I love sea days. I especially love sea days when you wake to bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, gentle breezes and calm seas. Our second day on the ship was one such day.
We woke early and made our way up to the Concierge lounge for a light continental breakfast and café lattes. I love sitting along the windows overlooking the water. I find myself gazing at the rhythmic movement of the waves and am always filled with a wonderful sense of calm. This way I have of totally immersing myself in the water has always fascinated Randy.
He looked over at me and said, “You’re lost in the sea again. I am starting to understand how you feel. I find myself being mesmerized by the water too”.
I smiled and said, “Calming, isn’t it.”
We spent our time talking about our plans for the day. We agreed that we only had three things on our agenda; spending time at the Solarium pool, attending a Next Cruise destination talk and enjoying a wonderful dinner at Chops Grille.
We were surprised to find two lounge chairs still available when we arrived at the Solarium Pool. As we sat there enjoying books and magazines, we watched as one person after another gingerly put their toes into the pool and quickly retreated back to their chairs or the hot tubs.
As time wore on and the sun rose higher in the sky, a few brave folks finally entered the pool. One thing that caught my attention was seeing a lifeguard on duty. On every ship and at every pool there is a disclaimer posted to be cautious because there is no lifeguard on duty. Curious we asked and learned that lifeguards had been placed on the ship only three weeks prior. Considering that there were over 400 children on board the Brilliance, we thought this was a very good idea.
We remained at the pool through lunch and then prepared to go down to the Centrum for the destination talk. We returned to our cabin and were pleased to find, not one, but two dishes of sweet treats waiting for us courtesy of the culinary staff. We agreed to eat one plate and save one for another day. They were, as always, yummy!
The Centrum is a very beautiful and busy venue on the ship. So many events happen here. There is live music each evening, line dance classes, exercises classes, towel animal demonstrations, and in recent years they have added aerial shows. I have always been fascinated with the constantly changing lights in the Centrum as well as the delicate grass sculptures planted in pots around the area.
We arrived a little early so were able to secure two front-row seats. The talk was presented by Cruise Sales Manager Gabriela Murara Da Rocha. After a little trouble with the sound, Gabriela talked about many of the 250 port of call available as well as the newest ships joining the fleet and several new itineraries.
One topic of interest for Randy was hearing about the new class of ships that will be added to the Royal Caribbean fleet. The new class will be called “Icon” with two ships coming on in 2022 and 2024. According to a news release by CruiseCritic on October 2016, “The next class of cruise ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas and introduce the use of fuel cell technology to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The move marks a new era in shipbuilding”.
One aspect of the new class of ships that caught Randy’s interest is learning that they will be smaller. These ships will have a passenger capacity of less than 3,000. We also learned that the line is in the process of developing a cruise port in Greenland and they are building a new multi-million dollar terminal in Miami to accommodate the Oasis class ships.
We listened and made note of several itineraries we would like to participate in and agreed we would go up to the Next Cruise desk and inquire about those as well as several cruises our friends Doug and Sue would be taking in 2018.
Just before we left Gabriela held a raffle and Randy won a lovely photograph of the Brilliance signed by the captain and a $50.00 coupon to use towards a sitting fee in the black and white photo studio. Nice!
We did stop at Next Cruise and when all was said and done, we signed up to join our friends on cruises in the Mediterranean and return from Europe on the new ship, the Symphony. As we walked back to our cabin I was a happy camper.
We opened the door and smiled again as we noticed a small oval box with a tiny green cloth ribbon sitting on the bed. Inside this lovely little package was a collection of delicious Fruit Ganache Truffles courtesy of the Crown and Anchor Society. I love these tiny morsels of deliciousness. The Chai tea ganache covered in milk chocolate is my very favorite!
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the balcony or in the cabin until it was time to prepare for the evening. Tonight was formal night and, thanks to a wonderful on-board credit from our super travel agent Andrew Skolnick from CruiseOne we are also going to enjoy an evening at Chops Grille.
I started my dinner with a hot cup of wonderful Roasted three-cheese onion soup. For my entrée I chose the Petite 6oz. filet mignon, asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. (I was so excited and hungry when it arrived I forgot to take a photo. Ooops!) Trust me when I tell you that the filet was a beautiful medium pink and melt-in-your-mouth tender. For dessert I devoured the a chocolate cake that melted in your mouth with coconut ice cream and caramelized bananas. My palate was singing a sweet song when I was done with this delicious meal.
We finished our dinner just in time to attend the Captain’s Toast and photo opportunity with the master of the ship Captain Ole-Johan Grønhaug.
Today had been a wonderful day of relaxation, discovery, delicious cuisine and celebration but now it was time to return to our cabin to spend some time gazing at the stars and getting a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow we dock at Grand Cayman, The Bahamas.