Day 2 – At Sea
The first on the agenda was going to the Cruise Critic meet & greet. It was very well put together by Lee and he even had some free pens for those that attended. About 40 of us were in the Star Bar and Hugo Venosomael sp? The Hotel Director, Dan Olsen the Cruise Director and the group services coordinator (sorry forgot her name!) were there. They told us that everyone else was on the floor working so they wouldn’t be able to be there.
They informed us that there wouldn’t be a “Dine with an Officer” drawing due to the time of year. The ship is full and they don’t want to take tables for special dinner’s that include the Officers while other passengers are waiting for seating.
Next was a stop at the gift shop for some beauty goodies and on to the Sushi bar for lunch.
At 1:30 there was the Latitudes party where we had a chance to meet Captain Lars Bergstrom and his officers and staff. Next Stage put on an enjoyable performance and we were surprised to find out that Dan the Man has quite the voice! He and Next Stage wooed us with a rendition of Hey Jude.
At 4:00 there was the Martini tasting which is such a great deal. $15 for 4 drinks, so even if Martini’s aren’t normally your drink of choice why not try something new. Our drinks demonstrator Alan gave us a fe fun facts and info about the drinks we were imbibing and passed on prizes for remember certain trivia questions about Martinis.
1. Classic Martini made with Vodka instead of Gin, using Ultimat Vodka from Poland. Also known as a Silver Bullet it’s meant to cleanse the palate.
2. Sour Apple Martini aka Appletini with Ketel One Vodka which is also from Poland, mixed with Apple Popper flavoring.
3. Forbidden Fruitini – With Ketel one Vodka, Palma Liquer as well as Pineapple and Grapefruit Juice
4. Chocolate Raspberry Martini – Vodka and Raspberry flavored Godiva syrup.
All were good with my favorite being the Sour Apple. As there were no bar snacks on the tables by the time it was over I was most certainly in happy land. In fact everyone was. Alan said that people usually start out quiet, after the first they’re still kind of quiet, by the second they getting loud, and by the fourth…I can tell you that by the fourth we were a giddy bunch.
This night was Norwegian’s Night Out, so we went to the room and got dressed for photos with the Captain in bar city as well as dinner. We head down took our photo waved hello to Hugo and Dan and stopped by the bar for happy hour 2 for 1 drinks. I “cleansed” my palate for dinner with a double Scotch no chaser and we head over to Tsar’s for dinner. We had a short wait so we grabbed a buzzer and went into the gift shop where I picked up a couple of things for friends back home.
Once we were seated we ordered our meals and I once again had two entrees. I wasn’t being greedy though. I’d done something that I never do and had pasta (must have been the alcohol ordering) There were four pieces of delicious mushroom ravioli and I couldn’t let it go at that, so two it had to be. I’d ordered dessert too, but passed it off to hubby. Lately I’ve not had much of a sweet tooth, but I did have three mixed drink martinis and that was probably more than enough “dessert” for the day.
After dinner we passed by Fyzz where there was some Salsa music playing. The Mr. and I twirled around together and I also danced with some ladies from Canada before we head back to the stateroom. My intention was to make it up to Spinnaker for a few hours of moving and shaking but after settling back the sandman took over and I decided that a shower and sleep were about all that was going to happen for the rest of the night.
Day 3 – Port Canaveral, Florida
Arrival at Noon
For some strange reason I woke up after sleeping about four hours and couldn’t get back to sleep until about 7:30 and then Mr. Up and at “em woke me up at 9:30. Le sigh.
By 11:30 we were at Tsar’s for lunch there we met to really cool servers Ayu and Napoleon that we’d meet up with later and who served us with a wonderful surprise. Since we hadn’t planned any particular excursion, Ayu told us where to catch the shuttle in order to get to Cocoa Beach, the Mall and WalMart.
We head off the the ship past security and I suddenly saw a familiar face. Arjun from the Norwegian Jade. I’d first met Arjun in November 2011 when I was playing a very time sensitive scavenger hunt game on the Jade and I needed to get a photo of someone from Nepal. Where oh where would I find this I wondered. One of the crew told me that most of the people that worked in security were from Nepal. So I head down to deck 4 and asked the head of security if I could get a photo of one of his staff and of course told him why. He then jokingly said “should it be a good looking one?” I replied “all the better!” so he went and called Arjun over and said that I’d like to take a photo, which I did immediately said thank you and ran up the stairs in about 3 seconds flat. It wasn’t until later when I met him another day that I realized he hadn’t the foggiest idea why I wanted a picture of him. Embarrassing! I quickly explained the what and the why, and thankfully he found It funny. 🙂
I then met him again when I was on the Jade in February of this year. The Jade is in Europe year round so I was happily surprised to see him here. And more surprised that he remembered who I was, though I suppose that it can’t be every day that some crazy woman takes a photo of you and the runs away.
We took the shuttle (the ones with the Radisson logo) got off at the Cocoa Beach stop and there we stayed. There are two surf shops in that immediate vicinity. Ron Jons and Cocoa Beach Surf shop. Buying the shuttle tickets gets you 15% off at the Cocoa Beach shop. We went inside and I shopped while Mr.Xena waited by the Aquatic tank for the shark feeding.
Along with some gifts for family, I picked up 2 pairs of The North Face shorts that were 25% off. Definitely a good place to stock up on casual beach wear and similar. We noticed the $1 Margarita sign and decided to head back to the Jewel drop off our items and then go back to catch happy hour.
On the shuttle heading back to town we were the only two people on the bus and had a chance to talk to our driver who told us about the Sand Bar that also offered Happy Hour and food. He gave us coupons/business cards that gave us 10% off. I noticed that they were “home of the fish taco” and seeing how I’ve been on a seafood kick I knew that we had to stop there as well, and so we decided to head there first.
What can I say, fun atmosphere, quick service, nice servers, good drinks, live music, indoor and outdoor dining and ESPN – definitely a great place to spend an evening after a day at the beach or just because. 2 fish tacos, 2 drinks (Hurricane 1 and Hurricane 3), 1 beer and a mahi mahi wrap later and it came to under $30 with the discount. It’s 4301 Ocean Blvd. On the 520, 2 streets over from Atlantic avenue going towards the beach. The next time I’m in the area I’ll definitely be heading back and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good place to eat.
At dinner we saw Ayu and waved Hello to her. She came over to speak with us for a few minutes before she finished her shift at Tsar’s and started at the Blue Lagoon until (from 9pm – 1am). We saw Napoleon and Ayu ask him to sing us a song because he has a great voice. She was so right. Napoleon sang “Fly Me to The Moon” Sinatra style and by the time he was finished all of the tables around were clapping. What a nice treat to have during dinner! Thank you Napoleon! Felix the restaurant manager stopped over to say hello, after which he and Ayu left, we had dessert and then left.
We got our two miles in by walking around the ship on deck 7 and while getting some exercise took in some interesting sights like a Naval ship, a large waxing moon, and a few hundred seagulls all sitting together in one spot whose cacophony needless to say was heard before we even spotted them. As I had a strange sensation of feeling like Tippy Hedren we kept walking and a little while later decided to call it an evening around 10:30.
Well I called it an evening. There was a late night Rum and Rum cake tasting that hubs decide to partake of.
All photos and written material copyright @TravelXena.com 2012