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.             


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