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Old 11-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #46
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Looking forward to your TR. You are a gifted writer. We love your pictures and descriptions of your cocktails with ingredients listed. Your TR may prove to be expensive for us. I now want one of everything !!! Well maybe two or three.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #47
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Joining in too! Can't wait to hear more, you sound like a couple that knows how to have fun
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #48
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This couple are at the best of having fun and sharing it with others!
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #49
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Subbing. Love it so far. I think we will have fun on the EBPC next September!
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #50
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Wooohooo, it's a Bendy report!!!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #51
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Enjoyed your reports many times in the past.

Looking forward to reading this one.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #52
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Woohoo, great start Bendy. Looking forward to reading more about your Fantasy adventure - we are3 so excited to be sailing on her next October (although I hope our sailing will be minus the rocking)

Great tip about the drink passport in Skyline - who can turn down a free drink, right?
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #53
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Day Two: Ahhhhhhhh, The Sea!

Jay and I have joked over the last few years that turning the corner on our respective 40th birthdays means that our geriatric genes have begun to come to life. For example, we fight irrational urges to don black socks, stand on the front porch, and yell at kids for walking through our yard; we find ourselves reminiscing about the good old days of rotary telephones, non-air conditioned schools, and Chocodiles; and we seem constitutionally unable to stay up past 10:30PM, even on the weekend.

Further confirmation of our looming aged-ness was noted during this trip by our stubborn inability to sleep past 6AM on any given day. We tried to turn this to our advantage by admiring the sunrise from our verandah, arriving at Cove Cafe precisely at 7AM for morning lattes and croissants, and visiting the Rainforest Room as soon as the spa opened for business. In this way, we felt that we accomplished a tremendous amount of nothing by 9AM and it was everything we dreamed it could be.

Please allow me to share two lovely morning photos with you; we awoke to stunning weather and it looked as though we were going to have a terrific day at sea. Unfortunately later that morning and afternoon we sailed into some mildly stormy weather that kicked up the wind and obscured the sun for the rest of the day.

Good morning cabin 8566!


One of our favorite spots on the ship ... Deck 13, Forward


I actually discombobulated the schedule a bit this morning because I had a 9AM appointment for a manicure. This is something that I typically take care of before leaving on vacation but the manicure I had back home in Stinktown did not hold up well. Since I had no means of addressing the problem myself, I was forced to seek professional help from the spa ... oh woe is me!

I chose the Fire and Ice Manicure and was pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. The manicure tables were set up so that clients faced a wall of windows overlooking the sea during their treatment - I loved the view and found it peaceful and relaxing. The treatment itself included a hand massage with Elemis Milk Bath (a product that I adore) and then a hot stone massage of my arms and hands with heated, scented oil followed by a second massage with Muscle Ease cooling massage gel. At the end of the treatment my nails looked wonderful and the polish held up so well that I didn't have to remove it until after we were back home. The cost for this treatment was $50 but I thought it was well worth the price; in comparison I usually pay about $35 at home for an aromatherapy manicure but it doesn't include much massage and the polish doesn't seem to be nearly as durable. If I found myself in need of nail 911 on another cruise, I wouldn't hesitate to book this manicure again.

Jay and I had Palo brunch scheduled for later in the morning and somehow found ourselves at Meridian about an hour before our reservation. Normally Meridian opens at 5PM; however, on sea days the bar opens early to provide custom beverage service to lushes like us who need a drink well before noon. And it was a happy morning indeed when we found our bartender from Skyline, Novak, manning the bottles at Meridian.

We'll take the lot!


What's that? You want us to drink you?


Novak ... simply awesome.


Meridian is located on Deck 12 between Palo and Remy - it's a beautiful lounge that also has two outside deck areas (one smoking and one non-smoking). The decor pays tribute to world travel with its primary focus on sea voyages; there is a world map etched into the glass doors leading to the outdoor decks, a lighted constellation map graces the ceiling, and the leather couch seating is designed to resemble strapped suitcases.

Meridian offers a terrific cocktail list and their bartenders can make just about anything you want ... all you have to do is ask. On this particular morning we each opted for a bloody mary, but threw Novak a curve by asking him to customize them for us. I asked him to make mine with bourbon and to cut back on the spice while Jay requested that his drink incorporate gin as well as all the spiciness that I didn't want. I wish I could have taken a picture of the smile on his face when we placed our order - in our experience a really good bartender likes variety and he really enjoyed our "twist" on the traditional bloody mary. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and spent our time there talking mixology and general boozy goodness with Novak and Gabriel (his partner for the morning) until our table was ready.

We had a lovely spot in Palo that could have seated at least four people - someone must have noted on our reservation that we often eat so much that we require extra space for all the food.

Just before being set loose on the buffet


The brunch offers a good variety of items for guests to choose from, including breakfast breads and sinful sticky buns, cheese, caviar, crab legs, scallops, shrimp, Italian meats, fresh fruit, and some lovely vegetable options. There are hot breakfast and luncheon items available for order, and the dessert table is always buzzing with activity. Jay and I did one sweep of the buffet, one sweep of the dessert table, and then ordered eggs benedict and an amazing gorgonzola cheese pizza with grapes and a port wine sauce.

Those of you who know me well may be surprised that I liked this pizza as much as I did ... I was also surprised. In my world, the aroma of bleu cheese is a total non-starter; I don't like eating things that smell like unwashed feet. However, I have learned that a combination of certain fruits with said stinky cheese can result in a toe-curling taste treat that makes my taste buds sing. And so it was with the flavor combinations of this pizza.

So good I wish we were eating it right now


As for dessert, we shared a plate but I can't say anything we tried was all that memorable. Desserts in general just don't do much for me anymore; probably another sign of encroaching aged-ness. I did enjoy the fruit, which was soaking in a light limoncello bath ... make of that what you will!

Shared dessert


Once we were finished with brunch we headed for a beer tasting that had been organized by a fellow cruiser here on the DIS - participants brought craft beers from their respective cities and we had a chance to sample a fair number of tasty brews from around the US. Not as many people showed up as we originally anticipated but there were some unexpected logistical issues that may have contributed to that. Regardless, we enjoyed meeting some fellow beer lovers on the cruise and had a good afternoon filled with hops and barley.

I also did a little shopping and purchased a DCL charm for my pandora bracelet. Heads up, ladies: if you have a new pandora bracelet (within the last year) these charms reportedly won't fit. Luckily mine is a few years old so I was able to satisfy one of my silly Disney desires with this:

Charming, no?


Time for a quick weather update before dressing for drinks and dinner:

Who stole the sun?


Sunday is formal night on the 7-night eastern itinerary, so we wanted to look and drink our best. We stopped at Skyline for drinks in advance of dinner, but also brought a bottle of champagne to share with our lovely dining partners that evening. Novak continued to provide us with great service by offering to keep the bottle chilled in the bar's refrigerator until we were ready to leave.

Drinks make us smile


I started off with the Londinium, made with Dry Gin, freshly muddled lemon, orange, lime, mango puree, and Taittinger Champagne. It was delicious!

Londinium


Jay ordered the El Conquistador which included Gin, Absolut Peppar, fresh muddled strawberry, basil, and fresh cracked pepper. We both liked this, although the peppery aspect of the drink was more to Jay's liking than mine.

El Conquistador ... profile shot


El Conquistador ... spicy aerial view


Now I'm not sure how another drink ended up in front of me because I know I didn't order it. But through some kind of mysterious alcoholic miracle a Pomegranate Passion, which I believe is a martini listed on Meridian's menu, was placed before me. The ingredients include a pomegranate passionfruit liqueur and champagne so how could I possibly turn it down?

A word to the wise ... remove the garnish before you drink


This was a lovely drink, well mixed and not too sweet. I would just like to caution everyone reading that you shouldn't drink it while leaving the garnish in place ... although perhaps you are not as klutzy as I am and do not require a safety list prior to imbibing. The raspberry garnish rolled off the rim as I set the drink down and kerspashed into the glass, sending a small wave of boozy goodness all over the skirt of my silk dress. DOH DOH DOH!!

I learned that club soda really does work on stain removal, and silk dries really fast. I also learned that some crew members really take their customer service seriously - the poor bartender who made the drink for me felt awful and kept apologizing. I scolded him roundly for even trying to apologize ... it wasn't like he spilled a drink on me; I was just clumsy and in retrospect, kind of stupid. Maybe he's had guests blow up at him for things like this in the past, but I'm not the type of person who blames the server for my mistake.

Everything turned out fine but consider yourselves warned about those rogue fruit garnishes!

After dinner in Enchanted Garden, Jay and I changed clothes and decided to walk a couple laps around Deck 4. It was still a very windy evening and we could see lightning in the distance, which we thought was pretty cool.

The windblown look is in this week


We were going to stop at O'Gills to see how the Cardinals were faring against the Giants in the NLCS, but every television was showing football and there were people there with children?!?! Sorry, junior; you may be a rabid fan of the pigskin, but we like to drink with adults so make like an egg and scramble on out of here.

Jay and I left instead ... football is not our sport of choice, anyway ... and we decided to visit Ooh La La for a bubbly nightcap. I'm not sure how I felt about the decor in this lounge ... I kept looking around for racks of souvenir DCL lingerie. I guess that's not too outrageous considering it's supposed to resemble a French boudoir. It was just a little too soft and plush for our tastes, but the drinks were prime and the bartender there was a hoot.

Fancy Schmancy


Maybe it's a bit too plush?


The bar is totally cool!


Jay ordered a drink called The Legend: Cognac, White Sugar, Angostura Bitters, and Champagne. It was fabulous!

The Legend


I decided to order the Elderbubble, not because I was feeling my age but because it included Elderflower liqueur which I adore. The drink also included Raspberry Vodka and Champagne ... an all boozie booze-filled drink to send me off into sweet dreams of another day at sea. I thought this drink was outstanding and once again not overly sweet.

The Elderbubble


If you happen to sit at the bar like we did, you may notice a guest book. We have a running joke with our friends about Jason actually being the Most Interesting Man in the World and couldn't pass up the chance to leave a message.

This pen is just silly


You read it here first!


Stay tuned for a second day at sea, where we book two cruises, finally get in on the midship detective agency game, enjoy champagne lunch at Remy and snooze away a fair portion of the day.

Thanks for reading!!
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Last edited by oybolshoi; 11-28-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #54
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And the champagne we shared was lovely! Another perfect day! I had a couple of Londonium's too but I got them to make them with vodka - hate gin! Oh and mum bought herself a pandora bracelet in St Thomas (must have been a first, buying something for herself) and the Disney charms did fit. Mind you this was the leather bracelet so maybe they won't fit the silver or gold ones now.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendym View Post
And the champagne we shared was lovely! Another perfect day! I had a couple of Londonium's too but I got them to make them with vodka - hate gin! Oh and mum bought herself a pandora bracelet in St Thomas (must have been a first, buying something for herself) and the Disney charms did fit. Mind you this was the leather bracelet so maybe they won't fit the silver or gold ones now.
Ah Wendy, a woman after my own heart. I was just going to say I really fancied that Londinium but am an avid gin hater and thought it would be much nicer with Vodka. Glad to hear they are happy to oblige ont hat front.

Bendy, thank you for the lovely cocktail pictures. I have already warned DH that we will need to increase the on-board budget for the Fantasy - so many cocktails, so little time.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:46 PM   #56
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No problem changing it for vodka - they even asked which one I wanted!
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendym View Post
And the champagne we shared was lovely! Another perfect day! I had a couple of Londonium's too but I got them to make them with vodka - hate gin! Oh and mum bought herself a pandora bracelet in St Thomas (must have been a first, buying something for herself) and the Disney charms did fit. Mind you this was the leather bracelet so maybe they won't fit the silver or gold ones now.
I wish we had some more of that champagne here in Stinktown ... it was so yummy! I'm glad your mum bought herself something and that the DCL charm fits ... mine is the silver bracelet and the gentleman at Whitecaps told me the charms don't fit the newer ones. Thought I'd pass it along just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Ah Wendy, a woman after my own heart. I was just going to say I really fancied that Londinium but am an avid gin hater and thought it would be much nicer with Vodka. Glad to hear they are happy to oblige on that front.

Bendy, thank you for the lovely cocktail pictures. I have already warned DH that we will need to increase the on-board budget for the Fantasy - so many cocktails, so little time.
Happy to help in any way I can, Joh!
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:50 PM   #58
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Definitely worth mentioning re the charms - I was always surprised they did fit.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #59
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Woohoo!! Snark and booze.... I am IN!!
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #60
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I absolutely love Palo brunches and I can not wait to eat there again.
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