Balloons across top floor of the piazza for the evening’s celebrations
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We had a very relaxing day at sea combined with an action-packed evening on our Caribbean Cruise aboard the Emerald Princess! On this cruise, most of the port days were all in a row where we arrived at a new Caribbean island each day (Bahamas, St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba). This day as well as the following day of the cruise were both days at sea, which we welcomed with open arms after having many consecutive days filled with tours and exploring. We do prefer the days in port over the sea days, but we were ready for some restful days before we had to head back home. The days at sea can be as relaxing as you’d like – there are many activities around the ship, or you can choose to just do nothing at all. We’d like to think we had a good balance of relaxation and activities on board!
The day began at 6:50am when I woke up way too early and could not fall back asleep after trying for an hour and a half. I got out of bed and tried not to wake up Justin, even though I likely did. I stumbled to the International Cafe in a half-sleepy state to pick up a coffee – hooray for free brewed coffee when you purchase a coffee card on board! From there, I went up to the Horizon Court buffet to pick up some breakfast as a surprise for Justin, so we could eat outside on our cabin’s balcony. That way, he wouldn’t need to bother going up to the the buffet and breakfast would be ready for him when he woke up! It was a bit of a balancing act,but I made it back down to our room (one deck below) without spilling anything. Thankfully, our room steward, Christopher, was right there to open our stateroom door so I could walk right in!
Justin and I enjoyed a yummy and quiet breakfast watching the ocean for as far as we could see. There were actually a few birds flying alongside our ship in what seemed like the middle of nowhere! They were gliding around above the water. I’m not sure if they hitchhiked a bit on the boat or not!
After breakfast, we went to the “outlet sale” in one of the dining rooms. There were tons of people lined up to get in and it really wasn’t for much of anything. There were loads of things all over the dining room tables from past cruises that really had nothing to do with ours. However, I did find a lovely scarf for $10!
We took a walk around the Promenade deck, making a few stops to check out the view of the ocean. We stopped in one of my favourite locations, at the back of the ship, to watch the wake. At the end of our walk, we sat in some deck chairs with a view of the ocean and did a little bit of reading until it was time to play Bingo!
We came really close to winning three out of four times! The cruise director, JJ, said that when we were one number away from winning, we should stand up. Justin seemed to always be standing up near the end of each round…so close, but never winning! It was quite thrilling. Some older ladies there were in a foul mood – anytime that JJ told a short story before calling the next number, these women would start to grumble and moan. Oh my goodness! Lighten up a bit, ladies!
Soon enough, it was time to eat more food (as it seemed we always were eating! I guess that’s what happens when you’re surrounded by food!), so we got a few things for lunch at the buffet. That afternoon, we spent most of our time out on the upper decks outdoors by the Spa Pool, enjoying the cool breeze on a warm day. We read our books and I fell asleep briefly. It was very relaxing after a whole bunch of days being quite active at the ports of call.
It was a formal night for dinner and we got all dressed up in our fancy clothes. While we waited for a table for two in the dining room, we enjoyed some live music in the Piazza by the duo, “Playthoven”. They performed both classical and contemporary tunes in their own unique style on violin and cello.
We had a fabulous dinner that evening, thanks to the head waiter, Andrew, for putting in all of the special requests for the vegan meals for us! Justin had the tomato soup (minus the cream). We both had a green salad (as almost every night, we were thankful to be able to enjoy a big bowl of salad greens with the yummiest balsamic vinaigrette!). For the main course, we had this amazing vegetable stir fry with fried tofu, rice noodles, and soy sauce! It was so good and I ate as much as I possibly could until I could not physically eat another bite. I was beyond full.
Oh, we also had some fancy beverages with dinner, too. Well, Justin just had a beer, but I got a frozen strawberry margarita that was HUGE! It was like…the size of my head. Well, maybe not quite, but it was a very large drink. It was my favourite drink of the vacation so far!
After diner, we went to the Explorer’s Lounge to watch the Marriage Match game show. It was so hilarious! There were three couples on the stage. One member of the couple stayed on stage, while the other was isolated where they couldn’t hear their partner respond. The person left on stage was asked a question, and their partner had to answer the question the same way in order to receive a point. The couples were all good sports considering the slightly embarrassing questions being asked in front of a large room full of people! We laughed so much!
From there, we went to the balloon drop celebration in the Piazza. One of the bands was playing and everyone was dancing around. Then, we counted down from 10 and the balloons dropped down from the ceiling, reminiscent of a New Year’s Eve countdown. Justin and I had to work over New Year’s this past year, so it was really nice to have a similar type of celebration on our vacation!
What are your favourite ways to relax while on vacation? Have you ever enjoyed any days at sea aboard a cruise ship?