Monday, January 22, 2024

December 25, 2023 – At Sea – Caribbean Sea – Partly Cloudy – 70s

Happy Birthday to my sister out in LA.

Smooth ride but not much sleep – earplugs interfere with my sleep.

I was up really early this morning – so early I could take a shower – wash out some things – and still make it to the Windjammer soon after it opened.  I did not get a window seat but I did get a table across from the windows.  It looks like another beautiful day at sea.

I had my waffle, cottage cheese, jams, and scrambled eggs.  They were all good but the coffee had run out.  It was back on line in a few minutes.  The biscuit was better today than yesterday.  Again, all in all, a good breakfast.

I was also getting familiar with the location of items so I put together a plate for Ellen – lox, cream cheese, fruit, and a chocolate pastry.  I carried them the half mile to our cabin.  Ellen ordered a hot tea, which came in five minutes instead of the promised 30 minutes. 

I picked up a Chai Latte and a White Chocolate Coffee on my card along with a chocolate donut (which are very good) and we are enjoying those in the incredibly welcome quiet of the library.

This ship is not that Christmas-y.  They did have a gift giving event this morning and while we were in the Library, two crew members walked in with gifts.  They told us they were for kids that didn’t believe in Santa Claus (they might have come up with a better description).  Well, they decided to hold that event outside of the library so the quiet continued in our little Fortress of Solitude.

At 11:30 AM, we went to the Windjammer to see what lunch was like today.  We did get a table near a window so that was a plus.  Ellen tried all sorts of things including some breakfast item and I requested a veggie burger.  This time out, I was told that it would take five minutes – well it took a little longer than that but it was still pretty good.  It’s a huge patty so I can’t see how it could be a standard Beyond or Impossible Burger.  Yet, it does taste like the latter – maybe RCL has their own source of veggie burgers.  It’s still noisy and hectic up there so tomorrow, we are going to try something different.

We went back to the Solarium and found some people leaving their nice couches so we should be set for most of the afternoon.  

We are, unfortunately, on the sunny side so even though the UV doesn’t make through the windows, the heat does.  I finally finished “Wanted” by Robert Crais – it was a slow developing story but ended, boom boom boom, within the last dozen pages.  Out of books – will need to pick one up tomorrow when we have phone service. 

It got to be a little too much on the sunny side of the Solarium so we went downstairs to the Star Lounge (Deck 5 Forward).  I used to lecture in that lounge on similar RCL ships and on one of them, the venue was called “Cleopatra’s Needle”.  There is a lot of Egyptian motif in that Lounge as well as in the Library.  This afternoon the Lounge was hosting Bingo and also had a very loud techno sound track going on in the back – we escaped, at that point, to our nice quiet room.

We went to our Table 350 right at 5:30 PM in Dining Room 3.  I should mention that our two waiters, Tushar and Gaurav, are excellent.  Tonight is Italian Night in the Dining Rooms so I had Minestrone Soup (was more like a lentil soup but tasty), the Vegan Garden Salad (mostly baby spinach – not a big fan), and the Crispy Parmesan Arancini (deep fried ball of mushrooms, rice, and provolone – pretty good).  For my entrée I had the Vegan Meatless Spaghetti Bolognese (I asked them to hold the tofu but the marinara sauce wasn’t very tomato-y.  The waiter brought me more of the sauce but the vegan version of the sauce was just not my kind of marinara sauce).  Ellen had the Dover Sole.  I had the lemon tartlet for dessert and Ellen had the chocolate hazelnut cake.  We were running late so we had to scarf down our tea and coffee.  This wasn’t the best dinner of the cruise but the service was good. 

Tonight’s headliners in the Royal Theater were juggler/comedians Wilde and James.  We had never seen them before and hope to never see them again.  

The theater was nearly full and a significant percentage of attendees arrived after the show started.  I had never seen so many late people.  Wilde and James must have fancied themselves as comedians but all of their jokes fell flat and some were simply offensive.  The show was just a little over 45 minutes long and the juggling part of the show was less than 10 minutes.  They were decent jugglers but that clearly was not their focus.  I don’t know how they got this gig.  I wouldn’t give them a positive rating. 

We got out of the theater as fast as we could. We wanted to go to the Solarium but the elevators were slow and the crowd was big and pushy so we walked up two flights of stairs and went to Guest Services.  We wanted to know how to get from one Terminal to another when we join our third ship – the associate didn’t know – maybe a taxi.  We also wanted to know more about the port tomorrow but he didn’t have much information on that either.

A personal observation:  The ship just feels really crowded – always getting bumped into and feeling like there is no place to walk or stand.  Maybe, it has something to do with the large number of kids on board and the fact that the parents are not really keeping them in line.  Why did so many people show up late to the show and then make other people move so they could sit down? Who knows?  This ship clearly has its positives and negatives.

After the theater experience and elevator experience we decided that the best place to end the evening would be in our cabin.

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