Cruise Day 3: Family Time

After getting lots of relaxing in yesterday, we decided to try participating in more activities on our second at sea day. The weather outside was gradually warming up, and more folks were out on the pool deck so the ship was less crowded.

Rich and I had already booked dinner at Portofino’s–just the two of us–so we tried to make this day about “family time” since we wouldn’t be with the kids later in the evenign. We went to an Arts & Crafts class and made a cute seashell and mother-of-pearl key chain. The two ladies leading the class were very nice, and provided all of the materials and instructions. It was a great way to pass the time, and we each came away with a nice keychain as a souvenir.

We had lunch at Johnny Rockets for the first time. We had to wait awhile for a table, because it was still a bit too windy to sit at one of the outside tables. While the jukeboxes on the table and the festive atmosphere were fun, the food was really nothing special. The kids loved the milkshakes, but the burgers were just so-so. Still, I was glad we went so that we could finally see what the fuss was all about. On future cruises, Johnny Rockets won’t be considered a “must do” activity.

Rich and I checked the casino at one point, but the chain smokers that flock there make it unbearable. The place reeks, and the payouts were few and far between.

In the evening, we checked out the pre-dinner show, but found the “dynamic entertainer” to be a bit cheesy and boring. (Think David Copperfield-type fog machine/strobe light production values and some guy with three shirt buttons unbuttoned sitting at a piano). After making sure the kids were settled in for dinner at the Windjammer, we headed to Portofino’s.

One of the things you pay extra for at Portofino’s is the ambience. Yes, it is certainly quieter and more intimate than the Main Diningroom, and the presentation of the food is definitely kicked up a notch. Still, I found the service to be lacking, and the pace excruciatingly slow. I enjoy a relaxing meal, and not being rushed between courses, but this was ridiculous. Our meal took two and a half hours, with long gaps of time when we didn’t see our server or his assistant. Definitely a disappointment, and not as fine a dining experience as I’ve had at other specialty restaurants on other cruise lines.

We skipped the late comedy show because we didn’t find the comedian that funny at the welcome aboard show. Instead, we headed to the champagne bar and had a nightcap, which was a nice way to end the evening.

I was already getting nervous, thinking about tomorrow’s adventure in Labadee, Haiti, where I’d agreed to do the zipline excursion with my daughter. It’s the highest and longest zipline over a body of water…what the heck was I thinking??

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