Monday, September 28, 2009

Fun Day at Sea!

First fun day at sea! On our way to Cozumel and we slept in. I always sleep great on the boat, something about the slow rocking (or maybe its just the alcohol!). Ordered our regular room service then down to explore the ship. Went through the stores – pretty much the same and explored the boat from top to bottom. I was really surprised that we didn’t hear hardly any of the deck part even though our room is the closest. We played at the casino and of course I had to play poker even though it’s the crappy electronic table. There are these two guys who are Mexican, but speech English in a New York accent. They are loud and excitable though seem to be harmless. The turned the poker table into a craps table with shouts, banging the table and yelling in Spanish. One guy even looks like Tony Soprano so its like the Mexican Sopranos play poker! Their chicks even look like mob girls – its kinda funny.
We dressed up since it was the first elegant night and headed out to the supper club. It was great as always and I didn’t have to listen to Steve and his wife talk about how a balcony cabin just isn’t worth is because all you see is water. REALLY?? It a cruise FYI. We spent literally hours the first day staring at the pretty blue water which was so calm it was eerie and needless to say, I made reservations at the supper club for tomorrow too. The official excuse is that we wanted to eat earlier so Kevin could watch Monday night football, but the real reason is that I’d rather pay an extra $60 not to put up with Steve and I know eventually I will tell him to take a big dose of shut the F*** up but why ruin the whole week?
We thought about going to the shows but blew it off to play blackjack after dinner and I did really well but it seems I’m like the only player who understand the concept of ‘dealer dollars’. Every bet you play a dollar for the dealer and when you win, they win too. It a good luck thing but I swear some of these people act like they are paying their mortgage with their winnings – as if. Anyway, we closed down the casino at 2:30 am. Tomorrow, Cozumel!

On the Boat!

Boat Day!!
So today is the day we finally get on the boat. We arrived at the port terminal without incident except that all the people on the hotel shuttle act like they’ve already had a few shots of tequila! Wait was short – about 20 minutes and then we’re onto the boat. It s really like coming home. We’ve sailed so many of the conquest class that we know where everything is already so it makes it really easy. Our room is on the tenth deck – highest up we’ve been so far and we’re a little concerned that we are right by the hot tub and pool and are wondering about the noise so we’ll see. We left at 4 pm and pulling out of port in Ft Lauderdale is always exciting. As we passed through the jetties, we were on the opposite side of the boat and got a great photo of the beach going south. The boat hugged the coastline as the sun set and as we passed Miami, there were several other cruise ships leaving port on the way to the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands – all wonderful cruises as well. As night came on we could see the lights of the keys and a thunderstorm in the distance. Our dinner is at 8:15 and we went down to the lobby bar for a few drinks and great music.
At dinner we met our dinner mates : a young couple from Miami celebrating their 5 year anniversary, a young couple from Miami who are experienced cruisers and then there was Steve & Ieda. Steve is a retired lawyer and travels the country with his RV in a caravan. AS the young couple talked amoung themselves I realized that even retired lawyers are annoying and have very little social skill. In fact they rank right up there with IT guys in that respect except they think they are the smartest people in the universe. AS the night dragged along I was really glad I’d made reservations at the supper club for tomorrow…..
We played a little at the casino then crashed for the night. All in all, very glad to be back on the boat!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Cruise Extravaganza Begins..

Woo hoo! And we’re off! Well, not off on the ocean yet, but off to Ft Lauderdale. Me & Liz took Barky (Rocko) to doggy summer camp yesterday and there were so many people making a fuss over him he didn’t even know I was gone so I can now cruise guilt free - although the castle was eerily quiet without him.

So we packed up and I went to check us in online on Continental and they offered us a first class upgrade for $79. And I had one of ‘those’ moments when you wonder if its worth it. I mean we all still get there together so does it really matter? Now I will admit that I’ve never flown first class. I’m a hard core Southwest Airlines person and first class flies in the face of flying for ‘peanuts’. But in this case I felt I was more than justified since continental charges $55 for 2 bags – Each way. And if you upgrade then you get three bags for free so if I can fly First Class for $79 round trip that saves $31 net – for both me and Kevin.

So after we got off the puddle jumper and onto the real plane in Houston for Ft Lauderdale, we settled into the cushy first class seats. Then they served us chicken fajita wraps that were hot and fresh fruit on real plates with real silverware. They also serve all the beer and wine you want FREE and your earphones are FREE too! I had no idea they did that on these shorter flights and of course now we’re hooked. But it made me realize that they are really soaking everyone who is paying coach. We got the flights for less than $400 each on Expedia and the upgraded to First Class and paid no baggage fees, no booze fees and no other fees AND our luggage was marked priority and came off the plane first and we were on our way. It just goes to show that you really have to do the math because just because you assume you are saving a buck by squishing into that uncomfortable middle seat in coach between Tonya the Talker and Sam the Smelly, doesn’t mean it’s true.

So anyway we get to Ft Lauderdale just fine and dandy and arrive at the hotel for the night which I paid with my Starwood points for free AND they didn’t have many people there today so they upgraded us to club level (don’t you love upgrades on stuff that’s already FREE?). We then went down to the lobby bar and had our first official vacation fruity drink. Kevin had a Pina Colada and I had a Mai Tai (make that two). Kevin kept getting brain freeze but I was down for the count. We started the day at 5 am so it didn’t take much to put me out.

After a short nap we got headed over to Truluck’s for our birthday dinner. The place was nice of course and had a hoppin’ bar with live music. We decided to try the Alaskan King Crab since we’re rarely ever in a place that really has good seafood and Truluck’s is known for its crab. I have to say it was totally better than lobster. For dinner Kevin got the Joshua Crab (cousin to the stone crab) and I got the Prosciutto wrapped Mahi Mahi. Mine was excellent! Of course if you wrap bacon around anything its going to be good. Kevin said his was okay. Not because the Joshua Crab was bad, but he just liked the King Crab so much better. He said it was like following lobster with a plate of tadpoles. They put a candle on a piece of chocolate cake for our birthday. Happy Birthday to us! Now tomorrow we get on the boat!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Subtitles & Pimp my Dog!

I realize that its rare for me to post again so soon but today was too funny to let go without comment.

So I was watching Discovery tonight and they had this show on about the wild pig explosion in the US....of course they interviewed some very amiable guys from Louisiana who hunt these pigs to control the population. Skeeter and Bubba (Yes, those were their names for real) had accents so thick that the show had inserted subtitles. Which I can understand 'cause every time I watch Swords I really wish they would have subtitles for those thick Boston accents...but anyway. So I'm pointing out these subtitles to my husband when we realize that the subtitles are WRONG! Every time Bubba talks about his dogs chasing the pigs and says, "They's on um," the subtitles read, "They own one." Don't you wonder if the discussion in the editing booth came down to a 'rock, paper, scissors' decision of what them good ol boys actually said? Way to confuse them Yankees Bubba and Skeeter!

In other news this evening, Kevin took Rocko out around the neighborhood as he normally does each evening. When they return, Kevin says, "You're not going to believe it. We got approached by a Dog Pimp!" Apparently they were strolling by a house a block up from ours and this guy working in his yard starts running after them and says, "Is that a male bulldog? Cause I have a couple of young purty female bulldogs." What is this, VEGAS?? Of course when Kevin told him that Rocko's boys were toast, the poor guy seemed really disappointed. Good thing doggys don't understand English because the news that Rocko could have been the subject of a doggy threesome would have devastated the poor pooch. Can you imagine the Forum column in the next Bulldog Penthouse?? On second thought, Rocko may have a future as an erotica writer.......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pig ears and cruiseliners

As most of you know by now, we have a new addition to the castle - Rocko the bulldog.

He's about six months old and quite high maintenence right now as we're still working on the housetraining. I know the first question, "so if you can't keep fish alive, why did you get a dog?"

Well I love a challenge I suppose. But I'm amazed at all the cool stuff they have for dogs now including Pig Ears. I swear they must be like doggy crack! Rocko will chew on one until it is oblitereated, then spend hours (or days) hunting for the little leftover bits (bacon bits?) in the carpet. So I did a search yesterday to see the nutritional value of a pig ear and apparently the are just south of potato chips. Darn. Why is it that the one thing he really loves is so bad for him? I'm still giving him pig ears.

A short two weeks away is our Panama Cruise!! I can't wait! It seems like forever since we'd had a long relaxing vacation. We leave from Ft Lauderdale and then go to Cozumel, Costa Rica then on to Panama. Its an 8 day cruise which I really like as there's lots of days at sea! I'm trying to get several projects finished up before we go so I can really relax and enjoy the ride!