Today began our first of six straight days of life at-sea. Depending on what day you asked us before we embarked on this journey, often times Jenn and I would comment that these six days were what we were most excited for on this trip. After a crazy year, lounging around, and doing next to nothing was exactly what the doctor ordered.
We did our normal morning routine. Jenn laid around and had her room service delivered at 9 AM, I worked out, got a cappuccino and joined Jenn in being lazy. Right before lunch we had another safety drill. This one was in case pirates boarded the ship. Since we are sailing in a not so great area of the world we had to go through a drill where basically we all went to common areas and away from windows and balconies. It was an interesting drill. Afterwards went down to lunch at noon and got our table for two. Jenn got her pasta with red sauce and I had the salad bar. We did a quick walk around the ship and headed back to our room. We were so exhausted from the huge hike from the previous day in Jordan that we decided to stay on our balcony and enjoy another three rounds of Head and Foot (a card game that Jenn’s family used to play). I won this time, I believe it’s the first time I’ve ever won in that game.
I then read on the balcony while Jenn got ready for our second of three formal nights. This was the formal night we went all out for. I wore a suit with a red tie and Jenn looked absolutely stunning in a red gown. When we walked out of our room, it pretty much stopped everyone’s conversation mid sentence. I couldn’t even keep up with people stopping Jenn and complimenting her.
Tonight we had dinner at their steakhouse, Chops Grille. We went big this time, got a bottle of wine, and enjoyed the best meal we’ve had on the cruise. We started with the king Caesar salad for me, and a mushroom soup for Jenn. We then split a Carpaccio appetizer. For our main course Jenn had an amazing shrimp scampi dish and I stuck with a filet mignon. We split a cream corn for our side. For dessert Jenn got cheesecake and I had a chocolate lava cake. It was such an incredible meal. We had amazing views of the Red Sea and an incredible two-hour meal. As Jenn would say, Papa was happy.
We finished the night with a nice night stroll before retiring to our stateroom, finishing off an incredibly relaxing day.
At this point, if you read this far, you’ve got a really good inclination about a day at sea with Joel and Jenn. Today was not much different. We woke up late. I couldn’t get myself out of bed until a little after 10AM. I went to work out while Jenn enjoyed her orange juice and pastry. On my way back to the room I grabbed a cappuccino.
We of course went to lunch in the dining room. Because we’re headed to Dubai the time changed again and we lost another hour. So we had lunch a little after 1PM. I went with my normal salad bar (which is fantastic) and Jenn got Vietnamese fried rice with shrimp which was actually far better then we thought it would be. She of course finished with her patented scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Right outside of the main dining room is the ice rink. Yes, there’s an ice rink on board our ship. Well today was the second opportunity for us to see their “amazing, spectacular, best ice on sea” show. Or in other words the ice show where I bet Jenn that they would fall more then five times in a show. Jenn took the under and sadly came up the victor. There were only a couple stumbles, no outright falls. The show itself was forty-five minutes of well I’m not sure what that was. Singing, dancing, and some rather pedestrian skating. It was a nice distraction but not something I’d go see ever again.
We left the nice temperature controlled ice rink to the beating sun of the Red Sea. We laid out and read our books. Jenn completed her third book of the trip (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Elanor & Park, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls) while I still am pushing hard through my 1000+ page fantasy epic, A Way of Kings. We enjoyed the beautiful sun before retiring to our room a little after 5PM. We at this point decided to cancel our dinner reservations and had room service bring us some hamburgers and fries to the room. It was such a wonderful evening to take in the beautiful ocean breeze and enjoy a surprisingly good burger on our balcony.
We finished off the night going to see a mind reader perform in the theater. This was day 10 of 14 on our cruise and this was the first show we’ve watched. Wouldn’t have guessed that at the start of the trip. The show was good; we always enjoy a good psychic although there was nothing truly mind blowing in the performance (see what I did there). We came back to our room afterwards and enjoyed a couple episodes of New Girl before shutting the book on yet another amazing day at-sea.
The boat keeps on cruising. We’re now firmly in an amazing routine on the at-sea days. We woke up this morning and actually slept in to almost 9AM. There’s something magical about being rocked to sleep every night. We both get some of our best nights sleep aboard cruises.
We woke up. Jenn got her room service and I worked out. I got my cappuccino and read my book on the balcony while Jenn got ready. We of course went down to lunch a little after noon. Jenn got spaghetti carbonara and I had the salad bar. The hostess finally remembered us and didn’t ask if we wanted to share a table today instead just giving us a table for two. So that was nice.
After lunch we got our pool attire on and laid out up on the top deck for a couple hours both reading our books. It was a great day outside, in the low 80’s. We plopped on two loungers and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon. When we packed up Jenn went and got a strawberry shake and we walked a little over a mile on the track before retreating to our room. Jenn shopped for clothes and Christmas decorations on the computer while I continued to read.
For dinner tonight we went back to the Japanese restaurant, Izumi. We started off with the edamame which are my new favorite appetizer. We then got the rainbow rolls and a couple shrimp nigiri’s. Jenn got the miso soup and I had a shrimp wonton soup. For our main course we got the seafood hot-rock which had shrimp, crab, salmon, and lobster. It was a really nice meal, one that was a real nice send-off as this was our last time eating at Izumi this trip.
After dinner we walked a couple more laps on the track and then enjoyed a fun game of ping pong (in which I won) before retreating to our stateroom. We got back to our room and ordered some cookies from room service and watched a couple episodes of The Big Bang Theory before calling it a night. Sadly, tonight marks the end of the first half of the six days at-sea to close out our cruise. I know I speak for both of us when I say we’re loving every second of life at sea and are not ready to see it come to an end.