Day 4: Hurricane warning!

Today was another cold one. We had a high of 66 and a low of 42. Yeah, that's cold weather to be out in all day, then add in the wind. Today we were headed to Epcot. We had another full day planned even though we got to bed around 2am. We left the room at about 9:30 am. The bus ride was the usual... we stood. The frustrating part of today, no wait, the FIRST OF MANY, frustrating parts of today was we waited for our bus, only to have some people refuse to move all the way to the back of the bus. We so could have fit on the bus but noooooo. So we had to wait in the cold for another bus to arrive. It took seven minutes. I was counting. Seven minutes? That was nothing. Yeah, but it was seven minutes I shouldn't of had to stand in the freezing cold due to some people that were pretty selfish if I must say so. We finally made it to Epcot. We took some nice pictures and the headed to Morocco for an early lunch since we had an early buffet dinner at 4:05 pm. Edit: We were SUPPOSED to eat at 4:05pm- more on that later.  Wow! Um...Yeah!  LUNCH WAS GREAT!!!  This was a day where not even feeding times could bring a smile to grumpy's face.  No song that Snow White sing would whipe the overclast clougs away...there was no "give a little whistle."  But really, lunch was great.  

Day 3: Waiters & Roids

"Dyanna"           "Lisa"

What a day - glorious day it will be!   Temperature again - FREEZING! We have had highs from 63-68 and lows 41-45 so far. Now I know you all are saying, "It's 32 degrees here at -------..." However, I will point out that you are not out in the elements from 8 am - 1 am!!! I digress.  It was a pretty even keeled day to begin with...we hung out in the room this morning laughing hysterically! That is our continual theme.  We spent some time blogging (some time????) - in which I lost blog privileges for spending so much time commenting on it ...took me 3 whole days to gain them back! Now for what REALLY happened. My lovely friend Dyanna chose to take almost the entire morning to comment on what I had already written in hopes that we'd run out of time for me to EDIT her insanity out. I was literally PACING the room counting down the minutes she had left. I FINALLY got my computer back only to have her then LEAN OVER MY SHOULDER TO ADD MORE!!!!! Yes, yes its true!  As a good friend...I was helping her work through all of her issues. I was saying... This caused us to be late for the bus, which then made us late for lunch... which is my number ONE pet peeve... being late. The kicker... after all these pet peeve intrusions... we ran out of time to actually POST the blog that only took us (DYANNA!!) five hours to type!   

Day 2: Ho ho ho.

Sorry this is late... Dyanna is now addicted to blogging and I could not pry the computer from her hands to post this edition. She is now banned from all typing activities and I will now do her typing for her. So here's yesterday's post (Wed, Dec 1). Pics are on my website... link on right.

Today we woke up at a refreshing 5:30am!!! I actually started waking up at 4am but by 5:30am I awoke to a “Happy Birthday” banner strung across the room that was not there on my last wake-up... about 10 minutes earlier. So we were up! Oh to a 5:15 am wake-up on VACATION!!!!  Its a sick, sick world!  Dyanna had another b-day gift and card. This one was a jar filled with 25 potato chips that, once again, I was obligated to count each one... at 5:30am! But they were your favorite! He he he (vindictive laugh).  Dy is so thoughtful... even at 5:30am.

Day 1: Death by ginger & arctic tundra.

Day 1: Today is day one, but really day 3 for me. I arrived bright and early on Sunday morning and spent the next two days taking it easy & recouping from the crazy last two months. I basically did nothing and ate so I won’t bother  you with the mundane details. I ate, slept & shopped basically. I will note that when I arrived to the hotel on Sunday my room was ready at 10am!!! That’s unheard of! The cast member couldn’t even believe it! I also got to spend some time with my awesome aunts & enjoy the sights at the new Italian restaurant. We also ate while we were there, but who pays attention to the food in the Italy pavilion?! Okay, so enough about that. Now onto the real trip. You are going to be treated to a special first for this blog... tag team blogging. Dy’s going to jump in at times. When I’m talking it will be in red. Yup, when I speak it’s written in red. I’m THAT good. When Dy speaks it will be in green. We actually decided this as Christmas colors and only after the fact realized that I would be the “red letter edition”. Oh the power. Please send all your gold, frankincense & myrrh to Yorktown Assembly of God, Attention Lisa Foster. Without further adieu... our live trip report.

Jambo & Merry Christmas!

Today officially starts my latest trip, Disney World for the Christmas season with one of my oldest friends, Dyanna. You'll notice after looking over my blog that I haven't posted any pre-trip reports. You'll also notice that it took me over a month to finish my last trip report. My family has gone through quite the experience that started almost immediately following getting off the Disney Magic. I won't get into details, but my mom & I spent a month in Florida with my family. My Uncle had been fighting cancer for almost two years and less than a week after we got off the ship, while my mom & I were still in Fl with them, we were told he had no more than two months to live. About 3 days later my mom & I reluctantly went home. Once we got home my dad flew back to Fl to spend time with my Uncle. My dad & Uncle met when they were 8 years old and then ended up marrying sisters. They've been friends & brother-in-laws for 53 years. After my dad was there for about two days he called home & said we needed to be there. My family is blessed in so many ways. We are blessed with great people & great jobs that allowed us to be there with my Aunt & Uncle.  So after being home for 4 days, my mom & I headed right back for Florida. We ended up staying there a month. In that month we were able to spend amazing time with our family and be with my Uncle in his final weeks. It was a sad time to see him suffer but it was also the most amazing month of my life. You see my Uncle had a personal relationship with Jesus, so it wasn't goodbye, it was so long, 'cause it's only so long until we see him again. So it was very bittersweet. It was hard to see him suffer & hard to think that it will be a little while before we can see him again, but it was awesome to have such quality time with my wonderful family. My Uncle Art was an amazing man and what an example my Aunt gave me of true love. For better or for worse, in sickness in health. I can only hope that one day I can be half the wife and mother my Aunt is. She is an incredible woman and I was amazed daily by her loyalty and selfless acts, especially during these past two years. So after this past month I really look at life much different. I will say and if you don't like hearing it, than tough, 'cause I'm gonna say it anyway... if you're a smoker, STOP SMOKING!!!!!!!! Think of your future & think of your family. 

So that's what's been going on in my life in Oct & Nov. After getting home I had an awesome Thanksgiving and then celebrated my 25th birthday by going to see Michael Buble in concert. AMAZING. I took some video that I'll share below. Now... I just got a text from Dyanna & she's waiting for the Magical Express bus!!! Let the vacation begin! Trip Report starts tomorrow morning!!!  

It's filmed in HD, but you have to change it to 720 on the bottom right of the screen to see it in HD.

Day 19 & 20: Castaway Cay & Final Morning

Today was our last day and what a better way to spend it than on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay (key!). We were not supposed to get there until 11:30am and we had to leave by 4:30pm. The captain felt bad about this, so he booked it and ended up getting us there by 10am and said we didn’t have to get back onboard until 5pm. What a guy! So we got up and had some breakfast. After breakfast we headed off the ship. My dad went to get us seats at the adult only beach, Serenity Bay, while my mom & I shopped. All the good merchandise & sizes are gone by the afternoon so we always shop first. After our little shopping time we met up with my dad at the Serenity Bay. He got us great loungers & we laid out & swam for the morning. It was time to eat. Now we could have stayed right there at Serenity Bay for lunch, but our favorite meal on a disney cruise is the BBQ buffet over by the family beach. Plus we were planning to meet up with Renaldo. So we got on the shuttle to the family beach. While on the shuttle I spotted Renaldo walking towards the adult only beach. I thought he looked at me so I waved but the guy didn’t wave back. My mom saw him too but said it wasn’t Renaldo. Oops. So we get to the buffet and don’t see Renaldo. We get our food and have a relaxed lunch. Daniel was working our area and came over to talk for a while. He also brought us those beloved mickey ice cream bars. After sitting for a while we decided to walk around the other seating areas to find Renaldo. We couldn’t find him. We ran into literally every waiter we’ve talked to on this entire 2 week cruise, but not our favorite, Renaldo. Everyone we talked to said he was probably “in the back of the house”. So after our hunt for Renaldo we gave up and decided to head back on the ship and have some pool time since it would be empty. There were actually a pretty surprising number of people already back on the ship, but the pool was close to empty. My mom & I headed in while my dad napped (i’m guessing) somewhere on the ship. After some pool time we headed back to the room to change for dinner. Once we were ready for dinner we headed to our last show in the theater, Remember the Magic: A Final Farewell. This was a mixed bag of a show with some other special stuff like a compilation video of our cruise, comedians, officers, etc. It was nice, but sad! John Charles performed & was amazing as usual. Next it was time for our last dinner. How sad! We stayed for a while talking to all our waiters who we had made friends with. We took some pictures. It was sad. Next we headed to our room. Our luggage had to be out in the hallway by, I think, 10:30pm. So we changed, packed & put our luggage out. Then we headed to see John Charles in his extra performance. It was great. I just love him! After John Charles the cruise staff did Pub Night & that is not to be missed!!! Every cruise on the last night the cruise director staff do a special “pub night” that includes a skit called “If I were not upon the sea.”. Oh my God! It was great! It’s never the same. You can see it on youtube but be careful if you do, ‘cause you’ll end up waiting like 2 hours trying to figure out which it the funniest. By far ours was the funniest. Our cruse director made a special appearance. I don’t want to wreck it, but he was dressed as a female ballerina. Priceless. After that it was time to call it a night on our last night of the cruise. We headed back to our rooms & what a sight. To walk into a room you’ve called home for the last two weeks and see it empty. That was sad. This cruise really felt like home. I’ve never experienced anything like it in all the cruises I’ve been on, both Disney & other lines. I think it was because most days we had the same routine, we were totally unpacked & moved in- everything had a place & because the cruise staff were really like family. Every night we were headed to dinner with Renaldo & Z and the rest of the waitstaff family. This really was a vacation of a life time. 
Our final morning I woke up pretty early. We had to be off the ship by 10am. We headed to breakfast for our final meal with our family. We exchanged info and Renaldo gave me his info for Facebook. Z was in a hurry because he was heading to the airport too, as his contract ended today so he was excited to get home. Z brought us our breakfast and then said goodbye and left us in the capable hands of Renaldo. Renaldo sat with us at our table for quite a while talking to us. He had never done this before, always just squatted next to our table, but I think because it was the last morning & the ship was headed to dry-dock things were much more relaxed. So we sat with Renaldo and talked. Then it was finally time to say goodbye. My dad had a flight to catch & my mom & I were headed to Ocala, Fl to visit family. We said goodbye to Renaldo & as we were walking out he began to tear up. It was adorable. He told us that he loved serving us because when he was with us he felt like a weigh was lifted and he was with family. We loved Renaldo! I guess he could feel that. After our last goodbye we walked off our home-away-from-home and headed to pick up our rental car. We had a great porter who was originally from NY, surprising I know. He was hysterical so I was happy about that. It kept our mind off the fact that we were officially back to reality. We got on the shuttle to Alamo & had the world’s worst bus driver! The guy didn’t know how to get to Alamo. It’s literally 2 minutes down the one road in Cape Canaveral but apparently that was too difficult for him. We had to give him the address so he could put it in his gps!! This was the rental car shuttle bus! For the life of me I can’t figure out what his deal was. I think he was on drugs or something. So we finally get to Alamo 20 minutes after leaving th port. Yeah, it took us 20 minutes when it should of taken 2!!! It was the ride from hell! So we get inside & their computers are down. After another 20 minutes we finally head for the airport. We get to the airport, I head to the rental car area to pick up my mom & I’s car for the week and my mom & dad head to check in my dad for his flight. THANK GOD my mom went with my dad. They couldn’t find his reservation!!! He ended up having to buy a ticket at the counter! We still don’t know what happened??? So now after all this he’s late. He’s freaking out so the Jetblue lady walks him thru the security line. At security the stop him and make him unwrap all of our souvenirs! He finally makes it onto the plane. He was the last one to board. Talk about a way fly right back into reality- pun intended. 

So that was our once in a lifetime trip! It was amazing. I can't say that enough. I hope you enjoyed reading along. It was a joy to write about it each day. 

Stay tuned. A lot has gone on since getting off the ship that I will be sharing in my next post. One of the most exciting things... I'm sitting on my balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge & will be starting a live trip report today, so stay tuned!!

Day 18: Final Day at Sea

Better late than never... (explanation coming soon)
So today was our last day at sea. You’d think after all this time I’d be sick of this ship but not at all! I am so sad that this is our last sea day. I started the day just like any other sea day. Woke up way too early, this time I took some time to start packing. After it was a decent time of the morning I headed to breakfast. I had finally started to get my appetite back. Don’t know why, but I didn’t mind. Breakfast was amazing. After breakfast I headed to my seat, the one I had commandeered the entire cruise & read for a while. Next it was time for our final cooking demonstration. This was also sad, as we really enjoyed these “Art of Entertaining” demonstrations. Today’s did not disappoint. Today it was the three head chefs onboard. They did it kind of like a tag team/iron chef sort of thing. One was French, one Italian & the other was Irish! We went full circle on this trip. Started with Ireland & ended (kind of) with Ireland. The chef from Ireland was really funny. He had non stop “jabs/zingers” at the other two & he never even cracked a smile. It was great. The French chef was more serious. I know, big surprise. The Italian was just silly. It really was a lot of fun. They made my favorite entree of all the cooking demonstrations, a filo wrapped salmon with peas & potatoes. It was soooo good. I’m definitely going to make that one at home. After that my mom & I found my dad and headed to the buffet for lunch. After lunch, my mom & I went to OUR chairs and my dad went off somewhere. After quite a while we headed back to our rooms to finish up packing what we could and then relax. My favorite comedian that I had seen on my first Disney cruise was doing a late night show tonight. I was really excited. Next we got ready for dinner and the show. Tonight’s show was Disney Dreams. Usually I find this show completely cheesy & boring. However, this time the girl who played the main character was amazing and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it!  Dinner was really good tonight. Probably because I had my appetite back. Renaldo was hysterical as usual. We had another lemon display waiting for us. After dinner, we headed back to our rooms to change since tonight was semi formal night. We got comfy and then headed for the main theater to see John Charles. He did not disappoint. LOVE him. He’s like a walking jukebox. He has the crowd yell out songs and he plays, sings & mocks them. I’ve never seen him get a song he didn’t know. He was great! The crowd was so into it he went about 30 minutes over and then promised that he’s do another special show tomorrow night. I was really excited. Off to bed before our last day tomorrow at Castaway Cay (pronounced key).

Day 17: Tortola

I know I'm behind. I guess I just got too relaxed. Or was it because my mom took my computer hostage again? I think it was a little of both. Anyway.

Today we made it to Tortola. I had last told you that I had a big surprise planned today for my parents. Well, that didn't quite go as planned. I'm getting ahead of myself. So today I woke up at 3:30am. I laid in bed for a while watching tv, started to pack a little and then got ready. We went to breakfast this morning at one of the "sit down" restaurants rather than the buffet. We had our waiter "Z" as our head waiter but Renaldo was late today so he was assigned to another waiter. It ended up being perfect though 'cause like no one was in the restaurant. So "Z" was our waiter and Renaldo got to hang out with us basically the whole time. It was one of the funniest moments of the cruise. Renaldo had half the waiters hysterical laughing at him. He is just so funny. He brought over the guy he was assigned to work with today to introduce us and he was another cool guy. His name was Kendell & he is originally from Trinidad but now from NY. We talked with him a while. We also saw Daniel. Then we met another one of the restaurant "managers" who Renaldo calls his "lawyer",  as this manager always covers for Renaldo when he's late. He was very funny and picked on Renaldo which was great.

After our breakfast we were SUPPOSED to head up to the room and get our swim suits on for my parent's big surprise - Swimming with Dolphins! Apparently, once you hit your 60s you loose all sense of adventure. That's what I get having parents old enough to be my grandparents. It was obvious to me last night when I told my parents about the surprise they weren't really interested. This morning confirmed my feelings. My dad also began to get a tooth ache a few nights ago and by this morning it had gotten pretty bad. So I just decided to cancel the adventure and do something a little more AARP friendly... We took a 20 minute stroll around Tortola. Exciting huh? If you've ever been to Tortola than you'll know how not exciting that stroll is. Tortola has the tiniest little town you'll see. It's literally one street. They have two stores. A rolex store and a jewelry store. That's about it. So we strolled around there and were back on the ship by 10:30am. We headed up to the pool where my mom & I hung out for the day while my dad headed to the room to lay down. The three of us met up for an exciting adventure at the buffet and then crashed from the adrenaline of the buffet adventure back by the pool. My dad went off on his own again. While my mom and I were at the pool we saw Renaldo walking around by the pool. He was working the buffet today. The buffet is in the back (aft) of the ship and the adult only pool is in the front (forward) of the ship. You can take your food from the buffet or the fast food area anywhere you want, so each day they assign a worker for each side of the ship to walk up & down the ship collecting plates. Renaldo had this assignment today, however he was assigned to the opposite side of the ship as us. On one of his rounds he made it over to where we were so we yelled to him, scaring him half to death. He was so excited to see us. He stayed and talked with us for about 10 minutes until Daniel came by. Daniel is the waiter who is a manager in training. During the day he is a manager but at night he's a waiter. Daniel's job today is to walk the deck making sure that Renaldo and the other one assigned to walking the deck are doing what they should.  So Daniel comes around the corner and sees Renaldo on the opposite side of the ship he's supposed to be on talking with us. They both immediately start to laugh and Daniel jokes with Renaldo that he now knows his spots. Daniel then explains to us that Renaldo was just missing for 30 minutes 'cause he was hanging out with some other guests and now he was hanging out with us. So Renaldo heads back to his side of the ship and Daniel stays with us for a quick chat. Fast forward to about 30 minutes later and here comes Renaldo again. This times he talks with us for about 30 minutes. As we were hysterical laughing with Renaldo I see Daniel coming. So when Daniel's view was blocked I warned Renaldo. So Renaldo crawls over to about midship where there was a table and then stands up slowly fixing the table looking around all innocent. At about the time Daniel gets to us, Renaldo turns to face Daniel & almost walks into a passenger who was carrying dishes to put on top of the garbage pail. So Renaldo quickly takes the dishes from her and then happily walks past Daniel over to the garbage pail to dump some of the garbage on the plates. Daniel is now laughing shaking his head & stays over near us so that Renaldo has to keep moving. You really had to be there & know Renaldo's personality. It was hysterical. We stayed by the pool for a little longer and then decided that we were just way too adventurous today and better head back to the room to relax and then get ready for the show and dinner.

Tonight's show was the crew talent show. It was... interesting. Basically, most of the crew shouldn't quit their day jobs. It was a nice time though. They even did "Dancing with the Officers". Where one of the officers would dance with a guest. 4 officers did this. They would find a passenger and then practice during the 5 sea days and then they performed their dance in the show. It was interesting. After the "show" we headed to dinner. Dinner was another fun time, complete with lemons ala Renaldo. After dinner I called it a night, but my dad headed to see the comedian/magician. He said he was very funny.

Tomorrow is our last sea day. So sad!

Talk to you later!

Day 16: St. Maarten

LAND! (Booo!) Yup, today was our first sight of land. We arrived to St. Maarten this morning. I woke up at 3:30am again. Hurray! I treated my dad to a sailing excursion where he and his "racing team" (fellow passengers) raced another sailboat with more passengers. These sailboats they were on have competed in the big sailing race they have every year- the name escapes me right now. I think it's the world cup?? I don't remember. He was a nervous wreck so he headed up to breakfast early even though he had like two hours until his meeting time. When I was ready I headed up to look for him. He was sitting with a couple. They had asked if they could join him. Turns out that they have done that excursion before AND they were going today. I was happy about that since my dad was going alone, as my mom doesn't do sailboats and I didn't want her alone roaming the streets of St. Maarten- who knows where she'd end up. So I was thrilled that my dad happened to meet this couple. I wasn't, however, thrilled with the idea of eating breakfast with complete strangers. They were nice, but it was just too early to be talking to people. By that point I had already been up for 4 hours but it's always too early to share a meal with complete strangers if you ask me. Just kidding!! (No, really. I'm not.) While at breakfast we ran into Renaldo our assistant waiter and Pierre the food artist I told you about yesterday. We had some fun with them then we headed to get my mom. 

My dad left for his excursion, so my mom & I headed into town to shop. I really wasn't at all looking forward to St. Maarten. My parents are not beach people (what's the fun in a beach by yourself?), literally if you've seen one caribbean island, you've seen them all & my mom almost immediately didn't feel good getting off the ship. So my mom and I took the water taxi to downtown and "shopped" for a little bit. All they have is jewelry stores! Oh, and the token Del Sole store. You're not in a port of call without Del Sole and their color changing souvenirs. So we looked around for about 40 minutes. Right in downtown they have a pretty nice beach and it was hot! It was only 9am and we were dying. So we went in the water for a little bit. When we got out, I hate putting flip flops back on with sand still on my feet, so I decided to walk around a little bit until my feet were dry and I could wipe off the sand. BIG mistake. The ocean front stores are all right on the sand. However, the sand up by the stores is all broken up shells. I unfortunately didn't notice this until I was limping around with a cut on my toe. Hurray! We were hot, my mom felt very sick & now I was hobbling around. So we just decided to head back to the ship and spend the day at the empty, adult only pool. 

On our way back we ran into Raphael, our assistant waiter from 2007. We talked with him for a little bit and then headed up to the pool. We had the place pretty much to ourselves. It was very nice. The water in the pool was great. After spending a little bit of time in the pool we sat in our favorite seats reading and relaxing. While we were there we saw one of the three waiters that we always see at the tastings. He's from Chile but I don't remember his name?? He stopped to talk to us for a while. He was very nice. When we mentioned Daniel, the other one we met at the tastings, he acted like he didn't know him at first, which we thought was funny. You don't know the guy you've been working with at all of these tastings and cooking demonstrations but you know us from them. Ooookay. 

Finally, my dad got back from sailing the high seas so we headed to lunch. Did I mention how sick of food I am??? Ugh. I find myself sitting down for dinner and thinking, "Oh, I have to eat now??" I'm just not hungry at all which if you know me at all, is REALLY strange. I'm not one of those picky, fussy, girly eaters- I'm a steak & potatoes kind of girl & I (normally!!) LOVE to eat. Thanks Dad! I digress. 

After I couldn't eat another bite I told my parents I'd meet up with them later. I headed back to the pool. On my way I ran into that waiter we had just talked with from the cooking demonstrations. He talked with me for quite a while and I felt like we were playing 20 questions or something. "What's your name? How old are you? Where are you from? What did you go to school for? What do you do?" And my personal favorite (*heavy sarcasm*), "Have a boyfriend?" then "No? Have you been dating or seeing anyone recently?" So I told him, "Nope, no one's asked me", which was not a good enough answer for him apparently. So the Spanish Inquisition continued. I was tempted to ask if he was doing a research paper or something, but he was really sweet, so I didn't. (Aren't I nice?) I stayed at the pool until it was time to get ready for the show and then dinner. 

Tonight's show was my favorite. It was Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" and Barbie from Toy Story 2 & 3. She basically would tell her story of how she got the part, what it was like doing the movie, etc. while singing a bunch of her favorite disney movie songs. She ended up being a home-schooling, Christian who talked about God, so it was doubly nice. She ended the night with the song from The Little Mermaid, Part of Your World. It was really great and she is hysterical! I wasn't expecting that.

Tonight was pirate night so there were all kinds of freaks... er... "passengers" dressed in full on Pirate costumes. Some of the passengers were REALLY into it. Seriously. There was a middle-aged man with a stuffed parrot on his shoulder. So t say they were into it is an understatement. My parents & I wore our pirate t-shirts- these people looked straight out of the movies. It was insane. I would say about 70% of the ship were dressed for the occasion. We headed to dinner where the entire waitstaff is dressed as pirates and they really get to have fun with it. The were doing the conga line as we walked in - just the waiters. Then they pretty much danced around and partied the whole night while serving us. It was really fun to see. Renaldo (our assistant waiter) had a special surprise waiting for us at our table that, again, made our table the must visit of the night. Every night my mom would ask for lemon for her water, so every night Renaldo has gotten more and more creative with how he "presents" our lemon. Well, tonight he really outdid himself. He made two mice out of lemons and they were the cutest little things! Every waiter that went by our table had to stop and see 'cause they were just so cute. Don't worry I got a picture. So we met a couple more waiters due to this fact as well as our regulars. Daniel came by and said how cute they were and then began to pick on Renaldo about how he never leaves and that lemons are all he ever thinks about. It was very funny. It is obvious to us that everyone loves Renaldo. I mean really I don't know how they couldn't- he's just so funny. I am so happy we were lucky enough to have him at our table- there's never a dull moment. After dinner Renaldo made me take the mice with me and made me promise that I would order cheese from room service for them and that tomorrow when there is eight more of them in my room to please not tell custodial that the mice were his when they're trying to catch them all. On our way out of the restaurant I ran into Daniel again- the first "waiter" we met at the tastings and cooking demonstrations. One of the times we talked with him, he told us how he was a waiter in Palo (the adult only, specialty restaurant) for over a year before getting promoted to restaurant manager in training for Disney's newest ship, the Dream. Well, if you remember, I am absolutely in love with the chicken parmesan from the Palo brunch. (that was back when I still had an appetite- Day 2 of the cruise) So I asked Daniel if there was any way to get the recipe. He said he could get me it and he'd have it for me tomorrow. I am so excited! I have only ever heard of them giving out the chocolate soufflé recipe they're known for, so I didn't really even think it was a possibility. See. It's all about who you know.

After dinner was the pirate party upstairs. My mom & I headed up but my dad decided to just call it a night. The pirate party is fun. They have singing and dancing, a bunch of characters attend, there some other surprises (that I wont ruin), a dessert buffet & fireworks. Yup. Disney's ships do a fireworks show out at sea. They are the only cruise line to do it and it really is an awesome thing. You're out in the middle of the ocean watching fireworks. How cool is that?

After the fireworks they play the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie on the big screen by the pool (where the party is held) and the dessert buffet is open. They also serve those giant turkey legs you see at the parks as well as some other foods since a lot of people skip dinner to be able to eat out there.

My mom and I headed to bed after the fireworks. Tomorrow is Tortola. I have a surprise for tomorrow. My parents (and some of you, my original readers) were under the impression that we were just planning to get off the ship and roam around. Does that sound like a way to spend your last official port day??? We actually have one more, but it's Disney's private island so that doesn't really count. I surprised my parents with a special excursion. The reason I couldn't talk about it on here is because my mom reads the blog. So tonight at dinner I shared with them the surprise trip planned, but you guys aren't going to hear what it is until tomorrow. Oh, the power.

Talk to you guys tomorrow.

Public Service Announcement: Yesterday I had pretty good internet so I went online to see how the blog is doing and I was horrified by the state of it. The typos alone nearly sent me over board - pun intended. Normally, I am super anal and I proof read, but I'm on vacation and it's showing. So sorry for all the typos. I'll fix them when I get home- not that it would matter by then though.             

Day 15: 5 of 5 consecutive sea days.

BRACE FOR IMPACT- it's a long one!
Today was our 5th consecutive sea day. You may be wondering if we're ready to see land. Nope. I could have another 5 more sea days. I love it! Today's weather was absolutely gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky and it got up to the mid 80s. We haven't seen any rain... it's just been perfect. The seas today were just as calm as all the other days, but my mom was feeling a little off on & off today. (well, that was confusing to type!) We don't think it's sea sickness, as the sea feel exactly the same as the last 4 days. I think she didn't eat enough with her pills she takes in the morning. By the end of today though she felt fine.
Well, as you know I've been sleeping like an 80 year old since getting on the ship but I have now passed an 80 year old's sleep pattern and entered an ungodly sleep pattern. I woke up, WIDE awake, at 3:30am!!!!!!! I have no idea what's going on. Last night was our last night to change our clocks back. I went to bed at 10:30pm and got up at 3:30am! We are now in the eastern time zone, so I better get working on this situation, as getting up at 3:30am at home is not an option. So I laid in bed for quite a while watching TV. It was exciting to finally have american tv stations. Today we got close enough to land to be able to receive the satellite. For the last couple of days the TV has been all movies or sitcoms on a loop. Today we had CBS, Travel Channel, ESPN, Disney Channel (of course) and some others. Only problem is there is absolutely nothing on on TV at 3:30am. So I watched a portion of Iron Man 2 for the 30th time and then watched a little of Michael Jackson's, This Is It, for the 10th time. FInally, I just decided to get up and started to get ready for the day. There's only so much to do to get ready for a day by the pool, so I ironed some more- oh my gosh, I'm turning into my dad! Ironing at 4:30am. Great! God help me. Finally it was late enough to head upstairs with my dad for breakfast. Actually it wasn't- we got there 30 minutes before the restaurant even opened, so we headed to get seats by the pool.
My mom met us up at the seats a little later and then my dad & I headed to breakfast. I had a bowl of fruit and basically forced every bite down. I don't know why I even bothered. My dad just got two pieces of toast and headed for the egg station, leaving me totally alone, which bothered me, UNTIL I ran into my favorite guy, Daniel. He talked with me while I was on the line and then asked for my mom. It was cute. Next I went to find my dad and I ran into another waiter that has been visiting us each night. He's not our waiter but we met him on the first day in the buffet and he's been visiting us ever since. He is hysterical and it's funny to watch our waiter make fun of him. He's always getting in trouble and it's just hysterical. For example. Today, as I left Daniel, I turned the corner to see him up ahead. He turned and saw me, waved and then started to walk towards me. As he turned a passenger holding two cups of coffee turned and the waiter walked right into him spilling the coffee everywhere. I was so embarrassed for him. He turned to apologize to the passenger and then ran into the kitchen. 
Finally I found my dad at a table. After he finished his eggs and I forced down the last bit of fruit I could we headed out, first looking for our waiter and assistant waiter. Our waiter is great, but our assistant waiter, Renaldo, is the highlight of our cruise. We found our assistant waiter just before leaving and talked with him a while. He's so funny. I wish I could explain him for you, but it won't do it justice. 
Next we headed back to my mom. We get to my mom where she was saving our seats and decided that she does want breakfast. So I turn around and go back with her, leaving my dad at the seats. Talk about repetition. We head back and I go through the line with her. We find a table, she eats, we go to leave and we run into Daniel (bummer *insert sarcastic cough here*). After talking with Daniel for a while and promising him that we were going to the cooking demonstration again today, we run into our favorite little guy, our assistant waiter, Renaldo. We talked with him for a while. He was standing handing out those sanitizing wipes they make you use every time you go into a restaurant. Handing out the trays at the start of the buffet line was that other waiter I was telling you about- the one who spilled the coffee, Pierre. Well, our assistant waiter, Renaldo, knows EVERYONE and has a nickname for everyone. So he was making fun of Pierre to us- in a playful way. They're friends. Then I told Renaldo about Pierre & the coffee spill and he want hysterical. It was very funny.
After that my dad headed to a lecture on Tortola- where we're going in a few days. My mom and I stayed by the pool until it was time to head to the cooking demonstration. This was the last one by this special guest chef, so my mom brought our menus that they had given us. Two nights ago we had a special Transatlantic Menu and they gave us the menus as a souvenir. They're really pretty so I was excited to get them. We had our waiters sign them- which was probably the funniest moment of the entire trip. Sorry again- you had to be there. So we brought our menus to have the guest chef sign them... as well as Daniel, our favorite restaurant manager. The chef cooked a chicken "Foie Gras". It's basically a chicken liver paste that you put on toast. It was good but he put a cucumber jello type stuff on top that I didn't think was necessary. My mom liked the top part though. So after it was over my mom headed up to wait on the huge line for the autograph, leaving me by myself. That lasted about 10 seconds. I looked down at my recipe and when I looked up there was Daniel. He asked how I liked it and I told him how I felt about the top part and that was exactly how he felt. I was glad to hear, because I thought I was just being picky. I reminded him that we wanted him to sign our menus, so he waited with me until my mom got back. My mom finally got the chef's signature and then it was Daniel's turn. When he saw how our waiters has signed them he was hysterical, so we had to explain the whole thing. Basically (this won't read funny at all- you have to know these guys, but here it goes) our assistant waiter, Renaldo, signed my menu, but he had to draw me something extra, so he drew a Philippines flag, as he's... you guess it- he's from the Philippines. Next our head waiter, "Z" signed it. Now these two together are like a Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis. Our head waiter, "Z" is serious & sad looking. He has a dry sense of humor so it perfect. Well he sees what Renaldo drew so he decides he has to draw something too. So he signs it and draws a picture of Renaldo with a little thinking bubble over it's head & wrote "Renaldo" in it. He then tells us that it is Renaldo thinking about Renaldo, 'cause that's all he's ever thinking about. You had to be there. We were crying we were laughing so hard.
So now Daniel sees this and it starts the whole thing again and we had to explain it all over again. He signs it and then we head to meet my dad for lunch at the buffet where we run into both of our waiters again. We joked with them a bunch and then my mom & I headed back down to cooking demonstration area where they were doing a little "lesson" on how to throw a dinner party. Really the whole thing ended up just being, how to set a table & then rest of the time was all about wine. Once it was done we headed straight over to the theater where Don "Ducky" Williams (the Disney illustrator for 30 years) was doing another presentation and raffling off all the sketches he drew while telling his story. The only reason we went was to hopefully win a sketch, as we had already heard his story. Of course, we didn't win one.
After that my parents went to see Toy Story 3 3D and I just headed to my room. It's been two weeks and my pedicure was suffering, so I painted my toe nails and finger nails. I know... pivotal information. After that I got ready for dinner and the show.  The show was very good. It was all about Walt Disney. It was cool how they did it. The used old footage and the cast to act out scenes. It was just really done well. I really love Walt Disney so I could listen to or watch stuff about him all day. Talk about an amazing man!
After the show we headed to dinner. I forgot to mention yesterday, as we headed to dinner we walked past one of the cruise director's staff. They are like the MCs of all the games and activities. They do all the parties and stuff like that. Well, I walk past one of them that really I had only seen from afar the whole cruise. Maybe twice we said hello in passing. Well, as I walked past him he said, "Hey Lisa". Talk about freaky. I have no idea how he could even figure out my name. Fast forward to tonight. We're headed to dinner and we pass by this same guy. As we walk by he goes, "Hello Rose". We are still completely miffed by this. If he wasn't so nice I'd really be freaked out by it. I mean there's 2,700 passengers on board. I have no idea how he knew our names. Anyway.
We headed to dinner where we were visited tonight by EVERY waiter we have made friends with on this cruise. Usually, we get one who comes to visit. Tonight our table was the place to be. The table next to us must think we're someone special or something 'cause of all our visitors. Tonight we saw them all. The one that was most special even came by. 
My family went on our first Disney cruise in 2007. We still remember and talk about our two waiters from that cruise. They were great. Well, our first day aboard when I went to that emergency drill by myself, my emergency drill leader was our assistant waiter from 2007. He remembered my face but couldn't picture my family. So this whole cruise we've been watching for him for my parents to see him, but he's in a different dinning rotation than us. So at dinner we'd talk to Renaldo about him. Renaldo of course knows him (he knows everyone & has a nickname for everyone). So we had told Renaldo that we still hadn't seen Raphael (Renaldo calls him a ninja turtle- cause of the name & he's always working out). So tonight we're eating dinner and Renaldo tells us to please wait that he has a special character coming just for us. Now, we're on a Disney cruise. Characters sometimes show up in the restaurant towards the end and do a little show. We just assumed it was that. As time went on and guests were leaving we realized that it wasn't that. Then some of the other waiters came over to visit and the one who spilled the coffee, Pierre, brought me a surprise. He drew a Mickey out of chocolate syrup and sprinkles. It was pretty impressive. (I took a picture) Then using Ketchup he "painted" an Ariel and Mickey in a car. It was very funny. So we thought that was it. We had literally talked to every waiter we knew, including Daniel. Next thing we know we see Renaldo (our assistant waiter) walking in with Raphael, our assistant waiter from 2007. Renaldo went downstairs and brought him up for us. It was like seeing family. As soon as he saw my parents (Really. How could you ever forget my dad??) He remembered us right away & it was like we were just with him on our first cruise. He was hugging and kissing us. Asking us how we were doing. Picking on my dad. It was really nice. We sat and talked with him for a while, and the other waiters were still coming to visit too. So our head waiter, "Z" (the dry one who looks & sounds half asleep all the time) comes over and jokes with us about everyone coming to visit our table and how we even have waiters from other rotations & restaurants coming to see us. It was great.
We left dinner pretty late- there was maybe 5 other families in the entire restaurant. I of course headed right for bed. Tonight was the first time in 5 consecutive days, 6 total, that we didn't have to turn our clocks back. That was a weird feeling. 
Talk to you soon!   

PS- After coming back to my room, I keep a dry erase while board on my door for communication with my parents really. I had a note saying, "See you tomorrow. Cabin 753?". My cabin is 7543, so apparently someone down the hall is planning to see me tomorrow, Too bad for them I'm allergic to strangers. Just kidding. (no I'm not)                         

Day 14: 4 of 5 consecutive sea days.

Today was our 4th day at sea straight. We have slowed down to only 16 knots and the seas are beautiful. The sea is getting calmer each day- if that's even possible. I have never experienced such calm seas. The weather is gorgeous! It's hotter today. Everyday they tell us the high is 77 but today was definitely hotter than yesterday. There's not a cloud in the sky. Today we saw two boats which was weird and way too exciting. We also saw a bird. We think it hitched a ride with us or something. 
I started today at a refreshing 5:30am. I woke up wide awake, so I got dressed and met my dad for breakfast. I had a bowl of cereal and some fruit. It felt like I ate a whole lot more than that! I have completely lost my appetite. I'm never hungry and nothing ever even sounds good. So to say I'm sick of food is an understatement. It's disappointing too, 'cause the food is amazing. After breakfast my dad & I headed to get some chairs for the day. My mom was still down in her room and had my laptop held hostage so I told her to bring it up with her when she came up. It had been quite a while since she said she was coming so I went to call her to see what was going on. She told me she'd be up in less than 5 minutes. 
Twenty minutes later my mom joined us up by the pool. I didn't see my computer. She set her beach bag down on the table and I felt a thud. She opens her beach bag and pulls my computer out- it's not even in a case or anything. I was a little put off by that, as I treat my laptop like my child. I didn't say anything & decided to let it go. So she pulls out my computer and hands it to me. She continues to go through her bag like she's searching for something. The next thing that happened is so shocking and upsetting for me that I don't know that I can even safely type about it. It's only been 24 hours, but we'll give it a shot. Let me start by saying that my has got to be the smartest person I know. She is unbelievable. She's never studied a day in her life and yet she would ace every test she would take. She's real quick on her feet and really just brilliant. 
However. There are moments that she really makes me at a loss for words. This was one of those moments. After pulling my almost $2,000 laptop out of her beach bag where it was being banged around by her books, sunglasses & personal fan for her "private summer" moments, she pulls out, no joke, an OPEN container of milk. You know, the ones that you use to get in school- the cardboard type ones. The ones that don't seal shut, rather fold semi-closed. Yeah, that's the one. I nearly fell of the chair when I saw it. I was speechless. I am just dying to know where exactly her thoughts were when she thought it would be a good idea to carry an electronic, an expensive electronic that doesn't even belong to her, in her beach bag, with an open, flimsy carton of milk, walking up stairs on a moving ship!! Oh, to be in her mind for a day. I mean really. I digress.
After I calmed myself, I began to catch up on the two days of blogging I had fallen behind on while my lactose intolerant computer was being tortured by my mother. After that it was about time to head to the cooking demonstration. Today was a monkfish, tomato soup. We were met at "our table" by our favorite head waiter(dining room manager, we later found out), Daniel. He was holding our table for us. We've got connections. He told us how all the waiters were mocking the solemner (wine guy) because he paired a wine with our soup, which apparently in the wine world is never done. I don't know a thing about wine, so Daniel was explaining that no one ever pairs a wine with a soup. So at the moment that the solemner was doing his wine presentation Daniel was rolling his eyes, laughing & making faces at us. It was hysterical and it was even funnier because my mom & I were right in the front so the wine guy & waiters could see we were in on the mocking. Normally they do the wine presentation last, but the chef had him do it first. It was obvious he felt the same way about wine with soup. The soup was good. It was a cream soup, which I like, although I normally don't care for tomato soup. The recipe calls for a shot or two of an anise flavored liquor but on the recipe it just said a name brand of it, so no one knew what it was. The chef couldn't figure out how to explain it (he speaks very broken English) so he had the waiters start pouring shots of this stuff for everyone to taste. My mom knew what it was, 'cause she grew up drinking it every Sunday after dinner, just she knew it as something else. So she raised her hand and asked the chef if it was the same thing. He was all excited that she knew & said yes. He then said what you'd know it as if you were greek and the rest of the crowd did a collective "ooooh". My mom was so proud of herself. We still got to try it though. I passed, even though it was really watered down. I don't like black licorice and that's exactly what it tastes like. 
After that we headed back to our seats in the sun were we found my dad sweating to death saving our seats. He immediately headed into the pool, but my mom & I stayed at the seats and people watched for the rest of the afternoon. I still can't believe how long I sat perfectly content not doing a single thing- I didn't even read! It was nice... until... my mom and I watched in horror as a man sneezed just about every bodily fluid out of his mouth, nose, ears-  you name it. He looked like a geyser. It was without a doubt the most disgusting second of my life. I won't go into detail, but believe me- it was awful. It looked straight out of the movie alien. The man didn't have a tissue or anything and he was seated in one of our favorite cushioned chairs. Immediately my mom and I both began to count the chairs to figure out that it was chair number 5 from the start so that we knew never to sit in that infested chair. 
I headed back to my room early and watched another classic, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, as I got ready for dinner. Tonight's show was a magician that was very good... for a magician. I'm not impressed by magicians. All it is is slight of hand and good props & distractions. I'm not saying it's easy to do, but I'm not really impressed by them. He was really sarcastic though so it was a good time. After the show we headed to dinner where we had another hysterical night. I really can't do it justice on what goes on at dinner that's so funny. You really have to be there. Tonight, however, one of the waiters shared something with us that had us dying. A fellow waiter is a little feminine (that's an understatement). He is stationed at the section next to us and our waiter is known for stealing. He forgets to fill his water pitchers so he steals theirs. Well, tonight he heads over there to steal his water pitcher and the feminine one catches him. So our waiter scurries away over to us laughing. He then tells us what he calls guys like him. He said he calls them a "Shwee" because they're not sure what he is... a he... or a she... "shwee". It was funny, but how he explained it to us was priceless. You had to be there. So now we're practically crying we're laughing so hard and then the "shwee" now walks over. Now we have been on here quite some time but we had only seen him from a far, so we had really never noticed. Well, he comes over to us while we're still laughing at our waiter & begins to tell us how our waiter is known on the ship to all the 100s of waitstaff as "the little thief". He goes on and on about our waiter. I have never in my life talked to such a famine man and now add on top if it we're still trying not to laugh from our waiter's explanation. I have never tried to hold in my laugh as hard as I did at that moment. Needless to say we laughed through our entire dinner. 
After that I was way too tired to stay up so I headed to bed. I think my mom did too. I don't know. Tomorrow is our 5th sea day straight and then we go to St. Maarten. 
Talk to you guys later.

Day 13: 3 of 5 consecutive sea days.

Before beginning I need to do a little housekeeping... or should I say "mousekeeping"? 
This is the post for our 3rd day at sea. I fell behind due to my mom taking my laptop hostage for two days, so I'm posting both today. Be sure to read day 12 (below) before reading this one. Also, just wanted to take some time to thank everyone for all the great feedback both on this blog & on facebook. I love hearing from you guys & I'm glad you're enjoying reading my rambling... and seeing my pictures. I haven't posted any new pictures since getting on board but I promise once I'm in the great ol' USA again, I'll post the rest. Now onto the show.
Today was out 3rd day at sea straight- our 5th (i think) all together. Today I woke up at a bright and early... wait for it... 6am. I got ready and skipped breakfast all together. I headed right up to the pool to get a seat. The only issue we've been having this trip is chair hogs. You are not allowed to save seats so if you complain it's not a problem, but it's still annoying. There are people who get up before 6am, go out and put a book & towel on a seat & then you never see them again. They save them just in case. So by the time I get up there at 8am all the seats are taken. It's unreal. The worst part is, that the best loungers right by the pool are all taken by people fully dressed with no intentions of even going into the pool. The good thing though, is that it's been getting hotter so those people are fleeing for some shade and AC. So I got out here and got a pretty nice chair, where I stayed until, you guessed it, 11:15am for another cooking demonstration. This time it was dessert. (actually yesterday was the dessert & today was the veal- my bad). Anyway. The dessert was really good. I don't remember the name of it but it was berries with like a custard over it. Kinda like creme brulee (spelling?) but not. It was really good. After that my mom & I met my dad for lunch at the buffet. Do you see a pattern here? After that my mom & I headed back to the cooking demonstration area (Studio Sea) for a tea tasting. I'm not a fan of tea so I thought it'd be a perfect way to try some teas other than Lipton to see if there were any I liked. When we got there that adorable waiter I told you about, Daniel from Peru, was waiting for us and told us that he set "our table" for us. It was cute. He stayed at our table and talked with us about cruising, his home country & a really bad storm they hit in the Mediterranean. It was the worst sea conditions any of the staff had ever seen. They had to close the top two outside decks, as well as the promenade deck (deck 4) due to the winds on the top two decks & the promenade deck had waves crashing on it!!! The ship was rocking so much that the passengers weren't allowed to carry coffee or tea for fear of them burning themselves so the crew had to carry it for them. The ship rocked so much that if you raised your leg like you were walking up a set of stairs, taking steps two at a time, the ship would meet you leg in the air- if that makes sense. It's hard to explain. It was just amazing. Then Daniel went on to say that he was desperate to get out there to surf the waves! He said he's surf on a chair if he had to. I was happy I wasn't on that sailing. After our little chat, the tea tasting started. I found through it that I still don't like tea. It was very interesting though. If you have any questions about tea- I'm your gal. Next we headed back outside to read & relax by the pool. My mom went to see a movie, The Last Song, which she hated, and my dad went to the spa where he got a $35 buzz cut. I headed back to my room a little early as tonight is our 2nd formal night. It's optional but I love getting dressed up so I look forward to it. My dad wore his tux again and looked snazzy as ever. We headed to the show tonight which was a tribute to some of the Disney music. I love the music from Disney movies so I really was looking forward to it. Unfortunately it was pretty cheesy, they sang the least popular songs & they changed them and mixed them. It was just all wrong. It was still a nice time though. After that we headed to one of the lounges to listen to a swing/jazz band that were really good & the piano player complimented my dress so I really liked them. After sitting their for a while we headed to the best dinner so far, not so much due to food, but due to our waiters. They were hysterical tonight. We laughed so hard my throat was horse by the time we left. Then our friend Daniel came by & he started picking on my dad for not coming with us to the tastings and that started a whole other round of jokes & laughing. It was a good time. As we left Daniel told us he "had our reservation" for tomorrow's tasting and that if anyone tried to sit at "our table" he'd take care of it. Did I mention how adorable he is?? After that we headed back to our rooms to change out of our formal wear and headed up to deck 9 to watch Pirated of the Caribbean under the stars on the giant tv screen by one of the pools.
I made it to about halfway through the movie and had to call it a night. I headed to bed but first moving my clock back another hour! This is getting crazy. I have an alarm clock, wall clock & wrist watch in my room. I usually am so tired I only change the alarm clock and then sometimes I remember my watch and  then usually it takes me a while to get around to the wall clock, so most of the cruise my three clocks all have different times, So I turn on the tv to find out the actual time. It's a lot of work to be on vacation!
Talk to you guys soon!

Day 12: 2 of 5 consecutive sea days.

Another day at sea is complete. At the start of this day we were 1,346 nautical miles from our last sight of land, Madeira and 1,384 nautical miles from our next sight of land, St. Maarten. We haven't seen any birds, bugs, or anything living (other than people, of course) since Madeira. Actually my dad did see some flying fish, but other than that- nothing. It seems a little a weird. It really brings to life "big fish, small pond". Everywhere you look, as far as you can see is water, for two days straigh now & we still have three more to go. Since we are so far out the satelites for the TVs are out & internet is at a crawl & at time just not available. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous & the seas have been calm- thank you Jesus! The staff are amazed at how calm the Atlantic is. The high today was 77 degrees and it was sunny all day. There is a constant breeze (probably due to the fact that we're on a moving ship) that keeps you comfortable in the sun. We have had no sea sickness at all- my mom isn't even wearing those dumb wrist bands that she normally wears every other cruise she's ever been on- that's how calm the seas are. It's been great!
My day today will read pretty close to yesterdays (and tomorrows- I fell a little behind again). I was up at 6am. Every day, no matter what, I'm up at 6am. We gained another hour last night, but I still wake up at 6am. It's weird. You will never have a better night sleep than on a cruise ship in an inside stateroom. I think the combination of pitch black (what does that even mean?!) and the rocking put you in such a deep sleep- it's magical! I had a relaxed morning getting ready. I headed over to my parents room to find my mom. Apparently, my dad has been sleeping REALLY well. He woke up today wide awake at 4am, so he went & did laundry. Can we say OCD? So I had breakfast with my mom in her room, then we headed out to one of the top decks and found a chair to sit and read in, while my dad went to another lecture- I have no idea what it was on. We stayed there until 11:15am when it was time for another cooking demonstration. This time is was Osso Bucco- I have no idea how to spell it. What kind of an Italian am I?? It was a veal shank and it was incredible. It's been the same staff at it each time so we've gotten to know them & they've gotten to know us. Every time we've gone so far we sit in the same table. So today one of the head waiters that had been friendly with us from the beginning welcomed us back. He's absolutely adorable. He reminds me of an ex of mine- just he's not a jerk. What a concept. My mom loves him too. After the cooking demonstration we headed back out to sit and read (sleep). Then we had lunch and my mom & I headed back to the area where the cooking demonstrations are held. This time it was a tasting like the oil & vinegar but on cheese. We had an amazing selection. The paper is down in my room (I'm sitting in a chair in the sun looking out at the beautiful ocean) so I don't remember all of them, but my favorites were the brie & a cream cheese that had herbs and garlic in it. Wow, was it good! We also tried a Gorgonzola and I nearly died. So gross! That was the strongest blue cheese I have EVER encountered. I can't imagine anyone voluntarily eating it. Ew. 
After the tasting we headed back up for some more time in the sun. Then we headed to see an absolutely adorable movie that I suggest everyone go see, You Again. It's put out by one of Disney's sister companies, so we got to have it on the ship the day it came out in theaters in the states. Go see it!! It's too cute. After the movie we headed to get ready for dinner & the show. Tonight's show was a comedian/impersonator who at times was cheesy but had some funny moments. One of his best moments was when he did the whole scene from the Indiana Jones movie &/or stunt show at Disney World with the entire audience participating. It was the scene where he steals the little gold statue & the giant ball comes rolling after him. It was very funny. He gave one side of the theater straws and instructed them to shoot the straw wrapper at him as he ran up that aisle. Then he got 6 kids from the audience, lines them up in the middle aisle that goes across the theater and gave them those swimming noodles to beat him with as he ran by them. Then our side of the theater had to throw our hands up & back as he ran by us. The reason being you may ask. He had a giant inflatable ball that they sent flying down the audience at him. It was really clever... and funny too. 
After that we headed to dinner where I was so sick of food (I know, can you believe it??) that I didn't finish a single thing that was put in front of me. I just feel so full all the time. I can't remember what it feels like to be hungry. I have started to skip breakfast and now I'm even thinking of doing the unthinkable- skip dessert. I'll keep you updated on that pressing matter.
After dinner my dad called it a night, but my mom & I stayed up for their version of the newlywed game, Match Your Mate, that started at 10:45pm in one of the adult only lounges. Priceless. They had a couple married 5 months, 22 years & 52 years. It was hysterical. The couple married 52 years won. They were traveling with their adult children and when the classic question, "Where is the strangest place you've ever 'discovered the magic' " came the adult son threw up his arms & yelled, "That's it I'm leaving". It was very funny. 
After the love fest we called it a night.         

Day 11: 1 of 5 consecutive sea days

Another day in the books. Before I start on today I must first correct an error. The ship is moving at 20 knots not "nautical mile per hour" or whatever it was I said. I don't even know where that came from. Like 10 minutes after I posted that it hit me what I wrote. I guess I'm just a little too relaxed. Anyway.
Today is our 1st day at sea of 5 straight. No land in sight & haven't even seen another ship. We are moving at 20.9 knots (27 is full speed). The high today was 77 degrees and overcast at times. We are 776 nautical miles from Madeira and 1,854 nautical miles from our next stop, St. Maarten. The sea depth is 17,100 feet- that's like 3 miles! Pretty scary huh? The best part was today sitting in the lobby of a cruise ship, sailing the Atlantic, a guy walks by with a t-shirt, "Titanic Swim Team 1912". Priceless. 
I woke up today pretty early just like every day. It's weird. Each night we're changing the time but each morning I'm still waking up at 6am. I got up today and wrote my blog, checked e-mail and got ready. I'm starting to get sick of food, so I just had a bowl of cereal in my room. Seriously it's so much food! At 10am my dad went to a lecture on cruising where he learned that the average person gains 7lbs on a cruise. God help me. The average cruise is a week- we're on for two! I feel like I've gained about 300 lbs so at this point I'd be happy with just 7lbs. 
While my dad was at that lecture my mom & I sat by the pool. It's warm out but there is a very strong, cool breeze. I sat with a towel over my legs and another around my shoulders. I was really getting into my book, so when it was time to meet my mom & dad for the next cooking demonstration, Saffron Risotto, I decided just to skip it and stay by the pool. I sat by the pool and read 5 chapters on my Kindle- love that thing! While I was there all bundled up one of the top officers walked by and apparently I looked pretty pathetic because he offered me a blanket. It's really warm, except if you're sitting in the shade & in the breeze, which I was 'cause it seemed to become overcast once I got out there. 
My parents finished up with the cooking demonstration so we all headed to get some lunch. After lunch my mom and I headed to a "tasting" while my dad headed up to the top deck forward to read for a while. My mom & I went to an oil and vinegar tasting. It was really cool. If you've ever been to a wine tasting or beer flight it was just like that just with oil and vinegar. They had three oils for us to try and three vinegars. We had bread to dip in each to try. They told us all about oil first and then vinegar. They taught on how to pick a good quality one, what not to by & when to use and not use each type. It was really cool and we got to try a really good oil- lemon olive oil. It was so good! You can buy it like that or make it yourself. Just put some lemon rind in olive oil in the refrigerator for 10 - 14 days and then remove it from the refrigerator. You don't want to cook with this, rather drizzle it over a salad or some fish. Really good. Another tidbit is to never store oil in the refrigerator just keep it on the counter.
After that they had a special guest, Paige from Extreme Makeover Home Edition. She was supposed to tell us a bunch of backstage secrets and stuff like that. It ended up being the most nauseating thing ever- and it had nothing to do with the sea conditions. She was obnoxious and needed a taste of humble pie. The whole hour all we heard was her talk about herself. The ONLY interesting fact we learned was that they actually makeover two homes at the exact same time. When Ty goes to his "secret room" he's actually flying on a plane over to the other house they're working on and filming over there. That's why many of the episodes have different designers. The homes are built in 5 days, they have 1 day to decorate and 1 day for filming. Some of the crew show up 3 weeks early, secretly, to work with the town officials to get permission, permits, close roads etc. They sometimes will choose a house but if the neighbors don't give an okay, or the town, they can't do it. The families are surprised, but with all that stuff going on their bound to know, so they're told they're one of five families and that they'll find out whether they're picked on XX day- that's why they already have microphones on. All that information is all I got from the hour long love fest- she really loves herself. Saturday she is going to do a questions and answers hour, so I think I'll go. It will be interesting to see how she turns each question back to herself.
After that I went to my room to take a nap. The rocking of the boat was really making me sleepy so I figured why fight it. I ended up sleeping on and off until it was time to get ready for the show and dinner. Tonight's show was a brand new one, Villains Tonight. It was cute. The beginning was pretty cheesy but the second half was much better. There were some pretty funny moments. My parents weren't fans, because "the villains are supposed to be bad not liked". They're really sounding old huh? I love traveling with them, but my God did they get old. Literally, no exaggerating, everything I say this entire trip I have to repeat 'cause one of the two of them (or both!) didn't hear me. You wanna talk about working on your patience... try having to say everything twice for 10 days and still not loose it. I deserve a medal! I think I'm going to buy them souvenirs for this trip - matching hearing aids. 
After the show we headed to dinner. I feel like the portions are getting bigger and bigger each night. The only thing I finished was my appetizer. I couldn't finish my salad, entree or even dessert. After dinner I was a lazy bum again and just headed to bed. I don't know what it is, but I just am so sleepy by the time I'm finished dinner. Now our dinner time is the late seating, so we go at 8:30pm and by the time we're done it's 10pm. So it's not like I'm going to bed super early but still. I feel old. Oh, God! I think I'm spending too much time with my parents- they're rubbing off on me. Next I'm going to start not being able to hear anything. Great!

Have a good night.