Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Formal Night

Our last formal night on the ship was by far better than the first. Probably because no one was sick! During the past week, we had become very close with our waiter, Cupid from St. Vincent. Earlier in the week I had asked him if Creme Brulee was on the menu again during the cruise. We had it on the first night and I had been dreaming of it ever since! Tonight he showed up with a special surprise...Creme Brulee for everyone!! I couldn't have been happier! I actually think Steve got up and hugged him!
Kirk, however, was not so appreciative of the dessert. So, Steve began making jokes to Cupid about throwing Kirk overboard. He must have thought Steve was incredibly funny because he kept bringing other staff over, telling Steve to tell them about the "splash in the night".

Throughout the cruise, I was set on getting just one good picture of the two of us. Since it really has been since our engagement pictures over 10 years ago. So I dragged Steve to every photographer on the ship. I'm sure to Carnival's joy, we found several!! I think we spent more on pictures than tips!
Steve and I are so grateful to be able to spend the week together. It was so nice to get away and remember each other a little bit, since that seems to get lost in the shuffle of kids and daily life. And it was even better to have such great friends to share it with!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last Stop...St. Maarten

Our last stop...We had no plans for our day in St. Maarten. Our friends, Kirk and Teresa, are scuba certified, so they had planned to go an a two-tank dive. Alan, Amanda, Steve and I planned to do some shopping and head to the beach! The cruise port there was kind of weird. It let you off in a very small shopping center, but to get to the main part of the island, you had to ride a water taxi. They loaded us in like sardines and they were blaring a steel drum song about "Welcome to St. Maarten." It reminded me a lot of Will Smith's "Beinvenido a Miami!" Once on the water taxi, Steve tried to clean his sunglasses on his shirt and overestimated his strength, snapping the frame and popping out the lens. He was not happy, but once again, I was laughing at him! Luckily for him, we found a sun visor as we stepped of the boat and wandered until we found a drug store to buy some super glue. The locals there were VERY pushy. This one guy kept following us around just begging us to rent some ATV's from him to ride around the island. We had heard from our waitress in Orlando to NEVER let the salespeople put jewelry on you. Once it was on, you just bought it. As we were shopping, we walked past a jewelry store where a man and woman were talking with their friends at the door saying, "I just thought they were trying it on me for size, but I just bought a $8000 diamond bracelet!" So, I guess it is true!
At this point in our trip, Steve had caught the bug that had been floating around. He was not feeling great, so we laid low today. We rode a CRAZY taxi van to the other side of the island to Orient Beach. It was beautiful...the water was turquoise blue and perfectly warm, the sand was white and soft on your feet. We hadn't intended on swimming at a nude beach, but there were a few there who were topless that definitely shouldn't have been! It was here that we saw more banana hammocks than we ever care to again in our lives! Since I don't believe in photographing myself in my swimwear (maybe in another 50 lbs!) this is all we got...no one we know is in the water here, but this is where we spent the afternoon! Before we met our taxi to head back, we decided we were starving and stopped at a little restaurant on the beach. We didn't realize that since we were on the French side of the island, all the prices were in Euros. We ended up with a $6 bottle of water!! Life is expensive on the beach! We thought we were living it up by ordering calamari and cheeseburgers, but apparently not since halfway through our meal, a waited walked over to a little well next to us, picked out a fresh lobster and took it, LIVE, to some one's table. I guess they agreed that it was "the one" they wanted for lunch, took a few pictures of it, and sent it back to be cooked up!
Once we left St. Maarten, we had 2 days at sea. If you have been on a cruise, you know that the food is spectacular! I casually mentioned to our maitre'd one night that I would LOVE to see their kitchen. I guess he liked us, because he told us if we kept the information on the down low, we could sneak into a kitchen tour the next morning that was just for Platinum guests! Seeing the kitchen really was one of the highlights of the trip! It was amazing to me! They told us that they actually stock the ship with 2 weeks worth of food, just in case something happened and we got stuck at sea. They had one big board with pictures of all their menus. Then they separated it into sections where each dish was prepared. Each section had a list of menu items, directions on preparation, and photos so they could make the display attractive to the eye...because the food is equally as beautiful as it is delicious!