September 9 and we are off and running
09.09.2011 - 22.09.2011 28 °C
The wonderful thing about cruising out of Vancouver is thatwe can take public transit to the ship. On the 9th we arrive and don't see our travel buddies Dan and Doug. They do show up before we go onboard and in no time at all we are ready for fun onboard. We are on deck 2 with a window. I am not disapointed. The location is quiet, the view is awesome and on the days we had rough sea the water was splashing outside our room.
Our room steward is Igusti or Goose for short. Well I am not sure how he spells his nickname, but .... it is goose. Goose is from Indonesia and was a delight to chat with and took very good care of us.
We had a table for four which was a little disapointing, but it appeared the tables around us were with a big group but most of them did not show up each night. Rian was our assistant waiter, a cute young man from Indonesia. He brought us a photo of his girl friend...she is also very cute! Our waiter was Noel, from the Philipines. He was closer to our age and was very good. The head waiter was perhaps the best head waiter we have seen. He was around each night helping his staff with any task that was needed. His name was D and he was from India. We did some parlour tricks as did they and we had lots of fun.
So here is where I take a little break to critque RCCL vrs Celebrity. Let us put aside the fact that this ship needs a little tender loving care as did the Mercury. I missed the glass of champagne when you board. Imiss the chocolates on my pillow at night. I miss coming back to the ship after a long day and finding a tent setup with icy cold face cloths and a glass of cold water. You get all of those with Celebrity. The dining room food was good, but not great. The cafe as well is better on Celebrity. On thing I like about RCCL is the fact you haveto sign out your pool towels. That way htere are not s ores of chairs with towels on them from people who have packed it in for the day but are too lazy to put their towels in the wet towel bin.
We got wine packages and I found we drank more tham we woild normally. Oh well. We also checked out the matini bar and Stephen from Ireland made the best chocolate orange martini and Espresso martini. Dan and Roger loved the coffee bar!
There was lots of entertainment over the 12 days. We saw thefamily comedy act of Stephen Thomas and enjoyed that a lot. We skipped the adult showing just cause we had other things to do. David Pengally is a comedian/ukelele player. He was very funny and we enjoyed his performance a lot. Norm Crosby is a comedian who has been around. I found his form of humour not terribly funny and somewhat inappropriate for this audience. Chris Contillo was a pianist and played so well. His banter between numbers was entertaining as well. There were several Production shows. They were alright. One was country and it was just packed...we skipped that one. Lots of energy, dancers were mostly together. One featured a dance couple Adela and Virgil. He was excellent and knew how to connect with his audience. One of the production singers is totally bald and it bothered me. I finally figured out why..he is very pale and it just stands out. Okay..so I liked the other guys voice better as well.
Roger and I spent our twenty dollars at the casino and left it alone after that. Dan and Doug both had wins at the machines so ended up ahead. We tried the dance classes, did some trivia, I won gold at baggo, played a fewother games, sang karahoke and danced a fair bit. Perhaps not as much as usual. They did noy have hula classes on board which surprised me, but they did have the Ho'olu Hawaiian trio who were very good. We also enjoyed the guitar violin duo called Rosario Duo Classic Strings. The next performer is in a catagory all by himself. His facebook site is the FiveMinuteParty, but on the ship he was billed as Derek Lewis - Kamikaze Karaoke and some music trivia. We were in the dan e lounge and we kept hearing the laughter from the Schooner Bar. We had to find out what was going on. It was Derek. We coerced..encouraged..trapped people into getting up and singing karaoke only it was a song of his choice although he claimed it was totally random. If you sang you got a ring that changed colour in the sun worth far less than one thousand dollars. Roger sang, Dan sang and they made me sing...then Doug was encouraged to get up. Dan went with him, but you can!tmake Doug sing if he doesn't want to. It was so funny!!!
So what is left are the two bands and the ship orchestra. Orchestra was great, the Carribean band was good and the dance band C Wind was although they stopped between songs too often to figure out what they were playing next.
We would be remiss to fail to mention the great activity staff. We loved Shanelle, Mimi, Thiago, and the wild man Desmond.