Friday, February 23, 2018

Cruise 2017: Day 4, At Sea

This day was Canadian Thanksgiving! It was mentioned in the daily guide and at the buffet for lunch there was a turkey dinner available, as well as a large "Canada" cake. Of course, I didn't have my camera.  Edited--while searching for another picture, somehow I found this one. I think Rob might have taken it because it was saved where he automatically saves the pictures from his phone. There were also some shots of the ship leaving Miami!

I have a lot of things circled in the daily planner, and I know we didn't do all of them. At 10:15 was a talk on the music of Aruba, by Cary Ginell. He'd had a couple of other talks about music, but hadn't managed to fit them in. Not knowing anything about the music of Aruba, I thought this might be interesting. It was, though perhaps spending so much time in a university music program left me wanting more details. 

I circled a Hot Glass Show at 11:00, but since I have no pictures, I don't think we made it. The timing on the shows was just not working for us! We must have gone, because while writing the post for our day in Aruba, there's a picture of a sailfish that we saw them make, and the ladies had recommended a Dutch pancake restaurant which we saw while walking around.  I probably had a camera malfunction or something.
After lunch, Rob wanted to see Wonder Woman, but I wasn't interested. That's fine with us. Usually I'll go along to movies just to have that time to relax (and possibly knit) but this time I wanted to enjoy being on a cruise. So I sat up by the pool somewhere. There was a talk about Stargazing that I thought I might go to...but opted to relax. So many evenings are cloudy anyway LOL. I do wish I had remembered to pack our stargazing guide.

At 3:30 there was a Music Trivia Challenge on Canadian Artists. I had to go. I didn't do as well as I would have liked! I'm not sure if it was then, but we also did a Broadway musicals trivia and I didn't do very well with that either. There were a lot of musicals that I haven't played the music from because they're still pretty new. Then there was General Knowledge trivia challenge. Okay. Some of this was not general knowledge!! LOL! It was hard! 

I wish we had taken some of the dance classes, though they were in the Grand Foyer where people could watch...Pirates of the Caribbean was showing at 5:15 but that was too close to dinner. I haven't seen any of the Pirate movies, though I've played some of the music!

 We were surprised there wasn't a Thanksgiving dinner on the menu. I think one item had turkey in it, but the more traditional dinner was the next night. This little tomato appetizer was nice, though I would have preferred it warm so the cheese was gooey. I think I picked it because it had buffalo mozzarella and I wanted to try that, and I make a similar appetizer--but I broil them.


 I have no idea what this pasta was. I don't normally get pasta, trying to be low carb! I think it was penne with prosciutto and a cream sauce. I mainly ate the meat and the sauce LOL. But did eat some of the pasta.
 Dessert time. There was both Tiramisu and Cherries Jubilee on the menu. I couldn't turn down either, so I got them both. As often happens, there was also tiramisu at the buffet that night or the next. I think the dining room is usually better but I was pleased at how good the buffet desserts were. They didn't have that chemical taste that is often in the whipped cream (a stabilizer?).

 I made this dress after seeing this one when I had been thinking about making a different style of infinity dress. I knew this one would be more versatile for me. Of course, I couldn't remember all the ways to wear it once on the ship. On one hand, I liked how flowy it was--perfect for the hot weather (except that it's usually freezing inside the ship and  the material was a polyester, so perhaps not as cool as possible), but on the other hand, flowy also means shapeless and I felt larger than I am. But it was also good for those fluctuating days on a cruise LOL.

At 7:45 we went to "Destination Highlights: Aruba". I got Rob there only because it wasn't listed as a port shopping talk. It was supposed to be fast and informative talk about all you need to know to have an awesome day in Aruba. Instead of being about port shopping like the other talks, this one was really all about the different excursions, with a little bit of general info. Most questions like "how much would a taxi to the beach cost" were answered with "about ... but I would suggest an excursion so you'll know the cost and timing and safety blah blah blah". I'll mention more about the talk in the next post as it relates to what we did. 
So many excursions looked interesting.  Rob and I discussed what we wanted to do. We hadn't spent any money on excursions yet. We heard how wonderful the sunsets in Aruba are and we love catamaran trips, so we picked two and went to the excursions desk to ask for more info. Like, what exactly do they mean by .... The staff didn't know and their computer didn't tell them anything more than what the booklet said. We picked one of the two sunset cruises and hoped for the best.
On this trip, we weren't getting the folded towel animals in our cabin. No, we were getting hide and seek with my nightgown! After a couple nights of my nightie getting manhandled by a young Filipino cabin steward, I started putting it in the drawer LOL.

At 9:00 we went to the theater for "December '63". Their show the other night had been a little preview, but not really much shorter.  This group is really good, though I gather they are a "manufactured group". One of the members was Canadian. After all the shows, the cast come out to the Entertainment Court. This is neat (though a little awkward as you walk by them just trying to get out). I approached him and said Happy Thanksgiving. He was from Brampton. Never would have known it with a name like Miguel. It was also neat to meet the cast in the buffet and elevators--although the first time I saw one of them, I didn't realize it and thought he was pretty crazy in his sequined and embroidered velvet suit jacket LOL.

After that we had to leave the theater only to wait around a bit for the Adult Game Show: "Frisky Feud". Who would happen to get chosen, but Erica, the woman from the hotel. She was pretty awesome and did not disappoint! These shows are always a hoot though there were a couple contestants that were perhaps out of their element.

We headed back to our cabin. Or back to the buffet, I don't know. Rob really liked the late night pasta bar, with made to order pasta. The pizza was also really good, though he missed getting it custom made like at Sorrentos on Royal ships. We were looking forward to arriving in Aruba in the morning!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cruise 2017: Day 3, Grand Cayman

On the second night, the daily guide told us to turn our clocks back one hour before bed. I don't remember doing this on other cruises. I do remember being told that Cozumel is in a different time zone and to keep that in mind because the ship's clocks don't change. During the cruise we put our clocks ahead and back several times and I kind of lost track of if we were gaining an hour sleep or losing it LOL
Our third  day was the port of Georgetown, Grand Cayman. We were there on our second cruise, Nov 2008, so we were excited. Rob had enjoyed it the first time, even though we hadn't done anything except walk around. We weren't really interested in doing the sting ray adventure, although I hear it's the best one in the Caribbean. My aunt suggested the aquarium/turtle farm. I really wanted to go there, but Rob said no way we're we going to swim with salmonella-infested turtles.  In a Facebook group for Canadian cruisers, I learned about the taxi/bus system, which sounded it do-able, even for Mr Hesitant. We agreed to go to 7 Mile Beach. I mean, it's world famous, not all cruises stop at Grand Cayman (we've been twice on five cruises), and we'd save money for other expeditions.

We didn't rush off the ship, but didn't want to leave it too late.  We headed downstairs around 9:15. Thought the towel sign out was silly--they write it down by hand! It was nice to have a tote bag in the cabin, but I took my own (after fixing the strap Rob broke soon after we got on the ship). It zips up. This picture was at 9:37am and the tenders were supposed to start soon after the 7am arrival, but I think they didn't start until 8am. 

Nothing looked familiar. We couldn't even tell on the handy "Port Shopping Map" which dock we were at. We saw booths advertising taxi's to 7 Mile Beach so we went with the first one. We thought the person holding the placard was the driver, but no...she walked us out of the compound and to a mini bus almost full of people. Oh. We climbed on and immediately heard the discontent of the passengers. At the front of the bus was a large, burly guy; a Hulk Hogan look alike. He was the most vocal. We quickly learned his name was Kevin. He let everyone know that he had gotten the first tender over so he could get a taxi and hit the beach before everyone else. He'd been sitting in that mini-bus for at least 45 minutes! Apparently, the driver waits until the entire mini-bus is filled!  Everyone decided he should go find the driver. He walked back up to the compound and found someone. Coming back, he made a wrestler pose. Hysterical. I said something to Rob, along the lines "You can tell he's not Canadian...we'd probably sit on this bus all day waiting for it to fill".  The quiet lady in front of me snickered and glanced over her shoulder. Down the road, Rob and I were talking about the Canadian banks, and she turned around to talk to us. Her and her husband were also Canadian! We had a nice chat, they were also being frugal so we all got off at one of the further stops where there wasn't a charge to use the beach facilities. Or so we thought. The drop off point was at Calico Jacks Bar & Grill. 

There were some loungers so we grabbed two at the end that had an umbrella giving shade. It's a beach, yes, but I still want to protect my skin! We headed for the water. So lovely! I don't think we'd even been in the pools on the ship yet because they were so cold. There's nothing like the warm Caribbean water!

7 Mile Beach is no longer seven miles; it's just over 5. But that's okay. You'd never know it. 

There are lots of resorts but they're on the smaller side, compared to other Caribbean hot spots.
I noticed a man going up to everyone in the loungers and knew he was collecting a "rental fee". So we scooped up our stuff and walked a bit up the beach to "Public Beach", it looks far on Google Maps, but it was right next door.  There were little shelters, showers, parking. Next to it Is "Harbour Heights" hotel, and a small sign in the landscaping indicating for guests only. There was also a security guard seated at the walkway down to the beach. We plunked our stuff in the little bit of the shade created by their landscaping (under the tree at the north end of their property, you can see it on Google Maps) while making sure we were on the beach itself LOL. We were joined by some other lounger-refugees. A bunch of Brits. They always find the deals!
For some reason, most of the pictures Rob took of me are on an angle. Here I am testing out a BIKINI top I made!!
We walked back along the beach, viewing all the developments from the beach. No Trespassing sings everywhere. We enjoyed our beach walk, but wanted to get out to the main road at some point. Eventually, we came to Governor's Beach. It started to sprinkle just then. No problem, we were still wet and hey, Caribbean rain is warm! There was this lovely iguana statue.
As we walked towards the road, I saw this little bit of native fauna. Adorable!  We stood in a covered bus shelter, getting clothes back on, wondering what the town buses look like. We started walking back towards town, and a few potential vehicles passed up going north. Then we realized, we really should be on the other side of the road LOL. But, on the other side, you have to walk backwards to see vehicles coming towards you. And we still weren't really sure what were buses. On the other side of the road was a mini van with a sign indicating it was a bus, and it was pulled over.
 So Rob approached the driver and asked. For about $5US, for the BOTH of us, she could get us downtown to Margaritaville. In the back of the van were some Americans we had seen on the beach. The one man reminded me a lot of Larry Caputo . I would notice him a lot on the rest of the cruise. Funny how that happens with some people.
As we drove down the main road, the driver would honk. I realized that she would honk at people standing at bus stops (and a few other spots). They'd either wave and she'd stop, or shake their head. If they waved, she'd pull over. Once we got full, she stopped honking. We got close to the downtown and she drove away from the main road to approach the downtown from the "inside". At one point she suddenly braked as a car stopped in front of us. Now, understand, these minivans are "short nose" vans (not our actual van, and this and the picture above are not mine).

I was sitting in the middle of the first bench. I think Rob was beside me. Although the driver has a good view, those of us in the benches, do not. Everything got real quiet and we were certain we would hit it. The driver didn't appear to be braking hard! Once we stopped safely, everyone let out a big sigh of relief and the Americans at the back started joking about needing to get back to the ship to change their pants.
She let us out and said Margaritaville was the next block over. We walked two blocks along the main street and didn't see it. It's shown on the "Port Shopping Map"  but the maps are a bit of a joke. We walked up Cardinal Ave because I couldn't figure out how we had walked past something as significant as Margaritaville. As we turned around and headed back to the main street, I saw a small sign above an alley indicating the way. It really is up the alley, just  up Cardinal Ave from Habour Dr.
We headed in and it seemed rather tame. Found the restaurant and got seated. Rob forgot his regular glasses and couldn't see anything in the dark room. But it was nice and cool. Rather empty and quiet. And then we realized, it's Sunday morning. What if they don't serve alcohol? My main focus was the free wifi (not the greatest) but how can you go to Margaritaville and not have a drink? Indeed, it was too early for drinks and we didn't expect to stay too long, just so we could have a drink. We got a  appetizer platter.

It was mostly good; Rob didn't like the quesadilla because it got a little soggy. The shrimp were great, the tortilla chips were okay. It just seemed really pricey. After, we walked around and found the pool. A little sad looking on a Sunday morning. We had our bathing suits on, but it didn't seem right going in the pool. I don't know why. Just seemed odd cause no one was in it, and it didn't look all that great. I won't hold that against them though--we're just the odd ones who go to a famous bar...on a Sunday morning.

The kids love things from Del Sol (and so do I), so we walked up Harbour Rd again to find it. Well, they were closed. Rob was happy to save money after the expensive lunch. We headed back to the ship. At the pier, you can have a nice chilled face cloth, which felt wonderful. There are also several different waters to choose from. Orange-carrot, cucumber-mint, and I think there was another one, along with plain ice water. Tiny Dixie cups, but it was enough. Especially since they make you finish before you board. Once through security, we forgot about our towels. That night we left them in our cabin with a note saying we had forgot to turn them in. Apparently, we were supposed to return them at the gangway and get crossed off the list.

There is some great art on the Equinox. And then some made us shake our heads. The above picture describes a set of pictures next to the elevators near our cabin.
There were about five of these style pictures in a row. At first, we thought maybe there had been a competition for the children of the staff. No, the plaque above it explains them. Certainly not our style.
We went to the buffet for lunch--after all, we had only had "appetizers" at Margaritaville! They had a whole baby pig in the carvery! The buffet was really good, with lots of options that changed frequently throughout the day--Early Risers Continental Breakfast/Breakfast Buffet/Late Breakfast all happened between 6:00am and 11am. Lunch Buffet Extravaganza was 12-2:30 and Soups/Salad/Sandwiches were 12-3pm. Afternoon snacks started at 3:30. The nice thing was the buffet was never actually closed. A few things were always available. They would close off some of the stations as they changed them over, but you could still go in to other areas. I know on Royal Caribbean, the whole buffet area was closed off between meals.

We headed up top as it looked like another storm rolling in. What's that little splotch?
It was a little boat! Okay, that one is bigger than our "Bob". But from up top, it was tiny looking.
Love the storm clouds over the turquoise water off 7 Mile Beach.
I noticed the submarine coming up and the shuttle. I would love to try this excursion but I'm just not sure how I'd feel. If there was a short "tester" excursion, that might be good!
I'm not sure which resort this is, I'm guessing The Kimpton Seafire Resort. That was just to the north of the public beach at Calico Jack's and can be seen in one of the beach pictures near the top of this post. That seems to be as large as you get here.
The pool was very busy in the afternoon!

 I have no idea what these two dishes were. I think the one below is beef cheeks and the appetizer above was duck. I was really looking forward to trying the beef cheeks. The meat was excellent, however, I did not like the seasoning. I think Rob had it too and said the same thing (and he thought it was greasy, as well). The waiter offered us something else (we had only eaten a tiny bit), but I remember saying the appetizer had been plenty.

At 9pm, we went to the Celebrity Showtime show, "Ashlie-Amber". It's a show sort of about Whitney Houston. She sings all her songs, talks about their influence in her life, how she became a singer, but she says she's not a "cover artist". She was really good. Rob really enjoyed it. I didn't take him for a Whitney fan! She was just starting her cruise ship career, so expect to see her around!
After, was the "Silent Disco". This is a newer thing on cruise ships. You get a pair of headphones, and choose one of three channels. Then you all dance together, to your own private DJ.
They look like they were having fun. One nice thing about this ship was that if there was a gathering in the Entertainment Court, for example, there were ample ways around. Unlike the Royal ships with the Royal Promenade.
Rob had said he wanted to get out and hear more live music this time. There was often one of two bands in the Grand Foyer, and we definitely preferred one over the other (Dancing Town). But we still hadn't made it to a "club" to hear an actual show.

Not sure what time we went to bed.We had to change the clocks forward one hour. So, the hour gained was now lost LOL. But we were at sea, so who cares.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cruise 2017: Day 2, At Sea

In the elevator in the morning, we met a friendly woman our age, who said she was on her first cruise and had had a rough night. There was a vibration in her room that prevented her from sleeping, she was feeling queasy, and spent much of the night wandering the ship, watching the nocturnal thunder storms. Later in the week would we meet her again!

As previous Royal Caribbean members, we could transfer our reward points to Celebrity and already be "returning" customers. The points do not transfer back to Royal. At the first level, you really don't get much. The free scoop of gelato was nice...but it was pretty dang similar to the ice cream in the Oceanview Cafe. One thing that was fun was special invitations to events, such as meet crew and officers on the helipad at departure. This tour of the galley though, was open to all. We made sure to be there early because our waiter said it fills up quickly. Rob wasn't sure he wanted to do this, but I did! What a chance to get behind the scene pictures!

 When you break it down, there's really only two styles of ship decor. Flashy, bright and modern, or dark, woodsy and elegant. The dining room on the Equinox is flashy and bright. A nice change from the Royal ships. Sometimes I felt like I was in the midst of a pipe organ though. We all gathered in for our pre-tour slide show, enjoying our complimentary drink. Our tour guide was not the easiest to understand, and our group was really too big. It was hard to hear him at times, in the noisy galley.
 Everything for the dining rooms and a couple of the small food venues happens here. There are two levels of dining rooms, and this ship has two galleys. Some ships don't--waiters much run up and down stairs to retrieve food. Each of the specialty restaurants has their own galley. Much of the Oceanview Cafe is made here too. This area above was the pastry area. Man, I wish I had those big, narrow ovens for giant cookie sheets!
 Lamb shank, already roasted and waiting to be braised, I believe.

 Another prep area. Maybe this was the special section where they prepare food for guests with allergies. They talked about that, how meticulous they are  to avoid contamination. It does take a bit of the spontaneity out of food selection, but knowing they are really concerned with customer safety, is reassuring!

 There were a few activities on in the afternoon, but I really don't recall going to any of them and I have no pictures. There was this picture though. I had forgotten my little speakers for my mp3 player. Rob fashioned a redneck speaker using our ice bucket. It wasn't too bad!  I think we spent some time in the hot tubs, watching an incredible rain storm come across the ocean and cross the ship. No wonder the pools were so cold. Just because it's the Caribbean, doesn't mean the rain is all that warm. At least, not yet.

The weather was a little rough later in the day. Not terrible, but a bit noticeable.
This model ship is hysterical. There are no ginormous pools on this ship.
 It was "Evening Chic" night. That's the new formal night. Some people still get really dressed up. Rob didn't even put on a tie :(

 Frog's legs were on the appetizer menu, so we made sure to try them. They were quite good, just like chicken wings. I didn't care for the cold pea puree (follow the link to see the menu). We realized we'd be able to see the beautiful Caribbean sunsets from our table, at least until we hit the "turn around" point. However, the windows are good for viewing out of, and the evening weather was pretty much overcast most dinners.
 I wish I remembered what else I had that night!
 Rob had some sort of apple crisp, I think, and mine was a pastry with lemon curd, I think, and "various fruits". Well, it was a little skimpy on the fruits. But yummy.
After dinner, we  went to the theatre for "Elysium" which is one of those acrobats, dancers and strange plot type shows. I suddenly started feeling queasy when we sat down. We moved to more centre-stage seats and tried again. Nope. With every slight movement of the ship, my stomach moved. I had forgotten my SeaBands, and knew there wasn't time to go back to the room for Gravol and have it take affect (which would make me sleepy anyway). I felt so bad I had to leave and miss the show. I mean, I really wanted to see it and was disappointed I couldn't. We found out at the end of the trip during a back stage tour that it was actually one of the roughest nights the show cast has had and their main actress couldn't perform due to seasickness. I felt a bit better hearing that, because I'm not usually that affected by the sea. I guess being at the very front of the ship, down low, and in a closed in space, all contributed to my queasiness.

We were looking forward to the next day, and being back in Grand Cayman. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cruise 2017: Day 1 (Miami Departure)

We went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel (link in previous post). Not as nice as the one we go to in Fort Lauderdale, but it was okay. I insisted we stay at a hotel with a hot buffet as the places with just a cold buffet never have things I can eat. After realizing the senior woman I had seen at Denny's the night before was a hurricane refugee, I noticed there were quite a few others that probably were too. The TV was on to a news channel and there was some big police chase in Miami and the suspect had jumped into a pond/water catchment area.  (Do not have your sound on when you click the link. The website is not very good and an ad keeps starting up. It's the BMW ad over on the right side of the screen, not a popup window, so it's hard to figure it out). All these cops on land and in a (big) boat with their guns pointed to this guy treading water and trying to hang onto a concrete wall.  Apparently at some point after we left, the cops shot and killed the suspect. 
Even though I had gotten and email saying our embarkment time was pushed up to after 1pm, we took the early shuttle to the port. While waiting in the lobby, we started talking to others waiting. Or, rather, one woman started talking to everyone. Her name was Erika which we thought was funny because she reminded us of our daughter's friend Erica's mom, who is also super friendly. This Erica was originally from the west side of Toronto but had been in the States for a long time. Her and her husband were going to be surprising her sister and her husband who were going on the cruise with another couple from the Toronto area that they had met on a previous cruise. Even though the ship isn't really all that small, it's fascinating how some people just seem to show up everywhere...more on them later :)
We pulled up infront of the Celebrity terminal, which I believe is the old Royal Caribbean terminal. At least looking at these pictures, it's the same roof. The driver unloaded everything and put it over with the luggage the porters were taking. Rob had to rush over to get our documents. We used to keep one carry on, but since we didn't have any wine this time, we just took my tote bag. I don't remember if it was when we got there or when we were leaving, but one porter said something along the lines of "First give me $20 and you'll get the best treatment for your bags" (I don't remember exactly; he was just calling out to all the people, not addressing anyone in particular). That really put us off, since there were signs, very clearly saying that tipping porters is optional.
There were already a LOT of people there for check in. It was a little slow, but the staff was great towards people with mobility issues. We soon noticed how young we were, though there were still lots of other young people (like Erica and her husband, Bobby).  We were expecting to have to wait before getting on the ship, but there didn't seem to be a large lounge area and we walked right on. I noticed an older couple with matching t-shirts from Carnival Cruises "I survived Hurricane Irma". LOL. 
They offer you a drink (Mimosa? Wine?) when you board. And then they come at you asking if you want to upgrade your drink package. EVERYWHERE you go, "Have you upgraded your drink package yet?". At first, we said we didn't have a drink package, which prompted them to start selling us a drink package. So we smartened up and just said "Yes, we did".  Then there was the raffle outside the art auction place. We decided to find the buffet, I think. Or maybe we headed outside first.  According to my pictures, it was a little under an hour between the picture above and this picture below, so I suspect we headed up to the grass right away. Maybe the buffet wasn't quite ready?  We noticed as we went up the elevator that the hallways to the cabins had doors closing them off. On other ships, you could at least go down the hall to find where your cabin was, but not on the Equinox. They open the doors once ALL the rooms in that hall are ready.

So one of the marketing highlights of this ship is that it has "a lawn" of real grass. Yes, it does.  Did we use it like in the website? No. Every day a portion of it would be closed off. You can't take chairs on it. So unless you're taking part in the organized croquet or other activity, what can you do? Oh, get a blanket and have a picnic? Never saw anyone do that. Don't even know where you'd get the blanket or picnic basket. Maybe the upper categories. Never saw anyone sunbathe though it's not something I do so I wouldn't go looking. I was often looking for a chair (not a lounger) in a shady area, yet you can't take the chairs onto the lawn. The glass blowing studio is at one end of the lawn, so it isn't always peaceful there. There are also two strips of lawn on either side of the ship, but one of them is a smoking area. The chairs are right up against the path alongside the lawn. Cough cough. While we found the lawn "pretty" and it was cool (temperature and fun) to go barefoot on it, it was a huge area of the ship that just didn't get used. 

If you go to Google Maps (as of today) and look at Port of Miami, you will see a Celebrity ship. I don't know which one, but it looks like it has cabanas or something along the back sections on either side. That would have been nice!

 Not sure if he wore that shirt  on purpose, LOL. It was quite humid and hot, though very overcast. I think it rained overnight.
Some Miami construction. It's a pretty neat looking building. Want to see it when it's done!

 I believe this was looking through a window in the Sky Lounge, hence the strange colours.

 We wanted to see the solarium. It's adult only and it's location makes it pretty good at keeping children away. The loungers are nicer than the main pool. The first thing we noticed though was that it was air conditioned. That felt so nice, at first. Before long though we got cold! We checked out the pool and were horrified to find out how cold it was!!

The vine wall is pretty, but artificial. On the left side you can see the AquaSpa Cafe. It's adults (16+) only. Though with only 7 children on the cruise, that wasn't an issue LOL. It's open for "healthy alternative breakfast" from 7:30-10am and "healthy alternative lunch" 12-2pm. Now, their idea of healthy and mine (low carb, high fat) are totally different. They had some interesting nut and seed bars but they were so sweet and a little bland at the same time. This corner though is the only place in the Solarium (and really, around the entire pool deck), with actual chairs! So I started coming here towards the end of the cruise so I could sit and crochet and read. However, it gets busy with all the adults who want to play cards or games. I really found that there were not enough chairs on this ship! On the Royal ships we've been on, there are chairs and tables on the pool deck, maybe because it's close to the buffet.

We found this hanging bed just before you go into the Solarium. It was neat, but I didn't come on a cruise to lay in a bed on a hot, humid pool deck. You'd also get a blast of cold air every time the Solarium doors opened. I also didn't feel very dignified trying to get on and off!

It still wasn't very busy, so I set up the camera and self-timer.

Rob had no problem getting on though, LOL!

Blogger is giving me a hard time right now. I asked it to center this picture and it makes it disappear. This was a floating billboard. It just kept going back and forth through the harbour with different ads on the screen. Didn't they realize we were about to leave for 10 days? LOL.
Walked by the library and saw this magazine on the stack!
Then walked by the stores and saw this sculpture. Ummm. Yeah. It's a potato with legs.

The Quasar is on deck 4, across from Celebrity Central. This is different than the layout in the Celebrity book which is off course, generic to that class of ship, not individual ships.

It really felt kind of out of place amidst all the wood and rich colours of most of the ship. And, who goes to a "disco" to sit in a cocoon chair by themselves?

Next, we found the theater, which seemed to be a really good size for the size of the ship. Though narrow aisles!
Next we went to find the dining room, to see where our table would be and confirm our dining time. We had asked for a large table. Instead, we found out we were at a table for two! Ugh. Ten dinners with only Rob for company? Kidding. The staff said we could see if anything was available at a large table, but we thought we'd give it a try anyway. And we were thinking about doing the upscale dining package too (never did).  I was really surprised by the dining room. It's totally different than the ones we'd been in on Royal ships. You can see it's all white, glass, and chrome!

Back up to the pool deck since our hallway wasn't open yet. There's an hour difference between the dining room photo and this photo, so I think we went to the buffet. These cocoon chairs were really popular. Quite nice, though not much air flow. The faced looking out the windows so sometimes it was hard to tell if they were occupied until you peaked around.

This is one of my most favourite pictures from the trip! (Thanks, Beautification filter on my phone!). We stayed snuggled up in this chair for quite a while! In fact, this picture was taken at 1:40 and the next picture I have was at 3:38. Maybe we went to the buffet during this time? Nah.

We saw this boat getting towed in. Assume it was hurricane related. That's all dirt and algae along the hull.

Finally we were leaving. This Royal ship was also in port. At first it looked big, but as we went past it, it seemed much smaller.  Enchantment of the Seas has about 2 076 guests, compared to the Equinox 2850-3420. It's Royal's second smallest class of ships, with tiny inside cabins (136sq ft compared to 150sq ft in the Freedom Class and about 174 sq ft on the Equinox). It does 3 & 4 nights Bahama cruises.  Probably fine for that.

 Next in line is the Carnival Victory.  It has 2758 passengers. 

 Next up was NCL (Norwegian) Sky. It was headed for a 3 night Bahama cruise with open bar. Yup. It has 2004 guests.
I noticed as we past that they were doing their Muster Drill on the decks at the life boats. That how we did it on the first few cruises, but then it changed and our assembly stations were inside the ship in various lounges. My FIL questioned this (he was in the Merchant Marines for a long time) and was told that this way, the whole group could be guided to where ever would be safest. Previously, if your Assembly Station was on the side of the ship that was heading underwater....would you know where to go? 

 We past this British air ship carrier. I believe it might have been the HMS Ocean. In town to head towards the Caribbean for hurricane relief.

We saw the Fisher Island ferries and noticed that the ferry "heading home" was full of luxury vehicles. The ferry heading off the island was mainly work vans and older vehicles. I love seeing these little snips of social-geography.

 Some more big boats in Miami. Don't know anything about them.
We noticed the boats in a marina were all lifted. 
 Not sure the Thriller boat ride is as exciting here as it would be in the Niagara Gorge.

The Port of Miami is fairly pretty.

We were at the aft and saw the pilot boat. Then we noticed a little fishing boat just like ours! About to get hit with the wake of a cruise ship...and Rob doesn't want to take his boat in Lake Ontario!

Look at that little thing! Ours is 16ft. Tiny! And in an ocean!
Bye bye Miami!  It looked so stormy, but it didn't rain while we were in the area. I believe it did rain overnight though!

We finally got to our cabin. This picture was obviously not the first day, but it shows the overhead storage and bed.
This shows the dresser/vanity. It was adequate. I really missed having a couch though. The mini fridge in in the big door on the right of the drawers.

The bathroom. Again, lots of storage, more than enough. No hanging line in the shower though. And mind the step up into the bathroom.

Another shot of the bed area. There is a closet parallel to the side of the bed closest. We had to ask for more hangers and they were just wire ones. I think on the next cruise, I might be tempted to pack a couple of those fold down cubes, to help organize things in the closet.

We were excited to go to dinner. A little disappointing. Our table for two was separated from the next table by about 4". It was an elderly British couple who weren't very talkative. The service was very good, and the food was excellent. We were always in and out very quickly--perhaps partly because we had no one to talk to besides ourselves.

After dinner we went to the first show, which was Jim Colliton and "December '63" (a preview of their show later in the week). I'm not a huge comedian fan. He was funny. Just not really my favourite type of show. But "December '63"? What a fabulous show. I'm a little confused as to who's in the group though LOL. Their website shows five members, but only four are on stage, and two that were there when we saw them are not in those current pictures. Their Facebook page is great and there are pictures and videos from our cruise.

After that, I think we just wondered around a bit and went to bed "early". Cause, you know, we were on the "old people's cruise" :)