Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meanwhile, Back on the Cruise...

We're back home in Alaska, but I am determined to catch up on our trip!  Today I think I will show you a little bit of the on-board fun.  You may remember that this was a "repositioning" cruise, by which the ship is being moved from one location to another, resulting in more sea days and fewer stops in ports.  We were on board for 20 nights so we made sure we found lots to do.  Above, here's our cabin, which was roomy enough for us and pretty comfortable. Being the bargain shoppers that we are, we decided to suck it up and take an inside cabin this time because the price was SO much better than anything else.  On our other (2) cruises, we have paid for a balcony, but we came to realize that we did not  use it as much as we thought we would, and,  hey, we can always go up on deck if we want some fresh air, sunshine or a view...right?!  We were hoping we wouldn't say "WHAT WERE WE THINKING?" and get all claustrophobic, but we did fine and it didn't bother us a bit.

Most mornings, we'd eat our breakfast on the back deck outside the main buffet cafeteria and soak up some sun and the beautiful view.  The buffets were pretty good and had a decent selection of food--more than I could ever eat.  The first few days on the ship, we were all happily serving ourselves and then the dreaded norovirus hit.  For the rest of the trip, we had to wait in line to be served EVERYTHING, including packets of salt and pepper, butter, glasses of water, etc.  It certainly slowed things down, but I guess it also slowed down the spread of the virus.  From day one, staff  stood at the door to squirt hand sanitizer on us as we entered or left the buffet, but apparently that wasn't enough.  Luckily, neither Rich nor I got sick...which is all the more surprising if you know about my many tummy issues!

One of the daily on-board activities was a progressive team trivia contest.  We missed the first two sessions and then joined the team above--Bonnie and Dan from Virginia (part of our Facebook "Solar Flairs" group) and Alan and Mary from Australia.  We ended up having a great time and enjoyed meeting with them daily.  We had good days and bad days--wow, some of the questions were so ridiculous, you would wonder how anyone could know the answers!  We ended up with a decent showing but were not the big winners at the end of the cruise.  Not even in the top 5, I don't think!  Darn. However, Rich and I redeemed ourselves by taking part in a music trivia contest where our team (including Bonnie and another friend, Estelle) took first place.  Woohoo!  THEN Rich and I (Team name: Fab Two) kicked butt in a Beatles trivia contest.  YES, we won that one all by ourselves.  Yay, us!  haha

Some of the Solar Flairs group met for High Tea one day.  Many of the women brought along tiaras and wore them to tea and other formal events.  I was kind-of a dud and didn't have a tiara. :)

One of the Facebook couples had a huge family verandah cabin and invited us all over for tea and snacks one day.
At sea for election day, a few of us of the liberal persuasion got together to watch the returns.  It was a little odd to have the election called in the middle of the afternoon in the South Pacific. We thought we'd have several hours of eating, talking and hanging out while watching the hoopla, but it was over before we knew it.

 Estelle and Aloha, who hosted us in their cabin
 Anne, the instigator

 Estelle and Jane

Formal night--yes, we did dress up a few times! 

There were two specialty restaurants, The Olympic and Qsine.  We bought a package of five meals between the two--we thoroughly enjoyed the food and had some interesting and fun presentations.

This became one of my favorite things to do each afternoon.  Good thing I didn't know about it till halfway through the cruise or I would have spent a fortune!  In one of the little bars, I could get a small pitcher of fresh iced tea for $5, yes, $5....but they also had all-you-can-eat finger sandwiches and pastries.  Yum!  (The iced tea in the buffet dining room and the main dining room was from a machine, not brewed, so I was thrilled to happen upon this set-up!)

At QSine, all ordering was done via iPad and all the courses were family style.  SO much food but all of it delicious--a set price covered as many courses as you could handle.  Wow.  We definitely overstuffed on the nights we ate there.

 Our funny waiter, Vini, with Alan

 At The Olympic, waiting to begin....bring on the food!

 Crab and avocado parfait

This was the best cheese souffle I have ever eaten! We dined at The Olympic three times and I had it every time.  Heavenly!  Light, fluffy, and cheesy.  Loved it!

Desserts!  Did I mention that we were on the 9th deck and we took the stairs up and down EVERY time?  That was quite a climb!  Our cabin was also at the opposite end from the dining room so we got in a good bit of walking.  Rich was diligent about going to the gym every day and I went more often than not, but was not quite as good about it as he was.  I took some yoga classes, too, and loved them, but they weren't free so I didn't go every day.  It's funny--you can get a bargain on a cruise but all the add-ons definitely add on! 

 Tableside food prep
 Out on the deck
Our wonderful cabin attendant, Bambang, and assistant, Garvin.  These guys were SO nice, friendly, helpful and just charming as can be.

 More amazing food in a unique presentation at QSine

And more dessert.  Time to climb those stairs again!

1 comment:

Suzassippi said...

Now, I am ready for breakfast! Looks like a lot of fun, and yes, I was wondering where your tiara was. :)