Today is the end of our 7-night Western Caribbean cruise and the beginning of our 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise.
We were up early and having breakfast in the Windjammer and watching as two Carnival ships came into port. These two ships were also traveling around the Caribbean this past week.
We were especially excited today because today we would become Diamond Plus members of the Crown & Anchor Society. We rose to this level by cruising 175 nights on Royal Caribbean. This rise in level translates into a few more on-board benefits that we were anxious to take advantage of on this leg of the cruise.
As consecutive cruisers we were to go to an appointed venue at 9AM where we would wait for a crew member to escort us down to immigration in a group and then return to the ship. By the time we were called and were seen by immigration we were getting back on the ship at the same time as everyone else. We were hoping to get back on board early so we could take advantage of relaxing at the Solarium pool while waiting for our cabin to be ready. Oh, well.
A very nice extra for being a consecutive cruiser is a special lunch served in the dining room. We were seated at a table for six and enjoyed a lovely lunch that included two starters, three entrees and dessert. I chose the Insalata Caprese with tomato, fresh Mozzarella and aromatic basil pesto drizzle; Beef Stroganoff served with steamed rice, beetroot julienne and sour cream; and for dessert, Apple Pie a la Mode with slices of Golden Delicious apples baked in a double-crust pastry, topped with vanilla ice cream. Everything was delicious.
After lunch we walked around the ship for a while making our way out to the heliport where there is a grouping of benches and watched the comings and goings around the port. We spent a few minutes checking our phone messages and email before heading to our new cabin. We were anxious to know if everything was going well back home. It was.
The first thing I noticed as I walked into our cabin was how narrow the entrance was. After being in the junior suite, the new cabin looked very small. Actually, it was quite roomy. I spent a few moments unpacking and making ready for our mandatory guest assembly drill.
The second thing we noticed as we came into our cabin was a beautiful and delicious looking pineapple filled with fresh fruit with a few cookies on the side. What a nice surprise. After such a wonderful lunch we decided to put it in the refrigerator to enjoy at another time.
Before we knew it, it was time to head up to the lounge for cocktails and then down to dinner and meet our new table mates. We met them and then excused ourselves for the evening as we had made plans to attend a mystery dinner theater hosted by Giovanni’s Table, “A taste of Italy on the high seas”.
We made our way to On Air on deck three. We were greeted, assigned a table and given a glass of Champagne and cranberry juice to enjoy as ‘The Mystery of the Mill Valley Reunion” unfolded.
What fun! The players were the usual cast of characters associated with high school, there was a jock, cheerleader, geek, brainiac, class clown and class president. It was obvious that there were backstories that surrounded all these characters many of whom were holding grudges and one of whom was seeking revenge.
Once we met the players and listened to the exchange between the players, we were escorted, by table, to Giovanni’s Table on deck 11. The play continued as we were served a delicious three-course meal.
There were three choices for first course. There was Antipasti (a colorful selection of traditional Italian appetizers, all on one plate), Zuppa Del Giorno (soup of the day); or Insalata Alla Cesare (Romaine lettuce with herb croutons, shaved parmesan and traditional dressing).
The two choices for the main course were: Gamberoni Cotti In Padella Al Profumo Di Mare (Tiger shrimp, roasted garlic and fresh herbs, served on a bed of grilled asparagus and baby vegetables or Filetto Di Manzo Alla Piastra (Grilled North American beef tenderloin on creamy truffle mashed potatoes, roasted garlic and seasonal vegetables. The filet was so tender, the mashed potatoes so creamy and the little wafer of cheese so crisp and delicious. Yummy!
In between each serving the players took turns talking directly with each table. Eventually they rolled in a bakers rack with a dead body. We were then asked to decided ‘who dunnit’. Each person was given a ballot. I voted for the class clown.
For dessert we were served a beyond creamy, delicious Tiramisu Ala Giovanni (a luscious favorite with crushed marinated raspberries).
The cast returned to the dining room and announced who the killer was. Who did it? You’ll just have to book a cruise on the Freedom to find out.
Randy and I had a wonderful time and decided we would definitely participate in this event again in the future. But, for now, it was time to make our way back to the cabin and a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow we will be at Coco Cay.