Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cruise 2011: Day 2; At Sea

The first full day of the cruise is spent "at sea".  Heading towards the north coast of Haiti, by going just off the coast of Cuba.  The cabin was nice and dark with the curtains drawn, but at 7:30, someone woke up and thought (s)he would see what the view was like.

Holy smokes, was the sun ever bright!  We were on the starboard (right side, when facing the front/bow from inside the ship), and we were heading south-east.  The sun wasn't coming in directly, but the glare from the water added to the brightness.  We immediately shut the drapes, LOL.  A few minutes later I peeked out again, and saw land! looked a little bigger through the binoculars, and on my computer screen....
For breakfast, we checked out the Solarium Bistro.  The ships we had been on before didn't have this restaurant.  It was touted as being the "healthy choice" for eating.  It was a lovely setting for breakfast; outside, covered, a little babbling brook....but the food was blah.  Turkey sausage (dry cardboard crumbs packed in a tube), turkey bacon (dry cardboard strips), scrambled eggs, etc.  My idea of healthy eating has changed recently, and this was not it. 

So, what did we do on our day at sea?  Well, I have no pictures of the day, up to when we went to the ice show at 7:30.  However, I do recall that since Rob wasn't feeling well, I went down to the jogging track.

On the other ships, the jogging track is way at the top, out in the full sun, through the rows of sunbathers.  I rarely saw anyone actually jog on it.  The ships also had a lower deck you could walk around on--deck 4, where the lifeboats on.  There was shuffleboard layouts, and lounge chairs, and it was a great place to slip out to after dinner or a show when you actually needed to warm up from the air conditioning, LOL.  However, jogging was not allowed.  On the Oasis class, the deck is now deck 5, and has no loungers or other recreational aids, and is the jogging track.  There are two lanes, one on the right for walkers, one on the left for joggers.  There's inspirational signs, a mileage guide (one lap is 0.667 km) and a direct entry to the gym (there is no access to the helipad on these ships).  There are also water fountains, but they are actually tricky to see as they're tucked behind corners so you don't see them unless you look behind you!

This first time on the track was great!  There were a LOT of walkers, but most were good about staying to the right.  There were a few joggers too.  It was mostly shaded, and although it was warm, there was quite a breeze in some spots.  It was neat to be able to see the AquaTheater from the backside of it.  One tip I'll bring up later about the track--don't go when the ship is pulling into a port, or waiting to unload. Crazy.

For lunch, we tried the hot dog stand on the Boardwalk.  It was a little overwhelming to have so many choices.  I got the bratwurst, I think Rob did too.  It was a nice, "boardwalky" thing to do, although Rob didn't feel well later in the day so that tainted his opinion of the hot dog stand, even though that wasn't the reason for not feeling well.  I had planned to get back to it to try other flavours, but we just never did.

The rest of the day?  Lounging and looking at the wildlife.  Now, yes, I'm on a huge ship.  What kind of wildlife is there on a cruise ship?  The geriatric beached mammal (almost always male) was very common:
This was actually on Day 1, before even left Ft. Lauderdale!
You can click on it for a better view!

Since we were going to see the "IceGames" show at 7:30pm, we had to be ready for our formal dinner before we when down.  I've never been to an ice show wearing a floor length formal gown! 

I am standing in front of the door into our cabin.  The door beside me is to the washroom.  It's not even as wide as the door once you're in.  The white splat at the bottom of the photo is the bed.

The ice show was also a concept show--the skaters were IN various games that come to life.  Once again, I'm impressed with what these skaters do on such a tiny rink.

 However, I think it's almost cruel to the skaters--for years they work towards more power, and now they have to reign it in, and that usually results in a few spills during the show.  For more pictures/video of a Royal Caribbean ice show, see my "Cruise 2008" posts (and my YouTube channel, TracyKMainwaring).

We went straight to the formal dinner.  All day, Rob had been trying to guess what Vanessa and John would do.  She had said she was having trouble finding clothes that fit (she was 10 weeks pregnant), so I figured it's quite likely they wouldn't bother coming.  And if they did come, John would most likely be very sober.  Rob figured they wouldn't come because Vanessa was embarrassed by John's behaviour on the first night.  He didn't want to sit with them again, and was pushing for moving to "Our Time" dining, or asking for another table.  I'm a little more tolerant, but I did think it was unlikely they'd show up. 

They didn't, and in fact, they did remove themselves from the main dining room 8:30 seating list.

I decided to get brave, and try escargots for the appetizer.  Yup.  I'm not too adventurous with food (I like spicy, etc, I just don't like weird food!).  I had 3 and Rob had 3.  The first one I had tasted very seafoodish--I think the sauce was butter/garlic/lobster flavoured.  But the next two weren't too bad!  I wouldn't pay to order them though, LOL. 

I don't remember exactly what the cut of meat was for the main course, but it was divine!  I think it was tenderloin.  I did finish it all, and Rob ate my potatoes.

We had a bit of a break after dinner, and got changed, then went down to the Comedy show.  There were two acts; Phil Palisoul and Mike Wilson.  They repeat the same show many times during the cruise, but I'm sure each time is slightly different.  They were good, not too raunchy.  Phil's humour had a lot to do with getting old, and not being good looking; so many people could easily relate.  The other guy did a lot of voice impersonations, as well as some jokes I think I've read in Reader's Digest.  Still laughable though!

It was another late night, and we were arriving early in Labadee, Haiti in the morning!

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