Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday – Bonaire

After a restful sleep we are up and Bernie heads out to get a bite while I choose to head to the International Café for Cappuccino and egg sandwich which hits the spot. 

While sitting there we realize that some kind of event is happening here soon, after reviewing the Patter we see it is called “Showcase at Sea” and it is taking place in the Atrium on all decks.  The crew and many of the heads of departments are busy bees setting things up.  I have never seen this before and I am curious as to what is happening so Alice and I stay to check it out.

Lee the CD lets us know what the event is about – there are stations throughout the Atrium on all decks (5, 6 and 7) that represent many of the departments and stores on board.  Each station is doing a raffle for a prize, all you need to do is visit each station and get a ticket.  The Lead Singers start out then some of the dancers come out then Accent sings and there is a buzz on all decks.  Some of the stations that were represented were:

-          Photo department
-          Spa
-          Casino – Robert set up a blackjack table and you had to bet with mini muffins and I lost my muffin (sad) but the lady beside me one a muffin and a half.  Robert made it fun and everyone gets a raffle ticket for participating
-          Stores – they had a few prizes but I specifically remember the rum was one prize (now what does that say about me)
-          Art Department
-          Internet Department
It was very nice to walk around and see many of the crew that we have gotten to know in this cruise so far.  We see Edgar from the Crown Grill, the spa lady who we chatted with when we were up there, Jay from the Art Dept., Internet Manager, Crew at Calypso Cove, and Robert from the Casino.  They were serving small food items like muffins, pastries, breadstick with prosciutto, fruit kabob and champagne too.

Even though we did not win anything we both enjoyed participating and hats off Princess for a well-planned event.  My only critique would be that the photo station was in a bad area and hard to get to and leave from.   

Since we arrive in Bonaire at noon I head up to the Horizon Court to get a small bite to eat but it is busy so I head aft to the Café Caribe and it is still serving brunch so I get some fruit, a sausage and a small amount of scrambled eggs.  I sit with a lovely couple from Oregon and we chat about Bonaire, this is their first visit there and they are taking an island tour and I think this is a great idea.

I head up top to take shots of the beautiful island and it is hot out, definitely will need sunscreen today.  We have a tour booked with Compass Bonaire.  Anita recommended them from the last time they were here and they said they were great and we are glad we went. 

tour tents are set up right at the pier

Bernie and I head off around 12:15 and easily meet up with Whim at the booths set up for vendors (I don’t remember these booths from previous visits) and we check in with him and we arrange to be back for 1 pm.
we bought some jewelry from her
 We walk around a bit and check out the artist booths set up right near the pier.  We buy some beautiful hand crafted jewelry, a ring and necklace/earring set for our niece and god daughter.   And I also bought a lovely necklace and earring set too, the items are crafted by pressing clay into coral pieces to create a beautiful texture.

It is now 1 pm and we meet up with the rest of our group which includes us and Alice and Anita and Richard and a lovely couple from Kentucky so there is only 7 of us in total.  We are driving to the warf which is less than five minutes away and we meet up with Gigi who is our other crew mate. 

We board the sailboat and head out to open waters where Wim opens up the sails and we head out to the prime snorkel spot which takes about 40 minutes or so, but really I have no semblance of time here cause it was just so lovely.  We are served drinks and some yummy lemon cake.

When we are ready to snorkel we borrow fins (we used our own mask/snorkel but they can lend you some if you wish).  Wim was very good with helping those that needed extra care in the water but Bernie and I headed out and all we can say is wow wow wow wow – again Bonaire does not disappoint.  We saw fish here that we have never seen or rarely see. 

I was able to get a shot of an eel, puffer fish, trumpet fish, trunk fish, lots of different parrot fish, and well many more I just can’t name.

Once back on board we are served hot dogs, egg sandwich, beverages (including wine/beer if you wish) and watermelon. 

I can’t help but head to the bow of the ship and sit or lay out there just enjoying the sail back.  As soon as we are off the boat I feel so relaxed, I feel like I just had an afternoon at the spa!  Any more relaxed and I would be dead! 

Richard at the helm

We have done a lot of things here in Bonaire and all have been good and I would recommend them all but sailing with Compass tops the list.  Both Wim and Gigi go out of their way to make sure all your needs are met. 

Make sure you contact them at their website at Compass Bonaire, and tell them Vickie sent you.

We are back on board around 4:30, all aboard is 6:30 but we have dinner tonight in Sabatinis at 7 pm so we need to rest up, clean up and well get presentable.

We are sat at a lovely table in Sabatinis, I see it is busy in here which is great.  A bunch of people arrived at 7 pm and they are having to run around to accommodate everyone arriving at the same time but soon everything works out, especially after we get our wine. 

For our appetizer I get the soft shelled crab and Alice and I share the artichoke dip.  I loved the crab dish, but really didn’t care for the artichoke dip as it was very very rich and heavy.  The pasta dish they served (which was thick flat noodles served with a mushroom ragout) was very flavourful and delightful but a large serving so I just have a bit then leave the rest to save room.

I decided to try the chicken dish again.  I had tried it a long time ago but found it too salty but wanted to try it again.  The chicken is cooked on the skewer with Asiago cheese with sage served with polenta and asparagus.  I really enjoyed it and ate all the chicken.

For dessert I had my regular Napoleon and well I am stuffed, stuffed!!!  We almost finished two bottles of wine so we are feeling no pain, the remaining bottle is being corked for tomorrow in the dining.

Carlos Oscar is performing again tonight, we missed him yesterday because of time conflicts so we definitely want to check him out tonight.  Carlos was the Entertainer of the Year with Princess last year and guess what we have never ever seen him, hard to believe.  The theater is busy and this is the 10:15 show.  We like his show, he is very funny, not crash and he doesn’t have to insult people either to make his joke he just tells it like we all see it.  I am sorry we missed his show yesterday and hope he will be back on during the next two voyages.   He told us he will be on the View soon, so I will look for it.

Other things going on today:   Mark Preston (singer), Runway at Sea (some reason they are doing it at night which well rules us out from attending, personally I think a sea day is a better time), Piazza has Steel Drum with Tyrone Babb, Kory playing the Grand Piano in Crooners, Peer Factor in Club Fushion, MUTS is showing Snow White and the Huntsman.

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