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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Day At Sea

As day 3 broke, the BIG challenge ahead, surviving the open ocean.

We left St. Thomas on Dec 9, around 6 PM and headed straight south, toward Barbados. This meant a full day at sea. It's rumoured that I'm not overly fond of deep water. Seems someone started this rumour when I became known for water skiing with socks on!? Crazy how that translated to fear of fish biting toes, ect, ect!

Anyhow, with a a full day at sea ahead, looking at open ocean, and only open ocean, it represented a new experience. A slight challenge? Always an adventure.

We woke relatively early. I enjoyed the open vista from our room's balcony, while Leanne enjoyed the view from the room's dressing mirror! Soon she was even more beautiful than I could ever have imagined, again! We headed to the  pool deck to grab loungers, scrounge some breakfast, and make our first "Lou" meeting.

Life on a cruise ship, especially during a full day at sea, involves many important decisions. First up, finding lounger setups that will host a full day of sun, while balancing the needs of close proximity to the head, the salon, and the pool. Perhaps more important, we needed to also be close to that secret place where the beer is kept, so Lou doesn't get burnt out servicing our needs!

Next, breakfast, is always a daunting series of life altering judgement calls. Buffet, or dinning room? We are buffet people, so this one tends to be easy. However, the Carnival Victory has two buffet lines!! One for the fruit and vegetable loving breakfast dinner, and one for the hard core Meatatarian! Ok, can't fool you here. It was an easy call each time for me. "See you back at the lounger honey"!

After a hearty breakfast, the rigorous regimen begins. Starting with the SP15 workout, we lather suntan lotion over every exposed nook and cranny, and in my case, a few that shouldn't be exposed! Spread towel out, pointed at the sun, and scope the landscape to formulate a people watching list for the day! All that done, we're now ready for Lou, and the most important decision ahead.

Sensing our readiness, along with our trepidation of the tough decision ahead, Lou appears with two icy cold beers. A Coors Lite, and a Bud Lite! He sensed that our decision would be tough, and wanted to help with some 'thinking juice'. One gulp, a little small talk, and suddenly the answer we seek becomes obvious... two Mojitos!

Lou slips away for a few moments, allowing us a chance to formulate a more detailed plan for the day. 3 minutes later, and the plan comes into focus. Sun, pool, people watching, food, and the occasional ogle of the ocean view if boredom sets in. And at 4:30 sharp we would head for the room to get ready for our 6pm dinner seating. Tonight was formal attire night, so Leanne wanted to be sure I cleaned up respectably!

Around noon a tinge of boredom set in, so we took the opportunity to get to know the ship. Often when we go to resorts, and leave it to the last day, to discover all the things we missed during the week. We were happy to have a day at sea early, to avoid that this time.

We started at the back (stern for sailing people, like we hope to become). There we discovered the pool there had a retractable roof! Cool! Another bar as well! Getting better! We headed up the steps, to the top deck. As we were studying the view of where we had been, we nearly got run over by people using the jogging track for the purpose it was actually intended. We scrambled out of the way, only to stumble upon the mini golf course. Over come with exhilaration we trekked on forward.

Across the main pool deck, we saw the water slide, kids pool, then discovered an oasis... the adults only pool area! Wow! We had no idea. Two hot tubs, two hammocks, swing chairs, and a bar! The area overlooked the whole pool area, and the ocean! People watching, ocean watching, and privacy! Sweet! We resolved we would be back. But for now, continue down, and fore!


Next we went to the entertainment hub of the ship we did an inventory of the bars. There was the casino bar, the comedy bar, the piano bar, the cigar bar, wine bar, and lobby bar. How do we balance the needs of all these bartenders in need of work!?

Last stop was the fitness area/spa. We heard that some people go there on a cruise and we needed to see why? When we got there, it was very welcoming. They encouraged us to check it out. Treadmills with a view of the ships path. Video monitors, hip music, and a vibe of healthiness. Definitely a place we SHOULD spend more time. But with so much to do... And how could we derive any real world experience here? On our boat, our exercise will be derived from swimming after two mangy beasts and lifting them on and off the boat!

Back to our loungers for some much needed rest! Later we headed up to the adult pool for our last drink, before heading to the room. We met a few couples there, who we would share some fun times with throughout the week. We met a young Mormon couple, who we chatted with throughout the week. They told us of how they met, where they were from, and gave us insight into their religion. They informed us that while it tends to be a rather conservative religion, they explained that they do enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage. By my understandings, they seemed surprisingly liberal. More on that in later chapters!

Finally we head back to our room for some rest and preparations for our formal dinner. Amazingly, we managed to get to our 6pm dinner setting, moments before 7PM!

We had a nice dinner and headed out to patronise the bars of every stripe, that we encountered on our tour. First up the lobby bar for an after dinner drink, and the sounds of live piano music. We followed it up with a cigar in the cigar lounge, before heading to the piano bar.

We both enjoy live piano music, and love the duelling piano bar in Harrahs, Las Vegas. We weren't disappointed with our experience at this one. Perhaps it was the crowd, more than the entertainment that made the night. None the less, our performer had enough tunes to keep us all singing round the piano straight through to close! We also met John and Jodi, from Florida, who we'll discuss again before the cruise is over!

For now it was time to retire. Barbados tomorrow, and we wanted an early start!

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