Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 10 - Evening

After the Muster Drill, which was well the usual.... cards were scanned upon entry, yes people put their life jacket on before they should, it was quick and efficient and a important.

We head up to the top deck for sailaway but as we get up there we both comment how we are hungry and the smells from the pizzeria pull us in.  We each grab a slice of the Margarita pizza and sit and watch some of the action.

We order a drink - remember if you are still within US waters you will be charged an extra tax.  It is easily identified on your receipt and will be broken down on your printout.

see how quiet it is

here is Ian at the bottom of the pic

We run into Ian who we met on the Emerald at the beginning of the year where he was a member of the photo department.  But he had applied to join the Cruise Director staff and he is now on the Island on his first contract as a deputy cruise director.  We catch up for a bit before he heads to the sail away party.

The atmosphere is surprisingly quiet and was surprised to see that the cruise staff did the draws and then left!  They were only there for about a half hour, 45 min max.... and then the bad played but most people departed quickly as we pulled away.  I know this is only a three day cruise but this seemed to be a trend on this trip.

The ship certainly doesn't feel full and the demographics are a change too.  Much younger crowd, more kids, families.  I find out that there are over 700 in transit passengers who did the Panama Canal and are continuing to Vancouver.  There is a large school group from the Vancouver area that we find out later is a jazz band that performed at Disneyland and is now heading home.   Those teens were very polite and considerate and looked like they are having a good time.

Among our Elite documentation we received information about the Platinum/Elite lounge.  I am actually surprised they are even having it because on previous short trips they haven't had it.  For this ship the lounge is held in the back of the Explorer lounge.  Along with the invite we were given two coupons for two free drinks in the lounge.  First time we have seen these but like it of course.  Tonight's drink is the margarita with chips/salsa/guacamole.  I get a drink but no finger food, I am saving myself for dinner.

Dinner tonight is in the Bayou Cafe (only on the Island and Coral) at 7 pm - cover charge of $20 each.  We have dined here before but really wanted to try it on this trip again.  We dropped off our bottle of wine ahead of time and it was waiting on our table when we got there.  The Head Waiter welcomed us and asked about the corkage fee.  We stated that we were charged it when we boarded, as I thought we were and was concerned about being charged it twice.  He said that normally they put a sticker on it when they charge the corkage and ours didn't have a sticker.  But he said no problem and did not charge us.  

For dinner we ordered different items.  My appetizer was the sausage which was very flavourful and I enjoyed but way too big, I only ate 1/3 of the dish to save room.  Bernie ordered the peel/eat shrimp which was served with fries and he had to control himself not to eat the fries, also this was a large dish.

We both had the salad which was outstanding and could of eaten two of them.

For my entree I ordered the blackened chicken and Bernie ordered the catfish, which again was served with lots of fries.  We enjoyed both the dishes, but Bernie commented he really wished they had something other than fries served with the meal.

Gee I can not even remember what I had for dessert but it was not memorable what ever it was.

Now the ambiance - certainly not my favorite.  Felt like I was more at a pub than a nice alternate restaurant.  We had a table for two on the edge of the railing where the band Celine DeeAz Quartet played.  Initially we were concerned about the noise level coming from the band and yes it was loud, certainly too loud to carry on a conversation but we really enjoyed the band thoroughly.  But if I had to dine here again I would request a table much further away from the band if I wanted to talk.

In the end we were not charged the corkage and we did tip an extra $20 (note your daily hotel charge of $11.50 includes tips for specialty restaurants) as we always appreciate the excellent service here.   We thought at the time that we had been charged the corkage on the two bottles when we checked in but later found out we had not been charged this as we were within our two bottle per cabin limit.  

After dinner we wandered around a bit and checked out the 70s show happening in the Explorer's Lounge.   Tonight there is also the production show Do You Wanna Dance in the Princess Theater but we were too late to attend it.  

Back in the cabin at around 11 pm where we crawl into bed and have a restful sleep.

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