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The Summit Cruise that almost was....


Blazerboy
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Vacation Day 5
Cruise Day 4

Original Plan:  Grenada

Reality:  literally Nada.

Another fun-filled day on our imaginary cruise, and I realize I haven't reviewed many of the ship's amenities, so here it goes:

 

Pool deck: The deck itself is nice, and we are enjoying the lack of bad pool bands.  In fact, the canned music on the whole ship is much more our taste, thanks in part to the ship apparently using my Amazon Prime account for any and all selections...hope the other passengers don't mind!  

 

And, most importantly, no chair hogs!  Pool butler Ed is always asleep on the job, though, so fruity cocktails and mudslides are impossible to get.  The pool itself is tiny- about the size of an old wine barrel...

 

Casino: not really our thing, but I think Ed misses it.  He keeps on having  dreams  about gambling when we're asleep next to eachother, and I have to wake him to remind him in VERY firm tones that he is NOT sliding his stateroom card down the card reader of a slot machine!  OUCH!

 

Specialty restaurants:  seems like the food it all of the same quality, whether we dine in the main dining room, the "buffet," or one of the other venues.  We're doing Chef's Table tonight, where you help prepare your own meal, and then are served paired wines with each course.  ...sounds SO different and UNIQUE compared to every other night...🙄

 

Evening shows:  we tend to skip these, as they are virtually all the same, night after night. There was supposed to be a ventriloquist and his dummy, but the ventriloquist was reportedly felled by norovirus, leaving Ed alone on the stage... BA DUM DUM...(hey, it's been 45 days of isolation!  We're getting a little snarky!)

 

Bars and bar service: the bars are well-stocked, and plenty is available, but unless you scream "Hey, Ed," you don't get much in the way of service.  But he really seems to mean it when he says "help yourself!"

 

The onboard shops are filled with knickknacks, room after room - full of travel books and tchotchkes from around the world.  Ed said we can't buy anything though, saying "where are we going to put it when we get home?"  He has a point, so we'll leave everything right where it is.  Maybe dust them a little...

 

The other passengers:  really, the space ratio per passenger has exceeded anything we've seen in past cruises, so we haven't gotten to know our fellow passengers well.  They seem to keep their distance.  Although someone in the stateroom nextdoor must have a CPAP machine or something.  Running all the time, and sounds just like a weed wacker!!

 

Today on the ship: 

 

So our trip ashore to Porto de Nada included the same deer, wild turkeys and wild flowers, along with the same shops- never EVER thought I'd miss "Diamonds International."

 

Tonight is the Captain's Gala, so we're going to go.  They always come up with unusual themes, and we are not always equipped because we don't tend to pack "everything but the kitchen sink."  (Oddly, available to us if we need it).

 

Tonight, however, everyone on the ship is abuzz with excitement because  the Captain announced that it was a....

 

 

...wait for it... 

 

 

.. "Masked Ball."

 

 

And with that, even YOU can tell I'm getting punchy, so I'll sign off.

 

Andrew

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Those masked balls seems very popular these days. We - even though not an cruise curently- also attended. To our surprise many people took part of the Masquerade. Very nice!

By the way Andrew- maybe you should up the tipps for Ed a bit- maybe the service would improve...! Just a hint!

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Vacation Day 6
Cruise Day 5

Original plan: Day at Sea
Reality: Is there a difference between being at sea versus being out to lunch?  Because it feels like there isn't...

Somehow, even with a day at sea, we managed to see wild deer, wild turkeys and wildflowers...I am assuming that I'm just hallucinating while doing my laps on the deck above the pool.  They seemed so real...
Meh, sanity is overrated.  

The view off the stern of the ship is spectacular- enjoying it with a glass of wine as I type. The seas are a leafy shade of green at the moment, and the seagulls appear to have turned into Robins and Bluejays, but still pretty.  Or am I hallucinating again?

Maybe too much wine?  When we were in port yesterday, and they were carting off the recycling, I glanced at the couple one verandah over, and they gave me a dirty look, as though all the wine bottles rattling into the scow were my fault!!!  I'm- hic- sure that's not the case.  But boy do those bottles make a lot of noise. 😳

First thing this morning, Steward Ed took advantage of a guest pastry chef being on board, so we had banana bread instead of bagels this morning.  When I tell you it tastes just like home, I mean it!  Almost as if I baked it myself.

I was going to sit out on the front deck to enjoy the ocean views and read a book, but those leafy green waves have dumped some strange greenish yellow dust everywhere, and I was sneezing so much, you'd think I was in a hayfield.  Maybe I'm allergic to salt water...🙄

So indoor activities it was.  Said pastry chef, Andre the Magnificent ( when it's your fantasy blog, then YOU can make up the names!!!) was giving a baking class, so I signed up.  I felt a feal affinity for this guy...so handsome, so talented...so modest (most likely because he got his haircut by the same spa personnel).  

We cooked as a team....or as one, really, and produced a loaf of banana bread, this one with chicolate chips and coconut.  But I turned around, and it dissapeared. Devastated, I went in search of an explanation.

Later, I ran into Captain Ed, and he admitted to stealing it to bribe the next garbage scow because of all the extra recycling the ship was offloading at the next port.  I looked at him with pure innocence, and asked if this was a heavier drinking crowd than usual?  

The next activity was in the computer lab for an 'Intro to Zoom for dummies"   I spent hours trying to get it right, but decided it felt too much like being at work, and, as I was no dummy, (Ed might disagree) closed the laptop, and went in search of lunch instead. Besides, Ed was likely to flash everyone on my Zoom call- hard to get him to wear pants these days...

Lunch was prepared on deck.  I chose Rotisserie Chicken Salad on Pita Bread with Hawaiian Sea Salt and Avocado,  followed by Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches.  The buffet chef is really showing his talent!   Bet HIS name is Andre, too.  

Next, a nap with the gentle breezes flowing in from the balcony door, and the gentle rocking and rolling of the bed...uhm...wait a minute, smooth seas, the Captain said?  

I woke up to discover the motion was just Ed tossing and turning...and snoring!  (In case you hadn't figured it out, we are a couple now, but I still make him do his steward/pool butler/assistant waiter duties.  Keeps him humble.)  Remind me to spike his Cosmo with an allergy pill.

Dressed in our finest pj's we went for cocktail hour at Michael's Club/The Retreat for suite guests.  The Captain's Club Host turmed us away, not because we were in a regular cabin, but because he said the pj's looked like we'd been wearing them all week. Well, I never!  (I obviously need to use some of my Elite Cruiser coupons to get Ed to do some laundry...)

We moved on to the more hospitible "Kitchen Bar," and were served without incident.  And then on to dinner.  I thought we were going to have the usual Lobster and Filet, but the assistant waiter just sat down across the table from me with a bowl of ice cream, and said when I asked about dinner "It's late, why bother?"  I swear, he is determined to get a negative comment card.

So with that, we decided not to dance the night away, but head to bed early so that we were ready for the last port day.  Originally to be St. Croix, I hear it's been replaced with Nothin' Atoll.

Until tomorrow,

Andrew

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Andrew

 

I can’t believe you have been such a “Service Hog” with Ed. No wonder we have never seen him. Connie is not happy!

 

Since we are approaching the end of this cruise, do you think you spare a few minutes so Ed can pop by to give Connie her hug? 
 

Randy

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Vacation Day 7
Cruise Day 6

Original Plan: St. Croix
Reality:  Nothin' Atoll.

 

Well, here we are at another one of these little-known islands in the Caribbean.  

 

"Turkeys, wildflowers and deer" translates roughly to "Lather, rinse, repeat."   

 

Although we did go to a beautiful nature preserve...well, an arboretum of sorts...actually, a garden centre. O.k., it was a plant store.  It was as though the floodgates had opened, and all of humanity had decended on this place.  They all must have been tired of hunting for souvenirs at the local Piggly Wiggly, too. 

 

We bought tree roses, and will decorate our cabin door with the rose blooms for the rest of the cruise.  What?  You don't decorate your stateroom doors?  So fun to see what everyone brings with them to do this. 

 

If the roses survive, we'll plant them back home, likely unleashing the modern version of the Medfly, but we must have our beauty! 

 

Some doors are very elaborate, some simple...like the cabin next to us...X's of "Caution! Do Not Enter!!" tape along with some biohazard signs.  Hmm...modern day cruising attracts all types.  I'm guessing they really like TV hospital and crime dramas...THAT must be it.  They never leave their cabin, and get room service for every meal.  Sorry not to get to know them.

 

I must admit that, at this point in a cruise, with only a day or two left, that my mind wanders back to real life.  Almost felt like I did 5 hours of work, but I must have been hallucinating again...I NEVER do work on vacation, right? 🙄

 

Took a tour through the photo gallery to laugh at the bad pictures that fellow cruisers didn't pick up.  The two old queens from the Friends of Dorothy party didn't buy any of theirs, so I thought it a kindness to throw their photos in the discard pile.  The photographer asked if we didn't like the photos of us... I asked for his name for the comment card. 

 

Food continues to be good, if a little hearty.  Grilled Cheese and Tomato sandwiches, potato salad and non-fat ice cream...We're on a diet, doncha' know!  

 

For dinner, we had simple salads, saving room for the cheese cart.  - a cheddar that made me squint and pucker, it was so dry, and paired with a lovely Sauvignon Blanc.  Age old question: if it's a screw top, do we have to pay corkage?  Twistage?  Unscrewage?  

 

The show tonight was a musical and dance homage to the great circuses of the world.   We didn't stay for much of it, but I hear it ended when the fat lady sang.   She also had a beard, but maybe she was just in isolation too long.

 

Tomorrow is the last day, but unlike most cruises, I don't think we'll have to spend much time packing.  Ed says he's going on a laundry strike, so maybe we'll just leave everything where it is. We've packed on a few pounds this week.  Maybe the circus performers need new tents...

 

Planning out who to tip for this lovely cruise.  Chef Andre and Waiter Andre are definites, but Ed, Eddy, Edmund, Edumudo, et al may need to really prove themselves...I have had to tolerate SO much from them.  One more day to prove yourselves, gents!

 

With that off to bed and ready for a short day in Barbados/Punto Loco before the cruise ends. Any wild guesses as to what we'll see ashore?

 

Night all,

Andrew

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4 hours ago, Schmoe38 said:

Andrew

 

I can’t believe you have been such a “Service Hog” with Ed. No wonder we have never seen him. Connie is not happy!

 

Since we are approaching the end of this cruise, do you think you spare a few minutes so Ed can pop by to give Connie her hug? 
 

Randy

If you have champagne, he'll be right over!  Hope you both are safe and well.

 

Andrew

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Andrew you are just so witty! We were supposed to be a cruise this last week also. Oh well! Supposed to go to Galapagos on August 2 but don’t think that is going to happen. We had FIVE cruises planned this year - biggest year for cruising. So far we have only gone on one. Maybe our Christmas Market cruise will happen in December. Sigh!!

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Original plan: to write a fun distracting travel blog to keep my sanity
Reality: I think this blog has "jumped the shark."

 

Nonetheless, I will soldier on through my last post, as today is "disembarkation," and I predict we will be off the ship, home and unpacked in the blink of an eye.

 

Yesterday, Chef Andre ran out of Banana bread, and reports from the recycling plant are that my Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread has nary a crumb remaining.  So it was back to bagels this morning with my coffee.  Ed was dutiful in his delivery...last day, and seeking good tips I'm sure!

 

We decided to skip the trip ashore, as we could see everything we needed to see from the stateroom window: turkeys, wildflowers and deer.

 

I took another cooking class, this time making a recipe of Chef Andre's made famous when he worked for Doubletree Inn and Suites.  Chocolate Chip Cookies.  If Captain Ed doesn't give them away, we should have enough to get us off the ship and through Customs.  I'll just have to pack them in with the rose bushes...

 

A lunch on the deck of salad and grilled cheese again...starting to get into a rut.   But the effect on the waistline has been positive.  While I'm not ready for a Speedo (was I ever?) I no longer fear the 10 lbs. everyone says they gain on a cruise. Or, apparently, in isolation.

 

We went to a wine tasting seminar in the late afternoon that included white wine, red wine and champagne. After a glass of bubbly,  I was busy sampling the reds, and not paying attention to Ed.   

 

Somehow he managed to get one leg of his chair caught the carpet while pushing back, and ended up falling backwards with the chair on top of him.  It took two crew members to right him, but he said he was fine.  I shushed him and whispered "free cruise," but he ignored me.  He was cut off.

 

We wobbled to dinner at the "Lawn Club Grille" and had Prawn, Scallop, Chicken and Steak Kabobs- best meal of the cruise!  Paired with a few bottles of wine, and we were flying high again.  Perhaps too "high" judging by the three bottles of water needed to rehydrate...

 

The after dinner entertainment, besides regaling everyone with Ed's "chair dance," was Captain Ed's Gala farewell, but, unlike most Captains, I think he indulged, too. ( Lucky we didn't run aground!)   In fact, all the crew were there, Ed, Eddy, Eduardo, Edmundo, Andre 1, and Andre 2.  

 

Tips were appropriately handed out, and apparently I have a new nickname:  "Bastardo Cheapo."  Not sure how that translates, but I was so touched by their outpouring of affection...they even raised their fist in some sort of salute to me. Well, not their whole fist, just one finger...

 

What with all my success being revered by the crew, I thought it  a good time to say good night and go to the cabin for one last night of sleep.  Oddly, Ed seemed have shortsheeted the bed.

 

What a vacation!   One for the history books.... as I think we all hope it won't ever be repeated...

 

Andrew

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11 hours ago, BellKat said:

Andrew you are just so witty! We were supposed to be a cruise this last week also. Oh well! Supposed to go to Galapagos on August 2 but don’t think that is going to happen. We had FIVE cruises planned this year - biggest year for cruising. So far we have only gone on one. Maybe our Christmas Market cruise will happen in December. Sigh!!

We have one booked for September that is looking iffy.  Northern Europe.  But if we are able to fly and not be quarantined for 14 days, we may still do the land portion, and extend it.  Time will tell.🤞

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LOVED your cruise blog!!  Just missed a Celebrity cruise a week ago myself.  😞   Thanks for the virtual escapade, and for giving us some good laughs!  Hope your September cruise is a "go" !

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We were supposed to be on this sailing with you.  Thank you for giving me a virtual review of our voyage!!  Until we can all hit the seas again, we have to make the best out of the world-wide size bowl of lemons we've be served.  


Stay safe!!

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