Today and tomorrow we’re at sea all day, and we’ve been taking advantage of our last two days to focus on total relaxation. Today we alternated between eating, napping, the pool, miniature golf, shuffle board and then repeated. Tomorrow it’s much of the same.
Tonight is the ship’s Grand Midnight Buffet, and a loud, lively parade along the Royal Promenade. The Husband hasn’t been awake for the Midnight Buffet on our last two cruises, but I’m hoping if I keep him up for it tonight, he’ll sleep later tomorrow (our last day to attempt to sleep in!). He usually wakes up around 6 am, and then Nicholas wakes up, sees him gone, and won’t go back to sleep, so, of course, we’re ALL UP at that hour.
Things We’ll Miss When We’re Back Home:
1. Peterson, Franky and Vinod taking care of our every whim in the Dining Room at dinner. All three of them have gone out of their way to provide superior service, paying particular attention to the kids, and they have made dinnertime a true highlight for us. Peterson offers menu recommendations nightly, and his suggestions have been spot-on. He checks back on us many times during the meal to make sure we have everything we need, and Franky makes sure all our glasses and bread plates are full at all times, quietly moving behind the scenes but giving us what we want before we even think to request it. They have all become quickly attuned to our tastes and styles, and adapted. They learned exactly how long the kids can stay at the dinner table quietly, and sped up our service to keep in line with that. They learned that fruit cups and crayons make them happy. They were the best wait staff we could ask for, and in the four cruises we’ve taken with RCCL so far, they have been the best, hands down. We have formed friendships with all of them, getting to know about the cruise way of life, and their families and they have been an enjoyable part of our vacation.
2. Our Stateroom Attendant. We leave in the morning and come back to a room that has been made up. We go to dinner and come back to another freshly made bed. Little beats that. Chocolates on the bedspread, and a list of activities to highlight the next day … and towel creatures.
3. Food. We are never short of choices on where to eat; whether it’s in the formal dining room, the buffet, Johnny Rockets, the cafe or room service, options abound. We’ve quickly gotten used to eating every two hours (and the complete absence of junk food, believe it or not) and reentry is going to be hard.
4. The sea. Whether it’s going to sleep with the moonlit water in the window over our head, or the gentle lull of the waves swaying us to sleep, there’s nothing more relaxing or tranquil.
5. The People Watching. Whether it’s the guys that shouldn’t brave the light of day whilst they’re squeezed into their too-tight Speedos, or the elderly women from my grandmother’s day where they were fully made-up and properly coiffed at an 8 am breakfast, matching their purse to their dress (too cute!), the people watching is fascinating.
What We Won’t Miss
1. The TV onboard – horrid. I miss my Tivo. Yes, there’s a TV in every room, but it’s rerunning the same episode of Two and a Half Men, an interview with Nick Lachey and sports. It needs help. I even paid for two movies to break it up a bit, but the movie selection was dismal as well. I know there are definitely limitations to what the TVs can receive given we’re out at sea, but then a larger movie selection is in order … sometimes, especially with nearly five full days at sea, you just want to flop on your bed and watch some trashy TV.
2. People who forget what it’s like to be a kid. Nicholas is a very well behaved little boy, but even he has his limits. It’s his vacation and he’s allowed to get excited and just be a kid. We are the first to rein him in when necessary, and are very mindful of making sure he doesn’t disturb others. While they have been the exception, instead of the rule, there have been the occasional dirty looks without merit. I’m sorry, but my 4-year-old son is most certainly allowed to sing quietly in the corner of the elevator while 20 adults pile in and squish him, declaring that there is “room for more.” He is most certainly allowed to squeal with glee when we tell him we’re going to see the evening show, because he loves watching the entertainers. It’s his vacation too and he is entitled to enjoy it.
3. The showers that are so small that if you want to shave your legs while in there, you have to open the door and stick your leg out. ‘Nuff said.
4. The inflated spa prices. I would have LOVED to get a manicure and pedicure while onboard, and am all for splurging every now and then, but there’s a limit. They charge $61 for a pedicure and $41 for a manicure – insane. Back home, I can get both for $24 total, and it includes 20 minutes in their so-good-it-hurts massage chair (the best part!). That and the spa wasn’t exactly zen-like. People go to spas to relax in a quiet atmosphere. When we went for our “spa specials” (which were great deals, by the way) in the beginning of the cruise, the facials and massages were done in a big general area (no privacy or tranquility there) and one of the staff members was even singing along to the radio’s 80s disco music while she did The Neighbors treatment. Not exactly a spa-like atmosphere.
Even with a few minor annoyances, which is to be expected with anything, a very enjoyable vacation was had by all, filled with good memories. I’m taking off tomorrow, so I’ll see you all back here on Sunday night, when we’re home! It’s always fun to go away, but it’s always nice to be home. Until then…