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Friday, October 01, 2010

A Day at Sea 2, or "And then Arul got us drunk."

The difference between the 10 day and 11 day cruise is that on the 11 day cruise there's a day at sea between Citavecchia and La Spezia (Rome and Florence). This is a really good thing. By then end of the day in Naples, I was tired. Waking up to go into Rome at 8:15 a.m. was hard. Then we pushed ourselves across Rome, seeing a 3 day tour in one day. A day at sea sounded really really good.

We slept til we woke up, lounged in bed, got up in time for lunch, opted for lunch at Parrot Cay at 12:15, so watched the first half of Up in the Walt Disney Theater. (Yes, yes, through the omigod-crying part, but also well past meeting Doug. Squirrel!) Then we had lunch and spent some time lounging on Deck 9 in the Cove Cafe (home of comfy sage green chairs) writing up travelogues before heading to the Mixology tasting at 2 p.m.

Then Arul got us drunk. You know this is going to be fun when your bartender/instructor's name is pronounced "I rule!"

Vodka Martini, Margarita, Mojito, Sunken Treasure, and B52s in one hour. We learned to make them all, talked about how to use various tools and liquors, and stepped behind the bar at Sessions to make cocktails for everyone else.


Erik got to make margaritas. I made everyone a Sunken Treasure, a mix of Malibu rum, Midori, pineapple juice, orange juice, Sprite, and Blue Curacao. It was tastier than I expected, especially considering I usually avoid both Midori and Malibu. Tasty it was though. By the end of the mojito, I was feeling it. By the end of the lesson I was tipsy. Then we each partook of a sample drink, plus Arul made his special cocktail, which was awesome and which I have to get the recipe for before I leave the ship. There was an extra shot of B52 available as well, so Erik and I shared hat.

After that we went to take Dave's "Art of the Theme Ship" tour. This is where Dave covers the little details around the ship. There are over a hundred different types of carpet on the ship, each one specifically themed to the space. For example, the carpets outside of the adults-only restaurant Palo interweave the theme of the pole that continues on the walls. It's also the only room where there are glass cases within reach of children because children will never be there. Even when they take the elevator to the tenth floor, they usually pop out, realize they're in the wrong place, then duck back in the elevator, as an accomodating group of teens did as we were all standing there. Other details include the anchors in the carpets outside the staterooms, attempting to imply that your stateroom is your home port and where you are anchored. Another detail is that the ceilings on Deck 5 are intentionally lowered. Deck 5 contains most of the kids entertainment spaces, and this is done to help them feel safe and large and in charge of their space. The whole treatment of kids on board is a sight to be seen. They get a tracking device wrist band and the parents get a pager. From what I've seen, if you've got a reasonably gregarious and confident kid, you may not see them save for dinner time. They get to make flubber. They get to play Wii on a big screen. Each age group has their own space (0-3 years, 3-6, 7-11, 11-14, and 14-18) with age appropriate activities. The kids love it. The parents love it. The only catch is if your kid screams relentlessly when you leave, they'll give it 20 minutes, then ask you to come get them, so for high anxiety kids, it's a no go.

Anyhow, the ship is gorgeous. The tour was fabulous. We're both just a little bit in love with Dave. He loves his job without reservation and his passion and joy are infectious.

We came back to the room and changed for the semi-formal dinner and Villains Tonight. Down to the theater for the Villains show, where Hades was insufficiently evil to maintain control of the Underworld. Somehow, he lost credit in the evil-o-meter for having Jafar and the parrot sing "Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero?" to one another. I don't know how that's possible, but it happened. Before dinner, we had time to play The Feud in Studio Sea. Our team did poorly at first, but finally came back to win it in the end.

Off to dinner in the Animator's Palette followed by the Villains Ball in the lobby. A motley collection of villains, plus the crew staff, led the guests in a series of line dances while confetti exploded around the room.

After watching for a while, we opted to call it a night. Tomorrow we were off to Florence at 7:45!

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