Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cruise 2011: Day 7, At Sea

If I thought we were cruising slowly to get to Nassau, I don't know what you'd call the speed we went from Nassau back to Ft. Lauderdale!  Barely moving?  Normally, a cruise to the Bahamas is an over-nighter, well, we had about 36 hours to get back to Ft. Lauderdale!

Think we're docked?  LOL.  The sea was THAT smooth.
 Look!  A rainbow!  We saw this and thought "Great, it's not going to be a bright, hot day".  Well...we were right and we were wrong....
(Not sure if the video says it's still uploading, about 10 hours later...)You need to watch only about the first 12 seconds....LOL...I kept forgetting with video you can't rotate it half way through the video; I was trying to show everything....
 We had made an appointment to see the guys in the "advance booking" department to find out what options are available for families of 5.  However, once I got the daily planner the night before, I totally forgot about that and wanted to see the "Meet the Captain" question and answer show.  There's also the chief engineer and the chief of hotel services (or whatever the titles are), and the guy on the right is the Social Director....the Canadian's been so long now I'd have to look up his name, but if you really want to know I'm sure I put it in earlier posts :)  By the time this show started in the AquaTheater, the sky was clear and the sun was blazing hot.  I had forgotten my hat, and was sweating, Rob was barely holding it together too.  There was virtually no shade due to the direction we were heading and the fact it was 10-11am anyway.  Dumb place to have this little gem of a show.

After the show, we headed back to our room to cool off.  Then we came back out to see the short family show based on "Madagascar".  It was just like all the other Royal shows...non-stop action; bungee, trampolines, water action, etc. 
 We've never seen the movies, so we weren't familiar with the characters.
It was very hot out.  We went back to our room to "rest" and get ready to go to the pool (or something).  We had the TV on and got sidetracked by cheesy American shows (re-enacted detective shows).  We noticed that the weather was changing, and could see rain way off on the horizon.  And white caps.  We were still going very slow, so that was interesting.
The next hour made having a balcony the BEST thing ever.  Even better than breakfast on the balcony while in the port.  Even better than the late, dark nights on the balcony.  Okay, maybe not better than that ;) but experiencing a thunderstorm while at sea in the Caribbean, on your own balcony?  Awesome!  We stood out there and watched the rain come closer and closer until it was raining on us.  And the thunder!  Oh my!  It was so much fun!  LOL. On one of our earlier cruises we had watched cloud lightening from the pool deck at night, which was really neat too, but something about being IN the storm, in the middle of the ocean (so it feels) just makes you feel like a pirate or something!

In this video, right at the start there is a flash of lightening and it happened so quickly we almost missed it, but the biggest crack of thunder!  Startled the crap out of us!  There's more thunder around the 35 sec mark.  It had been pouring rain for about 5 minutes at this time.  We finally went into our room since the visibility wasn't very good and we were getting wet, and lightening is not as impressed in daylight LOL.  About 5 minutes after the video, there was an announcement saying all open decks were closed.  We thought it took a little long for that announcement, it's not like the storm snuck up on the ship LOL.

Now...think about this ship's design.  It's the only ship that is open down the middle!  It's not just a top deck that is open to the sky, there's also deck 6 with the Boardwalk/Aqua Theater at the rear of the ship (the deck we were on), and mid-ship on deck 8 with the Central Park (as well as all of Decks 15 and 16 and the bow of Deck 14.  On the top decks, it's the sports stuff, the pools, some bar areas, etc.  Not a lot.  But on decks 6 and 8, there are restaurants and shops.  And, on deck 6 the only way in is from the middle of the ship, and on deck 8, you enter from either end (so, not at the sides).  We were wondering what would happen if you were in the restaurants when they closed the decks.  We popped out to see the Boardwalk, and they had big, solid doors that closed it off (there were also glass doors that were kept closed the rest of the time).  We found out when we went to dinner at a restaurant in Central Park later that there are back doors that go into the corridors the cabins are on.  The doors aren't labelled, but are the rear emergency and staff exits.  When the decks got closed, the patrons were led out those doors.  Cool.

We had an early dinner reserved at Chops, I think it was.  Since we were confined to our room all afternoon (well, we could have gone anywhere INSIDE the ship, but so could 6000 other people), we were ready early and as soon as Central Park opened again, we headed out.  They do have a bin with umbrellas at each end, but since it was lightening, that's why it was closed.  It was pretty neat to explore after the rain, it was still pretty empty.
 It's actually quite warm at the back of this covered area.  It doesn't provide shade and acts like a green house LOL.  But still pretty.
 I forgot to take pictures of our meal :(  As always, it was delicious!  The waiter even persuaded me to have a signature blueberry martini in a souvenir glass....for $15.  Yikes.  The glass is nice but sits on Rob's dresser with change in it.
 The day before, while watching the ship's channel, I heard about the dancing lights.  I think I had seen it mentioned in the daily newsletter, but it doesn't explain what much of the items are.  It just says "A Selection of Fountain Shows, AquaTheater".  And, at 10:45pm we were often in other events.  But when I saw it on the TV, I knew I had to see it.  It's a musical show, where the fountains are lit and choreographed to music. 
 Of course, I didn't remember until near the end that a video might be a better option.  After several attempts, I can't get my own video to load, so here's one on YouTube.  My video was of the CanCan section, look around YouTube and see if there's another one of it.

This is the Solarium (adult only) hot tub.  One of two.  It is HUGE.  I know you can't really see it in that picture, but I'll post more pictures later of around the ship.
This is the Solarium pool.  It is tiny.  We were actually disappointed in this.  Once it's filled with adults, you can barely move.  There is no swimming in this pool.  They should just turn up the heat and call it a hot tub.
This is the Beach pool.  It's a salt water pool (which will take the print off your SeaPass by day 5), and the edge is sloping so the water can come up to the first row of loungers.  However, after the rain, the water was quite a bit higher.

After our last late night tour of the ship, we headed for bed.  Morning comes bright and early on disembarkment day.  Well, it was early, though not very bright!