Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vacation Part V: Belize... Almost

Day 5: Almost Belize

Each morning I got up early in order to watch the sun rise over the water.  The first few mornings looked like this...

and this...

But today looked like this...

Destination of the Day

The gloomy sunrise or lack thereof was a sign of things to come.  Due to high winds and huge waves, we were unable to actually get to Belize.  Belize is, unfortunately, one of the destinations that require cruise ships to "tender" their guests ashore... meaning the ship cannot get close enough to dock at a pier so therefore we must be transported in on little boats.  I am sad to say that this is as close as I got to Belize... 

 ... a toe point in a window:(  We waited just off the coast, all morning, in hopes of a change in the weather but no such luck.  I guess I will have to come back;)

Activity of the Day
Crystal Cave Tubing in Belize became an Extra Day at Sea

We decided to spend our extra day at sea exploring the ship and capturing as many handstand pictures as possible!!!  Here is our grand handstand tour...

First stop... the candy shop!

Followed by the arcade where I chose not to participate in riding the roller coaster simulator... there was enough roller coaster action from the ship!  I did manage to lose a game of air hockey that I was ahead by 3... ooops... it's that hand-eye coordination thing that we gymnasts lack.

On to the "Liquid Lounge" and one of our most visited spots on the ship.  The Liquid Lounge was the location of the "Morning Show" hosted by our Cruise Director Jaime as well as the location of all of the fun musical shows performed by the "Playlist Production."  The shows were definitely one of my favorite parts of being on the ship. 

Next stop, the "Limelight Lounge" where most of the comedy shows occurred.  

And speaking of comedy, the "Punchliner" stage is where the comedians stood for their shows!  We watched a couple family friendly shows and even stayed up late one night for the adult comedy but I would rather watch singing/dancing and too much sitting in one day is just out of the question for me... I need to be up and moving around or I go stir crazy;)

Our next stop is the "Piano Bar."  You guessed it... it is one of two places on the ship that has a piano!  We enjoyed listening to "Let It Go" played by a very talented young girl in this room!

Onward and forward or was this aft (meaning the back of the ship)... for most of the trip we were confused about names and locations of all of the places to eat.  There was a Sunset Restaurant and a Sunrise Restaurant and multiple floors of both.  Some floors were fairly easy to navigate and some floors required you to go up or down a level in order to go from the front of the ship (forward) to the back of the ship (aft). By the time we had it figured out, it was time to leave.

Restaurants are not the only option for food on the ship!  The Lido Market contains buffet style dining by category with food stations open 24/7.  The "Comfy Kitchen" is exactly that... comfort foods depending on the time of day.  Breakfast was anything from bacon and eggs, to waffles and pancakes to hash browns and grits!  Lunch and Dinner were a smorgasbord of meats, starches, veggies, fish and fried foods!

The Lido Market also contained a Salad Bar!  My favorite part of the salad bar was the cucumber station... Each day there was a tray of perfectly cut cucumbers ready to be added to any meal including breakfast.  It doesn't get better than this... cucumbers for 3 meals a day:)

As for 3 meals a day, you could enjoy pizza from the pizzeria for all 3 if you wanted... I was surprised how many people were getting pizza for breakfast, although I have to say that the brick oven pizza was pretty delicious and there were some mornings that I considered it!     

And last but not least, the "Sweet Spot"... a different selection of desserts at every meal:)  We actually really enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies from this station.  Some of the fancy desserts were pretty to look at but lacked in flavor.  

Food of the Day
Asian Cuisine

After an extra day at sea, we decided an exciting dinner experience was a good plan.  The only other restaurant option that we hadn't tried, besides sushi, was JiJi's Family style Asian Cuisine.  I love sushi but after getting seasick on the first night I decided sushi on a ship was not for me... I didn't want to ruin my appetite for raw fish because of a little motion sickness.  A chewable Bonine, the non-drowsy version of dramamine, became part of my morning routine when I discovered my lack of "sea-legs" on the first day at sea.  A delicious grapefruit also became part of my morning routine...

A family style dinner experience meant a lot of sharing... my favorite!!!  As a group of 6, we could pick 3 to 4 appetizers, 3 entrees, 3 sides and 6 desserts...

We enjoyed making our selections and got even more excited when we noticed creme brûlée on the menu as a dessert option.  While we were reading about our selections, this tray with dips and sauces was brought to our table... compliments of the chef... spicy, tangy, crunchy and sweet!

The spring rolls and jade shrimp came next...

...followed by the pork appetizer...

and finally the pot spitters... I mean pot stickers!  But really I will forever call them pot spitters because when I bit into one, a spray of liquid flew halfway across the table!  I guess the appropriate way to eat a true pot sticker is to puncture the top with your chopsticks before biting into one!!!

My choice for the entree was the peppered beef which ended up being a little too spicy for most of the group and way too much for me to eat...

because I had to save room for "ROSE Creme Brûlée!"  I have never had rose creme brûlée before and it was delicious!  The crust was not as good as night one but the cream was better!

The 2nd dessert choice was Fried Wontons which tasted a lot like mini apple dumplings in a rice pudding sauce.  Not bad but not as good as creme brûlée!

The final dessert was a frozen crepe... not as good as it sounds!  

Favorite Fun of the Day
A Surprise Handstand

Thanks to our fabulous cruise director, Jaime Dee, our extra day at sea was not so bad... she did a HANDSTAND with us!!!

We have the best cruise director ever!!!  Thank you Jaime and all of the staff for making our cruise experience that much more enjoyable.  

More Fun
Towel Animals, Chocolates and "Funtimes"

~Vacation Part V Handstands

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