and then we put on our bathing suits and we grab a lounge chair on the Sun deck and relax. 

Bernie doesn’t stay too long as he got a lot of sun yesterday but I lay there for around 3 hours.  He heads to trivia and has a great time with his group there we find there are a few who take it way way way too seriously.   We had a friend that was on our team who got very upset when our team didn’t score very well, and I guess he doesn’t want to play with us anymore, guess he forgets when we scored very high and we won as well.   Just as well as we hated being shushed by him and he insisted we only write down answers not speak out them.  We are on board to have fun and the one great thing about these games are meeting the passengers so if you want to have fun with trivia join our team and occasional we win.

I am falling asleep on deck, so why fight it I head down to the cabin and have a nap.  I wake refreshed and relaxed and ready for a great evening.

We attend the Most Travelled Party with Alice as her guests, we didn’t make the cut off this time but we are getting close.  It was a cocktail party this voyage, normally we attend luncheons but have attended a few cocktail parties.  We have liked both but we really enjoyed the cocktail party      we did a few years ago but this cocktail party was not as good as those two.  First it was held in Adagio and it was a better venue I thought that Skywalkers but that is where the positives end.  We remember so many really good appetizers going around, and so very tasty that we were stuffed and often skipped dinner.  Tonight I think they came around four different times and once with dessert item.  I had steak on a skewer with a lovely sauce, chicken wing, and a quiche.  Of course you can order any drink here and that is good, with the luncheon you are limited to wine.  I had two mojitos tonight and was feeling it too. 

The Captain did not talk at all tonight and I missed that.  There were numerous officers in attendance and they did wander around and say hi and chatted.  It was over in 45 minutes and we were ready to go.  I enjoyed the cocktail party but if this is how they now do the cocktail party I think I now prefer the luncheon, but in the end I am just so glad they do this to recognize the top 40 passengers and am honoured that I was included.



We head down to the dining room to meet up with Elda and Nathanlian – tonight’s dinner theme is the Chef’s Dinner, not one of our favorite but there is always something good to eat.  We start with the goat cheese soufflé and it is very good but very salty to my taste, I then have the fettucini alfredo in the Parmesan bowl appetizer size and couldn’t finish it, then I had the fried chicken dish which is very good (left the fries), we all skipped dessert. 

The drinks and the two glasses of wine are hitting me hard…. And I need to hit my bed and fast.  We both agree that our night is over and we are in get at 10 pm tonight but we need it. 

As we walk down the hall to our cabin we see all the disembarkation information in all the mail slots and are relieved to know we don’t have to get off just yet.