Tuesday morning, I woke up fairly early and decided to hit up the track on deck 12. I’m a runner and was pretty excited about running at sea because normally the only water I see when running back home is SWAMP.
The track is pretty nice, but it only has 2 lanes and is surrounded by deck chairs on both sides. You have great views of the Solarium, the H20 Zone, and the Main Pool Area, as well as the ocean (duh). However, if you want to run, be sure to get there super early because even at 8:00, people started getting their tan on!
I ran two miles (super hard because of the winds and the crowds of tanning people), then went back to the room and Clay and I went to the dining room for breakfast. He had the Huevos Rachero, and I had the granola buffet and banana pancakes. The banana pancakes were the special pancakes of the day, but I think they were the special for the entire cruise, haha. The granola was really, really yummy.
Clay went back to the room to read after breakfast, and I walked around Deck 11, where there was a massive t-shirt sale going on. The t-shirts were 2/$20 but I didn’t buy one. If you miss the first sale, there’s another one on the last sea day so don’t freak out :).
At 10:30, we went to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle, where we got to meet others who we’d been talking to on our Cruise Critic Roll Call.
I promise that neither Cruise Critic nor Royal Caribbean are paying me for this review, but I really can’t emphasize how much Cruise Critic’s forum taught us about cruising, excursions, dining, etc. Our park and cruise hotel deal- found it through Cruise Critic. Our excursions-heard about it on Cruise Critic.
We also found lots of great friends on the website too, obviously :).
The coolest thing we did at the Meet and Mingle was a gift exchange. This is like the Chinese Christmas game that everyone plays. Everyone who wanted to participate brought a gift that represented the state, city, or region where they’re from. Then, we passed the gifts around until the person overseeing the gift exchange said to stop. I ended up getting a pretty neat Tervis Tumbler from Jacksonville, Florida.
Clay got a Tar Heels bottle opener, jar of meat sauce/marinade, and some other goodies from North Carolina. We loved our gifts and so did everyone else- from what I heard, sometimes people trade after the game is over, but no one traded their gift this time.
After the Meet and Mingle, Clay went to the gym and lifted weights and I walked around and relaxed until lunch time.
We went to the dining room for lunch because our friends Taylor and Linda (also from Cruise Critic- see!) told us about an incredible salad bar. Every sea day, in the main dining room, you can get the tutti salad. It’s the most awesome salad ever- you point to what you want (you can choose from everything!), they make your salad for you and cut it up with a pizza cutter.
Folks, this salad is a meal. This isn’t the salad bar at your run-of-the-mill buffet or pizza place or even Windjammer. It’s seriously one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten and as a vegetarian living in the South, I eat a lot of salads just because there aren’t other options. But don’t worry, there were plenty of meat options for the salad too… and you could load it up with toppings and make it as healthy or unhealthy as you wanted.
Another funny thing I realized at lunch is how connected people really are. We sat at a table with 8 other people, of various ages, from various parts of the country. Guess what we talked about? Coach Steve Spurrier, Quarterback Steven Garcia, and the Carolina Gamecocks. Clay and I love Gamecock football and it was neat to go on a cruise and have a conversation about local football. We never expected that to happen!
Along with the salad, Clay and I split a mushroom quiche and had the apple parcel for dessert (along with everyone else at the table). Super yummy!
That afternoon, Clay decided to do the Dodgeball tournament and I went along to get some tan and some pictures. There were tournaments on the Sports Deck every sea day, and Clay’s dodgeball team ended up winning second place in the tournament, so he got a medal.
I also tried the rock wall while we were up there, but only got halfway up. I looked down, and then my leg started trembling and I had to come down from the wall. Stupid anxiety! I vowed to get to the top by the end of the week!
Dodgeball and rock climbing took a lot of energy out of us, so after a snack in the Windjammer, we went back to our room and watched Shrek 3 on the cartoon channel until time to get ready for dinner and the “sippy sippy” shooters afterwards (they came in the coolest souvenir glasses!). You can also get non-alcoholic shooters if you just want the glass, which is what I did.
Dinner was casual tonight, and we both had the crab cakes for an appetizer. I felt like Chef Gordon Ramsey ordering the crab cakes- ever seen the show Kitchen Nightmares? He orders crab cakes in every nightmarish restaurant he visits!
Besides that, I had the vegetable vindaloo (Indian dish, so amazing!) and this awesome dessert, but I don’t remember what it was called.
After dinner, all of us went up to the sky bar and watched the NBA finals on the big screen and chilled out. The bar actually closed while we were up there. Clay and I left and went back to the room to cuddle and sleep, and I think some of the others went to the Crypt (bar/club).
Here’s tonight’s towel animal: