We met up with the girls and went down to the Horizon Cafe for breakfast, whereupon I had dippy eggs, toast, bacon, pineapple, a chocolate-filled croissant, milk, and apple juice. May do that again for tomorrow. My last chance!
There was a culinary demonstration at the Princess Theater around 10am, which we all were interested in seeing (though judiang was tempted by a seminar on getting great abs). So we headed down right after breakfast, found great seats in row 3, and waited for the show to start. (OK, so maybe we got there earlier than needed... But the place did fill up by 10am).
The head chef and the maitre'd were practically a double act, the first from France and the second from Italy. The chef made a linguine, pesto, and veggie dish to start with, then a shrimp dish served over rice, and finished with tiramisu. It was fun to watch and even more fun to smell. Mmmm, pesto!
Maitre'D Hotel (Nicola) and Head Chef (Christophe).
After the demo, they lead us to the kitchen behind Michelangelo, which was neat to tour. They were also selling the cookbook for this cruise line. I didn't buy a copy (but elsaf did). They also had other things for sale in the dining room, but mom and I were strong and got out alive.
Floral arrangement - made of food!
Watermelon and butter sculptures in the kitchen.
Hard at work in the kitchen.
We returned to our stateroom to change into our swimsuits for the shore excursion. But we had some time before disembarkation (even though the ship docked early for a medical emergency), so we sat out on the sun deck (our usual haunt) for a bit. Then we had a light lunch at the International Cafe. I had a ham & cheese croissant and that lovely Greek salad. And we both had macadamia nut cake for dessert. Tasty!
We disembarked and found our shore excursion launch point. The sky was overcast and there was a light rain. I was hoping it would clear up later. (It did!) Eventually they led us to a pontoon and took us out to our first dive point. See, mom, Elsa and I were going to go SNORKELING! A first for me & mom.
They loaned us the equipment (though mom had a pair of prescription goggles which she'd borrowed from her pathologist, whose last name sounds like Magic Cow) for the “dive” and explained how to use it. The one thing I was worried about was my panic mode, which I knew would kick in when I was in water that was deeper than me. It did, as did a panic about breathing when you see water in front of your face.
However, I tried to calm myself down, blow the water out of my snorkel, and just look down at the sea floor while breathing slowly. It worked. I could see the reef and the critters swimming about. Although everything was fuzzy do to my poor eyesight, I could make out colors, like purple, blue, yellow, and basic shapes like fish shaped, anemone shaped, etc. It was very pretty.
Folks a'snorkeling. (Dunno why the picture is at such an odd angle. Guess I didn't have my sea legs back yet!) Alas, no photos of fish - camera not waterproof.
Poor mom was also having panic issues, stemming from the lack of something to hold on to. So the folks in the boat got her a life preserver to hold onto and she was able to see the sea floor (quite clearly thanks to the goggles). Elsa's only issue was getting into the water (the ladder was not her friend) – she had a great time snorkeling and swimming.
They drove us to a second point and I was back in the water quickly. There was panic again, but not as much. And mom had swapped goggles with me, so I got to see things in focus. So that was way cool. The second reef was even more interesting than the first. Lots of fishies of many sizes were swimming around. I was very careful not to touch the reef for fear of damaging it (or me). Mom had opted not to dive the second time. She's beginning to suspect I'm trying to kill her making her do dangerous hikes and deep snorkels. No! I would never try to kill me mum!
Mom and I were pretty exhausted after the two dives (panic is an exhausting state), so when we returned to the shore, we headed for our room and prepared for mucho relaxation on the sun deck, at the pool, and in the spa. Although boring to write about, it's quite fun to actually do.
Pool at the spa (see the two jacuzzis in the back? Nice!)
Once mother and I were fully recovered, we returned to the stateroom, changed for supper, then headed for the Da Vinci for supper. The chef had a special menu tonight with 5 courses. I started with a goat cheese soufflé, followed by a Boston lettuce salad. Our palates were cleansed by lemon sorbet with strawberry and thyme (whereupon I had to exclaim “Well, look at the thyme!” when we saw the sprig of thyme in our sorbet). Then the main course, where I had ordered the lamb ribs, which were very yummy. Dessert was the “menage a tois”, which was fun to order. Alas, the ganache in the trio had coffee in it, so I gave it to Judi. But the raspberry panna cotta and the hazelnut ice cream thingy were very yummy.
Menage a tois!
Judi and I went to the main desk to check on a couple of things. I had them print out the latest tally from our purchases during this trip and the expensive phone call had been removed. Yay! So we returned to our rooms and I read some while awaiting the 10:30 showing of James Michael, the magician/comedian we'd seen the night before. (But which mom had to miss due to her quarantine.)
Around 10pm, mom and I headed down to the Explorer's club and got nice seats in the front row. We watched them finish up a game that looked rather fun (Majority Rules), and then James Michael, the Bad, Bad Boy of Magic, performed. It was the same show as the night before, and just as funny. He was then to perform a midnight, adult show in Club Fusion, so mom and I headed there next. Oh, and since earlier in the day we'd discovered they have some $3 drinks after 8pm, we'd ordered those too. Piña colada for me, Long Island iced tea for mom.
Club Fusion was already packed when we arrived. They were doing a Halloween-themed dance party and we watched people dance on the dance floor and had drinks again (same again, please). A little after midnight, Tim Donovan, the cruise director, cracked some adult jokes then introduced James Michael. He had a fun half-hour show which we enjoyed. Then we finished our drinks and decided to walk outside back to our cabin.
After walking the length of the promenade, we decided to see if we could get to the front of the ship and watch the night sky as we sailed. But after arriving at deck 7, we found out that they had that area blocked off. Alas, we thought, we'll head for bed instead. And that's where we are. Mom's sleeping and I'm almost done writing.
Tomorrow, we walk for a cure for breast cancer! Go us!