I slept really well last night as my bed was very comfortable and the seas helped rock me to sleep. I was excited to do some early morning exploring and to get some coffee. Since it wasn’t obscenely early, I woke up Veronica to see if she wanted to join me. I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed to come for my early morning coffee and walk.
First stop was Cafe Al Bacio for two Americanos and some pastries. The coffee was top notch and my almond croissant was just as delicious as the ones on NCL that are only available for Haven passengers. We walked on the outside deck but realized it wasn’t a great promenade deck for long walk and it was also pretty chilly with the wind. The ship was quiet and the casino surprisingly did not open until nine o'clock so we walked the decks while taking in the unusual sculptures and art throughout the ship.
When the casino opened, we did some gambling before morning trivia. Trivia was fun and we had a decent score of 12.66/15 points. The host of trivia, Luca was entertaining and we looked forward to attending trivia later. It was back to the casino for some games and a mimosa for me and a Raspberry Fizz for Veronica. The mimosa was mostly sparkling wine, just how I like it. Veronica liked this mocktail better as it was not as sweet. I thought it would be really good with some vodka!
For lunch, we went to the buffet. It was crowded and the lines were a little slower than normal since it was not self serve. However, there were so many great choices. I had only a salad with hummus though as I like to keep lunches light on cruises. Veronica sampled the Asian station and the daily special of BBQ ribs. The rib was huge and super meaty. I skipped dessert but the soft serve tempted Veronica and she had to try for cruise research purposes. Typically, it is always vanilla and chocolate but the choice was vanilla and strawberry so she went a swirl of both. She thought it was really good, not too icy and very flavorful. We walked with her ice cream to decide our afternoon agenda.
Since Aqua class cabins include access to the Persian Garden, we decided to give it a try. It is not a large thermal area but it has a heated bench, steam room, infrared sauna, salt steam room, and rainfall showers. I have experienced the thermal areas on a few NCL ships and recently on MSC. The sauna is very nice and the bench had good heat to it. I am not a big fan of steam rooms though so I didn’t try those. The rainfall shower was not impressive. It seemed to be one temperature only which was hot/warm and I’d prefer a cold blast after a sauna. There is no real aroma, lights, or features. I would say it is a nice inclusion for the cabin but I would not pay extra for this facility. I am sure it is much bigger and fancier on the newer ships. Right next to the spa is the solarium, so we tried out the indoor pool with jets. The seating area was crowded but the pool was not. We had a nice soak and felt very relaxed before heading to the casino for our Facebook group slot pull.
We had to meet up at the casino bar to sign up for the slot pull. The cost was $20 per person and we share the profits. I paid for both of us to do the pull. We had a bit of a wait so I tried a cocktail from the bar menu, an Elderflower Blush. It was made with fresh strawberries, gin and elderflower liquor with Sprite. I found it to be a refreshing afternoon drink. I was the third to spin in the slot pull and got the spin feature on the Wheel of Fortune machine which landed on $75. This got lots of cheers and clapping. Most unfortunately, there was not much cheering for the remainder of the pulls. We only got to spin the wheel one other time. We ended up with $12 back per person. It was still good entertainment for $8.
To ease the pain of the loss, I hit the martini bar to try a specialty martini this time. I opted for the kale martini as I have never seen this on any menu. The bartender gave me the vibe that it is not a popular choice but I assured him I enjoy vegetables. It was not green like I thought it would be and I have to say I enjoyed it. I took it to my balcony to enjoy while Veronica showered before dinner.
We were seated for dinner straight away this evening. The bread service was the same except for the butter which included a carrot purée and a beet purée which I really preferred to butter. Tonight my starters were the macadamia crusted scallop and the creamy crab bisque. The scallop was singular, small but super tasty. The crab bisque was also very flavorful as it was poured over a bit of caviar. Veronica had the tuna tataki and heirloom tomato salad for her starters and enjoyed both choices. For our mains, I had the vegetable tart and Veronica had the rack of lamb. We shared a truffle ricotta gnocchi as well. All the mains were excellent but the gnocchi and the lamb were the best! The lamb was so tender and the gnocchi was better than the pasta on MSC. For dessert, we both had the strawberry soup which was nice and light. Another great dinner!
We hung out in the Sky Lounge after dinner. I had a Stinger while we waited for pub trivia. It consisted of three different categories, 90s music, video games and musicals. We tied another team (9/15) so I sent Veronica up for the tie-breaker and her answer was closer so we were the champs! We stayed for the Motown party and enjoyed watching the singer and dancers. After their performance, the dance floor opened up and we worked off some calories. The dance floor was packed with dancers and we had a fun time. It was close to midnight when we made our way back to the cabin, although we did stop off at the buffet for some cake and pizza. Unfortunately, we lose an hour tonight so it was really after 1am by the time we went to bed.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.