Lovely, quaint Bar Harbor, Maine

Early morning view of Bar Harbor from Frenchman Bay

This morning started cool and misty.  The prediction for the day was mostly sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures reaching into the mid-70’s.

As we cruised towards Bar Harbor, Maine, we passed many small rock islands covered in trees.  These islands reminded me of the Swedish archipelago except for one difference.  The islands in the archipelago were smooth like river rocks while the islands here were craggy.

Today the ship will anchor in Frenchman Bay and tender visitors ashore. We decided to start our day with a good breakfast in the main dining room.  Although I slept a little better last night my appetite still had not returned.  I ordered pancakes and bacon and was only able to eat about a third.  We returned to the cabin to relax a little then go on shore.

We have been Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and the surrounding areas several times and he just wanted to walk around town and enjoy a nice lunch. And, so we did.

While we were waiting to go ashore, I spent some time on the balcony taking in the sights.  I was fascinated with the many little ‘things’ that were floating in the water.  I actually thought there was trash floating by the ship.  Randy came out and laughed and said, “No, those are lobster trap markers”.  There were so many and so many different colors, it was amazing.

Curious, I looked up the function of the lobster buoys.  On a website called, “LobsterAnywhere.com ”.  I found the information on this site to very informative.  “While the fog in waters around Maine comes and goes equally fast, the lobster buoys are always brightly painted and clearly identifiable…Millions of lobster traps can be seen in Maine waters and whether in groups or together, they are well marked by the huge numbers of lobster buoys”.

I stood a little longer at the balcony railing and watched at the Celebrity Summit slowly made its way to the bay as the sun made its steady rise in the morning sky.

I love visiting this small, quaint town.  The streets are lined with many wonderful shops, restaurants with benches scattered here and there to just stop and watch the people walking by.  We walked from the pier down West Street then up Rodick Street and turned left on Cottage Street.  There we started looking for a restaurant where we could stop for lunch a little later.

We made not of a few as we walked along.  Two restaurants caught our eye.  There was the Finback Ale House and the Rt. 66 Restaurant.  We logged these two in our thoughts and continued our walk.  We finally made it to Main Street.

We walked over to the Village Green.  This is a lovely park with benches, a gazebo and a beautiful monument honoring, “The men and women who have served their country as members of the armed services”.  The seals on the wall were for the army, navy, marines, air force, coast guard and merchant marines.  “Lovely, just lovely,” I thought.

 

 

We crossed Main Street and continued our walk passing by the Ivy Manor Inn.  The landscaping in front of this bed and breakfast was lovely.

View of Main Street

 

As we were walking I noticed a wonderful old clock jutting out from a bank building.  I love old clocks and walked into the bank to see if I could find out how old the clock was.  “No, I really do know the real age of the clock but I believe it is over 100 years old,” the clerk replied to my inquiry.

 

As we walked along I popped in and out of a few shops.  The one I was most interest in was the Christmas Spirit shop.  I could have spent hours in there but it was getting close to lunch so we moved on.  Before heading to lunch I just had to take a picture of Randy standing with a large, very red lobster holding a multi-scoop ice cream cone.

 

After thinking about it on our walk, we decided to return to the Finback Ale House for lunch.  What attracted Randy the most was the open front.  He thought it would be fun to people watch while we ate.  Unfortunately, by this time the restaurant was full and there were no tables at the very front.  We sat one table back.

 

By now we had acquired a taste for the Belgian wheat – Allagash beer.  Randy and I both ordered local favorites.  Randy had the New England clam chowder with fresh quahog clams, potatoes and cream.  I ordered the Fish & Chips with Atlantic haddock fillet, ale battered, and house made tartar sauce, cole slaw and hand cut fries.  We both loved our choices.

 

After lunch we started our walk back to the Town Pier.  We stopped and walked around Agamont Park.  What a beautiful view of the bay from here.

 

We stopped for a moment to admire the beautiful fountain at the top of the hill before to the pier and board the tender that would return us to the ship.  I was happy to see a hint of fall foliage in the park.

All of a sudden this beautiful red sail schooner passed us returning to the pier with happy tourists.  As she sailed by I could not help myself from humming, “Red Sails in the Sunset”.  She was a beauty!

While feeling a bit better, I was very tired and spent the rest of the day and evening in the cabin.  My wonderful server, Besim, was a dear sending along a Caesar salad for me to enjoy for dinner.  Randy went on to enjoy an evening of cocktails, dinner and entertainment.

While he was gone I spent a good deal of my time on the balcony watching as the sun made its decent beyond the horizon leaving a sky full of yellow, orange and red hues.  Beautiful!

Tomorrow we are in Rockland, Maine.

Enjoy,

Mary

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Quick visit to Portland, Maine looking for a pharmacy

Portland, Maine

Oh my, yesterday we docked in Boston, Massachusetts and where were we?  We were on the ship.  I mentioned on my last post that we both woke up with a scratchy throat.  Well, mine grew into a full blown sinus infection.

I started an antibiotic but was so tired from getting no sleep the night before that I decided to stay in bed for the day and hopefully feel better for our next stop.  I do not remember much about the day except that I kept telling Randy to go on shore but he refused saying, “I’m okay, I would rather stay here with you”.

Sometime during the day our Crown and Anchor ambassador Fernando sent along our newest crystal block for reaching 350 nights sailing with Royal Caribbean, a bottle of wine and two glasses.  The block with the Vision of the seas etched into it was beautiful.

The only other time I remember being awake was as the ship left the Boston harbor and started to make its way to our next port-of-call Portland, Maine.  I stepped out onto the balcony and saw a sky that was brilliant orange over the city skyline.  Beautiful!

I had another fitful night of coughing but felt a little better as we slowly cruised towards Portland.

I was up early and stepped out onto the balcony to a very chilly morning.  The temperature was hovering around 57° but the sky was clear.

The coastline was beautiful with many homes nestled among the trees.  As we approached the harbor you could see a large marina filled with various sizes of beautiful sail and lobster boats and on the other side was the city skyline.

We cancelled our tour but decided to go on shore to find a pharmacy to pick up some cough medicine and more lozenges.  By the time we disembarked the temperature had risen to the upper 60’s.

City Hall

We stopped outside the harbor gate and asked directions to the nearest pharmacy.  Armed with directions we started our walk.  We passed several lovely small parks with benches, lovely flowers and statuary.  Although not on a tour today I was glad that I remembered to bring my camera along as we walked through town.

My favorite statue seemed to be in the middle of town called “Our Lady of Victories”.  The statue was erected in 1891 and was dedicated to the men of the town who fought in the Civil War.  I took a moment to read the plaque.  It read, “To her sons who died for the Union”.

As we neared the pharmacy, I looked across the street at a very interesting and eye-catching sculpture.  The sculpture is called “Portland Rattle” and was created by artist Charlie Hewitt. This sculpture would ordinarily not be something I would take an interest in, but I must say, it definitely caught my attention.

At some point in our walk around town we passed by the boyhood home of Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow built in 1785.

We found the pharmacy and purchased cough medicine and lozenges and started our walk back to the pier.

I was beginning to tire and needed a rest.  Randy suggested that we stop at a local restaurant and get something to eat.  We stopped at Gilbert’s Chowder House.  The restaurant was packed.  We asked if we could sit on the patio and it was packed too.

Fortunately for us, there was a woman sitting at a table alone and waved to us.  We walked over and she invited us to sit with her.  We accepted happily.  It turned out that Lynn was also a passenger on our ship.  Lynn is a pinnacle member and we listening as she shared  many of her experiences on Royal Caribbean ships.

We settled down and ordered lunch.  The first thing I wanted was a cold beer.  After all, I thought this would be wonderful for my very sore throat; and it was.  I ordered  Allagash White a wonderful Belgian-style wheat beer spiced with a special blend of coriander and Curacao.  It was delicious.  Randy ordered the Island Time IPA by Shipyard Brewing.

After lunch we continued our walk heading back to the pier.  On the way we passed a sculpture called The Maine Lobsterman by Victor Kahill.  We read that the sculpture was created for the 1939 World’s Fair and placed in the public square by the Portland City Council in 1977.

 

Created by Lisa McInnis – Mermaid Designs

When we reached the waterfront we noticed that there were several tables and tents set up with vendors selling jewelry, paintings, etc.  We decided to walk over to see what we could see.  I lingered at a table of hand-made jewelry made of sea glass.  All the pieces were lovely.  I purchased what I thought was a very lovely pair indeed.

We returned to the cabin and immediately contacted our friends back home to see how they fared as Hurricane Irma passed over our part of the world.  We were delighted to hear that everyone was okay and that our home was okay too.

As cocktail and dinner time approached I told Randy that I was very tired and needed to stay in the cabin but encouraged him to go and enjoy his evening.  Our wonderful server, Besim, sent along a bowl of hot soup to the cabin.  “How wonderful of Besim,” I thought as I enjoyed my delicious soup.

I spent a little time on the balcony as we started to make our way out of the harbor and spotted several of the thousands of lighths along the US coastline.  According to Wikipedia, “The United States has had approximately a thousand lights as well as light towers, range lights, and pier head lights.

While Randy was enjoying his dinner in the dining room Captain Michael asked everyone on the ship, crew and passengers, to observe one minute of silence to remember 9-11.  Randy said that everyone in the dining room did.  I did too.

I was sorry that we missed our tours in Boston and Portland but knew we would be back as we would be stopping at these ports again on the third leg of our cruise.

Tomorrow we arrive in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Portland magnet

Enjoy,

Mary

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A very quiet, relaxed day at sea

After a very fitful night I opened my eyes just a bit and spied a sliver of light coming through the curtains.  As quietly as I could I rose, walked over to the balcony door, opened it and stepped out onto the balcony.

The air was a little chillier than last night; the waves were a little higher as the sun started its slow climb above the horizon.

I could just barely see the sun just off the bow of the ship but after a few patient minutes the ship shifted ever so slightly and I was able to see the rising sun.  “It is going to be a glorious day,” I thought to myself.

Randy ran up to the concierge lounge to get us some hot coffee and returned to the cabin.  With our coffee, we turned on the TV to catch up on the morning news.

We watched for a while and then turned our attention to preparing for the day.  We decided that today would be a very relaxed day so we made our way up to the Solarium to eat a quick breakfast and settle in poolside and spend the morning reading.

The nice thing about the Solarium is that it is also the home of the Park Cafe.  The cafe is open from 6 am to 6:30 pm in the evening offering a range of breakfast foods in the morning and lunch food the rest of the day.

Oh my, I was a happy person just sitting in the solarium with the warmth of the sun hitting my skin.  The solarium filled up quickly.  I watched as some people just wanted to bask in the sun, some wanted to argue over sitting in the sun or shade, some just wanted to read their books while others seemed very happy to bob up and down in the pool.

We sat there quietly for several hours reading but decided to return to the cabin.  We both woke up with scratchy throats and I started to cough quite a bit.  On the way back to the cabin we stopped at the General Store to pick some throat lozenges and Vicks NyQuil in hopes of getting ahead of whatever I was coming down with.

Returning to the cabin was a great idea.  The blue sky, royal blue water, puffy white clouds and warm air all filled me with a sense of wellbeing.

Randy and I were enjoying our time on the balcony when we heard a knock at the door.  Randy opened the door to see a crew member holding a plate of delicious looking treats courtesy of the hotel manager, Fernando Jorge.

Unfortunately, my throat felt like I had swallowed a million razor blades so swallowing was an exercise in self-inflicted pain.  Randy ate a few and we put the rest in the refrigerator.

While we were having a lovely relaxed afternoon, we had to make our way to the theater to attend an enrichment talk by Professor Jeffrey Wolff entitled, “Whale Tales and Legends”.

During his talk, Professor Wolff talked about the  sperm, humpback and blue whales.  I was blown away to learn just how large blue whales are.  We learned that blue whales are the largest animal ever known to have existed.

Blue whales range in length from 24-30 m (78-98 feet).  Females are up to 10 m (32 feet) longer than males.  These beautiful creatures can weight up to 200 tons.  And, the blue whales are the loudest animals on earth.  Amazing!

I found the talk fascinating and was glad to hear that although some of these whales were once endangered are coming back.

I was not feeling much better by cocktail and dinner time so dinner was just a bowl of hot soup.

We returned to the cabin and watched the sunset.  We both went to bed early hoping to get a good night’s sleep and feel better in the morning.

Tomorrow we dock in Boston, Massachusetts.

Enjoy,

“Serpents mosaics” by Rebecca Newnham

Mary

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Walking through beautiful Colonial Newport, Rhode Island

The Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge

Woke up this morning to a cool, bright day watching as the beautiful New England coastline slowly passed by.  Today we the ship will anchor off Newport, Rhode Island.

 

 

As we cruise by I see beautiful homes nestled along the shoreline and hundreds of small craft gently swaying in marinas.

 

I stood for the longest time leaning over the balcony railing and then a large, beautiful bridge came into view.  The Claiborne Pell Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  The bridge looked quite beautiful as the sun was just rising giving it a golden glow.

We had to be up early to catch a tender to shore and a “Colonial Newport Walking Tour”.  A quick breakfast in the concierge lounge and then down to the tender.  The tender ride was short.

Long Wharf shopping area

We met our group on shore, met our guide and started our walk.  We started our walk in the area of the Long Wharf stopping at the Brick Market built in 1762.  This historical building was originally used an open-air market with merchants and offices on the upper floors.  Today the Brick Market is a museum.

Colony House

Our guide brought our attention to the Colony House at the end of Washington Square. This beautiful building was built between1736-1739 and was Rhode Island’s first government building.  The Colony House has been used for public meetings, important trials, religious and social functions, and is still in use today.

The Jail House Inn

We continued our walk and passed a lovely white house called the Jailhouse Inn.  This beautiful building built in 1772 was once Newport’s jail and police station.  It is now a 23-room inn offering short walks to many places of interest.

White Horse Tavern

We moved on and passed the White Horse Tavern originally built in 1652 as a home for Francis Brinley and established as one of the country’s oldest taverns in 1673.  The tavern was a favorite meeting place of the Colonial Legislature. As we turned the corner one of the women in our group called out, “So, who is coming back here for a beer after the tour?”  My hand shot up and I said, “Count us in”.

We crossed the street and passed a fairly large community garden.  Across the large grassy area was the Great Friends Meeting House built in 1699 and is the oldest surviving house of worship in Rhode Island.

The Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House

Our next stop was at the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House built in 1697 and is the oldest surviving house in Newport.  What I found interesting was the chimney in the center of the house.    We stopped for a bit to take a look at an exposed portion of the wooden downspout.  Randy found this very interesting.

Colony House

As we made our way to our next stop we were able to see a different view of the Colony House.

We took a lovely stroll through the grounds of the Touro Synagogue built in 1703.  This was the first Jewish congregation in Newport.  The grounds were beautifully landscaped with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere.

As we stood on the synagogue’s grounds, our guide told the story of President George Washington’s visit to Newport for a public appearance to, “rally support for the new Bill of Rights. As part of the welcoming ceremonies for the President of the United States, Moses Mendes Seixas, then president of Congregation Yeshuat Israel, was one of the community leaders given the honor of addressing Washington. In his letter of welcome, Seixas chose to raise the issues of religious liberties and the separation of church and state. Washington’s response, quoting Seixas’ thoughts, has come down to us as a key policy statement of the new government in support of First Amendment rights”.  We were presented with a copy of the letters from Seixas and Washington.  They were a wonderful read.

Clarke Street

A.K. Sherman House 1882

 

 

Then we were off to Clarke Street a narrow, tree-lined street of beautiful historical homes built between the 17th and 18th centuries.  We stopped at several as we made our way.  Each home has a plaque with then name of the home and date of construction.

 

 

Newport Artillery Company

I loved our next stop.  As we continued our slow walk down Clarke Street we stopped for a bit at the Newport Artillery Company chartered in 1741.  This lovely, historical building is used today by a ceremonial unit of the Rhode Island Militia, Council of Historic Military Commands. The Company provides cannon salutes, color guards, and honor guards for official state and local ceremonies, as well as for privately sponsored patriotic and veterans’ events.

Vernon House

Trinity Episcopal Church – 1726

Our last few stops included the Melville House, Vernon House, and Trinity Church.  The Vernon house was the headquarters of Count de Rochambeau, the commander of the French Allied Forces during the Revolutionary War.

The last stop of our tour was a small square where Steven Spielberg filmed the 1997 movie Amistad.  After pointing out a few places where we could enjoy shopping and getting a bite to eat for lunch, our guide said her goodbyes.

Patio entrance to White Horse Tavern

The couple who had asked who would like to go back to the White Horse Tavern for a beer came over and asked if we were still interested.  We said, “Yes,” and we were off.  It was a bit of a walk back to the tavern but well worth it.

This lovely three-story building was just the perfect backdrop for a lovely lunch.  It was not open when we first arrived so we found an umbrella table in the courtyard and waited.  I went inside to look around and loved what I saw.

 

I entered into a small foyer with wooden floors and a stone and brick fireplace.  To one side was a large dining area with beautiful, large dark wooden beams, on the other side was a small bar and dining area.  Everywhere I looked I felt as though I had been sent back in time.  I loved it.

Peter and Dorothy

Peter, Dorothy, Randy and I decided to have lunch at the bar.  As always Randy and I ordered a local beer.  I had the Grey Sail Hazy Day Belgian Wit while Randy enjoyed a pint of Bucket Brewery 33rd Inning Red Lager. I loved my beer.  It was light and had no bitter taste.  Lovely!

We ordered lunch and had a great time getting to know our new Canadian friends.  Randy ordered the White Horse clear broth Clam Chowder and loved it.  I ordered the Certified Angus Chuck Burger with lettuce, tomato, cheese and very crispy bacon on a grilled ciabatta roll.  Both choices were beyond delicious.

 

We finally started our journey back to the port to catch a tender back to the ship.  I loved seeing all the beautiful sail boats in the harbor.  We returned to the cabin to find a lovely sweet treat waiting for us courtesy of the Crown and Anchor Society.

 

Our dinner was wonderful.  I chatted away with our tablemates as I enjoyed a lovely dinner of Pork Oscar with fresh asparagus, grilled plum tomatoes, and mashed potatoes with a veal reduction.  For dessert I enjoyed one of my favorites; Strawberry Kiwi Pavlova, a crispy meringue and whipped cream.  YUMMY!

We returned to the cabin and enjoyed watching the sun slowly setting behind dark black clouds leaving the sky filled with bright hues of orange, gold and silver.  It was such a lovely sight!

This wonderful day was over and I drifted off but woke up after only a short time.  I was struck at how quiet it was.  I decided to look outside and was amazed when I stepped out onto the balcony.  The air was so still, the water was pitch black and calm and there was a beautiful silvery moon casting a long silver streak of light across the sea.  “Pinch me,” I thought, “I must be in heaven”.  Cloaked in a sense of calm, I returned to bed and fell fast asleep.

Tomorrow we are at sea as we slowly cruise to Boston, Massachusetts.

Newport magnet

Enjoy,

Mary

 

 

 

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Turnaround day at the port of Cape Liberty

New York City skyline

What a lovely, relaxed day.

I was up at 5:30am to see the Statue of Liberty as we came into the Cape Liberty cruise port.   I stepped out onto the balcony into the dark and saw Lady Liberty standing tall in the middle of Upper New York Bay.

You can see Lady Liberty in the far left corner. She is beautiful!

I snapped a few photos hoping to catch a nighttime photo of Lady Liberty and the New York city skyline.  I did, but I must have been cold because I was shaking a bit.  The resulting picture of Lady Liberty was both eerie and cool.

Today is the end of our 16-day trans-Atlantic cruise and the beginning of our 13-day Fall Foliage cruise up the New England and Canadian coastlines ending in Quebec, Canada.

We vacated our cabin before 7:30 am  and met Jim and Joanne for breakfast .  I ordered one of my favorite dishes for breakfast.  The French toast is always wonderful as is the very crisp bacon.

Jim and JoAnne were leaving the ship for a two-day stay in New Jersey before boarding the Anthem of the seas for a cruise to Bermuda and the Bahamas. Then they were going to do the Fall Foliage cruise up the New England coast about a week behind us.

Our consecutive cruisers information said that we were to meet in the dining room to await escort to immigration.  We ran into Steve and Jan as they were disembarking.  We gave hugs and said our goodbyes again and wished them well on their next travels.

Canadian Rock & Roll Band – ROOKIE

While we were waving goodbye, the ROOKIE band members were heading for the gangplank.  They were leaving the ship too.  I walked up to them and told them how much we enjoyed their show.  Before leaving they asked if I would like to have my picture taken with the band.  “Absolutely,” I said.

Once all the passengers disembarked we were escorted down to immigration in a group.  As soon as we boarded the ship we went directly to our new cabin.  On the first leg of our trip we had a balcony, on this cruise we have a junior suite.  More room in general and definitely more storage space.  Wonderful!

Within a short time I had everything put away and the luggage safely tucked under the bed.  Now it was time to just relax until they called the safety drill.

While we sat relaxing on the balcony, I looked down at a very interesting structure.  I learned that this huge bronze-sheathed monument with a 40-foot long, nickel-chrome plated teardrop was a gift from Russia and the Russian people after 9/11.  The official name of this monument is, “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism”.  It is also known among other names  as the “Russian Tear”, “Tear of Grief”.    The monument was quite imposing.

 

After the drill we walked around the promenade deck to get a closer view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Skyline.  I was amazed at the smog that surrounded the city earlier in the day and was glad that it was clearing off.

We returned  to the cabin to prepare for cocktails, dinner and meeting our new tablemates.  During cocktails Captain Michael announced that he had gotten permission to take the ship over to the Statue of Liberty so everyone could get a ‘great’ shot.  “How wonderful,” I thought and headed to deck 10 to get a good look.  I took over 60 pictures of Lady Liberty as the day went on.  She is a beauty!

We spent so much time at the railing enjoying Lady Liberty that we were a bit late for dinner.  This cruise we were seated at a table for 10.  We met our new tablemates and settled in for a nice dinner of getting to know our new dinner mates, our new servers and enjoy a delicious dinner.

 

After dinner, we returned to the cabin just as a crew member came along bearings gifts from the Crown and Anchor Society; a lovely dish of cookies and six bottles of water.

 

Randy spent time on the balcony just enjoying the cool air and watching as the Queen Mary 2 heading out to sea.

We had been up so early, we decided to relax and turn in early.  Tomorrow we dock in Newport, Rhode Island.

 

 

The Verrazano Bridge

Enjoy,

Mary

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Last day at sea filled with fun activities

I woke up early this morning but just missed the sun rise above the horizon.  I slept so soundly I did not realize that it had rained during the evening hours.  I stood on the balcony enjoying the cool air and thought to myself that it was going to be a good day to be outside.

I was happy this morning because we were finally able to get HLN and Robin Meade’s morning show.  Robin Meade is a ray of sunshine and I love her laugh.  Randy had gone up to the lounge and brought back cups of hot coffee and we sat back and watched the news coverage.

Eventually we prepared for the day and went down to the Aquarius dining room to join Jim and JoAnne for breakfast.  The special today was huevos rancheros. The presentation was interesting to me.  I am used to the meal being stacked on top of the tortillas.  Even so, the colors on the plate were most inviting.

We were having such a good time talking that we were a little late to our first event of the morning.  This morning’s enrichment talk by Thomas Judson entitled “Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey “Transatlantic Cruise Terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey”.

 

Like yesterday Judson’s lecture was followed by an enrichment talk by Dennis Cheredar entitled “Maritimes: The Friendliest People on Earth”.  Randy and I traveled to the Maritimes in 2010 and loved everywhere we stopped.  Listening to Cheredar I got excited about revisiting these beautiful places again especially Peggy’s Cove.  Both enrichment talks were interesting and informative.

I left just a few minutes before the talk was over hoping to be lucky enough to get a seat in the Centrum for the presentation of a special cake being prepared by the culinary staff.  It is always a problem finding a seat in the Centrum or the pool areas as many people procure seats in the early morning and remain most of the day.

The cake chronicling our voyage across the Atlantic and the stops along the way was beautiful.  Getting near the cake was somewhat of a nightmare as people jockeyed for position and once in place would not give ground.  It was very sad.

Finally, the crew member in charge formed a line, but that did not work too well either as people persisted in cutting in line or trying to come from the other side.  Unfortunately, tempers flared a bit.  I followed the instructions and found myself fourth in line.  I took two pictures and moved on.

We left and went up to the lounge for a quick cup of coffee and found ourselves having a lovely conversation with a couple we met earlier in the cruise.

There are two activities we always do on the last day of every cruise.  First, we spend time in the photo shop and choose some souvenir pictures.  This is always hard as you would really like to take them all but choices have to be made.  The second activity is spending our three complimentary gold coins in the casino.  Over the years I have won key chains, a tee shirt and lots of raffle tickets.  This time I won two raffle tickets.

We returned to the cabin so Randy could catch up on email, etc.  We settled a little too long making us late to the matinee in the theater.  When we arrived every seat was filled and passengers were lined along the railings and walls.

Canadian Rock & Roll cover band – ROOKIE

We finally found a small space along the railing on deck 6.  What were we waiting for?  Evidently, a Canadian rock and roll cover band named ROOKIE performed the night before and was so good that they asked them to come back for a matinee performance.

From the moment they started their show we knew we were in for a treat.  They sang songs from the 50’s and 60’s.  The band covered songs by Elvis, Bob Dylan, The Everly Bros., Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Eddy Cochran and more.

The performance was amazing bringing everyone to their feet for a standing ovation as they left the stage.  Our cruise director came out on the stage and said, “Would you like them to come back?”  The overwhelming response was, “YES!”

The band came back on stage and the leader asked, “Are you ready to dance?”  With that the band played a rousing version of Johnny B. Goode that brought the entire audience to their feet dancing.  Wonderful, just wonderful!!

We returned to our cabin to start packing for the move to another cabin in the morning.  The nice thing about moving from cabin to cabin is that you only have to pack the things in the drawers, bathroom.  Anything that is hanging in the closet is moved as is.

Then it was time for cocktails and dinner.  We met Jim and JoAnne in the lounge for cocktails then made our way down to the dining room to meet Steve and Jan for our last night together.

I am always excited when I see Caprese Salad on the menu.  This is such a simple salad of ripened tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic vinaigrette; but so good. For my entrée I chose the Lasagna Al Forno made with baked layers of egg pasta with beef Bolognese and cream sauces.  Both dishes were delicious.

During dinner we talked about our experiences on the trip, laughed once again about the build-a-boat race and that we all had a wonderful time sharing the dinner hour.  Tomorrow Jim, JoAnne, Steve and Jan would be leaving the ship.

We returned to the cabin to finish packing and found lovely certificates on our bed acknowledging that Randy and I had, “completed a sailing through the Atlantic Ocean onboard the Vision of the Seas”.    The total distance for this sailing was 4,670 nautical miles.

Tomorrow we dock at Cape Liberty, New Jersey and start a new adventure cruising up the New England and Canadian coastline.

Enjoy,

Mary

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Build-a-boat competition highlight of our day at sea

After a very rocky evening, we woke up to bright blue skies and much calmer seas.

We are at sea today so we were a little slow getting started.  Eventually we made our way up to the concierge lounge for a light breakfast of coffee, fresh fruit and pastries.

We looked over the Cruise Compass and checked all the events we wanted to attend then settled back and enjoyed a second cup of coffee.

I am a history buff so whenever there is a lecture I attend.  Today we decided to attend two lectures.  The first lecture was Christopher Columbus “A Journey to Asia across the Ocean Sea Interrupted by the Discovery of America”, with Thomas Judson.

 

We never had to leave our seats when the first lecture was over as it was immediately followed by Dennis Cheredar talking about the “History of the Vikings”.  Both lectures were extremely interesting.

We missed the towel folding demonstration but as we made our way up to the Park Cafe we passed the Centrum.  We looked over the railing and saw whole line of these fun towel animals lined up on the bandstand.  I love the towel animals and love to collect them over the days in the cabin.

Randy hanging out on the balcony enjoying the warm weather and gentle breeze.

Our afternoon would be busy so we ran up to the Park Café, picked up some sandwiches and drinks and went back to the cabin and enjoyed our lunch on the balcony.  After lunch we spent a bit of time catching up on emails and Facebook.

The most exciting event for today was attending the Build-A-Boat finals with Steve and Jan.  The build-a-boat program is a really fun activity.  Passengers volunteer to build a boat from only materials they find on the ship.  They cannot buy anything either on the ship or on shore.

We attended a build-a-boat event on the Star Princess several years ago and it was really quite fun.  We knew this one would be fun too because one of our tablemates, Steve was participating.  He did not share what he was constructing his boat from so we were anxious to see his creation.

Jim, JoAnne, Randy and I all showed up at the pool as did many other passengers.  I looked at the water in the pool reacting to the rough seas and thought, “It is going to be a very interesting boat race”.

I had to laugh when we realized that there were only three competitors and thought, “Well, maybe it will be interesting but also very short”.  Each competitor was called up to the pool wall to say a few words about their boat and, of course, all showed a great deal of bravado about the fact they their boat was the best and going to walk away with the race.  Very funny!

Everyone went to the side of the pool and the race was on.  From the very beginning it became obvious that it was going to be between two boats.  Steve’s MS CAN-do made of empty aluminum cans and a cardboard box and the T Ø J – SKREECH! made of water bottles, straws, cocktail stirrers, string, paper and a Canadian flag.

It was so funny to watch as the boats would make a little progress then the waves in the pool would send the boats back across the pool.

Eventually the two boats succeeded in making it half way but ran into the wall and stalled.  Steve could be seen once in a while leaning over the wall and blowing a little air in the direction of his boat but to no avail.

This back and forth across the pool lasted for quite a while drawing the attention of people as they were walking to and from and eventually stopping to see what was happening and cheering on their favorite.

All of a sudden the two boats seemed to making headway and started to cruise to the finish.  We held our breath as it was looking like the SKREECH! would be the winner.  But in the end Steve’s boat hit the side wall of the pool.  As soon as it hit Steve started doing a victory dance.  Very funny!

 

Everyone was applauded for their efforts.  For his wonderful engineering job and the boat’s ability to withstand the chaotic waves in the pool, Steve was rewarded with a gold medal and a bag full of Royal Caribbean goodies.

Oh, the excitement.  We took a bunch of pictures and then had to make a quick dash down to the theater for a consecutive cruisers meeting.

Beautiful curtain in the Masquerade Theater. Prettier in the evening when lights shine from behind the screen.

The consecutive cruisers meeting was to share information about making the transition to the next leg of our cruise.  I made a note to tell our cabin attendant, Melvin about our plans to move one deck up for the next cruise.

By now it was time to prepare for the evening.  We made our way back to the cabin and got dressed for cocktails and dinner.  We met Jim and JoAnne in the lounge and had a wonderful time talking about Steve’s exciting afternoon.

Dinner was wonderful as always.  The conversation was lively and the food was delicious.  I chose a Caesar salad, the Baked Cheese Cannelloni with Gruyère-Parmesan sauce and beef mushroom ragout.  The meal was very nice.

Seated-Steve and JoAnne
Standing-Jan, Randy, Mary and Jim

Since this would be the last night for photographs we decided to have one taken.  Unlike the first night where no one was standing next to their partner, we did so tonight.

This had been a very nice day and evening but our cruise was coming to an end.

Tomorrow will be our last day at sea before making port in Cape Liberty.

 

Enjoy,

Mary

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