Today is a day At Sea. This means there are no port stops, no excursions, and we are free to explore the ship, and all she has to offer. My daughter wants to attend Kids’ Club, so we have a quickie breakfast in the International Café and I sign her in. They give me a pager. I haven’t carried a pager in over ten years.
Then the rest of us have brunch at the buffet, and the kids want to swim. My husband works on his laptop and does our laundry (yay!), the grandparents do their own thing, and my sister-in-law take the remaining kids to the pool. I pick up my daughter for lunch, and she has painted a t shirt, as well as pictures for her cousins. She states very plainly that she does not want to go back for the afternoon activities, as her partner earlier spoke only Spanish and also the chairs were too small for her. So, to the pool!
For lunch, we feast on pizza by the pool. The cheese pizza is fantastic, actually. I keep having to go back in line for more slices for everyone else. The two boys, two girls, and two moms, I don’t want to think how many slices we all ate. The pools are surprisingly small, although there is a generous ultra-shallow area for just sitting. One pool shows a movie, and the other has a live band. I’m headed to the Lotus Spa for my massage reservation. This is pretty nice, the massage therapist is nice and friendly, and when I admit I’d never had a hot stone massage because I was scared, she gives me just a little teaser of a couple hot stones, and it’s not bad at all. (Not at all like that episode of Amazing Race.) My sister-in-law wanted to bask and read in the Sanctuary, the posh adult-only area, however we are dismayed to hear that entrance to the Sanctuary costs extra. I use a “house” phone on the pool deck to request towels be sent to my room. They cannot figure this out. But you are calling from deck 15? But you want the towels to be sent to your room? Omg. The towels never come.
This evening we will be celebrating my in-law’s 50th anniversary. They have made a reservation at Sabatini’s, the fancy restaurant on the ship. Prior to our dinner, we will be having an hors d’oeuvres party on our balconies, in theory. In actuality, although we can connect our two balconies, it is again drippy sweaty humid crazy hot, and so we decide to stay in my in-law’s stateroom. Their stateroom is no bigger than ours, and now we have nine people in it! We bring in our two chairs from our room next door, so now there are 4 chairs and 4 people sitting among the two twin beds. My daughter shares a seat with me. If someone wants a drink or some chips and guacamole, they have to get up, squeeze by all the people, and go to the TV column table. Everyone is in good spirits, although the setting is a bit ridiculous. Fortunately, the AC, open balcony door and open cabin door create a kind of wind tunnel. My husband happily sits in the chair nearest the door and in optimum wind tunnel lane. Finally somebody suggests we head down to the restaurant. Brilliant.
The restaurant seats us at a private table off the main dining area. The table is frankly too long for us, still our patriarch sits at the head, followed by our matriarch and the four grandkids, then my husband and I and his sister across from us. It’s fortunate that my hubby and his sister are so far away from their parents. We dressed up again for this special event, and this dining room has an upcharge for all meals. My sweet daughter, looking elegant in her gold dress, orders alphabet soup. My husband and his sister are rolling their eyes and groaning. Twenty-five dollars for that alphabet soup. Most adults order lobster, I have ordered steak, and the boys are also ordering from the adult menu. I am very proud that my son tries a couple new things. Desserts are very fancy, and we have an a special anniversary cake and a birthday cake offered us, besides all the dessert orders. (Fortunately, the two girls’ cover charges are modified to 2-for-1 since the both ordered from the kids’ menu of the regular dining room.)
After the two hour dining experience, we roam the ship a bit and I buy batteries for my camera again, plus my nightly coffee drink treat. And it’s another night aboard the Emerald Princess.
I manage the kids’ bedtime routines, and Dear Husband checks into the casino again. After my son is showered and in bed, I begin my daughter’s routine. She flushes and the toilet overflows. Fortunately she was going in the shower anyway. I get her in the shower and use all remaining towels to clean up the floor, fortunately it is only a foot and a half square (you think I’m kidding, ), and not much overflow. I manage to call the customer service desk and obtain quick service. Yes apparently the keyword for quick service is “overflow.” They ask if it reached the carpet, I say no, please send someone and also I need towels (still). They come so quickly and turn off the main water to our cabin before knocking on the door. “Oh, no!” I hear my sweet daughter say. I explain to them that they can’t do that, my kid is in the shower and needs the water, and no nothing got on the carpet. She finishes her shower and we modify her routine so I can get her up to her 2nd level bunk as I let in the gentleman worker. He is accompanied by a female supervisor who informs me that “flushable” wipes are not really flushable. Got it. Somehow my dear son sleeps through all of this and dear daughter falls asleep easily. Dear hubby has not responded to my texts, as texts are wonky on the ship, but also men don’t answer their phones and/or they let their batteries die.
I am wishing I snagged a mini bottle of wine from the party next door. I’m too tired to deal with the crazy two-site 3 page login process to get my wifi minutes, so I just use my remaining texts for the day and text my family and friends. Some of them text back, and that makes me happy.
Tomorrow will be my best day: Florence! I am so excited. This makes me happy, too.