After enjoying the Southern Gulf Island sunset last night, we turned in and found ourselves drifting away to sleep in a rocking boat. How good is that?
We awoke to find ourselves immersed in a combination of marine cloud, fog and every-so-often, a flash of blue sky. We also found ourselves in some rockier seas, leaving only the experienced marines capable of walking in a straight line.
As is my routine, I had placed a room service order for a “pre-breakfast” snack before my folks, wife and I headed up to the Windjammer for the breakfast buffet. While I’m by no means an experienced cruiser, I did learn that I enjoyed sitting on the balcony in the morning with a cup of coffee and a pastry, so why not?
After our real breakfast, we decided to take in the Hawaii Destination and Tour Talk in the Aurora Theatre. Boy was that a disappointment. The representative from the Royal Caribbean Shore Excursions department not only struggled with remembering the ports of call we were visiting, she also advised us that we were heading to island of Nawiliwili instead of Kauai. Doesn’t speak too well for the level expertise, eh?
The unfortunate result of attending that session was our late arrive for the Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet & Greet. While we didn’t have chance to mingle beforehand, it was interesting to see the dynamic of those that were there – much older than me. Regardless, it was a good time and my Mom won herself a bottle of wine in the raffle. We also all walked away with a Royal Caribbean branded Sea Pass/ID holder, so that was pretty cool. And I did get to chat with a couple of neat people.
After a later lunch (in the Windjammer Cafe – seriously, I should have shares in that place), we were debating what to do next when I saw some movement out a window on the water. Thinking it was a bird, and tasked to report back to the father-in-law all the birds we saw while out at sea, I was about to tell my wife when I saw another. And another. And they weren’t birds – they were freaking dolphins! Hundreds of dolphins! After making a big deal about what I was seeing, I ran out the nearest door to grab a snapshot or two. It was unreal! And frankly, what were the odds that I’d look out the window at just the right time to see them?
After we were satisfied that all the dolphins were long gone, my wife and I decided to treat ourselves to a spa visit. Having done this on our first cruise earlier in the year, we decided well before we boarded that we’d treat ourselves again. I’ve signed up for the “Man Power” package, while she’s getting a Swedish Massage and a Haircut. As they are scheduled for Monday, I’ll report back on our experience in a few days.
We also decided that we’d cash in our complimentary dinners for two (the folks had a coupon too). With the choices of Giovanni’s Table (Italian), Samba Grill and Chops Grille, some negotiation on my part (I don’t eat seafood) had us settle on Chops Grille. Positioned as the “best steak on the high seas” by Royal Caribbean, it’s normally an additional $30 per person to enjoy fine cuts of beef, so we’re definitely excited to be swinging by on Sunday night.
I’ve also been a little remiss in mentioning that Day Two was also the first of our two formal nights on board, so pretty much everyone was decked out in their finest, though some were definitely finer than others. Unable to talk the group into having dinner at the buffet, I poured myself into a shirt, tie and suit and we all went to dinner at the Cascades Restaurant. Dinner itself was nice, and while the special was duck, most of our table picked one of the other menu items instead.
Once dinner and my requisite two dessert items (lemon meringue pie and strawberry cheesecake) were consumed, we moseyed our way down to the Aurora Theatre to take in the first of three productions on our trip, “Piano Man.” A tribute to the music of Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Harold Arlen and Barry Manilow, the show was well put together and had a decent amount of energy. While it was something I wouldn’t have been too upset to miss, I can understand how it was better suited to the majority demographic – older than me – on the boat.
So with Day Two in the bag, we arrived to our room to find this little critter. Unfortunately, soon after the picture was taken my wife MDK’d the rabbit.