Feb 21, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

ďIs that Captain Jack over there?ď

 

Again, we were up early that morning. The sun was just coming up and we eagerly walked out onto the veranda. I looked, I looked hard and there in the distance you could catch a glimpse of an island. Still far away but you knew it was there. We were close, close to heaven on earth, close to Castaway Cay. We had ordered our breakfast for 7.30 and it was still to early to get up, so I went back to bed for a little while. At about quarter past 7 we finally got up and I had a quick shower and was just about ready and making myself presentable while Tom was in the shower, when there was a knock on the door and our breakfast was delivered!

Once Tom was finished with his shower we took the tray outside on our veranda and watched the ship dock and merchants coming in. It was beautiful to sit outside and enjoying breakfast with the view of Castaway Cay. When we had finally finished our breakfast we got ready for the day at Serenity Bay, packing a bag with our belongings and it didnít take very long until we heard the announcement that the ship was docked and we were allowed to disembark.

We walked to the midship elevators, met our stateroom host and exchanged a few words and finally arrived at the elevator. We went down to deck one, swiped our key cards and were off the ship. We picked up two towels and were on our way. It was a picture perfect day, with wonderful blue skies and it was already pretty warm. We took a few photos and walked towards the first tram, but then we decided to walk all the way up to the shops. Since we were still early there were very few people actually walking there and we were the only guests in the shops. We looked around and bought one or two things, had a short but fun conversation with a British Cast Member and were on our way to the tram stop for Serenity Bay.

A tram was pulling in just as we approached and we hopped on. There were only about 6 passengers going out to Serenity Bay. We were greeted by a sign that apologized for the state of the beach, but weather conditions had not been good. We expected to see a really bad beach, but apart from more kelp like green stuff, the beach seemed pretty nice. First off we looked for some sun loungers. So we walked a few steps up the beach and found two chairs underneath an umbrella and there was actually a little space between those chairs and the next ones, so we made those ours. We put our stuff and towels on and started applying sunscreen.

It felt just so good to sit there in your shorts and T-shirt and enjoy the sun. It was still early in the morning, but we wanted to test the water. So once sunscreen was rubbed in we walked down to the waterís edge and tipped a toe in. The water was ÖÖ. cold, coldish! The longer your feet were in it the more comfortable you felt in it. We decided it was too early to take a dip, but we could walk along the edge to the end of the beach.

So we walked in the water and were amazed at the shells and schools of fish that were in even shallow water. Walking in the water it took quite a while until we arrived at the fence that divides the guestís beach from the unused area. We took a few photos and then slowly walked back, stopping now and then to pick up some shells or parts of it, to look at and then threw back. Our walk took until 10.30, when we returned to our chairs, applied more sunscreen and waited for one of the Cast members to order a drink. It didnít take long and one came by and we ordered two Konk Koolers. They were delivered shortly after and we sat and enjoyed the blue waters and blue skies and the warm sun on our skin and the cold drink in our hands.

We were both soaking in the sun when our eyes caught someone. Captain Jack!!! He was walking the beach stopping at every group of people, talking to them and posing for photos. It was amazing, how they kept people entertained, even though you could not swim too much. By midday we walked over to the barbeque station. I just love the Salads they have and loaded my plate with plenty of it. Tom did the same and only when we got to the table did we realize that they provided real plates and real cutlery at this station! Tom went back and got some more salad and some Steak, while I got myself some grapes and pineapple and Chocolate Chip Cookies.

We sat there for quite some time enjoying the food and the beautiful day.

After lunch we stopped for a biological break and then headed back to our chairs.More sunscreen and a little while later we decided to ďbraveĒ the sea, seeing that some people actually did swim. At first it felt cold, but once you were immersed in the water it actually felt quite nice. The only downside was that you had to walk really far out into the ocean to find water deep enough to swim. We stayed in the deeper water for about 45 minutes, then slowly made our way back to the beach. We were amazed at the sea creatures we did find. Lots of starfish, big and small and lots of smaller fish, whole Konk shells and lots of sponges. It was fun looking at them, even touching them and then release them back to the ocean.

We sat in our chairs for about an hour or a little more until we had dried off. And while we did so, we ordered some more drinks, a Corona beer for Tom and a Pina Colada for myself. The server couldnít help but mention that the Pina Colada was the most ordered drink that day. Needless to say, it was a very nice drink and Tomís beer came in a fun shaped glass, which we took home as a souvenir. And right around that time my eyes started to bother me again. First I thought that it was just sweat getting into my eyes, but I soon found out that it was the sunlight again. I braved it for a little while, but since we were mostly dried off and didnít want to have to rush back to the ship we decided to pack up our things and just go back to the ship. We had a nice ride to the first tram stop, changed trams and soon were back at the ship. The air conditioning on the ship felt rather cold and we hurried back to our stateroom to take showers and finally sit out on the veranda, enjoying the view. Once my eyes had stopped bothering me we picked up our Fish Extender gifts and started another round of deliveries. We were walking up and down the ship, then turned a corner and froze! There was Narciso our stateroom host from our summer trip and he came running towards us and we all hugged and were so happy to have met each other. That definitely was another magical moment we had had.

We talked for quite a while and told him that we would be back in the summer and we are now looking forward to trying to check out where he will be working then, as we would love to see him again. He is such a wonderful Cast Member and made our trip last year extra special. Once we had said our goodbyes we finished our round of Fish Extenders and went back to our stateroom. We still had a little time until dinner, so we both grabbed a beverage out of the fridge and sat out on the balcony. All too soon we could feel the ship moving and were happy to hear that Captain Gus went through the whole repertoire of Mickey Whistles while pulling out of Castaway Cay. Always fun to hear those whistles.

Once we had left Castaway Cay behind, we changed and walked up to Palo for dinner. Ann Marie had climbed up the ladder and is now a hostess and she was sure she remembered us, but could not quite place us. She definitely remembered when I told her that we were the ones who had brought our own tea for Palo High Tea last summer. So, after a short chat she told us to please take a seat at Meridian until our table would be ready. Again, it didnít take long and we were escorted inside. Ann Marie introduced us to Collette, who was to be our server that night. We were seated in a nice booth and Collette filled our glasses with water, then left us to study the menu. It didnít take long and she came to take our order and after that she brought over the Antipasti Cart.

She put samples of all the antipasti on a plate, sprinkled it with aged balsamic vinegar and placed it on the table. Another server came over and put a basket full of samples of their House made Italian breads. Needless to say that we had to try all of the wonderful food after we had taken some photos of them. We were still nibbling away on our antipasti when our starters arrived at the table. Tom had ordered the Fritto Misto di Pesce con Olive all' Ascolana, Deep-fried Calamari, Scallops, Mussels with Lemon and Deep-Fried Green Olives. Collette proceeded to squeeze some lemon onto the food and most of it went all over Tom, but he was a good sport and did not mention anything. On second try the calamari were the recipients of the lemon juice. My starter was the Mozzarella and Plum Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing, Their Modern Interpretation of a Traditional dish, which was very good. Once we had finished our starter our plates were cleared and we sat their enjoying the view and nice ambience of the restaurant. Then we were served our palette cleanser, Lime Sorbet.

A little later our main courses arrived. Tom had ordered the Grilled Tuna Piemonte, Truffle-infused Potato Risotto with Garlic marinated Artichokes and a Tarragon Veal Jus, which not only looked fantastic, but was well received by Tom as well. My main course was the Oregano and Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb, With Sangiovese Roasted Shallots, Olive Oil baked Roma Tomatoes, Potato Pave, and Herb Jus. The meat was cooked to a perfect pink and the potatoes were delicious. We both happily finished our dishes, as the food was just outstanding. There was still dessert to come and we didnít even have to think about looking at the menu, we both had known long before we went there, that there was only one dessert we had been longing for. 

We wanted to order Palo's famous Chocolate Souffle, with Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Bean ice-cream. When it arrived Collette opened it up for both of us and left us to pour in the chocolate and vanilla sauce. We were in dessert heaven. This was a truly outstanding dessert. Once we had finished it all we were handed the bill to which we added a good tip. Collette served us our farewell drink, prosecco with a some lime sorbet in it. Refreshing and cool! Then we said our goodbyes to Collette and had a fun little chat with Ann Marie on the way out. Back in out stateroom we changed into some more comfortable clothes and walked down to the Royal Palace to at least spend some time with Dania and Jimmy, our tablemates. We had a lot of fun sitting with them, even without eating something. But we could not linger too long after they had finished their dinner, as it was pirateís night and we all wanted to watch the fireworks.

A few minutes before the fireworks were supposed to start we walked up to deck 12 and found a nice spot from where to watch the fireworks. As always there were lots of uuhs and aahs when the bursts of light appeared in the nightís sky. We all loved it and felt very special to be able to watch them that night. All too soon the big finale was lighting up the skies and after that many people went back to the party. We had planned on hitting the buffet, but both of us were just too full, so we skipped it all along and went back to our stateroom. We sat out on the veranda for a while, then tried to organize some of our stuff and packed the first few things we no longer needed. Shortly after that we called it a day and went to bed.

 

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