MITSUGIRLYS EPIC CRUISE--2nd time around-1st from Port Canaveral
Day 4: Second Sea Day
Today is Monday and it's another sea day AGAIN.
There's one thing that I believe Kendra and I learned from our last cruise (out of San Juan and a port intensive 5 port days cruise with only 1 sea day) is that we really like the ports. People always ask if you cruise for the ship or for the ports. I have always said for both and it's a combination of both that matters. Well, while that may be true to a certain extent, I think I have come to realize that the ports just may be a little more important. I know that the Fascination is an older ship without all the bells and whistles, but I was perfectly happy with sailing her and tremendously enjoyed going to 5 ports and only having 1 sea day.
Kendra would whine (and threaten) the entire cruise about the 3 sea days. She said she would not be cruising again on any cruises that had less than 4 ports during a 7 day cruise. I have to say, I kinda agree with her. So, I think we will be really questioning if we want to go some place if it only has 3 port days. I will not only try for less sea days, but I will also study how long we are in port for each place. This cruise did me in. LOL
Monday=a sea day=no set time frames and you can sleep in right??? WRONG! I was wide awake at 7am, which in reality was 8am but because of the time change...it was messing with my head either way.
We decided to head to Taste MDR for breakfast. It's a sea day and we thought it would be nice to just sit down and enjoy breakfast instead of the buffet. I messaged Courtney and her and Kolin decided to join us. (If any of you ever wonder why Kendra and the family are never joining us, they sleep in as well and usually don't get up early enough for breakfast on a sea day...so I don't bother. Her fiance don't really like breakfast, she eats like a bird during breakfast and Brayden, well he just eats all day long).
So, I'm looking up where exactly is this "Taste" dining room and I see it's on the 5th floor. Ok, how do we get there? Courtney said "Let's take the escalators from the casino"...ding ding ding ding. Oooohhhh, that's where those go. OH MY GOODNESS...I hadn't even been down on this so-called "deck 5" yet. How could this be? So down we went.
We were seated immediately and handed the menus for the day.
I'm trying to get into the habit of having OJ for breakfast...something/anything other than "pop" and so far I have been doing good. First glass OJ, second glass pop. hehe
Sakari was busy drawing (she always brings her note pad and lose drawing paper when we go out to eat and on the ship, there's no exception to that either) and we were all taking about what we might do for the day. Kolin was being his goofy self of course.
Our waiter comes around and takes our order.
I ask Sakari what she was drawing and she told me "a dinosaur" ...of course! I ask if it was the dinosaur from the movie the other day and she sighed and said "no, it's a _______" and rambled off some comprehensive extended actual dinosaur name that I could probably never pronounce let alone remember. But, she knows them all.
I ask her to draw the dinosaur from the movie...you know, the KIDS movie. Not some scary, flesh eating, blood tinged teeth, type of creature (she has a warped mind, I'm convinced of it). She sighed again (like I was putting her out of her way) and I kid you not, it looked like she was scribbling for a good 2 minutes...just scribble, scribble, line, line, done. It wasn't an "I'm a delicate artist with prized possession hands, lightly stroking my pad with my ink, creating this masterpiece to be adored by my fans", type of thing. She wanted to get me out of her hair about this "cutesy" little dinosaur and get back to the real deal.
She hates when I ask her to actually draw something. Her mind will be a million miles away, in a different dimension, with what she's wanting to draw and it's always the total opposite of what I ask. I guess, I want to think of her as a child with a delicate mind still...you know, CARTOONS! That's what kids think about right? Not mine.
So she gives me this...(and presents it to me like "THERE!")
Well ok, at least it resembles Arlo right? As you can see, she was over there scribbling...look at those scribbles. LOL
I peaked over to see what she was madly working on, because I just had to know what was so important that she couldn't just draw me a really good Arlo picture...and this was more her style for the morning:
Lot's of scribbles going on, but it was more of a passion scribble and a "rough draft" for her.
They brought out a danish plate for everyone.
This one caught my eye and I really wondered if it was supposed to look like an animal or if Sakari somehow had some telepathy going on and was messing with me. Either way, I had to take a picture.
Sakari had ordered French Toast and a side of eggs, which also somehow came with some potatoes.
I had ordered the waffle and (reluctantly) ordered the biscuits and gravy and a side of bacon.
Now the menu said biscuits and gravy (Southern Biscuits and Sawmill Gravy-pork)...so I thought I was just getting biscuits and gravy, which sounded really good to me, but if any of your have tried NCL's biscuits, you will know that everyone complains of how they are always as hard as a hockey puck. I told my hubby that I would probably regret ordering them, but at least I had back-up with the waffle and bacon.
It came out like this...
I'm not sure where the sausage links came from or this whopping icky tomato (I hate tomato's) came from but it was instantly removed from the plate.
Ok...time for the test. I could actually cut the biscuit...go ahead, you can applaud if you feel the need. Ok, taste test. Mmmm, it was actually good and the gravy was yummy. Very yummy. Or either I was just really hungry. But either way, I wasn't complaining. The only complaint I would have about it is that I felt they needed to put more gravy on the plate. I ran out of gravy before my biscuits were gone. boo!
Anyone notice my bacon? Of course you don't...because they never did bring it out.
We were finishing up our breakfast and Sakari was gathering un-used napkins.
She got a little creative and made a "napkin animal". LOL Can you tell it's a puppy dog?
Of course daddy wanted in on the fun and games. He said call me King Daddy.
Our meal was ordered, served, we ate, we left...all in less than 1 hour. We were out the door by 10:05. So, service was good in the MDR, even though they never brought me my bacon.
Sakari wanted to visit with her friends for a little while so she went off to the Splash kids club and Courtney and I ditched the boys and headed to the photo gallery to look at our pictures from the night before from the Asian dinner.
We headed to the casino to donate $20 and then it was time to pick the munchkin up already. Man time flies when you are on a cruise. Why can't it fly when I'm at work?
Sakari wanted to go to the pool and who was I to stop her? It was a sea day and we needed to make good use of the water we had. (She would live it the water if she could...which is a good thing, I guess, if you are a mermaid).
Once we made it outside, the sun quickly disappeared and it started raining. But when you are swimming, you are wet, and that didn't matter to Sakari of course.
Well....looky who we found here.
A little bit of rain wasn't about to ruin our day. Let's get this party started with some mud slides.
Since Kendra was just getting up, she had missed breakfast and it was time for lunch. Kolin complained that he was already hungry again and was also eating.
Now there's always talk about the cruise ships not having a life guard on them and the reduction of drownings we would have if they employed someone to watch the kids in the pool. Well, although I believe it's always a good idea to have an extra eyes on everyone in the pool, I can definitely see where this would create a false feeling of "your kids are safe" and you don't have to watch them. I'm a firm believer that you are responsible for your own kids and not someone else. No one is going to watch your child or care for them the way a parent would. I would not want to trust my child in the hands of anyone else, but do like that extra set of eyes.
However, I have noticed on both the Breakaway and the Getaway that someone seems to be lurking around the pool areas where the kids hang out. They are dressed in NCL attire. The Epic would be no different.
When the pools were open, there was ALWAYS someone standing in the middle, between the 2 pools, and up on the stage area, watching everyone. They had a whistle as well and they weren't afraid to use it...and did often, while they patrolled the pools.
I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible in getting a picture of him.
Then it REALLY started pouring down. This wasn't just a rain, this was a downpour and it was very windy, so even being under a covered roof did not save you. The wind was making the rain go sideways and you were not safe anywhere.
That cleared out a lot of people...but not us. Once again, the rain wasn't going to stop us from having a fun sea day.
Let the fun and games begin and everyone attack Kolin.
We swam, we drank to keep warm, we had a blast.
Now one thing we were wanting to do on this cruise is to try out scuba diving for the first time. One of the things that we would have to learn to do is clear out our mask. Eeeeeeek! The thought of this scares me. I have seen videos of people getting their scuba certification and they completely remove their mask, put it back on, then clear the water out of it by blowing in it. Magical huh? Whodda thought you could do this? Kolin informed me this cruise that this is something he does all the time...while under water. Say what?? I didn't even know this could be done...until Sakari did it in scuba class (more on that later if you haven't read any of that from a previous review).
So, what better way and time to try it out than in a pool without SALT that would burn your eyes if you didn't get it right the first time. So, we would all start practicing this over and over until we got it right. Now I purchased a new scuba mask a few months ago and it has a purge in the nose. I had no idea how to use it, but I was attempting it. We learned from trial and error and had a lot of laughs doing it while my 8 year old did all the training. LOL
Once the "newness" of that wore off, it was fun and games, and a lot of dizziness.
I attempted an above and under shot. Not in focus of course.
Meanwhile the hubby was attempting to stay dry at the bar and thinking "when is this madness going to be over?"
For awhile, the kids (mainly Kolin) would challenge me (as my boys always seem to do since they were little) in things that they are so sure that their "old mom" can't keep up with them. Can you swim from one end to the other without coming up? Yep, I sure did. Then he started going side to side and trying to see just how many times he could make it back and forth without coming up for air. He could make it 6 times each time. I made it 7....HAHAHAHAHA. They always think they can out-do me. I always prove them wrong. I don't know how many more years I have of still proving myself to them, but I love it when that happens. (I remember back in the day when my oldest use to challenge me to arm wrestling when he was a teenager...HA. Those were the days).
Kendra and I were under water doing weird faces at each other and taking pictures when we heard this VERY loud whompsh boooooiiiinnng and a big vibration. What the heck was that? Did we just hit a whale? We rose up out of the water and Kolin was laughing. We ask him what he did and he showed us how he put his hands together and slammed them in the water to make a huge splash. It was super loud under water and it echoed from the vibration. We told him "Do that again. We wanna see if that's what we heard" We both darted under water and he did it, but it wasn't as loud this time around.
We came up to find Sakari screaming and crying. She had decided to swim by him just as he did it. Oh my! He had hit her...guess where.....in the head! Round two of Sakari's head versus Kolin. She was an emotional mess and it had been 3+ hours that we had been at the pool and we were tired, hungry, wrinkled up like a prune that was left behind, and now we had a hurt mermaid. It was time to get out and head for the food. Food is good. Food is comforting. Food helps you forget about boo-boos.
By the time we got to the buffet inside, it was closed. So, our only other option was the outside buffet and they were also open on the sides (inside), right inside the door.
Kendra discovered a baked potato section and we all darted inside to make ours. It was amazing and really hit the spot.
The rain had stopped and the floors were completely flooded on this deck. I'm honestly wondering why there wasn't a drain of some type around. I didn't even see anyone using the squeegee to push the water away like they normally do. Maybe it was because it was raining off and on the entire day and it would be worthless? I'm not sure but I'm really shocked I did not see anyone fall from it while we were sitting out there. It was pretty deep but the picture really didn't turn out the way I thought it would.
Then the rain started again...ah ha. That's why they weren't getting the water to go bye-bye. We ran inside with our plates and found a table. It.was.freezing! That a/c in the buffet area is always so cold and we were cold from getting rained on. I decided it was time to head to the room and jump in a nice hot shower where everyone could see my shadow behind the frosted glass.
We knew that we had a show to go to tonight (Priscilla) and I figured we could just hang out in the room until it was about time to go. Sakari and I did our "girly" things (meaning making our hair look presentable) and that's when I discovered just how bad the knot on her head was. Wow, it was a really big goose-egg. It had definitely swollen since it first happened and I was a little concerned. I watched her closely the rest of the night.
The sun was setting and it was a really "blue" night according to my pictures.
Sakari decided to do a quick off-the-wall picture of some random fox catching a fish minutes before we were heading out the door. I have no idea what prompted this since it's usually something she will see on television that gets her juices flowing. I don't remember a show with any fox on it.
Time for the show: Priscilla Queen of the desert
I have always wanted to see Blue Man. Every time they were in town or we have been somewhere that they where, the tickets were absolutely OUTRAGEOUS! So, when I found that Blue Man was going to be on the Epic, I will admit, this was one of the things that made me want to go on this ship in 2010.
We went to see Blue Man...FINALLY. It was an amazing and very funny show. We absolutely LOVED it and the audience participation. We knew that Sakari would too. However...things had changed and Blue Man decided to leave. Sigh. I guess I'm now obligated to take Sakari to the Blue Man show when they are in town now.
So what the heck is Priscilla Queen? I had never heard of it before. I read up on it and found that it was originally a comedy movie about a drag queen, cross-dresser, and transsexual. Ummm, ok. So somehow this was a movie and they were going to make a show/musical out of it on the Epic. I just can't even imagine at this point.
According to NCL:
Get your glitter on. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is an award-winning Broadway musical that stories the fabulous journey of three “divas” who take their show to the Australian outback. From a dazzling array of over 500 imaginative costumes, 200 headdresses and a hit parade of dance numbers and disco hits from the 70s and 80s, you’re in for a glamorous good time.
Alrighty then. I honestly wasn't sure what I was in store for, but we were ready to find out.
There wasn't a line when we arrived and everyone just walked up and handed them your key card and walked in (yes, we pre-booked before the cruise).
Immediately the person that dinged us in informed us that the show was "not really kid appropriate" but it was up to us if we wanted our kids with us. Um ok, they took a great family show (Blue Man) and replaced it with something that kids shouldn't watch? It was also a little too late to tell me this since the show was about to start, seats were filling up, and if I was to take her to the kids club, I would miss some of it or not have a seat. I'll take my chances. I did ask her if she wanted to stay and she insisted on staying...so stay she did.
I was really re-thinking if we should have came to this show. I was especially worried after they told me it might not be for the kids.
I needed a drink.
This should do.
I had no idea what was in store.
It was too late
Kendra was excited and Billy was unsure. He really don't like shows anyhow and would much rather be gambling instead. LOL
Well at least Sakari was excited.
Does everyone notice how bad my pictures are now? It was like they were all foggy. Ick.
So the show started. I have to say I was completely amazed! I really really liked the show. It was funny, it had great music that I liked and I sang along with all of it, and for our "sheltered" 8 year old child, I felt it was fine for her to watch. Sakari watched the show and could not get enough of it...she loved the costumes and what she would see in the show is ....of course....animals...such as peacocks on their heads and birds and ostrich. That's what my beautiful sheltered child seen in the show. She was completely oblivious to the meaning of the show or what was going on. My unsheltered grandson however, would see things he probably shouldn't see, didn't get, but knew it was something that was inappropriate for him to see. Oh the difference between the two of them. Sigh
This show is LONG! Just shy of 2 hours and I'm pretty sure my eyes were turning yellow, but I couldn't tear myself away from the show. Once it was over, we bolted to the exit in hopes to be some of the first in line at the restroom. However....(darnit) they had two of the performers outside the theater taking pictures with the crowd. Of Course (!) Sakari HAD to have her picture taken with them because....why do you think?...they had the ostrich head. Sigh. I'm going to drown any time now. The things we do for our child.
As she went up to have her picture taken, I snapped a picture too. My picture quality was getting worse as the night went on.
Hey at least the NCL photographers were able to capture a picture, true NCL fashion...no worries that the feathers are in her mouth or the ostrich head piece is almost completely covering her face. No worries at all. Yep, that makes for a good picture. Rolling my eyes about now. I sometimes wonder what these photographers are thinking. The ONLY reason why I ended up purchasing it was (ok, well there were two reasons), 1) Sakari begged for it and 2) I needed one more picture to make a total of 10 pictures for my $149 package. Sigh. That one other picture could have been our embarkation photo ya know!!!!!!!!!!!!
After the show we decided to hang for a little while and get some drinks by the pool. The Splash kids club had some members out there and they were playing the normal line dance songs and everyone was dancing (kids and parents). So, of course we decided to join in. Then after the dancing subsided they were having a "kids games" party and the kids could play different games and win tickets and then at the end buy gifts with their tickets. Sakari did not want to play the games or participate. :eek: I have no idea why or what that was all about, but hey, it's her cruise too and whatever makes her happy. Happy=food of course and that's what we decided on.
Off to the buffet we went.
Then we all walked back to our rooms at 10pm, said our good-nights, went our separate ways, and back to our rooms to pack our beach bags for our first day in port the following morning. (Tortola).
Here is a very short time lapse I took from our balcony