You can never sleep in on turn around day, there is just way too much going on. As I hear cabin doors slamming, drawers in the cabins next to us slamming, conversations and goodbyes in the hallway and occasional announcements over the PA I grudgingly crawl out of bed. Bernie is up before me, he returns with a latte on my bedside table and the smell awakens my senses. Boy having a barista right down stairs has been a nice treat.
He tells me he already has the wash in…. yes I know we get laundry for free on board but we try to do a big wash every so often just to get everything really cleaned and put away and we can start from scratch with a new cruise.
We head to the Botticelli Dining Room for breakfast (we just squeak in before they close). This is the first time we have been in here this trip, this dining room is normally for traditional diners but they are smart this cruise they have opened it for breakfast on turn around day. This leaves the Da Vinci dining room open for people to use as a meeting location for disembarkation and it also makes for better flow as you don’t have people coming and going from the mid ship dining room during peak times. We have seen this used on other ships and it worked great, nice to see it being done here now too.
Disembarkation is behind schedule our friends say, about a half hour… not sure why but we had heard there was some issue with luggage not in the proper area. But this I can not confirm, but these things happen so just remember when you are assigned a disembarkation time it is just a guideline and it can be later, and today is a day that patience is necessary.
We decide to relax today and not rush off. In Transit are meeting in Michelangelo Dining room for 10:45. At first we head there then we decide why not just head off now and that is what we do. We had a bit of a wait at customs but since we are in transit it is smooth. Note something we learned today, if you are in transit you can not take off purchases for duty free purposes. A friend had some liquor she had bought for a friend that she was meeting in Florida today but because she is in transit they asked why was she carrying booze. She didn’t know she couldn’t and I didn’t know either, but it makes sense. One of the ship’s officers stated he would take it back on board and keep it in his office until the end of the next voyage when she is getting off.
This makes for a good point that maybe with our In Transit information package we receive they could state we don’t have to fill out a declaration form (as we always did, didn’t realize we didn’t have to fill one out) and we can not carry off duty free purchases.
We are off around 11 am and we make our way to Ross and I pick up a few items. We run into so many crew that we know here and the store is manageable today as last time it was a zoo with so many ships in port. We then head over to Publix (we see Ryan and his wife on the way) to pick up some more essentials that we are running out of namely cold medicine to replenish what I used just in case. Then over to Total Wines. We didn’t buy as much as we use to but we definitely want some champagne and a bottle of white and red. In the end we came back on with four bottles, we still have three in our cabin and we get a bottle from our Travel Agent so I am sure we will have the wine covered for the next then days, plus we usually buy a few bottles on board too.
We are hungry and craving a burger, we see there is a Five Guys Burger joint here. We just had one open up close to us (think they are just entering the Canadian market) and as soon as we walk in we are hit with a lot of noise. Music is blaring, customers are chatting, staff is calling orders. We are hesitant but we are determined to try their burgers. They are darn good but we both comment we must be getting old because I would much prefer to have a quiet place to eat, but sadly we are stuck inside.
It is now 1 pm and I would rather wait a bit more before getting back on so we head to Starbucks to get a drink and again the crew are everywhere. We run into Michele who is getting off when we do and it looks like she has just purchased a roller bag for those extra items she purchased.
We are back on board the ship around 2 pm. Getting thru the terminal this afternoon is much smoother than last in transit day. A short line in security, then up the escalator and right on board, then a short line to take our picture when we get on.
I am tired! Little sleep last night and all this running around I look at Bernie and say I need to rest awhile. He heads down to Vines for some reading and I try and rest but of course Muster Drill is going to happen soon and the announcements are broadcast into the cabins as well so 15 minutes prior to the drill I am awakened by the PA in the cabin, 10 minutes prior again, 5 minutes prior again then the Muster Drill starts and I decide time to get up, well I got a short half hour nap in, hope that will help.
I head up to the Sun deck and grab a lounge chair and relax with a drink while I listen to the Muster Drill. There seems to be quite a few people not attending the drill, and they are definitely not all In Transit.
The drill ends and the passengers make their way up to the top deck for the sailaway party. We have a great time and toast to another voyage. One thing we noticed these past two voyages that there has not been anyone from the photo department taking pictures of us at the sailaway. Wonder why, guess they have not been selling.
I decide this voyage that I am going to partake in the Thermal Suite this trip. I have only tried it once before on a shorter voyage and found it way too busy. The staff at the spa assure me that they are limiting it to 40 passengers only and I decide to try it out. The cost is $100 for the Thermal Suite only and an extra $50 if you want the scrub as well, but I just get the Thermal Suite option only.
I head back to the cabin and change and head back up to the spa to try it out. I enjoy the hot steam room and the rain showers, and the heated beds but found the gentle sauna to be a waste, not sure why it is even there, it is really not that warm, doesn’t feel warmer than the main room. Oh well I am going to try and stay open to the experience and then give my comments. But I sure did enjoy this first visit and I do feel relaxed. I even decide to shower here and wash my hair so I don’t have to do it in the cabin later.
For dinner tonight Generosa (Maitre D’Hotel back from his vacation and joined today) who we haven’t seen in a long time, five years actually has gotten us a table in Da Vinci for 7:30 – a nice table for two right by the window. Here is a video (can't put up the link right now, can't get into Youtube on board, so just search emearld chef's table and princess and you should find it) I did back in 2008 when we did back to back sailings on the Emerald and Generosa was our Maitre D’Hotel and we did the chef’s table back to back and I created this video… check it out.
Daniel is our waiter and at first we are a little apprehensive as we miss Elda but we start to warm up to Daniel and he is very good and makes us laugh. I really went vegetarian tonight, iceberg salad (dressing on the side), cantaloupe/melon starter, and leek and cheese tart and cheese plate for dessert and I am stuffed.
As we head out of the dining room a quick hello to Sara is in order and some hugs, she is tired and has been busy all day in the shops, and she will be even busier with two sea days coming up. We head to Explorer’s Lounge where Corey is doing a trivia based on advertisement jingles where he plays the jingle and you have to guess the product. Since we came in late we don’t formally participate but we try to guess anyhow and have fun. On the way out one of my Facebook Fan page participants calls out my name and we formally meet up and her husband gave me this Angel pin to wear and thanked us for all the info we have provided on the fan page and on the blog. How sweet and I am so touched, I certainly enjoy doing it but these lovely rewards/encounters make it so worth it.
We know Kory Simon is playing again in the Crooners’ Lounge and we grab some seats at the bar and we enjoyed one of his sets. We are definitely going to try and make it to more of his shows this trip.
Off to bed, so tired! Clocks go forward tonight, you would think it shouldn’t affect us since we just put them back two nights ago but heck we are so on vacation mode nothing fazes us and we just adjust the few watches/clocks we did change.