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cruisingfromMN

Spirit 2/27/05 Review: Day Three

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Day Three: We arrived in Grand Cayman on time. It was a gorgeous morning and we spent some early morning time on the balcony. Arnie, our Butler delivered our requested breakfast on-time by ringing our doorbell (something that I would never quite get use to, I kept thinking it was one of those public announcements). Our favorite “simple” breakfast dish that we look forward to each cruise is a sliced banana with cream, topped with Raw, Brown Sugar. It’s the silliest thing, but we enjoy it so much. We have tried to duplicate it at home but it’s not the same and it all must have to do with atmosphere. So anyway, Arnie arrives and proceeds to set up our breakfast, beginning with white table linens, linen napkins and such. What elegance for 8:00 a.m.! Better yet, to be able to have good, strong coffee served to us in our NCL Bathrobes, followed by Cheese Omelets, Bacon, and oh, those very good and warm Danish Rolls. Are we in Heaven yet? I do believe so!

 

Since we had been to Grand Cayman before and because we are not huge excursion people, we had decided no tours here. However, if this is your first time to Grand Cayman, you must go to Stingray City. We did it last time and it was a real treat. Claudio had brought us VIP Tender Tickets and while I never thought that would be a big deal, we really appreciated having them. Generally, we just get off the ship after the first crowd but for whatever reason, we were ready to go and get exploring. We had planned on shopping here mostly for souvenirs for our daughters but DH was keeping his eyes open for a new watch and I was shopping for Blue Topaz earrings to match the ring we bought last year while cruising Hawaii. I was also hoping that the Coach store would still be in operation. We proceed to the tender deck and the lines were long. At first you feel rather awkward, passing all those people waiting in line, but my DH led the way to the front and presented the ticket and off we went to the waiting tender. From a distance, we were pleased to see Grand Cayman looking so well after the hurricane. We weren’t certain what to expect. Town was busy, no not busy, SWAMPED. There were seven cruise ships in port that day. We spent the first hour looking for the perfect souvenir for the kids and found them at a little gift store. They love and have started a collection of sorts of sand filled, stuffed lizards, turtles and alike that they have bought on vacations. Luckily, we found a green (her favorite color) lizard for the 12 year old and a rainbow colored one for the 7 year old. At $12.00 a piece, we are in good shape. I’m feeling good because I know they will love them. DH is happy because that’s over with! Well, at least until we get to Roatan. Back to earrings and watch, no luck and the Coach store is no longer there. Town is so busy you can barely walk the main road, we decide to avoid the crowds and return to what we hope is an almost empty ship. By this time too, some cloud cover was coming in so while we could we wanted to be at the pool.

 

We arrive to the pool and proceed to the Bier Garten area. The pool is still busy but mainly with a quiet crowd as it seems that the Spring Breakers are in town. We easily find chairs, get ourselves a drink. DH proceeds to get a hamburger with all the fixings from the Bier Garten. I’m in a undecided mode and opt to wait. Eventually, I decide to take a walk through the buffet and found some meatballs and gravy; Swedish style I would say. They are very good so I take a few and bring them back to the Bier Garten. Also, find some great seafood salad at the Bier Garten and we settle in for a few hours of R&R. Eventually, we top the afternoon with some not-to-miss barbeque chicken and steak from the Poolside Party. Somehow they know how to do it right. Missed the ribs that they served on the Star but the sauce that they use is as good as ever.

 

We head back to the room after enough sun has sufficiently given us a tan, o.k. well really a light sunburn. Besides, we have early reservations for Maxim’s. When we get back to our room, it is close to sailing time and the seas have gotten rough. So rough, that the last three tenders were having much difficulty docking along side of the ship. We left an hour and a half late while several maneuvers were attempted to get the remaining passengers on board. Watching this process gave new meaning to understanding why sometimes a tender port has to be cancelled due to rough seas.

 

While getting ready for the evening, we have a drink and put on Bocelli again. Anyone sailing in the future, in a Penthouse, we highly recommend purchasing Andrea Bocelli’s, Romanza CD. It goes well and really completes the package. There are so many reasons to love a Penthouse, but we are quickly coming to realize the lovely dual sinks, large bathroom, the ability to play music and oh, the doorbell rings again. It’s Arnie with a plate of goodies containing crackers and what we believe is various Liver Pates. While not as good as the Chocolate Covered Strawberries we had the night before, it is still delicious and of course, continues to add to the experience of the Penthouse.

 

Back to Maxim’s, we have 6:00 reservations. We would recommend scheduling for later. The restaurant at this time is quite empty and somehow other people‘s presence, we feel would add to the overall atmosphere. Plus, it was still daylight. The restaurant has beautiful lighting and when we pop our heads in later in the evening, it is much more romantic. Anyway, we have yet to dine here either on the Spirit or other NCL Ships. Maxim’s was added to the Star after we sailed on her last season in Hawaii. We are really looking forward to it and we would not be disappointed. It was excellent and now runs almost a tie with our favorite Le Bistro. Le Bistro still wins because of the Chocolate Fondue, but barely. We have great service, table by the window, but it is the Promenade Deck so people are walking by occasionally. I begin with Shrimp Cocktail that is to die for. Well prepared, huge, very cold and very delicious. If only now I could have one more serving, PLEASE! DH had Crab Cakes. He is not a large fan of seafood but decided to give it a try. He liked it, I loved it. We followed it with I am sure another course or two of something, but I don’t remember what. Our main course was a very large filet with garlic mashed potato. For dessert, our waiter recommended a chocolate type cake for me and cheesecake for DH. When he noticed that I had not eaten much of the chocolate cake, he surprised me a piece of cheesecake, wrapped up on a plate for me to have in our room later. A nice touch, after he correctly assumed that I did not care for the Chocolate Cake. We finished our bottle of Merlot which had been stored for us the night before as we tried to figure out how to fit in one more trip back to Maxim’s before the trip was over!

 

Enough food and on to the Magic Show. It was very good and from what I understand a new act for the Spirit. The show was colorful, imaginative and we enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we decided we should check out the shops on board. We still had in mind, a watch for him and earrings for me. The shops on board are quite small but are scheduled for a major overhaul when the Spirit goes into dry dock later this year. The plan is to change the location and to make them much larger. This will be a good upgrade and really needed. We were spoiled by the large Galleria found on the Star so by comparison we were somewhat disappointed, but only for so long because we would, in the end still find that something special item. DH did not find a watch to his liking nor I earrings, but we were being waited on by a very attentive woman who suggested that we return the next day as they would be picking up a new shipment that most probably would have more earrings.

 

We wander the ship and no matter where we go we are impressed with the décor, the layout and the upkeep. About the only areas of semi-concern and worth mentioning is the hair salon, which has no privacy due to the store front being all glass. And while it did not matter to me as I had no intention of having my hair done, it just seems to me that it might not be a relaxing experience since the area is one of high-traffic and you are on display for all to see. The other notable thing, again while not too troublesome is that the Shore Excursion Desk and Photo Gallery are in a hallway-like area with high traffic volume. This area quite frequently is difficult to pass. Overall though, the ship is lovely and we like her so much, we would schedule a meeting with Duncan Fauche, the Port and Cruise Consultant later in the week to see about booking her again.

 

Continuing on with our evening, we take a brisk walk on the Promenade, search for ourselves on the picture boards and visit with Claudio, whom seems to know our every move and location but in an unobtrusive way. We visit with him a bit and share with him just how much we enjoyed Maxim’s. It is now time to turn in for the evening, we have a busy day planned for Roatan and we can’t wait to get back to our room, which is always expertly turned down. Most evenings a fun and intriguing towel animal await us, which this being our 5th cruise is our first time ever to receive them! Our bodies are tired in a good kind of way and the plush sheets, duvet and comfy pillow awaits us, not to mention the pleasure of sleeping with the warm sea air gently blowing in on us.

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Thank you once again for a wonderful review, it only makes me wish that our cruise would come sooner

Any tips for a fellow suiteeeee only six weeks to go

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Another fabulous review - Thank you so much!!

 

My husband and I spent the day snorkeling over a magnificent reef, feeding the stingrays, lunching with our excursion group, and shopping a little. These were all first time adventures for us, and I was thrilled.

 

The scary part of the day was standing in the long line and watching the tenders banging against the sea wall. The ocean was really, really rough. I am grateful to the strong guys on both the wall and the tender who helped each passenger make the transition from land to tender.

 

As mentioned on another thread, being stranded on the tender with drunk kids screaming foul language was a terrible experience. I was especially upset that small children and seniors were part of the captive audience.

 

Finally, we were able to safely get back on the ship, and life was lovely again. We dined in our suite with another couple. While enjoying delicious Italian food, we shared our day's adventures. It was a day I'll never forget.

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:) Are you a professional writer??? Your writing is truly wonderful, your way with words, YOU HAVE A GIFT!!!! I have been reading out loud some of your paragraphs to my DH, I think he is enjoying them too!!!

I am enjoying your daily installments, I find myself actually looking forward to finding your new posting... I do hope you are planning another cruise, so we have more reviews of yours to look forward too!!!

THANK YOU for all your writing!!:)

 

Suesan:):):)

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We sailed on the Spirit on a 5 night in January, and it was delightful. The ship is beautiful. The food and service were very good.

Can't say the same for the Pride of Aloha.The plus side was the easy way to see the Islands.

We have to travel with an open mind wherever we go, that will make for a great time.

Cruising is still the best way to see the world.:) :)

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Wow, since sitting through a third nor'easter in the last few weeks, I sincerely appreciate your daily reviews! Thank you so much for taking time to write them! I am living vicariously through your accounts! I never ever considered a penthouse suite until now! Your review is so wonderful that I am even considering bringing hubbie with me next time! Looking forward to Day 4,

Coka

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not related to this thread but i thought i'd ask. what's DH?? i'm guess its your sig. other but what does it stand for? thanks!

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not related to this thread but i thought i'd ask. what's DH?? i'm guess its your sig. other but what does it stand for? thanks!

 

DH - Darling Husband

DW - Darling Wife

IMHO - in my honest opinion

BTW - by the way

 

I tried to find a recent thread that provided all these definitions but right now, can't find it.

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DH - Darling Husband

DW - Darling Wife

IMHO - in my honest opinion

BTW - by the way

 

I tried to find a recent thread that provided all these definitions but right now, can't find it.

 

And BF=boyfriend! :) (GF=girlfried, MIL=mother-in-law, etc ...)

 

 

These reviews are awesome. I am there!

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