After an exciting day in St. Thomas taking an ecotour to Cas Cay and dining at a Rastafarian vegetarian restaurant in Frenchtown, we had gazed out to sea during a gorgeous sailaway from an upper deck of the Caribbean Princess. Even though Robyn and I had an incredibly busy day around the US Virgin Islands, we were ready for a full evening of activities aboard the ship.
Art @ Sea in the Explorers Lounge
We thoroughly enjoyed the first art lecture that we attended back on day 2 of the cruise, so we decided to visit another. This lecture was about the Top Ten Artworks Ever Sold, showcasing the highest priced pieces of art to ever sell. It was really interesting to see which ones sold for how much and why. Generally, it didn’t matter if the work of art was necessarily attractive or not. It depended much on how famous the artist was and how difficult it was to find an original work by the artist. This wasn’t terribly surprising. Naturally, some of the top selling artists included Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. If you’re interested in a little bit of art history, I found this list on Wikipedia detailing the most expensive paintings ever to have sold.
Time For Dinner
Yes, we were ready for a delicious meal in the dining room, of course! Our head waiter, Joao, had been arranging vegan meals during my entire trip. This evening, he outdid himself once again. I always ordered my meal a day in advance to give the restaurant staff the necessary time to gather the ingredients and prep the food. I had ordered something completely off the menu on this occasion – a vegetable and tofu stir fry with rice. In addition, Joao completely surprised the both of us with a frozen pina colada soup to start, followed up by a yummy plate of pasta. The pasta was cooked in olive oil with garlic and parsley. Even though I ordered the modified meals (Robyn is a vegetarian and was able to find regular menu items each night), Joao always brought out the little extra items for her, too. He was the best and treated us both very well. I also really enjoyed his company every evening. He told us many stories about his life back in Spain, and I was very eager to learn more about his time at home when he was between ship contracts.
As I was eating the vegetable tofu stir fry, one waiter from the Philippines caught sight of my dish and excitedly approached. He exclaimed, “You’re eating the food of my country, I love eating that!”. He seemed very pleased to see a dish on the table that reminded him of home.
Piazza Performance with La Paire
La Paire, an acrobatic duo, performed once again in the Piazza and it was a delight to see them. We later learned that the couple was actually from Canada. We were both really impressed with their agility, balance, and strength.
Mardi Gras Celebration
Princess Cruises had started to celebrate various festivals from around the world depending on where the ship happened to be sailing. I’m not quite sure why they chose Mardi Gras for a ship that was traveling around the Caribbean, but perhaps they figured we was close enough to New Orleans. Anyway, the cruise staff were all dolled up in colorful attire and the band was belting out some festive tunes. As I described in an earlier post about our first day at sea, Robyn and I had decorated some Mardi Gras masks and stored them in our room. Well, it was finally time to wear those sparkly masks as we danced around the Piazza! Before the celebration, it was selfie time back in our cabin:
Oh yes, aren’t our masks so artistic and beautiful? Yes, glitter got EVERYWHERE. Thankfully, it mostly fell all over the floor of the Piazza while we danced and spun around to the music, along with some other passengers and the cruise ship staff. A few of the other ladies who decorated masks a few days prior had brought theirs to the event, so we weren’t alone! Sparkles were flying everywhere so these masks went right to the garbage after we were finished and not in our suitcases to be brought home as souvenirs.
Discover At Sea: Stargazing
Princess Cruises teamed up with the Discovery Channel for Discovery At Sea, providing enriching experiences and activities on board. Thankfully, our ship was offering one of these new programs, a lesson in stargazing. From the website:
Science Channel and Princess Cruises will take you on a cosmic voyage as you look to the skies from our top deck. On this interactive guided tour, our stargazing specialist will teach you how to find your bearings and identify the major constellations, hear the secrets of the stars and the folklore around them. In addition, our onboard libraries will be stocked with supplementary astronomy resources for guests to enjoy and continue their exploration of the night’s sky when returning home. Great for all ages.
When we first walked to the upper deck, it looked really overcast. I was worried that the class might not run due to this weather. Thankfully, the ship either sailed into a not-so-cloudy area or the clouds moved aside, so the stars became visible above us. Let me tell you, we could see so many stars in the sky as we sailed in the middle of the ocean with minimal light pollution. The class was held at the back of the ship and the ship’s Captain kindly turned off the lights to this section so we could see more clearly. A member of the Cruise Director’s staff taught the lecture and used a high-powered flashlight to point out various stars and constellations. It was a very rudimentary and informal discussion of the night sky, but I adored it. I’m fascinated by the stars and outer space in general, so I thoroughly enjoyed this lesson. I mostly enjoyed gazing up to the night sky, staring at the twinkling stars. I’m not typically able to see so many stars living in the city, so it was truly a treat.
The next stop on our cruising journey was Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, a destination I’d never visited before! Stay tuned to see how we decided to explore the island.
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