Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday Morning French Kiss 2/8/10
This is going to be a crazy week! The Saints won and are the new Americas's Team! Who Dat? I am very proud for the entire state of Louisiana. Football is over and I need to find a new addiction. NASCAR starts back up, the Olympics are starting and the ultimate day of love ends our week. Watching the Daytona 500, the Olympics and sharing a romantic dinner with a loved one! What could be better? The business could be busier and with this being "Wave Season" I am confident that my ripples will turn into the high seas. All kidding aside! If you have ever wanted to take a cruise or you are a veteran cruiser, now is the time to be making your bookings for 2010 and 2011. All of the cruise lines are offering something spectacular during "Wave Season" I bet you will find something to your liking! Plus a cruise makes a great Valentine's gift. As always our journey starts off with liquid refreshment and in honor of Valentine’s Day we are going to start off with a French Kiss! I remember those days! HaHa! Who is ready or a French Kiss? Here we go! Take 1 1/2 ounces of Orange-Infused Vodka, 1 1/2 ounces of White Crème de Cacao, Grated Orange Zest and a sprinkle of Cocoa Powder. Pour the Vodka and White Crème de Cacao into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly until the shaker is frosted. Strain into a martini glass, add a White Chocolate Hersey's Kiss and sprinkle zest and/or cocoa powder on top. There you have it! The French Kiss! Day 2 on the Norwegian Pearl starts off like everyday should when I am at home but does not for some reason. Why does it take a vacation to get up and go exercise? It has got to be all of the food that you eat on a cruise ship. I hit the gym around 7:00 AM and it was all most full. My exerciser of choice was a stationary bike and I hit her up for 13 1/2 miles in one hour. When I got off that thing I could hardly walk. It was like I had cramps in both legs. I need to exercise on a regular basis, not just special occasions. Today is a sea day. What does that mean? It means that we will not be in a port and will be cruising all day. The main dining rooms stay open longer for breakfast on sea days. Today, breakfast would start at the Summer Palace on deck 6. When I cruise I like to get waited on for breakfast and dinner. I save the buffets for lunch, snacks and late night food. Coffee, prune juice, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers all served with a toasted bagel. The smoked salmon was awesome. Pea my oldest son had these amazing waffles with this warm banana compote. It was really good. Breakfast is over and now I have choices. The Norwegian Pearl has many to choose from. Look at the selection! Trivia, Yoga, Rock Climbing, Bowling, Swimming, Gaming Lessons, Poker Tournament, Sushi & Sake Demonstration, Nintendo Wii, Slot Tournament, Synchronized Swimming, Pub Crawl, Line Dancing, Basketball Tournament, Soccer Tournament, Martini Tasting, Bingo, Pilates, Beer Tasting and the list goes on. These are just some of your options during the day besides lying by the pool reading a book with your favorite fruity rum drink. I set out to explore this amazing ship so my head could stop spinning with my choices. I started out at the casino so I could get my casino card and the very generous casino coupon booklet. It had free pull, a free play, but a $10 chip and get $20 along with several other incentives for casino play. I made my way to the Stardust Theater to see what it looked like. You can enter the theater from deck 5, 6 and 7. Most of the Broadway and Vegas like shows will be performed here. I had better get up to deck 12 so I can spend some time with the family at the pool. The pools are broken up in an adult only and a kid friendly one. There is even a water slide! After a little time in the sun it is time grab some goodies form the Garden Cafe. Here we go again! Now I am dealing with food choices. You name it they have it. They had salads, pizzas, soups, breads, cheeses, sushi, burgers, brats, pastas, Chinese, sandwiches and desserts of many different nationalities. These are just a few of your choices. I decided to keep it simple and have pizza and sushi! I know two extremes, but two of my favorites. Now I am really stuffed. I need to walk some of this lunch off. I am headed off to go look at all of the paintings that they have setup to look at before the art auctions and even might sneak in a glass of champagne. The rest of the afternoon will be spent catching some rays at the pool and play some ping pong with Pea and Pod. Then it was time for Pea & Pod to put their big boy pants on and climb a wall. The Pearl has a rock climbing wall that soars further than I care to look up and they thought they could climb it. Pod went first on the most difficult one and got about half way up and down he came. He then attempted the medium one and made it to the top. Pea started off with the difficult one as well and after 5 minutes and only half way up called it quits. I called it nuts! As the afternoon starts to wind down my food senses are starting to get excited! We are celebrating my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary tonight. We decided that tonight was the night to get dressed up and celebrate. On NCL you never have to get dressed up if you do not want to. That is what Freestyle Cruising is all about, but we decided to for this special night. We are going to eat at Cagney's tonight. This is one of the specialty restaurants and there is a $25 per person charge to eat a Cagney's Steakhouse, but in our case because we were traveling as a group it was one of our amenities. If you are traveling as a group, make sure you call your travel agent and have them block group space for your group. The cruise lines all offer amenities for groups. You will be amazed what we can do for you. Sorry about that. I needed to explain the amenities part. I have been looking forward to eating at Cagney's Steakhouse. Before dinner we had been invited to the Captain's cocktail party. It was very cool getting to meet the Captain, but no shaking hands. I thought it was sorta weird and I understand the germ thing. We had 15 people, so we had to sit at two separate table’s right next to each other. After a few glasses of wine and many toasts to my parents on their incredible longevity of their marriage, it was time to order. The really cool thing about eating on a cruise ship is even though it is off of a menu you can order as many items as you want. If you can't decide between two appetizers then order them both. If you can't decide on two entrees then order them both. I think you get the picture. I started off with a jumbo shrimp cocktail. The shrimp were huge! Then it was off to a couple of crab cakes and the Cagney's chopped salad. Are we full yet? Nope, it is entree time. I ordered the 10 oz fillet and fries with truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I wish you could see the big smile on my face! Dessert consisted of a cheese plate with three cheeses drizzled with honey. A few more glasses of wine and a glass of champagne and I have just experienced food perfection. It was just a perfect evening to celebrate with my family and my parents. I am really full! The evening continues to the Stardust Theater for the comedy show and would end at the casino playing blackjack with Pea, Pod and my dad. It really has been an awesome night and my very comfortable bed is calling my name. Tomorrow we will be in Samana, Dominican Republic for day 3 of our journey. I am not sure what to expect in Samana, but we are looking forward to visiting her tomorrow. I truly appreciate all of you who are reading and following. Please leave me a comment sometime so I know who is reading. I would be honored if you share this with a friend. Hang on for day 3 as we visit Samana, Dominican Republic. Until we unite again remember to always love your Travel Agent. He needs lots of love! Keep your Cruisitude in check and most important is to Travel Your Way!