We woke up this morning to a beautiful, warm day and calm seas. By the time I stepped out onto the balcony the sun was already high in the morning sky.
Randy offered to go up to the Diamond lounge to bring back steaming hot cups of café lattes. When he returned, we sat out on the balcony and sipped our lattes just enjoying the day unfolding before us.
Eventually we made our way up to the lounge for a light continental breakfast and our second latte. We sipped the last of our coffee and we talked about what we would like to do for the day. Unfortunately, Randy was still dealing with some nerve pain residue from his bout with Shingles in December and had recently been dealing with a pain in his left leg. So, in the end, we decided to take it easy on this trip.
We returned to the cabin settling into our lounge chairs on the balcony and chatted while watching the cobalt blues waves roll by below and the many different clouds drifted by above.
There was such a variety of clouds in the sky this morning. At one point a wispy cirrus cloud gently passed by a cumulus cloud and as it moved it created a veil-like image in the sky. Beautiful, I thought.
Time passed slowly and I found myself transfixed on watching the clouds as they formed and reformed in the sky. Do you remember when you were young looking up at the clouds to see how many animals you could find? I looked up at one point and saw a cloud formation that looked very much like a pig. A few moments later the ears changed and the snout grew longer and now the cloud looked like an elephant. Still a few more moments later the ears shortened, the face rounded and the long nose shorten and before my eyes was the image of a bear. Eventually the cloud lost all semblance of shape and moved across the sky. How amazing, I thought.
We were so comfortable we decided to linger a while longer on the balcony before venturing out. We finally made our way to the pool deck and were not surprised that every chair had been taken. Randy was still hungry so we went to the Windjammer to find one of Randy’s favorite treats a bran muffin. That done, we went back out to the pool deck. As we walked along Randy stopped for a soft serve cone. A very funny diet indeed!
Unsuccessful in our quest for chairs, we returned to our cabin and the comfort of our balcony. And there we sat each enjoying our favorite reading material.
There was a knock on the door. Randy opened the door to see a crew member standing with a basket full of delicious fruit and Camembert cheese compliments of the Crown & Anchor Society. I immediately picked out a pear for myself and went back to my book.
It had become quite windy and chilly driving me inside where I continued my reading. It was not too long before it was time to prepare for cocktails and dinner. We had a delightful time during cocktails chatting with fellow cruisers, Keith and Maureen from Vero Beach.
For dinner I decided to have surf and turf ordering shrimp cocktails for starters and one of my very favorites, Carved filet of beef tenderloin with Morel‐crimini mushroom sauce and creamy whipped potatoes.
Tonight was the first formal night so we wanted to eat quickly so we could participate in the fun activities on the promenade. As soon as we got to the Promenade we lined up to have a photo opportunity with Captain Toni Calne.
Earlier I read the biographical information about the captain and was quite impressed. Captain Toni, was born in Finland into a family that has a long seafaring tradition. According to his bio, “At the young age of 18 Captain Toni joined the Navy and from there he went on working on a variety of ships including ferries, cargo ships and oil tankers to name a few”.
Captain Toni joined Royal Caribbean in 2003 on Voyager of the Seas. Evidently, he loves the warm weather of the Caribbean and rates the opportunity to, “Work and interact with a multi-national and multi-cultural environment as the #1 perk of his job”.
During Captain Toni’s welcome aboard address he introduced the senior members of his staff and then shared that there were 67 countries represented by the passengers and 52 countries represented by the crew. I found that just amazing.
We spent a little time walking around the promenade stopping to listen for a bit enjoy the sounds of the Temperature Band. They were very good.
We decided not to attend the evening’s entertainment as we had seen the “Marquee” show several times. We elected instead to return to the cabin and continue our laid back day.
We entered the cabin and were happy to see our first towel animal sitting on the bed. There was also a small black box. Inside the box was a beautiful crystal block with the name and image of the Freedom of the Seas.
We earned one of these crystal blocks on the Brilliance of the Seas after completing 140 nights on Royal Caribbean ships. During this cruise we will have completed 210 nights which is the next level to receive this commemorative gift. The gift is from the Crown and Anchor Society in recognition for our loyalty to the cruise line.
We spent the rest of the evening sitting on the balcony looking up at the night sky and enjoying the quiet that was only punctuated by the sounds of the waves hitting the side of the ship as we slowly cruised towards our first port-of-call.
Tomorrow we dock at Labadee, Haiti.