Our first two days of this cruise have been two wonderful, relaxing days at sea. I’ve done very little except to decompress somewhat. I’ve read about half of one of the three library books I brought on my kindle. I’ve chilled out on the very top deck of the ship near the splash pool. (I had that entire space to myself!) I’ve ate. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my friends and parents. It’s been a lovely start to vacation!
Yesterday, we started the day off with breakfast at the Bordeaux Dining Room. I had something I’ve never had before–scrambled eggs with asparagus and Swiss cheese, and it was a perfect choice for me. (I’m more of a savory breakfast vs. a sweet breakfast person) it came with a side dish of potatoes that was a combination of scalloped potatoes and Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole. It was maybe the best potato dish I’ve ever had. You may hear that a lot from me during this vacation trip report–the food on the Island Princess is truly the best food I’ve ever had on any ship. This is my 26th Cruise (19 on Disney Cruise Line, 1 Royal Caribbean, 2 Carnival & 3 Norwegian Cruise line — this is my first cruise on a Princess ship). When I say the food is the best, that’s saying a lot from me. Not that the food wasn’t good on the other cruises–it was! This is just better. I even like the buffet on this ship, and I usually just tolerate buffet food.
Yesterday, we had dinner in the Bordeaux Dining room, where we will have most of our dinners at 5:15 each evening. (We have early seating; Princess also has a late seating at 7:30 and they also offer Anytime Dining) With the Island Princess, most evenings one of the choices of entrees was created by Chef Curtis Stone. On some Princess ships, Chef Curtis Stone has a restaurant called “Share”. Last night I chose his “Chicken & Leek Pot Pie”
It was delicious. In fact, it was so good I did something that I’ve never done before on any of my previous cruises…I asked them to bring me another. (I have ordered extra appetizers before–mainly escargot–but I’ve never asked for another main dish before). I will be trying to find the recipe once I get home. For dessert, I had the creme brûlée.
After dinner, The show was a rock concert performed by Nathan Foley; he won The Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year. He sang songs from the 50’s to the 80’s and was backed up by the Island Princess Orchestra. Amazing show, and my parents actually purchased one of his CD’s.
After the show, I walked up on deck 14, the Movie Under the Stars last night was “The Bookshop”. I watched for a few minutes before deciding to get to bed.
This morning, I woke up late and read a while. I skipped breakfast. Today, the Island Princess turned one of the dining rooms into a store, and had an early Black Friday sale. Everything was $10.00. There were ties, pashminas, purses, bags, sweaters, shirts…there was a lot of stuff! We looked through it and decided we didn’t need anything. Lol. We went up to the buffet for lunch, where I had turkey, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and some zucchini. I even tried a Brussel sprout. It was edible.
After lunch, I hung out at the pool, visited the sauna, watched an episode of “The Love Boat” that was playing in the stateroom, read and just basically relaxed all day.
Today for Thanksgiving we had our first (of three) formal nights on the Island Princess. I basically forced my dad to bring a tuxedo for this cruise…he doesn’t like to dress up, but since he is turning 75 in a week, I wanted us to have some pictures taken.
Call me crazy, but I love dressing up for dinner. Maybe since I never had to wear a tie for work, I really don’t mind them at all. When else do you get to be fancy and wear a tuxedo? (Or a suit–either is perfectly acceptable)
Tonight, we overdid it for dinner. Lol…instead of an appetizer I had the turkey. It came with sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cranberry sauce and chestnut stuffing. All of it was good, (except the stuffing–it definitely wasn’t southern dressing like my mom makes!), I then had a salad with their incredible blue cheese dressing. For my entree, I had the beef tenderloin, which was so tender it cut like butter. (I chose not to eat all of the beef, and none of the sides, lol). For dessert, it was pumpkin pie with maple pecan ice cream. Oh yeah.
The show tonight was the first production show we’ve had on the ship. It featured the Island Princess Singers and Dancers, the Island Princess Orchestra and they flew in a special guest soprano Megan Brunning. They sang some standard songs, (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Goldfinger, I feel Pretty, etc.) the men wore tuxedos and the women wore ball or evening gowns. During some of the songs, the dancers performed waltzes, Paso doble and other dances I’ve seen on “Dancing with the Stars”. There was several operatic songs, and my favorite of the evening was the song “She” (which I loved in the movie Notting Hill — which I am currently watching in my stateroom as I write this blog entry) Tonight’s version was done in Italian, opera-style. So cool! All of the singers tonight were extremely talented. I was impressed!
After the show, I went up and walked around the deck…I love nighttime on the upper decks!
Tomorrow is an early day! We will be docking in Cartagena tomorrow morning. I’ve got a shore excursion that leaves at 8:00AM.
Watch out for my next entry…South America! (“It’s just like America, but south”–Russell from one of my favorite Pixar movies, “Up”)