Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 30 – Finally a Day at Sea

The thought that we get a sea day gets us so excited.  We so need it!  And we are not the only ones seems everyone we run into needs a break from this port intensive itinerary.

And we do sleep in. 

When we wake Bernie runs out to get coffees/teas (love that our cabin is so close to the Atrium) and we sit and enjoy the morning show and sip our drinks.

Bernie wants to head up to get breakfast in the Horizon Court and I am good and just ask for a croissant when he returns and I sit on the balcony and enjoy it.  

We shower and head out and it is still early – around 8 am and the ship is quiet, well quieter than most days at this hour. 

Today we have no set plans except for the meet and greet gathering from cruise critic at 10 and then dinner in the Bayou.

Around 9 am we hear the bing bing bing and the Captain comes on reading the following “due to security concerns and potential civil unrest arising from the General Elections in Turkey, we are taking precautions for the safety of our guests and cancelling our scheduled call to Istanbul on Sunday November 1.  Instead Island Princess will add a call to Santorini and extend our call times in Mykonos and Kusadasi.”

We always knew this could be an issue from when we heard that it was election day the day we were in Istanbul. We are disappointed but we know these decisions are not made lightly.

Originally we were scheduled for Mykonos on the 31st from 7-2 and now we are there 7-11:30 pm; Istanbul on the 1st from 8-6 and now we are going to Santorini from 7-6; Kusadasi Nov. 2nd from 1-8 and now we are there 8-5.

We had no firm plans in Istanbul but we do have a private tour booked for Kusadasi to Ephesus that originally had us being picked up at 1:30 so I quickly shoot off an email to Anil from VIP Ephesus Tours and he responds right away that they will pick us up at 8:30 instead.

Most people on board are fine with the changes and understand.  We will just have to plan another trip to Istanbul.  We do see a $35 credit for the cancelled port for the port fees.

The meet and greet is at 10 in the Wheelhouse Bar and it is very well attended and many of the officers attended too. It was nice to put a face to a name.

We finally make it into the dining room for a meal – we head there for lunch as soon as the dining room opens and we are sat at a nice table for six.  I had a Russian Salad and then the Goulash.  Very good! 

Since we are dining mainly in Horizon Court at night and we bought the wine package and the HC has limited selection of wine we decide to order four bottle while we are in the dining room and take them back to the cabin to take up to the Horizon Court when we dine.  Also when we dine at the HC we sit with our food then order wine and often the wine doesn’t arrive until we are almost finished so this will work better.  

We could have had the wines delivered to our cabin but we just take them back ourselves since the cabin is so close.
We love the location of our cabin, we are on Emerald and just forward.  Close enough to get to things quickly and far enough that we have lots of peace and quiet.  Also the ship is a great ship in size – it is manageable.  Sure it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the Royal/Regal has but it shines with personality and true ship feel.  There are numerous intimate areas where you can curl up and look out at the sea.

In the afternoon we relax in one of those areas on the ship and read.  The weather has kicked up and the seas are a little rough – well not bad for me, in fact there is slight movement but I know for some this would be very rough.  

They have closed off the Promenade deck for people’s safety.  When we try to get out on our balcony the sea spray comes up and gives us a facial.  I love it!  I love feeling like I am at sea.  Cruising is not always about calm seas, gentle breezes and full sun, you have to take the winds, the high swells, and the bumps.

I call our friend Bonnie who is in one of the new aft suites on Lido deck to see if I can come over to get some pictures and see for myself how bumping/noisy it is.  I get a bunch of pictures and take some video so people can see for themselves.  

During the meet and greet we met many people who have these new aft cabins and we got a mix of comments.  Some said that it was horrible and would never book in them again, and some said they had no problems at all.  Maybe it depends on what deck you are or how far back or how sensitive you are. 

I did hear from a reliable source that they are bringing someone on board to try and do a fix.  So stay tuned.
Back in the cabin we are trying to find out what to do for Santorini…. The tv has shows about the history and sites to see in many of the ports that we find very helpful.  The port lecturer (Lyndon Jolley) also has his talks televised but I find his talks so darn monotone and boring that it puts me to sleep.  And well guess what both Bernie and I can’t keep our eyes open and we crash for two hours!  Love those sea days.

But there were tons of things happening during the day. Here is a list of things:  Zumba, Line dance class, on board outlet sale, trivia, martini demonstration, Advanced Digital Photography Seminar, Art at Sea, the Art of Collecting Art, Bingo, Shark Week Game Show, Horizon Court has a Mexican Buffet, Majorica Pearl Presentation, Basketball Shoot Out, Concertina Accordion Class, Enrichment Lecture Howard Peters on Food for the Gods – Chocolate, Passenger Feud Gameshow, Champagne Art Auction, Merengue Dance Class, Afternoon Game Show – In It To Win It, Afternoon Tea, Book Club - Following the Tides, Movie Now You See Me, Singles Meet and Greet, Friends of Bill W Gathering.

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