28 Apr Carnival Cruise (Day at Sea-Embarking) Day 2
So this day Avi and I woke up feeling pretty refreshed. I believe we slept in a little bit, around 8:30 or 9 or so . We got our bathing suits on I got my little pool bag packed with a book and our sunblock, etc.
The book of choice on this trip was Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve seen the movie about a MILLION times, and I tried reading the book once, but don’t even think I got 100 pages in before I had other priorities and abandoned ship (no pun intended). But I wanted to actually finish it this time, and what better time to read about traveling adventures, than when I’m actually on my own travel adventure myself. I didn’t even really bother to put sunscreen on this first day. I wanted a tan, and I didn’t mind the burn.
So before we headed out to the pool, we figured we would hit up brunch in the Truffle’s Dining Room Lower Level. We walk in and see Kristin, her mom, & David sitting at a booth table with some chairs on the other side, so they motioned for us to come sit down. The table area in front of the seats we filled were a bit crumby as if someone had been sitting there before us and left. Alice & Cheryl had been to breakfast and then left to go do things on their own, so we took their seats. We apologetically asked for some menus the next time the waiter came over, and he seemed a bit annoyed since he thought he was done with that table. Kristin and her mom had already finished brunch and had already moved on to the banana cream pie. So the waiter brought us some menus and as we were deciding what to order, Kristin and Jackie decided to enlighten Avi and I with how they felt about Alice wanting to constantly say prayer before the meals. I didn’t realize that they were as against it as they were, I never really conversed with them about religion, but I was relieved that they had the same stance on it as Avi and I had. I mean, let me put this into a better perspective. We are not really AGAINST religion, or anyone wanting to practice their own beliefs on their own accord. The thing we are mostly against, are overly religious people, trying to push their beliefs on other people, and trying to make you take part in THEIR religious practices and rituals against your own free will, just for the sake of spiking an argument over the war on religion. Some people just like to do this for a rise, for an opportunity to say how much better their beliefs are than yours. The more they told us about Alice, the more this type of person she seemed to be. Avi and I had a discussion about the awkwardness of the first night’s dinner prior to this brunch, and we decided that if we got caught in another one of Alice’s trick Graces, and she asked either of us to lead.. we were going to just start reciting The Pledge of Allegiance (Christmas Vacation Grandma Style) or The Preamble to the Constitution. Kristin and Jackie really got a kick out of that idea as we all laughed. Avi and I finally put in our order; he got the steak and eggs and I got the huevos rancheros which was AMAZING. I practically ate 3/4 of the thing, and it was a hefty portion. It came with three different salsas. One looked like a dark red chili paste, then there was a mild to spicy green salsa verde, and then your regular tomato salsa. The green one tasted the best on everything as a whole. Kristin, Jackie, & David left us to our own devices as we finished our meal and we agreed to meet up later. Avi and I finished our brunch, and then headed up to Deck 9 to the Serenity Pool lounge.
Upon entering, we headed to towel check out. They actually sign out towels to you, solely to lie out on, and you have to return it when you leave. There was a couple that had JUST dropped off their towels while we were standing there waiting to be assigned 2 towels. There was also a whole wall of freshly folded towels right behind the towel clerk. The clerk rolled up the two towels that the couple had JUST returned, and gave them to Avi and I. Avi took them and we went to leave. I said to Avi, “Um.. I’m pretty sure that guy just gave us those people’s dirty towels”. Avi usually oblivious to this sorta thing fought me on it, “No wayyyy, why would he do that? These should be fine, I don’t think they would give us dirty towels.” I thought maybe I was just seeing things, so I said, “Ok If you say so” and ignored the possible argument that could have ensued. We focused our attention to finding somewhere to lie instead. Finding a spot to lay out on this day was a bit more hectic than the first afternoon on board. It was actually almost IMPOSSIBLE. I left Avi with the task of supplying us with some frozen drinks, while I scoped out potential leavers so we could swoop in and steal their seats. This place was HOPPIN! There was literally nowhere to claim. Every layout chair, canopy cabana, and hammock was taken. The sky was clear, the sun was high, and the heat was HOT. Finally out of my frustration, I decided to pop a squat on the wooden bench right off the pool. Avi brought the drinks over, “Any Luck?” I was starting to get frustrated, but was determined to snag a chair. “Nope.”
A “happier than necessary” Carnival photographer was circling the area like a shark, asking couples to pose together with their drinks. They paparazzi the shit out of you while you’re trying to relax, and then charge you up the ass for the photograph if you want to buy it. I was annoyed at this point, still not able to find a chair, but reluctantly forced a smile. The photographer walked away and finally we saw a couple leaving to the right of us. I pretty much ran to secure my spot! So we settled on 2 layout chairs one row back from the edge looking out into the ocean. It was a nice spot, I was happy with it! We went to roll out our “clean” yellow towels to cover our chairs when Avi goes, “Ewww what the hell is that!?” It looked like a huge red stain like someone either menstruated on it, or spilled their drink on it. I screamed, “I TOLD YOU HE GAVE US DIRTY TOWELS!”. I handed mine to him and disgustedly asked him to take them back, and added, “AND TELL HIM TO GIVE US CLEAN ONES!”
Avi returned with the clean towels and we proceeded to lie out. I started reading Eat Pray Love and Avi and I both started to burn. We figured we would just burn the first day and get a head start on our tans. As olive skinned as we both are, we were pretty pasty from being bundled up in New Jersey all winter long. It felt good to just have the sun on my skin. Avi did however, decide that regardless of not using sunscreen on the majority of his body, he did want to sunscreen his feet. So we laid out at the pool for a majority of the morning. We took turns watching the stuff when one of of would get too hot, and let the other go take a dip in the salt water pool. At one point, we started to sizzle so much out there on deck, that I decided to go get us a couple of waters to stay hydrated since we had been throwing back Miami Vices all morning. Miami Vices were a magical frozen concoction of Half Pina Colada and Half Strawberry Daquiri. It was our drink of choice throughout the whole trip. But anyway!….
I decided to go to the bar to get a couple glasses of ice water for Avi and I, and one of the female bartenders kept ignoring me. I was like thinking to myself, why is this such a big deal, it’s just 2 cups of ice water, and it’s not like we are able to tip them anyway, so that excuse was irrelevant here. Finally, one of the guy bartenders took notice and filled me one glass… I was like, “Oh I asked for two”… The way they both went about the situation was just kind of rude, like they had better things to do then fill my glass with water. The nerve! Anyway, I finally got our glasses of water and headed back to our chairs on deck. We stayed out here until about 2:00 PM as we were getting a bit hungry. We returned our towels and then headed back inside to get some food. Unfortunately, the buffet had just been cleaned up for the hour, so we walked down a level or a few to the other pool deck which had a stage with some live entertainment, and a buffet line with BBQ food! We snagged some plates and got a light snack since dinner would be in just a couple hours. I grabbed some nacho chips and fresh salsa along with some potato salad and some iced tea, Avi got the same thing but added a hot dog and fries to his mix. We sat on the deck, enjoying the warm climate, and the break from our sunshine filled morning. We ate and chatted as the acoustic guitarist onstage, Angie, would serenade the crowd with 90s chick rock. Avi was testing out his new water camera throughout our little snack meal and I awkwardly posed for him with my cup of iced tea. After our snack, Avi was still fiending for something sweet, so he helped himself to one of the soft serve ice cream machines right next to the BBQ buffet. It was very tempting, believe me, but I wanted to save my room for dinner at Truffle’s dining hall that night!
We went back to the room to shower and get all fancy shmancy because before dinner, we were going to meet up with the whole gang at David’s bar right outside of Truffles to take some formal photos. I put on a cute little coral color Vera Wang chiffon sundress with sexy criss cross back straps, some matching coral lacquer Vince Camuto heels, and left my hair as loose beachy mermaid waves, garnished with a faux hibiscus flower hair clip on one side. Avi looked equally stunning in his dark Iris colored button down with nice slacks and dress shoes, his hair nicely parted to one side. We headed down to David’s bar around 4:00 or so, and he made us some very special martinis which Kristin put on her Sign and Sail card. He made me a Tiramisu Martini, which he first spider webbed the glass with chocolate syrup and garnished with a maraschino cherry before filling it with 100% alcohol, no fillers. I don’t remember exactly what kind of liquor was in this, but I can assure you it was HEAVEN in a glass! Avi ordered a regular Dirty Martini with the olives. As we sipped on our classy cocktails, the group made their way down to the bar, dressed to the nines. The photographer was a little mexican man who had a fake backdrop set behind a baby grand piano a few feet in front of the bar. Kristin, her mom, Alice, and Cheryl were getting some formal photos done before Avi and I had joined them. We alternated, some with just Avi and I, some with Avi, Kristin, and I, some with just Kristin and her mom, and some with the whole group together. The pictures really came out beautifully. After the photos, we sat at the bar awhile longer and chit chatted until Truffles was opened.
Once we finally made it into Truffles, we were seated at the same table we were at the night before. This time, Kristin sat on the outside because she had to leave early to get ready for her show that evening which is where we were going after dinner. I don’t remember exactly what I had for this meal, I never took a photo of it :-(. This is why I have to take photos of everything, cuz I have a horrible memory! But anyway, during the dessert course there was a band in the dining hall that broke out into song with “That’s Amore”. All of the chandelier lights would flicker to the music in unison, and there were other little flickering red and white recessed lights doing the same thing in the ceiling as all the waiters and busboys stood in a row, singing along as all of the patrons on the double decker dining room stared around. Some were confused, some in amazement, some actually singing along (I was the latter). We swayed along with the crescendoing key change of the classic as we gobbled spoonfuls of refreshing and palette cleansing orange sherbert to finish up our dinner. If my memory serves me correctly, Alice was actually on her best behavior this time, and didn’t put anyone on the spot to say Grace. We all parted ways after dinner and agreed to meet in the theater for Kristin’s show later that night. Avi and I took the time to wander the halls a bit, sit by the window and overlook the water.
Soon after a little digestion and relaxation, we headed to the theater for Studio VIP, which was a pre show in which they had a small red carpet set up outside the theater with a live camera feed to the big screen inside the the theater. Willy, the hilarious British cruise director, would interview audience members on the red carpet and ask them where they were in the 70s, and what their favorite songs were in the 70s. It was really quite comical. Avi and I went at sat in the 2nd or 3rd row along with Jackie, Alice, & Cheryl. As we sat there, Willy came up to Avi and asked him to come be a “VIP” on the red carpet. Avi was hesitant at first, but then he went along with it. I was all excited, I had my camera ready to film his red carpet interview on the big screen in the theater, but there had actually been too many people in front of him, that by the time it got to him, they were ready for showtime. So Avi came back all disappointed, as was I, but we were still excited to see Kristin in her 2nd show of the cruise, Studio VIP, which was based in the 70s era, with afros and bell bottoms, and just amazing disco music. The dancing, the singing, the audience participation, it was all just amazing. If I remember correctly, they pulled up certain audience members on stage at the end to learn “The Hustle”, and whoever performed on the stage got to go to a VIP party with the cast afterward.
We didn’t’ take part in this, but it was fun to watch. After that show had ended, I think we may have just gone to get a drink at David’s bar, because Kristin was in another showing of Motor City’s Motown show, so she couldn’t hang out with us at that point. We also may have gone down to the comedy club again… I really don’t remember what we did in this block of time, as I have no photos of this to jog my memory LOL!
By 11:00 pm, Kristin was done with her shows, and we met up with her in the comedy club so she could take us downstairs into the cast n crew underground lol. We went downstairs for drinks and to hang out once again, and once again I felt like I needed toothpicks to hold my eyes open. Walking around on a ship all day, lying in the sun, and eating really takes a lot out of you, and mind you, we have not even started excursions yet at this point! I don’t think we hung out TOO late this evening, as we all had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn for our excursion in our first stop, Cozumel, Mexico.
Avi and I got back to our cabin and passed out as soon as we hit the pillow… We were looking forward to the next day ahead!