Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cruzin the Caribbean - My 14-Day Travel Blog - Day Two

 What to do on a sea day?
A cruise represents the ultimate vacation. A rare opportunity to really get away…..and you can’t get further away from anything than the middle of the ocean.

What can you do on a sea day? Absolutely nothing…and that’s the beauty of it.
With a total of 5 sea days. this cruise had more sea days than we have had on any previous cruise. I usually tolerate the sea days and look at them as a means to an end (getting to my next port) This time I took a whole new approach. I decided to embrace the sea days and make them just as special as the days we are in port. Maybe we'll do something and maybe we won't but my plan was to enjoy each and every day of this 14 day cruise. And we did!!

On our  2nd sea day, which was on a Monday, we enjoyed our 1st breakfast in Blu. Until Monday we didn't know that Blu was open for breakfast so it was quite a treat to eat at our favorite restaurant instead of the main dining room or the Ocean View Cafe, which is a place open all the time and where passengers can always find something to eat.

Cruise Critic Gift exchange @ the Sky Lounge
After breakfast we went to the official Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. This was a Private Event held in the Sky Lounge for all the members of the forum (we have watched many a sail away from this spot). There were quite a few people in attendance (at least 100 people from the group).  After the formal presentation by Host Andy of Cruise Critic and Sue our Celebrity Cruise Director, our group got together for our 2nd event, the gift exchange (purely voluntary).  Everyone brought a gift (under $10) that represented where they were from. Then we pulled #s out of a bag for choosing your gift. The person whose gift you got had to tell something about their gift. I got a KD Lang Cd from a couple in Canada (KD is from their home town). Nice gift as I really enjoy her music.

Sky Observation Lounge (deck 15 - top)

I also finally met up with 78 yr old Sheila from the UK. Sheila was cruising solo. Her daughter had contacted me thru the forum ahead of time to ask me to be on the look out for her mom. I can tell you this, Sheila didn't need much looking after. She was very spry and energetic, She had already left me 3 voice messages by the time we met on Monday, telling me she was doing this event and that event. Her plan for the day was to participate in some ballroom dancing and the next day she would hail a taxi in St Thomas to do some sightseeing and snorkeling. 

gifts for gift exchange
 After the Cruise Critic event we attended a ship sponsored event called Jazz on the 'Grazz' featuring Ray Brown Jr. The Eclipse has lawn on the top deck. Pretty cool! You can hang out on it, play games or golf. They also have an event on the Grazz called the Hot Glass Show (glass blowing).

the band gets ready for Ray Brown Jr
me at the Molecular Bar

Later we hung out with our new ship buddies, Jim & Dell from Canada. We met Jim & Dell through the Cruise Critic forum. Dell and I had been chatting by emails for several months prior to our cruise. We got a chance to finally meet them in person when we got to Ft Lauderdale. We were fast friends from then on. They have cruised a bit more than we have and explained a lot of things about cruises that we didn't know. We had a lot of fun with them! 
Since we didn't have the same dining assignment as they did, we decided to meet up at our favorite spot, the Molecular Bar every night at 5:00pm for a pre dinner drink and then meet back there again at 9:00pm to do whatever events we had decided on for the evening.

The 4 of us have already booked another cruise together for spring of 2014. It will be fun to see them again!

Jim & Dell @ The Molecular - Dell samples a Scorpion Kiss

We had dinner @ Blu with more new friends, Scott & Harvey
And, on this evening we decided to go dancing at Quasar, a really cool nightclub on the ship.

We had a great time dancing and singing along to the songs 'we' all recognized from back in the day.

It was a great day!

But, enough about life on the ship, tomorrow we arrive at our 1st port of call,  St Thomas, Virgin Islands. We have to get up early for our excursion.

See you then!

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