Today was a day filled with fun, sunshine, and most importantly, relaxation! The Emerald Princess was sailing on course towards St. Thomas and we enjoyed a calm and rejuvenating day at sea. The clocks went forward by an hour today because St. Thomas (and many of the islands that we visited) were in a different time zone. It was nice that this time change was scheduled during a day at sea, so we had time to adjust. We also didn’t need to wake up at any particular time as we didn’t have any tours planned. Justin needed to catch up on some sleep, so he slept in longer than I did. I woke up around 9:00am and wanted to let him rest as much as he needed. I took my book out on the balcony and read for a couple of hours. It was very peaceful and quiet, with only the sound of waves crashing around the ship as we sailed through the ocean. My book was “Replay” by Ken Grimwood, which I finished that day and thoroughly enjoyed (and recommend!).
It was fairly overcast while I was reading and it even rained for a few minutes. I was fully covered out on the balcony, so I didn’t get wet (and neither did anything out on the balcony). It was very pretty watching the light rain hitting the waves.
When Justin woke up, we walked one floor up to the buffet. It was an odd time to go there as one section of Horizon Court, as well as Cafe Caribe, were being prepared for lunch. One side of Horizon Court was open, so we ate something small while we waited for the buffets to open for lunch. Cafe Caribe was serving an Asian-inspired buffet, so we enjoyed veggie sushi, spring rols, and stir fried noodles.
After lunch, we decided to get some sunshine since the sun had come out from behind the clouds. We found some deck loungers near the Spa Pool/Sanctuary.
Now, a little bit of background here…I am an active member over at the Cruise Critic forums (hello to everyone visiting from there!) where we discuss everything related to traveling via cruise ship. There are forum threads devoted to those passengers who rudely reserve their chairs and loungers for the day by placing towels or other items on their chairs while they are gone, so no one else uses them. This isn’t really allowed on Princess, and after thirty minutes, an employee could remove the items so other passengers can use the chairs; however, this isn’t always enforced. It can be difficult to find a lounger to use at times, especially around the prime seating areas near the pools during sea days. It becomes even more difficult when a passenger has thrown their towel on the chair when they aren’t even using it! Anyway, at this particular time, it was not crowded at all near the Spa Pool and there were many empty deck loungers. Even though it wasn’t busy, this one particular group of passengers decided to save their seats while there were gone in a…let’s just say, humorous manner to say the least:
Yes, that is a table on top of the lounger on the right side of the photograph! Not only are there multiple loungers with towels on them, but they must have run out of towels and had to resort to putting the tables on the chairs. Sigh!
We took a break from sunbathing and reading to take a dip in the Spa Pool…well, sort of!
It was really cold in that Spa Pool! It had just started to get hot outside as we sailed south, so the pools had some warming up to do. I managed to get all the way in the water and once I started to swim around, it was quite refreshing. Justin got in only waist-deep and called it a day!
We visited one of the outdoor bars mid-ship and got some Happy Hour $3.99 cocktails – they have certain drinks on sale for a couple of hours in the afternoon and evening. We ordered a Blue Margarita and a Pina Colada – they were delicious!
The cruise staff were organizing some swimming pool games down at the pools below and we decided to watch. There were passengers doing relay races in the pool and synchronized swimming routines that were quite hilarious! Those who volunteered for these events were having lots of fun and they were really great sports.
For most of the afternoon, we spent it lounging outside in the sunshine. We made sure to slather our bodies in sunscreen, but we still managed to get a bit of a tan! Yay!
Tonight was a formal dress night on board, so we spent some time getting all dressed up – me in my cocktail dress, and Justin in his suit. We attended the Champagne Waterfall event in the Piazza before we went for dinner.
The champagne was poured first by a lucky passenger and Maitre d’Hotel Generoso. Afterwards, other passengers also had the opportunity to go up and help pour the wine. We actually had some pretty good luck with dinner that night. We had a buzzer from the dining room so we could get a table for two. Right after the first bit of champagne was poured, our buzzer went off! It really didn’t feel like we had to wait for long as we were so wrapped up in the festivities!
We were greeted in the Michaelangelo Dining Room and had chosen our menu selections the night before as we both follow a special vegan diet. I can’t say enough how accommodating Princess was for making menu items vegan by removing dairy or eggs, or by coming up with entirely different meals that weren’t even listed on the menu! For dinner that night, I had a white bean and vegetable ragout to start and Justin had a salad. He enjoyed a pasta in tomato sauce as his main course, and I had some Asian stir fried veggies with steamed rice. For dessert, I had the passionfruit sorbet. As always, the head waiter, Andrew, as well as the wait staff were such delights and were very attentive to our needs.
White Bean and Vegetable Ragout
Pouring balsamic vinaigrette on his salad
Pasta in Tomato Sauce
Asian Stir Fried Vegetables with Steamed Rice
Since it was non-smoking night in the casino, we decided to check it out. And, we lost $30 to a slot machine. At one point, we were winning some money, but as always, we unfortunately made some donations to the casino on board. There was a wooden horse race that people were having some fun with that evening. We didn’t participate but we did watch along the sidelines. Some of the passengers were having a lot of fun with this horse race and had even named one of the wooden horses, “Steve”. A couple of days later, we were walking past the area where the professional photographs were displayed, and we saw these same passengers holding the wooden horses in one of their photos! That was pretty funny.